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Wechter, Nell Carolyn Wise

by William S. Powell, 1996

6 Aug. 1913–20 June 1989

Nell Wechter. Image courtesy of UNC Press. Nell Carolyn Wise Wechter, teacher and writer, was born at Stumpy Point, Dare County, the daughter of Enoch Raymond, a fisherman, and Edith Casey Best Wise. She was graduated from East Carolina College in 1951 and received a master's degree from both her alma mater and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. From 1933 until her retirement in 1964 she taught in the public schools of the state.

A free-lance feature writer for North Carolina newspapers between 1943 and 1968, she also was associate editor of the Hyde County Herald at Swan Quarter during the period 1948–50. In 1972 she taught creative writing and English at the College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City. Her first novel, The Romance of Juniper River, appeared in 1937. She wrote for young people as well as adults, notably Taffy of Torpedo Junction (1957), Betsy Dowdy's Ride (1960), and The Mighty Midgetts of Chicamcomico (1974). Mrs. Wechter won numerous awards for her books, including those offered by the American Association of University Women and the Catholic Children's Book Club of America.

In 1943 she married Robert William Wechter, of Madison, Wis., a naval officer stationed on North Carolina's Outer Banks. They were the parents of a daughter, Marcia. Mrs. Wechter was a member of the Methodist church.


Contemporary Authors, vol. 57–60 (1976).

Greensboro News and Record, 22 June 1989.

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

Raleigh News and Observer, 21, 27 June 1989.

Additional Resources:

Nell Wise Wechter Papers (Manuscript Collection #177). East Carolina University:

Nell Carolyn Wise Wechter in the NC Literary Map:

Nell Carolyn Wise Wechter in WorldCat:

Image Credits:

Nell Wechter. Image courtesy of UNC Press. Available from (accessed August 8, 2013).

Origin - location: 


Mrs Wechter was. My Englush teacher at Gillespis Oark School in Greensboro, NC in 1963. She also taught my brother 4 years before me. She was our favorite teacher. I was in her class when the announcement csme over the intercom that JFK had been shot.

mrs wechter was my home room teacher for 5th and 6th grades. she taught at central school in greensboro nc. for most of the 5th grade we didn't get along at all. i was totally rebellous and she was determined to show me some authority. everytime i turned around i was being sent to the "office" for some re-adjustment of my attitude.-- which was awful. i hated everything.--and didn't have a clue. --

mrs wechter often talked about her outer banks growing up. i am thankful for that, it was something that peaked our 5th grade interest, at least. she was trying to give our class a golden education. i think she did. of all of my teachers, i remember her most.

one late afternoon when my single parent mother had gotten home from her work, as a "seamstress" and was cooking supper, there was a tap on our door--it was Mrs wechter, she was received cordially with surprise and invited in. i had a turtle in a bowl that i caught and brought home.--she was most impressed by that and meeting my mother and a bond of friendship erupted that changed our interaction.

i had her the next year as a homeroom teacher and we got along very well. somehow my rage against the machine had gotten resolved and me and mrs wechter were buddies. thank you mrs Nell wechter . my wish is to read every book you wrote. i am sure they are filled with things i need to know.

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