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Collection Number: 05299

Collection Title: Ernest B. McKissick Papers, 1918-1991

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 40 items)
Abstract Ernest Boyce McKissick (Mack) was born in Kelton, S.C., in 1895. His family moved to Asheville, N.C., around 1900. McKissick served in France, 1918-1919, with the African American 92nd Infantry Division during World War I. Returning to Asheville after the war, McKissick married Magnolia Thompson of Asheville. They had four children, the eldest of whom was Floyd S. McKissick, prominent North Carolina attorney, businessman, and civil rights leader, who was the first African American to attend the University of North Carolina's Law School. The McKissicks youngest daughter, Mary Jean, married William Duncan McNeill, who served as second lieutenant in the United States Army during World War II. The collection contains letters, 1918-1919, from Ernest B. McKissick to his future wife, Magnolia Thompson, written during his World War I service. Letters were sent from Camp Jackson, S.C.; Camp Dix, N.J.; Camp Merritt, N.J.; and France. They include jokes, romantic sentiments, and mention of fellow soldiers from Asheville and nearby Hendersonville, but offer little information about life as a soldier. Also included are a postcard, possibly from McKissick to H.E. Jones, and two letters to McKissick from Floyd S. Bixler, a wholesaler from Pennsylvania whom McKissick met while working at a hotel in Asheville. The Addition of 2012 contains a letter written by William Duncan McNeill to his future wife, Mary Jean McKissick, discussing McNeill's mother, mutual friends, and an article that McNeill read in The Negro Digest about success in marriage. There are also military records relating to McNeill's service in the United States Army during World War II, three portraits of McNeill circa 1944 in uniform, and a resume possibly created in 1991 detailing McNeill's work history from 1939 to 1991. Also included is a transcript of a 1977 oral history of Ernest B. and Magnolia Thompson McKissick and transcripts of family tributes from the funeral service for Ernest B. McKissick, obituaries of Ernest B. McKissick, and funeral programs for Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick.
Creator McKissick, Ernest B. (Ernest Boyce), b. 1895.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Ernest B. McKissick Papers #5299, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received on deposit from Charmaine McKissick-Melton of Manson, N.C., in November 2006 (Acc. 100529). Addition of 2012 recieved on deposit from Beverly McNeill, grand-daughter of Ernest B. and Magnolia Thompson McKissick, in September 2012 (Acc. 101661).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Ernest Boyce McKissick (Mack) was born in Kelton, S.C., in 1895. His family moved to Asheville, N.C., around 1900. McKissick served in France, 1918-1919, with the African American 92nd Infantry Division during World War I. Returning to Asheville after the war, McKissick married Magnolia Thompson of Asheville. They had four children, the eldest of whom was Floyd S. McKissick, prominent North Carolina attorney, businessman, and civil rights leader, who was the first African American to attend the University of North Carolina's Law School. Their youngest daughter Mary Jean McKissick married William Duncan McNeill. Ernest B. McKissick died in 1980 in Asheville, N.C. Magnolia Thompson McKissick died in 1989.

William Duncan McNeill, son-in-law of Ernest B. and Magnolia Thompson McKissick, was born on 16 November 1923 in Laurinburg, N.C. He graduated from the Laurinburg Institute in 1939 and from he Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina in Greensboro, N.C., in 1944. He graduated from the School of Engineering at the Officer Candidate School in Fort Belvoir, Va., in 1945. He served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army during World War II, specifically as Service Platoon Commander 2910, and was stationed in the Phillippines. He reicieved the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory medal.

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The collection chiefly contains letters, 1918-1919, from Ernest B. McKissick to his future wife, Magnolia Thompson, written during his World War I service. Letters were sent from Camp Jackson, S.C.; Camp Dix, N.J.; Camp Merritt, N.J.; and France. They include jokes, romantic sentiments, and mention of fellow soldiers from Asheville and nearby Hendersonville, but offer little information about life as a soldier. Also included are a postcard, possibly from McKissick to H.E. Jones, and two letters to McKissick from Floyd S. Bixler, a wholesaler from Pennsylvania whom McKissick met while working at a hotel in Asheville. The Addition of 2012 contains a letter written by William Duncan McNeill to his future wife, Mary Jean McKissick, discussing McNeill's mother, mutual friends, and an article that McNeill read in The Negro Digest about success in marriage. There are also military records relating to McNeill's service in the United States Army during World War II, three portraits of McNeill circa 1944 in uniform, and a resume possibly created in 1991 detailing McNeill's work history from 1939 to 1991. Also included is a transcript of a 1977 oral history of Ernest B. and Magnolia Thompson McKissick and transcripts of family tributes from the funeral service for Ernest B. McKissick, obituaries of Ernest B. McKissick, and funeral programs for Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Ernest B. McKissick Papers, 1918-1924

