Biography of Peter Suman
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Peter Suman, one of the most successful horticulturists of Riverside, came to this place in December, 1880, and established his residence on Vine street, between Second and Third streets, purchasing the two and one-half acre block. In the spring of 1881 he bought a ten-acre tract on the west side of Brockton Avenue, about a mile south of the business center of Riverside, and since that date has devoted himself to horticultural pursuits. In 1885 he erected a substantial and well-ordered cottage residence upon this place, and has since occupied it with his family. His orange grove is a noticeably fine one and well worthy of mention as a representative place. He has four acres of seedling orange trees, nineteen years old, and from twenty-two to twenty-five feet in height, with strong body and spreading branches, trees forming a head nearly twenty feet in diameter. As an illustration of the yield from these four acres, the amounts received from the sale of oranges during the past four years is given: In 1885, $1,300; in 1886, $900; in 1887, $1,350, and in 1888, $1,400. This is an average of over $300 per acre for a series of years. In addition to his seedlings there are 230 Mediterranean Sweets, 150 Washington Navels and 60 Australian Navels and St. Michaels in his grove, all remarkably fine trees, but varying in age from two years old to those in good bearing. He also has lemon and deciduous fruit trees, such as are required for family use.
Mr. Suman makes orange-growing a study, constantly experimenting in budding, pruning, fertilizing, etc, and rarely makes a mistake; but his success is a matter of comment in horticultural circles. He brought to his new calling as an orange-grower sound business principles and habits of inquiry and research acquired by a long and varied business in the East. These, with a natural love of horticulture, have insured his success.
Mr. Suman was born in Madison County, Indiana, October 29, 1832. His father, John Suman, was a native of Maryland, and was among the early settlers of Indiana. His mother was Elizabeth Van Matre, a native of Ohio. Mr. Suman was reared and schooled in his native place until nineteen years of age; then located in Delaware County, and for the next twenty years was actively engaged as a farmer, mill owner and merchant. In 1870 he retired from his active business pursuits and established his residence in the town of Daleville, in the same county. He was prominently connected with the interests of that section, holding a directorship in many incorporated enterprises, and was also trustee in town and district councils. In 1880, desirous of a more genial climate, he visited Southern California and selected Riverside for his future residence. Mr. Suman has for many years been a member of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. In political matters he is a Democrat, but is conservative and liberal in his views. He is a strong supporter of the Prohibition movement.
Mr. Suman wedded Miss May J. Pugsley, a native of Delaware County, Indiana, born in 1854. The only child living from this marriage is their daughter Ida Belle.