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 26 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 26 of 191)
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gent, persistent fight against them by the fruit growers — they have been "gassed."

As the supervisors, composing the third board, were making up their lists
of trial jurors, in compliance with the orders of the judge of the Superior Court,
the member from the Fifth District quietly remarked that it would not do to
include any Populists among those selected. "Why not?" asked the member
from the Second District, wdio, though a Democrat, was populistically inclined.
"Because," the Fifth member replied, "the law requires persons selected for jury
duty to have ordinary intelligence." It is needless to add that this sally provoked
a hearty laugh, in which the Second member joined.

Early in the history of Orange County the Bolsa drainage ditch was con-
structed under the control of the supervisors, as described in the chapter on the
celery industry. iThe two principal objectors to the work were F. R. Hazard and
J. L. Holly. They fought the improvement at every step and took their case to
the Supreme Court, but all in vain. A few years ago the former supervisor
from the Fourth District was introduced to Airs. Holly at a meeting of the Orange
County \"eterans' Association and received a rather equivocal greeting. "Armor !"
she exclaimed, "I used to think you were the very devil." He replied: "Doubt-
k's- you liave heard that the devil is not so black as he has been painted. Besides,
the ile\el(ii)ment of that section of the county has more than justified the con-
struction of the Bolsa ditch." "Oh, well !" she said, "It's all over now and we"ll
not ciuarrel further about it: but it was pretty tough at the time."

Tim Carroll, the inventor of the beet dump and- pioneer nurseryman of
.•\naheim, went before the board of supervisors, sitting as a board of equaliza-
tion, to get the assessment, which Jake Ross had put upon his nursery stock, re-
duced. He said his stock consisted of old stubs of pafm, pampas grass and left-
over trees that were not w^orth the cost of clearing the ground. The assessor
pointed out that there were enough salable trees in the nursery to justify the
assessment without taking account of the worthless stock : so the board refused to
make any reduction. In taking his leave, the redoubtable Tim expressed his
opinion of the personnel of the board by remarking. "The whole foive of ve
haven't sinse enough to make one dacent supervisor."

When the supervisors were considering a certain date to which they might
adjourn, one of the members objected because that was the date set for President
Harrison's visit to Orange County. "What interest can you, a Democrat, have
in a Republican president's visit?" a bystander asked. "He's m\- president." was
the dignified answer. The rebuke in those three words silenced all levity and
imparted a lesson in good citizenshi]i without preachment. In a republican or
representative form of government, the will, (ir choice, of the majoritv must be


acquiesced in by the minority, in order to avoid factional strife. On the other
hand the officer, thus chosen, should sedulously represent the whole people within
his jurisdiction. The president, for instance, should so conduct his administration
t4iat every citizen, without regard to party affiliation, would instinctively regard
him as "my president," and not clannishly as the head of a political party.

In a conversation with the writer over another subject, James McFadden
casually mentioned the following incident as a reason why he thought he might
have some influence with the editor of the Los Angeles Times in shaping the
attitude of the paper toward that subject. Shortly after the Times was started in
Los Angeles and had taken its stand against the closed shop, Air. McFadden met
Colonel Otis, its founder and editor, at the seashore and noticed that he seemed
quite despondent. On being asked for the reason. Colonel Otis said that the
Typographical Union had prejudiced and intimidated the money market against
his undertaking so that he could not borrow a dollar and he must have money
to keep going until the patronage would meet the expenses. Mr. McFadden
immediately oiTered to loan him the money and the offer was gladly accepted.
Thus did a citizen of what is now Orange County help to establish the Los
Angeles Times and foster it until able to go alone. Long since has the paper
justified the wisdom of its founder, not only in its own marvelous growth, but
also in the stupendous growth of its home city, which it has sturdily defended
for nearly forty years against the blighting influence of the closed shop. Because
of the city's open shop policy, millions of dollars have come to Los Angeles from
the East for investment and other millions have left San Francisco and moved
thither. Where large amounts of capital are invested in the industries, there
thousands of workmen find employment and thus increase the population of the
community as well as utilize the capital invested therein. If "he who causes two
blades of grass to grow where one grew before is a public benefactor," much
more is he who helps to establish institutions and maintain policies that oppose
the domination of one class over another but encourage cooperation and helpful-
ness among all classes, "and on earth peace, good will toward men."

During the term of the second board of supervisors, the people of Anaheim
got up a Fourth of July celebration and invited the board of supervisors to par-
ticipate in the parade, which at that early date would consist entirely of carriages
and other vehicles drawn by horses. When the marshal, who was superintending
the loading of vehicles and getting them into line, looked for the barouche that
Avas designed for the supervisors, he found that it had been appropriated by some
other dignitaries, so he bundled the supervisors into the first conveyance that came
to hand. After tlie parade had taken up its line of march, an urchin called out
from the sidewalk, "Oh, look at that bunch of stiffs in the undertaker's runabout !"
Immediately Supervisor Schorn had the driver stop the team, and the whole line
of march, while he scrambled to the ground and disappeared among the pedestrians.

