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

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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 174 of 191)
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had a hand in quieting the Indians. On October IS, 1879, he was married to Miss
Mary McKenna, who was born near New York City, and the daughter of Patrick and
Margaret McKenna who came to Nebraska in 1859.

In 1881, Mr. Parker moved to Pueblo, Colo., and there he was employed by the
Colorado Coal and Iron Company, for the following three years. When he moved
back to Nebraska, he settled in Scotts Bluff County, and taking up a quarter section of
homestead land, raised grain. He stayed two years on the Nebraska homestead, and
then he removed to Portland, Ore., in 1888. He went into well drilling, and for seven
years helped to develop the water resources of that state.

On November 29, 1895. Mr. Parker came to California, landing first at Newport
Beach but soon coming on to Santa .\na. He made this town his home, but worked
in various oil fields, including those at Bakersfield. Brea, Fullerton and Los .\ngeles,


as well as Whittier. In 1904, lie purchased a ten-acre farm on South Sullivan Street,
which he used for truck farming, raising in particular cabbages and squash; and his
success in this new undertaking demonstrates his capability in general.

Five children have come to bless the fortunate union of Mr. and Mrs. Parker.
Ethel is Mrs. James E. Hone of Los Angeles; Orlando lives on the ranch west of
Santa Ana; Llewellyn is on the Irvine ranch; Roy is ranching west of Santa Ana.
.A.nd last, but by no means least, Clarence is ranching on Buena Vista .\venue. For
years, with the Jones Brothers shows, he followed the circus, traveling throughout the
United States and Canada doing a contortion act, trapeze work and barrel jacking; but
having recently leased some choice land on Buena \"ista Street, he has resumed agri-
cultural pursuits. On Washington's Birthday, 1919, he married Miss Viola Kaldenberg,
a native of Des Moines, Iowa, who came to California to live with her sister, Mrs.
Pittman. at Santa Ana. They have been blessed with a daughter, lone Dora. Mr.
Parker is a Republican and a member of the Fraternal Union, in which he is a
favorite, esteemed for his wide experience and practical common sense.

WILBUR W. WASSER.— Few among the popular officials of fraternities so well
deserve the good will showered upon them as Wilbur W. Wasser, the able secretary of
the B. P. O. Elks Lodge No. 794, at Santa .\na. He comes from the Hawkeye State,
where he was born in Cedar County, on January 29 of the famous Centennial Year.
His father was J. S. Wasser, a cigar manufacturer, although he was originally a farmer.
He came to Santa Ana in 1902, and opened a modest factory; and later he retired, and
is still living at this place. Mrs. Wasser was Alice Kiser before her marriage, and she
became the mother of three children, among whom ^^■ilbur was the only boy. The
good mother is now dead.

Wilbur enjoyed the advantages of both the grammar and the high schools at Tip-
ton, Iowa, but later had to supplement his studies in the much harder school of
practical world experience. He remained with his father on the farm until he married,
and then he farmed for himself. On January 2, 1904, he came to Santa .\na, and soon
after bought the livery business at the corner of Fourth and French streets, which he
conducted for ten years. Then he purchased an orange ranch, which he managed for
a year and still owns. Here he enlarged his experience greatly, particularly in the
study of human nature — a very valuable asset in his present position of responsibility,
requiring foresight, tact and common sense.

In 1915, Mr. Wasser became secretary for the B. P. O. Elks, having the honor
to be the first secretary in the Elks' new home. He allows nothing to interfere with his
giving the duties of that post his first consideration; but he is still interested in the
culture of oranges, and is a lover of outdoor life and sport.

In Cedar County, Iowa, on August 25, 1897, Mr. Wasser was married to Miss
Myrta L. Johnson, by whom he had had two attractive children — .\lice E. and Donald
W. Wasser. Besides belonging to the Elks. Mr. Wasser is a Knights Templar Mason,
a member of the Eastern Star and also of the Knights of Pythias. In national politics
a Democrat. Mr. Wasser knows no partisanship when it comes to local issues and
always works for the best men and the best measures.

RAYMOND T. DIXON.— An enterprising business man is Raymond T. Dixon,
the owner of Dixon's Pump Works at Santa Ana. He comes from the Hoosier State,
at Vincennes, where he was born on March 10, 1885, and belongs to that army of
Indianans who have contributed so much to the broad and permanent development of
the Golden State.

