California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
OTTO S. ROEN is one of the younger and progressive business element of Ontario. He had a technical education and for a number of years was connected with public utility management both in the East and after coming to Ontario, was then associated with a very prosperous wholesale grain and feed business at Ontario, and since January 1, 1922, has been city service manager of Ontario.
Mr. Roen was born at Columbus, Nebraska, February 28, 1884, son of Ole T. and Marion H. Roen, the former a native of Norway and the latter of Massachusetts. Ole S. Roen was the oldest of a family of two sons and three daughters. He graduated from the Columbus High School and for three years was a student in the Armour Institute of Technology at Chicago.
He left that school in 1903 and in 1907 became manager of the Columbus Gas Company in his home town. This position he resigned in 1910 and, locating at Ontario, California, became associated with the Ontario-Upland Gas Company as secretary and treasurer. In April, 1918, this public utility was sold to the Southern Counties Gas Company. Mr. Roen then joined forces with W. T. Ross, and they bought the Ontario feed and fuel business which had been established thirty years ago by Lee and McCarthy. From the restrictions imposed by the war period this business leaped forward during the past three years, each year representing a big increase over the preceding. In 1920 the firm did more than $200,000 worth of business. They handled both wholesale and retail grain, feed and fuel.
In 1918 Mr. Roen married Miss Dorothy J. Harper, of a well known Ontario family. She was born in that town and is a graduate of the Chaffee Union High School and the State Normal, and for four years was a teacher in the grammar school before her marriage. They have one son, Charles Roen, born in Ontario in October, 1919.
Mr. Roen at the time of the World war applied for duty in the gas and flame service, was drafted and ordered to the colors in the aviation department. He was under orders to entrain for Kelly Field, Texas, but the train was late and while waiting he was notified of the signing of the armistice.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011