California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
GEORGE F. HERRICK, who passed away January 3, 1922, was a leading orange grower of Riverside County. He started out to be a railroad man, and made encouraging advancement and progress in that line. However, he was convinced that he was a natural born farmer, and it was his good fortune many years ago to realize his special adaptability for that role, and during his life in California of a third of a century his activities had been identified in an increasing degree with horticulture and practical farming.
Mr. Herrick was one of Riverside's most popular citizens. Born at Milton, Vermont, July 29, 1851, he represented some sturdy lines of old American and New England family stock. His parents were Phineas and Emily (Mears) Herrick, both natives of Vermont. His mother was of English descent, while the Herrick name runs back in genealogical record to Eric the Red of Denmark. Phineas Herrick was a Vermont farmer and a man of character in keeping with the rugged hills of the state. He was a deacon in the Congregational Church and superintendent of its Sunday School many years, and held such posts as selectman, school trustee and town liquor agent at Milton. His son^ Edgar E. Herrick, had a notable record as a soldier of the Union. He enlisted in Company I of the Sixth Vermont Volunteers in the fall of 1861, served three years and then re-enlisted. Going out as a private, he returned a lieutenant. He participated in forty engagements. His first promotion was a reward for having rescued the colors at Fredericksburg Heights, and he was given the honor of bearing those colors for the regiment. Still another son, E. Dwight Herrick, came across the Isthmus of Panama to California in 1853, and in later years was associated with the railway postal service on the Union Pacific lines between San Francisco and Ogden. The soldier, Edgar E. Herrick, died at Dayton, Ohio, in 1920. Two others of the family survive: Stephen H. Herrick, of Rockford, Illinois ; and Charlotte E., wife of Richard Corey, of Santa Barbara, California.
George F. Herrick acquired a public school education and took a special course in railroad telegraphy and railroad work at Oberlin, Ohio. For twelve years he was connected with Vermont railroads in telegraph and office work, and then returned to the calling with which he had been made familiar as a boy on the Vermont homestead. In Vermont he rented his farm for three years. In December, 1887, he arrived in California, followed by his family two years later. Making his home at Riverside, he employed his talents as a mechanic at house building the first year, and then went into orchard work, a line of which an experience of nearly thirty years gave him expert and authoritative knowledge. His first purchase was five acres on Ottawa Street. He also bought a half interest in ten acres at 702 Chicago Avenue, where he later had his home. He was one of the staunch and sturdy members of his local fruit exchange after it was organized, shipping through Riverside Heights Packing House No. 10.
In 1893 Mr. Herrick was called upon to act as secretary of the Riverside Y. M. C. A. He held that office eighteen months, keeping up his ranch work with the aid of a hired man. Largely through his influence he kept the association together when it was almost moribund. He issued a magazine known as the Y. M. C. A. News as a proper means of publicity and for the purpose of arousing interest in the movement. Just at that time a beginning was made in organizing the athletic side of the association, and altogether Mr. Herrick may be said to have laid some of the sound foundations on which the association rests its prosperity and influence today. While he was secretary the president of the association was Mr. A. A. Adair.
Thus various interests from time to time have enlisted his time and means. He was one of the organizers of the camp of the Woodmen of the World, which later consolidated with the lodge of which he was a member and past consul. He was a charter member of the Knights of the Maccabees and on the Official Board, and for a number of years was trustee of the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, also leader of the choir and always much interested in the musical activities of the church. In earlier years he was identified with the Congregational Church and was clerk for eleven years.
On September 27, 1874, at Cambridge, Vermont, Mr. Herrick married Miss Susie E. Tyler. She is a native of Vermont, daughter of Frederick Tyler, a farmer. Mrs. Herrick is descended from a long line of New England ancestors, and one branch of the family included President Tyler. Mrs. Herrick, who died in 1920. was the mother of five children. Charles W., the oldest, a native of Westminster, Vermont, has been in the railway mail service for over twenty years, now on the Santa Fe running between Los Angeles and San Diego. He married Emma Shephard, a native of the State of Maine, and their five children are Robert W., Florence E., Walter L. and Martha E. and Margaret E., twins. The second son of George F. Herrick, Walter L. Herrick, died at the age of twenty-two, and the third child, Bessie M., died in infancy. Frederick T. Herrick, the third son, who was for four years physical director of the Riverside Y. M. C. A., and has always been actively interested in church affairs, is now connected with the Standard Oil Company at San Francisco. He was born at Westminster, Vermont, and by his marriage to Miss Marian Gates of Berkeley "has a daughter, Dorothy M. The youngest of the family is George W. Herrick, who was born at Windsor, Vermont, and is in the dairy business at Riverside. His wife is Ethel Long, of Riverside, and they have a son, Albert E., and a daughter, Helen Leota.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011