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Records of the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association

Identifier: ARMB

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association consists of documents dated 1916 to 1985, with the bulk falling between 1960 and 1973. Although there are no recorded minutes from the first meeting, the collection contains minutes for the second and every subsequent annual meeting. The minutes document meetings pertaining to the production and sales of beans in the Rocky Mountain region and consist of both typed and handwritten pages, including some pages written in shorthand.

In addition to the minutes, materials include organizational records, correspondence, bulletins sent to members, a list of past presidents, financial documents, directories, and a 1980 report on the Mexican dry bean crop. The correspondence includes letters received and responses by association secretary Ruth Tallman between 1963 and 1972. The bulletins discuss financial reports and pricing, bean labeling standards, warehouse regulations, bean research programs, locations for yearly meetings, and obituary notices for members and their relatives.


  • Creation: 1916-1985
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960-1973


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, the collection is stored off-site so advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


The Rocky Mountain Bean Jobbers Association was founded in 1916 as a forum for members to discuss the prices, transportation, storage, growth rates, and marketing of dry edible beans. T.D. Phelps was elected in 1916 to serve as the first president of the association, with G.G. Willson elected as vice-president. A member roster lists 41 people present at the second annual meeting, representing grain elevator operators, seed storage companies, and produce wholesalers from Colorado and New Mexico.

Elections were held each year to select a new president, vice president, and officers of the board of directors. The Association worked with the Colorado Agricultural College to preserve the bean industry, and the two entities jointly prepared a leaflet about acreage in 1919 to distribute to growers.

Members voted in 1920 to change the name of the organization to the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association, and the change was officially filed in 1921. Minutes from that year recorded the names of 40 members from Colorado and New Mexico. In 1921, membership declined by ten percent, and the minutes indicate that members of the organization were affected by an economic recession. Other than small fluctuations from year to year, membership did not increase again until 1939.

During World War II, the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association grew in membership and in area, expanding from Colorado and New Mexico to include Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana in 1954. By 1961, the Association also included members in Idaho. The organization corresponded with other bean associations including the California Bean Dealers Association, and collaborated with government entities such as the Food Administration in Washington, D.C. A joint meeting of the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association and the California Bean Growers Association was held in Denver in 1961, with the goal of ensuring fair practices in the buying and selling of bean products by members.

In July 1968, Bernard Brown of the Rocky Mountain and Western Bean Dealers Market Development Federation was sent to Western Europe to determine the severity of a drought there. The drought resulted in a higher demand for beans exported by Federation associations, including the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association. Later that summer, a conference of the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association was held at Colorado State University.

In the years between 1930 and 1969, the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association maintained an office in the Cooper Building in Denver, Colorado. In 1969 the Association moved to 2401 East 2nd Avenue in Denver, and by 1980 the office had moved to 7100 Broadway. As the Association prepared to celebrate its centennial, member states included Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.


2 linear feet (1 record carton, 1 document case)

Language of Materials



The Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association, founded in 1916 as the Rocky Mountain Bean Jobbers Association, was organized to support members and promote their products. The records consist primarily of meeting minutes, general correspondence, member rosters, bulletins, and financial documents.


The collection consists of one record carton and one document case, with folders arranged alphabetically by title.


The collection was donated to the Colorado Agricultural Archive in 1982 by Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association secretary Paula Geary. In 2004 the Colorado Agricultural Archive was transferred to the Colorado State University Libraries and the archive name was later changed to the Agricultural and Natural Resources Archive.

Related Collections

The Agricultural and Natural Resources Archive also preserves the Records of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the Records of the Colorado Grain and Feed Dealers Association.


Processing was completed in December 2016. Materials were re-housed in acid-free folders and archival record cartons, and metal fasteners were removed. Duplicates beyond two copies were not retained.

Guide to the Records of the Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers Association
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Erin Richter and Linda M. Meyer
Copyright 2017
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA