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Title: Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Murray, Zelma Montgomery, interviewee
Interview conducted by Glass, Brent
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 176 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-07-21, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0034)
Author: Brent Glass
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0034)
Author: Zelma Montgomery Murray
Description: 142 Mb
Description: 41 p.
Note: Interview conducted on March 4, 1976, by Brent Glass; recorded in Glencoe, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Patricia Crowley.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976.
Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Murray, Zelma Montgomery, interviewee


Interview Participants

    ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY, interviewee
    CHARLES MURRAY, interviewee
    BRENT GLASS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BRENT GLASS:
Mrs. Murray, I wanted to start by your giving your full name.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
You mean my maiden name too?
BRENT GLASS:
Sure.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Zelma Montgomery Murray.
BRENT GLASS:
And when were you born? And where were you born?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Graham.
BRENT GLASS:
And what year was this?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
1905, September 2.
BRENT GLASS:
What were your parents' names?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
My father's name was Ollie V. Montgomery, and my mother was Cora Harden. She came from Randolph.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Randolph County.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of work did your father do?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Textile.
BRENT GLASS:
And your mother? Did she work?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I don't remember anything about my mother, because my mother died when I was three years old.
BRENT GLASS:
So your father brought you up himself?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, he married again. Well, he married again too, but I lived with one of my uncles. Then my daddy married again; I went back and lived with him. And then his second wife died, and I went to live with one of my great-aunts up at Ossipee. Then I came back to Carolina and lived with my uncle and aunt. I lived there with them I don't know how many years. I left there and went further up the road to what they called (well, we always said) Runt Town; it's on the Carolina and Glencoe

Page 2
road that's over here. And I lived down there with another one of my aunts until I was married.
BRENT GLASS:
You had family then everywhere, didn't you?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes. Well, about all the Montgomerys lived down at Carolina.
BRENT GLASS:
Were they working in the mill there?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, they worked in the mill.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have any brothers and sisters?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, I had one brother and one sister, and I've got a half-brother.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of things do you remember when you were growing up? Did you have any close friends, or any particular jobs that you had to do around your house?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh yes. I had to wash dishes and things like that.
BRENT GLASS:
You didn't do any farming, though?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh no.
BRENT GLASS:
And who were your friends? Were your friends generally from that town?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, at that time I was living in Burlington; my father was living in Burlington. Oh yes, I had playmates. Then at Carolina the first time that I lived with that aunt I was real small, and I had friends, playmates. The Waddell girls, I remember them, and I remember Ollie Waddell. I remember a James girl, but I don't remember her name.
BRENT GLASS:
That's all right. What kind of games would you play with these children?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh, we'd just make play houses [laughter] ; that's all I

Page 3
remember about that.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever dream about being something? Did you ever play like . . . oh, you know, kids today would play like an astronaut?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I imagine we did. I don't remember, but I imagine we did.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you ever think about if somebody'd ever say to you, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" Did you ever tell people what you were going to be?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
So you never lived over here until you got married?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Not here in Glencoe, no. I worked at Glencoe, but I lived out here on this other road leading into Carolina.
CHARLES MURRAY:
You lived one time over here.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, I wasn't working then. For about a month my father lived on Back Street over here; I'd say I was about five years old then. But that's the only time that I did live here; he lived in Burlington.
I lived down here with my aunt, and I worked up here. When I become old enough to go to work (you know, they had the Child Labor Law; you had to be sixteen to work all day), [unknown] I know I was on eight hours, but I don't know whether that was fourteen or what. I know I had to work eight hours until I became, I think it was, sixteen. And I lived down here, and we'd come through the woods to over here, through the pines down this way an on down to the mill. And we worked ten hours a day and five hours on Saturday.
BRENT GLASS:
And what were you paid for your work? Do you remember?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I worked fifty-five hours a week, and I drawed $11.55.
BRENT GLASS:
That was for your first job? What was your job?

Page 4
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Spinning room. I would spin.
BRENT GLASS:
It wasn't as noisy as the weaving room, was it?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
It was not quite as noisy. It was noisy; there was still noise.
BRENT GLASS:
Was it drafty in there?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Awful linty, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever feel what they call "Monday morning sickness"?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever feel sick from it, or short of breath or anything like that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, it didn't bother us. I worked in the spinning room until . . . well, Charlie and I married in '22, and I worked a while on that there. But they didn't treat me just right up there in the spinning room, so I quit. I never did go back to the spinning room anymore. They wanted me to go back; I never did go back. I didn't like the boss-man, and I didn't go back.
BRENT GLASS:
How did they not treat you right? What do you mean by that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, you see, you had so many "sides," what they called. They got me to swap with another party for so long, and then they would give me my regular sides back. Well, a friend of mine and I, we worked in the same alley. Anyway, when the time come for me to go back on my regular job, my regular side, this boss-man, he wouldn't give it back to me. He give it to somebody else, and took me over on . . . well it was the whole length of the mill, in what they called a back alley. And I had to walk the whole length of the mill pushing that. I was young then and that walking didn't bother me, but it was just the principle of the thing. And

Page 5
I quit, and I never would go back no more.
BRENT GLASS:
You never went back to the Glencoe Mill?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I never went back to the spinning room.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I didn't work for three or four years, I reckon it was. I went to work in what they called the finishing room over here. I inspected over there, but I mostly worked in the shipping department.
BRENT GLASS:
And you liked that better?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh yes. I worked there up until they closed down. I loved my job over there.
BRENT GLASS:
You liked it there?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, I liked it there. You see, the cloth was in what they called bolts. And they would bring them in there to us, and we'd fill these orders. You know, the orders would come in, and we'd put a tag on them. And we wrapped them in paper. Of course, along towards the last that the mill run it was just in long what they called folds, I reckon. But I was the last one to work in the Green's cloth. Mr. Walter Green (he's a lawyer; you said you knew him), the last work I done down there me and him went down there and worked one whole Saturday afternoon and got up an order. They asked him to get up an order, and it had to be tagged and everything. And me and him worked down there one Saturday afternoon. That's the last work I done for them. Then I went to Brown's Hosiery Mill; and I worked there fourteen years and I retired.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you do there?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, that's kind of hard to say [laughter] . When I first went there I done what they called turning tops—that's a bobby sock.

