The textile industry began to flourish in the late 1800s and continued to prosper until the depression years. During this period of prosperity, Harold Lawton established an entire community centered around his new mill in Plainfield Village. Upon creation in 1911, Lawtons housing projects provided 125 duplex style houses for the huge influx of foreigners that flooded the region looking for work.
Lawtons new three story mill was the first steam powered factory in the village. Lawton also expanded on his mill by adding a one story weave shed. The success of this new mill allowed Lawton to double its size and illuminate the entire facility with electric lights. For the first twenty years the Lawton Mills offered steady employment, good wages, and kept its housing in excellent condition.
The village of Moosup also prospered heavily during this period. David L. Aldrich and Edwin Milner erected two stone woolen mills in the area. French Canadian families flocked to Moosup and Plainfield Village to find work. Moosups commercial industries became the most successful out of the four villages. The Moosup Journal began publication in 1880 and remained in business until 1970.
Central Villages prosperity was sparked by a generation of new merchants. The Tillinghast brothers opened a general store in 1883 and expanded its operations to include home furnishings, bicycles, and undertaking.
Charles Bragg and John Murdock purchased the towns cotton mill in 1901. They then tore the old structure down and constructed a large brick wool mill. The new mill improved the economy of Central Village and attracted other industries. The LaFrance carbonated bottle water and beverage company established a factory in Central Village soon after the wool mill.
The final result of this prosperity period for Central Village was the towns ability to finally overcome its isolation from the other villages. A new trolley line connecting Central Village and Norwich helped to end this problem. Another line from Central Village to Wauregan helped to alleviate it further. If Central Village had not made the effort to become industrialized, it would have remained independent and agricultural with a poor community.
Wauregan did not share the same amount of success and change as the other villages, however this was a period of improvement for the area. Walter and Arthur Atwood inherited the towns water powered cotton mills from their father. They improved and increased the size of the facility. Although the stock crash hurt the mill industry in the area, much of Wauregan remains the same to this day.