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Paul R. Hepler Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0239

Scope and Contents

The collection contains research materials produced and collected by Paul Hepler on the subject of growing sugar beets in Maine.

The collection had been re-foldered at an earlier date by Library staff; folder heading have been left as found with information added for clarity if needed. The collection begins with sugar beet and potato research reports, 1964-1972, by Professor Hepler, as well as his correspondence about sugar beets, 1963-1976. The remainder of the collection contains research materials on sugar beets, arranged alphabetically by subject. The files include materials from various sugar beet, fertilizer, seed, and machinery companies, as well as reports from Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Of particular interest in the collection is information about Maine Sugar Industries, Inc., and the financing of its processing plant in Aroostook County. This company had received money through the Aroostook Development Corporation to construct a sugar beet processing plant at Easton, Maine, in 1967. The Development Corporation had obtained state and federal guarantees and loans to finance the project. Farmers in Aroostook County in conjunction with Maine Sugar Industries attempted to establish sugar beets as a viable cash crop but failed to do so, leading to the failure or the company and foreclosure proceedings against it. In 1970 a Special Interim Legislative Committee was created by the Maine legislature to examine the failure of this effort and the Maine sugar beet industry in general. Professor Hepler's study of sugar beet growing in Maine was of particular relevance to the Committee's work.


  • Creation: 1948-1972
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1964-1972


Restrictions on Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Use Restrictions

Information on literary rights available in the Library.

Biographical Note

The collection contains research materials of Paul R. Hepler, an associate professor of horticulture at the University of Maine at Orono. It centers on his study of sugar beet growing in Maine.

Paul Hepler was born in Dover, New Hampshire, on November 27, 1925. He grew up in Durham, New Hampshire, and graduated from Dover High School in 1944. He received a degree in horticulture in 1948 from Michigan State University, and master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. He became a member of the Horticulture Department at the University of Maine at Orono in 1956. His areas of research included the breeding of vegetables and blueberries and crop productivity and quality as related to soil conservation. From 1965 to 1970 he worked on a study of sugar beet varieties in Maine, conducting trials in Presque Isle to determine the best variety for Maine's acidic soil. A report issued in 1971 summarized the results of the trials and discussed the problems encountered, including the short growing season and the highly acid soil found in the state

Professor Hepler retired from the university in 1990 and died on June 8, 2003 at his home in Bangor, Maine.


1.5 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Research materials of Paul R. Hepler, an associate professor of horticulture at the University of Maine at Orono centered on his study of sugar beet growing in Maine.

Conservation Note

The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Photographs have been housed in polypropylene sleeves and remain with the relevant documents.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by Professor Hepler in May, 1987.

Guide to the Paul R. Hepler Papers
Box And Folder List Available
November 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States