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 169 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 169 of 191)
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vicinity. In 1906 they purchased from the Stearns Rancho Company eighteen acres on
Placentia Avenue, all bare land; they cleared and leveled it and twelve acres they set
out to Valencia oranges, and three and a half acres to walnuts. This season, the balance
will be set out to oranges and he markets through the Anaheim Cooperative Orange
Association and is also a member of the Richland Walnut Association of Orange.

Four children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Walton: Robert, Wallace and
Kitty are students in the high school at Anaheim, and Marvin is in the grammar school.
The family are members of the Methodist Church, South, of Santa Ana, Mr. Walton
being a member of the official board, and he endeavors under the leadership of the
Democratic Party to effect whatever civic reforms are possible. He was here at the
time of the county division and voted for the organization of the county.

EARL D. GAGE. — A successful, home-loving rancher, who attributes much of
his success to his clever, devoted wife, and who has, as a Republican advocating the
prohibition of alcohol, lived to see many of his dreams and wishes realized, is Earl D.
Gage, of FuUerton, who was born in Nemaha County, Kans., the only son of Charles
Gage, a farmer, who had married Mary Walker and they now make their home at
Fullerton. Earl attended the public schools of his home district; but his education was
more or less interfered with by the hard work of the farm, for his father's farm of
eighty acres along the military road between East and West Kansas was devoted
mostly to the raising of corn, and the crop had to be attended to with religious

In 1890, Mr. Gage came west to Fullerton, and for a while was employed at
horticultural and orchard work. A year later, he was instrumental in assisting his
parents to dispose of their holdings in Kansas, and to bring them out to the sunnier
conditions of Southern California. After working for other folks for eight or ten years,
Mr. Gage in 1900 purchased thirty acres of Edward Atherton, at one time the caretaker
of the California Ostrich Farm, which he set out to citrus trees. He had his own
nursery; but he also sold many buds and trees. He planted three and a half acres of
avocados, and as they are practically in the frostless belt, they are doing very well.
He joined the Placentia Orange Growers Association, and in 1916 he erected a line
residence on his ranch. He also took stock in the Anaheim Union Water Company.

On January 11, 1909, Mr. Gage was married to Miss Mayme Clark, a native
daughter of California, who was born in Los Angeles. Two children, Lydia and
Mildred, blessed their union, and attend, with their parents, the First Baptist Church
where Mr. Gage is a member of the board of trustees. During the recent war, Mr.
and Mrs. Gage liberally supported all the loan and Red Cross drives, and they are ever
ready to assist in all that makes for the upbuilding and improvement of the community.
MARY E. WRIGHT, D. O. — An osteopathic physician and surgeon of marked
ability, who is making a splendid success in her profession in Santa Ana, is Dr. Mary
E. Wright, a graduate of the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Los
Angeles, who, before locating in Santa Ana, practiced her profession in Los Angeles
and Pomona.

Dr. Wright was born near Danville, 111., a daughter of Benjamin Browning, a
native of England. Mr. Browning was an early settler of Placer County, Cal., where
he was engaged in fruit growing. Dr. Wright received her early education in the
public schools of Oakland, which was supplemented by a Normal School course in
Stockton, after which she taught school for a number of years in the northern part
of California. She is deeply interested in the science of osteopathy, which has accom-
plished such wonderful and restorative results and alleviated suffering humanity after
many other systems have failed, and has established a large and appreciative clientele
since her coming to Santa Ana, only two years ago.

Dr. Wright is a member of the State and County Associations of Osteopaths, as
well as the Women's Osteopathic Club of Los Angeles. She keeps abreast of the
times in literary and civic circles and is an honored member of the Ebell Club of
Santa Ana, a member of the Present Day Club and the Book Review Club of Santa Ana.
During the World War her three sons, Frank B., Chester M. and Lawrence C. Wright,
served their country with the American Expeditionary Force in France.




D. B. GREGORY.— Born near Jackson, Mich., on December 17, 1868, D. B.
Gregory is the son of Halsted and Agnes Gregory. His grandfather was a pioneer of
the pioneers of Michigan, where he took up Government land, and our subject has to
this day his grandfather's deed. His father, therefore, was a prosperous Michigan
farmer. D. B. Gregory was sent to the grade country school near Jackson, and later
he studied at the Cleary Business College of Ypsilanti, while he spent his early days
on his father's farm.

On November 29, 1897, Mr. Gregory was marriefl to Henrietta Hudson, who was
born near Lansing, Mich., the granddaughter of an Englishman who migrated from
England to the United States and settled in Michigan. They belonged to the famous
Hudson family of the British Isles, and traced his lineage proudly back to the well
known e.xplorer so intimately connected with American history. Henry Hudson.

After his marriage, Mr. Gregory assumed the responsibility of running his father's
farm of 240 acres, which he devoted to general farming; and when he came to Cali-
fornia in 1907 and settled near Los Nietos. he purchased twentyseven acres of walnuts.
For five years he lived on that ranch, and then he sold it and purchased his present
fifteen acres on the State Highway, twelve acres of which have been set out to wal-
nuts, and three to oranges. He has a private pumping plant affording a capacity of
seventy-live inches, and is a member of both the Anaheim Walnut Growers Asso-
ciation and the Anaheim Citrus Fruit Association. A Democrat in matters of national
politics, Mr. Gregory belongs to the Odd Fellows, among whom he enjoys an enviable

ROY R. DAVIS. — The extent to which modern conveniences have added attrac-
tion, particularly to .\merican life, is shown in such service as that of the FuUerton
Ice Company, directed in part by the city trustee, Roy R. Davis, one of the firm's
energetic members. He is another native of Nebraska who has made good in California,
and in succeeding after the fashion so satisfactory to the world, has made the world
itself a deal better for his having living and worked in it.

He was born in Cass County on June 5, 1881. the son of William R. and Mary
Emma (Harmon) Davis, who settled in Nebraska in 1856. and who came to California
abobt a decade ago, and are now living at Fullerton, where they arrived in March, 1910.
They were granted seven children, four of them living, the first born being the subject
of our sketch.

Roy attended the grammar and high schools at Weeping Water, Nebr.. and then
farmed until he was twenty-eight. Since coming to California in March, 1910, he has
been engaged in the manufacturing of ice; and after an extended experience, following
the most recent developments and methods in that field, the company now employs
fifteen men, and none of them are ever idle, caring for a steadily increasing business.
A man above his party. Mr. Davis knows how to combine business with politics; he is
public-spirited and inclined to cooperate to a marked degree, and is, therefore, widely
respected and enjoys the good will of all who are fortunate to know or know about
him. He is a member of the California national reserves, and was appointed, in 1917,
to fill a vacancy in the city council, to which he was elected in 1918. also being chief of
the fire department of twenty members. He belongs to the Board of Trade and the
Fullerton Club.

In August, 1909. occurred the wedding, at Pasadena, of Mr. Davis and Miss
Harriett Inez Hesser, the daughter of Wm. Hesser. who had the first greenhouse in
Nebraska. He died in Pasadena in 1917. Mrs. Davis was born at Murray, Nebr. Two
sons, William R. and Wesley .A., have blessed this union. Mr. Davis is a member of
the Woodmen of the W'orld.

LEO. F. DOUGLASS. — .\ highly progressive rancher w^ho has spent most of his
life in the vicinity of Orange and not only has come to be intimately acquainted with
the development of this part of California, but has himself, in' his own skilful handling
of his ranch, contributed toward the enriching of the commonwealth, is Leo F. Doug-
lass who was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, on October 26, 1892, the son of B. R. and LilHe
M. Douglass. His father was an Iowa farmer, and came -west to El Modena, Cal..
when our subject was eight years old. And there, for a number of years, he owned and
ran the El Modena store.

Leo attended the common schools of EI Modena and also the high school at
Orange, and later took up ranching with his father on 160 acres in San Bernardino
County. At the end of the year, they sold out; and then his father moved back to
Orange and made that town his home.

With his father, Mr. Douglass then purchased forty-five acres in the Katella pre-
cinct between the Santa .Ana River and Placentia .\venue. and together they cleared
the land, graded and leveled it, and set it out to Valencia oranges, which are well


watered by a private pumping plant having a capacity of eighty inches flow. Since
then the elder Douglass has sold off ten acres, leaving thirty-five in the ranch.

On September 22, 1914, Mr. Douglass was married to Miss Gertrude Perry, a
native of Nebraska, where she was born near Maynard. the daughter of \V. W. and
Hattie Perry. Her father came to California and purchased an orange grove on Collins
and Tustin avenues, and there Mrs. Douglass was living at the time of her marriage.
Two children blessed the union, Herbert P. and Theodore R. Douglass. Mrs. Douglass
is a member of the Orange Methodist Church, and as such takes pleasure in participating
in whatever makes for the uplift of the community; and Mr. Douglass, as a loyal Re-
publican and a still more loyal American, endeavors to elevate the standard of

JOSEPH E. WAGNER. — A native son of California, born at Placentia, April
20, 1880, Joseph E. Wagner is a son of Charles and Josephine (Andrada) Wagner, who
were born in Germany and Elizabeth Lake, Cal., respectively. His maternal grand-
father was also born in California and still lives at Elizabeth Lake, almost eighty-eight
years of age. Charles Wagner, on emigrating to the United States, hrst located in
Michigan, where he followed mining until the discovery of gold in California when he
joined the rush to the new Eldorado, crossing the plains in 1849 in an ox-team train
to California. Later he was attracted to the stock business in the Elizabeth Lake coun-
try of Southern California, where he engaged in sheep raising and where he was married.
In the early seventies they located at Placentia and engaged in sheep raising in the
Brea Canyon district. He was accidentally killed while hauling brick from Anaheim
Landing to his ranch when our subject was two months old, in June, 1880.

The mother continued farming and stock raising and afterwards married John
Wagner, a brother of her first husband. They bought seven acres in Placentia which
they improved to oranges and where they made their home. Afterwards they pur-
chased eighty-six acres in the northeast part of Placentia which they first set out to
vineyard, but when the vines died they set out Valencia oranges and walnuts and later
on the walnuts were dug out and the land set to Valencia oranges. John Wagner died
in 1898 and Mrs. Wagner passed on in 1899. Her only children were by the first
marriage, five in number as follows: Chas. C. a rancher at Placentia; Lucy, Mrs.
Ortega of Fullerton; Josephine, Mrs. Berkenstock of Placentia; and John E, and
Joseph E., twin brothers who reside on their ranches in Placentia.

Joseph E. Wagner from a lad learned farming and received a good education in
the public schools of the Placentia district. During these years he assisted his mother
to improve the ranch and he was nineteen years of age when she passed away. A year
later he became possessor of twenty-seven acres of the old home, which is located on
the Yorba Linda Road and which was devoted to Valencias, Mediterranean sweets and
Navel oranges and walnuts. Since then he has dug out the walnuts and set Valencia
oranges and has budded the Mediterranean sweets and Navels to Valencias, making a
very valuable and choice orchard. Later he sold twelve acres, so he has fifteen acres
left. In 1920 he completed a large and beautiful residence of Swiss chalet design and
his is one of the show places of the vicinity.

Mr. Wagner was married in Placentia, being united with Miss Emily Heinzman,
born in Indiana, who came to Anaheim when four years of age, where she attended
school and two children have blessed their union, Elmer James and lone Olive. Fra-
ternally he is a member of Anaheim Lodge of Masons and is a charter member of
Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O. Elks. Believing in cooperation, Mr. Wagner is a
member of the Placentia Orange Growers Association and is a decided protectionist
and Republican.

JOSEPH OLIVERAS.— A native son of the Golden West, Joseph Oliveras was
born in San Juan Capistrano, December 26, 1886, where he grew to manhood, receiving
his education in the public schools. From a lad he worked on the ranches and learned
to drive the big teams in the grain fields; when he reached the age of twenty he began
to ride the range after cattle on the O'Neill ranch and became adept at riding, roping
and branding. He continued to advance steadily and in due time became foreman of
cattle on the San Mateo ranch for Mr. O'Neill and filled the position faithfully and well.
In 1919 he was transferred to Mission Vejar ranch near San Juan Capistrano, where he
is filling the same position and there he makes his home with his wife and his family
of seven children.

Mr. Oliveras was married in Santa Ana, being united with Miss Vivian Record,
who was born in San Juan Capistrano. He is a lover of fine horses and has trained
several thoroughbreds for polo horses and disposed of them at a good price. In his
line of work he is held in high regard by his employer. In national politics he is a
Republican, while fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Columbus.


JOSEPH HILTSCHER.— A rancher with an interesting family history is Joseph
Hiltscher, of Ronineya Drive, to the southwest of Fullerton. He was born in Stern-
berg, in Mehren, Austria, on February 24, 1873, the son of a weaver by trade who made
the finest kind of linen, especially for the table. His name was August Hiltscher, and
he had married Frederika Bockisch. He used to sell his linen in America, and having
heard so much about the New World, he decided to come out to the United States.
They had five sons, and Joseph was the middle one and attended the usual graded
schools of his native country.

In 1886, the family crossed the Atlantic Ocean, sailing from Hamburg on the
steamer Retzia, and landed at Castle Garden, New York, from which city they came
direct to California and Anaheim. Here .August Hiltscher purchased, only three weeks
after his arrival, twenty acres on Orangethorpe and Nicholas avenues. It had been a
vineyard, but at the time of the blight, the vines were rooted out. The newcomers
planted ten acres to apricots and peaches, and ten acres were left for general farming
and the raising of corn and stock. Later, these open ten acres were planted to walnuts.
Since that time, the apricots, peaches and walnuts have been pulled out, and the entire
twenty acres is now devoted to Valencia oranges. August. Hiltscher died in 1891; his
widow, with the aid of her son, Joseph, made the above improvements and she died
while on a pleasure trip in the Yosemite Valley in August, 1919. aged sixty-nine.

On May 29, 1899, Joseph Hiltscher was married to Miss Flora Weisel, a native
of Wisconsin, where she was born in Milwaukee, the daughter of Peter and Josephine
Weisel. Her father was a manufacturer of ice-cooling and refrigerating systems, and
installed cooling plants in breweries and packing houses. In 1892 Mr. and Mrs. Weisel
brought their family of nine children to California, and in their later years enjoyed a
balmier climate. Mrs. Hiltscher was educated in the schools of Milwaukee and in Ana-
heim. Six children have blessed the happy union of Mr. and Mrs. Hiltscher. They are
Peter, Josephine, Alphons, Carl, Frederika and Max; and they all attend the Catholic
Church at Anaheim.

Mr. Hiltscher and his brother engaged in the meat business in Fullerton for twelve
years and had the finest market in town; they killed their own beef, pork, lamb and
mutton, but when the packers got control, they discontinued their own slaughter. Mr.
Hiltscher sold his interest in the market in 1908 and purchased twenty.-one acres on the
Romneya Drive, and himself set the land out to Valencia oranges. Later he purchased
ten acres adjoining, also devoted to raising Valencia oranges. He also owns four acres
of the old home place, making thirty-five acres in all. Aside from setting out his own
and his mother's orchard he has set out for several other ranchers, or more than 300
acres in all. He is an experienced orchardist and particularly of citrus fruits and his
advice and ideas are sough-t by others. He also helped to make roads and clear and
break up much land here. He receives water for his irrigation from a community
pumping plant, and profits by the supply of seventy inches in the well. He built the
home on his ranch himself — and it goes without saying that it is a comfortable dwelling.
He markets his oranges through the Placentia-FuUerton Orange Growers Association,
and as he is a hard worker his grove shows the best of attention.

BAUTISTA DUHART.— A resident of California since 1878, when he located at
San Juan Capistrano, is Bautista Duhart, born in Hasparren, Basses Pyrenees, France,
January 20, 1856, a son of Jean and Marie Duhart, farmer folk, now both deceased.
Of their ten children Bautista is the eighth in order of birth and received a good educa-
tion in the schools of his native place where he was brought up on the farm. In 1878
he came to California locating at San Juan Capistrano and immediately went to work
for Oyharzabal Bros.

He continued with them, caring for their stock for seven years when he formed
a partnership with Pierre Daguerre. purchasing a flock of sheep and they continued
together about five years, when he sold his interest to Mr. Daguerre and then became
associated with D. Oyharzabal, raising sheep for nine years, when he sold out and
located in Santa Ana and purchased a ranch on McClay Street which he set out to
walnuts. Two years later he also purchased his present place of four acres on Hickey
and Baker streets, Santa Ana, where he raises walnuts, oranges and lemons and where
he has a comfortable residence from which place he operates his other ranch.

In Los Angeles in 1889 occurred the marriage of Mr. Duhart when he was united
with Miss Marie Ydelaray, who was also born in Basses Pyrenees, France, and this
union was blessed with seven children: Leona. deceased: Stephen assists his father on
the ranch; Peter resides at Taft; Henrietta is Mrs. Crowell of Santa Ana; Helen and
Miguel are deceased: and Josephine is the youngest. Mr. Duhart is a member of the
Tustin Lemon Growers .-\ssociation and of the Santa ,\na Walnut Growers Asso-
ciation. With his family he is a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Santa .\na,
while politically he is a decided Republican.


