February 10, 2007

Hanes

And the man behind the brand is...
Marcus Hanes

Hanes is the only corporation in America ever to form from two independent , non-competing businesses from the same family. That merger, in 1962 brought the saga of the Hanes family, founded when Marcus Hanes settled in York, Pennsylvania from Germany in 1738, around full circle.

Marcus Hanes bought 1060 acres in North Carolina and moved his family south. Here, brothers Pleasant Henderson Hanes and John Wesley Hanes grew up in the middle of the 19th century. Pleasant, five years older, was born in 1845 and served in Company E of the 16th North Carolina Cavalry during the Civil War. Hanes distinguished himself in duty and was named a special courier to Robert E. Lee, serving with the Confederate commander until Appomattox.

After the war the brothers began selling plug tobacco from wagons they guided throughout North Carolina. In 1872 the brothers started a tobacco company in Winston. Pleasant and John shepherded the P.H. Hanes Tobacco Company through two factory fires until they had built the third largest tobacco business in America. A serious illness to John forced the brothers to sell the business to R.J. Reynolds in 1900 for $175,000. When John regained his health the Hanes re-invested their profits into the textile industry - but as independent proprietors.

John Wesley concentrated on men’s stockings and named his company Shamrock Mills; Pleasant manufactured a new type of knitwear, men’s heavyweight, two-piece underwear. John’s health broke again and he died in 1903. The company changed names in 1914 to the Hanes Hosiery Mills and by 1920 women’s hosiery had replaced men’s socks as the firm’s only product.

Pleasant Hanes continued in charge of his P.H. Hanes Knitting Company until his death in 1925 at the age of 79. The two firms continued to operate autonomously under the brothers’ descendants until 1962 when the two Hanes companies consolidated, back under the family name once again.

5 comments:

john said...

my name is John Hanes out of omaha Ne.is there any inheratis for me. lol i buy hanes becases they do say hanes till I say there hanes.

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