Fairmont Foods Company (Omaha, Neb.) [RG4218.AM]

HISTORY NEBRASKA 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.

INVENTORY

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

Subject headings:

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

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Leap Year Once Viewed as Opportunity for Women

Leap Year Once Viewed as Opportunity for Women

Found at an Estate Sale: A Trophy from the Year Nebraska Banned Girls’ Basketball Tournaments

Found at an Estate Sale: A Trophy from the Year Nebraska Banned Girls’ Basketball Tournaments

African Americans in Nebraska History

African Americans in Nebraska History

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast.

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.