Browsing the new biography section at the Central Library led me to discover a collection of personal histories of women living and working in Southern mill towns, a surprising link to my own family history.
My great grandmother Zella was a child employee for the Eureka Cotton Mill in Tennessee. She was nearly 102 years old by the time I discovered this fact. Zella wasn't tall enough to reach her work so she was hoisted on boxes and tied in place, making sure she wouldn't fall into the dangerous equipment. Job safety being what it was, some of her friends weren't as fortunate. She wouldn't say much about this experience other than she and her family had been grateful for the work.
In Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls, the words of twenty other women who worked in mills throughout the last century helped me to understand Zella's experience.
Whose story will speak to you? We have plenty of voices waiting to be discovered in our biography section.
Check it out!