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 173 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 173 of 191)
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and a director. It irrigates already 158 acres of citrus groves, so that it probably has
an interesting future. Mr. Lyon set out the nursery stock, and budded them to \'alencia
oranges, and thus himself made his eighteen and a half acres a fine \'alencia orange
grove, now in good bearing. Until he got well started with his citrus industry, he raised
vegetables of various kinds, particularly potatoes. He operates the ranch with a Ford
tractor, and all his other machinery and implements are of the latest and best design.
He is a member, and a very interested, progressive one at that, of the Placentia
Mutual Orange Association, and supports its programs vigorously.

In San Bernardino County, Cal., Mr. Lyon was married to Miss Mildred Laney,
a native of Missouri who came to California with her parents. She attended the Ana-
heim high school, and grew up in the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Lyon is clerk of the
board of trustees of the Commonwealth school district, and in national politics he is a

JUAN D. ORTEGA.— An interesting representative of one of California's oldest
and proudest families is Juan D. Ortega, the experienced, efficient and genial manager
of the famous James McFadden ranch south of Santa Ana, who is also related by mar-
riage with another celebrated early house, that of Tico. He was born at Santa Bar-
bara on March 8, 1843, the son of Emidio Ortega, who owned the Ortega grant of two
leagues in Santa Barbara County. His father, the grandfather of our subject, was
also Juan Ortega, a Spanish soldier who was captain of the troops at San Gabriel,
where he died. The wife of Emidio Ortega was Concepcion Dominguez before her
marriage, also a member of a very well-known Spanish family here, and she lived to
be ninety-seven and a half years old.

Juan D. Ortega grew up in Santa Barbara County, and was married in Ventura
to Eduvige Tico, the ceremony occurring in 1866; and she is happily still living, the
mother of six children. Carlos B. was the eldest and kept the hotel on the Irvine
ranch; he died on March 3, 1920, leaving a widow and two children. He formerly
resided in San Diego County, where he was deputy sheriff. Juan B. is a rancher at
Carlsbad, San Diego County. Frank is married to Miss Lillie Kelly, a native daugh-
ter, and they assist their father on the ranch. Otilia is the wife of Frank Carpenter,
and lives at Carlsbad. Maria A. is the wife of Phil Rutherford, the rancher, and
they reside at Turlock, in Stanislaus County, and Petra is the wife of Juan J. Carillo,
the rancher, at El Toro, in Orange County.

In 1869 Mr. Ortega came to San Diego County and there commenced a ranching
experience of fifty years, during which time he knew Ernest Erastus Horton, the
Spreckels and other leading men of the city and county of San Diego. For the past
three and a half years he has managed the James McFadden ranch, which is a land-
mark at Santa Ana, being devoted to general or mixed farming. It was owned by
the late James McFadden. the pioneer, who built the railroad to Newport Beach and
owned the steamboat plying between San Francisco and Newport, and had much to
do with the building up of Santa .A-na and other parts of the Southland. His widow
and daughter still own the ranch, and live at Altadena, and the family name is every-
where held in esteem.

Mr. Ortega has always been as hard-working as he has been successful, and his
foresight, industry and prosperity have entitled him to a reputation such as anyone
might envy.

JOHN KNOWLTON BROWN.— A studious agriculturist who, at the age of
eighty-one, is still active in California horticultural circles as the owner of three trim
ranches, is John Knowlton Brown, the philanthropist of Anaheim, who was born on
May 22, 1840, at Liberty, Waldo County, Maine. His father was the late Dr. Joab
Brown, physician and surgeon, and formerly medical examiner for the U. S. Army,
one of a continuous line of successful men and women whose ancestry leads back to
Revolutionary War periods. Dr. Joab Brown married Ann Knowlton, and John's
grandfather, John Knowlton, was a seafaring man and became master of his own
vessel. When he married he quit the sea and located on Lake George. Waldo County,
Maine, where he bought several thousand acres of Government land and founded the
town of Liberty where he built saw mills, stave and heading mills and also a woolen
and grist mill; he had eleven children and gave each of them a farm. He died at
seventy-two years while his wife lived to be ninety-four years old. Dr. Brown practiced
medicine and was a very prominent man and leader in local affairs until his death, at
eighty-six years, his wife surviving him and died at ninety-one. J. K. is second oldest
of their four children.


Grandfather Joab Brown, born in Massachusetts, was a physician and also a
preacher; he also located in Waldo County, Maine, and purchased a large tract of
land where the city of Camden now stands. He married a Miss Ingraham of Rock-
land, Maine, the second eldest of a family of four children. When sixteen years of
age, John K. Brown finished his schooling, and although his father tried to persuade
him to study either the law or medicine, he declined and commenced, instead, to earn
his own support, and maintain himself. He even later turned down positions oflfered
him as instructor in the city schools. Then he went to Haverhill, Mass., and was
apprenticed to a shoe manufacturer. He worked and saved, wisely keeping his eye
on the future; but his desire to get into more comfortable circumstances did not
prevent him from offering his services patriotically to the Government when his coun-
try needed help. At the age of twenty-one, he served as captain of the Home Militia
of Liberty, Maine.

Mr. Brown next took up photography, made a business of it, and succeeded so
well that he was active in that field for three years; and having accumulated a small
fortune, he entered the retail shoe business at Lawrence, Mass., but he soon sold and
located in Worcester, Mass. Whatever he did, seemed to prosper; he conducted at
one time as many as four stores; and he has owned and sold fifty-one mercantile
establishments. In 1887 he was a prime mover in the organization of the Retail Shoe
Dealers' National Association of the United States, and its first president, during which
time he was the father of the standard last measurement for shoes, which was adopted
by the association. After he quit the retail business Mr. Brown traveled extensively
over the United States for wholesale shoe houses. In 1909 he made his first trip to
California and finally located in Los Angeles. In 1914 he purchased an orange grove
and later bought another on West Broadway, Anaheim, where he makes his home.
In 1917 he quit traveling and devotes all of his time to his orchards.

How successful he has been may be judged from the fact that he has been offered
$70,000 for his ten and one-third-acre grove of citrus trees, and refused the ofifer. He
assisted to start the Anaheim Lemon and Orange Association, and is still a member
of the same. Besides his California holdings, Mr. Brown also owns a farm of 320 acres'
in Maine and several business and residence lots in Los Angeles; and he has some real
estate in Worcester, Mass.

On March 23, 1861, Mr. Brown was married to Miss Ida P. Kincaid, a native of
Skowhegan, Maine, and the daughter of George Washington and Lucy Ann (Nichols)
Kincaid, whose ancestors, both paternal and maternal, came early to the coast of Maine
from Scotland. Their older child. Walter L. Brown, is a graduate of the Worcester
Academy, and married a Miss Hale, a Canadian lady, by whom he has had one child,
Norman Brown. At present, he is representing C. H. Baker, the shoe manufacturer,
at Los Angeles. Alice Rose Brown, the younger child, has become the wife of Dr.
B. Paul Simpson, the dental surgeon of Maiden, Mass. Mr. Brown is a Republican,
and cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are members of
First Methodist Episcopal Church, Anaheim, and loyally supported the war work in the
recent chaos of nations, and have been especially devoted to the Red Cross.

PETER JACOBSEN.— .\ hard-working rancher who owes his success largely to_
his own honest efforts and unremitting, fatiguing toil, is Peter Jacobsen, of East
Orangethorpe Avenue, who was born on the Island of Taasinge, northern Denmark, on
March 17, 1871, the son of Jacob Petersen, who had married Miss Marie Hansen. His
father had a dairy on the little island of Taasinge, a region devoted entirely to dairying,
and was highly respected as a progressively industrious farmer. According to Danish
custom, our subject changed his name in a manner rather puzzling perhaps to Amer-
icans, but perfectly understandable to the Dane.

He attended the excellent graded schools of Denmark, and up to his eighteenth
year remained at home on the farm. Then he struck out for himself and came to the
United States; and having caught a glimpse of the East, pushed on to Lakeview.
Pierce County, Wash., about ten miles from Tacoma, where he spent about one year
on his uncle's farm. Then he worked for a couple of years in the brickyards on Ander-
son Island in Puget Sound, after which he came down to Southern California in 1892.

Here he entered the employ of Charles C. Chapman and soon became the head
orange-grader for the Chapman Packing House at Placentia. He gave such satisfac-
tion, and was himself so well satisfied with the Chapman methods of industry and
trade that he remained with that famous establishment for twenty-one years, and left
them only when he determined to found a home place for himself.

