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William States Lee appointment book

 Collection — Box: SFC3 [F09.090.03.01], Folder: 407
Identifier: MS0407

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a single item—an appointment book (dated 1922) that seems to have been recorded by William States Lee’s secretary and concerns his work as an engineer in hydro-electrical utilities. The cover of this book is embossed with the names of a number of different textile mills in Gastonia, NC. These are the Arrow Mills, Inc., the Gray Manufacturing Company, the Parkdale Mills, Inc., the Lint Manufacturing Company, the Myrtle Mills, Inc., the Arlington Cotton Mills, and the Arkray Mills, Inc. The cover is also embossed with the placename, Gastonia, N.C. The pages are gilt and the inside back cover bears the handwritten autograph “W. S. Lee” three times. Though this book records dates and appointments in 1922, the imprinting on the pages refers to 1921. Also, there are several mentions of “Mr. Lee” in the book, such as the January 12 entry, which says, “Mr. E. V. O’Daniel, of Bluefield, W.Va., had conference with Mr. Lee”, and the February 18, 1922 entry, which says, “Mr. Lee went to Mountain Island.” Entries like these suggest that the entries were most likely recorded by Lee’s secretary, rather than by Lee, himself. Otherwise, the notations made throughout this appointment book are completely of a business nature and provide thorough documentation of Lee’s activities as an engineer during the year of 1921.


  • 1921


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Biographical / Historical

Information found at indicates that there was a Rev. William States Lee (1793-1875), who was a Presbyterian minister in Dorchester, Beech Hill, and Edisto Island, South Carolina. Reverend Lee’s marriage records indicate that he performed a wedding for William States Lee, Junior, and Ann Judith Lafitte, on January 20, 1853. This couple had a son named William States Lee, who married Jenny Lind Williamson Lee, and they had a son named William States Lee, born in Lancaster, South Carolina on January 28, 1872. It is this individual who is the subject of this biography and this collection. According to the biographical reference to William States Lee in North Carolina: the old state and the new (pp 31-34), Lee was able to secure a scholarship from the State of South Carolina to matriculate at the Citadel. Lee graduated from the Citadel in 1894 with a degree in civil engineering. Following graduation he was obligated, according to the terms of his scholarship, to teach for a period of two years. His first professional position was with the Anderson Light & Power, where he worked on the construction of a railway line. In 1898 he became the resident engineer of the Columbus Power Company. At the time, electrical utilities were in their infancy, and electrical engineers were developing ways to transmit electricity in large volume across vast distances. The same can be said for hydro-electric power, and engineers were developing ways to produce the most electricity with the least water descent. By 1903, Lee became the chief engineer for Catawba Power Company. Lee, along with Dr. W. Gill Wylie (president of the Catawba Power Company) and James Buchanan Duke (head of the Duke tobacco fortune), formed a partnership to plan, finance and build the largest electrical utility in the Carolinas, originally known as the Catawba Power Company, later known as Duke Electrical Company, and still later, Duke Power. Wylie was the organizer, Duke was the financier and Lee was the engineer. In addition to his work with the Catawba Power Company, Lee also served as a consultant to many other electrical power projects throughout the eastern United States and also in Canada. He also lent his engineering expertise to several railroad lines. His grandson, known as William States Lee III, was also a leader in electric utilities in the Carolinas, and his interest in and support of education lead the University of North Carolina Charlotte to name its business school after him.


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Language of Materials



The collection consists of one item: an appointment book used by William States Lee, Senior in 1922, and concerns his work as an engineer in hydro-electrical utilities.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John Misenheimer, in September of 2009.

Related Materials

Speech of William States Lee, III, October 8, 1979, Mss 380.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, November 5-6, 2009.

William States Lee appointment book
Robert A. McInnes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

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