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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


SOUTHWESTERN PORTLAND CEMENT COMPANY Victorville is the home of one of the most progressive and prosperous industries of San Bernardino County, the Southwestern Portland Cement Company, a corporation of western capitalists, most of them citizens of Southern California.

The first unit of the plant at Victorville was constructed during 1916-17 and an additional unit completed in July 1920, doubled the sum of the property. At present the property gives 2400 barrels of finished product daily and construction work is now under way for third Kiln and Mills that will increase output to 3400 barrels per day. The fuel for burning the raw material is crude oil. The power is electrical energy purchased from the South Sierra Power Company and carried over high voltage wires from a considerable distance. A private Railway seven miles long has been built to reach the inexhaustible breadth of the raw material supply for the manufacture of cement. This road has been in continuous operations since it was built and the entire plant has been run at a maximum capacity. One hundred and fifty men are employed, and approximately twenty-five per cent are skilled, including chemists, engineers, electricians and machinists.

The president of the company is C. Leonardt a pioneer contractor of Los Angeles. O. J. Binford of El Paso, Texas is secretary, F. H. Powell of Los Angeles, treasurer, C. C. Merrill of Los Angeles, general manager, and the superintendent of the plant at Victorville, is L. V. Robinson.

L. V. Robinson has been associated with the industry at Victorville from the time it was put in operation, being assistant superintendent until 1920. He is an electrical engineer by profession and has had a wide experience in industrial and mechanical affairs. Southern California and other portions of the southwest demand enormous quantities of cement, and the orders to be filled have always exceeded the maximum output of the plant at Victorville. The company also has a large plant at El Paso, Texas.


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