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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


JOHN G. GAYLORD came to Ontario a quarter of a century ago, and has since acquired and developed some of the most valuable orange groves in this section. He is one of the very substantial citizens of San Bernardino County. His Americanism is one of practical patriotic achievements and of an ancestry that runs back to the early Colonial period. Mr. Gaylord is a veteran of the Civil war, and two of his sons were in the World war, while one was in the Spanish-American conflict.

John G. Gaylord was born in Litchfield County, Connecticut, July 28, 1843, son of Lyman and Chloe (Chamberlain) Gaylord, also natives of Connecticut and of old New England ancestry. The Chamberlains were of English stock. The Gaylord lineage has been traced back into the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when they were residents of Normandy, France. They were a family of wealth and noble prestige at that time. About 1550 some of the Gaylords left Normandy with other refugees and went to England, settling chiefly about Exeter and Tiverton. For a number of generations the chief occupation of the family was weavers of worsted goods and makers of Kersey cloth. One of the Gaylords sought freedom from the political and religious restrictions of the England of the early seventeenth century and brought his family to America on the ship Mary and John, arriving at Nantucket May 30, 1630. The American generations of the name have been identified largely with agriculture and horticulture.

Lyman Gaylord, father of John G., was a blacksmith by trade. He and his wife, Chloe, had four daughters and two sons, one of the former dying in childhood. In 1855 the family left Connecticut, bound for Iowa. They went around the Great Lakes to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the party of colonists to the number of sixteen secured three heavy ox teams and slowly and with great difficulty made their way through the woods, reaching in December of that year their chosen location at Nora Springs, Floyd County, Iowa, where Edson Gaylord, a brother of Lyman, had preceded them and had constructed a log cabin. In this rough shelter the entire party were housed during the winter. While the congestion was great, doubtless, like other pioneers of the time, they always made room for strangers and guests. It was a severe winter, with deep snow and very cold, and the deer would break through the crust and could easily be killed, thus affording an abundant supply of venison, while there was also prairie chicken to vary the diet. Lyman Gaylord preempted land at Nora Springs and lived there, a substantial farmer, increasing his holdings to a large farm. He was born November 12, 1815, and died at Nora Springs November 26, 1892. His wife, Chloe, was born February 14, 1816, and died at the old homestead in Iowa March 12, 1902.

John G. Gaylord was twelve years of age when the family made its migration from New England to Iowa. Practically all his educational advantages came to him in Connecticut. He shared in the vicissitudes of pioneer existence in Iowa, and became fully disciplined in the hard toil required of farmers who were breaking up the virgin soil and clearing away the wilderness. When the Civil war came on he enlisted on April 12, 1862, in Company A, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry. His regiment was in the Western Army, campaigning through Missouri and down the Mississippi, was at Pittsburg, at Mobile, and in other campaigns in Gulf states! Mr. Gaylord did his full duty as a soldier, but escaped wounds, and after being discharged he returned home to Nora Springs on July 4, 1865. After the war he farmed with his father until he married and bought land of his own.

On May 21, 1872, Mr. Gaylord married Miss Alice Jane LaDue, who was born December 26, 1845, and died in the same year as her marriage. On September 16, 1873, Mr. Gaylord married Miss Sarah Ankeney, who was born at Ankeneytown, Knox County, Ohio, March 3, 1848, and died at Ontario, California, February 5, 1918, nearly forty-five years after her marriage.

Mr. Gaylord was a prosperous Iowa farmer for thirty years before coming to California in 1896. He bought ten acres of oranges at the northwest corner of Fifth Street and San Antonio Avenue in Ontario, and undertook a business entirely new to him, but he made a thorough study of orange culture and by experience and practice has become an authority in the citrus industry. When he located at Ontario much of the surrounding land was wild and unproductive, and his individual success has contributed to the general prosperity of the community. Mr. Gaylord now owns 32 1/2 acres of highly productive orchards and has other investments. He has bought and sold and still owns considerable real estate in Los Angeles, and has some profitable oil properties in Southern California. As this record reveals, Mr. Gaylord has been a man of action and industry, and his prosperity is the result of his individual accumulations. He is a member of Ontario Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, is a prohibitionist and has been a life-long member of the Christian Church. He has done his duty as a citizen and has reared and educated a family of sturdy sons and daughters.

All his seven children were born at Nora Springs, Iowa. Arthur, the oldest, born June 18, 1874, died in infancy. Alice, born January 7, 1875, is Mrs. H. E. Blazer, of Ontario. Miss Flora was born September 16, 1878. George, born February 2, 1881, a veteran of two wars, has a more complete record in the following paragraphs. Sarah, born December 9, 1882, is the wife of G. A. Holbrook of Ontario, and the ten children born to their union were Marion, Arthur, Guy (died in infancy), Aldura, Horace, Emma, John G., Eleanor, Mona and Guy Paul. The sixth child, Chloe, born August 16, 1885, was first married to Percy Dewar, who left one son, William Ernest, and she is now the wife of Ray R. Delhauer and has a daughter, Mary Alice. The seventh and youngest of the family is John G. Gaylord, Jr.

George Gaylord was only seventeen years of age when the Spanish-American war broke out, but he enlisted at the first call, in Company D of the Seventh California Volunteers, and was in service until the close of the war. Later he removed to the Imperial Valley, and he gave up a profitable position there to offer his services to the Government in the World war. He enlisted as a private in June, 1917, in Company D of the One Hundred and Forty-Third Field Artillery, was in training at Camp Kearney, where he was made a corporal, and in July, 1918, left Hoboken for France, landing at Liverpool. Four days later he embarked at Southampton and crossed the channel to Le Havre, thus going to Southern France, to Camp De Souge, near Bordeaux, not far from the ancestral lands of the original Gaylords. While in training camp there he was advanced to sergeant After the signing of the armistice he was put in the military police service, a duty that gave him opportunities to visit many interesting points, including St. Sulpice, where he guarded a prison camp, also did guard duty in the Pyrenees Mountains and passes and was at Chateau-Thierry and other points of the battle front. On returning to the United States he received honorable discharge at San Francisco July 1, 1919, and since resuming civilian life has become an orange grower at Ontario and is one of the prominent and influential business men of that city.

George A. Gaylord married Miss Beatrice Hardey Barham on October 30, 1921. She was born in Akron, Iowa, February 14, 1882, daughter of Charles Hardy and Susan (Ross) Hardy. Mrs. Gaylord came to Ontario, California, at age of five years with parents and was educated in the public and high schools of Ontario. At the time of her marriage to Mr. Gaylord she was the widow of Charles Barham, and has one son, John, by the former marriage.

The younger son, John G. Gaylord, Jr., who was born July 21, 1892, was educated in the Chaffee Union High School and early took up the citrus fruit industry. On April 16, 1918, he married Miss Lottie Doner, a popular and well educated Ontario girl. They have a daughter, Mary Louise, born August 25, 1920. Though married, John G. Gaylord, Jr., put in no claims for exemption in the draft, and in August, 1918, joined the colors in the Quartermaster's Department at Camp Lewis, where he was put in a replacement division. He received his honorable discharge January 6, 1919, and at once returned to Ontario and resumed his business connections.

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