I decided to explore a box of stock certificates and documents that my paternal grandmother and great-grandmother had. My plan (a.k.a. treasure map) was as follows:
- Sort through the papers and organize by company.
- Determine if the companies still exist (or absolved into other companies).
- Determine if the stocks are still "valid" and if so, are they "transferable."
- Report my progress/findings in later posts.
The best laid plans are never set in stone, and this one was no exception. I completed the first to exploration tasks, but failed to complete the third at this point. I'm completing the last task with the writing of this post.
So, here's what I found...
A 3-inch stack of papers related to stocks owned by my grandmother and great-grandmother (among other family members). I sorted the stack by company and set off to explore whether the companies still existed. I had four holes to dig...read further for what each hole revealed.
Continental Uranium Inc. (n.k.a. Continental Materials Corporation)
Digging in the Continental Uranium Inc., now known as Continental Materials Corp., I found the company still exists (AMEX:CUO), but was not able to find any investor information. I also found paperwork giving ownership of the stocks to my dad after my grandmother died. I don't believe he did anything with them, and because he is deceased, I wonder if ownership can be transferred to me. I did find corporate contact information and plan to inquire about the stocks.
Also in the pile were stockholder notices, voter cards, and an annual report from 1986. What's odd is that there is no paperwork with my dad's name on it (except for the aforementioned) and the annual report was for a year after my grandmother died...hmmm.
Lucky 5 Mining, Milling, Reduction & Development Company
This hold didn't reveal much. There are five certificates: James N GARRISON (one dated 19 February 1914 and one dated 12 June 1915), Sarah Jane Garrison (one dated 2 February 1915 and one dated 17 September 1915), and Joseph B Garrison (dated 12 June 1915).
The certificates are very fragile and hard to read, but it looks like the company was in Arizona. I was unable to find any information on the company. But I have some really cool documents in my collection nonetheless.
St. Stephen Nickel Mines Limited & Atlantic Nickel Mines Limited
Ahh, the St. Stephen Nickel Mines Limited & Atlantic Nickel Mines Limited hole. I knew from the paperwork that these were one in the same company. It started out as St. Stephen Nickel Mines and then changed names in 1963/4 to Atlantic Nickel Mines. Easy enough...but then I had to trace it through many changes to figure out what the company is today, which is Thundermil Resources, Inc. (TSE:THR).
The certificates were in my grandfather's name. There is no paperwork indicating he cashed them in, and I don't see them mentioned in his will. I also have no idea why he invested in Canadian stock. I did find contact information for Thundermil Resources and will inquire.
Handschy Industries, Inc.
So far, all of the holes revealed mining stocks. This hole however revealed Handschy Industries (a.k.a Handschy Chemical Company), which deals with printing supplies. There are a total of 12 certificates: six are issued to my grandmother and six are issued to my great-grandmother. The company is still in business but there is no stock information that I can find. Instead, it looks like it was absolved as a subsidiary into Graphic Packaging International, which appears to be a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company.
Again, I found paperwork giving ownership of the stocks to my dad after my grandmother died, as well as the ones of my great-grandmother. And again, I don't believe he did anything with them, and because he is deceased, I wonder if ownership can be transferred to me. I did find corporate contact information for Graphic Packaging Holding Company and plan to inquire about the stocks.
Also in the pile were stockholder notices, voter cards, letters, and a press release from 1987. What's interesting is that the president of the company was John P McMahon. My great-grandfather was John McMahon, and I wonder if this is one in the same person, or some relation. I will have to look into this!
So there you have it! My treasure hunt, although not 100% complete, did reveal some interesting things, some really neat documents, and further research avenues.
Thanks, Denise, for putting forth this challenge!