D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Southern Highlands Research Center Oral History Collection
OH-SHRC

Summary Information

Repository
UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Title
Southern Highlands Research Center Oral History Collection
ID
OH-SHRC
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1972-1979
Date [inclusive]
1972-1984
Extent
2.7 Linear feet  ; 3 boxes
General Physical Description
It is believed that Louis Silveri recorded all the interviews he conducted on open reel audio tapes. Although some of these tapes still exist, and are archived in Special Collections, the equipment to play these tapes is not available. At some time, the open reel tapes were transferred to audio cassette tape and/or CD, and it is thought interviews by Bruce Greenawalt and others were recorded on cassette tapes. Audio is not available for all interviews. Transcripts are available for many interviews and some draft transcripts are also in the collection of Louis Silveri Papers. Release forms were not obtained for some interviews, and these interviews cannot be copied, and the must be listened to and/or transcripts read in Special Collections.
Location
Located in Special Collections row 3, section 1 ; open reel tapes located in VF16
Language
English

Preferred Citation

[Title of Interview], Southern Highlands Research Center Oral History Collection, D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville

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Scope and Contents

Contains oral histories collected in and around Asheville and Western North Carolina during the fifteen years from 1977 to 1992, primarily by Dr. Louis D. Silveri and Dr. Bruce Greenawalt. Dr. Silveri collected over 180 hours of audio from architects, doctors, farmers, manufacturers, administrators, business owners, educators, and pivotal personalities. Dr. Greenawalt, former UNCA History Department Chair, talked with business leaders and tradesmen who documented the growth and changes in the Asheville area. The audio recordings for some recordings are missing, but transcripts of these interviews are available. Some interviews include additional materials such as newspaper clippings and photographs.

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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 described for specific recordings . 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

Louis D. Silveri ; Bruce Greenawalt ; Southern Highlands Research Center ; interviewees as noted ; other interviewers as noted

Processing Information

Originally processed by various staff from the Southern Highlands Research Center and Special Collections. New finding aid by Colin Reeve, September 2016

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Associated Collections

Louis D. Silveri Papers [M2009.09]

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Historical Note

While on sabbatical from Assumption College in Worcester, MA, Dr. Louis Silveri decided to give his family the experience of living in another part of the country. He obtained a teaching job at the University of North Carolina Asheville and moved with his wife and children to a house in Haw Creek in Buncombe County. He was interested in doing research on the effect of the New Deal on this part of the country. After reading "These Are Our Lives," oral histories collected by the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration, he decided to interview people in the Asheville area. His interviews, recorded during the 1970's, formed the nucleus of the oral history collection of the Southern Highlands Research Center. At UNC Asheville, he taught courses on 20th century American history, U.S. diplomacy and the Civil War.

Bruce Greenawalt earned his B.A. from Maryville College; M.A., University of Wisconsin; Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1965) He was an Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, serving as Department Chair from 1997-1998. He was instrumental in the formation of the Southern Highlands Research Center, and was its first Director.

The mission of the Southern Highlands Research Center was to preserve, collect and arrange primary materials illustrative of the Southern Highlands, focusing on the urban, institutional, collective, and group heritage of the region. The Southern Highlands Research Centre was the predecessor of Ramsey Library Special Collections.

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Collection Inventory

Daintry Allison 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 24, 1975 and July 31, 1975 ; Louis D. Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tapes ; audio cassette tapes ; text

Scope and Contents

Interview I: Allison begins the interview by tracing the settlement of her ancestors, the Grahams, from Scotland to North Carolina and Virginia, and the Allisons from England to Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. She also notes the Cherokee descent of her grandmother and her family's participation in the Civil War. Mrs. Allison's husband's family, the McBrayers, came from Pennsylvania to North Carolina and Missouri. She continues with recollections of her grandmother Graham's stories about events after the Civil War concerning freed slaves, Northerners, Southerners, and the Ku Klux Klan. She also notes the religion, education, and professions of the Grahams and her father's politics. She recounts stories about Old Fort, NC and her family's life there. She highlights her teaching years in Old Fort, and the influence she had on the school system and the people in it. She concludes the interview with accounts of the actions she took towards women's rights, converting school rules, bringing progress to her community, and her assignments as a trouble shooter to other schools. She also recounts working to secure the passage of the school consolidation act in 1929.

Interview II: Allison elaborates on her assignments to the rural schools of Western North Carolina as a troubleshooter to educate and tame unruly students. She started occupational teaching in a school eight miles from Bethlehem, NC in order to teach the boys math through reading blueprints, laying brick, etc.. Involved in the grass roots politics of obtaining better schools in North Carolina, she initiated adult education. She wrote a course of study for homemaking for adult illiterates, which was later used as a model for home economics instruction in high schools.

Biographical Note

Daintry L. Allison, a life-long resident of Western North Carolina, began teaching in the North Carolina public schools in 1914, at age 18. She retired after forty-seven years as a contract teacher but continued to tutor special children. Literally a woman who was born to teach, her interests and activities in the field of education began in her childhood when she managed to discuss education with Governor Aycock during a visit he made to her parents' home. In 1916, she married and moved to Selma, NC, a cotton mill town where her husband was working. She started a school in Cottondale, NC to educate adults. Her homemaking course was the first course of study for adult illiterates in North Carolina. For Governor Ehringhaus, she authored a program for farm needs. During the Depression, she continued teaching, supplementing her income by writing and selling advertisements. She also held cooking schools throughout the region. After retirement to Fairview, NC, she substituted for 10 years at Reynolds High School, tutored, and attended National Educational Conventions.

Additional Materials

Transcript of interview 1 [July 24, 1975] ; transcript of interview 2 [July 31, 1975]

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J. Wilson Ayers 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 10, 1975 ; Louis D. Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

This interview is a comprehensive description of the manufacture of rayon and the growth of the American Enka plant. The company purchased twenty-two hundred acres of land on which to build a plant in 1928. At the time it began operations July 1, 1929, it was hailed as a boon to all of Western North Carolina. Mr. Ayers tells of the prosperous impact of the company on the life of the people of the area. He also describes the formation of Akzona, the research program carried on by the corporation in this country and in Holland. The interview also covers such factors as labor unions and strikes, plus industrial pollution problems.

