|About Frank A. Clinard
In 1873, Francis Augustus “Frank” Clinard, son of Livingston and Charlotte Shultz Clinard, and author of the majority of letters in this volume, left the structured Moravian life he had known in Salem to become a store clerk in the small town of Hickory, North Carolina. After a period of adjustment, “Give me half a chance and I will make my way through this veil of tears”, it was here that he would spend most of his life and become an outstanding and prominent citizen, businessman, socialite, political activist and lifelong Freemason. He was described as always smiling and was “never seen without a flower in his buttonhole.”
Frank and Gertrude “Gertie” Jones became the first couple to be married in a Hickory church, and their son, William, the first to be baptized there. Frank’s letters show the personal growth of a hard-working young man from one whose attention and interest was focused on learning the “fancy dances”,to a mature and dedicated husband, father and businessman, whose life and thoughts were devoted to providing for his wife and children.
In the early days Hickory seemed to be a community searching for an identity…“Please drop the Tavern in backing letters to me, as we are all trying to stop it being called Hickory Tavern”, but was soon to become a thriving hub for local and mountain people to sell and trade their produce and other goods...“We have shipped about 800,000 lbs dried fruit and berries, think we will reach 1,000,000 lbs.,” states Frank. New businesses were opening and new buildings being constructed. The roads and railroad were expanding to accommodate this influx…“Hickory is on the upward tide, several families have moved here recently & more coming. There are several Tobacco Factories to be opened here shortly. There are six or eight new houses being built at present”.
These courageous, persevering and industrious people have long since passed from this earth, but the essence and spirit of who they were will continue to live through the words they wrote so long ago. “My Dear Father and Mother” forever presents those words for all to read and enjoy. clinard fa