Dundee Mills
Dundee Mills History

HOW IT ALL BEGAN -By David Baugh

William Joseph Kincaid and J. M. Brawner met with nine other gentlemen on
February 11, 1888, for the purpose of forming a new company and to build a
cotton mill. In those early days of the industrialization of the South, it was
a bold move to forsake the centralized textile industry of New England and
establish a plant far removed from the skilled work forces found in the North.
Nonetheless, with $78,000 capital raised, the Kincaid Manufacturing Company
was born and contracts awarded on April 5, 1888, for the construction of the
plant that would become known as Dundee #1.

With William Joseph Kincaid as President and J. M. Brawner as Treasurer,
Kincaid Manufacturing Co. completed its first year of operation and on April
17.1890, the minutes showed that it had produced 1957 bales of goods (Damask)
and 2780 dozen towels. After selling 1638 bales of goods and 2755 dozen
towels, they had an inventory at the end of the year of 319 bales of goods and
25 dozen towels.


Cherokee Mills (Now Dundee #5) was purchased on February 21, 1913.

Lowell Bleachery South was constructed as a joint venture by Kincaid
Manufacturing Company and Lowell Bleachery of Lowell, Mass. in 1923.


In the meantime, John H. Cheatham came to Griffin from Hartwell and acquired
the Georgia Cotton Mills (Now Dundee #2) in 1918. Georgia Cotton Mills
manufactured and marketed the Red Diamond line of birdseye and gauze baby

The old Boyd-Mangham plant (formerly Dundee #3) and Central Mill Plant #4
(Later known as Griffin Industries) were part of the Georgia Cotton Mills

On January 26, 1924, the Board of Directors of the Kincaid Manufacturing
Company voted to accept an offer by John H. Cheatham, President of Georgia
Cotton Mills to purchase the entire common stock of Kincaid. Offer was
accepted and the new organization was known as the Georgia-Kincaid Mills.


As early as 1892, the name "Dundee" was adopted by Kincaid Manufacturing
Company as a 'brand' name for its goods named for the high quality textile
products of Dundee, Scotland - the homeland of Kincaid and Brawner.

On October 13, 1924, it was registered as a trademark by the newly formed
Georgia-Kincaid Mills. Then in 1942, it was incorporated into the name of the
new company - Dundee Mills Incorporated.

Dundee Mills operated six plants, all located in Griffin, Georgia. During the
years of World War II and the 40's, growth was held to a minimum because of
the lack of new machinery and equipment but with the dawning of the 50's,
Dundee began a modernization program. Of primary concern was the introduction
of new and improved machinery and better working conditions such as air
conditioning, etc.

The 70's brought a decade of growth and expansion to the Dundee

1972 - Colorcraft, Inc. of Newnan was acquired and renamed Georgia Screen
Printers. Using a silk screen process, this plant provided the printed
patterns and floral designs for our towels and washcloths.

1972 - The Chix line of baby products was acquired from the Chicopee
Manufacturing Co. in Gainesville, Georgia. Our Baby Products Division began
operating in neighboring Oakwood Georgia

1976 - The Georgia Schiffli Company was acquired and operated as Schiffli
of Georgia in Manchester. Schiffli provided the embroidery patterns on our
towels and washcloths.

1976 - The Rushton Plant was acquired from Hartwell Mills and immediately
converted to a yarn manufacturing plant. It was as modern a plant you'd find in the
textile industry.

1978 - The new ultramodern corporate headquarters complex was dedicated in
Griffin as the Company celebrated its 90th Anniversary.

1981 - Hampton Mills of Ellijay Georgia was acquired. Hampton Mills
manufactured a line of bathroom rugs arid accessories that complimented our line of towels.

1982 - Dundee opened its new ultra modern 150,000 sq. ft plant in Gainesville
that housed our then expanding Baby Products Division.


From the few 'bales of goods' and towels in 1890 to the Dundee product line of
today is truly one of outstanding growth Bath Towels and Terry Products
Upwards of thirty-million pounds of raw material are woven each year into a
wide variety of high quality towels, washcloths and related terry products
Styles range from plain to printed to embroidered to Jacquard designs and in
all colors and sizes.

Bathroom Rugs and Accessories - Rugs of a variety of styles and shapes, tank
tops, commode covers, etc., of all colors to compliment our wide line of

(Information above is edited from a pamphlet that was given to Dundee employees during The Dundee Centennial Celebration in 1988.)

Springs Industries purchased Dundee Mills in 1995, for around $118 Million dollars.

Springs Industries, Inc. consolidated and modernize its Griffin, Ga., towel weaving and yarn operations in a $67 million towel manufacturing modernization program.

The company invested over $26 million to modernize and expand Plant No. 5. Production from Griffin Plant No. 1, was consolidated into Plant No. 5, in January 1999. In addition $40 million was spent on new facilities and equipment at the Hartwell, Ga., operations.

Springs' modernization plan included adding 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space for weaving and yarn storage at Plant No. 5, and closing weaving at Plant No 1. Employment at the Griffin plants was reduced by 300 positions.

Weaving and yarn production were closed at Plant 2 in Griffin, GA.

Plant No. 3 was being torn down.

Plant No. 1 closes all yarn manufacturing but will continue to be used for storage of towels.

Plant No. 5 in Griffin and Hartwell Finishing were closed in April 2005. Cheaper imports from China and other areas were named as the main reasons for the closings. Hartwell weaving and Griffin Finishing continue to operate. The closing of Plant 5 is the end of the towel making era in Griffin that started 117 years earlier in 1888.

Home textile operations of Springs and Coteminas of Brazil merge in a joint venture to create Springs Global, the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of home furnishings. Crandall Bowles and Josué Gomes da Silva (CEO of Coteminas) jointly lead Springs Global and serve as Co-Chairs of the board of directors.

Hartwell Plant was close.

Hartwell weaving is to be phased out over the summer of 2006. Some equipment will be moved to Brazil where all weaving of towels will now be moved. No towels will be made in the USA.

It is announced by Springs that Griffin Finishing and the Distribution Center will continue to operate in Griffin.

Before the year comes to an end Crandall Bowles announces that she will step down as Co-Chair of the company but will remain on the board.

It was announced by Springs that Griffin Finishing and Distribution will start to close starting Feb. 28, 2009. Griffin Finishing and Distribution, all that was left of the operations that were once Dundee Mills Inc. Thus ends an era that started 120 years ago in 1888 when our company was founded.

Our company would have been 121 years old on Feb. 11, 2009. Springs Industries was one year older than Dundee. Dundee started in 1888 and Springs in 1887.
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