Guide to the Wiley Smith Harmon Papers, early 1900s-1957, undated

Summary Information

Title: Wiley Smith Harmon Papers, early 1900s-1957, undated
Collection: AC.171
Extent: 1.0 linear feet (2 boxes)

The Wiley Smith Harmon Papers is made up of eleven reel-to-reel tapes and their transcriptions of Smith Harmon of Cove Creek, Watauga County, North Carolina, relating his life history and remembrances and of the Harmon family, covering the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Creator: Harmon, Wiley Smith, 1877-1969

Biographical/Historical Note

Wiley Smith Harmon (1877-1969) was born to Wiley and Melinda Cook Harmon in the Beech Creek community of Watauga County, North Carolina. He was a teacher and grew up on a farm. His memoirs tell of hunting foxes and skunks, killing hogs, making molasses, and more country boy, farm-related happenings. He tells of going to the World's Fair in Charleston, South Carolina in 1903 with his teacher, Professor Blan Dougherty, and many more adventures. He related family stories from the Civil War, and personal memories of his immediate family members.

Scope and Contents

The Wiley Smith Harmon Papers is made up of transcripts of eleven oral history tapes and drafts of a manuscript by Smith Harmon about himself and the Harmon family. It relates especially to life in Watauga County, North Carolina, the Cove Creek settlement, education and particularly, the founding of Appalachian Normal School (now Appalachian State University). According to handwritten notes on the tapes, these tapes were made around 1957.


The paper transcripts are in a small manuscript box with the audiovisual materials, originals, archival, and user copies, in separate boxes.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

Provenance is unknown. The original accession number is MHS. This collection was opened to the public on 1 October 2002. An addition including the recordings was accessioned later as AC.2005.004.

Processing Information

Processed by Deborah Bell, circa 1994; Kathryn Staley, 1 October 2002; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, June 2005; Revised processing by Anita Elliott, July 2013. This collection was reprocessed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.171: Wiley Smith Harmon Papers, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

  Box Folder

Handwritten Notes by Wiley Smith Harmon about his Tapes, circa 1957 

1 1

Transcripts, Typed, Tapes 1-3, circa 1957 

1 2

Transcripts, Typed, Tapes 4-6, circa 1957 

1 3

Transcripts, Typed, Tapes 7-9, circa 1957 

1 4

Typed Revised Version Two, Wiley Smith Harmon Transcripts, Pages 1-133, undated 

1 5

Eleven (11) Original Reel-to-reel Tapes of Wiley Smith Harmon's Life in western North Carolina, Appalachian State Teachers' College Years, and Boyhood Stories, early 1900s-1950s 


Twenty (20) Archival CD Copies of Reel-to-reel Tapes of Wiley Smith Harmon's Life, with more descriptions of tapes in box, early 1900s-1950s 


Twenty (20) USER CD Copies of Reel-to-reel Tapes of Wiley Smith Harmon's Life, with more descriptions of tapes in box, early 1900s-1950s