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Lois McClain, Wounded Mill Worker

Lois McClain, Wounded Mill Worker

Honea Path, S.C.

Lois McClain, a young Chiquola Mill spinning room worker, shown just after she was shot. This photo, by an unknown photographer, was identified by McClain's daughter, Jessie Mae Holder. The bullet from McClain's bleeding left hand was never removed and was still intact when she died at age 91 in 1993.

Eventually mother of five children, "Granny Lois" McClain, as she was called, worked in the mill until her mid 70s, while also being a volunteer midwife, seamstress, and cook for local townspeople nearly all of her life.

Some years after the shooting, Tom Stalcup, another Chiquola millworker, revealed that he had shot her and asked for her forgiveness, which she granted. Stalcup later became Sunday School teacher for McClain's daughter at the Church of God in Honea Path. His son, Virgil Stalcup, went on play for the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds.

Never in her life did McClain, or her husband, Cowan, also a millworker, discuss the shooting or the mill violence with any of their children. For that reason, the circumstances of McClain's shooting or her role in the labor dispute remain unknown even to her own family.