Select Page

Location: Orange County CA

Biographical Sketch of R. H. Gilman

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now R. H. Gilman superintendent of the Semi-tropic Fruit Company at Anaheim, was born in New Hampshire, left home in 1862, to follow the sea, and in the next year he ran away from the ship Wild Rover and for some time traveled. He afterward worked seven years at the tanner’s trade, and then followed ranching in Lake, Napa, and Sacramento counties. In 1872 the Semi-tropic Fruit Company was organized by L. M. Hoult, R. H. Gilman, I. N. Chapman and. others. They have 106 acres, most beautifully located and in a high state of cultivation. There are twenty-five acres in orange trees, ten acres in walnuts in bearing, and the rest in young oranges and walnuts. Mr. Gilman, who has been superintendent of the company since its organization, has practically demonstrated what can be done in a few years with the rich soil in this part of Orange County. He has also been practically interested in irrigation, being president, vice president and director of companies for this useful enterprise. He is a...

Read More

Biography of George W. Sponable

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now George W. Sponable horticulturist at Fullerton, was born in Eden, Seneca County, Ohio, November 3, 1825. His parents, Christopher and Sarah (Lawrence) Sponable, were natives respectively of New York and Vermont, and of German and English origin. George W., the third of his parents’ eleven children, started in business for himself in 1849, by coming to California. His father had moved in 1836 to McHenry County, Illinois, where he was an extensive farmer until his death in 1854. Mr. Sponable followed mining and lumbering in California from 1849 to 1855, and then returned to Illinois, where he followed farming until 1879. He then moved to Nuckolls County, Nebraska, and bought 480 acres of land, which he cultivated until 1883, when he again made his advent to the Golden State and bought a fruit ranch a mile and a half northeast of Anaheim, and there he is spending the last years of his life in the pleasures of horticulture. Mr. Sponable fought for the Union three years. Entering Company A, Ninety-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as corporal, he was at the battles of Vicksburg and Guntown, Mississippi, and in the expedition against Shreveport, etc. At Vicksburg he was wounded. He was discharged as a Sergeant, at Springfield, Illinois, in 1865. He is now a member of Malvern Hill...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of George P. Bessonett

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now George P. Bessonett a prominent business man of Santa Ana, was born in Mississippi, July 21, 1850, and is the son of Edwin and Sophia (Neill) Bessonett, natives of Pennsylvania, and of French ancestry. The father was a cotton planter, and the mother was a teacher, from whom George received all of his education. The latter started out in the world for himself at the age of fifteen years, at Brookhaven, Mississippi, by clerking in a confectionery store. Subsequently he carried on the business in his own name. Quitting that place, he went to Kansas City and learned the brick-layer’s trade, where he continued until 1872. He then went to Denver and was employed there a year and a half, and then in 1873 he came on to San Francisco. In 1875 he moved to Santa Ana, where he engaged as a contractor and builder. Nearly all the brick houses in that city were built by him. Two years ago he went into the livery business in his brick block at the corner of Fifth and West streets. Mr. Bessonett is a public-spirited and an enterprising man, taking a deep interest in the growth and development of Santa Ana, and owning valuable property in different parts of the city. His residence, a beautiful structure, is on...

Read More

Biography of John Harris

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now John Harris of Westminster, was born in Cornwall, England, in May, 1832, and came to the United Sates in 1852. After spending three and a half years in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and one year in Missouri, he came in 1859 to San Franciso, and was in the mines for several years. Afterward he served as Superintendent of the Pine Tree mines for John C. Fremont. In 1874, his health failing, he came to Westminster and purchased 160 acres of land. For several years, in company with his son, Richard T., now the sheriff of Orange County,-he was in the general merchandise business at Westminster; for some time past he has been retired on account of delicate health. He owns a stock-farm, and gives his attention principally to raising horses. For many years he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is recognized as a true Christian gentleman by all who know him. The names of his children are: John, deceased; John E., Arthur, Richard T., George W., deceased; Clara, wife of Jerome Fulsome, of Garden Grove; Eliza A., Frederick, at Westminster; Ernest A., deceased; Albert E., Lora and...

Read More

Biography of Sheldon Littlefield

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Sheldon Littlefield Supervisor from the third district of Orange County, was born in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in 1834, and was brought up on a farm. At the age of seventeen years he went to Charlestown same State, and clerked in a grocery for a year. He then took what money he had saved and went to Appleton Academy so long as his money lasted. Then he taught school at Brookline, New Hampshire, and next returned to Massachusetts and for a time was engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, and then obtained a position for three years in a Charlestown provision store; and by this time he had saved money enough to bring himself to California, a journey he had been contemplating for the last six years. Taking a steamer at New York city, May 21, 1855, he traveled on the Northern Light to the Isthmus, and from there to San Francisco on the Uncle Sam, arriving June 12. Then he went by steamer up the river to Marysville, arriving there the next day, and before that night he had hired himself out to work on a ranch in the harvest field. After he had paid his hotel bill he had but fifty cents left. The price paid for his labor was $3 a day...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Henry Stephens

