With this book, J. Andrews Smith, MSW, makes a unique contribution to the fields of North Carolina historiography, sociology, and social work. Almost 20 years ago, Clyde F. McSwain published a detailed account of his life at the Masonic Orphanage at Oxford, North Carolina. Nearly 10 years later, Richard McKenzie published a penetrating memoir of his life in the Presbyterian Orphanage at Barium Springs, North Carolina. A few other full-length recollections of orphanage life may have been written and published, but there is no other book, I think, similar to this one by Mr. Smith. His is no less than a collection of firsthand accounts of life as lived by a succession of children in the Free Will Baptist Orphanage (or Children’s Home) at Middlesex, North Carolina, over a period of nearly 90 years—from the second decade of the 20th century to the first decade of the 21st century.
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J. Andrews Smith grew up in Middlesex, North Carolina. He is a graduate of Mount Olive Junior College, Barton College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 1996, he has been a columnist with Tazewell County Free Press, Richlands, VA. He has authored several books and published articles in numerous newspapers. He now lives in the mountains of North Carolina.
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