Anders Family
David Asbel Anders with
Jim and Tina Smith Anders
Family

US GenWeb Project

Rufus and Florence Hall Owen Family in 1947
Rufus and Florence Hall Owen and children

US GenWeb Archives Project

 

Transylvania County, NC 

GenWeb Project

NC GenWeb

 

Katherine English Anderson Interview

 

From the Transylvania County Joint Historic Preservation Commission Oral History Project, Transylvania County Archives, Brevard, North Carolina.

For more information see Household Abstract for E. S. English and Leila Pickelsimer

 

This is a conversation with Katherine (English) Anderson on August 19, 2002 at her home in Brevard, NC. Betty Sherrill conducted the interview. Katherine (Kitty) Anderson is denoted by KEA and Betty Sherrill is denoted by BHS.  Original Transcription and parenthetical comments provided by Archives.   Note - a section of the transcription was in computer garbledy gook and has been removed until it can be replaced in English.

 

BHS Katherine, when were you born?  
KEA [deleted to protect privacy - LHR]
BHS And where were you born? 
KEA in Brevard. 
BHS so you're a native? 
KEA uh-huh (yes), we go back three generations. 
BHS So you have lived in the county all your life; how many years is that? 
KEA 83, (laughs) I would have taken better care of myself if I had known I was going to live this long. 
BHS Who were you raised by; who were your parents? 
KEA Dr. Edwin Strawbridge English and Lela Pickelsimer English 
BHS And where was the location of the original family home. 
KEA Where I was raised? It's over on Cashiers Valley Road across the railroad tracks from the old Transylvania Tanning Company.   It was a great big farmhouse; my father had a farm there. He had to have a farm to feed all the children he drug in to feed. 
BHS Who were your Dad's parents? 
KEA Alexander Fletcher English who established the English Chapel up on Davidson River. His wife was Elmina Young. 
BHS Were they natives also? 
KEA Yes, they helped settle Davidson River. 
BHS O.K. because that was very early. And who were your mother's parents? 
KEA Ransom Johnson Pickelsimer and I can't remember her name. She had one of those strange old-timey names like my grandmother English. 
BHS Do you know what her maiden name was? 
KEA She was a Merrill .
BHS She was a Merrill? O.K. If you think of the name, we'll go back to it; that's not a problem. Did you have brothers and sister? 
KEA Oh, yes. 
BHS O.K. can you name them starting from the oldest to the youngest. 
KEA Oldest was Edwin Stuart English, sister Gladys Leila English, Langdon Broughton English, and Jean Young English, and myself. 
BHS Are you the youngest? 
KEA uh-huh (yes). 
BHS Are any of the others living now? 
KEA Just my sister Jean. 
BHS and where does she live? 
KEA She lives out on Maple Street 
BHS So she's here in Brevard. Oh that's great, that's good. Do you have any other significant relatives in the area that you want to mention at this time. Aunts or Uncles or anyone else that was important to you? 
KEA Charles Pickelsimer is a first cousin. 
BHS Oh is he? Now are you talking about the current Charles Pickelsimer that owns the telephone company? 
KEA Uh-huh. Let's see, they're about all gone. Stuart English, which is Edwin's son, still lives here. 
BHS And of course Stella Trapp is your niece (current publisher and editor of the Transylvania Times newspaper).  
KEA Ed Anderson and John Anderson were brothers and she is Ed's daughter.  
BHS and your husband was.........? 
KEA John, John Inge Anderson, Jr. 
BHS And where was he from? 
KEA He was from Reidsville, NC 
BHS How did he end up in Transylvania County? 
KEA Well, Ed bought the (Transylvania) Times and John came here to run it back before the war. And then John served his hitch in the armed services and then came back. 
BHS Where did you go to elementary school? 
KEA Here in Brevard. 
BHS At Brevard Elementary? And where was that located? 
KEA It was right across from the library there on the (southeast of South Broad and Jordan St,) corner which is now the Social Services Building, (I mean) the Sheriff's offices. But that was a different building. 
BHS Where did you go to high school? 
KEA At the high school they tore down. Where the Arboretum is now. (South Broad between Jordan and Varsity Streets). 
BHS The big high school they tore down that was built in 1925? Where did you go to college? 
KEA I went one year to University in Greensboro. 
BHS Was that WC? 
KEA Yeah. 
BHS Women's College (later UNC-Greensboro) 
KEA And then I went from there to New York, the American School of Design, in New York City, for three years. 
BHS Really? When you say design............. 
KEA I was studying design, it was a commercial course, mainly worked with black and white for newspapers. Back then, they didn't photograph much; our artists drew ads. 
BHS Oh, so that's the kind of design you're talking about (graphic arts). Tell me anything that you remember specifically about your school days that was either very interesting or even funny or any big event or any special teacher. 
KEA Well my favorite teacher was Agnes Clayton. She taught me in the 6th grade and I remember things she taught me to this day. She was the best teacher I had. She was great. I know in the 7th grade we were herded up into the 7th grade room and there was a fire escape up the side. A bunch of us went out the window. I don't know why or where we went but I remember crawling out the window behind one of the girls. 
BHS So it was playing hooky.... 
KEA Yeah, it was the last day of school, so we slipped out. 
BHS You were never in the military service but you say your husband was. And was that during....which World War was that? 
KEA World War II. 
BHS And where did he serve, do you know? 
KEA Well he served in the European Theater: England, Belgium, France. 
BHS And he came home safe? 
KEA Yes, he was with the general hospital unit. 
BHS This is a pretty broad question I'm going to ask you, I want to know about your employment, your profession. When you got out of college, what was the first thing you did? 
KEA I came home sick my last year in art school and I never actually....I lacked about 2 months finishing the course and I came back here and Ecusta had opened up so I went down there and got a job in the file department. And then I met John Anderson and I never went back to art after that. And I started raising babies. 
BHS And how long did you work at Ecusta? 
KEA Three years. 
BHS And then you began having children? 
KEA Yeah, I had my first child and then he was shipped overseas. John was. 
BHS Your husband was shipped overseas. (Kitty nodded) Who were your four children? 
KEA John Edwin which is an attorney in Jackson Mississippi. He's a banker and an attorney. And my oldest daughter is Marianna and she is in Atlanta and she is a dental hygienist, my middle daughter is Penny (Penelope Jane) and she is in Richmond. Virginia. She works in a hospital; she's a social worker. and my youngest one is a teacher in Ft. Pierce Florida and she is a reading specialist. 
BHS And her name is.......? 
KEA Roseanne. 
BHS What did you do after you had four kids. I know you've been involved in a lot of things after your kids...... 
KEA After working in Ecusta and after getting the youngest up old enough to go to kindergarten, I told John, I wanted to do something. See, we were living with my mother. when John got back from overseas and we wanted to move out, she just put her foot down and absolutely, " I'm not going to live here alone. You'll have to stay here." So we stayed there for 17 years. And she had a housekeeper that helped me raise my children. So John needed someone down at the station he said that he could trust to tell the truth of what was going on so he asked me to down there. The job of bookkeeper came open and I had had a short course in bookkeeping. 
BHS Are you talking about the radio station, WPNF? 
KEA Yeah, and so I went to work down at WPNF as bookkeeper part-time. And as time went on, he made me office manager. Then when he died, the board of directors made me manager. 
BHS OK, how did the family acquire WPNF? How did that happen? 
KEA Well, Ed started it, Ed Anderson. 
BHS So there was no radio station? 
KEA No, there was not. And John had stock, Ed had stock, Ray Bennett. I don't remember who else. 
BHS Who is Ray Bennett? 
KEA He was superintendent at Ecusta. 
BHS Did Stella Trapp have some interest in it, also? 
KEA Well, she was just a little thing then, She was 7 years old when John and I were married. And she was in school and she didn't really take over until her Uncle John died. And then she came to Brevard and took over. 
BHS So she had some some percentage in WPNF later...... 
KEA Oh yes, oh she inherited what her father had. 
BHS Oh OK, of course. So that was your main working life. 
KEA Yeah, that's where that typing came in good. 
BHS Now you said farming, that your family had a farm out on..... 
KEA Cashiers Valley Road. My father was a doctor and he started practicing medicine on horseback in 1901. He and my mother bought this farm. He loved to grow things, so did she and so he supervised this farm. He always had a tenant farmer to do the daily work. He never actually worked any of it except he played in the garden with my mother - she loved to garden, so they gardened together. 
BHS How big was the farm? 
KEA It was about 80-some odd acres.  
BHS Did they do a lot of home food processing and storage and that kind of thing? 
KEA Yes, SHE did. She canned... 
BHS A lot? 
KEA A lot. Because you couldn't go to the store and buy what you wanted, you had to preserve it, some one. You had potato banks and celery banks and all that..... 
BHS Are you talking about bank houses into the bank..? 
KEA Yeah, underneath their house there was some that was dirt and you could bury your potatoes in that, keep them, and your celery and all of that, preserve it. Also, we had an apple house. The farm we bought had an apple orchard on it and it had a concrete block apple house. We raised those apples and preserved them. and they would last...... 
BHS How did you preserve them? 
KEA Well, they were in crates. The house was cool, and that's how we kept them. On rainy days, the tenant farmer would go in and go through the crates and pick out all the (bad) apples and so they wouldn't spoil the others. So we had apples just about all the time. 
BHS Do you remember the name of the tenant farmer? 
KEA He went by the name of Dead Boy 
BHS Dead Boy? 
KEA Good Boy and Dead Man. Everybody called him that. 
BHS Was this a white man or a black man? 
KEA Black man. He worked for my father for 15 years. 
BHS But you don't know his real name.? 
KEA Well he had two.Giddis Woods and the other one was Jesse McDonald 
BHS Why did he have 2 names? 
KEA He'd probably been in and out of trouble (laughs)...... 
