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David A. Correll is the proprietor of the well known Blue Front Grocery Store, one of the pioneer establishments of the city. He is also one of the oldest grocers now in business in Riverside, having been identified with the trade since 1883. Mr. Correll came to Riverside in 1882. His capital was limited, and although broken in health he was possessed of an unlimited stock of energy and well-trained business principles.
He first engaged as a laborer with the Riverside Land and Irrigation Company, and remained in that employ until the next year, when he secured a position in the grocery store of Frederick & Love. The Blue Front store was at that time under the management of those gentlemen. In 1885 Mr. Correll bought the interest of Mr. McDonald, of the firm of McDonald & Metcalf, and commenced business on his own account on Main Street, where the Oppenheimer block now stands. This establishment was sold to Fountain & Thrall the next year, and then Metcalf & Correll bought the Blue Front store. The business was conducted by that firm until July, 1887, when Mr. Correll purchased the interests of his partner, and has since conducted the business alone. He largely increased his stock and took the lead in the grocery business of the city. The Blue Front, although deservedly popular before, became doubly so under his management. This was not achieved without painstaking effort and an intelligent attention to business. He is of pleasing manners, genial disposition, prompt and reliable in business, understands the wants of the community and promptly meets them. Both himself and his establishment are justly entitled to the cordial support and patronage they receive. His fortunes are cast with Riverside, and he is never found wanting in a liberal support of her enterprises. In addition to his mercantile business he finds time for horticultural pursuits. He is the owner of the block bounded by Mulberry, Lime, Fourth and Fifth streets, upon which he bas his residence and a fine orange grove. He also has a ten-acre tract at East Riverside, which he has planted with orange trees and grape vines.
Mr. Correll is a native of Ohio, and was born in Fremont, Sandusky County, in 1845. The first ten years of his life was spent in his native county, after which the family moved to Christian County, Illinois. Mr. Correll was, from his early boyhood, brought up to labor, and deprived of many of the advantages in schooling that more favored youths received, but his ambitions disposition and studious habits enabled him to correct many of the defects of his early education, and he became an intelligent and well-read man, thoroughly versed in the practical affairs of life.
He continued his farm labors until the breaking out of the civil war, and, although but seventeen years of age, promptly volunteered his services and entered the military service as a private soldier in the Sixty-eighth Regiment of Illinois Infantry. His regiment was assigned to duty in the Army of the Potomac, but the arduous campaign so broke down his constitution that a severe illness resulted and rendered him unfit for further military duty. In 1863 he received an honorable discharge and returned to Illinois. There he in a measure regained his health, and in the spring of 1864 again entered the service of his country in the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. He was promptly promoted to a Sergeant’s position, and when his regiment was assigned to duty in the Department of Missouri, was for many months detailed in detached service on escort duty. Here again Mr. Correll was a sufferer from disease, and after months of suffering was again discharged in January 1865.
As soon as his ill health and shattered constitution would permit he bravely sought the means of support, and, locating in Quincy, Illinois, entered into business pursuits as an agent for leading lightning-rod firms. He was employed in that business for the next seven years, and then located at Bement, where he established himself in the same business, first in partnership with Cole Brothers, and later on his own account. His continued ill health greatly hampered him in his business enterprise, and finally compelled his retirement and the seeking of an entire change of climate an absolute necessity. In 1882 he decided to seek a home in Southern California, and located in Riverside. Mr. Correll is a self-made man in every respect, and has successfully fought life’s battles and achieved his successes by his own unaided efforts. He sacrificed his health in his young manhood in the service of his stricken country, and the seeds of disease gathered from the field and march of campaigns in war times have brought forth their harvest in later life. All honor be his! The history of a nation’s life is embodied in the history of her war veterans.
Mr. Correll is a member of Sunnyside Lodge, No. 112, Knights of Pythias, of Riverside, and of Riverside Lodge, No. 118, G. A. R. In political matters he has, during his whole life, been a strong supporter of the Republican Party. In 1870 Mr. Correll married Miss Naomi Harshburger, a native of Illinois. This union has been blessed with two children: Laura May and William G.