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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


WALTER FREMONT GROW. It is the fortune of some individuals to rise above their associates through the possession in a remarkable degree of the salient characteristics which make for success in business undertakings. Their handling of affairs is so masterly that their onward progress is steady and uninterrupted, and they make prosperous all enterprises with which they are identified. To this class undoubtedly belongs Walter Fremont Grow, of Highland, president of the Highland Domestic Water Company, who is also identified with numerous other leading organizations and is a successful fruit-grower of San Bernardino County. A self-made man in all that the phrase implies, in his advancement he has carried with him a number of associates and has likewise been a prominent factor in the progress and development of the interests and institutions of his adopted community.

Mr. Grow was born in Maine, July 19. 1856, a son of Lorenzo and Harriet (Currier) Grow, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Maine. There were four sons and one daughter in the family, of whom the eldest son, Charles Currier Grow, enlisted in the Union service during the Civil war, and while fighting with the forces under General Banks met his death in the battle of Sugar Loaf Mountain. About 1865 the rest of the family moved to Monona County, Iowa, where Lorenzo Grow took up 160 acres of school land, and during his fourteen years of residence there improved a good property and became a well-to-do farmer.

Walter F. Grow spent his boyhood on the home farm in Iowa at a time when the Indians were still to be found in large numbers in that state, and secured his education in the public schools, having the advantage of two years of attendance at the high school at Onawa. An elder brother, S. L. Grow, who was engaged in the livestock business as a shipper and dealer, made several trips to Sacramento and San Francisco, to which points he had shipped cattle, and his reports of the opportunities offered in the Golden State induced Walter F. Grow to come to this locality, arriving at Merced April 10, 1881. He spent about nine months at that point and Fresno, and in January, 1882, came to San Bernardino County and purchased ten acres of land at Highland, on Base Line. This he subsequently sold and purchased his present home site, 86.71 acres, a Government claim, from a man named Bulger, who was homesteading. As a pioneer, Mr. Grow moved to this property, which was chiefly wild land, rocky and covered with wild brush, and here he built his home, the eighth to be built in the colony. He began the work of improving, and soon planted an orchard and set out a vineyard of raisin grapes. His raisins he dried and delivered to Colton, while his deciduous fruits he dried and sold to buyers who traveled about buying fruits from the various growers. During this period his finances were at a low ebb, and he frequently was forced to hire out his services to other early settlers in order to secure the means of a livelihood. As a result of his untiring energy and the good management that has always characterized his affairs he is now the owner of a beautiful ranch, a modern home with a splendid view of the mountains and valleys, and a flourishing orchard of thirty-three acres, yielding oranges of the best quality.

In 1898 Mr. Grow was instrumental in the organization of the Highland Domestic Water Company, his associates in this project being L. C. Waite, Dr. C. C. Browning, A. G. Stearns and S. L. Grow. Mr. Grow, who was the first superintendent and manager of the body, is now president thereof and owns five-twelfths of the stock. He is also a director in the First Bank of Highland. a stockholder of the Gold Buckle Orange Association, and a stockholder in the North Fork Water Company, the Highland Water Company and the General Fertilizer Company. He is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and of the San Bernardino Farm Bureau, and is president of the Highland Public Library. A republican in politics, for vears he has been a member of the Executive Committee of his party in the county and has been active in its affairs. His fraternal affiliation is with Highland Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, and his religious connection with the Congregational Church.

In 1880 Mr. Grow was united in marriage with Miss Carrie Ella Burroughs, and to this union there were born two children : Edna May, now Mrs. William Brownlow, of Highland: and Laura Myrtle, now Mrs. T. A. Blakesley, of San Bernardino. Mrs. Grow died in 1890, and Mr. Grow married, December 15, 1891, Caroline Lowrie Wilson, a native of Pennsylvania. To this union there has come one son, Walter Lowrie, born June 4. 1894. Walter Lowrie Grow graduated from Pasadena High School in 1913, following which he entered Pomona College, Claremont, California, which he subsequently left, but to which he later returned. He then enrolled as a student at the University of California at Berkeley, but on October 3, 1917, left his studies at that institution to enlist for service during the World war in the Hospital Corps of the United States Navy. December 5 of the same year he was sent to Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, and after being stationed there for eleven months was transferred to San Pedro, and later to San Diego. In September, 1919, he was placed on the reserve list and returned to Pomona College to complete his course. He was a member of the Phi Delta, and graduated from the institution with the class of 1920, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He next entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, for a four-year course, and at present is a student of that institution and a member of the Alpha Kappa Kappa fraternity. During his war service he received the rating of chief pharmacist's mate. He possesses a seaman's certificate from the territory of Hawaii and one from Philadelphia in the Merchant Marine. Mr. Grow is a member of Highland Lodge, Knights of Pythias, and is a young man of exemplary habits and great ambition, whose advancement will be watched with interest by the many friends whom he has made in various sections.


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