D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library Special Collections Oral Histories (RLSC)
OH-RLSC

Summary Information

Repository
UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Title
Ramsey Library Special Collections Oral Histories (RLSC)
ID
OH-RLSC
Date [inclusive]
1949-2011
Extent
2.2 Linear feet  ; 2 boxes
Physical Description
Audio cassettes of interviews, and copies of these on CD. Transcripts of interviews, and any supplementary materials are described within each individual oral history. Some recording have gaps and/or inaudible sections.
Location
Located in Special Collections row 3, section 2
Language
English

Preferred Citation

[Title of Interview], Ramsey Library Special Collection Oral Histories, D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville

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Scope and Contents

A collection of oral histories generally gathered by the staff of, and those affiliated with, Ramsey Library Special Collections. There is a general focus on Asheville and its history, but specific topics include, medicine, politics, arts and crafts, local businesses, and urban development.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504
828.251.6645
speccoll@unca.edu

Rights

Some restrictions as noted for specific interviews. Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Creator

D H Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville ; Interviewers and interviewees as noted

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Collection Inventory

Nancie Stafford Anders 

Interview Dates and Interviewers

March 13, 2002 and May 22, 2002 ; Gwen Ashburn and Helen Wykle

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; copy tapes ; copy CDs ; text ; photograph

Scope and Contents

Nancie Stafford Anders talks about growing up in Asheville, including reminiscences of her mother, Lillian Exum Clement Stafford, and other members of her family. The interview also covers the history of Asheville, including the development of the College Street area.

Biographic Note

Nancie Stafford Anders is the daughter of Lillian Exum Clement Stafford, the first woman elected to a state legislature in the south. Miss Clement was also one of the first women lawyers in North Carolina, and the first to have her own practice. Miss Clement served married Elias Eller Stafford, and subsequently gave birth prematurely to Nancie Stafford Anders,"the first incubator baby" in the state, in 1923. However, Lillian's health deteriorated and she died of pneumonia in 1925. A statewide independent political committee, dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to the North Carolina General Assembly, is called "Lillian's List" in her honor.

Additional Materials

Transcript [of both interviews] ; photograph ; interview notes

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Walter Ashe 

Interview Date and Interviewer

October 15, 2002 ; Betsy Murray

Format

audio cassette tape ; copy CD ; text

Scope and Contents

Walter Ashe briefly describes his childhood, but talks mainly about his time in the US Navy prior, and during, World War II. Later in the interview there is mention of the newsletter Ashe edited for the South China Patrol Asiatic Fleet, and the vessels that have been named USS Asheville.

Biographical Note

Walter Ashe was born in Jacksonville, Florida on July 2, 1916, and served in the US Navy from 1935 to 1966. After leaving the navy he initially worked as an artist in Key West, but moved to Asheville in 1983.In Asheville, he organized a reunion for former USS Asheville sailors and helped establish an exhibit of artifacts from the four warships named Asheville. Between 1980 and 2006 he was editor of of the Navy newsletter China GunBoatMan. Ashe died on July 26, 2007.

Additional Materials

Autobiography, 132 pages ; "China Gunboatman" March 2001, and September 2002

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Doris Brewer 

Interview Date and Interviewer

October 13, 1993 ; Scott Gallowway

Format

Audio cassette tape, copy CD

Scope and Contents

Doris Brewer describes her career with the Buncombe County library system, and talks about being an African American in Asheville during segregation, with particular regard to libraries.

Biographical Note

Doris Brewer started working for Buncombe County Pack Library in 1967. She attended Asheville-Biltmore College, South Eastern Commercial College and Barber-Scotia College in Concord, NC.

Related Collection

Doris Brewer interview in the Voices of Asheville Collection

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Kenneth Brown 

Interview Date

October 14, 1993

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; micro cassette tapes ; copy CDs

Scope and Contents

Kenneth Brown describes his life, with an emphasis on his years as director of the Asheville-Buncombe County library system. When he became director in 1965, there was one main library building. Under his administration, the library system expanded to four branches, including the Pack Memorial Library. Brown recounts his move to Asheville, describes the Pack Memorial Public Library, and the political process of managing a growing library system.

