Subseries 16.3 - J.M. Schneider Inc. : Employees

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J.M. Schneider Inc. : Employees

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  • 1905-1978 (Creation)

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Biographical history

The Schneider family were white settlers of what is now Kitchener, Ontario. Members of the family are the descendants of Johann Christoph Schneider, who was born in Germany, in Unteröwisheim, Baden, on August 27, 1831. His father, a farmer, was also Johann Christoph Schneider; his mother was Margarethe Elizabeth Zoller. He left Germany in 1847 when he was sixteen years old and settled in Berlin, Ontario, where a substantial German settlement already existed. He worked as a carpenter and later as a mechanic, and by 1858 was a building contractor. He married Anna Elizabeth Metz on April 26, 1857. They had seven children, of whom John Metz Schneider, founder of the meat packing firm later known as the Schneider Corp., was the first. Johann Christoph died in December 20, 1900. He, along with his descendants, played active roles in business, politics, and the cultural and social life of what is today the Region of Waterloo.

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Administrative history

In 1890 J.M. Schneider began to make sausages full time in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario. In 1891 he opened his first shop on Courtland Ave. next to his home. In 1909 he made the first additions to his plant and in 1912 organized his business as a joint stock Company under the name of J.M. Schneider & Sons Ltd. J.M.'s sons Charles, Norman and Fred were all involved in the business.

J.M.'s business grew and prospered as did Kitchener, renamed in 1916. By 1925 the company employed 131 people and had sales of $1.5 million. A new 100,000 square foot plant was built at that time. By 1965 almost 1,400 people were employed at the Courtland Ave. plant and in 1970 the company's shares were listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 1975 Schneider Corp. was set up as a holding company, with J.M. Schneider Inc. as its meat processing division. In 1979 the company was reorganized. Heritage Group Inc. was the new holding company with J.M. Schneider Inc. as one of five operating subsidiaries. In 1985 the company lost money for the first time and in 1988 employees went on strike for the first time. After several years of losses, layoffs and restructuring, the company was sold to Smithfield Foods Inc. on Dec. 17, 1997.

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Subseries consists of records related to Schneider's employee including the activities of the Schneider Male Choir and Chorus.

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