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 78 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 78 of 191)
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He was given unusually good educational advantages, and besides being in-
structed in his native German, was taught English, French and Spanish, and allowed
to travel widely. When he married, he chose for his wife one of the most attractive
women of Bavaria. Miss Louisa Steinmuller. who has made an excellent helpmate;
and one son, Fred .A.. Jr.. blessed their fortunate union.


In 1906 Mr. Stoffel came to America, and after spending some time in Canada,
Dakota. Milwaukee, Galveston. Houston, and a trip to South America, was in the
service of George Borgfeldt and Company, the most important importers of toys
and many other lines of high-grade wares in America, doing business on Sixth Street
and Irving Place, New York. Coming to California, Mr. Stoflfel pitched his tent at
San Juan Capistrano in January, 1916, and began business here right after the disaster
to the Otay Dam at San Diego, which was carried away by a freshet. Then the Santa
Ana River overflowed its banks, and the waters of the Trabuco and the San Juan
flooded the streets of San Juan Capistrano, and buried the Santa Fe tracks, so that
traffic was crippled for three months. It was discouraging enough to the young man
who had just invested so much opposite the Mission, but nothing daunted, he bought
more land, until now he owns about two acres in the heart of the town, the choicest
lots in town, and is located on the south side of Central Avenue, over to the Santa
Fe right of way. It is the site of the old San Juan Inn, which burned down in 1918;
and there Mr. Stoffel has built the New Hotel Capistrano.

This is a very fine structure of two stories, in the mission style of architecture,
made of brick, 125 front by 85 deep in size, on a site 127x120 feet square, and it has three
fronts. It contains four stores, forty rooms and six apartments, a social hall and a
lobby, and those who are familiar with Mr. Stofifel's way of doing things may rest
assured that in all its appointments, and the manner in which it will be managed, it
will meet the demands and preferences of the most fastidious and exacting taste,
the surroundings will be restful; there will be ample ground for parking the motors
of tourists, and the establishment is certain to become the resort both of the tran-
sient guest and the student and artist more and more coming this way.

California, from the time of her proud entrance into the Union, has been fortu-
nate in the character and experience of a large number of those who have undertaken
to cater to the cafe and hotel wants of the public; and Orange County may well
congratulate itself on the coming of this thoroughly-trained gentleman, by tempera-
ment as well as by personal knowledge of the ins and outs of his enterprise so
capable of success in his difficult field, and so likely, in his success, to do a fine thing
for San Juan Capistrano, Southern California-, as well as for himself.

ABE W. JOHNSON.— A representative of fine old Yankee stock, whose father
was a captain in the Union Army, Abe W. Johnson, a Missouri boy, is making good
in California, ranching as a wideawake tenant on the San Joaquin, with a full com-
plement of mules, horses, a Fordson tractor and all the other necessary, up-to-date
implements. He was born in the interesting old town of Kirksville, in Adair County,
on June 13, 1872, and there grew up in an environment which has been helpful to
some of the finest types of American manhood. His father, John Johnson, was born
at Albany. N. Y., migrated to Missouri, and there, when less than eighteen years of
age, enlisted as a bugler — owing to his lack of years — in Company E, Seventh Mis-
souri Volunteer Infantry. He campaigned for four long years, and by merit alone
rose to be captain, his sword, one of the precious heirlooms of our subject, speak-
ing eloquently for his devotion to a righteous cause. He had the respect, admiration
and confidence of every man in the companj'. and was a prominent G. A. R. man. But
whatever glory he acquired was dearly purchased, for he was severely injured, so
that he suffered much from its results. When the war was over, he married, at Kirks-
ville, Miss Mary A. Waddill, then resident there, who was a native of Coles County,
111., and buying a farm of 160 acres four and a half miles northeast of Kirksville.
he pursued agriculture, and gradually recovered from his injuries, which were due to
a horse falling upon and crushing him in the chest. When he died, our subject was
only twelve years of age, and he then became one of the mainstays of the mother,
who is still living at Kirksville, in her eighty-second year. They had four children,
and one died in infancy; the others, still living, being Alice M. Grassle, wife of
George Grassle, a retired banker and capitalist, at Kirksville; Abe W. Johnson, our
subject, and Dr. John K. Johnson, of Jefferson, Green County, Iowa.

