Claus Spreckles

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Claus Spreckles was a major industrialist of California and Hawai'i and became known as the Sugar King.

Claus Spreckles, formally Adolph Claus J. Spreckles (July 9, 1828-December 26, 1908), his last name has also been spelled officially as Spreckels, was a major industrialist in Hawai'i during the kingdom, republican and territorial periods of the islands' history. He also involved himself several California enterprises. In 1880, he purchased the Pacific Commercial Advertiser and became a publisher. Today, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser is known as the Honolulu Advertiser, one of the largest newspapers in circulation in the United States. Spreckles' conservative pro-monarchy slants caused him to fall from favor by his fellow businessmen and eventually sold the newspaper.

Spreckles was born in Lamstedt, Hanover, now a state of Germany. In 1846, he left his homeland to start a life anew in the United States. He first settled in South Carolina where he opened a grocery store business. He then moved to New York City and did the same. In 1856, Spreckles moved his grocery business to San Francisco where he began a microbrewery and made a fortune. He took his wealth and purchased vast tracks of land in California and Hawai'i to grow sugar beets and sugarcane. In 1899, he opened the Spreckles Sugar Company and gained a reputation as the Sugar King.

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