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James William Cannon (1852 - 1921)

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James William "J.W." Cannon
Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USAmap
Husband of — married in Bost Mill, Cabarrus, North Carolinamap
Died in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USAmap
Cannon-266 created 29 May 2011 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 984 times.



J.W. was the founder of the Cannon Mills Company, an American textile company based in Kannapolis, NC, in 1887.[1][2]

J.W. wanted to produce a textile product. His company sold towels under the name "Cannon Towels."[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

J.W.'s son, Charles Albert Cannon, took over the business when his father's health began to fail.[8]

The Cannon School in Concord, NC was renamed after J.W. Cannon.[9][10] Davidson College has a dormitory names after him, J.W. Cannon Dormitory.[11]

Data Changed

Data Changed:
Date: 1 MAR 2004

Prior to import, this record was last changed 1 MAR 2004.


Place: Oakwood Cemetery, Concord, North Carolina


  • WikiTree profile Cannon-266 created through the import of HAYER.GED on May 29, 2011 by Larry Hayer. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Larry and others.
  • "North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 March 2016), Joseph H. Cannon in entry for James William Cannon, Senior, 19 Dec 1921; citing Concord, No 12, Cabarrus, North Carolina, reference IT 6 253, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh; FHL microfilm 1,892,801.

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