Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

Harvard Business School Baker Library Historical Collections

Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

The Midland Company - Lehman Brothers Collection

The Midland Company

List of Deals

The Midland Company was a holding company that grew around selling mobile homes. Through its many subsidiaries, the Midland Company sold mobile homes, several types of insurance, and home and installment loans.

Midland originated in 1938 as Midland Discount Corporation, which provided financing for car buyers. J. Page Hayden and J. R. LaBar founded the company, and their families continued to control 40 percent of the company stock into the twenty-first century.

Midland began expanding into consumer finance in 1941, and by 1949 the company was selling mobile home loans. Midland-Guardian Company was incorporated in 1952 under the name Midland Trailer Finance Company. Midland-Guardian first sold stock to the public in 1961.

The stock sale funded an expansion into more diversified fields. The company began building mobile homes in 1965. It produced 1,400 mobile homes in its first year; this increased to 3,000 by 1968. Midland formed a subsidiary, the American Modern Home Insurance Company, in 1965 and began focusing more on insurance sales.

Midland Company was incorporated in Ohio in 1968 as a parent company of Midland-Guardian and various other subsidiaries. All Midland-Guardian shares were exchanged for Midland shares at that point. Midland also created a new subsidiary in 1968, M-G Transport Services, a transit company that focused on the shipping on the Ohio-Mississippi River system. The company also expanded its home manufacturing and began distributing mobile homes in 1968.

Midland began selling shares on the American Stock Exchange in 1969. The sale of nearly $5 million in additional stock was designed to pay off short-term debt and to fund additional mobile home manufacturing plants. Sales for Midland were $17.9 million in 1964, $29.9 million in 1966, and $41.8 million in 1968.

Note: Midland Company maintains a website with a company history at midlandcompany.com.

Harvard Business School Harvard Business School Baker Library Histrorical Collections