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A. J.'s Business Card (c. 1940)
The History of AJP

Our story begins in the rural, unincorporated community of Artesia where, as the stock market was crashing, the milk business was booming.  A young carpenter named Arthur James Padelford – desperate to be his own boss – saw an opportunity and started a small outfit to build barns in Dairy Valley.  When he got his contractor’s license in 1934, his young son Gene was not yet on the business card, he was still a student at Artesia Elementary.

Gene (2nd from left) & the Crew
Gene (2nd from left) & the Crew

Building dairies and, occasionally, houses sustained the business through the end of the Depression and the beginning of World War II.  Gene attended UC Berkeley while serving in the Army.  He was discharged in 1944 and returned to Artesia to help his dad build dairies for the war effort.  Back home, he married his high school sweetheart Bettye.  Soon after, A. J. walked into the bank where Bettye worked, handed her the company checkbook, and told her she would manage the company’s finances.


A. J.'s Business Card (c. 1940)
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