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Brady Cromer Jefcoat was born June 12, 1916 in Orangeburg County South Carolina to proud parents Olen Cromer Jefcoat and Ocie Belle Nettles Jefcoat. They lived on a farm near the town where Brady's father Olen worked as a share cropper. In 1922 when Brady was a young lad of six years of age the family experienced a severe crop failure, causing the family to relocate to a more preferable climate. So they moved to a farm near Middlesex North Carolina. Olen Jefcoat helped build the Bell Tower at what is now North Carolina State University!

 

At age sixteen Brady was badly injured in a car accident while returning from a fishing trip with his father. Young Brady sustained several severe injuries to his right arm and shoulder. A year long ordeal of trying to heal the arm, in the end Brady was left with a drawn right hand!

 

As sad as the misfortune was it did help shape a more self reliant individual and ne who learned to do more with his left hand than most people can with two! In high school Brady earned money by cleaning out wells for residents of Raleigh. He would be lowered into the well and scrape mud and debris that would settle there, for this he earned a respectable $5.00 for a job "well" done! Brady Jefcoat graduated high school at the latter end of the Great Depression, so finding jobs was very difficult as it was and being made more so by having a crippled hand. However showing determination and grit Brady landed a job at a grocery store for $8.00 per week. Other jobs Brady had over the years included working for Mr. E.A. Lewis in the North Carolina School Depository. Mr. Lewis, having owned over 100 homes in Raleigh during that time took advantage of Brady's carpentry and masonry experience and put him to work doing repairs and construction jobs. E.A. Lewis was not only a mentor but a life long friend as well! Jefcoat learned much from his friend including the fine art of investing. Brady followed Lewis's example and began to accumulate rental property for himself.

 

Brady Jefcoat became acquainted with North Carolina University through work and construction from the University and even built homes for some of the professors and administrators.  Brady also did construction for NC State at their farm campus. He gained a reputation as an expert builder. To his credit as a builder Jefcoat built 20 units at the famous Plantation Inn, which at the time was considered the finest Motel in Raleigh! World War Two caused a building supply shortage so Brady took a job with Trail Ways Bus Co. and because of his skill as a welder he was quickly promoted to assistant foreman!

 

In July of 1952 Brady Jefcoat  after a lengthy courtship of 17 years married the love of his life, Lillian Finch Newsome. The two had met at a party during his senior year in high school. Throughout most of his marriage Jefcoat was a workaholic and would work day and night until another fateful moment altered his life again. Preparing for church on a Sunday morning Brady began to blackout. He was rushed to Rex Hospital where it was concluded that Brady was suffering from a nerve condition! He was then referred to John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. His recovery took two years, during which time he "learned how to work without worrying"! In 1969 Brady started building the home of Lillian's dreams on land owned by her family near the famous Lake Wheeler. She must have been able to see into the future and saw Brady's future as a collector, for she warned Brady not bring that "old stuff" into her new house! The house was completed  in 1971. Jefcoat created a beautiful lake by damming up a ravine that ran behind their home.

The Brady C Jefcoat Story

A Life of Love and Collecting turned into a Treasured Museum

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