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 178 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 178 of 191)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


his parents being Walter and \'anda (Gerdes) Dross, both natives of Germany, who




o. u J.A:^i^aAy



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 1583

lived and died there. The father was the owner of a flour mill, farm and grain
warehouse at Elbing, so that Werner was familiar with the warehouse business from
his earliest childhood. By his first marriage Walter Dross was the father of three
children: Frieda, who died in Germany, leaving three children; Werner R., the subject
of this sketch; and Erich, a farmer in Germany. The mother passed away when
Werner was but three years old, and the father married again, his second marriage
uniting him with Augusta Kaehler. who is still living in Germany. The following
children were born of this marriage: Walter, Robert, Maryana, Bernhard, Gerhard and
Helmut. Bernhard the first and Gerhard both died in infancy, and Walter and Helmut
lost their lives in the recent war. Bernhard, second, is the manager of the Newton
Grain and Bean Warehouse at Oceanside, he and Werner being the only members of
the family in America.

Mr. Dross grew up at Elbing and received an excellent education there, attending
the high and polytechnic schools, where he studied bookkeeping, higher mathematics,
Latin and French. At the age of nineteen he became a sailor before the mast, shipping
to Singapore, thence to Buenos Aires, South America, and from there to Honolulu, and
back to San Francisco. When he reached the latter port in March, 1900, he was so
agreeably impressed with the country that he resolved to locate in California. Shortly
after landing, however, he heard of the great mining prospects in Lima, Peru, and
made his way there with a friend. He was soon engaged by the Prussian government
as a draftsman, a position for which he was well qualified by his polytechnic school
training in his native land. He soon decided, however, that Peru was too warm a
climate for a place of residence, so returned to California, and he has since made his
home in the state of his choice. His first position was with George W. Kneass, the
proprietor of a boat building and furniture manufacturing establishment in San Fran-
cisco, and there he remained for two years, working as a mill hand. He then went to
work for the S. P. Milling Company in 1904, holding positions with that company at
Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Kings City, San Ardo and Camarillo. In 1911 he came from
the latter place to Irvine, taking the position of warehouseman with the San Joaquin
Warehouse Company, and he has continued with that concern ever since, making a
splendid success of his responsible position.

A man' of excellent business judgment and executive ability, Mr. Dross stands high
in the community, and is popular in the circles of the Elks and Odd Fellows, having
been a member of the Santa Ana lodges of these organizations for several years.
HEaving become a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1913, in Santa Ana, Mr.
DrCJss has never regretted the circumstances that led him to make this land his home,
and the passing of the years has made him increasingly fond of this particular section
of his adopted country.

WALTER N. CONGDON.— The interesting and highly instructive history of
several representative pioneer families is recalled by the story of Mr. and Mrs. Walter
N. Congdon and their continued and increasing prosperity. Mr. Congdon is the
proprietor of the Congdon Motor Car Company, whose motto, "We can fix your
automobile any place, any time," has captured more and more patrons, and as an
ignition expert managing the Prest-O-Lite exchange, he has done much for Orange
County motorists in guaranteeing strictly first-class machine work. He was born at
San Juan Capistrano on August 16. 1878, the son of J. R. Congdon, so well known to
Californians, who had married Miss Mary A. Rouse, one of another widely-connected
family. He learned the plumbing trade at Santa Ana, and worked for the Nickey
Hardware Company, whose proprietor was Frank P. Nickey, of Santa Ana.

On June 15, Mr. Congdon was married to Miss AUie M. Nickey, of 517 Bush
Street, and the daughter of the aforesaid gentleman, once a supervisor of Orange
County. She was born in Iowa, but grew up in Santa Ana, and here attended the high
school, from which she was graduated in time with honors. Two children blessed the
union — Jack N. and Mildred AUyne.

Having made his mark in Santa Ana, Mr. Congdon returned to San Juan Capis-
trano, and in 1914 established, under the name of Congdon's Garage, the business now
so agreeably associated with his daily activity, and under the charge of Mrs. Congdon.
as well as himself, that accomplished lady acting as bookkeeper. Mr. Congdon is ably
assisted by his younger brother, Chester, who is also a first-class mechanic and auto
expert. They maintain a Ford service station, and while doing vulcanizing, carry a full
line of four or five different kinds of tires. They sell gasoline, oil, greases and a full
line of auto supplies; and because of the completeness and quality of their stock and
their prompt way of doing things, it is safe to say that they never lose a custon\er
when once they get one. .And they always have as many as they can conveniently
care for, with their expert service.



