Oliver Corporation Collection

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Oliver Corporation.
Oliver Corporation collection
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Cubic feet , 11 volumes

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Historical Note

The Oliver Corporation began in 1848 as John Nichols' blacksmith shop and foundry in Battle Creek, Michigan. Nichols later entered into partnership with David Shepard to establish Nichols, Shepard & Co., Inc. which manufactured threshing equipment. The company became a part of the Oliver Farm Equipment Co. in 1929, and in 1944, after a series of mergers, became the Oliver Corp., manufacturers of a wide range of agricultural equipment. The company celebrated its centennial in 1948.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection includes business records, newspaper clippings, catalogs, centennial articles, and historical data related to the Oliver Corporation and its owners. Also included in the collection are photographs from the Centennial of Oliver Corporation, ranging from the banquet that was held to the plant tours given by the executives. There are also photographs of Oliver Corporation train cars, board members, and a group photograph of the National Association of Thresher Manufacturers from 1898.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  May 2017

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials

See also H. Cecil Wolsey collection (00111); also at Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

See also Nichols & Shepard Company records (call number: 85711 Bb.2 2; BB.2 Outsize; at Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Hofherr-Schrantz-Clayton-Shuttleworth.
  • Nichols and Shepard Company (Battle Creek, Mich.).
  • Oliver Farm Equipment Company.

Family Name(s)

  • Stillson family


  • Catalogs
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Minutes (administrative records)
  • Periodicals
  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Battle Creek (Mich.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Jones, Kermit
  • Nichols, John, 1848-1902
  • Rambo, Harry
  • Shepard, David, -1904


  • Agricultural machinery -- Catalogs
  • Agricultural machinery -- Maintenance and repair
  • Agricultural machinery industry
  • Agriculture -- Periodicals
  • Military supplies
  • Threshing machines
  • Traction-engines

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Collection Inventory

Nicholas and Shepard - Oliver Corporation Records 

Box Folder

The History and the Development of the Oliver Corporation in Battle Creek, Michigan by Harold A. Hooker December 16, 1952 

1 1

A Brief History of the Stillson Family's Connection with the Nichols & Shepard Co. by Donald R. Stillson undated 

1 2

History of Oliver's Battle Creek #1, Harvester Division Plant undated 

1 3

Layout of the Vibrator Threshing Machine Works of Messrs. Nichols, Shepard & Co. January 1870 

1 4

Messrs. Blacket & White Statement of Account with Nichols, Shepard & Co. April 26, 1875 

1 5

Information About the New Vibrator Threshing Machinery, Nichols & Shepard Co. 1889 

1 6

Nichols & Shepard Co. Steam Traction Engines Catalog 

1 7

Nichols & Shepard Co. Bank Deposit Book 1927-1929 

1 8

Oliver Corporation Centennial Booklet 1948 

1 9

Oliver Red River Special Threshers Catalog 

1 10

Newspaper Clippings 1955, 1963, undated 

1 11

Newspaper Clippings from The Enquirer & News, Battle Creek, Michigan (from Scrapbook) 1948 

1 12

Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record (contains a story on the Oliver Corp.) February 1949 

1 13

Hofherr-Schrantz 100-Year Commemorative Book 1957 

1 14

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Box Volume

Nichols & Shepard Co. Report Dated February 10, 1916 with Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account and Relative Exhibits as of December 31, 1915 

1 1

The Oliver Corp. Shelbyville Plant, Shelbyville, Illinois November 12, 1948 

1 2

The Oliver Corp. Cleveland Plant 1948 

1 3

The Book of Oliver Vol. 3 1937 

1 4

Album of Historical Steam Traction Engines and Threshing Equipment, #1 1949 

1 5

Price Book 

2 6

Minutes Book No. 2 of Nichols & Shepard Co. February 4, 1913 

2 7

"Power to Produce" The Oliver Corp. undated 

3a 8

"In 1961 the Spotlight's on Oliver" 1961 

3a 9

"The Prairie Farmer, Centennial Number" January 11, 1941 

3a 10

The Oliver Corp. Charles City Plant, Charles City, Iowa 1948 

1 11

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Oversized Materials 


Oliver Corporation Centennial Edition of the Battle Creek Enquirer and News June 30, 1943 


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Box Folder

Board of Directors, Meeting June 30, 1948  

3b 1

Centennial 1948 

3b 2

Centennial, Banquet June 30, 1948  

3b 3

Centennial, Dedication June 30, 1948  

3b 4

Centennial, Luncheon June 30, 1948  

3b 5

Centennial, Plant Tour 1948 

3b 6-8

National Association of Thresher Manufacturers 1898 

3b 9

Train Cars undated 

3b 10