Location: Riverside California

Biography of Edwin Caldwell

Edwin Caldwell, of Riverside, was born in Putnam County, New York, September 13, 1824. His father, Absalom Caldwell, was a native of that State, and a farmer by occupation. Mr. Caldwell was reared upon his father’s farm, and educated in the public schools. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now In 1846, deciding to seek his home in the great west, he went to Wisconsin, and located in Washington County, establishing his residence in the town of West Bend. There, in partnership with his brother, he built saw and flour mills, and was prominent in building up the pioneer industries of that section. The California gold fever claimed him as a victim, and in 1849 he joined the army of gold seekers, and crossed the plains. Upon his arrival in California he located in the mining districts, and for a year or more endured the hardships and discomforts of a miner’s life. In 1851, having met with moderate success, he returned via the Isthmus route to his...

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Biography of Mrs. Cairar R. Wilkes

In noting the remarkable growth and prosperity of the Riverside colony, and collecting the data upon which to base the proper representation of the magnificent industries established and successes achieved by the representative people in the various enterprises that are to be embodied in the history of the county, a manifest injustice would be done to the lady whose name heads this sketch were not a proper mention made of her interests, her long years of individual efforts, and her successes in horticultural enterprises, that have added so much to the growth and prosperity of the colony. Mrs. Wilkes came to Riverside in the fall of 1876. She was possessed of capital, practical knowledge of horticultural pursuits in the East, and a wonderful fund of energy and ambition. Upon her arrival she purchased forty-five acres of land on Magnolia avenue, just below Adams street, about five miles south of the city. The lands thus secured were wild and uncultivated, but Mrs. Wilkes, with her characteristic energy, set about having them cleared and prepared for tree planting. She personally supervised and directed all improvements. Many of the trees first planted, particularly of deciduous fruits, proved non-producing or not profitable, and they were uprooted and citrus fruits took their place. As the years passed she continued her efforts and soon had some of the finest orange groves in the colony. The...

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Biography of James M. Drake

James M. Drake is one of Riverside’s representative and well-known businessmen, and has for years been the treasurer of the city, which responsible and important office he fills with honor and credit to himself and the municipality whose interests he so ably guards. Although not a pioneer of Riverside, her history would be incomplete without a fitting mention of Mr. Drake’s eight or ten years’ association with her interests. He is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and dates his birth April 12, 1837. His parents were Charles and Mahala J. (Jeter) Drake. His father was a native of Virginia, a descendant of one of the old colonial families. Mr. Drake was reared in Louisville until the age of twelve years. At that time the death of his mother occurred and his father then moved to Marshall, Clark County, Illinois. After a residence of four years in that place the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Drake terminated his school days in the public schools of that city and then returned to Louisville and started in life by learning the trade of au upholsterer and house-furnisher. He then established himself in Shelbyville, Kentucky, where he remained until early in 1858, when he established au upholstering and house-furnishing business in Huntsville, Alabama. He was successfully conducting his enterprise when the secession movement and the formation of the Confederate government plunged his...

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Biography of Donald W. McLeod

Donald W. Mcleod is one of the prominent and well-known citizens of Riverside and has been identified with many of the leading public enterprises of the colony for the decade of years preceding 1890. Mr. McLeod is a native of Nova Scotia, born at Scotsburn, Pictou County, November 18, 1841. His parents, Duncan R. and Annie (Fraser) McLeod, were of Scotch descent. Mr. McLeod was reared upon his father’s farm, and early in life became familiar with the practical duties of farm life. He was given the advantages of a good education, and at nineteen years of age graduated at the Provincial Normal School at Truro. He then engaged in teaching, and later entered the Dalhousie University at Halifax. Young and ambitious he entered heartily upon his college course, but over-work and a too close application to his studies resulted in physical prostration, and in 1863 his ill health compelled an abandonment of his university studies. He then decided to try his fortunes in the United States, and in that year located in New York city, where he entered into mercantile life; but again his health gave way, and he became convinced that not only a change of occupation but also a complete change of climate was necessary. In 1867 he came to the Pacific coast and located in San Francisco, and for the next seven years was associated...

