Influential Barton Women

The history of the Barton Ranch is not complete without mentioning the substantial contributions made by the wives of Perry Franklin, Paul, Jerry, and Brent Barton who represent the first four generations in the family business.

portrait of Elizabeth Jane Barton

Elizabeth Jane Barton married Perry Franklin in 1882 in their native Illinois. She and Perry raised seven children–five sons and two daughters. “Grandma”, as she is still affectionately known in the family today, moved with Perry to California in 1912 and was instrumental in raising her family while adjusting to a completely new and different lifestyle on their small farm in Escalon. “Grandma” died in 1964 at the age of 106, having outlived four of her children.

Portrait of Alice Barton

Alice Lee Barton married Paul in 1931. Together, they raised their two sons, Hugh and Jerry, on the Barton farm. Alice was an exceptional ambassador for the family business, often inviting customers and neighbors in for an impromptu, home-cooked lunch or a tall glass of lemonade. Except for the last few years of her life, when she became unable to live independently, Alice lived in the same house on the farm where Paul brought her when they were married. That house survives today, and various members of four generations of Bartons have lived there at one time or another.

Portrait of Janet Barton

Janet Barton married Jerry in 1955, shortly after Jerry’s graduation from college. Having grown up as a “city girl” in Spokane, Washington, the farming life was new to Janet, but she quickly adapted, raising their three sons–Don, Gary, and Brent–at their home about a half-mile from the home where Jerry grew up. Like Alice, Janet’s wonderful hospitality was (and is!) often employed to entertain customers, brokers, and various VIP’s, especially during Jerry’s tenure as Chairman and later President of Diamond Walnut Growers of California. Today, she and Jerry live on the Ripon farm, enjoying the fruits of their many years of hard work in building and developing the family business.

It is hard to imagine where the business would be today without the extraordinary contributions of these three remarkable women. While they didn’t drive the tractors or prune the trees, they were all sources of great comfort and encouragement to their husbands and children during the challenging days when most of the equity in the business was of the “sweat” variety.

Cindy Barton

Cindy Barton grew up in the Central Valley of California and has lived here all her life. Her dad was a stone fruit grower in the southern San Joaquin Valley. She worked on the farm and in the packinghouse as a girl during her growing-up years before attending college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It was there that she met Brent Barton—and a romance bloomed. The young couple was married near the end of their college years and settled in Escalon, initially living in the same small home on the Escalon Ranch.

Cindy and Brent raised two children, Stephanie and Michael, who also grew up on the ranch and helped out with ranch duties. Cindy has been a willing and very able resource for both the ranch and the processing business through the years. Most recently, she helped manage our scalehouse during the harvest. She’s also joined the businesses’ board of directors, offering her wisdom and counsel to both the board and to the newest generation of managers in the business—Jeremy (who heads the GoldRiver Orchards operation) and Josh (who leads the Barton farming enterprise).

With her deep background in both farming and packinghouse operations, her love of the ranch and the farming way of life, and her love for her nephews and the family at large, Cindy is an invaluable team member and mentor.