William B. Mershon Papers: 1848-1943
Summary Information
Title: William B. Mershon Papers
Creator: Mershon, William B., 1856-1943
Inclusive dates: 1848-1943
Extent: 46.5 linear feet
Extent: 1 oversize folder
Extent: 14 microfilms
Abstract:
Saginaw, Michigan, lumberman and businessman, and Michigan State Tax Commissioner, 1912 and wildlife conservationist and sportsman. Papers include extensive correspondence files, business records and photographs.
Call number: 851844 Aa 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Bentley Historical Library Staff.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of William B. Mershon and family (donor no. 51) and came to the library in 1944

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Copyright to the collection has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan. William B. Mershon's unpublished works are in the public domain in the U.S. due to copyright expiration. Many of his published works are also in the public domain in the U.S. The collection also contains materials authored by others; some of those materials are in the public domain, while others remain protected by copyright. If researchers seek to use materials from the collection, they are responsible for considering the work's copyright status and obtaining any required permission.

Processing Information:

The Bentley Historical Library has digitized materials in this collection to better preserve original items and increase possibilities for access. Links to digital content are available within this finding aid; access and/or use restrictions may apply.

In preparing digital material for long-term preservation and access, the Bentley Historical Library adheres to professional best practices and standards to ensure that content will retain its authenticity and integrity. For more information on procedures for the ingest and processing of digital materials, please see Bentley Historical Library Digital Processing Note. Access to digital material may be provided either as a direct link to an individual file or as a downloadable package of files bundled in a zip file.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, William B. Mershon Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

[item], [URL], William B. Mershon Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.


Arrangement

The Mershon Papers are arranged in two distinct subgroups, the Paper Records and the Microfilmed Records. The paper records are primarily personal, but contain some business records while the microfilmed material is primarily business records. Each of the subgroups is further divided into series.

  1. Paper Records subgroup
    • Papers - Chronological
    • Papers - Undated
    • Letterbooks
    • Saginaw and Manistee Lumber Company
    • Hunting and Fishing
    • Business Papers
    • Photographs
  2. Microfilmed Records subgroup
    • William B. Mershon & Company
    • Mershon, Schuette and Parker
    • Atlas Oil Corporation
    • Saginaw and Manistee Lumber Co.
    • Personal Journals

Biography

William Butts Mershon was the third generation of his family to engage in lumbering in and around Saginaw, Michigan. When he first became active in the family business in 1866 the firm was already large and diversified. In addition to lumbering and the operation of a planing mill, the firm was one of the nation's largest manufacturers of knock-down wooden boxes, the standard form of storage and shipping box prior to the development of cardboard cartons.

After spending several years working within the family concern, Mershon founded his own company, William B. Mershon and Company. He also formed several other partnerships including one formed by himself, S.L. Eastman, William Schuette, and Parker, Sheldon & Co. While he divided his time among many interests, after 1905 he generally concentrated on William B. Mershon and Co., rather than his other business interests. This firm manufactured bandsaws designed by his brother Edward. In 1926 William Mershon sold the business and retired.

Mershon also had financial interests outside the state of Michigan. In 1900 he became a stockholder (later he was elected president) of the Saginaw & Manistee Lumber Company, headquartered at Williams, Arizona. He also invested in copper mining in Arizona and lumbering operations in Montana.

Privately, Mershon was a well known conservationist and sportsman. He published two volumes, one regarding the passenger pigeon and the other relating his hunting and fishing experiences over fifty years. He also was active in Saginaw political life, serving as mayor of Saginaw (1894-1895), city alderman, member of both the parks and the cemetery commissions, and the citizen's water committee.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The William Mershon collection consists of correspondence dealing with Mershon's various activities as a lumberman, Saginaw businessman, and member of the State Tax Commission in 1912. Subjects included in the papers are Michigan wildlife conservation, the Michigan Sportsmen Association, the Michigan Manufacturers Association, the Michigan State Tax Commission, Michigan politics, the Democratic party, personal business investments, lumbering and mining interest, and personal affairs.

The collection also includes diaries, a book of notes on hunting and fishing trips, and various business records such as cash books, time books, ledgers, and journals. These primarily concern his investments and lumbering business. Many of the business records are available on microfilm. The collection also includes photographs.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Account books.
  • Diaries.
  • Business records.
  • Conservation of natural resources -- Michigan.
  • Elections -- Michigan -- 1936.
  • Fishing -- Michigan.
  • Forests and forestry -- Michigan.
  • Hunting -- Michigan.
  • Huron National Forest (Mich.)
  • Logging -- Michigan.
  • Lumbering -- Michigan.
  • Manufactures -- Michigan.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1899-1916.
  • Mines and mineral resources -- Michigan.
  • Saginaw (Mich.)
  • Strikes and lockouts -- Michigan.
  • Taxation -- Michigan.
  • Bliss Park (Saginaw, Mich.)
  • Boats.
  • Business enterprises -- Michigan -- Saginaw.
  • Camping.
  • Fish.
  • Fishing.
  • Grayling fishing.
  • Hunting.
  • Laborers.
  • Lumber industry.
  • Lumberman's Memorial (Iosco County, Mich.)
  • Mining.
  • Monuments and memorials.
  • Photographs.
  • Railroads -- Michigan.
  • Saginaw (Mich.)
  • Saginaw (Mich.) -- Business enterprises.
  • Travel.
  • World War, 1914-1918.
  • Account books.
  • Diaries.
  • Photographs.
  • Digital file formats.
  • Democratic Party (Mich.)
  • Mershon, Wm. B. (William Butts), 1856-1943.
  • Michigan. Dept. of Conservation.
  • Michigan Forestry Association.
  • Michigan. Forestry Commission.
  • Michigan Manufacturer's Association.
  • Michigan Sportsmen's Association.
  • Michigan. State Tax Commission.
  • Michigan Wildlife Conservation Association.
  • United States. Congress.
  • United States. Supreme Court.
  • Ashurst, Henry Fountain, 1874-1962.
  • Avery, Waldo A.
  • Baker, William F.
  • Bland, Joseph Edward, 1866-
  • Bliss, Aaron Thomas, 1837-1906.
  • Brown, Prentiss M. (Prentiss Marsh), 1889-1973.
  • Brucker, Wilber Marion, 1894-1968.
  • Campbell, Thomas E., 1858-
  • Carton, Augustus C.
  • Comstock, William Alfred, 1877-1949.
  • Cooley, Mortimer E. (Mortimer Elwyn), 1855-1944.
  • Couzens, James, 1872-1936.
  • Crawford, Fred L., 1888-1957.
  • Doremus, Frank Ellsworth, 1865-1947.
  • Ferris, Woodbridge N., 1853-1928.
  • Fitzgerald, Frank Dwight, 1885-1939.
  • Ford, Henry, 1863-1947.
  • Fordney, Joseph W. (Joseph Warren), 1853-1932.
  • Garfield, Charles William, 1848-1934.
  • Glaspie, Andrew Bird, 1876-
  • Green, Fred W. (Fred Warren), 1872-1936.
  • Grinnell, George Bird, 1849-1938.
  • Groesbeck, Alexander J. (Alexander Joseph), 1873-1953.
  • Hamilton, Edward LaRue, 1857-1923.
  • Harrison, Francis Burton, 1873-1957.
  • Hart, Michael James, 1877-1951.
  • Hawes, Harry B.
  • Hough, Emerson, 1857-1923.
  • Humphrey, George M. (George Magoffin), 1890-
  • Humphrey, Watts S.
  • Hunsaker, Walter Jerome, 1857-1939.
  • Kelley, Patrick Henry, 1867-1925.
  • King, Francis, Mrs., 1863-1948.
  • Knox, Frank, 1874-1944.
  • Kracher, Horatio S.
  • Linsley, Edward B., 1847-
  • Macauley, Thomas Babbington.
  • Mapes, Carl Edgar, 1874-1939.
  • Maxey, John O., 1871-1920.
  • Mellon, Andrew W. (Andrew William), 1855-1939.
  • Michener, Earl C. (Earl Cory), 1876-1957.
  • Morley, George Bidwell, 1857-1935.
  • Munger, Edith Cushway, 1865-1945.
  • New, Harry S. (Harry Stewart), 1858-1937.
  • Newberry, Truman Handy, 1864-1945.
  • Osborn, Chase S. (Chase Salmon), 1860-
  • Pearson, William J., 1860-
  • Penney, Harvey A., 1866-
  • Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946.
  • Rayburn, Robert H., 1866-
  • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945.
  • Roth, Filibert, 1858-1925.
  • Saginaw and Manistee Lumber Company.
  • Shields, Robert Hazen, 1905-
  • Sleeper, Albert E., 1862-1934.
  • Smith, Hal Horace, 1903-
  • Smith, Shirley Wheeler, 1875-1959.
  • Smith, William Alden, 1859-1932.
  • Smoot, Reed, 1862-1941.
  • Sterling, Louis T.
  • Townsend, Charles E. (Charles Elroy), 1856-1924.
  • Tuttle, Arthur J., 1868-1944.
  • Underwood, Oscar Wilder, 1862-1929.
  • Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
  • Vincent, Bird J., 1880-1931.
  • Warner, Frederick Maltby, 1865-1923.
  • Watkins, Lucius Whitney, 1873-
  • Whitney, Joseph H., 1858-
  • Williams, John Sharp, 1854-1932.
  • Wood, Edwin O., 1840-
  • Young, Horace Olin, 1850-1917.
  • Mershon, Wm. B. (William Butts), 1856-1943.
  • Mershon family.
  • Rochester Salt and Lumber Company (Saginaw, Mich.)
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Paper records [subgrp]
 
