Flanagan Buggy Works Collection

Manuscript Collection #670
Physical description
0.25 Cubic Feet, 1 archival box
Preferred Citation
Flanagan Buggy Works Collection (#670), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Records (1913-1934) of Greenville, NC Buggy and Automobile dealership, including photographs, price list, catalog, and chart of accounts.

Biographical/historical information

John Flanagan (1829-1902) was born the son of Thomas Flanagan and Sophia Turnage near Farmville in Pitt County, NC. Flanagan moved to Greenville, NC in 1847 to become an apprentice in the Nelson Carriage Factory. After saving some money and completing his apprenticeship, he then moved to Washington, NC. It was in Washington in 1855 that he married Mary Wise Gaskill, and together they would have eleven children. In 1856 the couple moved to Hamilton, NC where Flanagan set up a business of his own. In 1862 he enlisted in the 17th North Carolina Regiment in the Confederate Army and served until the end of the war. During the war, his business was destroyed during Foster's Raid. As a result, Flanagan moved back to Greenville, NC and established the John Flanagan Buggy Company in 1868 on Cotanche Street between Second and Third Streets. The company produced both buggies and coffins and were known for producing some of the finest buggies in the state. Flanagan was very involved in civic affairs and served in various positions for the city of Greenville. Once after being elected mayor, he declined the honor stating he did not have enough time to devote to the position. After the death of owner John Flanagan, family members took over the operation which eventually became an automobile dealership. The establishment continued to operate as a Ford dealer until 1958.

Source: Chronicles of Pitt County, Volume II

Scope and arrangement

The collection includes photographs, price lists, a catalog and a chart of accounts. Printed materials consist of a conditional sale contract for a used Ford sold by Mechanicsville Motor Co. (1932). In addition are buggy parts price lists for the John Flanagan Buggy Co. (1922), a large and detailed catalog of the buggy company (1913) and a detailed chart of accounts for the company with W.H. Hardee printed at the top (undated).

Among the photographs are an original and copy featuring the company's complete personnel and their names (1902). Other photographs include the company's parts store (undated, two copies), another view of the parts store (undated), the company's showroom (undated) and the company's office (undated). Other photographs consist of a man and dog standing in front of a car hauler owned by Motor Freight Corporation with many cars loaded (undated), a group photo of several men with Henry Ford in the center (undated), and a photo of an early unidentified fire station with trucks, firemen and a sign listing fire alarm members (undated). Also present is an oversized photograph titled "Ford Dealers' Business Sessions with Ford Executives. October 25, 1934, Palmer House, Chicago, IL." This image also contains handwritten information including mentions of E.G. Flanagan and sales of Ford cars in 1934 by the company.

Administrative information
Custodial History

December 6, 1993 13 items; Records (1913-1934) of Greenville, N. C., buggy and automobile dealership, including photographs, price list, catalog, and chart of accounts. Donor: Mrs. Walter Herman Hardee.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Walter Herman Hardee

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Processed by Dale Sauter, November 2019

Copyright notice

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

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Printed Materials, 1934, undated

Contains a catalog and financial records

Box 1 Folder b Item 1 Photograph, undated
Box 1 Folder b Item 2 Photograph, undated
Box 1 Folder b Item 3 Photograph, undated
Box 1 Folder b Item 4a Photograph, undated
Box 1 Folder b Item 4b Photograph, undated
Box 1 Folder b Item 6 Photograph, undated
Box 1 Folder b Item 7 Photograph, undated
Box 1 Folder b Item 8 Photograph, undated
Folder os1 Item 1 Photograph, undated
Folder os1 Item 2 Photograph, undated
Folder os1 Item 3 Photograph, undated