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 120 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 120 of 191)
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greatly benefited by the genial climate of California, as it was largely on account of
her failing health that the family removed here. Mr. Ryan has recently completed a
beautiful bungalow residence at the corner of Palmyra Avenue and Grand Street in
the city of Orange, at a cost of $6,500, and is now prepared to retire from life's active
duties. Mr. and Mrs. Ryan are members of the Presbyterian Church at Orange.
Fraternally Mr. Ryan is affiliated with the I. O. O. F. lodge at Grcsham, Nebr., and
is also a member of the Woodmen of the World. Politically he is a Democrat in prin-
ciple, but is not so hidebound that he will not vote for a man because he is not on
the Democratic ticket, if he thinks he is better suited for the office than the Demo-
cratic nominee. Mr. Ryan is deeply interested in all that pertains to the public wel-
fare, and is a whole-heared, whole-souled, companionable man, endowed with the
qualities that make and keep friends. He is deservedly popular among his many
acquaintances and associates.

JOAB STANFIELD. — An alert and fine old gentleman, whose many years of
arduous service, always of benefit to others as well as himself, have brought him
many friends, is Joab Stanfield, who was born in Indiana on June 14, 1847, the son
of William W. Stanfield, a native of eastern Tennessee. He removed to Indiana
and there married Miss Jemima Wright, and in time he was thrice married. He had
fifteen children in all, and Joab was the third child by his second wife. The Stan-
fields descend from an interesting English ancestry, and some of them were among
the early Pilgrims who came to Plymouth and settled in the Massachusetts Bay

Joab migrated with his parents from the Hoosier State in 1851, and for twenty-
three years lived in Guthrie County, Iowa, sixty miles west of Des Moines, and there
he attended the common schools. In 1874 he came out to the Pacific Northwest and
spent the following four years in Northern California, in Humboldt. Trinity and
Siskiyou counties. He mined, trapped, worked on farms, and proved up on a home-
stead of 160 acres in Humboldt County. These years spent in Northern California
were among the happiest in our subject's life; for, having inherited his love for
the great out-of-doors from his father, who had been an intrepid pioneer of Indiana.
Iowa and Kansas, he lived on the frontier, quite unafraid of the Indian, and enjoyed
to the fullest both the hunt and the chase. He worked on the ranch of William
Olmstead of Humboldt County, and handled about 1,800 sheep for him. He finally
got his patent for the 160-acre tract, and then, with a natural desire to see the old
home once more, he went back to Iowa in 1878.

In the fall of the same year he journeyed to Kansas, and in Osborne County
bought 160 acres of school land. In Kansas he prospered, as usual; but in tKe summer
of 1883 he was tempted to move into Benton County, Ark., and to try his luck there.
He found the locality malarial, however, and thereupon moved back to Kansas. With
this exception, Mr. Stanfield lived in Kansas from the day when he left Iowa until he
decided to take the greater step and locate in the Golden State.

While in Kansas, Mr. Stanfield was married to Miss Gulielma Macy. a native of
Hamilton County, Ind., and the daughter of Stephen Macy, who had married Miss
Mary Charles. Mr. Macy was born in Ohio, became a farmer, and was also a mechanic.
Her grandfather was also named Stephen Macy, and was a well-known homeopathic
doctor. The Macys were of English origin, and settled upon Nantucket Island, where
they followed whaling. Josiah Macy, sea-captain, who died at Rye, N. Y., in the
early seventies, was probably the most distinguished of this branch who went in
for the seafaring life. He had made a name for himself among Nantucket sea-
captains when merely a young man. and in 1812 enjoyed the distinction of bringing to
New York in the "Prudence." of which he was one of the owners, the first news of
the declaration of war between the United States and Great Britain. Later he became
a very prominent commission merchant in New York City. Those of the Macys
who removed to the Central and Middle West became farmers, and they were also
consistent members of the Friends' Church. Her maternal grandfather, John Charles,
was a farmer at Richmond, Ind. He was a strong Whig and Abolitionist, and played
an active part in the conduct of the "underground railway."

