Originally a partner with T. M. Pepper in the Norton Bottling Company, Thomas B. Hillman sold his share of that business in 1905 to start his own bottling company in Coeburn, VA. The company appears on the 1908 and 1913 Sanborn maps as being located near the railroad tracks behind the old Coeburn Grocery building. According to an advertisement in the Clinch Valley News of July 14, 1911, they are bottling Coca-Cola, Cherry Smash, Grape, and other drinks.(1) The 1910 federal census lists T. B. Hillman as a manufacturer of Soft Drinks living in Lipps, VA. They appear to also be distributing by rail, as the Clinch Valley News is a Tazewell, VA newspaper.

Hillman was in the process of making improvements to his factory in April of 1912, and also improvements to his ice house.(2) In 1914 the Coeburn Bottling Company plant was destroyed by a fire.(3) Later that year it was reported that he was going to rebuild his plant to a size of 30x100, and was going to install Bottling, refrigerating, and Ice Cream producing machinery in this new building.(3) It appears that this new building might have been built on the road between Coeburn and Banner rather than rebuilt at its original location. By 1923 the Coeburn Bottling Company has become the Chero-Cola Bottling Company of Coeburn, VA (4), and in 1924 is looking to build a new bottling plant.(5)

From the collection of Charlie Barnette, photo by Joseph Lee
Hutchinson bottle from the Coeburn Bottling Works of Coeburn, VA

Hutchinson bottle from the Coeburn Bottling Works of Coeburn, VA T. B. Hillman Propr. variation

Advertisement from 1911

Coeburn Bottling Works of Coeburn, VA crown top bottle

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(1) Clinch Valley News July 14, 1911

(2) Bluefield Daily Telegraph April 7, 1912

(3) Mill Supplies magazine August 1914

(4) Beverage Blue Book 1923

(5) The Iron Age volume 113 1924