Biographical Note

Mr. Ayers became a sports reporter for the Hendersonville Times-News at the age of thirteen and continued while attending school and working for the local theater. He entered the employ of the American Enka Corporation in 1944. During his years at Enka he conducted recreation activities in many areas for the employees at Enka, as well as serving as editor of the employee publication.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Jesse James Bailey 

Interview Date and Interviewer

April 1972 and May 1972 ; Louis D. Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

In the first interview, Bailey describes life in Madison County at the turn of the century. He explains his work for the Southern Railroad and describes the building of railroads from the Piedmont into the mountains of Western North Carolina. He reminisces about his experiences as sheriff in Madison and Buncombe counties, telling excellent stories about people and places in Western North Carolina.

The second interview contains reminiscences and stories recorded as he is driven through Buncombe, Madison, Yancey, and Mitchell Counties.

Biographical Note

Mr. Bailey was born June 14, 1888 in Madison County, North Carolina. He was Sheriff of Madison County (1920-1922) and Buncombe County (1928-1930). For 58 years he worked as a telegrapher and then as a detective for the Southern Railroad.

Additional Materials

Transcript of interview 1 [April 1972] ; transcript of interview 2 [May 1972]

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Ronald Lloyd Baker 

Interview Date and Interviewer

February 1972 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

The interview describes how a small farmer in Buncombe County survived during the Depression, and later managed to earn income from his farm during a period of urbanization and the disappearance of many of the nation's small farms. Baker also discusses his attachment to the Republican Party, and offers observations on mountain customs, food preparation, the value of mules (which in 1972 he continued to use), fur trapping, and other subjects.

Biographical Note

Ronald Baker was born in 1900 in Avery’s Creek. A life-long resident and farmer of Buncombe County, North Carolina, Baker moved in 1925 to Haw Creek, outside Asheville. He raised tobacco, wheat, corn, hogs, and chickens, on two to six acres of land, supplementing this income by occasional jobs such as hauling rock.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Armitage Farrington Barber, Sr. 

Interview Date and Interviewer

October 9, 1978 ; Bruce Greenawalt

Format

Audio cassette tape ; CD ; text

Scope and Contents

Armitage Barber's recollections of his photographic work. Includes discussion of Hendersonville and the surrounding area, the Depression, and the Barber family, who have lived in the area since the 1880's.

Biographical Note

Arthur Farrington Baker, an Englishman had studied photography in London under Alexander Bassano , and after touring the southeastern US with his brothers who were music teachers and piano salesmen, he opened photographic studios in Chester and Rock Hill, S. C. In 1884 he opened a summer studio in Hendersonville, NC. Before long, Baker made the North Carolina studio a year-round enterprise and operated it successfully after 1900 with the help of his relative, Armitage Farrington Barber, Sr.. The Barbers were English relatives of Bakers who had settled in western North Carolina early in the century. Armitage Farrington Barber, Sr. assumed control of Baker's studio in 1930 when A.F. Baker turned the business over to him.

Additional Materials

Partial transcript ; handwritten notes (by Bruce Greenawalt)

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Reba Barnard 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 2, 1972 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape

Scope and Contents

Reba Barnard was born in Asheville in 1897, and she talks about her family history, including her father who fought in the Civil War. She recalls life in Asheville when she was growing up, with Merimon Avenue being unpaved with woods, and Beaverdam being considered true county. She worked at several stores in Asheville before she got a job at Sears Roebuck, and she worked there for 30 years.

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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John Baxter 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 5, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape ; CD ; text

Scope

The interview includes discussion of Baxter's youth in Chunn's Cove, his grandparents' influence, tales of the "underground railroad" heard from them, his memories of Asheville in the 1920s, his work experiences here and in New York, and his impressions about race relations in Asheville and the nation.

Biographical Note

John Baxter was born in Chunn's Cove, the grandson of slaves. In New York City he studied automobile repair and returned to Asheville in the 1950's to open Baxter's Transmission Service. Over the years, Baxter taped and interviewed many black musicians who performed in Asheville. In the 1970's, he was active in the campaign to save and to revitalize the YMI Cultural Center.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Rev. James H. Black 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 13, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

The experiences of Rev. Black in rural churches at a time when the pastor was not paid a salary. He made his living outside of the church. The interview reveals the difficulties experienced by an innovative minister in trying to broaden his fields of service to the church.

Biographical Note

James Black was born on May 16, 1893, in Yancey County, near Burnsville, North Carolina. He spent his boyhood on a large farm at Windom, three miles from Burnsville. He made a public announcement of his intention to enter the ministry in 1924, as was the custom in his denomination. He was ordained as a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church in 1929.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Harry Chepriss 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

July 18, 1977 and July 20, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tapes ; audio cassette tapes ; CD ; text

Scope and Contents

Harry Chepriss describes the life of an immigrant living in the U.S. in the early nineteenth century. He also describes his various occupations and the working conditions of an immigrant. He talks about early technology: benzine light, kerosene heat and the first automobile in Asheville.

Biographical Note

Harry Chepris was born in Greece in 1886 and came to the U.S. in 1900. When he arrived in Asheville from Bowling Green, Kentucky he expected to meet a cousin. The cousin was not there and he found only one other Greek living in Asheville at that time. He worked in a variety of occupations.

Additional Materials

Transcript July 18, 1977 ; Transcript July 20, 1977 ; handwritten interview notes

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Mary Chiltoskey 

Recording Date and Recorder

April 1972 ; Louis Silveri [The text of the transcript has an April 1972 date, but the cover sheet has April 1978. As the recording was mad by Louis Silveri, 1972 seems more likely to be correct]

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

Mrs. Chiltoskey tells two Cherokee legends for the Western North Carolina Historical Association in April, 1978. She gives a brief introduction to Cherokee memories and legends, particularly the game of "Chunky" and the Cherokee legend of the "great flood".

Biographical Note

Mary Chiltoskey was a teacher, and keeper of Cherokee tribal myths, legend and medicine lore. She wrote several books on Cherokee culture, and taught at the Cherokee school from 1942 to 1967, where she was also the librarian.

Additional Materials

Transcript

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Frank Coxe 

Interview Date and Interviewer

Jun 6, 1979 ; Bruce Greenawalt

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

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.

Biographical Note

Frank Coxe 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.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Hugh Creasman 

Interview date and Interviewer

August 16, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [Audio is not available]

Scope and Contents

Creasman describes growing up on his father's farm and his deep appreciation for the independence and self-sufficiency of that way of life. He speaks about the character of mountain people, their honesty, independence and the way they took care of neighbors who were sick or injured. He tells about making moonshine in Bent Creek, selling enough to "professional people" in Asheville in a few months to pay off his debts and finance his college education. He describes his work in Coweeta, a section of Macon County and in the Copper Basin area of Tennessee. He describes the destruction of vegetation and erosion caused by the copper mines around Copper Hill, Tennessee.

Biographical Note

Mr. Creasman grew up in the Bent Creek Area, starting school around 1917 at Bent Creek Church School and finishing high School at Venable School. His parents were self-sufficient farmers, raising produce, hogs and cattle. Creasman ran a gas station with his brother when gas sold for 11cents per gallon. In 1934 he began working for the government, running tests for the Appalachian Forest Experiment Station, to determine the effect of different ground covers on water absorption. After World War II, he worked for the Geological Survey, studying the aftermath of floods in many parts of the country.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Hardy Davidson 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 3, 1972 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

Hardy Davidson talks about his family background, the death of Samuel Davidson, the Civil War era, the railroad era, farm life, and wood carving. He also cover the Depression years in Swanannoa, Warren Wilson College, craft sales, Beacon Manufacturing Company, religious denominations, T. V. A.'s Flood Control Plans, and the flood of 1916. Also included are clippings covering Davidson and his carvings.

Biographical Note

A life long resident of Swanannoa, North Carolina, and a descendent from one of the earliest families that settled the region, Hardy Davidson gained recognition as a wood carver, and was an early member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; newspaper clippings

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Robert G Fortune Jr. 

Interview Date and Interviewer

October 12, 1979 ; Bruce Greenawalt

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

A large part of this oral history covers the arrival and expansion of electricity to the Asheville region. The interview covers Mr. Fortune's early education at various schools in Asheville, before he entered N. C. State University, receiving a degree in electrical engineering in 1925. After working in, Palais Royal, his father's department store, until the Depression, and a short time working for a veterinarian, he joined Carolina Light and Power. Mr. Fortune's reminiscences give much insight into the effort required to carry electricity to the farms and valleys. The interview also deals with the inception of electrical power, initially to provide trolley car service, and its growth following the development of the incandescent lamp. Also included is a letter from Robert Fortune praising Carolina Light & Power and the people he worked with there, and a newspaper clipping covering Mr. Fortune's promotion and a brief biography.

Biographical Note

Born in 1904, Robert Fortune grew up and Asheville and, in 1936, joined the staff of the Carolina Power and Light Company during a period of wide expansion in the use of electricity in the rural sections of Western North Carolina. After retiring, Mr. Fortune started to collect photographs of Asheville's early history.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; letter from Robert G Fortune Jr.

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Henry Irven Gaines 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 25, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available] ; photograph

Scope and Contents

Gaines discusses his ancestry and his childhood summers in the mountains of North Carolina where his father had a small farm. He recounts his life as an architect and the projects and personalities he encountered in the profession. He knew the author Thomas Wolfe and describes him in the interview. He discusses life during the Depression.

Biographical Note

An architect who lived and worked in Asheville for many years, Gaines struggled to become established in his profession during the Great Depression. During his career, he designed many private residences and public buildings, including the Asheville Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the Asheville Union Bus Station, the Woolworth Building, buildings on the Mars Hill College Campus, and the Brevard College Library. During World War II, in order to attract government contracts, he joined with five other architects ( Erle Stillwell, Charles Waddell, Tony Lord, Bill Dodge, and Stewart Rogers) to form the architectural firm "Six Associates."

Additional Materials

Transcript ; typed (interview notes) that differ from transcript ; photograph of Henry Gaines in 1975

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Dorothy Gaston 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 7, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

Dorothy Gaston discusses her family history and her career with the American Enka Plant. The interview includes her reflections on the role of American Enka in developing the region, and her impressions of local workers.

Biographical Note

Dorothy Gaston was a native of Buncombe County and a descendant of William Moore, Revolutionary War officer and leader of the 1776 campaign against the Cherokees, who settled along the Hominy River. Her grandmother was Mary Caroline Gudger Moore (1833-1917), who recorded memories of her long life in My Book, housed in Ramsey Library Special Collections as the Mary Gudger Moore Collection. After a decade of teaching in Arkansas, Gaston returned to Asheville, where in 1929 she was employed by American Enka. There she worked as a "labor inspector" recruiting employees, and later in the "Welfare Office," where she investigated employee absences. She retired from Enka in 1960, and died in 1979.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; letters from Dorothy Gaston to Louis Silveri, providing additional biographical information ; clipping about treaty between Enka and the Cherokee ; obituary of Dorothy Gaston

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Lucy Herring 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

July 26, 1977 and August 2, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

The interview describes Lucy Herring's various educational roles as teacher, supervisor, principal, and consultant during a period when North Carolina had a racially separated school system. She provides family and personal background, observations on various Asheville education officials, describes reactions to the Supreme Court's Brown decision in 1954, and reflects on the change in "human relations" in Asheville during the period of Civil Rights activities.

Biographical Note

Lucy S. Herring was born into a family of twelve children and reared in the small textile-mill town of Union, South Carolina. Despite limited educational opportunities, Herring dedicated herself to a life of scholarship, eventually earning a Masters degree from the University of Chicago. For more than fifty years, Mrs. Herring served pupils, principals and teachers in the black elementary schools of North Carolina, primarily as a reading specialist. At the college level, she taught in-service and prospective teachers the value of reading in furthering education among students. In 1952, Herring was awarded a medal for twenty years of service as Jeanes supervisor by the Southern Education Foundation. In 1963 Mountain Street School, where Mrs. Herring served as principal in the 1940's, was named the Lucy S. Herring School in her honor. Mrs. Herring died at her son's home in Phoenix, AZ, Oct. 21, 1995.

Additional Materials

Transcript July 26, 1977 ; Transcript tape 1, August 2, 1977 ; Transcript tape 2, August 2, 1977 ; obituary for Lucy Herring ; note of possible reference to Lucy Herring's father in law; The North Carolina Historical Review, April 2003, with article about Lucy Herring

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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John P Holt 

Interview Date and Interviewer

October 10, 1979 ; Bruce Greenawalt

Format

Text [No audio is available]

Scope and Contents

In 1961, after twenty years of studying and teaching in other states, Dr. John Holt returned to Asheville to practice medicine, where his father began medical practice in 1918. He discusses factors that led to a large decline in the number of black doctors in North Carolina from the early '40s to the '70s. He describes slowly changing segregated conditions for black doctors and their patients in Asheville. Holt discusses the need for a program of national health insurance to make health care accessible to the poor and outlines advantages of neighborhood health clinics.

