Creating the Modern South: Millhands and Managers in Dalton, Georgia, 1884-1984

By Douglas Flamming | Go to book overview

6
THE CREATION OF MILLVILLAGE PATERNALISM

The maturation of Crown's labor force after 1900 was partly due to the natural evolution of the family labor system in an agriculturally depressed part of the country. As parents recognized the increasing opportunities for stable employment and better wages, they began to tie their hopes for the family's economic stability to factory work and mill-village life. But the development of a permanent core of working families in the company village also stemmed from managerial policies aimed at attracting such families and fostering their loyalty to the company. These policies involved employee provisions that were not part of the basic wages-for-labor contract. Apart from lowrent housing, the company had offered little in the way of nonwage compensation during its first fifteen years of operations. But company policy changed during the first two decades of the twentieth century, when Crown built two schools and established an employee life insurance policy, a savings plan, and a burial association. Mill officials also encouraged a flourishing company culture that included, among other things, baseball teams and a concert band. It

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