1584 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUXTY

FRANK C. PLANCHON.— A hard-working, successful rancher, who has be-
come a leading grower of both beets and beans in Orange County, is Frank C.
Planchon, who owns a fine ranch of thirty acres in the Newport precinct. He was
born in Santa Clara, Cal., on March 4, 1885, the son of John P. S. and Martha (Rey-
naud) Planchon. His father, who was born in South America, was a business man in
Montevideo, where the grandfather, also named John P. S. Planchon, established a
large wholesale meat market, and he owned, besides, 10,000 acres of land, and 10,000
or more head of cattle, the market for which he thus found himself. He also estab-
lished a confectionery manufactory there. The Waldensians had a settlement of
about fifty families at that place, but on account of the frequently occuring revolu-
tions in that country, having for the most part large families, they were desirous
of getting the young men away from being pressed into military service for no cause
whatever, so the minister, the Reverend Solomon, and ten families left La Plata, and
came to Barry County, Mo., and how and where they traveled en route is worth
recording. The trip from Montevideo to Verona, Mo., took two months, for they
sailed from La Plata to Buenos Ayres, thence to Rio de Janeiro, after that to Cape
Colony, South Africa, and then up the African Coast to the Canary and the Cape
Verde islands, and after that to the Azores, then to Havre, France, next to Liverpool,
and thence to New York City — sixty-four days on the seas. From New York they
proceeded by rail to St. Louis, and finally to Verona, where the Waldensian settlers
had bought land. Grandfather Planchon was born near Piedmont, in the duchy of
Savoy, and he went to South America as a young man, and there married Miss Cath-
erine Courdin, who was a native of Piedmont. Once arrived in Missouri, Mr.
Planchon bought 1,000 acres of land, and here he resided until his death. He had
six boys and two girls; his son, John P. S., came to California when a young man
in the early eighties, and was married in Santa Clara County to Martha Reynaud,
born in France. They followed farming until 1886, and then returned to Barry
County, Mo., where he is a large and successful farmer.

Frank C. Planchon grew up on his father's farm in Missouri, receiving a good
education in the local public school. When twenty years of age, having always
had a desire to see the state of his nativity, he came to Orange County, intending
to stay four months and then return home, but he liked the country and conditions
so well here that he has prolonged his stay until now. He worked on ranches and
then rented land and engaged in farming.

In 1908 Mr. Planchon was married to Miss Pearl Walker, who was born and
reared in Los Angeles, and who had moved to Talbert in 1905, where her father,
Frank P. Walker, was a farmer until his death. They have been blessed with three
children, Carl, Earl and Martha. Mr. and Mrs. Planchon are members of the Metho-
dist Episcopal Church South at Greenville, where he is financial secretary, as well
as secretary of the board of trustees, and where his influence is directed for the good
of the community.

In 1915 Mr. Planchon bought his ranch of thirty acres, two miles southwest
of Santa Ana, seven of which he has planted to lima beans, fifteen to beets, while
the balance of the area is devoted to yards and alfalfa. His method of cultivation
shows a thorough knowledge of local conditions — the first requisite always to success.

ALBERT C. LANTZ. — A representative of a successful business family, noted
as an oil expert, who is pardonably proud of his accomplishment in effecting' an
extensive oil lease, is Albert C. Lantz, who was born eight miles from Aurora, in Will
County. 111., on July 29, 1885. His father was W\ D. Lantz, a native of Will County,
where he first saw the light of day on August 21, 1859, the son of Daniel and Betsy
(Holdman) Lantz; and he was married to Miss Isabelle Malcolm, the mother of our
subject, in Will County, November 4, 1880. .A.lbert lived with his parents, who were
farmers, raising Shorthorn beef cattle and Poland-China hogs.

Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Lantz removed to Iowa in 1893 and there purchased a farm
of 240 acres four miles north of Waterloo, devoted to corn, stock and grain, .-^t
Waterloo, Albert went to the district school, at the same that, as a live, healthy boy, he
worked about the farm. In 1907, W. D. Lantz came to Santa .\na and began to deal in
real estate, buying and selling houses; establishing that reputation for experience and
fair dealing which has ever since been of such value to them and brought them so
much patronage.

