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Title: Oral History Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975. Interview H-0290. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Shuping, Orlin P., interviewee
Interview conducted by Glass, Brent
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: 120 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.
2007-06-21, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975. Interview H-0290. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrializations. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0290)
Author: Brent Glass
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975. Interview H-0290. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrializations. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0290)
Author: Orlin P. Shuping
Description: 110 Mb
Description: 40 p.
Note: Interview conducted on June 15, 1975, by Brent Glass; recorded in Rowan County, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Frances Tamburro.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series H. Piedmont Industrializations, 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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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.
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Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975.
Interview H-0290. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Shuping, Orlin P., interviewee


Interview Participants

    ORLIN P. SHUPING, interviewee
    BRENT GLASS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BRENT GLASS:
The following is an interview with Mr. Orlin P. Shuping conducted by Brent Glass. The date is June 15, 1975. The place is Mr. Shuping's mill in Rowan County.
Mr. Shuping, I thought I would start out by asking you the date of your birth and where you were born.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I was born March 4, on a winday day, 1903, Township, Rowan County, North Carolina.
BRENT GLASS:
Latticer.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Latticer, right.
BRENT GLASS:
Your parents were Michael Shuping …
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
My parents were William Augustus Shuping and my mother, Lily Oriana Miller.
BRENT GLASS:
How long had your parents lived in Rowan County? Was your mother from Rowan County?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes, they were both from Rowan.
BRENT GLASS:
They had been born in Rowan?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Born and raised in Rowan County. In the present Rowan County that's near Salisbury, ten miles from Salisbury we'll say.
BRENT GLASS:
How far back does your family go in Rowan County?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We have about three generations back that

Page 2
I know of. I don't think it's much farther than that because they emmigrated from Germany, so I was told, Rheinlanders and they came from around Munich. They're supposed to have arrived in Pennsylvania in about 1717 but they didn't come south, down in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and the upper part of Alabama, until uptowards 1738 or 1740.
BRENT GLASS:
After about thirty years or so they came from Pennsylvania to North Carolina?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
That was from Munich to Pennsylvania. They had a year or two getting across. There was no ships available. The Queen England happened to be a Lutheran and she was interested in these people from Germany. She provided a way, they said, for about three thousand to come to Pennsylvania. They stopped in Pennsylvania because they like the country. It resembled their home country in Bavaria and upper Rhine. They stayed two years on the Dutch border. My people, the Rheiners, were poor people and were not very well educated. They talked what we would consider flat language now and they switched it to Dutch. Actually it was nothing but low German. Once they got here and up to about 1840, some of the churches here preached in high German and the countryside talked mostly in low German.

Page 3
BRENT GLASS:
You're saying then that the Shuping family was among those who came …
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
… among those. Although we've got no records that shows, the name's been changed so many times like lots of others. Our present governor, Jim Holshouser of Woodhauser, his people came of this very immediate area at the same time.
BRENT GLASS:
You told me what the name once was at one time …
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Schupping--S-C-H-U-P-P-I-N-G- or you could get it S-C-H-U-P-P-I-N-G-S-K-I-D-T.
BRENT GLASS:
How did you pronounce that?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Schuppingskidt, if you can twist your tongue enough to get it. There's other ways. Since these people were not very well educated, they cut the letters down. Many other names too, like Kryder. Holshouser is Woodhauser in English. It's not been cut down but lots of the others have eliminated a lot of the letters. It makes them harder to pronounce instead of easier. When you take the ‘c’ out of a name where there's an ‘s’ in front of it, it makes it harder to pronounce; like, Sifford. If you put it Scifford it'll prounce easier. Scifford. Many others too.
BRENT GLASS:
You told me your father was a miller. What

Page 4
occupations do you know of these three generations here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Moses Shupping, he run a saw mill and a cotton gin.
BRENT GLASS:
That's your great grandfather.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
My great grandfather. Michael Shupping served four years in the Civil War. Then he came back and he run the mill where we just came from. That was bought originally from his uncle, Henry Overcast, Heinrich in German. He married my grandmother and she was an Overcast, Obergosh if you want to get in this German. He run it until he died in 1895. He died at the age of fifty-five. My father was in Pennsylvania in school, in college at State Normal in western Pennsylvania, and he came back here. He and his brother bought the saw mill and boiler engine and other things that's mentioned in the early deed there. They run it. My father's brother died in 1905 …
BRENT GLASS:
What was his name?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Jim, James Munroe. And he died at the age of thirty-five of typhoid fever which was a very popular thing to die from in that time because these old mill ponds created a lot of typhoid fever and mosquitoes. The graveyards are filled with early deaths for that reason alone.

