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 164 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 164 of 191)
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stock, closely related to Mary Ball, the mother of George Washington, and were long
residents of Massachusetts. Wesley Ball cleared a farm from the timber at a time
when there were only cow paths and Edson J. could often, as a boy. see bear tracks
near their cabin. There were six children in the family, but only two now living.

Edson J., the third eldest, was brought up on a farm when for a time there was
no public school, and finally a log schoolhouse was put up, with a teacher who
"boarded 'round," and he continued at home with his father until he was eighteen
years old. He then struck out for himself and started to learn the butcher business,
buying cattle and hogs and wholesaled meat in Toledo, Ohio. There were no railroads
over which to ship stock and he drove them through from Southern Michigan to
Toledo, and having no scales at that time, he had to guess at the weight hitting the
mark, generally, within a few pounds. As he paid cash for the stock he was able to
sell then to good advantage. Many a time he bought A-No. 1 beef cattle for from
$14 to $16 per head, selling the entire carcass for three and one-half cents per pound —
some difference in prices compared with the present time when the high cost of living
is the principal topic of conversation. Mr. Ball met with good success in his ventures
and in 1876 added dairying to his stock business in Petersburg, along the stamping
grounds of General Custer, who was reared only seventeen miles from the home of
the Balls, so that they saw much of him as a boy.

It was while Mr. Ball was living in Petersburg that he became city marshal and
street commissioner of the town. There was a bad element at large in the town and
he made it his first duty to clean up the place and make it safer for the people who
believed in law and order. He had the entire confidence of the citizens, and was
known by the rough element to be absolutely fearless in the discharge of his duties as
an officer and many a desperate man did he take to the penitentiary without using
bracelets, nor did they attempt to escape for they well knew the results. Mr. Ball
often says that the Lord must have spared him for some particular purpose as he
took his life in his own hands many times.

In 1905 Mr. Ball went to Spokane, Wash., and was made meat inspector for that
city, remaining in that position two years, or until a government inspector was in-


stalled. After that he was called many times to render expert opinion on practical
subjects. While meat inspector he made better the working conditions for employes
of the slaughter houses, the handling of meat more sanitary, thereby rendering a
distinct service to the consumers. He was appointed deputy city assessor of Spokane
and held the office until 1911, when he resigned to come to California. On looking
about the southern part of the state he finally selected Orange as a satisfactory place
to settle and he at once established himself in the real estate business, selling city and
ranch properties, writing insurance — representing the German-American and the Spring-
field companies — and negotiating loans, in all of which he has been singularly successful
and has been a real benefactor to the city and county.

In 1876, Mr. Ball was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Hill, born in Peters-
burg, Mich., the daughter of Horace C. Hill, a Vermonter by birth and attorney by
profession, who drove to Michigan, with his first wife and five children, with an ox-
team. Mrs. Hill, who was before her marriage, Amelia Trumley, died in Michigan;
for a second wife he married Miss Julia Bowen, by whom he had seven children. He
practiced law in Monroe County and there both he and his wife died. Seven of the
two families of children are still living. The Hill and Ball families were among the
very earliest settlers in Monroe County and Jennie Hill and Edson Ball grew up to-
gether as children. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ball: Harry, a farmer of
Jackson, Mich., has three daughters, Josephine, Mabel and Winnifred; Mable Ball be-
came the wife of Dr. E. T. Lamb, of Alma, Mich., and they have two sons, Woodburn
and Gordon; Iva Lena, is a graduate of Alma College and taught school for some
years, she married Cleve Best and they have a daughter. Ruth, and live at Flint, Mich.;
Bernice is Mrs. G. W. Moore and the mother of two daughters, Marian and Lucile, they
reside in Hollywood, Cal.; Everell J., lives in Montana, is married and has a daughter,
Audrey; George Ball, the youngest, also makes his home in Montana, is married and
has a son Norwood Dickerson Ball, who bears a striking likeness to his grandfather.
George was commissioned a captain during the World War and was stationed at
Quantico, Va., as supervisor of the officers' training school there. He is a member of
the Officers' Reserve and subject to call should his services be needed.

The Ball family attend the Presbyterian Church in Orange, and Mr. Ball marches
with the Republicans in national affairs, but in local issues he supports the men and
measures he deems best suited for the town and county regardless of party lines. Mr.
and Mrs. Ball have an ever-widening circle of friends and well-wishers in Orange and
the county.

G. W. STRUCK. — An enterprising Californian who has been very successful, but
who, while attaining prosperity for himself, did not fail to do his best to help build up
Orange and the surrounding locality, is G. W. Struck, who came to Orange County in
the early eighties. He was born in Pomerania, Germany, in 1866, and when only four
years of age was brought across the ocean to Minnesota. His father, Carl Struck,
settled near Zurnbrota, Minn., and from 1870 to 1878 was a farmer there; then he
removed to near Austin, the county seat of Mower County, in the same state, where
he remained for four years. In December, 1882, he came west to California and at
Orange was a raiser of fruit until he died, on October 4, 1917, in his seventy-eighth
year. He was one of the organizers of the Lutheran Church at Orange, and was on
its board of trustees. Mrs. Struck, the mother, was Amelia Kamrath before her mar-
riage, and she died at Orange in November. 1892. aged fifty-three years. She was the
mother of four children — Fred, G. W. and Herman Struck, all now in Orange, and
Max Struck, who died in 1908.

From the early seventies until 1882 G. W. Struck was reared in Minnesota, where
he attended the local schools; and when he came to California in 1882, he went to
work at teaming and at farming. He learned the blacksmith's trade at Jack Goodin's
shop in Los Angeles, on old Fort Street, now Upper Broadway, and when Goodin
sold out and removed to Sespie as a contractor in the stone quarry, he went with
him, and worked as a driller and a blacksmith. After six months. Goodin removed to
Oakland, and again Mr. Struck went along in his service, and took up teaming. Still
again, when Goodin went to Telluride. Colo., to work in the mines, he shared his
venture, and while Goodin ran the blacksmith end of the enterprise, Struck ran a pack
train of burrows, from Marshall Pass to the end of the railroad at Bridal Veil Falls.
Then he went to Cripple Creek, Colo., when there were all tent houses in that section,
and located some claims and worked as a blacksmith; but the sickness of his mother
compelled him to return, after three years' absence from the state.

He bought a shop at the northeast corner of Chapman and Orange streets, and
started in at blacksniithing and carriage-making and repairing with A. Albrecht, under
the firm name of Albrecht and Struck, and built up an extensive business; and later they
removed the shop -to its present location, at the south side of Chapman, between Grand


and Orange streets, and extended the variety of business undertaken. Later. Mr. Struck
bought Mr. Albrecht out. and for six or eight years ran the business alone, when he
sold it to Frank Wheeler.

While blacksmithing. Mr. Struck had bought ten acres on Batavia Street, near
Taft, set out to apricots and walnuts, which he afterward sold, but not before he had
purchased his present place of ten acres at 621 North Glassell Street. It had at first
only a few orange trees; but he improved it, and set it out to Valencia oranges. He
also owns two other valuable orange orchards. He still owns the buildings where he
had his shop, and also built a garage, 60x100 feet in size, next to his shop.

At Orange, Mr. Struck was married to Miss Clara Boese, a native of Wisconsin,
who died here in 1913, leaving one son, George M. Struck, who assists his father. In
1917 Mr. Struck married a second time, the ceremony also taking place at Orange;
his bride being Miss Minnie Maas, a native of Norfolk. Nebr. Mr. Struck belongs to
the Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Men's Club, and is a member of the Foothill
Valencia Orange Growers ^Association, and also a director in the same.

LEO BORCHARD. — Among those whose exceptional enterprise and movements
for progress have given them, more and more, an enviable rank among the leading
ranchers of Orange County, may be mentioned Leo Borchard of Santa Ana, who with
his brother, Frank P., owned a fine tract of over 900 acres on the Talbert Road, four
miles south of Huntington Beach, which they reclaimed from tule and swamp land
until it was one of the most productive ranches in the county, farming it until they
disposed of the larger part of it. They are the sons of Casper Borchard, a native of
Germany and a pioneer of what is now western Orange County, residing at Conejo,
Cal., where he is successful and respected. The maiden name of the mother, Mrs.
Borchard, was Teresa Maring, and she died when the lad Leo was seventeen. Casper
Borchard was a stockman and a farmer, and came to own 4,000 acres in Ventura
County, and 2,700 acres in Madera County, as well as several fine ranches in Orange
County. In recent years he has disposed of his lands to his children, and Borchard
Bros, were among the largest landowners in the city of Huntington Beach. Casper
Borchard settled on land hitherto untouched by the hand of man, and cleared it of the
underbrush with which it was covered, plowed it, and otherwise prepared it for culti-
vation. He was indeed a true pioneer, for he was the first man to plow the soil south
of the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, and was a pioneer cattle and grain rancher.

The eldest son of a family of five boys and three girls, Leo Borchard was born on
a ranch two and a half miles northeast of what is now Oxnard, in Ventura County, on
December 16, 1879, and there he was reared, remaining in Ventura County until 1900,
when he came to this vicinity, very properly called the Swamp. Being apt. and clever
in the use of machinery, he was given the job to run the big excavator or ditch-digging
machine owned by his father. W. T. Newland and W. I>. Lamb. That was the first
work of importance that he ever did and he continued at it until two large ditches were
constructed. The well-drained country, the great ditches through the Swamp, and the
graded Talbert Road bear testimony to his judgment and thoroughness. Prior to that
he had attended the public schools at Newbury Park, but his educational advantages
were limited, for as the eldest boy. it was necessary for him to work.

LTnder his father. Mr. Borchard not only helped to build the ditch and
the Talbert Road, but he assisted in clearing it of willows and reclaiming large stretches
of the Swamp, covered also with tules. and turning the morass into a veritable garden
spot. To his energy and handiwork may be credited the many improvements on his
own home ranch — a good bungalow residence, large barns, a tank house, a garage, a
windmill, good yards for livestock, and a fine yard, besides a ten-inch well and three
twelve-inch wells all flowing. With his brother Frank, their holdings were divided
into the following excellent ranches: 316 acres and 160 acres on the west side of Santa
Ana. 200 acres south of Huntington Beach, 118 acres on the Mesa, 252 acres in the
bottoms, and seventy-six acres at Fairview. Mr. Borchard also owns cojointly with
his four brothers a twenty-acre tract at Garden Grove, while these same brothers own
a half-interest with W. T. Newland, Sr., in sixty acres on the southeast of Newland
ranch in the Huntington Beach district. In 1920 the two brothers sold over 800 acres
for $335,000. a vast difference from the orignal purchase price when it was swamp land,
showing what well directed energy and perseverance can do.

Mr. Borchard and his brothers were well known as breeders of Percheron-Nor-
man horses and also mules. They brought in here some of the best Percheron stallions
ever imported to Orange County, and have raised draft horses weighing from 1800 to
2000 pounds. They own the celebrated jack, "Burr Oak," which cost $3,000. Mr.
Borchard was one of the first in western Orange County to use tractors in farming
operations, and he has owned three Holt caterpillars, two of forty-five, and one of
sixty-five horsepower. His experience on road building and drainage is extensive. He

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has served as a director in the Newbert protection district, and he was also a director
in the Talbert drainage district. Since selling his ranches he has retired to Santa Ana,
where he purchased a bungalow at 802 South Broadway where, with his wife, he makes
his home. He still owns valuable lands in Huntington Beach as well as near Newport,
besides an orange grove on the Santa Ana Canyon Boulevard. He is a stockholder in
the First National Bank of Santa Ana and also a stockholder in the Old Colony Oil
Company, operating in Wichita Falls, Texas, that has fourteen producing wells. He
owns land near Tampico, Texas, and is interested in copper and silver mines (the
Midnight mine and Tidal Wave mine) in New Mexico.

In 1904 Mr. Borchard was married to Miss Marie Hauptman, a native of Connells-
ville. 111., who came to California with her parents, Henry J. and Margaret Marie
Hauptman, when she was a girl of sixteen. She has been a great encouragement to
him in his ambition and a great helpmate to him. Mr. Borchard has traveled not only
over the Pacific Coast states but into Texas and Me.xico and the Mississippi Valley
as far east as Chicago, but on investigation he has found nothing to equal Southern
California and particularly Orange County. He is a member of the Knights of
Columbus at Santa Ana, and is a stanch Republican, and a member of Santa Ana
Lodge, No. 794, B. P. O. Elks.

WILLIAM E. STORK. — A wide-awake young man, fortunate in a thorough un-
derstanding of both the lumber and the building trades, and therefore unusually well
equipped for the responsibilities of a superintendent, is William E. Stork, manager of
the Orange Branch of the Hammond Lumber Company. He was born at Hartford,
in Lyon County, Kans., July 14, 1889, the son of Phillip Stork, a contractor and builder
of that town, who now, after a strenuous life, is enjoying the milder climate of Cali-
fornia while residing with the subject of our interesting sketch. He had married Miss
Etta Garrett; but she died in Kansas, the mother of three boys and a girl, among whom
William was next to the youngest.

He was sent to the grammar schools and then to the Hartford high school, from
which he was duly graduated, when he entered the employ of the telephone company,
wTiere he remained for two or three years. After that he learned the carpenter's
trade; and as he was apprenticed under his father, he learned the trade well.

In 1913 Mr. Stork came west to California and at Orange hired out as a carpenter
for a year, when he accepted an offer from the Orange Lumber Company as yard
foreman, and as such continued until 1916. Then the Hammond Lumber Company
bought out the Orange Lumber Company, and he continued with them as bookkeeper.
In 1918, the company, recognizing both his special qualifications and his fidelity, made
Mr. Stork manager of their plant, which is at 230 North Lemon street; and today, as
a member of the Southern California Retail Lumber Dealers' Association, he is one of
the influential factors in that live and useful organization.

Since coming to Orange in 1914, Mr. Stork was married to Miss Ethel Shields, a
native of Hutchinson, Kans., and they have one child. Maurine. He was made a Mason
in Hartford Lodge No. 193, at Hartford, Kans., and still retains an affectionate loyalty
for the society and its fraternal associations.

The Hammond Lumber Company, from its entrance into this local field, has left
ufidone nothing possible to anticipate the wants of the community, and to satisfy the
many and sudden demands of builders and architects; with the result that Orange,
known far and wide as a well-built town, has responded and given in turn to this con-
cern an enviable and constantly growing patronage.

FRED C. BAIER. — A successful business man. using only modern machinery and
up-to-date methods and fortunate in the assistance afforded him by, his gifted wife, is
Fred C. Baier. who came to Orange in 1909 and the next year began cement con-
tracting. He was born at Caledonia, in Huston County, Minn., in 1885, the son of
William and Caroline Baier, pioneer settlers and farmers there who resided in Minne-
sota until 1920, when they sold out to live at Orange. They have seven children;
William is a farmer in Dakota; Kate has become Mrs. Flynn and lives in Wisconsin;
Mary is Mrs. Rudisuhle, and lives at LaCrosse; George is a business man in Orange;
Louis, who also resides in Orange, w^as in the United States Army and served overseas
in the World War; and Edward was in^ the U. S. Navy and served on the Wyoming.

Fred C. Baier was educated in the public schools, and at thirteen began to paddle
his own canoe. In 1898 he moved west to Seattle and was there employed in the great
lumber yards. He also took up farming, and in each field he demonstrated his ability to
master the problems of the hour. At Spokane, in 1905 he learned the cement trade.
and learned it thoroughly.

Four years later Mr. Baiex moved south to California, and the next year started
to contract for cement pipe work. He then manufactured everything by hand, and he


also gave his personal attention to putting down the cement pipe. The high quality of
both his labor and his materials, resulting in a strictly first class product, was soon
appreciated, and before he knew it, he had more than he alone could do.

Now Mr. Baier uses a McCracken cement pipe machine, the first set up in Cali-
fornia, and is proud of having done the first centrifugal force pipe work in the state.
He has also installed at Orange a rock crusher, with which he is able to provide a
much better grade of rock for the cement used in pipes — a volcanic rock otherwise not
at the service of every cement worker. He makes this pipe in all sizes, and some
capable of withstanding such pressure that it easily replaces the steel pipe once in such
demand. He sells his pipe from Oceanside to Riverside, hauling it in trucks within a
radius of fifty miles, doing more than half of his business as a wholesaler, and has
laid it under thousands of acres. He organized the Southern California Associated
Concrete Pipe Manufacturers, of which he was president until he resigned in May,
1920, and is also a prominent member of the Associated Concrete Pipe Manufacturers'
Association of Northern California.

At Spokane, Wash., on June 12, 1907, Mr. Baier was married to Miss Rebecca
Adley, a native of Melrose, Minn., and the daughter of Napoleon and Lydia (Eaton)
Adley, who had been born in Maine and New Hampshire, respectively, and were mar-
ried in Minnesota. As a young man, Mr. Adley enlisted in a Maine Regiment and
fought through the Civil War; and later he migrated to Minnesota, and there became
a stockdealer. Then he moved to Spokane and was in the dairy business in that place
until he died, in 1904. Her mother lived with Mrs. Baier in Orange, and died in 1918.
Mr. and Mrs. Adley had six children, Christopher, a farmer at Seattle, being the oldest.
Helen, now Mrs. Bisbee, of Spokane, comes next, and Leigh is also a farmer at Spokane,
as is his brother, Arichibald. John was accidentally killed while threshing near Spo-
kane. Rebecca, the fifth in the order of birth, was graduated from the Spokane High
School and also from the Northwestern Business College of that place. One child, a
daughter, Dorothy, blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Baier.

FRANK BLAIR DALE. — An interesting couple who have just completed a new
and beautiful home, and who in many other ways have contributed to the building up
of Orange, are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Blair Dale. A man of wide experience and a valu-
able fund of information, Mr. Dale is good company as a conversationalist and an
appreciated adviser to many in need of one kind or another of guidance; while Mrs.
Dale is no less attractive to those who know her in the encouragement she has always
given her husband in his ambitions and arduous labors.

Mr. Dale was born at Carthage, Hancock County, 111., on April 30, 1870, the son
of William Dale, a native of the same county, and a grandson of Andrew Dale, one of
the sturdiest of pioneers there. He owned a farm, and built a grist mill on the river
east of Carthage; and he also had a carding mill, a saw mill, and a furniture factory.
He served throughout the Civil War in an Illinois regiment, and died at the scene of
his honorable activities. William Dale was also a farmer, and resided at the old
homestead. He had married Miss Mary Wood, a native of Illinois and the daughter
of Nathan Wood, who migrated from Pennsylvania, where he was born, and became
a farmer in Illinois. Mrs. William Dale enjoyed life for a while in California, and died
at Orange. She was the mother of five children, four of whom are now living.

The eldest in the family, Frank, was brought up on the home farm and from
there went to the public schools. When he had finished with school books he came
west to Denver, in 1890. and entered the employ of the Union Pacific Railroad Com-
pany, and for a while ran as fireman out of Denver. Later, he became an engineer, but
in 1896 he quit railroading, and went to Kansas. He located near Chanute, in Neosho
County, and having taken up farming, continued there for about eight years.

On migrating to California, Mr. Dale located at Orange, where he built a residence
on South Grand Avenue. He first built south of Palmj'ra Avenue, in an orange grove;
then he worked as a carpenter and bought a ranch: but at the end of two years he
returned to carpentering. Then he purchased a ranch west of Santa Ana, but at the
end of two years returned to Orange.

Here he took up contracting and building, having a partner, O. -A. Long; but
when the latter removed from the district, he continued in business alone until 1917,
when he made a partnership with C. W. Riggle, under the firm name of Dale & Riggle,
and undertook general contracting — the erection of houses and the laying of first-class
cement. Among the many fine residences put up by this firm may be mentioned Henry
Terry's residence on East Chapman Avenue, and the Ryan residence at Villa Park, as
well as numerous artistic bungalows. They remodeled the City Hall, Mr. Dale making
the drawings himself; and he has now just completed, for the eighth time, a residence
for himself — at the corner of Center and Almond Streets. He belongs, very naturally,
to the important organization, the American Contractors' Association.


On December 9, 1915, Mr. Dale was married at Oceanside to Mrs. Nina (Robinson)
Frankforther, a native of Topeka, Kans.. and the adopted daughter of Miss Kate
Hubbard, now of Orange, but formerly of Glasco, Kans. Miss Hulibard was born
near Dixon, 111., the daughter of Thomas S. Hubbard, a native of New York City, who
came to Hlinois in 1837, and there married Miss Catherine Kessler, a native of Reading,
Penn., who came out to Illinois with a married sister. After farming there for a few-
years, Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard in 1846 removed to Independence, Buchanan County,
Iowa, and bought land, which he improved and made into a farm. Four years later
he removed to near Monticello, Jones County, Iowa, where he was a farmer and a
justice of the peace. In 1879 he and his family moved again, this time to Glasco,
Cloud County, Kans., where he was a farmer until he died, in 1900. at th» age of eighty-
five years. Mrs. Hubbard died in Kansas in 1907, at the age of eighty-nine, the mother

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 164 of 191)