Ed Powers


In the late 1910s, Powers was credited with using surface irrigation and deeper cultivations to convert exhausted farm land into fertile acreage. He was active in school leadership and headed the effort that established Manteca’s first high school. He is credited with convincing Spreckels to build its plant in Manteca. He also operated the Manteca Canning Co. and the Manteca Feed Store.

He was the first president of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau and developed Powers Park and Homesites in 1946 to provide homes for returning servicemen.

He was the first to commercially grow sunflower seeds in Manteca and produced a sunflower plant named “Manteca.”

He served several times as Manteca Chamber of Commerce President and was instrument in the movement to construct Manteca’s first grammar school after the old East Union School burned down in 1913, as well as helping organize the city’s first bank. He also built the city’s initial phone system.