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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Thomas R. Ellington, October 10, 1983. Interview C-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Jordan provided employees with financial help, but he kept mill wages low

One of the ways Jordan pleased his employees was by helping them finance their homes. Jordan often loaned money to Ellington and let him decide how soon he would pay it back. Still, wages in Jordan's company were lower than other mills in the area.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Thomas R. Ellington, October 10, 1983. Interview C-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BEN BULLA:
Doc, let me ask you this. Did the employees in the mill criticize Mr. Jordan?
THOMAS R. DOC ELLINGTON:
No, people in that mill really loved Mr. Jordan. I never heard anybody at all criticize him.
BEN BULLA:
When you bought your house, did he help you finance it in any way?
THOMAS R. DOC ELLINGTON:
When I bought the house from him, he told Miss Alice to let me pay for it any way I wanted to;5 a week. And that's the way I paid for it.
BEN BULLA:
Which house was that Doc?
THOMAS R. DOC ELLINGTON:
It was the house that Harley Anderson build over there across from Mot Lindleys. They sold it to J. B. Kemp, and he left and went to Siler City. Mr. Jordan seen me out there one morning and said, I heard you wanted to buy that house over yonder. I said, Yeah, I'd like to have it, but I ain't got no money to pay you down on it. He said, I didn't say anything about paying anything down on it. He took me in the office and told Miss Alice, The Plumber is buying that house over yonder. He can pay for it like he wants to. Paid 5 a week;I had a stack of check stubs that high. Then I turned around and sold it;or gave it away. That's when I left and went to Thomasville.
BEN BULLA:
How come you to leave Sellers?
THOMAS R. DOC ELLINGTON:
Well I was offered more money. I worked over 35 years for Mr. Jordan and me and Mr. Tisdale didn't get along any too good. I would go in there and try to explain something to him;that's always been my motto; if I'm working on something or other and it's important then I'd explain it to either the overseer or the superintendent what I'm doing, and he wouldn't listen to me so I had a chance to take a job up in Thomasville with two spoolers and I took it.
BEN BULLA:
What year did you leave?
THOMAS R. DOC ELLINGTON:
I don't know. And Tisdale kept writing for me to come back down here and I come back and stayed one year.