Michigan's logging industry and the 19th century came to an end. The wood barons had swept the state like a hurricane, as they had done in New England and New York, taking away the last great mound of white pine forests in the world. On their way were dying cities, hundreds of miles of combustible wreckage, eroded swamps, and admiration from those left behind for trading their inheritance for a handful of shiny coins. Timber towns across the state, one of them, Dear, named for some inexplicable reason after Cairo, Egypt, was extinguished.
For a city to have a chance to find a place in the 20th century, it needs an industry. City mayors and other leaders across the state searched for one. In Caro, sugar beet talks rocked from Bay County, where a businessman named Thomas Cranage built a sugar factory in Essexville, a suburb of Bay City, another logging town in search of an economic base to replace wood. The results of Cranage's experiment aroused enthusiasm that quickly replaced the melancholy that had settled in the hearts and minds of the leaders of the faltering logging communities.
Cranage traveled to Nebraska, Utah, New Mexico, and California, where he witnessed the process and talked to the technicians and hired them. He then created the Michigan Sugar Company and, avoiding the mistakes of many entrepreneurs, saw that he had enough capital to survive the disappointments that so often accompany new ventures.
The Michigan Sugar Company benefited not only from good planning, but from the good weather. The first sugar beet harvesting and processing season (called a "campaign" in the beet sugar industry jargon) in the state's history was, by all accounts, a remarkable success. Farmers harvested an average of 10.3 tonnes from each of the 3,103 acres, totaling 32,047 tonnes of sugar beet. The sugar content of the beets averaged 12.93%, with a purity of eighty two percent from which the mill extracted 5,685,552 pounds of sugar. A sugar content of 12.93% meant that each tonne of beet purchased contained 258.6 pounds of sugar. From this, the new sugar factory packed 169 pounds, which equals a total sugar recovery of 69%, an excellent result for a first season.
Chief among the leaders at Caro, Tuscola County's hub of business, was Charles Montague. The city waited to hear what Mr. Montague thought of the sugar conversation.
Montague was 52 when Michigan began opening his eyes to the sugar outlook. He had already achieved success in many fields, including banking, agriculture, wood milling, merchandising and manufacturing. In addition to owning and operating the city's hotel, he operated the local telephone system and the electric lighting company.
For a sugar factory to be built in a city, it took a prominent citizen to embark, someone whose participation would create a wave of enthusiasm – enough to free dollars from hidden places – enough to cause farmers to favorably consider the beet that could enrich. the inhabitants of the city. As it turned out, Dear was one of the few communities in Michigan that did not need to generate investment within the community. In Detroit, 140 kilometers south, eager investors were looking for mature opportunities and closer to home in the nearby city of Vassar, living with a man whose roaming gaze never failed to look for opportunities.
Richard Hoodless lived comfortably in Vasser, a small town named after Mathew Vassar, founder of Vassar University. For many years he traveled the roads of Europe as a buyer of agricultural produce for an English concern. He saw his first sugar beet fields in Germany twenty years earlier, saw thriving factories perched near towns, factories that hired workers, bought supplies and paid taxes to local governments, and often caused a rising tide of sustained prosperity, in which no single citizen or indirectly, was denied. a chance to dive into the treasure formed by the sugar beet fields.
Hoodless sought ways to double the success of German farmers. Luckily, an ad appeared in a Chicago newspaper, published by August Maritzen, a young newlywed architect, who had taken time off his honeymoon to promote business to a manufacturer in Germany whose name could be pronounced by most. Americans. only if they first filled their mouths with marbles. It was A. Wernicke Maschinenbau Aktiengesellschaft from Halle, Germany. Hoodless responded to the announcement, and in return Maritzen offered a significant sum of $ 4,000 (more than $ 80,000 in modern dollars) if Hoodless could generate enough interest to set up a factory in Caro.
