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 68 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 68 of 191)
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three children: Henry A., who enlisted and served in the U. S. Navy during the World
War, is now associated in the drug business; Russell B. also enlisted for service in the
World War, serving in the U. S. Army overseas for eighteen months and since his
discharge is also associated with his father; Alva B., the youngest is attending the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. George H. Amerige, as stated before, was a
native of Maiden, Mass., born March 22, 1855. and the lad who was destined to play
such an interesting role in California history, grew up under exceptionally advantageous
circumstances in Maiden, where he attended the local schools and was closely asso-
ciated with the business life of the suburban cities of the Hub. As a young man he
engaged in the wholesale and retail handling of hay and grain at Boston, in partnership
with his brother, Edward R., and although they started in a small way, they were
soon able to ship in carload lots; they had four different stores in Massachusetts and
built and owned warehouses. Hearing of the turn given to land and other afTairs in
what is generally spoken of as the "boom" period in California, they disposed of their
Massachusetts interests and arrived here in May, 1886; here they continued together in
business, cooperating in harmony and joy in each other's association until the passing
away of Edward R. Amerige in 1915, a loss to town, county and state.

George H. Amerige has told in an admirable historical document, just what they
did when once they had cast their lot here, and much of his story is well worth repeat-
ing. After a thorough and careful inspection of all the country round about what is now
the FuUerton district, these two young men formulated a plan to start a town, thinking
that here of all places would be an ideal location for a successful and permanent

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municipality. Its close proximity to the then only well-developed portion of this region,
the beautiful and productive Placentia district, was a potent factor in the decision.

The original purchase was made in the spring of 1887, and comprised 430 acres
of land, a rich and fertile tract formerly belonging to the Miles estate. Having
obtained the information that the Santa Fe Railroad Company would soon build a line
from Los .\ngeles to San Diego, passing through Orange County, then a part of Los
Angeles County, and near the Amerige land, the brothers negotiated with the company
and induced them, by giving them an interest in the townsite, to change their route so
as to run through the new tract. Frank Olmstead of Los Angeles was engaged to
survey and plot the townsite; and the first stake was driven in his survey at what is
now the corner of Spadra Street and East Commonwealth Avenue, then a field of wild
mustard, by Edward Amerige on July S, 1887. Visionary as this scheme of a town
in a mustard field might have then seemed to many, the land was soon cleared,
streets laid out and various buildings erected.

The first of these was the one built by the Amerige Brothers and used by them as
an office, and ever since for business purposes. At this time the great boom in South-
ern California was rapidly subsiding, and the town was seriously handicapped by lack
of transportation facilities to and from Los .'Angeles, the Santa Fe having failed, for a
year, to complete its line, as agreed upon, to Fullerton. Wilshire Bros., hearing of
the remarkable prospects of the new town, desired to purchase an interest in the
venture, and prevailed upon the Ameriges to accommodate them; and later all interests
were merged into the Pacific Land and Improvement Company, to better facilitate the
new town's growth. When it was proposed to name the place after the founders, they
modestly expressed their appreciation of the compliment, but did not wish to have it
done; whereupon it was named in honor of George H. Fuller, then president of the
Pacific Land and Improvement Company, which was really a branch of the Santa Fe
Railroad Company, organized to promote the Santa Fe's interests, and to arrange for
rights of way and railroad land. Later the Wilshire Bros, and C. C. Carpenter pur-
chased the Pacific Land and Improvement Company's interest, and the Fullerton Land
and Trust Company came into existence. The Wilshires failing to fulfill their contract
with the Pacific Land and Improvement Company, their holdings were taken over
by the land company. Then the interests of Amerige Brothers and the Pacific Land
and Improvement Company were segregated, and the Fullerton Land and Trust Com-
pany dissolved, and Amerige Brothers stayed with the town.

Fullerton did not receive any natural benefits from the boom, for before the
advent of the railroad, it was all over. The first train to reach the town was in the
fall of 1888, and the first building of any importance to be erected was the St. George
Hotel, named for George Amerige, costing over $50,000, which was wrecked in 1918 to
make room for a modern business block, erected by Geo. H. .Amerige. The Wilshire
Block at the corner of Spadra and Commonwealth avenue was also built in 1888, and it
is still standing. The first bank to be established was the First National Bank and
Fullerton Savings Bank, affiliated, which came into existence largely through the
efforts of Amerige Brothers.

