Today is the birthday of the California oilman, vineyardist, and attorney Henry Welsh who was born on this day in 1856.
In 1912, California raisin growers, including Welsh, decided to band together to sell their raisins as a group. The plan was to create a million-dollar corporation, and the concept drove Welsh to set up an innovative coop that paired investors with raisin growers.
Unlike other coops of the time, the raisin coop was unique in that it bound the growers to deliver their entire crop for a guaranteed price - and they were locked in for three years. The coop was known as the California Associated Raisin Company, and it quickly became known as the Sun-Maid Raisin Growers Association. The first president of the Association was none other than Henry H. Welsh.
One little piece of trivia about Welsh was his deep love for the Fresno area. He loved the climate and his vineyard so much that, in 1941, Welsh bragged that he had not left the city for more than 40 years - not even to take a vacation.