In 1855, at the age of 27, Matthew Webster and three of his brothers emigrated to the United States of America from Pudsey, England. While in England, Matthew had worked from a very young age in a textile mill alongside his father, Jonathan Webster. After Jonathan’s death in 1850, the family travelled by ship across the Atlantic, sailed up the Hudson River to Albany, New York and then by Erie Canal to Wayne County, Ohio.
In 1867, Matthew and his brothers started construction of a woolen mill at Pine Creek, an area adjacent to Rushford, Minnesota. Known as the Toledo Woolen Mill at Pine Creek, the firm made blankets, flannels, cloth and hand-knitting yarns. In 1875, Matthew Webster bought out his brothers and with the help of his sons Daniel and William Walter, operated the mill until his death in 1893 at the age of 65.
In 1904, William Walter Webster purchased a woolen mill from his uncle in Rushford, MN and eventually built a state-of-the-art woolen mill in Winona, Minnesota which he sold to a group of businessmen in 1923. That same year, William Walter’s sons, Archibald and Theodore, moved to Two Rivers, Wisconsin to take ownership of an existing knitting mill there. They renamed the business Crescent Woolen Mills, and three generations of the Webster family have operated Crescent Woolen Mills in Two Rivers since then.
In late 2013, Crescent Woolen Mills expanded its offerings with the purchase of Owen Glove Lining, a manufacturer of knitted wool, wool-blend and SEF lining fabrics. Owen Glove Lining equipment and operations were moved to the Two Rivers location, which allows Crescent Woolen Mills to control the quality of the end product by spinning the yarn, then blending and knitting the linings to customer specifications.
Both companies were sold to Miller Waste Mills, a textile recycling company in Winona, Minnesota in 2017. The Webster family continues to manage operations, overseeing the manufacturing, investing in building improvements, and increasing capacity with the addition of a new large-scale knitting machine. Today, Crescent Woolen Mills is a thriving, family-run operation that is founded on a strong sense of customer service with special focus on delivering top quality yarn and knitted products.