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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


JOHN H. PATTON A prosperous business man of San Bernardino, John Patton is noted for his trustworthiness and integrity and also for his loyalty, for he is a true representative of the highest ideal of American citizenship and, with his family, is a strong unit in the bulwark of patriotism which has made the United States what it is today. It requires a World war to bring out the silent, retiring forces of the nation, yet they are the forces which won the war. The ones who gave not only mere money until it "hurt," as urged to do, needing no urging either, but also gave the dearest thing to them on earth, their own flesh and blood in a spirit of self abnegation that would not stop to count the cost.

John H. Patton was born in Carroll County, Tennessee, August 6, 1862, the son of James H., a native of Tennessee, who was a planter by occupation all his life, and who died in his native state in 1882. His wife was Nancy Hart, a native of North Carolina, who died in 1867. They had twelve children, ten of whom lived to maturity but have passed on since, leaving: only three living now.

Mr. Patton was educated in the county schools of Carroll County during the terrible reconstruction period, and he recalls the fact that the school house had neither doors nor windows, and everything was of the most primitive order. After leaving school he went to Memphis and worked in the transfer business until 1887, when he went to Alamo, Crockett County, Tennessee, and opened a general merchandise store. This he conducted one year and then sold out, and in January 1888, came to California and located in Menefee, San Diego County. Here he took up a homestead claim, but remained on it less than a year, returning to his home state and locating at Trezevant, where he again entered the mercantile field. He lived there until 1895, when he decided to return to California, and sold out, returning to the state but locating in San Bernardino.

He started a grocery business in March 1895, and built up a fine trade, conducting it until 1904, when he once more sold out and went to his native state. There he was engaged in farming until 1911 when he decided California was the right state after all, and he came back to San Bernardino, where he has since made his home, conducting a successful grocery store.

Mr. Patton married, in October 1888, in San Diego County, Lulu Kirkpatrick, a daughter of W. J. Kirkpatrick, of Riverside County.

They have had four children: Amos H-., born in Tennessee; William J., born in San Bernardino; Pauline, born in San Bernardino, and Gilbert, born in Tennessee. The two older boys are with their father in the store, and the two younger children are at home also. Mr. Patton is a democrat in politics and in religious faith he is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

The Patton family has a war record of which any true American could well be proud. During the war Mr. Patton was always to the front in all activities which tended toward the good of the country, helping in any and all ways. He gave liberally to the Red Cross and all charitable organizations, both money and time. He was a consistent and constant investor in Liberty Bonds. He always lived up to all the regulations, believing that all good citizens should be willing to undergo any trials or hardships necessary to make our proper record in the great conflict. His two older sons were among the first to enlist at the call to arms.

William Patton enlisted in the Marine Corps and belonged to the famous Fifth Regiment. He enlisted April 17, 1917, and made nine trips across the ocean, perilous trips, fraught with agony for those left behind. This regiment was attached to the Second Division, which stands at the head of the list in the captures made and which was also the regiment losing more men than any other division. He made an honorable record and received his discharge in June, 1919.

Amos H. Patton also volunteered at the same time as his brother, but was rejected by the board for overseas service. Determined to serve in some way and be of use somewhere, he kept on trying to do his part. Finally he was accepted and served in the Spruce Division and was discharged in January, 1919.

While her two brothers were away in the army Miss Pauline Patton did her bit and was right in the front ranks of the home army. She was a member of the canteen unit in San Bernardino and assisted in everything which came up for war service. At the same time she did all she could to assist her father in the grocery store, helping in the conduct of the business. It is families like this that enabled the United States to make its wonderful showing in the World war.


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