John Brown.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside counties / with selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period of growth and achievement.. (Volume 1) online

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change of name was made to meet the wishes of orange growers north of

"Before beginning the work I was urged to name conditions, which
I did as follows — I would make the campaign wholly on my own account
and at my own risk. If I failed it would be my own failure, if otherwise
the orange growers should determine the matter of compensation.

" The result is generally known. Whereas the industry was practi-
cally bankrupt with an output of only 5.000 or 6,000 cars as the then
prevailing methods of marketing, we now in 1910-11 expect to market
35,000 or 40,000 carloads with profit to producers, as the result of the
new method under the Exchange system.

"My expense account for the campaign of organizing in 1893-4
amounting to something over $250, was paid. My compensation for
originating and preparing plans and ten months' campaign work was
. fixed at $1,000, and paid."

The fact that the Exchange is run today on precisely the same lines
as laid down by Mr. Chamblin is the best proof of his ability and wisdom..
Some other organizations in other parts of the State having been obliged
by the Interstate Commission to modify methods it must be confessed,
however, more at the instigation of interested parties, whose profitable
business was cut short by organization of the growers. The Exchange


originating in Riverside has been drawn attention to and its methods
copied by other producers extending even to the East.

The following from the California Cultivator, under date of Feb-
ruary 1, 1901, and entitled "The Father of the Exchange," will be a
fitting tribute to the man who did so much for the orange industry :

"As we wrote the name T. H. B. Chamblin a few weeks ago in con-
nection with the starting of the Fruit Exchange, it brought back many
pleasant memories of talks with him and recalled his earnest, eloquent
pleas for co-operation, pleas that had the result of lifting the orange
business out of the slough of failure and placing it on the crest of

"We were then more than pleased to renew the old-time friendship
on Wednesday of this week when Mr. Chamblin walked into our office
and greeted us with the same cheery smile and hearty handshake as of
years ago.

"For the past two years he has been East in search of health, the
terrible strain under which he labored for many years breaking him down
completely. We are glad, however, to say he has entirely recovered and
but for a few added gray hairs here and there, he looks the same.

" 'A prophet is not without honor save in his own country,' is too
often true, but in this case we are pleased to note the reverse is the case,
for Mr. Chamblin's return seems the signal for the hearty greetings of
friends on all sides. These have been so universal that he has asked us
to publish the following as a slight expression of his gratitude."

The following is in part his response :

"I therefore desire to return most sincere and heartfelt thanks for
the kindly greeting. The very frequent reference to my work in planning
and organizing the Southern California Fruit Exchange would also seem
to call for a word. While it is gratifying to note the recognition and
kindly appreciation of my part in the matter, and while I esteem it to be
no light honor to be known as the 'Father' of such an institution, there
should be no underestimate of the loyalty and courage of those who stood
by in the stormy days — the veteran defenders of the faith. The achieve-
ments in the field of com(merce should go to those who were called to
the management. In the main the growers have chosen wisely. * * *
They are now less indebted to those who have stood and are now standing
at the front and directing the forces in active conflict in the markets."

Horticultural Club. The settlement of Riverside by people of edu-
cation and of small means and the lack of experience naturally led to
more or less inquiry as to the best methods to be pursued in order to
attain success. In no sense of the word was Riverside founded as a
financial speculation to come here and make money and go out again in
the world and make a parade of wealth. The Fortyniners, as the early
gold seekers were called, were to a great extent men who came to make
a "stake" and go back again to the old home. Many of them did that,
but on their return home were not satisfied and married and came back
to California, being attracted by the climate and the idea that there were
other pursuits in California than gold mining. The partial working out
of the placer mines had its effect in turning men's minds from mining
to farming and other pursuits. Wheat growing was the great staple in
farming when California was at a disadvantage on account of its isolation
from the rest of the United States. One thousand ship loads of wheat
went "round the Horn" per annum to Europe and a good part of a j-ear
was spent in the round trip. Communication across the Isthmus of
Panama by the Panama Railroad brought California in closer union with


