Information for Researchers
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection Title: Miller & Lux Records,
Date (inclusive): circa 1869-1965
Collection Number: BANC
MSS C-G 163
Miller & Lux
Number of containers: 183 boxes, 738 cartons, 210 volumes, 3
Linear feet: circa 1037.25
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: The Miller & Lux Records consist primarily of
business, farming, administrative, and legal records. Correspondence files,
which comprise the major portion of this collection, contain few letters
dated prior to 1906, although there are many business, legal, and other
documents before that date. Copious and comprehensive records of
transactions relating to the acquisitions of property in Oregon, Nevada, and
California provide an overview of the company's land sales program and
include materials relating to advertising, sales, cancellations, and prices.
The day-to-day operations of a cattle conglomerate are represented in detail
in the collection, as is Henry Miller's pioneer activity in building
irrigation canal systems and defending his water rights in court.
Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are
stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current
information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for
permission to publish or reproduce must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of
California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000. Permission for publication is
given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical
items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the
original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and
[Identification of item], Miller & Lux records, BANC MSS C-G 163,
The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Alternate Forms Available
Volumes 1, 2, 3, 11, 17 and 192 are also available on microfilm. (BANC
FILM C-G 163)
Miller & Lux ledger, Nov. 30, 1912 - July 28, 1915, BANC MSS
Miller & Lux papers: relating to Bloomfield Farm, BANC MSS 86/210
Miller & Lux, Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita :typescript, BANC MSS
Henry Miller dictation and biographical material, BANC MSS C-D 791
Henry Miller papers, BANC MSS 89/88 c
Henry Miller letters to Patrick Henry Turner, BANC MSS C-G 273 FILM
Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The
Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The
Maps have been transferred to the Map Collection of The Bancroft
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
(Calif. and Nev.) --History
(Calif. and Nev.)--Economic Conditions
The Miller & Lux Records were given to The Bancroft Library by
Miller & Lux over a period of many years (circa 1963-1988).
Additions were made in 2004-2005.
No additions are expected.
In 1857, Henry Miller (1827-1916) and Charles Lux (1823-1887), both German
immigrant butchers, formed the partnership of Miller & Lux. Miller
& Lux both arrived in San Francisco separately around 1850 and began
acquiring land and cattle. It was through their businesses as the cities top
butchers that first brought them together in a joint deal. Their partnership
was solidified when the men married sisters.
Charles Lux handled the marketing in San Francisco while Miller traveled from
ranch to ranch buying acreage and cattle and giving detailed directions on
every aspect of the operation. After Lux's death in 1887, several years of
complicated litigation followed before Miller bought out the Lux heirs and
became the sole owner of Miller & Lux and its wide-ranging holdings.
Miller experimented with developing cattle and sheep breeds particularly
suitable for the West and growing crops like alfalfa, rice, and cotton.
Miller built the first canals in the state and dug thousands of miles of
irrigation ditches around the San Joaquin and Kern rivers. Miller &
Lux became the owner of a host of related subsidiary businesses, including
stores, banks, hotels, irrigation systems, and public utilities. Miller
himself was the major figure in the development of three towns in the
central San Joaquin Valley: Los Banos, Firebaugh, and Dos Palos.
Miller & Lux's control of vast water rights for livestock led to
protracted legal battles against James Ben Ali Haggin and Lloyd Tevis, who
needed irrigation for their huge ranch lands. Hall McAllister successfully
defended the rights of Miller & Lux for many years. By the time
Miller died in 1916, government estimates listed his land holdings as
1,400,000 acres, although the actual amount of land he controlled through
lease and grazing rights was probably far larger.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Miller & Lux Records consist primarily of business, farming,
administrative, and legal records. Correspondence files, which comprise the
major portion of this collection, contain few letters dated prior to 1906,
although there are many business, legal, and other documents before that
date. Copious and comprehensive records of transactions relating to the
acquisitions of property in Oregon, Nevada, and California provide an
overview of the company's land sales program, and include materials relating
to advertising, sales, cancellations, and prices. The day-to-day operations
of a cattle conglomerate are represented in detail in the collection, as is
Henry Miller's pioneer activity in building irrigation canal systems and
defending his water rights in court.
The collection provides an in-depth record of the mature years of Miller
& Lux during a period of modernization and diversification. It
documents the changing role of the company as it gradually eliminated the
three main elements in its growth: cattle, land, and water (by the end of
the 1930's, Miller & Lux had divested itself of land and cattle and
sold its water rights to the U.S. government). Although farming and other
operations continued on a diminishing scale, the company was involved in
protracted litigation arising out of the land sales program, which continued
until the company's dissolution around 1964.