California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
JAMES CUNNISON has been an active business man at San Bernardino for twenty years, coming here as a young man, and has earned a successful place in business and an enviable reputation as a citizen.
He was born at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, November 30, 1882, and represents families of old American tradition and English ancestry. His father, James Cunnison, was born in Indiana, spent his life as a farmer in that state, and died in January. 1920. He was a thirty-second degree Mason. His mother, Mary (Dalman) Cunnison, was also born in Indiana, and died in the same month and year as her husband. They had a family of five children, all living; Alexander, an Indiana farmer; Margaret, wife of L. E. Koons. a retired farmer of Indiana; William, a business man at Riverside California; Frank, present recorder of Allen County, Indiana; and James.
James Cunnison attended the grammar and high schools of Fort Wayne and the International Business College of that city, and in 1901, at the age of nineteen, he secured his first engagement at San Bernardino, as cashier of the Wells, Fargo & Company Express. Four years later he became associated with the Ingersoll & Esler Company, wholesale liquors, and was with that business for eleven years. Then followed a two year period during which he took a well earned vacation, enjoying extensive travel over the country.
In 1919 Mr. Cunnison became secretary of the Hanford Iron Works, one of the prominent industries of San Bernardino, and has since held that position. He is also financially interested in the company and is a director.
He has been a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, since 1910, was secretary for ten years, and was largely instrumental in increasing the membership from about three hundred to over six hundred, the membership figure at the present writing. He is a charter member and secretary of the Rotary Club, and has held that office since its inception. He is affiliated with San Bernardino Lodge No. 348, Free and Accepted Masons, and a life member of San Bernardino Lodge No. 836, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Prominent in fraternal affairs, he was secretary during the World war of the Fraternal Patriotic Congress, which undertook and carried out an extensive program for the raising and handling of funds for patriotic purposes.
Mr. Cunnison served in 1918 as auditor for the City Water Commission during the administration of Mayor Catick. He is a republican in politics.
In August, 1905, at Riverside, he married Miss Anna Shelberg, a native of North Dakota and daughter of Charles Shelberg. They have two children, Helen and Fred, both students in the public schools of San Bernardino.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011