In 1907 he had purchased two acres of land on East Orangethorpe Avenue for
which he paid $150 an acre, and in 1919 he sold the same for $7,500. a price showing a
phenomenal increase in value in a single decade. In 1917 he had bought five acres
lying opposite to the two he had sold, and since then he has been developing this land
in accordance with his careful methods and now has a splendid Valencia orange grove.

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As a part of the improvement, he has erected there a modest, but comfortable home,
adding decidedly to the attractiveness of the property. Besides caring for his own
five acres, Mr. Jacobsen is also a grader of oranges for the Placentia Mutual Orange
Growers Association.

On December 2, 1903, Mr. Jacobsen was married in Santa .\na to Miss Mary
Petersen, who was born in Denmark in the vicinity of his own birthplace and attended
there the same school to which he had gone. She was left an orphan when ten years of
age. In 1903 she came to Orange County, having met Mr. Jacobsen at the time of his
visit to his home in 1899-1900. Two children were born of this union: Alfred J., who
is with his father on the ranch and who also works in the packing house, and Mamie
K., a most attractive girl who passed away on December 13, 1919. just three days after
her thirteenth birthday. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen are members of the Methodist Church
of Fullerton.

WILLIAM W. KAYS. — An architect who has done much to elevate the standard
of common sense taste in architectural art in Orange County, and to increase the safe-
guards to life and property through other common sense measures and devices, is
William W. Kays, a native of Old Kentucky, where he was born at Nicholasville,
Jessamine County, on November 10, 1872. His father, George W. Kays, was a pros-
perous farmer, who had married Miss Miranda Corman. They had eleven children, and
William was the fifth in the order of birth. Both parents are now deceased, but still
remembered and honored by many for the usefulness and beauty of their lives.

William mastered thoroughly all that he was asked to do in the practical public
schools of his home district, and later took a course at the Alexander Hamilton Insti-
tute in New York City.. From a youth off and on he was employed in a planing mill,
and for five years made furniture. After that, with some older brothers he was in the
building line until 189S-. In March of that year he came to California and located at
Los Banos, where he did construction work for Miller and Lux. For a year he followed
civil engineering in the same county, and then he went to Fresno and for a year- and
a half engaged in building there. Next, for four years, or until 1910, Mr. Kays was the
manager of the Union Lumber Company's mill, and after tliat manager of the manu-
facturing department of the Pacific Tank.

In the fall of 1910 Mr. Kays came to Santa Ana and assumed the responsibilities
of managing the Pendelton Lumber Company. He also engaged in architectural work.
In .April, 1917. he sold out his other interests and confined himself to the designing
and supervising of new buildings. Since then he has erected many of the most notable
structures in Orange County. He designed, for example, the athletic building of Poly-
technic high school. Santa Ana, as well as the Bolsa grammar school, the John C.
Tufifree residence, the Cross home at Fullerton, the Kraemer residence at Placentia,
the D. Woodward dwelling at Loftus Station, the John Ruther home at Anaheim,
the Bergerhof residence at Garden Grove, the home of Sherman Steven at Tustin, Fred
Rohrs' building and store fittings for Spier and Company, as well as the fixtures in the
.American National Bank of Santa Ana, and numerous other buildings more or less
costly in constraiction; these he both made the plans for and supervised, while they were
being constructed. .\s his business has grown and branched out, he has for convenience,
opened an ofifice and sales service in the Pantages building, Los Angeles, so he divides
his time between the two places.

The marriage of Mr. Kays took place on April 21, 1914. when he chose for his
wife Hazel A. Kenyon of Iowa. Mr. Kays is both an Odd Fellow and an Elk, and in
national politics is a Republican. Both lie and Mrs. Kays, however, are active in the
support of all worthy movements for local uplift and development, and in such com-
munity endeavors know no partisanship, but endorse and work for the best men and
women, and the best measures.

WALTER H. KIDD.— One of the leading and most successful plastering con-
tractors of Orange County. Walter H. Kidd is a native of \'ernon County, Mo., where
he was born .April 3, 1883, a son of James and Nancy Jane Kidd. When one year old,
his parents moved to Oregon, locating in Union County, and in the public schools of
that state Walter received his early education. In 1899 he came to California to live,
locating in Los .Angeles, and while there learned the trade of a plasterer with the
well-known contractors. Engstrom and Company. While in their employ Mr. Kidd
worked as a plasterer on a number of large and important buildings in Los .Angeles,
among which mention is made of the following: County Hall of Records, New Orpheum
Building, Los .Angeles Trust and Savings Bank, and the new Jail Building.

Since 1911 Mr. Kidd has been engaged in contract plastering for himself at Ana-
heim. He has been very successful in his chosen line of work and has done an exten-
sive business, both in exterior and interior plastering. Being a man of unquestioned


integrity of character in his business relations, Mr. Kidd believes in putting his best
efforts in every piece of work, regardless of its being a large or small contract, and
he thus has attained an enviable reputation for satisfactory workmanship. Among the
important buildings in Orange County for which he received the plastering contract
are the following: German-Ajiierican Bank Building and St. Boniface Catholic Church,
Anaheim; La Habra, Olive and Bolsa school buildings. He also had the contract for
the plaster and cement work on the Polytechnic Building of the Fullerton Union high
school, on which he put 5.000 feet of cement moulding. Among the high-class houses
plastered by this enterprising contractor are the beautiful residences of Charles H.
Eygabroad and Alexander H. Witman, Jr., in Anaheim; but the greater part of his
work has been done on the new ranch homes located in the Fullerton, Placentia and
La Habra districts. His extensive operations keep a crew of thirteen men busy.

Mr. Kidd's marriage occurred in Los Angeles when he was united with Miss
Tuletta Vivian, a native of England. Two sons, James and Herbert, have been born
"to them. The family attend the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

JACOB RUEDY. — A prosperous orange grower who previously had made an
equal success as a planter in Virginia, raising peanuts, is Jacob Ruedy, of East Orange-
thorpe Avenue, near Raymond, Fullerton, who was born at the famous Falls of the
Rhine, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, on October 27, 1858, the son of J. J. and Annie
Ruedy. His father was a farmer, and our subject assisted him while he pursued his
grammar and high school studies.

In 1879 he came to America and joined a sister, Mrs. Annie Weber, at Pittsburgh,
Pa., with whom he lived for a couple of years, and in 1882 he removed to the vicinity
of Petersburg, Va. There he purchased a farm of 600 acres, and he raised peanuts and
cotton and stock. This ranch was near where the present Camp Lee is located; and
there he lived for thirty-five years.

At Petersburg, on March 7, 1882, Mr. Ruedy was married to Miss Elizabeth Vogel,
who was also born in Schaffhausen in Switzerland, and was reared and educated there.
In i91S the San Francisco Fair drew Mr. and Mrs. Ruedy; and after they had seen
the Golden State, they returned to Virginia and sold their interests there. Then they
came to California, bought five acres on East Orangethorpe, Fullerton, and also six
acres on Placentia Avenue, in Placentia. Both have Valencia orange trees, and both
are under the Anaheim Union Water Company.

Mr. and Mrs. Ruedy are members of the Methodist Church of Fullerton, and
delight in taking part in good works for their neighbors and the community generally.
They have also done what they could to maintain a high civic standard, and to instill
patriotism, and during the recent war they did good war work.

FRANK J. DAUSER.— The ever-interesting pioneer history of California is
recalled in the story of Frank J. Dauser and his family, of East Commonwealth Avenue,
Fullerton, fot- his father came here when the land was covered with wild mustard, sage
and cactus, and he was among the earliest to demonstrate that raisin grapevines have
a longer endurance than those designed for the production of wine. The grandfather
of Mrs. Dauser was also an early settler in the Golden State; hence, California and its
stirring past has ever been a theme in the Dauser circle, where the brilliant and certain
future of the state has also been present to inspire to renewed activity.

Mr. Dauser was born on December 29, 1877, near Faribault, Rice County. Minn.,
the son of Francis X. and Mary (Stueckle) Dauser. and his father, a farmer, was a
native of Pennsylvania who removed first to Wisconsin and then to Minnesota. There
h"e raised for the most part wheat, and being a progressive agriculturist, prospered: but
attracted by the still greater advantages of California, he and his good wife came
out here when Frank was seven years old.

Settling in what is now Fullerton they purchased within six months after their
arrival some twenty acres on Cypress Avenue, east of Fullerton, which they planted
to raisin grapes; and such was the greater hardihood of the vines, as compared with
some of the wine grapes, that they continued to yield for five years after their period
of full bearing. As the grapes died out, Mr. Dauser sensibly planted Valencia, Navel
and St. Michael orange trees, setting out one tree for every twenty-four feet, and
around the edge of the grove placed a row of walnut trees.