On the one hand, Hoodless had in Charles Montague, a wealthy man who loved both opportunity and technology, as evidenced by his control of local telephone and lighting companies, brilliant new features of late-19th-century technology, and, on the other, at Wernicke, an experienced factory builder looking forward to building a factory in the United States. For help, he turned to two friends, Fred Wheat, who was linked to the Montagues by marriage for many years, and John Wilsey. Wheat was a lawyer whose wife was Maria Montague, sister of Charles Montague.
Hoodless then set up a citizens' committee that became the predecessor of the Dear Sugar Company. A committee member, Fred Slocum, also served as editor of the Tuscola County Advertiser and helped promote the idea in his news columns. Farmers in the Caro neighborhood, aware of the excitement provoked by the Essexville experiment, as well as Charles Montague and his associate, banker John Seeley, who gained spurs in coal mining. He served as vice president of Sebewaing Coal Company; an organization led by Spencer O. Fisher, who was also involved with the Essexville Michigan Sugar Company and would later become president of the West Bay City Sugar Company.
After Montague took the ball, he ran into the end zone without considering competitive quotes for the construction of the factory. In fact, it was Wernicke's representative, Max Schroeder, who joined Montague and Seeley on a tour of Detroit one night in January 1899. The night was scorching; the ongoing agreement was hot. The great fear was that some other city would beat Caro hard, pulling dollars from the Tuscola County investment. Time was of the essence.
For a week, the city held its breath as the trio met with major funders in Detroit. Daniel Gutleben in The Sugar Tramp-1954 reported receiving a telegram from Caro's organizing committee, announcing that the investment capitalists had invested in the factory and awarded Wernicke a contract to build it. The Pandemonium "reigned supreme," according to Tuscola County Advertiser. Seeley arrived alone on Tuesday night's train with a story to tell, one that still lives in Caro's memory, transmitted by every subsequent generation and recorded in Daniel Gutleben's chronicles. It's a story that reveals how Charles Montague convinced some passenger vehicles and big-city traders to invest heavily in Michigan's second sugar beet factory.
No one questioned Wernicke's ability to build a factory 6,000 kilometers from its base in a foreign country, where language, customs and economic conditions differed significantly from the country of origin. No one on the board had any experience with the sugar beet factories, nor did the board anticipate the need to hire corporate executives with that experience. After all, Wernicke was the sugar expert, claiming over 200 projects, including one recently completed in Australia. It didn't matter either, because Wernicke enthusiastically signed a contract guaranteeing that the new plant would cut 500 tonnes of beet a day for at least thirty successive days, at a cost of three cents per pound for sugar currently sold in Chicago for six. years. cents per pound at retail.
That a new factory, even built by someone without the disadvantages of building a factory on foreign land, could operate at 500 tons a day during its maiden voyage was unheard of. Inevitable construction problems always created delays; Fine-tuning would prevent the total ability to slice for weeks, sometimes months. In addition, factory teams were more accustomed to chasing plows or felling trees with axes than operating boilers, motors, diffusers, vacuum pans, and evaporators, all in perfect harmony. A year earlier, the builders at the Essexville plant had lost their guarantee to produce sugar for three and a half cents for fifteen cents and paid for it with an expensive out-of-court settlement, a fact unknown to Wernicke or dismissed at a time. of unjustified trust. In addition, Wernicke agreed to finance $ 300,000 of the estimated construction cost of $ 400,000.
For Caro and his investors in Detroit, it was too good a business to pass up. It has improved over time. The village council, as an added incentive, bought 100 acres of land in two parcels, one of which belonged to Charles Montague, and presented it to the factory owners, one of which was Montague. Dear Water Company has sweetened the deal by offering up to 500,000 gallons of spring water free of charge daily.
So Dear, as a result of Montague's energy and Hoodless's ambition and the will of a city that would not be left behind, found himself benefiting from a factory largely paid for by outside investors. Prior to the original name, The Dear Sugar Company, the organizers formed the Peninsular Sugar Refining Company on January 30, 1899 with 30,000 shares with a par value of $ 10. In August of that same year, the capitalization jumped to $ 500,000 and jumped again in February 1902, when it reached $ 750,000. Its final increase came in September 1902, when it advanced to one million dollars – 100,000 shares with a par value of $ 10.00.
