The following are articles we have found over the years which have some connection to the growth and development of the Los Alamitos-Rossmoor area, and can be verified via a primary source with specific dates (a newspaper or magazine article, dated correspondence, etc.).   If you have items that should be included here, please let us know.


1 FEB 1901 — Flood records – 2.55 inches rainfall – Light Streets flooded.

5 FEB 1901 (LA Times, p3) — Adminstration Rush Programme Halted in Senate. (paragraph 9).

SACRAMENTO — Phil Stanton of Los Angeles, his brother, who is visiting him from New York, and C.E. Norton, arrived today. They represent most of the Los Angeles real estate agents and it is their purpose to try to secure the passage of Carter’s bill with reference to fraud. The object of the bill is to secure to real estate agents their commissions on sales of realty whether there is a written agreement between the owner and agent or not. They declare that under the present law, unless there is a written contract the real estate agent has to depend for his commission upon the honesty of the owner whom he serves.

12 FEB 1901 – Los Alamitos Man battered.

R.E. Powell of Los Alamitos came before a Long Beach judge and lodged a “John Doe” complaint, charging a Belgian laborer with assault. Powell gives an account of mistreatment and shows some ugly wounds in support of his statement. Powell says that on the 3rd inst. he was visiting Pete Labourdette’s saloon, situated near the Orange County line andnot far from Los Alamitos. His alleged assailant and others were present when a hot discussion sprung up in which the belgian construed certain remarks as reflecting on his nationality. Powell says that as he was stading in the doorway he was struck over thenhead with a clubbed shotgun, infliucting an ugly dent near the right eye and cutting a bug gash in the forehead, so as to expose the bone.
According to Powell’s statement he has been kept to his bed on account of illness caused by his wounds and it was not till today that he was able to come and swear a complaint.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of the Belgian.

Powell was drinking in Pete Labourdette’s saloon.

APR 1901 – Susanna Hathaway Bixby sues the Clarks over factory waste that flows down Coyote Creek into San Gabriel River and past their Bixby Hill Rancho site.

LA Times , 16 APR 1901; Page 10, Column 4
Title: Bixby’s sue sugar company: suit over waste.
Abstract ….: Concerns the waste from the Los Alamitos sugar factory, which is dumped into Los Coyotes creek & flows through Bixby lands to the ocean; stream & stench are within 600 feet of the Rancho Los Alamitos.

20 APR 1901 – invoice to court reporter for transcribing testimony of J. Ross Clark in sugar factory suit. They paid $1.90. (Bixby Family Papers, Box. 1, CSULB).

Long Beach Press, 30 APR 1901 — Page 2, Column 2

Up to the judge; the jury decide both ways in the Bixby-Clark case; Bixby’s want $10,000 damages from the Clark’s for dumping factory’s refuse in the creek.

MAY 1901 – I.W. Hellman and Henry Huntington begin the Pacific Electric Railway

Hellman writes Henry Huntington and says “I think the time is on hand when we should commence building suburban roads out of the city. If we do not do soon, others will.” Isais well knew this because in Jan 1888 he and Jotham Bixby had granted a right of way and lots in their new Alamitos Bay township to Gen. Bouton’s company wanting to run a railroad from Long Beach to LA. Isaias had even asked W.H. Holabird, a LARY employee to look at a map and sketch out possible rail routes to Long Beach, San Pedro, Redondo and elsewhere. Huntington responded a week later, saying he agreed the time for railroads to the suburbs has come. (Dinkelspiel, Towers of Gold.)

MAY 22, 1901— Willet & Gray’s Weekly Statistical Trade Journal, p.5 —

LOS ALAMITOS, Cal , May 22, 1901.—A good general rain, followed by week of chill damp weather with heavy morning fogs that at times amounted to light rain ‘ are the conditions which are bringing forward a beet tonnage upon the flooded lands of Ihe Los Cerritos and Los Alamitos ranchos. which will double that of the banner year nf 1797. Thinning Is nearly over and the broad expanse of well cultivated fields containing thousands of acres in a body, is an inspiring sight to the eyes of the beet grower who has harvested only a partial crop during the dry years, past and gone, it is hoped forever. The Los Alamitos Sugar Factory will have plenty of raw material this season aud the wheels will begin to turn about the middle of July.

End of April 1901 — Minutes of the … annual meeting of the Southern California Congregational Conference held with the …

T.T. Jones Co., 1901 – Religion

In Orange, County : Villa Park has prospered the paFt year under the labors of Rev. M. D. Reid. Buena Park gave up its minister, Rev. D. W. Morgan, on account of his ill health, and is now served by Rev. H. E. Hays, a licentiate of Drury College. His labors are received with much acceptance. At Los Alamitos, Rev. J. Fletcher Brown is pastor. Here is the location of a great sugar manufactory, the work of which and dependent prosperity of community has been much retarded by drought. With the strong church at Santa Ana, Rev. J. H. Cooper, pastor, we have one self-supporting and three aided churches and four ministers in Orange County.

1 he Spanish Work.

(Following is the report of the Rev. A. B. Case made to Superintendent }. L. Maile, for the quarter ending in April):

I praise God for the opportunities which He gave me in April, and for His gracious leading. My Spanish congregations are not large, yet during the month I have presented Christ, clearly, I trust, to some 300 different Mexicans, and it is probable that at least 100 of this number have never heard the Gospel before. Through the effective assistance of my wife and other helpers, regular work at Pomona and at Ivanhoe has been maintained and the preaching circle widened. Twice 1 spent a day in visiting and with service at Chino. This town of 500 population is six miles southeast of Pomona. Here is located one of the largest beet sugar plants in the country. The “season” now commencing, and lasting through November, brings from the surrounding region a large number of Mexican laborers, many accompanied by their families. As a rule they are a hard people to reach, yet God has given me souls there in former years, and 1 shall labor this year in expectation of others. A new point which I have visited is Rincon, sixteen miles southeast of Pomona. Here are fifteen or twenty Spanish-speaking families, and at my invitation nearly sixty came out to a meeting one blustering cold night. Rarely have I felt so clearly the Spirit’s presence as wdien explaining God’s plan of salvation to those people. At the close of the service one rough fellow remained for further words, and kneeling alone with me earnestly asked God for a new heart. I long to establish regular work here, and hope to do so, but the great beet fields with their multitudes of Mexican laborers present more urgent calls for the summer.

Los Alamitos, twenty miles southeast of Los Angeles, is another beet sugar town. I held four services here in April and find the opportunity greater than at Chino. The number of Mexicans is much greater, and already we have the nucleus of a church in two families of believers from the American Board field in Old Mexico. I have just returned from another three days’ visit there with experiences of more than usual interest and encouragement. This, however, will properly be included in my report for May.

Alden B. Case.

BEET SUGAR GAZETTE (A Monthly Journal), May 1901, p.73

LOS ALAMITOS, CAL. Regular Correspondence.—The cool, foggy weather of late has proved very beneficial to the beet crop. Planting is nearly finished and the thinning of the early planted fields is well advanced. On the whole, the prospects are very encouraging.

Additional wells are being drilled for factory supply, also water development for irrigation purposes is being carried steadily on, upon the Los Alamitos and Los Cerritos ranches. All these wells tap an artesian flow at depths ranging from 300 to 800 feet. The Los Cerritos Company has recently completed six wells. which struck a good flow at about 300 feet, located near the center of their ranch. This development is in addition to the system in use from the large natural reservoir near Bixby Station, which is fed from the wells near the Bouton tract. Z.

From another source it is learned that the beet growers in the vicinity of the Los Alamitos sugar factory are becoming uneasy about the non-appearance of rain. The acreage planted to beets this season is about 6,000, as compared with 2.500 last season.


Mr. R. C. Laurence, formerly head chemist of the Los Alamitos. Cal., beet sugar factory, has been promoted to the position of superintendent.

1901-June 5 – LA Times blurb., p.8 – “The country all around Alamitos Bay is to be transformed into a delightful resort.”

