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 104 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 104 of 191)
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of Orange County in the American Protective League. He organized Orange County
into districts, w-ith each town as a center, and appointed his assistant chiefs in each
of eighteen districts. So closely did he follow the work that from the time of his


appointment until December 31, 1918, when the League was disbanded, he did not
spend one evening with his family. This was all done because of his loyalty to the
country of his adoption and without remuneration. But the satisfaction of having
done his duty when the country had need of his services, and the fact that Congress
afterwards passed an act commending the different chiefs and extending to them a
vote of thanks, and that each be mailed a copy of the resolution, made him feel fully
repaid for his time and efforts. He served acceptably and impartially as chief of
Orange County until the close of the war. Mr. Jessurun was on the board of directors
of all the bond drives, as well as all kindred war drives in Orange County.

Believing that protection is the fundamental principle in American politics,
Mr. Jessurun has always been a Republican, and has taken an active part in the
afTairs of that party in the various states in which he has been a resident, though
he has never aspired to or wished for public office, his time being entirely taken up
with his profession. The family are members of the First Presbyterian Church, and
fraternally JMr. Jessurun is a Knights Templar and Scottish Rite Mason, and is also
a member of Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O. Elks. Mr. Jessurun also takes much
pleasure and pride in his membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engi-
neers, as well as the Association of French Chemists. He is a director in the Ana-
heim National Bank, and his broad vision and keen business experience have proven
him a man of worth in the community, and one whose "footprints on the sands of
time" are worth emulating.

WILLIAM A. HAZEN. — A young man of estimable qualities, who has not always
toiled in the sunshine of life, but whose native ability notwithstanding, or perhaps
because of, the shadowy places, has been able to assert itself, is William A. Hazen,
now residing on Glen Avenue, Tustin, near where he has an eight-acre ranch on
Ritchey Street, devoted to budded walnuts. He has owned the property since 1916, and
since that recent date has worked wonders with the comfortable holding.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, where he was born in October, 1895, Mr. Hazen's
father was accidentally killed in a coal mine at Des Moines in 1897. His mother, now
Mrs. Frank Long, resides at Philadelphia, Pa. Mr. Hazen was reared in the family of
Hugh McQueen, a farmer at Quinter, Kans., but he was not received into their hearts
and treated like a son and when a mere youth of sixteen was thrust out upon a cold
world to shift for himself. His opportunities, therefore, were very limited, but he
made the most of every favoring wind and has been able to attain both comfortable
aflfluence and position with influence as a reward for his steady, honest efforts.

In a life devoted thus far for the most part to agricultural pursuits, Mr. Hazen
migrated to California in 1908, and located at Tustin, and there with Mr. and Mrs. VN'ill
C. Crawford he enjoyed the comforts of a good home. In addition to the Ritchey
Street ranch he also owns five acres planted to Valencias on McFadden Street, adjacent
to the Crawford ranch. He is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Santa
Ana and seeks to lead an exemplary life and has been treasurer of the Men's Club
and Sunday School.

ROBERT B. WEITBRECHT.— A well-educated, well-prepared "hustler." whom
no one envies the fruits of his wide-awake labors, is Robert B. Weitbrecht, who took
up his residence in Orange in the early nineties. He was born at St. Paul, Minn., on
August 27, 1885, the son of George F. Wfeitbrecht, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and a
graduate of Yellow Springs College, Ohio. He did graduate work at Harvard for a
couple of years, and then came to St. Paul, where he founded and was principal of the
Mechanic Arts High School, one of the first high schools in the United States to have
a department of manual training and mechanical drawing. He came to California on
his vacations, for the first time about 1890; and in 1893 he established his family in
Orange County, and he himself intended to locate permanently here. However, the
school he had founded was so dear to him that each year he would return to it, saying
that that year would be the last of his active service; and being prevailed upon to
remain as the principal — while he was developing it so remarkably that even Europeans
came to inspect and study the results — he finally died in the harness, in February, 1916.

Mrs. Weitbrecht, who was Miss Mary Beals, a native of Providence, R. I., before
her marriage, continued to manage the property on Walnut .\venue where Mr. Weit-
brecht had started improvements, and in this difficult but highly interesting work, she
was assisted by her childen, of whom there were three. Susan resides now in San
Diego; Robert is the subject of our review; and George is in Santa .\na. Robert B.
was reared in St. Paul until 1893. and it was on account of his frail health that the
family moved out to California in that year. His health luckily improved at once,
and he became strong and hearty, and fit for any kind of work. Mrs. Weitbrecht died
on the Orange ranch on .\pril 6, 1918.


From the home ranch, beginning with 1893, Robert went to the local public
schools, but at the end of six years, the family returned East to St. Paul. There he
studied at the Mechanic Arts high school, and was graduated in 1904 as a civil engi-
neer. He then entered the University of Minnesota and remained until the close of his
junior year, when he quit the lecture room to go to Idaho and enter the service of the
Chicago. Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad in their engineering corps. This was when
that railroad company was building its Idaho division, and so he helped to construct
the road from South Dakota to Seattle.

At the end of three hard and very fruitful years, Mr. Weitbrecht resigned from
his railroad post, and came back to Orange for a visit; but on looking over the old
home ranch, he concluded to take up its management, and he has remained here ever
since conducting that property. He is engaged in raising \'alencia oranges, and since
his ranch is under irrigation from the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company, and also
the Aid Water Company, the twenty-six acres at the corner of Handy Street and Wal-
nut Avenue are most productive. He is, naturally, a member of the . McPherson
Heights Citrus Association. The ranch, by the way, is owned co-jointly with his
sister, Susan, already referred to. Mr. Weitbrecht is also interested, with his brother-
in-law, John Haig, in heavy trucking, owning a five-and-a-half-ton Mack truck, capable
of carrying fifteen tons, with the aid of a trailer.

In the pleasant town of Alhambra, Mr. Weitbrecht was married to Miss Winifred
Haig, a native of England, having been born at Liverpool of Scotch parentage. Mr.
and Mrs. Weitbrecht attend the Episcopal Church, and Mr. Weitbrecht is a Mason,
affiliated with Orange Lodge No. 293, F. & A. M.

DR. JOHN D. THOMAS. — An aggressive, successful organizer, whose fortunate
handling of enterprises has made him exceedingly popular, is Dr. John D. Thomas,
the president of the First National Bank of Olive, a native of Philadelphia, where he
was born on February 8, 1850. He was the son of Richard W. Thomas, a Methodist
Episcopal divine who filled various responsible charges at Philadelphia and elsewhere
in the East. He died in the harness of his Christian ministry, being stricken with
paralysis while he was delivering his sermon on a Sunday morning in the Fifth Street
Methodist Episcopal Church at Philadelphia. He was forty-seven years old, and the
father of six children; he was a native of Philadelphia, and the paternal grandfather,
David Thomas, was born in Wales, and migrated to Philadelphia, where he became a
shoe manufacturer, employing from thirty to forty men. Richard W. Thomas married
Elizabeth H. Rouse, a native of New Jersey, who lived to be eighty-three years of
age. Our subject, the youngest of his family, is now the only one to survive.

He was seven years old when his father died, and then he went to AUentown,
Monmouth County, N. J., to attend the common schools. From his tenth to his fif-
teenth year, he lived on a farm. His first marriage made him the husband of Mary
T. Middleton, of the Society of Friends. Later, he married Mrs. Elsie L. P. Hamuck,
nee Passmore, daughter of William Passmore, owner of the excellent and celebrated
Passmore ranch. She died in February, 1918.

After attending the Philadelphia Dental College, from which he was duly gradu-
ated with honor. Dr. Thomas practiced dentistry in Philadelphia for forty-five years,
during which time he filled the position of lecturer upon Nitrous Oxide Anesthesia and
Oral Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon his advent in California, he
retired from the dental profession. He resides at the Passmore ranch on the Santa
Ana Canyon Boulevard immediately above Olive, and is now president of the Olive
Heights Citrus Association, and is president of the Olive Improvement Association.
He is the best kind of a "booster," for his invaluable experience and common-sense
views, together with his breadth of vision and contagious sympathies, enable him
to make all that he sets in motion roll on to the desired-for goal. In other words,
the Doctor "makes it stick."

THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF OLIVE.— California may well be proud
of the large number of financial institutions of exceptional strength and prosperity
contributing vastly to her monumental wealth, but she is equally to be congratulated
upon the smaller, yet eminently sound and vigorously progressive banks such as the
First National of Olive, which has done so much, and is still doing, to stabilize and
develop the commercial life of that part of the great commonwealth in which it is its
destiny in particular to operate. With one hundred or more visitors from Orange,
Santa Ana, Los Angeles and Anaheim as especial guests, this bank was opened on
Saturday afternoon, October 21, 1916, with a formal and fashionable reception, long
to be pleasantly remembered by all who had the good fortune to attend.

With its shining mahogany and marble, the new bank presented an attractive and
stimulating appearance of which cities much larger and older might have been glad


to boast. The visitors, therefore, some of whom were naturally, by long experience,
more or less critical, were greatly impressed with the inviting air of the quarters, the
convenience and liberality of which promised success.

Not only was the interest of the bank, as was readily to be seen, designed to
satisfy an advanced architectural taste, but the convenience of both the operatives and
the public was studied in the application of practical and common sense devices; so
that in addition to the handsome mahogany and the marble bases, there was a thor-
oughly up-to-date, spacious vault, containing the manganese steel time-lock safe.

At noon the Bank entertained the stockholders and their wives at a luncheon at
the Olive Hall, when some fifty guests were present. A delicious chicken dinner was
served by the ladies of the Olive Sewing Circle, amid the most tasteful dcorations
that could be devised. President J. D. Thomas made the opening address of welcome
and discussed community development, while he urged the broadest and utmost
cooperation for the advancement in every way of Olive. Cashier K. V. Wolff also
spoke with the same cordiality and fervor, emphasizing business cooperation in particu-
lar, and by easily understood illustrations, pointed out the various ways in which the
business interests of the community are related.

In every respect, the reception and the dinner constituted an unqualified success,
and reflected the highest credit upon the management of the new Olive institution,
at the same time inspiring confidence in the bank's future. How well that confidence
was placed, to what an extent the rapidly-developing First National has realized every
anticipation and hope of its backers and friends, may be seen from the attested report
of its condition made at the close of business four years later, on February 28, 1920.
According to that sworn statement made by Cashier K. V. VVolfif and attested by the
directors, J. D. Thomas, A. M. Lorenzen and J. D. Spennetta, the bank had. as part of
its resources, loans and discounts, including rediscounts, to the amount of $122,793.85;
over $23,000 of notes and bills; some $15,000 worth of U. S. Government securities;
$2,250 pledged as collateral; over $14,000 in still other bonds and securities; $22,026.63
cash in vault and net amounts due from other national banks, and over $1,100 of earned
but uncollected interest, making a total resources of $170,682.72. Among its liabilities
are $25,000 of capital stock paid in; $15,000 in outstanding circulating notes; $74,447.11
of individual deposits subject to check; some $12,000 in state, county or other municipal
deposits secured by pledge of the bank's own assets; over $9,000 in other certificates of
deposits, and $24,371.61 in other time deposits, and $2,000 in bills payable with the
Federal Reserve Bank.

The high standing of each of the officers of the First National Bank of Olive,
their known personal character, their experience and their ability, and the reasonable
conservatism thus far demonstrated in the progressive programs of the institution, give
a double assurance to patrons and public alike as to the present healthy state of the
bank, and its inevitable promising future — a matter of such moment to progressive and
would-be healthy Olive itself, with all its commendable ambitions requiring cash and
financial credit. It will be seen, therefore, to what an extent such a sound and sanely
developed institution plays in the history of a young town, and what enviable oppor-
tunities for good are at the disposal of the men at the guns. Olive is proud of the
First National Bank; and the bank looks proudly toward the city of Olive of tomorrow.

KADJA V. WOLFF. — It must be a source of peculiar satisfaction to Kadja V.
Wolff, the efficient and popular cashier of the First National Bank of Olive, to look
back upon his uninterrupted association with that well developed and substantial
institution of finance; for he has served in his present official capacity since the bank
first threw open its doors for business. He helped, in fact, to organize the First
National Bank, in 1916, when its home was temporarily in the Olive Mercantile build-
ing, directly across the street from its present-day location; the first bow was made to
the public on the sixteenth day of August of that year; and ever since the public, with
encouraging approbation, has been bowing genially in return.

