Clarence N. Cone Jr. Family Papers

ca. 1884-1995 [bulk 1932-1965]. 2 boxes (17 folders), 47 items. MSS. COLL. #119

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


The Clarence N. Cone Jr. Family Papers consist primarily of printed material and photographs relating to local civic groups, the education and career of Clarence N. Cone Jr., and the life of Agnes McWilliam Matthew, his children’s governess. Of particular note are a portrait of Clarence Cone Jr., a Cone family tree covering seven generations, and annual reports of the Junior League that span thirty years. Researchers interested in Cone family genealogy, their employees, or the history of the Junior League of Greensboro may find this collection useful.

Arrangement: This collection is organized in three series and arranged within series by document type or subject. The series are: Cone, Clarence N., 1917-1958, n.d.; Matthew, Agnes McWilliam, 1884-1960; and Miscellaneous, 1944-1995.

Provenance: This collection was donated by Elizabeth Cone in April 1994 and assigned accession number 1994.100.17.

Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid was prepared by volunteer Alice Bailey in July 2013.


Clarence N. Cone Jr. (1910-1990) was born in Greensboro to Sadie Frank (1879-1965) and Clarence Newton Cone Sr. (1876-1929). He studied textile production at the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University), graduating in 1932. The next year, he married Elizabeth Gaither of Chapel Hill, and the couple had two children: Nancy (1937-2012) and Barbara (1943- ). Cone worked for Proximity Manufacturing and later the Cone Mills Corporation as vice president and general manager, and he was active in the Boy Scouts of America. Elizabeth Cone was on the Junior League of Greensboro’s Board of Directors during the 1940s, as was her daughter Barbara in the 1960s. Around 1949, Cone and his wife commissioned a Modernist house by Greensboro architect Edward Loewenstein at 910 Sunset Drive in Irving Park.

Agnes McWilliam Matthew (1884-1960) was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, to Mary Matthew and journeyman William Matthew Mason. She immigrated to the United States in 1910 and was naturalized in 1922. Clarence Cone Jr. employed her as his children’s governess and family companion. Her immigration papers suggest that she was also employed by his father as his governess, which is all the more likely since, beginning in 1917, city directories list her address as 804 Summit Avenue, an area in which the Cone family owned many guest houses.

Biographical Sources: The main sources used to compile this biographical note were items in the collection, particularly documents in the first two series and the family tree (3:2). Also consulted were Greensboro city directories from 1917 to 1960, NCSU’s North Carolina Architects & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, and the Caledonia’s September 18, 1910, passenger manifest on arrival at Ellis Island (batch P00143-5 Ref. 74 Line 18).


This collection focuses primarily on Clarence N. Cone Jr. and Agnes McWilliam Matthew. Items in the Clarence Cone series document his tenure as a student at North Carolina State College and include printed materials about textile production. The materials relating to Agnes McWilliam Matthew include official government and bank documents that shed light on her social and economic position as an immigrant governess, as well as changes in documentation of travel overseas. Also of note are a Cone family tree, annual reports of the Junior League of Greensboro, and a newsletter of the Irving Park Elementary School P.T.A.


1. Cone, Clarence N.  7 folders (15 items).  1917-1958, n.d.

This series consists primarily of printed materials relating to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering, including a yearbook and commencement program. The most unique item is the textile analysis workbook, which contains woven fabric samples with hand-colored diagrams; several other textile books are also included. The studio portraits feature Clarence Cone Jr. and his close friends, Romeo LaForte and Paul Scerlock.

2. Matthew, Agnes McWilliam.  4 folders (15 items).  1884-1960.

This series contains photographs and financial, birth, and citizenship documents relating to Agnes McWilliam Matthew. Particularly striking are her handwritten birth certificate from 1884 and her 1920 certificate of registration. Other items include her certificate of naturalization, her passports spanning from 1926 to 1960, and her immunization forms. Five booklets of black and white photographs primarily feature the Cone family, Matthew herself, and outdoor scenes.

3. Miscellaneous.  6 folders (17 items).  1944-1995.

The miscellaneous materials include annual reports of the Junior League of Greensboro that span thirty years and a newsletter published by the Irving Park Elementary School P.T.A. Of the greatest informational value is the Cone family tree, which documents family genealogy beginning with the father of Herman Cone (Kahn) and ending in 1995 with the seventh generation. Also included in the series are printed materials and vinyl audio recordings about weight loss.


11Cone, Clarence N. -- Agromeck (NC State yearbook, 1932)
2-- Certificates (1930-1944)
3-- Cloth analysis workbook (1930s)
4Cone, Clarence N.-- Commencement program (1932)
5-- Newspaper clipping (1937)
6-- Portraits (1932, n.d.)
7-- Textile production instructional texts (1917-1958)
21Matthew, Agnes McWilliam-- Citizenship & immigration documents (1884-1960)
2-- Financial documents (1950-1960)
3-- Passports (1926-1960)
4-- Photographs
31Miscellaneous-- Book plate
2-- Family tree (1995)
3-- Irving Park P.T.A. (1954)
4Miscellaneous-- Junior League (1944-1960)
5-- Junior League (1961-1974)
6-- Weight reduction systems (ca. 1957-1960)