"Morrison Is Employing Boy 12 Years of Age"

Posted by | December 11, 2012

Chattanooga Daily Times, December 12, 1915–

Mark Morrison, manager of Morrison’s, well known local drug firm, was arraigned yesterday before Esquire Kerby, charged with violating the child labor law, on a warrant sworn out by Mrs. O. D. Glenn, special investigator for the state. Mr. Morrison waived preliminary examination, and was bound over to the grand jury on a $250 bond.

Lewis Hines child labor photoIn the warrant Mrs. Glenn charges that Page Zarley, a 12-year old boy, had been employed by the Morrison Drug company as table boy and had been required to work from noon until 11 at night, in violation of the state statutes prohibiting the employment of children after 6 in the evening.

Mrs. Glenn told a Times reporter that the Morrison company, as all other drug stores in the state, had been notified of the state laws in this respect in a bulletin sent out, and exhibited their receipt of same in a signed coupon which had been detached from the bulletin. She said that the Zarley boy had not been in school a day this year. Mrs. Glenn has a signed affidavit regarding the youngster’s age.

Young Zarley’s mother is a widow and has a boarding house at 216-1/2 Oak Street.

It was stated at the Morrison Drug company last night that the Zarley boy had been employed by the head soda dispenser, who he had told he was 14 years of age. William J. Morrison stated last night that the boy claimed he was needy, and in his position at their store was helping support his widowed mother. “We are always very careful,” Mr. Morrison stated, “in employing boys in compliance with the labor law, and were told by young Zarley that he was 14, but neglected to get an affidavit. We have been compelled to refuse several deserving and needy boys employment on account of the laws governing these cases.”

Esquire Kerby, when asked yesterday if he would take the case, said that under his oath of office he had no alternative. He said, however, that in the event it was shown that the boy was working to help support himself and mother, and had been given employment through kindness, he would dismiss the case. He said he took the position that when a minor has no other means of support he should be permitted to retain his employment even if his hours do conflict with the statutes in that connection.

“The people of Chattanooga do not seem to be in favor of regulating the employment of children and females, as is set forth in the statutes,” said Mrs. Glenn last night. “They seem willing to allow them to work under any conditions, but I am here to enforce these laws, and I will make every effort to stop agues of the laws.”

*Mrs. Glenn left last night for Knoxville where she will remain for several days before returning here.

About the photo by Lewis Hines: caption reads “Street Bretzau, who is a ‘Tube bou’ in mule-room [at Richmond Spinning Mills]. Mule is apparently more dangerous than ring spinning. (See bandaged finger.) Photo during working hours. Chattanooga, Tenn., 12/06/1910″

From 1908 until 1912 Hines (1874-1940) traveled across the U.S. photographing conditions of child labor in many different settings. His photos show the haunting images of children bound to work in factories, mills, and street trades, to name a few. These pictures encouraged labor law reform and the implementation of safety laws.

sources: http://snipurl.com/1v8m2

child+labor Lewis+Hines Chattanooga+TN appalachian+history appalachian+mountains+history appalachia

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