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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Why Sally Sigmon did not work outside her home

Cobb and Yelton's parents grew up near each other, and when they married, their mother was only fifteen. Cobb tells about her mother's life, the way she raised her children, and the reason she quit the only job she ever held after only three months.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
What was your mother's name?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
She was a Huffman.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you know anything about her background?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
She was the only child. She had a brother born before her, and he died when he was three months old. And then when my mother was three months old, her daddy died. Grandma Huffman never did marry anymore. When Mama married, she lived with them till she died, and she died when I was three months old, so I don't remember her. But the older ones do.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Were the Huffmans Hickory people?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Yes, she died here in Hickory. She moved to Hickory with her. She raised my mother. She farmed.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So your mother and daddy pretty much grew up together out on the farm.
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Yes. There was just fifteen years' difference between Mama's oldest kid and her. She got married when she was fourteen.
JACQUELYN HALL:
And had her first kid when she was fifteen.
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Yes. It was fifteen years and a few months difference between her and my oldest brother's age, Ervin Sigmon.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How many kids did she have?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
She had ten and raised nine.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Which one of the children died?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
The one between my baby brother and her [Carrie Yelton]. It was born dead. There's five of us living now. There's three boys and two girls.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did she work outside [the home]?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
No, she never worked but three months in her life at public work. That was after she [Carrie Yelton] had gone. She worked three months over here at the Ivey Weavers. We laughed at her so much, she quit. [Laughter] We just couldn't get it in our heads about her working.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why did she go to ...
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
My brother's wife was there, and she was expecting a baby, and she kept her [Carrie] and told Mama to get her a job and go to work and help her. And she did; she got her a job, and she worked three months.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did she like it?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Yes, she liked it, but we made fun of her so much she quit. Because I was teenager, and I thought she looked so funny going to work. [Laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did most of the women ...
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Women didn't work back then like they do. Not very many did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did your father not want her to work?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
He never did say nothing about it. She never did work. I guess he got used to it. [Laughter]