Captain James Publicover, one of the early settlers of Riverside, who has for the fourteen years preceding 1889, been identified with her horticultural and building industries. Upon his arrival in Riverside, in 1875, he purchased a ten-acre tract at the foot of Main Street, on the south side of Fourteenth Street, and engaged in horticulture, planting citrus and deciduous fruits, grapes, etc. He also established himself in business as a painter, and in 1878 opened a paint-shop on Main Street, and conducted the enterprise for three or four years. He was successful in his operations and built up one of the valuable groves of the colony, but in 1886 the increasing demand for desirable villa and town lots induced him to sub-divide his tract. He extended Main and Orange streets, and opened for building some of the most desirable lots in Riverside; his tract is known as Victoria Place. The Captain is now occupying about five acres of his original tract; the remainder has been sold and many pleasant homes added to Riverside. He has been a strong supporter of all enterprises that have built up the city, and was one of the original stockholders of the Odd Fellows’ Hall Association, and other incorporations that have directed their attention to building. Mr. Publicover is a strong supporter of schools and churches, and was one of the first trustees of the Baptist Church in Riverside, and prominent in establishing that society in the city. In political affairs he is a stanch supporter of the Republican Party. Captain Publicover is well known to the people of Riverside, and his life among them has been such as to gain their confidence and esteem.
Mr. Publicover was born in Cape Canso, Guysboro County, Nova Scotia, in 1827. His father, Captain Peter Publicover, was a native of Nova Scotia, but of Prussian descent. He was a farmer and seafaring man, owning and commanding vessels in coasting and in deep-water trade.
The subject of this sketch received a fair education and followed in the footsteps of his father. He became a practical farmer and a thorough seaman, and upon reaching his majority was placed in command of a coasting vessel; and as he became more experienced engaged in foreign voyages to various parts of the world. Nearly thirty years of his life was spent as a master. In 1868 he established himself in mercantile business, but three years later found him again on the seas pursuing his old calling. In 1875 he returned from the seafaring life, and decided to seek a home in the Golden State, and selected Riverside as the place best adapted to his purpose. In 1863 the Captain was united in marriage with Miss Henrietta Kennedy, a native of Port Hilford, Guysboro County, Nova Scotia. They have but one child, Anita.