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Butler Vineyard Ledger, 1903-1915
MSS 181  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Butler Vineyard Ledger lists receipts and expenditures of a raisin vineyard in Fresno County, California from February 1903 to February 1915.
Background
Alban Bernard Butler was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on June 17, 1852. He was married to Luvean Jones Butler. In 1887, Butler purchased a parcel at 420 acres in the Easterby Rancho subdivision in Fresno County, California. The Easterby Rancho area is currently located in southeast Fresno, California near the Sunnyside neighborhood. Butler expanded his holdings to 600 acres to grow raisin grapes. According to the Fresno Morning Republican, his expertise quickly made his raisin vineyard known as one of the largest in the world. The newspaper also noted that the success of Butler Vineyard often led to foreign and domestic governments visiting the vineyard to understand the raisin business. In 1894, Butler and another raisin farmer William Forsyth created the Raisin Growers Packing Association of Fresno and went to Washington D.C. to advocate for new tariff laws. By 1905, Butler sold his vineyard to J. S. Herman, a real estate investor, for $54,000. Following the sale of the vineyard, Butler invested in real estate when he bought the Bank of Central California building and rental properties in Fresno, however he moved out of the county. After the sale of his vineyard, Butler started investing in oil in Kern County, California and in Arizona until his death on July 11, 1924 in Washington D.C. The owners of the vineyard during 1903-1915 were A. B. Butler and J. S. Herman, however the manager of the estate during that time frame was Julian J. Miley. The sale of Butler Vineyard from A. B. Butler to J.S. Herman became the subject of a civil court case in January 1910. Butler contended that he did not give his manager, J. J. Miley, authorization to complete the sale of the vineyard to J. S. Herman.
Extent
One ledger, 15 in. x 6 in. x 1/2 in.
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Fresno County Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Society archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Fresno City and County Historical Society 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.
Availability
Collection is open for research by appointment only. Email archives@valleyhistory.org for more information.