North Greenville College Executive Director of Development Mike Carlton stated, “We are excited to report that Paul and Mildred Wood of Tigerville, SC, have made a contribution of $50,000 to be used in the upgrading and renovation of Neves Dining Hall.”
Paul Wood was born and reared in Tigerville. He attended North Greenville Baptist Academy in 1928 and graduated in 1932.
He commented, “In those days there were few high schools across the country. Mountain View High School was the closest and it would have been a pretty long walk. My mother enrolled me at North Greenville Baptist Academy. She paid my tuition with milk, butter, and eggs,” As he explained, North Greenville did not have the dairy farm until later years and needed supplies to provide food for the students on campus. He fondly remembers Miss Essie Taylor as the chief cook and dietician.
Upon graduation from the Academy, he enrolled at Mars Hill College. At Mars Hill, he worked as a janitor in addition to his studies. He graduate in 1934 and relates that upon his graduation from high school and college, his mother had no money available for a class ring. He recalls that this was true for most people in his class as the ring cost $10. A class ring was an extravagance not even considered.
After leaving Mars Hill, he came home to Tigerville and went to work at Piedmont Print Works for $10 per week. He recalls that putting in 52 hours per week was difficult because of his farming responsibilities at home. At two to three years, his pay was raised to almost $13 per week and his hours were reduced somewhat.
A few years later, Pralo Wood decided to get out of the store business and Paul decided to take over Wood’s Store, which he ran for 20 years.
Farming has always been his passion. He tried his hand at raising cotton many years ago, but found that it was a great deal of work for a small profit. He raised cattle and stated that he always has two or three jobs going at once.
Mildred Meares of Nichols, SC, was in college at Mars Hill with Pralo (Paul’s brother) and his wife, Helen. They asked Mildred to apply for a teaching position at Tigerville upon graduation and teach at Tigerville Elementary. She received a job at the school, moved to Tigerville, met Paul Wood, and they were married in 1939.
Mrs. Wood taught at Tigerville Elementary, Highland Elementary, and Callahan Elementary. She retired from teaching in 1974 after over 35 years in the classroom.
Because of some health problems, Mrs. Wood has had difficulty for some years moving around. Mr. Wood reports that for the past 15 years, he and Mrs. Wood have eaten every day in the North Greenville College Dining Hall, provided it was open. Recently, Mrs. Wood has been confined to the home and unable to join him, so Mr. Wood can been seen each day entering the dining hall with his picnic basket. He gets the food and returns home so that he and Mrs. Wood can share their meal together.
Mr. and Mrs. Wood have one son, John, of Greenville. They are members of Tigerville Baptist Church.
Printed in the September 1996 issue of the North Greenville College Alumni Newsletter.