C.J. Haas and Heyward M. Doster Interviews

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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 C.J. HAAS: ...so strict for people that walked close to the plant.


GEORGE STONEY: Have you seen...? OK.

HELFAND: That’s fine. Mr. Hass, thank you.


JAMIE STONEY: One thing, Mr. Hass. Could you just drop your leg?

HAAS: What?

JAMIE STONEY: Could you just drop your, uh --

GEORGE STONEY: Just put your -- yeah.

JAMIE STONEY: -- knee onto the...

HAAS: I can’t hardly get that leg down. That, that --





HAAS: -- that -- it’s broke, and I got...



JAMIE STONEY: Oh, I’m sorry.

GEORGE STONEY: No, that is all right. You want -- you want to raise it?

JAMIE STONEY: We’re fine.


JAMIE STONEY: We’re fine. I’m working on it.


HAAS: Yeah, I can’t.


GEORGE STONEY: Oh, no. That’s all right then.



HELFAND: It looks actually much more comfortable that way anyway.



HAAS: That, that, that thing is out, my knee.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, it’s fine.

HAAS: They pulled it out.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, it’s OK. Yeah, yeah. OK.

HAAS: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: All right, Sir. Uh, could you tell, tell us, uh, how you got named?


HAAS: I was named like Marshall Dilling at the Smyre mill -- the superintendent of the Smyre mill.

GEORGE STONEY: And how long did your family live there before that happened?

HAAS: That’s something that I can’t say. I, I, I was born there, and I didn’t know how long they lived there. And it, it wasn’t too long. I don’t know how long it was.

GEORGE STONEY: But do you know why they named you that way?

HAAS: No, I don’t know why. They liked Marshall Dilling and the name.

GEORGE STONEY: I believe you said -- didn’t you say that you were the first -- the...?

HAAS: I was the first male child born on Smyre Mill village.

GEORGE STONEY: And so, that was why they, they named you after Mr. Dilling?

HAAS: That’s the main reason they named me after Marshall Dilling.

GEORGE STONEY: Could you tell us anything more about Mr. Dilling?

HAAS: That he was a good man, friendly man.


GEORGE STONEY: And you said something about him being, uh, uh, strict, and, and, but common, uh, but ordinary.

HAAS: He was strict, um, sometimes. Yes. He, he wasn’t overbearing, but he was strict. He didn’t like things going on around the mill like hanging around the mill or anything like that. He wanted to have the mill run the way it should be run.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, was he -- uh, was he a pretty educated man?

HAAS: Yes, he was.

GEORGE STONEY: You, you were saying something about him being, uh, much more kind of down to earth. That’s what...

HAAS: Yeah, he, he, he didn’t -- he was good to all people. It wasn’t just the ones that was under him. He was good to all people.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. You -- I believe you, you didn’t know anything about his church work though, did you?




HAAS: No, um, when I was born there, I don’t know. I don’t remember anything about it then, but when we were moved there later, I knew -- I knew him and he was all right. And he knew -- he knew that I was named after him.

GEORGE STONEY: Could you tell us, uh, so- something about the, the, uh, 1929 thing over at Loray?

HAAS: Well, I only remember the things that I knew. We were over the -- over there the night that Adderholt got killed. And I remember lots of shooting, you know, going on down from, from the hall, and it went on out the highway, and another woman got killed up there. We were up there after that.

GEORGE STONEY: And what about those meetings?

HAAS: Well, I went to a meeting right here in Dallas [that was from a?] home here that they had a meeting, and that they were up on the top of a -- this 4:00railroad car that had people all around listening to ’em had ’em talk. They were from the Firestone mill. They were not trying to get people to go join the union, but they were just talking about what was happening in Firestone.

GEORGE STONEY: But they weren’t trying, trying to get people to join the union?



HAAS: No, they were talking about Firestone. That’s all.

GEORGE STONEY: Who do you think was in charge of that meeting?

HAAS: I really don’t know, um, we just heard about it. My daddy heard about it, and he brought me and the other brother over here and an uncle came over here too.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know that...?

HAAS: It was a big thing going on then, and there’s lots of people spectators just like there would be to a ballgame or something like that; lots of spectators to things that happening at that time.


GEORGE STONEY: Was there -- were there music, were there anything like that going on?

HAAS: No. No, it wasn’t anything, just two or three men up on the boxcar talking to -- we were too far back. I couldn’t even hear ’em, but I -- it didn’t matter to me. It was a big crowd, a big s- a big something going on at -- at that time, i- it’s something to go see, something like that there. Not that it was a union or anything, but a big crowd, and people like to get in big crowds.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, could you talk about, uh, the, the idea of a union at, uh, Smyres?

HAAS: I didn’t -- I -- we lived there the years when I was a young boy then. I went back there after that, but I’ve never heard anything about a union there. My father worked there. My brother worked there, but my brother -- my 6:00brother next to me, and for, for a union, I never heard anything whatsoever about a union from my daddy or from my brother.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, what about the, the next, uh, attempt to the union that you mentioned?

HAAS: I don’t know what [you’re?] talking about now.

GEORGE STONEY: You were -- you were talking about the -- being in a meeting in a hall.

HAAS: Oh, this was in Clover -- Clover, South Carolina. And I was staying with my brother down there at that time, and they were trying to get a union at the mill there in Clover, but it didn’t -- didn’t get it. So, they closed the union hall after several months, and then they just got in another building. Then after they seen they couldn’t get it, they just left town.


GEORGE STONEY: Why do you think they had, uh -- why do you think they made the attempt and had so much trouble?

HAAS: Where, at [that guy?]?


HAAS: Well, people wasn’t ready for no union, and, and, and then the textiles has never really been ready for a union. Firestone shows that, and that’s the only one that I know of that -- and that, and then Clover, South Carolina. That’s the only two that I know, uh, that, that have tried, and there are not, not any that I know of right offhand now that’s got -- a textile mill that is unionized. There might be, but I don’t know of one.

