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Antrim Iron Company records

Identifier: Collection 207

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the material is reports detailing finances, donations, land holdings, etc. These date from 1914 through 1926.

The collection also includes correspondence, maps, obituaries, a short biography and black and white photos. This information, excluding the correspondence, are originals from sources outside the organization.


  • 1914-1915


Biographical / Historical

Antrim Iron Co. was founded in 1886 in Mancelona, Michigan outside of Furnaceville, Antrim County, Michigan, three years before Mancelona was incorporated in 1889. Mancelona was a station on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad. Willard Barnhart and John C. Holt were the driving forces of the company. The firm harvested lumber products, extracted natural resources such as gas and oil and converted hardwood into charcoal to manufacture iron. In 1945, due to depletion of natural resources, the company’s active operations ceased, though it remained a legal entity for another three decades, primarily as an owner of real estate.

The principal officers of the firm, and at one time Grand Rapids area residents, were:

Willard Barnhart (September 16, 1844 - November 1919) was born in New York, later began working in Schoolcraft Michigan. Later he moved to Grand Rapids, where he engaged in several businesses, such as: Barnhart & Osterhout; Cody, Ball, & Co.; Ball, Barnhart, & Putnam Co. and the First National Bank. He was one of the organizers of and first President of the Antrim Iron Company.

John C. Holt moved to Grand Rapids at 21, at which time he was associated with the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. Holt was also one of the founding members of Antrim Iron Co. and was the vice-president under Willard Barnhart, becoming president on Barnhard’s death in 1919. Holt died in June 1942.

William Judson was born in 1854. He was associated with Willard Barnhart and later Barnhart’s son, Franklin. His first employer was the firm of Barnhart, Osterhout, & Fox. Judson’s business interests were many. They included: The Michigan Bell Telephone Co., Old National Bank and director of the Antrim Iron Co. He died in 1926.

Marshall M. Uhl was the final president of Antrim Iron Co., when it closed in 1945. At one point he was a member of the Board of State Law Examiners. He died in 1965.

J. (Jackman) Palmatier served as the vice president and treasurer of Antrim Iron under Mr. Uhl. Later business dealings consisted of Mr. Palmatier serving as General Manager of the Tanglefoot Co. and secretary and treasurer of Wolverine Finishes.


1.4 Linear Feet (Three boxes)

Language of Materials



The Antrim Iron Company was founded in 1886 in Mancelona, Michigan and converted hardwood into charcoal to manufacture iron. The records provide a limited view of the business via real estate and financial records. The company's active operations ceased in 1945 due to a depletion of natural resources. It remained a legal entity for another three decades, primarily as an owner of real estate. The founding members of the company, Willard Barnhart and John C. Holt, lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Marshall M. Uhl, 1986, accession number 1986.065

Related Materials

Collection 054: Postcard of Antrim Iron at 54-4-13

Finding aid for the Antrim Iron Company records
Aaron Harraman and Richard H. Harms
January 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Rapids History Center Repository

Grand Rapids Public Library
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids Michigan 49503 USA