George Washington became the first American to popularize mule breeding. Mules were vital to the late 19th- and early 20th-century southern farming community. While North Carolina was not known for mule breeding, it was known for mule trading. The town of Creedmore, North Carolina, became known as the largest mule trading center in the southeast. G.M. Chappell & Son was a Creedmore mule trading business. This firm processed the trading of over 2,500 mules a year during the 1920s and 1930s.