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The Cratis Williams Chronicles: I Come to Boone

Following his retirement in 1976 from a distinguished career as a teacher and administrator at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, Cratis Williams wrote these memoirs of his life odyssey from a log cabin in eastern Kentucky to the upper echelons of American education.

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Interview with Wallace & Nell Buchanan  [January 10, 1976]

Wallace Buchanan, born in 1892 and a resident of Minneapolis, North Carolina has been a teacher for most of his life. He talks about his early education at Berea College, his time in the air force, and his time at Appalachian Training School. It was located exactly where Appalachian State University stands today, only smaller and exclusively for training teachers. He had many jobs, namely as a history teacher at Riverside School.

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L.E. Tuckwiller was born September 16, 1908 in West Virginia. He graduated from Berea College in 1934 and was the Watauga County extension agent for the past 30 years.

Mr. Tuckwiller talks mostly about his career as an extension agent throughout the interview. He explains his academic career and what lead him to the job. Mr. Tuckwiller was born and raised in West Virginia, so he describes the history of that area and compares the land to Boone. He also talks about his childhood on the farm and stories he heard of the Native Americans and the Civil War. For a large portion of the interview, Mr. Tuckwiller talks about farming in Boone and how he has worked with farmers. He also discusses the loss of farming land to development.

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This diary was recorded from February 7 through February 25, 1938 by Andrew Jackson Greene. He included records of weather, community events, and his travels in addition to personal reflections for each day. He frequently mentioned Vilas, Boone, and Cozy Nook in addition to Watauga County as a whole. He also included information about the happenings at his workplace, Appalachian State Teachers College, frequently referring to Dean Rankin and President Dougherty. He also provided insight from conversations held with other locals such as W.H. Brown, G.P. Eggers, Louise Fisher, and V.C. Howell.

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This 1936 H. Lee Waters film of Boone, NC includes scenes from downtown Boone, Appalachian State University, and Watauga County. Featured are many historical buildings including the old Boone post office, courthouse, Farmer's Hardware, and Cove Creek High School. Many Boone and Watauga County residents are on the film as well as Appalachian State University faculty, staff, and students. If you know any of the residents or buildings on the film, please send us a comment, and we will add the items to our description.

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Lieutenant Colonel Steven Crowe, interviewed by Seth Revetta, was born in Valdese, NC in 1962. He attended Appalachian State University for Military Science and entered the Army as an officer and graduated from Airborne School. His first station was in South Korea. Mr. Crowe discusses his training, which also included Ranger School and some of the difficulties he faced as an officer.

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Arlie Earl Moretz was born on June 30, 1908 to Sion Gideon Moretz (b. January 16, 1880 d. October 29, 1950) and Virginia Dare Stanberry (b. March 16, 1883 d. February 2, 1970). He married Alice Myers Moretz (b. May 12, 1912 d. January 25, 1965) who was born in Crossville, Tennessee to the parents of Thomas Myers and Olive Dougherty. His great grandfather was one of the first settlers in Watauga County, having married twice he had 25 children. The Arlie Moretz family lived in the Meat Camp area of Watauga County. Arlie Moretz died on September 7, 1997 at the age of 89.

Mr. Moretz earned B.S. and M.A. degrees from Appalachian State, and professionally was both a minister and schoolteacher with 39 years of experience. During the interview he reflects on how education has changed from the time when he was a youth through his career as an educator, talks about attending and teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, personal reflection on education, and local politics.

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William Ron Davis was born in Todd, North Carolina on July 30, 1896, attended college at Appalachian Training School for Teachers (later became Appalachian State University) starting in 1917, then taught in Watauga and Ashe Counties for 32 years. He passed away on March 9, 1978 at the age of 81.

During his interview, Ron reflected on his rearing in rural Ashe County including his education, the rules to games they played as children, and discipline. He spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on education including his thoughts on how education has changed.

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