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Joseph Cooper Dail Store Account Books, 1894-1941


Joseph Cooper Dail (1872-1940) was born in Chowan County, a son of Martha A. Boyce and Nathan D. Dail. In 1898 Dail began working in a mercantile store in Edenton (Chowan County), then purchased the store in 1903. In 1897 he married Christian Eliza (Kate) Hobbs (1878-1959). At least five children were born to this couple, who lived in and brought up their family in Edenton.This collection represents the financial records of grocer, Joseph Cooper Dail, who first worked in, then later owned a retail grocery in the town of Edenton. Included among the account books, with entries made from 1894-1941, are the following: six volumes labeled as double entry ledgers, two volumes labeled as single ent ... (more below)

Title

Joseph Cooper Dail Store Account Books, 1894-1941

Collection Number

PC.AB.539

Date(s)

1894-1941

Language

English

Physical Description
26 account books, including eight ledgers, twelve sales/charges/order books, three pocket memo books, and three unpaid debts books
Physical Description
Boxes
3.00
Abstract

Joseph Cooper Dail (1872-1940) was born in Chowan County, a son of Martha A. Boyce and Nathan D. Dail. In 1898 Dail began working in a mercantile store in Edenton (Chowan County), then purchased the store in 1903. In 1897 he married Christian Eliza (Kate) Hobbs (1878-1959). At least five children were born to this couple, who lived in and brought up their family in Edenton.

This collection represents the financial records of grocer, Joseph Cooper Dail, who first worked in, then later owned a retail grocery in the town of Edenton. Included among the account books, with entries made from 1894-1941, are the following: six volumes labeled as double entry ledgers, two volumes labeled as single entry ledgers; twelve volumes variously labeled as daybooks, order books, or annual books and involving sales; charges, and orders; three small, soft bound, memorandum books containing inventories and lists of medications; and three other volumes including lists of old, unpaid accounts, supplies, or produce orders, etc. Additionally, one volume includes four pages with college expenses listed for children, Leroy Dail, at Wake Forest College, and Katie Dail at Meredith College. One or more volumes includes brief comments about weather, such as rain, thunderstorms and sometimes the deaths of customers and/or community members listed.

Creator

Dail, Joseph Cooper

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Arranged by type of material.


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 Fran Tracy-Walls, 2008; 2011

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, June 2011; additional encoding by Lea Walker, October 2016


Joseph Cooper Dail was born in Chowan County on 17 November 1872, a son of Martha A. Boyce Dail (1850-1950) and Nathan D. Dail (1843-1877). Nathan Dail died leaving his widow and three young children, of whom Joseph was the eldest. By 1897 Joseph was working in a store in Winfall (Perquimans County). That same year he married Christian Eliza (Kate) Hobbs (1878-1959).

In 1898 Mr. Dail began working in a grocery store in Edenton (Chowan County), and subsequently purchased the store in 1903. According to census records, Dail and his wife, Kate, became the parents of five children, Eugenia E., born ca. 1899; Ida M., born, ca. 1902; Leroy Joseph, born ca. 1904; Kate E., born, ca. 1907; and Nathan D. born ca. 1912.

Described in the  North Carolina Yearbook and Business Directory, 1910, Edenton of that period had a population of 3,046 and boasted a total of seventeen grocery stores. (The total number of grocery stores, however, was a little less by 1912. The years of this collection from 1894-1941 represent a time when almost every town and community enjoyed the presence of one or often several small neighborhood stores, each owned by a grocer who took a personal interest in the neighborhood and the customers.

According to family accounts, Joseph Dail employed two clerks, including one named Ekron White. Mr. Dail's wife and sons also helped in the store, with the sons delivering items to customers by bicycle. One service provided by the store to the community was allowing customers to make long distance calls. Under this system, a record book was kept of all such calls and callers were charged accordingly.

Mr. Dail died on 18 August 1940. He was buried in Beaver Hill Cemetery, in Edenton. One of his sons inherited the store, but it was subsequently rented out then later sold.


[Identification of item], PC.AB.539.1-25, Joseph Cooper Dail Store Account Books, 1897-1941, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Gift from Barbara Dail Whiteman, Raleigh, NC, 2008


This collection represents financial records of a retail grocer, Joseph Cooper Dail, who first worked in a general merchandise store in Winfall, N.C., then later worked in, and finally owned a retail store named the J.C. Dail Grocery. Included among the account books are the following: six volumes labeled as double entry ledgers, two volumes labeled as single entry ledgers; three small, soft bound, pocket memorandum books containing inventories or lists of medications; twelve volumes variously labeled as daybooks, order books, or annual books and with entries recording sales, charges, and orders; and three other volumes including lists of old, unpaid accounts, supplies, or produce orders, etc. As a whole, the books show that Mr. Dail offered a fairly wide range of grocery and household items. Items sold included many types of staples, cured and salted meat, fish, candies, produce, and other types of foods. He also sold remedies such as Lydia Pinkham pills and Bateman drop. Additionally, he accepted items for trade, for example, eggs exchanged for groceries, candy, Cokes, or kerosene. Some of the ledgers include the names of local citizens who died or were ill, weather reports, visits from his children, car repairs, taxes, repair bills, some references to world news, and so forth.


1910, 1920, 1930 United States Federal Census; North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975 ,  North Carolina Yearbook and Business Directory, 1910, p. 173;  North Carolina Yearbook and Business Directory, 1912, p. 169; Website of Find a Grave: Joseph C. Dail and Kate H. Dail, Beaver Hill Cemetery, Edenton, Chowan County


  • Retail trade--North Carolina--Edenton
  • Grocery trade--North Carolina--Edenton
  • Chowan County (N.C.)
  • Edenton (N.C.)
  • Perquimans County (N.C.)
  • Winfall (N.C.)
  • Dail, Joseph Cooper
  • Dail, Peter B.