Biographical Note

Dr. Holt's maternal grandfather, Plummer Austin Richardson, a barber with a third-grade education, acquired tobacco farms and other real estate near Durham, NC, to became "the first black millionaire in North Carolina." Holt's paternal grandfather supervised men laying railroad track into Asheville. Holt's father began a medical practice in Asheville in 1918. Holt began school at the Allen School at the age of four and attended Stephens-Lee High School, Morgan State College, and earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. Holt's involvement in civic affairs included appointments to the Asheville Housing Authority, at a time when innovative public housing was being designed, to the Human Rights Commission, and to the Asheville School Board, during the time of public school integration. He served as the first black on the Executive Board of the Chamber of Commerce.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; interview notes

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Dorothy Snell Howald 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 7, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Dorothy Howald describes life in the county seat of Hyden, Kentucky, a town of fewer than 1,000 residents. She describes the delivery of health care through the Frontier Nursing Service to an impoverished, rural community. As envisioned by its founder Mary Breckenridge, the service was set up like a wheel. Its center was Hyden Hospital, a small facility with 27 beds, "including the bassinets in the nursery." The spokes of the wheel were five outpost clinics, each operated by a nurse midwife and a general duty nurse, visited once a month by a doctor from the hospital.

Biographical Note

In 1965, after earning a nursing degree from the University of Rochester, New York, Dorothy Howald pursued her interest in nurse midwifery by joining the Frontier Nursing Service in Leslie County, Kentucky. By 1967 she was assistant dean of the midwifery school, in charge of family planning and home delivery service in the outpatient clinics. After moving to Asheville in 1974, Howald found that the area was becoming open to the idea of nurse midwifes and began working with a group a five obstetricians.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Dr. Thomas Howald 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 7, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Dr. Howald describes his experiences with the Frontier Nursing Service at Hyden Hospital in Leslie County in eastern Kentucky. Howald describes life in rural Kentucky, including family feuds, and a social life that centered around such "homestyle" entertainment as candy pulls and making music on the front porch.

Biographical Note

During a four month internship in 1968, the summer of his senior year of medical school, Thomas Howald met his future wife, Dorothy Howald, who was teaching midwifery and in charge of family planning and home delivery service in the outpatient clinics of the Frontier Nursing Service in Leslie County, KY. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati Medical School and doing an internship at Cincinnati General Hospital, Dr. Howald felt a "need or an obligation" to return to rural Kentucky. Howald "learned an awful lot of medicine," serving as primary doctor for all the general medicine and pediatric patients, serving as backup for the nurses and midwifes, making weekly visits to outpost clinics, and being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Benjamin R Hunter 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 8, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Content

Hunter describes his business career, as he worked his way up from penniless young adventurer to owner of a successful hosiery finishing plant in Black Mountain. He offers a fascinating glimpse into working conditions during the Depression.

Biographical Note

One of eleven children, Benjamin R. Hunter, left home in his early teens with nothing but determination to make his way in the world. He worked as a telegraph operator in Mexico, where he learned to speak Spanish from a textbook. After working as a bill clerk for a railroad, he became a manager for a wholesale grocery business in Florida. In 1928, just before the stock market crash, he entered the hosiery business, making men's socks at a finishing plant in Black Mountain. He learned the business from the ground up and saved money by training new employees himself, rather than hiring experienced workers. Beginning with an investment of $29,700, he sold his shares the business in 1963 for $300,000. During the Depression, workers earned $7.50 a week for a fifty-five hour week, ten hours every day and five hours on Saturday. His plant never unionized, and he was proud of the affection his employees felt for him and the "family spirit" in his business.

Additional Materials

Transcript

Restrictions

Quotations in excess of 250 words are not permitted

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Richard Jarrett 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 18, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio]

Scope and Contents

Richard Jarrett describes life on a Madison County farm in the early 1900's, the family home, chores, recreation, foods the family ate and how they were grown, harvested and preserved. Jarrett describes the process of making moonshine whiskey. Although he says, "I don't like to talk about stuff like that," he describes one narrow escape from the law, carrying a load of whiskey in his souped-up 1934 V-8 Ford. He also recounts some of his experiences as a Sea-bee during World War II.

Biographical Note

Born in Madison County, NC, in 1908, Richard Jarrett was the second son of a farmer who also ran a small neighborhood store. Jarrett worked in the fields, hoeing corn and tobacco, and sometimes attended the nearby one-room school. When he was ten, his father bought another farm in the Bent Creek area, so that the children could attend a "better" three-room school. As a young man, Jarrett worked for the Biltmore Estate, earning a dollar for a 10-hour day, cutting corn and firewood. He also walked into Asheville to sell newspapers and worked as a "printer's devil" for Whiteside Printing Office for three dollars a week.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; Tribute to Richard Jarret by Jo Parker

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John E Jervis 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 28, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

The interview includes discussion of Jervis's ancestry, his work at American Enka and with the Central Labor Union, his evaluation of various labor leaders and politicians, and his assessment of local politicians and leaders.

Biographical Note

John Jervis was born in Marshall, NC, on March 10, 1909, to a family of educators. His Grandfather Jervis was President of Mars Hill College for seven years, while his father taught school briefly and then owned and edited newspapers in Marshall, Old Fort, and Bryson City, NC. Jervis was an employee of American Enka, where he worked from the late 1920's until he retired in 1966. During this time he was an officer in the local union at Enka and simultaneously an officer in the Central Labor Union, organized in Asheville in 1881. Jervis became a trustee and delegate to the C.L.U. in 1940, secretary-treasurer in 1941, and president in 1946, a post he held continuously until the 1970's, except for a two-year hiatus while he was absent from Asheville working with the Furniture Union.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Gwynn Jones 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 22, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape ; CD ; text ; photograph

Scope and Contents

The interview recounts the self-sufficient and abundant life enjoyed in the early 1900's when Mr. Jones was growing up on a farm in Ashe County. The farm family grew its own meat, vegetables, and poultry, and fruits were plentiful and available in great variety. He describes the summer and winter routine of farm life, food preservation, and the simple pleasures of country life, church activities, politics, and the administration of rural justice. He describes the one-room school where his Uncle Wesley Jones taught for 52 years, church services and revivals and the importance of music in the life of the community.

Biographical Note

Gwynn (G T ) Jones grew up on a farm in Ashe County, NC. In addition to farming, his father worked as a Revenue Officer in the 1930's. Jones moved to Asheville in 1936

Additional Materials

Transcript ; photograph of Gwynn Jones

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Mary Jones 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 17, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Mrs. Jones recollections in this oral history interview tell of her childhood visits to grandparents in Ashe County. She relates family memories of the Civil War, also describes mountain speech and medical care. She describes techniques for food processing used on the farm. She touches briefly on politics and the "New Deal" programs of the 1930's.

