During Horace Capron’s time in Laurel as head of the
Patuxent Manufacturing Company, Laurel experienced a period
of major growth. He expanded the cotton factory and
employed up to 700 workers—many of them women. He was a
partner in the creation of the Avondale Mill, just
downstream from the Patuxent Factory, and the Laurel
Machine Company on Main Street. He also built homes for the
and his wife Louisa helped build St. Philips Episcopal
Church, and he contributed to the creation of St. Mary of
the Mills, and the Methodist Church.
He set the tone for the community. And, at a time when
there was no public education in Maryland, and the few
existing schools required fees, he provided a free education
for his workers’ children.
[Col. Capron] has erected 50 blocks of two story stone and
brick houses ….To each there is attached a vegetable garden
in the rear, with a beautiful yard in front, tastefully laid
out in parterres of choice flowers….Col. Capron has erected
a school house..here the children receive their education
influence included settling all disputes, and having
complete oversight over his tenants—including their ability
to easily imbibe!
the whole population were tenants at will, for what
tenements within a circuit of a mile or more did not belong
to me individually belonged to the Corporation…there was not
a grog shop or place for the sale of spirituous liquors
permitted which may account for the generally orderly
character of the village.”
Autobiography p. 68.
|1845 ledger page from the
Patuxent Manufacturing Company showing Horace Capron
signature (near bottom.) The ledger was found
in a wall cupboard in the 1970's during a repair in
the building that is now the Laurel Museum.