Page 6
You've seen these bobby socks that would have a big row at the top? Well, we would turn those. And these baby socks, they'd just be turned one time. Well, that's what we did. I did that. Oh, there was just so many different jobs in a hosiery mill: you fold, and you box.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of salary did you make there?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh, I made good amounts.
BRENT GLASS:
Better than when you first started over here?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh yes, I made more rounds than I ever made down here. But, you know, wages were up more.
BRENT GLASS:
Right.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Now I was satisfied with my wages that I was making down in the finishing room, because it was just about as much there as it was anywhere else. But after that, you know, they didn't have to raise wages. So I went to Brown's. Yes, I was satisfied with what I made at Brown's. I made real good. I didn't make as much then as they make now, because, you know, the wages have gone up.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, about how would it compare to what you first made here at Glencoe? About how many hours a week did you work, and about how much were you paid for it at Brown's? Do you remember?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh, I worked eight hours a day.
BRENT GLASS:
Five days a week or six days a week?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Five days a week. There was a lot of overtime over there. They didn't compel you to work, but they would ask you to. I was always like this: if I knew it was necessary and all, then I did go back a lot of times and work on Saturday. But I didn't make nothing by working on Saturday, because if I'd go over there and work, say, five hours I would

Page 7
say that I would just average two dollars. Well, you know, that didn't pay me to go.
BRENT GLASS:
No. Now that's over at Burlington?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Still, that was your job.
BRENT GLASS:
Let's go back a little bit to when you were a young child. How were you punished if you were naughty? Do you remember?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I got a whipping.
BRENT GLASS:
You did? By who, your father?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
With what? Did he have a switch?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh, a switch or something like that.
BRENT GLASS:
Now he had to discipline you himself, right? You didn't have a mother, right?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, my stepmother never did hit me, no.
BRENT GLASS:
How about you, Mr. Murray? Who did the disciplining in your family?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, my mother mostly. My father, he laid it on you once in a while.
BRENT GLASS:
And they would hit you with a switch?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. My mother, when she got on me, why she used a switch or a strap or something. I never was too bad back then, though. I got along pretty good.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, Mrs. Murray, did you live most of the time with your father, or was it mostly with aunts and uncles?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Mostly with my aunts and uncles.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever discipline you?

Page 8
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, but they weren't too strict.
BRENT GLASS:
What were mealtimes like in your house, in your home? How often during the week would you eat meat, for instance?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh, I don't remember. We had plenty to eat.
BRENT GLASS:
You did? Where would you do your trading? Where would you get food from? They weren't farmers, right?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh no, no. They would just raise a little garden. I believe the store was down at what they called Hopedale; it was a grocery store. I remember a man would come up on the weekend, say on Fridays, and my aunt would give him the grocery order (you know, what she wanted). Or if we had to have anything from the store and all, why my cousin and I, we would go down to the Carolina store and get it. But they weren't farmers, no.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever dream of having something that you just couldn't afford, or did you ever feel that you were too poor to get something that you really wanted?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, I don't remember nothing about it. We weren't used to too much. We had plenty to eat and clothes, and we played and things like that.
BRENT GLASS:
Where did you get your clothes from?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
The market in Burlington.
BRENT GLASS:
They weren't made at home? They were store-bought clothes?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, we'd get material, and we'd all (my cousin, my aunt and all) hack out something and make ourselves a dress. We were very happy.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever travel anyplace, go on a vacation?

Page 9
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, we didn't. When the mills here would be standing and all, why we'd just mess around, go on what they called the creek over there. We'd go out over there on the creek and mess around.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you go swimming out there?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, but we weren't supposed to [laughter] .
BRENT GLASS:
Why not?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Burlington was cleaning it up, you know, and getting ready to get their water there. The water wasn't backed up by then. Well, there was a rock over there; I reckon that rock (Charles, I know he's been over there) is as big as two of these houses, wasn't it? You know, just flat on top. And it was right behind, kind of behind my aunt's house. And me and several of the girls, and a lot of the girls from up here would come down. We'd go down there. Oh, that rock was as high as this house, but there would be low places. You know, we'd go down there anyway, and that water was just as clear. . . . Why, you could see the bottom of it. And it wadn't no more than that deep. We'd just get [unknown] in there and wade. But they built the dam. They were working on it back at that time, and they stopped all that. We didn't get to go in there.
BRENT GLASS:
Hopedale is a bigger village than Glencoe, isn't it? Yes, Carolina.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I don't believe it's any bigger.
CHARLES MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
About the same size?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
When you'd head into Burlington, did people ever say, "Well, here come the mill people" or anything like that? Did they call you the mill people? Nothing like that?

Page 10
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, nothing like that. There was a man down there that had a Model T Ford. He run it for hire; and we didn't go to town much. So when we went, why, he'd haul people every Saturday.
BRENT GLASS:
To go to Burlington?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
To go to Burlington and bring them back. Charged us a lot for it, this man, Mr. Massey. Let's say I'd go over there and back for fifty cents. We were just very happy; we'd all get together.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you think things have changed around here since those days?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, it's changed considerably.
BRENT GLASS:
How?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, there's not as many of them here and all. Even not only here, but if they were here it's quite different. I don't know, they got to have more things to do than we used to have. Recreation and all. We'd just get together, a bunch of us, and just walk places and like that. But they don't do that now.
BRENT GLASS:
Where would you walk?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
We'd walk over the river, and we'd go up the highway here. There used to be what they called a swinging bridge a way out over in yonder, and a bunch of us used to get together on Sunday afternoon and go over there. And that bridge went across what they called Stoney Creek, and we'd go across. Oh, we'd just do things like that.
BRENT GLASS:
What was Christmas day like around here? What would you do on Christmas day?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, we'd have a big dinner. We always had a Christmas play on Christmas eve at the church.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of play would that be?

