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Reflections by Sammy Way: City's chamber was successful in bringing newer industries to Sumter in the 1950s

By SAMMY WAY
Sumter Item archivist and historian
Posted 6/6/20

Reflections remembers an article written in The Sumter Daily Item on Oct. 15, 1959. The information and photos used to prepare this article were taken from The Sumter Item archives.

The City of Sumter was undergoing a period of rapid growth and …

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Reflections by Sammy Way: City's chamber was successful in bringing newer industries to Sumter in the 1950s

Posted

Reflections remembers an article written in The Sumter Daily Item on Oct. 15, 1959. The information and photos used to prepare this article were taken from The Sumter Item archives.

The City of Sumter was undergoing a period of rapid growth and development spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce, an organization dedicated to improving the economic climate in Sumter. This article lists six new industries which moved to Sumter during a five-year period, which added jobs and furthered economic opportunity.

"New members of Sumter's industrial family, with number of employees, are: Model Dye Southern, 85; Mackie Spinning Mills, 110; Sumter Stress-Crete, 20; Southeastern Brick and Tile, 40; Spectrum Fabrics, 30; and Sumter Grain Elevator, 25" for a total of 310 new jobs.

In 1955, Model Dye Southern Inc. announced plans to build a wool-dyeing plant in Sumter. "The company will be incorporated and will eventually employ 90 persons in the initial plant. Plans for future expansion of the plant and facilities will be determined by general business conditions and need for their services."

Mackie Spinning Mills brought 110 new jobs to the community, helping expand Sumter's already robust textile industry.

"Sumter Stress-Crete Inc., which added 20 jobs to the community, will produce pre-stressed concrete, building material used like structural steel. Precast concrete products will include floor slabs, roof decks, wall panels, columns and beams for bridges and industrial buildings. Officials of the company are Robert A. Burgess, president; J. Clint Brogdon Jr., vice president; and William R. Britton, general manager.

"The Southeastern Brick and Tile Co. planning to move to Sumter will consist of four buildings - kiln, machine, grinding plant and clay storage. Most of the machinery has arrived and is being installed, including grinding equipment, hammer mill (12 tons, one of the largest in South Carolina), screening and conveyors. Brick machine and pug mill are expected shortly. Forty new jobs are expected at this plant.

"Spectrum Fabrics, which located here recently, has announced the expansion of its southern warehouse. The addition will add 10,000 square feet of warehouse space. The present warehouse, completed in 1960, has been streamlined and equipped with the latest warehousing systems and data processing inventory controls."

According to an article in The Sumter Daily Item on Jan. 25, 1959, "the Sumter Grain Co.'s new elevator is scheduled to open in about 10 days, and one load has already been handled, according to S. A. Harvin, vice president and secretary. Local farm officials believe that the elevator will be a boon to the farmers in this area where soybean and oat crops are increasing. The new elevator will hold 350,000 bushels in its reinforced concrete and steel storage bins."