Research Thoughts

The House That Cook Built – Part 6b

The Alexandria Paper Company 1930-1970

In the United States, a federal census is taken every ten years, 1930 was a census year. The Edwin Yules were enumerated in their home at 212 Lincoln Avenue in Alexandria, with a stated value of $10,000, and they owned a radio. Edwin was now 55 years old, and Georgina was 54. Ed gave his occupation as Superintendent of a Paper Company, and that he was a wage earner. [1]

Postmarked 1930

49-year-old Harry Cook enumerated in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was paying $333 per month for rooms in the Ambassador Bungalows. [2] He claimed he was retired. Residing with him was his “servant/nurse,” Jessie Carter Duncan, age 38. [3]

Charles and Maud Lancaster were not enumerated in 1930 as they were on their annual trip to Europe and did not land in New York until May 9th, having departed from Southampton on May 3rd. The passenger list states that their permanent residence was in Alexandria.

Harry was never able to recover from the sleeping sickness. Over the years there would be bright moments where he appeared to be on the mend, but soon there would be a relapse and a continued slow decline. On January 23, 1931, Ed and Georgina were called to Harry’s bedside as he “had taken a turn for the worse.”[4] He passed away two days later with both Ed and Georgina at his side; Charles and Maud were in Paris, France. Thankfully the Yules were there to make the arrangements. Ed contacted the paper mill to let superintendent and long-time friend William Brannon know that they would accompany the body to Neenah, reaching Chicago at 8 a.m. on the 28th, and leaving Chicago on the 9 a.m. train.[5] William traveled to Chicago to meet the train and to accompany the funeral party to Neenah. Arriving in Neenah, the body was taken immediately to the Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel where a brief funeral service was conducted by the pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Harry was buried near his parents in the Cook family plot.

As Maud was in Europe, Ed Yule went to the Madison Circuit Court on February 3rd to qualify as administrator, and he “took immediate charge of the settlement of the estate.”[6] Maud returned to the United States in May,[7] and in August both she and Ed were qualified as executors, and the will was filed for probate in the circuit court. Included in the will was a $50,000 life insurance policy made payable to the estate.[8] The Notice of Final settlement was published on February 27, 1933, and the final settlement occurred on March 17th.[9] “No sale of any assets of the estate was made in carrying out the provisions of the will.” “Among property assigned to the sister in the distribution of the estate is one half-interest in home property in Neenah, Wis., one-half interest in seven lots in Orono, [Hennepin Co.] Minn.; certain interests in lumber lands in Canada; 950 shares of common stock in the Alexandria Paper Company; 423 shares in the Phillips Company, of Chicago; 17 shares Anderson Banking Company stock; 13 shares in Manufacturers National Bank, Neenah, Wis., and 30 shares in the Great Northern Life Insurance Company.” The Cook house in Alexandria was not listed in the published list of assets.

Neenah, Wisconsin was always “home” for Maud, and the S.A. Cook Armory built by her father and dedicated in 1907 to the cities of Neenah and Menasha, was just one reason for regular trips to the city. When her father dedicated the building to Company I, he did not anticipate a second world war which resulted in the reorganization of the military forces and thus left the city without a designated military unit. And so the building reverted to the Cook estate. Maud would not donate the building until 1937, the new deed had “no legal strings attached” other than that it should always be known as the S.A. Cook Armory.[10] [11]

It was on one such trip home in June 1933 to visit friends, when Charles contracted pneumonia. He passed away on June 26th at the Valley  Inn. He was 65 years old. Maud accompanied her husband’s body to Manchester, Vermont, arriving July 5th on the 2:38 p.m. train. They went directly to Dellwood Cemetery, where the pastor of the congregational church conducted the funeral service.[12

In January 1936, Maud and Edwin Yule determined that it would be in the best interest of the Alexandria Paper Company to reorganize. The company reorganized with a capital stock of 3,000 shares of $100 par value.[13]

Ed was keeping busy as manager of the Alpaco Farms, and his February 12, 1936 shipment of hogs made the news due to it being one of the largest shipments from Alexandria in a long time. The shipment consisted of 334 head, averaging 246 pounds for a total weight of 82,280 pounds. The hogs averaged $25.07 per head for a net receipt of $8,474.03.[14]

