Lubbock’s First Cotton Gin

1719 Avenue A
Lubbock, TX 79401


The Lubbock Cotton Gin Company operated at a site 1/10 mile northeast in the 1900s and 1910s. Until 1903, the nearest gins were over 100 miles away, thus limiting any local experiments with growing cotton. However, after the first small efforts to raise cotton proved successful in 1902 and 1903, local municipal leaders recognized that cotton farming could become an established industry and decided to purchase a cotton gin.
After a public subscription drive, a group led by town co- founder – Frankie Wheelock funded and opened Lubbock’s first cotton gin in late 1904. The Lubbock Cotton Gin Company was jointly owned by Wheelock, William Carlisle, brothers K. And G.W. Carter, H.V. Edsall, and W.G. Nairn.

Wheelock traveled to the railroad siding in Canyon with two wagons and eight horses and returned eight days later with a 16,000-pound engine and gin equipment in tow. The gin was installed over a three-month period, opening in time for the 1904 harvest.

Each season once the harvest began, the gin operated almost continuously. Soon, other gins opened in the county to keep up with increasing cotton production, increases which by the 1920s resulted in the opening of numerous compress warehouses and cotton seed oil-processing plants. After this gin closed in the late 1910s, the site became parts of the Lubbock Cotton Oil Company and the Lubbock Compress Company (northeast 0.2 miles).
Starting with the first cotton gin in 1904, Lubbock has grown to be the center of the South Plains cotton industry, recognized as one of the leading production regions of the United States and the world.


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