Page 5
BRENT GLASS:
Of [unknown]?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, I mean the community. The whole area suffered. In any old cemeteries you'll find a lot of young people died, in particular children from malaria and things like that. My father came back from Pennsylvania and he run the flour mill here. They run the saw mill a few years there before. At the turn of the century, people wanted to have roll mills instead of rock corn mills to grind their [unknown].
BRENT GLASS:
Why was that?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It was just the change of times. They put in roller mills so they decided to put in a roller mill in here. They moved the old saw mill from down in the old mill place here and run by steam.
BRENT GLASS:
The old mill place is the place just south of here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes, where we just came from. Where the water runs.
BRENT GLASS:
That's the old Shupping homeplace?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Right.
BRENT GLASS:
You said that your grandfather lived on that place for how long, from what date about?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
My grandfather lived there from 1865 till 1895 when he died but he only lived a mile further

Page 6
down from where he was raised at another old mill site. Moses Shupping lived there.
BRENT GLASS:
That's your great grandfather?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
In other words, there's four generations of millers in the Shupping family?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
That's right.
BRENT GLASS:
You don't know what this generation did. Were they farmers?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I don't know. That I don't know.
BRENT GLASS:
But at least four that we know of Moses Shupping, Michael Shupping, William Shupping and yourself are all millers.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
That's right, all millers. My mother was a miller on top of it.
BRENT GLASS:
Her name was Miller.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yeah. She came in with that bunch of Germans that came over here, the Melchers. The Melchers and your Crests …
BRENT GLASS:
… and Fisher …
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
… all of those are German names. All of them were of that original group that came here. There was another set of Lutherans, [unknown] of Lutherans, because they were early settlers in the eastern part of North

Page 7
Carolina. There was a small band down there of less than three hundred. Settled and lived a few years and the Indians killed them off. In the first year or two they had a number of people that died for different reasons. [unknown] near Newbourne. That was a year or two ahead of these people here that came here. There's here and many [unknown] many more. This is just a scattered view.
Getting back to the mill here, in 1900 they decided to build a flour mill. They moved the corn mill here. We call it the Rock Mill.
BRENT GLASS:
Corn mill from down …
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
… the old place, a half mile down. Then they bring it up here and use it here. In fact, we used it till 1965.
BRENT GLASS:
The corn mill was operating?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
This one that's right here on the corner?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes. It could be operated today. It could be; it's not.
BRENT GLASS:
When they moved the corn mill here in 1900 there was already a saw mill operating?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The saw mill was ahead of that five years.
BRENT GLASS:
1895 the saw mill was built, began operating.

Page 8
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The deed was recorded then.
BRENT GLASS:
That was operated by the Talbot and …
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes, that's right. There was also a cotton gin.
BRENT GLASS:
A cotton gin already here before the corn mill?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It was the same, before the corn mill. It was here with the saw mill and pla ner.
BRENT GLASS:
Just like in the deed.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes, that's right. The flour mill is actually five years younger than the engines and other things. They always said the engines were second-handed when brought here, and boiler. This is not the original boiler. The original boiler gave out in 1917, I think I looked it up. This one that's here has been here since 1917--that's almost sixty years.
BRENT GLASS:
We can get into machinery later on. You've taken care of the idea of the property ownership with those deeds. Who designed the mill?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
[unknown] and people of Muncie, Pennsylvania.
BRENT GLASS:
They sent someone down to design it?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I'm sure that's right. I think I'm correct on that. They sent a man out that sold mills and he

Page 9
designed, would see which size. One mill may be more barrels of flour a day than another one. There was not any two mills exactly alike. Some of them were maybe fifty or one hundred barrel mills, some of them sixty barrel. It runs in the thousands.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of saw mill did you have?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We had Fricks part of the time and we had Ladell part of the time and lastly we had a Frick. I think there were five there but what the others were I just don't happen to know. There's a Fricks made out about eighty miles from Washington in Waynsville, Pennsylvania.
BRENT GLASS:
Ladell was made in …
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
… Charlotte. They built it there. It was sorry. It was sorry; it was made in the South. The cotton gins were made in Atlanta. [unknown] cotton gin.
BRENT GLASS:
You pointed that out to me.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They were made down there. That old cotton gin up there should be in a museum before it completely disintegrates.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever have a cotton bailer here do you know, or a cotton press?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yeah. I think we've got one over there now. It's not there in its entirety but it's near enough.

Page 10
BRENT GLASS:
In the deed I noticed there was a molasses factory. Did you ever have a sorghum mill here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The man had it when he sold it the first time.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever operate it again?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I think they did for a year or two. That was back seven or eight years before I was born.
BRENT GLASS:
You never saw it.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, I don't remember it.
BRENT GLASS:
No one brought their cane here.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They brought it down below this lumber stack here where the spring was where they had plenty of good water.
BRENT GLASS:
What did they do? When you were alive they brought cane here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No. They probably used it five or six years but it was all before my time. I was born 1903; that was 1895 till that time. I don't know for sure about how long they made molasses there.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever have a cider press?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, they didn't have any. They didn't have apples enough to eat hardly. Well, I wouldn't say that. We don't have any apples to talk about here.
BRENT GLASS:
Did your dad have any partner?

Page 11
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
His brother.
BRENT GLASS:
And then his brother died.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Then he taken it over.
BRENT GLASS:
By himself.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
He bought it out. He run it till 1935 when he died, almost '36, December 1.
BRENT GLASS:
When was the first time that you worked at the mill?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
When I was big enough to carry buckets of water from the spring, half gallen buckets full of fresh water.
BRENT GLASS:
That was your first job?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Well, you know, I'd sweep and things like that. Then I got up bran. We'd run flour mill and we'd have farmers and other people come to the mill every work day. But two day a year we didn't work, Fourth of July and Christmas.
BRENT GLASS:
Sundays you worked?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, no Sundays but work Saturdays.
BRENT GLASS:
What time would the mill open in the morning?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
That kind of depended on how smart you was. If the weather was good, we'd open pretty early. Snowing or sleeting we probably wouldn't open till eight or eight-thirty.

Page 12
BRENT GLASS:
How late did you operate?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Back then we'd usually close before dark. After we got electric lights in 1925, we made our electric lights in 1925, we had what you'd call a farm plant--still got the generator yet.
BRENT GLASS:
You ran that off the steam engine?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We had a gas engine if we didn't have steam up. Maybe it'd snow a couple of days and we wouldn't have steam up every day. People couldn't get here. You'd run it with a gasoline engine. We furnished the miller's house with the same power.
BRENT GLASS:
You said farmers came every day. How big an area did this mill serve?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Quite a few of them came six and eight miles.
BRENT GLASS:
That would be the furthest distance?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I few scattered ones might have been farther than that but that was just the territory. Whenever we got more than six miles, we'd run into Rockville. They had a mill. China Grove, the other; Salisbury nine miles and they had two mills. Mount Pleasant, thirteen, fourteen miles, they had a mill. We got them more than half way to Mount Pleasant which is approximately fourteen miles but we'd get them six or seven. The farmers, most

Page 13
of them, had no roads worth talking about in winter and they went to the nearest place.
BRENT GLASS:
They brought these things in on wagons?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Most of them wagons and a few buggies; some on horseback. I have seen people carry fifty, and I know one woman that a number of times carried a hundred pounds of flour. I don't see why she done it. She wasn't no larger a man than you are and she carried it a mile and a half down to her home. She done it more than one time. By the way, I have some old record books that we'll get into later on. It gives dates and things.
BRENT GLASS:
How did the farmers pay you?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We're told most of it; told it.
BRENT GLASS:
What does that mean?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
‘Told’ is a sharecropper. In other words, a man brang a bushel of wheat. Let's break it down. He got twelve pounds of bran and thirty-eight pounds of flour. The miller kept the rest. That's thirty-eight and forty-nine, fifty. The miller kept the other ten for dirt and his share.
BRENT GLASS:
And then you'd se ll it?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Then we'd each sell it. At that time, whenever you wanted flour you didn't go to the store. They didn't have it. Now you can go to the store and buy

Page 14
flour. Later on they did, but at the beginning of it people came here to buy their flour and the bran and chops.
BRENT GLASS:
Where did these people come from?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Mostly in the neighborhood. You always had someone who wasn't farming. He was an industrial worker or he didn't like to work too well and he [unknown]. He's the one that would buy it. And then farmers. A lot of the farmers had a large family and at that time they didn't raise a lot of bushels per acre. The farmer would run out of wheat before he got any wheat and he'd have to buy some. A lot of times we'd sell them maybe two or three hundred pounds of flour till June. Maybe would sell it to them till the fall of the year when he'd sell his cotton. If he didn't raise wheat, he might be raising cotton. He'd sell some cotton and then pay you for whatever he bought.
BRENT GLASS:
Did the farmers ever come here for any other reason? They brought cord wood here.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yeah, we bought cord wood to run the boiler with. Also we cleaned seed grain. They also came here and listed their taxes. This was the place to list their taxes. The list taker was here.
BRENT GLASS:
What about polling? Where did they go to vote?

