History threads — Sherrill & McCoduck

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about the history of the garment industry in Warren, Washington and Essex counties.

19th century factory work could be dangerous.

“While at work in Sherrill & McCoduck’s shirt factory, Miss Lizzie Emmonds’ hair was caught in a belt and she was whirled around several times,” The People’s Journal of Greenwich reported on July 4, 1889. “The engineer, hearing her cries, shut down the machinery in time to save her.”

Sherill & McCoduck was a short-lived shirt factory that operated for about three years in the Paris building at Sandy Hill, now known as Hudson Falls, employing between 50 and 100 people.

McCoduck and former Washington County Clerk D.V. Brown opened the business around 1877.

In 1888, Brown sold his interest in the firm to Robert Sherrill.

There was optimism at the time.

“The shirt factory, under the new firm, began work Monday,” the Washington County Advertiser reported on April 11, 1888. “Messrs. Sherrill and McCoduck seem to mean business and are determined to do business if there is any to be done. Rob is a hustler and Will is a hard worker and together they make a strong team.”

Oh April 23, 1888, McCoduck left on “the sleeper” train for two weeks or more, traveling to Chicago and other mid-west cities, looking to expand the firm’s market, at that point primarily in New York City.

The factory closed in late January 1890.

The equipment was expected to be sold and moved to Troy.

Sources: The Glen’s Falls Messenger Feb. 7, 1890; Washington County Advertiser, Fort Edward, April 11, 25, 1888; The People’s Journal, Greenwich, July 4, 1889; Morning Star, Glens Falls, Jan. 31, 1890

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY