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 107 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 107 of 191)
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known firm of W. E. Sanford, clothing manufacturers, in the retail branches of their
business. For some time having had a desire to come to California he left his
native home in 1891, made the long trip across the continent and located in Santa
Ana, where he at once entered into the commercial life of the city. For six years he
was with the Huflf Dry Goods Company and later with Huff Brothers Clothing Store
for a period of two years. With a partner he then engaged in the clothing business
for himself under the firm name of Dawes and Huffman, and after five years he bought
out his partner's interest and continued as sole proprietor until 1909, when he closed
out his business. During this time he was also interested in the Stewart-Dawes Shoe
Company of Los Angeles.

In 1910 Mr. Dawes, accompanied by his family made an extended tour of Europe,
visiting the principal capitals of the old world and the noted places of interest, a trip
that was filled with many interesting and pleasurable recollections. During his years
of business Mr. Dawes was very successful, and while now not actively engaged in
commercial pursuits his time is largely occupied in looking after his interests prin-
cipally in Southern California. For a number of years he has been a director of the
First National Bank of Santa Ana. He also gives generously of his time to civic
affairs, now serving on the Board of Education.

Mr. Dawes' marriage which occurred on June 6. 1899, united him with Miss
Florence A. Donahue, a native of Afton, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Dawes are the parents
of three children: Roberta attends Pomona College at Claremont; Truman is a
student in the Santa Ana high school; and Charles. The family attend the First Pres-
byterian Church of Santa .\na. In politics Mr. Dawes is an adherent of the Republican
party, and in his fraternal affiliations he is a member of the Santa Ana Lodge of Elks
and the Independent Order of Foresters.

JOHN M. WARD. — The twenty-acre ranch owned by John M. Ward located south-
west of Garden Grove, is the fourth ranch he has owned and improved in Orange
County. Mr. Ward was born February 14, 1880, at Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kans.
His parents, Elanson and Cordelia Ward, now deceased, were natives of New York
and Iowa, respectively; they located in Kansas in 1870, and the father became the
owner of two farms, one comprising 160 acres and the other 120 acres. John M. is
the youngest child in a family of seven children and his experiences in early life were
such as commonly fall to the lot of lads reared on a farm. He was educated in the
common schools and graduated from the high school at Glen Elder, Kans., with the
class of 1897.

His marriage, which occurred in his native state in 1900, united him with Miss
Winnifred Weethee, a native of Ohio but reared in Kansas, and they are the parents
of four children. Neva and W'ilma were born in Kansas, and Elmer and Ruth are
natives of the Golden State. Mr. Ward owned an eighty-acre Kansas farm, and town
property at lola and Logan. Kans., and also 160 acres in Red Willow County, Nebr.
He was taken ill and came to California for his health, with the intention of remain-
ing one year, but his health improving, California's charms were sufficient to cause him
to settle at Orange, where he became the owner of a two and a half-acre place, which
he improved and lived upon eighteen months, when he came to Garden Grove in 1912.
In addition to ranching Mr. Ward follows the occupation of spraying, being a duly
licensed sprayer, in which he is the pioneer at Garden Grove. He has a portable spray-
ing outfit, driven ))y a gasoline engine, and gives the business his personal attention,
employing two men besides himself, and covering a territory within a radius of six
miles from Garden Grove. He has sprayed as high as 2,000 acres in a single year. He
owns an acre of land in Garden Grove just north of the grammar school on which he
raises nursery stock. He has 1,000 Valencia orange trees and 1,500 walnut trees;
also has seedlings which were Inidded in 1920.


He has set his home place to Valencia oranges and further improved the ranch
with a good dwelling house and suitable outbuildings for his needs and hopes to con-
vert it into one of the finest places west of Garden Grove. He is a member of the
Garden Grove Orange Growers Association, and he and his wife are active members
of the Mennonite Church, and consistent and earnest Prohibitionists. A man of good
physique, strong and muscular, he is not afraid of hard work, and is possessed of
excellent judgment and business acumen, successfully accomplishing all tasks he under-
takes. His efforts are ever toward the advancement of all movements calculated to
enhance the general welfare of Garden Grove, and his fellow-townsmen esteem him
highly for his many excellent qualities.

WILL C. CRAWFORD.— One of the foremost men of his day in the business
life of Orange County was the late Will C. Crawford, who established the first
wholesale grocery store in Santa Ana, and started the First National Bank in Tustin,
as well as improving lands to citrus orchards. He was very liberal and enterprising,
and few have accomplished more in the short space of time than he did. He was
born near Burlington, Iowa, in 1862, the son and eighth child of VV. D. and Margaret
(.Chapman) Crawford, who were born in Iowa and England, respectively, although
the father was of Scotch descent.

Will C. Crawford received a good education in the public schools of Iowa. He
was married at Middletown, Iowa, in 1884, to Miss Effie Lindley, born in Green
County, Pa., a daughter of Alvah and Rachael (Van Syoc) Lindley, natives of that
state. They removed from the Keystone State to Iowa in 1865, locating near Middle-
town, where they followed husbandry until their death. After his marriage Will C.
Crawford followed farming in Iowa, until he came to California in 1898, selecting
Orange County as his permanent home, and here he purchased the ranch on Glen
Avenue, which was improved to a walnut and orange grove, where his widow still
resides. He purchased land near Olive and there improved a fifty-acre orchard to
\'alencia oranges. He also purchased forty acres on the Newport Road and Santa
Fe Railroad at the foot of Glen Avenue, which was devoted to general farming. How-
ever, this was not the limit of Mr. Crawford's capabilities, for he was a live business
man and saw a great future for Santa Ana and Orange County, so he conceived the
idea of starting the first wholesale grocery store in Santa Ana, and incorporated the
Santa Ana Wholesale Grocery Company, of which he was president and manager.
He selected the site on East First Street and the Santa Fe Railroad and built a large
two-story brick building with basement, the largest store building in Santa Ana. He
continued actively as president and manager until his death. He also organized and
was the president of the First National Bank of Tustin, a position he filled acceptably,
having the entire confidence of the people, putting it on a paying basis, a task more
easily accomplished by him, for he was a man of tact and rare business acumen and
wide influence.

While attending the Baptist Association, held at Hemet, as a delegate, he died
November 18, 1912, having been sick only three days, mourned by all who knew him.
In his death Santa Ana lost one of her most enterprising and public-spirited citizens,
whose place never can be filled. Mr. Crawford was intensely interested in mission
work, and particularly in home missions. In his will he left a bequest of $25,000 to
build and equip a chapel car for use on railroads, so constructed that a minister or
evangelist and his wife could live in the car, the other part being equipped as a chapel
with seating capacity for 125. and so could be moved by rail from state to state. Mrs.
Crawford, following in the footsteps of her husband's desires, carried out his ambi-
tion, and has endowed the chapel car with a fund, the interest of which is sufficient
to pay the salary of the minister or evangelist, as well as his expenses. She has
also endowed a chair of Ethical, Biblical and Missionary Instruction at the University
of Redlands. It is known as the Will C. and Eflfie Crawford chair of Ethical, Biblical
and Missionary Instruction.

Mrs. Crawford continues to reside at the family home on Glen Avenue, but has
sold the other ranches and made the endowments stated above. She still holds her
interest in the First National Bank of Tustin, as well as in the wholesale grocery
business, its corporation name having been changed to Smart and Final Company.
Cultured and refined, she is a very liberal and benevolent woman, and is a devout and
active member of the First Baptist Church, as well as its missionary and women's
societies. Mr. Crawford was a worthy and ardent member of the First Baptist Church
of Santa Ana. the president of its board of trustees and a most valued member, being
very active at the time of his death in the movement for raising the funds to pay
for the building of the new church, so he was naturally mourned by a large circle
when, in the prime of life, he passed to the beyond.



DAVID E. JESSEE. — An industrious, prosperous rancher and a citizen of high
ideals, who has been blessed with a worthy helpmate and a family of capable children,
is David Jessee, who owned two ranches, one place of twenty-nine and a half acres
being near the New Hope schoolhouse, while the other ranch, which consists of seven-
teen and a half acres lies east of Talbert where they now live. A native of Virginia,
Mr. Jessee was born in Scott County, October 23, 1857. His parents were Archibald
and Mary Ann (Purcell) Jessee, the father having been a farmer all his life, and
although both were native Virginians, they remained loyal to the Union during the
Civil War. One of a family of nine children, David Jessee's earliest recollections are
of the Rebel soldiers foraging and skirmishing near his home, taking their corn, hay
and horses for their troops. He attended subscription schools in the neighborhood and
while still a lad went to live with his grandfather, David Jessee, for two years, running
a grist mill and helping his grandfather on the farm.

