Michael Staebler Papers: 1872-1934
Michael Staebler Papers
Staebler, Michael, 1843-1928
13.5 linear feet
Portions of the collection are located offsite; two days notice required for retrieval.
Ann Arbor, Michigan businessman, dealer in coal, farm machinery, bicycles, and automobiles; correspondence, letterbooks, and various record books of Ann Arbor business/enterprises owned and established by Michael Staebler and his family including Staebler and Elmer, Michael Staebler and Son, and Staebler and Sons.
8644 Aa 2
The materials are in English.
Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.Finding aid prepared by: Michigan Historical Collections staff
Ann Arbor, MI
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Access and Use
The collection was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter P. Staebler and Mr. Herman Staebler (donor no. 2718) and came to the library in 1953.
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/.
Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.
item, folder title, box no., Michael Staebler Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Michael Staebler was born September 7, 1843, in the Staebler homestead on Scio Church Road in Lodi Township, at the intersection of Lodi, Scio, Freedom, and Lima townships. He was the son of Maria Wildt Staebler and Frederick Staebler, who had purchased the land from the United States Government in 1831. Michael Staebler had a sawmill, a cider press, and a flax seed press. He also operated a threshing machine.
In 1885 Michael Staebler erected the Germania Building in Ann Arbor on the southeast corner of Ashley and Washington Streets. The American Hotel, now the Earle, occupied part of the building, and the remainder was used to house his various business enterprises. He sold coal, farm machinery, and bicycles. From 1889 to 1891 he was a member of the firm Staebler and Elmer, which manufactured the Ferguson Speed Cart.
Staebler and Son, of which Edward W. was the partner, in 1900, became the first automobile dealers in Ann Arbor. During the next half century they were agents for the Trimoto, the Toledo Steam Carriage, the Winton, the Reo, the Dort, the Franklin, the Oakland, and the Pontiac. The firm name became Staebler and Sons after Michael retired and Herman J. entered the business with Edward. Walter P. Staebler joined them in 1913. The company was dissolved in July, 1952.
As a result of the increasing demand for gasoline, two sons, J. Frederick and Edward W. organized the Staebler Oil Company and became the first independent gasoline distributors in Washtenaw County. Besides Edward, Herman, Walter, and Frederick, who have been mentioned, the children of Michael Staebler were: a daughter who died in infancy, Robert E., Albert H., and Alice Staebler Johnson.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This is a collection of the business papers of Michael Staebler, Ann Arbor businessman, dealer in coal, farm machinery, bicycles and automobiles. The records date from the early 1870s to the late 1920s. Included are some materials of Staebler's son, Edward W., who in addition to assisting in the family business was also active in bicycling craze of the 1890s.
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.
- Agricultural machinery.
- Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Commerce.
- Automobile industry and trade -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
- Business records -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
- Coal trade -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
- Cycling -- Michigan.
- Bicycle industry -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
- League of American Wheelmen. Michigan Division.
- Michigan and Indiana Retail Coal Association.
- Staebler, Edward William, 1872-1946.
- Staebler and Elmer.
- Staebler and Sons.