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Title: Oral History Interview with Dock E. Hall, January 7, 1976. Interview H-0271. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Hall, Dock E., interviewee
Interview conducted by Glass, Brent
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: 196 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.
2007-05-17, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Dock E. Hall, January 7, 1976. Interview H-0271. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0271)
Author: Brent Glass
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Dock E. Hall, January 7, 1976. Interview H-0271. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0271)
Author: Dock E. Hall
Description: 153 Mb
Description: 47 p.
Note: Interview conducted on January 7, 1976, by Brent Glass; recorded in Unknown.
Note: Transcribed by Patricia Crowley.
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 Dock E. Hall, January 7, 1976.
Interview H-0271. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Hall, Dock E., interviewee


Interview Participants

    DOCK E. HALL, interviewee
    BRENT GLASS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BRENT GLASS:
Mr. Hall, first what is your full name?
DOCK E. HALL:
My name is Dock E. Hall, Dock Edward.
BRENT GLASS:
That was your given name, Dock, D-o-c-k?
DOCK E. HALL:
D-o-c-k Edward Hall: that's what I get my Social Security check about, and that's what you want. And that's what everyone knows me by. They named me after [unknown] Dock Edward Hall.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes. And when were you born?
DOCK E. HALL:
I was born in Moore County, right close to Carthage.
BRENT GLASS:
And when was this?
DOCK E. HALL:
1892, December the twelfth.
BRENT GLASS:
What did your parents do? What were your parents' names?
DOCK E. HALL:
My parents were Dick Hall and Camoline Hall.
BRENT GLASS:
Camoline.
DOCK E. HALL:
Camoline Harris it was before she was ever married.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes. She was a Harris?
DOCK E. HALL:
She was a Harris.
BRENT GLASS:
And what did they do?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well now, he was a sawmiller when I was born, when there was timber in there where the peach orchards and all that big long-leaf pine are.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of sawmill did he have?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, he had about as big a one as you could have around this part of the country.
BRENT GLASS:
Really?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. It wasn't one of these like they have now. It was a big sawmill where they worked seven, eight, ten men around the mill.
BRENT GLASS:
Was it run by steam?

Page 2
DOCK E. HALL:
Run by steam: burned the slabs that we cut off of the logs. Burned that in the boiler to heat steam. And it had an engine set on blocks that runs with a long belt: that's what run the saw.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he have anything there besides a sawmill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Nothing but mules.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, I mean, did he have a flour mill there too?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
No flour mill? No cotton gin?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. These would move around, the mill would: from sitting down where they cut out a bunch of timber, then it would move over further. I was born in a sawmill shack.
BRENT GLASS:
You were born in a sawmill shack?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes sir. And something else you'll be wanting to know, I have an idea: the morning that I was born there was thirteen inches of snow on the ground.
BRENT GLASS:
In Moore County?
DOCK E. HALL:
In Moore County, right in close around the peach orchard, where it is now.
BRENT GLASS:
What was the name of your dad's mill? Was it called Hall's Mill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Nobody was with him then that I know of. Maybe it was Russell and Hall—as well as I remember myself, you know, to go ahead and talk about it.
BRENT GLASS:
Russell?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
So your father didn't do any farming?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, not 'til after I was gone, no, did he go back to the farm. But he owned the sawmill, and did public work—you know, carpenter and stuff

Page 3
like that.
BRENT GLASS:
What do you mean by public work?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, that's going out, you know, like you were hired and go into a job. Get a job here and maybe another one somewhere else. What we call public work is going working by the day or by the month; and farming's different than that.
BRENT GLASS:
OK. So public work is different from farming?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Why?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, in farming you'd say, "I'm working for so-and-so on the farm." But, you see, public work, maybe you was going to one of these factories or shops or something like that: that's what we called public work.
BRENT GLASS:
Did it have to do with earning a wage?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
You got paid at public work?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, paid by the day—not by the hour then, by the day.
BRENT GLASS:
But on a farm you didn't get paid?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, on the farm they did if they hired somebody, you know; but generally most of the people done their own work.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. So that's what you mean by "public work"?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you do any work for your dad in the sawmill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of work did you do?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, we was talking about firing and burning the slabs and all: I fired a lot of the time. Then I'd off that lumber from the saw. They had

Page 4
long roller banks, and then we'd roll the lumber out to the end of it and throw it, or put it on the truck. Or if the truck was standing over there, we'd pull it off and decide where it would be sat. What slabs we didn't use for boilers or burning, we had a skid fixed out at the end of the roller banks. We'd put them on that skid and man, take a whole lot of them and throw them in a big fire out there and burn them.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. And was that hard work?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well some of it was pretty hard work, yes sir.
BRENT GLASS:
Why?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, it was heavy, heavy wood: green, all of it green, you know. Mostly a lot of pine, but it was green—heavy. Back then they'd saw big timbers for you any time; these timbers were long, twelves by twelves maybe. Now you can't hardly find a piece you'd make a [unknown] out of like that.
BRENT GLASS:
That's true.
DOCK E. HALL:
It's all cut out.
BRENT GLASS:
Did your Dad pay you for the work?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, yes, he paid me. You know, he'd pay off his men that worked his mill for him. He'd be cutting this lumber, and they'd put it all up on what we called skids: the slack end of it, put it on skids. And the man that was cutting for him would come in and check that lumber all out; then he'd pay him what he had on his skids. Then he'd pay his help—what we called the laborers, see—then.
BRENT GLASS:
How many people did he have working?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, around the mill sometimes he'd have anywhere from six to eight around the mill, and maybe four to six in the woods cutting timber, and

Page 5
about three or four teams that would haul the logs into the mill.
BRENT GLASS:
That was a big operation.
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes, it was back in them days.
BRENT GLASS:
And what was the timber used for? Building houses?
DOCK E. HALL:
All that, yes. And all that to different towns. Didn't have no trucks or anything like that, just wagons. They'd haul it to town, and then load it on cars where the trains were. They'd haul it up to the train station, and they'd load it on the car and ship it to people. It sold all over the country, everywhere.
BRENT GLASS:
He collected his own timber, then? The farmers didn't bring timber to him, did them?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. They have done that, but in later years. Back then somebody'd go by this big pack of timber, and then he'd go in with the sawmill and he'd cut it and put it on skids. And then the man that he was cutting timber for would come and take up how much he'd sawed, and pay him so many feet of lumber that he had. Then he'd pay off his men, see.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. How long did your father operate this?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, in years I don't know.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he operate it past the first World War?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, he was going along then; even in the first World War he saw-milled.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have a chance to go to school?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes, I went to school up 'til I was in what we called then the fourth reader. That'd be about sixth grade now.
BRENT GLASS:
What is that called again?
DOCK E. HALL:
Didn't have graded schools. Fourth reader: that was just like

Page 6
the grades are now. See, they'd have a first reader (with ABC's in it), and then the second reader and the third reader and the fourth reader. That was kind of like the grades are now.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. I see. So you went up to fourth reader?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, that's about as far as I got, yes. You might say fourth reader then would be about the sixth or seventh grade now.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. OK. Did you live right near the sawmill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes, generally we always lived pretty close. Like I told you, I was born in the sawmill shack.
BRENT GLASS:
What do you mean by a sawmill shack?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, you see, they made this building for us to live in. They'd put them together the best they could, and never left enough floors (they wouldn't nail them down). And they'd tear that down when they'd get ready to move the mill, and set it down in another location. And then they'd put up the house and we'd move in there.
BRENT GLASS:
So that was the house your parents lived in, was a sawmill shanty?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. It was when I was born. And don't forget that snow business I told you: the morning I was born there was thirteen inches of snow. I told my mother several times [unknown]
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have any brothers or sisters?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
How many?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I had six brothers and two sisters. [Interruption]
BRENT GLASS:
You were saying you had (was it) six brothers and two sisters?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, there was nine of us children: I had two sisters, and the

Page 7
rest of them was all boys. They're all gone but one now; he lives in Montgomery County.
BRENT GLASS:
In Montgomery County?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, this side of Moore. I came here the twenty-first day of October.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, you've only been here a couple of months.
DOCK E. HALL:
Ain't nothing that wrong with me.
BRENT GLASS:
No, you seem about forty-three years old.
DOCK E. HALL:
I tell you, I lived by myself since my wife died ten years ago last May, but my people wanted me to come here and stay. But as soon as the birds begin to sing I'm going back home—I've got my own home, you see, back there. [Interruption]
BRENT GLASS:
OK, Mr. Hall.
DOCK E. HALL:
I don't know where you stopped off at there.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, we stopped off where we were talking about your brothers and sisters. So you have six brothers and two sisters.
DOCK E. HALL:
They're all gone but one.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. Did they also (your brothers) work at the sawmill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, they worked sawmill, yes, 'til the last one come back from what I called public work
BRENT GLASS:
In Thomasville?
DOCK E. HALL:
Thomasville.
BRENT GLASS:
What about your mother? Tell me something about your mother. Where was she from?
DOCK E. HALL:
She was raised right around in Montgomery County, right around

Page 8
a little place called Eldorado.
BRENT GLASS:
Eldorado?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
And was your father raised in Montgomery too?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, but he was over about four miles from that, called Uwharrie.
BRENT GLASS:
Uwharrie.
DOCK E. HALL:
Close to Uwharrie, yes; they call it Uwharrie now.
BRENT GLASS:
And what kind of household did you have? Was it a big house you lived in, or just this shanty all the time?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, not all the time. After he quit the sawmilling and come here and went to carpentry work, why, we always lived in a big house. We had a good house in Troy.
BRENT GLASS:
In Troy?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. That's in Montgomery: Troy is the county seat for Montgomery County.
BRENT GLASS:
But you went to school when you were a young man around the mill.
DOCK E. HALL:
You might say Eldorado school. Then when they come here, then I started in 1902 school here.
BRENT GLASS:
In Thomasville?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. Do you remember any household possessions that you had in your house? Any pieces of furniture or anything like that that your parents felt strongly about?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. I tell you, my parents have been dead a good long while. And it was never divided out; my older sister, she took care of that, and she got all that property. She sold part.

Page 9
BRENT GLASS:
Did they have many furnishings, much in the way of household goods?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, pretty good. We was fixed pretty good at home.
BRENT GLASS:
But when you were growing up, you'd say your parents didn't have much of an income?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, just what he worked out. And after the boys got big enough to work, of course they stayed at home. They helped out with the family and all that.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have any other relatives live with you? Any grandparents or anything?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, they didn't live with us.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you know your grandparents?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I knew both my grandmothers, but both my granddaddys were done dead when I was born.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. And did they live near you?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, they lived now in close to where I told you in Montgomery, in Uwharrie—right around in through there.
BRENT GLASS:
How old were you when you moved to Thomasville?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I lacked just a little bit of being ten years old: come in November, and I was ten years old the twelfth day of December.
BRENT GLASS:
But now, if your father came here in 1902, how did he keep the sawmill going?
DOCK E. HALL:
He quit that; he done quit the sawmilling then and come here, and went to work here around. He didn't work in these furniture factories very much. He worked carpentry work most of the time what he was here.
BRENT GLASS:
For who?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, you know, different companies, different kind of contractors

Page 10
and things like that.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of work did he do for them: building their factories?
DOCK E. HALL:
Building houses, and anything like that, you know. Regular construction work, you might say.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes. But then did he ever go back to sawmilling?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. He went back down home where he had bought some land, and he went back in and build him home there and stayed down there. Had a home 'til my mother died. Then he stayed on a while there, and left and went up to Catawba County. He died up in Catawba County, in Hickory.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you remember anything about childhood games that you used to play with your chums?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes. We used to play marbles—peadabbles, we called them.
BRENT GLASS:
Peadabbles?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. Put a bunch of them in, you know, and a ring around; then we'd shoot marbles. Then we'd do what we used to call ringman: put five in a flat place like that and, you know, first make that and shoot at them that way. Me and another fellow'd be shooting together, and two others, and then we'd match up to see which one beats, you know, in games.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you play any ball, any baseball?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, played some baseball—back of the school, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
In school?
DOCK E. HALL:
Back of the school.
BRENT GLASS:
What church did you attend?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, when I first began to go to church it was Massadona Church that I remember about, and that's at Eldorado.
BRENT GLASS:
Is that a Baptist church?

Page 11
DOCK E. HALL:
It's a Methodist church.
BRENT GLASS:
Methodist church. So what was your first public job?
DOCK E. HALL:
Furniture: worked in a furniture factory here.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you do? What was your job?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, there was a machine called a molder, and I was a tailboy: I'd catch it coming out of that molder and lay it on a truck.
BRENT GLASS:
And you were called a tailboy?
DOCK E. HALL:
That's right.
BRENT GLASS:
And all you did was take it from out of the molder and put it in?
DOCK E. HALL:
As it'd come out, yes, I'd catch it and lay it on the molder as it came out.
BRENT GLASS:
And what did they pay you for that?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well now, you wouldn't have no idea how much the pay was back then. I went to work when I was between eleven and twelve, and I'd work except school hours, you know, and on Saturday. And I made thirty cents a day (I mean thirty cents a day) for ten hours: that's what I made.
BRENT GLASS:
You could work ten hours and go to school at the same time?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, no, no. I said [unknown] when I wasn't in school. I'd come out of an evening; school'd be out about 2:30-3:00, and then I'd work from then on 'til twenty minutes to six. Then on Saturdays I'd work 'til twenty minutes 'til four.
BRENT GLASS:
And you got paid thirty cents a day for that?
DOCK E. HALL:
Thirty cents a day; yes, thirty cents a day, not hour. That sounds funny to people that's around and coming up now, but that was right then.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, what could thirty cents buy?

Page 12
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, good, you could take thirty cents and buy more than you could, about as much as you could with a dollar now—no, you could buy more.
BRENT GLASS:
So you thought you were making pretty good money?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I was, yes; at that time, yes, we thought so anyway.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you do with your money when you were eleven or twelve years old?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I'd buy clothes with it, and buy my sisters thing with it. My Daddy'd never take anything I worked for.
BRENT GLASS:
He never took anything from you?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, he never did. Looked out for me that and other ways himself.
BRENT GLASS:
Was your father a strict disciplinarian? How did your parents discipline their children?
DOCK E. HALL:
You mean treated them
BRENT GLASS:
Yes.
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, just as good as people ever could be.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh really? Did they ever spank the children?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, maybe spank them a little or something like that—never enough to hurt one or nothing—or get a little keen hickory, or something like that. No, my father didn't do very much of that. My Momma'd do that; she'd do that kind of thing. He was working always, and, see, my mother would do the looking after us. But she didn't have to strike us much. She could look over toward you that way with her eye right straight at you, and you knowed you'd done something wrong, and she'd tell you then. The neighbors used to visit a lot, you know, and she'd tell us (and there was plenty to eat), "If you want something to eat you go ahead and get it. You go down

Page 13
to the neighbor's house and ask for something to eat, I'll whip you when you get back home." And they would too. You wouldn't do it.
BRENT GLASS:
You wouldn't ask down at the neighbors?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Did your mother work?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, at nothing but home: home work and garden work, like that, around the house.
BRENT GLASS:
Did she pretty much run the household?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have many neighbors over for parties or social gatherings?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, like I said them, we'd go visit other people and they'd come and visit us. We'd have meals together, you know, and all stuff like that.
BRENT GLASS:
What would be the occasion? Why would you have them over? Would it be on Sunday?
DOCK E. HALL:
Just to come over. Well, sometimes on Sundays, sometimes through the week. Maybe a lady'd come and bring her family, and maybe stay all day and eat dinner with us, you see. And then she'd go back home in time to get supper;when her husband'd come home she'd be at home.
BRENT GLASS:
Who were the friends of your family? How did you meet?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, after I got up in size (before I come to Thomasville) it was Battons: Mr. John Batton and his family.
BRENT GLASS:
How do you spell that?
DOCK E. HALL:
B-a-t-t-o-n, Batton.
BRENT GLASS:
How did your family meet that family?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, we lived maybe three-quarters of a mile from one another,

Page 14
and us kids would play together. They grew up right pretty close together, the Battons and my Daddy and Momma.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he meet most of his friends at work?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, a lot of the friends; yes. My Daddy was known everywhere; they'd call on him from everywhere.
BRENT GLASS:
He was known everywhere?
DOCK E. HALL:
Everywhere around through the country, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Why?
DOCK E. HALL:
Sawmilling and all like that, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
So when did you take your job at the mine?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I was up then grown.
BRENT GLASS:
How old were you then?
DOCK E. HALL:
Then I was around right on nineteen or twenty, along then, or twenty-one, twenty-two, all like that. He lived right close to the mine, my Daddy did then.
BRENT GLASS:
Now had he moved from Thomasville back to Eldorado?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Why?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, he'd sawmill a little bit, but then he went to work up at this mine.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, he went to work there too?
DOCK E. HALL:
Carpenter work: building houses, building mill houses and everything at the mine. He worked at the mine too.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. And you went with him? The whole family went?
DOCK E. HALL:
I had married when I was young, and then I worked right on there at the mine. And my Daddy run a big boarding house there at the mine,

Page 15
BRENT GLASS:
He ran a boarding house?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Tell me something about the boarding house. How big was it?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I don't know. I expect it must have been about maybe twelve rooms, and he had maybe twelve or thirteen boarders. A lot of them would eat dinner there; you know, instead of bringing lunch with them they'd eat there.
BRENT GLASS:
Did your whole family live in the boarding house?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. My older brothers were married and done gone away. There was me, and a brother just older than I am, and my two sisters and my father and mother.
BRENT GLASS:
Lived in the boarding house.
DOCK E. HALL:
They did. I didn't live in the boarding house with them; I said that was when they lived there.
BRENT GLASS:
And how much would it cost for a room in the boarding house?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, I don't remember how much they did charge. They charged by the month.
BRENT GLASS:
By the month?
DOCK E. HALL:
That's when they'd pay, every month, you see. Let's see: then they got to paying the first and the fifteenth. But I don't remember just what they'd charge for board.
BRENT GLASS:
Did the company build the boarding house?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Then they hired your father to…
DOCK E. HALL:
To run the place.
BRENT GLASS:
And did your mother do the cooking?

Page 16
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, her, and they hired a couple of help.
BRENT GLASS:
And the company hired the help?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, he done that himself, or my mother did. They didn't do anything—wanted us to furnish the house. What I mean, they gave the house but not any furnishing, and we furnished it ourselves.
BRENT GLASS:
Really?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, they did (my father and mother).
BRENT GLASS:
He wasn't old by then, but he was not a young man anymore.
DOCK E. HALL:
Not a young man, no. Not that big a family, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. Well, what kind of work did you do at the mine?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I fired a lot on top.
BRENT GLASS:
Fired the boiler?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, fired the boilers, and worked underground in the mine, down in the mine.
BRENT GLASS:
You did work underground?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, part of the time, yes. I worked down there.
BRENT GLASS:
What were you called? What was your job underground?
DOCK E. HALL:
I was called a chucker.
BRENT GLASS:
A chucker?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. They had these air drills, steam drills, and a man to run the machine. And I'd throw water and all when it'd get hot, and stuff like that: throw water and work with him. I just worked with one man. And we'd be cutting what we called a level. And the headroom would be up like that, you see, and we'd be boring holes in that. And I'd take out bits and put in bits for him, and all that, and change it whichever way he wanted to. If we wanted to get over there, then I'd change the collar on the shaft (the up-down

Page 17
piece), and he'd go ahead and start it up (he'd just crank it a little up).
BRENT GLASS:
How was the air drill run? Wouldn't it run off electricity?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, it was run by air or steam. It was mostly air at the Coggins when I was there, but they used to run them by hand. I have worked at different mines down there—Coggins's not the only one there is around there. In a ten mile radius there's at least (I could call the names of them) six in a ten mile radius around.
BRENT GLASS:
What are some of the other ones?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, there's what we call Stone Mountain, and Sally Coggins, and Morris Mountain, and … let's see now, the other one down next to …
BRENT GLASS:
Candor is down there, isn't it?
DOCK E. HALL:
That's below, way on below. Yes, Candor's down there. The other one's Iola Mine—my dad used to work there some too. That was owned (when he was there) by Jones, M.L. Jones—I guess a company of them.
BRENT GLASS:
So, just to follow up what you had said, you were called the chucker. What was the other man called?
DOCK E. HALL:
He was a miner; he was called a miner. He was the one running the machine.
BRENT GLASS:
So who were some of the miners? Who did you work with? Do you remember any of the people?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes. I worked with Arthur Lanier, and Paul Cranford, Walter Bean.
BRENT GLASS:
These are all miners?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Were they from around these parts?

Page 18
DOCK E. HALL:
Right in that part; right around in Davidson County, right around this mine. A lot of them lived right on the mine, part of it.
BRENT GLASS:
Was a miner considered more skilled than a chucker?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. In other words, a miner, he's the man that run the machine that would bore the hole. You see, what we'd call it was breaking the ground. They'd bore them holes the way they wanted to; then they'd load then with dynamite, and then they could know how to break the ground. That was the reason:they had the experience of that. And the chucker was his helper.
BRENT GLASS:
Where did they learn? Where did they get their experience? Were they older than you?
DOCK E. HALL:
Part of the time they'd learn it there, and part of the time they'd come (a lot of them) from Gold Hill and places like that, other old mines way on up. That Coggins Mine was running back during the Civil War; but, you see, I didn't know anything about that then. Just what I'm telling you now is what I knowed while I was there.
BRENT GLASS:
That's what I want; that's great.
DOCK E. HALL:
Now, you take the boilers: they had 150 horse boilers, and they fired them with hard wood. They'd buy timber, and they'd put maybe twelve or fifteen out to cut that timber for wood. Then they'd stack it (in a pen, we called it)…
BRENT GLASS:
A pen?
DOCK E. HALL:
A pen five foot high and four foot long. That's where you would cut a pen of them. That's where he'd come around (we called him a checker); he'd come around and take that pen's number, put down how much it was and turn it into the office. That's the way we got our pay.
BRENT GLASS:
You were paid by the pen?

Page 19
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
How much would you get paid?
DOCK E. HALL:
I tell you, I think it was about thirteen or fourteen cents a pen.
BRENT GLASS:
A pen?
DOCK E. HALL:
It had to be five foot high, four foot long.
BRENT GLASS:
That's a lot of timber.
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. And we'd cut a lot of it 'til we'd put most anything we could in to make it "pen up," you know. And then we had what we called a head man, and he'd go through and pick out three or four of us, you see. And there'd come a big tree, or a bad tree or something, when you were through you had to cut that out, you see, yourself. Or swap with some other fellow, and get him to come over and help you pull the crosscut saw, or something like that.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
BRENT GLASS:
We were talking about the mine. When you worked there about how many people worked at the mine?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I'll tell you. It's pretty hard to tell exactly. Part of the time we worked three shifts.
BRENT GLASS:
What were the hours there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Eight hours.
BRENT GLASS:
Eight hour shifts.
DOCK E. HALL:
You'd go in at seven and you'd come out at three; go in at three and come out at eleven; and go in at eleven and come out at seven. Then the day shift would come back.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. About how many would be on your shift?

Page 20
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, there would be maybe, I would say, (well, in the whole mine—we all wouldn't be, you know, in one place) in the whole mine underground there'd be maybe about eight. I'd say it would average somewhere about eight.
BRENT GLASS:
Eight?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, that was the chuckers and the machine runners.
BRENT GLASS:
And miners?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes; miners is the machine runners. That's what we called them.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. And how about above ground? What kind of people would be working in the stamp mill?
DOCK E. HALL:
On top there was the firemen, and what we called the hoist engineer (he run the bucket, the scooping bucket up and down, you know, in the mine), and a blacksmith, and a blacksmith's helper. Maybe you might say half a dozen right around on top.
BRENT GLASS:
How much would you get paid for chucking? Do you remember?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, I don't exactly remember what they did pay. Didn't pay too much. I'd say maybe they'd pay maybe around eighty-five to a dollar a day back then.
BRENT GLASS:
That sounds about right. Were there many black workers?
DOCK E. HALL:
Not but very few. I remember there was one old colored man and his son; he was a miner. And he and his son come over from Gold Hill and got a job there, him as a miner and the boy as a chucker for him.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. Do you remember his name?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, I couldn't call you his name to save my life. That's been a long time ago. And he'd come over and stay the weekend. They had a batshanty, and they'd, say, come on the weekend—say they'd come on Sundays and go to

Page 21
work Sunday night at eleven. Now, they didn't work on Sundays, except go to work at eleven o'clock.
BRENT GLASS:
At night?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. And most of the time when they'd come back, this boy didn't like it over there because there were no other colored people around. And he'd say, "Come day, go day, God send Sunday." He wanted to go back home, you know. I've heard him say that many a time, the young fellow.
BRENT GLASS:
And he lived in a little… ?
DOCK E. HALL:
Little house they built out for him. Had several houses, but they was kind of small ones, like him and his Daddy back for the time they was there, you know, and go home on the weekends.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. And he went back to Gold Hill then?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, old Gold Hill.
BRENT GLASS:
But Gold Hill had closed by that time?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. I've never been around Gold Hill when it was ever running then.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he ever talk about Gold Hill at all?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, once in a while he'd talk about Gold Hill, but, you know, I couldn't remember the words he'd say. But he'd talk about running machines over there, and the levels there was there; and sometimes he'd tell me how rich the place was.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he think it was richer than Coggins?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes. All the sayings, all I've ever heard say is that around Gold Hill is the richest mines there are in North Carolina.
BRENT GLASS:
That's what I've heard too. Did you ever work in the stamp mill at Coggins?

Page 22
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
You did?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, I did.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you do there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I'd work around. Didn't feed the stamps so much. [Interruption] Where were we at then?
BRENT GLASS:
In the stamp mill, what you did there.
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, I would work for [unknown] There was a man there that would feed them stamps. First the ore is crushed up with a crusher; and he'd push this (what we called it was ore), them rocks in and them stampers would go up and down on it and beat it all up. Then they had copper plates that would run out of ore, and then they had blankets pulled over that, and it would catch the rest of it. And a lot of times we'd wash (well, not a lot of times, but we'd always) them blankets out, and they'd get all that gold business out of that. You've never seen a handful of gold and stuff like that, you know—it'd be like dust or something. And then they'd scrape it off them plates, copper plates. And they had quicksilver on that, and they'd scrape that all off; that was called an amalgamater, that man that done that.
BRENT GLASS:
There was no automatic belt that brought the ore from the mine into the stamper?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
It was done automatically?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, it was run by a motor—not no motor, it was run by steam. And it had a belt to carry that stuff over when it was coming over to this place and put it in the chute, you see. Then he'd come around and he'd

Page 23
shovel that in and put it in the stamps: that's called a stamp feeder.
BRENT GLASS:
Stamp feeder. Did you do a little bit of everything in the stamp mill?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, I was what you might say was a helper in there. They'd have a man, an amalgamater they called him, and he was the man that would scrape all that gold off and quicksilver, altogether. Then they'd take that all and put it together that way. Then they had what we called an house, and they'd take that and burn that quicksilver off and make it out in pigs of gold, you know. Small pieces of gold, we called that pigs. But we didn't see no gold aside from that one. Now, them [unknown], like I tell you, sometimes you could throw water up on it and wash it off when you suspect you kind of had like Guinea eggs, you see—sort of like that.
BRENT GLASS:
This is underground?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever find a little gold rock or anything and put it in your pocket?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they ever check you when you would come out of the mine?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, never thought enough about that; it wouldn't be useful. If you wasn't run through that mill there you'd never know nothing about what it was. We didn't hardly know what kind of ore we was working on; we didn't know 'til we went through the mill. The amalgamater and them would find out.
BRENT GLASS:
How about with the blankets? Did they wash out the blankets?
DOCK E. HALL:
And wash out the blankets. And they'd strain that thing, you know, through strainers, and the gold or quicksilver or anything would catch at it, you know, and pick it up. Anything heavy, you see, and the rest of it would go on over. That's the same way with going across from the stamps

Page 24
across them plates, I was telling you. The water would run over that and the gold that was in it would sink through that quicksilver and pick it up, you see. Then they'd scrape it off and take it altogether (quicksilver and all) to the house, and then burn that off and burn it into pigs for gold.
BRENT GLASS:
Into pigs.
DOCK E. HALL:
That's what we called it.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever see any gold in the whole time you were there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes, I've seen a little of it—when they'd run it out, that is. They didn't show it to many people. It wouldn't do good to be like it is now, nohow, because if they did somebody'd go down and pull a gun on them and take it. [Interruption]
BRENT GLASS:
We were back in the stamp mill. What was it like to work in the stamp mill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, it wasn't such hard work, and you wasn't busy all the time. The man that had to run the steam engine, you know… And these stamps would raise up and go back down like that, you know, and you could hear them for ten or twelve miles.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh really?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
So what was it like to be in there?
DOCK E. HALL:
You couldn't hardly be a'talking like me and you; we couldn't understand one another, hardly, in there.
BRENT GLASS:
So did you wear earplugs or something?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, didn't have none then.
BRENT GLASS:
Where did you prefer to work, in firing the boiler or in the stamp

Page 25
mill or in the mine?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, that's what I done mostly, firing the boiler. But it kept you busy, now, firing wood, you see—cord wood. And it had two a hundred and fifty horse boilers, and you can imagine… Well, I'll tell you, it'd average about seven cords of wood on every twelve hours, you can just about figure. You see, the man on top worked twelve hours.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, I see: only underground worked eight hours.
DOCK E. HALL:
That's right. That's all the law would allow them to do, work eight hours, I think.
BRENT GLASS:
Underground?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. Well now, what I mean is, that was like it is now—of course they didn't pay overtime or anything. Now, I've knowed them to, maybe when somebody'd be out or didn't come in (maybe it would be a chucker or maybe it would be a machine runner—what we called a miner), well, they'd give you so many candles (we used to use candles, you see) and send them down and tell them to stay down. That way he'd work sixteen hours before he'd come out of there.
BRENT GLASS:
I see.
DOCK E. HALL:
Not too often, but every once in a while they'd do that.
BRENT GLASS:
You mean to make up for the person who wasn't there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, if anyone was out, see, sick or something, why this other fellow'd work in his place.
BRENT GLASS:
So the candles were a way of people knowing how many people… ?
DOCK E. HALL:
And how to see around in there; that's all you had to go by was them candles. And they had what we called candle holders, a thing that you'd put the candle in. And it had a swirl on the end; you could stick it in a timber or hang it on a rock (you got a hanger for it too; you could hang it

Page 26
either way).
BRENT GLASS:
But why couldn't they make someone stay down there sixteen hours? Why did someone have to be absent?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, that would be if there was somebody… They'd run then, like I told you, three shifts, you see. And if a machine runner was out (a miner) or a chucker was out, then they'd get somebody else up there to go down and make up for them, and send down for him to stay down 'til the other man would come in.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. Did people miss work a lot?
DOCK E. HALL:
No: people back then had to work.
BRENT GLASS:
Six days a week?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, we worked about six days a week; didn't work on Sundays, now. Come off at eleven o'clock Saturday night, and then go back Sunday night at eleven o'clock.
BRENT GLASS:
Did any children work at the mine at that time?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
They weren't allowed to?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
How about women? Did they have any jobs?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, none. Maybe in the office they'd work a little, but that was all. No women around the mine work.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever see women on these wooden rockers, stand up on top of these wooden rockers and rock back and forth, and they'd put a little bit of ground-up gold in the rockers?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, never seen women do that. I've seen them rockers.
BRENT GLASS:
You have seen them?

Page 27
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. I know at the old Sally Coggins mine they cut down a big poplar and hewed it out (cut it off, you know, just the top of it and each end of it to get it about that far out). Then they had to take the [unknown] and chip that all out, and pin it down so it was like my hand, you know. Then they'd put that thing to rocking like that. And they had a thing out at the end, when it would rock out and go out the other way; then them blankets that I told you about (and stuff like that) would catch what gold come out of that. Oh, they had a way of catching it all that they could.
BRENT GLASS:
You lived there with your wife [at Coggins], right?
DOCK E. HALL:
Right.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of house did you live in?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I lived in the valley. Let's see, the house I lived in there on the mine was about a four room house.
BRENT GLASS:
And the company built that?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. They didn't have too many of them there then. They had one store there, a grocery store.
BRENT GLASS:
And you lived there alone. Did they charge you rent for that house?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you remember what they charged you?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, I don't, to tell you the truth. We'd pay by the month, or they'd it out at the office, and I just don't remember what it was.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you have a kitchen in the house?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, a kitchen. That's the reason I was telling you it was about a four room house. Seems to me like the house we lived in had two rooms like this and a front porch. And then the living room run off, and I think the dining room and the kitchen and the little back porch or the stoop.

Page 28
BRENT GLASS:
And you had an outside toilet?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes.
BRENT GLASS:
[unknown]
DOCK E. HALL:
Apart from the house. And well water: we didn't have no water in no house, nothing like that. They had three or four wells of good water.
BRENT GLASS:
How long did you work there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I worked off and on there for, I'll say, four or five years. It don't run any now.
BRENT GLASS:
No.
DOCK E. HALL:
My boy, if you go there now (of course back then they'd got different pumps from what we have now to what we had then, but we had what they called a number nine Cameron pump)…
BRENT GLASS:
Cameron?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. And I'll bet if you go there now and start that thing up (that run by steam), and put one of them number nine Cameron pumps in there, I'll bet it would take you three months to even pump up what water was in there out (if you pumped day and night).
BRENT GLASS:
It's all filled with water, right?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes, and it's hollowed out all around every which way. Now, they didn't hollow all of it, but they had drifts, you know (we called them) back in like that. We'd have them at the fifty foot level and a hundred, a hundred and fifty and then two hundred; two hundred and fifty and then three hundred, three hundred and fifty and then the four hundred. And it went on down to sixteen hundred and eighteen feet, I believe.
BRENT GLASS:
Sixteen hundred feet deep?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, on an incline.

Page 29
BRENT GLASS:
Wow. And how did you get down there? By elevator?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, you'd go down on this bucket, until the last few years they had what we called a skiff. It was made like that thing there and had a lip run out on it like that, and it had four wheels on it (one here, one here, one here and one here) and then they had a track. And it was on an incline, forty degrees. But this hoister would have a pulley way up here and a poppy head (we called it), and then it would run right around to the hoisting engine here. And he had a little old thing there they could blow in and stick so many rings, and he'd know that they wanted to go up, or where they wanted to move, or how he understood all that. And sometimes we'd come out on that skiff, and a lot of them would climb out—that was a pretty good climb.
BRENT GLASS:
All the way out?
DOCK E. HALL:
Climb the ladders too. And they had one of them solrays at the place I was telling you about. They'd have this place, you know, for a good-sized man to go through so that anything wouldn't fall. And that solray went on down to the next one; that ladder'd go on down through.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you call that, a solray?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, a solray. They'd fix a lot of poles and timbers and stuff so in any blasting you came up there and it wouldn't tear up
BRENT GLASS:
Did you bring down any water with you to drink on the job down there, or anything?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. They'd drink what water was down there; it was just as clear and clean as it could be.
BRENT GLASS:
You got paid twice a month, you said.
DOCK E. HALL:
Well as I told you, the last few years they paid the first and

Page 30
fifteenth.
BRENT GLASS:
And what was payday like at Coggins? Did they have any parties?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, no. You'd just go to the office and they'd give you a check, or you'd get paid in money—either one. Just went to the office and the superintendent would pay you off.
BRENT GLASS:
What did people do for entertainment there? Was there any kind of entertainment?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, not around the mine much. We'd go to corn shuckings and all, and attend all the Fiddlers' Conventions and stuff like that. No movies.
BRENT GLASS:
Any card playing, or anything like that?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
No card playing?
DOCK E. HALL:
[unknown] like they do in the country now. No poker playing, no gambling or nothing like that was going on. Drink a little homemade liquor, that was about all.
BRENT GLASS:
Were there any accidents that you remember?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. There was three men got killed out there. Let's see, four men got killed while I was there.
BRENT GLASS:
How did that happen?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I was just talking about that skiff. Well now, they had a ladder, what we called a ladder road right beside where that skiff went down in the shaft, and it was kind of built off—you know, penned up—so that you wouldn't get over in the shaft. And you come up on that ladder (you'd go climb that ladder) or you get on that skiff. And so many rings would tell you when there was men on the skiff; this man the hoister would get that.

