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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shelby in Cleveland County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

W. J. Cash

1900-1941

 
 
W. J. Cash Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Sean Nix, October 22, 2009
1. W. J. Cash Marker
Inscription. Author of The Mind of the South. Editor & journalist. His grave is located 1600 ft. N.
 
Erected 1982 by Division of Archives and History. (Marker Number O-71.)
 
Location. 35° 17.536′ N, 81° 32.796′ W. Marker is in Shelby, North Carolina, in Cleveland County. Marker is at the intersection of West Marion Street and North Martin Sreet, on the right when traveling west on West Marion Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shelby NC 28150, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. O. Max Gardner (a few steps from this marker); Thomas Dixon Jr. (a few steps from this marker); Cleveland County Civil War Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cleveland County World War I Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cleveland County Korean and Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cleveland County World War II Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Plato Durham (approx. 0.4 miles away); Webbley (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Shelby.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia entry for W.J. Cash. (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.)
 
Additional comments.
Sunset Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Michael Sean Nix, October 22, 2009
2. Sunset Cemetery
W.J. Cash burial ground.

1. W. J. Cash from North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program site
Wilbur Joseph Cash, author of The Mind of the South, was born in South Carolina on May 2, 1900, as Joseph Wilbur Cash. (Cash later reversed the order of his given names and primarily used only his initials.) He was the oldest of John William and Nannie Hamrick Cash’s four children. When he was twelve years old, Cash’s family moved to Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where he attended Boiling Springs High School, delivering the commencement address in 1917. Following graduation he worked odd jobs until, in 1918, he succumbed to his father’s wishes and attended Wofford College. After one year there, he transferred to Valparaiso University for a short time. In 1920 he entered Wake Forest College, where he served as associate editor of the student newspaper his senior year. Cash graduated from Wake Forest in 1922 and continued in law school there for one year, then taught school for three years before determining that he would pursue journalism.

Between 1923 and the summer of 1927, W. J. Cash worked for the Charlotte Observer, Chicago Post, and Charlotte News, successively. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, he left home to bicycle through Europe. Upon returning, he edited Shelby’s semiweekly Cleveland Press. Quitting in 1929 to freelance, Cash penned an article,
Sunset Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Michael Sean Nix, October 22, 2009
3. Sunset Cemetery
W.J. Cash burial ground.
called “The Mind of the South,” that was brought to the attention of New York publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Knopf asked Cash to develop a manuscript proposal based on the article. Although he submitted the work in 1930, another breakdown placed Cash in a Charlotte hospital for several months, after which time he was told to discontinue writing.

In 1932, however, Cash began work on The Mind of the South in the back room of his aunt’s Boiling Springs post office. He returned to the Charlotte News in 1937 as an editorial writer, still working on his manuscript as time allowed. Completed in July 1940 and published in February 1941, The Mind of the South is considered to be a classic work of history and social criticism. The book won the Mayflower Cup that year.

W. J. Cash married Mary Ross Northrop on December 25, 1940 and soon after left for Mexico City where he planned to write a novel. Once there he became delusional, and on July 1, 1941, he was found dead, hanging by his necktie from the bathroom door of a hotel room. His ashes were returned to Shelby where they were interred at Sunset Cemetery. Author Thomas Dixon is buried nearby.
    — Submitted October 22, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicNotable Persons
 
W. J. Cash Grave image. Click for full size.
By Michael Sean Nix, October 22, 2009
4. W. J. Cash Grave
W. J. Cash Grave image. Click for full size.
By Michael Sean Nix, October 22, 2009
5. W. J. Cash Grave
W. J. Cash image. Click for full size.
6. W. J. Cash
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,673 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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