Thursday, October 19, 2017

Who was the Houston in Houston Street?

1912 county plat map detail. East end of Houston St. in orange. (Color added).
Houston Street – once a notable thoroughfare through northern Orange County – was named for the pioneer Houston family, and probably more specifically for citrus rancher Joseph David Houston.

Built sometime between 1913 and 1925, Houston Street ran parallel to (and a bit south of) Orangethorpe Ave. Its western end was on the county line at Carmenita Rd. From there, it extended west to Hansen St. in the Buena Park/La Palma area. The road stopped at that point, but picked up again farther east at Manchester Ave. (the state highway) and continued eastward to its terminus at Euclid Ave. on today’s Fullerton/Anaheim border.

Joseph was born to William and Louise Houston in Centrailia, Illinois, around 1861. It appears that his family moved back and forth between Illinois and Kansas throughout his early years. In 1883, he married Eva Kennedy in Crawford, Kansas.  They had many children, including Rose, Cora, Minnie, Mamie, Eva and William. The family moved to Shiloh, Kansas and lived there for some years before following Joseph’s brother, Samuel S. Houston west to Fullerton in 1902.

Joseph came to own several parcels of land, including twenty acres near what became the southwest corner of Euclid and Houston Street, (about where the 91 Freeway crosses Euclid Ave. today,) and 450 acres in Riverside County. He served on the founding board of directors of the Fullerton Cooperative Orange Association, which was created in 1932. J.D. Houston died in Orange County on July 19, 1941 and is buried at Loma Vista Cemetery in Fullerton.
Photo from by Lesa Pfrommer
What remains of the family’s namesake road is now a string of unconnected segments of Houston Ave. in Fullerton and La Palma and Houston Street in Buena Park. These scattered pieces extend as far west as Harbor Blvd and as far east as Moody Street.

(I did this research at the request of my friends Ron and Elfriede Mac Iver, who are the City of La Palma's local historians. Unfortunately, I've misplaced their email address, so I'm sharing with everyone here.)


SomebodyThatYouUsetaKnow said...

When I was a toddler, my parents lived on Baker, off Gilbert. We were in a secluded cul-de-sac, if Houston had still been going through in ca. 1974 I'm sure the road activity would have gained my attention.

I posted on the OCThen blog about moped shops; as of 2017 Myron's Mopeds is still somewhst active and rapidly approaching its 40th anniversary. When I posted, I had found a 1980 Yellow Pages at the library across from GGHS (found 8 pages of ads and shop listings, sure wish I had a flash drive then). Went back and it was like all history ever started with Clinton's inauguration!

We've lost the Chicken Pie Shop, now it can't be that much longer until we also lose Mexi Casa (in fact I may have to freeze my partially-eaten takeout plate of "1 beef, 1 cheese enchilada" and put it on Ebay in the next few weeks.)Had a bowl of minestrone at the late Salvatore's, partook of something-or-other at "Chicken & Dumplings', Brookhurst/Trask, scarfed my first Chili Fries at Bill's Burgers in Fullerton (rare sighting of my dad on his lunch break, passed by the then-Fender-factory along the way, he was a pressman at Moore Business Forms from 1972-1989), almost too many Naugles and Pup&Taco visits to mention.

After our time on Baker, my mom and I bounced around while she and my dad were exploring their domestic options. My mom briefly dated a race car driver of Hawaiian origin, whose relatives had some kind of interest in a restaurant/theatre? Must have been around when Don Ho was big..."Tiny Bubbles" - still gets her to this day. Since you've got such momentum on the Tiki Bar thing, I'm counting on you to unravel this one

Lastly; moved back into Orange County in 1991 to a tract JSO Chapman Ave, JWO Magnolia. It was unincorporated until the late 1990s, therefore not showing up in any Garden Grove records. The build timeline is 1954/1955, other portions of this tract were annexed earlier (but do not appear in any official GG records)Blame it on Back To The Future, but it would drive me far less nuts to put a name to my neighborhood, and to see the ads and publicity that led to people buying the lots here. If you can't help I'm surely resigned to presenting myself before the buffoons who once gave serious yought to putting a casino in Garden Grove, so I can suggest a name like Las Bolsas Gardens. Not my best, but I don't know what much else to do about it.

(having trouble sync'ing my stuff; try "mopedrescue AT emm ess enn DOT com")

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