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Title: Oral History Interview with Edna Y. Hargett, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0163. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Hargett, Edna Y., interviewee
Interview conducted by Leloudis, Jim
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 268 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© 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:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-10-24, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Edna Y. Hargett, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0163. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0163)
Author: Jim Leloudis
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Edna Y. Hargett, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0163. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0163)
Author: Edna Y. Hargett
Description: 222 Mb
Description: 67 p.
Note: Interview conducted on July 19, 1979, by Jim Leloudis; recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Jean Houston.
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.
Editorial practices
An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
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.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
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Interview with Edna Y. Hargett, July 19, 1979.
Interview H-0163. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Hargett, Edna Y., interviewee


Interview Participants

    EDNA Y. HARGETT, interviewee
    JIM LELOUDIS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
JIM LELOUDIS:
But you knew your mother's grandparents?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What did they do?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Was farmers down in Camden, South Carolina.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that where your mother was born?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, my mother was born down there in Camden, South Carolina. She was Emma Victoria Stokes before she married my daddy.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you know how your parents met?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I don't know that. Daddy was a mail carrier, and I reckon maybe that's the way they met. I don't know. He said he used to deliver mail with a horse and buggy.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did your family come to Charlotte?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We was living in Rock Hill—that's the Highland Park Mill there—and Daddy wanted to get out of mill work, and he went down to the Charleston Navy Yard down there to where my brother was bandmaster in the Navy. And I wasn't old enough then to work in a mill, and they put me in a dimestore then. And I have asthma, so the damp climate didn't agree with me. They told my father he'd have to leave the damp climate if he wanted to raise me to maturity. So then we went to Burlington, North Carolina, to the E.M. Holt Plaid Mill, but I still wasn't old enough to work in a mill, so I worked in a dimestore. So we left Burlington and came down here to North Charlotte. And then I was sixteen years old, old enough to work around machinery, and they put me in the mill. I learned how to weave, and I worked in the weave room. So I was smash hand in my regular job.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What year was that that your family decided to move from Rock Hill to Charleston?

Page 2
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I was about fourteen then, and I'm seventy-two now. You'll have to figure it out.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Let's see, that's fifty-eight years ago, so 1921. That sound about right?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I think so. I worked in a dimestore down there almost two years, and I was trying to take a stenographic course from Hughes Business College, and I didn't get to finish it on account of my asthma got so bad. The damp climate didn't agree with me. So then's when we moved to Burlington.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did your father work at the Highland Park Mill in Rock Hill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, he did.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When was he a mail carrier?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That was before he married my mother.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why did he quit that job and go into working in the mill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I can't answer that; I don't know.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you know why he wanted to get out of the mill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it was hard work. They had to go to work at six in the morning and get off at six in the evening and an hour for dinner. And they'd have to work on Saturday till dinnertime. Too many long hours; he wanted to get something different, so he went to work down at Virginia and Carolina Fertilizer Plant when we lived in Charleston. But then after he had to leave on account of my health, he moved to Burlington and took a job up there as weaver.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why Burlington?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I had a brother living up there at Burlington.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did he work for Holt, too?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, he worked at the E.M. Holt Plaid Company.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did he tell you about the job being open or something like that?

Page 3
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, whenever you learned to work then in the mill, your parents would take you in and teach you theirself. You wouldn't get no pay for learning, so you stayed with your parents till you learned how to hold a job of your own. Then they'd give you a job.
JIM LELOUDIS:
But did your brother tell your father about jobs being available at the Holt Mill? Is that why they chose . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I imagine it is. I never have discussed it with him, but I imagine it is, because he was already there at E.M. Holt before we moved up there. So we moved in a two-storey house. It was a boarding house and we kept boarders, and Daddy worked in the mill, and our boarders was mill workers. And I went to work at the Woolworth's five-and-ten there in Burlington. Then when we left Burlington we came down to North Charlotte at Highland Park Number 1, I believe it is, and I went in there as a learner because you had to have a learner's permit to be around the machinery.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What made you decide to try that stenographic course that you took?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Because I'd always wanted to be a stenographer. I went and took classes three nights a week, but I didn't get to finish it because we had to leave on account of my health. When we moved to Burlington, there wadn't no college around there where I could take it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did you feel about not being able to do that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, it wadn't a matter of how I felt; it's what I had to do. I was disappointed, naturally, but I had to work to help because the wages were so cheap then. I think, if I'm not mistaken, it was around sixteen dollars a week in the mill then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So you were disappointed that you couldn't . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I was disappointed, but still my daddy was the boss, and I had to do what he said.

Page 4
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Children then didn't do like they do now, express their unpleasantness about anything.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That's interesting. What were your relations with your parents like?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I had a stepmother, and what they said was boss, no matter what I agreed with or disagreed; what they said went. Indeed, with all children back then, we had to mind our parents. Now a child can express their disapproval of anything, but they couldn't do it then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What would happen if you got bold enough to try?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I'd get up off the floor. [Laughter]
JIM LELOUDIS:
How would they punish you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They'd whip us.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Who was the disciplinarian in your family?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Daddy. My stepmother'd tell him, and boy, he didn't spare the rod, I'll tell you. He made us walk a chalk line.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you ever remember getting . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I remember getting punished.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember an incident that kind of stands out?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, I went to the Baptist Church there when we was living at Rock Hill, for the BYPU, and it was raining, and I stayed for the preaching and didn't come out. We lived right across the street from it. I come home at that time—I waited for the preaching to be over with—so when I came home, why, Daddy was standing behind the door and started whipping me as soon as I got in the house for being late coming in. And I said I'd never whip one of my children for going to church, if they were late coming in. But he wanted us to be home at nine o'clock.

Page 5
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was life in your house like when you were a child? What do you remember about it?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We didn't get to play like children do nowadays. You'd come home from school, and we had cows to stake out and hogs to feed and gardens to work. We didn't get to play.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How many brothers and sisters did you have?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I had two brothers and two sisters. I would have had three brothers; one was stillborn.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That's interesting, you say you didn't have time to play. Did each child have chores that were his or hers?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they sure did, and they had it to do. Because when they said do it, they meant it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was your job?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I had to bring in the wood for the stove and stake the cow out and had to help slop the hogs. Then we had chickens, and we had to gather in their eggs.
JIM LELOUDIS:
And that was when you were living in the mill village.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. They didn't have a city ordinance then like they do now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did most people have animals with them?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I think most of them did.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You said you had a garden. What type of things would you grow?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Daddy had an old plow, and he'd put a harness around him, and we had to stand behind that and guide the plow.
JIM LELOUDIS:
And your father would pull it. [Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, he'd pull it. So we raised vegetables, just like they do nowadays, and we had some fruit trees. Then when we got our work done at home, we had to study our lessons by a lamp. They didn't have

Page 6
electricity back then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
It sounds like with the garden and the hogs and cows and all, you must have been pretty self-sufficient. Did you have to buy much from the grocery store?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they had to buy quite a bit of stuff, the sugar and coffee and things like that that you didn't raise. But Daddy raised his meat, and we had the cow—we had milk and butter—then we had the vegetable garden. But times was hard. Daddy told me he'd worked many a day for fifty cents a day. I never done that, but he did.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did your mother can?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
My stepmother did. I don't remember my mother. Yes, she'd can and make syrup peaches and peach pickles and dried apples. And then, as I said, we raised our own pork. And we had a cow for milk and butter. Then we had a chicken that laid our eggs.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever sell any of that, or did you consume most of it yourself?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They consumed it theirselves. Then Daddy had bees, too; he would raise our honey.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did he sell that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
He sold some of it, but not much of it. I remember we had two great big old apothecary jars sitting on each side of the mantel in the kitchen, and he kept it full of honey in the comb; it was so pretty to look at. But till today I don't like honey, because I had to help rob the bees and was stung too many times. I don't want no honey.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That filled me up with honey.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You said your stepmother canned. Did women get together at the time or . . .

Page 7
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, you canned it in your own home.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How about when it was time to butcher the hogs or the cows? Was that kind of a social occasion? Did people help one another?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they helped one another with the killing of the hogs. There was a colored man around there usually went around, and he took his pay out in meat. But when ours was killed we was always in school, because we'd make pets of them and we couldn't stand the idea of it. They already had them killed when we came home.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So this man kind of travelled around from house to house, and you could get him to butcher your meat for you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, he lived there in the community just like we did. He was good at killing them right there on your own lot. And they had the big barrels of hot water they rolled them over in and shaved them. Then they had to fasten up on a pulley somehow or another and gutted them.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That was at Highland Number 1 or Number 3?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Number 3, I believe, is at Rock Hill. This was at Rock Hill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What did the black man do? He didn't work in the mill, did he, or was he a groundsman or what did he do?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I really don't know. I think he worked in the mill, too. I believe he was a truck driver for the mill company. I'm not sure about that now, it's been such a long time.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were there many blacks living in the mill village?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not many, no. Most of them was on farms.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were there many working in the mill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't remember seeing many of them. The sweep person was white people, but the scrubbers were usually black people. And the ones that did the bathroom work were black. Then we had a black man that

Page 8
delivered the coal for us. We had outdoor bathrooms.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What did people in the mill village think of blacks living there? Did they mind that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I never heard that discussed at all. We always called all the black peoples "uncles" and "aunts." We didn't call them "Mr." and "Mrs."; it was "Uncle" and "Aunt."
JIM LELOUDIS:
But no one really objected to them living there?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I never heard any of it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
We were talking about food. I was interested in what you ate. What was a typical meal like in your house when you were a child?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We had plenty of vegetables, and we had cornbread. Cornbread and milk was very good. Then we had good old homemade butter to go with it, to put in the cornbread or the hot biscuits. And we had some kind of meat on the table at every meal.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What type of vegetables would you eat?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
There'd be turnips, and there'd be collards, and there'd be carrots, sugar peas, green beans, and okra. We never was too crazy about squashes, but we had some squashes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did your mother have any special way she prepared any of those foods?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, my stepmother would fix cornbread without any salt in it, and I thought that was the awfullest-tasting cornbread I ever tasted because it didn't have salt in it. But we all ate it, and we didn't complain, either.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did she have any other special recipes?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I don't remember any. She wouldn't let us get in the kitchen. We had too much outside work to do.

Page 9
JIM LELOUDIS:
When the children got some free time, do you remember any of the games you used to play?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We didn't have any free time. When we had got through with the work, we had to study, because it was by kerosene lamp, and you couldn't see half to study. Then we had to go to bed early, because when Daddy got up in the morning at five o'clock, the whole house got up.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever play any games? Do you remember any?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We played there in the yard sometime, hide and seek. Then when Daddy had a bicycle shop and he'd fix bicycles, we'd ride the bicycles around the house. We didn't get out like a lot of kids, but when we did get out to go visiting anybody, we had to come back in an hour's time.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did he do the bicycles on the side?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
He was a weaver, right?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did he ever fix the looms?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not that I remember.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I just wondered, since he was repairing bicycles, if he had been a mechanic in the mill. You were talking about getting your lessons. What was the school you attended like? Was it mostly mill children?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it was. It was in Highland Park Mill, Brady's School. And then at Rock Hill they had just built a new high school. But I didn't get to go to high school then, because we left then and went to Charleston.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that school provided by the mill?

Page 10
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I think it was.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember any of the lessons you did? Do you remember the type math problems they would give you or the reading lessons you would have?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, and we had spelling lessons. I was always pretty good on spelling and writing; I always topped the class on that. And I was pretty fair on arithmetic. But now history, I didn't care a thing about that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Reading about wars and all, I didn't care a thing about history. That was my lowest grade.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did any of the reading lessons or math problems you ever had ever deal with the mill or with cotton manufacture and so on?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When you were a child and going to school, did you ever have a sense that you were somehow different from other children because your parents worked in the mill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, all the children's parents worked in the mill. We'd just take that as for granted.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did anybody ever call you a linthead while you were a child?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No. I never heard that name until I came up here.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Until you came to Charlotte.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That's interesting, because we noticed that Charlotte really seems to be a place where that was used quite often. When did you first hear it? What happened that. . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't remember any special occasion about when I first

Page 11
heard that. And they called us nappy heads, because we'd come out there and we'd have lint and cotton all in our heads.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you feel like there was a real difference between people that lived in North Charlotte and people that lived in town? Did you feel like there was any kind of division between them?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I reckon there was, because, like I said, we worked in the mill, and we didn't have the conveniences the other people had. We were very conscious of that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did that make you feel?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Kind of an inferiority complex.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you feel that maybe you somehow weren't as good as those other people?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, we felt like we wasn't dressed as nice, because most of our clothes were made out of gingham. When we went to school, most of the children wore clothes that their parents had made for them and all. I don't think there was much of a difference there except that whenever a mill child got sixteen, they had to go in the mill and the others didn't. We knew that was the way of life we was brought up, and that would be the way of life we had to expect.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did you feel about having to expect that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Like I told you, I wanted to be a stenographer, and when we went to Charleston I thought I'd found time for it then, and I went to that Hughes Business School, but I didn't get to finish the course, and when we went to Burlington then they didn't have a business school there, so I just dropped it altogether.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did it make you and other children feel when somebody would call you a nappy head or a linthead?

Page 12
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't remember ever being called that, but I have heard it, and we knew what it meant.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you ever remember children getting angry or kind of revolting against that idea that they would have to go in the mill like their parents had?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I can't say that I do, because we always expected a way of life just the way we was reared, and that's the way we expected it to be. Of course, I must have a little bit of a revolting in me, because I wanted to be a stenographer so bad, but I didn't get to go to high school.
JIM LELOUDIS:
If you went into town, how did town people treat you? Did they treat you any different because you worked . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, they didn't. Back then you could go to a show for a nickel and a nickel for popcorn, and you'd have a good time. We lived about three miles from town then in Rock Hill, and we went to the show. They had a jitney then. For ten cents you could ride to town, and ten cents you'd ride back. We weren't given much of an allowance then, and we'd want our money to spend there for popcorn, so we'd walk it to town. Then we'd walk it back. But going to church and the show was about the only recreation we had.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever know any people who worked in hosiery mills?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I didn't till we moved to Charlotte.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did they treat cotton mill people?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They treated us the same as. . . . They were working in the mill, too. There wasn't any difference that I could see about it. They made better money.
JIM LELOUDIS:
One fellow had told me that he felt sometimes hosiery people looked down on people that worked in cotton mills.

Page 13
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Maybe they did, but I never was conscious of that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You said going to church was kind of a form of recreation.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was, we got away from the house a while.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Didn't have to do all the chores.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was the church real important in your life?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it was. I've always enjoyed going to church, and I still do. I was baptized down there in that pool at Rock Hill Baptist Church.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why was it important to you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That's just hard to answer that. We loved our preachers, and they'd come around and visit you then. Nowadays they don't want to visit you when you go to the hospital. But they'd come around, and they'd have dinners with you. You'd invite them in the home, and they'd eat with you and all. And it seemed like it was just a way of life we was all used to, and we expected it. The preacher would come down to the house, I know, and he'd stand around and eat honey with a fork out of those apothecary jars.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
And I'd look at him, and I'd just think, "Eating that stuff. I hate it." [Laughter]
JIM LELOUDIS:
So the church was really kind of a big part of your life as you were growing up.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, church has been the biggest part of my life. I've had to work hard, but I enjoyed it, and I'd love, in a way, if I could, just to go back and re-live some of those days over again. Then I left the Highland Park and came over here to the Chadwick-Hoskins Company. And

Page 14
I first worked in the Calvine mill. I married when I was working in the Calvine mill. And then my husband had quit his job and he had come over here because it was a chain of companies. You couldn't go from one mill to the other, but you had to come over here to get your pay, and they paid you off every two weeks. And the bossman over here was in the office when Bill went to get his pay and asked Bill why was he quitting, and Bill told him he didn't like something. And Mr. Quickard(?) said to him, "Well, Bill, you know you're going to have to empty the house." And Bill said, "Yes, I have to hunt a place somewhere." Said, "Where's Edna at?" He said, "She's working over at Louise." He said, "If you bring her over here and let her work for me, I'll give you a house." So we got a house right across the street down there.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] He quit which mill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
The Louise.
JIM LELOUDIS:
This was a long ways away then, wasn't it?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, Louise is over yonder on Louise Avenue, and so we had to ride a streetcar or trolley over here.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Where did he go to work after he quit?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Over here.
JIM LELOUDIS:
At Hoskins. He came over here.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that when the Louise mill was part of the Hoskins chain?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it was all a chain. I worked some in the Calvine. There was the Calvine, the Louise, the Chadwick and the Hoskins, and the Pineville plant.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That's interesting, that he could be able to quit over there

Page 15
and come here.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
He had to come over here to get his money, you see. They didn't pay off over there when you quit, so he come to get his money, and the weave room boss was in the office. And I had worked for the weave room boss when I married Bill, and he knew me. He knew I was a good smash hand, so he give me work and we got a little three-room house right across the street.
JIM LELOUDIS:
And did your husband go to work in this one, also?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I just thought it was real interesting that he could kind of get mad and quit over there and, although the same company ran all the plants, he could come over here and get a job.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Usually they wouldn't hire them like that, but they needed a smash hand, and Mr. Fowler knew I was a good smash hand so he wanted to get me.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So did he kind of have to hire your husband to get you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, my husband went to the card room. But then people would quit the mills and go to another mill, and I could always find a job if I wanted to quit and go to another mill. But after I came over here I liked it so well I just stayed. But with the Highland Park mill it was box work and you had to have different shuttles, as many as four shuttles to a loom. And the looms was Crompton and Knowles, and then they had dobby head looms, too. Well, over here it was just the Draper looms, which just had two harnesses and one shuttle. So by me knowing how to work on the Crompton and Knowles or the box work, the gingham, I could be their draftsman. In the blueprints, kind of, you call it. We called them drafts, to know how to draw in for new patterns when we'd get new

Page 16
patterns in over here.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So the Hoskins plant was just the Draper looms.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it was Drapers.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Which plant had the Crompton and Knowles?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Our box works was Crompton and Knowles, and dobby heads on some of them, and some of them out here at North Charlotte was two beams, because they wove that cloth they made the Army outfits out of.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I'd like to talk a little about the differences in those looms, but first let's talk about your husband a little bit and how you met.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
He was working in the mill where I was working. We'd see one another going in and out, all going out at the same time and coming in. So I met him; we used to sport and go to church on Wednesday nights and church on Sunday nights. Saturday night we went to a movie. That was our entertainment.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Which mill did you meet him in?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Louise mill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You came to North Charlotte when you were sixteen years old?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
And went to work at Highland Park.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That's right.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What made you decide to go to Louise?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I left home then. Daddy had to leave the mill when his health got bad, so he got a job working for the A and P warehouse. So he had to give up the mill house whenever he didn't work for them. So then I went to boarding with some people and went to working in the mill there. So I'd seen him [husband] coming in and out and knew he was single, and we'd walk together and talk to one another sometimes. And

Page 17
the next thing you know, we started dating, and I married him then.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
JIM LELOUDIS:
How old were you when you moved down to the Louise mill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I was about seventeen, because I married just a few months before I was eighteen. I married in December, and I was eighteen in July. And Daddy went with us to Lancaster to get married.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Daddy used to be on the police force down there, and he wanted to go down there, so we went down there and was married in Lancaster, South Carolina.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So he approved.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, he went with us. He approved of it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was life like in that boardinghouse? You said your mother also ran one, too, when you came to North Charlotte?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not in Charlotte, in Burlington. Well, it was pretty hectic, because when I came home from working long hours in the dimestore, we had to get in there and clean up behind the boarders, wash the dishes and all like that and get everything fixed up for next morning and take a bath and everything, because we had to get ready to go back to work the next day. So it was just the routine work; there weren't no activities of pleasure about it. It was just, as you might say, hard work, and we knew to expect it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was your mother working in the mill at the same time she was . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, she kept the boarders. She didn't work. She had been a farm girl and never had done any kind of mill work.

