Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tobacco and Cigarettes Used to be Leading Products in North Carolina

I'm old. I remember when the air in sections of Durham carried the sweet smell of tobacco. I also remember when Winston-Salem manufactured Winston and Salem cigarettes. But those days are gone. When the president noted products made in the various states yesterday, he didn't hold up a carton of cigarettes. North Carolina's product was Cheerwine.

If your ancestors were living in North Carolina, they may have been involved in the tobacco industry. For an overview, read Teresa Leonard's Past Times column in the Raleigh News & Observer.

Below is a photo from the newspaper article, which was published July 20, 2015.

Mention Around the Mills, from the Fieldcrest Mill Whistle, July 20, 1942

Fieldcrest Mill Whistle, July 20, 1942.

Mention Around the Mills


The following correspondents have been selected for the purpose of gathering news from their respective mills. Any news item—about yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors—should be given to them. Don’t be bashful; people like to read about you just as much as you like to read about them.

Blanket: Mrs. Katherine Turner

Sheeting: Warren Hubbard

Bedspread: Morell Connor

Finishing: Mrs. Lois Hill

Central Warehouse: Mrs. Maybud Stanley

Rayon: Ray Warner

Bleachery: Miss Georgia Thomas

Office: Howard Sheffield

Woollen: Mrs. Maggie M. Harris

Towel: Mrs. Virginia Witt Williams

Hosiery: C.D. Looney

Karastan: Miss Dorothy Manley

Blanket Mill

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Strutton and Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Hailey and Son, Hassell, attended the funeral of Mrs. Hailey’s aunt, Mrs. Archer Moonan, in Baltimore, Md., last week. Before returning home they spent several days in Washington, D.C.

Claude Gillie of the Marines spent a few days last week with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Gillie.

James Manuel of the army spent last week with his mother and other relatives.

Pfc. Edward Ferguson spent several days in town visiting friends and relatives.

Lawson Talbott of Durham spent the weekend with his mother.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Blackwell and children, and Bernice and Francis Gilbert, and Bernice Burch spent Sunday at Fairystone Park.

Sergeant Nathan Powell of Fort Bragg spent last weekend with his wife and parents.

Ed Hurd of the army spent the weekend with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Hurd.

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Todd and Miss Gertie Meeks of Schoolfield were recent visitors at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Gauldin.

Mr. and Mrs. Walton Hamrick of Fayetteville are visiting Mrs. Hamrick’s mother, Mrs. Gladys Leary.

Sheeting Mill

Mrs. George Voss and children and Master Ted Gaudlin were weekend visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Barrow.

Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Williams motored to Fairy Stone Park, Sunday.

Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Stophel spent the holidays with friends and relatives in Tennessee.

Mr. and Mrs. Ed Walker and family spent last weekend in Vesta, Va.

Eugene Pruitt of the navy visited his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Pruitt recently.

Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Samuels and family visited relatives here last weekend.

Word received recently from Kessler Field, Miss. One of the largest air force technical schools, states that Dewey Melton, son of Mr. and Mrs. R.M. Melton, has recently been promoted from corporal to sergeant. Sergeant Melton, formerly a professional baseball player, has a host of friends who are glad to know he is doing so well with Uncle Sam.

Mrs. Fred Rippy and children of Charlotte has accepted a position here and is making her home with her mother, Mrs. Annie Wilson.

Bedspread Mill

Bradley Murray, who has been in the hospital for an appendectomy, will be able to return to his home Friday. We are glad to hear of his rapid improvement and hope he will be at work soon.

Doris Barnes has gone to New York to visit her husband, Everett, who is employed in an anti-aircraft plant there. “Keep ‘em falling (the enemy), Everett.”

The rest of the page was damaged, so I don’t know what was in the rest of the column about Mrs. Nannie Gilley, Mrs. Cora Brannon and Ann Murphy.

Towel Mill

Mr. and Mrs. Leroy H. Shaw announce the engagement of their daughter, Shirley Alyne, to William Grover Golightly. The marriage will be solemnized in the near future. Miss Shaw is employed in the Towel Mill office and Mr. Golightly is connected with the Martinsville Broadcasting Co.

The Health League and Fellowship Club held its regular monthly meeting last week at the Fieldale Y.M.C.A. club room, with Mrs. T.F. Wilson hostess. After the business session a stork shower was presented to Mrs. George Merriman. Delicious refreshments were served by the hostess. The club plans to hold its annual picnic Saturday evening, July 19, 7 o’clock at the Fieldale baseball park.

Our popular sewing room foreman, E. Sherrill, reports that he believes he is just about the best gardener in the county. He raises a double crop of vegetables from one planting. Everyone that doubts this may call on Mr. Sherrill and he will be glad to show them his Irish potato planting, with a crop of something that resembles tomatoes growing on the vines and, of course, he has a crop of potatoes under the ground.

Rev. Z.V. Mason has concluded a successful revival at Salem church in Patrick county. The baptismal service was held at George’s Mill, Mayo River, yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock, with 11 candidates for baptism. Mr. Mason assisted in a revival at the Methodist church here a few weeks ago.

Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hunter and Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Robbins attended a family reunion last Sunday at the Fredell farm about eight miles north of Fieldale.

Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Pickup were among the visitors at Fairy Stone Park, Sunday.

Our community is saddened by the death of C. Kelly Harrell, which occurred last Thursday afternoon while he was at work in the mill. Mr. Harrell was a loom-fixer and had been a loyal employee of the Towel Mill for many years. He was a good citizen and well liked by everyone. Survivors include his wife and two children.

Sgt. Hobart Gusler of Camp Pickett, Blackstone, Va., was called to Fieldale during the weekend on account of the illness of his wife. Mrs. Gusler has been quite ill for several days but her condition is now somewhat improved.

Mesdames Willie Sawyer, Bill Barbour, Lyle McAlexander and Hughes Martin visited their husbands at Norfolk Saturday and Sunday, returning to Fieldale Sunday evening.

Frederick Stilwell, formerly connected with the packing room and now with the U.S. Navy, has been transferred from Newport, Rhode Island, to Great Lakes, Illinois. He will attend a machinist school at that place.

Hosiery Mill

Robie B. McFarland, a knitter employed in the Hosiery Mill, is leaving for officers’ training this week. He also has the distinct honor of being the first employee of the mills in the manufacturing division to obtain and have delivered to him a U.S. War Bond purchased through the payroll deduction plan. This action further exemplifies the loyalty and patriotism that Robie has always shown towards things pertaining to the successful promotion of our war efforts. Such characteristics will be of particular value to him as he develops into a military officer.

Edgar D. Ferguson of the U.S. Navy was recently promoted from water tender, second class, to water tender, first class.

Messrs. Morris N. Eggleston and Walter Hale were the first employees of the Hosiery Mill to subscribe for war bonds. Both of these young men as well as many of their associates were very anxious to “slap the Dirty Little Jap” by putting their savings into the purchase of war bonds for the promotion of the war campaign.

Mrs. Evelyn Ferguson of the Hosiery Mills has just returned from Philadelphia where she spent a week with her husband, Edgar D. Ferguson, USN.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bryant Takes Long Walk and Describes Indian Children at Boarding School, 1901

Beasley’s Farm and Home Weekly, Charlotte, N.C., July 31, 1941

Took Round Trip of 20 Miles…Only to Find That Old Jim Walkingstick Had Nothing to Say and Said It

By H.E.C. (Red Buck) Bryant

Jim Walkingstick was a Cherokee Indian in 1901 but no doubt he has passed to the Happy Hunting Ground long before this, for he was 77 years old in that old horse and buggy era when I made his acquaintance. One Sunday morning in November, I was walking from Bryson City, Swain County, to the Eastern Cherokee Training School, 10 miles away on the banks of the Oconee-Lufty River.

I had for a companion on that 20-mile round trip jaunt a traveling salesman I had never seen before. He heard me say that I was going to walk and insisted on accompanying me. I asked him if he had been used to such strenuous journeys afoot, and he answered in the negative but boasted that he could do the task if I could. He was what George Ade called a wind-jammer.

