Guide to the Robert F. Coffey Papers, 1931-1941

Summary Information

Title: Robert F. Coffey Papers, 1931-1941
Collection: UA.5097
Extent: 1.0 linear feet (2 boxes)

This collection consists of the papers of Robert. F. Coffey, who was the superindendent of construction for Appalachian State Teacher's College during the 1930's and early 1940's. The papers are primarily business documents related to the construction of buildings on campus, though there are two small references to Mr. Coffey's personal life.

Creator: Coffey, Robert F.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert F. Coffey was the superintendent of construction for Appalachian State Teacher's College during the 1930's and early 1940's. Mr. Coffey not only supervised the construction of buildings, but also the hiring of construction workers and payments made to employees and companies. Mr. Coffey was not a native of Boone, and the Coffey papers contain ony two items that reveal personal information. These show that Mr. Coffey was an avid hunter, and his father died in the early 1930's. After his death, Mrs. Coffey worked in one fo the women's dorms at Appalachian.

Scope and Contents

The Robert F. Coffey Papers cover the years from 1931-1941. They are business documents related to the construction of buildings on the campus of Appalachian State Teacher’s College. During this time, the Watauga County Hospital, which would serve county residents as well as Appalachian students, was under planning and construction. Thus, the majority of Mr. Coffey’s papers are correspondence relating to the design, planning, and ordering of equipment for the Watauga Hospital. Topics discussed about the hospital include: labor costs, material costs and estimates, bills of lading and invoices, railroad shipping receipts, ordering of terra cotta, brick, and stone. Although the major focus of the papers is the hospital, some refer to other buildings and equipment, such as the old library, boys gymnasium, and chlorinator.

Appalachian State Teachers College owed a considerable amount of money to many companies which supplied construction equipment and machinery to build the hospital. Much of Mr. Coffey’s paperwork included account summaries and requests of payments on debts owed. Several companies explained their dire need of money, and insisted that the college’s credit would be affected if immediate payments were not made. This portion of the papers reflects the financial difficulties the college faced during the Depression years.


This collection is in its original order at point of accession. This order consists of the first nine folders organized by projects and information unrelated to the hospital construction. The remaining folders are then organized alphabetically by company.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions.

Acquisitions Information

These materials were transferred from the Appalachian Collection to the University Archives in February 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Michak, 2011.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], UA.5097: Robert F. Coffey Papers, University Archives, Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C., USA.

Container List

Payroll Ledger, 1935-1938  Box 1.1
Payroll Ledger, 1938-1940  Box 1.2
Time Sheets for Employees, 1940  Box 1.3
Workman’s Time Book and Notepad from steel company, 1932-1935  Box 1.4
Chlorinator Project (1 of 2), 1932-1935  Box 1.5
Chlorinator Project (2 of 2), 1932-1935  Box 1.6
Works Project, 1935  Box 1.7
Forms and Estimates, 1931-1934  Box 1.8
Payment and Estimates, 1933-1934  Box 1.9
Atlanta Terra Cotta Company, 1931  Box 1.10
Ayers Brothers Electrical Contractors, 1931  Box 1.11
Barlow and Sebring Company, 1931  Box 1.12
Guy M. Beaty Roofing Company, 1931-1934  Box 1.13
Cranberry Furnace Company, 1931  Box 1.14
Decatur Iron and Steel Company, 1936  Box 1.15
Economy Incinerator Company, 1931-1934  Box 1.16
Electric Supply Company, 1932  Box 1.17
Farmer’s Hardware Supply, 1931  Box 1.18
General Shale Corporation, 1931-1932  Box 1.19
Interstate Foundry and Machinery Company, 1931-1934  Box 2.1
Kincaid and Clay Company, 1931  Box 2.2
Lancaster Company—Hospital Correspondence, 1934-1937  Box 2.3
Lancaster Company—Library Correspondence (1 of 2), 1934-1935  Box 2.4
Lancaster Company—Library Correspondence (2 of 2), 1934  Box 2.5
Lydon, Cousart, and Weeks Company, 1931-1932  Box 2.6
James P. Marsh Company (Jas. P Marsh Company), 1931-1932  Box 2.7
Morganton Hardware Co., 1931-1932  Box 2.8
John J. Morton Company, 1931  Box 2.9
Noland Company, 1931-1934  Box 2.10
W.F. Overly and Sons, 1932  Box 2.11
Ray Proof Corporation, 1934  Box 2.12
Ross Sales Service Incorporated, 1931  Box 2.13
Summers Hardware Company, 1930-1932  Box 2.14
Summers Hardware Company, 1935-1936  Box 2.15
Soule-Hoffman Company Incorporated, 1931  Box 2.16
Statesville Manufacturing Company, 1931-1933  Box 2.17
J.A. Thompson, 1931-1932  Box 2.18
J.D. Wilkins Ornamentation, 1931-1932  Box 2.19