Collection Number: 04205

Collection Title: Chapel Hill Historical Society's Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 40 items (1.5 linear feet)
Abstract The Chapel Hill Historical Society was formed in 1966 in Chapel Hill, N.C. In 1974, the oral history committee was established to conduct interviews with local Chapel Hill and Carrboro, N.C., residents in an effort to preserve first-hand recollections about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, local African American communities, and local mill-worker communities. One of the first major projects conducted was a series of interviews with men and women who had worked in the Carrboro textile mills in the early and mid-20th century. The collection consists of 40 of the original 117 oral history interviews conducted by the Chapel Hill Historical Society between 1974 and 1978 in the "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families" project. Interviewees include mill workers, mill supervisors, and several doctors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who discuss health in the early 20th century. Interview topics include working in the Carrboro mills from the turn of the 20th century through the Great Depression and World War I; work conditions, social relations, and union organizing in the mills; everyday life in North Carolina and especially in Carrboro in the early 20th century, including displacement from farms into the town, housing conditions, health, education, family life, childbirth, and women in work; and the University of North Carolina.
Creator Chapel Hill Historical Society.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
Interviews on C-4205/8, C-4205/12, C-4205/24 and C-4205/26 are closed due to the absence of release forms.
Restrictions to Use
A. C. Howell Interview on C-4205/11 does not allow copying or quotation of material found on page 6 of the transcript (Folder 46). Ruth West interview on C-4205/28 and transcript (Folder 105) requires permission from the interviewee to quote, copy, or cite.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Chapel Hill Historical Society's Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories #4205, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the Chapel Hill Historical Society of Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2005.
This material was originally part of a larger collection on loan from the Chapel Hill Historical Society that was received in 1979 and returned to the Chapel Hill Historical Society in 1995.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

The Chapel Hill Historical Society was formed in 1966 in Chapel Hill, N.C. In 1974, the oral history committee was established to conduct interviews with local Chapel Hill and Carrboro, N.C., residents in an effort to preserve first hand-recollections about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, local African American communities, and local mill-worker communities. One of the first major projects conducted was a series of interviews with men and women who had worked in the Carrboro textile mills in the early and mid-20th century. The purpose of the project was to gather biographical, social, and cultural information about the first generation of mill workers in the town and to compare their lives to those of their sons and daughters. The interviews were supplemented by documentary research into government, business, and census records.

Co-directors and principal investigators for the project were High P. Brinton, Brent D. Glass, and Valerie Quinney. The Chapel Hill Historical Society obtained a grant of $2,500 from the North Carolina Bicentennial Commission to provide support for the transcription of 70 interviews. The Southern Oral History Program provided technical and administrative assistance throughout the project.

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The collection consists of 40 of the original 117 oral history interviews conducted by the Chapel Hill Historical Society between 1974 and 1978 in the "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families" project. Interviewees include mill workers, mill supervisors, and several doctors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who discuss health in the early 20th century. Interview topics include working in the Carrboro mills from the turn of the 20th century through the Great Depression and World War I; work conditions, social relations, and union organizing in the mills; everyday life in North Carolina and especially in Carrboro in the early 20th century, including displacement from farms into the town, housing conditions, health, education, family life, childbirth, and women in work; and the University of North Carolina.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978.

40 items.

Arrangement: Roughly alphabetical. Audio interviews are listed with their corresponding transcript, when available.

The majority of interviews have both audio and complete transcripts. Several interviews have other written materials, such as genealogical items or notes. Some cassettes contain two separate, unrelated interviews. Carrboro, N.C., is often referred to by the older names "West Chapel Hill" or "Venable".

Processing information: Note that interviews may contain more than one interviewee. Processing archivists re-numbered interview audiocassettes in June 2021 to facilitate digitization. Original cassettes numbers, which reflected the position of the interviews in the original group of 117 interviews, are listed for reference.

Audiocassette C-4205/1

Albright, Frances Medlin, 8 July 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/1

Mill worker.

Original number: C-4205/1

Folder 1

Albright, Frances Medlin, 8 July 1975: Transcript, 64 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 1

Audiocassette C-4205/2

Alford, Harriet Butner, 3 July 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/2

Original number: C-4205/2

Folder 2

Alford, Harriet Butner, 3 July 1975: Transcript, 36 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 2

Audiocassette C-4205/3

Andrews, Berta Lloyd, July 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/3

Director of Carrboro cedar mill; owner of Fitch Lumber.

