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- Oral History Collections
- David Goldfield Student Project on Change in the Charlotte Region
- Leon Lowder oral history interview, 1996 March 6
Leon Lowder oral history interview, 1996 March 6
Leon Lowder recounts his life, family, and work in retail and farming in central South Carolina from the 1930s-1980s. Mr. Lowder describes being the seventh out of eleven children in a farming family and leaving home in 1926 to work in the grocery department of a general merchandise store. He recounts stories of his domestic life, including meeting his first wife at a house party and raising their nine children together. Mr. Lowder talks at length about his work, particularly farming. He left the store and began farming his own land in 1949, which he continued to do through the early 1990s. Mr. Lowder discusses various crops he cultivated, including cotton, corn, and soybeans. He also talks about economic aspects of farm management, including his avoidance of debt through timely repayment of his loans. The interviewer tries to engage Mr. Lowder in different topics with broader historical interest, including his thoughts on World War II and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He responds, but appears to feel more comfortable discussing farming because of his knowledge on the subject. Mr. Lowder also comments on his former black employees. He states his belief that they worked as hard as anyone else and that they loved him because he treated them well. He shares his opinion that the social climate changed for the worse beginning in the late 1960s once school integration began. Mr. Lowder concludes the interview by discussing politics and praising various prominent Republican politicians.