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 9 of 191)
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Pacific A\'eekly Blade, a Republican paper, was started by -A.. J. Waterhouse and
Walter F. X. Parker. Business blocks and residences were in process of con-
struction everywhere and any man who could run a saw or swing a hammer found
ready employment as a carpenter. Acreage adjoining the city was snapped up
by speculators and subdivided into town lots which were sold with a rush, either
through the usual office methods or by auctions. "South Santa .Ana," where
enterprising farmers are now raising sugar beets, threatened for a time, at this
period, to become a world-famed metropolis.

If anything further was needed to complete the utter speculative abandon
with which the people were now possessed it was supplied in the advent of the
great Santa Fe system, which built into Santa Ana in 1887 and on to San Diego.
Being now furnished with two great competing railroads, both of which wer.c
daily bringing new people by the score into the new city, all doubts as to the
future were dispelled. Realty values climbed higher with each setting sun and
dreams of opulence became the nightly portions of dozens of men who, with a
little property, deemed themselves poor a couple of years before.

Perhaps the most notable of all the boom-time operators were the men com-
posing the "Fairview Development Company," who purchased several hundred


acres on the mesa eight miles southwest of Santa Ana and proceeded to build a
city of their own. They constructed a railroad from Santa Ana to this town of
Fairview, sold lots by the hundred, erected quite a number of good buildings
there, started a newspaper, established a hotel and bath house, which was made
locally famous on account of the warm sulphur water which they had procured
from a deep artesian well, and it is said, held an option on every piece of property
between the two places.

Everywhere the same spirit manifested by this company prevailed, and -in
many instances their methods were imitated so far as resources and ability per-
mitted — the resources often consisting very largely of credit acquired through
matchless nerve and balmy influence. Conservatism was roughly jostled aside or
trampled under foot, and day by day the boom ascended the smooth pathway of
plausible hope and apparently tangible prosperity until, reaching the summit of
human credulity, it began to weaken ; siowdy at first, but with ever-increasing
impetus until in 1889 the whole structure collapsed, leaving the fair face of
Southern California strewn with pitiful wrecks of erstwhile handsome fortunes.

It was almost impossible to place a fair value on any piece of realty, par-
ticularly town property, in the general slump which followed and Santa Ana
suffered heavily in the reverses. However, in spite of the undeniable ruin meted
out to veritable armies of investors during this spectacular period of California
history, the fact remains that much permanent good resulted to Santa Ana after
all, for during these years it had been transformed from a village to a modern
young city of importance. The Brunswick Hotel, First National Bank building.
Opera House block and Richelieu Hotel — all three-story structures — besides a
large number of good two-story brick buildings, were erected during the boom,
as well as hundreds of residences, all of which, of course, remained and formed
a solid nucleus upon which to resume the building up of the city later on.

Once more the boundless resources of the fertile valley were appreciated,
perhaps as never before : and while the collapse of the boom struck hard at the
financial strength of all Southern California cities, Santa Ana, by reason of its
splendid agricultural backing, was able to weather the reverses with but little
harm as far as its municipal standing was concerned.

About this time (in the year 1888) an important commercial enterprise known
as the Newport Wharf & Lumber Company was organized, being the outgrowth
of the transportation business which had been conducted by James and Robert
McFadden since 1874, through a vessel operated between Newport Bay and San
Francisco. The new company erected a wharf at Newport Bay extending about
1,500 feet into the ocean, in conjunction with the Pacific Coast Steamship Com-
pany, and established a wholesale lumber business at Santa Ana which soon de-
veloped into the largest and most important commercial enterprise the city has
ever known. In the year 1891 the JMcFadden brothers, with others of the com-
pany, organized the Santa Ana & Newport Railway and built a steam road con-
necting the city with the new wharf, eleven miles distant, and thus provided cheap
and quick transportation of their immense cargoes of lumber to the general yarl
at Santa This business rapidly increased in volume, its transactions reaching
half a million dollars yearly and its payroll carrying one hundred men who never
failed, during all its existence, to receive their wages regularly every week. This
enterprise assisted very materially in the prosperity of Santa Ana during the dull
period following the boom and continuing on through the national panic of
1893-96. The lumber business was finally discontinued in 1902 on account of
transportation difficulties and the railroad was sold to Senator Clark, of Montana,
who almost immediately disposed of it to the Southern Pacific, which company
still operates it.

The year 1888 was also a notable one in the city's histor}- on account of the
organization of its original board of trade, now known as the Santa Ana Cham-
ber of Commerce, which has always been a potent factor in the development of
the town, but the most important event of this period was the creation of the new


county of Orange on March 11, 1889, and the selection of Santa Ana as its county
seat July 11, of the same year.

The census of 1890 gave the city a population of 3,628. Company F, its
first military organization, was mustered in in June of that year with sixty-one men.
Capt. C. S. McKelvey commanding, H. T. Alatthews being first lieutenant and
N. A. Ulm second lieutenant.

Up to this time Mr. Spurgeon's water system had supplied the town, but on
December 1, 1890, the city voted $60,000 for a municipal plant, which was at
once installed. The supply was secured from a number of deep artesian wells,
forced to all parts of the city by the Holly system. On November 21. 1904, addi-
tional bonds of $100,000 were voted for a general enlargement of the plant.

The city's history during the '90s was marked by few important events and
its growth was exceedingly slow for the greater part of that decade. A bond
issue of $60,000 was voted March 7, 1898, for a complete sewer system, to which
about $7,000 has since been added, represented by a total of about twenty-five
miles of mains.

Free mail delivery was established in Santa Ana in March, 1899. with letter
carriers, the receipts of the postoffice having passed $10,000 a year. The postal
receipts of this office for the year 1911 exceeded $30,000 and seven city carriers,
seven rural carriers and eight clerks were employed.

The census of 1900 showed a population of 4,933. During this year a hantl-
some court house, costing $100,000 with furnishings, was erected by the county
on the old plaza owned by Mr. Spurgeon, which had always been reserved by him
for that purpose. This building with its imposing architecture and spacious, well-
kept grounds, is the most conspicuous structure in the city.

One of the notable achievements during the city's history was the abolition
of saloons, which was accomplished at the regular election in April, 1903, the
proposition being submitted directly to the people and carried by nearly two-thirds
majority. For a number of years preceding this crisis the anti-saloon forces had
been agitating prohibition, and the action of the city trustees in granting an extra
saloon license in 1902, increasing the number from six to seven, brought the issue
to a head. All saloon licenses expired June 30, 1903, and Santa Ana has remained
"dry"' ever since. That a strong high-license sentiment still existed, however, was
demonstrated by the fact that the next year tlie trustees were compelled by a
popular petition to again submit the question, the majority still being in favor of
prohibition, but greatly reduced. An important coincidence was here manifested,
for while the city's growth had been exceedingly slow since 1890, and the retard-
ing eiifect of banishing the saloons had been one of the chief arguments of the
high-license people, a marked era of improvement was soon inaugurated and has
continued without interruption to the present time.

A handsome new city hall, costing $20,000, was formally dedicated in Novem-
ber, 1904, at the corner of Third and Main streets. In the fall of 1906 the great
Huntington trolley system entered Santa Ana from Los Angeles, giving our
citizens the best passenger service possible and affording a new and popular means
of transit for tourists and homeseekers to reach this section. This important
event was celebrated in December by a novel innovation, called the "Parade of
Products," in which the varied resources of the county were marshaled into an
attractive pageant of floats, which was such an unparalleled success that the
following year it was extended to three days, with a dififerent street display each
day and a large tent exhibit. The name was changed to the "Carnival of Prod-
ucts," under which more comprehensive title it was for several years an annual

It would be impossible to attempt to enumerate the great list of improvements
which have been made in Santa Ana in recent years. Handsome new residences,
in which the world-famed California bungalow style predominates, liave been
erected by the score in all parts of the city ; several new imposing church edifices
which would be a credit to any city, mark a prosperous condition in religious


circles ; the school facilities have been greatly improved by the addition of modern
structnres and including a commodious separate building for a commercial high
sch(jol ; and miles upon miles of cement sidewalks and curbs have been put in.

Banks of Santa Ana

Following were the deposits in the banks of Santa Ana as reported to the

CTOvernment on Time 30, V^IO. in comparison with those reported on June 30,

Banks— 1920 1019 Increase

First National $ 6,390,621.03 $ 4.700,945.05 $ 1,599.675.98

Farmers & Merchants Sav.. 2,260.395.95 1,554,442.02 705,953.03

Orange Co. Trust & Savings. 1,763,271.69 1,286,136.60 477.135.09

California National 1,296,526.53 888,977.72 397,548.81

Totals $11,700,815.20 $ 8,520.502.29 $ 3.180,312.91

While the date of these reports may not be regarded as the most favorable
time of the year for the best showing of deposits, on account of so much money
being tied up in the growing crops, yet it is just as good as any for making com-
parisons either with the deposits of past years or with those of banks in other
cities, since the same date would be used on both sides of every comparison.
However, $11,700,815.20 is a lot of money to have in the banks of a- city
the size of Santa Ana. It is $2,623,865.20 more than all the property, real and
personal, is assessed at in the county seat for the purpose of taxation. If the
amount were divided equally among the citizens of Santa Ana. every man, woman
and child would have a bank account, for a brief period of $755.62 in addition
to any other property that he might possess. But these bank deposits do not all
belong to the citizens of Santa Ana; quite a portion of them came in from the
surrounding country. In any case, they are not community property or subject
to any kind of distribution without an equivalent in exchange. What is true of
these deposits is true of other deposits elsewhere and of all kinds of property
throughout the world. Private ownership and use of property is almost invariably
the reward of industry and frugality and should not be shared with the idle
and dissolute, \^'ealth honestly acquired and rightly used is a great blessing not
only to its possessors, but also to the whole community in which it is held or

Present Status of the Banks

The Commercial Bank of Santa Ana began negotiating the sale of its assets
to the Farmers & ^Merchants National Bank of Santa Ana in May, 1910. It took
several months to complete the transaction on account of the legal questions
involved. The Commercial Bank ceased to exist on the first day of August, 1910.

The Citizens' Commercial & Savings Bank was organized and opened in
November, 1914. On January 1, 1917, it merged with the California National
Bank under the name of the latter, which had been doing business since February,

The First National I'.ank and the Farmers & Merchants Bank merged Febru-
ary 21, 1919, taking the name of First National Bank.

The Santa Ana Savings Bank, affiliated with the First National Bank, and
the Home Savings Bank, affiliated with the Farmers & Merchants National Bank,
merged July 1, 1919, under the name of Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank.

The Orange County Trust & Savings Bank was remodeled in 1911. Addi-
tional real estate with leases on same cost $18,245, Iniilding cost $39,612.33, and
vaults an<l .safety deposit boxes cost $11,000.


Public Library of Santa Ana

The spring of 1878 was one of great rejoicing for Santa Ana, as it marked
the completion of the Southern Pacific Railway to the town. The round trip
from Los Angeles was $4 and the trip was a luxury which was enjoyed only on
state occasions, but it gave the citizens a new feeling of responsibility, a desire
for greater opportunities for self culture and mutual improvement. It was at
this time that the need of a circulating library was suggested. The Santa Ana
Weekly Times of April 11, 1878, has a communication as follows: "Editor of
The Times: Several times I have through the medium of your paper called atten-
tion to the fact that Santa Ana ought to have a circulating library. The project
has met with universal appreciation. I have now much pleasure in informing the
public the Santa Ana Public Library Association has been organized, to be gov-
erned bv the following constitution and by-laws. Further particulars can be
obtained by applying to -Airs. H. C. Berry, JNlrs. H. \V. Lake, Airs. O. B. Hall or to
Yours respect fullv,

j. G. BAILEY, M.D."