In 1877, he went to Kansas, settling in the northwest part of the state, in Smith
County. He remained there for five years, farming and raising stock, and then went
back to Virginia to visit his old home. He came back to Kansas the next year, and
the year following, the young lady who was to become his wife, whom he had met
during his visit at home. Miss Maggie E. Godsey, came out to Smith County and their
marriage occurred there on October 27, 1884. Mrs. Jessee was also a native of Virginia,
as were her parents, Samuel and Sarah E. (Morgan) Godsey. She was born and reared
in the same neighborhood as Mr. Jessee and received her education in the public
schools there.

Mr. Jessee continued to farm in Smith County, Kans., for eleven years after
his marriage, selling out there in 1895 and coming to California, locating in Orange
County. His father, Archibald Jessee, had come out to California the year before
and settled in the Bolsa precinct, where he lived until 1912, passing away at the age of
eighty-two years. In 1900 they purchased a place in the New Hope district which was
then a salt grass pasture. At first they put down a small two-inch well, later a seven-
inch well and a pumping plant with a ten-horsepower engine, which furnished from
forty to seventy inches of water, an abundance for the ranch. Mr. Jessee has also put
in 1200 feet of cement pipe for irrigation, built a residence, barns and made many
other improvements. This ranch was sold on June 17, 1920. On their other ranch,
which he also improved in the Talbert district, there is a seven-inch flowing well, and
Mr. Jessee has also installed a pumping plant there for use in exceedingly dry seasons.
He raises grain, alfalfa, sugar beets and pimentos on his holdings, and has been
very successful in growing the latter. They also own property at Manhattan Beach.

Mr. and Mrs. Jessee are the parents of four children: Charles Palmer resides
in Santa Ana and is in the transfer business there; Lizzie Ellen is the wife of \V. O.
Ater, a cotton and alfalfa grower at Blythe, she is the mother of three sons living
and a daughter deceased; William is a plumber at Santa Ana; Earl Randolph is a
sophomore at the Santa Ana high school. Mrs. Jessee's mother, now the widow of
Thomas Fowler, makes her home with them and is now past seventy-six years of
age and blind. Public spirited and progressive, Mr. Jessee has for years taken an
active interest in advancing the educational and material interests of his district, and
in this he has been ably seconded by his wife, a woman of great force of character who
has proved herself in every way a faithful helpmate.

WILLIAM LEHNHARDT.— Although newcomers to Bolsa precinct, the family
of William Lehnhardt have already made for themselves a very definite place in the
community, for they are indeed an acquisition to the moral, intellectual and industrial
life of the neighborhood. A native of Michigan, Mr. Lehnhardt was born at Montague,
Muskegon County, August 21, 1873. His parents were William and Mary (Hendricks)
Lehnhardt, both born and married in Germany, coming to America about 1865, and set-
tling in Michigan. The father died in Muskegon, and when William was twelve years of
age he came with his mother and the rest of the family to Chicago. He received his edu-
cation in the public schools of Muskegon and Chicago and then learned the trade of
cornice maker and sheet metal worker. During the stringent times succeeding the
World's Fair at Chicago in 1893, he found it very difficult to get steady work there, so
in 1897 he went to South Dakota and began working in a hardware store at Tyndall,
Bon Homme County, and while working there he also learned the tinsmith's trade,
for many years he ran the hardware business of John Weisser, his father-in-law, after-
wards becoming the proprietor of a store of his own, which he conducted successfully
for a number of years.

In 1907 he sold out his hardware business at Tyndall and came to California,
settling at Long Beach, where he remained until 1908. when he bought twenty acres
of land in the Bolsa district and here now owns forty-five acres of well improved land,
ten acres being set to \'alencia oranges. He has made many improvements here, put-


ting in a well and pumping plant. He has gone in quite extensively for truck gardening
and has been very successful in growing pimento and chili peppers, cabbage, sweet
and Irish potatoes. He also rents ten acres in addition, which he farms.

