Lucky Erica from “Lucky” Baldwin
A Thai-American woman Erica Jasmine Baldwin Gibson, 22 never knew about her deceased American father’s family fortune, until she was surprised with a letter earlier this year that her grandmother, Dextra Baldwin Gibson, who passed away in 2008, left her $US 1 billion dollar (32 billion baht) in bonds and stocks. To the normal people who deals with 10 baht to 100 baht. 1 Billion = 1000 Million!
Her mother Prakong, a 57-year-old from Suphanburi, said she met her deceased husband, Kendrick Baldwin Gibson, in Bangkok 20 ago. They got married and moved to Hawaii, where they had Erica. After her husband passed away in 2000 from liver cancer, Prakong and her daughter struggled to get by. She had to get food from the church to feed her daughter. Little was known about her husband’s mother Dextra, except when she helped pay for Kendrick’s funeral because they had no money.
After Prakong got back on her feet, she opened a Thai restaurant in Kauai, Hawaii and Erica decided not to go to college to help her mother manage their restaurant.
Prakong also found out that two plots of land her mother owns in Kanchanaburi had mineral water under them. The mother and daughter are now in Thailand to start a mineral water business.
Who is that wealthy family! Her grandmother is the great granddaughter of Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin (April 3, 1828 – March 1, 1909). He was “one of the greatest pioneers” of California business. He earned the nickname “Lucky” Baldwin due to his extraordinary good fortune in a number of business deals. He bought a vast tracts of land in Southern California, where a couple of cities and a number of places are named after him. The wealthiest landowner in Southern California, laying claim to more than 65,000 acres of Los Angeles County. “Lucky” Baldwin subdivided some of his land, creating the cities of Arcadia and Monrovia, Baldwin Hills, Sierra Madre in Southern California. Oil was discovered on his land later on, makes it one of the biggest oil fields in the west (The Montebello Oil Fields), which produce 1/8 of the crude oil in California.