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 80 of 191)
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took up the duties of that office. In .\pril, 1920, he was reelected city clerk without
opposition, and has entered upon his second term. He was also made, by virtue of
his office, city assessor. He belongs to the Orange County Bar Association, and as a
Democrat is a member of the Democratic Central Committee from Orange County.
He is a member of the Merchants and Manufacturers Association, and is secretary
and treasurer of the Men's Club of Orange.

While at Huntington Beach, Mr. Wettlin was married to Miss \'era Pryor, a
native of Arkansas, by whom he has had two children — Emma June and David G.. Jr.
He belongs to the Episcopal Church, and was superintendent of the Sunday School
there last year. Mrs. Wettlin belongs to the Christian Church of Orange.

Mr. Wettlin was made a Mason in Woodville Lodge, Miss., and was exalted in
Woodville, Miss., Chapter, R. A. M., and was knighted in the Malta Commandery at
Woodville, He is also a member of the Eastern Star at that place, and is now affili-
ated with Orange Grove Lodge No. 293, F. & A. M., and Orange Grove Chapter
No. 99, R. A. M., and the Santa .\na Commandery, Knights Templar. With Mrs.
Wettlin, he is a member of the Scepter Chapter No. 163, O. E. S., of Orange; he
belongs to the Orange Lodge of Odd Fellows, and he and Mrs. Wettlin are members
of the Rebekahs.

GODFREY J. STOCK. — Prominent among the successful, influential citizens of
Anaheim must be mentioned Godfrey J. Stock, an American doubly interesting be-
cause of his career as a "self-made" man. He was born in Lenawee County, Mich.,
on September 29, 1868, was reared on a farm, and attended the country schools of the
neighborhood. Just twenty years later he arrived at .Anaheim, Cal., where he had
two sisters living; and although he came here sixty dollars in debt, he is now com-
fortably prosperous, having long ago repaid all that he owed.

His first work was for H. C. Gade. who conducted a trucking and transfer busi-
ness; and in time he bought him out, and carried on the business himself. The firm is
now known as the Anaheim Truck and Transfer Company, and it is one of the pioneer
institutions of the city. After selling out, Mr. Stock bought nineteen acres of the John
.Adams ranch on South Walnut Street, then partly set out to fruit, and this property
he has greatly improved with orange and walnut trees. He erected two houses there,
and has made of it one of the best-developed ranches in the county. He also has put
up two modern garage buildings on South Los Angeles Street, on lots he bought
seventeen years ago. For a number of years he has been engaged in real estate trans-
actions, buying, selling and subdividing property, having put several subdivisions to
Anaheim on the market.


Mr. Stock served for a number of years as trustee of the city of Anaheim, and
during that period many important improvements were undertaken. Streets were
paved and sewers were built, and other steps forward made, of which Mr. Stock had
long been a foremost advocate. He is a stockholder, and was formerly a director, in
the' Anaheim Citrus Fruit Association and the Walnut Growers Association, and he
has contributed toward their growth, as he has profited by their activities.

On Christmas Day, 1892, Mr. Stock was married to Miss Mary Boege, a native
of Anaheim, and the daughter of T. J. F. Boege, the pioneer. Three children have
blessed the union. R. F. Stock graduated from the Polytechnic high school in Los
Angeles, and was employed by the General Electric Company when the war broke out,
at which time he resigned and enlisted for service of the U. S. Government in the
electrical engineering and anti-aircraft division. He entered the officers' training-
school, successfully passed the examination, and was commissioned a first lieutenant.
When he arrived in France he was placed with the Searchlight Division, and his
command was at the front when the armistice was signed. He returned to the
United States, and received his honorable discharge, and resumed his former position
with the General Electric Company. He married, in Chicago, Miss Bernardine Price,
formerly of Anaheim, and they have a daughter. Bertha. Oswald Stock is at home.
Arthur, the youngest son, enlisted in the U. S. Marines in 1919 and is still in service.
Both the younger sons graduated from the Anaheim high school. G. J. Stock has
attained to all the chairs in Odd Fellowship and the Encampment, and he is a member
of Anaheim Lodge No. 1345, B. P. O. Elks, and of the Knights of Pythias.

