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 7 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 7 of 191)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


was changed to Huntington Beach, and the townsite was acquired by the Hunting-
ton Beach Company, a corporation with its principal offices at Los Angeles, from
a syndicate of Long Beach and Santa Ana men who were owners of Pacific
City. On July 4, 1904, the first electric car from Los Angeles reached Hunt-
ington Beach.

In addition to purchasing the holdings of the Pacific City syndicate, the Hunt-
ington Beach Company bought large acreage sites which they included in the
limits of the new city, dividing it into lots 25x117^ feet, laid many miles of
cement pavement, built a water and an electric lighting system, installed a tele-
phone system and made many other municipal improvements which added greatly
to the value of their holdings.

At that time there were only three houses on what is now Main Street, and
about twenty homes in the town. The grammar school building was also com-
pleted in the summer of 1904.



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUXTV 61

In the spring of the above mentioned year a meeting was held in a Main
Street building by a Union Sunday school, and in the following year a church
of the Methodist denomination was organized and services were held in the
present bank building, in the room now used as a city hall. In INIarch, 1906,
the newly organized church secured a church building, locating it at the
corner of Seventh Street and Magnolia Avenue, where it still stands. In the
cpring of the same jear the present Baptist Church was erected and an organiza-
tion of the Christian Church was formed about the same time. In 1908 the last
named denomination built the church which it now uses on Eighth Street.

In 1906 the Southern California Methodist Association, which had been
holding its annual sessions at Long Beach, built in Huntington Beach the com-
modious auditorium which it has ever since used for its annual camp meetings
and sessions of the Epvvorth League.

Early in the year 1904 a bank was organized by business men residing chiefly
at Long Beach and called the Huntington Beach Bank. A year later its name
was changed, having been reorganized under the national banking laws and it
was called, as it still is, the First National Bank of Huntington Beach. A savings
bank was also formed in connection with it and called the Savings Bank of Hunt-
ington Beach, and the present quarters of the two banks were built in 1905 and
have been occupied continuously by them ever since. The stock of both institu-
tions is now owned by local men. In the year 1905 two lumber companies were
formed to do business in the city, one the Starr and the other the San Pedro
Lumber Company; the latter afterwards buying the former and continuing in
business to the present time.

Other business enterprises wdiich came to Iluntington Beach in the early
years of its existence were the Anthracite Peat Fuel Company in 1905, the La
Bolsa Tile factory, the Raine Tile Company, the Huntington Beach Canner}-
(which put up a substantial canning plant and flourished until 1908) ; the Hunting-
ton Beach Tent City Company (composed of local business men, which has
enjoyed a fairly successful career), and various mercantile establishments. The
Tent City Company each summer puts up and rents a large number of tents to
those attending the Methodist c^mp meetings, the Grand Army encampments and
other conventions and meetings for which Huntington Beach is fast becoming
popular.

Huntington Beach was incorporated in February. l'-'09, as a city of the si.xth
class. Its area is about 2.77 square miles. Its assessed valuation in 1920 was
$1,02,^,635, with a tax rate of $1.50, which includes special taxes for library,
music. ]iromotion and sinking fund. The bonded indebtedness is $104,750.00.
The postoffice receipts in 1913 were $5,625.52, and in 1918 were $7,867.40, an
increase of 39.8 per cent in five years. Milage delivery was established in
September, 1917. The present population is 1,687.

The following denominations have each a church in the city : Methodist
Episcopal, Baptist, Christian, Catholic, Church of Christ, and Christian Science.
The Southern California iMethodist Association maintains an auditorium here with
a seating capacity of over 2,000, where the Methodists hold their annual cam])
meetings, and which is also used by other organizations, such as the Southern
California X'eterans" Association, Epworlh League, Church of Latter Day Saints,
etc., for their annual outings.

The elementary school district has a very moilern and up-to-date school build-
ing, erected in 1915 at a cost of approximately $75,000, employs thirteen teachers
and has an enrollment of 300 pupils. The L^nion high school employs nine teachers
and has an enrollment of 115 pupils. It has a well-equipped manual arts building
and teaches domestic science in all its branches in addition to the regular training
for college or business. Much attention is also paid to agriculture in the course
of study.



62 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUXTV

The public library, housed in a Carnegie building and supported by the cit)',
has over 6,000 bound volumes on its shelves and man)- of the leading magazines
and other publications on its tables. A weekly newspaper was established almost
with the birth of the city, and has been published without intermission ever since,
increasing in importance with the city's growth.

Huntington Beach has been selected as a suitable place for the location of a
number of important industries, among which may be mentioned the following:
Holly Sugar Factory with an annual output worth $2,225,000 : Beach Broom
Factory, output worth $40,000; Pacific Linoleum and Oilcloth Factory, output
worth $2.50,000 ; Pearse Cannery, output worth $8,000 ; Huntington Beach Nur-
series, output worth $4,000. The city has exported approximately 625 carloads
of sugar and 325 carloads of beans, besides other protlucts in less than carload lots.

The total length of paved streets in the city aggregates 16.85 miles with about
fourteen miles of oiled streets. Approximately fifty-eight miles of cement side-
walks have been laid. The length of the sewers, including laterals, is seven and
a half miles. The trunk lines, septic tank and outfall cost $35,000; extension to
main and construction of laterals, under district assessment, cost $29,158.

The municipality owns the gas distributing system, which includes about
twenty miles of mains and laterals. It has, 500 patrons consuming about 75.000
cubic feet of gas daily ; the gas is the natural article purchased from the Southern
Counties Gas Company.

The city has four parks of moderate size aggregating about eleven and a half
acres. It also has a pleasure pier constructed of reinforceil concrete at a cost
of about $60,000.

Following are the present city officers : Board of trustees, Ed. Manning,
president ; Richard Drew, C. J. .Andrews, R. L. Obarr, Albert Onson ; clerk,
Chas. R. Nutt ; treasurer. C. E. Lavering ; attorney, L. W. Elodget ; recorder, C.
W. Warner; engineer. C. R. Sumner; superintendent gas and sewers, F. L.
Snyder ; marshal and superintendent streets, Geo. M. Taylor.

The city has a chamber of commerce with about sevent}' wide-awake mem-
bers. The Free and Accepted Masons have a good healthy lodge, and the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows have a good membership and fairly good attend-
ance. The Order of Eastern Star and the Rebekah lodges are reported to be very
much alive. There is but one labor organization. The American Federation of
Musicians, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. There are two
fraternal insurance lodges, the most active of which is the Modern Woodmen,
although the Woodmen of the World has some membership.

The municipality gives aid to and partially supports a brass band under the
direction of C. H. Endicott, more generally known as "Pop," who is a thorough
musician and very active in every good work for the advancement of the com-
munity and the county. The Huntington Beach Municipal Band under his leader-
ship has become a ver\- creditable organization and a veritable booster for the
county.

Surrounded by a rich agricultural section, supplemented by the beach as a
summer attraction, Fluntinytun 1 leach will not only maintain its place in the
struggle for existence, but it will forge ahead of some of its less favored com-
petitors and become one of Orange County's important cities.



HISTORY OF ORANGE COl'XTV 63

CHAPTER VIll

THE CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH
Supplemented by George P. Wilson

When the final history of California shall have hcen written Xewport I'.each
will be counted as one of the most thriving of her coast towns. Not only is its
location beautiful from a scenic point of view, but better still it has a more abiding
attraction in its admirable location from a commercial standpoint. Located upon
the body of water from which it takes its name, Xewport Bay, which is the largest
body of water between San Francisco and San Diego, it had been the habit of
vessels of other days to make port here because it was possible to cross the bar
on high tide, unload and reload the vessels in still waters, not on piers constructed
for the purpose, but upon the solid ground of the mainland. Inasmuch as the
Pacific Coast is not sufficiently equipped with ports of entry and as Newport Bay
oflfers unsurpassed natural advantages, it is the earnest hope of citizens of the
town located upon its borders that the Government, which needs for the carrying
on of its own business every available port on this coast, will unite with the
citizens of Orange County in perfecting one of the most important harbors on
America's western coast. This hope is strengthened by the fact that comparatively
speaking the improvement could be accomplished at small cost. Xewport Bay is
a perfectly land-locked body of water, covering eight square miles, and the union
of Nature's efforts with modern engineering coidd easily ci invert this into one of
the best ports in the world.

