Tidbits from Then and Now

#18 - Rutland Cracker Company - 1883

These interesting minutes are taken from the notebook of the H.E. Tuttle, Secretary of the Rutland Cracker Company.

The Rutland Cracker Company Association was formed on 21 June 1883, although the idea was born in 1881. The Association would be a wholesale and retail manufacturer of crackers, bread, rolls and all kinds of fancy baked goods and foods. The Association would build buildings, storehouses, a factory and other buildings as needed.

The Articles of Association were filed on 23 June 1883 with the Office of the Secretary of State. The Company had a capital stock of $10,000. Each share would cost $50. It was not until 3 March 1884 that the stockholders agreed to the number of shares each would buy. There were 5 shareholders. H.E. Tuttle purchased 5 shares, C.H. Boardman 10, C.A. Thompson 95, John S. Tuttle 5 and Nellie E. Tuttle 85.

The first meeting to organize a Corporation was held on 21 July 1888. By-laws were set up: 1. Annual meetings of the Corporation would be held the first Tuesday of January, each year; 2. Three directors would be elected for a one year term; 3. By-laws could be altered by a majority vote at any meeting.

A motion was made and approved that the Corporation would buy the bakery buildings of E.D. Keyes on the comer of West and Freight Streets, a dwelling house south of this and the lot on which they stood, as well as the entire baking business.

On 27 May 1889, two stockholders, C.H. Boardman and John S. Tuttle turned their stock over to Nellie Tuttle. At a stockholder meeting on 29 July 1889, there were only three stockholders. One of them, Mr. C.A. Thompson had loaned and advanced money in the amount of $3,700. The Corporation executed a mortgage to repay him. Mr. Tuttle transferred only four of his five stocks to Nellie Tuttle, and the By-laws were amended so a meeting could be called with only a 2-day notice.

On 4 December 4, 1889, the stockholders sold all real estate and stock in hand to a Mr. Miller and 100 shares of stock were transferred to him by Mr. C.A. Thompson. This wound up the business of the Rutland Cracker Company as far as the Association was concerned.

On 25 July 1890, Mr. C.A. Thompson resigned from the Association and a man from New York City filled the vacancy. Mrs. Tuttle, who held most of the stock at this point, proposed that the Corporation buy all real estate and personal property being used in the bakery business on the corner of West and Evelyn Streets and assume

the $6,000 mortgage held by Mr. Miller. Mr. Tuttle would be general manager of the Corporation and receive $20 a week.

The City Directory of 1891-92 still records the Rutland Cracker Company at 2 Evelyn Street. Nellie Tuttle is listed as paying the taxes. After this year the Rutland Cracker Company does not appear in the City Directory.

Mr. C.A. Thompson went into business with Charles C. Freeman, as a proprietor of Rutland Bazaar at 51 Merchants Row. This business was "the biggest supplier" of fancy dishes etc.

Mr. E.D.Keyes was the owner of the property on Evelyn and Depot Square. Apparently, only the single bakery store had been in the possession of the Corporation of the Rutland Cracker Company.

Mr. Tuttle is no longer listed as the Secretary of the Rutland Cracker Company, but in the 1895-96 directory, he is listed as a Commercial Traveler.

John S. Tuttle died in 1893.

Mr. Boardman, who had traveled extensively to the West Coast during the "Gold Rush" years had returned to farming on his land in Center Rutland.

Nellie Tuttle had only her home listed on the tax list of 1903-1906

Developing the Rutland Cracker Company Association may have been seen as a good idea at the time, but apparently was not as successful as thought. Would you say that as in any business – “That's the way the cracker crumbles?” [Sorry, couldn't help myself.]