Biographical Note

Kenneth Brown was 68 years old when he was interviewed for the oral history. Born in south east West Virginia, he served in the US Infantry during World War II, and after the war, he graduated from Ohio University and earned a master's in library administration from Columbia University in New York. After working in libraries in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York, in 1965 he became director of the Asheville-Buncombe County library system, a post he held until his retirement in 1985.

Brown died on July 16, 2011.

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Robert F Burgin 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

September 10, 1994 ; October 1, 1994 ; Homer Shannon Carson III

Format

Audio cassette tapes [4] ; copy cassettes ; copy CDs

Scope and Contents

Robert "Bob" Burgin tells his personal story of his education and his journey to become the CEO of Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC. At the time of the interview, he was preparing to retire from the hospital.

Biographical Note

Robert F. Burgin was born October 1940 in Orlando, Florida. After numerous moves, the family settled in Cleveland, Ohio, during Burgin's senior year in high school. After attending undergraduate college in Ohio, he attended Michigan for graduate school in Business and Health Administration. He worked in hospital administration in New York, and Illinois, and became CEO for Mission Hospital in Asheville in 1981, holding the position until 2004.

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Wayne Caldwell 

Interview Date and Interviewer

February 20, 2004 ; Scott McKenzie

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy cassette ; copy CD ; text

Scope and Contents

The interview includes a brief biography of Wayne Caldwell, a history of the Slude Building, 25 Broadway Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina, the Asheville urban renewal program, and the acquisition of artifacts belonging to Solon Bryan, that Caldwell donated to Special Collections at UNC Asheville.

In addition to a recording of the interview with Wayne Caldwell, the history includes a copy of a letter, giving some history of 25 Broadway, a copy of a newspaper report of an explosion in the building in 1936, and handwritten notes, likely made by the interviewer.

Biographical Note

Wayne T. Caldwell is a native of Asheville born in 1948. He attended Enka High School in Buncombe County, North Carolina,. and received his undergraduate degree at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1969, before gaining a masters at Appalachian State University in 1970, and a PhD at Duke University in Durham in 1973. Caldwell taught at North Carolina Central University and Union College in Schenectady, New York from 1973-1976. His wife Mary's parents purchased 25 Broadway, Asheville, the Sluder Furniture building, in the 1960's and in 1976, Wayne and his sister-in-law, Katheryn, started the Sluder Furniture Company and Ambiance Interiors in Asheville.

Related Collections

Solon H. Bryan Collection

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Wardell and Sadie Cunningham 

Intervew Date and Interviewer

August 9, 2011 ; Helen Wykle

Format

CD ; text

Scope and Contents

Sadie and Wardell Cunningham talk about living in Asheville as teachers, and the impact of urban renewal, when they were moved during the first urban renewal project in Asheville. Also included are biographical notes from SFB Neighborhood Association Newsletters, and emails providing background to the interview.

The recording quality is very poor.

Biographic Note

Sadie Cunningham was born in 1925 and attended Livingston Street School, Hill Street School, and Stephen's Lee High School. Wardell was born in 1929, and he attended Lancaster Training School, South Carolina State at Orangeburg, Appalachian State University, Indiana University and Western Carolina University. The Cunningham's lived in the Southside neighborhood of Asheville, an area that was destroyed by the first urban renewal project. Wardell Cunningham taught art, typing, math, social studies and science at Asheville Middle School, before retiring in 1987. Sadie in the Asheville City School system for 30 years, and she taught ballet at the YWCA. Sadie Cunningham died in 2014.

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Dr. Patricia Dodd 

Interview Date and Interviewers

February 7, 2012 ; Sharon Fahrer and Heide Penner

Format

Audio cassette tape ;text ; copy of photograph

Scope and Contents

Relates the life of Dr. Patricia (Pat) Dodd and her relationships with other female doctors in Asheville in the 1950s, including her interactions with ophthalmologist, Sprinza Weizenblatt. One of the first women surgeons in Western North Carolina, Dodd speaks about common hospital procedures when she first began her practice, commenting at length on the finite fields of study for female doctors and also the importance of having women in medicine.

Biographical Note

Dr. Patricia (Pat) Dodd was born in Savannah, GA on March 17, 1920. Upon completing high school, she moved to the North East to pursue a medical degree. One of only five women in her medical school class of 100, Dodd and her husband, who himself was a doctor, chose to move to Asheville. In her oral history, she explains that in those days, doctors were able to choose where they wanted to set up a practice by deciding where they wanted to live. Once in Asheville, she recalls being received warmly by other women doctors, and staying incredibly busy with her patients. Dodd also speaks about the importance of women doctors for women; the majority of her patients were women.

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Wilma Dykeman 

Interview Dates and Interviewers

April 25, 2004 ; April 29, 2004 ; Sharon Fahrer and Jan Schochet

Format

Mini digital video cassettes ; copy DVD

Scope and Contents

Author Wilma Dykeman was interviewed in her home on April 25 and April 29, 2004 to talk about her life and writings

Biographical Note

Wilma Dykeman was born in Asheville in 1920 and was a student at Biltmore College from 1936 -38. She wrote fiction and non-fiction books about Appalachia, often with an emphasis on environmental issues and relations between races and sexes. Her books include The French Broad (1955) and The Tall Woman(1962) She married James R. Stokely Jr. (d.1977) in 1940 and they had two sons.

Wilma Dykeman died in Asheville on December 22, 2006.

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Bernard Elias 

Interview Date and Interviewers

June 3, 2009 ; Becky Smucker and Pete Steurer

Format

DVD

Scope and Contents

At the time of the interview, Bernard Elias was the oldest member of the Carolina Mountain Club, and he talks with Pete Steurer (CMC historian) and Becky Stucker (CMC president) about his experiences with the Club.

Biographic Note

Bernard Elias was born in Asheville in 1918, and joined the Carolina Mountain Club in 1941. He served as president of the CMC, and authored the "The 100 Favorite Trails of the Great Smokies and Carolina Blue Ridge" map. He died in Asheville in 2010.

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Sarah Anne Eller 

Interview Date and Interviewer

March 24, 2004 ; Jaya Dorf

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy CD

Scope and Contents

Jaya Dorf, a UNC Asheville student, talked to Sarah Anne Eller as she reviewed the photographs in an album "The Camping Trip Thro’ Toxaway Country, July 1905", part of the Ora Rives Collection at UNC Asheville Special Collections. Eller is the granddaughter of Ora Rives, and in the interview she talks about the trip he family made, and how it impacted her life.

Biographical Note

Sarah Anne Eller is the grand-daughter of Ora Rives, who lived in Aiken, South Carolina at the beginning of the 1900s

Related Collection

Ora Rives Collection (1905) [P2001.4]

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Marie Ellis 

Interview Date and Interviewer

April 24, 2009 ; Karen Vaneman

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy CDs ; text ; photographs

Scope and Contents

Marie Ellis talks about growing up in Fairview and living through the depression, being self-employed as a beauty-shop owner and then employed as book-keeper for Ellis Motor Service. Photographs of Marie Ellis' art work are included with her Oral History.

Biographical Note

Marie Marlowe Ellis was born in Fairview, NC in 1929. She graduated from Fairview High school in 1947 and married the next year. Marie and her husband had a motor home that they drove around the country, while home schooling their children. After her husband dies in September 1984, Ellis began to work with ceramics, teaching at the Home Extension Service for many years and creating pieces that were awarded in various competitions around the state.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; photographs of Marie Ellis and her artwork ; interviewer's notes

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Otis Green 

Recording Dates

1949 and 1964

Format

Audio cassette tapes [5] ; copy CDs [9] ; text

Scope and Contents

Comprises two separate events. The first is not an oral history as such, but is a recording of the May 17, 1949 dedication of a new home for orphan babies on the campus of Eliada Homes in Asheville, NC. Ottis Green was presiding officer for the dedication. The second recordings are conversations that Ottis Green had with his grandson John D Johnston Jr., over a period of three weeks in the summer of 1964. In these recordings, Ottis Green describes, his family history, early settlers in the Leicester community, the development of Asheville. and his years as mayor of Asheville

Biographic Note

Ottis Green was born on July 29, 1874 in the Leicester community of Buncombe County. He attended the first public school in Asheville, and Trinity College (now Duke University). After working in hotels, he entered the harware business in 1905, and for over 50 years he owned and operated the Ottis Green Hardware Co., located on the southwest corner of Pack Square in Asheville. Green was elected to the city council and served as mayor, and was involved in many church and civic activities in Asheville. Ottis Green died on January 11, 1973.

Additional Materials

Notes and letter from John D. Johnston Jr.

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Eleanor Hall 

Date of Interview and Interviewer

(1998) ; Helen Wykle.

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; copy CDs ; text ; advertising pamphlets ; newspaper article

Scope and Contents

Eleanor Hall, in the company of her sister, Mary, describes preserving her historic home in Beaverdam. She talks about Mountain Art and Craft, which became The Treasure Chest and The Three Mountaineers, created by Edwin Brown, which was a major contributor of local arts and crafts until its dissolution in 1992. Note: the recordings are somewhat disjointed, and the order of the original tape recordings is not that apparent.

Biographical Note

Eleanor Brown Hall was born in Asheville on December 13, 1925. She married James Hall, an executive with Carolina Power and Light, and lived several places before returning to Asheville. Hall co-owned the Rice-Cornell-Brown House in Beaverdam, Asheville The house was built as a log cabin in 1850 and has been extended since then. Hall and her husband relocated three extremely rare mid-nineteenth century log cabins onto the Rice-Cornell-Brown House land. These historic-preservation contributions were recognized by the Historic Resources Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Eleanor Hall died on November 28, 2013.

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

Related Collections

Rice-Cornell-Brown Property, Oral History Project

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Roy Harris 

Interview Date and Interviewer

(1998) ; Helen Wykle

Format

VHS video cassette ; copy DVDs

Scope and Contents

The Land of the Sky Demonstration Project was a collaboration of UNC Asheville Special Collections, Asheville Buncombe Library System, YMI Cultural Center and Asheville Art Museum to better serve the information needs of ethnic minorities of Western North Carolina. In this interview, Roy Harris from the YMI and Helen Wykle from UNC Asheville discuss the project.

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Fred Henderson 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 27, 2008 ; William Klipp

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy CD ; text

Scope and Contents

The interview provides a brief biography of Fred (Freddie) Henderson, a life-long Madison County resident. Mr. Henderson describes transportation of logs from the mountains, down the Laurel River to connect with the steam engine train that traveled to Stackhouse on the French Broad River. Many local stories and family histories are included in this interview.

Biographic Note

Fred Henderson is a life-long resident of Madison County, North Carolina. His maternal grandparents were Grady and Millie Gahagan. His paternal grandparents were Columbus and Nora Henderson. Freddie's father was Fred Henderson. His mother was the sister of Bonnie Gahagan. Freddie grew up with his maternal grandparents.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; photograph

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Olson Huff, MD 

Interview Date and Interviewer

January 10, 2005 ; Homer Shannon Carson III

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy CD

Scope and Contents

Olson Huff, M.D. describes the changes in medical care, in Asheville, North Carolina, especially for children. He notes the population changes that have increased the populations of the young and elderly, the need to understand the medical technology and the isues with reimbursement for medical care.

Biographic Note

Olson Huff, M.D. was born in 1936 in Kryton Kentucky. When he was 11, his family moved to a small farm in Indiana. Huff attended the University of Kentucky for his BS in Chemistry in 1957, gained his MD from the University of Louisville in 1962, and interned at Wilford Hall Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas in 1963. He served three years in South East Asia, and returned to Charlotte Memorial Hospital for a Residency in pediatrics from 1966-1968. After working in private practice in pediatrics in Charlotte for 12 years, his family moved to Asheville. At the time of this Oral History, Dr. Huff was Medical Director of Pediatrics and the Center for Childhood Development and Rehabilitation, Thoms Rehabilitation Hospital, and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), Family Practice Residency Program.

Additional Materials

Huff, Olson. The Window of Childhood: Glimpses of Wonder and Courage. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1990

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Wanda Huntsman 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

August 25, 2010 and September 3, 2010 ; Helen Wykle

Format

CDs

Scope and Contents

Wanda Huntsman talks about her family, and describes figures and musical instruments carved by Wayne and Wade Martin, her father and uncle. The August 25 interview is incomplete, and only the final minutes were recorded. Some of the September 3 interview is used to recap biographic information that was discussed in the first interview.

