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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 >>

Various strike leaders

Cobb reviews some of the prominent mid-twentieth century strike leaders that she and her family members knew.

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:
Did you hear stories from them about going on strike?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Oh, yes, but that was just rumors. They always had rumors going around Gastonia that Addie Holt wasn't killed by the strikers. Anyhow, they cleared him in later years, the man over the union. He come out of the penitentiary, walked a free man. I think they even paid for what he did serve.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about Ella Mae Williams? Did you know her?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
No, I didn't know her personally, but my sister-in-law did.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Had you ever heard of the songs that she wrote?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Yes. My sister-in-law had some of them. Maude Croft knowed her pretty well, but I didn't. Because Maude, my sister-in-law, was raised there at Firestone(). She married my husband's youngest brother next to him. She was raised right there, too, I think, and they knowed each other.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Is she still alive?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
Maude is, but I don't know where she's at.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You haven't been in touch with her?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
No. Her and my brother-in-law parted years ago, and she married again. And my brother-in-law's dead.
JACQUELYN HALL:
So she left Gastonia?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
The last account I had of her, she was living in Charlotte. I don't know where she's living now.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you hear stories about the National Guard being out and all the violence in the picket lines()?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
I just heared rumors. I wasn't living there, and I don't know too much about that strike. All I know is what they told me. My mother-in-law and father-in-law lived there, and all [my husband's] people. Me and him was living up here at that time, in '29. That's when that happened.
JACQUELYN HALL:
About that same time, there was a big strike at Marion.
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
I didn't know nothing about that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did your husband think about all of that that was going on?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
He never did say too much about it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He was already involved in the union?
MAREDA SIGMON COBB:
No, not then. In later years, he was. When the CIO come out, he got into it.