Appeals to the Federal Government have thus far brought no material assist-
ance, although the inspecting engineers and visiting statesmen all speak favorabh'
of the natural advantages of the bay for harbor purposes. The Hon. Josephus
Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, in his recent trip through the county, gave strong
encouragement for Federal aid. Some time ago the people of Newport Beach
bonded their city for $100,000 to start the improvement. The good results from
that outlay were so apparent that they were encouraged to solicit aid from the
county. An election was called for June 10. 1919, to vote county bonds in the
sum of $500,000 for the development of the harbor. The result of that election
was: Bonds, yes 6.077; bonds, no 2,^72. These bonds sold at a premium of
$11,887. which speaks well for the credit of Orange County.

Not enly will Newport Harbor become the yachting center of the Pacific
Coast, it is expected, but the opening of this safe anchorage will no doubt attract
industrial establishments to this already favorable location. A fish cannery has
been built which will employ about fifty people and it is quite probable that this
will lead to the location of other fish canneries on the harbor.

The city of Newport Beach is clustered about the bay and water front so
promiscuously that it is hard to determine its area from the map with any degree
of accuracy ; ho\vever, it seems to occupy from three to three and a half square
miles of territory. The census of 1910 credits Newport Beach with a population
of 445 ; the 1920 census gives the city a population of 898. The assessed valu-
ation of the city for the year 1920 is $1,289,685. The city has one and a half
miles of paved streets and seven miles of oiled streets, fourteen miles of cement
sidewalks and one and one-half miles of board walk, and two pleasure piers.

The present city officers are as follow^s : Board of trustees. J. P. Greele}'.
president; J. J. Schnitker, Art L. Heard. Dr. Conrad Richter, L. S. Wilkinson;
clerk. Alfred Smith: treasurer. Lew H. Wallace; marshal and tax collector, J. .A.
Porter ; attorney, Cl3'de Bishop ; street superintendent, Frank J. Knight ; gas man-
ager, F. L. Rinehart : water superintendent. John McMillan; engineer. Paul E.
Kressley; recorder. Byron Hall: harbor master. A. J. Beek : clerk of harbor com-
mission. Lew H. Wallace.

The following associations maintain organizations in Xew]iort Beach : Metho-
dist Episcopal Church, Bible Institute Chapel, Newport BeacJi Chamber of Com-
merce, Newport Harbor Yacht Club.



64 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

CHAPTER IX

THE CITY OF ORANGE

Supplemented by D. G. Wettlin

Almost in the exact center of the county of Orange may be found the city
of Orange, thirty-one miles southeast of Los Angeles, on the Santa Fe Railroad,
at the junction of the kite-shaped track with the surf line to San Diego. It is
also centrally located on the upper half of the mesa between the foothills and the
Santa Ana River, and is surrounded by a productive, densely populated area con-
taining the communities of ]\IcPherson, El jNIodena, \'illa Park, Olive, West
Orange and Santa Ana, the county seat, all within a radius of four miles.

The following statement, taken from the testimony of A. C Chapman in the
famous water suit between the two sides of the river in 1877, explains the origin
of the city :

"The townsite of Orange was laid off in 1870 or 1S71 by Captain Glassed
and myself. The town of Santa Ana was laid out at the same time. At that time
I went to Santa Ana and there were two or three men there in tents, a ]\Ir.
Spurgeon and two or three others. Santa Ana was not laid off by the same parties
who laid off Orange. I was tlje father of Orange and Spurgeon and Bradford
were the fathers of Santa Ana. Columbus Tustin laid off Tustin and lives there."

The original townsite of Orange contained forty acres of land which was sub-
divided into eight five-acre blocks with twenty lots in each block. Eight lots were
reserved at the center for a public plaza. The town was called Richland, but
later the name was changed to Orange, because there was already one Richland
in the state and the government would not grant a postoffice to another. Additions
have been made to the town from time to time by subdividing the acreage tracts
surrounding the original townsite and naming such additions after the owners. In
that way P. J. Shaft'er, Joseph Beach, N. D. Harwood and others have left their
names to streets or additions to the city.

