WTXL Road Trip: The Wealth of Coca-Cola in Gadsden County

WTXL Road Trip: The Wealth of Coca-Cola in Gadsden County
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 28, 2015
and last updated 2019-03-18 15:56:52-04

QUINCY, FL (WTXL) - Gadsden County was once one of the richest counties in Florida, thanks to a little carbonated beverage.

Joe Munroe, the Executive Director of Quincy Main Street explains, "By 1919 Coca-Cola had been in existence for about 30 years and there was a syndicate that was formed by Ernest Woodruff. Mr. Woodruff's son was Robert Woodruff who was probably the most famous president of Coca-Cola. Because Quincy had business associations with Columbus, the bank under Mr. Pat's guidance contributed to the funds to buy Coca Cola. It was bought I think for 25 million dollars in 1919."

The community continued to become even more invested in the company as time went on thanks to the help of the Quincy State Bank,"One story I've been told is that someone would come in to take out the loan and they wouldn't necessarily have any collateral so he would talk them into buying Coca-Cola Stock," says Munore.

"It was very difficult to find things to invest in during the great depression but the one thing that he did encourage people to do was to go out and buy Coke Stock because it's the only thing he saw that they could have a return on their investment," says Munroe.

As the legend goes, there were 67 Coca-Cola millionaires in the county and that at one time there was more stock in Gadsden County than anywhere else in the country.