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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Christine and Dave Galliher, August 8, 1979. Interview H-0314. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Relationship between textile plants and the working community

Christine and Dave Galliher briefly discuss the reaction of the community to the establishment of textile mills in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and the impact of federal intervention during World War II. According to the Gallihers, working people in Elizabethton did not believe that the mills had an adverse affect on their ways of life; however, they argue that public sentiment towards the mill shifted slightly during World War II when the federal government took over control of the two main plants because they were owned by Germans.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Christine and Dave Galliher, August 8, 1979. Interview H-0314. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
What did people think when they first started building these plants and when the plants came in? Were people real happy to have the plants built?
CHRISTINE GALLIHER:
I think they just took it as a matter of course. People in this part of the county back at that time had always just took things as they come, as a matter of course. It was just a way of life. I don't guess they thought it would change their life much. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
But once they got in, they weren't very dissatisfied.
CHRISTINE GALLIHER:
No, I never did hear anyone say that they were dissatisfied with the plants being here, did you, Dave?
DAVE GALLIHER:
No.
CHRISTINE GALLIHER:
But I think it was a bad thing, though, when the War broke out and the government took the plants over. It never did do as well after that. I guess it was mismanagement; I don't know.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What changed?
CHRISTINE GALLIHER:
The Bemberg and the Glanzstoff plant was German-owned. They brought their own German people over here to supervise it, and [they] stayed on. Then when the Second World War came up the government took it over, because it was owned by the Germans. I don't know why, unless they was afraid that there might be something manufactured down there that would be toward the War effort. But anyway the government took it over and they run it, but it went from bad to worse.