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Title: Oral History Interview with Nancy Brown Tysor, October 19, 1999. Interview K-0811. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Tysor, Nancy Brown, interviewee
Interview conducted by Baker, Bruce E.
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 80 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-09-24, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Nancy Brown Tysor, October 19, 1999. Interview K-0811. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0811)
Author: Bruce E. Baker
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Nancy Brown Tysor, October 19, 1999. Interview K-0811. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0811)
Author: Nancy Brown Tysor
Description: 82.7 Mb
Description: 25 p.
Note: Interview conducted on October 19, 1999, by Bruce E. Baker; recorded in Siler City, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series K. Southern Communities, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Nancy Brown Tysor, October 19, 1999.
Interview K-0811. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Tysor, Nancy Brown, interviewee


Interview Participants

    NANCY BROWN TYSOR, interviewee
    BRUCE E. BAKER, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Alright, it's October nineteenth, 1999, and this is Bruce Baker. I'm a student in Dr. Spencie Love's history 170 class at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. And this is part of the Chatham County project. And I'm in Siler City at the Farmer's Alliance Store, and, uh, I'm talking today to Mrs. Nancy Tysor. That's T-Y-S-O-R, right?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Right.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Mrs. Tysor, if—I don't want to take you away from your business—but if you could start out maybe by just telling a little about yourself and when you were born, where you were born and where you grew up.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Okay. I was born in Siler City, Chatham County, in December, December thirteenth, 1930. I went to high school here, to school here, all my twelve years. I was born in the country. My parents were farmers, and my dad was a carpenter. He built several houses here in town. I come to work here in the Farmer's Alliance a couple years after I graduated from high school. And I worked here. I was married in 1953. And I've had, I worked here at the store.
[Recorder is turned off and then back on.]

Page 2
And I, let's see, I worked here three years, and was married, and my baby came along, first child. And, so I was out of work. I stopped work here. And came back to work in about 1968, and I've been here ever since then. Like I say, I've been a sales clerk and have enjoyed working here. I worked my way up as manager. The manager that was here when I came to work here passed away suddenly. And I had been here long enough that the board of directors thought that I could maybe take the responsibility, so they gave me a chance to try. So I have been manager now several years and have enjoyed it. Of course, as we, as time goes on and businesses have gone out of business in the town. The malls, shopping centers have come up. We're having a little struggle to stay, but, in business, but we're able to make a profit, a small profit, pay our bills, on time, and still have a stockholders' meeting each year. Have lunch for the stockholders. We don't have a cash dividend for them right now, but we give them a percentage off on their purchases for the year, which adds up to a fairly good dividend if they purchase enough through the year, of course. We hope to, we celebrated our hundred and eleventh anniversary back in August. And we have a hundred and ten stockholders. Not all of them live around here. A lot of them live out of state. A lot of the stock, the way we have gotten so many stockholders is because of families heiring the stock, maybe dividing between their family. So the store has been a lot of history behind it. And we just hope to continue to stay in business.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
You mentioned that you were born in 1930 out in the country. Whereabout? Was that in Chatham County?

Page 3
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
East, out east 64, Chatham County, between here and Pittsboro.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What was the name of the, was there a name for the community that you lived in?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Hickory Mountain. Hickory Mountain Township.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
About how big of a place would that be? Like how far would it go each way?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, it would cover several miles. I'd say a ten-mile radius, square radius around.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And was that farm out there that you grew up on?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes, it was a farm. We grew tobacco. We raised chickens. We had a cow for our own milk, chicken for our own eggs. It wasn't a big farm. It wasn't enough to live on.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What were your parents' names?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
My mother was Magdelene Johnson Brown. Dad was Harvey Lee Brown. And they were both Chatham County people, too. Raised up in Chatham County.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And you mentioned that your father was also a carpenter.

Page 4
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes, he was a carpenter.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Can you tell me a little about the sort of work he did.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, he built houses and chicken houses, or houses to live in. He used to own an apartment house that he built before he passed away.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
You mentioned that your family grew tobacco. Where would you market the tobacco?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
It was carried to Sanford to the warehouse. It wasn't a big thing, but it was enough to make money on. And then it was leased out. My mother leased it out after I was married and left home and my father passed away. She had to lease it out to someone to get to keep the acreage or whatever you call it.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Oh, yeah, right, the allotment.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Mm-hmm, the allotment.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Now, would that have been in the fifties?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
That would have probably been in the, let's see, it would probably be in the seventies. Because

