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Title: Oral History Interview with Jessie Lee Carter, May 5, 1980. Interview H-0237. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Carter, Jessie Lee, interviewee
Interview conducted by Tullos, Allen
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 160 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-05-15, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Jessie Lee Carter, May 5, 1980. Interview H-0237. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0237)
Author: Allen Tullos
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Jessie Lee Carter, May 5, 1980. Interview H-0237. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0237)
Author: Jessie Lee Carter
Description: 134 Mb
Description: 37 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 5, 1980, by Allen Tullos; recorded in Greenville, South Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Dorothy M. Casey.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
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Interview with Jessie Lee Carter, May 5, 1980.
Interview H-0237. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Carter, Jessie Lee, interviewee


Interview Participants

    JESSIE LEE CARTER, interviewee
    ALLEN TULLOS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you give us your full name, and when you were born?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I'm Jessie Carter. I was Jessie Lee. I'm a Carter now. I was born in 1901. I'm seventy-eight years old. I'll be seventy-nine the twenty-first day of June. I worked at Brandon. I went to work when I was twelve years old. I worked for twenty-five cents a day, run one side, learning to spin.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You came from up around Newport, Tennessee?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I came from Newport, Tennessee.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Your mother and father, they lived on a farm?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes sir, and they raised ten children.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of crops did you all grow?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Mostly vegetables. I don't think they had cotton in Tennessee then. I think they raised corn and vegetables.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old were you when you moved here?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Four years old.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was about 1905?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
That's right.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who was it that got you to move here? How did that work?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Some man from Brandon Mill, I don't know. It must have been some big bossman come, and he was going around the country getting people, you know, to come to work, because they just had made the mill. My daddy and my grandfather and my uncles begin to work in the mill as quick as they brought down here. They moved them here in two horse wagons.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Your father and your grandfather and your uncle all came?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
All three of the families moved here at one time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I guess you don't remember anything about making that trip?

Page 2
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, no. I was just four years old, and you know children don't remember back then. My oldest sisters and brothers would remember of course, but I didn't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It would take more than one wagon, I guess, to bring all those folks.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
They brought two horse wagons and had two horses at each wagon. It took them about a week to come down there and move us out here. I heard my daddy tell about that. They brought us to the house right over there at Brandon now, number fourteen. We moved in that house and he lived there forty years and worked in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was that the first time he had ever done any kind of mill work?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir. He'd been raised on a farm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember him saying anything about what he thought about the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, he loved it. He was never out a day without he was sick. And he worked down there forty years the day they throwed his frames out the Brandon basement. They had a basement and they had frames in it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Spinning frames?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. It wasn't spinning frames. It was speeder frames. They throwed them out the window; that was the day he retired.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He just decided…
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He didn't want to work any more. And they throwed his frames out the window. They put in new ones that was larger and he couldn't run them, so he quit then. Well, he was old enough to quit because he had worked forty years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That would have been right about World War II?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir. He worked during World War I.

Page 3
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, what was his name?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Millard Lee. My grandfather was named L.D. Goodenough. My uncle was named Jim Goodenough.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your mother work in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, no. She never was inside the mill the whole time she lived here. Never did go in the mill, not even to the door. Of course, she couldn't have worked nohow, with all the small children. Let's see, I had three brothers that worked in the mill and three sisters. Then whenever I got twelve years old, I went to work. My oldest brother, he was married and had a family and he wouldn't move out here. But he came in later years, but he didn't come when we did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He still stayed in Tennessee?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir. He stayed and lived there and died there. They raised tobacco mostly. That was what the money part was: tobacco.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your father raise tobacco, too?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was your mother's name?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Minnie.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You had three brothers and three sisters?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
That worked. They was ten of us, five girls and five boys.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That sure was a lot of people for your mother to look after.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Most of us was small, you know. The biggest ones, there was six of them that went to work in the mill. And then I went to work when I was twelve years old. I quit school. They didn't have any help hardly. They had to just work who they could get then. Colored people wasn't allowed to work in the mill. So, when I got twelve years old, my uncle come to my daddy, and daddy'd let me quit school and go to work. And he did.

Page 4
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did your uncle come and do that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, he was the bossman in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Your uncle was? He was in charge of…
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes. In charge of the spinning room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's Jim?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, that was my uncle Bob.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What's his last name?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was a Mace. Bob Mace. He was a section hand in the spinning room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so did you go in the spinning room?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I went to work and I was left to run one side. Twenty-five cents a day. That's what I made. I worked ten hours a day. That's what they worked then. My father made eleven dollars-and-a-half a week. You worked all the week. But on Saturday you worked just half-a-day. You worked 'til eleven o'clock on Saturday.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What time would you get out and go to work?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
We went to work at six o'clock.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would they blow a whistle?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
They blowed a whistle a dinner time. At twelve o'clock you'd come home and eat dinner.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long would you have?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Thirty minutes. You went back at twelve-thirty, and went to work until six o'clock that night.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would they blow a whistle to wake you up in the morning?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yeah, they blowed a whistle at four o'clock. They called that the wake-up whistle.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you didn't have to get there 'til six?