BHS Do you remember the name of your mother's housekeeper? I should have asked you when you were talking about it. 
KEA Melissa Garren. 
BHS Melissa Garren? Is this a white lady? 
KEA White woman. 
BHS I will get back more about Dr. English; I'll go into more detail in a minute. OK? Were you or any of your family involved in any of the lumber and tanning (operations)? Do you remember much about those at all? 
KEA Only thing I know that my father was the company doctor for Carr Lumberand the Gloucester Lumber Company.  
BHS OK, and so he went out there on regular days? 
KEA Yeah, called on patients. 
BHS Did you know the Silversteens? 
KEA Oh, yes. 
BHS You did? So you knew the daughters too, when they moved up into Silvermont? 
KEA They were all older than I am. Adelaide was the age of my 2 older sisters. I didn't tell you about the cousin that my mother and father took care of from the time she was 2 years old. Her mother died. Elizabeth Ramsaur. 
BHS OK, I've heard that name locally... 
KEA My mother and father took her in and her father was a civil engineerfor Southern Railway and he was killed when Elizabeth was about 10. He was standing on a depot waiting for the train to start, talking to a man, and the train started and he turned around and grabbed it to swing aboard and it swung him underneath; cut his legs off. He lived long enough to make out his will and he left my mother and father as Elizabeth's legal guardian. So she was raised with us from the time she was 2 years old. So she was like a sister. 
BHS Oh sure, yeah. Is she still living? 
KEA No,she died too. 
BHS So they had 80 acres out there. Do you remember anything about land costs at that time? 
KEA No, but I imagine if they paid $2500 for that piece of land, was a big price. 
BHS Even for 80 acres and a big house? 
KEA Yeah, they rebuilt the house. Mama had it rebuilt and had it made into a summer boarding house.  
BHS So she boarded people? 
KEA Yes, she ran a tourist home, they called it, to help. You know doctors, there wasn't much money around here then and doctors got paid in produce and labor. The only cash crops that came in here were the campers and the tourists. Let's see, how many bedrooms did that thing have? Four on the 3rd floor. One, two, three four,five, six on the next floor and two on the downstairs floor. She fed 24 people in a meal. 
BHS How long did she do this? How many years? 
KEA It was right after, not long after the banks failed. We moved into town on Jordan St. That house is still standing but it looks like the people living in it are going to tear it down. She converted it to apartments. Made 2 apartments upstairs and it had a garage apartment. My mother was always a money-maker. She had a millinery shop when she and my dad were first married. 
BHS In Brevard? 
KEA I don't know how long she ran it but there was an ad in the old Transylvania Times when she announced her millinery shop opening. 
BHS Let's get back to the boarding house for a minute. That was their main house, they moved out of it? Did you say? And moved to Jordan St? Or they just bought the house..... 
KEA No they sold it and bought the one uptown because my mother didn't drive and my father was 15 years older than my mother and she said she needed to be where she could walk to town. 
BHS Did she have a name for the boarding house? 
KEA Yes, Willow Springs. We had a spring and a lot of willow trees around it. Natural spring that had the best water and the coldest water that you ever drank.  
BHS Do you know how long she ran it from just after the depression until when? 
KEA Oh, it was way before the Depression. I can remember the stationery that she had on it when I was a kid. I guess she ran it for close to 20 years. 
BHS And how long did she have the millinery shop? That was prior.... 
KEA That was way back when the women wore the big hats. 
BHS Do you remember when she had that, about? 
KEA No it was way before I was born. It was not too long, I guess, after they were married. 
BHS So you all moved to the Jordan St. House? 
KEA Yeah, it think it was about 19 and 37 I think that we moved into town. 
BHS When were you married? 
KEA In 1943 
BHS Where did you all live in Brevard at first?  
KEA Well, my husband was in service. You mean us, the two of us? He was in service and I was still at home with my mother. We were married while he was in service. 
BHS Oh I see, and when he came home where did you live? 
KEA We lived with HER. 
BHS Oh that's right, you said you lived with her for 17 more years. 
KEA I decided we were never going to have a house of our own unless we went ahead and built it and she tried to talk us out of it. She said, "I'll leave you this house." And I said, "Momma, this house is too old; I couldn't keep it up." So we built a separate bedroom for her with a bath with a shower with a seat in it, and a special thermostat. 
BHS You talking about in this house? (Kitty nodded yes). 
KEA I said, "Well Momma, it's time we got started moving,"and she said, "Well, you all lived with me in peace, but I don't think I can live with you. I'm not moving." She didn't move. 
BHS So she stayed there. When did she pass away? 
KEA In 1978. 
BHS So she lived to be how old......? 
KEA 94. 
BHS How long did your Dad live? 
KEA He died when he was 75, he died from a perforated ulcer. Blood clot, passed into his heart. 
BHS How long did John live? 
KEA He was 57 when he died. 
BHS Not very old. That's terrible. 
KEA