Page 15
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They went to the next crossroads up here. We had a post office until the rural routes came but I don't remember. That was a little too far back for me. It must have been 1903 or '04 when I was a baby, when the rural routes came. We've been on two rural routes ever since then. They just happened to cross here. All these years.
BRENT GLASS:
What about this telephone booth?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I would say we put that in in 1908 or 1909. We had three telephones on the line--one at our home, that's where we was down where the high is, and one to the man that worked with us and one here at the mill.
BRENT GLASS:
That was the only three in the whole area?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The only three. Nobody else had any; not very few in the cities. Maybe a city the size about Salisbury would have fifty phones maybe, something like that. Not many. Very rich people had nobody to call except themselves. Everything went by telegram or by letter then. I don't think that the mail was delivered here but two or three days a week. I think it was three days a week, by horseback. Later on they put in buggies. They had special buggies built for mail carriers. Then they came by motorcycle. Then by T-models and other things

Page 16
up to the present time.
BRENT GLASS:
Where did you get your lumber from?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
There was plenty of it growed here.
BRENT GLASS:
You'd use your own lumber for the saw mill?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, we usually bought it.
BRENT GLASS:
From where?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
From anybody who wants to sell it.
BRENT GLASS:
From farmers?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Everybody had lumber. Here was the thing too. The farmer didn't have any money and probably would help saw logs and give you some lumber to pay you yet. Then you could use the lumber and sell it if you could. One time we sold a lot of lumber here. Later on, use to buy it by the car load lots and wood shingles from the West Goast. That was long before you boys were little fellows. We trucked in later and they're still hauling logs out of the area now. Seen some pass us.
BRENT GLASS:
They also brought cotton here, right? There'd be ginnedand baled.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes, and then hauled to the cotton mill, the ones were bought in this area.
BRENT GLASS:
Why didn't they take it straight over to the mill? Wouldn't they do it over there?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, they didn't do that. One or two of the mills did, but nmost of them didn't. We used to have

Page 17
ten or twelve, maybe fifteen gins, in this particular county. I think we've got maybe one or two, maybe two now. We got much more population and nobody raises cotton. So that makes a difference. Our part of the cuntry is right much industrialized, the help is. Farming is all done with tractors where it used to be horses and mules.
BRENT GLASS:
Have you seen the farmers go through some pretty hard times?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I have, yes. Especially in 1913 right before World War I. They couldn't sell their cotton. Woodrow Wilson was president. They had a theme up for going around, "Buy a bale of cotton," that would help the cotton farmer. You couldn't ever sell the cotton; there was no market. As soon as France and Germany and England got into World War I, it made a market for it. Then 1917, April 6 or something like that, the United States declared war on Germany. Then everything moved along to 1921. We had another depression like we had a few months ago, or maybe worse. It lasted about a year. It was really bad.
BRENT GLASS:
How did your's or your father's business go? Did it fluctuate?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Oh, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
With how successful the farmers were doing?

Page 18
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes, and generally the nation. People buy more when they've got money. That was before the automobile ages. I used to make wagon belts. I run a little shop
BRENT GLASS:
Where was that?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
When I was a young fellow. That was just some of the things you did. I was just a young fellow and have us a little time and build a wagon bed for a farmer or quilt frames for the ladies. Anything to make money. Like these fellows in the city. They'll set a lot of didfferent things in order to make money.
BRENT GLASS:
Would you say that this was a pretty successful business, the milling business?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It was until the good roads came. My father was awful strong for good roads. When we got good roads and automobiles the business quit.
BRENT GLASS:
Why was that?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They was going into town to get some work done on a tooth and had to go to the bank or they had to go to the drugstore. There'd set a bag of wheat in the car and do it all in one trip and there was nothing here except the lumber and flour and corn meal.
BRENT GLASS:
You weren't selling drugs or other things.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
A man going into Rockville or China Grove

Page 19
or any little town could go to the blacksmith's shop, could go to the drugstore or he could go to the doctor's office, tooth dentist and maybe hardware. And it ruined it. The good roads and the automobiles running there, we never did do as good. We had a poor living all the years. Most of the mills were running or not running. Most of them been tore down and this one happened to be one that's standing. There's another one over here in the county. Probably you know about it. It's on thewest side of Salisbury. It's a brick building. It's like this.
BRENT GLASS:
Goodwin's?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, I don't think it's Goodwin's.
BRENT GLASS:
We can talk about that later.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We lost one by fire years ago.
BRENT GLASS:
The good roads did in the cross-roads mill.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They ruined it. The first place is that the decision was wrong. Their decision was to build the mill where the farmers was and the wheat. They should have built it near at a railroad siding and a little town. At that time, people went to the railroad to get on the train to go to the county seat or wherenot. They had something to go for besides wheat. It was the wrong place here and every other place. Of course, anybody realized it

