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 23 of 191)
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green feed the year round are conducive to making hens lay more here than in
the East, and to distribute their eggs more evenly throughout the year. This
helps to equalize the price, and the large cities near by with their tourist popula-
tion keep up the demand. As to the profits of producing hens' eggs for the
market, one example must suffice. A careful record of all receipts and expenses
of thirty- four hens, confined in a yard 22x130 feet and fed entirely on purchased
food, showed a net profit per hen of $2.60 per year. Allowing more time and
space for the care of the fowls, the profits on a greater number ought to increase
in proportion to the number.

With the improved facilities of incubators and brooders, the raising of
broilers for the market is a paying part of the business. It can be carried on
all times of the year in this mild climate, and the demand is great. With so
many people to feed in the cities, it is almost impossible to glut the market. This
demand, too, is at our doors; there is no long haul of freights to consume the
profits. The Jubilee incubator was manufactured at Orange for a number of
years and the Santa Ana incubator was manufactured at Santa Ana. Other styles
of incubators were shipped in as needed.

In 1907 a poultry association was formed at Fullerton. Later in the same
year the Orange County Poultry Association was formed, by a union of all the
poultry men, and held an exhibition at the county-seat. Various exhibits have
been held since that time, which have done much to imijrove the fowls of the

The county statistician gives the following figures on the poultry and eggs
of Orange County in the year 1910: Chickens, 16,500 dozen, value $115,500:
ducks, 2,200 dozen, value $17,600; geese, 150 dozen, value $3,520; turkeys, 225
dozen, value $4,500; eggs, 236,750 dozen, value $71,025. Total value of poultry
and eggs $212,145. The Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce report for 1919 gives
$1,500,000 as the value of poultry and eggs.

Poultry raisers complained during the World War that chicken feed was so
high and the price of poultry products was so low they couldn't make any money
in the business ; so they sold out or ate up their flocks without replacing them,
until after the war it was found next to impossible to collect enough broilers in
a day's ride to furnish a chicken supper for a church social. And eggs, follow-
ing the law of supply and demand like other commodities, mounted higher and
higher until a single egg sold for more than a whole dozen did in the same terri-
tory thirty-five years ago, and a single egg sold for 100 per cent more in New
York City than Henry Ford's character was rated at by a jury of his peers.


By J. E. Pleasants

The history of beekeeping in California is the history of beekeeping on the
Pacific Coast, as the first bees to be brought west of the Rockies were those
brought to California in 1857 by John S. Harbison. This shipment was brought
by water from Pennsylvania to California via the Isthmus. Samuel Shrewsbury
>\as the first man to bring bees into what is now Orange County. This was in 1869.
He first kept them on the JMontgomery ranch at \"illa Park. In 1871 he moved
them into the Santiago Canyon. Beekeeping as an industry has grown gradually
until there are now about 10.000 colonies kept in Orange County. There are from


75 to 100 practical beekeepers who make it their chief business. The average
yield of honey during a good year is about 200 tons. This year (1920) there will
be over 300 tons. The cash income from honey and wax, at the present prices, is
something over $100,000 annually. The main sources of nectar supply are from
the native mountain plants, such as the sages, sumac, wild alfalfa, wild buckwheat,
etc., the sages being the best nectar yielders both for quantity and quality. There
is undoubtedly no better or more delicately flavored honey in the world than that
produced from the sages of Southern California. There is also a large amount
of honey produced from the orange and bean blossoms of the valleys. The
orange honey is white, and has the spicy flavor of the orange blossoms. The great
economic value in honey production lies in the fact that such a delicate and whole-
some food is produced from a source which requires no manipulation from the
hand of man save the care of the bees. The vast quantities of nectar, commercially
speaking, would go to waste were it not for the bees, and their presence in the
orchards are a positive value in the production of fruit owing to cross-pollination.

Orange County appointed its first inspector in 1902. At that time the "foul
brood" had spread to over fifteen hundred stands, and these were scattered all
over the county. The inspector, with the cooperation of the keepers, had, up to
1910, about stamped out the disease and at that time it affected only about fifty
stands. This means those stands that are handled, for there may be some in out
of the way places that are not known to the inspector. However, the disease is
now under control. This disease is known as the American foul brood, and it is
known to have existed for more than eight hundred years, though it was not called
the American until importations were made from Italy to this country.

In 1905 a disease known and called the European foul brood was discovered
in New York, and wa? so severe that it was certain death to the bees infected.
It spread with such rapidity that it reached California in 1908, and was found
in the San Joaquin Valley, north of the Tehachepi, and exterminated the bees
in nearly every section of the Valley. Mr. Pleasants was sent from Orange County
to that region to make a study of it in order to be able to recognize it if it made
its appearance in this section. He found it was very disastrous and that it men-
aced the industry in the state should it get beyond control. It has not made its
appearance in this county up to the time of this report.

J. E. Pleasants was in charge of the California honey exhibit at New Orleans
in the winter of 1884-85, and it was there that he met with some of the most
prominent men engaged in this business in the United States. He was appointed
the first inspector for Orange Cotmty and has been continued in that position
to the present time. He has made a study of the bee for the benefit of those
engaged in the business, and has always had their hearty cooperation, the men
working in harmony with him on every occasion. The men interested in the bee
business in Orange County are in it for commercial purposes only, not from a
scientific point of view. The county now has a "clean slate," but holds a quaran-
tine on bees from any infected district. The duties of the inspector necessitate
a thorough knowledge of bees, and he is expected to look into each stand in every
apiary if possible. Even though the keepers know the signs of the disease ,they
insist upon the inspector doing the work.

It is a well known fact that bees save for the keepers, injure nothing, and
for those engaged in the fruit business are a boon, as they carry the pollen from
flower to flower and tree to tree. The valleys and canyons were the richest and
best producing places in the early days, the best flowers were to be found there,
especially the kind most needed, but when the settlers began to come in they
wanted the ground to raise hay and other farm products, and this drove the bee
men from their haunts, as the shrubs that were so abundant were grubbed out.
This condition has been changing back to the old order again, the more fertile
land in the valley has been sought out by the ranchers, and the places once occupied
by the bees are fast returning to the original condition.




By C. P. Taft

Tlie history of the semi-tropic fruits, other than citrus, in Orange County,
-;^ quite similar in most particulars to that of the other counties of Southern
California. The first Spanish settlers introduced little that is still of especial
value, except the Mission olive and grape, and there are yet some trees and vines
in existence once planted by the padres. Other and better varieties have prac-
tically superseded them, and there are numerous vineyards and olive orchards
which are profitable, but not to an extent to induce very extensive further planting.

Of more recent introduction, if not yet of equal value, and quite successfullv
grown, are the avocado, or alligator pear, feijoa, many kinds of guavas, the
loquat, cherimoya, persimmon, pomegranate and sapota. When Orange County
was first organized the persimmon, pomegranate and cherimoya were known
to a slight extent, planted by a few of the more enterprising citizens, and there
are today in Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and vicinity some specimens
of each which are approximately thirty years old. The avocado, carissa, feijoa
and sapota, in the county, are in a few cases over twelve years of age.

\\'hile other semi-tropical trees and plants have been tried, it is the very
rare exception that any have consented to live even a year, and only those men-
tioned above have been sufliciently enduring and prolific to result in or to justify
extensive propagation. For instance, the banana, pineapple, eugenia, mango,
papaya, etc., have been repeatedly tried, but as yet without satisfactory results,
though it is not impossible that among the multitude of varieties of these fruits,
there may yet be found some which will prove themselves adapted to this region.
In fact, the avocado, which is now so full of promise, was long regarded as of
very dubious value. The first trees grew well indeed, but bearing only in the
rarest instances.

It is not necessary to enter upon a detailed description of each of these fruits,
such as may be found in almost all first-class nursery catalogues, but mention may
he made in a general way of their special development.

