Guide to the Valle Crucis Company Records, 1907 - 1952

Summary Information

Title: Valle Crucis Company Records, 1907 - 1952
Collection: AC.128
Extent: 5.5 linear feet (12 boxes)
Abstract:

The Valle Crucis Company Records contains ledgers, day books and other records generated by a Valle Crucis store, primarily covering the years 1909-1915, 1917-1918 and 1925-1934. Also includes tax receipts and other papers, some as late as 1945. This collection provides insight into the purchasing conventions of western Watauga County, North Carolina's residents during the early twentieth century. The ledgers contain customers' names, purchases and method of payment.

Creator: Valle Crucis Company

Biographical/Historical Note

Approximately 1909, the Valle Crucis Company, also known as the Farthing Store, was built across from the Valle Crucis Methodist Church and former Valle Crucis Bank (chartered in 1913.) It was built by R.L. Lowe and Co. as the Valle Crucis Supply Co. In 1910, Charles D. "Squire" Taylor and his son-in-law Dr. Henry B. Perry purchased it and named it Valle Crucis Company. In 1914, R. Aubyn Farthing became manager of the Valle Crucis Company and eventually the owner. In the 1920s, his brother Ben bought a share of the store and co-operated it. After the death of 1928 in Vickie Taylor, Aubyn Farthing became the postmaster. Ben and Aubyn dissolved partnership in 1938. In 1948, Aubyn bought out Perry. It remained in the Farthing family until 1958. Many individuals owned it. Eventually Aubyn's son Ray became an owner and made it into an antique store.

The store was a general store selling the necessities with dried goods, clothing, hardware, furs, grains, and roots and herbs. Token were exchanged when customers bartered for goods. In the 1930's, Farthing began curing hams and selling them to summer tourists. He shipped them internationally.

Illustrating the partisan politics of the day, the Valle Crucis Company, operated by the Republican Farthings, reputedly served as Valle Crucis post office when the Republicans won office. The Mast General Store served as the Valle Crucis post office when the Democrats won office.

Charles D. "Squire" Taylor, was a Valle Crucis, North Carolina farmer who built the present-day Inn at the Taylor House and originally operated Valle Crucis Company. He was the son of Henry and Emaline Taylor, who operated the Taylor and Moore General Store and built the Mast General Store. He sold it to William Weelington Mast at the turn of the century. Squire married Louise in 1899. Taylor's first home was built approximately 1890 by a Mr. Woodring. In 1911, he built the Inn at the Taylor House, a fourteen room house. Afterwards, he used his first house as a tenant house until selling it to Ben Farthing in 1920. The Taylors returned 3 acres of original Episcopal mission property to church.

Richard Aubyn Farthing was a general store owner in Valle Crucis, North Carolina and nicknamed "Mr. Valle Crucis." He was born the third son of William J. and Laura Greer Farthing in Laurel Creek of Watauga County, North Carolina. Aubyn attended Draughn's Business School in Knoxville. He married Hazel Glenn, the daughter of Louis Glenn. They moved to Valle Crucis in 1914. They lived in the general store known as the "Candy Barrel" for a period of time. Hazel, like her father, sister, brother-in-law, and father-in-law, was a teacher.

Farthing worked as the general manager of the 5 year old Valle Crucis Company and became a partner shortly afterwards. The store became known as the Farthing Store. In the 1920s, his brother Ben Farthing bought a share of the store. He wasIn 1928, Aubyn became postmaster until 1963. Hazel taught at the school. Aubyn Farthing's daughter, Mary Hazel, married H.W. Mast, son of Mast General Store owner W.W. Mast.

Benjamin Walter Farthing (1889-1967) was the brother of Aubyn Farthing. He married his sister-in-law Dixie Glenn (1892-1951) from Watauga Falls. Both attended Appalachian Training School. Bought Old Taylor House. Dixie worked at Valle Crucis Bank and Valle Crucis Mission school. Ben taught and worked at the bank. He bought into the Valle Crucis Company. Aubyn bought into Ben's Avery County property. After Dixie's death, Ben married Dixie's sister Eunice Tester in 1957.

John and Faye Cooper, the owners of Mast General Store, purchased the building and opened it as Annex in 1982. The Coopers have purchased additional general stores creating an extensive chain. The Annex was opened in 1982; The Old Boone Mercantile was opened in 1988; the Little Red Schoolhouse was opened in 1989; the Waynesville store was opened in 1991; the Hendersonville location was opened in August 1995, a store in Asheville joined the Mast Store family in 1999; the first location outside of North Carolina is located on Main Street in Greenville, SC and opened in March 2003. The newest "old" location, which opened in August of 2006, is in Knoxville, TN on Gay Street.

Scope and Contents

The Valle Crucis Company Records contains ledgers, day books and other records generated by a Valle Crucis store, primarily covering the years 1909-1915, 1917-1918 and 1925-1934. Also includes tax receipts and other papers, some as late as 1945.

Arrangement

The Valle Crucis Company Records is organized into two series: Ledger Series and Documents Series (Business Papers Subseries, Family Papers Subseries). The Ledger Series includes six Account Books, seventy-three Day Books, three Inventory Books, and one Tailor Book. Documents are stored in a file cabinet separate from ledgers. The day books consist of the single-entry day-book book keeping style. The day book consists of original entries of the day's sales, purchases, and payments of cash or barter. They are arranged chronologically and identify the customer, details of the purchase, and the amount of the sale or payment. This information is later transferred into a double-entry ledger book which allows the store owner to view each customer's account on one page. The arrangement of information throughout most of the six account books is representative of 19th century double-entry bookkeeping. The index, an alphabetical list of customers' names, is located at the beginning of the ledger and directs users to the pages on which information about individual accounts is recorded. The January 1, 1924 - August 4, 1934 Account Book lacks an index.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

Documentation on this collection is unavailable. The accession number is RVC. Arrangement of the collection was originally made by a cataloger in 1994. The staff archivist adapted the arrangement and processed the collection in 2002. In addition to the staff archivist, staff consisted of two undergraduate students. This collection was opened to the public on 3 August 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley and undergraduate students, August 2002. Encoded by Kathryn Staley, 2005, revised 2008

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.128. Valle Crucis Company Records, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Container List

                   
Collection 128A. Valle Crucis Company Records. Ledgers Series. (1907-1934)
Ledgers Series contains six account books, seventy-three day books, three inventory books, one receipt book, and one tailor book. These handwritten ledgers are organized by the day's purchases as well as each customers' overall purchases. The tailor book includes suit orders and includes each customer's weight, height, occupation, age, and suit specifications. The store's annual inventory is included for the years 1910 to 1922.
Box  
1 Folder 1 Day Book, February 6, 1909 - October 20, 1917 (out of order)
    Day Book, February 6, 1909 - October 20, 1917 (out of order)
    Day Book, August 21, 1909 - November 13, 1909
    Day Book, November 13, 1909 - February 25, 1910
    Day Book, January 25, 1910 - May 28, 1910
    Day Book, February 25, 1910 - April 1, 1910
    Day Book, May 31, 1910 - August 13, 1910
    Day Book, April 13, 1909 - January 21, 1910
    Day Book, August 13, 1910 - November 12, 1910
    Day Book, November 12, 1910 - February 11, 1911
Box  
2 Folder 1 Day Book, February 11, 1911 - May 16, 1911
    Day Book, May 16, 1911 - July 24, 1911
    Day Book, July 24, 1911 - September 29, 1911
    Day Book, September 30, 1911 - December 8, 1911
    Day Book, December 9, 1911 - February 14, 1912
    Day Book, February 14, 1912 - April 23, 1912
    Day Book, April 23, 1912 - June 12, 1912
    Day Book, June 12, 1912 - July 26, 1912
    Day Book, September 7, 1912 - October 30, 1912
    Day Book, July 26, 1912 - September 7, 1912
    Day Book, October 30, 1912 - December 13, 1912
    Day Book, December 14, 1912 - January 28, 1913
Box  
3 Folder 1 Day Book, January 29, 1913 - March 13, 1913
    Day Book, March 24, 1913 - April 24, 1913
    Day Book, April 25, 1913 - May 28, 1913
    Day Book, May 28, 1913 - June 24, 1913
    Day Book, June 24, 1913 - July 24, 1913
    Day Book, July 24, 1913 - August 29, 1913
    Day Book, August 30, 1913 - October 16, 1913
    Day Book, October 16, 1913 - February 23, 1914
    Day Book, February 24, 1914 - May 16, 1914
    Day Book, May 18, 1914 - July 7, 1914
    Day Book, July 8, 1914 - September 3, 1914
    Day Book, September 3, 1914 - November 13, 1914
Box  
4 Folder 1 Day Book, November 14, 1914 - December 31, 1914
    Day Book, January 1, 1915 - August 1, 1915
    Day Book, August 1, 1915 - April 22, 1916
    Day Book, April 24, 1916 - November 30, 1916
    Day Book, December 1, 1916 - June 25, 1917
    Day Book, April 19, 1917 - May 17, 1917
    Day Book, June 25, 1917 - October 16, 1917
    Day Book, September 5, 1917 - September 15, 1917
    Day Book, October 17, 1917 - February 28, 1918
    Day Book, March 1, 1918 - July 4, 1918
    Day Book, July 5, 1918 - September 26, 1918
    Day Book, September 26, 1918 - April 1, 1919
    Day Book, April 1, 1919 - September 30, 1919
    Day Book, September 29, 1919 - March 13, 1920
Box  
5 Folder 1 Day Book, March 15, 1920 - May 17, 1920
    Day Book, May 16, 1920 - August 15, 1920
    Day Book, August 16, 1920 - December 14, 1920
    Day Book, December 14, 1920 - March 31, 1921
    Day Book, April 1, 1921 - May 31, 1921
    Day Book, June 1, 1921 - July 26, 1921
    Day Book, July 26, 1921 - September 20, 1921
    Day Book, September 20, 1921 - November 19, 1921
    Day Book, November 19, 1921 - February 4, 1922
    Day Book, February 6, 1922 - April 3, 1922
    Day Book, April 3, 1922 - May 17, 1922
    Day Book, May 18, 1922 - August 31, 1922
Box  
6 Folder 1 Day Book, September 1, 1922 - December 31, 1922
    Day Book, January 1, 1923 - May 19, 1923
    Day Book, May 19, 1923 - September 7, 1923
    Day Book, September 7, 1923 - November 17, 1923
    Day Book, November 15, 1923 - February 16, 1924
    Day Book, February 19, 1924 - April 26, 1924
    Day Book, April 26, 1924 - June 24, 1924
    Day Book, June 24, 1924 - August 28, 1924
    Day Book, November 1, 1924 - January 17, 1925
    Day Book, January 19, 1925 - April 24, 1925
Box  
7 Folder 1 Day Book, April 25, 1925 - July 13, 1925
    Day Book, July 13, 1925 - October 20, 1925
    Day Book, October 20, 1925 - December 31, 1925
Box  
8   Tailor Book, July 11, 1928 - June 15, 1933
   
    Inventory Book, January 25, 1910; February 12, 1912; June 1, 1914; December 28, 1914
   
    Inventory Book, December 27, 1909 - January 1, 1916
   
    Inventory Book, January 1, 1918; January 1, 1919; January 1, 1920; January 1, 1921; January 1, 1922
   
    Receipt Book , February 10, 1909 - October 18, 1910
   
    Account Book, 1904 - December 28, 1909
Box  
9   Account Book, February 3, 1909 - September 12, 1913
Box  
10   Account Book, February 27, 1912 - December 18, 1913
   
    Account Book, September 15, 1913 - July 1, 1920
   
    Account Book, June 25, 1917 - May 3, 1919
Box  
11   Account Book, 1914 - 1923
Box  
12   Account Book, January 1, 1924 - August 4, 1934
,
Collection 128B. Valle Crucis Company Records. Documents Series. (1915-1969)
Business Papers Subseries contains bills, business correspondence, tax records. Family Papers Subseries contains the birth certificates of Richard Aubyn Farthing and Hazel Glenn Farthing as well as correspondence regarding Aubyn's grave marker.
   
    Subseries Business Papers.
   
Folder 1   Bills  
   
    Tax Receipts  
   
    Dealer's excise tax  
   
    Memorandum for taxpayer  
   
    Miscellaneous excise taxes  
   
    Notice and demand for tax  
   
    Second notice and demand for tax, and receipt  
   
    Notice and receipt, additional special taxes  
   
    Tax on beverages  
   
    Receipt for advance payment--regular taxes  
   
    marked "Form 728A."  
   
    Receipt, United States Internal Revenue  
   
    Subseries Family Papers.
   
Folder 1   Genealogical Information  
   
    Reuben Aubyn Farthing birth certificate  
   
    Hazel Glenn Farthing birth certificate  
   
    Richard A. Farthing Certificate of guarantee  
   
    Hazel Dell Glenn birth certificate  

 

Related Material

Collection 269. Taylor and Mast General Store Ledger, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University.

Collection 410.Taylor and Moore General Store Ledger, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University.

Bibliography

Heritage of Watauga County, North Carolina, Volume 1, 1984.

Hughes, I. Harding, Jr.My Valle Crucis: The 1930s, Self-published, 2002.

Mast, A. Clyde.History of Watauga County, North Carolina, Self-published, c. 1976.