Building material was an important item in the early days, the lumber in the
first houses being hauled by team from Los Angeles or Wilmington. The resi-
dence of Joseph Beck on Almond Avenue is said to be the oldest house in Orange,
having been built for Captain Glassell's ofiice where the Ainsworth block now
stands. If we mistake not, the building moved to the northwest corner of the
plaza square to make way for the Campbell building, was the first store.

The early settlers were a sturdy band, collected from all parts of the world
for the sake of the cheaper land and the better opportunities afforded by a new
country. Their very hardships and privations brought them closer together,
enabling them to realize the truth of the proverb that "one touch of nature makes
the whole world kin." Previous distinctions of birth, rank and precedence were
forgotten ; individual peculiarities were either ignored or treated with good natured
banter. All met on the common plane of good will and helpfulness.

Inexperience and ignorance are serious handicaps for any individual; but
when a whole community is so aftlicted, with no one qualified to suggest, advise
or instruct, it means a frightful loss of time and energy in finding out by actual
experience what the climate and soil of the new country, very different from that
of the old home, are best adapted to produce and how to bring about the best
results. For instance, Joseph Beach planted one ten-acre tract to four dift'erent
kinds of trees and vines in succession, devoting several years to each before being
convinced that it did not come up to his expectations. After millions of grape-
vines had grown to maturity and a reputation for superior raisins had been estab-
lished, some mysterious disease, which baffled the government experts, destroyed
all the vines. Before there were any quarantine laws, the nurserymen imported
several kinds of insect pests on their stock, which crippled fruit-growing for sev-
eral years and even threatened its extinction ; but finally methods of spraying and



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 65

fumigating were perfected that keep the pests in check. The difficulties of de-
veloping an irrigating system were almost insuperable, to say nothing about the
litigation over the water rights. The soil, which never had been irrigated, was
porous and the squirrels and gophers honeycombed the ditch banks, so that it was
hard to make them hold water. Many an orchard was kept alive by water hauled
in a barrel on a sled. \\'hile all these experiences were being worked out, the
people had to live somehow. Every profession, trade and vocation had its repre-
sentatives in the community ; while all kinds of farming, dairying, poultry raising,
etc., were carried on with different degrees of success. J\lany men found employ-
ment abroad and the women did the outdoor work at home.

Notwithstanding the iiardships and privations of the early days, the educa-
tional, religious and social wants of the community were not neglected. Schools
were established, some of the children coming as far as eight miles on their ponies.
At first religious services were held in the schoolhouse by the different denomi-
nations, with a union Sunday school. People thought nothing of mounting the
high seat of the farm wagon and riding from one to twenty miles to church:
in fact, one old Scotch couple used to walk the latter distance from the Santiago
Canyon to the Presbyterian Church in Orange nearly every Sunday. The Musical
Union was one of the earliest musical organizations, and from that time down to
the present many other organizations, both vocal and instrumental, have furnished
the people with music of a high order. Literary societies were carried on, and
entertainments of various kinds for various purposes were frequent. One of the
best amateur baseball clubs in Southern California, if not in the state, had its
headquarters at Orange.

The esprit dc corps, or spirit of local patriotism, was just as strong in the
early days as now. Nearly every exhibit, of whatever character, from Orange
in competition with others, won a prize, because the people were willing to con-
tribute of their products and labor to make it a success. When the Santa Fe
wanted a right of way through the valley, the citizens of this community donated
one of their streets and $8,000 in money to get the railroad where they wanted
it. A few months later a little diplomatic work secured the junction for Orange
after it had been promised to Santa Ana. Some $1,500 was raised to improve the
plaza, the ladies raising one-third of the amount by the production of an original
play, with local coloring, and other entertaiimients ; a few years ago about $1,000
more was added to provide cement curbs and gravel walks. Bonds were voted
from time to time to build schoolhouses as fast as they were needed, one $7,000
building being destroyed by fire. Most of the present church buildings were
erected in the early days, though some of them have since been enlarged. The
public library had grown to considerable proportions on private subscriptions, en-
tertainments and membership dues before it was turned over to the city. When
!he new county was being formed, in 1889, the Rochester Hotel, which cost over
$50,000, was oft'ered free for a courthouse, and a vigorous but unsuccessful cam-
paign was waged for the county seat. A little later the hotel was bought by the
people, with the assistance of Rev. J. H. Harwood, and turned into the Orange
County Collegiate Institute. After carrying on the school for three years, ]\Ir.
Harwood mortgaged the property to get his money out, and left the city. More
examples of the early hardships might be given ; but perhaps enough have been
mentioned to show something of the difficulties encountered in the settlement of
Orange and the character of the people who overcame those difficulties and made
the later successes of the community possible.

The city of Orange was incorporated April 6, 1888, as a city of the sixth
class, with an area of approximately three square miles and a population of about
600 people. Its location midway between the sea and the mountains gives it almost
an ideal climate the year round. The invigorating sea breezes temper the extreme
heat experienced farther inland, while the damp and chilling atmosphere prevailing
nearer the coast, seldom causes discomfort here. There is scarcely ever sufficient
frost to do any material damage. The soil of this portion of the valley is a samly



66 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

loam, rich and fertile, easily cultivated and adapted to a great variety of products.
Citrus and deciduous fruits, nuts, vegetables and all kinds of farm products are
successfully grown and easily marketed over the many railroads or by ocean
transportation.

The railroad facilities of this section are unsurpassed. The Santa Fe has
stations at Orange and Olive, and the Southern Pacific at West Orange,
Villa Park, McPherson and El JNIodena. The Pacific Electric has recently built
through Orange on its way from Santa Ana to connect with its line from Los
Angeles to Placentia. Its fine new depot is located on the northwest corner of
Chapman Avenue and Lemon Street. On account of the convenient location of
the Santa Fe depot in Orange and the excellent service of that road, it has received
the greater part of the business of this community thus far.

Water for domestic purposes, for lawns and flower gardens and for street
sprinkling, is supplied by the city water system. The city owns its water system,
which consists of three deep wells, two 50,000 gallon tanks on sixty-foot steel
tqwers and a large reservoir, steam engines, air compressors, pumps, etc., with
mains and pipes adequate to supply the growing needs of the city. The water is
abundant and wholesome. Ample fire protection has been provided, including a
fine motor truck, hose and hose carts and hook and ladder equipment, in charge
of a well organized volunteer fire department. Water for irrigation is supplied
from the Santa Ana River by the Santa Ana \"alley Irrigation Company, which
rs described elsewhere. The charges for water in both systems are very moderate
— much below the average.

Notwithstanding its close connection with larger places. Orange is itself a
business center, and has enough stores, shops and offices to supply all the ordinary
wants of the people. These establishments represent almost every business, pro-
fession and trade found anywhere; many of the lines have more than one repre-
sentative in the city. The stores, shops and offices are generally housed in sub-
stantial buildings and modern business blocks, some of which are equal to anything
of the kind in the county. Surrounding this business center are hundreds of
beautiful residences, furnished with all the conveniences and luxuries of the
modern home. The cement sidewalks and well kept streets give easy access to all
parts of the city for pedestrians and every kind of vehicle. There are twelve
miles of streets with cement sidewalk and curb on each side, which improvement
was made at a cost of about $75,000. Two and three-quarter miles of streets in
the business section have been paved with the regular cement asphalt pavement.
Twenty miles in the residence portions have been graded, oiled, wet down, graveled
and rolled, making a smooth, firm roadway, free from dust, at a cost of about
$750 per mile. The city trustees on March 8, 1920, let the following contracts for
street paving according to specifications including five-inch thickness: To B. R.
Ford, on Collins Avenue, .78 miles or 4,145.97 feet long by 8 feet wide at 21 vj
cents per square foot, amounting to $7,131.06; to H. E. Cox, on Tustin Street, .98
miles or 5,197 feet long bv 16 feet wide at 21 cents per square foot plus $618 for
culverts, $18,079.92; to H. E. Cox, on N. Glassell Street, .12 miles or 630.26 feet
long by 44 feet wide and .37 miles or 1,982 feet long by 20 feet wide at 21 cents
per square foot, $14,148. Total 2.25 miles at a cost of $39,358.98. This leaves
only one mile of unsurfaced dirt road in the city. About nine years ago a good
sewer system was installed, consisting of septic tanks, two and a half miles of



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 7 of 191)