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 123 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 123 of 191)
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others, he has had his success.

CLEMENT LINCOLN SLACK.— Interesting as one of the really few men who
had an active part in the building of early Santa Ana, Clement Lincoln Slack, the
retired contract teamster, is sure to be remembered, and in the pleasantest manner,
by those who for many years come after him. He was born in Rushville, Schuyler
County, 111., on May 9, 1863, the son of Nathaniel and Eliza (Berry) Slack, the former
a graduate of Galesburg Medical College, who practiced as a physician, and was con-
sidered the best doctor of his time in Schuyler County. Faithful in the defence of his
country, in an Illinois regiment, he was wounded during the Civil War, and upon
his recovery was assigned to hospital work. This strenuous service on behalf of the
unfortunate soldiers made him an experienced surgeon as well.

When twenty years of age, in 1883, Clement Slack came to Santa Ana, Cali-
fornia, and stayed with his aunt, Mrs. George Minter, for a year, working in the
vineyards near Santa Ana. Then for a year he was with Mr. Halesworth. Suffering
from somewhat impaired health, he had come to California, and here he found vigor
and happiness again. At Santa Ana, too, on April 6, 1886, he married Miss Mary
Durant, the daughter of John Durant, a lady born in England, from which country
her parents brought her to the United States. For a while they lived in New York
state, and later near W'aukesha, in Wisconsin.

After marrying, Mr. Slack. went in for farming, renting a ranch of twenty acres
on East First Street. It was planted to grapes, but the vines died, and then he
sowed barley there. Still later it was set out to apricots and walnuts. In 1893 he
purchased his home on North Broadway, and there he has resided ever since. He
als'o purchased twenty acres on North Main Street, on both sides of the Santiago
Creek, his object being to get gravel for construction work; and after that he began
teaming, and for twenty years supplied much of the gravel and sand used here in
early building. He hauled gravel over the greater part of Orange County, and con-
tracted to supply gravel and sand for the present Court House and for the Spurgeon
Building, and brick for the Pixley Buildihg in Orange. From time to time, he sold
portions of these twenty acres, and at present he owns onlj' one acre between Main
Street and the Southern Pacific bridge, near the Santa Ana Creek. His first wife
died, and some years later he married Miss Ida Seeley, a schoolmate from his old
home town, of whom he was bereaved four years later.

Public-spirited and willing at all times to do his full duty as a citizen. Mr. Slack
has several times served on election boards: and during the recent war he partici-
pated in all the activities.

OSCAR H. MARYATT.— .\ citizen of Santa Ana who has found that his late
coming has been no barrier to attaining popularity throughout the county, is Oscar
H. Maryatt, a patriotic veteran of the Civil War, who is serving for the second time as
commander of Sedgwick Post No. 17, G. A. R. He was born in Alleghany County,
New York, on September 24, 1841, the son of George W. Maryatt, a tanner of leather
at Ceres, in Ceres County. Penn., a pioneer who lived to be ninety-nine years and seven
months of age. He was a native of Rhode Island, and married Polly W. Maxon, also
a Rhode Islander, who attained her eighty-fifth year. The four uncles and two aunts
of the Maryatt family stood high in professional life as doctors, lawyers or novelists,
and all made names worth conjuring with.

Oscar Maryatt moved to Albion. Dane County. W'is., and there attended the gram-
mar schools. He was graduated from Albion Academy, when only fifteen years old;
and from his thirteenth year, and while yet a student, taught penmanship and Latin
at ."Mbion Academy, and in that way paid his way through college. He taught school
at Woodstock. 111., and at Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he was for two years, and then
he went to Farley in the same state, and became principal of the schools there.

On December 7, 1864, Mr. Maryatt enlisted for service in the Civil War, on the
Union side, and was made chief clerk of the district headquarters; and he had served
in that capacity for six months before Lee's surrender. Now he is widely known in


G. A. R. circles. While in Colorado he presided twice as commander of Del Norte
Post, G. A. R., and in Santa Ana the veterans have been glad to place him on the
firing line.

While teaching school, Mr. Maryatt had put in his spare time in reading law,
under E. W. Lewis, the attorney at Farley, and in time he was examined for admission
to the bar on motion of the late Hon. David Henderson of Iowa, and was examined in
Henderson's office, when he passed the bar examinations successfully. In 1867 he was
admitted to practice, and he then opened up a law office at New Albion, Iowa, where
he became the attorney for the C. D. & M. Railway, continuing in that capacity for
sixteen years, while residing at New Albion.

In 1883, Mr. Maryatt moved to Nebraska, practiced law and became a landowner
in Harlan County, but ten years later he removed to Del Norte, Colo., where he engaged
in gold and silver mining. He was very successful, and remained at Del Norte until
November, 1909, when he came to Santa Ana. During six years of his residence in
Rio Grande County, Mr. Maryatt was judge of the county court. Since coming to
Santa Ana, he has served as city trustee for four years. He served, during 1920, as
commander of the Southern California Veteran Association.

The first time Mr. Maryatt was married was before the Civil War, when he and
Miss Josephine C. Ervin of Woodstock, 111., were united in that place. They had two
children: Leonore, now the wife of J. A. Bowles, who resides at Hastings, Nebr., and
the mother of twelve children, and George A., who married in Nebraska and died at
Del Norte, leaving one child, Oscar H., Jr. Mrs. Maryatt died at Farley. Mr. Maryatt's
second marriage took place at Lansing. Iowa, when the bride was Mrs. Hannah H.
Lindberg. nee Hall, a native of Vermont.

JAMES VERNON McCONNELL.— An interesting man of affairs, is J. V. Mc-
Connell, vice-president and general manager of the Martin-McConnell Poultry Farms
at Garden Grove, the world's leading breeders of the celebrated Black Minorcas. A
good conversationalist, he is never at a loss, as a well-trained man of scientific train-
ing, practical ideas and progressive programs, both to entertain and to instruct; and
part of his enviable capital is a wide circle of friends.

He was born at Chatham Center, Medina County, Ohio, on August 28, 1878, the
son of S. H. McConnell, who was a dealer in lumber and grain, and operated ware-
houses, elevators and lumber yards in Ohio and Kansas. He was married at Chatham
Center to Miss Mary F. Whitney. The McConnells had come to Ohio from Penn-
sylvania, where they settled in Colonial times; they were of Scotch ancestry, and
McConnellsville, Ohio, a town now of ISOO people, was named after members of this
branch of the family, who settled there after the Revolutionary War. Three of S. H.
McConnell's uncles were killed during the Revolution, and two of his brothers were
killed in the Civil War. From this virile, progressive stock have come many merchants
and lawyers. Mr. and Mrs. S. H. McConnell had two children, the elder being a
daughter, Bessie, novi^ the wife of James Schilling, of Long Beach.

James Vernon McConnell was sent to the public schools in Ohio and Kansas,
coming to the latter state when he was a lad of fourteen. His father settled at White
City, Morris County, and engaged in buying grain and selling lumber; and in time
James attended the University of Kansas at Manhattan, where he was graduated from
the commercial course. He was the first of the McConnell family to come to Cali-
fornia, in 1907, and soon after arriving here, he settled at Long Beach, and in time
bought a ranch of ten acres at Westminster. He bought his present place in August,
1912; and having taken a fancy to chicken raising when a boy. and maintained his
interest therein, he embarked in the poultry business under the name of J. V. McCon-
nell. As a matter of fact, he had already operated a poultry ranch with a couple of
thousand chickens in Kansas, and he therefore brought to his enterprise at Garden
Grove a ripe and valuable experience. While at Salt Lake City in 1910. Mr. McConnell
was married to Miss Lucinda C. Evans, daughter of a mining man of that city. One
son, Charles Harvey, has blessed their happy union.

Mr. McConnell first became prominent as a breeder of Brown Leghorns and Barred
Plymouth Rocks, and with his youthful exhibits, scored many successes, some of his
ribbons, representing the awards, dating back to 1889. Perceiving the growing demand
for the new breed, the Black Minorca, he turned his attention, while yet in Kansas, to
the problems of their l>reeding. and for the past twenty-two years he has been studying
the Minorca, so that he is now the world's foremost breeder of that strain. These are
widely known as the McConnell Strain of Minorcas, of which there are two — the Prolific
Egg Strain, and the McConnell Premier Strain of Exhibition Minorcas. The poultry
press, reporting poultry shows, has given his showbirds the latter name, and he has
adopted it.


