Interview with Luther D. Reed, 1968 May 29 [audio](part 3)
- Planning DuPont's 150th anniversary; transporting people to the celebrationKeywords: Brandywine granite; Centennial Committee; Crowninshield, Louise du Pont, 1877-1958; Domenico Mortilletto; DuPont; Eleutherian Mills- Hagley foundation; Hagley Yard; time capsules; transportationTranscript: Unnamed speaker: This interview was granted by Mr. Luther D. Reed on Wednesday, May 29, 1968. Participating in the interview were Walter J. Heacock, Joseph P. Monigle and Norman B. Wilkinson. Dr. Heacock opened the interview with a request for some information about the Sesquicentennial Celebration which everyone has heard so much about.
The question was asked of Mr. Reed when he first heard about the DuPont Company's plan to have a big celebration.
Reed: Apparently it was determined about six months in advance of getting down to real work. In other words, this was kicked around for about six months before any real organization was set up. A committee was appointed to study the matter. Now, my retirement from the DuPont Company came in November, 1950 and just before my retirement party J. W. McCoy approached me and told me of this pending celebration. Up to that time it had only been a matter of rumor; so this was almost a year and a half before the celebration took place. A committee was appointed to study the proposal and the committee invited me to come out to Hagley Yard and study the grounds and give me their ideas of what might be done. In other words, they were going to tell me what to do, and I was to carry it out. We stopped down in Hagley Yard, and they pointed out an area where they could accommodate about 500 people, stating that this is the biggest area we know of. I reminded them that E. I. du Pont didn't own the Hagley Yard in 1802. They stressed this was the only area large enough, and I suggested we go up into the Crowninshield area. They seemed to think this would be impossible, and I asked for permission to talk to Mrs. Crowninshield. I was told to go ahead at my own risk. So, I got "Chick" du Pont to introduce me to Mrs. Crowninshield, and she met me in the Board Room of the Wilmington Trust Company and by that time we had talked over some plans about what we might do, so I had some sort of a program with which I could approach Mrs. Crowninshield. I told her we would like to occupy some open space on her property, we would like (for the time being) to erect two flag poles, to have a speaker's platform and gather together just as many employees as we possibly could, in' a program which hadn't yet been quite formulated. Mrs. Crowninshield listened to all this and she objected to the flag poles until I explained to her they would be only temporary for about a week or so; she acquiesced on that point, and then stated to me, "Mr. Reed, it would be a privilege for me to be a party to such a thing." When I took that word back to the group in the DuPont Building, they were quite surprised and very agreeably so. This was my first encounter with Mrs. Crowninshield.
Wilkinson: Beside Mr. McCoy who was on the planning committee?
Reed: This original committee was disbanded and I can't recall the individuals who made up that committee. Then a permanent committee was set up of which Bill Hart, Director of Advertising, was chairman; F. C. Evans, J. W. McCoy, and Glen Perry formed the membership of this committee. F. C. Evans retired from the Company very shortly after his appointment and he was replaced by E. F. du Pont. This was called the Centennial Committee. This Committee was a sort of policy-making group and I administered those policies. I was named originally General Manager which later turned into the title of Director. I must say, many times the policies they made were made by myself and other associates and presented to the committee in such a way they had to approve them; we generally got the backing of a man by the name of du Pont before we presented them. After that I was left on my own to work this thing out. I used to say it took me 12 months to put it together and produce it, and 6 months to take it apart. I was the only full-time person in this activity, but I had the privilege of drawing on help throughout the DuPont Company and I created committees made up of DuPont employees to look after various functions. I carried a control chart on which these committees were listed and the approximate date on which each assignment should be finished, or Whether time should be extended. That information is still on file in a time capsule kept in the Secretary's Office of the DuPont Company. The time capsule is buried about eighteen inches deep at the northern end of the monument. I don't recall whose suggestion this was or whether it was performed as a general custom. The capsule is made of lead, is approximately 24 inches long, 14 inches wide and 8 inches deep. The contents are economic data of the day. Some data from the Department of Commerce, rates of pay. A record of the ceremony, the program, copies of speeches and the flags flown during the service. When filled I took the capsule to the Chambers Works where lead burners were employed. Had the open seams burned shut and through a small nipple had all oxygen exhausted and replaced with nitrogen and the nipple burned off and shut. This insures almost everlasting preservation of the contents. It is supposed to be opened at the 200th anniversary. However, I had a duplicate of the capsule made from hard maple containing the same data with the exception of the flags, with the lid screwed on. This was placed in the hands of the secretary of the Company for whatever use it may serve in the future. Possibly the original should not be disturbed. A photograph of the time capsule in place is in the library. For the record the history of the monument should be recorded. Early in the deliberations of the planning committee a requirement was voiced that a marker should be erected to the memory of the founder of the DuPont Company. Further it should consist of material that was an intimate part of the founder's life. At one time it was considered that a piece of Brandywine granite be quarried from the old quarry and appropriately shaped. However the grinding wheel brought from France and now lying along the road in Hagley Yard attracted my notice, and knowing there were two of them at one time, I started to make inquiry as to the other and Paul Grimes showed me the location of the second. It was about three quarters buried in the ground, quite a distance from the road and close to the Dean stone wall running from the road toward the Brandywine. Through the Engineering Department of the DuPont Company I procured a crane with a 100' boom and a flat truck and the stone grinding wheel was recovered. The rusting of the iron hub had expanded and had cracked the stone through its diameter. The stone was removed to the DuPont Shops, the hub removed and stainless steel buckles placed across the cracks to prevent parting. These are now hidden by the bronze sculptured and inscription plates. A granite base was procured in Vermont with two stainless steel 1 1/2 inch pins inserted in the top, which later were fitted to the stone. The work of suitable decoration was assigned largely to Domenico Mortilletto who sculptured the present objects. A humorous incident occurred when the head of Eleuthere was formed. The planning committee, Mr. Greenewalt and others went to Mort's studio to see the bust finished in clay. He looked more like an Irishman than a Frenchman. The Public Relations Department had given Mort the wrong photograph of E. I. Mort did the work over from what is accepted as the official likeness of the founder which was approved. Mort followed through the plaster of Paris mold and final casting. It was unveiled by an employee from amongst the plant representation who had the longest service. The veiling consisted of varicolored nylon and instead of dropping to the ground, it was hoisted above into a tree. The work for the celebration built up to a force of some 600 part time people. It was my objective in having the affair out of the Hagley Yard and on the Crowninshield property because that was more representative of the Company's origin. I couldn't begin to list today the committees we had, but they all functioned in a very wonderful manner. I drew the plan of the amphitheater auditorium and turned my drawing over to the Engineering Department to reduce it to a smaller scale because I wasn't getting enough people in it. Finally we had an attendance of something in excess of 8,000 people. Mrs. Crowninshield cooperated wonderfully. My method was to talk around a subject on which she would make the suggestion of the very thing I wanted, and in that way we became very friendly. I just turned over to the Library a letter she wrote me immediately following the Anniversary ceremony; as difficult as it was for her to write, she wrote me a very thrilling letter. For instance, on our transportation committee. We used the Wilmington Transportation Company's buses and we had all employees assigned to a bus with a certain-number and a certain color, and in all some 160 employees helped in the important transportation assignment. We had walkie-talkie equipment, we had police in attendance, we had repair cars along the line, we had the whole R. R. M. Carpenter property over which we could come in one way and out the other through their property, and we transported the best part of those 8,000 people one minute late, originating from thirteen different points in Wilmington. I always will respect the man who did such a beautiful job of scheduling - a man by the name of John Hildreth, who is now retired as Control Manager of Textile Fibers Department. The Engineering Department also did a wonderful job; a chap by the name of Winfred Mellon was in charge there; Frank Parker also worked on it and I know we used a high percentage of the Company's time on this project.
Heacock asked the formula for invitations. How 8,000 people were selected out of 80,000?
Reed: We got the salary department and the payroll department busy on that. They first listed everybody over 15 years service in the Wilmington area, and then everybody with 10 years service, and finally everybody with 7 years service. Then we went to the plants throughout the country and all the heads of sales offices throughout were invited; then two long service men from each plant to be chosen by the employees of that plant to be sent here; so we had some 400 persons coming in from the outside. I will never forget - it was a hot day and I brought those 400 people out to the site in the morning of the affair to give them a personal survey of this event and treat them more as guests. We brought them up in front of Mrs. Crowninshield's home and with the perspiration rolling down over her face she made a most beautiful address to those 400 people, and then she personally took them all right through the home.