Nine years after closing the paper mill, it was time to start selling bits and pieces of the mill. Ed Yule as treasurer announced on March 13, 1937, that the paper-making machinery and equipment had been sold to Abe Cooper of Syracuse, New York. Maud, as the owner of the factory, traveled from New York City to “close the deal.” The thirty acres of land that the factory was built upon was “not included in the deal.”[15] In September 1939, “several of the five-ton rolls from the old paper making machines” were sold to a Chicago firm.[16] With the removal of the rolls “the old mill will be practically empty.”[17] And in March of 1940 work began to dismantle the building.

The building was sold to the Hetz Construction Company of Warren, Ohio, and work to dismantle the mill began, with all materials such as second-hand lumber, sheeting, I-beams, pipes, etc. offered for sale. Eleven local men were hired for the demolition, which was expected to take two months.[18] Shinkle Wrecking Company was assisting the Hetz Construction Company in the demolition.

I wonder what thoughts were going through Maud and Edwin Yule’s heads as they stood and watched the demolition of a dream. Maud was certainly there to witness the event as she was enumerated in the 1940 United States Federal Census on April 26, 1940, residing as a Lodger with Ed and Georgina. 

The census enumerator listed the three living at 212 Lincoln Avenue, the value of the home: $6,000. Ed was the one to open the door to the enumerator and to answer the questions. He stated he was 66 years old, he had completed four years of high school. He listed his occupation as that of a farmer, receiving a salary of $4,300, and has an income of $50 or more from sources other than wages or salary. Ed stated that his wife, Georgina, was 65 years old, had completed four years of high school, and was not employed, but receives income of $50 or more from sources other than wages or salary. Residing with them as a lodger was Maud Lancaster, age 63, Widowed. He told the census enumerator that she had completed one year of college and that she was residing with them on April 1, 1935. She was unable to work but receives an income of $50 or more from sources other than wages or salary.[19]

In 1948 Maud was approached by the Alexandria Conservation and Gun Club looking to lease “the old paper mill ground, south of Alexandria.” She agreed. In 1950 the club conducted 36 hunts, participating in a state-wide crow war, finishing third. They also “conducted Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey shoots; released 150 pheasants and 100 quail, and sponsored three successful fox drives. A temporary wind-break was installed on the club grounds and installed two traps which will throw single or double birds.”[20] Six years later in September 1954 the club had “to give up their shoot grounds at the south end of Harrison Street on the Paper Mill farm,” now owned by Ed Yule. The club continued to “hold shoots on the Summitville club grounds, until it could find new grounds in the Alexandria area.”[21]

Adolf Fassbender, The White Night, 1932. From the collection of Kathryne Fassbender. The Pierre is in the center of the photograph.

Maud Christie Cook Lancaster passed away on April 7, 1949, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. She was 70 years old.[22] Following a service in Grace Church, her remains were brought to Manchester, Vermont, where a funeral service was held on April 9th in Zion Church. She was placed beside her husband in the Lancaster Mausoleum in Dellwood Cemetery. William Brannon’s son, Drysdale, attended the service. “Some cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Yule of Alexandria, Ohio, [sic] came on to New York when they learned of Mrs. Lancaster’s death, but they were detained by illness from coming to Manchester for the services.”[23]

Ed was appointed Executor of her estate on April 20, 1949. The notice of final settlement was published on October 26, 1951.[24] No details of her will or the estate have been found, but it can be assumed that Edwin Watson Yule was her sole heir.

