Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN

W. Terry Wilford

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).

This People of Action, issued circa 1969, reproduced newspaper clippings about people in Decatur County. Most items probably were written in the mid 1960s. Most, but not all, of the items were written by Lillye Younger herself and most, but not all, appeared in the Jackson Sun. The photographs, which in the book were poorly reproduced from clippings, have not been scanned.

Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make these web pages.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

By Lillye Younger

'Yanqui' Helps Bolivian Economy

PARSONS, Tenn. — -A Tennessean, W. Terry Wilford, is helping the South American country of Bolivia make forward strides in finance and industry.

Wilford was to return to his Bolivian assignment this weekend after visiting his father, the Rev. J. D. Wilford, Parsons Methodist minister.

"I'm an adviser to the Bolivian Tax Commissioner and am in the process of evaluating the tax structure of the country, which includes all sources of revenue," the younger Wilford explained in an interview.

As a worker with the Agency for International Development, foreign aid branch of the U.S. States Department, Wilford advises the Bolivian government on fiscal and monetary policies and helps decide what projects should be undertaken to increase the economic development of the country.

Wilford also is helping the country develop its agricultural potential. The government at present is attempting to move the people from wide-open barren areas to the undeveloped jungle area.

The barren, rugged region is the highland of Alta Piano and stands in stark contrast to the semi-tropical jungle, where there is very little agriculture.

"Their agricultural methods are primitive by our standards except in the production of sugar and cotton, which is done with modern machinery," Wilford pointed out.

The four main crops are potatoes, sugar, rice and cotton. But only bananas, oranges and crocodiles thrive in the jungle area.

Per capita income in Bolivia is $120 (compared with $3,200 in the United States).

Jungle residents live in mud huts and raise llama. The llama are sheared and wool is spun on primitive looms and knit into garments. "They are a self-sufficient people who produce their own clothes and food; they have a very minimum sustenance, but enough to exist," Wilford commented.

The ambition of the native Bolivian is to own a transistor radio and a bicycle. Mode of travel is mostly by foot; bicycles have only been introduced to the natives within the past three years.

The country's two-class society is composed of the very poor and the higher incomed. The latter reside in the urban areas and much of the money is derived from textile industries, retail businesses and light manufacturing.

The government is integrating the Indians into the total society. Most of the poverty-stricken Indians live on the flat, barren land area at an altitude of 13,500 feet.

The Indians herdsmen and weavers and grow potatoes the size of golf balls. They have two languages, Amahrya and Katesun, tracing back to Inca civilization.

Spanish, however, is the official language of Bolivia, and few have mastered all three languages.

Wilford lives in La Paz, Bolivia, and serves as chairman of the official board of stewards at the Protestant, English-speaking church of La Paz.

He has visited Equador, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Panama. Wilford graduated from Ballard Memorial High School at La Center, Ky.

He attended Southern Methodist University at Dallas, where he received the bachelor of business administration degree in 1958. In 1964 he received the doctor of philosophy degree.

Wilford taught at the University of Georgia one year and was assistant professor of economics at the University of Idaho in 1964.

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