History:

Scott Teague, families legacy lives' in Milledgeville's Foundations, Milledgeville Union Recorder, May 3rh 2008

James J. D'Angelo, Ph.D., TRC Project # 47500, June 2005

 

James W. McMillan was a Scottish immigrant to the United States, first stopping in Pennsylvania before setting up a brick making business in Madison GA in 1873.  He had problems with his business in Madison, namely a lack of clay which is the main natural resource in bricks.  He relocated to Milledgeville where clay is more prevalent and bought out an existing brick manufacturing company owned by Daniel Caraker, who had been manufacturing on that site since before the Civil War. On this site at its height the McMillan Brick Works had six total kilns on the location that could make up to 2000 bricks per day.  Many of the iconic buildings in Milledgeville’s history have been built with McMillan bricks.  Some of these buildings include 1st Presbyterian Church in downtown Milledgeville, the original Barracks on the campus of Georgia Military College, The Old Baldwin County Courthouse, and the Jones Building for Central State Hospital.  These buildings are still in use today, many after renovations, but clearly the bricks were so well made that they have stood the test of time even today. J.W. McMillan was the head of his company until he died in 1925.  The company was still in existence until the early 1940’s when rationing for WWII made it impossible for the company to continue producing at a sustained level.  During this time the company went through many hardships largely in part to mismanagement by James McMillan’s son Kenneth McMillan.  Kenneth was a good man but was not a very good manager.  This was exacerbated by the Great Depression which forced all companies to cut back.