Then followed the constitution and by-laws in full, one part of which was "the
by-laws of the association can be altered or amended at any semi-annual meeting,
providing two-thirds of the charter members present agree to the same, and not

A few persons became intensely interested in the enterprise and assumed the
task of soliciting names for membership. The following officers were elected, viz. :
Airs. O. B. Hall, president : Rev. H. S. AIcHenry, vice-president ; Dr. J. G. Bailey,
secretary; Airs. X. O. Staft'ord (now Airs. R. J. Blee), treasurer, and Airs. C. E.
French, librarian. Santa Ana had a library association organized — on paper —
with about $20 to purchase and equip the institution. Persons having books that
were of interest kindly donated them ; thus a nucleus was formed. C. E. French
contrilnited a wardrobe into which shelves were fitted and he ofifered the society a
portion of the office be occupied at the corner of Fourth and Alain streets. Books
were added from time to time from the membership fees. In the fall of 1878
the library was opened to the members and their families. The struggle to main-
tain it was then begun. To keep it supplied with new matter socials, musicals and
literary entertainments were given and collections taken to increase the funds.
Among some of the workers besides those already mentioned were Rev. H. I.
Parker and wife. A'Irs. \\'alter Kent, Airs. S. H. Hersam, Aliss Alav Kent, Aliss
L. Berry, Aliss AI. D. Hotell, Aliss Claribel Xichols, Dr. J. N. Burtnett, Pearl
Kent and Col. \\". F. Heathman. In April, 1879, the latter succeeded in giving
an entertainment which was very successful and brought over $100 to the fund,
and this increased the interest in the organization. The location of the library
was changed several times owing to changes in business firms, it being placed
wherever the best place was offered without cost to the association.

In 1886 an organization of the W". C. T. U. was perfected in Santa Ana. The
following year they decided to establish a library and free reading room. They
gave a book social and over 100 volumes were donated. They leased a place
over Rowe's book store and fitted up the front room as a reading room. The
library of the old association numbered then about 400 volumes. After due con-
sideration the members voted to turn the library over to the new organization,
which was done in 1887 and in January following the \V. C. T. U. gave a formal
opening. The problem of meeting the necessary expenses was a grave one and the
organization deserves great credit for the manner in which they solved it. One
"flower festival" they gave netted them $700. A merchants' carnival for the
same purpose was a great success.

The next important step was the transfer of the library by the W. C. T. U.
to the city of Santa Ana, September 1, 1891. This included the 960 volumes with
all fixtures and equipment and the lease of the hall at 112 \\'est Fourth Street.
From that date it was to be supported by a tax levied for that purpose and to


be thrown open to the city as a free library and reading room "to all proper
residents and taxpayers therein." The first funds received from this source was
October 5, 1891. The first board of trustees were E. E. Keech, C. E. French,
Dr. J. A. Crane, Rev. Mr. Booth, and D. M. Baker. Helen A. Kernodle was ap-
pointed librarian. A report of the board of library trustees of July 3, 1893, shows
the library to have had about fifty patrons and the highest number of books given
out in one day, twenty. The report for the year was 950 patrons and the maxi-
mum number of books passed out in one day, 135.

October 1, 1892, the library was transferred to the Hervey building, 121 East
Fourth Street, where it remained until it was removed to its present home, made
possible by Andrew Carnegie, who donated $15,000 to the city for the building.
W. H. Spurgeon gave the lot and the Native Sons built the walks and the retain-
ing wall. The furnishings were provided by private subscription and the trustees
of the city gave $1,000. When it was first used only the main floor was occupied
and there was then ample room. As the years have passed shelving has been
added for the books and the quarters gradually became crowded. A document
room has been added in the basement. The circulation from July 1, 1909, to June
30, 1910, was 47,588. The present building was started in August, 1902, and the
library moved in Julv. 1903. The board of library trustees are, viz. : Dr. C. D. Ball,
Airs. W. B. Tedfor'd, I^lrs. P. L. Tople, Chas. Robinson and J. S. Smart. The
present librarian. Miss Jeannette E. McFadden, became associated with the library
in 1897 and in June, 1901, was appointed to her present position, which she fills
with satisfaction to all.

