Tuesday, February 27, 2018

War Department Asks Soldiers to Not Keep Diaries, 1918

From Trench and Camp, printed weekly for the Y.M.C.A. by courtesy of the Charlotte Observer for Camp Greene, Charlotte, N.C., February 4, 1918

War Department Discourages Keeping of Diaries by Soldiers

There you are in the front-line trenches, with the shrapnel and high-powered explosive shells hurtling over your head. You are carrying a minimum of baggage and, let us suppose, a maximum load of courage. Among your handy kit of toilet articles is the dainty, leather-bound diary your sister, your mother or “the girl back home” gave you for Christmas. When you are relieved from the firing-line, you fall in a heap in a shelter and try to write a letter. When your letter is finished, you turn to the faithful diary and you commence relating to it, without hesitation, without stint, the manifold, soul-stirring things you have gone through and seen. It is and has been your never-failing confidant and you have pledged to tell it everything. And indeed you do.

Then suppose—the Germans suddenly storm your sector of the battlefield—your trench! Their numbers are overwhelming and their drumfire and machine-gun pelting irresistible. You and your comrades fight bravely, but the odds are too great. The enemy captures your trench and eventually you. An officer later searches you and your effects and at last seizes the dainty diary which was perhaps “her” memorable gift to you.

The Germans read it and laugh at your naivete, your secret confessions, your séances with your soul—and then they come to the part where you tell of the troops behind the lines, the huge preparations, the names of regiments, their equipment, their methods of transportation, the types of guns in use and a welter of rumor which is half truth and half fiction.

The enemy proceeds to devour your artless notes. You meant well, you never dreamed of being captured, but the vicissitudes of war are many and this is one of the likeliest of them all. You are giving, unconsciously of course, aid and comfort to the enemy because you were so honest and truthful with yourself and with your cherished diary.

A good deal of valuable information already has been obtained by the allies from the diaries seized on the persons of the German prisoners. Perhaps it has been unwise to print the contents of some of those diaries, as has been done in both English and French press, because that speedily must have given the cue to the Germans, who are, even more than we, a diary-keeping nation.

In all events, the compilation of diaries which must of necessity be kept on the person of the author, is not desirable and the War Department has served official notice that everything should be done to discourage this practice.

Charlotte Woman Marries Vermont Infantryman, 1918

How did your great-grandmother from Charlotte, N.C., ever meet and marry a man from Vermont in 1918? Maybe he’d been serving at Camp Greene in Charlotte. From Trench and Camp, printed weekly for the Y.M.C.A. by courtesy of the Charlotte Observer for Camp Greene, Charlotte, N.C., February 4, 1918

Charlotte Girl Bride of Vermont Infantryman

Miss Lena Vilva Kerr of Charlotte and Sergeant James Heber Best of the First Vermont infantry regiment were married Saturday evening by Rev. W.B. Lindsay, pastor of First A.R.P. church. The vows were spoken at the residence of the pastor. The groom’s home is in Morristown, Vermont.

Monday, February 26, 2018

N.C. State Starts Two-Year Agricultural Degree Program, 1959

From the 1959 Annual Report of the School of Agriculture, North Carolina State College.
Students in the new Agricultural Institute will use the same facilities and have the same instructors as students in the four-year program.

The North Carolina Agricultural Institute—a new two-year educational program—will become a reality for students in the fall of 1960.

Provision for the Institute was made by the 1959 North Carolina General Assembly. Instruction offered will be designed to train men and women for jobs in agriculture that require technicians with education beyond the high school level but which do not necessarily require four years of college.

The Institute rolled into gear during the year with the appointment of Dr. Homer C. Folks as its first director. Under his guidance curricula have been set up and the first steps toward attracting qualified students have been made.

A unique feature of the Institute is that all of its courses will be administered and taught by personnel within the School of Agriculture.

Addition to Current Program

The Institute is an addition to and not a substitute for the regular degree-granting program of the School of Agriculture. However, the use of the present School faculty to teach the courses will assure Institute students of getting the best technical training.

The Institute will attack two present-day problems. One is the critical need for technicians in agriculturally-related businesses. Many of our farm youth either can’t or don’t want to return to the farm but would like to remain in agriculture. The second problem is educating beyond the high school level the men who choose to stay on the farm. Many of these men can attend two years of technical training but not four years of college.

Initially the Institute will have five programs of instruction. These will be added to or altered to meet the demands of the time. At present the programs are Farm Equipment Sales and Service, General Agriculture, Livestock Management and Technology, Poultry Technology and Pest Control.

The Farm Equipment program is designed to train men in the selection, demonstration, installation and maintenance of agricultural equipment. Training also prepares the student for work in the fields of production, processing and distribution of agricultural products.

The General Agriculture program is designed to provide technical training for those who will be taking part in agricultural production in the years ahead.

Students completing the course of study in Livestock Management and Technology can serve as herd managers, farm managers, meat salesmen, livestock buyers, dairy equipment servicemen, feed salesmen, dairy herd improvement technicians, artificial breeding technicians, field servicemen, dairy plant fieldmen, and in other technical jobs within animal industry.

The curriculum in Pest Control is designed to provide men with technical knowledge needed to control insects, diseases, weeds or other pests. At present pest control operators usually confine their efforts to control of household pests or pests affecting structures, but there are opportunities for broadening this area into the area of custom treating in agricultural production.

The Poultry Technology course is designed to meet the growing demand for young men trained in the production, processing and marketing of poultry. It has been developed to furnish the poultry industry with field servicemen, salesmen, processing plant operators, hatcherymen, inspectors and regulatory officials.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Letters to the Editor After Fire Chief Calls Off State-Carolina Game, 1947

 “Open Forum” letters to the editor from the editorial page of The Technician, the student newspaper at North Carolina State College, February 28, 1947.

To the Editor:

I have just returned from witnessing one of the most unfair deals pulled in a long time. You no doubt know I am referring to the “called-off” basketball game between State and Carolina.

There was not a large crowd in the gym when everyone who didn’t have a seat was ordered to leave or State would forfeit the game. There were larger crowds at all previous games. If the Fire Chief had started with the first game and controlled the size of the crowd, I doubt if much would have been said or done. Why did he have to start with the most important, the last game of the year? Where has he been? When Chief Butts was cornered by Ray Reeves of WRAL in the lobby, he stuttered something about a city ordinance, that he could not state, saying that the “entries could not be blocked.” The fellows sitting on the floor at the foot of the bleachers were not blocking the doors by any means. 

What does he call an “entry?”

The large number of firemen that were there were getting themselves in a good spot to see the game and that’s about all.

“Onions” to the Chief, the State boys have a just beef coming!

Yours very truly,
Antaoin Shrdlu

To the Editor:

Here it is—the five thousandth letter on the subject, “It wouldn’t have happened at the gymnasium Tuesday night if -----

The firemen and policemen were of course only doing their duty and cannot be blamed except for the sloppy job of guarding they did on the outside windows. Just as during the Duke game, all manner of kids from Raleigh were climbing through these windows in addition to the students that couldn’t get in at the front door.

