Edward Paddock Sherry: Sherry Family Business Papers, 1853-1961

Scope and Content Note

The Sherry collection documents the business ventures of three generations of the Sherry family. The collection contains information on more than twenty business concerns which the Sherry's controlled and which were located primarily in the Park Falls, Milwaukee, and Neenah areas. Most thoroughly covered are the affairs of the Wisconsin Realty Company of Milwaukee, the Winnebago Realty Company of Neenah and Milwaukee, and the Flambeau Paper Company of Park Falls. All the firms seemed to be centrally administered by the Sherry family and thus can be viewed as a single large enterprise rather than numerous separate businesses. Although the collection spans the years 1853-1961, most of the records are concentrated in the period 1898-1941, when E. P. Sherry directed the family's interests. Records prior to 1898 consist largely of land deeds, grants, and patents, with fragmentary correspondence and financial records. For the post-1940 period various types of records exist, but all are fragmentary.

Most of the companies in which the Sherry family had interests and whose activities are documented in this collection include the following:

  • Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company
  • Finger Land and Lumber Company
  • Flambeau Farm
  • Flambeau Paper Company
  • Flambeau Power Company
  • Flambeau Public Service Company
  • Flambeau Reservoir Company
  • Flambeau Shingle Mill
  • Frontier Lumber and Supply Company
  • Home Company
  • Ingersoll Land and Lumber Company
  • Langlade Power Company
  • Mortgage Associates
  • Park Falls Lumber and Pulp Company
  • Park Falls Manufacturing Company
  • Park Falls Paper and Pulp Company
  • Park Falls Water, Light and Power Company
  • Sherry Lumber Company
  • West Range Railroad Company
  • Winnebago Realty Company
  • Wisconsin Public Service Company
  • Wisconsin Realty Company

The records themselves are divided into broad functional categories. Each of these is then subdivided, usually by type of record and company, or individual, to whom the records pertain. Due to the nature of the family businesses, it is frequently difficult to distinguish the records of one family-owned company from another. The five major series are ORGANIZATIONAL RECORDS, including by-laws, minutes, and other records for nine different companies; CORRESPONDENCE, the most extensive series, containing detailed information about the operations of the Wisconsin Realty Company, the Flambeau Paper Company, and many of the other family interests; LAND RECORDS, comprised primarily of documents on the acquisition and sale of lands by the Sherrys; FINANCIAL RECORDS, including operating statements, stock certificates, trial balance records, accounts, inventories, and tax returns; and LEGAL RECORDS, containing considerable information on the bankruptcy of E. P. and Henry Sherry in 1898, as well as court and regulatory commission case records, contracts, and agreements.