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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


PETER ARTH, SR., had been a pioneer in South Dakota prior to establishing his residence in California in 1891, and San Bernardino County gained much when he here turned his attention to development work and productive industry in connection with fruit culture. He became one of the substantial fruit-growers and honored citizens of the Redlands district, had much to do with constructive enterprise in connection with other properties than those which he himself owned, and he proved resourceful and far-sighted as a business man, achieved success through his own well directed efforts and ever commanded high place in popular confidence and good will. He was born at Port Washington, Ohio, in 1859, and his death occurred at Redlands, California, on the 11th of October, 1910.

Mr. Arth was reared and educated in the old Buckeye State and early gained practical experience in connection with farm industry. He continued his residence in Ohio until 1882, when, as a sturdy and ambitious young man of twenty-three years, he made his way to South Dakota and filed entry on a homestead in Potter County, his marriage having there occurred somewhat later. He gave himself vigorously to the development and cultivation of his land, which he reclaimed from the raw prairie, and he made on the farm the best improvements consonant with his somewhat limited financial resources. Mr. Arth continued his residence on his South Dakota farm until 1891, when he sold the property and came with his family to Redlands, California. The day after his arrival he purchased ten acres of land on Pioneer Street, between Texas and Orange streets, and for this now splendidly improved and valuable property he paid ^,500. On the tract he proceeded to plant olive and apricot trees, but these he later removed, to utilize the ground for the propagation of Navel oranges. On the day which marked his purchase of this property Mr. Arth also bought lumber and other materials for the construction of a modest house on the place, as well as for the building of a small bam and shed, the latter structures being used as a temporary habitation for the family until the house could be completed, and only one night having been passed in a hotel. Later Mr. Arth erected on the place the attractive modern house which continues the residence of his widow, who proved his devoted companion and helpmeet in his earnest labors to establish a home and win a position of independence. With increasing financial resources Mr. Arth gradually added to the area of his land holdings and continued to plant more orange trees. After setting out six acres to oranges he became impressed with the thought that the orange-glowing industry might be overdone in this section, and he ceased increasing the area of his orchard. He soon discovered that the supply of California oranges did not meet the trade demands, and he therefore proceeded to plant the remainder of his land to oranges. He was a conservative but very successful grower, and make close study of the best methods and policies for insuring maximum yields.

In the earlier period of his residence in San Bernardino County Mr. Arth added materially to his income by acting as caretaker of orchards owned by others, and this enabled him to finance his individual operations. In this way he had charge of the Hinckley olive grove of 140 acres, and for a term of years he had charge of the Brockman ranch of 150 acres, which he operated on shares, this place having been devoted principally to the raising of peaches and apricots at that time, but he later set out for the Brockman Company an eighty-acre orange grove, in the supervision of which he continued several years. In these years he added to his own holdings, but scrupulously avoided the incurring of heavy indebtedness and refused to speculate in any degree. Mr. Arth was essentially loyal and public-spirited and served effectively as a member of the Board of Trustees of the village of Redlands prior to the securing of a city charter. He was independent in politics, was affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, and was an active member of the Congregational Church, as are also his widow and children.

In the year 1883, in Potter County, South Dakota, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Arth and Miss Elizabeth C. Rausch, who likewise is a native of Port Washington, Ohio, where she was born November 11, 1861. Mrs. Arth has a wide circle of loyal friends in San Bernardino County, is a zealous member of the Congregational Church, as previously noted, and she was formerly an active member of the Pythian Sisters. In conclusion of this memoir is entered brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Arth.

Peter Arth, Jr., eldest of the four children, was born in Potter County, South Dakota, June 25, 1885, and was reared and educated at Redlands, California, he being now one of the prosperous orange-glowers of this district and a director of the Redlands Co-operative Fruit Association. He is affiliated with Redlands Lodge No. 186, Knights of Pythias, and Redlands Lodge No. 583, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is not only a substantial producer of oranges on his own land, but has also conducted numerous speculative transactions in the buying and selling of orange groves, and is a liberal citizen and progressive business man. On the 14th of June, 1911, he wedded Miss Alice Bloomberg, who was born in the State of Kansas, March 19, 1889, and who was three years of age when her parents came to Gdifornia and established their home at Redlands. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Arth have four children, whose names and respective dates of birth are as follows: Leona Elizabeth, June 17, 1913; Helen Christine, May 19, 1916; Barbara Edna, July 16, 1918; and Peter (III), March 19, 1920.

Fred Arth, the second son, was born in Potter County, South Dakota, February 20, 1887, and after the removal to California he continued his studies in the Redlands school until his graduation in the high school. He has been closely associated with orange-growing from his boyhood days, and his first independent venture was the purchase of eighteen acres of land on Pioneer Street, for a consideration of $2,500. He set this to orange trees, and to finance his enterprise he raised vegetables between the rows of young trees and by the sale of the same added materially to his income. He constructed his own irrigating flume, in the building of which he hauled rock from the river. He has been a successful speculator in orange groves, in which he and his brother Peter have maintained effective partnership relations. One of their early speculations was the buying of a ten-acre groye for $7,000, their cash payment having been only $500, and on the subsequent sale of this property they netted $2,000 each, the sale having been made for $11,000, a crop having been taken off, which paid all expenses for the ten months the place was owned by the brothers. In 1912 Fred Arth had twenty acres of orange trees one and two years old, and three acres of seven-year-old trees. He bought an additional ten acres, but in the big freeze of 1913 fully two-thirds of the young trees froze to the ground, which loss was augmented by the destruction of the entire crop by the frost. Before the next crop was ready for the market Fred Arth expended fully $5,000 in the work of retrieving these orange groves, as his faith in the orange industry remaining unimpaired. Fred Arth utterly refused to consider or entertain a feeling of discouragement when other growers viewed the outlook with alarm. Thus he purchased during a season when many others were discouraged. In 1917 after the heat had ruined the orange crop of the district, he purchased ten acres for $11,000, and from this grove a single crop later sold for $9,000. On this place is a house valued at $11,000, and yet local banks refused to extend a loan on the security thus offered in a certain hot year that menaced production, a policy which the banks followed also in cold years. Mr. Arth and his brother had confidence in the future, and in their operations in connection with orange culture they have met with substantial and gratifying success. At this present writing Fred Arth is the owner of 100 acres of oranges, and is a director and vice president of the Crown Jewel Packing House. He married Miss Katherine Yost, who was born December 15, 1888, and who is a daughter of Charles Yost, of whom individual mention is made on other pages of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Arth have four children: Russell Frederick, born September 13, 1916; Donald Peter, born June 12, 1918; Charles Robert, born January 31, 1920, and the baby, born February 12, 1922.

Minnie, the elder daughter of the honored subject of this memoir, was born January 30, 1889, and is a graduate of the Redlands High School. On June 25, 1914, she became the wife of Dr. Howard G. Hill, who was born in London, England, and who is a representative young physician and surgeon at Redlands. Dr. and Mrs. Hill were members of a party that set forth to make a trip around the world, and they were in Germany at the outbreak of the great World war. It was only by resorting to all manner of expedients and making utmost haste that the party were able to escape from Germany before its borders were closed, two days after the company passed out of that country. It was on this trip that the marriage of Dr. and Mrs. Hill occurred, in the City of London, England. They have four children: Howard Arth, Ruth Gail, Harold Merrill and Herbert.

Edna, the youngest of the children of the late Peter Arth, Sr., was born at Redlands, November 4, 1891, and is a graduate of the Redlands High School. She was a member of the same party as her sister in essaying the trip around the world, as noted above, and encountered the same harrowing experiences in fleeing from Germany and returning to the United States only a short time before the war put a stop to passenger traffic across the Atlantic. On the 6th of November, 1919, Miss Edna Arth became the wife of Edward G. Gleitsman, of Dover, Ohio, and they now reside in Redlands, Mr. Gleitsman being a successful orange-grower in this district. Mrs. Gleitsman and her sister are popular factors in the social life of Redlands, and the former is an active member of the local Contemporary Club.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011