Wright-Clarkson (Wells-Stone)

The Wright-Clarkson Mercantile Company is the continuation of the old firm of the Wells-Stone Mercantile Company, which was established in 1887. The present company was incorporated fourteen years ago and at once entered upon a career of activity that has brought most satisfactory results and has done a great work in extending the wholesale grocery business that is carried on by Duluth throughout the Northwest. Enjoying great advantages in transportation, this Duluth house simply applied modern methods to the work of proving to the dealers in the inland towns that it could and would make it to their advantage to trade here. And they got the business. They got it every year and in increasing proportions, and now stand well up in the list of big wholesaling and manufacturing grocery houses in the Northwest.

There is no better evidence of the growth of a business house than that which appeals to the eye. To the original plant occupied by the firm, which had a frontage of 50 feet, there has been added 100 feet of frontage five stories high; to this entire frontage of 150 feet it has been found necessary to add another story, making the building six stories high. The business is still growing at a rate that threatens to make further expansion necessary.

A great share of the expansion of trade was brought about by the establishment six years ago of a manufacturing plant, the object of which was to permit the firm to supply its trade with certain staples of the highest standards of purity and which might be guaranteed. Fruits, syrups, package teas, vinegar, extracts, bluing and ammonia are prepared and put out under the firm brands in the factory plant and a wide and spreading reputation has been already earned by the output of the house. The territory from which the firm draws its business includes Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas and Canada.

Of the old Wells-Stone Company there are but two members in the Wright-Clarkson Mercantile Company, and these are F. A. Clarkson, vice-president, and G. A. Everest, treasurer. The other officers of the company are A. S. Brown, president, and F. C. Berry, secretary. J. O. Lenning, a practical and experienced grocery man of Webster City, Ia., became a member of the firm and is general manager of the business.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
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