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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


WILLIAM CHURCHILL CLINE has been a resident in and around Ontario for thirty years or more. His business is construction work of a high character. As a youth he learned the stone and brick mason's trade, and his long experience and study has brought him a masterful authority in all branches of building construction, paving and road work, and the examples of his sturdy art and business energy can be found all over this section of the county.

Mr. Cline was born at Lockhaven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, May 5, 1876, son of John Lloyd and Susan Maria (Churchill) Cline, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New York State. There were three children : Ella, who was well educated, is Mrs. Ella Kouts and is now teaching in the schools at Fontana, California; William Churchill, and Susie, who died at Pasadena as Mrs. Susie Groomer.

William Churchill Cline came to California with his grandfather and grandmother in 1889, when he was thirteen years of age. They located in 1890 at North Ontario, now Upland, where Mr. Cline finished his education in the old Chaffey College. His grandmother established and conducted a private sanitarium at 24th Street and Euclid Avenue, an institution well patronized in its day. His grandfather was the first postmaster of San Antonio Heights, an office that has long since been discontinued. He was a veteran of the Civil war.

Mr. Cline continued to live with his grandparents until about 1892, when his parents came out to California. Completing his education in 1894, he worked for a year or so on the Stewart fruit ranch. His father and grandfather were very skilled stone and brick masons, and about 1895 Mr. Cline began an apprenticeship to learn these trades, and he also took up the new branch of cement construction. This has been his business now for a quarter of a century. Many of the county's large works are monuments to his skill. Mr. Cline has devoted much time and study and has performed some notable work in cobble stone and native stone construction.

In 1900 he married Miss May Johns, who was born in Ottawa, Canada, daughter of J. C. Johns. Her father came to Ontario about thirty-five years ago, was a plumber by occupation and established the first hardware and plumbing business in the then new town of Ontario. He also did much business as a contractor, and laid much of the early water system of Ontario. Mrs. Cline was educated in the schools of Ontario. Three children have been born to their marriage : Ruth A., born December 12, 1900, is a graduate of the Chaffey Union High School and now a trusted employe of the Commercial Bank of Upland ; Gilbert W., born February 7, 1902, is a graduate of the Chaffey High School, and John Ernest, born April 5, 1903, is attending high school. All the children were born at Ontario. Mr. Cline is affiliated with the Ontario Lodge of Elks, was one of the first sixteen charter members of Euclid Lodge No. 68, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the membership of which is now over one hundred, and he and his family are Presbyterians.


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