Excelsior Creamery Company Records

Finding aid created by Sherman Library and Gardens staff using RecordEXPRESS
Sherman Library and Gardens
614 Dahlia Ave.
Corona del Mar, California 92625
(949) 673-1880
paul@slgardens.org
http://www.slgardens.org/
2017


Descriptive Summary

Title: Excelsior Creamery Company Records
Dates: 1914-2002
Collection Number: 2006_04
Creator/Collector: Excelsior Creamery Company (Santa Ana, Calif.) Excelsior Farms (Norco, Calif.) Excelsior Ranch Company (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Extent: 7 document boxes and 3 flat oversize boxes.
Repository: Sherman Library and Gardens
Corona del Mar, California 92625
Abstract: The collection consists of the business records (including correspondence, financial records, publications, legal documents and other materials) of the Excelsior Creamery Company and its affiliated organizations, the Excelsior Ranch Company and Excelsior Farms. A sizeable amount of financial records in the collection between 1925-1966 show various annual and monthly profit and loss figures and balance statements for the company and record its growth over the years. There are materials regarding a few other Orange County area dairies acquired by the company and an extensive amount of land records which indicate the extensive amount of property acquired by the Excelsior Creamery over the years.
Language of Material: English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Excelsior Creamery Company Records. Sherman Library and Gardens

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Sherman Library by Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Ranney in 1981.

Biography/Administrative History

Walter Daniel Ranney (1875-1949), his wife, Florence Knettles Wycoff Ranney (1877-1949), and their four children moved from Groton, New York, to Santa Ana, California in 1913. That same year W. D. Ranney established the Ranney Sanitary Dairy. In 1915, he and Charles F. Heil bought the Excelsior Dairy, which Henry Russell and E. D. Burns opened in Santa Ana earlier that year. W. D. Ranney’s brother, Joseph A. Ranney, moved from New York to also join in the business, and in 1917 the name of the company changed to Excelsior Creamery. In 1920 they purchased Taylor’s Ice Cream Factory in Santa Ana and entered the ice cream business, selling Excelsior ice cream in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors. In 1922 the Excelsior Creamery opened its $150,000 three-story complex on East First Street in Santa Ana. The Excelsior Creamery was the first in Orange County, California, to use the milk pasteurization process and to offer frozen orange juice for sale. In the 1920s they leased pasture land for the creamery’s cows in Round Valley, California, near Bishop, and in 1922 they purchased 400 acres to accommodate milk cows at Prado, California, just west of Corona. The Excelsior Ranch Company, created in 1930, separated the farming operations and dairy from the creamery, and in 1937 they purchased 100 acres of property in Garden Grove along with the cows and the dairy operations from Raitt’s Dairy (Orange County’s first dairy farm, which began operations in 1896). Following the Santa Ana River Flood of 1938, their Prado property was acquired through eminent domain by the government in order to build what became the Prado Dam, and afterwards all their dairy farming operations continued at what grew to be the 240 acre Seventeenth Street ranch in Garden Grove. The Excelsior Ranch Company dissolved in the early 1950s, the Garden Grove property was sold for the development of homes in 1953, and in 1957 Excelsior Farms was created and began cattle ranching in Norco, California. Upon its sale to the Los Angeles-based Carnation Company in 1980, the Excelsior Creamery’s sixty-five year dairy industry business came to an end.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of the business records (including correspondence, financial records, publications, legal documents and other materials) of the Excelsior Creamery Company and its affiliated organizations, the Excelsior Ranch Company and Excelsior Farms. A sizeable amount of financial records in the collection between 1925-1966 show various annual and monthly profit and loss figures and balance statements for the company and record its growth over the years. There are materials regarding a few other Orange County area dairies acquired by the company and an extensive amount of land records which indicate the extensive amount of property acquired by the Excelsior Creamery over the years. Of particular note in the collection is the large body of materials which document the regulations and restrictions placed on manufacturers, supplies and food products during World War II. There are official publications from the United States Office of War Information and the Department of Agriculture regarding the rationing of sugar and automobile fuel and tires, and there are also contracts and related documentation regarding Excelsior Creamery’s role as the supplier of dairy products for Orange County area military bases during the war. There are also some materials from this same era which record early attempts to use refrigerated ice cream trucks to deliver and distribute frozen foods. Other interesting materials in the collection include documents regarding the various types of containers for milk delivery, advertisements for Excelsior Creamery products and for Family Brick ice cream, and a large amount of company stock certificates. There are a few recipes in the collection related to the use of chocolate and cocoa to make chocolate milk and chocolate malted beverages, and it appears that at one time the Excelsior Creamery had a cocoa mix which they sold to other dairies with which they could create chocolate milk. The collection also contains materials related to the dairy, livestock and grazing activities of the Excelsior Creamery Company and its affiliated organizations, the Excelsior Ranch Company and Excelsior Farms. There is some material concerning their grazing activities on leased land in California’s Owens Valley, but there is more documentation concerning their Garden Grove ranch. There is a small amount of material concerning the condemnation of their grazing property in the vicinity of what became the Prado Dam following the destructive Santa Ana River Flood of 1938.

Indexing Terms

Dairies - California - Orange County - History - 20th century - Sources
Ranches - California - Orange County - History - 20th century.
Santa Ana (Calif.)
Norco (Calif.)
Business records - California - Orange County - 20th century.

Additional collection guides


Collection Contents

 

Organizational Records

Box:Folder 1:1

California. Secretary of State - Certification of the Articles of Incorporation 1920

Box:Folder 1:2

Articles of incorporation - Amendment regarding capitol stock 1928-1929

Box:Folder 1:3

By-laws and minutes (bound volume) 1920-1923

Box:Folder 1:4

Minutes (bound volume) 1924-1950

Box:Folder 1:5

Minutes 1951-1968

 

Legel Records

Box:Folder 2:1

Appraisal report [2 copies] 1945

Box:Folder 2:2

Buildings - Manufacturing specifications 1922

Box:Folder 2:3

California. Railroad Commission 1937

Box:Folder 2:4

Excelsior Ranch Company, Ltd. - Alfalfa hay 1942

Box:Folder 2:5

Excelsior Ranch Company, Ltd. - Legal files regarding Prado Dam condemnation suit 1940-1943

Box:Folder 2:6

Fullerton sanitary creamery (Fullerton, Calif.) - Purchase records 1920-1926

Box:Folder 2:7

Gertrude S. Wilson v. Jackson Ice Cream Company...and Excelsior Creamery Company 1935

Box:Folder 2:9

Katayama v. Excelsior Creamery Company 1933

Box:Folder 2:10

Indenture - Dissolution of property 1922

Box:Folder 2:11

Labor unions 1948

Box:Folder 2:12

Land records - Fullerton, Calif. 1939

Box:Folder 2:23

Land records - Orange, Calif. 1929-1960

Box:Folder 2:24

Land records - Orange County, Calif. 1924, 1929

Box:Folder 2:25

Land records - Paid mortgages 1917-1930

Box:Folder 2:26

Land records - Rincon, Calif. 1925-1926

Box:Folder 2:27

Land records - Santa Ana, Calif. 1914-1953

Box:Folder 2:28

Land records - Santa Ana, Calif. - “French’s Addition” 1921-1966

Box:Folder 2:29

Notes charged to bad debts 1920-1927

Box:Folder 2:30

Registration - Ranney’s Ice Cream 1949

Box:Folder 2:31

Sale and purchase records 1925-1932

Box:Folder 2:32

Standard Brands Incorporated 1938

Box:Folder 2:33

Trade mark claim 1953

 

Subject Files

Box:Folder 3:1

Advertisements 1924

Box:Folder 3:2

Advertisements - Excelsior Creamery Co. 1922-1980,

Box:Folder 3:3

Advertisements - Ice cream 1923-1924

Box:Folder 3:4

Alcohol permit record 1925-1934

Box:Folder 3:5

Aliso Dairy Company (Paularino, Calif.) 1915

Box:Folder 3:6

Anaheim Creamery Co. (Anaheim, Calif.) 1926, 1933

Box:Folder 3:7

Anderson, Roice and Leland Spencer. Ways of Conserving Tiresand Reducing other Expenses in the Distribution of Milk [report] [1941]

Box:Folder 3:8

Automobile costs 1925-1942

Box:Folder 3:9

Bacteria counting 1929-1939

Box:Folder 3:10

Bottles, jars and glass containers 1925-1943

Box:Folder 3:11

Butter 1943-1945

Box:Folder 3:12

California. Dept. of Agriculture 1941-1943

Box:Folder 3:13

Cans 1926-1945

Box:Folder 3:14

Chocolate and cocoa - Correspondence 1929-1942

Box:Folder 3:15

Chocolate and cocoa - Notes and ephemera 1937-1948

Box:Folder 3:16

Chocolate and cocoa - Recipes 1948

Box:Folder 3:17

Cholera 1942

Box:Folder 3:18

Competitors 1928-1931

Box:Folder 3:19

Contract

Box:Folder 3:20

Correspondence - General 1940-1945

Box:Folder 3:21

Dairy and ice cream industries 1942-1943

Box:Folder 3:22

Dairy Institute of California - Newsletter 1942-1943

Box:Folder 3:23

Dairy supplies to military bases 1942-1943

Box:Folder 3:24

Delivery expenses 1928

Box:Folder 4:1

Employees 1942-1944

Box:Folder 4:2

Excelsior News 1955

Box:Folder 4:3

Federal briefs, statements and legislation affecting the dairy industry 1941-1943

Box:Folder 4:4

Fertilizers 1934-1937

Box:Folder 4:5

Fertilizers - Ephemera 1929-1936

Box:Folder 4:6

Frozen foods distribution 1930, 1949

Box:Folder 4:7

Frozen foods distribution - Correspondence 1937-1945

Box:Folder 4:8

Frozen foods distribution - Invoices, contracts and forms 1941-1943

Box:Folder 4:9

Frozen foods distribution - Prices 1936-1943

Box:Folder 4:10

Frozen foods distribution - Ephemera 1942

Box:Folder 4:11

Frozen foods distribution - Clippings 1930, 1942

Box:Folder 4:12

General Dairy Industry Committee - Newsletter 1942-1943

Box:Folder 4:13

Grazing 1942-1946

Box:Folder 4:14

Homogenized milk 1938

Box:Folder 4:15

Los Angeles (Calif.). Dept. of Water and Power - Land lease 1942

Box:Folder 4:16

Machinery and equipment 1942-1943

Box:Folder 4:17

Marshall, John, Jr. Cost of Production of Market Milk forLos Angeles [report] 1934

Box:Folder 4:18

Milk - Cartons 1942, 1948

Box:Folder 4:19

Milk - Cases 1932-1940

Box:Folder 4:20

Milk - Certification - Pamphlets

Box:Folder 4:21

Milk - Costs 1937

Box:Folder 4:22

Notes 1926

Box:Folder 4:23

Price cutting 1937

Box:Folder 4:24

Route returns [1930]

Box:Folder 4:25

Sugar 1941-1942

Box:Folder 4:26

Sugar - Correspondence 1942-1943

Box:Folder 4:27

Sugar - Purchase certificates 1942-1943

Box:Folder 4:28

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture - Food distribution orders 1943

Box:Folder 4:29

U.S. Office of War Information. Office of Price Administration 1942-1943

Box:Folder 4:30

U.S. Office of War Information. War Production Board 1942-1949

Box:Folder 4:31

U.S. War Production Board. Division of Industry Operations 1942-1943

 

Financial Records

Box:Folder 5:1

Financial records - 1925 1925

Box:Folder 5:2

Financial records - 1926 1926

Box:Folder 5:3

Financial records - 1927 1927

Box:Folder 5:4

Financial records - 1928 1928

Box:Folder 5:5

Financial records - 1929 1929

Box:Folder 5:6

Financial records - 1930 1930

Box:Folder 5:7

Financial records - 1931 1931

Box:Folder 5:8

Financial records - 1932 1932

Box:Folder 5:9

Financial records - 1933 1933

Box:Folder 5:10

Financial records - 1935 1935

Box:Folder 5:11

Financial records - 1936 1936

Box:Folder 5:12

Financial records - 1937 1937

Box:Folder 5:13

Financial records - 1938 1938

Box:Folder 5:14

Financial records - 1940 1940

Box:Folder 5:15

Financial records - 1941 1941

Box:Folder 5:16

Financial records - 1942 1942

Box:Folder 5:17

Financial records - 1950 1950

Box:Folder 5:18

Financial records - 1951 1951

Box:Folder 5:19

Financial records - 1952 1952

Box:Folder 5:20

Financial records - 1953 1953

Box:Folder 5:21

Financial records - 1954 1954

Box:Folder 5:22

Financial records - 1955 1955

Box:Folder 5:23

Financial records - 1956 1956

Box:Folder 5:24

Financial records - 1957 1957

Box:Folder 5:25

Financial records - 1958 1958

Box:Folder 5:26

Financial records - 1959 1959

Box:Folder 5:27

Financial records - 1960 1960

Box:Folder 5:28

Financial records - 1961 1961

Box:Folder 5:29

Financial records - 1962 1962

Box:Folder 5:30

Financial records - 1963 1963

Box:Folder 5:31

Financial records - 1964 1964

Box:Folder 5:32

Financial records - 1965 1965

Box:Folder 5:33

Financial records - 1966 1966

Box:Folder 5:34

Financial records - Notes and charts 1926-1937

Box:Folder 5:35

Financial records - Taxes and licenses 1922-1948

 

Financial Records: Ledger Books

Box:Folder 6:0

Financial records - General ledger, 4/1/1921-8/31/1922 1921-1922

Box:Folder 6:0

Financial records - Depreciation record ledger, 1915-1935 1915-1935

Box:Folder 6:0

Financial records - Ledger, miscellaneous, 1914-1915, 1929, 1933-1938 1914-1938

Box:Folder 7:0

Financial records - General ledger, 1915-1916 1915-1916

Box:Folder 7:0

Financial records - General ledger, June 1915-March 1921 1915-1921

 

Financial Records: Stocks

Box:Folder 8:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock transactions record ledger 1915-1921

Box:Folder 8:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #100-197 1923-1930

Box:Folder 8:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #1-150 1930

Box:Folder 9:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #151-253 1930-1935

Box:Folder 9:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #254-402 1935-1955

Box:Folder 9:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #403-501 1955-1963

Box:Folder 10:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #502-525 1963-1966

Box:Folder 10:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #526-549 1966-1969

Box:Folder 10:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #550-575 1969-1970

Box:Folder 10:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #575-600 1970-1973

Box:Folder 10:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #601-625 1973-1977

Box:Folder 10:0

Financial records - Stocks - Stock certificate book, #626-725 1977-1979

 

Organizational Records

Box:Folder 10:1

Santa Ana (Calif.) - Cultural Heritage Committee - Historical landmarks inventory form 1980

Box:Folder 10:2

Sullivan, Joan Ranney. A History of Excelsior Creamery Co., Excelsior Ranch Co., and Excelsior Farms. 2002