California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
EDWARD L. WILLIAMSON. — Eighteen years ago Mr. Williamson was assistant engineer for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company. During a leave of absence he visited California. A few days at Riverside convinced him that no other locality could henceforth claim his complete allegiance as a home. In the years that have since elapsed his name has become an accepted synonym of the larger enterprise in the horticultural and agricultural development of this section, and in commercial and civic affairs as well.
Mr. Williamson was born at Janesville, Wisconsin, March 29, 1879, son of Lucius N. and Alice (Hawes) Williamson, both deceased and both of English ancestry. His father was born in Vermont and his mother in Canada. Lucius Williamson for a number of years was connected with the manufacturing interests of Janesville, Wisconsin, and subsequently for a long period represented the house of M. D. Wells of Chicago as a traveling salesman.
In the City of Janesville Edward L. Williamson spent his youth. He attended public school there, and in 1900 graduated from the University of Wisconsin with the degree of Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. The first year after leaving university he was an inspector with the Milwaukee Gas Light Company. Then for three years he was an assistant engineer on the engineering staff of the Rock Island Railroad.
The leave of absence which he spent in California came in 1904. His first undertaking in Riverside. was the establishment of a poultry plant on Bandini Avenue. Six months later his technical services as an engineer were engaged in the Gage Canal Company and the Riverside Trust Company, with which he remained, until December, 1909.
At that date Mr. Williamson took charge as engineer and superintendent of the West Riverside holdings of the Ennis Brothers' property, consisting of a 1,000 acres of raw land. He still has charge of the Sunny Slope Rancho, as it is known, and has about 450 acres under cultivation, with 375 acres devoted to citrus fruits 80 acres in alfalfa. This alone constitutes one of the largest undertakings in horticultural development in this section of the state in recent years.
In 1916, when the flood waters wiped out the north end of the Jurupa Canal, which supplies water for all the West Riverside property, Mr. Williamson became chairman of the committee of reconstruction and reorganization of the affairs of the canal, and has since been president and manager of the West Riverside Canal Company. Since 1913 he has been a part owner and manager of the Ennis and Williamson Dairy Ranch of San Bernardino County. This ranch has a herd of 150 producing cows and 150 head of young stock. Mr. Williamson is manager and director of the Jurupa Water Company, and vice president and director of the La Sierra Water Company. Individually he owns a 12 acre orange grove at 388 Bandini Avenue, which is his home address. He is a member of the Riverside Heights Packing Association No. 10. He has recently extended his field of operations, and on May 1, 1921, bought an interest in the Riverside Implement Company, the name of which has since been changed to the Riverside Motor Sales Company, of which he is vice president and assistant manager, the president and manager being C. W. Cell.
Mr. Williamson is a member of the Tri-County Reforestation Committee, and until recently was a member of the Farm Bureau. He is a republican voter, had two years of military training while in the University of Wisconsin, was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity there and is a member of the Present Day Club and the Riverside Rotary Club.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011