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 135 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 135 of 191)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Webster County, Nebr. In 1901 Mr. and Mrs. Shrosbree came to Long Beach and
lived there a year; and then, for a year, they lived in South Pasadena. In 1903 they
came to Pacific City, now Huntington Beach, and at the new and promising resort
Mr. Shrosbree followed his trade.

Since coming to California Mr. and Mrs. Shrosbree have witnessed many exciting
events. They happened, for example, to be in the great disaster at Long Beach on
Empire Day, 1913, at the falling of the approach to the .Auditorium, and they fell with
the crowd through the pier to the bottom. Both were hurt — Mrs. Shrosbree sustaining
two broken ankles and ribs, and Mr. Shrosbree having his nose and right shoulder and
several ribs broken. Of the 300 people that went down thirty-seven were brought out
dead, and four of the injured persons died. Mr. and Mrs. Shrosbree showed their
magnanimity by not presenting a claim for damages.

There was no school and no post office at what is now Huntington Beach when
Mr. Shrosbree first pitched his tent there, and as as there was also no Episcopalian
Church, they joined the Baptist denomination, of which they are members. He is a


naturalized citizen, of course, and a Republican, Ijut in local matters is nonpartisan. At
the age of seventy-seven, he resides happily with his wile and, as a patriotic pioneer,
enjoys the esteem of a wide range of friends and acquaintances. He was active at his
trade until the Long Beach disaster, and then he and his wife were forced to retire.
Mrs. Shrosbree is found in every good work intended for the general welfare of the
community, and as a model housekeeper takes particular pride in their Ocean Avenue
home, which abounds with art and other evidences of the refined and cultivated mind.
Mr. Shrosbree built his fine bungalow residence of eight rooms at 630 Ocean Avenue,
and this is only one of several houses he has erected at Huntington Beach, and one
of four that he still owns.

JAMES ERVIN LUTHER.— A well-posted and most interesting early settler,
who has not only contributed something delinite toward the building up and improve-
ment of the country, but is able to boast with modest pride that both his father and his
grandfather crossed the plains in 1851 and for three years underwent all the privations
and rigors of the miner's life here, is James Ervin Luther, who was born in Bennington,
Shiawassee County, Mich., on January 4, 1851. His father, James Martin Luther, was
a native of New York and was educated at Granville College in Ohio, after which he
married Miss Elizabeth Jacobs, who was born in New York State. Grandfather Ellis
Luther had married Amelia Ervin who was a native of England, and the daughter
of James Ervin, a sea captain, who owned his own vessel and also a large, comfortable
residence on the ocean front in New York City from which his family could always
watch for his coming. Piloting a valuable cargo, also owned by him, he arrived within
sight of New York harbor one evening, and was sighted by his faithful wife and
children, just as a severe storm arose; and the next morning not a vestige of ship or
cargo could be seen, nor was the veteran captain and his supposedly sturdy vessel
ever heard from again. James Martin Luther, who traces his ancestry back to the
famous German of the Reformation, Martin Luther, was a teacher until his hearing
became afifected, when he became a clerk on the Erie Canal; after his marriage they
resided at Lansing, Mich., until he came west. After mining in Nevada, he accompanied
his father to San Francisco and then back to the East by way of Panama; and he
did clerical work and was postmaster at Northstar, Gratiot County, Mich. Later still
he was a farmer, and he spent his last days with our subject in Orange County, where
he died in 1916, at the age of ninety-three. Mrs. Luther, his beloved life-companion,
gave joy to the same home circle until 1915, when she passed away at the age of
eighty-seven. Her father, Mark Jacobs, a \'ermonter, became a farmer in Michigan,
and died at Brighton, Livingston County. They had five children, all of whom grew
to maturity; and the eldest of the family, our subject is one of three still living.

James Ervin Luther was reared at North Star, near Ithaca, and while attending
the public schools, worked on a farm, continuing to assist his father until he was
twenty-four years of age. Then he came to California and arrived at Santa Ana in
November, 1874. The place was then a mere hamlet, but a 3'ear later he purchased ten
acres, the nucleus of his present valuable property, in the Chapman and Glassell tract
on Yorba Street; and moving onto it, he built there a small house. Three very dry
years succeeded, however, and he had to work out to tide over the critical period,
while he did his best to improve the place.

