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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

V. W. Tryon

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

CN

65,800

 

Altona

CP

126,600

 

Amaranth

CN

78,900

 

Angusville

CN

117,000

Bought from UGG (October 1968)

Arborg

CP

72,000

 

Argyle

CN

56,200

 

Arrow River

CP

50,600

Traded from Manitoba Pool (1940)

Benito

CN

143,000

 

Bergen (Winnipeg)

CP

153,400

 

Birch River

CN

116,000

 

Bowsman

CN

116,000

 

Brandon

CP

99,000

 

CN

120,000

 

Broad Valley

CN

50,700

 

Cartwright

CP

90,100

 

Centennial Siding (Winnipeg)

CP

55,000

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1972)

Clearwater

CP

48,000

 

Crandall

CP

-

Traded to Manitoba Pool (1940)

Cypress River

CP

84,000

 

Darlingford

CP

83,500

 

Dauphin

CN

68,000

 

Deloraine

CP

117,900

 

East Selkirk

CP

30,000

 

Erickson

CN

71,000

Demolished (?)

Fisher Branch

CN

79,700

 

Fork River

CN

66,100

 

Golden Stream

CN

34,400

 

Goodlands

CP

75,500

 

Gretna

CP

65,100

 

Hodgson

CN

29,600

 

Holland

CP

89,200

 

Holmfield

CP

?

Sold to Harrison Milling (late 1940s)

Horndean

CP

48,200

 

La Riviere

CP

75,300

 

Lakeland

CN

78,600

 

Langruth

CN

103,800

 

Largs

CP

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Laurier

CN

72,000

 

Libau

CN

92,000

 

Lower Fort Garry

CP

38,000

 

McCreary

CN

71,300

 

Miami

CN

131,500

Bought from UGG (March 1970)

Mile 10.6 (Winnipeg)

CN

154,700

 

Mile 142.4 (Winnipeg)

CN

134,000

 

Minitonas

CN

115,000

 

Notre Dame de Lourdes

CN

78,400

 

Oakburn

CN

71,900

 

Pilot Mound

CP

81,300

 

Plum Coulee

CP

95,200

 

Purves

CP

72,400

 

Riverton

CP

27,000

 

Roblin

CN

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Rosenfeld

CP

111,400

 

Rounthwaite

CN

47,900

 

St. Boniface (Winnipeg)

CP

273,000

 

Sandy Lake

CN

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Searle / Pacific Junction (Winnipeg)

CN

285,000

 

Sevick

CN

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Silverton

CN

?

Sold to Manitoba Pool (July 1943)

Snowflake

CP

61,200

 

Stephenfield

 

?

Closed (1964)

Stockton

CP

32,000

Demolished (1972)

Swan Lake

CN

111,500

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1960)

Swan River

CN

136,000

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

The Pas

CN

36,000

Sold to Manitoba Pool (1972)

Warren

CN

80,800

 

Winkler

CP

125,500

 

Winnipeg

CP

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: 11 December 2016

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