Page 5
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, but my daddy got up every morning at four o'clock. Back then they had woodstoves, he'd build a fire in the stove. Then my mother'd get up and cook breakfast. Then he'd get all of us up and we'd all clean up and eat our breakfast and go to work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would you have for breakfast?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
My mother owned a cow and we had our meat. We owned our own meat. Had a big pasture down there that she raised hogs in. My daddy had hogs, and we'd have sausage and bacon and ham, if we wanted it, and grits and biscuits and butter and syrup and honey, such as that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you would keep your cow out in the pasture with everybody else's?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Everybody's cow was in the pasture and you could go get them. They stayed there all day and you could go bring them up at night. You'd milk them in the morning then take them to pasture. You'd go bring them home about six o'clock at night. They had a lock for them. Feed them and milk them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the hogs?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Each family had a different pen.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But it was all in the same place?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
All down there in the big old pasture. I don't know how big it is.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have a garden?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yeah, we had a garden. My daddy raised corn, and green beans, and vegetables. So that's the way we done.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your mother can?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes, she canned. After I got grown and married, why I canned, too. My mother canned. We always had a big garden.

Page 6
ALLEN TULLOS:
Before we get away from the agriculture, let me ask you: do you know if your family brought this cow with you from Tennessee.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, she tied it behind the wagon. She walked all the way. We'd stop and feed him, you know, and milk him, and all. They kept her until she died. And then they got another one. Her name was Rose. She was a cream-colored cow. She give four gallons of milk a day. Two in the morning and two in the evening.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Tell me a little bit about what it was like to work in the mill when you were twelve, or thirteen, or fourteen years old.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, I enjoyed working. I'd rather work than eat when I was hungry. I run one side. It took me, I guess, several weeks to learn to really spin good. My oldest sister was a spinner and she run eight sides. I went from one side up to two and on up until I got to eight. But after I got grown, I have run sixteen sides in a day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where did you come among your brothers and sisters? Were you the youngest or the oldest?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I was younger. They was all older than I were.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You were the youngest of all ten?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I wasn't. I forgot that. I had two brothers and one sister younger than me, but they was born here in South Carolina. They wasn't born in Tennessee.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you all came here and never did think about moving anywhere else?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, never did go nowheres else. Papa just liked it here after he learned to work in the mill. Now, he wouldn't move off. Because all running in the mill in the spinning room, in two sections, wasn't anything that worked on it but kin-people. All of us was aunts and

Page 7
uncles and cousins. So we all was kin-folk that worked up there. 'Til they married off. Just married off one or two at the time. Some of them come back to work and some of them didn't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who taught all these people how to run their jobs?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, I don't know that because, see, the oldest sister when she went to work—'course they had somebody to learn them. She learnt me how to spin. They put me with her to learn.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was her name?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Annie. She learnt me how to spin.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember what kind of machinery you were running, the name of the company that made the machines?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Brandon Company, but I don't know who made the frames. All work run good then. But it don't do that no more they say. They say it's awful now. Eight sides was a set but if any of the hands was sick or anything and had to be out, we'd double up work. That's the reason I worked sixteen sides. But now they run twenty sides and they're twice as long as the frames was whenever I worked in the mill. I forget how many spindles there were. I have hear'd, but I don't remember.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have any of your family work in the weaving department?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. I had two brothers worked in the card room. My daddy worked in the card room. And I had one sister to work in the card room. And I had three sisters worked in the spinning room. Four with me, when I went to work. Four of us girls worked in the spinning room. Didn't have any that worked in the weave room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was it like running your job? Could you run and get caught up a while and rest?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, we didn't have to work hard then. I have set down

Page 8
and had little boxes this square and about that high, you put your cotton in. And I've set there half-an-hour at the time before I'd go up and down my alley, and then maybe wouldn't find just two or three threads down. It run so good then. I have left the mill—they had a Brandon Company Store up here then; 'course now, I forget what they got in there, but after this other Company bought it and everything went to them. I have left my sides and went up there to that store and played all the way up there and all the way back, for people that wanted coca colas. They's just five cents a bottle then. And I'd bring back ten, five in each arm like this, in a paper sack. The help in the mill'd send me after it. I have went down my alley when I come back and I wouldn't have a thread down.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you get to go to school any more?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I never did get to go to school no more.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you want to school?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, no. I'd rather work than go to school. I never did learn to read and write. But I loved to work. Yes, I did. I really enjoyed it. I had an aunt that was young like I was and me and her, we chummed together. And so we worked close together. Her sister had married my Uncle Bob, the section hand, and he never said anything to us. He let us play all we want to. It was all right. He didn't bother us. He was a mighty good section hand.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It must have been an advantage to have your kin-folk in the section.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, he'd get out and brag about it. He'd run his work where all his people was kin-people. He could boss if he wanted to, but he didn't want to because he was a good man. He'd tell you—of course everybody then, they did their work. They didn't have to be told to do it.

Page 9
They enjoyed doing it. They kept their sides cleaned up. If you kept your work clean, it run good. But if you let it get dirty, it didn't run good. So, he was a good man.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever get any whippings when you were growing up?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, Lord, don't ask me that. [laughter] I got hundreds of them from my mother. I tell you, the only thing I'd ever get a whipping for was slipping off. My grandmother lived right up there in a two-story house. I would slip off. I wouldn't ask my mother to go because I know'd she wouldn't let me go. But I would slip off and go up there and stay all day long. She'd have to send one of the boys to get me. Then she would really whip me.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What were you supposed to be doing?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, that was before I went to school, you know. I was smaller then. I hadn't ever started school. You didn't start school 'til you was ten years old. So I wasn't even ten years old. But, Lord, I got whippings for running off to my grandmother's. But I loved to go there. I reckon that's the most of what I ever got whippings for.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Your grandmother: she didn't work in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, no. All her children did. She had ten children, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what about your grandfather? Did he work in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, grandfather…well, yes he did. I can't tell you what my grandfather done. I can't remember. But he didn't work in the mill too long, because he was sickly and he was lots older than his wife. So he stayed home and she had to wait on him. That was mother's daddy and mother.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they live in one of the mill houses? Did some of their children live with them?

Page 10
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes, they lived in the mill houses. All their children lived with them. All except the ones that was married. We had a four-room house and Papa paid twenty-five cents a week for a four-room house. That was a dollar a week. Brandon Mill furnished your coal in the wintertime. And they'd haul your coal to you. It was two dollars a load, for a two-horse wagon load of coal. You can't make your children now understand it. Lord, I've told my grandchildren about working. ‘Lord, never would I work all day, ten hours, for twenty-five cents.’ But I said, back then you would've, because people didn't make any more. My daddy worked down there and made eleven dollars-and-a-half a week, and we lived on that. 'Course with our garden and my mother would put up stuff in the summer enough to do us through the winter. Then we had our own corn and our own cornmeal. We didn't have nothing to buy but sugar and flour and coffee and something like that. We had plenty other stuff. Plenty canned stuff, plenty milk and butter.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you were running the frames, the spinning frames, you'd have about thirty minutes break now and then?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir. No, we didn't have to have no breaks. We just stopped when we wanted to. They had a canteen and we'd go to the canteen when we got ready. They didn't have it when I first went to work, but later on in years, they put a canteen in the mill. And so we'd stop and just go down there when we got ready. We'd get all of our threads up, go down there, set down there, and eat, maybe cookies and drink coca cola, coffee, milk, anything that we wanted. They had it all down there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you hear well enough to talk to each other when the machinery was running?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes. You learnt to spin and you learnt to hear. Maybe you'd work in the mill about a week before you learned good. But then you

Page 11
could hear everything. I could holler from my sides maybe to over to my aunt's—she was my mother's sister, but she was as young as I was— and I'd holler at her and I'd say, ‘I'll beat you down my alley.’ And she'd say, ‘No, you won't.’ We'd holler to each other over the frames.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would you do for recreation and entertainment when you weren't working in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
There wasn't anything then to do. They didn't have places like they have now. You just stayed at home and you went to church. That's what we did every Sunday morning, we went to church, and every Sunday night.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What church did you go to?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Brandon church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Baptist or Methodist?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Baptist. Preacher Wren was the preacher.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did he stay here a long time?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, he stayed here for years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What's his full name, do you remember?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
John Wren. But he left here and then he died in another mill village. He went to preach there and he died there. But he stayed at Brandon, I don't know just how many years, but he was there long as I was a child.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did both of your parents go to church?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah. At Brandon. Everyone of us had to go to church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you go about every week?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Every Sunday'd come. But then that church out there toward West Greenville. They didn't have a new church like they got now. New church now is right down there. Well, the Baptist and Methodist was all together. And one Sunday all the Methodists and Baptists would all come

Page 12
together. They didn't have it separate. Like this Sunday our preacher would preach—the Baptist preacher—then next Sunday the Methodist preacher would preach. His name was preacher Doggett. That's the way we had our church. Everybody went. That church was always full on Sunday. And everybody went back Sunday night. Then in the evenings, if we weren't going anywheres, we'd get out and walk. There wasn't no cars hardly. The first cars that started here was old T Models. I can remember the first one I ever see'd. Yes, I can. They had horses and buggies when I was small. We'd just get out and walk, you know, just to go somewheres. Two of our uncles had horses and buggies and they'd take us not plumb to Paris Mountain—they couldn't go that far with a horse and buggy—but we'd go right far, just to see, you know. For pleasure on a Sunday evening.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Tell me about the first car that you saw.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, it liked to scared me to death, the first one I ever seen. Everybody was talking about the T Models. My uncle bought one.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which uncle is that now?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
That's my Uncle…I mean, my brother-in-law. He died, though. He's dead now, I mean. He bought one, second-hand. Somebody'd used it. He bought it. I think he give twenty-five dollars for it. And he come driving up to the house and we said we wasn't getting in that thing. Then he told us that was an iron buggy—to tease us kids, you know—and I said, ‘Well, you ain't getting me in it.’ That's all we had for years. I don't know how many years it was before any of the other cars come out. It was a long time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your mother and father buy one?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. My father never did own one. All my brothers did, but my father didn't.

Page 13
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they belong to the Baptist Church back up in Tennessee?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir, they belonged to the Baptist Church there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Tell me a little bit about how you were brought up and what you were taught—how to behave.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Now, we knew to behave. We had manners then. It ain't like the children now. We didn't say, ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘what’ and ‘ain't going to do it’, and all like that. We had to say ‘yes, m'am’, and ‘no, m'am; yes, sir’ and 'no, sir!. Lord, if we ever said ‘what’ to anybody, we would have got a whipping then. Everybody was raised that way then. All the children were. They wasn't like they are now. Lord, I never spoke back to my parents. And now they talk awful to their parents. I tried to raise mine like I was raised. My children was always good to mind me. But we knew to mind. I said if we'd ever run out to those old T Models, if one'd stop out there, and my daddy'd see me run out there to see who was in that car, I guess I'd a gotten a whipping of my life. 'Course my daddy never licked me in my life. But now, my mother did. They didn't allow us to jump up and see who was coming. We sit still until they got out of the car and come in the house. They let us look at their cars, but now, we didn't run out there. I know I got some grandchildren that does it. They're the first to the car when it stops. They're just not raised no more like they were.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why do you think that was a rule that your parents had?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
They had a strict rule.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why was that? Why do you think they didn't want you to run out when somebody was coming?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Because they had been raised that way theirselves. And so they raised us like they was raised. They was strict on us.
Then my

Page 14
uncle run a show out here in West Greenville theatre. Well, it cost me a nickle to go in the theatre. Now I never went to that theatre without my mother was with me. They didn't let us run out there by ourselves, and come back by ourselves. They was with us. My daddy didn't go. He didn't like the shows. But my mother'd go and take us on Saturdays.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever have any dances in people's houses that you remember?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, but when my mother was growing up, they did. She said they'd have corn-shucking, they called it. They get up a lot of dry corn, you know, when the corn'd be shuck, and they'd pile it in baskets and take it to the house, clean out one room and put all that corn in it, and they'd have a great big room—my mother said they had a large room—and the people'd go in there and they'd shuck all that corn. When they got the corn shucked, they'd go in this room and dance until daylight. She said she danced out of many a pair of shoes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you don't remember any dances like that?
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, sir. We never did go to any dances. I guess they had them then, but we didn't go.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were there any musicians in the community?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, sir. The first music we ever had in our house was the radio. And Bill Monroe and Charlie Monroe, they sung for the Gillespie Tire people, and my mother listened to them, and we listened to them. They was real good singers.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Gillespie Tire Company? Was that here in Greenville?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And they were on the station here?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
On the radio. On the radio here in Greenville. I don't know

Page 15
where it come from, now, but they announced the tires, you know, and then they'd start picking and singing. Two brothers. Bill Monroe's still living, but Charlie's dead.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember anybody else that you heard?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah. Roy Acuff. He was young then. 'Course he's an old man now, too. But I've heard him on the radio. The radio's all we had to listen to.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember Fisher Hendley did you ever hear of him?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Grandpa Jones, we heard him, and Minnie Pearl.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember Fisher Hendley and the Aristocratic Pigs, they were called? They were on the radio station here in Greenville one time.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I don't remember that. If I do, I've forgot about them. I don't think I remember them, though.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember hearing Hovie Lister on the radio, his quartet?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Seems like I have. I know that Minnie Pearl used to be a real singer. Let me see who else? Ernest Tubb, he was a good singer.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He's still around.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah. I guess he's old, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about Flatt and Scruggs?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, we got them, too, on the radio.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever go to see any of these people?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, we never did go. But we listened to them on the radio.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have a phonograph machine? A record player?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Ones that you'd crank, you know. We had one of them. We'd buy the records and play them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember Jimmie Rodgers?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, we had some records of him.

Page 16
ALLEN TULLOS:
And the Carter Family?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
And the Carter Family. My uncle used to tease us and tell us, Aunt Maybelle was our Aunt Maybelle, but she wasn't. We was different Carters.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you don't remember there being any fiddle players or banjo players that lived here?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I don't remember any of them. We never did have any player in here. But that had, let's see what they call it…I believe it was Textile Hall. And music people would come there. But I never did go.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why didn't you go?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, we just never did start going.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It wasn't because your father…
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, they'd a let us to went if we wanted to went, but all of us crowd of girls and boys would get together on Saturday evenings and Sunday after church, and just get a crowd together and enjoy theirselves that way. We'd go, maybe, to my grandmother's house or to my uncle's house, or stay at home and all of them'd come to our house. We'd all get out and play games. We enjoyed that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of games?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, we used to play, "Ring Around The Roses"—I guess that's a old one, too. And "Drop The Handkerchief". Little boys, you know, used to pick up their handkerchiefs when they'd see it drop, you know. They're supposed to kiss the girl they got it. Of course we was bashful then 'cause we wouldn't want the boys to kiss us. But they'd grab us and kiss us anyhow. We'd play tag. We'd run around. We'd have a big ring out here to the barn, and if he couldn't catch you, he didn't get to

Page 17
kiss you. But if he caught you, he could kiss you.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you play ball?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, they never did play ball. Well, our brothers would. They'd get out and play ball, uh huh. Now, the girls didn't play ball, but I had a girl, a daughter of mine. Lord, she was the biggest ball player ever was. She'd rather get out and play ball than eat when she was hungry.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of ball?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Baseball. Each team would want her on their side. She was a good ball player.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was her name?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Orthaie.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How do you spell that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
O-R-T-H-A-I-E. She lives in the house right back of this one, right there. She's on the next street from me. That's Miss Elrod lives there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What's the name of that street that she lives on?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I can't think of the name of it. But it's the next street to this one. Sturdivant Street's the name of it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you get to go to school at all?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I went to the fourth grade. I stayed in one room. I wouldn't have no other teacher. Only one I had, it was Miss Jessie, and we was the sweetest little old thing. She'd want to put me in another grade, and I said, I won't go in another grade. I stayed right in her grade the whole time I went to school.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Then you finally stopped and went to work?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I went to work when I was twelve years old. And you didn't

