Richmond County North Carolina
In January of 1881 Thomas Benson Ledbetter purchased 100 acres at a public auction and with his nephew, John Steel Ledbetter as a partner, built South Union Mills on Hitchcock Creek in Rockingham, North Carolina. It was in operation until 1894 when the mill burned due to a lighting strike. They rebuilt the mill and changed the name to Ledbetter Manufacturing Company. The company manufactured cotton yarn operating completely on water power till World War ll. Then a diesel generator was used to supplement the water power until 1950 when the mill was converted to electrical power. In 1962 a manufacturing journal reported that the mill produced 2,555,000 pounds of yarn.
Through the years many of the mill workers were third and fourth generation employees. In fact some worked past their eighties which speaks very well of the respect and integrity that the Ledbetter family had from their employees and business associates in managing their company.
In 1979 the mill was sold to Glen Raven Mills and they operated till 1990 when the Parsons Formal Chair Manufacturing purchased the property.
When they relocated the property was purchased by Pete Ussery. With thirty five years in the construction business he took this historic landmark with its huge exposed beams, columns, large windows and twenty inch exterior walls of handmade brick and renovated it into the present upscale Carolyn’s Mill Condominiums.
The Ledbetter family settled in this area in the early 1700’s and the preservation of this mill will stand as a reminder of their involvement, service and contributions to their community.
Ashley captured this image early one morning on the way to visit his Dad in Hamlet, NC.