And he died of a combination of prescription drugs. He had high blood pressure and they put him on a prescription for that. That was fine. Then he developed arthritic gout. They gave him another pill. And then he became a diabetic, and gave him another one. And three years after he started that pill he was dead.  Too much. A combination of all these medications, and there was nobody that could find out what was the matter with him.

BHS They'd know now. Do you remember the Depression? 
KEA I was a child. I thought the world had come to an end. I could hear the old folks talking about it. It didn't mean anything to me. because I had plenty to eat and clothes to wear and my father would buy leather from the tanning company and half-sole our shoes himself. He had an old time cobbler's bench that was his father's, so I never felt denied of anything. 
BHS So the Depression didn't hit you all too hard? 
KEA Well it was rough on my mother and father I know. 
BHS Did they have a hard time, like, were they paying on the farm and was that hard to do? 
KEA I would suppose so, that's why she ran that boarding house, too, but that started before the Depression. 
BHS Where did most of the people come from that stayed at the Boarding House? 
KEA I can remember a family from Mobile,Alabama, and Savannahand through Georgia and Florida. South Carolina, they would come up. 
BHS Anywhere we might label the low country? or hot country or Deep South? 
KEA ....and they'd stay all summer. Some families would stay all summer with us. 
BHS Yeah I knew that that happened. I saw somewhere the statistics,that at the turn of the century, that early, that there were something like 30 boarding houses in the county. And anybody who had a big house had at least a couple rooms that they rented out. What is your Church affiliation? 
KEA First United Methodist. 
BHS Has that always been your church? 
KEA Yes. 
BHS Do you have any special hobbies? 
KEA Not any more. I've done so many things, though. I used to do needlepoint. I made all my children's clothes, the girls. there was a lot. I made my own for years. Back in the days when you couldn't afford to buy anything but a piece of cloth, or (laughs) a flour sack. I guess sewing and mixing up patterns. I had a course in that at school, design, clothes design, too, and I used to mix my patterns up and make my own things and the children's too and embroidered them, I guess you could say that was......and I started doing oil painting. But I haven't done any in a long time, there's some of them. 
BHS Oh they're quite nice. WOW.  
KEA And I did the tile in the fireplace. 
BHS What kind of entertainment did you all go to a lot before everybody sat in front of television. 
KEA Oh well, we used to love to go out to the old country club, which is now the log house out on Country Club Road.
BHS The barbeque place. 
KEA It used to be the Country Club house. And all the young people, particularly after the war would congregate there. And just have almost a party every night. John used to work until 10 o'clock at night, come home, pick me up, and I had someone there at the house to look after the children, and we'd go out and stay an hour or two, socialize. That's what we did. And we'd play penny poker. That was another thing we did. They played at my mother's house because I was the one with little children and none of the others had any children then. That was our recreation, really. 
BHS Did you go to the movies much here? 
KEA Back before I was married we used to go quite frequently. 
BHS Where did you go? 
KEA Up here. 
BHS To the Co-Ed or the Clemson? 
KEA Uh-huh. 
BHS Did you ever to go to movies upstairs above Plummer's Department Store? They had a big auditorium up there. 
KEA I just barely remember that. It had a steel pipe in front of the ticket office. I can remember swinging on that. That was the days of silent movies. And that's all I can remember about that. 
BHS I've also found evidence apparently where they showed movies in the Paul's Produce Building (on Caldwell St.).  
KEA I don't remember that. 
BHS And even in the building that is now the Forest Place? 
KEA Yeah, I remember that. The Mulls built that building and started a movie house. 
BHS Did you ever go in that? 
KEA Maybe so, maybe once or twice. We usually went to the Clemson. 
BHS OK, I just was curious but I've heard these things and I didn't know. In fact, I heard the person that may have been involved in building what we call Paul's Produce and having movies there was Mr. Silverstein. 
KEA I don't know who built that but my first memory of that was it was a garage where they repaired cars downstairs, I'm trying to think of the man.........a Smith, I think 
BHS

I think we have that in archives somewhere............ Did you participate in any kind of special sports or recreation or did your family? Were they involved........... 

KEA Not really. Daddy, my father hunted. Harley Lyday had a hunting club, he and two or three other men had a hunting club up on Sutton Creek. They used to have organized hunts. It bordered on thegovernment (Pisgah National Forest). And they used to could run deer with dogs but the government stopped them so they just hunted (unintelligible) told you in what direction to go, not toward somebody'sbullets (laughs). 
BHS Did your family do much fishing in the rivers? 
KEA Yes, both my younger brother and my Dad I know fished; we'd have fresh trout. 
BHS Did they ever catch any muskies before they disappeared out of Davidson River? 
KEA I don't remember. 
BHS Do you remember, did anybody in your family collect Indian artifacts? 
KEA My brother did, but he swapped them year ago when he was kid, to another boy. 
BHS Do you remember where he generally hunted for them? 
KEA Over on our farm. 
BHS I'm sure you don't remember the 1916 flood, that was before your time. Did you hear about it from your parents and what they went through? 
KEA Yeah (from) the other kids, the house sat up on a hillside, kinda terraced down and the front yard made a swimming pool. The older kids went swimming in itand it went up to the fence about that high (indicates about waist high). There's a story about Dad, in that flood, too. Well, they called him and said someone had been hurt up by his old homeplace which was up above English's Chapelon a hillside. And he  [Section of transcript garbled].               
BHS No. 
KEA A strong purgative (laxative). He used to take a piece of paper and this is the way he always made out his prescriptions. He would tear little squares like this and he would turn down one corner (side) and he had a blunt bladed knife on his pocket knife he would go, and carry his own medicine..... 
BHS So he tapped the knife... 
KEA Yeah and go in this jar and get a little(medicine powder)this bottle, get a little, and mixed his own medicine right there.
BHS And then he'd get them on his knife blade and then he'd tap the knife blade to.........(measure the dose and let it fall into the paper).
KEA And then he would fold it like this and fold up the ends of it and there was your medicine. 
BHS Yes, I've heard of doctors putting medicine in paper before like that 
KEA They had to be a pharmacist too, people could not get to the drug store 
BHS How did he get word that she was sick in the first place? 
KEA I don't know. I have no idea, somebody must have called. I guess a certain amount of telephone connections, I don't really, can't say.
BHS In 1901?
KEA He told her now, he gave her one, he said, "if you're not feeling better in 3 hours you take another one and 3 more hours, you take the third one" (Laughing) And he said he bet she had the cleanest innards in Western North Carolina.  
BHS That'll teach her. 
KEA Can you imagine riding that far....... 
BHS ...for nothing really. 
KEA Probably didn't get a thing for it (payment). 
BHS He may not have. What else do you remember, you said you had a few stories that were pretty good (about her dad).
KEA Another one that every time he saw the man on the street he wondered. He got a call that a fellow had been hurt at the depot and he needed a doctor. So he went down to see if he could help and there were 2 doctors sitting on the step there swapping tales. Dad said, "I heard there was someone that was hurt down here, where are they?" And they said, "oh, he's laying back over there and he ain't going to make it. No point in wasting your time on him." Dad said he couldn't think of somebody being injured and not trying to help him. So he went back there and there was this black man that had been in a razor fight and said his innards, his stomach was cut open.
BHS Oh, he was what they called disemboweled? 
KEA Yeah, and said he was laying there and they had throwed tote sacks over him and they used to bring ice into this county in tote sacks packed with sawdust. And said he was literally full of sawdust. Daddy said hegot hot water,uncoiled his innards, washed them out as best he could andsewed him up, the man lived.
BHS He DID live...........? 
KEA And Dad said every time he saw him walking down the street, he wondered how much sawdust he left in him (laughing).
BHS Well if he didn't get infections and die he must have gotten most of it out. 
KEA He said he delivered a baby one time in a bed so filthy, he just knew the woman and the baby both were going to die, she survived it; didn't have a bit of trouble. Well, if you're used to your own filth, I guess you can overcome it.
BHS Do you remember any other doctors that were in practice at that time? 
KEA I remember Dr. Stokes and Dr. Lynch, he was a younger doctor. That's about all I can remember at that time.
BHS Weren't there several Dr. Lydays, 2 or 3 generations of them? 
KEA Yes the older and younger. Couple of brothers, Dr. Lydays. 
BHS I think that there were 2 or 3 generations, actually. 
KEA Wilson Lyday was a descendant of that family of doctors. Wilson was a great diagnostician.
BHS Was he? I hear the same thing about Dr. Hermany up in Rosman. (Dr. Gretchen Hermany is a Catholic nun who runs a clinic in Rosman, there doesn't seem to be a lot of connection to the Catholic church, however). Were there any particular types of old-time home remedies that he used. I realize medicine has come a long ways since then but I just wondered if you......
KEA He developed a flu capsule. You know he went through the 1918 fluepidemic and he developed a flu capsule at that time that during the 19 and 23 flu epidemic he had patients down at Brevard College, in fact he had them in dining room, he hung up sheets between , make partitions and about 90 kids down there with the flu and all over the county. He lost 2 patients. One of them died from eating dried beans that hadn't been cooked long enough, had acute indigestion and diedand the other one was a man, real old, and died.   But he worked out this flu capsule powder......
BHS I wonder what it was.. 
KEA Well I have it, and I tried to get Vicks Vaporub interested in it and they said it had too much codeine in it and couldn't be patented. And they wanted to buy it for $600 and I said no. They'd make a fortune of it.
BHS A percentage might have worked out..... 
KEA One other thing I remember, he perfected. You know a lot of women washed over open fires and cooked over open fires and he had a lot of women thatgot burnt. And he worked up this serum. It looked like, it came up like molasses,and was about the color of rich cream. He carried in a big flat thing like this and he would put that on the burn and it would heal with hardly any scar.
BHS And you don't know what was in it. 
KEA I have no idea what was in it. 
BHS And you think of anything else about his practice that you would like to mention? 
KEA Well, he was, during World War II he was trying to go like a young man, there was only about 3 or 4 doctors left in the county, and his ulcer perforated. He had delivered a baby that night and had made 2 other housecalls. And he came home sick. And he died on the way to Greenville, at Traveler's Rest, he was on his way to surgery. But he suffered with those ulcers for years. Ican remember he lived on boiled milk and soda crackers and peanut butter.  
BHS You know they know now that they're caused by bacterial infection in the stomach, so they treat in similar ways to ease it, but they also treat it with antibiotics, I believe. 
KEA Yeah, I've had a lot of trouble with heartburn and indigestion, I've been checked for that bacteria and been treated for it. (Laughs) But the treatment didn't make any difference. I take a little purple pill, it's a magic pill.
BHS And it helps? 
KEA Oh yeah. 
BHS Do you remember any public transportation. like I know busses ran over her at one time. 
KEA You could catch a bus in the morning go to Asheville, shop all day, and catch a bus, come home that evening.
BHS Where'd you catch the bus? 
KEA The bus station that I remember is the one right across from Sammy's. 
BHS What was Paul's Produce that we were talking about?  
KEA Yeah Paul's Produce, right across there was the bus station. And it seems like Mose McAfee had something to do with it. (This building is now the site of Carland-Berry Accounting Firm).
BHS Mose McAfee? 
KEA They had McAfee's drug store. 
BHS Oh yeah, well, now McAfee's was in the McMinn Building wasn't it? I heard that that second set of stairs, like if you're walking, that second door, like if you're walking down towards the Transylvania Times, that second door was a place that they loaded and unloaded passengers too.
KEA I don't know but it probably was on that street but that got...... you know years ago, that (North Broad Street, the first block or two being called Jailhouse Hill) wasn't even open and the bandstand sat there and there was a fish pond.
BHS Yeah, I've seen a picture of it. There was no part of Broad Street that we now call Jailhouse Hill.    Do you remember when they put Jailhouse Hill in?  
KEA Vaguely. I remember the fish pond. Daddy used to tell funny tales about that. Gash, Bob Gash'sfather was a widower for years and years. Anyway the Sheriff's office was right in that first office (on the left as you enter the courthouse) and he had gotten a new secretary. Judge Bob was trying to see, looking in the window, looking up trying to see her and he backed up and caught his heels on the edge of that fish pond and went in backwards.  
BHS And went into the pond? (Kitty nods yes; lots of laughing). Oh that's funny. Did you ever ride the bus over to Asheville? 
KEA Oh yes. 
BHS You did? 
KEA Went shopping. 
BHS Did you ever ride the railroad any? 
KEA I rode it back and forth to New York. Going to school. 
BHS What particular local businesses do you remember that are no longer around? 
KEA Plummer's Department Store, McFee's Drug Store, Long's Drug Store, Galloway's Cafe.
BHS Where was that? 
KEA That's where that, right where the outlet store is. 
BHS Davis Outlet? 
KEA Davis. I think it was only part of that. 
BHS Do you remember people doing any bartering or trading, that kind of thing..? 
KEA I'm sure it went on, like my father was paid a lot in labor and produce. There was a old fellow here that he had delivered all his children and never got paid for it. And he said, "I'm just not going to deliver that last baby, I'm just not going to do it. I've never gotten a thing for the others," there was about a dozen. And the old fellow came to him," Oh doctor, please come, please. I've got an old sow that just had a litter of little pigs and you can pick out which one you want." So Dad went and delivered the baby, old fellow took him down to the pigpen and dad picked out his pig. He hasn't seen that pig since!  
BHS

