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

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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 159 of 191)
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representatives who themselves own and operate property, so that they are the better
able to judge of realty values and rightly and honestly to forecast the future of one of
the most favored and promising sections in the entire state. Such a man is John C.
Cordes, who was born near Bremen, in Hanover, Germany, on May 25, 1863, and reared
on a fruitful North German farm until he came out to the still more alluring America.
He was about twenty-five when, in 1888, he first began to assimilate himself with the
life and ideals of the young Republic; and for a while he worked for a farmer in
Iowa. Later, he bought 285 acres in Iowa County, Iowa, which he so improved that
he easily became one of the most successful farmers of that county.

In 1904 he came to California and Anaheim, and soon after pitching his tent here,
entered the field of realty, and so welcome was he in an environment very congenial
to him from the first, that he has ever since handled Anaheim and other real estate.
He really came to California for his health; but he found that, after opening his office
at 171 West Center Street, his activities contributed to, rather than mitigated against,
his improvement, and he found recreation in a line of trade in which he had a chance
to contribute toward both the building up and the upbuilding of the town.

Mr. Cordes also owns the famous Captain Henry estate, one of the well-known
show-places hereabouts — a ten-acre ranch located on the County Road, and highly
improved with Valencia oranges. He had, besides, five and a half acres of an orange
grove within the city limits, on West Street. This is one of the best producers in the
county, and he sold it for $35,000, the highest price paid for a five-acre tract thus far.
The 1919 crop was about 3,000 boxes. He owned the brick block on East Center
Street now occupied by the Puritan Dry Cleaning Company, but he traded it for the
five and a half acres just described. He is a stockholder in the Anaheim Citrus Fruit
Association, and also in the Mutual Orange Distributors Association.

While in Germany, Mr. Cordes was married to Miss Annie Steurman, who died
in 1919, leaving many to mourn her demise. They had ten children, and nine are still
living — Lena, Herman, Henry, Katie, Alfred, William, Annie, Alma and Linda. Mr.
Cordes has for years been president of the Concordia Singing Society, and he is now
an alderman in the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. He belongs to Anaheim
Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O. Elks. In every way, Mr. Cordes and his family have been
progressive, public-spirited, patriotic citizens, proving themselves splendid examples of
the combination of ideals and attainments in more than one race or people.

JOHN A. CRANSTON.— For her substantial fame as one of the most desirable
of all places for residence, Santa Ana owes much to Professor John A. Cranston, super-
intendent of the public schools of that city, who has done much, since his advent here
nearly a decade and a half ago, to advance the cause of popular education in Orange
County. He was born at Madrid, an interesting town in St. Lawrence County, N. Y.,
on June 14, 1863 — a very notable day in Civil War history, for the Confederates in-
vested Winchester, the Federals fought their way out with a loss of three thousand
men. Confederate cavalry invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania, and fortifications were
thrown up around Pittsburgh; he came of a family distinguished through various
branches, numbering as it does Henry Young Cranston, the Rhode Island lawyer,
Robert Bennie Cranston, his brother, who bequeathed $75,000 to those poor of Newport
"too honest to steal and too proud to beg," and long before their day, John and Samuel
Cranston, both presidents of the Little Rhody commonwealth. The family has also
left its impress in the familiar history of the Hudson.

Mr. Cranston's father was John Cranston, a farmer, of Madrid, N. Y., and he
married Mary Ann Weatherston, who came from Scotland with her parents when she
was three years of age. Both are now dead. There were seven children, two daughters
and five sons, in the family; and our subject was the fifth child in the order of birth
and the eldest of the three children living. John A. Cranston was educated in the public
schools of his district and the Canton Academy, and in 1887 was graduated from the
University of St. Lawrence, when he received the B.S. degree.

Having chosen the career of a pedagogue, Mr. Cranston accepted the principal-
ship of a grade school at Helena, Mont., but after a short time there, resigned to
travel. In the fall of 1888, he went to Phoenix, Ariz., where he taught school one
term, and in the following spring went to Minnesota as superintendent of schools.
From 1889 until 1893, he was at Wadena; from 1893 to 1898 at Elk River; from 1898
to 1902 at Alexandria; from 1902 to 1906 at St. Cloud; and since 1906 he has been at
Santa Ana. Some idea of the growth of the school in Santa Ana is noted that in 1906
there were fifty-four teachers and 1,400 pupils, and now there are 140 teachers and about
4,000 pupils enrolled — this includes kindergarten, elementary, high school and junior
college. A Republican in matters of national political import, Mr. Cranston was chair-


man of the Juvenile Home Committee for nine j'ears, and for seven years he was also
on th-e California council of education. He belongs to the California Teachers Associa-
tion, and was president of the Southern section in 1912. and a member of the National
Education Association since 1902.

