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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


DR. E. W. REID was a well qualified and successful practitioner of medicine, but after coming to California did little or no professional work, and the achievements that give him a high place in San Bernardino County were in the fundamental development work in one of the county's prominent horticultural districts, Alta Loma.  

Mr. Reid was born in Madison County, Illinois, December 16, 1852, son of William and Maria (Cox) Reid, also natives of Illinois, where his father was a farmer. Dr. Reid acquired a good education, graduating A. B. and A. M. from Shurtleff College in Southern Illinois in 1875. In 1878 he received his M. D. degree from St. Louis Medical College, and then for several years enjoyed a growing practice in his chosen vocation.  

It was to seek relief from a chronic affliction of asthma that he came out to California in 1882. After investigating a number of districts he bought twenty acres on Hellman Avenue in the Alta Loma district. No development work had been done in this section, all the land lying in a wilderness state. Dr. Reid had the enterprise and the courage to go ahead with development for which there were few precedents. He cleared and planted his land to citrus fruits, and subsequently bought and planted another twenty acres. When he located here the Southern Pacific Railroad was the only transportation line available, and the nearest station was at Ontario. The story of development along Hellman Avenue begins with his settlement there. Dr. Reid in 1883 built a small home on his property, and he and his family lived in this for eleven years. Then, in 1894, he erected the more commodious and attractive residence where Mrs. Reid and her daughter reside.  

Dr. Reid was not only a worker on his own property, but was indefatigable in his efforts in behalf of the general and prosperous development of the entire colony. The community owes him much for his successful efforts in securing and insuring reliable water rights for the colony. In politics he voted as a democrat for a number of years, but was a sound money man and after 1896 joined the republican ranks. On that ticket he was elected county supervisor in 1902, and he filled that office capably and faithfully until his death ten yea^s later. He was not only one of the early growers of citrus fruits, but was extremely interested in the handling and marketing of the crop, and succeeded in organizing the first local packing house in his district. While Dr. Reid came to California primarily for his health, he was practically free from his affliction thereafter, and lived usefully and in the enjoyment of his work and his home here for nearly thirty years. He died September 2, 1912, and because of his attainments and the wisdom and good judgment he had shown in his relations with the community his death was a distinct loss.  

November 18, 1876, Mr. Reid married Miss Mary Jane Rennick. Mrs. Reid was born March 1, 1851, in St. Francis County, Missouri, daughter of George W. and Priscilla (Barry) Rennick. She is also a graduate of Shurtleff College of Illinois, receiving her A. B. degree in 1876. Mrs. Reid has two daughters, Gertrude, born at St. Louis, Missouri, January 13, 1878, was educated in several public and private schools, graduated A. B. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1902, and for a time taught in the High schools of Whittier and Ontario. On her father's death she returned home to assume the responsibilities of looking after the property, and she has demonstrated unusual business ability and efficiency in handling the forty-acre orchard, which is in a model and profitable condition.  

The second daughter, Eunice Reid, was born in Illinois, October 29, 1880, was educated in the same schools with her sister, spent two years in Pomona College and graduated from the University of California. She taught for two years in Santa Monica. June 19, 1906, she was married to R. C. Owens. Mr. Owens is a native of New York State, graduated from Pomona College in 1900 and from the Hastings Law School in San Francisco in 1902, and is now a prominent member of the San Francisco bar.  

Mrs. Reid and family are active members of the Baptist Church, and for many years she was associated with Dr. Reid in civic and philanthropic undertakings, and is still prominent in church, club and civic matters.

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