John William Harrelson Papers 1908-1955

Creator
Harrelson, J. W. (John William), 1885-1955
Size
10.7 linear feet (22 boxes, 1 tube)
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00001

The John William Harrelson Papers contain correspondence, speeches and writings, reports, minutes, clippings, certificates, scrapbooks, financial records, and photographs. The collection provides information about Harrelson's military career, his tenure as a faculty member and administrator at North Carolina State College (later North Carolina State University), and his service as director of the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development. The materials also relate to Harrelson's membership in various civic and professional organizations.

John William Harrelson (1885-1955) was a member of the faculty and administrator at North Carolina State College (later North Carolina State University) and was director of the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development.

Biographical/historical note

John William Harrelson was born on June 28, 1885, in Double Shoals Community, Cleveland County, North Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (later North Carolina State University) in 1909 with a Bachelor's degree in engineering. In 1915 he received a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the same school.

After graduation, Harrelson joined the military. Harrelson was actively employed in the military from 1917 to 1919, and remained a reserve officer after his active service was completed. During this period, Harrelson was a lieutenant in the Coast Artillery, North Carolina National Guard, when the United States entered World War I in April 1917. He was in active service for two years, before being returned to reserve status. While in the reserves, he was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1923.

After completing his active military service, Harrelson chose to stay at his alma mater as an instructor in the Mathematics Department. By 1921, he had risen to the rank of full professor. He was granted a leave of absence from the college in 1929, when Governor O. Max Gardner appointed him director of the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development. Harrelson remained there from 1929 to 1933, promoting wildlife awareness and sound hunting and fishing practices. Harrelson returned to the college in 1933, and resumed his post as head of the Mathematics department.

In 1934, he was appointed Dean of Administration at North Carolina State College. The name of the position was changed to Chancellor in 1945. Harrelson held this position until his retirement in 1953. Harrelson guided the university through many difficult changes, such as the consolidation of the University of North Carolina system and the student population boom after World War II due to the G.I. Bill.

In 1935 Harrelson married Elizabeth Connor, but the couple had no children. He served on many governmental and private boards, committees and councils, primarily focusing on education and health care. After his retirement, Harrelson was instrumental in working for and promoting the new library on State College Campus, and worked to help start the special collections. He died in Raleigh on March 13, 1955.

Scope/content

The John William Harrelson Papers contain a wide variety of materials including: correspondence, speeches and writings, reports, minutes, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, certificates, citations, commissions, appointments, scrapbooks, and other paraphernalia. The collection provides information about Harrelson's military career with the United States Army, his work as a professor and administrator at North Carolina State College, and his service as Director of the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development. The materials also relate to Harrelson's membership in various civic organizations and participation on certain boards, commissions, and councils, which were often associated with colleges and private schools, including Saint Mary's School, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and the Kiwanis Club.

Physical description

22 boxes, 1 tube

Arrangement

This collection is organized into six series:

  • 1. Correspondence
  • 2. University Papers
  • 3. Department of Conservation and Development
  • 4. Military Records
  • 5. Membership in Organizations
  • 6. Personal Papers

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John William Harrelson Papers, MC 00001, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of Elizabeth Harrelson, 1968.

Processing information

Processed by Lea Jordan; Encoded by Lea Jordan

Correspondence 1923-1955
Size: 0.5 linear feet

This series contains congratulatory letters upon Harrelson's nomination as Dean of North Carolina State College, as well as personal and family notes, including those to informal business relations.

1 archival box

Congratulatory Letters 1934 June-1934 July 4
Legal box 1, Folder 1
Congratulatory Letters 1934 July 5-1934 July 9
Legal box 1, Folder 2
Congratulatory Letters 1934 July 10-1934 July 31
Legal box 1, Folder 3
Congratulatory Letters 1934 Aug.-1934 Dec.
Legal box 1, Folder 4
Responses to Congratulations 1934
Legal box 1, Folder 5
General Correspondence 1923-1935
Legal box 1, Folder 6
General Correspondence 1936-1949
Legal box 1, Folder 7
General Correspondence 1953
Legal box 1, Folder 8
General Correspondence 1954 Jan-1954 June
Legal box 1, Folder 9
General Correspondence 1954 July-1955 Jan
Legal box 1, Folder 10
University 1921-1955
Size: 2 linear feet

This series contains minutes, reports, and correspondence dealing with Harrelson's service to North Carolina State College (later North Carolina State University). It includes Alumni Association correspondence, the committee on University of North Carolina system consolidation, correspondence involving the bequest program, and notes from the North Carolina General Assembly of 1955. It also includes speeches and publications created by Harrelson while he was involved with the university, his retirement papers, and recommendations and introductions written for individuals within the university. A scrapbook detailing the 50th Anniversary of North Carolina State College is also included. The bulk of the materials date from 1930-1950.

3 archival boxes, 1 oversized box

Alumni Association 1921-1934
Legal box 1, Folder 11
Alumni Association 1935-1944
Legal box 1, Folder 12
Alumni Association 1952-1954
Legal box 1, Folder 13
Alumni News 1933-1934
Legal box 1, Folder 14
Committee on Consolidation, Letters 1931-1932
Legal box 2, Folder 1
Committee on Consolidation, pamphelets 1931-1932
Legal box 2, Folder 2
Consolidation 1932
Legal box 2, Folder 3
Consolidation 1933
Legal box 2, Folder 4
Consolidation Publications
Legal box 2, Folder 5
Bequest Program Papers
Legal box 2, Folder 6
General Assembly 1955
Legal box 2, Folder 7
General Assembly 1955
Legal box 2, Folder 8
General Assembly budget 1955
Legal box 2, Folder 9
Speeches and Writings 1935-1936 Sept
Legal box 3, Folder 1
Speeches and Writings 1936 Oct-1938
Legal box 3, Folder 2
Speeches and Writings 1940-1941
Legal box 3, Folder 3
Speeches and Writings 1942-1944
Legal box 3, Folder 4
Speeches and Writings 1953-1954
Legal box 3, Folder 5
Retirement 1950-1954
Legal box 3, Folder 6
Retirement, Publications
Legal box 3, Folder 7
Recommendations and Introductions
Legal box 3, Folder 8
Recommendations and Introductions
Legal box 3, Folder 9
Photographs

Pictures are of Chancellor Harrelson and President Frank Graham.

Legal box 3, Folder 10
N.C. State 50th Anniversary Scrapbook
Flat box 20
Conservation and Development 1929-1941
Size: 3 linear feet

This is a large portion of the collection, spanning Harrelson's years as the director of the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development. It includes correspondence, reports (both typed and published), speeches, scrapbooks, and papers written while he was in office. It also includes publications of the North Carolina Club, and the Atlantic Sportsman. Colonel Harrelson's original order has been preserved, save the organization by date.

3 archival boxes and 3 oversized boxes

Conservation and Development correspondence 1929
Legal box 4, Folder 1
Conservation and Development correspondence 1930-1931 Aug.
Legal box 4, Folder 2
Conservation and Development correspondence 1931 Sept.-1931 Dec.
Legal box 4, Folder 3
Conservation and Development correspondence 1932
Legal box 4, Folder 4
Reappointment as Director 1932-1933
Legal box 4, Folder 5
Conservation and Development Reports,
Legal box 4, Folder 6
Conservation and Development, late correspondence 1933 Jan-1933 Aug
Legal box 4, Folder 7
Letters Upon Losing Post 1933 Aug
Legal box 4, Folder 8
Conservation and Development, correspondence after leaving 1934
Legal box 4, Folder 9
Conservation and Development, correspondence after leaving 1935-1941
Legal box 4, Folder 10
Reports (typed) 1930
Legal box 5, Folder 1
Reports (published) 1930
Legal box 5, Folder 2
Reports (typed) 1931-1933
Legal box 5, Folder 3
Reports (published) 1931-1933
Legal box 5, Folder 4
Reports (typed) 1935-1937
Legal box 5, Folder 5
Reports (published) 1935-1937
Legal box 5, Folder 6
Reports (typed) 1939-1941
Legal box 5, Folder 7
Speeches and Writings (1 of 4)
Legal box 6, Folder 1
Speeches and Writings (2 of 4)
Legal box 6, Folder 2
Speeches and Writings (3 of 4)
Legal box 6, Folder 3
Speeches and Writings (4 of 4)
Legal box 6, Folder 4
North Carolina Club
Legal box 6, Folder 5
North Carolina Club Publications
Legal box 6, Folder 6
Atlantic Sportsman
Legal box 6, Folder 7
Conservation Clippings Scrapbook 1
Flat box 17
Conservation Clipping Scrapbook 2
Flat box 18
Conservation Clipping Scrapbook 3
Flat box 19
Military 1921-1954
Size: 2.5 linear feet

This series contains correspondence, memos, and calls to service arranged by date, dealing with Colonel Harrelson's time in the United States Army. It also includes correspondence regarding the Reserve Officer's Association, and the Council of Defense. Where possible, these documents have been arranged by date. It also includes Harrelson's American flag materials, which include military instructions for flag respect and care for civilians.

3 archival boxes and 1 oversized box

General Records 1921-1923
Legal box 7, Folder 1
General Records 1924
Legal box 7, Folder 2
General Records 1925 Jan-1925 July
Legal box 7, Folder 3
General Records 1925 Aug-1925 Dec
Legal box 7, Folder 4
General Records 1926 Jan-1926 July
Legal box 7, Folder 5
General Records 1926 Aug-1926 Dec
Legal box 7, Folder 6
General Records 1927
Legal box 7, Folder 7
General Records 1928-1934
Legal box 7, Folder 8
General Records 1935
Legal box 8, Folder 1
General Records 1936-1937
Legal box 8, Folder 2
General Records 1938
Legal box 8, Folder 3
General Records 1939-1940
Legal box 8, Folder 4
General Records 1941
Legal box 8, Folder 5
General Records 1942-1943 July
Legal box 8, Folder 6
General Records 1943 Aug-1943 Dec
Legal box 8, Folder 7
Travel Vouchers 1943-1944
Legal box 8, Folder 8
General Records 1944 Jan-1944 Apr
Legal box 8, Folder 9
General Records 1944 May-1944 June
Legal box 8, Folder 10
General Records 1944 July
Legal box 9, Folder 1
General Records 1944 Aug-1944 Dec
Legal box 9, Folder 2
General Records 1945
Legal box 9, Folder 3
General Records 1948-1954
Legal box 9, Folder 4
Reserve Officer's Association 1925
Legal box 9, Folder 5
Reserve Officers Association 1926-1934
Legal box 9, Folder 6
Reserve Officer Publications 1923-1932
Legal box 9, Folder 7
Military National Defense 1925-1933
Legal box 9, Folder 8
Council of Defense 1940
Legal box 9, Folder 9
Council of Defense 1941
Legal box 9, Folder 10
Council of Defense 1942
Legal box 9, Folder 11
American Flag Materials
Legal box 9, Folder 12
"The Flag of the United States"
Legal box 9, Folder 13
Oversized Military
Album 16, Folder 3
Membership in Organizations 1929-1955
Size: 3.5 linear feet

This series contains reports, notes, publications, budgets, scrapbooks, and correspondence related to the various boards, committees and councils that Colonel Harrelson sat on during his lifetime. These groups include private schools, colleges, the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and the Merit System Council. These organizations are arranged alphabetically, and by date when possible within groupings.

4 archival boxes and 1 oversized box

Chamber of Commerce, Raleigh 1946-1950
Legal box 10, Folder 2
Chamber of Commerce, Raleigh 1953
Legal box 10, Folder 3
Chamber of Commerce, Raleigh 1954-1955
Legal box 10, Folder 4
Charlotte College 1954
Legal box 10, Folder 5
Cotton Grower's Co-op 1939-1954
Legal box 10, Folder 6
Executive's Club 1948-1955
Legal box 10, Folder 7
Farmer's Co-op Exchange 1948-1955
Legal box 10, Folder 8
Gardner-Webb College 1942-1945
Legal box 10, Folder 9
Kiwanis Club 1939-1955
Legal box 10, Folder 10
Merit System Council 1941
Legal box 10, Folder 11
Merit System Council 1942 Jan-1942 Aug
Legal box 10, Folder 12
Merit System Council 1945
Legal box 11, Folder 1
Merit System Council 1948-1949
Legal box 11, Folder 2
Merit System Council 1950-1954
Legal box 11, Folder 3
Nautical School 1939-1945
Legal box 11, Folder 4
Newcomen Society 1942
Legal box 11, Folder 5
Pinehurst Preperatory School 1940-1941
Legal box 11, Folder 6
Railroad Centennial, Raleigh 1940
Legal box 11, Folder 7
Raleigh Sesquicentennial 1941-1942 Mar
Legal box 11, Folder 8
Raleigh Sesquicentennial 1942 Apr-1942 Oct
Legal box 11, Folder 9
Ravenscroft School 1951-1952
Legal box 11, Folder 10
Saint Agnes Hospital 1942-1953
Legal box 11, Folder 11
Saint Agnes Hospital 1954-1955
Legal box 12, Folder 1
Saint Agnes Hospital, bookeeper's reports 1954
Legal box 12, Folder 2
Saint Augustine's College 1937-1947
Legal box 12, Folder 3
Saint Augustine's College 1949-1953
Legal box 12, Folder 4
Saint Augustine's College 1954-1955
Legal box 12, Folder 5
Saint Mary's School 1945-1947
Legal box 12, Folder 6
Saint Mary's School 1948-1954
Legal box 12, Folder 7
State Planning Board 1936-1937
Legal box 12, Folder 8
State Planning Board 1938
Legal box 12, Folder 9
State Planning Board 1939-1941
Legal box 12, Folder 10
State Programming, television, WRAL 1954
Legal box 12, Folder 11
State - Professional Engineers of NC 1954
Legal box 13, Folder 1
Standard Oil Discussion Group 1953-1954
Legal box 13, Folder 2
Watauga Club
Legal box 13, Folder 3
Other Memberships 1929-1955
Legal box 13, Folder 4
Kiwanis Club Scrapbook
Flat box 21, Folder 1
Personal 1908-1955

Harrelson marked these files "personal". They have been left as a grouping, but include citations and certificates, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and personal financial records. This group also included a collection of personal photographs, many of which were labeled by Harrelson himself.

1 archival box, 2 albums and 1 artifact box

Financial Statements 1930-1955
Personal Financial Records 1929-1955
Legal box 13, Folder 5
Paystubs and Cancelled Checks 1930-1955
Legal box 13, Folder 6
Citations, Certificates, and Commissions
Citations, Certificates, and Commissions
Legal box 13, Folder 7
Oversized Certificates and Citations
Album 16, Folder 2
Diplomas and certificates
Flat folder 1
Clippings 1916-1955
Newspaper Clippings and Magazines 1916-1933
Legal box 13, Folder 8
Newspaper Clippings and Magazines 1934
Legal box 13, Folder 9
Newspaper Clippings and Magazines 1935-1941
Legal box 13, Folder 10
Newspaper Clippings and Magazines 1943-1955
Legal box 13, Folder 11
Photographs 1908-1955
Photographs: Family, Residence, State College Campus
Album 14, Folder 1
Commencements, Military Ceremonies, Fort Bragg, Conservation and Development
Album 15, Folder 1
Oversized Photographs
Album 16, Folder 1
Artifacts
Signature Stamp
Artifact box 22
Golf club (putter) undated
Tube 23

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John William Harrelson Papers, MC 00001, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.