California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
PETER E. WALLINE— In the recent death of Peter E. Walline San Bernardino County lost a citizen of distinctive power and influence in the affairs of this section. He came here many years ago with the capital he had acquired as a merchant in Illinois, but greatly extended and amplified his business interests in California. The use he made of his capital and energy was in every way constructive. It is represented today in the development of ranches and fruit farms and financial organizations.
His early life was one of comparative poverty in financial resources, though in point of industry and good character he was possessed of a fortune even then. He was born in Sweden, January 6, 1850. At the age of seventeen he came to America, reaching Halifax, Nova Scotia, with only two dollars and fifty cents. A few months later he was working in Illinois as a railroad section hand at seventy-five cents a day. Thrift was imposed upon him by necessity, and also by the strong urgings of his ambition to perfect his knowledge of American ways and make his Americanism an honor to himself and to his adopted country. He put aside some of his modest earnings as capital for the future, and at the same time was associating with men of better education and was a constant student of the American language and the American institutions. In .those early years of struggle he laid the sound foundation of his later prosperity. After leaving railroad work he entered a mercantile house, learned the business from the ground up, and for a number of years conducted a prosperous business of his own at Cambridge, Illinois.
This business he sold, and on account of his wife's ill health moved to California in 1894. Mr. Walline at once located at Upland, where he employed his capital in the orange and deciduous fruit business, and bought and speculated in lands elsewhere. He was president of the Upland Feed & Fuel Company and the Chino Feed & Fuel Company, was the first president of the Magnolia Building & Loan Association at Upland, and was instrumental in the organization of the Commercial National Bank of Upland, being on its first board of directors. He and Mr. Morris organized the San Bernardino Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and he labored hard and earnestly to put this organization on its feet financially, and the first seven years his annual salary as president was only a hundred dollars. The solid prosperity of this company is in no small degree due to the financial ability of the late Mr. Walline. All of these interests represent great financial importance, and they grew from his modest start as a railroad laborer in Illinois. Among other holdings he had an eight hundred and eighty acre stock ranch at Bishop in Inyo County, and during his later years his time was divided between this stock ranch and his home at Upland.
Mr. Walline died February 6, 1921, and is survived by a widow and five children. In November, 1873, he married Miss Jennie S. Mascall, a native of Illinois. The oldest of their children is Emily, wife of T. C. Knoles, of San Jose. The second is Austin Walline, the third is Fannie, widow of Leslie Gay. The two youngest children are Harold and Rolland, who are prosperous farmers and stockmen, all living at Bishop, California, and engaged in the livestock business in Inyo County.
Austin Walline was born October 31, 1884, and was ten years of age when he came to California. He acquired a high school education, and in 1907 graduated Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Wisconsin, where he also specialized in chemistry. He became closely associated with his father's broad business interests, particularly fruit growing. From 1909 to 1913 he was on the stock ranch at Bishop. His chief success, however, has been gained in horticulture. He owns 310 acres on Archibald Avenue and Riverside Boulevard, which he developed from wild land into fruit bearing. Austin Walline offered his services as a chemist to the Government at the time of the World war, passed his examination on the first of November, but the armistice was signed on the 11th of the same month and he was dismissed. He is one of the very patriotic citizens in his home community, is clerk of the School Board of Ontario, and is a director of the California Fruit Growers' Association, comprising about six hundred ranch owners, of which Benton Ballou is president and Mr. Anderson vice president. This company owns and operates canneries at Riverside, Hemet, Elsinore, Fallbrook and Ontario, and does an annual business of about two million dollars.
On November 29, 1908, Austin Walline married Miss Bertha I. Stevens, of Upland, California. They have two children, Millard, born May 22, 1912, and Robert Stevens, born May 30, 1921.
The late Peter E. Walline was not only a successful business man but a citizen of sturdy moral fiber, an ardent prohibitionist, a friend of education, and did much to strengthen the moral and religious institutions of his community.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011