Biography of James Graham
San Francisco, CA Biographies





JAMES GRAHAM
Notable in the industrial history of California is the name of the late James Graham, the pioneer stove manufacturer of the Pacific coast, who established his plant and manufactured his famous Wedgewood product in Newark, this state. Mr. Graham was born in Kincardine, province of Ontario, Canada, and in later years was engaged in the foundry business there. In 1882, he came to Alameda county, California, and after his arrival he perceived the opportunity for the manufacture of stoves on the Pacific coast, as none were at that time produced in this section of the country. The stoves which were then in use were brought in from the eastern ports by boat, and here assembled. He took advantage of the situation and established a small plant in Newark, Alameda county, the land for the factory having been donated by the late Senator James Fair. Newark was then the terminal of the narrow gauge railroad, and the shops of the line were here located. Mr. Graham also did all the foundry work for this railroad.

The growth of this manufactory was steady under the capable management of Mr. Graham. He named his stoves the Wedgewood, and in the early days coal and wood burning ranges were made; plumbing supplies were also turned out and sold widely. Nearly three hundred and fifty men are now employed by the James Graham Manufacturing Company. The factory remains in Newark, while sales and display rooms are situated in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The company conducts a wholesale business exclusively, and ninety five per cent of the ranges built now are gas burning.

The officers of the James Graham Manufacturing Company at the present time are as follows: E. B. Graham, president; Harry W. Jackson, vice president; and C. R. Graham, secretary and treasurer. The excellent policies of the founder of the company are yet observed by the officials of the company, and the traditions and records established by him are honored by all connected with the concern.

Mr. Graham was married to Miss Sarah Smith, and they became the parents of seven children who survive. Mr. Graham passed away in the year 1898, when he was in the fifty fifth year of his age, and his wife is likewise now deceased. The religious affiliation of Mr. Graham was with the Presbyterian Church, and he was a Christian gentleman in every sense of the term. He was a citizen of high integrity and public spirit, and possessed many friends wherever he was known. Fraternally, he was a member of the Masonic bodies and in politics gave his support to the democratic party.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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