Charles Scott Harkey
February 29, 2004
Conducted by Joe Liles
Now when I moved out here to Granville County, I met the woman who would be my wife. Her mother was in the hospital a lot and was laid up at home a good bit. Now back then, you had private duty nurses. Well the nurse that took care of her mother lived right across the street from me, and I kept seeing this girl come over there, and I kind of liked the looks of her. I found out her name was Lily Mae Connelly. Now there was a lady that lived close by me named Mrs. Lyons, and she wanted to come out here one night to the Connelly place. So I came out here with her to this very house where my wife was living with her parents. Well that night she was out on a date with another fellow. I told her mother to tell Lily Mae that I would be getting in touch with her. We just kind of hit it off after that. I think we courted for about eighteen months until I got up enough nerve to ask her to marry me.
My father-in-law, Mr. Connelly, he was a second daddy to me. Now I had a wonderful daddy in Charlotte, but Mr. Connelly said to me, “Since you are marrying my daughter, how about coming to work with me?” There was a catch to it, though. He said that I had to buy a new truck. Now, I had just bought a new car, so this was going to be kind of rough. But I bought that truck and started hauling lumber with Mr. Connelly. I went from one to two trucks, and before long, I had five trucks hauling lumber out of the woods, and I had three trucks hauling lumber north on these big 32 foot trailers.
Back then, we had portable saw mills. At one time, I was running two portable mills. You would buy a tract of timber. I never liked to set down for less than 50 to 60 thousand board feet of timber, but sometimes you would buy a tract and maybe they’d be a half a million feet in there.
I usually carried a crew of twenty-two men. We would pick that mill up and sit it on our trucks. It took three trucks to move it. We might be sawing in one place today, shut down at nine o’clock in the morning, and then we would move ten miles and we’d be sawing again by three o’clock that afternoon. Now, I would have to send the log cutter on ahead, and they would cut the logs and dig the sawdust hole. Then we would come in with the mill and set it down. Every man had a job.