Orange County, North Carolina historic information cache - Tobacco Manufacturing Companies - Webb & Whitted, Webb & Roulhac, and Roulhac & Company
Webb & Whitted, Webb & Roulhac, and Roulhac & Company
The company began in January 1859 under the name of Webb & Whitted (James Webb and James Y. Whitted). Webb & Whitted was the first commercial tobacco manufacturer in Orange County.

When the Civil War began in 1861, and with James Whitted joining the Confederate army, the company ceased operations. After the war, Webb & Whitted was a drugstore in downtown Hillsboro near the intersection of Churton and King streets. In 1867, Whitted began a tobacco factory named after himself in Hillsborough, and in 1871 Webb started a new tobacco factory with William S. Roulhac, known as Webb & Roulhac. In 1872, Paul Cameron purchased 1/3 interest (for $6,500) in the company for his son, Duncan Cameron, who soon became bored with the work and left for Mississippi.

In 1873, Webb & Roulhac moved to Durham (then still in Orange County); in 1876 the firm's name changed to Roulhac & Company, and manufactured the Tiger brand of granulated smoking tobacco. Circa 1881, Roulhac & Company was taken over by William L. Lipscomb and John W. Dowd, but the company name remained the same. By 1884, the structure was in use as a graded school.

In May 1884, James Y. Whitted moved his factory to Durham.
1880s photograph of the former Roulhac & Co. building in Durham (in use as a graded school)
1880s photograph of the former Roulhac & Co. building in Durham (in use as a graded school); image courtesy of Endangered Durham.
Whitted died May 11, 1926 and is buried in Durham; Roulhac died July 17, 1884, and Webb died January 28, 1904; they are both buried in Hillsborough.

Anderson, Jean B. Piedmont Plantation. Durham: The Historic Preservation Society of Durham, 1985. 121.

Anderson, Jean B. Durham County: A history of Durham County, North Carolina. Durham: Duke University Press, 1990. 143.

Branson, Levi. Branson's North Carolina Business Directory for 1869, Containing Facts, Figures, Names and Locations. Raleigh: J.A. Jones, 1868.

Cameron, John D. A Sketch of the Tobacco Interests in North Carolina. Oxford, N.C.: W. A. Davis & Co., 1881. 58.

Chace, Jacob and George. Gray's New Map of Durham. 1881.

Endangered Durham (now Open Durham). and/or

Hillsborough Recorder. The beginning of a New Era in Hillsborough. January 26, 1859.

Sanborn Map Company. Fire insurance maps, Hillsboro and Durham, 1884, 1888.

U.S. Federal Census. Products of Industry MS, Orange County, North Carolina. 1850, 1860.
[Created 31 May 2010; Last updated 21 June 2017]

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