Historic Markers Across Georgia

John Stith Pemberton

Marker ID:  
Location: Heritage ParK, 700 Front Avenue, Columbus, GA
County: Muscogee
Coordinates: N 32° 27.574    W 084° 59.622
  32.45956666    -84.9937
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


John Stith Pemberton

Beginning in the 1850s, John Pemberton manufactured wholesale drugs and chemicals in Columbus and operated drug stores here. He moved to Atlanta in 1870 and began selling Coca-Cola from his drugstore. By 1886, he had organized a company to distribute it.

In 1919, Ernest Woodruff, a Columbus native who had moved to Atlanta, W.C. Bradley, and others purchased control of Coca-Cola. W.C. Bradley served as Chairman of the Board of Coca-Cola for the next two decades.
Ernest's son Robert Winship Woodruff, another Columbus native, became President of the company in the 1920s. Known as "Mr. Coca-Cola," Robert Woodruff made Coca-Cola an international company.

Columbus Roberts founded the first Coca-Cola bottling plants in Columbus in 1901.