A.C. Monk & Company/A.C. Monk Family Collection, 1735-2004

Manuscript Collection #1285

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: A.C. Monk & Company/A.C. Monk Family Collection
    Creator: A.C. Monk & Company.
    Monk, A.C., Family
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: This collection contains material (1735-2004) detailing the history of the A.C. Monk Tobacco Company and the Monk Family of Farmville, Pitt County, North Carolina, including financial records, correspondence, tax documents, audit reports, wills, estate records, stock certificates, deeds, receipts, ledger, press releases, portfolios, and blueprints, land records, clippings, publications and broadsides, and family histories and Farmville histories. Also included are photographs (daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite, negatives, 35 mm prints, large framed images), and charcoal portraits, of Monk, Quinerly, Turnage, and May family members of Farmville, North Carolina.
    Extent: 40.0 Cubic feet, 51 archival boxes and 6 oversize folders, consisting of financial records, correspondence, tax documents, audit reports, wills, estate records, stock certificates, deeds, receipts, ledger, press releases, portfolios, blueprints, photographs, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite, negatives, publications, broadsides, clippings, passports, marriage certificates, programs, and obituaries.
  • Description

    The collection consists principally of the business records, financial statements and related correspondence concerning the A.C. Monk & Company, a leaf tobacco dealer located in Farmville, N.C.

    Early correspondence reveals origins of A.C. Monk in a predecessor company known as Monk Adams located in Wilson, N.C. and dissolved on May 10, 1922. Several financial reports include the company letterhead dating as far back as 1916 or 1918 but most sources document the company’s beginning year as 1920.

    A Durham County native, Albert Coy Monk arrived in Farmville sometime prior to the fall of 1905, when he is recorded as buyer of the first tobacco sold on the Farmville Tobacco Market. According to a volume entitled Farmville’s 100th Anniversary (1972), he joined in 1906 in the creation of the Farmville Tobacco Board of Trade. Likewise, a brother J.Y. Monk began his own career in 1907 as a tobacco warehouse operator in Farmville for nearly 55 years until his retirement in 1962.

    The collection is highly comprehensive in nature and is illustrative of the vast sums of money requisite in the business of purchasing, processing and shipment of tobacco to manufacturers throughout the 20th century. Highlights include A.C. Monk & Co. both general and detailed financial statements for years 1920-1991, tax documents 1919-1972 inclusive of stock reports, stock inventories, consignment reports, U.S. Treasury Department correspondence and reports, assets and liability papers, state and federal corporation income tax returns, foreign documents related to inventories and offices in China and business connections with Germany and Finland, insurance matters and fair market appraisals, evaluations, etc. ranging 1948-1990.

    Of local interest are real estate transactions, investments and so forth engaged in by the Monk family over the years including financial and audit reports relevant to A.C. Monk subsidiaries Monk-Henderson Tobacco Co., Wendell Tobacco Co. and Eastern Tobacco Co. (Farmville, N.C.). Interesting is A.C. Monk & Cos. 1/3 interest in Farmville Furniture Company dating back to 1922. Correspondence references the original partnership between J. E. Joyner, Sr., I.T. Thorne and A.C. Monk ending in 1966. Joyner’s daughter Frances married A.C. Monk’s younger son Robert T. Monk.

    At the death of Albert Coy Monk Sr. in 1948, his eldest son Albert Coy Monk, Jr. took over as president of the company. Under his leadership and that of his brothers R.T. and W.C. Monk, the company continued to prosper. At A.C. Sr.’s death, the company was already recognized as a worldwide leader in the tobacco industry. According to at least one source it was one of the first U.S. companies to engage in the German market after World War II. During its early period, the company expanded through either part or full ownership in tobacco processing plants in Greenville, Robersonville, Kinston, New Bern, Wendell and Wilson. Records in the collection include audit and examination reports for the Greenville Tobacco Company (1933-1984), The Tobacco Trading Corporation (1942-1982), Dixie Leaf Tobacco Company (1935-1957), E.R. Sykes & Co. (1955-1972), Eastern Tobacco Co. (1957-1975), Wendell Tobacco Co. (1946-1971), Dixon and Hamilton Tobacco Suppliers (1960-1975), Monk-Henderson (1923-1981) and several other miscellaneous concerns.

    In 1956, the company began consolidating operations in Farmville, culminating with the opening of a new ten acre industrial facility there in 1972. By 1979, the company had merged all its U.S. processing to this one plant. According to biographical information, towards the close of the 1970s, A.C. Monk & Co. had emerged to become the nation’s third largest tobacco supplier and the largest privately held business of its kind.

    With the retirement of A.C. Monk Jr. in 1984, A.C. Monk III succeeded his father in the family business. Included in the collection is an August 1993 issue of Business North Carolina with an article in which the third generation Monk addresses developments resulting in the merger of his firm and the Austin Co. of Greenville Tennessee under the name Monk-Austin on July 13, 1990. The company went public in 1992 and merged again with Dibrell Brothers of Danville, Va. in 1995 to create DIMON Incorporated. The merger necessitated the Monk family giving up control of their long head business but family members retained seats on the board and in top executive positions. A.C Monk III retired as Vice Chairman from DIMON on December 31, 1999. The company was then the world’s second largest dealer of leaf tobacco. In 2005, DIMON merged with Standard Commercial to form Alliance One International, Inc. with global headquarters in Morrisville, N.C.

    Included in the collection are merger materials, annual reports, stock reports and other business items for DIMON, Inc. (1995-2004).

    Additionally of interest are personal records pertaining to the A.C. Monk family including tax returns and related correspondence, tax documents for A.C. Monk Sr. (1919-1954), Emily T. Monk (1942-1963), A.C. Monk Jr. (1930-1966), Robert J. Monk (1940-1945) and Linda L. Monk (1963-1970). Further materials deal extensively with the estates of A.C Monk Sr. and Emily T. Monk including but not limited to death certificates, last wills and testaments, estate inventories, balance sheets, IRS correspondence and pamphlets, court petitions, N.C. Dept. of Revenue correspondence, correspondence from the law firms Blair, Korner, Doyle & Appel and Gaylord and Singleton (Greenville, N.C.), insurance documents with New York Life Insurance Company (1948-1950) and various receipts.

    Perhaps locally interesting among numerous real estate documents, agreements, maps and so forth are items relevant to property disputes between A.C. Monk & Co. and the town of Wilson, N.C. (1977-1979) along with correspondence, property deeds, audits, etc. concerning the Farmville Methodist Church and construction of a new church building(1968-1969).

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Originally from Durham County, N.C., Albert Coy Monk Sr. was born Jan. 2, 1876 and died Jun. 6, 1948. His wife Emily Lou Turnage Monk, native of Farmville, N.C. was born May 7, 1889 and died Jun. 23, 1959. The couple had three sons: Albert Coy Monk Jr. (1914-2007), Robert Turnage Monk (1919-2001) and William Cabot Monk (1926-2016).

    A.C. Monk Jr. married Penelope Keel Lang (1914-1989). He attended Oak Ridge Military Academy and Duke University. Afterwards he went to work for his father's company, A.C. Monk & Co., Inc. His family includes one son, Albert Coy Monk III and his wife, Nan Gray Atkins Monk, of Key Largo, Fla.; a daughter, Linda Monk Page and her husband, William S. Page Jr., of Kinston; three grandchildren, Penelope Monk Page of Raleigh, Tracy Gray Monk of Atlanta, Albert Coy Monk IV and his wife, Laura Perry Monk, of Charlotte; two great-grandchildren, Marian Ivy Monk and Albert Coy Monk V of Charlotte.

    Robert Turnage Monk married Frances Joyner (1918-2006). His family includes a daughter, Emily Monk Davidson of Chevy Chase, Md.; a son, Robert Turnage Monk Jr. and his wife, Suellen Grimes Monk, of Morehead City; two grandchildren, Robert Turnage Monk III and his wife, Corey, and Piper Hensleigh Monk, all of Raleigh.; two step-grandchildren, George Taylor Grimes of Robersonville, and Paul David Grimes of Greensboro; and a great-grandson Robert Turnage Monk IV of Raleigh.

    William Cabot Monk married Agnes Virginia Quinerly Monk (1926-2012). His family includes a daughter, Molly Monk Mears and her husband, John Barry Mears, of Atlanta; son William Cabot Monk Jr., and his wife, Aurelia Stafford Monk, of Greenville; and four grandchildren, William Cabot Monk III, Aurelia Stafford Monk, Emily Monk Mears, and John Barry Mears, Jr.

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    September 7, 2016, 30 cubic feet; Material (1907-2004) detailing the history of the A.C. Monk Tobacco Company and the Monk Family of Pitt County, North Carolina. Gift of William C. Monk, Jr.

    March 1, 2018, (unprocessed), 11 cubic feet; Addition includes photographs (daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite, negatives, 35 mm prints, large framed images), and charcoal portraits, of Monk, Quinerly, Turnage, and May family members in Farmville, North Carolina; Monk family correspondence (1926-1959); financial records and correspondence (1937-1954) related to A. C. Monk and to A. C. Monk & Co.; Pitt County land records, accounts, receipts, and promissory notes (1735-1912); clippings; publications and broadsides; cemetery deeds; passports; 1953 trip diary; family histories and Farmville histories; and wills and estates documents. Gift of William C. Monk, Jr.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of William C. Monk, Jr.

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

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

    Preferred Citation

    A.C. Monk & Company/A.C. Monk Family Collection (#1285), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

    Processing Information

    Processing completed September 19, 2016, by Fred Harrison.

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Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

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