Claud Hatcher
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Claud Adkins Hatcher (1876 - 1933)

Claud Adkins Hatcher
Born in Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia, United States of Americamap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 22 Feb 1898 in Calhoun, Georgia, United Statesmap
Died in Columbus, Muscogee County, Georgia, United States of Americamap
Profile last modified | Created 24 May 2019
This page has been accessed 553 times.


Notables Project
Claud Hatcher is Notable.

American pharmacist, businessman, and inventor from Columbus, Georgia who is best known for creating RC Cola and other soft drinks.

Claud Adkins Hatcher was born August 20, 1876 in Quitman, Georgia.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] He was a son of Lucius Adkins Hatcher and Eleanor Moore King.[1]

Claud married Frankie May Bell February 22, 1898 in Calhoun, Georgia, United States.[8] They had three children, at least two of whom died as infants [9]

Claud graduated with Honors from Louisville Medical School in Kentucky. He took his pharmacy exam in Atlanta and became a registered pharmacist.[10]

In 1901, Claud sold his drug store in Dawson and went to Columbus to join his father in a wholesale grocery company. The Hatchers and two partners formed Cole - Hatcher-Hampton Grocery Company in 1901. After a couple of years Claud and his father bought out the other partners and the organization became the Hatcher Grocery Company.[10]

Claud recognized the increase demands for soda and set up a small laboratory in the basement of the wholesale grocery firm. He began experimenting with carbonated beverages and created Royal Crown Ginger Ale, which the company began to sell in 1905. After, Claude created a line of fruit¬ flavored carbonated drinks called Melo.[10] The Hatcher Grocery Company became a built-in distribution system for the soda prompting Claud and his father to organize and found the Union Bottling Works in Columbus, Georgia, United States.[10]

Claud was president and manager of Hatcher Grocery Company and was elected secretary and treasurer of the reorganized Union Bottling Works.[10]

Claud decided the Union Bottling Works must produce a cola. The result was a carbonated beverage called Chero Cola. In a short time it was the spearhead beverage of the Union Bottling Works. Claud, who had proven to be a master at organizing promotion ever since he created his first Royal Crown Ginger Ale trademark: a pretty queen wearing a crown, decided the firm should bear the name of, this new cola beverage. So, in 1910 Claude renamed the company to Chero-Cola. Claude and his father were board members. Chero-Cola was later named to Nehi Corporation.[10]

Claud died on December 31, 1933 in Columbus, Georgia, United States. He is buried in Riverdale Cemetery in Columbus, Muscogee County, Georgia, United States[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 United States Census, 1880 FamilySearch. Claude A Hatcher in entry for Lucius A Hatcher, 1880; citing enumeration district ED 58, sheet 21B
  2. United States Census, 1900 FamilySearch. Claud A Hatcher, Dawson town, Terrell, Georgia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 83, sheet 16A, family 329
  3. United States Census, 1910 FamilySearch. Claude A Hatcher, Columbus Ward 4, Muscogee, Georgia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 102, sheet 5B, family 87
  4. United States Census, 1920 FamilySearch. Claud A Hatcher, Columbus Ward 3, Muscogee, Georgia, United States; citing ED 100, sheet 8A, line 27, family 199
  5. United States Census, 1930 FamilySearch. Claud A Hatcher, Columbus, Muscogee, Georgia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 22, sheet 25A, line 15, family 216
  6. "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 FamilySearch. Claud Adkins Hatcher, 1917-1918; citing Muscogee County, Georgia, United States
  7. 7.0 7.1 Find A Grave, memorial page for Claud Adkins Hatcher (20 Aug 1876–31 Dec 1933), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14804366, citing Riverdale Cemetery, Columbus, Muscogee County, Georgia, USA
  8. Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950 FamilySearch. Claudin Atkins Hatcher and Frankey May Bell, 22 Feb 1898
  9. Hatcher Family Genealogy Association database entry for Claud Adkins Hatcher, Sr.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 R.C. Cola Gets Start in Basement Sesquicentennal Supplement, Ledger- Enquirer. Sunday, May 7, 1978,

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Categories: Food History | Soda Dispensers | Notables