Tuscaloosa Mills, circa 1900



Tuscaloosa Mills, circa 1900


Cotton textile industry
Mills and mill work


Cotton factories in Tuscaloosa began in 1846 with the three-story brick Black Warrior Cotton Factory established by Dr. John Drish near the Black Warrior River. It was sold to Richard C. McLester. It was burned down by Federal troops during the last days of the Civil War.

Baugh, Kennedy and Company built a new cotton mill in what is now Cottondale (called Kennedale, at the time). 1871 the new mill was in operation with 5,000 spindles and 100 looms. It used 1,000 bales of cotton annually. The mill closed in 1876 and was bought by Tuscaloosa Manufacturing Company for $30,800. When the owner of that company died in 1896 the mill was placed in receivership.

David Rosenau and his company, Tuscaloosa Mills, which was organized in 1897 with a capital of $150,000, bought the factory at auction for $43,400. The factory came with the village of Cottondale and 2,000 acres. In 1904 the plant had 15,000 spindles, 450 looms and manufactured chiefly Caledonia outing flannels. It was surrounded by dwelling houses, four churches and two school buildings. The plant burned when struck by lightning.

Rosenau also owned Rosenau Hosiery Mills in the Rosedale area of south Tuscaloosa (then called Socktown) which met the same fate, burning in 1924.


Tuscaloosa News Archive


Betty Slowe (Description)
Elizabeth Bradt (Description)






Tuscaloosa (AL)

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

7 3/4 by 3 1/2-inches