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Title: Oral History Interview with Alice Grogan Hardin, May 2, 1980. Interview H-0248. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Hardin, Alice Grogan, interviewee
Interview conducted by Tullos, Allen
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 112 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2006-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-07-24, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of sound recording: Oral History Interview with Alice Grogan Hardin, May 2, 1980. Interview H-0248. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0248)
Author: Allen Tullos
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Alice Grogan Hardin, May 2, 1980. Interview H-0248. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0248)
Author: Alice Grogan Hardin
Description: 99.7 Mb
Description: 23 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 2, 1980, by Allen Tullos; recorded in Greenville, South Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Jean Houston.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
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Interview with Alice Grogan Hardin, May 2, 1980.
Interview H-0248. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Hardin, Alice Grogan, interviewee


Interview Participants

    ALICE GROGAN HARDIN, interviewee
    GROVER HARDIN, interviewee
    ALLEN TULLOS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
. . . part of Greenville County, and my daddy was a farmer. He had eight children, five boys and three girls. I was the oldest girl. I went to work helping my mother around the house when I was five years old. Then when I got old enough to pick cotton, I went to the field and picked cotton. And we'd pick cotton all day, and we'd come in and have an hour for dinner. And during blackberry time, we'd pick blackberries during that hour. And if it wasn't blackberry time, we'd sing. I'd play the organ, and we'd sing. And we sung the old-timey songs like "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" and "Bringing in the Sheaves" and "Down at the Cross", just old-timey songs like that. My mother was a good singer. My daddy played the violin, and this neighbor of ours played the violin, and I played the organ. And we'd go around and have parties and play for people. Then we'd play for square dances. Then as we grew up and got older, the family would all work: the boys and the sisters, too, as they got old enough to work. I had four brothers older than I am; one was younger than me. We had a good time; it was a happy time. My daddy thrashed his own wheat most of the time. The thrashers would come and thrash wheat all day long. My mother and whoever she could get to help her fix dinner would cook dinner for all the workers. Then when we got older we moved closer in the country to Greenville, and we still farmed while we was there. All of us children went to school. We canned everything we ate. Daddy raised everything he ate. He raised his hogs; he raised his cattle. And we canned vegetables, and we canned fruits, dried apples, dried peaches, and just had everything at home. Times would get hard sometimes, but we still had our food at home. We didn't have water everywhere we lived close to the house. We'd carry it from a spring. We'd bring several pails full of water, enough to do till the next morning. That was the children's jobs, to go get water the next morning before we went to

Page 2
the field to work. And we'd go then to the field and work till dinnertime, and then if my mother was out of water we had to bring water up enough to do her then till night. Sometimes in the evening she'd come to the field and help us. And if she didn't have time, she'd stay at home, and she had a big job at home. Because there was eight of us children, and my grandmother stayed with us. And most of the time my daddy had a man that lived with us and helped him on the farm all the time. We moved down on Guilty Creek, down this side of Mauldin, and we was living there, and the tornado come. It tore up everything we had, blowed away everything we had, half of our house and everything. Then we moved to another place, and we lived there for about two or three years, and then we moved to the Woodside cotton mill. Daddy had about five or six hands to go to work in the mill at one time. We lived at the cotton mill then until my daddy got sick, and he died. In about three years, my mother died. Then Grover and me took the three children, and we raised them until they got married. Then after they got married, me and Grover bought a house. We never was able to buy one until our families was married off, because we raised three families. I met Grover in a cafe. I didn't speak to him, but I knew I loved him. We didn't see each other any more for about three months, and I was working in the mill. And he come and laid over. I was looking out the window where I was at. So in three months we got married. We had three children. I've got a little boy dead, and I've got two girls living. We've got a wonderful family. We've got a happy family. And I've got five grandchildren. I have a lot of people dead in my family, but let's don't talk about that. There's so much I wanted to tell you, and now I can't think of none of it. [Laughter] [unknown] [Interruption]
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
In the country, how we did to cool our things, we'd put our butter in a gallon bucket and put a lid on it and let it down in the well, or

Page 3
take it to the spring. And if we was lucky, it didn't come a gully-washer and wash it away [laughter] while we was in the field. We'd keep it cold. We didn't have no ice then. Of course, for years later they had these old-timey iceboxes. You bought chunks of ice and put in it and kept your food cool. When my daddy would kill a cow, he would have to sell it out right then because he had nowhere to keep it. When he'd kill the hogs, he could cure them and keep the meat all right if it was cold weather. But outside of that, he had to sell his calves out when he'd kill them. Back then they didn't know what inspection was so they didn't inspect it, but now you couldn't do that at all. That was about sixty years ago, because I'm sixty-nine now. Back then they did a lot of things they had to do that they don't have to do now. We cooked on stoves that you put wood in to cook; you didn't have electric stoves. And you burnt lamps to read by at night, to do your school lessons by.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Kerosene.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Kerosene lamps. We didn't have any screen doors. We didn't have any screen windows or anything like that. It's just a lot of difference now to what it was back then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What were your mother and father's names?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Charlie Grogan and Lydia Jane (Janie) Grogan.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How big a farm did you have at first?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I don't remember. It was pretty good size. We didn't buy our farms ourself; we rented them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember what kind of arrangements you'd work out to rent . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Generally he had to pay a third of everything he made on the farm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did he have his own tools and mules?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, he had his own mules and plows and hoes and everything he

Page 4
worked with.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And the cash crop was cotton?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. Cotton and corn.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You also grew some wheat.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes, we grew our bread. And we'd take our corn to the corn mill and have it ground for meal.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would you do after you had threshed the wheat?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
He'd have to take it to a mill to have it ground.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there one nearby?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, there was one at Fountain Inn, I believe, then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The place you ground corn and the place you ground the wheat were different.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, it wasn't the same place.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You said your grandmother lived [unknown] with the family a while?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, she lived with us for years and years after my granddaddy died.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which side of the family was that on?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
That was on my mother's side; that was her mother.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was her name?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Lou Barnett.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Had they been farmers?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
She [and her husband] had been farmers before, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about on your father's side?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
My grandfather stayed with us some. He was a furniture maker. He made chairs and swings and all kind of outdoor furniture. And indoor, too, if anybody wanted it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did he get started in that?

Page 5
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I don't remember, but I do know that uptown here, on the rich people's porches, you could see his work sitting on their porch. It was very pretty work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know where your grandparents said the family had originally come from or how they got into this part of the country?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
We are partly Dutch. I don't know where they originally come from, but most of my daddy's people lived on down below Union and down in that part of the country, from my remembrance.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would your mother do work out in the field?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would she plow?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, she would hoe and pick cotton. That's what the girls did, and the boys done the plowing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about when she had her children?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
She had her children at home. They didn't go to the hospital to have children then; they had them at home.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she have someone help deliver?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes, doctors. Doctors and midwives, they call them. Back when I was little, they kept things a secret from you more so than they do now in that line. You didn't know as much what was going on till after it had done happened.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They wouldn't ever talk about . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
They wouldn't talk about raising children. Now if they was planning on another one coming, they wouldn't tell it like they do now. It was just kept a secret, all that stuff. And if we had company, us children had to go out and play. We didn't get to stay where our parents was to hear what was said, like they do today. You know, children today hear everything that's said, and back then you didn't.

Page 6
ALLEN TULLOS:
I've heard people say that when babies were being delivered, sometimes the children would be taken somewhere else.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I was the oldest girl, and when I was about thirteen, why, I'd take them out, maybe off to play or off to the barn somewhere and stay all day long. You know, if it took that long. But we didn't get to stick our head in that door while nothing was going on.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And it was never ever explained to you, any of these matters about birth control or anything like that.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No. They thought it was a crime to talk about that in front of a child then. But now it's different.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would happen to women who had children and were not married who lived in those rural communities back then?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I had a girl that went to school with me that wasn't married, and I didn't even know anything about her baby or anything. But one morning I was getting ready to go to school, and her daddy come to Mother's house for her. Her baby had been born, and she had put it in a dresser drawer and killed it. Her mother was dead, and she was about fifteen years old. If she was as ignorant and as green as I was, she didn't know what to do with it, so that's what she did with it. And so he come for my mother, but it was a long time after then before I ever knew what had happened. She wouldn't tell it, see.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she stay in the community, or did she have to leave the community?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, her daddy kept her.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And she just went right on like . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. When I went to school, I had to walk about four miles there and four back.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the names of your brothers and sisters, in the order that