Biographical Note

Mrs. Jones traveled extensively as a child, moving to various Army posts with her father. When her father bought a farm in Ashe County, she met her future husband, Gwynn Jones. The Jones' moved to Asheville, NC. in 1936.

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Dr. William S Justice 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 11, 1979 ; Bruce Greenawalt

Format

Audio cassette tape ; CD ; text

Scope and Contents

This interview is remarkable for Dr. Justice's frank, and even blunt, assessment of the medical practitioners of Asheville during the years he conducted his practice. He also discusses the medical care available for blacks, the impact of the Depression, and his reactions to such Federal programs as Medicaid.

Biographical Note

The son of Eliza Shipp Bynum and Butler Alexander Justice, Dr. Justice was born May 21, 1900, in Lincolnton, North Carolina, at the home of his grandfather, the Rev. William Shipp Bynum. He was a nephew of the late Curtis Bynum, of Asheville. His grandfather Justice was a Superior Court Judge. When he was seven years old his mother moved to Virginia, where he received his education from governesses; in private and public schools, and attended Episcopal High School at Alexandria, Virginia. He spent much of his boyhood at Arden, North Carolina, where his mother owned a summer home and where they had relatives. He received a degree in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1920, and was employed for a brief time as a foreign service management trainee for the British-American Tobacco Company. A year later he made the decision to return to Chapel Hill, becoming the second man from the two-year medical school at the University to transfer to Harvard Medical School, where he received his M.D. degree in 1926. Dr. Justice opened his practice in Asheville in 1931, after having engaged in five years of internships and residencies in the Boston area, concluding with the position of resident surgeon at Boston City Hospital just prior to his move to Asheville. This background explains his reactions to the "primitive" conditions he found in Asheville upon his arrival. Together with Dr. Julian A. Moore, Dr. Justice succeeded in establishing the first pathology department at the old Biltmore Hospital. After retirement, Dr. Justice devoted his time to his hobby of wildflower photography.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; family tree of William Justice

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Marie Halbert King 

Interview Date and Interviewer

May 1972 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Mrs. King reminisces about her years as National Youth Administrator for Buncombe County and her later responsibility for a NYA district in Western North Carolina, from 1936 to 1943. She describes the organization of program, the kind of help provided, and the young people and their families who benefited from the program. Mrs. King also tells stories of mountain people, describing their character, life, trials, and tribulations, and reads selections of her poetry from Cabin in the Valley. Additionally, Mrs. King describes her family background, years growing up in Kansas, and later life in the Asheville area. The interview concludes with Mrs. King reading her poetry from Against the Course of Time and Forgotten Valleys.

Biographical Note

Marie Halbert King was born in 1893 and worked for the National Youth Administration during the 1930's and 1940's,finding work for needy young people and providing training programs to teach good work habits and needed skills. She published several volumes of poetry inspired by the mountain people with whom she worked.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; tape summary ; copy of article about Marie Halbert King by Louis Silveri, from "Appalachian Heritage", Summer 1980

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Anthony (Tony) Lord 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 2, 1979 ; Bruce Greenawalt

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; text ; photographic media

Scope and Contents

Tony Lord discusses his education and influences on his life and work. He describes the grand new subdivisions built in Asheville during the 1920's before the crash of the stock market: Lakeview Park, Kenilworth, Biltmore Forest and the neighborhood of Grove Park. He discusses the impact of the Depression and World War II on his architectural firm. He shares memories of notable Asheville people, such as Thomas Wolfe, Weldon Weir and George Masa. He discusses his experiences as a member of the Board of the Buncombe County Library System. He also discusses various buildings that he designed in town, and describes changes that he has seen in the area over time.

Biographical Note

Architect Anthony Lord left his mark on many public and private buildings in Asheville, including the Pack Memorial Library and the D.H. Ramsey Library on the campus of UNC Asheville. He was also influential in the "greening" of downtown Asheville, planting and protecting trees. He was one of the founding members of the architectural group Six Associates. For many years he was a member of the Board of Directors of the public library. He died in 1993.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; negatives, contact print, and prints of Anthony Lord

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Ernest and Magnolia McKissick 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 2, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Mr. McKissick tells about his family background, his education, experiences in the army in World War I, church influence, occupations, and the Young Men's Institute. He remembers the Depression in Asheville. He talks about his son Floyd McKissick, and Soul City, Floyd McKissicks' HUD-sponsored town in Warren County, NC.

Biographical Note

Ernest McKissick was born in 1895, and soon afterwards his family moved to Asheville from Kelton, South Carolina near Spartanburg. Asheville, then a small community of around 15,000 people, offered more opportunities for work than rural SC. He quit school after second grade, but Dr. J. W. Walker of the YMI took an interest in him, found him work, and helped raise enough money to send him to Livingstone College. After service in World War I, McKissick married Magnolia Thompson. He worked in hotels, in Florida in the winter, in NC in the summer. In 1943 he left the George Vanderbilt Hotel to work for the Postal Service, and then for the Oteen VA Hospital, where he worked until he retired in 1957. Mrs. McKissick worked for 29 years for the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company. The four McKissick children all finished college. Their oldest son Floyd was the first black student in the law school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; "Black Highlanders in World War I", by Jean M McNeil ; newspaper clipping about Soul City, 1977 ;

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W.K. McLean 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 18, 1977 : Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape ; CD ; text

Scope and Contents

McLean relates Civil War stories told by his grandparents and describes his father's turn-of-the-century medical practice. He describes the churches and schools of his childhood and his experiences in World War I. He relates interesting experiences as a teacher during the Depression and as a young lawyer.

Biographical Note

W. K. McLean was the son of a country doctor in the North Buncombe County area of Barnardsville. A Democrat, he became a Superior Court Judge and also served as a Solicitor. He was a close observer of his father's practice of medicine and his reminiscences reveal much that he learned from him. He served in World War I and was given the privilege of remaining in France and studying at the Sorbonne. After returning home he completed his education and became a teacher.

Additional Materials

Transcript

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Artus Monroe Moser 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

April 27, 1972 and May 1972 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tapes ; audio cassette tapes ; CDs ; text

Scope and Contents

There are two, possibly three, separate recordings. In the first, recorded April 27, 1972, Artus Moser reminisces about life in Western North Carolina and early twentieth century Asheville. Material discussed includes farming, lumbering operations, his early life on the Vanderbilt Estate, stories of George Vanderbilt, and his college years at Chapel Hill when he was a classmate of Thomas Wolfe. He describes World War I experiences and his college teaching career at Lincoln Memorial University, and shares memories of life on Biltmore Estate for the family of the forester Dr.Schenck. He talks about his study and practice as a painter, and adventures as collector of folk ballads for Library of Congress.

