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Title: Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Osteen, Letha Ann Sloan, 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 Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 152 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
© 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:
2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-07-24, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of sound recording: Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0254)
Author: Allen Tullos
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0254)
Author: Letha Ann Sloan Osteen
Description: 110 Mb
Description: 33 p.
Note: Interview conducted on June 8, 1979, by Allen Tullos; recorded in Greenville, South Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Stephanie Alexander.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980, 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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Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979.
Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Osteen, Letha Ann Sloan, interviewee


Interview Participants

    LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN, interviewee
    GEORGIA PORTER, interviewee
    ALLEN TULLOS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ALLEN TULLOS:
I can hold it like this and it'll pick it up real well. Start with, why don't you tell us your full name so I'll make sure that we have that.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Letha Ann Sloan Osteen.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And now, Mrs. Osteen, do you remember much at all about your grandparents on either side?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, not too awfully much. Just the information that I gave you is about all I remember about 'em.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you say they were farmers.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah, they farmed for a living.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of farming would they do?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
They growed cotton and corn, sweet potatoes, and cane—made molasses. And raised their own meat—their hogs and cattle they had to kill and hang up in their smoke house, salt down the meat or whatever. They didn't have ice boxes back then. There wasn't no ice mills I don't think, I never heard tell about 'em. Only when it got cold enough. (loud cars going by)
GEORGIA PORTER:
Took the milk down, 'cause they had an old box built by a well Mama, and it kept it.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
We kept our milk—usually we had a spring, you know, have a milk house over the spring branch to keep our milk and butter.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Your father and mother—you don't remember your mother you say.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, not—like somebody told me something, you know, that's all I remember.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You say she died when you were real young.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, I was real young, I think I was . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, how did she die?

Page 2
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
With typhoid fever. My oldest sister died with typhoid fever. She died before my mother did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what was her name, your oldest sister?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Lucy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old was she when she died, do you reckon?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Seem like they told me she was about fourteen or fifteen years old. Now that's how much I remember, just something that I heard the family talk, from a four or five year old young 'un.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your father, he left the farm.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, he left the farm. I believe it was in—I believe it was in '97. I'm not really sure whether we moved here in '97 or '98. But it could a been '98, and not later than that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And all of these thirteen children were all born . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah, when we moved here, now my oldest brother, he was married about the time we moved here. And the two next oldest boys, well they worked in the mill awhile but they decided they was going back to the farm, and they did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did they decide to go back to the farm?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, in about three or four years after they moved here, I believe—now like I told you, I may not remember that just exactly. But the best I remember, well, is about three or four years they worked in the mill, they decided they was going back. But our brother John, he married a girl here, but the other boy, he had a girl in the country and he wanted to go back up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was Berry.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well Berry, he had done married.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I see.

Page 3
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
That's the oldest. And Mamie, she was the oldest girl living then, and she was the housekeeper and took care of the house. There used to be a old fairground up here where people that had cows and hogs, they could keep 'em up there. Well we had a cow and we had a hog and we had a horse, you know, and a buggy—we could go places sometimes. They done the milking and when it come hog killing time, well, my brothers and my daddy, they'd butcher a hog. He always knowed how to take care of meat, he salted it down. When they killed a yearling, well, they always hung that up you know, and seasoned it out. I don't know how they did with that. But anyhow, we still need a four or five hundred pound calf up, because there was a big crowd of us. And my aunt done the cooking.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's your father's sister?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she come to live with the family right after your mother died?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well she lived with us eight or ten year before she died. She died . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was her name?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
We lived at Mills Mill. We moved from here. We had a first cousin that worked at Mills' and he begged my daddy to come over there. And besides, well he was what they call second hands over there that my cousin knowed good, he come over here to get. . . . The spinners said that the Sloan girls was the best spinners there was at Poe. Well my daddy let our cousin talk him into moving to Mills' but we all liked it. They was good to us.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you all first left the farm, you were living in Laurens County, is that right, on the farm?

