Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Dracup

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William Dracup (1845-1919), founder of the Centerdale Worsted Mills, RI, USA.

He was born in England on 27 March 1845, the son of Edmund and Mary Ann (Willman) Dracup of Great Horton, Bradford, Yorkshire. His father had been the largest Jacquard loom manufacturer in England. William Dracup devoted many years to the textile industry in Bradford. In 1890 he emigrated to the USA, together with his brother-in-law, John C. Baldwin, settling in Centerdale, R. I. Dracup, Baldwin and Henry H. Green founded the Centerdale Worsted Mills in 1890. They purchased the old Centerdale Cotton Mill, originally built in 1820, remodelled it and purchased machinery from England. In 1891 Baldwin and Green withdrew and the firm was reorganized with William Mackie as president, James Lister, treasurer, and William Dracup, secretary. Each being an expert mill man, the institution grew and prospered, and for twenty-two years Mr. Dracup continued active in the affairs of the company. He retired in 1913 and died on 5 February 1919. He was 'quiet and unassuming, possessed a keen sense of humor.' He was a scholar and student, a well read man, liberal to a fault, honorable and upright, and a firm believer in the Golden Rule, 'Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.' [1]

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical.' NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920. Transcribed 2001-2 by Beth Hurd for the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project.