Guilford County Collection

ca. 1919-1991 [bulk 1940s-1960s]. 3 boxes (62 folders), ca. 850 items.MSS. COLL. #225

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


This collection consists primarily of materials collected by Anne Parham during her nearly-fifty-year employment with Guilford County. Items include three newspaper scrapbooks, a plaque, photographs, and loose newspaper clippings. Researchers will find numerous photographs of Guilford County facilities, services, officials and employees. The scrapbooks and loose newspaper clippings highlight newsworthy events pertaining to the county, while four booklets describe the various departments and functions of Guilford County government.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into five series by document type. The series are: Minutes, 1973; Miscellaneous, 1919-1991; Photographs, 1950-1973; Printed Material, 1951-1989; and Scrapbooks, ca. 1942-ca. 1951.

Provenance: The bulk of this collection was donated by Brenda Fox, who inherited it from Anne Parham. The majority of these materials were received in November 2014 and assigned accession number 2014.47.1. The minutes, revenue anticipation notes, and select printed materials were donated by Marcia S. Regan, daughter of former county commissioner Percy Sears, and assigned accession number 2015.23.1. Some additional printed materials were incorporated from the N.C. Vertical File at UNCG Libraries and other donors, including a booklet entitled “A Look at Guilford County” that was assigned accession number 2018.5.3.

Processing: This collection was organized by volunteer Kim Lanham, and the finding aid was completed in May 2015.


Born and raised in Oxford, North Carolina, Anne Furman Parham graduated from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina in 1942. In June of that year, she was hired as the secretary to Guilford County Board of Commissioners Chairman George Stansbury. She worked for the county for forty-nine years, serving as clerk to the Board of Commissioners for much of that time and ending her career as Assistant to the County Manager. Percy Sears served on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners in the 1960s and 1970s.

Anne Parham joined county government during a time of great change. A movement began in 1937 to reduce taxes and spending within the county. By 1942, big changes came with the appointment of a full-time professional manager and newly-voted-in Board of Commissioners. Surveys conducted during the 1940s and 1950s evaluated Guilford County’s government operations. The public’s disappointment in and replacement of the commissioners that occurred in the 1940s happened again the 1960s. Then in the years Dale Montgomery served as chairman of the Board of Commissioners, 1962-1972, great progress and professionalization began to take place. During his tenure, Guilford County consolidated the school building program, extended water and sewer lines, built the City/County Governmental Center, opened two Evergreen nursing facilities, and opened a juvenile detention center.

Historical Sources: The biographical details about Anne Parham were found in the article, “County Veteran Retires-Recent Changes Cited as Reason,” by Cathy Gant (Greensboro News & Record, March 11, 1991) and her obituary (News & Record, May 4, 2014). The broader historical information about Guilford County government was gleaned from the book, The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, USA to 1980, AD: Volume One, Guilford County’s First 150 Years, by Blackwell P. Robinson and Alexander R. Stoesen (Guilford County Bicentennial Commission, 1971).


The types of materials in this collection include service awards, newspaper clippings, photographs, printed materials, and items related to the printed materials (i.e. graphics and metal engraving plates). The majority of the collection consists of newspaper clippings and photographs.

The newspaper clippings, found in the scrapbooks (5:1) and printed material (4:7-8), cover news relating to Guilford County and the Board of Commissioners, such as funding concerns, official appointments, and building projects. The photographs show various county facilities, services, officials, and employees. The 1918 Guilford County Courthouse (3:18-22), the City/County Governmental Center (3:5-7), and the County Commissioners and clerk (3:10) are featured prominently. In addition, many photos show activities sponsored by the Department of Agriculture (3:14), services provided by the Health Department (3:23-26), and school facilities from the elementary to post-secondary levels (3:36-40). Also included are photos of City of Greensboro and High Point facilities, particularly public libraries (3:34) and schools (3:36-39).

This collection also contains two service awards, one a plaque and the other a certificate, presented to Anne Parham (2:5-6), as well as graphics used in county printed materials (2:2 and 2:4), a checking account statement and cancelled checks (2:3), and printed graphics of the courthouse and governmental building (2:2 and 4:2).


1.  Minutes. 1 folder (3 items). 1973.

This series contains photocopies of the minutes from three Guilford County Commissioner meetings: July 16, August 6, and August 20, 1973.

2.  Miscellaneous. 8 folders (46 items).  1919-1991.

The miscellaneous items include service awards presented to Anne Parham (2:5-6), Greensboro Loan and Trust checks (2:3), and Revenue Anticipation Notes from the Great Depression era (2:8). A folder of graphics consists of charts most likely used internally, a colored county seal, and a print of the old Guilford County Courthouse (2:2).

3.  Photographs. 43 folders (ca. 765 items).  1950-1973.

The photographs provide a glimpse into various county facilities and services, and also show some of the personnel who served the county. The first two folders contain contact sheets of photographs taken for the county (3:1-2), while the remaining folders hold photographic prints. Most of the images in the two “Guilford County Government in Action” booklets and “Your Guilford County Government” (4:5) are included in this series.

Many photos show city and county buildings, including the airport (3:3), the old jail (3:8), and the City/County Governmental Center (3:5-7). Images of the old Guilford County Courthouse (built 1918-1920) show commissioner meetings (3:18), court in progress (3:19), and members of the public waiting in the lobby (3:22). The county commissioners from 1966-1967 and clerk Anne Parham are featured heavily in another group of photos (3:10). Persons of note are P.H. Sears, W.E. Davis, D.C. Montgomery, R.N. Linville, J.E. Walters, and Judge Gentry.