Page 18
JIM LELOUDIS:
What type of people would board there? Would there be men and women?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We didn't have any women boarding then, but it was men boarding there. Always you'll find single men. You didn't hear of divorce and all back then, but you'd get tired of a job and go to another mill. Well, they'd have to have a boarding place there for them to work [stay], and that's where we kept boarders for the E.M. Holt Company Plaid Mill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
After you married your husband, when you were eighteen, did you continue to work in the mill?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. I continued to work in the mill till I got pregnant, and then I'd get off to have my baby and go back in then, back on my job.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How old were you when you had that first child?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I was a little over eighteen.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Then you went to work right after you had the child?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Five weeks afterwards.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Who took care of the child?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
You had a colored woman to come in and look after him. They'd let me come home at nine and three, and I went home at twelve to nurse the baby.
JIM LELOUDIS:
They would let you take a break then, three times a day, to come home.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that pretty routine in most mills, to let nursing mothers . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was then, but I think people started feeding their baby on bottles; they quit their breastfeeding.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did you feel about your pregnancy? Did you want to have children?

Page 19
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I wanted to have children, but I didn't want to have one that quick.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We was both mighty proud when a child came, though, a strong, healthy baby. We wanted to get our furniture and stuff paid for first, but we didn't get that done.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How many children did you eventually have?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Three boys. And not any of them works in the mill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Are you glad of that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, I wanted them to do what they wanted to do. My oldest boy's a druggist. And then Jimmy's a mechanic. And Everett retired, twenty-two years in the Air Force, and he lives down in Marietta, Georgia, and he runs a service station down there now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you have those children in the house, or did you go to the hospital?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
With the first one I went to the hospital, but the other two I had at home, on this bed right here.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was there a midwife that came in?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, there was a midwife came in with the doctor, and sometimes the next-door neighbor. Because you didn't go to the hospital for that then; it was just looked at as something that had to be done, and you'd send for them, maybe they'd come over.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you want to have more than three children?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I never did want a very big family, but I wanted a daughter and never did have a daughter.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you decide to stop at three?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
With my health, I had to. I had trouble carrying the last one, and I was put to bed several times. So after that they said I'd have to have a clean hysterectomy, so I did.

Page 20
JIM LELOUDIS:
The reason I was asking that is we just found it real interesting; it seemed that people had real big families while they were on the farm, and then so many mill people didn't have very large families. They'd only have two or three children.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
My health prevented me from having more. I would have loved to have a daughter, but now I don't regret it at all because I've got three boys I'm proud of.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did most people only have two or three children? What's your impression of that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Most of them that I remember had four or five, and some of them had more than that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was any kind of birth control available to people?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, people didn't talk about that at all. And it's amazing to hear how they talk about it now. I've told people that I was born a hundred years too soon, because I don't see the things the way they see them now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You feel like it's wrong?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I do. A lot of it, I think, is wrong. So many of these young girls now, just living together and having babies and all like that. I think a child should be with married couples. I don't like to hear of illegitimate at all.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever know of many illegitimate pregnancies in the mill village?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, once in a while, but that child was an outcast after that happened.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Oh, really?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, the parents didn't want you to speak to them or nothing.

Page 21
She was just simply an outcast. There wasn't many of them; there was very few of them that had babies.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would the family usually have to leave the village?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, they didn't have to leave the mill village, but it seemed like that was the difference there then. People didn't associate with them like they used to, because they'd disgraced.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That's real interesting. You said you had three sons, and you were working. I guess your husband was working in the mill, also?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How in the world did you manage to raise three children and work, too? It must have been a job.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was a job. We all had to burn coal, had fireplaces we had to stay by, and get up in the morning and make a fire and all. But with God's help, I got it done. I was left a widow before my children all got grown. So I got up in the morning, and I'd make up the dough and have biscuits for them, so whenever they got up they'd put it in the oil stove oven and cook them. And I'd have stuff on the stove for them to fix for their breakfast then, because they had to go to school. And then my colored woman would come in, and she'd take over.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How long did you have a woman working for you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I just don't remember now how long that was, but up till my children all got in school. Because when they got in school, by that time, you see, they had changed and it was eight hours a day working then that you had to do instead of all that other.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did that make it a lot easier for you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it did. I can look back now and see where we'd come home and do a washing and had to wash on a board outdoors and boil your

Page 22
clothes and made your own lye soap. And then you'd have time to go visit the sick in the community; and now, when you have your automatic washing machines and dryers and all, you don't have time to visit the neighbor next door now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] Your work just kind of expands to take up the time.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it does.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When you were still on twelve hours, what was a typical day like for you with all your housework and the children?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was just a day of drudgery, but it had to be done. You didn't have time to stop to compare it. I remember when we got our first radio, I would get to sit up on Saturday night to hear the Grand Old Opry. [Laughter] The neighbors would come in and hear it, too. Everybody didn't have a radio.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Could you describe the day for me, what time you'd get up and what you'd have to do through the day?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I'd get up at five o'clock in the mornings, because you had to be at work at six. Then you had to wash your hands in an old wash basin and all, because you didn't have water in the house. You had to carry your water from a pump two or three doors down. And in the wintertime it was awful cold to wash your face and hands in that cold water. [Laughter] But we had that to do, and we all had oil stoves then, and then on Thursday we was left the electricity on to do our ironing with. We had electricity all through the week at night, but just one day a week, on Thursday, we was allowed to do our ironing.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That was here at Hoskins.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that in the late twenties or early thirties?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, that was in the thirties, I think it was.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you work the day shift or at night?

Page 23
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I had to work both of them. We didn't have a union then and didn't have seniority. You just worked wherever the bossman wanted you to work. But I was on the second shift from three till eleven, and then I got a little seniority and I got on the first shift. I worked over here till the last day they worked in this Hoskin over here. That afternoon I went to work as a waitress, so I never did draw an unemployment check.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That's real interesting. Could you tell me a little more about the difference this change to an eight-hour day made in your life?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We were just tickled to death to see that. We thought we were going to have time for all this, that, and the other, and time to visit.
They did a lot of visiting back then, if it was at night. And if anybody was sick in the community, over a week they'd make up money out there for him, a love offering, like, and help him out. Because none of us made much money, just $16.40 a week for a week's work, forty-eight hours. Everybody heated with coal, and we'd get our coal from the mill company. And they'd take it out on us, a quarter ton a week. That would take four weeks to pay for it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That took a good little bit of your money then, didn't it?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it did, but things were cheap back then. You could go to the store with five dollars and come back with a little wagonload of it, and now you go to the store with five dollars, you come back with it in one bag.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I'm interested in this visiting. You said people visited a lot. Was the mill community real close?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, we were. The mill community was a close bunch of people. Now neighbors around, you go to the hospital and stay in there three and

Page 24
four weeks and come home, and they don't know you've been gone.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why would people visit? What different things would they do when they visited?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We always went to see every little new baby. And then when anybody was sick, we'd go and bake a pie or something and go down and see them and take it to them. And all of us understood we couldn't stay long because we had to get up and all. We'd go and stay a while with them. If we got a new recipe or made a cake or something and it was good, we'd divide that with the others. And we were just like one big family; we just all loved one another.
JIM LELOUDIS:
This love offering is really interesting, too. Everybody would chip in and make up this person's day's wages?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. Make up a purse and give to him. Just like they do now when anybody dies. They go around and make up the flowers from the neighbors. We'd make it up in the mill up there then. And when they got paid, why, they'd come and pay them. I was usually the one that had that to do in the weave room. And they'd come and pay us, and we'd take their money and give it to them, and they'd be so proud of it, because they didn't have any wage coming in then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So that would kind of help them make it through that period of sickness.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. And back then you didn't hear of people borrowing this, that, and the other. They had their gardens and all, and they raised stuff, and we were self-supporting. We didn't have time to get out for foolishness. Everybody around then planted gardens.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember how the two communities here interacted, the Chadwick village and the Hoskins village? Did people visit back and

Page 25
forth?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they visited back and forth. They've cut off the road right down here. It's Gossett Street now. I lived over at Chadwick one time, and you'd cut right through there and go right by the mill to where I lived. But the highways has cut through it now and blocked it off. But we was all just one big community and one big family. And on the Fourth of Julys, they'd usually let us have a little celebration, and they'd have fireworks at the reservoir and around for us to see.
JIM LELOUDIS:
The company would sponsor that.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How about with courting? Did men and women in the different villages court, or did each village kind of stay to its own?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It didn't matter where they worked. If a boy wanted to go to see them or they wanted him to, they'd court like that, you see. But sometime we'd have square dances we could go to.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Some people had told me that in some villages they wouldn't let guys from other villages come in and court their women.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I can't say that I ever seen anything like that. But back when anybody got married back then, we'd celebrate them, beat on tin cans and things like that around, give them a serenade, and I remember that real well.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would you serenade them on their first night?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. Because they didn't go off on honeymoons back then, you know. They went on back to work right after they got married. So we'd go down there and we'd take cans and beat them together and holler. They'd raise the window and come out and speak to us, and then we'd come on home, but we had a good time celebrating them.

Page 26
JIM LELOUDIS:
What other kinds of special occasions were there in the village? You were telling me about the fireworks and marriages. Were there any other community celebrations?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, we had to work too much to have any other kind of celebration.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember any tent revivals coming through?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, tent revivals and then old minstrel shows would come around. We'd get out to see those. There'd be medicine men on an old wagon, and they'd be selling some kind of medicine, and they had a few comedians with them which would do a little act. And part of the time they had snakes along to look at, and we was always scared to death of those. But it was a big time when the circus came to town, and they'd give the school children free passes to go to that, and we'd have to take them, because you didn't let the kids go out by thierselves then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did those revivals actually come into the mill village?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What were they like? Did you ever go to any of them?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I went to some of them. It was just like Sunday school every night. We couldn't go every night to see them, because we had to get up early and we didn't have time to get our work done. But they had tent meetings, and we'd try to go to see those sometimes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember people shouting and things like that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. There was a Holiness church near us down there at Rock Hill, and I thought many a time if I could shut their mouth, I'd be glad of it. I couldn't go to sleep, because we lived there and they was shouting. [Laughter]
JIM LELOUDIS:
It must have been pretty loud then.

Page 27
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They were; they were loud. In summertime, they didn't have screens on the windows then; they had the windows raised. And their voices would carry, and they'd be shouting and clapping their hands and hollering and keep me awake. And I'd wish a lot of times they'd shut up.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever go to any of those?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
We went to a few of those, but we was Baptists, and that was a Holiness, a different denomination, and the denominations kind of stayed to theirselves.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What did you think of the shouting and all?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I just thought it was a bunch of foolishness.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I was a kid; I didn't know. I thought it was a bunch of foolishness.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How about when you became an adult?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
When I became an adult, I joined the Baptist Church, and I was well satisfied where I was at.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What other type things did people do? Did the women or men have any clubs?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, they had quilting bees. Women would meet at one another's house and help quilt out a quilt. Now I couldn't quilt. My stepmother could. I never did learn to do that. I went to a farm gathering. When they'd gather the crops, they had a. . . . I don't know just what the name of it is, but anyway, the farmers all gathered there when their crops was gathered, and they had these big, black wash pots, and they cooked chicken in there. A cornhusking is what it was. You'd go there to husk the corn. Every time you'd find a red ear, you'd get to kiss a girl.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]

Page 28
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Most of them was white ears or yellow ears, but when you found a red ear, you'd get to kiss a girl. So after we got most of the corn shucked and it got late as we was wanting to stay, we'd go in and eat and then we'd go on home. But I never did get to go to but two of the cornshuckings.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that when you were a child or after you had married?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That was when I was a child.
JIM LELOUDIS:
People in the mill village would go to somebody's farm for some of those things?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people travel back and forth between the village and the farm pretty frequently?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, and we had trolley cars then. It wasn't streetcars; it was trolley cars then. And you could ride for seven cents and go from town over to Louise and back over here. We've still got the track down here yet where we came back and forth here. People travelled. On Sunday evening is mostly when we did our visiting with people. When you'd go spend a day with people, they'd fix you up a nice meal. You don't hear of people spending a day with people any more like they used to then. I know when I moved from Louise over here, several of my neighbors from over there wanted me to come and spend a day with them, and sometime on Sundays the whole family would go and spend a day, and maybe two or three Sundays later they'd come and spend a day with us.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that relatives whose farm you would visit?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, it wasn't relatives. It was just in the community where they would invite us to come down to it, because they wanted to get their corn shucked. And there'd be some dancing around then; there'd

Page 29
be fiddle picking and all. But I never got to go to but just two of those, but that's what the farm girls looked forward to.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did the mill ever have homemaking classes for you to teach you to cook or to can?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, the Chadwick-Hoskins did. I never did find one of those at Highland Park, but Chadwick-Hoskins did at Calvine when I worked there. They had one of the little three-room houses left for our clubhouse, and they had a home economy woman come down and teach us how to do these things, and we really enjoyed that. She'd teach us how to cook and to make clothing and little crafts that she knew back then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you go to many of those?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I went to those regular.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they have anybody doing any other type of. . . . I've read a lot of accounts of welfare workers in the mill village.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I never heard of a welfare worker when I worked in the mill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they have people that did other things besides run the homemaking classes, people who would maybe visit your home and help you take care of the child?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I never heard of that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they ever run any night schools?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not that I recall then, they didn't.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why do you think they held those homemaking classes? What were they trying to teach you, do you think?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They was trying to teach us women, I think, to be more self-sufficient, because we had to work in the mill and then do our home work, too. And we couldn't take courses to learn these different things, and they came in there. And whenever a woman got pregnant, we'd always

Page 30
shower her, and that was a big occasion; you'd get to go to a shower. And anybody married, we'd give them a shower, you see, and that was another big occasion to go and carry a gift. But that's just about all the activities we had.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When you went to these homemaking classes, did they give you some instruction in nutrition and planning meals and things like that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. We'd get in the kitchen and try out a new recipe, and then they'd teach us how to re-do a little furniture or something like that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Let's talk about your work a little bit. Tell me again how you got that first job and how you learned to weave.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They didn't pay you to learn how to weave then. They didn't pay a learner at all. You had to go in with your parents, so I went in with my daddy. He'd show me how to do it, and I learned how to weave and learned how to pick out and how to smash. Whenever I got good enough where I could do it and could be trusted on my own with a set of looms—at Highland Park they'd first give you eight looms for a set—they'd try me on that. And they put me on a set beside of my daddy, where if I got in a hole he could help me out a little bit. But I never did like weaving as much as I did smashing. I always loved to smash and pick out. And I got to be a real fast operator on it so they'd keep me on that job.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was the difference in those jobs?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Pick out's where there was a bad place in the cloth, and you picked out the thread in there up to where the bad place started, then started up over. You had to know how to match your picks and all and start the loom up there and perfect get your selvage and all up together and have it perfect there. Then when we had a breakout, so many things could cause a breakout. It could be a screw loose in the picker stick; there could be a screw loose in the shuttle; there could be a harness strap

Page 31
broken. And you had to know how to shake the loom at the back and pull all your warp to where you get your threads lined up or your ends lined up to draw in again. And then you had to know to draw them in, and if the loom wasn't broken I'd start it up, and if it was broken I had to flag the loom fixer and let him start it up.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was the weaver's job?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
The weavers had to run the looms. They had to draw in the ends, and if they had as many as a dozen ends out they could put it on my board as a smash-hand job. And they had to match the picks, and they had battery hands that filled the battery that belonged on box work, beam work where you had to fill your own shuttles then. But now they have magazines on the Crompton and Knowles looms. And when they stopped this mill down up here, we was running forty looms then. I mean it was half an acre of looms, too.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] Was there a particular loom that you liked working on better than another?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I believe I liked the Draper work better than I did the Crompton and Knowles.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why was that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
On account of the shuttles and how they matched the picks and all.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What do you mean when you say matching picks?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That's the threads that goes across the cloth. Well, you have to know how to match that so the harness, when it goes the next time,

Page 32
the harness will be just right. If you haven't got the picks just right, the harness will drop down and it'll be weaving a cord, like, and you have to know how to do that. And then they had drop harness on some of it, and in smashing I had to know how to set that so whenever a loom fixer could fix the loom, why, it'd start up right.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why did you like the Draper looms better than the others?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
There wasn't as much trouble to them, if we could have got them fixed. But after Chadwick and Hoskins sold it to [unknown] Southern, they stopped repairing them much, getting the material for the loom fixers to repair them. So we had it real tough then, so whenever the Southern sold it to the Spatex, [unknown] we did have it tough then. They didn't get no parts at all to repair them with, and we had to just run the looms on a shoestring, as the old saying did, because they was broken and out of fix and wouldn't half run.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When did those sales occur?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I'm not sure about the dates of just when it happened, but I was over here through it all.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You said that you didn't have to match the picks up on the Draper looms?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, you had to match them up on the Draper loom, but it was harder on the Crompton and Knowles, because they had so many more harness, and they had drop harness, too. But on the Draper they never had but over three harnesses on it. When they were weaving broadcloth over here, it was three-harness. If you didn't get the harness up right, why, it would throw the shuttle out and hit you.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever get hurt on any of those machines?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I got that finger hurt there when I worked at Highland Park.

Page 33
I went to push a shuttle back in there and the screw was loose and cut that, and the doctor never did put a splint on it, so that's always been like that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So it's been a little crooked, huh?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. The leaders is drawed in it. [interruption]
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did other people get hurt very often? Do you remember any other injuries?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, people would get hurt in there. I fell up here one time when the mill was leaking and broke my arm. And people would get hurt with sometime a shuttle flying out on them and hitting them, especially if it hits you in your head. One woman got her eye put out. But that didn't happen in these mills; that happened in Bessemer City that I know of. It was a friend of mine got her eye put out where a shuttle hit her.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you feel like it was kind of dangerous work?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
In a way it was dangerous, but it was work that I enjoyed. We all fussed about it quite a bit and grumbled, but we'd love to do it over again, because the community hasn't been the same since it's not been a mill village. There's just a different atmosphere about it altogether. When it was a mill village, why, we didn't think a thing about going in and helping a neighbor do her work if there was sickness or something like that, and sitting up when there was a death in the family. But they don't do that any more now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why do you think that's so?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They just got interested in something else, and I think they're distant from what they were. They don't have the love and cooperation they did have from each then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you think that's because they don't work together any more, maybe?

Page 34
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I believe maybe that's it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people carry that same type of cooperation into the mill with them? Did people help each other in there?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, we helped one another in the mill. We each had our own job to do. And we knew to do our job; if we didn't, they'd replace us. But we had a loving feeling for one another, just like we was one big family.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How would you help one another out in the mill? What type things would you do to help one another in your work?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
If we'd see they had their looms stopped and we was caught up on our job, we could pitch in and help them start up the looms, and that would be helping the weavers. Or if the little battery hands had so many batteries to fill, we'd pull the string on the bobbin and put it up there in the magazine for them (or the battery, as they called them in some mills). But we all had a job, and it took us time to do that job and not do much helping others.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was it like working in a weave room? I've never been in one that was running.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, it's awful noisy, and you have to be right up to anybody's face to talk to them. But it was enjoyable work, and I liked it because it was just something I was used to and something that brought pleasure to me. See, I took a bad place of cloth and fixed it up to where it was perfect; why, that was a good feeling for me to know that I done my job right.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You'd take some pride in seeing that piece of cloth come out then.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. And then I had to inspect the cloth. [unknown] And [unknown] it had humidity in the mills, sometime an end would break and the drop wire

Page 35
wouldn't drop down and disconnect the loom, so it would run in with another thread and make a cord in it where it shouldn't be a cord in it; that'd be a flat. And then I had to inspect it where some weavers couldn't see good, and they wouldn't draw; they'd misdraw. I had to take that out, and I had to stamp my number on it. So it kept us all busy, but we all had the love for one another and was glad to speak to one another when we got the chance.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did the noise ever hurt your ears?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, you'd become used to it. I didn't think a thing about that noise. It was dirty in there, just as dirty as it can be, and I'd come out of the mill and there wouldn't be a dry thread on my body where it had perspired so. They couldn't raise the windows in there, and when it got hot that humidity. But we all knew that was the way it was supposed to be, so we didn't grumble about it; we just went ahead and did our job, just like we were supposed to do.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did anybody ever try to sneak one of the windows open a little?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they'd try it sometime, and there'd be a weaver somewhere else would holler about it. But they finally fixed the windows where you couldn't raise them in the weave room.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people get mad about that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, it didn't do no good for us to get mad about it, because they'd fixed them like that. But they tried to get the humidity adjusted all over the mill, and you couldn't get it because some people would have it higher in their part and it drowned out(?) someone else. But we had to have the humidity to get it to run. That's the dampness on the ends where they'd run through there all right.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they have an air conditioning system, or would they have the little sprinklers?

Page 36
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Humidity's out there, a big, round one, something like a drum. And then the little sprinklers run out from it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was your relationship with your supervisors like?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was good. He didn't come and stand around and talk to you. We didn't have time to talk to anybody, but he'd see you on the job and smile and speak to you. And they expect you to go on and do your job like it should be. Well, now, sometimes whenever I'd have a lap on a loom that somebody had put on my board and the warp wheel had got loose there and I couldn't cut the lap out because it would ruin the whole warp, I'd have to flag the second hand to come and mark it off where I could tighten up that beam and let it go. And I had to make another pattern.
When they got to the slasher room, they'd have the right pattern from it. But we didn't find too many of those. The jar and motion of the weave room would jerk those threads loose and the screws sometime and leave a gap between the rim of the beam and the warp. So that gap would fill into a lap where the end would break there.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever have any run-ins with your supervisor?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, sometimes if I didn't like anything I'd blow my top, and they'd let me cool off. [Laughter]
JIM LELOUDIS:
What type of things would you get angry about?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I'd get angry sometime whenever a certain weaver couldn't run their looms and would just pile numbers on my board, and they wasn't smash job numbers. But there wasn't many of them that did that, because they knew they had their work, and they knew what we was supposed to do.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I'm not sure I understand what [unknown] the difference in their jobs was. What did the weaver do normally?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I had a board up there on one of the posts, and when as many as

Page 37
a dozen ends broke out, I had to fix it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
But the weaver would fix . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
If it was less than a dozen, the weaver was supposed to fix it. So sometimes when you'd get a wet warp, boy, that would be a mess. I'm telling you, I dreaded a wet warp. And it'd drown you out. [unknown] , I had to go up into the slash room and get starch and come back down. I carried starch around in my apron pocket in a snuff box where I'd have it at all times to put on those ends to give them a little bit of sizing so they'd weave through the reeds. But you get drowned - out with one of those, it would take you hours to stay there to get that fixed right, because you had to run the wet warp through it, and that was hard to do. And a weaver couldn't have time to do that, because I had that to do. They got paid by the picks, and I got paid by the hour.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would all those threads ever hurt your hands?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, they didn't. When the [unknown] Southern bought out up here, they had a store in their cars where we could get clothing. Ivey's sold their clothing, [unknown] Southern. We could get clothing in there, pajamas and robes and gowns and things like that, at cost. That's the only one that would ever do that. Sometimes over at Highland Park they'd let you buy gingham. They'd take it out of your pay then. But over here when the [unknown] Southern got a-hold of it, they had the store to it. But whenever they sold out to the Spatex, it was a bunch of Greeks, and they wouldn't get parts for it, and we had a tough time trying to run the looms then because they was all broken and needing repairing. And they wouldn't sell us an inch of the cloth.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever buy any of the cloth at Highland Park?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I bought a lot of it.

Page 38
JIM LELOUDIS:
What would you do with it?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Make dresses and aprons.
JIM LELOUDIS:
For yourself or to sell?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
To work in.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever sell any of it or sell dresses?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, we didn't have time to make dresses to sell, only for ourselves. There was usually a woman in every community, though, that would sew for you. We had to wear big aprons with big pockets on it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When you were working in the weave room?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why was that so?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I had to carry the drop wires around with me, and I had to carry the harness eyes around with me, and my pickout comb, my reed hook, and the snuff box full of starch.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was a pretty big bundle to carry around in your pocket. Whenever we rolled the cloth down in front of you like that and behind you, you had to be kind of slim enough to get through it, but with all that in my pocket it made me look pretty gigantic.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] Let's talk a little more about what the work was like. Did you have breaks and time for lunch and dinner?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, we didn't have breaks till after we got in the union. And when we got in the union, [unknown] give us a break. We'd have fifteen minutes of break at nine o'clock and then at three, and we'd eat with one hand and jerk the loom with the other hand. They didn't stop off for us to eat our dinner.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That was before the union came in?

Page 39
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was still after the union came in that we didn't stop off to eat for dinner, because they didn't stop the looms only on Saturdays, because they was running three shifts.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So you'd have to eat standing up [unknown] work?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That's right.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you pack your lunch, or did they have a cart that came around?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They had a cart that come around, and you could buy it, and then they had a dope stand in each mill. But sometime we'd take a sausage- [unknown] biscuit along with us. We hadn't had time to eat it, maybe, and get some milk or a soft drink to drink.
JIM LELOUDIS:
A dope stand. What does that mean?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That means it's a little store in there where you can go and get the stuff. They'd charge it to you if you didn't have the money to pay for it, and when you got your pay every weekend you paid them. They also had a little cart they pushed around in there.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that at both Highland Park and Hoskins, or just Hoskins?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
The Hoskin had a dope stand. I didn't remember seeing one at Highland Park. If they did, I didn't have time to go to it. I don't remember one being there.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When was this that they began pushing carts through?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't remember the year.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was it in the twenties, thirties, or had it been there?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was in the thirties, I think it was.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What type food could you buy off the cart or at the dope stand?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Usually it was cold sandwiches, but in later years they got a few warm sandwiches they'd bring in there, such as a hamburger or a hot

Page 40
dog or something like that. But you could get candy, and you could get those cakes, and peanuts or peanut butter and crackers, and you could get chocolate milk or sweet milk or buttermilk. And you could buy any kind of soft drinks there. But later on they've had the drink machines put in there, and you could do like that. If you didn't have time to eat whenever the dope truck come around, you could run down to the machines and put the money in and get you a drink and go back and try to eat.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why did they call it a dope truck?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Everybody used to call Coca-Colas "dopes," and that's what it started from.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Because they had cocaine in them at one time.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I reckon so.
JIM LELOUDIS:
In the early years of those carts and shops, what kind of sandwiches would they have?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
There'd be ham and eggs and egg salad and chicken salad and tunafish salad. I believe that's about all they had then. Then the early time, they just had the peanut butter and crackers and a few of the peanuts in little packs then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That was in the earliest part.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Earlier time.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were those Lance products, by any chance?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they were Lance's.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were those sandwiches pretty much the type things that you would have fixed yourself had you packed a lunch? Or would you have fixed different foods to carry with you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Sometimes you didn't have time to fix different foods. You had to fix what you had for breakfast and take it with you. But a lot of

Page 41
people would just rather buy off of it than take lunches from home.
JIM LELOUDIS:
But I was wondering, if you had fixed your own lunch, would you have fixed tunafish and chicken salad, or would you have taken some different type of food?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I wouldn't have fixed that then, because we had those old iceboxes you had to put ice in, and in a hot weave room anything would spoil. I wouldn't have fixed that; I'd have had to fix something like an egg sandwich or something like that, sausage or liver mush or something you could cook and take and it wouldn't spoil, because the weave room was extremely hot.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You said you were working by the hour, but did the weavers who were working on production ever compete to see who could work the fastest?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I guess they always was competing, because they would run like fighting fire. But they had a pick clock on each loom, and whenever the loom stopped, that pick clock stopped, and they wasn't making any money. And that's why whenever they went and put a number on my board, they'd put down the time they put it there, and then when I got through with it I had to put down the time that I left it, so they'd know how much to pay them if the loom was broken. Where they couldn't run it, you see, they got paid for that then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people ever feel like someone who was really making a lot of production was maybe greedy or kind of pushing the quota too high?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, there were some better weavers than there were others, and I don't think there was any animosity about them, because I believe they all realized that they was a better weaver than they were. But whenever a loom had broke down, the loom fixer could take the pick clock off and hold it up to the belt and run up as many picks as you would have

Page 42
had if your loom had been running. So they'd do that, you see, so you'd check out right.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What did the supervisors think of that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
That was within the rules of the company; they'd let you do that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Oh, you could run it up. Did people have other short-cuts or tricks for making their production seem like it was more than it was?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, you could kick the ratchet sometime, but if you didn't know how to do that you could make a thin place in the cloth, too, and that weren't good.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You'd kick that, and what would it do?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It'd run around just a little bit faster, kick on that ratchet. But if you didn't know just how to do that, you'd make a thin streak across the cloth, and they'd get you up about it. And they had you in the cloth room anyhow when you made a bad place and show you the cloth. And for a long time there they didn't dock you for it. But [unknown] while they did; when you had a bad cloth, they docked you for it, took it out of your pay. But at these mills, we could go get an order from the bossman for cloth and go buy what we wanted. That would come out of the pay; we didn't have to pay cash for it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were there any other kind of tricks, other than kicking the ratchet to make the machine go a little faster?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not that I know of.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Could you really make more money if you were kind of good at kicking that thing?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, you'd make a little bit more, but a lot of times, though, it made that bad place, and they'd put it on the pickout board then, and

Page 43
it would have to be picked out because there'd be a thin place across there. The pick clock was a clock just about like a little alarm clock. It told so many rotations as one pick; I don't remember just how many they were. But they'd take that off and put it up to the belt, you see, so they'd get what they deserved. If a loom was standing, it weren't their fault that they couldn't run it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When you said it had to be picked out, would you go back and repair that thin place?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, you'd tear it down. Let me get my pickout comb here, and I'll show you what we're talking about. This is a pickout comb. And I'd hold it in my hand like this and tear the cloth and pick out each thread. Each thread's called a pick. And some kind of pickouts, we could scratch it up. We'd cut the thread with our scissors up to above that bad place, and down below it we'd scratch the threads over to make a little thin place. Then they'd wet on it and put a little starch over it so they wouldn't spy it in the cloth room.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] So you sometimes could hide those thin places.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, sometimes you could hide those thin places. You could scratch them up. And the cloth usually was damp enough, you see, from the humidity where we could sprinkle a little starch over it and smooth it over it, and by the time it got around that roll of cloth it was dry, and it wouldn't be noticeable.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why would you do that, to help the weavers out?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Help ourselves out, and the weavers, too, because with all those numbers on the board we couldn't get caught up; why, we couldn't stop and have no leisure time. And when we had a little leisure time, we usually spent it in the rest room, in there talking with somebody.

Page 44
But if we didn't have the leisure time, when we did get a little bit of leisure time we couldn't enjoy it, knowing our board was behind.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would they come run you out of the bathroom if you were in there a little too long?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they'd do that if you was in there too long, but they never come and got me out of the bathroom. And some good battery hands could fill up their battery and sit in there about a half hour at a time. But the weaver couldn't do it, nor the smash hand, nor the pickout hand couldn't do it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That's an interesting little trick, to kind of cover that up. Do you remember anybody coming around and doing time studies? I guess they probably wouldn't have done it so much on your job, but . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they came around there checking, time you on your. . . . They timed the weaver, but they didn't time me, because I had to put down the time I went to it and the time that I left the job when I completed it, so they could give the weaver the average picks there needed to be. But they'd come down from the office with a little pick clipboard and watch the weaver, what she wove, and put down how many stoppages she'd had in that length of time and all. Yes, they had that done real often.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would they come by with stopwatches?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, they didn't have a stopwatch; they had a clipboard with the paper on it, and they counted the looms that stopped in such a length of time, and how many you had to start up, and how many you had to put on the pickout board, and how many had to go on the smash board.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did anybody ever come by with a stopwatch and time any of your work?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I never seen no stopwatches. I never saw those in the mill.

Page 45
JIM LELOUDIS:
What would they keep those records they were making for? What was the purpose of them coming in there?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Like I said, the weavers used to get paid by the pick. And they carried the records for that so they could see that the weaver got paid for what they lost when the weaver couldn't be responsible for it, breakage of the loom or something like that. And then sometime we was short on warps, and the loom would be without a warp. They'd take the pick clock off then and run it up at the belt there till we'd get the average number of picks.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were most of the weavers women or men?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Oh, there was plenty of both; there was just a lot of them.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people have machines that they considered their own?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, their own set of looms they considered their own. They didn't want to go on another set; they wanted to stay on their own.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why not?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They'd get used to that one set, and they'd just want to stay there. And they'd get used to the loom fixer. You can work with your loom fixer and the loom fixer work with you, and you have a good job. But now if you don't like that loom fixer, that loom fixer don't want to fix that loom; why, there was a bad situation.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people ever get in arguments about which machines they would work on or anything like that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
There was a few times they would. If they'd want to move one from one set of looms to another, they wouldn't like it, but it wasn't often they did that. You had your own set, and you went to it and run it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember any of those arguments, what would happen?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I couldn't hear it with all that noise in the weave room.

Page 46
You couldn't hear it; you wouldn't know nothing about it unless you happened to be in the water house and they'd tell you about it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did anybody ever tell you about any of them? Do you remember any of those?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, a lot of them said they'd go home before they'd go run another set of looms.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would the supervisors make you change?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They did sometimes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why would they do that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They'd have in a bunch of new help, I reckon, and they'd want to put them on a set of looms where maybe they could kind of watch them to see if they was doing the work right, I reckon. I don't know why else.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How else would they become attached to their machines? Did people ever do things like carve their initials on them?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
You couldn't carve initials on iron. They could scratch it, but I don't remember ever seeing anybody do that. We didn't have seats in there, and after we got the union they'd let them take a belt, a piece of leather, and fix from one loom to the other where you could sit down in it a few minutes. That's when them labor laws said a woman should have a seat to sit down on, they fixed those belts like that, pieces of the belts from one loom to the other.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people ever talk to their machines or fuss at them, maybe, when they weren't running right?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I wouldn't know; they made so much noise in there that you wouldn't know about that. You'd learn how to read one another's lips, though, working in there with all that noise.

Page 47
JIM LELOUDIS:
It must have really been a loud place.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was a loud, noisy place, and awful dusty and linty.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever know anybody that got brown lung from working in there?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I never heard of brown lung till after I'd been out of the mill many a year. That's mostly around the asbestos, I think, is where they have the brown lung. But now I was in the weave room all that time, and I have asthma, but I had asthma before I went in the mill. I couldn't say the weave room did it. But I don't have the brown lung.
JIM LELOUDIS:
In that little bit of time you did get to talk, did people ever tell jokes in the mill, or pull pranks on one another?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I could tell of an instance where I pulled a prank. It wouldn't be very nice. [Laughter]
JIM LELOUDIS:
Let me turn this tape over. I'd like to hear it.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
About everybody in the mill used snuff. Well, I just had a box overturned there, and I'd keep my snuff can down under it. And there was a weaver in there who'd always, when I'd leave my board, just use my snuff. She wouldn't buy snuff; she'd use my snuff. And several other weavers told me about it. And I tried to catch her with it. I'd take a drop wire—that's what you run a thread through, and when it drops down it'll disconnect the loom—to put the snuff in my mouth with, a broken drop wire. So this woman kept on about it, and I told her a time or two that somebody was getting my snuff, and she didn't seem to pay it any attention. So I went and got some cayenne pepper and poured in it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]

Page 48
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Opened a new box and poured out half of it and put some cayenne pepper in it. So whenever she went over there and got some of my snuff, I was over in another part of the mill and didn't know anything about it. Well, it burned her mouth, and she worked right there at the water fountain anyway, and she run down and run there, and she couldn't work being her mouth got to burning, so she had to go home. The bossman was suspicious about something like that. He asked a lot of us around there if we knew what happened to. . . . I started to call her name, but I'd better not, because she's still living and she wouldn't like it. Said she'd got a-hold of something that was too hot and burnt her mouth. And there wasn't none of us knew anything about it. He asked me, and I didn't know anything about it. So she lost about three days of work, and she came back, but she never did steal no more of my snuff.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was the cayenne pepper I put in there that burnt her mouth.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I guess that did set her on fire.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, she never did steal any more of my snuff; from then on, she bought her own snuff.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] Did people ever pull any other types of pranks on one another?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not that I know of, because we didn't have time to do that. We all had a job, and we had to run it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever tell jokes?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Sometime they'd tell them in the water house. That's the bathroom, you know; we'd call them water house. But like on my job, I didn't have time to kill time in there, and I didn't hear any of them,

Page 49
but some of them would tell jokes. You'd hear of them telling them.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What type jokes would they tell?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They'd be ugly jokes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they ever tell jokes on one another, or jokes that involved machines?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not that I recall. I know we had a loom fixer one time was awful bad to get mad when you flagged him. So I flagged him one day, and he put up three empty bobbins and one full bobbin. It was for the second hand. I had to flag the loom for the second hand and for the loom fixer, too, because it had to be marked as a bad place. And this loom fixer came there first, and he got mad. We had a piece of wood that was painted green on one end and red on the other one, and it had a hole in each end of it. And you put it over little old prongs on the back of the loom to keep the loom from jarring it off. You had to stick that hole over one of those little prongs. So he'd come up there and he'd grabbed it down and threw it over on the other loom across [unknown] over there. So he weren't supposed to do that; he was supposed to fix the loom, and it made him mad when you flagged him. Well, he just tore up a warp for me, and I reported him. I put the flag up there, and I reported him. And he got down there on [Laughter] his. . . . He just sat down flat there and took his hammer and just beat on the floor. He was so mad he didn't know what to do; he just sat down there and beat on the floor.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Because you had reported him?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, because I had reported him.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What happened when you reported him?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They got after him about it. They didn't fire him or nothing like that; they just got after him about it and told him he shouldn't do that.

Page 50
And of course he was mad with me for a while, but he got over it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] That is something. Do you remember any other things like that that happened?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No. Sometime people would steal their cloth and throw it out the window, if they had a car out there.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
And when they'd get a chance, they'd run out and get their cloth and put it in the car. If they'd catch them at it, they'd fire them, because you wasn't allowed to steal the cloth, but a lot of them did steal it and got by with it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
There's another version of that among students. And that's go into the library and, say, if you want the book, to steal the book, throw it out the window into the bushes, then run around the building. . . . [Laughter]
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Is that right?
JIM LELOUDIS:
People do it every now and then.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
In the mill, it was hard work and aggravating work, and we all complained a lot—we called it bellyaching about it—but still, I think the ones living now would say, in a way, they'd love for times to be something like that. Of course, the wages was awful low back then, but still we had a comradeship we don't have now. We had the love for one another we don't have now. But when we worked at Chadwick and Hoskins, they was better to us than these other mills were, because, like I told you about the coal, we could buy the coal from them. We could buy cloth from them. [unknown] Southern wouldn't sell us any cloth, but it did sell us the suits and things they had made out of the cloth in the store there. When the Spatex taken it over, they wouldn't do that. We'd go to the cloth

Page 51
room and get little strings of cloth for sweat rags, because we had to have something when we'd handle that dirty machinery to wipe our hands on, because white work was what we was making, and the oil would have showed up. So we got little pieces of cloth we called sweat rags and used those.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You were telling me earlier about the bad lighting in the weave room.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they had the lights come down on a drop cord—Chadwick and Hoskins had that there—and lint would catch on there and all, and you couldn't see. I've carried my flashlight around many a day with me to flash it. The reeds I had to draw the threads in through was just like that right there, on one long board, like. They was in the middle of it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
This is close [unknown] .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it's close. You had to see how to draw in through each one of those. And when you raised up the reed head and put it back over there, why, it still was so dark you couldn't see. You had to lay the flashlight down there on the cloth and draw in by it. But then after the Chadwick and Hoskins sold it to [unknown] Southern, they put in fluorescent lights. Well, now, talk about a mess, when one of those vibrations would shake one of those lights out and fall down there on a loom and cut up the cloth and the ends, boy, that was a mess to be sure. But we had quite a bit of that; the vibrations would knock them loose.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would knock the bulbs loose.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. But we could see better after they did that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did it ever hurt your eyes?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. Most everybody that worked in the weave room wore glasses.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did your eyes hurt when you came home in the afternoon after

Page 52
doing all that close work?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, they hurt, but I never heard of eye drops back then. I'd use salty water.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would you get lint in them, too?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, you'd get lint in them. When I worked at the Carhart Mill in Carhart, S.C., it was overalling. And I'd come home; there'd be blue lint here in my nose and my eyelashes. I'd look horrible, to be sure. It was all blue lint; there weren't no white lint, you see, because it was all blue material we was using.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What mill was this?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Carhart, at Little Carhart, S.C. They used Draper.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When did you work there?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I worked there right after we came up here to Charlotte, and I had left home. Daddy had got a job outside a mill where they wouldn't let you hold a mill house, and I went down there and stayed a while and worked down there at Carhart.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Oh, and then you came back and went to Louise.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why did you come back to Charlotte?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Because my daddy was up here, and I didn't know anybody down there. Of course, I had a boarding place they got for me before I went down there. I had a boarding place, but I wanted to be up here with my daddy and my brother and them, so I came back up here then. But they had a lot of drifters that wouldn't stay in no mill long. They'd go to another mill. They'd get mad about something, they'd stop off their looms and go hunt the bossman up and tell the bossman they wanted their time; they was quitting.

Page 53
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people quit often when they got kind of upset with their job?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, there was a lot of them would quit. I got upset in one one time, but I knowed better than to quit; I had children I had to rear.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were people always able to do that, or did a time come when you really couldn't quit your job so easily?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
If you quit your job, you'd lose your house, so that meant a moving bill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was it easy to find another job?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was always easy for me, because I was a good smash hand. A good weaver could do that, but the thing of it is getting a house right then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did it get harder during the thirties to find another job?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
During the thirties we was on short time, and everybody worked every day the mill would run. Because that was back during the Depression.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What do you remember about the Depression?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Gosh, I remember it, and we like to starve to death. They had food cheap enough, but you didn't get that little bit of money to buy it with. We was on three days a week then. And to keep a few spare hands, they'd expect you to get off a day to let somebody have a day's work. And that was hard.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You'd have to lay off a couple of days so . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
They'd want you to, come around and ask you if you wanted to lay off for a day so they could let a spare hand work. And on three days a week, nobody couldn't afford to do that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did you manage to survive?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, it was tough. You could go to the store then and get

Page 54
a pound of liver for a nickel and a loaf of bread for a nickel and get a bag of potatoes for about a dime, so if you had the money you could live pretty good, but if you didn't have the money you had to without, and everybody had a garden back then. So we all had to depend on our gardens.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So you made it through by raising your own food.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, we made it through by raising most of it. Of course, back then, I wasn't at home when they wouldn't let you keep the stock and stuff on the mill village like they used to do, you see.
JIM LELOUDIS:
That was after they passed the city ordinance.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people in the community help one another out?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, like I told you, they'd make up for them what we called a love offering and give it to them, and did that when there was a death in the family or anybody had to lose time.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How about during the Depression?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, we couldn't make up then, because we was all in the bad shape together. But the union had a store for us, and we could go down there and get a little bit of groceries.
JIM LELOUDIS:
This mill was unionized?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, and there was only one strike.
JIM LELOUDIS:
In the thirties?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I believe it was in the forties. I'm not sure. I was when it belonged to the Spatex Company. We had one strike out there.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Let's talk about the unions some. You had said before that things kind of got better after the unions came.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. Well, they couldn't ride you on your job. The bossman couldn't come around and fuss with you on your job like he could before.

Page 55
But like I said, they couldn't get the looms repaired. If they wanted to they could send you out; if you didn't want to go out, they could send you out anyhow and give a spare hand work. We didn't like that much, and we didn't have no insurance, so we struck for higher wages and insurance, and we did win on that. But we was on strike out there, and the streetcars would go by out there, and different wholesale trucks would stop and they'd give [unknown] us rolls and some of them would give us wienies so we'd cook those out there on the picket line and eat those. And the Lance people come around and gave us doughnuts and peanuts and things. We just had a good time while we was out on the strike.
JIM LELOUDIS:
And when was this that you went out?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't remember what year it was now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that 1934, by any chance?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, it was after the last company had bought it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
It was in the forties, then.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
The Spatex had bought it then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember the 1934 general strike when cotton mill workers all over the area went out?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I don't remember that, because I was never in but one strike.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were you here in 1934?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I was here.
JIM LELOUDIS:
For this strike, the people all over went out on strike at one time. And there were groups called flying squadrons that would go from mill to mill and sometime tear up the work. They'd just run through . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't remember that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So this strike that you were in was in the forties.

Page 56
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was just in this one mill up here. We'd stay out there on the picket lines, and they shipped off the cloth in the trains then. Now it goes by truck most of the time. But the train came in and we told them we was on a picket line, and they stopped and wouldn't go on in the mill on account of they wouldn't cross the picket line.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that before or after World War II?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was after World War II. Because I had a boy in World War II.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I think that covers most of the things that I had wanted to talk about. I was interested in going back and asking you a couple of questions about a few things we had talked about earlier, though. You said you had a black woman working for you after you had your children, and then on till they got old enough to take care of themselves. What would she do during the day?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Do the housework. She'd do the ironing on Thursdays, and she'd do the washing for you and cook your meals, clean up your house.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did a lot of people have help like that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, the ones that had little children had to have it, because it took both the husband and wife to work to make ends meet.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When did your husband die? You said he died sometime before your children were grown?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes. We were divorced, though. He died in 1950.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When did you get divorced?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Oh, my goodness, I don't remember the year of that. He was bad to quit his job and didn't like to work, and we divorced, and I stayed on working here at the mill so then they let me have a house. They used to wouldn't let a woman hold a house. And then they let me have this house right here, so I'm still here today.

Page 57
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were your children young when you got divorced?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
The oldest one was nineteen, but he was in the Navy.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So that was in the forties, then.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
He was bad about staying at work?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, he was bad about getting mad and quitting his job. When he'd get mad he'd go off down to Union County to see his people, and I wouldn't know he was quitting till the bossmen would come out to the house hunting him. And I'd tell that he was in the mill working. They said, "No, he's not. He hasn't been there." And I'd go look, and part of his clothes would be gone. When he'd stayed down there a week or two, he'd come back. Well, I had to move to Piedmont Court. Then when he came back, they'd let us have another house, move back down here.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What would he get mad over?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
He was just hot-tempered and didn't like it when they wanted to take him off his job and put him on another job. And when you work in the card room, you have to know how to run about every piece of machinery in there, and there's different things, and he liked to be a slubber, and they wanted to put him on drawing or something else. Well, he didn't like to do that. Like I didn't like to have to weave. I loved to smash. So they wouldn't let a woman hold a house then, and you had to move.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did you feel about that? Did you think you should have had a house?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I did, but rules was rules with the company, and you couldn't tell the company how to run their job. You'd love to, but you couldn't do it. But finally they got to the place where they'd let women

Page 58
hold a house, so I got this one.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why wouldn't they let women have a house? Do you know?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
So they could get more hands to work in the mill. The more hands they could get for one house, the better they liked it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Were there many people in the mill village that got divorced?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, there was quite a few.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you feel like marriages were more unstable among mill families?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I believe they were more stable with mill families, because there wasn't many of them got divorced.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why would people usually get divorced?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I couldn't speak only for myself, and it was because he wouldn't work regular then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you feel funny about getting that divorce? Did people kind of treat you funny because of that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, some of them did, I think, but I didn't have time to worry over that. I had too many other problems I had to worry over.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How did they react?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Some of them acted like they did about illegitimate children. They thought you done something terrible when you was getting a divorce.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you lose any friends because of that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I can't say that I did. A lot of people said, "Well, I'd have stuck with him. I took that vow to stick with him" and all like that. But I'd tell them to tend to their own business. So there was quite a few got divorces, but I couldn't speak about them because all I can is about myself. . . . I was hoping you wouldn't ask me about that. [Laughter]
JIM LELOUDIS:
We can not talk about that any more, if you'd rather not. You had mentioned listening to the Grand Old Opry once you got a radio.

