Samuel Armor.

History of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present online

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Online LibrarySamuel ArmorHistory of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 72 of 191)
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he enlisted with classmates and others in the Ninth Illinois Cavalry to fill in the ranks
that were decimated at the battle of Nashville. In September of that year he was
discharged from the service by reason of the close of the war.

.After teaching a small school a year, to partially recover his health, Mr. Armor
took up his studies again, this time in Knox Academy and College at Galesburg, 111.,
with the class of 1871. In the middle of the Freshman year he changed over to Oberlin
College in Ohio, where he continued through the classical course and graduated with
his class. All these years of study he paid his way by working at whatever he could
find to do, teaching one term of school in the winter each year.

About two months after graduation Mr. Armor married Miss Alice L. Taylor, of
Claridon, Ohio, a classmate at Oberlin. Having obtained employment of the L'nited
States Government as principal and matron of the manual labor boarding school on the
Indian reservation at White Earth, Minn., the young couple left for their new field a
few weeks after their marriage. They organized and conducted this school with
marked success for two years, until the Indian agent was changed, when they resigned
their positions and went into a similar school on the Sisseton and Wahpeton reserva-
tion in Dakota. Here they remained only one year, because of the failure of Mr.
.Armor's health, which necessitated their coming to California.

The first winter in this state they spent in Los Angeles compiling a directory of
that city; but, Mrs. Armor having obtained a position in the Orange schools, the couple
moved to West Orange April 25, 1875. Previous to leaving Los Angeles, Mr. .Armor
had taken up carpenter work, with which he was familiar, for the sake of the exercise
in the open air; this he continued to follow for several years in Los Angeles and
Riverside counties. Meantime, he improved a thirteen-acre ranch on North Main
street; but, having to hire so much of the work done, he sold the place and moved into
Orange in the year 1881. About the same time he quit carpenter work and went to
teaching again. After three years and a half in the Orange schools he resigned his
place, on account of the nervous strain, and finished the year clerking for W. B.
Forsythe. .About .August. 1885, Mr. Armor started a book and stationery store on
the corner where the .Ainsworth block now stands, and later a stock of shoes was put
in on the other side of the room. Probably no store in Orange ever did as much
business on so small a capital as this store did during the first five years of its existence.
From early morning till late at night two persons, and sometimes three, were busy
waiting on customers. The next ten years, from 1S90 to 1900, the business gradually
fell oflf to practically nothing, for reasons that will appear in the succeeding paragraphs.

When the county of Orange was formed in 1889. Mr. .Armor was persuaded to ac-
cept the office of supervisor in his district; this office he held for nearly ten years, being
elected three times. In 1892 he was appointed to fill the vacancy on the board of
directors of the Santa .Ana Valley Irrigation Company, caused by the resignation of
William Blasdale. He continued in this position nearly thirteen years, ten of which he
served as president of the company. In 1900 he was elected a member of the board


of trustees of the city of Orange, which position he held for eight years, being president
of the board for two years. In each and every one of these ofhces he was an active
worker, personally examining everything that came before the board and standing firmly
against whatever was prejudicial to the interests of the whole people.

As already intimated, the business of the store commenced to dwindle almost as
soon as Mr. Armor began to hold office. This was not due to any neglect of the store,
for he always kept the best of clerks and gave much of his own time to managing the
business; but it was due to antagonisms created by his sturdy defense of the public
interests while he was in office. It is not necessary to give examples of such antago-
nisms or to explain the deterioration and depletion of the stock; suffice it to say that
the store was voluntarily closed in 1900 by its owner with no loss to any one,
except himself.

But even this loss had is compensations, for, with the sacrifice of his business,
Mr. Armor had more time to assist his wife with her newspaper, and thereby use it in
defense of his public work, the success of which was mere important to him than any
personal gain would be. Hence, he wasted no time in vain regrets and would not have
changed any of his acts in the past, if he could. In fact, the logic of events since has
vindicated the wisdom and value of his pioneer work for the county, the city, the water
company, the schools, the churches, and good government generally.

