Yorba Linda History

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close this bookRichard M. Nixon Oral History Project
View the documentReverend Charles Ball
Interviewed by Mitch Haddad, December 22, 1969
View the documentWilliam H. Barton
Interviewed by Richard D. Curtiss, February 10, 1970
View the documentOllie O. Burdg
Interviewed by Richard Curtiss, February 16, 1970
View the documentHoyt Corbit
Interviewed by Tom Peters, April 30, May 6, 10, 17, 20, 1968
View the documentHoyt Corbit
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, May 15, 1970
View the documentVirginia Shaw Critchfield
Interviewed by Jeff Jones, May 2 & 9, 1970
View the documentDavid W. Cromwell
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, May 25, 1976
View the documentDr. Buel F. Enyeart
Interviewed by Dan Hoppy, December 2, 1968
View the documentMr. and Mrs. Richard "Jack" Gauldin
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, May 8, 1970
View the documentYoneko Dobashi Iwatsuru
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, April 30, 1970
View the documentGeorge Kellogg & R. Fay Young
Interviewed by Daniel L. Hoppy, John Tugwell, November 14, 1968, January 8, 1969, April 26, 1972
View the documentRalph Navarro
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, June 4, 1970
View the documentCecil E. Pickering
Interviewed by Steven Guttman, June 30, 1970
View the documentMary Elizabeth Rez
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, April 21, 1970
View the documentPaul Ryan
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, May 15, 1970
View the documentGerald Shaw
Interviewed by Jeff Jones, June 3, 1970
View the documentRalph C. Shook Sr.
Interviewed by Richard Curtiss, February 10, 1970
View the documentMary G. Skidmore
Interviewed by Greg Brolin
View the documentFelix Stein
Interviewed by Greg Brolin, October 13, 1970
View the documentCatherine Travaglia
Interviewed by Milan Pavlovich, May 21, 1970
View the documentHerb Warren
Interviewed by Greg Brolin, October 1, 1970
View the documentMerle West
Interviewed by Robert Davis

Herb Warren

Interviewed by Greg Brolin, October 1, 1970   Open this page in a new window

This is a slightly edited transcription of an interview conducted for the Oral History Program, sponsored by California State University, Fullerton. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions which are not factual.

Scholars are welcome to utilize short excerpts from any of the transcriptions without obtaining permission as long as proper credit is given to the interviewee, the interviewer, and the University. Scholars must, however, obtain permission from California State University, Fullerton before making more extensive use of the transcription and related materials. None of these materials may be duplicated or reproduced by any party without permission from the Oral History Program, California State University, Fullerton, California, 92634.

Copyright (c) 1977

The Oral History Program

California State University, Fullerton [Intro]



Richard Nixon Project

The People of Early Yorba Linda O.H. 979


Interviewed by

Greg Brolin

On October 1, 1970 [Title Page]

O.H. 979



Richard Nixon Project



SUBJECT: The People of Early Yorba Linda

DATE: October 1, 1970

B: This is an interview for the California State College, Fullerton, Richard Nixon Oral History Project. Greg Brolin is interviewing Mr. Herbert Warren on October 1,

First of all, I'd like to begin by thanking you, Mr. Warren for allowing me to come into your home and talk with you tonight. Could we begin by having a little bit of your background?

W: Yes, I came with my family from Vermont, arriving in Lo Angeles on the Santa Fe train the day before Thanksgiving of 1923. We ate Thanksgiving dinner in Los Angeles, an my first view of Yorba Linda was the day after Thanksgiving when we took the Pacific Electric red car from Los Angeles into Yorba Linda. For a number of years thereafter the cars ran every hour on the hour to Yorba Linda. Father brought us out to see our new home. That spring, he ha come out with a friend and met an old Vermont man here in Yorba Linda, Bert Bemis. He is the father of Mrs. Gailerd Page and of Mrs. Chauncey Eichler, who still 1: here in town and are old-timers. Mr. Bemis sold my dad on the idea that ten acres could put his kids through c and that an orange and lemon grove was the thing to buy so Dad bought what is now the Alpha Beta shopping center at the corner of Richfield Road and Yorba Linda Boulevard, with a nice home from Plummer Stewart, who was one of pioneers here in town. We moved in after our furniture arrived from the East after New Year's Day, but we came here the day after Thanksgiving in 1923. This was my first impression. [1]

We started school after the new year, in the first of 1924 at the old school which at that time was on School Street where the State Forestry Station now is. I was in the second grade. My brother Charlie hadn't started school and my sister, Metta, I think was in the fourth grade. I had Mrs. Austin Marshburn for my first teacher, and the pioneer from the old days in Yorba Linda. I attended elementary school there until they built the so-called new school down here, now the Richard Nixon School, in 1926, which was a hollow tile construction. I was then in the fifth grade, I believe, when we moved in there, i this time under Mrs. Mabel Paine, the principal, who was also principal, I think, for Richard Nixon. She was the one that the school above Imperial Highway is named for.

