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 170 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 170 of 191)
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When he was still a child, the Blackfords moved to Holton, Jackson County,
Kans,, and there the lad continued his schooling. Afterward, he worked on a farm,
and then for a couple of years he was busy with railroad express work.

Coming to California in 1901, Mr. Blackford located at FuUerton and took up
one kind of occupation after another, in each case proving the man for the place. As

2? ^




a Democrat, he received the political support necessary for nomination as postmaster,
and was appointed by President Wilson on February 15, 1916. Since that date the
office has been conducted in the most approved manner, worthy of both the nation
and the city, and in accord with the modern American spirit that insists on faithful
and disinterested service, so much so that on June 4, 1920, he was renominated and
again appointed for another term by President Wilson.

At Anaheim Mr. Blackford was married to Miss Edna M. Moss, a native of
Kansas and the daughter of W. R. and Susan Moss of Olinda, by whom he has had
three children: Alvin. Buford and Nina. Fond of outdoor life and baseball, Mr.
Blackford also finds recreation and stimulation with his fellows in the Masons and the
Woodmen of the World.

JAMES H. LATOURETTE.— A rancher who succeeded in converting an area of
cactus and brush into one of the choice citrus groves of Orange County is James H.
Latourette, w-ho thereby discovered the true field for the exercise of his initiative and
enterprise, that of hatching out baby chicks. He was born at Long Valley, Morris
County, N. J., on January 16, 1865, the son of Obadiah and Martha (Apgar) Latourette,
born in New Jersey. On his father's side he is descended from old French 'Huguenot
stock, who were early settlers on Long Island and later in New Jersey. James H. grew
up to assist his father, who was a miller by trade but did general farming. He attended
a private school at Long Valley, and at the age of eighteen took a trip to Omaha, where
he worked at carpentering. He thus gradually ventured into contracting and building,
and in that line busied himself for the next five years in Omaha. Then he removed to
North Dakota, and settled in the new town of Amenia, in Cass County. He continued
to contract for building, and he did all the building for the .■\menia-Sharon Land
Company, erecting grain elevators, farm buildings and farm homes. The Amenia-
Sharon Company had 62,000 acres of North Dakota land, and they undertook to build
a complete set of farm buildings on each section of land, after which they rented the
same out to tenants; and so satisfactory were his dealings with that go-ahead concern,
that he remained in their service for fifteen years. To accomplish this he ran a crew
of from ten to forty men.

In 1910, Mr. Latourette came to California with his family and settled at .Anaheim,
and here he purchased five acres on North Street, which he set out to Valencia orange
trees. Needing fertilizer for his grove, he started raising poultry, establishing the
Latourette Rhode Island Red Hatchery; and so successful has he been in this field that
during the past season he has hatched, raised and sold some 17,000 baby chicks. His
specialty is Rhode Island Reds, and he has at last reached that degree of prosperity
that his name is a guarantee for anything sold or shipped by him. He keeps the finest
stock obtainable and thus gets good results.

On Christmas Day, 1906, Mr. Latourette was married, at St. Paul, to Miss Char-
lotte Crawford, a native of Ridgeway, Winneshiek County, Iowa, and a lady of natural
accomplishments who was educated in that state. She is a daughter of Henry and
Marjorie (Mcintosh) Crawford, born on the Isle of Man and Wellsville, Ohio, respect-
ively, who were settlers in Winneshiek County, Iowa, as early as 1854. where Mr.
Crawford died; his widow survives him and now resides on her orange ranch on Pla-
centia .Avenue near Anaheim. Mrs. Latourette received her education at the Decorah
Institute, after which she was engaged in educational work until she removed to North
Dakota, where her brother, John Crawford, was a farmer and there she met and married
Mr. Latourette. He gives no small amount of credit for his success to his devoted
wife who has been a constant helpmate and an enthusiastic encouragement to him in his
ambitions. They have two daughters, Marjorie Janet and Mildred Helen, both students
in the Anaheim schools, and parents and children attend the Methodist Church of
Anaheim. Mr. Latourette is a charter member of the Yeoman Lodge of Amenia, and
was formerly an Odd Fellow.

