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December 12, 2012     The Adams County Record
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December 12, 2012
 

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The Adams County Record The History Corner Wednesday, December 12, 2012 .C1 Page 11 By Dale Hsk --: 253-4582 In 1912, 97% of the Weiser Valley Land & Water Company was owned by five people: H. H. Harrison and James Gaunt of New York City; J. A. Wavle of Cortland, New York; J. E Gray of Mesa, Idaho; and David W. VanHoesen, a law- yer from Cortland, New York. Van Hoesen was the president of the company, Gray was Vice President and General Manager, and C. K. Macey (formerly from Boise, now living at Mesa) was the Secretary/ Treasurer. Van Hoesen was also president of the Courtland County Traction Company, Treasurer of the Wallace Wall Paper Company, and Director of the Ekenberg Company and the Cortland Silk Company. Cortland, New York is about 20 miles south of Syracuse. J.P. Gray also had roots in Cortland, and had recently resigned from positions as Superintendent of the Cortland Water Works Company and the Homer & Cortland Gas Light Company in order to manage the Mesa holdings. Evidently the Weiser Valley Land & Water Company formed a subsidiary company called "The Mesa Orchards Incorporated:' The first indication of this in the documents comes in a September 1913 statement of financial condition and organization of both companies. Such statements to this point named only the Weiser Valley Land & Water Company, so it may be a safe bet to assume the Mesa Company was formed in 1913. Of the Mesa Orchards Company, the statement said, "This is a subsidiary corporation, organized as an operating company, for the purpose of conducting the company's store and other mercantile business and of erecting and operating canning and evaporating establishments and of managing the Company Orchard, etc., etc." When the company had trouble paying off the first bonds that matured, David W. VanHoesen propped up the Mesa Orchards Company with a great deal of his own money. In 1914 he wrote: "During the past two years I have spent nearly $100,000 of my own money upon this orchard proposition for which I have of course been compelled to take securities that are junior to the bonds. That money was absolutely necessary in order to care for the orchards properly and to carry the proposition along in good shape. The crux of the whole thing of course is the success of the orchards; and I am glad to inform you that they have not been neglected, but have been cared for and developed in the best possible manner and are making good in every way...." He continued: "In the meantime, however, the bonds and coupons have been coming due with startling regul irity. Every one connected with the Company has done his level best to meet them and prevent a default. The past three years have probably been the worst this Country has ever experienced in a financial way and nearly every kind of development has been checked and most Western enterprises have been forced to declare a moratorium. Notwithstanding .those conditions, this Company has always before managed to pay its interest promptly and during the past three years has reduced the principal of its bonded- debt from $600,000 to $337,0007 "...if the Company could have planted and sold less than 1,000 acres more of its land the payments thereon would have met the bonds as they matured. The extraordinary condition s during the past year - the tight money, poor business and finally the War and the near panic resulting therefrom - rendered it absolutely impossible to get any one interested in any way in a Western enterprise. The Company was hot able to get the money to plant and develop any additional land and was indeed fortunate to be able to care for what had already been planted." "The Company, therefore,is in the positions of having Some of the early company buildings at Mesa. This, and many other photos were copied from a photo album that belonged to J.P. Gray. plenty of good assets but no money" VanHosen claimed the land at Mesa, "has been conservatively estimated by those who have seen it to be worth more than twice the whole amount of bonds outstanding; but it is not cash and cannot be converted into cash quicklyY At one point in the letter from which all this comes, VanHoesen said, "Personally, I regret very much that the default could lot have been avoided. If I had had or could have obtained the necessary money myself I would gladly have paid off the bonds...Y John Camp identified his grandfather, Bill Camp, "Visitor's Lodge," was written on this photograph from the J.P. Gray album. Special business sereices aailable aJ The Adams Ccun lieccrd... ! * B&W Copies $.15 T/e~K~ each Send and receive faxes ~X)O'~"~! [ $1.00 per page Big City Selection All At One Location Design Services Low Volume Scanning Assist with e-mail File uploads and downloads Call for de/ails and infcrmaJicn! in the Mesa survey crewSteve Schmoeger and photo that was with Linda Barrett, and Tom last week's column. He's Gaston for donations to second man from the the museum. We will be right. The first man on starting a project this the right might be Floyd spring for which the funds Camp. will be very useful. Thank I would like to thank you very much! David W. Van Hoesen was once the principal investor in Mesa orchards and eventually ran the operation. We service all makes and models Quality Service Award Winning Factory Trained Technician SrEVE'S Phone (208) 549-3310 - Toll Free (800) 658-5080 602 Highway 95 Weiser, Idaho 83672 www.hometownmotors.com