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Interview with Virginia Harriss Holland, December 14, 2001 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Title:
Interview with Virginia Harriss Holland, December 14, 2001
Date:
December 14, 2001
Description:
Mrs. Holland is interviewed about her maternal grandfather, John Thomas Hoggard, who was a founder of Wilmington College. Includes her memories of her grandfather and other family members. She discusses Dr. Hoggard's original career in medicine. Once he became so involved as a leader in secondary and post-secondary education in New Hanover County, he stepped down from his original career in medicine. Dr. Hoggard served as chair of the New Hanover County Board of Education at the time that Wilmington College was formed. He later served as chair of the Wilmington College Board of Trustees.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Holland, Virginia Harriss Interviewer: Lack, Adina / Hayes, Sherman Date of Interview: 12/14/2001 Series: Voices of UNCW

Hayes: Greetings. This is Sherman Hayes, university librarian at UNCW in Wilmington, North Carolina on December 14th, along with Adina Lack, university archivist at the Randall Library and we have graciously been invited into the house of Virginia Holland for an interview on the history of UNCW and some of the key families in that history.

Hayes: Welcome. I thought we might start a little bit since part of our goal is to talk about Dr. Hoggard, and his full name was ….

Holland: John Thomas.

Hayes: Was it John or Jonathan?

Holland: They called him John. Now he had a son, John Thomas Hoggard Jr. and they called him John Thomas, but he was always called John.

Hayes: Okay, great. Before we start on that, why don’t you give us some sense of the lineage of how you came into this Hoggard clan so to speak.

Holland: Well my mother was a Hoggard. I was Virginia Harriss, she married David Harriss and I was his granddaughter.

Hayes: So your mother was the…

Holland: She was the oldest child of Dr. John Hoggard and Virginia Halls Hoggard. My grandmother was Virginia Halls Hoggard. I was named for her and they had three children, my mother being the oldest. Her name was Francis Elizabeth Hoggard. She married David Harriss and that’s two “s” Harriss by the way. And then the second child was John Thomas Hoggard Jr. and the third was Edwin Hoggard.

My mother had three daughters. One is Beth Front—Mrs. Lawrence Front, the oldest. I’m Virginia Holland, the second one, and my younger sister, Peg Ann, lives in Edenton, North Carolina.

Hayes: Where is that?

Holland: That’s up in the northern part of the state about an hour from Norfolk, a little small, very historical town.

Hayes: And you’re a Wilmington girl? I mean from way back.

Holland: Oh yes, from way back. You should be able to tell that from the accent. Born and raised here. I was raised very close to my grandfather Hoggard. Beth and I were the first two grandchildren born to the Hoggards and we were the only

grandchildren for eight years so we were quite spoiled. We went on a lot of trips with them. We knew them very, very well. In fact, mother and daddy’s first house that they built was just two doors from them. So I practically lived in their house.

They lived at 5th and Orange. The house is still there. It’s been bought by a lady in Fayetteville and is now in the process of being restored. It was built as a hospital. There’s an article I have here that was in the Morning Star in 1919 about the 50-room hospital to be built here by Dr. John T. Hoggard and Dr. J. F. Miller. They secured the property at 5th and Orange. It’s an article that tells you all about it which you can have whatever.

I was not born. I never saw it as a hospital. After they closed the hospital, my grandfather bought the other doctor out and made it into his home and it was huge. I mean upstairs there were three huge full apartments and of course one of the old homes that had the tall ceilings and my grandfather had his office there. And so he kept his private practice.

Hayes: So how…he passed away in late, I’m trying to get a sense of how old he was, if he was building a hospital in 1919, then he …

Holland: I can’t remember…at 88. He died at 88 and it was August 18, 1965. I’m just going to let that ring (phone ringing). We have an answering machine, we pay for it, we might as well use it (laughter). Of course he retired from his private practice at a very early age because of heart problems. And of course now they probably would have put him in the hospital and done a triple bypass and he might be still living. That’s when he became interested in education.

Hayes: Before we jump into that meat, something I was telling Adina, that we seldom have for historical figures is a sense of who they were, what they were like. You know he was your grandfather, you were close to him. For future generations, what kind of person was he?

Holland: He was a very stern person, quite a disciplinarian, but lots of fun too. He was a practical joker and he had two brothers. He moved from Aulander, North Carolina, around Edenton and those little towns, they were peanut farmers. He was originally from Virginia and I have an article here about the founding home and the Hoggards, Poplar Grove.

But he chose to go into the medical field. He went to med school. There is quite a bit of information here about where he went to med school and everything. But he had two brothers, it was so cute. The three of them, when they got together and they would come visit every summer. We had an old beach cottage down at the beach and it was just the highlight for Beth and me cause they were just so much fun.

