Location: Belle Plain Iowa

Biography of Captain Lyman C. Waite

Captain Lyman C. Waite is one of the pioneers of Riverside. His association with the foundation of the colony, the establishment of schools, churches, horticultural industries, banking, and other incorporations, commenced in the infancy of the colony, and his various enterprises, both public and private, have been conducted by that sound sense, trained business principles, and honest, straightforward dealings that are characteristic of the man. The facts obtained for a brief review of his life are of interest. Captain Waite was born in Walworth County, Wisconsin, in 1844. His parents, Sydney and Parmelia (Barker) Waite, were natives of western New York. They were pioneers of Wisconsin, having established themselves in that State as early as 1836 or 1837. His father was a farmer by occupation, and during Captain Waite’s boyhood was a resident of Sheboygan Falls, Fond du Lac and Appleton. The subject of this sketch was reared to farm life, and being of a studious disposition was given the best advantages the public schools afforded in securing an education. In 1860 he entered upon a course of study in the Lawrence University at Appleton. The war of the Rebellion and the call upon the nation’s sons to rally to the support of the old flag, and preserve our country from secession rule, enlisted the patriotic sympathy of young Waite, and he abandoned his college studies and promptly entered...

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Biography of James H. Roe

James H. Roe, a member of the firm of Holmes, Roe & Pierson, the publishers of the Riverside Daily Press and Weekly Horticulturist, is classed among the pioneers of Riverside, and for the sixteen years preceding this writing has been prominently connected with the interests and industries of the colony. The brief facts gathered relating to his life are of interest: He was born in Birmingham, England, in 1843, his parents being the Rev. Charles Hill, a native of the north of Ireland, and Mary (Steadman) Roe, a native of England. His father emigrated with his family to the United States in 1851, and located in Boone County, Illinois, where he was engaged in his ministerial duties until the breaking out of the civil war, when he entered the United States service as a chaplain, and later was the superintendent of the Freedmen’s Aid Commission, having jurisdiction of the affairs of that association in the southwest. He was a sincere Christian, a philanthropist and able orator, and visited England delivering lectures, and obtaining aid for the suffering freedmen of the South. Mr. Roe was reared and schooled in Boone County until 1859, when he entered the University of Chicago and was diligently pursuing his course of study in that institution when the breaking out of the war induced him to abandon his college studies and tender his aid. In...

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Biography of Henry A. Westbrook

Henry A. Westbrook is one of Riverside’s earlier settlers and ranks as one of her most successful businessmen and horticulturists. Mr. Westbrook dates his birth in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1848. His father, Benjamin Westbrook, was a native of New Jersey, who in his young manhood located in Pennsylvania and there married Miss Lucy L Nichols, a native of that State. He was a carpenter and builder by occupation. Mr. Westbrook was reared in his native village until eight years old, and then placed on a farm until the age of seventeen, during which time he obtained such an education as the winter terms of the public schools afforded. He then abandoned farming occupation, and returned to his father, and under his tutorship became skilled as a carpenter and builder. In 1869, he struck out for the West and located in Clinton, Iowa, working at his trade as a journeyman, and later went to Belle Plain, Iowa, and there established himself as a contractor and builder. In 1872 he went to Chicago, and was there actively engaged as a contractor and builder for two and a half years, during the rebuilding of that city. In 1875 his health failed him and he was compelled to suspend his operations. He then returned to Belle Plain, deciding to seek a home on the Pacific Coast. In 1876 he came to...

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Biography of Ebenezer Griffin Brown

Ebenezer Griffin Brown (“Judge Brown,” as he is familiarly known) is one of Riverside’s well-known pioneers. He was one of the original members of the Southern California Colony Association, and with the late Dr. Greves visited the lands now occupied by the city June, 1870, the first members of the association on the grounds. From the very first he was the strongest advocate in demanding the purchase by the association of these lands. His persistency was of little avail at first, but he was in earnest, and when Judge North, the president of the company, refused to act in accordance with his wishes, the judge returned to his home in Iowa and set about forming another colony association, with the express view of purchasing the Riverside lands. This move hastened the actions of the old association, and in September, 1870, the purchase was made and the colony established. That being the result desired by the Judge, he abandoned all further proceedings, never intending or desiring a rival to Riverside. He then settled his affairs in Iowa, and in May 1871, established himself and family in the new colony. He located upon Government land in sections 13 and 24, securing 104 acres lying one-half mile north and east of the Riverside town site on Colton Avenue. His means were limited, but he commenced his new life and pursuits with that...

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Biography of Kelita Davis Shugart, M. D.

Kelita Davis Shugart, M. D. No history of Riverside can be considered complete without a more than passing mention of the pioneer of Riverside colony whose name heads this sketch. In 1869 Dr. Shugart was a resident of Belle Plain, Iowa, and at that time was desirous of establishing his residence in some portion of Southern California. Early the next year he associated himself with Judge North, Dr. Greves, Sanford Eastman, C. N. Felton, of San Francisco, and Captain Broadhurst and others, and formed the Southern California Colony Association. The object of the association was to purchase some desirable tract of land in Southern California and establish a colony, build up desirable homes, and engage in horticultural pursuits. Some months were spent by members of the association in seeking a suitable location, but they were unable to decide the vexed question. The Doctor became impatient at the delay, and in August of 1870 came to California and joined his associates. Judge E. G. Brown, who had joined the company, and Dr. J. P. Greves, visited the Riverside Valley in June, and made a partial examination of the lands, water supply, etc., and strongly recommended the purchase of lands by the association; but nothing was done. On August 25, 1870, Dr. Shugart, accompanied by Dr. Greves, Messrs. Luther, of San Francisco, and Stewart, of San Bernardino, visited the lands and...

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