Stokely-Van Camp

In 1898, five Stokely brothers started a cannery in eastern Tennessee, canning tomatoes grown on local family farms. In 1933, they moved to Indianapolis and the Stokely company acquired the Van Camp companies with Stokely serving as president and chairman. By 1936, Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. was considered the largest vegetable packing company in the world with 21 packing plants scattered across five states, nine of them in Indiana.

The company added frozen foods, and during World War II, it was well-known as the producer of the U.S. Army “C” Rations. Stokely-Van Camp, Inc. was purchased by Quaker Oats in 1983. Quaker, in turn, sold the Stokely line of products to Seneca in 1985 and the Van Camp products to Con-Agra in 1995. Though it no longer has operations in Indianapolis, ConAgra Foods continues to produce Van Camp’s Pork and Beans and other products in the United States under the Van Camp label.

Stokely-Van Camp facility, 1949; Photo credit:
Van Camp’s Pork and Beans; Photo credit: