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Oral History Interview with Jean Cole Hatcher, June 13, 1980. Interview H-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Jean Cole Hatcher was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, around 1910. Hatcher outlines the ancestry of her family, both sides of which had lived in the area for several generations. She describes her family's farming history and its tradition of valuing education. She briefly focuses on the impact of the Civil War on her family, emphasizing its effect on the education of the women in her family. The majority of the interview focuses on Hatcher's family business, the Cole Manufacturing Company. Just before the turn of the twentieth century, Hatcher's father and uncle procured a patent for their new planting machine. In 1900, they established the Cole Manufacturing Company. Hatcher explains how innovations such as the planting machine revolutionized farming in the South. She describes the development of the company, its major competitors, the nature of skilled work in the company, the role of African American workers, and the company's evolution over the first half of the century. In 1953, Hatcher became president of the company—her first job—and she discusses briefly what it was like to manage the business. In addition, Hatcher describes the development of Charlotte in some detail. Focusing on the rise of Charlotte as an economic center in the South, she stresses the importance of the Southern Railroad and the building of roads to the city's industrial development. Finally, Hatcher describes her own civic volunteer work in Charlotte during the early 1930s. After graduating from Greensboro College in 1931, Hatcher participated in charity work in North Charlotte mill communities until she was married in 1933.
    Excerpts
  • Coastal vs. Piedmont life during the early twentieth century
  • Establishment and evolution of Cole Manufacturing Company in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Technological advances in planting and competition in the market
  • Description of civic volunteer work in a mill community in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Development of Charlotte as an important industrial center in the South
  • African American workers and skilled labor in the Cole Manufacturing Company
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Social life and customs
  • Cole Manufacturing Company
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.