Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Remembering The Mystery of Anaheim’s First Fallen Lawman



By: J’aime Rubio
A somber event in early Anaheim history is the long forgotten story of death of Marshall Charles Lehman. Born in Danzig, Prussia in 1827, by his early 40’s he found his way to the Anaheim area. The census records for 1870 show Charles living with his young wife, Caroline, 18, and their one-year-old daughter, Emily. At the time that the census was taken, Charles listed his trade as a carpenter.
By 1871, Charles decided to run for the town Marshall, and his election campaign pit him against another fellow lawman, David Davies. While fighting over the seat as town Marshall, the two began a feud so bad that the newspapers covered it, and Davies had threatened to kill Lehman if he won. By May 6, 1872, the election was over, and Charles Lehman was the last man standing, having been duly elected to serve the public as an officer of the law. Only two months into his term, Marshall Lehman would meet a tragic end that to this day has never truly been solved.
On July 21, 1872, at around 6 p.m., Marshall Lehman was called to Samuel Goldstein’s saloon, the Anaheim Brewery to stop an altercation that was taking place out back. According to the newspapers of the time, David Davies and another man, only known as Horton, had been playing cards in the brewery when a fight ensued over who won. During the fight, Horton managed to reach over and steal Davies’ pistol and then began shooting at him. That was when the fight was taken outside to the vacant lot between the brewery and Macy’s harness shop. It was around that time that Marshall Lehman arrived to intercede in the melee, but was fatally wounded when the pistol discharged, piercing Lehman’s abdomen, through his liver and lodging near his spinal column. He was rushed to Dr. Higgins’ drug store and later was moved to Mrs. Brown’s residence nearby where he remained until his death two days later.
Prior to his passing, Lehman was adamant that it was Davies who had shot him, not Horton, despite the fact that the authorities had originally believed Horton had fired the fatal shot. After the Marshall had been wounded, Horton had made a run for it, hiding out in the Lorenz vineyard where he was eventually caught. Both Davies and Horton were taken to jail, and held on $5,000 bonds. Davies being charged with “murder”, while Horton was charged with “assault with intent to commit murder.”
After a jury in Los Angeles acquitted Davies on all charges, he returned to Anaheim and took over as the town Marshall. Horton, was never charged for the murder of Charles Lehman leaving the entire case officially unsolved. Another strange thing to note about this story is the rumor that spread over time that Marshall Lehman had, on his death bed, gave his infant daughter away to the unmarried daughter of his friend, Vicenta Carillo claiming that his wife was too young to care for their child.
According to the census records, the Lehman’s had one daughter, Emily who was born around 1869. But according to stories passed down for years, it was an infant daughter, Mary who was given to Vincenta Carillo’s daughter. Edelfrida Carillo, the unmarried daughter mentioned, was only 18 years old when Marshall Lehman died, while his wife Caroline was 20 years old. The only connection I could find between the two families is that they were literally next door neighbors, so I assume the families were close.
Still, the question remains, why would Marshall Lehman give away his young child to the next door neighbor’s unmarried daughter, who was still just a child herself? Also, was Emily and Mary the same child or were they two completely different children? If so, what happened to Emily? And could that have contributed to Marshall Lehman’s choice to give Mary away to his neighbors? So many questions, so little answers to find.

Marshall Charles Lehman’s grave can be found in the Pioneer Section of the historic Anaheim Cemetery, towards the back near the original entrance. Originally just a wooden marker was all that was left to remember him by, but over time the elements had even destroyed that, leaving Lehman’s final resting place an unmarked spot in the cemetery for over 100 years. Thankfully, in 1996, he was given the honor that should have been afforded to him over 124 years prior, a proper marker for his grave. Now you can visit Marshall Lehman, and pay him his respects, the first law officer in Anaheim to die in the line of duty.
(Copyright, J'aime Rubio, 2018, Originally published in Annual Newsletter for the "Anaheim Historical Society, Circa 2018)
Sources:
United States Census, 1870
Marysville Daily Appeal (July 18, 1872; July 25, 1872)
Sac Daily Union (July 23, 1872)
Daily Alta California (July 23, 1872)
Southern Californian (July 27, 1872)
Orange County Register (July 23, 1996)
Photo Credit: Findagrave & APL Archives 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Origins of Anaheim High School's "Colonist" Name - Fact Vs. Fiction

Anaheim High School, 1929
Today marks a huge point in my career as a historian and investigative journalist. In fact, it feels like I have come full circle in many different ways. You see, I was born and raised in Anaheim. This is my hometown. My love of history began here. My love of research began here in our Anaheim Library. My love of solving mysteries or getting to the root or origins of a story began here. You could say, all that I am as a historian came to be, because of this wonderful town.

So today, I post what will probably be one of the most important blog posts I have posted on here to date. Why? Because I am going to make my best effort to explain to the world the history of Anaheim High School's "Colonists" origin and settle the debate over the "Colonist" name once and for all.

One might wonder, "How can that be subject be that important?"  

Oh, but it is. 

You see, a very small group of students/former students from Anaheim High started a petition a little over a week ago on Change.org's website accusing the Colonist name to be racist, oppressive, to represent genocide, rape and theft. They claim that the mascot represents the Colonists from the New World, whom they feel are guilty for wrongs done to the native peoples over 400 years ago.

Their petition was so emotionally driven with hate, in fact, the artwork they posted was not only debase and degrading, but downright slanderous, accusing our early settlers of Anaheim of such heinous acts such as rape, murder, racism and looting.

When I first read their petition, I was immediately upset that anyone could come to that conclusion when there is absolutely no basis in fact to back up such a claim. I cannot deny it, I was angered by the disrespect they were showing not only to the school itself, but to our forefathers who founded Anaheim. 

These petitioners not only went forward with promoting such nonsense and hate filled rhetoric, they started to get a following of other students who signed their petition, simply believing their theory at face value without checking the facts for themselves.

I started a counter-petition and within only 2 days, I managed to not only match but surpass the number of signatures that took their petition 8 days to reach. To date, my petition is still leading strongly by at least 1,000 or more signatures.

Still, that is not enough, so, I am here today to give you the facts. To share with you the reasons that the Colonist name was chosen, and to give you a run down on the history of the mascot over the years so you can come to your own conclusions and form an educated opinion yourself.


The Beginnings of Anaheim

In Anaheim, the term "Colonist" has always represented the early settlers who founded the "Mother Colony" of Anaheim. The Los Angeles Vineyard Society which was established specifically for this purpose, sent George Hansen to the area to purchase a small amount of land (1,160 acres) from Juan Pacifico Ontiveros in 1857. Ontiveros owned the Spanish Land Grant  "Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana" which consisted of 35,971 acres in its entirety. The Ontiveros family had been deeded that land from Mexico, by Governor Juan Alvarado in 1837. 
From its very beginnings, Anaheim consisted of German, European and Hispanic settlers, many intermarrying within the community. A good example was Petra Ontiveros, daughter of Juan Pacifico Ontiveros, who married Augustus Langenberger.  Langenberger came to the United States from Germany in 1849. In 1850, Augustus married Petra. He also became the very first merchant in Anaheim's history. 
Another example is the Rimpau family. Theodore Rimpau also came from Germany, arriving to California in 1848. He traveled from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where he eventually became very good friends with the Alcade of Los Angeles, Don Francisco Avila, who was also one of the richest ranchers in Los Angeles. A native of Sinaloa, Mexico, Don Francisco owned the "Rancho Las Cienegas" and the the Avila Adobe on Olvera Street (which is the oldest standing house in Los Angeles). 
After asking Don Francisco for permission to marry his daughter, Theodore Rimpau and Francisca Avila were married December 23, 1850 at the Church known as "La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles." After the marriage, Don Francisco put Theodore in charge of many responsibilities in the family, including supervising the family estate while living in Los Angeles. By the mid 1860's, the Rimpau's moved from Los Angeles to Anaheim settling there and establishing roots that would last generations.

Anaheim's First Schools
To be technical, the first official "Anaheim High School" was established originally in 1898, when the very first students attended high school classes in an upstairs room on the second floor of the Central School; However, I must add that there were students living in town who attended school in Anaheim even before then.

Back in 1860, the first school opened in an adobe structure that was located on a lot owned by Augustus Langenberger, one of Anaheim's earliest Colonists. The first group of students were as follows: Ernesto Guillermo Frederico "Fred" Langenberger and his two sisters, Carola and Regina; Tomas and Felipe Yorba; Elmina and Louise Lorenz; and Pifanio and Antonio Burreuel.  Anaheim's first school teacher was Fred William Kuelp.

Matilda Rimpau c/o APL Archives
The first person to earn a high school diploma in Anaheim history in 1880, was none other than Matilda Rimpau, daughter of Theodore Rimpau and Francesca Avila. By 1901, the funds had been appropriated to construct and finish an actual school dedicated solely to the older grades, making it the very first Anaheim High School building in town. The first location was located at 608 W. Center Street (later Lincoln Avenue). The building was later sold to the elementary school district in 1911, and even later one in 1937 it was demolished and became the site of Fremont Junior High. The newer site, where AHS currently is located at 811 W. Lincoln Avenue was built in 1912.  
Going back to the subject at hand, as you can see, from Anaheim's very beginnings it was a mixture of European and Hispanic culture and many of the descendants of the original settlers were of mixed heritage being both of Hispanic and European (mainly German) descent.
Why the Colonists?

It has been well known by long time residents of Anaheim that the reason for naming the mascot at Anaheim High School was after the Colonists who moved to the area in 1857, who set up the "Mother Colony."

At no point whatsoever was the term Colonist meant to represent the New World Colonists or Pilgrims who came to America in the 1600's.

The Latin word colere, from which the word Colonist is derived, simply means : "to inhabit, tend or guard." In English, the definition of a Colonist is "a settler or inhabitant of a colony."  It can also mean, "a group of people of one nationality or ethnic group living in a foreign city or country."   There is no mention of oppression, racism, genocide or theft anywhere in those definitions. 

What people might not know is that originally the mascot for the school was actually called the "Mother Colonists," as you can plainly see by my attached photos below of various news clippings from the early 1920's. From the beginning of using the term Mother Colonists, leading up to the mid 1920's, it stayed the same.  






According to "One to Twenty-Eight: A History of Anaheim Union High School District," written by Louise Booth (1980) it states, "The school officially adopted the Colonist symbol and flag (designed by Clayes*) in 1928, in keeping with the Mother Colony heritage."

* long time Principal, Joseph A. Clayes

Another lesser known tidbit of history is that although many high school's throughout the country had nicknames per se, it wasn't until the mid to late 1920's that school's started actually adopting mascots or logos.

It appears that it was in 1928, when the acting Principal Joseph A. Clayes brought the attention to the school as to why the Mother Colonists were so important to our history when he says:

"The spirit of the true Colonist still lived, when in 1857, a group of 50 men set out from San Francisco Bay and crossed the mountains to the Santa Ana River, bringing the nucleus of the Mother Colony. This later developed into the city we love, whose romantic name was developed from the linking of the beloved word "Home" and "Ana", the patron saint of the river. How appropriate, then, that we, the descendants of these sturdy men, should adopt a title that means so much to every true American heart and resident of our Mother Colony- The Colonist."

This is the same year they introduced the logo on the inside of the yearbook. By the mid to late 1920's the school dropped the "Mother Colonist" name and shortened it to just "The Colonists."

By 1929, the Colonist also appears on the cover.  According to Melvin Aguilar, aka. "Mr. Colonist", (Student Body President, Class of 1975) who has been collecting Anaheim High School yearbooks for decades, the 1929 yearbook's foreword explains the reasoning behind the name "Colonist."  (The attached photos below were given to me to use by permission from Melvin Aguilar.)


Foreward: 1929 Yearbook
AHS 1929 Yearbook


 The Foreward reads: 

"We have chosen "The Colonists" as our school name. We would now consider the significance of this name and find what is our right to bear it.

It is true that Anaheim was founded by colonists who braved the dangers and hardships of the desert, men who in spite of untoward circumstances overcame all obstacles and established homes and constructed our town. These men are our forebearers, and we stand in reverence as we contemplate their struggles and their victories.

Their work is done. It now remains for us to carry on. Are we willing to endure hardships, to suffer deprivations, for the good of others? Have we in us the qualities that make for noble, honest, sturdy character? Have we that persistency that surmounts all obstacles? 

As colonists, we have chosen as the motif for the art work of our year book the desert and its symbolism. Our forefathers knew both the beauty and the dangers of the desert, and we can but wonder how much their contact with and conquering of the desert had to do with the sturdy character they revealed.

We follow in their wake, enjoying the fruits of their labors, but we, too, would have that sturdiness of purpose, that dependability of character for which they were recognized. As they overcame the desert and made it blossom as the rose, thus would we overcome the difficulties that lie in our way, and so shape our lives that we may be of the greatest service to mankind."--- Miss Bella J. Walker, Yearbook Advisor. 

Inside of the 1929 AHS yearbook

So as you can clearly see, the school's reference to "Colonists" at Anaheim High School was not about the early Colonists to the New World. It was named after the early settlers who came here in 1857 to start Anaheim, their "Mother Colony." These settlers came to a barren area and built it up, first by cultivating the land and growing vast vineyards. Then when the blight of 1884-1888 took out over 400,000 grapevines, they had to think fast and chose to plant citrus trees which later became what Anaheim was best known for, orange groves.

