Henderson Cotton Mill was the city’s largest industry during the 19th century. It was built in 1883, at a cost of $400,000, with a main building 324 feet by 95 feet, and also included an adjoining boiler house, engine room and picker room. It was lighted by Edison incandescent electric lights, employed 200 men, women and boys, and produced 160,000 yards of fine sheeting weekly. It functioned under this title until 1922, when James E. Rankin, Jr. retired as president at the age of 75. It was sold to Consolidated Textile Corporation which operated until 1931.

It reopened again in 1937 as Bear Brand Hosiery, producing socks. Its manager, Elmer Korth, bought the mill in 1969 and operated it as Audubon Hosiery Mill until rising energy costs forced its closure in 1982. Elvie Cobb purchased the empty building in 1984, and failing to find a tenant, demolished the building, selling many of its 13 million bricks, poplar timbers and other materials. Today it is the site of the Salvation Army, an apartment complex and businesses.

Henry Pope Jr Swimming Pool


Henderson – A Guide to Audubon’s Home Town In Kentucky

Henderson (Postcard History: Kentucky) by Susan Sommers Thurman