Six children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Stanfield: Bertha married Clinton
Bales, a farmer of Osborne County. Kans.. and has two children; Stanley is the
husband of Miss Annie Shipman. and is a farmer at Ramah. Colo., and the father
of six children; a daughter, who was the third child, died when she was three months
old; Oscar, an Orange County rancher, married Miss Olive Hockett and has six
children; Jesse is a minister in the Friends' Church, having been graduated from
Penn College. Iowa, and also Whittier College, later taking a four years' theological
course at Hartford. Conn. He married Marian Catlin. who died recently, and he is


now a pastor at Glens Falls, N. Y. The youngest of the family is Alvin Stanfield,
also a neighboring- rancher, who married Miss Rose Paris, by whom he has had two
children. It will be seen, therefore, how well these offspring of a worthy and highly-
esteemed couple have added honor to the family name.

Eleven years ago Mr. Stantield came to California from Kansas, to spend the
balance of his days, and now he resides in the Olive precinct, Orange County, on
the west side of Cambridge Street and north of Collins Avenue. He had traded his
highly-cultivated farm of 1.000 acres in Kansas for a splendid citrus tract of forty acres
here, twenty acres of which were planted as follows; eleven acres to lemons, six
acres to Valencia oranges, two acres to Navel oranges, and the remaining acre to
walnuts and a yard, while twenty acres were left vacant; ten of these vacant acres he
sold, and what was left, namely ten acres, he disposed of to his sons, which were
planted to Valencias. He still has twenty acres in full bearing, and he has put in a
pumping plant and a never-failing well, although he is also under the Santa Ana
^''alley Irrigation Company's ditch, and so is certain to be supplied with water. He has
remodeled his residence, and maintains his yards in fine, symmetrical shape.

On this model citrus and walnut ranch, therefore, Mr. Stanheld lives with his
devoted wife, the calm influence of their peaceful religion giving them a serene tem-
perament and a happy, hopeful disposition. .\t the age of seventy-three, Mr. Stan-
field is in excellent health, and were it not for a runaway accident of several years
ago, when he was nearly killed and was in bed for seven weeks, with a leg and foot
permanently crippled, he would be an active man yet. Mrs. Stantield. an excellent
Christian lady, also enjoys the esteem and thorough good will of a very large circle
of friends, and is ever of interest, as our story shows, as a member of an old-time
American family. Mr. Stanfield has for years been a consistent temperance man, and
is happy to have lived to see the national prohibition amendment adopted.

California, which has attracted to its borders an army of the most talented
pioneers in the world, may well be congratulated on claiming as residents such enter-
prising, highly intelligent settlers as these; while Mr. and Mrs. Stanfield may almost
be envied their lot and share in the wonderful development of the great Pacific com-

MISS JESSIE LEE TOLER.— .\ remarkably successful woman, noted for her
keen senses and her rational judgment, and distinguished as a representative of one of
the best known pioneer families that had so inuch to do with the development of Cali-
fornia, is Miss Jessie Lee Toler. who resides on a real landmark — the oldest ranch in
the northern section of the county. She was born in Madrid Bend, Tenn.. and is the
daughter of William Henry Toler, a native of Goldsboro, N. C. who married Miss
Sallie (Hickman) Edwards, born in Madrid Bend, Tenn. Grandfather W. C. Edwards,
was of Scotch ancestry and was a wealthy landowner and proprietor of Island No. 10,
in the Mississippi River, acquiring thousands of acres of land along the river front,
opposite the island. He married Miss Susan Marr. the original owner of Island No. 10,
so it was inherited by Mr. and Mrs. Edwards on Capt. W. C. Edwards' death in 1856.
Sallie Edwards was educated at the celebrated academy in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and
married William H. Toler in Madrid Bend. Tenn. He came of an old and prominent
Southern family and served as a major in the Confederate army in the Civil War.

Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Toler became owners of a part of the Edwards plantation
where they raised cotton, corn and stock, which were shipoed to the New Orleans and
St. Louis markets. Mrs. Toler died in Memphis. Tenn.. in 1874. In 1875 Mr. Toler
brought the family to Orange, Cal.. and purchased land in the Chapman-Glassell tract,
and here he brouglit his household goods, among them a piano, the first brought to
Orange, which is still in the possession of Miss Toler and is a square grand with pearl
keys, which was made for and presented to her mother when she was a voung lady.
In 1878, W. H. Toler traded 1.700 acres of Tennessee land for 640 acres at that time in
Los Angeles County, but luirt nt wliich is today within the county limits of Orange.
This ranch land l.i!r.iiL"~ tn \\ illiani Worsham. a Kentucky gentleman who came to
California in the carlv sixties, and there still stands on the ranch, close to the dwelling
and neighboring buildings, a large fig tree planted liy Mr. Worsham, of unusual size
and bearing large, splendid figs. The 1.700 acres of Tennessee land traded was cov-
ered with timber, whereas on the 640 California acres there were 10.000 head of sheep,
which were included in the sale. An old negro sheepherder, named Tim North was also
attached to the ranch, by long residence, and as he refused to leave, he was allowed
to live on the ranch until he died.

