In 1896, Aaron Cohen Phelps (1863-1929) and Perry Moses (1844-1916) established the Sumter Cotton Oil and Fertilizer Company on Main Street in Sumter, South Carolina. After a successful first year of business, the pair expanded the company’s ginnery and mill to make room for more machinery, and thus process larger amounts of cotton seed, guano, acid phosphate, potash, and kainit. In 1899, Phelps and Moses, along with Marion Moise (1906-1982), Henry Davis Barnett Sr. (1862-1950), Horace Harby Sr. (1846-1905), and gentile Dr. Alfred James China (1838-1910), reorganized the company as the Atlantic Cotton Oil Company. In addition to its Sumter mill, the Atlantic Cotton Oil Company operated mills in Charleston, Camden, Bennettsville, and Gibson, North Carolina. In 1901, Southern Cotton Oil Company of Columbia acquired the business.
Main Image: Atlantic Cotton Oil Company advertisement. Reprinted from The Watchman and Southron, November 21, 1900.