Biographic Note

Wanda Martin Huntsman is the daughter of Wayne and Elsie Marlowe Martin. She was born is Asheville, and at the time of the interview was living in Leicester, NC, with her husband, William Huntsman. Her father came from a family of woodcarvers, and was a noted mountain wood carver and instrument maker.

Related Materials

Kendall Wayne Martin Family Collection ; Elsie Marlowe Martin oral history

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Forrest Jarrett 

Interview Dates and Interviewers

December 12, 2006, Esta Jarrett ; May 17, 2010, Unknown ; November 1, 2010, Helen Wykle

Format

CDs ; text ; digital photographs

Scope and Contents

The collection contains three interviews with Forrest Jarrett. The first interview, recorded on December 12, 2006, by Esta Jarrett, niece of Forrest Jarrett, recounts the Jarrett family history in North Carolina, from before the Civil War to 2006. The transcript the interview includes family photos of ancestors, houses and barns associated with the family.

Little is known of the interview recorded on May 17, 2010 by an unidentified interviewer. It was recorded outdoors and in it, Jarrett talks about his ancestors, referring to grave markers and the family home.

In the recording from November 1, 2010, Forrest Jarrett describes his work with the Southern Railway and the Norfolk-Southern Railway, when he served as the Chief of Railway police. Esta Jarrett and Mark Bennett, reporter for the Biltmore Beacon, were present for this interview and their voices may be heard asking questions and sometimes responding to the interviewee.

Biographic Note

Forrest Jarrett was born in Marshall, NC, in 1928, was educated at Marshall High School and Berea College. He married S. Alene Ray and had two children, Neil and Robert. He worked for the Southern Railway and then the Norfolk-Southern Railway when they merged in 1982. He served as the Director of Railway Security during his final years with the railway, and retired in 1994. When he was interviewed he lived at Jarrett Farm, in Madison County, NC.

Additional Materials

Transcript [of December 12, 2006 interview] ; digital photographs

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Joseph Joyner 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

September 18, 2002 and September 25, 2002 ; Betsy Murray

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; copy CDs ; text

Scope and Contents

Joseph Joyner discusses his family history including stories about James E. Joyner, building contractor, and Detective C.B. (Bill) Joyner, and he talks about the impact of World War II on the Joyner family. Joyner also reflects on his years as co-editor of "Bluets", a student literary publication at Asheville-Biltmore College. Also included are copies of clippings from newspapers and publications that refer to Joyner and his family.

Biographic Note

Born in West Asheville in 1926, Joseph Joyner graduated from Asheville-Biltmore College in 1950. At Asheville-Biltmore College, Joyner wrote pieces for Bluets, a student publication, helping the magazine win a medalist rating in a national competition. His father was a well-known Asheville constable, detective and private investigator, and his brother, James, was a contractor, building some of Asheville's largest and most prominent structures. He died in 2010.

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Elsie Marlowe Martin 

Interview Date and Interviewer

December 5, 2001 ; Betsy Murray

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy tape ; copy CD

Scope and Contents

Elsie Marlowe Martin relates her story of growing up in the Fairview area of North Carolina, marrying Wayne Martin, and sharing his life of a wood craftsman and musician. Martin describes how Wayne and his brothers carved, and played instruments they had made. She describes how, following Wayne Martin's death, she married his brother, Edsel, whose carved birds are held at the Smithsonian Museum.

Biographic Note

Elsie Martin grew up in the Fairview section of NC, and worked for many years on an assembly line. She married Wayne Martin, a member of an Appalachian craft family, noted for wood carvings that include figurines, birds and musical instruments, and they lived in Fairview, and had three children. Following Wayne's death, Elsie married Wayne's brother Edsel, and they lived in Black Mountain. At the time of the interview [2001], Elsie noted her age to be 77 years.

Related Collections

Kendall Wayne Martin Family Collection ; Wanda Huntsman oral history

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Thomas Meyer 

Interview Date and Interviewer

January 27, 2011 ; Melanie English

Format

CD

Scope and Contents

Thomas Meyer discusses the Jargon Society, a small publishing house based in western North Carolina, which was founded by Meyer's partner, Jonathan Williams.