LEO J. SHERIDAN.— There is always room at the top of the ladder for the
climber who is anxious to reach that goal, and Leo J. Sheridan, the efficient secretary
of the .Anaheim Union Water Company, is an example of what may be accomplished
by a young man who applies himself energetically to his work, fulfills his duties to the
best of his ability, and brings out the best that is in him.

Mr. Sheridan's native state is South Dakota, where he was born at Columbia,
August 8, 1887. He attended the public schools in his native city, where he acquired
a good education, and continued his studies for three years at St. Johns University,
Collegeville, Minn. Returning to his native state, he engaged in mercantile pursuits,
working in establishments at Columbia and at Mt. Vernon, S. D. He came to Anaheim,
Cal., in 1911, and for three years was engaged with the Elliott and Bushard Realty
Company as salesman. He then entered the employ of the .\naheim Union Water


Company, starting at the bottom of the ladder. He worked in the company's pumping
plants, gained a general knowledge of the business, and was appointed zanjero, holding
this position for four years. He was detailed to office work in Anaheim one month of
each year, and when a vacancy occurred in the office force in the fall of 1919 he was
appointed secretary of the company.

His marriage imited him with Miss Evelyn River of Iowa, and their union has
been blessed by the birth of one child, a daughter, named Kathleen. Mr. Sheridan is
a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church, is a member of the Knights of Colum-
bus, and is further affiliated fraternally with Anaheim Lodge, B. P. O. Elks.

ALBERT BINER. — .A. very energetic and successful young business man, who
has by his efficient management become one of the largest manufacturers of soft
drinks in Southern California, is Albert Biner, proprietor of the Santa Ana Soda
Works, 807 West First Street. He first saw the light of day at Miles City, Mont.,
January 31, 1885, a son of Theophile and Julia (Trufifer) Biner, natives of the Republic
of Switzerland, who settled at this Montana town. The father, who was engaged in
the contracting business there, is now a resident of Los Angeles.

Albart Biner's early education was received in the public schools of Montana
and British Columbia, which was supplemented by a course in the Seattle Business
College. In 1905, in company with his father and brothers, he established the Phoenix
Brewing Company at Phoenix, B. C, where he continued in business for nine years;
after retiring from the brewing company he located in Santa Ana in 1915, where he
established the Biner & McKay Bottling Works. The next year, having bought out
his partner, Mr. Biner purchased the Santa Ana Soda Works from G. W. Wells, the
pioneer soda manufacturer of Orange County, who had been engaged in the business
here for fifteen years. Mr. Biner enlarged and greatly improved the plant, installing
new machinery, so that it is now one of the best equipped plants of its kind in the
state. He also installed a Lowe hydro bottle sterilizer and automatic filling machine.
The "Jester Brand" is the trade mark of his products, his specialties being grape,
orange and ginger ale, which he manufactures from his private formulae, and con-
noisseurs pronounce them superior to the average soft drinks of this class. In addi-
tion to his own soda business Mr. Biner has the agency for Los Angeles and Orange
County for the new soft drink, Ward's Orange and Lemon Crush, a plant for manu-
facturing these popular beverages having just been completed in Los Angeles. Mr.
Biner is also Orange County agent for East Side Zest.

The extensiveness of Mr. Biner's business operations is better understood when
one realizes that it requires five large trucks to deliver his products throughout the
county. The great increase in his business has made it necessary for him to install
another filling machine. The capacity of the plant is now 1,000 cases daily.

In 1910 Mr. Biner was united in marriage with May Kreider, the ceremony being
solemnized at Olympia, Wash., and this union has been blessed with four children:
Marjorie, Genevieve, Carolyn and Leo. Mr. Biner's enterprising spirit is shown by his
membership in the Santa Ana Merchants and Manufacturers Association and the
Chamber of Commerce of that city.

ALVIN F. NOWOTNY. — A rising young man in Anaheim and vicinity is Alvin
F. Nowotny, who came very naturally and honestly by his special gifts, for his father
was one of the men in the early days of Texas capable of filling public office and assum-
ing a progressive and an aggressive leadership. Our subject was born in New Braun-
fels, Texas, on March 2, 1887, the son of Frank and Mary Nowotny, and from his boy-
hood he profited by all the advantages arising from the fact that his father, when he
was only twenty-four years of age. had been elected city marshal, which office he
filled with signal ability until the time of the Civil War. Then he enlisted for active
service at the front, but was discharged on account of physical disability and made
sheriff, which office he held till 1870; that year and for the following two years, he
served as a Texas ranger and helped to drive the Indians out of Texas. In the early
seventies he purchased his ranch near New Braunfels. and there he reared his family.
Having come from Bohemia, Austria, when he was sixteen years old, and settled in
Texas, Frank Nowotny brought with him some of the best Old World blood and
spirit of thrift and endurance; and his wife was equally fortunate in her inheritance,
for she was born in Luxemburg, and came to America with her parents when she was
three years old.

