Title: Oral History Interview with Alester G. Furman Jr., January 6, 1976. Interview B-0019.
Interviewer: Glass, Brent
Interviewee: Furman, Alester G.
Subjects: Community development--South Carolina--Greenville Furman University Textile industry--South Carolina--Greenville
Abstract: Alester G. Furman Jr. was born in South Carolina just before the turn of the twentieth century. By the time of his birth, his ancestors had lived in South Carolina for nearly 150 years. In the early 1800s, Furman's family helped to establish Furman University. Years later, Furman attended the University and later sat on its board of trustees. Furman speaks at length about his father's training as a lawyer and his early involvement in the establishment of the textile industry in Greenville, South Carolina. Furman's father went into business for himself, initially purchasing farmland for development of textile mills, and later buying and selling stock bonds in the industry. The younger Furman later assumed control of this family business. He first began to work for his father in 1914, following his graduation from Furman University. He describes the positive impact of the war on the family business, the growth of the business in the 1920s, the ramifications of "scientific management" in southern textile industries, and the effects of the Great Depression. He also discusses the relationship between labor and management in Greenville textile mills and discusses the lack of unionization there. Finally, he addresses changes in Greenville as a community and his activities outside of the family business, namely in relationship to Furman University, his family, and his civic activities.