Original number: C-4205/4

Folder 4

Andrews, Berta Lloyd, July 1974: Abstract #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 4

Audiocassette C-4205/4

Berryhill, Walter Reece, 19 June 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/4

Dean of the Medical School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Original number: C-4205/9

Folder 9

Berryhill, Walter Reece, 19 June 1974: Transcript, 33 pages; tape log; index of names #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 9

Audiocassette C-4205/5

Bland, Lessie Bowden, 17 April 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/5

Original number: C-4205/11

Folder 11

Bland, Lessie Bowden, 17 April 1974: Transcript, 32 pages; tape log; notes #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 11

Audiocassette C-4205/6

Campbell, Flossie Mann, 20 April 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/6

Original number: C-4205/16

Folder 16

Campbell, Flossie Mann, 20 April 1974: Transcript, 40 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 16

Audiocassette C-4205/7

Campbell, James M., 11 September 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/7

Original number: C-4205/17

Folder 17

Campbell, James M., 11 September 1975: Transcript, 25 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 17

Audiocassette C-4205/8

Cooke, Robert Bruce, Mrs., 24 May 1974; Myrtle Stanley, 7 June 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/8

Side A of this cassette contains the Mrs. Robert Bruce Cooke 24 May 1974 interview; side B of this cassette contains Myrtle Stanley 7 June 1974 interview. The Mrs. Robert Bruce Cooke interview has no transcript.

Original number: C-4205/20; C-4205/93-2

Closed: Mrs. Robert Bruce Cooke interview closed due to no release form.

Folder 93-2

Folder 93

Stanley, Myrtle, 7 June 1974: Transcript, 36 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 93-2

Audiocassette C-4205/9

Fields, Leonard, 22 February 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/9

Original number: C-4205/28

Folder 28

Fields, Leonard, 22 February 1974: Transcript, 42 pages; tape log #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 28

Audiocassette C-4205/10

Harding, J. Ralph, 17 December 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/10

Student at the University of North Carolina in the 1920s.

Original number: C-4205/38

Folder 38

Harding, J. Ralph, 17 December 1974: Transcript, 38 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 38

Audiocassette C-4205/11

Howell, A. C., 23 December 1974; Ralph Weaver, 6 May 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/11

Side A of this cassette contains the A. C. Howell 23 December 1974 interview; side B of this cassette contains the Ralph Weaver 6 May 1975 interview.

Original number: C-4205/46; C-4205/103

Closed: A. C. Howell interview closed due to no release form.

Folder 46

Howell, A. C., 23 December 1974: Transcript, 24 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 46

Discusses life in Chapel Hill, N.C., in the 1920s.

Material found on page 6 of the transcript may not be copied or quoted.

Audiocassette C-4205/12

Johnson, Guy and Guion, February 1978 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/12

Sociologists and former graduate students at the University of North Carolina.

Original number: C-4205/49

Closed: Interview closed due to no release form.

Folder 49

Johnson, Guy and Guion, February 1978: Transcript, 39 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 49

Closed: Transcript closed due to no release form.

Audiocassette C-4205/13

Lacock, Lula Johnson, 6 February 1975; Forrest Lacock, 6 February 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/13

Side A of this cassette contains the Lula Johnson Lacock 6 February 1975 interview; side B of this cassette contains the Forrest Lacock 6 February 1975 interview.

Original number: C-4205/52; C-4205/51

Folder 51

Lacock, Forrest, 6 February 1975: Transcript, 35 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 51

Discusses race and housing in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Folder 52

Lacock, Lula Johnson, 6 February 1975: Transcript, 39 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 52

Folder 59

McCallum, Christine Boone, 9 July 1975: Transcript, 42 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 59

There is no audio available for this interview.

Audiocassette C-4205/14

Oldham, Wallace, 28 February 1978 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/14

Original number: C-4205/70

Folder 70

Oldham, Wallace, 28 February 1978: Transcript, 18 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 70

Audiocassette C-4205/15

Ray, Mallie, 5 August 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/15

Original number: C-4205/80

Folder 80

Ray, Mallie, 5 August 1974: Transcript, 25 pages; tape log; notes #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 80

Audiocassette C-4205/16

Smith, Allie, 19 March 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/16

Original number: C-4205/88

Folder 88

Smith, Allie, 19 March 1974: Transcript, 27 pages; abstract #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 88

Audiocassette C-4205/17

Smith, Mary Blackwood, 30 April 1974 and 5 May 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/17

Original number: C-4205/90

Folder 90

Smith, Mary Blackwood, 30 April 1974 and 5 May 1974: Transcript, 49 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 90

Audiocassette C-4205/18

Smith, R. D., 23 February 1987 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/18

Chapel Hill High School assistant [rincipal.

