California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
SAMUEL B. HAMPTON became a prominent and influential future in connection with the citrus fruit industry in Southern California, and the splendid achievement that most significantly indicated his initiative and executive ability was the organizing of the Corona Foothill Lemon Company, which has added materially to the industrial prestige and advancement of Riverside County. Of this company Mr. Hampton was president from the time of its incorporation until his death, and his splendid energies were enlisted also in the developing of other important business enterprises.
Samuel B. Hampton was born in Linn County, Iowa, on February 26, 1870, a son of Isaac S. and Helen (Hazelrigg) Hampton, natives respectively of Ohio and Iowa. Mr. Hampton was four years of age at the time of the family removal to Osage County, Kansas, where he attended the public schools until he was sixteen years of age. He then, in 1886, accompanied his parents to California, and the family home was established at Elsinore, Riverside County, where for a year he was variously employed. He then became a packer in the fruit packing establishment of Griffin & Skelly at Riverside, three years later became foreman for the Riverside Fruit Company, and later he held a similar position with F. B. Devine & Company, fruit packers. In 1900 he removed to Hollywood and became house manager of the Cahuenga Valley Lemon Exchange. In 1901 he removed to Whittier and organized the Whittier Citrus Association, of which he served as manager until October, 1904. He then became manager of the Corona Lemon Company at Corona, Riverside County, which position he held until his death.
The foresight and business acumen of Mr. Hampton were especially effective when he brought about the organization of the Corona Foothill Lemon Company, which acquired 900 acres of land on the mesa south of Corona a tract specially adapted to lemon culture by reason of its being far above the frost line. Under the vigorous management of Mr. Hampton 600 acres were planted to lemons and 100 acres to oranges. An abundant supply of water has been developed from wells, and in commission is a pumping plant of 600 horsepower, in connection with which has been installed three miles of pipe line, with a capacity of 250 miners' inches. The Corona Foothill Lemon Company was incorporated in 1911, with a capital stock of $300,000, which was later increased to $500,000, and with official corps as follows: Samuel B. Hampton, president; W. A. McIntosh, vice president ; S. R. Case, secretary; and the First National Bank of Corona, treasurer. After the death of Mr. Hampton in 1918 W. A. McIntosh became president of the company, and in the position of vice president was succeeded by David Blanckenhorn. The officers remain as above noted, Robert L. Hampton having become general manager in 1918, shortly after the death of his father, which occurred on October 16th of that year.
Aside from his connection with the Corona Foothill Lemon Company Mr. Hampton was president of the Temescal Water Company, president of the Exchange By-Products Company, manager of the Corona Lemon Company and a member of the Queen Colony Fruit Exchange, besides being the Corona representative at the California Fruit Growers' Exchange at Los Angeles. It was mainly through the efforts of Mr. Hampton that the Exchange By-Products Company was established at Corona, he having been president of this company from the time of its organization until his death.
Mr. Hampton was a stalwart advocate of the principles of the republican party, was a progressive and public-spirited citizen, and as a man he commanded unqualified popular confidence and esteem. He was a birthright member of the Society of Friends, and held this religious faith most earnestly and consistently. Mr. Hampton married Miss Nora Willits, daughter of Gabriel B. Willits, of Riverside, and since his death she has continued to maintain her home at Corona. Of the three children Robert L. is the eldest ; Ethlyn remains with her widowed mother; and Doris is the wife of A. E. Daniels, of Corona.
Robert Lester Hampton, only son of the subject of this memoir, gained his early education in the public schools of Corona and thereafter continued his studies in the University of California as a member of the class of 1916. After leaving the university he became ranch foreman for the Corona Foothill Lemon Company, and since 1918 he has been its manager. He is a republican in political allegiance, and is affiliated with the Del Rey Club. September 17, 1920, recorded his marriage with Miss Jessamine Hunt, daughter of Mrs. Alice Hunt, of Corona, and the one child of this union is a son, Robert Lester, Jr. Mrs. Hampton was born in Corona and attended the public and high schools. She was afforded the advantages of Leland Stanford, Jr., University, and is a popular figure in the representative social activities of her home community.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011