JOSEPH M. OLDENDORF
A Teutonic origin would be indicated by the name of Oldendorf as well as by the genealogical records, but it is
a matter of history that several successive generations have been identified long and honorably with the development
of the new world. Established in the first immigration near the shores of the Atlantic ocean, they followed the
westward drift of civilization and settlement and Joseph M. Oldendorf was born in Illinois, whither his parents,
Philip and Fannie Oldendorf, had removed during the period of frontier development. Born at Mount Carmel May 27,
1855, he attended the public schools of his native village and in 1871 left the high school within a month of the
time he would have graduated. Later he attended the business college at Evansville, Ind., and at the expiration
of one year received a diploma from the institution.
Practically the first employment secured by Mr. Oldendorf was at Indianapolis, Ind., where he secured a position
as clerk in 1876 and remained until 1882 connected with a leading mercantile house. During the last named year
he came to California and settled at Riverside, where for one year he gave service as zanjero with the Riverside
Water Company. On resigning that position he bought ten acres at No. 247 East Central avenue and immediately settled
at the new purchase. From that time to the present he has remained at the same place, meanwhile making improvements,
and in 1904 adding to the property by the purchase of an orange grove of ten acres adjoining his original grove.
When he came here seven acres of the ten had been planted to seedling oranges and these he grafted with navels
of the choicest varieties, also planting the balance of the grove in the same kind of orange, so that he finally
acquired a property producing fruit of the most select grades. It has been his pride to maintain a high class of
improvements and to keep the grove in a condition not only financially remunerative but also artistically attractive.
The grove is said to be one of the finest in the district and its deserved reputation may be attributed to the
owner's constant labor and sagacious judgement.
The religious views of Mr. Oldendorf are in accord with the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church and he has his
membership with that congregation in Riverside. It has not been his policy to mingle in public affairs or participate
in political conventions. Aside from voting the Republican ticket he has no part whatever in politics, but civic
movements of non partisan origin meet his approval and secure his cooperation, when once he is convinced of their
ultimate value to the community. Nothing perhaps interests him more than do educational matters. He believes the
future prosperity of our country depends upon the proper education of the masses and in his opinion the poorest
child, as well as the moist wealthy, needs the very best educational preparation possible in order to meet life's
exigencies. Holding this theory, he was willing to accept a position as a member of the board of school trustees
and for six years the schools of Riverside had the benefit of his intelligent supervision and wise cooperation.
While making his headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., in November of 1881 he married Miss Minerva Josephine Barrett,
by whom he has three children. The eldest, Jesse B., a graduate of Annapolis Naval Academy, is in the United States
Navy. The two youngest, Frances and Beatrice, have had superior educational advantages in California, supplemented
by attendance at an exclusive seminary at Graves End, London, where they were students for one year.
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
Riverside County, CA
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