Biography of Nathan Wild


History of Columbia County, New York

By Captain Franklin Ellis

Published by Everts & Ensign

Philadelphia, PA



Facing Page  232


      Nathan Wild was born at Manchester, England, in the year 1790.  He and his brother James came to this country early in the present century, and were identified with the history of cotton manufacturing for nearly fifty years. His first employment was with the Slaters of Rhode Island, and then with his brother at Columbiaville, in this county. In 1817 he settled at Valatie, forming, with his associates,--Benjamin Baldwin and James Wardle,--the Kinderhook Manufacturing Company, and began the spinning of cotton yarn and weaving cotton shirting by hand-looms in the mill now known as the Davis paper-mill. This process was continued till about the year 1825, when the power-loom was introduced.

     Mr. Wild started the first power-loom that was run in this State. Under his energetic management the Kinderhook Manufacturing Company became the owners of the mills and water-power on the Valatie creek, where, in 1828, they built a brick factory for sixty looms (a large mill at that time). In 1833 the Kinderhook Manufacturing Company was dissolved, Mr. Wild taking the property on the Valatie creek. In 1845 he visited England, and soon after his return he erected a factory for ten thousand spindles and two hundred looms. He continued in business till 1858.

     Mr. Wild was on of the most enterprising men of his time. His prompt and honorable dealing, his public spirit in promoting all improvements for the general welfare, his active sympathy for, and just dealings with, his employees through his long business career, were very prominent traits of his character, and won for him the respect and esteem of all who knew him.

     He died in 1867, at the age of seventy-seven years.