Michigan Bean Company Records
00110

Summary Information

Repository
Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator
Michigan Bean Company.
Title
Michigan Bean Company records
ID
00110
Date [inclusive]
1906-1980
Extent
5.0 Cubic feet , 11 volumes on shelf.
Language
English

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Administrative History of the Michigan Bean Company

The Michigan Bean Company of Saginaw, Michigan was organized December 1, 1915 by seven men: William J. Orr, Frank W. Merrick, Alfred R. Chamberlain, Gustav Hill, Albert L. Riedel, William J. Dufty and Norman L. Wales. With $100,000, these men purchased the assets of Owendale Grain and Lumber Company, Vestaburg Elevator Company, Boslo Grain Company (of Croswell), and Port Huron Producers Elevator. They united these companies under the name Michigan Bean Company, then of Port Huron, Michigan. William J. Orr was appointed the first president, a position which he held until his death in 1921. Frank W. Merrick followed Orr as president, and kept that title until he died in 1937. In 1938 with newly appointed president Albert L. Riedel, Michigan Bean Company leased the Saginaw Milling Company's building in Saginaw and moved its headquarters there. Michigan Bean Company bought these buildings in 1943, making Saginaw its permanent home.

Under A. L. Riedel's leadership, Michigan Bean Company became the largest exporter of grains in Michigan. At the time of its dissolution, December 30, 1955, to merge with Wickes Corporation, it owned nineteen elevators in Genesee, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Montcalm, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee, and Tuscola counties of Michigan.

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Scope and Contents of the Records

Efforts covering a sixty-year span to improve farm markets through the pooling of farm commodities, the organization of growers and shippers, promotional marketing and advertising, and bean research are documented in letters, newspaper clippings, articles and legal documents in the collection. In these records are correspondence, memoranda and articles on state and federal agricultural subsidy programs and restrictions. There also is the Wickes Corporation merger, documented through notes, memoranda, meeting minutes, resolutions, legal documents, and correspondence. A large part of the correspondence throughout this collection consists of letters to and from A. L. Riedel, the donor.

Michigan Bean Company, under A. L. Riedel, was instrumental in the formation of the Michigan Bean Council of Growers and Shippers, Michigan Agricultural Export Association, Michigan Bean Growers Mutual Co-op, National Dried Bean Council, Saginaw Grain Elevator Project, and Bean Pool Marketing programs. Correspondence, financial papers, legal papers, ledgers and notes for these organizations are contained within these records.

During World War II, Riedel was a consultant for the Beans, Peas, and Rice Purchasing Division for the United States Department of Agriculture in connection with the Department of Defense Quartermasters Corps. He was instrumental in the development of a waterproof bag used for shipping grain during the war. Correspondence concerning this work is included.

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Organization of the Records

These records are organized into 5 series

  1. Series 1: Company Records. 1906-1960, n.d.
  2. Series 2: Wickes Corporation Merger. 1947-1963, n.d.
  3. Series 3: General Subject Files. 1914-1967, n.d.
  4. Series 4: A.L. Riedel. 1925-1973, n.d.
  5. Series 5: Volumes. 1914-1955. (on shelf)

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections March 1986

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824
517-355-2330
archives@msu.edu

Revision Description

 Revised January 2002; Revised March 2009; Revised February 2012 February 2012

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Albert L. Riedel.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Bean Growers Mutual Cooperative Association.
  • Boslo Grain Company (Croswell, Mich.).
  • Cass City Grain Company (Cass City, Mich.).
  • Fahrner Elevator Company (Midland, Mich.).
  • Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation.
  • Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada.
  • Michigan Agricultural College. Extension Division.
  • Michigan Agricultural Export Association, Inc..
  • Michigan Bean Company. Crookston Packaging Plant (Crookston, Minn.).
  • Michigan Bean Company. Deckerville Plant (Deckerville, Mich.).
  • Michigan Bean Council of Growers and Shippers.
  • Michigan Bean Producers' Association.
  • Michigan Bean Sales, Inc..
  • Michigan Bean Shippers Association.
  • Michigan State College.
  • Michigan. Department of Agriculture. State Bean Industry Committee.
  • National Dried Bean Council.
  • Orr Bean and Grain Company (Midland, Mich.).
  • Owendale Grain and Lumber Company (Owendale, Mich.).
  • Saginaw Grain Company (Saginaw, Mich.).
  • United States. Army. Quartermaster Corps.
  • United States. Department of Agriculture. Dry Beans and Peas Advisory Committee.
  • United States. Department of Agriculture.
  • United States. Department of the Treasury.
  • United States. Federal Farm Board.
  • United States. Food Distribution Administration.
  • United States. War Food Administration.
  • Vestaburg Elevator Company (Vestaburg, Mich.).
  • Wickes Corporation.

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Commercial correspondence
  • Contracts
  • Diaries
  • Financial statements
  • Journals (accounts)
  • Legal forms
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Scrapbooks

Geographic Name(s)

  • Michigan -- Laws and legislation
  • Saginaw (Mich.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Chamberlain, Alfred R.
  • Dufty, William J.
  • Hill, Gustav
  • Merrick, Frank W.
  • Orr, William J.
  • Riedel, Albert L.
  • Riedel, Albert L.
  • Wales, Norman L.

Subject(s)

  • Advertising -- Agriculture
  • Agricultural laws and legislation -- Michigan
  • Agriculture -- Michigan
  • Agriculture, Cooperative
  • Bean industry
  • Consolidation and merger of corporations
  • Dried beans
  • Dried beans -- Marketing
  • Dried beans -- Storage
  • Dried beans -- Transportation
  • Food industry and trade
  • Formulas, recipes, etc.
  • Grain -- Transportation
  • Grain trade
  • World War, 1939-1945

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Collection Inventory

(1) Company Records 1906-1960, n.d. 

Box

Predecessor Companies 

1
Box Folder

Orr Bean & Grain Company -- 1906 

1 1
Box

Sandusky Grain Company Correspondence -- 1906 

1
Box Folder

Vestaburg Elevator Financial Records -- 1916, n.d. 

1 2
Box Folder

Articles of Association and Amendments -- 1915 

1 3

Organizational Notes -- c.1915 

1 4
Box

Michigan Bean Company Additions 

1
Box Folder

Orr Bean & Grain Company, Merger -- 1929 

1 5

Cass City Grain Company Purchase -- 1930-1931 

1 6

Owendale Elevator Business Certificate -- 1938 

1 7

Deckerville Plant Purchase -- 1945 

1 8

Crookston, Minn. Packaging Plant -- 1949-1950 

1 9
Box Folder

Financial Statements -- 1915-1955 

1 10

Advertisements -- 1920-1953, n.d. 

1 11

Increasing Shares of Stock -- 1927, 1930 

1 12

Russell V. Judson, Bean Machinery -- 1927-1941 

1 13

Appointment of Resident Agent -- 1932 

1 14

Securing a Federal Grain Inspector -- 1932 

1 15

Michigan Bean Company vs. Breckenridge Farm Elevator -- 1935 

1 16

Michigan Corporation and Securities Commission -- 1935-1951 

1 17

Stocks Record Book -- 1942-1946 

1 18

Bills Payable Ledger -- 1943-1955 

1 19

Grand Truck Railway System. Petition to Abandon Owendale Line -- 1945 

1 20

Plant Upkeep and Conditions Report -- 1945, 1948, 1956 

1 21

Michigan State College Controversy Correspondence -- 1947 

1 22

Michigan State College Controversy Newsclippings -- 1947 

1 23

Overseas Bean Shipping -- 1951-1952 

1 24

Account Book -- 1956-1960 

1 25

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(2) Wickes Corporation Merger 1947-1963, n.d. 

