Long Live Porterdale!!!

Porterdale Mill on the Yellow River
NAMED for: Oliver S. Porter, Mill Owner




 Hall of Fame




Roll of Honor



Memories of Prentis

Reunions Friends of Porterdale Inc.

Who Am I



The Payne Family of Porterdale

The Payne Family histories, stories and photos are provided by
Billy E. Payne


January 26, 2004

My name is Billy Payne, born Aug. 10,1930 to Ezell and Leila Tarpley Payne at 55 N. Broad St., Porterdale, GA.
I attended school in Porterdale (grades 1st ,2nd & 6th thru 11th) I
graduated in class of 1948. Married Mildred (Micki) Herring of Porterdale. I worked in the mills after school for about 5 yrs. I was box boy, Osprey mill, checker, Shipping dept., Porterdale Mill and Shipping clerk at the Welaunee Mill.

We have one son, one daughter, 4 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Micki and I reside in Conyers, GA. I retired as Postmaster of Oxford, GA, after 38 years with the US Postal Service.

I too, have many memories of our town, Porterdale.

Porterdale was a very unique place to live. The Bibb owned the houses, buildings and mills. They painted the houses, cut the grass and made all repairs to the plumbing etc. The rent was cheap, all utilities were furnished. We had a grocery store, dry goods store, drug store, movie theater, barber shop, post office, and police dept. We even had a man, John Day, whose job was to keep the town pretty with flowers and shrubs. We had our choice of four churches. This was a town where we were all equal, after all we all worked for the same company and lived in the same houses. We had the very best schools and teachers. (teachers lived in the Teachers Cottage, (a bldg. furnished by the Bibb) We had a big nice brick gym. All jobs were in walking distance of the mills. For the most part the mills ran 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. Employees worked 8 straight hrs, no lunch but, there was what we called the DOPE STAND inside that sold cokes and snacks to the employees. I remember on several occasions I worked the stand while Otis Allen was off. Families in Porterdale were less likely to move from company to company as was the custom for most textile workers. Most families' children were able to attend, from start to finish, the same school that there parents attended. However, that did not mean we didn't move a lot. Most of us lived in 3 to 5 different houses in the village. My son in law tells this story about his parents. He said one day his Father came home and his wife had moved. Luckily it was just across the Street. Porterdale was a very safe place. People left there doors unlocked or open. Families and children visited others at will, sat on porches or at the kitchen table. This was just one big family.

It is a credit to the Bibb Mfg. Co., schools, teachers and the way of life in Porterdale in the fact that you can find men and women all over this great country that have had very successful careers in many different fields and they all give credit to their upbringing in this small textile town we call Porterdale.

Now, just a few of the memories I have as a child in Porterdale.

The Saturday  western movies. Roy, Gene, Hoppy and Bob Steel. (Just 10 cents)

The wadding Pool Skinned knees and all.

Christmas sacks of fruit and nuts from The Bibb.

Walking across the old wooden bridge after a big rain, scary.

May Day parades, ending up at the old ball field by the river.

Peanut butter sandwich with milk for lunch in grade school.

Old granite wall around tree at high school . Gathering place before school.

Building home made wagons, using spools from mill for wheels and racing them on dead man's curve in the woods behind houses on Elm Street.

The rock house, rock formations on the Yellow River.

Roller skating with friends on the streets of Porterdale after Christmas. These were the skates where you had to have a KEY to tighten the grips to the sole of your shoe.

Aviator caps with Goggles, Made your head sweat. Any one else remember these.

The very exciting Softball teams that played for Porterdale.

Old Boy Scout hut on North Broad.

All of this brings back very fond memories of a place dear to our heart.


            Billy                                                                          Micki

Billy's Mom and Dad Micki's Mom and Dad