James W. McClendon was a merchant in
West Point, later serving as mayor from 1865 through 1871. After the
federal troops burned the bridge across the Chattahoochee, he soon had another
bridge built without a dollar of bonded debt.
With other local merchants, he organized the Chattahoochee Manufacturing
Corporation in 1866, and built a textile mill on the site of the grist mill in
Langdale (Valley). James McClendon served as the first president of the
company and operated the mill successfully until the panic of 1873, at which
time the mill was closed. In 1873, he swapped his stock in the mill to W.C.
and L. Lanier for real estate in West Point. The mill was re-equipped and
reopened - later becoming West Point Manufacturing Company. That later
became West Point Pepperell, and eventually, West Point Stevens.
James McClendon was influential in starting the West Point Female College in
1867 and was elected to serve as the first president of the board of directors.
McClendon married Annie E. Thompson in 1871 and they had 5 children. He
died in 1882 and is buried in Pinewood Cemetery in West Point.
ascribed contributing writers to Fort Tyler history