Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden



Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick,
Assistant Curator of the University of North Carolina Herbarium
with the assistance of
Meredith Tozzer
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni Records

Orah Jane Crawford Kluttz
(29 March 1868 – 31 May 1947)
Adam Alexander Kluttz
(7 July 1857 – 20 December 1926)

There are many reasons that collectors “achieve” a biography page on this website.  We fully admit that biographies are done at the whim of the curators, and an odd name or an interesting story may trump sheer number of specimens collected.  Dr. and Mrs. Kluttz have not only a great name, but also a good story… and a few (alright, very few) specimens.

The University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU) has catalogued two specimens collected by Orah Jane Crawford Kluttz:  Iris prismatica (Johnston County, North Carolina “15 miles from Goldboro on highway to Smithfield” in 1930), and Amanita rubescens (Orange County, North Carolina “Mrs. Kluttz’s yard, by office” in 1916).  However, Dr. William Chambers Coker collected on the Kluttz property frequently as it was located between his home on North Street and his office in Davie Hall on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.



Images courtesy of the North Carolina Collection Photograhic Archives,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Adam Alexander Kluttz was born near the town of Salisbury in Rowan County, North Carolina on 7 July 1857 to Flora Walton and Caleb Kluttz.  He attended Goldsboro Presbyterian High School in Wayne County, NC.  Kluttz attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1880-1883, and though he considered himself to be a member of the class of 1884, he did not graduate.  Instead, he earned an M.D. from the New York College of Physicians & Surgeons (which later became Columbia University).  He returned to Chapel Hill and “was became an assistant to Dr. A. B. Broberson [sic; Roberson].  But he soon left the medical profession and established himself as a merchant… As the years rolled by thousands of university students were customers at his store and alumni scattered all over the country hold him in affectionate memories. ” 1 

“Dr. Kluttz’s greatest weakness in business was also his greatest strength.  He could not resist adding an extra piece of candy to a child’s purchase, nor could he turn down requests by students for credit and loans.  As a result, he accumulated some $40,000 in bad accounts while building a business and acquiring the property that made him and Mrs. Kluttz the largest taxpayers in the village.  William Meade Prince described the Kluttz store as it was at the turn of the century: ‘It was a solid, rock-ribbed institution in Chapel Hill, like the stone walls.  It was a club, a headquarters, a Mecca for everybody.’  Dr. Kluttz rented the upstairs, and downstairs he sold groceries, candy, stationery, books, shoes, jewelry, clothing, patent medicine, bicycles, delicacies, and hundreds of other items.  His black clerk Ernest Thompson was the de facto manager, freeing his boss to engage in an endless series of checkers matches with his crony Oregon Tenney.  According to a student ditty, ‘Ernest runs the business, / Doc chews cigar butts,/ Everybody works in this old town,/ But A. A. Kluttz.’  2   

On 26 June, 1890, Adam Kluttz married Orah Jane Crawford in Wayne County, North Carolina.  In 1894 they bought the Sam Phillips house on East Franklin Street and operated a boarding house. 

The village of Chapel Hill holds attractions remembered by thousands of alumni as much as the campus itself.  Village personalities for a part of the community of Chapel Hill.  One of those villagers is Mrs. A. A. Kluttz… “I know everybody in North Carolina worth knowing and a whole lot that are not,” was the opening sentence of the interview [with the Daily Tar Heel, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student newspaper.]… Outspoken, yet considerate, Mrs. Kluttz is at home in any company.  She has seen 46 classes graduate at Chapel Hill since she came to the village in 1890 as the bride of the late Dr. A. A. Kluttz ’84 [class of 1884]...She is the housemother of the Chi Omega woman’s fraternity, which leases a portion of her home.  Nicknamed “the Duchess” Mrs. Kluttz presides over a wide domain of friendships that she has acquired through neighborliness and a genuine concern for the welfare of others.  In any complete response to the much-asked casual question, “Well how are things in Chapel Hill?” – a mention of Mrs. Kluttz is necessary. 4

Cornelia Spencer Love boarded with the Kluttz’ from 1918-1929. 2 Cornelia Love, the granddaughter of Cornelia Phillips Spencer (the “woman who rang the bell” to re-open the University of North Carolina in 1875 after Reconstruction), was born in 1892, raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts and educated at Radcliffe College.  In 1917 she came to work in the UNC-CH library.  Cornelia Spencer Love deposited about two dozen fungi specimens in the Herbarium during the 1920’s. How she came to be interested in mycology is unknown; perhaps she knew Dr. Coker socially or enrolled in one of his botany classes.

