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 175 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 175 of 191)
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while fifty-five are now kept busy, an example of the growth of the business. The
two younger brothers came to the States six years later than Gus M., and have since
been engaged in the laundry business.

While devoting their time to business, Theodore Bros, have also found time to
enter into projects formed for the further advancement of Anaheim and Orange
County, and are active members of the Chamber of Commerce and of the Mer-
chants and Manufacturers Association of Anaheim, as well as the Mother Colony
Club. As evidenced by their business methods, they are "live wires" and enthusiastic
over the splendid future they see in store for this section of California. As one
would naturally suppose, they are members of the Laundry Owners Association of
Southern California, as well as the California Laundry Owners Association and the
National Laundry Owners Association.

JOHN EELLS. — A representative citrus grower who has accomplished much. since
he came here in 1904, is John Eells, who is the owner of a fine ranch on the Loara
Road, near Anaheim. Born near Waupun, in Fond du Lac County, Wis., October 13,
1873. he is the son of Horace and Elizabeth (Cooper) Eells, who were early pioneers
of that part of Wisconsin. The father cleared up seventy acres of timber land in Fond
du Lac County and farmed it for a number of years.

Coming to California in 1904 with his parents, John Eells located near Anaheim,
purchasing a ranch of twenty-seven and a half acres from Joseph Dauser, which was
devoted to walnuts and Navel oranges. Later he disposed of this property, at different
times, and then with his brother. Charles Eells, bought a tract of forty acres on North
Loara Road, this being a part of the old Browning estate. This they leveled and set
out to Valencia oranges, later he and his brother dividing the property. Since then Mr.
Eells has disposed of five acres of his share, leaving a fine grove of fifteen acres,
eleven acres being in Valencia oranges, three acres in Navels and the remainder in
deciduous fruits. The ranch is producing an excellent yield, which Mr. Eells markets



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 1559

through the Anaheim Fruit Growers Association. In 1906 he built a comfortable resi-
dence on his ranch and there he has since made his home. Six years later he sunk a
water well on his property which is the finest well in the vicinity. It pumps 100 inches
of water and he supplies some of the ranchers of his neighborhood with irrigation
water from it. In 1919 Mr. Eells purchased an additional five acres of vacant land
west of Anaheim and this he has also set to \'alencia oranges. He is giving all his
holdings the best of attention and care and is being rewarded in the fine grade of fruit
that is being produced.

Mr. Eells first marriage occurred at Waupun, Wis., when he was united with Miss
Tillie Erickson, a native of Sweden, who came to America when a young woman. She
passed away in February, 1916, leaving two children, Doris and Marion. On January 4,
1917, Mr. Eells was married to Miss Eleanor Herring, who was born near Salem, Ore.,
the ceremony being solemnized at Anaheim. While the care of his property occupies
the greater part of his time Mr. Eells is always found ready to take his part in every
movement that will promote the public good, and he has evinced his interest in edu-
cational matters by serving as a member of the board of school board trustees of the
Loara district. In political matters he is unbiased by party slogans, believing the fit-
ness of the man for the office rather than party affiliation is the prime requisite.

HENRY D. WITT. — A rancher who cultivates in the most scientific fashion with
a modern tractor, and who boasts, therefore, of one of the choicest grove properties in
this section; is Henry D. Witt, the son of the well-known Michael Witt and his good
wife Sarah (Trumpey) Witt. He was born in Monroe, Wis., on September 11, of the
great Centennial Year, and he has kept pace with the growth of the second century
of the nation ever since.

When Henry was six years old, in 1882, his parents came west to California and
brought him along, thus almost making him a native son of the Golden State; and it
happened, therefore, that he was brought up to attend the public schools of Santa Ana,
fortunate in having one of the best systems of education for a small town; and later,
when ready for it, he pursued a profitable course at the progressive business college in
the same city.

For some years, he lived at the Seventeenth Street home, where the family lived
for eighteen years; and when that was sold in 1902, the father built his home on the
South side of La Veta Street between Flower and Main. The same year, Henry D.
took charge of the rural mail route No. 2, running to the north and the west of Orange,
and in a short time was a welcome visitor to the homes in that area.

In 1903, he purchased five acres of orange trees from his father, who had set out
a promising grove and in 1906 built a neat home on the same ranch land, providing for
the service of the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company; and later he bought five more
acres, in walnuts, adjoining. He joined the Santiago Orange Growers Association and
also the Richland Walnut Growers Association at Orange.

On September 27, 1906, Mr. Witt was married to Miss Emma Schroeder, a native
of Santa Ana and the daughter of Fred and Verena Schroeder. Her parents came from
Kelleys Island, Ohio, to California in 1880, and settled in Santa Ana; and in this town
she also received her education at the public schools. Two children have blessed their
union — Velma M. and Robert F.

Mr. Witt is a member of the Evangelical Association of Santa Ana. and belongs
to the ranks of the Republicans. When it comes to helping along worthy local projects,
however, neither Mr. nor Mrs. Witt are limited by partisanship, and they contribute
heartily toward the best men and the best measures.

ARTHUR L. TRICKEY.— An energetic rancher, whose ambition, industry, keen
powers of observation and ability to look ahead have made him a successful operator
of a part of the great Irvine ranch, is Arthur L. Trickey, who resides on the Laguna
Road about two and a half miles from Irvine. He was born near Wichita. Sedgwick
County, Kans., on August 21, 1889, and grew up in that state until his fifteenth year,
profiting by many of the advantages offered by the more settled older commonwealth.
His father, R. L. Trickey, who died in California in 1919, was a grain buyer at Derby,
Kans.. and owned a farm of 240 acres, which his sons ran while the father gave his
attention to grain.

In 1904 our subject came to California and settled at Tustin; but it was not until
1911 that he came to the Irvine ranch, where he is now harvesting his ninth crop. He
takes pride both in the product of his labor and the soil he cultivates, and also in the
trim appearance of his farm; and thus, while developing and advancing, he gets all the
fun that he can out of what some people regard as only exhausting toil.

This disposition to look on the optimistic side of life is not surprising to those
acquainted with the Trickey stock. His father was a native of the good old state of



1560 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

Maine, and in Kansas married Miss Addie Brownlee, who was born in Illinois, and who
is still living- at Tustin, the center of a group of devoted friends, at the age of sixty
years. Nine children were granted these worthy pioneers: Albert is a farmer in
Peters Canyon on the Irvine ranch; Roy farms in Sedgwick County, Kans.; Willie is
also a farmer in Kansas; John is the manager of Zaiser's lease near Tustin; Arthur L. is
the subject of this sketch; Ellis cultivates a part of the Whiting ranch; Addie is chief
operator at the Tustin telephone exchange; and Myron works for his brother Arthur.
The eighth-born, Walter, died in infancy.

In 1910, at Garden Grove, Mr. Trickey was married to Miss Bertha Jessup. the
accomplished daughter of "Thomas Jessup, the rancher and orange grower living near
Garden Grove; and two children — Lloyd and Thelma — have blessed their fortunate
union. Mr. Trickey belongs to the Modern Woodmen at Santa Ana, and none is more
popular among its many members.

THOMAS B. TALBERT.— An efficient and faithful public official, invaluable to
Orange County because of his integrity, foresight and high sense of civic duty, whose
identification with this part of the great commonwealth of California is memorialized in
the postoffice bearing his family name, is Thomas B. Talbert, a native of Illinois, who
was born at Monticello, in Piatt County, on March S. 1878. His father was James T.
Talbert, a native of Greenville, Muhlenburg County, Ky., who emigrated to Macoupin
County, 111., in 1858. He enlisted as a volunteer in the Civil War on August 7, 1862,
and was honorably discharged in June, 1865. He married Miss Rachel Weddle, a native
of Piatt County, 111., and a member of the Spencer Weddle family of that section, all
of whom were quite prosperous.

Next to the youngest of a family of nine children, six of whom are living, Thomas
B. Talbert came out to California with his parents in February, 1891. He attended
the grammar schools, at Long Beach and also spent four years at the high school at
that place. Following this he engaged in dairying and farming at Long Beach for
three years, and then, in about 1898, he moved to the lower Santa Ana Valley, and
there bought land in what was known as Gospel Swamp. After being there about one
year, his father, brothers and he started the townsite and postoffice now known as
Talbert. and Thomas B. Talbert was appointed the first postmaster. He bought a
little general merchandise store that had been started by John Corbett. and built up a
good business in this line, continuing there for about four years, when he sold out.
Then he spent a year on a ranch at Talbert, and in 1904 moved to Pacific City, now
Huntington Beach, which had just been started, and where he began selling real estate.