26 JUN 1901 (LA Times, p.15, col. 3) – More franchise talk at Long Beach: trolley franchise is desired by H.E. Huntington – Charles R. Drake appears for the railway magnate, who, he says, wants a route to the beach.

Beet Sugar Gazette, July 1901


“Since the last rain of one and a fourth inches foggy weather has prevailed, sometimes with slight precipitation, which has had a most beneficial effect upon the beet crop. Many fields in which the seed did not come up on account of dryness at the surface, now show a good stand; as there is plenty of moisture below, a good crop will be harvested where before a partial failure would have resulted. It is estimated that double the 1897 crop will be harvested, and many fields upon the flooded lands will give a yield of from fifteen to twenty tons per acre. Unless something unforeseen occurs to injure the crop this will be the banner year in the manufacture of sugar by this factory.

“A force of men has been busily engaged since the last compaign putting the machinery in first-class order, and water development upon the factory grounds is being pushed rapidly forward by three steam rigs. As the artesian flow is practically unlimited, an abundance of water will be developed for the needs of the large amount of raw material to be handled.”—Long Beach Tribune.

Progress of the beet-sugar industry in the United States , Issue 69; United States. Dept. of Agriculture, Charles Fremont Saylor; Govt. print. off., 1901

Los Alamitos.—The Los Alamitos Sugar Company is operating a factory here of 700 tons daily capacity. Owing to the winter drought, which was protracted into the spring, the company and farmers almost despaired of being able to produce a crop of beets. Spring rains very much improved the situation, and the district started in to produce a crop, with a fairly encouraging prospect. About 2,700 acres were planted in beets. The discovery of artesian waters available for use in irrigation was the feature of the year’s developments. Several were sunk, and indications point to more in the future. To the extent of the ability to apply irrigation in this way will the factory be benefited and assured of its future crop.

The present winter (1900-1901) conditions have been very favorable for the success of the beets to be raised the coming season. A large rainfall occurred the latter part of November, which was followed with copious rains in December and January. These latter rains came down gradually, covering a period of two or three days each time and recording from 2£ to 3 inches. This starts the crops off with every assurance of success. The land is in fine condition for plowing and seeding, and, with a few showers during the growing season, the farmers of Los Alamitos should be able to realize a splendid crop.

Remltx at Los Alamitos during the year 1900.

Date of starting the factory 21st of August

Date of closing the same 20th of September

Number of days factory was in operation 31

Number of acres planted to beets 1, 500

Number of acres of beets harvested 1, 070

Quantity of beets worked tons.. 7,500

Average cost of beets per ton $4.80

Average yield of beets per acre harvested tons” 7

Average sugar content of beets worked per cent.. 17.32

Average coefficient of purity 82. 5

Amount of sugar produced tons.. 750

Sugar in process do 60

Total number of employees for the campaign 145

Chino.—The American Beet Sugar Company is operating a factory here of 1,000 tons daily capacity. Crop conditions at Chino during the past year were quite similar to those described for Los Alamitos. The new feature of the district was the amount of beets grown by irrigation. The American Beet Sugar Company concluded not to operate the factory, but to ship the beets grown here to Oxnard, to be worked up along with beets grown for the Oxnard factory. This company seems to be making every effort to stimulate the farmers in the production of beets. The following item from the Beet Sugar Gazette shows the prices to be paid in the future for beets:

The American Beet Sugar Company of Chino has made a substantial increase in the price of beets for the next campaign. The factory will pay $4.25 per ton for all beets weighing not to exceed 5 pounds to be raised during the 1901 campaign, regardless of sugar content or purity, and an additional 25 cents per ton will be paid for each per cent above 15. The price prevailing during the season now closing, as in other recent years, was $3.50 per ton for all beets containing 12 per cent sugar, with an additional 25 cents per ton for each per cent above 12. Beets falling below that standard were subject to a discount of 75 cents for each per cent under 12. Thus a l>eet of 11 per cent sugar brought $2.75, and one of 10 only $2.