Page 7
they came?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
My oldest brother was Willie Grogan; the next one was Horace Grogan; the next one was Homer Grogan; the next one was Lawrence Grogan; the next one was Louis Grogan. I was after Homer Grogan, and then Lawrence, and then my sister Lily Mae that's dead. And I've got a sister that's living in Florida, Clara Nix; she was Clara Grogan then. I've got two brothers living, and one sister.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old were you when you all moved into the Woodside Cotton Mill?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I was fifteen.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was that when you started to work?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You were the oldest.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, I went to work, and my three oldest brothers went to work, and Daddy went to work. Then Mother went to work through dinner hours.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would she do during the dinner hours?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
She filled batteries in the weave shop.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And she would do that every day.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, every day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
From twelve to one?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
From eleven till one. They worked two hours. See, they'd start going out in the mill at different times, and she'd go on different sets of batteries to relieve the one that was going off for their lunch.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you went into the mill, had you ever been in a mill before?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Hadn't ever been in it in my life.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you remember that first . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I remember the first day I went in that mill. Spinning was what I went to work at, in the spinning room. And I put up an end on a spinning

Page 8
frame, the first time I ever went in the mill. So I knew that's what I wanted to do, and that's what I did. My daddy worked in the weave shop, and I had two brothers that worked in the carding department, and I had another brother that worked in the weave shop.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Had your father ever done mill work before?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, not before then. Didn't any of us had done any before then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How was it that he got this job for you all, or how did he find out about it?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
We lived right around, not too far from Greenville, all of our life. Things had got tough in the country the way they started doing, so he just went and asked for a job, and they give us a job and a house. Back then I think they charged two dollars a week for a house, as well as I remember.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember that it was any kind of harder work or different hours you had to get adjusted to, or anything different about working in the mill from working on the farm?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Us children liked the mill work then better, because when we [had] worked our hours, we was off. And we had our chores to do on the farm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So it seemed a little easier to work in the mill?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, we thought it was easier. We had more time to do what we wanted to.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any other incidents from the very first times that you all went into the mill, anything that your brothers or your father might have said, or how they reacted to it at first?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I don't think my father liked it at all, because he had rather be on the farm. But I think my brothers might have liked it all right. They never did say too much about it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So the reason that you all came in . . .

Page 9
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Farming, where you rented, was getting difficult to make a living. That's the reason we moved to the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you ever remember people having this disease they call pellagra?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I had it when I was a child.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How do you know that that's what it was?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
They told me it was, and I was in the St. Francis Hospital, and the General Hospital. When I took it, I was a child about eleven years old. I was fair-complected, and my mother thought I was sunburned, because I was red on my arms. She carried me to the doctor, and he told her that that's what it was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What time of the year did you get it?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
It was worse in the spring and the fall than any other time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did you come to believe was the cause of that?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
The doctors claimed there wasn't enough iodine in the food that we was getting. So they gave me [unknown] black iodine when I had it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did that do any good?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You were in the hospital in what city?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Up here, in St. Francis. Not this new one, but the old one, before they built the new one.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was that before you all moved here?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, we was already moved here. That's after me and Grover married. Mother carried me to old Dr. Jackson at Greer when I was a child. Somebody told her that he could cure it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's when you first noticed it.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You were living out on the farm.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. He just drove it on inside, a lot of other doctors told me.

Page 10
He just hid it, to say. I looked like I was well. When I married, I thought I was well. But when my first baby was born, I broke out with it again. And then I had it for about three years, I guess.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It would come back just at certain times of the year?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The first time you remember it, how old do you reckon you were?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I was about eleven when I was living in the country.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your brothers and sisters get it?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Didn't any of them have it but me.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Anybody else that you know of in the neighborhood?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, I heard my mother talk about somebody that lived in the neighborhood that did, but I never did see them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It seems to have been a pretty common thing back then.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, back then it was common, but I didn't know it at that time. See, I never have been a big eater, and I never eat[en], I guess, like I should, different things. And the boys did; they was all good eaters, and so none of them had it but me. But I've been well of it now for years. I reckon I'm well; I've not had any trouble with it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you remember any more about how it felt when you had that?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I just felt weak and rundown, like you maybe had spring fever, they call it. You just felt bad and weak. But see, I didn't think anything about it, because I thought I was sunburned, just like my mother thought. But it wasn't that; it was. . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
How far did you all go in school?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I was promoted to the eleventh grade. And my mother wanted me to go. I'd have finished in the eleventh. Back then there wasn't only the eleventh grade. And I didn't; I quit.

Page 11
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was when you were here in Greenville.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where did you go to school?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I went to Mauldin School, and I went to Pliney, and I went to. . . . I went to three schools, I reckon. I might have just went to two.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about when you were here in Greenville?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I would have went to Parker if I'd . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you never did actually go.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You stopped when you all moved here?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. I went to work. I'd been used to working, and I wanted to work. [Laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about your brothers and sisters?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
[unknown] My oldest brother went a long time, but he never did make his grade. [Laughter] He went as long as I did, just about, but I think he just got through the fifth grade. I think my other brother, Horace, went through about the eighth grade, and I think the others was about the same.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ALLEN TULLOS:
At Woodside, were you able to have a garden?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, if we lived where we could have a spot that didn't have anything on it, we'd have a garden.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your family have one when you were living there?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did any of your brothers and sisters keep on going to school after you all moved here to Greenville?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
The younger ones did. They weren't old enough to go to work.

Page 12
They went on in school.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You said you were fifteen years old when you moved here, so that put it at about 1926.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Talk a little bit about what sort of people were the bosses and the overseers. What were they like? What kind of personalities did they have, and how did the people that worked for them get along . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Some of them had real good personalities, and some of them were overbearing. Most of them were real nice to me when I worked. Of course, I didn't work but about four years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any cases where sometimes people who were working in the mill wouldn't like a particular overseer?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could they do anything?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Some of them wasn't real good to people. There wasn't anything they could do about it. They could quit or work, because they didn't have any union to go to, so if they were mistreated they just had to work or quit.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You all got married in 1928.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did you have your first child?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
In about six years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
1929 was when you had to stay in bed for seven or eight months over here.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I think it was later than that, because it was when my first baby was born. My first baby died, and I think it was after then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you had that real bad case of it.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, when he was born.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you quit working at the mill after about four years at Woodside?

Page 13
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That would have been about 1930. You all had been married a year or two, and then you stopped.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did you decide to do that?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
There was something happened up there one day that I didn't like, and I quit. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you tell me about it?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
It was about my drawing. I don't remember exactly how it was. It was something the second hand said to me. I was running drawing in the card room then. I didn't like something he said, so I just walked out.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he trying to make you go faster?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
He was trying to make me do something I wasn't supposed to do.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Another part of your job?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Give you more work?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. Only he didn't go at it right. He was kind of overbearing with it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he someone you'd been working with for a good while, or he'd just come on?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I'd worked for him ever since I'd worked down there, but I didn't work in the card room long at all. I worked in the spinning room most of my time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever try to speed up your work while you were working?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, sometimes. We had a lot of cleaning up to do when I worked.
ALLEN TULLOS:
In the spinning room?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes. We had to stop off our frames and clean the gears.

Page 14
It had the big old belts that come over and pulled the frames. We had to clean the gears in there. We had everything to clean.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many frames did they give you to work?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
When I first started to work, I learned on two. And then it kept getting on up till I had eight and ten, sometimes twelve, just how many they needed me to run.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many hours would you be working?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Ten hours.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you had to stop to clean the gears, would that be during your ten hours?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, that was during work time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would you get paid for doing that at all?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
You got paid so much a frame. You just got paid for so much a spinning frame that you run.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So it's kind of like being paid by the hour, or being paid by a certain amount of . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Well, I guess. Now when I first started to work, they paid, I believe it was twenty cents a frame, or forty. And the more frames you run, the more money you made.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's a daily wage.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you first started out, did they give you your own individual pay, or did it all go to your father and he divided it up, or how did that work?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
When we first started to work, we give it to him.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They would pay you, and then you'd turn it over.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long were you all there before your father died?

