Business papers of Ingram, a leading Wisconsin lumberman, relating to operations in the Chippewa Valley, with headquarters at Eau Claire, and the sale of manufactured lumber through subsidiary wholesale companies located along the Mississippi River. Ingram associated with A. M. Dole of Ottawa, Canada, and Donald Kennedy in 1857; Dole retired from the firm in 1862, and in 1881 the company was reorganized as the Empire Lumber Company.
Correspondence emphasizes the selling end of the business and consists of letters of report from branch managers, agents, and salesmen, and between members of the company. The correspondence as a whole pertains to business plans, policies, and practices; filling of orders for lumber and millwork; market prospects; prices, types, and qualities of lumber; credit and collection matters; complaints; rafting of lumber on the Chippewa and Mississippi rivers; personnel; earnings of the company; acquisition of timberlands in Wisconsin and other states; organization of the Pacific Empire Lumber Company at South Bend, Washington, in the 1890's; and investments in anthracite coal mines in Alberta, Canada. There are papers concerned with minor enterprises of the firm of Ingram and Kennedy, who were also wholesale dealers in grain, produce, and provisions; storage, commission, and forwarding merchants; proprietors of the Chippewa River Packet Line and of the Chippewa Express Company; and involved in the Half Moon Lake Canal Company.
A group of letters, 1893-1901, relates to Ripon College, its finances, endowment, the building of Ingram Hall, and the resignation of President Rufus C. Flagg. Among these letters are a number from President Flagg, Edward H. Merrell, and Samuel M. Pedrick.
Other letters have to do with the economic effect of the Civil War; the coming of railroads and competition with the Chicago market; the Dells of the Chippewa improvement; internal improvements by the federal government on the Chippewa River, in regard to which there are several letters from Philetus Sawyer and Michael Griffin; philanthropic work of Ingram, including assistance to the work of the Rev. Dwight L. Moody; sale of Cornell University lands in Wisconsin; the building and operation of the Eau Claire Water Works; the depression of 1893; and relief of the cyclone victims at New Richmond in 1899.
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