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 160 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 160 of 191)
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GOTLIEB MEGER. — A citizen who is thoroughly loyal to his adopted country
because it has given to him much that he never could secure in his native land, is
Gotlieb Meger, who is living on his highly improved ranch of twenty acres west of
.Anaheim at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and the Garden Grove Boulevard. He is a
native of Russia-Poland and was born July 25, 1850, the son of parents who were
also born in that country. Gotlieb was educated and reared in his own country and
lived there until 1900, when he felt that he could better his condition by coming to
the United States, and begin life amidst new surroundings. With his wife and nine
children he arrived in this country and spent one year in Michigan, then came on to
California and bargained for the property that is now his home. .At that time it was
unimproved and was covered with stumps of eucalyptus, cypress and pepper trees
and was used as a pasture. With his characteristic energy he set to work and cleared
the land and in time he had as good a ranch as was to be found in the locality and
where he set out oranges that are in fine condition. He later bought fifty acres on the



1428 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

Ball Road and there he farmed and also set out Valencia oranges. Later he sold off
twenty acres. On his home place he erected a set of good farm buildings which are in
harmony with his well-tilled fields and which bespeak the successful owner.

Mr. Meger has been married twice; by his first wife, who was Miss Ernstina
Ricka, he had one son, Edward, now a farmer in Oklahoma. His second wife was
Malvina Evert and they became the parents of the following- children who are still
living: Rudolph, Theodore, Martha, Helena, Augusta, Emma, Hulda, Olga, Otto and
Lydia, Rudolph married Tena Edinger and they have three children: Augusta became
the wife of Emil Smith and they have two children; Martha, married William Everett
and three children have been born to them. Amelia, the oldest daughter and child in
the family, died in 190S leaving four children, two of whom are still with their father,
and two, Elsie and Victor, were taken by Mr. Meger and his wife to rear. Mrs. Meger
passed away in 1916, mourned by her children and husband and by her large circle
of friends. The family are members of the Baptist Church of Anaheim and are highly
respected by all who know them. Mr. Meger has educated his children in the public
schools of the county and in business college to fit them for their places in life and he
is a loyal supporter of all American institutions that help to build up the government.

FRANK C. STEARNS.— An enterprising agriculturist whose strict attention to
the problems he has had before him has enabled him to advance rapidly, according to
the most scientific and progressive methods, as one of the noted raisers of pure-bred
svvine, is Frank C. Stearns, the resident manager of the firm of Matthews and Stearns,
and the partner of F. C. Matthews, also well known in Orange County. He was born
at Canisteo, Steuben County, N. Y., on January 8, 1866, and left the Empire State with
his parents for Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Mich., where he grew up until
his sixteenth year. Then he removed to Kansas and lived there for six years, and after
that he went to Trinidad, Colo., where he was married to Miss Elva A. Ingle, a native
of Greenwood, Kans. Their two oldest children were born at Trinidad, and they are
Edith, who is Mrs. F. C. Matthews; and Eva, the wife of C. A. Tucker, who is also
engaged in farming. A third daughter is Gladys, a native of California, and she is the
wife of Lisle Farquhar, formerly a banker at Orient, Iowa, now residing at Tustin.
Mrs. Steam's father was Enos Ingle, a native of Piqua, Ohio, in which state he was
married to Marietta Freeman. The father of F. C. Stearns is John H. Stearns also born
in Steuben County, N. Y., a lumberman living in Wellington, Kans., at the age of eighty-
two. His wife was Demaris Batchelder, of New Hampshire, and as the representative
of an old New England family, lived to be seventy-two.

Having already established himself in the cattle business. Mr. Stearns came to
California in 1897 with his family and settled at Tustin. He took up the work of a
sprayer of trees, and built up an extensive and lucrative patronage in assisting ranchers
to save their fruit. At present, he directs the fast-growing interests of Messrs.
Matthews and Stearns, breeders of pure-bred and high-grade Duroc-Jersey hogs upon
Mr. Matthews' ranch of forty acres; and being widely known, partly as the former
proprietor of the Tustin Manufacturing Company, he has no difficulty in disposing at
fancy figures of all of their stock. His studious inclinations, and his hard, steady, sys-
tematic work combine to assist Mr. Stearns to produce only the most desirable of
breeds; so that, apart from his business success, he is rendering a patriotic service in
thus scientifically seeking to attain a high goal for the benefit of thousands of. the
morrow as well as of today.

