Where Cabarrus County Worked in 1931

20 Pay 2014

General merchandise stores, such as the grocery opened by H. G. Blackwelder on McGill Avenue at the mouth of Kerr Street in Concord, were in Cabarrus in the 1930s. Blackwelder’s Grocery stayed in business until the 1970s. From left is H. G. Blackwelder and his butcher, J. Brite Thompson. From Images of America: Concord, by Michael Eury/Independent Tribune.

There is no doubt that the textile industry has long been one of the most influential businesses in Cabarrus County. By the 1930s, most families had someone working in the textile industry; in towns, whole families often worked together in the same mill. The North Carolina Year Book, 1931, published by the Raleigh News and Observer, lists eleven textile mills in Cabarrus County. Cannon Mills Company, with five plants in Concord and two in Kannapolis, produced sheeting, towels, ginghams, madras, novelty dress goods and yarns. Other Concord companies included Brown Manufacturing Company, which made flannels; Hartsell Mills Company, which produced cotton tapestry, rayon draperies, cotton bedspreads and carded yarns; and Locke Cotton Mills Company, which turned out chambray, shirting, dress ginghams and yarns. Several Concord mills produced hosiery and/or hosiery yarn; they were Hoover Hosiery Company, Roberta Manufacturing Company, White-Parks Mills Company and Willis Hosiery Mills. Two Mount Pleasant companies, Kindley Cotton Mills and Tuscarora Cotton Mills, made knitting yarns.

There were a few other businesses listed in Cabarrus in the 1931 Year Book. Concord had one furniture factory, Linker Furniture and Chair Company. The town also supported two newspapers, the Concord Daily Tribune and the weekly Concord Observer. The Uplift was also a weekly, produced by the printing shop students of Stonewall Jackson Training School. There were a number of general merchandise and specialty shops in town and people still needed wagon and livery repairs. The railroad brought traveling salesmen who needed hotels and boarding houses to stay in. There were also several banks in the county. Cabarrus Bank and Trust Company had offices in both Kannapolis and Concord. Other Concord banks were Concord National Bank, Citizens Bank and Trust Company and a local branch of Charlotte’s Industrial Loan and Investment Bank.

Courtesy of the Cabarrus County Public Library, Lore Local History Room