Los Angeles County





STORY, FRANCIS QUARLES, Fruit Grower, Los Angeles, Cal., was born at Waukesha, Wis., July 18, 1845, the son of John P. And Elizabeth (Quarles) Story. He married Charlotte Forrester Devereux, daughter of Gen. George H. Devereux, of Salem, Mass., in 1876. She died 1897.

Mr. Story was graduated from high school at Waukesha before he was 16 years old and then taught school for a term. He then entered and was graduated from Eastman Commercial College, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He became assistant, then head bookkeeper in a wool house at Boston, but the next year resigned and entered the “sorting room” of one of the firm’s mills, working 12 hours a day for six months without remuneration. He next entered a Boston wool house and worked 9 hours a day for three months, and then opened offices as a wool broker, and later bought into a wool scouring mill and studied wool shrinkage. He succeeded, by 1872, in making a modest competence, but the great Boston fire of that year wiped this out and left him $10,000 in debt.

Through friends he was enabled to pay his obligations and by hard work succeeded, in a few years, in making another competence, but his health was broken and he was compelled to retire from business in Boston.

In 1877, Mr. Story moved to San Francisco, and became interested with B. P. Flint & Co., wool dealers. In 1883 he moved to Alhambra, Cal., built a home and set out an orange orchard. He has been a leading figure in the citrus fruit business ever since, as grower and shipper, and has done much to advance the industry. He has been Pres. of the Alhambra Orange Growers’ Ass’n. since its formation in 1896; Pres., Semi-Tropic Fruit Exchange since 1897; Vice Pres., Southern Cal. Fruit Exchange since 1897, and Pres. of the Cal. Fruit Growers’ Exchange since its formation.

This latter is the greatest co-operative organization in the world, over sixty per cent of the citrus crop of California being marketed through it. During 1911-12 it shipped 20,033,933 boxes of oranges, which netted the growers f.o.b. Cal., $37,599,845.16, without a penny loss by bad debts.

Mr. Story also is President of the Fruit Growers’ Supply Co., which is capitalized at $838,000 and saves the growers over $500,000 annually.

Joining the L. A. Chamber of Commerce in 1891, Mr. Story was elected Director in 1896, President in 1902, and has been on the directorate ever since. He has served as Chairman or member of some of its most important committees. In 1897 he was Chairman of its Citrus Tariff Committee, which secured a tariff of one cent a pound on oranges and lemons. In this same connection, he has been Chairman since 1907 of the Exec. Com. of the Citrus Protective League, which, during that time, has secured a reduction of freight on oranges of 10 cents per 100 lbs. (an annual saving of over $1,000.000 to growers); secured an increase tariff duty of one-half cent a pound on lemons, defeated the railroads’ attempt to increase freight rates on lemons and also caused a reduction in refrigeration rates.

In 1898 Mr. Story, under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, headed the local executive committee of the National Educational Ass’n., and with Judge Charles Silent, raised $23,000 for the convention of 1899; and in 1907, he headed a similar committee with Judge Silent and raised for the same purpose about $22,000. The two conventions, which attracted about fifty thousand people to Los Angeles, were among the largest in the history of the N. E. A. and brought from the Secretary of the N. E. A. And the Chamber of Commerce special resolutions praising in extraordinarily high terms, the work of Mr. Story and his associates. Similar resolutions were passed following his work as Chairman of the Citizens’ Relief Committee, which raised more than $300,000 in money and supplies for the San Francisco sufferers in 1906.

In 1903 he was Chairman of the Chamber’s General Methodist Conference Committee, which raised funds and entertained the International Methodist Conference in Los Angeles.

In 1901 Mr. Story served as Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Building Committee, which raised $350,000 to buy property and erect its building.

Mr. Story was Chairman of the Exec. Com. of the Nicaraguan Canal Assn. until 1899, when Congress chose the Panama route for the canal. He has also been a prominent worker for conservation of national resources. He is one of California’s representatives on the National Conservation Commission and State Vice Pres. or Dir. since its formation, of the National Irrigation Association, whose work induced the Government to expend $70,000,000 to reclaim arid lands. He is also Pres. of the Arizona & Cal. Conservation Commission, which seeks to effect control of floods and the reclamation of some 8,000,000 acres of desert lands which will be commercially tributary to Los Angeles. He was also Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Committee to raise funds to build fire breaks and reforest the reserves of the San Gabriel Valley, a work which was finally taken up by the United States Government.

Early in his residence in Southern California (1887) Mr. Story aided in organizing the San Gabriel Valley Transit Railway and was its General Manager or Treasurer until it was sold to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.

He is President of the Los Angeles City Directory Co., Director First National Bank, Los Angeles, and Alhambra National Bank.

He is a member of the California Club, Los Angeles, and President of the San Gabriel Valley Country Club.


Transcribed 9-29-10 Marilyn R. Pankey.

Source: Press Reference Library, Western Edition Notables of the West, Vol. I, Page 514, International News Service, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta.  1913.

© 2010 Marilyn R. Pankey.