The Yorba Linda Grammar School, built in 1913 (courtesy the Orange County Archives).

The Yorba Linda Grammar School, built in 1913 (courtesy the Orange County Archives).

Community Development in Early Yorba Linda

By Eldo West

Jacob Stern, chief owner of the land comprising the Yorba Linda Tract, was also an owner of the Stern & Goodman store of Fullerton.[1] This store undertook early in the settlement of the Tract to supply to grocery needs of the new residents. A clerk driving a team to a light delivery wagon would call on housewives, and take their orders for his next round when he’d make the delivery and secure the list for his next round. Twice a week service. The store handled a line of general goods but delivery was confined almost entirely to groceries and feed. Prices naturally were high, but it was a lifesaver, almost, to families so far from a market.

 As soon as enough people had moved to the Tract, a grocery store was started in the townsite by a Mr. Pullen, but it never grew up with the country.[2]

 With the constant increase in owners moving to their ranches to make their homes, Stern & Goodman decided to establish a grocery at the townsite under the management of William Fassel, with Harry Hoben as a clerk. The store was apparently very successful, and continued first under one owner and then another.[3]

 The acreage sold out faster than the town lots and the town grew very slowly since there wasn’t much chance of employment except on the ranches. The Tract did support the grocery, a hardware store, a drug store, a lumber yard, and a service station. Also, George Quigley did a thriving business in making and laying concrete pipe for irrigation of the lemon and orange groves.

 Joe Buckmaster started the hardware store, later sold to Charles Selover and Roy Ware.[4] Then Joe managed the San Pedro Lumber Company yard and built a house on Park Street which we bought later.[5] It was while they were living in that house that one of their boys developed tuberculosis, from which he later died.[6]

 The next public venture was streets that residents could travel, and the developers did a partial job of grading that made it possible to get from here to there with considerable hazard. Quite a bit of volunteer work was done and agitation for County work was soon begun which finally resulted in the grading and paving of Yorba Linda Blvd. west from the townsite to join paved roads already completed. In addition the County graded and oiled several of the other more important streets.[7]


 Other new owners were moving to their new homes and it soon became apparent to us that something must be done about a school. A committee went to the Trustees of the Olinda School District, of which Yorba Linda was a part, and got them to agree to hire a teacher for a school in Yorba Linda. I am not sure whether the actual school building -- a single room -- was paid for by the district or furnished by the community. Anyway, we had school for the children the first winter.[8]

 Before the next school year plans to form a new school district within the Yorba Linda Tract and comprising all but a small portion that was already in the Yorba School District were completed. The district was growing rapidly and more school room was imperative, so a bond election was held and funds voted for a new school building. H.P. Turner, J.M. Quigley and I were elected Trustees and had the responsibility for the erection of the new building.[9]


 Since there were several families of the Friendly Persuasion – Quakers – on the tract, many of them member of the First Friends Church of Whittier, it was natural that they should take the lead in organizing a church and building a meeting house. I think that a lot in the townsite was donated by the selling agents and that the Whittier Meeting gave substantial help. Watson Walker, Emory Trueblood, Dr. Marshburn, Frank Nixon, Arthur Morris, Mr. Pike and many others giving freely of their time and such financial support as they were able.[10]

 From the minutes and other evidence it appears the meeting was not too successful in the first few years. Salary offered (and sometimes not paid) to pastors was very low. The Ministry and Oversight Committee would sometimes report that the best they could say was ‘that they are a year older’ in reporting progress for the previous year.

 The church had, a few years later, the unique distinction of being the owner of a saloon license – or at least a license to dispense liquor. In their fight to keep liquor stores out of Yorba Linda they learned the only way they could have a license revoked that had been issued by the County was to purchase the license from the holder, which they did, and then allowed it to lapse. Except for that brief period, Yorba Linda has been without a liquor store.

 Mrs. Amstutz’s records show that a Sunday School was organized a year earlier, June 4, 1911, and that a Congregational preacher from the Olinda church held meetings every other Sunday. Also that Rev. Marsh, a property owner, had preached several times. A few years later, a second church was organized by the Methodists and they have built a nice building and have an active membership.


 Not long after we moved to town a Masonic lodge was organized there and I was admitted as one of the first new members. Then about that time a lodge of the Eastern Star formed and Grace was invited to attend as a possible new member.[11] When she came home soon after the meeting convened and told me she had been informed she could not be admitted, I saw red. I was determined I was going to find out why she had been turned down regardless of any pledges of secrecy concerning their meeting. There was no legitimate reason or excuse for such an insult and I intended finding out what trumped up charge had been made and to disprove it.

 I went to the two leading women in the organization, Mrs. Blattner and Carrie Drake. They spilled the news a drop at a time. It was on account of her reputation back east, which meant only one thing – someone who knew her back there and could be supposed to know was making the charge. I told them I could get letters from every member of the Butterville Masonic lodge attesting her good name and spotless reputation, that there was no local complaint, and unless the action was reversed I’d sue that woman for libel, or something.

 I wrote to Jim Silvers, head of Butterville Lodge, got a letter praising Grace and her folks very highly which I submitted to the matrons of the lodge and a few weeks later Grace was invited to again submit her application and assured it would definitely be accepted. And it was.


 As a business venture I built a garage on Main Street and conducted a business there.[12] I had Lloyd Buckmaster as chief mechanic and manager.[13] One day he had a car from a crony from Olinda in there and some dispute arose concerning the bill and during the argument the Olinda man called me an S.O.B. For some reason I was not offended, I simply laughed at him and told him his opinion didn’t concern me in the least, and to get his car out of there and stay out.

 That night I relived the scene and thought I had acted the coward, no man with a backbone would take that from anybody. So when I went to the garage the next morning and found him in the garage fixing a tire, I demanded an apology forthwith and publicly. He hesitated and I hit him and knocked him down. I picked up his tire and threw it into the street, told him to get up and get out of there and that if I ever caught him in there again I would beat the daylights out of him. He was taller than I was and supposed to be quite an athlete, but he went down so easily that I felt quite cocky. That was the last I ever saw of him.


 Another development worthy of note was the promotion of a bank, which was undertaken by J.W. Hargrave, a former resident of South Dakota, where he had been in the banking business. Mr. Hargrave had some $25,000 capital and secured the balance by the sale of stock at $100 per share.[14]

 I was asked to buy five shares as a civic duty, but I turned the offer down on the plea that I didn’t have the money -- and for the further reason that I considered I could use the money for quicker turnover and bigger profits in private business.

 However, upon the insistence of an Anaheim banker who offered to loan me the money for that purpose, I did buy five shares to help enable Hargrave to qualify for a permit. I sold the stock a few months later at par and paid back the money.

 Looking back I can congratulate myself that I did not retain the stock. It never did pay very well and the bank went under in the crash of ‘29, losing the stockholders quite a bit, and even the depositors lost money. We had moved to Anaheim, but Mr. Ross was making payments on the house we sold him through the bank and I was depositing money there.[15]


 According to my memory the biggest issue during World War I was the sale of bonds and the criticism and conjecture about any who refused when it was believed they were able to do so.[16]

 There was some talk about the possibility of German-sponsored raids from Mexico and the danger of sabotaging the water reservoirs, but I don’t think the average resident took it very seriously. I know I did not. I thought it baseless and only an attempt to bolster the war effort and help enlistments and sale of war bonds. I don’t think it was feared that Mexicans would do the job. Rather, that German spies working from a base in Mexico could accomplish the job.[17]

 In general the people approved of America’s entrance into the war, and gladly did all they could to aid the cause. I don’t remember the Friends, as a body, taking any definite action, though they deplored war. Fred Johnson, true to his convictions, refused to buy bonds and openly expressed his stand. He was severely criticized by some and his sincerity doubted by many.[18] One the other side there were some who doubted the honesty of some of the loudest proponents of the war.

 A Home Guard of sorts was organized and membership cards were issued to volunteers for the service. I carried one of the cards for years. That was as near as I ever came to getting into the army. Some of the county officers from Santa Ana came over and enrolled the members of the special guard. That was about all that was ever done about it. No evidence of any attempt to damage the reservoirs was ever detected and the fear died a natural death.

 The Mexicans living on land adjoining the Tract were treated as equals in most ways, but not socially, even as today. People didn’t look down on Mexicans, but they did not intermingle, by mutual agreement. And I expect some of the old Spanish families would hesitate to admit the average Yorba Lindian was an equal. Mexicans were accepted individually, but not as a class.


