Corporate records of C.J.L. Meyer of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and Hermansville, Michigan, manufacturer of doors, lumber for sashes, hardwood flooring, and related products; records of the William Mueller Company of Escanaba and LaBranche, Michigan, a firm taken over by Wisconsin Land and Lumber in 1909. Financial journals, ledgers, inventories, payroll ledgers; letterbooks of C.J.L. Meyer, Edwin P. Radford, company superintendent, and of other company officials; office correspondence files; and photographs.
This record group which came from the Wisconsin Land and Lumber Company in Hermansville, Michigan is in fact an accumulation of records from three distinct business enterprises. First, there are records of C.J.L. Meyer business enterprises in Chicago and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Next are records maintained in Hermansville with the establishment of the Wisconsin Land and Lumber Company in the 1870s. A third, smaller portion of the records are from the William Mueller Company, which WLL purchased in 1909.
When originally received in 1948, the records consisted of nearly 500 volumes of business journals and ledgers, time books, and letterpress books. During 1979-1981, the library began a program of microfilming to reduce the size of the record group. With the permission of the company, records that had been microfilmed were discarded. Also discarded were records duplicative in content of the records on microfilm. Other records were retained in the original without filming. The record group then consisted of 53 reels of microfilm representing approximately 112 volumes of business records, 65 oversized volumes, and 42 linear feet of boxed records (volumes, letterpress books, and correspondence files). In 2006, the library received additional microfilm (18 rolls) and computer disks containing scanned images of the photographs in the possession of the IXL Museum, which is the repository for the records of the company not received with the first accession. These records, which were retained, include personal correspondence of C.J.L. Meyer, some records of Meyer prior to the establishment of WLL, and records then considered current or of continuing value to the operation of the company.
The record group has been arranged as much as possible into series, but the researcher should note that identification of individuals volumes or files was not as certain as one would like. Thus, for example, there are various ledgers and journals, some with overlapping dates, but it was not always clear where these records were created or what function or division within the firm they documented. The fact that the company retained some of the earlier records accounts in part for what appear to be broken series. Further complicating the structure of the following finding aid is the interspersing of microfilmed materials and oversize volumes. Similar kinds of records (such as time books), for example, are thus found both in original and on microfilm.
As much as possible, like kinds of records have been kept to together (letterpress books, etc.). These are followed by records known to be created by a specific organization or maintained in a specific locale (e.g. Fond du Lac). The series in the record group are: Letterpress books (mainly business correspondence); Letterpress books (mainly business correspondence); Inventories, order books, etc.; C. J. L. Meyer Business Records; Wisconsin Land and Lumber Company; William Mueller Company; Photographs; and IXL Museum additions.
In 2007, the IXL Museum of Hermansville, Michigan, successor to the company and custodian of additional records of the Wisconsin Land and Lumber Company, entered into agreement with the Bentley Library to exchange microfilm of selected portions of the records housed in the other's repository. In addition, the two repositories agreed that the Bentley Library would place on indefinite loan to the IXL Museum the originals of WLL photographs in its possession, and that the IXL Museum would donated to the Bentley Library digital copies of all of the many hundreds of photographs in its collection.