Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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New Materials from the Lawndale Historical Society Document Early 20th Century Cleveland County

Beginning of list of ordinance for the city of Lawndale from 1907

A partial view of a list of ordinances for the city of Lawndale, NC, enacted in 1907.

Today we’re pleased to share a new batch of materials from the Lawndale Historical Society, located in Cleveland County North Carolina. Included are a variety of business records and ephemera related to the Cleveland Mill and Power Company, a hotel register, some town government records, and early twentieth century yearbooks/catalogs from Piedmont High School.

The Cleveland Mill and Power Company was founded around 1873 in Lawndale. The records in this most recent batch include the following:

Black and white head shot of John F. Schenck Sr. and article title and header

Clipping from an article written by John F. Schenck entitled “The Menace of Washington to American Industry,” published in a 1936 issue of Carolina Magazine.

John F. Schenck Sr. ran the Cleveland Mill and Power Company, was Mayor of Lawndale, and an all around influential white figure in the community. Textiles were in his blood, so to speak. His great-grandfather and grandfather both founded cotton mills. The scrapbook in this most recent batch is part diary and part manifesto – it contains many typewritten pages of his personal views on the current state of the textile industry, particularly in relation to what he saw as overreaching government regulations from the time period before, during, and after the U. S. Great Depression. There are also clippings and other ephemera.

There are a few other volumes related to town history from the same time period. The Lawndale Hotel Register has signatures dated from 1901-1910. The hotel guest’s place of origin is also included. The Town of Lawndale Minutes and Records from 1903-1925 includes town council minutes, election results, and copies of ordinances like the one at right.

There are also early volumes from Piedmont High School, dating 1905-1926. They’re a bit of a hybrid between catalogs and yearbooks, like many schools published in that time period, and they show both information about the classes offered and the students who attended. 

Black and white group portrait of high school students holding a pennant that reads Emersonian

The Piedmont High School Emersonian Literary Society, pictured in the 1925-1926 catalog.

You can view other items related to Lawndale and the Cleveland Mill on the Lawndale Historical Society’s contributor page. These materials have been shared in part thanks to a partnership with the State Archives of North Carolina sponsored by the State Historical Records Advisory Board. 


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