 One of the more exciting periods of Yorba Linda history was when oil was discovered on the Morse lease at the southwest edge of the Tract and oil companies began leasing land in all directions. The production was so heavy in the discovery well that oil companies, promoters, and speculators were bidding against each other for leases on land near the well. Before long they were leasing all around the townsite, paying good bonuses and the usual royalties.[19]

 New wells were drilled all around and several “gushers” spouted oil higher than their derricks in the vicinity of the first well. The leasing spread to the townsite and our five acres was included in a community lease.[20]

 When the fever was running high a Kansas banker, visiting friends in Southern California, decided he would like some get-rich-quick money and offered to buy a half-interest in our oil rights. The deal was handled by E.R. Walker and we sold the half-interest for $3,000, but had to take a Franklin Touring Car for about half the price.[21] Time proved it to be a wise deal on our part, as a well drilled on adjoining property proved that there was no oil and so our oil rights were worthless.

 While speculation ran high some owners cashed in at good profits. Others refused high offers. At the height of the boom W.E. Swain was offered $50,000 for the ten acres he owned east of Reservoir Hill, but refused it. He was working in the water company office at the time and talked about the offer freely with me. I urged him to accept, told him he couldn’t afford to gamble, but he had visions of a fortune from oil wells all over the place and stubbornly refused.

 When the hole nearest his place proved a duster the offer collapsed and Swain did, too. I never saw a man change so quickly. He simply wilted, and I thought for a while the man would lose his mind. But he had a job, he had his family to care for, and hadn’t lost anything but the opportunity, so he recovered his balance and the last time I saw him was apparently as happy as anybody.

 The oil discovery made a few men near Yorba Linda rich, but to most Yorba Lindians it was only good for some speculation on how they’d live when.


 The social activities of Yorba Linda were normal, about what you’d expect in any similar community. The women formed a club that worked for civic progress. A chamber of commerce followed the path blazed by chambers of commerce for decades.[22] Church organizations met to promote the spiritual welfare and gossip a little about the preacher who was too attentive to the choir leader, how they were caught in the basement of the church with her in his arms, how he organized moonlight parties to Glen Ivy to swim in the pool so that he could see her and the girls in their swim suits, etc.

 The PTA discussed topics concerning the school openly and then whispered very confidentially that the woman Trustee was altogether too familiar with a male member of the board, that he took her out nights leaving her children with that no good husband of hers -- gossip that had facts to warrant it as later events proved, when the male board member divorced his wife to marry the widowed female.

 The packing house crew had their chance to gossip and speculate about where the female-charming superintendent and his statuesque secretary went when he took her out nights and what they did. When at the same time his sexy daughter was the subject of more gossip.

 Then there were the stories about the not-so-young married woman that told how she and her neighbor exchanged husbands occasionally when all four were together in one of their houses. Rather hard to believe, though there was much corroborative evidence.

 Frank Nixon had bought eight acres adjoining the townsite on the southwest, just across the Anaheim ditch from where we later lived on Park Street.[23] He was engaged in orchard care work, carpentering, etc. The Anaheim ditch was a favorite swimming place for the small fry on hot days, but its use was strictly forbidden by the water company and parents, too.

 But it takes more than rules to keep a small boy out of so inviting a stream, and Frank’s boys were average boys, so they sneaked a swim when they could. One time, Mother recalls, they made a miscalculation and their dad came home to catch them. To teach them to not disobey he three Harold back into the water as fast as he could climb out for four or five times. The boys’ aunt, Elizabeth Harrison, was at our place and saw the performance and kept calling to Frank, “Stop it Frank, stop it, you’ll kill him, I hate you, stop it!” I guess that when Frank saw that the boy could scarcely climb up the steep bank anymore he decided to quit, or possibly his anger had subsided to the point where his reason could work a little.[24]


 Crimes of violence were rare. A certain mealy-mouthed husband was said to have poisoned his wife, though the accusations were whispered behind closed doors and no attempt was made to prove them and punish him for the crime. The same man allowed his brother-in-law, who had suffered a stroke, to die of starvation and neglect, according to the gossip at the time.

