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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Frank Durham, September 10 and 17, 1979. Interview H-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Jobs various family members held

Durham came from one of the more successful mill families. Here, he uses his family members to describe a variety of jobs available in a mill village including outwork for women, mercantile positions in local stores, and supervisory roles in the factory.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Frank Durham, September 10 and 17, 1979. Interview H-0067. 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

DOUGLAS DENATALE:
Did your mother work in the mill, also?
FRANK DURHAM:
She did until they married. She never worked anymore. She did a lot of work around home. She learned to be a real good seamstress. She was real good with her hands; she could do anything. She sewed for a lot of people. Because I remember all over the place were dresses and things. They'd come over and try them on. I'd carry them when they was finished. I had three brothers and a sister. We was all young together; there wasn't quite two years between none of us. My oldest brother is dead, and my youngest sister. My oldest brother did live right out here.
DOUGLAS DENATALE:
In the house here.
FRANK DURHAM:
Yes, and that belongs to their estate now, the other house out there. My brother Cary. He's the one that used to run that store down there. That's all gone now. And there's a boy now that closed it up, and he's selling cars for Coggin up there on the Boulevard, you know. They did a lot of business a long time. He was in business down there fifty years, Cary was.
DOUGLAS DENATALE:
Didn't another one of your brothers own a store, too?
FRANK DURHAM:
Yes, Lewis Durham, right up above there. Yes, them Durham They sold and made a dwelling out of that. He sold the house, only they owned this home right down here. He sold that and then he sold and he built in Durham County up there, right on the edge between Orange and Durham. He don't live but two or three miles out of Chapel Hill. But he married a girl from up there. He run that store up there from 1935 till, I'd say, about '70; I don't know, '71, maybe, he closed up, sold out. He sold his home and then sold the store. Now he doesn't do anything; he retired. He's in pretty good shape.
DOUGLAS DENATALE:
How about your older brother, Cary? When did he start his store?
FRANK DURHAM:
1926, and he closed up sometime in '78. But he'd had a stroke in '75. He run it all the time in his name, but he didn't actually run it anymore after he had the stroke because he wasn't quite capable. He got around pretty good for a year or two, but it finally killed him.
DOUGLAS DENATALE:
Your mother's family were the Moores.
FRANK DURHAM:
Yes. Edgar Moore was superintendent of the mill down here for years, her oldest brother. They had four boys and four girls in that family.
DOUGLAS DENATALE:
Were they originally from Bynum?
FRANK DURHAM:
No, they come from down here on the New Hope. They moved to Pittsboro and run a mill over there, a cotton gin and a grist mill. And her daddy got a farm and was coming out here between here and Pittsboro nights, farming over there. And he was a young man, and he died. Just died in about two days. They think now it was appendicitis, appendix busted, but they called it a kidney problem that killed him. So Uncle Edgar was the oldest one in the family, and he come across over here and got a job over here in the mill. He took a textile course. They seen something in him, and he was a brilliant fellow. The company helped him with the textile course, and he worked through the mill and he got to be superintendent.