As the stock market grew through the 1920's, the mill owners poured more and more of their profits into securities. At the same time, less money was being invested into the upkeep and expansion of the mills. After the market crashed in 1929, mill owners were left with little or no money to pay their debts, and the mills themselves were in very poor condition. In addition, labor unions had become quite influential. Their efforts to achieve better wages and working conditions began to pay off at the owner's expense. The new child labor laws also proved to be detrimental to the mill industry. The mill owners decided that it was time to relocate to avoid bankruptcy.
The owners saw opportunity in the South where labor was cheap. Lower transportation costs were also beneficial to the mill owners. Cotton, the industry's raw material, was grown right near the mills. The combination of these factors drew mill owners and their operations out of Connecticut in startling numbers.
The downfall of the textile industry coupled with the railroad's competition from the automobile transformed Plainfield, CT from economic prosperity to a town struggling for business.