Skip to Content

Joseph A. Biedenharn

« Back to Glossary Index

**Early Life and Family Background:**
– Joseph A. Biedenharn was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1866.
– He was the oldest of twelve children.
– His father and uncle owned a building in downtown Vicksburg.
– Biedenharn married Annie in 1889 and had four children.

**Coca-Cola Bottling Ventures:**
– Biedenharn was the first to bottle Coca-Cola in 1894.
– He established a network of franchise bottlers for Coca-Cola distribution.
– The Biedenharn family acquired Coca-Cola bottling franchises in multiple states.
– The original bottling site in Vicksburg is now a museum.
– Biedenharn moved his family to Monroe, Louisiana in 1913 and purchased a bottling plant there.

**Business Ventures and Innovations:**
– Founded the Biedenharn Candy Company in Vicksburg.
– Diversified into the beverage industry and introduced new products to the market.
– Biedenharn played a crucial role in Coca-Cola’s distribution and helped popularize it as a beverage.
– He created a legacy in the business world through his entrepreneurial endeavors.

**Legacy and Recognition:**
– Remembered for his impact on Coca-Cola’s history and recognized as a pioneer in the beverage industry.
– Honored for his entrepreneurial spirit and commemorated for his contributions to business.
– The Biedenharn family is known for philanthropic contributions and has left a cultural legacy in Monroe.
– Joseph Biedenharn’s genealogy can be traced back to 1862, and his role in the first bottling of Coca-Cola is well-documented.

**Family Involvement and Succession:**
– The Biedenharn family continued the entrepreneurial legacy.
– Family members contributed to the company’s success and maintained a tradition of innovation.
– The family imprint of the Biedenharns is seen in Monroe even a century after their arrival.
– Family history is intertwined with business achievements and preserved through historical records.

Joseph Augustus Biedenharn (December 13, 1866 – October 9, 1952) was an American businessman and confectioner credited in the summer of 1894 with having first bottled the soda fountain drink, Coca-Cola, at his wholesale candy company building in Vicksburg, Mississippi. As he expanded this business, he created a model of bottling-distributor franchises and built his company through this state, as well as Louisiana and Texas.

Joseph Augustus Biedenharn
Biedenharn (c. 1895)
Born(1866-12-13)December 13, 1866
Vicksburg, Warren County
Mississippi, Confederate States
DiedOctober 9, 1952(1952-10-09) (aged 85)
Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States
Resting placeRiverview Cemetery in Monroe

In 1913, he moved the manufacturing and bottling operations to Monroe, Louisiana, continuing to grow the business. With his son Malcolm and other entrepreneurs, in 1925 he bought a crop-dusting business. They added eighteen planes to the fleet, making it the largest private one in the world. They developed this business as Delta Air Lines, moving it later to Atlanta, Georgia. The Biedenharn family has had a philanthropic tradition in both Vicksburg and Monroe, making major contributions to historic, educational, recreational and charitable purposes.

« Back to Glossary Index