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MC 00080 Guide to the Charles Pearson Papers, circa 1905-circa 1987

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Pearson, Charles, 1875-1966


2.2 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

1 archival box, 1 carton, 1 tube


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff external link.



Acquisitions Information

Gift of Lillian Pearson Brinton, 1975-1987.


Processed by: Will Andersen, 2006 September;machine-readable finding aid created by: Will Andersen, 2006 September


2011 December, Finding aid updated with addition to the collection by Cathy Dorin-Black, 2011 December

Scope and Content Note

The Charles Pearson Papers consist of biographical materials, professional materials, and photographs documenting Pearson's career as a civil engineer. Biographical materials include reminiscences by Pearson about his family and childhood, student days at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (later North Carolina State University), and career. Professional materials include curricula vitae from the first four decades of Pearson's work history, and letters of reference for Pearson from 1930 to 1932. Two photograph albums contain pictures mostly of highway bridges and railroad bridges being built in North Carolina and Georgia, circa 1908-1909 and 1921-1923, as well as the construction of a water reservoir in North Carolina, circa 1935. Other photographs include a sewage treatment plant in Alabama under construction in 1948.

Biographical Note

Charles A. Pearson was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on 1875 October 24. His father, Charles William Pearson, was a nephew of Richmond Mumford Pearson, who was chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1859 to 1878. Pearson's father was also a nephew of John Willis Ellis, who was governor of North Carolina from 1859 to 1861. Pearson's mother, Susan Bruce Shepard Pearson, was a niece of James Green Martin, who served as a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army and as adjutant general of North Carolina during the Civil War. Pearson's first wife, Margaret Bryan Pearson, was a granddaughter of John Heritage Bryan, who was a member of the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina from 1825 to 1829.

Pearson graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering from the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (later North Carolina State University) in 1894. His work history as a civil engineer was extensive. From 1895 to 1901, he was a partner in the architectural firm of Pearson & Ashe in Raleigh, North Carolina. Pearson then worked for various engineering firms, contractors, and railroad companies in North Carolina and throughout the South until 1934. During those years, he supervised the construction of many highway and railroad bridges, and other civil engineering projects. From 1934 to 1948, Pearson worked for the firm of William C. Olsen in Raleigh, supervising the building of water and sewage treatment projects in various towns in the state. He then worked for J. N. Pease & Company in Charlotte, North Carolina from 1950 to 1956, when he retired at the age of 81. Pearson died in Charlotte on 1966 July 26.

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, fax, or our web form.


Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Pearson Papers, MC 80, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Access to Collection

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

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