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Koonce Furniture Company Papers


The Koonce Furniture Company was founded by two brothers, John S. Koonce and Charles F., although the latter opted out of the furniture business in 1915. The surviving records of the store range in date from 1905 to 1935. However, John Koonce held the business together though the economic depression, until his sudden death at the beginning of 1940.This collection contains the surviving correspondence, invoices, furniture manufacturers' catalogs and two sales volumes of the Koonce Furniture Company, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Title

Koonce Furniture Company Papers

Collection Number

PC.1916

Date(s)

1905-1935

Language

English

Physical Description
Linear feet
2
Boxes
8
Genre/Physical Characteristic

Includes correspondence, invoices, and furniture manufacturers' catalogs; and 2 volumes, (one of them disbound and incomplete).

Abstract

The Koonce Furniture Company was founded by two brothers, John S. Koonce and Charles F., although the latter opted out of the furniture business in 1915. The surviving records of the store range in date from 1905 to 1935. However, John Koonce held the business together though the economic depression, until his sudden death at the beginning of 1940.

This collection contains the surviving correspondence, invoices, furniture manufacturers' catalogs and two sales volumes of the Koonce Furniture Company, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Public Services Branch, State Archives of North Carolina.

Creator

Koonce, John S.

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Surviving correspondence has been arranged chronologically. Where the number of surviving invoices has been sufficiently large as to make it worthwhile, they have been sorted by category year by year. The categorized Koonce Furniture Company Papers invoices will be found to be gathered, for the most part, by the name of the company from whom Koonce made his purchases, and not arranged chronologically.


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by George Stevenson, April 30, 2002

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, February 20, 2003


John S. Koonce (1881-1940), son of John F. and Barbara Koonce, was a native of Onslow County. His widowed mother moved with her daughter and two sons to Raleigh in the mid-1890's following the death of her husband. She and her daughter worked as seamstresses while her son Charles F. took work as a printer, and her son John S. was employed as a clerk in the furniture store of Thomas and Maxwell. By 1905 the two brothers opened their own furniture store, Koonce Brothers, at 111 E. Hargett Street. When the two of them opened Koonce Brothers Hotel at 203 S. Salisbury Street in 1915, Charles opted out of the furniture business to run the hotel and to edit the labor oriented weekly newspaper,  The Union Herald. From that time until his death 25 years later John S. Koonce was sole proprietor of the furniture store. Offering basic household furnishings and stoves, the store prospered. By 1923 Koonce had opened a second, smaller store in Zebulon, and in 1925 he built a new three-story brick building for his store at 111-113 E. Hargett Street. By the close of 1929, however, his customers began to feel financially pinched, and as the economic depression worsened in the 1930s, Koonce felt the pinch, too. By 1933 many furniture manufacturers and suppliers began to refuse him credit or to extend only a limited credit to him. Those who did found it necessary in 1934 to dun Koonce in order to extract payment from him. The surviving records of, the store end with the year 1935, though Koonce continued to hold his business together right up to his sudden death at the beginning of 1940.


John S. Koonce (1881-1940), son of John F. and Barbara Koonce, was a native of Onslow County. His widowed mother moved with her daughter and two sons to Raleigh in the mid-1890's following the death of her husband. She and her daughter worked as seamstresses while her son Charles F. took work as a printer, and her son John S. was employed as a clerk in the furniture store of Thomas and Maxwell. By 1905 the two brothers opened their own furniture store, Koonce Brothers, at 111 E. Hargett Street. When the two of them opened Koonce Brothers Hotel at 203 S. Salisbury Street in 1915, Charles opted out of the furniture business to run the hotel and to edit the labor oriented weekly newspaper,  The Union Herald. From that time until his death 25 years later John S. Koonce was sole proprietor of the furniture store. Offering basic household furnishings and stoves, the store prospered. By 1923 Koonce had opened a second, smaller store in Zebulon, and in 1925 he built a new three-story brick building for his store at 111-113 E. Hargett Street. By the close of 1929, however, his customers began to feel financially pinched, and as the economic depression worsened in the 1930s, Koonce felt the pinch, too. By 1933 many furniture manufacturers and suppliers began to refuse him credit or to extend only a limited credit to him. Those who did found it necessary in 1934 to dun Koonce in order to extract payment from him. The surviving records of, the store end with the year 1935, though Koonce continued to hold his business together right up to his sudden death at the beginning of 1940.


