The Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society will celebrate the local textile heritage at Founders Day on Sunday, March 20, 3 p.m., at the Historic Henry County Courthouse.
Will Pannill will serve as the distinguished speaker. He is the grandson of William Letcher Pannill, considered a pioneer of Martinsville’s textile industry by opening the Pannill Knitting Company in 1925. It was the first mill in the South to knit cotton textiles rather than spin yarn or weave cloth. Former employees of the various textile companies are especially invited to attend to be recognized. Attendees are also encouraged to wear or bring company products and other mementos.
John Phillips, president of the Historical Society, said, “Our status as the ‘Sweatshirt Capital of the World’ was not determined or defined by city or county lines. If not for one afternoon, let us gather as one community for Founders Day to celebrate our textile heritage. The slogan, ‘The fabric of our lives,’ certainly could be our community’s mantra.”