Thursday, July 17, 2008


Nathaniel Leake with his daughter, grandson and great grand-daughter- Courtesy the Scruggs Collection

The long shadow of passing years clouds the view of the daily laborer at the Charlottesville Woolen Mills. Yet, through the dimness one can occasionally glimpse the outlines of a paternalism fostered by the company to encourage and maintain a high level of welfare and morals among its employees. One gets the impression that the apathy, ignorance, and abject poverty of Southern cotton mill villages did not exist among these workers.

One of the first concerns of the stockholders after the 1882 fire was to make ?provision for retaining or helping the employees.? New dwellings for them were part of the building program which began that year. More benevolent in nature and less directly associated with profits, however, was the aid extended to the workers for improving the moral and educational fibre of the mill community.--Harry Poindexter

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