Beautiful certificate from the Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange
issued in 1893. This historic document was printed by the M'Neil Bros. Print Company and has an ornate border around it with company header. This item has the original signatures of the Company’s President, Philo Hersey and Secretary, and is over 119 years old.
California's first general dried fruit growers' cooperative movement was the Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange, incorporated 1892, with Col. Philo Hersey president and moving spirit. It welded together as spokes in the wheel that was its trade~mark a number of smaller neighborhood associations-Col. Hersey's West Side Fruit Growers Association (1891) of the Willows district; the East Side Growers Exchange (1891) of the Evergreen section; F, M. Righter's Campbell Fruit Growers Union (June 1892), and soon after the Berryessa union.
The Exchange, which set up drying and grade standards sold to the best advantage to existing market factors, developed markets, built a twostory 60x150 warehouse on Sunol Street, and added unions from Los Gatos, Saratoga. Mountain View, and Santa Clara. Business forced enlargement of its packing plant (1896) and again (1899). Policies included annual settlement with grower members, of which there were never more than 436, and low salaries to officials. Tonnages handled grew from 3069 in 1893 to 7260 in 1902, the smallest, 2102 in 1895.
Philo Hersey, President of the Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange - The Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange was to appoint agents in all important distributing locations in this country and Europe and have them solicit orders for our approval. This method was very satisfactory to those of us who had the business in hand. We received the product from our members (who voluntarily delivered it), packed and sold for actual cost to them. Figures show that if all the producers of Santa Clara Valley had received the average price we paid our contributors during the 19 years we were in business they would have received $15,000,000 more than they did. This high average price was not satisfactory to our members, however, because they did not get the highest price paid anyone acting independently during the season.
Colonel Philo Hersey practiced law in Belfast until November, 1885. He then removed to Santa Clara, California. In 1876-77, he was on the military staff of Governor Connor, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. From 1877 to 1881, he was Judge of Probate for Waldo County. In 1883, he formed a legal partnership with Colonel William Henry Fogler, which continued until the following year. Upon his departure to California, a farewell entertainment was given him by the Grand Army Post, and he was presented with a gold-headed cane. Colonel Hersey continues to reside in California. He has visited Maine twice within the past four years. His wife, Arbella, daughter of the late Hon. Horatio Huntington Johnson, died in 1895.
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