City Directories and History: The Lancaster Cotton Oil Company complex is significant both as an intact
collection of early twentieth century industrial buildings, and for its associations with the cottonseed and cotton oil industry in Lancaster County, one of the most important industries tied to cotton production in the county from 1907 to 1939. The Lancaster Cotton Oil Company was established in 1907 by John T. Stevens of Kershaw, a prominent Lancaster County businessman who later served as president of the South Carolina Cotton Seed
Crushers Association. The Lancaster Cotton Oil Company office and seed house burned in
(The Rock Hill Record Reported on June 3, 1912 – “A big fire at the Lancaster Oil Mill. The fire began in the eminence seed house, this fire was put out but a few hours later a fire in the mill building erupted and most of that building was destroyed. There is an overall loss of between $10-35,000.)
1913 and were replaced as the company continued to grow. After the post-World War I decline the Lancaster and Kershaw cotton oil mills were among South Carolina’s larger and more centrally located mills which survived into the 1930s and 1940s. The complex contains eleven contributing resources and one noncontributing resource. Included in the nomination are the following contributing properties: Seed and Hull House (1937), Cotton Seed Processing Plant (1907), Oil Storage Tanks and Shed (1907), Cotton Gin (1907), and an office (1907). Listed in the National Register February 6, 1990. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
The Lancaster Cotton Oil Company was organized in 1907. Most of the complex was built between 1907 and 1910.
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