Commercial Progress

The commercial progress of the city of Santa Ana has been even greater in re-
cent years than its growth in population, as may be seen in the fact that there are
$2,623,865.20 more deposits in the city's banks than its entire assessed valuation.
While the assessment is undoubtedly low, that will not account for such a discrep-
ancy. The fact is that a considerable part of those deposits belong to the rural
population for miles around Santa Ana. The county seat is the center of trade and
distribution for practically all of the middle and lower parts of the county and to
some extent for the upper parts as well. With trade and distribution come produc-
tion and manufacturers. In 1909 the Southern California Sugar Company com-
menced operating a factory with a daily capacity of 600 tons of sugar beets. Two
or three years later the Santa Ana Sugar Company entered practically the same
field, each of these companies employing about 300 men during the campaign, be-
sides providing a market for the farmers' beets. Two large lumber yards with well-
equipped planing mills have been kept busy supplying the increasing demand for
building materials. Several large packing houses for fruits, nuts and vegetables
make this city an important shipping point. A number of autos are constantly
employed collecting and returning clothes for the steam laundries of the city.
Among other industries that made noteworthy progress during the year 1919 may
be mentioned the C. II. Kaufmann & Sons' plant, which manufactured and shipped
nearly 100,000 automobile spotlights during the year, and employing about fifty
people. The Haven Seed Company produced, cleaned, packed and shipped nearly
five billion tomato seeds during the season of 1919, with an annual payroll of
$100,000. The J. E. Taylor Canning Company packed thousands of jars of mar-
malade, jellies, preserves and canned fruits, and the California Packing Corpo-
ration's plant packed approximately 7,000.000 cans of chili, pimentos and apricots.
A horse-collar factory, a rug factory, an iron and brass foundry, artificial stone
works, several machine shops, numerous garages and bicycle shops and oil stations,
an ice plant and many other industries have added their quota to the general
volume of business.

Two important industries have been reserved from the foregoing brief sum-
mary for special mention, because they gave some special data about their business


to chronicle in the history. The}' are the "jNIission \\'ooIen ^Manufacturing Com-
pany" at Wasliington Avenue and Santiago Street, and th^e "Cahfornia Crnte

The woolen mill has been running since August, 1917. Up to January 1,
1919, it made 70,000 army blankets and 60,000 yards of melton for overcoats for
the Government. It is now making blankets, cassimeres and lap robes. Some of
the blankets are exported to Siberia and China. The company is employing
seventy-five men and women, and has a weekly payroll of $1,600; at one time,
while on Government work, it had $90,000 worth of wool in the warehouse. The
officers are: A. E. Bennett, president; C. A. Robinson, vice-president; P. A. Robin-
son, treasurer. According to a newspaper report the mill is planning to put on a
night shift of weavers to keep pace with the demand.

The California Crate Company dates the first step that led to its organiza-
tion back about four years. Fred P. Jayne of Santa Ana established a small
factory in August, 1916, for manufacture of folding or collapsible crates of his
own invention. In February, 1917, M. A. Carter, formerly of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa,
joined him under the firm name of Jayne & Carter. In October of the same year
the California Crate Company was incorporated with F. P. Jayne as president,
A. M. Jayne as vice-president and M. A. Carter as secretary and treasurer. The
principal product of the company has been the manufacture of the standard
"Cummer Type" folding onion crate and during the last year this company has
furnished the largest part of these crates used in Imperial and Coachella Valleys.
This year the company has spread out and in addition is now making two sizes of
a fruit crate invented by F. P. Jayne and known as the "Midget Crate," which
is meeting with large success. It has also begun the manufacture of a new toy
aeroplane and is fairly launched in the toy business having recently purchased
two new buildings for use of the toy department. Mr. Jayne and Mr. Carter arc
both actively engaged in establishing and enlarging the business, the former as
president and manager and the latter as superintendent. There are about twenty
men and women employed in the factory at present and the number will be largely
increased during the busy season beginning in December and running until June.
The factory buildings consist of large, light and roomy machinery house, as-
sembling rooms and storage warehouse, all well located on the tracks of the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in Santa Ana.

The Chamber of Commerce maintains a substantial fund to aid in securing
industrial enterprises.


The ^lethodist Episcopal Church South holds the distinction of being the
first religious organization in Santa Ana, which was effected at the home of

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 9 of 191)