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Parks H. Dalton papers

Identifier: MS0354

Scope and Contents

The Parks H. Dalton Collection is a small collection of papers concerning the Interstate Securities Corporation, which later became known as Interstate/Johnson Lane, and which date from 1932 to 1997.


  • 1932 - 1997


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Parks Hutchison Dalton, Jr. was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 15, 1929. It was while he was still a teenager that he became intrigued with investments and stock broking. It was then that his grandfather would take him to the Bache & Company office to see how stocks were traded. Though Parks was not yet of legal age to begin trading stocks and bonds, his grandfather set him up with an investment portfolio for him to “manage.” Parks was hooked on investments from that moment onward.

He graduated from Davidson College and later earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. At the time, Wharton was the only post-graduate curriculum specializing in investment banking and securities. With his Wharton MBA in hand, Dalton started his career in sales for the Interstate Securities Corporation in 1953. Recalling how much simpler things were at that time, Dalton said that he would travel to customers with over-the-counter stock certificates in-hand and sell them directly to his clients. Dalton rose steadily through the ranks, becoming president in 1968. He retired in 1988 as chairman and CEO when the ISC merged with Johnson, Lane, Space, Smith & Company, of Atlanta; to form Interstate/Johnson Lane. However, things took a turn for the worse for this newly restructured company, and profits turned into deficits. Dalton returned to I/JL in 1990 to oversee a major restructuring of the company. In 1994, Financial World magazine named Dalton as one of the nation’s top ten CEOs. Dalton retired permanently in 1997 and died on May 9, 2004 in Charlotte.

Biographical / Historical

The Interstate Securities Corporation was established during the depths of the Great Depression, on March 28, 1932. Jonathan Greene Gullick, W. Olin Nesbit, Junior, and Herman P. Hamilton formed the ISC at a time when large and long-established investment firms were either stagnating or closing down. Trying to start a new investment company was very difficult at that time. Gullick had already been operating his own company, the Interstate Security Company, since 1928. In order to build up a clientele, the three partners bought advertising space in the Charlotte Observer, and also mailed out one-cent post cards to people who still had money to invest. Before long, business began to take off. One thing about the Depression that actually helped investors was the low price of bonds, making them affordable and attractive to investors. The ISC also attributed its success to its frugal approach to business management, both in terms of office expenses and its stock investments.

During World War II, this still-small firm remained as conservative as it had ever been. During the war years, Olin Nesbitt left ISC to open another firm elsewhere, and Herman Hamilton served in the military. Gullick remained at the office, handling the firm’s investments. R.S. Abernathy joined the ISC in 1943.

After the war, the economy began to change from one that was heavily oriented around industry and production, to a service economy. Accordingly, the ISC investment strategies also began to change. All in all, the economy was a prosperous one, and ISC also prospered. By 1960 the ISC had established offices in six different cities in order to provide investment services in smaller towns, where there was little competition.

In 1953, a recent graduate from the Wharton School of Business joined the firm as a salesman—Parks H. Dalton. The 1960s were years of tremendous growth for ISC. In 1963 the ISC became a member of the New York Stock Exchange. Sid Abernathy became president of the firm in 1966. In 1967 the corporation acquired its first seat on the American Stock Exchange, and a year later, Abernathy was elected vice chairman of the board and Parks Dalton was elected president of ISC.

In the 1970s when the post-WWII economic boom retracted, the ISC continued to grow, establishing several more offices around the Carolinas—specifically in Rock Hill, Columbia and Myrtle Beach. In 1979, ISC acquired McCarley & Company.

By the time of its fiftieth anniversary in 1982, the ISC had 34 offices in North Carolina, 12 in South Carolina, 4 in Georgia and one in New York. In 1985, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, as its stock was publicly traded for the first time, with an initial public offering of $12.75 per share. Soon, about 3,000 investors bought 1.7 million shares. At the time, Parks Dalton was the largest single owner of stock, holding 6% of the shares.

It was around 1997 that Interstate Securities merged with Johnson Lane, adopting the name Interstate/Johnson Lane. About half of this collection consists of materials from the merged company. In 1999, I/JL merged with Wachovia Capital Markets, Inc., to form Wachovia Securities, Inc. As this collection concludes in 1997 there are no materials from Wachovia Securities.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Parks H. Dalton Collection is a small collection of papers and records that came from the Interstate Securities Corporation and Interstate/Johnson Lane, investment firms headquartered in Charlotte, NC. The ISC incorporated in Charlotte in 1932.


Series I contains Annual Reports for the ISC from 1973 to 1985 (lacking only the 1984 issue). The annual reports are followed by an article (from an unnamed source) dated 1985, when the ISC began publicly trading its stock at the New York Stock Exchange. This is followed by a page taken from the 1970 issue of Commerce Clearinghouse, which lists ISC. Series I also contains three articles on the history of the company (one from 1968 and two from 1982), and four financial statements (ranging from 1932 to 1984).

Series II contains a small assortment of papers (most of which are undated), either from or about Interstate/Johnson Lane after a corporate merger that took place in 1985. These are articles about I/JL (dating from 1990 to 1997), a client list, a list of employees at new locations, the spring issue of InterConnection (the company magazine), and a file concerning third party administration.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Mrs. Parks H. Dalton, in April 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, 2007.

Parks H. Dalton papers
Robert A. McInnes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
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