At the present time Mr. Armor is serving his second term as justice of the peace
of Orange township. Since the community is orderly and the merchants, doing business
on a cash basis, have few collections to make, the justice is not overburdened with
official business; nevertheless, any one seeking his aid or counsel generally finds him
at the office in office hours. None of his decisions have been reversed by the higher
courts, and the only reflection on his judicial work — if such it can be called — is found in
the fact that, in criminal cases, the "rich malefactor" hires a lawyer who invariably calls
for a jury trial and wins his case, while the poor devil, overtaken in a fault, pleads guilty
and gets "justice" dealt out to him by the court. Perhaps the jury thinks the payment
of a lawyer's fee is punishment enough for the offender to undergo!

Alice L. Taylor was born August 20, 1848, at Stockholm, St. Lawrence County,
N. y. Her father, Rev. E. D. Taylor, was one of six brothers, who were all Congre-
gational ministers. Her mother was Mary Ann Lewis of Lenox, Madison County, N. Y.
When Alice was about three years of age, the family removed to Chagrin Falls, Ohio,
and four years later to Claridon, Geauga County, Ohio. Mr. Taylor was pastor of
the Congregational Church at Claridon until the death of his wife in 1872, and in that
place his children spent the years of their childhood and early youth. As the schools
of that period were primitive in character, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor taught select schools at
diflferent times and in these and the district schools their children received their earlier
education, later attending private schools and academies in other places, the two girls
being students for a time at Lake Erie Female Seminary at Painesville, Ohio. The only
son, E. D. Taylor, Jr., served for three years in the Federal Army during the Civil War.

In the fall of 1865 Alice Taylor went to Algona, Iowa, with an uncle. Rev. Chaun-
cey Taylor, a pioneer home missionary of that state. She remained in Iowa a year,
teaching two terms in country schools. Returning home in the fall of 1866, she went in
November to Lexington, Ky., in the employ of the American Missionary Association,
and taught in the colored schools of that city until June of the following year. In the
fall of 1867, she entered Oberlin College, beginning the first year of the literary course.
During the four years of her college course, she taught school several terms and also
taught classes in the preparatory departtnent of the college. Shortly after graduation,
August 9, 1871, she was married to Samuel Armor and with him took up school work
among the Indians for the Government. After three years of this work, the Armors
came to California in the fall of 1874 and to Orange in the following spring.

Mrs. Armor got a first grade certificate at the teachers' examination for the
county of Los Angeles and on the same papers she was granted a first grade state
certificate and life diploma. She taught many years at Orange, Garden Grove and Tus-
tin and was considered a first class teacher. Superintendent Hinton urged her to apply
for a place in the Los Angeles schools: but she told him that, if his rating of her work
as first class was correct, they needed first class teachers in the country as well as in
the city and she would stay where she was. All this time she was doing her own
housework, caring for the animals when Mr. Armor was working away from home,
singing in the choir and at all kinds of meetings and entertainments and teaching a
class in Sunday school. Members of that class of about thirty-five years ago, learning
recently of Mrs. .\rmor's illness, sent her valuable presents and letters expressing their
appreciation of her worth as a teacher and gratitude for the help and inspiration her
teaching had been to them.

J^. C. :7v^^.^^


About 1890 Mrs. Armor quit teaching and began work on The Orange Post as
proofreader, city editor, bookkeeper and general factotum. As the proprietor was
coritefnplating giving up the struggle, Mrs. Armor put in her account for work with
some additional money and bought the paper in January, 1892. She inherited literary
tastes and was a graceful writer; her articles in college entertainments, teachers' insti-
tutes and literary periodicals were well received and won her praise. However, news-
paper work for her, without sufficient capital to hire help for the routine work, was
like harnessing Pegasus to the plow — too much drudgery to keep the poetic afflatus
active and aglow. Nevertheless, it is her proud record that she got out the paper on
time each week for twenty-three years without missing a single issue. During the set-
tling up of the country and the formative period of its institutions. The Orange Post
had considerable influence in getting things started right and was liberally quoted by
its exchanges.

After the sale of her paper early in 1915, Mrs. Armor found ample scope for her
usefulness in the King's Daughters, the Woman's Relief Corps, as a deaconness of the
Presbyterian Church, in visiting the sick and shut-ins, and in writing letters of cheer and
comfort to those at a distance. In these ministrations of helpfulness, she herself has
often been cheered and comforted by the calm fortitude and al)iding faith of these un-
fortunates, "of whom the world was not worthy."

HORACE CALDWELL HEAD.— Prominent among the distinguished members
of the California Bar, and as favorably as he is well-known, must be mentioned Horace
Caldwell Head, who has been a resident of California since his sixth year, when he
accompanied his parents on their removal, in the famous Centennial Year of 1876, from
their home state, Tennessee and located near Santa Ana, then Los Angeles, but now
Orange County. He was born at Troy, in Obion County, Tenn., on .August 22, 1870, a
son of Dr. H. W. Head, a prominent physician and surgeon in great demand in that
county, who had married Miss Maria E. Caldwell, a lady of accomplishments. In
1876. Dr. Head came to Californin with the intention of retiring from the practice of
medicine, and engaged in horticulture; but the scarcity of physicians forced him, out
of regard to society, into practice again, and he spent several years alleviating pain and
doing good. He was also much interested in and became prominent in civic affairs —
so much so, that the citizens of his district elected him in 1882 a member of the
Assembly of the State Legislature; and he served in that responsible capacity for the
sessions of 1883 and the special session of 1884, and later took a leading part in the
formation and organization of Orange County. He became, in fact, a well-known
pioneer, who was a prominent, familiar figure throughout the county; but in later life
he lived retired, and died on December S, 1919, survived by a widow and seven children.

The eldest of these, Horace Caldwell Head, received the nucleus of his education
in the public schools of Garden Grove, completing it in the University of California at
Berkeley, from which he was graduated in 1891 with the degree of Ph.B. .After that,
for a couple of years, he turned his attention to teaching, and he then entered the
Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, the law department of the University of
California, from which he received the degree of LL.B. in 1896. In May of that year.
he was admitted to practice at the California Bar, and in the fall of 1896 he located at
Fullerton, and began to practice his profession.

From the beginning, he met with such merited success that he was elected district
attorney in 1902, and took office the following January, for a term of four years, which
necessitated his removal to Santa Ana, a change to which he was evidently not per-
sonally opposed, for he has since made that delightful city his home. At the close of
his term of office, he engaged in the practice of law in Santa -Ana, and later he formed
a partnership with A. W. Rutan, under the firm name of Head and Rutan, and opened
offices in the Farmers and Merchants Bank Building.

.\t Fullerton, in 1900, occurred the marriage of Horace C. Head and Miss Anna G.
Hansen, whose parents had settled at Placentia in 1874. Her father, Peter Hansen,
is still living, honored by all who know his sterling worth. Two children have blessed
this fortunate marriage, and they are named Melville and Iris Head.

Since his term as district attorney, when he attained a very enviable reputation for
his common sense, but fearless administration, his prosecution of criminals, defense
of the best interests of the county, and his influence in favor of a better and higher-,
civic sense, Mr. Head has devoted himself to private practice, enjoying more and more
a large and highly creditable client le. His standing is attested by the interesting fact
that he is president of the Orange County Bar Association, and an influential director
in the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce. During the late war, he was active in all the
bond and war drives, and was one of the most acceptable "four minute" speakers. He
takes a deep interest in the welfare of young men. recognizing in youth the strength


and the hope of the nation, and is an unselfish, untiring worker in the various depart-
ments of the Y. M. C. A.

Politically a Democrat, but decidely nonpartisian in his support of local move-
ments, measures and men, Mr. Head is a Knights Templar Mason, and also a member
of the Odd Fellows, and is a past exalted ruler of the Elks.

MRS. MARIA FAACKS. — The well-kept and productive ten-acre orange ranch
of Mrs. Maria Faacks, widow of the late Herman Faacks, is located on Santa Clara
Avenue, Orange. Both Mr. and Mrs. Faacks were born near Berlin, Germany, the
former in 1840. the latter in 1844. She was a daughter of Wm. and Johanna (Hen-
ning) Schulz, farmer folk, who brought their family to St. Paul, Minn., in 1865.
Maria Schulz was the second oldest of their eight children, all of whom are living, but
she is the only one in California. She was first married in St. Paul in 1866 to Julius
Schmidt, a native of Saxony, Germany, who had come to Minnesota in the fifties,
and served as an officer in a Minnesota regiment in the Civil War, after which he
engaged in business in St. Paul until his death, which occurred in 1871. She after-
wards married Herman Faacks, who had come to St. Paul in 1867 from his native
place, Brandenburg, and by trade was a painter and decorator, a business he followed
until, on account of his health, they came to Orange, Cal.. in 1884, where they pur-
chased ten acres on Santa Clara Avenue. It was a vineyard, which they grubbed out,
and when they got it in shape set to Valencia oranges.