H. M. PETERSON. — A gentleman of enterprise and progressive ideas who has
entered heartily into the Orange County spirit and has been doing his share to advance
the horticultural interests of the Golden State, is H. M. Peterson, the wide-awake
rancher, whose trim-appearing orchard is on the Katella Road, near the State Highway
about one mile south of Anaheim. He was born near New Hartford, Grundy County,
Iowa, on June 2, 1884, the son of James and Mary (Nelson) Peterson, who located in
Grundy County in 1869, and became owner of a 330-acre farm, which they improved
and engaged in raising grain and stock. The mother died at Cedar Falls, November
22, 1917, while the father now makes his home with his son, H. M. Peterson in Orange
County. This worthy couple had seven children, our subject being the eldest. Spending
his childhood on the farm he attended the local schools and later the private academy
at Stewart, in the same state.

When old enough to push out into the world, Mr. Peterson took up traveling for
the United Neckwear Manufacturing Company of Waterloo, Iowa, and as their repre-
sentative, covered Iowa, Minnesota and part of Nebraska. On June 2, 1917, at Mus-
kogee, Okla., he was married to Miss Myrtle Ward, a native of Kansas, in which
hustling Middle West state she was born at Abilene. Her father was William Ward,
and he was born in Ohio, afterwards removing to Princeton, 111., and later to Abilene,



HISTORY OF ORAXGE COUNTY 1431

Kans., where they were farmers: he had married Ida Bricker and they now live in
Marshalltown, Iowa. Mrs. Peterson is the fourth youngest of their six children. For
a time Mrs. Peterson attended the Iowa Teachers College at Cedar Falls, and afterwards
the A. N. Palmer School of Penmanship in the same city and after her graduation
became supervisor of penmanship in the Muskogee, Okla., schools, for a period of
three years, up until her marriage, and soon after this they removed to Lamar,
Prowers County, Colo., and there Mr. Peterson engaged in contracting and building.
At the end of five months, however, he decided to come, to California, and the step
proved the wisest he had made.

On November 30, 1918, he arrived in Anaheim, and soon purchased a five-acre
grove of Valencia oranges on the Katella Road, west of the State Highway. He
obtains the water he needs for irrigating his orchard from a private pumping plant,
and he is fortunate in having one of the best irrigation supplies available to anyone
hereabouts. He is also engaged in contracting and building. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson
are members of the Christian Church of Anaheim, and participate eagerly in any sensi-
ble work likely to uplift the community. They are Republicans in matters of national
politics, and ever ready to aid in advancing civic standards. They are delighted with
Orange County as a home place with future prospects, and Orange County and the
Katella district are satisfied with Mr. and Mrs. Peterson, and confident in respect to
their coming prosperity. Mrs. Peterson is a member of Anaheim Chapter, P. E. O.

RICHARD FISCHLE.— The life story of Richard Fischle is a fine example of
what can be accomplished by one man, providing he has the will to succeed and the
energy and perseverance to carry him along to the goal he has set for himself. He is
a native of Germany, born at Reutlingen, Wurtemberg, May 20, 1879, a son of Chris-
tian F. and Bertha (Walz) Fischle, also born in Reutlingen. The father was a deco-
rator of ability, and was very prominent in the local fire department, serving as chief
of the department for thirty-six years.

Richard was educated in the local school, and as was the custom in that country,
.when he reached the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to a trade. He chose the con-
fectionery trade, and so learned to make candy and French pastry, completing a three
years' course, and paying for his tuition in a private school where he also studied
both German and French. At the end of the three years he had to pass a rigid
examination as to his ability before he was allowed to work at his trade. He worked
in the leading cities of Germany, Switzerland and France, and during this time served
two years in the German army.

Mr. Fischle had a brother-in-law, Chas. Lange, residing in Anaheim, Cal., and
in 1903 he came here to live. On May 4, 1904, he opened his first candy store, with
a capital of fifty dollars, establishing his business in a small store just east of what
is now the First National Bank building. The store was divided into two front
rooms, on one side was the first Public Library of Anaheim, and on the other side
Mr. Fischle carried on his candy store, and had charge of the library in connection,
making him the first librarian in Anaheim. He divided his time making and selling
candy, and attending to the library patrons, and it is interesting to know that his
first day's sales amounted to five dollars; some days the receipts would drop to three
dollars, and when his day's tally showed eight dollars, business was good!

