Special Collections & Archives Blog

During August 2012...

The Wayne E. Oates Papers processing is complete!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:03 pm

Special Collections and Archives is pleased to announce the completion of the Wayne E. Oates papers. Thanks to the hard work of Cindy Good and Sarah Appleby, this 14 linear foot collection has been arranged and described, and the finding aid can be seen here. This collection contains the professional and personal papers, sermons, correspondence, and works from other authors compiled by Wayne Oates. Professional papers include lectures, outlines, presentations, bibliographies, research notes, and manuscripts of articles relating to the field of pastoral care and counseling.


Wayne Oates (1917-1999) produced an extensive, pioneering body of work and research in the field of pastoral care and counseling. Oates developed the “trialogue” form of pastoral counseling, described as a conversation between the person being counseled, the counselor, and the Holy Spirit. He is also responsible for coining the term “workaholic”.

Born into a rural community of Greenville, SC, Wayne Oates grew up in poverty. Abandoned by his father, he began working alongside his mother at the cotton mills at a young age. At 14, he was recognized as exceptional and chosen to serve as a page in the United States Senate. He would go on to pursue much more education; he was a graduate of Mars Hill Junior College and Wake Forest University, and received his Ph.D. in Psychology of Religion from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as a pastor in churches in North Carolina and Kentucky.

In 1974, Oates joined the faculty at the University of Louisville Medical School. Combining his knowledge of theology and behavioral science, his role at the school helped medical students learn how to incorporate the spiritual needs of their patients in a clinical setting. Noted for his great compassion and ability to empathize, Wayne Oates mentored and encouraged numerous people in healing positions. In 1984 the American Psychiatric Association honored him with the Oskar Pfister Award for his contributions to the relationship between religion and psychiatry.

He and his wife, Pauline, were residents of Louisville, KY until his death in 1999.

Featured Collection: Fries Woolen Mill Diary (MS39)

Monday, August 6, 2012 12:32 pm

The Fries Woolen Mill Diary is story within a story. Two men are responsible for this one folder “collection” being a part of the WFU archives, Francis Levin Fries and Wallace Barger Goebel. Separated by almost one hundred years, Fries was instrumental in the creation of the original diary and Goebel is responsible for the copy within our collection. The diary is a wealth of information about Salem as a mill and textile town.


[The following is transcribed from what we believe is Goebel’s narrative and research on Fries and the diary]

Francis Levin Fries was born October 17, 1812, in Salem, NC. He was the eldest child of John Christian William Fries and Johanna Elizabeth, maiden name Nissen. He was educated in the boys’ school of Salem, and then at Nazareth Hall, in Nazareth, PA. In 1836 the Salem Cotton Manufacturing Company was organized in Salem, and Mr. Fries was employed as its Agent. Though without and previous experience whatever, he went North, studied cotton mill machinery, bought what was needed, shipped it to Salem, installed it, and ran the mill for nearly four years.

In the fall of 1839 Francis Fries began to make plans for a small wool-mill, to be conducted on his own account. Fortunately for the historian, it was then still the rule in Salme that the new enterprises must have the approval of the Aufseher Cellegium, and therefore the Minutes of that Board, furnish interesting information concerning the preliminaries. On Oct. 25, 1839, the Minutes of the Collegium recorded that Francis Fries and his father, William Fries, were planning to build a small woolen mill on a  lot back of William Fries’s home-place, that is on the west side of what is now South Liberty (then Salt) street. Members of the Collegium were favorably inclined, but a few days later the neighbors entered a protest, basing it on their fear of the smoke from the steam-engine, and because he planned to use slave labor in the mill. On Nov. 21st the Collegium had a conference with Mr. Fries, in which these objections were freely discussed. Fries agreed to build his factory on an out-lot at the corner of the new Shallowford Street and Salt Street, thereby removing the smoke from the center of town. There was a rule in Salem dating from the action of the Congregation Council in February, 1820, that no slave might be taught a “trade or profession” that is a handicraft of any kind, no matter whether the slave belonged to the ma teaching him or was hired from another. This applied only to the residents in the town of Salem, and from the wording of the resolution was evidently intended to prevent competition with the white artisans of the community. In the conference with Fries in 1839, the Collegium concluded that it would not be teaching a slave a trade to let him run a machine, and therefore would not establish a dangerous precedent. It was noted that Fries did not expect to establish a large factory, because not a great deal of suitable wool was raised in the State, so not many slaves would be employed there, and he promised to give bond that if the slaves made trouble, he would send them away, and if in the course of years the factory became a nuisance he would give it up. The Collegium met again on the following day and decided that as the weaving would be done on William Fries’ farm, outside the town, the men running the machines would rate a “day laborers”, and so no precedent would be established.

The lease system still prevailed in Salem, and on Feb. 3, 1840, a Lease was signed,  giving Fries possession of a lot on the north-west corner of what are now Brookstown Avenue and South Liberty Street. As the factory developed this lot proved to be too small, and adjacent land was added several times.

From the beginning Mr. Fries was assisted in the wool mill by his younger brother Henry w. Fries, who became a partner in the business in March, 1846. Among the papers of the firm of F. & H. Fries there is a small mill diary, beginning abruptly on April 13, 1840 and setting forth the details of what was virtually a pioneer enterprise. It presents a vivid picture of the industry, tireless energy, and versatility of the owner; and of his treatment of his slaves, his “boys”, of whom he expected readiness to follow his lead in work, but for who he would close the mill when the weather was right for a rabbit hunt, or when a circus was in town.

