Claus Spreckels arrived in San Francisco from Germany in 1856. Starting out as a grocery store helper, he made sugar refining into a big business, raising sugar beets in California and sugar cane in Hawaii. The importation of Hawaii sugar led to ship ownership and the growth of his fortune. Three of his four sons also made fortunes. John founded the Oceanic Steamship Company in 1881; the line carried passengers between Hawaii and New Zealand. John went on to publish the San Diego Union and the San Francisco Call. Rudolph, a prominent businessman, became a political reformer in San Francisco. Adolph, often the center of controversy, was instrumental with his wife in the founding of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in 1924.
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