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Ruel Gridley and His Sack of Flour.

Ruel Gridley and His Sack of Flour

Field review by the editors.

Stockton, California

In 1864, grocery store owner Ruel Gridley lost a bet, and his debt was to carry a 50 lb. sack of flour 1 1/4 miles. The day he did it he was accompanied by a procession of amused citizens and a band. This gave him an idea -- raising money for the Sanitary Commission (relief agency for wounded Civil War soldiers) by reselling that sack of flour over and over.

Gridley traveled the country in the late 1860s selling and reselling a sack of flour, then giving all the money to wounded Union veterans. His charity funding sack routine raised $275,000.

Gridley died of exhaustion. The veterans, in gratitude, erected the tallest monument in town over his grave. Ruel Gridley's grave monument depicts his bountiful sack.

Ruel Gridley and His Sack of Flour

Stockton Rural Cemetery

2350 Cemetery Ln, Stockton, CA
Stockton Rural Cemetery. North side of town. Hwy 4/Loftus Fwy to exit 66 or 66B (Stanislaus St.). Turn north at the stoplight onto Stanislaus St. Drive five blocks. Turn left onto E. Miner Ave. Drive two blocks. Turn right onto N. California St. Drive about a mile. Turn right at the stoplight onto E. Harding Way, then make first left onto Cemetery Lane. Drive until the road ends at the cemetery gates. Continue driving straight. You'll soon see a field of tombstones on the right; the big Gridley monument towers in the middle of it.
Gates open daily 8-4:30 Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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