Stanley During the 1940's
Hot Enough to Hatch Chickens
In the 7 June 1941 edition of The Gastonia Gazette Mr. A. C. Taylor wrote in his column about
"How Hot It Gets in Stanley." "If you want to know how hot it has been in Stanley recently just ask
Mrs. Maude Bentley Hornbuckle."
"Ten days ago she purchases a dozen eggs at a local store, took them home and placed them in a glass
bowl on the dining room table, using four of them."
"Five days later when she went to get some eggs from the bowl she found seven eggs and one live
chick, hatched out and ready to be fed. The little chick has been getting along nicely since its
New Methodist Church
Work was progressing with the new Methodist Church being built on the old Mary Smith property. Mr. L.
D. Clemmer escaped serious injury when the handle of a cement mixer struck him in the face breaking
Hubert M. Craig purchased the old Methodist Manse on the ease side of highway 27 in 1941, and
remodeled the building.
Wilson Rhyne's Service Station in early 1940's - (later torn down and new station built around 1955)
- First managed by Wilton Morris and then by Wilson Rhyne - was located on the corner of Mt. Holly
Road (now Lucia Road) and the Charlotte Highway (now Highway 27) - BP now occupies that location.
The World War Two Years
Stanley During World War Two
The United States entrance into World War Two began on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese
bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where many American military ships, as well as servicemen and
their families, were located.
Immediately men and women from Stanley joined others from all around the country and began
enlisting in the military. A table was set up in front of Hammack-Derr Hardware for enlisting.
Men were drafted also.
Everyone in the country was involved in the
war effort. There was a great demand for materials to
make machines and weapons for the hastily enlarged
military. Enough food was needed to feed all the
soldiers and that meant people had to conserve and
there would be shortages of most commodities. Every
family received ration stamps for purchasing
necessities during the wartime. There were special
stamps for gas to be used in autos for 25-30 gallons per
month; another kind of stamp for sugar, which allowed
I pound of sugar every two weeks; another for meat,
as well as many other items of necessity. Cigarettes
were rationed. Some items were not available at all
since they were needed for the war effort.
Most toys were made of metal in those days,
not plastic, and the metal was needed for the war effort.
Because of this no toys were made for children during
the war years.
No new cars were made, either, during the war
because of the need for metal for the war effort.
The Boy Scouts in Stanley had a collection
drive for rubber materials, metal materials and for
paper; all materials which were in great need by the U.
S. Military for the war effort.
Mr. Russell Handsel was one of the air raid
wardens in Stanley during the war. Black-outs were
required for practice purposes as well as times when
the enemy had been spotted along the Atlantic Coast.
Citizens were told to cover over their windows so no
lights would shine through or to extinguish all lights
at night time in case of an enemy air attack. An
ordinance was drawn up by the town council
establishing a penalty for anyone who did not abide
by the requirements set forth in a Black-Out.
The Stanley Mothers had in their windows flags with starts on them, each star
indicating how many sons she had fighting in the war. These women were referred to as War
Mothers. Mrs. Lathie Homesley was one mother who had five sons in the military during
World War II. (Jack, Ralph, Johnnie, James and Mack Homesley)
People on the home front gathered together in
their homes and listened to radio programs like Jack
Benny, soap operas and news commentators like
Gabriel Heater and Edward R. Murrow. Of course,
everyone gathered around their radio (this was before
television) and listened to the frequent "fireside chats"
by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Another form of entertainment for people
during those times was going to the movies.
Admission was $.35. Stanley people would go to Mt.
Holly or to Gastonia to see a "show" or movie, lots of
times catching a bus from J. W. Dellinger's Drug
Store or riding the train to Mt. Holly. Some of the
movies, mostly black and white, were Citizen Kane,
with Orson Welles; The Maltese Falcon with
Humphrey Bogart; Fantasia; Casablanca and Mrs.
Miniver. Before the displaying of each movie,
newsreels were shown giving up-to-date
developments of the war in Europe and Japan.
Making Ammunition for the War Effort
Many people in Stanley worked in Charlotte,
NC at the factory they called the "Shell Plant". It was
a munitions plant which was officially listed under the
name of The U. S. Rubber Company. The company
sent a bus from Charlotte to Lincolnton picking up
workers along the way and returning them home each
day. The majority of the workers were women as most
of the men were in the armed forces.
Another plant, Union Carbide Co., in
Charlotte, NC, (called the Carbon Plant) also produced
for the war effort. Batteries were made there, and they
also employed many Stanley people.
When the war was over so were the jobs of
many of these people, who were working for the war
In July of 1943 the town of Stanley purchased a
plaque for $90 on which to place the names of
citizens serving in the armed forces. Whatever
became of that plaque is unknown today.
Changes During Wartime
The 48 hour work week was mandated by
President Roosevelt in February of 1943 and wages
and prices were frozen in April of 1943.
During the war years postage stamps cost
$.03, a gallon of gas was $.19, and the Sunday
newspaper was $.10.
In a measure to conserve gas and tires the
speed limit during the war years was reduced to 35
MPH on all North Carolina major highways.
The speed limit in the town limits of Stanley
in 1941 was set at 20 miles per hour.
Subdivision for Returning Veterans
A huge housing shortage arose during and
after the war years when servicemen were returning to
civilian life and needed jobs and homes. All over the
country housing developments began, with backing
from the Federal Housing Administration, in order to
fill this need. Mass production of housing had begun.
In Stanley H. M. Craig Realty planned and developed
"Craig Heights," Stanley's first sub-division. Craig
Heights is located on East Parkwood Street.
Members of the William Stone family and friends swimming in the Blue Hole - a favorite swimming
hole for Stanley kids in the 1930's and 1940's. It was part of Stanley Creek and always very cold
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