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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Life on a tobacco farm

Mary Adamson descended from one of the early tobacco factory owners. She describes their farm and the ways the infrastructure in the post-Civil War South affected her family's business.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. 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

MARY FREDERICKSON:
Do you remember any of your grandparents?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
Only Grandma Minnie Price is the only one. I remember her quite vividly because she stayed with us. She went from family, from one of her children to another, and so she stayed with us quite a bit, particularly since that was her home where we were living, you see, where she had spent her married life.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Was this your father's mother?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
Yes, my father's mother. And we lived in my father's family home on a farm, the Rose Bank Farm, we laughingly called it. I guess it must have been named that by someone, I don't know who. But anyhow, Grandma considered it really her home and it was because she had been married in Alabama and had gone there. She was quite young when she was married. I've forgotten. There she had all of her children and her husband died when they lived there. He was buried in the family graveyard in the front yard, and so forth. So she spent a good part of the time with us when she was in the country. She stayed with my Uncle John in Winston-Salem quite a bit too. Now you already know perhaps things about our grandma, Grandma Minnie and her background.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
No, not specifically, no.
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
Well, I'll tell you about Grandpa and about Grandma Minnie. Grandma Minnie was the daughter of a very prosperous slave-owning family in Alabama; Hillsboro, Alabama, I think was the name of the little community where she lived. Grandpa started a tobacco factory, a place there up, oh, within sight of the house where I grew up. It was used as a barn by the time I came along. But he had started his tobacco factory before the Reynolds and the Dukes, in Winston-Salem and Durham, started their factories. According to the family information, anyhow from what I was told, when the railroads were being built, the people in Madison refused to have the railroad coming through Madison. Instead, it went through Winston-Salem and another branch of the railroad through Durham. So R. J. Reynolds and whatever his name was-Duke-started those and they had easy access whereas Grandpa Price had to do all the merchandising of his product, sohe himself went out on trips to sell the tobacco that he manufactured. Now whether it was chewing tobacco or pipe tobacco or just what kind of tobacco, I don't know. Anyhow, on one of his trips he had gone as far away as Alabama-in other words, he had sort of a wide range and it was a fairly successful operation-and he met Minnie Wolfe there. I don't know anything about their meeting and so forth and so on, except he did ask her to marry him, and she did do so and came as a very young bride to the family farm there in Madison. We were five miles from Madison, but Madison was the mailing address.