the East for passengers and special freight, but California grew slowly
in population until the completion of the Union and Central Pacific rail-
roads. Southern California was at an even greater disadvantage on
account of greater isolation from the rest of the United States, but had
a greater reputation on account of milder climate. When the first rail-
road was built and people could come here in a few days then popula-
tion began to come in in greater numbers. Those who came to Southern
California attracted by the climate and for health had but little choice
of occupation for there was neither commerce or manufactures, and in
the great scarcity of fuel, but little prospect for the future. Fruit rais-
ing was about the most promising pursuit then, as it is now. For the
greatest and most attractive industry raisins and oranges were by far in
the lead. They were both new to the Anglo-Saxon and irrigation was
a necessity for success. There were no books on the subject nor anyone
with any experience. When the settlement was small and the postoflfice
and stores were open to 9 o'clock at night and before there was any mail
delivery or delivery wagons for stores or butchers' shops, the farmer
could after work come in for his mail and the necessary family supplies,
and a few neighbors could easily talk matters of common interest up
and show what the soil would produce in a semi-tropic clime under the
influence of water where months would pass without a shower. These
were conditions which had never been encountered before.

The growing of crops in winter, what to grow in winter and what to
grow in summer, the problems of irrigation, of fertilization, everything
in new lines and from a new viewpoint were all to be considered and had
as far as possible to be settled and were taken up and settled by practical
experience. There were not any fruit stands with all their alluring and
tempting exhibits of both vegetables and fruits, not to speak of our gor-
geous displays of the most beautiful flowers by skilled florists. Eighteen
hundred and seventy-five and we had a news])aper which in more ex-
perienced hands might have been a help, was but of little advantage except
for what little local news it contained. The timfe had not come for a good
newspaper, the field was limited and so was the newspaper, which led
but a precarious existence for a year or twn. James H. Roe made another
start in that line in 1878, which was more in sympathy with the trend of
affairs because he was in the "swim" himself the paper on Januar}' 1,
1880. was in the hands of L. M. Holt, a live man with nothing but news-
papers, to engage his talents.

The increase of population, the coming in of fruit, the establishment
of citrus fairs and the outlet for the expression of views in the columns
of the newspapers all fitted in for the formation of the Horticultural
Club to enquire of those who had made success in any particular line
just how it was done and so the club came in as a necessity with the
newspaper to give expression to views propounded. This was before the
State came to take a part or the National Government took a hand in
sending out trained experts to mingle among the producers and show
more excellent ways. The State University was in a weak condition,
almost begging students to come, especiallv for an agricultural course,
quite unlike what it is today, almost begging would-be students not to
crowd too much.

E. I. Wickson, too, in his youthful vigor, was working along, giving
voice in his paper to the newer problems. Professor E. W'. Hilgard at
the head of the State University also had some able views which were
presented from time to time in publications for general distribution. The
.'Southern California Horticultural Society in more general form was in
its way spreading the light with its special organ.


Such 'was the situation when the Riverside Horticultural Club origi-
nated and was operated, all striving to the same end — How we might
get a greater knowledge of the newer conditions under which we were
placed. The club held meetings about once a month at the miembers'
houses. The East Side had a local club of its own. Each of the papers
gave full reports of all meetings, which were read with a great deal of
interest by everybody. The Los Angeles papers would also report meet-
ings when subjects discussed were of more than local interest. The
range of topics discussed took in everything pertaining to the welfare
of the community and produced important results.