[Identification of item], PC.1916, Koonce Furniture Company Papers (Raleigh, N.C.), 1905-1935, State Archives of North Carolina, North Carolina Division of Historical Resources, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Gift, Mrs. Albert L. Levine, Raleigh, N.C., 2000 and 2001.


The surviving records of Koonce Furniture Company are very incomplete. For some years there is a fairly comprehensive body of invoices for his purchases from manufacturers and suppliers; for other years there are none. For some years there is a body of correspondence; for other years none. The collection of papers includes a few miscellaneous records relating to the store, the invoices for materials used in erecting the new store building in 1925, and a small collection of catalogs and price lists issued by furniture manufacturers in North Carolina and other states between 1924 and 1934. Most of them are undated. The only surviving financial records of the store are two sales books. Of these the first was much damaged and is incomplete. It covers the period from July 16, 1925, to Feb. 17, 1926. The second volume is complete and represents sales from Dec. 1, 1927, to Nov. 9, 1928.

Surviving correspondence has been arranged chronologically. Where the number of surviving invoices has been sufficiently large as to make it worthwhile, they have been sorted by category year by year. The categorized Koonce Furniture Company Papers invoices will be found to be gathered, for the most part, by the name of the company from whom Koonce made his purchases, and not arranged chronologically.


The surviving records of Koonce Furniture Company are very incomplete. For some years there is a fairly comprehensive body of invoices for his purchases from manufacturers and suppliers; for other years there are none. For some years there is a body of correspondence; for other years none. The collection of papers includes a few miscellaneous records relating to the store, the invoices for materials used in erecting the new store building in 1925, and a small collection of catalogs and price lists issued by furniture manufacturers in North Carolina and other states between 1924 and 1934. Most of them are undated. The only surviving financial records of the store are two sales books. Of these the first was much damaged and is incomplete. It covers the period from July 16, 1925, to Feb. 17, 1926. The second volume is complete and represents sales from Dec. 1, 1927, to Nov. 9, 1928.


  • Koonce, John S., 1881-1940.
  • Bedroom Furniture.
  • Bentwood furniture.
  • Cabinetwork.
  • Children's furniture.
  • Dining room furniture.
  • Furniture industry and trade.
  • Living room furniture.
  • Outdoor furniture.
  • Unfinished furniture industry.
  • Raleigh (N.C.)

Box: PC.1916.1  
1905 - 1917
1905 - 1917

Invoices
1922
Bedding
Crockery
Furniture
Mirrors
Refrigerators
Rugs
Shades
Stoves
Invoices
1923
Lamp shades
Shades
Invoices
1924
Awnings
Beds
Bedding
Draperies
Furniture
Lamps
Luggage
Mirrors
Rugs
Shades
Stoves
Table Mats
Invoices
1925
Beds
Bedding
Furniture
Phonographs
Rugs
Shades
Stoves
Table Mats
Invoices
1926
Invoices
1927

Box: PC.1916.2  
1928 - 1932
1928 - 1932

Invoices
1928
Beds
Bedding
Furniture
Lamps and Lamp shades
Luggage
Mirrors
Phonographs
Refrigerators
Rugs
Shades
Stoves
Swings/Gliders
Table Mats
Correspondence
1929
Correspondence
1930
Raleigh Billheads
1930
Correspondence
1931
Raleigh Billheads
1931
Correspondence
1932
Invoices
1932
Raleigh Billheads
1932

Box: PC.1916.3  
1933 - 1935
1933 - 1935

Correspondence
1933
Invoices, :
1933
Bedding
Furniture
Lampshades
Luggage
Shades
Stoves
Correspondence
1934
Invoices, :
1934
Bedding
Furniture
Mirrors
Recreational equipment
Rugs
Shades
Stoves
Invoices
1935

