The Hartsville Oil Mill, founded in 1900 by J.L. Coker, D.R. Coker, and J.J. Lawton, stood here until 1993. A cotton oil mill, it crushed cottonseed to produce cooking oil; meal and cake for feed and fertilizer; and lint for stuffing and explosives. It was chartered in 1909 with Lawton as president, treasurer, and general manager; Albert Jordan as secretary; and C.G. Timberlake as superintendent.
The mill office, still standing at this site, was built in 1915. Under the leadership of president E.H. Lawton, Sr., the mill was converted from hydraulic presses to screw presses in 1954. The mill began extracting oil and meal from soybeans by 1957. The company sold the Hartsville mill in 1981 and moved its headquarters to Darlington. In 2000 it was the last cotton oil mill still operating in S.C.