Page 5
my dad passed away in seventy-two, so it was after he passed away.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And he was pretty active, working, right up to—?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, he was sick for about five years with Parkinson's, and that disabled him from working. He had to get on disability.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Did you have brothers and sisters?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
I have one brother who is two years younger than me who has been handicapped all his life. He was born with a handicap, couldn't walk. My mother and brother both are in the rest home here in Siler City now. She's eighty-eight and he's sixty-six.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Did the, who were some of the other farms around when you were growing up?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, there was a Lemons family that lived close to us that had a dairy farm. They milked several cows, and they raised their corn and their silage. And then there was a Jack Johnson down Hickory Mountain. And he raised a lot of chickens and had a dairy. And James Johnson who had the same. Most of them were Johnsons [Laughter] that I can think of.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Where did you go to school?

Page 6
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
I went here in Siler City to the high school which is now the Paul Braxton Manor. Have you seen where they fixed the Paul Braxton Manor? Well, it was Siler City High School. Then they named it—after these other schools were built, high schools, Jordan Matthews and the new Chatham Middle, and they had an old school there—they named it Paul Braxton after the principal who had been there for years. So now they have fixed it for an apartment for the elderly. It's beautiful. It's not been torn down. It's still a landmark in Siler City. Which I'm glad.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
That must make you feel good to see it.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
It does.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
So that was high school. Was there an elementary school there closer to Hickory Mountain?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
No, I was bussed into Siler City. I was bussed into town. I was about five, six miles out of town. And so the bus picked my up and carried me home. That was the only school I went to.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
So did they have all the grades there?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes, they had from one to twelve there. But they did have another school, Henry Siler School, which was one to seven. Then you transferred to high school. Then at that time the blacks and whites had not gotten together and mixed, and we had the black school, too. They had their school from one

Page 7
to twelve.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Is that the one that's the middle school now?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Mm-hmm, yes, that's right.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
When, what do you remember about Siler City as you were a kid, coming in to school and everything? What were some of the main streets—?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
It was a very busy place back then. I remember, well, coming from the school uptown at lunchtime and going to a store, that was the Womble Brothers, which was in a country store, and getting cheese and crackers sometimes for my lunch. [Laughter] And then there was a little cafe that was the Kidd's, Ed Kidd's, and we'd have hot dogs and good old ice cream. So, I just remember a lot of grocery stores here in town. Dress shops. And the Farmer's Alliance Store back then, too, as a kid coming in, buying shoes, shopping some. Couldn't shop a whole lot, didn't have much money. But at least we could shop some if you stayed here in town. Because at that time, see, we didn't have cars that we could go in and everywhere. Not many of the kids that went to school had a car back then. They had to be bussed or rode in or their parents brought them. And now, look at the cars that's parked around the schools. So they all can go anywhere now.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
It's a world of difference.

Page 8
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes, it is.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
To ask about the Farmer's Alliance, here, what's your earliest memory of coming to the store? Is there any one particular time you remember or just sort of always being here?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, not really. I remember, you know, at the time, back then, they heated with wood stoves or coal, with coal. Had a stove in the middle of the store with, you know, the stove pipe going up and the flue. And at one time, now the ceiling has been lowered. At that time, it was about two foot higher, and they'd have a track on each side and a ladder thing that you'd push down to the end and climb up, get shoes and things off of the top. Kids had fun doing that, you know, pushing that ladder, trying to. I remember that. I remember the, a couple of the elderly people that used to, Mr. Carney Hughes that used to work here. Herbert Andrews.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
I sort of wanted to go back and ask you a little about your family. Had they always lived in Chatham County?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes, uh-huh.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
In the Hickory Mountain area?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, my dad was raised here in, well, my dad and mother were both born here in Siler City. And

Page 9
they were, had people in Hickory Mountain Township. See, Siler City is Matthews Township, and that's Hickory Mountain, so it was only five or six miles out. So they wanted to move out into the country. And they had got a good deal, I think, on some land. And so he traded the house that we had here in town for the farm, plus I guess—
BRUCE E. BAKER:
So was that before you were born?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
No, that was after I was born. We moved down there when I was, I started school after we moved to the country, so I was about four years, about fours old back then, probably. About twentyeight.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What had their parents done in Siler City?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Ah,—
BRUCE E. BAKER:
They must have been here about the time the town got started.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, my grandfather, my mother's dad, who was Bob Johnson, helped to organize, well, pooled some money into the store to begin with to get it organized. And my mother's mother died when she was just a young girl. So I don't know too much about her family. But then my dad's father was, well, a blacksmith and a logger. He used to cut cedar and cut cedar posts or cedar trees. Call it a logger, I

Page 10
guess. Just working people. Just working people is what they were.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Well that's interesting. So your grandfather was connected with the store right at the very beginning?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes, uh-huh. And the stock that he owned was divided by four of his grandchildren. Not me, but some of his other grandchildren. They still own that part. But I purchased my stock after I come to work here from somebody that wanted to sell it because I was interested in buying it. So I purchased mine and my husband purchased some. So I'm still a stockholder. And when my husband passed away, I put what he had in my son, James Tysor.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Because there's a limitation—
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Mm-hmm. We can only have two hundred dollars. So we're still trying to keep some family into the store.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
It sounds like that's been pretty successful over the years, you know, keeping it in families.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, and you know, I think that's one of the things that the younger people now—"My grandfather used to own stock here." Or "my grandfather used to shop here." Or "I came in here with my grandad." It's still a memory. People want to remember it. It's something in their younger days, I

Page 11
guess you'd say.1
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What was, what was World War Two like when that came along?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, of course, a lot of rationed during the war. And a lot of our young guys had to go off to war, which made it, I guess, harder for the families because they, you know, the boys would be about eighteen to twenty years old.
[interruption for a customer]
BRUCE E. BAKER:
You were telling me about the effects World War Two had on the community, with rationing—
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, a lot of stuff like gas and sugar and even shoes back then was rationed. You had to have a coupon to get some of it. I know my husband was a World War Two veteran. Of course, I didn't know him at the time, but his mother and stepfather kind of relied on him to help them a lot on the farm, rasing chickens and helping with the cows and so forth. So that took him away from them. And he served thirty-six months in service and came back and took up on the farm what they were doing. And a lot of the boys, I think a lot of the families were affected by their boys being taken away.

Page 12
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Do you think that affected farming a good bit?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
It did, yes, I think it did. But then when they came back and got into it, I think, you know, it probably got back into the swing of the small farming at that time.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What was your husband's first name?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Hugh. H-U-G-H.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Was he from Siler City also?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Mm-hmm. Yes, he was from Hickory Mountain.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
How did you get to know him? Did you know him all the time growing up?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
No, I didn't. I just met him through a friend. And, well, he grew up down close to an aunt of mine. Of course, I'd just know him through talking, but he just asked his friend to get a date with me. So I dated him. We dated off and on for five years and then we got married. Got a wedding anniversary tomorrow if he'd've been living it would have been forty-six years, but, of course, he passed away four years ago, will be in December. He had cancer and kidney failure. He was on dialysis. He was in the tex—he farmed, but then he was in the textile, too. He worked at Collins and Aikman here, and he

Page 13
worked there thirty-two years.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Collins and Aikman, right? And that's right out on 64, isn't it?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yeah, they make automobile upholstery and materials. So he was with them for thirty-two years, and I've been here going on thirty-one years. And my son's been with the state twenty-six years. He can retire in four more years. So we have been, stayed on our jobs, we haven't been, you know, from here to there.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Yeah, that's a nice feeling, to know where you're working, where you're going to be working.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Of course, there's problems anywhere you work. They're not the same ones, but you'll find problems, so you might as well [unknown] where you're at.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Does your son live in Siler City, also?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes, he lives not too far from me.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
When, as you were, as you were younger, going to school and everything, what were, you mentioned that some of the industries that were here have closed down. What were some of the major industries that were here?

Page 14
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, we had a lot of, well we still have a hosiery mill. But we had one, you know, maybe a couple at one time. One closed up. Our furniture plant has not been going so well, you know, and had to lay off a lot of people.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Was that the Boling?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Boling, uh-huh. At one time we had a Seeley's furniture plant, which closed up. We had an A. J. Sierson, which was a ladies sleepwear plant that went out of business. So we've had several that have come and gone.
[interruption]
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
We still have our
Portions of this tape are inaudible due to the poor technical quality of the tape.

Page 15
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
—merchandise, and helping people. Just, you know, met a lot of people and had a lot of friends.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
You said you started working right after high school.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, I finished in fifty, and I went to work in fifty-one. In fifty I helped my dad some in the carpentery. When he was building houses I'd what you call daub the seams of the sheetrock and paint some. Little jobs like that. Then I heard that a job had come open here at the store. A girl was going to go with her husband who was in the service, so I thought I'd get that job.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
How many people worked here then?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
There was about six at that time.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Were they, had they, the other people you worked with, had they worked here a long time, some of them, or were some of them new?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes. Well, the manager had been here, that's Lester Murray, he'd been here several years. And Mr. Carney Hughes. And Mr. Herbert Andrews, and Lawrence Moore. And Polly Willett was the one that was going to quit and go with her husband. And Miss Pauline Brower. But I had good people

