The four ledgers in this collection record Roley E. Wilhoit's various business
transactions between January 1891 and January 1902. During these years, Wilhoit sold
insurance, bought, sold and rented San Joaquin county real estate, operated farms, lent
money, and sold stock in various entities, including: a dredging company; gas wells; the
Pioneer Hall Association; the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank; the Stockton Land Loan &
Building Assn.; and, the Stockton Savings & Loan Assn. Wilhoit did business with most of
the well-known citizens of Stockton. Among the names found in these ledgers are those of
Thomas Cunningham (for many years San Joaquin County Sheriff), G.A. Shurtleff (Director,
Stockton State Hospital), the Shippee family (Stockton Harvester Mfg. Co.), the Woods
family (Lodi agriculture), the Roberts family (Roberts Island agriculture), the Sperry
family (Sperry Mills)and the Sargent family (northern San Joaquin County and Delta
agriculture). These volumes provide what is possibly the most complete and detailed
picture of the economic life of Stockton and San Joaquin county during the 1890s. The
collection also contains a cashbook of the Woods, Wilhoit & Douglass Co. (1906-10).
Roley E. Wilhoit was born in Illinois (1830) and came across the plains to California
during the gold rush (1850). He mined for a time, then settled in Stockton (1852) where
he labored for nine years as a teamster, forming the partnership of Bostwick & Wilhoit.
During 1861 Wilhoit was elected county recorder. He held this post until 1868, at which
time he began an abstract, conveyancing and real estate business. Wilhoit was a member of
the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors for six years (1872-1878), president of the
county school board, and, a director (1875-1909), and later president (1909-1917) of the
Stockton Savings and Loan Society. He was also active in the Society of San Joaquin
Pioneers. In 1886 Wilhoit's two sons, George E. and Eugene, joined him in his abstract &
title and insurance business. Both sons married daughters of wealthy pioneer landowners.
These connections gave rise to the land development firm of Woods, Wilhoit & Douglass
which worked during the early years of the present century to develop the southernmost
delta islands for agricultural use. At his death, Roley E. Wilhoit was arguably the
wealthiest, most powerful man in Stockton (1922).
Collection is open for research.