Most of the streets of the town were named by the Amerige brothers, after the
streets in or near their native Massachusetts town. Commonwealth Avenue, one of the
finest, derived its name from the famous thoroughfare of Boston. Maiden Street and
Highland Avenue were named for the city and street where the founders formerly lived,
and Amerige Avenue perpetuates the name of the town's founders. Other streets were
named after officials of the Pacific Land and Improvement Company and of the Santa
Fe Railroad Company.

The Amerige Brothers also planted and developed a sixty-acre walnut orchard,
since sold by them, and sent their walnuts in carload lots to the East. They erected
a number of buildings in the city and George H. 'Amerige has recently completed two
new modern business blocks on his property on East Commonwealth Avenue, a block
having 350 feet frontage on Commonwealth and 175 feet on Spadra Street. He also
owns two buildings on Spadra Street of fifty and seventy-five feet front and is now
building a concrete business block on .\merige .\venue, having a frontage of 100 feet.
He still has business interests in Massachusetts and owns valuable property in his
native city. Maiden. Deeply interested in Fullerton from its inception he had to do
with every enterprise and movement started, most of which have had a bearing on
making it the splendid residence place of today. He put in the first waterworks that the
first citizens to locate might enjoy the convenience and abundance of the necessity of
life and with his own hands planted the first trees along the avenues in Fullerton.
starting the beautifying of the city that is now so much enjoyed.

Mr. Amerige's marriage was solemnized in Boston, September 12, 1894. when he
was united with Miss .\nnctta Jackson, who was born in North Searsport, Maine, but


reared in Boston. She also comes of a very old and prominent New England family,
whose ancestors served in the Colonial and Revolutionary wars. She is the daughter
of Joseph Jackson, a native of Maine who was a shipbuilder in Searsport and later m
Boston, where he continued shipbuilding until he retired, he and his wife spending their
last days there. Her mother, Eliza Thorndyke Sawyer, was born in Thorndyke, Maine,
a daughter of Rev. John Sawyer and Elizabeth (Gilman) Sawyer. Grandfather Sawyer
was a well-known Baptist minister in his day. They are closely related to ex-Governor
Sawyer of New Hampshire and the Chadborns and Hamlins of Maine. The Gilman
family also dates back to England; when Mrs. Amerige's great-great-grandfather Gil-
man, with three brothers, came from England in their own ship to Beverly, Mass., they
were given a grant of land in New Hampshire and proceeded to colonize it. Thus
Gilmanton, N. H., was named for her ancestors. Annetta Jackson was the youngest
of a family of six children, and was reared and educated in Boston, residing there
until she came as a bride to Fullerton. A woman of culture and refinement. Mrs.
Amerige is much loved and highly esteemed by her many friends, who appreciate her
for her kindness, amiability and worth. She has always been intensely interested in
her husband's affairs and has encouraged him in his ambitions, and both have always
bent every effort to aid in the civic and moral uplift of Fullerton. She is a member
of the order of the Eastern Star and the P. E. O.

Mr. Amerige was one of the five founders of the I^'ullerton Lodge of Odd Fellows
and is a member of the Fullerton Club and the Board of Trade. He is a strong Pro-
tectionist and Republican and has been prominent in the councils of the party. Almost
every year with his wife he makes a trip back to his old home in Massachusetts, visit-
ing their many friends and relatives. Particularly do they maintain a live interest in
the growth and development of Fullerton and freely give of their time and means to
all enterprises that have for their aim the beautifying of the city and enhancing the
comfort and happiness of its citizens. Mr. Amerige can safely be said to be not only
J-'uUerton's oldest but also its foremost citizen.

PETER GODDICKSEN. — Prominent among the steady, industrious citizens of
Orange whose character and foresight enabled them to succeed themselves and to be
able and willing to point the way to success for others, is Peter Goddicksen, a native
of Flensburg, Germany, where he was born on December 10, 1853. His father was
Clans Goddicksen. a farmer, who had married Elise Clare Carlsen. They are now de-
ceased, but they left behind to honor their worthy name five children, two of whom
are in the United States; Nicholas Goddicksen is still living in South Dakota.

Peter, the eldest, was brought up on the home farm, emigrating in 1875, to the
United States and located in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where he was employed on
a farm, in .\voca township, for a couple of years. He then homesteaded 160 acres,
and preempted another 160, and besides secured a timber claim of 160 acres, in 1882,
all in Douglas County, S. D.; and while pioneering there, converted this raw land
into an improved farm. He broke the prairie, raised hogs and cattle and thus got a
fairly good start. He was both a trustee and the treasurer of the school committee,
and all in all was honored by those who knew him.

Later he sold out and removed to Hornick, Woodbury County, Iowa, where he was
a farmer for six years; and in 1901 he made his first trip to Southern California, when
he visited Orange. Two years later, in January, he returned to California, and located
at Orange, where he bought a ranch on East Chapman Street; and there, on one
plate, he resided for seventeen years. There were eighteen and a half acres, and
nearly all the tract he set out to orange trees, particularly Valencias, and to lemons,
and after awhile had there an unusually well-developed orchard. He joined the Santiago
Orange Growers Association, and was one of the first members of the McPherson
Heights Citrus Association, and was on its first board of directors, and was also a
member and a trustee of the Lemon Growers Association. He had an orange nursery,
and was one of the first to set out avocados. He had nine acres of land set out to
oranges, olives and lemons, and this he sold, disposing also of some six and a half
acres set out to oranges, north of Whittier Heights. In 1919, Mr. Goddicksen sold
his ranch and located in Orange, where he now resides at 306 North Center Street,
still retaining a twenty-acre orchard of apricots at Nuevo, in Riverside County; he also
owns ten acres of unimproved land there, and twenty acres of oranges half way between
Orange and .Anaheim.

During his residence in Dakota, Mr. Goddicksen was married to Miss Emelie
Ertinger, a native of Wuertemberg, Germany, and the daughter of Albert and Katherine
(Kik) Ertinger. As far back as 1874, Mrs. Goddicksen came with her parents to Clay
County, S. D., and settled near Yankton, the family later removing to Douglas County.
Mr. Ertinger was a judge in Germany, and he never wanted for courteous and com-



plimentary attention, and the full appreciation of his worth as an American citizen.
After his death, his widow was married a second time to Fred Seiser, and they now
reside on East Chapman Street, Orange. Five children of Mr. and Mrs. Goddicksen
are still living; Elise E. educated at the Los Angeles high school and at the Orange
County Business College, was city stenographer of Santa Ana, and is now a public
stenographer and notary; she is very musical and is a pianist, vocalist and whistler. She
is a member of the Presbyterian Church; William resides in San Francisco, and with
him is his brother, A. Lenz, an instructor and consulting man for the Cleveland tractor.
William was a member of the Three Hundred Sixty-fourth Regiment and saw service
overseas for two years; A. Lenz was in the service and did limited duty; Elsie K. is
in the Orange high school, and the youngest is Grant C. Goddicksen.

Mr. and Mrs. Goddicksen are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at
Santa Ana, and they are both strong Republicans, Mr. Goddicksen is a member of the
Ancient Order United Workers, and of Orange Lodge No. 225, Independent Order of
Odd Fellows; and his wife, and daughter Elise, are members, with him, of the Rebekahs.

EDWARD RUSSELL AMERIGE.— In the annals of Fullerton a name that will
ever stand out distinctly in its history is that of Edward Russell Amerige, one of
Orange County's foremost citizens, who with his brother, George H. Amerige, founded
this thriving town, now one of the prosperous municipalities of the Southland, and
gave all his energy and effort to its upbuilding. In civic life he was also a leader
from the formation of Fullerton; he was prominent in the county and represented his
district in the Legislature, where his aggressive enterprise and influence made them-
selves felt. Liberal and progressive in his ideas, at his passing away on May 3, 1915,
Orange County lost one of its best men.

Edward Russell Amerige was born in Maiden, Mass., .\ugust 1, 1857, the son of
Henry and Elizabeth Giles (Russell) Amerige, prominent citizens of Maiden, a history
of the Amerige family and their forbears being recounted in the biography of George
H. .Amerige, on another page of this work. Mr. Amerige grew to manhood in his
native town and after completing his education there he entered into partnership with
his brother, George H., in the wholesale and retail hay and grain business, and with
their characteristic energy built up a very large and successful business. They had
become intensely interested in the Pacific Coast region and after much thought and
investigation concluded to cast in their lot in the Golden State. Disposing of their
business interests in Massachusetts, they arrived in California in May, 1886, comin.g
first to Pasadena, the vicinity of which was then mostly grain fields. They immediately
purchased a ranch and here they made their headquarters for a few weeks, during which
time they traveled over various parts of the county.

They became much interested in the Anaheim section, as they saw great possi-
bilities for the locality between that place and the Placentia district, so in 1887 thej-
purchased 430 acres of wild, uncultivated land, the present site of Fullerton. It was
covered with wild mustard and brush, but with their natural optimism and Xew
England foresight, they saw the possibilities of locating a town, since the Santa Fe
Railroad Company was planning to build its road to Santa Ana and on to San Diego.
They made their plans and had the town laid out, the first stake in the survey being
driven by Edward R. Amerige on July 5, 1887, at the corner of Spadra Street and
Commonwealth .\venue. They had interested the Santa Fe Railroad Company by giving
them an interest in the town site, so the railroad was located through the new town.
Other partners were taken in and changes made in the joint ownership. The sub-
siding of the boom caused a cessation of progress for the time being, but through all
these years the Amerige brothers never lost their optimism and faith that it would
some titne be a large town.

When the railroad was surveyed through, the naming of the town had to be
decided on. Mr. Fuller, president of the Pacific Land and Improvement Company, a
subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad Company, as well as others, wished to name the
town .Amerige, but the lirothers modestly requested that some other name be given,
their only wish being to make it a good, substantial, growing town, and they suggested
that it be named Fullerton. after the aforesaid official, which was done. However,
the old-time citizens know how hard George and Edward Amerige worked to build
up the town, never losing faith in the place during all the hard times, and think it an
injustice that the town should not have borne the name of its founders. Subsequent
events show how Edward .Amerige and his brother did all they could to build up the
city, taking a prominent part in its civic life and in the establishment of its financial

Edward R. Amerige was the first mayor of Fullerton and served two terms on
its board of trustees as well as trustee of schools. He also served two terms (1903-


1905) in the Assembly of the State Legislature. He was prominent in matters pertain-
ing to irrigation and was for a time president of the Anaheim Union Water Company.
A Knights Templar Mason, he was a well-beloved member of that organization and
was one of the foimders of the Fullerton Lodge, F. & A. M., and it was largely
through his eflforts that the tirst Masonic Temple was built in Fullerton, and at his
passing the funeral service here was conducted by the Knights Templar, while accord-
ing to his request his body was taken back to Massachusetts and buried in the old
family lot in Forest Dale Cemetery, at Maiden.

ELMER ELLSWORTH JAHRAUS.— Of French and German descent, E. E.
Jahraus of Laguna Beach is the son of Andrew Jahraus, who was one of the leaders
in the revolution against German militarism in those stirring days from 1832 to 1846.
With Carl Schurz, who was later so prominent in the public life of America, and a
member of President Grant's cabinet, Andrew Jahraus fled from Germany to America
in 1847, after a reward had been offered for their capture, dead or alive, by the
militarists. Mr. Jahraus located in Hamilton County, Ohio, near Cincinnati, and
there established himself as a decorator and building contractor. His marriage, which
occurred there, united him with Miss Christine Gruber, a native of Alsace-Lorraine,
who was brought to America by her parents when but a babe. Of a family of hve
sons and three daughters, E. E. Jahraus, the subject of this sketch, is the youngest
son. He was born January 27, 1866, at the family home in Hamilton County, Ohio,
and when he reached school age he attended the public schools at Urbana and
Dayton, Ohio.

