|In the spring of 1877 the George Chaffey, Sr. family
arrived in Riverside, California. A son, William, bought two ten-acre lots
numbered 7 and 8, Block 14, from the Riverside Land and Irrigation Company on
June 20, 1877. The 1880 census recorded George Chaffey, Sr. age 62, his wife Ann
age 57, a son William age 25, William's wife Hattie age 25, and their
two-year-old son. George Sr. and Ann also recorded another son, Charles age 20,
and a daughter Emma. Their other two sons, George B. Chaffey, Jr. and Dr.
Elswood Chaffey, had not yet moved to California.
George Chaffey, Jr. came to California in 1881 and one
day rode with his brothers William and Charles across the Santa Ana River over
the area that was to become Ontario, Upland, Alta Loma, Cucamonga and Etiwanda.
A large portion of this land was owned by Captain Joseph S. Garcia and his
associates. On Thanksgiving Day in 1881, George and William met Captain Garcia
at his home in Section 28, T1N, R6W (Etiwanda) and agreed to buy his home and
560 acres of land in Sections 28 and 32 T1N, R6W for $30,000.00. This also
included Garcia's interest in the water rights of Day Canyon and the creek on
the East. Book 27, Page 388. Recorded January 10, 1882, San Bernardino
This purchase was the beginning of a whirlwind of
activities. The time was ripe after many years of slow development in the Valley
for a new idea. The idea was the creation of a Mutual Water Company whose
members shared equally in the available water. The land was subdivided into
ten-acre agricultural lots with a share of water for each one acre. A land boom
was on in Southern California and the Chaffey's arrived at the most appropriate
They also purchased 640 acres in Sections 33, T1N, R6W
and 167 acres in Section 5, T1S, R6W from the Southern Pacific Railroad. This
Company owned every other section of land through the Valley that had not been
previously sold. The Chaffey's hired Mr. J. C. Dunlap to survey and map their
purchases. They contracted with Mr. N. W. Stowell to manufacture and install
miles of concrete pipe made in his pipe yard in the area. They also bought other
land as time passed, but not nearly as much as some nearly maps indicated.
On March 22, 1882, George Chaffey, Jr. and William
Benjamin Chaffey created the firm of Chaffey Brothers whose principal place of
business was Etiwanda, California. They also appointed each other as their
attorney to act for each other. The Etiwanda Water Company was organized by them
and incorporated May 8, 1882, with C. Newton Ross, Thomas Hendry, R. A.
Cunningham, C. F. Chaffey and George Chaffey as Directors.
They borrowed from their Father on March 22, 1882,
$9,300.00 and mortgaged several lots and 37 ½ inches of water. This was repaid
on November 13, 1883. They sold a half interest in the unsold portion of
Etiwanda Colony Lands to James and Samuel Birch on June 1, 1883 for $22,500.00.
This was repaid on February 18, 1884. On May 7, 1884 they sold their interest in
the unsold land to the California Land Improvement Company for $125,000.00. Book
377, page 485. This Company had been organized on May 8, 1883.
Book 42, page 500. George H. Roe, Charles H. Howland, S. Wilson Church, William
Howland and Frederick Eaton Directors. Mr. Roe lived in San Francisco,
Mr. William Howland in Saint Louis, Mosouri, and the other three in Los Angeles
which place was the principal place of business. The purpose of the business was
buying or developing water rights and land for resale.
|The Chaffey Brothers were later, in 1882, to purchase
a large tract of land that became Ontario and Upland. This was also surveyed,
streets laid out, pipes installed by Mr. Stowell, the San Antonio Water Company
was formed and a school was started. They were most successful in their
promotion and sales for the next four years as a land boom was flourishing in
California. In late 1885 and early 1886 the Brothers George and William had been
persuaded to move to Mildura, Australia and start a much large project. Charles
Chaffey remained in California taking care of the Brothers' interest.
The Chaffey Family in 1890