Madison and Bonner

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Dried Fruit Packing
Main Location

San Francisco


Bonner Packing,J. K. Armsby

Madison and Bonner was a California-based dried fruit packer founded by James Madison and Charles G. Bonner[1]. The company was started in Fresno in 1898[2] or 1898[3]. Madison and Bonner had packing houses in the Santa Clara Valley (Sunnyvale) and San Joaquin Valley (Reedly, Locans, and Forcey[4]. Fresno area).

The company only lasted to 1911 when the two principals decided to dissolve the company[5]. Bonner took over the Fresno raisin plants, changed the signs to "Bonner Packing" and started billing the company in the trade magazine as "successors to Madison and Bonner." The distant Sunnyvale plant went to J. K. Armsby, a large San Francisco-based packer.

Bonner Packing survived in the Central Valley for quite a while, and was billed as the largest privately-owned raisin packer in the world. Bonner died in 1928[6].

Madison and Bonner in Sunnyvale

The Sunnyvale plant is the biggest reminder of Madison and Bonner in the Santa Clara Valley because of their dried fruit receiving station built in Sunnyvale in 1904. The packing house was located at 185 Evelyn on the site of a former winery, and was expanded in 1906[7]. became part of Del Monte in 1916. In 1926, when Del Monte's Plant 51 opened in San Jose, the local packing houses like the one on Evelyn were no longer needed. Del Monte left it vacant for a few years, then reopened it in 1930 as the home of their corporate seed research lab. Del Monte only left the building in 1986. The building managed to survive, moving across Murphy Street to its current location where it is billed as the Del Monte building.

Also see building's own web site for more photos.


Location Years Address Details
San Francisco 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911 112 Market Street

Santa Marina Building

Sunnyvale 1904-1926 185 Evelyn Avenue

Became California Packing Corporation's Sunnyvale receiving station.


Packing House and railroad tracks, 1940's.

Sunnyvale planning document for photo of plant at original location.


More on Madison and Bonner in an article at

Madison and Bonner must have had a presence in the Central Valley; an article in the 12 Oct 1901 San Francisco Call remarks on a lawsuit over ownership of 6,000 tons of raisins from Fresno County where M&B owned a share.

Bonner Packing in Fresno advertised as successors to Madison and Bonner" in "July 1913 Fruit Grower News Specialized in raisins. Bonner Packing later bought the Rosenberg raisin business after World War II.


  1. 1908 San Francisco city directory. Offices were at Santa Marina Building, 112 Market Street, San Francisco.
  2. October 6, 1985 Los Angeles Times.
  3. Charles Gore Bonner obituary at
  4. San Francisco Handbook of Manufacturing 1910
  5. May 20, 1911 California Fruit News
  6. Charles Gore Bonner obituary at
  7. September 15, 1906 Pacific Rural Press. Notes that Madison and Bonner just finished enlarging the packing house in Sunnyvale and installing new machinery.