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Register of the Roley E. Wilhoit Business Ledgers, 1891-1910
Mss113  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The four ledgers in this collection record Roley E. Wilhoit's various business transactions between January 1891 and January 1902. During these years, Wilhoit sold insurance, bought, sold and rented San Joaquin county real estate, operated farms, lent money, and sold stock in various entities, including: a dredging company; gas wells; the Pioneer Hall Association; the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank; the Stockton Land Loan & Building Assn.; and, the Stockton Savings & Loan Assn. Wilhoit did business with most of the well-known citizens of Stockton. Among the names found in these ledgers are those of Thomas Cunningham (for many years San Joaquin County Sheriff), G.A. Shurtleff (Director, Stockton State Hospital), the Shippee family (Stockton Harvester Mfg. Co.), the Woods family (Lodi agriculture), the Roberts family (Roberts Island agriculture), the Sperry family (Sperry Mills)and the Sargent family (northern San Joaquin County and Delta agriculture). These volumes provide what is possibly the most complete and detailed picture of the economic life of Stockton and San Joaquin county during the 1890s. The collection also contains a cashbook of the Woods, Wilhoit & Douglass Co. (1906-10).
Background
Roley E. Wilhoit was born in Illinois (1830) and came across the plains to California during the gold rush (1850). He mined for a time, then settled in Stockton (1852) where he labored for nine years as a teamster, forming the partnership of Bostwick & Wilhoit. During 1861 Wilhoit was elected county recorder. He held this post until 1868, at which time he began an abstract, conveyancing and real estate business. Wilhoit was a member of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors for six years (1872-1878), president of the county school board, and, a director (1875-1909), and later president (1909-1917) of the Stockton Savings and Loan Society. He was also active in the Society of San Joaquin Pioneers. In 1886 Wilhoit's two sons, George E. and Eugene, joined him in his abstract & title and insurance business. Both sons married daughters of wealthy pioneer landowners. These connections gave rise to the land development firm of Woods, Wilhoit & Douglass which worked during the early years of the present century to develop the southernmost delta islands for agricultural use. At his death, Roley E. Wilhoit was arguably the wealthiest, most powerful man in Stockton (1922).
Availability
Collection is open for research.