History of Coastal Warehouse, Ltd.
How We Became an Industry Leader
G.C. Gifford and others built the First Cotton Seed Oil Mill & Gin in 1900. It was the first big industry in Wharton and was located on North Sunset Street. It was renamed the People’s Oil and Cotton Company in 1909. Mr. Gifford directed the operations until his death in 1915. In 1920 the mill and gin were sold to Han Guldmann, P.S. Geogran, and H.E. Wilson of Wharton. Mr. Wilson became the Superintendent and President, H.G. Forgason, Manager and M.C. Mock, Assistant Manager. In 1955 the mill ceased operation. In 1958, Mr. Guldman sold the original mill to Sprales & Cook Machinery Company of Dallas. The machinery was removed and shortly thereafter, R.B. Hand and wife Mozelle purchased the original mill and three acres for $25,000.
In 1956, R.B. Hand, Gary Curlee, and E.C. Connor built the first grain storage warehouse, Coastal Warehouse, Inc. on Sorrell Street at a cost of $120,000 and in 1957 a second warehouse was added. In 1959, Marvin and Bonnie Henry joined Mr. Hand to manage R.B. Hand Warehouse Company. and Coastal Warehouse, Inc. The Henrys eventually became partners with the Hands. The storage capacity was increased numerous times during that period. They operated the elevators and a feed mill until June of 1975, when Milton Jay Anderson of Eagle Lake, dba Prairie Commodities, Inc. purchased the entire operation. Ronnie Wittig and William Loocke operated the plant during that period. Under the direction of Milton Jay Anderson many additions and improvements were made to increase capacity and speed until he sold the elevator on February 21, 1985 to Coastal Warehouse, Ltd., which was made up of Laurance Armour III, Ronnie Wittig and William Loocke along with local agribusiness men, W.D. McMillan, Carl Reynolds, John J. Naiser and Steven Armour. By 1993 Coastal Warehouse, Ltd. operated elevators in Bay City and Tivoli, Texas, along with CWHL, Inc. a fuel and propane business in the Tivoli-Austwell area. June of 2004 brought a major expansion with the addition of Hungerford Grain and Nine Point Grain elevators being purchased. On April 12, 2021 Dr. Thomas and Mary Wynn, along with Dr. John and Myra Wynn, acquired the Coastal Warehouse, Ltd. organization. They continue to operate the warehouse and its subsidiaries.