California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
WALTER MINTURN DEAN was descended from ancestors forming interesting strains in the making of the American race. Through his father, Albert Flandreau Dean, he harked back to the Mayflower, to New York and to the French Huguenots, while on the side of his mother, Elizabeth Pope Dean, he claimed as forebears Virginia Quakers who migrated to Ohio when conditions of living were primitive and Indians were plentiful.
Mr. Dean was born in St. Louis, Missouri, September 24, 1874, gaining his foundational education in the public schools there and continuing it in the high schools of Chicago, whence the family removed later. Afterward he attended the University of Michigan, where he was prominent in sports and glee club activities as well as in the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. Upon leaving the university he was associated with his father in the insurance business, the latter being the author of the Dean Schedule for rating. A flattering offer took him soon to the management of a department of the Goodyear Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. However, a few years later a desire for a more genial climate was the cause of his going to Cuba, where he learned the tobacco business on a large finca near Havana, but his plans for a residence there were unexpectedly changed and the lure of California drew him back to his own land. He became a progressive citrus grower in Corona, and took the most intense interest in his groves and ranches. He was always a public-spirited citizen, serving enthusiastically in the Chamber of Commerce. He was one of the organizers of the Corona Country Club and of the Orange Belt Tennis Association, during the existence of which latter he captured many trophies as a tennis player. He did much social service work among the young people of the Baptist Church. He was a man of fine presence and much social charm. His ability as an amateur actor and a talented singer, together with the fact that his wife is a writer of poems and plays, made his home a rendezvous for those who love the finer things of life. On the 31st of October, 1910, occurred his marriage to Janet Overall Williams, of distinguished Southern ancestry. His widow and two children, Walter Manley and Elise Overall, survive him.
Janet Williams Dean.
It is too stark to write the simple words —
There he was born —yonder he died —
This he achieved, and that.
Nay, let me sing
Who knew his heart
And let me say
How gladly he did hail
As sentinels of each new day.
The tall, worn trees
Grey with the mist of morn ;
How tenderly at dusk he watched
The red leaves in the wind.
Dancing before they died.
How he had tasted ecstasy too sweet,
How he had heard the babbling of the stars
And read within man's wild rebellious heart
A prayer for beauty haunting him in dreams.
Let me make known besides
How oft the voice of God
Spoke to him in night's hush,
Or when the blue sea broke
In bubbles on the sand,
Or when his baby smiled ;
Or further speak
How he gave honor
To the men who bend
In strength beneath their toil;
How he was touched
By woman's plaintive unpaid ministry ;
How he had never stilled
The laughter in the heart of any child.
There is no need to chant
The fair and deathless tale
Of days of deeds
For this is all : —
Life beat and bent and hammered him
Upon her anvil wrought of grief and doom ;
But never was that thing we call his soul
Too fagged nor spent too far
To point his camerades —
Man, woman and their child —
To that dim, winding path,
Leading through darkness
To the stars at last.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011