Page 18
have to sign them up for twelve. Anybody could go to work that wanted to. They could take the children and go to work anytime they wanted to.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were there other children who were…
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes, there were plenty of them just my age in the mill. We had a neighbor, her name was Miss Lamb, and she had a nursing baby, and she worked. She'd take that baby in her roping boxes and she'd take a quilt and she'd lay him in that roping box and she'd work, 'cause they didn't have any help. Now that's how bad they were for help. And they'd her bring her baby down and keep it in the mill all day long.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was she the only one you ever knew that did that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, and she did it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But there were lots of little girls?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Children nine years old, my age, working in the mill. Twelve years old.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where did the girls work?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Most all of them worked in spinning. Some of them filled boxes in the weave shop. They put them just wherever they needed them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now what about the little boys?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
The boys did the same thing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You had some boys in the spinning room?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
The doffers was boys. We had four doffers on one section. They called him the head doffer. He'd bear down the frames, and each boy'd doff half a frame a piece. They had four of them, two on each side. Then he'd start up the frames, and any threads come down, he pieced them up. But now they don't doff that way no more. One doffer doffs both sides of the frame. Then they had four doffers. That's the way they started off.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any accidents with any children?

Page 19
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. There never was any. If there was, I never heard tell of it. We never got hurt. We was always particular.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Sometimes did the children go to sleep on the job?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
[laughter] No. They never went to sleep on the job. They could set down if they got sleepy. They could sit down on one of them boxes and sleep if they wanted to. So maybe somebody'd see them setting there and nodding or sleeping and they'd go shake them and wake them up. We had a good time. I mean, the work run good then, and the people enjoyed working.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever see any of the children get a whipping in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. They didn't allow that. My uncle never whipped one.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It seems with all those children working in there that now and then one of them would get in a fight?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, they didn't. Everybody got along good. It ain't like it is now. Children was different from what they are now.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Part of that was because they knew something would happen to them if they didn't.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
That's right. And when the bossman told them to do anything, they went ahead and done it. They didn't say, ‘no, I'm not going to do that; I don't have to do it.’ They went right ahead and done it just like it'd been their parents telling them to do it. Children minded that worked in the mill. They'd mind their bossman, because he was good to them. So they didn't have no cause not to mind him.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember the flu epidemic coming along?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, I remember that, because lots of people died when that come. They called it ‘intestine flu’ then. It was bad. My mother went to the neighbors and waited on them, and cooked for them, and take them

Page 20
something to eat when that flu was raising bad. You know it raised bad in the World War II.
ALLEN TULLOS:
World War I.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I mean World War I.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did any of your family get flu and die from that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No I never losed any of my family with the flu. 'Course lots of them had it, but they didn't have it that bad.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember folks dying that you knew?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes. Lots of people died that I knew, with the flu, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did that make you feel at that time? Did it make you kind of afraid?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
My mother never was afraid of the flu. The next-door-neighbor could have the flu and she'd go right in, just like they wasn't sick. She said she know'd the Lord was going to take care of her. If he wanted her to have the flu and die, that's the way for her to go. She wasn't never afraid of the flu.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She put a lot of faith in religion.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
In the Lord, that's right.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she read the bible at home? Read it out loud?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
She always read her bible. I've got it somewhere. No, my sister's got it. But it's old, and the pages is yellow now. It's such a old bible. She had all of our ages in it, places that she'd read in it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about World War I? Did that affect your family at all?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I had two brothers that went in World War I. They done married and had families, but they drafted them in the War anyway, because they had to have them in the War, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did that war change your life any, your family's life any?

Page 21
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. It was like it always was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Things went right on afterwards?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, and my next-to-the-oldest brother, he had two children, and he had to go.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they come back O.K.?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, didn't even get a scratch on them. Fought all through the War.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And did they go back to work in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah. They hold your jobs for you. He went right back on the job he left when he went into the service.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did it begin to change? You talked about when they first built the mill they had a hard time getting enough help. Did it ever get to be—after World War I or in the nineteen twenties, or any time later…
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, I tell you. They got two parts of Brandon Mill. When I was a child, before I went to work in the mill, they built this new part—half of it. Half is divided. The lower side half is the old mill, and the newer up here. When we was children, we'd go down there and play in the gullies that they was digging, you know, to build the new mill. So they built this new mill down there. It didn't take them too long to build it. That's when they didn't have no help. See, they could run the old mill. They had plenty to run the old mill when they brought my daddy out here. But now, when they built the new mill, that's when they went around trying to get help. Oh, they went everywheres after help. They'd move the families for nothing, you know, just to get them to come and work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When your family came, that was for the new mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
My daddy worked in the old mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But it was the same thing then, they were trying to get help?