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Biography of Reverday J. Pierson

Reverday J. Pierson, junior member and business manager of the well-known firm of Holmes & Pierson, the editors and proprietors of the Riverside Daily Press and Weekly Horticulturist, of Riverside, is a native of Licking County, Ohio, and was born in 1848. When a child his parents moved to Springfield, Illinois, and thence in 1857 to Poweshiek County, Iowa. He was engaged in his attendance in the public schools until fifteen years of age, and then apprenticed to the printers trade at Montezuma, Iowa. After serving his apprenticeship, he commenced his travels as a journeyman, and was engaged on the Chicago Tribune, and also several job offices in Chicago and St. Louis. In 1866 his roving disposition prompted him to enter the United States military service, and he enlisted in the Fifth United States Cavalry. The next two years was spent with his regiment on the Pacific coast and in the Territories, being stationed in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and California, his first advent in Southern California in 1868, at which time he was the hospital steward of Drum Barracks at Wilmington. In 1869 he was honorably discharged from the service, and after some months working at his trade in San Francisco, Sacramento and Marysville, returned to his home in Iowa. Shortly after his arrival there he established the Malcolm Gazette, which he later consolidated with the Montezuma Republican, and...

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Biography of John Hall, M. D.

John Hall, M. D., was born near Leeds, Yorkshire County, England, in 1819. He was reared and schooled in his native place, and early in life learned the printer’s trade. In 1845 he came to the United States and located in La Fayette County, Wisconsin, and, after a visit to New Orleans, was there engaged in the lead mines as a smelter. In 1848 he went to Canada, where he engaged in work at his trade as a printer in Toronto. He also entered upon the study of medicine in the Toronto School of Medicine. In 1857 he returned to the United States and entered the Western Homeopathic College at Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated at that institution in 1858, and in the same year married Miss Dorothea Stahl, a native of Darke County, Ohio. Mrs. Hall was educated as a physician and graduated at the Homeopathic College in the same class with Dr. Hall. The Doctor and his wife then located at Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered upon the practice of their profession. In 1860 they removed to New York City, and there continued their calling until 1873. In that year they came to California and located in Riverside. Upon his arrival, Dr. Hall bought a claim for forty-one acres of Government land about one and one-half miles south and east of Riverside, located upon what is now known as...

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Biography of Dr. Clark W. Sylvester

Dr. Clark W. Sylvester, one of Riverside’s wealthy and most esteemed citizens, was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1850, son of Sewell and Mary J. (Foster) Sylvester, both natives of Maine. The father was an iron founder by trade, and although a hard-working man, with nothing but his daily labor to depend upon for the maintenance of his family, he was possessed with the innate sense of honor and the principles of a gentleman. He toiled assiduously and took upon himself liabilities to give a good education to his son, who, during vacations, worked respectively in a grocery, paint shop, machine shop and iron foundry, and even during his terms of study often supported himself by such work as he could find to do during spare hours. His college course he never quite finished, for at the age of twenty-one he became imbued with the conviction that the expenses attendant upon his course of studies and his graduation was more than his father, whose health had recently suffered, could bear, and that his father, in reality, was more in need of assistance than able to give it. Dr. Sylvester being a youth of studious habits and of an ambitious disposition, mastered the leading branches of study in the high schools of North and South Andover, Massachusetts, then entered the Maine State Academy, in Lewiston, Maine, after which he passed...

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Biography of Aberdeen Keith

Among the representative men of Riverside who have been prominently connected with its horticultural and other industries, is the subject of this sketch. His long residence in Riverside, and association with the financial interests of the city, as well as San Bernardino County, are well known, and render such facts as are given regarding his life of interest in the annals of Riverside. Mr. Keith is a native of Massachusetts, dating his birth in Middletown, March 19, 1821. His father, Isaac Keith, was of Scotch descent, and inherited, as well as transmitted to his children, many of the well-known and admired characteristics of that hardy race. He died when the subject of this sketch was three years of age. The family then established their residence in Brockton, Massachusetts, where Mr. Keith was reared. He received the advantages of an attendance in the common schools until fourteen years of age, and was then placed at work in a nail factory, where he was employed for the next three years. He then spent a season in a seafaring life. Not suited with that he returned to Brockton and entered an apprenticeship at the trade of a boot and shoemaker. He worked as a journeyman in that calling until 1856. In that year he established himself in business as a boot and shoe manufacturer, under the firm name of Keith & Packard....

