Samuel Armor.

History of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present online

. (page 101 of 191)
Online LibrarySamuel ArmorHistory of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 101 of 191)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Union high school, where he was graduated in 1896, when he entered Stanford Uni-
versity, graduating in the class of 1900, with the degree of A.B. During his university
course he was for two years a member of the varsity football team, playing left end.
He then studied two years at Stanford Law School, and taking the examination at
San Francisco, was admitted to the bar in 1903. After practicing law in San Francisco
for a year, he located in Bellingham, Wash., engaging in the practice of law. He
served as city attorney of Bellingham, from 1908 to 1912. On account of the death of
his brother in that year, he returned to Placentia, where he opened a law ofifice and
practiced until 1920, when he formed a partnership with H. G. Ames, as Ames and
McFadden, with offices in the Odd Fellows building at Anaheim. Aside from his
practice, he is interested in his father's estate, incorporated as the Pioneer Ranch
Company, of which he is secretary.

Mr. McFadden established domestic ties by his marriage June 19, 1912, to Miss
Lucana Forster of San Juan Capistrano, a daughter of Marco Forster, the pioneer of
that place, and they are the parents of one daughter, Ysidora. Mr. McFadden achieved
considerable success as a member of the varsity football team at Stanford, becoming a
well-known coach, so that while at Stanford, he spent two season as coach for the
Pacific University team at Forest Grove, Ore., then of the Oregon Agricultural College
at Corvallis a season, and then his first year at Bellingham he spent a season as coach
for the football team of De Pauw University at Greencastle, Ind. Fraternally Mr.
McFadden is a member of Fullerton Lodge No. 339, F. & A. M., and Fullerton Chapter,
R. A. M., and is also a member of the Knights of Pythias as well as past exalted ruler
of Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O. Elks. He is a popular member of the Fullerton
Club, the Hacienda Country Club of La Habra, the Newport Harbor Yacht Club and
the Union League Club of Los .Angeles, as well as the state and county bar associations.

y^- v^^^w£-.A<^



WILLIAM FALKENSTEIN.— A merchant who has attained an enviable success
through having Ijuilt on a foundation of unremitting industry, broad experience and
the highest integrity, is William Falkenstein, proprietor and director of Falkenstein's
Department Store. He was born in Germany, of an historic German family, on
March 16, 1866, the son of Selmar and Anna (Furstenheim) Falkenstein, both of whom
are dead. Five children were born to them, and five grew up to do them honor; and
fourth in the order of birth was William, the subject of our interesting review.

He enjoyed the best of educational advantages in his native land and not only
attended the grammar grades, but also studied at the high school. He worked for
several years in Germany, and at the age of twenty-six came to the United States.
For awhile he stayed in New York City, but in 1893 he decided to push on to the
great West.

Coming to California, he located at Fullerton, where for three years he was in
the service of Messrs. Stern and Goodman. He went to Phoenix for a couple of years,
but came back to Fullerton again; and in 1899 removed to Anaheim where, with a
partner, he helped form the firm of Harris & Falkenstein. After several years he
bought out his partner, and since then has conducted alone a very successful trade.
He has, very naturally, become an important factor in the Merchants and Manufacturers
Association and in the Board of Trade.

On September 16, 1900, Mr. Falkenstein was married to Miss Regina Harris, of
Santa Ana, and they have had two children — Stanley M., who is attending the Uni-
versity of California, and Edith Ruth. He belongs to the Mother Colony Club, and
is a past master Mason in Lodge No. 207 of Anaheim. Having served for a year in
the German army, and thus done his full duty in that respect by his native country,
Mr. Falkenstein has been the more ready and experienced in performing his civic duties
here, and as a Republican has taken an active interest in national politics, and has
always worked hard for civic improvements. He has prospered in his adopted country,
and has ever striven to give back from that which he has thus bountifully received.

WALLACE B. DENNIS.— .A highly esteemed citizen of Orange who was for four
years president of the school board and has long been a leader in his vicinity, is
Wallace B. Dennis, a native of Iowa, where he was born near Iowa City on .August
16, 1866. His father, Milton Dennis, was a native of Ohio, a member of an old Eastern
family, and he became a pioneer of Iowa, when he came there with his parents and
settled in Johnson County. The youngest son, he followed farming there and raised
grain; and also went in for lumbering, operating on the Iowa River. He had a steam
sawmill and made up lumber of ash, oak and hickory; and he became prominent in the
lumber trade, being a sawyer and understanding the manufacture of just what was
wanted. In 1875 he removed to Shelby County and became a farmer there; and after
four years moved again to Villisca, Iowa. Then he went to Scribner, Nebr., still active
in agricultural pursuits; and having retired, he died there, at the age of eighty-two. He
had married Miss Eliza Crawford, a native of Ohio or Illinois; and she died in Ne-
braska on the same day as did her husband, under pathetic circumstances. She was
in her seventy-ninth year in 1907, and had been ill for some time; and when the old
gentleman was told that his companion of so many years could not live, he fell dead.
They were the beloved parents of eleven children, eight of whom are still living.

The youngest child of all, and the only one living in California, W. B. Dennis
was brought up on a farm in Iowa and there attended the public schools. Then he
went to .Atlantic, Iowa, and completed his schooling, after which he commenced to
work, with his brother, on his father's farm. At the end of a year, he went to Scribner,
Dodge County, Nebr., and continued farm work, and at the age of twenty-one, began
to farm for himself.

In Nebraska, on January 23, 1895, Mr. Dennis was married to Miss Mae Evelyn
NefT, a native of Fremont, Dodge County, Nebr., and the daughter of Lewis H. and
Lydia A. (Marshall) NefT, born respectively in Ohio and Iowa. When fifteen years
old her father ran away and enlisted in the Civil War; and as a member of an Illinois
regiment, he served throughout the great conflict. He then went to a business college
in Davenport, and after that came out to Dodge County, Nebr., and was married at
Fremont to Lydia Marshall. Then he engaged in the harness and saddlery business
until 1912, when he sold out and, coming to California, located at Santa .Ana, where
th'ey now reside. Mrs. Dennis is the eldest of the four children. The Dennis boys
and their father had formed a partnership, but they dissolved the same in 1896, and
W. B. Dennis leased a farm and engaged in raising cattle and hogs. He finally removed
to Plainville, Rooks County, Kans., and bought a farm of 160 acres. He also leased
land and raised wheat and corn. He was the first one to grow corn at Plainville, and
having propitious rains that year, averaged sixty bushels to the acre.


Two years later, he sold his farm and moved to Cody, Wyo., where he bought
a ranch and also engaged in contracting to do teaming during the building of the great
Shoshone dam, hauling all the coal for the engineers, and handling the same as a
broker. This work required sixteen four-horse teams. Two years later, when the work
had advanced that far, he took the contract to haul all the cement, and then used fifty
four-horse teams, hauling all the cement and the coal. This had to be hauled over
a mountain, and it took five years to complete the dam. On the completion of his
contracts, Mr. Dennis sold his stock and in 1910 came west to sunnier California.

Locating at Orange, he soon afterwards bought his present ranch of thirteen
acres on East Chapman Avenue along Santiago Creek. It was partly set out to orange
trees, and the remaining three and a half acres he himself set out, mostly in Valencias
and the balance in Navels, and this he cares for himself. He is one of the original
members of the McPherson Heights Citrus Association, and is also a director in the
same and he belongs to the Commercial Club.

Two children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis. Marie June is a
graduate of the University of Southern California and now doing post-graduate work,
and Jean is a graduate of the Orange Union high school and a freshman in the Univer-
sity of California. The family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Dennis
was a school trustee of the Craig district for four years, and during this time they
built the Intermediate school on North Glassell Street, and he was president of the
board the entire four years. He was a Mason in Cody, Wyo., and is now a member of
the Orange Grove Lodge No. 293, at Orange. With Mrs. Dennis, he is also a member
of Scepter Chapter No. 163, O. E. S., where Mrs. Dennis is a past matron.

MRS. METTE HANSEN.— One of Orange County's capable, progressive women,
who deserves much credit for her devotion and ability as a mother and business woman,
is Mrs. Mette Hansen, widow of the later Charles Hansen. A hard-working, self-made
man, conservative in his business relations and yet progressive to a high degree, he
struggled long as a pioneer, and started the ranching that has since his death been
made a success, thanks to his devoted wife. One of two sons of Hans Hansen, he was
born near Varde, Denmark. He came to the United States and spent a short time in
the East and then came to California, where he had a brother, Peter Hansen, living
m the Placentia district. Orange County; there he purchased some land to the northwest
of that town. After a while, he went back to Denmark for a visit; but the lure of Cali-
fornia made his stay there short, and the same year he again trod the soil of the Golden
State. He did not come alone, however, for he brought with him Miss Mette Nielsen,
the daughter of Niels Andreasen, a farmer of Varde, Denmark, whom he married, on
their arrival at Placentia in 1877, and they began housekeeping on his ranch of fifty-
three acres.