Irrigation, cultivation, fertilization, frost protection, and in fact,
everything pertaining to the fruit growers' welfare both in and out and
in occasional instances the club was able to give the State authorities
important information. The State University did not have the financial
support that it has had since that time. Members of the State Legisla-
ture frequently had no direct interest in what have since proved to be
the specialties of the State and gave the State authorities but a half-
hearted support. The Horticultural Club usually conducted its proceed-
ings without any outside aid, but occasionally an outsider who was an
expert in any specialty was invited to give a paper on his specialty. Then
came the Farmers' Institute, which was a distinct advance on the club,
for the club was self-supporting and got no outside aid. The Farmers'
Club was a semi-official aflfair, supported in part by State funds and
favored by papers on special subjects on important local topics by spe-
cialists or those who had made a success in their own locality. The suc-
cess of the Farmers' Institute, however, depended on the interest taken
by the people each locality by itself, the subjects taken up having always
a local flavor. These all had their day and are now in leading centers of
population superseded by publications, National and State, on any given
industry, which are distributed free or at a small cost.

Many of the benefits and discoveries in general use had their origin
or suggestion in the farmers' meetings. A perusal of the minutes and
records of the meetings makes very interesting reading. J. H. Reed was
one of the active members who by his persistency succeeded in calling
the attention of State and National authorities to some important matters.

Especially was this so in regard to the handling of oranges and other
citrus fruits in the matter of decay in transit to prevent mildew or rot.
In response to repeated application, G. Harold Powell was sent out by
the department at Washington. So succesful was he that what hereto-
fore had been a serious drawback is now almost eliminated. Mr. Powell
proved to be so good a man that he has since been retained by the Cali-
fornia Fruit Exchange where he is orte of the most valuable men in the
fruit shipping and marketing industry. In this way by small beginnings
great results have been achieved.

Work of the Riverside County Farm Bure.\u. (By R. E.
Nebelung.) Entering into the fourth year of its existence, the River-
side County Farm Bureau finds itself a strong, active agency with a
county-wide membership, ready to function on any problem in the inter-
est of agriculture generallv. Originally started as a war-time measure
to stimulate food production, it has passed through a stage of transition
to a general clearing house for agricultural problems, of whatever nature
they be. While the Farm Bureau idea was first conceived by the United
States Department of Agriculture and was sponsored by it and its poli-
cies more or less dictated by it, it has now been placed entirely in the
hands of its members, the farmers, and they are the sole shapers of its


policies. Neither the United States Department of Agriculture nor the
State College of Agriculture have any voice in planning the program
of the organization. Certain university and Department of Agricultural
Extension employees, as the farm advisor or county agent, assistant farm
advisor and home demonstration agent, work through the Farm Bureau,
simply for the reason that it has been found the best medium through
which to reach the farmers. These employees are in no way financially
aided by the Farm Bureau, and have no vote in determining any of its
policies. The difiference between agricultural extension service and
farm bureaus should be realized by all Farm Bureau members as well
as by others. They do work together, however, but simply for the
reason given above, that is, because the Farm Bureau is an established
organization through which the farmers can be reached.

What then, briefly, is the County Farm Bureau, it may be asked?
It is a Riverside County farmers' organization for the mutual benefit
of all who live from the land, promoting better agriculture, better homes
and better community life.

It is a co-operative organization for the study and promotion of
better agricultural methods, increased returns and more attractive

It is the central clearing house where all special agricultural interests
merge in the common interests of all.

It is the officially recognized agency through which all of the agri-
cultural extension work emanating from the United States Department
of Agriculture and the State College of Agriculture is done.

It is the regularly recognized organization through which the services
of farm advisor, home demonstration agent and agricultural club leader
are obtained for the county.

The scope of work embraces the dissemination of agricultural infor-
mation through regular center meetings, special meetings, field demon-
strations, excursion trips, discussion meetings, solicited farm calls and

Acquisition of agricultural information through test plots and dem-
onstrations conducted by members and through exchange of experience
of successful farmers.

The Farm Bureau furnishes the vehicle for community effort along
any line, such as better roads, flood control, rural telephone extension,
drainage districts and rural sanitation. It is the one best agency for
clarifying opinion on legislation affecting farmers.

Where co-operative marketing associations do not exist, the Farm
Bureau has entered the field very successfully in encouraging their organ-
ization as a separate body.

The Farm Bureau is a very potent factor in the development of rural

Through the Farm Bureau any farmer may secure free the services
of any specialist in State or F^ederal agricultural institutions.

The organization offers the opportunity for farmers to work co-oper-
atively toward the solution of any problem facing them of an educa-
tional, legislative or business nature.

Membership includes affiliation with the county organization which
gives a member subscription to the Farm Bureau Monthlv, a four-page
agricultural journal without advertising, post card notices of all center
meetings and demionstrations privilege of voting for officers and directors,
and general information service.

Affiliation with the California Farm Bureau Federation, composed of
thirty-five counties and a membership of 20,000 farmers.


Membership in the American Farm Bureau Federation, an organ-
ization of 1,500,000 farmers in thirty-seven States. The State and
National organizations stand pledged to represent the farmer in a State-
wide and nation-wide way in educational, legislative and business mat-
ters affecting farmers.

The above covers briefly the function of the Farm Bureau and some
of the benefits to be derived from such an organization. How much
good can be accomplished depends largely upon the interest taken by
the membership, for in so far as the local centers and the county unit
are concerned, their usefulness depends upon the community and county
co-operation existing. The Farm Bureau has been very instrumental
in developing such a spirit in all parts of Riverside County.

There have been, during the year 1920, sixteen local centers actively
at work. These have taken up various local problems agricultural, eco-
nomic and problems of general community betterment. At one meeting
there may be a talk by some authority on some phase of farming, such
as dairying, dry farming, etc., or, there may be interest in such ques-
tion as "The Business Side of Farming." Another meeting may be
purely social, and this is a phase of the farm center program that should
not be overlooked. A meeting may be given over to a discussion on
the improvement of the country home, as to sanitary conditions, avail-
able conveniences and beautifying the farmstead. In fact, any problem
of general community interest and betterment is usually brought up at
the meeting.

Local farm centers, with the help of specialists, have held many field
demonstrations, such as deciduous fruit and vine pruning demonstra-
tions, gopher control demonstrations, hog and dairy days, scaly-bark
control demonstrations, moisture penetration demonstrations, and others
of local interest. These have been well attended and have meant a dis-
tinct gain to the farmers. At one deciduous pruning demonstration there
were about 250 growers present.

The County Farm Bureau begins where the centers leave oflf, that
is, deal with problems that have become too large for the centers to
handle, or with problems of county-wide interest. The board of direc-
tors meets once a month in the Farm Bureau office in Riverside. The
president of the Farm Bureau, who during the past two years has been
Mr. J. E. Wherrell, of Riverside, conducts the meeting. Here the local
directors present their problems and they are discussed or passed to
the State or National Federations should this action seem justified.

The County Farm Bureau, backed up by the centers, has helped
make the Southern California fair a success. It has put up an active
fight to the Railroad Commission against increased power rates. It
persuaded Governor Stephens to be present to talk to the farmers on
Farm Bureau Day at the fair. It conducts a very successful two-day
dairy short course in Riverside. It has been the biggest factor in pre-
venting and controlling fires, especially in the hills, bee ranges and grain
fields. Mr. O. K. Kelsey had charge of this work and served many
days and nights without remuneration. It has been a big factor in
bringing each part of the county, in a measure, to realize the needs
of the other sections. It has been, in fact, as stated previously, the
central clearing house where all special agricultural interests have
merged in the common interest of all.

The board of directors has been a wide-awake, progressive set of
farmers, with the interests of their communities, the county and all
agricuhure at heart. Mr. Wherrell, the past president, has given unstint-
ingly of his time to make the Farm Bureau work a success. He and


his board of directors conducted the work with no thought of per-
sonal gain except such personal gain which may be derived from per-
forming a service for the community.

