The Resource 1904-1995
- Inclusive dates
- Taylor, Jacquelin P, ca. 1861-1935
- Gregory, Oscar C, 1875-1930
- Universal Leaf Tobacco Company of China
- L.B. Jenkins Company (Richmond, VA)
- Business records
- Jackson, Herbert W., Jr., d. 1966
- C.B. Cheatham Company (Louisburg, NC)
- W.H. Winstead Company (Goldsboro, NC)
- Union Storage and Redrying Company (Lexington, KY)
- Tobacco -- Virginia | Richmond
- Tobacco farms -- Virginia
- Charles T.W. Argue Company (Henderson, KY)
- W.A. Willingham and Company (Richmond, VA)
- Miller, James I, 1877-1964
- Richmond (Va.) -- History -- 20th century
- Tobacco industry -- North Carolina
- John Middleton, Inc. (King of Prussia, PA)
- Tobacco industry -- Virginia
- Universal Leaf Tobacco Co
- Tobacco -- North Carolina
- Minute books
- Gensior Tobacco Company (New York, NY)
- Kinston Tobacco Company (Kinston, NC)
- Kentucky. -- History -- 20th century
- Tobacco farmers -- Kentucky
- Tobacco farmers -- Virginia
- P.H. Gorman Company (Richmond, VA)
- Watson, Rommie Purefoy, 1867-1932
- Limestone Warehouse Company (Maysville, KY)
- Farmville Leaf Tobaco Company (Farmville, NC)
- Yuille, Thomas B, 1869-1934
- Tobacco industry -- Kentucky
- Virginia -- History -- 20th century
- Personal Small Loan Company (Richmond, VA)
- Tobacco farms -- North Carolina
- Harrison, James P, d. 1968
- Tobacco -- Virginia
- North Carolina -- History -- 20th century
- Unitized Systems Company (South Hill, VA)
- Gorman, Patrick Henry, 1873-1946
- Tobacco industry -- China
- Virginia Tobacco Co
- Willingham, William A, 1872-1945
- Account books
- John B. Harvie and Company (Roxboro, NC)
- Tobacco -- Kentucky
- C.R. Dodson Company (Kinston, NC)
- Tobacco farmers -- North Carolina
- Gorman Tobacco Company (Hopkinsville, KY)
- J.P. Taylor Company (Richmond, VA)
- Lancaster Leaf Tobacco Company (RIchmond, VA)
- Person Garrett Company (Greenville, NC)
- Burley tobacco
- Tobacco farms -- Kentucky
- Atlantic Leaf Tobacco Company (New York, NY)
- Records, 1904-1995, of the Universal Leaf Tobacco Company of Richmond, Virginia, documenting the company, its subsidiaries, both fully or partially owned, and companies of which Universal Leaf Tobacco Company owned a smaller interest or with which it was otherwise affiliated. Companies include: Aragon Coffee Co., Aragon Peanut Mills Inc., Atlantic Leaf Tobacco Co., Atlas Tobacco Co., Burlington Credit Company Inc., C.B. Cheatham Co., C.R. Dodson Co., Charles T.W. Argue Co., Citizens Loan Society, Eastern Leaf Tobacco Co., Farmville Leaf Tobacco Co., Gensior Tobacco Co., Gorman Tobacco Co., Guarantee Small Loan Co., J.N. Vaughan and Co., J.P. Taylor Co., John B. Harvie and Co., John Middleton Inc., Kinston Tobacco Co., L.B. Jenkins Tobacco Co., Lake Kennedy Estates Inc., Lancaster Leaf Tobacco Co., P.J. and I.R. Latco Co., Limestone Warehouse Co., O.C. Gregory Co., Personal Small Loan Co., Person-Garrett Co., P.H. Gorman Co., R.P. Watson Co., Societie Commerciale de l'Orient African, Southern States Tobacco Co., Southwestern Tobacco Co., Tobacco Processors Inc., Union Storage and Redrying Co., Virginia Tobacco Co., W.A. Willingham Co., Willingham Tobacco Co., W.H. Winstead Co., and W.P. Henry Co
- The records are arranged alphabetically by company name, type of volume, and then by date. It was determined to create an inventory listing, rather than a traditional series description, as the collection consists mostly of the same types of volumes- cash disbursements and receipts, journals, and ledgers. The records document the financial history of Universal Leaf Tobacco Company in great detail but otherwise offer little insight into the daily workings and structure of the company. There are few minute books, sparse correspondence, few employee records can be found in the journals and ledgers under salaries, and the organization and changes in the company can only be deduced from these financial materials. Many of the volumes had a volume number written on the inside cover, but the purpose of this numbering system is unknown. Nevertheless, the archivist incorporated these numbers into the inventory listing in parenthesis
- Included are account books, appraisals, cash disbursement and receipt books, invoices, journals, ledgers, minutes, stock certificates and tax records mainly documenting the financial history of the company. The collection includes records for 39 additional companies. Some are wholly owned subsidiaries, others were merged into Universal Leaf Tobacco, or are predecessor companies of those who merged with the Universal Leaf Tobacco. Yet another group of companies was affiliated with the Universal Leaf Tobacco through a partial ownership of interest. The amount of records for those associated companied varies greatly. For some there is only a minute book or a few ledgers. For others, the holdings are more extensive. The companies that have a larger share of records in this collection are the Atlas Tobacco Co., C.B. Cheatham Co., C.R. Dodson Co., Eastern Leaf Tobacco Co., O.C. Gregory Co., R.P. Watson Co., Southwestern Tobacco Co., and W.A. Willingham Co. The largest group of records comes from the J.P. Taylor Co. and Universal Leaf Tobacco Co
- The journals record transactions on a daily basis as they occurred and contain detailed information regarding transactions, i.e. customer name, items sold, amount owed, and paid. The ledgers contain individual accounts such as customer accounts and controlling accounts. Each account lists transactions chronologically and contains general information regarding each transaction. Included in the journals and ledgers are information on tobacco bought on order, income on tobacco sales, credits and debits, loss and profit, labor and salaries, freight and drayage charges, postage expenses, storage, machinery repairs, taxes, and utilities. Of note is the J.P. Taylor journal, 1916-1919, which includes lists of monies sent to the British war mission. The cash disbursements are similar to the ledgers and include information on purchaser name, credits and debits, amount of tobacco purchased and from where, labor expenses, salaries, bank deposits, insurance fees, drayage repairs, hogshead, freight, and fuel. The credit and debit books include information on checks received and credits sent
- Of note are the minute books which contain bylaws and constitution, minutes, incorporation charters, dissolution charters, stock and tax information, and correspondence. Minutes are included for Aragon Peanut Mills Inc., Atlantic Leaf Tobacco Co., C.B. Cheatham Co., C.R. Dodson Co., Gensior Tobacco Co., Guarantee Small Loan Co., J.P. Taylor Co. in Henderson, North Carolina, John B. Harvie and Co., L.B. Jenkins Tobacco Co., Lancaster Leaf Tobacco Co., Limestone Warehouse Co., Personal Small Loan Co., Person-Garrett Co., P.H. Gorman Co., Universal Storage and Redrying Co., Universal Leaf of China Co., W.A. Willingham Co., and W.H. Winstead Co
- Also of note within the loose records are the J.P. Taylor Document Record book, 1907-1921, which includes deeds, leases, surety bonds, employee names, and contracts. The Universal Leaf Tobacco loose records include directories of the company (1923-1954). Also included is an appraisal invoice of J.P. Taylor Company in Henderson, North Carolina, including construction costs and drawings, 1920 and an appraisal of the Charles T.W. Argue Company, 1923. The stock certificates include cancelled stocks, name of stock holder, and reissue of new stock. The stock books include monthly stock register, purchases, and disbursements of cancelled certificates
- Biographical or historical data
- The following is a brief outline of the history of Universal Tobacco Company and its affiliates. For a more in-depth history of Universal Leaf Tobacco read Tobacco Merchant: The Story of Universal Leaf Tobacco Company by Maurice Duke and Daniel P. Jordan (The University Press of Kentucky: 1995).
- On 25 January 1918 the Virginia State Corporation Commission issued a charter of incorporation to the Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc. The company was organized to select, buy, ship, process, pack, store, and finance leaf tobacco in tobacco growing countries for sale to manufacturers of tobacco products throughout the world. The major figure behind the founding of the organization was Jaquelin P. (J. P.) Taylor of Orange County, Virginia.