Frank J. Dauser went to the Placentia schools, there being no Fullerton at that
time, and remained at home on his father's farm until he was twenty-two years of
age. Then, on February 19, 1901. he was married to Miss Mary Pratt, the ceremony
taking place in Anaheim. She was born in Kankakee, III., and came to California and
West Anaheim with her parents when she was thirteen years old. Her father was
John Pratt and the maiden name of her mother was Louise Emling; and the Emlings,
as well as the Pratts were well known as pioneers in Illinois. She attended school in


Kankakee and also in Anaheim, and so saw the life of two great and distincti\e regions
of the United States.

After their marriage, Mr. Danser was employed for a while in the planing mills
at Fullerton, for Brown and Dauser Company, in time becoming foreman of the yard,
serving in that capacity until he decided to engage in ranching, after sixteen years
with that company. He then was given charge of the Brown ranch of 20 acres in La
Habra which he set to Valencias and lemons, continuing there for four years, when
he located on his own ranch purchased from his father. It comprises 10 acres or one-
half of the original estate, which is devoted to raising oranges. His land, unusually
rich and fertile, is under the Anaheim Union Water Company, and he markets through
the Fullerton Mutual Orange Growers Association.

Five children are the pride of Mr. and Mrs. Dauser: Cyril J. has already grad-
uated from the high school at Fullerton, now attending Woodbury's Business College
in Los Angeles; Mildred attending Fullerton high, and Clarence, Vincent and Dorothy
are pupils in the grammar school.

GARDNER W. CLOSSON, D. V. S.— As county livestock inspector of Orange
County and veterinary surgeon of Anaheim, G. W. Closson, D. V. S., is carrying on a
work of much importance to the prosperity and growth of the district, and his con-
scientious attention to his duties has won him the respect and admiration of his fellow
citizens in the county. A native of Kansas, he was born in Smith County, July 4, 1881.
When six years old he was brought to Lincoln, Nebr., and there attended the public
schools. At the age of nineteen he migrated to St. Joseph, Mo., and for two years
worked in the stock yards there. He then returned to Missouri and attended the
Kansas City Veterinary College, graduating in 1905.

That same year Dr. Closson came to California, and opened the practice of his
profession in Santa Ana, since which time he has been in active practice in Orange
County and very successful in his methods of treatment, being the oldest veterinary
in point of service now in the county. For the past eight years he has been county
livestock inspector and has accomplished much good during this term of service, among
other things has driven out the Texas fever tick, and made the county reasonably free
of glanders. In addition to his professional duties. Dr. Closson maintains a forty-cow
dairy one and one-half miles east of Anaheim.

The marriage of Dr. Closson united him with Miss Wilma Crevling, a native of
Iowa. Fraternally he is a member of Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O. Elks and
professionally he is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the
state association and of the Southern California branch of that order, of which he is a
past president and he is past president of the Los Angeles \"eterinary Medical Asso-
ciation. In politics he is a stanch Republican. His years of experience and practical
knowledge have been of great benefit to the ranchers in Orange County, and combined
with his scientific studies, it would be hard to find a man more fitted for the position
he occupies in the community.

LEONARD PARKER. — .\ sturdy pioneer who in early days saw active service
in helping to quell the Indian outbreaks in Nebraska, and who has been identified with
the development of important interests in California since the middle of the nineties,
is Leonard Parker, who was born at Racine, Wis., on May 16, 1851,' the son of Fletcher
and. Priscilla Parker, farmer-folk and among the first settlers of Racine. They moved
to Fden, Fayette County, Iowa, in the fall of 1854, that is, the mother and the elder
brother of our subject went there, following the death of the father in Wisconsin, and
the former purchased 120 acres of Government land, where they raised stock and grain.
Leonard attended the common schools of Iowa when school was kept and work per-
mitted, and by industry snatched such education as he could.

When he was seventeen, he and his brother Samuel moved on to Jefiferson County,
Nebr., and near Meridian the brother took up 160 acres of prairie land, which he devoted
to wheat, barley and corn. He joined Company C of the Nebraska Militia and soon

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 173 of 191)