I went to Fullerton High School in 1931 through 1935, graduating into farming citrus here in Yorba Linda, working for people that have got a lot of publicity since—Mr. Hurless Barton, Hoyt Corbit, and others—working as a farmhand, later getting into the trucking business and buying an orchard of my own. I went through most of the offices of the day here in Yorba Linda, as president of the local farm center, the local Rotary Club and of the local YMCA; I later ran for the Yorba Linda school board and was on that and president of it. Then at Fullerton High School I was a trustee and president of the board c trustees, later at the Fullerton Junior College and fine at the North Orange County Junior College District. Three years ago, the city incorporated and I ran for city council and was elected to that position. I was low man on that totem pole, but I was elected; I was mayor last year and then was defeated by the people that are holding the office now. Three of us were defeated over the issue of whether Yorba Linda should remain country or progress. The homeowner group won decisively, and they are now in charge of the city. That brings us about up to date as far as my Yorba Linda residence is concerned. I do have six children, and the home that we are in now is on ten and a half acres that did belong to Mr. F.W. Stahler, who was a longtime postmaster of Yorba Linda since I first came in 1923. I think he was perhaps postmaster for more years than any other single individual. This used to be Route 1A Box 1A, bee he was postmaster when they started the route here. Nov we have a number on South Highland Avenue, but for many years we had Box 1A because Mr. Stahler started here. Over the years we have had opportunity to know and work for, I mentioned, and meet with and associate with an awful lot of the people that did know Richard Nixon, both in church work and school work, and knew his father in the farming community that Yorba Linda was. It was a citrus farming community at that time. That about sums it up over this point. [2]

B: Who were some of these people that you have been associated with who knew Richard Nixon?

W: Well, Clifford Jones is one that's been mentioned, and of course, Hurless Barton and Hoyt Corbit and N. W. Renneker who is now deceased, and of course the neighbors of Nixons the Niswanders. I mentioned the Stewarts and the Bemis family. There's also the Charles Bemis family east of town that were here in the early days. Doc Cochran came in just about the time we did, a little before; he's eight-some years old, but he's still an active physician here in town. And we had, of course, a number of the Pickering Family. Mrs. Pickering has moved to a rest home but she was here and I was associated with her quite closely over the years. I went deer hunting with her husband, Arthur Pickering, who, as I earlier mentioned, was one of the contemporaries of the Nixons, as were the VanCleaves, who have since died. The family of the wife of Whit Cromwell, a present city councilman, comes from the VanCleaves that used to live on Short Street. There were the Selovers, one of the oldest families here--we knew them, and they're still here, Ben Selover and hi family—the Buckmasters, and the Townsends, who owned the hardware store and were in partnership with Charlie Selover in those days. Of course, back in those days it was Alven's Grocery Store, and Doc Cannon—we called him "Doc" Cannon—the druggist, was in what is now the city hall. I think he came here in 1917 or such a time and had been here before we were, anyway. He was a tradition in town by the time he retired and died. Jim Glover, bite blacksmith, lived at the corner of Yorba Linda Boulevard and Casa Loma, just below where the junior high school is now located. Jim Connelly, who was the road commissioner and one of the pioneers, had Big Connelly's Barn, which a landmark on the Pacific Electric at Casa Loma and now Imperial Highway. At that time Imperial Highway wasn't there. It was just a railroad right of way through there. Then, of course, there was George Kellogg, who has been one of the most active Chamber of Commerce members and boosters of Yorba Linda over many years. Ben Foss, who was my wife's uncle, is mentioned as being one of the conductors on the railroad at that time. The McCrachens down on Richfield Road, and, as I mentioned, the Niswanders, the Collins family out on Orange Avenue, and the Roy Knight family were some of the earliest people here, also with the Corbits. Mr. Ross Knight was the caretaker for the CCMOC (Chausellor Canfield Midway Oil Company) water company, which furnished water, pumped from here up to Olinda to furnish what was quite a booming oil town in Olinda at that time. I used to eat in the boardinghouse in Olinda before the town dried up and moved away. There were the Tuttens on Rose Drive. There were the Roberts on Rose Drive. There was the Nay family on Rose Drive, [3] whose children still live here. Mrs. Bill Tamme and Mrs.Robert Cromwell are part of that group. And in town there were the McFaddens; Dick McFadden still owns property here, but his father was here many years before. The J.J. Caters, who have since moved away, were contemporaries of Richard Nixon. The Albert Martin family lived down behind the old packinghouse on Mountain View Avenue; Mrs. Martin still owns property and Albert, who went to school with me, is working in the post office after retirement from the Army. There was the Page family. LaVern Page is still here in town. His father then lived in Whittier and was a contemporary of Nixon's family, in the same church, Joe Stupp who died a few years ago, willing his property on Richfield Road to the Friends Church. There was the Morris family that lived on North Palm, out on the northeast edge of town, who were active in the Friends Church in those days. And of course the Marshburns, old Dr. Marshburn, lived on Yorba Linda Boulevard just where the Jolliff family now lives. Frank Marshburn still lives in the back of the same property in a big home. His daughter, who is now Mrs. Byron Deshler was my second grade teacher; her name was Marshburn at that time. Then we had the Weatherwaxes, who lived just west of the, Marshburns on Yorba Linda Boulevard where Cromwell now lives. A.C. Weatherwax, though a Methodist, was a contemporary and knew the Nixons and talked about them quite often. And old T.B. Welsh, whose wife was one of the first presidents of the Yorba Linda Women's Club, lived on the site where the Lutheran church now stands, just west of Valley View Avenue and north of the Yorba Linda Boulevard.

