J.W. wanted to produce a textile product. His company sold towels under the name "Cannon Towels."
In 1905, J.W. bought 600 acres of land, that was previously a cotton plantation, in Northwestern Cabarrus County. On this land he planned and built a small mill village, known as Kannapolis, where the workers in his plant could live. The mill, built here, was known as Plant 1 and opened in 1908.
In January of the following year, the company had employed 840 people in the single plant in Kannapolis. While building the small mill village, he also built a YMCA that, at the time, had the largest membership of any YMCA in the world.
J.W. began to donate money and land for the construction of a school, McIver, that opened that year. He then built stores, businesses and churches for the community. He donated more money to the Cabarrus County Government in order to improve the main road from Concord to Kannapolis.
In 1917, J.W. set up a life insurance policy for all of his employees, something that had never been done for employees of a company.
J.W.'s son, Charles Albert Cannon, took over the business when his father's health began to fail.
Prior to import, this record was last changed 1 MAR 2004.
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