Page 59
Was that on WBT?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was crystal sets we had first, and it came from the Grand Old Opry at Nashville. You had to have a little aerial outside your window then. People that was lucky enough to have a radio, why, somebody'd come to see you that night and bring their whole family and sit and listen to the Grand Old Opry. That'd be the entertainment. But there was pretty singing and string music. That was something new for us. And on Saturday nights we could sleep late on Sunday and not go to church, and listen to it, and we did quite often.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How do you mean "something different"? Was the music different, or just the radio?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, it's just that entertainment, to hear people over the air you couldn't see, singing and all and playing stuff like that and hear them talking. Well, that was something amusing, something hard to believe.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you have any other favorite shows that you listened to once WBT was established here?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, the Mohawk Rug had "Five Star Jones and Sally" on; I listened to that. Then "Ma Perkins" for Oxydol. And then "Gangbusters"; we was crazy about that. And the Briarhoppers here on WBT. Grady Cole was the master of ceremonies for that, you know, and he was just buried yesterday. I believe that's all I remember right now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you have any favorite songs?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, but you couldn't call in and ask them to sing it. You had to listen to what they had on their programs.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember any of your favorites?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
"South of the Border" was one of them, and "Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Mountain Dew". I believe that's all right now that I

Page 60
remember.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did people ever get together around here to sing, come to one another's houses and sing?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't know of them doing that, but several people that could pick a guitar or a banjo would practice and then go to somebody's house and have a barn dance. That's when they had the square dancing I was telling you about.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You would just have that at somebody's house?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Maybe in the yard or something?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, it was in the house, and everybody didn't have rugs on the floor then, and so they'd take the furniture out and dance in there.
JIM LELOUDIS:
[Laughter] Did you ever go to any of those?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
My daddy could pick a fiddle, and I went to a few of them. But I was usually so tired at night, I'd rather go to bed than stomp my feet around a while.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did he approve of you dancing?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Daddy didn't mind the square dancing. He didn't want that other kind, though, where you had to hug up. [Laughter]
JIM LELOUDIS:
He didn't like it because you had to hug, or because it was a different type of dance?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, he just thought it was immoral because you're getting too close.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did he ever teach any of the children how to play? He played the banjo or the guitar?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
The banjo. No. My oldest brother was bandmaster in the Navy. And my younger brother never did show no sign of no music at all. But I have a gradson now who is really a musician. He can play organ or

Page 61
piano. He can install an organ. For the Christ Church there in Chapel Hill, right now he's installing an organ for it. Making it together, putting it in himself.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did the company ever sponsor any dances?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not to my knowledge. They mostly let us, what little time we had, decide on what we wanted to do.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they introduce any new machines while you were working?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
There was one improvement they did. It used to be lease rods, and that was two long rods kind of like a broom handle, and the threads run in and up over them. They got rid of those and got in a drop wire, a little piece of metal, and it had a hole through there for it to run across the rod and another hole that you drawed the thread through. And whenever the end broke, it would fall down and it would disconnect the loom and make the loom stop after we got in the electric stop motion. But before the electric stop motion, it would drop down and it had a piece of metal in there with that sawtooth in each side that turned over and over and over. And it hit one of those teeth, it would stop it all. So that was the biggest improvement that I know about in the mills, when they went from the lease rods to the drop wires.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did that change your work in any way, or the weavers' work in any way?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, it stopped the whole lot of it. Because before then you'd have mat-ups where the ends would break with nothing to stop the loom off. So it improved our work a whole lot.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember roughly when that was introduced?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I couldn't tell you what year that was, but I believe it must have been about '26. Because I know it was right after I married.

Page 62
JIM LELOUDIS:
And that was really, then, the change to a . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, that's the best change I've knowed of in the weave room.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[TAPE 3, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]
JIM LELOUDIS:
So that was really a change from the mechanical type of stop to an electric one, then.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, no, it's a change of just. . . . The lease rods didn't have no mechanical to them at all. There was a hole in each end, and the string was holding them and the ends run in and out. You had to work the backs of them so much to see if there was a broken end back there. But then they got in the mechanical ones, and then they finally got the electrical ones. And it was so much better when they got the electrical ones. They have the electrical ones today.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Because they were better about stopping when something would. . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
And if you wanted to stop one when you was working the back and you'd see, you just put your hand on the drop wire and that would short circuit it, you see, when they got it electric.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you remember any funny experiences or scary experiences you had with the machines in working with them? Did you ever have strange things happen?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, nothing but when the looms would throw shuttles out. Because if one of those things would hit you, that hurt.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I guess the last thing, to kind of wrap it all up, is kind of a big question. What do you think was the best part of working in the mill and living in the mill village?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It taught us all to be self-supporting, and it taught us all

Page 63
to love one another. And it taught us all to be careful not to fly off the handle and quit unless you had another job. And we had a good comradeship in the mill, and we haven't had that since. I guess that's just about it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How about the worst things? What was bad about it?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, it was bad about it because it wouldn't run. The looms needed repairing and all. We couldn't get the repairs for them. But the Chadwick and Hoskins and the Highland Park both was very good to their help. [unknown] Southern was pretty good to us, but Spatex wasn't.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What do you think was the worst thing that, say, ever happened to working people in this area?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I think buying a lot of that overseas textile stuff has hurt the working people so much. Because before then we didn't have no dull time or lay off for nothing, and run regular. And the foreign imports, I think, has hurt the country in textiles especially, more than anything.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I see here there were two things that I always find interesting I just wanted to ask. Did you ever dream about your work?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Oh, I do yet.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I dream yet about working in the mill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What do you dream?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I dream I'm drawing in the breakouts.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You just dream about being there?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Being in the mill and drawing in the breakouts. And I dream that I talk to the ones—a lot of them's dead now, you know—that was working out there then. Yes, I dream about it real often.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you ever dream about it while you were working there? Do you remember any of those dreams?

Page 64
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't remember that, but I know I dream about them now.
JIM LELOUDIS:
When you dreamed about it before, were they good dreams or bad dreams?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
It was just about like it was down there. Just sometimes you'd be up on your job, and other times you'd be behind, so I just sweated it out in my dream just like I did when I was there on the job.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you wake up kind of nervous or agitated if you were dreaming that things [unknown] ?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I usually wake up and I realize it was just a dream that I had. But there's been many a time I've dreamt about it when I was way behind on my job and all and wanting to quit and knew I couldn't afford to.
JIM LELOUDIS:
And the other thing: we had talked about your childhood. When did you consider yourself to be grown, to have reached adulthood?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Whenever I married. Because what my daddy said went, and I knowed better than to contradict it. But I didn't consider myself as grown till I married.
JIM LELOUDIS:
And that was at seventeen?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
1925, when I was seventeen.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So that's when you really felt like you were . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
A grown person, and I was my own boss then. Because I knowed Daddy couldn't fuss with me like they used to, you know, and scold me and all. And starting off a home and having to be responsible for everything, I could look back and see where Daddy had fussed a lot of times and see why he did it then.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You kind of get a different perspective on things.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I did.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How long did you stay in school? You said you had gone to school there at the mill village.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I graduated from the eighth grade, and I wasn't in any longer

Page 65
than that.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You moved to Charleston, so you couldn't go to . . .
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, we moved to Charleston.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why did you not go to high school once you got to Charleston?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
My daddy wouldn't let me. He put me in a dimestore.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did you want to go on to school?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I wanted to go on to school, but he needed me to help. I had a little sister there at the house and all, and he wasn't making much. So he said I couldn't go on, and I couldn't go. What he said was boss.
JIM LELOUDIS:
So then you started taking the stenography course instead.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I enrolled in the Hughes Business College down there, and I was enjoying it pretty much three nights a week until my health got so bad with that damp climate with the ocean breeze and all, till we had to leave. But I was working in the dimestore then and taking that course at night. But I believe my happiest days has been in the mill.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Why do you think that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Because, like I said, there was that love comradeship there with all of us, and the children was at home then, and there was closeness of one another of us here on the community. And knowing we was all equal, I reckon, because one didn't think he was any better than the other one; we was just all one big family. And I think that's about all that I remember about it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Let me ask you one more thing, going back to the unions. Had you ever wanted to be in a union before they organized here in the forties?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No, I never had thought much about it, but whenever the Spatex Company bought out this place, it was so hard, and they was real

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slave drivers, till I joined the union. And I was recording secretary for it. And we accomplished a little by going out on the strike, but we never made up for the time we lost in any way. But a lot of people don't believe in the unions now. I think the union is a fine thing to have if you use it in the right way, but I don't believe in some of the ways they've been doing things around here lately with the unions.
JIM LELOUDIS:
How's that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Like with the truckers' strike. I don't believe they should block it like that and not let people get out with the gas when they need it.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Do you feel like that change in management is what drove the people to join the union?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, I do.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Would people have not joined, do you think, if it had still been Chadwick-Hoskins?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I don't believe they would have, because Chadwick and Hoskins was good to us. Now you could be sick and be out a good while, have an operation and be out a good while, and they'd let you stay on in the house till you got able to come back to work. Then they'd take out maybe two weeks' rent at a time, and a three-room house then rented for ninety cents a week. That didn't hurt you as bad, catching up your back rent, don't you see? And the Chadwick and Hoskins looked after us just like we was one of the family. And Highland Park did, too, but now the Spatex Company didn't. But the Spatex Company did sell the houses where we bought them, and most of us bought our own homes.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Was that in the early forties that Spatex bought this place out, or sometime in the late thirties?

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EDNA Y. HARGETT:
I'm not sure about the years, but it must have been about the late thirties, I believe it was.
JIM LELOUDIS:
I can check on that in the library.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Yes, you can check on that. I won't quote the dates, because I'm not sure about them.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You talked about people being sick and being able to keep their houses. Did Chadwick-Hoskins ever hire any public health nurses or things like that to come through the village?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Not to my knowledge. I don't remember any of them. If you had insurance with the Metropolitan Insurance Company, they had a nurse to come out. But I never heard of the mill company furnishing a nurse.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did they have any type of medical clinic or anything like that?
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
No.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Well, I think that about does most of the things I can think of for now.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, I'm afraid I didn't give you much [unknown] .
JIM LELOUDIS:
Oh, I think you've given me a lot of really good information, and I appreciate it. Thanks for your time and for being willing to spend this much time with me.
EDNA Y. HARGETT:
Well, you're welcome.
END OF INTERVIEW