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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
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San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

ALBERT LEE TRELOAR. While it is certainly true that there are wonderful opportunities for advancement in Southern California, it is a well- established fact that here, as elsewhere, no real advancement comes without actual effort and earnest, purposeful labor, either of the brains or brawn, and oftentimes of both. The progress observed on every side did not come naturally, but is the outcome of the concerted as well as individual efforts of many. Each orange grove had to be planted, developed, and now requires constant and expert care. The beautiful roadways have been developed ; the thriving industrial plants have been built up from sometimes very small beginnings; and each enterprise has been worked up into a paying form or it would not exist today, for westerners are practical, and, while enjoying to the utmost the natural advantages, have no time or patience for anything that is not useful and worth-while in business. Therefore, here, as everywhere, when a man succeeds it means something. It is proof positive that he has had the grit, the determination and perseverance to work hard and to use every resource to get ahead, and his victory over obstacles is another triumph for his community. Such a man is Albert Lee Treloar, owner of one of the valuable orange groves of Highland, who has passed through some trying experiences, but is now able to enjoy his good fortune, and to regard with pride the sum of his accomplishments.

Albert Lee Treloar was born at Forest City, Sierra County, California, March 21, 1872, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth Treloar. Samuel Treloar was a native of England, but when he was two years old his parents brought him to the United States, settling in Wisconsin. In 1848 Samuel Treloar, with his uncle, John Treloar, left Wisconsin for California, traveling across the country in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and arrived in the midst of the gold excitement, so proceeded at once to Sierra County. Samuel Treloar was a man of strong religious convictions, a temperance advocate, and a peacemaker, and his services were often called into requisition in the rough and tempestuous days when the lawless element had the upper hand. Even during the long and dangerous trip overland he found his natural talents as a peacemaker of avail with the savage Indians, and managed to get his party through without trouble. In fact, he gained the friendship of the Indians, and upon one occasion, when by accident he nearly severed a finger, the savages displayed what in another race would have been termed Christian virtues, and doctored the injury with an ointment so healing that the finger regained its normal strength and scarcely a scar remained.

Samuel Treloar was engaged in mining for some years, but after his marriage at Forest City, California, in 1863, with Elizabeth Lee, of English parentage, but a native of Wisconsin, he returned to Wisconsin, and resided there for seven years. Returning to California, he settled sixteen miles from Forest City and went into the cattle business, in which he continued until 1898, in that year moving to Santa Barbara, where he bought a ranch. Subsequently he sold this ranch and bought a home in Santa Barbara, where he died on Christmas Day, 1915. His widow survives him and lives in this beautiful home. He continued his interest in religious work all his life, and was a zealous church member and Sunday School superintendent. Possessing a well-trained voice, he was active in the choir, and always was glad to render any service within his power. Nine children were born to him and his wife, namely: Elizabeth, who is Mrs. Jeffry; Benjamin; Albert Lee; William; Carrie, who is Mrs. Martin; Forest ; Charles ; Stella, who is Mrs. Dane ; and Myrtle, who is Mrs. Ogam.

Until he reached his majority Albert Lee Treloar worked for his father, and was given a limited education. As soon as he was twenty-one he went out into the world for himself. He rented a farm in Carpentaria Valley, having hauled wood in order to earn the money to get a start, and began raising beans and other farm produce. For a time he speculated in farm land, buying and selling land in Kings and San Luis Obispo counties, and always worked hard. He and his father-in-law bought 2,040 acres of land at Paso Robles, and stocked it with 2,000 head of Angora goats, for which they paid $6.00 per head. The coyotes and wildcats so reduced this herd in numbers and condition that the remnant of 200 only brought $2.00 each in the Imperial Valley, and this disastrous venture practically wiped out his resources.

Mr. Treloar purchased 11 1/3 acres of citrus fruits on Baseline and Palm avenues in 1912, paying $20,000 for the property. The following year was the time of the big freeze that wholly destroyed his crop. He has since continued in citrus growing, in which he has been successful. This highly improved property has since continued to be his home. In 1915 he bought forty acres at Owensmouth, paying $450 per acre for it. He placed a $5,000 mortgage on it, erected a house, and set out the entire forty acres to walnut trees. In order to provide an adequate water supply he rented horses and tools and laid down an irrigation system. It took considerable nerve to carry through such an undertaking, and the first year he lost $1,500 in sugar beets, as well as his own labor. The second year he raised beans and sold them at 4 1/2 cents a pound ; his beans sold for 10 cents the third year ; for 7 the fourth, and for 12 1/4 cents the fifth year. In 1919 he sold this land at $750 per acre, not only clearing off all of his indebtedness, but making money, but he had to work sixteen hours a day to reach these desirable results. He is entirely a self-made man, courageous, resourceful and venturesome. His success proves that a man can accomplish much, but, as before stated, he must be willing to work, and work hard.

On July 4, 1908, Mr. Treloar married Bertha Foster, a daughter of William and Catherine Foster. Her mother, after the death of her first husband, took her four children and drove overland from Michigan to California, and was forced to stay in Nevada all winter on account of the heavy snows. Early spring found her on her way, but with very few supplies. She met a man with a flock of sheep, and, without asking him, she killed one, and although he remonstrated, she went on her way, feeling that her children were entitled to what she could provide for them. Subsequently, after her marriage to Mr. Foster, she walked and helped drive a tend of goats from San Luis Obispo to the Imperial Valley, being at the time she performed this feat sixty-five years of age. Mrs. Treloar is a worthy daughter of a most remarkable mother, and a native Californian. She was educated in the public schools of Santa Maria, and traveled all over the state in a wagon with her parents, and early learned to make camp, fish and enjoy an outdoor life. She is equally at home in social circles, and yet knows how to manage her household expertly, and, like her husband, is not afraid of any kind of work. Mr. and Mrs. Foster became the parents of four children, of whom Mrs. Treloar was the youngest. There are three children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Treloar, namely: Herbert Simms, who was born at Carpinteria, California, December 1, 1910; Zelda Alberta, who was also born at Carpinteria, January 11, 1912; and William Lee, who was born at Highland, June 4, 1914.

 

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