They had six children: Dora, Mrs. Logan, resides near San Francisco; Rudolph
lives in Los Angeles, and has three children; Herman is in charge of operating the
home farm; Edward died in Los Angeles; Oscar and Henry are in Lankershim. and
the latter has one child.

Change of climate did not restore his health, and an impaired constitution soon
'brought Mr. Faacks to the end of his earthly journey while still in the prime of life.
He died January 20, 1890, and was buried in the old cemetery adjacent to his ranch,
and his widow and children were left to mourn his untimely decease. A worthy citi-
zen, loyal to his adopted country, a devoted husband and a loving father, his memory
is cherished in the hearts of loved ones who remember his sincerity of purpose and
many noble qualities of character. In her religious convictions, Mrs. Faacks is a
Lutheran, and politically is a strong Republican.

J. D. SPENNETTA.— A fruit buyer and shipper who well understands the ins and
outs of that intricate liusiness is J. D. Spennetta, proprietor of the Red Fox Orchards,
who has made that brand widely and favorably known and has built up a good trade
such as anyone might be proud of. He first came to Southern California in 1904, and
since that time has witnessed many changes in the rapid advance to which he has been
such a large contributor. He was born near St. Joseph, Berrien County, Mich., in 1886,
the son of H. J. Spennetta, a farmer now residing at Orange, and attended the local
grammar and high schools. Four years after the dawn of this eventful century he
located at Cucamonga, Cal., and became the bookkeeper for the Cucamonga Citrus Fruit
Growers Association there, working under Manager Stanton; and after the latter's
death he left that concern and entered the employ of the Mutual Orange Distributors.
At the end of a year, he was transferred to the main office at Redlands, where he
became cashier; and in that position of considerable responsibility he remained until
1913, when he resigned and removed to Orange.

Here he bought a ranch, now famous as the Red Fox Orchards and in 1913 he
set up a packing house in Orange and began as a fruit buyer. Since then, by fore-
sight, study and hard work, he has built up a large patronage. The first }'ear he shipped
seventy-five cars, and now he despatches 650 cars. He has a line of trucks, and
engages in a general trucking trade. Mr. Spennetta also handles fertilizer of the
■very highest grades and in quantity about 10,000 tons per year. He enjoys the repu-
tation of being also the largest dealer of barley and bean straw in Orange County,
handling approximately 7.500 tons. He is one of the original stockholders, directors and
a vice-president of the First National Bank of Olive; in national politics he is a
Republican, but he allows no partisanship to deter him from lending a hand when and
wherever he can to boost both city and county of Orange.

While in Dakota, Mr. Spennetta was married to Miss Edna Cheuning. a native of
Missouri, by whom he has had three children — Elizabeth, Paul and Mary. He was
made a Mason in Orange Grove Lodge No. 293, and belongs to Orange Grove Chapter
No. 99 of the Royal Arch Masons and Santa Ana Commandery No. 36, Knights
Templar. He also has risen to the thirty-second degree in the Los Angeles Consistory
of the Scottish Rite Masons, and he belongs to the Al Malaikah Temple of the A. A.
O. N. M. S. of Los Angeles, and the Santa Ana Lodge of Elks.

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ARTHUR H. DOMANN, M.D.— A distinguished representative of the medical
fraternity of California, and one whose influence particularly in the Southland has been
felt in favor of the most scientific conservation of the public welfare, is Dr. Arthur H.
Domann, for the past five years County Health Officer and County Physician. He
was born at Milwaukee, Wis., in 1879, where his father, Gustave Domann, still resides,
with an honorable record as a first-class printer. His devoted mother, a splendid
woman popular in maidenhood as Wilhelmina Stark, is also living there. Their union
was blessed with three children — the subject of our review, the first born; William
Domann a practicing physician at Menonionee Falls, Wis.; and a daughter, now Mrs.
Arthur Murray of Milwaukee.