CARL G. GUTZMAN.— The proprietor of the popular Bon Ton Bakery, at 310
West Fourth Street, Santa Ana, Car! G. Gutzman was born in Pembroke, Ontario.
Canada, on December 28, 1890. He was reared on a farm and attended the rural
schools of his district. In 1912 Mr. Gutzman came to California and located at Ana-
heim, where he learned the trade of a baker with the Wilson Bakery. In 1914, in
partnership with his brother, Albert, he opened a bakery at La Habra, where he
remained until 1915, when he sold his interest and followed his trade in various places
in Southern California until he came back to Santa Ana in 1916. At first he entered
the employ of D. F. Cook, proprietor of the Bon Ton Bakery, and continued as an
employee until January 1, 1919, when he purchased it and became the sole owner.

The Bon Ton is the largest and most modern bakery in Santa Ana, and is strictly
sanitary in all its appointments; the floors are of hardwood, the kitchen is light and
airy; the huge oven is of the latest model, with white pressed brick front, and gas
is used for fuel. The most modern machinery is installed for making bread and pastry.
Mr. Gutzman buys his flour in carload lots, and before putting it into the mixer ever^
sack is poured into the sifter, where it is both cleaned and screened, thus assuring the
sanitation of every pound. The Bon Ton is one of the few bakeries in the county that
uses this extra precaution. "Bon Ton Bread" has always been very popular with the
people of Santa Ana, and their pastry and fancy cakes are also sold in large quantities.
The average output of the bakery is 600 loaves daily. Mr. Gutzman is an enterprising
and up-to-date business man and is making a great success of his business.

In Santa Ana in 1914, Mr. Gutzman was united in marriage with Miss Rosa Ana
Krock, a native of Ohio, and they are the parents of two children: Dorothy Mildred
and Oscar Eugene. He has much civic pride and is deeply interested in the Merchants
and Manufacturers' .\ssociation of Santa Ana.

ARNOLD F. PEEK. — In applying himself to the solution of the important prob-
lem, "What does the public really want?" Arnold F. Peek, proprietor of the Fourth
Street Meat Market, has not only rendered good service to the community, but he has
undertaken to do what was certain of bringing its own reward, and spelling for Mr.
Peek unqualified success. He was born at White Cloud, Doniphan County, Kans., on
July 21, 1892, and. so came to California rather late — in 1904.

His father, VV. S. Peek, was a dealer in furniture and hardware, and had a suc-
cessful career, also, so that he was able to retire. He passed away, however, leaving
a widow, who was Jennie Arnold before her marriage, and she is still breathing the
balmy air of the Golden State.

Arnold's education was obtained at the grammar and high schools of his native
state, and also at the State Polytechnic at San Luis Obispo. When able to assume
the responsibilities of a business he formed a partnership and bought the Chicago
Market at 318 East Fourth Street. Later he sold out his interest to his partner,
and on November 1, 1916, he purchased full title to the Fourth Street Market, one of
the oldest in the county. He has completed the furnishing in a thoroughly modern
fashion, and by diligent attention to Ifis patrons, both anticipating their needs and
striving in all cases to satisfy their desires, he has built up a trade demanding the
employment regularly of no less than iive men. He belongs to the Chainber of
Commerce and the Merchants and Manufacturers' Association, and lends his influence
in all cases to forwarding the permanent interests of both city and county.

On July 20. 1912. Mr. Peek was married to Miss Ionia Tunison, and they have
three children: Stewart, Damaris and Gordon. He takes a keen interest in national
politics, workiflg with the Republicans, and prides himself that in local affairs he
knows no party lines.

MERTON BLACKFORD.— The choice for the office of postmaster is not always
wisely made, even after counselling and deliberation, but few if any commuities in all
California have greater reason for congratulation on account of the incumbent in the
Federal office than has FuUerton, which is so well served by the Hon. Merton Blackford,
a native of Illinois, but for years a thorough Californian. He was born at Hoopeston,
Vermilion County, on January 14. 1878, the son of James A. Blackford, a sturdy farmer
who had married Miss Lucinda Thomas, the latter of Welsh descent while the former's
parents were from Kentucky and migrated to Indiana in an early day. They had five
children, and Merton was the fourth in the order of Ijirth. Both parents are now
among the silent majority of mankind.

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 169 of 191)