Monroe Shigley Interview Was Submitted by Howard Hewett - September 5, 2014
Howard Hewett was born in 1939 in Wilmington. His family's home was located just outside of the Fort Fisher gates until his family moved to Freeport Texas in 1956.
His father Curtis, worked on clearing the land and building the Ethyl Dow plant in Kure Beach starting in 1933. When the plant started operations, he became a plant operator, then shift foreman, plant foreman and later Supervisor. After the war when the demand lessened for ethylene dibromide, the plant was mothballed but it was kept in semi-running condition. Curtis Hewett maintained his role as supervisor of the remaining crew, eventually supervising the closing down of the Ethyl Dow plant in Kure Beach.
Howard Hewett has been living in Freeport since his family moved there in 1956. Recently, he began submitting articles to the Federal Point History Center, detailing his youth experiences in Fort Fisher. See here, here, and here.
Recommended background information on Ethyl Dow in Kure:
What is the Ethyl-Dow Plant? - Ben Steelman, Wilmington StarNews
History of the Ethyl Dow Plant (YouTube video 6:58) - Produced by Johnny Reinhold
Note: All of the photos in this post were taken about 80 years ago. ]
On Sept. 5, 2014, Howard Hewett wrote:
This oral history is an interview with Monroe Shigley. He’s one of the first technical people at the Ethyl Dow plant at Kure Beach.
In two of the digital photos that I submitted, showing Ethyl Dow labs, Monroe Shigley is the center person. You may wonder how I knew that fact. As you read the document, Shigley makes mention on a one year old daughter. She was born in James Walker Hospital in 1940 and was named Mary Monroe Shigley.
I was also born in James Walker in late 1939. Our paths did not cross until 1956 when we were attending the same high school and were in the same graduation class. We have been friends for years. We communicate regularly, so I sent her this document & photos that I am sending you for her review. She identified her dad. [Editor: We thank Mary Monroe Shigley Carhart for providing these photos of her parents.]
This oral history of the Ethyl Dow Company at Kure Beach, NC is an excerpt from an interview of Monroe Shigley after he retired from the Dow Chemical Co.
He was one of the key people from the beginning at Federal Point Ethyl Dow Kure Beach plant. He arrived at the Kure Beach plant in 1933 from Midland, MI and became Plant Manager from 1936 to 1941. This is not just a technical history but shows his great insights, personal reflections and stories, of a point in time on the Federal Point peninsula.
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