Page 20
twenty years too late.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever think of moving it?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It wouldn't be practical. No, it would be very expensive then. We tried to get electric power here in 1926 or '27 and they wanted three thousand dol-dallars to hook us up. Well, three thousand dollars then was a lot of money. It's fifteen or twenty thousand now. We didn't have that kind of money. We were still run on steam. But we bought wood. In other words, a man who owned a bag of flour, a bag of feed, would bring a little wood. We'd swap him flour or feed. Then we could burn the wood and ground some more flour and maybe sell it to someone.
BRENT GLASS:
How late was this?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We did that almost up till 1932 or '33, maybe later than that.
BRENT GLASS:
You did operate the saw mill until a few years ago.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes, but you see in 1934 we went into the sawmill which was much heavier than lumber and then we got fuel. We quit running the flour mill in1942. That way, the saw mill and planing mill furnished its own …
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
… critical of the press. Them buggers, they just won't use facts. Do you know the press, a lot of times, are more responsible for creating fusses causing wars than any other bunch of people. You got that thing going?
BRENT GLASS:
I just turned it on. Do you have any outstanding memories on your days as a miller? Have you always been a miller? Did you go to college away from here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, I never did. My father went.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes, you mentioned that your father went to college.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I didn't. I don't have no book learning.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you go to high school?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, didn't have no high school. I didn't have time to go so busy ginning cotton in the fall of the year.
BRENT GLASS:
Why did your father go to college?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
He was born in the latter part of 1866. When he growed up to be a boy he didn't have hardly any reading but a preacher from Pennsylvania came serving a church nearby here. This preacher was probably thirty,

Page 22
forty years old and he had a school that you had to pay to go to. We'll call it a high school. He was there and he got my daddy interested in going to [unknown]. My daddy went up there and he finished his course and then he worked 'till he came back to the flour mill, at the school. He was a book keeper there. I'll show you some of his books and you can tell he had a little talent towards that. My dad played the violin. He was in an orchestratoo, and viola, but I didn't.
BRENT GLASS:
Were any of your family politically involved?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No. German people don't get involved much, except your Holshouser. [Laughter]
BRENT GLASS:
He got pretty involved.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I just use that for a joke but really they're not. (I see some person stoping. Look through the window. I think it's someone else. Oh, you were looking for someone weren't you.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes, he's probably here now.) Do you have any outstanding memories or favorite stories about anything unusual that happened out here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I have a book of those. Take a catalogue of it. I would say this. In 1910, we had a neighbor in the neighborhood of the mill here. (Go to the farther door out there. You can open it for him if you'd like. Go

Page 23
straight in there. All right.) This man was a big two hundred pound man and he got kind of manly upset. He said that he was going to have a big fire here in the neighborhood. It was kind of winter time, so my father and neighbors stayed for a month or so here and slept on the boiler to keep warm at night, watching it. They finally had to send him to the state institution for the mentally ill. Finally he came back and stayed a while but they had to send him back. He died at about 1930 at about eighty; I think he was eighty-two at that time. He didn't have any relatives except distant cousins.
That was one of the memories.
Then through the years we had too … I'm not too sure, but my father undoubtedly bought a lot of this machinery on credit. Then when his brother died soon afterward a few years, his brother had a large family it just naturally. Cut your tape off for this.
BRENT GLASS:
Let's turn the tape off for a second. [Interruption] .
BRENT GLASS:
We were talking about some of your favorite memories from your days as a miller.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
There was two things I always was very fond about, that was Christmas Day and Fourth of July. I always put a sign up when I was a youngster five or six

Page 24
years old, it was going to be closed on that particular day. That was outstanding days of the year.
BRENT GLASS:
When you didn't have to work?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes. New Year's Day was the day we cleaned out the office here, if it wasn't too bad to [unknown].
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever have any heavy damage due to storms?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, but we did have an engine that run away once. Didn't anybody get hurt but we did a lot of damage to the buildings. A few of us could of got killed.
BRENT GLASS:
What do you mean an engine run away?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The governors got stuck or got a cloth in them and stopped 'em and it flew to pieces, burst it's steam line. When you have a hundred and twenty pound pressure, people heard it for miles around here and came. Noone got hurt. The only thing that got hurt was the [unknown] and restoring it back to use. We had some things like that that happened.
BRENT GLASS:
How many people worked here beside you and your dad? Did any of your brothers work here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I didn't have any brothers. We had to hire others.
BRENT GLASS:
About how many people worked here?

Page 25
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We did have as high as nine at one time but most of the time about three and four. It depended. When we run the flour, when I was too little, we only run the sawmill part time. Therefore, we'd use the same help. In the flour business, when the fellows got busy cutting wheat, they didn't come to the mill and you had a couple of days you could run the sawmill and the planer. The same way in the fall of the year when they're sowing the grain you could maybe gin a little cotton for them while they was planting the grain. Normally our peak was nine men at one time. That was a long time ago. Most of them three or four.
BRENT GLASS:
What were the wages in those days? Do you remember what you payed them?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Anywahere from 12 ½ ¢ an hour to 15¢. During the depression we only paid $1.00 a day, 10¢ an hour. You could get more than you could work then. They'd just beg you to work. Then come and want flour and stuff. They'd do anything to get something. I was cutting a tree down once and a man come by, got an ax and chopped it up. He got through; he said he'd like to have a little money. He didn't have no salt for his flour. People were poor, you know. Didn't have any money.
BRENT GLASS:
Did this place operate during the depression?

