Green, John Ruffin

Date of birth
Place of birth
Orange County
Date of death
Place of death
Durham, NC
Can you help?
You don't need to know everything, but can you improve the description? Maybe add some more details?
Log in or register and you can edit this.

John Ruffin Green (1840-1869) grew up on a farm in rural Orange County and took up growing and selling tobacco in 1856. In 1862, he bought a tobacco "manufactory" at Durham's Station from Robert Morris and created a brand that proved popular among University of North Carolina students, who carried it with them when they left for service in the Civil War.

Near war's end, Union soliders raided Green's warehouse, leaving Green facing ruin. However, a stream of orders for his tobacco came into the Durham post office and station master after the troops went home, and his business boomed. With others rushing to capitalize on the popularity of Durham tobacco, Green named his brand "Genuine Durham Smoking Tobacco" and adopted a bull (of a breed called "Durham," which he adapted from a Coleman's Mustard label) as its trademark.

Green took on William Thomas Blackwell and James R. Day as partners in 1869; after Green's death from tuberculosis later that year, Blackwell bought Green's share of the business and continued successful manufacture of "Bull Durham."

Add new comment

Log in or register to post comments.