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North-West Line Elevators Association fonds
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- Multiple media
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MSS 127 (A1994-055)
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- North-West Line Elevators
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6.12 m of textual records, 17 maps, 111 photographs, 13 slides, 1 video reel.
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This association was first organized by the Manitoba Elevator Operators on July 18, 1899, under the name the North-West Elevator Association. The first Directorship consisted of William Martin, President & Robert Muir, Vice-President. The other directors included R.D. Martin, E. O'Riley, John Love, R.C. Ennis, S.A. McGaw, J.E. Mann & T.B. Barker. The Membership included 24 companies or individuals representing 272 country elevators.
In 1904 the Association was incorporated by a special act of the Manitoba Legislature under the name of the North-West Grain Dealers Association. The membership had increased threefold to include 95 companies or individuals representing 780 elevators. John Love was the first president of newly incorporated Association.
The first ten years were marked by rapid expansion. By 1910 the Membership had risen to 164 companies or individuals with the number of elevators practically doubling to 1500. Five years later 30 more companies had come on board with the number of elevators growing to 2900. Through amalgamation of some of the smaller companies the roster declined to 101 companies in 1925 but the number of elevators increased to 3741.
In 1926 the hierarchy within the Association changed with the formation of the Owners' Committee. Henceforth Directors were appointed from the junior executive ranks or general superintendents of companies but the real power lay with the Owners' Committee. This committee lasted for ten years at which time a Public Relations Department was formed in March 1935. This group chose L.W. Brockington as its first leader with G.W.P. Heffelfinger as the first chairman.
Like all industry, the grain business was forced to navigate ten lean years during the Depression. The Membership declined to 55 companies by 1935 but still managed to represent 3345 elevators. In 1937 the Manitoba Legislature amended the Association's capital stock set up. The old Membership shares were paid out in full at $15 apiece plus a premium of $5 per share. The new capital arrangement called for 20000 authorized shares and 3393 subscribed shares selling at $1 each. A company was called upon to take $1 shares for every elevator it owned.
With the financial restructuring of the Association, came board room policy changes. After 1937 all Directors were now chosen from the principals of the companies. In 1940 the company changed its name to the North West Line Elevators Association. The Association lobbied for preferable rail rates for shipping. They attempted to block line abandonments by the C.P.R. & C.N.R. The Farm Service side of the Association performed grain research through its demonstration plots and seed testing laboratory. At its peak the Association cover elevators spanning the Prairie Provinces & Thunder Bay and represented the interests of most of the leading grain companies in Western Canada. The company still had an administrative board in 1992 but two years later it had come under control of N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. and is now dormant.
In July 1992, the collection was offered to the Provincial Archives of Manitoba. Barry Hyman, the Associate Provincial Archivist, suggested that the holdings be moved to the University of Manitoba to become a part of the Archives of the Agricultural Experience. In August 1994, the Collection was transferred to the Department of Archives & Special Collections at the behest of Andrew B. Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, of N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd., whose company had recently acquired the North-West Line Elevators Association.
Scope and content
The North-West Line Elevators Association origins can be traced back to 1899. The fonds contain the minutes of the original Board of Directors as well as a detailed sampling of Directors' minutes & memoranda up until the early 1970s. The collection is divided into four categories. The corporate records contain Directors' minutes, Executive Committee minutes, annual reports & the Public Relations Department records. The financial records contain auditors' reports, balance sheets, stock ledgers, tax returns, budgets, shareholders' information & Grains Claim Bureau assessments. The legal records cover demurrage action, court cases, agreements & contracts as well as Royal Commission on Box Car Distribution reports from the mid 1950s & Royal Commission on Transportation reports from the early 1960s. The operational records contain company correspondence, tariff information, Canada Grains Council reports & Canada Wheat Board reports, articles & pamphlets as well as lists of grain elevators. The fonds provide a nice cross section of the Association from its inception until the mid 1970s.
Immediate source of acquisition
These records are organized into 6 series.
Corporate Records 1899-1972
Financial Records 1900-1985
Legal Records 1929-1969
Operational Records 1913-1977
Map Collection (MC 17) 1963-1975
Photograph Collection (PC 136) [ca. 1925]-[1969?]
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Restrictions on access
Box 47, Folder 7 is restricted. Please contact the archives for further information.
There are no other restrictions on access.
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A finding aid can be downloaded by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.
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Finding aid created by Lewis St. George Stubbs (1998). Encoded by Julianna Trivers (October 2002). Revision History: July 26, 2005 - MSS 127 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15). Revised by N. Courrier (September 2019).