Besides the orange groves, Anaheim's early settlers had success with chili peppers, sugar beets, walnuts, cabbages, potatoes and strawberries. Had it not been for Timothy Carroll, Anaheim's first nurseryman, most of all our trees would not be here today, including the famous Moreton Bay Fig tree that stands tall at Founder's Park on West Street, literally backing up to the property of Anaheim High School. Timothy Carroll brought that tree over from Australia in 1876, and it was planted by the Horstmann family.  Both the tree and the Mother Colony house, the oldest house in Anaheim, sit on the same land just behind the high school.

The Anaheim Gazette, dated August 5, 1926 states:

"Previous to laying out the colony, in 1858, there were no trees about Anaheim except a series of scrub oak.....some of the old-timers planted sycamore trees and later on eucalyptus trees."

So, Ms. Walker's explanation of the Colonists conquering the desert makes absolute sense; They made the land beautiful with vegetation!


The Logo

There has been at times through the years "logos" or artist interpretations of the Colonists that have been portrayed on emblems for the school on banners, yearbooks and such, some of which portray what look like a pilgrim, but this was not the origin of the namesake for the high school

So one might ask why have the man on the cover of the yearbook (logo) look like a "Pilgrim" instead of a German vinyardist?

At the time of designing the mascot for the school the United States had just finished the first World War with Germany.  It is the writer's belief that the school board didn't want to offend anyone, given the time period and the possibility of residual anti-German sentiment that was still prevalent in the country, so they opted for what would have been a "safer choice" for a design. If the artist's depiction had looked like a German man in lederhosen, it might have sparked serious controversy at the time. We also have to take into account that it wasn't until the late 1920's that they even considered bringing back teaching the German language, so there was an anti-German sentiment going on there, no doubt. 

The school wanted to honor the German Colonists of the 1850's, not the Germans of that time period, thus again, that is why I believe they used a safer choice at the time, a 17th century looking man in a hat with a musket. 


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I hope that all of this information I have carefully presented to you proves that the term Colonist in Anaheim history had nothing to do with white supremacy, racism, genocide or any other reason. History proves that these settlers who came and established Anaheim did not take part in any sort of genocide against the native peoples of this area, or any other groups of people for that matter. 

They also didn't "discover" the land they built on due to the fact that they purchased the land from Juan Pacifico Ontiveras in the first place. There was no conquering, no pillaging or plundering. Our "Colonists" were honored as namesakes at Anaheim High School because they set up their colony on land they purchased and built into the city that stands today.

It would be a complete disgrace to remove that name and dishonor the blood, sweat and tears they put into moving halfway across the world, coming to a new country to start a new life, and working hard together as a community to establish a new town out of literally nothing.
I think that the younger generation who believes in the hateful rhetoric spread by these petitioners, especially those who come from immigrant backgrounds, should be ashamed of themselves for disregarding this part of Anaheim's history just because they want to change a name to appease their cries for "social justice," a subject that really has nothing to do with this school or its mascot. 
To all the those who are complaining about the school's nickname, I ask you this:

Do you have any family members who traveled from another part of the world to come here for a better life?

Did your ancestors, grandparents, parents move to California to better themselves, start businesses and have better lives?

If so, then how can you demonize the representation of these people, immigrants themselves who lived here long before you ever existed?

These were people who worked harder than you or I will ever comprehend in our lifetimes. How can you sit here and complain about the school's mascot that allegedly offends you, when has absolutely nothing to do with you or your heritage? 
I do not believe that we should remove our history based on the assumptions and misinformation of the younger generation today, who think it is okay to remove something if it offends them, even if they are completely ignorant of the real history to begin with. 
The Colonist name does not represent anything negative in Anaheim history whatsoever, and I hope that the Anaheim Union High School District will dismiss the nonsense of Ms. Luevano and Daniel Allatorre De-Liva's claims.
Respectfully,
J'aime Rubio
Author, Historian and the founder of "The History of Anaheim" Facebook History Group, (and the granddaughter of a former President of the  Anaheim Historical Society.)

(Copyright 7/1/2020, J'aime Rubio, www.jaimerubiowriter.com)

THANK YOU to Melvin Aguilar (Mr. Colonist) for allowing me to use the photos from your copy of the AHS Yearbook, 1929.

And thank you to everyone, including my "colleagues" who have helped compile info from the archives, and those who have added their knowledge and comments towards my counter petition on Change.org to save Anaheim's namesake. (link below)

https://www.change.org/p/anaheim-union-high-school-district-save-anaheim-high-school-colonists/exp/cl_/cl_sharecopy_23117479_en-US/2/833022529?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_23117479_en-US%3A2&recruiter=833022529&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

Some of my sources:
Santa Ana Register
3/1920; 3/6/1920; 11/8/1920; 2/19/1925; 10/18/1928
Los Angeles Times
5/9/1926
Anaheim Gazette
8/5/1926
Anaheim High School Yearbook, 1928 &1929
Forewards by: Ms. Bella J. Walker, and Joseph Clayes
"One to Twenty-Eight: A History of Anaheim Union High School District."-Louise Booth (1980)
"Early Anaheim"- Stephen J. Faessel
"A Hundred Years of Yesterdays"-- Orange County Historical Commission
"History of Anaheim" booklet - Anaheim Historical Society
"History of Orange County, California with Biographical Sketches"- Samuel Armor.
Photo of Matilda Rimpau from Anaheim Public Library Archives
other historical content can be found here: https://anaheimhistory.blogspot.com/


Monday, May 28, 2018

A Missing Son, A Lost Soldier



According to the May 28, 1914 edition of the Los Angeles Herald, a missing young man from Anaheim was finally found under sad circumstances. To explain it all, I must start from the beginning.

John Klassen was born to parents P.M. Klassen and Elizabeth Buller Klassen, both residents of Anaheim, but originally native of Germany. From a young age Johnny had dreams and ambitions to join the military, so when he finally became a young man that was all he thought of.

The newspaper doesn't give specifics on why he couldn't enlist prior but only that he was previously "prevented from enlisting because of his youth".  Could it have been his parents who didn't want him to go? For the newspaper stated he was 19 when he left.

No matter what the case, Johnny ran away to fulfill his dream and enlist in the Army, but when he got there he enlisted under a false name, John King.  Not knowing where he went and why, his parents were distraught over the disappearance of their son and searched endlessly, looking for him.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Johnny was waiting to be sent to the front lines. At one point he wrote his mother a letter telling her that he was in the Army and that he was okay, but he failed to mention that he was listed under a different name. So when his mother wrote him back, she was notified that there was no one enlisted under her son's name. Shocked and devastated, she started to look for him once more.

Eventually Mrs. Klassen was able to track down her son's whereabouts, but sadly it was too late. Johnny had died in the Army hospital in San Francisco. Apparently, he fell ill while he was waiting to be sent out to the war, never being able to fulfill his lifelong dream of being in the Army.

He was buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio.


Courtesy of Carol (Find-a-grave contributor #46859893)


(Copyright, 2018 - J'aime Rubio, www.jaimerubiowriter.com )

Monday, May 21, 2018

Memories of Stan Betz

This will be the first of many new types of posts on this particular blog. I have decided that it was time to give a platform to various residents (and former residents) who lived and breathed Anaheim history between the 1950's and 1960's growing up there. For my first contributor's post, I have chosen to share the memory John Lazenby, an Anaheim High School Alumni (Class of 1965) who recalls his memories of the famous custom car guru, Stan Betz. Enjoy! 

"MEMORIES OF STAN BETZ"
By
John Lazenby

Moving to Anaheim in 1956 from Santa Ana, like all 9 year old boys, I was fascinated with my new surroundings.  A new school, Horace Mann, new friends, and of course new adventures that would unfold.

I use to love to build model aircraft, especially model cars, on our patio during the summer.  There was a transistor radio that would be out there with me and the stations of choice were KFWB and KRLA. I always had a Bubble-Up or Pepsi Cola at my side.  I knew all of the songs that came across the air waves because of my love for music, and of course all of the DJs.  To this day I still have my KFWB Disc / Coveries Album with the "Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen."

Places I would buy AMT car models were Sav-On Drugs, and then there was Tiny’s Hobby Shop located in the Pickwick Hotel on Los Angeles Street just north of the City Library in Anaheim.  Tiny was just the opposite of his name being a rather rotund gentleman who sat in a chair and didn’t move much. What was really neat is that Tiny had model entries for awards that any kid, or I guess any adult, could participate in.  On a regular basis I would enter one of my efforts and occasionally win something.  A couple of those models are still with me in boxes all these years later.

The challenge was how to get to Tiny’s from my home which was probably a couple of miles away.  I had a bike but the agreement with my parents was that I would not ride that far, as they worried about me in traffic, which is hard to imagine what it was like then versus today.

Well of course, the temptation was too great and I had to get on the bike and make the journey.  I figured out what back streets to take to avoid as much danger as my young brain would muster up.  The final part of that trip would be heading down Chestnut St. towards Los Angeles St. which was the north corner of the Pickwick. What always struck me was a hot rod with louvers parked on the street just west of the bus stop on the back side of the Pickwick.  On occasion there was a fellow with white bib overalls sitting on the curb mixing paint.  He had the stuff all over himself and of course the curb and street.

John Lazenby's '63 VW parked at the curb where Stan Betz mixed his paint.

The more interesting thing about all of this was he had a “peg” leg with a rubber boot or cap on the end sticking out of one of the pant legs.  I would always stop, say hello, and admire the car and ask questions about what he was doing.  This was none other than Stan Betz, who at that time I thought to be an older guy, and I guess he was compared to me.  I never had the courage to ask about the leg but years later learned the story of how he ended up that way.  Also, I never realized then that he was a life long Anaheim resident and AHS grad.

Once my days of visiting Tiny’s ended, on occasion I would bump into Stan and different places and he always remembered me.  I had a friend that owned a sign shop in Orange and Stan was his neighbor so we would go over and look at his movie props.  Over the years he had acquired many of them, and some were historically significant in the movie industry.

Der Kleiner Panzer second clubhouse, located at the Pickwick Hotel. 
My last visit with Stan was at the AHS car show where I had one of my cars.  Stan was getting up there in years, and not quite as mobile, but he still got around and his mind was sharp.  Then in September of 2017, I learned of his passing and was sad, but on the same note was happy that I’d got to know him as a person and appreciate what a talented gentleman and classy act he really was.  Godspeed Stan, many miss you."- John Lazenby. 


NOTE: "The two photos attached are of my '63 VW sedan parked on Chestnut St. in the exact spot Stan would sit and mix paint.  The other photo is also on Chestnut St. at the Der Kleiner Panzer second club house located in the Pickwick Hotel.  That is me with the burgundy cords on at the front door.  Both photos were taken very late 1971 or early 1972."

To read more about Stan Betz and his contribution to Anaheim history please check out this article on the Anaheim High School Alumni Association's website:

(Copyright, Remembering Anaheim's History, J'aime Rubio. 2018).

Memories of Anaheim



Hey everyone! I am going to be doing something new on this blog. I will still continue to post my historical research and stories involving early Anaheim history, but I am also going to be dedicating one section of this blog entirely to memories shared by various people who grew up here, attended high school (be it Anaheim High or Loara High) and/or all those fun times that were had at places such as the Bean Hut, Harmony Park and other locations during the 1950's and 1960's.

Whether it's a childhood memory, or teenage memories from school or summer months. I am happy to announce that I will be sharing those stories with you by way of contributor's posts.

If you would like to share a short story/memory of your days in Anaheim, please contact me via my website www.jaimerubiowriter.com. I look forward to sharing Anaheim memories with all of you, so that we can preserve these stories for the future generations to look back on and appreciate.

Thanks,  J'aime Rubio

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Mysterious Death of Paul Whitice

Tomorrow is the 102nd anniversary of the death of young bride, Enid Rimpau. Her death left a tragic stain on the historic colony district in Anaheim that is remembered each year at this time. Because of the odd circumstances and strange similarities that both Enid's death and that of another gentleman, Paul Whitice, who died 12 years later, I chose to write this blog tonight.

In Enid's case, she died from poisoning on October 17, 1915, after only three months of marriage to Theodore Robert Rimpau, the grandson of Anaheim Pioneer Theodore Rimpau. Robert, as he chose to be called, was smitten by the young Enid, and courted her until she accepted his proposal of marriage. Enid had just divorced her first husband, Charles Stone, because of his "intemperate habits," and had been working two jobs to support herself on her own. She had moved to Anaheim to start over, and it seemed that everything was working out until that Sunday afternoon, just after church, when her husband claimed he found her dying of poison in her bedroom.

Family members came to the house, as well as Dr. Truxaw who came immediately when he was called. Unfortunately, the doctor saw that Enid was beyond help, and so Enid died there at her home on 503 Zeyn Street in Anaheim. The story in the papers stated a note was found, and that because of this there was no inquest into her death (even though there was no mention of anyone having checked to see if the note was even in her own handwriting). And so it was accepted that Enid had committed suicide. Still, there have been those who believe that she did not kill herself, and that she might have been poisoned on purpose. I went over her story inch by inch in my latest book, "Stories of the Forgotten: Infamous, Famous & Unremembered,"


In regards to Paul Whitice, he too died suddenly and suspiciously. He was also a divorcee, previously married to Alice Marxmuller in 1911; However, in August of 1916, he remarried, this time to Robert Rimpau's cousin, Rosabelle Rimpau. I was recently contacted by someone who just purchased Paul & Rosabelle's first home in Los Angeles. The new owner, John Wray, is currently doing research on the history of the home itself and the Whitice family and sought me out for help in putting Paul's life events together.

