This collection contains papers related to the life and business interests of Los Angeles pioneer businessman and ranch owner
Matthew Keller (1810-1881). Subject matter in the collection
includes Los Angeles from 1851-1880, particularly reflected in deeds and land papers for the Los Angeles area (a few relate
to petroleum development) and the wine industry.
There are also photographs of the Los Angeles area at the turn of the century and biographical information on Matthew Keller
and Henry Workman Keller.
Matthew Keller (1810-1881) was a Los Angeles pioneer businessman, vintner, and
ranch owner who was born in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland, in 1810. He graduated from
Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1832 came to New York. He moved to Texas in the mid-1830s
then spent the next twelve to fifteen years in Mexico. While in Guadalajara he met Andrew A.
Boyle (who later was to become owner of the Los Angeles property developed by his son-in-law
William H. Workman, Jr., into Boyle Heights). Keller and Boyle returned to the United States
and later the two married sisters. Upon his return to the States, Keller went first to New
Orleans, then in 1849, to San Francisco. He finally settled in Los Angeles in 1851, opening
a general merchandise store at the corner of Los Angeles and Commercial streets. He
purchased property on Alameda and Aliso, where the Union Station is now located. There he
built his home, planted fruit trees and vineyards. In 1852 he established his winery and
brandy still, to be known as the Rising Sun and Los Angeles Vineyards winery. He had
warehouses in San Francisco, New York, and Philadelphia. In addition, he experimented with
various agricultural crops--fruit trees, castor oil plants, hops, and cotton.
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