Papers - Chronological [series]
Box   1  
1848-May 1904
Box   2  
June 1904-January 1907
Box   3  
February 1907-July 1908
Box   4  
August 1908-September 1909
Box   5  
October 1909-November 1910
Box   6  
December 1910-November 1911
Box   7  
December 1911-October 1912
Box   8  
November 1912-December 1913
Box   9  
January 1914-August 1914
Box   10  
September 1914-October 1915
Box   11  
November 1915-October 1916
Box   12  
November 1916-December 1917
Box   13  
January 1918-September 1918
Box   14  
October 1918-August 1919
Box   15  
September 1919-July 1920
Box   16  
August 1920-May 1921
Box   17  
June 1921-December 1922
Box   18  
January 1923-June 1924
Box   19  
July 1924-March 1926
Box   20  
April 1926-February 1928
Box   21  
March 1928-February 1930
Box   22  
March 1930-September 1932
Box   23  
October 1932-September 1936
Box   24  
October 1936-May 1939
Box   25  
June 1939-December 1941
Box   26  
January 1942-December 1943
Box   26  
Income tax materials 1918-1942
Box   26  
Wildlife conservation materials 1915-1917 [access item]
Box   26  
Autobiographical and genealogical materials
Box   26  
Michigan Sportman Association Correspondence and Printed Materials [access item]
 
Papers undated [series]
Box   27 Folder   1
California Pine Box & Lumber Co., Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, Shook Sales Agreement, Shook Contract, Lumber Contract
Box   27 Folder   1
Rates on Lumber Cases in Arizona
Box   27 Folder   1
Benefit Plan for Employees of Calumet & Arizona Mining Company
Box   27 Folder   2
Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of American-Saginaw Development Company
Box   27 Folder   2
Indebtedness of George A. Beach to W.B. Mershon
Box   27 Folder   2
Undated correspondence
Box   27 Folder   2
Michigan Manufacturers Association
Box   27 Folder   2
Michigan Board of State Tax Commissioners
Box   27 Folder   2
Sale to W.B. Baker Contract
Box   27 Folder   2
Labor Negotiations
Box   27 Folder   3
Undated Business correspondence and records
Box   27 Folder   4-7
Personal correspondence, undated
Box   27 Folder   8
Mortgages, Insurance Policies, Last Will and Testament, Trust Agreements, Stock letters
Box   27 Folder   9
Correspondence on construction of Holly Hunting House in Mississippi and Saginaw-American Development Company reports
Box   27 Folder   10-11
Saginaw & Manistee Lumber Company records
Box   27 Folder   11
Saginaw American Development Corporation records
 
