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 168 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 168 of 191)
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Orange, John W'. Maag is rapidly forging to the front rank as a successful citrus
grower. His twenty-two and a half acre ranch, which he purchased in 1906, is planted
to fourteen acres of bearing Valencia oranges, four acres of one-year-old Valencias and
four acres of walnuts.

He was born in Humphrey, Platte County, Nebr., April 27, 1885, and came with
his parents to California in March, 1891, stopping four months in Los Angeles before
coming to Orange, where the father bought thirty-one acres on Fairhaven Avenue, a
mile and a quarter south of the city of Orange, on which he is still living. The father,
J. A. Maag, was born in Germany, and the mother, Catherine (Steflfes) Maag, is a
native of Michigan. John W. has seven brothers and two sisters living. Two of the
twelve children comprising the parental family died in infancy in Nebraska. Mr. Maag
attended school at Orange and completed the eighth grade, afterward taking a com-
mercial course in the Orange County Business College at Santa Ana.

He established domestic ties by his marriage, in Santa Ana, April IS, 1913, with
Miss Anna Lypps, a native of Hart, Oceana County, Mich., who was reared in her
native state and was grown when she came to Santa Ana, Cal. Their union has been
blessed by the birth of two children, Robert V. and Lucena Marie. He is a member
of Olive Heights Citrus Association and of Richmond Walnut Growers Association of
Orange. He is a communicant of the Catholic Church, and in his fraternal affiliations
is associated with the Knights of Columbus. Upright in character, and enterprising in
disposition, perhaps there is no trait more noticeable in his life than that of energy.
These valuable assets give promise of bearing rich fruitage in acquiring a comfortable
competency and in placing him in the front rank among the leaders of Orange County.

RICHARD A. BIRD. — A first class caterer, very experienced in the management
of both restaurants and hotels, whose care for the demands of high grade trade has
made him justly popular with the community as well as the traveling public, is Richard
A. Bird, one of the latest comers to San Juan Capistrano and Orange County. He
owns and operates the celebrated "Palm Cafe" at this place, cleverly advertised before
the eye of the motorist for miles along the Southern California highways, and also
conducts the Los Rosas Hotel, which he manages under a lease. Everything about his
establishment is clean, sanitary, up-to-date and appetizing in every respect; and as he is
ably assisted by his wife and three sons, he is "making good" in such a manner that
no one can doubt his success.

Mr. Bird was born in Columbia County, Ark., on October 22, 1870, and in that
state grew to maturity. • There, too. in 1896, he was married to Miss Emma Thompson.
of the same state. In 1906 he removed to Seattle, where he acquired a residence and


property interests. On December 11. 1919, Mr. Bird came south to California; and liking
San luan Capistrano, with its historic old Mission, and seeing the business possibilities
through providing for the public bound to pass that way the best service possible for
their comfort, at the most reasonable prices, bought the building in which he now has
his cafe, a roomy, mission style structure 102x193 feet in size, and set to work to give
San Juan Capistrano what it had never had before — a first class restaurant, within the
reach of everybody. That the public, a good percentage of which is not merely trans-
ient, but passes through the town and stops repeatedly, appreciates what the Palm Cafe
and the Los Rosas Hotel have to ofifer, is shown by the amount of business he does
almost daily. Fraternally he is a member of Seattle Lodge No. 92 of Elks, his member-
ship dating from Pine Bluff Lodge, Arkansas.

All of Mr. Bird's children were born in Arkansas, and all are at home. Richard
Bernard served in the war for twenty-four months, becoming sergeant of the Fourth
Aircraft Medical Corps, and was in France: and he married Miss Gertrude La Grave
of Seattle. The other boys are Jennings and Thomas D. Bird.

FRANK KYLE KIRKER. — A prosperous rancher with the advantage of a valu-
able experience as a mechanical engineer and successful business man is F. K. Kirker,
of East Orangethorpe Avenue. FuUerton, who has attained his present success by very
hard work and may therefore the more enjoy what he possesses in his promising family
and handsome farm. He was born in Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Ky., on April 1, 1868,
the son of James M. Kirker, the captain of a steamboat on the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers. He attended the grammar school of Catlettsburg and later graduated from the
high school at Ironton, Ohio, just across the line, at the same time that, as a youngster,
he worked as engineer with his father on the steamboat.

