Biography of Thomas P. Drinkwater
Riverside County, CA Biographies





THOMAS P. DRINKWATER
Long identification with the horticultural interests of Riverside county coupled with habits of close and intelligent observation have enabled Mr. Drinkwater to acquire a knowledge of lands and soils surpassed by few people in this portion of the state. This information he utilizes in the prosecution of the business of a real estate agent, which calls for thorough information in regard to the country and the values of different tracts. While centering his activities largely in the vicinity of Corona and making a specialty of sales in this, his home town, he does not limit his transactions to the locality, but has on his list of realty a large number of fine places in other communities. For a time he has had a real estate office in Los Angeles in the Byrne building, where he may be found in the intervals of his outside activities and where in his absence his youngest child and only daughter, Miss Mary L., the bookkeeper, takes charge of all business affairs.

In coming to Southern California in 1887 Mr. Drinkwater made a radical change of location, for he is a New Englander by birth, ancestry and education and belongs to a family that for generations labored honorably and well in the material development of Maine His parents, Isaac and Betsy Drinkwater, were lifelong residents of Maine and made their home in Penobscot county west of the river of that name, where, notwithstanding the handicap of rigorous winters and sterile soil, they made a livelihood for their children and gave them also fair educational advantages. At the old homestead in Etna, Penobscot county, Thomas P. Drinkwater was born April 1, 1850, and from there he went to the neighboring country schools, later attending the high school of South Levant, in the same county. After he had discontinued his studies in 1867 he began to work on a farm and continued at the occupation for two years, when, feeling that permanent residence there and continuation in the vocation of agriculture would be uncongenial, he sought the factory centers of Massachusetts. The first step he took was to learn the trade of shoe making at Brockton and he remained in that city, rising from a humble position to one of responsibility, for a long period of busy years.

When, eventually, a growing dissatisfaction with the returns from his energetic efforts began to turn the thoughts of Mr. Drinkwater toward a new location and different occupation he decided to seek a home in Southern California and the year 1887 found him resigning from his position in the Brockton factory and traveling westward toward the Pacific coast. Upon his arrival in Riverside county he was fortunate in securing immediate employment. For a long time he was engaged in planting twelve thousand acres of orange and lemon groves for various individuals and firms in Corona and Riverside. With the savings of previous years he invested in forty acres in the Corona colony and this tract he planted in lemon and orange trees. The cultivation of the grove and the harvesting of the chops occupied his attention profitably and pleasantly, but finally he gave up horticulture and since November of 1910 has acted as a real estate agent for owners of groves in this locality.

During the period of his residence in the east Mr. Drinkwater established home ties, his marriage at Brockton being solemnized in November of 1879 and uniting him with Miss Mary F. Bickford. Of this union three children were born, namely: Alfred F., twenty eight years of age and now engaged in ranching in Arizona; George H., twenty five years old, and now holding a position as street car conductor in Los Angeles; and Mary L., previously mentioned. In fraternal associations Mr. Drinkwater holds membership with the blue lodge of Masons and the local camp of Foresters, while politically he gives his allegiance and ballot to the Republican party. Of genial disposition and affable, companionable temperament, he has won a large circle of friends during the long period of his residence in Riverside county and at the same time by his intelligent activities he has risen to prominence in horticultural and business affairs.

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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