Alvin Nowotny was sent to the grade school in New Braunfels, but having lost
his mother when he was twelve years old, he started to work in a grocery store, and
ever since then he has been working for himself. He spent fifteen years in the grocery
trade, and then he embarked' in insurance. He also had a "try" at the hotel management,
which if it did nothing else for him. enlarged considerably his knowledge of human
nature. In 1908 he came out to Anaheim and entered the mercantile field with Fred


Ahlborn; and he remained with him until 1913. In 1914, he tried his luck at men's
furnishings, but after a year, he sold out. Then, in 1915, he went into the grocery busi-
ness with Fred Marsh, but since then he has been occupied in extending the ever-
enlarging field of the Metropolitan Insurance Company of New York, as assistant
superintendent of the Anaheim district.

Mr. Nowotny not only made his home in x\naheim since coming to California, l>ut
in April, 1920, he purchased his ranch of five acres on East North Street. It was set
out to Valencia orange trees, six and eight years old; and this, with his customary
foresight and enterprise, he has brought to a still higher state of cultivation. His land
is watered from Pumping Plant, Section No. 2. He belongs to the Anaheim Cooperative
Orange Association, and contributes as far as he is able to its excellent work.

On June S, 1907, Mr. Nowotny was married to Miss Ella Riley, who was born in
the vicinity of New Braunfels, the daughter of John Riley who had married Johanna
Kloepper. The Kloepper family came to Texas in 1849, while the Rileys came to the
Lone Star State nineteen years before. Mrs. Nowotny, attended the grade schools of
New Braunfels. Two children blessed this union of Mr. and Mrs. Nowotny — Raymond
A. and Alvin \\'ilbur. Mr. Nowotny is a Democrat; is a member of the Lutheran
Church of Anaheim; and belongs to the Masons and the Elks.

ERNEST S. GREGORY.— The success that has attended Ernest S. Gregory in his
vocation of building contractor is due to honest dealing, thorough workmanship, artistic
ability and an earnest effort to give satisfaction to his patrons.

Mr. Gregory is a native of the Old Dominion, and was born March 3, 1881, in
Chesterfield County, Va. Reared on a farm, he attended the country schools, and at
the age of nineteen sought a wider field for his ambition and talents in California,
locating at Fullerton, where he learned the carpenter's trade with contractor C. H.
Smith. This was supplemented by a course at Throop Polytechnic Institute at Pasa-
dena, and a course in the International Correspondence School at Scranton, Pa., in
mathematics and drafting, for which he received a diploma. After two years at Fuller-
ton he went to Los Angeles and became foreman of one of the largest building concerns
in that city, erecting over 3,000 bungalows for this company in eleven years. During
these years he used to make short visits to Fullerton, where he built three or four
houses a year, and in the spring of 1919 he located permanently at Fullerton. The
character of the people who have chosen Fullerton as their home is such as to demand
for the individual's comfort the very best that can be procured for the money expended,
and Mr. Gregory caters to the middle class of people who want to own their own
homes. He purchases lots, draws his own plans, endeavors to make each one a little
different from the others, builds bungalows and sells them on the installment plan.
In 1919 he erected thirty bungalows, and in 1920 has averaged one home a week. Among
the artistic work he has done may be mentioned some of the homes at Ramona, and
homes in the Home Builders and Victoria Square tracts. A prominent banker at
Fullerton recently said that E. S. Gregory had done more to upbuild the city of
Fullerton the past two years than any other man in the place. The conception of
Mr. Gregory's bungalows are especially artistic, and they sell readily, many of them
having added charm by reason of their situation among the orange and walnut orchards.