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Biography of Clarence Stewart

Clarence Stewart, a well-known businessman of Riverside, is a native of Rockford, Illinois, dating his birth in 1848. In 1849 his father, John N. Stewart, came to California and engaged in mining. In 1851 he returned East, and the next year brought his family to the State and located in Sacramento for about three years, and then moved to Sonoma County, where he engaged in farming until he came with his family to San Bernardino in 1865. The subject of this sketch was reared in California and schooled in her public schools. Shortly after his arrival in San Bernardino he went to Arizona and was there employed by Indian Agent George W. Beihy as his deputy on the La Paz Reservation. He spent a year in that territory and then returned to San Bernardino and learned the trade of a wagon-maker, after which he spent a winter in Wickenberg, Arizona, and in 1869 established himself on the old Jurupa Ranch, about one and one-half miles west of the present site of Riverside. He purchased fifty-five acres of that ranch and engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock-growing. Mr. Stewart has a fine orchard of deciduous fruit, forty acres in extent, upon his ranch that in 1888 yielded over 250 tons of green fruit; also a large vineyard of raisin grapes. A large portion of his land is of a character...

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Biography of Captain C.C. Miller

Captain C. C. Miller is one of the early settlers of Riverside and has for fifteen years been identified with its growth and improvement. He is a native of Oneida County, New York, dating his birth in 1824. His parents were Chancy and Alice (Reney) Miller, both natives of that county. His grandfather, Grant Miller, was a pioneer of Oneida County, settling there in the days of the colonies, and built the first house erected in his section. Captain Miller was but four years of age when the death of his father occurred. His mother then married Judge Aaron Burley. The subject of this sketch received the advantages of a good education. He was in attendance upon the public schools in New York until nearly twenty years of age, and then went to Ohio, joining the family, who had preceded him two years before. There he entered the Oberlin College, and after two years’ study in that institution, entered the Cleveland University and graduated in 1852. He made civil engineering a specialty in the college course and started in life in that calling as his profession, devoting himself to railroad construction, and was employed for the next two years on the Illinois Central and Atlantic & Ohio railroads. In 1854 he located at Tomah, Wisconsin, in Monroe County, and was for the next ten years engaged in the construction...

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Biography of Hon. Elmer Wallace Holmes

Hon. Elmer Wallace Holmes is the accomplished editor of the Riverside Daily Press and Weekly Press and Horticulturist. He has been identified with the growth and prosperity of Riverside since 1875, and it is safe to say that there are few men in the community who have done more to advance the horticultural and other industries of that city, and show to the world its possible resources and productions of its prolific lands than Mr. Holmes. The subject of this sketch came to Riverside, broken in health and seeking a desirable home and quiet pursuits. He early saw the possibilities of horticultural enterprises in Riverside, and in July of that year, purchased a twenty-five acre tract in Brockton Square, at what is now the corner of Brockton and Jurupa avenues. There were scarcely any improvements in that locality at that early date, but Mr. Holmes commenced his horticultural pursuits by planting his land with orange and lemon trees, and a large variety of deciduous fruits. He was also one of the earliest to grow the raisin grape. He has proved himself a practical and successful horticulturist, and now has one of the finest orange groves in Riverside. In 1882 he sold off a portion of his land, reserving some seventeen acres as his home. Mr. Holmes has devoted both time and money, not only in producing some of the...

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Biography of Luther C. Tibbets

Luther C. Tibbets was born in South Berwick, York County, Maine, June 26, 1820. His father, James Tibbets, was a native of the same State and a farmer by occupation. The subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools and reared a farmer until seventeen years of age. He then located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, first engaging as a clerk in mercantile houses, and later established a general merchandise store at Great Falls, New Hampshire, which enterprise he conducted until 1844, when be sold out the establishment to his brother. It is worthy of mention that the mercantile house he established nearly half a century ago is still in existence, conducted by his brother and descendants, under the firm name of E. A. Tibbets & Son. Mr. Tibbets continued his mercantile pursuits, establishing himself in Portsmouth, and later transferring the scene of his operations to Boston, Massachusetts, where he opened a wholesale grocery business. He remained there until 1852, and then seeking a broader field of operations located in New York. The next ten years were spent in a large wholesale grocery business. In 1862 he entered into produce and grain dealing, and became one of the heaviest grain operators in the city. At that time the war was in active prosecution; bread-stuffs and cereals were being “cornered,” and the Government as well as other consumers was...

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Biography of Dr. Charles W. Packard

Dr. Charles W. Packard is a well known early settler of the Riverside colony and has for many years been identified with the horticultural interests that have made Riverside so well known. He came to this colony in 1876 and located at Bandini Avenue, about one-half mile west of Brockton Avenue; his twenty acres formed a portion of the Brockton Square. At that time but few improvements had been made in that section, but the Doctor entered heartily into clearing and planting his lands. He was one of the first to foresee the future profits in orange-growing, and planted fully ten acres of his tract with seedling oranges: the balance he devoted to grapes and deciduous fruits, which at a later date he replaced with oranges. He was successful as a horticulturist and established one of the finest groves in the colony. In 1882 he sold eight acres from the eastern portion of his tract. He is now the owner of twelve acres which, with the exception of a small portion planted with deciduous fruits for family use, is devoted to orange culture. He has a representative grove under a high state of cultivation and prolific in yield. Dr. Packard is a native of New England, dating his birth in Abington, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, in 1846. In addition to his horticultural pursuits the Doctor has been in the practice...

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Biography of Dward J. Davis

Dward J. Davis, born in Devizes, Wiltshire County, England, in 1844, son of Robert and Sarah (MacVittie) Davis, natives of that country. The subject of this sketch was reared and given the advantages of a common-school education in his native place, and when fifteen years of age was apprenticed to the trade of a carpenter and builder. He served a seven years apprenticeship and entered life as a journeyman, a thorough master of his calling in all its details, and established himself in London. He was also employed on the Government work at Woolwich, and later on the Paris Exposition building in 1868. In the same year he came to the United States, and after a short stay in New York located in St. Louis and was there engaged in contracting and building until 1872. In the same year he came to California and located in Riverside, was one of the pioneer carpenters and builders of the colony. In 1873 he purchased the block bounded by Main, Orange, Ninth and Tenth streets, and established his residence there and entered into an active career as a carpenter and builder. Many of the pioneer business blocks were erected by Mr. Davis, among which was the building of the first brick block in the city, occupied by merchants, B. D. Burt & Brothers. For many years he conducted his business as a...

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Biography of L. M. Holt

L. M. Holt was born August 9, 1840, in the town of Sylvan, Washtenaw County, Michigan, near where now stands the town of Chelsea. His parents, natives of Connecticut, immigrated to Michigan while this was still a Territory. In 1852 the father died at Hillsdale, leaving five children. From the age of fourteen the subject of this sketch depended upon his own resources for maintenance and education. Attending the Hillsdale College from 1856 to 1859, he then went to Iowa, where he learned the printing business in the office of the Eagle, Vinton, Iowa. In 1860 he was married to Miss Libbie J. Graves. Spending three years in teaching he was elected in 1863 Superintendent of Schools of Vinton County, having under his charge over 100 schools during his incumbency in 1864 and 1865. In 1866 he established the Dallas County Gazette at Adel, Iowa, which he published for one year; then, selling out here, he removed to Boone, Iowa, purchased the Index, changed its name to the Standard, and published it for some little time, retiring in the spring of 1868. He was now elected a delegate to the Republican National Convention which placed General Grant in nomination for his first Presidential term. In 1869 Mr. Holt came to financial wreck, in the endeavor to publish a Prohibition newspaper in Marshalltown, Iowa; and in December of that year...

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