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Elizabeth Biggerstaff oral history interview

Biggerstaff, Elizabeth, 1922-
Rollins, Kimberly
Date of Interview: 
Biggerstaff, Elizabeth, 1922-; World War (1939-1945); Country life; Mills and mill-work; Manners and customs; Education, Rural; Women in war; Working mothers; Small business--Management; Fast food restaurants--Management; Women--Political activity; Race relations; North Carolina--Rutherford County; North Carolina--Cliffside; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Rutherford County native Elizabeth Biggerstaff describes her life and how she balances work and family. She describes her early life growing up in the country outside of Cliffside, North Carolina, with two older brothers and attending local schools. Cliffside was a mill village built for the workers of Hanes Mill, which later became Cone Mill, and throughout the interview Mrs. Biggerstaff touches on the role of the mill in the Cliffside region. While her new husband was serving in World War II, Mrs. Biggerstaff explains how she saved money throughout the war, which he spent to open a dry cleaning business in Cliffside upon his return. Mrs. Biggerstaff recounts her paid work outside the home in the dry cleaning business, as an assistant and secretary for a dentist, and managing in her husband’s fast food chain, the Little Moo. She talks about balancing work with raising twin girls during the 1950s-1970s, and how she began working in a dentist’s office close to home so she would be able to get home quickly if one of her daughters became sick. Mrs. Biggerstaff’s husband was active in local politics, and she describes her experiences joining him at events and seeking votes during his campaign for County Commissioner.
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Interview Audio: