ManufacturerHail and Cotton

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Hail and Cotton

Tobacco leaf dealer located in Springfield, Tennessee.


Over one hundred years ago, when Louisville flourished as the largest hogshead tobacco market in the world, Hail & Cotton began as a partnership between Mr. E.A. Hail of Adairville, Kentucky and Mr. M.R. Cotton of Madisonville, Kentucky. Mr. Hail was widely known and respected as a knowledgeable "tobacco expert" and was regarded by representatives of the industry as one of the best judges of tobacco in the United States. Mr. Cotton brought to the partnership his financial and marketing expertise. He structured the company's buying and sales efforts to the export market and, to this date, exports account for a significant part of the firm's total volume.

Late in 1923, the partners elected to incorporate with Mr. Hail serving as President of the corporation until his death in 1928. At that time, Mr. Cotton assumed the Presidency. The first Hail & Cotton, Inc. direct packing operation was established in 1924 at Clarksville, Tennessee. Under skilled leadership and abetted by the tireless efforts of its employees, the company survived the crucial 1929-1933 period with uninterrupted service to its customers.

As sales increased, a second factory was built in 1932 in Springfield, Tennessee. These operations handled primarily Dark Fired and Dark Air Cured tobaccos. Hail & Cotton was also a factor in the Burley export trade; packing operations were carried out through independent re-drying companies that were prevalent at that time.

In 1937, Mr. Cotton retired from active participation in Hail & Cotton, and remained Chairman of the Board until his death in 1943. During his long tenure, relationships of dedication and loyalty among all members of the firm were nurtured and cemented, forming the basis of the solid conservative corporation that exists today. Building on that trust, Hail & Cotton expanded its operations to the Flue-Cured area in 1945. Careful attention to customer requests rapidly established the company as a reliable supplier throughout our traditional European trading area.

As industry requirements and marketing techniques changed during the 1960's, Hail & Cotton recognized these trends and adapted company policies and facilities to maintain our competitive capabilities. During this time, sales efforts in the Far East were initiated to provide better balance to our Flue-Cured operation. During the next several years, the company expanded European and North African sales coverage.

In 1967, Hail & Cotton purchased the Fields Tobacco Co. facilities in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. This addition provided the company the threshing capability to service domestic strip orders and provided better processing supervision and additional market coverage to benefit our regular export trade. These capabilities in North Carolina were further upgraded later with the joint-venture purchase of the China American dealer operation and the Eastern Processors packing facility.

In 1974, a new processing/storage complex was built in Springfield, Tennessee, and all Hail & Cotton operations in Tennessee were consolidated there. This facility provides the most complete range of processing capabilities of any plant in the Dark Fired/Dark Air Cured area, as we pack in bundle, loose leaves and strip form in accordance with our customers’ requirements.

In 1990, Hail & Cotton sold the facilities in North Carolina and moved its threshing business to Springfield, Tennessee. The move provided a concentrated base of operations to promote future growth. In 1992, with the acquisition of an additional factory, a complete expansion and upgrade of that processing facility was undertaken to meet our customers' ever-changing needs and demands. Today, while a few large dealers represent a major portion of the tobacco marketplace, Hail & Cotton stands out as an independent alternative to such concentrations of customers' tobacco processing volumes.

We are pleased that Hail & Cotton has demonstrated its flexibility by meeting these challenges and maintaining our competitive position, and we continue to modernize our facilities to meet the quality and processing specifications our customers require. Our one unchanging policy will always be our traditional principle of top quality workmanship and fair treatment for all customer accounts.

We would like to thank our customers throughout the world for the opportunity to serve them for over 100 years. We treasure these excellent relationships and assure to each our full dedication in the future.


With two processing plants in Springfield, Tennessee, and sales offices in Wilson, North Carolina, we participate in purchasing, processing, and selling all USA leaf types. These annual leaf purchases are made at auctions sanctioned by the U.S.D.A. during the marketing seasons by our own leaf buying personnel and through direct contracts with tobacco growers.

In addition to USA purchases, Hail & Cotton, Inc. is active worldwide. From Brazil, we provide tobacco to our customers through our affiliate, Kannenberg, Barker, Hail & Cotton Tabaccos, Ltda. (KBH&C). Our purchasing programs in many tobacco producing countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America allow us to offer leaf from these origins as well.

Our processing facilities are modern and capable of meeting diverse processing needs. The principal leaf types processed in our facilities include Flue Cured, Burley, Dark Fired and Dark Air Cured varieties.

Hail & Cotton processes leaf tobaccos to meet our customers' requirements by threshing strips for cigarettes, cigars, and chewing products as well as packing butted and straight-laid leaves and in bundle form. Together with our fermentation facilities, we offer very complete and flexible leaf processing services to our customers.


While quality and price are very important, it is service that is most distinguishable among competing suppliers. At Hail & Cotton, each customer has the attention of our entire staff. We won't give you limitations, we will ask for your needs, listen and provide.

Our buying team and production facility are designed for flexibility, making specialty or experimental runs as easy as standard production orders. We adapt to our customers' requirements. We provide personal attention and are always ready to hear what you have to say.

We invite you to visit our web page, give us a call, or stop by one of our offices. Whether you are a new prospect seeking more information, or an old friend interested in catching up on the latest news, we're here for you. We've been here for you for 100 years, and will be for many more to come.

P.O. Box 638
Springfield, TN, 37172-0638

2841 Daisy Lane, Suite E
Wilson, NC 27893-1276

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