Frank M. Wooten Sr. Papers

Manuscript Collection #125
Wooten, Frank M. (Frank Marion), 1875-1941
Physical description
0.975 Cubic Feet, 739 items , consisting of correspondence, contracts, legal records, financial papers, pamphlets, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
Frank M. Wooten Sr. Papers (#125), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1917-1941) of Frank M. Wooten Sr. (1875-1941), a leading Greenville attorney, Superior Court judge, and member of the N.C. General Assembly, and Greenville mayor, consisting of correspondence during first World War, letters, political campaign, pamphlets concerning tobacco, cultivation, agricultural alcohol, clipping, financial papers, etc.

Biographical/historical information

Frank M. Wooten Sr. (1875-1941) was a leading Greenville attorney, Superior Court judge, member of the N.C. General Assembly, and one of the leading Democratic party representatives in Pitt County. He was also mayor of Greenville for the 1905-1907 and 1911-1912 terms.

Scope and arrangement

This collection includes the correspondence (1917-1919) of Frank M. Wooten, while serving as the Government Appeals agent for the Draft Board of Pitt County during the First World War.

Albeit much of this correspondence relates to appeals of individual registrants desiring reclassification, there are several letters of conspicuous interest. One in particular pertains to a farmer in Pitt County who hoarded sixty-seven barrels of molasses to make illegal whiskey, thus depriving the government of vital food materials. There are several other letters concerning similar violations of the food administration in Eastern North Carolina and the necessity of strong action. Other letters relate to deserters from the army hiding in Eastern North Carolina during World War I; the functions of both the Alien Property League and the American Protection League; the opposition of J. J. Laughinghouse, the chairman of the Pitt County Draft Board, to Wooten's allegedly re-classifying of registrants who should have been deferred; and the dissolution of the Selective Service System.

In a second grouping are many letters anent the political campaigns in North Carolina between 1918 and 1940. In this correspondence is discussed who would support which candidates and why. Of particular interest is the campaign of 1930 for U.S. senator and the political split of the Democratic party of North Carolina. The split between the Furnifold M. Simmons and Josiah Bailey factions of the Democratic party is discussed. Also of note is correspondence between Wooten and F. M. Simmons expressing support for Dr. Ralph McDonald for governor in 1936. Coupled with the campaign letters are those concerning political appointments both federal and state which Wooten supported for one reason or another. Of particular significance are letters concerning Judge Isaac M. Meekin's relationshipwith the Alien Property Custodian (1921-1922) and articles pertaining thereto which were published in the (Raleigh) News and Observer in 1925.

Other correspondence concerns the need for cheaper electrical power for Eastern North Carolina to keep pace with national industrial growth (1925-1938); the forming of the League of Towns of Eastern North Carolina (1930); the need of relief for farmers across the nation and particularly those in Eastern North Carolina during the 1930s; the forming of the Pitt County A.B.C. Board in 1935 and the administration of alcoholic beverage controls (1935-1940); and the use of denatured alcohol as fuel for cars. The alcohol-fuel question is discussed in correspondence with Henry Ford, Senator Lee Overman and the U.S. prohibition commissioner.

Information provided in miscellaneous papers and pamphlets concerns tobacco cultivation; agricultural alcohol; industrial alcohol; public power in Eastern North Carolina; campaign literature of Angus Wilton McLean and Josiah W. Bailey; Bailey's 1932 address to the Senate for farmer justice; the incorporation of a Pitt County Colored Fair (1924); a biographical sketch of former Governor Thomas J. Jarvis; and Josephus Daniel's 1936 address to the 27th Annual Commencement of East Carolina Teachers College [East Carolina University].

Also included is interesting data pertaining to the League of Town's and the Pitt County A.B.C. Board. Clippings included information on the following: electrical power in Eastern North Carolina, politics, Pitt County A.B.C. Board, the military draft in 1918, and a variety of miscellaneous topics.

Administrative information
Custodial History

May 19, 1970, 172 items; Correspondence of Government Appeals Agent for the Draft Board.

April 8, 1971, ca. 600 items; Correspondence, legislative bills, etc. Gift of Frank M. Wooten Jr., Greenville, N.C.

February 26, 1996, (unprocessed addition 2), 1/2 cubic foot; Legal files. Donor: Frank M. Wooten Jr. Estate.

February 28, 2017, (unprocessed addition 3), 0.35 cubic foot; Funeral memorial book; framed certificate from the War Department related to Wooten's service as Government Appeal Agent for Local Board of Pitt County, N.C., during WWI; photographs; and a 1904 diary with two pages of entries and one page of 1917-1918 financial information. Donors: Dr. William I. Wooten III and Dr. Erin Wooten.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Frank M. Wooten Jr.

Gift of Dr. William I. Wooten III

Gift of Dr. Erin Wooten

Processing information

Processed by S. Grollinger, October 1971

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Wooten, Frank M. (Frank Marion), 1875-1941
Corporate Names
Democratic Party (N.C.)
League of Towns of Eastern North Carolina
United States. Army--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
Alcohol as fuel
Draft--North Carolina
Elections--North Carolina--History--20th century
Electric power--North Carolina--Pitt County
Politicians--North Carolina--Pitt County
World War, 1914-1918--Desertions--North Carolina
World War, 1914-1918--Food supply--North Carolina
World War, 1914-1918--North Carolina--Pitt County
North Carolina--Politics and government--20th century

Container list
Box 1 Draft Board Correspondence, 1917-1919; Miscellaneous (undated)
Box 2 General Correspondence, 1914-1930
Box 3 General Correspondence, 1931-1941
Box 4 ABC Board Material
Box 5 Power and Light Clippings
Folder os1 Newspaper clippings - Corresponds to materials in Box 5
Box 6 Folder b H. C. Edwards v. town of Greenville (1913-1914) 4 items ca 32 p
Box 6 Folder c Southern Express Co. (1916-1917) 2 items. Ca 25 p
Box 6 Folder d Statement of All Debts of Bankrupts: Paramor & Ricks, U. S. District Court (1906-1907) 9 items ca. 54 p
Box 7 Folder a Prohibition enforcement (1910) 14 items. 14 p
Box 7 Folder b Lizzie Kearney v Luke House (1910) 6 items ca 24 p
Box 7 Folder c R. O. Jeffries v Town of Greenville (1910) ca 10 items ca 35 p
Box 7 Folder d Greenville Paving Contracts (1908) 1 item. 7 p
Box 7 Folder e Paul C. Dupree, et. al v Henry Clark Bridgers, et al (1914) 12 items ca 72 p
Box 7 Folder f Thomas J. Jarvis, etc. (1907-1916) 6 items ca 24 p
Box 8 Folder a Crawford, Clark & Others v Sears (1914) 4 items. 7 p
Box 8 Folder b United American Free Will Baptist Church (Northeast Conference), N. H. Hardy, et al v William Griffin, et al (1913) 9 items ca 27 p
Box 8 Folder c Brinkley and Lassiter v NSRR and Greenville (1912-1913) 6 items ca 24 p. Note: Contains Map showing elevations at the Center Brick Warehouse and Johnsons Supply House, with reference to high water mark at that location. Scale 1 inch = 20 feet (August 1913) by W. C Dresbach, C. E
Box 8 Folder d Hooker and Anthony v H. R. Jones (1910-1912) ca 30 items ca 75 p
Box 8 Folder e Mr. & Mrs. Frank M. Wooten, Sr. Correspondence (1927-1976) ca 60 items ca 180 p
Box 8 Folder f Edwin C. Wade Family Material (1935-1945) 7 items ca 20 p
Box 9 Folder a J. A. Sugg & Wife and Mary W. Flanagan (1884) 3 items
Box 9 Folder b F. B. Satterthwaite, et al v J. J. Perkins, et al (1914) 2 items
Box 9 Folder c A. B. Garris v R. H. Garris (1912-1915) 10 items
Box 9 Folder d D. Lesofsky v L. Eborn (1913-1914) 2 items
Box 9 Folder e Miscellaneous (1911-1916) 6 items
Box 9 Folder f Walstonburg Commerce Company (1912-1913) ca 15 items