Biography of Eli E. Barnett
Riverside County, CA Biographies





ELI ESLEY BARNETT
Abundant evidence of the opportunities afforded by California to young men of energy and ambition is demonstrated by the successful but unostentatious career of E. E. Barnett, who for years has ranked among the leading ranchers and stockmen of Riverside county. When he came west he had no capital except the rugged constitution and willing industry of youth. The family had been in humble circumstances and the unremitting toil of the farm was void of a mother's presence, she having died when this son was a small child. She was a woman of self sacrificing devotion and a native of Pennsylvania, while the father, Adrian D. Barnett, was born in Kentucky, and the paternal grandparent was a native of Virginia. For a considerable period the father remained in Illinois and developed a farm in Hancock county, where his son, E. E., was born on June 14, 1852, and where he received a common school education. In the hope of improving their financial condition father and son came west during 1869 and settled in California, where the former died in 1884.

E. E. Barnett early located in Sutter county, near Yuba City, where he worked out for $1 per day and by frugal hoarding of his small wages he accumulated a working capital for future use. His next location was in Ventura county, where he remained for fourteen years, meeting with some discouragements but still forged his way ahead in a gratifying degree. In 1884 he removed to Los Angeles county, bought property and made that the family home for about seven years. He had become interested in investments in Riverside county, which impressed him by reason of the climate and soil advantages, and having purchased forty acres near Temecula he removed hither in November, 1894, and since then has increased his holdings until at this writing his estate aggregates thirteen hundred acres of grain land, and now he is also developing water by sinking wells for irrigation purposes preparatory to going into the alfalfa industry. The raising of cattle and horses has been one of his specialties and during 1910 and '11 he sold over $10,000 worth, netting him a fair profit. To this stock industry he has added the raising of hogs and is meeting with good success. When Mr. Barnett located upon his property it was devoid of any improvements whatever and now several substantial outbuildings and a thirteen room house with fences, trees and water developed make it one of the best in this part of Riverside county from a productive standpoint.

The marriage of Mr. Barnett, solemnized May 13, 1875, united him with Miss Alica A. Stevens, a native of Iowa. Her parents, Anson and Ann Rebecca (Betz) Stevens, natives of New York and Ohio respectively, came to California during 1869 and settled in Ventura county, removing to Los Angeles county in 1875, where the mother died in 1885. The father, who is a veteran of the Civil war, is still living at his home in Garden Grove at the age of eighty four. At the outbreak of the war the father left home to enlist in his country's cause, leaving his wife and four small children, and during his absence she endeavored to make a living for them. Hearing that her husband was very ill at a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Mrs. Stevens left her children with her mother and departed for the front to nurse her husband back to health if possible, spending three months there and returning with him to Iowa. Two years later, upon the advice of physicians, who said be could not stand another winter in that climate, Mr. Stevens disposed of all his belongings and with his family came to California. Arriving in San Francisco, from there they took a boat to Santa Barbara, landing in lighters and were rowed to shore, and from there went to Ventura county, arriving with no money and Mr. Stevens in ill health. Almost immediately upon starting for the west his health gradually came back to him and he is now hale and hearty. His good wife, who had nursed him back to health and who had been untiring in her devotion to him and her children, gradually failed in health and passed away in Tustin, aged but fifty one years. Unremitting toil and hardships endured through many trying years shortened her life. She was a Woman of sterling qualities and these were imbued in her children, of whom four daughters and two sons are still living, three having passed away in this state. Wherever Mrs. Stevens made her home she endeared herself to a wide circle of friends, who respected her for her many good qualities and kindnesses shown others less fortunate than herself.

In fraternal relations Mr. Barnett has been connected with the blue lodge of Masonry and at one time held membership in the Odd Fellows. Mrs. Barnett, who has been a decided factor in her husband's success, has been a leading local Worker in the Rebekahs and the Eastern Star, while the latter organization also has had the benefit of the membership of one of her daughters, Mrs. Lena Crouch. The three eldest sons are all members of the blue lodge of Masons.

Of the children comprising the family we mention the following: Marcus E., who married Julia Ganahl, has one son; Cipher L. married Jennie Thompson and with their three sons they reside at Uplands; Adrian B. was united in marriage with Ysabel Gonzalez, a native of California, and with their son are residents of this county; Sarah A. is the wife of C. H. Clogston of Murrietta and titer have three sons and three daughters; Myrtle married R. S. Rorihaugli, and is the mother of one son and two daughters; Pearl is the wife of J. E. Rorihaugh and the mother of two sons; Lena married R. S. Crouch, and with her daughter makes her home with her parents, as do the two youngest children, Anson A. and Ruth F. The sons and daughters inherit much of the energy and perseverance which have brought success to their parents and the entire family has a high social standing in the county as well as a deserved agricultural prominence throughout this section of the state.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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