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 61 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 61 of 191)
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He was born near what is now Dysart, Tama County, Iowa, on February 25, 1865,
the youngest of twelve children, the son of Joel Hayward. a native of New Hampshire.
He had married Mary Barrett, who was born at Salem, N. Y., and whom he met in
Michigan, where they were married. After setting up their household, they engaged in
farming in Lenawee County, Mich., cleared a farm of the timber, and after twenty
years became early settlers in Tama County, Iowa, where they remained another twenty
years. A son, DeWitt C. Hayward, came to California in 1872 and settled in Orange
County; and three years later Joel Hayward and his family followed, and soon after-
ward located in Orange and bought a ranch, and engaged in horticulture. On their
arrival in California, they stopped for a short while at Sacramento, and from there
journeyed by boat to San Francisco, after which they took the steamer to San Pedro,
and came ashore on a lighter bound for Wilmington.

Nine of the twelve children referred to above grew to maturity, and eight came to
California. Charles served in the Civil War as a member of an Iowa regiment, and
eventually died in that state. DeWitt C, who came to California in 1872, died at San
Jose. Alonzo, who pushed west soon after DeWitt, also died here. Jennie E. came to
California about 1873 and married Millard Parker, a pioneer, and now resides on East
Palmyra Street, Orange. Julia is Mrs. A. M. Hayward, and lives at Escondido;
Minerva resides in Monrovia; Norman is living at Van Nuys; Mary, or Mrs. Taylor,
lives near Minerva; and Elmer is the subject of our review. Joel Hayward died here,
aged seventy-one; and Mrs. Hayward also passed away in Orange.

Elmer was ten years old when he came here and began to attend the local schools;
and his first teacher was Mrs. Samuel Armor. When old enough to do so, he assisted
his father to improve the place they had bought in 1880, and where the original house
was built in 1881 — a comfortable structure that has long since given way to the present
fine home place; and when he was twenty-one. he took charge of the homestead. In
acquiring his present valuable knowledge of horticulture, he went through all the early
trying experience necessary to learn just what was best to do with the land. For a
while they had a vineyard; then they cultivated apricots, peaches and apples; but finally
they decided to raise oranges and walnuts, and therein attained the best results. Mr.
Hayward has now set out all the land to Valencia oranges, to which he finds the land
best adapted. Eight acres were cleared of the sage brush when they came; and the
balance they have cleared since. Joel Hayward paid forty dollars an acre for the
land, and $6.10 for water stock, and since his death one of the finest orange groves in


the state has been developed on this land. There are sixteen acres in all in the ranch,
which is at 420 Cambridge street, and the orange trees, bordered with walnuts, are
said to constitute one of the finest ranches of the kind in the district. Mr. Hayward
is a member and has been a director of the Santiago Orange Growers Association, and
was a director when they built the new packing house. He helped start the Orange
County Fumigation Company, which has grown to large proportions, and he is at
present one of the stockholders.

At Orange Mr. Hayward was married to Miss Callie M. Graves, a native of Green
Bay, Wis., and a graduate of the Oshkosh Normal School. She was a teacher, and
came to Orange a young lady. They have three children— Dorothy, who is in the
Orange Union High School, Mary Louise and Lucile. Mrs. Hayward is a Presbyterian.

Mr. Hayward is a Republican in national politics, but independent in local afifairs;
he is a trustee of the grammar schools of Orange, and is president of the board. There
are now three schools, instead of one, in the district — a real progress since the days
when he went to school there. He is also a member of the board of city trustees of
Orange, having been elected in 1918 for four years. He was chairman of the police
committee and a member of the street committe until 1920, when he was chosen
president of the board, a position he is filling with zeal and to the satisfaction of his

CAPTAIN ANDREW HARRINGTON BIBBER.— A very interesting represen-
tative of fine old Revolutionary stock is Captain Andrew Harrington Bibber, renowned
in the late Civil War, and doubly honored today as the husband of a lady whose
singular talents and exceptional personality have enabled her also to attain social
eminence such as always affords influence for good.

Mrs. Annie L. Bibber was born at St. John, N. B., the daughter of John Annesley,
also a native of that place, and the granddaughter of Daniel Annesley, who crossed
the Atlantic from Devonshire, and settled at St. John, where he became a shipping
merchant operating so extensively that he owned his vessels, and made sixty or more
ocean trips. John Annesley was a mill owner, but he gave up milling on account of
ill-health, after which he took a government position under Queen Victoria; and that
responsible post he held until his death. Mrs. Annesley was Lucy Hayden before her
marriage, and she was born at Beacon Hill, Boston; Grandfather Aaron Hayden was a
native of Massachusetts, and was born in the neighborhood of what became Hayden-
ville. He was a merchant in Boston, and married Ruth Alden Jones, of that city, who
proudly traced her New England lineage back to the famous John Alden. Lucy
Hayden, in fact, was the sixth lineal descendant of the illustrious patriot, and resided at
St. John until she joined Mrs. Bibber at Orange, and here she breathed her last. Of
the "six children in the family, three grew to maturity and are still living; the other
two. besides Mrs. Bibber, being Mrs. Frances Paine, of Berkeley, and Mrs. Lucy C.
Coulson of the same town.

The youngest of all, Mrs. Bibber was educated at St. John's Young Ladies' Academy
and at Vassar College. At Eastport, Maine, on Sept. 21, 1876, she was married to
Captain Andrew Harrington Bibber, a native of Lubec, Maine, and the son of Charles
Bibber, a native and merchant of the same state. His mother was Adeline Harrington,
and she was born at Eastport, Maine. Grandfather Andrew Harrington was a business
man whose family belonged to some of the original settlers of Concord, Mass. There
were eleven of the Harrington brothers in the Revolutionary War, and all fought in the
battle of Lexington, and one, Jacob Harrington, was the first man killed in that battle,
so that the Harrington home at Concord, Mass., is now maintained as a relic of
Revolutionary headquarters.

Captain Bibber served as captain of the First Maine Cavalry throughout the Civil
War, or for four years and seven months, and was present at Appomattox at the
surrender of Lee. His regiment was in two hundred engagements from Bull Run to
Appomattox. After marrying, he brought his wife to Eastport, Maine, engaging in
the dry goods business. His spare moments he gave to painting, for he was an
artist of ability, and noted as a marine painter. He exhibited his work in an art
gallery in Philadelphia, and at Williams & Evarts well-known art rooms at Boston, and
at each exhibition received his quota of praise.

In 1890 Captain and Mrs. Bibber came out to California and located at Orange,
where they purchased twenty acres between Schaffer and Cambridge streets, tc Culver
and Palmyra; and this acreage they set out to oranges. They also built a fine residence.
From 1895 until 1901 Captain Bibber was again active as a dry goods merchant, this
time at Orange, but in the latter year he sold his mercantile business and on Octob'.r 7,
1912, he died. During his latter years he again devoted himself to painting, ana Mrs

^ w^ J!t


Bibber possesses some fine specimens of his art. The Bibbers laid out ten acres of the
land in lots, and this was soon sold and built up. In 1919 Mrs. Bibber sold her larger
residence and her ten-acre orange grove, and since then has had built for herself a
comfortable bungalow at the corner of Van Bibber and Harwood streets.

One child blessed this marriage of Captain Bibber and Miss Annesley — Alice Alden,
a graduate of the Girls' Collegiate School of Los Angeles, where she was a member
of the Class of '03, and she is now the wife of Ray O. Van Bibber, who is engaged in
the oil business.

Captain Bibber's first wife was Miss Sarah Houghton of Eastport, Maine, a
daughter of the Hon. Partman Houghton, who was a member of the state legislature
in Maine. She died in Boston, leaving a daughter, Edith Prince Bibber, who also
makes her home with Mrs. Bibber. She was educated at Vassar College, and teaches
music in the El Modena schools, and she has built herself a studio adjoining their
home, where she teaches private pupils.

Captain Bibber was a Unitarian, while Mrs. Bibber is a member of the Baptist
Church of Santa Ana. She is also one of the early members, and one of the executive
committee of the Ebell Club of Santa Ana. Both Captain and Mrs. Bibber have been
Republicans; and he was a member of the Southern California Commandery, Military
Order of the Loyal Legion, and also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic,
being thrice commander of Granger Post.

JOSEPH S. THURSTON.— .\ resident of California for half a century, Joseph S.
Thurston has slight remembrance of any other locality, having been brought here by
his parents when a babe of two years. A successful, self-made man, he has acquired
large realty holdings entirely through his own industrious efforts and has been for a
long time the leading rancher, fruit and vegetable grower at Laguna Beach. Born
November 26, 1868, in Cash Valley, Utah, Joseph S. Thurston was the seventh in
order of birth of a family of fifteen children. His father was George W. Thurston,
born in Huron County, Ohio, while his grandfather was Thomas J. Thurston. His
mother, Sarah Lucina Snow before her marriage, was born at Chester, Pa., while her
parents were en route from Vermont to Illinois. Grandfather Erastus Snow was a
native of Vermont and there he married Artimesia Berman, and they were early
settlers of Hancock County, 111.

Mr. Snow and Thomas J. Thurston and others were members of the pioneer train
to Salt Lake City. Mr. Snow and a comrade, Orson Pratt, went ahead of the train,
and as Mr. Snow had a splendid, swift riding horse, he blazed the way for the train,
picking the trail and camp sites, as well as furnishing provender by hunting. After
arriving at Salt Lake he helped lay out the town. He was very prominent in the early
days of Salt Lake City and became one of the head men in the Mormon Church, being
one of the first group of twelve apostles. He was sent to and founded St. George City,
Utah, and there he died. Thomas J. Thurston became a bishop in the Mormon Church
aand passed away in Utah. George W. Thurston and his wife engaged in ranching near
Salt Lake City for a time and then removed to Weber County, where he engaged in
freighting and made sufficient money to purchase machinery for a grist mill, building
the first mill in Cash \'alley. While living there a little son died of diphtheria and
then a still harder blow fell on the family when one of their little daughters was stolen
by the Indians. While residing in Utah, George W. Thurston and his wife withdrew
from the Mormon Church.

In 1870, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Thurston, with their children, came to San Francisco,
but remained there only a few weeks, going by boat to San Diego. Here they acquired
land and began raising stock and grain, but being warned of trouble brewing among
the stockmen, they sold out and came to Tustin in 1871. Camping at the old artesian
well east of Tustin for about six weeks, they then took up the original homestead of
152 acres at Aliso Beach and in the canyon. The Thurston ranch is the most scenic
and picturesque of any on the coast of Orange County, and has a frontage on the ocean
of a quarter of a mile, extending 1)ack three-fourths of a mile inland.

Joseph Thurston began making himself useful at a very early age. When about
five years old he herded ducks along .\liso Creek to see that coyotes did not prowl up
and get them, and at other times by watching that the ground squirrels did not make too
much havoc with the patch of young corn; in each case he would be gone from the old
farm house practically the entire day. When eight years old he was told to watch the
cattle oflf the wheat patch in the canyon. He started up the canyon with his lunch
zealously keeping his eye out for the patch of wheat. At that season of the year the
country was all green and all looked alike, but he finally located the wheat and faith-
fully guarded it. This he kept up for seventy-two days without interruption, marking
the time by cutting a notch for each day in a stick. During this period he had no dog.


but had some experience with squirrels eating his lunch and also with wild cats, but
was not afraid of them, except once when he had to go into the dense brush to drive
the cattle out where he had previously seen a cat. He always carried a tough stick
about thirty inches long which he kept in readiness, determined that if the cat should
jump out at him he would hit him once, at the least. This stick he carried with him
for years, and afterwards when his dog cornered a large cat, he killed it with the same
stick. Most of his time for seven years was spent herding cattle on the hills and many
times was where he could look down into Laguna Canyon. During these years he
was taught to read and spell, the lessons being usually taught him at home by some
of the children and he was also taught to write, being given a little time each day until
he had filled out two primary copy books, while his mathematics consisted of some of
the neighbor's children showing him how to subtract, multiply and divide; that is all
the assistance he ever had in obtaining what is commonly known as an education
until he was thirty-six years old, when he hired a man and his wife to take care of the
ranch as best they could and went to Los Angeles, where he attended Woodbury's
Business College for a period of three months, a most enjoyable experience, as he
had excellent surroundings, staying at the home of Judge and Mrs. W. A. Cheney.
While herding cattle he had always carried his books, but had to carry the same ones
for years not having any new ones, Ray's primary and second arithmetic being among
the number, but he says he could always find something new in them.

