California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
JOHN RAYMOND GABBERT — Like so many men of power and influence in Southern California, John Raymond Gabbert claims Iowa as his native state. Of that state he has no particular recollection, since he was brought to Southern California when a child of two years, and here he grew up and here he has played a useful part as a newspaper man. Many undertakings in Riverside and vicinity are credited to him because of his business as editor and publisher of the Riverside Enterprise.
John Raymond Gabbert was born in Iowa, June 5, 1881, and represents an old American family. His great-great-grandfather fought in the Revolutionary war and was at the surrender of Cornwallis. Mr. Gabbert's father is Thomas Gavin Gabbert, who has been a resident of Ventura County, California, for thirty-six years, and for the past twelve years has lived in Ventura City. His active career was spent largely as a farmer and for a number of years he was on the Limoneria Ranch. He now conducts a real estate business at Ventura and owns property in different parts of that county. He was elected and served as a member of the California Legislature in 1912-13, and has been on the Board of County Supervisors fourteen years, being chairman of the board five years, a position to which he was recently reelected. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce when it initiated and sponsored the good roads program in Ventura County. Among leading men of affairs in Ventura County none is better known than Thomas G. Gabbert. He married Ella Peters. Her father, Anson Peters, who is now living at Pasadena, came around the Horn in 1849, his ship being wrecked on the South American coast. He was rescued and joined the pioneer gold seekers in California, and laid the basis of a substantial fortune in the gold mines. He afterward returned to Iowa, but in 1883 came back to California, lived four years at Saticoy, then at Fallbrook until 1912, and for the past six years his home has been at Pasadena and Glendora. Anson Peters was a Captain of Home Guards in Iowa during the Civil War. He is now ninety-four years of age.
John Raymond Gabbert was educated in the public schools of Ventura County, graduating from high school in 1899. The following four years he was with a newspaper published at Oxnard. He then entered the University of California and graduated Bachelor of Science from the College of Commerce in 1907. While at the university he was editor of the Daily Californian and also of the College Annual, Blue and Gold. The printing plant printing the Blue and Gold was destroyed bv fire at the time of the big earthquake in 1906. The night before that calamity Mr. Gabbert returned to his office and took up a number of spoiled sheets and carried them home. These are all the University has preserved of that issue, and they are carefully kept at the university library. Mr. Gabbert was so loath to lose the annual that he ran in to fight fire with the Marines and was a volunteer in the fire fighting service for nearly a day, until completely exhausted. While at University Mr. Gabbert was a member of the junior honor society Winged Helmet, senior society Golden Bear, and also of the Skull and Keys Society. He is a member of the Chi Psi fraternity.
Immediately after leaving University Mr. Gabbert bought the Oxnard Courier, and during five years made that a very successful newspaper plant, changing it from a weekly to a city daily. He sold out in 1912, and coming to Riverside acquired a half interest in the Riverside Enterprise with an option on the other half. Later, with his father, he acquired this half, and is in full control of the editorial and business management. The Enterprise is published by the Mission Publishing Company as a morning daily, and is one of the most successful and influential daily papers in this part of the state. As a supplement to the Riverside Enterprise Mr. Gabbert established the California Citograph in 1915. This paper is now published at Los Angeles, with Mr. Gabbert president of the publishing company.
Associated with one of his employes, Mr. Gabbert has invented a printer's chase called the Rousseau Chase. It reduces the margins on country dailies, thus saving white paper, and is being manufactured and sold by other concerns all over the United States, Manila and Canada.
As a newspaper man Mr. Gabbert has been much in politics and public affairs. He was for four years secretary of the County Republican Central Committee of Ventura County and has also served on the Riverside County Central Committee. He is representative for the Associated Press and California newspapers in Riverside, and was one of the two California editors representing the state's Republican newspapers sent to Marion, Ohio, to meet Senator Harding, president- elect, and wrote the news stories sent to all parts of the United States during that trip. Mr. Gabbert has contributed original ideas and has used his personal and newspaper power to insure the success of a number of movements in Riverside. He was the first to advocate work for the establishment of a Farm Bureau, and partly through his influence may be credited the location here of the Citrus Station and the proposed University Farm School., He is president of the Riverside Rotary Club, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Business Men's Association, served as president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1917-18 and was the same year president of the Present Day Club. Fraternally he is affiliated with -Riverside Lodge of Masons, Oxnard Royal Arch Chapter, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Riverside Elks.
At Oxnard June 25, 1908, Mr. Gabbert married Miss Elizabeth Gordon. She was born in New York. Her mother is Mrs. A. F. Gordon, of Caledonia, New York. Mrs. Gabbert is a descendant of Elder William Brewster of the Pilgrim Colony, and is eligible to membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames. She is active in the Presbyterian Riverside Church. Mr. and Mrs. Gabbert have two children : John Gordon and Jane Elizabeth.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011