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 86 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 86 of 191)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


fifteen votes for President Wilson.

Dr. and Mrs. Head moved to Santa Ana in 1905, and in 1919. they celebrated
their golden wedding very fittingly at the County Park. The local newspaper in
chronicling the event said: "'Ihe long table was decorated with golden flowers, and
conspicuous among the good things was an enormous wedding cake, made by a daugh-
ter-in-law, Mrs. Clare Head, with the two dates, 1869-1919. At the extreme end of the
table, where the bride and groom of fifty years ago sat, was a clever poster made by
Hugh Johnson, a gifted grandson. At the close of the beautiful repast, H. C. Head, the
eldest son arose, and after a felicitous speech, presented on behalf of the sons and
daughters, a handsome gold watch, suitably engraved, to his father and a beautiful gold
chain and lavalliere to his mother. Dr. and Mrs. Head have seven children and fourteen
grandchildren living, all of whom were present yesterday to rejoice with them. They
have lived in this vicinity ever since 1876, and for many years Dr. Head practiced his
profession. Often in an early day when there was destitution or sharp need, the patient
was taken to his own home and cared for by himself and his wife. Many of the old
settlers here have reason to remember these good people with gratitude. They and
their newer friends join with the family in wishing them continued health and
happiness."

It was not long, however, before the same newspaper announced the sad news of
Dr. Head's death in the headlines: "Dr. Head, Well-known Citizen. Passes Away:
Active in Public Affairs — Served in the Legislature in 1884-85." It reviewed his ener-
getic and fruitful life, and added this comment:

"Throughout his life in this section. Dr. Head was deeply interested in public
affairs. He was long a recognized leader in the Democratic party, first in Los .\ngeles
County and later in Orange County. In 1883 he was elected as assemblyman for a
district that at that time comprised the eastern part of Los Angeles County, including
what is now Orange County and the Pomona \'alley. When residents of what is now
Orange County made a fight in 1887 at Sacramento for a bill for the creation of
Orange County, Dr. Head was one of those selected to go to Sacramento and work for
the passage of the bill. Throughout the active period of his life in this section. Dr.
Head was a power in various public activities. He was a man of genial personality and
forceful character. While unable to take part in public affairs in recent years, he never
lost his keen interest in them. He was a man of wide acquaintance, one who had
hosts of friends all over the county."

E. C. MARTIN.— Born shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. and left
fatherless during the terrible days of that great conflict, the early life of E. C. Martin
was one of extreme hardship. L'ndismayed by the obstacles confronting him, however,
•he has steadily risen through his own untiring efforts and now occupies a gratifying
position as one of the substantial and influential men of his community.

Alabama w-as Mr. Martin's native state and here he was born on January 20, 1860.
near Guntersville, in Marshall County. His parents were Asbury and Martha (Pogue)
Martin, and shortly after their marriage, which took place in Georgia, they removed
to northern Alabama. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin, all of whom are
living: Sophrona is the widow of George King and resides in Tulare County; James H.
is raising cotton in Arizona: William Theodore resides at Santa Ana. where he is in
the employ of the city; E. C, the subject of this biography, and Josephine, the wife of
William H. Barker, a fruit grower of Tulare County. Mrs. Martin removed to Colp-
rado. remaining there for some time, then came to California, where she resided until
her death in June, 1915, near \'isalia.

Directly after the beginning of the Civil War, Asbury Martin enlisted in the
Confederate Army and was soon engaged in active service. During the desperate fight-
ing in the battle of Chickamauga in 1863 he was wounded three times, and died on the
way to the hospital; like many others who perished in this fierce conflict, he lies in an
unknown grave. His wife was a noble woman and although her family had been
financially ruined by the war, she succeeded in keeping her little family together, but
only at the cost of the hardest struggle for a livelihood. When E. C. w-as five years old
the mother took her children to Bedford County, Tenn.. and here she rented land and
farmed. Here he attended school for a few years, but his educational advantages were
meager, for as soon as he was old enough he had to render what assistance he could
toward the support of the family. He began working out on neighboring farms, remain-
ing in Tennessee until he w^as twenty-one years of age, and being ambitious for a better
education he attended Palmetto Academy, Palmetto. Tenn. He then went to Navarro
County. Texas, where he obtained a teacher's certificate, his education having been at-




(wf-^ C{ f)V(M^



HISTORY OF ORANGE COL'XTY 761

tained almost entirely through his own individual efforts, and here he taught school for
several terms.

He then engaged in farming in Texas and through his tireless industry he became
the owner of a farm of 220 acres near Corsicana. This he devoted largely to growing
grain and cotton and to stock raising and in this he was very successful, becoming one
of the prosperous farmers of that vicinity. After a residence of twenty years in Texas, .
during which time he had brought his place up to a high state of cultivation, he disposed
of it at a good profit in the fall of 1901, and came to California with his family in
January, 19U2. 1 hey settled at Santa Ana and within a month after his arrival here he
bought the eight-acre farm at 1176 East Chestnut Avenue, and here he still makes his
home m the beautiful mansion erected by the late Mr. Crookshank for his own resi-
dence. From time to time Mr. Martin increased his holdings until he had twenty-eight
acres, and this he steadily improved, continually increasing its value. Recently Mr.
Martin disposed of half of his acreage, retaining fourteen acres, which is planted to
walnuts, now in full bearing and bringing in a handsome income. He is active in the
Santa Ana VN'alnut Growers Association, and served as a director of that organization
for three years. .About the year 1908 he bought a 428-acre ranch near Tulare, on which
he raised alfalfa for four years, selling the ranch at a profit; he now owns a sixty-acre
alfalfa ranch eight miles west of Tulare.

Mr. Martin's marriage, which occurred at Bazette. Texas, October 25, 1885, united
him with Miss Roxie Moon, a native of that state. Mrs. Martin was orphaned in her
early childhood and she was reared by Mr. and Mrs. John W. Pope, who accompanied
Mr. and Mrs. Martin when they came to California and spent their last years with them.
Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin: Martha Agnes is the wife of
J. Roy Adams of Imperial, who is in the real estate business there and a member of the
board of supervisors of Imperial County: John A. married Miss Rosalie Lyon and is a
rancher at Tulare; Charles E. is a graduate of the University of California and also of
Columbia University, New York, where he received his Ph.D. degree; he is now assist-
ant professor of international law at the University of California; Eva is a graduate of
the University of California, class of '18. and she has just recently taken her master's
degree; Edith Grace is a student at the Santa Ana high school.

Mr. and Mrs. Martin are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and
Mr. Martin has been a local preacher in that denomination for thirty-six years, having
been licensed to preach when twenty-four years of age. They are very active in the
work of the church and for eight years Mr. Martin was superintendent of the Sunday
school and is now the teacher of the men's Bible class. A consistent Christian, his noble
Christian manhood has been a source of strength to the community. .A Democrat in
national itolitics, he always puts principle above party in local measures.

JAMES F. CONLEY. — How much a young man may accomplish of what is worth
while if only he directs his energies and expends his time in the proper way, is admirably
illustrated in the case of James F. Conley, the rancher of Yorba Linda. He was born
in Clay County, 111., on January 8. 1871. and attended the common schools of Hoosier
I'rairie. His father was a pioneer farmer in Clay County, and as the eldest of a family
of three sons, James hired out for farm work, at the early age of thirteen years, at only
eight dollars per month wages. Then, for some years, he worked equally hard as a
farm hand at thirteen dollars a month, and he labored in the broom-corn fields at one
dollar a day, to earn money to come to California.

While a mere youth. James Conley had looked toward the Far West with eager
interest, and in 1887. the boom period, two years before Orange County was formed,
Mr. Conley .came out to Orange with W. H. Isom and was employed with Mr. Har-
grave in planting out vineyards around Orange and Santa Ana. He also worked
around as a ranch hand for Mr. Craig, and later he was employed by Owen Handy, the
pioneer rancher of Villa Park. The following year, on January 5, 1891, Mr. Conley
was married to Miss Nettie Handy, the only daughter of Owen Handy, now the mo'her
of their one child, Mary Gladys, who has become the wife of E. A. Taylor, the rancher
and expert mechanic of Yorba Linda.