- More on planning DuPont's 150th anniversary; broadcasting the anniversary celebration via radio; housing out of town visitorsKeywords: event planning; Greenewalt, Crawford H., 1902-1993; Hotel du Pont; NBC; planning; radio; Warner Theater; WDELTranscript: Wilkinson: May I ask a question here if it's the appropriate time? This kind of project, one would assume would come under the jurisdiction of the Public Relations Department in the company. How do you think- or what was the reasoning behind moving this into someone else's care?
Reed: It was a Company-wide affair and Public Relations were definitely on the Committee, Crawford Greenewalt was one man in this affair who had a tremendous interest in the whole thing. He appointed such men on the governing committee as he thought would give it their full attention as it was needed. I myself had never taken part in any anniversary celebration before this, but at this time I had become quite educated in organization and management and had made a specialty of it. I had organized smaller events and had built several offices - furnished them. I had somewhat of a reputation for having men work together. From my own personal interest I had some knowledge of DuPont Company history. I was selected more for my ability to handle men and to place them in a position of productivity. I was later informed that I was finally chosen for this job from amongst seven other prospects. Using the transportation committee, for an example, this would be an example of all the other committees that were set up. We had a committee on publications; we had a committee that wrote the anniversary book; we had a committee on music; and on music I tried to hire Franko Goldman's band, but they wanted $6,000 and expenses to come down here; we had a bit of a DuPont band practicing at the Country Club made up of DuPont employees and I went to them. I told them to get some simple music, practice it, play simple stuff well, augment the group by other people, hire a few from the outside, we'll give you enough clothing to make it look uniform. They went to work and Goldman couldn't have done any better.
Heacock: Did you have an appropriation in the budget?
Reed: We had quite an appropriation; I can't remember just what the sum was, but when one amount ran out we just applied for more. We were not cramped for one minute. Whatever we wanted to do, we did. Sometimes J. W. McCoy, I'm saying this with all respect for the man because he was always a careful planner, would object to certain things, but I always knew if a du Pont made the suggestion J. W. would go along with it. So I would go to Chick and I'd say, "Chick, we have to conspire a little to get this across. Now at the next Committee meeting you suggest it."
Dr. Wilkinson questioned as to just how the events of the day were planned.
Reed: That was done by a committee. We had quite a problem to build up a program. Then we went back to the experience in making the DuPont Company movie. The committee on entertainment, which lay in the Advertising Department, got hold of Edouard Franz and Sigrid Gurie and one other man whom they brought in from Hollywood and they reacted du Pont's coming to the Brandywine. We kept everything as natural as we could. The mound down here with the old tree stump was the podium and we made it appear as if du Pont had come in to a very rustic area. I remember that we entertained those people most lavishly, but I didn't object to that at all because I wasn't paying for it.
Heacock: The program consisted of the enactment of du Pont's arrival and several speeches?
Reed: The program consisted of these people coming here and acting out their parts; then the DuPont chorus, which we brought in as part of the music, would sing certain parts of their dialog. The chorus was on the right hand side of the podium and the DuPont band was on the other side; the band acted as an orchestra before the drama started and the chorus did the singing. That whole program was written by someone in the Advertising Department, assisted by the New York firm of Batten, Barton, Durstine & amp; Osborne. It was a very good program. Then following that H. B. du Pont made quite a good speech on behalf of the family; he recited the history of the family, what they did, and how the family had brought everything up to the present day; and what the anniversary meant. Next, Walter Carpenter made a short address. We wanted Irenee and Pierre du Pont to take part in the program and say something, but they would not have any part of it. They said this was management's job. Lammot du Pont was ill and in the hospital at that time, so he couldn't attend. The best we could do was to get Pierre and Irenee to come up and take a bow. Mr. Greenewalt made the final talk; it was a very good one. There is a movie of this event, but it isn't a good one. It's not first rate. That was one thing they wouldn't let me do. I wanted to bring in some good photographer, but it was done by a bunch of amateurs. They took this event in silent movies and then dubbed in a lot of stuff. The applause you hear was done at Seaford and also dubbed in.
Dr. Heacock questioned if the Museum had a copy of this film, but Mr. Reed did not think so. He suggested getting a copy of it and running it. This was agreed upon. Dr. Heacock remembered how hot everybody was and that they finally got the men to take off their coats and Mr. Pierre stood up in his shirt sleeves.
Reed: Yes, there is a picture of that. There were hundreds of stills taken. There were a lot of incidentals. Protection, for instance. We had a fire company over here; we had a hospital; we had refreshment stands; and Mrs. Crowninshield insisted she should do something, so she supplied endless amounts of Coca Cola. If one lot ran out, we'd telephone downtown for more. There were some 20,000 bottles of Coca Cola consumed.
Monigle: Is it true that the airlines were asked to divert their traffic?
Reed: I did that personally. The airlines were going directly across the site and that was going to be very annoying, so we asked them between certain hours to divert, and they did. We also hired the whole National Broadcasting Company for the period of the celebration program so that every plant and every employee got the program. I also went to the General Managers and arranged that they would have an observance of their own at their plants in concurrence with this one and that was done very beautifully. I had only one objection. I went to one department and talked to a man by the name of Daugherty, and he wouldn't do it. I in- formed him that that was his privilege, that all other Company departments were cooperating from an employee relation viewpoint and how would he answer his plant people who would feel discriminated against. He did it. We advertised the broadcast in every plant so that an employee going on and off a shift could listen to the radio in his car. People in very outlying places could also get it on radio. We had letters come in from all over and I remember a letter coming in from Southern California where six men were doing exploratory work in a remote area and they picked it up. NBC handled the broadcasting from here in connection with WDEL and I can't tell you just who the announcer was. Now, for those employees With under 7 years of service something had to be done for them. So, we hired the Warner Theatre and they went into the Warner Theatre and heard the program by radio, and I had one man to handle this phase.
- Reserving hotels for the 150th anniversary celebration; the du Pont family's role during the celebration; busing people to Hagley; outside dignitaries who came to the celebration; cleaning up after the celebrationKeywords: busing; coordination; du Pont family; event planning; Hotel du PontTranscript: Reed: That day there was no business transacted in the DuPont Company. Of course I had the hotel situation. A year before this event I reserved the entire Hotel du Pont, and three motels because of bringing employees in from out-of-town. All applications for reservations at the hotel were to be turned down at that time. These people were all brought in the night before and that night we gave them quite a reception. These were the 400 from out of town. I don't know of anything that raised the good will of employees as much as this reception did. We had a lot of girls from the Building and a lot of officials and as these people came in they gave their names and then were given their identity and also instructions for the next day. It was quite a job to haul all those people out to Eleutherian Mills that morning and get them back in town for their lunch, and then back out here again. We had the amphitheater blocked off; this block was for the employees from out of town, that was under one color; this block was for the family; this block was for executives; the rest of it was open. As you already said, the only thing was the day being so hot. I did apologize for the air-conditioning equipment having gone out of order that day. However, we were very fortunate because the day following it really rained. I must say I was a little nervous about the whole thing. There was a lot hanging over me and I'd either be damned or praised.
Wilkinson: Was the family well represented?
Reed - The family was very well represented. There we had to do something. We had to put a limit on the age of members of the family attending because we didn't want the place filled up with children. But the next day and during the next week we had the youngsters come in and they were taken all over the place and shown what went on. Then for the employees who were in the under 7 year service group, we ran bus trips from downtown and had them taken on a tour over the grounds. All the people arrived through Hagley, then on up and around, and then through Carpenter's and back downtown again. We made some use of the family. About twelve or fifteen were dressed in the style of 1802 and acted as guides in the home and surroundings. These costumes were rented but many of these guides afterward purchased their dress as a souvenir.
Heacock: Did you have to do much to clean up the Hagley area or was it in pretty good condition?
Reed: We did a lot. We did a lot of cleaning up. Chandler Becker was a wonderful help in all of this. We feared very much having the people walk around the place. You couldn't stop them; and that dangerous wall down along the Brandywine you know, we feared somebody going over it and we wanted to rope certain sections off, but Mrs. Crowninshield said "No, I carry insurance for that purpose," and we took very good care not to cross Mrs. Crowninshield. Now, we changed things quite a lot. We built and widened roads, we went right over flower beds and we had to have places to handle buses in and out.
Dr. Heacock asked where the buses were parked; Mr. Reed replied that they were not parked but went in and out.
Reed: After we built what we wanted, and on what we wanted, we told Mrs. Crowninshield what was going to be done. That was perfectly all right. She was the biggest help and the greatest enthusiast we had. Our buses came in and discharged the people and they ran all the way up through the Carpenter property, out Route 100 and came in the lower end (Hagley) and parked just down on the Dean property, and when the exercises were over they moved right in.
Monigle: Where did the people get on all these buses? Tenth and Market?
Reed: They got on at their place of employment. We had people at thirteen different places in Wilmington, and a bus or buses were assigned to each one of those places. Now of course, the biggest problem was the DuPont Building. And there a fellow was given a bus number and a color, and if he couldn't get the bus number he could get the color of his bus, and we had monitors there who guided these people and we didn't have a bit of trouble. That thing was so beautifully organized that running that number of people out here over city streets, and of course we had the police department and everything was opened up to us, red lights and everything else, we just ran right through. That to my mind was the most remarkable thing of the whole business. You asked a question, "What did we do afterwards?" I said it took me 12 months to put this thing together and produce it and 6 months to take it apart. Now that meant that all of the area that was destroyed had to be restored, and we did that in the next six months. That sounds like a very long time to take it apart but we were lucky to do it in that time.
Wilkinson: Many of the mills and sites in the Hagley Yard had signs on them. Did you put signs on them?
Reed: Yes, we put signs on them as to what they were. Walter threw all of them out when he came here, but nevertheless they were done hurriedly and temporarily and I will say with some sense of pride and maybe a little egotism, there wasn't much we overlooked.
Heacock: That's what I hear from other people too, so you must be right.
Reed: And we had another thing. You bring 8,000 people out here with no sewage. We had the grandest lot of chemical toilets dotted around amongst the bushes that you ever heard of.
Heacock: You mentioned a hospital. Did anyone faint?
Reed: We had one heat prostration and I had a state officer with me all of the time. My position in the rendition of the program was absolutely in the background and I was just pulling the strings. When things weren't beginning to hook up I was on the job. We even had a little telephone exchange working. There is a guard down at the building today who reminds me of it every so often. "Say Mr. Reed, do you remember when I tended the telephone out at the anniversary?" Well, I happened to see this fellow standing up against a tree and finally he just slumped. The guard had a walkie-talkie, and in two minutes got the first aid station and we had him off the ground and very few ever noticed.
Wilkinson: Did you invite retirees, older people who had left the Company prior to the occasion?
Reed: Yes, we did. Retirees were brought in within a reasonable distance.
Heacock: What about outside dignitaries? The Governor or anybody like that. I don't recall.
Reed: We invited certain people from the outside, but very few. We did invite the Governor and the Mayor. My big interest was for the employees and we conserved as much of the space as we could for them. The ceremony started at 2:00 and went until 4:00. The movement of people away from the site was completed in 25 minutes. We never let a bus move until it was completely loaded. Now, that night we had a nice dinner down in the ballroom for the people from out of town and then took them out to Longwood to see the fountain display and wander through the conservatory. I had been on my feet all this time and I was one tired man when I got home that night.
Wilkinson: Did you ever see a total figure of the cost?
Reed: I did see the figures at the time, but just can't remember them. I hesitate to say anything right now, because I might exaggerate. Somehow a Spark took hold here about the whole affair and created an enthusiasm on the part of everyone. It spread from the top down and everybody was just keyed up about the 150th anniversary. In some respects it was the easiest thing I ever did because you got such thorough cooperation. I should say something as to how we terminated the affair. I suggested a luncheon to include everyone who played any part whatever in the operation of the 150th anniversary to which I got some objection. In a few days we had returned to the order of "cost." I persisted however, but did not get the liberal menu that the workers deserved. The luncheon, including the band and choral society, was attended by 655 people. Despite a meager luncheon of cold cuts they all were in high glee. Addresses were made by Bill Hart, J. W. McCoy and finally I addressed the assemblage where I congratulated them on their effort and the results of their labor and thanked them for their splendid cooperation. Then I formerly discharged all committees. A photograph of this affair is on file in the library as is also a copy of my address.
- Idea of creating a museum on the Brandywine; Forming the Eleutherian Mills- Hagley Foundation; attempting to work with outside organizations to establish a museumKeywords: Crowninshield, Louise du Pont, 1877-1958; Dennis Kurjax; Du Pont, Henry Francis, 1880-1969; Du Pont, Pierre S. (Pierre Samuel), 1870-1954; Ed Riley; Eleutherian Mills; F.A. Wardenburg; Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.); Greenewalt, Crawford H., 1902-1993; Hallock du Pont; Herb Kahler; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1910-1989; Lee, Maurice du Pont, 1885-1974; Same Homesy; Thomas Coulson; United States. National Park ServiceTranscript: Heacock: Perhaps it isn't too early to ask this question, but at what point in the planning of all this did the idea of something permanent out here on the Brandywine develop?
Reed: Not until the whole thing was over. The reason for that is evident. The family and the officials of the company looked forward to the big day; they didn't know what it was going to be all about until it was put together. They didn't see this mass of people and they didn't see us virtually taking over the city. I think things like that caused a number of people to think that this spirit and this property should be perpetuated.
Heacock: Could we move into that area and could you begin to reminisce about who made the suggestion- where you first heard someone say, "Why don't we develop something here on the Brandywine?"
Reed: My own contact with that was with Mr. Greenewalt and Pierre du Pont. I think the movement started right about there, but who backed them up, I don't know.
Heacock: I intend to get Mr. Greenewalt to talk on this subject, but he doesn't have your sense of history.
Reed: I would say he was one of the prime movers in this movement, backed up by Pierre du Pont. Pierre took a very deep interest in it. The real enthusiasm came when the drama was produced.
Wilkinson: In any of the speeches of the day on July 19th was there any intimation or a suggestion or anything thrown out about property being preserved or kept for a memorial?
Reed: Nothing in the program suggested anything like that. We hadn't any right to do anything like that because we would have been transgressing on private property. It came as more or less a spontaneous thing afterward. The point was this. This property had belonged to the DuPont Company and the DuPont Company sold it. The people of the family were given the first choice of purchase. Greenewalt's idea was that if these people were to be approached they should be told how the property would be preserved and put beyond the possibility of being sold again. I was called to Mr. Greenewalt's office one day and he outlined to me his desire to perpetuate the site and wanted me to serve as one member of a three-man committee. The other members were going to be M. du Pont Lee and F. A. Wardenburg. He directed us to come back with a plan whereby the family could be approached. We went into session and Wardenburg's attitude was it was a lot of "damn foolishness" and that he personally wouldn't spend the money. Lee was as enthusiastic about the idea as I so Wardenburg was outvoted. He stayed on the committee, but unfortunately or should I say fortunately, he was going on an African safari four days later and our report had to be done in a hurry. At that time he was a retired General Manager and a Director of the Company.
Heacock: Several years after this I met Mr. Wardenburg and after we Were introduced his opening statement was, "Young man, I think I owe you an apology." He told me When the idea came up he didn't think anything could be developed out here that anyone would care to go out and see.
Reed: I've known Mr. Wardenburg for years; he is a fair individual, even though he was "soured" on this at first. Anyway, he made the suggestion of a Foundation and, as I recall it, there was hardly any other form of organization that was proposed that we could see would safeguard the future. It was put to a vote in the committee and Lee voted in favor of a Foundation; Wardenburg voted definitely against it, and I voted for it, so I carried the balance of power. The report was made to Mr. Greenewalt and from there Mr. Pierre du Pont carried the ball in approaching the members of the family as to whether they would donate their property as a memorial to the founder and early family.
Heacock: He wrote a letter to Mrs. Crowninshield, seemed a little odd that he would do it by letter instead of by personal.
