Guide to the WI E.​C.​ County Circuit Court: T.​A.​ Harrigan vs.​ National Electric Mfg Co Case File,​ 1893-​1904

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Summary Information

Title: Wisconsin. Circuit Court (Eau Claire County): T.A. Harrigan et al. vs. National Electric Manufacturing Company et al. Case File

Inclusive Dates: 1893-1904

Creator: Wisconsin. Circuit Court (Eau Claire County)

Call Number: Eau Claire Series 68

Quantity: 2.2 c.f. (6 archives boxes)

Repository: Housed at the Area Research Center, William D. McIntyre Library, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division

Archival Locations: UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library / Eau Claire Area Research Ctr. 

Abstract: Case papers including complaints and petitions, answers, demurrers, court orders, exhibits, transcripts of testimony, decisions and judgments, and similar records of a case which grew out of the insolvency of an Eau Claire electrical products manufacturing corporation.

Language: English

Search Terms/Subject Terms

  • Harrigan, T.A.
  • National Electric Manufacturing Company
  • Civil law—Wisconsin—Eau Claire County--Cases


Incorporated in 1888 by a group of prominent Eau Claire businessmen, including John S. Owen and Ralph E. Rust (Owen-Rust Lumber Company), the company had sold some 200,000 dollars in stock by 1893 and employed some 200 workers. Its alternating  dynamos, generators, transformers, and related products were marketed across the country until the financial panic of 1893 made many of its credit accounts uncollectable. In May and September, 1893, two company directors, James T. Barber and H.H. Hayden, brought suit against National Electric, securing court appointment of Ralph Rust as receiver to oversee liquidation of the assets to the benefit of the creditors. Rust, arguing that immediate liquidation would harm all concerned, continued operation of the business. In January, 1898, T.A. Harrigan and other National Electric creditors successfully petitioned the court for removal of Rust as receiver, for the removal of Hayden and Barber as plaintiffs in the case, and for the designation of Harrigan et al. as plaintiffs. The plaintiffs charged National Electric, Rust, and many of the directors and stockholders named as co-defendants with conspiracy to defraud the corporation's legitimate creditors. In a decision dated March 26, 1900, Judge A.J. Vinje of Superior, Wisconsin, found for the plaintiffs. He was partially overruled by a Supreme Court of Wisconsin decision dated June 29, 1904.

Scope and Content Note

These records have considerable information on the corporation's sources and amounts of investment capital, on its sales activities, and on its management. The receiver's records, among the exhibits be-ginning on page 4,356, include detailed inventories of corporation as-sets including real and personal property and accounts receivable. In the transcripts of testimony are large portions of the corporation's records entered as evidence.

Arrangement of the Materials

The papers are numbered serially. Materials on pages la to 792a are described in a summary of the case beginning on page 788a. Pages 1-4,355 are transcripts of testimony in the trial which began in August, 1899. The remaining materials, pages 5,356-[6,136] and 1 folder unpaginated include exhibits, exceptions to the Court's rulings and findings, the Supreme Court's ruling, and the final judgment in the case. Note: Pages 6,100-6,136 have been mistakenly numbered 6,000-6,036.