British Home Children –
Herbert and Noah Wheatley
In the 1890's Alexander Duncan and Carrie Taylor too in two boys, Herbert and Noah Wheatley, from the Dr. Barnardo Home in England. These British Home Children were sent out to farms to help with the chores and other work until they turned 18 . Herbert Wheatley came to Canada when he was 13 years old arriving in 1890 on the S.S. Circassian from Liverpool 19 June 1890 arriving in Quebec 30 June 1890. Grace Joyce had the small wooden box given to the Barnardo children for their possessions which had belonged to Herbert. After many years of searching she was finally able to return it to his family who were living in British Columbia. Noah Wheatley went to Oakland, California and when Alexander Duncan Taylor and Carrie Dewhirst Taylor visited him in 1925 he owned a cookie bakery. He told them that if he had two or three more good years, he would have more money than he knew what to do wit
In 1925 Alexander and Grace took a trip to California and v isited Noah in Oakland where he owned a cookie factory. He told them “that if he had two or three more good years, h e would have more money than he knew what to do with.”
In 2002 an article was written by the present owners of th e very large corporation who now owns “Mother’s Cookies “–
“For nearly two decades N.M. Wheatley (who didn’t care for his name of Noah and pronounced his middle name “Mike ” although his French mother spelled it Mique, worked hard as a hometown and foreign newspaper vendor at the corner or San Francisco’s Market and Kearny streets.
In 1914, he became curious about an elderly couple who passed by his newstand every day carrying a covered basket filled with delicious home-baked vanilla cookies they sold door-to-door . After trying one, Mique decided on the spot to purchase the rights to the recipe.
The taste of that vanilla cookie changed his life! Mique decided to invest in something mor e permanent than a corner cart. San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires influenced Mique to locate his business across the Bay at a small, one man plant on 12th Avenue in Oakland he toiled all night baking cookies in a three square foot oven with a nightly capacity of about 2000 cookies or 150 boxes. These sold for $1.00 a box and his vanilla cookie s were an overnight success.
Needing help, Mique hired a young woman to help him, and romance flourished in the small bakery. Mique married his new assistant, Leopoldine, and together they ran the company until their son, Floyd, was old enough to take over . In the early days, cookies were delivered in a wagon pulled by Mique’s rented horse, Vanilla. Later, Model T Ford’s outdistanced Vanilla. b 1922 the bakery needed more space, and the company moved to East 18th Street – a gambl e so large that Mique was forced to sell his house and even the piano to pay for it!
In 1949 the company experienced more growing pains, and the bakers moved one final time to 81081st Avenue in Oakland, where the headquarters and bakery remains to this day . Thanks to Mique and Floyd, Mother’s is a fixture in Oakland and in many other towns, employing over 750 people across 14 western states. Alaska, and Hawaii and importing and distributing biscuits from Europe. We salute Mique Wheatley, who went from selling news to making news.
And the rest, as they say, is history!”