The loquat is in a way the most characteristic fruit of Orange Count}-, for
it is here that it has been most highly developed, and so far as yet ascertained,
has reached a perfection unknown elsewhere, not only in California, but in the
world. At any rate, as a result of new varieties originated here. Orange County
has the largest and best loquat orchards. Approximately from one hundred to
one hundred fifty tons are marketed annually. Relatively this is not a large
amount, to be sure, but it is the most and best of any.

Of more recent introduction, the avocado or alligator pear, is by all odds
the most desirable fruit on the list. Attention has been especially called to prove
that this superb and fascinating fruit can be grown in many portions of Orange
County with great success. It is not unlikely that there will soon be extensive
development of this industry, rivalling the orange it may be, in value and acreage.
Excellent and prolific varieties have been established and orchards of budded
trees are making their appearance. There is every reason for believing, that by
proper selection of varieties, the avocado may be made to mature fruit every
month of the year and be a constant source of income and gratification. If it is
so desired, the grower may confine his attention to varieties ripening at such a
time as he may regard the most profitable and market his entire crop in a few

Persimmons, especially the Hachiya, a Japanese variety, here attain a perfec-
tion unsurpassed anywhere. While the market does not as yet absorb a very
large quantity, the demand is increasing and from ten to twenty tons are mar-
Tceted from Orange County each season, at good prices. A limited number of


pomegranates also find a ready market, principally as a very interesting novelty
to tourists, though they are not without an intrinsic value.

The feijoa sellowiana is the most recent introduction on the list and has
not yet been tested on the market, nearly all of the fruit going to furnish seeds
to nurserymen who wish to increase their stock. It has a most delightful flavor
and perfume, as well as unusually excellent keeping qualities. It ripens in Novem-
ber and December, at a time when fruit begins to be scarce. There is no doubt
that it will prove very profitable and should be largely planted.

Guavas of all kinds have their representative varieties, which find a con-
genial home in many portions of the county and ripen according to variety, at
all times in the year. They are mostly used to eat out of hand, but the largest
and handsomest are principally used for jellies and preserves, for which purpose
they are unsurpassed.

The carissa is a thorny bush, bearing an abundance of fragrant blossoms,
more or less bright red, and very handsome fruits, which can be used for sauces
much like the cranberry. The sapota is a large handsome tree, bearing somewhat
fitfully, a considerable quantity of yellowish-green fruit about the size of a peach.
Occasionally one finds a desirable variety, but most of the trees bear relatively
poor fruit. The time for ripening is October, when other fruits are plentiful, and
this puts it at a disadvantage. Thus it is not likely that even the best varieties
will ever be much grown. The carissa, however, may develop into something more
than a successful curiositv.

During the nine 3'ears since the foregoing description of "semi-tropic fruits"
was written, the status of the less grown fruits in Orange County has changed
relatively little. The avocado continues to take the lead and considerable planting
has been done in spite of some drawbacks from frost, which injured some trees
and nursery stock in the more exposed situations. New varieties from Guate-
mala, by ~SIt. E. E. Knight of Yorba Linda, have proved quite adaptable and
prolific, one, the "Linda," having fruits weighing from two to four pounds or
more each. Other new kinds furnished by the department of agriculture, also
from Guatemala, are being tested. Individual trees of the older planting have
established new and remarkable records for productiveness, notably the "Taft,"
which produced over five hundred dollars' worth of fruits in 1917 and over six
hundred dollars' worth in 1919. The "Sharpless" tree, owned by B. H. Sharpless
of Tustin, has done equally well. Both are among the oldest trees in the county,
and they give some idea of what to expect when trees of later planting attain
bearing age.

The persimmon has advanced considerably in the estimation of the public,
which now takes all that are offered it at very good prices. There has been and
is a good demand for trees, more than exhausting the entire available supply of
nursery stock, of which there bids fair to be a shortage for several years. In
Orange County the Hachiya, which is the best commercial variety, has rarely
been known to fail after the trees have reached the full-bearing age, which is
about eight years from planting. On the oldest trees the production amounts to
400 pounds or more annually.

