Ground was broken in April 1847 for what was originally known as The Utica Globe Mill. It was built on the south side of Court Street, where Nail Creek then crossed. Involved in the venture were some of the foremost businessmen of Oneida County. The first trustees were Alfred Munson, President; Theodore S. Faxton, Vice President; William J. Bacon, Secretary; Martin Hart, Treasurer; Horatio Seymour, Andrew S. Pond, Hamilton Spencer, Julius A. Spencer and Palmer V. Kellogg. The first eight years of operation were not successful, and the property was sold.
On August 1, 1855, a new company known as The Utica Woolen Mills was organized. Theodore S. Faxton became President, and an experienced Englishman by the name of Robert Middleton took charge as agent. Middleton's unusual business acumen enabled the mill to manufacture goods that were the equal of any imported woolen goods of the time. In 1859 the name was changed to the Globe Woolen Mills Company.
In September of 1871, a disastrous fire destroyed the entire mill with all its machinery and contents. Larger and improved buildings, covering fully nine acres on the corner of Stark and Court Streets, were completed in 1873. Mr. Faxton continued as president of the company until his death in 1881, with Mr. Middleton elected to succeed him in 1882. Business was further increased by the addition of a worsted wool mill in 1886.
At the height of its success, the Globe Woolen Mills employed 1100 people who operated 166 looms. Typical descriptions of the business are as follows:
“The mills are fully equipped with the latest improved machinery and appliances, and furnish constant employment to 1,100 operatives. The Globe Woolen Company manufactures extensively the finest fancy woolen and worsted goods, which are general favorites with the trade. The company promptly fills orders at the lowest possible prices, and all goods are fully warranted to be exactly as represented. The principal executive officers of the company, who are highly regarded in trade circles for their enterprise and just methods, are the following: Robert Middleton, President; William W. Coffin, Treasurer; E.T. Batsford, Secretary. The New York City sales rooms are at 329-331 Broadway, N.Y.”
“The Empire State, Its Industries & Wealth” (undated – approx. 1890)
“The mills contain a full equipment of the best English, American, French and German machinery, specially selected with regard to the exigencies of this industry. These mills are devoted to the production of the finest fancy woolen and worsted goods, and everywhere throughout the country the stamp of the Globe Woolen Mills is synonymous with the highest standard of excellence. The fabrics are considered equal to the best produced abroad, and they are sold throughout the entire United States.”
“The Industries Of Utica” (undated)
After the death of Mr. Middleton the business was carried on by his son, Walter D. Middleton. He eventually sold out his interest to Frederick Maynard. In 1916 the mill was sold to the American Woolen Company. When mill operations finally ceased, the buildings became the first home of SUNY College Of Technology.