Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation Oral History Tapes

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Collection Details

Collection Dates: 1978 – 1980
Scope and Content Note: Audio recordings created during the late 1970s featuring prominent Athenians including William Tapley Bennett, dean emeritus William Tate, Sue Fan Tate, Mrs. James Barrow, and E. Merton Coulter.
Biographical Note: The Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation was founded in 1967. Now known as Historic Athens, the organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose purpose is to improve historic preservation and heritage conservation in the Athens, Georgia area.

William Tapley "Tap" Bennett, Sr. (1891-1982) was a leader in the successful effort to modernize and diversify Georgia farming. A 1913 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Agriculture, Bennett made a career of practical innovation. As a county extension agent in Spalding County and associate of the Central of Georgia Railway, he started Georgia's first 4-H club, first 4-H camp, and helped expand poultry production. His greatest contribution was in the area of livestock production, where he helped free the region from the cotton economy by promoting and facilitating cattle farming. He loaned bulls to new stock breeders, introduced parasite control methods, began the seeding of permanent pastures, helped operate dairies, and put on Georgia's first cattle shows in Macon, Albany and Savannah. President Roosevelt, having heard of Bennett's work, hired him to run his model farm at Warm Springs. Bennett moved on to a post as supervisor of the Pine Mountain Valley Project, a New Deal Community based on diversified farming. Here he established the state's first assembly-line poultry processing plant. In 1944, Bennett returned to Central of Georgia as Director of Agricultural Development. He retired not long after suffering a stroke in 1959, but continued to work as Livestock Director of the Southeastern Fair. In addition to many other honors, Bennett was Progressive Farmer Magazine's Man of the Year in 1955, and elected to the College of Agriculture hall of fame in 1977. His son, William Tapley Bennett, Jr., was U.S. Ambassador to NATO.

William Tate (1903-1980), son of Philip May Tate and Edna Tate, educator and Dean of Men at the University of Georgia. Tate married Susan Barrow.

Susan Frances Barrow was born in Athens in 1908. She attended the University of Georgia and received an A.B. in 1930 and a M.A. in 1938. In 1932, she married William Tate. She worked for the University of Georgia from 1954-1976 and died in 2003.

"Ellis Merton Coulter, a University of Georgia professor and historian of the South, helped shape the southern public's interpretation of its heritage in general and Georgia's in particular. He taught at the state's flagship university in Athens from 1919 to 1958 (serving as chair of the history department from 1940 until retirement), edited the Georgia Historical Quarterly for fifty years, and produced 26 books, 10 edited volumes, more than 100 articles, and numerous book reviews and newspaper columns. He was also a founding member of the Southern Historical Association, serving as its first president in 1934 and nurturing it throughout its early years."--"E. Merton Coulter (1890-1981)," New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 18, 2008:

Related External Collections: Related materials in other repositories: Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation Oral History Tapes, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Provenance: Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cite Collection As:

Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation Oral History Tapes, 1978-1980. Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries

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