James D. Erskine Collection
A Brief HistoryJames (Jim) David Erskine Sr. was born in Muskegon, Michigan, on July 1, 1926. He attended elementary school and middle school at the local Seventh-day Adventist schools and later attended Cedar Lake Academy for high school. World War II was raging, however, and he was drafted into the Army and required to report for duty one week before graduation of his senior year, in July 1945. The Cedar Lake principal held a special "graduation" ceremony only for Erskine during chapel the day before the young man left school. The war finished by the time Erskine completed his basic training and Advanced Individual Training as a medic but he was shipped out nonetheless for what he called his "summer cruise," on an Army hospital ship. He docked in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam, and other smaller Pacific Islands. Because the war finished early and the Army was sending men home, Erskine was released about six months before his two-year enlistment was complete. When he returned to Michigan he rekindled a Cedar Lake Academy friendship with Flora (Dolly) Smith, and they were married in 1947. Erskine and his bride moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Jim attended what is now Andrews University, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education. He was a teacher in the Seventh-day Adventist school system in Michigan, Indiana, and finally, in North Carolina. In the late 1970s Erskine left teaching and started his own business in real estate, in Asheville and Hendersonville, North Carolina, from which he retired shortly before his death from cancer in 2010. Jim and Dolly have two children, James David Erskine Jr. and Pam Erskine Livingston, both of whom live in the Asheville vicinity. Throughout his life, Erskine collected magazines, newspapers, and other materials, especially those that covered historical and political events. The James D. Erskine Sr. Collection was donated by his family to McKee Library in 2013.
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