The production of men’s apparel was unique to central west Georgia. In 1919, brothers Robert, Roy, and Warren Sewell operated a “jobbing” company in Atlanta, contracting men’s clothing in New York and selling those clothes under their own labels here in Georgia. By 1928, their Sewell Manufacturing Company was headquartered in Bremen, Georgia and was now manufacturing men’s suits and coats themselves. As the Sewell’s company grew, they expanded operations several times in the west Georgia region, including plant #2 in Temple, Georgia.
West Georgia was already home to a variety of textile industries, but men’s apparel brought new success and jobs to several small cities in the countryside, including Temple. The city of Temple, along with local boosters, made great efforts to attract Sewell Manufacturing Company to build a new plant in the city. As seen in one of the photographs above, the city spent $40,000 to create a new water system. In addition to the city’s contribution, a Temple resident donated 8.5 acres of land and the Temple Improvement Club donated more than $8,000 to pave the street and parking lot designated for a possible Sewell plant.
The improvements made in the city paid off and Sewell Manufacturing plant #2 opened its doors on December 7, 1953. This plant, or “shop,” manufactured men’s pants that would be paired with suit coats made at the Bremen facility. Unlike some older hosiery mills operating in nearby Carrollton at the time, Sewell plant #2 was equipped with air conditioning. During the 1950s, it employed 250 people and produced 2,000 pairs of pants per week. Sewell’s Temple location was demolished in the mid-2000s, but the impact of the company lives on through the memory of many area residents.