Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Jule Carr

I've been reading Meena Webb's biography of Jule Carr, a rich industrialist dude from Chapel Hill who was instrumental in the development of Durham and the tobacco industry therein (and who knew that Durham was a nothing crossroads until the 1870s) and then later bought the mill in Carrboro and had the town named after him.  My dad was really into Jule Carr, and he in fact gave me this book.

It's pretty good, but it veers too deeply into the sheer enumeration of detail and wealth at times. Yeah, the guy was rich, and hard-working, and he built some amazing houses and whatnot.  But it gets old.  One gets the feeling that the author just has a ton of pride that our part of the world had its own little robber baron, though of course he got his ass handed to him by Buck Duke.  What's even more interesting is how captivated my dad was by the guy, given my dad's demonstrated disdain for wealth in general.

Admittedly, many of my dad's markings in the book are about Horace Williams, the great scholar from UNC who played a key role in early days of Trinity College, which then became Duke.  Dad named his cat Horace Williams.

But the book is dragging a little bit.  I may have to go back to Caro and LBJ for a little while.

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