John Brown.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside counties / with selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period of growth and achievement.. (Volume 2) online

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3 1833 01149 4926



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Editor for San Bernardino County


Editor for Riverside County

Selected Biography of Actors and Witnesses

of the Period of Growth

and Achievement



Copyright, 1922


Chicago. III.




Riverside has probably had its full share of newspapers. The first
newspaper was published in November, 1875, called the "Riverside
News." It was published by two young men from San Bernardino,
Jesse Buck and R. A. Davis, Jr. It was a small afifair, but it showed
that Riverside was growing. It came quite unexpectedly, but was wel-
come. As neither of the proprietors were horticulturists, or farming
men, it was not of much service in that line. In our day a rapid machine
operator (according to Robert Hornbeck, a practical printer and news-
paper man who set a "stick" or two on the first issue) would set the
type for all the reading matter contained in the News in four hours. The
press was a hand press and by hard labor would print from 300 to 500
impressions per hour. A bound file of it is now in a glass case in the
public library. After a few months Buck left, and Mr. Davis ran the
newspaper alone until about the beginning of 1877. It was enlarged
after a time, using a patent outside printed in San Francisco, which gave
a synopsis of the general news from the outside world. After a time
Davis quit and it was run in a desultory fashion for a time by W. H.
Gould, owner, who sent printers from the outside and from Los Angeles.
The paper received but slight support and was finally leased to Henry J.
Rudisill (brother-in-law to S. C. Evans, Sr.) who put his son Henry J.
in charge of it. Mr. Rudisill himself was a bright man and a fluent
speaker and sensible writer, who if he had been able to give his whole
time to the paper, would have made a success of it from a literary stand-
point. But Mr. Rudisill's duties as secretary of the Riverside Land and
Irrigating Company took up about all of his time and an editor by the
name of Satterfield, a patron of the saloon, did not help any, and after
a time he left.

In April, Robert Hornbeck, a Riverside boy was put in charge
of the mechanical department with Jas. H. Roe, druggist, as edi-
tor, under which management it was run for the summer. Dr. John
Hall, a practical printer and proofreader, helped set type occasionally
while Mr. Rudisill, Sr., was on a business trip East. E. \V. Holmes also
contributed some editorial matter. The telegraph operator, a cultivated
man also wrote an occasional editorial and the paper was by far the best
it had ever been. It had a circulation of about three hundred copies
with a subscription price of three dollars per year. The daily paper
was not yet thought of. When Mr. Rudisill returned from the East he
found it was a costly experiment, it having run behind $800 and he gave
up the lease. It was run for a short time by others, but the bankruptcy
of Mr. Gould, the owner, compelled the suspension of the paper, and the
material sold under attachment for the benefit of the creditors. The
press was afterward used by Scipio Craig on a newspaper he published
at Colton. The News suspended publication in February, 1878. after a
checkered existence of a little over two years.

S. C. Evans of the Land and Irrigating Company, feeling the need
of a newspaper as an advertising medium for the sale of lands, and
to advertise Riverside, made overtures to Mr, Hornbeck to start a news-
paper on his own responsibility. (Mr. Hornbeck, it must be understood
was an old Riversider living with his father on the east side on a dry
governmen*^ claim). This, Mr. Hornbeck declined to do as he thought


the field too small as yet for a newspaper, although Mr. Evans offered
to raise $1,500 to be repaid in subscriptions and advertising in order to
start a new paper. After repeated efforts James H. Roe agreed to start
a newspaper if Mr. Hornbeck would agree to be the printer, to which he
assented. His calculations were that it would take about two-thirds of
his time. About $1,000 was raised by Mr. Evans in all from various
parties, and the needed material was sent for, arriving about June 20,
1878. The first office was on Main Street, south of the corner of Eighth,
about one hundred feet in a shack of a building about ten by twenty feet,
constructed of rough boards. The weight of the press on the floor made
the whole building so wobbly that the floor joists had to be strengthened
before the press could be used. There were just room enough in the
building to hold the press and material. Dr. John Hall and E. W.
Holmes helped set up the type for the first issue, which had a patent
inside set up and printed in San Francisco with all the outside news.
No telegraphic news as yet. The first issue was dated June 20, 1878,
under the name of the Riverside Press. The press did not work right
at first, but with the assistance of a threshing machine operator it was
put in working order. It took a long time and hard work on the hand
operated press to get out the first issue of 500 copies, Mr. Hornbeck
turning the press and Mr. Roe doing the rolling or inking.