Mr. Talbert was among the very first to engage in growing sugar beets in Orange
County and was also a pioneer in the celery industry, growing celery for several years,
and was an active member of the Celery Growers Association of Orange County. He
is today the oldest realtor in Huntington Beach and is considered one of the best
judges of real estate values here. He is interested in oil development and was one of
the promoters of the H. K. and T. Syndicate that are drilling for oil three miles south
of Irvine on the Irvine ranch. He was a promoter and is a director in the West
Whittier Oil Company, drilling at Huntington Beach with most excellent prospects.
He is also extensively interested in oil lands and leases here. For the past seven years
he has had the agency of Ford cars and is now one of the proprietors of the City
Garage, located on Fifth Street, Huntington Beach. The business is conducted under
the firm name of Talbert and Company, his partners being Messrs McDonald and
Bergey, and they have the agency for both the Ford and Dodge cars.

In August, 1909, a vacancy occurred on the board of supervisors of Orange County
caused by the resignation of George W. Moore; and to that office Mr. Talbert was
appointed by Governor Gillett to fill the unexpired term. Since that time — such is the
endorsement of his public services given by the people themselves — Mr. Talbert has
been elected to the same office three times, once in the fall of 1910, again in 1914, and
finally in 1918; the last two times he was elected at the primaries. He was also
elected by his fellow supervisors to the chairmanship of the board in January, 1911, and
he has been elected to the same enviable position every two years since. As an appre-
ciation of his worth in other departments of local activity, Mr. Talbert has been a
director in the First National Bank of Huntington Beach since the bank's early history.
Mrs. Talbert was in maidenhood Miss Margaret Elizabeth Crum, a daughter of
Dwight M. Crum, and a member of a highly respected family originally from Fairbury,
111. She is a graduate of the University of California and was a teacher of languages
at the Huntington Beach Union high school up to the time of her marriage, the cere-
mony occurring at Compton, July 17, 1912. They have been blessed by the birth of a
son, Thomas Van. By his former marriage Mr. Talbert has one child, Gordon B.
Talbert.



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 1563

Mr. Talbert drove the team that cut the first drainage ditch in the Talbert Drain-
age district. This was the beginning of the improvement that drained the swamp lands
of this district, which gave Orange County her rich peat lands and made possible the
development of the beet and celery industry. As supervisor his great ambition has been
to see this county become one of the greatest sections in the United States, and during
his years as a realtor he has been instrumental in locating a sugar factory at Huntington
Beach, and an oil-cloth factory, as well. He was a strong advocate and factor in
obtaining the Coast Highway and in the voting of bonds for the beginning of the
county's harbor at Newport Bay, which will soon have admirable shipping facilities.
Indeed, many of the improvements of the county have been carried out under Mr.
Talbert's supervision; these include the establishment of the County Farm Hospital
and the Detention Home, and the building of bridges and many miles of good roads.
It is easily apparent, therefore, how fortunate Orange County has been in the prolonged
career and services of such a faithful and capable public servant.

ROY F. SPANGLER. — It is not often that one finds such- a combination of com-
petency as in the case of Roy F. Spangler, a thoroughly trained electrician and engi-
neer, an experienced and aggressively progressive farmer, and a far-seeing, wide-awake
manager, at present in charge of the Wassum lima bean ranch, a part of the famous
Irvine ranch, itself going back to the historic San Joaquin. He was born and reared
in Santa Ana, and is the son of the late David Franklin Spangler, a native of Penn-
sylvania and a pioneer blacksmith whose highly-interesting old shop will be recalled by
many as one of the landmarks of Santa Ana of thirty years ago. The shop still stands,
in fact, on Sycamore Street, being run by our subject's brother, George, and is prob-
ably the oldest, as it is today the leading smithy in Santa Ana.

Roy was born on May 5, 1887, and his mother was Miss Dora Beard before her
marriage on Oregon, where she was born. She is living, an honored resident, at 638
Birch Street. Santa Ana. There are four children: George, the blacksmith; Charles,
who resides at Pasadena; Roy F., our subject, and Edith, now the wife of Flake Smith,
the popular clerk at the Santa Ana postoiifice.

When a lad, Roy worked with his father in the blacksmith shop, and he was in
the junior year of his course at the Santa Ana high school when his father passed away.
It seemed advisable then that he should leave school; so he started to master electrical
work. He wired houses, and put in fiv£ years for W. E. Houston on power, motor and
other work. He was then engaged by the Edison Company for nine years, making
fourteen in all as the period of his life devoted to electrical work. During this time,
Mr. Spangler was married to Miss Jeanette Milstead, a native of Arkansas, reared in
Oklahoma. When twenty-two years old, she came to California. Two children have
blessed this union — Harold and Howard.

In February, 1920, Mr. Spangler came to the Wassum ranch as manager. He has
charge of four hundred acres devoted to the growing of lima beans, and this land is
under lease by Howard A. Wassum, a member of the Board of Supervisors of Orange
County, and one of its largest farmers and bean growers. No better choice could be
made, nor could Mr. Spangler wish for a more interesting task than to develop this
part of the Irvine acreage, for he knows the value of land and how to appreciate
forethought and fidelity, in its care.

C. BRUCE STOCKTON.— A tenant of the celebrated Irvine ranch who, having
made a pronounced success in the important technical field of well drilling, is more
than "making good" as a lima bean grower, is C. Bruce Stockton, a member of one of
the historic families of California, and the husband of a lady highly esteemed for her
progressive work, before her marriage, as an educator. He was born at Saticoy, in
^'entura County, on December S, 1882, and grew up there where his father, George W.
Stockton, was both a rancher and a landowner. His mother, popular as May Beekman
in her maidenhood, was a native of Sierra County, Cal., and the daughter of a Cali-
fornia pioneer. She is still living in Los Angeles, at the ripe age of sixty years.
George W. Stockton was a native of Illinois, and his father was I. D. Stockton, a
physician and surgeon who saw strenuous service in the Black Hawk War. Both father
and grandfather crossed the plains in 1849 and as something more than pastime, fought
the "pesky Redskins." They settled in Sonoma County, and later moved to Kern
County, and then built up the Stockton stock ranch fifteen miles south of Bakersfield,
now called the Lakeside ranch of the Kern County Land Company's holdings. George
W. Stockton moved over to Ventura County, and there became a well-to-do rancher.
He died in Los Angeles, at the age of fifty-nine years.

Five children were born to this worthy couple and grew to maturity. G. G. Stock-
ton is an oil man well known in South America, and stationed near Caracas, in Vene-
zuela: C. Bruce Stockton is the subject of our sketch; Irene has become the wife of



1564 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

Walter Cook, the rancher on the Irvine; E. E. Stockton, the owner of the Lake ranch
in Ventura County, resides in Los Angeles and is in the hardware trade; and Myrle is
the wife of H. L. Carpenter of Los Angeles. Through the fact that the father of L D.
Stockton was closely related to Commodore Robert Field Stockton, and henre to the
Commodore's grandfather, Senator Richard Stockton, signer of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence, C. Bruce Stockton is related to a circle of Americans known for having,
each one of them, accomplished something worth while for the world, and something
very definite, and needed, for the advancement of their country. Bruce's early educa-
tion was in the public schools in Ventura and later attended the preparatory schools at
Bakersfield, in the more quiet days before anyone suspected that the broad meadows
were soaking with oil, and when the discovery and the ensuing excitement transformed
that locality, he went to work in the Kern River oil fields as a roustabout, became a
tool dresser and later a driller, and worked to develop, in particular, the much-needed
petroleum. Then he entered the oil fields of the Santa Fe at Fellows and of the Southern
Pacific at Maricopa; and after acquiring seven years of valuable experience, he jour-
neyed to Mexico. He drilled at Tampico and Tuxpan, and when the United States
Government landed troops at Vera Cruz, came out of the country as a refugee on one of
the U. S. war ships to Galveston. Returning to Taft, he later went south to the
Island of Trinidad, off the coast of Venezuela, where he drilled for a year and a half.
Once more he came to California, and for a year farmed on the Irvine ranch.

At Los Angeles, on June 26, 1916, he was married to Miss Ethel Rouse, a native
of Colton, Cal., and the daughter of John M'. and Olive (Leonard) Rouse. When she
was eight years of age, she was brought by her parents to Los Angeles, and in 1910, she
graduated from the Polytechnic high school, and still later from the Los Angeles
Normal. Then she taught school, for a year in Riverside County, for three years in the
city of Los Angeles, and for a year in Kern County. One child has blessed their
fortunate union— a daughter, Lois May. The family attend by preference the Presby-
terian Church, while holding broad, sympathetic views toward all who are seeking to
make life more worth the living. Mr. Stockton belongs to the Santa Ana Elks, and
in politics seeks to act according to his best judgment, independent of partisan bias
or dictation.