He obtained only the usual grammar school education in his home district, and
came to California in 1911, following a year after his parents, Charles E. and Mollie
fHobb') Dixon. Before coming West, he had worked at railroading for the Chicago,
Rock Island and Pacific Railroad out of Caldwell, Kans.. for a couple of years and then
engaged in the automobile and garage business in Caldwell for four years.

On arriving in Santa Ana. Cal., 1912, he entered the field of irrigation machinery,
and in 1915 established himself in business in Santa Ana handling and installing irriga-
tion machinery beginning with a modest capital. Two years later he built his present
large factory, which has a floor space 150x150 feet in size, located at corner of Fifth and
Garnsey streets. He employs twenty-four men in the making and repairing of irriga-
tion machinery, makes a specialty of the Dixon centrifugal turbine pump — one of the
best in the country — which he invented and patented, and does work for all parts of
Southern California. In addition he also built a foundry to his plant, where he manu-
factures cast iron, brass and bronze castings, thus making everything for his pumps but
the pipe and shafting, and throughout the factory has a large capacity which he is
steadily increasing. He has also invented and patented a front wheel flange for the
Samson and Fordson tractors which is shipped to the various agencies in the state.


His machine shop is equipped with the most modern and up-to-date machinery run by-
electric power and he is the largest manufacturer of his special line of irrigation machin-
ery in Southern California.

On August 17, 1906, Mr. Dixon and Faith Seeber were married; and now they have
an attractive family of four children — Louis, Rayinond. Vincent and Dorothea. Mr.
and Mrs. Dixon are Christian Scientists. In national politics a Republican, Mr. Dixon
at all times works for the best men and the best measures when local issues are
involved, and casts aside partisanship to secure the best ends.

Mr. Dixon was made a Mason in Santa Ana Lodge No. 241, F. & A. M., and was
exalted in Santa Ana Chapel No. 73, R. A. M., and is also a member of Santa Ana
Council No. 14, R. & S. M., as well as an active member of Santa Ana Lodge No. 794,
B. P. O. Elks. Enterprising and progressive he takes a keen interest in his membership
with the Merchants and Manufacturers Association as well as the Chamber of Com-
merce. Though proprietor, of one of the really important and largest industrial estab-
lishments of the city, Mr. Dixon is never so busy that he cannot give some time,
sooner or later, to hunting and fishing, and other out-of-door life.

WILLIAM H. ROHRS.— Possessed of the qualities that make for success in life,
William H. Rohrs has taken a place among the prosperous horticulturists of Orange,
a business he has been familiar with from the time he was a boy.

Mr. Rohrs is a native of Ohio, having been born at Kelly Isle, Buckeye County,
that state, on August 23, 1879. His parents were Henry W. and Anna (Cordes) Rohrs
who brought their family to California in 1881. His mother passed away, but his
father is still living and is a prosperous farmer and very highly respected citizen of
Orange. The eldest of a family of five children, Wm. H. Rohrs came to California with
his parents when in his second year, so this is the scene of his first recollections. They
located first at Wilmington, later coming to Santa Ana in 1882, and here William re-
ceived his education in the public schools, which was supplemented by a course in the
Orange County Business College under R. L. Bisby. Being the eldest son, Wm. Rohrs
early took a hand in the farm work, thus getting a thorough, practical knowledge of
its problems and details, so that when he became of age he was ready to start ranching
on his own account. In 1900 he purchased a tract of twenty acres of raw land on
South Glassell Street, near Orange, which he improved and planted to walnuts and
\'alencia oranges. Here he put in many years of hard, industrious work, giving his
trees the best possible care, and he has had his reward in seeing his ranch develop
from the bare land to a prosperous and productive grove, which shows the years of
careful cultivation it has received.

