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 67 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 67 of 191)
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of his home place a desirable place of residence and that he succeeded no one need
doubt who has ever visited the spot. Here he and his wife entertained in true Cali-
fornian style.

Mr. Nicolas was a man of striking personality, six feet in height and weighing
240 pounds. He made friends wherever he went and these he maintained imtil his


death, which occurred on February 10, 1920, after an illness of but a few days from the
flu. Mrs. Nicolas, after the settlement of the estate became the owner of the ranch
of sixty acres on Orangethorpe, which she is wisely conducting, with the assistance of
her brother, Edward Backs. She is widely known for her attractive personality and
her deep interest in all that pertains to the advancement of the community. Mr. and
Mrs. Nicolas both belonged to the Catholic Church in Fullerton. Mr. Nicolas was
originally a member in the highest standing in Santa Ana Lodge No. 794, B. P. O. Elks,
and but a short time before his death transferred to Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, and his
death was deeply mourned by his brother Elks and by all who ever knew or had
business relations with him. He was generous to a fault, was a man of the strictest
integrity and a stanch supporter of all progressive movements for the upbuilding of
Orange County and Southern California.

HORATIO AUGUSTUS ALLEN.— A much-loved and highly esteemed resident
and builder up of Orange County. Horatio Augustus Allen, who passed away in 1916,
left the heritage of a well-spent life, filled with kindly deeds whose memory will ever
lie cherished by those near to him. A native of Canada, Mr. Allen was born on a farm
in Oxford County, twenty-five miles northeast of London, Ontario, April 27, 1833,
His father, Nathan Prescott Allen, was born in New York state, where he married Miss
Armenia Mott, also of that state, and later they removed to Oxford County, Ontario,
where they became successful farmers. The Allen family come of old New England
stock, tracing their ancestry back to the days of the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock.
Nathan P. .Allen had twin brothers who became prominent attorneys in New York City,
but he was the only one of his immediate family to settle in Canada.

Horatio .\ugustus Allen was educated in the excellent schools of Ontario and at
the business college in Bufifalo, N. Y. Returning to his old home, he engaged in
farming and in business until he made his first trip to California in 1863. coming by
way of the Isthmus of Panama to San Francisco at a period when the Golden State
was still but sparsely settled and bearing but little evidence of the wonderful growth
and prosperity that have marked its later years. Remaining in San Francisco for
nearly two years, he returned to his Canadian home, going by way of the Nicaraguan
route, which at that time shared honors with Panama as a passageway from ocean
to ocean, arriving home in April, 1865. He was aboard the train from New York to
London, Ontario, when the wire came telling of the assassination of President Lincoln.

Upon his return to his native country Mr. ."Mien engaged in farming, managing
his father's farm until 1874, and then began his career in the banking business. In 1877
he opened a private banking house at Port Elgin, in which he was eminently successful,
and he became a prominent man of affairs with a very high standing in financial circles,
establishing a record for veracity, integrity and honesty of purpose that was never
questioned. After being identified with the banking interests of Port Elgin, on Lake
K'uron, he decided to make his home in the land of sunshine and flowers. His second
trip to California was in 1884, when he brought his family to Tustin, where his nephew,
cx-Senator Prescott Cogswell, then resided; Mr. Cogswell is now one of the super-
visors of Los Angeles County. Mr. .\llen returned to Port Elgin in the spring of 1885,
but in the fall of 1885 his health became impaired, so in January, 1886, he brought his
family out with the intention of establishing his home in California. His first purchase
was a ranch of eight acres at Main and Glenn streets. Tustin, the nucleus of the large
acreage he later acquired and left to his family on his passing away. He added to his
holdings until he became the owner of eighty acres in five different ranches near Tustin,
all set to walnuts with the exception of fifteen acres, which were in Valencia and Navel
oranges — a well-improved and valuable estate.

Mr. Allen's marriage, which occurred at Mt. Pleasant, Ontario, May 9, 1877.
united him with Miss Emma German, also a native of that country, born at Wilton,
Ontario, and a daughter of Rev. J. W. and Sarah (Purdy) German. Her father was
of English and Scotch-Irish descent and a minister in the Wesleyan Methodist Church,
a very able and conscientious preacher, who filled the pulpit for more than forty years,
until he retired. Mrs. Allen's maternal ancestors trace back to England through
Massachusetts, and her great-grandfather Purdy. being a United Empire Loyalist,
moved from New York state to Ontario about the time of the Revolutionary War.
She is the second eldest of six children living, and has a brother, Edgar German, who
resides in Los Angeles. Emma German received a good education in the schools of
Ontario, and after completing the high school course, attended Hamilton College. The
union of Mr. and Mrs. Allen was blessed with three children: Lucius of Tustin. and
Augustus Horatio of Santa ,\na: both assist their mother in caring for her ranches,
giving it all of their time and attention. Gerald is a sophomore at Occidental College.
Mr. Allen's death, which occurred April 8, 1916, removed from the roster of early
enthusiastic settlers an estimable citizen, who had made a definite contribution to th^


development of the county, and who enjoyed the highest esteem of all who knew him.
His example is well worthy of emulation.

Since her husband's death, Mrs. Allen, with the aid of her sons, continues to
manage and operate the different ranches, and tries as far as possible to carry out the
plans and ambitions of her husband; and, like her husband, she is very optimistic over
the future greatness of this favored section of California. She is a member of the
Presbyterian Church and of the ladies' aid and missionary societies of that denomina-
tion. Cultured, refined, well-read and a pleasing conversationalist, it is indeed a
pleasure to know and enjoy her hospitality.

ISAAC CRAIG. — A contracting carpenter who has not only been active in help-
ing to build up Orange County in the material sense, but who, as an influential City
Father has contributed to stimulating and guiding its growth along broad and perma-
nent lines, is Isaac Craig, a Canadian by birth, having first seen the light in Ontario
on March 19, 1862. His father was John, and his mother Ann J. (McCollough) Craig;
they lived busy, useful lives and are now both dead. They had thirteen children, among
whom Isaac was the youngest child.

He attended the excellent common schools in Canada, and later learned the car-
penter's trade, at which he worked until coming into the States in 1880. He came west
to North Dakota and remained there six months, after which he moved on to Manitoba
and British Columbia. In 1887. he returned to the States and for six months was
employed at Helena, Mont. During the height of the great "boom" in 1887, Mr. Craig
came to California and for awhile located at Los Angeles. Then he went north to
San Francisco. At the beginning of the century, he came first to Orange County,
locating at Olinda and in 1912 came to Brea, where he was one of the first residents;
and since then he has built the Brea Hotel and many of the finest residences and busi-
ness buildings hereabouts. He belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, in which organ-
ization he is always ready to shoulder his share of any movement making for the
progress of the locality. Mr. Craig was easily elected city trustee in 1918, and was
one of the first trustees of Brea, with a four-year term. He was also appointed, and
then elected justice of the peace.

In Los Angeles on June 27, 1888, Mr. Craig was married to Miss Mary C. Reardon,
a native of Charleston, S. C and their fortunate union has been blessed through the
birth of five boys and two girls. John M., in Sumatra; Mary Jane, wife of C. C. Hos-
mer, of Alhambra; Sarah E.. Mrs. L. B. Depweg, of Honolulu; Edward. James C,
William and Thomas, all at home. James C. and Edward were in the World War;
the former was in France over a year, serving in the supply department; Edward was
in training in the aviation department in England. In club life, Mr. Craig is active
and popular in the Grand Fraternity.

JOHN CASSOU. — A highly-esteemed citizen noted for his great faith in the
future of Orange County, a faith no doubt quickened because of his own work as a
builder up of communities, is John Cassou, of Anaheim, whose good wife is a daughter
of an intrepid '49er. He is now one of the oldest settlers of .A.naheini living, although
he first saw the light in the vicinity of Pau, in the Basses-Pyrenees, France. He was
born there on October 18, 1856, and was descended from an old and well-known family.
His parents were liberal-minded folks, and he received the best education that the public
schools could afford. So well was he equipped for the ordinary station in life that at
sixteen he migrated from home, sailed for America and eventually came to San Fran-
cisco. He had a brother in Anaheim, and that circumstance led him to proceed to the
mother colony, where for two years he was employed in stock raising. Then, having
saved some money, he decided to engage in the sheep business, and to establish some-
thing for himself.

He was only eighteen years of age, therefore, when he went to San Diego County
and bought a small flock of sheep; and from 1875 until 1886 he ranged them on the
plains and the mountains, after which he branched out into other lines. In partnership
with his brother, Peter, he ran the butcher shop in Escondido, providing the town with
the first meat market; and as the property at present of a nephew it is still running.
In 1894, he sold out his various interests, save the ranches, which he still owns, to his
brother, and came back to .\naheim. On his return, he embarked in the hotel and
liquor trade, and in that line he continued for twenty years, or until he felt that his
other afifairs demanded all of his attention. He owns a business building, as well as a
residence on West Center and Clementine, and also the Cassou Block, which he built
in 1916. It is 97x155 feet on West Center, a very central location, and the edifice
makes a fine business block. He is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Ana-
heim, of which he has been a director, and also a stockholder in the .Anaheim Savings
Bank. In addition to these realty holdings in Anaheim, Mr. and Mrs. Cassou have


other valuable property in Los Angeles, which they recently erected and which adds
to the artistic standards for which that city is noted. Naturally, Mr. Cassou belongs
to the Chamber of Commerce in Anaheim, where he is highly esteemed for his progres-
sive views.

The marriage of Mr. Cassou to Mrs. Marie (Sarrail) Blanchard, a native of San
Francisco, occurred at Anaheim in 1896, and will long be remembered pleasantly by
those who participated in the social event. The bride's father was Rock Sarrail, who
in 1849 came to San Francisco by way of the Horn, landing after a six months' trip.
He followed mining for a while, and then later took up stock raising, coming south to
Los Angeles to range his herds. In the beginning, he let his flocks roam in what is
now the business center of Los Angeles, but which was then merely open fields; and
his herders moved along what is now Hill Street, between Sixth and Seventh. Mr.
Sarrail is still living, at the ripe old age of eighty-one years; and he is enviably honored
by all who know him as one of the genuine old-timers. Marie is the oldest child of
the family, and was reared and educated in Southern California; and as far back as
1869 she came to Anaheim. She first married Victor Blanchard, a native of the Hautes
Alps, France, who was engaged in sheep raising in Orange County, and was a promi-
nent stockman and landowner, operating extensively, when he died in 1891. They had
three children, but only one is living, Mrs. Rose Hessel, of Anaheim. One child, Ruby,
a graduate of the Anaheim high school and also of a Los Angeles business college, has
blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cassou. Mr. Cassou is a member of both the Ana-
heim Lodge of the Elks and Eagles.

JOHN C. ORD. — Orange County is widely known for its recognition of old-time
residents who have had to do with the founding and developing of this favored part of
the Golden State, and it is not likely to forget such a worthy pioneer as John C. Ord,
the father of Seal Beach, who was born in Orleans County, Vt., on July 28, 1842. As
a boy, he worked in the woods getting out lumber, and also in a saw-mill, and at the
outbreak of the Civil War enlisted as a volunteer in the cause of the Union, and served
for three years. He belonged to Company E, Ninth Vermont Infantry, and was in the
Twenty-fourth Army Corps under his cousin, Gen. E. O. C. Ord. He took part in the
surrender of General Lee, and recalls that historic occasion as one of the most inter-
esting events of his entire life. He was in the battle of Winchester and Harpers'
Ferry, and was captured at the latter place and sent to Chicago, where he was ex-
changed. He also took part in the siege of Norfolk and' the battle at Newport, N. C.
In the last year of the war, he was attached to the Sharpshooter Brigade, and par-
ticipated in the battle of Petersburg. He was also in the grand review at the close of
the war in Richmond. As one result of this meritorious and active service, he helped
to organize Baxter Post, G. A. R., at Newport, Vt.

In 1866, Mr. Ord crossed the Isthmus to California, and landed in San Francisco
with only $300. This he soon spent and was obliged to find work. The experiment
was not without difficulties, and he was forced to tramp through the country in search
of employment and begged for something to eat. His first engagement was on a ranch
in Contra Costa County, owned by Charles Howard. After that he worked on thresh-
ing machines in harvest fields, and then he went to the neighborhood of Monterey in
the Salinas Valley, where he chopped wood and again harvested.

In 1869 Mr. Ord returned to his old home in Vermont, on one of the first railroad
trains to cross the Continent after the driving of the famous golden spike; but like so
many who have found it impossible to say goodbye to California, he came back to the
Coast and located at Grass Valley, in Nevada County, where he mined, and built two
houses which he sold. He then went to Los Alamitos, Orange County, and erected a
two-story store building, in which he kept a general store and also served as justice
of the peace.

On February 29, 1904, Mr. Ord hauled his store building to what is now Seal
Beach and located it on Main Street, where it is still standing and doing good service.
It is owned by John P. May. who conducts there a general store and the local post-
office. This was the first building in Seal Beach, and Mr. Ord lived alone in it for
three months. Later, he leased out the store and took a six months' trip to New

On his return, Mr. Ord started in to build up Seal Beach. He bought lots in
the area of the proposed town, some of which he still owns; was appointed first post-
master of the place, began to sell his own property, advertising "Bargains in Second-
hand Houses and Lots," and cleaned up a handsome profit through his sales, and he
also attracted visitors through a fine collection of skunks, squirrels and coyotes, which
served as an attraction to beach visitors. He had thirteen skunks, quite as tame as
kittens, and perfectly harmless, although he kept them caged.



Besides faithfully fulfilling his duties as postmaster of Seal Beach, Mr. Ord also
served as agent for the Wells Fargo Express Company on their entering the town, and
this enabled him to help still more effectively in building up the place. He planted
the first tree in Seal Beach, a blooming acacia, as well as other needed trees, and
when the acacia was cut down, a gavel was made from some of the wood and presented
to Mr. Ord by his friends; and this gavel he used in presiding over the deliberations
of the board of town trustees. When Seal Beach was incorporated, on October 19,
1915, he was elected chairman or mayor, and was reelected to that office, retiring
from office in April, 1920. to the regret oi all who knew him.

Mr. Ord married Miss Mary White, a Vermont lady, now deceased, who became
the mother of a son, Ernest W. Ord, a graduate of the Grass \'alley high school.
He is now foreman of a large lumber company in Cambridge, Mass. In Irasburg,
Orleans County, \'t., M,r. Ord joined Central Lodge of Masons, No. 62, A. F. & A. M.,
and at Newport, \'t., he was raised to the Royal Arch degree and entered the fellow-
ship of the Commandery, when he became a Knight Templar. Later, he demitted to
the Norwalk, Cal., lodge of Masons.

GEORGE EDDIE ROBINSON.— .\ substantial citizen of Santa Ana long and
highly honored not only among all old-timers, but particularly among the Masons of
Orange County is George Eddie Robinson, one of the oldest stockholders in the Orange
County Trust and Savings Bank. He was born at Winterset, in Madison County, Iowa,
on August 16, 1857, a member of the family of H. J. Robinson, a native of New York,
who was reared in Ohio. In his young days he was a boatman on the Wabash Canal.
With his devoted wife, who was Julia Carpenter before her marriage, a native of Ohio,
he came to Winterset. Iowa, in 1854. In 1858 he located at Fremont, Nebr., the
seventh family to locate in that district, there being a village of 1.500 Indians across
the Platte River from them. He engaged in building saw mills and flour mills, made the
Cottonwood lumber for the early settlers, and later made flour. On account of his
health he came to California in June, 1875, and for years was engaged in farming here.
For twelve years prior to his death he lived retired in Santa Ana. During these latter
years his association with Masonry gave him much diversion and comfort. Mrs.
Robinson, who was the mother of two children, is also deceased.

The younger of the offspring, George E. Robinson went to the local public schools
and remained in the Middle West throughout his youth so that he was a young man
of seventeen when he came to California in 1875. He was engaged in farming in Santa
Barbara County with his father until 1883, when he came to El Modena, Orange
County, and for three years gave his time to the cultivation and care of a twenty-acre
tract of vineyard and oranges. On selling this he bought ten acres, now the southwest
corner of Fourth and Baker streets; this he subdivided as the Robinson tract and it
was soon sold. For fifteen years Mr. Robinson also followed teaming, so that he not
only has seen much of the development of Santa Ana and vicinity, but has actively
participated in the work of bringing about the miraculous changes. He was a stock-
holder in the Balboa Company and helped to lay out the town of Balboa, early took
stock in the Orange County Savings Bank, now the Orange County Trust and Savings
Bank, and thus attracted to it other capital, and erected three houses worthy of the
vicinity. In many waj'S. therefore, Mr. Robinson has been verj- much, as he still is,
interested in the development of the town and the county.

On September 3, 1890, Mr. Robinson and Miss Fannie Swift were married, but
the following year his estimable companion passed away. She left a daughter, Eva F..
who is now Mrs. James S. Elliott, through whom Mr. Robinson has one grandchild,
James S. Elliott, Jr.

In every good movement for the benefit of the neighl)orhood, socially and morally
an untiring leader working without partisanship, Mr. Robinson is a Republican in
matters of national politics, and there endeavors to use his influence for the best nomi-
nees. Mr. Robinson is a member of Santa Ana Lodge No. 241, F. & .A. M., Chapter
No. 11. R. A. M., Santa Ana Council No. 4, R. & S. M., and Santa Ana Commandery No.
36, Knights Templar. He is also a member of Al Malaikah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.,
at Los Angeles, and of Hcrmosa Chapter No. 105, O. E. S. He has been tyler of all
the Masonic bodies in Santa Ana for over fifteen years. Mr. Robinson was a member
of the California National Guards under Hal Finley, and later under Walter Greenleaf.
He was also constalilc of Santa .\na Township for six years and for eighteen years
deputy county clerk, giving his attention to the registration of voters, which position
he has held satisfactorily under four diflferent county clerks. As a Republican he has
been a delegate to many county and state conventions and has always taken an active
part in county politics.


GEORGE HENRY AMERIGE. — Not many men living can point with pride to
such a city as FuUerton and claim, as may the brothers, George H. and Edward R.
Amerige, that the splendid reality is the child of what was once a mere dream, and
one at which some people even smiled; but such is the occasional step in the evolution
of the great Pacilic commonwealth, itself the veriest reality crowning the fancies and
vision of those who dared to look far ahead. These founders of one of the most
attractive and promising of all the municipalities in Southern California were born in
Maiden, Mass., one of the suburbs of Boston, descendants of an old Colonial family,
one of their number being George H. Amerige, an uncle of our subject, who came
out to the Coast as 3 genuine '49er, traveling by way of Panama, and later founded the
well-known newspaper, Alta California, in San Francisco. The Amerige family dates
back to one of the oldest Protestant families of Italy, who were driven out of their
native land at the time of the persecution of the Protestants. They fled to Germany and
later to England, and there Maurice Amerige was born and reared. He and two
of his brothers came to Boston, Mass., where he became a prominent business man.
He married a Miss Brown, the daughter of Solomon Brown one of the early shoe
manufacturers of Lynn.

The father of our subject, Hon. Henry Amerige, was born in Boston, and like
many New England lads, went to sea for awhile; later becoming well known as a
manufacturer and outfitter of sailing vessels, his place of business being at No. 1
Commercial Wharf, Boston. He was one of the first mayors of Maiden, which he
helped to lay out, and he gave this attractive suburb the land necessary for a park,
now known as Amerige Park. He was a representative in the Massachusetts Legis-
lature, a member of the board of assessors of Maiden, was state commissioner and
superintendent of highways for many years, and always occupied a position of promi-
nence in the locality, where he was held in the highest respect. The mother, who
was Harriette Elizabeth Giles Russell, was born in the old Benjamin Franklin home in
Boston; her father. Benjamin Russell, was born in Salem, Mass., and married Miss
Giles, whose father, Benjamin Giles, served in the Revolutionary War; he had married
Miss Endicott. a cousin of Governor Endicott of Massachusetts. They were all of
English descent and of old Puritan stock. Mr. Amerige's great-grandfather. Benjamin
Giles, gave the sounding board to the old South Church in Boston. Benjamin Russell
owned several vessels and was engaged in the merchant marine trade. He brought
the first two colored boys from Africa to Salem and educated them until they were
able to make their own way, and also brought the first rubber from South America to
Massachusetts. All in all the Amerige ancestors were among the prominent and
interesting old families of New England.

There were five children in the family of Henry and Elizabeth (Russell) Amerige,
of whom George H. was the second eldest. The other members of the family were
Edward H. Amerige, late of FuUerton. who died on May 3, 1915; Hattie A. is the wife
of Albert B. Morgan, a prominent druggist of Maiden. Mass.; Miss Ella .\merige also
of Maiden; and Alfred B.. who makes his home at Everett, Mass. Mrs. Morgan is the
only member of the family of five children to have issue and has been blessed with

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 67 of 191)