The Pants Factory

One of Carrollton's Valuable Institutions


Among the several valuable manufacturing institutions in Carrollton is the pantaloon factory recently established in connection with the Carrollton Woolen Mills.  It is located in the building known as the old woolen mill on 6th Street.  We called the other day to inspect some alterations that were being with a view to increased to increased convenience and greater capacity, and were highly delighted with the scene. Nearly everything is done by machinery, the operatives being for the most part bright, handsome, staving [sp?], young women - and how they do hustle! However, the work is not heavy, as all the machines are run by steam.

The factory, having a connection with the woolen mills, is of course under the management of Mr. Wm. F. Howe, but it is under the immediate charge of Mr. W. A. Hoagland, as Superintendent, who is a pleasant gentleman, with evident qualifications for the position.  Mr. Hoagland is the chief cutter, exercising also a supervision of the entire place - looking especially to the keeping up of assortments, the filling of orders, etc.  He has some assistants in the work of cutting, John Beal being the first.  The manner of cutting is extremely interesting.  Whole bolts of goods are spread on a table ninety feet long, one thickness upon another, until sometimes as many as sixty thicknesses are piles up; then, Superintendent Hoagland puts the chalk lines on, and his assistants literally carve out the patterns with immense knives, passing the blades through slots in the table.  The waste amounts to almost nothing, every part being utilized.

There are 13 splendid sewing machines, a button hole machine, a button machine and a crimping machine, each in charge of a young lady.  Miss Ollie Craig being the efficient forewoman in this department.  The ladies at present employed are:  Misses Ollie Craig, Zella Scandrett, Lucy Betem, Nannie Welch, Linda McKim, Laura Coghill, Minnie Meier, Virginia Soar, Barbara Lang, Lulie Leap, Nannie Soar, Mattie Welch, Rosa Lorch, Katie Betem, Hattie Brown, Eva Porter, Mary Dugan, Ella Hays, and Annie Morgan.  A number of these have acquired great skill and turn out work with astonishing rapidity.  They work by the piece, the allowance being in proportion to the quality of the goods, the amount earned depending also on experience, proficiency, etc., a number of the young ladies making $1.00 a day; the most that any made last week was $7.07.

Several other persons fill positions about the factory - two young Kendall brothers doing all the pressing, while Edgar Williams and perhaps others are 'general' men.

The total number of employees is 25.  Many of these would be earning little or nothing, if it were not for the opportunity the factory gives to them, and hence we started out by calling it a very valuable institutions.

The factory consumes about one-fourth of the present output of the woolen mill, and the garments made are of quite superior workmanship. Of course there are several qualities so far as the material is concerned.  But the constant aim of the company is to maintain a high standard of excellence in every case, just the same as it has been maintained for the piece goods produced by the woolen mills proper.  It is hoped that the day will soon come when the factory will use all of the piece goods that come from the mill.  At this time the weekly pay roll of the two concerns amounts to nearly $500 - and a fourth of the machinery in the mill, perhaps, is not running.

Mr. Howe feels very much encouraged from the success of the new enterprise.  He said: “A gentleman was here from Louisville today and gave us an order for 76 dozens pairs; Mr. J. B. Ribella, who travels exclusively for this factory and the woolen mill, is sending in some orders.  Besides Mr. Ribella, we have five men who are on the road who sell for both departments on commission.  The latter, however, represent us in connection with other lines.”


from the Carrollton Democrat, November 14, 1891