D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

L. C. Le Compte Postcard Collection
(1910-1977)

P77.5.1-2


In the Land of the Sky (no. 139), L. C. Le Compte Postcard Collection
D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC Asheville 28804

Title

L. C. Le Compte Postcard Collection (1910-1977)

Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/photo/lecompte/lecompte.html
Creator Lamar Campbell Le Compte 
Creator J. L. Widman
Creator Asheville Postcard Company
Subject Keyword L. C. Le Compte ; Asheville Postcard Company ; Great Smoky Mountain National Park ; Asheville, N.C. ; Southern Historical Postcards ; Dixieland ; Grove Park Inn ; Cherokee ; Indians ; Douglas Ellington ; City Building ; Asheville Courthouse ; Biltmore Industries ; railroads ; Battery Park Hotel ; Enka Plant ; Biltmore House ; Craggy Gardens ; Hickory Nut Gap ; Lake Lure ; Mt. Mitchell ; Toxaway ; Looking Glass Falls ; Looking Glass Rock ; Grove Park Inn ; Grove Arcade ; Biltmore Forest Country Club ; 
Subject LCSH LeCompte, Lamar Campbell (d.1977)
Asheville Postcard Company
Georgia -- History -- Pictorial works
Georgia -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works
Postcards -- Georgia
Virginia -- History -- Pictorial works
Florida -- History -- Pictorial works
Florida -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works
Great Smoky Mountain National Park -- History -- Pictorial works
North Carolina -- History -- Pictorial works
North Carolina -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works
Postcards -- North Carolina
South Carolina -- History -- Pictorial works
South Carolina -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works
Postcards -- South Carolina
West Virginia -- History -- Pictorial works
World War II -- History -- Pictorial works
Date Original  
Date Digital 2001-05-14
Publisher D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Contributor Mrs. Ruth H. Thurmond ; Southern Highlands Research Center 
Type Collection ; Image (postcards), copied newspaper article
Format 2 boxes, VF folder
Source P77.5.1 ; P77.5.2
Language English
Relation Asheville-Buncombe County Library Asheville Postcard Collection [Collection of Western North Carolina postcards purchased from the Asheville Postcard Collection.]  E. M. Ball Collection, D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804 (Southern Historical Photographs)
Coverage 1910-1977 ; Southeastern United States
Rights Any display, publication or public use must credit D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor Donor Number 24

Description

The collection contains over 400 color postcards and postcard folders of Western North Carolina and the Southern States created from photographs purchased by L. C. Le Compte and others and produced by the Asheville Postcard Company, owned by Le Compte and others. Reportedly formed in 1910,  the Asheville Postcard Company was located between Broadway and Lexington Avenue at 31 Carolina Lane, Asheville, NC. It is not listed as a formal company in the Asheville City Directory until 1921, when it is listed with J. L. Widman as co-owner with Le Compte. The company started with a line of some 190 different postcards produced on linen finish paper stock and surrounded by a white border.  Each of the postcards is given an identifying number. Number 1, for example, is a view of Andrews Gyser near Old Fort, NC. Le Compte reportedly sold his cards for the wholesale price of .75 per 100 cards. The inventory of Asheville Postcard Company at its close, was estimated to be several million cards. The focus of this collection is on  Western North Carolina, but other scenes of the South are represented. The Asheville Postcard Company under Le Compte was managed in the later years by Ruth Thurmond who donated the UNCA collection of postcards. Following Le Compte, the Asheville Postcard Company was owned in 1978 by Scott K. Trees of Marion, NC. In 1982, Joe Mayes, from Charlotte, was the owner. Currently, the company is known as the Aerial Photography Services, and located formerly at 1145a Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC and now in Charlotte, NC. [Information from Asheville Times, "Campbell Le Compte's Cards Offer Twinge of Nostalgia," (1977-08[?]-10), from Le Compte's obituary in the Asheville Citizen, "L. C Le Compte Dies: Owned Post Card Firm," 1977-06-06 and from the Asheville City Directories, 1914-1982].

Acquisition

1977-06-00

Citation

L. C. Le Compte Postcard Collection (1910-1977), D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804

Processed by

Special Collections staff, 1977 and 2001

Biography Lamar Campbell Le Compte came to Asheville around 1910. He moved to the area with his family who sought a healthful environment for his ailing brother. His father was Charles O. Le Compte, a traveling salesman and his mother was Gertrude (Asheville Times article, n.d.). Through 1917 the Asheville City Directory lists Le Compte as employed by Smith's Drug Store. Le Compte does not appear in the directory again until the appearance of the Asheville Postcard Company in 1921. Le Compte explained in a newspaper interview in early 1977 that he began his company by traveling by train throughout the south to sell his stock. When the company is finally listed with an address in the Asheville City Directory, Le Compte has a partner, J. L. Widman. Allen Hall also worked by Le Compte as a salesman beginning in 1922 and continued with Le Compte for some 55 years. Widman's name disappears as co-owner by 1922 and  Le Compte became the sole owner from that time until his death in 1977. In the later years of the company Ruth Thurmond was the manager and the company also sold pennants, pillow covers and a variety of other souvenirs and novelties. Even at the age of eighty-seven  Le Compte continued to go to his office six days a week. He died in Asheville in 1977 after a brief illness. In 1977 the inventory is reported to have been several million cards and folders. 

The following entries are found in Asheville City Directories:

1914 -- First entry of Le Comptes in Directory
1917 -- Lamar C. LeCompte, Elk. Smith's Drug Store, H.12 Rankin
1918 -- Home address : 192 Rankin Ave., Asheville
1921 -- Asheville Postcard Company - J.L. Widman, L.C. LeCompte, wholesale postcards, 83 1/2 Patton/Widman, ? ? Ravenscroft.
1924 -- Asheville Postcard Company, wholesale, 85 1/2 Patton Ave. L. Campbell Le Compte, h.[home] 48 Houston St. [Montford section]
1930 -- Asheville Postcard Company, wholesale postcards, greeting cards, souvenirs, 80 1/3 N. Lexington - phone 4047. 
1931 -- [Only Le Compte is listed as owner.]  (wife Mary) home 102 Houston
1936 -- Same as above
1941 -- 31 Carolina Lane ; home 562 Haywood in Castenea Bldg. Room 310.
1956 - 71 -- Same as above
1976 -- home 147 E. Chestnut, Apt. 5
1977 -- Asheville Postcard Company (Mrs. Ruth Thurmond, Mgr.). Home 147 E. Chestnut.
1978 -- Asheville Postcard Company, 25 Carolina Lane (Scott K. Trees). Home S.K. and Lois Trees, Marion, NC.
1982 -- Asheville Postcard Company, 29 Carolina Lane (Joe Mayes) Charlotte, NC.

[Information from Asheville Times, "Campbell Le Compte's Cards Offer Twinge of Nostalgia," (1977-08[?]-10), from Le Compte's obituary in the Asheville Citizen, "L.C. Le Compte Dies: Owned Post Card Firm," 1977-06-06 and from business information in the Asheville city directories, 1914-1982].

SERIES  
01

General Views of the South
Florida
Georgia

02 Great Smoky Mountain National Park
03 North Carolina

Asheville
Western North Carolina

04 Patriotic
South Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia
04 Postcard Folders

Georgia
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia

   

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