There was Aunt Minny and Uncle Ben and Uncle Willie and Irma. When the three brothers got together, I mean they would pick on those poor ladies. It was fun though. It was a lot of fun. Beth and I had many fond memories of growing up in the summertime. During the second world war, my father was sent, was in the Navy and he was stationed in Charleston. So mother would send the two of us to Wrightsville Beach to spend the whole summer.

It was very safe back then. We would go down to Station One at night and stay until 9: 00. They’d give us a dollar and we could bowl I think four games and still get popcorn and a drink and so forth (laughter). So we have very fond memories. They took us on a lot of trips, a lot of trips we really didn't want to go on. We were teenagers and they would haul us off the beach where all the cute darling boys were and haul us up to the mountains to these old places (laughter) and everybody was on the rocking chair rocking.

My grandfather drove, if you pardon the expression, like a bat out of hell and my grandmother would sit in the front seat with her knuckles red. Beth and I were in the back seat with our heads down. We’d go around these mountains and he was “Look here”, “Look there”, I mean and we’d say…we called him Poppa by the way, it was Poppa and Ginny, but we had fun. We did. It was just for two weeks. We would have preferred to stay at the beach those two weeks.

Hayes: So your sense though, as a stern person, someone who was born before the turn of the century and as a formal doctor so he projected that in his public life. Is that kind of how you would see him?

Holland: Yes, yes, I think if you had a chance to talk to any of the persons that were connected with him in the education field, they would say that he was very stern. When he got an idea, he did everything he could to see it formulate. He got the idea of Wilmington College, it was after the war, the second world war and all these veterans were coming back.

Most of them had graduated from high school. We were still a very poor little county and they had no opportunities to go to college and so he fought for the rights to get a junior college here. I can just remember him all the time going to Raleigh to talk to the legislators and you know push his idea.

He finally got it and it was old Hemingway School across from the high school. I took, believe it or not, I took…a lot of college students when it was started would take summer courses there to get ahead. I remember one summer I took biology so it lightened my load for the next year.

Hayes: Who was your teacher, do you remember?

Holland: Yes, she ended up going to, it may have been Marshall Crews, was he biology?

Hayes: He was math, wasn’t he? But then in those days, you could teach a lot of things (laughter) cause he’s still going strong, Marshall is.

Holland: I’m trying to think, no, no, the fellow that taught me…in fact, I think he ended up getting in some trouble with the law and he maybe (laughter), in prison by now. But these guys, they went through two years of college and if they were smart enough, they were able to transfer to the university.

Hayes: Right, right. Let’s go back a little earlier.

Holland: He was the first president of Wilmington College, I think probably because there just wasn’t anybody else around and he was the one that pushed to open it so he got the job (laughter). He wasn’t there very long.

Hayes: In the modern times in academics, doctor means Ph.D., but he was a medical doctor, right, and so he had…you mentioned he was going to start a hospital. Did he actually have the hospital?

Holland: Yes on Orange Street where he later lived.

Hayes: So how long was that?

Holland: I don’t know. It was open…this article is 1919 and that’s when they bought the property.

Hayes: And we’re talking that by ’47, he was forced to retire.

Holland: Yes and I was born in ’34 and it was closed then.

Hayes: Right, and was he still a practicing doctor when you were born?

Holland: Oh yes, he practiced, when they closed the hospital, he turned the hospital into his private home and had his private practice in the back and Beth and I used to go on house calls with him.

Hayes: Oh tell us about that. This is great.

Holland: Oh yes, house calls, it was fun. I remember, I forgot what kind of car it was, but I would sit there on the front seat and he went to all, all neighborhoods.

Hayes: By that, you’re implying both black and white neighborhoods.

Holland: Oh yes, oh yes. I went into some, what I would consider, rough now. They were perfectly safe back then and I would sit on the front seat of the car waiting for him while he’d go in and doctor them.

Hayes: What, would people just call the house at that point and say I need somebody, would you come or did he have a set schedule?

Holland: As I remember, I think he had certain hours of the day where he made house calls and he had certain hours where he had his office calls. He would stop for an hour, lunch, eat right there. Of course they always had their big…oh, speaking of disciplinarian, we had breakfast at 8:00, lunch at 1:00, no dinner at 1:00 and then a light supper at night. He always had a cook. My grandmother never, never cooked. She never even ordered the groceries.

He ordered all the groceries and had Johnny, first it was Charlie, then it was Johnny that did all the cooking and buying. They went, he made out the grocery list.

Hayes: Now who was doing the cooking?

Holland: They were some black servants.

Hayes: Okay, there were servants.

Holland: Oh yes, they always had good servants.

Hayes: Now what about just handling the calls and so forth. Did he have, what did he have a nurse normally?

Holland: I don’t ever remember anybody in there.

Hayes: Is that right? Interesting…

Holland: No. If he did, I never saw anybody.

Hayes: So he really just handled his own.

Holland: He started out as a country doctor in Atkinson, North Carolina. I don’t know whether you know where that is. It’s up the road, it’s up in Pender County. That’s where my grandmother was from and he went there as the mill doctor. There was a big mill there. And they got married. He was a good bit older than my grandma and as a result, she always called him Dr. Hoggard. She never called him John.

My mother was born there and at the age of 16, they moved to Wilmington and mother graduated from New Hanover High School.

Hayes: So what town was that in Pender County?

Holland: Atkinson.

Hayes: Is it still there?

Holland: Well some people, local people say Atkins which I always said, but I think, the northerners that invaded called it Atkinson.

Hayes: So this was a textile mill then?

Holland: It’s a small town, they were farmers, lumber mill.

Hayes: Oh lumber mill?

Holland: Yeah, and …

Hayes: So do you think he, at that time, he would work for the mill, but he also had a side business?

Holland: He may have, I don’t know. A park there is named for him. I mean it’s not much of a park (laughter), but I did read in the paper that Atkinson now has a Christmas parade and the old family home is still there. It’s been made into a bed and breakfast. Next to it is a little small Episcopal chapel. Everybody there was either Presbyterian or Baptist except my grandmother’s family who were Episcopalians, so my great-grandfather built this chapel and a lay reader would come down from St. James Church every Sunday and have a little service.

Hayes: Now when you say the homestead was there, so they had migrated from Virginia.

Holland: Well, he went… the Hoggard family was originally from Virginia, but I’m talking…the Halls’ homestead. See he moved from Aulander, North Carolina to Atkinson. To be the…

Hayes: So his wife’s father was active and a leading family…

Holland: And there are quite a few doctors in that family too.

Hayes: Interesting.

Holland: So he brought her to Wilmington when my mother was 16 and she went to New Hanover High School.

Hayes: She was 16?

Holland: At the age of 16, she spent the first 16 years of her life in Atkinson.

Hayes: So I’m trying to get a sense here, and then she had some brothers and sisters right as well?

Holland: Two younger brothers. They all moved, and that’s when he opened the hospital, he and the other doctor.

Lack: What was her name?

Holland: Elizabeth.

Hayes: Did he ever talk about those early years at all with you folks? Of course you were kids, so… you’re probably not as interested…

Holland: He probably did and I was a kid and wouldn't have paid any attention (laughter). But of course now, I used to spend also a month or so every summer in Atkinson.

Hayes: Did you really? Well tell us about Atkinson. That’s great because this gives us a sense of roots.

Holland: You know, I’m trying to think, I had two old great-aunts, Peggy and Annie, and they were my grandmother’s sisters and that’s who we would go stay with. My grandmother and grandfather would put us on the train and we’d get off in Atkinson. I’m trying to remember the TV program where the two little ladies…um…the Waltons. Remember the two little ladies in Walton that lived, well Jenny, I mean Auntie and Peggy were just like the two little ladies in the Walton family.

They owned the only store there so we could just go down there and buy anything we want to and say charge it (laughter).

Hayes: So this is small town North Carolina, wow.

Holland: Yeah, well Wilmington was very small back then. I’m talking about at the age of 5, I remember walking downtown from 5th and Orange by myself. You know, you wouldn't do that now.

Hayes: There could have been 30 or 40,000 people.

Holland: Well of course most of it was county.

Hayes: I see, out in the rural areas.

Holland: You’ve heard about annexation (laughter). It was mostly rural. But let’s see, shall we go on with …

Hayes: Okay, that’s fine. So he moved here to Wilmington and started the hospital and then at some point that closed and he kept going as a doctor.

Holland: I’m sure they may have opened James Walker at that time. I’m not sure when that was opened. But he was just a general practitioner which most doctors were back then. They didn't have any specialties.

Hayes: Do you remember what medical school he went to? We probably have something…

Holland: Yes, uh huh, I had it all written down. This is an article that my mother wrote in 1973 about his life and he went to Atkinson and entered practice serving also as a representative of the Causey Lumber Company. He was born in Bertie County, that’s where Aulander is. That’s a big peanut area.

Hayes: So you think his dad probably was a peanut farmer?

Holland: I would guess. I didn't get a chance to read this. This is the old article about the home in Virginia, “At the age of 18, he volunteered his services in the Spanish American War. He was attached to Colonel Theodore Roosevelt’s division. After a short training period, he was sent to Cuba where he remained during the war taking part in skirmishes at Santiago and the Battle of San Juan. He received a wound in his leg which gave him trouble for the rest of his life. After the war he attended Wake Forest College, UNC and graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1907. He interned at St. Luke’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, and then Bellevue Hospital in New York.”

Hayes: Wow, that’s great. So that’s something your mother wrote in 1973. Well thank you for reading that because that helps at least go through it because even though we might have a copy of that, that’s great to have that chronology. So he really had traveled for a North Carolinian, had quite a kind of traveling experience there. Ever mentioned the Spanish American War at all.

Holland: I have a picture here somewhere of him. This is Dr. John T. Hoggard leaning on a cannon in the Spanish American War. That was the Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, Light Battery Company, 3rd Artillery in Cuba.

Hayes: Wow, thank you, that is great.

Holland: This is him leaning right there on …

Hayes: And I don’t think many people knew that. It was kind of a forgotten war. I mean at the time it was a flash and then I think World War I probably overshadowed in memory.

Holland: And I think he went into World War I. Let’s see. This describes my grandfather, “My father was a very stern and opinionated man.” Now remember this was written by my mother, when I say “my father”, she’s talking. “He and Mr. Albert Corbett (who is Corbett Packaging Company” started an argument in the Atkinson Post Office. When it became a little too hot, daddy asked him outside to fight. It was resolved, but a question of I’d rather fight than switch, he and Mr. Corbett became lifelong friends.”

“When he went into the Army, the people in Atkinson gave him a beautiful reception. He was leaving the next day and I thought it very sad, but they seemed to have a good time. We loved Atkinson and all its people. I believe they loved him. I would listen to all the jokes told by all the men of the town, the tricks they would play on each other, the loud laughter and I would wonder what was so funny.”

Oh another thing, let me tell you about my grandfather, his bridge playing. He was quite an avid bridge player and he had a game every Wednesday night. I don’t care what came up, he had a bridge game and some of the people he played with, oh Mr. Fred Little, Dr. Mortimer Glover, Mr. Beau Reynolds and there were several others in there, Mr. Emslie Laney, Laney High School. Well I would sit in the next room and listen and I have never heard men fuss so. Oh it was awful (laughter). And I thought how can they be friends, but they would get up from the table and it was all over and the next Wednesday, they’d meet again. That was every Wednesday night.

Hayes: So they were fussing over the cards or other subjects?

Holland: Oh, you shouldn’t have done that (laughter), that was the wrong play, why don’t you take the trump (laughter).

Lack: Getting mad at their partners?

Holland: Yeah, yeah, uh huh.

Lack: Your grandmother, did she play bridge?

Holland: Yes she played. She and Miss Stevenson and Miss Maude Kingsbury and my grandfather would play and it was the same way. Of course he would pick on those ladies and call them dumb and everything, but they continued to play (laughter). Miss Maude Kingsbury taught __________ School for years.

Hayes: Now how did he get involved with the public school system? Did he run for school board?

Holland: Yes, he was chairman of the board for 35 years.

Hayes: Oh my goodness. They didn't have the same throw ‘em out every few years when you’re mad at them, huh?

Holland: Oh yes, oh yes, but I don’t think anybody wanted the job. And by most of that time, he had retired and he had plenty of time.

Hayes: Wow, so I’m trying to think then…

Holland: I don’t know whether I should tell this, but my grandfather was raised in the Baptist faith and back then, a very staunch Baptist family and as a child, he was made to sign the family bible that I will never drink alcohol and he never did except when he got heart problems, they didn't have nitroglycerine or anything like that. The doctors said when you get bad breathing, you take a little whiskey with you and take a swig. It always worried him because he had signed that bible and I can remember…but he would get over it just like that.

Hayes: So it really helped then.

Holland: And Dr. Murchison was his doctor, he were a real character too, and he was a real character too and the two of them together.

Hayes: Well tell us about that. What do you mean?

Holland: Oh you know, my grandfather being a doctor was just like any other doctor, you know, they don’t get sick and when they do get sick, they’re not going to listen to what another doctor says (laughter).

Hayes: (Laughter) I can hear it now.

Holland: But they were good friends.

Hayes: That’s great. Now is this the same Murchison family that eventually had the banks and all of that?

Holland: Yes, Dr. David Murchison. His daughter still lives here, no not his daughter, his son died. It’s his daughter-in-law. Wallace Murchison, he’s still here and John Murchison. This was the time when Wilmington was very small and everybody knew everybody. My grandfather being a staunch Baptist did eventually join the Episcopal church and he went to St. James and sat on the second row every Sunday. See my children remember him. My son was 7 or 8 years old when he died.

Hayes: And your daughter said that she had some memory.

Holland: She has vague…she was three years younger.

Hayes: That’s interesting, that’s great. So he was here in the heyday of Wilmington from about 1920, 1919 and when do you think he quit being a doctor? I know you said his health got bad, but it may have been in his 60’s then. I mean it wasn’t in his 50’s.

Holland: I just don’t think there was anything they could do for him and it was just too much stress and he was totally wrapped up with this education. See he went through integration and all that. It was a hard time.

Lack: It was a second career in some ways.

Holland: Exactly, except he didn’t get paid. He just was totally wrapped up in it. And of course being of the age that he was, he did not believe in integration, but he believed in equal education. If they did something…there were two high schools here. There was New Hanover High School and Williston and he fought to make sure…and Dr. Eaton, you know, he and Dr. Eaton were very close friends and they didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but they respected each other.

Hayes: What year did you say he died?

Holland: He died in 1963, wasn’t it?

Hayes: So he really died before the real true change with integration.

Holland: Yes, yes, but it was beginning. They were having problems.

Hayes: Was he even in his 80’s still involved in the education issues, do you think? Did you have a sense that he finally quit being involved or was he involved right up to the end?

Holland: I don’t think so, I think he lived for a while after…there’s an article about his death. Here it is. It tells all about, oh this is interesting. This is Dr. John T. Hoggard III. Of all the family, he’s the only one that went into the medical field. He lives in Oregon. He is the son of the second child, John Thomas Hoggard. He married a girl from Oregon and went out there to live and had his children there. We’re very proud of Tommy. This article is from 1999.

He’s retired from private practice and now goes into these third world countries. He married a doctor. Here he is in Albania and he’s been to Kosovo and my grandfather would be so proud of him. He takes a lot of risks of you know, of getting germs and so forth, but he says…it quotes him in here saying that “The world has been good to him and it’s payback time”.

Hayes: So he would be your first cousin then?

Holland: My first cousin.

Hayes: And he’s also a grandson then of …

Holland: Yes, he’s the same relation to my Dr. John Hoggard as I am. John Thomas Hoggard III. Dr. John Thomas Hoggard. And all the Hoggard cousins come as often as they can and they always have a big reunion. They go to Hoggard High School and get their picture made. One of the sons has ordered a print of Hoggard Hall. I’ve got mine hanging around here. It’s a wonderful thing.

Hayes: Oh, you’ve already got yours? That’s great. It’s wonderful. Did they help some kid with the fourth, is there another fourth?

Holland: No, he had all girls. Bobby has one son, that’s another Hoggard. The other Hoggard is in Oregon. And then there are three sons up in the Massachusetts area. Ted’s children, that’s the youngest son, had three boys and a girl. Now he married somebody from Massachusetts and they settled up there and all their children are still up there.

Hayes: Still some male Hoggard’s out there keeping the name going then.

Holland: That’s right. There are no double “s” Harriss’s left. My mother and daddy had three girls (laughter) so we’re the last.

Hayes: Let’s talk a little bit about what do you think he did as that school board superintendent, not superintendent, but he was head of the board, right?

Holland: Chairman of the Board of Education.

Hayes: What were the kind of issues that he probably struggled with in those times? I mean it was a different time, but what were some of the things that may have…

Holland: Of course I’m sure things were so much more simpler than they are now. You know, there were a third of the number of schools and there were two high schools. I mean I think being chairman of the board now would just be mind boggling. I guess they still have a chairman of the board, I don’t know. You know not having children in school…

Hayes: Was he elected? Was it an elected position?

Holland: Oh yeah, he was elected.

Hayes: But year after year after year when the election came up, he just …

Holland: Got it. Now I don’t know whether … I think the chairman was appointed by the board. I’m not positive of that. I just know he was chairman forever and ever and ever and he was just always going….and I can remember him. The Board of Education was in the old courthouse building and I can see him walking up those steps to the building and he could hardly get his breath.

I remember Dr. Murchison saying, “Dr. Hoggard, you have got to give this up”. And mother would say “If he dies at a Board of Education meeting, he died doing what he always wanted to do”. His proudest moment was when Wilmington College was formed by the state legislature, the junior college concept I guess.

Hayes: And that was ’47.

Lack: There was a referendum wasn’t there about whether to use county taxes?

Holland: Yes, exactly and see it was under the Board of Education.

Hayes: Yeah, community colleges still are closely tied to the school boards in some sense.

