Odebolt Popcorn - American Popcorn Company

Odebolt History Pages

Source: "As Time Goes By", Odebolt, Iowa 1877-1977, 
printed by The Odebolt Chronicle May, 1977 page 125.

The American Pop Corn Company came into existence in 1914, founded by Cloid H. Smith, who had a farm north of Odebolt. The first popcorn sold by the American Popcorn Company was a 25 lb. shipment purchased by a man in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Smiths picked the corn on their farm, moved it by wagon to Sioux City where they shelled, cleaned and graded the corn. By the end of the first year, 75,000 lbs. had been sold. A storage crib was built with a 500,000 lb. capacity by the end of 1914 in Sioux City (Leeds).

In 1915 a new building for shelling and cleaning was constructed adjacent to the new crib, and today the same site houses the main processing facilities of American Popcorn Co. In 1918 a storage crib was built in Schaller and then an elevator started. In July, 1921, James L. Bruce, who was in the grain business in Odebolt bought the Schaller property and named it Iowa Popcorn Co., but by April, 1926, this company was dissolved and the American Pop Corn Co. bought it back. In 1924 popcorn was first packaged in metal cans under the name Jolly Time.      - By Mrs. Frances Sandberg

Excerpts from: Sioux City History, American Pop Corn Company

Cloid H. Smith

"Jolly Time popcorn began in the basement of the Cloid H. Smith in the year 1914.  At the time popcorn was not available in most grocery stores. A grocer who wished to sell popcorn would have to buy it in bulk or still on the cob.

Mr. Smith began his business career in Odebolt, Iowa. He was at different times a druggist, an inventor of veterinary medicines and hand lotions, an oil driller in Texas, and the owner of the first telephone company in Odebolt. He moved to Sioux City in 1912 and sold his business to the Bell Telephone Company. With part of the money from the sale of his company he purchased farm land north of Odebolt. This area was known for the popcorn it raised. When the price offered was so low that Mr. Smith decided to go into the business himself

He decided he would produce and package a high quality popcorn that would be consistent from one bag to the next. The Smiths picked the popcorn from their farm and moved it by wagon to Sioux City. In their home at 2727 Nebraska the family shelled, cleaned, and graded the corn. The business was a success. In the first year the family sold over 75,000 pounds of popcorn and the name Jolly Time became well known. ...

 ...Now in the fourth generation of the Smith family, the company continues to be a leader in the field. "

Read more about Cloid H. Smith, and his role in the early days of Odebolt.
Jolly Time Pop Corn website

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