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Mail Tribune 100, Oct. 2, 1920 Continued

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Oct. 2, 1920 Continued

SAUNDERS TOOK $30,000 OUT OF SUGAR FACTORY

Testimony before the federal trade commission hearing into the charge that the Utah-Idaho Sugar company is “a combination in restraint of trade” with Alex Nibly in the witness chair, adduced some facts and figures relative to the Grants Pass factory.

According to the evidence, George E. Saunders, vice-president and general manager, put in $3,840 and took out $30,000. Bishop C. W. Nibley, the financial backer, put in $136,908.16 and took out $143,646.64, a profit of $6,738.48.

Witness Nibley testified that he first met Saunders, a short time after a meeting held in this city to discuss the beet sugar outlook, and that his father Bishop Nibley had told him he would furnish all funds after 5,000 acres of suitable beet acreage had been signed, and $250,000 secured. Saunders told him the Rogue River Public Service company would subscribe $100,000, and that he would procure the balance “from Chicago.” Before this time, Nibley testified he had been negotiating with R. K. Neill, president of the Roguelands company, who had been recommended to him by Col. H. F. Mundy. Mr. Neill favored a delay of a year in the plans, but felt sure he could procure the necessary capital. At this juncture, Saunders appeared, and his proposition was favored.

After this plan had been agreed upon, Alex Nibley went to Salt Lake and told the father: “The Saviour has arrived, and the money is ready.” Saunders was in Chicago, but returned to Salt Lake without the promised backing. Nibley testified that Saunders, when asked about the money said: “Don’t worry. We can get it right here in Salt Lake with your father heading the list of subscribers.” It was brought out that most of the subscribers were friends and acquaintances of Bishop Nibley, with the exception of a mining man from Grants Pass ...

Light on how Medford’s hopes for a beet sugar factory were punctured was revealed by the witness, who said he favored the location of the factory here and that it was the logical place. The rivalry for acreage, with the provision that the section getting the most acreage would get the factory was reviewed, and the witness told of how he made a statement to this effect. He also related how 1,500 acres signed up was withheld by this city when the local committee became suspicious.

“I talked to Saunders about the location of the factory at Medford,” witness said, but was always put off. Finally he pressed for a decision and Saunders said: “I’m the general manager, and the factory will go where I say.” The general manager was described as “a little mad” when this utterances was made.

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

News from 100 years ago