Historical Note

The Jargon Society is an independent press was founded by poet and artist Jonathan Williams. Jargon championed writers, poets and photographers they considered underrecognized, and published many authors who went on to wider recognition. Jonathan Williams died in 2008. Thomas Meyer, Williams' partner for many years, is a poet and translator, and several of his books were published by Jargon.

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Wayne Montgomery, MD 

Interview Date and Interviewer

December 21, 2004 ; Homer Shannon Carson III

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy CD

Scope and Contents

Wayne Montgomery talks about his life in the medical profession.

Biographic Note

Wayne Montgomery was born in Michigan on April 21, 1925. He was a high school baseball player and had a tryout with the Cincinnati Reds, but went to went to DePaw University in Indiana, and was 19 years old when he went to medical school at Wayne University. In 1955, Montgomery, his wife Betsy and their children,moved to Asheville, NC. where he started the Asheville Bone and Joint. Clinic. In 1984 they joined with Blue Ridge Orthopedic Clinic and became the Blue Ridge Bone and Joint. Montgomery retired from orthopedics in 1993.

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Mary Parker 

Interview Date and Interviewers

June 15, 2009 ; Sarah Judson and Helen Wykle

Format

Audio cassette tape, copy tape ; copy CD

Scope and Contents

Mary Parker remembers the her involvement in the integration of the YWCA in Asheville, as well the past and present politics of Asheville, Western North Carolina and the United States.

Biographic Note

Mary Parker was born in Charlotte Street, Asheville on June 17, 1914. She attended, the Grove Park School, and was the sales promotion director for the Bon Marche department store in Asheville. She was an active member of many organizations, including the Friends of the Pack Memorial, the YWCA, and the Junior League. Mary Parker died in February 24, 2012, in the house where she was born.

Related Collections

Mary Parker Oral History - Voices of Asheville ; Mary Parker Oral History - YWCA Collection ; Mary Parker Oral History - Asheville Living Treasures

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Hilliard Penland 

Interview Date and Interviewers

November 21, 2001 ; Betsy Murray and Helen Wykle

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy tape ; copy CD ; text ; photograph

Scope and Contents

Hilliard Penland describes living in Woodfin, NC during the depression, his service in World War II, and working for American Enka.

Biographical Note

Hillard Penland was born August 27, 1910 in north Asheville. He had two siblings, Guy and Christine and his father had a general store in Woodfin. Penland attended Asheville High School, graduating on June 7, 1929. This was at the start of the Great Depression, and the Penlands had some hard times. Hillard was able to attend Asheville College, and then Biltmore Junior College, graduating in 1933. After Penland graduated he went straight to work for American Enka Corporation, where he would remain his entire professional life. There he did chemical research and acquired four patents on new kinds of tire cords. He saw service in World War II and while he was in Germany during the occupation, Penland came into possession of a signed document, autographed by Hitler, which he later donated to UNC Asheville Special Collections along with other war memorabilia. After the war, Penland went right back to American Enka., where he met his wife. The Penlands had two sons. Penland died in Asheville on May 24, 2007.

Additional Materials

Photograph of the mini-reunion (of the Class of 1933), February 20, 1993 ; list of Hilliard Penland's medals from WWII

Related Collections

The Hilliard Penland Collection

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Jack Powell 

Interview Date and Interviewer

April 24, 2001 ; Helen Wykle

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; copy tapes ; copy CDs ; text

Scope and Contents

Jack Powell describes growing up during the Great Depression, his education, and working in medicine in the army during WWII, and later in Asheville.

Biographical Note

Jack Powell was born on July 16, 1921 in Vienna, Georgia. As a young boy, he was sent to Asheville Agriculture School, which later became Fletcher Academy, after which he attended Madison College in Tennessee, and Washington Missionary College in Washington, DC. In Washington he met his wife Mary. He then studied at Loma Linda medical school in California before enlisting in the US Army. After Powell left the army, he moved to Asheville, where he operated a surgical practice from 1954 until 1989. Powell died in Asheville on February 9, 2014.