Page 22
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, they was getting help then. They didn't have any help to run it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now when did they build the new mill? You say you played in the ditches?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I guess I might have been ten or eleven years old. All of us kids would gather up and go down there and play. Those men, when they got ready to do something to the gully, why, they'd have to run us out. But now, they didn't have no trouble with us. They let us play all we wanted to play, 'til they got ready to do whatever they were going to do, and they'd tell us we'd have to go somewheres else. And we would.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did it ever get hard to get a job here?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Not til after the war times.
ALLEN TULLOS:
After the second war?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Uh huh. You couldn't just hardly get no work to do.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about during the Depression?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, it was hard then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Tell me a little about when you met your husband.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I met my husband when he was in the service.
ALLEN TULLOS:
World War I?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
During World War I. I married when I was sixteen years old.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did you meet him?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I met him at City Park in the grandstand. There's all the soldiers there playing, you know, the band. They had the big band. And so he was in the band and I went to going with him.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did you meet him, though?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, my aunt was going with another soldier boy and he was with him. And he introduced me to him. We went to going together and

Page 23
we married in 1917, on the eighth day of October.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What's his name?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Dalton. D-A-L-T-O-N.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where was he from?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was from Clennon, North Carolina.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And he had been assigned down here?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was in Camp Sevier. He was in the army.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did he do while the war was going on? Did he stay here?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was stationed here at Camp Sevier, but in 1918 he had to go to Germany when they was fighting. He got wounded five times. He was in a mud hole when they found him. That's the reason he didn't get killed. They'd shot him and wounded him. They thought they'd left him there for being dead, you know. But they found him and picked him up and he stayed in the hospital until he got able to come home. Then they sent him back to the United States.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did he come back here to Greenville?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
The last of 1918.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he able to go back to work?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He wasn't able to go back to work. He was still in the service, you know. They didn't give him his discharge then. He was at Camp Sevier, and he had to stay in the hospital a long time after he come back home. Then whenever he got able, he went back to work in the mill. He had never worked in the mill. He run cards in the mill. He hadn't ever worked in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This was the first time?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Uh huh. He went right to work down here at Brandon. They needed card hands and they learned him to run cards in the mill.

Page 24
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you all ever think about leaving here, going anywhere else?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. We stayed right here. Well, we did move to North Carolina, to his hometown, but we didn't stay very long. We stayed there for about two years and come back up here, and I've been here ever since.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about your children? How many children did you have?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I had ten children. I had eight boys and two girls is all I had. My mother's was divided. She had five boys and five girls.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did you have your first child?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
1920.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were you still working in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I wasn't working. I didn't work any more after I married.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why was that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
My husband didn't want me to work, so I didn't work. He was like my daddy. My daddy said it wasn't a woman's place to work in the mill that had family. She's supposed to be home. And that's the way my husband felt. After my baby boy got up—he was about eleven years old—I did go back to Brandon and I worked five years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So when did you finally quit the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I just worked five years after I was married. We moved to the country then. So he was a farmer. He farmed all his life.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who was a farmer?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
My husband. So we moved to the country, Powdersville.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Powdersville, South Carolina?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah. It's down toward Anderson. My daughter still lives there, my oldest daughter.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let me go back and get it straight, now. You worked until after your first child was born?

Page 25
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I didn't work from the day I was married until my last child was born and he was about nine or ten years old. Then I worked five years and I haven't worked any since. Never have been in the mill since. No, I think I did go down here one night with my son-in-law, just to see the work they put in, the new stuff. And I went to see if I could spin on that work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah. And a section hand come over there and he told me, ‘Well, I know it's changed, but you can spin as good as you ever could. You know, that's one thing you never forget.’ He said, ‘The day you learn to spin, you never forget it.’ I said, ‘Well, I could put up a just as good as I ever could.’
ALLEN TULLOS:
What year was it that you married?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I married in 1917.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And that's when you stopped working in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your husband was still in the army, and when he got out of the hospital and got out of the army, you all moved to the country?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you lived in the country on the farm until ten years…
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
After all our children growed up. After they begun to grow up, then he went to work in the mill. He worked at Woodside mill then. He was a card hand.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were the children still living there at home, or did they move?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
The ones that wasn't married lived at home. I had two married ones, a girl and a boy. Then one of my girls married while we was living on the farm.

Page 26
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did any of your children go to work in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, they didn't go to work in the mill. Now, my youngest daughter that lives up there, she worked some at Judson, then after she married.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So, you weren't working in the mill when they had strikes around here, were you?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They had one here at Brandon back in 1921. Do you remember anything about that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I don't remember anything about it. I was living in the country then. I know they did have them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And in 1934, I think they had another one. What was your attitude and your family's attitude about having unions in the textile mills?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Now, they did want a union in Brandon. And I voted for it one time. Of course, now, they got a big lawyer. They won, the union won, but still they beat them out of it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long ago was that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, I can't remember how long ago it was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it before you left the mill that first time?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I was working in the mill that time. So, we voted, all of us, we voted for the union. So they have this lawyer, John Bolt Culbertson. They paid him a big pile of money and he voted the union out. But they said, really, the union won.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He was working against the union?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was working against it. He didn't want us to have union. And there was two girls that come around and begged all of us spinners: ‘now,

Page 27
don't vote for that union, we don't want it.’ And, ‘if you vote for it, it won't be no time 'til they fire you.’ Well, me and my aunt and two of my best friends that worked next to me, said, 'Well, we're voting for that union. We need it, ‘cause look how they do up North, look how they can get anything they want. And here we are, we don't get anything.’ We went down to the office and voted, and we all voted for the union. And so the girl that tried to keep us from voting, when the union was over with, she was the first one they fired. Some of them met her out somewheres, and told her, ‘Well, you run your legs off getting people not to vote for the union, who got fired? You're the first one that was fired.’ Said, ‘Us that voted for the union is still working.’
ALLEN TULLOS:
But they never did get the union?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, they didn't get it. They beat them in a way, but see, I don't know what he done.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I thought he always worked on the side of the people that was trying to get the union.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, he wasn't. That's what they said, now. I don't know. They said he were against it and they paid him a big pile of money. They would've got it. They said he was the cause of not getting it.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was sick and in the hospital, so I went to work then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's when the election was, is that right?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I think so. Now, I ain't for sure.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That would've been right during, and right after World War I?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, sir, that's right. But I really don't remember whether it was then or not, if it was later on, I mean. But I do know that he

Page 28
stayed up in the hospital a year, over a year, after he come back to the United States. He stayed in an England hospital a long time, then he got well enough for them to send him back home. He wasn't out of service, so he was here in the hospital.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you worked in the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, I worked in the mill then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And then he got out of the hospital?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He stayed in the hospital until they discharged him. So whenever they discharged him, I didn't work any more.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And that's when you moved to the country?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
That's why we moved to the country in Powdersville and we stayed in the country as long as he lived. Of course he went to work in the mill after the children got big enough and married off, where he couldn't have no help on the farm. So then he went back to the mill and worked.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And he started back at Woodside.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He worked at Brandon, then he started back at Woodside.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When was your youngest child born?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was born on the second day of April, I believe it was, I can't remember. I got them all set down in the bible but I can't remember them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you remember what year it was?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I'd have to get the bible and look at it. [break] He's two years older than my baby boy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you wouldn've gone back to the mill in about '50 or '53.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I guess so. I imagine that'd be about right. 'Cause I just went to work for about five years, on the…oh, whatcha call it?

Page 29
If I hadn't a went back to work I couldn't've drawed my …
ALLEN TULLOS:
Social security?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
…social security when I was sixty-two. If I hadn't worked five years. But I had five years work on the social security.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you go back to Brandon?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your husband, was he working at Brandon, too?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, he was working at Woodside.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where were you all living then?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
We was living at Powdersville, still living on the farm. We lived on the farm as long as he lived. We haven't been on the mill village long, just two or three years before he died, we moved back here. We'd always lived on the farm. He's been dead now nine years. The last day of October, he died.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This time when they had the election you were talking about—the union election—would that have been in those five years that you came back to Brandon?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
It could've been in that time. I was working then, because I know we all voted for the union.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That sounds more likely.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I believe that'd be right, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Culbertson is still alive and he would've been too young.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was lots younger then. That'd be about right, I believe.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember back in the twenties and thirties, what you thought about the union back then?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well, I never paid any attention to it, until they brought it to the mill. Then everybody said—people and neighbors would come over—

Page 30
they'd say, ‘Oh you'd better vote for the union now. That's going to be helping me out a lot if you vote for the union.’ So I reckon that's the reason everybody wanted to vote. So I voted for the union.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever say anything to your children about whether or not you wanted them to work in cotton mills?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
They never did want to work in the mill. They all wanted to farm. They enjoyed being on the farm. After we quit farming, some of them went to work in the mill. They didn't all work in the mill. They had different jobs, you know, at other places, that worked in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever tell them one way or the other about whether you wanted them to work in the mill or not?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, their daddy always told them just to stop and think about what they wanted to do. So they did.
[break]
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Worked about three weeks.
ALLEN TULLOS:
At Woodside?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Uh huh. Well, I wish I had my paper. They'd taken some of our pictures as we was voting for the union, you know. And me and my sister, and one lady that worked up there with us, taken our pictures. Well, the paper got so old, it was yellowed and crumbled up it was so old. I had it among other things and it just tore up. I wish I could've saved it, but I couldn't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you were working at Brandon a long time ago, do you remember who owned it?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Brandon owned it then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
There was a Mr. Brandon?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I reckon. They always said Brandon Mill, and I just thought Brandon owned it.

Page 31
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you don't remember seeing anybody who was the actual owner of the mill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I don't remember that. I believe Brandon owned it. Everybody said Brandon owned it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember hearing about any of the politicians who used to be in South Carolina? There used to be a representative named Olin Johnston, do you remember him?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
It seems like I can remember something about it, but I don't really remember how much I know about it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember a fellow names Cole Blease?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I don't believe I do.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any of the politicians, or the sheriff, anybody like that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Daddy always kept up with all such as that. He voted for the sheriff and all of it, such as that, but I really don't remember about it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was your father a republican?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was a democrat. He voted for Roosevelt. He was a republican when he lived in Tennessee. They didn't have no democrats; everybody was republican. He heard of Roosevelt and he said, ‘Now that's a good man for president.’ And he voted for him. And all my brothers who were old enough to vote, voted for him. He was a good president, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any of the things that Roosevelt did?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I don't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember a Senator Simmons in South Carolina? or Cotton Ed Smith?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I heard of Cotton Ed Smith. I don't know what I heard about him, but I heard him talk about him.

