Joel Owsley Cheek
Joel Owsley Cheek
|Born||December 8, 1852|
Burkesville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||December 14, 1935|
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
|Residence||209 Louise Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Transylvania University|
Joel Owsley Cheek (December 8, 1852 - December 14, 1935) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Maxwell House coffee brand.
Cheek began his career as a schoolteacher for two years. He subsequently became a peripatetic salesman for the Webb Wholesale Grocery Company Tennessee and Kentucky. Cheek invested in the company, and it became known as Cheek, Webb & Co..
With investors L. T. Webb, J. J. Norton and J. W. Neal, Cheek opened a coffee shop in Downtown Nashville in 1901. They persuaded the owners of the Maxwell House Hotel to serve their coffee, and they use the name of the hotel as their coffee brand. They began using the slogan "good to the last drop" in 1917. In 1928, Cheek sold the brand to Postum Co. for $42 million; it was subsequently purchased by General Foods. However, he was featured in Maxwell House advertisements until his death.
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Cheek "gave away much of his fortune to educational institutions, civic improvement campaigns, recognized charities and other worthy causes."
Personal life, death and legacy
Cheek married Minnie Ritchey in 1873. He had eleven children. He resided in Nashville, Tennessee: first at 513 Woodland Street in East Nashville and later 209 Louise Avenue near Centennial Park and Vanderbilt University. His cousins were the owners of Cheekwood, which later became a museum. Cheek was a Christian, and "a strong advocate of prohibition. He never smoked or drank.
- Walter, Jeff (July 22, 2003). "Maxwell House-Cheekwood saga began with young teacher in debt". The Tennessean. p. 48 – via Newspapers.com. (Registration required (help)).
- Crawford, Byron (February 15, 1985). "Coffee ended grind for traveling salesman". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. p. 3. Retrieved May 10, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. (Registration required (help)).
- "Joel Cheek, 83, Coffee King, Is Called By Death". The Leaf-Chronicle. Clarksville, Tennessee. December 14, 1935. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com. (Registration required (help)).
- "Coffee Merchant Dies". The Cincinnati Inquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio. December 15, 1935. p. 12. Retrieved May 10, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. (Registration required (help)).
- Waggener, Ed (October 28, 2016). "He's Everywhere in Cumberland County, KY: Joel Owsley Cheek . ." Columbia Magazine. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
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