Here are a few historical photos of the early 1900′s Gastonia, North Carolina, featuring Ella May Wiggins, Loray Mill, some “underage” workers and their schools…
* from 1908
– Rush Merrill, Loray Mill, Gastonia, N.C. 12 years old. Been in mill 3 years Doffer. Gets 75 cents a day. Said sometimes gets 3 to 5 hours a day resting between times.
* From Sept 1929
– Group photo of Gastonia Mill workers imprisoned for striking.
* From 1929
– Ella May Wiggins was a union organizer and balladeer who was killed during the Loray Mill Strike in Gastonia, N.C. On Sept 14, 1929, she drove to a meeting in Gastonia. She was met by an armed mob, and turned back. She had driven about five miles when she was ambushed by armed men who began shooting. Ella was shot in the chest and killed. 5 Loray Mill employees were charged with her murder but were acquitted in a trial in March 1930 despite the fact that the crime was witnessed by 50 people.
* Circa 1911
– Central Graded School, Gastonia, North Carolina. Postcard published by the Northeast Stationery Company, Ayer, Massachusetts, circa 1911.
* Date Unknown
– Girls running warping machines in Loray Cotton Mill, Gastonia, N.C. Many boys and girls much younger. Boss carefully avoided them, and when I tried to get a photo which would include a mite of a boy working at a machine, he was quickly swept out of range. “He isn’t working here, just came in to help a little.” Lewis Hines photography
* Date Unknown
– Postcard of the old Gastonia Country Club
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