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Cicero P. Yow Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-337

Scope and Contents

Cicero Yow worked as the attorney for the City of Wilmington for 25 years and served in the North Carolina senate for several terms representing the 9th district. These papers primarily contain Yow's personal and business correspondence from 1942 to 1969 and document the daily interactions of a member of Wilmington's upper middle class during the 1950s and 1960s. While much of the correspondence is comprised of invitations and acknowledgment or congratulatory letters, it nevertheless documents Yow's extensive network of elected officials at the local, state, and judicial levels. The correspondence also illustrates the close familial relationships that existed between members of the family of Yow's wife, Elizabeth Hardwicke Yow, who was the great niece of Champion McDowell Davis, President of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. Correspondents and topics of significance have been noted in each file.

These papers also contain a variety of documents pertaining to Yow's personal life and include two land surveys of the Pembroke Jones and Sarah Walters estate.


  • Creation: 1928-1969


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, all rights reserved (subject to exceptions). Certain items in this collection were conveyed to UNCW without the accompanying copyright. Where the donor did not convey copyright to UNCW, copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

Cicero Preston Yow was born in Randolph County on December 24, 1914, the son of Amos H. Yow and Cassie Langley Yow. He was one of seven children, six boys and one girl. After the death of Yow's father in 1918, the family moved to Wilmington, where Yow attended grammar and high school.

Yow graduated of Wake Forest College and Wake Forest Law School, receiving his LLB degree in 1942. He was selected to appear in the 1941-1942 edition of "Who's Who Among Students in American Universites and Colleges" and served a term as President of Wake Forest Law School. Yow served in the Air Force during World War II from 1942-1943. After being honorably discharged, he returned to Wilmington to practice law with his older brother, Edgar L. Yow. During the War, Edgar Yow was elected Mayor of Wilmington and served one term.

Yow served as Solicitor for New Hanover County from 1948 until 1952 and then took the position of First Assistant to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District, Charles P. Green. He served in this capacity until 1954, when he returned to the practice of law in Wilmington and was named Attorney for New Hanover County. In 1955, Yow became Attorney for the City of Wilmington and held this position for 25 years. He was also elected to the North Carolina State Senate from the 9th District for the first time in 1955 and served terms through 1966.

Yow married Elizabeth (Libber) Hardwicke in 1948 and adopted Elizabeth Nixon (Nickie) Yow in 1958. He was a communicant of St. John's Episcopal Church and was a member of the Cape Fear Country Club, the Surf Club, and a former member of the Cape Fear Men's Club. The Yow family owned a home on East Charlotte Street in Wrightsville Beach in addition to their home in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Wilmington.

For a long period of time, both Yow's mother-in-law (Mary Nixon Darden Hardwicke) and her mother (Elizabeth "Bessie" Coles Davis Darden) lived with the Yows. Libber's family was well connected in their own right, including her great-uncle, Champion McDowell Davis, President of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad.


3 Containers (Contains 2 document boxes and 1 tube)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Douglas Fox in 2016.

Cicero P. Yow Papers
Rebecca Baugnon
2020 May 26
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository