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 143 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 143 of 191)
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affairs, believing the interests of the community are best conserved by voting for the
best men and measures.

JOHN H. WARNE.— A well-to-do rancher of the Bolsa district, who has won his
success entirely through his own industry and enterprise, is John H. Warne. One of
England's sons, he was born in the County of Cornwall, March 8, 1870, the son of John
and Betty (Pascoe) ^\'arne. The parents were substantial farmers, the home place
being near Truro, and there they both lived and died. Besides John H., they were the
parents of one daughter, Mary E., now widowed, and who is a resident of England. He
attended the common schools of his birthplace and was brought up in the Wesleyan
faith, his parents being devoted members of that denomination. Up to the age of
seventeen he lived on the home farm, where he assisted his father in all the labor about
the place, getting the foundational training for the life of a rancher which he has led in
recent years. In the fall of 1887. however, he determined to strike out for himself,
encouraged by the stories he had heard of the greater opportunities awaiting young men
in America. After a very stormy voyage on the SS. Celtic, he landed at Castle Garden,
October 9 of that year. He went directly to Ishpeming, Mich., and at once obtained
employment in the iron mines there. It was hard, unpleasant work, for the most part
imderground, but Mr. ^^'arne remained there for three years, in the meantime practic-
ing thrift and economy and saving as much of his wages as possible.

In 1890 he decided to move on westward, and so made the journey to Los Angeles,
going later to Hanford. Kings County, where he secured work on farms in that locality.
After eight years in Hanford. he returned to Ishpeming. remaining there for two years,
coming back to California in 1900 and locating this time at Santa Ana. He ourchased
forty acres of land in the vicinity of Bolsa and has since made it his home. He started
in at once to cultivate his holdings and has continued to make improvements from
year to year. He has developed several flowing wells on his place and installed an up-
to-date pumping plant, and has $5,000 worth of cement pine and open ditches for irriga-
tion. He has also erected an attractive bungalow, a fine large barn and other buildings
and the whole ranch has the well-kept, prosperous appearance that betokens the
progressive farmer. He has added to his first holdings by three subsequent purchases
and now has 162 acres, all in a body.

Mr. Warne was united in marriage on September 20. 1905, to. Miss Sarah E. Mc-
Garvin, a daughter of Richard and Nettie (Vance) McGarvin. natives of Missouri, com-
ing to Los .'\ngeles County in 1875. settling in the New Hope section, then called
Gospel Swamp, but both now deceased. Mrs. Warne was born in Orange County and
was reared and educated in the Garden Grove district. Mr. and Mrs. Warne have three
sons: John L.. Henry \\'illiam, and Thomas Wesley. Generous and kindly to all. Mr.
Warne is always progressive in his ideas and gladly conforms to the best thought and
reform movements of the day. and his life under two flags has broadened his views and
widened his sympathies for common humanity.

DEMPSEY W. GOULD.— Fulton County. 111., was the birthplace of Dempsey
\\'. Gould, his birth occurring near Lewistown in that state on January 21. 1876, his
parents being Thomas and Christina (Wadkins) Gould — born in Browne County. Ohio,
and Fulton County, 111., respectively. Thos. Gould when a youth enlisted as a drummer
boy in Company I. One Hundred Forty-sixth Ohio Regiment of Infantry, rising to the
rank of first lieutenant. He came out to Illinois where be became a well known
veterinary surgeon, and was also engaged in a.griculture. the home place being situated
about seventeen miles south of Lewistown. Grandfather Samuel Gould was born in
Scotland and came to America when but a boy, settling in Ohio at first and later


coming to Illinois, where he was a pioneer in Fulton and Schu3-ler counties. He pre-
empted land here in the early days and engaged in farming on the virgin prairie soil.

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gould were the parents of ten children; six daughters
and two sons are still living. The fifth child in order of birth. Dempsey \V. Gould
is the only one of the family residing in California. He received his education
in the country schools of the neighborhood and from the age of fifteen he has
made his own way in the world without financial assistance from others. For a time
he worked out on farms in the locality, later engaging in farming on rented land in the
county of his birth. In March, 1907, with thirteen other young men from Fulton
County, he went to Payne County, Okla., to engage in raising cotton. The experiment
was a disastrous one, however, and they lost everything they had invested. Without
financial resources and with a wife and two children depending upon him for support,
one less resolute than Mr.' Gould would have given away to discouragement, but he
has always met reverses with a courageous smile and wrested success from circum-
stances that would have daunted one of less determination and energy.

Borrowing the sum of $100, Mr. Gould brought his family from Oklahoma to Cali-
fornia and took a job as track man for the Santa Fe Railroad at Capistrano, at a dollar
and a half per day. He continued to work for the Santa Fe for nearly two years,
becoming an extra section foreman. It was natural, however, for one of his agricultural
training to gravitate back to the land, so he worked with a threshing crew for a season.
In 1912 he came to El Toro, and leased 250 acres of land and this amount he has
increased from time to time until he now operates 700 acres on the O'Neill or Santa
Margarita ranch, southeast of El Toro. Here he engages in grain farming on an
extensive scale, the larger part of his acreage being devoted to barley. Mr. Gould
owns the house and other buildings and a full complement of farm implements and
has forty-two head of mules, horses and colts.

On June 6. 1901. at Flavana, Mason County, 111., Mr. Gould was united in marriage
with Miss Lillian Trapp, who was also born near Lewistown, 111., the daughter of
John Trapp born in Illinois, a prominent Fulton County farmer who is now deceased;
her mother was Elizabeth Freeman who, at the age of eighty-one. is living in El Toro.
Of their nine children Mrs. Gould is the youngest.

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gould — Bruce M. who assists
his father on the farm, and Feme, and both are social favorites. A Republican in
politics, Mr. Gould takes a lively interest in the questions of the day, is a good talker,
and his affability has made for him a large circle of friends.

MRS. IDA B. KING.— California, justly appreciative of both her sons and her
daughters, is especially proud of those women who, called upon to assume the serious
responsibilities of life in a world still largely managed by the stronger sex, have di's-
played such signal fitness for their work that they have not only held their own, but
have often pointed the way, and perhaps by far better routes or means of travel, to
others with even longer experience. Such a leader in the feminine world in the manage-
ment of important affairs is Mrs. Ida B. King, widow of the late Charles H. King,
and daughter of the well-known pioneer of Santa .\na. Samuel Ross. For twenty-six
years past she has been a tenant on the Irvine ranch, probably the oldest tenant, there-
fore, on the historic San Joaquin; and, as one of the first generation of Orange County
girls, she herself has a most interesting association with the history of Southern

Growing up in the city and county mi' lur birth, Mrs. King was married in 1894
to Charles H. King, a native of NN'aitsbiHL;. W a>h., where he was born on January 19,
1873, the son of Samuel and Sarah Ann Kinu, who early came to Washington, .\fter
he had braved the dangers of the great plains and had helped to establish law, order
and civilization in the Xorth. :Mr. King came south to Orange County, and settled first
at Orange and later at Garden Grove. Charles was reared and educated in that vicinity:
and as his father was a rancher, he took naturally to the life of the agriculturist, and
after a while commenced to raise grain for himself on the Freeman ranch near

Encouraged by his success, he branched out in 1891 on a larger scale by coming
to Orange County and leasing, on shares, 320 acres on the San Joaquin ranch. Prior
to his coming there, no one had ever attempted to raise liarley and beans on the San
Joaquin ranch; and neighboring farmers watched his venture with scientific interest.
He demonstrated that he knew what he was about not only in the quality of the lieans
he raised, but in the fifteen or more sacks yielded by each acre at the harvest. He
was among the first to purchase a gasoline traction engine to plow his land, and that
innovation alone made him locally famous, for he could turn up from ten to fifteen
acres of the soil a day, and go twelve inches deep for his beans, which, with horses
or mules, is a very difficult task.


Mr. King was a Republican in politics, and took a very live interest in local
political happenings. He was a deputy registration clerk on the Myford board at every
election, represented his precinct at county conventions, and was a member of the
county central committee. Affiliated with Santa Ana Lodge No. 142, Knights of
Pythias, he also belonged to Santa Ana Lodge No. ,794, B. P. O. E. He died on
May 14, 1911. Since his death, Mrs. King has continued to manage and develop the
estate, and she has done so with rare ability. She now operates 300 acres of the
James Irvine, or San Joaquin ranch, of which fifty acres are devoted to the making of
hay and 250 to the growing of lima beans. She also owns ten acres at Tustin, now
planted to oranges, upon which she intends soon to build.

