A Guide to the

Crefeld Mills Corporation

in the Manuscript Collection of the

Rhode Island Historical Society Library

Processed by Harold E. Kemble, Jr., July 1977

2 ft.

Mss 6 sg 9

Accession: #1971. 85. 1. 1-

Historical Note:

            In September, 1886, the State of Connecticut granted permission for the name of the Moss Manufacturing Company to be changed to the Crefeld Mills Corporation. This change reflected the completion of the takeover of the Moss Company by W. F. & F. C. Sayles. The takeover began in 1876 when Moss borrowed from Sayles to finance expansion. Through a series of mortgages Sayles acquired a controlling number of shares and inserted their men into the management structure. In 1888 the Sayles brothers were on the board of directors and had installed Charles O. Read as president. W. Maxwell Greene, secretary and later treasurer, had a long career with Sayles. F. H. Potter, mill agent, was the Sayles' nominee. Under Sayles control, Crefeld converted from the manufacture of cotton goods to woolens. In 1896 or 1897 the corporation was absorbed into the Lorraine Manufacturing Company of Saylesville, where the Crefeld Waste and Batting Company was formed. The terminal period of the Crefeld Mill at Westerly appears to have begun with the opening of the new Sayles Biltmore Bleacheries in North Carolina, in 1927. The plant seems to have been unused for some time before it was leased between 1940-1944 to a division of the United Aircraft Corporation; it was sold in 1944. The records do not explain the use by the L.A. Lockwood Company of letterhead stationery showing a plant identical to that of the Crefeld Waste and Batting Company.


Rhode Island Historical Society, Manuscript Collections. Inventories of Record Group 6, Sayles

            Finishing Plants Collection, Sub-Groups 18 and 22.

Scope and Content:

            These records pertain to the manufacture of cotton goods, especially "bed comfortables," or quilts.They are most interesting in the context of the progression from Moss Manufacturing -- Crefeld Mills -- Lorraine Manufacturing. This illustrates one of the ways in which the Sayles organization grew to be the giant conglomerate that it was


            This collection was a gift from the Sayles Finishing Plants on 25 December 1971.



Company Record

Item 1.            Including minutes and by-laws                       Oct 1887 - Sep 1894

Journal Cash

Item 2.            Book A, Comfortable Department                 Mar 1890 - Nov 1892

Item 3.            Book A, Saylesville Department                    Apr 1890 - Dec 1892

Item 4.            Book B, Westerly and Saylesville                  Jan 1893 - Aug 1894

Item 5.            Book C                                                           Sep 1894 - Apr 1896

Item 6.            Book D                                                           Apr 1896 - Oct 1896 

Cash Book

Item 7.            Crefeld Electrical Department                        Sep 1895 - Jun 1897 

Cash Balance

Item 8.                                                                                    Sep 1893 - Jun 1894 

Miscellaneous Cash Accounts

Item 9.                                                                                    1891, 1898


Trial Balance - Westerly Department 

Item 10.          Book A                                                           Apr 1890 - Sep 1896  


Item 11.                                                                                  Nov 1887 - Aug 1888

Item 12.          Elberfeld Mills                                               May - Jul 1888 

Item 13.          Book C                                                           Jun - Oct 1893


Item 14.          Copy Book A                                                 Jan 1892 - Oct 1894 

Prices and Terms to Customers

Item 15.          Comfortable Department                                Jan 1892 - Dec 1893

Frank L. Palmer, et.al. vs. Crefeld Mills, et.al.

Item 16.                                                                                  1893 

Ledger, "Comfortables Sold to Palmer Brothers and Charged To Them on Memo."

Item 17.                                                                                  1894 - 1895 

Wage Rate Book

Item 18.                                                                                  n.d.

(Cataloging information)

Main Entry:



sg 9     Westerly, R.I.

Business records, 1888-1898 2 ft.


A Westerly cotton mill taken over by Sayles and converted to woolens.


Accession: #1971. 85. 1. 1-

Additional Entries:

Business records - Rhode Island - Saylesville.

Business records - Rhode Island - Westerly.

Cotton manufacture - Rhode Island - Westerly.

Crefeld Waste and Batting Company.

Elberfekd Mills.

Fessenden, Samuel M.

Greene, William Maxwell.

L.A. Lockwook Company.

Moss Manufacturing Company.

Palmer, Frank L

Potter, F. H.

Read, Charles Otis, 1846-1926.

Sayles Finishing Plants.

Textile factories - Rhode Island - Westerly.

Textile industry - Rhode Island - Saylesville.

Textile industry - Rhode Island - Westerly.

Wool industry - Rhode Island - Westerly.