JOHN H. SCHROEDER.— A hard-working rancher, whose intelligent foresight,
industry and thrift have been crowned with success, is John H. Schroeder, of 2203
Lincoln Street, Santa Ana. He was born at Visselhovede, in Hanover, Germany, on
November 20. 1857, the son of Frederick and Mary Schroeder, highly-esteemed residents
of that country, and was educated in the excellent schools of Visselhovede. He lived
at home until he was twenty-two years of age, and then he migrated to .\merica.
Landing at Castle Garden, New York, in 1879, he came almost directly to Napoleon,
Henry County, Ohio, where he spent a few months trying to get his bearings. Then
he went to Kelly's Island, Erie County, Ohio, to work on farms, but soon returned to
Henry County.

In November, 1880, Mr. Schroeder came out to California and soon found employ-
ment as a farm hand in the vicinity of Santa Ana. He also early purchased ten acres
lying between Santa Ana and Tustin, but within a year, sold it. In 1882, he purchased
the homesite on which he is now living. This tract contained fifteen acres, one acre
being planted to a variety of fruit trees. In 1890, he sold two acres, and the remaining
thirteen are now devoted as follows: five acres to walnuts, five to oranges, and three
to apricots. The whole tract is served by the Santa Ana \"alley Irrigation Company.

Some years after the date of these transactions, Mr. Schroeder purchased a
seventeen-acre tract in West Orange, half of which is devoted to walnuts and apricots
interset, and seven acres to oranges. On this tract he built a home which is now
occupied by his son, Albert F. Schroeder. Little by little Mr. Schroeder added improve-
ment after improvement, planting the trees with his own hands, so that he can feel
more than the mere pride of ownership in what he has title to. He is a member of the
Orange, the Apricot and Prune and the Walnut Associations and has always been favor-
able to them as the sure way to market his crops at living prices. He has added, in
the truest sense, to the wealth of the county, as he has, in the education and upbringing
of his family, added to the honor and dignity of the state.

On April 20, 1893, Mr. Schroeder was married to Miss Sophie Haase. daughter
of Frederick and Sophie Haase, and a native, like himself, of Visselhovede. She came
alone to New York in 1885, her parents following seven years later; and reached Cali-
fornia first in 1893. Five children blessed this auspicious union. The eldest was the
late H. William Schroeder, one of the genuine heroes of the late war; while the second
in order of birth was Albert F. Schroeder, who lives on the seventeen-acre ranch in
West Orange. Freda is taking a course in the Normal School at Los Angeles; Carl
is at home working on his father's ranch; and Emma is a pupil in the Santa .\na
grammar school.

Henry William Schroeder, whose sacrifice for his country will be spoken of with
pride so long as the annals of Orange County tell to future generations the devotion
and suffering of Santa Ana youth, entered the United States service in September, 1917.
and trained at Camp Lewis in Company D of the Three-hundred si.xty-fourth Infantry.
In March he was sent to Camp Green, N. C, where he was transferred to Company M
of the Forty-seventh Infantry. At Camp Green he trained for two months, when he
went East to Camp Mills, N. J., and set sail for France. He served in the great

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Chateau Thierry drive, St. Mihiel, and on Septemlier 30, 1918, died in the field hospital,
after notably brave action and initiative, and where he had so conducted himself that
he reflected honor on himself and all those closely related to him, breathing his last
from wounds received in the fierce Meuse-.\rgonne offensive. In such a death as this
of one of the most promising of Orange County's young men, may it not be said
that John H. Schroeder, the pioneer, has generously paid whatever debt he once owed
to the land of his adoption.

ASMUS PETER JACOBSEN.— .\ man whose untiring industry and exemplary
management have made liim comfortably well-to-do, so that now he owns a fine estate
of twenty acres, with a cosy, well-furnished residence, is Asmus Peter Jacobsen, who
first came to California in the "boom" period of the late eighties. He was born in
Flensburg, province of Schleswig, on September 9. 1862, the son of a farmer, on which
account he was reared on a farm and educated in the local schools. In 1878 the Jacob-
sens emigrated to the United States and located at Sycamore, in De Kalb County, 111.,
and there Asmus continued his schooling, while he also assisted his father. He worked
for his father until he was twenty-five years of age, and during that period of faithful
apprenticeship he helped to clear the home place of debt.

In 1887, Mr. Jacobsen pushed out for himself, west to California, and settling at
Orange began to work on a citrus ranch and in a vineyard. His employer was Mr.
Leslie, and the latter soon appreciated both the ability and the willingness of the young
man. Once well established here he married Miss Marie Ehlen, a native of Hanover,
Germany; and with her help as new capital of the most desiraljle kind he rented the
farm of twenty acres he at present owns. In 1902 he was able to buy the ranch, and
he at once set to work to make improvements thereon. He set out the choicest
Valencia oranges and lemons, and added to the number of buildings, and in due time
had a ranch of the kind prized by the most experienced, enabling him with confidence
to share the activities of the Santiago Orange Growers Association, the Central Lemon
Association, and the Richland Walnut Growers Association.

Mr. Jacobsen has a family of four children — Walter, Sirene, Esther and Ernst —
all of whom are at home in the fine residence erected by their father. The family
attend the Lutheran Church, and Mr. Jacobsen serves on the board of trustees. Orange
County has always extended the most cordial welcome to such pioneer settlers as the
Jacobsens, and it must be said that the welcome has not been offered to the thousands
of desirables flocking here in vain.

GEORGE D. DIERKER. — A dependable American citizen of much executive
ability and pleasing personality, who is both an experienced citrus grower and horti-
culturist and a successful business man, is George D. Dierker, who resides with his
family in his beautiful country bungalow on his ranch of twenty-five acres, two and a
half miles northeast of Orange, on Tustin Street. He was born in the fine old county
of St. Charles, in Missouri, on December 9, 1869, and is the oldest son and third child
of Henry Dierker, long one of the most honored citizens of Orange, Cal. When two
years old he was taken to Cuming County. Nebr., where his father was to farm, and
there attended first the common district schools and then the high school at West Point.

In 1892, with the rest of the Dierker family, he came out to California, and settled
at Orange. At first he bought ten acres on an extension of North Main Street, in
the West Orange precinct, and planted the same to Navel oranges, lemons and apricots.
He stayed there ten years, in the meanwhile improving his acreage, and in 1904 sold
it at a good advance in price. Two years before, Mr. Dierker bought his present place,
twelve acres of which he has planted to Valencias, five acres to Navels, and six to
lemons. The balance of the twenty-five acres is given up to yards surrounding his
fine dwelling, which he had erected in 1911-12. He is an active mem1)er of the Villa
Park Orchards Association, which has a packing house at Villa Park as its main ship-
ping point. He is also a director in the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company, which
irrigates 17,000 acres. He has served continuously as director for the past fifteen
years, and was president of the company from 1909 to 1915.

In 1894 Mr. Dierker was married to Miss Lena Bandick, a native of Kansas, who
came to California a little girl in the early eighties, accompanying her parents. Now
they have four children. Agnes W. is the wife of the Rev. W. L. Westerman of
Kansas City. Esther H. is the wife of John Eltistc. of Fullerton. Alma M. is a grad-
uate of the Orange high school. Urban G. is the youngest of the family. Mr. and
Mrs. Dierker are members of the Lutheran Church at Orange, and he served on the
building committee at the time of the erection of the large, new Lutheran Church
edifice in Orange, put up in 1914 at a cost of over $52,000. He has endeavored to lead
a clean, industrious, exemplary life, and votes for the best men and the best measures,
irrespective of party affiliations.


NEREUS H. LEONARD. — A well-known rancher whose exceptional prosperity,
enabling him in later years to live comfortably retired, could not fail to make him
satisfied with Orange County and devoted to the great Golden State, is Nereus H.
Leonard, who long ago campaigned for prohibition, when that ideal, now a glorious
reality, seemed far away as a goal. He was born at Greensboro, N. C-, on January 21,
1852. the son of Elisha and Laura (Rej-noldsj Leonard, who were in sympathy with the
North and opposed to slaver}', and so found it advisable, when sectional troubles came,
to remove to a more peaceful zone. In 1857, therefore, they sold their farm of 100
acres in North Carolina and migrated to Danville, Ind.; and there they stayed until
1860. when they again disposed of their property and removed to Spring \'alley, Minn.
And in the latter place they acquired 200 acres of land.

Nereus Leonard left home in December, 1873, to seek his fortune, and almost
'directly came to San BernarSino, Cal.. where he worked on a ranch and also for W. S.
La Praix in the lumber business. Three years later, he returned to Spring Valley and
purchased a large tract of cheap land; and then, for twenty-one years, he engaged in
the raising of stock on an extensive scale.

