May 16, 2018
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today’s story will be two part program about a soft drink bottling company in Junction City and a brief history of that company from 1901 until 1979.
On January 23, 1901, John W. (Will) Deppish, with a partner, H.C. Behrend, purchased the “soda water” plant from John Fox, Henry Thiele and Ed Lancaster and moved to a new location on West Seventh Street in Junction City. This is approximately where the Knights of Columbus Hall now stands. Mr. Deppish then purchased the interests of his partner in 1903. In 1908, he purchased a frame building and moved to 912 North Jefferson Street, which was next door to his residence.
Long and tiresome hours were put in by both J.W. and his wife, Lena. Many mornings they would start work before 5 A.M. Sometimes, to get an early start, Mrs. Deppish would get up at 3 A. M. to get breakfast, then help load up the wagon with soda water for trips to Keats, Riley Center, Leonardville, Ogden, Alma, Dwight, Alta Vista, White City and other towns within their trade radius. Since the horse had to take it easy, J.W.’s day would often end in the early hours of the next day when he would pull in any time between one and two A.M.
The business remained a family affair until about 1913, when “The Exquisite Bottling Works” was purchased from Ira Bermant. The building at 912 N. Jefferson was remodeled to house newly acquired machines and employees who were not family members were hired for the first time.
And that is our time together today. Be listening tomorrow for more history of the JC Bottling Company on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.