Interview with Stanley Austin Harris, date unknown

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“Interview with Stanley Austin Harris, date unknown,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 19, 2024,

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Interview with Stanley Austin Harris, date unknown


Stanley Austin Harris was born on October 31, 1882 in Trade, Tennessee, and reared in Avery County. The son of a Confederate officer, after graduating from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1903, he worked for the Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) in Kentucky where he was introduced to the British Boy Scout movement. He chartered a troop from the British Scouting movement in 1908, two years before the Scouting program was established in the United States.

He started working for the Boy Scouts of America in 1917 until his retirement in 1947 at the national office in New York City. In 1926, he was the director of the Interracial Service where his responsibility was to build positive relationships with African American and Native American communities across the nation.

The Harris family lived in Boone while he worked in New York City, but would commute by train every few weeks. In 1942, Stanley Harris was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities from the historically black university Tuskegee Institute; the first Caucasian to receive this honor. Upon retiring, he lived in Boone and was very active with local businesses and civic groups.

During the interview he focuses largely on his retired life and talks about his childhood, the Depression, and Boone history.


Harris, Stanley Austin--Interviews
Boy Scouts of America
Watauga County (N.C.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Watauga County (N.C.)--History--20th century
Avery County (N.C.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Tennessee--Social life and customs--20th century




Copyright for the interviews on the Appalachian State University Oral History Collection site is held by Appalachian State University. The interviews are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. Appalachian State Collection 111. Appalachian Oral History Project Records, 1965-1989, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Special Collections, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials, without the written permission of the Appalachian State University, is strictly prohibited.




12 pages






Avery County (N.C.)
Watauga County (N.C)


03:07, Depression; 01:44 Work ethic

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