At Canton, N. Y., in 1891, Mr. Cranston was married to Miss Gertrude Gulley, a
native of Canton, N. Y., and the daughter of Argalous D. and Caroline (Curler) Gulley,
Vermonters who settled in New York. Two children have blessed their happy union:
Alice has become Mrs. J. Baxter Jouvenat, Jr.; and Rena Gertrude, who was married in
June. 1920, to E. T. Borchard of Long Beach. Cal.

Mr. Cranston is fond of tennis and out-of-door sports generally; and his close
touch with Nature makes him more and more interested in both the past and the future
of Orange County. He has put his whole energy, and devoted a great part of his time
to the important school interests entrusted to him; and among other things to which
he may point as more or less monuments to his life and work may be mentioned the
new high school buildings erected in 1913, under his incentive and supervision, the
high school plant being considered one of the finest in the state and naturally a pride
to the residents of Santa Ana.

DALE R. KING. — The increase in the acreage devoted to growing citrus fruits
has caused the establishment of many associations and more district exchanges in
various sections of the country for handling the product of the orange and lemon
groves. The Northern Orange County Citrus Exchange was established August 1,
1917. and is under the competent management of Dale R. King, a native of Knights-
town. Ind., born March 26, 1887. He is the son of William F., now deceased, and
Ella (Reeves) King. In the parental family of six boys and five girls. Dale R. was
the fourth child in order of birth. He was educated in the public and high schools
of Indianapolis, Ind., a city noted for the excellency of its schools. After completing
his education he followed various vocations, among others the commission business,
which he first engaged in at Indianapolis. He was in the sales department of the
California Fruit Growers Exchange for ten years, being located at Indianapolis, Chicago
and San Francisco, going thence to Orange County, Cal.. to assume the management of
the Northern Orange County Citrus Exchange on its organization in August, 1917.

On August 11, 1909, Mr. King was united in marriage with Miss Vie Barnes, and
they are the parents of two children, Jeanne and Lois. Politically Mr. King casts his
ballot with the Republican party. He is a member of the Fullerton Club and the
Board of Trade and takes an active and helpful interest in the development of Orange
County. He has business acumen and the ability to grasp an opportunity, and is
making a name for himself in the community in which he lives, and in which he is
esteemed as an upright and progressive citizen.

RAYMOND N. JOHNSON. — An enterprising young rancher who is a good
"booster" for Placentia, having learned, after an automobile ride of 2,000 miles in
Northern California that there is "no place like home" — when that home is in Orange
County — is Ray Johnson, of Placentia Drive, who was born, a native son, in Placentia,
September S, 1895. He is the youngest son of Nels Johnson, the pioneer rancher of
Orange County, who married Miss Martha Paulson, who proved just the right kind of
a helpmate. Eight children were born to the sturdy parents, four of whom are living,
and all reflected creditably on the family name. Ray attended the grammar school and
meanwhile worked on his father's ranch until he was fourteen years of age. And
then, although still in his teens, he commenced to ranch for himself. He began by
farming the thirty-two acres of his father's land and now owns fourteen acres. He
uses the tractor and other machinery exclusively, and no longer employs the horse.

In March. 1918, Mr. Johnson enlisted in the .'\viation Section of the Signal Corps,
and was sent to North Isle. San Diego. From there he was transferred to the One
Hundred Forty-fifth Field .\rtillery, and within less than five weeks, he was on his way
with the troops to France. Genuinely pleased at the chance to get to the front, he
served overseas for five months, and on his return to the Presidio at San Francisco
received his honorable discharge. He is a member of Anaheim Post, American Legion.

