California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
HERBERT POPPETT. — In his hard working career in San Bernardino County Herbert Poppett has gone over a span of nearly forty years, and while he is still active and by no means aged, he has an abundance of prosperity permitting him to take life leisurely.
Mr. Poppett and his parents were natives of England. He was born in Shropshire July 14, 1865, son of John and Martha Poppett and was the third of their four sons and three daughters. As a boy he had little opportunity to attend school, a deficiency supplied in later years by reading, study and observation. At the age of twelve he began making his own living, and while working out in service in England his compensation consisted of board, clothes and $30.00 a year.
In 1881, at the age of sixteen, he came to America, traveled by emigrant train from New York to San Francisco in twenty days, and thence to San Bernardino, where he joined his uncle, Robert Poppett. His first employment here was with a threshing machine. The following spring he found work out on the desert, but in 1885 returned to the valley. For about ten years he depended upon the earnings of his manual toil, but in 1893 bought from James Fleming and Tyler Brothers ten acres of unimproved land on LaPraix Street in Highland. He did all the work of a pioneer on this tract, cultivating it and setting it to citrus fruits. This is the site of his modern home overlooking the valley and with a full view of the mountains on the north. Subsequently, as his prosperity justified it, he bought two other ten-acre tracts at Harlem Springs. When Mr. Poppett came into the valley only a beginning had been made of citrus culture. His present home and grove was then used as an ox pasture. Mr. Poppett knew nearly all the first settlers, most of whom have now passed away.
He married Miss Eva McReynolds, a native of Missouri. Five children have been born to their union. The oldest, Stanley Llewelyn Poppett, is a graduate of the San Bernardino High School, was in the United States Navy during the World war until the signing of the armistice, and is now a clerk in the offices of the Santa Fe Railroad at San Bernardino. The second child, Frances Willard, born in April, 1899, is a graduate of the San Bernardino High School, a young woman of exceptional talents, and was married June 19, 1921, to Leo McCrary, of Redlands. The third child, Herbert Milton, born in 1902, graduated in 1921 from the San Bernardino High School and is now engaged in the grocery business under the name of Hooker & Poppett in Highland. The two youngest children are John Roy Poppett, born in 1909, who will graduate from the high school in 1926, and Frederick Robert Poppett, born in 1911, a student in the grammar school.
Mr. Poppett in his life has exemplified some of the best traits of Americanism. He has been reliable, thrifty, industrious, has improved his holdings from wild, unproductive waste lands to abundant fruiting, has a family about him of well educated, useful young citizens, and while he has worked hard he has enjoyed living and living right and is one of the county's best citizens.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011