Materials on fish habits, etc.
Box   27 Folder   12
1 of 2 [access item]
Box   27 Folder   13
2 of 2 [access item]
Box   27 Folder   14
Correspondence and Printed materials William Jennings Bryan Claim
Box   27 Folder   15
Imprints of W.B. Mershon's Stamps
Box   27 Folder   16
Manuscript of "Recollections of My Fifty Years" [access item]
Box   27 Folder   17
Original materials on "Recollections of My Fifty Years Hunting and Fishing" [access item]
Box   27 Folder   18
Duplicate manuscript of Recollections book
 
Letterbooks [series]
Box   28  
November 4, 1901-September 30, 1902
Box   28  
September 30, 1902-October 31, 1903
Box   28  
November 2, 1903-May 17, 1904
Box   28  
May 18, 1904-November 17, 1904
Box   29  
November 16, 1904-August 7, 1905
Box   29  
August 8, 1905-February 26, 1906
Box   29  
February 26, 1906-July 26, 1907
Box   29  
January 15, 1907-August 30, 1907
Box   30  
August 30, 1907-March 18, 1908

(also some business correspondence, Feb.-June 1907)

Box   30  
March 18, 1908-September 16, 1908
Box   30  
September 17, 1908-March 31, 1909
Box   30  
April 1, 1909-September 20, 1909
Box   30  
April 1, 1909-September 20, 1909
Box   30  
September 20, 1909-March 10, 1910
Box   31  
March 14, 1910-July 14, 1910
Box   31  
July 14, 1910-November 28, 1910
Box   31  
November 28, 1910-March 24, 1911
Box   31  
March 25, 1911-September 18, 1911
Box   31  
September 19, 1911-March 1912
Box   32  
March 23, 1912-August 8, 1912-December 24, 1912
Box   32  
December 24, 1912-April 30, 1913
Box   32  
May 2, 1913-October 29, 1913
Box   33  
October 28, 1913-February 19, 1914
Box   33  
February 19, 1914-June 15, 1914
Box   33  
June 16, 1914-November 5, 1914
Box   33  
November 5, 1914-February 18, 1915
Box   34  
February 19, 1915-August 26, 1915
Box   34  
August 26, 1915-December 30, 1915
Box   34  
December 31, 1915-April 25, 1916
Box   34  
April 25, 1916-November 10, 1916
Box   35  
November 11, 1916-April 28, 1917
Box   35  
April 27, 1917-October 26, 1917
Box   35  
October 27, 1917-April 3, 1918
Box   35  
April 4, 1918-November 1, 1918
Box   36  
November 1, 1918-April 1, 1919
Box   36  
April 1, 1919-August 7, 1919
Box   36  
August 8, 1919-December 1, 1919
Box   36  
December 1, 1919-April 27, 1920
Box   36  
April 27, 1920-December 17, 1920
Box   37  
December 17, 1920-May 13, 1921
Box   37  
May 20, 1921-December 7, 1921
Box   37  
December 7, 1921-July 10, 1922
Box   37  
July 11, 1922-June 18, 1923
Box   37  
January 19, 1923-July 23, 1923
Box   38  
July 24, 1923-February 15, 1924
Box   38  
February 15, 1924-September 22, 1924
Box   38  
September 23, 1924-May 11, 1925
Box   38  
May 15, 1925-February 18, 1926
Box   39  
February 18, 1926-November 22, 1926
Box   39  
November 23, 1926-September 20, 1927
Box   39  
September 20, 1927-September 29, 1928
Box   39  
October 3, 1928-September 9, 1929
Box   40  
September 9, 1929-September 26, 1930
Box   40  
September 27, 1930-July 28, 1931
Box   40  
July 29, 1931-July 12, 1932
Box   40  
July 12, 1932-September 20, 1933
Box   41  
September 21, 1933-November 14, 1934
Box   41  
November 19, 1934-May 12, 1936
 
