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Joseph Heap is one of the representative mechanics of Riverside, and is the proprietor of a blacksmith shop on the south side of Eighth Street, between Main and Market streets.
He is a native of England, and dates his birth in Manchester, in 1848. His parents, William and Hannah (Ward) Heap, are both natives of that country. In 1848 or early in 1849 his father immigrated with the family to the United States, and located at Council Bluffs, Missouri. The next year he moved to Salt Lake, where he remained until 1852. In that year he brought his family to San Bernardino County, and settled down to agricultural pursuits near the town of San Bernardino, where he has since resided. Mr. Heap was reared upon his father’s farm, and hard labor was his lot from early boyhood. His schooling was such as he could obtain in the common schools for a short term each year. At the age of seventeen years lie started in life upon his own account, and was engaged in rough manual labor, in teaming, lumbering, and working in the mills. When twenty-two years of age he commenced work at the blacksmith trade, with Stephen Jefferson, of San Bernardino. He was naturally a good mechanic, and by his industry and close attention he soon became a skilled workman and an expert in horseshoeing.
In 1876 his attention was directed to Riverside as a desirable locality, and he sought work in the colony. He worked at his trade in the town for a year, and was then employed by Governor Waterman, at Cook’s canon, until 1878, when he again established his residence at Riverside. After working a year for Petchner & Alder, he opened a shop on Main Street, under the firm name of Masters & Heap. He conducted that business for two or three years, and then sold out and worked at his trade as a journeyman, in the shop of Mr. Parker until 1885, when he opened his present establishment. Mr. Heap’s long residence in the county has made him well and favorably known. He is a thorough mechanic, and skilled in his calling. His honest work and straightforward dealings has gained him a well deserved patronage and enabled him to establish his family in a pleasant home, surround them with the comforts of life, and secure to his children the advantages of a good education. He is the owner of the business property occupied by his shops, and a well ordered home on the corner of Orange and Sixth streets. He is a good citizen, a kind neighbor and a desirable acquisition to any community. In 1868 Mr. Heap married Miss Mary Schyff, daughter of John H. and Gertrude Schyff, pioneers of San Bernardino County. From this marriage there are five children, viz.: May B., Gertrude, Harry W., Dora B. and Cyrel Irving.