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In the early 1890s, farmers Albert Maulhardt and John Edward Borchard discovered Ventura County's favorable conditions for a highly profitable new cash crop: the sugar beet. Not long after inviting sugar mogul Henry T. Oxnard to the area, construction began on a $2 million sugar factory capable of processing two thousand tons of beets daily. The facility brought jobs, wealth and the Southern Pacific rail line. It became one of the country's largest producers of sugar, and just like that, a town was born. Despite the industry's demise, the city of Oxnard still owes its name to the man who delivered prosperity. A fifth-generation descendant, local author and historian Jeffrey Wayne Maulhardt details the rise and fall of a powerful enterprise and the entrepreneurial laborers who helped create a city.
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About the Author
Jeffrey Wayne Maulhardt is a fifth-generation native of Oxnard. He graduated from Ventura College and California University Chico with degrees in philosophy and liberal studies. He taught a variety of grade levels in the Oxnard Elementary School District before retiring as an eighth-grade social studies teacher. Jeff has written numerous local history books and has been working on opening a museum, the Oxnard Historic Farm Park, on an acre of land once farmed by his ancestors.