William A. Harder (1850-1931) purchased the former Valatie Cotton Mill in 1899 and refitted it to produce fine yarns for the knitting industry, supplying the Empire Knitting Mill in Hudson which he also owned. In 1902 Harder organized the Harder Manufacturing Company and the yarn mill became the company's first unit. By 1905 it employed 100 men and women. Harder purchased the former Wild mills in 1904 and incorporated them into the Harder Manufacturing Company. The company was renamed the Rensselaer and Valatie Mills in 1908.