Tustin Area Museum Collections

Early Pioneers Section

Tustin's Early Pioneers

Some of the earliest pioneers in the new city of Tustin.
  • Columbus Tustin: Born in Pennsylvania, came to Petaluma in 1849, married Mary Cleveland, they had five children. In 1868, along with Nelson O. Stafford, bought 1,359 acres of Ranch Santiago de Santa Ana on which to establish Tustin City. Moved his family here in 1870 and started selling lots.
  • Charles Edward (C.E.) Utt: Parents, Lysander and Avilia, came here in 1872. Ed grew up here, became a rancher/developer/businessman/civic leader. Married Mary Sheldon and they had five children. Owned Tustin Water Works, established Utt Juice Company, president of the First National Bank, helped organize Tustin Union High School District and much more.
  • Lysander Utt:  He and his wife, Avilia, came here in 1872. Built a hotel at the corner of Main and D Streets which became the L. Utt Grocery Store.
  • Sarah (Mrs. Charles) Weaton Wilcox: shown here in 1889, came here in 1873 with her husband. Their home, called “The Villa”, at 310 Pasadena St. Wilcox was one of the first to plant oranges in this area. He was one of the founders of First National Bank.
  • John Dunston: His father, James, came to Tustin in 1875 and ranched on the north side of 17th St at Yorba. John was a rancher with 50 acres of apricots and oranges. He was Vice President of the First National Band and Director & President of Santa Ana Valley Irrigation (SAVI).
  • Family of Caroline Downs:  Clockwise (at top): George, postmaster 1894-98; Elva, second wife of Hiram K. Snow; Cynthia, married Hiram K. Snow, came to Tustin in 1877; Henrietta, married P.T. Adams, came to Tustin in 1877.
  • Coralinn (Mrs. James S.) Rice:  The Rice’s came here from Cleveland in 1887. He was the brother of Mrs. James Irvine. Prominent couple in business, ranching, and social circles. Famous locally for musical talent.
  • Alderman Family (1895): Delmer and Ida Alderman came here in 1878. Children Alton and Ethel were born here. Alton established Tustin Hardware Store in 1912.
  • George Edward Preble:  Came to Tustin in 1876 to build a house for his uncle, Samuel Preble. He moved here in 1878. Married Lucetta Gerry, had five children. Was a rancher until 1884, then became one of Tustin’s finest contractor/builders. He was also an architect, drew his own plans. Second wife, Mary E. Wells, had one child.
  • David Hewes:  He was prominent in San Francisco and local history. He came to Tustin in 1881. He built a larger home at 350 South B Street. Owned a large ranch in El Modena and North Tustin. He donated the golden spike for the transcontinental railroad.
  • Charles Bowman:  Came here at age ten in 1881 with his parents, William D. and Ella G. Bowman. They raised peanuts, watermelons, and six children. Edgar, a photographer, Charles, a fumigator/rancher, Homer, a businessman in L.A., Melville, a rancher, and Olive.
  • Horatio Augustus Allen: Shown in 1895, came to Tustin in 1886, married Emma German, had three sons: Lucius, Augustus, and Gerald. Prominent rancher with a total of 80 acres in walnut and oranges. Ranch located at Main and what is now I-55
  • Martha (Mrs. Sherman) Stevens:  Daughter of lumberman Horace C. Snow. Married Sherman Stevens in 1887. He was a wealthy businessman/rancher who helped develop Lemon Heights and, with Utt and Irvine, established San Joaquin Fruit Company. Lived at 228 West Main Street in a classic Queen Anne Victorian.
  • Dr. James Patton Boyd:  Came to Orange County in 1888, lived in Santa Ana. Practiced medicine in both Santa Ana and Tustin. He made house calls. Many Tustin natives remember him because he neglected to register their births.
  • Harriet Buss: Shown in 8th grade graduation dress in 1893. Daughter of Edwin D. Buss, a director and cashier of Tustin’s first bank. Her mother, M.E. Buss was the first woman on Tustin school board of trustees, 1889-1895
  • John W. and Hazel Sauers:  He came here in 1897, built a home and ranch on Yorba St. between 1st and 17th Streets. He married Hazel Rowley, daughter of a prominent Santa Ana businessman. They raised two children, Laurene and John. They had 40 acres where they raised apricots and walnuts.