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
(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
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
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.
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
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
Valerie Schwartz recounts Dr. Adam Kluttz’ role in how Chapel Hill earned an alternate name:
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
Moss in the story above was Rev. William D. Moss, pastor of the Presbyterian
Church a few blocks from the Kluttz’ home.
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
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.]
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. http://www.upcch.org/downloads/Church%20History-2011.pdf
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.]