Great Western Sugar Company stock certificate 1920's (sugar beets)
Fun food collectible. Unusual vignette of an American Eagle perched on a beehive. Issued and cancelled. Dated 1920's.
Its origins date from 1903 when Charles Boettcher founded the Great Western Sugar Company and opened a sugar beet plant in Loveland, Colorado and another in Greeley, Colorado. The Company then expanded, built and acquired several additional facilities in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The Great Western Railway was organized in 1901 to serve the beet sugar industry and towns in Northern Colorado. While its main purpose was to transport beets, sugar, molasses, coal and lime rock, it also operated for passenger service from 1917-1926.
When the Utah Sugar Company approached Great Western Sugar Company in 1902, the companies agreed to allow Utah Sugar to expand into Idaho, provided Utah Sugar didn't expand into Colorado. This was likely on behalf of Henry Osborne Havemeyer, whose American Sugar Refining Company owned 50% of both companies. in 1967, Great Western was sold to Colorado businessman Billy White, who in 1974 sold controlling interest in the Company to the Hunt Brothers organization.
The Loveland plant closed in 1985, when the company was purchased by the sugar firm Tate & Lyle, at which time the name was changed to the Western Sugar Company. In 2002, more than 1000 sugar beet growers purchased the company, creating the grower owned Western Sugar Cooperative. The Cooperative entered into a long-term lease agreement with American Crystal Sugar Company, for the operations of the Torrington, Wyoming, beet processing plant that had been built in 1926. This further solidified the beet-growing and beet-processing operations in the four-state areas under the direction of Western Sugar Cooperative.
Today, Western Sugar Cooperative has over 850 grower/owners, plants up to 134,140 acres of sugar beets and produces over 10 million cwts. of locally grown sugar per year. The cooperative operates sugar processing facilities in Scottsbluff, Nebraska; Lovell and Torrington, Wyoming; Billings, Montana; and Fort Morgan, Colorado. The Coop also operates storage facilities located in Rocky Ford, Sterling and Longmont, Colorado; and in Bayard, Gering and Mitchell, Nebraska.