Who Founded, Ran, and Invested in the MillElaine Zhao2022-11-28T22:13:10-05:00
Augustin Clayton served as the “class poet” for UGA’s first graduating class in 1804. The original copy of his graduation poem is now housed at UGA’s Hargrett Library. The poem celebrates settlement of Athens by white Georgians and the revels in the supposed savagery of the Native Americans. He wrote,
The infant son from his fond mother’s arms
snatched and buried in the circling flames.
Or while the Babe lies sleeping in its bed
A tomahawk divides its tender head
Clayton later became a judge whose rulings were instrumental in removing the Cherokee from Georgia.
Augustin S. Clayton was an initial investor in The Athens Cotton and Wool Mill, which became the Athens Manufacturing Company. UGA School of Social Work is located in the former mill buildings of that factory.
Robert Lee Bloomfield (1827 – 1916)
Robert L. Bloomfield acted as Athens Factory Agent and President for over 30 years beginning in 1863. He built St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (1871) to serve the factory workers. The steeple--now known as the R.E.M. steeple--still stands by Nuci’s Space at the corner of Williams and Oconee Streets.
$20 from the Bank of Athens
In addition to serving as the President of the Athens Manufacturing Company, William Dearing also presided over the Bank of Athens and his signature is visible on this 1859 $20 bill. This bill also shows where Athens’ wealth was coming from by including a cotton mill worker at her loom on its face.