Historic Markers Across Georgia

Ernest Woodruff / Robert Winship Woodruff

Marker ID: HCC 
Location: 411 21st Street, Columbus, Georgia
County: Muscogee
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Ernest Woodruff

Ernest Woodruff was born in 1863 at 1420 2nd Avenue. He first worked for his father, George W. Woodruff, in his Columbus Empire Flour Mills, then as President of Joel Hurt's Atlanta Streetcar Company, and as co-founder and President of the Trust Company of Georgia. In 1919, he created a syndicate to purchase Coca-Cola from the Candlers for $25 million. Although located in Atlanta, the reorganized Coca-Cola Company's formative leaders were either Columbus natives or residents.

Robert Winship Woodruff

Son of Ernest Woodruff and Emily Winship, Robert Winship Woodruff was born in 1889 at 1414 2nd Avenue. By 1923 the new Coca-Cola Company experienced falling syrup sales and declining stock prices. According to company lore, Board Chairman W. C. Bradley hired Robert Woodruff as President by convincing the two strong-willed Woodruffs they could work together. Robert made Coke the most recognized product in the world. During World War II he took the company international and guaranteed every GI fighting overseas a nickel Coke.

Erected by the Historic Columbus Foundation, Inc.
and The Historic Chattahoochee Commission 2015