William Henrv Toler spent many of his early years in California in promoting
excursions to the Golden State, and as an active worker in the Los .\ngeles Chamber
of Commerce, he was instrumental 'n lirintriuQ settlers to California, and especiallv
in inducing them to locate in the vicinitv of Whittier and La Habra. When he died,


January 13, 18''2, widely respected for his higli sense of honor, liis enterprise and his
general capability, the 040 acres were divided among his family of hve children, Susan,
Jessie Lee, \\"m. H., B. E. and Annie H.; 150 acres fell to the subject of our sketch. Miss
Jessie Lee Toler, who had studied at the Los Angeles high school and from 1892 to
1900 had enjoyed the advantages of wide travel. In 1900 she began to make her perma-
nent home on her ranch, and eight years later the first house in the northwestern part
of Orange County and standing on the Toler ranch, was burned to the ground. This
was two years after she had sold off fifty acres of the northern portion.

When Miss Toler began, in her characteristically progressive manner, the energetic
development of the Toler ranch, she was told that it was in a dry spot of the county,
and that water could not be found there. Despite these predictions, she engaged C. E.
Tower, an expert driller, and a well was started in 1915, and although the process proved
slow and discouraging, the work was continued, largely through Miss Toler's fortunate
persistence, and at a depth of 506 feet water was struck, and when the sand had been
pumped out of the well, the test pump showed si.xty inches of the desired-for liquid.
After that, the flow increased to 100 inches; and when the well was finished, people
came from all parts of the county to see the attainment of the well-nigh impossible.
The well is equipped with a Lane and Bowler pump, with thirty horsepower electric
motor, and Miss Toller operates the plant herself. She has worked out a very flexible
irrigation system, covering her entire ranch; the orchards laid with ten-inch cement
pipe and all the hundred acres are equally watered according to their needs.

In 1916, Miss Toller set out 1,800 Valencia orange trees on twenty-five acres of the
northern portion of her ranch, and now this grove is coming into bearing and promises
rich returns. Three years later, she set out the adjoining twenty-five acres to the same
popular citrus fruit, leaving the balance of her land open for t^ie raising of grain and
hay. Owing to her remarkable business ability, quite equalling that of many successful
men. Miss Toler has always secured results, and results of the most satisfactory nature.
She takes great pride and satisfaction in the development of her ranch and making of it
a beautiful orange orchard in this favored section, pronounced the finest citrus section
in the world. This she is doing to the memory of her father who had such faith and
optimism in the future greatness of La Habra, and was one of the greatest boosters
Southern California ever had. When the Pacific Electric Railway was built through
La Haljra they located a station on her ranch which was named Toler station.

Miss Toler has been particularly rewarded in the excellent prospects for oil on
her land, where it is perceptible in the well water. Years ago, the Standard Oil Com-
pany had a lease there and sank a well 4,500 feet, until it struck oil; but for some
unknown reason, they never continued the development. The ranch has been proven to
be oil land, however, and consequently Miss Toler's holdings are not only valuable, but
bound to increase in value as the years roll by. This fact alone will give her more and
more a desirable position of leadership and influence, a fortunate circumstance, for
Miss Toler's influence for good in the community is always of the best.

ANDREW R. REISCH.— In a natural beauty spot against the foothills in El
Modena precinct lies the attractive ranch of Andrew R. Reisch, who through his care-
ful management and industry has brought his acreage up to a very high state of
cultivation, so that he is now enjoying handsome financial returns from his years
of labor. His birthplace was in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, that little coun-
try which is so intimately and interestingly associated with many of the events of the
late w-ar. He was l)orn on May 5, 1872, the son of Frank and Katherine (Webber)
Reisch. The father was a shoe merchant at Heiderscheid and he still lives there, hav-
ing retired from active business. The mother passed away in 1906, leaving five chil-
dren to mourn her loss.

