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 34 of 191)
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1888, was Ellen Frances (Hutchins) Reid, the mother of Ransom Reid, who was for
twenty years superintendent of the water works of Santa Ana.

The Smiths, of which our subject is such a worthy representative, date back to
the Pilgrim Fathers and the famous Preserved Smith, who came from England and
brought so much that was desirable to the New World. What enviable blood they
transmitted to Mr. Smith, with all of noble and ennobling sentiment such as emanates
from a sound body and a sound mind, may be judged when it is stated that now, in
his eighty-second year, Mr. Smith is far more supple than the average inan of thirty.
He can stand on the edge of a brook, for example — and the writer of these lines has
witnessed him in the operation — and so lower his head to sip the purling water that
he has no need of flattening out his body to get a drink, and having thoroughly studied
the laws of nature, he affirms that any man can be young at eighty who eats and other-
wise lives correctly.

Mr. Smith was a resident of this section when it was a part of Los .\ngcles
County. He served as president of the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company for a
number of years, and was one of the organizers of the Southern California Apricot
Growers Association.


GEORGE McPHEE — Orange County is to be congratulated upon having, as
its sealer of weights and measures, George McPhee, a man of true worth and un-
questioned probity of character, one who has filled this important post for six years
with credit to himself and to his constituency in the county. Mr. McPhee was born
October 19, 1856, in Kent County, New Brunswick, the son of George and Roxana
McPhee. The father was a millwright and George assisted him in the work until
1881, when he migrated farther westward in the great Dominion of Canada, stopping
at Winnipeg, Manitoba, but subsequently locating at Birtle, where he conducted a
hotel for six years.

In 1892 he arrived in California, locating at Elsinore, Riverside County, where
his brother conducted a newspaper. Here he remained until 1896, when he came to
Santa Ana and purchased an interest in the Santa Ana Blade, serving as the city
editor of this progressive publication for sixteen years. His wise, conservative and
patriotic editorials and the high ideals of citizenship advocated by the Blade wielded
such a potent influence in moulding public sentiment in the county that to his efforts
can be attributed the effectual solution of many of the county's difficult problems.
In 1911 Mr. McPhee was nominated by acclamation for city councilman; he made
no campaign, but was elected by a splendid majority, and at his second election he
led the field in number of votes received. During his two terms of four years each,
as councilman, Mr. McPhee was a member of the committee on public buildings and
city affairs. He was always greatly interested in every worthy movement that had
as its aim then upbuilding and betterment of civic conditions in Santa Ana; during
the years that he served as councilman many public buildings were erected, miles of
street pavements constructed, an ornamental lighting system installed and the city
grew by leaps and bounds.

In 1914 Mr. McPhee received the appointment of county sealer of weights
and measures, and so efficiently has the work of this department been conducted that
Orange County was recently complimented, by the state sealer of vveights and
measures, as being the banner county of the state in this line of work. The packing
houses and factories of the county co-operate with Mr. McPhee in the prosecution
of the work, which greatly aids him in the operation of his department. He believes
in educating the public to the importance of this work and in conducting a campaign
along this line.

In 1888 Mr. McPhee was united in marriage with Miss Martha Anderson, a
native of Ontario, Canada, and three children have been born to them: Barry H.,
who is connected with the Edison Company of Santa Ana, married Miss Helen Neff;
C. Ross is a prominent musician of Santa Ana and his marriage united him with
Miss Grachen Denman, of Los Angeles; Muriel is married and resides in Seattle,
Wash. Fraternally Mr. McPhee is a member of Santa Ana Lodge No. 794, B. P. O.
Elks; also of the Modern Woodman of America.

HERBERT A. FORD — A prominent citizen of Orange County, and one who
had been a factor in both the mercantile life of Fullerton since its inception as a small
settlement, and who also developed a tract of land to oranges and walnuts which has
since become one of the finest residence districts in the city. Herbert A. Ford was a
native of Michigan, born in Wright, that state, on May 12, 1859. His parents were
David A. and Jane Ford, both born in New York State, the father, now ninety-two,
living in Garvanza.

In 1884 Mr. Ford came from Dakota to what is now Orange County, first settling
in Placentia. where he followed horticultural pursuits and worked as a ranch manager.
When the town of Fullerton was started, in 1887, he located there and started the first
store, with Mr. Howell as a partner for one year, under the firm name of Howell &
Ford. Later he bought his partner out and continued the business alone. During this
time he had purchased twenty acres of land on West Commonwealth Avenue, from the
Pacific Land and Improvement Company, and also set out several orange and walnut
groves in the Fullerton district on shares for this company.

The marriage of Mr. Ford in 1889 united him with Carrie E. McFadden. daughter
of that honored pioneer. William M. McFadden, who is mentioned elsewhere in the
history. Three sons blessed their union: Alvin L., dairy inspector of Kern County, is
married and has a son, Herbert Alvin; Maurice E., who saw service in France for
eight and one-half months in the late war in the Three Hundred Sixteenth Division, is
at home; and Herbert A., a dentist of Fullerton; he was first lieutenant in the Dental
Review Corps, U. S. A., stationed at a camp in Georgia.

Mrs. Ford is an active member of the First Methodist Church of Fullerton. and
of the W. C- T. U-; she is past matron of the Eastern Star, and a member of the
Ebell Club and the Placentia Round Table, as well as prominent in Red Cross work
during the war. Since the death of her husband, which occurred in 1894, Mrs. Ford


has subdivided the original ranch of twenty acres, known as the Orchard Subdivision,
and the property has all been sold off under her personal management and is now the
choice residence district of Fullerton, many fine homes adorning the tract. Mr.s. Ford
completed a beautiful bungalow on a portion of the land which she retained, and
there she makes her home, taking an active part in the social, church and club life of
the community which she has seen grow from such small beginnings to its present rank
as one of the most beautiful towns of Southern California.

MRS. PEDRILLA P. PFEIFFER.— For nearly half a century a resident of
Orange County, Mrs. Pedrilla P. Pfeiffer, widow of the late John A. Pfeiffer, one of
the county's most honored citizens, now makes her home at 127 North Grand Street,
Orange, where, now in her seventy-ninth year, she maintains an active interest in the
progress of the community.

Born February 13, 1842, at Shelbyville, 111., Mrs. Pfeiffer was the daughter of
Robert and Hannah (Way) Parrish, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Indiana. The
father was a wagonmaker by trade, and for many years conducted a shop at Shelbyville,
where he was a well-known citizen. He passed away when Mrs. Pfeiffer was but
six years old. Of a family of six children, Mrs. Pfeiffer is the only one now living
and the only one to take up residence in California. She grew up at Shelbyville,
attended the public schools there, and at the age of twenty, on April 15, 1862, she
was united in marriage with John A. Pfeiffer.

A native of Germany, Mr. Pfeiffer was born at Muehlhausen on January 25.
1837. His parents were farmers in moderate circumstances, but gave their son all the
educational advantages possible, and he early developed ambitious tendencies, feeling
that America offered greater opportunities. In 1850, at the age of eighteen, he took
passage on a sailing vessel from Bremen, and after sixty-six days reached New York.
Going on to St. Louis. Mo., he secured employment in a store, improving his spare
moments by attending a business college, realizing how this additional training would
help him to advance in business. Securing a position with the mercantile establishment
of Gen. W. F. Thornton at Shelbyville in 1855. at the modest sum of $200 a year, his
worth was soon recognized, and he was rapidly advanced to a position in the banking
house of General Thornton, and was steadily advanced to a salary of $200 per month
and the post of cashier, an office he filled with unqualified success for twenty-eight
years. .'\s a mark of the confidence reposed in him by his employer, upon the death
of General Thornton. Mr. Pfeiffer was made administrator of his estate, without bond,
and he settled up all the complicated details of this large business in a most satisfactory
manner. At the breaking out of the Civil War he v.'as running a mercantile business of
his own. but he sold out and offered his services to his country. On account of partial
disability he was placed as a sutler.

His health somewhat impaired by the heavy responsibilities of so many years.
Mr. Pfeiffer and his family went to San Antonio, Texas; there he outfitted and trav-
eled over the frontier for a time. Returning again to Illinois he resumed his position.
but in September. 1881. brought his family to California. Settling in Villa Park pre-
cinct, then called Mountain View, he purchased thirty-two acres. .\t that early day
both agriculture and horticulture were in their experimental stages, and it was not
yet fully determined to what products the soil was best adapted. Many vineyards
were being set out, however, and Mr. Pfeiffer set fourteen acres of his ranch with
grapes. Like everyone, his vineyard suffered from blight, and he rented the ranch,
moved to Highland and for two years ran a grocery store, during the building of the
hospital. Returning to the ranch he planted vines a second time, but was unable to
root out the disease, and gave up his efforts.

.'kfter this discouraging circumstance Mr. Pfeiffer disposed of his land and
removed to Orange, where he erected two bungalows on North Grand Street, in one
of which Mrs. Pfeiffer still resides. He was prominent in the ranks of the Odd Fel-
lows, having been a charter member of the lodge at Orange and treasurer of it from
the date of its organization for many years. He was also a member of the Ancient
Order of United Workmen. In 1916 Mr. Pfeiffer suffered an attack of paralysis from
which he never recovered, his death occurring on August 23 of that year, .^n upright,
energetic citizen. Mr. Pfeiffer was loyal to every trust reposed in him and his memory
will ever be cherished by the many friends who appreciated his sterling character.

Mr. and Mrs. Pfeiffer were the parents of six children; two passed away in
infancy during their residence in Illinois; Henry O. died in San Diego at the age of
twenty, and August died at Highland at the age of nineteen; Mollie Mable is the wife
of Arthur S. Barker, a real estate dealer at Los Angeles; they have one son, Russell
A. Barker, who served in the World War, seeing active duty in France; Mrs. .Ada
Meine is a bookkeeper for a Los Angeles firm. During their residence at Villa Park,
Mr. and Mrs. Pfeiffer were active members of the Neighborhood Church there. Since


coming to Orange Mrs. Pfeiffer has affiliated with the Christian Church at that place,
having been reared in that faith. A Rebekah, she has Ijeen a faithful member of its
ranks fpr many years in Orange.

MRS. ELIZABETH LAMB. — An extensive land owner, well endowed with this
world's goods, and highly respected and loved for her many beautiful and sterling
traits of character is Mrs. Elizabeth Lamb, widow of the late William D. Lamb, promi-
nent pioneer citizen of Southern California. Her life has indeed been rich in varied
experiences in that sort of interest and adventure that was the accompaniment of pio-
neer days, nor has it been unmixed with hardships, some of them being almost unbe-

Mrs. Lamb is a native of England, her birthplace being at Billings, Lancashire,
June 24, 1850. Her parents were John R. and Sarah (Jolley) Holt, also of English
birth. The father was a wheelwright and joiner and he followed this line of work
for a number of years in his native land. They were the parents of nine children,
and when Elizabeth was thirteen years of age she came to America with two sisters
and a brother. They sailed from Liverpool in May, 1863, and even then Elizabeth's
adventurous experiences began. After seven weeks of storm and calm they finally
landed at Castle Garden, New York, coming across on the old condemned sailer
"Antarctic" which was sunk on the return voyage. Their destination was Utah, and
they made their way across the country as far as Omaha by train, thence to Salt
Lake City by ox team, arriving there six months after their departure from Liverpool.
Here they located, and later Elizabeth made the acquaintance of William D. Lamb,
to wEom she was married on October 12, 1868. Mr. Lamb was then only nineteen
vears of age, but his life had been filled with arduous experience, even at that time.
Born in Onondaga County, N. Y., he was left motherless at the age of four, and
lived for a time with an uncle near Grand Rapids, Mich. When he was eleven years
old he set out to make his way alone, working his way through to Omaha on railroad
grading work. When he was about fourteen years old his father came up from the
South and the two crossed the plains in a Mormon freight train. At that time he had
not even learned to read, for his life had been so full of toil that there had been no
time for schooling, but after reaching Salt Lake City he managed, even in the midst
of many duties, to learn the alphabet and acquire the rudiments of an education.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Lamb remained in Salt Lake City for a time,
and there their eldest daughter, Mary, now Mrs. E. J. Levengood, was born. Then
they decided to locate in California, and when they arrived here Mr. Lamb earned a
living by chopping and hauling wood on what was later the Lucky Baldwin ranch,
Mrs. Lamb and her little one making their home in their covered wagon. They then
moved on to El Monte and tried farming there, but there was a long season of drought
and all their corn and other produce was dried up. Their next move was to Azusa,
where they lived in the canyon, afterwards named Lamb's Canyon for Mr. Lamb.
Here two of their children were born, but they lost both of them and they were
buried there. Mr. Lamb next bought a squatter's claim of 160 acres four miles
from Huntington Beach, but in 1879, after they had lived there four years, litigation
arose and he and other claimants to adjoining tracts were dispossessed, the Los Bolsas
Company winning the suit. His next purchase was forty acres of the Stearns ranch
at Newhope; here they settled, made many improvements and prospered. They sub-
sequently added to their acreage, and Mrs. Lamb still owns the old home of 120
acres there. The next purchase was 220 acres at Garden Grove and, in 1892, he
closed the deal for 720 acres of the Los Bolsas ranch at a very reasonable price,
and here Mrs. Lamb now makes her home. At first they only ran cattle on these
lands, but they have now been brought up to a high state of cultivation. They were
always among the most progressive farmers of the community, as their place was
always equipped with the latest inventions in farm machinery that could be obtained,
and the example of their enterprise meant much for the progress and welfare of their

For several years Mr. Lamb was the resident manager of the Los Bolsas Land
Company and other large ranches, and through his work much improvement was
made on the tracts under his charge. He early saw the necessity for drainage and
irrigation, and with several associates purchased a dredger, the first of its kind in
this territory, and thus completely revolutionized the early methods of carrying
on this work. In no instance, perhaps, is his perseverance and progressive spirit
more plainly shown than in the fact that after he had embarked in business for him-
self he employed a man to keep his books, and paid him an extra salary for his per-
sonal instruction in reading, arithmetic and the general principles of business, this
arrangement continuing for three years: after that he was able to superintend every
detail of his extensive business interests for himself and with marked success. Mr.


w^ '



Lamb passed away in March, 1911, and is buried at Santa Ana. Like her husband,
Mrs. Lamb had only the most limited opportunities to secure an education, but this
was fully made up through the practical business experience and "hard knocks" of
pioneer days. She has always been a woman of great business and executive ability,
and ever shared with her husband the burdens and responsibilities of their great under-
takings, and much of his success was due to her splendid judgment and management.

Mr. and Mrs. Lamb were the parents of nine children, five of whom are living:
Mary, now Mrs. Edward J. Levengood of Pomona, was first married to William
Haniner. by whom she had two children, Jessie M. and Anson: Wm. Anson and Vina
died in childhood; Arthur, now deceased, married Mary Stephens and had one son.
Leo Ford Lamb, who resides in Los Angeles: Walter D., a rancher near Santa Ana.
married Gertrude DuBois, a daughter of Valentine DuBois of Santa Ana, and they
have two children, Mrs. Velda May Squires and Kenneth: Laura is the wife of Gregory
Harper, and they have two children, Ivan H. and Harold L.; Hugo J., a rancher near
Huntington Beach, married Effie Stockton, and two children have been born to them,
Lois and .-Mice; Earl A. is also engaged in ranching near Huntington Beach; he mar-
ried Etta Bradley, and they are the parents of three children. Rachel E.. Wm. G. and
Alvan; Robert died at the age of four months.

Mrs. Lamb makes her home on her 720-acre ranch southeast of Huntington
Beach, her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Harper, living with her,
and she is active and interested in the management of her properties and extensive
business interests. A woman of great force of character, withal kindly and consider-
ate, she is greatly beloved by her family and a large circle of friends. A true type of
the pioneer woman, her life is a record of accomplishment and good deeds that will
leave their beneficent influence on the generations to come.

WILLIAM WENDT. — .\ distinguished American artist who has added lustre to
the rapid development of art in California is William Wendt, who was born in a little
village in the north of Germany on February 20, 1865, and came to America at the
age of fifteen, when he took up his residence in Chicago. He attended the public
schools, and became interested in commercial art, spending a number of years in the
shops, together with Gardner Symons.

In 1893. Mr. Wendt contributed to the Chicago Society of Artists Exhibition,
and was awarded his first recognition in the granting of the Yerkes prize. He main-
tained a studio at Chicago, and spent the following year sketching near San Jose, in
California. Later, he made another trip to California, this time to Los Angeles, after
which he returned to Chicago and planned with Mr. Symons a tour of Europe. With
the exception of two terms of study in the evening classes of the Chicago Art Insti-
tute, Mr. Wendt is a self-taught artist.

Proceeding to Europe, Mr. Wendt spent fifteen months in the galleries of London
and other English centers, and in painting scenes of rural life in England; making his
headquarters at St. Ives, Cornwall. Leaving his companion still luxuriating in British
art environment, Mr. Wendt returned to America, and with his foreign subjects made
an unusual exhibition at the galleries of the Kr\. Institute in Chicago. A second trip
to Europe was extended to a survey of the galleries and art fields of Hamburg. Berlin.
Munich and Amsterdam and Paris, returning to America in 1904 to devote himself to
.American landscape painting. Mr. Wendt contributed to the St. Louis Exposition in
1904, and received the silver medal; and the same year he was awarded the Kahn prize
at Chicago. In 1897 he had been given the Young Fortnightly Prize, and in 1901 the
bronze medal of the Buffalo Exposition. The next year he was given honorable men-
tion at the exhibition of the Chicago Society of Artists.

In 1906. Mr. W'endt moved to Los Angeles, and for seven or eight years was
president of the California Art Club. He exhibited at the Museum in Exposition
Park, which museum later purchased his picture, "The Land of Heart's Desire."

For many years, Mr. Wendt has been associated with the art development at
Laguna Beach, having painted in that locality for the last seventeen years, and in
1918 he erected a well-planned studio at Arch Beach about a mile south of Laguna
Beach, on the Coast. The studio is more than a working place, it is a retreat from
the humdrum of everyday activities, for Mr. Wendt feels he has found at Laguna
the opportunity for seclusion sought for during many years, and he expects here to
comnlete many of his dreamed-of pictures, and to accomplish the height of his ambition.
Besides having been made an associate of the National .-\cadcniy of Design, in 1913.
Mr. Wendt is a member of the National Art Club of New York City, the Chicago
Society of Artists, the California Art Club, and the Laguna Beach Art Association
and Federation of Arts. W'ashington. In addition to the honors already referred to, Mr.
Wendt received the fine arts prize of the Society of Western .Artists in 1912, the silver
medal of the Panama Exposition in 1915, the Wednesday Club Medal prize, St. Louis


1910, and the grand prize of the San Diego Exposition of the same year, the Kirch-
berger prize, American Artists Exhibition, Art Institute of Chicago, 1913, and the
Clarence A. Black prize of the California Art Club in 1916. He is represented in perma-
nent collections of the Chicago Art Institute, the Friends of American Art, the Cliff
Dwellers, the Union League of Chicago, the Athletic Club of Los Angeles, the Cin-
cinnati Museum, the Art Association of Indianapolis, the National Arts Club. New
York, and other museums and clubs.

In June. 1906, the same year in which Mr. W'endt became a resident of Los
Angeles, he was married to the noted sculptor of Chicago, Julia M. Bracken; their home
is at 2814 North Sichel Street, Los Angeles.

According to a writer in the Chicago Tribune, under date of May 16, 1920, the
four favorite pictures in the Chicago Art Institute are. first, "The Song of the Lark," by
Jules Breton; second, "The Silence of Night." bj- William Wendt: third, "The Flower
Girl in Holland." by George Hitchcock; and fourth. "The Home of the Heron." by
George Inness — usualh' rated the greatest of American landscape artists. "The Silence
of the Night," which may perhaps rank as Wendt's masterpiece, was presented to the
Chicago Art Institute by a number of the friends of that museum and school; another
canvas by Mr. Wendt also hangs in this noted gallery, a landscape entitled "When All
the World is Young," painted at Topango Canyon. California.

JAMES R. KELLY.— In the passing away of James R. Kelly on April 17, 1908,
Orange County lost one of its stanch citizens whose labors for the development of this
locality in striving to enhance its progress and develop its resources entitle him to a
prominent rank among its early residents.

The lineage of the Kelly family is traced back to three brothers and a sister who
were born in Ulster, in the north of Ireland, and who came to America between the
years of 1720 and 1730, so that they have an honored history of nearly two centuries on
this side of the Atlantic. One of the brothers. Col. John Kelly, was accompanied by
his wife, who before her marriage was Margaret Armour, also a native of the Emerald
Isle. The young couple became pioneers of Pennsylvania, settling in Bucks County
as early as 1760, and there they remained all their lives. An ardent lover of liberty,
John Kelly was ever devoted to the land of his adoption, and when the Revolutionary

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 34 of 191)