Lewis G. Cooper Papers

Manuscript Collection #304
Cooper, Lewis G.
Physical description
0.43 Cubic Feet, 369 items, 1 volume , consisting of correspondence, legal records, ledger, and miscellaneous.
Preferred Citation
Lewis G. Cooper Papers (#304), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1922-1953) of a Greenville, NC attorney consisting of correspondence, legal records, ledger, railroad company, legal services, brochure, political speech.

Biographical/historical information

Lewis G. Cooper, a Greenville, N.C. attorney, practiced law from 1925 until his retirement in 1952. Born in Henderson, N.C. he subsequently attended Duke University. Early in his legal career, Cooper associated himself with two prominent Greenville attorneys, Harry Skinner and William L. Whedbee, to form the partnership of Skinner, Cooper, and Whedbee. Skinner was a former congressman and U.S. attorney and Whedbee served as a superior court judge.

Scope and arrangement

The bulk of the collection consists of legal material and files. Two copies of contracts forming the Greenville, N.C. law partnership of Skinner, Cooper, and Whedbee, exist, as do several monthly accounts of the firm for 1927 and 1928. In addition, a list of law accounts filed with a commercial listing company (undated) is included.

General correspondence in the collection consists of two items, the first of which (Dec. 23, 1922) is a letter from the Home Telephone and Telegraph Company, of Atlanta, Georgia, informing a shareholder of the company's stock dividend. The remaining item (undated, enclosure to Nov. 21, 1950) concerns the founding of the Henderson, N.C. branch of the Home Telegraph and Telephone Company. The item lists offices of the company and relates items of historical interest about the company.

A major segment of the records relate to the account of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, for whom Skinner, Cooper, and Whedbee were local counsel. Included are monthly statements of account for legal services (1929-1949), which list court cases and other legal services. More significant are letters relating to the tax levy of the Greenville Special School District on the railroad (Nov. 18, 1933) and the speed of trains passing through Pitt County towns (Nov. 15, 1933 and enclosures). Statements of account (1927-1935, undated) also exist for the Eureka Lumber Company of Washington, N.C. Legal files relating to the Washington Tobacco Company contain significant material. A tobacco buying contract (Aug. 19, 1948) between the Washington TobaccoCo. and the P. Lorillard Co. delineates legal stipulations for the Washington Tobacco market. The majority of the papers relate to the efforts of the Washington Tobacco Company to thwart the organization of a labor union among its employees (1948-1950). After winning the right to an election, the employees of this small company voted to be represented by the United Transport Service Employees Union, C.I.O., and the papers reflect the attempt. Included in the file is a list of the sales and redried and green tobacco by the company for 1948 (undated).

Legal files of the E.B. Ficklen Tobacco Company consist of statements of accounts due to Cooper (1927-1939) and a copy (undated) of a union agreement between the E.B. Ficklin Tobacco Co. and the Food, Tobacco, Agricultural, and Allied Workers Union of America. C. I. O.

Legal material relating to the Greenville, N.C. Daily Reflector consists of agreements for buying equipment and for loans from a Greenville banking firm (1946-1951). In addition, a printed volume concerns a 1916 legal suit against the Reflector Company.

Miscellaneous material consists of a brochure, "By-laws of the Dunes Club, Inc., Atlantic Beach, N.C.," (1953) and an undated notice to voters of Pitt County to the effect that R. R. Reynolds would give a political speech.

Also included is a ledger book of Lewis Cooper, which lists account information of his law office from 1925 to 1952.

Administrative information
Custodial History

April 30, 1976, 1 cu. ft; Legal Files of Greenville, N.C. attorney. Gift of Sam B. Underwood, Jr., Greenville, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Sam B. Underwood, Jr.

Processing information

Processed by D. Lawson, January 1978

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Cooper, Lewis G.
Corporate Names
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company
E.B. Ficklen Tobacco Co.
Eureka Lumber Company (Washington, N.C.)
Home Telephone & Telegraph Company
P. Lorillard Company
Washington Tobacco Company (Washington, N.C.)
Labor unions--North Carolina--Washington
Lawyers--North Carolina--Greenville
Railroads--North Carolina--Pitt County
Tobacco industry--North Carolina
Daily Reflector (Greenville, N.C.)