Alonzo D. Haight, who is one of the earlier settlers of Riverside, has been identified with the growth of the colony since April, 1876. At that time he purchased a Government claim for forty acres of land located on Palm avenue, about two and a half miles south of Riverside, and commenced its improvement. Later he was compelled to purchase the same land from the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, it being claimed under their land grants from the Government. At first Mr. Haight planted largely of deciduous fruits and vines, but as experience showed the value of citrus fruits he replaced his deciduous trees with orange trees. He now has a fine orange grove of twenty-five acres in extent, about eight acres of which are in good bearing, having been planted in 1877-’78. The remainder of his trees vary in age from two to ten years. Mr, Haight is a thorough horticulturist,, and has been successful in producing and building up one of the finest groves of his section. The building improvements on his place are first-class. His residence is a substantial two-story house of modern design and finish, and has been built and fitted with all the conveniences that characterize a well-ordered house, and has not spared expense in adding to its comforts. Spacious grounds adorned with ornamental trees, palms, floral productions, and commodious outbuildings, attest the successful citizen.
The subject of this sketch was born in Steuben County, New York, in 1834, and was reared and schooled in his native place until 1855. In that year he sought the western country, and was engaged as a surveyor in western Michigan, and also in teaching school in Ottawa, Illinois. In 1857 he continued his westward march and located in Linn County, Kansas. He was a resident of that State during the border war preceding the Rebellion, and was prominent among the Free-State men. During the war he was a member of the Kansas State militia, under General Joe Lane and others.
He was engaged in mercantile pursuits and other enterprises in Linn County, and was prominent in the official organization of his county, holding at various times the office of County Surveyor, County Clerk and Clerk of the District Court. In 1864 he returned to Michigan, and for the next four years conducted a mercantile business at Manchester. He then went to Florida and spent the time until 1871 in orange-growing and business pursuits. In the latter year he located in McDowell County, North Carolina, and there established himself in general merchandise business, which he conducted until he came to California, in 1876. His long residence in Riverside has made him well known. He is a progressive citizen, of the class that build up and advance the interests of the community in which they reside. He is a supporter of the Universalist Church, and a member of Ever-green Lodge, No. 259, F. & A. M., and Riverside Chapter, No. 67, R. A. M. In political matters he is a Republican, and was a stanch Union man and a supporter of the Government during the dark days of the civil war.
Mr. Haight was married in 1862 to Miss Betsey A. Green, a native of New York. Her father, Nelson Green, is now a resident of Riverside. He was a prominent and well-known man in the early days of Michigan; was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1850 that revised the constitution of that State; later was a member of the Assembly and Senate in the Legislature of Michigan, and before re-moving to that State he was a member of the Assembly of the State of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Haight are the parents of five children, viz.: Edward M., Bertha E., Jessie M., Nellie and Ralph W. Mr. Haight’s parents, Peter and Ada (Crawford) Haight, were natives of New York. His father was a veteran of the war of 1812-’14, and was a farmer by occupation, and reared his son in that calling.