Holland: Well I guess like Cape Fear Community College.

Hayes: Right, right, and so he went for a two year school and you think the impetus was all the folks coming back.

Holland: Oh it definitely was. We had a lot of veterans that were back here and those veterans, they had a basketball team.

Hayes: And the first building, tell us about that first building down there. You said you took classes in it.

Holland: It was Hemingway School. It had originally been a public school.

Hayes: But I thought it was the Isaac Bear Building.

Holland: That’s right, Isaac Bear. No, it was Hemingway, across from New Hanover High School.

Lack: Bear was the second one?

Holland: They may have had classes in it, but I’m not sure. I just remember the Hemingway across from the high school. In fact, I’m not sure, but I’m almost positive that some of the veterans had not graduated high school. So they went to New Hanover High School part of the day and over to the Wilmington College and sort of worked it out that way.

Hayes: Was he still the school board chairman?

Holland: Oh yes and then he was the first president of Wilmington College. That was a very short time. Dr. Wagoner, not Wagoner, Dr. Randall was the actual first official president. There’s an article in here about Dr. Randall and how he…there they are, the two of them, breaking ground at UNCW. It was still Wilmington College, but this is when they’re breaking the ground out on 132, College Road.

Hayes: There was another president after your grandpa. I’m trying to think. It’s sad that we can’t…

Holland: “When Wilmington College opened its doors on September 4, 1947, 238 students were registered for classes, 75% of them veterans returning from World War II.” It should say in here. It says, from a closet in the basement, Isaac Bear Building. I guess that was Isaac Bear, Hemingway was something else. I don’t remember a third one.

Here is the college Board of Directors in 1963, Harry Payne, he’s died, Ms. Hokes, she’s still with us, John T. Hoggard, Bradford Tillery, he was a judge, he’s still in Wilmington, James M. Smith, I don’t remember him, Fred Graham, he died about a year ago, Bennie Schwartz died about six months ago, Charles Hartford died quite a while ago, Gene Tomlinson, I don’t know him, Raeford Trask, he’s gone, William Horris Corbett is gone and Arthur T. Witten, I don’t remember him.

Hayes: And those names that you went through, many of them were very good friends of your grandpa. In other words, this was a real community effort to say we want this school and the people rallied around for that.

Holland: They sure did.

Hayes: And stayed on the board, it sounds like, cause those were the same ones he’s playing bridge with.

Holland: Let me tell you about the architect at UNCW. They had the board and they got an architect to draw up some plans and it was very contemporary and they said no.

Hayes: Now this is when they were going to move out to the new spot, right?

Holland: No, they fought, we are going to have red brick Georgian style school campus. And he and Fred Graham held their ground on that and that’s what they got. And to me, it’s a beautiful campus. It is so beautiful.

Hayes: You know another person who told us a story similar to that was Sam Bissett. You probably know Sam.

Holland: Sure do.

Hayes: And he was in the savings and loan business then and they had built a branch that had the brick in it and he said your grandfather and several other board members called him and said this architect is telling us that it’s too expensive to do this brick. How much did it cost to do your branch, you know, something like that and he told them the figures and then when the architect came in, they had the figures to shoot it down because it wasn’t more expensive.

Holland: I’m sure it was Leslie Boney Architects that did it. At that time, they designed most of all the schools and so I’m sure, I mean he stood his ground on that. He was also very active in the Bank of Wilmington. He was Chairman of the Board of that for years.

Hayes: Really? Interesting.

Holland: Here it is, I can hardly read it. But you can take it along, it’s not a very good copy. I’m just trying to go over it to see if there is anything here that ….

Hayes: Now did Hoggard Hall get built in his lifetime then?

Holland: Yes, that was the first building built I think.

Hayes: So he was still alive.

Lack: It was 1961 when it was built.

Holland: See, that was the groundbreaking that I showed you.

Lack: Actually I was looking at the book by Dr. Marshall Crews the other day and he said that there were three people who basically worked on getting the college established, but if he had to pick one of them to be the leader, it was John Hoggard because he had the wherewithal and the connections.

Holland: Well I can remember mother talking about it and I remember him going to Raleigh all the time. Bennie Schwartz, they were active and the Corbetts were active in politics and so forth and the Trasks. He knew whose hands to shake to get some response up there in Raleigh. He pushed hard for it. He was so proud of it. If he could see it now, oh!

Hayes: I was going to say, wouldn't that be great. If you can look back sometimes, that would be wonderful, 10,000 students. He wouldn't know what had happened.