Mr. Roe was a pleasant man, well educated and ran the paper very
creditably and we had in Riverside at last a good paper. The work was
very trying on Mr. Hornbeck during the hot summer months, the dust
sifting in off the .street (this was before the sprinkler for the streets
came in) making it very disagreeable. When a norther prevailed in the
fall, with the accompanying dust, operations had to be suspended for
the time being, causing a removal of the ofiice to another wooden build-
ing, where the open seams of the upright boards were battened and the
inside cloth lined with a cloth ceiling. Only those who lived through a
sand storm in the early days can have any idea of their disagreeable
nature, when sheep grazed on the open plains in the path of the wind,
cutting the soil up into fine dust — it blew everywhere and on cloth
ceilings they would sag down with the weight of dust. Now the dust
is practically done away with since roads have been concreted and trees
planted, and irrigation everywhere. The Press had a Chinese laundry for
next door neighbor. This ofiice was on a lot afterwards given with
others to the Citrus Fair Association, where a fine large commodious
pavilion was erected for fair purposes opposite the Mission Inn. After-
wards it burned down, and the present Loring Opera House was built
on the site.

Mr. Roe had a hard job on his hands while he had the Press, as
he was on Government lands which were in a hot dispute with Mr. Evans
and the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company as to paying for the
right to water and buying stock corresponding to acreage. There were
other unsettled questions among the fruit growers as to the relative
merits of seedling or budded oranges, and as to whether raisins or
oranges were going to be the most profitable crops.

As to the water question, and the fact that Mr. Roe's interests were
somewhat antagonistic to Mr. Evans, while the patronage and support
of Mr. Evans was vital to the very existence of the paper. Mr. Roe was
a mild mannered, agreeable and peaceable man. and while opinions were
vigorous on each side, Mr. Evans never interfered with the policy of the
paper, which was always open for a hearing on any side, and although
the paper grew slowly it was a good paper and had an important influence
on public affairs, and was an authority on horticultural matter and got


important aid editorially from outsiders. While the Press was thus
quietly making its way there was got in the way of premiums on sub-
scriptions, three hundred dollars that was applied in the purchase of books
which in the end was the origin of our public library.

On the first day of January, 1880, L. M. Holt who was Secretary of
the Southern California Horticultural Society, and also running a paper
in Los Angeles called the Horticulturist, bought the Press from Mr. Roe
and the price paid — $1.500 — was an index that it had been a success for
it paid Mr. Roe $1,200 clear of all indebtedness. As Mr. Roe had
been conducting his drug business all this time it showed remarkable suc-

Mr. Holt was a rustler and a newspaper man for the most of his
life and was the original Riverside boomer. Southern California, of
which the outside of Los Angeles, Riverside, was the best known place
horticulturally, began to fill up slowly with Eastern people and fruit
began to turn in money and by persistent work the circulation of the
Press soon doubled, which circulation was not only in Riverside but in
all the surrounding new settlements. Soon the Press began to be a tri-
weekly with a weekly Press and Horticulturist.

Mr. Holt's brother, Kendall, a theatrical man, came to Riverside in
a professional way, and liking Riverside remained and went in to help
L. M. both in a business and editorial way. The tri-weekly was such a
success that soon there was a Daily Press in 1886, with delivery of papers
to subscribers, and the paper flourished.

