ATMI Presidents 1940-1950
By Yancey S. Gilkerson
ATMI Presidents 1940-1950F. W. Symmes, 1940-1941, was in office when the industry faced the challenge of clothing and equipping hundreds of thousands of troops. Before World War I, with the late Lewis W. Parker and others, he founded Nuckasee Manufacturing Co. to make athletic underwear. When Nuckasee was sold to Union-Buffallo Mills , he became a director, then, in 1932, president and treasurer. He was involved in the development or management of Piedmont Plush Mills, the Camperdown Co., and the F. W. Poe Manufacturing Co., all of Greenville. He was a director of the Textile Hall Corp.W. N. Banks, 1941-1942, began his career in his father's hosiery mill at Grantville, Ga., became secretary when a yarn mill was built in 1905 to supply the hosiery plant and became president when his father died in 1909. He served as chairman of the Cotton-Textile Institute, president of the Cotton Manufacturers Association of Ga., chairman of the Carded Yarn Group and director of the Southern Hosiery Manufacturers Association.Herman Cone, 1942-1943, became treasurer of Proximity Manufacturing Co., Greensboro, N.C., after serving in the Navy as an ensign in World War I, his father, the founder, having died. He succeeded his uncle as president in 1938. He also served as president of the North Carolina Cotton Manufacturers Association and as chairman of the Cotton-Textile Institute.Hugh M. Comer, 1943-1944, gave freely of his time in working with the Quartermaster General, the War Production Board and the War-Manpower Commission. He had served in World War I as an officer in the 82nd Division. He was a brother of Donald Comer, 1936-1937 president of the Association. Returning from service, he worked at various plants of Avondale Mills as a manager. In 1946, he was chairman of the board of the Cotton-Textile Institute and served as a director of the National Cotton Council and the Alabama Cotton Manufacturers Association.W. H. Hightower, 1944-1945, oversaw reorganization of the Association, broadening the scope of its work. He was born November 25, 1887 and died at Thomaston, Ga., on February 9, 1947. He went to work in his father's plant on graduation from college in 1909. He became vice president in 1915 and president in 1925 when his father became chairman of the board. He was a director of the Cotton-Textile Institute and a president of the Cotton Manufacturers Association of Georgia.Charles A. Cannon, 1945-1946, was the first cotton manufacturer to hold the position of Chairman of the Board of Government, as the Association changed its bylaws at the 1945 meeting, elevating the ranking cotton manufacturer to the chairmanship and making the president a paid executive. His administration worked vigorously to have the war-time controls lifted. He was born November 29, 1892 at Concord, N.C.; attended Davidson College; and, in 1962, as chairman of the board of Cannon Mills, Kannapolis, N.C., celebrated both his Golden Wedding Anniversary and 50 years in the industry.Walter S. Montgomery 1946-1947, worked for the lifting of federal controls on prices, production and distribution, which came during his administration. He had previously served as chairman of the ACMI Print Cloth Group. Born at Spartanburg, S.C., October 18, 1900, he was a graduate of Virginia Military Institute. He has served as manager, treasurer, president or chairman of a number of textile mills, including Spartan Mills, founded by his grandfather, Startex and Beaumont Mills. He was an organizer of South Carolina Mills, a mail order firm dealing only in items of cotton, an organizer of the Spartanburg County Foundation and a long-time director of Textile Hall Corporation.Harvey W. Moore, 1947-1948, an alumnus of the University of Georgia, served as president and treasurer of Brown Manufacturing Co. and Roberts Manufacturing Co., Concord, N.C.; secretary/treasurer of White-Parks Mills Co., Concord; vice president of Highland Park Manufacturing Co., Eastern Manufacturing Co., Park Yarn Mills and as a director of Cannon Mills. He served also as president of the Carded Yarn Association, mayor of Charlotte, member of the North Carolina State Ports Authority and trustee of Davidson College. He was born May 1, 1884, in Augusta, Ga., and died in 1958.E. S. McKissick, 1949-1950, was graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1915; employed by Grendel Mills, Greenwood, S.C. and Ninety-Six Cotton Mill, Ninety-Six, S.C. during 1915-1917; elected vice president of both mills in 1917 but left to serve with the American Expeditionary Force, winning the Silver Star and promotion to Captain in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. He then joined J. E. SirrineandCo., becoming a partner in 1923. Later that year, he and his father purchased Alice Mill, changing the name to Alice Manufacturing Co. He was the grandson of a former ACMA president, Captain Ellison Smyth. He served as president of the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association in 1954.