The blame should rightfully be placed upon the college for not informing the student body beforehand that only 3,200 people could be accommodated, instead of the 5,000 people that were allowed in for the Duke game. It would have been understood then that the first 3,200 students entering would see the game and the rest wouldn’t. In addition the windows would have had to be guarded carefully so that a good part of Raleigh didn’t climb in through them while our own students weren’t allowed in to see the game.

This is the only fair way a game can be played here so that the fire regulations are still obeyed. “A permanent solution is to finish the Coliseum. Until that time however, a more efficient system will have to be devised if such unwholesome spectacles are to be avoided in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Norman J. Oppenheim

To the Editor:

Before Fire Chief W.R. Butts has had the “gall” and time to justify his act of calling off the Carolina-State game on Tuesday night, I should like for you and your readers to bear with me—an eye-witness and non-prejudiced State College student—while the story of how a bad situation was poorly handled by Butts, is related to you.

You have not been the least bit naïve with our presentation of the rowdyism of a very, very few State College students, and I feel confident that you and your followers will take a firm stand on the side of W.R. Butts in this issue. Rather than insert the City Court trial of a State College student in the middle of a news item on court happenings, you seem always to prefer featuring the trial of the State College student with the headline “State College Student Charted With Disorderly Conduct,” and the irony of it all is that in one particular trial last week a Wake Forest student was a codefendant. For these reasons, we want to be reassured that W.R. Butts does not justify his act with tales of “a dangerous crowd” and literal crashing of the entrances—and so this letter.

Butts’ first “ultimatum” to the crowd (unless the announcer misquoted him) came at 7:30 p.m. in these blunt, tactless words: “Unless all improperly seated and standing spectators leave within the next 15 minutes, the game will be forfeited to Carolina.” For approximately five minutes, spectators pondered Butts’ harsh words, and then the cooperative spirit took care of the situation and the move apparently met with officialdom’s approval. I refer to the fact that all seated spectators moved closer together and every person present was seated. Butts then moved to a spot almost three feet inside the gym and authoritatively viewed the new seating arrangement, obviously approved (he sent to second “ultimatum” to the announcer), and then returned to the lobby. The large delegation of firemen present, 10 counted, assured themselves of witness thing the game by lining up abreast on the gym floor in front of the inner doors. The situation seemed well in hand and no doubt could have remained that way. But you see, Chief Butts, the “wheel” who had previously called off the game, didn’t want to risk the chance of having his 10 firemen miss the game, so he didn’t see fit to take the authority to post his “men” on the porch (where they belonged) and have them absolutely refuse any more admissions. As a result, when an official was admitted through the door some school-spirited students removed the pins from the door (did not crash through the door) and came in. Chief Butts labeled them “a dangerous crowd” and issued a final ultimatum: “No game.” He thereby released a situation he had utterly failed to cope with.

I have not had the pleasure nor privilege of meeting this Raleigh personality and am therefore incapable of typing his temperament, however, if you will permit me, I could surmise that this display of authority was “his trill that comes but once in a lifetime.”

In all fairness, Chief Butts had an unwanted responsibility, but he bore it awkwardly and the State College Student Body is not willing to have his bungling reflect on their good name which remains so despite your repeatedly attempts to upbraid many for the act of a few. This time the “bungles” award very definitely goes to Fire Chief W.R. Butts.

Say, I’ll wager you a brand-new Spaulding basketball that those 10 firemen hated to miss the game as much as we did.

Through God’s help and experience may public servant Butts learn.

Wm. K. “Bill” Thornton

Editor Note: The above letter was written to the editors of the News and Observer. Since the local newspaper did not print the letter in its entirety, we thought that all the thoughts in the letter are worthy of reprinting in the Technician.

To the Editor:

The Happenings at State College tonight are now common knowledge. The blame for the incident will not be placed on various people and organizations. Let us see just where the blame does lie.

The students of State College? Admittedly, their conduct in tearing down the doors when refused admittance to the gym was not in keeping with that bearing expected of men of college age. Those students who brought dates and friends to the game are guilty of cheating their fellow students of the privilege of seeing the contest. They are cognizant of the fact that the gym can hold only part of the student body. Their selfishness cannot be condoned.

The students of the University at Chapel Hill? They also know that the gym here is too small to accommodate even the student body. Their action in coming over here and forcing their way in the gym, some by way of open windows, speaks more for their enthusiasm for their team than for their sense of sportsmanship.

The Raleigh Fire Chief? His actions were in keeping with the responsibilities of his positon. The tragedy at Purdue University only goes to show what can happen in a crowded gym. Whatever does happen is the responsibility of the Fire Chief.

Now, where does the real blame lie? I believe it lies with the college, the Greater University and the State. For a long time I, as a resident of this state, have been of the opinion that this state wants good higher education but that she is unwilling to pay for it. She expects the students to pay for the upkeep and improvements on the school. What is ironic is that the federal government is getting the bad end of the deal through the liberties of the GI Bill. To say “the federal government” is just the same as saying “the people of the United States.” In case the state doesn’t realize it, the people of North Carolina are members of that great body called the American People.

The policy of State College and the University has been to gouge (to use a Navy expression) the students and the government out of all the money they can. Students from this state that are under the GI Bill pay out-of-state fees and tuition. Where does this extra money go? It should go to recognizable improvements.

But here is the thing that puts the responsibility of the fiasco at the gym tonight right in the laps of the college officials. The college charges each veteran and each other student an athletic fee. When they receive this athletic fee they accept the responsibility of seating every person that pays the fee at all athletic functions. They know in advance that they cannot fulfill their obligations, yet this does not stop them from requiring the payment of fees from all students and accepting more fees than they can possibly take care of.

The college expects the students to pay for the new dormitories (the University was going to raise room rents last year to help pay for the new rooming facilities at Chapel Hill), the new indoor stadium, the chimes and door for the memorial tower and all other major improvements. The only way most of the better professors both here and at Carolina are kept with the institutions is by private endowment.

When is this state going to wake up to the fact that good higher education costs a lot of money? You can’t get something for nothing.

Don’t blame the students for their actions. They were fighting against being cheated. Let us get to the core of the evil and correct it.

Respectfully yours,
Charles Howard Kahn

Editor’s Note: A copy of this letter was sent to the News and Observer. Writer Kahn has hit the proverbial nail on the head.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

So Who’s to Blame at N.C. State Basketball Game? 1947

“Impossible Situation” from the editorial page of The Technician, the student newspaper at North Carolina State College, February 28, 1947. Jack Fisler was editor of the newspaper.

“They stoned the fire chief’s car!” “They broke in the doors!” “They refused to move when asked to!” “They turned in false alarms!” “The students acted like a bunch of cattle!”

Now just wait a minute with those statements. You’re referring to the students unjustly and inaccurately. Before we say who is to blame, let’s analyze the incident.

The Technician states emphatically that the students of State College are not to blame. We further state that the Raleigh fire chief can not be blamed for calling the game off—he was carrying out a North Carolina law. Since the previous games provided no major disturbances, the athletic office can not be accused of lack of foresightedness. Then who is to bear the burden of the blame? After discussing the incident with the Raleigh fire chief, the head of the Athletic Council, the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Chancellor, the gate-keepers, the coaches, and many students, we conclude that it was an impossible situation. The blame must be borne by many.

Here are the facts as we have them: Since most of the student wrath was directed at the Raleigh fire chief, we shall take up his side first. There is no doubt that he made a wise decision in calling the game off. The North Carolina law states that at any public gathering all attending must be seated in regulation seats.

Since the gym was already dangerously overcrowded, and since the mob outside and in the basement could not be controlled, there was no chance of enforcing the regulations of the law. Chief Butts had no alternative, unless the spectators would leave the gym. The determined and suspicious spectators naturally would not leave.

The recent accident at a Purdue basketball game, coupled with the Winecoff holocaust, Coconut Grove, Hotel La Salle, and many other tragedies prompted the fire department to take steps to assure that a similar incident would not occur here. Hence the orders for the Carolina game were given.
When asked why the games in the past were not cancelled for overcrowding, the chief replied that he did not know of the situation until after the NYU game. After that game he gave orders that the crowd would have to be restricted in the future. Some 100 students were turned away from the Duke game, and again the fire department notified the gym officials that only about 3,200 (the seating capacity) could be admitted to the Carolina game. Butts also stated that it was not his fault that the student body did not understand the situation.

The Athletic office has attempted to get as many students in as possible to every game, regardless of the fact that there is not a seat for everyone. Even with students giving their books to outsiders, and with the 50 complimentary passes given out by the local office to both teams and some friends, the seating arrangements had been passable. It looked as though the rather hap-hazard ticket system would work, so there was no effort to devise a fool-proof system. Possibly the Athletic Council should be blamed for not going ahead and setting up a concrete mechanism whereby there could be no overcrowding. Such a system would have restricted student attendance so much that it is doubtful whether the student body would have tolerated it.

The “straw that broke the camel’s back” was the large number of Carolina students, Raleigh school students, State College alumni, and Raleigh businessmen who crashed the gate by hook or crook (some even used a ladder to get in an upper window). Had it not been for them, the gym may have held the number of State students who wanted to see the game. As it was, the ticket books of those not attending were given to outsiders, causing the swell in attendance. The mob spirit prevailed all around the gym and it was impossible for the gatekeepers or the cops to keep control of the crowd without a fight which would have cause someone to get hurt.

The student body of the State College was forced by circumstances into a situation which they could not understand, and which was not within their power to cope. Weighing the circumstances logically, one must conclude that the students as a whole displayed reasonably good self-control. As is the case in every group, some let the emotional state surrounding the catastrophe run away with them. 

Throwing rocks at the fire chief’s car and turning in false fire alarms are inexcusable acts which we heartily condemn. We cannot believe that State College students could have been so unthinking as to turn in false fire alarms. It sounds like the work of school kids, but maybe we have that level of intelligence students in college here.

One definite conclusion of the abominable incident is that the coliseum must be completed at once. It is hoped that the many legislators who tried in vain to see the ball game last Tuesday night will return to the Capitol building with determination to approve the requested appropriations at an early date. Since there is no doubt that the money asked for will be approved, we feel that work should be started immediately on the coliseum so that there can be no duplication of the impossible situation of Tuesday night.

Fire Chief Cancels Game in Packed NCSU Gym, 1947

“Fire Chief Cancels Game in Packed Gym” from The Technician, the student newspaper at North Carolina State College, February 28, 1947.

Four Thousand Students Crowd Gym, Crash Gate In Effort to See Game

By Joe Swett

Over 4,000 screaming students jammed into Frank Thompson gymnasium Tuesday night hoping to see the high-riding Red Terrors take the measure of the White Phantoms from Chapel Hill, but only Fire Chief Butts came away with a victory. At 7:30 every inch of space was occupied with students and “visitors” standing in the aisles, hanging from rafters, railings and anything else that might lend a reasonable amount of support for the next two hours.

An announcement was made at this time that the gym was illegally overcrowded and that, per order of Chief Butts, the game would be forfeited to Carolina if all those not seated did not leave the game in 15 minutes. The immediate reaction was the doubling-up in the bleachers to accommodate all the standees, but the doors to the gym were promptly torn down by several hundred students in the unthinking mob still outside, and the gym again overflowed. The spectators patiently waited out the 15 minutes thinking that the situation had cleared up but Fire Chief Butts had to have his way, for although the Terrors had already taken the floor, the game was definitely called off.

At one point the announcer attempted to present a trophy to the outstanding player this season, but he was so soundly booed that he gave up his effort.

Rumors Halted Exit

Even after over half the crowd had swarmed down on the floor in a half-hearted move to vacate the gym, a rumor was circulated that the game would begin if the floor were cleared immediately, but in spite of the stampede Butts was immovable. Not until president of Golden Chain, John Wagoner, made an appeal from the middle of the floor did the students give up the fight. They knew that if John said it, it must be straight. All but four tinted lights overhead were turned out at this point in a further effort to speed the evacuation which seemed inevitable.

Fire Chief Butts was nearly mobbed on several occasions by the sullen crowd, but he was escorted to safety by a cordon of local gendarmes. As the chief’s car pulled away, it was met by a hail of rocks and curses, but he escaped without injury.

For nearly an hour after the final announcement of the cancellation of the game, the crowd milled around the front of the guy, hoping against hope that the game would be played after all, but it was no use. Although the conduct of minority of the student body was inexcusable, thousands felt they had been deprived of seeing the year’s biggest game here at State through faulty handling of the gym’s facilities. Much of the good work for sportsmanship at games and a more unified school spirit was thrown to the winds by this once-in-a-lifetime riot on the State College campus.

Greensboro Policemen, Photo Taken in 1950s

These are the black policemen in Greensboro in the 1950s. (I don’t know when the picture was taken, just that it was taken sometime in the 1950s.) Samuel A. Penn and John L. Montgomery became the first black officers in the Greensboro Police Department in January 1944. This picture was posted this month on Facebook by the Greensboro Police Department.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Negroes More Likely to Be Certified for Service Than Whites, 1918

From Trench and Camp, printed weekly for the Y.M.C.A. by courtesy of the Charlotte Observer for Camp Greene, Charlotte, N.C., February 4, 1918

Colored Men Doing Their Bit

That America’s colored citizenry is doing its bit in the war is established by statistics culled from the compiled figures on the first draft. Of the total of 9,586,508 men registered last June, 737,628, or nearly 8 per cent, were colored. Twenty-eight per cent of these colored men, or 208,953, were called by draft boards and 75,697 were certified for service. This means that out of every 100 colored men called, 36 were certified for service and 64 rejected, exempted or discharged.