On May 16, 1972 Louis Silveri recorded Moser talking about the "Western North Carolina Legend of Abraham Lincoln", and the Cherokee in WNC.

Lastly, there are recordings of Moser singing the folk ballads that he collected. This tape is simply dated May 1972, and more, or may not, have been recorded the same same day as Lincoln and the Cherokee.

Biographical Note

Artus Monroe Moser, born in 1894 in Hickory, North Carolina, to David Lafayette Moser and Cordia Elizabeth (King) Moser. Moser's maternal ancestors were among the pioneer settlers of Western North Carolina. His mother's great-uncle, William Franklin Foster, founded Newton Academy, the first school west of the Blue Ridge. His father worked in the Forestry Service on the Biltmore Estate and later on Mount Mitchell. As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Moser became interested in local history. As a professor at the University of Tennessee, at Knoxville, and later at Lincoln Memorial University, at Harrogate, Tennessee, he continued to gather historical material about Western North Carolina. He also became a collector of folk ballads and folklore for the Library of Congress. In 1943 he became professor of Social Sciences at Asheville-Biltmore College. Artus Moser died in Swannanoa on December 24, 1992.

Additional Materials

Transcript, April 27, 1972 [incomplete, only covers part of the interview] ; transcript, "The Lincoln Legend" ; transcript, "The Cherokee" ; list of songs

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Frank Mulvaney 

Interview Dates and Interviewers

June 15, 1976 - Louis Silveri ; 1986 - Alice Smith

Format

Audio cassette tapes ; copy CDs ; text

Scope and Contents

In the 1976 interview Frank Mulvaney talks about his family history, and how the family moved around due to his father's job with the railroad. Mulvaney subsequently worked for the railroad himself, and he discusses his work, and the operation of the railroad. He also talks about the effect of the depression on Asheville, and service in World War II.

The 1986 interview was conducted as part of a project by a UNC Asheville student, that focused on the history of railroad in WNC. The interview is shorter, and although it includes a little of Frank Mulvaney's background, it mostly covers the operation of the Southern Railroad.

Biographic Note

Mulvaney was born in Vicksburgh, MS, on March 25, 1894. In 1913 he joined the Southern Railroad as a clerk stenographer, and he worked his way up through the company to become chief clerk to the Superintendent. In retirement, he was elected to Asheville City Council and served as Vice Mayor.

Additional Materials

Transcript of 1986 interview ; typed notes and photograph of Mr. & Mrs. Mulvaney (by Alice Smith) ; copy of "Ties, The southern Railway magazine", December 1953, with an article about Frank Mulvaney ; newspaper clipping, Jan. 18, 1976, regarding the golden wedding of Mr. & Mrs. Mulvaney

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Dr. Russell Lee Noburn 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 25, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; cassette tapes ; CDs ; text

Scope and Contents

Russell Norburn discusses his family history and his experience coming to Asheville in 1901, when he was 8 years old. He describes the city as it was at that time, mentioning the Kimberly family, the building of the Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Forest, the Battery Park Hotel, and the opening of the Asheville Country Club. He describes his education and his interest in medicine, and talks about his experience working with his brother, Dr. Charles Norburn, to open the Norburn Hospital in 1928, including their struggle to keep the hospital alive through the Depression, when most of their patients couldn't afford to pay their medical expenses. He describes the disastrous effects of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which was implemented to reduce the medical expenses of people injured on the job, and other effects of the Depression, describing the failure of the Central Bank, as well as the loss of millions of dollars in city and county funds. He describes race relations in the south during this time, and the issuing of money through the Federal Reserve, which he believes is slanted to benefit private enterprise. He also talks about the book that he coauthored with his brother, "Mankind's Greatest Step: A New Monetary System".

Biographical Note

Dr. Russell Norburn was born March 7, 1893 in Danville, Virginia, and came to Asheville in 1901. He attended the Montford Avenue School and the Orange Street School, until the fourth grade, when his father's failing health forced the family to move out of the city to West Asheville, where he attended Sand Hill High School. He graduated from high school in 1916, and went to the University of North Carolina to study medicine, and later attended Vanderbilt University, where he obtained his medical degree. After his graduation in 1921, he came back to Asheville and opened a private practice with his brother, Dr. Charles Norburn. Together they opened the Norburn Hospital in 1928. Despite doubling their capacity, and taking care of over 33,000 bed patients, the hospital struggled to survive through the Depression, when few of their patients could afford to pay their medical expenses. The hospital was eventually taken over by the Mission Memorial Hospital.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; booklet, "The Norburn Hospital & Clinic"

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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William Nothstein 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 1, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tapes ; audio cassette tapes ; text

Scope and Contents

William Nothstein talks about his life as a career forester, and covers such subjects as national forests, Carl Schenck, fire fighting, timber management, and clear cutting. He also talks about his personal history.

Biographical Note

William Nothstein was born in 1902. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State Forest School with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, William Nothstein was a self designated Pennsylvania Dutchman who fell in love with Western North Carolina after spending a short time in the area while in college, and from 1927 to 1968 he worked in the forests of the area. His first position with the Forest Service was with the Southeastern Experiment Station at Bent Creek, near Asheville. He also assisted in the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. At other times he worked in the Nantahala National Forest, and traveled through Western North Carolina conducting a program on prevention of forest fires. He headed the timber stand improvement program for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Nantahala National Forest, and praised CCC for benefiting the forests of Western North Carolina and the Appalachians more than any other Government program.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; copy of "Walking twice to cast a shadow: William Nothstein...", Louis Silveri, Appalachian Heritage, Fall 1979

Restrictions

Quotations are restricted to those of no more than 250 words, not involving unpleasant references to any individual by name or inference.

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Landon "Buck" Ray 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

June 23, 1977 and August 16, 1977

Format

Open reel audio tapes ; audio cassette tapes

Scope and Contents

Landon Ray is conversing with Dr. Louis Silveri as they drive through Yancey and Buncombe County, commenting on the landscape, new building sites, and how the areas have changed throughout the years.

Biographical Note

Landon Ray was raised in Buncombe County and worked as a timber cruiser, surveying the land for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He also worked as a recreational therapist in the Highland Psychiatric Hospital, and was present when Zelda Fitzgerald was hospitalized.

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Roy Rice 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 12, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Rural mail carrier Roy Rice describes the difficulty of delivering mail over a ninety-three mile route, including hard to reach places such as Shelton Laurel and Spillcorn. He tells how he quickly became more than a mail deliverer, providing special services of kindness and thoughtfulness for the people of the isolated mountain communities. Additionally, he assesses the impact of the Depression and World War II on his community and occupation, and discusses his impression of the character of the mountain people. Rice also describes his grandfather's Madison County mill, his father's farm, and his own childhood and schooling.

Biographical Note

Roy Rice was born in Madison County in 1903 and grew up in a rural setting. After completing high school at Mars Hill College, he began teaching at various locations in Madison County, using his summers to improve his certification by attending school in Asheville. He taught between 1922 and 1928, when he became a rural mail carrier. Initially, he carried the mail in a horse and buggy, but soon learned to negotiate his route in a model T Ford, pleasing patrons who had never received such prompt service. He retired from the mail service in 1950.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; clipping of 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Rice, 1975 ; copy of undated pledge to (repair the Big Laurel Meeting House)

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Colonel Paul Rockwell 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 22, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

The subjects discussed include Rockwell's ancestry, education, enlistment in the French Army, service in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and his service in the U. S. Air Force in 1942. He comments on early Asheville, North Carolina politics and Asheville's land boom of the 1920s, and he talks about Thomas Wolfe, race relations in Asheville, the character of mountain people, and the careers of Reuben Robertson, Theodore B. Harris, and William Highsmith. He also comments on North Carolina leaders.

Biographical Note

Colonel Paul Rockwell was born in 1889, a descendent of English immigrants that arrived in what is now Boston in 1630. In 1914, he enlisted in the French army to fight in World War I. After the war, he lived in France for many years as a freelance writer. In 1934 Asheville became his main residence, but he regularly returned to Europe, and in 1939 he fought for the French Army, in World War II, before subsequently joining the US Air Force. He returned to Asheville in 1946.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; copies of three articles written about Paul Rockwell ; photograph of Paul Rockwell, 1976

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Virginia Bryan Schreiber 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 3, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Virginia Schreiber begins by briefly talking about her family, but quickly moves on to cover the years she spent teaching at Buncombe County Junior College , later Asheville-Biltmore College. She outlines the history of the college, and describes how he school managed to continue through the financial hard times of the Depression and declining enrollment during World War II. She mentions former students, such as Gordon Greenwood, Wilma Dykeman Stokely, and former faculty and administrators.

Biographical Note

Virginia Bryan Schreiber was the daughter of Solon Bryan, a preacher, writer, and newspaper columnist. His Piedmont Lyceum Bureau offered concerts, festivals, artists, lectures, and Chautauqua programs, throughout the South. Virginia Bryan joined the faculty of Buncombe County Junior College in 1928, the second year after its founding, teaching freshman composition and sophomore English literature. She and her students began a magazine for student creative writing called Bluets, which frequently won prizes in national competitions. During the Depression, as head of the English Department and Dean of Women, she earned an annual salary of $1100. Miss Bryan stayed with the college for many years, and for a time she served as Dean of Women. After her marriage to Alf E. Schreiber, she continued to teach, including one year after the university moved to the present campus.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; "A short history of Buncombe County Junior College, Asheville-Biltmore College", by Virginia B. Schreiber

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Fred Seely Jr. 

Interview Date and Interviewer

June 23, 1983 ; Milton Ready

Format

Audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Fred Seely Jr. describes growing up in Asheville, receiving little formal education, but graduating from Yale in 1939, after which he served in the Royal Air force, the Royal Navy, and the United States Navy. He talks about his family, his father's friendship with Henry Ford, who would visit the Grove park Inn every summer, and his grandfather Edwin Grove. He cover his father building the Grove Park Inn, the "gentleman's agreement" his grandfather and father had with George Vanderbilt, and how the Grove Park Inn served as an interment camp.

Biographical Note

Fred Lorning Seely Jr. was born in Asheville in 1916. His mother, Evelyn Grove Seely was the daughter of Edwin Wiley Grove, a self-made millionaire and one of the earliest developers of Asheville, including the Grove Arcade, and the Grove Park Inn. Seely's father, Fred Loring Seely Snr., ran Biltmore Industries, managed the Grove Park Inn, and built Overlook (aka Seely's) castle in Asheville. After graduating from university, Fred Jr. went to England and joined the Royal Air Force and flew for two years, before he transferred to the Royal Navy Commandos for two and a half years, and then transferred to the navy, the United States Navy, and served for twenty-one years. Seely, Jr. had four children: Fred, the 3rd, Nina Seely, Kent Seely, and Tom Seely. He died in Durham NC, in 1991.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; copies of birth and death certificates

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Dr. Mary Frances (Polly) Shuford 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 12, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape

Scope and Contents

Dr. Shuford talks about her family, her education and Asheville in the days before and after the crash of the stock market. She discusses her efforts to provide hospital care for the black residents of Asheville. She describes operations performed in her kitchen and her subsequent efforts to create and administer the Shuford Colored Clinic. She tells about her appeal for assistance to the Buncombe County Medical Society, leading to the formation of the Colored Hospital in 1944. She outlines the changes brought about by World War II and federal programs, leading to the merger in the early 1950's of four small hospitals (the Colored Hospital, the Norburn Hospital, the Biltmore Hospital, and the Mission Hospital) to create Memorial Mission Hospital.

Biographical Note

Dr Mary Frances Shuford, generally known as Polly, was born in Asheville in 1897. After graduating in medicine, Shuford returned to Asheville, determined to improve healthcare for African Americans. In 1940, a friend's gift of $15,000 made it possible for Dr. Shuford to set up the small Shuford Colored Clinic where the black residents of Asheville could receive needed medical care. Operations were performed by Dr. William Justice, Dr. Claude N. Burton, Dr. John H. Dougherty and other sympathetic surgeons. When her funds and energy were exhausted, Dr. Shuford appealed to the Buncombe County Medical Society. With the help of fiery editorials by newspaper editor Charles Webb, the Colored Hospital was established in 1944. The Colored Hospital later became part of Memorial Mission Hospital. Mary Shuford died in 1983.