Reed: He did most of it all by letters. He wrote a letter to Chick Laird, and he was the only one who turned him down. Mr. Pierre du Pont asked for that property over there Louviers, but Chick wouldn't give it to him. He also wrote to the Deans and they gave us a right of way to connect the upper and lower yards. Later on I had the very embarrassing job with Polly to stake out what we would like to have as deeded property. That was one of the most difficult things I ever did; to go to someone and say we'd like to have such and such, but she gave it to us. There was a problem there of our transportation crossing the Deans' driveway over to the bridge. Mr. Wardenburg's idea on that was to build a causeway, or I should say a ramp over the driveway. This would have been a terribly expensive thing to do. Later on we got in touch with a fellow that Tom Gary proposed, a Mr. Gilmore Clarke from New York; he had an engineering firm in New York. He visited with J. W. McCoy and me and he proposed that we go under the bridge. Now you probably would like to know how much the Company gave us. Well, they should have given us more and we could have gotten much more if it hadn't been for Wardenburg. He got Tom Gary from the Engineering Department to come out here and in an imaginary way build this thing in three days. Tom did the best he could and he came back and said, as I remember, it would cost about five million dollars and we added a million dollars to it and we could have gotten eight million dollars just as well. Gary's estimate was made in the absence of any idea or vision as to what could be done. A museum was the only thing in mind. Wardenburg finally got off on his safari and our committee was discharged. The Foundation's charter is dated in December, 1952, because they (DuPont Company) wanted to get this donation to this charitable organization so it could be deducted for tax purposes. It was about six months from the Anniversary celebration to the Foundation's formation. Mrs. Crowninshield's will then came into the picture because she had willed this property to some minor in the family somewhere and we got the legal department working on that. Evidently Pierre du Pont had gotten hold of her will and I carried a paragraph from Pierre du Pont's office to the legal department to change her will so that this property could come to us. Then it seems that H. F. du Font and Hallock du Pont had sort of a life interest in this thing so that in the event Mrs. Crowninshield would not have disposed of it, they would have the property so that it wouldn't get out of the family's hands. At first Hallock du Pont was a little obstinate in signing, but he finally signed the release for the legal department and so did H. F. du Pont. Copeland was very strong in supporting the whole thing and I wonder at times just how much influence Copeland might have had. I never knew of it, but when the organization was finally set up Copeland was very active and so willingly gave of his property that I wouldn't be surprised if he appears in the background somewhere, but not openly. Copeland always has had a warm spot for his father's museum and he has asked me a couple of times since where that material is and is it being properly taken care of.
I think something should be said about the cemetery. Mrs. Crowninshield's will contained a provision that after her demise the Foundation must sell five acres of land to the Cemetery Company, such land being adjacent to the existing cemetery. At the proper time I laid out a five acre area, plotted it on a map and brought it before the Trustees. Hallock objected and wanted the entire pasture land adjacent to the cemetery. Failing in this he wanted the acreage to run toward the residence. I held out for my original plan as meeting the needs of the cemetery and at the same time causing the least interference and damage to the future development of the Foundation. Finally my plan was upheld by the Trustees. Then the matter of price arose. The will provided a direction for the appointment or employment of appraisers. This was followed in detail and they arrived at a value of $5,000 an acre. Some of the Trustees thought this was terrible and for a time delayed acceptance. The Cemetery Company claimed they had no funds and the matter hung under argument even though all terms of the will had been carried out. Through a third party I learned the Cemetery Company had plenty of money and at the same time I learned they had not met all of the requirements of the Internal Revenue Department. Following all of this the sale was quickly consummated and the present stone wall and fence represent my original plan. The sand pit included in the five acres was also objected to by Hallock, but as was claimed for it in the first place, it does form a beautiful buffer zone between the road and cemetery proper.
Heacock: No approach was made to the Carpenters. There was no interest in getting them on. Was it ever discussed? Seems just as logical to ask for that as for Chick Laird's property.
Reed: There was no interest in approaching the Carpenters whatsoever. I think everybody knew better than to go into that atmosphere. R. R. M. was not living at the time, and had he been it would have...I know that was the one reason that kept us out because R. R. M. and Colonel Henry were not friendly. They were never approached and the only time we've been approached has been by Avery Draper about seven years ago.
Heacock: At one point some representative of the National Park Service came up to see Mrs. Crowninshield and I don't know whether this was before, after, or during this discussion.
Reed: That was after all of this. It was when we started to put this thing into being. I'm up to the point now where we were acquiring the property. Up to that time none of us ever ventured on it. I often tell the story that Ed Sharpley threw me out of here at one time. I was coming out here and up through Hagley Yard starting to organize in my own mind as to just how this thing would work and one day Ed asked me what I was doing out here. I told him and he told me this was private property and to get off. I went back to Copeland and Copeland said, "I'm very glad to hear that my employees protect me." Now, about the time that we started to cast around to see what organization this was going to take and what we were going to do, the National Park Service got wise to this activity and they came here to see whether they could develop the memorial. Mrs. Crowninshield was either on that Board or worked very closely with them. They studied the project and gave us a 40-page contract which we didn't accept.
Heacock: I think the name of one of the men was Ronnie Lee.
Wilkinson: There was a man from Philadelphia who said he was entertained by Mrs. Crowninshield; Dennis Kurjac. Ed Riley may have been with them.
Reed: I remember the fellow from Morristown was down here. Lee and this other chap who at that time headed the Park Service.
Heacock: I think Herb Kahler came.
Reed: Nevertheless we felt we were getting away from the personal care and interest that the idea deserved. We didn't like the terms of their contract in any event and so we ruled that one out. Then we got this man from Franklin Institute, Thomas Coulson. He had done a lot of work for the Company at the 1939 New York World's Fair. He wrote a report, but it was very, very incomplete. However, there was a letter came from Mr. Greenewalt and the one stipulation he did make and the only one he made was that a museum should be constructed and organized. Now, going back a little, when we as a committee made this recommendation, we also made a recommendation to go with it as to how the grounds might be developed and we got Sam Homsey, who drew up a very comprehensive plan of the whole thing and the barn was to be the museum and there was to be a public amphitheater between the barn and the Dean home, and everything was centered at Eleutherian Mills. Then we discovered the barn was half frame so we ruled that out. It seemed the relationship with the Deans wasn't going to be very good, so we ruled that one out. Homsey's work never did reach the family.
Wilkinson: Didn't Clarke and Repuano come in as consultants?
Reed: We brought Mr. Clarke here to look the place over and the only suggestion he gave us was to take the road under the bridge. Tom Gary was a fellow officer with this Mr. Clarke in World War I and he knew Clarke to be a good engineer then, and he now headed a consulting firm in New York.
Heacock: They did make two maps and we used those in the lobby until just a couple of months ago. I was just wondering where that 40-page report the National Park Service made, is.
Monigle: We ought to gather a lot of this material together for the archives.
Reed: That 40-page report could be in J. W. McCoy's files somewhere. I know I didn't get it. I read it, but I don't have it.
- Incorporating the Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation; establishing the Board of Trustees; problem with the flow of water at Hagley YardKeywords: Bill Hart; Chick du Pont; drainage; Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation; Hallock du Pont; J.W. McCoy; Laird, W. W. (William Winder), 1910-1989; Lee, Maurice du Pont, 1885-1974; waterTranscript: Heacock: Who handled the legal matter of incorporation?
Reed: Dave Brown was one. He handled us through the maze of tax requirements. In addition to the $6,000,000 they were giving us, the Company had to give us some money to get started with and so they gave us $125,000 to start to put the museum and its adjacent grounds in shape. To get our tax-free status we were incorporated as a charitable organization - charitable, educational and scientific, and we had to give $20,000 to charity.
Heacock: Yes, and the repercussions of that came again last year. I had a phone call from an agency and they said that back a good many years ago the Foundation gave them some money. Fortunately you had explained to me that this was done as a one shot affair.
Reed: That was right. It was a little difficult, because we had to give that donation to various charities for capital improvement because if we gave it to them for operating expenses it was deducted from their Red Feather support. We split the money up among eight or ten charities.
Heacock: Do you remember the selection of the Trustees, initially? Was this largely Mr. Greenewalt's?
Reed: It laid somewhere back of the scenes. J. W. McCoy was appointed as President and there was...of course, in the By-laws a stipulation was made that a certain number had to be employees of the Company and some members of the family and things of that sort. That was the basis on which somebody chose them. I don't know who that somebody was.
Heacock: I wonder if there had been any effort to balance factions within the family. I mean like the Francis I. interests, etc.
Reed: Well, as I look at the original Board...well, Chick du Pont of course, is generally accepted but he strictly comes from the other side of the Brandywine; he was appointed. Then S. Hallock was on the Board.
Heacock: Not the original Board. He didn't come on until after I came.
Reed: There was a little political pressure applied to get Hallock on the Board. I was called up at night at home to use my influence with J. W. McCoy to get Hallock on the Board. As I see it, Chick probably represented the other side of the fence pretty well and has later become President. There was one fellow they might have put on the Board and they never did for some reason or other - in view of his earlier services on the committee. That was M. duPont Lee and he always felt that very keenly. Another fellow felt it very keenly was Bill Hart, who formerly had the Copeland Museum.
Heacock: Mr. Lee is one of our staunch supporters.
Wilkinson: What I have reference to is this maneuvering to get Hallock on the board , is it appropriate to tell us what was behind this?
Heacock: I know part of the story. A friend of his, Dave Stockwell, came to me once and said you've got a neighbor down on this project who is very unhappy. He told me Hallock has a great interest in antiques and a great interest in history and was very hurt that no one had consulted him about the project.
Reed: After all he signed away his rights in the Crowninshield estate and he made the remark if it hadn't been for him we wouldn't have been here. Heacock: Dave Stockwell said he could be a good friend, but he could also be a very difficult neighbor. I know I mentioned this to you and I may have mentioned this to Copeland. I didn't know what to do because I was fairly new here and I thought I should pass this along to somebody. I think it was to Copeland I mentioned it because I said the name Hallock du Pont once to him and he made the remark, "Oh, he's our difficult cousin." He has certainly been a good neighbor.
Reed: I remember my first contact with Hallock when we first started out here and were doing some cleaning up in the lower yard; he said, "Luther, you're going to annoy my dogs." I said, "No, Hallock, your dogs are going to annoy us." We've been friends ever since.
Heacock: I wondered why Nickie du Pont was put on the Board. He wasn't working for the Company.
Reed: Nickie was put on there to represent his father Eugene. Eugene took a great interest in this project and Eugene made quite a number of suggestions. One was to build a broad highway up through the property so that people could drive around the place. of course, Eugene always had a deep interest in the cemetery and was always looking to protect it. I think Nickie got on the Board because of his father's interest.
Heacock: Was Eleuthere from the T. Coleman branch of the family?
Reed: I don't know. I can't say why Eleuthere was placed on the Board. He was always an enthusiastic member; an experienced financier. Now, here is where I come into the picture. One day J. W. McCoy came to me in quite a hurry, and he laid this organization of Trustees and the By-laws before me and asked me if I'd like to direct this project. He said they would like me to do it, and wanted my answer as soon as I could give it to them. I said I would like to take it on as I had nothing else to do. They offered me some ridiculous salary or other, and I said I'd do it for nothing, for that matter. Then I found out why they were in such a hurry for me to take it; Governor Boggs had a job lined up for me in the state government. I wouldn't have taken that job anyway. It was a job to head up the Welfare Commission. However, that was my start. I'd been associated with J. W. McCoy for a great many years and I knew how to work with him. We'd argue and fight once in a while but we were friends up to the time of his death. J. W. was somewhat of a difficult man to work for - very exacting and he had his own ideas of doing things. You had to know when to quit arguing. I had to report to him every morning of my life what I did the day before, or what I didn't do. J. W. and I started to deal with the Engineering Department and we started to get the Museum building in shape in the Lower Yard. I think that the Lower Yard was pretty well paved by the time you came here. That went off in a slope right down and the lower race had water all the way up to those old bins. We had to go in there and unearth a lot of old water lines and get rid of them and reinforce some good water lines. A couple of fire plugs were in there that had to be maintained and there were springs. Originally water was supplied to the area from a reservoir located on the Carpenter estate. It flowed through an 8' line later reduced to a 6'. When the DuPont Company disposed of the property the reservoir was discontinued and the water line was connected to the city supply near Hagley Yard gates. This caused a poorly engineered water flow - through an expanding rather than a decreasing diameter pipe. Chick Laird had charge of the so-called DuPont Water Association. It supplied water to the immediate neighborhood as far as James Q. du Pont's. The city had a master meter which measured total intake. Each home was metered and the total consumption shown by individual meters should equal that shown by the master meter. This never balanced and excess water consumption had to be billed to consumers in proportion to what their meter indicated. Generally there were always heavy excess water consumption bills. I know at one time Simpson Dean had one of $4,000. When the Library was constructed water was taken from Monroe Tower through a new twelve and ten inch line connected to the du Pont system. The excess water bills continued. The Foundation, being the largest consumer, took the lead in trying to correct this condition which responsibility fell on me personally. A search for leaks was started and Ed Sharpley found a bad one. We thought our troubles were over. The master meter, now located on Buck Road, was read at a time when all water consumption was stopped and it still indicated a very grave leak. My experience at the Arlington plant came to our aid. I zoned the system by inspecting all existing valves and, with the permission of Chick Laird, installed two additional valves. Now we tested the system by steps and discovered the area in which there was another serious leak. Between Sharpley and Grimes this was located and repaired and today the system is tight according to a recent check made by Paul Grimes. Considering the age of a great part of this water system it is important that periodic tests be made to determine if it remains so. Laird still is the head of the Water Association although we seem to have assumed responsibility. Incidentally the 12' line from Monroe Park Tower across Route 100 is the property of the city of Wilmington even though the Library project paid for it. The 10' line along Buck Road is the property of the Foundation. Also is the 6' line running to Christ Church the property of that organization. The reason for the latter two ownerships is that they lay on private property. Buck Road is not a public road.
- Designing and building the Hagley museum building; paying local taxes and maintaining a "good neighbor" policy; initial funding for the museumKeywords: DuPont; DuPont stockholders; funding; Greenewalt, Crawford H., 1902-1993; Hagley Museum and library; Howard Hawthorne; J.W. McCoy; taxes; Teague, Walter Dorwin, 1883-1960; Tom GaryTranscript: Reed: J. W. and I worked in the Engineering Department with Howard Hawthorne, Tom Gary, who were strong supports for us as well as Frank Pedrick. Frank Pedrick was an architectural engineer and he did a lot of the drawings, and they in turn brought in people that we never knew about to work on this project. Somewhere around here is a penciled drawing proposal of the museum building. I don't know who did that, but some engineer did. We proceeded then to put the museum building in shape, actually not knowing what we were going to do with it as an operating museum. You remember, how you and J. W. and myself sat down in the Belin house and looked at each other and wondered what we were going to do with it. J. W. said, "Let's spend some money and get Walter Dorwin Teague."
Heacock: It was prior to that decision that I had started with Domenico Mortellito and we went to New York to talk to the Director of the Museum of Modern Art, Renee d'Harnancourt. We went to see Snaith.
Reed: We went to see Snaith and we also went to see Walter Dorwin Teague. And I think you were with us. The three of us were there. And then we finally settled on Teague and we started on our visitations over there, and I always say he more or less lighted the way, and from that time on we carried on ourselves.
Reed: We needed that little push. We didn't know how far really we could go.
Heacock: Luther, I remember when I arrived one of the things I was confronted with was a statement that a certain amount of money had been appropriated for glass cases. I don't know whether you remember that or not.
Reed: Yes, I remember that.
Heacock: $25,000 I think. You're going to have a museum, you're going to have to have lots of glass cases. So they appropriated $25,000 for glass cases. That was the Gary idea.
Wilkinson: Was there any thought of tearing the old building down and building a spanking new structure?
Reed: No, we wanted to maintain the antiquity just as far as we possibly could so there was a lot of thought given to restoring it to its original situation but we didn't have the money. We had Frank Pedrick examine the spire and he outlined where the old building was at one time. We found the gable lines and everything there, and we could have restored that steam tower but it would cost one raft of money.
Heacock: One of the stone masons that is working for us now reminded me of something I had forgotten. Remember there used to be a chimney right beside the tower and we debated for several weeks whether to spend a few hundred dollars to take that down and J. W. wasn't quite so sure we should do it, but it came down.
Reed: Well, you know the story from there on, as well as anybody.
