California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
GEORGE S. BIGGIN came to Redlands in 1893 and now for nearly thirty years has been closely identified with the commercial life of the city. His integrity as a business man and the ability he has manifested in all his relations as a citizen have earned him the complete confidence of the community, and he now enjoys the responsibilities of supervisor. In business he is prominent in real estate and insurance.
Mr. Biggin was born at Warren, Ohio, May 6, 1868. His father, William H. Biggin, was a native of England, where he learned and followed the trade of wagon maker. It was his ambition to become a farmer, and to realize that ambition he came to the United States in 1854. On shipboard he met an English girl, Miss Emily Bolsom, and in New York in 1855 they were married and soon afterward moved to Ohio, where in after years he achieved a substantial success as a farmer. Of the five children George S. Biggin is the youngest.
He was reared on his father's farm and shared in its duties until he was twenty-three. In the meantime he attended school, receiving a high school education. Mr. Biggin came direct to Redlands and joined an uncle, who had preceded him. His first regular work was as clerk in the grocery store of L. E. Shepherd, and three years later he joined the grocery firm of Dutton & Edwards, with whom he remained ten years. He and C. W. Clark eventually purchased the stock and business of his employers, and conducted it profitably as a partnership for two years, at the end of which time Mr. Biggin sold his interest to Mr. Clark.
Since retiring from the mercantile field Mr. Biggin has been active in insurance, at first as a representative of life insurance, but now has a well organized general agency handling all departments. In connection he subsequently began dealing in real estate, and has supplied the service in a number of prominent sales in this vicinity, and his activity in advertising has brought a decided value to the community during the past sixteen years.
Mr. Biggin was first a candidate for public office in 1916 when J. B. Glover announced that he would retire from the office of county supervisor. Mr. Biggin declared himself a candidate as his successor, but eventually Mr. Glover reconsidered his decision and then Mr. Biggin withdrew. Mr. Glover was re-elected and rounded out a service of twenty-four years as supervisor. In 1920 Mr. Biggin again came forward, received the nomination and was elected, his conduct in office justifying the generous support given him by his friends. He has been a director of the Chamber of Commerce for fourteen years and was president one term. He is affiliated with the Masonic Order, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Mr. Biggin was captain of the Redlands National Guard Company at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, and he immediately recruited the company to its full strength and was mustered into the Federal service as captain of Company G, Seventh California Infantry. This company left Redlands for The Presidio May 6, 1898. All were eager to get to the Philippines, but the company was held on duty at The Presidio until mustered out at Los Angeles December 3, 1898. During the World war Mr. Biggin made application for active service in the army, but was rejected, and had to be satisfied with what he could do as a patriotic citizen in home work.
In 1894 he married Miss Hattie D. Ellis, of Springfield, Vermont. Mrs. Biggin was liberally educated in the East, finishing in a special preparatory school at Boston. There are two children of their marriage: Leslie E., born at Redlands February 14, 1895, was educated in the Redlands High School and is married and living at Redlands. Elfreda M., the daughter, was born July 8, 1898, is a graduate of the Redlands High School and is now in the junior year of Pomona College, where she is specializing in English.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011