Reuben L. Dewitt, of San Bernardino, was born in Switzerland County, Indiana, October 19, 1815, the son of John and Jane (Potter) DeWitt, natives of Indiana and New York respectively. His grandmother, Elizabeth Sheridan, was an aunt of the late General Sheridan. He was left an orphan at the age of fourteen years. For several years he traveled around in different counties of Illinois and Iowa. In 1851 he crossed the plains to Salt Lake City, where he spent two years, and from there came to San Bernardino County, where he has lived ever since. His first purchase of real estate was sixty acres where he now lives, at $11 per acre. At one time he owned some very valuable property in San Bernardino.
In 1846, while in Hancock County, Illinois, he married Charlotte Huntsman, of Mahoning County, Ohio, daughter of John and Deborah Huntsman, who were first cousins. Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt have had fifteen children, eight of whom survive: John A., Sarah, who married Mark Thomas, had only one child, and died at the age of twenty-three; Melisse, now Mrs. Thomas Long, of Garden Grove; Almira, wife of Hiram Potts, had two children, twins, and died at the age of twenty-one; Reuben Las Vegas, born in New, Mexico, while they were en route to California, died at the age of thirty years; Martin, who accidentally shot himself at the age of sixteen; Andrew Jackson, Alfaretta, wife of Joseph Kelley; Caroline, now Mrs. George Lathrop; Polly Ann, wife of George Knights; James Monroe and Salina. The educational advantages of Mr. DeWitt were such as were afforded by the common schools of Indiana when he was of school age, and those who know anything of those times know that they were exceedingly limited. His principal study has been the Bible.