Page 31
And there was four working on it at that time, and they started out. And that was on payday; I believe it was the fifteenth day of September, and I can't tell you what year to save my life. But anyway it was on payday, the three o'clock shift that started out. And three of them got on the skiff that was coming out. And one of them, he didn't get in the skiff (he was afraid of it) and he climbed the ladder—and he got out alive. And the others got up oh, I don't know, as well as I remember somebody said about a hundred and eighty or ninety feet and that skiff jumped the track. And it had a lip on it, you know, like that, and it caught in one of the joints in the railing of the track and went down. And they just had to bail to, you know; didn't have a thing in the world. It just turned and poured them right back down in there, and that killed all three of them.
BRENT GLASS:
And you were working there then?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
What was the talk around the mine then? Did they go down and get the bodies?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, they went down. They chained that skiff and went down there and brang them out, one by one.
BRENT GLASS:
Do you remember who they were?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, I knowed them and worked with them days after days.
BRENT GLASS:
Who were they? What were their names?
DOCK E. HALL:
One of them was Charlie Cranford, and one of them was Neal Class, and the other one was Walter Sanders. That's three of them, now.
BRENT GLASS:
Charlie Cranford, Neal Class, and Walter Sanders.
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, then after that a bunch of them was going—I believe this was on a Sunday night. I won't say, 'cause if you print this or somebody

Page 32
hears of it they'll want to know about this, and I want to tell the truth, you know, near as I can.
BRENT GLASS:
Sure.
DOCK E. HALL:
Near as I remember. But this I believe was on Sunday night—now it might not have been Sunday night, it might have been Saturday night. Anyway, there was a boy named Griff Parrish, a young man about your size, and he come up to my house. And I used to cut hair (there wasn't no barber shops right around, and I'd cut hair). And he come up one evening to have me to cut his hair. And there was a protracted meeting going on, what we called protracted, big meeting, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
Protracted meeting.
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. And he was talking about going to that meeting. And he wanted me to cut his hair (a good fellow), and I took a straight chair and set it on the porch and cut his hair. And he offered to pay me; and I don't remember whether it was a ten dollar bill or whether it was a twenty (might have been a ten), but he offered to pay me. And I said, "Griff, I ain't got no change for that." I think it was about fifteen cents or a quarter (maybe fifteen cents, I don't know)—it was money then. And I said, "I've got no change for that." And he said, "Oh, I ain't going to pay you nohow"—or something like that. And he had a brother, Walter Parrish, and I told him about that way afterwards: "You know, he tried to pay me that, and I never did take it."
BRENT GLASS:
And then he died right… ?"
DOCK E. HALL:
That boy, he got killed. They started down the mine, four of them: now two of them were chuckers and two of them were machine runners. Got onto one of these pendices way on down, nearly down maybe a hundred foot

Page 33
from the bottom.
BRENT GLASS:
What do you call them, pendices?
DOCK E. HALL:
Pendices, where they built, you know…
BRENT GLASS:
How do you spell that? Do you know?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
OK.
DOCK E. HALL:
That's where the ladder goes through, like I told you, down through that. Well, there was a fellow up above him, and he fell off of that ladder above them. And there was two below him, and he knocked them two off. And they went on down to the bottom; and it killed one of them—that boy Griff Parrish—and broke the other one's, Walter (that guy, I knowed him for years; I forget his name now)…
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, that's all right.
DOCK E. HALL:
In other words, you can say two of them. But the one of them just broke his back and was kind of broken up; and it did kill the other one. Danged if I don't believe it was Sunday night, because I was learning buckets and I was working twelve hours a day, you see. And I lived right there close to the mine. And a fellow come by and waked me up, and I went out there when they went down and chained the thing down and brought him out. And I pulled off my coat, I remember, and laid it right down like that on the little old trolley where we dumped the ore and stuff that come out. And we laid his head on my coat there for a while. And his name was Griff Parrish: good fellow, Walter Parrish's brother, there right going down with him. And Pete Green was the man that fell off of the ladder. He happened to be close to one of them pendices, and he fell out on that (didn't hurt him); and the other who he knocked loose from the ladder, he went on down. And one of them got killed and the other got his back broke.

Page 34
Walter something: I can't even remember.
BRENT GLASS:
Was there anyone who would come and investigate these accidents? Anyone from the state come and check up on it?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, not that ever I knowed anything about.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, who owned the mine at that time?
DOCK E. HALL:
At that time R.P. Richardson and his sons from Reidsville.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes, right.
DOCK E. HALL:
They've got a tobacco factory there, you know; they own it. The old man's dead, but I think maybe one or two of the boys, they own it yet.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes, I think you're right. Who was the boss man there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Then for me? Well, the superintendent was Charlie Dickens.
BRENT GLASS:
What kind of boss man was he?
DOCK E. HALL:
He was what we called superintendent.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes. Was he a good man?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh yes, good fellow; I always liked him, always got along with him good. In fact I got along with all of them; they was just country people, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
They were all from around that area?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, right of them. Some of them come from other places on and get a job there: miners coming from Gold Hill
BRENT GLASS:
Were they mostly farm people who worked there? Were they farmers, and then they came to be miners, or were they real miners?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, they was just raised up there on the farm, you know, and got [unknown] and go to work; maybe that's the way they learned.

Page 35
That's about the only way I could tell you.
BRENT GLASS:
Did any of the people who worked there have any trouble with the superintendent?
DOCK E. HALL:
None that I ever knowed to amount to anything, no. He was an awful good man. I'll tell you, the people there got along mighty good. Oh, you might hear one cuss or two, or something like that; but as far as fighting and all like that, I never knowed anything around that happened much like that.
BRENT GLASS:
When the mine closed, where did everyone go? What happened?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, they just left out and went to other places: back to Gold Hill and Congressville and Troy, and to other places where they could get jobs. They was on the way when it closed down.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you ever keep in touch with any of the people who used to work there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, I've seen them lots of times, some of them around here. They're gone, a whole lot of them now, though, because you take me (eighty-three going on eighty-four, you know). There's a whole lot of them gone.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. But they didn't go out west to mines out in the west, or anything like that?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. Some of them went, maybe, back to Gold Hill. And in Tennessee there are copper mines; some of them went over there. First one place; they didn't go, any of them, very far. Most of them was home people.
BRENT GLASS:
What other mines did you work at? You said you worked at other ones.
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, there's a mine called the Sally Coggins mine; I used to work there.

Page 36
BRENT GLASS:
What did you do there?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, that was a mine that was called a surface mine: the work was on top of the ground. I think the shaft was about fifty foot, the deepest it ever got. But they worked the surface, you know. And they had a trough made out of boards, and we'd put that dirt in that trough. And it had holes through it, you know, and they'd wash that on down to the mill, down where the stamps and stuff were.
BRENT GLASS:
They had a stamp mill at the Sally Coggins?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
How big a mill was that?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, a small-like one, nothing like old Coggins.
BRENT GLASS:
Coggins was fifty stamps, wasn't it?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. And old Russell mine, that was above; I never knowed nothing about that, though. This mine where I was telling you, this Sally Coggins, we had an open cut there, and that was where the surface was. But the work there was work at the surface: like you'd go out there now and go to picking up…
BRENT GLASS:
So you would dig with a shovel?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, diggers and shovelers, and rolling a wheelbarrow, or dumping it where the trough would take it on down. They had a belt that was tied to that that would take it on to the mill—oh, maybe five times
BRENT GLASS:
What made you go there to Sally Coggins? Did you leave the old Coggins?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes.
BRENT GLASS:
Why did you do that?

Page 37
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I don't remember just exactly what prompted me to do that. The Coggins must have been shut down; it didn't work a whole lot of the time. It belonged to a company; the Kelleys from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they come there and bought it. It had been an old mine before, but I don't know who owned it except Cogginses. Well, the old Coggins mine was owned at one time by Coggins.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. So the Sally Coggins was owned by these Pittsburgh people, the Kelleys.
DOCK E. HALL:
Kelleys, yes.
BRENT GLASS:
But the machinery there wasn't as … complicated as at Coggins?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. They had a compressor there, and they had a crusher and, well, maybe a little old place where they run them through the mill, you know, washing, and wash the blankets and stuff like that—and a rocker, like I was saying, they had one of them.
BRENT GLASS:
And who worked on that?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, different ones,
BRENT GLASS:
Well, how about some of the other mines you worked at? Do you remember which other ones?
DOCK E. HALL:
I worked at what they called Morris Mountain.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, Petey was my nephew, see; he was my brother's boy, my youngest brother's boy. There was only but two of them. And one lives out close to Taylorsville, and Petey, of course, he travels around.
BRENT GLASS:
We were saying just before that there was a zinc mine. Did they use zinc at the Coggins?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.

Page 38
BRENT GLASS:
To amalgamate the gold?
DOCK E. HALL:
Coggins and that didn't have anything to do with them or whatever. It was just a different company of them.
BRENT GLASS:
And they didn't buy zinc from them at all, or anything like that?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. The other mines, none of us could make it together.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. So you worked at Dark Springs, Sally Coggins, Morris Mountain, Coggins. Coggins was also called the "rich Cog," right?
DOCK E. HALL:
It was one of them Richardsons.
BRENT GLASS:
Rich man's cog, right?
DOCK E. HALL:
That's the reason it got that name.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. And can you name any of the others?
DOCK E. HALL:
That I worked with, you mean? Oh, I worked with lots of them. Now, when I was firing, this man that run the hoisting engine (like I told you, to pull that stuff out), Lee Scott, he was from Gold Hill.
BRENT GLASS:
Were there any English people working at these mines? No English people?
DOCK E. HALL:
None that I knowed anything about.
BRENT GLASS:
Mostly North Carolinians?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. A lot of people come down here to that mine I was telling you about, Sally Coggins. And Kelleys, they was from Pittsburgh; and them kind of people was about the only ones that come down here that I knowed anything about. Now, there could have been somebody up in the North somewhere that had stock in the Coggins mine, but see, he would never come around and mess in the mine. He'd come to the office, maybe, or something like that, so I didn't know it.
BRENT GLASS:
So you didn't have any. I know at Gold Hill they had a big hotel,

Page 39
and a lot of rich people coming in to visit there and all this. You didn't have that at Coggins?
DOCK E. HALL:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Did Lee Scott ever tell you anything much about Gold Hill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, not too much. He'd tell me about how deep the shaft was, and all stuff like that.
BRENT GLASS:
Well which was deeper, Coggins or Gold Hill?
DOCK E. HALL:
Oh, Gold Hill; it was about eight hundred and something.
BRENT GLASS:
Right. You said Coggins was sixteen hundred. You meant six hundred?
DOCK E. HALL:
Six hundred and eighteen feet; that's where you got that.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, right; OK. Did any of the miners get any illnesses from working underground? Did they get sick from the dampness?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, no.
BRENT GLASS:
You hear about this miners' consumption.
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, I've heard of that, but none of the people around there that I ever knowed anything about ever got that. That down there is a good healthy country, and it's right in the mountains. The miningest parts there are in North Carolina are right down in there. You ought to get people to carry you down there.
BRENT GLASS:
I've been to the Coggins.
DOCK E. HALL:
You have?
BRENT GLASS:
I've been in that stamp mill.
DOCK E. HALL:
You have? Well, you know things about it. What time was you there?
BRENT GLASS:
I was there in the summer of 1974.
DOCK E. HALL:
I mean what time of year?

Page 40
BRENT GLASS:
Summer.
DOCK E. HALL:
Thank God. You'd have better watch out what you was doing in there.
BRENT GLASS:
Why?
DOCK E. HALL:
There's rattlesnakes in there as big as my arm, and you could pull one right out. You know where that old house is there? Right in front of that old house and the mill house there they killed one; and the fellow took a hold of him after he killed him and held him up like that by the tail, and his head'd touch the ground. Had about fourteen or fifteen rattles. And that's happened since, they've been in there since that old mine's been down.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, did you know that they're making a state historic landmark over near Concord at the Reid gold mine?
DOCK E. HALL:
Reid?
BRENT GLASS:
Reid. That was supposed to be the first in North Carolina, way back.
DOCK E. HALL:
I was never over there.
BRENT GLASS:
And they took ten stamps from the Coggins and took them out of the mill, and brought them over to the Reid.
DOCK E. HALL:
Wasn't that old mill about to fall in when you was there? I know it's bound to be.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, I went in it; I went up around it. They found those old woolen blankets there, still there.
DOCK E. HALL:
They did? I knowed they was there.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes.
DOCK E. HALL:
You could go, like, on that highway by there, you know. You can be along under there when that mine was running and what we called shooting

Page 41
(when they'd be putting blasts in); you could feel that up there when you'd walk along, bloom bloom bloom bloom bloom. You could hear it all along there, coming on out onto that highway where you come along there.
BRENT GLASS:
On Route 109, I think it is? You mean, right by the road, right by the mine?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes; that's not 109.
BRENT GLASS:
No, I know. That's another road.
DOCK E. HALL:
That's what we called New Hope Road.
BRENT GLASS:
New Hope Road.
DOCK E. HALL:
Comes out by my brother's. Now, you go on from the Coggins mine; listen, when you go towards Eldorado from the Coggins mine (in other words, the mine is here and you go that way, like you were going to Troy), the first house you come to up on the left-hand side and a big lake, well right there is where my brother lives. The only brother I've got lives right there.
BRENT GLASS:
Did he work at Coggins too?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, he never did, no.
BRENT GLASS:
I thought of one thing I wanted to ask. Why did people go to work at the mines rather than go over to some of the textile mills? You could get work there.
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, when that mine was there like it was and running like it was, Albemarle was about the closest place you could go to. And then they just worked children mostly in them, you know. Cotton mills usually didn't pay no money to amount to anything. They paid more money at the Coggins than they would there; that's the reason they would come to the Coggins mine. And a lot of people did move from there and come over to Albemarle and put their children in—you know children used to work in cotton mills. A lot of

Page 42
them didn't get to go to school on account of the people keeping them in the mill. But now you can't do that, you know.
BRENT GLASS:
No. So did you go into town? What did people think about gold miners? Did they think it was a good job, or did they think not?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, there ain't many people that knows much about it. It was a pretty tough job. Now, you go down there in this kind of weather, and you go down there and work your eight hours, and you come out at what we called (up at the top) the poppy-head. You come up and stick your head out there in the changing room (where they had to change clothes and all like that—it'd be maybe as far as from here out to that tree outside from the shaft), do you know part of them had on oilclothes, kind of. It was like a shower of rain down there, a whole lot of it, especially in that shaft. And do you know that the darned clothes would freeze on them before they could get out there? Back then we had cold weather.
BRENT GLASS:
Yes. It's not as cold now, is it?
DOCK E. HALL:
We don't have nothing now like we did then. I just told you, where I was born at there was thirteen inches of snow. And that was down at [unknown] And God, it's warm down in this country now: the climate changed. You know, I was reading something in the papers, that it's been cool down in Florida in some places. They used to didn't have no heat up there in northern Florida; now they've got either electric heat or, you know, some kind of heat.
BRENT GLASS:
They didn't need it.
DOCK E. HALL:
No, they didn't used to; but they do now in winter.
BRENT GLASS:
You know, they used to call the cotton mill people "lintheads"; have you heard that?

Page 43
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, I've heard of that.
BRENT GLASS:
Did they call the gold miners anything? Did they ever have a name like that for gold miners?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. A miner they might call you. "Oh, you're a miner up at the mine?" A miner means that he's one of them machine runners: milling the ground, knowed how to bore them holes. You see, they bored them and put the powder in them like that with a fuse. And then when you'd set this fire you'd have one shorter than the other, and one longer than the other. And you'd light the longest one first, and light the next one and the next one and the next one (about five or six is about all you'd have time to light). Then you'd get on way back in the other [unknown] over there when that'd go off, you see. And that'd break that ground all out like that. Well, they'd just fix it so it wouldn't be but about, I'd say, eight by eight foot what we called levels and drifts, and all like that. Then they had places up there we called drifts; we'd go up there and work.
BRENT GLASS:
You left the mine in the middle of the nineteen twenties?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, I left them down in nineteen and nineteen; I left Eldorado. The mine wasn't running then.
BRENT GLASS:
In 1919?
DOCK E. HALL:
In 19 and 19 I left there and went to Statesville.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, so the years you're talking about now were about, what, 1915 you worked there? 1916?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, along like that.
BRENT GLASS:
You were about twenty-three?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, it was before that.
BRENT GLASS:
Before that?

Page 44
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, because at 1916 I had come to Thomasville. I'd already been to Thomasville and went back down there, you understand; that's how come me being there after I was a man, you see.
BRENT GLASS:
So you were about twenty-one, twenty-two when you went to work at the Coggins?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes, something like that; yes.
BRENT GLASS:
And then the Coggins opened up again, didn't it, in the twenties?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. It opened up again, run a good long while since Richardson had it: R.P. Richardson and son at Reidsville.
BRENT GLASS:
You didn't go back there, though?
DOCK E. HALL:
No. I knowed some people that used to live there, and they kind of unwatered it part of the time and took some samples. But they never did do anything that I ever heard of working in the mine.
BRENT GLASS:
What did you do when you went to Statesville?
DOCK E. HALL:
When I worked at Statesville I went up with my brother-in-law to a sawmill; worked up there a while, and left the sawmill. Come back to States-ville and went to work at a lumber plant there. Then I left there and come back to Lexington.
BRENT GLASS:
And what did you do there?
DOCK E. HALL:
I've been around, but, I tell you, this is what I call home, here: Thomasville.
BRENT GLASS:
How many children did you have?
DOCK E. HALL:
Great God, man! [laughter] I had, let's see, ten in all, of the wives I had. And I had three of them.
BRENT GLASS:
Three wives?
DOCK E. HALL:
The first one's living now, and we had six. And got along pretty

Page 45
good until… That was the jealousest woman I ever saw in my life. Hell, I couldn't step out from her side without some other woman having me. That's the kind of looking bastard I was: that's me.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh boy! And who's the woman there?
DOCK E. HALL:
That's my wife.
BRENT GLASS:
First wife?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, the second wife. And I've got one sort of about the same size (but it's standing up) with me and my last wife; it was taken in Greensboro. I told you I wanted you to meet my sister-in-law.
BRENT GLASS:
So are your children living in North Carolina now?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, I got two boys; one boy is in Statesville. And one of them, he used to run a little store and a service station; and he had a heart attack, so he don't do anything now but hang around home. And his wife does a lot of altering and sewing, you know. He's got his own home there and everything. And the other one's been on the police force there. He said yesterday (no, day before yesterday—today's what: Tuesday, Wednesday, ain't it?)…
BRENT GLASS:
Today's Wednesday.
DOCK E. HALL:
They was here yesterday. He come on Tuesday from Statesville, come over to see me, him and his wife.
BRENT GLASS:
Where are some of the other children?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, them two is in Statesville. And I've got one that lives out from High Point towards Greensboro—that's another boy. These ones I'm telling you first is by my first wife, the one that's living. They live, them two in Statesville, and then the other one lives between here and High Point (that's the boy). And I've got a

Page 46
girl lives in Marksville (that was by my first wife). And then I've got a boy (this one here) that's up in Virginia, right close to West Virginia, Tennessee and Virginia—but he lives in Virginia. And he stayed in the Army twenty years. Damned rascal's getting along good now, too; he gets that Army pay, and then he's the boss welder at that academy up there where he's at. And hell, he makes over two hundred dollars a week there, then besides what he gets out of the government. Gets along good. Well, them gets along good in Statesville.
BRENT GLASS:
So most of your children, then, settled around North Carolina?
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, no. My baby one's in Arizona; and one of my girls is up in (I told you a while ago) Morristown.
BRENT GLASS:
New Jersey?
DOCK E. HALL:
New Jersey, yes. And one at Marksville—out from Marksville. That's all of them: the others are dead, the rest of them, now.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh really?
DOCK E. HALL:
I got one boy who was a seamfitter (and about your size), and he worked in the High Point Sprinkler Company. They sent him to Tuluska, Ohio to do some work (him and some other fellows). And he'd been home and started back, and got out from Columbus out to Delaware, Ohio. He ate breakfast and left here Saturday at noon; and Sunday morning he ate breakfast there and was going on, and some damned teenage boy who'd been out all night run in behind him and knocked him out of the car and killed him. Then I had a small boy (he wasn't but about eighteen months old); he died. And then I had a daughter that lived in Charlotte; and she died of a heart attack three or four years ago. And that's all of them.
BRENT GLASS:
One last question I wanted to ask you. When you were growing up,

Page 47
did you have any goals for yourself that you wanted to achieve? Did you think about anything that you wanted to do in particular? What did you dream about being? Do you remember?
DOCK E. HALL:
No, nothing onto this furniture business, like I come here. When I left down there and went to Statesville, then I come back to the furniture business; I come back to the furniture factories.
BRENT GLASS:
That was your goal, was to work in furniture?
DOCK E. HALL:
Yes. Well, I bandsawed fifty years. You know what that is.
BRENT GLASS:
No.
DOCK E. HALL:
You don't know nothing about it. Well, it's a saw that cuts out everything around that you want, any way that you want to cut it. And you have to do that yourself; it don't do it itself. Most saws you push stuff through it, but this you had to use your own hands to cut around like that. Not bragging at all, but I was kind of one as good as ever went through here too. Well, a man works hard fifty years, he ought to know some!
BRENT GLASS:
I hope so.
DOCK E. HALL:
That's what's the matter with them old feed stamps, and them things. Raising all that crowd of kids, you see, I had to do something, didn't I? Is that thing going on now?
BRENT GLASS:
Yes.
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, they asked the truth; they ought to know it.
BRENT GLASS:
Well, I want to thank you. I'm going to turn it off; I just wanted to thank you for spending the time talking with me.
DOCK E. HALL:
Well, that's all right. I appreciate you coming by.
END OF INTERVIEW