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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Warlick, Absalom

by Michael Edgar Goins, 1996; Revised March 2022.

May 1775–May 1863

Absalom Warlick, skilled ironworker, was born near Warlick Settlement in West Lincoln County, the son of Valentine Warlick and Catherine Whisenhunt (Visinand/Whisonant). Daniel Warlick I and Marie Barbara Schindler, the pioneers, were his grandparents. Absalom married Sally Crowder, who gave birth to three children. His sister married Michael Schenck, his partner in the Schenck-Warlick cotton mills.

In 1813 Michael Schenck built the first cotton mill in North Carolina. The seventy-two spindle mill was water-powered. Like most early mills, it was engaged in spinning, not weaving. Warlick made gears and shafting for the machinery, as he did in their mill built in 1816. Both mills were located near McDaniel's Springs, two miles east of Lincolnton. The second mill was built because the dam broke in 1816. Farther down the branch on Warlick's land, the second dam was constructed on a solid rock shoal that can be seen today. Warlick and Schenck agreed in 1816 to pay Michael Beam $1,300 for machinery for the second mill. The rest of the machinery came from Providence, R.I. According to Warlick family history, Absalom's three brothers—Daniel, David, and John—had shares in the cotton mill. Because their sister Barbara died in 1815, they were not tied to Schenck. Thus, they sold their shares and moved to Cleveland County. Schenck formed a new partnership in 1818 that constructed a larger mill at what became Laboratory, near Lincolnton.

Before 1820, Warlick moved to Lawndale. After his wife died in 1856, he lived with his daughter, Jane Jones. On his own death he left an estate worth $744. At that time he owned 122 acres. He was buried at Palm Tree United Methodist Church near Lawndale.


Curtis Bynum, Marriage Bonds of Tryon and Lincoln Counties (1929).

Cleveland County Records of Accounts, 1868–77 (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Richard W. Griffin, "The Schenck-Warlick Cotton Factory near Lincolnton, N.C." (a folder published by the American Cynamid Co., 1965).

Lincolnton Lincoln Times, 28 Sept. 1959.

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vol. 8 (1890).

David Schenck, Historical Records of the Schenck and Bivens Families (1884).

William L. Sherrill, Annals of Lincoln County, North Carolina (1937).

Alfred Caldwell Warlick, Sr., Daniel Warlick of Lincoln County, North Carolina, and His Descendants (n.d.).

Dunn, Rachel Warlick and Alfred Caldwell Warlick. 1993. Daniel Warlick of Lincoln County and His Descendants: A Genealogy of the Warlick Family from Palatinate, Germany, 1729-1993. 2nd ed. Greensboro, N.C: R.W. Dunn.

Additional Resources:

Connor, R. D. W. (Robert Digges Wimberly). History of North Carolina. Chicago : New York : Lewis Publishing Co. 1919. 20. (accessed April 1, 2014).


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