Mr. Gregory's marriage united him with Miss Laura E. Gage, a native of Kansas,
and oF their union have been born two children, Esther and Ellsworth. Mr. Gregory
has realized his ambition to secure a solid and substantial start in the world to a
gratifying extent, and Fullerton is deeply indebted to this broad-gauged, self-made
man, who has added so much to the material comfort of her citizens and the wealth
and artistic beauty of the city. With his wife Mr. Gregory holds a high position
among the residents of Fullerton, and they number the most intelligent and cultured
people of the place among their friends. Mr. Gregory is a member of the Fullerton
Club and the Board of Trade.

REV. ARTHUR T. O'REAR.— Coming to Santa Ana on January 1, 1916, to take
the pastorate of the Spurgeon Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Arthur
T. O'Rear has become closely identified with all the movements that aim to encour-
age, foster and strengthen the moral and uplifting forces of the community. Not alone
has his church shown a steady growth, both in members and influence, but Reverend
O'Rear has also given much of his time to activities of a civic and public nature.
During the war he was especially active in all the local work, taking a prominent part
in all the Liberty Loan drives and serving as vice-president of the County Council of
Defense. At present he is a member of the Reconstruction Committee; executive
secretary of the Near East Relief Association; a director of the Social Service Board;
treasurer of the new Santa Hospital Association; chairman of the Inter-Church
World Conference for Orange County, and president of the Santa Ana Ministerial


A native of Virginia. Arthur T. O'Rear was born at Glade Spring, Washington
County, October 6, 1878. His parents were John C. and Martha C. (Brooks) O'Rear,
the former born at Winchester, Tenn., and the latter in Tazewell County, Va. A
descendant of old Revolutionary stock, Arthur O'Rear is eligible to membership in
the Sons of the American Revolution. For generations many members of his family
have stood high in professional circles, numbering among them judges, ministers and
educators, one cousin being for eight years chief justice of the Supreme Court of

Educated in his early years in the public schools of A'irginia. Reverend O'Rear
later attended the Glade Spring Military Academy for four years. Glade Spring is a
Methodist community and he became a member of this denomination when a young
man. Later he took a four years' course at the Emory and Henry Methodist College,
at Emory, Va., a famous ministerial college of the South, graduating in 1898. He then
entered Vanderbilt University at Nashville, Tenn.. where he took a post-graduate
course. Taking up missionary work, he spent four years in the mountains of North
Carolina, having headquarters at Asheville. and also taught school in West Virginia.

In 1904 Reverend O'Rear joined the Methodist Conference, his first charge being
at Eminence, Ky.. later serving the churches at Woodlawn. Ky., Covington. Ky.. for
two years, and Cynthiana, Ky., for four years. Following this he joined the West
Viriginia Conference, occupying the pastorate of St. Paul's Church at Parkersburg,
W. Va., for four years.

In 1916 Reverend O'Rear was called to the pastorate of the Spurgeon Memorial
Church, at Santa Ana. and here his ministry has indeed been crowned with success,
pastor and congregation working together in closest harmony in promoting the affairs
of the church and in enriching the spiritual life of the community. His marriage,
which occurred June IS. 1904, united him with Miss Ailene Parsons, who was born
in Kentucky, but reared in Marion, Ind., One son, Edward, was born to them during
their residence in Covington, Ky.

DEIDERICH KLANER.— .\ self-made man who enjoys the satisfaction of having
been able both to acquire excellent property for'himself and family and to contribute
something for the common weal, is Deiderich Klaner, for 3'ears a hard-working man
in Nebraska, where he improved a farm of 160 acres and was esteemed by all who
knew him as a patriotic American ready to lend a helping hand to every good cause.
He was born about twenty-seven miles from Bremen, Germany, in Oldenburg, a quiet
and pleasant town on the River Hunte, on September 9, 1864, and in his native land
he was married to Katherine Wieker, in time the mother of five children. The family
attend the Lutheran Church at Orange, and interest themselves in all good work, within
and without that congregation's activities, for the religious, social and civic betterment
of the community.

Mr. Klaner came to Orange from Nebraska fifteen years ago, and bought his
twenty acres in the Olive precinct. It was then for the most part bare land, with a
small patch of alfalfa; and its present high state of cultivation is due largely to his
experience, industry and foresight. In time, he built his beautiful, up-to-date bungalow
residence at 224 South Olive Street, Orange. He also owns an excellent citrus ranch
of twenty acres on North Tustin Street, somewhat south of Taft .-Vvenue, which he has
improved, and which is one of the best of its size in all the county.

Orange County has been fortunate, all in all, in the class of its incoming citizens,
and it has been through such intelligent, industrious and honest burghers as Deiderich
Klaner and his family that much of the present prosperity of the county has been
brought about.

IRVING ALFRED THOMPSON.— A native son in all but birth, having come to
California with his parents in the first year of his life. Irving Alfred Thompson was
born near St. Paul, Minn., March 26, 1874. His parents having located at Laguna Beach
in 1875. that is the scene of his first recollection and there, too, he attended school.
From a youth he made himself generally useful on the farm and learned to drive the
big teams in the grain fields.

In 1889 Mr. Thompson's parents moved to El Toro. and there he continued to
farm until his marriage in Los Angeles, when he was united with Wilmuth Newland,
who was born in Illinois, the daughter of Wm. T. Newland. the pioneer of Huntington
Beach. For a time the young couple lived in San Diego, but soon purchased a ranch
of sixty acres near Huntington Beach and engaged in raising celery. He was one of the
first to raise celery in that section and was a member of the California Celery Growers
.\ssociation; he was also one of the early beet growers. Having sold his ranch in
1911. he removed to Madera County and purchased 320 acres four and a half miles north
of Skaggs Bridge and in February. 1912. moved on the place with his family. He sunk


wells and installed an electric pumping plant, leveled and checked the land and planted
sixty acres of alfalfa. He also engaged in raising grain and stock and bought and fed
cattle and hogs for the market, in all of which he was successful.

In 1919 Mr. Thompson sold the ranch to advantage and came to El Toro, where
he now resides. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are the parents of five children: Howard,
Clara, Lawrence, Juanita and Irene. Fraternally Mr. Thompson is a member of the
Odd Fellows Lodge at Huntington Beach, and with his wife is a member of the
Rebekahs. In national politics he is a decided Republican.

JOHN W. TUBES. — The phenomenal growth of the automobile industry in the
past few years has attracted to this field many of the country's most capable men,
and prominent among these in Santa Ana is John W. Tubbs, now the manager of the
Santa Ana branch of the White Auto Company of Los Angeles, dealers in the popular
Stephens Salient Six and White trucks, in addition acting as local representative of
the Motor Transit Company. The latter is one of the largest stage companies in
the United States, as they operate along the Pacific Coast from San Diego to San
Francisco, with connecting lines into Oregon, Arizona and the Imperial Valley.

Iowa was Mr. Tubbs' native state, and there he was born at Emerson, in Mills
County, on October 8, 1881. His father was William L. Tubbs, who was born at
Three Rivers, Mich., and his mother, before her marriage Miss Alice Tomblin, was a
native of Piano, 111. After a successful period as a fa'rmer in Iowa, William L. Tubbs
disposed of his interests there and located in Santa Ana, where he lived retired until
his death, being survived by his good wife, the mother of three boys, among whom
John was the second-born. He attended the public schools in the vicinity of his
Iowa home, and growing up, followed, for a while, all kinds of mercantile work. Then
he studied pharmacy and passed his examinations as a druggist, but never followed
that line of professional work.

After coming to California he was engaged in the general mercantile business
with Joe Parsons at Talbert for two years. He then came to Santa Ana, where for
the next twelve years he was identified with the Santa .■\na Commercial Company,
one of the best-known manufacturing organizations in Southern California. Espe-
cially during the three latter years of his connection with the company he directed
much of the important activity having to do with its development, filling the important
posts of secretary, treasurer and manager, and continuing with them until September
1, 1920, when he resigned to enter his new field of endeavor. His new place of busi-
ness is at 415-17-19 East Fourth Street, where he occupies a fine fireproof building,
75 by 132 feet. With the pleasing personality that has won for him a host of friends,
and is the open sesame of his success, it is a foregone conclusion that the progressive
spirit that has always been one of his leading characteristics will be increasingly
manifest. His general ability and peculiar fitness for responsibility having been widely
recognized, Mr. Tubbs was elected a city trustee in .A.pril. 1915; and at the end of four
years of faithful and effective service, during which time he carried through various
reforms and meritorious projects, he was reelected in 1919 for another four years.
In national politics Mr. Tubbs is a Republican, but his views and sympathies are too

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 170 of 191)