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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


JOHN E. CUTTER.óRiverside was the home of John E. Cutter for nearly forty-five years. One of the oldest residents of that city at the time of his death, November 19, 1921, he contributed much to its development as a horticultural center and enjoyed that place of esteem given to those who have labored most unselfishly and public spiritedly for the general welfare and progress.

Mr. Cutter was of New England birth and ancestry. The genealogy of the Cutter family has been traced back in direct line to King Alfred the Saxon. The Cutters came to America in 1639, and many descendants of the old New England stock are still in the East. One Cutter was surgeon general for the East End Department during the Revolutionary war.

John E. Cutter was born March 16, 1844, at Webster, Maine, son of Dr. Benoni and Olive S. (Drinkwater) Cutter, his father a native of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, and his mother of Cumberland County, Maine, where her father was also born and where the Drinkwater's were pioneers. Dr. Benoni Cutter was a competent physician who died when just coming into the enjoyment of the rewards of his talents, at the age of about thirty-five.

John E. Cutter attended common schools at Webster and remained at home there until 1862, when, at the age of eighteen, he enlisted in Company E of the 23rd Maine Infantry. He received his discharge from this regiment in 1863, but at once re-enlisted, joining Company K, 29th Maine Infantry. This regiment was a part of Gen. W. H. Emory's 19th Army Corps, and he was in service under General Banks in Louisiana and later under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. With the close of the war he returned home and finished his education in the Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kent's Hill.

Mr. Cutter for many years was devoted to educational work, and his first associations with Riverside were with the local schools. He taught school in various places in Maine after graduating from college, and then became a pioneer in Murray County, Minnesota, where he homesteaded a hundred and sixty acres. Every winter he was in Minnesota he taught in Olmstead County, and after Murray County was organized he was appointed the first superintendent of schools, in 1872. Soon afterward he returned East, to Sabatis, Maine, and continued teaching there for five years. The last two years he was principal of Litchfield Academy at Litchfield Corners.

It was in the spring of 1878 that Mr. Cutter came to Riverside, and for a year was principal of schools and later taught two terms in another school. In the meantime he was developing some land to fruit. In 1879 he bought eight acres on Cypress Avenue, planting it to oranges and grapes, and in the same year acquired ten acres on East Eighth Street. Here he became associated with A. J. and D. C. Twogood in the nursery business, and continued in that business until 1894, after which he concentrated his time and energies on his individual fruit ranch. He had but recently practically retired from business, though superintending the work on his ten acre grove on East Eighth Street. Mr. Cutter was one of the organizers of the Riverside Heights Orange Growers Association in 1894, and a director in that pioneer organization, and was also a director of the Riverside Fruit Exchange.

In his political views he was a republican, but never accepted a public office. He gave liberally of time and money as a member of the Riverside Methodist Church and was one of the leading members of Riverside Post No. 118, Grand Army of the Republic, and a member of the Present Day Club and until a short time before his death was identified with the Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Cutter never abandoned the intellectual and literary interests of his early manhood. He was a contributor of both prose and verse to papers and magazines, and had a thorough knowledge of the many books in his private library and of other literature as well.

In March, 1876, at Litchfield, Mr. Cutter married Miss Annie L. Dinsmore, who was born at Canaan, Maine. She was also a teacher, and after coming to Riverside she taught several terms in the public schools while Mr. Cutter was busy with his fruit ranch. She died at Riverside, May 24, 1894, and is survived by one child, Charlotte Mary, who later married Frank A. Noyes, Jr., also a granddaughter, Natalie A. Noyes. In June, 1897, Mr. Cutter married Ellen E. Prescott at Trinidad, Colorado, who survives him.


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