WORKERS - in general, about 110 to 150 workers
1890 = 133 workers
1924 = 134 workers
(In 1905, 500 persons were dependent on Glencoe; however, about half lived outside the village.)
1890: Women & children comprised 70% of Glencoe’s work force.
1908: Men comprised 60% of the workforce.
1924: Men comprised 70% of the workforce.
1924: Only 2 children were employed at Glencoe.
By contrast, in 1907-08, 90% of all spinners in the South were children under 21. Half were under 14.
1889 11 hour days—66 hours per week—6 day week
Men earned $1 to $2 per day
Women earned 50 cents to $1 per day
Children earned 40 cents per day
1905 10.5 hour days—63 hours per week—6 day week
Men earned 75 cents to $2.75 per day
Women earned 60 cents to $1 per day
Children earned 40 cents per day
1925 10 hour days—55 hours per week—half day Saturday
Men earned $2.10 to $6.60 per day
Women earned $2.10 to $2.38 per day
1930s 8 hour days
Mills provided a 3-room schoolhouse for village children from grade 1 to 8 from
1880 to 1936. It was located at the
northern end of
LOOMS & SPINDLES
1882 186 looms 3120 spindles
1900 186 looms 4000 spindles
1905 206 looms -----------
1907 206 looms 5000 spindles
1926 206 looms -----------
1940s-50s 5760 spindles
There were 44 village homes built
in Glencoe in the 1880s and 1890s, on 2 streets,
$1.40 a month for a 3-room house
$2 for a 5-room house, or 50 cents a week
1930s Autos and improved roads ended isolation of villages and allowed workers to live outside villages and drive to work.
After the mill closed in 1954, Glencoe owner continued to rent the houses to former workers. Gradually, people moved away from the village, leaving Glencoe village abandoned to nature.
1930s & 40s—Burlington Industries begins to sell off its mill housing.
Other large mill complexes did likewise and that continued through to 1982.
Reasons for the sell-off:
1. There were fewer workers from each house as child labor was banned.
2. Minimum wage laws were being passed and mill owners felt they could better use money normally spent on housing to pay wages.
3. New generation of mill owners did not have the “paternal” drive their forebears did.
4. Mill owners blame the close-knit mill village community for the discontent of laborers.
1880 Log and stone
1909 Wooden dam on cement foundation
Mid 1940s Reinforced concrete dam
Glencoe Cotton Mill was very slow to convert to electric
power. Glencoe ran on water- power from
1880 to the late 1930s, but it did use some electric power--starting in1894--
from the Latonia Power Plant a short way upstream on the
A one story with basement was added to the front of the mill in the late 1940s to 1950s, costing $350,000.
Glencoe Cotton Mill produced all cotton checks, stripes, and woven plaids from bale to bolt. In 1880,
bales of cotton were brought by
mule, 3 miles from the RR depot in
1890—produced napped goods and outings for blankets and sleepwear.
1900-15—production of cotton flannel for outer clothing increased when new
napping machinery was purchased in 1902, 1904, and 1909.
Glencoe had no black workers in the mill, but there was a black cook for Mr. Holt—Richard Duck.
However, black men did work in the village doing the dirty or heavy work and general tasks. *
1920 Black workers constituted less than 5% of
1950 Black workers constituted 4.8% of
*Most of the black workers
used to perform menial and the dirtiest type jobs, with rock bottom wages,
as moving cotton bales, cleaning streets, working in picker houses breaking open bales of cotton.
1960s Significant numbers of black workers were working in textile mills in the South.
1900 As Alamance County was the center of the textile industry in NC, the National Union of Textile
Workers organized many locals here. In Haw River, a
fired worker set off a strike that spread throughout
Mill owners did not recognize the union, evicted union members from mill housing, and the union withdrew support from the strike.
This defeat broke the union in
1918 United Textile Workers of
1919-21 Walkouts in
1920 Stretch-out with lowered wages up in the northern textile mills.
1921 Northern mill migration en mass to the South for lower labor costs and no worker aggravation.
1929 Strikes at
Violent conflict at Loray Mill in
1934 Widespread strikes led by United Textile Workers brought mills
to a standstill. This was the largest
industry-wide strike in American history.
The strikes were futile because the unions and the federal government failed to support the workers when mill owners ignored the new
National Industrial Relations Board regulations.