GEORGE STONEY: Have you ever been a member of a union?



HAAS: No, I had nothing to do with ’em, but looking at the Firestone union, and then seeing that in Clover. That’s the only two --



HAAS: -- that I’ve seen anything.

GEORGE STONEY: We were over at, uh, the Gaston Museum the other day, and they were showing us different historical things they had, you know, pictures like your family’s pictures and so forth, and they’ve asked us to keep, uh, a lookout for new stuff. And one of the things that, uh, they brought in was, uh, something that, uh, [Billy Passmore?] had given -- passed it on to them, which was a ballot box from the first union that ever got into Firestone. You know, it’s, it’s got a union in it right now.

HAAS: Yeah, I’ve heard that. (inaudible) says they were talking about moving and then putting the plant somewhere else, but they are going to rebuild the plants somewhere else.

GEORGE STONEY: They’re going to build it somewhere else, uh-huh.

HAAS: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: What do you think that’s gonna do to the town?

HAAS: Well, not an- not anything much because, uh, there are not that many 9:00people working in Firestone now, and then they’re gonna cut a good many of the jobs out. And, uh, a lot of the other jo- other places are gonna let the older people retire ear- early, or that’s what the paper says they will do. And they -- wait two or three years before they finish the plant, I believe, and then they’re (inaudible) for it too long.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, I’m interested in what you say about, uh, the textiles not being ready for a union.

HAAS: Well, I ain’t saying they’re not, not ready, but they’re, they’re -- they can -- well, down at the Kannapolis, they had one down there, and that -- that’s a big plant, and then they’re having a whole lot of trouble out here, but it’s not – (inaudible) I don’t know of [none?] that is unionized.


GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Now, you do -- you grew up on a mill hill.

HAAS: Yes.


HAAS: Yeah. I worked in a mill -- the mill over here until I retired. No, I didn’t. I, I left here and went over to Gastonia and worked seven years over there and retired.

GEORGE STONEY: What, what was your job?

HAAS: Well, I started out as a doffer. I went from doffer to shop. I worked in the shop the rest of my life. And, and over here and over in two mills in Gastonia I worked in a shop as -- and then [as a fixer and then?] the mill.

GEORGE STONEY: Working in the shop was kind of, uh -- it was --

HAAS: Well, it...

GEORGE STONEY: -- one of the top jobs, wasn’t it?

HAAS: Well, it was the -- one of the -- one of the top jobs to keep the mill going --


HAAS: -- ’cause anything in the mill that happened, that’s, that’s what your job was. You know, how they called you at the shop to go fix things --


HAAS: -- day and night. Both jobs that, that I had, I’d be called out anytime at night.


GEORGE STONEY: I made a film for the Ford Motor Company once, and, uh, I was shooting in a -- in a plant when the lines had to stop, and, of course, everybody was in a long -- in a long production. And they -- the guy who could fix it wasn’t on production, and everybody just kind of held their breath. I watched that fellow walk down that line.

HAAS: Oh, I’ve had to go back to push the reset button. People don’t know anything about a reset button.

HELFAND: Maybe he could show us that picture.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. OK. And that here is your folks, so we should go. OK. This is a -- the photograph of your family.

HELFAND: Let him tell us.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Tell us what this photograph is then.

HAAS: This is the family of the whole past generation from my great grandfather on down to, I don’t know, which was the youngest; one of my sisters was. There were some young ones in there, and I don’t know which was the youngest in our book. All of the family pictures, all the, the daughters and men of the 12:00family, and all that is the complete family group of all the family of the past generation.

GEORGE STONEY: Where are you?

HAAS: I’m that -- there.


HELFAND: And tell us what mill we were at and how everybody worked there.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Uh, ag- again, what, what mill were you working at?

HAAS: When?

HELFAND: Well, why don’t you put the picture back in your lap --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, mm-hmm.

HELFAND: -- and tell us if -- you know, where this was taken. It wa- you said it was by your grandma’s millhouse, right? You said this picture was taken by your...

HAAS: Yeah, this was took at the Ranlo mill village at the millhouse on the front street.

HELFAND: And did everybody work in the mills?

HAAS: Well, they -- all but one family. I got, uh, an aunt and an uncle that 13:00were farmers.

HELFAND: Where’s your daddy?

HAAS: Da- my daddy is -- I can’t see it from right there.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s him?

HAAS: That’s, that’s him right there.

HELFAND: That’s your daddy.

GEORGE STONEY: And what was he doing in the mill at that time?

HAAS: I don’t know where he was working at that time there. I don’t know where. I, I was so little, I can’t remember. They say this picture was took --

GEORGE STONEY: You look...

HAAS: -- but it tells on there a date on it. Does it tell there?

GEORGE STONEY: Doe- it doesn’t have a date. No.

HAAS: Well, I was so young, I can’t remember, but I know he worked at Ranlo, and he worked at Rex. He worked at Priscilla and he worked, worked at Smyre. He worked, worked over at the [Groves?] and worked at Clover.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know why he moved around like that?


HAAS: Well, most all people did back then to try to better themselves somewhere else.

HELFAND: The reason why we even came to visit with you is because like we said, we, we found this letter that had your daddy’s name in it, and we just wanted to know a little more about it. George, you have that, yeah?

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Yeah. This letter here. As I hoped.


GEORGE STONEY: As I said, this is a letter which came from the national archives in Washington, and it has your, your father’s name on it, you see. And that’s why we, uh -- that’s why we came to you.

HELFAND: Because we thought you might know Albert [Hensen?].

GEORGE STONEY: We thought you referred to Albert [Hansen?], you see, and we’ve got a lot of pictures of Albert.

HAAS: Which strike was this here that they’re talking about here?

GEORGE STONEY: This is ’34.

HAAS: The textile strike then?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, at 1934.


HAAS: No, he didn’t -- he didn’t have anything to do with the union now, that I know.


