TOBACCO COMPANIES

TOBACCO COMPANIES


Tobacco companies that were once located in Orange County, prior to 1900
Reproduction of 1870s E. H. Pogue 'Sitting Bull' tobacco sign

Pogue & Company/E. H. Pogue & Company

Date founded: 
Circa 1869
Date dissolved: 
Circa 1885
Type: 
Tobacco
In 1876, Pogue & Company became the proprietor of Webb's Warehouse, and in 1878 he began manufacturing plug tobacco; some of his brands were "Antelope," "Legal Tender," "Red Bird," "Gen. Bragg," "Diamond," "Comet," "Old Reliable," "Gold Dollar," "Our Frank," "Little Ella," "Rum Cured," and "Pogue's Best."
 
In April 1879, Pogue moved his tobacco manufactory to Durham, then still in eastern Orange County.
 
Reproduction of E. H. Pogue & Company sign

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WEBB'S WAREHOUSE

,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 12/19/2019 - 7:25am by SteveR

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,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

 

Webb's warehouse was built about 1870 on the southeast corner of Churton Street and Margaret Lane on property which had been owned by the Webb family since the 1840s and 1850s; it was a wooden building measuring 125 feet by 40 feet. On January 30, 1872, it opened for business, and was advertised as the "largest and best in North Carolina and the only warehouse in Hillsboro' with Sky-Lights!"
 
By the 1880s it was the lone survivor of three tobacco warehouses built in Hillsborough between 1869 and 1870. It was originally owned by James C. Webb; by 1871 it was the warehouse for the firm of Webb & Roulhac. Webb was succeeded by J. R. Gattis in 1874 (when Webb & Roulhac moved to Durham), he was succeeded by E. H. Pogue in January 1876, and he was succeeded by C. B. Taylor in 1878 (apparently when Pogue started his own tobacco manufacturing company). By 1894, the warehouse was used for storage.
 
Excerpt from the 1888 Sanborn Map
 
 
By the 1920s, the warehouse (or a structure the same size as the warehouse) was being used as a garage; by 1943 Orange County was using it (or a similarly-sized building on the site) as a garage and repair shop. Today, the site of Webb's Warehouse is occupied by the 1954 Orange County courthouse.

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WEBB FACTORY / WALKER FLOUR MILL

,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1884
/ Demolished in
1964
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Mon, 12/16/2019 - 11:15am by gary

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,
Hillsborough
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1884
/ Demolished in
1964
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
Local Historic District: 
Type: 

 

Excerpt from the 1888 Sanborn map

~1900 (UNC postcard collection.) Old Courthouse is to the right.

Circa 1940; rear of building (view southwest, from King Street, with ag ext. building to right). (Image courtesy of Orange County DEAPR)

1950s (History of the Town of Hillsborough)

Webb & Company tobacco was started by James Webb, Jr., Joseph C. Webb, and George C. Corbin in 1878. They first operated in a wooden building, located on the southeast corner of King and Court Street (across the street and east of the 1840s courthouse), and in 1880 erected a brick three-story building, measuring 40 feet by 60 feet, connected to and to the north of the original wood building. Webb and Company produced twist and plug tobacco, and in 1881 they produced about 150,000 pounds of tobacco. Their main plug tobacco markets were in North Carolina and other Southern states, selling the brands Superb, Choice Bright, and Choice Red; most of their twist tobacco was sent to Cincinnati, Ohio, and Nashville, Tennessee, under the brands Berkshire and Victory.

By 1900, Webb and Company was out of business, and their tobacco factory was used for storage. A year later, the complex was utilized by the Hillsboro Milling Manufacturing Company. Between 1900 and 1905, the original wood building was torn down. By the 1920s, the brick building was Walker's Flour Mill (a.k.a. Walker Brothers Milling Company and Walker Milling Company).

 

From History of the Town of Hillsborough:

"Walker's Flour Mill is located across from the courthouse. It is now [early 1960s] owned and operated by Mr. Charlie Walker, Jr. This mill was first known as the Hillsborough Milling Company, It was owned by the Webb family, starting about 1900. Mr. Atlas Williams began work at this mill in 1904. The Walker Brothers bought the mill in 1917 and completely overhauled it.

