Monday, September 21, 2009

the gauntlet was down

Courtesy of the Elizabeth Valentine Meade Collection

Personal antagonisms within the management continued until 1918 to add to the miseries of the mill. It was the old story of divided authority and a natural jockeying for position. Valentine, as president and general manager, was supposed to oversee general policy and carry out the directors' wishes. Hampton Merchant, however, continued to exercise complete control over manufacturing processes. Both, according to the bookkeeper, interfered in office work unnecessarily.

In the summer of 1910, the quarrel burst into the open when H. D. Jarman, the bookkeeper, complained to the board of alleged interference in his work by Valentine and Marchant. The president answered with a stinging rebuke and the gauntlet was down. Unable to overlook the matter any longer, the board appointed a committee to investigate.--Harry Poindexter



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