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 60 of 191)
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also for the Victory Loan, and gave a willing and most helpful hand for_ the Red
Cross drives.

How valuable has been this work of Mr. Reyburn for the building up of Garden
Grove and neighboring sections of Orange County may be judged by certain news-
paper acknowledgments, and from statistics found in chamber of commerce publications.
Garden Grove now has, thanks in part to these strenuous exertions of our subject.
a population of 800 souls, and is in the center of a population of 2,000. It has a
strong bank, a first-class weekly newspaper and printing plant, four well-housed
churches, a strong Young Men's Christian Association, with a good building of its
own, a woman's club which holds weekly meetings; and a public school system, in
good headquarters and manned by ten teachers. The town enjoys a good telephone
system, electric light and gas for domestic use, streets lighted by electricity, good
streets for the most part substantially paved, and an abundant artesian water supply.
It has good passenger and freight facilities furnished by the Pacific Electric Railway,
and stores equal to those of any town of the size in the state. The irrigation system
is the most perfect obtainable, for at an average depth of 180 feet plenty of good



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water is found. The Garden Grove section produces the most chili peppers, for the
area, to be found in all America. A thousand acres of walnut groves are close to
Garden Grove. The neighborhood is rapidly coming to the front as a Valencia orange
section and there are thousands of acres planted. There are 2000 acres of beans. Sugar
beets cover about 2000 acres and over 300 acres are planted to potatoes. Great quanti-
ties of garden truck in excess of local wants are shipped away; apricots and other
fruits here grow to perfection and prove a fine investment for the planter; and there
is a record of 200 per cent on the investment in poultry and eggs.

Speaking of the war work in which Mr. Reyburn took such an active part, the
Garden Grove News of April 11, 1919, had this to say:

"In all of the Liberty Loan drives, as in the case of the present Victory
drive, Mr. George Reyburn has been the moving spirit, and has had charge of
all the local business by direct appointment from the Treasury Department at
Washington. And well and patriotically has he performed his duty. At all times
Garden Grove has gone over the top with more than its quota, and that the place
has sustained this record for liberality and generosity is largely due to Reyburn's
indefatigable devotion to puBIic dut}- without thought of compensation other than
the abiding esteem of his fellow-townsmen and co-workers."
The Garden Grove News of May 16, also contained the following:

"Garden Grove's Honor Flag was received by George Reyburn, local chair-
man of the Victory Loan Committee this week. The quota assigned this district
was $30,375, the major part of which was raised the opening day of the campaign.
At the close of the drive, Garden Grove had subscribed $33,500, or $3,125 above
our apportionment. There were two hundred sixty-two subscribers to the last
Liberty Loan in this locality."
WILLIAM H. WICKETT, M. D.— Since coming to Anaheim in 1907, Dr. William
Harold Wickett has won and maintained a high reputation for skill in medicine and
surgery. Through his association, with Dr. H. A. Johnston, of the Johnston- Wickett
Clinic, he has made a valuable contribution to the medical profession of the Pacific
Coast. The doctor has kept abreast of the most advanced medical thought and practice
of the day, not merely because of the allurements which beckon the student on to that
which is purely experimental, but largely from the standpoint of the humanitarian, who
is actuated by the desire to alleviate human suffering.

Toronto, Canada, was the birthplace of Dr. Wickett, April 5, 1884, marking the
date of his birth. His father, William Marwood Wickett, was born in England, and
came with his father, William Wickett, to Brooklyn, Ontario, where he followed farm-
ing during the days of his early manhood. He then engaged in the business of a
tanner and currier at Brooklyn, later removing to Toronto, where he was extensively
interested in the manufacture of leather, being a partner in the firm of Wickett and
Craig. Here he continued until 1906. when he disposed of his business interests in
Toronto and cam^ to California, locating at Anaheim, where he has since devoted his
time to citrus culture. Mrs. Wickett, who was Lillis Balfour before her marriage, was
born in Fifeshire, Scotland, and crossed the Atlantic on a sailing vessel with her parents
in the days when the journey was a matter of weeks instead of days. The family
settled in Canada and here she met and married Mr. Wickett. Since taking up their
residence in Anaheim, Mr. and Mrs. Wickett have been active in the work of the Pres-
byterian Church of that city, Mr. Wickett being an elder of that body. Two children
were born to them: Annie Marwood. who is the wife of Dr. H. A. Johnston, and Wil-
liam H. Wickett, of this review.

Dr. Wickett was reared in Toronto, and his early education w^as obtained in the
Lord DufTerin school. Even from a youth he had always had a strong desire to enter
the medical profession, and when he had graduated from the Lord Duflferin school, he
continued his studies at the University of Toronto to prepare for his medical course.
In 1903 he came to California and entered the College of Medicine of the University
of Southern California, and was graduated in 1907, with the degree of M.D. Coming to
Anaheim, he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law. Dr. Herbert A. Johnston,
which culminated in the formation of the Tohnston-\\'ickett Clinic; and so successful
has been this work that tlie members of the staflf have been compelled to give up their
general practice and devote all their time to the clinic. Year by year the staff has been
increased and new departments added, until it has become one of the largest clinics on
the Coast, ten physicians and surgeons, each at the head of his special department,
being in constant attendance. Drs. Johnston and Wickett have for some years been
large stockholders in the .Anaheim hospital and have recently acquired the FuUerton
Hospital, a modern, fireproof building that is considered the most complete hospital
of its size in the state.

In January. 1918. Dr. Wickett was commissioned a captain in the Medical Corps
of the U. S. Army, and proceeded to the Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minn., where he


remained for two months. He was then appointed on the surgical staff at Camp Sheri-
dan, Montgomery, Ala., later becoming attached to Evacuation Hospital No. 11, detailed
for overseas service. Arriving in France, he was placed in charge of an operating team
and sent to the Toul sector, serving throughout the St. Mihiel drive. At the close of
activities in that sector he was sent to the Argonne Forest, where he was in active
service until January, 1919, when he joined his old command at Le Mans. Here he
remained on duty until he requested a transfer to the United States, returning as
medical officer on the S. S. Roma, landing in April, 1919; then serving as medical officer
in charge of a troop train to Camp Kearny, Cal. He received his honorable discharge
from the U. S. Army April 18, 1919, and returned to Orange County to resume his
practice. In 1920 he spent some time in Chicago, where he took a post-graduate course
at the Bremmerman Urologica! Hospital.

On June 2, 1910, Dr. Wickett was united in marriage with Miss Ethel Pearson
Chapman, the daughter of Charles C. Chapman of Fullerton. Mrs. Wickett was born
in Chicago, but from early girlhood has been a resident of California and Orange
County. After their marriage Dr. and Mrs. Wickett spent four months in Europe,
visiting the Royal College of Surgeons in London, and many places of interest on the
Continent. Two sons have been born to them, Charles Marwood and William Harold.
Jr. Some years ago Dr. Wickett erected the Marwood Apartments in Fullerton, later
disposing of this property; he is at present interested in horticulture, in addition to his
busy life as a surgeon, and is the owner of several ranches devoted to Valencia oranges.

Prominent in the ranks of the Masons, Dr. Wickett is a member of the Lodge.
Chapter and Commandery at Fullerton, the Consistory at Bloomsburg, Pa., and Rajah
Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at Reading, Pa. He also belongs to Fullerton Post of the
American Legion, and in his professional affiliations is an active member of the Orange
County Medical Association, the Southern California Medical Society, the California
State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. With Mrs. Wickett, he
holds membership in the Christian Church at Fullerton, and is a deacon in that body.

SAMUEL Q. CONKLE.— The Conkle family trace their origin in this country to
their Dutch ancestors who settled in Pennsylvania in early days, and S. Q. Conkle of
Garden Grove is the representative of the California branch of his family. Mr. Conkle
was born September 8, 1846, near East Liverpool, Columbiana County, Ohio. His
father, Daniel, was a native of Columbiana County and his mother, who was Barbara
Poor in maidenhood, was born in Westmoreland County and came to Ohio, where
she was reared. His parents were married in Ohio, where the father, a stockman and
farmer, owned a large farm and bought sheep for the Pittsburgh markets, in early
days driving his droves and herds through on foot to that city. He also drove sheep
into Missouri in the early fifties. The father, at the age of sixty-five, sold his farm and
moved to Minerva, near Canton, Stark County, Ohio, where he lived retired until the
time of his death in 1887, at the age of seventy-five. The mother died at the age of
seventy. In the parental family of eight children, three girls and five boys, Samuel Q.
Conkle is the youngest child, and the only one of the family now living. None of his
brothers died under the age of seventy-five. His oldest brother was a civil engineer
in Stark County, Ohio; some of the brothers were farmers, and Noah F. was a mer-
chant at Topeka, Kans., for twenty years. Three of his brothers served in the Union
Army during the Civil War.

Samuel Q. was educated in the district schools of his native state and at Mount
Union Academy, and began life as a clerk in the produce business at Minerva, Ohio,
in which he was employed three years, from twenty-one until twenty-four years of
age. He then bought out his employer and continued to conduct a wholesale business
as a shipper of butter, eggs, and poultry, shipping to the Pittsburgh. Philadelphia,
New York City, and Baltimore markets for ten years, and doing a profitable business.
Having contracted asthma, he sold his interests in the East and came to Orange County,
Cal., then a part of Los Angeles County, first settling at Santa Ana in 1885. After
tv/o years he moved to his ranch of twenty-two acres in the Bolsa district between
Santa Ana and Bolsa, being a part of the Stearns' Rancho, where he engaged in farm-
ing. He also owned ei.ghty acres in the Black Star Canyon where he accumulated some
225 colonies of bees. He had learned the bee business in Ohio, but owing to climatic
conditions found it was much different in California, and had to practically learn the
Business over again. He succeeded and became one of Orange County's most suc-
cessful apiarists.

His marriage, which occurred in Sandyville. Ohio, January 24, 1872, united him
with Miss Normanda McFarland, a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and daughter
of John McFarland, a hotel keeper at Sandyville. Six children were born of their
union, five of whom are living, the second child dying in infancy. Ura Bertie is the



wife of Frank Mills, a prosperous rancher at Garden Grove; Hazel is the wife of
Samuel McKee, of Los Angeles; Lemon L. runs an auto truck in Los Angeles, is
married and lives in that city; Mellie is the wife of John Bedabach, a dealer in stock,
and their home is at Pasadena. Roscoe lives in Los Angeles, and is single. Owing to
his wife's failing health Mr. Conkle disposed of his home ranch and they made their
home with Mrs. Mills, where Mrs. Conkle died in 1910. Mr. Conkle then came to
Garden Grove and built a comfortable bungalow on Pine Street, where he now
resides. Mrs. Conkle was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Conkle
still owns ten acres south of Garden Grove which is leased. In 1918 he suffered
a stroke of paralysis, and lay unconscious for three weeks, but his great vitality
enabled him to make a good recovery. He was well acquainted with the late ex-
President McKinley, who was his legal adviser while he lived in Ohio. One of Garden
Grove's most highly respected citizens he has the satisfaction of knowing that his long
and useful life has been well spent, and his children, who were born with a good in-
heritance, are living useful, active lives, honored and esteemed by their friends and
acquaintances. In his political views Mr. Conkle is a Republican. He never was sued
nor ever sued any person, nor did he ever serve on a jury or hold office of any kind.

WM. J. CHENEY. — A successful rancher operating extensively and enjoying a
popularity shared by his estimable wife and children, is Wm. J. Cheney, who was born
near what is now Downey, and is one of three sons, all the living children of Tilford
D. Cheney, a native of Arkansas, who married Emma Ryle, a belle of Kentucky. Til-
ford Cheney came with his parents from Arkansas to California in 1856, driving a mule-
team, and proceeding along the northern route, by way of the Black Hills; and while
they were passing through that country, a most unusual accident took place. A bolt of
lightning struck the lad, while he was walking along the side of the wagon train, and
he fell unconscious to the ground, where he was picked up by his mother, and although
a heavy rain was falling, her mother-love would not permit her to give him up, and for
three days she worked over him, until she brought him back to consciousness and
eventually restored him to health.

The family settled at first in Napa County, where the subject's grandfather. Wm.
W. Cheney, was engaged for several years in ranching, and then they lived in Salinas,
Monterey County, and in San Luis Obispo County, before they came to Los Angeles
County in 186S. Thus the Cheneys were pioneers in those sections. The mother died in
Los Angeles County twenty-one years ago, at the age of fifty-one; the father still
lives in Tulare, having passed his eighty-first birthday. Two younger brothers, H. C.
and C. D. Cheney, are ranchers in Tulare County.

Wm. J. Cheney is the only one of the family living in Southern California, and
licre he attended the public schools, topping off with a course at Woodbury Business
College in Los Angeles, from which he was graduated in 1896. Ever since he finished
his schooling, he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits, at first farming 300 acres
of his father's at Calabasas. in Los Angeles Count\% at which he continued for three
years. There he became acquainted with James Irvine, from whom he rented 960 acres;
now he operates 600 acr^s of the Irvine ranch, where he has farmed for seventeen years.

Five years ago Mr. Cheney bought ten acres on Prospect Avenue. Tustin, the
beginning of his home place, and two years ago he bought the twenty acres across the
street. He has set out 815 Valencia orange trees on the ten-acre field, and 1600 Valencias
on the twenty acres west of Prospect Avenue. This land was formerly planted to
Navels and walnuts, but the trees being old and neglected, he grubbed them all out, and
now has two of the finest young orange groves in the country. In partnership with
James Utt he is operating the nursery which is devoted to the raising of Valencia orange
trees, of which they now have 12,000. This nursery comprises two acres he owns at

On some of the Irvine ranch leased by Mr. Cheney, he has planted 359 acres to
lima beans, 150 acres to black-eyes, while the balance of the acreage is set out to barley
and hay. He is the secretary of the San Joaquin Lima Bean Growers Association, and
was one of its organizers in 1916, as well as the first secretary. Before its organization,
farmers got only three and a quarter to four and a half cents per pound, while the
price in 1919 was fourteen and one-half cents. As a successful business man. Mr.
Cheney is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Santa Ana. He is also a member
of the Tustin Hills Citrus Association, which owns a packing house on the Southern
Pacific Railway. With Santa Ana and Orange associates he was one of the organizers
of the Wyana Oil Company, of which he is president. The company is now drilling
for oil on their own holdings in the Lost Soldier oil field in Wyoming.

On December 11, 1907, Mr. Cheney was married to Miss Eva F. Eraser, a native of
Iowa, and the daughter of Francis Peter and Rebecca Ann (Scott) Eraser. She came


to California when about nine years of age. Her father died in Santa Ana on May 30,
1919, and his widow is still living on East Second Street, in Santa Ana. Two children
have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cheney. William J. Cheney, Jr., and Edra
Evelyn. Mr. Cheney will soon erect a pressed-brick residence at a cost of twenty
thousand dollars. He is a life member of Santa Ana Lodge No. 794, B. P. O. Elks.

Mr. Cheney also owns and operates 300 acres four miles south of Tulare, in Tulare
County, on the State Highway, which he farms to wheat and corn and where he raises
mules. He uses mules of his own raising in both Tulare and Orange counties, keep-
ing twenty-four head of Percheron brood mares. He raises about sixteen mules every
year, and in partnership with Leo Borchard and Guy W. Wilmot, he owns the imported
jack, "Burr Oak," bred at New Boston, Mo., and valued at $3,000, without doubt the
finest jack in the county.

P. W. EHLEN. — A successful, prominent business man of Orange, a town in
whose progress he takes an enthusiastic pride, is P. W. Ehlen, also one of the pillars
of the Lutheran Church in this city. He came to Orange as far back as the booming
middle eighties, and since that time his advancement and that of the community have
been common in objective and character. He was born in Hanover, Germany, on
October 11, 1863, the child of devoted parents who spent their last days with him in
Orange and died here. He was educated at the public schools of his native district,
and went through the gymnasium where he prepared for teaching; and for two and
a half years he presided over classes, until he decided to leave the Old World for the
New. In 1882 he crossed the ocean to New Jersey, and spent three years at Bayonne,
where he clerked in a grocery. In 1885 he pushed on to the West and California, and
located at Orange, then a small town. He was employed by McPherson Brothers
at McPherson, one and a half miles east of Orange, and while there he packed oranges
and raisins in their packing house.

In 1887, at the crest of the "boom," Mr. Ehlen started the general merchandise
business at McPherson, known under the firm name of P. W. Ehlen, and two years
later he removed his store to Orange, where he located on the site of what is now
the Schafifert Building on South Glassell Street. He rented a building for the pur-
pose, and the same year Henry Grote became interested with him in the business,
and the firm became known as Ehlen and Grote.

The partners removed their store, in 1901, to the corner of South Glassell and
the Plaza, where the Mission Pharmacy now stands, and in 1906 Mr. Ehlen incorpo-
rated the Ehlen and Grote Company, with himself as president and manager. In
1908 he built his present large business block known as the Ehlen and Grote block
across the street from his former location. For 140 feet the lot fronts on South
Glassell Street, and for fifty feet on the Plaza. Here he has built up a very large
business with the different departments of groceries, hardware, shoes and gents fur-
nishings, and no one who knows his ability as a merchant, and his fidelity in endeavor-
ing to serve his numerous patrons, will envy him his exceptional success. Having
started with a capital of $350 he built up the sales, prior to selling out, to over $1,000
in value a day. The strain proved too great for him, however, and finding that his
health was being impaired, he disposed of his interests in 1910, and retired from the
strenuous life.

Since then Mr. Ehlen has been interested in lands and their development. He
incorporated the Ehlen Land Company, which has extensive holdings in the Imperial
Valley, which they lease, devoted in part to the raising of cotton. They also own
valuable lands in the Sacramento Valley, on Grizzly Island, Solano County, where
they have constructed six miles of good canal, thereby reclaiming a large tract of
land. Mr. Ehlen is a stockholder in and director of the National Bank of Orange,
and he is president and director of the Orange Savings Bank.

Since he took up his residence at Orange, Mr. Ehlen was married to Miss Mane
Eggers, a native of Illinois, who was reared in Oregon. They have had four children.
His two sons, Henry and Edward are both graduates of Concordia College, Oakland,
Cal. Henry, after finishing at the Lutheran Normal School at Seward, Neb., taught
school in Detroit, Mich. During the World War he enlisted and served fifteen
months in the navy. Edward is now an automobile mechanic; and Adele and Sophia
are students in the Orange Union high school.

Mr. Ehlen is a prominent and influential member of St. Johns Lutheran Church
of Orange having served as elder and trustee for over twenty-five years and most of
the timeas secretary of the congregation. He is president of the Lutheran Layman's
League for the California and Nevada District and is also the financial secretary of
the California and Nevada district of the Missouri Synod for Southern California.


EDWARD W. HARMON.— A very successful farmer who has made a specialty
of dairying, following the last word in science and sanitation and getting far superior
results both in his products and in the economy of operation, is Edward W. Har-
mon, son of Jonathan Harmon, the well-known pioneer, who came to Santa Ana and
vicinity in the late eighties, bought sixty acres of land and added to that until he had
140 acres, and whose sketch appears on another page in this work.

Edward W. Harmon was born at Petaluma, in Sonoma County, on January 12,
1871, and came to Santa Ana when he was nine years old and attended the local public
schools. He was married to Miss Martha May McGuire, a native of Petaluma, and
a woman of accomplishment and charm, who has become the mother of their four
children, Ralph L., Gale W., Lawrence Norton and William Warren McGuire Harmon.

He was engaged in dairying with his father on the home ranch for twenty-one
years until the elder Harmon wished to retire, when they sold out. For two years
Edward raised sugar beets, but found it did not pay as well as the dairy business, so
he purchased cows and has now built up a splendid herd of sixty head; the milk is
all sold to the Sanitary Dairy in Santa Ana. The Harmon ranch is equipped with
pumping plant yielding 110 inches of water, and also has a complete cement pipe
line system for irrigating.

In national politics a Republican, in local affairs a nonpartisan worker for what-
ever seems best for the community, Mr. Harmon is always an American, and therefore
one of the best "boosters" imaginable for California and Orange County.

ELMER HAYWARD. — It is not given to many men to attain in their own home
district the success enjoyed by Elmer Hayward, a resident of Orange for more than
forty-four years, who is prominent as a school trustee in the same district where he
went to school as a boy, and is the president of the board of trustees of the city of
Orange, which has grown up since he came here as a boy. He is now one of the best-
posted citrus growers in the county, and, because of his valuable experience and
success, his advice is much sought by those desiring to emulate his example. Affable
and popular, and thoroughly wide-awake, he is pronounced in favor of the perpetuation
of historical records which may show what was done in the building up of the great
California commonwealth, and who did the hard work of construction.

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 60 of 191)