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Finding Aid to the Miller & Lux Records, 1869-1965
BANC MSS C-G 163  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Corporate History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Miller & Lux Records,
    Date (inclusive): circa 1869-1965
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-G 163
    Creator: Miller & Lux
    Extent: Number of containers: 183 boxes, 738 cartons, 210 volumes, 3 oversize folders Linear feet: circa 1037.25
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: The Miller & Lux Records consist primarily of business, farming, administrative, and legal records. Correspondence files, which comprise the major portion of this collection, contain few letters dated prior to 1906, although there are many business, legal, and other documents before that date. Copious and comprehensive records of transactions relating to the acquisitions of property in Oregon, Nevada, and California provide an overview of the company's land sales program and include materials relating to advertising, sales, cancellations, and prices. The day-to-day operations of a cattle conglomerate are represented in detail in the collection, as is Henry Miller's pioneer activity in building irrigation canal systems and defending his water rights in court.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or reproduce must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
    Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Miller & Lux records, BANC MSS C-G 163, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Volumes 1, 2, 3, 11, 17 and 192 are also available on microfilm. (BANC FILM C-G 163)

    Related Collections

    Miller & Lux ledger, Nov. 30, 1912 - July 28, 1915, BANC MSS 87/239 c
    Miller & Lux papers: relating to Bloomfield Farm, BANC MSS 86/210 c
    Miller & Lux, Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita :typescript, BANC MSS 70/154 c
    Henry Miller dictation and biographical material, BANC MSS C-D 791
    Henry Miller papers, BANC MSS 89/88 c
    Henry Miller letters to Patrick Henry Turner, BANC MSS C-G 273 FILM

    Separated Material

    Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
    Maps have been transferred to the Map Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Miller, Henry, 1827-1916
    Lux, Charles, 1823-1887
    Miller & Lux--archives
    Water rights--California--History
    Cattle trade--California--History
    Land Use--California--History
    Central Valley (Calif.)--History
    Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) --History
    Central Valley (Calif.)--Economic Conditions
    Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)--Economic Conditions

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Miller & Lux Records were given to The Bancroft Library by Miller & Lux over a period of many years (circa 1963-1988). Additions were made in 2004-2005.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    Corporate History

    In 1857, Henry Miller (1827-1916) and Charles Lux (1823-1887), both German immigrant butchers, formed the partnership of Miller & Lux. Miller & Lux both arrived in San Francisco separately around 1850 and began acquiring land and cattle. It was through their businesses as the cities top butchers that first brought them together in a joint deal. Their partnership was solidified when the men married sisters.
    Charles Lux handled the marketing in San Francisco while Miller traveled from ranch to ranch buying acreage and cattle and giving detailed directions on every aspect of the operation. After Lux's death in 1887, several years of complicated litigation followed before Miller bought out the Lux heirs and became the sole owner of Miller & Lux and its wide-ranging holdings.
    Miller experimented with developing cattle and sheep breeds particularly suitable for the West and growing crops like alfalfa, rice, and cotton. Miller built the first canals in the state and dug thousands of miles of irrigation ditches around the San Joaquin and Kern rivers. Miller & Lux became the owner of a host of related subsidiary businesses, including stores, banks, hotels, irrigation systems, and public utilities. Miller himself was the major figure in the development of three towns in the central San Joaquin Valley: Los Banos, Firebaugh, and Dos Palos.
    Miller & Lux's control of vast water rights for livestock led to protracted legal battles against James Ben Ali Haggin and Lloyd Tevis, who needed irrigation for their huge ranch lands. Hall McAllister successfully defended the rights of Miller & Lux for many years. By the time Miller died in 1916, government estimates listed his land holdings as 1,400,000 acres, although the actual amount of land he controlled through lease and grazing rights was probably far larger.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Miller & Lux Records consist primarily of business, farming, administrative, and legal records. Correspondence files, which comprise the major portion of this collection, contain few letters dated prior to 1906, although there are many business, legal, and other documents before that date. Copious and comprehensive records of transactions relating to the acquisitions of property in Oregon, Nevada, and California provide an overview of the company's land sales program, and include materials relating to advertising, sales, cancellations, and prices. The day-to-day operations of a cattle conglomerate are represented in detail in the collection, as is Henry Miller's pioneer activity in building irrigation canal systems and defending his water rights in court.
    The collection provides an in-depth record of the mature years of Miller & Lux during a period of modernization and diversification. It documents the changing role of the company as it gradually eliminated the three main elements in its growth: cattle, land, and water (by the end of the 1930's, Miller & Lux had divested itself of land and cattle and sold its water rights to the U.S. government). Although farming and other operations continued on a diminishing scale, the company was involved in protracted litigation arising out of the land sales program, which continued until the company's dissolution around 1964.