Page 26
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yeah, it run all the time, except this last one here a couple of weeks ago.
I been busy talking to people in that time but I enjoyed it.
BRENT GLASS:
Most of the people who worked here were from farms around here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Locally. Some of them worked here twelve, fifteen years at a time.
BRENT GLASS:
They weren't really experienced people.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No. They were just people you picked up and trained.
BRENT GLASS:
You trained them yourself?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Trained them yourself. I went to school, graduated the seventh grade. Fell down on spelling then. I don't have no book learning, you see. Then I took over the he work here. One man couldn't hardly look after it all. At one time, one man run the sawmill I had one man running the sawmill, one the cotton gin, one the planer. My father run the flour mill. It was a lot of book work and a lot of talking to people. In 1936, '37, '38 I got into selling a lot of lumber and sometimes I'd have five or six people waiting to talk to me at one time. I had them lined up. That way I didn't work much at all I talked a lot. Then we put in steam heat here.

Page 27
BRENT GLASS:
I was looking at this. Was this sort of a gathering place? Did people sit around and talk?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They say it was. You see, we had steam up most of the time and it was comfortable. They swapped their yarns about farming. Right after a heavy rain for a day or two we'd have an extra business. All the farmers would come 'till they could get back in the field to work. That was very busy. That's why I never got to go fishing; like Mr. George asked me if I ever went fishing? I didn't have time to go when I was even little. When other boys was going fishing …
BRENT GLASS:
You never took a vacation all those years?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No. I did later on. I went to New York, Philadelphia a couple of times, then later on to Washington a number of times. I worked in the mail service part of the time during World War II and I worked out of Washington part of the time and the mail trains there too part of the time.
BRENT GLASS:
This wasn't working then?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, it was closed down in that short period of time--a couple of years. Sometimes I'd be home for a week or two and saw some logs, do other things, grind corn. This place was never closed down completely, you might say, 'till two years ago. Two or three years ago.

Page 28
I finally done my last work for pay. We did other things too. Most of the people on this side of the county knew of this place here.
BRENT GLASS:
Were there any kinds of festivities out here at Fourth of July?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Not at the mill here but they did at Faith three miles away and at Rockville.
BRENT GLASS:
Never had any gatherings here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Nothing except a church gathering. Some years ago, the Church of God in Cannapolis had a number of picnics here in the summer time for a few hours. We've had a lot of people come here, bring children and look around here through the years, especially when we run. People from your age up, thirty years up, they had little boys that would like to come and see. Sometimes the ladyfolks would come. They just like to look. They wondered where the flour and the cornmeal came. They knew it come from the mill [unknown] but they'd come and look around.
BRENT GLASS:
Let's talk a little about the machinery in the mill. Were all the machines always operating at one time?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We could; we didn't exactly. We had what you'd call a feed mill. That's where you ground feed

Page 29
for the cows and the horses and the hogs.
BRENT GLASS:
Where was that located?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It was here in the building. Sometimes we run it when we didn't run thre flour mill. Sometimes we run the flour mill and didn't run it. We ground corn anytime we needed to. Sometimes you'd ground the whole day; sometimes you'd ground only about an hour or two a day. It depends on the farmers coming in that particular day.
BRENT GLASS:
You could cut off the engine when you wanted to?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
If we didn't have anything to do we'd cut it off. We was burning wood that we had to buy.
BRENT GLASS:
What if you only wanted to run one engine?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We had one engine for a number of years. I put these others in, 1928, and maybe the other one right shorty afterwards.
BRENT GLASS:
The two Frick engines?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They was put in last.
BRENT GLASS:
They weren't put in until the late 1920's.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Late 1920's.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you get those second hand?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yeah I got them second hand. I don't know how many second hand's that was.

Page 30
BRENT GLASS:
Who did you get those from?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I got one of them from a fellow Abernanthy. He had a cotton gin and he discontinued it. The other one came from Lee Miller. He run a sawmill and his boiler went to the bad and I bought the engine. I put the engine in, I thin, 1945. He had run it for years before.
BRENT GLASS:
That's the last engine you put in, in 1945?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Yes and I had one ahead of that. It gives us some trouble and I taken it out and replaced it.
BRENT GLASS:
Is that that fourth one that's here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I got one out here behind you in the weeds [unknown]. That's the one I taken out. I found out, after I got it out, I shouldn't have taken it out because I could've easily fixed it rather than to changed but I changed. It's a good engine. That's the one they made in Concord. That's the one that's really made to buy.
BRENT GLASS:
Was that made at Concord?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It's made down there. They been out of business for many years.
BRENT GLASS:
Who was that?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Concord Foundry people. It was made here especially. Like I told to George, this is the one we really out to have because it's made in the county.

