Governor Hoey Visits Conover

Governor Hoey Visits Conover

Governor of North Carolina from 1937 to 1941, Gov. Clyde R. Hoey was the only North Carolina governor to visit Conover during his term. A native of Shelby, he was warmly received by Conoverites as a neighbor.

One summer, before World War II, Gov. Hoey arrived in Conover, together with his entourage and the U.S. Army Band. Food was prepared on the Concordia Church quadrangle for the dignitaries and the citizens alike. They gathered to meet the governor, listen to martial music and dine on fried chicken and fixin's. The band was allowed to go first in the food line and like most Army men, they had man-sized appetites. When it was the citizen's turn to line up for lunch it was discovered that the band members had eaten all the chicken. It is not known if the local folks held Governor Hoey responsible.

Governor Cyde Roark Hoey

Clyde Roark Hoey grew up in a North Carolina family who had lost their fortune in Reconstruction. At an early age hebecame a "printer's devil" on the Shelby Aurora paper and later a full-fledge printer of the Charlotte Observer. At the age of 16, Hoey became the owner and publisher of the Cleveland Star.

He studied for a short time at the University of North Carolina and read law. At the age of 20, Clyde Roark Hoey was elected to the General Assembly as a representative from Cleveland County in the House of Commons and then as a State Senator. Next, he served for six years as the U. S. Attorney for western North Carolina. In 1936, Hoey ran for Governor against Alexander H. Graham and won.

He favored free textbooks for elementary schools, an increase in expenditures for public schools and teacher's pay, and graduate courses in Black colleges. During his term, efforts were made to lure tourists and industry to the state by expanding the highway system and by an advertising program; the Alcoholic Beverage Board of Control and the State Bureau of Investigation were established; and a modern parole system was implemented. His custom of walking one block everyday at ten a.m. to a nearby drug store to drink a coke was a familiar site to Raleighites. When he retired from the Governor's Office, he practiced law and, in 1945, was elected to the U. S. Senate. [group photo courtesy of Don Barker, Hoey biography and photo taken from
NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNORS: 1585-1974, by Beth G. Crabtree,
Published by the State  Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1974.]

All photos courtesy of Don Barker

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