On August 22, 1878. Mr. Leonard married Lucy A. Bradley, at Spring Valley, the
daughter of Philo and Marj- Ann (King) Bradley. The Kings early took Government
land in Sumner township and later near Fairmount, Minn., and after great hardships
due to the grasshoppers, they returned to Spring Valley. In 1897, Mr. Leonard came
to California with his family and seventeen years later sold his Spring X'alley holdings.

Choosing Orange County, the Leonards built their home near the old Ocean View
schoolhouse on a ranch of forty acres devoted to celery, corn and potatoes. At the
end of two years, they sold this property, and moved to a ten-acre ranch on Santa
Clara and Grand avenues. There they lived until 1905, when Mr. Leonard purchased
forty-six acres at West Orange, later selling nineteen acres to his son-in-law, C. S.

Mr. Leonard afterward purchased forty acres known as the Mayl>erry Tract; and
this, together with his previous acquisition, gives him sixty fine acres, thirty-two of
which are under the service of the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company. He lived
on his ranch until 1907, when he built a house at 2227 North Broadway, Santa Ana,
and moved into it. On the first of January, 1920, he removed to 601 West Fifth Street,
where he at present resides.

Despite his busy life, Mr. Leonard has alwaj'S been a leader in the promotion of
progressive movements for the community's good, and on no one thing can he look
back with more satisfaction perhaps, than in the active part he took in the organization
of the Orange County Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company, a sketch of this
company being given elsewhere in this work. A member of its first board of directors,
Mr. Leonard served as its vice-president for several years, and personally wrote the
first four or five applications filed with the secretary of the company.

Four children have honored these worthy parents. The eldest is Mrs. Eleanor
Minter. who lives on a ranch at the north end of Bristol Street and the mother of four
children — Ivo. Neal Dow, Glenn and Claudine. Doxander P. resides on a ranch in West
Orange. He married Edna M. Ward and they have four children — Dorothy, Dorcas,
Rodney and Hazel. Edith has become Mrs. E. F. Minter. of Sanger, Fresno County;
while the fourth in the order of birth is Frances, who is a student nurse at the Santa
Ana Hospital.

D. R. MACDONALD. — Emphatically a man of energy and enterprise, who is
aiding in a most substantial way the higher development of the citrus industry of
Orange County is D. R. Macdonald, the popular and successful dealer in fertilizers.
He was born in Ontario, Canada. May 25. 1873, and when he reached young manhood
migrated to the United States, locating in Montana, where he entered the employ of
Nelson Story, on his 4.000-acre ranch near Bozeman. At first he rode the range as a
cowboy; later on he was advanced to the responsible position of foreman of the Story
ranch, where both cattle and grain were raised.

During the year 1901, Mr. Macdonald located in Seattle, Wash., where he engaged
in the contracting business, making a specialty of street grading, and did a large and
important work in cutting down the hills and leveling the land in that city. In 1910,
Mr. Macdonald came to California and located at San Diego, where he w-as engaged
as superintendent of construction work under State Highway Engineer A. B. Fletcher,
and helped in constructing the splendid state highway in San Diego County; he also
built the roadway on the Poway grade and helped in the construction of other roads
in the county.

In May, 1916, Mr. Macdonald came to Orange County, locating at Garden Grove,
where he engaged in raising sugar beets. Later, with keen business foresight, he saw



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an opportunity for the development of a great field in the handling and selling of
fertilizers, for in these days of scientific farming a broad knowledge of fertilizers and
modern methods of their application to certain soils is absolutely essential to success,
and this is particularly true in citrus culture. With his characteristic progressive spirit
he entered into the new venture and opened an office at Anaheim at 171 West Center
Street, and has built up a large and lucrative business. Not only does he furnish
fertilizer to the orchardists, but makes contracts for spreading it. One of the largest
contracts received by him was one for 139 carloads of fertilizer for the Sam Kraemer
ranch at Placentia.

In June, .1901. Mr. Macdonald was united in marriage with May Pickering, a native
of Utah. Fraternally he is a member of the Woodmen of the World, and in religious
matters he is a member of the Catholic Church. One of Anaheim's sterling and
dependable citizens, he can always be found enthusiastically supporting every move-
ment for the advancement of the best interests of Orange County.