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Henry Stephens a farmer near Westminster, was born in Monmouthshire, England, in July, 1827, and in 1851 came to the United States. He traveled awhile in the Eastern States, and in 1852 came to California, by sail-vessel from New Orleans to the Isthmus, across which he traveled by the Nicaragua route, and thence to San Francisco, where he landed in August, having been six months in coining. After spending a year in the mines he returned to the Southern States, purchased a number of cattle and drove them across the plains, starting from Clark County, Arkansas, and arriving in California in September, 1854, after a six-months trip, by the way of the Evansville route. Subfrequently he mined two years near Sacramento, disposed of his cattle, and for twelve years ran a saw-mill in Calaveras County. He was then a resident of Stockton for a year and a half, and finally moved to Westminster, where he bought land, and has since lived there and bought other tracts of land. He is one of Westminster’s must prosperous farmers. He was one of the partners in the co-operative store at Westminster, and has aided every enterprise wisely inaugurated. In 1865 he married Miss Olive W. Shaw, who was born in Warren County, Pennsylvania. Her father, O. W. Shaw, was...

Read More

Biography of A. Goodwin

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now A. Goodwin one of the members of the city council at Santa Ana, is a native of O the Golden State, being born in San Joaquin County, June 24, 1854. His parents were A. D. and Amantha (Brofee) Goodwin, the former a native of New York State, and the latter of Wisconsin. The senior Goodwin came to California in 1852, and engaged in mining for a time, and subsequently in agriculture, his death occurring at Tustin, January 9, 1886. The subject of this sketch, the eldest of his parents’ four children, was educated at the Washington High School in Stockton, graduating in 1873. He soon bought a ranch in San Joaquin County, whereon he followed farming until 1883. In 1880, however, he came to what is now Orange County and bought property west of Santa Ana, on the Los Bolsas tract, on which he erected a cheese factory and carried on the business for six years. He then became a citizen of Santa Ana. Here he purchased seventeen and one-half acres on North Main street, which he has laid out as the Goodwin addition to the city. The boundaries of it are, on the north, Seventeenth street; east, Wells and Shafer streets; south, Washington avenue; and west, Main street. This addition is laid out into lots,...

Read More

Biography of Illiam Lamson

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Illiam Lamson a capitalist of Garden Grove, was born at Mt. Vernon, New Hampshire, October 1, 1810, the eldest of six children of John L. and Nancy (Bradford) Lamson. At the age of twenty-one years, after having been an industrious worker for his father, he started out in life for himself, his father taking him as far as he could in one day, giving him $2 and telling him not to drink or to gamble, and to do the best he could for himself. With the $2 Mr. Lamson went about half way to Boston and hired out for one year, at $10 per month. At the end of the year he had saved $100, which he put out at interest, and it is still drawing interest in some of his mortgages! After his first year’s work he entered a glass factory, where he exhibited the sterling qualities which have characterized him as a business man all through life. The superintendent of the glass works was a careless, in temperate man and wasted a great deal of material. Mr. Lamson saw this, and when all the other men had quit work he remained and gathered up what was about to be wasted and put things in order. The company, observing him in the performance of these...

Read More

Biography of John Avas

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now John Avas President of the City Council of Santa Ana, was born in Germany in 1843. His parents came to the United States in 1845, settling in St. Clair County, Illinois, and subsequently moved to Peoria County, that State, where the father died in 1851. Afterward the mother married again and moved to Washington, Tazewell County, Illinois, twelve miles east of Peoria. Mr. Avas, the subject of this notice, remained with his stepfather until he was fifteen years old, and then hired himself out to a farmer for one year, at the end of which time he was to receive $60. The next year he was hired by Asa Brown (afterward his father-in law) for one year, for $130. Then he rented land until August 4, 1862, when he entered Company B, Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for the war. Ile was discharged in February, 1863, on account of disability, and went to farming again. In November, 1864, he married Miss Ruth Brown, a daughter of his former employer. In 1865 he rented land in Woodford County, Illinois, and two years later purchased eighty acres of railroad land for $1,250, paying cash in hand $283; the rest of the purchase money he made off the land. Afterward he bought 160 acres, at three different times. For a...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of D. Scholl

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now D. Scholl of Tustin, was born December 25, 1807, a son of Jacob P. and Elizabeth Scholl, natives of Pennsylvania. His father, a blacksmith by trade, moved to New York in 1815, and died there in 1835; then the subject of this sketch, the eldest of the nine children in his father’s family, returned to Pennsylvania and learned the milling business with his grandfather. In 1834 he went again to New York State, married Miss Lucy Rowell, a native of Massachusetts, and the next year moved to Goshen, Indiana, where he engaged in the furnace and machinery business until 1849, when he crossed the plains to California, returning again to Indiana in 1852. After this he followed milling until 1861, when he recrossed the plains to California with his family, with horse teams. The first seven years in this State he followed farming in Solano County; then was a resident of San Francisco eight years, in Vallejo seven years and finally moved to Tustin, Orange County, where he has since occupied a fine fruit ranch in the beautiful Santa Ana valley. Politically Mr. Scholl is a Democrat. He has seen many of the hardships of pioneer life, but by industry and economy he has succeeded far better than many who have been more favored with opportunity....

