Michigan Bean Company records
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.
- 1906 - 1980
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.
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.
5 Cubic Feet (, 11 volumes on shelf.)
Language of Materials
Organization of the Records
These records are organized into 5 series
- Series 1: Company Records. 1906-1960, n.d.
- Series 2: Wickes Corporation Merger. 1947-1963, n.d.
- Series 3: General Subject Files. 1914-1967, n.d.
- Series 4: A.L. Riedel. 1925-1973, n.d.
- Series 5: Volumes. 1914-1955. (on shelf)
Gift of Albert L. Riedel.
Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.
- Advertising -- Agriculture
- Agricultural laws and legislation -- Michigan
- Agriculture -- Michigan
- Agriculture, Cooperative
- Bean industry
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
- Commercial correspondence
- Consolidation and merger of corporations
- Dried beans
- Dried beans -- Marketing
- Dried beans -- Storage
- Dried beans -- Transportation
- Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation
- Financial statements
- Food industry and trade
- Formulas, recipes, etc.
- Grain -- Transportation
- Grain trade
- Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada
- Journals (accounts)
- Legal forms
- Legislation -- Michigan
- Letters (correspondence)
- Michigan Agricultural College. Extension Division
- Michigan State College
- Michigan. Department of Agriculture. State Bean Industry Committee
- Saginaw (Mich.)
- United States. Army. Quartermaster Corps
- United States. Department of Agriculture
- United States. Department of Agriculture. Dry Beans and Peas Advisory Committee
- United States. Department of the Treasury
- United States. Federal Farm Board
- United States. Food Distribution Administration
- United States. War Food Administration
- Wickes Corporation
- World War, 1939-1945
- Michigan Bean Company Records
- 4 Published And Cataloged
- E. Pasek
- March 1986
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US