Asheville Citizen, April 25, 1954



Sadie Smathers Patton

Sadie Smathers Patton (1886 – 1975) of Hendersonville won the first annual award in 1954 for her contributions in the preservation of the history of this part of the state. “For more than a quarter of a century, Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton has been a tireless and discriminating student of the history of Western North Carolina. Her research has been extensive, painstaking and accurate and have resulted in the accumulation of a vast amount of truly invaluable information about the past of this section. She has incorporated some of the fruits of her scholarly quests in published volumes of genuine and permanent worth as local histories. Her unpublished writings contain much material which will be of inestimable value to other historians. Mrs. Patton’s most important published work is perhaps “The Story of Henderson County.” It is a vivid, moving and scholarly story of her county from its earliest days. Only less important is “Sketches of Polk County.” In both of these county histories, she has written with genuine admiration for the people whose stories she recounts and with a deep knowledge of their pasts. Mrs. Patton has never been willing to restrict her interests and energies to pouring over musty records. For many years, she has been an active member of the State Department of Archives and History, highly respected by her associates for her sound counsel and for her achievements as a historian. Through the many patriotic and other organizations with which she has been associated, she has interested herself in fostering a deeper knowledge of the history of this section and in seeing to it that places of historical importance were appropriately marked. She has been an interested and influential director of the WNCHA. In both quality and scope, Mrs. Patton’s contributions to the preservation of the history of Western North Carolina have been truly outstanding and fully deserve signal recognition by the WNCHA.”