Later, Mr. Kirker studied the science of refrigeration and for years traveled for
the York Manufacturing Company of York, Pa., selling and installing large refrigeration
plants. He sold to the Home Ice and Cold Storage Company, for example, in 1905, the
100-ton plant still located on Alameda and Sixth streets, Los Angeles, and in his travels
he covered the entire West, installing notable plants in Winslow and Tucson, Ariz.; San
Francisco. Santa Rosa and Sacramento, Cal. In 1907, wishing to establish for himself
a permanent home, Mr. Kirker purchased twenty acres on East Orangethorpe Avenue,
eight acres of which were already planted to walnuts; and resetting these to oranges, he
planted the entire area to citrus trees, making a specialty of the Valencia. The same
year, he built a fine residence on the ranch; and superintending personally the various
improvements, he attained results not generally seen hereabouts. He has a turbine
pumping plant with a capacity of 100 inches, although he also owns eighteen shares
of Anaheim Union Water Company stock. He markets his fruit through the Placentia
Orange Growers Association of Fullerton, and is justly proud of the fine products sent
by him to market. At present he has five acres of Navel oranges, two acres of walnuts,
and thirteen acres of Valencia orange trees, all in bearing.

On January 1, 1905. and at Los Angeles, Mr. Kirker was married to Miss Harriet
H. Schwinge, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., and the daughter of A. H. and Helen
(McVicker) Schwinge. Her father was of old Knickerbocker stock and her mother of
Scotch descent. Her father was a business man in Indianapolis, and had one of the
largest and most thriving groceries there. Three children have resulted from this
fortunate marriage: James M. is the elder; and Catherine H. is the younger of the two
still surviving; Helen L. died in infancy. Mr. Kirker is a thirty-second degree Scottish
Rite Mason belonging to the Los Angeles Consistory. He was made a Mason in
Hampton Lodge No. 235, A. F. A. M., at Catlettsburg, Ky., but he is now a member of
Fullerton Lodge No. 339, F. & A. M., and Fullerton Chapter No. 90, R. A. M., and a
member of Al Malaikah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Los Angeles.

SCOTT R. WALTER.— A broad-minded, enterprising business man whose knowl-
edge of the wants of the community in which he operates, together with his evident
ambition not merely to satisfy the needs of the public, but to anticipate them, have
undoubtedly spelt much of his enviable success, is Scott R. Walter, the proprietor of the
Anaheim Vulcanizing Works at 156 South Los Angeles Street, Anaheim. He was born
at Leadville, Colo., on October 20, 1884, the son of Samuel Walter, a native of Ohio,
who married Miss Ida Roland, who was born in Maryland. When Scott was a youth
his folks moved to Iowa, and there he was sent to the public schools in Polk and Benton
counties. His parents soon after died, and he was thrown upon his own resources when
hardly mature enough to be expected to accomplish much.

He later became a traveling salesman and during the fourteen years that he was
on the road, he demonstrated repeatedly the real stuff that was in him. At first, he
represented the International Harvester Company, and later he traveled for a whole-
sale house handling electrical supplies and mining machinery. He started from St.


Louis and Chicago, and journeyed throughout the Western States and as far as Alaska.
In 1912, he gave up traveling, and located in Des Moines, where he was city salesman
for the largest auto supply house west of Chicago.

In 1915, he drove his auto out to California to take in the E.xpositions, and he
has been here ever since. The same year he located at .Anaheim, but not before he
had traveled over the state, and was thoroughly convinced of the superior attractions
of this part of Orange County, and the next year he purchased a small auto tire shop
at 156 South Los Angeles Street. To this he has added modern machinery for repair
work, and made many other improvements; at the same time, he bought the lot and
building, and added a ninety-foot addition, as one result of which he has more than
trebled his tire business. He carries the largest and most complete line of tires and
tubes in Orange County, and, of course, the public know it, and appreciate the fact.

He has in stock the United States tires, the Goodrich, the Firestone, and the
Goodyear, and in the spring of 1919 he added the Exide Battery equipment, for re-
building and recharging batteries. He sees to it personally that his warerooms offer
everything in the auto electric line, and having installed the first retreading mold in
Orange County, he is able to give satisfaction to those who might otherwise need to
journey far for relief. While in Des Moines, he helped to organize the Iowa State
Auto Trade Association, he assisted in organizing the Orange County Automobile
Association, and he is now a live-wire in both the Board of Trade and the Merchants
Association of Anaheim, ready at all times to help "boost" town and county.

