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Oral History Interview with John Ledford, January 3, 2001. Interview K-0251. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    John Ledford, the sheriff of Madison County, North Carolina, describes his job and the changing role of county sheriff in a growing area. His job requires an understanding of the personal dynamics of the county, and many of its residents expect personal service. But Madison County is growing, and its growth is changing Ledford's job. In this interview, he describes the growing conflict between new arrivals and longtime residents; the political aspects of his position; the effects of a new highway corridor that brings business, but also crime, to the area; and the increasing complexity of a job that was once local and personal. In doing so, Ledford reveals his drive to keep pace with change and his regret that Madison County cannot remain the wooded paradise of his youth. This interview offers a thoughtful look at the challenges small communities face, caught up in an increasingly connected nation.
  • The rise of negative campaigning
  • Job performance as campaigning in sheriff's job
  • Bridging gap between new arrivals and longtime residents
  • Working to ensure that community change is fair
  • Community growth brings crime
  • Desire to retain small-town values
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Madison County (N.C.)
  • Express highways--North Carolina
  • Madison County (N.C.)--Social life and customs
  • Ledford, John
  • Madison County (N.C.)--Politics and government
  • Sheriffs--North Carolina
  • 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.