1917 Moundville, Alabama

By Isabel, Kristin, Joe, Matt, and Patrick

What was the Town Like?

Moundville was a pretty town, it was very green and open. It was a slow paced, safe environment for its citizens. They had a school for the children to go to. They had a cotton gin, several saloons and they a post office. Moundville was mainly a farming community. There was also a river in the town called Black Warrior River, and the town got lots of goods from the river boats.

What Did Kids Do for Fun

The main things that kids did in 1917 was play checkers, chess, and card games. They also read books, newspapers, and magazines. Kids also had some small toys made from cast iron and wood. There were a few movies out, and a few people may have had a record player. They also played outside games such as horse shoes. In 1917 there were also groups of traveling actors and musicians that people could go see.

Transportation in 1917

In small towns many people walked to the places in the town where they wanted to go. They also rode horses and rode in horses and buggies. Kids also rode their bikes around the town. There were some cars in 1917 but only a few people may have had them. Another option was of taking a train somewhere.

What did People do for Work?

People could be nurses, book keepers, cashiers, and teachers. There were also librarians, dietitians in hospitals, and administrators of school and orphanages. There were also religious sisters, doctors, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, and grocers. There main job in Moundville was farming. Many people were farmers because of the good land.

Purchasing the Necessities

In 1917 people payed for their necessities using money that they made from their jobs. They did not make as much money as we do today, but everything cost less as well. One dollar then is seventeen dollars now. Back then, Milk cost around five cents. Also, for four pounds of bread people payed about nine cents. A dozen eggs cost thirty-five cents, and a mid-priced Ford cost 350 dollars.


The 1920's was a period of large and important economic growth. In 1917 growth of the suburbs excel. There were a lot of new discoveries and inventions that created a better economy. People were then able to be payed more with the economic increase. Shoppers are then able to buy large expensive items such as cars. The 1920's economy was great, and it continued to rise until there was a big economic crash in 1929.

Racial Tension

Racial tension in Alabama in 1917 was very bad, and African Americans were treated very unfairly. In 1917 the East St. Louis Race Riot broke out. It was one of the bloodiest riots in the twentieth century. The violence started in February after white workers on strike at the Aluminum Ore Company were replaced by black workers. The workers began to lodge formal complaints against the black migrations to St. Louis. After news that an African American man had attempted to rob a white man were heard, and the riot began. The riot began on May 28, 1917. Mobs formed in the town and they beat every African American they found. They also stopped trolleys and streetcars and pulled out the African Americans and beat them. Eventually the riot was ended, but on July second the violence resumed. Men, Women and children were beaten and shot to death. Their homes were set on fire, but if they left their homes they would be shot on the street. Eventually the National Guard came in to stop it.
The East Saint Louis Race Riots of 1917.m4v