J. FRANK SCHWEITZER.— California has been fortunate in the largo number
of expert workmen of one kind or another who have been attracted to her. promising
domain, and who have therefore made no small contribution toward her development
on broad, progressive lines, and among such efficient workers must be mentioned J.
Frank Schweitzer, the popular foreman of the Brea and Pacific gasoline plant. He is an
Ohioan by birth, and so comes rather naturally by a liking for, and a l<nowledge of an
industry early developed in parts of the East and now so important in California.

Born at Toledo on February 3. 1877, Frank is the son of William and Mary
(Luty) Schweitzer, both of whom are now living, retired from their long and active
labors. They were worthy folk, and devoted to their three children; and none the less
helpful to our subject, the second child, who was sent to the grammar schools and then
given two years of study at the high school.

As soon as a good opportunity presented itself, Frank learned the trade of a
machinist, and this he worked at previous to coming to California in 1905. At first he
located at Olinda, in Orange County, and since then, his experience and ability being
more and more recognized, he has had charge of various shops.

In 1914 Mr. Schweitzer took the position which he holds at the present time and
which he fills so well to the satisfaction of all concerned. He has became an active
member of the Chamber of Commerce, and although recognized as a Republican in
matters of national politics he supports the best men and measures in local aflfairs;
Tie was once appointed to fill a vacancy in the city trustees, and since then he has been
elected for a four-year term beginning with 1918.

On July 24, 1906, Mr. Schweitzer was married to Miss Julia E. Meissner. by whom
lie has had two children, Dorothy and J. Frank, Jr. The family attend the Christian
Church, and cooperate in all movements for social uplift, as they also show their
public-spiritedness in endeavoring to raise civic standards.

JOHN ALLEN AKERS.— .\ native son of the great Golden State, who. by hard,
intelligent work has won a place for himself in the agricultural world, is John Allen
Akers, residing with his family in the La Habra district of Orange County. He was
born at Santa Paula. Ventura County, November 23, 1872, the second eldest son of
John Akers, born at Salem, Ind.. November 26. 1835. but was a farmer in Iowa, whither
lie went as a young man and there married, March 25, 1858, Miss Sarah Harbord, who
was born in Missouri on December 7, 1841. With three small children the family
crossed the plains with ox-teams iii an early day and settled near Salt Lake City, where
Mr. Akers operated a sawmill for two years. There another child was born. The
family came to California in November. 1866, and for a while lived at El Monte,
later moving to the vicinity of Santa Paula, where they stopped a short time and then
settled on a ranch of 200 acres on the Sespe River, near the town of Fillmore, improved
the place and raised grain and stock. Mr. .^kers met an accidental death on May 6.
1885. This ranch is still in the possession of the family. Of their eight children, seven
are alive. Mrs. Akers is living at Santa Paula and is in the enjoyment of all her
faculties and the best of health. Her father. Robert Harbord. was a soldier in the
Black Hawk War. and a brother. James Harbord. died from exposure while a soldier
in the Northern .\rmy during the Civil War.

John .'X. .\kers attended the common schools of his district until he was thirteen,
when the circumstances of his father's death threw the responsibility of the care of
his mother and two younger children upon his shoulders, and he was thus able to
minister to and relieve his devoted mother of much hard work. When the season's
work on the ranch was finished he went to work in the oil fields north of their ranch
and at the age of twenty-five was an expert driller. In 1900, he removed to Orange
County and entered the employ of a contractor in drilling oil wells for the Brea Oil
Company, making his home in the canyon. In 1902 Mr. .\kers bought twenty acres of


land, where he now makes his home and upon which he set out a walnut grove in 1905.
Such were the conditions of the soil at that time that he was ridiculed for his pur-
chase and attempt to raise walnuts without irrigation. While the grove was matur-
ing the family lived in Los .Kngeles, whither they had moved after the oil industry had
taken a slump and where he found employment until 1910, when they settled on their
ranch. In spite of all discouragements Mr. Akers continued his experimental work,
and in 1919 he harvested sixteen tons of nuts from his acreage, ninety per cent of
which were classed as Al. This fine crop he marketed independently. He has also
developed a fine family orchard of pears and other fruits.

At Los Angeles on December 20, 1900, Mr. Akers was married to Miss Eva May-
Chase, the daughter of Fred G. Chase, a pioneer merchant of Los Angeles. He was

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 80 of 191)