Young Family Reunion & Lewis Hine Exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture

“Two of the helpers in the Tifton Cotton Mill, Tifton, Ga. They work regularly.” January 1909, Lewis Hine. Library of Congress. [Eddie Lou Young at right]

Lewis Hine was a pioneering documentary photographer whose influence could be seen in the later work of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and countless others. He’s best known for exposing the plight of child labor and his images made in America’s cotton mills and sweat shops helped put an end to the practice. 

An exhibit of his work will open at the Georgia  Museum of Agriculture in Tifton this Saturday (15 March), highlighted by a reunion of the descendants and relatives of one of his endearing subjects, Eddie Lou Young.

Joe Manning, whose blog, Mornings on Maple Street, has traced many of the subjects of Hines’ photographs, is the organizer of the project.

Eddie Lou Young’s mother, Catherine, fell on hard times, and Eddie Lou and several of her siblings were placed in a Methodist orphan’s home not long after the Hine photographs were made. She was adopted by Reese and Luella Parker of Americus, in 1910, and married one of Mr. Parker’s relatives, Hawkins Alexander Parker, in 1920.

The couple had seven children, and for a time, in 1941, lived a few houses down from Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, who were newly married at the time. Eddie Lou died in 1979 and Hawkins died in 1982.

One of their sons, Earl, was my biology professor at ABAC and was one of the nicest men around. I didn’t do so well in the class, but Dr. Parker was very fair and memorably likeable.


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