University of North Carolina at Asheville
D. Hiden Ramsey Library
Special Collections/University Archives

Oral History Register

Frank Coxe

Frank Coxe
Ewart M. Ball Photographic Collection, balln2279
D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville, 28804


Frank Coxe Oral History


Frank Coxe
Alt. Creator Interviewer: Dr. Bruce S. Greenawalt


City planning -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Civic improvement -- North Carolina -- Asheville
Grove Park Inn (Asheville, N.C.) -- History
Hotels -- North Carolina -- Asheville -- History


Green River Plantation ; Asheville revitalization ; Coxe, Colonel Frank ; Coxe, Tench ; Grove Park Inn ; Hamilton, Alexander ; Grove, E. W. ; Industrial Council ; Battery Park Hotel ; American Enka Plant ; Public Services building ; Industry ; Wall Street ; Coal mining


The interview includes information about the original Battery Park Hotel, built by Franklin Coxe in 1888. Tench Charles Coxe, the interviewee's father, sold the hotel in 1924 to E. W. Grove, developer of the Grove Park Inn, who tore down the original building, leveled the hill which dominated the area, and then built the present Battery Park Hotel. The Coxes, meanwhile, developed the area along Wall Street, and in 1930 constructed the Public Service Building on Patton Avenue.

Coxe offers impressions of the boom mentality of the 1920's and the subsequent "whipped feeling" among the city's business leaders which retarded the city's growth for a long time. The revival of the economy occasioned by the war had little impact on Asheville, so that in 1948 several banks helped form the Asheville Industrial Council, of which Frank Coxe was Executive Vice President, to lure industry to Buncombe County and surrounding areas.

He discusses the work and success of the Industrial Council, as well as earlier efforts which brought American Enka to the area. Additional growth is necessary, Coxe believes, and he details specific steps. The interview concludes with his evaluation of Asheville's need for revitalization.

Transcript of interview only: no tapes.


D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, NC, 28804


Frank Coxe


Electronic Record Issued: 2001-07-09




TRANSCRIPT: 45 double-spaced pages



Dr. Bruce S. Greenawalt Oral History Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804




Frank Coxe Collection ; Tench Coxe Collection ; Ewart M. Ball Photographic Collection


1920's-1970's ; Asheville, NC
Rights No restrictions ;  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 authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


Donor number: 66 ;  Date of acquisition: 1979

Processed By

Southern Highlands Research Center staff , 1978 ; Special Collections staff, 2001

Interview Date



Frank Coxe (1899- ) is a descendant of Tench Coxe (1755-1824), prominent Pennsylvania financier and land speculator, who served under Alexander Hamilton in the Treasury Department during the Washington administration. Tench Coxe later purchased anthracite coal lands in Eastern Pennsylvania, an investment which added considerably to the family's wealth.

His son, Francis Sidney Coxe, moved to the Spartanburg, South Carolina, area, and later settled in Rutherford County, North Carolina, near present day Spindale. His son, Colonel Franklin Coxe, grew up at Green River Plantation, but spent considerable time in Philadelphia and elsewhere until he assumed control of the plantation after the Civil War.

In 1885, the Colonel built the original Battery Park Hotel, which was sold by his son Tench to E. W. Grove in 1924.  Frank Coxe, grandson of the Colonel, operated a real estate and insurance business in Asheville and served as Executive Vice President of the Asheville Industrial Council.

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