JUAN PABLO PERALTA.— A highly respected citizen is the old settler, Juan
Pablo Peralta, living on the Santa Ana Canyon -Road, four and a half miles northeast
of Olive, where he owns a small ranch. Although living frugally — a modest abstinence
apparently favorable to his health, judging from his massive build — he is a proud
old Californian, and with good reason, for he is a worthy descendant of early Spanish
military officers from Catalonia, Spain, who came out to take charge of the port of
San Francisco in the Yerba Buena days. He and his family, therefore, are well-known
and respected.

Juan Pablo Peralta is the son of Juan Pablo Peralta, who was born near what is
now Buena Park. He married in Los Angeles, Neavis Lopez, a native of that city,
and died on May 21, 1852. Nine days later. May 30, the subject of our sketch was
born, the last of eleven children — nine girls and two boys — and he grew up to raise
stock on land with an association especially close toward his family. His grandfather,
Juan Pablo Peralta. born in San Francisco, had been married in San Diego, and
came up to the Santa Ana River and became the owner of Rancho Santiago de Santa
Ana, which was the name of the Peralta Grant. His father, also Don Juan Pablo
Peralta was born in San Francisco, and he knew General Vallejo very well, and had
interests at Oakland and at San Leandro, where to this day the name Peralta denotes
old landmarks.

Juan P. Peralta now owns a ranch of eight acres, which he bought fourteen
years ago. In November, 1918, he built a bungalow, which affords him and his
family a very good and up-to-date home. In 1887 he was married to Miss Betsida
Yorba, born at Prado, Riverside County, the daughter of Rimondo and Concepcion
(Serrano) Yorba, who was also a granddaughter of Bernardo Yorba. and' they had
six children — Juan Pablo. Jr., Neavis, Ramon, Florisa, Ellena and Constance. For
several years he had a general store at Peralta; now he grows walnuts and apricots.
He also leases over 500 acres of land and engages in raising grain and hay, in which
he is very successful.

A Democrat in matters of national political moment, Mr. Peralta is nonpartisan
in his enthusiastic support of whatever makes for a greater development of his home
district. He has served as a trustee of the Peralta school district, has been road
overseer for some time, and has done jury duty at various times. Orange County
is happy to note the prosperity of those who so well represent the historic past of
the state.



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 1567

WILLIAM LEMKE. — One of the very enterprising men among the prominent
and successful citizens of Orange County who has contributed his share in the up-
building and development of the citrus and walnut industries of the county is William
Lemke, the owner of a twenty-acre ranch, devoted to oranges, walnuts and deciduous
fruits, located three miles north of Olive, on the Santa Ana Canyon Boulevard.

Mr. Lemke was born at Liptno, in Russia Poland, October 16, 1870, the son of
Charles and Wilhelmina (.Zutke) Lemke, who were also natives of that country. The
father came to the United States in 1886, to prepare a home for his family and was
joined a year later by his wife. In the fall of 1889, William, accompanied by his
brother August, crossed the ocean to make his home in the New World and to seek his
fortune in the Golden State. He came with his brother to Placentia, Orange County,
where he secured employment on a ranch. In 1892 he took up a homestead in Lassen
County, on which he proved up and afterwards sold. He returned to Orange County
where he purchased his present twenty-acre ranch, which at that time was uncultivated
land used as a pasture. Mr. Lemke has always been a hard worker and through his
industrious efforts and untiring energy has developed his desert land into a prosperous,
up-to-date ranch which bespeaks success. Five acres are planted to \'alencia oranges,
six acres to deciduous fruits, eight acres are devoted to walnuts and one acre to tlu
home site and yard. Mr. Lemke in 1920 built and completed a beautiful ten-room
residence at a cost of about $10,000.

In 1906 Mr. Lemke was united in marriage with Miss Emma Schmidt, also a native
of Russia Poland, who came to Anaheim in 1903. Her father, Adolph Schmidt, died in'
Russia and her mother, Christena (Biske) Schmidt, came to California in 1914, where



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 175 of 191)