Walter Dunn Laroque
Great-Grandson of Walter & Cynthia Dunn
Lenoir County, NC

Kinston Free Press - City Officials & Business Men, 1906
Abstracted by Martha M. Marble

Rountree & Laroque

Rountree and Laroque write insurance on anything and represent nineteen fire insurance companies, one life company, one casualty company, and one surety company.

This business was established by Mr. S.H. Rountree, Jr., in 1894, and until 1903 it was owned and conducted by him. In that year he was succeeded by his son, Mr. Eugene C. Rountree, who in 1904 consolidated his agency with that of Mr. W. D. Laroque, Jr., who had purchased the agency of Mr. Samuel Abbott.

By devoting their entire time and personal attention to the insurance business alone, the firm of Rountree and Laroque has established itself firmly in the business world of Kinston and surrounding towns, and is now recognized as one of the largest and strongest insurance agencies in Eastern Carolina.

Among the nineteen fire insurance companies represented by them are found the oldest and strongest in the world and include the three principal North Carolina companies--"N.C. Home of Raleigh, "Underwriters", of Greensboro and the "Pamilico", of Tarboro. These with the "Pacific Mutual Life", the "Fidelity & Casualty", of New York, accident, and the "American Surety," of New York, surety, make it possible for this firm to insure any kind of risk known to the business world.

Their office is situated on Gordon Street, three doors West of Queen, next to the "Free Press" office, right in the business center of the city.

Both these young men are well known throughout the surrounding country and they are rapidly increasing their business in the neighboring towns.

Obituary - source unknown

North Carolina, the Old North State and the new Walter Dunn Laroque, whose position in North Carolina was recoginzed as that of a business and civic leader of Kinston, passed from this life July 5, 1930. He was born in Lenoir County, December 30, 1878, his parents being Walter Dunn and Annie Parrott Mewborne Laroque. The father was a livestock dealer, planter and merchant whose success enabled him to provide liberal educational opportunities for his son, who after attending private schools in Kinston became a student in the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering at Raleigh.

He was the fourth in order of birth in a family of six children and he started out in the business world in the employ of his uncle, William Alexander Laroque, a Kinston grocery merchant. Subsequently he was connected with the Hines Lumber Company of Kinston and in 1904 he entered the insurance and real estate business, organizing a company for that purpose. This claimed his attention to a considerable measure throughout his remaining days but he also organized the Caswell Bank, of which he was the only president. The institution merged with the National Bank of Kinston in 1923. He was also active in manufacturing circles as secretary and director of the Caswell Cotton Mills.

On the 2d day of December, 1903, Mr. Laroque was married to Miss Mary Pauline Hines, of Kinston, daughter of Lovit and Mary Jane (Murphrey) Hines, of a prominent Kinston family, her father being president of the Hines Lumber Company.

Mr. and Mrs. Laroque became parents of six children: Marianna, the wife of Meriwether Lewis, of Kinston; Louise, now Mrs. G.V. Cowper Jr., of Scarborough, New York; Mamie Hines, who is the wife of W.J. Nicholson Jr., of Kinston, and has two daughters, Mary and Margaret; Walter Dunn III who is now carrying on the insurance and real estate business which was founded by his father; Lovit, who attended the Virginia Episcopal School of Lynchburg, Virginia, and is now a student of Scarborough School of Scarborough, New York, and Marguerite, attenting Kinston high school. Walter Dunn Laroque III, who was born in Kinston, September 7, 1915, attended the public schools, the Woodberry Forest School of Virginia and the University of North Carolina, being graduated from the last named institution with the Bachelor of Arts degree in December, 1937. He is a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and of Cotillion Club.

Mr. Laroque was connected with the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and the Woodmen of the World, while his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Gordon Steet Church of the Disciples of Christ. He belonged to the Kinston Chamber of Commerce, of which he was at one time president, and he served as a director of the Kinston Fair Association, was one of the organizers of the Kinston Country Club and also organized the Rotary Club.

As mayor from 1907 to 1913 he gave to Kinston a businesslike and progressive administration, for which he had qualified through serving as alderman from 1903 to 1905, thus gaining intimate knowledge of municipal affairs. He was appointed postmaster in 1914 and was chairman of the board of directors of the State Prison. It has been said that he was "regarded by Governor Gardner as one of the six best men of the State of North Carolina." Mrs. Laroque still occupies the family residence in Kinston, over which whe presides with gracious hospitality, and she has membership with the Colonial Dames.

Harvey Hines, brother of Mrs. Laroque, is one of the prominent business men of Kinston. He was born in Lenoir County, North Carolina, in December, 1884, a son of Lovit and Mary Jane (Murphrey) Hines. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and has extensive and important business interests, being a wholesale grocer, the owner of the Coca-Cola Bottling Works and an ice and ice cream manufacturer of Kinston. He married Marguerite Walker, who was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but lived in New York. They have two sons, Harvey C. and William Walker. Mr. Hines has membership in the Episcopal church and also belongs to the Masonic fraternity.