"C" is for Coker, Charles Westfield (1879-1931)

Mar 18, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"C" is for Coker, Charles Westfield (1879-1931). Businessman, philanthropist, social reformer. At an early age, Coker became involved in his family’s various business enterprises. In 1899, when the Cokers organized the Southern Novelty Company in Hartsville, he became its first treasurer and chief salesman. In 1918 he became president of the company. It was Charles Coker who brought modern industrial and managerial practice to the family-controlled business, which changed its name to Sonoco Products Company. Coker found time away from his business interests to fulfill what he felt was equally important civic and social obligations. He served two terms as mayor of Hartsville, but his special interest was in social work and welfare. Charles Westfield Coker was a long-time member of the state board of public welfare and President Hoover’s Commission on Housing Relief.