Additional Materials

Abstract ; note written by Mary Shuford ; newspaper clipping about Mary Shuford

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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George Myers Stephens 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 12, 1976 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape ; text ; photograph

Scope and Contents

Stephens outlines his family background and describes early memories of visiting his grandmother's home in Flat Rock, NC. He entered Chapel Hill, NC in 1922 and describes courses and professors. He talks about race relations and politics in NC, the Asheville Citizen, his work, and people that he knew.

Biographical Note

In 1919 Stephens moved with his family from Charlotte, NC to Asheville where his father became co-publisher of The Asheville Citizen. He lived on the Manor Grounds and attended Asheville School for Boys. An editor, publisher, writer and historian, he worked for his father's paper and later ran his own printing company, Stephens Press. A charter member of the Board of Advisors of the Appalachian Consortium, Stephens identified and encouraged local authors by giving freely of the services of his press.

Additional Materials

Transcript [Incomplete] ; newspaper article by Stephens about changes in Asheville ; two photographs of George Stephens

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Charles "Buzz" Tennent 

Interview Date and Interviewer

August 5, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

Charles Tennent outlines his family history, and talks about his years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was appointed in his junior year to serve as advisor to freshman Thomas Wolfe. Tennent recounts how, as editor of The Tarheel, the student newspaper, he persuaded Wolfe to join the staff, and arranged his entry into other campus activities. He tells of his service in World War I, and of becoming a reporter for The Asheville Times upon his return to Asheville. His recollections include the real estate boom and bank failures, and he tells of entering the landscape business, which supported him during the Depression years and became his primary business interest for the remainder of his life. Mr. Tennent also tells of his experience as a member of the Asheville City School Board following the Supreme Court decision on the integration of public schools.

Biographical Note

Born in Asheville in 1894, Charles Tennent studied at Chapel Hill where he was a contemporary of Thomas Wolfe. He became a landscape architect and owner of Tennent Nurseries in Asheville. He designed and supervised the planting of flowers and shrubbery on the campus of the University of North Carolina Asheville. In 1957-58 he served as President of Rotary International, an office which required world-wide travel in the interests of that organization. Additionally, he served on the Asheville School Board, and was a trustee of Asheville-Biltmore College. He died in 1979.

Additional Materials

Transcript ; "Little Lessons in Rotary", by Buzz Tennent ; pamphlet for "Buzz" Tennent Day, April 5, 1973 ; booklet for 25th anniversary of Asheville Rotary Club ; "Rotary Cog", January 30, 1975 ; newspaper clipping covering Tennent being made an Honorary Rotarian, 1976 ; newspaper clipping of article written by Tennent, 1978 ; "The Rotarian", July 1957, with Tennent on cover

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Unique Black Heritage of Western North Carolina 

Recording Date

October 7, 1984

Format

Audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Recording from Forum 1 (of a series of 4) held, at the YMI in Asheville, to disseminate information identifying "noteworthy achievements of Backs in Western North Carolina". The speakers on the recording are: Dr. Lenwood G. Williams of Winston-Salem State University, talking about key African Americans pre 1900 ; Victoria Casey talking about schooling in Jackson County ; Oralene Simmons describing slavery in Madison County ; and Henry Robinson, the religious editor of the Asheville-Times, talking about the "Chamber of Echoes".

Additional Materials

Copy of program for Forums

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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David "Fox" Watson 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

Jul 6 1977 and July 11, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Text [No audio available]

Scope and Contents

David Watson describes his ancestry, the music tradition in his family, his experiences while living in a mountain cabin in Shelton Laurel, Madison County, and his life in Appalachian music.

Biographic Information

David Watson was born in 1950. As a classical musician, David "Fox" Watson was accepted for study in the prestigious North Carolina School for the Performing Arts, but realized during his first year at the school that "Blue Grass" music held a great fascination for him. His musical interests took him from the North Carolina mountains to Canada and back. In 1980 he was a staff member of the North Carolina Juvenile Evaluation Center at Swannanoa.

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

Additional Materials

Transcript

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Fred Wolfe 

Interview Date and Interviewers

April 24, 1975 ; Dean Cadle and Richard Reed

Format

Audio cassette tape

Scope and Contents

Fred Wolfe talks about his brother, Thomas Wolfe

Biographical Note

Fred Wolfe was born in Asheville in 1894, one of eight children born to William Oliver Wolfe and Julia Elizabeth Westall. He was the brother of author Thomas Wolfe, and was characterized as Luke in "Look Homeward Angel". After the death of Thomas Wolfe, Fred Wolfe recalled events in Thomas' life, and event that happened in Asheville for researchers and journalists, promoting his brother's memory and work. For many years Fred Wolfe was sales manager for the Bluebird Ice Cream Company. He died in Spartanburg, SC in 1980.

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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Charlotte Young 

Interview Dates and Interviewer

June 26, 1975 and August 20, 1975 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Charlotte Young talks about her family and her teaching career. Her comments about her career illustrate the nature of education during the period, the difficulties and discrimination experienced by females, and the gradual improvement in requirements demanded of public school teachers. Young also comments on mountain ballads and music, describes her stint of service with the Federal Writers Project during the 1930's, and traces the beginnings, late in her life, of her career as a poet. Young published her first book of poetry in 1953, and since then has been writing and publishing volumes, while becoming active in the Poetry Council, on which she serves as a staff member. The interview includes reflections on several other writers, including Tom Wolfe and Olive Tilford Dargan.

Biographical Information

Charlotte Young was born on June 11, 1878 and died August 29, 1985. She grew up in Hominy Valley near Asheville, N.C., in the late 19th century. Her father fought in the Civil War, returned to Western North Carolina, and pursued careers in teaching, farming and preaching. Charlotte Young began teaching in 1898 in Oak Grove, Tennessee, and for many years taught and served as principal in numerous schools in various states. Young was also an author who published regular articles in the Asheville Citizen and from 1953 to 1984 published six books of poetry. Charlotte Young was instrumental in founding the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Additional Information

Transcript, June 26 1975 ; transcript August 20, 1975 ; letter from Louis Silveri to Charlotte Young with article he wrote about her ; 3 newspaper clippings about Young

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Juanita Young 

Interview Date and Interviewer

July 21, 1977 ; Louis Silveri

Format

Open reel audio tape ; audio cassette tape ; text

Scope and Contents

Juanita Young, talks about their family, growing up in Burnsville, NC, during the early 20th century, and the racial issues they encountered. The interview includes tales of people who lived in the area, and descriptions of their lifestyles. Also present for the interview was Mary Lee Wilson, Juanita's sister.

Biographical Note

Juanita Young was born in Burnsville, NC on April 6, 1900.

Restrictions

Cannot be copied

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