In 1911, Mr. Conley came to Yorba Linda, the pioneer of the valley and the first
to erect a fine residence at Yorba Linda. He purchased ten acres of the best soil that
he could locate, and today he has a profitable grove of ten acres of Valencia oranges.
He is a member of both the .Anaheim Union and the Yorba Linda Water companies,
and is well supplied with water for irrigation. The recent oil boom has induced many
of the ranchers to lease to oil companies, but thus far Mr. Conley has held aloof and
refused such offers. Prior to his advent at Yorba Linda. Mr. Conley farmed for six
years in the Irvine district, and during that time he was located close to the Orange
County Park, and before that, he enlarged his experience in agriculture by leasing land
from the George B. Bi.xby estate. A member of the Chamlicr of Commerce of Vorba



762 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

Linda, Mr. Conley lends a hand in every way possible for the advancement of the best
interests of the community in which he lives and prospers.

Mr. Conley was instrumental in securing the right-of-way and deeds to the prop-
erty required for the Yorba Linda Boulevard, to be held by Orange County, and for
a number of years served as overseer of road work in the third Fullerton district. He
had charge of grading roads and developing new thoroughfares in the section around
Yorba Linda, and no road work in Orange County shows to greater advantage than
that vouched for by Mr. Conley. This ability to execute what is regarded as among
the most important of public works is recognized in such recent engagements as that
for Mr. Conley from the La Habra Heights Developing Company, where he acted as
foreman and completed grading and reservoir work laid out by the chief engineer. He
has also completed three miles of road work for the National Exploration Company,
in the Olinda district. Mr. Conley has participated in practically every important
movement for the betterment of Yorba Linda and vicinity, and it is not surprising that
he is among the most esteemed residents of the district.

BERNARD ARROUES.— Among the well-known families of Orange County is
noted that of Bernard Arroues, of the Brea district, where he has lived with his inter-
esting family since 1912, and where he is welcomed as a progressive citizen and a
prosperous citrus grower and general rancher.

France was Mr. Arroues' native land, and his birthplace was in Basses-Pyrenees,
where he first saw the light of day October 10, 1873. His parents were Jean and
Marie Arroues, farmer folk of that section of France, and here Bernard Arroues spent
his boyhood days, attending school and assisting his father on the farm, sheep raising
being the main industry in that locality. Coming to America at the age of eighteen,
Mr. Arroues located in Orange County in 1892, going into the sheep business. His
first three years here were spent on the Irvine ranch, and he then grazed sheep on the
old Bolsa Chico and Bolsa Grande ranches, the present site of Huntington Beach, for
seven years. Subsequent to this he formed a partnership with the Toussau Brothers,
and together they ran from 6,000 to 8,000 head of sheep. As this land was gradually
sold ofi and divided into small ranches, sheep raising was no longer so profitable,
so Mr. Arroues disposed of his herds, and in 1904 purchased a tract of 100 acres
southwest of Brea. Here he engaged in general farming, raising hay, beans and
corn on land that had never before been under cultivation. In 1907 Mr. Arroues
erected his comfortable home on the ranch, and two years later he set out twenty-
five acres of it to lemons and Valencia oranges, now in full bearing and bringing
him a handsome income. Recently he has added seven acres more to his orchard,
this tract being set to walnuts, oranges and lemons. He has installed a splendid
pumping plant of hi§ own which has a capacity of fifteen inches, so that he is thor-
oughly prepared to take care of his crops, no matter how dry the season may be.

At Fullerton, on August 20, 1903, Mr. Arroues was united in marriage with
Bliss Marcelina Yturi, who was born in Spain, in the district just south of the
Pyrenees. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Arroues: Jean Jose, is a
student at (he Fullerton high school, and Katherine, Josephine and Marcelina attend
the public school at Brea. The family are members of the Roman Catholic Church
at Fullerton. Mr. Arroues became a naturalized citizen of the .United States in 1900,
and ever since that time has been loyal to all movements that have helped to build
up the place he selected for his home. One of the early settlers of this part of Orange
County, Mr. Arroues can indeed feel that his success is due entirely to his steady
hard work and the thrift and industry that are characteristic of his French fore-
bears, as coming here with practically no means he has accumulated a generous
portion of this world's goods.

PALO ALTO FISHER. — A conservative, but very successful contractor active in
hard work for nearly forty years is P. A. Fisher, of Laguna Beach, popularly known
by all who are acquainted with and esteem him as "OT Dad Fisher," who was
able, some years ago, to retire to his equally well-known and appropriately named
ranch, "Sweet Home." He was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Va., on May 19, 1848,
the son of Abraham Fisher, also a Virginian, and an expert mechanic and blacksmith.
His ancestors on the Fisher side came from the British Isles, while his maternal ances-
tors migrated from Holland. Abraham Fisher had married Miss Lucy Shepard, and she
was a native of Pennsylvania. They both attended the Methodist Church, and Abra-
ham Fisher stood so well in the community that he was the justice of the peace.

Our subject attended the log cabin school, but only for about fourteen months,
and most of the education he acquired was after the .Abraham Lincoln fashion — reached
after and seized by himself. An older brother, Benjamin, enlisted as a lad of only
sixteen years in the Confederate Army and served for four years during the Civil War;



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 765

and after that awful conflict, the family found itself wrecked, with everything lost
save the resolution to work and retrieve.

P. A. Fisher remained in Virginia until 1872, and for a number of years worked
on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Then he set out for Illinois, and on October
27. 1872, located in Woodford County, where he helped to survey and lay out the
town of Roanoke. He himself bought town property, and being on the high road to
prosperity, decided to take the ne.\t great step and set up his own domestic estab-
lishment. Establishing himself as a contractor in painting, he also became police
magistrate in Roanoke, an office he held for twelve years; during the coal strike in
1873, he was appointed deputy sheriff, and rendered valuable service. He was also for
several years a member of the Democratic County Central Committee.

In 1909, Mr. Fisher came out to California and Laguna Beach, where he continued
to take contracts for work. Two years later, he purchased a ranch, in partnership with
his son-in-law, Frank B. Champion, located in the canyon three miles north of Laguna,
and containing thirty-one acres. In 1914, he built a fine residence there, and named the
farm, the "Sweet Home Ranch." In various ways he improved the property, and
brought it to such a high state of cultivation that he has been al)le to grow success-
fully walnuts, pears, berries, apples and some melons and vegetables. At the present
time, Mr. Fisher is the sole owner of this very productive ranch, for in 1918 he pur-
chased his son-in-law's share. On his ranch he has developed a valuable source of
water, known by the appreciative neighbors as the Joseph Spring.

In September, 1873, Mr. Fisher was married to Clara S. Robinson of Roanoke,
111., of Virginian parents, and two children blessed this fortunate union. Virginia is
now the wife of Frank B. Champion, of Laguna Beach, and the mother of one son,
Frank B., Jr. And Orpha has become Mrs. Raymond L. Jones, of Oakland, and the
mother of three children, Dorothy Estella, Orpha Clara and Raymond L., Jr. Mrs.
Jones is a university graduate of Normal, 111., In 1884 Mrs. Fisher died, and on
April 18. 1886, at Roanoke, 111., Mr. Fisher was married again, this time to Miss Anna
Elizabeth Coverly, of Apple River, 111., who proved a kind and devoted stepmother
to the half-orphaned children; besides these children Mr. and Mrs. Fisher have reared
two girls, Mattie, Mrs. \V. T. Summers of Long Beach and the mother of four children,
Frances, William, Beatrice and Martha; and Nellie M. who died at the age of eighteen.
Mr. Fisher is a Mason, and in politics he seeks to act with a liberal mind.

R. CLARKSON COLMAN. — Prominent among the successful young artists of
California may be mentioned R. Cl&rkson Colman of Laguna Beach, who has made
that place in Orange County his permanent abode, regardless of future tours of the
world in search of life and local color. He was born in Elgin, 111., on January 27,
1884, the younger of two sons of Sumner M. Colman, a descendant from the well-known
family of Colman, that have lived for generations at Colman Station, named for them,
on the Illinois Central Railroad. His mother was Miss Charlotte Clarkson, also a
native of Illinois, the daughter of George Clarkson, who was a pioneer mining engineer
of Leadville, and a member of a family hailing originally from England where they had
been seafaring men for generations.

From his earliest memory of things, R. Clarkson Colman had a strong desire to
draw and paint. When very young he was influenced by the paintings of Henry A.
Elkins and A. W. Kenney who were artist friends of his family, and well-known land-
scapists of a decade ago. At the age of sixteen he studied with L. H. Yarwood, of
Chicago, and sketched independently through Illinois, and Southern Wisconsin, along
the Fox River being his most favored sketching grounds. Mr. Colman in 1903 joined
his parents, who had moved to Dallas, Tex., and established a studio there, making
numerous sketching trips to the Gulf of Mexico. He received a commission to paint
the old Indian forts of West Texas; commencing with Fort Concho at San Angelo,
at the extreme spur of the Santa Fe Railroad, continuing to Fort Pecos on the Pecos
River. This arduous but delightful task kept him busy for two years. He spent
some time in San Antonio, later moving to Waco. He exhibited at the principal
exhibitions in the state; taking first prize at the Texas Cotton Exposition, in 1920.