So much for the past. The future holds every promise of bigger
accomplishments than the past, and Doctor Gordon, of Nuevo, the new
president, is following in the footsteps of his predecessor in showing a
sincere interest in agricultural betterment that is bound to be rewarded
with helpful results. More reward is not asked. Such service as is
given gratis by the officers and directors of the Farm Bureau is service
that money could not buy. A good Farm Bureau year is looked for
during 1921, both as to members enrolled and results accomplished.

Beekeeping in Riverside County. In the sixtieth anniversay number
of the American Bee Journal, dated January, 1921, that veteran beekeeper,
Mr. J. E. Pleasants writes under the heading of "Sixty Years of Bee-
keeping in California": "Mr. L. L. Andrews got his start by digging

Riverside County Bee Ranch

twenty-four colonies of bees out of rock-caves and trees. He added to
these by purchase and increase until he now has 1,000 colonies and his
crop this year from orange and sage was sixty tons of honey."
Mr. Andrews is author of what follows under this head:
Beekeeping in Riverside County reaches back to the early seventies.
About 1872 there was an apiary in the Temescal Valley, a' few miles
east of what is now Glen Ivy and Cold Water Canyon. The bees were
brought in by a negro from Mexico or a district near the Mexican bor-
der. These are the first bees of which we can find any trace. In the
year 1874, Mr. James Boyd hauled bees for Mr. D. McLeod from near
where Escondido now stands to the Temescal Valley. This apiary was
later sold to Morse and Compton, as was noted in the Riverside Press
of December 28, 1878. Mr. Compton at this writing, January, 1922.
still resides in the Temescal Valley and keeps an apiary on the same
location, one quarter of a mile from Lee Lake. This territory is near
where the San Diego and San Bernardino County line crossed the val-
ley before Riverside County was cut off.

There was honey on exhibition from San Diego County at the fair
of the Southern California Horticulture Society held in Los Angeles


in October, 1878. There was also honey from the apiary of Captain
Webb of Box Springs and it was pronounced as "white as paper." In
the Riverside Press of December 27, 1879, is an item which reads:
"Anderson Brothers of Temescal have received returns from their honey
crop of 14,400 pounds. This honey has been kept for two years for a
better market and was sold in San Francisco for 15 cents per pound.
The cash receipts were $2,160." Temescal Valley, like other vast tracts
of land throughout Southern California, was covered with wild brush
of all kinds. Black sage, white sage, wild buckwheat, sumac, wild
alfalfa, etc., were found in abundance and, furnishing plenty of nectar,
offered promising locations for the apiarist.

The general conditions found in the early times have not materially
changed. These ranges still produce large crops of sage, wild buck-
wheat and sumac honey following rainy seasons. Other apiaries were
located from time to time over the country that now comprises River-
side County until at the present time there are probably 40,000 colonies
in the county.

During the early years of the industry only comb honey was pro-
duced, but gradually markets, conditions and experiences changed until
now very few apiarists attempt to produce any comb honey at all. They
are convinced that much more profit is made by producing extract honey.

Bees are mostly kept in apiaries of from 50 to 200 colonies or hives,
it having been proven by experience that apiaries of this size located two
or three miles apart give the best returns. Crops varying from nothing
at all in some of our very dry seasons to as much as two, three or even
four hundred pounds per colony have been reported. These last figures
are very rare and an average of sixty pounds per colony is considered
a good crop.

With the introduction of the orange groves and alfalfa fields, a grad-
ual change has come over the methods of many beekeepers. The honey
producer soon discovered that by moving his bees to the orange groves
for the early honey and later moving them to the sage, alfalfa or wild
buckwheat, that he had two or three chances for honey where he had
only one if he left them on the same location the year round. He also
learned that the orange and alfalfa, being irrigated, were sure producers

Online LibraryJohn BrownHistory of San Bernardino and Riverside counties / with selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period of growth and achievement.. (Volume 1) → online text (page 63 of 82)