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|Size||23.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 14000 items)|
|Abstract||John Ellis Coulter was a general merchant and operator of fertilizer, lumber, livestock breeding, milling and threshing, farm machinery sales, and other businesses in Burke and Catawba counties, N.C. He was also a justice of the peace, Democrat, prohibitionist, and Lutheran. Papers, chiefly 1890s-1930s, of Coulter, including general and family correspondence and extensive business papers and account books relating to his business activities in Burke and Catawba counties, N.C., and to his activities as justice of the peace, Democrat, prohibitionist, and Lutheran. Also included are papers concerning farmers' mutual insurance, local farmers' cooperatives and unions, the Catawba Creamery, labor, the World War I draft, lands in Florida, tanbark and tobacco, railroads, local schools, and Rutherford College in Burke County, N.C.|
|Creator||Coulter, John Ellis, 1861-1947.|
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John Ellis Coulter (1861-1947) was the son of Philip Augustus Coulter and Mary Elvira Plonk. He had one sister, Clara, and two brothers, Frank and Philip. Coulter married Lucy Ann Propst and was the father of eight children: Alvin Augustus, who died in Tampa, Florida, in 1959; Beulah Belle, who became Mrs. L.V. Goodman of Asheville, North Carolina; Clyde David Franklin who settled in Connelly Springs, N.C.; Ellis Merton who became a professor of history at the University of Georgia; Laura Elvira, who married Carl Block and, after his death, Jesse M. Teas of Tex.; Ray Daniels of Ojus, Fla.; William Bryan of Washington, D.C.; and Herbert Lee who settled in Connelly Springs.
John Coulter was raised in Bandy's Township, Catawba County, and lived his adult life in Connelly Springs, Lovelady Township, Burke County, North Carolina. His papers were collected by his son, Ellis Merton, who used them for his biography of his father John Ellis Coulter: Small Town Businessman of Tarheelia (1962).
John Ellis Coulter was active in the Lutheran Church and in the Democratic party, serving for many years on the Democratic executive committee for Burke County and as chairman of the Democratic precinct committee of Lovelady Township. He was an ardent prohibitionist and served on the executive committee of the Burke County Anti-Saloon League. He also served at various times as a member of the school committee of Lovelady Township, as justice of the peace, and mayor of Connelly Springs.
Coulter's general store in Connelly Springs became the headquarters for his diversified business enterprises which included lumber, lathes, shingles, livestock breeding, fertilizers, farm machinery, typewriters, poultry, grain, and threshing operations. In his store, he acted as agent for such varied concerns as the newspaper GRIT and the Piedmont Wagon Company.Back to Top
All of these papers pertain to John Ellis Coulter and his family and to his political and business interests in Connelly Springs, North Carolina. About ninety percent of the papers relate to Coulter's various business concerns. The remainder of the papers are mostly family correspondence and local government records created by Coulter while a justice of the peace. Much of the correspondence, especially after 1945, deals with Coulter family genealogy; prior to 1945, the correspondence deals chiefly with Coulter's activities in politics, town government, and schools, but includes many letters from his sons who were at work or in school in such scattered locales as Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, and Latin America.Back to Top
Letters of general interest about Coulter's activities in politics, town government, and schools. In this series there are letters from office holders and Democratic party workers. It is arranged chronologically as follows:
Bills, receipts, orders, and letters relating to store merchandise and to business ventures not of significant scope to merit independent grouping are found in the following:
Letters from members of the Coulter family arranged chronologically under the name of the writer as follows: Alvin A. Coulter, 1911-1923; Ellis Merton Coulter, 1909-1960; J. Frank and Ruth Coulter, 1895-1916; Lucy Ann Coulter, 1881; Philip Augustus Coulter, 1881-1909; Mrs. Philip Augustus Coulter (nee Mary Elvira Plonk), 1872-1919; and Phillipton, Nannie, Harry, and Lois Coulter, 1895-1935. There is one folder of letters to J. E. Coulter from miscellaneous family members and distant relations dating from 1893 to 1934. Included in this folder are letters from J. B. Rhyne, P. M. Rhyne, J. H. Plonk, M. E. Rudisill, C. A. Weiss, P. E. Fry, Rose Smyre, and Jonas W. Plonk.