Page 16
to work with. We just all got to be family, you know, helped each other and enjoyed it. It was enjoyable work. I like it.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What was different about it from then than now, in terms of how the store was set up, what kinds of things did you carry back then that you don't carry now? Probably not much, it looks like! [Laughter]
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, we had a better source, maybe, of seeds and plants. We did good in that. Where all these discount stores or shopping centers and all have come up with plants and seeds now, but we still do pretty good, but not as good as we did back then. We didn't have too much competition in that. We had a good line of hardware, which now is hard to get. And we could get a better line of ladies' wear than we do now. And, there were just so many companies that we have bought from that have gone out of business now. It's hard to replace what we were getting from them. Now, our customers, I think, are mostly middle-aged or the elderly. And the clothing, it seems like, now, that you buy, it mostly caters to the younger generation, not the style us mature ladies and older ladies bought. It's hard to get that now because as they say, the young people are going to spend their money for it, and the older people are more conservative. So it's been a great change in the buying of merchandise and what you buy.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
When, if, so, you worked about three years?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Three years when I first came to work here. Then, my first child, I got pregnant and my first child

Page 17
was born, and I stayed at home some and went into a few other jobs in the mills, but I didn't like it. And the girl that took my place here when I quit, she quit. So the same manager that was here when I first came to work was here at that time, so he approached me about coming back to work for them. So I came back to work in sixty-eight, and I'm still here.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What, what changes did you notice in, from, from fifty-four or so to sixty-eight? What things had changed and what things hadn't?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, not a whole lot of difference in that time. It didn't seem to be that much of a change in that period of time. Most of the change has been in the last, say, ten years. As the new shopping centers and the Wal-Marts just closed around. And more people have got better ways of traveling. People like to go out to eat or to look. It takes them away from the little town. They go looking for something larger and bigger or better or something.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
When, so, when, for instance, the shopping center up there where the Belk's is, about when did that open up?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
It's probably been there about fifteen years now. But I don't really think that the, our type of customers, I'll say, is the working type of people, the outdoor working people, the hard-working people. They're looking for brogans and denim bib overalls and jackets and coveralls, flannel shirts. They come to the Farmer's Alliance Store to look for them. We try to carry a good quality of clothing.

Page 18
So we have some customers that's keeping us here, you know, that keeps coming back.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Do you, as there are more and more Hispanic people in town, do many of them shop here?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
We have a few. Not too many. But they're nice when they come in. We can't complain about their conduct or anything. They're real nice.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What—
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Okay, this is side two, still October nineteenth, talking with Nancy Tysor at the Farmer's Alliance Store. And I had just asked about, between, in the early fifties what some of the other stores up and down the street were.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, we had a Cato's and a Belk's, a B. C. Moore's, a Rose's Five and Ten. We had [unknown]

Page 19
Furniture, and John Talley's Furniture. We had a what they call ABC Child store, a children's store, children's wear. We had a Misenhammer Grocery, Sharp's Grocery, Terry's Market, Wall's Grocery, Bean's Grocery. And all of those, I guess, [unknown] survived now. We don't have a grocery store on the street. They mostly are in insurance offices and lawyers' offices uptown.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
When would you say, did these stores just sort of close one by one, or was there a certain time when you think of them as closing down?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, they kind of went out one by one. I'd say as people got, you know, they were elderly people trying to hold on. And if their health got bad, or business did get to where we didn't have that many people coming in. With the supermarkets and all, they just had to close up.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What was the first supermarket in Siler City?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
I believe it was called the Red and White. And then there was a Colonial store here, too, at one time.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Where were they located?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
They were located on East Raleigh Street.

Page 20
BRUCE E. BAKER:
About when do you think those stores opened?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
They probably opened in fifty-five, somewhere along in there.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And I guess as they opened that probably helped—
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Helped get some of these smaller ones going out. We had a large drugstore, too, on this street at one time. But they went out of business.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Did they go out of business as—
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
I don't know where they really went out of business because of the other drugstores, but I think they got in financial trouble because they did a lot of helping people, as you might say, charging and didn't get their pay, so they were forced out.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
That happened to my great-grandparents.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
So we have Revco, well, CVS here now and Family Pharmacy, which is locally owned, and Chatham Pharmacy, which is locally owned. We've got three small ones here now.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Maybe, I'm curious about sort of how the store, how this store works, and the stock and all that.

Page 21
So initially they had a set, a set amount of stock when they formed, right, in 1888?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, yes, and I couldn't tell you just exactly the amount of dollars were in, but they had so much money that was pooled together, was my understanding. And the stockholders mostly wanted it to be for the farmers or the working-type people like that, and where they could bring in maybe their wheat or grain or stuff to swap for sugar and coffee and so forth like they used to. And then they had fertilizer. They kept fertilizer back then that people could bring in and swap for that. And going back on the beginning like, dividends were paid out of trade, not cash, out of trade. But then as years went by and they did good, accumulated money, they just started paying, like twenty percent of their stock as a dividend. Or fifty percent. I've known it to go as high as 150 percent one year. They took out some of their bonds and cashed them in and paid off, you some, some extra dividend. It has done good in the years back. So we're kind of getting back to like we were at the beginning now. We're paying dividends by a percentage of the purchases now. And once a year, well, we have a board of directors. We have seven directors. Mr. Ed Clapp is the President. Mrs. Ruth Smith is retired teacher is Vice President. And Sam Brewer, insurance man, is Secretary/Treasurer. Well, I guess you could say I'm Treasurer since I handle the money. And then we have Norman Jordan. And Max Gee, and Thomas Andrews, and Decie Paschal.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Thomas Andrews, what was Max—
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Gee. G, double E.

Page 22
BRUCE E. BAKER:
No wonder I didn't hear what was on the end of that.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
And Decie Paschal.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
How do you spell that?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
D-E-C-I-E. Paschal. And her dad was on the board years ago, so she was.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
How many of the people who are on the board now, would you say, their parents or grandparents were involved with the store earlier? Pretty much all of them?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
All of them had family members involved in it, mm-hmm. So we have a stockholders meeting in August, and we have a lunch. First Methodist Church ladies prepare our lunch. And we all enjoy coming and getting together and doing what we do.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And so the most, would you say that most of the stock has sort of passed down within families?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes. It's been passed down.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And it's sort of like you were saying, I guess. Sometimes it goes from one family to another and whatever.

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NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Well, like my grandfather owned so much, and then when he divided it four ways, that made three more stockholders, which has made us grow in stockholders, but the same amount of stock, you might say.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
So they would have like a third of a share?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
A third of a share, or a fourth, rather.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
So, now at the beginning, at the beginning all of the stockholders had to be farmers and had to be members of the Farmers Alliance, your local Farmers Alliance lodge.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Yes. Could not be any lawyers or doctors in the bylaws to have stock. It had to be the farmers and the working people.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And then, I guess they changed that in, I think it was in 1941.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
1941, I believe, we had a local lawyer that did some estate work for a family, and he got some stock from that. But, he didn't keep it long. He sold it. To the store. The store bought it back. So we don't have any doctors and lawyers now. We've never had a doctor, but we've had two lawyers, but we don't have any now.

Page 24
BRUCE E. BAKER:
What was, I think in the book that Ms. Smith put together, it said in 1941 they made the change where you no longer had to be a farmer yourself.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Oh, no, after it begin to be heired out, you wasn't really held to being a farmer. You could, if you were a family member, it was okayed by the board. It goes through the board and they okay it, it's fine.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Do you think that was sort catching up with the changes that were already going on?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Probably, yes. It probably was. Because there was not as many farmers, maybe. There was more mills to go to, more, you know, people getting out of college into a career and maybe wanting to keep the stock of their families. So we couldn't really just say no, we can't have you, I guess. We had to change over.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
And what about the Farmers Alliance itself as an organization, from what I understand of it from histories I have read, pretty much by maybe the end of the 1890s on the state level or the national level, you know, the organization wasn't getting together and meeting on a state level, but was it still, these local organizations still meeting, or was it just—
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
The stockholders still meeting, or what?

Page 25
BRUCE E. BAKER:
Well, yeah, I guess the Farmers Alliance organizations that they were in when they decided to make the store, did those little lodges still continue to meet?
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
I don't know that. Of course, you know, each of the stockholders are listed under lodges. I guess it's according to where, what part of the county they lived is what lodge. At schoolhouses, and so forth. [pause] I have an idea they had to back then to keep things going, and up to date, you know.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
That's interesting. I think I've sort of, I usually hit a point, especially on a first interview, where I've learned, I've taken so much information in that I almost have to go back and listen over the tape and get it all figured out, and then I'll have tons more questions.
NANCY BROWN TYSOR:
Okay, okay.
BRUCE E. BAKER:
But if it would be okay, what I'd like to do is go back—I guess I'll shut this off now
END OF INTERVIEW
1. In the background, we can hear a customer come in and talk with Mrs. Fields, the clerk in the department store half of the store.