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).