Harris Family Scrapbook Collection, 1966-1982
W.T. Harris, as he came to be known, began his grocery store in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1949. In 1960, he merged his company with Teeters Food Mart, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, and formed Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. The first store opened in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Harris Teeter Supermarkets continued to be successful, and in January 2014, was acquired by The Kroger Company, although Harris Teeter retained its name, brand, and headquarters in Matthews, North Carolina.
The Harris Family Scrapbook Collection consists of 14 scrapbooks of memorabilia kept by W.T. Harris and his family. The bulk of the materials are from the 1970s, with a few scrapbooks from the 1960s and 1980s. Examples of scrapbook materials include congratulatory letters, programs, awards, involvement in community organizations, speaking engagements, correspondence, and “Man of the Year” awards.
- 1967 - 1981
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to the public without restriction. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to duplicate or publish material for any collection belonging to the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room must be obtained by Library staff.
Biographical / Historical
William Thomas (W.T.) Harris, of the Harris Teeter grocery store chain, was a prominent businessman, self-made millionaire, Baptist devotee, politician, and community advocate.
Harris moved to Charlotte in 1934 and landed a job with A&P Self Service Food Store, where he quickly rose to store manager. Two years later, in 1936, he opened his own grocery story on Central Avenue, called Harris Food Store. Governed by religious devotion and strong ethics of honesty and straightforwardness, Harris’ grocery business grew and expanded across the Charlotte area until its merger with Teeter Super Markets of Mooresville, NC in 1960. Harris Teeter quickly became a multi-million dollar company and is currently headquartered in Matthews, NC. William Thomas Harris later served as President of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce in 1966.
In addition to his successful business pursuits, W. T. Harris made great contributions to the Charlotte community. As devout Baptists, the Harris family were frequent attendees of the church where W. T. Harris volunteered for over 26 years as teacher and later superintendent of the Sunday School. His religious beliefs carried over into his business and political pursuits, focused mostly on his rejection of alcohol, in the community and in his Harris Teeter stores (repealed by company board members in 1971).
As a Mecklenburg County Commissioner, Harris led the movement for a statewide public kindergarten system, which passed in 1973, and advocated for teachers.
In 1966, Harris was given the Charlotte News Man of the Year award, followed by the Mayor’s Special Citizenship Award in 1967. A boulevard going from north to east Charlotte was named in honor of him.
W.T. Harris died in Greensboro, North Carolina, on November 14, 1989, following a collapse while giving a speech. He was living in Charlotte at the time of his death, and was buried in Sharon Memorial Park.
2.4 Linear Feet (14 flat cases) ; Bottom 2 cases measure 29 inches in width.
6.91 Cubic Feet (14 flat cases)
Language of Materials
This collection consists of 14 scrapbooks of memorabilia kept by W.T. Harris and his family. The bulk of the materials are from the 1970s, with a few scrapbooks from the 1960s and 1980s. Examples of scrapbook materials include congratulatory letters, programs, awards, involvement in community organizations, speaking engagements, correspondence, and “Man of the Year” awards.
There are 14 scrapbooks in this collection, each in their own box.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated to the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room by Phyllis Harris Moore in December 2014.
New York Times. “Obituaries: William T. Harris, 81; Built Grocery Chain.”
Williams, Shane. Harris Teeter. http://northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/harris-
The materials in this collection are in good/fair condition. The scrapbooks are fragile but the documents and photographs are good.
The processing, arrangement, and description of this collection was completed by Sydney Carroll in December 2018.
- Awards Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Business Subject Source: Local sources
- Correspondence Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Family Papers/Genealogy Subject Source: Local sources
- Grocery shopping Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Harris Teeter Subject Source: Local sources
- Kroger Grocery & Baking Company
- Scrapbooks Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Harris Family Scrapbook Collection, 1966-1982
- Sydney Carroll
- August 2018
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Box: 1, Object: Scrapbook 1 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 2, Object: Scrapbook 2 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 3, Object: Scrapbook 3 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 4, Object: Scrapbook 4 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 5, Object: Scrapbook 5 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 6, Box: Scrapbook 6 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 7, Box: Scrapbook 7 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 8, Box: Scrapbook 8 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 9, Box: Scrapbook 9 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 10, Box: Scrapbook 10 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 11, Box: Scrapbook 11 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 12, Box: Scrapbook 12 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 13, Box: Scrapbook 13 (Mixed Materials)
- Box: 14, Box: Scrapbook 14 (Mixed Materials)
Part of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Repository
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library-Main
310 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28202 USA