Madison and Bonner

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Business Details
Primary Town San Francisco
Primary Business Dried Fruit Packing
Dates 1903-1911


West-coast based dried fruit packers, supposedly founded in Fresno in 1890 Madison and Bonner had packing houses in the Santa Clara Valley (Sunnyvale) and San Joaquin Valley (Fresno area). Madison and Bonner - James Madison and Charles G. Bonner, for there really were two flesh-and-blood men behind that title - only lasted to 1911 when the two principals decided to dissolve the company. Bonner took over the Fresno raisin plants, changed the signs to "Bonner Packing" and started billing the company in the trade rags as "successors to Madison and Bonner." The distant Sunnyvale plant went to [J. K. Armsby], a large San Francisco-based packer.

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, at 185 Evelyn on the site of a former winery, 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

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


Location Years Address Details
San Francisco 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911 Santa Marina Building, 112 Market Street
Sunnyvale 1904, 1911, 1916 185 Evelyn Avenue


Packing House and railroad tracks, 1940's.


More on Madison and Bonner in an article at

Successor: Bonner Packing (Fresno plant), [J. K. Armsby] (Sunnyvale plant)

Dried fruit processors in Sunnyvale. Built dried fruit receiving station in 1904 on site of former winery at 185 Evelyn in Sunnyvale. Became part of Del Monte in 1916, plant closed in 1926 because of opening of larger plant in San Jose (Plant 51). Building used as storage 1926-1930, then became Del Monte's corporate seed department in 1930.

See Sunnyvale planning document for photo of plant at original location. Building moved to Murphy Street and currently used as meeting space and retail.

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

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.

Madison and Bonner broke up the company in 1911 / Bonner purchased Madison's interest in the company and the Sunnyvale plant went to [J. K. Armsby] according to May 20, 1911 California Fruit News San Francisco Handbook of Manufacturing 1910: plants in Sunnyvale, Reedley, Locans, Forcey, Fresno County.

Principals were James Madison and Charles G. Bonner in 1908 according to 1908 San Francisco city directory. Offices were at Santa Marina Building, 112 Market Street, San Francisco.

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.

September 15, 1906 Pacific Rural Press mentions that Madison and Bonner just finished enlarging the packing house in Sunnyvale and installing new machinery.

Bonner obituary