• 1849 in Vermont, Henry (H.D.) David Lee is born.

  • 1862 H.D. Lee moves to Galion, Ohio and becomes a hotel clerk and livery manager. He soon invests money he earned in real estate ventures and purchases the "Central Oil" company which he then sold to John D. Rockefeller's "Standard Oil."

  • 1889 Lee moved on to Salina, Kansas and set up the H.D. Lee Mercantile Co., soon becoming the major food distributor between Kansas City and Denver. Later the product range was expanded to include Sales of notions, furnishings, stationery and school supplies. Later the H.D. Lee Mercantile Co. would solve workwear supply problems by taking matters into its own factory and hence the Lee Jeans brand was born.

  • 1899 H.D. Lee partners with George F. Warren and they charter "Lee Warren Milling Co."

  • 1925 28 year old John J Vanier moves to Salina and purchases controlling interest in the Western Star Milling Company. After rehabilitating the organization from flounder status to that of an efficient and profitable one, he becomes a decision maker in mills in Kansas Oklahoma and Nebraska and eventually sells his interest to ADM.


Information collected for this blog has all been collected from locally owned documents and internet sources.