Interview with
Miss Sibil Bagwell
Daughter of Glendale Mill Superintendent

February, 2001

 

 

Miss Sibil Bagwell, 86 years young, moved to Glendale in 1914, at the age of 5 weeks.  Her father went to work in the mill.  She and her parents moved into the big house beside the big white house where the President lived. 

 

In 1922, Miss Sibil was 8 years old and her family moved into the big white house.  Her father, Robert Fred Bagwell, worked as superintendent of the mill until his death in 1944.  Her house had plumbing and maybe there were three other houses that had plumbing, she couldn’t recall exactly.  She says she was always a daddy’s girl.  He would take her to the movie house where they played silent movies.

 

Miss Sibil went to Glendale Grammar School through fifth grade and then her father sent her uptown to Oakland Avenue School.  She graduated from Spartanburg High School, which at that time was located uptown on Dean Street.  Miss Sibil went to Winthrop College for four years and then came back home and taught school at Glendale from1938-1940 and then at Cleveland Junior High School. 

 

Her mother taught the young men’s Sunday School class and did a lot of things with her family.  Miss Sibil said she liked to go down behind the mill with her mother where she could play in the sand and walk on the rocks.  She says she can remember a lot about Glendale and all the people in the village.  She said they were all like family.  She recalls Uncle Sam, a black man that would come every morning and milk her mother’s cow.  She says he was a really nice man and that all the black men were addressed as “Uncle”. 

 

Miss Sibil’s family used coal to heat their home.  In school all the boys and girls were always separated.  She also recalls when the Baptists would use the river for baptisms.  Doc Smith was the village doctor and the company paid for a nurse.  When the company said they couldn’t afford to pay her anymore the employees volunteered to pay ten cents a week to her.  She said they didn’t want to lose her, she delivered lots of babies. 

 

Miss Sibil was in sixth grade when they stopped the street car and the Reverend Will “Duckie” Rogers’ father bought a bus and it cost fifty cents a week to ride. There were six children in Miss Sibil’s family and she was the fourth.  Miss Sibil still lives close to Glendale and attends Glendale United Methodist Church where she has all her life.  She said she could never find a duplicate of her daddy and that is the reason she never married.

 

Thanks, Miss Sibil Bagwell, for all your help.

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