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Cliffs Dow Company records

 Collection — Box: 06-01-06
Identifier: MSS-008

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains the scattered records of R. Wesley Jenner, long-time employee and president (1960-1968) of the Cliffs Dow Chemical Company of Marquette, Michigan. The records primarily relate to the company which manufactured charcoal and was the largest and sophisticated wood distillation plant in the world from 1940-1968. The records include company technical reports for 1935-1950, news clippings and press releases, addresses and articles written and presented by Jenner on the company's operations and history, a 1935 plant inventory, operations and product flow charts, and miscellaneous materials relating to the company. Also included is biographical information about Jenner himself, and correspondence. The correspondence largely relates to Jenner's retirement, but also includes a 1982 memo Jenner wrote regarding plant disposal sites and environmental impact.


  • 1934 - 1984


Conditions Governing Access note

No restrictions. Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from the Cliffs Dow Company records, MSS-008, must be obtained from the University Archivist. The University Archivist may be reached by phone at 906-227-1225, or e-mail, The University Archivist may also be reached in Room 126 of the Learning Resource Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI.

Historical Note

In 1903, the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mining Company began operation of the charcoal pig iron plant in North Marquette under the name Pioneer Iron Company. The plant was previously owned and operated by the Pioneer Iron Mining Company. The plant continued to produce charcoal and engage in the distillation of wood after 1903. In 1935, the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company and The Dow Chemical Company merged to form the Cliffs - Dow Chemical Company. The newly merged company took over the plant to begin the Scholler process for acid hydrolysis of wood to make ethyl alchohol, also known as ethanol. The plant ceased operation in 1969 after Royal Oak Charcoal Company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, bought the business in 1968. A complete history written by R.W. Jenner can be found in folder 3 of the collection.


.25 Cubic Feet (1 gray, metal edge box)

Language of Materials


Arrangement note

Alphabetical by subject headings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Ethel Jenner in 1988; accession no. 121.

Cliffs Dow Company records
G. Martinson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives Repository

Harden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette 49855 United States
906-227-1333 (Fax)


This collection guide includes collections from member organizations of UPLINK (the Upper Peninsula Digital Network) as well as the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives. UPLINK collections document the history of the Upper Peninsula broadly, while the Central UP & NMU Archives focuses on such topics as Northern Michigan University history, the local iron mining industry, and the politics, economics, religion, environment, and culture of the Central Upper Peninsula region.

These finding aids will give you an overview of the contents and context of each collection. Finding aids only exist for collections that each organization has shared with UPLINK or (in the case of the NMU Archives) for processed collections. For a more comprehensive list of collections that might help with your research, please contact the relevant heritage organization(s) directly.

Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave. • Marquette, MI 49855-5301 • 906–227–1000
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