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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

JONATHAN PETER CUTLER, a California pioneer whose enterprise was directed in a particularly fortunate way for the development of the famous district of Cucamonga, was a type of early settler whose memory deserves to be cherished.

He was a native of Tennessee, but as a boy went to Iowa and in the early fifties joined an ox train crossing the plains to Carson City, Nevada. There he engaged in a supply business, handling hay, grain and provisions, obtaining most of his commodities in San Francisco and making numerous trips to the coast while in this business.

While at San Francisco he married Mary Casting, a native of New York State, and in the early seventies he took his family to Ventura, where he was engaged in ranching until 1884. In that year he moved to the Jomosa tract, now known as Alta Loma, where he bought twenty acres of wild land. Like the rest of the region, it was rough, covered with brush and stone, and with the aid of his sons he did the arduous work of clearing it. He provided it with water and also did the planting, setting out five acres to oranges and five acres to peaches. This orchard was subsequently sold, and was one of the first plats thoroughly improved in that region. It was located well north, on Hellman Avenue. Jonathan P. Cutler also bought with his son, Lewis, and developed ten acres on Olive Street from its wild condition. Here he built and improved and set out an orange grove. After selling there he bought a home in Hollywood. While living there in comfortable retirement he met an accident when his horse ran away, resulting in his death.

Jonathan Peter Cutler was hardy, honest, hard working, achieved material prosperity, enjoyed rugged health in spite of his roughing experiences, and always entertained the honest respect of his fellow men.

He and his wife had four children: George W., now a successful business man at Douglas, Arizona ; Lewis T., of Upland ; Mary Genevieve, wife of R. W. Thornbury, of Hollywood; and Elsie J., wife of J. R. Tweedy, of Walnut Park, California.

Lewis T. Cutler was born April 6, 1871, at Santa Paula, California, and was about thirteen years of age when the family located at Cucamonga. He attended school there, spent two years in school at Pasadena, and he and his brother did their share of the toil on their father's ranch. Later Lewis T. Cutler took up the business of driving water tunnels in the development of various irrigation systems, and has handled a great deal of tunnel construction and concrete work for the Arrowhead Reservoir Company. He entered the service of this company in 1892, and for eight years was in the engineering department. During that time the Little Bear Valley system was constructed. As noted above, he and his father bought a ten acre tract, and he paid for his five acres out of his wages. Since then his development work has made him one of the leading fruit growers in the Cucamonga District. However, as opportunity presented, he has frequently returned to tunnel work. In numerous instances he has taken tracts of wild land, improved and set them to fruit, and has also done much trading in real estate, both farm and city properties. Like his father he has been a hard worker, and has fully earned what he now enjoys.

On March 20, 1905, at San Jose, he married Julia Johnson, who was born January 28, 1875, in Hadley, Massachusetts, daughter of Edward and Lucy (Dane) Johnson. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Cutler have three children: Howard, born October 15, 1906, who was educated at Cucamonga and in the Chaffey Union High School; Lucy, born August 30, 1907, now a student in the Chaffey Union High School; and George, born May 3, 1909. All the children are natives of Cucamonga. After his marriage Lewis Cutler bought the noted old landmark, the old saloon and roadhouse and first store building in Cucamonga. In pioneer days this one room structure housed the post office, general store and saloon. It was remodeled under Mr. Cutler's ownership as a residence, and he and his family lived there until 1919, when he sold and has since occupied his present comfortable home on East Ninth Street in Upland.

 

Source:
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