The men of money included Detroit industrialists Charles Bewick, who a few years later invested in the East Tawas and Henry B. Joy sugar factory, who in 1905 became president of the Packard Motor Car Company. Joy and members of his family have invested in several Michigan sugar factories, including Alma, Croswell and Bay City. His brother-in-law and co-founder of Packard Motor Car Company, Truman Newberry, also invested in Caro and, along with Joy, became one of the company's directors. In 1918, Newberry would gain fleeting fame as a Michigan Senate seat winner by defeating Henry Ford, another tycoon seeking the same job. (Newberry's fame lasted longer on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where they named a town Newberry to commemorate his father's consideration in cutting all the hardwoods he could find and turning them into charcoal.)
David Cady and Gilbert Lee, owners of a large wholesale food distributor in Detroit, owned about 5,000 shares. Gilbert Lee moved into the president's chair, while Henry Joy established himself for a vice presidency.
Within a few years, the Sugar Trust came to town and everything changed. The American Sugar Refining Company referred to all newspapers as Sugar Trust, moved to Michigan in 1901 and 1902, and began to rapidly absorb sugar beet factories. Gone is Charles Montague, whose energy and strength have brought together the pieces that formed the company. So was John Seeley, his friend and partner. Richard Hoodless, who started it all, never made it to the shareholders list.
In 1903, the list of shareholders reflected some of the Sugar Trust's top names. Chief among them was Charles B. Warren, legal advisor to the American Sugar Refining Company, whose 22,001 shares were high on the 1904 shareholder list. The second ranking shareholder was Thomas B. Washington of Boston, Massachusetts, director of American Sugar Refining Company, which held 15,667 shares. He would rise to the presidency of the Sugar Trust four years later with the death of Henry O. Havemeyer, its founder. Third, Lowell Palmer, executive of the American Sugar Refining Company, which held 10,126 shares. Together, the three controlled 48% of the Peninsular Sugar Refining Company. An interesting feature of the shareholder list was the absence of Caro residents' names, except for some Latter-day sugar factory employees.
The American Sugar Refining Company, defamed in the daily press for its monopolistic tendencies and plagued in federal courts for alleged violations of the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act, has been respected by its 13,000 shareholders who have enjoyed a steady stream of dividends, 12% per year since 1894. An underrated aspect of the Sugar Trust was that it required companies under its jurisdiction to produce high quality products at low cost, and to that end provided expert consultants who traveled from factory to factory providing technical information, supervising training and personnel, and inspection. of the premises.
But in 1899, the interest of the village of Caro lay not in the field of high finance or corporate philosophy, but in the hundreds of workers who needed boarding, food and clothing, as well as the other needs and luxuries that the cash registers caused. touch the whole city. Men, money, equipment, and building materials poured into the village. Forty-eight loads of equipment plus six million bricks and a thousand strands of stone arrived in rapid succession. Three hundred workers, including bricklayers making fifty cents an hour compared with fifteen cents for ordinary workers and five cents for apprentice electricians, created a buzz of activity that began when the snow melted in April and ended on October 23 when Superintendent Georg Bartsch , a noted sugar manufacturing expert with special acclaim earned by his specialization in crystallization and vacuum pan operation, declared the factory ready for operations.
Performance guarantees for the new sugar beet plants plagued those who dared to issue them – and would soon plague Wernicke. The plant, as described by Gutleben, while avoiding some American material preferences, nevertheless represented the main one in the plant design. It had four wrought-iron quad-effect evaporators, providing a combined surface area of 8,911 square feet of heating, two 9-1 / 2-foot diameter x 13-foot high pans containing 753 square feet of heating surface and centrifuges that used steam jets for the final sugar wash. Six 700-cubic-foot, spray-cooled vacuum crystallizers installed on the pan floor have accelerated cooling, a modern feature that has improved productivity. Nine water pipe boilers equipped with mechanical stoves provided an adequate supply of steam. A concrete floor, a luxury by Michigan factory standards of the day, separated the factory from the mud and mud below.