On April 25, 1900, Mr. Lehnhardt was married to Miss Elizabeth Weisser of
Tyndall, S. D., a daughter of John and Eva Weisser, the father being born in Odessa,
Russia. Mrs. Lehnhardt, received an excellent education, being a graduate of the
Tyndall high school and after that a student for two years at the University of South
Dakota, at Vermillion. Mr. and Mrs. John Weisser came to California in 1907, later
settling in the Bolsa district, Mr. Weisser passing away in May, 1916, at the age of
seventy-one years. Mrs. Eva Weisser is the owner of a ten-acre ranch just across the
road from the Lehnhardt home, and here she resides, having recently erected a fine
bungalow on the place. Mr. and Mrs. Lehnhardt are the parents of nine children:
Robert, a graduate of the Santa Ana high school and now attends the University of
Redlands; Walter and Laura attend the Santa Ana high school; Emma, Elizabeth
and Margaret are in the New Hope grammar school; and John W., Carl Edward and
Ruth Anna are at home. Keenly alive to the importance of giving the best possible
educational advantages to the coming generation, Mr. Lehnhardt is serving as school
trustee of the New Hope district. Politically he inclines to the principles of the
Republican party. The family are members of the Baptist Church at Garden Grove.
Intelligent, industrious and progressive, the whole family are indeed a welcome addi^
tion to the community. The excellent education received by Mrs. Lehnhardt is made
manifest in all the details of their home life, and she is a model wife and mother. Of
a jovial disposition, Mr. Lehnhardt makes friends wherever he goes and he is always
ready to give of his time and energy to any good cause,

JAMES A. MORRIS.— A late-comer to California and to Huntington Beach who-
has amply demonstrated his experience and ability as both an agriculturist in general
and a horticulturist, and also as a successful business man, is James A. Morris, the
resident and managing superintendent of the great Huntington Beach Company ranch
of 1,500 acres, one and a half miles north of the beach city. His father was Thomas
J. Morris, a native of Northumberland County, Pa., and a descendant of Robert Morris,
one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and also Superintendent of
Finance for the Colonies during the Revolutionary War. He came to Ohio in 1854, and
was sheriff of Athens County. He was also an extensive coal operator, and owner
of valuable coal lands. He married Elizabeth Hooper, a native of Ohio, and a near
relation to the late Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, the distinguished naval com-
mander. She is still living at New Madison, Darke County, Ohio, well and hearty at
the age of seventy-eight. Thomas J. Morris died in 1891, at the age of sixty-seven, the
father of seven children, five of whom are now living.

James A. Morris, the second child, was born at Athens, Ohio, on September 29,.
1869, and in that city completed the course of the Athens high school. Later he was
graduated from the Agricultural Department of the Ohio State University, as a
member of the Class of '92, having previously completed the law course in 1889 — a
choice of study undertaken, perhaps, because his maternal grandfather was the well-
known Judge Hooper of Athens County, Ohio. He was admitted, as a matter of
fact, to the Bar when he was nineteen years of age, and was the youngest member of
his class that graduated. He still owns his grandfather's law library, which is large
and valuable, and although well qualified and equipped as a lawyer, yet the practice-
of law did not appeal to him.

At the age of twenty-one, therefore, he took the management of his father's farm
of 1.800 acres, in Hocking County, Ohio, and successfully conducted it, as long as his
father continued to own it, or until about 1888. His father was a man of the most
progressive type, by the way, and installed the first electric drills and machinery
for mining coal ever used in the state of Ohio — as a result of which the miners struck.
The elder Morris owned and operated the Morris Coal Company, serving as its presi-
dent and general manager, and as a coal operator often was in conference with John
J. Mitchell, at that time president of the miners' union. He died in 1891, but as early
as 1888 disposed of his farming lands, and when he sold his coal-mining interests,
they were taken over by the Morgan Syndicate. He was always a stanch Republican
and active in Ohio politics, and counted as his personal friends President Wm. McKin-
ley. Governor J. B. Foraker, Mark Hanna and other natives of the Buckeye State who-
were also of national repute.