Oxnard.—The American Boot Sugar Company is operating a factory here of 2,000 tons daily capacity. The same winter drought described for Los Alamitos and Chino prevailed here, but the later spring rains did much to recoup the district. The record of the year was not a very high tonnage per acre, but the percentage of sugar in the beets grown was quite remarkable, and this did much to make up the loss to the farmer in the gross weight of beets. Beet diseases were quite noticeable throughout the district. The main feature of the year’s work was the establishment by the company of large feeding yards adjacent to the factory. These yards were stocked with cattle and fed from the pulp produced by it. The factory began slicing August 15. Owing to the limited supply of beets it was decided to use but half of the capacity for working them. In working on this half-capacity run the factory several times reached 1,100 tons of beets daily.

24 JULY 1901 – West Coast Land & Water Company

21 AUG 1901 (LA Times, p. 8) — Large Deal is Closed: Four Water Companies Consolidated; Long Beach, Ternminal and San Pedro water systems under one management

Seaside Water is formed, consolidating four major water companies in the Long Beach/San Pedro area. The consolidated companies included the Bouton Water Company, including all of the tanks, distributing system, etc. of the company in Long Beach, and the great Bouton artesian wells and lands north of Long Beach along the line of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. Theother companies were the Long Beach Development Company, the Wilmington and San Pedro Water System (owned by bthe Banning Company) and the Terminal island Water system, owned by the Bouton Company.
The object of the new Seaside company is to supply the residents of the beach towns withn pure artesian water from its inexhaustible wells in the artesian belt north of Long Beach.

In order to facilitate development of the company’s lands, assurances

The Long Beach City Council hears a proposal from Colonel Charles R. Drake, a Long Beach settler who previously imported Mexicans to work on the tracks of the Southern Pacific Railroad). Drake, who plans to build a resort hotel, requests the council issue a franchise to permit building a trolley system from Los Angeles to Long Beach, “by a syndicate headed by Henry Huntington and I.W. Hellman.” There was no mention of the specific company that would build the line.
The council votes to award the franchise to the highest bidder in August. Opposition formed not only against “more tracks on Ocean Avenue” but against Huntington because he still serves on the Board of the Southern Pacific. Unaware of the feelings between Huntington and those who now controlled he SP, people thought this new railway would be controlled by the SP and give them even more of a monopoly.

Opposition would generally come only from homeowners who had homes on Ocean Avenue.

19 OCT 1901 — Letter, J. Ross Clark to Fred Bixby.(Bixby Family Collection, Box 1, CSULB)

Dear Sir,
Referring to our conversation a few days since, in reference to growing beets for next year, beg to advise you now that we would like to make a contract with you for 1,250 acres for 1902, details of contract to be arrange between us. Please let me hear from you in reference to this matter. Yours respectfully,
Los Alamitos Sugar Factory by J.Ross Clark, Gen. Mgr.

26 OCT 1901 — Letter, J. Ross Clark to Fred Bixby. (Bixby Family Collection, Box 1, CSULB)

… if your mother and sister will grant us a right of way across your land to the Bixby Land Company’s land on the east side of Coyote Creek, we will discuss a ditch on a grade sufficient to carry away all the waste water from the factory to the bay, or at some point where it will not interfere with anyone.

27 OCT 1901 – Flood records – 1.79 inches rainfall – Light Streets flooded. Railroad traffic temporarily suspended.

30 OCT 1901 – after a couple postponements, the auction for a Long Beach RR franchise was held on October 30, 1901 and the Hellman-Huntington representative, Eppes Randolph, outbid two other bidders for the franchise with a price of $9,600.
The day before Henry Huntington and his associates officially signed articles of Incorporation of the Pacific Electric Railway. Company, and the documents were filed on November 10, 1901. $452,000 of capital was ascribed to the investors with Huntington investing $98,500, and Hellman, Antoine Borel, and Christian De Guigne each investing $67,800 (45% of the stock). The four had been involved in the San Francisco’s profitable Market Street Railway. The four other investors were John Slauson (owner of the 17,600 acrea Azusa Ranch), John Bicknell, and company engineer Epes Randolph.
The articles lay out in detail Huntington’s plans for a vast inter-urban electric railway system. The Pacific Electric would take over the Los Angeles-Pasadena interurban line, then build new lines from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, Riverside, Redondo Beach, San Pedro and Long Beach.
By extending his streetcar tracks to these outlying areas, the PEC is increasing the value of the property in these areas, much of whch is now being owned by Huntington.

