Chapter Forty Four
September 14, 1939
I worked for Mr. Haynes from January 1st, 1896, until about June of the same year, then I went to Forest City and helped to build the Florence Mill. It was here at this mill where I did some of the heaviest work of my life. We had to handle timbers 12″ x 16″ twenty-five feet long. These timbers were placed eight feet apart then we laid a sub-floor out of timbers 3″ x 10″ sixteen feet long. Two men would handle these 3×10 timbers, which were green and just straight from the sawmill, and they were heavy.
Jud McKinney was the head man on the building of this mill. Charles Abernethy was the boss of the masonry work. The brick used in the building of this mill was made just below the Southern depot and were moulded by hand. Mr. Kelly Moore had charge of the brick yard. The brick in the smokestack at this mill was made by Mr. Fate Hardin and were made down on the branch below the Lowrance old place. Mr. Hardin received five dollars per thousand for these bricks delivered to the place where the stack was being built. The brick were laid by negro masons. Frank Williams, a negro, was the foreman of the masonry crew on this stack. Kelly Moore, Cyrus Wilkie and myself did the scaffolding for the erection of this smokestack. The job was completed about Dec. 1, 1896, and a snow fell about the time it was finished. I recall standing on top of this stack while the snow was on the ground. The stack is one hundred and thirty-one feet high.
I recall that during the summer the Florence Mills was being built there was an evangelist by the name of Kynard who came to Forest City and put up a tent and held a two week’s revival meeting. His tent stood where my garage is now located.