Commencing with the grammar schools of Milwaukee, .\rthur was later graduated
with honors from the excellent high school of that city, and when eighteen began to
study pharmacy, under John A. Martens in Milwaukee. He remained in that held
until 1902 when he moved to the Pacific Coast, settled for a while in Montana, and
was later for several years in the state of Washington. Returning to Milwaukee, he
entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons there, one of the best medical schools
west of the original institution of that name in New York City, and for two years
studied medicine. Coming once again to the Coast, and to California, in 1909, he
continued his medical studies at the University of Southern California, where he was
graduated with the degree of M.D.

Since settling at Orange, Dr. Domann has rapidly advanced to the position of
confidence in the public esteem which he now enjoys, being widely known as a suc-
cessful physician and surgeon. His appointment as county physician and county health
officer gave general satisfaction. Naturally, he belongs to the Orange County Medical
Society, the State Medical Society and to the American Medical Association. In
addition to his scientific research and practice. Dr. Domann is interested in citrus
culture, and owns an orange and lemon orchard of thirty acres in the Peralta Hills,
which he himself set out and improved from the start.

At Spokane, \\'ash.. Dr. Domann was married to Miss Birdie Carter, a native of
Kentucky, who is a member with him of the Scepter Chapter No. 163 of the Order
Eastern Star of Orange. Dr. Domann was made a Mason in Fort Benton Lodge, F.
& A. M., Montana, when he was twenty-one years of age, and he is now a member
of Orange Grove Lodge No. 293, F. & A. M. He is also a member of Orange Grove
Chapter No. 99, R. A. M. He belongs to Santa Ana Commandery No. 36, Knights
Templar, and to the Al Malaikah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., and he is an Elk, belong-
ing to the Santa Ana Lodge, and a member of the Orange Lodge of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows.

JOHNTY P. BORING.— One of the decidedly interesting early settlers of Orange,
who has done his part faithfully for both the building up and the upbuilding of the
town and county, is Johnty P. Boring, who came here in the summer of 1882. He was
born at Palestine. Crawford County, 111., on January 7. 1860, the son of Washington
M. Boring, who was born in Marion County, Ind., member of an old Kentucky family,
who were early settlers of the Hoosier State. Washington Boring came to Illinois
with his parents, and was a wheelwright in Bridgeport and, later, at Ingraham. He
passed his last days peacefully at Orange. Mrs. Boring was Matilda Robbins before
her marriage, and she was a native of Vincennes, Ind., of French descent. She also died
at Orange, the mother of three boys and a girl, one of the sons being now deceased.
The daughter Florence is Mrs. D. C. Pixley of Orange; and the other son living is
Knox R. Boring of Oakland.

Johnty P. was educated in the public schools of Ingraham, and when eighteen,
began clerking in a general store there. In August, 1882, he came to California, and
pitched his tent at Orange, then such a small place that it had no sidewalks or any
otlier public improvements. He began clerking for D. C. Pixley, with whom he con-
tinued for five years, and he was then in the hardware business under the firm name of
Pixley and Boring for two years. .After that he was with C. S. Spencer in the grocery
business, and later still was for eight years with Samuel .\rmor in his shoe and
stationery store.

About 1900 Mr. Boring built a frame structure on his lots on .Snuth Glassell
Street, and there opened a bicycle, gun and sporting goods store. Four years later,
when he had no insurance, he was burned out, with a loss of $4,000. Nothing daunted,
he began again at the bottom and built up a new business on the same site, and so
well succeeded that he now has a new building on South Glassell Street, having a
frontage of 120 feet, and occupied by six different stores. He continued in business
until July, 1918, when he sold out his stock and has since rented his buildings. Since
then he has built a two-story, four family white plastered flat in East Hollywood,


modern and up-to-date, which yields a splendid income. Mr. Boring is a director in
the Orange Building and Loan Association, having been connected with it for about
a quarter of a century, and he is a member of the security committee of the association.
He is also interested in citrus growing, and owns an orange and lemon orchard at

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 72 of 191)