1865 – 1916
Lewis W. Parker was born in Abbeville, SC, July 11,1865, and after attending the public schools in Abbeville, graduated from the University of South Carolina, and from the University of South Carolina Law School law school in 1887 and began a practice in Greenville, SC. He withdrew from an active law practice in 1897 at the age of 22 to take over the operation of the Victor Manufacturing Company, Greer, SC. He saved the company from bankruptcy. One day he was a lawyer and suddenly he was in manufacturing with the help of his brother T.F. Parker.
Within a few years, he was president or treasurer or both for the following mills: Appalachie Mills, Arlington, SC; Capital City Mills, Columbia; Richland Mills, Columbia; Granby Mills, Columbia; Olympia Mills, Columbia; and Victor Manufacturing Co., Greer, SC. Under Mr. Parker’s control were mills with a total of 340,000 spindles, 8,564 looms with a capitalization of nearly $5,000,000. The product range included print cloth, sheeting, nainsooks, dimities and more.
By the time of his untimely death in 1916, the total of all mills was called Parker Cotton Mills Company and encompassed 16 mills. At the beginning of the war in Europe, the collapse in the cotton market caused a reorganization of the business, which many felt led to his death.
He was a member of the South Carolina delegation to the Democratic National Convention in 1912. His testimony before the Ways and Means Committee in the Underwood-Simmons Tariff bill attracted considerable attention in trade circles.
He was also Vice-President of the Piedmont Savings and Investment Company, a member of the Executive Committees of the American Home Fire Insurance Company, and the Southeastern Life Insurance Company, and ex-President of the Cotton Manufacturers’ Association. He was a member of the New York Club in New York City. 2
- Jacobs, William Plumer. 1935. The Pioneer. Clinton, S.C.: Jacobs & Co. Press.
- http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9803E2DE113FE233A25751C1A9629C946796D6CF NY Times obituary of Lewis W. Parker, April 12, 1916. Accessed April 17, 2008