Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


RUBY FRANCES EASON MASCART. — Credit for the early development of the citrus fruit industry in the Crafton District of San Bernardino County belongs in an important degree to the members of the Eason family. A daughter of this family is Mrs. Mascart, whose husband, Montague Mascart, owns one of the fine rural plantations and estates overlooking the City of Redlands. Mr. Mascart is an educated English gentleman and came to Redlands about twenty years ago.

The parents of Mrs. Mascart were Abner and Anna (Mobley) Eason. Her father was born at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1837, and died at Redlands in 1901. Her mother was born at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1852, and died at Redlands in 1885. Abner Eason was a contractor and builder in the East, married in Tennessee, and to benefit his wife's health came to California in 1880, living in San Bernardino one year and in 1881 located at Crafton, then a wild and unimproved brush country with no railroad and practically no marketing facilities. Mr. Eason bought twenty acres of this wild land, cleared it, and planted it to apricots, peaches and raisin grapes. Up to that time seedling oranges had been grown in this section, and he was the pioneer in planting the navel oranges and was the first to give that industry an impetus in San Bernardino County. He hauled his oranges to Riverside for packing and shipment. That was before the City of Redlands was established. The old homestead at Crafton is now known as the Leslie Gay place and was the home of the Eason family for ten years. Abner Eason after selling, having profited in his horticultural efforts, then bought thirty acres of the old Barton ranch. Here he developed a citrus nursery and later set out the land to apricots. He also made investments in town property and after selling his country property turned his holdings into city real estate. Though taking up the business comparatively late in life, he was regarded as an authority on orchard and nursery lands and was prominent among the early fruit growers of the county. He was a man of cultivated mind, high character and greatly beloved in his district. He was a deacon in the Congregational Church. His children were four in number. Ella, born October 27, 1873, is a graduate of the House of Good Samaritan, Los Angeles,' and is a professional woman at Spokane, Washington. Albert Sidney, born September 9, 1876, graduated from the Redlands High School and is a builder and contracting engineer at Seattle, being manager of the Skagit River power project near the Cascades. By his marriage to Miss Mabel Rowe of Idaho he has two sons, Robert and Donald, twins, born May 16, 1910. Edna Laura, born November 18, 1880, was educated at Redlands and is the wife of Arthur T. Cromwell, a real estate man at Spokane, Washington, and has one son, Edward Eason Cromwell.

Ruby Frances Eason, the only child of her parents born in California, was born at Crafton January 13, 1883. She acquired her education in Redlands, and on June 21, 1906, became the wife of Montague C. Mascart.

Mr. Mascart was born in London, England, in 1880. His father, Emiel E. Mascart, was born in France but of a family of long English residence. He was a merchant at London, and the old establishment bearing his name at 75 Baker Street, London, West, is still continued under the Mascart name, the present manager having entered Mr. Mascart's employ when only eighteen years of age. Montague Mascart was educated in Emanuel College in London and in in Cressier College near Neufchatel, Switzerland, where he acquired a fluent knowledge of the French language. On returning to England he served an apprenticeship in the leather business. About that time he met many Americans of prominence, including members of the Morgan banking house, the Marconies and others, and from them learned much of America's opportunities. In March, 1902, he left London bound for Redlands, California, a place recommended to him by a relative who had been here. Mr. Mascart has revisited England four times. His first purchase was a twenty-two acre orange grove on Buckeye Street. Selling this, he bought another place on Alabama Street, which he sold three years ago, and then bought thirty acres on the Heights, named in honor of an old English district Angalia Ranch. This is one of Redland's most beautiful sights overlooking the valley and in the shadows of the mountains.

Mr. and Mrs. Mascart have four children: Montague Charles, Jr., born August 9, 1908, died in infancy ; Barbara May, born July 9, 1910, attending the Kingsley School at Redlands; Mary Charlotte, born September 3, 1912; and Elizabeth Frances, born November 19, 1914. Arthur Nelson Ellis. — The owner of the Ellis Iron Works oŁ San Bernardino, Arthur Nelson Ellis, learned the business thoroughly from the ground up before he went into it for himself. It was not a pretentious affair at first but Mr. Ellis has improved it, added to it, gradually built it up until it is now an important factor in the business circles of San Bernardino. His clientele is not confined to his home district by any means but extends all over the territory adjacent, for he established a reputation from the first for square dealing, best of workmanship and a careful attention to the minutest details.

Mr. Ellis is a native of that country which has given America so many worth-while citizens, Canada, being born on December 16, 1875, near Picton, Prince Edward County, Ontario. He is the son of Walter C. and Sarah (Fairbairn) Ellis, both being natives of Canada. His mother died when he was only seven years of age. His father was a farmer and carpenter and also a mining man ; he came out to the west, located in Nogales, Arizona, but is now residing in New Westminster, B. C. Mr. Ellis has a sister, May Cecilia Ellis, born near Picton, Ontario, Canada, now residing at Bridgeport, Connecticut, and a brother Robert Wallace Ellis, also born near Picton, a millwright residing at Toronto, Canada.

Mr. Ellis was educated in the public schools near, Milford, Ontario,, and later at Nogales, Arizona. From there he went to Quay mas, Mexico, where he thoroughly learned the trade of machinist. He was there for five years and then returned to Nogales but he only stayed two weeks, going to Los Angeles where he took a course in the Los Angeles Commercial School. From here he located in San Bernardino in June 1899, and worked there for a year and eight months for the Santa Fe Railroad. He next went to San Francisco where he worked for the Union Iron Works. His next move was to Winslow, Arizona, but he only remained six months, returning to San Bernardino. Here he started in business as the San Bernardino Machine & Bicycle Works, now the Ellis Iron Works. It was located under the Southern Hotel and he had a partner, C. C. Carter. Later Mr. Carter sold his interest to R. M. Middlemass, who in turn sold his interest to W. D. Anderson. This last partnership continued about one year when Mr. Ellis bought his partner's interest. When Mr. Anderson bought his interest the business was known as the California Iron Works, and it retained this name for some years when it was changed to the present one, The Ellis Iron Works.

The business was moved to its present location, 135 Arrowhead Avenue, about May, 1903. Mr. Ellis purchased the site for it and erected the building. A general machine, foundry and repair and pump works is conducted. The patronage is drawn from an area as far north as Victorville, as far east as Beaumont, and as far south as Riverside and west to Ontario. Such a business can only be secured by merit alone.

Mr. Ellis was wedded to Edith Agnes Baxter, on November 29, 1906, a daughter of James I. Baxter, native of Scotland who came to California in 1887, locating in Duarte, where he remained six years, and then moved to San Bernardino. In 1894 he started a livery business in that city on D Street between 2nd and 3rd. This he continued until 1915 and he had just completed a building on 3rd between F and G for the business when he was stricken with illness and had to retire. For some years he was humane officer in the city. He was a member of the Maccabees and in politics a republican. Mr. Baxter passed away July 5, 1921.

Mr. Ellis is a member of San Bernardino Lodge No. 348, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He became a naturalized citizen January 23, 1915. In politics he gives his allegiance to the republican party. He is a member of the Methodist Church.


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