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R. J. Waters, Redlands. A more important name cannot be mentioned in connection with the history of Redlands than that of Mr. R. J. Waters. Indeed, he is recognized as the father of the city. He built the first brick business block in the place, and has built and caused to be built by far the greater number of business houses in the place at this time. His first block was erected on the corner of State and Orange streets, in March 1887.
Mr. Waters came to California in 1886, an invalid, and located the Chicago Colony, of which he was president. He bought 500 acres of land of W. F. Somers, and laid it out as that part of Redlands known as the Chicago Colony. Mr. Waters is president of the Redlands Street Railway Company, which is now operating about eight miles of road. He is now preparing plans for the building of an opera house on the corner of Citrus and Orange avenues. He is interested in the syndicate who propose taking Bear Valley water some forty miles to irrigate 100,000 acres of land in San Jacinto Valley.
He was the first president of the Redland News Company, which formed the Citrograph. He formed and was secretary of the Redlands Hotel Association, which built the Windsor Hotel. He is also a director in the Bear Valley Land and Water Company, the Redlands Orange Grove and Water Company, and the Crafton Water Company, besides being interested in nearly every other enterprise in the city. Mr. Waters was the first city attorney of Redlands, and has worked as hard and as faithfully for the interests of this enterprising city as any citizen within her limits. He was born in Vermont, reared in Massachusetts, and educated at Franklin Institute, and subsequently professor of Latin and mathematics for three years in that institution. He then went to Chicago and studied law with Judge Waterman, and practiced there for twenty-one years, until he was obliged to leave that rigid climate on account of his health. If we are to judge of his delicate health, however, by the amount of work he has done since he became a citizen of the “Golden State,” we would pronounce him sound and robust and good for at least half a century yet to come.