Three children give joy and solace to ihis admirable woman, whose life is lived
in part for the advancement of the best and most permanent interests of Orange County
and the promising Southland. Mildred is the wife of Joe Branson and resides at Madera.
Ruth has become Mrs. Fred Rising, and lives at Los Angeles. And Herald is at home,
at the interesting age of fifteen. Another son. Roscoe, died when eight years of age.
She is also rearing a grandchild. Lamar Hossler, to whom she also gives her motherly
care and devotion. ••

MIGUEL ERRECA.— One of the pioneer stockmen of Southern California.
Miguel Erreca was born near Aldudes, Basses Pyrenees, on the line between France
and Spain, August 10, 1854, a son of Juan and Marie Erreca, who were well-to-do
farmers, owning a place of 500 acres, but both passed away before Miguel left that
country. They had three children, two of whom grew up, our subject being the only
one now living. His brother Juan came to California with Miguel and they were
partners for eleven years, when Juan returned to France and died two years later.

Miguel Erreca was brought up on the home farm, and this place he still owns
in partnership with a nephew. Having heard good reports of splendid opportunities
awaiting young men who were not afraid to work he came to California in 1873 and
made his way by the Overland stage from Los Angeles to San Juan Capistrano, where
he had a cousin, Bernardo Erreca, who was engaged in the sheep business. He had
arrived in the old mission town at one o'clock one February morning. The next morn-
ing he got up a little late and looked out to see what the place was like. He saw a
band of vaqueros, all horseback; they had long whiskers and long hair that covered
their ears and eyes and, as he says, looked like a band of goats. Big pistols were
hanging at their sides and big knives in their belts. He was at first a little frightened
but when he got outside and up closer he heard them talk Spanish and entered into
conversation with them. They were half Mexicans and half Indians but all turned
out to be good fellows. He lived eleven years in San Juan Capistrano among those
people and found them square and reliable. After working two. months for Chas.
Landell he went to work for his cousin, Bernardo Erreca, and continued with him for
seven years and six months. Bernardo Erreca had four partners, among them two
Orroqui brothers; one of them is now dead, but the other, Juan Orroqui. is still living
and was one of Miguel's first bosses; he now resides on Garnsey Street, Santa Ana.
eighty-two years of age and totally blind — but Miguel still visits him and tries to bring
him comfort and cheer in his unfortunate condition.

After working for Bernardo Erreca for over seven years. Miguel and his brother
purchased a half interest and they continued together successfully. Two years later
they bought more sheep from Erreca's old partners and leased all of the Trabuco ranch
and ran 20.000 head of sheep. About two years later Miguel and his brother bought
Bernardo's interest and ran the whole ranch and flocks. They did well and their flocks
increased. There was no market for the sale of sheep to speak of in Southern California
at that time, so once every two years they would drive two flocks of about 2,500 head
each to San Francisco and dispose of them, the entire trip and return consuming about
three months. Sheep at that time sold from $1.50 to $2.50 a head, including the wool.
Later on Miguel bought his brother's interest and continued business alone with his
headquarters on the Trabuco ranch of 26.000 acres.

It was the custom of the ranchers in those days to go to San Juan Capistrano to
buy their supply of groceries. They would hitch their horses in front of the store
and be all loaded up when they would go in to have a final smile and then they would
keep on smiling till supper was announced, and after supper again had to have a few
more rounds, and so the horses stood hitched outside until after midnight. They never
found anything missing from the wagons in those days for they were all good, honest
and reliable people. They would then start for their homes, arriving in the wee sma'
hours of the next morning.

Mr. Erreca was offered the whole of the Trabuco ranch for $4.00 per acre and a
Iiankcr in Los .Angeles advised him to buy it and said he would furnish him the mone..
and give him all the time he w-anted, but Miguel was too conservative and would not


risk it. but afterwards saw he had made the mistake of his life. A couple of years
later Richard O'Xeill bought the ranch and he. of course, lost the lease of it. Mr.
Erreca then leased a part of the Irvine ranch, a tract 6.000 acres, which extended
from Newport to Tustin: here he ran sheep for nine j'ears and then sold out. Mean-
time, in 1883, he had purchased four acres on Hickey and Sixth streets, between Olive
and Baker streets, Santa Ana. built a residence and made it his home. He then began
farming on the James McFadden ranch and then leased land in various parts of
Orange County. One year he had 3.700 acres in grain; one season he lost about
$50,000 but he kept on and finally paid the debt one hundred cents on the dollar; he
later farmed 1,700 acres on the Moulton ranch for seven years. In 1917 he quit farming
and sold his outfit. He now makes his residence on his four-acre tract that he has set
to Valencia oranges.

Mr. Erreca was married in Los Angeles, where he was united with Miss Marie
Oronos, born in Bigorre. France, an estimable woman of a lovable disposition of whom
he was bereaved on February 6, 1894. She left him two children: Juanita, a graduate
of the Orange County Business College is now the wife of Lem Conkle, who resides
with Mr. Erreca and she presides gracefully over her father's home and ministers
devotedly to his comfort; Marcelina is the wife of Chas. Eckles of Santa Ana; Lem
Conkle was in the U. S. Navy during the World War, serving overseas for eighteen
months. Mr. Erreca is one of the oldest settlers of this section of California, is a highly
respected man whose veracity and integrity have never been questioned. As a young
man he was noted for his great strength, activity and endurance. In 1887 he made a
trip back to his old home in France and had an enjoyable time but was glad to get back
to the land of gold and sunshine. He is a member of the Catholic Church in Santa
Ana and politically is a Republican.

HOMER L. COLE.— The eldest child of M. C. and Ella ( Delavan) Cole, pioneers
of Orange County, Homer L. was born at Deansboro. N. Y.. on December 22, 1878.
He attended the public and high schools at Oneida. N. Y.. coming to California with
his parents in 1898. On June 15, 1905. he was married to Miss Jessie M. Hoffman, who
was born at Mendota, La Salle County. 111., one of seven children born to John B.
and Mary J. (Thomas) Hoffman, the latter of whom is still living at 521 East Pine
Street,. Santa Ana. Grandfather Hoffman was one of the pioneer settlers of LaSalle
County, 111., and a large landowner th?re.

Homer L. Cole is well known as a successful contractor and builder, having been
engaged in this line of work since 1910. In 1913 the firm of Bishop and Cole was
formed, continuing until 1918, and they specialized in the erection of walnut ware-
houses and in the invention of machinery for use in these warehouses. Among the
buildings for which they were contractors are the following: Fullerton-Placentia
warehouse at Fullerton; Irvine Association's building at Tustin; the Capistrano Asso-
ciation building at San Juan Capistrano; and the Saticoy Association's house at Ventura.
Messrs. Bishop and Cole also perfected the walnut vacuum machine which sorts out
the worthless or "blank" walnuts and is in use in many of the large walnut ware-
houses. They also invented a machine for cleaning the mold from walnut meats which
has been found a most useful adjunct to the industry. Mr. Cole is also an experienced
walnut grower and, previous to taking up the work of contracting and building, he
operated the forty-acre ranch of his uncle, Directus Cole at Anaheim. He now man-
ages the sixty-acre walnut ranch of his mother in \\'intersburg precinct, and under his
expert attention it is showing handsome returns. Mr. and Mrs. Homer Cole are the
parents of one son, Clifford Delavan Cole.

BENNIE W. OSTERMAN. — Preeminent among the most perfectly arranged and
scientifically managed ranches in all Orange County, if not in the entire state, must be
mentioned the two important holdings of Messrs. Osterman and Osterman, the bonanza
farmers near El Toro. whose junior member is the subject of our sketch. A native
son with plenty of pride in the Golden State, Mr. Osterman was born at Newport
Beach on November 4, 1896, where his mother was then visiting, for his parents lived
on their noted ranch in the Trabuco Canyon. His father is John Osterman, who first
came to California in 1890. and five years later took the decisive step of acquiring by
purchase the fine property referred to. He was born in Price County, northern Wis-
consin, on October 18. 1872, the son of Peter and Hannah (Andrews) Osterman. His
father was a pioneer woodsman, and at the early age of twelve, John began to swing
an axe in the lumber camps on the Wisconsin River, abandoning the Wisconsin lumber
field only in 1890. when he determined to come to California.

He found work on a ranch near Redondo. and soon secured a better engagement
on the San Joaquin ranch, where he remained for about a year. In the autumn of
1893 he came to Orange County, and in Trabuco Canyon hired himself out for wages


to do farm work. At the end of two years, he had saved enough, and had also become
sutficiently posted on ranch property values, to be able to buy his first eighty acres,
to which he soon added another one hundred sixty. The land was in poor shape when
he took hold of it; but he set out fruit and other trees, made various improvements, and
transformed it, by his own exhausting efforts, into the showplace it became. He set
out in particular olive trees, peaches and apricots, and reserved the remainder of the
land for pasturage. His public-spiritedness was soon evident to his fellow-citizens,
who elected him road superintendent, and for years he was entitled to nmch of the
credit for the excellent roads, both built and repaired during his administration.

Besides managing his own homestead ranch, Mr. Osterman in partnership with
William J. Waller, leased 2,000 acres of the Whiting ranch near El Toro, and before
long had 1,600 acres under cultivation, all in barley, of which in 1909 they gathered
some 14,000 sacks. Naturally a mechanic, Mr. Osterman invested heavily in farm
machinery, and, besides harvesting for himself, he contracted to gather in the crops
of other ranchers.

John Osterman was twice married. His first marriage, in 1895, united him with
Miss Sadie Havens of Trabuco who died in 1901 and left him two sons — Bennie W. and
George D., a cement contractor of Santa Ana. Through his second marriage, in 1903,
a sister of his deceased wife. Miss Lillie Havens, became his life companion, and two
children, Ethel and Elmer, blessed that union. A third Miss Havens, Rose E., became
the wife of William E. Adkinson. the rancher and game warden of the Trabuco district.
These ladies were the daughters of George F. Havens, now well known as a resident of
Santa Ana, aged eighty-three, and a native of Pennsylvania. He served four years in
the Union Army, and married Miss Millie Copeland, who died in 1894. The Havens
came from Texas to California in 1883, and had eight children.

Bennie W. Osterman was sent to the El Toro grammar school and then was
graduated from the high school at Santa Ana, a member of the class of '14, and five
years later, on April 2, he was married to Miss Cynthia Munger of El Toro. In time,
iie became the junior member of Messrs. Osterman and Osterman, the partner being
his father. They have two large ranches near El Toro, and our subject resides on
the Whiting ranch of 1,200 acres on the Trabuco Road, where 900 acres are under
the plow, and 300 are in rough pasture range. The other farm they operate consists
of 840 acres, and is a part of the L. F. Moulton and Company's ranch. In addition,
John Osterman owns an orange orchard in Tustin where he resides.

Messrs. Osterman and Osterman have $50,000 worth of equipment, consisting of
buildings on rented ranch land, two threshing machines, one a grain separator of the
Case make, and the other a bean thresher. They also own a Holt 75 tractor, and two
headers, which they use in harvesting. They usually have about 1,700 acres in crop
each year. Mr. Osterman is a Republican in national politics, although too broad
minded to allow partisanship to affect his attitude toward local issues and movements
properly endorsed, and fraternally he is an Elk — of the type all lodges are anxious
to have among their number.

NEWTON BARRIS PIERCE.— It is not given to many men to leave behind
them such an enviable record for specific accomplishment in a new field as that of the
late Newton Barris Pierce, the widely-known vegetable pathologist, who conceived the
magnificent idea of collecting and developing the wild flowers of the earth, and who
identified modest little Santa Ana with his pretentious undertaking and almost unhoped
for attainment. He was born at Brockport, N. Y., on September 26, 1856, the son of
Franklin B. and Melissa (Hinman) Pierce, his forebears on the father's side having
been Bostonians of an old-established line, and doubtless related to the family of Presi-
dent Franklin Pierce, and on the mother's side coming from New York State, and
probably related to the Hinmans of Connecticut, recalling Americans distinguished as
soldiers, scholars and educators. He attended the common and high schools of New
York, Wisconsin and ^Michigan, and later, in 1882-83, entered Harvard College at Cam-
bridge, Mass., where he studied in the Museum of Entomology. Then he went to Ann
Arbor, Mich., and finished the course of vegetable pathology, giving the two years in
that well equipped institution between 1887 and 1889.

At Ludington, Mason County, Mich., Mr. Pierce had a private laboratory from
1876 to 1889, and there he applied himself to collecting and studing insects. In 1890
he was commissioned to come to Southern California and study the grapevine disease;
locating at Santa Ana. .After a few months here, he concluded to go to Southern
Europe and Northern .Africa, where the trouble was said to have originated. 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 143 of 191)