Page 11
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, we'd get up pageants and things like that, and say speeches and have songs.
BRENT GLASS:
How about Fourth of July? Did you have any kind of celebration here? Nothing like that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, just another day.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you go to work?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, they used to do it on the Fourth of July. But I don't remember nothing about no celebration on July Fourth.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you think that you liked Glencoe better when you first came than, let's say, later on? Or have you always felt the same about Glencoe?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh, I always felt the same way about it. I liked Glencoe then, and I still like it. Of course, sometimes I think, "Well, I think it's time for us to move on out from over here." But then again I think, "Well, where would we move that would be as quiet and as peaceful as it is right here?" We don't have no convenience and nothing like that, but we're all old that lives around over here. And it's like this: if one's got anything, they divide it; and your trouble's my trouble. And we always try to help one another, you know in sickness and things like that. I think it's a good place to live. Of course, now I do sometimes feel like, "I think we ought to be moving on." But then again, I don't know where we'd live where it'd be as quiet and peaceful.
BRENT GLASS:
When you retired from Brown's Hosiery did you have any insurance policy or any pension or anything like that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, they had a small retirement fund. We didn't pay any in it; the company gave it to us. It was what they called their profit-sharing. If they had a good year, why that would be more to go into our

Page 12
profit-sharing. It wasn't no great amount, but they give it to us all. They'd give it to you in a lump sum. It wasn't no great big amount, but it was just real nice that they gave it to us. But you had to be there five years before. . . . They didn't have that when I went to Brown's, and they started it after I went to Brown's. But you had to be there five years when they started it, for you to be eligible to be in it. I hadn't been there quite five years when they started it. They had some bad years while I was there and it didn't build it up too much. But I appreciated what I did get.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they try to speed you up in production when they had the bad years?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh yes, we was on production. I was on production part of the time; part of my work was on production. Yes, they expected you to get production. And if you didn't get production they'd have to pay you for what you were supposed to be making. And if you didn't get it they didn't talk ugly to you about it. They would just say, "Well, I see we had to pay you so-and-so." The boss-lady would come and tell you, "I see from my report that they had to pay you so-and-so. Is there any cause for it? Why did you fall back this week?" And you would tell her if there was something that happened and you didn't get it. She'd write it down and she'd say, "Well, let's see if you can't pull it back up." And that's all they did to us.
BRENT GLASS:
They wouldn't discipline you?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
They wouldn't dock you in pay or anything like that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No.

Page 13
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever talk there about starting a union?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No, not while I was there. That was a real good place to work there.
BRENT GLASS:
Would you have joined if they had started a union? Did you ever think about that?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well no, I never did think about it. But I always felt this way in a place like that: that you depended to your living. And I always felt like if the majority was in it, well then I wouldn't hold them back. That's all I know, although I don't believe in the union.
BRENT GLASS:
What about you, Mr. Murray? If they had had one over here at Glencoe would you have joined?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I don't know.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever think about that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
I didn't think much about it, no. Well, the union's all right, but they get too [unknown] . . . .
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, I never did think nothing about the union, but that's the way I feel. I think I would have thought about it if they had formed a union and the majority was going to. I wouldn't have been different; I'd have been with the bargaining. That's the only way to get anything is to stick together.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
When I worked at Brown there was never no talk of no union. And even when I worked down here for Mr. Green in finishing. I liked it both places.
BRENT GLASS:
When you worked in the spinning room was it quiet enough for you to sing any songs there?

Page 14
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Couldn't nobody hear you if you did [laughter] .
BRENT GLASS:
How about talk to each other? Did you get a chance to talk to each other?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Oh yes, we could talk to one another.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you talk about?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, we'd maybe talk about the work, first one thing and then another. You know, we had to be close together, because if we hollered at one another it might be something we didn't want the other woman on the other side to hear. So we'd always get close together and talk.
BRENT GLASS:
Right.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
When you work in a place like that with this noise and all you will learn to read lips, won't you?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
You will learn to read one another's lips in their talking.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you think about when you were on the job? Do you remember how you passed the time? Did the work get monotonous to you?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Not in the spinning room. Now, in the finishing room it was just. . . . I don't know whether we were supposed to or not, but us three that worked in there, why we'd take a break, say, about nine o'clock, get us a Coke and pull out something to eat, and we'd eat it. We took off thirty minutes for lunch. But, you see, there was nobody to come back in on our job, because our job was just us. And when we left the door was locked, that's all there was to it.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, I've kept you for quite a while, and I appreciate your letting me come in here. Thank you for talking to me.
[Recorder is turned off and then back on.]

Page 15
BRENT GLASS:
Mr. Murray, were you born here in Glencoe?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, I was born in Graham.
BRENT GLASS:
What did your parents do?
CHARLES MURRAY:
They were textilers in the mill—textiles and farming too. They farmed some; along in the cool times, then they moved to textiles.
BRENT GLASS:
Maybe I should ask you what your parents' names were. What was your father's name?
CHARLES MURRAY:
William F. Murray.
BRENT GLASS:
And your mother's?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Barbara Murray.
BRENT GLASS:
What was her maiden name?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Payne.
CHARLES MURRAY:
She was a Payne.
BRENT GLASS:
What part of Graham did you live in? What mill did your father work at?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I was born there, but he worked there in Oneida. Of course, the mill's been gone. Not Oneida, but Sidney.
BRENT GLASS:
When were you born?
CHARLES MURRAY:
1897, February 15, 1897.
BRENT GLASS:
So you have a birthday coming up pretty soon? Oh, you had your birthday.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, last month. I'm in my eightieth year.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, you look very good for that. What did your father do in the mill? What was his job?
CHARLES MURRAY:
He was a weaver.
BRENT GLASS:
And you said he farmed and worked in the mill at the same time?

Page 16
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. To start with he helped build this mill down here.
BRENT GLASS:
Which one, Glencoe?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Glencoe—public work.
BRENT GLASS:
What do you mean by that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, he helped make the bricks and first one thing and the other.
BRENT GLASS:
When was this? Did he ever tell you when this was?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, the mill started 1881, but I don't know, I couldn't tell you the year.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he ever say there was another mill here before this one?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, this was the first mill.
BRENT GLASS:
And so he was farming also in Graham, you said?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, he never went to farming 'til later when I'd got up five or six years old.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you know your grandparents?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
You never knew them?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Never knew them, no.
BRENT GLASS:
Did your father ever say what your grandparents did, what kind of work they did?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, no, he never did. Well, if he did I never paid no attention. I never did know anything about them. They'd been dead when I got up.
BRENT GLASS:
How about your mother? Did she work in the mill too?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, she worked in the mill when she was young. She worked in Sweps.
BRENT GLASS:
Swepsonville?

Page 17
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. But that was a way on back. It might have been Sweps; it wasn't Swepsonville. But it burned down; the first mill burned. And then she went to Richmond and worked for awhile over there. So that's about all the millwork that I ever knowed—you're just talking about her working.
BRENT GLASS:
She wasn't working when you were a little boy?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh no, she never worked none since I come along.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes. She was taking care of the house?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
How many brothers and sisters did you have?
CHARLES MURRAY:
I had three brothers and two half-sisters. He was married twice: two girls by the first, and then four boys.
BRENT GLASS:
You never worked over in Graham, did you?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh no, no. I went to work in 1913.
BRENT GLASS:
Over here in Glencoe?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Started to work. We just moved in off of the farm.
BRENT GLASS:
So let me get this out: your father went from Graham to a farm?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, he left Graham and come to Burlington-Aurora. And I guess he worked at Ossipee. I couldn't tell you how he traveled, but he worked at Ossipee.
BRENT GLASS:
So he worked at a number of different mills?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes. He worked at Aurora some and Ossipee and in here. Then he worked at Glen Raven some. But we farmed six years straight and moved back here the last time in 1912.
BRENT GLASS:
So for six years before 1912 you were farming?

Page 18
CHARLES MURRAY:
Farming, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Where was this? Here in Burlington?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Up here north of Elon, betwixt Elon and Ossipee.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of farm was this? How large a farm?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, he just would rent it, yes, farming what you might say for shares.
BRENT GLASS:
You worked on the farm then?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of jobs did you do on the farm?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I plowed and I hoed, and first one thing and another. We raised cotton and tobacco, corn and stuff like that. You didn't handle a certain job on the farm.
BRENT GLASS:
You had to do everything?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, everything you can do.
BRENT GLASS:
Was that hard work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, it was hard, but I liked it. I still like farming. Now, you know, the machines like they got now (tractors and things). . . . You just done it using a horse and turning plow; cut wheat with a swinging cradle.
BRENT GLASS:
How about cotton? How did you pick cotton?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, you pulled that out with your hands.
BRENT GLASS:
That's hard on your back, isn't it?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, it's hard on your back, and fingers too. Well, we helped pull it off and carried it to the house, you know, and then have a cotton pulling: a crowd come in and help you pull it out of the burrs.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, you didn't have a gin?

Page 19
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh no. You just got that and you carried it to a gin, and they'd cut the seed out, you see.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever have corn shuckings?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, we had corn shuckings, wheat thrashings and all like that.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever have any turning frolics, spring frolics?
CHARLES MURRAY:
For cutting wood? Oh yes, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
And would your mother cook up a big meal for that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well yes, they'd cook. And of course the neighbors would come in and help her, you know, cook. They always done that around here in the neighborhood. When the neighbors had a wood-cutting, corn shucking or whatever, women would go in and help.
BRENT GLASS:
And were there many neighbors close by that you would have many. . . ?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, yes, there was a pretty good bunch. They wasn't too close to us, but they'd come in. See, back when I was coming on, around through the country it wasn't but six or seven. You didn't live next door like you do around through here.
BRENT GLASS:
Right, around here.
CHARLES MURRAY:
But now you can ride in the country and never get away from a house.
BRENT GLASS:
Did your father ever tell you why he decided to take up farming in the first place: why he decided to rent this farm, why he left the mill?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, he just wanted to get out of it, I guess. He was used to being out; I reckon he was raised up that way, used to being out.
BRENT GLASS:
Out of doors?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. Now the first farming that I knew of or he said anything

Page 20
about, he farmed back over in Caswell. That was when his two daughters was born, back in Caswell.
BRENT GLASS:
So he enjoyed farming as much as he did working. . . ?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, he enjoyed it. But back along when I come along you couldn't make too much from farming. You might make a living renting, you know, and you've got to give the other fellow so much.
BRENT GLASS:
How much did he have to give, do you remember?
CHARLES MURRAY:
I believe he give him about a fourth.
BRENT GLASS:
And then he decided to move to Glencoe?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, the last work he did, he watched down here. And he was way up in years, real old.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes. He worked 'til he was seventy-five years old.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh really? But did he ever talk to you about why he moved back to Glencoe? The farming got too tough?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, it got too tough, and he couldn't make too much. We cut a lot of stove wood, and would sell stove wood around Burlington. We'd sell a lot of stove wood and cut it up. They used to use stoves, you know, that burned wood. But you don't find no more of them unless you go out in the country some.
BRENT GLASS:
No, right. Where did you live when you came to Glencoe? What house did you live in?
CHARLES MURRAY:
You mean the last time I moved back here?
BRENT GLASS:
When you moved back in 1912.
CHARLES MURRAY:
We moved onto Back Street, we called it from here. We moved up there. Then he left here and he went to Aurora. Then he come back

