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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

GUY S. GARNER is a native of Southern California, has full appreciation of the advantages and attractions of his native state and is one of the wide-awake business men of Highgrove, Riverside County, where he conducts a well equipped automobile garage and where he finds time also to accord effective service as justice of the peace and as cattle inspector for Riverside County.

Mr. Gamer was born at San Bernardino, California, August 12, 1876, and is a son of John Henry and Nettie (Ames) Garner, both natives of Utah. John H. Gamer was a youth when the family made the long and hazardous journey across the plains and mountains from Utah to California with wagon and ox team, and the home was established at San Bernardino, which was then a mere trading station. His father, John Ellis Garner, was one of the well know pioneers of San Bernardino County, and was influential in community affairs. The Gamer family was founded in America in the Colonial period and gave patriotic soldiers to the colonies in the War of the Revolution. John Henry Garner was a member of a large family of children, and the family had its full share of pioneer hardships after coming to California. His life was marked by eamest [sic] and worthy activity, he became a successful veterinary surgeon, and at the time of his death he was president of the Board of Trustees of the City of Santa Ana, Orange county, his widow, who now resides in the City of Los Angeles, was an infant at the time when her parents made the trip from Utah to California by means of wagons and ox teams, and it is a matter of record that when en route the members of the immigrant expedition exhausted their supply of water, with the result that it became necessary to kill young calves and utilize the blood of the animals to quench the thirst of the members of the party. The mother of Mrs. Gamer was born at Council Bluffs, Iowa, of early pioneer parentage on the frontier, and her maternal ancestors came from England in the Colonial days, the family having been represented by gallant soldiers in the Revolutionary war.

Guy S. Garner acquired his early education in the public schools of Santa Ana, where the family home was established when he was a small boy. Thereafter he was graduated in the Bisbee Business College in that city, and his initial service of practical order was rendered in the position of plumbing inspector for the City of Santa Ana. There he continued his residence until about 1901, when, by reason of the ill health of his wife, he removed to Bear Valley, where for two years he was employed in the De la Mores Mountain Mine, at the head of the valley. Later he entered the employ of the San Bernardino Gas & Electric Company. He had been thus engaged two years when he was retained as private guard by C. R. Lord, who had been shot by a nephew. About two months after this attempt to assassinate him Mr. Lord went to Japan, leaving Mr. Garner in charge of his fine bungalow home at San Bernardino. Six months later Mr. Garner came to Highgrove, Riverside County, and assumed the position of operator in the local hydroelectric plant, of which he was made chief operator three months later. He retained this responsible position thirteen years, and during eighteen months of this period he had charge also of the Peley electric plant. For the Highgrove hydro-electric plant he installed the first distributing lines and street lights in Highgrove, and he gained full technical and practical knowledge of applied electricity. In 1912 Mr. Garner became associated with Joseph Hudson, W. W. Ayers and John L. Bishop in the organization of the Highgrove Chamber of Commerce, of which he was a charter member and one of the early presidents. When the Highgrove hydro-electric plant was destroyed by fire several years ago Mr. Garner established a garage and electric-service station, which he has since conducted with marked success, besides which he has active charge of the municipal electric-light service of Highgrove. Upon the death of John Haight the County Board of Supervisors appointed Mr. Garner his successor in the office of justice of the peace, and in 1918 he was regularly elected to this office for a term of four years. He is a staunch republican, active in local political affairs, and progressive and loyal as a citizen. Mr. Gamer seems to have exceptional capacity for service, and in addition to his other and varied responsibilities he has for the past several years had supervision of the interests of the East Riverside Land Company, besides which he is cattle inspector of Riverside County, under appointment by the Cattle Protection Board of the state. He is agent for the Aetna Life Insurance Company, and as a broker in real estate he has handled much property in Highgrove. He was one of the organizers of the Highgrove Improvement Association, which raised the funds to buy the site and erect the community hall of the village. He is interested in farm enterprise in and about Highgrove, and is a member of the Farm Bureau and the Riverside County Chamber of Commerce. His fraternal affiliations is with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Woodmen of the World and Knights oŁ the Maccabees.

At Santa Ana, February 23, 1896, occurred the marriage of Mr. Garner and Miss Caroline Arborn, a daughter of Russell Arborn, of that city. Her paternal grandfather was a pioneer settler in Southern California, and the town of Arbondale was named in his honor, he having been a native of England. Of the three children of Mr. and Mrs. Garner the eldest is Mildred Rophina, who is the wife of John B. Bellezza, an automobile mechanic residing at Highgrove, and they have two children. Rose Mary and a baby girl. Donald Guy S. and Dortha Antoinette, the younger children of Mr. and Mrs. Garner, are twins, and were born July 11, 1912.

 

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