Heacock: The idea about local taxes.
Reed: Mr. Copeland always had the idea that we should pay our local taxes and be a good citizen amongst other people, but then the Legal Department drew attention to the fact that it might endanger our tax position with the Federal government so that arrangements had to be made with the city government to maintain a tax-free position with them. I say city government, I should say the county government. That was readily obtained. So far as the Hagley Yard was concerned but not the Eleutherian Mills area. Now, I felt that the best policy would be to take what we could get and later on I approached them again. My argument was that a great part of the Eleutherian Mills property had become subject to public visitation since they were conducting parties through it, that such areas should be made tax free and that Mrs. Crowninshield be taxed only for that portion that she actually occupied. The outcome of this request was that she was taxed only for the residence and five acres of land. It was the biggest thing I ever did for Mrs. Crowninshield, the few paltry dollars she saved in taxes every year was like a million dollars to her.
Heacock - I do remember that there was a distinction made between her house and the immediate surrounding area and the rest of the property. Now, was title to the land transferred from her to the Foundation for everything except the house?
Reed: No, no absolute transfer as such.
Heacock: At some point there must have been...
Reed: There was a title. She deeded the property to us with a lifetime residency and full control of the property condition.
Heacock: So the title did pass to the Foundation.
Reed: The unfortunate part of this was that she thought she was going to get a beautiful tax deduction but in view of her age the Internal Revenue wouldn't allow it, so that she was quite disappointed as far as that feature was concerned. And you know that her will was never complete as far as her personal property was concerned. It didn't affect the real estate in any sense. Then we had the problem of insurance which had to be taken over and checked, and then the further relations with the city government, the water department particularly.
Heacock: There is a matter in Foundation financing that you can explain to us. I think it's a matter of general knowledge to a lot of people but I don't remember exactly how it happened. I believe the initial six million dollars was given to us by the DuPont Company and taken from various operating units by some formula.
Reed: You'll be hated forever for that by certain general managers. When money is spent in the DuPont Company some cost has to bear it so that it will have its natural effect on ultimate profits. And here's $6,000,000 coming out in one year, so in relation to gross sales, I think it was, they charged a proportion or part back to each department, and the general managers had to bear that as part of their cost over which they had no control.
Heacock: Who made that decision? Greenewalt?
Reed: Yes, Greenewalt made practically all the decisions.
Monigle: They could have funded the Foundation over a period of several years if they wanted.
Reed: No, it had to be done in a year. The comptrollers wouldn't allow that much held in suspense.
Heacock: I think since we are talking about this we should at this point mention the question that came up at a stockholders meeting. I was there and so were you.
Reed: I think that's one year you went with me.
Heacock: Mr. Gilbert stood up and made the statement, and you check me on this; I believe he took exception to the spending of six million dollars of Company money without the approval or concurrence or questioning of the stockholders. He said, "I do not object to the purpose for which it was spent..." He said, "I have always had a high regard for the public relations methods of the DuPont Company, but you should have consulted the stockholders."
Heacock: It was the method and not the purpose.
Reed: You know, it was one time he had something on them. And I had the Executive Committee out here one day and I was driving some of them back to the building and they admitted that they were absolutely wrong and they would never get caught in that position again. And you know, from that time on, Greenewalt's attitude toward this whole thing changed. He advised J. W. McCoy, "No more Company money. It's up to the family to carry it on from here." And there's no reason for more Company money. That one thing scared those fellows out of a year's growth. You know disgruntled stockholders could have sued the Company.
Wilkinson: How did he Greenewalt immediately answer Gilbert?
Reed: Well, as I remember it, he felt that the stockholders had a confidence in their Board of Directors. And the Board of Directors had the authority to spend an amount of that kind in recognition of what it meant to the Company. And Gilbert, having something, howled some more, but has since been quiet concerning it. You could never shut that fellow up and that's the way it rested. It sort of died.
Heacock: Well, I was very pleased to be present at that meeting.
Reed: I was scared that day. And so was the Executive Committee and they have been scared ever since. They would never do anything like that again.
Monigle: But they could always approach it so that the next time they would do it the way they should have done it the first time.
Reed: The thing that they would do now is either circularize the stockholders, or they would call a special meeting, or they would wait for the annual meeting. Now, we were up against this. The stockholders meeting was back in April and this thing had to be done before the end of December, 1952. There was no way to do it otherwise.
Monigle: The performance of the Foundation since that time has certainly given enough proof, and I think if they ever wanted to get money again they could do it very easily with the stockholders' permission this time.
Reed: Well, they're not going to ask them for it.
Heacock: I think that's fairly true.
Reed: Yes, they are soured on it and ever since then I could see Mr. Greenewalt's attitude change toward this organization. He's never mentioned it to me since in the number of times I have seen him.
Heacock: As far as I know he has never been out here except on occasions when he was brought out here for some special purpose. The Executive Committee came out once.
Reed: The last time he was out, he and I took Mrs. Alfred I. and conducted her around the project. She was a very agreeable woman. There was no follow-up on that visit. Greenewalt sort of dropped it from there on. I remember one question she asked. "How did Mrs. Crowninshield get this property in fee simple?"
- Charitable donations and the Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundations tax free status; building up a labor force; executing Louise du Pont Crowninshield's willKeywords: Crowninshield, Louise du Pont, 1877-1958; Du Pont, James Q. (James Quinn), 1902-1973; DuPont Public Relations; Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation; Lee, Maurice du Pont, 1885-1974; willsTranscript: Wilkinson: Mr. Reed, this requirement that the Foundation had to give $20,000 in its first year of its existence, how is it that that is not repeated year after year?
Reed: Well, I'll tell you. I think we had a very good lawyer in the Legal Department who had some very good friends in the Anti-Trust Division of the government, and they said if you do this now, this will show your charitable intent and they never asked us to repeat. That was just an arbitrary decision made by someone in Washington and he did it and forgot it.
Heacock: But I think the principle involved was that no Foundation can just set itself up, accumulate money and not do anything with it. And so the first year the grounds were not open to the public, income had been received and I think on the advice of the lawyer some contribution must be made to justify its tax-free charitable status. Now, after that the grounds were open. You remember that even when the building was under construction.
Reed: We could have argued that point a little bit. It wasn't open to the public except in a certain way. I was bringing groups of DuPont employees through this place before this thing ever started.
Heacock: Now you and J. Q. du Pont. When did he start bringing people through? Do you remember?
Reed: Well, he didn't. He never got into that phase of it until I dropped it.
Heacock: Well, when I came he would come out here from time to time and I remember he said, "You've ruined a lot of my stories," because his knowledge of history was based on tradition rather than research.
Reed: As all of us. Somebody repeated something and each person made it a little better. J. Q. This would have to go back to a long recitation which I will give to Norman later on follow-up but for good reasons I got mixed up in personnel work and I would bring in a certain number of plant supervisors and key employees from different plants all over the country every week, and part of their education and inspiration was to bring them through this area. And I can remember when we first started that Chick du Pont and I tried to get up through Hagley Yard and we couldn't get through for fallen trees. You can't imagine what this place was at one time and Copeland owned it at that time. But then I lectured in the Company for two years after I was in the Foundation, and then finally when they wouldn't assign other people for me to train, I just quit. And then Jimmy duPont took my place on that and it's about that time that he got into lecturing. But, of course Jimmy thought he ought to have the house as a home.
Heacock: I remember that too. I remember he volunteered.
Reed: That a du Pont should always live there.
Wilkinson: More recently Maurice du Pont Lee made a comment to me at the lunch table one day. "Are you going to find a place for James Q. du Pont when he retires?"
Reed: He was always interested in Jimmy. Always. Jimmy's had a rather unpleasant sort of home life and Lee always interested himself in the fact that they should keep Jimmy in Wilmington close to his home, and it never was done. Jimmy had this lecturing job for the Public Relations Department, and the worst thing we always had was to find a job for his wife. And for a long time I turned that down until the Library opened and then they were either forced or easy enough to take her on, and the experience turned out to be as we always said it would.
Heacock: Yes, that was foreordained. When the property was taken over, how many employees were taken over with it?
