Shelby in Cleveland County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
O. Max Gardner
Erected 2007 by North Carolina Office of Archives and History. (Marker Number O-27.)
Location. 35° 17.535′ N, 81° 32.79′ 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. Touch 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. Thomas Dixon Jr. (a few steps from this marker); W. J. Cash (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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shelby.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Webbley Marker, near O. Max Gardner's home from 1911
Also see . . .
1. O. Max Gardner web site. (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.)
2. Max Gardner III web site. Contains additional info on O. Max Gardner (Submitted on October 22, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.)
1. O. Max Gardner from North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program site
Oliver Max Gardner, whose political organization dominated state politics for a generation, took office only months before the stock market crash of 1929 and responded to the economic crisis with retrenchment and centralization of governmental functions. Like his brother-in-law Clyde R. Hoey part of the “Shelby Dynasty” (a term Gardner disliked), the future governor was born on March 22, 1882 in the Cleveland County town. His father, Oliver Perry Gardner, was a physician, legislator, and Confederate veteran. His mother, the former Margaret Young, died when Max, the youngest of twelve, was ten years old so he was raised by his sisters. In 1900 Max Gardner enrolled at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (present North Carolina State University) and in 1906 he studied law at the University of North Carolina.
In 1910 Gardner was elected to the state senate and four years later was returned for a second term, during which he served as president pro tem. In 1916, the year Thomas W. Bickett was elected governor, Gardner was elected lieutenant governor. In 1920 Gardner entered the race to be Bickettís successor. In the first primary Robert N. Page was eliminated but in the second Cameron Morrison, with the backing of the political machine of Senator Furnifold Simmons, defeated Gardner. The Shelby attorney returned to his law practice and to his farm. With partner O. M. Mull he founded Cleveland Cloth Mill. Gardner remained active in party politics and in 1928 was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. He defeated Republican Herbert F. Seawell handily in the fall.
For eight years, under the administrations of Cameron Morrison and Angus W. McLean, the state had witnessed relative prosperity. The onset of the Depression presented Governor Gardner with unforeseen challenges. In 1930 he authorized a study of state government by the Brookings Institution which recommended a massive shift of power from county courthouses to Raleigh
By 1933 Gardner had in place a political organization to rival that of Senator Simmons, who had been defeated in 1930. The next four governors came to office with Gardnerís backing. In 1933 Gardner moved his law practice to Washington, D.C. Gardner financially supported Boiling Springs Junior College which in 1942
— Submitted October 22, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Categories. • Notable Persons • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 22, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,463 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 22, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.