When Mr. Johnson married, he took for his wife Miss Olive Schumacher, daughter
of Oliver Schumacher of Placentia, a life-long friend and schoolmate of boyhood days;
and the happy couple now reside on the old home ranch, built many years ago, where
they have a very comfortable home. He is a member of the Placentia Orange Growers
and the Placentia \A'alnut Growers associations, and a stockholder in the Anaheim
Union Water Company, and he profits from their combined services. In national
politics a Republican. Mr. Johnson is too much interested in the upbuilding, as well
as the building up, of the community to allow partisanship to interfere with his hearty
support of men or measures wanted for the public good.


WALTER E. WHITACRE.— How valuable may be the services rendered by an
experienced representative of a well organized association is clearly illustrated in the
relations of Walter E. Whitacre, the Orange County agent of the California Vegetable
Union, to that influential and progressive movement, now known as one of the great
"forces for promoting the best interests of the Golden State agriculturist. He was born
at Shelbyville, 111., on February 2, 1881, the son of George B. Whitacre, a physician
and surgeon, long resident at Shelbyville, who married Miss Nettie Kelly, also a native
of Illinois. Three children, two sons and a daughter, were born to this worthy couple;
and Walter, the only one now living of all the family, was the second child in the
order of birth. He was educated in the public schools, and also attended the Austin
College at Effingham, 111., after which he engaged in clerical work from 1899 to 1906.

In 1912 he was fortunate in coming west to California, and for a while he located
at San Diego, where he bought a ranch which he operated for three years. When he
sold out, he went to work for the California \'egetable Union. At first, he was assigned
to Sacramento for a couple of months, but in April. 1914. he came to Fullerton. With
this, city as his headquarters, Mr. Whitacre was given the whole of Orange County
as his district; nor could a more desirable field, considering both the character of the
people he may deal with and the nature of the country, anywhere be found. After these
years of energetic operation here. Mr. Whitacre is a member of the Board of Trade and
the Fullerton Club, and a very "live wire" associate, also.

On June 8. 1904. Mr. Whitacre was married at St. Louis, Mo., to Miss Marie C.
Brendle, a native of Edwardsville, 111. One child, Kenneth L. Whitacre, has blessed
the union. Mr. Whitacre. a Republican, is also an Elk and is known for his fondness
for fishing and many phases of out-of-door life.

JOHN H. HINCKLEY.— The enviable position of Fullerton today, as a kind of
magnetic center drawing to it thousands from far and wide, is largely due to such far-
sighted, level-headed, venturesome yet conservative men of experience and integrity as
John H. Hinckley, a general broker. He was born at Waukegan, 111., on January 14,
1873. the son of G. L. and Mary (Clarkin) Hinckley. These worthy parents had two
children, and of these two, John was the elder.

He enjoyed the excellent grammar and high schools of Chicago, and for three
and a half years he was at the University of Illinois, a student in the College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago. Because of poor health, however, he had to
give up his studies, and then coming West, he engaged in San Francisco in the stock
and bond business, at which he remained for four years. In the same city, he took up
advertising, and for two to three years he was in Los .\ngeles. where he worked on
subdivisions in the Imperial Valley.

In the fall of 1916, impressed with the advantages offered by Fullerton and its
environs, he removed to this town and established himself in the real estate field. In
May, 1917, he formed the partnership of Porter and Hinckley which has proven so
successful, and of such a benefit to the realty interests of the town. In March. 1920,
they dissolved partnership since which time Mr. Hinckley has been engaged in the
general brokerage business.

On August 27, 1907, at Eureka, Cal.. Mr. Hinckley was married to Miss Alice
McConnell, a native of Eastern Canada. .\ man above party, under any and all circum-
stances. Mr. Hinckley is decidedly a Progressive and seeks to vote for the best man
and the best measures.

OLBERT ARVEL HALEY.— A native of Missouri who may have come West to
be "shown." liut who has made good in the showing, to others of much worth the
observing, is Olbert .\rvel Haley, proprietor of the well-equipped O. A. Haley Garage,
the authorized agency for Dodge Brothers motor cars, who was born at Macon City,
on September 17, 1873. His father was H. C. Haley, a business man, now deceased,
who had married Miss Maria Fletcher, a native of Macon County, Mo.; the latter now
makes her home in Rice, Wash. The union was blessed with the birth of two children,
the elder of whom was the subject of our sketch.

Olbert A. Haley attended the public schools of his locality, and afterwards studied
at the Little Rock, Ark., Commercial College. Then he went into the grocery trade
and followed that in .\rkansas and at Seattle. In the latter city he owned five stores;
but he sold out in May, 1912. He next opened an auto business at Everett, Wash.,
which he continued to manage for four years. Coming to Santa Ana in 1916, Mr. Haley
established the factory distributing agency for Orange County for the Dodge Brothers
motor cars; and so successful has he since been that he employs nine salesmen to assist
him in taking care of the business in Orange County.

The O, .-\. Haley Garage is located on the northeast corner of Fifth and Bush
streets, fully equipped for sales and service. He al>o owns the southwest corner of


Fifth and Bush, known as the Hale}- apartments, where he intends soon to build a large
modern two-story garage. His business has grown to be very large in the county. He
has a salesroom in Orange and has a subdealership at Anaheim conducted by Charles
Mann, and one at FuUerton conducted by Miss Lillian Yaeger. Mr. Haley was president
of the Auto Trades Association of Orange County for 1918-19, and is today an active
member of the Chamber of Commerce and a director in the Automobile Club of
Orange County. These honors are in keepmg with the extent and elaborate complete-
ness of his garage, with its fine display rooms and its thoroughly modern workshop.
He is a stockholder in the California National Bank of Santa Ana.

On September 17, 1902, Mr. Haley was married to Miss Mary Ellen O'Conner,
the ceremony taking place at Toledo, Wash. The bride, who was born in Toledo, is
the daughter of \V. VV. and Mary O'Conner of that place, and now has two children,
Hugh Warren and Margaret. She shares .with her husband his public-spiritedness and
interest in civic movements. He is president of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Ana, and
is a member of the local lodge of Masons and the Royal Arch Chapter, and a life
member of Santa Ana Lodge JNo. 794, B. P. O. Elks.

FRED W. TIMKEN.— A straightforward citizen who feels a keen interest in all
that pertains to the rapid and permanent development of Orange County, and who
leaves no stone unturned to promote, when possible, the general welfare, is Fred W.
Timken, the well-known rancher residing on the Anaheim Boulevard at Olive. He was
born in McPherson County, Kans., on December 21, 1883, the son of Jacob and Metha
Timken, of Coal Camp, Mo., and was the second eldest of five living children of this
union. His three brothers are Jacob G., Walter L. and Henry Timken, and he has a
sister, Mrs. R. H. Paulus of Olive.

When our subject was one year old, his parents removed to Los Angeles, Cal.,
from which place they went to Acton, where Mr. Timken mined for gold for a year.
Then he changed his residence to San Luis Obispo County, and there engaged in grain
farming. He had some 180 acres, and devoted the same to small grain, fruit and grapes.
Fred early learned to make himself useful, and finally became invaluable in farm work.
In 1902 he removed with his parents to Orange.

In 1919, Mr. Timken went to Te.xas and on March 6 of that year married at
Mercedes, the home of the bride. Miss Elda M. W. Schroeder, the daughter of Conrad
and Dora Schroeder. This lady was born in Illinois on March 22, 1895, and on October
13, 1911, arrived in California with her parents. The family lived at Olive for ten
months, when a change to the climate of Texas was advised on account of the health
of her father. They removed to Mercedes, therefore, in August, 1912, and there she
lived at home until her marriage. In April, 1919, Mr. and Mrs. Timken came to Cali-
fornia and settled at Olive.

Together with his brother, Henry, Mr. Timken owns twelve acres on the Anaheim
Boulevard, one-half of which is set out to Valencia oranges, while the other half is
planted to walnuts. Mr. Timken owns twelve shares of stock in the Santa Ana Valley
Irrigation Company, and his land is watered from that company's ditch. This land
is also included in the Samuel Camphouse oil lease, the object of which is to test the
land for oil. One test well is now being sunk by the Olive Petroleum Company.
Seven hundred acres, the property of many owners, is included in this Camphouse lease,
of such importance to Olive and vicinity; at last accounts, the oil well had been
sunk 3,300 feet, with good indications of success, so that much is expected from the
venture. Mr. and Mrs. Timken are devoted members of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church at Olive, and equally enthusiastic as Americans interested in civic efforts.