A county free library was established by the board of supervisors on Decem-
ber 0, 1919.

For about fifteen years the Pacific States (formerly the Sunset) Telephone
Company fought the Home Telephone Company to prevent it from entering
Orange County, or from increasing its business after it had entered. Finalh',
with the consent of the Railroad Commission, it succeeded in merging the two
companies, that is. in absorbing the Home Company. The Railroad Commission
also permitted the Pacific Company to raise its rates and to cut out the free switch-
ing between exchanges. When, however, the Federal Government took over the
wires and granted the same privileges to the telephone company, the state coin-
mission withdrew its consent and tried to maintain its control ; but the courts
ruled against it. \\'hile these questions were pending, the telephone company
added twenty-five cents to each phone rate, making it $1.75 per month for a resi-
dence phone and $2.75 for a business phone. This increase probably netted the
company not less than $1,800 per month, or $21,600 per year, in this county alone,
without including the gain from the Home subscribers at the basic rates of $L50


for residence and $2.50 for business phones. Such an increase of rates and sub-
scribers ought to have satisfied the company ; but no sooner was the Federal Gov-
ernment's control of the wires established than the company added another quarter
to the residence rate and a whole dollar to the business rate, making them re-
spectively $2.00 and $3.75, under the plea that such were the Government's orders
and the company could not do otherwise. ■Many individuals ordered their phones
out and others exercised their constitutional right "to freely assemble together to
consult for the common good." After much consultation they decided to form
a mutual telephone company, to be operated without profit, and applied to the
secretary of state for a charter. Jileanwhile lists were circulated and signed by
more than half the company's subscribers ordering their phones out, some un-
conditionally and others when the new company was ready to give them service.
The charter was refused under .the advice of the attorney-general, on the ground
that the new company is not a stock company, as he understands the law recjuires
such a company to be. A state charter was finally secured, however, and the first
unit of the exchange is to be eonstructed at Garden Grove.

The forming of districts for various purposes enables communities to secure
some of the benefits of city government without taking over the whole responsi-
bility. For instance, in going over the supervisors' minutes, the number 'of dis-
tricts, other tlian school districts, was found to be approximately as follows, viz. :
Five drainage districts, one sanitary district, seven lighting districts, one irrigation
district, three library districts and seven protection districts. Where considerable
money is needed to carry out the purpose for which a district was organized it is
generally obtained by bonding the district. Take the irrigation district in the
foregoing list as an example. The Newport IMesa Irrigation District contains
nearly 700 acres of land on the Newport mesa between the boulevard and the
bluffs overlooking the Santa Ana River. This tract was dependent on a neighbor-
ing water system for irrigating water up to the season of 1919. Being unable to
get water any longer from that source, the land owners were in a quandary as
to how to save their trees and grow their crops, wdien Stephen Townsend of Long
Beach came to their relief. He advised them to form a district and while they
were doing so he put in a complete water system for them, consistijig of a well,
engine and pump near the river and steel pipelines to deliver the water all over
the tract. When the district was formed, the people voted to issue $50,000 bonds
with which to reimburse Mr. Townsend and thereby become owners of their
water system. These bonds sold under competitive bids at a premium of $1,578
to the Lumberman's Trust Company of San Francisco.

■ A small district was formed November 4, 1919, called the Fullerton Irriga-
tion District, and a full set of officers elected.


Follow^ing is the summary of the soil survey of the .\naheim .\rca of Cali-
fornia, made by government engineers in 1916, Ijut just published in 1919 by the
U. S. Department of .-Kgriculture :

The soil survey of the Anaheim area covers the most important agricultural
part of Orange County. California, with smaller parts of adjoining counties. The
area lies southeast of Los Angeles and fronts on the Pacific Ocean. It is bounded
on the north and east by hilly sections that are largely too rough and broken for
agricultural use. It is joined on the north by the Pasadena area and on the west
by the Los Angeles area, which are covered by other soil surveys.

The Anaheim area embraces three physiographic divisions — the inclosing
broken hills on the north and east, remnants of somewhat elevated old valley
surfaces or marine terraces, which lie alons? the base of the hills or border the


ocean front and, as the most extensive division, broad, rather smooth and gently
sloping alluvial fans.

Elevations range from sea level in some coastal sections to a maximum of
1,600 feet in the hill portions. A large part of the area lies below 100 feet and
most of it below 200 feet in elevation.

The Santa Ana River crosses the main part of the area, and the San Gabriel
River crosses the western section. These streams directly drain only a small part
of the area, owing to their built-up position, which makes the entrance of lateral
streams difficult. Santiago Creek drains a part of the survey and flows into the
Santa Ana River, but the greater part of the run-off from the surrounding hills
and main valley slopes is carried largely by minor independent streams.

The area is thickly populated, and agriculture is by far the most important
industry. According to the census reports the area in 1910 had a population of
something less than 40,000, but the population has greatly increased in recent
vears. About sixty per cent of the population reside in the cities or towns, less
than one-half living under strictly rural conditions. Santa Ana, with a population
of 8,429 in 1910, is the largest city. There are a number of other cities and towns
in the -area ranging from several hundred to about 3,000 inhabitants.

Transportation facilities are good.

The area is well supplied with schools, telephones, and other modern con-

The climate is very pleasant and favorable to the production of a wide range
of agricultural products. The average annual rainfall ranges from ten to fifteen
inches in dififerent parts of the survey, while the mean annual temperature aver-
ages about 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Danger from frost influences the distribution
of citrus and other fruits, the higher land being least susceptible to damage. A
growing season of about ten months is available for sensitive crops, while the
hardy crops can be grown throughout the year.

The rainfall is confined to the winter months, and this has an important
bearing on agricultural practices and renders irrigation necessary for many fruits
and field crops which make their greatest growth during the summer season.

The agriculture of the area is highly developed. !Most of the products are
highly specialized and are grown for export rather than for local consumption.
Chief among the products are oranges, lemons, and walnuts, with some deciduous
fruits. Beans are an important field crop, and large quantities of sugar beets are
utilized by local factories. Grain and grain hay cover large acreages. Subsidiary
crops and industries, such as truck crops, dairying, and poultry raisuig, are locally
important. The region is one of high average land prices.

The soils of the Anaheim area fall mainly in three general groups — residual
soils, old valley filling or coastal plain soils, and recent alluvial soils.

The first group includes those soils derived in place by the weathering and
disintegration of consolidated rocks, and usually occupies rolling or mountainous
areas. Tillable areas are used largely for grain and hay production. The residual
soils are inextensive. They are classed with the Altamont and the Diablo series.

The soils derived from old valley filling or coastal plain deposits are relatively
extensive. They are grouped in the Ramona, ^lontezuma, and Antioch series.
These series are intermediate in elevation between the recent alluvial soils and the
residual .soils. The Montezuma and Antioch soils are not important agriculturally.
They are irrigated to only a small extent, being used principally for dry-farm
crops, mainly beans and grain. The Ramona soils are irrigated in many places,
and large plantings of citrus fruits have been made. Most of the orchards are
still young.

The recent-alluvial soils are the most important, both in extent 'and agricul-
tural use. These soils are in places subject to overflow or accumulation of alkali,
but, on the whole, are very valuable farming types, having a smooth surface, a
deep, friable soil, and sub.soil conditions favoring deep-rooted crops. The facilities


for irrigation are good. These soils are grouped in the Hanford, Yolo, Dublin,
and Chino series.

Several groups of miscellaneous material also are mapped, one of which,
muck and peat, consisting of cumulose deposits, is productive when drained. The
other miscellaneous types, tidal marsh, coastal beach and dunesand, riverwash,
and rough, broken and stony land are practically all nonagricultural.

Irrigation is an important factor in the agriculture of the area, as most of
the fruits and many other crops require it. In 1910 there were 2,215 irrigated
farms, or about seventy per cent of the total number in Orange County. The
recent alluvial soils are most extensively irrigated, although important parts of
the old valley filling and coastal plain soils also are watered.

Parts of this survey are affected by a high water table and consecjuent injurious
accumulations of alkali. Alost of the alkali land is tilled and used mainly for the
production of sugar beets. Considerable effort has been made to reclaim the
alkali lands and make them nnore productive.

While the technical classification of the soils of Orange County, as given
in the foregoing survey, may not be of much practical benefit to the tillers of said
soils, the general information furnished therewith about them and other
characteristics of the county is worth while to all who have not observed the facts
and undergone the experiences for themselves. The soils of the county, composed
of particles of air-and-water-slaked rocks washed down from the mountains, are
of infinite variety and limitless depth without any hardpan intervening. The
writer has removed pepper roots from a well twenty feet distant from the tree
whose roots penetrated the brick curb thirty feet below the surface. He also
has traced alfalfa roots to a depth of twenty-one feet. Forty-five years ago
"Prophet Potts" declared such soils were absolutely inexhaustible; but now we
know better. The soils, when first precipitated on the mesas and lowlands as
disintegrated rocks, had no humus, or vegetable mold in them ; but the growth
and decay of vegetation, once started and continued for ages, has supplied this
ingredient to the top soil for a depth of several feet. Now, as this humus is being
exhausted, the farmers and orchardists find it necessary to supply cover crops,
straws and other vegetable matter to be turned into humus. Thus, with a good
foundation to build on, the soil of Orange County can be kept inexhaustible by
supplying it with the proper plant food wdien needed.