In the cases of the white citizens, 25 out of every 100 were certified for service and 75 rejected, exempted or discharged.

1911 Card for Washington's Birthday

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Distilling, Rum Running in Old Trap Section of Camden County, 1935

“Where Big Liquor Biz Is Still Going On,” from the Elizabeth City Independent, Feb. 8, 1935

Distilling and rum-running operations on a large scale continue unabated in the Old Trap section of Camden County, according to reports of reliable, law-abiding citizens who live on the highway between Old Trap and Shawboro.

It is the Indiantown Road that the rum-runners use in transporting liquor to Norfolk and other Virginia points where North Carolina corn finds a ready market in competition with the green and blended higher priced goods purveyed by the ABC liquor stores.

A good citizen of the Indiantown neighborhood tells this newspaper that he and his family are afraid to venture on the road nights because of the heavy bootleg traffic. Heavy trucks and high powered automobiles going at terrific speed use the highway nightly in transporting materials to the stills in lower Camden and bringing out the finished product.

And Revenue officers complain that they are handicapped in catching the rum-runners because of inadequate transportation facilities. Under the former Prohibition laws, government agents could use cars confiscated from bootleggers and rum-runners. Under the regulations now in force they can do this, and the U.S. Treasury Department is slow in furnishing them new automobiles.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Measles Outbreak Increased Death Rate Among Soldiers in Training from 2 to 5 Per Thousand, 1918

From Trench and Camp, printed weekly for the Y.M.C.A. by courtesy of the Charlotte Observer for Camp Greene, Charlotte, N.C., February 4, 1918. Camp editor H.M. Thurston; Associate editors F.M. Burnett, D.M. Spence, J.H. Strawbridge, C.H. Ellinwood, C.E. Winchell.

So much has been written and said about the death rate among soldiers in training in the United States that a little exact and authentic information might not be amiss at this juncture.

War Department records show that from the middle of September to the last of December the death rate among the soldiers in camps and cantonments was 7.5 per thousand. In other words, out of every 2,000 men, 15 died, while 1,985 lived. The death rate of 7.5 per thousand is less than the rate would have been if all the men in the camps had remained at home in civilian clothes.

The death rate per thousand among United States soldiers in 1898 was 20.14, or nearly three times as great.

In 1916 the death rate in the Army was 5 per thousand.

But for the outbreak of measles and its complications in the camps and cantonments, the death rate from September to December would have been only 2 per thousand.

Community Group Offering Classes in English to Help Soldiers, 1918

From Trench and Camp, printed weekly for the Y.M.C.A. by courtesy of the Charlotte Observer for Camp Greene, Charlotte, N.C., February 4, 1918

Jewish Welfare Work

Messrs Seligmann and Knonwitz, representatives of the Jewish board for welfare work at Camp Greene are now permanently located at Y 105. They desire to meet all men interested in forming social and literary groups, and are now forming classes in English to help those men out who have not been able to make arrangements for classes.

Beginning Friday evening, February 8, services will be held at a time and place that will be advertised on company bulletin boards and in all Y buildings.

Monday, February 19, 2018

10-Year-Old Girl Employed at Lincolnton Mill, 1908

This 10-year-old girl has been employed at Rhodes Manufacturing Company in Lincolnton, N.C., for more than a year. I found the image on the Facebook page History Images. The picture was taken in 1908. The following information about child labor laws, which were not enforced, is from www.learnnc.org. The girl in the photograph probably made from 50 cents to $1.50 a day.

“Labor” was not a new concept to children who went to work in the mills. Many spent their earliest years on their family’s farm, helping their parents with chores and working in the fields. Making a living on a family farm was difficult, especially when the family was renting the land from a large landowner. Everyone on the farm worked hard at raising enough crops and livestock to support the family, but farm families rarely made a profit. Some went into deep debt during years with poor crops.

Mill owners looking for employees capitalized on the frustrations of farm families. They sent recruiters to rural and mountain farm areas to hand out pamphlets singing the praises of mill life. For families struggling to grow enough food to feed themselves and make a small profit, the prospect of a regular paycheck was appealing. Ethel Shockley and her husband moved off the farm they were renting in Virginia to work in the cotton mills of Burlington, NC in 1921. They made about 75 cents a day working on the farm and could make 2 dollars a day working in the mills. Like the Shockleys, thousands of farmers across the South made the decision to trade in their self-sufficient farm life for life in the mill village, and they brought their children with them.

During the late 19th and early 20th century, the few laws prohibiting child labor were moderate and rarely enforced. In North Carolina, the age limit was 13 for employment in factories such as mills, and children under 18 were allowed to work up to a shocking 66 hours per week! Mill owners had to “knowingly and willfully” break these laws before they could be convicted. Even more lenient laws were in place in South Carolina, where the age limit for factory workers was 12 years old. However, orphans and children with “dependent” parents (those too sick to work) could work at any age and any amount of hours. These laws were rarely, if ever, enforced. Former child workers remember scrambling to hide in closets on the few occasions when factory inspectors would visit to check on working conditions in the mill.

The system of “helpers” was another way mill owners got around child labor laws. Very small children as young as 6 or 7 years old would visit the mill to bring meals to their parents or older siblings during the work day or simply to play amidst the machinery. These young “helpers” would begin to learn the jobs that older workers performed and try their hand at various tasks. The presence of tiny children in the mill could be explained to inspectors by saying the children were only “helping” and not on the payroll. As they got older, they spent more and more time helping until they began working full-time in the mills, usually between ages 10 to 14.

Many young mill laborers worked in the spinning room because mill owners felt their small hands were well-suited to this work. Work in the spinning room was not especially skilled or difficult, but required a watchful eye. Spinners were usually preteen or teen girls, who had to constantly attend to the cotton being spun on machines. These were the workers who “put up ends”, or repaired breaks in the thread. Doffers, often small boys, walked back and forth in the spinning room, replacing the full bobbins of thread with empty ones. Sweepers, also small boys, swept up the cotton fiber and lint from the floor and machinery to keep things running smoothly. Spinners and doffers were usually required to keep up with a certain number of machines on a side, and many workers remember “running sides” or being paid by the number of sides they worked.

Many former child workers speak of their eagerness to earn money, which pushed them to drop out of school and begin working in the mill. Some even began working against their parents’ wishes. It was difficult for some to see the advantage in continuing their schooling when recruitment ads claimed they could make as much as adult mill workers. 

Workers under 16 usually began working for 25 to 50 cents per day during the early 20th century, and could increase to $1.50 per day or more as they became more experienced.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Emmett Brickhouse Has Close Call When Car Stalls on RR Tracks, 1935

“Train Wrecks His Auto But He Escapes Alive,” from the Elizabeth City Independent, Feb. 8, 1935

Like a horrible nightmare was the experience which befell Emmett Brickhouse, 37-year-old Elizabeth City Hosiery Mill night foreman, who leaped from his stalled automobile just a second before the car was struck by a southbound Norfolk Southern passenger train at the Parsonage Street crossing Tuesday morning at 11:15 o’clock.