Page 15
Was it before you and Grover got married?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, it was after we got married that he died. I think he died in 1930.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old was he then?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
He was sixty-three.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did he ever get used to working in the mill or ever come to like that kind of work?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, I think he finally liked it pretty good.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he a weaver, or did he do something else in the weave room?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I think he done most anything in there except weave.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And then your mother died after . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Three years after he did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you say you raised, really, three families.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
His [Grover's] sister and brother and my two brothers and sister.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Going back to when you were brought up, you have already said something about the way they talked about different kind of questions about morality and things like that. Were they strict parents?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you talk a little bit about it?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
We didn't get to do like children do now. If there was any church services going on, revivals or anything, we had to go to that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What church did your parents belong to?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
My mother was a Baptist. My daddy was a Methodist.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they go pretty regularly?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. They carried us.
ALLEN TULLOS:
About every week, or once or twice a week?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No. We lived close to churches nearly everywhere we lived, and we had to be in them.

Page 16
ALLEN TULLOS:
So it might be two or three times a week?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, we had to go every time they had anything to do.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would you all sit together in the church?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they tell you how to behave while you were there?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes. We had to set still as a mouse. [laughter] And we had to behave.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And not talk or . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever whip you all?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I can't remember ever getting a whipping. I do one time from my mother, yes, but my daddy never hit any of us children a lick in his life, I don't reckon. If there was any whipping done, Mother did it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But they were still pretty strict.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they teach you all to respect older people and people older than you were?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, we had to respect the elderly people. Sure did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever say anything about whether you should say "Yes" or "No" or "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am"?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
"Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir".
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you remember anything else like that that they ever told you about how to behave?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
They taught us to be honest, to never tell a lie about anything.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they have any attitude about work?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
You mean how we got along working? We got along good a-working. They didn't push us or anything, because all of us knew to do our part.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you all were living on this farm and you had the tornado coming

Page 17
along, were you there when that happened?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you remember all that?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, I can remember it. It just come so quick. You don't know they're happening till it's all over with. It turned dark as night, and it poured rain just hard as it could pour. And it blowed trees down on our house, and part of our house away. It blowed all of our outbuildings away. It didn't hurt our horses; they were standing. It just took it off of them. It blowed away everything else we had. And after then I was scared every time a cloud come up, afraid it was coming a tornado.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you worked at Woodside Mill, is that when they were claiming that it was the biggest cotton mill under one roof in . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Textile mill in the South. Largest.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did that make any difference in people working there, the fact that it was the biggest one? Did that have any effect on whether or not you got to know everybody that was working there or. . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, you got to know them, everybody that worked around in the same room you did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever have any kind of strikes while you were at the Woodside Mill?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
They had one, but not when I was a-working.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it later?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
It was later. It was in the thirties, but I don't remember what year. They had a union then. They had organized, but something happened; the union fell apart.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember them ever trying to organize while you were working?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No.

Page 18
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you hear about it at all anywhere else while you were working?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What do you remember about the strike that they did have later on at Woodside?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Grover went out on strike. They went out for the battery fillers, I think, in the weave shop. They all went out for them, but they went back to work before any of the rest did. They didn't stay out till they could win what they went out for.
GROVER HARDIN:
It was illegal. If they put something else on you, you were supposed to try it out and then do your kicking. But when they put it on them, they quit then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They were trying to make them fill more batteries?
GROVER HARDIN:
Yes, they was trying to give them more batteries there to fill, and they thought they had their hands full, and so they just pulled a strike. They didn't shut the mill down, but they closed it down some, because some of the hands would go in and out. [Interruption]
ALLEN TULLOS:
You stopped working there at the Woodside Mill. You [Grover Hardin] stayed on and worked at Woodside a long time. Did you ever think about going back to work in the mill at all?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You had your hands full.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, I had my hands full at the house.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did you say to your children about working in the textile mill?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I told them I wanted them to get their schooling to where they wouldn't never have to work there. This one finished at Parker, and then she took several courses at different colleges.

Page 19
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about your other daughter?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
My other daughter didn't finish. She got married in the eleventh grade.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she go to Parker?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were you all involved in the Parker, all the activities they had going on over in that . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No. Nothing only the PTA's, I'd go. But I was in the grammar schools. I helped out in them all the time. I was grade mother, and if I could help the teachers any way I did, and I went with them on parties with the children and helped with them, and the PTA's and everything. I was always there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were the people that were elected the officers and all of the PTA folks that were working there in the communities and in the mills?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It seems like it was a real active district.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. I don't think there's as much going on in Parker as there used to be. We all used to look forward to the Parker-Greenville High Thanksgiving game. Well, it's not like it used to be.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I was reading in the newspaper about a suggestion someone had made even that the Parker School might be closed eventually.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I guess so many of the mills over there have closed that there aren't as many young people coming along.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
There's, I think, more colored people going up there now than white people.
[Interruption]
ALLEN TULLOS:
. . . ask you one or two more questions about this musical side of

