Because the first cotton mill to the east of Lincolnton was so profitable, in 1819, Col. John Hoke and Dr. James Bivings joined Michael Schenck in building a larger mill 2 1/2 miles south of Lincolnton with 3000 spindles. It was 3 stories tall with an 18 foot water wheel.
In 1835, Col. Hoke bought out Dr. Bivings and Mr. Schenck. In 1840, Lysander D. Childs became a partner and 3 years later, married Col. Hoke's daughter, Nancy. Col. Hoke died in 1845, one year after starting construction on the brick house on top of the hill overlooking the mill. This house would later become known as the Hoke-Rhyne house. L.D. and Nancy moved into the house but later, Col. Hoke's youngest son, Francis Edward Hoke would become the owner.
L.D. Childs and W.J. Hoke (Nancy's nephew) operated the mill until it was burned in June of 1862. One story says it was accidental and another says a Yankee sympathizer was suspected. (If anyone has proof other than conflicting newspaper accounts, we'd love to know about it.)