Oh, shoot! So he never actually got it. Ah, it's a shame he couldn't take it home with him right then .  Do you remember the early phones or telegraphs?

KEA Oh yes, I remember our telephone number was 126. 
BHS And where was that was that while you were still............ 
KEA It was at the farm and it was, in, they had a little booth, a telephone in the booth. 
BHS In the house? 
KEA In the house. 
BHS Oh, how interesting. 
KEA Telephone Booth, yes. 
BHS And was this one that you just picked up and told the operator what number or did you dial? 
KEA Oh yes, no, you just picked it up and said give me so-and-so's house. 
BHS Do you remember who the operator was? 
KEA I was! That was my first job, working for the telephone company.   Course I was 15, 16. I worked in the summer time. You had to memorize all the numbers. Usually people just said, "give me so-and so" and you'd just plug it in and ring 'em.
BHS Where was the telephone building at that time? 
KEA It was in the old-time jail that stood back behind, just beyond the Times office, in that alley (on Probart Street).
BHS Is that the same building? 
KEA No, it was an old jail. It was made out of great big river rock. 
BHS I've never seen a picture of that. 
KEA It was my grandfather that built that first jail.
BHS Which grandfather? 
KEA Grandfather English.
BHS Do you have a picture of it? 
KEA (shakes her head, no) 
BHS I wonder if anybody has a picture of that old jail. 
KEA I doubt it. 
BHS

I mean there's plenty pictures of the Courthouse but we've never found a picture of the first courthouse, which was a little wooden structure before they built this brick one.       Who had the newspaper in those days before your family?

