Collection 2395 - Manhattan Malting Company Records, 1895-1914
Creator: Manhattan Malting Company (Manhattan, Mont.)
Provenance Note: The business ledgers of the Manhattan Malting Company from 1895-1914 were donated to Special Collections by the Gallatin County Justice Center in the fall of 1979 and separated from accession 2083.
Historical Note: In the late 1880s, a group of wealthy New York and Brooklyn maltster became interested in the farming opportunities in Gallatin County. By 1891 they bought 13,000 acres of land next to Manhattan and planted barley. The newly created Manhattan Malting Company was ran by an elite force from back east. Henry Altenbrand, Sr., a wealthy maltster from New York, was named president; Jacob Rupert, vice-president, owned the largest brewery in the world; and George Kinkel, Jr., son of the owner of the New York Yankees, was manager. These men were so influential that in 1891 they had the name of the town changed from Moreland to Manhattan after the Democratic Manhattan Club in New York where most of the stockholders were members. The company quickly grew. By 1892 the first elevator was completed which had a holding capacity of 275,000 bushels of barley. The malting plant was finished a year later and could hold an additional 250,000 bushels. The company purchased a Jacob Price Field Locomotive steam plow in order to farm its vast lands. This plow was the first of its type used in Montana and could plow forty acres a day. The company was building world wide fame as well when its first brewmaster, Louis DeKregnasis's product was famed across the country and was especially liked in Germany. In 1905 the Manhattan Malting Company sold its land to the Manhattan (Ranching) Company. The malting company continued to grow and in 1914 won the award for best malted barley by the Pabst Brewing Company in Milwaukee. The company could not, however, overcome prohibition. The plant closed early in 1915 when Idaho, Oregon and Washington became dry states. The company was forced out of business in 1919 when Montana passed prohibition on 1 January 1919. The malt house was condemned after the earthquake of 1925, but the farm houses of the company are still standing today and are occupied. Many of the older citizens of Manhattan still refer to the buildings as Number One and Number Two, as the malting company designated them. Harry Altenbrand, Jr. was the Manhattan Malting Company manager from 1905 until it closed. His house is now the Masonic Temple in Manhattan.
Content Description Note: The Manhattan Malting Company records include two volumes. The first book is a monthly journal from December 1895 to January 1908, recording transactions from the malt house and elevator, farm, townsite, and freight. The second book is a cash book from February 1909 to October 1914. It is a record of expenses from the malt house and elevator, farm, and townsite.
- Volume 1
- Manhattan Malting Company Journal ledger book, December 1895-January 1908
- Volume 2
- Manhattan Malting Company Cash book, February 1909-October 1914