While in Iowa, Mr. Walter married Miss Grace M. Brewer of that state: and
they have one son, Scott R. Walter, Jr. Mr. Walter is a Mason, a member of the
Knights of Pythias, and of Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O. Elks.

JOHN A. FRIDD. — The orchardist has long played an important role in the
development of Fullerton and the industrial and commercial interests of its environs, as
may be judged from such successful careers as that of John A. Fridd, who came here
about a decade ago. He was born in Winnebago County. Wis., on October 23, 1850,
the son of John W. Fridd, a farmer and also a minister of the Gospel, who was a native
of England. He had married Miss Mary Lathrop, who was born in New York, and they
had seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Fridd are now dead.

John A. Fridd was the third child in the order of birth, and was educated in the
local public schools, and at Ripon College, in Fond du Lac County; and after finishing
his studies, he remained at home until he was twenty-two years of age. In 1872 he was
married to Miss Addie Atkins, a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of Samuel and
Caroline Atkins. Of this union one daughter has been born, Grace, now the wife of
Dr. Jesse Chilton of Fullerton.

Mr. Fridd farmed for over two score years in Wisconsin, all of the time in Winne-
bago County, where he became prominent in Republican politics. He served as a
member of the town board of his township for eleven years; also as a member of the
state assembly from the third district during the sessions of 1903-1905, two terms; and
of the state senate from the nineteenth district for the session 1907-1909. He had made
a visit to Orange County in 1908 and then determined that he would eventually make
this his home and accordingly, in 1910, he and his wife moved to Fullerton where they
now live and where they have become closely identified with the best interests of this
home city.

Fond of social life, Mr. Fridd is a member of the Odd Fellows and the Masons,
being a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. He holds his Con-
sistory membership in Milwaukee. Wis., and the Al Malaikah Shrine in Los .\ngeles
claims his allegiance. The other branches of the order of which he is a member are
in Fullerton. He is a charter member and one of the organizers of the Fullerton Club.

CHAUNCEY S. ORTON.— The founder and one of the proprietors of the Fuller-
ton Ice Company, Chauncey S. Orton, one of Fullerton's most progressive and enter-
prising citizens, has had a broad and interesting experience as a mechanical engineer.
He was born July 9, 1880, in Cass County, Nebr., and received his education in his
native state, graduating as a mechanical engineer from the University of Nebraska in
1902. For one year after graduating he was associated with the Westinghouse Machine
Company at Pittsburgh, Pa., and in 1903 moved to Milwaukee, Wis., where he entered
the employ of the .Allis-Chalmers Company, manufacturers of engines and electrical
machinery. While associated with this well-know-n firm Mr. Orton had charge of
erecting and installing the following: A 2500-horsepower engine in the paper mill of
the Barret Manufacturing Company of Peoria, 111.; a large air compressor for the
Armour Company, Chicago, and he assisted in the installation of a 20,000-horsepower
plant for the L'nion Electric Light and Power Company of St. Louis, Mo.

In 1905, Mr. Orton formed a partnership with S. C. Campbell and D. L. McDonald
and they established an ice manufacturing plant at Rock Hill, S. C. Two years later.


Mr. Orton resigned his position with the Allis-Chalmers Company and located at
Rock Hill, so that he might be better able to superintend his interests in the Rock
Hill Ice Company. In 1909 he sold his interest in the ice company and came to Fuller-
ton. Realizing that this thriving city needed an ice company, Mr. Orton, in partner-
ship with W. R. Davis and R. R. Davis, organized the Fullerton Ice Company, in 1910,
this being the first ice manufacturing plant located in the northern part of Orange
County, and the third erected in the county. It has a daily capacity of twenty tons
and 'the company contemplates erecting in the near future a cold storage plant to be
operated in connection with the ice business. In addition to the manufacturing of ice
the company owns an orange grove.

On October 23, 1906, Mr. Orton was united in marriage with Miss Lulu Davis,
a native of Nebraska, and this happy union has been blessed with three children:
William, Chauncey S., Jr., and Mary. Fraternally, Mr. Orton is a member of Fullerton
Lodge No. 294, Knights of Pythias, and of the Board of Trade. During the World War
he was a member of the California Home Guards of Fullerton and deeply interested in
war work.

JOHN E. WAGNER.— A very successful business man highly esteemed for his
conservative, yet sane methods and for his ideals and exemplary walk as a public-
spirited citizen, is John E. Wagner, who enjoys not only the natural rewards for his
own foresight and labors, but the benefits accruing from the life and accomplishment
of both his father and his step-fathers, who previously brought his rancho to a high
state of development. With his twin brother, Joseph E., he was born in the Placentia
district, April 20, 1880, the son of Charles Wagner, an early settler there, and a descend-
ant of pioneers at Grand Rapids, Mich. He had married Miss Josie Andrada, whose
family has always been recognized as one of the most representative Spanish-American
families in this part of California. Charles Wagner was noted in his day as the owner
of vast sheep herds, thousands of his sheep grazing in and about the city of Los Angeles,
at that time more or less of a sheep corral. Five children have survived of those who
were born to this distinguished ranching couple; Lucy is the wife of James J. Ortega;
Josephine has become Mrs. William Berkenstock; Charles C. is a rancher at Placentia;
Joseph E. is also a rancher near by; and John E. is the subject of this sketch.

His able father died when John was two months old, and he attended the grammar
school at Placentia, and for sixteen years he worked for his mother and the estate. In
Placentia, Xovember, 1902, he was married to Miss Lena Hansen, a schoolmate and the
daughter of Chas. and Mette Hansen, of Placentia; she also was born in Placentia.
Two children have resulted from this marriage: Wilton C. attends the high school
at Fullerton; Ardeth attends the Placentia school.

For some years, Mr. Wagner leased land and farmed grain, cabbage and corn
under what has been known as drj' farming, and in 1905 he became the owner of twenty
acres of a citrus grove, where he took out eight acres of walnuts and planted his own
nursery stock setting out ^'alencia orange trees. With this ranch, he has done very
well, solving his irrigation problems through the Anaheim Union Water Company, and
marketing through the Placentia Orange Growers Association. Later, he became inter-
ested in transportation as a public service, and organized the Wagner heavy hauling
and transfer service, which operated six F. W. D. trucks and trailers. This business he
sold to others, some time ago.

Mr. Wagner erected a very substantial two-story residence on his ranch about
twelve j'ears ago, and this, the center of a generous hospitality, has been the mecca of
many ever since, at joyous social engagements. With his good wife, he supported
vigorously all the war loans and other activities of the various drives, and in times of
peace he endeavors, as an enthusiastic Republican, to stimulate a higher regard for
civic duty and true Americanism. His own life has been affected in an interesting
manner by the fortunes of his beloved mother, who passed away in October, 1901,
having reared and educated her children and left a nice estate. Many were the hard-
ships undergone by the family in those early pioneer days, in order to win out for a
golden future. The estate left by Mrs. Wagner was settled three or four years after her
death, agreeable to all of the five heirs, who were mutually benefitted.

Mr. Wagner is a charter member of the Anaheim Elks, Lodge No. 1345 of the
B. P. O. E., and it is needless to say is among the most popular and welcome visitors
there. He maintains a horseless ranch, a fact of the more interest in comparison with
the early history of the land, and all the work there is done by tractor power. Two years
ago he formed a partnership with Robert Edens under the firm name of the Orange
County Fertilizer Company, located at Fullerton. They are also extensively interested
m the realty business, maintaining an office in Fullerton, and are engaged in leasing
and subleasing oil lands at Huntington Beach. Ventura and San Diego. Mrs. Wagner
IS a member of the Ebell Club of Fullerton.

U (r^yi^^ Qt^aot^yuAy^


FRANCISCO ERRECARTE.— Another couple from the Basses-Pyrenees whc
have contributed something definite toward the development of Orange County, and
in thus "making good" with their own enterprises, have deserved the highest respect of
their fellow citizens, is Francisco Errecarte and his good wife, a compatriot with him
and an able helpmate in his California ventures. He was born at Navarra, Spain, fifty-
two years ago, and came to America when he was nineteen years old, having grown
up in Spain on his father's farm. He already understood farming and stock raising,
and when he settled at San Juan Capistrano he had no difficulty in making himself
va'luable to E. Oyharzabal, for whom he herded sheep and cattle for twenty-two years.

When he married, he took for his wife Miss Juanita Espinal, who was also born
in the Basses-Pyrenees and came to America when, like himself, just nineteen years
old and full of ambition and hope. Seven children came to them — Cipriano, Mary,
Julia, Stephen, Margaret, Pedro and Joaquin. All are bright and interesting, and give
promise of useful, successful lives.

Mr. and Mrs. Errecarte have a valuable ranch of twenty-three acres conveniently
located about two miles east of Capistrano, on the Capistrano Hot Springs Road. They
take comfort in their modest home, and look back complacently to the years of hard
work when Mr. Errecarte ranged the hills for years, and Mrs. Errecarte worked at the
old Mission Inn Hotel, and for private families, and both learned the value of frugality
with industry. Ten acres of their ranch is set out to walnuts, and he uses three horses
in the processes of farming.

HARRY LEE WILBER.— No field of healthful entertainment has developed so
extraordinarily in the past half century as has the motion picture industry, for the
extension of which the eager public is indebted to such enterprising men as Harry Lee
Wilber, the secretary of the Fullerton Board of Trade, a native of Albion, N. Y., where
he was born on June 20, 1875. His father, Jerome J. Wilber, was a newspaper man
connected with the Associated Press at Washington, and he married Miss Alice Lee, a
gifted lady of Denver. Harry was an only child, and he came with the family to
California in 1885.

Having attended the grammar and high schools of San Diego, Mr. Wilber grew
up in Denver to engage in editorial work there. He was in turn city editor of the
Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post and the Denver Times, and in each position
of responsibility he proved the man for the job; but he was far-seeing enough to
recognize the great possibilities in the motion picture industry, and in 1914 moved to
San Diego, where he and his partner maintained two of the best moving picture
theaters the city has ever had. At the end of three years, he came north to Fullerton,
and since then he has enjoyed unprecedented support of a venture made upon edifying
lines. As secretary of the Board of Trade, Mr. Wilber has been as generous to others
as the public is generous to him, and has left unturned no stone needed to advance
the commercial or other interests of the community generally.

At Golden, Colo., on March 23, 1897, Mr. Wilber was married to Miss Nellie
Wilmot, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Wilmot. They have two children: Winifred,
now attending the University at Berkeley; and .\lice. at Fullerton Junior - College.
Formerly president of the Denver Press Club, Mr. Wilber now confines his club life
largely to the circle of the Elks and the Fullerton Club of which he is a director.

JOHN FRANKLIN WALTON.— A highly respected citizen whose family has
been in Orange County, and closely identified with its development, for so many years
that they have seen many changes, is John Franklin Walton, the rancher of Placentia
Avenue. Anaheim. He was born in Carthage, Mo., on February 21, 1866, the son of
John Q. A. and Katherine (Snodgrass) Walton. His father was a building con-
tractor and erected the first court house that Carthage ever had — a historic edifice,
since it was burned down during the Civil War. His father joined the Confederate
Army, and saw hard service under Colonel Joe Shelby.

When John was a year old, his parents removed to Washington County, Ark.,
and there his father had a farm, although he generally worked at his trade. John
was sent to the graded schools of Washington County and received a good start for
the battle of life. Two of his brothers, D. H. and W. T.. having gone to California in
1884, John, accompanying his father and a sister came out in the great boom year of
1887. Their mother was to have come with them, but she died just prior to the time
of their moving.

The elder Walton came to Santa Ana and made that town his home for a couple
of years, and six months after their arrival the daughter Maggie died; while the father
lived until February, 1908. when he died at the age of eighty-si-x years. John left home
and worked out for two years in San Bernardino County. During the following thr^e
years, he farmed with his brother, W. T. Walton, on the Irvine Ranch; but in 1896


he went to the state of Washington, and at Oakesdale, Wash., he was married on July
23, 1896, to Miss Alice Skidmore, a native of Morgan County, Ala., where she was born
near Hartsell, the daughter of Robt. A. and Susan (Lassiter) Skidmore. Her father
was a planter, and raised much cotton. Her folks moved to Washington County, Ark.,
and settled in the vicinity of Mr. Walton's home; and so the well-mated couple were
educated in the same school. Then her parents moved on to Oakesdale, and there she
lived until she was married.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Walton settled in Redlands, Cal., where they
resided for five years; and then they spent another five years in Los Angeles and

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 168 of 191)