The new mills, collectively called Columbia Pacific Mills, consisted of Olympia, Granby, Richland, and Capital City Mills in Columbia. Mill villages containing 650 houses came with the purchase.
The fourth largest city in South Carolina, Greenville traces its origins to 1797 when Lemuel Alston, the largest landowner in Greenville County, laid out the “Greenville C. H. Village of Pleasantburg” on either side of Pearis’s wagon road on the east bank of the Reedy River.
The General Textile Strike in South Carolina sprang out of old grievances and fresh hopes. For years mill people worked long hours for low wages in lint-filled factories. Beginning in the 1920s, mill owners, pinched by increased competition, raised workers’ machine loads without increasing their pay. Workers called this the “stretch-out,” and fought back.
The economic revival of the 1880s provided a more congenial atmosphere for unionizing. As was true elsewhere in the United States, organized labor was generally more successful in urban areas and among skilled workers.