Saginaw and Manistee Lumber Company [series]
Box   41  
Letterbook October 29, 1917-August 26, 1919
Box   41  
Letterbook August 27, 1919-December 26, 1921
Box   41  
Miscellaneous papers
 
Hunting and Fishing [series]
Box   42  
Letterbook of Michigan Forestry Association 1908-1913 [access item]
Box   42  
Record book of Michigan Wildlife Conservation Association and Michigan Sportmen's Association 1919-1920 [access item]
Box   42  
Membership book: The Michigan Sportmen's Association [access item]
Box   42  
Saginaw Forest and Stream Club [access item]
Box   42  
Record book 1917-1923
Box   42  
Forest and Stream Co. Ltd.
Box   42  
Stock subscription book [includes minutes, 1894-1910; and history of Saginaw Hunting Club (founded 1883) 1894-1910 1894-1910 [access item]
Box   42  
Record book: Fishing Conditions on Au Sable River 1909-1932 [access item]
Box   42  
Record book: Fishing Conditions on Au Sable River 1933-1936 [access item]
 
Hunting and Travel memorandum books
Box   43  
Excelsior diary 1898 [access item]
Box   43  
Au Sable 1898-1911 [access item]
Box   43  
Trip Diary 1931 [access item]
Box   43  
Trip Diary 1935 [access item]
Box   43  
Dalrymple notebook [access item]
 
Fishing Trips
Box   43  
1 of 2 [access item]
Box   43  
2 of 2 [access item]
 
Hunting trips
Box   43  
1 of 2 [access item]
Box   43  
2 of 2 [access item]
Box   43  
Miscellaneous Trips [access item]
 
Typescripts of hunting and travel memorandum books
Box   43  
1 of 2 [access item]
Box   43  
2 of 2 [access item]
Box   43  
Hunting and travel miscellanea [access item]
Oversize Folder   Ac  
Chart relating to fish habits (6 items) [access item]
 
Business Papers [series]
Box   44  
Correspondence concerning Lumberman's memorial 1928-1932
 
W.B. Mershon & Co.
Box   44  
Trial balance sheets 1913-1925
Box   45  
Minutes of board of directors and stockholders 1918-1928

(include supplementary report for period, 1889-1917)

Box   45  
Record of stockholders and articles of association
Box   45  
Journal 1899, 1928-1930 (1 folder, 1 volume)
Box   45  
Record book, including "Black List" of employees circa 1884-1899
Box   45  
Price Lists
Box   45  
Record of securities: Catherine C. Mershon and William B. Mershon 1923-1937
Box   45  
Chicago, Kalamazoo and Saginaw Railroad Company Record book of bond signers 1884
Box   45  
Personal account books
Box   45  
Miscellanea
Box   45  
Clippings
Box   46  
Balance sheets, of the Calumet and Arizona Mining Company 1922-1931
Oversize Folder   Ac  
Receipts for July 4th celebration, 1895, Saginaw, Mich. (1 items)
 
Visual Materials [series]
Box   47  
Photographs
Box   47  
Canada
Box   47  
Cascapedia River fishing trips circa 1902-1913

(1)

Box   47  
General camping and river views circa 1905-1930s

(2)

[access item]
Box   47  
Camping scenes (includes 1902 Black River trip)

(3)

[access item]
Box   47  
Family, friends, pets

(4)

Box   47  
Fish and fish habits (including breeding areas)

(5)

[access item]
Box   47  
Fish and fish habits (drawings)

(6)

[access item]
Box   47  
Fishing scenes 1887, 1930s

(7)

[access item]
Box   47  
Forest views

(including David Ward estate and Pine Grove Camp)

(8)

[access item]
Box   47  
Hunting trips

(also includes Africa and Scotland)

(9)

Box   47  
Lumbering scenes (Rust Brothers camp and others on Tittabawassee River, 1890s)

(10)

Box   47  
Miscellaneous (including western mining scenes, 1910)

(12)

Box   47  
Portraits and snapshots

(13)

Box   47  
Recollections of My Fifty Years Hunting and Fishing (photos used in book)

(14)

[access item]
 
Saginaw, Mich.
Box   47  
Bliss Park development 1906-1908

(15)

Box   47  
Rochester Salt and Lumber Co. 1880s

(15)

Box   47  
Travels (American southwest and Europe)

(16)

 
Albums
Box   47  
Pinacote (Mexico, Arizona and California trip) 1915
Box   47  
Picnic at Ajo, Arizona 1920

(Includes Papago Indians and architecture.)

Box   47  
Tawas Beach and other snapshots of family 1903-1905 [access item]
Box   47  
Family and camping snapshots. 1907-1919

(Locations: Bridgeport, Pasadena, the Mackinaw ferry, Buffalo Lake, Coleman Lake (Arizona), Mississippi, Cascapedia (Gaspe), Lovells, Black River, Au Sable River, High Bank Lodge and the "portable house.")

[access item]
Box   47  
Hunting, family and travel album. 1907-1911

(Includes railroad hunting car, lodge at Buffalo Lake, the portable house and Saskatchewan.)

[access item]
Box   47  
Large album, with fishing, travel and vacation photos in Newfoundland, Quebec, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, France and California. Includes Merson fishing lodge on Casapedia River in Quebec. 1899-1905
Box   48  
Large album with family and hunting photos circa 1910 [access item]
 
Microfilmed records [subgrp]
 
William B. Mershon & Company [series]
Roll   1  
Ledgers
Roll   1  
1887-1888
Roll   1  
1889
Roll   1  
1890
Roll   1  
1891-1892

(cont. on reel 2)

Roll   2  
1891-1892

(cont. from reel 1)

Roll   2  
1893-1895
Roll   2  
1896-1898
Roll   3  
1899-1902
Roll   3  
1903-1906
Roll   3  
1907-1914
Roll   4  
1907-1920
Roll   4  
1925-1926
Roll   5  
Individual (Sales) Ledgers
Roll   5  
1891-1892
Roll   5  
1893-1895
Roll   5  
1896-1898
Roll   6  
1899-1902
Roll   6  
1903-1906
Roll   6  
1907-1913

(A-R)

Roll   7  
1907-1912

(R-Z)

Roll   7  
1907-1920

(M-Z)

Roll   7  
1921-1926

(A-L)

Roll   8  
1921-1926

(M-Z)

 
Journals
Roll   8  
1883-1886
Roll   8  
1886-1888
Roll   8  
1889-1890
Roll   9  
1891-1892
Roll   9  
1892-1895
Roll   9  
1896-1899

(cont. on reel 10)

Roll   10  
1896-1899

(cont. from reel 9)

Roll   10  
1900-1906
Roll   10  
1907-1910
Roll   11  
1911-1915
Roll   11  
November 1915-1920
Roll   11  
November 1920-1925
Box   11  
May 1925-1928
Box   11  
Miscellaneous Journals
Box   11  
1888-1889
 
Payroll
Roll   12  
1909-1913
Roll   12  
1914-1918
Roll   12  
1919-1923
Roll   12  
1924-1946
Roll   12  
June 1912-April 1913
Roll   12  
Stockholders and Directors Meetings 1889-1918
Roll   12  
Production records 1903-1915
 
Mershon, Schuette and Parker [series]
 
Order books
Roll   13  
1903-1904
Roll   13  
1904-1905
Roll   13  
1906-1908
Roll   13  
1908-1912
 
Atlas Oil Corporation [series]
Roll   13  
Records 1926-1929
 
Hanson, Mershon and Morley Company [series]
Roll   13  
Tree survey and other information
 
Saginaw and Manistee Lumber Co. [series]
Roll   13  
Stockholders and Director's meetings 1899-1925
 
Personal Journals [series]
Roll   13  
1903-February 1907
Roll   13  
March 1907-1910
Roll   13  
1911-1915
Roll   14  
1916-1920
Roll   14  
1921-1927
Roll   14  
1928-1937
Roll   14  
1938-1943