Abe grew up on a farm in the country until he was eight years of age. and then
his folks moved into Kirksville, where he attended the grammar school, and after-
ward studied at the Kirksville State Normal, which graduated both General Pershing,
and Captain Arthur L. Willard of the Flagship New Mexico, U. S. Navy. For three
years he was apprenticed to the cigar-maker's trade at Kirksville, and when twenty-
one assumed the management, with his brother, of his mother's farm. At Kirksville.
too, he married Miss Jennie Wayman, who was born in Illinois, and after his marriage
he continued to farm until 1899, when he decided to come west to the Pacific Coast.





Arriving in California, he farmed for a year at Garden Grove, and then he went
to the Fred W. Bixby Ranch at Long Beach, where for three years he farmed 700
acres to barley. Tn 1904 he came to the San Joaquin Ranch, and he has been here
ever since. For several years he farmed grain, planting as much as 1,200 acres
to barley and wheat. The second year that he was on the Irvine Ranch he raised a
crop of si.xty acres of lima beans. Since then he has been successful, and he is one of
the pioneer lima bean growers on the San Joaquin. Now he is a member of the
Southern California Lima Bean Growers Association.

Four children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson; Leonore is the wife
of Oscar \\'ilson, a rancher on the San Joaquin, one mile south of Irvine; Mary E-
married Walter Stromeson of the U. S. Army, who is stationed at the fort at San
Pedro, and Wayman K., husband of Miss Jessie Huff, of Santa Ana, is a rancher on
the San Joaquin. Mr. Johnson is a Republican in national political affairs, and a
nonpartisan, broad-minded advocate of everything worth while for the community.
He has always been public-spirited, believing that only in proportion to what a citizen
puts into the development of his town or county is he likely to get out, and for
several years he served as road overseer of the district.

HENRY HOCKEMEYER.— Among the worthy pioneers of later date whose, itse-
ful lives are pleasantly recalled by all who were fortunate to know and profit from
them, was the late Henry Hockemeyer. for several years superintendent of the Santa
Ana Valley Irrigation Company. He was born in Adams County. Ind., on February
4, 1852, was reared and educated in his native state, and for years confined himself
to his chosen occupation, that of a tiller of the soil. He was the son of Anton Hocke-
meyer. a farmer in Indiana.

In 1883 Mr. Hockemeyer migrated to California, and located in Orange County,
where he purchased his ranch of eleven and a half acres. At that time only a few
acres were set out to vines, as viticulture here was only an experiment; and on account
of the unprofitableness of vineculture, due to a disease on the vine, he soon turned
his attention to apricots and walnuts. Eventually he found, with others, that the soil
was better adapted to citrus fruit culture, and now the ranch is in a high state of
cultivation, producing Valencias, Mediterranean Sweets and Navels.

In Orange, in 1886, Mr. Hockemeyer was united in marriage to Miss Minnie C.
Peck, who was born near Milwaukee, Wis., a daughter of Adolph and Louise (VYitte)
Peck. Minnie Peck spent her early life and received a good education in Rochester,
Minn., residing there until 1884, when she came to Orange, her parents joining her a
year later. Her father has passed away but her mother is still living, making her
home in Orange. Mr. and Mrs. Hockemeyer have three daughters: Alma, now Mrs.
Schnutzen; Dora, the wife of Fred Newcomb and Mrs. Minnie Heinecke and all reside
in the vicinity of the home.

After a useful, well-spent life, Mr. Hockemeyer passed away in August. 1905, leav-
ing many friends to mourn his loss. He bequeathed to his widow a most comfortable
and elegant home in which to spend the balance of her days. The family are members
of and liberally support the Lutheran Church in Orange. Mrs. Hockemeyer is a mem-
ber of Ijoth the Santiago Orange Growers Association and the Santa Ana Walnut
Growers Association.

ARTHUR H. PATERSON.— Identified for a number of years with the oil indus-
try, .Arthur H. Paterson has for the past four years been the special agent for the
Union Oil Company at Santa Ana. and through his efficient handling of the work the
business has each year steadily increased. A native of Canada, Mr. Paterson was
born at St. Mary's, New Brunswick, on December 18. 1880, his parents being Dr.
Edward M. and Maud (.Appleton) Paterson. Dr. Paterson, who was a well-known
physician and surgeon, brought his family to Oakland, Cal., and there engaged in the
practice of his profession, and there he remained until his death, which occurred in
July, 1917, Mrs. Paterson having passed away several years previously.

Coming to California at the age of five years, Arthur H. Paterson received his
early education in the schools of Oakland and after finishing his studies there he went
to Marburg, Germany, and took up a course in medicine, thinking to follow in the
footsteps of his father. He did not finish his course there, however, and returned to
California, where he decided to engage in commercial pursuits. He started in this
line of work as a salesman in 1901 for the Imperial Home Bakery and also as their
routing manager, continuing with them until 1906 when he was interested in contract-
ing and building for eighteen months. The next two years were spent with the well
known firm of H. Jevnc. in Los .\ngcles, where he gained a well-rounded experience
through his connectidn with all the (lei)artments comprising their extensive Iiusiness.


In 1910 he entered the oil business and since that time he has given his exclusive
attention to that field. He was first with the Union Oil Company, spendmg two
years at their refinery at Oleum, then taking the position of special agent with the
Union Oil Company at Redwood City, which he held for three years. Four years
ago he came to Santa Ana as the special agent of the Union Oil Company, and he is
still occupying that position, having made an unqualified success. The business has
constantly increased during that time and Mr. Paterson now has five stations under
his supervision. He also has an independent interest in the oil business, being presi-
dent and manager of the Tepathol Oil Company; also secretary-treasurer of the
Nuevo Oil Company.

In politics Mr. Paterson adheres to the principles of the Republican party, and is
an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants and Manufac-
turers Association. He is prominent in fraternal circles, being a member of the local
lodge of Elks and of the Masons, holding membership in the Chapter, the Consistory,
the Commandery and Shrine, and is Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star. Mr. Pater-
son's first marriage occurred on May 9, 1906. At San Rafael, on November 27, 1912,
he was united in marriage with Miss Blanche E. McCarter, and they are the parents of
two daughters. Margaret Alice and Melba Anita. During his residence in Santa Ana
he. has entered enthusiastically into the civic life of the community and is ever ready
to put his shoulder to the wheel to help its progress.

WILLARD SMITH.— A native son of whom the Southland may well be proud
is Willard Smith, the able and popular president of the Villa Park Orchards Associa-
tion, and one of the best known citizens of Villa Park precinct. He is the only child
of James M. and Sophronia (Abbott) Smith, natives of the state of New York, and
was born on the home ranch he now operates in conjunction with his two half-brothers,
O. K. and A. B. Clark, under the firm name of Smith and Clark. His maternal ances-
tors were of English origin and were among the Pilgrims who accompanied Miles
Standish to the New World on the Mayflower and settled Plymouth. The family
were prominent members of and took an active interest in the early doings of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony and did valiant service in the Colonial and Revolutionary
wars, so Mr. Smith is entitled to membership in the order of the Sons of the American

Mr. Smith's father was born in Orange County, New York, and died in Orange
County, Cal., at the advanced age of eighty-five. He was a tailor by trade and occupa-
tion and made his start in life with the needle. He came west, and lived in various
places in the Middle West. A general breakdown of his health caused him to come
to California in 1878 to rest and recuperate. He spent his first winter at Santa Barbara,
and despite the doctors' prediction that he would not survive many months he recov-
ered his health in the genial California climate. After coming to California he mar-
ried Mrs. Sophronia Clark, the widow of Dana Clark, an early Californian who orig-
inated the citrus industry in Southern California, and who planted the first orange
orchard in Santa Paula. She crossed the Isthmus in 1866, and after her marriage to
Mr. Clark lived at Santa Barbara, where Mr. Clark died and where the widow met
Mr. Smith after her husband's death. They were married in Orange County, in 1880,
which was then a part of Los Angeles County. The mother passed away at the age
of sixty-five, five weeks before her husband's demise.

