Ernest A. Mills Family Collection
"Ernest A. Mills" [mills_0007b] Ernest A. Mills Family Collection,
D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville 28804
|Title||Ernest A. Mills Family Collection|
|Alt. Creator||Pam Turner|
|Alt. Creator||Mills Manufacturing Corporation|
|Alt. Creator||Mills Strap and Novelty Company, Inc|
|Subject Keyword||Ernest Mills ; Pam Turner ; Mills Manufacturing Corporation ; parachutes ; military supplies ; straps ; Asheville, NC ; University of North Carolina Asheville ; residence halls ; Mills Hall, UNCA ; students ; philanthropy ; Korean War ;|
|Subject LCSH||Mills, Ernest
University of North Carolina Asheville
Asheville (N.C.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Architecture -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Historic buildings -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Documentary photography -- United States -- History -- 20th century
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American
World War, 1939-1945 -- Photography
|Description||Collection contains personal papers ;
letters of correspondence ; records of philanthropic work with the
Asheville community, particularly the as it relates to the donation of
Mills Hall at the University of North Carolina Asheville ; personal family
records, photographs and other related materials.
A second donation of material was made in July of 2011 that contained additional photographs, including WWII photographs of the New York manufacturing plant. These photographs provide an intimate look at manufacturing for the war effort (WWII) and describe the construction of fragmentation bomb parachutes for the war effort. In addition, a variety of promotional literature accompanied the donation and graphically portrays the evolution of Mills Manufacturing.
|Publisher||D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville 28804|
|Contributor||History@Hand ; Jan Schochet ; Sharon Fahrer|
|Type||Collection ; Text ; Image|
|Format||1 small manuscript box|
|Relation||Leah and Morris Karpen Oral History in the Voices of Asheville Oral History Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; E.M. Ball Photographic Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Ada and Lou Pollock Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Leo Finklestein Oral History in the Voices of Asheville Oral History Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Beth HaTephila Congregation (Asheville, NC), D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Sol Schulman Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Choosing to Remember - From the Shoah to the Mountains, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; "Jewish Roots in the Carolinas: A Pattern of American Philo-Semitism,", Charlotte, N.C.: The Charlotte Israelite, 1955, in the D. Hiden Ramsey Collection printed material - various publications (M188.8.131.52) ; Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, UNC Chapel Hill ; American Jewish Historical Society ; "A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life," Documenting the American South, UNC Chapel Hill ; The Family Store Project: A History of Jewish Businesses, 1880-1990, a 12-panel exhibit displayed in a variety of locations in downtown Asheville in the fall of 2006 by History @ Hand.|
|Coverage Spatial||Asheville, NC ; Long Island, NY|
|Rights||Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Some materials in collections are electronic rights only. Please ask for assistance from Special Collections staff.
|Acquisition||2010-11-08 ; 2011-07-01|
|Citation||Ernest Mills Family Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville 28804|
|Processed by||Special Collections staff, 2010|
|Last update||2010-11-25 ; 2012-02-01, HP|
|Context||The Ernest A. Mills family came to Asheville in 1952 where they continued the activity of the Mills
Manufacturing Corporation that was founded in New York in 1937, by Ernest A. Mills' father. Created
just before WWII, the manufacturing company soon established a strong footing in the war supply efforts.
With the outbreak of the Korean War, the company received a very large order for parachutes and this contract shifted the focus of the company to the manufacture of military parachutes and similar cut and sew operations. It also strained the facilities in New York as the building scale needed to manufacture parachutes is large. The company relocated to Asheville in 1952 in order to re-structure its physical plant, The move allowed the company to take advantage of the ready work-force in the area and the inexpensive real estate that afforded more land for expansion. Also important in the relocation consideration was the broad-based textile industry in North Carolina which offered opportunities for equipment and supplies to the Buncombe County industry.
Today, the company has further expanded their operation and they employ over 150 individuals. No work is sub-contracted. The company has also expanded to include one smaller operation, that of Miltex, a supplier of nylon cord used in the construction of parachutes and other military equipment. Mills Manufacturing and Miltex are significant contributors to the economy of western North Carolina.
The 175,000+ square foot manufacturing complex is located just outside Asheville and is one of the strongest industries in Buncombe County. In addition to the contracts with the United States Armed Forces, the company supplies over 65 additional countries with parachutes, strapping, and cord.
In addition to the contributions to the local economy through their industry, the Mills family has engaged in many philanthropic efforts in the region and the outstanding student housing complex at the University of North Carolina Asheville is a fine example of their generosity. Pam Turner, the daughter of Ernest A. Mills serves on the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees and has done so in the spirit of her father's similar service to the university and the community.
|M2010.17.01||01||01||Obituary of Ernest A. Mills (1 item)|
|02||02||Eulogy Given at Memorial Service for Ernest A. Mills|
|04||04||UNCA Honorary Degree Recipient, 1988. Commencement program and 1 page with order of march.|
|05||01||Mills Family Photographs (Includes Mills Manufacturing, Asheville, Service Awards)|
|06||02||Album - Mills Manufacturing, New York WWII - Manufacturing of Parachutes for Fragmentation Bombs|
|07||04||Loose Photographs - Mills Manufacturing, New York - WWII - Manufacturing Parachutes for Fragmentation Bombs|
|08||05||Parachutes Folder - Multiple views of a variety of packed parachutes|
|09||03||Album - Parachutes - Views of Parachutes in Action|
|10||04||Mills Marketing and Promotional Literature|