Leaving home at the age of eleven to make his own way in the world, Mr.
Jahraus found his first employment in a cigar factory at Urbana, Ohio, and also
worked for two years in a woolen mill. When he was fourteen years old he entered
the employ of one of the largest broom manufacturing concerns in the East, thor-
oughly learning the trade and remaining with them for seven years. Leaving Ohio
in 1886, Mr. Jahraus went to Au Sable, Mich., on Lake Huron, where he became an
expert in the cigar manufacturing business. After becoming a foreman he determined
to carry out his long-cherished ambition to become a traveling salesman, so he started
on the road for his brother, who was a cigar manufacturer of Au Sable, and continued
his work as a salesman for some time, and recalls many interesting experiences he
had during his travels. Later he went to Alpena, Mich. ,and for many years was
superintendent of a large cigar factory. A brother-in-law of Mr. Jahraus having
located in Oregon, he planned to remove to the Northwest, but finally came to Los
Angeles instead.

Coming to Santa Ana in 1900, he remained there for a year and a half, where
he was in the employ of Leo Goepper. In 1902 he moved to Laguna Beach and
opened a cigar factory and curio shop in the Beach Hotel, shipping souvenir boxes
of cigars to all parts of the United States. While in this business he became inter-
ested in the future of this beach city, and this- interest has grown with the years, so
that a large measure of the development work carried on there in late years is
. due to his enthusiasm and energy. Starting in a small way in the real estate business
as the Laguna Beach Realty Company, Mr. Jahraus is now the largest realtor in
that district. At the time of the organization of this company there were only about
ten permanent families there, and the tourists were depended upon to make tip the
life of the town. The only connection with the rest of the state was by stage from
El Toro, so that it was practically inaccessible to the average traveler. Under the
efficient leadership of Mr. Jahraus, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce
and the public, the community has begun to show marked improvement, with good
schools and good roads, and it is on the coast line of the proposed State Highway-
The Sanitary District was also established largely through Mr. Jahraus' eflorts and
be is a member of its board.

Among Mr. Jahraus' many other activities he is president of the Chamber of
Commerce, vice-president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of Orange County,
one of the members of the board of control of the Laguna Beach .\rt Associa-
tion, which is making this beach a mecca for artists from far and wide, and he was
for many years a member of the school board. During the war he was chairman of
the Liberty Loan Committee of Laguna Beach, and as one of its four-minute speakers
<lid much to further their drives. During his youthful days he served for four years
in the Ohio State Militia, and was detailed for service at Cincinnati during the riot
that caused such disturbances there in 1884. Politically Mr. Jahraus has not actively
aligned himself with any party, preferring to give his support to the best men and
measures, regardless of party affiliations.

Mr. Jahraus' marriage united him with Miss Henrietta Beadle, the daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Beadle, both natives of England, who were for many years

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engaged in the hotel and mercantile business in Canada. Mr. and Mrs. Jahraus are
the parents of two children, Joseph R. and Pauline C, the latter graduating from
the State Normal School at Los Angeles in 1920.

Joseph K. Jahraus enlisted on April 1, 1918, in the Thirty-third Engineers Corps,
U. S. A. Stationed at Fort Douglas, Utah, for one month, he was then sent to Camp
Devens, Mass., thence overseas, landing at Brest, France, July 12, 1918. He was on
one of si,xteen troop ships, sailing under a convoy of two battleships and six de-
stroyers, and when they reached the submarine zone they were met by a fleet of
twenty-four destroyers, and as they neared the coast of France they were inider the
protection of three dirigibles and many small craft. Mr. Jahraus was detailed at
once to active service as a wagoner in the Engineer Corps, and was overseas ten
months. Arriving in America May 1, 1919, he was given his honorable discharge at
the Presidio at San Francisco, June 2, 1919.

In October, 1914, Joseph R. Jahraus organized the Laguna Beach Lumber Com-
pany, being president of the same, and except for the period of his overseas service
he has served continuously as manager of the business. Their shipping station is at
Irvine, on the Santa Fe Railroad, and all lumber is hauled by truck to Laguna Beach.
The company is enjoying the heaviest business in its history, and this bids fair to
increase greatly with the continued growth of Laguna Beach.

The Jahraus family all stand high in the regard of the residents of Laguna
Beach and enjoy a well-deserved popularity there, for they are ev£rywhere recognized
as among the most enthusiastic and dependable workers for the best interests of
this attractive beach town. They are members of the Episcopal Church at Santa

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 68 of 191)