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Biographies of Southern California

The following biographies were extracted from “An Illustrated History of Southern California” published by the Lewis Publishing Company in 1890. One of many regional and county historical books published by Lewis at the turn of the 20th Century, this history covered the counties of San Bernardino, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange as well as the peninsula of lower California.. We have extracted numerous biographies from the book and provide them here. Currently our collection from this manuscript only includes the county of San Bernardino. We hope to add the additional counties in the near future. Biography of John Aberdein Biographical Sketch of P. T. Adams Biography of Samuel Alder Biography of A. D. S. Alkire Biography of Benjamin Frank Allen Biography of Illiam Francis Allison Biography of John Andreson Biographical Sketch of Reuben J. Anderson Biography of Prof. C. N. Andrews Biographical Sketch of Samuel Armor Biographical Sketch of A. T. Armstrong Biography of Jesse H. Arnold Biography of Danford Atwood Biography of John Avas Biography of Henry Babel Biography of Orrin Backus Biography of Judge Nathan Baker Biography of Rev. B. L. Baldridge Biographical Sketch of A. Ball Biography of Dr. William H. Ball Biography of David D. Banta Biographical Sketch of Joseph Beach Biographical Sketch of Israel Beal Biography of Joshua S. Beam Biographical Sketch of Madison H. Bear Biographical Sketch of Alfred Beckett Biographical Sketch of John Beckett Biographical Sketch of Lyman Nelson Bedford, D. D. S. Biography of Amos W. Bemis Biographical Sketch of Isaac Bessant Biographical Sketch of James Bessant Biographical Sketch of John Bessant Biographical Sketch of George P. Bessonett Biography of...

Biography of Joseph C. Rich

Judge Joseph C. Rich, eldest son of Hon. Charles C. Rich, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this history, was born in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, January 16, 1841. His mother’s maiden name was Sarah D. Pea, good stock all around, his ancestors being of that hardy pioneer school who have subdued the wilds of the middle and western states and made possible the grandeur of those noble commonwealths. When but a boy of five years he, in connection with his parents and several thousand others, was driven from the city of his birth by mobocratic persecution, and commenced that historic journey, the Mormon exodus toward the setting sun, which has since resulted in the settlement and the development of our great “Inter-Mountain Empire.” He wintered in 1846-7 at Mount Pisgah, then a portion of the wilderness of Iowa. At this place nearly one-third of that camp died during the winter, through sickness brought on by exposure and want. The well peopled graveyard found there by the permanent settlers who subsequently settled that region, attests sufficiently that fact. As soon as grass could grow in the spring of 1847 the journey westward was resumed and continued throughout the summer until one thousand four hundred miles long, lonesome and weary ones brought them, on the 2d day of October 1847, to the then parched and desolate valley of the Salt Lake. This journey was made by ox and cow teams, manipulated by men, boys and women, through a country thickly peopled by hostile Indians, through countless multitudes of buffalo, which frequently stampeded the teams and were so numerous that...

Biography of Charles C. Rich

Pioneer of Utah, California and Idaho, Charles C. Rich figured prominently in the early development of these states, and took an active part in furthering the welfare and promoting the progress of the commonwealths. He was also a most able exponent of the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and with a colony of believers he founded the beautiful and thriving little city of Paris, the County of Bear Lake, Idaho, and the Mormon colonies of southeastern Idaho. A native of Kentucky, Mr. Rich was born in Campbell County, in 1809, and was of English and Irish ancestry. His parents removed to Indiana during his youth and there he was educated. In 1829 they went to Illinois, becoming pioneer settlers of that state, and in April 1832, Charles C. Rich embraced the faith and was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, becoming one of its most faithful and prominent adherents. In 1839 he went to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he remained until 1846, and while there he was elected an adjutant general in the Mormon forces, a part of the Illinois militia. A little later, however, the regiment was disbanded by the governor of the state. At that time Mr. Rich had been ordained a high priest of the church. In the fall of 1846, in the general Mormon exodus, he removed to Pisgah, Iowa, and was first counselor to President Huntingdon, and on the death of the president he succeeded to the office thus left vacant. In March 1847, he with a party went to what is now Council...

Bork, Agnes R. – Obituary

Agnes R. Bork, 92, formerly of Milton-Freewater died September 1, 1992 in Highland, California. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, at Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home. Pastor Dick Jewett of the Stateline Seventh-Day Adventist Church will officiate. Concluding services and burial will follow at the Milton-Freewater Cemetery. Those who wish to pay their respects may do so today from 1 to 5 p.m. at the funeral home. The oldest of three children, Mrs. Bork was born August 19, 1900, in Flora, Ore., to Frank and Ella Davis Lindley. The family moved to Wallula early in her life, and later returned to acquire more land through home steading and continue to farm. She went to school in one-room schools in several areas, including Star and Sunny Glade in Wallowa County. She attended high school in Flora. On May 19, 1919, she married William Bork in Enterprise, Ore. They made their home on a ranch about 30 miles from Enterpise for several years, where they also raised three children. In 1939, the couple moved to the Stateline area, where Mrs. Bork lived until the death of her husband in 1988. She then lived with her daughter in California and her son in Pendleton. She was baptized into the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in 1938. She and her husband helped establish the Stateline Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which was built on land donated from their field. For many years, she was a teacher in the children’s division of the church. She also was active in Dorcas Welfare. She especially enjoyed making quilts. Mrs. Bork was preceded in death by one son, Leonard Bork, as...

Humburg, Ruby E. – Obituary

Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon Ruby E. Humburg passed away in Woodlands, California on May 17, 1984. Mrs. Humburg was a former resident of Wallowa County, living in Enterprise from 1969 until moving to Colusa, Calif. in 1982. Mrs. Humburg was born March 27, 1896. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1959. Survivors include one daughter, Delores Preece, of Sun Lakes, Arizona; and two sons, Ralph, of Davis, Calif., and Gene, of Hayward, Calif.; nine grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. Mrs. Humburg was a member of Wallowa Valley Chapter, OES, AARP, Rebkahs, the Time-Out Club, Enterprise Community Church, and Grace Conley Circle. Memorial services were done by the Rebekahs. Source: Wallowa County Chieftain, May 31, 1984, Page 15 Contributed by: Sue...

McClellan, Vella – Obituary

Died at San Bernardino, California, February 9, 1922 Vella McClellan. Deceased was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. McClellan of Union. She had been an invalid for a number of years and was staying with an aunt in California. Her remains were shipped to Union, arriving Tuesday morning. The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon, February 14, at 2 o’clock p.m., at the Latter Day Saints church. Interment in the Union cemetery. Contributed by: Larry...

Young, Bryce J., Dr. – Obituary

La Grande, Oregon Dr. Bryce J. Young, 73, of College Place, Wash., a former La Grande resident, died Feb. 4, 2004, in an accident while bicycling in Argentina. There was a service for him on Feb. 15 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in La Grande. Dr. Young was born June 3, 1930, to Bryce L. and Marjorie Mallett Young at Glendive, Mont. He graduated from high school in Miles City, Mont., and attended Walla Walla College. He received his medical training at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif., and his eye specialist’s training at White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles. He married Joylyn Jennings on Sept. 28, 1958. He practiced medicine at Missoula, Mont., Roseburg and La Grande. He retired in 1992 after 31 years. He traveled extensively including to the Middle East and Africa, making several mission trips to Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. He sailed by himself across the Pacific Ocean and made trips to the Philippines and Argentina on bird-watching expeditions. He enjoyed visiting family, going on walks with his grandchildren, hiking and backpacking. He was a member of Rotary International. Survivors include his children, David Young of Longview, Wash., Karen Young of Seattle, Wash., and Russell Young of College Place, Wash.; two grandchildren; a sister, Ginger Mackie of Cove; and other relatives. His wife died earlier. Memorial contributions may be made to the La Grande Rotary Memorial Eye Fund through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850. Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 5, 2004 Transcribed by: Belva...

Lehman, Holly Jean – Obituary

La Grande, Oregon Holly Jean Lehman, 51, of La Grande died Sept. 1 at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Boise. A celebration of life and potluck reception will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday Sept. 9 at the home of her mother, Jean Enderlin, 277 W. Bryan St. in Union. Ms. Lehman was born April 18, 1955, to Ernest and Jean Smith Lehman in San Francisco, Calif. She graduated from high school in Colton, and lived in Berkley, Calif., until 2002 when she moved to La Grande. She enjoyed gardening, crafts, astrology and cats. Survivors include her companion, Dan Nelson of La Grande; her mother, Jean Enderlin of Union; siblings, Steven Lehman of California, David Enderlin and Barbara Schmidt, both of Union, Bonnie Beal, Cynthia Therrien and Anita Davis, all of Aumsville; and other relatives. Her father; her stepfather, Charles R. Enderlin; and a brother, Clifford Lehman, died earlier. Memorials may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. The Observer Online, Obituaries for the week ending Sept. 9, 2006, Published: September 7,...

Johnson, Robert E. – Obituary

Robert E. “B.J.” Johnson, 74, of Barstow, Calif., and formerly of La Grande, died Feb. 15 at his home from complications of colon cancer. A memorial service was held Feb. 24 at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Richland, Wash. Einan’s Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. He was born April 2, 1933, the first of five children, to Alva and Macel Johnson in St. Paul, Ark. After serving four years as a fighter jet radar technician in the U.S. Air Force and receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Richland to pursue his collegiate education and follow his dreams of becoming an aircraft pilot. As time passed and the passion for flying grew, so did his desire to raise a family. In 1957, he married Zana Lea Ellison of Rapid City, S.D., and within the next six years, Steven, Alan, Karen and Sandra were born. In the spring of 1972 he became the operations manager at the La Grande Airport under fixed base operator Wayne Mitchell, and had the opportunity to fly fire reconnaissance missions for the Forest Service and deliver smoke jumpers to drop targets. While in La Grande, he became active in the First Presbyterian Church and earned his bachelor’s degree in general studies from Eastern Oregon State College. Seeing an opportunity for diversification, Bob and Zana purchased Joel’s Grocery — a small neighborhood market on the corner of Cedar and Washington. As the years went by, he had opportunities in the aviation industry to play a part in the startup and management of various charter and commuter airlines. When it was finally time to hang up...

Asemissen, Maurice D. – Obituary

Island City, Oregon Maurice D. “Ozzie” Asemissen, 82, died March 21 at a local adult foster care home from the effects of a stroke he suffered on Oct. 20. The Island City Lion’s Club will host an informal celebration of life at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Island City City Hall. Pizza will be served. Ozzie was born July 1, 1925, in Moneta, Iowa, and attended school in South Dakota. On his 18th birthday he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the submarine service. He observed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay from the deck of his submarine. After the war, Ozzie returned to school and later graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in elementary education. He taught for four years, then left the education field to work in the emerging electronics industry in Mountain View, Calif. His first job was with Nobel Prize winner, Dr. William Shockley. He worked with the development of semi-conductors and lasers with various companies until moving to La Grande in 1970 where he worked at home building and contracting until starting the Island City Trading Post in 1975, a business he operated until retiring in 1996. Ozzie was always active in the Island City community. He was one of the co-founders of the annual Hog Wild Day celebration. He was an active member of the Island City Lions Club and helped with their many community projects. He received a number of awards for his Lions Club service. In recent years he was probably best known for operating the Lions Club “Pig Train” at parades and other area events. Ozzie...
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