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Groenewold Business Collection (Forreston)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Sales and Receipts Record

Poultry Ledger

Feed Record

Fur Record

Business Record

Purchase and Disbursement Record

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Groenewold Business Collection (Forreston), 1932-1954 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Groenewold Business Collection (Forreston), 1932-1954

ID: RHC/RC/036

Extent: 2.25 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 10/04/1978

Subjects: Forreston (Ill.), Fur trade, German Americans, Groenewold Fur Company, Poultry Industry

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The records in this collection document the business enterprises of George Groenewold from 1932-1954 in Forreston, Illinois. They consist primarily of record and account books of specific business interests (i.e. poultry, eggs, and furs) and general business financial records. There also is some personal correspondence in German and English from 1867-1871. Researchers should note that although George Groenewold’s fur business was internationally known, the collection only partially documents its significance. It does, however, provide a balanced picture of his many business interests.

Collection Historical Note

Mr. George Groenewold, founder of the Groenewold Fur and Wool Company is an imigrant from Friesland (Germany) who arrived in the United States in January 1924. He worked on a farm his first year in America and then attended and finished his schooling at a local academy during the next several years.

In the months after leaving school, in order to support himself, Mr. Groenewold began hauling milk and cheese locally and then to Chicago. His experiences in Chicago encouraged him to diversify into other businesses, such as poultry and eggs and by the second year his inventory included seven trucks.

In 1929 Mr. Groenewold founded the fur and wool company business based on contacts he had made in his other businesses. By concentrating on every type of pelted animal native to the midwest trapped by farmers and by hiring sheep raisers to sheer their own sheep, Mr. Groenewold placed himself in an enviable position: raw materials he needed for his business were readily available, almost in finished form, and were fairly easily acquired.

Throughout the next thirty four years other interests were added (a nursery, farm implements) but the fur and wool business remained dominant. In 1963 George Groenewold turned the business over to his son, Grant, but not before his company had become one of America’s largest exporters to Europe of fur and wool products.

Subject/Index Terms

Forreston (Ill.)
Fur trade
German Americans
Groenewold Fur Company
Poultry Industry

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Mr. George Groenewold

Acquisition Method: Mr. George Groenewold donated the Groenewold Business Collection, Forreston, Illinois, to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on October 4, 1979.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Volume 7: Sales and Receipts Record, 1949],
[Volume 1: Poultry Ledger, 1941-May 19, 1943],
[Volume 2: Feed Record, 1941-1943],
[Volume 3-4: Fur Record, November 1944-1945; 1950-1954],
[Volume 5: Business Record, 1949],
[Volume 6: Purchase and Disbursement Record, 1949],

Box 1
Folder 1: Poultry, Egg, Hide, and Wool Record, September 1932-January 1940
Folder 2: Poultry and Egg Record, June 1934-November 1939
Folder 3-4: Poultry Accounts, December 12, 1940-June 20, 1944
Folder 5: Egg Record, January 2, 1941-July 28, 1944
Folder 6: Hide and Wool Record, 1941
Folder 7: Feed Account, 1941-March 14, 1942
Folder 8: Hide Record, 1945-June 23, 1948
Folder 9: Farm Implement Record, 1941-May 1942
Folder 10: Machinery Record, 1941-1945
Folder 11: Parts Record, 1941-1945
Folder 12-13: Fur Record, 1946-1948
Folder 14: Nursery Record, circa 1949
Folder 15: Burlap Record, 1951-1954
Folder 16: Assets, 1946-June 1948
Folder 17: Sales Record, 1946-June 1948
Folder 18: Cost of Sales, January 1946-June 1948
Folder 19: Expenses, January 1946-June 1948
Folder 20: Liabilities, January 1946-June 1948
Folder 21: General Expenses, 1949
Folder 22: Farm Expenses, 1949
Folder 23: Ledger, 1941-1944
Box 2
Folder 1-2: Accounts Receivable, no date
Folder 3: Personal Items, 1867,1871
Folder 4: Statements of Purchase, 1944-1946
Folder 5: Stock Price Lists, 1944
Volume 7: Sales and Receipts Record, 1949
Volume 1: Poultry Ledger, 1941-May 19, 1943
Volume 2: Feed Record, 1941-1943
Volume  3-4: Fur Record, November 1944-1945; 1950-1954
Volume 5: Business Record, 1949
Volume 6: Purchase and Disbursement Record, 1949

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Volume 7: Sales and Receipts Record, 1949],
[Volume 1: Poultry Ledger, 1941-May 19, 1943],
[Volume 2: Feed Record, 1941-1943],
[Volume 3-4: Fur Record, November 1944-1945; 1950-1954],
[Volume 5: Business Record, 1949],
[Volume 6: Purchase and Disbursement Record, 1949],

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