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Made in Nebraska logo Clothing and Textiles

Clothing manufacturers emerged in Nebraska as more people began purchasing clothes instead of making them in the home.

Cotton Mill samplescotton mill interior Kearney Cotton Mill One of the oddest undertakings in Nebraska manufacturing history was an immense cotton mill built at Kearney. Construction of the Kearney Cotton Mill began in the fall of 1890. The Cumnock brothers, successful Eastern cotton manufacturers, agreed to locate a mill in Kearney in return for substantial subsidies. The mill ran for nine years, every year at a loss. The owners declared that it was not the distance from Texas cotton, not the necessity of importing coal, nor even the sparsely settled distributing territory, but the want of cheap labor that forced the closing of mill.

Harlan Brown founded Brown Sheep Company, Inc., in Mitchell, as a way to add value to the wool he already produced. In 1980 Brown bought spinning equipment from a mill in South Carolina, and six months later produced the first ball of yarn. The first year was dedicated to perfecting one line of single-ply, one hundred percent wool yarn known as "Top of the Lamb." Today the company manufactures twelve lines of yarn in more than a thousand different colors.

fur pricesfur coatFur company building
The Lincoln Hide and Fur Company was established in 1898 in the Haymarket district of Lincoln and originally processed buffalo hides. In time the business grew to include buying and selling of hides, wool, and raw furs as well as custom tanning and the manufacture of hide and fur garments.

advertisementsleeping robe
Carson Hildreth, a former banker, established Hildreth Manufacturing in 1924. The company manufactured hooded sleeping robes, which provided extra warmth for sleeping or lounging. Hildreth ran the company until his death in 1926.


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Last updated 2 April 2003  

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