KEA Charlie Douglas. 
BHS Charlie Douglas had it? And what was it called then? 
KEA Brevard News, I think. 
BHS Yeah, Brevard News was one of its many names. Do you remember the fire department back then?
KEA Not really. 
BHS You don't remember much about it? Anything special that you remember about the police departmentor their activities?
KEA I remember that we had a stable here; Crocket Hendricks had a horse stable. It caught fire and burnt up with all the horses in it. I was just a child and it was back just about where the extension to the City Hall is. And I remember going by there and looking down there and so many horses died in that fire and there were men down there in rubber boots chopping them up to haul off and I dreamed about that for years.
BHS Do you remember anything about the postal service. Did they have rural delivery when you were out on the farm?  
KEA Dad got the mail, all our mail uptown. 
BHS I guess one of the main questions that's not on this list that I want to ask you about is, how you, well there's 2 things. How did your husband end up in the newspaper business in town?
KEA John Anderson? He studied journalism at the University of North Carolina 
BHS And did he come here to work? 
KEA He worked for Ed in Ashe County, Alleghany News, and when Ed bought this paper, he had John come down to run it.
BHS So what caused Ed to buy it then? 
KEA I have no idea. 
BHS But he was a native living here, though. 
KEA Ed was from Reidsville, just like John was. He was a journalist and he bought one little paper, made it successful, bought another one, made it successful.
BHS Just wherever he heard about them. And the last thing I want to ask you is,how did you end up becoming Mayor and tell me about your years as mayor...
KEA Well, after John died, C. K. Osborne ran the paper, Clyde Osborne,and he had an editorial about there'd never been a woman on city council. So I said, "Well by George I'll just run and see if I can get elected." And I was.  And I served 11 years on city council.
BHS Was that before you became Mayor? 
KEA (Nods yes) And then Opal Hahn was elected Mayor. You know she was elected on a write-in vote?
BHS Yes I know,people adored her. 
KEA She was so popular, she was the sweetest thing. 
BHS I have heard that; I heard she was wonderful. 
KEA And she died in August but she had served about 4 months on the second term. And so the council appointed me to fill out her term. And then I ran twice after that. The third time I ran, I got defeated. Johnny Peterson beat me.
BHS What do you feel like, over those years, was the most significant thing that happened or that you did?
KEA Well, we got the rest of our revenue-sharing money and we rebuiltthe sidewalks and put those grills in (drainage grills) and I ran on a ticket to beautify downtown Brevard. And so we got the trees,we hired a horticulturist and we got a beautification committee, and on top of that, we put in a new water treatment plant while I was in office.
BHS Out on Wilson Road? 
KEA It's up towards, the water plant is up on....... 
BHS Cathey's Creek? 
KEA Cathey's Creek. And the other one, waste water treatment is down below Pisgah Forest, We got both of those while I was in office. and started the downtown beautification committee. 
BHS Are you proud of the way downtown looks? 
KEA Yes I am, I think it's pretty and I like the way they're keeping it clean. 
BHS I have in archives, it's kinda funny, old pictures of Brevard over the years. And some years the trees will be pretty big, then they'll be gone, then they'll be back up, then they'll be gone. I thought that putting together, they're trying to do long-term practical planning and taking their time and I went to the planning session that they held at the American Legion. And I found that a couple of my concerns that they had heard time and again. Such as a couple of spots where there are just so many overhead power lines, it's like spaghetti.
KEA Well you know, we buried a lot of them whenwe did the sidewalks. 
BHS Yes, and there's a couple of places that still need it, but a lot of that was done. A few other things that it seemed like everybody agreed on and they had heard enough times, that I feel like they will be incorporated. Well, we're coming to the end here and I wondered if there was any other special thing that you remembered from the time you were a little fellow, little gal, that you felt like was important or special to you or anything of that kind.
KEA

I know I felt like the world had come to an end when the bank failed, I could hear the grown people talk about it and it scared me. I was just a little thing. But my folks were able to send me to college. 

Well, one thing that stands out in my mind, is I lost my second brother in a hunting accident when I was in school in New York.

BHS What was his name? 
KEA Langdon. 
BHS Langdon. How did that happen, did you know? 
KEA Yes, he lived long enough to tell my father. He had heard there was poachers up on the hunting club so he went up by himself, in a little pickup truck we had,and he had Daddy's .30-.30 rifle with him. My father had made one trip out west,big game hunting. And he didn't take anyone with him. His wife usually went with him but she didn't go that morning. He got to the cabin and parked and got out of the truck and walked around and got the door to get the rifleout, and the door stuck and he jerked it and the rifle fell down and the safety on it was bad and it went off; went through the door. He caught the door with his knee and it cut through his knee, cut a main artery and he bled to death. He was laying there under the drift which is why he lived as long as he did, he was half frozen. He tried to get a tourniquet on his leg; he explained it all to Dad. And he would pass out. And finally, one of the other members came up and found him and put him in the back of the truck and they brought him in. He sat on the front porch and wouldn't go to the hospital until his Daddy got in.
BHS I'm amazed nobody could save him if he got that far. 
KEA Well, it was the year before plasma, no blood type. They typed his blood when he died. Daddy said he lost most of his blood laying out there, the first 20 minutes. Dad heard that Langdon had been shot up at the hunting club so Dad went up there to the first cabin,didn't find him,ran all the way to the second cabin, they had two cabins,didn't find him, before he came back home, where he (Langdon)was.
BHS This is before it became Pisgah National Forest, then? 
KEA Well, no, it was Pisgah National Forest, see the hunting club bordered on Pisgah National Forest. It was Sutton Creek Rod and Gun Club. Thathappened when my mother had just made a trip to New York to see the school I was in. And she got a wire thinking that must be from Langdon. They had, he and his wife were planning to buy a house and Momma was going to sign a note for it.   When she opened it, he was dead. So we all came home on the train. It was a long trip. He was the best looking boyyou ever saw. When I finally went from grammar school to high school, the older girls just made so much of me and I thought, "Gee, I'm the cutest thing that ever lived and it finally dawned on me they were coming over on the farm to see my pretty brother, not me.
BHS (uproarious laughing) Oh that's wonderful. 
KEA I have a picture of him, if you'd like to see it? It would be in the other room. 
BHS All right.

^ Back to Top