Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Philpott, Harvey Cloyd

by David Calep Wright III, 1994

6 Apr. 1909–19 Aug. 1961

A photograph of lieutenant governor Harvey Cloyd Philpott. Image from Flickr user State Archives of North Carolina.Harvey Cloyd Philpott, manufacturer, legislator, and lieutenant governor, was born in Bassett, Va., the son of Benjamin Cabell, Sr., and Daisy Hundley Philpott. The family moved to Lexington, N.C., in 1920, when the elder Philpott purchased a bankrupt furniture plant. As a young man, Cloyd helped his father in the family business and attended Lexington High School. He also attended Eastman Business College and was graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1929. Entering the furniture business, he became president and chairman of the board of the United Furniture Corporation and of the Philpott Furniture Corporation of Lexington. As a member of the Southern Furniture Manufacturer's Association, he served a term as its president. In 1956 he was named Furniture Man of the Year at the American Furniture Mart.

Philpott once stated that his interest in politics began with his election in 1934 to the Lexington School Board, where he served until 1945; he was chairman of the board from 1943 to 1945. During all of these years he demonstrated concern for the promotion of education throughout the state. He was a trustee of Wake Forest College and chairman of the Committee of One Hundred for the development of Campbell College.

During the period 1945–49 he was mayor of Lexington and from 1949 to 1956 he was a member of the Lexington Utilities Committee. He also served on the board of directors of the Commercial Bank of Lexington and the Mutual Savings and Loan Association in Lexington. In 1953 he was elected to the state house of representatives, in which he served until 1959. In the house he was a member of the Pearsall Committee and chairman (1958) of the Commission on the Reorganization of State Government. Though conscious of the business interests in the state, Philpott was not a strict conservative and was known in the General Assembly as a man who voted his convictions. He was instrumental in the enactment of the state minimum wage law, though business urged its defeat.

In November 1960 Philpott was elected lieutenant governor, defeating the Republican candidate by more than 230,000 votes. He died in office at age fifty-two and was buried in Forest Hill Memorial Park, Lexington.

In 1931 Philpott married Frances Adelaide Thompson of Lexington, and they became the parents of two daughters, Kathleen (Mrs. Harry V. Anderson, Jr.) and Betty Joe, and a son, Harvey Cloyd, Jr.


Greensboro Daily News, 20–22 Aug. 1961.

North Carolina Baptist State Convention Minutes (1961).

North Carolina Manual (1959).

William S. Powell, ed., North Carolina Lives (1962).

Raleigh News and Observer, 20–22 Aug. 1961.

We the People of North Carolina, September 1961.

Who Was Who in America (1968).

Additional Resources:

"H. Cloyd Philpott." Annual of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina One Hundred Thirty-FirstAnnual Session. [Henderson, N.C.?]: The Convention. 1962.  (accessed October 25, 2013).

North Carolina General Assembly. "A Joint Resolution Honoring the Memory of Harvey Cloyd Philpott, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina." Session laws and resolutions passed by the General Assembly [1963]. Charlotte [N.C.]: Observer Print. House. 1963. (accessed October 1, 2013).

Covington, Howard E., and  Ellis, Marion A. Terry Sanford: Politics, Progress, and Outrageous Ambitions. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. 1999. 248-272. (accessed October 1, 2013).

Image Credits:

State Archives of North Carolina. "PhC_14_SenComp_1961_23300_Philpott." Photograph. February 21, 2013. Flickr, (accessed October 1, 2013).

Origin - location: