Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution

Z. C. M. L, the initials of the largest and most important commercial establishment in the Rocky Mountain region, are well known in business and financial circles throughout America and Europe.

Organized October 16, 1868, business commenced in March of the following year, the first year's sales amounting to $1,230,700. Since that time the total sales have reached the enormous sum of $130,000,000, averaging more than $3,000,000 per annum for over forty years. In 1908 the sales were almost $6,000,000.

Since the period of organization the cash dividends have aggregated $3,369,598.15, an average of more than 9 per cent, for the entire period, although for several years past a dividend of 12 per cent has been paid. The stock is held by about 600 stockholders, who reside in all parts of the world.

The store originally occupied 50 x 315 ft. A store of similar size was soon added, and later a store 60 foot front was built to the north. The Institution now covers a floor space of 200,000 square feet, and a further extension is now being planned. Retail departments occupy the ground floor, the basement and two upper floors being used for wholesale and offices.

The building is heated throughout by exhaust steam and lighted by electricity from its own plant, the steam boilers being located in a separate building in the rear of the premises, and the engines and electrical machinery in the basement of the factory building.

Recently a sprinkling system, the first in Utah, was installed at a cost of $26,000, to safeguard the building against fire. The essential feature is a valve made of fusible metal, which melts at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and throws water at the rate of 125 gallons a minute, completely saturating every inch of space within a radius of from 9 to 12 feet per sprinkler head. There are 3,700 of these sprinkler heads, placed eight feet apart, over 300,000 feet of pipe being necessary to install the system.

In 1905 a warehouse 120 x 200 feet, having three floors, was erected on Fourth West Street, convenient to both railway depots, just south of Second South, at an expense of $40,000.

Over 500 employees are on Z. C. M. I.'s pay-roll, the salaries totaling over $30,000 a month.

In connection with the store a shoe factory was established in 1870, and in 1878 a clothing factory. The factory building, located in the rear of the store, is 50 x 165 feet in size, and contains four floors and a basement. The capacity is 500 pairs of shoes and 100 dozen denim garments daily.

The Institution has branches at Provo, Utah, and Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The officers and directors are: Joseph Smith, president; George Romney, vice-president; Thomas G. Webber, secretary; A. W. Carlson, treasurer. Directors: Heber J. Grant, John R. Winder, John R. Barnes, John Henry Smith, Francis M. Lyman, Anthon H. Lund, Wm. H. McIntyre, Reed Smoot, T. G. Webber, L. S. Hills, A. W. Carlson; Thomas G. Webber, general manager.  

P. W. Madsen's Salt Lake Business House

Utah's Great Slaughtering Plant, Salt Lake City



Source: Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, Published by The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1909 



Back to AHGP

Copyright August © 2011 - 2024 AHGP AHGP The American History and Genealogy Project.
Enjoy the work of our webmasters, provide a link, do not copy their work