Includes various account books maintained by Joseph C. Dail in the course of his work in the retail grocery trade, 1894 until his death in 1940. There are some entries by others in 1941. The six volumes that have covers stamped or embossed with the designation double entry generally have the following pattern: they contains entries of transactions with store suppliers, with charges and dates on the left side, and payment by check, dates, and all relevant discounts and credits on the right side. Most supplies were listed as Merchandise (Mdse.), though there are various listings of commodities such as flour, milk, eggs, oranges, raisins, soap, vaseline, snuff, buttons, burlap, gas and oil (for the ledgers after 1920), and so forth. Names and towns or cities of the suppliers are written as headings at the tops of pages. There are at least partial indexes in the front of the volume. Suppliers were typically from Edenton, Elizabeth City, Richmond, Va., Norfolk, Va., and Baltimore, Md. The other types of account books are twelve orders and charges books; three small pocket memo books that were used to list inventory and supplies on hand; and three books of old accounts, presumably unpaid. There are twenty-six volumes in total, 1894-1941.

PC.AB.539.1
Ledger, Double Entry
1894-1901

Scope and Content

The beginning of the book, starting with the earliest dates, includes listings of suppliers, probably in Winfall, Perquimans County, N.C. Possibly the suppliers were for a store operated by J.C. Dail's uncle, Peter B. Dail. Missing groups of pages are as follows: pages 29-38; 47-58; 68-96. Includes two loose sheets.

PC.AB.539.2A
Ledger, Double Entry
1902-1907

Scope and Content

Contains entries of transactions with store suppliers, with charges and dates on the left side, and payment by check, dates, and all relevant discounts or credit. The back of the volume has listings of deposits with the Bank of Edenton and Citizens Bank.

PC.AB.539.2B
Ledger, Double Entry
1907-1912

Scope and Content

Includes accounts with suppliers, and J.C. Dail banking information, and some listings of supplies.

PC.AB.539.3
Ledger, Double Entry
1912-1919

Scope and Content

Includes accounts with suppliers. Account with Bank of Edenton, pages 145-189.

PC.AB.539.4
Ledger, Double Entry
1924-1931

Scope and Content

Contains accounts with suppliers. Some banking information in the front of the volume and account with Bank of Edenton, pages 142-189. Includes a loose lined receipt with the J.C. Dail letterhead. Names of various customers are listed along with balances or some other figure that is not identified. Additionally, in the index portion of the volume, there are four pages with college expenses listed for children Leroy Dail at Wake Forest College, and Katie Dail at Meredith College.

PC.AB.539.5
Ledger, Double Entry
1924-1931

Scope and Content

Contains accounts with suppliers.

PC.AB.539.6
Ledger labeled as Single Entry
1928-1939

Scope and Content

The heading on each page is that of J.C. Dail. Functions as a daily calender with each page headed by the year and month with days listed thereunder in numerical order. Contains listings of family medical expenses; notes endorsed; directors meetings; cash sales (with brief comments about weather, such as rain, thunderstorms; deaths of customers or community members).

PC.AB.539.7
Ledger labeled as single entry
1939-January 1941

Scope and Content

The heading on most pages is that of J.C. Dail. Functions as a daily calender with each page headed by the year and month with days listed thereunder in numerical order. The entry on August 18, 1940 includes the comment that  "Dad died, 11:57 P.M." The record shows that the store closed on August 19 and 20. The subsequent monthly heading through January 1941 are J.C. Dail, Estate. There is a loose page, front and back, with entries of power and water used at home and at the store.

PC.AB.539.8
Sales/Charges Book
June 1918-May 1919

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.9
Produce and Purchases of Eggs from Customers
1919-1921

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.10
Sales/Charges Book
April 1919- May 1920

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.11
Sales/Charges Book
October 1919-July 1921

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.12
Sales/Order Book
December 1920-June 1927

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.13
Sales/Charges Book
March 1921-February 1922

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.14
Sales/Orders Book
February 1922-September 1922

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.15
Sales/Charges Book
September 1922-May 1923

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.16
Sales/Charges Book
July 1927-October 1929

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.17
Sales/Charges Book
March 1929-June 1930

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.18
Sales/Charges Book
June 1930-July 1931

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.19
Sales/Charges Book
September 1932-July 1933

Scope and Content

PC.AB.539.20
Pocket Memo Book
1907-1911

Scope and Content

Inventory notes and listings.

PC.AB.539.21
Pocket Memo Book
1912-1913; 1916-1917

Scope and Content

Inventory notes and listings.

PC.AB.539.22
Pocket Memo Book
1919-1922

Scope and Content

Listings of medications sold and purchases thereof.

PC.AB.539.23
Old Debts and Annual Sales Book
1898-1916

Scope and Content

Contains old debts to Peter B. Dail (first owner of store), 1898-1911. Also on the last page is a list of annual sale totals, 1903-1916. The outside cover of the book has been titled as an Order Book.

PC.AB.539.24
Old Accounts Book
1903-1936

Scope and Content

These were old unpaid accounts that Mr. Dail considered worthless, according to a note left inside. The outside cover of the book has been titled as a Day Book.

PC.AB.539.25
Old Accounts Book
1922-1923

Scope and Content

These were old unpaid accounts. May include some sales, but the entries are not always clear.