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Green Bay Lumber Company, 1899 History


Posted By: David Reineke (email)
Date: 3/7/2006 at 01:02:25

I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published in a special 25th Anniversary Edition of the paper on Friday, 20 September 1899. Information in brackets and notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

Green Bay Lumber Co.

A description of the business world in Carroll would be very incomplete without a mention of the Green Bay Lumber Company.

The business came to Carroll in 1880 when it was still a stock company headed by Mr. E. C. Finkbein. It had operations in Odebolt and Ida Grove, and when it came to Carroll it took over the lumberyard of Wm. W. Smith and Company. The town was still small and the land was sparsely settled, but the farmers were already experiencing the blessings of the good land and were making good improvements to their farms. And towns and villages were also growing like mushrooms out of the ground, and so the new firm did excellent business. In 1881, a new lumberyard was established in Manning as a branch of the Carroll business, and Mr. W. E. Guild, who had been employed in the lumberyard in Carroll, was named business manager. [The name may be incorrect. The Manning centennial book notes a Mr. F. P. Guild as manager] The lumberyard did good business and provided the wood for the growing town.

In 1884, the Green Bay Lumber Company was organized as a corporation under state law, and Mr. E. C. Finkbein was elected president. The headquarters for the business was located in Carroll. The business took an unexpected upturn, and every few months branch yards were established in other locations, so that the expanded business grew ever farther. In 1887, the business had already spread over a wide territory and it became necessary to move the management to a place that was more convenient to railroad traffic. The state capital was therefore selected. The business now has subsidiaries on the Northwestern and its branch lines, on the Milwaukee and its branch lines, on the Rock Island and its branch lines, and on the C. B. & O. and its branch lines. The total number of lumberyards in western Iowa that are owned by this business amounts to 49. In any event, today it is the largest lumber company in Iowa.

The gigantic storage area is covered by a three-story building, 57 feet wide and 160 feet long, and is piled to the roof with lumber, doors, windows, etc. Cement, lime, and coal are stored in special buildings. One man who mainly has contributed to the success of this business is the auditor and treasurer, W. E. Guild, who rose from the ranks to his position of responsibility. He began in 1890 [sic, the article above states he was manager in Manning earlier] as a worker in the local yard, and he rose gradually to the position through his will-power and ability. Since he came to Carroll, he has lived here and is considered an influential and respected person. Those who know him agree with us that he has earned his high trust and possesses the abilities to occupy his important office. The officers of the company are: E. C. Finkbein, president; W. E. Guild, auditor and treasurer; and K. E. Jewett, secretary.

J. W. Kennebeck, who has lived in Carroll County for 26 years, has been the local business manager for two years. In the fall of 1887, he was elected sheriff of Carroll County, and he served in that capacity for two years. He was also clerk of court for the county for a period of two years. Then he was general agent for the Milwaukee Harvester Company, and in March 1897 he took over management of the Green Lumber Company’s lumberyard. Mr. Kennebeck is one of the most popular persons in the county and is especially well known among the German-Americans. Since he took over his present position, he has doubled the customers through fair and honest dealing.


Carroll Documents maintained by Constance Diamond.
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