American & Efird

Mount Holly, NC

Beginning late in the 19th century, C. E. Hutchison built several mills: Nums (1892), Adrian (1916) and American Processing Co. in 1918. Hutchison, I.C. (Ike) Love and C.I. Burkholder, all prominent Gaston County textile men chartered the new company. In 1920, the American Processing name was changed to American Yarn and Processing; the Nums and Adrian Mills were included in the new company. This was the first warp­ processing plant built in North Carolina and was primarily used for mercerizing and finishing yarns for internal use and for sales. It had enormous capacity, for the time, of 250,000 pounds per week.

In 1952, American Yarn and Processing merged with the Efird Manufacturing Co, of Albemarle, NC to become American & Efird Mills, which by the mid ­1980’s was one of the largest producers of combed, carded and mercerized sales yarns in the United States. Also active in the formation of the A&E merger was Rush S. Dickson, a prominent Charlotte investor. His company, Ruddick Corporation, acquired A&E and sold the Efird mill to Union Underwear Co. His sons, R. Stuart and Alan T. Dickson succeeded Rush. Alan served for many years as Chairman of the Board of A&E. Groves Thread Co, a privately held company founded in 1916 was added to the company. 1

Rush S. Dickson was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1994.­%20Rush%20Dickson.htm

R. Stuart Dickson was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 2000.­%20Stuart%20Dickson.htm

Alan T. Dickson was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 2002.­%20Alan%20Dickson.htm

In April 2008, Thomas W. Dickson, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Ruddick announced a joint venture with Vardham Textiles Ltd. to manufacture, distribute and sell sewing thread for industrial and consumer markets within India and for export. A&E will own 35% of the joint venture with an option to acquire an additional 14% over the next five years. Vardham is the second largest thread producer in India with sales of approximately $69 million in fiscal 2007. Headquarters of Vardham A&E Threads will be in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. 2

A&E announced that Plant 12 in Lenoir will close July 30, 2008 but plant 2 will remain open. 3


  1. Andrews, Mildred Gwin, The Men and the Mills – A History of the Southern Textile Industry. Macon: Mercer
  2. University Press, 1987.
  3. release.  Accessed October 27, 2008.
  4.  Accessed October 27,2008.