Jumping around town, I'm sure I've skipped an awful lot of them. Fred Arnold, an old pioneer who has since died, owned the property north of the present Methodist church; he lived in Yorba Linda town, farming ten acres out there. Of course, I should mention the Apalategui family. They're one of the older families. They're a Basque family whose mother still lives at the corner of Avocado Avenue and Yorba Linda Boulevard. John Apalategui is one that is nearer my age. They're an outstanding family, in that all but one or two of them are valedictorians of their local class, and I think two are valedictorians of the Fullerton High School. They were brainy, sharp kids and hard workers. They were here, I believe, back in 1915.

Of course, he's been mentioned many times, but Ralph Navarro is the so-called Zanjero as we called him. He was the caretaker of the Anaheim Union Ditch when I first knew him. Of course, I was just a kid. He was chasing me out of the ditch along with my friends trying to steal a swim. His father--I don't remember his first name--still working for the water district at that time. Ralph was riding in a Model T and his father drove a horse with [4] a two-wheeled buggy. He was quite an old man, but patrolled that ditch for years. Third generation, Ted Navarro, Ralph's son, now is working for the Anaheim Union Water Company, and he would be one that you might talk to. I believe he works for one of the water districts even yet. Anaheim Union, as you know, has been taken over by the City of Anaheim, and McCarthy-Saint, and Pacific Clay Products are actually the owners of what was Anaheim Union property.

There were the Joe Enrights down on South Highland Avenue here that were quite active. He had been a Marine and came to town and settled around where Anna Marie Lane now is. He was one of the Nixon's contemporaries.

I'm sure there's fifty others, but at that time, I believe the actual population of the entire town might have been 450 when we moved here, with about 100 kids or youngsters in school. We had eight grades, but two or three of them were mixed grades where they would have one teacher for two grades. They weren't so numerous that they had a teacher for each grade. The kindergarten over there was held down where Mrs. Albee now lives, on Arroyo Street, under the edge of the hill in a house that Mr. Beach, the janitor, had lived in for awhile. That was before the Nixon School was built.

One interesting thing: the place that my father bought had a barn that we tore down with a bulldozer when we sold it to Alpha Beta. That had been the first house for the Stewart family. It was a straight, up-and-down, board, two-story construction barn. When we moved in, as kids rummaging around we found some Bibles and things in the upstairs. We learned later that that was the first Sunday school, before they had the Methodist building which is now the Baptist church at the corner of School and Lemon, or before they had the old original Friends church, which you've heard called the "Nixon Church." It is now the social hall of the Friends church on School Street. The Protestants in town met in a Sunday school weekly there with the Plummer Stewart family in what later was an old barn, and we had quite a little history of that place before it was torn down. We found probably three or four different Bibles or parts of Bibles up in there that somebody had left, which caused us to inquire around and find out about its being the first Sunday school in Yorba Linda.

That's about the amount of information I can just think of, offhand. There's an awful lot of history. For instance, I mentioned Imperial Highway paralleling the railroad track now. Through the efforts of George Kellogg and many other boosters, they got that put through about 1937. I bought my first truck in 1938 and started hauling to Los Angeles. I had previously driven a truck to Los Angeles hauling [5] lemons and oranges to the market from the Yorba Linda Citrus Association for Mr. Renneker, whom I mentioned earlier. We had to make many right-angle turns. George Kellogg says there were eight right-angle turns between Main Street, in Yorba Linda, and Brea. I'd have to stop and figure if there were. But now you whip over there straight up Imperial. At the time I got my truck in 1938, there was a brand-new highway through there, from Yorba Linda's Main Street to what is now Carolina Avenue. Then you had to go north up to Brea-Olinda Road and go west into Brea and then drop back down to Imperial. It wasn't cut through the Associated Road where now Macco—Construction Company Subdivision—and the Brea golf course is, between there and Brea. That was all oil company property, and you couldn't go through there in those days. But it's been opened up since about 1938, as I recall. There have been an awful lot of changes. This, of course, was all avocados and citrus at that time, mostly citrus. There weren't too many avocados when I was a kid. This Keller place down here on Richfield Road, which backs. Oh, I should mention Mrs. Yerington. Her husband, Bert, was the vice-president of the First National Bank before it went broke. They lived on South Richfield Road and were here before we were, too. This avocado grove I mentioned is one that has still the original fence, which has deteriorated around it, but there are few of the old original trees. It was called the Keller avocado grove. It, and the Wheaton avocado grove off Citrus Avenues against what is now the Shell Oil Company property, were the two major avocado properties in Yorba Linda in 1923. We used to hear tales of avocados being worth as much as fifty cents apiece. I remember going under the fence and hauling one home. Being from Vermont, my folks had never seen or heard of an avocado before, and we didn't know what to do with it. We tried to eat it green and it was like a gourd. We found out later it was worth about fifty cents per fruit, and to my knowledge avocados have never been that high until just the last few weeks. Avocados are getting fifty cents a pound down here at H & H Packinghouse; we find that you paid about fifty cents apiece in the stores just for a very few weeks here in 1970, so after forty-six years we're right back where we started from on avocado prices. It's interesting. It's been down as low as a nickel a pound. I used to haul a lot of the avocados from Yorba Linda with my truck to the Valley Fruit Company in Los Angeles. We sold thousands and thousands of lug boxes for a number of years that didn't bring over a nickel a pound back to the grower, including their work, their growing, their picking, and their hauling. So times have changed. That's about all I have for that voluntary stuff. I could ramble on and on, but I'd go round and round. [6]

B: What did the town of Yorba Linda look like? I mean, did it have a business district?

W: Yes. The business district was what is now essentially North Main Street, north of Imperial Highway. What is now Imperial Highway through Yorba Linda ran from the Pacific Electric station only—I believe that's Lemon or Orange, whichever they call that—on a forty-five degree angle down to what is now Yorba Linda Boulevard, Main Street, ' and Olinda Street, where the water district office is now. By the way, the water district used to be the first school in those days, before I got here, you know. And that was the business district. All of the major business was on Main Street, except that when we came here, where the Holaway Apartments are now—Julian owns them—on Olinda Street, next door to the water district office, Mr. L.C. Janeway, one of the old pioneers, had a store. In what is now the city hall, Mr. Covington, another pioneer I'd forgotten to mention, was running what was called a Daley's Store. It was a predecessor to Safeway, by the way. It was one of the first chain stores, and later they and some others formed Safeway, but he was the local manager for Daley's Store. I mentioned R.W. Alven. Ralph McGuire, one of our prominent citizens who was here before I was, worked in there as a high school kid, later becoming manager of the Alvens' store after Mr. Alven died. Ralph later worked for Mr. Barton as sales manager of the Chevrolet agency.

But that business district was about one block long and two blocks wide. The blacksmith shop was where, Mr. Smith ran a blacksmith shop on the dirt floor of where Slim's Towing Service now is. It was all vacant between there and Barton's Garage. There were no buildings in there at all until they built the cafe, which has just recently been torn out by Union Oil Company. It was just north of the present Union Oil station. North of there, there was no Friends church on Main Street when I came here. That church was built by Clifford Jones and Ben Foss and a group along in 1926 and 1928, along in there, on the Main Street. When we first came here, what is called the "Nixon Church" was the Friends church, on School Street. On the west side of Main Street was the two-story building where the post office was. Dr. Cochran had his offices upstairs in it. North of the city hall parking lot at this point there was nothing; it was all vacant. The bank was on the corner where the bank now is. That was First National Bank, and as I mentioned, Mr. Yerington and Mr. Hargrave were the officers of it. They had three people running it—Mr. Yerington, Mr. Hargrave, and one lady. I don't remember what lady was in there. But that's where I had one of my first savings accounts. It went down with the crash in 1929 and paid out later about eighty-some [7] cents on the dollar. We got our money pretty much back. But that was another piece of history.

One interesting thing I remember doing was stopping by the blacksmith shop on Main Street en route to school. It had a dirt floor, and we would start early to school to stand barefooted to watch Mr. Smith and Jim Glover, the blacksmiths, heat the iron and shape it into various farm implements. We continued on to school through the back door of the shop as a "short cut" to school. On cold mornings we would get warm next to Mr. Smiths' forge fire.

By the way, there was no school bus in those days. Everybody waked to school on School Street and also over to the new school when it was first built in 1926, on the present Richard Nixon School site. The first school buses were started when the Yorba School District joined the Yorba Linda School district for a year or two, and they bought a bus, ostensibly to truck the kids from the Yorba School District down here by the edge of Santa Ana Canyon. They only stayed with us a year or two and then went back into the Placentia Unified School District. We were left with a bus, and we started then to bus people from out by Rose Drive and by the barley fields, out beyond Ohio Street to the east to the school, and we have had bus service ever since. Now, of course, there are five or six buses running maybe ten or twelve different routes per day. But everybody had to walk to school when I first started.