HAAS: I, I was with him. I went with him over here, and went over there when Adderholt was killed, and went over there when that woman was killed.


HAAS: And (inaudible) just go and see any of it aft- aft- after so many polices [came in?] up there to... That was the end of it, uh, because Firestone shut down and put all -- everybody that was unionized or thinking of a union put their household, furniture and everything out beside the road -- put ’em out.

GEORGE STONEY: And you saw that?

HAAS: I saw that.

GEORGE STONEY: What did it look like? Tell us about what it looked like.

HAAS: Well, it looked like a whole bunch of clothes that was between the sidewalk and the curb; the space between there and all their clothes and 16:00furniture was up and down them roads, and it was raining and all. And I seen that.

GEORGE STONEY: Why do you think they, uh, put them out there?

HAAS: I don’t know, unless it be union -- union men. It’s the only thing I can say. I don’t know. I know they were out, and that’s where the union was. I don’t -- I was not that old.

GEORGE STONEY: Boy, that must have been -- it must have been frightening.

HAAS: It was bad, bad. It certainly was.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Out in the rain? Now, we’ve got -- we’ve got a couple of pictures of, of scenes like that.

HAAS: Well, I’m gonna have to quit now.

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, that’s right.

HAAS: They started coming.



GEORGE STONEY: -- here’s...











GEORGE STONEY: ...observer for the 26th of September, 1934.

JUDY HELFAND: Could you turn towards me a little when you talk?

GEORGE STONEY: No I can’t. I mean, because I can’t -- oh, yeah. I can, then.

JAMIE STONEY: So if you could just face in here. Judy, in the mirror?

HELFAND: Um, maybe push it up a little differently? Hmm. The other direction. Uh, almost. Not really.


HELFAND: Down. No, that’s too much. Uh, a little more up, Jamie, and more -- OK.

GEORGE STONEY: This is [Ernest?] on the Honea Path. It’s, uh – the 22:00Charlotte Obsever for the 26th of September 1934. Blames officers for picket deaths. Killing of three Honea Path South Carolina strikers lead to eleven, uh, town policemen and non-strikers by [Congress jury?]. This was the first big hearing, and, uh, it’s interesting.

JAMIE STONEY: I’ll look through [York?] OK?

GEORGE STONEY: Blame for the death of three of the seven pickets killed at Honey Path on September the 6th was placed upon eleven town policemen and non-strikers tonight by a Congress jury, which held that the victims died in a, quote, “riot”. The jury reported that four of the victims of the bloodiest clash of textiles -- of this textile’s [right?] came to their deaths from wounds inflicted, quote, “by a party or parties unknown” unquote. Coroner J. Roy 23:00McCoy of Anderson County announced he would issue warrants charging murder against the three municipal policemen and eight non-strikers who were repeatedly --reportedly acting as special officers. McCoy said the warrants would be served, quote, “the first thing in the morning”, unquote. And then the, uh, big argument about what a riot is. And they named the various people who were involved. The interesting thing is that this is the story of the inquest, but none of these people were ever convicted.


HELFAND: What does it say about Chester?


HELFAND: Yeah, that’s --

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, all right. Uh, there are a number of stories about Chester, starting with the -- the first of September. Uh, mills at [Landeau?] have posted notices to employees in the plant without, uh, saying that they wouldn’t open, because of the uncertainty of the -- the strike. Uh, and on September the 4th, um, the (inaudible; garbled audio) mills, the Eureka mills, and the Springsteen mills of Chester are opening, uh, as usual. That is, after 25:00the strike started. Uh, Great Falls and eastern Chester County, uh, has three large mills. Uh, oh look at that church. Isn’t that amazing. And th -- those three large mills, um, at the -- in eastern Chester County remain closed on the fourth. On the fifth, um, three -- uh, three big mills, the Baldwin, the Eureka, and the Springsteen, continue to operate, uh, full time.

HELFAND: Did you, um --


GEORGE STONEY: And on the sixth, uh, it says, Chester today experienced on of the most hectic um, uh, days in its history when several thousand striking union operatives moved to Chester to close the three springs -- uh, springs textile plants. Uh, Captain Elliot Springs came down from, uh, Fort Mills to take charge, and as I recall it, uh, Captain Elliot Springs said that first, that, uh, he was going to keep the mills open, but then he thought better of it and decided he would close up for the day. On the seventh, the next day, Eureka mills did reopen, and the Lancaster and [Kershaw?] mills operated as usual.


HELFAND: What does it say about the National Guard? Anything specific?

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, let’s see. Uh, on the seventh, uh, all mills are reopened. Flying squadrons came in from [Rock Hill?], uh, and three National Guard companies moved in. This is a great street.

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: This is a great street.

(inaudible; garbled audio)


HELFAND: Now the man we’re going to visit, um, was -- worked in a plant, worked in one of the Springs mills and was also in the National Guard. He was called out for duty to -- to, uh -- on guard, to guard the town in his own town.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Well, that was very unusual, because they usually got guardsmen from other towns. But on the ninth, uh, four companies of National Guardsmen were on duty. And, uh, they opened the mills. On the 11th, uh, all the mills were open for full two shifts, and on the 13th, all the mills were back at work, and the 14th they were, again, in full operation. And, uh, so evidently what happened in Chester was that there was not a great deal of 29:00response at the beginning, and then -- for these big mills -- and then the flying squadrons came in from other places. They mention specifically Rock Hill, and that’s when they brought in the National Guardsmen. Elliot Springs, uh, was quite a showman. He had been a World War 1 ace, and a novelist and short story writer of pretty flamboyant character. I hope we can get some pictures of him.

HELFAND: I have some old movie footage of him in the ’40s. It certainly shows how flamboyant he -- he was then.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh yes, uh-huh.


GEORGE STONEY: It will be interesting to see what this guardsman has to say about him.

(inaudible; garbled audio)

M1: This old 321.


