California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
CALEB NEWTON HARFORD. — While not one of the original colonists, Caleb Newton Harford has been identified with Redlands and vicinity for thirty-three years, coming here within two years after the founding of the town. He was an Illinois merchant, but his capital and energy have been exceptionally well bestowed on citrus fruit and ranch development in California, and a number of substantial and profitable properties stand as monuments to his enterprise in this part of the state.
Mr. Harford was born September 16, 1846, in Pennsylvania. He was reared and educated there and learned the carpenter's trade. In the fall of 1873 he went out to Grand Ridge, LaSalle County, Illinois, to visit a cousin, a general merchant. At the invitation of this cousin he remained to work in the store during the winter months, and continued that employment until 1876, when his relative sold the business. He then put up a building and entered the grocery business on his own account. The year he started his independent career as a merchant he married, and for twelve years did a successful business in one of the rich and prosperous farming sections of Illinois.
Attracted by the reports of friends and neighbors he and his family left Illinois and came direct to Redlands, reaching that city February 21, 1888. Mr. Harford at once purchased a home on Fourth Street. Soon afterward he exchanged this as part payment for fifteen acres at East Redlands. This land was only partly planted, and he planted the remainder and also built a home and lived there until 1895. He then exchanged this for town property, and during the past quarter of a century has bought and sold and traded many pieces of property in this section. He has performed the service of planting much new land, and has brought a number of groves into profitable bearing condition. Out of his energetic handling of his business affairs he has prospered, has educated his family, and is regarded as one of the best citizens of Redlands. His present home and grove is at the northeast corner of Orange Street and Lugonia Avenue.
In 1876 Mr. Harford married Miss Mary J. Boyd, whose parents were natives of Pennsylvania. Her mother was born at Gettysburg and her uncle at one time owned land included in the Gettysburg battlefield. Mr. and Mrs. Harford have five children. The first four were born in Illinois and the youngest in California. The oldest, Grace E., born in 1877, is the wife of W. S. Leibendofer, now living at Bakersfield, California, and she is a leader in the Presbyterian Church in that city. The second, Boyd Emory Harford, born in 1881, has an executive position with the Standard Oil Company at Taft, California. He married Miss Babson Hubert, of Oceanside, California. Miss Cecil C, born in 1884, is a graduate of the Redlands High School, took a course in the San Bernardino Business College, and for the past six or seven years has been employed in the Redlands City Water Office and is an earnest church worker. Clara Belle, the fourth child, born in 1886, graduated from the Redlands High School and is the wife of Roy S. Kendall, who for the past twelve years has been in the employ of the Edison Company and is now store keeper in charge of electrical supplies at Redlands. The youngest of the family, Harry L. Harford, was born at Redlands in 1891, was reared and educated in this city, an electrician by trade and profession, and is now in the employ of the Standard Oil Company at Taft. He has an inspiring record as a World war soldier. He enlisted in Machine Gun Company A in the Fortieth Division, but after a brief training at Camp Kearney was sent overseas for further training and was in France sixteen months, being promoted to corporal and sergeant while there. From the Machine Gun Company he was transferred to the Automobile Supply Department, and was advanced to the firing line on the day the armistice was signed. Later he was on duty at Antwerp and various Belgium cities, and returned to the United States in October, 1919.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011