Reed: I always say that I started this thing alone with a half a lead pencil, and then I, to play safe in my offices, always had an elderly secretary. So I went to the Personnel Division and said, "Do you have anybody about ready to retired who wants a secretarial job?" So I found Edith McCall in the Pigments Department. They let her go two months before she would have retired. Then I inherited from Copeland, Sharpley and Grimes and Adrian Bess. Those three. That was the organization because the rest of it still belonged to Mrs. Crowninshield. But I had those three and from there we started. And Ed would go down to Second Street in the morning and pick up some people and bring them out here and through a process of turnover and firing we built up a labor force.
Heacock: And eventually when the Crowninshield property came, Chandler Becker and Walter Biddle had worked for her for a number of years.
Reed: Yes, Chandler worked for her for over 30 years and Walter for a representative term.
Heacock: And we took over a certain responsibility with the shepherd - the sheep herder. You remember Mr. Giroso?
Reed: Yes, the shepherd. That was my doing. First, we took over Chandler and any men who worked for Mrs. Crowninshield, giving them credit for service with the Foundation from their inception with Mrs. Crowninshield. We did that with Sharpley, Grimes and Bass. That's the only way Bass was able to retire when he did and that was several years ago. Then we had this man Giroso who was about 83 years old and we didn't know what in the world to do with him. But the will was in the process of settlement at the time and the executor paid off Chandler I know. I don't know whether there was a stipulation in the will or not. I understand not, but...
Heacock: There was a certain amount of money left to be divided.
Reed: But this fellow Giroso, they didn't have anything for him. And the executor asked, "Will you take care of him?". For reasons that we wanted to keep in the good graces of the executor, I quickly said, "Yes, we'll take care of him." So we retired him on half pay up until the time of his death and that fortunately wasn't too long in coming. He became ill. He lived in one of the houses on the hill and at the time it had to be torn down to build the Library. We had to remove two other employees also from similar houses. The executor came to me for another thing. He said, "Here, I've got a perfectly good truck on hand and will you give me $700 for it." And I said, "Sure," and I bought the truck very quickly. I did practically anything that the executor asked me to do except take care of one of the relatives up at Marblehead. Benny. He played on me to take care of him but I sidestepped that one, so that he took care of him down in Florida somehow or other.
Heacock: He was a bad egg.
Reed: I imagine he took care of him with the estate money, but we weren't bothered with him.
Heacock: I think perhaps at this point we ought to at least indicate for the record what the difficulty was with Mrs. Crowninshield's will. Since this does play a pretty important part.
Reed: For a long time we wondered how Mrs. Crowninshield's will read. And then through Chandler Becker I got the fact that her personal property was not disposed of in the will, and that Chandler had drawn her attention to this on several occasions, and she always promised that the next time she would go to Florida this would be taken care of. And then somehow or other I got into the conversation with her and she assured me that all of her personal property and all of the furniture and all of the tools and equipment on the property were to be the property of the Foundation and she would have it so included in her will. Well, that conversation was never witnessed but it is a true statement.
Heacock: Well, she made the same statement to me in the latter year or two. When she would buy something new in the house she would say, "I hope you like it because the Foundation is going to get it."
Reed: However, she just failed to do this and then her health failed and she passed away, and we were left here in a position where we were very fortunate to get anything. Now, I'll say this. I'm not a very heavy drinker but I had to out-drink that executor a couple of times to keep him...
Heacock: Wasn't his name Ward?
Reed: David Ward. I know I'd get up in that room of his down in the hotel...
Heacock: You were the only one around here that he ever got along with.
Reed: I took damn good care to cultivate him.
Heacock: The first knowledge I had of the absence in her will of the statement occurred the day after her funeral. At 7:00 in the morning her brother Henry Francis du Pont telephoned me and said, "Walter, what did Louise tell you that she was going to do with all of her furniture?" I said, "Except for three or four chairs which she was going to leave you, everything else was coming to the Foundation." He said, "Well, that's what she told me. I got the chairs but there is nothing mentioned in the will about anything else. Don't you think that's extraordinary?" "Yes, I do."
Reed: Damned extraordinary, but we knew it for a long time. We tried to correct it but you couldn't go to the woman and say, "Won't you please do this?" because she was so arbitrary she might say, "I won't do anything."
Heacock: She had made out a new will. She had had her nephew, Alfred Harrison, married to Harry du Pont's daughter, draw up her will, and then she had David Ward draw up another one, and I don't think - in fact I'm pretty sure, her brother was not aware of that fact. Now whether or not she added to her initial will I don't know.
Reed: I have another thought why Ward leaned toward us, because, as a lawyer in drawing up that will, he could have known that personal property was not disposed of. I think maybe he was a little conscience stricken.
Heacock: On one of his visits here I spent about an hour with him and he said, "Tell me everything Mrs. Crowninshield told you about the furniture." And I gave him an account of her various comments about the block of it and about the individual pieces. And then the two residual legatees were here and I made the same statement to them. These were Mr. Crowninshield's nieces, Mrs. Hammond and Mrs. Record.
Reed: Who was the woman who inquired about the silver?
Heacock: Mrs. Hammond.
Reed: Yes, that's the one I dealt with concerning any paintings that Mr. Crowninshield had done.
Heacock: Did I ever tell you that eventually I wrote her and told her that we had several paintings of his including paintings of the house at Marblehead that we would like to give her, and she never answered?
Reed: Yes, you mentioned that you had written to her but I didn't know whether you had ever gotten an answer.
Heacock: Yes, she never answered.
Reed: Well, I guess she thought the fight was too easy and we didn't want it.
Heacock: Well, incidentally, those paintings, some of them, went to the community house at Boca Grande that Mrs. Crowninshield had set up. Two or three of them we still own and they hang in George Rogers Taylor's apartment.
Reed: Was the silverware ever found that she inquired for? Maybe that was imagination.
Heacock: She left very little silver here. We have some knives but that's about all.
- Planning for the Hagley museum; acquisition of Walker's Mill; acquiring new property from the Carpenter family; acquiring new property from the DuPont familyKeywords: Charles Copeland; Du Pont, Henry Belin; Hagley Museum and Library; John Munroe; Soda House; Sunday School; Teague, Walter Dorwin, 1883-1960; Walker's MillTranscript: Wilkinson: Mr. Reed, going back to the planning for the Museum, in the first phase of thinking, was it planned more or less as a company- family type museum, and if so how did it come to be modified into something broader as we have done. Were there contrary points of view here?
Reed: Well, that's a difficult question to answer. Frankly, in the very beginning I don't think anybody had much idea of what form the Museum should take except that it should not take the form of the original Company museum, which was set up by Mr. Charles Copeland. J. W. had some ideas of what the Museum might be. Remember he talked about a map from the very beginning, since he saw a map out on the west coast of one of the valleys there, and he always had this idea of a map. He had the idea of Company history, then he had the idea of flour milling because he had dealt with Teague during the 1939 World's Fair in New York where Teague designed the company's exhibit at that time and he knew that Teague had written some books on flour milling on the Brandywine, so it was from there a definite plan emerged.
Monigle: What about John Munroe's early thoughts on the Foundation. Wasn't he approached for some opinion?
Reed: Not very much. I had John Munroe out here the first time I ever met him and walked through the place before anything was done at all. John helped us to recruit some people because I approached John as to where we might get a historian to take this work over.
Monigle: I thought I've seen a report that Dr. Munroe wrote that gave some pretty wide opinion of what we could do.
Reed: He never wrote them to me.
Heacock: He wrote a letter, that's all I remember seeing, indicating some interest.
Reed: But Munroe did give us some leads where we might recruit experienced help. I know we got your lead and a couple more.
Monigle: He sent you me too.
Reed: Yes, I heard of you and another man, Whiteside. We had him up. I interviewed him. Then the next job I did I wrote you and had you come to Wilmington. Later I interviewed you at Williamsburg.
Wilkinson: There was no position taken by anybody then that this should remain a tight, closed limited type of thing.
Reed: Well, what we did, and Walter will remember, when Teague made his suggestions, they were modified as to what we thought of them, then they were taken to the Executive Department of the DuPont Company for their information.
Heacock: Before Teague entered the picture the story line was prepared.
Reed: Well, yes, there was a story line.
Heacock: And the remark which J. W. made to me I remember quite well, as he read the story line his comment was, "I don't think this is exactly what we had in mind but we think we like it." And that was the extent of his enthusiasm. But it was on the basis of the story line that Teague was approached.
