City Directories and History: The Herald reported on June 27, 1889 -“The contract for the erection of the oil mill ginnery and cotton seed house and building for the works of the Rock Hill Cotton Seed and Oil Company has been let to Mr. A.D. Holler. W.C. Whitner, City Engineer, is now surveying the ground.” Also – Capt. Roddey has organized the Rock Hill Cotton Seed and Fertilizer Company with a capital stock of $35,000. The officers are, A.L. Ruff – Pres., W.L. Roddey – V.P. , Directors are W.L. Roddey, A.H. White, W.J. Rawlinson and R.T. Fewell.
On Oct. 30, 1889 the paper reported – “The fire has been kindled in the furnace in the Cotton Seed Oil mill to test the boilers. The mill expects to begin operation within a few day. The fertilizer building adjoining the mill is also being completed.”
The Herald reported on Dec. 18, 1890 carried an ad which had begun running on Oct. 9th for the RH Cotton Seed Oil and Fertilizer Company. The add stated, “Cotton seed wanted, we are now ready to buy cotton seed.”
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on March 9, 1892 – “The plant of the Cochran Cotton Seed Oil Mill has burned. The company was leasing the plant from the Rock Hill Seed and Oil Company. The fire began in a wooden building filled with cotton seed and spread the the main two story brick building. Cisterns of cotton oil burned rapidly and fell through to the first floor. The gin house and office were saved. The mill had about 100 employees and provided a market for all the cotton seed in the surrounding country and was operated day and night.”
The Herald reported on March 16, 1892 – “Messrs. Peterson & Farrel, photographers, succeeded in getting several good views of the oil mill when on fire last week. They are expert workmen and we are glad to know they are doing a good work here. Some of their photographs will compare favorably with those of the best artists.”
On May 25, 1892 the Enquirer reported, “The oil mill company has decided not to rebuild here, but to rebuild at Norfolk, Virginia. This is a great loss to Rock Hill and will be felt by all, including farmers, merchants and the laboring class.”
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