Cigarette Pack Collectors' Association

                                       The Story of Lone Jack Cigarettes



      Lynchburg Virginia has always been at the heart of the tobacco industry in America. In 1886, the Centennial Celebration Committee, which was made up primarily of members of the Lynchburg Tobacco Association, listed twenty makers of plug tobacco, eight smoking tobacco manufacturers, thirty dealers in leaf tobacco, six tobacco warehouses, and two cigarette companies in business locally. Cigarette brands of the Smyth, Woodson and Payne Company were Greek Slave, Maud Muller, Buck Eye, and Rink  while the Lone Jack Cigarette Co. manufactured Lone Jack, Ruby,  My Sweetheart, and La Hidalquia.


    John W. Carroll who was president of the Lone Jack Cigarette Company received special mention in the centennial Sketchbook of Lynchburg  as one of city’s most prominent citizens. Carroll had come to Lynchburg at age 14 as an apprentice to a cabinet maker. A few years later, he was engaged in business with William Crumpton, a successful tobacconist, whose daughter he later married.


   About 1850, when his fortunes were at a low ebb and success in the tobacco business seemed doubtful, he sat down with a friend to play a game of  “Seven Up”. Each staked a dollar on the game and through a long series of games, Carroll was a constant loser. It was late and with a feeling of chagrin, he pulled out his last dollar and placed it on the table. The critical moment arrived when his adversary stood six to three and had the deal. Diamonds were trump and Carroll held only one – a lone Jack. He looked about in desperation. If his opponent held a single trump, he was beaten. He hesitated but then gallantly took his stand.  As fortune would have it,

Carroll’s lone Jack turned out to be the winning hand and he scored high, low, Jack and the game. The lucky turn of events made such an impression with Carroll, he decided at that moment to name his best selling smoking tobacco  “Lone Jack” and eventually the same name would be used as he moved into the emerging cigarette market in the 1880’s..


From “The History of Lynchburg Virginia” by Philip Scruggs, 1946.