From the Durham Morning Herald, 11 Dec 1964:

"Orange County will buy more than ,500 worth of historic hand-made bricks being removed from a razed building on courthouse square in Hillsboro.

The purchase for purpose of resale was agreed to at the request of spokesmen for Hillsboro historical groups. They asked the county commissioners to halt demolition of the fonner Walker Milling Co. building and to preserve its exterior and rebuild it as an office structure. Short or this the historical buffs asked that the bricks at least be salvaged.

The commissioners declined to chango their plans to level the building site citing a contract with S. O. Cooper of Wilmington, who was at that moment in the process of tearing down the four-story structure. But by split vote decision they agreed, alter inspecting the premises, to have the estimated 180,000 bricks salvaged and made available for purchase within a six months period.

The contractor offered the bricks to the county at a thousand, and guaranteed to buy them back if they weren't purchased. Newly elected Board Chairman Harvey Bennett had to cast his first tie-breaking vote in passing the purchase motion proposed by Commissioners Gordon Cleveland and Bill Ray and opposed by Carl Smith and Henry Walker. Historic Hillsborough Commission Chairrman Mr. A. G. Engstrom told the commissioners the bricks were first used In the old Hillsborough Academy, that later became the Bingham School, and was built around 1845.  The building was later a boarding house, she said. Then the bricks were salvaged for use in the flour mill building that was put up on the courthouse square on estimated 80 years ago. The property was bought by the county last year.

Until the wood trim on the brick structure was removed, historical groups hadn't realized how beaufitful the building was, Mrs. Engstrom said in her appeal. She asked that work be halted while the historical groups studied to see what could be done toward preserving it.

Chairman Bennett noted "We don't have the money to fix up the building now," calling attention to its hazardous condition and the firm contract for its destruction. County administrator Sam Gattis said the contractor planned to knock in the four-brlck-thick walls with an iron ball swung from a crane after he removed the roof and hand-hewn timbers supporting the interior structure."

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H.P. JONES & COMPANY

Date founded: 
1871
Date dissolved: 
Circa 1900
Type: 
Tobacco

H.P. Jones and Company was located in west Hillsborough, across Occoneechee Street (present-day Nash Street) from the rail station. The wooden two-story, 40-by-70 foot factory was built circa 1871, and the factory began operation in 1872. The factory was powered by steam, and manufactured the smoking tobacco brands Tar Heel and Occoneechee, and received an award for "Fine Smoking Tobacco" at the 1877 North Carolina State Fair.

 

Excerpt of 1894 Sanborn map

1886 advertisement

By 1900, H.P. Jones and Company was out of business and the factory building was vacant; Jones died March 17, 1901. In 1905, the structure was being used as a barn and was owned by A.J. Ruffin; by 1911, the J.C. Rosemond Shuttle Block Factory was utilizing the factory building. Sometime between 1911 and 1916, the building was demolished.

 

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J. Y. Whitted & Company

Date founded: 
1867
Date dissolved: 
Circa 1890
Whitted started a tobacco and drugstore business prior to the Civil War, and after serving in the Confederate Army he resumed his tobacco manufacturing company in 1867 under the firm name of J. Y. Whitted & Company. In the mid-1870s, the Whitted family had some financial troubles, likely related to loans James undertook for his company.
 
Whitted moved his factory to Durham in May 1884, where he manufactured plug and twist tobacco under the brand names of "Harry Lee," "North State," "Walter Raleigh," "Gold Ambrosia," "Nat Macon," and "J. Y. Whitted's Sun Cured." His products were marketed in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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Webb & Roulhac

Date founded: 
1871
Date dissolved: 
1876
Type: 
Tobacco
In 1871 James Webb started a tobacco factory with William S. Roulhac, known as Webb & Roulhac. In 1872, Paul Cameron purchased 1/3 interest (for ,500) in the company for his son, Duncan Cameron, who soon became bored with the work and left for Mississippi.
 
In 1873, Webb & Roulhac moved to Durham (then still in Orange County); in 1876 the firm's name changed to Roulhac & Company, and manufactured the Tiger brand of granulated smoking tobacco. Circa 1881, Roulhac & Company was taken over by William L. Lipscomb and John W. Dowd, but the company name remained the same.

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