Biography of Alfred B. Miner
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Alfred B. Miner, one of the leading and representative businessmen of Colton, and as the president of the Colton Packing Company is at the head of one of the most important industries of that city. Mr. Miner is a native of Michigan, dating his birth in Genesee County in 1842. His father, Pilo Miner, was reared in Genesee County, New York, and was an early settler in Michigan, and engaged in farming. Mr. Miner was reared to farm life, and given a fair education in the public schools. He was an energetic and thorough worker, but he was never intended for a farmer; as soon as he reached his majority he struck out in life, locating in Chicago. There he engaged in business pursuits, and was for the next ten years employed by the well-known firm of Tyler, Graham & Co., as a traveling agent and salesman.
In 1876 he was prostrated by sickness and compelled to abandon his labor. The next eighteen months was spent by Mr. Miner in seeking a restoration of his health. Failing in that, he decided to seek the milder climate of the Pacific coast, and in 1877 he came to California and located at San Jose. His first occupation in that city was as a clerk in a grocery store, but his business talents soon gained him recognition in business circles, and he obtained a position with the San Jose Fruit Packing Company, first as clerk and later as their general agent and salesman. He was also agent for Speckles & Co., of San Francisco, and later agent for the American Sugar Refinery of Steele & Co. Mr. Miner became thoroughly versed in the practical details of the fruit business, and sought for an opening where his energy and business tact could be applied to his own advantage. The San Jose Fruit Company had established a branch of their enterprise at Colton in 1881, built and fitted a packinghouse and cannery, and started in business. This had not proven a success, affording neither profit to the company nor satisfaction to the people of Colton.
Mr. Miner saw his chance here, and in 1886 came to Colton, organized and incorporated the Colton Packing Company, with himself as president and general manager, and Mr. Wilson Hays, formerly superintendent of the San Jose Fruit Company, as secretary and treasurer. The enterprise, as conducted under the able management of Mr. Miner, became a success, and afforded to the fruit-growers of Colton and vicinity not only a substantial home market for their products, but added greatly to the wealth and business industry of the city. Mr. Miner is an energetic and progressive citizen, and has not confined himself to individual enterprises. He is president of the Colton City Water Company, and was one of the real projectors of that enterprise, which has added so much to the health and wealth of the city by furnishing an ample supply of pure water for domestic use. In political matters he is a Republican, never seeking political honors, but always a worker in aiding the best elements of his party.
In 1863 Mr. Miner was united in marriage with Miss Eliza J. Abbot, the daughter of Hon. Joshua R. Abbot, the well-known United States Senator from Michigan. There is but one child by this marriage, Frank A. Miner, who is associated with his father in the Colton Packing Company. Harrold M. Nelson is well known as a member of Mr. Miner’s family. Although not adopted, he has from his boyhood been reared and educated by Mr. Miner, and given that place in the bosom of his family that would be accorded a son and heir. Mr. Miner’s father was a native of Connecticut, descended from an old family of that State, who date their ancestry back to colonial times. He went to New York in his youth or young manhood, and there married Alice Brainard, a native of Rush, New York. The Brainard family was also from Connecticut.