When a young man, Willard Smith served an apprenticeship in the photo
engraver's trade at San Diego, Cal. He became proficient in this trade, which he
followed for a period of five years, most of the time in Los Angeles. Quitting the
engraver's trade he came back to the home ranch, which he has operated ever since.
The ranch consists of sixty-two acres, forty acres of which are planted to Valencia
oranges, and sixteen acres to Eureka lemons. Mr. Smith helped organize the Villa
Park Orchards Association in 1913, a very important Orange County business institu-
tion. This association has recently built a large orange packing house on a spur of
the Southern Pacific Railway at Villa Park, and the magnitude of its Inisiness may be
judged from its 1919 shipments of oranges, which amounted to $750,000 worth of fruit,
which sum was disbursed to orange growers at Villa Park and vicinity. Mr. Smith
is also a director in the Bixby Development Company, and with Hugh T. Thomson
laid oiit, irrigated and planted 300 acres' of the 400-acre tract known as the Peralta
Hills Tract. The directors of the Bixby Development Company are; Willard Smith.
Hugh T. Thomson, George H. Bixby, Jotham W. Bixby of Long Beach, and Attorney
O'Melveny of Los Angeles. Mr. Smith, who is interested in many other enterprises
and projects in Orange County, is well informed and a man of ripe experience and
excellent judgment. His counsels are eagerly sought in matters of commercial and
political importance. His marriage, which occurred June 1, 1910, united him with


Miss Edna Lee, daughter of Albert A. Lee, and they have two sons, George Abbott
and Willard Irving. Mr. Smith is also president of the Serrano Water Company and
is a member of the Republican Central Committee of Orange County. He was made
a Mason in Orange Grove Lodge No. 293, of which he is past master; a member of
Orange Chapter No. 99, R. A. M.; knighted in Santa Ana Commandery No. 36, K. T.;
Los Angeles Consistory 32nd degree; is a life member of Al Malaikah Temple,
A. .\. O. N. M. S., Los Angeles, and with his wife is a member of the Order of Eastern
Star, Orange; he is also a member of Santa Ana Lodge No. 794, B. P. O. Elks.

JOHN A. MAAG. — The owner of two tine ranches which comprise his thirty-one-
acre home place on Fairhaven Avenue, immediately south of the city of Orange, and
sixteen and a half acres at Olive, John A. Maag is a phenomenally successful citrus
grower. His success is due to industry, close attention to every detail of the business,
and unusual executive ability.

He is of German lineage and liirth, having been born in Westphalia, Germany,
October 31, 1851, where his father, Frank Maag, was a tenant farmer, and who died
when John A. was a child two and a half years of age. The mother, Elizabeth
(Schmeltzer) Maag, courageously assumed the responsibility of bringing up her two
sons, John A. and Frank P., kept the family together, and through many vicissitudes and
hardships successfully accomplished the task.

John A. lived in his native country until he was a lad of fourteen. He acquired his
education in the local public schools and in the summer time worked for the neighboring
farmers herding cattle. In 1865 the mother and her two sons sailed from Bremen for
the shores of the New World, and landed at old Castle Garden, New York City, going
thence to their destination at Eagle River, in the Northern Peninsula of Michigan. They
lived in Michigan five years, then went to Columbus, Platte County, Nebr., in 1871,
where the mother took up a homestead. She was the first white woman settler in Union
Township, in Platte County, Nebr. The family lived through the discouragements inci-
dental to the grasshopper scourge, blizzards, and other vicissitudes and hardships, and
young John helped break the virgin sod of Nebraska with oxen. His brother Frank
became a Nebraska farmer and died in that state in 1917, leaving a widow and three
children. On reaching his majority. John A. homesteaded 160 acres, which he improved
and brought under cultivation. This was his first real estate holding and he continued
to farm in Nebraska from 1871 until 1891. He was married in Platte County, Nebr., in
1884, to Miss Catherine Steffes, a native of Michigan, who came to Nebraska as a girl.
Their union was blessed by the birth of twelve children, ten of whom are living. Two
children died in Nebraska, and the youngest six children were born at Orange, Cal.
The ten living children are: Frank P.. a rancher near Olive, married Virgil Meats of
Olive. They are the parents of two children; John W., also engaged in ranching: Mary
lives at home; Joseph A., a rancher in the Santa Ana Canyon; Henry, a rancher at
Covina, married Florence Anions; William H., who married Catherine Kermer, and is
now ranching in Santa Ana Canyon; George W., who is also ranching in the Santa Ana
Canyon, served six months in France in the Thirty-sixth Balloon Company and was
honorably discharged; Charles E., at home; Elizabeth Mary, a student at Ramona
Convent at Shorb, and Clarence Edwin, who is fourteen years of age.

In 1889 Mr. Maag made an extended trip to the Pacific Coast, and was so favorably
impressed with the land of sunshine that he made a second trip in 1891 and visited
Los Angeles and Orange County. He liked Southern California so well that he de-
cided to move his family to the state. When they first came they stopped at Los
.\ngeles and remained five months, purchasing a horse and wagon with which they
drove all over Southern California. Finally, after looking over the country they bought
their nresent home place in the fall of 1891.

