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Oral History Interview with Alester G. Furman Jr., January 6, 1976. Interview B-0019. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • 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.
  • Family ancestry, religion, and higher education
  • Land development and the beginnings of the textile industry in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Establishment of the textile industry, buying land and stock, and role of local people
  • Economic cycles during the 1920s and 1930s in the Greenville, South Carolina, textile industry
  • Failed efforts at unionization and mill owners' efforts to thwart strikes
  • Scientific management and efficiency in the textile industry
  • Integration of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Community development--South Carolina--Greenville
  • Furman University
  • Textile industry--South Carolina--Greenville
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.