The Daily Reflector Image Collection documents the history of Greenville and Pitt County primarily from the mid-50s to the late-60s. The resources below are designed to help you understand the larger context and get a sense of the dramatic events unfolding during that period of our country's history.
Christopher Arris Oakley
The Founding and Growth of Greenville and Pitt County
In 1760, the North Carolina colonial government established Pitt County in eastern North Carolina.
Named after William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham, Pitt County was 650 square miles
and contained a population of about 2,600. In 1771, Richard Evans, a delegate
to the colonial assembly, donated 100 acres of land to North Carolina in order
for the government to found a town to be the political and commercial center of
Pitt County. Named after Governor Josiah Martin, Martinsborough was located adjacent
to the Tar River and soon became the county's seat of government. In 1787, the
General Assembly changed the town's name to Greenesville to honor the late
General Nathanael Greene, the hero of the Battle of Guilford Court House, an
important moment in the American Revolution. Over time, the name was shortened
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On January 14, 2009, Dale Sauter (Grant Project Director) and Chris Oakley (Grant Historian) interviewed David J. Whichard II and Stuart Savage. Both Whichard and Savage have been at the Daily Reflector for most of their lives. Whichard’s grandfather and his grandfather’s brother founded the newspaper in the late 1800s. Savage retired in March 2009 with fifty years at the newspaper. They have both been involved in the newspaper in many capacities, including Whichard as one time publisher, and Savage as photographer.
What makes this interview so special are the reflections of both Whichard and Savage about their experiences at the newspaper and in the Greenville area. Obviously, many changes have occurred since the start of the careers and the present day. These changes include both the physical processes, as well as the whole nature of the newspaper business. During this time there have also been dramatic and sweeping social transformations in Greenville that also mirror changes that occurred on a state and national level. In the interview, both Whichard and Savage reflect back on this interesting time in history.
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Badger, Anthony J. Prosperity Road: The New Deal, Tobacco and North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.
Bratton, Mary Jo Jackson. Heart of the East. Windsor Publications, Inc., 1991.
_____. East Carolina University: The Formative Years, 1907-1982. Greenville: East Carolina University Alumni Association, 1986.
Brown, Wyatt L. Early Methodism in Greenville, North Carolina, and a History of the Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church. Greenville: Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church, 1978.