|@1906 - DIXIE BOTTLING WORKS - WASHINGTON & BUFORD STs
This page is to inform as to what is known about the history of Coca-Cola in Bristol:
THE BRISTOL - DIXIE BOTTLING WORKS STORY
The Bristol Bottling Works were extant by the
early 1890's and they were owned and operated by C.R. Scharf on Washington St. cor Buford St. in Bristol, Va.
** (According to Sanborn maps of that year, this was the NE corner.)
C.R. Sharf is listed in an 1885 Bristol-Goodson publication as being a dealer in General Merchandise, selling a variety
of goods & services. Whether he was already bottling is not yet known.
At the Bristol Bottling Works, Scharf bottled
ginger ale, vinegar, soda & mineral water, was the "Sole Proprietor" of Hoffman's Corona Malt Extract, and a distributor
for the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company.
Between 1897 and 1902, Scharf changed the name
to Dixie Bottling Works , still at the same location. Then, in 1906 another bottling company was constructed on
the opposite corner - The Bristol Coca-Cola Bottling Works, (Washington St. nr Buford). Carl Mee is listed as the Manager
of both establishments.
|Cr: Carl Jones,Jr.
|Carl Jones,Sr.@1912-13 at Dixie Bottling Works
Now we have to back up a bit:
It was reportedly in 1902 that Milton H. Rush,
a native Bristolian, negotiated for a Coca-Cola franchise in the Bristol area. He acquired his shipments from Roddy Coca-Cola
Manufacturing Company of Knoxville, Tenn., and distributed them on a small scale around Bristol. Things then get a bit vague,
but "someone" purchased Rush's Coca-Cola franchise in late 1905 or early 1906. One source states it was a Colonel Howard
of Rockwood, Tenn. and newspaper accounts of that time bear credence to this. Another source says Carl A. Jones, Sr., at this
time a Teller employed by Dominion Bank of Bristol, purchased the franchise prior to buying his first half-interest
in the Bristol-Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Works, (which he didn't do until 1907). It was 18 months later that the
full acquisition was completed (1909).
In any event, it's hard to comprehend why Col. Howard
would have bought Scharf's Dixie Bottling Works. Next, erect a new building ,with all new machinery on the opposite corner
, ** (see Sanborn map below), and then, relocate the old bottling company's machinery to Norton, Va., ( where he established yet
another Dixie Coca-Cola Botttling Works) , if he didn't own the region's Coca-Cola franchise. There is no indication
Carl A. Jones ever had anything to do with the Norton Works.
*By the way: Rush is still placing ads for the
Rush Bottling Works in 1907 and the ads state he bottles colas. The difficulty here is: the location of Rush's Bottling Works
is unknown ,as Bristol is all the information the advertisements provide. Neither does it appear on available Sanborn maps,
nor in any available City Directories.
On September 30, 1909, the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling
Works was granted a wholesale beer license. Whether this was to both bottle & distribute beer or just distribute
is not known at this time. The license was granted, but how long and what beers were bottled and/or distributed is also not
Another source notes Carl A. Jones as Manager of
the L. Shere Liquor Company between 1907 and 1910, perhaps explaining Jones' interest in getting a beer distribution license
for the Dixie Bottling Works.
Hills Directory of 1910 notes another
Bristol Bottling Works has been established, on 712 Shelby St. in Bristol, Tenn. and R.B Brinkley is listed as the Proprietor.
It additionally notes:
Bristol Coca-Cola Bottling Works - Washington nr Buford and
Dixie Bottling Works - Washington cor Buford.
The advertisement does note another interesting thing.
