Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Joe Cannon Returns to Wiscassett Mill, 1922

The Albemarle Press, Albemarle, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 10, 1922. Slogan under the banner: “The Press- The “Tongue” of the Country; May It Never Be Cut Out”

Operatives of Wiscassett Mill Give Great Ovation to Mr. Joe Cannon. . . Mr. Cannon Becomes General Manager of the Mills and His Return Gives Occasion to the Large Demonstration Showing Welcome to His Return…Mills Increase Work to Five Days in Week

The Directors of the Wiscassett Mills Company met in Tuesday for the purpose of electing officers. Since the death of Mr. J.W. Cannon, president, last year, there has been no permanent organization, and the meeting held Tuesday was one of considerable importance to the mill management. Mr. John Leslie of New York has been president since the death of Mr. Cannon, and we are told that he signified a desire not to be re-elected to the position. This vacancy fell naturally to Mrs. J.W. Cannon of Concord, and she was duly elected.

We give a list of the officers elected at the top of the adjoining column, and it is especially gratifying to the interested friends of this great institution in our midst that the old officers are to be retained—the men who have contributed to so much to the success of the mill.

During the past year or so, for health reasons and other causes, Mr. Joe F. Cannon has not been intimately connected with the management. But upon him, more than upon any one man, has been the management of the Wiscassett since its inception. That was in the latter part of 1903 that he was placed in charge, and about 18 years of the time following, he was operating the business course of the plant. He saw it grow from a beginning of 22,000 spindles to its present capacity of 94,000. And from a comparatively small plant to the giant and significant holdings of today, when eight mills, including the knitting department, together with 18 warehouses, two fine graded school buildings, park and pavilion, and one of the prettiest mill villages of the South.

During Mr. Cannon’s career with the mills, he became peculiarly popular, not only with the mill executives but alike with the operators. And his return to the general management was a final for a decided note of welcome on Tuesday evening in Wiscassett Park, staged by the operatives themselves.

A large crowd came out, and Professor Ludwig and his band were present to make inspiring music. A pyrotechnic display of fireworks in advance interested the large crowd, and when Mr. Cannon and some of his friends came to the stand in the pavilion, applause broke out.

Captain Thomas M. Denning, who has been associated with the mill here during the past years, as general superintendent, and who is reputed to be the best mill superintendent in the South today, made the remaining remarks. He started by stating that he was glad to say to the men and women and boys and girls of Wiscassett Mills, “I am glad after two years to see the ‘Old Boss’ back. He is a friend to all the people and has their interests at heart. I am glad that he has been re-elected, and I know our people are glad; because so large a number of them are out tonight.” Mr. Denning called Mr. Cannon to the stand.

Mr. Cannon said, “A am glad to be over again.” The speaker then reviewed the work and accomplishments of the Wiscassett Mill and its continued policy of expansion in becoming one of the largest mills in the state and of the South. This policy shall continue, and the speaker recognized that it has been possible only through the splendid co-operation on part of the people themselves. They are among the healthiest and best-looking people of any section of the land. The speaker was greeted in his address by prolonged applause.

Mr. Luther T. Hartsell of Concord spoke of “Joe” Cannon as a man of the people—one who mingles with the people. As school boys together, he and Joe ate pie from the same tin can. He has no false ideas of class.

Attorney R.L. Brown of Albemarle made a speech which called forth much mirth. He spoke in familiar terms of his relationship with “little Joe” as one who did things for people, and who would do much for Albemarle and for the mills under his management.

Professor Ludwig followed by saying that it was under Mr. Cannon that the band received its start, and they regarded him as a friend upon whom they could depend.

To the onlooker, the demonstration seemed to be one out of full hearts. The operatives seemed to want to show their appreciation of the fact that their former boss has returned, and to give evidence of their regard for him. If they show the same spirit of enthusiastic co-operation in their work as was manifest Tuesday evening, Mr. Cannon has just cause for feeling proud over the reception accorded him, and he has a large mission before him in living up to the expectancy of his people.

Mills to Run 5 Days in Week Instead of 4
During the demonstration, came the good news that the mills of Albemarle would increase the number of working days each week from four to five, and that very soon it is expected that they will be placed on full time. This means much to the business of Albemarle and the entire section, and comes as good news.

Officers Elected
President—Mrs. James W. Cannon
Vice President and General Manager—Joe F. Cannon
Treasurer—J.A. Groves
Secretary—M.A. Boger
General Superintendent—T.M. Denning

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