• IdentificationMSCBT0004
  • TitleChicago Board of Trade Records: Series III - Early presidential correspondence MSCBT0004
  • PublisherSpecial Collections
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositorySpecial Collections
  • Physical Description16.0 Linear feet This series contains 34 Hollinger boxes and 1 oversize box.
  • Date1894, 1916-1956
  • LocationAll oversize items are shelved in B-242, Bay 8.

Processed by Sarah McMahon and Mike Hartge April 2011-May 2012. Finding aid by Kit Fluker and Jae Lurie. Encoded by Jae Lurie April 2012.

[Collection Title], Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

The records of the Chicago Board of Trade at the University of Illinois at Chicago are closed for 50 years from the date of record creation. Please contact Special Collections before visiting to ensure that the materials are available to the public.

The Chicago Board of Trade records were received by Special Collections and University Archives in numerous accessions between 1968 and 2000.

Materials from accessions 1968-113, 69-11, 72-44, 72-48, 74-16, 74-33, 75-68, 76-115, 77-53, 77-89, 78-91, 79-42, 81-21, 81-22, 81-23, 81-49, 81-110, 82-46, 83-50, 83-51, 84-28, 84-41, 84-42, 85-29, 86-3, 86-4, 86-5, 86-16, 86-17, 86-18, 91-11, 91-24, 92-11, 92-19, 93-1, 93-21, 93-30, 95-28, 97-2, 97-14, 97-32, 98-2, and 2000-37 were merged into one collection. Materials from each accession may be described in this finding aid.

The records of the early presidents of the Chicago Board of Trade are grouped together due to the lack of comprehensive records from the period. They have been arranged chronologically and to the box level. Correspondence has been arranged alphabetically when possible. President Frank Carey's records include a small amount of oversize materials that are listed at the end of the container list.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was started in 1848 by a small group of Chicago businessmen. The exchange was formed to help structure the grain trade in the Midwest. Before the Chicago Board of Trade came into being, the market for grain was extremely volatile with prices high in the winter and low in the summer, resulting in poor economic conditions for farmers. The early Board of Trade helped to create stable economic conditions for regional farmers and also worked to create standards and grades for various grains along with inspection processes to help ensure buyers received the goods for which they had paid. In 1859 the Illinois legislature granted the Chicago Board of Trade a charter allowing self-regulation. By 1865 the CBOT had a permanent location in the Chicago Chamber of Commerce Building and about 150 members. The Chicago Board of Trade was governed by its members and an elected Board of Directors. Rules and Regulations regarding day-to-day activities of the exchange were amended frequently as the organization responded to the issues of the time. The established organization of the Board of Trade in its early years was mostly maintained over time with revisions to rules and additions and subtractions to the organization based upon the economic, political, and technological climate at the time.

Joseph P. Griffin was the youngest man to ever serve as CBOT president upon his election in 1916. He had become a member in 1899, a director in 1907, and Vice-President in 1914. He declined to run for the presidency in 1918 due to World War I, but ran again successfully in 1921. He strongly advocated for a new building for the exchange, which was postponed due to the expense, and was active in the repeal of the Stamp Tax of 1914. He died in 1950.

Leslie Freeman Gates was a member of the firm Lamson Brothers and Co. his entire career. He served as a CBOT director from 1911 to 1916. In 1919 Gates became president, and he was reelected in 1920. He declined a third term, but continued to serve on various Board committees. He died in 1928.

Frank Leighton Carey became president in 1924 and was reelected the following year. Prior to his time as president, he served as a director for a year. During World War I, Carey served as vice president of the United States Grain Corporation and was involved in the US Food Administration. He died in 1933. (Frank L. Carey was not related to Peter B. Carey, who served as president from 1932-1934.)

Samuel P. Arnot served as president from 1928-1929. After his retirement in 1932, he was a consultant to the Department of Agriculture. Prior to his Board presidency, Arnot was president of the Council of Grain Exchanges, and had been a director as well. He died in 1954.

Philip Ray O'Brien was president from 1941-1944. He resigned halfway through his fourth term. O'Brien became a director in 1915, and chaired the Floor and Real Estate committees. He championed the cause of having a paid non-member as president, but this did not happen until 1956. He died in 1953.

Harry C. Schaack served as Board of Trade president from 1944-1946, beginning with Philip R. O'Brien's midterm retirement. Prior to that, he served as vice president from 1943-1944, as well as having served as a director and chair of the Appeals Committee. He died in 1947.

J.O. McClintock became President in 1947 after a hotly contested race. He had been second vice president prior to being president. Afterwards, McClintock became the first executive vice president from 1948 to 1952, making him the first salaried administrative head of CBOT. He was also vice president of Continental Grain Company. He died in 1962.

Richard F. Uhlmann was vice president from 1945 to 1947. Prior to his vice presidency, Uhlmann was a director and the chair of the Clearing House Committee. He was elected president in 1948 and served two consecutive terms. Uhlmann was president of Uhlmann Grain Company. In 1940 he became a governor of the Board of Trade Clearing Corporation. He died in 1989.

Carl E. Bostrom served as Board of Trade president from 1950-1952. Prior to assuming the presidency, Bostrom was first vice president in 1949. He died in 1970.

Julius Mayer emigrated from Germany in 1922. He became second vice president in 1953, first vice president in 1954 and president in 1955. He remained president until midyear 1956, when he became the exchange's first chairman. He remained chairman through the end of the year. This shift made it possible for the presidency to become a paid position. In 1941 Mayer was elected president of the St. Louis Merchants Exchange. He was also the executive vice president of Continental Grain Company until 1966. During World War II Mayer served as a consultant on grain pricing for the Office of Price Administration. He died in 1978.

The materials of the early presidents of the Chicago Board of Trade include correspondence, memoranda, speeches and other written materials for numerous presidents. Given that we do not have comprehensive records for the early years of the Board of Trade, these materials have been grouped together into one finding aid for ease of use. These materials are roughly in chronological order and contain records created or maintained by the following presidents during their terms as president: Joseph P. Griffin, 1916-1917 and 1921; Leslie F. Gates, 1919-1920; Frank L. Carey, 1924-1925; Samuel P. Arnot, 1928-1929; Philip R. O'Brien, 1941-1944 (resigned mid-year); Harry C. Schaack, 1944-1946; J.O. McClintock, 1947; Richard F. Uhlmann, 1948-1949; Carl E. Bostrom, 1950-1952; Julius Mayer, 1955-1956 (became chairman in August of 1956).

See also Chicago Board of Trade: Assistant to the President records. They contain a small amount of records from CBOT President John Bunnell, who was president in 1927.

  • Names
    • Arnot, Samuel P.
    • Bostrom, Carl E.
    • Carey, Frank L.
    • Chicago Board of Trade.
    • Gates, Leslie F.
    • Griffin, Joseph P.
    • Mayer, Julius
    • McClintock, J.O.
    • O'Brien, Philip R.
    • Schaack, Harry C.
    • Uhlmann, Richard F.
  • Subject
    • Commodity exchanges--Law and legislation.
    • Commodity exchanges.
    • Commodity futures.
    • Futures.
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Illinois--Chicago.
    • United States.