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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Flossie Moore Durham, September 2, 1976. Interview H-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Starting mill work at age ten

Addressing entering and leaving adult life young in the early twentieth-century South, Durham remembers her childhood. At age ten, after the death of her father, she went to work at a cotton mill in Bynum, North Carolina.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Flossie Moore Durham, September 2, 1976. Interview H-0066. 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:
Was he a pretty young man when he died?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
He died almost sudden. He wasn't but forty-three when he died. And it left us, and it left my mother in a bad shape. Along them days there wasn't any money coming in much. We lived; we never went hungry; we hever went cold. But I've often wondered how she kept us all a-going.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
How long did she stay on the farm after he died?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
We didn't stay but a few months after he died, just gathered that crop and then we moved to Bynum.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
How did she decide to come to Bynum?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
There were several of the men that come out and met first, trying to decide what to do because there was a big family of us, and all of it like it was, didn't know hardly what to do. They knew about Bynum, and it was a good little place to live. It's always been a real quiet, nice place to live, almost just in the country. And of course the cotton mill was running here then. And the ones that was old enough… Well, I went to work at ten years old.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
So you went to work right when your family came into Bynum.
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Yes, went to work when I was ten years old. And so the mill run on then. The mill was owned by the Odells in Concord. But the houses all back over there then were in good shape; now they're really bad. They've been getting bad.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Did your family move into one of the houses over on the hill?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Yes, sure did. Moved into one of the houses over there on the hill. And we lived there till I was grown and married.