He first set out grapes, but they died; and then he planted apricots, a few of
which are still standing and bearing. Two years later, he bought another ten acres,
and still later ten more; and having sold five acres, he now has a fine farm of twenty-
five acres. Nine acres of these are set out to Valencia oranges, and the balance are
given over to apricots; and one year he had seventeen tons of dried fruit. He belongs
to the California Prune and Apricot Association, and also to the Santiago Orange
Growers Association, and in both of these excellent organizations he is appreciated both
for the quality of his products and his care in preparing them for the market.

At Orange, on March 6. 1886, Mr. Luther was married to Miss Mary McClintock,
a native of Pittsfield, 111., and the daughter of John R. McClintock, -who was born in
Indiana of an old Tennessee family. He settled in Illinois and married Nancy Cline,
of Pennsylvania parentage, and became a farmer at Pittsfield. There Mrs. McClintock
died, but Mr. McClintock is still living, at Long Beach, enjoying life in the eighty-
second year of his age. There were seven children in that family, and Mrs. Luther,
who was the eldest, received the best of educational advantages in Illinois. In 1882,
she and a brother, W. O. McClintock, came out to Los x\ngeles, and that same year she
removed to Santa Ana. One child. Porter G. Luther, has blessed this union, and he
is foreman for the gas engine tractor company in Bakersfield. Mr. and Mrs. Luther
are members of the Christian Science Church at Santa Ana, and Mr. Luther marches
under the banners of the Republican party.


CHRIS PAULUS.— A liberal-minded, kind-hearted and very progressive rancher
who has had many interesting, if not always agreeable, experiences in a series of
alternating "ups and downs," is Chris Paulus, who has at length reached a. state of
independence, with a fine Valencia orange orchard and a comfortable home. He came
to Caliiornia in the late nineties; and if Mr. Paulus and the Calif ornians have any
regret in the matter, it is that he did not settle here years before. He was born in
Washington County, Wis., in 1845, the son of Chris Paulus, a farmer, who had forty
acres there, and in 1848 moved to Ozaukee County, in the same state, where he cleared
the timber land for a home. He had married Miss Catherine Hiltz, who proved to him
an excellent helpmate. They had ten children, six of whom grew up; and among them
Chris was the second oldest child. He was reared on a farm, and sent to a log
schoolhouse; and growing up a good axeman, he helped to clear the home farm
of 120 acres of solid timber, remaining home until he was twenty-three. Then
he removed to Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, where he worked for six months. He then
made his way to Sedalia, Mo., and took up farming. Then he worked for many years
at the stock yards at Sedalia, holding the position of foreman for almost three years.

On February 4, 1874, Mr. Paulus was married to Miss Catherine Dexhimer, who
was born near Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Hultz) Dex-
himer, farmers in Ohio, then early settlers of St. Genevieve County, Mo., later at
Hannibal, and in 1868 he located in Sedalia, Mo. After his marriage Mr. Paulus farmed
on a farm of eighty acres that he had bought in 1869. The drought and grasshoppers
destroyed the crops, and in the fall of 1874 they returned to Sedalia, where he began
well drilling, which he followed for twelve years, finally using a steam well rig. During
this time he bought property in Kansas City and started a blacksmith shop; but when
the boom "busted" there. Mr. Paulus again returned to Sedalia and took up well
drilling. As early as 1869 he decided to come to California; but he put it ofT until 1897,
when he removed to San Bernardino, where he made a trade for a ranch of ten acres.
He built a residence, dug a'well and resided upon and improved the property for four
years; but in the end he was beaten out of it, and lost all that he had invested.

Once again Mr. Paulus began all over, locating at Compton, where he rented
forty acres for the growing of beets; but at the end of the year he was $170 in the hole.
Then he rented 100 acres from the Seaside Water Company, raising thirty-three sacks
of barley per acre, but the second year the crop was a failure. He next went to
Downey and rented thirty acres, and there he tried to raise hogs; but he lost all his
hogs and traded for a house in Los Angeles, where he worked for the Lacy Manu-
facturing Company, punching washers. He forged ahead, but was laid oflf; and then
he took up farming again, and searched for months until he found his present property.
He traded his house and two lots for five acres on the corner of Olive and Sunkist
Avenues, and there were only eighty-one orange trees set out; he himself set out the
rest, all Valencia orange trees, now in full bearing. He has also helped improve other
orchards. His soil is superior; he uses the best of fertilizers, and plenty of them; he
has an excellent pumping plant, originally started by the Orange Grove Water Com-
pany, and his highly-productive ranch is now cared for by his son, Walter, who uses
a tractor and a team, and follows the latest, most scientific and practical methods of
agriculture. An example of the increase in values is shown by the fact that he bought
it for $1,850, and he has lately refused $30,000 for it.

