Biography of Alexander E. Orton
Alameda County, CA Biographies





ALEXANDER E. ORTON
One of the outstanding construction concerns of the East Bay district is A. E. Orton Master Builders, Inc., which has erected many of the finest and most attractive homes in this locality. A E. Orton, president of the company, is himself a master builder and to his initiative ability, original ideas and enterprising spirit is largely due the phenomenal success which is attending the enterprise. Born in London, England, on the 8th of May, 1889, he is a son of Ernest Robert and Fanny Elizabeth (Lewrence) Orton. His father came to the United States in 1880, remaining here for a number of years, and then took a trip around the world, covering a year, after which he located in Canada, where he remained about two years. He then returned to England, where he and his wife are living.

Alexander E. Orton attended the public schools of his native city and then went to Canada, where he took a course in civil engineering at the University of Toronto. He served a long apprenticeship at the building trade, and for a number of years was with Sir Blunder Maples. He then did some contracting and served as superintendent of construction until 1914, when he took a trip to Europe and spent about three months at his home. On his return to this country he located in San Francisco, where he served as chief engineer and master mechanic for a large company until 1920, when he came to Oakland. At that time, because of financial reverses, he had a cash capital of less than twenty five dollars, besides which he owned a small automobile. He sold the car and made payment on a lot on Sixty fifth avenue, on which he built a small house, and from that beginning he has steadily advanced in the building business until today he is recognized as one of the leaders in his line in the district. He has built over two hundred homes, employing a large force of men, and also now owns a mill in which he manufactures all interior finish and other material which he uses in his building operations. He has also superintended the erection of a number of large buildings, and during the World war was in charge of the construction of cantonments at the Presidio, San Francisco, having fifteen hundred men under him. In 1918 Mr. Orton, in association with C. C. Morris, incorporated the A. E. Orton Master Builders, the object of which was to meet the demand that one responsible firm should be able to handle with equal efficiency all types of construction, including stores, apartments, garages, warehouses, super service stations and office buildings, as well as large and small homes. The company is also able to offer a complete building service to the prospective builder, from drawing plans and specifications and furnishing estimates to financing the building. Because of the fact that every detail of construction is handled by one firm, maximum quality and efficiency can be had with the minimum of cost.

Mr. Orton was united in marriage to Miss Emily Elizabeth White, of Canada, and they are the parents of two sons, Alexander and Robert. Mr. Orton is a member of Burlingame Lodge, No. 400, A. F. & A. M.; Oakland Consistory, A. A. S. R.; Aahmes Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Sciots, No. 2, of Oakland, and also the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. In his younger days Mr. Orton took an active interest in athletics and while in school held the quarter mile running record, and was an expert socker player. He gives close attention to the business of which he is the head, in the management of which he has shown sound judgment, and in all of his affairs has been guided by the highest business ethics, so that he commands the confidence and respect of all who have dealt with him.

From:
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928


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