Page 21
here and he moved into a different house right next to it. Well, then they built him a house across the railroad over yonder, and he moved over there. That's where he died—or where he lived, actually. That's where my mother died. He died up the road here at my brother's.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. When he would take a job somewhere else, like at Aurora or Ossipee, did the whole family move with him?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
So you moved quite a bit?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, he did; he moved a lot.
BRENT GLASS:
Why would he move? Did he say?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, he was just dissatisfied one place, and he just thought the grass was greener over there, you know. And he moved.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever work in any of these mills?
CHARLES MURRAY:
I worked down here.
BRENT GLASS:
At Glencoe?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, and I have worked at Burlington Mills.
BRENT GLASS:
Which one?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Burlington: Pioneer Plant over there.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, that was when the Depression was.
CHARLES MURRAY:
And I worked at Plaid Mills too; of course Burlington Mills's got it now.
BRENT GLASS:
That was E. M. Holt, Plaid Mills?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
When you came here in 1912 did you go to work here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Not right then. I didn't go to work right straight, you know. I was about fifteen years old, sixteen maybe.

Page 22
BRENT GLASS:
When you first worked in the mill?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
And did you ever have any kind of work before that, any kind of work that you did?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Nothing but the farming. I worked down here. And then when they got to short time, you know, I got on driving a truck. I drove a truck down here some, a mill truck. And then I worked with a fellow hauling granite on the road. And I worked with a fellow in Burlington that dug basements and things, fixed yards.
BRENT GLASS:
So you did contract work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, contract work.
BRENT GLASS:
You mentioned before "public work." What do you mean by "public work"?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, that's when you get out on different jobs; that's why it's called "public work."
BRENT GLASS:
Different jobs from what?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, like building or something. I was carpenting some, and truck driving.
BRENT GLASS:
That's all public work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, we called that "public work."
BRENT GLASS:
What about farming? Was that public work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I wouldn't say farming. You could call it public work if you did a job with somebody [unknown] hired to them.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, I see. So if you worked and got hired by somebody that would be public work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, that's right.

Page 23
BRENT GLASS:
But if you owned the farm yourself that wouldn't be public work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh no, it'd just be farming. Now if you worked in the mill, that's textiles.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. How about if you worked in tobacco?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, that's still farming. Anything that's raised out like that is connected with farming, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
That's not public work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. Let's talk a little bit about your home here in Glencoe. How many bedrooms were there?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Five.
BRENT GLASS:
Five bedrooms?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. It was a five room house, with about three bedrooms, you might say. It had a kitchen and a front room, of course.
BRENT GLASS:
I noticed some of these houses have those buildings in the back. Were those kitchens at one time?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, yes. You cooked and ate in them.
BRENT GLASS:
You cooked and ate there too?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, that's right.
BRENT GLASS:
How long ago would people do that? When you were coming up?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, when I was coming on up . . . well, I remember back when these kitchens was built. Well, they might have been built when the houses were built too, but I don't know about that. But I know that they started right up there in a house or two and come down this way, and then all down over there. There wasn't too many houses built here to start with,

Page 24
when the mill first started. There wasn't too many up front here.
BRENT GLASS:
So it was a small village?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes. It was just a wilderness [laughter] . . . .
BRENT GLASS:
When you came over here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, not when I come, but when they come building.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh right, right.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Charlie, I've heard your mother say that when these houses were built they was just fields. There was no kitchen out here, and she said that the kitchen was built off.
CHARLES MURRAY:
It was just a four room house: two down and two up.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I've heard her tell about going down the steps and going out to the kitchen in the snow early one morning and all.
BRENT GLASS:
To get a fire started?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
When the children were little.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, the kitchen was off about as far as to the end of the kitchen here to the kitchen where the door was.
BRENT GLASS:
And where was your bathroom?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, didn't have one.
BRENT GLASS:
Out of doors?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Ain't one in here now.
BRENT GLASS:
Still?
CHARLES MURRAY:
There's just one or two houses that've got it.
BRENT GLASS:
Indoor plumbing?
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's right. I don't see how they got by with it; look like the State Board of Health would have come in and made them do something about it.

Page 25
BRENT GLASS:
When you came in to work here what was your first job?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, going through the wheels, you know, and getting out quills that wanted filling, empty quills. You'd have to gather them up and take them back up to the spinning room, and they'd refill them and put filling on them when they were using the looms.
BRENT GLASS:
This was a weaving job?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, it was weaving, finishing. They finished cloth back here then. They wove it, and then the nappers made a soft finish out of it—like pajamas and different things.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. Who owned the mill back then?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Robert Holt; Bob Holt, we called him. He was the one that started it. Well, back then years ago all the plants was Holt's.
BRENT GLASS:
Right, over at Alamance, Belmont.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. That was the first, in Alamance.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. Do you remember what they paid you, or how long you had to work a day?
CHARLES MURRAY:
A dollar a day.
BRENT GLASS:
And how many hours was that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Ten hours a day, and five hours on a Saturday morning: fifty-five hours a week, a dollar a day.
BRENT GLASS:
So how long did they pay you that? Do you remember when you got a raise, an increase?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I went off of that and I went to weaving, you see. See, in weaving you're on production, and your wages'd be up and down. You'd make one good week, and then another week you might not do so good. But a dollar a day was the standard wage, you see. That was about all

