Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Flossie Moore Durham, September 2, 1976. Interview H-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Fond memories of mill work and mill town life

Contradicting some of the horror stories about mill work in the South, Durham remembers a good life as a child laborer in a cotton mill. Her boss maintained a quiet work environment.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Flossie Moore Durham, September 2, 1976. Interview H-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BRENT GLASS:
Do you remember your first day at work and what your job was?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
At the mill?
BRENT GLASS:
Yes.
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Yes, it was spinning.
BRENT GLASS:
At ten years old?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Yes. That's all I could have done. I weren't but ten years old. All the little ones, they'd put them to spinning, you see, or something like that. But now that weren't a bad life. We had a real good life over there on the hill. Every house was filled, and the people was all friendly and they was all nice. And Mr. Luther Bynum was looking after it, and he wouldn't have anybody over there that drank. Anybody got drinking, they left there right now. Didn't have no drinking and cutting up over there. Things was kept quiet and nice. And it was a good place over there to live.