About 20 items.
Folder 1

Letters to Magnolia Thompson McKissick, 1918-1919 #05299, Series: "Ernest B. McKissick Papers, 1918-1924" Folder 1

Letters from Ernest B. McKissick to his future wife, Magnolia Thompson, of Asheville, N.C., written during his World War I service with the 92nd Infantry Division. Letters were sent from Camp Jackson in Columbia, S.C.; Camp Dix, N.J.; Camp Merritt, N.J.; and from France. They include jokes and romantic sentiments, but offer sparse detail about life as a soldier. The letters mention fellow soldiers from Asheville and from nearby Hendersonville, N.C. A letter of 17 November 1918 declares victory over the Germans, briefly mentions the front line trenches, gives an overview of the guns used by McKissick's regiment, and a provides a brief description of McKissick and his fellow soldiers being exposed to gas in a training exercise.

Folder 2

Postcard addressed to H.E. Jones, 11 October 1918 #05299, Series: "Ernest B. McKissick Papers, 1918-1924" Folder 2

Possibly from Ernest B. McKissick. The handwriting is faint and difficult to read.

Folder 3

Letters from Floyd S. Bixler to Ernest B. McKissick, 1923-1924 #05299, Series: "Ernest B. McKissick Papers, 1918-1924" Folder 3

Two letters from Floyd S. Bixler to Ernest B. McKissick. Bixler was a wholesaler from Pennsylvania whom McKissick met while working at a hotel in Asheville. The letter of 13 May 1923, written while Bixler was on a ship off the coast of Brazil, discusses the men's friendship. The letter of 17 July 1924 discusses gifts from Bixler to the McKissick family.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of September 2012: William Duncan McNeill Papers and Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick Oral History Transcript and Funeral Materials, 1945-1991 (Acc. 101661).

About 20 items.
Folder 4

William Duncan McNeill papers, 1945-1991 #05299, Series: "Addition of September 2012: William Duncan McNeill Papers and Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick Oral History Transcript and Funeral Materials, 1945-1991 (Acc. 101661)." Folder 4

Letter, 24 December 1946, written by William Duncan McNeill to his future wife, Mary Jean McKissick, discussing McNeill's mother, mutual friends, and an article that McNeill read in The Negro Digest about success in marriage. There are also military records relating to McNeill's service in the United States Army during World War II and a resume possibly created in 1991 detailing McNeill's work history from 1939 to 1991.

Image Folder PF-5299/1

Photographs: William Duncan McNeill, circa 1944 #05299, Series: "Addition of September 2012: William Duncan McNeill Papers and Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick Oral History Transcript and Funeral Materials, 1945-1991 (Acc. 101661)." PF-5299/1

Three portraits in uniform, three different poses.

Folder 5

Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick oral history transcript, 1977 #05299, Series: "Addition of September 2012: William Duncan McNeill Papers and Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick Oral History Transcript and Funeral Materials, 1945-1991 (Acc. 101661)." Folder 5

Interview conducted by Louis D. Silveri on 2 August 1977 by the Southern Highlands Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Folder 6

Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick funeral materials, 1980, 1989 #05299, Series: "Addition of September 2012: William Duncan McNeill Papers and Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick Oral History Transcript and Funeral Materials, 1945-1991 (Acc. 101661)." Folder 6

Transcripts of family tributes from the funeral service for Ernest B. McKissick, obituaries of Ernest B. McKissick, and funeral programs for Ernest B. McKissick and Magnolia Thompson McKissick.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Sara Mannheimer, December 2011

Encoded by: Sara Mannheimer, December 2011

Finding aid updated in November 2012 by Julie Seifert because of addition.

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