Later Mr. Fischle moved to a larger store a few doors east, taking the library
with him. In 1914 he moved to his present modern store at 118 West Center Street,
where he does a large and profitable business; much of his confectionery is made
by himself in his own factory in the rear of his store, and he also caters to dances,
parties and receptions. The growth of this establishment shows what can be accom-
plished in a few years by a man whose traits of character would make for success in
any field of endeavor.

The marriage of Mr. Fischle united him with Elizabeth Whitefield, a native of
New York State, and four children have blessed their union: Frederick C, Richard
W., Charles W. and Edward. Fraternally Mr. Fischle is a member of Anaheim
Lodge No. 134S, B. P. O. Elks, the Odd Fellows and Woodmen of the World. In
civic affairs he belongs to the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce and to the Merchants
Association. For the past ten years he has been a member of the Anaheim Fire
Department, serving through the different offices, and in 1918 he was appointed chief of
the Department. From the time he was a small boy he had been intensely interested
in fire department life, and nothing kept him from running to the fires in his old
home where his father was the chief, so his appointment gave him the incentive to
give to the Department the same careful attention he does to his business, and the
result is shown in its growth and efficiency; and the citizens show their appreciation
by his being reelected chief in 1919. and again in 1920. an honor of which he can justly
feel proud.



1432 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

LE ROY R. COOK. — An expert machinist who is also a successful farmer and
walnut grower is Le Roy R. Cook, who lives one mile east of Capistrano on the Hot
Springs Road. His father was R. B. Cook, the well-known pioneer of San Juan Capis-
trano, who married Miss Hattie Congdon, and they live at 402 East Sixth Street, Santa
Ana. Her father was J. R. Congdon, who died at Santa Ana, four years ago; he came
to California from Hartford, Conn., when he was sixteen years old. He married Miss
Mary Rouse, a sister of Mrs. Albert Fuller, and a native of the East, who crossed
the plains with her parents, while she was yet a little girl. The Rouses settled at
first at San Bernardino, where she grew up. met and married Mr. Congdon. He was a
farmer and first had a ranch in the mountains of San Bernardino County; and there two
of their children were born, while seven first saw the light here, Mrs. R. B. Cook being
the oldest of the family. The Fullers and the Congdons came West together and took
up' a homestead about one and a quarter miles south of the Mission. Grandfather
Congdon planted the first walnut orchard in what is now Orange County, in 1871. and
it was the second one planted in Southern California. Though living retired at Santa
Ana, Mr. and Mrs. Cook own a ranch of forty acres below San Juan Capistrano, oper-
ated by their younger son. Congdon Russell Cook, who lately returned from France,
where he served for twenty months in the aviation section of the U. S. Army.

Le Roy R. Cook was born at San Juan Capistrano on April 21, 1884, and bought
his present homeplace four years ago, becoming a member and -stockholder of the
Capistrano Walnut Growers Association at San Juan Capistrano. His father had come
down to San Juan Capistrano from the San Mateo Valley, and so had early identified
himself with the development of this section. The lad attended the common schools
at San Juan and Santa .\na. and then worked in the railway shops at San Bernardino,
continuing there for four years. After purchasing his ranch, eighty-five acres devoted
principally to raising walnuts and Valencia oranges, he remodeled the residence and
buildings, and made it, in accordance with his natural ambition, one of the best ranches
of its size for miles around.

At Santa Ana, on June 12, 1903, Mr. Cook was married to Miss Fay McCarty, a
daughter of John H. and Addie F. McCarty and a native of Athens County, Ohio.
When nine years old, she came to Los Angeles with her father, who for twenty years
has been the agent for the Santa Fe Railway at San Juan Capistrano, and since then
she has graduated from the San Diego State Normal School. She is popular as a clever,
captivating lady, and so are her children — Le Roy Glenn, a sophomore in the Santa Ana
Polytechnic high school, and Florence Lenore, Elmer R., and Hilah Marie. Mr. Cook
is a Republican in national political aflfairs, and has served as judge of election.

DR. CONRAD RICHTER.— .Although he has spent many years in the successful
practice of medicine and surgery and obtained a competency. Dr. Conrad Richter is still
active in his profession, preferring to continue in practice from the love of his profession
and the enjoyment in alleviating pain and suffering. Driven by wanderlust and a desire
for the climate on the Pacific Coast, he came to San Francisco in 1903 from Milwaukee.
Wis., where he had engaged in the practice of medicine on the shores of the Great
Lakes. In time he became chief surgeon for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company of
San Francisco and in that capacity visited the Orient, including Japan, China, the Malay
Peninsula and India.

In 1916, with his wife, formerly Miss Rietta Ring of New Orleans, La., he located
in Balboa, where they find much pleasure in their comfortable home on Bay Island. Dr.
Richter, aside from his practice, finds time to encourage civic improvements and thus
we find him an active member of the board of trustees of Newport Beach, as well as of
the school board. He was an organizer and is a director in the Newport Yacht Club,
and is one of its most enthusiastic members, the club having increased its membership
from sixty-five to over three hundred. Dr. Richter himself a world traveler, having
visited every continent on the globe, says that with perhaps the exception of Honolulu,
he has never seen a more perfect climate than that of Newport Beach.

GEORGE M. TAYLOR.— The popular city marshal of the hustling city of Hunt-
ington Beach, George M. Taylor, was born on a farm near Ozark. Ark., December 8,
1883. At the tender age of twelve years, he began to make his way in the world, his
first work being in the coal mines of western Arkansas. He was employed by the
following concerns: The Stewell Mining Company, Kemp-Small Mining Company; H.
Devine Company, and the Western Coal Mining Company. After a time spent in the
mines Mr. Taylor decided to try some other kind of employment and subsequently
located in East St. Louis, 111., where he secured work with the Swift Packing Company
and the Nelson Morris Packing Company, and later on returned to his native state.

In 1900 Mr. Taylor came to the Pacific Coast, and on December 23, located at
Smeltzer, Orange County. He secured a position on a ranch for several years and then



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 1433

became stationary engineer at the La Bolsa Tile Works and later was employed by
I. J. Clark, who operated a tile ditching machine. In time George Taylor purchased a
Buckeye tractor ditching machine and engaged in business for himself, contracting
for drainage ditches, and he has made many thousand feet of ditches in Smeltzer and
Greenville districts. In 1917 he took up his residence in Huntington Beach, where he
is still engaged in contract ditch and track work. On March 15, 1920, he was appointed
city marshal of Huntington Beach; he also tills the positions of superintendent of
streets, pound master and truant officer. Mr. Taylor is chairman of the housing com-
mittee for the Orange County Fair Association which is held annually at Huntington
Beach, and has full charge of the grounds and buildings.

In Sant^ Ana, Mr. Taylor was united in marriage with Rhoda Justice, a native
daughter and member of the pioneer Justice family of Orange County. Mr. and Mrs.
Taylor are the parents of four children; Leslie George, Lorna May, Ruby Viola and
Laddie Justice. Mr. Taylor is a worthy and highly respected citizen and is making
good in his responsible post of city marshal. Fraternally he is a member of Hunt-
ington Beach Lodge Xo. 133, I. O. O. F., and with his wife is popular in the membership
of the Rebekahs.

ARTHUR H. T. OSBORNE.— As manager for the American Fruit Growers,
Incorporated, buyers and shippers of fruits and vegetables, with headquarters in Fuller-
ton, Orange County, Arthur H. T. Osborne is filling a position for which he is by
natural ability and years of experience along that particular line of industry, peculiarly
fitted. A Canadian by birth, he is a native of Thorold, Ontario, born November 6,
1871. He later resided in Toronto, and in October, 1887, arrived in Los Angeles, a youth
of sixteen, with the responsibilities of a livelihood already on his young shoulders. He
secured employment as clerk in a dry goods store, and later entered into the business
of shipping fruit and produce, and for twenty-four years has followed the business,
learning it from the bottom up to all of its branches and becoming expert in the
practical application of his knowledge.

First in the employ of the Earl Fruit Company in Los Angeles, in 1900, Mr.
Osborne located in Fullerton. with the Golden West Celery and Produce Company, a
part of the California Vegetable Union. For many years he was district manager for
them. Later, he was again with the Earl Fruit Company, and went on the road for
them, buying green fruit, with headquarters in Sacramento. Returning to Fullerton,
he became district manager for the Benchley Fruit Company, and Mr. Osborne is now
district manager for the American Fruit Growers, Incorporated, an extensive corpo-
ration, buying and shipping dried and citrus fruits, vegetalDles and walnuts, with ware-
houses all over the state. One of the best informed men in Southern California on the
fruit and vegetable industry, and fitted by nature with the thoroughgoing methods and
perseverance for which his nation is famed, Mr. Osborne is recognized as an expert in
the marketing and distribution of these products, which are the backbone of California's
prosperity.