SALVADOR LABAT.— A resident of California since 1883, Salvador Labat was
born at Hasparren, Basses-Pyrenees, France, March 19, 1865, the son of Martin and
Marie (Cassou) Labat, farmer folk in that picturesque corner of France. There the
mother passed away, after which the father came to California, arriving here in the
early days of 1870. He first engaged in sheep raising in California and Nevada, later
on making his headquarters in Bakersfield. Kern County. From there he came down
to San Juan Capistrano, then the center of a great sheep district, and there he became
superintendent for Oyharzabal Brothers, remaining with them until his death, in 1902.
He was the father of three sons: G. P. died in 1914; Salvador, of whom we write; and
Peter, who is with our subject.

Salvador Labat was reared in France until he was eighteen years of age, receiving
a good education there. He came to California in 1883 and was employed by Oyharz-
abal Brothers, running sheep in the mountains. He next went to Ventura, where his
father was interested in the sheep business and continued there with him until 1890,
when he sold his sheep and came to San Juan Capistrano. With his brother Peter, he
purchased a place and engaged in farming and also in carpentering and building for a


short time until he opened a meat market near the Mission in San Juan Capistrano;
in this venture he was very successful, establishing a large trade which continued to
grow until he sold out in 1917, after a period of eighteen years in business.

In Los Angeles, Mr. Labat was married to Miss Ysabel Arambell, also a native of
Hasparren, France, who came here when a girl. She passed away in 1912, deeply
mourned by her family and friends, leaving a son, Edward Labat. Mr. Labat is very
progressive and is a highly respected citizen, well and favorably known for his liberality
and enterprise. He is a member of the W. O. W. in Capistrano and is a Republican
in national politics.

Peter Labat was born on March 1, 1868, and came to California in 1883 with his
father to San Juan Capistrano, residing here and at Ventura ever since. He married
Helene (Daguerre) Luc, also a native of Bigorre, France; she came to California in
1906. By this union they have one child, Juanita; by her former marriage, Mrs. Labat
has two children, John Luc and Dominic Luc. Mr. Labat is a member of the Woodmen
of the World.

G. A. SCHWEIGER.— A decided lover of travel, history and tradition, who has
done much to induce thousands of other folks to travel to and through California, is
G. A. Schweiger, the efficient, genial and exceedingly popular proprietor and manager
of the Modjeska Inn at the Modjeska Ranch, which was the home of the world-famous
Shakespearean actress, Madame Helena Modjeska, for a period of twenty-seven years.
He was born on August 3, 1884, at Semmering, Austria, in the Tyrolean Alps, the son
of Swiss parents resident there. He had a normal school education, and left home
when he was nineteen, after which time he spent his years in travel and business
pursuits, thus adding to his store of knowledge.

Going to England, he passed two years in London, at Brighton and in Wales,
and then spent two years in France, where he was also in the hotel business. He
had charge of Chateau Royale d'Ardenne, which was the castle of King Leopold of
Belgium, and after two years in France, he spent a season at the Ghezireh Palace,
which overlooks the Nile, at Cairo, Egypt. The next season he found himself at Ger-
many's delightful resort, Baden-Baden, and from there, in 1907, he came to the United
States, since then the scene of his operations.

For a year he was employed in New York City at the St. Regis hotel, and then
he went to Colorado Springs, where he had charge of a department at "The Antlers"
for a couple of seasons. He spent the following year mining in Arizona, on the
Union Pass, old Fort Mojave Road, and after that he came to Los Angeles, where
he was assistant manager of the Alexandria dining room until he leased Madame
Modjeska's Inn in 1918, immediately taking charge, and a few months later, in order
to more thoroughly carry out his plans for development, he acquired the property.

In France, in May, 1905, Mr. Schweiger was married to Mile. C. Cuervo, by nature
especially qualified to assist him in his responsible labors, and they have had three
children. Joseph, born in France, came alone, at the age of only nine, to America,
to join his parents here, and at present he is a student at the Santa Ana high school.
The other two children are Amadeen and Marcell, both born in Los Angeles, and
attending the Silverado School.

It is well known that the Modjeska Ranch, through the association of the late
tragedienne, has attained a celebrity that is not only nation-wide, but international.
So it is naturally Mr. Schweiger's sole ambition and desire to retain Madame Mod-
jeska's Forest of Arden and the home in all of its original splendor and beauty, keep-
ing it open to the public as a first-class mountain resort equal to any of the famous
Swiss resorts, thereby doing his share towards the upbuilding of the hotel industry,
not only in Orange County but the state of California as well.

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 159 of 191)