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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with L. Worth Harris, June 11, 1980. Interview H-0164. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Harris's foray into the freight business

Harris describes his foray into the freight business. After finishing business school, he got his start hauling bricks in Charlotte, but soon left to start his own freight company.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with L. Worth Harris, June 11, 1980. Interview H-0164. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN TULLOS:
What about your own thoughts as you were going to grade school and high school? Did you have anything in mind that you would like to be later on?
L. WORTH HARRIS:
Not exactly. I made up my mind at a very young age that I was going to make money easier than my parents did somewhere along the line. Actually, when I took this business course is when I made up my mind that. . . . I really worked hard at that. That was my entire education. But I got a job at a brick company keeping books for twenty-five dollars a week. After a month or so, we had a colored fellow that was hauling the brick uptown, making all the deliveries, and we started having a lot of trouble with him. So I asked the man in charge of it if I could take over the brick hauling. He talked to his people and said that'd be all right as long as it didn't interfere with my work. In fact, it was right along with my work there anyway. So I hauled the brick here in Charlotte for a couple of years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was the name of that company?
L. WORTH HARRIS:
That was Palmetto Brick Sales Corporation.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of a vehicle did you have then?
L. WORTH HARRIS:
Had old-model; I bought used trucks, solid-tired flat bottom trucks. We loaded it. They'd ship it in here by rail, and we took it out of the cars and delivered it to the jobs, wherever they were. So we stayed in that for a couple of years and did exceptionally well. They were selling a lot of big jobs here, and we thought we were going to be real wealthy people right quick. A little before '33 we actually got into the freight business locally, and in 1933 we decided to go into New York City, for we had looked into it and found out some good accounts that we could get up there. So actually we opened a little office in New York in 1933.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was your organization called then?
L. WORTH HARRIS:
Then it was Harris Motor Lines.
ALLEN TULLOS:
There are several questions here I'd like to ask about all this. You left the brick company to start your own company in 1929?
L. WORTH HARRIS:
I started in '29. It must have been '31 that I left the brick company and got into the other completely.