Years ago, a random commentor had left a message on my blog about Enid Rimpau's death, claiming that hers was not the only suspicious poisoning in the Rimpau family, insinuating that perhaps someone within that family may have been involved in foul play in both deaths. I looked into the story myself and I have to say there are some similarities, as I will detail below.

For one, both Enid and Paul were both previously married prior to marrying into the Rimpau family.  The Rimpau's were devout Catholics. In fact, many church services had been performed in patriarch Theodore Rimpau's home, back in Anaheim's early days, before St. Boniface had been constructed. Still the idea that one of the Rimpau's poisoned both Enid and Paul is reaching. I won't say that it isn't possible, but the question remains "why?"--

Well, one could argue that because both Enid and Paul were both married before, that perhaps their marriage into the Rimpau family tarnished the prestigious Anaheim family's good name. Again, that is just speculation. But it is a known fact that divorce was frowned upon, especially during that time in our past. But, Paul didn't die months after his marriage, like Enid did. He died nearly 11 years later. So that theory that both were poisoned because of their prior marriages does not fit.

Let's look into Paul's life a little further before I get to the details surrounding his death.

Paul was born on July 10, 1887 in Ridgedale, Chattanooga, Tennessee to parents Sarah and R.D. Whitice. By 1910, the family was listed in the U.S. Census as living at 1570 W. 17th Street, in Los Angeles. At that time, Paul was 22 years old, and working as a foreman at a building company, more than likely the same place his father was working, as a contractor. On March 20, 1911, Paul married Alice Marxmuller in Orange County, California. She was 22 years old, and a native of Kentucky, while Paul erroneously listed his age as 28 (he was only 24).  At some point he divorced Alice, although I could not locate the date of their dissolution decree.

By August 10, 1916,  Paul was wed once again, this time to Rosabelle Rimpau. The wedding was quite an affair and the newspapers mention they spent their honeymoon in San Diego. In 1916, Paul built had their first home built on Westchester Place, in Los Angeles but within a year the bank foreclosed on it.

U.S. WWI Draft Registry Records
Paul is mentioned in vital records again, in 1917-1918 for the U.S. Draft Registry records, where he listed his address in Prescott, Arizona, only to cross that address out and add his mother-in-law's address at 1540 N. St. Andrews Place in Los Angeles. Paul was still listed as living with Rosabelle's mother even up until the 1920 Census.  John Wray shared with me that he discovered Paul had some legal troubles even after Paul's home had been foreclosed on at Westchester Place in 1917. In fact, according John's research, Paul had filed for bankruptcy in 1918, after creditors were still hounding him for his debts. During the 1920's he moved his family (which now consisted of one daughter and later a son), around a lot. Paul had moved at least 3 or 4 times between 1921-1927.

When researching Paul's career,  I found that he continued his involvement in architecture and real estate construction.  I found several homes in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Los Feliz that bear his name as either architect, builder or both.

On July 4, 1927, Paul would be found dead in his home at 6517 Country Club Drive in Los Angeles. The newspaper reported that he had played too much Sunday golf and that it was a strain on his weak heart that did him in.  Paul was only 40 years old, and according to the paper his wife claimed he had been a sufferer of health problems for a while.

The newspapers did not fail to mention the fact that there was a poison bottle found in the bathroom, which started rumors that he might have committed suicide. There is no mention of an inquest or an autopsy, just that the "Police and coroner therefore decided that he died from organic trouble."  

There is no further mention as to whether or not anyone contacted Paul's past physicians to verify whether or not he truly suffered from heart related ailments, so all we can go by is the official records filed with the county, that he died from natural causes. But was that really the case?


Santa Ana Register, July 5, 1927


So what do you think?

Is it possible that Paul was depressed and chose to end his life by way of poisoning himself? 

Poison usually is the preferred choice of women, not men. And what would be the reason for him to take his own life? Was he having legal or financial troubles again? Was his marriage on the rocks? 

And if he did commit suicide, did Rosabelle or her family pay off the police and coroner so they would rule it a natural death to avoid any scandal? 

Is it possible that Paul didn't kill himself but instead was poisoned, and the whole thing was covered up? 

Then you must ask yourself, who would have a motive to do this? And why?

Or could the simpler answer, that he died from heart failure, be the right answer all along?

I will leave that for you to decide.


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(Copyright 2017- J'aime Rubio  www.jaimerubiowriter.com)

Thank you to John Marshall and John Wray!

