Thomas Franklin Lloyd was an industrialist who started several businesses in Carrboro.
After serving in the Confederate States Army
during the Civil War as an enlisted man in Company L, North Carolina 17th Infantry Regiment, Lloyd returned to Orange County. He realized the economic possibilities due to the newly constructed railroad in the town of West End (now named Carrboro), and bought property adjacent to the railroad depot
. There, Lloyd and a business partner, William Pritchard, built a steam-powered grist mill and cotton gin
in 1883. In 1886, he bought out Pritchard's share in the business, and had a flour mill built on the property.
In 1898, he started the Alberta Cotton Mill
to the west on the same property, spurring additional growth in the area.
In March 1909, Julian S. Carr
purchased the Alberta Cotton Mill from Lloyd. In February 1910, Lloyd, his brother Lueco, Isaac W. Pritchard, and W. S. Roberson formed a partnership and organized the Thomas F. Lloyd Manufacturing Company
. They had a new mill constructed a few blocks south of the original Alberta Mill; construction was completed by mid-1911. This mill was also later purchased by Carr and the Durham Hosiery Mills, becoming Durham Hosiery Mill No. 7.
Lloyd never received any formal education, and didn't learn to read or write until later in life. At one point, he was the richest man in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. In 1885, he and his wife purchased a house at 412 W. Cameron Avenue in Chapel Hill, now known as the Mason-Lloyd-Wiley House