At the age of fifteen his older brother left home and Joseph then had to devote
his entire time to the farm work and when he was nineteen, his father left home and
the entire responsibility of the farm rested on his shoulders. However, he took hold of
the work and as usual mastered the situation, so that in 1891 they managed to build a
new house and it was not until then that he had ever slept in the house where the rest
of the family were since he was a small boy. In 1893, at the age of twenty-five, feeling
that a change was absolutely necessary and hoping that some of the other boys would
take care of the ranch he left home, and it was during very trying times, being the time
of Coxey's army and work was about as scarce as money. He worked on threshing
machines at $1.50 a day; he helped put in some of the first paving in Santa Ana at
$1.75 and boarded himself, and he worked for Will Halesworth on the desert, 144 days
at one dollar a day.

When he came back to the ranch in the fall of 1895, his mother had moved to
Santa Ana and the other children had gone out to work and he found things in a state
of chaos. So he and his sister and her husband, W. H. Walles, came down to work
the place, but they stayed only about one year and then he was left to work the ranch
alone, doing the work previously accomplished by the whole family, and this with his
nearest neighbor four miles distant. For seven years he was confronted by that situ-
ation; they were seven long years of toil and privation, for five of them were the
dryest the country had known and one of the others was only half a crop. A volume
could be written about his experiences and hardships of those years of constant work
and worry. In speaking of it he says, "he felt like one who was trying to sweep the
water back from an island that was gradually being submerged."

There were times when he felt like deserting, but then would come the thought
that his mother depended on him, and the ranch and all the efforts they had put forth
would go for naught if he failed to hold the fort, and that would never do. It was
a lonely situation but he kept going. With the small market in Laguna limited to
about ten yeeks a year and with the expense of twelve months, together with all the
pests that naturally would come to the only place (his being the only place for many
miles where fruit and vegetables were raised) where they could find what they wanted
to eat, the situation was intense. There were birds by the thousands, mice, rabbits and
gophers and the surrounding country harbored thousands of squirrels; then there were
skunks, coons, coyotes and wild cats, as well as numerous kinds of bugs, all bent on
getting all they could of his produce, so at times he found it almost impossible to
raise anything. So between these pests and the regular work, to say nothing of the
housework and keeping up the machinery and nunierous other things that had to be
regulated, including trying to make financial ends meet there was plenty to keep him
in a fighting mood; so much so that when some well-meaning individual who really
wanted to be pleasant would say, "What a beautiful place, pray what do you find to
do down here?" he would really find it difficult to keep his temper. During all this
time he has cared for his mother, who now resides at Santa Ana at the age of eighty
years. A remarkable fact in the family is that of the fifteen children, thirteen grew up
to maturity and all are living, there having been no death in the family since nearly
sixty years ago, when they were living in Utah. The little girl. Rosetta. who was
stolen by the Indians when she was three years old, was never heard from in spite of
extended search, and this was always a great grief to the family.


After a number of years Mr. Thurston purchased the home ranch and later added
to it 161 acres, so that the Thurston ranch now comprises 313 acres. In 1919 he
acquired the 528-acre tract at Laguna known as the Rogers place, which brings his
holdings up to over 800 acres. His principal products are early vegetables, melons,
corn and fine apples, and he has made a reputation for growing string beans, being
the first to ship to the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets and bringing as much
as thirty cents a pound. For irrigation he has a pumping plant, while domestic water
is piped to his residence from mountain springs. Mr. Thurston has recently leased his
ranches for oil, and the Rogers place is now being exploited for oil, with splendid

One of Orange County's enthusiastic citizens, Mr. Thurston can always be counted
upon to aid in any progressive movement for its betterment, and this is but natural
when one considers the wonderful success that he has made here entirely through his
own unaided efforts. He was in this region five years before any one settled at
Laguna, so he is the oldest settler in this locality, having located here two years after
Santa Ana was founded. Very aflfable and of a pleasing personality, upright, honest
and enterprising, he is a man any community may justly be proud of. While a liberal
in politics, he inclines toward the principles of the Republican party and is a firm
advocate of prohibition.

JOHN W. ELLIOTT. — A hard working man whose beautiful home very pleas-
antly testifies to his success, is John W. Elliott, the retired carpenter, so well and
favorably known, with his kind-hearted, devoted wife, for a lively interest in the homes
and the welfare of other folks in the community. He was born at Schleisingerville,
Washington County, Wis., on November 4, 1847, the son of Thomas and Jane Elliott.
His father was a farmer; and while John worked on the farm to help his parents, he
attended first the district school of his home town, and later the Cedar Valley Seminary.

In the spring of 1865, Thomas Elliott removed with his family to Floyd County,
Iowa, and settled near the town -of Rudd; and in 1869 John Elliott became the first
clerk of Rudd Township. The father and five of his sons owned jointly a section of
land, which they devoted to the raising of corn and hogs; and in 1874 John purchased
a quarter-section near^he old homestead. In 1886, he sold the Rudd farm and removed
to Osage, Mitchell County, Iowa; and near there he ran a market-garden farm of
ten acres. This he held onto until 1901, when he came out to California.

At Santa Ana Mr. Elliott took up building and helped to erect the Public Library,
the City Hall, the Intermediate school on Sycamore Street, and many of the best
business establishments and private homes in Santa Ana, thereby helping materially to
build the town and to guide the public taste.

On June 13. 1880, Mr. Elliott had been married near Rudd to Miss Emily Neville,
a native of Fond du Lac, Wis., and the daughter of Dr. and Mary (Lancaster) Gallup.
One child, Elsie E., who is living at home, has blessed this happy marriage. Mr.
Elliott is a staunch Republican in matters of national political import; but his strong-
love for the community in which he resides, and his deep interest in community
progress, never permits him to mix partisanship with a vigorous support of every good
measure and candidate proposed.

JACOB DITCHEY. — An enterprising and progressive resident of Orange, whose
equally industrious wife shares with him the good will and esteem of a large circle of
friends, is Jacob Ditchey, who for -many years of his life was engaged in farming in
Indiana and Colorado, and later in the Golden State. The success he has made is all
the more praiseworthy, since it was in the face of obstacles that would have daunted
one of a less courageous spirit. A native of Ohio, where he was born at New Wash-
ington, Crawford County, in 185S, Mr. Ditchey was orphaned at an early age, a circum-
stance whose sadness was increased by the unkind treatment he received by the family
to whom he was bound out. Unworthy of their trust, they put him to work instead
of sending him to school and thus deprived him of the opportunity to secure anything
beyond the rudiments of an education.

Even these hard circumstances did not quench his ambition, however, and as soon
as he reached his majority he started out for himself, and at fourteen years of age began
working out on farms in Ohio. In 1873 he removed to Clinton County, Ind. He
established family ties in 1882 by his marriage to Miss Flora A. Misner, born at
Rossville, Clinton County, Ind., and the young couple engaged in farming there until
1905, when he removed with his family to Colorado, where he continued agricultural
pursuits at Longmont. For a long time he had been attracted to the balmy climate
of the Pacific Coast, hoping some time to make his home there, so in October, 1910, he
came with his family to California, and located at Orange. For several years he


followed horticulture and met with deserving success. In 1913 he completed his modern
bungalow at 421 South Orange Street, where he resides with his family. He now gives
his time to his duties as janitor of the Grammar School at Orange, as well as being
janitor of the City Hall.

Mr. and Mrs. Ditchey were the parents of six children, four of whom are living:
Ward C. is an employe in the Santa Ana Post Office; Ross is a graduate of the Orange
County Business College and now resides in Los Angeles; Dayton D. served his country
during the World War, being stationed at Camp Lewis and later in North Carolina;
Stella M. is a graduate of the Orange Union high school and is now with the Orange
County Trust and Savings Bank. Realizing the handicap that he experienced through
his inability to procure a good education, Mr. Ditchey has been especially zealous in
giving his children every opportunity within his means. Liberal and kind hearted, he
has always been ready to make sacrifices and practice self denial in order to help others,
and this generous spirit, combined with his tireless habits of industry, makes him one

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 61 of 191)