Additional Materials

Handwritten notes (by Helen Wykle)

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Rice-Cornell-Brown Property, Oral History Project 

Format

Audio cassette tapes, text ; photographs

Scope and Contents

Contain six interviews undertaken by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy to describe the history of the Rice-Cornell-Brown house at 29 Rice Branch Road in Asheville. The property is located on a portion of land bought by James Overly Rice in 1850, after his father-in-law, William Wolfe, died intestate in 1847. Rice had married Wolfe's daughter, Mary Elvira Rice, about 1838. The land remained in the Rice family, being divided among the heirs of James Overly Rice. In 1923, Hugh C. and Edwin L. Brown bought 51 acres of the land, including the original 1850 cabin, from Mary Matilda Rice Cornell, a daughter of James Overly and Mary Elvira Rice. Winfield Scarborough, a descendent of J. O. Rice, farmed the land on behalf of the Browns, raising corn, vegetables and livestock, until his death in the 1950's. Eleanor Brown hall, daughter of Hugh Brown, relocated three log cabins from Sandy Mush Nuclear to the property, which, at the time of the interviews, she co-owned with her brothers. In the interviews, the descendants of Hugh Brown, describe the house, and their childhoods at the property. The interviews also cover cover agricultural practices, flora and fauna, and life in Asheville.

Additional Materials

Subject index ; photographs of the Brown children ; various documents relating to the Rice-Cornell-Brown house ; various documents relating to the Brown family

Eleanor Brown Hall 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

July 12, 1998 and July 15, 1998 ; Rebecca Sears

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; text

Scope and Contents

Eleanor Brown Hall talks describes growing up in the Rice-Cornell-Brown house, and spending summers there with her husband from the 1950s to the 1970s. She also mentions how the Depression effected Asheville, and briefly talks about the Brown Book Company started by her uncle, Edwin Brown.

Biographical Note

Eleanor Brown Hall was born in Asheville on December 13, 1925. She married James Hall, an executive with Carolina Power and Light, and lived several places before returning to Asheville. Hall co-owned the Rice-Cornell-Brown House in Beaverdam, Asheville, and she and her husband relocated three extremely rare mid-nineteenth century log cabins onto the Rice-Cornell-Brown House land. These historic-preservation contributions were recognized by the Historic Resources Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Eleanor Hall died on November 28, 2013.

Additional Materials

Transcript July 12, 1998 ; Transcript July 15, 1998

Related Collections

Eleanor Hall oral history

Mary Ida Brown Sprague 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 20, 1998 ; Rebecca Sears

Format

Audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Mary Ida Brown describes life at "the cabin" an the mid to late 20th century, the important role that the house has played in her life and those of her children and grandchildren, and how her family, in particular her sister Eleanor Brown Hall, worked to preserve the property. Later she talks about growing up in Asheville during the Great Depression and farming at Beaverdam.

Biographical Note

Mary Ida Brown was born in Asheville in 1931. She went to St. Genevieve and David Millard schools in Asheville. and has lived her entire life in Asheville. In 1956 she married Peter Sprague and they had five children.

Additional Materials

Transcript

Mary Jane Scarborough Pearson 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 26, 1998 ; Rebecca Sears

Format

Audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Mary Jane Scarborough Pearson describes growing up on a farm in Beaverdam in the 1930's and her friendship with her neighbors, the Brown family. She talks about the Rice and Cornell families who built the log cabin that the Browns subsequently bought - the Rice-Cornell-Brown House.

Biographical Note

Mary Jane Scarborough Pearson was born in 1916 and was a member of the Scarborough family that farmed in Beaverdan, N.C. The farm was next to the historic Rice-Cornell-Brown House and Mary Jane was friends with the Brown children, in addition to working for Mr. Brown in his antiques store in Asheville. She died in 2002.

Additional Materials

Transcript

Edwin Brown 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 29, 1998 ; Rebecca Sears

Format

Audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Edwin Brown talks about about the Rice-Cornell-Brown house at 29 Rice Branch Road in Asheville. He also describes growing up in Asheville, life on the Scarborough family farm in Beaverdam, and working in the Asheville hardware store, which his father owned.

Biographical Note

Edwin Hall was born in 1929, and attended Asheville School. He worked with the American Friends Service Committee, worked with refugees in Greece, and taught at Chapel Hill, where he was living at the time of the interview.