Climate is "the temperature and meteorological conditions of a country."
Temperature is "the state of a body with respect to sensible heat." Meteorology
is "the science of the atmosphere and its various phenomena." The atmosphere is
"the aeriform fluid surrounding the earth." Hence, for all practical purposes,
climate is the temperature of the air of a country. As an illustration of the
volatile equalization of temperature, it has been stated that the entrance of a
person into a room would immediately raise the temperature of every object in
the room. Along the same line and assisting in the equalization of temperature,
is the principle of the diffusion of gases, whereby different portions of air from
various sources quietly combine and form a compound of mean or average tem-
perature and of less harmful character than either of them might be, if laden
with some foul gas from wdiich the other is free. The writer has frequently
ridden, after sundown, through a strip of air warmer than the rest of the air
through which he was traveling. This air was being warmed by heat radiating
from a strip of warmer soil and had not yet mingled with the surrounding air.
\\'hen this radiating heat is great and from a large area of territory, the heated
air above such territory rises and the cooler air ru.shes in, thereby creating wind,
which hastens the equalization of the temperature and the purification of the
atmosphere. The latitude of Orange County under a southern sky, its distance
from the mountains, snow-capped in winter, and its proximity to the mild Pacific
Ocean, the character of its soil for absorbing and radiating the heat of the sun, the
direction of its prevailing winds and many other conditions, all tend to modifv the



extremes of temperature and give to this county an equable climate. Doctor Coyle,
moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly at Los Angeles several years
ago, turned a neat compliment upon Southern California when he said it was "the
land where three hundred and sixty-five days of each year were sunshiny and the
rest were unusual."

The chapter on Orange County's Water Supply gives the rainfall of the
entire basin of the Santa Ana River for thirty years up to 1900. Following is a
table of the rainfall of Orange County from July 1, 1900 to July 1, 1920.























2 60
6 14


3 24




4 00



1 60




1 18






Average annual rainfall for twenty years from 1500 to 1920, 13.81 inches.

Average annual rainfall for fifty years from 1870 to 1920, 13.84 inches.

In the former period, prior to 1900, the average annual rainfall at Orange
was 13.87 inches, or si.x hundredths of an inch more than that of the latter
period, since 1900 : but it is remarkable that the two averages should come so near
together. It shows that, whatever variation there may be in the rainfall from
year to year, it averages up like the manna did for the children of Israel : "He
that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack."
However, much better use has been made of the rainfall in the latter period than
in the former. Large quantities of flood waters have been diverted from the
streams near their source each winter and run on debris cones and waste land to
fill the underground gravel strata and drain later into the streams lower down,
or be pumped from the gravel basins for summer irrigation. The number of
mumping plants in the county has increased from 509 in 1910 to 1,283 in 1920. In


all probability the capacity of the imlivifkial pumping plants has increased as
well as the number, for the county assessor valued the 1,285. plants at $3.85.5,000,
an average of $3,000 apiece. The effect of this increase in pumping plants is seen
in the increase of irrigated land in the county. According to a preliminary report
by the Bureau of the Census, there are 86,060 acres of land in Orange County
under irrigation. In 1910 the number of irrigated acres was 55,060, which sub-
tracted from the present acreage shows a gain of 31,000 acres, or fifty-six per
cent, in the ten years. But in 1910 the number of pumping plants was 509, which
subtracted from the present number shows a gain of 776 plants, or 152 per cent,
in the same ten years. That is, there has been a greater per cent of gain in pump-
ing plants than in irrigated land ; which would prove that the increase in ]3umping
plants was a sufficient cause for the increase in irrigated land.

A number of citizens of San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties,
realizing that more can be done towards conserving the winter flood waters of
the Santa Ana River and preventing damage therefrom to riparian lands near
the coast, undertook to form a conservancy district of the entire basin of the
stream ; but the "Conservancy Act of California" was found to be of doubtful
constitutionality and otherwise objectionable. The committee, which had been
appointed to devise a plan for the formation of the district, accordingly submitted
the question of the sufficiency of the act to Loyal C. Kelley, T. W. Duckworth
and L. A. West, district attorneys, respectively, of San Bernardino, Riverside and
Orange counties. The opinion of these officials was to the effect that the boards
of supervisors have no authority, either singly or collectively, to appropriate and
expend money outside of their respective counties for flood control, and that the
Conservancy Act of 1919 is unconstitutional, "because of the suft'rage qualifi-
cations therein contained and because of the basis of assessment therein set
forth." Whether these objections will be overcome by future legislation remains
to be seen. Meantime the good work of the Tri-Counties Refoiestation Com-

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 26 of 191)