Letters from individuals listed below are arranged in chronological order under the writer's name: John W. Bailey, 1899-1934; Stanford Cline, 1915-1937; Beatrice, T. G., and Lucille Cobb, 1892-1938; J. H. Giles, 1898-1936; Richard Gunter, 1898-1918; William P. and Minnie Halliburton, 1897-1911; Emma Hildebrand, 1880-1892; Memory and N. L. Chapman Perry, 1895-1910; and L. M. and George E. Williams, 1891-1931.
Correspondence concerning livestock is mostly about pigs but includes his Angora goat interests. Poultry correspondence is in box 33.
Volumes 33 and 34 are account books of Marcus Wike of Newton, Catawba County, N.C. He married a sister of Julia (Smyre) Propst, who was John E. Coulter's mother-in-law. There is one Civil War letter addressed to Marcus Wike in the general chronological papers from a nephew in Atlanta.
Volume 1: 1921-1938. Justice of the Peace Court Papers (4 folders of printed forms, filled in, for various legal processes such as bankruptcy, warrants, summonses, notes, and receipts) that have been preserved and the Justice of the Peace Court Docket. #03579, Subseries: "12. Volumes, 1853-1937." Box 37
(Note: when requesting material, stipulate "Accession of 1981, folder -".)
Mostly correspondence from Alvin A. Coulter to his brothers Merton, Bryan, and C.D., and to his father J.E. Coulter. There are also a few letters from friends and relatives to J.E. Coulter and from relatives and other persons to E. Merton Coulter, one of J.E. Coulter's sons.
About ninety percent of the letters are from Alvin A. Coulter to his brothers and father and date from 1903 to 1924. Alvin, a bachelor, was a railroad engineer in Florida, Cuba, Peru, and the Panama Canal Zone. In his letters, he commented on land speculation , agriculture, and swamp drainage in Florida, and on working and living conditions, wages, cost of living, climate, disease, food, strikes and labor violence, mining operations, and the character of fellow alien workers and the local citizens, in Peru, Cuba, and Panama. Other topics discussed by Alvin include working conditions on United States railroads, World War I and the Germans, and local matters in Connelly Springs, North Carolina.
There are a few letters to J.E. Coulter from various persons concerning local Burke County politics. Only three letters date from the period 1924-1962. There are about twenty-five letters to E. Merton Coulter dated 1962-1968; they concern Coulter's biography of his father.
Letters from John C., Will, and Victor Coulter, and others, to Merton Coulter, concerning Coulter famly genealogy. In addition, there are photocopies of old deeds, articles from genealogical journals, genealogical charts, and essays relating to Coulter family history.
Items of note are two hand-drawn maps (one is labelled "1890-1940") of Connelly Springs, North Carolina showing the names and locations of businesses, churches, the post office, and private residences.
Arrangement: by type, largely as received.
Business correspondence, bills and receipts, debts and claims, and other material relating primarily to J.E. Coulter's various business enterprises in Connelly Springs, North Carolina.
Arrangement: by estate, largely as received.
Chiefly legal documents pertaining to the administration of the J.E. Coulter estate and several other estates. There are also patents, licenses, contracts, deeds, mortgages, crop liens, sharecropping contracts, summonses, warrants, and other legal papers that reflect the various business and legal activities of J.E. Coulter.
Arrangement: largely as received.
Printed advertisements, licenses, business letterheads, newspaper clippings, insurance policies, stock certificates, and other items pertaining mainly to J.E. Coulter and his various business enterprises in Connelly Springs, North Carolina.
The "Signatures" in folders 37-51 contain various business and legal documents with signatures valued for some unknown reason by J.E. Coulter or one of his sons who labeled these folders and fixed them in their present arrangement.
Account books used by J.E. Coulter in his various business enterprises in Connelly Springs from 1890 to 1945; and a volume consisting of Coulter's diary, 20 August 1926 to 9 August 1942, and the Record of Proceedings of the Mayor's Office, Connelly Springs, 27 December 1920 to 14 November 1921.
The diary contains short comments about the weather, politics, national, state, and local events, family matters, law and order, births, deaths, and other topics. There are numerous newspaper clippings pasted in the diary that contain information primarily of local and family interest.
Processed by: Diana Horne, 1963, William T. Auman, 1984
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008Back to Top