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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

MINNIE DENISON GOODRICH. The family names of Denison and Goodrich have been identified with development work and the good citizenship of the Upland section of San Bernardino County for thirty-five years. Lands have been leveled, cleared and planted, orange groves developed, homes established through the instrumentality of these families. Mrs. Minnie Goodrich is the widow of the late John B. Goodrich, a hard working and thrifty citizen whose name is held in the highest respect in this community.  

Mrs. Goodrich was born near Oil City, Pennsylvania, March 27, 1873, daughter of B. S. and Florence Denison. In 1874, the year following her birth, her parents moved to Newport, Kentucky, where her father was a merchant until 1886. For some time he had suffered ill health, and his physicians advised him that the only possible means of restoring his strength was to seek the milder climate of Southern California. Accordingly in 1886 he traded his Newport property for a tract of ten acres in what was then known as North Ontario, now Upland. This land was on Twenty-first Street, near Euclid Avenue. The Santa Fe Railroad had not yet built to Upland, and the nearest railroad station was at Ontario. The Denisons were pioneers in fact, since most of the land was wild, covered with sage brush, and the plantings had been chiefly in deciduous fruit and grapes. The land acquired by Mr. Denison had been set to deciduous fruits, but he later developed it as an orange grove. Some years later he and his three older children left California and went to Honolulu. Mr. Denison is now eighty-three years of age and is still active, with his two sons, in the railroad and transportation business in the Hawaiian Islands.  

Miss Minnie Denison was thirteen years of age when she came to California, and she finished her education in a one room school building on Eighteenth Street, being one of the three girls and seven boys who made up the scholarship enrollment of the colony at that time. Later she attended the Normal School at Los Angeles.  

On September 28, 1889, Miss Denison was married to John B. Goodrich. The late Mr. Goodrich was a native of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. His father was a hard working farmer in that state, and, needing the assistance of his children, he took his son out of school at the age of thirteen and put him to work on the farm. John B. Goodrich after leaving home managed to get an academic education and also studied privately, and in that way procured a substantial equipment for life's work. On coming to California he bought ten acres on West Sixteenth Street at Upland, and cleared, leveled and set this to citrus fruits. He also erected a substantial home, in which he and Mrs. Goodrich lived until it was destroyed by fire September 15, 1917. He then replaced it with the modern home where Mrs. Goodrich resides. From this house is obtained an unrivalled view of the valley below. Mr. Goodrich, who died October 15, 1920, had the quality of industry, was a good manager, and thoroughly inter- ested in the welfare of others outside his immediate family. While improving his own holdings he acted as caretaker for the groves of other owners, and for seven years served as horticultural inspector for the district. He was a member of the Masonic order.  

Since his death Mrs. Goodrich has taken over the business management of the property and has kept her younger children in school. Mrs. Goodrich was the fourth in a family of seven children, named George, Bertha, Harry, Minnie, Julia, Lee and Mary. The four oldest children are still living. Mrs. Goodrich has four children: Helen, born January 1, 1904, now in the senior year in the Chaff ey High School at Ontario ; Bertha, born at Upland April 8, 1906, in the sophomore year of high school; Harland, born September 3, 1908; and Landon, born September 13, 1911. Mrs. Goodrich is a member of the Presbyterian Church.


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