On February 9, 1905, Mr. Rohrs was married in Santa Ana to Miss Anna Holz-
grafe, a native daughter of the Golden West, born in Santa Ana, the daughter of
Fred and Helen (Shield) Holzgrafe. Mr. Holzgrafe was a pioneer manufacturer of
Santa Ana, being first located on Fifth and Main streets, and later on Third and Main,
where the city hall now stands. After this he purchased the corner of Second and
Sycamore, and all these years he did a thriving business in the manufacture of wagons
and carriages until he retired in January, 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Rohrs are the parents of
two children, Lester William and Evelyn Helene. The family are members of the
Evangelical Church at Santa Ana. Enthusiastic in the possibilities of development of
this favored section, Mr. Rohrs has identified himself with all its progressive move-
ments and is a member of the Santiago Orange Growers Association, the Richland
Walnut Growers Association at Orange, and of the Commercial Club of Orange. An
interesting relic of the Civil War times which Mr. Rohrs treasures in his home is a
copy of the issue of April 15, 1865, of the Washington Post, giving the full account
of the assassination of President Lincoln and of the assassin, J. Wilkes Booth. He has
had this carefully framed so as to preserve it, as its value as a historical memento will
increase year by year.

GUSTAF LEANDER.— .'Vn expert mechanic who has also made a success of all
that he has undertaken in other fields, working intelligently and industriously, and
modestly enjoying the well-earned fruits of his labors, is Gustaf Leander, who was
born in Sweden on August 12, 1871, and was educated in that country so famous for
its schools and completed a course at the Agricultural College at Gotland. He came
to America in 1891, landing at New York City, and proceeded directly to Los Angeles.
Cal.. and learned the machinist trade in the Axelson Machine Shop and then was em-
ployed in other shops in Southern California and Arizona, .\fter that, for four years,
he worked in the sugar factory at Los Alamitos, where he was employed as the factory
mechanic. Tiring of the work, or seeing perhaps a still greater opportunity in the con-
fectionery business. Mr. Leander in 1905 came to Fullerton and bought out Steve W.
McColloch: and having taken possession, he put a deal of hard work into the enter-
prise, with the natural result that business rapidly increased and brought a substantial


income from the investment. Before the days of the ice plant, he also distributed ice
to the FuUerton community, purchasing the crystal blocks from the National Ice Com-
pany of Los Angeles and shipping it to FuUerton. He also distributed Los Angeles
newspapers and periodicals in the Fullerton and oil well districts, and enlisted a wide
patronage. After several years in the confectionery field, Mr. Leander sold out his
business to F. E. Copp.

He then purchased fifteen and a half acres on Orangethorpe Avenue, buying the
same from J. A. Clark, and devoted ten acres to Valencia oranges and five acres to
walnuts; and he obtains water service for irrigation from the Anaheim Union Water
Company. After trying his latest venture long enough to form a sensible and helpful
opinion, he thinks there is nothing like ranching, and has decided to stick to his trim
little farm.

On December 31, 1903, Mr. Leander was married at San Diego to Miss Meriam
Pearson, a native of Sweden who came to Minnesota when she was eight years old.
She was reared and educated near Duluth, and 1901 came west to California. Two
children have blessed this fortunate union. Otto A. and Elna Leander, and they reflect
all the good qualities of their worthy parents. Fraternally he is a member of the
Knights of Pythias, while Mrs. Leander is a member ot the Christian Church in

TOM P. PAPPAS.— If the details of the life of Tom P. Pappas, proprietor of the
Chateau Thierry cafe and confectionery, at 116 North Spadra Street, Fullerton, were
written, it would make as interesting reading as a tale of fiction. A hero of the
famous battle of Chateau Thierry in the late W'orld W'Vr, he named his place of busi-
ness at Fullerton in honor of that memorable battlefield.

Mr. Pappas was born March 23, 1884, in the ancient city of Athens, Greece, and at
the early age of eight manfully assumed life's responsibilities and began to earn his
living by selling papers on the streets of his native city, a vocation that some of our
most prominent men have followed in early life. In 1906, when twenty-two years old,
he came to the United States and engaged in the business of news vender on the
streets of Chicago. 111. Later, in company with his brother William, he entered the
confectionery business in Chicago. The young men built up a fine business and became
the owners of three confectionery stores. Mr. Pappas disposed of his interest in 1913
and came to California, locating at Whittier, where he opened a confectionery store.
He was afterwards intesested in operating a chicken ranch at Montebello. In the
fall of 1916 he came to Fullerton and bought out a cigar store and continued business
till he went to war.

When the war broke out he sold his business to volunteer his services and enlisted
in the One Hundred Forty-fourth Field Artillery (the Grizzly Regiment) and was sent
to Camp Kearny. After a week there he was discharged because he was not an Amer-
ican citizen. With undaunted courage and commendable zeal he returned to Orange
County, took out his first citizen's papers at Santa Ana, and rejoined his regiment at
Camp Kearny. After two months at the camp, volunteers were called for to fill up
the regiments overseas. He volunteered, was sent o\''erseas to France, became a mem-
ber of the Thirteenth Field Artillery, Fourth Division, and was in active service on four
different battle fronts, serving as a gunner working a hundred fifty-five six-inch gun.
He fought at St. Mihiel. Lorraine, Chateau Thierry and the Argonne. He was gassed
at Chateau Thierry, and being rescued from the field he was in the field hospital three
weeks and then rejoined his regiment, being in active service until the armistice, when
he was again taken ill from the former effects of being gassed and was compelled
to remain in the hospital for six months. He then returned to the United States and
San Francisco, May 3, 1919. receiving his honorable discharge aljout a week later, when
he immediately returned to Fullerton and purchased the present confectionery estab-
lishment from F. Ross, which he immediately remodeled, naming it the Chateau Thierry
cafe and confectionery and by close application to business and affability it has become
very popular, having indeed made it a most up-to-the-minute place, second to none in
the county. He is interested in oil land with Thompson and Goodwin which is leased
to the Union Oil Company, who have already obtained two flowing oil wells on their
property. Besides he is a stockholder in seven different oil companies in the Richfield
district some of them already producing oil.

Being much interested in civic improvement he is also a member of the Fullerton
Board of Trade. Fraternally he is a member of the Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O.
Elks, and a charter member of Post No. 142 of the American Legion. While he gives
undivided attention to his business interests, his duties as a citizen and a neighbor are
never lost sight of, and his fine war record and indubitable patriotism to his adopted
country deservedly entitles him to the consideration and popularity he enjoys among
his fellow-citizens.

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FRED STRAUSS. — The business enterprise long such a characteristic feature
of life in FuUerton is well reflected in the well organized and well managed establish-
ment of F. Strauss and Company, whose extensive trade is chiefly in men's furnishings
and shoes. Mr. Strauss, now an American of the Americans, is a native of Bavaria,
one of the most progressive of all the divisions of Germany, so that he represents that
"fortunate combination of German organization and Yankee aggressiveness. He was
born on September 28, 1889, and first came to the United States when he was sixteen
years of age — just the receptive period when he would most likely respond to helpful

His father was Leopold Strauss, a successful merchant now deceased, and he
married Miss Ricka Silverman, who survives him. They had four children, and Fred
was the youngest of them all. He attended the schools of Bavaria, and about 1905
sailed for America.

For three years he lived in the bustling metropolis of New York, and then, having
acquired the spirit of American institutions, he came west to California and located at
Fullerton. This was in 1908, and the town was small and unpretentious as compared
with today. There was one firm, however, among others worthy of such a growing
place, and that was Stern and Goodman. He remained with them until 1917, when
duty called him to the national colors.

In that year he enlisted in the U. S. Army, and served overseas for six months in
France. On February 28, 1919, at the end of sixteen months, he was honorably dis-
charged and returned to San Francisco. Arriving once more in Fullerton, he organized
this company, and since has been doing very well. He is a Republican in national
politics, but never allows political considerations to interfere with civic duty, local
loyalty, business or pleasure, especially hunting and fishing, of which he is particularly
fond. As might be expected, Mr. Strauss is a live wire in the Fullerton Board of
Trade. Very naturally he is a member of Fullerton Post American Legion and in
fraternal life, Mr. Strauss divides his time with the .\naheim Lodge of Elks and the
Fullerton Club.

HARRY E. JESSUP. — .\mong the most enterprising, scientifically-trained ranch-
ers at present devoting their best energies to the very important industry, the growing
of beans, none has accomplished more for California husbandry, while attaining most
profitable success for himself, than Harry E. Jessup, the oldest son of Thomas Jessup,
the well-to-do farmer who is ranching both at Garden Grove and on the San Joaquin
ranch. His acreage presents what is well termed one of the trim "show places" of the
county, and is a delight to the eye of those daily watching the development there of
the bountiful crops, and also to those who often come from afar to learn from Mr.
Jessup the last word in bean culture.

