Biography of Thomas J. Reynolds
Riverside County, CA Biographies





THOMAS J. REYNOLDS
Adversity furnishes the final test of character. With discouragements on every hand to retard progress, only the man of determination rises supreme over every obstacle and achieves success in the face of seeming defeat. It was the fate of Mr. Reynolds to meet discouragement in youth and whatever of success he has achieved, whatever of prominence he has gained, may be attributed to his own indomitable perseverance. Destiny gave him to an old southern home, impoverished by the Civil war, sunken in fortune, but retaining in the midst of poverty the refined tastes of the aristocratic class. In a brave struggle to attain independence he had many obstacles and more than once lost his little all, which forced him to start anew in the world. It was as a day laborer that he earned his first money after he came to California and even after he had risen to a more responsible position he still found the pathway of progress strewn with difficulties. Eventually he became one of the leading business men of Arlington and here he still remains, honored and esteemed for the persevering industry with which he has labored.

Born in Dooly county, Ga., June 8, 1861, Thomas J. Reynolds is a son of Fielding and Mary P. Reynolds, members of old southern families. On account of the impoverishment of the community by the Civil war he had meager educational advantages and he left school in order to help his father on the home farm. In 1884 he started out to make his own way in the world, his first location being Eustis, Lake county, Fla., where he bought an orange grove. Untimely frosts, however, made the venture an unprofitable one and in 1889 he disposed of the property, after which he came to California to start again in the world. For two years he was employed as a laborer with Frost & Burgess and for three succeeding years he had charge of a large ranch at Palm Springs, Cal., from which place he returned to Riverside and assumed the management of the Home Nursery Company's property at Highgrove, a suburb of Riverside. After resigning that position in 1893 he secured employment with other parties and for a time was employed by the late Hon. J. A. Hewitt. Going next to Redlands, he had charge of a ranch owned by George Frost of Riverside and for two years continued in that capacity.

Upon his arrival in Arlington, