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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


JOHN 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 grapes.  

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.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011