Joseph was the FIRST of seven brothers from Vickburg, Mississippi, who would become Coca-Cola Bottling Distributors in the South
- - - - - - - - - -
Monroe News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana) Wednesday - 17 Apr 1968
FOUNDER OF FIRM 'MAN OF VISION'
Joseph A. Biedenharn, founder of the Ouachita Coca-Cola Bottling Company, which is holding open house Thursday through Sunday, had the distinction of being the first man ever to bottle Coca-Cola.
Little did Joe Biedenharn realize in the summer of 1894 (he was 28 then) , the full important of what he had decided to do, but he instinctively felt that he had made a good decision. He had been selling a lot of Coca-Cola syrup for Asa G. Chandler, of Atlanta, to the soda fountains of Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he was operating a retail confectionery business. That hot summer, the idea came to him. He figured that if Coca-Cola was so popular at the soda fountain, why not bottle it and sell it to people to take home.
BOTTLING SODA WATER
Biedenharn was already bottling soda water as a sort of side line. He was also receiving shipments of Coca-Cola syrup. He had the bottling machinery, gas, bottles, and crates. Thurs bottled Coke was born that summer in 1894. The first bottles of Coke were the old 6 ounce bottle, Hutchinson stoppered bottles with a wire hook protruding from the Neck. "Uncle Joe," as he was affectionately known, later opened a plant in Monroe, where he enjoyed the last years of his life. When he passed away om 1952, he had been a bottler for 58 years. Throughout the Coca-Cola empire, Joe Biedenharn is recognized as a man of vision and faith, a monument to the future of Coca-Cola. Today, a son, Bernard W., and a grandson, Henry, Jr., manage the Ouachita Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Monroe News-Star (Monroe, Louisiana) Thursday - 9 Oct 1952) front page
J. A. BIEDENHARN DIED IN CLINIC HERE TODAY
J. A. Biedenhard, 85. one of the city's best known and most highly regarded citizens, died shortly after 11 o'clock this morning in a local clinic. Funeral arrangements will be in charge of Hixson Brothers Funeral Home and had not been completed at noon Thursday. Despite his advanced age, Mr. Biedenharn, up almost the the last moment, kept in close tough with his extensive business interests.
He was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, December 13, 1866, and was educated in the public schools there. He embarked in the sale of Coca-Cola when it was known only slightly outside of Atlanta where it was founded by the Asa Chandler family. He started in a highly humble manner but expanded as the drink became widely known. He conceived the idea that if it could be bottled that it would find a wider sale than when sold exclusively in soda fountains. This idea became highly popular and led to the idea being adopted by surveyors of other bottled drinks. Had he had this means of selling protected by patent, it would have made him a large fortune as its originator.
The Biedenharns left Vicksburg and have resided for many years in Monroe. The family owns Coca-Cola plants and interests in cities and towns of north Louisiana and over the line in Longview, Texas. Mr. Biedenharn was interested in many enterprises which included candy operations and realty interests. He and his family have ever been deeply interested in civic movements. He served as member of the board of directors for years at the Ouachita National Bank and had been member of the Lotus Club, Country Club and also was affiliated with Masonry in the Shrine and Knights Templar. He served as commissioner of streets and parks. Together with his family, Mr. Biedenharn, was an active member of the Christian Science church.
Mr Biedenhar is survived by his daughter:
Miss Emma Lou Viedenharn, prominent in artistic and musical circles
Henry Biedenharn of Monroe
Bernard W. Biedenharn of West Monroe
Mrs. Hayden Cutler of Monroe
Mrs. C. D. Oakley, Jr. of Monroe
Mrs. Miles Sager of Lake Charles
Many great-grandchildren, brothers, and other relative in Vicksburg and Shreveport.
Annie Schlottman Biedenharn
1870–1936 (m. 1936)
Sponsored by Ancestry