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Richard Elton Thigpen Papers

Filing title: 
Thigpen (Richard Elton) Papers

Richard Elton Thigpen papers

Summary Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Thigpen, Richard Elton, 1900-
Richard Elton Thigpen papers
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1950
Date [inclusive]
1950-1958, 1991
17.0 Items
General Physical Description note
17 items (including 1 photograph, 4 vinyl disc recordings, and 1 cassette).
Language of Materials note
Material entirely in English
Primarily material relating to Thigpen's work as Mecklenburg County manager for Willis Smith in the 1950 U.S. Senate campaign. Includes a scrapbook of clippings and four recordings of debates between Thigpen and David McConnell, county manager of the opposing Frank Porter Graham campaign. Also includes a report (1958) of the Study Committee for City-County School Consolidation.

Preferred Citation note

Richard Elton Thigpen Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Richard Elton Storm Thigpen was born on May 9, 1900 in Wilmington, N.C., to William Washington (1861-1927) and Katherine Canaday Thigpen (1861-1928). The youngest of three children, he was educated in the public schools of Wilmington. Thigpen was graduated from Trinity College in 1922 and attended law school there from 1921 to 1923. In 1923 he was named Alumni Secretary at Trinity College, a position he held through the institution's transition to Duke University. Thigpen passed the bar examination in 1925 and, in 1929, he accepted a position as senior attorney with the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals in Washington, D.C. Thigpen moved to Charlotte in 1933 and set up a law practice specializing in taxation until his retirement in 1976. He served as president of the North Carolina Bar Association, 1948-49; Mecklenburg County chair for the U.S. Senate campaign of Willis Smith, 1950; chair of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Study Committee for City-County School Consolidation, 1957-58; and as a trustee of Duke University, 1953-73. He married Dorathy Florence Dotger (1901-89) of Charlotte on June 28, 1923. They had three children: Dorathy Dotger Thigpen (1924-59); Harriet Thigpen (b. 1927); and Richard Elton Thigpen Jr. (b. 1930). Thigpen resides in Charlotte.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents primarily Thigpen's role as campaign manager for Willis Smith during the later's bid for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina in 1950. Also includes some material documenting Thigpen's membership on the Study Committee for City-County School Consolidation in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in 1958.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Richard E. Thigpen, Sr., 1992.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

[For more information, see Richard Elton Thigpen, 90 Years Into the Twentieth Century: The Autobiography of Richard Elton Thigpen (Charlotte: Richard E. Thigpen, 1991). RARE F260.42.T45 A3 1991]

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Charlotte (N.C.)
  • North Carolina--Politics and government--1865-1950

Personal Name(s)

  • Thigpen, Richard Elton, 1900-


  • Schools--North Carolina--Charlotte

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Biographical Information 1991 

Scope and Contents note

copy of an editorial about Thigpen and his autobiography.

SFC2 196

Study Committee for City-County School Consolidation 1958 

Scope and Contents note

includes report of the committee, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.

SFC2 196
Box Folder item

Willis Smith U.S. Senate Campaign--Photograph 1950 

Scope and Contents note

autographed photograph (P187/1) of Smith

P17 3 P187/1
Box Folder

Willis Smith U.S. Senate Campaign--Scrapbook 1950-1953 

Scope and Contents note

photocopy of scrapbook compiled by Thigpen to document his management of Smith's campaign in Mecklenburg County. Includes obituary (1953) for Smith in the New York Herald.

OF6 2-3