The Bancroft Library in the center of the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, is the university's primary special-collections library. It was acquired from its founder, Hubert Howe Bancroft, in 1905, with the proviso that it retain the name Bancroft Library in perpetuity; the collection at that time consisted of 50,000 volumes of materials on the history of California and the North American West. It is the largest such collection in the world; the building the library is located in, the Doe Annex, was completed in 1950. The Bancroft Library's inception dates back to 1859, when William H. Knight, in Bancroft's service as editor of statistical works relative to the Pacific coast, was requested to clear the shelves around Bancroft's desk to receive every book in the store having reference to this country. Looking through his stock he was agreeably surprised to find some 75 volumes. There was no fixed purpose at this time to collect a library. Noticing accidentally some old pamphlets in an antiquarian book-store, he thought to add these to his nucleus.
During his next visit to the eastern states, without special pains or search, he secured whatever fell under his observation in second-hand stores of New York and Philadelphia. He had begun to feel satisfied. "When, however, I visited London and Paris, rummaged the enormous stocks of second-hand books in the hundreds of stores of that class, my eyes began to open.... And so it was, when the collection had reached one thousand volumes, I fancied. Special journeys were made to all parts of Europe, as well as the Americas, in the interest of his collection. "And not only was every nook and corner of the world thus ramsacked, but whole libraries were purchased as opportunity offered." While his vague ideas of materials for writing a history assumed more definite form, Bancroft had as yet no idea of writing a history himself. As the collecting proceeded his subject enlarged, until the territory covered was the entire western part of North America from Panama to Alaska, including the Rocky Mountain region, all Central America and Mexico, or about one-twelfth of the earth's entire surface.
The bibliophile reached the settled determination to make his collection as complete as it was possible to make it. Neither time, nor money, nor personal attention would be spared. Agents were appointed in all the leading book marts of the world. By buying up at auction in European cities' individual collections, libraries, the Bancroft Library was enriched beyond measure. In 1869, it is reported that Bancroft held, including about 16,000 volumes; these were lodged on the fifth floor of the Market Street building, the original home of the library having been a corner of the second story of the building on Merchant Street. Bancroft now decided to begin literary work, but the collecting went forward without interruption. Trembling for the safety of the library through fear of fire, he lent a willing ear to his nephew's proposal to absorb the fifth floor for the purposes of the manufacturing department, of which he had charge, he would erect on some convenient spot a fireproof library building. Among the places considered were Oakland, San Rafael, San Mateo, Menlo Park.
The library was moved to the building October 9, 1881. There the library stood for years; when the question of State purchase was taken up, the Bancroft Library was said to contain from 50,000 to 60,000 volumes of books, pamphlets and manuscripts. Prof. Joseph Cummings Rowell, Librarian of the State University, after careful personal examination, estimated the number at 40,000 as a total. For many years, the collection had been offered for sale, Bancroft holding it at US$250,000, but a fractional part of the original cost and yet doubtless above the market price, which Rowell estimated at about $140,000, if the complete subject index be included. In 1887, a bill was presented in the State Legislature to purchase the library for the State for $250,000, but the proposition was defeated; some years the University of Chicago considered buying it. In 1905, Reuben Gold Thwaites, Librarian of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, one of the foremost book experts in America, was invited to examine the Bancroft Library, "with a view to ascertaining its condition and, so far as may be, its marketable value."
In his report, Thwaites characterized the collection of documents, books and other materials, estimating the total value at upwards of $300,000. The report itself was published November 1905, as a 20-page pamphlet; the Report of the Secretary to the Regents of the University of California, year ending June 30, 1906 noted, "The Bancroft Library, incomparably superior to any other existing collection as a mine of primary historical material for all western America, a collection which could not remotely be imitated, at no matter what cost, was acquired by the University on November 24, 1905, at a cost of $250,000. Of this amount Mr. H. H. Bancroft, whose ingenuity and skill created this collection, donated $100,000. Of th
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an
Imperial Sugar is a major U. S. sugar producer and marketer based in Sugar Land, with sugar refinery operations in California and Louisiana. The company has undergone ownership changes multiple times; the current name, Imperial Sugar Company, was established after a change in ownership in 1907. The company went through major expansion through acquisitions beginning in 1988, but filed for bankruptcy in 2001, emerging in the same year and embarking on a downsizing strategy; as of May 2012, the company was in the process of being purchased once more and converted from a public to a private company by Louis Dreyfus Group of the Netherlands. The company has, since its inception, been headquartered in Sugar Land; the company was founded in 1843 by Samuel May Williams and passed through a series of owners until its purchase in 1907 by the I. H. Kempner family of Galveston; the company was renamed the Imperial Sugar Company, in an effort to emphasize quality. Up until 1988 the company had only one plant, at its original location in Texas, when they purchased the Holly Sugar Corporation, a sugar beet processor headquartered in Colorado Springs.
At that time Imperial Sugar Company became Imperial Holly Corporation and began publicly trading on Nasdaq. Since that initial acquisition the company has made several more which doubled the corporation's size each time; the company's name returned to Imperial Sugar Company in 1999. On January 17, 2001, the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, attributing its problems to lower sales for refined sugar as well as higher energy costs. On August 29, 2001, the company emerged from Chapter 11 and has since turned its focus inward as it downsizes its operations. In 2003, Imperial won the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for their innovative use of web technology to help turn around their business; the company no longer refines sugar at its original plant in Sugar Land but their corporate headquarters are still located in its founding city. On December 19, 2010, two buildings of the Sugar Land factory were demolished by explosion to spread the development of the property for residences, business properties and park land.
In 2010, Imperial contributed its aging nineteenth-century Gramercy, Louisiana refinery to Louisiana Sugar Refiners, LLC in exchange for a one-third interest in the new company. LSR commenced operations on January 1, 2011. LSR now operates a state-of-the-art sugar refinery on Louisiana site. Imperial will continue to operate a small-bag processing facility at Gramercy. On February 7, 2008, an explosion—likely caused by an overheated bearing on a conveyor beneath the sugar silos, which ignited sugar dust spread in a chain reaction of sugar dust explosions in the finished sugar packaging area of the plant—at a Port Wentworth, Imperial Sugar refinery killed 14 people and injured over 40. OSHA had been criticized in a 2006 US Chemical Safety Board report for lack of preparation for such explosions and a safety program which "inadequately addresses dust explosion hazards"; the plant built as the Dixie Crystals sugar refinery in 1916-1917, was acquired by Imperial Sugar in 1997. At the time of its purchase, the Port Wentworth refinery was the second-largest sugar refining operation in the U.
S. As of August 26, 2008, the death toll had risen with one still in critical condition. On 1 May 2012, Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC announced that one of its subsidiaries would acquire all outstanding Imperial Sugar stock for $6.35 per share and assume $125 million in Imperial Sugar debt. The price per share represented a 57% premium over Imperial Sugar's closing price on 30 April. A spokesman for Dreyfus group said the acquisition was part of the company's efforts to expand into refining and distribution of sugar. Imperial Sugar Company corporate website Imperial Sugar brand consumer website Dixie Crystals brand consumer website Imperial Sugar Company from the Handbook of Texas Online Imperial Sugar Commercial, no.2, from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image
King City, California
King City is a city in Monterey County, United States. King City is located on the Salinas River 51 miles southeast of Salinas, at an elevation of 335 feet, it lies along U. S. Route 101 in the Salinas Valley of the Central Coast. King City is a member of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments; the population was 12,874 at the 2010 census. It is a small town; the first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolá expedition, camped on the Salinas River just south of today's King City on September 26, 1769, having followed the route of today's Jolon Road from the south. King City was known as King's City for its founder, Charles King. In 1884 Charles King acquired 13,000 acres of the Mexican land grant Rancho San Lorenzo, began growing 6,000 acres of wheat; the town began as a train stop in 1886 for the Southern Pacific Railroad to service the farms and ranches in the south Salinas Valley and to transport the goods to San Francisco and Los Angeles. It was called "Hog Town" since swine were one of the major agricultural products of the area in the 1880s.
The King City post office first opened in 1887. King City incorporated under the name "City of King" in 1911. J. Ernst Steinbeck, father of the novelist John Steinbeck, claimed to have been the first permanent resident of King City. Steinbeck was among the first settlers, he was the first agent for the S. P. Milling Company, which built an early warehouse and flour mill alongside the railroad tracks running through town; the mill was built by R. M. Shackelford, an early California settler and businessman who owned sheep pasturage next to that of Charles King. King City elevation is 330 feet above sea level, between Greenfield to the northwest and San Lucas to the southeast, both on U. S. Route 101; the amount of land area in King City is 3.8 square miles. The Salinas River flows on the west side of the city. King City has a semi-arid climate, although bordering on a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and cool, wet winters; the average January temperatures are a maximum of 64.1 °F and a minimum of 34.9 °F.
The average July temperatures are a maximum of 86.9 °F and a minimum of 51.0 °F. There are an average of 50.6 days with highs of 90 °F or higher and an average of 49.7 days with lows of 32 °F or lower. The record high temperature was 120 °F on June 24, 1925; the record low temperature was 10 °F on January 6, 1904. Average annual precipitation is 11.24 inches. There are an average of 40 days with measurable precipitation; the driest year was 1953 with 3.14 inches. The most precipitation in one month was 10.50 inches in February 1998. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 3.72 inches on January 18, 1914. Although snow falls in the winter in the Santa Lucia mountains west of the city, it is quite rare in the Salinas Valley; the low humidity in the area contributes to freezing temperatures at night, intense temperatures during daylight. In 2018, King City was denied a $21 million TIRCP grant to build a multimodal transportation center which would provide connections to Amtrak, in between Paso Robles and Salinas.
City officials have said. A small $1.5 million grant was approved by the state government the following year, providing funds to design the Amtrak platform. The 2010 United States Census reported that King City had a population of 12,874; the population density was 3,231.8 people per square mile. The racial makeup of King City was 6,173 White, 150 African American, 347 Native American, 172 Asian, 8, Pacific Islander, 5,451 from other races, 573 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,266 persons; the Census reported that 12,815 people lived in households, 0 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 59 were institutionalized. There were 3,008 households, out of which 1,852 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,823 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 386 had a female householder with no husband present, 272 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 188 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 21 same-sex married couples or partnerships.
412 households were made up of individuals and 186 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.26. There were 2,481 families; the population was spread out with 4,374 people under the age of 18, 1,819 people aged 18 to 24, 3,937 people aged 25 to 44, 1,984 people aged 45 to 64, 760 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 115.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 119.3 males. There were 3,218 housing units at an average density of 807.8 per square mile, of which 1,394 were owner-occupied, 1,614 were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.2%. 5,586 people lived in owner-occupied housing units and 7,229 people lived in rental housing units. As of the census of 2000, there were 11,094 people, 2,736
Claus Spreckels, formally Adolph Claus J. Spreckels, was a major industrialist in Hawai'i during the kingdom and territorial periods of the islands' history, he involved himself in several California enterprises, most notably the company that bears his name, Spreckels Sugar Company. Spreckels was born in Lamstedt, now a city of Germany. In 1846, he left his homeland to start a new life in the United States, with only one German thaler in his pocket. In 1852 he married his childhood sweetheart, Anna Christina Mangels, who had immigrated to New York City with her brother three years earlier, they had thirteen children, five of whom lived to maturity: John Diedrich, Adolph Bernard, Claus August and daughter, Emma C. m. Watson Ferris Hutton; the family first settled in South Carolina. Within a short time they moved to New York City in 1856 relocated to San Francisco, where Spreckels began a brewery. Spreckels entered the sugar business in the mid-1860s and came to dominate the Hawaiian sugar trade on the West Coast.
His first refinery, built in 1867, was at Eighth and Brannan Streets in San Francisco, but by the late 1870s the Brannan Street facilities were running at capacity, so Spreckels chose a site in Potrero Point to open a larger sugar refinery with water access. He called his concerns the California Sugar Refinery. Spreckels used some of his wealth to purchase, beginning in 1872, the former Mexican land grant Rancho Aptos, a large tract of ranch and timber land in Aptos, California, he built a large resort hotel and, not far away, an extensive ranch complex. Spreckels was one of the original investors in the Santa Cruz Railroad, which began operation in 1875 and passed through his land on its run between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, it was on the Aptos ranch. He induced others in the area to plant sugar beets as well, built a small refinery in nearby Capitola in 1874, where it operated for five years. In 1888, Spreckels established the Western Beet Sugar Company in Watsonville, at that time the largest beet sugar factory in the U.
S. By 1890, Spreckels' main growing operations had shifted to the Salinas Valley, so he built the 42-mile narrow gauge Pajaro Valley Consolidated Railroad to ship his sugar beets from the fields near Salinas to Watsonville. In 1899, Spreckels opened an larger factory closer to the main sugar beet fields, he named the new factory Spreckels Sugar Company. A company town grew up around the plant, still exists as Spreckels, California; the town and the sugar factory were important in the early life of novelist John Steinbeck, several scenes from his novels take place there. In the 1890s, Spreckels helped found the national sugar trust and renamed his San Francisco property the Western Sugar Refinery and continued to increase his control over the Hawaiian sugar trade; this control over the industry was irksome to Hawaiian planters not directly affiliated with Spreckels and his associates. At the end of the 1890s, they attempted to break free. In 1905, the planters established a cooperative refinery in Crockett, the California and Hawaiian Sugar Company.
The Spreckels dominance in sugar was broken, but the Western Sugar Refinery continued operation in San Francisco until 1951. Spreckels was the President of the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railway from 1895 until it was sold to the Santa Fe Railway in 1901; the railroad built a line that competed with the Southern Pacific through the San Joaquin Valley between Richmond and Bakersfield. The railroad was welcome competition for shippers who were strangled by Southern Pacific's monopoly on shipping rates in the valley. Today this route is BNSF's main route to Northern California. Spreckels' interest in Hawaii's sugar industry began in 1876. Prior to that time, Spreckels had opposed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, which increased the Kingdom of Hawaii's access to the American sugar market because he feared that the low tariffs on Hawaiian sugar would hurt his business. However, Spreckels decided to establish his own plantations in Hawaii and traveled there one year later. In 1878 Spreckels founded Spreckelsville, a company town along the northern shore of Maui.
To do so, he leased 40,000 acres of land. By 1892, Spreckelsville was the largest sugarcane plantation in the world and employed thousands of immigrant farm laborers from Japan, Korea and other countries. Spreckels incorporated the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company with Hermann Schussler. Spreckels became friends with adviser to King Kalākaua. Together, they made arrangements where Spreckels would loan the king money and in return, he and Gibson would increase the Spreckels' land holdings and water rights. However, Spreckels fell out of Kalākaua's favor in 1886, he became a publisher. This paper became known as the Honolulu Advertiser and, prior to its demise in 2010, became one of the largest newspapers in circulation in the United States. Spreckels' conservative, pro-monarchy slant caused him to fall from favor in the business community, he sold the newspaper. Claus Spreckels lent his assistance to William Matson when he first founded Matson Navigation Company. Matson had been captain of a vessel, engaged chiefly in carrying coal to the Spreckels Sugar refinery and worked aboard the Spreckels family yacht.
Spreckels financed many of Matson's new ships including Matson's first ship called Emma Claudina named for Spreckels' daught
A sugar beet is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose and, grown commercially for sugar production. In plant breeding it is known as the Altissima cultivar group of the common beet. Together with other beet cultivars, such as beetroot and chard, it belongs to the subspecies Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulgaris, its closest wild relative is the sea beet. In 2013, France, the United States and Turkey were the world's five largest sugar beet producers. In 2010–2011, North America and Europe did not produce enough sugar from sugar beets to meet overall demand for sugar and were all net importers of sugar; the US harvested 1,004,600 acres of sugar beets in 2008. In 2009, sugar beets accounted for 20% of the world's sugar production; the sugar beet has a conical, fleshy root with a flat crown. The plant consists of a rosette of leaves. Sugar is formed by photosynthesis in the leaves and is stored in the root; the root of the beet contains 75% water, about 20% sugar, 5% pulp. The exact sugar content can vary between 12% and 21% sugar, depending on the cultivar and growing conditions.
Sugar is the primary value of sugar beet as a cash crop. The pulp, insoluble in water and composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin, is used in animal feed; the byproducts of the sugar beet crop, such as pulp and molasses, add another 10% to the value of the harvest. Sugar beets grow in the temperate zone, in contrast to sugarcane, which grows in the tropical and subtropical zones; the average weight of sugar beet ranges between 1 kg. Sugar beet foliage grows to a height of about 35 cm; the leaves are numerous and broad and grow in a tuft from the crown of the beet, level with or just above the ground surface. Modern sugar beets date back to mid-18th century Silesia where the king of Prussia subsidised experiments aimed at processes for sugar extraction. In 1747, Andreas Marggraf isolated sugar from beetroots and found them at concentrations of 1.3–1.6%. He demonstrated that sugar could be extracted from beets, identical with sugar produced from sugarcane, his student, Franz Karl Achard, evaluated 23 varieties of mangelwurzel for sugar content and selected a local strain from Halberstadt in modern-day Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.
Moritz Baron von Koppy and his son further selected from this strain for conical tubers. The selection was named weiße schlesische Zuckerrübe, meaning white Silesian sugar beet, boasted about a 6% sugar content; this selection is the progenitor of all modern sugar beets. A royal decree led to the first factory devoted to sugar extraction from beetroots being opened in Kunern, Silesia in 1801; the Silesian sugar beet was soon introduced to France, where Napoleon opened schools for studying the plant. He ordered that 28,000 hectares be devoted to growing the new sugar beet; this was in response to British blockades of cane sugar during the Napoleonic Wars, which stimulated the rapid growth of a European sugar beet industry. By 1840, about 5% of the world's sugar was derived from sugar beets, by 1880, this number had risen more than tenfold to over 50%; the sugar beet was introduced to North America after 1830, with the first commercial production starting in 1879 at a farm in Alvarado, California.
The sugar beet was introduced to Chile by German settlers around 1850. "The beet-root, when being boiled, yields a juice similar to syrup of sugar, beautiful to look at on account of its vermilion color". This was written by 16th-century scientist, Olivier de Serres, who discovered a process for preparing sugar syrup from the common red beet. However, because crystallized cane sugar was available and provided a better taste, this process never caught on; this story characterizes the history of the sugar beet. The competition between beet sugar and sugarcane for control of the sugar market plays out from the first extraction of a sugar syrup from a garden beet into the modern day; the use of sugar beets for the extraction of crystallized sugar dates to 1747, when Andreas Sigismund Marggraf, professor of physics in the Academy of Science of Berlin, discovered the existence of a sugar in vegetables similar in its properties to that obtained from sugarcane. He found. Despite Marggraf’s success in isolating pure sugar from beets, their commercial manufacture for sugar did not take off until the early 19th century.
Marggraf's student and successor Franz Karl Achard began selectively breeding sugar beet from the'White Silesian' fodder beet in 1784. By the beginning of the 19th century, his beet was about 5–6% sucrose by weight, compared to around 20% in modern varieties. Under the patronage of Frederick William III of Prussia, he opened the world's first beet sugar factory in 1801, at Cunern in Silesia; the work of Achard soon attracted the attention of Napoleon Bonaparte, who appointed a commission of scientists to go to Silesia to investigate Achard's factory. Upon their return, two small factories were constructed near Paris. Although these factories were not altogether a success, the results attained interested Napoleon. Thus, when two events, the blockade of Europe by the British Navy and the Haitian Revolution, made the importation of cane sugar untenable, Napoleon seized the opportunity offered by beet sugar to address the shortage. In 1811, Napoleon issued a decree appropriating one million francs for the establishment of sugar schools, compelling the farmers to plant a large acreage to sugar be
Adolph B. Spreckels
Adolph Bernard Spreckels was a California businessman who ran Spreckels Sugar Company and who donated the California Palace of the Legion of Honor art museum to the city of San Francisco in 1924. His wife Alma was called the "great grandmother of San Francisco", his 55-room mansion, built in 1913 in Pacific Heights is the current home of novelist Danielle Steel. Spreckels was born in California, his parents were founder of the Spreckels Sugar Company. At the age of 12, Adolph studied abroad in Hanover, Germany for two years, returning to San Francisco to finish his studies; when the company was founded in 1881, he was named a vice-president. Spreckels succeeded his father as company president upon the latter's death in 1908, he was intensely loyal to both his brother John. In 1884, he shot Michael H. de Young, co-founder of the San Francisco Chronicle because of an article in that newspaper suggesting his sugar company defrauded its shareholders. Spreckels was acquitted; the California Palace of the Legion of Honor was championed by his wife Alma and paid for from the Spreckels fortune.
It was merged with the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in 1972 to become the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Besides the sugar company, Spreckels was president of the San Francisco and San Mateo Electric Railway, vice-president of both the Western Sugar Company and the Oceanic Steamship Company, as well as a director of the Sunset Monarch Company. In addition to his business enterprises, Spreckels served as a San Francisco Park Commissioner and was involved in the development of Golden Gate Park. Spreckels Lake, in the park, is named after him. Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego's Balboa Park, housing the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world, was built by Spreckels and his brother John. Furthermore, his brother John commissioned Spreckels Organ in honor of Adolph, who died before it was completed. Spreckels was fond of horse racing and owned and bred a number of race horses, most famously Morvich, the first California-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby, he and Alma were married on May 1908, after a five-year courtship.
They had three children, daughter Alma Emma, son Adolph Bernard, Jr. and another daughter, Dorothy Constance. The family's 1913 mansion, located at 2080 Washington Street in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, is the home of novelist Danielle Steel. After the birth of their last daughter, Spreckels' health began to deteriorate due to syphilis he had contracted before his marriage, he had known about the disease and had kept it secret from his wife, but for her during their intimate years it had been in a latent, non-contagious state. Spreckels died in 1924 from pneumonia