B: What about means of entertainment?

W: There wasn't too much entertainment. The entertainment was self-generated. The churches had more socials; the Farm Bureau had a monthly meeting with potluck, and everybody would bring their family to the Farm Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce was a potluck affair part of the time. George Kellogg used to be the unpaid secretary of it and other people worked on it, the businessmen of that day. But it was a family affair. It wasn't a business organization as much as it was a social one. The Farm Bureau was pretty much that way, and of course so were the churches. The Masonic Lodge was a pretty strong social influence in town at that time. It met upstairs where the city hall is. As far as any public recreation, there just wasn't any. There were no movies—there isn't any yet, of course— and no facilities particularly for the youngsters, even when I was in grammar school. Archie Raitt, Walt Raitt's and John Raitt's father, was our YMCA secretary, and he organized Friendly Indian Clubs and trips and games in YMCA groups here, but we had to go to Santa Ana to go to a swimming pool. There were no swimming pools in Yorba Linda at all when I came here. Mr. Yerington had the first [8] one, which was really a 30 by 10 foot rectangular tank about 8 feet deep that they ran their irrigation water in off the top of a hill. They used to for a swimming pool and let us kids swim in it, and we sure thought that was good. It was better than any swimming pool we've got for several thousands of dollars since, because it was the only one, but there were very few swimming pools in town until after World War II. We had one of the first ones here next door, built in 1946, as I recall. We had perhaps one of the first five swimming pools in town. Now I couldn't dare count how many there are.

Recreation was just self-made. But they had dances at the Woman's Club, and they had, as I say, groups. It was sort of self-generating. There wasn't any formal club or organization that really had entertainment. I did mention that the streetcar in those days ran every hour, and you could go to La Habra, or you could go to Brea for seven cents or a round trip for fourteen. I don't remember what it was to Los Angeles, but that red car would go into Los Angeles almost as fast in 1923 on that track as you can go in a car on a freeway now, because of all the traffic you get into at the other end and getting onto the freeway. Of course, the red car just whipped up, and you could go to Brea, to La Habra, to Whittier and Montebello, and into Los Angeles in just about an hour, as I recall it. Now, I was a kid and used to ride that thing, but I never kept track of the timetable, But they went every hour for years. They used to carry the mail and the whole bit.

B: Was there any certain religious group that held predominance over everything?

W: I think so. My dad kept diaries. He kept a diary from 1894 up until the day he died in 1939, and my mother kept a diary from about 1906 until she died in 1960, so we have these diaries that go right day by day. When I had a cancer operation seven years ago and was home in bed for five weeks recuperating, I read these years and years of diaries, just went through as you would a book. It was interesting to note that the Quakers, called the Friends Church, and the Methodists were by far the strongest two groups, and this was a real strong Protestant community.

There were a few Catholic families--very fine people. There was Herb Anderson, who, by the way, was from one of the pioneer families and was the father-in-law of our present postmaster, Carl Tice. He was one of the pioneer Yorba Lindians. His was a prominent Catholic family. Otto Dykeman, our mail carrier at that time, was Catholic, and so were the Apalateguis as well as a number of Spanish-American families, the Navarros and others. The Apalateguis [9] and the Dykemans and the Herb Andersons were the ones that we really knew about and thought of as the Catholic families. At that time they had to go clear to St. Mary's in Fullerton; there wasn't any Placentia church at that time. And unless you were a Baptist and went around a lot of crooked roads and stop signs and right-angle turns to Fullerton, you had the choice of going either to the Methodist or to the Friends church. They were about equally strong, I would say. There was a strong Friends influence in town. Dr. Marshburn was one of the old pioneers in the Friends church, along with Nixon's father. Of course, Fred Johnson, who just recently died, was one, and N.W. Renneker whom I mentioned was one, and the Morris family up on North Palm were Friends, or as we called them, Quakers. Clifford Jones, the preacher that got notoriety later for offering to move the pool hall out of town, was the Friends minister when I first came to town, and he was a real go-getter. But the Methodists and the Friends were about equal. The Friends were originally, I think, the first ones, and then they sort of split off when some people decided to try a Presbyterian church, which went broke for lack of enough people and money. That's when the Methodists bought the building, just a year or two before we came here.

