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 140 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 140 of 191)
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worth the whole for himself, but has added to the wealth of an already rich countrj-, is
William Klausing, who was born in Troy, Madison County, 111., on June 15, 1864, the
son of Henry Klausing. a farmer of that state who died there in 1870. He had married
Miss Mary Taake, and she died in 1886. They had four children, of whom three grew
to maturity, and of these, William is the second eldest. He was brought up on the
home farm, while he attended the local schools; and until he was seventeen, assisted his
mother with the farm work. Then he went out to work for others as an experienced
farm hand.

During the great "boom" in Southern California realty. Mr. Klausing came west to
Los Angeles, in 1887, then pretty small and provincial, and secured an engagement to
work for Mrs. Hollenbeck on Boyle Heights. At the end of two years, he entered the
employment of William H. Perry, and then he was with Dr, Gray and also Judge
Gardener, on West Adams Street. At the end of two years there, he traveled north to
San Francisco, where he worked for eighteen months for George D. Toy at San Mateo;
and after that he was in the service of Andrew Harrel! of \'i5alia, with whom he con-
tinued for four years.

In July, 1897, Mr. Klausing returned east on a visit to Missouri and Illinois, but
the lure of California still holding him. he came back here in 1898, and with a brother
rented a ranch for a year in Eagle Rock. They were not very successful, and they dis-
solved their partnership. Then his attention was directed to Anaheim, and in 1899 he
located here. At first he was in the employ of John Brunworth. as zanjero for the
water company, and assisted him also on his ranch; but in 1901 he bought his present
place on Sunkist Avenue in W'est .\naheim. which was raw land, covered with cactus
and bushes. He paid thirty-five dollars an acre: and wh'le he continued with Mr. Brun-
worth for eight years, he cleared, leveled and otherwise improved his own propertj-. In
1905 he set out orange and walnut trees, and two years later he built his residence.

Now he has twelve and a half acres in Valencia oranges, and seven acres in wal-
nuts, and is probably the oldest orange rancher in the district, with property on which
he worked verv hard, in the be.ainning. to grow chili pepoers. He also owns fortv acres
in the Palos Verde Valley, which is devoted to the raising of cotton, and he has ten
acres in the Golden State tract which he set out to Valencia oranges. Of course, he
is a member of the Anaheim Orange and Lemon Association and the Anaheim Walnut
Growers Association.

At Anaheim Mr. Klausing was married to Miss Dora DieckofF, a nat've of Ger-
many, and two children have further blessed their union — Gertrude and Henrv. Mr.
Klausing is a Renublican; and he and his family are members of the .Anaheim Lutheran
Church, of which he was formerly a trustee.

PHRANDA A. ROBINSON. — A pioneer railroad and livestock man who is replete
with interesting stories of early days on various frontiers, is Phranda A. Robinson, a
native of the Emnire State, where he w-as born, in St. Lawrence County on August
21. 1851. His father was William .\. Robinson, a farmer and a contractor, and a true
Wisconsin pioneer, and he married Miss .\lmira Davis, by whom he had six children.

The eldest in the order of birth, Phranda attended the common schools of ^^'is-
oonsin, to which state the family moved when he was only four years of age. Growing
up. he made his way to Colorado and for a while worked with a railroad contractor
in constructing the first three railroads built into Denver. This was at the be.ginnin.g
of the seventies. At the end of two years he removed to Ellis County, Kans., and
there, for seven years, he honiesteaded and engaged in the cattle business. The west-


ern part of the state was then the hunting grounds of the Indians, and he hauled sup-
plies to them for the Government. Bufi'alo were plentiful, and one could buy plenty
of buffalo hides at five dollars a pelt. Taking up his residence in Wisconsin again,
he engaged for seven years in mercantile trade at Antigo, and selling out, he spent
ten years in southern Wisconsin at Clinton Junction. After that he removed to Gray's
Lake, 111., where he was in the banking business for seven years, also building several
houses there. In 1906 he came to Berkeley, Cal., built houses and sold them; and
four years later he removed to Santa Ana. Since coming here, he has erected over
fifty of the most desirable houses in the city.