HELFAND: This guardsman, George, wound up being (inaudible; garbled audio)

GEORGE STONEY: How did you contact him?

HELFAND: He contacted us.


HELFAND: He contacted us through the Charlotte Observer.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, that’s very good.

HELFAND: No. You know what?


HELFAND: A young -- a younger woman, whose father served with him in the National Guard, she called us.


HELFAND: As her father was dead, she referred us to [Bastian?].

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. And then you called him?


GEORGE STONEY: And what does he say?

HELFAND: Come on over.

GEORGE STONEY: Great. OK. Now we have no footage from Chester, do we.

HELFAND: No. I mean, I never even got involved in Chester until this morning.

GEORGE STONEY: Well this -- I don’t know whether, uh, Fort Mills was the -- at 31:00that time, the main center for the Spring’s interest. It is now, of course. But at that time, I believe, Chester was. We’ll see. This man’s name is?

HELFAND: Mr. Doster.


HELFAND: Doster.

GEORGE STONEY: Mr. Doster. What I might do is to, uh, have the pages -- I’ll have the -- I have the -- no, the pages, here, so we can get back to this main story about Chester. Let me go back and read them to you. It’s in the -- um, it’s in the first volume of, um, the Charlotte Observer. Could you pass that 32:00up to me?

HELFAND: The first volume of the Charlotte Observer?

(inaudible; garbled audio)

GEORGE STONEY: The writing about Chester always stresses how much control there was. It’s kind of interesting.









GEORGE STONEY: These small textile towns, and you’ve been reading for several days in the paper about all this excitement, and then suddenly it was going to hit your town. Wouldn’t you be out? My goodness. You’d close the schools. Let kids go.

HELFAND: What did it say? This lady called us on our 800 number.


HELFAND: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY (inaudible) worked there for 48 years. (inaudible)It was just on guard duty, but they kept them there for weeks. You walked about two or three miles to go and see the combat. You walked, uh, two or three miles to go see the combat. I always felt [pride?] because it was a good living. It was not like what people think. Our cousins from the country always turned their noses up at us. Are we going to see her?

HELFAND: Um, I hadn’t planned on it. Probably should have.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, we’ll see.

HELFAND: She’s in Charlotte.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, I see. OK. That’s right. I did notice that. They lived in a house that you could see the ground through -- through the holes in the floor. And they would come to our house, and we had running water and four 37:00rooms, and it was clean. And they would say, “Your house is real nice, but it was just -- and if it was just anywhere else, then where it was,” meaning the mill village. I had no problem. I was always accepted. I was a cheerleader in high school. I played golf and [bridge?]. Springs made golf courses and [booths?] for all the villagers. My younger son dated one of the granddaughters of the Springs. She was just made president, the granddaughter. I suppose that’s the president of Randall College, is that it?

HELFAND: Yeah, she was just made president of the mills.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, she was just made president of the Randall Mills? They worked at something -- oh, yes, the Springs mill. Yes. The Springs family was something else. They provided golf courses, (inaudible), and bowling lanes in every town. (Silence/inaudible, garbled audio)



































JAMIE STONEY: Cyclone Restaurant

GEORGE STONEY: Mount Hebron. To me, that’s a symbol of a spiritually and -- and culturally impoverished people. To you people, it’s quaint. That church back there.

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: What’s that?


GEORGE STONEY: Yes. Uh, I’ve been to those churches. Uh, I see the people coming in there, defeated in every other thing in their lives, and listening to 55:00preachers who talk about the hereafter in a semi-literate fashion. Bringing out all the (laughter) [middle?] class, antagonism I have.

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: That’s some city hall. I wonder if it was an old mill headquarters or something. Its so unusal, I’ve never seen a city hall like that before. Certainly not in the South.



GEORGE STONEY: I bet this is a (inaudible) built by the WPA. There it is! Wow, 57:00that’s interesting. Hello! We just wanted to look -- take a look at this building.

M1: Well [we got a lock on it?] and I ain’t got a key.

GEORGE STONEY: All right. All right. We don’t need to get inside.

M1: I can call someone to come open it for you.

GEORGE STONEY: No, no. We may want to come in later, uh, but, maybe -- Jamie --

JAMIE STONEY: I probably would --



GEORGE STONEY: But it’s pretty -- it’s pretty ’30s. Looks like there was 58:00one over there and they filled it in. See? I think they must have taken it out and moved it to --

JAMIE STONEY: That’s a well made brick. It has held a lot of leakage and it’s not, you know, falling too much. It looks like a nice place to (inaudible) down to the bridge.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh. Yeah.


HELFAND: So George, he called the guy and said that he’s -- just like that?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, he said he’s coming over.

HELFAND: Are people normally like this back home?


HELFAND: In Winston-Salem.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, yes. They -- the locals -- the local National Guard was called out in Winston-Salem. And, I don’t know. They said they were mustered in the armory, and then they went over to the East Winston high school where they were put up, uh, they camped during that time. I don’t remember the 60:00armory. So I don’t know what -- what’s there now.

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible) where the old [stanchion?] light was?


(inaudible; garbled audio)

JAMIE STONEY: They’re still using the 14th Street armory in New York. On [8th street?] maybe it’s the armory out near me.

GEORGE STONEY: [Probably WPA funds from?] (inaudible).


JAMIE STONEY: No. This one was in use.

(inaudible; garbled audio)

HELFAND: So how did this get -- this place has here for years, I guess.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, I don’t -- I don’t -- I don’t know. We tried to find a -- the cornerstone. And it looks like they took it off. You see that, over there. Yeah. The new brick. So, it -- probably. They took it over and put down the new building.

JAMIE STONEY: Put it inside maybe. It’s, uh, you know by the trophy case?

GEORGE STONEY: Now, do you know -- do we know how to get to Doster’s?

JAMIE STONEY: Yeah, I’ve (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK. This gentleman could tell us the -- probably the easiest way to get there.

HELFAND: Oh so you know Mr. Doster too!

M1: Yeah.


JAMIE STONEY: For 142 Walnut?

M1: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: About how old is he?

M1: Late seventies I would imagine.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s what I thought, yeah. That’s -- that would be about right, yeah. Yeah. Yeah because he was a young man in the time we’re talking about, yeah.

HELFAND: But he was working -- we want to talk to him because he was working at the mills in the 19--

M1: Yeah, he --

HELFAND: The ’30s.

M1: He, um, superintendant of the weaving room until he retired.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you ever work in the mill?

M1: Yes. Yeah, I worked in the card room, and he worked in the (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, so you worked -- I didn’t realize that, uh -- I thought he’d been -- be out longer than that.

M1: No, he was -- (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: When was that?

M1: I went to work in ’65.


GEORGE STONEY: Oh, yeah. Wait a minute. How old were you then? How old were you when you started working?

M1: Eight.

GEORGE STONEY: I’ve just misjudged your age. (laughter)

HELFAND: We’ve been traveling all over the south talking to people that worked in the mills back in the time when this armory was open.


M1: Well, I would have probably been still [working for the mill?] but they started shutting down. So I got the job with the county.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s all -- that’s all corporate now, isn’t it. No local. Is it still operated by, uh, Springs?

M1: I -- I reckon Springs has still got something to do with it. They --


M1: -- maybe go under their name.



M1: I don’t really know who owns it anymore.

HELFAND: Did you -- did your dad work at a mill too?

M1: Yeah. (laughs) My dad worked with Doster.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you ever know a Captain Elliot Springs?

M1: I -- I know. I --

GEORGE STONEY: Elliot Springs.

HELFAND: Oh, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, he was a World War 1 ace. He, uh, was, uh, he was a writer, and he, uh, he, uh, was quite a salesman, too. You probably saw a lot of those ads, they --

M1: Yeah.


HELFAND: All those girls. (laughter)


GEORGE STONEY: That’s right. You remember those?

HELFAND: Yeah. (laughter) I didn’t think -- I’m surprised –









M1: And then (inaudible) they went down, did nothing but weaving. They -- they shipped the yarn and stuff in.

HELFAND: He’d name it after all his daughters?

M1: After his sons, more. He’s got [them over in Fort Lawrence?]. Francis 70:00[Daily?]. He’s got one named after his (inaudible). It’s the last one they built.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, that’s right. Yeah.

M1: But, um, (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well we’ve been recording with people -- older people. Their memories of that period time, what it was like to work in the mill and move from the country into the mountains, into the mill.

M1: Yeah. I -- I bet you there’s some people around that could tell you some tales of the mill.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Did your folks, did your grandfather work in the mill as well?

M1: No. He was a farmer.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, yeah. From around here? Because I know a lot of -- we’ve -- this fellow we talked to last night was -- he lived way up in the -- in the Smokeys, and he was telling us about when his folks came down and we’ve gotten that 71:00story from a lot of people. OK. I’m a little worried about being late for Mr. Doster, yeah.

HELFAND: (inaudible)which way is Wal—

JAMIE STONEY: Is Walnut Street back through town?

M1: Yeah, you go -- go back to the red light right. Go around -- you can -- you can go around to the next red light, and you make your right. Go right to [Shelroy Place?] and make a left.


M1: Go to the end of that street, and make another left. Mr. Doster lives down there.

JAMIE STONEY: OK, so at the end of this red light --

M1: You go right by the old Springsteen mill, right. Mr. Doster lives (inaudible). When you get back to the end of the road, you all want to make your right --

(inaudible; overlapping dialogue)

HELFAND: Oh, OK, great.

GEORGE STONEY: Here comes right now. (inaudible) Thank you. (inaudible) We just 72:00came over to look at -- we’re going over to see Mr. Doster. You know he used to -- he used to muster out here.

M2: Yes, sir.

GEORGE STONEY: And we’re going to be doing an interview with him.

M2: Yes sir.

GEORGE STONEY: And we wanted to see this to -- maybe we’ll bring him over here to do the interview.

M2: Yes, sir.

GEORGE STONEY: Can I just look at for just a moment?

M2: Yes, sir. Oh yeah, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: And then -- then we’ll have to go see Mr. Doster. He may not be willing to come over here, we’ll just have to see. If he is willing to come over here, we can -- we can get in the other side.

M2: How y’all this morning.


HELFAND: Alright.

M2: (inaudible)







GEORGE STONEY: This place -- listen to this [buzz?].

HELFAND: I’m not getting any sound at all.

GEORGE STONEY: You’re getting sound from me, aren’t you. OK, stop it.

(inaudible; garbled audio)

HELFAND: Is that the old mill? It says Eureka on it.


M2: Voting boxes.

HELFAND: For what?

M2: Voting boxes.

GEORGE STONEY: Look, a local election.

HELFAND: Is that today?

M2: No, ma’am. Tomorrow.

HELFAND: What are they (inaudible) for?

M2: Oh, sheriff, and, uh, [county?].

GEORGE STONEY: So that’s what the headlines in the paper were about.

(inaudible; garbled audio)

HELFAND: OK. All right.

GEORGE STONEY: Thank you very much.

HELFAND: Nice to meet you.

GEORGE STONEY: He just said we can lock it when we leave.

HELFAND: Yeah. We’re working on a film about --



GEORGE STONEY: But, uh, I’d heard about clothes made the man and I thought, well, you know, we’d know we had (inaudible). And I got accustomed to this way (inaudible). And she found it within a week.


(inaudible; garbled audio)

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, no I do the -- when they test my voice, I say Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. (laughter). OK. That’s just my way of doing it.


HELFAND: Um. Jamie, would you do me a favor? Would you look at the numbers on the camera?

HEYWARD DOSTER: I wouldn’t say that one --

HELFAND: Take a second guess. He grew up on a mill hill.

DOSTER: Well, I don’t know. So many things happened on the mill hill. (laughter)

HELFAND: He was named for Marshall Dillon, the superintendent of the -- of the --

DOSTER: [Ron spoke?] (laughter).

JAMIE STONEY: Another name for the superintendent of the of the mill. He was the first baby born on the mill hill.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh in -- in that village.


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. OK, let’s cut, OK?

JAMIE STONEY: We have speed.


JAMIE STONEY: Now let’s start on the, uh, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Now, Mr. [Lemming?], which one -- you’re the oldest in this --

HELFAND: Excuse me, this is Mr. Doster.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, I’m sorry. Mr. Doster, you’re the oldest boy in this picture?



GEORGE STONEY: OK. (inaudible)

JAMIE STONEY: Hang on, Dad. Can you wait until --

HELFAND: Why don’t we have him tell us about the picture?

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Mr. Doster, (inaudible).

DOSTER: My mother was the one on there. Uh –


DOSTER: There’s range between our ages. Four of us.

GEORGE STONEY: And you all worked in the --

DOSTER: All worked in the Springsteen plant. With Springs Industries.


GEORGE STONEY: Tell me about how you got started in the mill, how old you were and all that.

DOSTER: Well, I had to get a permit from the labor department in 1924 and go to work in the mill. And my first experience was (inaudible; garbled audio).






DOSTER: Uh, loom fix -- loom maintenance man, um, fixed it. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Well that was pretty much the top job in, uh, in -- in the factory, wasn’t it?



DOSTER: That was the best paying job that I -- from an hourly rate was the loom fixers.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember what you were making then?

DOSTER: Uh, loom fixers was 40 cents an hour.


GEORGE STONEY: Now, we’re -- we’ve come to you because, uh, we understand that you were in the National Guard. Could you tell us how you -- when you joined the Guard and all that?

DOSTER: Well, I was 17 years old. And I joined the National Guard in 1927. I said I was 18. But they didn’t check on to see how old I was. I was large for my age, so there wasn’t any question about my age, but I remember (inaudible) all the (inaudible) organized in the National Guard in 1927. First lieutenant was [Thomas Barrett?]. Second lieutenant was (inaudible). So, I remained in the National Guard for ten years, and at that time, I was going to 84:00be made supervisor in the mill, and I could not work, run my job and attend drills. I was on the night shift. And then I had to either give up my job or get out of the National Guard, so I -- I couldn’t afford to give up my job, so I got out of the National Guard. And the reason that I wasn’t president of the army was that we had a government contract, and I was just the supervisor, and that was -- it felt like I was in an important position in maintaining the production for the armed force men. Making the army uniform gear.

GEORGE STONEY: Now the National Guard back then was, kind of, pretty important locally. Could you talk to about why young fellows would join the National Guard and what it did?


DOSTER: Well, maybe being young I didn’t realize the importance of it as much, so it’s, uh, I had joined for the camping trip went on and sometime we went to (inaudible). And of course in 1934, we were called out for strike duty. This flying squadron, so-to-speak, was what they called it. The unions were organizing. And I remember very well that, uh, called aside, we were to come to the armory houses [that could?] work in the mill at ten o’clock in the morning, and word would come to the mills. All National Guard members were needed.













DOSTER: Well, uh --

JAMIE STONEY: [We got a battery up here?]

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Tell us something about Captain Spring.

DOSTER: Well, uh, I remember one afternoon we was all posted on guard duty around the plant, and Colonel Spring wanted to go in the plant, and he -- one of the guards stopped him and told him he couldn’t go in, and he told him -- so he walks up to Colonel Springs and he says, “I don’t know you.” The guard wouldn’t let him go in his own plant. So he had to get identified by a 92:00government commander before they’d let him go in the plant. But, uh, he was a people’s man. He loved his people, and I’ll say 85% of the people loved him. They thought a lot of him. And, uh, he didn’t go all out from dress, but he -- he -- he dressed comfortable. And he looked nice in his clothes. Of course he believe -- he believed in, uh, sportsman clothes, things of that nature. I -- I remember seeing some of his pictures. I think he had on, uh, his eyeglasses. One of them was pink and the other one was green. And his shoes had one green and one white, and things of that nature. Just more or less attractive [pension?].

GEORGE STONEY: Tell us about his outfits.


HELFAND: You said you had a secret about his outfits.


DOSTER: Well, uh, back (inaudible) a little bit later in the years, (inaudible) while I was in Fort Mill, [I went off to settle down?] and got a conference room. A big round table in the conference room. And he could sit at that table and [punch out?] any problem that he wanted to. I don’t know -- we didn’t have computers I didn’t know how to -- I don’t remember what to call the system, but anyway, he had pictures that he could show. And that’s where they all met. And of course, uh, I was told by some of the company commanders that they would go up -- they would go up after the meetings in that office, Colonel Springs they would talk for an hour, and when the meeting was over, he’d look 94:00in the desk drawer and pull his instructions out and, after talking an hour about something, he already had the answers written down, and pulled the answers out and give them to each comm -- commander, who could go back and [give it out?]. So he was -- when -- when the board of directors met, well, Colonel Springs just hung up his hat any way he wanted to and make -- have his board of directors. But anyway, this, uh, elaborate office had, um, an automatic table, and it could be raised from floor level to a comfortable height for working conditions. And someone was demonstrating that table one day, and to show the safety of the operation, they’d go -- go around and stick the toe of the shoe under the edge of that table as it was going down. And finally, one of them got 95:00their toe caught in it. It wasn’t so automatic. It wasn’t foolproof all the time. It did [chew it up?]. (laughter) So. But the Colonel was safety-minded, all right, but everything wasn’t so safe at the end -- that table just caught the fellow’s foot.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, do you remember some of his ads? He was -- had very colorful advertisements.

DOSTER: Yes. Uh, I remember several of them, in fact, being as I’ve got one or two, uh, pamphlets hanging up back down in my little workhouse. [But well spent?]. And, uh, he used to advertise. And I don’t know. But he was -- he was, uh, in them days, why, he was criticized a little bit for his elaborate exposure in his advertisements. Uh, but now they don’t think nothing of those 96:00type of advertisements.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s right. Times have changed.


GEORGE STONEY: Now back to the time when you were in the Guard. Um, what did you get paid?

DOSTER: Well, now I hadn’t – to start with I don’t know, the best I can remember, uh, was a dollar a day.

GEORGE STONEY: For, uh, for service?

DOSTER: Yes. And for every time we met. And, of course, that was -- that increased according to my rating. I went private to corporal, then from corporal to sergeant, then from sergeant to first sergeant. So I was the highest paid member of the company when I had to resign and get out of the company, before I was an enlisted man.


GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember what you got paid during the strike?

DOSTER: No, sir, I don’t remember what I got paid during the strike, but, uh, to the best of my knowledge, I think the company reimbursed us for what we lost for being out on strike duty.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, did the company have other -- have other guards? Or --

DOSTER: Yes, sir. They had a guard at each gate.

GEORGE STONEY: And did they deputize other people?

DOSTER: Yes. I remember some of the guards by name. It was, uh, at this plant here. I worked right at this plant, right around the corner here. And I’d walk to work, my work. I worked around there. Quicker than having to find a parking place if I’d have drove in a car.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, what was the size of your unit here?

DOSTER: 32 enlisted men, two officers.


GEORGE STONEY: And then, could you guess how many other, uh, deputized people there were during that time?

DOSTER: Oh, I would say a dozen.

GEORGE STONEY: It wasn’t a big number.

DOSTER: No, sir.

GEORGE STONEY: Because we were up at Loray and they said they had about 160, talking to the fellow whose daddy was in charge of security.

DOSTER: It was a smaller number here. They only had three entrances to this one. They’ve got a fence around this plant, and they had a man at each entrance around the clock.

GEORGE STONEY: And they had a fence around it at that time.



HELFAND: Who would they deputize?



DOSTER: And a ’45 automatic.



DOSTER: Rifles and ’45 automatics.

GEORGE STONEY: And tear gas?

DOSTER: No, sir, we didn’t have any tear gas.

GEORGE STONEY: And you -- so you never had to use any of that stuff.

DOSTER: No, sir.

HELFAND: What about bayonets?


DOSTER: Yes, we had bayonets. Yeah. We didn’t have to use them, though.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you -- do you have any pictures from that time?


DOSTER: No I don’t. Uh, I’ve seen several pictures recently that I wished I hadn’t gotten from them, but I don’t have any more pictures. No National Guard pictures.

GEORGE STONEY: And just -- one other thing. In the papers here, they describe people, uh, people on strike making fun of the National Guard, cursing them, and so forth.

DOSTER: Oh yeah, I remember the -- the day that they came out. And they come back the second day and (inaudible). And several of the people in the road, in these open bed trucks, and they went through the motion of spitting tobacco juice between their fingers at some of the National Guardsmen on the side of the road out there. And looking at the mill and saying, “Well, she’s running now, but she won’t be running long.” But the National Guardsmen never did come in physical contact with anybody.


GEORGE STONEY: Were there women along with the --

DOSTER: Oh yeah. Women, men, and children in those -- in some of those trucks.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh. How were the women dressed?

DOSTER: Oh, they were just in their everyday dress.

GEORGE STONEY: We just talked to a woman in Columbus, Georgia who -- I mean, in Newnan, Georgia, who had been on one of those trucks. And she said they all always dressed up because they were going out. She described it as a kind of kick.

DOSTER: Well, not in this area, they wasn’t dressed up. Because at that time was tough, and -- and people didn’t have the money to dress up. That was -- that was right at the -- right after Hoover’s administration.


GEORGE STONEY: I was, uh, I was living in Winston Salem I was born and raised there. And I was -- I had just gone away to Chapel Hill, at that year. So it happened in my hometown. You know, it’s funny. I didn’t even know about it until I started reading the newspapers and found it. We’re going up to Winston Salem. I was up there the other day. And we’re going to [get the hams?] and people (inaudible) to [wear the?] same things, same kind of thing happened, they’ve talked to us about it.

HELFAND: What about you and your hometown, George?

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, in my hometown, uh, according to the newspapers, the flying squadron came in, closed Arista Mill, and then went on to the Hanes spinning, where they were met with machine guns and, uh, rifles, and tear gas, and were discouraged and went back. And I knew nothing about that.


DOSTER: Well, there was -- I understand all around the Honea Path and that area was -- one group, there was killings over there. And, uh, people were, uh, involved in the -- in the strike. But, uh, there wasn’t nothing, uh, of that nature that happened in this area.

GEORGE STONEY: No, we’ve gone through the -- the Observer very carefully, and, uh, it’s interesting, just, again, to check on how accurate you are. This flying squadron came in on the -- the 5th. On the 7th, the Eureka Mills opened, Lancaster and Kershaw plants operating as usual. The 7th also, all the closed mills opened up. None of this -- it’s just like you said, from Rocky Hill, the flying squadron came back. There are three National Guards companies in the -- in the county now. On the 7th. On the 9th, four companies of the National 104:00Guard are in the county, uh, and all the mills are open. Uh, on the 11th, they’re running two full shifts. On the 13th, everybody back to work. On the 14th, everybody back to work. And, uh, that the way it was handled.

DOSTER: Well the third trip that the flying squadron made to Chester, they didn’t get to the Eureka Mill. They stopped out there on the highway beyond the Eureka and was holding a conference out there. And the leaders and them were riding a motorcycle. And we had a -- a great big man, [Glenn Die?], a rural policeman. He goes out and takes his motorcycle and turned it around. He 105:00tells them, you get on that motorcycle and go back where you come from. The mill didn’t have anything to do with that, and the National Guard didn’t either. That was a rural policeman.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know anything about where he came from or anything?