Box Folder

Original Merger Plan -- 1947, 1974 

1 26

Contemplating Merger - Notes of A.L. Riedel -- 1955 

1 27

Resolutions -- August 1955 

1 28

Synopsis of Elevators Owned and Operated by Michigan Bean Company -- n.d. 

1 29

Wickes Corporation Background -- n.d. 

1 30

Memoranda Preceding Merger -- December 1955 

1 31

Agreement and Plan of Reorganization -- December 1955 

1 32

Special Meetings Concerning Merger -- December 1955 

1 33

Certificate of Dissolution -- December 1955 

1 34

Resolutions -- December 1955 

1 35

Correspondence - Official -- December 1955 - February 1956 

1 36

Correspondence - Response to Merger -- January 1956 - February 1956 

1 37

Retirement Plan Report -- February 1, 1956 

1 38

A. L. Riedel's Notes on the Retirement Plan -- 1955-1962 

1 39

Employee Compensation Records -- 1957 

1 40

Reports on Domestic Agricultural Operations -- 1957 

1 41

A. L. Riedel's Profit Sharing Analysis -- 1963 

1 42

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(3) General Subject Files 1914-1967, n.d. 

Box Folder

Bean and Grain Production and Sales Statistics -- 1914-1956 

1 43

Bean Crop Disaster -- 1945 

1 44
Box

Bean Advertising 

1
Box Folder

Advertising Companies Soliciting Business -- 1920-1947 

1 45

Advertising Research on Beans -- 1923-1967 

1 46

Advertising Sent to Michigan Bean Company -- 1925-1941 

1 47

Advertising Sent to Michigan Bean Company -- 1942-1944, 1958 

1 48

Beans Ads of Other Companies -- 1945, n.d. 

1 49
Box Folder

Bean Information - General -- 1943, n.d. 

1 50
Box

Bean Marketing 

1
Box Folder

Association Bean Market -- 1936-1939 

1 51

Bean Packaging Material Report -- 1937 

1 52

Domestic Market Development -- 1954, 1959, n.d. 

1 53
Box

Foreign Market Development 

1
Box Folder

Miscellaneous -- 1957 

1 54

Project Agreements -- 1957 

1 55
Box Folder

Marketing Agreement. Proposals and Correspondence -- 1938, n.d. 

1 56
Box

National Bean Week 

1
Box Folder

Correspondence -- 1939 

1 57

Newsclipping -- 1939 

1 58

National Publicity Promotion Campaign 

2
Box Folder

 1938 

2 1

 1939-1940 

2 2

New York Merchantile Exchange 

2
Box Folder

Market establishment correspondence -- 1931-1940 

2 3

Contract -- September 1950 

2 4

New York Produce Exchange Rules -- 1931 

2 5
Box Folder

Bean Publications. Mountain States Cooperator 1931 

2 6

Bean Recipes -- 1919-1958, n.d. 

2 7
Box

Bean Research 

2
Box Folder

Correspondence -- 1958-1959 

2 8

Growing Information -- 1941-1942 

2 9
Box

Reports 

2
Box Folder

 1955, 1957 

2 10

 1958-1959 

2 11

 1964 

2 12
Box Folder

Beans at War - Newsclippings & Articles -- 1943-1944 

2 13
Box

Cooperatives 

2
Box Folder

Correspondence with Stockholders -- 1924-1947 

2 14

Newsclippings & Articles -- 1938-1954 

2 15

Reports Concerning Cooperatives -- 1939-1940, n.d. 