More images of facilities and services are filed under the related county department or division: voting booths under the Board of Elections (3:4); the Guilford County Agricultural Center under the Department of Agriculture (3:14); and the Guilford County Home for the Aged & Infirm under Social Services (3:42). Photographs relating to the Health Department show health screenings (3:26), a mobile dentistry unit (3:24), and the Kendall Center (3:25). Also pictured is the 1950 Board of the Health (3:23), which was the first board to serve the entire county.

This series also include photographs of Greensboro and High Point facilities, particularly public libraries and schools. The images of public libraries include the Greensboro Public Library on N. Greene St. and the Greensboro Public Library Bookmobile (3:34). The photographs of schools in the two cities and Guilford County are grouped by grade-level: elementary (3:37), junior high (3:38), and senior high (3:39), as well as the Guilford Technical Institute (3:40). They primarily show the exteriors of school buildings but also include classroom and playground scenes at elementary schools and class scenes at Guilford Technical Institute.

The miscellaneous folder (3:31) contains a photograph of food and other provisions needed if the Civil Evacuation Plan went into effect. Additional images show the city garbage dump and the Old Mill of Guilford, as well as the Burlington Industries headquarters and Dixie Apartments at the intersection of Eugene and Bellemeade streets.

4. Printed Material.  9 folders (ca. 35 items).  1951-1989.

The printed material includes Guilford County’s 1972 annual report (4:1) and a booklet about the new City/County Governmental Center (4:3). Many of the images in the booklets describing the various departments and functions of Guilford County government (4:5) can be found in the Photographs series. The brochures include one about rezoning and an annual report for the Welfare Department (4:2), while the planning reports examine the county’s current cultural facilities and public buildings with an eye to future needs (4:9). The folder for County Yearbooks (4:4) contains photocopies of the Guilford County pages in the 1965-1970 yearbooks and the complete 1972-1973 yearbook, which covered the opening of the City/County Governmental Center. Two folders contain newspaper clippings, some that became separated from the scrapbooks and others apparently too large for the scrapbooks (4:7-8).

5.  Scrapbooks.  1 folder (3 items).  ca. 1942-ca. 1951.

These three scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, arranged chronologically, with news about Guilford County during the 1940s. Subjects of note include policy changes, the misuse of funds, voting, budgets, building projects, official appointments, and agricultural developments.


11Minutes-- County Commissioner Meeting Minutes (1973)
2-- Graphics
3-- Greensboro Loan & Trust (ca. 1919-1920)
4-- Metal Engraving Plates
5Miscellaneous-- Parham, Anne -- Certificate (1975)
6-- Parham, Anne -- Plaque (1991)
7-- Product Information Network (1986)
8-- Revenue Anticipation Notes (ca. 1934)
31Photographs-- Contact Sheets
2-- Contact Sheets
3-- Airport
4-- Board of Elections
*Voting Booths
5Photographs-- City/County Governmental Center (ca. 1968)
6-- City/County Governmental Center -- Construction
7-- City/County Governmental Center -- Opening
8-- County Buildings
9Photographs-- County Buildings -- High Point
10-- County Commissioners and Clerk
*Commissioners (ca. 1966-1967)
11-- County Officers
12-- County Offices & Employees
13Photographs-- Data Processing
14-- Department of Agriculture
*4-H Club, Guilford County Agricultural Center
15-- Emergency Services -- Ambulance
16-- Emergency Services -- Fire
*Fire Safety
17Photographs-- Guilford County Courthouse
18-- Guilford County Courthouse (old) -- County Commissioner meetings
19-- Guilford County Courthouse (old) -- Courtroom
20-- Guilford County Courthouse (old) -- Exterior
21Photographs-- Guilford County Courthouse (old) -- Interior
22-- Guilford County Courthouse (old) -- Lobby
23-- Health Department
*Board of Health (1950)
24-- Health Department -- Dentistry
*Mobile Dentist
25Photographs-- Health Department -- Kendall Center
26-- Health Department -- Screenings
27-- Industrial Development
28-- Inspections Department
29Photographs-- Law Enforcement -- Prison Farm #1 (located on Burlington Rd.)
30-- Law Enforcement -- Sheriff's Department
31-- Miscellaneous
*Burlington Industries, Civil Evacuation Plan, Dixie Apartments, Old Mill of Guilford
32-- Planning Department
*Environmental Services Division
33Photographs-- Protective Services -- Animal Shelter
34-- Public Libraries
*Greensboro Public Library Bookmobile
35-- Register of Deeds
36-- Schools -- Administration Buildings
37Photographs-- Schools -- Elementary
38-- Schools -- Junior High
39-- Schools -- Senior High
40-- Schools -- Guilford Technical Institute
41Photographs-- Social Services
*Sternberger Building
42-- Social Services
*Guilford County Home for the Aged & Infirm
43-- Tax Department
41Printed Material-- Annual Report (1972)
2-- Brochures (1958, 1979)
3-- City/County Governmental Center (ca. 1973)
4-- County Yearbooks (1965-1973)
5Printed Material-- Guilford County Government (informational; 1958-1989)
6-- Guilford County Schools (1981)
7-- Newspaper Clippings
8-- Newspaper Clippings
9Printed Material-- Planning Reports (1966)