1940 South Carolina Mill Village Residents

This information is an extraction from the 1940 United Census for my father’s BROWN family, living in the mill village of Lyman, South Carolina.

Source: 1940 US Census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, population schedule Lyman, Beechsprings Township, Enumeration District (ED) 42-13B . sheet number 17A., Line numbers 31-34, James M Brown; NARA digital images; http://1940census.archives.gove/ (accessed April 3, 2012)

From this image we learn the following about the BROWN Family.

On April 26, 1940, Retha Brown provided the following information to the census taker, based on things as they were 25 days before, on April 1, 1940.

The BROWN family was living at 11 Upland Street, Lyman, South Carolina. They rented their home for $8 a month1 and had lived at this address in 1935 as well. All of the family members are white.

James M Brown (the Head of House) was 46 years old on his last birthday. He was born in South Carolina and completed 6 years of school. We learn that James operates a hooker in the folding room of a textile mill2. He worked 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. James worked at the textile mill 49 weeks in 1939, earning $1236 during the year for his work.

Retha Brown, wife of James M, turned 43 on her last birthday. She  completed 1 year of high school. Retha was born in South Carolina and is also employed at the textile mill. Her job is to examine remnants in the folding room. Retha worked 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940. She worked 52 weeks at the mill in 1939, earning $775 in wages for the year.

The other household members, children of James M and Retha are:

A single son, Marvin Brown, Jr.,  turned 19 on his last birthday. He completed 3 years of high school and is employed invoicing in the folding room at a textile mill. Marvin worked at this occupation 32 hours during the week of March 24-March 30, 1940 and worked 52 weeks during 1939, earning $720 in wages for the year.

A daughter, Gladys Brown, turned 17 on her last birthday. She was also born in South Carolina and is a student in 1939. She has completed 3 years of high school.

NOTE:  The census should be used as a starting point. The information is given orally by a household member to the census taker. The household member might not remember correctly, the census taker might not hear correctly. Always confirm vital information in another source. For example, Retha Jones Brown was born 27 Mar 1896, so would have turned 44 almost a month before she gave this information to the census taker.  She didn’t forget that her daughter, Gladys, had a birthday in March, but she must have forgotten her own.

1,  Back then, the mills owned the houses and rented them out to employees for a small rental fee.
2.  The hooker is the machine that prepares the cloth for folding into parcels.

Template for this extraction is based on the work of Spencer Fields, who is working towards a degree in Genealogy from Brigham Young University.

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