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Elmer L. Kreger papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0120

Scope and Content

The collection (1906-1970, n.d.) includes annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, news clippings, and a record of Kreger's business expenses during the first two years of FELCO's operation, 1926-1927. Correspondents include Paul H. Appleby, Mary H. Rumsey, and Henry A. Wallace. Included are materials pertaining to a trip Kreger made to Washington, D.C. in 1933 in a successful effort to reverse a National Recovery Administration decision which had declared cooperatives illegal.

The collection contains a variety of records regarding FELCO including newspaper clippings, newsletters, member roster, and several reports. The reports are about FELCO, the Manager's Association, inventory, consumer's Advisory Board, Cabinet meetings, earnings, maps, by-laws, commissions, comparison earnings, and office expenses. A transcription of the tape for History of FELCO and the transcription of the discussion "Managers Sessions" are included as well.

Dates

  • 1906-1970, undated

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

E. L. Kreger was born in 1886 in Jefferson, Iowa. He was married to Grace Wilcox in November 1904. After graduation from high school he started work in Grimes, Iowa at the grain elevator and in 1908 he became manager of the Farmers Elevator Company there. In 1912 he went to Ralston, Iowa as manager of the Farmers Elevator Company where he stayed for fourteen years.

Kreger started the Farmers Elevator Service Company in 1926, with the idea that if elevator companies would cooperate in purchasing farm supplies in large units, substantial savings could be gained for their customers. Ninety-six elevator operators of the Iowa Farmers Grain Managers Association paid $5.00 each toward the company's operating capital, and Kreger was guaranteed $100.00 per month plus expenses. Kreger managed the company, known by the acronym FELCO, until his retirement in 1954. The original products available to FELCO members were coal, cedar posts, linseed oil meal, and office supplies. Eventually the cooperative handled a full line of farm supplies, including livestock feed, fertilizer, and petroleum. FELCO later merged with the Nebraska Farmers Union State Exchange, becoming the Farmers Regional Cooperative. In 1970, the Farmers Regional Cooperative merged with Land O' Lakes, a Minnesota-based cooperative, becoming one of the largest agricultural supply and food marketing cooperatives in the United States.

Early in the 1930s the National Recovery Act ruled out cooperatives and declared them illegal because they "prorated" the profits back to the businesses." Kreger went to Washington, D.C. on a Monday and working with Henry A. Wallace, Kreger left Washington Friday morning with a confidential order that said President Roosevelt would sign an executive order declaring coops legal on Monday.

Extent

0.42 Linear Feet (1 document box, 1 file card box, 1 ledger)

Abstract

Cooperative manager Elmer L. Kreger started the Farmers Elevator Service Company (FELCO ) in 1926, with the idea that if elevator companies would cooperate in purchasing farm supplies in large units, substantial savings could be gained for their customers. Eventually the cooperative handled a full line of farm supplies. FELCO later merged with the Nebraska Farmers Union State Exchange, becoming the Farmers Regional Cooperative. In 1970, the Farmers Regional Cooperative merged with Land O' Lakes, a Minnesota-based cooperative, becoming one of the largest agricultural supply and food marketing cooperatives in the United States. The collection includes annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, news clippings, and a record of Kreger's business expenses during the first two years of FELCO's operation, 1926-1927. Correspondents include Paul H. Appleby, Mary H. Rumsey, and Henry A. Wallace. Included are materials pertaining to a trip Kreger made to Washington, D.C. in 1933 in a successful effort to reverse a National Recovery Administration decision which had declared cooperatives illegal.

Arrangement

The collection is organized by Subject.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
MS-0120. Elmer L. Kreger papers, 1906-1970, undated
Date
December 12, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672