The Coca Cola Bottling Works of Lexington was incorporated in May 1904 by Charles Mitchell of Winchester. The company’s charter allowed it “to install and operate a bottling plant for the purpose of bottling Coca Cola and other carbonated waters.” The initial capital was five thousand dollars.[i] By July 1904, the company was bottling Coca Cola locally.
Mitchell was the firm’s general manager from 1904 until his death in 1927. At his death, Mitchell estate was worth over $500,000 – with plants in Lexington, Danville and Somerset. His widow continued to operate the company until the 1930s. After her death, her estate built the Mitchell Fine Arts Center at Transylvania University. The plant was located at 265 West Water Street, until the 1930s when it was related to 541 West Short Street.
The company passed through a succession of owners until it was acquired by Warren B. Terry in 1963. He consolidated a number of bottlers, including the Louisville plant. In 1975, the company relocated its headquarters and bottling plants to Leestown Road. In the 1990s, the operations were acquired by the parent company.
West Short Bottling Plant, circa 1920s
[i] Lexington Leader, May 3, 1904, page 6, column 6.