🠈 Colorado Milling and Elevator Co. 🠊
Colorado Milling and Elevator Co.
I came across a article reminiscing about Shakey's Pizza. The article did not say what happened to the chain. I decided to look up the story. The chain was purchased by Colorado Milling and Elevator Company (CME).
Why would a company that makes elevators buy a pizza chain?
So, I decided to research CME online and failed to find adequate information about its rise and fall.
The company was founded by a hard working Irish Immigrant John Kernan Mullen (1847 – 1929) who worked in grain mills and eventually bought their firm and acquired additional grain mills. Farmers were upset with wild fluctuations in the price of grain. The firm established a trust to help control the prices of grain. As owner of a trust, he became immensely wealthy. Mullen spent much of his fortune on local charities as seen in the video.
The decline of the firm came in the late 1900s when ambitious financiers tried turning the company into a conglomerate.
Some lay the decline on an ambitious CEO named William White. I suspect that the avarice of financiers also played a role. CME acquired Great Western Sugar and formed a holding company called Great Western Corporation. GW made other acquisitions including Shakey's Pizza.
The Federal Government deregulated sugar and flour which led to a drop in prices and profits. The conglomerate was overextended. The financiers exercised their preferred stock and the company was left in ruins.
The Hunt Brothers bought Great Western. Meanwhile the Hunt Brothers took a stab at cornering the silver market. Their efforts failed on Silver Thursday. The sharp decline in silver prices for the Hunt brothers to liquidate their assets.
- 1875: Mullen leased the old Star Mill in north Denver
- 1876: he acquired the mill and created J.K. Mullen and Company.
- 18??: Mullen acquired the Iron Clad Mill, Sigler Mill, Excelsior Mill and started the JK Mullen Cattle Company
- 1882: Mullen opened the Hungarian Mill.
- 1885: Mullen helped form the Colorado Milling and Elevator Company (CME) as a "Trust" which controlled grain prices.
- 1904: CME acquired The Big Thompson Mill.
- 1917: The Loveland Flour Mill exited CME control.
- 1918: Farmers filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission charging CME for price fixing.
- 19??: CME acquired Longmont Farmers Milling and Elevator Co.
History of Longmont Farmers Milling and Elevator Co.
- 1906: farmers built the Longmont Farmers Milling and Elevator Co. as a competitor to CME and constructed a state of the art mill.
- 1920: The mill burned down.
- 1932: The mill burned a second time.
- 1964: CME was one of 12 flour mills indicted for price fixing.
- 1968: CME merged with Great Western Sugar and became Great Western United Corporation.
History of Great Western Sugar
Great Western Sugar was a leading provider of beet sugar . It was established by Charles Boettcher with financing from J.J. Brown who was the husband of the Unsinkable Molly Brown.
- 1899: Charles Boettcher opened a sugar factory in Grand Junction.
- 1901: Charles Boettcher opened its factory in Loveland, Co..
- 1903: Henry O. Havemeyer, of American Sugar Refining Company in NY, purchased the Loveland, followed by the Fort Collins, Windsor and Longmont plants.
- 1905: Havemeyer incorporated The Great Western Sugar Company under a New Jersey charter.
- 1907-1949: Horace Havemeyer served as director for His son, Horace, served as a director at Great Western.
- 1974: The Sugar Act expired and ended government subsidies for sugar mills.
- 1901: The company started the Great Western Railroad (GWR) which had an 80 mile track from Loveland to Johnstown, Co. The railroad connected with Union Pacific.
- 1917: GWR started passenger service.
- 1926: GWR ended passenger service.
- 1969: GWU acquired the California City Development Company.
- 196?: GWU signed a 99 year lease on Pueblo de Cochili nation outside Albuquerque which White hoped to turn into a retirement community..
- 1971: Beet farmers formed the Great Western Growers Association.
- 1974: Hunt Resources International by billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt acquired GWU.
- 1980: The Hunt Brothers attempt to corner the silver market failed and Hunt files bankruptcy.
- 1984: GW Sugar had difficulty paying farmers.
- 1984: Mountain States Beet Growers Association acquired Great Western Sugar.
- 1985: The British Firm Tate & Lyle acquired Great Western Sugar and changed the name to Western Sugar Company.
- 1986: Broe Real Estate acquired the Great Western Railroad which it renamed to OmniTRAX.
- 2002: A farmer's coop acquired Western Sugar from Tate and Lyle.
- wikipedia - JK Mullen (Drawn 5/4/2019)
- Chicago Tribune - Why Western Sugar Turned Sour (Drawn 5/4/2019)
- Reporter Herald - Trust Busting and JK Mullin (Drawn 5/4/2019)
- NY Times - 12 Flour Mills Indicted (Drawn 5/4/2019)
- Colorado State - Guide to Great Western Sugar (Drawn 5/4/2019)
- Fort Morgan Times - Beet Sugar Industry (Drawn 5/6/2019)
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