Museum Seeking Former Employees of Capps Mill Ahead of Summer Exhibit

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 11, 2022 at 11:49am

The Jacksonville Area Museum wants to talk with anyone in the area who worked in Jacksonville’s very first industry.

The Jacksonville Area Museum’s new summer exhibit is titled “Golden Threads” and will tell the story of the Jacksonville Woolen Mills, later known as J. Capps & Sons LTD.

Laura Marks with the Jacksonville Area Museum says the exhibit was designed by Steven Varble and will be featured in the West Gallery of the museum.

The Capps Mill opened in 1839 and ran continuously until it closed in the 1970s. Many of the Capps Mill still stands at the corner of North Church and West Lafayette Streets.

Marks says currently the museum wants to speak with anyone who worked at the Capps Mill to help preserve more of the mill’s history and add to an already growing physical display.

We will have lots of items of clothing, we will have lots of the Capps blankets. When we have visitors to the museum we like to make it an event that they hear and see, so one of the things we are doing is interviewing people who worked at Capps. So far we’ve interviewed George Murphy and Terry Maggert and a couple of lovely women, Peggy Clemons and Judith Cannon. All of them worked at Capps in various capacities.”

Marks says audio from former employees of the Capps Mill would be used in a podcast as well as a portion of the exhibit that will be interactive. “If there’s anyone who has an interesting experience from their time at Capps we’d love to have it. What we hope to accomplish is to have audio files and it may work to where there would be a QR code for people to access the audio files on their phone.”

Marks says as part of the exhibit, the Jacksonville Area Museum is also planning on a special walking tour of the neighborhood for museum members to view the buildings and hear stories from the J. Capps Mill site.

She says anyone who has stories to share from their time at the mill can contact the Jacksonville Area Museum in several ways. “Go to our website and there is an email address or they can go to our Facebook page, Jacksonville Area Museum and they can email the information that they have.”

You can also stop into the museum during business hours to set up a time to share your story, or visit the website at

The Jacksonville Area Museum is located in the old Jacksonville Post Office on East State Street and is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm.