|Samuel Armor (1843-1933)|
I've provided a few interesting selections—but I’m barely scraping the surface. The book is nearly 1700 pages long!
Remember, all of this was written about a century ago:
CHAPTER XIII: UNINCORPORATED TOWNS
…Capistrano, the "Old Mission Town," is situated near the junction of San Juan Creek and Trabuco Creek…. The first location of the mission was several miles northeast of the present site, and at the foot of the mountain. The former location is still known as La Mission Viejo….
. . .
[The town of] Celery is one of the stations and shipping points on the branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad running from Newport Beach to [the town of] Smeltzer [near Westminster]. [Edinger Ave. was previously called Smeltzer.]
["Smeltzer is situated in the heart of the celery district south of Westminster. The town was named after the late D. E. Smeltzer* of Kansas City, who discovered the adaptability of the peat lands, when drained, to the growth of celery. Smeltzer and Wintersburg, one mile further south, are busy places in the shipping season. These towns are on the Southern Pacific Railway from Newport Beach to Los Alamitos." HOOC, p. 87. Evidently, the celery business in OC peaked in 1911 and thereafter declined.]Corona del Mar is a small hamlet on the mesa east of the mouth of Newport Bay.
[The town of] Delhi is a community center about two miles south of Santa Ana.
[(1) “I grew up in Orange County, lived in area called 'Delhi' where there was Orange groves and Sugar Beets growing, right outside of El Toro Helicopter Marine Base.” (2) "When I was a kid Delhi was a very unique area of Santa Ana. Barrio? Yes. Other side of the tracks? Yes. Family oriented community? Yes. Genuine folks? Yes. Defacto segregation? It had its own school district, what's that tell you? An ethnic melting pot? It sure was." –Orange County Memories]
. . .
Fairview [we've noted this town previously], seven miles southwest of Santa Ana, is located on the northwest part of the broad mesa lying between the ocean and the damp lands southwest of the county seat. A carline was projected in boom days to connect the town with Santa Ana, but there was not sufficient travel to justify its continuance….
|Orange County (Los Alamitos) c. 1920|
. . .
CHAPTER XVI: PLEASURE DRIVES AND RESORTS
A few years later David Hewes came down from San Francisco, bought this land and set to work to improve it. One of the oracles in that vicinity warned him that nothing could be done with such land. Mr. Hewes answered that he could cover the tract with twenty dollar gold pieces, if he wanted to. "You'll have to do so, to make it worth anything," was the retort.
Nevertheless, the Hewes orchards, consisting of about 525 acres, are now worth a million dollars and the Hewes Park is one of the show places of the county….
. . .
About a quarter of a century ago a nine-hole golf course was laid out in the valley southeast of the El Modena grade. Among those interested in the sport, the following names have been recalled: James Irvine, Dr. J. P. Boyd, W. H. Burnham, R. H. Sanborn, James Fullerton and Henri F. Gardner. Golfing parties would be made up in the different communities from time to time as inclination prompted and the cares of business permitted until the inclination was overborne by the cares and the sport languished.
Then in 1910 the club revived and increased its membership to about 100, drawing in such members as F. B. Browning, J. R. Porter, [et al.].
. . .
|Orange County Historical Society, Modjeska Canyon, 1921|
. . .
Besides Modjeska's Home and Inn, there are numerous houses and camping grounds in the different canyons throughout the mountains. Some of the houses are occupied all the time by families that live in the mountains for various reasons, and others are occupied only in vacation or when their owners wish to take an outing. The camping grounds are generally occupied by a few families or congenial friends in vacation time only, like Camptonville in the Santiago Canyon above Orange County Park [i.e., Irvine Park].
CHAPTER XIX: SUNDRY VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS
[No mention of the Klan! On the other hand, there's the WCTU:]
. . .
Orange County W.C.T.U.
By Elizabeth H. Mills
In writing the history of Orange County, all who read its history should know that the organized forces of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union—organized immediately after the organization of the County in 1889—though numerically small, have been a potent factor in the moral, spiritual and political uplift of the county. The education given by this organization has been progressive along all lines that tend to the betterment of the human race. It has spared neither sacrifice nor service to this end, and today not a county in our beloved state can show a better record. Splendid men have stood behind the brave women who have dared to blaze the way through indifference, criticism and intolerance that ever marks the path to victory. These kept the faith and waged the warfare that made it possible for Orange County, with its present eleven Unions and over five hundred members, to be an effective part in placing in our National Constitution the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments. All honor to the W.C.T.U. women, and their helpers, of this County for their part in making the nation's present and future sober, Christian citizenship.
[One might note that the 2nd edition of this history was written only one or two years before the KKK** first made a splash in OC. That effort was successfully defeated. Then,
In 1924, the Klan secretly managed to get four of its members elected to the five-member [Anaheim] Board of Trustees. Nine of the ten members of the police force were also Klansmen. The four Klan trustees served for nearly a year, until they were publicly exposed, and voted out in a recall election in which 95% of the population participated. —See Anaheim and also Anaheim police dept. history.]. . .
A Breach of the Law
By Linn L. Shaw
…William McKelvey, foreman of Madame Modjeska's famous ranch home in Santiago Canyon, was brutally murdered July 31, 1892, by this Mexican [namely, Francisco Torres], who was employed as a laborer under him. Torres fled, was captured at Mesa Grande a couple of weeks after the crime and, brought to this city, where he was held for the murder, without bail, and was confined in the old jail on Sycamore Street, between Second and Third. McKelvey had many friends in this city and the officers, fearing trouble, placed Robert Cogburn on guard at the jail. About one o'clock on the morning of August 20 there was an alarm at the jail door and a muffled demand to open it, which order Mr. Cogburn refused to obey. Immediately the door was battered in with a sledge and about thirty men, armed and masked, filed inside. Upon being refused the keys to the cell they forcibly took them from the guard, secured Torres and departed. Mr. Cogburn attempted to follow them, but, upon being invited to return to the jail at the point of what appeared to him a "horizontal telegraph pole,” returned to his duties without any further desire to associate with his determined and systematic visitors. There was evidently no time wasted with the captive, and he was strung up to the pole, where the body remained as a gruesome surprise to early risers the next morning. An attempt was made to locate the perpetrators of the lynching through the grand jury, but no indictments were issued and the affair was quietly dropped in official circles.
[Torres was hanged at the northeast corner of Fourth and Sycamore streets.]
CHAPTER XXXI: THE BEE INDUSTRY
By J. E. Pleasants
…Samuel Shrewsbury was the first man to bring bees into what is now Orange County. This was in 1869. He first kept them on the Montgomery ranch at Villa Park. In 1871 he moved them into the Santiago Canyon. Beekeeping as an industry has grown gradually until there are now about 10,000 colonies kept in Orange County. There are from 75 to 100 practical beekeepers who make it their chief business. The average yield of honey during a good year is about 200 tons. This year (1920) there will be over 300 tons. The cash income from honey and wax, at the present prices, is something over $100,000 annually.
CHAPTER XXXV: POPULATION AND VALUATIONS
*In Beasts of the field: a narrative history of California farmworkers, 1769-1913, Richard Steven Street describes an episode of anti-Chinese racism in the early 1890s. It started when Smeltzer and a pal tried to grow celery but couldn’t get local hands to do the work in the bogs. Thus Chinese workers were hired. When the celery harvests became lucrative, the non-Chinese workers wanted in, but the company would only hire the Chinese. Thus, local field hands held “indignation” meetings, expressing their intent to “wipe out the almond-eyed Mongols.” One night, they attacked a Chinese camp, setting it alight. After that, the company hired armed guards. See also Immigrant Lives in the OC and Beyond.
**(1) Announcing the 'Which OC Pioneers Were KKK Members?' Series! (2) Alexander P. Nelson Was the Klanbuster (Gustavo Arellano, OC Weekly)