“I hardly know what happened,” said Brickhouse in describing the near-tragedy to a reporter for this newspaper shortly after the crash. “The car was cold and it sort of choked down when I got on the railroad tracks. I looked and saw the train bearing right down on me. I reckon I opened the door and jumped out just as quick as I could but it all happened so quick that I can’t hardly remember how I got out of the car. Anyhow, my foot hadn’t been off the running board more than one or two seconds before the train hit the car. It was an awful shock, and I’m telling you it’s a terrible experience to be face to face with Death like I was.”

Brickhouse works at the hosiery mill but lives on the Brite farm at the end of Weymouth Road. He usually sleeps mornings until 10 or 11 o’clock. Tuesday morning he started to town around 11 o’clock. He stopped for a few minutes at Weatherly & Riggs Market on the north side of Parsonage Street, extended, just west of the railroad tracks. The southbound Norfolk Southern passenger train was already blowing for the passenger station when he left the market at 11:15 o’clock, but he was talking to someone outside the market and did not notice the whistle., stepping into his Ford sedan, he started to cross the railroad tracks in front of him without looking to see whether a train was coming.

Just as the car mounted the ridge on which the tracks are laid, the engine choked down. Brickhouse’s foot reached for the starter, and his hand sought the choke. Just at that moment he sensed danger and looked round him to see the train headed straight for him. He was paralyzed with fright for a brief moment, but the impending danger spurred him into action and he lost no time in opening the door and jumping to safety. A witness said he would have been killed had he been a moment longer in getting out of the car.

The train hit the Ford broadside and carried it down the tracks for a distance of about 200 yards before spilling it over into the ditch that runs alongside Skinners Avenue, parallel to the railroad. The car was almost a total wreck.

Brickhouse sustained no injury but the incident was such a shock to his nervous system that he had to go to bed shortly afterwards.

“I am a careful driver,” said Brickhouse, “and I have never figured in any accidents. I had not driven my Ford more than 30 miles an hour all the while I owned it. It makes me sick to think that a driver as careful as I usually am lost my car and nearly lost my life in an accident like this.”

Concord Boasts of 14-Year-Old Soldier Sent to France, 1919

“Youngest Soldier” from the Feb. 6, 1919 issue of The Watauga Democrat, Boone

Concord can boast, perhaps, of the youngest soldier sent overseas in the recent conflict, in the person of Master Plato Miller, son of Mr. and Mrs. B.N.H. Miller.

When war was declared on Germany, young Miller, then only 14 years of age, was ready, anxious and wanting to go, but on account of his age he did not get into the service for several months. However, not to be foiled in his attempt to help lick the Germans, he made one effort after another to enter the service, only to be told that he was too young, and also that his weight was against him.

Finally one day he left home and enlisted, having attained the proper weight, and being very much overgrown for his age, he was accepted and sent to a training camp. After spending several weeks in training he was sent overseas and was with Gen. Pershing’s forces doing his “bit” before he was 15, having celebrated his 15th birthday in France.

Cabarrus County lays claim to the youngest soldier in the service.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bowser Tells Story of George Washington His Own Way, 1918

“Bowser on Washington; He Writes An Essay and Mrs. Bowser Likes It,” from the Jackson County Journal, Sylva, N.C., Feb. 14, 1918. President’s Day is celebrated Monday, February 19, this year, but we used to celebrate Washington’s birthday, Feb. 22, and Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12.

For three evenings Mr. Bowser had come up from dinner to go straight into the library and lock the door and pass a couple of hours. Mrs. Bowser had not questioned his rather strange behavior, but had contented herself with putting her ear to the door now and then to find out that he had not died of heart disease and fallen out of his chair. She heard his pen scratching over paper and him muttering to himself, and she was contented to wait her time.

It came on the third evening. After an hour’s seclusion he came out, a look of satisfaction on his face, and observed:

“I am now ready to tell you what I have been doing. There is a club here in the city called ‘The Washington Dodos’. A man named Philbrick, whom I know, is going to join. It is a rule of the club that everyone who joins shall deliver an essay on George Washington. Philbrick is no hand at the pen, and he came to me the other day and offered me fifty dollars if I would write him an essay. I thought I would give you the fifty dollars.

“I have just finished it and am going to read it and ask your opinion. I commence by saying:

“George Washington was a fine boy. He obeyed everything his father and mother told him to. He never tore his little trousers; he never lost his little cap; he never made faces at his father’s hired hand. He never climbed trees, and snapped the buttons off his clothes. He rolled on the grace once in a while, as boys will, but he always rolled very gently, and he didn’t even muss up his hair, nor get grasshoppers in his little hind pockets.”

“How is that for a beginning, Mrs. Bowser?”

“Why—why,” she answered, “you have gone back farther than any historian.”

“I intend to,” he smile din a sort of superior way. “Here is some more of it:

“As a boy, George Washington never had the colic. He dodged the measles and the whooping cough. He was kind to all living animals, and, if he found a crow with a broken wing, he brought it home and nursed it until well. All the crows for fifty miles around got to love him, and they would call out his name whenever they caught sight of him.”

“Well, Mrs. Bowser, is it getting interesting to you?” was asked.

“You have certainly struck some things which will astonish the hearer,” she answered with her hand over her mouth. “Where did you get all these facts from?”

“We will not mind that, my dear. Philbrick wanted something original and I think I have given it to him. We will now go ahead again.

“It is said that little George never told a lie. This is a mistake. He told three or four every day, and some awful whoppers, but he lied as gently as he could, and there was no sin in his heart when he lied. His father had a favorite plum tree. It was a favorite because it never bore over a dozen plums at once, and because every plum was wormy. One day a slave on his father’s plantation had his ears cuffed for some impudence, and he seized the ax and when out and cut that plum tree down for revenge. Little George saw him do it, but he was not a boy to go and blab everything out. When his old man missed the tree, and demanded to know who had cut it down, what did little George do? He spoke right up and claimed that he cut it down with his little hatchet to see if the hatchet had an edge on it. His father was going to give him the darndest licking a boy ever got, but, the fact that little George had told the truth, when he could have lied just as well as not, appealed to the parent. He took his son in his arms, and forgave him, and told him he that he would buy him a dozen more hatchets, and he could cut down every tree around the house.”

“Now, then, Mrs. Bowser, what is your opinion of that? Does it hit you or not?”

“Yes it hits me,” replied Mrs. Bowser, stooping her head under the table to laugh to herself. “Why, Mr. Bowser, you have dug up something entirely new.”

“Thank you, dear—thank you. That was my object—to get something entirely new. I go on:

“Little George was to be a great man, but his father couldn’t see any signs of it, nor did his mother expect anything. He ate his pudding and milk for supper just like other boys, and he always knelt down by his bedside and prayed before he worked his way between the sheets. Nothing occurred to show that greatness was sleeping in his character until he was sixteen years old. Then a bear killed one of his father’s sheep, and he was bemoaning the loss of the old wooly, when the son spoke up and said:

“Father, I will kill that bear for you. He has done a very wicked thing and should be punished for it.”