James A. Morris came west to California in 1910. and settled at Los Angeles,
where he soon established himself so successfully that he now owns two ranches in
the San Fernando Valley, and one in the San Joaquin Valley. One of those in the
San Fernando Valley is the celebrated "Toluca Rancho," recently disposed of for



$80,000, consisting of some 200 acres of the finest fruit land in the state. Mr. Morris
also owns a ranch of forty acres, which is situated not far from Sunset Beach, between
that place and Huntington Beach. In September, 1917, he had the great misfortune to
be accidentally poisoned from arsenic of lead, and for a whole year he was sick in

In 1919 Mr. Morris became managing superintendent of the Huntington Beach
Company's ranch, being a practical as well as a professional and theoretical agri-
culturist; and it is hardly necessary to say that he is making good. This ranch con-
tains 1,500 acres, planted mainly to lima beans and barley. Some 250 pigs and hogs are
raised here annually. The farm is really one of the show-places of Orange County,
and of Huntington Beach in particular; there are beautiful drives, lined with Mon-
terey cypress trees, and the yards are ample and symmetrically laid out.

Mr. Morris has twice been married. At Athens. Ohio, he was joined in wedlock
to Miss Ida M. Whitmore, who died suddenly from appendicitis, leaving a son. Herrold
Morris, now twenty-one years of age. assisting his father on the Huntington Beach
Company's ranch. In July. 1909, Mr. Morris was married a second time, his bride
being Miss Margaret Starr of Lexington, Ky. Two children have blessed this union —
Helen and James.

JOHN WINTERS. — A veteran nurseryman. John Winters is thoroughly con-
versant with the conditions under which citrus trees thrive to best advantage, and has
raised all the trees on his ten-acre orange orchard from seed and budded the trees to
Valencias, the first plantings of which, made eight years ago, are now coming nicely
into bearing. He has lived on his ranch near Garden Grove for seventeen years.

A native of England. Mr. Winters was born twelve miles east of the city of
York, famed for its historic cathedral. His father. Charles, and his mother. Sarah
(Buttle) Winters, lived and died in England, the father dying when John was nineteen
years old. The mother died in 1917 at the age of ninety-two. They were the parents
of eleven children, of whom John is the third child in order of birth, and the only
member of the family in California. He has one sister living in Massachusetts, and two
in England. Reared in his native county, the cream of England's farming section, he
learned to read, write and figure before he reached the age of ten, after which his
opportunities for schooling ceased. At the age of eleven he began working out for
his board and twenty-five dollars the first year, buying his clothing out of this meagre
wage. Notwithstanding the lack of his early schooling Mr. Winters is one of Garden
Grove's well-informed men. his education having been acquired in the school of experi-
ence and actual business life, supplemented by reading and studying the best standard
books, journals, magazines and other puljlications. and a daily reading of the Bible,
the greatest of all books. He lived in England until he was twenty-one years of age,
then bade farewell to old associations and friends and sailed for America from Liver-
pool on the Cunard liner, Cuba, April 13, 1872. After a pleasant voyage of ten and a
half days he landed at old Castle Garden, New York City, April 23. 1872. his destination
being Malvern. Iowa, where he arrived the last week in April. The first season in his
new home he worked on the farm of his uncle, John Buttle.

Mr. Winters was married in Iowa on February 21, 1880, to Miss .-Mice Newman,
a native of Page County, Iowa, and daughter of Nelson and Malinda J. (Frady) New-
man, natives of Ohio and Indiana, respectively. Mr. Newman died in Iowa in 1892; his
wife is living, and makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. W'inters. By a singular coin-
cidence Mr. and Mrs. Winters were married just twenty years to a day after Mr. and
Mrs. Newman were married, and the same minister officiated at both weddings. After
their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Winters farmed one year in Iowa, then went to Neliraska.
where they purchased a si.xty-eight-acre farm in Saunders County, upon which they lived
two years, then bought another place nearby and stayed there three years. Disposing
of the Nebraska property they went to Phillips County. Kans., and purchased a home-
stead of 160 acres six miles southeast of Long Island, in that state. Of their eight
children three were born in Nebraska and five were born in Kansas. They are:
Charles N., a machinist and rancher residing at Golita, Santa Barbara County; Jennie,
the wife of Purl Talbott, a rancher near Modesto, Stanislaus County; Nellie, the wife
of A. L. Griffin, a carpenter and builder and auto salesman residing at Garden Grove;
John Stanley, a machinist on the Conway ranch in Glenn County; Fred B., of Lowell,
Ariz., resigned a position with a jeweler and optician in Los Angeles and enlisted in the

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 107 of 191)