Monday, November 28, 2011

JELLIS CLUTE WILMERDING.......... an original S.F. 49'er

Now that the Wilmerding line of bottles has been brought up again, I felt it would be a good time to share some of the information I've gathered over the yrs. I'll try and add some more to this in the next wk or so.
Within this liquor product line-- Mc Kenna's, S.H.M, C.W. Stuart's, and United We Stand; Jellis Clute Wilmerding (J.C. Wilmerding) was really the key figure. He was more successful than many people realize. According to the 1870 San Francisco census, and years before any of the aforementioned brands were his, he had amassed a "personal worth" of $300,000. The only other person I noticed on that list with a higher worth was Wm Ralston, of Comstock banking fame. J.C. was quite generous with his fortune, and upon his death bequested large sums to various local institutions, associating the Wilmerding name with philanthropy in San Francisco for several generations that followed.

Some other interesting facts about J.C. Wilmerding:

* Born April 28, 1833 in Moscow, N.Y. to Henry Augustus Wilmerding and Nancy Wilmerding
(nee Clute)
* His mother Nancy, died when he was only 12 yrs old (1845)

* His father, Henry, remarried in 1847 a woman by the name of Harriette Elizabeth Kellogg....... yep, I said Kellogg ! (I can hear all yer wheels turnin now !)

* Young Jellis (J.C.) was educated at the Temple Hill Academy in Geneseo, N.Y.

* Barely 16 yrs old, J.C. and two of his cousins, Edward and Felix Tracy, headed from N.Y. for California in 1849 aboard the schooner Samuel M. Fox which they chartered, arriving in San Francisco Sept 21, 1849
They soon pitched a tent on the beach and commenced business (I dont know what the initial 1849 business was..... maybe selling some spirits in those good ole black glass ale bottles ??)

* Bought the Fargo & Co business with Calvin W. Kellogg in Jan of 1869 (they posted several notices in early 1869 in the Sacramento Daily Union stating "Fargo & Co dissolved. Partnership formed under name of Wilmerding & Kellogg, who will continue the business. J.C. Wilmerding, C.W. Kellogg".

* Had $58,500. in liquors on hand during his 1876 property assessment

* He died in San Francisco on Feb 20, 1894 (Lowe Bros registered all of Wilmerding's brands with the State of Ca. later that same year). In 1896, firm becomes Wilmerding-Loewe Co. (J.C. never married nor had children, so there must have been some agreement preceding his death to retain his name and possibly a portion of the business for extended family members (probably his step-mother Harriette Kellogg Wilmerding, who lived until 1901 !)

Calvin W. Kellogg

I believe Calvin Kellogg was still involved financially in the Wilmerding line (after all, he was a banker...), up until his own death in 1895. His initial stayed on the cylinder bottles (W &K ) long after he was not listed officially in the SF Directory with Wilmerding. His initial also stayed on all the Peruvian Bitters square moulds up until the change on the red-whittle mould variant made in the mid 1890's (probably 1895 or 96 right after he died and before Wilmerding-Loewe sold the Peruvian brand ).

* CW Kellogg was a member of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1875. The 1910 History of the S.F. Stock Exchange Board states: " CW Kellogg was a prominent figure for years in mining matters. He controlled the Julia Mining Co and other listed stocks, and amassed quite a forture in Bonanza days". The 1879 Annual Mining Review has him as a trustee in the North Ophir Mining Co Virginia, Nev; North Consolidated Virginia Mining Co; Julia Consolidated Mining Co; Ward Gold & Silver Mining Co,; Rough & Ready Gold Mine, Gold Hill, Nev; and the Seventy-Six Silver Mining Co, Pioneer, Ariz.

* Lived w/ his wife in 1879 at 415 O'Farrell St. S.F.

* President of the Neophyte Club in S.F. in 1885 (don't know what they did in this club??)

* Owned a famous horse named Sam Purdy (whom he named after Samuel Purdy, pres of the 1855 State Senate). Horse ws foaled in 1866 from a mare named "Whiskey Jane". His horse was assessed at a value of $8000. in the 1876 San Francisco Municipal Report.

* Calvin W. Kellogg died April 12, 1895 in San Francisco (about a yr after J.C. Wilmerding). Kellogg was originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan (Wilson states Syracuse, N.Y. but my research showed otherwise. I still don't know Calvin's exact relationship to J.C.'s stepmother, Harriette. Both were Kelloggs and most likely associated with the same Kellogg family in Ann Arbor of later Kellogg's cereal fame. With his death in 1895, the firm's name change in the 1896 SF Directory to Wilmerding -Loewe Co fits correctly. In my opinion, this is when the Loewe Bros got full ownership (from Harriette Kellogg Wilmerding?) and changed the Kellogg's cylinders to "W.L. Co.". This guy was major invested/ involved, for his name to even replace the McKenna's name as the brand on the Nelson County Whiskey bottles and still appear far after his death.
The embossing change from McKenna's to Kelloggs may have also occurred in 1895 or 1896. The W & Co cylinder was probably one yr only (1895 or 96),also accounting for their extreme rarity,
The timing of the deaths of the two principals is very coincidental with the embossing changes on the McKennas/Kelloggs cylinders.
It appears after Kellogg's death, that another family member opened up shop at a different address in 1897 at 122-124 Davis St. Then moved to 404 Sansome St in 1898, until the last listing in 1901 (same year Harriette Elizabeth Kellogg Wilmerding died). She may have been the one selling the later non brand embossed Kellogg whiskies (but not the WL Co Kellogg's Nelson County brand that Loewe bros obtained and registered in 1894). Some speculationn on my part on this, but there was still a C.W. Kellogg Co. listed in the SF Directory selling liquors from 1897-1901, which started two yrs after Calvin died and up until the same yr J.C. Wilmerding's stepmother Harriette died. Coincidence, probably.......but that's what I came up with, anyways..

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.