The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Beulah May Zachary Worked In Early TV


February 6, 2017

Girl Scouts plant a tree near the school on South Broad St. in 1925. Beulah May Zachary is eighth from the left.

Beulah May Zachary was born in Brevard to Beulah McMinn and Woodford William Zachary on Aug. 13, 1911. She was the youngest of four children and her father died when she was just over two years old. Her father had been an attorney, had served one term in the state legislature and was chairman of the Board of Education. Her maternal grandfather, Nathan McMinn, was a leader in the development of Brevard.

As a child Miss Zachary attended Brevard Institute and Brevard High, graduating in 1928. Miss Zachary continued her education at Salem College where she was very active as a cheerleader, member of the debate society, and student council. She directed the senior play and was editor-in-chief of the yearbook. As a member of the Class of 1932 Beulah Zachary was voted "most intelligent."

After graduation Miss Zachary returned to Brevard where she taught school for a few years. It was at this time that she organized and directed the first Brevard Little Theater. Beulah May Zachary was destined for a bigger stage though. She moved to New York City and worked as a production manager on Broadway.

In 1939 Miss Zachary began working in the relatively new entertainment field of television. As the producer-director of RCA-Victor's "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" she was a leading women in television. She was also a successful business woman.

Miss Zachary, along with other family members, started an organ fund at the Brevard Methodist Church in honor of her mother, Beulah McMinn Zachary. Mrs. Zachary was able to attend the dedication service but passed away on April 4, 1958. Miss Zachary's will dated April 28, 1958 included funds "to the Brevard Methodist Church for the care, maintenance, upkeep, use, and improvement of the Beulah McMinn Zachary Memoral Organ."

Beulah May Zachary, second row, second from right was a member of the 1928 BHS girls' basketball team that won the Western North Carolina Championship.

Less than a year later Beulah May Zachary died when American Airlines Flight 320 crashed into New York's East River on Feb. 3, 1959. Her family and the Brevard Methodist Church set up a fund in her memory for organ recitals and other music programs. Beulah May Zachary is remembered in Brevard for her contributions to performing arts through First United Methodist Church, Brevard College, and the Brevard Little Theater.

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected] org or 828-884-1820.)


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