“But you are only a boy,” said the father.

“I know it, papa, but I feel a greatness within. Let me take your old shotgun and I will load it with a handful of peach stones and bring you back the scalp of that bear, or I will perish in attempting to do so!”

“And the father consented, and little George took the old musket out and became great in an hour. He saw the bear and discharged a load of peach stones at him, and he not only ended the life of Bruin, but killed seven sheep at the same discharge. He brought all the scalps to his father, and the overjoyed parent took him into the house and said:

“I surely have a great son in this, my little George. Keep on, my son, and you will be known of all the world.”

“Now, Mrs. Bowser,” said Mr. Bowser, as he straightened up. “This is only a small part of the essay, but you can judge by this what the whole is. Is it not an interesting paper?”

“It seems—seems to be,” she replied. “But would you call it history?”

“It is the straightest kind of history. But are you satisfied with it?”

“Y-yes. But, of course—“

“Of course what!” demanded Mr. Bowser. “I might have known you would find some fault about it. 
What is wrong?”

“N-nothing,” she replied. “It is in some respects the greatest essay on Washington I ever heard.”

Mr. Bowser when to the telephone and called up Mr. Philbrick and told him t come to the office the next morning and get his essay. Mr. Philbrick came, but he did not take the essay away with him. Instead of that, he hurt Mr. Bowser’s feelings by calling him an old jackass, or some such name.
Mrs. Bowser has not got that fifty dollars yet, and she has no hopes that she ever will get it.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Company News From Camp Greene, Charlotte, N.C., 1918

From Trench and Camp, printed weekly for the Y.M.C.A. by courtesy of the Charlotte Observer for Camp Greene, Charlotte, N.C., February 4, 1918

Gallant Company H, 58th Infantry

Corporal Marshall, who has just come back from a five-day furlough, is all the time talking of what he did while he was at home. Every morning when he gets up out of his bed he says, “Gee, but I wish that I was back where I was this time last week.”

Corporal Miller sleeps in the corner of the tent with a large hole in it right over his head. When it rains Corporal Miller stays up that night, praying for it to stop raining. He also has a hole in the seat of his trousers, and he was too lazy to take them off, but got a looking glass and laid it on his bunk while he looked in it to sew his trousers.

Corporal Hosley has been thinking a lot of getting married since we have been quarantined, as only the married men are able to go to town twice a week, and he thinks if he gets married he will be able to go down also. He is growing a mustache or is trying to. He has the fuzz on his face like that of a peach.

Private Gilbert Showalter, who would like to be an expert rifleman but can’t, is doing very well as he is wearing first class private chevrons.

Jess Willard has not a thing on Fat Willams, as he is some boy. He weighs about 20 pounds. Fat has charge of the second squad, and if they do as much fighting over in France as they do here in the company, they will not need the rest of the company at all.

“H” Company, 39th Infantry

Private Akermans is one busy man these days with his officers. Lurdburg is back and Cremmens is also on the job but leg and a half can’t move very fast.

We are still laughing at the jokes Sunny Jim Melendy pulls. Some line—that boy.

Ex-Barber Reilly is now assistant cook. Some promotion for our Irish barber.

G.M. Choan & Co. is getting into whip again. Too bad that outfit can’t get a crack at Keith’s.

All the boys are beginning to snap into it now. We won out in baseball and football, and we are going to win out in drill as well.

Mud or no mud we challenge any company in the entire regiment to any kind of sport, makes no difference what.

We don’t mind the quarantine so much after all. H company can make themselves comfortable no matter what comes.

Notes of Company L, 58th Infantry

The machine gun battalion boys have left us for their new camp at Camp One and we hope they will like it. Good luck boys.

Several of our boys are in the base hospital and we hope that they will be out soon.

Mechanic “Red” Buriel is back with us after an extended visit to his home in Philadelphia, and he reports that the town is not as lively as it used to be.

Private Leffhowitz is out again after being sick for some time and his ever smiling face is welcome.

Ex-Cook Price is doing well as a private in the line. Private Westfall is acting cook in his place.

Ask Corporal Lowers how he likes Salisbury, N.C.

“F” Company is under guard again. What is the matter with you fellows? Somebody put the jinx on your trail again?

“H” Company, 15th Infantry

The fourth squad has attracted the entire company by hanging out a sign which reads: “washing taken in on Sundays only.”

When it comes to a busy squad see the third. For a pass time you might ask one member of the outfit how he did when he was discharged.

Tony Kay is somewhat at home these days as he is a constant man with the pick and shovel brigade.
According to Private Runke he is a very busy man when he writes Mich Carter. Of course, “Fat” has something to say about this.

Corporal Marshall is suffering from a severe attack of heart trouble along now. He has just been married.

The lightning squad is expecting the flying Irishman back from his pass in a few days.

Huskey is also to return this week to that lightning outfit. Then it should be at war strength.

A few days ago two men standing in ranks were called “Dusty” and “Weary Willie.” And the joke is the man who was called dusty is an old timer of six months service.

It is reported that the lightning squad is again on the war path. Dust and Weary Willie are responsible for this.

There is also a certain sergeant who is on the same war path. Something seems to have gotten his goat.

H company has traveled all over the world during the last week. Our famous musician is responsible for this stuff. There is a rumor every half hour. Very good Eddie.

News From Company “G”, 47th Infantry

Private Earle Henley left for his home in Jonesboro, N.C., last week on a seven-day pass. The home folk will surely be glad to see him.

Private Ward Newman blushingly came back from old New York with nothing but a smile on his face. Corporal Stevenson nearly died of lonesomeness while he was gone.

It is “on again, off again” with Privates Pursley and Laplante.

A suggestion for art: Corporal Addoninzio at night, with his head wrapped up in that spaghetti scarf.

Up to this writing, no one has drowned in the mud, but another foot or so if it may turn the trick.

Winsome Otto James is the niftiest little company agent in the army, but simply detests being disturbed at night.

It is reported with much pleasure that Mechanic Edward E. Johnson is greatly improved, and since the arrival of his wife last Saturday, has made great strides on the road to recovery.

“Absent from Reveille” draws kitchen police like the bee draws honey from the honeysuckle.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Start Vegetable Garden Now, Other Helpful Information for Farm Women, 1937

“Gardens Should Be Started” by Jane S. McKimmon, State Agent and Assistant Director, North Carolina Extension Service, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the February, 1937 issue of the Carolina Co-Operator

With the advent of the warm sunny days and the colorful seed catalogues, the impulse to get out with “green things agrowing” is irresistible.

It is the little garden behind the house that enables the woman to get away from indoor worries and makes her think of her garden as a “lovesome spot.”

If she is to do the cultivating, her garden should be anchored where only a step or two is necessary when plants are needing attention or when the time is just right for sowing seed or for gathering the daily supply of vegetables.

With the man it is different. If ploughing, planting, and cultivation are turned over to him, he usually finds it more convenient to plant a row or two of tomatoes, beans, corn, or cabbage out in the cotton or tobacco patch where he can plough or cultivate them when he cultivates his crops and this type of gardening is very efficient.

If every farmer in North Carolina would do just this and be sure that he added the turnips, collards, kale, or onions for green things in the fall and winter, he would be growing the vegetables that would protect his family from many diseases caused by lack of variety in the food they eat.

Greens Give Red Blood

Turnip salad, collards, cabbage, tomatoes, and all the pods, tubers, and roots such as peas, beans, beets, potatoes, and carrots do many wonderful things for our bodies. They furnish iron and phosphorus for good red blood, lime, and other things for bones and teeth, starch for fat and energy, and protein for muscle building.

Neither can we be in good condition without the various vitamins which green vegetables contain, and the roughage and laxative juices of green leaves and tubers aid greatly in the prevention of constipation. Even the cow knows that green things are good for her, and it is well for us that she browses on sprouts, buds, shoots, and the grasses of the pasture and turns over to us the vitamins and minerals she thus stores away in her milk.

If every person who has the land would grow a garden and learn how to prepare and serve the vegetables they grow, our doctors’ bills would be cut in half and we would be able to boast of the brawn of our men as well as the acreage of our crops.

Gardens Pay Good Returns

Gardens make bigger returns for the money invested than any other farm operation. Oh no, all the returns are not in money. Far from it. Most of them are in health returns for the family. A Negro farmer in Alamance County said:

“My family has had more to eat this year than we have had since we have been housekeeping, and we have lived better than ever. We raised the vegetables and chickens for the family, and the cow furnished the milk. We have had plenty of everything except money, but we know now that when you have a plenty of everything around you, it doesn’t take much money.”

Some of us, I know, are going to be only lettuce and radish gardeners, the kind who get enthusiastic in the cool days of spring and plant the seed that show quickest results. The first hot day usually sees this gardener’s hand plough and hoe laid aside, but the man who will stick to his job and grow plenty of summer vegetables will not only have them for daily use but will be able to can a big part of his food supply for winter.

New Use for Old Furniture in Chatham County

In the general clearing out of rubbish and unused things in Chatham kitchens and barns, many beautiful pieces of old furniture were brought to light.

As one scorer said, “We found a corner cabinet over a hundred years old and a carved day bed you would give your eyeballs for.”

But these valuable things are not going out of those families to which they belong. The refinished day bed will have the place of honor in the living room and will be covered with an old blue hand-woven coverlet made many years ago by members of the family. Old mantels, wide old floor boards and other things of beauty and memory will abide in their old setting we hope. Perhaps something of what has been contributed by all the people who have used these furnishings and have lived in these homes will abide there also.

Who Is the Well-Dressed Woman?

The well-dressed woman knows her possibilities. She knows her good points and her bad ones, and she has learned to cover up her defects and to bring out her good points.

She looks well to her lines if she is to make the most of every inch of her height, and she must know what to do to minimize her too generous flesh if she keeps up with her stream-lined sisters.

The farm woman along with her town contemporary is learning what a good appearance will do for her and she is putting what she learned into effect.

The home agent in McDowell County says:

“I hear this from interested women everywhere: ‘I am glad that I know how to make my old dress and hat into a 1937 model and that a fresh collar and a new scarf will do wonders toward bringing me up to date.’ Women call it pepping up the old clothes.

“Chicken or pigeon feathers which have been dipped in shellac and used on hats rival in smartness the best store accessories and it was good to see how a feather on the hat brings a smile to the face of the wearer.”

Monday, February 12, 2018

J.W. Randolph's Ideas About Running a Drug Store, 1935

From the Feb. 8, 1935 issue of The Independent, Elizabeth City, N.C.

J.W. Randolph’s Ideas About How to Run a Drug Store

J.W. Randolph, Elizabeth City realtor, fell heir to a drug store last week. To be exact he made a casual bid for the stock and fixtures of the Albemarle Pharmacy when it was put up at a creditors’ sale recently. His bid was less than $1,000. Last week he learned that he was the successful bidder.

Mr. Randolph employed Leslie J. Twiford as manager and opened the store last Friday. Mr. Twiford was employed by F.G. Jacocks, the former proprietor, for several years and is familiar with the stock.

“Now that I am in the drug store business, I’m going to try to make it interesting,” said Mr. Randolph one day this week. “To begin with, I’m going to try to make it as easy to shop in my store as it is to shop in a chain store. Cigars will be open and on top of the case instead of in the case, so a customer can wait on himself. Package confectionaries the same way. And I’m going to have readable price tags on all articles. There is a lot of profit in some of these proprietary medicines and toilet goods; I’m going to mark a lot of prices down.

Henry Ward, Ellis Norman Obituaries, 1935

Obituaries in the Feb. 8, 1935 issue of The Independent, Elizabeth City, N.C.

Henry Ward

Henry Ward, age 55, who died in the home of Charlie Copeland, near Beech Spring, Perquimans County, early last Friday morning, was a son of the late Felton and Janie Saunders Ward of Perquimans County. He had never married. He is survived by a sister, Mrs. L.M. Lane of this city; J.W. Ward of Norfolk and Adrian Ward of Woodville.

E.S. Norman

Ellis S. Norman, age 72, who died at his home in Edenton Wednesday night, Jan. 30, was a man distinguished for good citizenship and neighbourliness. He served Chowan County as sheriff with dignity and efficiency for several years. His wife and one daughter, Mrs. D.M. Warren, survive him.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ephriam Miller Sets Record Straight During Visit to Boone, N.C., 1916

“Uncle Ephriam Miller Explains” that he is not a newlywed, from Watauga Democrat in Boone, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 3, 1916

Mr. Editor: It was a little embarrassing to me a few days since when I visited the town of Boone, to be congratulated by my any friends, among them the editor of the Democrat, as a newly married man, recognizing the fact that 37 years and 27 days had elapsed since my marriage.

On Dec. the 24th, 1878, I was married to Miss Nannie Woodring, a devoted Christian lady, whose affections I had won. Although an invalid, her wise counsel, benevolent disposition and Christian spirit made our humble home an earthly paradise for more than 16 years.

When in health she was cheerful, modest and kind, ever ready to answer duty’s call and share the grief and disappointments of her friends; in sickness calm and patient, ever willing to submit to the will of Him whom she had served. She became the mother of five children, all of whom are still living.

On the night of April 21, 1895, she was called to enjoy that rest that remains for the people of God, leaving a husband with five motherless children to battle with the trying conflicts and cold charities of the world. Amid the darkness and gloom without companion to cheer, mother to help or sister to aid, but with the help of a few good friends and the Higher Power we have moved quietly along for more than 30 years without intimating courtship or marriage to any woman.
                --E.N. Miller

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Work Your Way Through College Ladies, Washing Dishes Is Fun, 1921

From the Highlander and Shelby News, Feb. 14, 1921.

