California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
WILLIAM H. RODDICK — As a child, youth and man William H. Roddick of Highland has been through every phase of pioneer development of his section of California, from a sage brush wilderness to an almost undeviating prospect of orange groves and flourishing plantations.
Mr. Roddick was born in Nova Scotia in 1880, son of Samuel Donald and Ellen Hume Roddick. His parents were also natives of Nova Scotia, and farmers there. In 1887 they came t6 California, and without capital the father earned a living for his family by day and month work on the ranch of Cunningham and Stone at South Highland for about twelve years. William H. Roddick was then seven years of age. Altogether he had a very brief acquaintance with schools, and his education has been a thoroughly practical one. He early learned to imitate his father's habit of hard and intensive work, and did what he could to assist the family. As a boy he worked out, frequently picking fruit for a few cents a day and clothing himself and going to school. His father eventually bought a tract of land and planted it to deciduous fruits, but lack of water made the proposition a failure. His father about ten years before his death, which occurred in 1916, bought a thirteen and a half acre orange grove on Highland Avenue, and this proved the stepping stone to solid success for the family. William H. Roddick has been thoroughly schooled in ranching and fruit growing and is an authority on citrus culture.
In 1916 he and his brother David bought forty acres of the Linville estate, and they still own this as partners. It is one of the highly productive citrus fruit orchards in the country. Three years later William Roddick as an individual bought twenty-three acres of the Coy estate on Pacific and Central streets, and later ten acres on Boulder Street, where he has erected his modem home overlooking the Santa Ana River Valley, with view of the mountains to the north and east. All this land Mr. Roddick remembers as a sage brush desert, without railroad, and only here and there a scattered orange plantation.
On New Year's Day, 1914, he married Miss Susie Jane Skelton, member of a prominent Redlands family. She was born in Nebraska. Mrs. Roddick is a member of the Congregational Church and one of the leaders in local society. They have two interesting children: Frances Rose, born April 26, 1915; and Walter Samuel, born May 22, 1917.
Mr. Roddick's success has not been of an ordinary character. As a boy he worked long hours, and energy and good management have carried him from stage to stage until he enjoys a goodly share of the substantial wealth of this country and at the same time has aided in the development that makes real wealth.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011