William H. Brannon, age 87, now the managing editor of the Marion Chronicle passed away on August 22, 1950. In 1903, he and his family had moved from Neenah to Alexandria when he took the position of superintendent of the paper mill. He remained in this position until the mill closed.[25]

In 1958 Alexandria was in desperate need of a new school. The perfect location for the new joint system high school was 35 acres just south of the city, on land currently owned by the Yules. The Yules gifted the 35 acres that had a value of $1,000 per acre.[26] The property was located on “11th Street Road west of the intersection of South Harrison Street and 11th Street Road.” Alexandria lore tells the story this way: “In the late 1950s, the school board was looking to build a new high school. Members approached Ed about buying 37 acres of his land on 11th street. Ed’s wife said, ‘Just give it to them,’ but Ed said that he didn’t think that was good, so he sold it to them for $1.”[27]

On February 11, 1959, Ed lost the love of his life Georgina Louise Lemon Yule. She passed away at their home following a “lingering illness.” She was 84 years old. A member of the Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Ed chose to have the funeral service conducted by the pastor of his church, the First Christian Church. She was first buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Alexandria but was moved to Crown Point Cemetery in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana in April 1967.[28]

Gifting of the land for the new high school was only the beginning of Ed Yule’s legacy to the city of Alexandria. On September 8, 1965, an option was signed with Ed to buy the remaining Alpaco Farms property.[29] The 310-acre plot was to be developed as a golf course with home sites and named the Yule Golf Course and Estates. The proposal included an 18-hole, par-72, golf course consisting of 176 acres designed by Henry Culp; approximately 200 home sites, and three ponds with connecting waterways. They planned to sell shares of common stock at $10 per share to finance the project.[30] The first full season of golf was played in 1967.

Included in the 310 acres purchased by the Alexandria Community Development Corporation (ACDC), were the 20 acres that had been the Alexandria Paper Company campus. The acreage included the old office building, two ponds, and what remained of the crumbling paper mill. Howard and Patti King purchased this property from ACDC in May 1970 and proceeded to make the office into their home.[31] A portion of the Cook’s dream lives on in their renovation.

In 1966 Ed celebrated his 92nd birthday. The party was held at the Alexandria Building and Loan, complete with german chocolate cake, coffee, and ice cream. Newspaperman Bud Zink sat down with him to learn more about his “origin story,” but found that “trying to bring his biography up to date following that time…is impossible. There isn’t even a record photograph of Mr. Yule to be had anywhere…but we snookered him this morning” by having a snapshot taken.[32]

Edwin Watson Yule passed away on December 1, 1970. He was 96 years old. Funeral services were conducted by the pastor of the First Christian Church before he was entombed next to his wife in the Crown Hill Mausoleum, Indianapolis, Indiana.

The passing of Ed marked the end of an era. While much of Alexandria had long ago forgotten the Cook name and the family’s contribution to the community, my hope is that S. A., Harry, and Maud would feel that Ed had been a good steward of their legacy. 

Ed Yule was a man “admired and respected by those who work with him and for him.” He “has made his mark on our town since the turn of the century.”[33]

SOURCES:

  1. 1930 U.S. census, Madison County, Indiana, population schedule, Alexandria City, First Ward, Monroe Township, enumeration district (ED) 48-41, sheet 18, p. 174A, dwelling 454, family 482, Edward W. Yule household; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Apr 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 605.
  2. https://www.usinflationcalculator.com states that $333 in 1930 equals $5454.96 today in 2021.
  3. 1930 U.S. census, Atlantic County, New Jersey, population schedule, Atlantic City, 4th Ward, enumeration district (ED) 1-31, sheet 1, p. 81B, dwelling 29, family 23, Henry H Cook household; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Mar 2003); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626.
  4. “Harry Cook Critically Ill at Atlantic City,” The Times-Tribune, 23 Jan 1931, Friday, p. 1, col. 3; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 27 May 2016).
  5. “Harry H. Cook Died Suddenly Atlantic City,” The Times-Tribune, 26 Jan 1931, Monday, p. 1, col. 7; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 24 May 2016).
  6. “Yule Appointed to Settle Cook Estate,” The Times-Tribune, 4 Feb 1931, Wednesday, p. 1, col. 2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 4 Jun 2016).
  7. Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving in New York, New York, 1820-1957; Record of Immigration and Naturalization Service; National Archives, Washington, D.C., “New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists, (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Sep 2021), Charles and Maud Lancaster; citing: 1931; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 23 & 24; p: 17.
  8. “Bond Approved in Harry Cook Estate,” The Times-Tribune, 12 Aug 1931, Wednesday, p. 1, col. 6; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 4 Jun 2016). 
  9. “LEGAL,” The Times-Tribune, 13 Mar 1933, Monday, p. 4, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 4 Jun 2016).
  10. “Armory Will Be Permanent Home of Present Users,” (Oshkosh) The Oshkosh Northwestern, 1 Jul 1937, Thursday, p. 17, col. 2. Cit. Date: 3 Jul 2005. 
  11. The armory was torn down in 1987. The stone sign “S.A. Cook” was placed in Cook Park, Neenah, Wisconsin.
  12. “Charles F. Lancaster,” The Bennington Evening Banner, 28 Jun 1933, Wednesday, p. 3, col. 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 25 Jan 2021).
  13. “Articles of Incorporation,” The Indianapolis News, 8 Jan 1936, Wednesday, p. 9, col. 6; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 21 Dec 2017). 
  14. “Big Shipment of Hogs to Yard at Muncie,” The Times-Tribune, 13 Feb 1936, p. 1, col. 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 23 May 2016). 
  15. “Paper Mill Machinery At Alexandria Plant Is Sold,” The Indianapolis News, 15 Mar 1937, Monday, p. 9, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 21 Dec 2017). 
  16. “Moving Old Rolls,” The Times-Tribune, 16 Sep 1939, Saturday, p. 2, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 21 Sep 2016).
  17. “Paper Machines Are Dismantled,” The Carthage Citizen, 22 Sep 1939, p. 8, col. 5; digital images, NewspaperARCHIVE (www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 4 Dec 2017). 
  18. “Dismanatling Of Old Paper Mill,” The Times-Tribune, 21 Mar 1940, Thursday, p. 1, col. 6; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 Jun 2016).  
  19. 1940 U.S. census, Madison County, Indiana, population schedule, Alexandria City, First Ward, Monroe Township, enumeration district (ED) 48-52, sheet 23, p. 238A, household 665, Edwin Yule household; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Apr 2016); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T627, roll 1073.
  20. Gene Swindell, “From The Sidelines,” The Times-Tribune, 3 Jan 1951, Wednesday, p. 4, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 Jun 2016).
  21. “Gun Club Gives Up Alex Grounds; Seeks New Land,” Alexandria Times-Tribune, 16 Sep 1954, Thursday, p. 1, col. 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 22 Sep 2021).
  22. “Mrs. Charles Lancaster Early Resident, Succumbs In New York,” The Times-Tribune, 7 Apr 1949, Thursday, p. 1, col. 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 16 Nov 2019).
  23. “Summer Resident Dies in New York Hotel,” The Manchester Journal, 14 Apr 1949, Thursday, p. 2, col. 2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 25 Jan 2021). 
  24. “Notice of Final Settlement of Estate,” The Times-Tribune, 26 Oct 1951, Friday, p. 3, col. 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 Jul 2016).  
  25. “Ex-Superintendent of Alexandria Firm Dies at Age of 87,” The Muncie Star, 22 Aug 1950, p. 3, col. 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 4 Sep 2021).
  26. “Yules Give New School,” Alexandria Times-Tribune, 27 Feb 1958, Thursday, p. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 21 Dec 2017).
  27. “Clubs/Organizations. Riley Club hosts Guest Day,” The Times-Tribune, 19 Oct 2011, Wednesday, p. 4, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 17 Jun 2016).
  28. Published burial information, Crown Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home (Indianapolis, IN), <www.crownhill.org>, Yule, Georgina L.  Cit. Date: 29 Apr 2016.
  29. “A New Future Appears On Horizon For Alexandria,” Alexandria Times-Tribune, 8 Dec 1965, Wednesday, p. 1, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 25 Sep 2021).
  30. “310-Acre Tract Under Option By Local Corporation,” Alexandria Times-Tribune, 7 Dec 1965, Tuesday, p. 1, col. 8; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 25 Sep 2021). 
  31. Marilyn Miller, “Paper mill site restored to gracious residence by Kings,” The Times-Tribune, 14 May 1975, p. Spring Builders Addition, p 1-2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 5 Jun 2016). 
  32. “bud Zink,” The Times-Tribune, 4 Apr 1966, Monday, p. 1 & 2, col. 1 & 3; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 Dec 2017).
  33. Ibid.
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