2 16

Taxation Controversy -- 1944-1955 

2 17
Box Folder

Farm Bureau and Extension Service Memorandum -- April 1921 

2 18
Box

Federal Farm Board 

2
Box Folder

Articles -- 1930-1934 

2 19

Correspondence -- 1926, 1930-1931 

2 20

Newsclippings -- 1930-1932 

2 21

Reports -- 1929-1934 

2 22

Michigan Employment Security Act 

2
Box

Correspondence Concerning Unemployment Compensation 

2
Box Folder

at Michigan Bean Company -- December 1939 - January 1940 

2 23
Box

in Michigan Bean Industry 

2
Box Folder

 1944 - May 1945 

2 24

 June 1945 

2 25
Box Folder

Laws and Regulations -- 1937-1951 

2 26

Michigan Supreme Court Rulings -- 1944-1945 

2 27

Miscellaneous Newsclippings 

2
Box Folder

 1913-1939 

2 28

 1940-1943 

2 29

 1944-1946 

2 30

 1947-1948 

2 31

 1951-1961 

2 32
Box Folder

Reciprocal Trade Agreements -- 1939 

2 33

Reciprocal Trade Agreements - Newspaper Clippings -- 1939 

2 34
Box

State of Michigan 

2
Box Folder

Bean Grading Rules and Regulations -- 1930-1935, 1947, n.d. 

2 35

Bean Industry Regulation Bills -- n.d. 

2 36

Fruit and Vegetable Licensing -- 1933, 1935 

2 37

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(4) A. L. Riedel 1925-1973, n.d. 

Box

Committee Involvement 

2
Box

Bean Pool Marketing Program 

2
Box Folder

Organizational Material -- 1925-1926 

2 38

Contracts and Agreements -- 1930-1931 

2 39

Statements and Reports -- 1930-1932 

2 40

Correspondence -- 1930-1932 

2 41

Newspaper Clippings -- 1930-1932 

2 42

Contracts and Agreements -- 1955-1958 

2 43

Statements and Reports -- 1953-1957 

2 44

Correspondence -- 1955-1958 

2 45

Newspaper Clippings -- 1955-1956 

2 46

Notes of A.L. Riedel -- 1955-1957 

2 47

Dry Beans and Peas Research & Marketing Advisory Committee - Reports and Recommendations 

2
Box Folder

 March 1947 - March 1948 

2 48

 April 1948 - November 1949 

2 49

Michigan Agricultural Export Association, Inc. 

3
Box Folder

Organizational Material -- 1953-1955 

3 1

Correspondence -- 1954-1956 

3 2

International Food Fair Exhibit -- 1955 

3 3

International Food Fair Exhibit -- 1956 

3 4

Newsclippings and Release -- 1955 

3 5

Michigan Bean Council of Growers and Shippers 

3
Box Folder

By-laws, Articles of Incorporation, Order of Business -- n.d. 

3 6

Correspondence -- 1937-1940 

3 7

Meeting Minutes -- 1937 

3 8

Bean Grading Proposals -- 1938 

3 9

Meeting Minutes -- 1938 

3 10

Bean Grading Agreement, Standards, Regulation -- 1939 

3 11

Bean Grading Reports -- 1939 

3 12

Constitution Amendment -- 1946 

3 13

Contribution Reports -- 1946-1947 

3 14

Meeting Minutes -- 1946 

3 15

Newspaper Clippings and Releases -- 1946 

3 16
Box

Correspondence 

3
Box Folder

 January 1947 

3 17

 February 1947 

3 18

 March 1947 - April 1947 

3 19

 June 1947 - January 1949 

3 20
Box Folder

Financial Statements -- June 1947 - December 1947 

3 21

Meetings Minutes -- 1947 

3 22

Publications -- 1947-1948 

3 23

Financial Statements -- 1948 

3 24

Meeting Minutes -- 1948 

3 25

Membership Lists -- 1948 

3 26

Publication Advertising -- 1948-1949 

3 27

A.L. Riedel's Statement of Resignation -- January 1949 

3 28

Report on Government's Price Support Program Audit -- 1954 

3 29

Michigan Bean Producers Association 

3
Box Folder

Bylaws -- 1938 

3 30

Meeting Minutes -- 1938-1940 

3 31

Newsclippings -- 1938-1940 

3 32

Michigan Bean Shippers Association 

3
Box Folder

Correspondence -- 1945, 1957 

3 33

Increasing the Bean Margin -- 1946 

3 34

Dry Edible Bean Surplus Report -- January 10, 1950 

3 35
Box Folder

Michigan Bean Sales Incorporated -- n.d. 