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It's historical.
BRENT GLASS:
When you bought this last one, who installed it?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I put it in.
BRENT GLASS:
You attached it to the boiler?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I do everything.
BRENT GLASS:
And you set up the shaft?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Everything.
BRENT GLASS:
Who designed it when your father had just the Talbort? Did he do it himself?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No. You see, the engine was here with the sawmill. Then they put the mill building up to it. It was already set up there by I don't know who. I presume the Frick man put it there because he was a fellow like me who did everything.
BRENT GLASS:
How did you learn how to do this? Not just anybody could hook up these things. How did you learn, just by your own experience?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
You just learn it in long enough time. It's very easy to learn. I got a boy that could do the same thing now. He's a little older than you. He can do most anything in that way. I don't know whether he's got the patience I have. See, I dideverything on it. Instead of going to college I …

Page 32
BRENT GLASS:
… went into the mill.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I went to the mill. I spend more time in the mill yet, if I'm well, than I do at the house. I'm very contented down here although it's a little dangerous for me up and down the steps. I spent my whole life here. They brought me as a baby here. We had a schoolhouse right near by. My mother'd bring my lunch here and I'm come up here to eat whenever I could. She brought it for my dad and I'd come up and eat my lunch here. We had an hour for dinner. I'd lose part of my playing time.
BRENT GLASS:
You'd rather be here. When the father brought his wheat here, which machine would it go to first? Let's say the corn first.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Corn we'd run through the sheller if he didn't already have it shelled. Sometimes he had a sheller of his own. If he didn't, he'd have a bunch of children and they'd shell it by hand. They'd take it out and let the wind blow through it and blow the chaff out of it. Then they'd bring it to the mill and have it ground. And we'd toll it. Right up there is the toll [unknown]. You can see it there and that's the old one too. I mean of the old mill. We'd take a toll for a bushel, for grinding a bushel.

Page 33
BRENT GLASS:
You'd take a certain amount out of a bushel. You'd grind the bushel and take a certain amount for yourself?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No, we'd take the corn out before it was ground. Then we ground it. He probably would want some flour or some gran or some hog feed, something else. That would be the corn. The other angle on the corn--we'd buy some corn. If somebody wanted to sell it we'd say, oh we'll see it. We'd shell the corn and run it through the cleaner and then we ground up …
BRENT GLASS:
Which is the cleaner? Is that the one upstairs?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
No. The corn cleaner is back here behind you. We'd clean the corn. (Around the corner there, Mr. George. You can't quite see it.) We'd get all the dust and everything out. Then we'd grind up a couple hundred poundsand then we'd bag it up in small bags for distribution. If we had an ear of corn that had a little rotten on it, we'd throw it over for the feed. We sold feed too. We didn't put nothing but choice meal, corn for the meal that was sold. You grind corn granular I can't say that word) instead of fine. You don't grind cornmeal too fine. If you do you haven't got anything. It got too flour-like. That's why it's better ground on

Page 34
rock than it is on rollers. And grind it slow and not heat it. That's the story on that.
Sometimes they'd want a dollar or two, they'd bring a bushel or two along. Sell a little on that trip. They'd need a little change for some reason. That's happened many times. Another thing too, they'd come with wheat. Sometimes they'd bring corn, sometimes they didn't. At one time, we ground buckwheat here for many years.
BRENT GLASS:
Where?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
In that corn mill. Not much buckwheat raised here. We got a number of people who started it and they raised it here. It's just hotcake. You know what buckwheat is. It's eat a lot in Pennsylvania and in the North, not too much in the South. They eat grits. Anyway, they'd bring the wheat here. We'd weigh wheat and then we'd give them in proportion. We'd always see whether the wheat was good or bad or medium. If it was bad and trashy, we'd have to dock them a little for dirt. Then we'd give them flour for that wheat and bran for the cows and hogs. We kept pushing up for our expense.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you use the gyrator for?

