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Register of the Lindley Family Papers, 1890-1928
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lindley Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1890-1928
    Collection number: Mss184
    Creator: Frank B. McKevitt
    Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lindley Family Papers, Mss184, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


    Thomas Morton Lindley, Sr. (1819-1896) was founder and proprietor of the firm of Lindley & Co. of Sacramento. Born in Indiana, he came to California seeking gold in 1849. In that year Lindley began the firm of Lindley & Booth which was succeded by several other mercantile partnerships until the creation of Lindley & Co. (1869). Douglas A. (D.A.) Lindley, T.M. Lindley's eldest son became a partner in 1886. He subsequently incorporated the company, first as Lindley Mercantile Company (1904), then as Lindley and Company (1919).
    The original Lindley & Company (1869-1928) was a wholesale grocer, tea importer and coffee roaster. Lindley and Co. became identified with "Cherub Brand Foods" and "Lindley's Motor Coffee," so named because its quality purportedly moved it rapidly from the grocer's shelf. Later, the Lindleys were involved in many additional enterprises including land sales, canal, railroad and transportation development and ranching in Sacramento, as well as land development in Yuma County, Arizona, through the Mohawk Canal and Improvement Company (ca. 1892-1901). The family owned a Red Bluff farm from the time they entered the wholesale grocery business. Douglas Lindley later purchased Maxwell Ranch in Plumas County with his brother Morton (1911). Douglas' health began to fail around 1920 and, following his suicide (1928), his wife, Mary, sold the company. Mary B. Lindley (ca. 1867-1956), formerly Mary Denson, subsequently married William A. Briggs.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists chiefly of the papers of D.A. Lindley and his wife, Mary B. Lindley. They include family correspondence, business documents (including deeds, bills of sale, advertising, minutes, articles of incorporation and stock certificates) and a few photographs. Most records of the wholesale grocery company date from 1920-1928. The Lindley's efforts to develop the Sacramento and Yolo Belt Line electric railway (1908-1912) are represented by three ledger books, including: the by-laws, noting incorporation of March 21, 1912; a stock ledger and record book (1908); and a board of directors minutebook (1908-1910).