Read More

Biography of Elcome Folwer

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Elcome Fowler proprietor of the Palmyra Hotel, Orange, is one of the pioneers of 1849, and a history of his life since that time is full of interesting Vincidents. He was born in Jackson County, Tennessee, in 1818. His father, John Fowler, was born in July, 1767, in Virginia, and died in December, 1867, being therefore in his 101st year. He had married Lucinda Usury and had ten children. May 25, 1849, the subject of this sketch left Atchison County, Missouri, with an ox team for California and arrived in Sacramento October 25. He immediately took a load of goods to Grass valley, built the first log house in that place and followed merchandising and mining for a year. In 1854, having returned to Missouri by way of the Isthmus, he came again to California overland, with an ox team, starting April 25 and arriving in Butte County August 1, bringing also a drove of cattle with him. He spent one winter herding them at Woodland. From 1855 to 1867 he was engaged in the cattle and dairy business, and in farming at Vallejo. After this he raised sheep and followed agriculture for six years in Merced County. In 1872 he moved to Tulare County, where he was engaged in the live-stock business and in farming...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Joseph Beach

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Joseph Beach of Orange, was born in Essex County, New York, August 20, 1816, and for twenty-six years after he arrived at the age of manhood he followed agricultural and mercantile pursuits. Then he was a farmer in Calhoun County, Michigan, ten years, until 1873, when he came to California. Since then he has been engaged successfully in the cultivation of a fruit farm in the Santa Ana valley, until lately, being in his seventy-fourth year, he has practically retired. Being one of the first settlers of Orange, he is respected as a pioneer, an honored citizen and a successful horticulturist. He was united in marriage in the State of New York, in 1837, with Miss Eliza Austin, a native of Vermont and the daughter of Sylvanus Austin. They have three children: George H., a physician of Los Angeles; Charles, of Orange; and Eliza J., now Mrs. Henry Lockwood, also of Orange. Mr. and Mrs. Beach celebrated their golden wedding three years ago, and are still, after a long and tiresome journey, walking hand in hand down the shady side of life happily...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Judge S. M. Craddick

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Judge S. M. Craddick Justice of the Peace and City Recorder at Orange, was born in Marion County, Iowa. In 1881 he went to Pierre, Dakota, and thence to Mankato, Minnesota, where he was engaged in the book and stationery trade. In 1886 he went to Chicago and engaged in the real-estate business until, on account of the ill-health of his wife, he had to seek a more genial climate. Coming to Orange, he has since then, by his active business habits and enterprising spirit, won the confidence and respect of all the business men who know him. He was one of the hardest workers for the establishment of the Orange County College. He it was who raised every dollar to purchase the Rochester hotel for the college building. He is also an active politician and labored efficiently for the county division. He is a prominent member of the Orange board of industry, in which body he is chairman of the committee on emigration and advertising. He was married in Racine, Wisconsin, June 6, 1887, to Miss Lizzie M. Richards, a native of Wisconsin, who died at Orange, March 6, 1890. Mrs. Craddick excelled both in instrumental and vocal music. She was admired and loved by all for her many...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Captain H. Hall

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Captain H. Hall one of the prosper?ous orange-growers of Santa Ana Valley, has been a citizen of the Golden State for eighteen years. Born at Tiffin, Ohio, in 1838, he was educated there and read law for several years, which study was interrupted by his enlistment in the army in Company H, Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry. During his service of three years he was commissioned Second Lieutenant and First Lieutenant. At the close of the war, being broken in health, he for a number of years traveled as a commercial agent. In 1876 he came to California and bought and improved a ranch one and a half miles north east of Orange. Socially Captain Hall is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and also a charter member of Gordon Granger Post, No. 138, G. A. R, of which he was first Post...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Illiam T. Richards

Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Illiam T. Richards formerly a cattle-dealer, but now retired and living at Orange, was born in the State of New York in 1833. His first employment in that State was as an agriculturist, and then he was a dairyman in Illinois, and later engaged in the dry-goods and clothing trade at Elgin, that State, for fifteen years. He came to California ten years ago, resided at San Gabriel three years and in Los Angeles one year; next he was en-gaged in the cattle business in Texas until three years ago, when he returned to California and purchased the place where he now lives, where he has erected a very neat and comfortable residence and expects to spend the remainder of his days. March 8, 1858, he married Miss Mary L. DuBois, from Newburg, New York; her father was William DuBois, a prosperous farmer in Medina, Orleans County, that State. Mr. and Mrs. Richards are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and worthy members of the best...

Read More


It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest