Scope and Contents
This collection contains ledgers, correspondence, bills and shipping labels related to Oscar Pearsall's whole grocery businesses Hall & Pearsall and Pearsall & Company. Also included are medical insurance certificates and related correspondence for Oscar Pearsall.
Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Oscar Pearsall (1849-1925) was born in Duplin County, North Carolina and attended the public schools of Kenansville. Pearsall moved to Wilmington in 1869 where he secured a position as bookkeeper and salesman with the business, Edwards & Hall. In 1874, Pearsall partnered with Benjamin Franklin Hall and launched a wholesale grocery and commission business under the name Hall & Pearsall.
The business was located at 11 and 13 South Water Street and also included several waterfront warehouses. The stock carried by Hall & Pearsall included meat, molasses, flour, sugar, coffee, salts, groceries, and fertilizers. The location at South Water street included business offices, receiving and shipping departments, and store rooms. The commission business sold cotton, naval stores, peanuts and other country produce. Naval stores were handled at a six acre yard located at Point Peter on the Cape Fear and Northeast rivers.
In 1906, Pearsall established the business, Pearsall & Company, with his two sons Frederick and Horace Pearsall. He was also the organizer of the Wilmington Oil & Fertilizer Company, one of the largest plants of its kind in North Carolina at the time. After Pearsall's death, Frederick became president of the wholesale grocery business and Horace became president of the oil and fertilizer business.
Oscar Pearsall was actively involved in the Wilmington community. He was elected to the Board of Aldermen for two terms and served as chairman of the Committee on Streets and Wharves. Pearsall was a member and elder at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and Pearsall Memorial Church. He married Rachel Whitfield Herring and the couple had twelve children. Pearsall is buried at Oakdale Cemetery.