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Early 1900's

Up Early 1900 The 1920's Stanley Airport The 1930's The 1940's After War Years

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 arrival."

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 his glasses.

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.

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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.

Ration Stamps

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.

War Mothers

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 effort.

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 water.

Up Early 1900 The 1920's Stanley Airport The 1930's The 1940's After War Years

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