Page 4
ALLEN TULLOS:
And the first place you moved to after you left there . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Laurens Knoll. My daddy farmed above Greer awhile.
ALLEN TULLOS:
After you left Laurens?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you went from there to Greer.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah. He married again before. No, it was after we moved from the mill back to the farm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Okay, so you moved from Laurens to Greer, and then from Greer where did you go?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well he stayed there for several year, eight or ten or more years, way after I married. And went to North Carolina.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I guess I'm trying to find out when it was you all lived here. When did you first come here to Poe Mill?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well I'll tell you, it was in '97 or '98. And I can't just tell you the year my daddy married, but it was right about—I think Johnny was my youngest child, I'm not sure, but I think it was when my daddy married, I don't know the year. Johnny was born in '11, but I don't know whether Pappy married in 1910 or '11, or somewheres along there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you all came to the Poe Mill in about '97.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
It was something like that, yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And how long did you live here?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
We lived here three year and then we moved to Mills Mill. Stayed there two year and moved to Brandon and there's where I married, at Brandon. Well I left out Poe in Greenville. 'Cause we went to Spartanburg and we worked there awhile, we come back to Greer and we boarded and worked there and the old Victor Mill at Greer. And then I

Page 5
got to where I couldn't work in the mill. Well his daddy, he come and moved us to North Carolina. We'd went to keeping house. Bought our house, furniture. And his daddy drove down in a two horse wagon and we all piled up on it and what we had, over to Hendersonville.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many of you went to Hendersonville?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Me and George, that's all there was. That was before my first baby was born.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was right after you got married?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now why did your mother and father move around—I mean your father—move around so much?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I don't know. Well we had a first cousin, my daddy's brother's boy that worked in these mills and he could out talk my daddy. That was the root of it I know. He got Pa to move. First one place then another. Because he was a overseer in the mill. And he wanted them good spinners he said, so he'd follow him around. That was the main thing about it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of work did your father do in the mill?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
He laid up roping in the spinning room. Just a hourly job I reckon.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your mother (Tape stops)
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I wasn't quite five years old when my mother left.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And as far as you know, all that she ever did was take care of the children.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh she just took care of the house and the babies. She was a housemother.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And now, what about the aunt that came to stay with the family. Did she ever work in the mill?

Page 6
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, no. She lived around—she was a old maid—with her brothers and sisters and after my mother died, she just made our house her home.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who was the first of your brothers and sisters to start to work in the mill, here at the Poe Mill. Or did all of you all start together?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, we all started at one time, because we had moved from the country here, out here on Fourth Street in a six room home.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of jobs did you have?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Worked in the spinning room. If you know anything about it . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Two of the boys worked in the weave shop.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
And two in the card room. And the rest, about four of us, in the spinning room—three or four of us.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember what it was like the first times you went into the mill at all, what you thought about, or what that seemed like?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Law, I didn't know what, I just looked and looked and looked 'till my eyes got tired seeing so many different things. Just out of the country, didn't know nothing but a one room schoolhouse where the whole school was in one big weather boarded. Grown boys with moustaches were going to school, and grown girls. There was big women. That was what it looked like there. And in the mill, well, there was some little bitty children to grown old people worked in the mill, doing different things. And I couldn't call over all the things. From the cards onto the spinning and then to the weave room. Well if you ever worked in a mill you understood about what it was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what was your job, what did you start out doing?

Page 7
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Spinning. And I wound up weaving. But they let me learn to spool after I worked in the spinning room awhile—I asked the overseer, Tripp, his name was Tripp—could I learn how to spool. He said, "Why yes, we need spoolers." And he give me a half a side of spooling there and so much yarn. Well I got good on it I reckon. Just that one day on that half a side and then he put me on the whole thing. And I don't remember just how long I spooled but then I wanted to go to the weave room. My brothers was making so much more money than I was, so I told 'em I wanted to learn to weave. He said, "Well we'll let you learn to weave. You're a cracking good spinner and you're a good spooler and now we're going to put you in the weave room." So I wove the rest of my time in the mill. I think I was fifty-one down here when I quit. Wasn't no why I quit. I ought to a worked on.
ALLEN TULLOS:
There wasn't a reason why you quit.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
From weaving?
ALLEN TULLOS:
Yes'm.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No—yes there was a reason I reckon. More or less, Georgia was after me all the time to quit. I run the looms in daytime, she run 'em at night. And I had a little jack leg I worked for—we didn't agree too much, we never had a falling out. But I didn't like him. He was trying to get that set of looms I was on for another man. And they took me off of 'em and give 'em to somebody else. And then told me I could have a job picking out and I told 'em I wasn't no picker-out hand. So I just quit.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did he do that way?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Why did I do?
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did he do that?

Page 8
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well he wanted my looms for one of his friends . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Then when people got fifty years old, they figured that it was time they were retiring and getting out of the mill
ALLEN TULLOS:
Out of the weave room or just out of the mill?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Just out of the mill at fifty years old—you was considered old.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This would've been what, 1920 or '25.
GEORGIA PORTER:
No, it would've been on up in, let me see, Leonard died in '39, it must a been about '37 that you quit work. Thirty-six, about '36.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I see. And he was just trying to get some younger person.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh yeah, for young people. If you're about fifty years old in the mill, I mean fixing looms or doing anything, it was time for you to get out.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would they sometimes move people who were older to another job, an easier job, instead of trying to get 'em out?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, they'd put 'em over to something easier and Mama could a had a pick-out job or a battery filling job but she didn't want either one. And as good as her health was she would a held on out to work maybe ten or twelve years longer.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you run the loom as well then as you . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I got production every week off of my pound. Weaving by the pound. No it wasn't nothing that I'd done . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
She worked regular, I mean she wasn't out or anything.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I didn't do nothing to make 'em want to fire me.
GEORGIA PORTER:
No, you sure didn't. He just wanted that job, that set of looms, for one of his friends.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
For a friend of his.

Page 9
GEORGIA PORTER:
From Greer, he came here from Greer.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
And this boy, he thought enought of me to tell me the evening before that they was giving my looms to him the next morning. I said, "Why no." He said, "Yes they are." So I went in on 'em, and he come in on 'em. And I worked over there 'till the boss weaver come and told me he was going to give me a pick-out job. I said, "Well you ain't going to do no such a thing because I'm no pick-out hand." But I did do a little spare work.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Very little.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Very little, because he just meant for me to get out of there. I was too smart for him I reckon, or lazy or something.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you spent most of your working time as a weaver.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many years do you think you spent weaving?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well. . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
How many years did you weave before you come here?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Law I couldn't tell you . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
It's not too awful many, by you spending that many years in North Carolina not working. And you come back and went to work.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well I worked there at Green River you know, I was a weaver there about .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Let's see, how many years did you weave down here?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Twenty. Wait a minute, you went to work in 1919 and you didn't quit 'till about '36, yeah, about how many years. Mama you worked about twenty or twenty, twenty and twenty-one years. And she worked one time, I think about three years, and didn't lose a day.

Page 10
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yes, three year. I got off to go to my daddy when he died. I didn't know it'd been that long, and the boss weaver—Dan League, Lora Wright's daddy—he said, "Letha, you know when you been out?" I said, "No I don't." He said, "It's been three year since you been off of your job." Well you had to work, you didn't make nothing. People had to work.
GEORGIA PORTER:
To buy bread.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well they did, I made eight or nine dollars a week after they'd take my rent out. To feed my family, feed the cow and feed a hog, I kept them there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you first learn to weave here at the Poe Mill?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, I learned at Mills'. I had to spin at the time I was here.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And when did you start spooling, where were you then?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I was at Mills Mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did spooling pay a little more than spinning did?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, no but I thought it looked like it was so easy. (chuckle) I don't know. But we just worked for the best old man. Just whatever you'd ask for, he'd try to make it . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Make you happy.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Very pleasant for you.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He was the overseer?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yes. Earl Tripp, and he just was so good to his help.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was in Mills.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
And I was very young too. He said I made good at everything and he was just going to let me work my way up. Says, "You may be the superintendent of this mill while I live." And I told him, "Well I'd be glad." (chuckle) Not knowing what I was talking about.

Page 11
ALLEN TULLOS:
And then after you left the Mills Mill, you all went to Henderson Mill. Is that right, or am I missing something in there?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, we went to Spartanburg. That was after we left Brandon. We married at Brandon and then we went to Spartanburg. I don't remember how long we stayed there but George didn't like it there. We come back to Greer, the old Victor Mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you all moved around a lot.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah. My husband, he was one of these here scat-abouts.
GEORGIA PORTER:
A rambler.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Or a rambler. And he kept on . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Rambling road.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did a lot of people move around that way?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, back then. All the new married people, there ain't never was no dependence to be put in 'em when they got a job, how long . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Be here today and gone tomorrow.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
That's right. They'd go work that day and then go by the office and take up their day's work, and buy whatever they want. Well it was rough but people didn't know no better. They had to live and learn. People just as green as we was about mill work. But after we was here a year or two, we found out. That you had to take advantage of things.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What do you mean?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, if you got a good thing, hold to it as long as it lasted, that's what I mean by it.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Back then, they didn't know to tell people—you know a lot of people always thought the grass was a little greener . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Across the road.

Page 12
GEORGIA PORTER:
Across the road or across the railroad. People just—they couldn't stay put, they couldn't hold a job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So it'd be real common, to have people just moving.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, everybody done that. I mean, back when I was a kid . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
While they was kids they . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
There was just a few people that stayed here. The Leagues, Lora, and—I could almost call 'em over, the people that stayed here say, maybe twenty years. Why you'd look out the door any which a way and there's trucks that are backed up to the houses and people are moving and then in two or three hours or the next day, there's another family in there. It just went on constantly.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And that was pretty much the way it would be in most every village.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, it was that way everywhere I found.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
It was at all the mills.
GEORGIA PORTER:
People didn't stay in one place. If they could make more money at another mill, they'd go for a year to Monegan or Judson or anywhere.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did that change after awhile, and people begin to . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh yeah, when they begin to settle down, I guess, well when the Depression come on. People had to hold what they had because—let's see, that started when?
ALLEN TULLOS:
Twenty-nine, '30.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, yeah. People quit rambling after that. If they had a job, they held to it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did jobs get scarcer?

Page 13
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
As you went along there.
GEORGIA PORTER:
See they laid off all the women. If there was one in the house working—me and my husband both worked—and they laid me off. And they was to call me to come if they needed a hand.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
They done that to all of the men.
GEORGIA PORTER:
To everybody.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was during the Depression.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They laid off the women first?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well if they had husbands, yeah, to give other men work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what about when things got better after the Depression. Did people start moving around again?
GEORGIA PORTER:
No, not too much.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Not too much.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Not like they'd ever . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
They began buying good nice furniture and . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
And just staying put.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So all this moving around was taking place in the twenties, and teens.
GEORGIA PORTER:
On from the twenties—on from the thirties back. Say about . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Thirty they stopped that. 'Cause you had a job, you had to be on it and you had to stay on it, if you kept the job—you couldn't find jobs.

Page 14
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
And if you couldn't go get a job that morning . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
No I think that that stopped in the twenty-nine to thirty. From twenty-nine on, if you had a job you held to it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, you wouldn't know how it was that your father decided to come to work in the mill at all, do you. I mean, did the farming get bad?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh my cousin talked him in. Said they could make more money, all them children working in that mill. I've heard my daddy say several times, said, "What I should a done is take my foot to Willie and a kicked him out when he was talking to me about breaking up in the country." But he found his mistake after too late.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well I don't know, his children learned a trade.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
And when they didn't want the mill, they went back to the farm.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
That's right. Well they didn't want the mill.
GEORGIA PORTER:
You had one sister that was always—they moved back from the mill and always lived on a farm. But Mama and her oldest sister stuck to the mill.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well there was just better money to be made. . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
If you wanted to starve to death, go out in the country and walk miles to wash and iron for people or something like that. Or get out in the field and work for maybe a quarter a day or fifty cents a day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How was it that your father's cousin came into it. Why did he get so interested in this?

Page 15
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh I don't know. He always visited my daddy.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well he was somebody that I guess just went to the mills when they first began opening.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
And maybe the first mill, he went to it, and he liked the mill work there. He trained himself on up.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Toward the end, he'd pick good help for the company. He was what they called a middle man or something. He could hire and he could fire.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well the mills used to like to hire big families, and all of us work.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, I know it.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Now there was a good many people back when I was working in the mill. Well I went to work in '27, and there was some of 'em down there with six and eight children in the mill working.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I know it.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Five, four. Their daddy's or mother's never did work, not where they had them big families. The children who was old enough to work did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And would the fathers in the family work most of the time?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah.
loud car noises]
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Particularly about his work, about the kind of work he did and what he thought about it.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, my daddy, he never had ill will towards anybody or his work of no description. No matter how tough, how rough. Even in the

Page 16
farming—how much it rained, it got the ground so wet you couldn't work, nothing. He wasn't a grumbler. He was very pleasant. He said just live one day at a time, and live with what you have. He'd say be content with what you have. And that was kind of the way I grew up. Try to be happy with what we had.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you think he liked the farming better than he did the mill work?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yes, he went back to the farm, after his flurry with the mills he went back to the farm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's right.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So can you tell me any more about what it was like when you first started work. Just describe how you felt every day.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah, I had a dime the first pay day I had.
ALLEN TULLOS:
A dime.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
A dime in a little envelope. And that was my week's work.
GEORGIA PORTER:
That's all anybody made. (chuckle)
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Everybody that went in when we did, they had their dime. (chuckle) Now my daddy took these dimes that we all had and I guess he bought what we had to have at the store. But back when they bought what they'd have to buy for groceries, you know you could take a dollar and go away yonder and buy . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
You got a dime for working a week?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Uh-huh. (chuckle)
ALLEN TULLOS:
Is that right.

Page 17
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, that's one side, that's ten cents a side. Well when I got up to running four and five sides, you know, I'd make forty and fifty cents a day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This was when you were like eleven or twelve years old when you first went to work.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And how many hours would you be working?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I would work twelve hours.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Twelve hours a day.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
We'd go over to work at six and we'd quit at six.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you work on Saturdays too?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, 'till dinnertime.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have to stay real busy when you were working?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh yeah.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yes, you couldn't leave it, because you had to stay right there to keep that work a going.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Describe what you were doing exactly.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Spinning. If you know what spinning is.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Yes'm.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Putting up ends.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well that was what I was a doing. And you know them bars, cross-bars, where they wind the traverse up and down, well I'd stand on that standing rope and I was short. And I couldn't set in rope in without getting up on that bar. And a lot of 'em had to do the same thing that I did because they was a little short. And some of 'em so poor and skinny, they looked pitiful. Everybody seemed to be happy, they wasn't depressed over what little they made or nothing.

Page 18
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have any time to be outside in the sunshine?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh I guess so, days that we didn't work. But days we worked, we was in the mill long hours. And we ate supper and went to bed 'cause you get a long night's sleep because you had that long hours to work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The other folks that were working on spinning, were they girls, all?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, I had my sister younger than me at work and two brothers, and they all would work. But you know they just give children then a half a side of spinning or like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so now, what about Berry—he got married and left.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well he stayed on up in the country.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He didn't come in when the family moved in?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, he didn't work in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He was staying to farm.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah. And he raised cattle and sold 'em.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, but now there was the time that he went to the Spanish American war, that oldest boy.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, I know he did. That's while we was living in the country. Before we got to move to the mill that he was in it.
GEORGIA PORTER:
But he never did come to the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So he married and he was a farmer.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And did he stay on with that farming?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah, as long as he lived.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so now, Mamie, what about her?

Page 19
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well she lived over here at Monegan. She . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
She was a textile worker. Her and Mama stuck to it and Uncle John. I knew John and Mama and I reckon was the [unknown] only three that was in textiles, out of the bunch.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And did she start to work here in the Poe Mill, Mamie, when she started working?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yes, she learned to weave. But after Aunt Hattie died, my aunt, she had to keep house. She was the oldest girl.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well she went to work down here in the weave shop.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
She followed weaving.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She started in a weave room.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, and she followed weaving all her life.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well how was it that she could start in the weave room and you had to start in the spinning room, that's just the way it was?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well I was so much younger, they said I was too little to go in the weaving room.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Just whatever department they needed 'em in, is where they put 'em.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, was it real dusty in the spinning room, hot?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I don't think, I don't think . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Mama it was. Spinning room was just . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I don't know—it was after I knowed. (laughter)
GEORGIA PORTER:
It always has been and it always will be.

Page 20
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
But it wasn't to me then.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Hot, lord you talk about heat.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, and that cool wind was . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Them the conditions that people worked under.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well they pulled the windows down.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah we had windows all over the mill. It wasn't like working in the air, I'd rather take the old way of working in a mill anyway because you could get . . . (A man interrupts.)
ALLEN TULLOS:
It could've been real dusty and you just didn't realize it.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I didn't realize what dusty was. Take children nowadays, unless they're out where a car runs and fill you full of dust or dirt, they wouldn't realize just the dust that accumulated in the house or around.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well do you think that that had any effects on your health. You know some people talk about different kind of breathing—the brown lung and the breathing problems that people had.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well I don't know, there never was none of us sick, to my remembering. You know my little brother that died, that I told you about, he was nine years old. Well he had dropsy. That was all the disease I ever knowed any of us to ever have, was him having that dropsy. And outside of that I don't remember any sickness except the measles. We had the measles. And outside of that I can't remember any of us being sick.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any of the children that worked in the . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Mill, they wasn't sick.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever have any accidents, anybody ever . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, no, nobody. We never had any trouble at all.

Page 21
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember when you working there as a little girl in the spinning room, the bosses, how they treated you?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Anything they ever said.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
There never was none of 'em mean to me, I could say that. But I always liked—you know when I went to school I loved my school-teacher. When I worked in the mill, even 'till the last day of work, I respected my overseer. But my daddy told us about that when we all—before we ever went to work in the mill. You must respect age. People that's older than you and telling you things to do, you must respect 'em and do that. Because they wouldn't be telling you if it wasn't for your good. And he taught us things like that when we was very young. Why lord, children nowadays don't respect age. You know that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you all were taught to respect the bosses and the overseers.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yes sir. Our whole family was. There wasn't a one of us—our family, as big a family as we was—to be fired, as they called it or out of work. Always pleased our boss man. Was a record [unknown] that we had in growing up.
But we was taught that by a daddy that loved us. That was before he married again. He didn't marry 'till he moved back to the country away from the cotton mills.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well now, where did John work. He worked in the weave room?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
When he married he was living here at Poe. And then he went to Pelzer and got a job down there and he stayed there 'till he had his family of children. He had nine children, then his wife had pellagra and she died.
ALLEN TULLOS:
His wife had pellagra. Where were they living when she got pellagra?

Page 22
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, he moved back here, he thought her health would be better, you know away from Pelzer.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They were living in Pelzer when she had that disease.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah. And she was sick a lot down there and to get a little closer to me and a little closer to his other sister Mamie, well he moved here to Poe, up there in thirty-one.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, were they working in the cotton mill at Pelzer with John?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah. And he had two, two or maybe three children when he moved back here, up there in thirty-one. Well then his wife got so bad, 'till he had to put her in Columbia down there. But he wouldn't let her stay after he went down to visit her and found her in the shape she was in. They said, "Oh you can't get her under thirty days." He says, "I'll take her out of here dead or alive. She ain't staying here."
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of hospital was that?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Isn't that where they put the . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
It was a state hospital, a mental hospital.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Crazy hospital.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now what did you all hear, or what did you all think was the cause of the pellagra?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh I don't know. She had three or four children when she began complaining of different things a hurting her.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Everybody back then that got sick, they either had pellagra, or pneumonia or consumption—that's T.B.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, that was it.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Now that's what killed everybody, or fever, 'cause they really didn't know like they do today.

Page 23
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well did she work in the mill?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well she did 'till she had one, or maybe two children. But she didn't work much in the mill. And back then, well, they didn't require a woman to work like they did on for years. You know they could work a day or two when they got ready and be out [unknown] a day or two." They couldn't do that along when I was a working, eight or ten years before I quit. You had to be on your job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You mean in the earlier days women could come in and out easier.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, that's right.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would you, usually when you were about to have a child, you would leave off work and then come back and they would let you come in.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, come back when you got able to go back to work. Stay out and have your baby and then go back to work when you got able.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And it was pretty easy to get back.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, easy to go right back on your own job. Because they took care of their people.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you say that changed.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And that changed about eight or ten years before you quit working.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah. Yeah, you had to get a leave of absence.
GEORGIA PORTER:
No, you just had to quit and your job was give away.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
That's how come me to get to go to work because that Mrs. [unknown] was pregnant and I got to go to work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When—can we figure out when that policy started, the leave of absence, or when they changed.

Page 24
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh the leaves of absence didn't start down here until about in the fifties.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But, you're talking about . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
It was after I quit when . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh lord yes, or maybe into the sixties.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I know it, it seems so long.
GEORGIA PORTER:
The last days of the fifties or in the sixties.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The time that you're talking about, when you got your job and the woman was pregnant, when was that, that you're talking about.
GEORGIA PORTER:
I went to work in '27.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So, in other words, it was already . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, if you had to leave the mill, to be off, you just had to quit. But they'd let you work up as long as you could and they'd put you back to work after you had the baby, but they gave your jobs away. They didn't hold jobs back then.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No.
GEORGIA PORTER:
They hired people for 'em.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But in the earlier days . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
They was bound to give way.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But they would have held the job several years earlier than that, or not?
GEORGIA PORTER:
No. I had my last child in '50 and that started in, maybe about [unknown] '48. About '47 or '48, you had to get a leave of absence.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I guess what I'm trying . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
I guess what I'm trying . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
It didn't either because I got a leave and Inez how come me to go down in number from number three, she was [unknown] pregnant and they give me her job in number one. I bet that had to start

Page 25
in about '49. 'Cause I was on leave of absence whenever I left the mill, to have my last baby. I went back on my job whenever I got ready.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let me ask to make sure I understand what this means. Back in the earlier times, say in the teens and the twenties, you're saying that you could leave your job and you could get it back. But then that changed so it got harder, if you left and wanted to come back.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh yeah, I mean these jobs was scarce from '29 on.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
You had to take care of your job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did that affect whether women decided to have children or not. Did they take that into account at all, that they might not get their job back?
GEORGIA PORTER:
No, they could come back but they'd have to take what they had to give 'em.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Had to give 'em, maybe . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
If they had an opening they'd take 'em back and if they didn't they'd have to wait.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Maybe another woman in there is going to have to be out for a baby and they give her the job.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, that's the way that worked. It's just it couldn't wait for 'em, you just didn't get to go back to work 'till later.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I just wonder if any of the women decided that they just wouldn't have any children for awhile if they felt they might lose their job.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well, there's a lot of people didn't have over one or two children back then. I don't know how they done back before I went to the

Page 26
mill but I know in '27 when I went—from then on if you had to be out, you was just out of a job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The families seemed to have been much larger. You had, oh, thirteen, nine boys and four girls, brothers and sisters, and yet you only had, what, six or seven . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Seven.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Seven children. Did people try to plan the size of their family?
GEORGIA PORTER:
I don't know, maybe they begin to wake up to the reality that they didn't need all them young 'uns.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well then, the doctors, I think they got to having medicine women could take. I never knew nothing about that. . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well now, them pills and things . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
That wasn't back in my day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You didn't have nearly as many children as your mother did.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, no, no. And my grandmothers had big families.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did you not have so many?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well I don't know, I just . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
Is that too personal a question to ask.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
No, because . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well I don't know why I didn't.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Most of the people had large families back then. You had some brothers that had anywhere from ten to twelve children.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah.
GEORGIA PORTER:
There's a slew of them.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
My elder sister had eleven children.

Page 27
GEORGIA PORTER:
Your younger sister didn't have but four—Aunt Mamie, she didn't have but four children.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
And Mittie, my other sister, she had eleven children.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you think the families got smaller when people came in to work in the mills than they had been out in the country.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah they did, because if they got 'em a job, they tried to hold their job, I reckon, I don't know. And all my cousins where they come out of them huge families up there in the country, well there's not any of 'em that's not got over one and two children, but not over three. Because they was raised in a big family and I reckon they seen how hard it was and they wasn't going to live like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And people knew more about how to control . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh yeah, to keep from having so many children.
(Interruption in tape)
GEORGIA PORTER:
The Depression come along and then everybody—there wouldn't be but maybe one or two in the family that was working.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
That's right.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the mill's managers try to spread the work around during the Depression?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, they tried to level it off as well as they could to where there'd be one or two out of the family to working, or three—where there was big families.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, they spread it out but nobody wasn't making nothing.
GEORGIA PORTER:
But Mama, you moved here and then my older sisters when they got fourteen, they went to the mill, and the two boys went to the mill and then I went to the mill when I was fourteen and then the two youngest ones had to be sixteen to go.

Page 28
ALLEN TULLOS:
I know what I can . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
All of us worked in this mill, all seven of us.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, we'll talk about your experience real carefully. I remember what I was going to ask about, was this pellagra. Did you all know any other people that had that?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, a lot of people had that. They said at one time my sister had it, but she didn't do it, she must've had ulcers in her stomach or something. They had her on a big old can of yeast, about two cans of yeast a week. But they didn't know how to doctor people . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
And she got so big, and she just put on weight eating that yeast.
GEORGIA PORTER:
And it's ulcers without a doubt. Nerves, a nervous stomach. They didn't know what ailed people. And they had about four things that—see they didn't know a thing about cancer unless it was a big old sore come on the outside. Now, then cancers killed people just the same as they do today, but they didn't know it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you think a lot of what they called pellagra might a been something else.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well sure, it had to be gall bladder or anything. . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I don't know what pellagra was.
GEORGIA PORTER:
That's just an old saying, that old folks, if you was puny or sick, well you had pellagra. I don't know what that word meant.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did you first hear about it, did people have it out in the country or in the mill area?
GEORGIA PORTER:
The first I ever knowed I guess I was four years old when we come here and Aunt Jessie said that she had pellagra. That it wasn't . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Aunt Jessie died with pellagra.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Turned into her mind—her mind went bad after she had her last child so . . .

Page 29
ALLEN TULLOS:
That would be John's wife.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, his wife, his first. But now the only problem being old, any old person, anything that ailed 'em, they had pellagra or consumption or if they died real sudden with a high temperature, and some fever. Well the conditions, the living conditions was filth, it was just filthy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They were.
GEORGIA PORTER:
You couldn't keep things like people does today because it was impossible. All the hot water you had you heated it. . . .
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
They had these outside johnnys and the water out in the street.
GEORGIA PORTER:
You done everything. Flies, no screens, no screen doors. And they died, I guess half of 'em died from ptomaine poisoning or something.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well when you all came here what size of a house did you live in?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Same one she is sitting in now.
GEORGIA PORTER:
It was made just like that house. It was made just exactly like that house over there but it had banisters like this house here.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And how many of you were living in that house at one time, do you remember?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well there was . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Her family?
ALLEN TULLOS:
It would a been all the ten or twelve?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
There was six, seven of us.

Page 30
GEORGIA PORTER:
No, your family, out there on Fourth Street.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh.
GEORGIA PORTER:
How many was living in the house, six room house.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well now, I just have to count off . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
There'd be ten or twelve of you wouldn't there?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Andy, and Berry my oldest brother. The rest of 'em was there awhile, now not long, 'till the older ones, they married off.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well [unknown] there was about thirteen in the house with grandpa.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No, about eleven of us.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did you divide up the house, bedrooms and things like that.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, yeah, upstairs they had three beds in one room up there and two in one and downstairs there was two.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Two bedrooms used downstairs.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
We had three, four, five, six, seven beds. There was a wad of us.
GEORGIA PORTER:
There was a wad of people go to bed.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Yeah.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah, but there was two big bedrooms upstairs.
GEORGIA PORTER:
They were made like them houses up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The bigger ones.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, two rooms upstairs.
ALLEN TULLOS:
There'd be three or four of you sometimes sleeping in the same bed perhaps.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, two to a bed I guess, that was about the way they—where they had big families with a lot of beds in one room.

Page 31
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now did your older sister, Mamie, did she get married pretty soon after she started looking after the rest of 'em.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
After we left here and went to Mills' she married.
ALLEN TULLOS:
About how old do you reckon she was when she got married?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I believe she married in 1903. I wouldn't be definitely, but I believe she was.
GEORGIA PORTER:
How much older was Aunt Mamie than you?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, I guess . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
Oh, about four between.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I think she said she was seven years older than me.
GEORGIA PORTER:
[unknown]
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well she wasn't, she . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
I know, I didn't think she did, but people did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did they marry that early?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Well they all had big houses full of children, but if somebody come along, no matter how old they was or nothing, they wanted to marry of their young 'uns, they'd say yes, all right, I reckon. My mother-in-law married when she was fourteen and he was ten years older than her.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The girls would welcome a chance to get out.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So I guess your sister, we can say she ws sixteen when she got married, Mamie. And who took over, who kind of looked after the children then or were most of the children getting old enough so they didn't have to?
GEORGIA PORTER:
Yeah, they was watching after their self by then.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Yeah. Aunt Hattie died while we lived in Mills'.

Page 32
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well did you all have a particular church that you went to?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Went to that church up here, but it's a four room house down there on First Avenue.
GEORGIA PORTER:
First Street.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of a church.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
It was a Baptist.
GEORGIA PORTER:
That was our first church.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Baptist and Methodist together, and then they built a church up there. Just a weather boarded big one-room church and the Baptists and the Methodists both went. I went to both services, there wasn't no where else to go. On Sunday, we had ours on the Baptists of a morning and the Methodists of the evening. And that'd give me somewhere to go of a evening. So I liked it. That's all any of 'em knowed here, they'd just go to that church. There was a lot of people here but they didn't go to church much.
ALLEN TULLOS:
A lot of 'em didn't though.
GEORGIA PORTER:
More don't go than goes.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
That's the way it is today I reckon. Most of the churches, there's lots of room for others. Our new church . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
But we had three churches up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your family go pretty regularly?
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Well, they just went, I reckon . . .
GEORGIA PORTER:
If you didn't have nothing to do, they might go. But they was all church going people.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah, we all went to church.
GEORGIA PORTER:
Started in families, they're always real active in church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it a Baptist more than Methodist?

Page 33
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
Oh yeah, the Methodist was small.
GEORGIA PORTER:
You was about the only Methodist out of the mob.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
I know it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Your family was a Methodist family?
GEORGIA PORTER:
No they was Baptist.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
No they was all Baptist, my daddy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you were a Methodist.
LETHA ANN SLOAN OSTEEN:
We was all hardshelled Baptists. And then me and George, we lived there—when we lived at Hendersonville, the closest church to us was a Methodist and that's where I went to church, at the Methodist church. Because we didn't have a way of getting about too much and so we'd have to walk and I'd walk to this Methodist church, and I joined the Methodist church. Then when I moved back to Greenville, to Greer there, I moved right at the Methodist church and I still went to the Methodist.
END OF INTERVIEW