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 Claus Spreckels

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Claus Spreckels

Birth
Lamstedt, Landkreis Cuxhaven, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
Death 26 Dec 1908 (aged 80)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA
Plot Spreckles Mausoleum, Sec. L, Lot 177
Memorial ID 5309 View Source
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Sugar Magnate. After arriving in the United States, Spreckels moved around the country and started a few businesses; a grocery store in South Carolina, then a brewery in San Francisco, until he entered the sugar business in the mid- 1860s and dominated the Hawaiian sugar trade. In 1888, Spreckels opened the largest beet sugar factory in the U.S. named the Western Beet Sugar Company in Watsonville. Eleven years later, he opened an even larger factory closer to the fields and named the new factory Spreckels Sugar Company. The town that grew around the plant, Spreckels, California, still exists today. Spreckelsville was founded in 1878 on the northern shore of Maui. After befriending the adviser to King Kalākaua, Spreckels made personal loans to the king and in return, Spreckels’ land holdings and water rights increased. Being a poker-playing companion of the King, won Spreckels’ additional political favor, until the King and his adviser incurred gambling debts and after a while, tired of Spreckels’ demands and secured a loan from a London creditor thereby freeing himself from Spreckels influence. After the overthrow of the monarchy, Spreckels’ gradually withdrew his money from his island investments and eventually sold the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) to Alexander & Baldwin. Spreckels’ sugar monopoly was eventually broken by the California and Hawaiian Sugar Company (C&H), though the Western Sugar Refinery in San Francisco continued to operate until 1951. Beginning in 1894, his family life made headline news with their family feuds over money, property, company stock, slander, blackmail and multiple lawsuits. More than two dozen articles have been written about Family Feuds, some that continued four years after his death. Additional naming legacies include: Sprecks Beach, north of Spreckelsville, the Spreckels-Organ-Pavilion and Spreckels Theatre Building in San Diego, California named for his son, Spreckels Lake on the northern side of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, a number of streets in Aptos, California including Spreckels Drive and Claus Lane, and even a street in Germany, Claus-Spreckels- Straße in Lanstedt. Other noteworthy accomplishments include: being one of the original investors in the Santa Cruz Railroad, President of the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railway until it was sold in 1901 to the Santa Fe Railway, in 1880 acquired and became publisher of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser in Hawai'i, and he gifted the city of San Francisco with the Spreckels Temple of Music, an outdoor classical-style music structure, known as “The Bandshell.”

Bio by: Carrie M



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 29 Apr 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5309
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/5309/claus-spreckels : accessed ), memorial page for Claus Spreckels (9 Jul 1828–26 Dec 1908), Find a Grave Memorial ID 5309, citing Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .