DeWitt Clinton Pendery is an Irish descendent of the American Revolution and one of Ohio's first-ever settling families. Though he began Pendery's Taste Merchants in Fort Worth, Texas in 1870, Pendery's is a family tradition that can be dated back to the 1850's, when DeWitt Clinton's brother and cousin bought a Tea & Grocery Store in their hometown of Cincinnati, OH. There,
DeWitt worked and learned the trade and soon became a Partner.
In 1870, DeWitt rattled and rolled in a horse-drawn stagecoach all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio to the small, untamed town of Fort Worth, Texas. Legend has it that, dressed in a long frock coat and tall silk hat, it wasn't long before the rowdy, gun-slinging cowboys that frequented the area mocked his elegant appearance. A bullet hurtled through his stylish top hat (note: the Pendery's logo) knocking it off his head. His only reaction to the incident was a slight twinge of his thin lips beneath his perfectly manicured handlebar mustache. His calm and composed reaction as he gathered his belongings earned him instant popular respect.
It didn't take long for DeWitt to grow fond of the Texas and regional chile flavors. By 1890, he began selling his own invention of unique chile Blends to cafes, hotels and people from all over. He advertised his "Chiltomaline" Chile Powder in circulars carried on the Stage Line and distributed chile blends through his brother's business up north in Cincinnati. Comprised of select ground chile pods, cumin, and other spices, Chiltomaline saved cooks hours of time once spent drying and grinding seasonings and peppers by hand.
DeWitt Clinton also wrote of the medicinal benefits of his condiment and its acclamation from physicians that still hold true today. "The health giving properties of hot chile peppers have no equal. They give tone to the alimentary canal, regulating functions, giving a natural appetite, and promoting health by action of the kidneys, skin and lymphatics."
For several years, he made the journey back and forth between his Cincinnati and Fort Worth businesses, but forever after called Fort Worth his home. There he would entrench himself into the growth of his business, local politics and the expansion and development of Fort Worth. Each of the five succeeding generations have followed in his example and have dedicated themselves personally to quality innovation, continued refinement and the expansion of a select collection of seasonings.