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 58 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 58 of 191)
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have a large circle of warm friends.

EDWARD STARK. — Concentration of his energies to any particular enterprise
which he has on hand doubtless is one of the paramount secrets of the success that has
attended the business undertakings of Edward Stark and he has ably demonstrated his
adaptability and power to carry affairs to a prosperous outcome. Identified for twenty
years with the beet-sugar industry and a pioneer in this field in his native state,
Wisconsin, Mr. Stark is especially well qualified for the important post he now occu-
pies — that of field superintendent of the Anaheim Sugar Company — and not a little of
the wonderful commercial importance that this industry now commands in Orange
County is due to his tireless, constructive work.

Edward Stark was born in the prosperous farming district near Richfield, Wash-
ington County, Wis., on May 12, 1872. He remained on the home farm until he was
sixteen years of age, meanwhile securing his education in the public schools of the
neighborhood. An older brother was engaged in the general merchandise business at
Menominee Falls, Wis., and Edward was associated with him there in this line for a
number of years. During his residence in that city he served for two years as city
clerk. In 1900 Mr. Stark entered the employ of the Wisconsin Sugar Company at
Menominee Falls, having charge of the agricultural department. The sugar-beet indus-
try was then in its infancy, this being the first sugar factory erected in the state. L'p
to this time the sugar factories had considered the pulp as a waste product and refuse
and the company was facing a jiroblem in disposing of it, so as not to be a nuisance to
the neighborhood. Mr. Stark thought it contained enough food value so that stockmen,
if they knew, would gladly purchase it, so the same season Mr. Stark purchased the
pulp from the company and sold it to stockmen for feed and so as far as the records
show he w-as the first to demonstrate the food value of this product and to promote
its sale for feed. This added resource was not only an aid in putting the infant indus-
try on its feet, but protected the company from legal litigation arising for damages on
account of the odor of the refuse to adjoining resident districts. Through his travels
about the country in this work lie liecame very familiar with crop conditions and land
valuations and this knowledge made him especiallv valuable as field superintendent
for the factory, \\hcn Mr. Stark took up his work for the factory only from 14.000
to 18,000 tons of beets were being sliced yearly, and this amount he increased to 50,000
tons per year. He .started a campaign of education among the growers, addressing the
farm centers all over the state. It w-as a new enterprise and the farmers were doubtful
about its success and, consequently, very conservative in the -acreage they would devote
to it, as is shown by the fact that the 5,000 acres of land .given over to the cultivation
of sugar beets represented 1,900 growers, thus averaging about two and a half acres
to each grower. Through Mr. Stark's endeavor,s- many more farmers were induced to
plant, and those who had already become interested in the production of beets increased
their acreage. Machinery for cultivating the crop was bought by the factory and
rented to the farmers and later sold to them.

Having for some time had a desire to locate on the Pacific Coast, and particularly
were his eyes turned toward Southern California, Mr. Stark resigned his position with
the Wisconsin Sugar Company in 1905 and located in Los .Angeles. Cal. Until a proper


opening in the sugar industry should present itself, he engaged in the mercantile
business there, in tune having two stores in the metropolis of the Coast. Mr. Stark,
being a personal friend of Fred Heinze, former superintendent of the Wisconsin Sugar
Company at Menominee Falls, Wis., kept up a correspondence concerning the future
possibilities of the sugar industry in this part of Southern California. Mr. Heinze
came out to California in 1907 and they spent some time investigating in Los Angeles
and Orange counties, with the result that the Southern California Sugar Company was
organized and the plant at Santa Ana started. Mr. Stark sold his business in Los
Angeles and became foreman of construction, remaining with them until the end of
the first season, when he resigned to accept the position offered him by the Anaheim
Sugar Company, just incorporated, as field superintendent from its inception, so he was
the first man connected with the work of starting the new plant. He went into the
field, and with his years of ripe experience interested the ranchers and signed up suf-
ficient acreage, after which the plant was immediately started and duly completed. He
has continued actively with the company ever since.

Originally the plant of the Anaheim Sugar Company had a capacity of 500 tons
per day, which has since been increased to 1,200 tons. At first 5,000 acres of beets were
required to supply the factory, but since enlarging its capacity 12,000 acres are neces-
sary, thus supplying approximately 100,000 tons of beets a year. The company owns
over 2,500 acres of land in the vicinity and this they rent to beet growers. Mr. Stark
is also interested in the company as a stockholder and gives it his undivided attention.
He has been very successful in organizing his branch of the work and has brought it up
to a high state of efficienc)-.

Mr. Stark's marriage, which occurred at Menominee Falls, Wis., on October 22,
1898, united him with Mfss Anna Schlageter, a native of Washington County. Wis.,
and they are the parents of three children: Willard G., a student in the dental depart-
ment of the University of Southern California; Berdilla and Melvin. Since 1907, Mr.
Stark has resided in his comfortable home at 202 East Chestnut Street, Santa Ana,
where he and his family have hosts of friends. Mr. Stark gives no small credit for his
success to his devoted wife, who has ever been a willing helpmate, encouraging him in
his every ambition and doing her utmost to help him in his life work. She is a cultured
and refined woman with much native ability and artistic tastes, which find an outlet in
beautifying the home, and thus in their liberal w'ay they dispense a true western hos-
pitality much enjoyed by their friends.

It is to men of Mr. Stark's caliber and ability that Orange County owes much of
its prestige and greatness, for he brought many years of valuable experience and much
acquired knowledge in the sugar business and particularly regarding the growers' end,
or production of the raw material, and was able to interest the people in that branch,
without which the factory could not have been made a success. He has truly become
one of the men of aflfairs in Orange County and a valuable addition to the personnel
of the community. A splendid type of man, his pleasing personality, coupled w-ith a
liberal and kindly disposition, has brought him a large circle of friends who appreciate
him for his honesty of purpose, integrity and worth.

JOHN WESLEY POPE. — Radiating the sunshine of an exemplary life filled with
good deeds and generous benefactions, the memory of John W. Pope and his devoted
wife will be forever cherished by all whose lives were blessed by their friendship, and
the deep influence of the beautiful Christian example that characterized their every act
will live far beyond the span of their earthly existence. Born in Tuscaloosa, Ala.,
August 12, 1832. Mr. Pope was the son of Burwell and Jane Pope, and at an early age
was taken by his parents to Macon County, Miss., and there he passed the next fifteen
years, then going to Holmes County, in that state. It was here that he united with
the Methodist Episcopal Church. South, at the age of twenty, and from that time he
was loyal to the church of his choice, a consistent, useful member throughout the re-
mainder of his life.

On January 13, 1859, he was united in the bonds of wedlock with Miss Martha
Douglass, and for close to half a century their lives were lived together in peace and
harmony. In 1861 they removed to Nueces County, Texas, where they remained
for a year, spending the same length of time in Goliad County, before settling in Na-
varro County, where Mr. Pope became actively engaged in farming and stock raising.
A man of industry and fine business ability, he soon occupied a prominent place among
the ranchers of that district. Failing health, occasioned by repeated attacks of la
grippe, so depleted his constitution that it became necessary for him to seek a milder
climate, and in January, 1902, with his wife, in company of the family of E. C. Martin,
a sketch of whose life is found elsewhere in this work, he came to Santa Ana, Cal.
Mrs. Martin, who lost her parents in early childhood, was reared by Mr. and Mrs.


Pope, and given their loving care, and in their later years this was repaid in the loving
ministrations and devotion she gave them.

With characteristic optimism, Mr. Pope became at once identified with the inter-
ests of his adopted home, purchasing some fine walnut groves, but again another
move was deemed necessary on account of the damp sea air at Santa Ana, so in 1903
Mr. and Mrs. Pope removed to Redlands. Here he made a gallant light for life, but
pneumonia developed from a cold contracted while on a visit at the Martins, and the
earthly life of John VV. Pope closed on December 9, 1905. It was his wish to be buried
at his old Texas home, and now his companion of forty-six years rests beside him,
Mrs. Pope having survived him until October 14, 1914, reaching the age of seventy-five
years. After her bereavement she made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Martin, who
surrounded her with every loving care during the closing days of her life.

A true Christian gentleman, Mr. Pope expressed in his life those qualities of mind
and heart that endeared him to family, friends and business associates, but it was per-
haps in his spirit of liberality that he excelled. He not only gave generous support to
his church, but to the poor, wherever he found them, and to every worthy Christian
cause that was brought to his attention. One of his last benefactions was a gift of
$1,000 toward the erection of a parsonage at Redlands. While devoted to the church
founded by John Wesle}', for whom he was named, he was never a bigot, but a lover
of his church's doctrines and loyal to her teachings. Mrs. Pope, if possible, even
excelled her husband in her generous benefactions, three gifts during her later years
alone totaling $4,000, besides numberless smaller donations. Lives such as these
will ever leave their impress on all who were privileged to come within their hallowed

HERBERT A. JOHNSTON, M. D.— Surgical science has no disciple more loyal
to the profession or more eager to keep pace with its development than Dr. Herbert
A. Johnston of Anaheim, who was born at Minesing, near Barrie, Ontario, on October
8, 1873, the son of James B. Johnston, also a native of Barrie. His grandfather, James
Johnston, was born in the north of Ireland, and having married Mary Graham, they
migrated to Ontario, where he was a successful contractor and builder in Kingston,
Toronto and Barrie. James B. Johnston, on the other hand, was a merchant for many
years until he sold out and came to Anaheim about a decade ago; but he was per-
mitted to enjoy the delightful climate of California only for a short time, and died soon
after arriving here. He had married Jeanette Livingston, a native of Montreal, Canada,
and the daughter of Donald and Mary (Brown) Livingston, natives of Paisley, Scot-
land, who migrated to Canada, where they followed agriculture. The Livingstons come
from the same family forever famous through David Livingston, the explorer. Mrs.
Johnston is still living, and now resides at Anaheim, the mother of three children. The
eldest is the subject of this review; the next in order of birth is Mrs. Marion Ross,
who lives at Anaheim; while the youngest was Robert, who will long be honored in
Orange County as the editor of the Anaheim Herald. When his health failed, he sold
the paper, hoping through freedom from the responsibilities and cares of business to
recuperate, but he lingered only until June, 1920, and passed away at Monrovia.

Herbert A. Johnston attended the public schools in Minesing. after which he
entered the Barrie Collegiate Institute, from which he graduated in 1894. Then he
entered the medical d'epartment of the University of Toronto and there pursued his
studies until the beginning of the senior year, when he was forced to discontinue, owing
to ill health. He came direct to California in 1897, and soon after his arrival entered
the medical department of the University of Southern California, which graduated him
in 1898 with the degree of M.D. He immediately located at .Anaheim, and on June
22 of the same year opened an office and began the practice of medicine and surgery,
in which field he has been notably successful.

When Dr. William H. Wickett graduated in medicine, he became associated with
Dr. Johnston as a partner, and ever since they have practiced together with particularly
satisfactory results. As early as 1903. Dr. Johnston opened the first hospital in .Ana-
heim, in the old Fowler residence, which became the nucleus of the present .Anaheim
Hospital, incorporated and built about 1910 — an institution of considerable importance
to Southern California for it has become a center for surgical work. Drs. Johnston and
Wickett also started the Johnston-Wickett Clinic, which has grown to its present large
proportions. Originally there were only two persons on the staff, but one by one
physicians and surgeons were added and the departments opened, until there are now
ten physicians and surgeons on the stafif, as well as a pharmacist and other employes,
and the establishment is the largest and best equipped clinic on the Pacific Coast. Each
department has for its head a specialist, and the clinic has recently acquired the Fuller-
ton Hospital, a new modern, concrete fireproof structure located very pleasantly and
conveniently in Fullerton, and conceded by all who are competent to judge, to be one


of the finest hospitals in California. The appreciation of the clinic is not confined to
residents of this locality, but its reputation has reached the outside world, with the
result that about eighty per cent of its patients come from distant points. Indeed the
work has developed to such an extent that the members of the staff are unable to take
care of any private practice, but give all their time to the clinic and the two hospitals.
Dr. Johnston is a member of, and was formerly president of the Orange County Medical
Association, and is a member of the State Medical Society, the Southern California
Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

At Toronto, Canada, on October 2, 1900, Dr. Johnston was married to Miss Annie
Marwood Wickett, the only daughter of William Marwood and Lillis (Balfour) Wickett.
now residents of Anaheim, and a sister of Dr. Wickett, his partner. Their household
has been brightened by the birth of three children — Lillis, Agnes and Jessie. The
family are members of the Presbyterian Church at Anaheim.

OREN BROWN BYRAM.— More than one interesting, historic family, notable
for its relation to famous men and events of the past, is recalled by the life-stories of
Mr. and Mrs. Oren Brown Byram, prominent in Presbyterian circles at Westminster,
and leaders in progressive movements in Orange County. Mr. Byram is a rancher, who
lives about a mile south of Westminster, and owns ten acres of the best land to be
found anywhere.

He was born on September 24, 1861, on his father's farm, about three miles east
of Janesville, in Bremer County, Iowa, the son of Aaron Milton and Harriet Newell
Byram, the former a representative of an old and distinguished family, whose very
quaint records go back to the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when they were noblemen
in Normandy, France. Having shown great loyalty to William the Conqueror, they
went to England with his cohorts and settled in Kent. They bore the name of De
Beaureaume in Normandy, but in time, when they became weavers of cloth in Kent,
their name was changed to Byram. The progenitor of the family in America was
Nicholas Byram, who left England and came to the North American Continent under
peculiar circumstances. He was the heir to a considerable estate; but his guardians
sent him to the West Indies, in order to divert the property to themselves, and from
there, in 1632, he came to Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Ebenezer, the grand-
father of our subject, was born in Morristown, N. J., in 1808, while Aaron Milton first
saw the light of day at Basking Ridge, N. J., grew up in Ohio where he taught school
and at seventeen was bound out to learn the trade of tanner and furrier.

After a while, the Byram family removed to Darke County, Ohio, and in 1853
pushed on to Iowa. There Aaron Byram became a farmer. In the Centennial Year
of 1876, when attention was directed anew to California, the family removed to the
Golden State, and Oren Byram began his identification with the Westminster district
in 1876, when the family settled in this section of Los Angeles County. In 1883,
Aaron Byram located near Lamanda Park; he died when in his sixty-seventh year in
Pasadena. He was twice married, his first wife having been in maidenhood Miss Harriet
Newell Brown, a native of Cattaraugus County, N. Y. They were married in Iowa
on January 1, 1861; and after twenty-nine years of happy married life, she passed away
in Pasadena. She left three children — Oren Brown Byram, the eldest; Walter Brooks,
the second-born, and Annie Bertha, now the wife of J. W. Sedwick, a civil engineer
in Los Angeles. When he married again, Mrs. Josephine Emerick, nee Wilkins, be-
came his wife, bringing with her two daughters. This second union was blessed with
the birth of a daughter, Gladys, now Mrs. Pickering of Pomona.

After having attended the University of Southern California for five years, where
he pursued a general scientific course, Oren Byram was married on November 11,
1891, to Miss Stella F. Mack, a native of Solano County, Cal., and the daughter of
George C. Mack, a Vermonter, who had married Miss Susan A. Fisher, a native of the
Granite State. With a first-grade certificate for teaching, he conducted the academy
at Hillsboro, 111., assisted by seven teachers. In 1863 Professor Mack crossed the
great plains, later being joined by his family who came via the Isthmus, Mrs. Byram
then being the youngest of four children; later, she enjoyed such educational develop-
ment that for some time she has been the able correspondent from Westminster for the
Santa Ana Register.

Mr. and Mrs. Byram have had six children. Roy M., the eldest, is married and
with his wife is a graduate in medicine from the Medical Department of the University
of Texas; his wife was Miss Bertha Stanley of Huntington Park. Wilfred Carroll,
who graduated from Occidental College and became a corporal in Company E of the
Hundred Seventeenth Engineer Corps, lies buried in France. Marjorie Fay is a student
at Occidental, and expects to become a nurse. Glenn Alden, so named in honor of a
maternal ancestor who came over in the Mayflower, recalls the hero immortalized by


Longfellow, and is attending Junior College in Santa Ana. Wilbur F. Byram attends
the high school at Huntington Beach, and Dorothy Fern is a senior at the Huntington
Beach high school. Mr. and Mrs. Byram and family are members of the Presbyterian
Church at Westminster, where they are enthusiastic Endeavorers, and in national
politics work for the Prohibition cause, Mr. Byram having long been a Prohibitionist
and cast his vote for John P. St. John, in the campaign of 1884.

WILFRED CARROLL BYRAM.— If one must die, and die young, as Wilfred
Carroll Byram, for whom all of Westminster, Orange County, recently joined in touch-
ing memorial services, it is some consolation to give one's life for his country, and a
matter almost enviable to have caused the first gold star to be placed in the community
service banner. A native son very proud of his Golden State, Wilfred was born at
Westminster on November 18, 1894, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Oren Brown Byram, and
attended the grammar school of his birthplace, where he finished his studies in 1908.
He then entered the Huntington Beach Union high school, from which he was grad-
•uated with the class of '12.

A year later, he matriculated at Occidental College, and went in for the regular,
four-year course, graduating at the age of twenty-two — a performance the more credit-
able, because he had, like so many sturdy American youths, worked his way, while
studying. Such was his daily performance of duty as an undergraduate, that after his
death, one of his instructors, Prof. E. E. Chandler, wrote his bereaved, but proud
parents: "Carroll made a fine record at Occidental, and endeared himself to all of us
by his manly character and genial disposition. I recall him as if it were but yesterday,
doing his work in the laboratory, cheerfully and faithfully, just as he did in the larger
service to which he was called."

During his last year in college, in 1916, Carroll enlisted in Company B, California
Engineers, and mustered for training in Los Angeles. In July, 1917, the company was
called to the colors, and sent to Camp Lewis, where they were reorganized into
Company E, One Hundred Seventeenth U. S. Engineers, becoming a part of the Forty-
second, or Rainbow, Division. The company left Camp Lewis for Long Island on
September 1, of that j'ear. and with the Rainbow Division left for France on October
IS, 19^7.

The accident which caused young Mr. Byram's death on July 25, 1918, occurred
when he was struck by a low bridge while on the train transferring his company. His
skull was fractured in two places, and he was left unconscious at a French base hos-
pital. For some time, all that the afflicted relatives of the brave fellow knew was con-
veyed in a brief, unsatisfactory telegram of official announcement.

A single sentiment or two from one of Carroll's letters to his home may suffice
to show his high conception of unselfish duty. "Men don't join the army to become
rich or famous," he said, "but to do their part and serve their country. If everybody
would give up all personal ambition and work for the good of the cause, it would be
the ideal condition."

EDWARD SMITHWICK.— .A.mong the interesting and highly-esteemed pioneers
of Santa Ana must be numbered Edward Smithwick, a native of Austin, Texas., where
he was born on September 2, 1840, with the distinction of being a Texan before the
Lone Star State became one of the United States. His father was Noah Smithwick.
a pioneer of Texas pioneers, having come there from Tennessee in 1828; and he had
married Miss Thurza Blakey, a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., whose family migrated to
Te.xas in the thirties.

Edward was educated in the district schools of his locality, and came to California
with his father and mother, who started from Texas in a prairie schooner drawn by
oxen, the day upon which Fort Sumter was fired upon. There were five families, num-
bering thirty-five persons, in the train, and they arrived in San Diego County in the
fall of 1861, and remained there for the winter, for the season was so wet that it was
deemed best not to attempt travel. In the spring — 1862 — Mr. and Mrs. Smithwick
moved north with their family to what was then Tulare County, and there they lived
until 1881. In the meantime. Kern County was formed out of a part of Tulare and
a part of Los Angeles counties, and the Smithwicks became residents of Kern County.

Edward Smithwick pastured sheep on what is now the rich Kern River oil fields.
and at Linns Valley, on November IS. 1871, he was married to Miss Rebecca Reid. a
native of Bell, Texas, who was brought to California by her parents in 1853, when she
was only three months old. Her father was John C. Reid, and he had married a Miss
Glen. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Smithwick engaged in general farming, and
for eleven years lived in Linns Valley. When they sold their ranch of 150 acres, they
went to Bakersfield, and came to Santa ."Xna in the spring of 1881, and here they have
made their home ever since.


Until 1895 Mr. Smithwick engaged in the livery business, and then he was judge

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 58 of 191)