California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
H. KLUSMAN has been and is one of the men of power and influence
in the shaping of the characteristic destinies of that great fruit
growing community of Southern California, Cucamonga.
Mr. Klusman was born in
Germany November 9, 1872, was reared there and received his early
education, and had some training that fitted him for the position of a
skilled worker when he came to America in 1894 and located at Cucamonga.
His first employment was in the Haven vineyard. While working in the
vineyard he estimated with shrewd foresight the remarkable promise of
future prosperity that would come to the vineyardist and wine
manufacturers of this region. Somewhat later, in association with M. E.
Post, he bought 1,000 acres of wild land. This land was cleared and
prepared under his supervision, the labor being performed by Chinese and
Japanese. This was the foundation and nucleus of the famous Mission
Vineyard Company's properties. Mr. Klusman and Mr. Post set the entire
tract of 1,000 acres to wine grapes, and also erected the noted Mission
Winery, one* of the finest and most modern plants of its kind on the
Pacific Coast. This winery has a capacity of 1,500,000 gallons, some of
the individual tanks holding 55,000 gallons. It is the last word in
modern construction. The plant while in active operation consumed not
only the products of the Mission Vineyards but great quantities raised
by other growers, and paid from $11.00 to $12.00 a ton for these wine
In advance of the
prohibition wave Mr. Klusman and his associates sold out in 1918 to
Garrett & Company, who have converted the property into a plant for
the manufacture of unfermented grape juice.
Mr. Klusman, after selling
his interest in this business, turned to other lines and now owns fifty
acres of citrus orchard and is president of the Cucamonga Building &
Loan Company, is a director of the Cucamonga Water Company, and is one
of the owners of the new Sycamore Hotel. He takes an active part in
social and civic affairs, is a director of the Country Club, and a
member of Pomona Lodge No. 789 of the Elks. Mr. Klusman came to
Cucamonga a stranger in the country, and he worked for small wages as a
farm hand until he could make use of the small capital representing his
savings to get into an industry whose possibilities he could realize.
His great energy enabled him to overcome many difficulties in the path
of the success of the Mission Vineyard Company.
On July 25, 1911, Mr. Klusman married Miss Elizabeth Craig, of a prominent Los Angeles family. She was born in Freedom, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1884, and was educated in the public schools and a girls' school in Los Angeles, California. Her father was Stephen Craig, and her mother Fredericka Miller. The father is deceased, but the mother lives in Los Angeles. Mrs. Gertrude Wellman, a sister of Mrs. Klusman, also lives in Los Angeles. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Klusman made an extensive tour of Europe, in the course of which Mr. Klusman visited his old home, and also traveled through England, France, Belgium and Switzerland. Mr. and Mrs. Klusman have two children, both natives of Cucamonga, John, Jr., born December 27, 1912, and Margaret, born March 22, 1916.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011