Page 26
they paid then. But after you left and went to weaving, why you'd make more.
BRENT GLASS:
I see, because you were on production.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
And did you like the job?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well yes, I liked it, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Who was your supervisor there? Do you remember?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Matt Marshall; he was superintendent.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes. Did he live around here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, he lived up here in Burlington, just above the village. Oh, he was superintendent here for years. He was the only superintendent I ever—although I worked for some later years, because he died.
BRENT GLASS:
Who were the most important people in the village? Do you remember who were the most respected people in the village?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, that'd be hard to say, because they was all pretty good people. I'd hate to pick out any certain one, because there might have been some that they thought had a little more than the others.
BRENT GLASS:
Did Mr. Holt live in the village?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, he did to start with, right down at the end house here.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, the one with the porch on it?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. But they built him a house over here behind me on the highway. They built it for a doctor, Dr. Moore. Well, he lived there a while; then he left and went to Burlington.
BRENT GLASS:
While we're still talking about working in the mill, did you stay at weaving for all those years that you worked over here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I stayed at weaving, oh I don't know, maybe forty years, here and there in Burlington Mills and Plaid Mills too. Altogether

Page 27
about forty years. Then I got away from that. I served as deputy sheriff for about ten years also.
BRENT GLASS:
How would you compare working in the mills to farming? Which did you like better?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I liked farming the best, so far as work business. But I had a little more money when I went to the mill work. I'll just tell you the truth, when I first come on I didn't know what money was, 'til I got up in my teens. Farming, you just didn't know what money is.
BRENT GLASS:
So then really the first money you made was over here at the mill?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I worked out some on the farm for somebody else. I'd work for them some, you know. But, I mean, I didn't know what any amount of money was. I'd work a day or two for somebody around and pick up—they didn't pay anything much.
BRENT GLASS:
What would you do with your money when you got paid?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I'd buy clothes with it, and like that.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they pay you in cash or in scrip?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, they paid in cash.
BRENT GLASS:
Was this store down here open then? Was it a company store?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No. It was further on back before we ever moved back here, you know. Oh, this store has been here for . . . I reckon it's been here longer than the mill started.
BRENT GLASS:
Was it a store then, or was it just an office?
CHARLES MURRAY:
It was a store, a company store. I've told different ones when the mill first started that they paid off in terkels.
BRENT GLASS:
Terkels?

Page 28
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes [laughter] . I told it for a joke.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, what is that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's some fish in the river. And they'd send a wagon off and get terkel, and they'd come back and pay you off. And you'd go to the store. They'd give you a big terkel; you'd go to the store and buy anything, and you'd give them the big terkel and they'd give you little terkels back.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
That's just one of his jokes.
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's a joke. [laughter]
BRENT GLASS:
That's OK; I like that.
CHARLES MURRAY:
It was so far back when I told that, but I did it [laughter] as a joke. I'd hear the old people tell it.
BRENT GLASS:
When you left mill work you started doing some other kind of work, then?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, I'd do different things.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you remember if, as you were coming up working in the mill, they started to make changes in the kinds of equipment that they had?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of changes would they make?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, they'd make different quality of clothes, you see, different patterns and all that. They gotta have the last go-round to make dress good things. I used to weave samples; we'd make a sample, just a sample of a bigger piece.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever try to increase the speed of the machines to turn out more? Could they do that? Could you increase the speed of the machines?

Page 29
CHARLES MURRAY:
Not in the weaving, not back then. Of course they've increased the speed now with the different machines. But back then it was just about the same old gait.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever have what they called the "stretch-out" here? How did that work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, they stretched you out; they give you more than you could do, give you more machines than you could operate like you ought to. Yes, we ran into that.
BRENT GLASS:
When was that, about? Do you remember that, when that would have happened?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, that was long before, a few years before they shut down.
BRENT GLASS:
Was it after World War II?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, it was in. . . . Well, they closed down in '54.
BRENT GLASS:
So they had this stretch-out before that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes. Well, they done got out of that about, I don't know, maybe a hundred looms operating. They had three hundred and some looms. But they had forty-eight looms, and they had us on, I believe, sixteen looms apiece, you know. Well, they come along and put us on twenty. Well, that was more than we could handle. But they'd stretch it out and give you more than you could take care of. Like it is now, they've got the weavers stretched out, in these other mills.
BRENT GLASS:
They do?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
What happened if you couldn't handle it?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, you just wouldn't get good production, you see.
BRENT GLASS:
And did you ever complain to the foreman about it?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, we complained, but that didn't matter. We'd tell them if we didn't get good production then that would probably set us a

Page 30
couple of days behind. They had you overloaded. They thought maybe you ought to do a little bit better, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
I see.
CHARLES MURRAY:
See, they paid you by the pick, and a loom made 160 picks a minute. The shuttle went back and forth; that was was called a pick, you know. And they had a clock up there and [unknown] it to so many picks per loom a day.
BRENT GLASS:
So did you ever feel kind of pressured, with that clock there?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, you was pressured all the time.
BRENT GLASS:
You didn't have time to take off and talk or anything like that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, no, no.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you get any lunch break?
CHARLES MURRAY:
They didn't stop. You had to stand up and eat like a horse [laughter] ; they didn't stop.
BRENT GLASS:
Really?
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's right, you just worked right on through.
BRENT GLASS:
How many hours was this, ten hours a day?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, we run eight hours then.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes, that's right, after the nineteen thirties you'd been on eight hours.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, yes. Yes, they just run eight hours straight, and you'd just eat the best you could for dinner.
BRENT GLASS:
Hmm. So you brought your dinner with you?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they have more than one shift here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
They had three.