Page 32
ALLEN TULLOS:
The people that were working for the union back in 1929, in the Brandon Mill, Charlie Dill was working for them. Do you remember Charlie Dill?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, I remember Charlie Dill. His brother married my sister—one of his brothers.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember anything about him, what he was like?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
He was a nice man. He was an honest man, I knew that. His brother Clint married my oldest sister.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So several members of their family were here?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I think so.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let me read you some of these other names: did you ever hear of J.L. Roberts?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I don't believe I ever heard of him.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about T.B. Vaughn?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Ernest Fletcher?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
My aunt married a Fletcher, but I don't believe his name was Ernest. What was his name?
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about J.E. Lark?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, I knew him.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did his family work here a long time?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I think they worked all in the mill, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Dick Erskin and G.E. Owensby, Jack Browning? Did you ever hear of a man who was president of the mill whose name was Aug Smith? A-U-G Smith?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No.

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JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, I had pellagra. I had it six months.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When was that?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I can't remember when the year it was, and all.
ALLEN TULLOS:
During the Depression?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I can't remember…it was after World War I, I know that. Lord, you'd break out. You was scaley. Doctor Houston doctored me, and I didn't have it, but about four or five months.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where were you living then?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I was living in the country, so I begin to get all right. The medicine he give me just killed it out.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where would you break out?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
On my arms and hands and on my face.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what would it look like?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Well it burned. It was scaley like a fish.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What color?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
It was brown. So they just kept doctoring here until most everybody had it. Now there's several people died with it. Most everybody had got well.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did they give you for it?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I don't remember. It was liquid medicine, great big bottles of it. We had to take it so often, every day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did they tell you was the cause of it?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
They never did say. Doctor didn't tell you. He'd tell us, ‘Don't worry, there's plenty of it broke out here.’ He said it come from overseas. I don't know if it did or not, but he said they found the medicine to cure it and they did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You were having your children along about this time?

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JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, but none of my family didn't have it, but me. I was the only one that had it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Any of your kin-folk?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, none of my kin-folks had it. My parents didn't have it and none of my brothers and sisters. I was only one in the family that had it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you know anybody outside the family that had it?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, I knew lots of the neighbors. See, I was living in the country and mother was living over there, where she knew lots of them here at Brandon had had it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you all were living in the country then, what kind of crops did you grow?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
We growed cotton and vegetables.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have a garden?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes. we had everything'd come in in the garden.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You had a cow?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
We had two cows and hogs and that was it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, you know they say that that disease is caused by people not getting the right kind of element in their food.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah. Well, I know the doctor said it come from overseas. The boys had come back home with it and had brought it from overseas. But now, I wasn't sick with it. I never did go to bed with it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What time of the year was it?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
It was in the fall of the year. I never went to bed with it. I stayed up and done my housework and cooking and everything. The doctor told me I didn't have no bad case of it. He said don't worry about it.

Page 35
So I didn't worry about it. I wasn't really afraid of it then. The last it got dangerous, so they said. But not here, but in other towns they said it was real dangerous. They said whenever it broke out here, it wasn't bad. I was sick with it about five or six months, not no longer than that, I know. But I never did go to bed.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did any of your brothers and sisters, who were staying here in Brandon at the time you all were living in the country in the twenties and thirties, get out of work during the Depression?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No. They worked, but they didn't make anything. Wages was cheap then. That's when I was telling you about those stamps they got.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did any of them every try to move out to the country?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, none of them ever lived in the country. Some of them was grown when they left the farm in Tennessee, but they never did want to live on the farm no more. They learned how to work in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you do the work out on the farm?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes. I helped hoe the garden, maybe. I helped plant it. I didn't work in the fields much. I have picked cotton, when they were needing help real bad. All my children picked cotton, though.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would that be the way it generally was for women who lived out on the farm: that they might help pick cotton, but they wouldn't do a lot of the other farm work?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, that's right. My husband and my biggest boys all did the farm work. Tended to the cows and the horses and done the work. But I have helped planted the garden. Late in the afternoon, when it got cool, I went out and hoed the garden some, but not very much.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you miss working in the mill during those years?

Page 36
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, I missed it, because I really enjoyed working in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It sounds like you did.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I did. I loved it. As long as it was Brandon it was good work. I really liked the work. But when they changed it, I never did work in there any more, but everybody'd tell me how hard it was. And so, where we had eight sides for a set, now they have to run twenty, twenty in the spinning room, and you know, that's hard to do, 'cause the frames is twice as long as when I worked in the mill. It was those short frames, and the work run good. Now, my son-in-law says it works awful bad. He works now at Monaghan and he says the work runs bad.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about how the black and the white people got along?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
They got along all right.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were there any black people that worked…
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
No, they didn't any work on it. They cleaned up the bathrooms and the moppings on the floor.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they have a boiler room?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yeah, they had a boiler room and smoke stacks where the steam…where my daddy worked, they called it the basement. They had a big motor up there. Everything run with steam then in the old mill. But when they put in the new mill, they didn't have to run with the steam. 'Course, part of it run with steam, until they got it fixed where they could run it with electic, I reckon.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know if any of the black men worked inside the boiler room?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
I guess they did in the boiler room. That's all they did. Colored people didn't work like they do now, in there. All the women had a woman that cleaned out the lady's bathroom and had a man to clean out the

Page 37
men's bathroom. And so that was the only colored people that worked up there. They did the moppings. Mopping the spinning room, mopping the alleys and all.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where did they live?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
They lived in Colored Town. They didn't live on the hill, on the village. Didn't any of them live on the village then.
END OF INTERVIEW