New phone 595- Dixie Bottling Works - Old phone 260
New Phone 1145 - Bristol Coca-Cola Bottling Works - Old Phone
Carl A. Jones, Sr, is listed as Sec-Treas. of the Bristol
Thus, it "seems" Bristol had two bottling companies
operating next door to each other. But Sanborn maps from 1907 show but one bottling company ( the "new" Dixie) and the old
bottling company's building is shown as a poultry business.
|Carl A Jones
|cr: Ken Siksay
By 1911, the
Dixie Bottling Works ( Bottlers of Coca-Cola and Aerated Waters), had erected a new building on Sycamore cor Lee St.
in Bristol, Va., and here it remained for many years. There is some indication they continued use of the "old" building
for at least one more year as the picture on the left shows Carl A. Jones in front of the Washington Street plant in a 1912
or 1913 Jackrabbit automobile.
**It was on January 25th of 1911 Dixie
Bottling Works announced an auxillary industry via the opening of the Dixie Peanut Factory as a new venture.
Carl A. Jones is noted as the Manager. It did operate and have several employees, but for how long is as yet unknown.
**Another newspaper article this same day noted
the Dixie Bottling Works had been reorganised in 1905, at which time control of the Coca-Cola franchise was secured for the
region. It fails to note by WHOM.
There is no doubt Carl A. Jones, Sr. is largely
responsible for the real growth and continued widespread success of Bristol's Coca-Cola Bottling industry. But any factual
mention of Coca-Cola in Bristol's history has to recognise Milton H. Rush as the 1st to distribute, ( and possibly bottle)
Coca-Cola here. Thereby introducing the region to the drink and paving the way for a Coca-Cola Bottling Works to be established.
|Click to enlarge
|DIXIE BOTTLING WORKS - LEE & SYCAMORE STs.@1915
The following is per C.J Harkrader's book: Witness to
Eulogy to Carl A. Jones, Sr.
My more than 50 years of close business relations
with Carl A. Jones rates an acknowledgment by me of this close friend who died June 24, 1950. Carl was an uncommon man in
many respects. At the age of 71 when many men would have pushed aside the cares and responsibilities of a busy life, his was
still crowded with action & risk. His whole life, from the age of 16 when he came to his brother Homer's bank, was an
increasing struggle for accomplishment. He had a measure of energy, vitality and preserverence given to few men. His interests
and activities were so diversified that he became an expert in many fields. Practically self-educated, having left school
at 15, he became an expert in banking. On his own responsibility and with pitifully small capital he bought the Dixie Coca-Cola
plant and by effort and vision built it into a business institution of commanding importance.
|click to enlarge
|cr: Ron Fowler
<~~ An article & picture submitted
by Carl A. Jones and published in the National Bottlers Gazette on July 29, 1925 notes the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling
Works had been remodeled and enlarged.
Upon his death in 1950, Carl's son-in-law, John F. Clark and his son, Herbert Lea Jones
took over and have managed the business. The business, long bothered with little competition, was running into a
fierce competitive situation. Clark & Jones bought the local *Canada Dry bottling plant from Fred Reuning and added a
complete line of bottled goods. Previously, and mistakenly as it proved, Coca-Cola had forbidden it's bottlers to put out
any other product than their own. The plant, a magnificent new institution moved into weeks after the Founder's death, has
enabled the company to meet competition, retain its prestige and share fully in the growth of Bristol and the large adjacent
area where it is exclusively franchised to distribute Coca-Cola in bottles.
|Click to enlarge
|Dixie Bottling Works West State St.@1950s
[Harkrader notes Jones acquired the franchise in 1907]
Additionally, C.A. Jones, Sr. owned a Coca-Cola Bottling plant in
Portland, OR. which he sold in 1932, using the monies to "float" the ailing First National Bank of Bristol, and thus becoming
President of the newly-resurrected institution
RE: Canada Dry Bottling Plant...located on corner of Blountville
highway ( St.Rte.126), and Meadowview Rd.)
** The Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Works Company history imprinted upon it's
75th Anniversary Commemorative serving trays,bottles, and fountain drink glasses notes the dates: 1902 - 77.
|Dixie Bottling Works 75th Anniv. Tray