Last month our look at the history of the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company ended with William Mark Mauldin purchasing a truck for the operations and then crashing that truck into a horse watering trough. That’s some pretty exciting stuff for 1917. The episode would turn out to be in Mauldin’s favor, though.
The January 1958 article in The Coca-Cola Bottler states that William Mark Mauldin showed what a far- sighted businessman he was when he purchased the truck that did the work, delivered the goods, and picked up some publicity for the business!
Coca-Cola Bottlers Convention
Also in 1917, The Bottlers Association held its 9th Annual Convention and named to the Advisory Board: members Crawford Johnson of Birmingham, John K. Crosswell of Sumter, SC, W.A. Bellingrath of Montgomery and William King McDowell of Charleston, SC. The 1947 The Coca-Cola Bottler “This Was News 30 Years Ago” quoted then Mayor Asa Candler as he greeted the association’s members and welcomed them to Atlanta: “Everyone a prince of a good fellow, as well as a captain of industry and a power for good in his own community. It is not hard to imagine that an organization headed by such men could scarcely be anything less than great— and that is what is.”
The same issues told about the increasing sales of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Camden, SC that was no longer considered a “little fellow.” In 1907 they bottled fewer than 1,000 gallons a year and in 1917 close to 6,000 gallons. The Camden plant operated three motor trucks a day, covering as much as a hundred miles a day with each truck. It could keep its customers far and near supplied with the best beverage on earth.
One of the most important deals in the Coca-Cola business was the sale of the Augusta, Georgia Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The owners of the Spartanburg Coca-Cola Bottling Company, headed by Mr. Crawford Johnson and his partner, A.T. Heath, purchased the plant. Heath would manage the new plant, and W.G. Jackson, formerly of the Macon, Georgia plant, would manage the Spartanburg plant. Heath would later form the Carolina Coca-Cola Company in Sumter, SC.