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 89 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 89 of 191)
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In 188S, the farm in Kansas having appreciated in value, under an honest admin-
istrator, Mr. Helmsen returned to Leavenworth and sold his holding for $10,000, a
sum which he brougJit back to California and invested advantageously. He purchased
forty acres of land at Placentia, when land on Placentia avenue was selling for fifty
dollars an acre, paying for the same just $2,000, which he improved, and later sold the
tract for $17,000. He made other investments here, and established himself in busi-
ness in the building now owned by John Cassou on West Center Street, and later
purchased the property adjoining this building on the east, and up to his retirement
from business in 1913 conducted his stationery and notion establishment at that place.
For this property he paid about $6,000, and it is now worth at least $50,000. He also
purchased property on East Center, South Claudina and Olive streets, and was one
of the organizers of the German-American Bank, becoming one of the heaviest stock-
holders and its vice-president, which office he held until his death.

Mr. Helmsen was also interested in land in the Imperial ^'alley, where he
acquired 640 acres of school land; he sold a quarter section of it, and the balance is
still owned by Mrs. Helmsen.

In 1911 Mr. Helmsen was married to Mrs. Jane D. (Cross) Green, born at Chau-
mont, Jefferson County, N. Y., the daughter of Geo. W. and Harriet Canfield (McPher-
■ son) Cross. The father died at Cape Vincent, and his widow, with her four chil-
dren, came to Orange County in 1885, where her two brothers, Stephen and Robt.
McPherson, were large ranchers. She now makes her home with Mrs. Helmsen, at
the age of seventy-six years. Mrs. Helmsen came to Anaheim about twenty-seven
years ago as manager for the Western Union Telegraph Company, and later for eight
years was assistant postmaster of Anaheim. She still owns the Helmsen Block on
West Center Street. Mr. Helmsen gave to the town half of the lot on which the
City Hall now stands, and he was a trustee of Anaheim for eight years, half of that
time serving as mayor or chairman of the board. He was a prominent Mason, belong-
ing to the Anaheim Lodge, of which he was secretary for nineteen years. He was also
known as "the boys' friend," and started many of them on the road to success and
fortune. He taught them to save, to keep out of pool rooms and loafing places, and to
lead clean and honest lives; and it is impossible, therefore, to state how far-reaching
was his example and influence for good, and his life is certainly worthy of emulation.

EMIL R. TURCK.— To learn one thing thoroughly, and then to spend the active
years of life in the industry for which both study and natural inclination have fitted one,
is to carry on the world's work to the best of any man's ability, and it is such work
that is building up our civilization of today. Such a man is Emil R. Turck, one of the
prominent citizens of Orange County. Born .August 6, 1857, in Brandenburg, Germany,
he received his education in the public schools of that country, and in the engineering
school, later taking a course in sugar chemistry in a German college. He has followed
the sugar industry all his life since finishing his studies, and in Germany was chemist
in the leading sugar factories.

Coming to the United States, in 1890, Mr. Turck was chief chemist for the sugar
beet company at Grand Island, Nebr. When the American Sugar Factory was being
built, at Chino, Cal., in 1891-92, he came there and was chief chemist at that factory
for fourteen years, up to 1906, when he located at .Anaheim, and for a time gave up
his life work to engage in horticulture. He bought seven acres of land on South
Lemon Street, and planted an orange grove, which he brought to a high state of culti-
vation. In 1913, Mr. Turck became chief chemist for the .\naheim Sugar Company, and
continued in that position until 1917, when he retired and spends his time looking after
a twenty-acre orange grove, the property of his wife and her sister, situated on North
Lemon Street. An expert in sugar refining, Mr. Turck has taken a large part in the


development of the comparatively new industry in the state, and as such takes rank
with other able men who have helped, each individual to the best of his ability in his
chosen line, in making California the richest state in the union. It is to such that
the praise of posterity is due.

The marriage of Mr. Turck united him with Clementine E. Schmidt, daughter of
Theodore Schmidt, one of the original fifteen settlers of Anaheim, who came from
Germany in 1857 and bought 1,200 acres at the purchase price of two dollars per acre,
and founded the town of Anaheim; Mr. Schmidt himself selected the name of the
town. Water was brought from the river, vineyards planted and the town started.
A more extensive biography of Mr. Schmidt will be found elsewhere in the work, and
of the body of men who made this garden spot of the state possible.

One son has blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Turck; Arthur W., a graduate
of the University of California with the class of 1919, and who served as ensign in the
U. S. Navy during the World War, doing his share to preserve the rights of his
country, though he did not see foreign service. He is now with a bond and banking
house in Oakland. Fraternally, Mr. Turck is a member of the Mother Colony Club
of Anaheim, and of the Odd Fellows. All movements that mean the upbuilding and
development of the county have received his substantial assistance, and his unqualified
approval for the advancement of his community.

JACOB MUELLER. — A very successful citrus grower who, with the aid of his
good wife and excellent family, has amassed, after the hard work and residence of a
third of a century in Orange, a comfortable competency, is Jacob Mueller, a native of
Schawallingen, Sa.xe-Meiningen, in the heart of Germany, where he was born in 1860.
There he attended scTiool, and early received such a substantial grounding in the things
worth while knowing, that later, in more leisure hours, he has been able by self-culture
to add materially to his knowledge and capability. He was also so well drilled in the
practical affairs of life that when he pushed out and was far away from home in the New
World, he was better able than many other pioneers to grapple with raw and difficult

When just twenty years of age, Mr. Mueller crossed the Atlantic to the United
States at a time when the tide of emigration from Germany was still at its height, and
tarrying but a short time in the great metropolis of New York, he made his way west
to Allen County, Kans., and at Humboldt he followed for seven years his trade, which
was that of a stonemason. While in Humboldt he was married to Miss Johanna
Hoffman, a native of Wallbach, Saxe-Meiningen, Germany, and the daughter of Valen-
tine and Caroline (Goldschmidt) Hogman. Her father was also a stonemason, and
brought her out to .\llen County, Kans., when she was fourteen years old. and in that
state both he and his wife passed to their eternal reward. A sister of Mrs. Mueller
remained in Germany and died there. A brother came to Kansas, and during the Span-
ish-American War enlisted in the United States Navy. He served on the "Mariette"
and accompanied the "Oregon" around Cape Horn. It is thought that he went to
South Africa during the Boer W'ar, but he has not been heard from for many years, and
is probably dead. Mrs. Mueller, therefore, is probably the only member of the Hoffman
family now living.

From Humboldt, Kans.. on June 25, 1887 — the year of the great "boom" in Cali-
fornia — Mr. Mueller and his bride came to Orange County and settled at Orange, and
for about a year he worked out by the day. The next year, he leased the Gallagher
place, now the Fairhaven Cemetery. He bought his first place, consisting of eleven
acres, at the corner of Fairhaven and Grand avenues, on October 30, 1895. It was set
out to walnuts at that time, and he and his devoted wife had to work very hard to care
for it and make it pay. Since then he has replanted the acreage, so that it is now in
anricots, Valencia oranges and lemons, and has built a substantial and ornate cement-
block dwelling house, and made many other improvements.

His next purchase was tlie.plot of land now his home-place on Fairhaven Avenue.
at the south end of Glassell Street, consisting of 11.59 acres, which he bought on July
12, 1897. He made his third and last purchase on January 7, 1901, when he bought 7.17
acres on Grand Avenue, adjoining the eleven acres he first acquired. All three of these
places are situated in the southern part of the city of Orange, in a section giving every
promise of a bright future. Besides that, Mr. Mueller owns some residence property in
Anaheim, and also some residence property at Huntington Beach . He is a member of
the Santiago Orange Growers .\ssociation, the Villa Park Lemon Growers .Association
and the Orange Walnut Growers Association.

During these years of strenuous activity, Mr. and Mrs. Mueller have reared an
attractive family of six children. The eldest, Gustav Herman, studied at St. John's
College, at Concordia. Mo., from 1904 until 1909. when he married Huldah Stucrkc ni


