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Morgan Cigar Co.
West Tampa

 
The Morgan Cigar Company was established in 1900 by Col. William T. Morgan, a native Georgian who learned the cigar trade while working at the Angel L. Cuesta cigar factory in Atlanta.  When Cuesta moved to Port Tampa, Morgan accompanied him working in Tampa until 1900 when he moved to Seattle, WA to work for the Sanchez, Rodriguez & Co. cigarf factory.  In 1905 he moved back to Tampa from Seattle, where he established Morgan Cigar Co. at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Arch Street.  Morgan Cigar Co. better known brand was Juan de Fucca.

In 1907 Morgan Cigar Co. moved to this 3-story 8,600 sq. ft. building and operated here until 1910 when having outgrown it, moved to the  Berriman-Morgan Building . which had been vacated by the Berriman Bros.Cigar Co. which in turn had moved to the Gradiaz-Annis building in Ybor City.  During the following years the building was occupied by the following cigar companies:

  • The Exchange Cigar Co. (1911-1912)
  • Francisco Bolaño & Co. (1914)
  • M. Bustillo & Co. (1916-1918)
  • Marsicano Cigar Co. (1920-1921)
  • Louis Golovine & Co. (1924-1925) and
  • Alvarez & Rogers (1936) 

In 1962 Morgan Cigar Co. ceased to operate and closed down when it was absorbed by Gradiaz, Annis & Co. which in 1964 sold its asets to the General Cigar Co. 
 
Soon after the end of WWI, Benito Quintana, came to Tampa from Puerto Rico representing the Porto Rican Tobacco Marketing Co., which was a collaboration between tobacco growers on the island and Tampa manufacturers to promote the use of tobacco leafs harvested in the island as an alternative to leafs from Cuba.  In July 1922 with his brother José and the assistance of Antonio Fisher, Benito organized a cigar manufacturing company.  They leased a small space in the Morgan building from the Morgan Cigar, Co. to manufacture cigars for sale to customers in New York and Chicago.  In 1943, the company organized by the Quintana brothers changed its name to Gonzalez Habano Co. and in the late 1950's the company re-organized once again and changed its name to Gonzalez Habano Cigar Co. and still operates to this date.  Begining in the 1950s, they owned the building for a few decades.
 
The Marker on the premises reads: “In 1907 William T. Morgan erected this three story cigar factory and soon his Juan De Fuca label attained wide acceptance throughout the country. By 1910, the company had to move to larger quarters to accommodate 1,000 workers.  After Morgan vacated this building, it was occupied by six other cigar factories.  In 1991, Advanced Promotional Concepts, Inc., purchased the building and restored it to its original state.”
 
 It is currently office space for Advanced Promotional Concepts who partially occupies the building and leases part for office space.
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