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Biography of Justin E. Keith

Justin E. Keith, owner of the representative orange properties of Brockton Square, in the Riverside colony lands. His tract is located on Bandini Avenue, about one half mile west of Brockton Avenue. At that point he purchased ten acres of cultivated land in 1877 and commenced its improvement, which he has steadily advanced since that date. Upon his arrival in Riverside, in that year, he established himself at his trade of boot and shoemaker and, in addition to his horticultural pursuits, worked at that calling. He is an energetic and industrious man and has made a success in his pursuits. His early efforts in horticulture entailed the loss of time and labor, for many of the deciduous trees put in did pot prove sufficiently remunerative in their products. His orange grove now contains about six acres, three and a half of which is in seedlings, about fifteen years old from the seed. These trees are very productive and give an average yield of $350 per acre. He has also a vineyard of two and a half acres, producing raisin grapes that give a yield of $150 per acre.

Mr. Keith is a native of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, and dates his birth in 1837. His parents, Nahum and Maria (Pratt) Keith, were both natives of that State and descendants from old families of colonial times. He was reared in Middleboro, and at an early age learned the trade of boot and shoe maker, after which he followed that calling as a journeyman, establishing himself in the business, which lie conducted for some twelve years previous to coming to California in 1877. He is a thorough mechanic, not only at his trade, but is a good amateur carpenter, as many of the improvements in his comfortable cottage home are the work of his own hands. He is a good neighbor, a desirable member of the community and a strong supporter of schools and churches and other organizations that tend to increase the welfare of his chosen section. On political matters he is a stanch Republican.

In 1858 Mr. Keith was united in marriage with Miss Frances Dean, a native of Middleboro, Massachusetts. The three children from this marriage are: Edward R., Lizzie M. and Anna F. Lizzie M. is married to Harry F. Skinner, a resident of Riverside.

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