According to the paper, the move from steam power to electric was "a chance to save money" for the Check Factory's owner, Athens Manufacturing Company. It would be several weeks until new motors could be installed, but that
Then the power will be turned on from Mitchell's bridge and Athens will furnish the first cotton mill in Georgia driven by electricity.
That sight will be one well worth seeing and will be a notable event not only in the history of Athens but also of Georgia.
The president of Athens Manufacturing Company was Asbury Hull Hodgson, who in the 1880s had served two terms as Mayor, overseeing the installation of electric street lights in the business district of town. Athens Electric Railroad Company was the primary electricity source in the county, and also provided power to some downtown businesses, as well as for the streetcars that ran through town.
The Check Factory was actually the Athens Manufacturing Company's weaving mill that was known for the "Daisy Checks" gingham fabric they produced and distributed nationwide. In 1862, the land and buildings were converted into the Cook & Brother Armory by Francis L. Cook and Ferdinand W. C. Cook, but were purchased by Robert L. Bloomfield's Athens Manufacturing Company in 1870.
By the mid-1890s, the factory employed hundreds of people and had over 200 weaving looms. In 1947, Johnson & Johnson's Chicopee Mills subsidiary bought the property, later deeding it to the University of Georgia after it closed the mill in 1978. Today, UGA uses the property as their Physical Plant.
- Athens Weekly Banner, Feb. 1897 - Jul. 1898 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- History of Athens and Clarke County by H. J. Rowe in the Heritage and general collections.
- Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, Georgia, Volume I by Charlotte Thomas Marshall in the Heritage and general collections.
- Athens Magazine (December, 1991) in the Heritage collection.
- A Postcard History of Athens, Georgia by Gary L. Doster in the Heritage and general collections.
- Chicopee Mill: A History by Olivia Bloomfield Carlisle in the Heritage collection.
- Confederate Athens by Kenneth Coleman in the Heritage and general collections.
- Transition to an Industrial South: Athens, Georgia, 1830-1870 by Michael John Gagnon in the Heritage and general collections.
- A Portrait of Historic Athens and Clarke County, 2nd Ed. by Frances Taliaferro Thomas in the Heritage and general collections.
- Athens Factory page on the Carl Vinson Institute of Government website.
- Picture of former Check Factory on the Digital Library of Georgia's GeorgiaInfo website.