When L. M. Holt bought the paper from Mr. Roe it had 230 sub-
scribers. The inside was patent, but in a short time after buying it it was
all printed in Riverside. Five hundred dollars to start with was the
original investment, putting the profits into the capital stock. It came, in
good time, to represent the first citrus fair in 1879. During Air. Holt's
ownership it was helped very much financially by large adverti.sements
from new settlements that were founded and for which he did valiant
work, generally getting a large slice of land in return for booming them
in a legitimate way. Corona, or as it was called for several years. South
Riverside ; East Riverside, now Highgrove ; Ontario, Etiwanda and Red-
lands, and even places as far away as San Diego and the San Joaquin
Valley, came in for a share of advertising, and when he sold out Septem-
ber 1, 1880, to Sweezy & Tibbott, it was the most influential pa])er horti-
culturally in Southern California and an authority on citrus fruits. In
December of the same year Holmes Roe and Pierson became proprietors
of the paper. On the death of Mr. Pierson, E. P. and A. F. Clarke
bought out his interest on October 1, 1894 (Mr. Holmes sold his interest
to his partners), and all the interests were transferred on May 26, 1897,
to an incorporated company consisting of E. P. and A. F. Clarke, .A. A.
Piddington. H. H. Monroe and J. P. Baumgartner. When ]Mr. Monroe
transferred his interests to the Enterprise in 1899, H. W. Hammond
bought in. The Press has always been on the side of prohibition and
in favor of good government. Its history since has been the history of
Riverside, and from Mr. Hornbeck turning the Press and Mr. Roe doing
the inking is a long story of growth, and today the Press is represented
by a large and commodious building on Eighth Street, Near Market,
which was built in 1902 and been continuously occupied since.

From the time that Mr. Hammond bought in there have been no
changes in the management or ownership and it is rather remarkable
that there have not been any and the pathway has been steadily up
without any drawbacks. From a circulation of from two or three
hundred, with only two men to run it and without any delivery of the


paper to subscribers, the change has been great and from local and edi-
torial that could be set up today by a good machine typesetter in four
hours to four Mergenthaler machines seems marvelous, but so it is.

The Press is now delivered to subscribers by thirty carriers, not only
in Riverside, but in nearby towns like Corona, as promptly as in Riverside
itself. The boy (in the outlying districts before street car accommoda-
tions were introduced) on his pony has been superceded by the motor-
cycle and the bicycle and at times by the automobile, thirty carriers being
now employed delivering 4,200 papers daily, not to speak of the newsboy
on the street. Fifty-four hundred copies daily, gradually increasing, shows
Riverside people to be a reading people which keeps the seventy-five
employes of the company busy in ofifice hours. In place of two men
working l\v hand to get the two or three hundred copies off the press,
electricity does the work of a great number of men by hand and in an
hour and a half the whole issue is all turned out neatly folded and counted,
all ready for the carrier. Five hundred dollars .represented the invest-
ment of the first issue of the Press and a rental practically nominal to a
$35,000 building with thousands of dollars in stock and material and a
business representing well up to $200,000 per annum is a change beyond
the wildest dreamer of the desert of fifty years ago, and the few pioneers
that are left sometimes wonder whether it is all real, while the owners
of the Press wonder where the rapidly increasing business is going to
find opportunity and room for the constantly increasing circulation.

The Daily Enterprise, the first daily in Riverside and printed on a job
press, 1885. probably in May, although there is no preserved copy of
the early issues. William Studebaker, still a resident of Riverside, how-
ever, has in his possession a copy of The Daily Enterprise, which is listed
as Volume IV, Number 16, and dated Thursday, June 23, 1887. It is
printed on cloth, to be preserved, and is in excellent condition, having been
shown to 175 guests at a dinner in honor of Frank A. ^Miller at the
Glenwood Mission Inn recently.

The paper was not published continuously during its early history.
We find in 1885, in July, The Valley Echo, under the proprietorship of
The Riverside Printing & Publishing Company, with J. A. Studebaker
as manager and with D. L. Potts and J. A. Studebaker editors. This
issue calls nttention to the fact that the Echo was established in August,
1883, and in 1885 was consolidated with the Independent, which was
established in July, 1884. These plants that used to publish the River-
side Moon, were all a part of the equipment used in the permanent
re-establishment of the Enterprise in 1891 by Mark Plaisted.

The Riverside Enterprise has been published regularly and continu-
ously since June 25, 1890. It was placed upon a permanent basis at that
time by Mark Plaisted, who had received his training as a printer on the
Riverside Press. In making his bow to Riverside he said : "The River-
side Press does not launch its barque upon the journalistic sea of this city
today to 'fill a long felt want.' Its predecessor, The Moon, accomplished
that wonderful feat and expired some time ago." The new publication
acknowledged its predecessors, however, by making its 1890 volume
Number 10.