After coming to California. Albert Lantz engaged in the automobile business as
the authorized Ford distributor for Santa Ana; and this Ford agency he conducted
until 1914. Now he is in the oil promotion field, and owns a half interest in the largest
oil lease in Orange County. This lease was effected on May 15, 1920, and is jointly
owned by R. T. Tustin of Chicago, who has recently come to Santa Ana as an old oil
expert from the East, and A. C. Lantz, our subject. The lease embraces 23.835 acres




/^ ^7/u<L ^ ^T /j<^/>J?^-€^



HISTORY OF ORAXGE COUNTY 1585

of old, proven oil land, and was given by L. F. Moirlton. On this land, some ten years
ago, a well was sunk 2,400 feet, striking oil, but the oil was not produced in paying
quantity. The lease extends in wide area from the Moulton lines near El Toro, running
southwesterly to the ocean.

A derrick is to be put up and first-class oil drilling machinery will be installed in
Aliso Canyon. A well is then proposed for each thousand acres, and if production
warrants the increased investment, two wells will be sunk for the same area. Mr. Lantz
was a graduate of the Waterloo high school, and so has the fortunate asset of a good
education. He belongs to the Elks.

Royce W. Lantz, another son of W. D. Lantz and a brother of our subject, was
born near Aurora, in Will County, 111., on November 11. 1892, and lived with his parents,
coming west to California with them. He went to the district school in Will County,
and finished his studies in Santa Ana, where he graduated from the high school. Since
then he has engaged with his father in Santa Ana realty, and at present is widely
known as a wide-awake, successful operator, making honesty the basis of all of his
business dealings.

On December 13, 1917, Mr. Lantz enlisted in the United States Navy, and was
sent to Mare Island for training. He left for the Hawaiian Islands on February 15,
1918, and' there served as a machinist's mate at the radio station. Later he returned
to the United States and was discharged on July 23, 1919. Now he is a member of
the American Legion.

ALFRED TRAPP. — Honest, industrious, and well-informed .A.mericans, reason-
ably contented with their environment and lot, and ambitious and hopeful for the
future, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Trapp belong to that sterling class of "hard laborers"
which is the wealth, the bulwark and the pride of our country. He is a machinist, a
blacksmith and a carpenter, and an all-around mechanic as well, trained through long
experience as a section foreman on the Santa Fe Railway, a ranch foreman and a
builder, and is employed by the L. F. Moulton Company, who undoubtedly appreciate
his versatility.

He was born at Otto, in Fulton County, 111., on September 7, 1873, a brother of
Mrs. Dempsey W. Gould, and grew up in Illinois, where he attended the public schools.
He was early introduced to a life of unremitting industry; and since he was always
handy with tools, he had no need to be begged to develop his mechanical turn.

He came out from Illinois to California in 1898, and went to work as a trackman
at Serra, in Orange County, in the service of the Santa Fe Railroad Company. For
two years he worked as a section hand, and then he rose to be track foreman or
section boss, and that position of responsibility he held for five years.

In Capistrano he was married to Miss Chester C. Gray, a daughter of J. M. Gray,
who lives with the Trapps at El Toro, and a sister of Warren M. Gray, who is
mentioned elsewhere in this book. J. M. Gray was a track foreman and construction
boss for the Chicago and Northwestern Railway in Iowa for over forty years, and
well earned the rest he now enjoys. Mrs. Gtay is dead. After that, Mr. Trapp
entered the- employ of E. W. Scripps at Miramar, in San Diego County, and for six
years shouldered all the responsibility as foreman of road building on that millionaire's
elegant ranch and adjacent roads. He takes great delight in his problems, and derives
from his work something more than mere income.

Four children were given to Mr. and Mrs. Trapp, and three they have been
allowed to retain, one having passed beyond. She was the second in the order of
birth, and was given the attractive names Frances Elizabeth. The surviving children
are the eldest, the third, and the youngest — John M., Grace Myrtle and Harry Alfred.

Mr. Trapp who, by the way, has been a Socialist for the past twenty years, is a
student of economics, industrial relations and politics, and in common with his good
wife, who also has a humanitarian disposition, is deeply interested in the industrial
and other questions of the day.

HARRY ARTHUR FROEHLICH.— Among the many freedom-loving citizens of
the German Empire who left their native land to escape the iron rule of Bismarck
was Joseph Froehlich, a friend and compatriot of Carl Schurz, who came to American
as soon as he had finished his required term of service in the German army. He had
received an excellent education in the schools of his native country and had been
taught the trade of a piano maker there, but after coming to the United States he took
up the work of court reporting in the circuit court in Henderson County, 111. Shortly
after coming to this country Mr. Froehlich was united in marriage with Miss Amelia
Stuck, who was, like himself, born in Germany. Four children were born to them:
William is a blacksmith at Fillmore. X'entura County; Harry Arthur is the subject of
this sketch: Tillie resides at Pacific Beach: John is connected with the technical



1586 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

department of one of the large moving picture concerns and makes his home at Los
Angeles. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Froehlich are both deceased.

Harry Arthur Froehlich was born at Oquawaka, 111., December 27, 1873, and
passed the first six years of his life in Illinois, when he moved to Winfield, Sumner
County, Kans., with his parents. Here his father engaged in the lumber business as
agent for the Rock Island Lumber Company, and the family made their home there
for about eleven years. Coming to San Diego, Cal., in the spring of 1889, Harry A.
started to work for M. F. Heller, continuing with him for the next six yars. after
which he traveled out of Los Angeles for four years representing the old firm of
Steinen and Kirchner, a barber and butcher supply house. On account of ill health he
gave up his business association with them and located at Miramar, San Diego County,
where he engaged in the grocery and general merchandise business with good success
for a period of five years, when he disposed of his business profitably and went to
farming at Del Mar. After two yeairs he sold out his leasehold and leased the
Boynton fruit ranch at El Toro. At dififerent times he was employed by L. F. Moulton,
and on March 1, 1919, he accepted the post of warehoHseman for the L. F. Moulton
Company ,a position of great responsibility and trust, as he handles upwards of $500,000
worth of grain and beans each year.

El Toro is the grain emporium of Orange County, and the greater part of it is
handled through the two great warehouses of the L. F. Moulton Company, which have
a capacity of 100,000 sacks. They are finely equipped with the latest and most approved
machinery for cleaning beans and a roller mill for crushing barley.

On December 25, 1897, Mr. Froehlich was united in marriage with Miss Grace
North, a native daughter of the state, Santa Ana being her birthplace. Her parents,
who are now both deceased, were John J. and Sophia Jane North, the father, a native
of Liverpool, England, while Mrs. North was born in Australia. Mr. Froehlich is a
Republican, and fraternally is aflfiliated with the Wbodmen of the World.

ALBERT PRYOR. — A highly-intelligent and industrious representative of an
early pioneer famil^y of Southern California, concerning whom it would not be a mere
commonplace to say that "his word is as good as his bond," is Albert Pryor, the San
Juan Capistrano horticulturist, who owns over forty of the choicest acres in the neigh-
borhood, including eighteen in well-set walnuts. He not only lives in the famous
Mission town, but he was born there, on April 6, 1872, and there he attended the public
schools, later studying at the excellent St. Vincent's College at Los Angeles, and
topping of^ his student work with a stifif course at the Woodbury Business College,
in the same city.

Nathaniel Pryor — sometimes referred to as Don Miguel N. Pryor — was the grand-
father of our subject, and came here, it is said, far back in 1828, when he was thirty
years of age, being, therefore, one of the earliest Easterners to settle in California.
Fifteen or twenty years later, about the time that he was made a Regidor or Council-
man, he was one of perhaps ten Easterners who had farms inside of the district of
the Los Angeles pueblo and was one of the oldest and most prominent citizens, well
thought of and highly respected by everyone. Part of his property was a vineyard,
between the river and what is now Los Angeles Street, and on it was an old adobe
which, according to Harris Newmark, the pioneer-historian, may still be seen on Jack-
son Street, the only mud-brick structure in that section. Nathaniel Pryor was twice
married, having a son, Pablo by his first wife, and a son, Nathaniel, Jr., by his second.

His first marriage was to Theressa Sepulveda of Los Angeles, who died when her
son Pablo was born, in about 1840, and is one of the few, according to Newmark, with
the mother of Pio Pico, buried inside of the old Catholic church at the Plaza, Los
Angeles. Pablo, or Paul, who was born in Los Angeles, married Rosa Avila of San
Juan Capistrano. Her father, Don Juan Avila, was a large landowner and cattle grower.
Paul Pryor owned the old Don Miguel Pryor ranch in Los Angeles, as well as a valu-
able estate in San Juan Capistrano, residing at the latter place until his death in 1878,
leaving a wife and six children, Albert being next to the youngest. The widow sur-
vived until 1915.

