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John E. Cutter, of the firm of Twogood & Cutter, nurserymen, Riverside, was born in Webster, Androscoggin County, Maine, in 1844. His parents were Dr. Benoni Cutter, born in New Hampshire, and Olive S. (Drinkswater) Cutter, a native of Maine. The death of his mother occurred in 1847, and of his father in 1851; and he was then reared under the care of his grandfather and stepmother. His boyhood and youth were spent upon the farm and in the schools. In 1862 he entered the military service of his country as a private of the Twenty-third Regiment of Maine Volunteers, and served for nine months in the defense of Washington. He was honorably discharged at the expiration of his term of enlistment, re-enlisted in the Twenty-ninth Volunteer Infantry, and shared in all its campaigns and battles. After hard service he was promoted to be Corporal, and then Sergeant. His regiment was assigned to duty in the Nineteenth Army Corps in the Department of the Gulf, and took part in the Red River campaign, and, with the Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, built the dam at Alexandria that saved Admiral Porter’s fleet. The regiment (with most of the corps) was then ordered north and joined General Phil. Sheridan’s army in the Shenandoah valley and participated in the battles of Opequan, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar creek.
Mr. Cutter remained in the service until the close of the war, and after his discharge returned to Maine. He then entered the Wesleyan Seminary and Female College at Kent’s Hill, and spent two years in study in that institution. After graduating he engaged as a teacher in the public schools until 1870. In that year he emigrated west and located in Murray County, Minnesota. There he homesteaded land and occupied himself as a teacher for over two years, and then returned to Maine, and was engaged as a teacher and principal of academies until 1878. He then decided to establish himself on the Pacific coast, and in March of that year came to Calithrnia and located in Riverside. He continued his calling as a teacher and was principal of the Riverside Grammar School for a year, and later elsewhere. He also engaged in horticultural pursuits, having in 1879 purchased an eight-acre tract on Cypress avenue formerly owned by Dr. Emory. The improvement of this place had been commenced with orange trees, to which he added vineyard and other planting.
Mr. Cutter soon became an expert in horticultural industries, and writer on the same, contributing papers to the societies of his own State and also to the American Horticultural Society. In 1885 he associated himself with Messrs. John Edwards and Twogood Brothers, under the firm name of Twogood, Edwards & Cutter, and entered largely into the nursery business. They established nurseries east of Riverside, and also imported trees from Florida. In 1888 Mr. Cutter sold his orange grove on Cypress Avenue and purchased unimproved lands, some of which he has planted. Among these is a ten-acre tract in orange trees, about one mile east of Riverside railroad station, under the Gage canal system; he has also properties in Palm Valley and at Long Beach, and an interest in a ten-acre lot one-half mile south of the city. His resideuce is on Prospect avenue, where he has a half-acre tract.
Mr. Cutter is well known in Riverside as an energetic and progressive man, taking a deep interest in the growth and prosperity of the colony. His interest in schools and churches is well attested by his support of the same. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and of the board of education in the city of Riverside. He is a member of Riverside Post, No. 118, G. A. R. In political matters he is an independent, of Republican antecedents. In 1877 Mr. Cutter was united in wedlock with Miss Annie L. Dinsmore, a native of Maine. She is well known as a teacher in Riverside and elsewhere in the county. They have one child: Charlotte M.