On the fourteenth of July, 1909, Mr. Colman was married to Miss Frances M.
Fannin, a graduate of the MulhoUand School at San .Vntonio, Tex. Mrs. Colman is i
member of a prominent Texas family, closely connected with the making of the early
history of Texas — the heroes. Colonel Fannin and James Bowie, being of the same
family. She was the only child of Dr. and Mrs. Frank Fannin of San .\ntonio.

In 1911, accompanied by his wife. R. Clarkson Colman went to Europe, touring
Germany, and Belgium, and settled at Paris; where he studied under Jean Paul Laurens,
Academic Julien, and later at the Grande Chaumerie. He studied, sketched, and painted
in Italy and southern France; and visited Switzerland and England, in each advancing
his own technique and demonstrating to foreigners the native genius of a son of the



766 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

New World. Mr. and Mrs. Colman returned to America in 1913. After spending sev-
eral months in New York and Chicago, they came to California, spending the first
winter in Pasadena, later having a studio in Los Angeles. The year 1916 was spent at
La Jolla where he painted and taught. In 1917 he was director of the Santa Ana Art
Academy.

Laguna Beach, having been a favorite sketching grounds for some time, he
decided he had found there the "soul of his dreams," so, bought several hne ocean
front lots on which he has his studio and home. This cosmopolitan artist is a great
addition to the growing colony at Laguna. He is a member of the San Diego Art
Guild, the California Art Club, and the Laguna Beach Art Association of which he is
a charter member. The Popular Prize at the 1920 Annual August Exhibition of the
Laguna Beach Art Association was awarded Mr. Colman's canvas, "Summer Radiance."
Mr. Colman is one of our most successful and best-known marine painters, exhibiting
annually at Riverside, Pasadena, and Los Angeles, and in cities in other states. His
pictures have been shown in many women's clubs. The Santa Monica Bay Women's
Club recently purchased one of his paintings for their collection. He is represented
in the public library of Waco, Tex., and Ajo, Ariz., and many private collections.

Mr. Colman is an enthusiastic motorist, and the automobile is now the magic
carpet of the artist carrying him quickly to his desired sketching grounds. Since
coming to California he has painted the Coast from San Diego to San Francisco; and
declares the scenic beauty equal to the Riviera.

Good fortune seems to have attended this artist all his life, for he luckily
escaped death twice. When a boy. he was accidentally shot ))y a playmate, who sent
bullets flying wildly into his knee joint, and through his right arm; later he fell eighty-
four feet from a cliiif, and escaped without injury. He is a Republican in national
political aflfairs, and an enthusiastic American. Both he and his wife have many
admirers in a large circle of friends.

EDWARD SPENCER JONES.— Another illustration of the lure of California for
those who have once lived here and wandered away is afforded in the experience of
Edward Spencer Jones, a worthy rancher, who by hard work and the application of the
best that he had to offer, has done his share and liberally, too. toward making Orange
County what it is today. He first settled in this country in 1874, but from 1880 to 1885
he was absent from the state and only returned in the middle eighties to remain here
"for good." He is a native of Illinois and was born in Huey, Clinton County, in the
Prairie State on July 7, 1857. There he received his education and early training in
the great task of earning a living and in 1874 he came directly from Illinois to what
is now Orange County. His father was John M. Jones, who married Miss Mary J.
Phillips, born in Kentucky and Indiana, respectively. The father was a farmer and
died when thirty-two years of age, his wife having preceded him several years. Three
uncles of Edward Jones served in the Civil War, Michael. Charles and James Jones,
the former and latter holding commissions as officers. Three children were born of
the union of John M. and Mary (Phillips) Jones, but the subject of this sketch is the
only one of them now living.

Left an orphan when fourteen years old, Edward S. Jones since then has paddled
his own canoe, working on farms in Illinois for a livelihood for a time. In 1874 he
arrived in Santa Ana, Cal., and found employment on the O'Neill ranch, where he rode
the range for two years; next he drove the stage between Santa Ana and San Diego,



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 86 of 191)