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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


ROLAND D. WEST There were two distinctive sides to the life and character exemplified by the late Roland D. West of Rincon. He possessed the commendable industry and ambition to get ahead in the world, and after his marriage he showed the ability and the thrift to provide generously for those dependent upon him. In the second place, his public spirit and interest in the community welfare went hand in hand with the prosecution of his own affairs, and at his death he was esteemed as one of the most useful men who had lived in the Rincon community. His home, and where Mrs. West and her family still reside, is seven miles south of Chino, on the Rincon Road and near the Pioneer School House.

The late Mr. West was born March 13, 1864, in Kings County, Nova Scotia, son of William and Mary (Brown) West, a family of Canadian farmers. He acquired his education in Nova Scotia and at the age of twenty-one came to California, joining his uncle, D. R. Brown, of San Bernardino. He soon secured employment on a ranch on the Rincon, and in a few years purchased fifty acres from Charles Harwood, one of the early pioneers of Upland. This was dry ranch land. Mr. West steadily improved the land, built a modest home, provided water for irrigation, set out fruit and from time to time purchased other land until the estate now comprises 140 acres, practically all well developed. Besides farming his own land Mr. West leased many acres, and he had his investment at one time widely scattered, owning and operating farm acreage in the Winchester districts.

During the World war Mr. West showed his patriotic ardor by working in superhuman fashion to produce the highest possible production on his land, and it was the strain of this heavy undertaking that weakened him, so that on August 21, 1918, while he was surf bathing at Newport Beach, his heart failed and he died in the water. He was a charter member of Ontario Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was affiliated with the Congregational Church, and was largely instrumental in founding that church at Rincon. He made the first declaration of his intentions of becoming an American citizen on August 14, 1886, at San Bernardino, and on August 24, 1891, was admitted to citizenship by Judge John L. Crawford of the Superior Court of San Bernardino.

February 26, 1895, Mr. West married Miss Adaline Cavanagh, who was born in Ontario, Canada, May 22, 1875, daughter of William and Adaline (Streeter) Cavanagh, natives of the same country. Her parents with their eight children came to Ontario, California, in 1888, where her father died three years later. In the meantime he had bought the old Stuart ranch on the Rincon, where his sons continued farming operations for many years. Mrs. West's mother is living with her daughters at the age of eighty-two. Mrs. West attended the old Chaffey College of Ontario, and was married at the age of twenty. After their marriage they moved to the first tract that had been purchased by Mr. West, and which is her present home. Mr. and Mrs. West had three children. All were born on the Rincon ranch. William, born January 8, 1896, was educated in the Chino High School and the Los Angeles Junior College and was in readiness to join the colors when his father's death compelled him to take up the productive work on the ranch and he was put on the reserve list. He still continues as active ranch manager. The second child, Winifred Adaline, born March 16, 1903, is a graduate of the Chaffey High School now attending Chaffey Junior College with the class of June, 1922. She is specializing in vocal and instrumental music with a view to teaching those subjects. The third of the family, Corinne Elizabeth, born June 7, 1907, is a student in the Chaffey High School.

Mr. and Mrs. West started their married life with very modest capital, in a district that was comparatively undeveloped, and when they went to Ontario they had to drive through vast reaches of drifting sand, opening gates and passing through fenced lands. The late Mr. West was a life-long democrat, but above all other outside interests the matter of community welfare was first to engage his attention.


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