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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Jean Cole Hatcher, June 13, 1980. Interview H-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Development of Charlotte as an important industrial center in the South

In this excerpt, Hatcher discusses the development of Charlotte as an economic center in North Carolina during the early twentieth century. According to Hatcher, Charlotte became an important trucking center, not just in the state, but in the South because of its location along the Southern Railroad. In addition, she emphasizes the importance of the building of roads under Governor Cameron Morrison during the early 1920s.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Jean Cole Hatcher, June 13, 1980. Interview H-0165. 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:
It seems like Charlotte developed more banking and financial institutions than other parts of the state, maybe with the exception of Winston-Salem.
JEAN COLE HATCHER:
Winston-Salem.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why would that have been so? Do you have any idea?
JEAN COLE HATCHER:
[Pause] We're certainly not centrally located, in the state. But at the time all of that got started, we were, definitely, in the middle of the textile region. And it was textiles which developed the Piedmont-which started the Piedmont crescent area. I'm talking now from Greenville, South Carolina, to Greensboro, North Carolina. Essentially, I believe that's the curve that they like to follow the most. [Pause] Now, what would you ask me? I got started-
ALLEN TULLOS:
I was asking about the reason why Charolotte developed as it did.
JEAN COLE HATCHER:
Oh! We were on the main line of SouthernRailroad; number one. Which made us overnight from New York, which was the financial center of this country, at any rate, if not the world, at that time. And we had more central, better, railroad facilities. I think that's the only-I think that's the reason that they point to the Piedmont Crescent. Which was conducive to the fact that Greenville, Spartanburg, Charlotte-well, you start in Atlanta, really, you know, and come up, on your main line of Southern Railroad.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, what about when Morrison was governor? One of the things he's known for is the road building.
JEAN COLE HATCHER:
Highways, mm-hm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could that have contributed, then, to Charlotte's-
JEAN COLE HATCHER:
It did. And it caused Charlotte to become a very, very large trucking center. I've forgotten now whether we're next to Chicago, or Atlanta, or what. But we're supposed to be a tremendously big trucking center.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I just wondered, because Morrison lived here in Charlotte a while, if that had anything to do with him pursuing the road building idea more. Charlotte benefitting perhaps more, this Piedmont area.
JEAN COLE HATCHER:
I can't say whether Charlotte benefitted more, or not. I don't know. I don't know the history of it all. But I always assumed, and I think everybody else has assumed, that it was a statewide thing; that he was a man who simply believed in good roads.