Monigle: Who composed the story line?
Heacock: I did.
Reed: He did.
Heacock: And it was on the basis of that, that Teague reacted and said he would be interested.
Reed: There is one thing I think it would be nice to put on record here and that is the acquisition of Walker's Mill.
Heacock: Yes, right, right, and you played a decisive role there. I think this is quite important. When the Foundation started it did not own that part of the property across the Brandywine and without it I don't know how we could have operated, so give us the background.
Reed: I had heard that the Experimental Station of the DuPont Company used it as a storehouse for spare parts and equipment. They set up some semi-mill process or other, and after it served its purpose they would tear it down and store the equipment, but it was too inconvenient to reach there and they wanted to build a store house more centrally located, and they were going to abandon Walker's Mill. Before that, however, I was going through Hagley Yard one day and I saw them dumping a whole lot of rock and fill down against the back of Walker's Mill and I immediately went to Mr. Copeland and reported this and Copeland had it stopped. Then the question came up as to what was the disposition of it since they were going to abandon it and the Delaware Power and Light Company wanted to put up a power station over there and they wanted to acquire it. And I raised the big question, we needed this thing.
Monigle: Is that the ugly thing they built just downstream?
Reed: Downstream, yes.
Monigle: Right on the other side of the bridge.
Reed: We needed that place for storage, expansion, congregation and shops and of course J. W. and I differed on it terribly. He said he would tear it down, he wouldn't have anything to do with it. But I went over his head and got to Copeland again and Copeland used his influence then with the Experimental Station to donate it to the Foundation including the two banks of houses. Well, the thing was a terrible mess. It was dirty, it had the remains of the old textile mills in it, the walls were covered with piping, and the floors were bad, and then after we got the thing and I saw what we were up against we weren't in position to put it in shape and again I used my influence with various people in the Company and got $25,000 to put it in shape.
Heacock: A new roof.
Reed: A new roof - it meant tearing out all that old piping, repairing the floors, and painting the whole thing inside and putting it in the condition about that it is in at the present time so that to my mind it was an important acquisition.
Wilkinson: Was that $25,000 charged against gross sales?
Reed: Oh, it got back to the departments. In other words for a long time I had to use my influence with various people I knew to keep this place going because we were always very tight so far as money was concerned and I got the reputation if I opened a door in a man's office in the DuPont Company it was, "Well, what do you want now?" and that was very largely true. The race gates down at the lower dam were in very bad shape and I got the Secretary's Department to donate enough money to get those in shape. I can't recall the little donations I picked up which in the aggregate were very helpful from around the Company.
Wilkinson: From your remarks Mr. Reed I gather that in the Company executive echelon and in the family that possibly Copeland stood behind this most resolutely.
Reed: Copeland stood behind it very enthusiastically so that I still say he was a greater power behind this movement than we know about. Because anything I went to Copeland for, except once, we got. Mr. P.S. du Pont had passed away and we were in need of money and I got into Copeland's office one day and I said, "You may tell me now that this is none of my business but I'm going to make it so for the time being, and you can throw me out afterwards." So I said, "If Mr. P.S. du Pont had lived, with the enthusiasm and help that he had to build this thing up, and now he leaves a fortune to a Foundation that has no connection with ourselves except that it is the personality of Pierre du Pont, I'm sure that he would have supported us rather liberally and I feel that the Longwood Foundation should do the same thing now." And you know, Copeland, he just looked at me, and didn't say a damn word. I backed toward the door.
Heacock: He didn't forget that. The battle isn't lost.
Reed: I opened the gates. I don't think he would admit that I was right. So he just looked at me.
Wilkinson: I would think this building is in part a result of something of that kind.
Reed: Well, he was very open with that. What swayed him in that was the historic value of that building (Walker's Mill), the antiquity of it and he didn't want to see it destroyed and our suggestion was a thing that would perpetuate it and we could never have got along - remember we set up a little shop in the tannery building.
Heacock: That's right. We made the first model of the Birkenhead Mill.
Reed: That's where we started Harry Simpson. Harry Simpson's best job up to that time was to repair my lawn mower. And mow my lawn.
Heacock: He moved from Maintenance up to Exhibits Lab in that Building and we've come a long way since then.
Reed: But it was only by rather far seeing imagination that we did these things. And I just remarked to Grace Ottey upstairs that a person does a thing today and it's all in the day's work and you do something else tomorrow, and finally you have created something but there is no record of it. In other words, it's what you were supposed to do.
Heacock: At some point, the preliminary discussion for the consolidation for the Longwood Library and ours probably should be gone into.
Reed: That should be. It was proposed at one time and when we hesitated in accepting it, it was apparently withdrawn.
Heacock: Yes, you remember I was called in one day and asked "What would you do if Longwood gave you a library?" And I drew up a report for consolidation, and Copeland said, "That makes sense; that's what we think we'll do and we'll talk a little bit later about it." And the next thing I knew they had employed Charlie David. But his initial assignment at Longwood was to get the books in order and it developed and grew, and then they began to think of an operation there and no one ever bothered to tell me that this offer was dead or had been withdrawn.
Reed: No one knew. We were all in the same position as you were.
Heacock: So it went on for several years.
Reed: But if that building out there had been of a structure of sufficient strength we would never have gotten it here.
Heacock: Charlie was fighting for the job out there.
Reed: Yes, Charlie was fighting for the job out there, and when they put in engineers to see whether the second story would take book stacks, it was discovered that it just wasn't built for that purpose. There is one thing we better put in here. The approach made by the Carpenter estate concerning the future expansion of these grounds.
Heacock: Would you comment about that?
Reed: At one time Avery Draper came to Kimball and said that they were trying to build up some outlook as to the disposition of the Carpenter estate in the event that Mrs. Carpenter should pass away. He said he would like us to look over the grounds and give him an idea what the Foundation would want so far as the historical area offered. Kimball, Phil Burnham and I went over there and we were told that the one house in the extreme end was out of bounds, so we staked out what was the old magazine area, the soda house and the charcoal house; that is over there and brought it around to a point where we thought we were not being extravagant in our wants and it would entail a historic area which was built upon and used. And that has all been put on the blueprint which I did myself, outlined it, and when I left here is was very carefully put in Kimball's hands. And I don't know whether Kimball put it in your hands or not, but it is a valuable paper.
Heacock: I don't think I have seen it.
Reed: I think we ought to search the files to find that.
Heacock: All right. I shall ask Dora Mae to get on the track of it. There were no letters exchanged with Draper, were there?
Reed: No, it was shown to Draper and I think a copy of this was given to Draper.
Heacock: Well, we can certainly check the files on that.
Reed: Yes, that's going to be an important thing one day. Now that doesn't say that they are going to give it to us but they have considered us.
Heacock: There is no similar agreement with the Deans.
Reed: No, the only agreement ever made concerning the Dean property was by Simpson Dean to J. W. McCoy and I, who said that in the long run I don't see anything to do with that property but to give it to the Foundation because my children could not afford to carry it on.
Heacock: Well, as you may know, he doesn't own it. He only has a life right. The title is in the name of his son, and his son's wife says she won't live there.
Monigle: And the daughter just a few months ago was out here and quizzed some of us whether the Foundation would be interested in the house, and she thought it should go there, and she thought Jimmy might be of the same mind.
Reed: Well, I wouldn't be at all surprised if one day it didn't fall into your hands. But what are you going to do with it?
Monigle: We'll figure out something.
Reed: I'll tell you there's another thing hanging fire with H.B. du Pont, and that's the Sunday School building.
Heacock: Well, I feel we'll get that.
Reed: You'll get it eventually but he certainly is tight fisted on it now.
Heacock: We can wait. You know he owns 30 or 40 acres up behind that building. I didn't realize it was so large.
Reed: At one time we staked out what we would like to have eventually which would run us a straight line over to the Dean property. Because we didn't want a building development to occur up on the hill there.
Heacock: We are in the process of reopening this whole issue because that's exactly what we want to do, to run a line from Dean's across...
Reed: Well, there's something in your files on that. Very definitely. Because I did that job personally.
Wilkinson: As you know the two Seitz sisters were very close to H. B. 's mother.
Reed: Yes, they are very close.
Wilkinson: Personal tie here.
Reed: Yes, they were always a thorn in my side, for a long time.