During the Civil War the Fries Mill was run for the government, making the “Confederate Gray” cloth used for the soldiers. When the war opened, Mr. Fries was in poor health, and died in August, 1863. His brother ran the mill until the sons of Mr. Fries grew to maturity, the name continued unchanged. Henry W. Fries never married, and remained head of the firm until his death in November, 1902, at the age of seventy seven.

After the Civil War, Henry W. Fries helped a number of the slaves formerly belonging to the family to buy homes of their own. Some remained in the employ of the firm, or individual members thereof, until death, although in the wool mill they were largely replaced by white labor.


The original Fries Woolen Mill Diary is part of the Francis Levin Fries Papers, 1850-1925 held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wallace Barger Goebel graduated from Wake Forest in 1925 and published A History of Manufactures in North Carolina Before 1860 in 1926, the same years handwritten on the title page of his transcribed diary. It can be deduced that the transcription and accompanying summarized biographical and historical note at the beginning of WFU’s copy of the diary was part of Goebel’s book research.

Described as the “Lady’s Man” in the Howler’s Prophecy for the Class of 1925, Goebel became an author, a professor of history and political science, and an archivist at the U.S. National Archives and Records Service. Although Goebel’s papers were acquired by the Archives in 1988, it is believed that the Fries Woolen Mill Diary (MS39) has been in the collection since the late 1920’s. Goebel has made a lasting impression on Wake Forest. He not only provided the Archives with this account of Winston-Salem history and his own personal papers, he also has a scholarship fund established in his name here at Wake Forest. The Wallace Barger Goebel Scholarship is based on ability and need, with first preference to a student interested in literature, second preference to a student interested in history, and third preference to a student enrolled in the premedical program.

Life in the West of Ireland, by Jack Butler Yeats (1912)

Friday, August 3, 2012 4:04 pm

Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) is considered by many to be the most important Irish artist of the 20th century. Like his brother, the poet William Butler Yeats , Jack Yeats was a key figure in the Celtic Revival movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jack Yeats is best known for his long and prolific career in the visual arts, but he also wrote novels, essays, and plays.  A profound attachment to the land and people of Ireland is evident in all of his work.

1912 first edition of Life in the West of Ireland

Jack was the youngest child of Irish artist John Butler Yeats and his wife Susan Pollexfen. The Yeats family were Anglo-Irish Protestants from County Sligo, Ireland, but Jack Yeats was born in London, where his father had moved the family after giving up a law practice to pursue his artistic ambitions. John Yeats had some success as a portrait artist, but the family suffered chronic financial difficulties. When Jack was eight years old he was sent to live with his maternal grandparents in Sligo on the northwest coast of Ireland, where he remained for the next eleven years. When he returned to London in 1887, Jack entered art school and began his career as a professional artist and illustrator.

Frontispiece illustration for Life in the West of Ireland

Jack began his career as an illustrator and cartoonist for popular English magazines and newspapers. He also provided artwork for cards and publications of his sister Elizabeth Yeats’s Cuala Press. In 1910 Jack and his wife moved back to Ireland and settled there permanently.

Jack Yeats once remarked to Thomas MacGreevy that “No one creates… the artist assembles memories.” Yeats’s memories of the Sligo of his childhood are the subject of Life in the West of Ireland, a volume of line drawings, watercolors, and reproductions of oil paintings  published in 1912.

Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections holds two copies of the first edition of Life in the West of Ireland. One is a presentation copy from Jack Yeats to Augusta, Lady Gregory.

Inscription by Jack Yeats

Lady Gregory was a folklorist, playwright, and monumental figure in the Irish Literary Renaissance. She advised and encouraged many of the most important Irish writers and artists of the time, including both William and Jack Yeats.  Jack sent her a copy of Life in the West of Ireland in December 1912 as she was embarking on a tour of the United States.

Manuscript note from Jack Yeats laid into the ZSR copy of Life in the West of Ireland

Life in the West of Ireland is an affectionate but unsentimental portrait of a way of life that was disappearing in the early 20th century. Yeats’s illustrations document the everyday life of inhabitants of towns like Sligo.

From an early age Jack Yeats had an interest in theater and spectacle. Many of the illustrations in Life in the West of Ireland depict popular entertainments– circuses, fairs, and stage melodramas.

Later in his career Jack Yeats turned more to oil painting. Several of his paintings are reproduced as black and white plates in Life in the West of Ireland.

The first edition of Life in the West of Ireland included 150 copies of a special limited edition.

Limited edition (left) and regular first edition (right), both published by Maunsel & Co.

ZSR Special Collections holds copy 30 of the limited edition, with an original color sketch of a circus clown.

Sketch by Jack Yeats for the limited edition of Life in the West of Ireland

Wake Forest’s copies of the inscribed first edition and the limited edition were purchased by the library in 1972 and 1974 respectively. They are part of the extensive collection of Irish Literary Renaissance materials in ZSR Library’s Special Collections. This collection includes most of Jack Yeats’s published works, along with near-complete collections of the works of W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, and many other important Irish writers. ZSR Special Collections also holds the archives of Liam Miller and his Dolmen Press, which was the successor to the Cuala Press and publisher of many important works of Irish literature in the second half of the 20th century.

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