The countryside was open and wild in those days, only a few scattered dwellings
and settlers marking the growth of the territory from the time when the Indians pre-
dominated; and many hardships were experienced and had to be borne as best one
could. Water was wanting; and Mr. Hansen was one who helped to construct the
Cajon ditch, later known as the Anaheim Union Water Company, the cost of which
was shouldered by the few ranch owners then in that area. So far had Mr. Hansen
progressed in establishing something worth while for himself and his family that he
had set out his land to vineyards, and had harvested two crops when on June 5, 1886.
at Fullerton, he passed away, lamented by all who really knew him.

After Mr. Hansen's death, his widow pushed on bravely alone with the great
additional responsibility of rearing the four children which had blessed the happy union;
and how well she got along may be judged from the fact that she had- occasion to
consult an attorney only once or twice. Now her holdings include sixteen acres of
the original tract which she has set to Valencia and Navel oranges, which is managed
by her son-in-law, Lee O. Myers, who himself owns another twenty acres. In addition,
Mrs. Hansen owns a fine cotton and alfalfa ranch of sixty acres in the Palo Verde
Valley, and this is made profitable by the wise management and personal attention of
Mrs. Hansen's oldest son.

The four children referred to are Mettinos, Lena. Mette and Emma; and all but
the latter are still living: Mettinos is a rancher at Palo Verde and has six children:
Lena is the wife of John E. Wagner; and Mette is Mrs. Lee O. Myers. Each child
has some particular accomplishment of which any parent might well be proud, and
each has profited by the Christian example of their lamented father, whose walk in life
was simple, unassuming and just. In religion Mrs. Hansen is a Lutheran and believes
in the golden rule of doing to others as you would be done by. She is now one of the
few remaining pioneers of the Placentia section and has very materially helped to build
up the county.

^:%s^ ^£^.



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DIERKER.— Few orange orchards in all California
can show a higher state of improvement, for the time devoted to it, or a more promis-
ing development, than the tract of ten acres, brought to its present level through the
experience, insight and industry of its owner, Benjamin Franklin Dierker, who came to
Orange for the first time in the early nineties. He was born in Monterey, Cuming
County, Nebr., in October, 1877, the son of the esteemed pioneer. Henry Dierker, and
the seventh oldest of the family. He attended the public schools there until he was
fifteen, and then came to Orange, Cal., where he continued his school work. After
that he pursued a commercial course at the Orange County Business College, at the
conclusion of which he worked with his father.

He bought forty acres at Olive, at $100 per acre, and set out oranges and walnuts;
and at the end of four years he sold it for $14,000. Then he spent a year in the employ
of the Pixley Hardware Company, but selling his residence, he returned to Nebraska,
where he bought a farm of 280 acres, on which for three years he raised corn and
stock. Disgusted, however, with the cold winters, and longing for the balmier climate
of California, he again disposed of what he had and returned to Orange.

In 1909 Mr. Dierker bought his present place, some ten acres on West Palmyra
Street, at that time mere vacant ground; and he set out Valencias now doing well. He
laid cement pipe lines, built a two-story, ten-room house, and made it one of the show
places of the county. He also joined the Santiago Orange Growers Association, and
helped along the excellent work of that live organization.

During this later residence at Orange, Mr. Dierker married Miss Rozella Kloth,
who had moved with her parents from Minnesota to Orange. They attend the
Lutheran Church, as do also their children, Nelson, Alfred, Thelma and Marie, and
undertake their share of both church and civic work.

AMANDUS W. BEACH and MRS. AUREL BEACH.— A member of the Chris-
tian Science faith and practice whose influence in these days of rapid modern advance-
ment has been effectual and helpful to many, is Mrs. Aurel Beach of Orange. Her
husband, who passed on in 1913, was widely known as a good and farseeing man; and
when he was called to lay aside the toil and responsibilities of this world, his faithful
helpmate continued the good work he had begun.

He was born in xA.shtabula County, Ohio, on August 5, 1838, and moved to Ne-
braska in 1857, where he located at Weeping Water, in Cass County. He resided there
until the fall of 1862 when he enlisted in Company H of the Second Nebraska Cavalry
and was mustered in for nine months' service against the Indians. He really served
thirteen months, and in November, 1863. was honorably discharged. Then he started
back to Ohio, and on December 24. 1863, arrived at Painesville, in Lake County. The
next day — Christmas — he was married there to Miss Aurel Paine, who was born near
Painesville, Ohio, in LeRoy Township, on January 26, 1839. Her great-grandfather,
Eleazar Paine had served in the Revolutionary War, and in 1802 moved with his family
to Connecticut Western Reserve in Ohio, and there in what was then Geauga, and later.
Lake County, he founded Painesville. At that time, the grandfather, Hendrick E. Paine,
a native of Connecticut, was fourteen years old, and he served in the War of 1812.
About 1855. Hendrick Paine removed from Painesville to Monmouth, 111., and there
he died. Henry Paine was Mrs. Beach's father, and he was a native of Ohio, where
he was born in 1810. He was a forge roan and manufactured Paine's Plows and later
was a farmer in LeRoy Township, and also a justice of the peace and a commissioner
of Lake County. His wife was Harriet N. Tuttle. a native of Austinburg, Ashtabula
County, Ohio, and her parents came from Connecticut in 1811. Great-grandfathers
Tuttle and Mills were Revolutionary soldiers. The grandfather, Ira Tuttle, was a
farmer and a brick manufacturer. The parents, who died in LeRoy, were blessed
with ten children; eight of these are still living, and six are over seventy years of age.
Mrs. Beach was educated at the public schools and at Madison Seminary, and
from her seventeenth year taught school in Lake and Geauga counties. She then went
to Monmouth, 111., to rest, but again taught for eighteen months, after which she
returned to Ohio, in which state she was married.

In the spring of 1864, Mr. Beach returned to Neliraska with his bride and located
at Weeping Water. There were only three log houses in the little burg at that time,
and a grist mill, and the Beach dwelling was a log house. For a while he did teaming
for the mill, hauling flour to Nebraska City and bringing back lumber, and there, in her
own house, Mrs. Beach taught school for a few weeks. In the meantime, while they
improved their homestead, they began farming. In November, 1865, Mr. Smith, their
brother-in-law came out and bought eighty acres of Mr. Beach; and a year later
Mr. Beach's brother bought the balance of the property. For about eight years Mr.
Beach was busy as an agriculturist on the Bellows farm, and while there Mrs. Beach


was severely injured through the overturning of their buggy. They then went back
to Ohio for her health but remained for six years, and then returned to Wieeping
Water, where he was a clerk for several years. They also bought a farm near Weeping
Water, which they conducted from 1880 until 1900, when they sold out. In the mean-
time, the Missouri Pacific Railway built in, and Mr. Beach sold the company twenty-
three acres; and then, when the branch was built to Lincoln, he sold more of the
land. They continued to reside in Weeping Water until 1910, when they came to
Orange and located on South Center Street.

Mr. Beach died on July 3. 1913, and Mrs. Beach sold the house and lot and took a
trip back to Weeping Water, where Mr. Beach was buried. He was a member of the
Grand Army of the Republic, and was past commander of the post at Weeping Water,
also past commander of Gordon Granger Post, at Orange. Two children passed away
in Nebraska. Henry Paine, who died when he was twenty months old, and Harry
Paine, who lived to be four and a half years old. In November, 1913, Mrs. Beach
returned to Orange, and she has made her home here ever since. Mr. Beach was a
Republican, and both husband and wife were ardent Christian Scientists.

This interest in Science work arose and developed largely because of personal
experience. Mrs. Beach was in very poor health from an accident, having been injured
in the overturning of their buggy, and she was given up by the local physician. She
went to Omaha, where she was healed by a Christian Science practitioner, in 1886.
Mr. Beach had consumption, and was also healed in the same year. That same year
they took instruction and began to practice. In 1888, while in Ohio on a visit, she
found her oldest sister thought to be passing away with heart failure. The sister
requested Mrs. Beach to treat her, and she recovered and lived for fifteen years. The
healing brought so many cases that Mr. and Mrs. Beach remained there for several
months. Mr. Beach was successful in particular to a wonderful degree as a practitioner,
but they had to return to Nebraska to look after business affairs. In 1902 they made
another trip back to Leroy, Ohio, and traveled throughout the East, and after another
sojourn in Nebraska, they came to Southern California.