Eight children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Paulus: William, Peter
and Jacob are in Los .\ngeles; Walter, as has been stated, is ranching; Charles is also
in Los Angeles; Fred is at McKittrick; Katie is Mrs. Robert Law, of the same place;
and Elizabeth is Mrs. Fred Law, and lives at Anaheim. The family are members of
the Presbyterian Church at ."Knaheim.

CHARLES W. MORROW.— .\ highly intelligent native son of California, whose
love of good reading has assisted him in working for a higher standard of citizenship.
is Charles W. Morrow, who was born in what is now Orange County on April 10, 1885,
the son of George Clinton Morrow, whose sister, Mrs. Adaline Wright, crossed the
great continent in the famous year of 1849, as did a brother, Harrison Morrow.

George C. Morrow was born in Ohio, and as his health was poor he therefore
sought outdoor employment. Going to Iowa when a young man, he farmed there
and drove a stage, later driving a stage in Nebraska. He had come to California in 1865,
when Mr. and Mrs. Wright made their second trip, remaining there but a short time,
driving freight teams from San Pedro to Los Angeles. Upon his return to Iowa he
was married to Sarah Jane Hutchings, a native of Ohio, but who had lived in Iowa
from the age of nine years. Returning to California in 1871, Mr. Morrow settled in
Los Angeles County, driving the stage from .\naheim to Los Flores. Mr. and Mrs.
Morrow had eight children: Thomas Benton, George Clinton, Jr., Mrs. Maggie May
Bowden, Mrs. Madge Christensen, Mrs. Xellie Fenton, Mrs. Annie W^heeler, Sylvester


and Cliarles W. Mr. and Mrs. Morrow are still living and reside in the \"illa Park
district, Orange County, the father being eighty-hve and the mother seventy-six years
of age. -They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on September 15, 1919.

Charles W. Morrow was sent to what was then called the Mountain View school,
now known as the school at Villa Park — the name having been changed as late as
1908-09 — and lived to serve as one of the trustees of that institution. He acquired three
acres of his own, which he has well improved and where he has lately built a fine
residence; and he is the manager of a tract of Valencia oranges, owned by his
father, set out to Valencias and lemons. He is also a director in the Gray Tract Water
Association, which is now supplying service to 600 acres of citrus land, having plenty of
wells to insure against drought. He also belongs to the Villa Park Orchards Asso-
ciation. On September 15, 1908, Mr. Morrow was married to Miss Mabel Stutheit of
Villa Park, a talented lady, noted especially for her accomplishment in music, who
came to California from Kansas with her parents. Two children have blessed the union
of the younger couple — Lillian Bernice and Hazel May.

Mr. Morrow is a Democrat in matters of national political import, and yet quite
nonpartisan when it comes to doing his duty by local movements. He belongs to the
Community Church, and is honored as one of its trustees. All in all. Orange County as
well as Villa Park may congratulate itself on such thoroughly loyal and active citizens
as Mr. Morrow.

ERROL TRAFFORD WATSON.— An industrious and exceptionally able young
man is Errol Trafford Watson, the second son of the widely-known and well-beloved
pioneer, Jonathan Watson, who shares in the active management of the Watson ranch,
raising in particular oranges, leinons and walnuts. He was born on June 3, 1894, and
twenty years later graduated with credit from the Orange Union high school. His
father being a rancher and horticulturist, Errol was therefore naturally interested in
ranch work, and so has easily become expert in farm management. Like his father,
who is known to have out-shot Buffalo Bill, he loves hunting in the great outdoors, and
always carries a gun with him when he goes for a walk in the open. Should ravens,
hawks or other birds get too close to the chicken yard on the Watson premises, there-
fore, they invariably suffer the penalty.

On September 6, 1916. Mr. Watson was married to Miss Beatrice Durkee, a native
of Sioux Rapids, Iowa, and the daughter of Joseph E. and Lucinda (Stewart) Durkee,
natives of Iowa, who were married in Minnesota. Her father was a public school
teacher, and for twenty years served as superintendent of schools in Buena Vista
County, Iowa. In 1908 they came to California, and settled in Los Angeles, where the
mother died in February, 1909. leaving three children — Beatrice, Florence and Ruth.
The following month Mr. Durkee removed to Orange County and bought a ranch of
twenty acres, three and a half miles to the northwest of Anaheim, and there he is
still living. Two children have blessed this happy union. June and Maxine.