The Kluttz house is now the Delta Delta Delta Sorority house.

Valerie Schwartz recounts Dr. Adam Kluttz’ role in how Chapel Hill earned an alternate name:

Those who live here often refer to our town as the "Southern part of heaven," a phrase for which I hadn't known the origin before my recent delvings.  It was coined following the death of the much-loved downtown merchant Adam Alexander Kluttz, known to folks as "Doc" Kluttz... He and Mrs. Kluttz, who were childless, owned the large house across the street from the president's home (it today houses the Delta Delta Delta sorority), where they kept a garden that helped feed the boarders they took into their home. As the story goes, in 1926, as Doc [Adam Kluttz] lay dying in his home, he asked his friend, Parson Moss, who was sitting at his bedside, what he thought heaven would be like.  Moss answered that he thought it might be a lot like Chapel Hill in the spring.  Doc smiled and said, “That’s good,” and then died. 3

Parson Moss in the story above was Rev. William D. Moss, pastor of the Presbyterian Church a few blocks from the Kluttz’ home. 

During the first decade of the 20th century, [University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill] again appeared to be in decline and was without a minister most of the time. This decline was reversed with the calling of the Rev. William D. Moss, a Canadian who first came to Chapel Hill for a year during 1904-5 from a Congregational pastorate in Nova Scotia. He returned to Chapel Hill from another pastorate in 1912 and served for some 20 years. Although unorthodox in his Christianity, he was a man with great charm and particular appeal to the young. He was said to have shared the intellectual leadership of the community with UNC president Edward Kidder Graham and Prof. Horace Williams. “Parson” Moss, as he was affectionately known in the community, increased the church’s influence with the students and in 1929 the congregation’s membership rolls reached 100 for the first time. During Parson Moss’ pastorate the original sanctuary was rebuilt with the gift of $50,000 from James Sprunt of Wilmington as memorial to his wife.  The new sanctuary seated 348. Behind it was a two-story building with a church parlor, two Sunday school rooms, a kitchen and a pastor’s study. The building was completed and dedicated in 1920.5

In 1928 Orah Kluttz gave a baptismal font to University Presbyterian Church dedicated to the memory of her husband.  “The memorial, which is made of Georgia marble…stands four feet high, has a bronze water container set in the marble, and a hardwood lid.  Carved into the lid is the inscription:  In loving memory of Adam Alexander Kluttz – July 7, 1858 – December 20, 1926.”  It is likely that this baptismal font was lost in the fire that destroyed the sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church on the night of February 19-20, 1958, known in church history as “the Ash Wednesday fire.”

Coker Arboretum in the center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, has a bench dedicated to Ora [sic; Orah] and Adam Kluttz. 

Photo by Margo MacIntyre, Curator of the Coker Arboretum, North Carolina Botanical Garden.  Date:  2014.

1.  Anonymous.  December 21, 1926.  State Students Lose Old Friend:  Dr. Kluttz, Known To All Chapel Hill Men, Dies Suddenly.  Obituary.  The Citizen.  [Clipping in the files of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumi Records Office.]

2.  Looking Back.  The Chapel Hill Newspaper, Sunday September 13, 1992, page C8; excerpted from “Chapel Hill:  An Illustrated History,” by James Vickers and Thomas Scism (1985), Barclay Publishers, PO Box 739, Carrboro, North Carolina.  [Clipping in the files of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni Records Office.]

3.  Schwartz, Valerie.  2009.  Remembering Chapel Hill; The 20th Century as we lived it.  Charleston, SC:  The History Press.

4.  Mrs. Kluttz.  The Daily Tar Heel.  January, 1937.  [Clipping in the files of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni Records Office.]

5.  McLendon, William W.  1999.  University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina:  A Brief History.

6.  Memorial Font to Dr. A.A. Kluttz.  15 April 1928.  .  [Clipping in the files of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni Records Office.]




Kluttz grave in the Chapel Hill Cemetery


University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931


Last Updated: 20 August 2014