Selling his ten-acre ranch at Westminster, Mr. McConnell bought a walnut grove
of ten acres near Garden Grove, and grubbed out the walnuts for the purpose of de-
voting it to poultry. He has built a bungalow residence there, and has a full comple-
ment of incubator, brooder, stock and work houses, and pens and chicken houses. To
him falls the responsibility of buying all the feed; he buys grain by the carload,
and spent quite twenty thousand dollars for feed in 1920. He feeds mainly milo-maize,
w-heat, barley and oats, the highest grade of meat scraps, and some fish meal, and to
this, as to the other details, gives the most conscientious attention; so that his sales
for the average exhibition showbirds in males run over seventy-five dollars, and
females forty dollars each for birds six to eight months old, and during 1919 he sold
one hundred birds at from $100 to $250 each. He has even sold some cockerels for
$500 each.

The prize-winning qualities of Mr. McConnell's birds are acknowledged through-
out the world, and it is no wonder that he sells with a guarantee to win first place.
For instance, he will sell a cockerel to Chicago for $300, guaranteed to win the prize
at the Chicago Poultry Show; and if the bird fails to take first prize, and wins only
the second, he will refund twenty per cent of the purchase price; thirty per cent, if
the bird takes third prize; and forty per cent, if it receives only the fourth prize. H it
takes fifth prize or lower, he will refund the entire purchase price and and still allow
the purchaser to keep the fowl. With these inducements, he finds it not difficult to sell
all he can raise of Minorca cockerels a year. He has shown at hundreds of fairs and
poultry shows all over the United States and England, from the Crystal Palace to the
Orange County Fair, and has taken more first prizes for Minorcas than any other
man in the world. His stock goes to England, South Africa, Argentine Confederation,
Chili, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and to every state in the Union; and he is a
well-known contributor to leading poultry journals, so that he is justly regarded as
an authority on Minorcas.

By the organization effected under the laws of California on November 20. 1919,
whereby Mrs. E. B. Martin of Downey, the well-known prize winner on White Leg-
horns, joined Mr. McConnell in business, a corporation with a capital of $125,000, has
resulted. The White Leghorns will be bred at the Garden Grove ranch, owned by Mr.
McConnell, in addition to his Minorcas, and he will assume the management of the new
corporation, of which Mrs. E. B. Martin is the president, and he the vice-president.
Mrs. Martin has developed this strain of White Leghorns which, like Mr. McConnell's
birds, are in a class by themselves. They are large and vigorous, superb in egg-pro-
ducing qualities, while Mr. McConnell's strain of Minorcas will average two and a
half pounds heavier than the common strains of the same kind of fowl. He has grown
cockerels that weigh from twelve and a half to fourteen pounds.

The year 1920 will see a great expansion in this business. The entire ten acres
will be built up with poultry pens and poultry houses. His place is well drained by
means of cement pipe tiles emptying into cesspools, and everything there is scientifically
laid out. He has invented many features in the self-feeding apparatus and drinking
fountains, and these have everywhere been installed. There are two water plants on
the place; one furnishes a supply for domestic purposes and for the chickens, yielding
4,000 gallons a day, under eighty pounds pressure, according to the Fairbanks system,
and the other plant which has a twenty-five-horsepower gas engine, supplies the water
for irrigation.

Mr. McConnell employs the best American experts, for all his stock is line-bred
and trap-nested. Records are carefully kept; and birds falling below the high standard
required are' eliminated. He pays one expert $500 a month; $4,000 a year goes to his
office force; and six men are kept steadily busy at outside work. He is working under
the American Poultry Association rule; is a life member of the International Single-
Comb Black Minorca Club, and National Single-Comb White Leghorn Club, and life
member of the .-Xmerican Poultry Association.

JOSEPH WARREN CULVER.— As an agriculturist Joseph Warren Culver has
attained a position of prominence in his chosen vocation. He is an extensive and suc-
cessful tenant farmer, and operates 120 acres of the Mrs. Mattie A. Niniock ranch.
one-half mile east of Talbert.

Of southern lineage, Mr. Culver was born in Georgia, August 7. 1868. His father,
Augustus, a native of Georgia, and his mother, Mary (Ensley) Culver, who was born
in South Carolina, were married in Georgia just after the Civil War, and Joseph was
an infant three months old when they removed to .\rkansas. From Arkansas the family
went to Texas, and later, in 1888, removed to California. Joseph received his education
in the public schools of Arkansas and Texas, and of the thirty-two years that he has
resided in California, thirty-one years of that time has been spent in Orange County.
He lived one year at Azusa. going thence to Westminster precinct. Orange County.


where for fifteen years he raised celery successfully. After renting many years he
came to Talbert, November, 1919, and rented the Niniock ranch, which he planted to
sugar beets and beans. An excellent farmer, he is well equipped with horses and
machinery to farm the 120 acres with success.

He was twenty-four years of age when his marriage with Miss Bessie Buck, a
native of Kansas, was solemnized, and the five children born of their union are named
Myrtle, Loraine, Evelyn, Joseph Warren, Jr., and Dorothy.

In politics Mr. Culver is nonpartisan, being governed by principle rather than
party, and casting his vote for the man he deems best fitted to perform the public
duties. Of brave Revolutionary stock, his relationship to the Culver family who came
to .America prior to the Revolutionary ,War, entitles him to membership in the Sons
of the Revolution. A stanch adherent for fairness in all of life's transactions, Mr.
Culver believes in the rule "live and let live," and his generosity and the sterling qual-
ities of character he displays in all business and social transactions have won the con-
fidence and highest esteem of a large circle of warm and admiring friends, among
whom he sustains the reputation of the South for hospitality by the entertainment
afiforded in his home.

WILLIAM A. RALPH. — A man of pronounced native ability, whose years of
ripe experience have made him of exceptional value to the interests entrusted to him,
is William A. Ralph, the superintendent of the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company.
He was born in Humansville, Mo., in 1864, the son of William Ralph, a native of Ten-
nessee, who came to Missouri as a young man, and there became a farmer. He married
Miss Elizabeth Yost, also a native of Missouri, and during the Civil War served in
the Union Army as a volunteer in a Missouri regiment. Nine children were born to
this worthy couple, and William was the third oldest in the family. The parents both
died in Missouri, and our subject and his brother, Charles F, Ralph, of Porterville,
are the only two of the family in California.

William was brought up on a farm and educated at the public schools of his
locality. When eighteen years old, he started out into the world for himself, and in
1882 came to Nevada. He mined during the winter, and then rode the range, first on
a small, and then on a large cattle ranch. He was there, in the employ of Mr. Har-
desty, for six years, and became foreman. In 1888, he returned to Missouri, and for
another six years pursued agricultural work,- and while there he married Miss Clara
Emmett, a native of Rogersville, Tenn. She came to Humansville, Mo., when a child,
with her parents, .Albert and Elizabeth (Winnegar) Emmett, who were also natives of
Tennessee, both representatives of old families of that state.

In 1898, Mr. Ralph came west again to California, and settling at Orange, entered
the employ of the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company, with which corporation
he has continued ever since. He began at the lower round of the ladder, and so
steadily worked up that in three years he became foreman. He filled that position with
his characteristic conscientiousness, and at the end of eleven years was made super-
intendent of the company.

Mr. Ralph gives his whole time and energy to the problems presented, works
out his own plans, and surveys his own grades, thereby saving the company hundreds
of dollars yearly. He also superintends the work of the yard where the concrete pipe
is manufactured. In this way, he makes certain of only the best product — a matter of
the greatest import to both company and patron.

Four children have blessed the fortunate marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph. Meta
is Mrs. E. A. Kuechel of Orange; Neva has become Mrs. Geo. Banditk, and also
resides here; Jewel, a graduate of the Orange Union high school, is bookkeeper for
the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company, and Esther is still in the high school.
The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Mr. Ralph belongs to
the Orange Lodge of Odd Fellows, and is a member of the Woodmen of the World,
and he and his devoted wife are also numbered among the popular Rebekahs.

ROBERT J. WILEY. — A native son of California whose parents were among the
pioneer residents of the state is Robert J. Wiley, who for the past fifteen years has
been identified with the progressive development of Orange County. The son of
William and Elizabeth (Simmons) Wiley, Robert J., was born at Downey, Cal.,
February 18, 1873. The father, who was a native of Ohio, came to California in 1854
and in 1858 purchased the place at Downey where Robert was born. He was a suc-
cessful farmer and continued to live on the home place until his death in 1898, at the
age of sixty-six years. Mrs. Elizabeth Wiley was born in Louisiana, but was reared
in Texas, where her parents and grandparents had settled in the early days. In 1862
she came with her parents to California and was married to Mr. Wiley when she was
but nineteen years old. She is still living and resides on the old homestead at Downey.


The eldest of a family of seven children, all of whom arc living, Robert J. Wiley
grew up at Downey and attended the public school there. At the age of fourteen,
however, he started out to make his own way in the world, doing farm work on the
neighboring ranches, continuing in this employment until 1905, when he engaged in
the fumigating business, becoming a partner in the firm of Bowman and Wiley. Mr.
Wiley is one of the veteran fumigators of Orange County and is one of the few who
lived through the experimental stages of the business. He has handled tons and tons
of cyanide of potassium without ever having suffered from its deleterious effects, and
made a financial success of this business, in which he continued until 1918, when he
began farming on the great San Joaquin ranch.

Mr. W'iley is now raising his second crop on the ranch, and has 175 acres planted
to lima beans and seventy-five acres of hill land on which he raises barley hay, rotating
this with a crop of blackeye beans which serves the double purpose of a paying crop
and summer fallow for the land, thus keeping up the fertility of the soil. He also
leases an additional si.xty acres from Isadore Oliveras, which he devotes to grain and
blackeye beans. All of the tenants on the San Joaquin ranch own their own buildings
and machinery and Mr. Wiley invested $10,000 in vifork stock, farm implements and
buildings. In 1918 he erected his own residence, a commodious, up-to-date bungalow,
and is continually adding to the attractiveness of the surroundings. He also owns a
third interest in a pumping plant which supplies water for domestic and stock use for
himself and two neighbors.

On June 7, 1896, Mr. Wiley was married to Miss Pilar Ruiz, the daughter of one
of Southern California's old Spanish families and they have become the parents of nine
children: Elisa is the wife of Frank Monroy, a tractor engineer; they reside at Tustin
and are the parents of two children — Sadie and Lawrence; Hazel, Robert, Ida, Sinyda
died when seventeen months old; Bertha. Edith died at the age of si.x months; Glenn,
Bernice. Mr. Wiley is prominent in the ranks of the Knights of Pythias having been
chancellor commander, his membership being in the Tustin lodge. He ranks in the
community as a man of broad intelligence and with a fund-of solid information whose
success has come through his industry and thrift. Politically he is always found allied
with the Republican element of the community and takes a public-spirited interest in
all the movements for the general betterment of the county.

MOORE BROS. COMPANY.— Prominent among the enthusiastic "boosters" for
Orange County, and among those most ready and also most able to hasten the day
when Southern California shall come to its own, are the energetic gentlemen making
up the well-known firm of Moore Bros. Company, manufacturers of and contractors for
cement pipe, who have had so much to do with the installation of irrigating systems
of the latest, scientific patterns, and with the execution of substantial and ornate
cement work of various kinds — the last word in one of the highly developed industries
of the West. This wide-awake company is composed of John A. Moore and his brother,
James F. Moore, two of a family of seven children of William P. and Martha (Skaggs)
Moore, and it is quite likely that it is their general reputation for character and
experience, backing all that they claim to be able to accomplish, as well as the labor
and materials they offer, which has spelled for them their phenomenal success.

John A. Moore was born in Barton County, Mo., on April 5, 1884, three years
earlier than the birth of James, on February 2; but the latter was the first to come out
to the Pacific Coast. Both attended the common schools of their home district, but
received a good part of their most valuable instruction for a wrestle with the world
in the "school of hard knocks." In his seventeenth year. James pushed westward to
California seeking broader opportunities, and for a short time after reaching Los
Angeles he again attended school, at the same time working at anything he could find
to do. In 1906 John joined his brother here and they went to Rialto, in San Bernardino
County, where they worked for a year on ranches, when they made their way to the
Imperial \'alley. They spent four years there, and during that time not only bought
land, but they developed an alfalfa ranch, which they later sold to advantage.

In March. 1911, James F. Moore came to Fullerton, soon followed by his brother,
John A., and shortly afterward they opened the first cement pipe-yard here, styling the
firm Moore Bros. They began on a small scale on West Santa Fe .\venue, and by
studying the wants of their patrons, and giving conscientious attention to details, they
gradually increased their volume of trade. In 1913, John .\. Moore went to Le Grand.

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 123 of 191)