Biography of Homas P. Drinkwater
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There is probably no section of Southern California that can produce such thorough horticulturists as the Riverside colony, and it is noticeable that some of the most proficient of those are men who have spent their previous lives in the countinghouse or factories of the East; men who have had no previous opportunity of studying the marvels to be found in nature’s horticultural productions; but it is equally noticeable that such men have been ranked to pursuits that have called fur skilled labor or mental work. Some of the finest work in horticulture of this date is being done by that class of men.
The subject of this sketch is a fair example of that class, who came to Riverside in 1879, and first located oil Bandini Avenue and purchased seven and one-half acres of land, which he improved and planted in orange trees. This place he sold in 1882, to M. S. Rowell; he then purchased from B. W. Handy, nine acres on Cypress Avenue, and later, the ten acres adjoining this on the south. There were but inferior improvements on these places, but Mr. Drinkwater raised nursery stock for new trees, budded the old trees, fertilized the soil, thoroughly cultivated and irrigated, and in a few years produced some of the finest groves in this section. In 1886 lie sold the south ten acres to H. Jaracki. It is now owned by D. P. Chapman and J. S. Koethen. In 1887 he sold the balance of his land, after which he engaged in horticultural pursuits for others, in the planting, care, etc., of their orange groves. His skill and well-known ability readily found employment, and he often has as much as 200 acres of orange groves under his care. In March 1889, he purchased thirty-one acres of land on Bandini Avenue, one-half mile west of Brockton Avenue; this purchase was from C. Flentje. There are six acres of this in oranges, three acres in grapes, and the balance in alfalfa; about twenty-five acres is bottom land, and has a water-right from Spring brook; the upland is watered from the Riverside water system.
Mr. Drinkwater was born in Penobscot County, Maine, in 1851. His father, Isaac Drinkwater, is a native of Massachusetts, and is a veteran of the war of the Rebellion. Mr. Drinkwater’s mother, Betsey Waterman, is a native of Plymouth, Massachusetts. When seven years of age his parents moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, and there he received his schooling, and also learned the trade of shoemaker from his father. He learned the mason and bricklayer’s trade, at which he worked for about three years. Mr. Drinkwater was engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes in the factories of Brockton, and also established a shop in that city, which he conducted until his emigration to California.
He married Miss Mary F. Brickford, a native of Massachusetts. There are three children from this marriage, all born in Riverside, whose names are: Mary S., Alfred T. and George H. Mr. Drinkwater is a member of Evergreen Lodge, No. 259, F. & A. M., of Riverside, and a supporter of the Universalist Church. In political matters he is a stanch Republican.