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 48 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 48 of 191)
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of his skill and thorough understanding of his trade.

Mr. Jackson has always had an interest in politics and was more or less promi-
nent in the circles of the Democratic party. In 1906 he was elected to the respon?il>'"
office of constable and served in that very difficult office for eight years. During t'^-'t
time he became very well informed as to the habits of criminals and successfully
trailed them to their haunts. His successful discharge of all the duties of his office led
to his election, in 1914, to the office of sheriff of the county and after four years'
service he was again elected to succeed himself. Since he took up his duties he has


inaugurated many reforms in the conduct of his office, systematized the handling of
prisoners and their capture, his duties of constable having been invaluable to him in
this larger field. His first word is efficiency, and he never sends any of his deputies
into places of danger that he won't go himself, in fact he nearly always takes the lead
when danger threatens in the capture or apprehension of a criminal. Even with the
increasing of the population in the county, crime is really decreasing in proportion.
It has often been said of Sheriff Jackson that "when he goes after a man he usually gets
him," and no finer compliment can be paid a public official.

The marriage of C. E. Jackson and Miss Ida Cox, a native daughter, born at
Downey, Cal., the daughter of George W. Cox, a pioneer who crossed the plains from
Texas in 1869, was celebrated on March 27, 1889, and they have become the parents of
two daughters — Lela, a teacher in the schools of Los Angeles; and Elaine, is the wife
of W. M. Wilson of Long Beach and the mother of a daughter, Loraine. Mrs. Jackson
shares with her husband the esteem of their many friends. The home of the family
has been in Santa Ana for many years, in fact Mr. Jackson has lived here ever since
the county was organized and is therefore well and favorably known in every part of
it. He is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees, the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, and of Santa Ana Lodge No. 794. B. P. O. Elks. Both Mr. and Mrs. Jackso"
are deeply interested in the upbuilding of the county, are supporters of all movements
that have for their aim the betterment of civic and social conditions and of makin<;
Orange County a better place in which to live.

COL. J. K. TUFFREE.— Coming to Anaheim in 1872, Col. J. K. Tuflfree will ever
be remembered as one of Orange County's stanch pioneers. While St. Louis, Mo., was
his birthplace, he was descended from an old Baltimore, Md., family who traced their
ancestry back to France, the family name being originally spelled Trefrey, of the
French Huguenots. He was reared in St. Louis, where he received a splendid educa-
tion. On the breaking out of the Civil War, he united his fortunes with the cause of
the Confederacy and served throughout the conflict, and it was no doubt owing to
this service that his old friends and the old settlers of Orange County and Southern
California called him Colonel Tufifree.

Immediately after the close of the war, Colonel TuiTree came to California and
for a time he was with the Union Pacific as a dispatcher, being the first dispatcher
located at Truckee. Afterwards he came to San Francisco, being stationed at the
terminal, and while there he made the acquaintance of C. B. Polhemus, as well as his
daughter, Carolina. The acquaintance with the daughter ripened into love and resulted
in their marriage. She was born in Paita, Peru, but was reared and educated in San
Jose, Cal., and was a cultured and refined woman, and their union proved to be a very
happy one. C. B. Polhemus was an Eastener of a prominent and highly esteemed
family, and a man of an excellent education. He came from Mt. Holly, N. Y., and was
a son of Captain Polhemus, who served in the Revolutionary War. Possessing a love
for travel and adventure he made the trip to Paita, Peru, via Cape Horn, where he was
engaged in the banking and mercantile business and also served as U. S. Consul. In
1852 he came to San Francisco. He made a number of trips to Peru, remaining for
long periods in that country and while there met and married Miss Garay, the beautiful
daughter of Governor Garay, then governor of Peru. On the death of his wife he
returned with his daughter to California and they made their home in San Jose. He
owned a ranch at Gilroy and later also bought Commodore Stockton's ranch, and in
order to obtain shipping facilities he built a railroad known as Alsip and Company,
of which he was president until it was sold to C. P. Huntington and associates. Aside
from his large mercantile interests, Mr. Polhemus was a large landowner and one of
the six original owners of the Don Abel Stearns Rancho Company, comprising five
large ranchos of 200 square miles.

After Colonel Tuffree's marriage, he made a trip East with his bride, remaining
about one year in New Jersey and Delaware. On his return to California, he located
in Anaheim, becoming manager of Don Abel Stearns Rancho Company, later on locating
in Placentia on their ranch, comprising parts of sections nineteen and thirty of the old
Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana, naming it "De Buena Vista." It included 662
acres and had been given them as a wedding present. Colonel Tufifree began farming
his ranch and was also manager of the Stearns Rancho Company until his own affairs
having grown to such large proportions that they required all of his time, he resigned
his position and devoted all of his time to ranching and horticulture. He took a
leading and active part in irrigating matters and was one of the original directors of
the Anaheim Union Water Company and was active in the development which brought
water for irrigating purposes over this section of the county. To do away with the
necessity of irrigating at night he suggested a large reservoir to store the water when



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it could be used next day. The reservoir was built on his ranch and still goes by the
name of Tuffree reservoir. He was also the owner of lands in San Diego County.
Colonel Tuflfree was one of the organizers of Orange County and took a prominent
part in the affairs of the new county, and his interest in its development continued until
his death, in 1903. He was a Mason and always a strong Democrat. After his death
Mrs. TufTree continued to reside at the old Tufifree home, surrounded by her children,
who relieved her as far as possible from all worry and care. She passed away in
June, 1915, aged sixty-two.

Colonel and Mrs. TufTree were the parents of nine children, as follows: Frederick
B. resides on a part of the old Tuffree ranch; Juanita C. is the wife of Alonzo E. Yorba
and also lives on a part of the ranch; Charles P. died at the age of thirty-two, in 1908;
George R. died in infancy; Nellie A. is the wife of John A. Lloyd of San Francisco;
Jonn C. and Henry D. are ranchers at Placentia; Mariquita R. is Mrs. O'Brien of
Honolulu; S. James, of Placentia, who is manager of Tuflfree Heirs' rancho. Orange
County owes much of its present greatness to men and women of Colonel and Mrs.
TufFree's type, for much of it is due to their optimism, constant application and
ceaseless energy, coupled with sacrifice and self-denial, in those early days when they
aided so materially in changing this region overgrown with brush, cactus, and wild
mustard into the beautiful citrus orchards of today considered a garden spot of the
world, to be enjoyed and bring comfort and happiness to coming generations.

CHARLES E. FRENCH. — Preeminent among the successful esteemed and influ-
ential Californians of the past whose exemplary, industrious lives and sound judgment
and good works have paved the way safely and nobly for all who come after, thereby
giving to posterity an inheritance of inestimable value, must be mentioned Charles E.
French, who was born in Athens, Somerset County, Maine, on June 3, 1841, and was
educated at the public? schools and seminaries of that state. When about sixteen years
of age, he entered a business house in Boston, where he rapidly advanced in positions
of trust; and on the breaking out of the Civil War, stirred by patriotic desire to do
something in defense of his native country, he enlisted in the Ninth Regiment. Maine
Volunteers, and was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, being subsequently trans-
ferred to Commodore Samuel Francis Du Font's naval expedition which on November
7, 1861, bombarded and captured the fortifications defending Port Royal harbor, S. C.
an engagement justly regarded as one of the most brilliant achievements of naval tactics
and requiring for its success not only able planning on the part of officers, but the
skilful execution by each man under command. Continuing in the service until the
failure of his health necessitated his retirement from the army, Mr. French came to
California via the Panama route in 1864 and located at Yreka, in Siskiyou County,
where he engaged in mining and general merchandising, and after spending a few
years on this coast, he returned to his old home in the East.

In November, 1868, Mr. French was married to Miss Emma L. Waugh. a native
of Boston, and the daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Sawyer) Waugh. who had been born
in Townsend and Lowell, Mass., respectively. She was reared in "the city of culture,"
and was graduated from Brighton Seminary; and for two years, or until her marriage,
she applied herself to teaching. She was splendidly equipped, therefore, to be the
intellectual stimulating companion of a man of ever-increasing weighty affairs. Resum-
ing business in Maine, Mr. French became a member of a boot and shoe manufacturing
firm, and was also appointed Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue by President
Grant. Finding it impossible to endure the rigors of Eastern winters, he resigned his
office, sold out his business in 1870, and returned to San Francisco, where he expected
to permanently reside; but being advised by his physicians to seek a more genial
climate, he came to Southern California in April, 1871. and assumed the general man-
agement of the extensive land and stock business of Irvine, Flint and Company, whose
holdings then comprised the ranchos San Joaquin and Lomas de Santiago, and part
of the Santiago de Santa Ana, upon which latter ranch the city of Santa Ana is now
located, in all about 108,000 acres. At that time, there were very few white inhabitants
residing in the country southwest of Anaheim, between the Santa Ana River and San
Diego, and the entire country from the foothills to the sea was one vast cattle and
sheep range. Mr. French had over 100,000 acres of land under his control, and at times
during his administration there were over 50.000 head of sheep grazing upon the broad
sweep of the San Joaquin, where today is heard the busy hum and puffing of tractors
and modern machinery.

In 1876, Mr. French removed the ranch headquarters to a location east of Tustin
and erected a commodious ranch house for James Irvine and his family. In 1878 he
relinquished the management of the company's business and removed to Santa Ana,
where he had previously made investments for himself. He engaged in the handling


of land, and at once took an active interest in the development and building up of the
town. In 1886 he erected the brick block adjoining the Bristol and Rowley block on
the east, and in 1899 he built the Grand Opera House block, one of the largest in the
city, which is still a monument to its founder. He served as postmaster at Santa
Ana, holding office under Presidents Hayes, Garfield, Arthur and also Cleveland; and
he took an active part in securing the main line of the Santa Fe Railroad through Santa
Ana, to which undertaking he freely devoted much time and means, and was twice
elected a director of the California lines system, which has been such an important
factor in the marvelous growth and prosperity of Southern California.

Whenever, too, public improvements were proposed, Mr. French was always found
ready to encourage and aid them, to the fullest extent of his resources, and in this way
he advanced not only the building up of the city, but the upbuilding of the popular
home community as well. In the founding of the Santa Ana Free Library he took a
very live interest, and for several years he served as president of the board of trustees.
Having business and property interests in Los Angeles, he also maintained a branch
office there for years, and in various ways was the better able to help the younger
Santa Ana by means of Los Angeles connections. He always regarded Santa Ana
as his home, however, and constantly maintained an elegant residence surrounded by
extensive lawns and well-kept grounds, making it one of the most attractive homes in
all Southern California. Two children blessed the home life of Mr. and Mrs. French,
and have in time proven valuable members of society; Gertrude has become Mrs. Elmer
B. Burns of Santa Ana. and Miss Ethel resides with her mother. Mr. and Mrs. Burns
have two children. Gladys and Carl. The latter went with Company L from Santa
.\na and served overseas until after the armistice, and received the Croix de Guerre for
bravery, having been both gassed and wounded. Returning with Company L. he
received his honorable discharge in April, 1919.

Mrs. French came to California in the fall of 1872 and joined her husband in
what was then a remote region, almost out of the pale of civilization, and for a time
their nearest neighbor lived seven miles away, unless the half-civilized natives of that
period are considered. Nothing daunted. Mrs. French continued to reside there until
their removal to Santa Ana. aiding her husband and helping to make his name and
influence known and recognized in the financial circles of Southern California. He
was an able financier, with a conservative view of investment, and combined calm judg-
ment and keenness of foresight. It was not his disposition to rush blindly into things,
but with a critical insight he weighed and measured principles, and with unbiased mind
gave his influence toward those measures whose value could not be questioned. It is
possible that many persons seeking the reason for Mr. French's success may account
for it as a combination of "Eastern brains with Western enterprise;" he descended from
a family long and honorably associated with the history of New England, some of
whose representatives served as officers in the Revolutionary War, his maternal ances-
tors, the Palmers, having come from England to this country during the Colonial
period, and he inherited qualities of the greatest value to one destined to leadership
in the several fields mentioned. It must not go unsaid, also, that Mr. French gave his
devoted wife much of the credit for his business success, saying that he had learned in
the early part of their life together that her judgment in property and business matters
was so reliable that when he followed their joint conclusions, he had always made
a success.

Mr. French was prominent in banking and real estate circles. He was president
of the Orange County Savings Bank, and a director of the First National Bank of
Santa .^na. When the first street railway for Santa .\na was projected, Mr. French took
an active part in establishing it. and was its secretary for several years. The road is
now a part of the Interurban Railway system. He was also one of the promoters and
incorporators of the Los .Angeles and Ocean Railway Company, and held the office
of the vice-president of the same until the road merged into the Los Angeles Terminal,
now the San Pedro, Los .\ngeles and Salt Lake Railroad. Fraternally, Mr. French
was a Mason, and a member of Sedgwick Post No. 17, G. A. R., from its organization.
He was also a member of the Pioneer Society of Los Angeles County. Though the
Civil War left him in poor health, his magnificent spirit of pluck and determination
enabled him to continue courageously for years at his duties, and in that way. when
many would have sought their selfish ends and rested, he was active in his useful career
until, on November 2, 1914, he passed away, to his eternal reward. Rev. .\. L. Petty
a former pastor of the Baptist Church in Santa Ana came over from Los .A.ngeles and
assisted Rev. Otto Russell, the local pastor, in a demonstration of esteem and regret
seldom witnessed in Santa .\na. and to give voice to feelings of deepest sorrow expe-
rienced by all who knew him. In accordance with his desire, his body was cremated.


After Mr. French's death, his widow was appointed administratrix of the estate,
and although she had probably never written half a dozen checks in her life, she accepted
the trust and with her native ability and imbibed business acumen, with which, as it
proved, she had been liberally endowed, she not only settled the estate satisfactorily,
but since then she has managed the large afifairs entrusted to her with signal ability and
pronounced success, enlarging her real estate holdings and improving those already
held. She is the owner of valuable business and residence property and dififerent
ranches at Stanton and property in other places in the county, and she attends to all
the transactions required herself.

Sihe continues to make her home at the beautiful large family residence at the
corner of Ninth and Spurgeon streets, a splendidly furnished estate where she dispenses
an old-time California hospitality; she is a member of the First Baptist Church and
also of the Ebell Club, and other social organizations; and she finds great pleasure in
informing herself about and supporting all movements likely to benefit the community.
In 1910, with her husband and daughter, she made an extended tour of Europe and
brought home many fine specimens of art; and her memory being excellent she is ever
interesting and a source of inspiration to all who are so fortunate as to be counted
among her friends.

WM. F. ESPOLT.— A resident of California since 1894. William F. Espolt's birth-
place was at Dennison, Iowa, where he first saw the light of day on February 7, 1885.
his parents being William and Louise (Homeier) Espolt. The father was a well
known farmer in the neighborhood of Dennison for a number of years, but in 1894 he
disposed of his holdings there and came to California, settling at Whittier, where he
purchased ranch and town property, and here he still makes his home.

William F. Espolt grew up in Whittier, attending the grammar and high schools
there, and assisted his father in the development of his ranch property. His first pur-
chase of property in Orange County, with his father as a partner, was a tract of thirty
acres on Palm Avenue, raw land at the time of purchase, and William F. threw himself
energetically into the improvement and development of the place, setting it out to
oranges and lemons. When he had disposed of the property he bought ten acres in
East Whittier, only partly developed and he continued the work and sold that in 1919.
In the meantime he had bought fifteen acres north of the upper boulevard, which has
been improved into a fine bearing citrus grove. In 1919 he became the owner of twenty
acres on Walnut Avenue, near La Habra, which is devoted to \'alencia oranges and
lemons. The water for irrigating his properties is furnished by the La Habra Water
Company and he markets his fruit through the La Habra Citrus Association. Mr.
Espolt is a stockholder in the First National Bank of La Habra and in the Citizens
Commercial and Savings Bank of La Habra.

He was one of the organizers of the La Habra Midway Oil Company, in which he
is also a director. This company is composed of local men and has 116 acres of land
under lease, both of Mr. Espolt's ranches being included in the same. The terms of
the lease, which runs for twenty-five years, call for the drilling of wells for oil. and
their first well is located north of the upper boulevard, less than a mile from La Habra.
From all surface indications and reports of competent geologists and oil well locators,
the prospects are bright for a successful culmination of the plans of the originators of
the enterprise.

That Mr. Espolt is a man of diversified interests will be seen by his activities since
branching out for himself. While he lived in East Whittier he designed and manu-
factured three types of ladders for picking fruit. These were the peg top, flat top and
straight ladders, and he found a ready sale for his product during the several years he
was in the business. He is deeply interested in the welfare of Orange County and
liberally cooperates with all movements for advancing the commercial prestige of the
section of the state he has selected for his home.

On Easter Sunday, April 23, 1905. Mr. Espolt was married to Miss Hazael Ruth
Cline. A native of Arkansas, she came to California with her parents, Linn and
Clementine Cline in 1893, and was educated in the grammar schools of Fullerton and
the high school at W'hittier. Her mother passed away when she was a small child,
and her father, who has spent the greater part of his life in the mercantile business,
is now the proprietor of an establishment at Ramona Acres, near Los Angeles. Mr.
and Mrs. Espolt are the parents of two children: Ayetrell is a student at the Fuller-
ton high school and Clementine attends the grammar school at La Habra.

Although the care of his property consumes much of Mr. Espolt's time he has
never been too absorbed with his own interests to forget or ntglect his duties as a
citizen, asd he voices his political opinion through the candidates of the Republican
party. Fraternally he is afifiliated with the Elks and Odd Fellows of Whittier.


JAMES RANDOLPH MEDLOCK, M.D.— Only a few persons appreciate the
patience, self-denying application, weight of care and anxiety and the enormous respon-
sibility which attend the life of the conscientious family physician. During the thirty-
six years that Dr. James Randolph Medlock pursued the practice of medicine in South-
ern California he was known not only for his skill and assiduity as a physician, but for
his enthusiastic interest in the development and fostering of all worthy enterprises
that had as their aim the upbuilding of the commercial and agricultural interests of
Orange County.

James Randolph Medlock was born in Lawrence District, S. C, January 24, 1837.
Though not richly endowed with material wealth, his parents gave him the priceless
heritage of a noble Scotch ancestry. His early education was received in the local
schools, but he was ever alert to reach out beyond their limited curriculum into all
branches of study. When still a lad in his teens — his parents both having died — he
moved to Bentonville, Benton County, Ark., where at the age of eighteen he entered
the office of Dr. John Gray as a student of medicine. He remained in this office for
three years and the latter year was, as Dr. Gray testifies, "riding with me in the
practice of medicine."

In 18S9 he graduated from the Cincinnati Medical College and returned to Ben-
tonville, where he resumed the practice of medicine independently. Here he remained
until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he enlisted in the Confedefate Army and was
in active service until near the close of the war. When the conditions of the country
permitted he began practicing at Huntsville. Ark. Practice in this locality was ex-
ceedingly difficult owing to the mountainous nature of the region and the severe
weather. The only way in which Dr. Medlock could climb the steep hills and ford the
swollen streams was on horseback with his medicines and instruments packed in saddle
bags. Such strenuous practice, in addition to owning and operating a drug store, began
to wear on him, and after taking a post-graduate course at the St. Louis Medical
College he decided to come to California. Arriving here in 1876, he located at Orange,
which was then in Los Angeles County. He purchased forty acres, which he set to
oranges, and later developed a twenty-acre walnut grove. Two years of his long
residence in the Golden State were spent in Northern California, near Sacramento, but
the delightful climate of the Southland and its great opportunities for development in
agriculture and citrus culture appealed so strongly to him that he returned to Santa
Ana, where he continued to practice until his demise on November 10, 1913.

Dr. Medlock merited his recognition as a family physician by his knowledge and

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 48 of 191)