GEORGE HILL PIRIE. — An enterprising, progressive citizen who understands
the many problems of citrus-growing, is well informed on earlier days, and very en-
thusiastic for the building up of Orange County, is George Hill Pirie. a native of New
York City, where he was born in 1857. His father was George Pirie, a native of Scot-
land, who came to New York as a stonecutter, became an American citizen, and mar-
ried Christina Hill, also a native of Scotland. Moving to Cedar County, Iowa, he
engaged in agricultural pursuits, and there both he and his good wife died. Of the
four boys and two girls in the family, three sons and one daughter are still living
and of these, George and a brother Alexander are the only ones in California.

Brought up on a farm in Iowa, George Pirie was educated at the public schools,
and in 1882 came to California, where he located in Orange County. For a while he
worked at ranching, and for a time he owned a ranch; then he was foreman for Dr. I.
Adams ranch, and directed the extensive operations there in the growing of walnuts,
oranges and other fruit, continuing there for eighteen years. When his health was
impaired, he resigned and then purchased a ranch which he still owns.

Mr. Pirie has been very successful each time that he made a "buy." and one of
his fortunate purchases is the corner of Olive and Chapman streets, where he has re-
constructed the buildings, and has built up other properties in town. He laid out ten
acres on North Lemon Street, and sold the same as the Pirie Home Tract, disposing
of it in lots; and he also sold at an advantage some ten acres he once owned on
North Glassell Street.

A Republican in national political affairs, Mr. Pirie takes a live interest in civic
life, and strives to do what he can. under Republican auspices, to elevate politics; but
in local matters he recognizes no such political bonds or partisanship differences, and
always tries to support the best men and the best measures.

HENRY W. DUKER.— An enterprising contractor who has abundantly demon-
strated that he can both successfully build houses and cultivate citrus fruit, and who
has thus shown his desire to build up the town and community to the highest standard
possible, is Henry W. Duker, who first came to California in the latter part of 1904,
and who has been more and more identifying himself with the Golden State ever since.
He was born at River Park, Chicago, 111., on October 27, 1868. the son of Henry
Duker, who was for a while a contractor and then a farmer at River Park. He was
a native of Hanover, Germany, and there married Miss Caroline Ude. In 1886 they
removed from Chicago to Iowa; and in that more western home-land they died. They
had eight children, among whom Henry was the second eldest, and is now the only
one living in California.


He was reared on a farm, and at the same time attended the local public schools;
and removing with his folks to Fort Dodge, Iowa, he continued to assist his father
on the farm until he was twenty-three years of age. Then, on October 27, 1892, at
Fort Dodge he was married to Miss Elizabeth Bartsch, a native of Chicago and the
daughter of William and Rose (Straus)) Bartsch — the former, a carpenter and builder
who died there, the latter a gifted domestic woman, who had come to settle in Iowa,
and there was educated. For a while Mr. Duker continued farming, owning a nice
farm four miles north from Fort Dodge; but in 1904 he sold out and located at
Orange. Cal.

For the first three years he lived at the corner of Washington Avenue and
Shaffer Street, and then he built his extensive house on East Palmyra and Shaffer
streets on a lot he had bought when he first came here. Since 1904 he has been engaged
in contracting and masonry, and he has done the masonry work on many notable
structures including the Jorn Building, the Ehlen and Grote Building, the Barker Build-
ing, and various machine shops and garages. He was associated with R. W. Miller
in the erection of the Lutheran Church here, and he has also carried through much
good contracting in other parts of Orange County. In 1919, he completed his own new
cement residence, on Batavia Street, a fine location with an orange grove of three and
a half acres. This type of building is the latest word in home-struccure and the
most durable of any kind. He is interested also in horticulture, and has an orange
grove of seven acres elsewhere, a miniature "show place" in itself. His interest in
citrus culture has made him, naturally, a member of the Santiago Orange Growers

Nine children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Duker. Amelia lives at

Online LibrarySamuel ArmorHistory of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 101 of 191)