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NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID



RG4218.AM:  Fairmont Foods Company (Omaha, Neb.)



Records:  1904-1981

Omaha, Douglas County, Neb.:  Manufacturer and retailer of dairy and food

Size:  1.25 cu.ft.; 3 boxes



BACKGROUND NOTE



Fairmont Foods was originally founded as the Fairmont Creamery at Fairmont, Nebraska in 1884. It was a pioneer in milk can pickup and was one of the first creameries to give farmers their own hand cream separators in its early years. The business grew fast and left Fairmont for Omaha in 1904. In 1929 it was incorporated and began to diversify its product lines to include frozen foods, cheese and poultry products.



The Fairmont Creamery was renamed Fairmont Foods in 1948 which reflected the corporation’s diversification. At one time it was a Fortune 500 Company and it earned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1959. The 21 years from 1959-1980 brought even broader diversification to Fairmont Foods. The corporation began to produce food products like chicken, pies, potato chips, soda, dips and frozen pizza.



In 1975 the corporation was moved to Houston, Texas when its U-TOTEM convenience store subsidiary became more profitable than the food products divisions. In 1980 Fairmont Foods merged with a subsidiary of American Financial Corporation of Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1980-1984 all of Fairmont Foods properties and subsidiaries were either sold or progressively closed.



SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE



This collection relates to the operation of Fairmont Foods Company and is arranged in three series: 1) Financial Reports, 1917-1973; 2) Legal Materials, 1928, 1936, 1948, 1956; and 3) Miscellany, 1904-1981.



Series 1 mainly consists of annual reports for stockholders.



Series 2 contains legal materials relating to Fairmont’s name change in 1948, litigation with the Federal Trade Commission in 1956 about an alleged plan to create a monopoly in the frozen products business, and a case heard in the Supreme Court of North Dakota about advertising of food products. A synopsis of Articles of Incorporation and amendments to them is also included.



The miscellany of Series 3 consists of a complete listing of Fairmont’s Presidents (1884-1974) with photographs and biographies of some of the presidents. Also included is a corporate reference manual kept by Secretary-Treasurer R. D. Wilson, dating from the 1920s to the late 1940s, with comparative Omaha payroll, holdings and sales of commodities, and corporate procedures. Other files in this series pertain to Fairmont’s history, diversification, production of dairy products, and a salesman’s handbook describing all of Fairmont’s products.



Although the collection is small, it contains a lot of valuable information. It is possible to track Fairmont’s financial condition over a long period of time. The Company’s slow, steady diversification could be looked at to see how it mirrored society’s changing tastes and demands. The handbook kept by R. D. Wilson contains much useful information about office procedures and holdings. Some annual reports are missing from the collection, which could limit its usefulness, and there are no materials about how Fairmont’s move in 1975 affected Nebraska.



See also the photo component [RG4218.PH] for photographs related to Fairmont Foods.



DESCRIPTION



Series 1 – Financial Reports, 1917-1973



Box 1

Folder




  1. 1917, 1927-1952

  2. 1953, 1955, 1958-1964, 1967, 1969-1970, 1972-1973, Stock Prospectus, 1968



Series 2 – Legal Materials, 1928, 1936, 1948, 1956



Box 1

Folder




  1. Reorganization Plan of the Fairmont Creamery Company, 1928

    Synopsis of Articles of Incorporation, 1936

    Certificate of Amendment to Article of Incorporation, 1948

    Appendix to Answering brief and reply brief, 1956

    Appellees brief in Supreme Court of North Dakota, 1956



Series 3 – Miscellany



Box 1

Folder




  1. Record of Fairmont Presidents, 1884-1974



Box 2

Folder




  1. Corporate Handbook of R. D. Wilson, ca. 1925-1945

  2. Lecture notes, pamphlets regarding history of Fairmont Foods

  3. Fairmont’s 60th Anniversary Programs

  4. Salesmen’s banquet program, 1904; banquet program, 1922

  5. Published materials about Fairmont’s diversification, 1967

  6. Kitty Clover subsidiary published material

  7. Company newsletter, February 1930, October 1930, and Winter 1978-1979

  8. Transcript of Fairmont’s representation before Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts, 1969, product distribution maps included

  9. Certificate of War Necessity for a Fairmont truck, 1944

  10. Corporate office phone book, 1952

  11. News releases regarding the takeover of Fairmont, 1978-1980

  12. Booklets on history of cheese making and the dry milks industry

  13. Ice Cream Trade Journal, 1955



Box 3

Folder




  1. Salesman’s handbook, 1941

  2. Incoming correspondence, Fairmont Creamery Co., re: war production efforts, 1942-1945

  3. Stock certificates, 1961

  4. Army-Navy “E” Award, 1943

  5. Miscellaneous, including:

    “Fairmont Recipes” booklet, Thanksgiving, 1950

    “Fairmont Recipes” booklet, Christmas (no year listed)

    Fairmont Foods envelopes

    Product information

    Clippings



 



ADDED ENTRIES:



Creameries — Nebraska — Fairmont

Dairy products industry — Nebraska

Dairying — Nebraska

Douglas County (Neb.) — Businesses

Edquist, Erhart D., 1898-

Ellis, Gordon, 1915-1973

Fairmont Foods Company (Omaha, Neb.)

Fairmont (Neb.) — Businesses

Fillmore County (Neb.) — Businesses

Food industry and trade — Nebraska

Howe, Edgar Frank, 1863-1947

Hurtz, Leonard E., -1960

Melcher, LeRoy, 1912-1999

Rector, Edgar Twilliger, 1870-1933

Robins, John A., -1959

Rushton, Joseph Howard, -1922

Sherwood, Stuart C., 1908-

Solomonson, Charles D.,

Omaha (Neb.) — Businesses

Wilson, R.D.



 



Revised 08-24-2007   TMM