Holland: He was still a loyal Carolina fan (laughter), believe me. He became a Ram’s Club member when it cost $100 to be a member and that included season tickets and a private parking place and his parking place was so close that literally you could hear them playing the National Anthem…when you hear the National Anthem play, you get out and you’d be in your seat like that. They kept hoping he would die because they were locked in as far as his Ram’s Club parking you know (laughter). I would hate to think what those spaces cost now.

He would take us to the Carolina home games, I don’t care what the weather was. I remember one time going in the snow and sleet and I was so scared, but we got there. We had fun.

Hayes: Now that was football, right?

Holland: That was football.

Hayes: How about basketball?

Holland: Basketball, I don’t remember much about basketball. We weren’t big in basketball.

Lack: I think the new campus opened in ’61.

Hayes: So that was great, he got to see that.

Lack: It was integrated the following fall. There were two black students. Was he aware of that or was he kind of old then?

Holland: I don’t know, I’m sure he probably was. I remember him being aware…he never suffered, he just had a massive heart attack and he went. Now my grandmother Hoggard, she did, she had a series of strokes and became…I’m sorry folks (phone busy signal audible), you know who that is? It’s probably my father. He’s 94 years old, my mother’s husband. And he’s in the nursing home and he calls and he forgets to hang up. All he’s doing is calling to say “Hi, how are you doing”.

Hayes: Let’s take a slightly different tack to get a sense, for continuity to get a sense of what happened to you then. In other words, a little bit of your family history so we can put it in context of where he was at. Your mom and your dad then, what did he do for a living?

Holland: He was a salesman at one time. He was in the life insurance business. He was doing very well and World War II came and he enlisted in the Navy and that’s when we lived in Charleston through the whole period of time he was at the naval base there. My grandmother and grandfather, believe it or not, would drive down to Charleston, leave early in the morning and have Sunday dinner with us in the middle of the day and drive back in one day. Now he got the gas, I don’t know. I guess he just …. They visited quite often.

My mother was expecting her third daughter, Peg Ann, who’s quite younger, she’s eight years younger than I am, 12 years younger than Beth. I remember going to stay with my grandmother and grandfather when the baby was born. We spent all our summers there anyway. We were just real, real close.

Hayes: But after the war, you moved back to Wilmington?

Holland: We moved back to Wilmington and by that time, everybody had started moving out and so we built a house. It’s now on Oleander Drive and that’s when it was Country Club Road and it was two lanes.

Hayes: So that was the start of that after the war movement.

Holland: Right, everybody moving out.

Hayes: The college would have been considered really way out there by that point (laughter).

Holland: Well it was about that time after the war that he started thinking about that.

Hayes: You then finished high school.

Holland: I finished at New Hanover High School and I went to St. Mary’s where my mother went and my grandmother Hoggard went to Salem. This was a write-up that was in the paper, “Dr. and Mrs. John T. Hoggard with their daughter, Miss Elizabeth Hoggard, will leave tomorrow for Raleigh where Miss Hoggard will enter St. Mary’s School. Miss Hoggard was a graduate of the class of 1926 at the New Hanover High School and besides having many honors conferred upon her, she was one of the most popular of the younger set being affectionately known as ‘Hoggie’. Miss Hoggard was captain of the basketball team which had the championship for two years in succession, an all-state guard and last spring received her letters and stars for her work. It is certain that she will continue her popularity at St. Mary’s”. Can you imagine that being in the paper?

Hayes: Well, she was an athlete, that’s something.

Holland: Virginia Walsh, did you ever know her? She taught at New Hanover High School for years. She taught me, she taught my mother. She was the basketball coach and then when I came along, she was the English teacher. Oh, she was wonderful. I think Miss Walsh taught some classes at Wilmington College. A lot of high school teachers taught at Wilmington College too. And the classes were mostly at night and it was probably a way for them to pick up some extra money. See these veterans were working during the day so most of these classes were at night.

Hayes: So you went to St. Mary’s to school.

Holland: And then I went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then I came back and got married, married Raymond Holland and he was a native Wilmingtonian. He also graduated from the university. He was a Buick dealer here, he and his father, McMillan Buick. We sold it to Schaffer.

Hayes: McMillan, was that the same McMillan family with the Camerons, into the McMillan business?

Holland: McMillan at one time had been, he sold buggies for horses. Then the automobile came into being. Raymond’s father took it over. His father came here with the shipyard.

Hayes: Because I think McMillan died before World War II.

Holland: See the Hollands, they never changed the name of it.

Hayes: They just left it as McMillan Buick.

Holland: They just didn’t see the importance. There was 50 years in there that there was no McMillan connected with it.

Hayes: Were you a contemporary of Henry McMillan or was he a little older?

Holland: Young Henry? I just saw Henry yesterday. You know, you’re talking about Henry McMillan, the artist?

Hayes: The artist, yeah, he would be a little older cause he was in World War II.

Holland: Yes, he’s a lot older. His nephew, Henry, is still around. I see him at The Spa. But they sold it to Shaffer Buick. Our son was not interested in coming back and going into the business.

Hayes: Now your sister, how did her odyssey go?

Holland: She went on to St. Mary’s and she came back and married Bill Dunn and he died and she married Lawrence Sprunt. She’s still…

Hayes: That’s from the extended Sprunt clan.

Holland: She and her husband now own Orton Plantation. They bought out the other brothers. And then the younger sister, Peg Ann, she’s in Edenton and her husband happens to be the mayor of Edenton if you can believe that (laughter). If you’ve never been to Edenton, you must go. It is a beautiful…they brag that they had the first tea party. They were before Boston. It is a beautiful town. Everything is still restored.

Hayes: They really stress the colonial period.

Holland: So anyway, my mother died three years ago this May, two years ago this past May.

Hayes: So she got to see quite a bit of the university’s expansion, proud of that too.

Holland: Oh yes. Listen whenever she was in the hospital, the new doctor would walk in and she’d say, “I happen to be Dr. Hoggard’s daughter”. She was very proud of her father and likely so, she had a reason to be. And of course being the oldest child and the only daughter, she got lavished with a lot of attention. It was a fun family. We’ve had our ups and downs like any family, but it’s been fun.

Hayes: It seems like there was a real commitment to community and building and results you can’t anticipate. That’s the kind of small town commitment, like being on the board that he was. Of course, he knew everybody I would guess.

Holland: Well everybody knew everybody back then (laughter).

Hayes: And it sounds like from your generation, many of those people came back after high school which may or may not be the pattern now.

Holland: Of course everybody worked for the Coastline. That was the one industry and then when the Coastline left, it was devastating. And my husband had just come back. He graduated from the university and back then you had to serve your time and he enlisted in the Navy and went to OCS. After four years, he came back here and he hadn’t been in the business two years when the Coastline up and left and we just didn't know what we were going to live off of.

I mean three-fourths of our business was the Coastline. We were located downtown. McMillan Buick was behind what is now the library and it’s now where they teach nursing for the community college, Cape Fear. Upstairs was his paint shop, where they repaired cars, painted and so forth, is now made into a hospital ward. They’re all these dummies sitting around in the beds and that’s where the nurses…it’s just fascinating.

Lack: Did your grandmother outlive her husband?

Holland: No, Jenny, he died in 1963 and she died in ’67. She had had a series of strokes and she ended up having to be in a nursing home for a while.

Hayes: Well listen we want to thank you very much. Wonderful history, I think we’ve got a sense, I didn't know if you could tell us some of that practical joking that he did. We needed that balance.

Holland: Well I remember, I had this friend of mine. Her name was Catherine Graham. She happened to be Fred Graham’s daughter. Catherine lives in Charleston now and she was my best friend. We were in each other’s weddings. Catherine, most of us down there, we all went to Tilloston School and we were down there, we would be out climbing trees and all this stuff. Catherine was always painting her nails and she was quite prissy and she always tried to use big language and so forth. My grandfather one time said, “I’ll give $5.00 to anybody that jumps off the Cape Fear River Bridge”. Catherine made a beeline. She wanted that $5.00 (laughter). But that was the kind of thing.

He also used to get on the bus and he would get back in the black section. He would take a $10 bill out and he would say, “Oh, look what I found” (laughter) and see everybody on the bus, “I lost it, I lost it”. That was the kind he was, he was a mess (laughter).

Lack: I was wondering if you could say how many children did you have?

Holland: I have two, my son Hardy. He’s in Atlanta. He is an account executive with Smith Barney and my daughter Virginia that you met. She lives in Rocky Mount. She graduated from UNCW. She and her husband both. She went to St. Mary’s (laughter) and one year at UNCW, but she and Joe were dating each other, had been dating each other several years so she decided to come back here and finish her senior year, majored in math with a minor in education.

She was doing her practice teaching at Williston. In January, the teacher quit to get a higher paying job with DuPont and they couldn't find a qualified math teacher in the county to take her place. So Virginia, they gave her the job. By that time, she had been with them about a month. So she’s probably about the first person that’s gotten paid to do practice teaching. That got her foot in the door and she got the job the next year. She still teaches math some. She’ll teach one class at the Rocky Mount Academy there. Now she’s quite a computer whiz as a result. She has two little boys. And they are very active in the alumni up there.

Hayes: Alright, thank you very much. We’re all done.

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