Page 31
BRENT GLASS:
So the mill was going all day and all night?
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's right.
BRENT GLASS:
What was the sound like that in that weave room? Those weave rooms can be pretty noisy, can't they?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, you couldn't hear too good.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you wear anything in your ears?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No. If you got up close to somebody you could talk to them, you know. We had a deaf and dumb fellow down there. I could talk to him across the mill; me and him got used to one another, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
And how did you talk to him? Would you use sign language?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, I'd just talk.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you remember when they had a general strike back in 1934?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did this mill close down?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, they didn't close down; they run.
BRENT GLASS:
They did run?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did anybody ever come up here and try to close it?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, no, they never did, because Mr. Green. . . . After Mr. Bob Holt died the Greens come in here.
BRENT GLASS:
What was his first name?
CHARLES MURRAY:
W. G. Green. That was old man Green. Now Walter Green, the one that did everything for him, he's a lawyer in South Graham now.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. I think I've met him.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, his father was the one. Well, his mother, it fell to his mother.

Page 32
BRENT GLASS:
She was related to the Holts?
CHARLES MURRAY:
She was Miss Daisy Holt, [unknown] Bob Holt's sister who married W. G. Green.
BRENT GLASS:
So what happened? Did they ever come up and try to shut the mill down?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh no, no, there never was nobody that bothered it. Mr. Green, the old man, wanted me to go up to the power plant up the river. He wanted somebody to go up there and stay the night, you see. He was afraid somebody would do something. He wanted me to go, but I wouldn't go; it was about two miles up the river. I wouldn't go up there.
BRENT GLASS:
Why? Because you were afraid somebody might come up there?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I was afraid somebody might cause some trouble, you know, if somebody was there.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. But none of those flying squadrons or anything came up this way?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, nobody didn't bother us.
BRENT GLASS:
How about over at Hopedale? Did you hear anything where they'd closed over there?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No. The only mill that I know of was Plaid [unknown] Mill; they had some trouble over there.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes, I read about that. They had an explosion?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, yes. They got a fellow for that. He was a foreigner.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, let me ask you just a couple of more questions. When you lived out in the country did you go to school?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, I went to Shallow Ford school; that was a country school. That's the last school I went to. I never went no higher than the seventh grade. That was about all you could get around the country

Page 33
for schooling, the seventh grade.
BRENT GLASS:
Then you had to go to work?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Work full-time?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever get a chance to go travel with your parents anywhere?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, we never did go. The only travel I've done is since I've come up. They never did go nowhere.
BRENT GLASS:
Have you ever gone to, say, Wilmington?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, I've been to Wilmington and Morehead and Norfolk.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you go with your parents?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, I done got up and gone. No, I never did go nowhere with them.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever go visit relatives anywhere?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, they'd go a day, maybe spend just a day with a horse and wagon. They didn't make no trips.
BRENT GLASS:
How about newspapers? Did your parents take any newspapers or magazines in the house?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
They were pretty busy working?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, we never did take no papers when we lived out in the country. Well, we never did take no papers, I don't think.
BRENT GLASS:
What would you do for entertainment or recreation, if you had any free time?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I played baseball in the summertime. But in the

Page 34
wintertime we just closed up.
BRENT GLASS:
You mentioned that you had corn shuckings and things like this. Did you have music at these gatherings?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Dancing? Nothing like that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
How about your church? What church did you go to?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, when we lived in the country I came to Shallow Ford Christian Church.
BRENT GLASS:
How about here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I came to the Methodist church down here. And they're building a new church up there on
BRENT GLASS:
Would you come to church regularly every Sunday?
CHARLES MURRAY:
I used to, yes; I don't now.
BRENT GLASS:
How about your parents?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, they came regularly.
BRENT GLASS:
Who was the doctor around here? Was there a doctor?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Dr. Moore was what you might say the mill doctor way back yonder years ago. I believe you've got that. He was the only mill doctor we had then. You'd have to count on him caring on you.
BRENT GLASS:
Did the influenza hit here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
In 1918.
BRENT GLASS:
It did hit here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. A lot of people died here. I went to a funeral about every day there for a week.
BRENT GLASS:
Really? Where was the cemetery? How did they bury people here?

Page 35
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, they buried them in Pioneer Cemetery in Burlington; and the country church back up here at Bethel, [unknown] they have a cemetery. That's where most of them here was buried, and Burlington up here. Doctors would come over here, you know. . . .
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Dr. Foster, wadn't it?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, there was different doctors come over here. That [unknown] was rough around here. Me and another fellow, Banks Murray, we was about the only ones that didn't have it.
BRENT GLASS:
Now let me ask you: when did you meet your wife?
CHARLES MURRAY:
It was about 1920, wasn't it?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes.
CHARLES MURRAY:
1920. I married her in '22.
BRENT GLASS:
How did you both meet?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, she worked down here in the mill.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you have any children?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever feel when you were working here that there were people in the village who were better than you were, or better off than you?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, I just felt like I was about the same as far as enough to eat and everything.
BRENT GLASS:
How about with Mr. Holt? Did you feel that he was a friend of yours?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, yes. He was a friend to you, all right.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he attend church with you?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No. He didn't attend the church, but you could depend on him.

