Remembering Milliken & Co.’s founder

 

Among the many things that stand out regarding textile magnate Roger Milliken, who died on Dec. 30 at age 95, are the following:

One, that the empire Milliken oversaw was begun by his grandfather, Seth Milliken, in 1865. Seth Milliken was born in 1836, during the administration of President Andrew Jackson.

Seth Milliken and William Deering launched a small woolen fabrics company, which would eventually become Milliken & Co., in Portland, Maine, in 1865. A couple of years later, a fire destroyed their building and all their sales inventory except for potatoes.

Milliken loaded the potatoes onto a ship and headed for Boston. There he found a saturated potato market and proceeded to New
York, where he sold potatoes with little trouble.

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