We made the journey, up hill and down hill, in very good time. I never saw that pal again for 15 years, and then in Washington. On a popular business street he stopped me, and recalled the ramble in the mountains, and added that he went from Bryson City to Knoxville, Tenn., where he was out of commission for nearly three weeks. He had undertaken, too much, when he was not used to it, and it laid him up.

To the Cherokee School

Back there, 40 years ago this coming winter, I wrote:

“Bryson City, Nov. 22—If one would know North Carolina he must travel from the Atlantic to the Smokies. Out here I almost feel like I was in a foreign land. The topography of the country and the people are so unlike what I have been used to around Charlotte. But the more I know of this section and its inhabitants the better I like them. To fully appreciate the country or the people one must make excursions into the rural districts. There mountain men and women live. They are the salt of the earth.

“Bryson City is a very lonesome place for a stranger on Sunday. Of course there are churches to go to but I go to those at home. One soon tires of laying around a hotel and is compelled to do something in self-defense. That I did yesterday. And, being interested in Uncle Sam and his work, I walked out to the Cherokee Training School.

“I had for a walking mate a pill seller who walked well for an inexperienced mountain climber. We made the visit between 9 and 5:30,and with the exception of a ravenous appetite, a few sore muscles and a great desire to sleep, I did not feel any the worse from the jaunt.

“What I saw at the school and on the way there and back affords material for a good story.

Meets Old Man Jim Walkingstick

“Seven miles out of town we began to see Indians—real Indians. I have seen Catawbas and Croatans but none of them look like the Cherokees, who have red, copper color, the high cheek bones and the long, straight black hair.

“The first individual we met was old man Jim Walkingstick. He was leaning against the fence that enclosed the red man’s church at Bird-Town. His eyes were fixed on the far off mountains and his mind, no doubt, on the Happy Hunting Ground. He was not the only man there for two dozen or more young bucks stood along the fence, and others loafed in front of the church. All waited for the services to begin. As we approached every mouth was closed. If any conversation had been going it was stopped. Each Indian looked as if he had lost his best friend. The atmosphere was heavy with Indian piety. I felt like I was offending the Indians by desecrating the Sabbath. But I have since come to the conclusion that they were simply playing ‘possum or pouting. I believe they thought the two pale-faced tramps were after doing the Red-skin harm. I tried to draw Jim Walkingstick into a conversation, but he did nothing but grunt. He could not tell his own name. His silence sealed the lips of the younger men. It was impossible to get a word of information about the country, or the people. And when I insinuated that I would stay for preaching the whole crowd looked more downcast than ever, and some few bucks grunted and walked away. If we had offered to go in the church I do not believe the pastor would have had a corporal’s guard.

Women Look Neat

“We moved on up the river toward the school and met a score or more of women going to Bird-Town. Most of them wore red shawls or capes over their shoulders and red bandana handkerchiefs on their heads. Their skirts were made of some plain cloth and had been made when the water was high, for they did not swing lower than the shoe top. They were made to walk in. I saw no one but who looked neat. As a rule the women are large and strong looking. Several of the girls wore strings of beads.

“The Eastern Cherokee Training School is maintained by the federal government. From year to year Congress appropriates enough to provide for 150 children. The school draws from all the Cherokee families east of the Mississippi River. At present 168 children, 90 boys and 78 girls, are in the school. Their ages run from 6 to 18.

“The work done at this school is decidedly practical. The boys and girls are trained to work as well as taught to read and write. The purpose of the education is to prepare the boys for earning an honest living by honest labor, and the girls for making good housekeepers, good wives and good mothers.

How the School Operates

There are 140 acres of land in the school tract. The boys work in the gardens, in the dairy, in the carpenter shop, in the blacksmith shop, in the shoe shop, where the girls learn to sew, to cook, to wash. The boys milk the cows and the girls take the milk and prepare it for the church and the table. The boys care for the barn and the stock while the girls help cook food and make clothes. The school is made self-sustaining as far as possible. One department helps the other. The work of a session is so divided that every boy must take a turn in each department. For instance, one week he will work on the farm, the next in the blacksmith shop and so on through. The object is to make him an all-round workman. The girls are worked in the same way.