Additional Materials

Transcript

Hugh C Brown, Jr. 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 8, 1998 ; Rebecca Sears

Format

Audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Hugh Brown talks about about the Rice-Cornell-Brown house at 29 Rice Branch Road in Beaverdam. He also describes growing up at the house, playing with children from the neighboring farm, family gatherings, and life in the 1930's and 1940's.

Biographical Note

Edwin Brown was born circa 1927, one of four children of Lelia and Hugh Brown who lived in the Rice-Cornell-Brown house in Beaverdam, NC. At the time of the interview he was living in Patterson, Louisiana.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Evelyn Cordell Romeo 

Interview Date and Interviewer

December 2, 2004 ; Helen Wykle

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; copy CD

Scope and Contents

Evelyn Romeo talks about atrocities endured by Allied prisoners during World War II, and a book by her friend Colonel William D. Chalek that describes his experience surviving the war as a POW in the Philippines. She provides details of her experiences in Tokyo, her interactions with General MacArthur, her early days working at the Buncombe County Court House, and family reminisces. Romeo also describes the many changes she has seen in Asheville.

Biographic Note

Evelyn Romeo was born in Black Mountain North Carolina on October 3, 1916. She went to Black Mountain High School and Brevard College. In Washington, D.C. she worked as a secretary and for a law firm and later for Senator Robert R. Reynolds, an Asheville, NC native, who in 1941, was chairman of the Senate military affairs committee [today Arms Services Committee]. She lived in Washington DC for almost six years, an experience that resulted in many contacts and her eventual participation in the World War II war trials in Japan. She had wanted to go to the Nuremberg Trials, but, instead, went to the Justice Department as a secretary, and then on to Japan, where she worked as an administrative assistant to the associate council and for the head of the inter- prosecution section. While her time in Tokyo was short, it was eventful and shaped her later life. She arrived in Tokyo on December 7, 1945 and stayed through 1946. On March 30, 1946, she became engaged to Dr. Bruno Romeo who was in Tokyo as a medical assistant to General MacArthur. On her return to Washington, DC, the couple were married. From Washington, DC, Romeo and her husband moved to New York city and lived there for six years. They moved to Hendersonville, NC when Dr. Romeo became the first internist at Pardee hospital, and Evelyn Romeo served as a member of the Woman’s Auxiliary.

Additional Materials

Digital photographs of Evelyn Romeo

Related Collections

The Silas H. Stepp Letters, given to Romeo by her grandfather in 1932, are included in the manuscript collections of Ramsey Library Special Collections.

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Billie Walker Tingle 

Interview Date and Interviewer

February 20, 2004 ; Scott Mckenzie

Format

Audio cassette tape ; copy tape ; copy CD

Scope and Content

The interview provides a history and account of Tingle's Cafe which began in 1918, and closed in the early 1970's. It includes a biography of Billie Walker Tingle, Alvis Tingle Sr., Alvis Tingle Jr., and Thomas Tingle.

Biographic Note

Billie Walker Tingle was born on January 3, 1923. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She worked as a case worker in Asheville until her involvement in Tingle's Cafe. The cafe had first opened in 1918, and was owned by brothers A M Tingle (Billie Tingle's, father in law) and Thomas Tingle. Billie and her husband, A M Tingle Jr., operated Tingle's Cafe from 1946 until it closed around 1972.

Additional Materials

Handwritten interviewer notes

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Georgia Byers Wasson 

Interview Date and Interviewer

November 17, 2001 ; Betsy Murray

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; copy tapes ; copy CDs ; text

Scope and Contents

Georgia Wasson remembers living in Asheville during the times of desegregation in the late 1950s and early 1960s

Biographic Note

Georgia Byers Wasson was born in 1919 in Charleston, S.C. She attended Virginia State College for Negroes near Petersburg, Virginia, for two years. After moving to Asheville, Wasson worked secretary for Ruben Dailey, the first African American City Council member. In the 1960s, Mrs. Wasson worked for Clarence Moore who owned the Asheville Blues, part of the Negro Southern Baseball League.

Additional Materials

Photocopies of newspaper clippings ; biography of Reuben Daily ; page from Ramsey Library exhibit, "African American Voices of Asheville" ; handwritten (interview) notes

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