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 28 of 191)
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self-culture than to text-books, more to determination and will-power than to youthful
opportunities. His first employment was that of messenger boy and he recalls carry-
ing the message that announced the assassination of of President Lincoln. Later he
clerked in a store and in 1869 joined his father at Vermont, 111., where he learned the
trade of bricklayer. On the 19th of December, 1871, he went to Chicago and imme-
diately secured employment, first working as a bricklayer and in 1873 superintending
the erection of several buildings, after which he engaged in the mercantile business.
During 1876-77 he engaged in canvassing in the interests of a local historical work in
his native county and during 1878 he embarked in a similar enterprise for himself al
Galesburg. III., whence the office in 1880 was moved to Chicago. The business was
first conducted under his own name and after his brother. Frank M.. became a partner.
the firm name was changed to Chapman Brothers and later to the Chapman Puli-
lishing Company.

As the business of the firm increased the plant was enlarged until it had em-
braced extensive quarters and a large equipment. In addition to the management of a
printing and publishing business the firm erected numerous buildings, including busi-
ness structures, apartments, hotels and more than twenty substantial residences. Dur-
ing the World's Fair they conducted the Vendome Hotel for the accomtnodation of
many of the leading capitalists and business men of the country. The financial panic
of that year caused very heavy losses to the firm.


At Austin, Tex., October 23, 1884, Mr. Chapman married Miss Lizzie Pearson,
wlio was born near Galesburg, 111., September 13, 1861, being a daughter of Dr. C.
S. and Nancy (Wallace) Pearson. Two children blessed the union, namely: Ethel
Marguerite, born June 10, 1886, now the wife of Dr. William Harold Wickett of Ful-
lerton, and Charles Stanley, January 7, 1889. During January of 1894 Mr. Chapman
went to Texas, hoping that the southern climate might benefit his wife, who was ill
vMi pulmonary trouble. Later in the same year he came to Californi? with the
same hope, but here, as elsewhere, he was doomed to disappointment. While the
family were occupying their beautiful home on the corner of Adams and Figueroa
streets, Los Angeles, Mrs. Chapman passed away September 19, 1894. Noble traits
of heart and mind made Mrs. Chapman preeminent in family and church circles,
while her accomplishments fitted her to grace the most aristocratic social functions.
Her charming personal appearance, lovable nature and graceful manner won the
atTectionate regard of a host of friends. Earth held so much of joy in an ideal home
happiness that she could not covet the boon death proffered, yet she accepted it
with the fortitude that characterized her sweet Christian resignation to intense suf-
fering through a long illness.

The present wife of Mr. Chapman was Miss Clara Irvin, daughter of S. M. and
Lucy A. Irvin, and a native of Iowa, but from childhood a resident of Los Angeles
until her marriage September 3, 1898. They have one child, Irvin Clarke. Mr. and
Mrs. Chapman have traveled extensively, both in this country and abroad. Both
are members of the Christian Church, with which Mr. Chapman united at the age
of sixteen, and in which he has held all the important official positions. For years
he was a member of the Cook County Sunday-school board, a member of the general
board. Y. M. C. A. of Chicago, also an organizer of the board of city missions of the
Christian churches of Chicago. His identification with these various activities was
severed upon his removal from Chicago, but he has been equally active in the West.
He has been for nearly a score of years president of the Christian Missionary Society
of Southern California, and has taken part in the dedication of forty churches, being
the speaker and making the appeal for money, and in a special, as well as a general,
way assisted many churches. He is a director of the Christian Board of Publication
of St. Louis. The largest of his philanthropic enterprises are the building of a hos-
pital at Nantungchow, China, and his contribution to the California School of Chris-
tianity of Los Angeles. For years he has served as a member of the state executive
committee of the Y. M. C. A., in 1914 was president of the state convention, and in
April, 1915, was elected chairman of the state executive committee. He has been
reelected annually since. He has served as president of the State Sunday School
Association, and in 1911 was elected to represent Southern California on the Inter-
national Executive Committee, and was vice-chairman of the Committee. In 1914
he was reelected to both positions, and continues to serve on the Committee. In 1903
he was appointed by Governor Pardee a trustee of the State Normal School at San
Diego, was reappointed by him, and later by Governor Gillett, and still later by Gov-
ernor Johnson, resigning after a service of ten years. In 1907 he was elected a trustee
of Pomona College, serving until 1915. Upon the organization of the California School
of Christianity, he was chosen a trustee and president of the board.

Since coming to California Mr. Chapman has devoted much attention to building
up the Santa Ysabel rancho near FuUerton, which, under his supervision, has been
developed into one of the most valuable orange properties in the state. The Old
Mission brand, under which name the fruit is packed, has a reputation second to none
in the best markets of the country, and prices commanded have been the record prices
for California oranges since 1897. He also has other valuable orange ranches in
the neighborhood of Fullerton.

In politics Mr. Chapman is a Republican. He has served as a member of the
state central committee, and in 1912 made an unsuccessful race for nomination for
state senator. He was elected one of the first trustees of Fullerton, served as chair-
man of the board, and was reelected for a second term. He is a director of the Com-
mercial National Bank of Los Angeles and of the Farmers and Merchants National
Bank of Fullerton, He is interested in mining and in the oil business, and has large
realty holdings in Los Angeles and elsewhere. The most important of these is the
Charles C. Chapman Building, a thirteen-story office building, in Los Angeles.

Mr. Chapman has been closely identified with the irrigation interests that lie at
the foundation of success in fruit culture. He served as director and president of the
Anaheim Union Water Company for several years. He has made the fruit industry a
success, has encouraged others to greater efforts in the same business, and has proved
a power for good in the development of horticulture in Southern California. He has
borne his share in public affairs, in religious work and in social circles, as well as in


his chosen occupation of grower and shipper of fruit. Activities so far-reaching, aspira-
tions so broad and influences so philanthropic have given his name prominence, while
he has become endeared to thousands of citizens through his humanitarian views,
his progressive tendencies, his gentle courtesy and his unceasing interest in important
moral, educational, religious and political questions.

DANIEL HALLADAY.— Among the honored pioneers of Southern California
who have contributed largely to the growth and advancement of this section of the
state through their excellent business judgment and public-spirited service, the name
of Daniel Halladay ranks high. Coming to Santa Ana in 1880, Mr. Halladay at
once actively identified himself with the development of the locality, interesting him-
self to some extent in agriculture, but it was in the world of finance that his greate^t
accomplishments were achieved.

The lineage of the Halladay family dates back for several generations in the
history of New England, and its representatives were always in the forefront of the
progressive life of their communities. A native of Vermont, Daniel Halladay was
born in Marlboro. November 24, 1826. His parents were David and Nancy (.Car-
penter) Halladay, both natives of the same state. Daniel Halladay's early days were
spent at his birthplace, but when he was twelve years of age his parents removed
to Springfield, Mass., later settling at Ware, in that state, and in these places Daniel
received his education in the public schools. Always of a mechanical bent, at the
age of nineteen years he apprenticed himself to learn the machinist's trade, continuing
as an apprentice and journeyman for six years. During the latter half of this period
he was foreman in the American Machine Works at Springfield, Mass., and the ma-
chine works of Seth Adams & Company, in South Boston, Mass. After closing his
work with the last-named firm he returned to his former position with the American
Machine Works at Springfield, and while there he had charge of the construction of
the caloric engine invented by John Ericsson, well known to history as the designer
of the famous Monitor. During the World's Fair in London in 1851, it was a part
of the American exhibit in the Crystal Palace, Mr. Halladay superintending its erec-
tion and exhibition there.

Returning to the United States, Mr. Halladay became a partner in a machine
manufacturing concern at Ellington, Conn., but the connection lasted but a short time,
Mr. Halladay then going to South Coventry, Conn., where he engaged in the manu-
facture of machinery under the firm name of the Halladay Wind Mill Company,
the greater part of the machines turned out being of his own invention. The com-
pany's plant was removed to Batavia, 111., in 1863, and here the business of the plant
grew to a large volume, so that when Mr. Halladay decided to retire from it in order
to come to California, he was able to dispose of it at a handsome figure.

Locating at Santa Ana in 1880, Mr. Halladay entered at once into the upbuilding
of the county, his clear vision making plain to him its great possibilities. Two years
later, in 1882, when the Commercial Bank of Santa Ana was established, he was made
its president, and this was the beginning of many years of service in the banking
field, in which his wisdom, integrity and wide grasp had a large part in putting it
on its present sound, progressive, yet conservative basis. After serving as the bank's
president for a number of years he was made vice-president, always keeping a guid-
ing hand on the affairs of the institution. He was also one of the incorporators of
the Bank of Orange, serving on its directorate until it changed hands; at one time
he was a director of the Orange County Savings Bank. All of these institutions
benefited greatly by Mr. Halladay's wise counsel, as was evidenced by their con-
stant growth, both in number of depositors and amounts of deposits, and his sound
judgment has left its impress on their policies to the present day. Interested in
every project that made for the material progress of the community, Mr. Halladay
entered enthusiastically into the plans for furnishing Santa Ana with illuminating
gas. being one of the incorporators and directors of the Santa .Ana Gas Company.
He was also instrumental in the promotion of the Santa .Ana, Orange & Tustin
Street Railway, and was one of its directors throughout the existence of the company.

Mr. Halladay's marriage, which occurred in Ludlow, Mass.. May 3. 1849. united
him with Miss Susan M. Spooner, born at Belchertown, Mass., and, like her husband,
a descendant of an old New England family. She passed away on December 26,
fOS. at Santa .\na. One child was born to them, a son who died in infancy. Mrs.
Halladay was a charter member of the Presbyterian Church at Santa .Ana and very
pctive in its circles. Mr. Halladay spent the last few years of his life in retirement
from active duties, although he always maintained a wide interest in the affairs of
the community and nation, being particularly concerned in the cause of temperance.


of which he was ever a stanch advocate. His death occurred on March 1, 1916, at
his home on East First Street, being survived by his adopted daughter. Mrs. Susie M.

achievement and tradition featuring the glowing chapters of California history one
is reminded of in the life-story of Theodore Rimpau, long the oldest citizen in point of
years of residence in Orange County. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, on Septem-
ber 28, 1826, the son of Johanas and Matilda (Henneburg) Rimpau, natives of Germany.
He enjoyed, on account of his parents' social and financial circumstances, the advan-
tages of a superior education, and unlike many who were destined for such a career
as he later followed, lie studied French, German and Latin, and later pursued a prac-
tical business course. After putting in several years with a wholesale business concern
at Hamburg, he decided to seek his fortune in the New World, and came to the
United States in 1848.

Leaving the Fatherland about the time of the great political upheaval striving for
some of the very objects recently attained in Germany, Mr. Rimpau landed in New
York, and was soon employed by a leading wholesale house; and it was while he was
there, getting accustomed to the freer ways of the young Republic, that the news of
the discovery of gold in California was heralded throughout the country. He took
passage for San Francisco, via Panama, and from the Isthmus came on the first
steamship that sailed for what was then called Verba Buena. Immediately upon his
arrival, he joined the hurrying throngs seeking the "yellow metal," and for a short
time was fairly successful, but like many another who catered to the wants of the
hazarding miner, he found the best way to riches through the avenue of trade.

Mr. Rimpau soon formed a partnership for general merchandising in San Fran-
cisco; and as he prospered, he branched out to the South. He opened another store
in Los Angeles, in 1850, to which he gave all of his attention when he had been
burned out twice in the Bay City; his partners, Schwerin and Garbe, returned to South
America, where they had formerly lived. In December, 1850. Mr. Rimpau was mar-
ried to Miss Francisca Avila, the daughter of Francisco and Encarnacion (Sepulveda)
Avila, and a native of the City of the Angels. She died at Anaheim in 1903, the
mother of seventeen children, seven still living: Frederick, of this review; Sophie and
Marie L., all of Anaheim; Frank T., of Alhambra; James A., Benjamin A. and John L.,
of Los x\ngeles.

In 1851, Mr. Rimpau closed his well-known Los Angeles store and started in
the stock business on a tract of 800 acres of land owned by his wife, and originally
a Spanish grant that had been in the Avila family for nearly 100 years, and part of
which is still owned by the family; and there, on what is now within the corporate
limits of Los Angeles, Mr. Rimpau followed stock raising until in the early '60's,
when he moved to the San Joaquin ranch. For two years there were awful droughts
throughout the state, and after his cattle died, he continued in the sheep business until
1876, when another drought came, and his son, Adolph, to save the herds, drove them
to Salt Lake City.

Coming to Anaheim in 1865, Mr. Rimpau rented property for two years, after
which he bought and planted twenty acres of land, where he later resided. He set
out grapes, and manufactured wine; and this business he continued with success until
1886, when disease destroyed all the vines. Then he planted orchards and walnuts.
He foresaw that the wine trade, for various reasons, was doomed, and as early as
1878 he established the dry-goods store which, as a flourishing concern, he turned
over to his sons, Adolph and Frederick, ten years later. He sold half of his 800 acres
of ranch and became a stockholder in the water company at Anaheim.

Few men in this colony of intelligent and industrious Germans were more re-
spected in their time than Theodore Rimpau; and the local chronicler dwells with
peculiar pleasure on some of the personal incidents in his private life. His marriage
ceremony, for example, was performed by Father Sanchez, one of the pioneer padres
who traveled E! Camino Real, or the King's Highway, from San Francisco to San
Diego on foot. Mr. Rimpau lived so long and so happily with his good native wife
that his friends could boast he was the first foreigner hereabouts to marry a California
maiden and to celebrate with her a golden wedding. At one time he had three vessels
engaged in coast trade, plying between San Francisco and San Pedro, but they were
all destroyed by fire within a year. He died at Anaheim on October 3, 1913, aged
eighty-seven years.

FREDERICK RIMPAU was born in Los Angeles on March 13, 1855, the house
being still owned by the Rimpau family, and growing up in Anaheim, to which town
his foTks had removed, he attended the grammar school there. From his twenty-second


until his forty-sccoiul year he clerked in stores in Los Angeles and Arizona, and for
fifteen years he was a partner with his brother Adolph in the dry-goods store at Ana-
heim. Selling out, he went into the real estate and insurance field, and today gives
his attention especially to the latter. He is a director of the Anaheim National Bank.

On November 4, 1885, Mr. Rimpau married Miss Nellie Smythe of .Anaheim, a
native daughter, whose parents are John S. and Joscfa (Yorba) Smythe. They attend
the Catholic Church.

Mr. Rimpau belongs to the Fraternal Brotherhood, and years ago, for three years
he was a member of the California National Guard, from which he was honorably dis-
charged. He is an active participator in all civic movements, and deeply interested in
Orange County and its smiling future.

WILLIAM HENRY CROWTHER.— Throughout a long and useful life that
left its impress upon various lines of activity, William H. Crowther won and main-
tained the confidence of a large circle of associates, through his progressiveness and
sterling traits of character. Coming of a long line of English antecedents, Mr.
Crowther was himself a native of England, where he was born on October 4, 1837, in
Yorkshire. His parents, John an.d Tamar (Bartel) Crowther, both natives of that
part of England, passed their entire lives there.

The country schools of Yorkshire furnished William Crowther his early educa-
tion, and this he supplemented with a course at the mechanical schools at Leeds. In
1857, at the age of twenty years, he immigrated to .America, settling in Massachusetts,
and here he followed the trade of blacksmithing and wagonmaking for several years,
becoming a very proficient workman. Seeking another field for his activities, Mr.
Crowther started on the long journey to the Pacific Coast by the way of the Isthmus
of Panama, reaching San Francisco in January, 1864. Spending six months at Sacra-
.mento at his trade, he then located at Santa Clara, and there he engaged in business
for himself for a number of years, manufacturing wagons, plows and a large line of
agricultural implements.

Coming to Los Angeles County in 1872, Mr. Crowther located at Anaheim, and
there engaged in blacksmithing for some time, but seeing the great possibilities in the
development of the agricultural and horticultural interests of this part of the country,
he purchased 136 acres of land at Placentia in 1875. It was a raw, unpromising piece
of land, used as a sheep range, and Mr. Crowther realized thoroughly the hard work
that would be required before he could hope for even fair returns. Particularly did
he see the necessity of irrigation, if settlers were to be attracted to this locality.
He therefore entered actively into the development of waterways, and was one of the
originators of the means of irrigation provided by the Anaheim Union Water Com-
pany. For many years one of its directors, and for several terms president of the
company, he was of invaluable assistance in the conduct of its affairs; also did black-
smithing for the company during the first year and a half of its existence.

In the meantime Mr. Crowther was also busily engaged in the development of
his own ranch. Eighty acres were planted to English walnuts and about fifty acres to
oranges and deciduous fruits, and through his unremitting care and intelligent culti-
vation it became one of the best-known ranches of the district, its abundant yield
bringing in a handsome income. Since so many years of his life had been spent in a line
of work far removed from horticulture, more than ever was credit due to Mr. Crow-
ther for the outstanding success he made in this new field. In his passing away on
December 16. 1916, the community lost one of its stanchest citizens, and one who could
always be counted upon to give of his time and influence to every good work. The
ranch property is now equally divided between his sons, Walter H. Crowther, of 202
Wilshire Avenue, Fullerton; Edward W. Crowther of Placentia, and his daughter
Ruby, now Mrs. Albert Hitchen, of Beverly Hills, Los .\ngeles.

Mr. Crowther's marriage united him with Miss Margaret Sproul, a native of
Scotland, and they became the parents of four children: Sarah, who died aged forty
years; Walter H.. Edward W. and Ruby. Prominent in the ranks of the Masons. Mr.
Crowther belonged to the Blue Lodge at Anaheim and to the Chapter and Com-
mandery at Santa Ana, and the Shrine of Los Angeles. A loyal Republican, he took
a deep interest in the affairs of his party, taking an active part in county and state
affairs, and holding local offices of importance. He also gave his services generously
toward securing improved educational facilities, l)cing clerk of the Placentia school
district, of which he was one of the organizers.


JOSEPH EDWARD PLEASANTS— Comparatively few of the men now iden-
tified with Orange County preceded Joseph Edward Pleasants in establishing asso-
ciations with this locality, as he took up his residence here in 1861. He is one of the
few remaining 'forty-niners in California. Among the first to bring stands of bees to
this part of the country, for many years noted for its fine sage and orange honey, Mr.
Pleasants has long occupied an authoritative place in that industry, being the first bee
inspector of the county, a post that he has held continuously since 1902, and at the
present time he is president of the California State Bee Keepers' Association.

Missouri was Mr. Pleasants' native state, and there he was born in St. Charles
County, March 30, 1839. His parents were James M. and Lydia (Mason) Pleasants,
natives of Kentucky and Virginia, and both were of English ancestry. The mother
passed away in 1848, and the following year the father, with his two eldest sons,
joined an ox-team train consisting of thirty-two wagons for the long journey across
the plains. There were about 120 people in the party, Mr. Pleasants being the young-
est child in the company. The trip was a long, trying one, about twenty of the trav-
elers succumbing to the cholera en route, and six weary months passed by before
they reached their destination on the Feather River. The father engaged in mining
for about a year and a half, later going to the Sacramento Valley, where he engaged
in farming in what is now Solano County, Pleasants Valley, where he located, being
named for him.

In 1856 J. E. Pleasants came to Southern California, where he made his home
with the Wolfskin family, studying under H. D. Barrows, whom Mr. Wolfskill had
employed as a teacher for his family, the children of the neighborhood sharing in his
instruction, according to the generous custom of the times. Mr. Barrows, who was
a New Englander, and well trained in the pedagogical world of his native place,
was prominently identified with the educational aflfairs of Los Angeles for many years,
serving on the school board for a number of terms. Coming to what is now Orange
County in 1861 to look after some interests of Mr. Wolfskill here, Mr. Pleasants
later purchased land, and he has since made this his home, a period of practically
sixty years. While engaging in general farming, he was especially interested in raising
fine cattle and horses, and he raised many thoroughbred shorthorns, selling them to
the Irvine Company. Among the first to become interested in the bee industry, he
owned at one time over 400 stands, and this brought him a handsome income.
One year he took thirty tons of honey from his apiary. He gave much time to the

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 28 of 191)