Two significant differences between an American design factory and a German design factory caused some immediate grudge. The first was that American managerial style summoned superintendents who inspired the invention of the phrase "manage standing, not sitting," while the German method called for a field officer to command from afar, sending lieutenants to gather information and dispense with managerial wisdom. and dictates.
In addition, the European method of management required a great deal of secrecy between managers and managers, and technicians reserved their knowledge for themselves, sharing what they knew only with children or with those who paid dearly for instructions. The departmental factory fits the European management style perfectly. For this reason, Caro's factory consisted of several separate rooms or departments, the effect of which made communication difficult and increased the number of workers required to operate the factory. The messengers rushed between the rooms delivering requests and information, not always as timely as circumstances required. The deal in later years would make it difficult to expand the factory; The expansion of one area usually occurred at the expense of another. Kilby-built factories, those built by Joseph Kilby of Cleveland, Ohio, considered by many to be the leading builder of sugar mills, provided enough space for two and more generations of successive development to increase capacity by five times with only small additions to structures or foundations.
Wernicke's track record from a practical and fair point of view, however, was excellent. Between March 1, 1899 and October 23 of the same year, the German company had shipped much of the German factory. It then organized the design and construction of a complete operating facility in a relatively new sector in a foreign country in just under seven months, becoming the first of eight beet sugar factories built in Michigan in 1899 that made the second such factory built. in Michigan after Essexville. By the standards of 1899 and over a hundred years later, Wernicke's conquest is a monumental conquest. In addition to the usual disruptions, the factory had also operated and, in some cases, better than any startup started that year.
Due to the loss of records, specifically the sugar content of the processed beets, the results of the first campaign can only be estimated. Nearby, Bay City reported a sugar content of 13% and 11% elsewhere in the state. Applying an average of 12 percent to the harvest received at Caro indicates that the new factory recovered 66 percent of sugar from beets, compared favorably with 61 percent recovered at Benton Harbor, but lacking Alma, where the recovery reached 72 percent. Percent.
As encouraging as the results were, the mere fact that Wernicke failed to meet three conditions stipulated in the contract, failures that would result in a hurried walk to the wood shed. First, the factory did not cut 500 tonnes per day for 30 consecutive days as warranted. Second, the cost exceeded three cents per pound; and third, the factory was not ready to accept beets on September 1, 1899, as promised. In addition, according to the company, the sugar produced lacked marketability and much was lost in the process. It was then that Wernicke learned the contentious nature of Michigan's pioneering sugar makers.
It may be that the company gave in to Wernicke's exceptional effort, except that the directors contemplated operating losses because the State of Michigan decided to withhold payment of a promised reward for any sugar produced after January 1, 1899. The reward provided The state treasury paid a penny for every pound of sugar produced in Michigan from sugar beet, but had been declared unconstitutional by the Auditor General, a decision later confirmed by the State Supreme Court. The decision was a disaster for investors because a penny was approximately one third of operating costs. The United States Supreme Court declined to consider the case, giving rise to the mistaken belief that the decision upheld the lower court decision. Unredeemed reward money totaled $ 40,436; a much needed compensation for an approximate loss of $ 65,000.
When the time came to bring Wernicke to court, the company's directors chose as his lawyer, Charles Evans Hughes, a brilliant lawyer destined to become the president of the Supreme Court. In preparing for his day in court with Wernicke, Hughes learned from the outset the German language and the sugar beet industry to allow him to interrogate German engineers who appeared as expert witnesses. According to James Howell, a former Caro factory overseer who authored a detailed account of Caro's factory history, Hughes spent a month at Caro's factory exploring every nook and cranny until he became an expert in its design. and function.
