First in Heart, First in Peace, First in The Eyes of the Purchaser

| June/July 1997

2440 Thomas Street Ceres, California 95307

John Minor Kroyer began Samson Iron Works with a centrifugal pump of his own manufacture and gas engines soon followed. The first Ironworks was located on the corner of California and Washington Streets in Stockton, California. From this small beginning it soon became the largest manufacturer of engines and pumps on the Pacific Coast.

In my great desire to learn more about Samson Iron Works I have come to realize the great changes that occurred in this last century. There was a time in this country when big corporations hadn't yet forced the small competitor out of the market. This was a time when a good idea and hard work made a difference in the lives of the people.

This was a time when a 'grass roots' gas engine industrial explosion took place. Hundreds of manufacturers began mechanizing the farm and bringing a better standard of living with it.

In the early days of Stockton, John settled here to pursue his dream. He saw an increasing need for new equipment and a changing agricultural picture involving the area's conversion from grain to more diversified farming. He settled in a fertile land near the famous delta where marshland was too soft, too wet, for too long.

Three million years ago, virtually all the Sierra Nevada Mountains above three thousand feet were covered by sheets of ice. These glaciers ground the mountains away and as the ice melted, the rivers carried away the alluvial sediment down to fill the 'great valley trough' in some cases as deep as two hundred feet.