Mr. Wolff was born at Morris, Minn., on September 30, 1884, the only child of
Henry G. Wolff, an honored and prosperous merchant in that town, and who still lives
there with his devoted wife, who was Miss Inez M. Little before her marriage. From
Morris, when Kadja was sixteen years old, the parents moved over to Lead, S. D..
and there he finished the course of study in the Lead high school, from which he was
graduated with the class of '01. He then entered the employ of the Harrison Tele-
phone Company, starting with the construction gang, and arose to be emergency man;
and he was with that company from 1901 to 1903. He next went south to Vosburg,
Miss., where he busied himself for a year as hotel clerk, bookkeeper and cashier, but
in 1904 he "saw the light" and made straight for California. He pitched his tent for
a while in the City of the Angels, and for five years was employed as cashier in the
Los Angeles office of Fairbanks. Morse and Company.


On account of failing eyesight, however, he left that employment and came to
Orange, where he clerked for a year in a clothing store. There, on October 5, 1910,
he was married to Miss Helen A. McCarty of St. Louis, who was sojourning in Southern
California with her cousin, Mrs. K. Watson, of Orange. Soon after, he bought a ranch
of eight acres, three quarters of a mile west of Olive, and planted the same to Valencias.
He continued to ranch for two or three years, when he joined the National Bank of
Orange, in 1913, and as teller served that wide-awake establishment until he came up
to Olive and organized the First National Bank. He resides, for the time being, on
one of his ranches, being also the fortunate owner of a beautifully located farm of
twelve or more acres, now coming into bearing, half a mile up the Santa Ana Canyon.
Mr. and Mrs. Wolflf have two attractive children— Elizabeth or "Bettie," and Eileen.
He belongs to the Santa Ana Lodge of Elks, and there is no more popular member.
The building of the First National Bank of Olive was erected by its owner, H. C.
Myers of that city, who is also a stockholder in the bank. It is of pressed brick, two
stories high and 25x50 feet in size. It has a modern, reinforced concrete vault, which
houses the Ely Norris fire and burglar proof safe; and the bank is fully protected by
insurance of the Royal Indemnity Company. It has a capital of $25,000, with $5,000
surplus: and in three years has grown from nothing to be a strapping youngster with
$225,000 in its pockets. The first officers in the history of this institution were: Presi-
dent, Dr. J. D. Thomas, Olive; vice-president, J. D. Spennetta, Orange; and cashier,
K. V. Wolff. Its present officers include the directors: Dr. J. D. Thomas, J. D. Spen-
netta, D. P. Crawford, H. T. Moennich and A. M. Lorenzen.

As a conservative, yet very progressive manager of finance, and as a public-
spirited citizen very successful as chairman of all the Liberty Loan drives, Mr. Wolff
has always shown his most marked characteristics: efficiency, with high standards of
character; deep insight into economics, of which he is a careful student; philanthropic
tendencies, with an especial leaning toward the idealism of "home-making" — all of
which have easily made him one of those naturally popular business men who could
not fail of success if they would.

CARL W. MARTIN.— The United States, and California in particular, offers men
of foreign birth many opportunities they were unable to enjoy in their native land.
The Golden State has received her share of these thrifty and enterprising men, who
have adapted themselves to their new surroundings and aided in the upbuilding of
the horticultural and agricultural interests of the state.

Carl W. Martin, the successful rancher of Garden Grove Boulevard, was born on
March 16. 1878, in Rhine Province, Germany, a son of Ludwig and Catherine Martin.
At an early age he developed a strong desire to live in the United States that he might
embrace the splendid opportunities offered here to ambitious young men. In 1890, he
immigrated to America, locating in Orange County the following year. His parents,
with their five living children, left Germany for "the land of the free and the home of
the brave" in 1893 and settled in Los Angeles County. In 1896 the family settled in
Orange County, where both parents died and now the children are all in Los Angeles
County except Carl W. Of the twelve children born in Germany, only five are living.

In 1912, Mr. Martin purchased ten acres of unimproved land, his present home,
and by hard labor and close attention to details he has succeeded in bringing the land
up to a high state of cultivation and it now produces an abundant crop of the best
variety of oranges and walnuts. In addition to these crops he has been successfully
engaged in raising and selling young orange trees.