And I know, from these diaries of my folks, that when they came here they were Baptists, to start with, but the closest Baptist church was in Fullerton. My mother was a Congregationalist and my dad was a Baptist. But anyway, they decided, because of their children, not to go to Fullerton but to affiliate here. They attended both churches. I didn't know this when I was a kid, but I noticed, reading the diary, that one Sunday they would go ^'" to one church and the next Sunday they would go to the other. They finally decided that the Methodist church was a little bit closer and more compatible with their Baptist and Congregational backgrounds than the Quaker church, although the Quaker church had many fine people in it and was a great group of people. The fact of the spiritual baptism and—though I think they misunderstood it—the peace and nonviolent conscientious objector thing bothered my dad, I'm sure, a little bit, although he wasn't a militant. But anyway, they found themselves more at home, particularly about baptism and taking communion and this type of thing, in the Methodist church, and so we went to the Methodist church. But I could just as easily have been a Quaker. In fact, all my daughters now are Quakers, some teaching Sunday school. My brother Charlie quit the Methodist church and is one of the strong laymen in the Rose Drive Friends Church. I married Kate Albee, who is a Quaker; her family is a Quaker family and I work [10] for Quakers at Marshburn, so actually our family is really influenced more by Quakers than they are by Methodists. But I'm still a Methodist.

B: What about ethnic groups in the area?

W: There wasn't any. This was all, quote, "white Anglo" at the time I came here. There were three or four Mexican kids in school, and they lived out on the edges. The De Los Reyes family lived in what was known as the barley fields, out where the new subdivisions are, east of Ohio Street. The Apalateguis, who were Basque or Spanish Basque, I believe—their folks were--weren't picked apart as being anybody different other than that they were Catholic, but that wasn't anything in school. There were no colored people whatsoever. There weren't for forty years that I know of, ever, in school here. They may have one or two or three now. There was the Gonzalez family, and the Mena family, who dug cesspools, and they lived on the site that is now Keith Earl's Garage on Arroyo and School Street, down near the Union Oil bulk station here in town. They were one Mexican family. Then there was the De los Rios family, and of course the Ralph Navarro family. There was never any problem. In fact, the Mexican kids in school generally excelled athletically--not necessarily scholastically, although some of them were very sharp, the Navarro daughters particularly. But it just never occurred to talk about "he's a Mexican" or "I'm an Anglo" or anything. There just wasn't any ethnic problem at all.

Now, Atwood . . . We kids on bicycles didn't go much beyond Buena Vista down Richfield Road. Of course, we lived on Richfield Road. And we didn't go down to Atwood unless we were several strong, and then we minded our own business, because you could get beat up down there. There was enough Mexican population in Atwood for it to be considered really a barrio. At that time the Atwood school, which is now Jim Manassero's labor camp at Richfield Road and Orangethorpe Avenue, was in operation as a school. It was probably 80 percent Mexicans, with the balance being non-Mexican people from the oil fields but mostly Mexican. It was a sad day if you got caught down there bothering anybody, and they didn't come up here too much. We stayed apart except to play ball games between the elementary school ball teams or something of that nature.

But Yorba Linda, as such, didn't have this. Most everybody was either the son or the daughter of a landowner, which was citrus in those days, or they were sons and daughters of somebody that worked for either the school or the packing-house--the orange and lemon packinghouse was the single biggest industry— or were the children of some of the business people here. There just weren't that many people, [11] of course, and they were all affiliated with the industry which kept Yorba Linda going. Not too many at that time actually worked out of town. A few commuted on that big red car to Los Angeles and back, but most everybody worked right here in town. You didn't get a lot of people living here and driving to Anaheim or to Garden Grove or to Fullerton or to all these other places to work, like, of course, you now have.

B: The elementary school which you spoke of, is this the traditional one-room affair?

W: No. I came from a one-room school, by the way, Read Hollow School in Halifax, Vermont. There were twelve kids in eight grades, and I don't remember the breakdown, except that I was in the second grade when we moved here. Three of those were my dad's kids. They were just sort of neighborhood schools, like you see in the East of Northern California. But here they had, as I mentioned, eight grades but perhaps only six teachers. Mrs. Paine, the principal, taught the eighth grade in those days. It was a long ways progressed over the Vermont school system. In fact, I had trouble picking it up because it was different. That three thousand miles in those days wasn't coordinated with California to Vermont. But basically they had much the same kind of a system that we have now, except that, of course, the actual subject matter is much more modern now and discipline is less. These kids going to the Yorba Linda school system today learn as much by the sixth grade as we did by the eighth, with the exception of civics and history. They get into Spanish and algebra and things that we didn't even know about until we were sophomores in high school in Fullerton, you see.

B: I have just one last question, and I won't take any more of your time. I'm curious as to what point in time there was a certain migration to this area. In other words, at what point did it ...

W: Did it explode?

B: Right.

W: After World War II, basically. Up through World Was II it was pretty much a town where the people who lived here, like my folks, had retired here. There were a lot of nonresidents. That's why I used to work for other people. Hoyt Corbit was a contractor, for instance, taking care of other people's orchards, along with LaVern Page, who still lives here and had a business, as lots of people did, taking care of non-resident property. The owners were people who worked and lived in Los Angeles, maybe in business or employees. I remember that Bert Shaw down where [12] Eda Thompson now lives was working for the Los Angeles Evening Herald, for Hearst and the Examiner, and they would just come out here weekends. But they owned property, s and their objective was to work, get this paid for, and then retire out here.

Well, my dad had already retired from business--he was older—and came here in 1923, when I was a little kid. We were his second family, actually. And I grew up doing the thing that some of those old guys were working their tails off to come out here and be able to do. But I started at the wrong end. In other words, I grew up being retired and now had to go to work, while those guys were working, then they died off, some of them, when they came; some of them didn't live a year and some of them, of course, lived for years and years. It's been interesting. But I had the kind of life—pastoral and citrus and all of this jazz—except without the money. When I was a kid, I thought that being chairman of the Yorba Linda Citrus Association would be the peak of society. I mean, that would be the biggest business that I could ever hope to get. I finally got to be president of that by the time I was twenty-eight years old and found out that the total gross dollar volume was less than a million dollars a year. Now we sell over a million a month and are in trouble if we don't, or I am, so your objectives change.

The real explosion came actually in the last ten years, but they began to move in after World War II. As you hear in other places, the Army people who were at the Santa Ana Army base, El Toro, and all these bases in California, guys in the service, found out about California, and when they got through they came back here, probably mostly for climate. And our economic opportunities have been pretty good here, too. It's been good to us, anyway.

B: Is there anything that I have forgotten to ask?

W: I can't think of anything. There probably are a dozen things. Oh, I didn't mention Bill French, who did go to grammar school here. His father was a bricklayer and he owned the property that is now at the corner of Valley View and Imperial Highway. He was one that bought out here probably in 1913 or 1914 and planted; he was a nurseryman in Whittier, living on College Avenue in Whittier and coming back and forth, as did a lot of those Whittier people. They used to come back and forth, they would live in Whittier and farm out here, Tom Page and others. Billy French, who is, I think, fifty-seven or eight—he's the same age as Nixon, in any case—went through grammar school with Nixon. The French family lived out here for awhile, and then he moved back to College Avenue in Whittier. When Nixon went back over to Whittier High School, Billy French graduated [13] with Nixon from Whittier High School, and so he knew him much better than I did. He, of course, has been a deer-hunting buddy of Hoyt Corbit and others of us since, and knows Nixon a lot better than most of us.

Noble Renneker--son of this N.W. Renneker that I talked about—lived on the corner of Citrus Avenue, which is now Bastanchury Road, and Valley View, and he went through grammar school with Nixon until the Nixons moved to East Whittier. Of course, Nixon went first to East Whittier and to Fullerton High School, and then later, in Whittier, over to Whittier High School.

Many of those folks actually knew Nixon personally and it's interesting to talk to them, because they can actually remember what kind of a fellow he was. You can get people to conjure up all sorts of stories now about Nixon. Oh, I forgot to mention Ralph Shook. He was one that says he saved Nixon from being kicked in the head by a horse. He had climbed in behind these horses, and Ralph Shook got him out before he got kicked and so forth, which is probably true. It's one of those experiences that they probably wouldn't have remembered if he hadn't been President, but now they remember it. I went to school with John Raitt, but he probably wouldn't remember that I went to school with him. Still, I remember a lot of things about John Raitt, because he was a football hero and later an opera star.

I don't have any other thing that I can think of. It would be redundant. Undoubtedly there are a lot of other things. In this town, in those days, everybody knew everybody else's business and all the scandal. You knew who went with who before they were married and all this type of thing, and you would hear people talk about people who are now grandparents here in town. It's really interesting because some of those old folks are older than I am, but I still know them because I've been here this long, and some folks who are real critical of some of these young people, before World War I, clear back in those days, had some pretty good times. You asked about what the recreation was in Yorba Linda. It was self-made, but a lot of it wasn't too much different, other than dope. Of course, in those days they had to have their own bootleg alcohol. Alcohol was illegal when I was first in Yorba Linda and for years, but there was bootleg alcohol available. I never happened to get into it, but some of my friends did. And some of these older folks who now are so critical of these kids, boy, some of them were caught with the wrong mates and what not. It's really interesting. It's one of those things, and it's quite funny. But as for the town now, you can go down the street, and [14] you may not know that out of ten people between here and Yorba Linda, there didn't used to be anybody. This was the house. There wasn't any other house. Oh, there was Clinton Marshburn right over here, but other than that, there was nobody else on the street down to Yorba Linda Boulevard and none to the south. Now there's several in each direction. You used to know everybody down a street or within a mile; you would know who they were, what they did, why they did it and when they did it, where now you go right by them. There may be a murder with half a mile of you, and until you read the paper or hear the siren or the police or something, you don't even know about it. So it's altogether different. You don't have the same acquaintanceships. You have your own circle of friends withd the town and they may spread around the town some, but you don't seem to get acquainted with the new people. We will with a few, but we've got so many friends that we don1 even get around to see our old friends, so we don't go around just cultivating every new guy that comes to town. So they form their own clubs and groups and recreation, swimming pool co-ops and what not. It's a different kind c a life, but I guess it's a good one. They all want to come.

That's about all I've got, unless you've got something you can think of specifically to ask. It was a lot slower life then. Of course, there was no radio when I first came to town. The first radio in Yorba Linda was built by Jack McDavid's dad, who, by the way, is also here. He worked for the telephone company, and he built the first radio for himself and the second one for J.J. Carter on Richfield Road. I don't know where they went from there Later, Ralph Phillips had the first television in town, had about the third. Over the years, you see, some of that, like Mrs. Yerington's first swimming pool and all this stuff ... By the way, you might be interested that when we first came here, where the Nixon School now is t was Atkinson's dairy. I can't honestly tell you whether ' they had three cows or forty, but we took our milk from Atkinson's dairy. And I remember there was a dairy on the property that is now Richard M. Nixon School. I'm sure it wasn't Nixon's; I think it was somebody else's. But it was right there on that corner, and we got milk from it. In those days they didn't have to sterilize or pasteur milk. I think we just got raw milk. But times have change If you tried to put a dairy there now, you couldn't even keep a cow within a mile of it. We do have horses, however. By the way, when I first came here, more than half the oranges and lemons that were hauled in the Yorba Linda citrus packinghouse in the years 1923 to 1924 were hauled in by horses and mules, instead of by gasoline. But that, of course was fast changing even then. There were still quite a few people who made their living with actual teams. [15]

They had stopped hauling much to Whittier by that time, although Mr. Tom Page used to come out by our place in his wagon, and so did Mr. Morris up from the northeast end of town. They would come out to Whittier with their horses, do their work, stay overnight, and then go back the next day. The only paved road, by the way, was Main Street. The pavement ran from Main Street out to the end of Yorba Linda Boulevard, and then it was a cement road, strangely enough, down to what is Orangethorpe. It wasn't paved beyond where the medical center is now, out there by the Von's shopping center—Rose Drive, roughly, only it went on beyond Rose Drive and made a right-angle turn instead of an easy turn. That was a paved road running down by the Alta Vista Country Club to Orangethorpe. This was, by the way, a cement road. In those days you could hear those workhorses clop-clop-clopping on that pavement, as soon as they would turn off Valley View or Casa Loma onto Yorba Linda Boulevard. When we first came here, Rose was oiled up to Olinda, but Santa Fe Street, Valley View Avenue, Casa Loma Avenue, and Eureka Avenue were gravel. Plumosa Drive and again Lakeview Avenue was oiled, and then Avocado Avenue was gravel and Richfield Road was gravel. We lived on the gravelled road with dust on our faces for several years, until they paved it in a special paving district. Buena Vista Avenue was gravel, South Lakeview was gravel—not just dirt, they did have gravel—and out of Main Street that I mentioned, where Yorba Linda Boulevard went on east, was gravel. There used to be a bridge up over the Pacific Electric tracks. You see, the Pacific Electric tracks used to go out here to what is now the big gravel pit out by Kellogg Drive, where the overpass is, where Imperial Highway gets to four lanes and then goes back. Pacific Electric used to end in a gravel pit out here. They used to haul gravel back toward Los Angeles by railroad. Then, later, oil was put on the roads, and they didn't actually get paved until rather comparatively modern times. When I say paved, I mean blacktop in the sense that they had rock in them, other than oil mixed with dirt. These side roads up through north of Yorba Linda Boulevard didn't really get paved until perhaps about 1940, quite a long time after we first came here. We used to really take some dirty flops on a bicycle and I never used to have a place to roller-skate. I used to have to go up to the Yorba Linda sidewalk. When I first got my first pair of roller skates, the only place you could skate was on a little sidewalk right at the school, right in around the schoolyard, and then around uptown on Main Street.

Down below where Alpha Beta now is was a steep hill, and people used to get stuck in the mud. Robert Carter had a tractor and charged people a dollar all through the winter, pulling people out who would get stuck on Richfield Road right down here where Myer Hardware now is Arrow Hardware, [16] I guess they call it now, whatever it is—right there. It doesn't look like there is any dip now, but there used to be, and there was sort of a quicksand or something right there where Calgary Avenue comes Cannon Lane. It was soft and people would get stuck there. There were only about ten telephones in town when I first came. We didn't have a telephone until I got my trucking business in 1938, which was a long time from 1923. But it was just a different life.

B:Okay, Mr. Warren, we thank you very much.

W: Well, you're welcome.

End of Interview [17]

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