Charles Herbert McLeod Papers 1865-1953

McLeod, Charles Herbert, 1859-1946


43.5 linear ft.
112 v..
4 oversize boxes.
Organized into two subgroups: I. Missoula Mercantile Company and Personal; and II. Subsidiary and Associated Businesses, and then further divided into thirty-eight series: I. Correspondence, 1885-1947 and [undated]. II. Legal, 1885-1939. III. Financial Records, 1881-1953 and [undated]. IV: Organization, 1891-1941. V. Advertising, 1939 and [undated]. VI. Personal, 1885-1948 and [undated]. VII. Printed Materials and Scrapbooks, 1906-1947. VIII. Photographs, 1865-1946 and [undated]. IX. Northern Pacific Railway, Tie Account, 1920-1925. X. Conrad Mercantile Company, 1911-1938. XI. Dwight Mercantile Company, 1922. XII: Eddy-Hammond Company, 1923-1924. XIII. First National Bank, Kalispell, Mont., 1911 and 1928-1931. XIV: Hammond Lumber Company, 1917 and 1935. XV. Kalispell Grocery Company, 1933. XVI. Kalispell Mercantile Company, [ca. 1910]-1932. XVII. May Mercantile Company, 1914-1925. XVIII. Missoula Creamery Company, 1919. XIX. Missoula Opera House Company, 1920-1922. XX. Montana Development Association, 1921-1924. XXI. Northwestern Abstract and Title Guarantee Company, 1911. XXII: Stanley Scearce, 1917. XXIII: Weisel-Boissevatin Ranch Company, 1929. XXIV: Western Montana National Bank, 1921. XXV: Employees Protective Association, 1890-1948. XXVI: Amelia Loffnes, 1929-1953. XXVII: Victor Land and Livestock Company, 1883-1943 and [undated]. XXVIII: W.A. Mentrum Company, 1896-1898. XXIX: Corvallis Mercantile, 1889-1898. XXX: Bozeman Feed and Grain Company, 1941-1942.
XXXI: Kalispell Grocery Company, 1936-1941. XXXII. Missoula Real Esatte Association, 1885-1926. XXXIII: Hot Springs Commercial Company, 1915-1925. XXXIV: Perma Commercial Company, 1927-1928. XXXV: Victor Mercantile Company, 1921-1926. XXXVI. Victor Commercial Company, 1911-1925. XXXVII: Beckwith Mercantile Company, 1910-1941. XXXVIII: Artifacts, [undated].
Personal and professional papers, financial records, photographic materials, and scrapbooks generated and/or collected by Charles Herbert McLeod as an official of the Missoula Mercantile Company, investor in multiple businesses throughout western Montana, and community leader. These materials constitute one of the Pacific Northwest's most detailed assemblages of rural general merchandising operations as well as a significant contribution to studies of Missoula's development from a crossroad town into a regional economic center for western Montana and beyond. It documents Missoula Mercantile Company business practices and inter-relationships with other major business operations, Missoula's social and political networks, and McLeod family endeavors. In association with the repository's Walter H. McLeod Collection these materials reveal significant insights into the economic, political, and social patterns of Missoula and western Montana throughout the first half of the twentieth century. As documented in the correspondence, legal documents, and financial records of this collection the Missoula Mercantile Company dominated the retail and commercial supply trades throughout the region for half a century. Collection materials reveal McLeod family commitments to maintaining diverse and flexible business operations as well as involvement in local, state, and regional Republican politics.
Businessman, of Missoula, Mont -- Charles Herbert McLeod was born in 1859 and came to Missoula, Mont., from New Brunswick, Canada, in 1880 to work for local businessman Andrew Hammond. Hammond was principal owner of a firm that had begun in Missoula in 1867 as Bonner and Welch, with E.L. Bonner as one of the principals. The name was changed to E.L. Bonner and Co. in 1871 with a change of owners. In 1872, Andrew Hammond came to Missoula from New Brunswick. He soon became a clerk in the store for Richard Eddy. Hammond became a partner in the store in 1876, and the business was renamed Eddy, Hammond, and Co. In 1877, the store constructed its building at the intersection of Front Street and Higgins Avenue, on the Mullan military road, in Missoula. In 1881, the firm was awarded the contract to clear the right of way and provide the lumber for the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway. When the Northern Pacific was completed at Gold Creek, Mont., in 1883, business expanded considerably. The Montana Improvement Company, formed in 1882, took over this portion of the Eddy, Hammond, and Company business.
After the reorganization of Eddy, Hammond and Company as the Missoula Mercantile in 1885, McLeod became the vice president and general manager. The Missoula Real Estate Association, another offshoot of the Mercantile, built the first Florence Hotel across the street from the Mercantile in 1888. After 1890, McLeod was responsible for the management and success of the various companies as well as the parent company. The South Missoula Land Company, yet another branch of the Mercantile, owned much of Missoula south of the Clark Fork River and was responsible for extensive residential development there. In 1908, McLeod became president of the company and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1940. The Missoula Mercantile also operated branch stores in Kalispell, Victor, Arlee, and at other locations throughout western Montana. One key to the Mercantile's success was its strategy of operating temporary stores to serve logging and railroad construction camps; these operations followed the population they served. The company and its branches and affiliates were one of the largest business concerns of the Pacific Northwest. Allied Stores Corporation purchased the Missoula Mercantile Company in 1959 for $1,056,000. McLeod took an active part in state and city politics and was a strong supporter of the Republican Party. He was also president of the Missoula Light and Power Company and a director of the First National Bank of Missoula. He died in 1946.
This record replaces NUCMC entry MS 78-1627.
Finding aid in the repository.

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