The marriage of Mr. Osborne, which occurred in Los Angeles, December 9, 1896,
united him with Maita Dupuy, a native of Illinois, and two children have been born
to them: Harold, who for eight months saw service in France in the U. S. Heavy
Artillery, and acted as interpreter, speaking both Spanish and French; he is now farm-
ing on the Irvine ranch; and George, attending Fullerton Union high school. Frater-
nally, Mr. Osborne is a member of Anaheim Lodge Xo. 1345. Elks, and is chaplain of
that order; he is also a member of the Foresters. Since his first arrival in California
he has been active in the development of the state's most important industries, and
devotes his time and energy to further progress along those lines.

CHARLES J. BAGNALL. — Among the many men of ability who have been
attracted to Southern California by her wonderful resources and phenomenal growth
is Charles J. Bagnall. the efficient general foreman of The American Fruit Growers,
Inc., at Fullerton. Mr. Bagnall is a native Californian, and was born January 14,
1880. at Sacramento. He is the son of Cornelius and Mary Jane (Phillips) Bagnall,
natives of England. His father, one of California's pioneers, now deceased, crossed the
plains by ox-team in 1852 and followed the occupation of farming in the Sacramento
Valley and in Northern California. His mother is still living. Charles J. was edu-
cated in the public and high schools of Sacramento, and as a young man entered the
fruit and vegetable business, which he has followed ever since. He was first employed
with the W. R. Strong Company of Sacramento, pioneers in shipping vegetables, who
shipped the first carload of vegetables out of the state. Mr. Bagnall was with the
company eight years, and worked in the various departments of seed, flower, fruit and
vegetables. At the time he severed his connection with the company he was district
manager of the seed department, .\fterwards he engaged with the Earl Fruit Company,
with whom he remained five years. He was the company's district agent in El Dorado



1434 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

County, engaged in buying and shipping fruit, with headquarters in that county. The
next three years he held the same position with the Producers Fruit Company in El
Dorado County, and then became allied with the Pioneer Fruit Company of Sacramento
as district deputy agent for the northern counties, in charge of packing and shipping
fruit. In 1914 he came to Southern California and was house manager for the American
Fruit Distributors at Redlands. Afterward, for one year, he was house manager for the
Placentia Mutual Orange Association, at Placentia. In 1917 he became associated
with the Benchley Fruit Company until the fall of 1918, when the American Fruit
Growers, Inc., started their plant at Fullerton, and he came with them in the capacity
of foreman.

Mr. Bagnall's marriage united him with Miss Nina B. Mack, a native of Illinois.
Fraternally he is affiliated with the Anaheim Lodge No. 1345 B. P. O. Elks, and the
Suisun Lodge of Eagles. Mr. Bagnall's success is due to industry, intelligent energy
rightly directed and integrity. These qualities, coupled with wide experience gained
in the many important positions he has held during his business career, have placed
him in the front rank among the experts in his line of business.

WILLIAM W. CROSIER.— A prominent Orange County dealer in lumber who
has had the advantage of having had a valuable experience in other important lines of
activity, is William W. Crosier, partner with Fred J. Crosier in the Newport Beach
Lumber Company firm, and a thoroughly dependable "booster" for Newport Beach. He
was born in Battle Creek, Mich., on August 12, 1854, and left his native state when
he was ten years old, moving to Ontario County, N. Y., where his father farmed. He
was Jefferson Crosier, a native of New York, who was both born and married in the
Empire State, choosing for his wife Miss Helen Blodgett. After their marriage, they
moved to Battle Creek, Mich.; and then they returned to New York state. William
thus attended the public schools in both Michigan and New York.

When old enough to push out into the world for himself, he took up office work in
the freight department of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad at Cleveland;
and later he entered the service of the Santa Fe, their officials in Cleveland inducing him,
at the height of the boom in 1888, to come out to California and Los .\ngeles. He had



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 160 of 191)