California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
EDWARD J. JAQUET was born in Switzerland, possesses the Swiss talent for agriculture and horticulture, and as a pioneer of Southern California has done a great deal of actual and supervisory work in the planting, development and landscape beautification of Ontario and vicinity.
He was born in Canton Neuchatel, Switzerland, January 14, 1860. He was one of six children, had a common school education, and at the age of sixteen left his native land and went to Canada, settling at Kingston, Ontario. He worked on the farm there three years. Being homesick, he returned to Switzerland and remained a year. He then went back to Canada and six months later arrived at Riverside, California, in 1882. At Riverside he entered the service of the Chaffey Brothers, who were then engaged in sub-dividing the colony of Etiwanda. Mr. Jaquet was with the Chaffey s, planting and irrigating orange trees. In the meantime the Chaffeys had bought the site of Ontario, and in the spring of 1883 Mr. Jaquet moved to that colony, at Chaffey's Camp, located at what is now Fourteenth and Euclid Avenue. This land was then being prepared for settlers, and the foreman of the work was Andrew Rubio, a native Californian of Mexican stock. Mr. Jaquet worked with a man named Daniel Nicholl, a landscape gardener. During the year 1883 he helped grade part of Euclid Avenue, planted the ornamental trees along that thoroughfare to Fourth Street, and the following year completed grading and tree planting on the avenue to Twenty-fourth street. This expense was borne by the Chaffey Brothers, who were then transacting the sale of this land to individual buyers, Chaffey Brothers agreeing to plant and care for the developing young orange orchards at a charge of so much an acre for the service. Mr. Jaquet was put in charge of this special part of the work, superintending the planting and irrigating as well as the care of the young trees. In 1886 the Chaffeys left Ontario to do some pioneer work in Australia, and the following year Mr. Jaquet followed them and became their planting manager in Australia. He remained there five years, and when he left Australia he went back through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, lived with his father in Switzerland for six months, and reached America in time to visit the World's Fair at Chicago in 1893. From Chicago he returned to California, and at Ontario was associated with the Lyman Stewart interests, orange growers, for six years. For three years he was ranch foreman for A. P. Griffith at Azusa. On returning to Ontario Mr. Jaquet was in the service of E. H. Richardson as foreman of planting and irrigation work in the new colony of Adelanto for five years, and during the last three years of this time had entire charge of the enterprise. He gave up that position on account of his wife's failing health and has since lived at Ontario, though he has done much outside work as adviser and special pruning expert.
On March 17, 1897, Mr. Jaquet married Rosie Gisin, who was born at Basel, Switzerland, in 1860, and in 1882, as a young woman, came to America. For a time she lived near Chicago and in 1883 came to California and secured work with the Chaffeys. She was first married in Los Angeles, and was a widow when she became the wife of Mr. Jaquet. Her daughter by her first husband, Pearl, is the wife of Hellman Cornelius, of Hollywood.
Mr. Jaquet in 1900 bought property on Euclid Avenue and retained it until recently. Ten years ago he bought two and a half acres of fine ground on East I Street, which he set to oranges seven years ago, and in July, 1921, he completed his modern bungalow home there. Mr. Jaquet is an old time member of Ontario Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. He has been instrumental in the advancement of this colony's interests as a landscape artist, and his skill and industry have provided some of the most distinctive artistic beauties that adorn the natural advantages of this section.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011