J. W. Chilton Fruit Packing

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Dried Fruit Packer
Main Location

San Jose, CA

1903 - 1922

Porter Brothers

J.W. Chilton Fruit Packing was a San Jose-based dried fruit packer. James W. Chilton had managed the Porter Brothers San Jose outpost on North First Street, but broke out on his own when Porter Brothers collapsed in 1903[1]. Chilton's first plant was in the Santa Clara Valley Fruit Company's building on the edge of Willow Glen, but he soon took over the former Porter Brothers plant. A 1907 advertisement bills the company as packers of green and dried fruit, and packed cherries[2]. J. W. Chilton & Co. was officially formed on May 31, 1904 with $50,000 in capital stock[3]

Box label for J. W. Chilton & Co. prunes.

Chilton was a packer for the California Prune and Apricot Growers for the 1917 season[4][5], and was referred to as "Plant #14"[6]. Chilton eventually sold his plant to Sunsweet in 1922[7], but was remembered in the community. Newspaper reports of a fire in 1936 remarked on a similar fire at "the old Chilton packing house, now a California Prune and Apricot Growers plant on North First Street near Bassett failed when employees discovered fires burning under the loading platform".


Location Years Address Details
San Jose 1903 Paula St. between Northrup and Race. Leased Santa Clara Valley Fruit Company's warehouse[8].
San Jose 1904, 1906, 1907 385 North First Street
San Jose 1915, 1917 405 North First Street Sunweet affiliated packer, plant #14[9].


  1. Porter Brothers Plant For Sale: September 12, 1903 San Jose Evening News
  2. June 7, 1912 San Jose Evening News
  3. List of State Corporations, 1906
  4. List of Sunsweet collection stations
  5. July 21, 1917 San Jose Evening News
  6. The Fruit Industry of the County: In Eugene T. Sawyer, History of Santa Clara County, Historic Record Co., 1922.
  7. 1922 Western Canner and Packer. Explicitly says that Sunsweet bought the plant in 1922 for their "special carton trade."
  8. September 14, 1903 San Jose Evening News. Not sure if ever occupied.
  9. The Fruit Industry: Eugene Sawyer, History of Santa Clara County, 1922. List of Sunsweet-affiliated plants lists Chilton as Plant #14