Wilbur-Ellis Celebrates 90 Years in Business

Follow Wilbur-Ellis’ rich history over the last 90 years via this interactive timeline. Wilbur-Ellis has continually grown through the years to serve the needs of its customers and has touched many markets, industries and geographies. With the support and ingenuity of its people, Wilbur-Ellis continues its successful journey today. Wilbur-Ellis is proud of its history but never stops looking ahead.

Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Two New Companies

Brayton Chemicals is acquired and Harricros Chemicals, PTE Ltd. is incorporated in Singapore.

New Agricultural Chemical & Fertilizer Locations

Wilbur-Ellis opens agricultural chemical and fertilizer locations for the first time, starting in California and Arizona.

Import-Export Company Opens for Business

Schoolmates from the University of Washington, Brayton Wilbur, Floyd Ellis and Thomas Franck open a small import-export brokerage trading company in San Francisco on California St. with a $5,000 investment. The small company was founded in a two-room office and focused on trading fishmeal, fish oil and by-products (1921).

Connell Brothers Acquisition

Wilbur-Ellis initiates a presence in the Pacific Rim with the acquisition of a highly respected distributor of food and other products, Connell Brothers (1931).

Product Line Expansion

Wilbur-Ellis expands into new product lines, including soybean meal and oil, vitamin oil, shark-fin oil, dried fruit and meat by-products.

Hurley Marine Works Partnership

Wilbur-Ellis enters into a partnership with Hurley Marine Works to operate a ship repair yard to keep Connell Brothers active during the war years.

Wilbur-Ellis Re-establishes Trade with Japan

Wilbur-Ellis is among the first foreign-based companies in post-war Japan to reestablish trade with the country, a legacy that continues today.

Installation of First Dusting Mill

Wilbur-Ellis installs the first dusting sulfur mill in Fresno, California. This dusting sulfur is used as a fungicide in grapes, sugar beets, tomatoes and other crops.

13 Connell Brothers Offices

Connell Brothers now has 13 offices strategically located in the Pacific Rim’s financial and commercial centers.

Strategic Acquisitions

As formulas for fertilizer and crop protection become more sophisticated, the company purchases businesses in California, the Pacific Northwest and Texas. This begins a strategic acquisition approach that continues today.

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