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This Old
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Manitoba Business: Federal Grain Limited

Link to:
Presidents | Vice-Presidents | Country Elevators | Sources

In 1929, several grain companies merged to form the Federal Grain Limited. They included the Federal Grain Company, Consolidated Elevator Company, Northwest Elevator Company, Golden West Grain Company, Southern Elevator Company, Brooks Elevator Company, International Elevator Company, McLaughlin Elevator Company, Western Grain Company, State Elevator Company, Stewart Grain Company, Topper Grain Company, and Union Grain Company. It later acquired Wiley Low and Company (1932). The three key players in the formation of Federal were John Gage, Henry Sellers, and James Stewart.

When incorporated, Federal Grain acquired the country elevators of Maple Leaf Milling Company (54) and Gold Grain Company (14), bringing the company’s holdings to 355 elevators. In 1966, Federal Grain merged with the Searle Grain Company, combining Searle’s 457 country elevators with the 741 belonging to Federal, along with its three terminal elevators at Thunder Bay (Ontario) and one terminal elevator at Vancouver (British Columbia). The combined entity became Canada’s largest privately-owned grain company.

In early 1972, the company’s grain assets were purchased for $90 million by Manitoba Pool Elevators, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, and Alberta Wheat Pool and the remaining corporate assets were held by Federal Industries Limited. Manitoba Pool took over the operation of its country elevators in Manitoba.

Chairmen

Period

Chairman

?-?

James Stewart (1881-1941)

?-1955

?

1955-1966

Henry Eugene “Harry” Sellers (1886-1970)

1966-1972

Augustus Searle Leach (1909-1993)

Presidents

Period

President

1929-1930

James Stewart (1881-1941)

1930-1930

John Charles Gage (1876-1930)

1931-1955

Henry Eugene “Harry” Sellers (1886-1970)

1955-1963

Howard McGregor

1963-1972

George Henry Sellers (1914-1986)

Vice-Presidents

Period

Vice-President

1929-1930

John Charles Gage (1876-1930)
Henry Eugene “Harry” Sellers (1886-1970)

1930-1938

?

1938-1948

Victor Weld Tryon (1880-1967)

1948-1953

?

1953-1963

George Henry Sellers (1914-1986)

1963-1967

?

1967-1972

Stewart A. Searle Jr.

1967-1972

John Tryon

Country Elevators (Manitoba)

Location

Rail

1972
Capacity
(bushels)

Comments

Altamont

CNR

65,800

 

Altona

CPR

126,600

 

Amaranth

CNR

78,900

 

Angusville

CNR

117,000

Bought from UGG (October 1968)

Arborg

CPR

72,000

 

Argyle

CNR

56,200

 

Arrow River

CPR

50,600

Traded from Manitoba Pool (1940)

Benito

CNR

143,000

 

Bergen (Winnipeg)

CPR

153,400

 

Birch River

CNR

116,000

 

Bowsman

CNR

116,000

 

Brandon

CPR

99,000

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1972)

Brandon

CNR

120,000

 

Broad Valley

CNR

50,700

 

Cartwright

CPR

90,100

 

Centennial Siding (Winnipeg)

CPR

55,000

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1972)

Clearwater

CPR

48,000

 

Crandall

CPR

-

Traded to Manitoba Pool (1940)

Cypress River

CPR

84,000

 

Darlingford

CPR

83,500

 

Dauphin

CNR

68,000

 

Deloraine

CPR

117,900

 

East Selkirk

CPR

30,000

 

Erickson

CNR

71,000

Demolished (?)

Fisher Branch

CNR

79,700

 

Fork River

CNR

66,100

 

Golden Stream

CNR

34,400

 

Goodlands

CPR

75,500

 

Gretna

CPR

65,100

 

Grosse Isle

CNR

?

Moved (July 1971)

Hodgson

CNR

29,600

 

Holland

CPR

89,200

 

Holmfield

CPR

?

Sold to Harrison Milling (late 1940s)

Horndean

CPR

48,200

 

La Riviere

CPR

75,300

 

Lakeland

CNR

78,600

 

Langruth

CNR

103,800

 

Largs

CPR

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Laurier

CNR

72,000

 

Libau

CNR

92,000

 

Lower Fort Garry

CPR

38,000

 

McCreary

CNR

71,300

 

Miami

CNR

131,500

Bought from UGG (March 1970)

Mile 10.6 (Winnipeg)

CNR

154,700

 

Mile 142.4 (Winnipeg)

CNR

134,000

 

Minitonas

CNR

115,000

 

Notre Dame de Lourdes

CNR

78,400

 

Oakburn

CNR

71,900

 

Pilot Mound

CPR

81,300

 

Plum Coulee

CPR

95,200

 

Purves

CPR

72,400

 

Riverton

CPR

27,000

 

Roblin

CNR

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Rosenfeld

CPR

111,400

 

Rounthwaite

CNR

47,900

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1972), destroyed by fire (July 1972)

St. Boniface (Winnipeg)

CPR

273,000

 

Sandy Lake

CNR

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Searle / Pacific Junction (Winnipeg)

CNR

285,000

 

Sevick

CNR

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Silverton

CNR

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Snowflake

CPR

61,200

 

Stephenfield

 

?

Closed (1964)

Stockton

CPR

32,000

Demolished (1972)

Swan Lake

CNR

111,500

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1960)

Swan River

CNR

136,000

Bought from Searle Grain (1966), sold to Manitoba Pool (1972)

The Pas

CNR

36,000

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1972)

Warren

CNR

80,800

 

Winkler

CPR

125,500

 

Winnipeg

CPR

76,000

 

Sources:

“Huge grain merger planned here,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 July 1966, page 1.

“Pools bid for Federal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 February 1972, page 61.

Grain: The Entrepreneurs by Charles W. Anderson, Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer Publishing, 1991.

Federal Grain Limited, Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

We thank Mike Lisowski for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 April 2017

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