The Making of Hohenberg Cotton Company
Hohenberg Bros. Company evolved from a small country store in 1879 into a world leader in cotton merchandising at the end of the twentieth century. In 1879 two immigrant brothers, Morris and Adolphe Hohenberg, organized a country store business in Wetumpka, Alabama. During this period, southern country stores not only sold groceries and supplies, but also financed farmers in return for liens on their cotton crops. The Hohenberg brothers became so successful at marketing cotton that they made cotton trading their company’s sole function.
As the next generation of Hohenbergs came of age, they opened offices in cotton towns throughout Alabama and in other parts of the South. With the westward shift in cotton production, the Hohenbergs moved the company headquarters to Memphis in 1933. A decade later, Elkan Hohenberg of Memphis and Charles M. Hohenberg of Selma became partners in Hohenberg Bros. Company while both were serving in the armed forces.
After World War II, Hohenberg Bros. expanded into all parts of the world to wherever cotton was grown. Elkan Hohenberg’s son Julien played an active role in making Hohenberg Bros. an international company. Rudi Scheidt, Julien’s brother-in-law, also fostered the company’s international connections, going wherever opportunities arose in the expectation that opportunities will follow the crop. In 1975 Cargill acquired Hohenberg Bros. and Rudi Scheidt continued to successfully manage the firm.
The Cotton Museum is proud to count the Scheidt Family Foundation as a supporter and recently received a generous gift from Rudi E. Scheidt on behalf of all Hohenberg Bros. employees.