Page 36
Well, Mr. Green was all right to me; they treated me nice. I still work for Walter some.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh you do?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, just a little on the side. I work down here [unclear] .
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, you still work down here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
When I want to.
BRENT GLASS:
For who?
CHARLES MURRAY:
For the carpet. . . . [unclear] I worked here one morning and evening.
BRENT GLASS:
So you like to work then?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have any kind of insurance policy with the mill, or any kind of pension to take care of you when you retired?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, no.
BRENT GLASS:
Nothing like that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, we didn't have nothing.
BRENT GLASS:
And there was never any policy in the mill about joining a union or anything like that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, no, there wasn't nothing said about it that I ever heard of.
BRENT GLASS:
Even when you would have like the stretch-out or something like that, when some people might feel like, "This isn't working out too good"?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I'll tell you, these are company houses, see. You either worked there [unknown] or else. That's just the way it was.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you have to pay for rent?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, it's twenty dollars a month now, but back then you used

Page 37
to pay fifty cents a week, wasn't it?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Fifty cents a week for a five room house, and thirty-five cents for the three.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Fifty cents a week was what it was. It's been so long that I'd about forgot.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
And they furnished the electric lights, and they put them out at nine o'clock. They said that was time to go to bed.
BRENT GLASS:
And how did you wake up? Did they have a whistle here?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
They had a bell down here.
CHARLES MURRAY:
They had a great old bell that would ring at five o'clock.
BRENT GLASS:
What if you worked at night, though? Did you ever work on the night shift?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes. I worked that third shift. I worked all shifts—not at one time, what I mean, but different times.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever get a chance to work overtime?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes, I worked overtime.
BRENT GLASS:
And what did they pay you for that? They'd pay you by production?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, you'd get time-and-a-half for overtime. I don't like that overtime.
BRENT GLASS:
You don't like the overtime? Why?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Because you don't make much at it
BRENT GLASS:
What happened during the Depression? Did the mill still operate during the Depression?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, just messed around.
BRENT GLASS:
How often would it be open?

Page 38
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, you sometimes could come down and work three days a week, sometimes part-time; it didn't run one time [unknown] for about six months, I reckon it was.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes.
CHARLES MURRAY:
For about six months you didn't do nothing.
BRENT GLASS:
Then what did people do around here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, they done the best they could [laughter] .
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
That's when he went to Burlington Mills.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I went to Burlington Mills then.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
He didn't want to come back, but Mr. Green, young Mr. Green, begged him to come back. So he come back, so we're still here.
BRENT GLASS:
And how many years did this go on like that during the deep Depression, that it sort of went along at half speed?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, I don't know. It wadn't too many years. But I'd say maybe a year into it it kind of picked up a little bit.
BRENT GLASS:
And how about when it closed in 1954? What happened then? What did people do?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, some of them moved out and left, you know; got jobs other places.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you do?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, I worked carpentering some. And then Mr. Green got me to watch, went and got me to work for him.
BRENT GLASS:
He wanted you to watch the mill?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. So I've been messing with that up until about (oh, I don't know) five years ago when I quit watching.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever think about leaving Glencoe?

Page 39
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I have left and moved to Burlington.
BRENT GLASS:
But you'd rather live out here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
I'd rather live out here, yes, but sometimes I've got to be away.
BRENT GLASS:
Do any of the people own these houses, or are they all owned by the
CHARLES MURRAY:
They're owned by the company. Mrs. Green still owns them, but the Carpet's got the place leased for I don't know how long. They've got it in charge, but Mrs. Daisy Green owns the place. Oh, it's a good place, a good quiet place to live, and good people live here (what usually is).
BRENT GLASS:
Are there many young families here?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh no, there ain't no young people here; all old and drawing Social Security.
BRENT GLASS:
What do you think will Glencoe be like, let's say in fifteen or twenty years?
CHARLES MURRAY:
I don't know. I wonder. They ain't doing nothing to the property. Now that church building, it fell down; they just didn't do nothing to it. I tell Mr. Shepherd (he's the one that's got the place leased), I tell him, "If you don't mess around with these houses, they'll do the same thing."
BRENT GLASS:
Are these houses pretty well-built, or are they starting to fall apart?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh, the houses is well-built; they're pegged in the corners.
BRENT GLASS:
Really?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes. Oh, they built well back then. I expect they're getting

Page 40
up. . . .
BRENT GLASS:
They must be as old as the mill.
CHARLES MURRAY:
A hundred years old. Of course that doesn't
BRENT GLASS:
They're very attractive.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, I put this paneling up
BRENT GLASS:
And now they're charging twenty dollars a month?
CHARLES MURRAY:
A month, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
And that includes your electricity?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, you pay that.
BRENT GLASS:
Pay extra for that, and for phone extra, and anything like that.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Whatever phones and light bills and all, you've got to pay for that yourself.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
And if you have to have anything done, you do it and you pay for it.
BRENT GLASS:
Was it always like that, [unknown] if you had to have something done in the house?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
No.
CHARLES MURRAY:
No. Back yonder when the mill was operating they had carpenters that worked here, and they'd just do the repair work. No, it wasn't that way then. But now you just can't get nothing done.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have policemen or anything like that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, no, we never did have no policemen. They had the constables.
BRENT GLASS:
What was payday like around here? Did people ever celebrate?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Well, they had some that celebrated on weekends; yes, they

Page 41
had some of them. But no, crime was not too bad. In fact, everybody got along pretty good.
BRENT GLASS:
Did many children of people who were working in the mill go on and work in the mill? Or where did they go?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes, they'd work in the mill too.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Well, I'll tell you, it used to be that everybody that lived here were kinpeople.
BRENT GLASS:
They were related to each other?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
They were related to each other.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yeah, the superintendent, he was my uncle; he married my father's sister.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Yes, they used to be; just about everybody around here [laughter] was [unknown] related some way or another.
BRENT GLASS:
So it was a family mill?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Oh yes.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
They were related some way or another. It might not be close, but most of them were, you know, some kind of an uncle or aunt, or some kind of a cousin or something along that line.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you all go to the same church?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No, no.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
There were two churches in town up yonder.
CHARLES MURRAY:
Some of them wouldn't go; some of them were different denomination, you might say.
END OF INTERVIEW