- J. P. Taylor was born 2 March 1861 at Meadow Farm, Orange County, Virginia, the sixth child of Erasmus and Roberta Stuart Taylor. He moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 1878 and worked for Alexander Cameron and Company, tobacconists. Taylor moved to Henderson, North Carolina, and in 1886 established J.P. Taylor & Company, a leaf shipping and exporting business. The J.P. Taylor Company was incorporated in North Carolina in 1904. In 1912 Taylor moved back to Richmond and the J.P. Taylor Company of Virginia was incorporated in 1916. In addition to its headquarters in Richmond, there were branches of J.P. Taylor Company in Carrollton, Lexington, Maysville, Mount Sterling, and Shelbyville, Kentucky; Farmville, Goldsboro, Henderson, Rocky Mount, and Tarboro, North Carolina; and Clarksville and Richmond, Virginia. Business was also conducted through agents elsewhere in the United States and abroad and through companies into which Taylor had bought or with which he worked on the basis of joint accounts.
- In 1918 J. P. Taylor, led the consolidation of six prominent leaf merchants to form Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc. The six merchants involved in the consolidation were the C.B. Cheatham Company of Farmville, North Carolina; the Gorman Tobacco Company of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; the J.P. Taylor Company of Richmond, Virginia; the Oscar C. Gregory Tobacco Company of Richmond, Virginia; the W.A. Willingham Company of Danville, Virginia; and the W.H. Winstead Company of Baltimore, Goldsboro, North Carolina and Owensboro, Kentucky. J. P. Taylor became chairman, Thomas B. Yuille president, William A. Willingham became vice president and secretary, James A. Miller was vice president and treasurer, and Patrick H. Gorman was vice president.
- Universal would largely be a holding company. It would "hold" varying amounts of stock in a variety of both subsidiary and partner companies, owning 100 percent of some and offering leadership to all. Universal initially had two administrative headquarters- one in New York City which was responsible for sales and corporate administration, and another in Richmond, which supervised leaf purchasing and processing. Universal ventured into the tobacco business in China, establishing Universal Leaf Tobacco Company of China in 1935. The company also expanded into Canada, establishing the Canadian Leaf Tobacco Company in 1925 and into Africa and Greece.
- In 1923 Thomas B. Yuille resigned as president and was replaced by Frederick N. Harrison, who served as president, 1924-1946, and chairman, 1946-1950. In 1946 Herbert W. Jackson Jr. assumed the presidency of Universal Leaf and served until 1966. Expansion throughout the world characterized Universal's post-war operations from 1946 to 1966. Under the leadership of Gordon L. Crenshaw, who succeeded Jackson as President in 1966, Universal became a worldwide organization. Universal expanded into South America, the Far and Southeast Asia. By the end of the 1960s, Universal was operating in 15 countries outside of the United States.
- Until the late 1960's, Universal dealt exclusively in leaf tobacco. When Crenshaw became President in 1966, he made diversification a priority. In 1964 the United Sates surgeon general published a report on the adverse effects of using tobacco products. Tobacco companies such as Universal needed to diversify their business and develop other companies. Universal diversified slowly at first, investing in machine manufacturing companies, modular home building, synthetic fibers, high-pressure laminates, peanut companies, fertilizer materials, and insurance companies.
- In 1984 Universal acquired Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation and in 1986 Universal acquired NV Deli-Maatschappij. The acquisition of Deli gave Universal presence in the flue-cured and burley markets of Brazil, Italy, and Greece. Deli also dealt in coffee, tea, rubber, vegetable oil, sunflower seeds, and timber. These businesses obtained in the Deli acquisition formed the backbone of Universal's agri-products and lumber distribution segments.
- Thomas R. Towers served as president from 1982-1986 and Gordon L. Crenshaw served as chairman of the board 1975-1991. In 1986 Henry H. Harrell became president and chief executive officer, serving until 1991. A separate holding company was created in 1987, Universal Corporation, to delineate between the different businesses in which Universal was involved. Although tobacco remains the primary concern, the company also maintains its diverse interests in the agri products and lumber business. The Company's agri-products business involved buying, processing, storing, shipping, and distributing, as well as importing and exporting a number of products, including tea, rubber, sunflower seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and canned and frozen foods. The Company is also engaged in the lumber and building products distribution and processing business in the Netherlands and other countries in Europe. The majority of lumber products are purchased outside the Netherlands, principally in the Far East, Central Europe, North America, Russia, Scandinavia, and South America. Henry H. Harrell served as chairman from 1991 to 2003. Allen B. King was appointed president in 1991 and in 2003 succeeded as chief executive officer.
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