Mr. Martin's marriage in 1908 united him with Miss Clara M. Rust, a native of
San Francisco, whose parents. Gustaf and Clara Rust, settled in Anaheim in 1866.
Fraternally, Mr. Martin is a Mason, being a member of Los Angeles Lodge, No. 42,
F. & A. M.; he belongs to Fullerton Chapter, R. A. M., and the Santa Ana Council.

EUGENE S. SARGENT.— A public-spirited man who believes it to be both the
duty and the privilege of the citizen to contribute in every way possible to both the
building up and the upbuilding of the community, is Eugene S. Sargent, a native of
Watertown, Jefferson County, N. Y., where he was born on Washington's Birthday,
1850. His father, Richard Sargent, was also born there, and his parents, William and
Mary Sargent, were English folk who settled in Jefferson County. Richard Sargent
was a carriage maker, long at LaFargeville, N. Y., who moved west to Iowa in 1868
and settled at Monticello, Jones County. There he engaged in blacksmithing and
carriage building until his death, in 1869. Mrs. Sargent was Phoebe Sage before her
marriage, and she also spent her last days in Iowa. They had two children: Eugene,
the subject of our interesting sketch, and his sister, Florence E. Sargent, who became
the wife of E. C. Renken, a druggist. They lived together in Iowa, until he passed
on, and since 1907 she has resided in Orange.

<I1 vQl. (jAo-"^— T^^^


Eugene S. Sargent was educated in the public grammar schools and at a private
academy in La Fargeville, N. Y., and in 1868 removed to Iowa, where he learned the
trade of the wheelwright under his father. In 1869 he began work as a carpenter, and
later clerked for a while in a store. In 1876 he removed to Galena, Cherokee County,
Kans., where he set up as a contracting builder; and he also went in for prospecting
and mining for lead. He opened several new mines and sold them, and later removed
to Carbondale, Osage County, Kans., where as a contractor he did general building.
Then he pitched his tent at Onaga, Pottawatomie County, Kans., and continued to
build extensively. He resided there from 1879 until 1904, and was instrumental in
influencing building laws and customs of the state.

In 1904 he came to California and located at Anaheim, where he bought a ranch
devoted to the cultivation of oranges and walnuts. Three years later he sold out and
located at Orange, where he purchased a twelve-acre ranch at the corner of Tustin and
Walnut streets, and set it out to oranges. He also came to have a ranch of two and
a half acres on North Shaffer Avenue; and with his sister, Mrs. Renken, he owned an-
other ranch of five acres at the junction of Cambridge and Palm avenues, which they
had set out to oranges and walnuts. All these desirable properties have recently been
disposed of.

Mr. Sargent now makes his home with his sister, Mrs. Renken, at 280 North
Shaffer Street; and in his leisure hours devotes some attention to politics, marching
under the banners of the Republican party. Mrs. Renken is a member of the Presby-
terian Church, and also of the P. E. O. chapter in Orange; and she belongs to the
Orange Woman's Club.

EUGENE EDMUND FRENCH.— Closely identified with Huntington Beach,
Orange County, since 1906, Eugene E. French was one of the most active of its settlers
in its upbuilding until in March, 1920, when he removed to Santa Ana, having been
appointed under-sheriff of Orange County. A native of Illinois, where he was born
July 9, 1863, at Tuscola, Douglas County, a son of Wm. T. and Julia (Edmunds)
French, natives of Steuben County, N. Y., and Ireland, respectively, Eugene French
was reared in New York. His mother died when he was but an infant, and he was
brought up by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Sluman T. French, who resided near
Corning, Steuben County, in that state. Here he was educated in the public schools,
learning the trade of a carpenter when quite young. He decided to take up railroad-
ing, however, and followed this line of work for sixteen years, starting in as a brake-
man and working up to the position of conductor. During these years he was with
the Chicago and Northwestern, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul and the Burling-
ton, Cedar Rapids and Northern railroads.

Becoming the owner of a ranch in Carroll County, Ark., Mr. French located
there in about 1900, and followed farming for some time, later going to Wagner,
then in the Indian Territory, where he took up his early trade of carpentering. In
1906 he decided to try his fortune in California, and on his arrival here located at
Huntington Beach. This was shortly after the town was started, and Mr. French thus

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 104 of 191)