Albert Pryor was with Joseph Mascarel in Los Angeles until his death, and had
charge of his estate. During that time, he witnessed many stirring events, and saw
the steady progress of the Southland, including the building of the Santa Fe Railroad.
In 1894 he was married, in Los Angeles, to Miss Natalia Leonis, a native of Los An-
geles, in which city she was brought up, and they have had two children — Albert T. and
Paul. Seventeen years ago he bought a residence at San Juan Capistrano, in order to
remain there and afiford his children the best educational facilities. He owns a farm
of forty-three acres, advantageously situated at Serra, and this may some day outrival
his Capistrano holding.




rz^^^^^^



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 1589

LEON EYRAUD. — Southern California has welcomed many sons and daughters
of the Hautes Alpes, France, afifording them opportunities they would probably never
have enjoyed had they remained in their beautiful but less favored country, and among
those who have succeeded here, and who, in succeeding, have contributed toward the
advancement of the great commonwealth, must be noted Leon Eyraud, the genial and
thoroughly attentive proprietor of the Capistrano Hot Springs Resort, twelve miles
northeast of San Juan Capistrano. He was born in or near Marseilles, France, on
February 24, 1878, the son of Pierre Eyraud, who had married Honorine Cadwel; his
father was a blacksmith who had both a smithy and a cafe, and he and his wife were
born, married and died in France, passing away at the ages, respectively, of seventy-six
and seventy-eight. They had seventeen children, eleven boys and six girls; and among
them Leon was the sixteenth in the order of birth. Pierre Eyraud served under
Napoleon in 1848, and was esteemed because of his military record.

Leon attended the government, or public schools in France, and learned the
blacksmith trade from his father. He served for three years in the -French cavalry,
and while in France was married to Miss Fannie Faur, who was born near Marseilles.
Then he and his bride came across the ocean and the continent to Los Angeles, in
1906, sailing from Havre on the steamship La Provence of the Transatlantique Com-
pany on September 22, and landing at New York City, after a pleasant voyage, on
September 28. They spent three days in the New World metropolis, and then took the
train for Los Angeles, in which city they arrived on October 4.

For four years Mr. Eyraud worked for the Cudahy Packing Company at Los
Angeles as a sausage maker, and then he conducted a French boarding-house under the
name of the Cafe des Alpes, which he started in 1913.

Having bought the Capistrano Hot Springs on Januarj- 1, 1919, he sold his Los
Angeles cafe on January 20, 1920. Since then he has expended some $10,000 in fixing
up the new resort. He has his own vegetable garden, and produces his own supply of
milk, cream and butter. He bought all the buildings, consisting of the main hotel, a
store building, a pavilion, a fine kitchen and dining-room, and seventeen cottages and
twenty-four tents; and on last Memorial Day catered to over 200 people. He maintains
his own poultry ranch, and also a store for various supplies, including oil and gasoline
for automobiles, and is also the postmaster of Capistrano Hot Springs. He holds
under lease some ISO acres of the Mission Viego rancho, and he has engaged a full
staff of competent help who operate under the successful direction of Mrs. Eyraud.

The Springs which have made this resort so famous maintain their temperature
of 137 degrees, winter as well as summer, and are charged with the most life-giving
substances. They afiford Nature another opportunity to dispense her own remedial
properties for the restoration of health, and have proven to many persons to contain
wonderful recuperative powers. They are situated at a high elevation in the picturesque
and romantic mountains of San Juan Capistrano, where the bracing mountain air, and
the life-giving heat of a southern sun, tempered by the ever-blowing afternoon sea
breeze from the Pacific Ocean, only a short distance away, together make an Elysian
paradise. Hundreds of visitors come annually to partake of the beneficial waters and
to enjoy the wonderful baths; for the waters are of particular value to those suffering
from rheumatism, gout, stomach disorders, skin diseases, nervous affection, neuralgia,
and bladder, kidney and liver troubles.

FRED HUTTER.— A decidedly live wire is Fred Hutter, the live-stock dealer in
Santa Ana, a circumstance the more interesting because, while Orange County makes
no claim as a stock country, it shipped, in 1919, $1,500,000 worth of live stock. He is



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 178 of 191)