The Valley of Heart's Delight

George A. Fleming Company, fruit-driers and dealers in dried fruit.  At the Willows, in 1877, George A. Fleming commenced, in an  experimental way, the drying of fruit.  The discouragements of the first years were many; much had to be learned, the people being slow to believe that the American prune or apricot could equal imported fruit.  In fact, the often unsatisfactory condition of the first fruits sent from this Sate to the eastern marked did much to confirm the prevalent prejudice against all American dried fruit.  There were those who believed that patience and care could remedy all existing deficiences, and in time created a demand for California fruits that would make their production a source of great profit, and build up an industry that would employ thousands, and bring wealth to Santa Clara Valley.  Among these was George A. Fleming.  Holding steadily to that faith he gained each year in experimental knoweldge. With the increased production, his business steadiy increased, until it has grown to its present magnificent proportions.

Associated with him is his brother , Charles F. Fleming.  Their interest becoming too large for persoanl supervision, the Goerge A. Fleming Company was organized, under the state laws of Illinois, in decmenber, 1887, with a capital stock of $250,000.  Of this stock the Flemings  own three-fourths.  The incorporators are as follows:  George A. Fleming, President; Charles F. Fleming, Treasurere and vice-President;  Thomas Caldwallader, of Chicago, Secretary; and R. D. Shaw and George T. McLaughlin, of San Jose.  The last-named gentlemen have  been in the employ of the Flemings several years, and are now the superintendents of the two drying establishments, one a the Willows, and the other  at Campbell Station. The latter establishment was erected in 1887,  The company own, at Rock Island, Illinois, their own distributing depot, handling all of their own goods.  There sixty hands are employed, under the superintendendance of  Charles F. Fleming.  The business office of the company is in Chicago, under the charge of Mr Cadwaller, the secretary of the corporation.  The mangement of the driers, and the purchase of stock, are under the superintendence of George A Fleming, who resides at the Willows.  During the active drying season of 1887, about 700 employes composed the force, and 1.800 tons of apricots (green fruit), and over 2,500 tons of other fruit were handled.  the company deal largely in fruits cured by others.  They shipped, of the crop of 1887, about 120 car loads of dried fruit, about two-thirds of which was cured by themselves. Their black Diamond brand, and Fleming's raisin-cured prunes, are favorites in the market.----

Pen Pictures from the Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. Edited by H.S. Foote, Published, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1888- pages 538-539

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