UNION — After 128 years of serving the farmers and gardeners of Union County the Union Oil Mill is closing its doors.
In a statement released this week, Union Oil Mill owner Norris R. Fowler Jr. announced the closing of the store which has been in business since the late 19th century.
“The Union Oil Mill is going out of business,” Fowler said. “Since 1889, the Oil Mill has filled the needs of our valued customers. We appreciate the loyalty of the generations of Union County citizens who have shopped with us.
“We also appreciate the many employees who have served you, our customers, over the years,” he said. “Many young people have learned the value of hard work in their first job here. Many other employees worked their lifetime as our employees.”
Fowler pointed out that the store has been a strong supporter of the community and invited the community to patronize the store during its final days in business.
“The Union Oil Mill has supported many Union County institutions, sports teams, charities, and business organizations throughout these 128 years,” Fowler said. “Please join us during our final weeks before we close on February 1.
“Again, thank you to all of our customers,” he said. “We appreciate you.”
Fowler’s announcement that the Union Oil Mill is closing its doors for the last time brings an end to an institution that began serving the people of Union County when the county’s economy was overwhelmingly agricultural and cotton was it most important crop, but industrialization was occurring. According to “The Narrative History of Union County, SC, by Dr. Allan D. Charles, local banker Emslie Nicholson joined businessman W.E. Thompson in 1889 “to establish Union Oil Mill, where cotton was ginned, oil expressed from the seeds, fertilizers sold, and feeds ground.
The original Union Oil Mill was located where the USC Union Gazebo currently is and remained there until “it was demolished over a period of time in the early 1990s.”
Union Oil Mill has been at its current location, 421 North Pinckney Street, Union, since 1988.
The store is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from noon-1 p.m.
For more information about Union Oil Mill call 864-427-3330.