12/13 NOV 1901 – The Huntington-Hellman syndicate incorporates the Pacific Electric Railway Company on November 13th, 1901 with a capital stock of $1,000,0000. …

15 NOV 1901 (LA Times, p.15, col. 3) — To bend a railroad: Drake promises if the electric street railway franchise is granted for Ocean Park Ave., he will permit the Salt Lake Co. to eliminate the curve from its line through Seaside Water Co. property.

In 1901 J. C. Ord, a merchant in Los Alamitos, hires a 30-team mule team to haul his building from Los Alamitos to what is now the southwest corner of Main Street and Electric Avenue. Ord, a Civil War veteran originally from Vermont who reportedly witnessed the signing of the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s at Appamattox Court House, becomes the only permanent resident of “Bay City,” setting up the first general store on the site. This store also comprised his living quarters until he built a house at today’s 10th Street and Central Avenue. Presumably to fund his move and business, Ord establishes the J.C. Ord Company with Phillip A. Stanton and Isaac Lothian as principal stockholders. One of their first actions was to buy a “sand pit” property on the eastern edge of Anaheim Landing. (How much advance notice did Stanton have for the deal. It would seem to be all part of Hellman’s plan to better montetize his real estate assets.)

the West Coast Land and Water Company was formed. It purchased 1,500 acres of land, began to lay out streets, built a pavilion on the ocean front, and by August the first lots of Pacific City were ready for sale.

Fred H. Bixby leases all Alamitos land from his mother and sister, except for the approximate 40 acres around the ranch house. He will renew the lease during the following years.

GUSTAF LEANDER. — An expert mechanic who has also made a success of all that he has undertaken in other fields, working intelligently and industriously, and modestly enjoying the well-earned fruits of his ‘labors, is Gustaf Leander, who was born in Sweden on August 12, 1:871, and was educated in that country so famous for its schools and completed a course at the Agricultural College at Gotland. He came to America in 1891, landing at New York City, and proceeded directly to Los Angeles, Cal., and learned the machinist trade in the Axelson Machine Shop and then was employed in other shops in Southern California and Arizona. After that, for four years, he worked in the sugar factory at Los Alamitos, where he was employed as the factory mechanic. Tiring of the work, or seeing perhaps a still greater opportunity in the confectionery business, Mr. Leander in 1905 came to Fullerton and bought out Steve W. McColloch; and having taken possession, he put a deal of hard work into the enterprise, with the natural result that business rapidly increased and brought a substantial income from the investment. Before the days of the ice plant, he also distributed ice to the Fullerton community, purchasing the crystal blocks from the National Ice Company of Los Angeles and shipping it to Fullerton. He also distributed Los Angeles newspapers and periodicals in the Fullerton and oil well districts, and enlisted a wide patronage. After several years in the confectionery field, Mr. Leander sold out his business to F. E. Copp. . He then purchased fifteen and a half acres on Orangethorpe Avenue, buying the same from J. A. Clark, and devoted ten acres to Valencia oranges and five acres to walnuts; and he obtains water service for irrigation from the Anaheim Union Water Company. After trying his latest venture long enough to form a sensible and helpful opinion, he thinks there is nothing like ranching, and has decided to stick to his trim little farm. , • -.r •

On December 31, 1903, Mr. Leander was married at San Diego to Miss Meriam Pearson, a native of Sweden who came to Minnesota when she was eight years old. She was reared and educated near Duluth, and 1-901 came west to California. Two children have blessed this fortunate union. Otto A. and Elna Leander, and they reflect all the good qualities of their worthy parents. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, while Mrs. Leander is a member of the Christian Church in Fullerton.

Source: History of Orange County, Samuel Armour, 1920., p.1551-52


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