Mr. Robinson married Ida Lusk, a native of Wisconsin. He is the father of three
children — Caroline, Charles and Harriet, and grandfather to five. The family attend
the Methodist Church. Mr. Robinson belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, and is
ever ready to aid any reasonable movement likely to make for the growth or the
betterment of the community. He is a standpat Republican, and yet never draws the
party line in seeking to elevate the standard of local civic pride. Keenly alive to public
questions of moment, he has never accepted any of the invitations to stand for public
office, and still pursues his quiet way as a private, if thoroughly wide-awake citizen,
interested at all times in Orange County and its rapid development.

GEORGE FREDERICK ANDRES.— A prosperous rancher who has by his own

efforts and the able assistance of his capable wife developed an excellent orange and
walnut grove northeast of Garden Grove is George Frederick Andres, popularly known
to his large circle of friends as '"Fred" Andres. This forty-acre ranch is on the Garden
Grove Road and twenty acres of it is planted to \"alencia oranges and the remainder to
walnuts. Mr. Andres also owns fifteen acres within the city limits of Santa Ana. which
is set out to ten-year-old budded walnuts. He also maintains a chicken ranch on the
Santa Ana property and has 1500 White Leghorn fowls on it at present.

Born on October 1, 1868, in Germany, about fifty miles west of Berlin, Mr. Andres
was the eldest of a family of five children, four of whom were born in Germany and
one in Iowa. His parents were Ludwig and Marie (Dee) Andres. The father was
a stone and brick mason and stone cutter, having learned his trade very thoroughly
in Berlin, and he could do the finest kind of stone work, even to lettering on marble
and stone monuments. The whole family sailed from Hamlnirg on the S. S. Wieland
of the Hamburg Line, landing in New York the first week of April, 1875. They went
on to Lansing, Iowa, where they settled. In September of that year, Winnifred, the
youngest child was born, and the mother passed away the next month, the arduous
conditions of the new life and homesickness for the old home proving fatal to her. A
year or so afterward the father married again, being united to Mary Laaps, and
one child, William was born to them. The family remained at Lansing for two years,
then went to Waukon, and later to Village Creek, Iowa. While living here Ludwig
Andres went to Minneapolis to work as a stone mason on the great Pillsbury Mills,
and here he was instantly killed, when a scaffolding on which he was working gave
way. The loss of both father and mother filled the young lives of the Andres children
with sadness as it meant their separation. Fred, who at that time was only ten years
old, was taken by his uncle, Gustav Dee, while his younger brother. Charles A., went
to live with another uncle, Theodore Dee, both farmers in .Mlamakee County, Iowa,
and for three years the brothers did not see each other. Fred remained with his
uncle until he was seventeen years old and then hired out at the rate of five dollars
a month during the winter, in the meantime securing what schooling he could. He
kept working out by the month and saved his money and for two years was in W^estern
Iowa, still working out, also farmed for himself there and then broke up 160 acres
in Adrian, Minn., which he later sold and in 1894 went to Rock County, Minn., and
began renting land near Luverne. Like many other pioneer farmers of that region,
Mr. Andres at times suffered may discouraging reverses; one year his crops were a
total failure, so that he could not even pay his rent, and he was compelled to borrow
corn to feed his horses, which he afterward repaid at the rate of two bushels for one.
In 1903 he moved to Hutchinson County, S. D., where he bought 320 acres of land and
raised three crops, and from there he removed to California in 1906. His brother,
Charles A., had already located at Santa Ana, and Mr. Andres in the meantime had
purchased his present home ranch of forty acres, at that time alfalfa land, paying
?300 an acre for it.

After his removal, Mr. Andres at once began the improvement of his land, raising
alfalfa, horses and hogs. He bred fine Percheron horses for a number of years from
some full-blooded Percheron stock which he brought with him. He continued general
farming and stockraising until 1911, when he began to set out walnut trees, the next
year setting out his Valencia orange grove. Since that time he has given his time to
developing his orchards to a high state of productivity and he is meeting with gratify-

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ing success. He has a never-failing well and lias installed an electric pumping plant
and laid over 5,000 feet of cement pipe for irrigation. He has remodeled his residence
and the whole place reflects the intelligent care of its owners, as Mrs. Andres has been
a true helpmate to him, aiding and encouraging him in all his undertakings. During
his residence in Iowa Mr. Andres and John Gephardt owned and operated a Case
threshing outfit and became quite expert in this line of work. With William E. and
Arthur A. Schnitger he has run two threshing machines in Orange County, using them
to thresh beans, converting the machines themselves into bean threshers.

The five brothers and sisters had not all Ijeen together since their mother died
until the time of the Exposition at Portland, Ore., when they had a family reunion.
The three sisters had been reared by different families in Iowa and took the names of
their adopted parents. They are: Elsie, now the wife of Dr. F. G. Ulman of Enum-
claw. Wash., who was a captain in the United States Army in the late war; Miss Marie
Rockwell, formerly a high school teacher in Salem, Ore., is now a stenographer and
bookkeeper at Portland, Ore.; and Winnifred, wr.o is the wife of Rev. J. \'. Knoll of
Lansing, Iowa.

On October 17, 1896, when farming in Rock County, Minn., Mr. Andres was
united in marriage with Miss Ora Luvan Savage, the daughter of Oliver and Eliza
(Young) Savage, the father being a native of New York, while the mother was born near
Chicago, 111. They were married in Wisconsin, moving later to Dodge County, Minn.,
where Mrs. Andres was born. There were three daughters in the Savage family:
Emma is the wife of L. H. Owen of Pomona; Ora is Mrs. Andres; and Susie became
the wife of Frank Welker, a merchant of Beaver Creek, Minn., where she died. By a
former marriage Mr. Savage had two sons: Gibson, a resident of Los Angeles, passed
away in 1917; and Elmer, who is a farmer at Waupun, Wis. Mrs. Andres was educated
in Iowa, and afterwards became a school teacher, teaching four years in Rock County,
Minn., where she met Mr. Andres, and one year in Minnehaha County, S. D. Three
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Andres: Floyd E., a graduate of the Santa
-\na high school in the class of 1919 is now a student at the U. C. at Berkeley; Marie
Lillian died in 1904 at the age of seven years; and Charles Frederick. They are also
rearing an adopted daughter, Ruth Estella Andres.

Mr. and Mrs. Andres are active in the membership of the Methodist Church at
Garden Grove, Mr. .\ndres being a member of the official board, while Mrs. Andres is
a teacher in the Sunday School and president of the Ladies' Aid Society; she was also
prominent in Red Cross work during the war. Mr. Andres is a member of the Garden
Grove Walnut Growers Association, the Garden Grove Orange Growers Association
and the Garden Grove Farm Center, being a director and one of the moving spirits
of the latter. Politically he is inclined to be non-partisan in his views, considering the
best men and principles when voting, but always a firm advocate of temperance. Self-
taught and self-made, he is a man of true worth, and both he and his estimable
v,ife are popular in the community because of their generous, liberal views.

JOHN HUHN.— A veteran of the Civil War and a resident of the United States
since he was eight years of age, John Huhn, whose ranch lies on the Garden Grove
Road, west of .\naheim, has contributed his share to the development of this section
since his removal here in 1898. He was born in Brunswick, Germany, August 18, 1844.
and in 1852 he migrated to America with his parents, William and Anna Huhn. The
father was a building contractor in his native land and, after coming to .\merica, he con-
tinued in this line of work at St. Louis, where the family located shortly after arriving
in this country. Loyal to the land of his adoption, W'illiam Huhn served in the home
gttards during the period of the Civil War.

The early years of John Huhn were spent in St. Louis, where, as soon as old
enough, he engaged with his father, learning the trade. .-Mthough but seventeen years
old when the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Union .\rmy in Company F,
Seventeenth Regiment Missouri X'olunteer Infantry and served for three years under
General Sherman, where he passed through many dangers and hardships in the hard-
fought campaigns of that great leader. After the war was over he took up farming,
settling, in 1870, in Montgomery County, 111., and it was during his residence here that
his marriage occurred, when he was united with Miss Louisa Struck on May 17,
1883, at her home near Hillsboro, 111. She was also a native of Germany, born at Peine,
near Hanover, the daughter of Henry and Wilhelmina ( Stenzig) Struck, the father being
employed at the -iroa foundry at Peine. Mrs. Huhn came to America in 1881 and made
her home with an uncle, near Hillsboro, 111., until her marriage.

.-\fter his marriage Mr. Huhn located on an eighty-acre farm near Raymond, 111.,
and here he farmed successfully, raising wheat, corn and hogs, remaining here until
1898, when he removed to California. Locating in Orange County, he purchased ten
acres west of Anaheim and here he has since made his home. In 1919 he sold half of


this tract and the remaining five acres is a fine walnut grove, which is irrigated by
the Ideal Water Company's pumping plant. Mr. Huhn's ranch is a good producer and
brings him in an excellent income. He markets his product independently.

Mr. and Mrs. Huhn are the parents of four children: Alice S. is a chiropractor
with a growing practice in the vicinity of Anaheim; ^^'illiam Henry is at home, he is
married and has three children, Leona, Mildred and William; Irma is also at home;
Albert E. is a rancher at Red Bluff, Tehama County, Cal. The family attend the
Lutheran Church at Anaheim. A resident of the United States for sixty-eight years,
Mr. Huhn became imbued with the spirit of its institutions in his early boyhood, and
since he has reached man's estate has been a stanch Republican, giving his influence
and vote to the nominees of that party. He belongs to the Fullerton G. A. R. Post.

GEORGE A. BARROWS.— The prosperous, substantial district of Groton, Tomp-
kins County, N. Y., claims the birth of George A. Barrows, the general contractor and
builder, who first saw the light there on May 18, in the historic Centennial Year of
1876. His father was Theodore Barrows, a farmer well known to Tompkins County
agriculturists; and he had married Sarah L. Wood, by whom he had six children. Both
parents are now dead.

The fifth child in the order of birth, George attended the well-appointed grammar
and high schools of Groton, and for a while stuck by the home farm, which he also
took charge of at the age of twenty-one, when his father died. He added to his ex-
perience some four years in a creamery and during these years he was also engaged in
raising fancy poultry, but early worked at carpentering, for which he had unmistakable
talent, and which he liked best of all.

In March, 1911, Mr. Barrows settled in Santa Ana, and from that date has given
all of his time and attention to contracting and building, undertaking many notable
works. He has erected some of the finest residences, and has also built some of the
best structures in the business and manufacturing district of the city, and has long
employed from ten to fifteen men for his varied and responsible operations. A thorough
student of the latest methods both in construction and device. Mr. Barrows easily
demonstrates his entire familiarity with modern building problems, and his advantage
in experience and equipment for extensive and artistic work over his competitors. By
his close application, honest and conscientious method of carrying out the various con-
tracts, he has become singularly successful and as a result his business has grown to
large proportions.

At Groton, N. Y., on Washington's Birthday, 1899, Mr. Barrows was married to
Lucy Mae Harrington, a charming woman known for her good works. With her hus-
band, she attends the Methodist Church. They have one son, Howard. Mr. Barrows
•s much interested in the purification and elevation of party politics, and therefore
a-:krov.-ledges no adherence to any of the political organizations.

FRANCIS M. THOMAS. — An enterprising rancher who by years of unremittinc;
industry and the maintenance of a high sense of honor, always pursuing a conservatively
progressive program toward a definite, laudable goal, is Francis M. Thomas, of 914
South Main Street, Santa .\na, where he resides in a beautiful two-story frame structure,
in the full enjoyment of his interesting family. He was )iorn in Lee County. \'a.. near
Rose Hill, on January 29. 1862. the son of Josiah Clemmens Thomas, a native of Powels
Valley, Lee County, where he was born on January 12, 1835. The latter grew up on a
farm east of Cumberland Gap, some twelve miles west of the county seat. Jonesville,
with little educational opportunity, owing to the modest circumstances -of his parents
and the dearth of public schools there. When nineteen years old, he undertook farm-
ing for himself, and the first summer managed to make about nine dollars a month and
his board, and the second summer eleven dollars. Then he went to a private school
and studied reading, writing -and arithmetic. When twenty-one. he crossed over the
mountains into Kentucky and for three years worked on a farm, where his cash allow-
ance was from ten to twenty dollars a month. By saving his money, he was able to
get back to the old home in Virginia, and there, on November 18. 1859. he was joined
in holy matrimony with Nancy Bartley. After farming there for tliree yegrs, they
moved with their family to Grant County, Ky.. where they lived on a farm for four
years. The third year he purchased a farm, and the fourth year he was able to dispose
of It again for practically double the price which he gave for it.

