Friend shares Bill Scarboro’s mill tribute

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Bill Scarboro’s son, Ben, shared these words that his Dad wrote in 2010 as the last paper machine ceased operation. This is a tribute to everyone that ever worked at the mill as Bill captured the essence of how we all felt as this part of our lives came to an end.

The Mill

On April 15, the Franklin, Virginia, International Paper Mill, which was founded by the Camp brothers in 1937, will make its final run of uncoated freesheet printing and communications paper. Its boilers’ steam pressure gauges will fall to zero. The whirr of motors and machinery will fall silent. It signals the end of an era here where the most dedicated men and women contributed to American manufacturing with their sweat, toil, and minds. No one man will ever understand the relationships that each one of them had with machines, their tools, the control switches, the mundane tasks, the heavy burdens, the quest for production, the risks, the complication and their fellow employees. But the memories, sweet, bittersweet and sour will remain with us and our heritage. In the end, it is the people that I will remember. This is where in camaraderie or conflict we lived out lives. They are after all some of the greatest people I have known.

It was my privilege to have known Bill as a co-worker at the mill, a member of Franklin Baptist Church, a neighbor, and most of all a dear friend that will be greatly missed and forever remembered. One of the greatest.

Nancy Hopkins