Andrew Reisch grew up in Luxemburg and attended the village schools of his
native town, acquiring French, the court language of that country, German and the
various dialects of the district, .^t the early age of thirteen he started to make his
iiwn way in the world, and since that time he has been entirely dependent on his own
efforts. He began liy working on the farms in the neighborhood of his village home,
continuing at agricultural pursuits until he was twenty-one, when he decided to seek
his fortune in .America, where the opportunities were greater. He left Antwerp on
the SS. Slavonia, expecting to land in New York, but smallpox broke out on board
ship, so that they were not allowed to make landing there, but were taken on to Hali-
fax, Nova Scotia, where they disembarked in March, 1893. Chicago was Mr. Reisch's
destination, and he pushed on there as rapidly as possible, reaching there the first
week in April.

Mr. Reisch was not only without funds when he reached Chicago, but was in
dilit, as he had borrowed his passage money from his father. Nothing daunted, how-
ever, he secured work at once with Reinberg Brothers, the largest florists in .America.


The firm was composed of Peter and George R. Reinberg. whose parents were natives
of Luxemburg; indeed the cut flower business of Chicago and the Middle West was
controlled by Luxemburgers. At the time Mr. Reisch went to work for Reinberg
Brothers they had forty acres under glass at Summerdale, a suburb of Chicago. He
grew much interested in the florists' business and remained with this firm for nine
years, learning the business thoroughly.

In 1902 Mr. Reisch came to California and located at Los Angeles, soon going
to work for the Bartlett Nursery at Hollywood. In Chicago he had made a specialty
of carnations, and he continued in this line for the next eight years, when the encroach-
ment of an alien race into this industry made him decide to become an orchardist, his
years of training eminently fitting him for this line of work. He purchased a tract
of five acres of land on Santiago Boulevard and Bond Street, there being two acres
of oranges, one and a half acres of lemons and one and a half acres of loquats. He
erected an attractive residence of the bungalow type on his property, and here he
has since made his home.

On August 13, 1910. Mr. Reisch was married to Miss Edith May Killifer, the
daughter of Joseph and Matilda (Shoemaker) Killifer, for many years well-known
residents of Orange County, where they both passed away, the father at Orange and
the mother at Garden Grove. They were the parents of si.x children: Park resides in
Los Angeles; Scott, at Corcoran; Bert, at Pasadena; Edgar in the state of Washington;
Edith May, the wife of Andrew R. Reisch of this review, and Miss Lydia D. Killifer,
who is principal of the Lemon Street School, having taught in that school for twenty-
five years. Mrs. Reisch was born in Illinois, near East St. Louis, but has been a resi-
dent of California since she was eleven years old. Mr. and Mrs. Reisch are the parents
of one daughter, Lucill L.

In 1919 Mr. Reisch invested in a second ranch comprising ten acres of Valencia
oranges near Olive, Miss Lj'dia D. Killifer being half owner with him in this project.
A loyal and enthusiastic supporter of his adopted country, Mr. Reisch was made a
citizen in 1902. while a resident of Chicago. Politically he is a believer in the prin-
ciples of the Republican party, and in fraternal circles he is a member of the local lodge
of American Yeomen.

SAMUEL S. WILLIAMSON.— A representative Orange County man who has
been a leader in developing the fine acreage along West Commonwealth Avenue is
Samuel S. Williamson, to whose own far-seeing efiforts are due so many desirable im-
provements both upon and outside of his own ranch. In 1907 he built there a beautiful
home which is a credit to the neighborhood and is just such an addition to realty as
is certain to help raise property values. He was born at Phillipsburg near Dayton,
Montgomery County. Ohio, on February 4. 1853. in a region to which his grandfather.
John C. Williamson, came from Kentucky and his grandmother Mary Croumbach, from
Pennsylvania in pioneer days. His father was Peter Williamson, a farmer, who died
when our subject was less than three years old; and he married Miss Abigail Thomas,
born in Montgomery County, Ohio, a daughter of Wm. and Mary (Farmer) Thomas,
natives of Xorth Carolina, who were members of the Society of Friends. Samuel S.
Williamson's father died in Ohio in December, 1855, and his mother lived for many
years in Kansas and died there in Wyandotte County in .\pril. 1913. aged eighty years.

The only child of this union, Samuel S. Williamson, removed to Howard County,
Ind., with his mother, where he received a good education in the public schools, making
his own livelihood from the age of twelve. years; his mother having married a second
time caused Samuel to start out for himself at such an earlj' age. .At first he hired
out on various farms in his neighborhood, and in 1879, four years after the death of his
stepfather, he accompanied his mother to Wyandotte County, Kans., and settled at
Piper near Kansas City. He next became an officer at the state prison at Lansing, and
continued in that responsible office for three and a half years. The following year he
was foreman of the brick works connected with the penitentiary. He then engaged in
farming near Lawrence for three years and then removed to Kansas City, where he was
in the employ of the Metropolitan Street Railway for another period of three years,
when he resumed farming on their old farm in Wyandotte County.

After three years here he decided to locate on the Pacific Coast, so in the fall of
1903 he moved to Everett. Wash., and there passed the following winter and in June,
1904, came to Pasadena. Cal., where he superintended a ranch for three years. During
this time he investigated soil and climate in Southern California and decided on Orange
County as the most suitable location for his purpose. In 1907 he removed to Orange
County and purchased thirty-three acres of vacant land on West Commonwealth Ave-
nue with one-half mile frontage, at that time overgrown with volunteer hay and mus-
tard; and when he had cleared and graded the acreage, he planted it to Valencia


- (j^iyi'^H'dt^f^


oranges. He lias a pumping plant of forty inches capacity, and is a member of the
Placentia Orange Growers Association.

On March 29, 1883, Mr. Williamson was married to Miss Luella Watson, a native
of Leavenworth, Kans., and the daughter of Thomas J. and Barbara (.Coulter) Watson.
Her father was a Southern gentleman, born, reared and educated in Georgia, and he
came to Kansas in 18S5. He was a member of the Kansas State Militia when the slave
trouble came up, and although raised in the South he decided that slavery was a
great moral wrong and becaine a prominent Free State man and gave all the assistance
he could to the Union and did his duty according to his conscience. Mrs. Williamson
attended the public schools of Wyandotte County, Kans., and there began to acquire
that excellent training so valuable to her when she had children of her own. Mary
Grace, the eldest of the four children, is the wife of Maj. J. M. Hobson, of the U. S.
Army at present an attache of the American Legation in Cuba, and is a brother of Capt.
Richmond P. Hobson; Jessie A. is Mrs. C. L. Wood of Pasadena; Elsie F. is Mrs.
Glen E. Biles of the same city; and Harold F. a graduate of the FuUerton Union high
school is at present attending the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

EDWARD A. NOE. — Numbered among the successful and enterprising contract-
ing builders of Orange County, one who has gained an enviable reputation for de-
pendable workmanship, is Edward A. Noe, a "Buckeye" by birth, having been born
July 30, 1873, at Marietta, Washington County, Ohio. He is a son of Lewis and Eliza
(Welking) Xoe, natives of Germany. Edward received his early education in the
public scliool at Whipple, Ohio, and when nineteen years old began working for
Andrew Hart, a contractor of Whipple, with whom he learned the trade of a car-
penter. Later he moved to Marietta, Ohio, where he entered into partnership with
William Lauer, under the firm name of Lauer & Noe, and they conducted a building
business for three years, constructing many residences in Marietta. This partnership
was dissolved, after which Mr. Noe removed to Akron, where he became foreman
for Charles Deneke. a prominent builder of that busy city, remaining in his employ for
seven years. While with him Mr. Noe superintended the construction of some of
the finest buildings in that part of Ohio, among which were a splendid high school
building at Nottingham, East Cleveland, a large church at Oroville, also several large
residences in .Akron. Afterwards he returned to the home farm at Marietta, where
he remained for three years.

In 1913 Mr. Noe came to California, locating at Santa Ana. After building
three houses for himself in Santa Ana, he engaged in contracting work, and has
erected over fifty residences in the county. Among those of which he is justly
proud are the fine residence of C. P. Boyer at Tustin; three residences for A. J.
Lasby, Santa Ana; an apartment house for Mrs. Lowman on North Bush Street;
also a business block for Garden & Seamen. Mr. Noe has also constructed a num-
ber of homes at Long Beach.

On December 29, 1896, Mr. Noe was united in marriage with Miss Fannie Lank-
ford of Marietta, Ohio, and they are the parents of a son, James E. Noe. Fraternally
Mr. Noe is an Odd Fellow and holds membership in Santa Lodge No. 236, I. O. O. F.
On April 30, 1920, Mr. Noe and family left Santa Ana for a visit back East and visited
many places and while there purchased an auto in Detroit and returned overland to

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 120 of 191)