The Oakland Cotton Mills were incorporated by William E. Wolney, J. L. Wolney and B. F. Rector on August 25, 1865. Begun with $100,000 in capital stock, the mill was located on the east side of 2nd Avenue near East 10th Street in the town of Clinton.
As no cotton was grown in California at the time, the partners had to import all the cotton they processed from Mexico. Within a year of the plant opening, the owners had received their first shipment of 10 bales from a Tulare County farmer they had successfully convinced to grow cotton. Unfortunately, farmers failed to produce the necessary crops, so the company was forced to continue their Mexico importations.
In the beginning only 18 of the 32 looms were in operation, but within months all were in use, producing 1,200 yards of cloth daily. The mill employed 50 women and several men during this period.
Capital was increased to $200,000 and the company expanded into the manufacturing of jute bag, with jute imported from Calcutta.
In 1870 the business was sold to Leopold Cohn and Philip Susmann and renamed the Pacific Jute Manufacturing Company. The owners raised $1 million in capital and after eliminating the cotton looms, installed additional jute machinery. One of the original owners, B. F. Rector, was appointed to the Board of Trustees.
[When did the company go out of business? What happened to the building?]