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California Genealogy and History Archives

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San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

DAVID HIRAM RODDICK is the son of an honored pioneer of the Highland district of San Bernardino County, and while educated for a profession he has found more congenial work in the fundamental industry of this section, citrus fruit growing.

He was born at South Highland July 19, 1890, son of Samuel Donald and Ellen (Hume) Roddick. His parents were born in Picton County, Nova Scotia, where Samuel Roddick followed farming. In 1887 he brought his family to South Highland, and without capital to secure a stake in the country he resorted to ranch labor for Cunningham & Stone for twelve years. Out of his savings he purchased fifteen acres, and attempted to grow fruit without irrigation. He started the entire tract to peaches and also erected a dryer. There followed a succession of dry years and failure of water, which destroyed the orchard and the land reverted to the desert. With a faith in the ultimate destiny of the country that knew no permanent obstacle he bought in 1906 a thirteen and a half acre producing grove on Highland Avenue from the banker, Ed Roberts. The purchase price was $21,000, and he gave Mr. Roberts notes in payment. These notes were all discharged in four years. A stimulating example of industry and persistence was that set by Samuel D. Roddick. He frequently worked ten hours a day digging cactus at $1.50 a day, and all the children old enough aided him in paying off the debt. Later he bought ten acres on Atlantic Avenue, and that was his home at the time of his death on March 17, 1916. He was a pioneer in Highland, came here when the country was largely undeveloped, and his extreme energy and economy brought him a generous estate. No road was too hard and no day too long, and he steadily went his way and succeeded in establishing himself and family financially and also in the estimation of the community. His widow survives. They reared six children to maturity: James Robert, the oldest, now a druggist at Muskogee, Oklahoma; William Henry, an orange grower at Highland ; Mrs. Will Painter, wife of a San Bernardino dairyman; George Melville, a clerk at Highland; David Hiram, and Howard Russell, who had an interesting record of service in the World war. He volunteered at the first call in the Ambulance Corps as an ambulance driver with the Medical Corps, was trained at Fort Riley, Kansas, was overseas eighteen months, and was in the thick of danger along the battlefront for a hundred days at Chateau Thierry, the Argonne, St. Mihiel, and finally proceeded with the Army of Occupation to Coblenz. He escaped unwounded.

David Hiram Roddick acquired a good education, his father having passed the critical affairs in his financial affairs by the time he was prepared for school. He graduated from the San Bernardino High School and in 1913 received a degree as a pharmacist from the University of Southern California. Instead of following his profession he took up orange growing and in 1917 bought sixteen acres on Boulder Avenue in Highland, this tract being planted to Valencias, Navels and also the grape fruit. It is a high class ranch with a modern home.

Mr. Roddick married Miss Lida Garrett, of Los Angeles. She was born in Colorado in 1894, but is a graduate of the Long Beach High School. She is retiring president of the Highland Woman's Qub. Mr. Roddick is chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias. They have one son, Keith Garrett Roddick, born March 21, 1921. The family are members of the Highland Congregational Church.

 

Source:
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