Page 20
your family. You mentioned some of the songs that you all used to play. I just wonder if you recall ever hearing any songs about working in the mills or about textile work or cotton mills. There were songs like "The Cotton Mill Colic" and "The Weave Room Blues" and "The Spinning Room Blues."
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No. See, when we made our music was when we was in the country.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you came into Greenville, did you ever hear any songs like that on the phonograph, or anybody ever singing [unknown] ?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I don't remember if I did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you keep playing music at all after you left the country?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Some I did, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you all bring your organ into town?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, we had it after we moved here. But it wasn't too long after Mother died till we let this church have it. They was a-wanting it so bad, and we let them have it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you keep playing the organ or the piano or anything?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Well, I play the piano a little bit. Not much. I used to play at school when we had our prayer every morning. Maybe sing a song, and I used to play for them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you would be playing gospel religious songs?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
At school not every time. It'd be something that the children could sing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would be some other songs? Can you think of any that you played? Would you read the notes in a book, or you just played?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, I played by ear.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What were some of the favorite ones that you played for the children? Would they sing or dance?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, we used to have plays, and we'd sing and dance. We had

Page 21
what they called exhibitions at the end of school. We had the Greenville High band one time to come and play at the end of school. We put seats all out in the front yard. I went to Bethel School then. That's the other school I reckon I was thinking about. I went to Bethel School the last school I went to. And then Pliney School. I have taught a little bit when the teachers would be absent a few days there, but it'd be in maybe third or fourth grade. Something I knew. [Laughter] I was in ninth grade then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you keep on canning vegetables and things like that?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Oh, yes. I can every year.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the women in the community ever get together and sew things together?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, to quilt and . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
You did do some quilts.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes. And we'd get together and have cotton picking. You know, we'd pull the bolls off when it'd get so cold in the wintertime. Several families would get together, whoever had it to do, and help them pick it out. And we've had what they call corn-shuckings and . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
Wheat-threshings. You told about that. What about when you came to Greenville? Did you ever go to any quilting bees?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, after I moved to Greenville I didn't. At Greenville about the only recreation that young people had then was fruit suppers, they called it. Each one that come would bring a little bag of fruit. We'd put it all together on the table, and we'd play games and things like that. [unknown] [Interruption]
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
When we first come to the mill, everybody was alike. Everybody you would meet was friendly, and they wasn't too good to speak to you or too good to stop with you. And they always was eager to help in any way that

Page 22
they could help. We went to church after we moved here, just like we did when we lived in the country. We didn't stop going to church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which one did you go to?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Woodside Baptist.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who was the minister there?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Preacher Harbin and Preacher Sparks and Preacher Fisk. There have been a lot of preachers there since then. Preacher Harbin stayed about fifteen years at that church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you think things changed since then, that people later became more . . .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
People nowadays is not as sociable as they used to be. They may be still, deep down, as good a people as they ever were, but they're just not sociable. They don't visit like they used to. Some of them don't have time, I guess. And some of them's like me; they just don't visit much.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did this Preacher Harbin have kind of a strong influence on the community there?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, he visited a lot from house to house on the Woodside village.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know if the mill company itself helped to support the church then?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Helped to pay for the salaries?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I don't know about the salary, but they helped build the church and give them the land it's built on.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The mill had baseball teams, I think you said.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, we've been to the baseball teams.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Different mills had their teams.

Page 23
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever sponsor a brass band?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, they used to, and we used to have barbecue dinners down in the ballpark, and everybody'd get together.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When would that be?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
That would be mostly in the summer.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The Fourth of July?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you do remember that the mill sponsored what they would call a brass band, horn instruments?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
There was some kind. Now I don't know whether the mill paid for it or not. I never did know of the mill paying for the band or anything.
GROVER HARDIN:
[unknown] sponsor [unknown] , you know, [unknown] . If I got a band together and I wanted to play at something or other, why, they'd usually give you a little something [unknown] , but as far as sponsoring, they didn't. But they did sponsor the ball team. Western Carolina used to have some good ball teams. Used to [unclear] mills some of the best.
END OF INTERVIEW