Dropsy, however, sorely afiflicted him, and with his family he moved back to
Lee County. Va.. toward Christmas, 1865 and there found relief in a cure efifected by
Dr. Henly Robinson: but while he was still ill. his good wife died of typhoid fever,
her demise occurring on March 26, 1866. She left him four children, and a year later
he married Miss Sarah E. Johnson, after which, taking his household, he moved back
to Grant County, Ky., purchased some timber land, and went to work for a vear on a

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neighboring farm. Failing health induced him to make another change and to trade
what he had for a stock of general merchandise in Pendleton County, Ky.; but after a
year, he moved his family to Hiawatha, Kans., and in January, 1869, purchased a farm
one mile east of the town. At the end of another year, half eaten out by grasshoppers,
he sold his holdings, and purchased 160 acres of land on the Kickapoo Reservation,
and there for four years, he labored hard to improve it. Then, selling out, he moved
into Hiawatha and there formed a partnership with his brother, A. H. Thomas, for
the transaction of mercantile business. They succeeded, as anyone who knew them,
their standards and their personalities, would have expected, and then they sold out.
In the meantime. Josiah C. Thomas had bought one after another of four fine farms
near Hiawatha, improved them and later sold them at a profit.

In the early summer of 1883, Mr. Thomas made a trip to California, on account
of renewed illness, and taken with the climate and the prospects of Orange County, he
bought 200 acres of land two miles southeast of Santa Ana. Returning to Hiawatha,
he brought his family from Kansas to the Coast, and for a couple of years improved the
new home farm. He then moved into Santa Ana, on Spurgeon Street, and there he
died, in September, 1913. The four children left him by his first wife were: Melville
C, Francis M., our subject, Alice and Charles L. Thomas. Melville died by drowning
in the Galveston flood, he, his wife, their one child and their home having been swept
away by the angrj- waters. He was a railroad man, and for years had worked in the
railway yards at Galveston. Alice is the wife of Otis Bridgeford, 'the rancher; she
'was formerly Mrs. L. Hiskey, and is the mother of Walter E. Hiskey, a rancher in
the Delhi district of Orange County. The last or youngest is Dr. Charles L. Thomas,
the dental surgeon, of Los Angeles, who owns extensive, valuable citrus property at
El Modena.

Francis M. Thomas left \'irginia with his parents when he was five years old and
for two years lived in Kentuckj', then removed to Kansas, where he was educated in
the public schools of Hiawatha. With his older brother he looked after the farm, while
his father bought and sold farms and dealt in dry goods and groceries. He was twenty-
two years of age when, in the spring of 1884. he came out to California and settled
at Santa Ana. He worked out for a year or two. getting used to the climate and the
ways of the country.

At Santa Ana, August 15, 1886, Mr. Thomas was married to Miss Zoura Kerr, a
native of Mexico, Audrain County, Mo., who came to Santa .\na in March, 1886, with
her mother, Mrs. Serilda (Bates) Kerr, a native of Lee County, Va., who came to visit
her brother, A. T. Bates, whom she had not seen for forty-two years. Mr. Bates had
crossed the plains during the gold rush and was an early settler near Santa Ana. Mrs.
Thomas' father, William Kerr, was born near Rockbridge, Va., later coming to Mis-
souri, where he engaged in farming, passing away there when Mrs. Thomas was nineteen
years of age. Mrs. Kerr died at the Thomas ranch August 7. 1910, at the age of
seventy-nine, the mother of nine children, seven of whom are living.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are the parents of six children: Lester R. is a mechanic
with a specialty of automobiles and resides at Phoenix, Ariz.; Lelah married Clyde
Deardorff, a tenant on Mr. Thomas' ranch; they have one child. Beverly June; Beulah
is the wife of Harold Bullock, a tenant on her father's ranch and a partner with Mr.
Deardorfif; Gladys is an accomplished musician and resides at home; Eugene and
Semone attend the Santa Ana high school. Mrs. Thomas is a member of the First
Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana.

Mr. Thomas had ranched a number of years in Orange County when he bought
his first farm and this was added to until he has 140 acres in one body that he still
owns. It is a very valuable ranch, devoted largely to the raising of citrus fruit and to
mixed farming. He set out orchards of walnuts and oranges to the extent of about
fifty acres. For many years, he also followed dairy farming. In the early days of
188S he ran a self-binder over the southern part of the city of Santa .\na that is now
all built up and so he has cut and reaped grain on the spot where his residence now
stands on South Main Street. He is a Republican in matters of national politics, but
never permits a narrow partisanship to interfere with a hearty support of local measures
and local men.

"Sarah Bartley. Mr. Thomas' maternal grandmother, died at Grand Prairie. Brown
County, Kans., on December 10, 1889, aged eighty-two years. She was born in Wash-
ington County. Va.. on May 22, 1807. and with her parents removed to Lee County,

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 140 of 191)