He was born in Illinois on October 20, 1888, and came to California as a babe,
and grew up upon his father's ranches, and attended the public schools at Garden
Grove; and while he learned the ins and outs of farming in California under the best
of masters, he also acquired the California spirit which has been back of all Orange
County push to the fore.

In 1909 he was married to Miss Lillian Beswick, a popular lady of Garden Grove,
and just the companion desirable for his future field of work and residence. Two
children have blessed their union; and they bear the attractive names, as they them-
selves are voted attractive by their many friends, of Catherine and Dorothy.

Mr. Jessup at present has ISO acres in lima beans, while fifty acres are planted
to blackeyes. He also has thirty acres in barley. He is a member of the California
Lima Bean Growers Association, profits by its service, and takes that intelligent
interest in its problems and its work that enables him, from time to time, to contribute
toward its prosperity. With all its present make-up, would that Orange County had
thousands of ranchers more with the foresight, the reflection, the ambition and the
will to do of Harry E. Jessup.

JAMES G. ROBERTSON.— An expert electrician with an extensive knowledge,
both scientific and technical, of his interesting subject, and is widely regarded as one
of the best in his field in all the county, is James G. Robertson, who was born near
Marshfield, Mo., on January 21, 1873, the son of Daniel W. Robertson, a lumber mer-
chant in Marshfield. and one of the real pioneers of that country. He had married
Miss Mattie A. Shackelford, who proved both a very devoted wife and mother. She
bestowed loving care upon the subject of our sketch, while he attended the district
school of their neighborhood.

When he was of age, he went into the telephone business, erecting a private tele-
phone system, having four central offices and about 1,000 telephones. He also organized
and installed the electric li.ghting plant for Marshfield. equipped with a fifty kilowatt
generator. He ran Ijoth the telephone and the electric lighting plant for six years.


when he sold out to a company, and came west to California. He arrived in 1911, and
came, luckily, direct to Santa Ana. Since coming here he has purchased a five-acre grove
at 2680 North Main Street, which he devotes to oranges and walnuts.

In 1911, Mr. Robertson started an electric contract business in Santa Ana, and
was soon active in wiring houses, installing motors and making electrical repair work.
He also handled a large stock of general electrical supplies. Now his store is located
at 303 North Main Street, and is one of the popular headquarters in the city, patrons
knowing that they will find there just what they need, and often what is not obtainable
even in larger cities.

On October 21, 1896, Mr. Robertson was married in Marshfield, Mo., to Miss
Margaret Nelson, a native of Bedford County, Pa., and the daughter of J. W. and
Hester Nelson. Her father was a farmer, and he moved with his family to Missouri
in 1885. Two sons have blessed the union. Orlyn is at Pomona College, and Fred is
in the Santa Ana high school. The family attend the First Methodist Church at
Santa Ana.

THEODORE BROTHERS.— The life story of the Theodore brothers shows
what can be accomplished by pluck and perseverance. Coming to America poor
boys, they have, in a new country, by their own unaided efforts, built up a prosperous
business and, in keeping up with the times in every respect, have given the community
the benefit of their efficient business methods.

The Theodore Brothers, Gus M., Nicholas and George, were born in Tripoli,
Greece, where they grew up and received a good education in the public schools. Gus
M., when a boy of sixteen, was the first to migrate to the United States and begin
making his way in the New World. His first employment was with the Santa Fe
Railway, in Chicago, and in 1902 he located in Los Angeles, Cal., and there started
in to learn the laundry business.

After working in different laundry plants in that city, in 1910 Mr. Theodore
came to Anahem and went to work for Mr. J. E. Fisher, who owned the Anaheim
Laundry. After one year the new employee bought out the laundry, and in partnership
with his two brothers, Nicholas and George, has since carried on the business, during
which time they have built up the concern to a high degree of efficient management,
conducting a modern laundry in every respect, located at 412 South Lemon Street.
All the old machinery has been taken out and new and modern installed, the firm
being always in the market for any appliances which will increase the high standard
of the business. They have recently installed a $4,000 water softener, and have their
own well and pumping plant on the property; five wagons are used for the con-
venience of their patrons, and their trade is drawn from a large territory surrounding
Anaheim; when they acquired the business, in 1911, but fifteen hands were employed,

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 174 of 191)