The plant for the Enterprise was purchased by Plaisted from Brad-
ford Morse, who had been defeated as a candidate for assessor. It was
located at the southwest corner of Eighth and Orange streets, where
Campell's news stand is now located (1922). It was a six-column quarto,
published every Wednesday. On September 10th of the same year it
was enlarged to a seven-quarto and on October 4th became a semi-
weekly, being printed on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Early in the


following year the Morning Enterprise, published every day in the year,
with the exception of Mondays, was inaugurated, being a five-column
quarto, with a subscription price estabHshed at $6.00. On Sundays it
was enlarged to a seven-column quarto. The size soon increased to six
columns on week days, and on October 11th it became a seven-column
paper for each issue. On October 15, 1893, the Sunday issues were
increased to eight columns, and by March 4th every day's issue was eight
columns in size.

The management of Plaisted continued until 1899. During April of
that year the office was moved across the street to the building now occu-
pied by Porter's Pharmacy. During the Spanish-American war the Asso-
ciated Press service had been installed and proved to be a successful
feature during those stirring times. It was at this time that H. H. Mon-
roe and C. W. Barton organized a partnership and purchased the

In October, 1901, the Enterprise Company was formed, the first issue
under the company management being published on October 27, 1901.
Monroe & Barton continued in control, but on October 27th a change
was made when the democratic faith of the paper was discarded. P. S.
Castleman, who had been employed on the Riverside Press as associate
editor and business manager for a year and a half, became a member of
the firm and the paper was used to further the candidacy of Capt. M. J.
Daniels for Congress. It was not only changed to a republican paper, but
entered the evening field. In December it became a seven-column quarto.

The change in time of publication and politics proved to be an unsuc-
cessful change. H. H. Alonroe again secured control of the paper,
changed it back into the morning field and it resumed its healthy appear-
ance with a fine advertising patronage, friendly relations being estab-
lished with its competitor.

The burden became rather strenuous and Mr. Monroe disposed of
half of his holdings to Gorham L. Olds, an experienced newspaper man
who came on from New York State with the recommendation of Gaylor
Rouse. From the old quarters on Eighth Street it was moved to a
building erected for the plant on Main Street, adjoining what is now
the Hotel Reynolds Block, with a long term lease. In 1907 the news-
paper was sold to a syndicate of business men. including George Frost,
George N. Reynolds, F. A. Miller and others, with C. W. Barton returned
to editorial control, one of the purposes being to defeat the new city
charter, which was carried, however. Shortly after this change, the
present home of the Enterprise was built for it at 580 Main Street. The
change of the paper to the evening field at this time as the Evening Mis-
sion was soon found to be impractical.

On April 15th the present company, The Mission Publishing Com-
pany, was formed, taking over the interests of the former Enterprise
Company. On May 10, 1910, Edgar Johnson, editor of the Fullerton
Tribune, purchased the interests of Mr. Barton and returned the paper
to its maiden name and the morning field. A. R. Pelton became asso-
ciated with John as business manager July 19, 1910. H. H. Monroe was
a silent partner during this period and continued to hold more or less
interest until 1912.

On November 23, 1911, Frederick O'Brien, a brilliant writer and
author, gained control of the Enterprise, with the financial backing of
James Mills, and conducted it until October 1, 1912, at which time O'Brien
exchanged his interests for the evening Courier at Oxnard, California,
J. R. Gabbert, who was founder of the daily Courier, securing the Enter-
prise control, which he has retained until this time.


In 1913 Gabbert purchased the Wayside Press, a job printing plant,
and installed it in connection with the newspaper plant. That depart-
ment has grown as fast as the Enterprise in recent years and has spread
into the second story of the Riverside Water Company's building as a
result of the purchase of the Glass Book Binding Company's plant of
Los Angeles for special ruling and book binding.

In the spring of 1916 the Enterprise again resumed the morning
field, where it has always been more successful than as an evening news-
paper. On October 1, 1918, the Enterprise became the first seven-day
newspaper in Riverside County, being published every day in the year
at this time with Associated Press dispatches.

