Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NC: Mr. Percy's Run

Via Cousin John

Mr. Joshua Percy Flowers is second only to Ava Gardner in notoriety anywhere near Johnston County, North Carolina. The Saturday Evening Post declared Flowers “King of the Moonshiners” in 1958, when it is estimated he was earning one million dollars annually in untaxed revenue from the sale of white liquor up and down the East Coast. He was also one “helluva fox hunter.” This film attempts to cover the ground between the two pursuits and reveal a picture of the man apart from the legends


  1. He was the best Liquor maker and Cock Fighter around. He was the hero in Johnston County. There are more tales about the man than you can shake a stick.

    All the Land on both sides of 42 headed to Clayton belonged to him. There is a Percy Flowers store on 42.


  2. I heard it rumored that Percy's money started First Citizens Bank. CH

  3. I should have said built instead of started because I think the bank was actually started in the late 1800's but it was a Smithfield NC bank and Percy fortunes rose in the same time frame that the bank grew and expanded. Percy being from that area is most likely the reason that story is told but I have no idea if it is true. CH

    1. Thanks and maybe my Cousin John might know.

    2. Cousin John replied:


      I do not know exactly when First Citizens was started but the Holden Family had the chief stock in the bank since the turn of the Century:

      This is the background on Franks Dad: http://www.americanbanker.com/people/frank-holding-sr-retiring-from-first-citizens-in-north-carolina-1065783-1.html

      Percy I think died in 1982 and was in his eighties. I do not know if he had any holdings in First Citizens but will check with one of their Board members that I know well.


      If you go down 42 Hwy from Stancils Chapel to Clayton, you will see several Churches that Percy had built but the largest is Thanksgiving Church