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Building the Family

In the post-war years, Gene and Bettye worked on not only building the family business – now called A. J. Padelford & Son – but on building a family.  They had two sons, Doug and Dan, and a daughter Diane.  In 1952, the young couple moved into a new home on 183rd Street that doubled as the company’s headquarters.  A small office was attached to the kitchen, blueprints were laid out on tables in the garage, and a backyard CB radio tower broadcast instructions to workers in the field.

A 1960s Market Basket in Garden Grove
A 1960s Market Basket in Garden Grove

In 1959, Gene was elected mayor of the newly-incorporated city of Artesia.  Many other Southland cities followed suit and AJP built their fire stations, libraries, and city halls.  With the suburbs encroaching, the dairies moved east so the company turned its focus to professional buildings and retail centers.  Pioneer Ford and Market Basket supermarkets were clients during this time.

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