The Businessman

Gardner’s Other Accomplishments: 

  • Cast Deciding Vote in State Senate to Ratify the Women’s Right to Vote Amendment
  • First Textile Mill Employer to Hire African-American Employees
  • Registered Minorities to Vote in 1920’s
  • Supported Rights of Women from 1910 until his death
  • Founded and created Cleveland Cloth Mills. He sold the mill operations to JP Stevens & Co. in 1946 for $3 million dollars, an unheard of amount at the time.
  • Founded and created Cleveland Land Company. The Company developed the Cleveland Country Club golf course and residential area in the old Cleveland Springs area.
  • Founded and created Gardner Land Company. The Company developed most of Eastern Gastonia and the area includes Gardner Park, Gardner Woods, and Gardner Elementary School.
  • Board of Directors Sperry Rand Corporation
  • Board of Directors International Paper Company

For instance, just to give you an idea of what a tremendous organization this committee was remember that the Advisory Board members were drawn from all segments of [347] the economy. For instance, in the business sector there was Eric Johnston, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; George H. Mead, formerly on one of the boards of the National War Labor Board; Nathaniel Dyke, Jr., head of the Smaller War Plants Corporation; William Green, president of the AF of L; Phil Murray, president of the CIO, and T. C. Cashen who was head of one of the railroad brotherhoods. Also in agriculture there was Edward A. O’Neal, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation; James G. Patton, president of the National Farmers Union and Albert S. Goss, president of the National Grange. The public members were O. Max Gardner, former Governor of North Carolina and practicing lawyer in Washington; William H. Davis, chairman of the National War Labor Board and Anna M. Rosenberg, regional director of the War Manpower Commission. Mr. Max Gardner was chairman of the Committee [348] and devoted a great deal of time to the problems that I presented to the Advisory Board and to getting answers for OWMR about urgent matters. Mr. Gardner, as I mentioned before, and a large part of the Advisory Board were very much opposed to the eight million estimate of postwar unemployment. They took a genuine interest in the problems that were placed before them and I tried to use them as much as possible for counsel and guidance in policies and the procedures that we should follow, but I also hoped through their intimate knowledge of what was being done, that they would serve as missionaries in making known to the Nation as a whole, and to various segments of the economy, the efforts that were being put forth to try to accelerate the transition from war economy to peace economy.