The three Watson brothers, Floyd E., Errol Trafford and Harold Arlington,
operate the ranch of one hundred twelve and a half acres belonging to their father,
Jonathan Watson, and cultivate forty-five acres given to walnuts and the balance
mostly in oranges. The walnut trees are from four to thirty years old. They use two
tractors in operating the ranch, this being at least so far as the Watsons are concerned,
a horseless age. This is all the more strange since Jonathan Watson, aided by his
sons, was noted as a breeder of standard and draft horses. Errol Watson is director
in the Orange County Walnut Growers Association at Santa Ana. California need
not worry when its future destiny lies at the disposal of such brain and brawn as mark
the conservative aggressiveness of these Orange County young men.

LEE O. MYERS. — Among the wide-awake, far-seeing and scientifically operating
ranchers who have been "doing things" in Orange County may well be mentioned Lee
O. Myers, who is proud of his birth, as a native son, at Susanville. in Lassen County,
Cal.. in 1881, the son of Cyrus Myers, the blacksmith, who died from a sad accident
when our subject was only five years old. He had married Miss Barbara Scherer, a
native of Illinois, an amiable, devoted woman: and she proved a very lovable mother
and guardian to her four children in their hour of need. Among these dependents,
Lee was the youngest. For nine years he lived in Santa Paula with his uncle, and
until his seventeenth year he was educated at the public schools of his district. Then,
for two years he was employed by the Lacy Manufacturing Company of Los Angeles,
and it goes without saying, in view of that extended, single engagement, that he made
himself, through his intelligence, industry and fidelity, invaluable to that firm.

On November 11, 1903. Mr. Myers was married to Miss Mette Hansen, the young-
est daughter of the late Charles and Mrs. Mette Hansen, old pioneers in the Placentia
district; and two children, Philip Alvin and Charles Richard, have blessed the union.



They now are old enough to attend the Placentia grammar school, and with their
parents go to the Presbyterian Church at Placentia.

Later, Mr. Myers, having sold six acres he had owned in the Placentia district,
bought twenty-five acreg of the original Charles Hansen tract then owned by the Thum
Bros., and five acres he afterward disposed of to accommodate his mother-in-law, Mrs.
Hansen. Thrift and time profitably spent on the ranch have brought Mr. and Mrs.
Myers success; and he is very naturally a member of the Anaheim Union Water Com-
pany and the Fullerton Walnut Association. Although preferring his home to the best
club in the world, Mr. Myers was for some years an Odd Fellow. He is out and out
a loyal, enthusiastic American, and during the recent war supported the work of the
Red Cross whenever and however he was able.

AUGUSTUS G. MILLER.— A highly-esteemed member of the Masonic frater-
nity of Fullerton, and a citizen who has become a man of affairs in other departments
of life, adding by his dailj' labors to the stability of institutions and furthering the aims
of commerce and finance, is Augustus G. Miller, the rancher of East Orangethorpe
Avenue, and vice-president of the Placentia-Fullerton Walnut Growers Association.
He was born in Chicago, HI., on June 26, 1864. the son of August Carl and Rose (Bar-
tels) Miller. The father came from Hanover, Germany, in 1852 to escape military
oppression, and for six years was busy in New York City as an expert sugar boiler in
Havemeyer's Sugar Refinery. In 1858 they came on to Chicago, 111., and continued in
the sugar industry until the Civil War broke out in 1861. He then offered his services
as a soldier in the Federal Army; but he was refused enlistment on account of a
crippled right hand. This led him to turn to the mercantile field, in which he accumu-
lated a small fortune; but the Chicago fire of 1871 burned up all of his holdings and
left him stranded, penniless.

He then moved away in 1874 into the valley of the Des Plaines River, just west
of Chicago, where he leased a farm of 140 acres and went into market-gardening for
the Chicago trade; but four years later he removed to a farm of 140 acres near Fort
Scott, Kans., in 1880, and there in Bourbon County he raised corn, grain and cattle.
He was assisted all this time by our subject, who profited greatly on account of his
father's experience and dependable guidance.