The ensuing lawsuit, according to Gutleben, resulted in the loss of Wernicke's $ 300,000 underwriting title, seventy-five percent of the contract price, causing Wernicke to withdraw completely from building sugar factories in the United States. Howell, writing six years before Gutleben, gave a slightly altered account. He reported that Wernicke sent $ 150,000 and forgave $ 125,000 still due in the construction contract.
Soon, Oxnard Construction Company appeared in Dear to affect the changes in the factory, none of which were relevant in terms of the original construction. US-made centrifuges used by the American Tool Machine Company, often referred to as "Amtool" in the industry, replaced those of German design. A major change had nothing to do with defects in the original design. It was the addition of the Steffen process to remove sugar from molasses. One of the main problems of the time was the high proportion of sugar that escaped the manufacturing process and ended its days mixed with molasses, the leftover gum syrup.
The financial results of the second year were impressive. The new centrifuge and Steffens processes (called Steffen's House in the industry) have proved their worth. Seven million pounds of sugar went through the warehouse, the thirty-two-thousand-ton beet product containing 14 percent sugar. The mill extracted 243 pounds of sugar from each ton of beet, a 35% improvement over the first year. Steffen's new process not only recovered sugar from the approximately twenty tons of molasses produced per day, but also recovered sugar from the remaining molasses from the previous season.
Henry Oxnard founds a management dynasty in Dear
Henry Oxnard did more than just redesign a factory when he applied his efforts to the problems then at Caro; he founded an administrative dynasty that would permanently influence not only Caro's factory, but also America's fledgling sugar beet industry. Almost ten years earlier, in 1891, Henry Oxnard had recruited from Germany and France some of the best and most educated technicians of the time who, upon arriving in the United States, formed the core of a cadre who would begin to train Americans in sugar production. Beetroot
Having formed his first level of management, Oxnard began to provide the mechanical engineering department. For general construction management responsibilities, he turned to AP Cooper, which had served at the pioneering Ames, Nebraska factory as an assistant engineer. Cooper promptly surveyed Caro's factory and set in motion a plan to affect the changes, setting up a duet of designers who had accompanied him to Caro. One was Daniel Gutleben, who would someday climb the ranks of leading factory operators and even later as a chronicler of the history of the sugar beet industry.
At the two highest levels, Oxnard handled the placement of a group of promising workers who lacked adequate training but could perform with a high degree of satisfaction if given proper tutelage.
Charles Sieland, 36, a native of Germany, employed by Oxnard to oversee the changes, repudiated his compatriots' tendency to withhold information except for the financial reward. He adopted Henry Oxnard's philosophy of sharing information. Dear, in his mind, was not just a factory, but a university as well. A long list of technicians and plant managers began their careers in Caro under their tutelage and then brought their shared knowledge to others as they moved from factory to factory. One of them was William Hoodless, the son of the same Richard Hoodless who had started rolling for a factory in Caro. Within a few years, he assumed responsibility for all plant operations and shortly thereafter accepted the presidency of the Pennsylvania Sugar Refinery in Philadelphia.
In 1906, the Sugar Trust consolidated most of its Michigan stakes in one company, the Michigan Sugar Company, reviving the name of the first company to build a sugar factory in Michigan. The new Michigan Sugar Company included Alma Sugar Company, Bay City-Michigan Sugar Company, Peninsular Sugar Refining Company, Carrollton Sugar Company, Croswell Sugar Company and Sebewaing Sugar Company. At the time, the Trust, through appointed shareholders, held a majority stake in the Blissfield Sugar Company built a year earlier in 1905, and East Tawas Sugar Company, a company, despite failing as a commercial venture in 1904, had a fine. . Kilby-built factory that the Sugar Trust used in Chaska, Minnesota, where it operated for the next sixty-six years. Carrollton Sugar Company also included the defunct Saginaw Sugar Company, owner of another Kilby-built factory in Sterling, Colorado, where he served from 1905 to 1985. Charles Warren assumed the presidency of the Michigan Sugar Company, a post he held until 1925.