Original number: C-4205/91

Folder 91

Smith, R. D., 23 February 1987: Transcript, 12 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 91

Audiocassette C-4205/19

Stanley, Charles, 8 August 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/19

Original number: C-4205/92

Folder 92

Stanley, Charles, 8 August 1975: Transcript, 47 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 92

Audiocassette C-4205/20

Stanley, Myrtle, 13 May 1974; George Elmore, 15 May 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/20

Side A of this cassette contains the Myrtle Stanley 13 May 1974 interview; side B of this cassette contains the George Elmore 15 May 1974 interview.

Original number: C-4205/93-1; C-4205/26

Folder 93-1

Folder 93

Stanley, Myrtle, 13 May 1974: Transcript, 47 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 93-1

Folder 26

Elmore, George, 15 May 1974: Transcript, 29 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 26

Audiocassette C-4205/21

Stanley, Myrtle, 7 June 1974; Julius Page, 11 June 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/21

Side A of this cassette contains the end of Myrtle Stanley's 7 June 1974 interview; side B of this cassette contains Julius Page 11 June 1974 interview. There is no transcript associated with either interview.

Original number: C-4205/93-3; C-4205/71

Audiocassette C-4205/22

Thrift, J. Floyd, 10 May 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/22

Original number: C-4205/96-1

Folder 96-1

Folder 96

Thrift, J. Floyd, 10 May 1974: Transcript, 51 pages; family genealogy chart #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 96-1

Audiocassette C-4205/23

Thrift, J. Floyd, 7 May 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/23

There is no transcript associated with this interview.

Original number: C-4205/96-2

Audiocassette C-4205/24

Tripp, L. G., 13 August 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/24

Original number: C-4205/97

Closed: Interview closed due to no release form.

Folder 97

Tripp, L. G., 13 August 1975: Transcript, 86 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 97

Closed: Transcript closed due to no release form.

Audiocassette C-4205/25

Walter, Carley, Mrs. #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/25

Original number: C-4205/102

Folder 102

Walter, Carley. Mrs.: Transcript, 31 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 102

Audiocassette C-4205/26

Weaver, Ralph, 6 May 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/26

There is no transcript associated with this interview.

Original number: C-4205/103

Closed: Interview closed due to no release form.

Audiocassette C-4205/27

West, Jesse, 2 August 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/27

Original number: C-4205/104

Folder 104

West, Jesse, 2 August 1975: Transcript, 40 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 104

Audiocassette C-4205/28

West, Ruth, 16 August 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/28

Original number: C-4205/105

No copying, quotation, or citation of this interview without permission from the interviewee.

Folder 105

West, Ruth, 16 August 1975: Transcript, 53 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 105

No copying, quotation, or citation of this interview without permission from the interviewee.

Audiocassette C-4205/29

Williams, Ben, 1 July 1974 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/29

Mill supervisor.

Original number: C-4205/107

Folder 107

Williams, Ben, 1 July 1974: Transcript, 56 pages; interview notes #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 107

Discusses the history of the different mills in Carrboro from 1909 through the 1940s; workers injured in the mills; attempts at unionization; denies health risks or bad conditions at mill.

Audiocassette C-4205/30

Williams, Emma C., 1 August 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/30

Original number: C-4205/108

Folder 108

Williams, Emma C., 1 August 1975: Transcript, 60 pages; notes on family #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 108

Audiocassette C-4205/31

Willis, Stuart, 1 April 1975; Mabel Hill, 7 April 1975 #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." C-4205/31

Side A of this tape contains Stuart Willis 1 April 1975 interview. Side B contains Mabel Hill 7 April 1975 interview. There is no transcript for the Stuart Willis interview.

Original number: C-4205/112

Folder 42

Hill, Mabel, 7 April 1975: Transcript, 44 pages #04205, Series: "Generations of Carrboro Mill Families Oral Histories, 1974-1978." Folder 42

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Processing Information

Processed by: Joyce Chapman, February 2008

Encoded by: Joyce Chapman, February 2008

Updated by: Anne Wells, June 2021

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