3 36
Box

National Dried Bean Council 

3
Box Folder

Constitution -- July 1950 

3 37
Box

Correspondence 

3
Box Folder

 1950 

3 38

 January 1951- May 1951 

3 39

 June 1951 - December 1957 

3 40

 1952 

3 41

 January 1953 - July 1953 

3 42

 August 1953 - December 1953 

3 43

 January 1954 - March 1954 

3 44

 April 1954 - May 1954 

3 45

 June 1954 - September 1954 

3 46

 October 1954 - November 17, 1954 

3 47

 November 18, 1954 - December 1954 

3 48

 January 1955 - June 1955 

3 49

 July 1955 - June 1955 

3 50

 January 1956 - September 1956 

3 51

 October 1956 - December 1956 

3 52

 January 1957 - March 20, 1957 

3 53

 March 21, 1957 - May 14, 1957 

3 54

 May 15, 1957 - July 13, 1957 

3 55

 August 1, 1957 - September 30, 1957 

3 56

 October 1, 1957 - November 31, 1957 

3 57

 December 1957 

3 58

 January 1958 - March 1958 

3 59

 April 1958 - July 1958 

3 60

 August 1958 - December 1958 

3 61

 November 1958 - December 1958 

3 62

 January 1959 - February 1959 

4 1

 March 1959 - July 1959 

4 2

 August 1959 - December 1959 

4 3

 January 1960 - September 1960 

4 4

 October 1960 - December 1960 

4 5

 January 1961 - February 1961 

4 6

 March 1961 - May 1961 

4 7

 June 1961 - September 1961 

4 8

 October 1961 - December 1961 

4 9

 January 1961 - February 1962 

4 10

 March 1962 - April 1962 

4 11

 May 1962 - June 1962 

4 12

 July 1962 - September 1962 

4 13

 October 1962 - December 1962 

4 14
Box Folder

A.L. Riedel's Personal Notes -- 1957-1961 

4 15
Box

Dry Bean Research Conference 

4
Box Folder

 1957 

4 16

 1958 

4 17

 1959 

4 18

 1960 

4 19

 1964 

4 20

Correspondence -- 1957 

4 21

Correspondence -- January 1958 - September 1958 

4 22

Correspondence -- October 1958 - December 1958 

4 23

Correspondence -- 1959 

4 24

Correspondence -- 1960 

4 25
Box Folder

Washington Reports -- November 1951 - December 1962 

4 26

Washington Reports -- January 1953 - May 1955 

4 27

Quartermaster Corps 

4
Box

Correspondence 

4
Box Folder

 August 1942 - November 1942 

4 28

 December 1942 

4 29

 January 1943 

4 30

 February 1943 - March 1943 

4 31

 April 1943 - October 1943 

4 32

Packaging Specifications 

4
Box Folder

 1942 

4 33

 1943-1945 

4 34
Box Folder

Packaging Material Care -- n.d. 

4 35

Saginaw Grain Company Project 

4
Box Folder

Elevator Construction & Operating Costs -- 1950 

4 36

Grain Elevator Project -- 1950 

4 37

Newspaper Clippings -- 1950 

4 38

A.L. Riedel's Personal Notes -- 1950, 1958, n.d. 

4 39

A.L. Riedel's Resignation, Miscellaneous -- 1951, n.d. 

