Born January 3, 1837, in Society Hill, James Lide Coker was a farmer, soldier, businessman, merchant, banker, railroad man, and industrialist. He was a planter in Hartsville until the Civil War began. He entered the infantry and was wounded in October 1863, at the Battle of Chickamauga. After spending time as a prisoner of war, he returned home with a shattered hip. He introduced scientific principles to farming and established the Southern Novelty Company in 1899. The company's primary product was paper cones for yarns used in textile mills. Today, this company is Sonoco, a global provider of packaging products and services.
This profile looks at Coker as a visionary and innovator who helped bring scientific principles to farming and began a company that today is an international example for recycling.
James Lide Coker IV, great-grandson, is featured in the program.
CREDIT: Historical footage and photographs courtesy of Coker College and Sonoco.
- 8-5 The student will understand the impact of Reconstruction, industrialization, and Progressivism on society and politics in South Carolina in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- During the periods of Reconstruction, industrial expansion, and the Progressive movement, South Carolina searched for ways to revitalize its economy while maintaining its traditional society. To understand South Carolina’s experience as represen...