Sweet Springs, Mo. He became a rancher at Orange, and died on -March 1, 1920,
lamented by a wide circle of friends, and leaving a widow and one child, Alvira. Emil
Carl, the second in the order of birth, was in the United States Army, serving overseas
in France and after the armistice was with the Army of Occupation stationed at
Coblenz, Germany, until he returned to the United States, when he was mustered out
in August, 1920, and is now at home. Ernest F. Mueller is a graduate of Oakland Col-
lege and afterwards from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and ordained a minister in
the Lutheran Church, is now pastor at San Luis Obispo. He married Miss Emily F.
Thommen of Oakland. LilHe Marie and Lydia Louise Mueller, twins, are graduates
of the German Lutheran School at Orange, of which the youngest child, Annie R.
Mueller, is also a graduate. The family are members of St. John's Lutheran Church
at Orange. Mr. Mueller is a naturalized American citizen, and no one is more patriotic
or public-spirited. In 1905, he erected his substantial two-story house of twelve rooms,
up-to-date in all its appointments, and having a beautiful porch facing the southern end
of Glassell Avenue and commanding a clear view of the American flag on the liberty
pole at the Plaza in Orange. Of a sunny, philosophical, optimistic, common-sense tem-
perament. Mr. Mueller is a good neighbor and a good friend, and is always appreciated
by those who know his character and his conversational powers as "good company."

HARVEY B. ROYER.— An expert machinist .who has proven himself to be a
successful rancher is Harvey B. Royer, one of the dependable employes of the Santa
Fe Railroad since 1909 and now also farming along the Romneya Drive, to the south-
west of Fullerton. He was born at Lockhaven, Clinton County, Pa., on August 23, 1871,
a member of a family dating back to the early days of the Keystone State. His father
was Franklin \'. Royer. a lumber man who purchased whole groves of forest, cut them
down and ran the timber through his own mills; and so extensive was his business
that it developed in several counties, including Center, Clinton. L^nion, Lycoming and
Cambria. He died in Pennsylvania in 1900. His widow was Susan (Brungard) Royer,
born, in Pennsylvania and now makes her home with her son Harvey.

Harvey B. Royer attended the public schools of Clinton County. Pa., and remained
with his father until he was twenty-five years old. at which time his father's mills
burned down. Then he began to rebuild them, and took complete charge of the busi-
ness. In 1900, he sold out and went to Johnstown, Pa.; and there he worked as a
machinist in the employ of the Cambria Steel Company. Whatever he did. he so
thoroughly carried out as to insure those for whom he was working of his intelligent,
honest and expert service. In 1909 Mr. Royer came to California and settled in Los
Angeles, and from 1909 to the present time has been a machinist with the Santa Fe
Railroad Company, working on locomotives and giving genuine satisfaction to that
well-equipped organization for diiificult problems and delicate work. In 1912, he bought
twelve acres in Orangethorpe on Romneya Drive, and in 1913 he moved his family
to the ranch. AA'hen he bought the land, it was a barley field, and he himself set out
the ten acres to \'alencia oranges. He has his own private pumping plant and so
supplies what water he needs for irrigation. His products in fruit he markets through
the Stewart Fruit Company of Anaheim.

Mr. Royer's mother. Miss Susan Brungard before her marriage, was a woman of
such superiority that it is not surprising that when our suliject married, on June 25.
1895, he should choose, in Miss Rosie Schwenk, a helpmate worthy in every respect and
promising from the first to be just the companion that he needed. She was born in the
locality of his birthplace, and educated in the grade schools of Clinton County. Her
father, Benjamin Schwenk, was a lumberman who engaged in business in the same
way that the Royers had followed. He passed away in 1912, while his wife, Emma
(Barges) Schwenk. died in 1916. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Royer;
and the two sons have both distinguished themselves in the service of their country.
Miss Ruth is the daughter, and her brothers are Merril C. and Le Roy H. Royer. Mrs.
Royer belongs to the Presbyterian Church of Anaheim, and Mr. Royer is a member
of the Knights of Pythias and also the Odd Fellows of the same city.

Merrill C. Royer enlisted on August 31. 1918. as a military engineer and was sent
to the Berkeley Training School; and on October 30, he left for Fort Myers, Va., and
later he was sent to Camp Leach. Washington. D. C. He was serving in Company K
of the Twenty-ninth Engineering Corps when he was shot during target practice, the
bullet penetrating his spine; and it is said to have been miraculous that he recovered
from such a wound. This delayed his progress so that he was not ready to sail for
France until the armistice had been signed. On December 21. 1919. he was discharged
at Camp Kearny, after which he returned to civilian life. He married Miss Rose
Livingston and is with the Santa Fe at San Bernardino.


LeRoy H. Royer enlisted on March 27, 1918, in the quartermaster's corps, and
spent three weeks at Fort McDowell, after which he was sent to Camp Johnson at
Jacksonville, Fla. He sailed from Hoboken, N. J., for France, after spending a few days
at Camp Upton, N. Y., and bade good-bye to America on September 13, in a convoy
of fifteen ships, landing at Glasgow, Scotland. He stayed in Camp Romsey near Liver-
pool, and then went through Southhampton to Havre, France. He served in the motor
transport service, and was stationed at such places as Tours, La Rouchelle, Nantes
and St. Nazaire. On May 26, 1919, Mr. Royer returned to the United States, and on
June S at Camp Mills, N. J., he was honorably discharged. Four days later he returned
to California and is now attending Fullerton high and also assisting his father in caring
for the ranch.

HENRY GROTE.— One of the earliest settlers and prominent residents of Orange
was the late Henry Grote, who was privileged to contribute much toward the building
up of both the city and nearby country districts. In his good work he was ably assisted
by his wife, an excellent woman of business ability, so that both Mr. and Mrs. Grote
enjoyed a wide circle of worth-while friends,

Mr. Grote was born in Rehburg, Hanover, Germany, on August 23, 1842, the son
of Henry and Mary (Meyer) Grote, both of whom came to America and spent their
last days in comfort at Bremen, Kans. They had four children — two boys and two
girls — and among these, Henry was the oldest.

He was brought up at the old homestead, and educated in the public schools:
and in time he learned the trade of a harness maker and saddler. In 1866 he came to
the United States and located in Chicago: and for a while he was employed at farm
labor. In 1868 or '69 he removed to Bremen, Marshall County, Kans.; and having
undertaken to homestead 160 acres of raw land, he turned the first furrows in the soil.
He planted corn and wheat, and raised stock; and for nine years continued as one of
the progressive and successful farmers of that region.

In 1882, however, stirred by the reports of better things in California to be had
for the coming, Mr. Grote sold out his Kansas property and moved to the Pacific
Coast, and in the town of Orange he bought fifteen acres lying between North Shaffer
and Pine streets, and running from Chapman to Maple. The land had been set out as a
vineyard, but the vines died, and then he set out walnuts and apricots. Later, when
the town grew, he laid out the Henry Grote addition to Orange, in 1888, and sold lots
at fancy prices, and now it is nearly built up as a residence district.

In time, Mr. Grote joined P. W. Ehlen under the firm name of Ehlen and Grote.
and conducted a general mercantile business, and such was their success in expanding
their trade that they incorporated the concern as the Ehlen and Grote Company, and
they built the Ehlen and Grote block, which they still own. Mr. Grote has also owned
and improved and several ranches, and with Mr. Ehlen he was interested in the National
Bank of Orange and the Orange Savings Bank. Both Mr. and Mrs. Grote were heavily
interested in the Ehlen and Grote Investment Company, in which they were directors;
Mr. Grote was vice-president, and Mrs. Grote is secretary of the organization.

.■\t Bremen, Kans., on October 16. 1873, Mr. Grote was married to Miss Wilhelmine
Dusin, a native of Pomerania, Germany, and the daughter of Henry and Louisa (Kartt)
Dusin. With her brother, August, the only other child, she came to Bremen, Kans., in
the spring of 1873, and there met Mr. Grote. Six children have blessed their fortunate
union: Emma has become Mrs. Heim of Olive; Sophia is the wife of Alfred Huhn, the
manager of the Ehlen and Grote Company of Orange; Mary died at the age of thirty-
five; I'"red A. is assistant manager of the Ehlen and Grote Company; Lena assists her
mother to preside over their home, although she is a graduate of the Orange County
Business College at Santa Ana, and was bookkeeper until lately for the Ehlen and Grote
Company; and Minnie, who is also a graduate of the Orange Business College, was
also for a time with the Ehlen and Grote Company, in which Mr. Grote maintained his
financial interest until his death, which occurred May 10, 1920, when Orange lost one
of her best men and upbuilders and his passing was mourned by his farnily and friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Grote identified themselves with the Lutheran Church here from its
start; he was a trustee and treasurer, and was chairman of the committee having charge
of the building of the old church and the school. He also presided over the responsible
undertaking of a new church, erected at a cost of $50,000. Besides belonging to the
church. Mr. Grote was also a member of the Lutheran Men's Club, while Mrs. Grote
was always active in and an ex-president of the Ladies' .Aid Society. Since her hus-
band's death. Mrs. Grote continues to reside at the old home surrounded by her chil-
dren, who shower on her their loving affection and devotion and assist her in looking
after the large interests left by her husband, thus relieving her as much as possible from
all unnecessary worry and care.


HERMAN A. DICKEL. — The enviable career of a worthy citizen of Anaheim is
recalled in the family history of Mr, and Mrs. Herman A. Dickel, long honored resi-
dents' of this place. A native of Germany, Herman A. Dickel was born on April 21,
1860, the son of George Dickel, also a native of that country. He had married
Charlotte Zumwinkel, and they had eleven children. Among these, Herman was
the youngest, on which account, perhaps, he enjoyed even more and better school
advantages than ordinarily, attending the grade schools of his home district. Both
parents, industrious and esteemed by those who knew them, are now dead.

As early as 1882 Mr. Dickel came to the United States, and having clerked for
three years in Germany, and finished his apprenticeship in the proper manner, he had
no trouble in securing employment in New York, where he also spent three years,
and rapidly acquired a knowledge of American ways. In 1885, however, just when
California was beginning to feel the impetus of the "boom," Mr. Dickel left the
Atlantic metropolis and came to the Pacific Coast. Not only that, but he came
straight to Anaheim, where for ten years he worked in Mr. Langenberger's store. In
1895 he leased the establishment, and for twenty-two years conducted it for himself
as a general merchandise center.

On June 8, 1887, Mr. Dickel married Miss Rosie Schmidt, a native of Anaheim
and a member of a family rather distinguished as Californians of the pioneer sort.
Traveling most of the way wearily and at great danger on foot, her father crossed
the great plains and settled in this vicinity about 1851; so that when, in 1857, a group
of optimists founded Anaheim, he was here and ready to join in the movement.
Three sons blessed this union: Theodore E., a mining and civil engineer, now in
Tejamen, Durango, Mexico; Arnold C, of the same profession, in Pittsburg, Ca!., and
Percival A. Dickel, an artist, is at home. Arnold saw service in the great war. Three
grandchildren have been born to attest the sturdiness of the stock.

Mrs. Dickel was a cultured and refined woman, with a love for the beautiful, and
was an artist of ability, having spent four years in the art centers of Germany, study-
ing painting. The Dickel home is replete with paintings on china and canvas of her
own production. Kind, generous and charitable, she was a woman of beautiful char-
acter, and her passing, December 8, 1919, was indeed a severe blow to her husband
and children, as well as her host of friends, for she was endeared to all who knew her.

A Republican in national politics, Mr. Dickel has served as city trustee of Ana-
heim for four years, and has been treasurer of the Anaheim Building and Loan Asso-
ciation for thirty-two years. He is an Odd Fellow, and also an Elk, and belongs to
the Mother Colony Club. In many ways, Mr. Dickel has proven his value as a whole-
hearted citizen, always having the future of Anaheim and Orange County before him,
and ever ready to hasten the hour when the Golden State, among the late-comers
into the Union, shall "come into its own."

FRANK WILLIAM CUPRIEN.— An American artist who has attained distinc-
tion in foreign lands as well as in his own is Frank William Cuprien, of the Viking
Studio, at Laguna Beach, the Mecca of many, frequently those favored in foreign
travel, who have discovered his whereabouts and his art, and who appreciate him at his
true worth. He was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., on August 23, 1871, and attended the
excellent schools of that home city. He grew up so near to the ocean that it is only
natural he should have loved the sea while yet a mere youth; and he early became
a marine painter. In the beginning, however, he received but scant encouragement
when he most needed sympathetic help, his first efforts dating back to school days and
his coloring picture books with the aid of a Murillo paint box given him — a keepsake
he prizes today. His father was Charles Cuprien, a native of Brooklyn, the son of a
fapestry and cloth merchant of that city who emigrated from Lyons. Charles Cuprien
had married Miss Phillipin Millar, a native of Brooklyn, and the descendant of a
well-known and long-established family originally from Manchester, England.

Frank William Cuprien pushed into New York City as early as he could, and in
the evenings attended the art and drawing classes of the Cooper Institute, one of the
oldest and best established and conducted schools of its kind in America; and when
he had the leisure, he spent his free time profitably in the galleries. Up to his eight-
eenth year he had really been interested more in drawing than in painting, and his first
course in painting at the Art League in New York was taken under the direction of
the renowned artist. William T. Richards, of Brooklyn. When he was a mere boy,
his ambition was to study under this master; and this dream was realized, 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 89 of 191)