Joseph Jarvis, M. D., a well-known citizen of Riverside, is a native of England, born in Oxford, in 1842. His parents, Jonathan and Eliza (Allen) Jarvis, were also natives of that country. The subject of this sketch was reared in his native place until eighteen months of age. His parents then immigrated to Canada, locating in Oxford County. There he graduated at the Ingersoll High School, and in 1862 entered upon his medical studies. In 1864 he went to New York City and spent the next two years in medical study in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College and in the hospital. He then returned to Canada and entered the medical department of the Victoria College in Toronto. After graduating at that institution he visited his native country and entered the St. Thomas Hospital, in London, for the purpose of perfecting himself in his surgical studies, and was granted an honorary degree by the St. Thomas College. In 1867 he returned to Canada and established himself in the practice of his profession at Ingersoll, Oxford County, and then in 1869 moved to Kingston, and there continued his practice, taking a prominent and leading position in the medical circles of that city.
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In 1877, desirous of a more genial climate, Dr. Jarvis sought a residence on the Pacific coast, and during that year established his home in Riverside. Upon his arrival he purchased a twenty-acre tract on Adams Street, west of Magnolia Avenue, and entered upon horticultural pursuits. Since that time he has increased his real-estate interests, and is now the owner of 227 acres of land in the colony, located within five miles of the city, and also a fifteen-acre tract of vineyard just south of the city limits. All of his lands are so located as to be irrigated from the Riverside water system, and a large portion of them are under cultivation.
He is one of the leading and most successful horticulturists of Riverside. Taking his lands in a wild and uncultivated state, he has by his energy and perseverance brought them to a high state of cultivation, and very productive in resources. He has fifty-five acres in orange groves, the most of which is in seedlings, but is each year increasing his orange planting by putting in Washington Navels, Mediterranean Sweets, St. Michaels, etc. Fifty acres are devoted to apricots, and twelve acres to other varieties of deciduous fruits. He also has forty acres of vines, producing raisin grapes of the Muscat variety. The Doctor has been notably successful in his deciduous fruit growing, and by curing and marketing his fruits himself has found an ample profit in an industry that many of the fruit-growers of Riverside long since abandoned. The products of his vineyard are also cured, packed and marketed in the same manner.
As an illustration of his success, it is noted that one of his ten-acre vineyards, eight years old, in 1888 produced a crop that marketed for over $300 per acre; ten acres of his budded orange trees of the same age brought over $280 per acre. Dr. Jarvis has not confined himself to horticultural pursuits alone, but he has been one of the most active business men in Riverside: has been identified with nearly every enterprise of any magnitude established in the colony, and is one of the most enterprising and public-spirited citizens of Riverside.
He is one of the original incorporators and a director of the Riverside Water Company, and formerly held the office of president of the company, and has recently been again elected president of the same company; also a director of the Riverside Land Company; incorporator and vice president of the Riverside & Arlington Railway. He is also one of the original incorporators and a director in the Hall’s Addition Railroad Company, Hall’s Addition Water Company, River-side Canal Company, and the South San Bernardino Land Company, and vice president of the Rubidoux Hotel Association. His extensive business operations have not been confined to Riverside, but have extended to other portions of Southern California.
One of his enterprises in San Diego County is worthy of note. In 1882 he was an incorporator and vice president of the El Cajon Land Company. After the, sale of a few hundred acres of the lands of the company, the Doctor purchased the balance about 30,000 acres-and from 1883 to 1887 was the president and general manager of the company, during which time the projected improve? ments were carried out and the lands sold. He is a man of broad views, great executive ability, and sound business principles. These, combined with his straightforward and honest dealings, have insured him a successful business career and gained him the respect and esteem of the community.
He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and is affiliated with the Lodge, Chapter and Coinmandery of Riverside. He is also a member of Cataraqui Lodge, No. 10, I. O. O. F., of Kingston, Canada. He is a sup-porter of churches and schools, and is a member of the congregation of the Presbyterian Church at Arlington. Dr. Jarvis married in 1868, wedding Miss Mary Amelia Schell, daughter of Daniel Schell (whose history appears in this volume), and they have had nine children, viz.: Francis Joseph, Bertha L., Carl, Clarence E.. Edith L., Frank, Howard, Beatrice and Helen. Francis Joseph and Carl are deceased.