4 40
Box Folder

State Bean Industry Committee -- 1940-1943 

4 41
Box

U.S. Department of Agriculture 

4
Box Folder

Inspection and Certification of Beans and Peas -- 1932 

4 42

Dry Bean Economic Data -- 1938-1939, 1947 

4 43

U.S. Standards for Beans -- August 1941 

4 44
Box

Federal Surplus Commodities Corp. - Bean Buying Program 

4
Box Folder

Reports -- February 1938 - March 1941 

4 45

Destinations -- April 1938 - June 1938 

4 46

Correspondence -- November 1938 - August 1940 

4 47

Purchases -- February 1939 - June 1939 

4 48

Reports -- June 1941 - December 1942 

4 49

Newsclippings -- 1942-1944 

4 50

Food Distribution Administration -- January 1943 - November 1943 

4 51

War Food Administration -- February 1944 - January 1947 

4 52
Box Folder

U.S. Department of Treasury. Federal Unemployment Company and Social Security -- December 1939 

4 53
Box

Personal Papers 

5
Box Folder

Address Books -- 1916, 1918, 1919, n.d. 

5 1

Business Diary -- 1940 

5 2
Box

Income Tax Returns 

5
Box Folder

 1918-1924 

5 3

 1925-1929 

5 4

 1930-1934 

5 5

 1935-1939 

5 6

 1940-1944 

5 7

 1945-1949 

5 8

 1950-1954 

5 9

 1955 

5 10

 1956 

5 11

 1957 

5 12

 1958 

5 13

 1959 

5 14

 1960 

5 15

 1961 

5 16

 1962 

5 17

 1963 

5 18

 1964 

5 19

 1965 

5 20

 1966 

5 21

 1967 

5 22

 1968 

5 23

 1969 

5 24

 1970 

5 25

 1971 

5 26

 1972 

5 27

 1973 

5 28

 1974 

5 29
Box Folder

Passports -- 1950, 1961, 1966, 1973 

5 30

Profit-Sharing Involvement -- 1956-1962 

5 31

Reactions to Working Conditions at Wickes Corp. -- 1956-1979, n.d. 

5 32

Retirement Plan Negotiations, Announcement of Retirement -- 1961, 1962, 1980 

5 33
Box

Travel Diaries 

5
Box Folder

 1947, 1950 

5 34

 1953, 1973 

5 35
Box Folder

Speech Material -- 1933-1945, n.d. 

5 36

Photographs 

Box Folder

Saginaw Milling Company Home Plant Undated 

5 38

Grain elevator (unidentified) Undated 

5 39

People at work (unidentified) Undated 

5 39

People. Reidel, A.L. Undated 

5 40

People. Diemer, Renate Undated 

5 40

Russ Wright's retirement party, Saginaw, MI July 23, 1975 

5 41

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(5) Volumes 1914-1955 

Volume

vol. 1: Vestaburg Elevator Company Ledger -- 1914-1916 

1

vol. 2: Vestaburg Elevator Company Ledger -- 1946-1916 

2

vol. 3: Vestaburg Elevator Company Ledger -- 1916-1917 

3

vol. 4: Boslo Grain Company Ledger -- July 1915 - December 1915 

4

vol. 5: Boslo Grain Company Ledger -- December 1915 - June 1916 

5

vol. 6: Boslo Grain Company Ledger -- June 1916 - June 1917 

6

vol. 7: Fahrner Elevator Company Ledger -- 1916-1927 

7

vol. 8: Michigan Bean Company. Secretary's Record -- 1915-1930 

8

vol. 9: Michigan Bean Company. Secretary's Record -- 1930-1940 

9

vol. 10: Michigan Bean Company. Secretary's Record -- 1941-1955 

10

vol. 11: Michigan Bean Company. Sales Record -- 1922-1926 

11

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Scrapbooks 

Volume

No. 137: Toledo, Ohio. Plant Fire (Photos, Newspaper Clippings) 1943 

SB 137

No. 138: Picture Book of Saginaw Milling Co., Properties Purchased by Michigan Bean Co. 1900 

SB 138
Box Folder

No. 139: Michigan Bean Co. Officers, Brokers Plants, Competitors (Photo Album) 1948-1951 

5 37
Volume

No. 140: Michigan Bean Co. (Photos of Brokers) 1948-1951 

SB 140

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