Mr. Maag has taken an active part in the community since he first settled in
Orange County. He helped organize the Santiago Orange Growers .\ssociation and was
the second man who subscribed to its stock. He was president of the association two
years and has been a director in it for twenty vears. He is a member of the Central
Lemon Growers Association at Villa Park, which he also helped organize, is a stock-
holder, has served as director ever since the association started, and is still on the
lioard. He is a charter member of the Olive Heights Orange Growers .\ssociation and
lias been' a director in it since its inception, and is still on the board. He is also a
member and director of the Richland W^alnut Growers .Association, as well as the
Orange County Fumigating .\ssociation. He helped organize the Citizens Commercial
and Savings Bank at Santa .Ana. which was afterwards consolidnted pnd is now the Cali-
fornia National Bank, being a stockholder in the institution. In 1899 Mr. Maag built a
fine two-story frame residence which would cost $10,000 to build at the present time.
It is a twelve-room house, commodious and up to date in its appointments. Mr. Maag


was reared in the Catholic faith, and he and his wife and family are communicants ol
St. Joseph's Catholic Church at Santa Ana. Mr. Maag gives due credit to his excellent
helpmate for much of the success he has attained in life. She, like himself, has worked
and striven, early and late, and their large and highly respected family of children are
following in the footsteps of their parents. Upright in character and enterprising in
disposition, Mr. Maag is a man of whom Orange County may well be proud.

ANDREW F. MILLS. — Among the native Californians residing in Orange
County is Andrew F. Mills, more familiarly known as Frank Mills, who occupies a
prominent position among the substantial agriculturists that have acquired a compe-
tency in their calling. His one hundred sixty acres lies half a mile south of Garden
Grove, and is the eastern quarter section of the old Mills family home owned by his
father, who settled in the neighborhood in 1875, fourteen years before Orange County
was organized and before the town of Garden Grove was in existence.

Andrew F. was born at Princeton, Colusa County, Cal., August 18, 1865, and is
the son of Andrew Mills, senior, a California pioneer who came to the coast with a
drove of cattle from Missouri in 1851. The elder Mills, a native of Massachusetts, was
born near Great Barrington in 1814, and as a young man went West, locating in
Missouri, where he married Miss Ruth Ann Ripper, and became a prominent stockman.
After coming to California he settled in Colusa County, where he became one of
California's early and prosperous stockmen and horsemen, at one time owning 2,000
head of cattle. Of the six children in the parental family Julia is the wife ot George
McCrindle, and resides at Long Beach, Cal.; Maria is deceased; Abe died at the age
of twelve; Jane is the wife of James Young, a rancher at Lemoore, Kings County, Cal.,
and Andrew F. and his brother George H. are ranchers at Garden Grove, where
George owns the west quarter section of the old homestead adjoining his brother's
quarter section. Andrew, or "Frank," was ten years old when he accompanied his
parents and their family to Los Angeles County in 1875. Anaheim was their post
office and trading town and there was only one store at Santa Ana in those days.
Frank grew up on his father's ranch and in 1899 was united in marriage with Miss
Ura B. Conkle, daughter of Samuel Q. Conkle. They are the parents of three bright
and interesting children: Andrew R., Ruth M., a student in the Santa Ana high
school, and Floyd H., a pupil in the Garden Grove grammar school. Mr. Mills owns
."■ome of the best soil in the vicinity of Garden Grove and rents his acreage to tenants
for growing chili peppers. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church.

WILLIAM R. YOST. — A sturdy, active man and a very interesting personality,
representing as he does the good old pioneer days of the blacksmith and wagon maker
who knew his trades, and now classed among the properous farmers of the Southland,
is William R. Yost, of Talbert, who was born near Troy, Davis County, Iowa, near the
Missouri boundary line, on January 27, 1863. His father was Isaac Yost, a native of
Indiana, who married Miss Nettie Hix, a native of Iowa. In 1873, they removed to
Santa Ana, Cal., and pitched their tent for a time in what was then called the Gospel
Swamp. In a short time, however, they removed to Santa Ana. In coining west, the
Yosts traveled by way of the Central Pacific, and the Union Pacific, over what was
known as the Ogden Route, to San Francisco, after which they journeyed south on the

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 78 of 191)