Co-Eds Can Earn Board and Keep…Wooster College Girls Tell How They Can Work Their Way Through

Wooster, Ohio, April 12—Mere man has no corner on the business of working one’s way through college.

Co-eds at Wooster College testify to this assertion in essays they have submitted to college authorities in a contest on “How I Worked My Way Through College.”

Girls attending the college paid their expenses by performing various tasks, including cleaning house, ironing, waiting table, doing office work, doing dishes at college dormitories, tutoring and working in factories.

“I’m sorry, of course, that conditions make it impossible for you to float through college on flowery beds of ease,” but let me tell you, you’ll enjoy school ever so much more if you pay for it all yourself,” declares Miss Florence E. Wallace of Wooster, a senior, whose essay was in the form of a letter to a friend in whom she divulged her experiences in working her way through school.

“Pocket Your False Pride”

Miss Wallace laid down three rules to which she adheres. They are:

“First, pocket your false pride. Be proud only of being able to pay your own way.

“Second, take any job that offers, no matter how disagreeable, or poorly paid. That kind of work, well done, usually leads to something better.

“Third, let everyone know you are willing to work. It pays to advertise.”

Miss Wallace said her expenses during her first year in college were less than $200. By the time her junior year was completed, her expenditures reached $225. This year, which will include her graduation, she estimates $300 will be sufficient to meet all requirements.

Miss Wallace earned money both summers and winters. Her favorite odd-job is waiting table.

“I started when I was in high school,” she confessed, “and I have become quite expert. I have served at the country club, at college affairs, at private dinners and at three summer hotels. I have worked on Saturdays at a shoe store, and later at a clothing store. The objection to Saturday work is that nearly all the college games and parties come on that day.

“I do not use a typewriter, but I have found office work to do. I have addressed thousands of envelopes. Last summer, profiting by the training I received in the science in which I am majoring, I procured laboratory employment and saved $200 during vacation. I have taken care of babies, done housework for faculty wives, and, when I was a freshman, I worked in a factory one summer and did sweat-shop work at home for 12 ½ cents an hour.”

Always Enough to Do

“Like the widow’s cruse, I always abounded with opportunities for work. It seems as if I never need extra money without extra work appearing. Sometimes I’ve wished I were twins so I could do two jobs simultaneously. I’ve often been able to get work for other girls, and many of them have been kind in remembering me for the same purpose.”

Miss Jean Wilson, whose parents are missionaries in India, has done some “domestic intervention” to “bring in the ducats,” she said.

“Many of the good ladies of the community are glad to let someone play Martha for them at times,” said Miss Wilson. “I have done it on a number of occasions. For anyone who likes housework, or cooking, there is an opportunity here for fairly steady employment. In the same connection, I might mention the cherubic infants with which the town is richly endowed.

“They often need to be taken care of while ‘mama’ or ‘papa’ go out to dinner or club. Some of the children are quite adorable. Some aren’t. But that’s all in the day’s work. I most enjoy taking care of them from 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. They sleep and I read. That’s very convenient.”

Miss Lucile Cumming of Rockford, Ill., declares that giving her name to the college Y.W.C.A. employment committee when she came to Wooster two years ago has afforded her plenty of work.

Washing Dishes Fun

“The wife of a furloughed missionary wanted someone to help her get ready to go back to work. So I have her an afternoon a week which resolved itself into an ironing day. When other calls for ironing came, I accepted gladly. I spent Saturday mornings with one woman, cleaning house.

“Washing dishes at the dormitory proved to be lots of fun. I spent an hour in the kitchen every night, washing dishes. Yes, but I was also getting acquainted with other girls who work there. Being ‘hall girl’ proved delightful employment. The work was, principally, answering the telephone and doorbell.

“In my second year I tried living out in town and working for my board and room. I liked it, but it was too hard for me. Then I began working just for my room. That was much better. It gave me just enough of the home touch to keep my fingers nimble. I have, also, done some work as assistant to the college librarian, and a profitable path to the coffers of the world at large is through my stocking agency. I always find some girls who are needing hose. Last Christmas, we girls made dainty organdy flowers in bouquets and corsages and found a brisk demand for them. I often earn extra money by typing theses, or book reviews, or things of that sort.”

Elizabeth City to Put Up Street Signs, Number Houses, 1935

From the Elizabeth City Independent, Feb. 8, 1935

Gross irregularities and glaring mistakes in street names and house numbers throughout Elizabeth City are likely to be corrected in the near future as a result of a motion passed by the City Council at its monthly meeting Monday night. The motion ordered the placing of new signs on every street corner and new numbers on every house and building in the city, provided the necessary funds can be found.

The matter was brought up by Mayor Jerome B. Flora, who pointed out the urgent need for such a project locally. Merchants have long complained about the irregularity of house numbering in the city, calling attention to the trouble encountered by their delivery boys in seeking addresses in some sections of the city. Various civic organizations have long complained about the unsatisfactory manner in which the city’s streets are designated. Many street corners do not have any signs at all; on others the signs are so weatherbeaten that they cannot be read; on still others the signs have been broken off or knocked askance by passing trucks or heavy winds.

There has been considerable complaint these past few years regarding the difficulty of finding one’s way about in Elizabeth City, particularly if one happens to be a stranger in the city. But nothing has ever been done to remedy the situation, due to the expense of the undertaking. Two or three years ago the City asked an out-of-town concern to figure on the project, and $3,000 was asked for the job. Another concern later offered to take the job for $1,200. Unable to spare that much money for such work, the city did nothing about it, but Mayor Flora has kept the project in mind all along.

Looking thru a catalog recently, the Mayor saw house numerals listed at an attractive price. Getting out paper and pencil, he estimated that the City could re-number every house in the city and put new street signs on every street corner for $300, or thereabouts, exclusive of labor costs. A conference with T.P. Richardson, work project supervisor for the local ERA office, encouraged him to believe that the project could be done almost entirely with ERA labor.

In bringing the matter before the City Council Monday night, Mayor Flora stated that he was not asking for any action on it but was merely passing on the information. The Council was strong for the suggestion, but members of the Finance Committee said there was not that much money available for such an item. So the Council passed a motion ordering that the work be done if ways and means could be found for raising the $300.

The Chamber of Commerce-Merchants Association, which has agitated this project for some time, is expected to help the City in financing the project.

It is estimated that 7,500 numerals will be needed, since there are approximately 2,500 houses in the city and three numerals will be needed for each house. There will be no house numbers below 100, and there will be no 1/2s. There are about 300 intersections in the city.

Another trouble will be remedied by this project. At present there are some 10 or 15 streets in the city that have the same names. There are two Lane Streets, two Pennsylvania Avenues, two Factory Streets and numerous other duplications in the city. These duplications will be remedied when the new street signs are put up, Mayor Flora said this week.