 At a water company directors meeting one night a stockholder from the west side, a man who had lost one hand, got into an argument with Howard Barton, and they both got mad and were about to exchange blows when I stepped between them and demanded a cessation of hostilities. From the above it might look like Barton was somewhat of a bully to threaten a strike a smaller, one-handed man, but when you saw the steel hook strapped to the other fellow’s wrist and realized that one blow with that might mean a very serious injury, you would give Barton credit for more bravery than discretion.[25]

 To add to the confusion just about the time I stopped them Mr. Best fainted. The excitement was too much for him and his fainting put an end to the argument, so all ended with no one hurt.

 In one instance where two neighbors, both pretending to be good church members, could not agree and had frequent quarrels, one of them discovered one day that all his young lemon trees had been girded. Of course he and most everybody else suspected his neighbor enemy. However, I don’t remember any legal action begin taken and think the trees mostly recovered.

 Another time two local men had a quarrel over something, I don’t know what, and one called the other a fighting name. The next morning the insulted man came down to our house for a confidential talk with me regarding what he could do to retrieve his honor. No gentleman could allow an insult such as that to go unanswered, what could he do? My advice was to forget it, nobody would remember it long and anything he could do would worsen the situation.

 He could not let it pass. He was engaged to be married to an estimable woman and was determined to uphold his honor by death if necessary.

 My pleas for ignoring the imagined insult were in vain; he had to do something and suggested a plan for my approval, swearing me to secrecy. He would arrange, through me, for the other man to go up in the hills with him on a purported rabbit hunt, but secretly agreeing that only one would come back. They would stage a private duel among the cactus and the survivor would come back and report an accidental death by shotgun wound.

 I told him it was the craziest thing I had ever heard, that the man was not fool enough to accept such a crazy challenge, and if he did one or the other would face a murder charge and that I would not perjure myself to protect him, I would have to tell what I knew of the affair regardless of who got shot.

 I promised that if he would drop the whole thing right there, say no more about it to anybody, I would keep our talk in confidence. He finally agreed to do nothing unless the other man started something again. Since that man was not of a quarrelsome nature, I knew that the outcome depended entirely upon the insulted man’s conduct, and hoped for the best. So far as I know that was the end of the feud, and I never heard the matter referred to again by anyone.

 Other deviations from the straight and narrow could be cited, but that is enough to show that Yorba Lindians were not all saints. They were just average American citizens, none perfect, some badly warped, and a few intentionally crooked and deceptive.


 Any notes concerning Yorba Linda would not be complete without some mention of some of the outstanding characters, like E.E. Knight for instance. While he was not one of the first settlers, he was one of the distinctive characters. As we afterwards learned, he was born in Michigan, went to San Francisco in his youth and then to Central America, where he was a contractor of railroad work and engaged in other Central American enterprises. He was successful enough to accumulate a Spanish wife and some children along with some capital before he decided to return to California. He had observed the growth and value of the avocados grown in that country and decided to try their propagation here, so he brought with him, or had shipped afterwards, scions from several varieties from which he cut buds and budded onto seedlings started here. Some of his stock is still being grown, but they never achieved the success of the Fuerte, and other hardier varieties. Mr. Knight endeavored mightily to make friends and get along with people, but never succeeded too well.[26]

 Yorba Linda had its quota of queer, eccentric, odd people, too. None crazy or violent, just oddities that were noticeable. Like Mrs. Haag, a little old lady that lived down south of town all by herself and conducted a one-woman ceramics business, forming the pieces by hand and firing them in her own oven. She was not only a pioneer in Yorba Linda, but a pioneer in that business, too. Nothing particularly odd about her, she was independent, asked no favors, and lived alone, but I wonder how well she liked it.[27]

 Then there was Newt Miswander, who’d walk to Anaheim and back to save a few cents on a basket of groceries. He paid for his ten acres and eventually built one of the better houses on the Tract.

 And Mrs. “English” Jones, who’d take her broom, dust pan and bucket and gather all the horse manure on the street that passed their place and put it around her flowers. A wonderfully kind woman who would do anything for you if you needed help.


 I recall another resident that selected Yorba Linda as a place to retire -- Dr. Lester Keller and his wife. The doctor had practiced medicine for years in the coal fields in West Virginia and telling about his experiences among the coal miners was his main pastime. He was a good story teller, and always the center of a group of listeners at lodge meetings and other gatherings.[28]

 He had held the job of “Company Doctor” for one of the large mining firms and dispensed pills and advice to all the employees. One of his tales concerned a miner he treated for pneumonia, but the man continued to get worse in spite of all he did and finally gave up. He told the man’s wife the fellow couldn’t live and the he wouldn’t be back.

 As he heard no more from the family he supposed the man was dead and buried. A couple of weeks later he had a call next door and learned the man was still alive, so he decided to go in to see him. He was greeted with a, “Well, Doc, I’m sure glad you come.”

 “Is that so. Well I’m surprised to see you still in bed.”

 “That’s what I wanted to see you about. I want to get up.”

 “Of course, get up and get your clothes on, no use laying there any longer.”

 “But the trouble is, Doc, I ain’t got no clothes. When you said I wouldn’t get well my wife gave all my clothes to her bother.”

 The doctor sent him a new outfit.


 The first M.D. to make Yorba Linda his home was Dr. [William V.] Marshburn. I think he was aiming for retirement more than continuance of medical practice, though he did practice there to a limited extent. When Merle was about three years old he had a very sick spell, but inasmuch as Dr. Utter had continued as our family doctor since Merle’s birth we had him to take care of Merle. One day when Merle was very low Dr. Utter told us to call him that evening if we needed him. About six o’clock I called him and told him Merle seemed worse, could he come out? He said no, it wouldn’t do any good, it was too late.

 So I immediately called Dr. Marshburn, who said he was just about ready to start to prayer meeting and would stop by on his way. He came in a few minutes later and I told him what I could about Merle’s sickness, and what Dr. Utter had said. He examined Merle and said he was in a very critical condition. “All I can do is pray,” he said, “and I’ll ask the folks over at prayer meeting to pray too, that’s they only hope.” Merle passed the climax that night and began to improve. He gained steadily and in a few weeks was well as new.

 Draw your own conclusion -- one doctor had said he was beyond help and the other said he only chance was through prayer which was made on his behalf and the boy recovered.[29]

 As against this could be cited cases where recovery was just as hopefully prayed for and not attained. I have in mind a case that occurred near Whittier a few years ago. A comparatively young man was stricken with an internal cancer. He was the father of three children that were being brought up as best as Christian parents could, and he was so essential to their welfare and education that it seemed his life must and surely would be spared.

 Doctors attempted an operation and told him he could not be saved by surgery. So they turned to the Lord and prayed for his recovery. He got better. I saw him in Whittier afterward, driving his car and two of his children with him. When I told him how glad I was to see him out again he said, “It’s all due to prayer. The doctors said I couldn’t be cured but Jesus has cured me in answer to our prayers.” Two months later he was buried.

 Possibly a brief statement of my belief and conclusions regarding prayer and its efficacy in healing would not be amiss, although I am supposed to be writing recollections of Yorba Linda.

 I think the laws of nature are immutable, very complex, and not very well understood. Even the laws governing prayer. “Prayers change things” may be true, but the biggest changes occur in the person praying.

 Man’s progress is determined by his understanding of the laws of nature. That there is nothing new under the sun is literally true. All the latest achievements in science have produced nothing new. The components of the atomic and hydrogen bombs have always existed. Man has only found how to combine the parts, he hasn’t made anything nor can he. Man is not a creator. There is one Creator only. God, who made the universe and the laws that govern it.

 When we consider the complexity of nature we realize the laws must be perfect or complete chaos would prevail. How then could they be changed to grant the wish of an individual?

The Yorba Linda Garage and Blacksmith Shop on Main Street, circa 1920; built by and co-owned by Eldo West (courtesy the Orange County Archives).

The Yorba Linda Garage and Blacksmith Shop on Main Street, circa 1920; built by and co-owned by Eldo West (courtesy the Orange County Archives).

[Back to Introduction]


[1] The original Stern & Goodman store opened in Fullerton in August of 1889. They later had branches in many northern Orange County towns. Goodman died in 1912 (Orange County Tribune, September 4, 1912) and Stern sold the business in October, 1918.

[2] H.C. Pullen opened the first store in Yorba Linda sometime in 1910. He sold out at the beginning of 1913 (Orange County Tribune, February 6, 1913).

[3] Fassel later formed a partnership with Felix Stein, and in 1918 bought out the original Stern & Goodman store in Fullerton (La Habra Star, October 11, 1918). Stein & Fassel ran the store in Yorba Linda until 1920, when they sold out to E.D. Forbes (Yorba Linda Star, October 25, 1920). After retiring from the firm Fassel lived Anaheim, where he died in 1948 (Yorba Linda Star, March 12, 1948). Felix Stein lived until 1973. In 1970 he was interviewed for the California State University Fullerton Oral History Program’s Richard Nixon Project (tape #958).

[4] The Yorba Linda Hardware Store began around 1912. In April of 1913 Joe Buckmaster took in Roy Ware as a partner (Orange County Tribune, April 17, 1913) then in December he sold his interest to R.A. Shook (Tribune, December 4, 1913, January 29, 1914). Charles Selover bought into the firm a few years later, and by 1919 was partner with E.C. Townsend. Buckmaster (1861-1924) was another Whittier transplant to Yorba Linda. He moved to Whittier with his wife, Ella, and family in 1902, then early in 1912 they moved to Yorba Linda. “Mr. Buckmaster built and operated the first hardware store here,” his obituary notes, “and was also manager of the first lumber yard, serving for a time also as postmaster. Always active in community affairs he had much to do with the upbuilding of Yorba Linda.” (Yorba Linda Star, January 2, 1925). Selover had come to Yorba Linda in 1911 and was apparently a brother of Mrs. Buckmaster. Ella Buckmaster lived in Yorba Linda for the rest of her life, dying in 1945 (Star, September 21, 1945).

[5] The Orange County Tribune (September 25, 1912) reports, “The residence of Mr. Buckmaster is nearing completion.” On April 24, 1913 that paper reported: “E.R. West and family moved into their new home Saturday....” They must have bought the place on time, as the title was not transferred until April of 1914. “I think we paid $1,400 for his house and lot,” Eldo recalled. The house was located at 4891 Park Place.

[6] John Buckmaster died of tuberculosis in 1919. “He had been a great sufferer for more than a year,” the La Habra Star reported, “and his death was not unexpected.” (October 27, 1919).

[7] Harold Brewer (1891-1990), who bought ten acres along the boulevard in 1911, recalled: "When Yorba Linda began to grow a little bit they wanted to widen Yorba Linda Boulevard and took a strip about ten feet wide across my place. And I went up to Janss -- that was while we were still making payments -- and complained about it. Old man Janss pulled out his purse and gave me a $10 gold piece and said, "Here, go on home." (Personal interview, October 19, 1988).

[8] The community paid for it, donating money, materials, and labor. The Janss Company gave $50. In 1911 a Box Social was held to help pay off the debt on the schoolhouse -- which raised a grand total of $12.95. (Orange County Tribune, November 15, 1911).

[9] The petition to form a Yorba Linda Elementary School District was forwarded to the County Superintendent of Schools in January, 1911, but the district was not organized until 1912. The new school (not surprisingly) stood on School Street. Cora Marshburn and Henrietta Compton were the first teachers (Orange County Tribune, September 25, 1912). At the beginning of the 1913-14 school year 75 students were enrolled.

[10] According to notes made from the church records by Eldo West, the Yorba Linda Friends Church was established in August 1912 and the first regular minister, W.E. Graves, hired in December. “The minutes of the monthly meetings are very sketchy and incomplete,” he noted. “There is no church record, or at least not in the book of minutes I examined, of the donation of $600 from the Whittier meeting, $100 from Pasadena, and $100 and a lot from the Janss Company.”

[11] The Yorba Linda Masonic lodge began in 1918, a little after the Eastern Star, which was instituted on February 9, 1917 and chartered that October. Carrie Drake was the first Worthy Matron (Yorba Linda Star, October 17, 1947). Eldo West was a member, but never the Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge.

[12] Eldo West sold the building in 1919 (La Habra Star, August 11, 25, 1919).

[13] Lloyd Buckmaster was another son of Joe Buckmaster; he later moved to Stanislaus County.

[14] For details, see the La Habra Star, October 5, 1916. The original Board of Directors were Dr. Lester Keller, president; Charles Hamburg (of Whittier), vice president; J.W. Hargrave, cashier; and Eldo West, Joe Buckmaster, and Fred Johnson, directors. The bank building opened on February 19, 1917 and was "beautiful indeed and modern in every way.... Some three hundred fifty [people] attended the opening." (Star, February 22, 1917).

[15] The First National Bank of Yorba Linda failed in 1932 (see the Yorba Linda Star, January 8, 1932). John Hargrave had died just two months before (Star, November 6, 1931).

[16] The sale of government “Liberty Bonds” during World War I was designed both to help fund the war effort and to build public sentiment for the war. Yorba Linda’s quota for the Third Liberty Loan was $6,750. For the Fourth Loan, it was $14,250. Yorba Linda really went over the top on that drive, with 265 subscribers buying $28,500 worth of Liberty Bonds. (La Habra Star, April 5, September 27, October 25, 1918).

[17] Jessamyn West refers to these fears in her South of the Angels (Book IV, chapter 2).

[18] Johnson, who settled in Yorba Linda in 1912, was a charter member of the Friends Church there.

[19] For more on the local oil boom, see the La Habra Star, February 8, August 16, September 20, 1918, March 14, April 11, 1919, and the Los Angeles Times, October 28, 1918. The big boom began locally when oil was discovered on the Chapman Ranch near Placentia in 1919.

[20] The lease began on October 1, 1918 and was canceled in January of 1922.

[21] Eldo leased “all minerals, petroleum, asphaltum, brea, oil and gas and all other hydro-carbon substances” on his property (along with a one-half interest in all lease royalties) to R.J. Tague on April 28, 1921. See also the Yorba Linda Star, April 20, 1921. In a later manuscript Eldo gives the price as $5,000, with the Franklin accounting for only $1,750 of the payment. Armed with his manuscript, Jessamyn West used the $5,000 figure in her book Hide and Seek.

[22] The Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1913 with T.B. Welch as president (Orange County Tribune, February 20, 1913). Eldo West served as vice president in 1920.

[23] The “house my father built”, as President Nixon put it, still stands on the grounds of the Nixon Library and Birthplace.

[24] For other descriptions of Frank Nixon’s temper, see the interviews with Hurless Barton and Ralph Shook at the Center for Oral and Public History at Cal State Fullerton.

[25] Barton had come to Yorba Linda in 1912. In 1917 he built the building for the First National Bank.

[26] Edmund E. Knight (1860-1952) was in Yorba Linda by 1915 where he experimented with a number of tropical plants. He later lived in Fullerton.

[27] Emma J. Haag died in 1945 (Yorba Linda Star, June 22, 1945).

[28] The Kellers came to town in 1916, and Dr. Keller was a pioneer in the avocado industry and served as president of the First National Bank of Yorba Linda. Mary A. Keller died in 1920 (Santa Ana Register, August 24, 1920). Dr. Keller left town around 1922.

[29] Yorba Linda pioneer Ralph Shook recalled this incident in a 1970 interview for the Cal State Fullerton Oral History Program: “Merle West ... got desperately ill. My wife was a nurse, a trained nurse, and Mr. West came after her; she had come off a baby case and was tired to death.... He said his own wife couldn’t take care of him. She was just hysterical and didn’t feel well anyhow. Finally she gave in.... Merle, he had dysentery. He’d been eating apricots that were only about half grown, but he liked them I guess, the taste or something, but he got dysentery terribly, and he got worse and worse.... [My wife called Dr. Utter], she wanted to know his instructions to her. Well, he said just try to keep him comfortable, that’s all you can do. Don’t make any particular difference what you do, he’s going to die. And, of course, that made her pretty furious, and she told the father, so he got the old Dr. Marshburn.... He came over and looked the youngster over, and he told the nurse to give him starch enemas and keep him comfortable. And she did, and that helped some, but it still just kept him for two or three days. Then he started to get worse, and she called up the doctor and he said continue the starch enemas and I’ll be over. Well, she told him, I think the baby is dying. Well, he said, that’s all we can do.... He went over to prayer meeting. This was Wednesday evening, and she told him, “Well, you’d better pray for this baby ‘cause he’s just worse and worse and worse.” My wife said, about midnight, the baby perked up and by morning he was much better. So, she believes prayer had a big hand in it.” (Interview #948).