Scope and Content
Title: Lindley Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1890-1928
Collection number: Mss184
Frank B. McKevitt
Extent: 0.6 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Lindley Family Papers, Mss184, Holt-Atherton Department of
Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
Thomas Morton Lindley, Sr. (1819-1896) was founder and proprietor of the firm of Lindley
& Co. of Sacramento. Born in Indiana, he came to California seeking gold in 1849. In that
year Lindley began the firm of Lindley & Booth which was succeded by several other
mercantile partnerships until the creation of Lindley & Co. (1869). Douglas A. (D.A.)
Lindley, T.M. Lindley's eldest son became a partner in 1886. He subsequently incorporated
the company, first as Lindley Mercantile Company (1904), then as Lindley and Company
The original Lindley & Company (1869-1928) was a wholesale grocer, tea importer and
coffee roaster. Lindley and Co. became identified with "Cherub Brand Foods" and
"Lindley's Motor Coffee," so named because its quality purportedly moved it rapidly from
the grocer's shelf. Later, the Lindleys were involved in many additional enterprises
including land sales, canal, railroad and transportation development and ranching in
Sacramento, as well as land development in Yuma County, Arizona, through the Mohawk Canal
and Improvement Company (ca. 1892-1901). The family owned a Red Bluff farm from the time
they entered the wholesale grocery business. Douglas Lindley later purchased Maxwell
Ranch in Plumas County with his brother Morton (1911). Douglas' health began to fail
around 1920 and, following his suicide (1928), his wife, Mary, sold the company. Mary B.
Lindley (ca. 1867-1956), formerly Mary Denson, subsequently married William A. Briggs.
Scope and Content
This collection consists chiefly of the papers of D.A. Lindley and his wife, Mary B.
Lindley. They include family correspondence, business documents (including deeds, bills
of sale, advertising, minutes, articles of incorporation and stock certificates) and a
few photographs. Most records of the wholesale grocery company date from 1920-1928. The
Lindley's efforts to develop the Sacramento and Yolo Belt Line electric railway
(1908-1912) are represented by three ledger books, including: the by-laws, noting
incorporation of March 21, 1912; a stock ledger and record book (1908); and a board of
directors minutebook (1908-1910).