Fall '97 - Spring '98 Exhibit: Cooperatives In Davis

Davisville Almond Growers Marketing Cooperative

Almond trees appeared in California in 1846. Through the years the planting of almond trees spread and became profitable. In 1863 J. R. and S. C. Wolfskill of Winters marketed 5,000 lb. of almonds. More intense development of almonds resulted in profitability areas and abandonment of almonds in less favorable areas. As varieties improved on production increased, marketing became a problem. Conditions were beginning to necessitate a grower organization for the almond industry. Marketing difficulties, tariff problems, freight rates, and the general movement of grower cooperation were all forces that caused the individual growers to organize.

About fifteen almond growers met in Davisville, Yolo County, on January 23, 1897 to discuss the formation of an organization. A committee composed of George W. Pierce, John W. Anderson, Gen. (W. H.) Marden, E. W. Hammon and James F. Chiles were appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws. At a meeting on January 30, 1897, about seventy-one of the Davisville almond growers united to handle the crop to handle the crop, buy supplies and regulate wages. Organization was effected and a constitution was adopted. Those elected to handle the affairs were: President, J. E. LaRue; vice-president, James F. Chiles; secretary-treasurer. E. W. Hammon. The executive committee consisted of J. E. LaRue, E. W . Hammon, George W. Pierce, Jr., John W. Anderson, and Eli Snider.

The Davisville Almond Growers Association was the recipient of gold metals for the almonds entered by the association at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904 and the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, Portland, Oregon in 1905.

Charter Members

The Constitution Preamble of the Davisville Almond Growers Assn. Stated "The Growing of almonds having become on of the leading industries of this section [,] in order to diffuse knowledge pertaining to the business and secure that measure of success which alone is the result of united effort [,] the undersigned agree to form an association to governed by the following: "With the adoption of the Constitution, the objectives of the organization were outlined and membership dues were set at $2.50 for each grower, male or female.

The following almond growers signed the minutes book and paid their membership dues of $2.50. Today many descendants of these charter members live in the area.

J. E. LaRue for H. M. LaRue & Sons
J. W. Anderson for Anderso Bros
Mrs. Charles Green
E. W. Hammon for Oakshade Fruit Co.
G. K. Swingle
Mrs. Gottfried Schmeiser
Otis B. Wilber
W. H. Baker
Margaret B. Welks
C. C. Agee
Frank Dickerson
R. J. Currey
H. H. Smith for J. E. LaRue
John F. Henle
H. D. Welds
Wing Hi
E.F. Hamel
James Clark
William Oeste
Dan Beeman
Mrs. J. W. Williamson
James F. Chiles
Charles E. Greene
Eli Snider
L. J. Stuart Montgomery
George W. Pierce, Jr.
William H. Marden
W. S. Montgomery
Samuel M. Reid
Jacob Snyder
A. T. Forster
J. D. Rowe, Jr.
Frank Palmer
Mrs. Granville Cecil
Fred C. Roos
??? William's
J. Kubo
Hop Shaffer
Joseph H. Gibson
Gus Haussler
Carl Schmeiser