Sources:

Santa Ana Register, July 5, 1927
Los Angeles Herald, June 16, 1920
1910,1920 Census Records
U.S. Government WWI Registry Draft Records (1917-1918)
Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1916
California County Marriages, Orange County & Los Angeles County, 1911 & 1916


Monday, June 5, 2017

A Few of Anaheim Early Residents

What Happened to Paquito? 



Paquito Pellegrin, as seen in this photo, ran Pellegrin P. & Sons in Anaheim, specializing in jewelry and sewing machines. Besides working for the family business, his son Edward managed Reiser's Opera House on Center Street, while the other son Alfred ran the first photography studio in Anaheim.  

Paquito Pellegrin was a native of Switzerland. He married Julie Aubert in Kentucky around 1857. Their union produced two sons, Edward and Alfred. According to genealogy forum posts, his great grandchildren did not know what happened to Paquito or his wife. They believed Julia died in Ohio in 1864, but have no record of death for Paquito. He was a watchmaker in Anaheim, but later he allegedly "got lost" in Nogales, Mexico.


The question is, did he find his way back?

Well, he went to Nogales, but not in Mexico, in Arizona.  In fact, according to newspaper articles dug up by John Marshall, Paquito opened a store there in 1896 in the old Pascholy building. His son, E.J. Pellegrin was to operate a grocery store on one side and Paquito would operate the jewelry/watchmaker store on the other side.  It appears that he remained in Nogales, Arizona for the short remainder of his life. Only one year after opening his store, Paquito Pellegrin passed away on October 23, 1897. 

"The funeral took place from the family residence at the corner of International Street and Morley Avenue, Sunday morning at 9 o'clock. Services were held at the cemetery and many friends of the family were present."-- The Border Vidette, 10/30/1897. 

(Photo taken in 1872, c/o "Anaheim: A Historical Reflection, The Bicentennial Edition, 1776-1976)



Daughter of a Pioneer


Matilda Rimpau was the daughter of Anaheim Pioneer Theodore Rimpau and his wife, Francesca Avila. She was also the granddaughter of Don Francisco Avila, the Alcalde of Los Angeles and one of the richest ranchers Los Angeles.

Interesting fact to note: Don Francisco owned the Rancho Las Cienegas and the the Avila Adobe on Olvera Street (which is the oldest standing house in Los Angeles). 

One of fifteen children, Matilda Rimpau made her own mark in Anaheim's history by being the very first student in the Anaheim school system to earn her diploma, graduating from high school in 1880. Sadly, on August 30, 1893, Matilda was overcome with consumption, passing away at such a young age. She is buried at the Anaheim Cemetery along with other members of her family.



A Picture is Worth A Thousand Years...and this photo shows real love! 




Anaheim residents, 
John Lawson Bryson (3/17/1870-12/6/1913)
& Louella Carrie Anderson Bryson (1867-6/16/1908)

Here is an interesting and heartwarming photo of a happy couple that is buried in the Anaheim Cemetery. I haven't been able to find records as to when they moved to Anaheim but records indicate they died there. John and Louella Bryson both passed away within 5 years of each other, with Louella dying at the age of 41, in 1908, while John died in 1913, at the age of 43. They are buried together and share a joint headstone marker. (photo from ancestry.com)



Captain Andrade - In His Younger Years 








Here is a rare photo of Anaheim Police Captain Marcus Andrade in his younger days. He was a member of the Anaheim Police force for 23 years, serving as a patrolman, Desk Sergeant and Captain. (photo via findagrave)











Anaheim's First Doctor

 Dr. John Augustus F. Heyermann  (born: December 11, 1818 - died: February 1, 1888) Dr. Heyermann wasn't just Anaheim's very first physician, but he was also the first physician in Sonoma County as well. He also operated a drug store that he and friend, Robert Freund started on the corner of 4th and Bryant in San Francisco, prior to his move to Southern California. His marriage to his wife, Sophie was also listed as the very first marriage recorded in Sonoma County on December 21, 1851. Their union produced a daughter, Catharine who in turn grew up to marry Joseph Backs, of Backs and Terry's Mortuary which was located in the original downtown district. Dr. Heyermann remained in Anaheim and was later buried at the Anaheim Cemetery along with his wife who predeceased him by three years. -



Photo sources include: Findagrave; Ancestry.com; the book, "Anaheim: A Historical Reflection, The Bicentennial Edition, 1776-1976"; and the Anaheim Public Library Archives. 

(Written Content Copyright, 2017 -- J'aime Rubio)