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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Large families could only send one to three members to work at the mill during the Depression

Managers tried to distribute mill jobs during the Depression so that every family had one to three people working. Families needed as many workers as possible because wages were so low.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

The Depression come along and then everybody-there wouldn't be but maybe one or two in the family that was working.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
That's right.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the mill's managers try to spread the work around during the Depression?
GEORGIA:
Yeah, they tried to level it off as well as they could to where there'd be one or two out of the family to working, or three-where there was big families.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, they spread it out but nobody wasn't making nothing.
GEORGIA:
But Mama, you moved here and then my older sisters when they got fourteen, they went to the mill, and the two boys went to the mill and then I went to the mill when I was fourteen and then the two youngest ones had to be sixteen to go.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I know what I can . . .
GEORGIA:
All of us worked in this mill, all seven of us.