In about 1895 they sold out and joined our subject at Fullerton and with him
they had a comfortable home until their deatli. The father died January 26, 1913, while
the mother survived until the following March. Of their three children Augustus is the
only son and the second oldest of the family; his two sisters are Mrs. Bertha Leaton
and Mrs. Mathilda Greenwalt of Los Angeles. Augustus received his education in the
public schools of Chicago although his advantages were somewhat limited on account
of having to work to assist his father make a living, after the total loss in the Chicago
fire. However, by self study, reading and business experiences he has become a well-
informed man.

On October 19, 1889, Augustus Miller was married at Uniontown, Kans., to Miss
Minnie Teague, a native of Bourbon County, Kans.. and the daughter of Calvin T.
Teague and Mary Holt, his wife. Both the Teague and Holt families were early settlers
in Kansas, and Joab Teague, Mrs. Miller's grandfather, rode 250 miles on horseback
carrying from Jefferson City, Mo., the first apple trees brought to Uniontown, Kans.
He planted the trees there and took the gold medal in 1876 with apples from the trees
exhibited at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. Mrs. Miller's father taught
school in Kansas in the log-cabin schoolhouse days, and first directed tlie course of
many who afterward attained prominence in the western world.

Just after the great "boom" in Southern California realty. Mr. Miller came to
California in February. 1891, and was made superintendent of the Gordon Ranch in the
San Joaquin Valley, near Hanford in Tulare County; and there he remained until 1894.
In that year he removed to Riverside, and became superintendent of the San Jacinto
Land Company. He had 800 acres under his charge, and 600 acres of these he laid
out and planted to oranges and lemons. The land was hilly, and the laying out of
the rows of trees was difficult in the extreme; he superintended the care of them for
eight years and today it is a very valuable orchard.

As early as 1899 Mr. Miller purchased eighteen acres, which he improved while
superintendent of the San Jacinto Ranch. Half of this acreage is set out to Valencia
orange trees and half to walnuts, and the whole is under the Anaheim Union Water
Company. In February. 1913, he purchased twenty acres at Woodlake in Tulare
County which he developed by setting out oranges and olives, and now he has a fine
grove there of five-year-old trees in a frostless belt.

Of the two children granted Mr. and Mrs. Miller, Mamie became the wife of
Rufus G. Killian and resided at Woodlake until she passed away June 25, 1919. Merrill


H. is a graduate of Fullerton high school, now with the Union Oil Company. The
family attend the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Miller is a Republican in national political
affairs, but nonpartisan when it comes to local movements; he is an original stock-
holder in the Standard Bank of Orange County in Fullerton. a director in the Anaheim
Union Water Company, and a member and director of the Anaheim Orange and Lemon
Growers Association. He is also a past master of Fullerton Lodge, No. 191, F. & A. M.
and was a prime mover in the building of the new Masonic temple of which he is
trustee. He is also a member of Fullerton Chapter, R. A. M., in which he is serving
as chaplain and is a member of Santa Ana Council, R. & S. M. He is at present serving
his second term as patron of the Eastern Star, to which excellent organization Mrs.
Miller also belongs. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were active in all the recent war and Red
Cross drives, Mr. Miller being captain of the local bond drive committee.

JOHN R. PORTER.— A leading financier of Orange County whose influence
among the old-timers of both Santa Ana and Orange is continually felt, and for the
best, is John R. Porter, a man known to attend strictly to his business, to drive the
same along, and never to allow his business afifairs to drive him along. He is cashier
of the National Bank of Orange, and though primarily most devoted to that well-
established and prosperous institution, he is ever ready to give a helping hand to any
other establishment of value to the Orange County communities. He was born in
Galesburg, III., in 1867. and was educated at Knox College, from which he was
graduated with the degree of B. S. in 1886. Then he came out to California, and at
Santa Ana was soon employed by the Commercial Bank as bookkeeper. When the
Bank of Orange was opened in the boom year of 1887, he removed to Orange and
became the new bank's bookkeeper. The bank bought their present corner on the
Plaza and then erected their imposing building, and from the first they have enjoyed
an excellent patronage.

In 1889, however, Mr. Porter resigned his position in the Orange bank and
returned to Santa Ana. having been elected the first tax collector of Orange County;
and in January, 1890, he entered upon the duties of the office. A year of the work
satisfied him, especially as the First National Bank of Santa Ana offered him 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 135 of 191)