ATMI Presidents 1960-1970
By Yancey S. Gilkerson
ATMI Presidents 1960-1970J. M. Cheatham, 1960-1961, joined Dundee Mills, Griffin, Ga., in 1936 and became president in 1950, succeeding his father, John H. Cheatham, who was 1938-1939 president of ACMA. Cheatham was also president and treasurer of Lowell Bleachery and Rushton Cotton Mills, both of Griffin, and of Harwell Mills, Hartwell and Toccoa, Ga.R. Dave Hall, 1961-1962, of Belmont, N.C., took a vacation job as a doffer at age 14, returned to textiles after graduation from Davidson College in 1919 and rose to become chairman of the board of Climax Spinning Co.; secretary/treasurer of Majestic Manufacturing Co.; secretary/treasurer of Sterling Spinning Co.; secretary/treasurer of Stowe Thread Co.; president of Belmont Knitting. Co.William H. Ruffin, 1962-1963, became president of the organization the day, October 1, 1962, the name officially changed from American Cotton Manufacturers Institute to American Textile Manufacturers Institute. A native of Louisberg, N.C., and a 1921 graduate of the University of North Carolina, he went to work for Erwin Mills, rising to secretary and treasurer, then from 1942 to 1948, as vice president and treasurer. He became president in 1948. He served as president of the North Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association, as president and chairman of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers.Robert T. Stevens, 1963-1964, began his textile career with the family firm, J. P. StevensandCompany Inc., in 1921. He was elected president in 1929 after the death of his father and served until January , 1942, when he entered the Army, serving first with the Quartermaster General and then as Deputy Director of Purchases. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Services Medal. Returning to the firm, he was elected chairman of the board, taking leave in 1952 to serve as Secretary of the Army under President Eisenhower. He returned to the company in 1955 and resumed the presidency. He regarded passage of one-price cotton legislation s the outstanding accomplishment of his ATI administration.William E. Reid, 1964-1965, a native of Georgia, was president of Reigel Textile Corp.J. Burton Frierson, 1965-1966, was the first Tennessean ever to head ATMI, was born in Shelbyville and graduated from the University of the South. He was president of Dixie Mercerizing Co., now Dixie Yarns Inc., for a number of years before becoming chairman of the board in 1963.William J. Erwin, 1966-1967,chairman of the board of Dan River Mills Inc., a native of Pineville, N.C., and graduate of Clemson University, began his career with Consolidated Textile Corp. in Lynchburg, Va. He joined Republic Cotton Mills, Great Falls, S.C., in 1929 as assistant to the president, becoming vice president and a director in 1939. When Republic was merged into J.P. StevensandCo. Inc. in 1946, he became vice president. In 1949, he became vice president and a director of Reigel Textile Corp. and in 1953 was elected president of Dan River, assuming chairmanship in 1966.Frederick B. Dent, 1967-1968, member of a family long associated with the industry, began his textile career with Joshua L. Baily and Co. Inc., after World War II service with the Navy. He moved to Spartanburg in 1947 to join Mayfair Mills, becoming president in 1958. He served as Secretary of Commerce in 1973-1975, as special representative for trade negotiations in 1975-1977.Harold W. Whitcomb, 1968-1969, served a six month term when ATMI changed the beginning of the administrative year from October 1 to the date of the annual meeting. A native of Concord, N.H. and graduated of the University of New Hampshire, he joined Marshall Field and Co. in 1936 and, when its textile manufacturing facility was sold in 1953, became vice president of Fieldcrest Mills Inc., Eden, N.C. He was elected president two months later and was named chairman of the board in 1967.Charles F. Myers Jr., 1969-1970, had succeeded the founder of Burling Industries, J. Spencer Love, as president and chief executive officer in 1962, later becoming chairman and chief executive officer. Born in Charleston, W. Va., in 1911, he grew up in Greensboro, N.C.; graduated from Davidson College and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He started work with the Bank of New York, then joined Wachovia Bank and Turst Co. in Charlotte where he was vice president and a director when he transferred to Burlington in 1947 as head of the financial services department. He was made treasurer in 1953, elected to the board in 1955, became executive vice president in April, 1961. He served as director of Wachovia, Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., the Business Foundation of North Carolina and the North Carolina Textile Foundation. He served with the Navy air arm during World War II.