By 1920, the sun had set at the Sugar Trust. Following a generation of resilient attacks from various federal agencies, including the US Department of Justice and the Interstate Commerce Commission, the American Sugar Refining Company gradually sold its many components to private investors, and thus the Michigan Sugar Company broke free of its hold. Sugar's claws. Trust in. His entire post-trust board of directors consisted of Michigan residents, none of whom had any association with the Sugar Trust, except its chairman, Charles B. Warren, whose interest was now beyond Japan's Ambassador, 1921-1922. , and then ambassador to Mexico in 1924. He lost his attempt to become US Attorney General in 1925 during a politically charged Senate vote, influenced by an aversion to Warren's former Sugar Trust association. His aspirations for public sector office kept him out of the president's office, a position skillfully held by William H. Wallace, who held the title of 3d vice president and general manager. The first and second vice presidencies fell on some of the heavyweight shareholders who had no involvement in day-to-day activities.
Dear survive time and change
Thanks to James Howell, Caro's superintendent who began in 1944, who prepared a story recorded in 1948, he learned that Caro began to stock beets in the factory yard in 1937, an important step for growers who after handing over the beets to the factory. , could meet the needs of other crops, whereas in the past it was necessary to provide the beets as they were needed.
During the period from 1928 to 1937, Caro's factory, like almost all Michigan sugar beet factories, suffered the negative effects of the Great Depression. However, from 1937 to the present day, Dear reported constant improvements in terms of modernization and expansion. White sugar centrifuges and a new pulp store were added in 1944. A centrifuge is a device designed to separate sugar crystals from syrup by filtering the syrup through a screen that rotates fast enough (usually about 1,200 rpm) to create a centrifugal force that drives the syrup through holes in a swivel basket. The sugar crystals remain in the basket while the syrup recirculates in the process to recover more sugar. These and other changes have caused the average daily slice rate to expand to over 3,600 tonnes every 24 hours from the 500 tonnes per day in the original design, making it a relatively small factory compared to others in the US. States that range from two times greater than four times greater.
If Caro has a secret to survive for over 100 years, it is that the rebuilt Oxnard factory has remained precisely that for many years and remains today, facing challenges as they arise, gaining support from its community and changing when occasion and opportunity arises. unite to compel change. Thus, the oldest surviving sugar beet plant in the United States remains in a fast-paced industry.
HOWELL, James, A History of the Michigan Sugar Company Dear Factory, an unpublished account of the history of the Dear Factory, May 1, 1948
GUTTLEBEN, Daniel, The Sugar Tramp – 1954 p.182 sobre a compra de fábricas de açúcar pelo Sugar Trust, p. 177 sobre a organização da Sebewaing Sugar e os resultados operacionais, impressos pela Bay Cities Duplicating Company, São Francisco, Califórnia
MARQUIS, Albert Nelson, editor, The Book of Detroiters, páginas 465-468, AN Marquis & Company, Chicago, 1908 – sobre a biografia de Charles B. Warren
RELATÓRIOS ANUAIS DA MICHIGAN, Arquivos de Michigan, Lansing, Michigan:
A Peninsular Sugar Refining Company entrou em 1904 e a Michigan Sugar Company entrou em 1924
MOODY, John, The Truth about the Trusts, em referência ao comentário de que o Sugar Trust começou a comprar empresas de açúcar de beterraba em Michigan em 1902 e pagamentos de dividendos entre 1892 e 1900.
ESTADOS UNIDOS. No Tribunal Distrital dos Estados Unidos para o distrito sul de Nova York
Estados Unidos vs. American Sugar Refining Co., et al. página 1674, Exposição do peticionário # 1494
Copyright, 2009, Thomas Mahar, Todos os direitos reservados