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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
Sacramento County

 

FERDINAND KOHLER

An almost universal progressive tendency in business circles and an expansion of commercial affairs commensurate with local development have been noticeable in the history of Sacramento during the opening years of the twentieth century. One of the very few exceptions to the otherwise universal rule of expansion has been the history of the milling industry, which has been injuriously affected by the lessened wheat acreage in Northern California. The land having proved adapted to crops exceedingly remunerative in value has been taken from its original cultivation in grain and has been devoted to more profitable uses. As a result many mills have discontinued business and of those still in operation the Phoenix is one of the few that shows a constantly increasing patronage. The cause of this prosperity is not difficult to ascertain. It is a result of superior business management and the securing of a product of unsurpassed quality.

The secretary and treasurer of the Phoenix flouring mill is a native of Germany, but has made America his home since 1872 and at the expiration of two years in Montana he came to Sacramento in 1874, since which time he has risen to prominence among the business men of the city. The firm of George Schroth & Co. purchased the mill in 1881 and incorporated the business under the name of the Phoenix Milling Co. in 1892. The original president was George Schroth, who died in 1902. Ferdinand Kohler, who was the first secretary and treasurer, has continued in the office up to the present time and has given his time closely to the upbuilding of the business. The first directors were J. G. and W. C. Schroth and J. II. Arnold, in addition to the president and secretary. The company met with a severe loss in 1885, when the plant burned to the ground, But in rebuilding a more substantial structure was erected and more modern equipment provided, so that every facility has been secured for the attainment of satisfactory results.

The fact that the company has agents and warehouses at Placerville, Chico and Oakland proves the importance of its business and the expansion of its interests. The output averages three hundred and fifty barrels per day, twenty-five tons of rolled barley and twenty tons of other mill feed. The reputation of the mill has been greatly enhanced by the manufacture of their famous specialty. White Rose wheat flakes, a favorite cereal among the people of Northern California and a product whose superior quality has resulted in an enormous sale in every locality where introduced. 


Source:
History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011