California Citrograph Established in Riverside. A monthly
citrus publication, which has developed into considerable prominence, is
the California Citrograph, which was established by J. R. Gabbert, editor
of the Riverside Enterprise, in August, 1914. It was printed for a num-
ber of years in the office of the Riverside Enterprise, being incorporated
as the California Citrograph Publishing Company in 1915.

In 1918 the California Citrograph was made the official publication for
the California Fruit Growers' Exchange and continues to be sent to all of
its members. On account of this change, it was found necessary to move
it to Los Angeles, E. A. Street, who had been its manager since 1915,
taking over the editorial responsibility as well as the business management.

D. C. Fessenden, a native son of Riverside, was editor of the Citro-
graph from 1915 to 1917, when he took a position as secretary of the
state horticultural commissioner, G. C. Hecke. In 1922 J. R. Gabbert is
still president of the company and E. A. Street is secretary-treasurer.


Riverside is well provided with fraternal and secret organizations.
The Odd Fellows were the first to make a move in the line of organiza-
tion, but were prevented on account of the lack of any hall fitted for
the purpose. Along in 1878 when Riverside began to have some decidu-
ous fruit and some of the older orange trees to bear, the Southern
California Horticultural Society had a fair and exhibit of general
produce. It set the people of Riverside to thinking that it would be a
good thing for Riverside to have it citrus fair in the spring of 1879, but
there was no place big enough to hold one in, and so a Public Hall Asso-
ciation was formed to build a hall to be ready in time to hold a citrus
fair at a time when oranges were ripening, and in accordance with plans
put forth, a lot was procured on the corner of Ninth and Main streets,
and a brick building was proj^osed to be put up about 35 by 75 feet,
to be in large part built by labor, for which stock in the hall was given
in payment for that and other things. An arrangement was made with
the Hall Association by which the Odd Fellows were to put one story on
the hall, and build in conjunction with the fruit growers, the upper story
to be owned by the Odd Fellows. E. J. Davis, one of the early pioneers
and B. D. Burt, a somewhat later comer, were the prime leaders in this
movement. The building was far enough advanced to be used for the
first citrus fair in February, 1878. and was finished so that the Odd Fel-
lows organized a lodge on April 26, 1879.

B. D. Burt was elected N. G. E., W. Holmes. V. G. and E. Rosenthal.
Sec. Of the original thirteen charter members, all but E. J. Davis and
N. A. Stiffler have passed over to the great beyond, and these two do
not now reside in Riverside.

Seven years later as the hall, as built was not large enough, the Odd
Fellows bought the whole building, and by taking in Public Hall stock
from those who had it, by way of paying for membership fees in the
Odd Fellows Society, they got a larger membership and by paying others
money they got full ownership of the hall, but it took some years to get
all of the stock, as some who had stock had moved away and could not
be found. When they had full ownership, the Odd Fellows proceeded
to enlarge the building by extending its length about double and putting
another story on top at a cost of over $20,000, and now they have one
of the best and most valuable properties in the city, and its present mem-
bership of over 700 makes it about the largest in the State and the society
is in a verv flourishing state. The lodge is known as Riverside Lodge
No. 282.

There are other organized bodies in connection as follows:

"Star Encampment No. 7i."

"Riverside Canton No. 25."

"Poinsettia Rebekah Lodge No. 308."

"Ramona Rebekah Lodge No. 156."

Which all hold stated meetings at the Hall, 730 West Ninth Street.

Masonic. Early in the history of Riverside, the Masons began to
feel the need of an organization. Some of the early settlers affiliated
with the lodge in San Bernardino which was the county seat.

Evergreen Lodge No. 259, F. and A. M., was instituted under the dis-
pensation from the Grand Lodge of California on the 12th of November,
1879, and chartered in April, 1880. Wm. Craig was the first W. M.


Under the charter there were 24 members all of whom are dead with
the exception of E. J. Davis and B. F. Allen. The lodge is in a very
flourishing condition with a membership of 400.

Online LibraryJohn BrownHistory of San Bernardino and Riverside counties / with selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period of growth and achievement.. (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 66)