Box: PC.1916.4  
Balance Sheet
1923

17962
Bradstreet Credit Report
1932

17963
Exercise Chart

17964
Firearms
[1933?]

17965
Fireworks
[1933]

17966
Laws

Bedding
1924 - 1933
Credit Sales
1933
Worthless Checks

17970
Licenses

Business
1930 - 1931
Vehicles
1929 - 1932

17973
Merchants Association (Raleigh)
1923; 1930

17974
Promissory Notes
1924-1932

17975
Residence (New Bern Avenue)
[1924]

17976
Untitled.

17977
Building Permit

17978
Bricks

17979
Cement and Lime

17980
Elevator

17981
Hardware

17982
Ironwork

17983
Labor and Drayage

17984
Lumber

17985
Plumbing

17986
Sand and Gravel

17987
North Carolina
1924 - 1934

Blue Ridge Hickory Furniture Co., High Point, N.C.
1932
Carolina Bedding Co., Charlotte, N.C.
Cecil Manufacturing Co., High Point, N.C. (chairs)
Colonial Furniture Co., High Point, N.C., (chairs and gate leg tables)
1924
Cranford Chair Co., Asheboro, N.C.
1925
Durham Mattress Co., Durham, N.C.
Fitts-Crabtree Manufacturing Co., Sanford, N.C., 1924, 1932 (tables, safes, cupboards)
Glascock Stove Manufacturing Co., Greensboro, N.C.
Globe Parlor Furniture Co., High Point, N.C., 1925, 1932
Hanes Chair and Table Co., Mocksville, N.C.
1925
High Point Upholstery Co., High Point, N.C. (desks, wardrobes, dining room)
Home Chair Co., Inc., North Wilkesboro, N.C.
1930
Hoover Chair Co., Lexington, N.C.
Huntley Furniture Co., Winston-Salem, N.C.,(bedroom)
1924
Imperial Furniture Mfg. Co., Statesville, N.C., [1924], 1930 (bedroom)
Jones Furniture Co., Henderson, N.C. (cane furniture)
[1924]
Knox Upholstery Co., High Point, N.C., (upholstered and cane furniture)
1925
Mebane Bedding Co., Mebane, N.C.
1924
Mebane Chair Co., Mebane, N.C.
1925
Mebane-Royall Co., Mebane, N.C., (mattresses)
1930-1932
Mooresville Furniture Co., Mooresville, N.C., (kitchen tables)
1933
Randolph Chair Co., Asheboro, N.C.,(children's furniture)
[1925]
Rhodes Company, High Point, N.C., (office furniture)
1924
Royall & Borden Mfg. Co., Goldsboro, N.C., (mattresses)
1924
Statesville Furniture Co., Statesville, N.C.
ca. 1924
Tate Furniture Co., High Point, N.C., (bedroom), 1925, 1931
Thomasville Chair Co. (bedroom, dining room)
1931-1934
Union Brokerage Co., High Point, N.C. (chairs, tables, beds, buffets)Koonce Furniture Company Papers
Koonce Furniture Company Papers

Box: PC.1916.5  
Out-of-State
1924 - 1934

Abbott Furniture Co., Georgia (wicker furniture)
American Chair Co., California (wicker furniture)
American Gas Machine Co., Minnesota (gas stoves, appliances, lamps)
Anchor Stove and Range Co., Indiana
Banta Furniture Co., Indiana (bedroom, breakfast room)
Bassett Manufacturing Co., Virginia (bedroom)
Belber Trunk and Bag Co., Pennsylvania
Bemis Riddle Fibre Co., Wisconsin (wicker furniture)
Bentwood Products, New York
Blomberg-Michael Furniture., Virginia (wardrobes, cupboards, dressers)
Bloch Go-Cart Co., Pennsylvania (children's wicker furniture, etc.)
Block-Meakins Glass Corp., New York (cabinets, stools, chests, swings)
Brandt Cabinet Works, Maryland
Breneman (Charles W.) Co. (window shades)
Bristol Stove and Foundry Co., Virginia
Cameron Stove Co., Virginia
Decker (Isaac C.) Co. , Pennsylvania (living room furniture)
Dixie Foundry Co. , Tennessee
Duer (John) and Sons, Maryland (cabinet hardware and upholstery goods)
Eastern Cabinet Co., New Jersey
Empire Asbestos Table Mat Co., Ohio
Folding Furniture Works, Wisconsin (children's cribs)
Gem Manufacturing Co., Ohio (wooden ware)
Golden Star Polish Manufacturing Co., Missouri
Gray and Dudley Co., Tennessee (stoves, ranges, heaters)
Hamblen Cedar Chest Co., Tennessee
Haines (J.J.) and Co., Maryland (rugs)
Heywood-Wakefield Co., Massachusetts (sunroom and terrace furniture)
Huenefeld Company, Ohio (ovens)
Hugh Nelson Columbia Carpet Mills, Inc., Pennsylvania
Jacobs Manufacturing Co., Alabama
Justh Manufacturing Co., Ohio (sitting room)
Kelvinator, Michigan (refrigerators)
Kroehler Manufacturing Co., Illinois (living room)
Lamb (George L.), Indiana (desks, fireplace screens)
Lapsley-Interstate. Shade Cloth Co., Maryland
Lincoln Chair & Novelty Co., New York
Louisville Bedding Co., Kentucky
McDonough-Lydon Manufacturing Co., New Jersey (table pads)
Manges (Simon) and Son, Inc., New York (carpets, rugs, lineoleum)
Mather Brothers Furniture, Georgia (tables, cabinets, dressers)
Mersman Brothers Corporation, Ohio (tables, cabinets)
Meyer and Danziger, Inc., New York (cedar chests)
Mohawk Carpet Mills, New York
Mutual Furniture Manufacturing Co., Ohio (desks, tables, tea wagons)
Koonce Furniture Company Papers
Box: PC.1916.6  
National Feather and Pillow Co., Tennessee
New Home Sewing Machine Co., Illinois
Nicholson Furniture Co., Virginia (tables, desks, chairs, cabinets)
Paalman Furniture Co., Michigan (tables, cabinets, tea wagons
Peerless Manufacturing Co., Kentucky (luggage)
Perfection Stove Co., Ohio
Pimes (M.) and Company, Maryland (sitting room furniture)
Player-Tone Talking Machine Company, Pennsylvania
Polk Musical Supply Co., Georgia (musical instruments)
R-D Electric Company, Indiana (lamps)
Richmond Hardward Co., Virginia (scooters, wagons, velocipedes)
Robbins Brothers, New York (rugs, lineoleum)
Rome Stove and Range Co., Georgia
St. Johns Table Company, Michigan
Sanford (Stephen) and Sons, Inc., New York (rugs)
Servel Hermetic Refrigerator, Indiana
Shannon Spring Bed Manufacturing Co., Kentucky
Showers Brothers Co., Indiana
Silvers Manufacturing Co., Iowa (bathroom cabinets)
Southern Retail Furniture Association, Virginia
Standard Oil Company, Maryland (stoves)
Tennessee Furniture Co., Tennessee (formerly Odorless Refrigerator Co.)
Tennessee Stoveworks, Tennessee
Trimble (E.M.) and Co., New York (cribs, playpens)
Union Specialty Works, Inc., New York (folding tables, stools, etc.)
United States Stove Corporation, Tennessee
United Stove Company, Michigan
Vaughan Furniture Co., Virginia (tables, chairs, buffets)
Wheeler-Okell Company, Tennessee (beds)
Wittle Trunk and Bag Co., Tennessee
Miscellaneous Cards and Circulars

Box: PC.1916.7  
July 16, 1925 - Feb. 17, 1926
July 16, 1925 - Feb. 17, 1926

Box: PC.1916.8  
Dec. 1, 1927 - Nov.9, 1928
Dec. 1, 1927 - Nov.9, 1928