Skip to main content

The Andersons, Inc. Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-194

Scope and Contents

The Andersons, Inc. deposited this collection in the Ward M. Canaday Center in 2004, with an addition deposited in 2016. It contains scrapbooks, printed materials and photographic materials. The largest series consists of fifteen scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence and other materials documenting the history of the company from 1936 through at least 1983. Newspapers represented are mainly the Maumee Valley News or Toledo Blade or other local (regional) or agricultural business publications, but also occasionally include national or even international titles such as Fertilizer International & World Fertilizer Trade (England), Forbes Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. The Scrapbooks are in chronological order. The printed material contains nearly-complete newspaper files of OMI Farm News (March, 1959 through September, 1971) and The Andersons Herald (July, 1984 - December [2003]/January, 2004), arranged alphabetically by title. The photographic material includes negatives, prints and slides (dating back from ca. 1959-1999), all of which are arranged within general topics, in chronological order whenever possible. The addition of 8 linear feet in May, 2016 includes administrative and financial materials, annual reports, audio-visual materials, artifacts, and many more printed and photographic materials.

The majority of the materials track the growth of the firm from 1947 to 2015. This collection should prove useful to business historians in documenting the development of a family business into a major corporation, as well as the history of the Port of Toledo. Agricultural historians will also find the collection useful for studying the evolution of farming into modern agribusiness. The scrapbooks should provide local historians with some useful personal material about various members of the Anderson family, especially the founders, Harold and Margaret Anderson, and at least three of their sons, John, Richard (Dick) and Thomas (Tom), with good representation of their involvement in the community, including Harold Anderson's unsuccessful bid for the Ohio State Legislature in 1954. Labor historians might note the coverage of several early strikes, and certainly the personalized history of the firm's numerous employees provided in the company's publications.


  • Creation: 1936-2004

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials.

Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

Harold Anderson (1894-1968), a native of Webster Grove, Missouri, moved to Toledo, Ohio with his parents, graduating from the old Central High School in 1912. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin's College of Agriculture in 1916, but enlisted as a pilot and instructor in cloud flying in World War I (subsequently serving as first commander of the Toledo Post of the American Legion). In 1919 he joined the National Milling Company, and in 1927 succeeded his father, David Anderson Sr., as president and manager of the firm, which later that same year was purchased by the National Biscuit Company. Harold continued as manager until 1936, when he resigned to form the Anderson Elevator Company as a family partnership with his wife Margaret, his father and others.

The Anderson Elevator Company built "one of the largest grain elevators of its type in this part of the country" on Anderson farm property on Conant Street in Maumee (South of Toledo) on the Maumee River in northwest Ohio. (This elevator was later leased, then sold to Cargill, Inc.) From 1941 to 1946, Harold Anderson farmed his Maumee holdings. By 1947 Harold and Margaret Anderson established The Andersons as a family partnership with their five sons and one daughter, and the Anderson Truck Terminal on Illinois Avenue in Maumee opened for business. By 1968, the partnership had expanded to include their children's spouses, forty-seven grandchildren and three non-family associates.

The Andersons, Inc., has since expandend into the "Largest industrial partnership in the United States," with a network of thirteen similar facilities across the country's eastern Corn Belt (including Champaign, Illinois; Delphi, Dunkirk/Redkey and Frankfort, Indiana; Albion, Potterville, Webberville and White Pidgeon, Michigan; as well as Findlay, Maumee, Metamora and Toledo, Ohio) and a diverse "Agribusiness" including grain exporting, grain marketing, fertilizer blending and distribution, agricultural products distribution, retail mass merchandising, lawn fertilizer production and marketing and cob milling. The Andersons has claimed to be the largest processor of finished corncob products in the world. The company headquarters at the Maumee Complex has developed storage capacity for half a million metric tons of grain and two hundred thousand metric tons of fertilizer, in addition to its cob processing and feed manufacturing operations. The local export terminal at the Port of Toledo has developed a storage capacity of 180,000 metric tons (capable of loading-out 1500 metric tons per hour), exceeding the corn and soybean export of any other Great Lakes port, and the network handled five million metric tons of grain annually, while its combined fertilizer storage facilities have a total capacity exceeding 450,000 tons. The Andersons has also operated general stores and garden centers in Columbus/Dublin and Berwick, Ohio, as well as other business ventures. The firm has boasted assets of $200 million, with sales in excess of $687 million, and 1,700 employees and partners. In 1995, shareholders and partners approved the merger of The Andersons and The Andersons Management Corp. (TAMC) into a single corporation known as The Andersons, Inc. effective January 2, 1996.


27.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


The Andersons, Inc. Records, 1936-2004
David Chelminski; Tom Smith
January, 2005; September, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States