DOSTER: Who’s that?

GEORGE STONEY: The -- the fellow on the motorcycle.

DOSTER: Rock Hill.


DOSTER: He was leading the flying squadron. That’s where they come from. They [was all from Rock Hill?].

GEORGE STONEY: I know that there’s, uh, there was a lot of kafuffle up there. We don’t have the figures for Rock Hill, do we.

HELFAND: No we don’t. Tell me, um -- kafuffle. (laughter) (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: What’s wrong with that? You know what I mean by kafuffle, don’t you?

DOSTER: By what?




HELFAND: What do you mean, George?

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, confusion. A lot of confusion.

HELFAND: What did -- how did the -- are you [cold enough?]?

GEORGE STONEY: No, no. I was just looking for my [blue sweatshirt?].

HELFAND: I think you might have left it in the car.


GEORGE STONEY: No I didn’t, [I have it right here?]. Just -- just let me [write in it?] because I want to, um, show him those pictures.

HELFAND: But, um, before you show him the pictures, can we -- can I --

GEORGE STONEY: Just -- yes. But let me see where I left it.


(inaudible; garbled audio)

DOSTER: I’ve been -- uh, I’m still on the advisory council for the vocational education.

HELFAND: Really?

GEORGE STONEY: OK, Jamie. I think I’m back in order. Uh, OK Judy you have a question.

HELFAND: (inaudible)

[break in video]

DOSTER: Well, I think -- I know that the town, uh, supported Springs Mill, because Springs Mill was the town. It was -- Spring Mill supported the town. And -- and the Colonel, uh, he didn’t make no bones about it. He -- everybody 108:00knew that he -- he didn’t want no union. He treated his people right without it.

HELFAND: [Sure.] You were telling us that, [no it’s not?] a manager, Joe. Can you tell us a little bit about mana-- the manager and -- and what, um, how -- what his job was in terms of jurisdiction over everybody.

DOSTER: He was a bad manager. He was total -- he was a cheat. And of course he took his order from the management of -- of Spring Mills, under Colonel Springs. But he ran -- he ran the plant.

GEORGE STONEY: Tell us about, uh, how close he was to the people.

DOSTER: Well he -- he -- he was so close, so he knew all of them by their first name. He knew them -- he knew the names of their -- all their family members, and most of their relatives from other places. So he -- he just knew them all, and he knew where every bolt and nut was at the mill, and he just had a good 109:00memory. He was just -- just that type of a person.

HELFAND: We’re going to wait one second, until that -- ah. Was that the refrigerator?

JAMIE STONEY: It was the freezer.

HELFAND: Ah. We’ll turn it back on at the end.


JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)


GEORGE STONEY: Yes, OK. Then he would have known if there was any -- any kind of, uh, try or attempt at organization.

DOSTER: Oh, yeah. Yes, sir.

GEORGE STONEY: I guess you would too, wouldn’t you.

DOSTER: Well, if, uh, if it was in my department, I -- I would -- I would have. I tried to stay close to my people. I knew all my people. I had three -- three shifts. I worked -- sometimes I worked during the night, I’d visit my department, see how things was going on.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, were all these people living in -- in, uh, villages?

DOSTER: No, sir. Not all of them. Most of them was, had, uh, houses that was 110:00furnished on a low rental basis. But were some few of them that owned their own -- own homes. And a bunch of people lived out in the country.

GEORGE STONEY: But for the most part they were village people.

DOSTER: Yes, sir.

GEORGE STONEY: That kind of helped to keep them, I guess, together, too.


GEORGE STONEY: Uh, now, did they come -- and a lot of -- for example, last night we were talking to a fellow whose daddy came down from the Smokeys, and a lot of that happened in -- in Gastonia. Was there any kind of country place that a lot of these people came from?

DOSTER: Quite a few of them came from a little town in -- up in North Carolina, Balfour. Up near Hendersonville, in that area. That was because when they started this mill up, after the shut-down period, they -- they started back up in the early ’30s with new looms, and they hired a -- a weaver and some 111:00[lieutenant?] from Balfour. And he brought a lot of people down here with him from that area.

GEORGE STONEY: So that kind of built up a -- a loyalty and all of that.


HELFAND: Where did your family come from?

DOSTER: Well my family had been here so long, I -- I don’t know. My ancestors are from Ireland.

GEORGE STONEY: But then -- were your father in the mill?

DOSTER: My father worked in the mill, but he died before I was -- had any experience in the mill. I was ten years old when my father died. He did work in the mill. And he -- and he was one of the country boys. He didn’t live on the village. He lived out in the country.

GEORGE STONEY: And you -- you had that country experience as a child.


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Now, in a lot of places, the mill did a lot of stuff for 112:00the, uh, for the people, like giving places to keep their cows and gardens.

DOSTER: They -- they had that here, and in fact [in the business?] my first experience that I [mentioned?] I’m driving a T-model Ford truck. Before that, they had horses and wagons to deliver wood for the people on -- on the village. They -- they bought -- um, hauled wood by the trainloads and delivered it by wagonloads to the people on the village. And at that time, people, uh, they didn’t pay no rent. They didn’t even have a -- a meter on the house. They just had a, uh, electric wire on that, for lights. And they had a little privy out in the back -- backside of the yard. Didn’t have no running water in the house other than the one spigot on the back porch. Oh, when I moved to the 113:00mill I believe that was in -- uh, my daddy died in 1918, and I moved up to the mill really [moved over here?] in 1919.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, at that time, there were, I gather, almost no blacks in the mill, were there?

DOSTER: At that time, no. They -- they had one or two that worked on the outside, around the warehouse. Places of that nature, but on the inside, there -- there was not any in the production departments. GEORGE STONEY: Now, I come from Winston Salem, where --

JAMIE STONEY: I just want to reload.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, just a moment.