“There are about 18 buildings in the enclosure. The main ones are the girls’ dormitory and dining hall, the boys’ dormitory, the teachers’ quarters, the superintendent’s cottage, the commissary, the school building, the office building, the baker’s shop, and the carpenter’s shop.

“The school is a model for neatness and cleanliness. Every building is kept in ship shape. The boys and girls are required to make their beds and clean their rooms. The superintendent makes a close inspection every Sunday morning from 9:30 to 10 o’clock. He goes to the sleeping apartments and each and every child is expected to be dressed in his or her best clothes, and standing by his or her bed. Order and system prevail everywhere. Along with several other visitors I was conducted into the large bed room of the girls, the dining hall, the kitchen and the school building. The girls sleep in a large room on iron beds equipped with comfortable mattresses and coverings. Boys and girls eat in the same dining room, though they occupy separate buildings and have separate play grounds.

“We arrived at the school soon after dinner had been served. The children were at play on the lawns. Fifty or more boys, handsome little fellows, with black eyes, black hair and red-tinged faces, were scattered over a hill side and a valley, inside the fence, playing shinny. They were like so many lambs skipping about. Further on, the little girls were running and jumping about on their lawn. They were pretty to look upon in their dainty, clean Sunday clothes with their raven locks arranged in plaits tied with bows of ribbon at their backs and on top of their heads. It was an attractive picture. There was a beam of happiness in every little black eye. The children seemed healthy and satisfied. As they romped they did not make much noise. Now and then, however, a boy would give a regular Indian yell. Uncle Sam, thru the teachers, has already accomplished much at this school. He has taught the boys and girls how to keep clean, how to dress, how to work and how to live together in peace and harmony. They should make good citizens.

‘It will no doubt be of interest to other schools’ boys and girls to know the names of 10 of the Cherokee children. Here they are: Masters Owen Walkingstick, Joe Coloniheiski, Jesse Ropetwister, Wilson Gadageski, and cunuaneeta welch, and little Misses Ona Youngdeer, Wahueeto Standingdeer, Yon Youngbird, Maggie Walkingstick, and Josephine Jessan. Those will do to remember. The girls who bear these names are good looking and young. The boys are bright and attractive.

“The location of the Cherokee school could not be improved upon. It is in one of the most charming mountain spots of North Carolina. The Oconee-Lufty River circles around the ground with its clear, swift water in full view of the buildings.

“The children go to Sunday school in the forenoon and to special service in the afternoon every Sunday.

“The Cherokee tribe of North Carolina numbers about 2,500 persons. Jesse Reed is chief and his board of councilmen is composed of 17 of the leading Indians of this section. They met a few days ago.

“On our way to Bryson City, we saw Jim Walkingstick out strolling. He was more communicative than he had been in the morning. On being asked where some Indian wares could be had he piloted us to the house of his son, John, where we purchased a small basket made by Lady Walkingstick. Near the Bird-Town church we bought some table napkin holders made out of laurel. It was then that the Indians became more interesting. Several of them condescended to talk a wee bit.

Whittier’s, on the Murphy branch of the Southern Railway, seven miles east of here, is the most convenient station to Cherokee.

“Many of the most promising boys, after leaving the school here, go to the Carlisle Indian School, of Carlisle, Pa.”

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Families Across the State Coming to Raleigh for Farm and Home Week, 1941

Beasley’s Farm and Home Weekly, Charlotte, N.C., July 31, 1941

Farm People Invited to State College Meet

From officials of the North Carolina State College comes a cordial invitation to farm folks of this and other counties to attend the 38th annual Farm and Home Week starting next Monday, August 4. Accompanying the invitation is an offer to provide a room in one of the college dormatories for the entire week for only $1.00.

The invitation is signed, first by Col. John W. Harrelson, administrative dean of the college; and by Dr. O.I. Schaub, director, John W. Goodman, assistant director, and Miss Ruth Current, State Home Agent of the State College Extension Service.

An attractive program has been arranged for the farm people. It includes talks at joint assemblies of farm men and women by Governor J.M. Broughton, Col. Charles M. Busbee of Fort Bragg, Dr. Helen Mitchell, director of nutrition for the Federal Security Agency; Edward Scheidt, special FBI agent of Charlotte; and Dr. Sankey L. Blanton, Baptist minister of Wilmington.

Bayard Clark, representative from the Seventh Congressional district, will address the 20th annual meeting of the N.C. Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs on Thursday. Miss Margaret Edwards, head of the home economics department of the Woman’s College at Greensboro, will speak on the Honor Day program Friday.

Special conferences for men are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and classes in a great variety of homemaking subjects will be conducted for women Tuesday and Wednesday.

Group singing, led by Jack F. Griswell, will be held each night, and quiz programs will be conducted by F.H. Jeter on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. An amateur program is planned Thursday night.

Claud Davis Drowns in Catawba River, 1917

 “Colored Man Drowns in Catawba River,” from the Hickory Daily Record, July 3, 1917

Claud Davis, colored, of Ineman, S.C., employed as cook for the H.F. Deitz paint crew on the Southern Railway Company, was drowned last night about 8 o’clock at Catawba in the Catawba River. He was in bathing with a number of other people and seems to have fallen into a deep hole and could not swim.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Mrs. Lee Gaye Meets Midget of Ridgecrest at Baptist Assembly, 1941

Beasley’s Farm and Home Weekly, Charlotte, N.C., July 31, 1941

The Midget of Ridgecrest by Mrs. Lee Gaye

To some this may seem like a broad statement and some might think I’m merely speaking well of our Baptist Assembly at Ridgecrest, but others like myself are struck with the truth that it’s wonderful.

It’s a beauty spot of our nation, there on the mountain top where you receive spiritual blessings, a vision and an inspiration to help carry to every human heart the message of Jesus.

I wish it was possible for every officer and teacher to be there next year for the southwide Sunday school week.

The general and departmental conferences are educational and helpful, and the sermons are the best. The general atmosphere gets next to your heart. It is a rather reassuring thing to have people always look like they are interested in you and glad to have you. Upon such a commendable spirit has the reputation of this assembly grown among the Baptists not only in North Carolina but almost every state.

It was very thrilling to meet and be in conference with the writers of our Sunday school literature, also to talk with folks from New Mexico, where my brother has been for 18 years, and to send greetings to him, and the friendly folk from Tampa, Fla., who took a message to my son there. Everywhere praises are heard of the friendliness and fellowship. I feel like it is a long sought for spot where one could stay for a long time and leave with reluctance.

It was at one of the wonderful dinners they feed you that I met the midget of Ridgecrest. He attracted my attention as soon as he sat down at the table, because he had the body of a child about 7 years and the face of a grown man. Some one at the table asked him why he was eating with the older folks and he said: “I’m 18 and one of the staff.” Well, I just couldn’t believe but that he was joking, but I was so impressed I had to leave the table and hunt him up and get his story for the Journal, and here is what he told me:

His name was Dan Turner, born at Ridgecrest August 28, 1922 and weighed 9 pounds at birth. His parents are normal, as are his three brothers. He now weighs 60 pounds and is 44 inches tall. He began school at the age of 7 and finished at 18, and, if possible, will go to college. He has been working at Ridgecrest five years, four of which he has been on the staff. He wears a No. 10 shoe in a child’s size and 7-year size boy clothes. He has never shaved and won’t unless it becomes necessary. He has been examined by different doctors and all say he won’t grow anymore.

Just then a lady who was listening asked it all that information he was giving me was true. For a minute his countenance fell and then with that bright, intelligent look of his, he said to ask Mr. Morgan about him. So to Mr. Perry Morgan, manager of Ridgecrest, I went for more information. Mr. Morgan said all the boy had told me was true and he added that he is dependable, the champion checker player, can swim like a fish, is active in all sports, also an active worker in Ridgecrest church. Mr. Morgan also said he hoped it would be possible for Dan to go to college. I, too, hope he some day will have his chance, for I know he will make good.
--Mrs. Lee Gaye