Page 35
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
To give it to you in your language, the gyrator has got in it. The ground wheat would go in there and it would sift it. We'd call it a sifter, like you'd take a piece of screen wire and sift sand. That's just full of sifters, that whole [unknown]. It did that all the way along when it was running.
BRENT GLASS:
Using your language, how would you describe it? What would you say?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
We just call it a gyrator. Sifter is really …
BRENT GLASS:
What it's called.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
… is really correct. They call it gyrator. It's both; I reckon either one would be right.
BRENT GLASS:
Was the dust collector going around and around?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
There's a dust collector too. You see, the bran would always have a little bit of flour in it. We'd run the bran through the dust collector … no, we'd run the bran through the bran duster. It would get some of the flour out of it then. The bran duster would go to the dust collector and there you'd get some more flour. Then we had to black shorts and red shorts.
BRENT GLASS:
What do you mean by that?

Page 36
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
That's part of the wheat grain. Then you had to rerun it through some other mills. There was a lot of different rollers that you run it through.
BRENT GLASS:
You actually put it right in the dust collector?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It went through. It was in the bran duster but just the dust came over there.
BRENT GLASS:
That was all run by steam?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Everything was run by steam. Didn't have nothing else. Didn't even have electric lights 'till 1925 and then we made it.
BRENT GLASS:
What would be the process with lumber? Where would you take that first?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The first thing is we usually bought the logs. I had someone to cut them and bring them here. We'd roll them in and saw them into lumber. If it was finished lumber, what you might say you wanted it dry, you'd stuck it for several months but it was for chicken house lumber. If you had a grainery maybe you'd take it to the planer and fix it there. They'd take it home on their wagons and nail it up. That's general procedure. Depending on what they wanted to use it for, it varied. Cme man might have a tree that lightning struck. Another one was clearing a corner of land and

Page 37
he wanted some wood. He'd get a few logs and bring it and repair his hogpen, whatever he needed to do to his barn. Sometimes you wouldn't get but a few logs from each farmer but when they all came in they kept you busy. This was just one of the places. The whole country used to have other places sort of similar to this. I had the sawmill and the cotton gin, just about the same thing. My great granddaddy run his sawmill by water. That was below the dams that we looked at, about a half mile down.
BRENT GLASS:
He had a water-powered mill.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They run it like this. There was a water one like you might say, a handsaw that went up and down like this. You take a stick and push the carriage along to get your plank off. You've probably seen some of them old planks that was sawed. I used to see a lot of them but I haven't seen any around lately.
He did that here. I just don't know whether there's any around here or not nor how long he run there but I think he had a cotton gin there also. In fact, he could've had that same corn mill there.
BRENT GLASS:
The corn mill that's here.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
It's possible but I don't know. There was a Henry Starell, that was an uncle of my granddaddy,

Page 38
that had the mill at one time. Then he sold it to Henry Overcast, that's where my granddaddy married. He sold it to Henry Overcast or Heinrich, if you want to use the German name, but when the war come along it broke him.
BRENT GLASS:
The Civil War.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The Civil War. Some of these people here lived during the Revolutionary War.
BRENT GLASS:
What was the resaw used for?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
The resaw was to take a plank twice as thick and make two out of it.
BRENT GLASS:
You'd put it in the planer after that.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
That's right. See, here's a little that's been resawed but that's [unknown] ed with a bandsaw. My granddaddy sawed wide plank. That's how it's dressed. If that was dressed all around, and another piece here, then you'd have two rough sides and you'd have to run it back through the planer.
BRENT GLASS:
Did any of the farmers ever complain about the way that any of the work came out of here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Oh yeah, they always complain. You always have complaints whatever you do.
BRENT GLASS:
They didn't like how smooth it was.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Didn't have much trouble about that. It

Page 39
was convenient here. People wasn't as particular then; if they were, they'd go to a big plant that had more modern machinery. In other words, most of this stuff was kind of old. We had an old church down here that I went to. We overhauled it in 1937 or '38, something like that. I went to [unknown] and bought the lumber from him wholesale for that because I wanted exactly what I wanted to go in the church. I would never attempt to fix it myself because I couldn't fix it as good as I wanted it to go in there. They had better machinery. Went to South Carolina and bought the lumber down there.
Here's another thing. This is a homemade door here. It's things like that. You always use a little bit of lumber all along. We spent a whole lot of time here and [unknown]. Didn't make a good living but still survived. It's been an interesting life. It's not quite as dull as you think. We had people com in and some of them would complain. I'll tell you another thing. A whole lot of them never did pay their bills. Plenty of them.
BRENT GLASS:
You kept some of them on for a while and they just never showed up again?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They might die, you know. A man my age

Page 40
might die and there's estates to settle. They come by and give you fifteen percent of it or something. They didn't have enough to pay his bills.
BRENT GLASS:
You said you were born in 1903. You're not so old.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I'll be seventy-two in March, the fourth of March. I want to show you those record books out here.
BRENT GLASS:
Thank you very much for talking with us.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
I'm glad to give you any information I can. I talk all the time and don't say anything.
END OF INTERVIEW