Among the feijoas new varieties have been developed, which are not onl}-
larger, but extend the season so that it now lasts from September to December
inclusive, and the fruit is in increasing demand, not only for immediate con-
sumption, but for preserves.

The jujube, a recent introduction by the department of agriculture, is proving
ver}' well suited to this section, being both a vigorous grower and very prolific.
It is likely in due time to take place among the standard fruits of Orange

Originating in this county, a seedless sapota is the latest novelty to attract
the attention of horticulturists: In addition to its seedlessness it has other very


surprising characteristics, and it may be Iieard from again. The original tree
has only lately reached the bearing stage ; it is very prolific.

As one object of this article is to show what semi-tropical fruits can be
grown with confidence and profit, and what are at best only experiments, we
will recapitulate: The avocado, loquat and feijoa are very desirable and may be
grown extensively with good results financially. The persimmon and pomegranate
also are reasonably desirable. The carissa and sapota should only meet with indi-
vidual favor and a few specimens be grown in every collection.



W'liat is generally called the English walnut in this countr}- should more
properly be called the Persian walnut. Its scientific name is Juglans Regia. Be-
cause of its thin shell and rich flavor it has been grown in the old world for
many centuries. In America, however, it has not been very successfully grown
except in parts of California. Not every kind of soil and climate, even in Cali-
fornia, is suitable for securing the best results. The walnut requires a deep,
rich loam, or even adobe soil, free from hardpan or standing water within reaich
of the roots. It also requires a mild and equable climate, such as is found in the
southern part of the state near the coast.

More than a third of a century's experiments seem to have demonstrated
that the best conditions for the successful growing of walnuts are found in Orange,
Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The tree does not do well
farther up the coast, while in the hot valleys of the interior it grows to an
enormous size, but produces few nuts and those of an inferior quality.

All the early planting of walnuts, both in Europe and the Llnited States,
was done with seedlings, and even now many such trees are planted, either
to save the expense or because grafted trees are not always available. Alany
prefer the seedlings, for the results secured are as satisfactory, when they have
iDeen bred up to a high standard, as those obtained from the grafted stock.
However, many growers prefer the grafted stock. According to some authorities,
the Mayette type is not profitable and is only suited for high altitudes. Experi-
ments show that these foreign walnuts do not grow as vigorously when grafted
upon roots of their own species as they do on some of the American species.

. Professor A^an Deman, in an article in the Rural New Yorker, says there
are four species of native walnuts, Juglans nigra, Juglans cinerea, Juglans
rupestris and Juglans Californica, upon all of which he has experimented, and
he prefers the latter two, which are very much alike. Prof. W. J. Clarke, in
the California Fruit Grower, says : "The native black walnuts, strong, vigorous
growers and self-adapted to the different climatic and soil conditions of the state,
should be used as stocks upon which to graft or bud the less vigorous European
varieties and their. seedling progeny."

The seed nuts are carefully selected from trees bearing the largest nuts
of the desired variety and planted in layering beds, the soil of which is composed
of equal portions of sand and loam well mixed. The nuts are spread evenly
over the beds and covered to a depth of two inches with the same kind of soil.
This layering is done in the latter part of the winter and the beds kept moist
until the nuts germinate. As soon as the nuts crack open and the caulicle or
root-stem appears, the nuts are transplanted to the nursery row, care being taken
not to injure the caulicle. They are replanted two inches deeper than before
to allow for settling of the dirt, and about four or five feet apart in rows at
least thirty inches from each other, the soil having been prepared for their
reception. Constant attention with the judicious use of water and the necessary
cultivation bring forward the little plants until large enough to bud or graft to
the desired variety.


If, however, an orchard of seedlings is wanted, the right variety of nuts
is selected for planting and the budding or grafting dispensed with. One suc-
cessful grower, George W. Ford, of Santa Ana, took his selected nuts, when
the time came, in April, for planting, put them in barrels and covered with
water, letting them soak for forty-eight hours. The water was drained off and
the nuts spread evenly over a surface and covered with wet sacks for another
forty-eight hours, during which time they crack open and sprouts show, then
they were set out in prepared beds, five feet apart, and were kept well irrigated.
The nursery stock is usually one, two or three years old when transplanted
to the orchard. The prevailing price for seedlings in 1910 was from ten to
thirty cents apiece, while the grafted trees usually cost from fifty cents to $1.25
each, or at the rate of ten cents per foot in height. On rich, heavy soil the
trees are planted forty-five or fifty feet apart ; but on lighter soil they are fre-
quently planted forty feet apart.

The quantity of water used in irrigating the trees, the number of times
and the best season of the year to make the application, are questions that
every grower determines for himself by observation and experience. There is
more or less variation in the seasons and different kinds of soil require different
kinds of treatment. As a general rule no more water is applied than is neces-
sary to keep the trees in a thrifty condition. More than enough increases the
expense and injures the trees and soil. On good walnut land, in seasons of
average rainfall, one irrigation each year is all that is generally given.

Mr. Ford stated that he had not plowed his walnut orchard for fifteen years.
His production from 283 trees in 1909 was 28,040 pounds, for which he received
twelve and a half cents, orchard run. Some of his trees yielded 300 pounds
each. They weighed sixty-eight pounds to the sack. In 1910 the crop weighed
fifty-eight pounds to the sack and he received fourteen cents orchard run for the
crop. By careful experiment he had found that a "plow-hardpan" is formed by
cultivating, and also that it breaks off the small shoots sent up by the roots to
draw the necessary nourishment from the air. This retards the development
of the tree to some extent, besides the nut is not as perfect. He had planted his
trees the ordinary distance apart, but by cutting out every other tree, found his
yield much greater.

The California \\'alnut Growers' .Association quoted the following prices in

No. 1 soft shell 28 cents

No. 2 soft shell 25 cents

Fancy budded 31i4 cents

Standard budded 29 cents

Jumbos 31>< cents

The value of the 1919 crop for Orange County was estimated at $5,750,000.
The monthly bulletin of the State Commission of Horticulture for April,
1919, says: "More walnuts are raised in California than in any other state or
country in the world." Table XI in the same bulletin gives the acreage and
production of walnuts by counties in 1909 and 1918. The figures for the latter
year only are quoted and for those counties only that produce a million or more
pounds of nuts, as follows :

Acres in Average Pounds Production
County Bearing per Acre in Pounds

Los Angeles 15,572 J':'? 1 1,794,000

Oran<^e 12,350 1,283 15,849.000

Santa" Barbara 4,500 789 3,551 ,000

Ventura 11.334 678 7,688,700

The State 48,520 829 40,230,680

Let the people of Orange County rejoice and be glad that California pro-
duces more walnuts than any other state or country in the world, and that Orange
County produces sixty-two per cent more of nuts per acre than Santa Barbara


County, its nearest competitor, and thirty-four per cent larger crop than Los
Angeles County, its nearest competitor in quantity, notwithstanding its twenty-six
per cent less acres in bearing.


By Harold E. Wahlberg

The Orange County Farm Bureau is just now closing its second year, which
has been one of numerous activities and county-wide interest. Although located
in a county of intensive agricultural industry, a county well supplied with numer-
ous other organizations, marketing, political, social and others, this infant organ-
ization has made noteworthy strides notwithstanding. At the time of the' last
annual report the membership of the County Farm Bureau of Orange County
numbered 704. During the past year several have fallen out, and still more
have been added, making a total at this writing of 827. This membership is dis-
tributed throughout the county among thirteen Farm Centers, as follows :

Anaheim 7i La Habra 83

Buena Park 7C^ San Juan Capistrano 23

El Modena 30 Tustin 65

Fullerton 108 \'illa Park 61

Garden Grove 7i West Orange 30

Harper 66 Wintersburg 51

Yorba Linda 79

During the early part of the present year a systematic membership cam-

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 23 of 191)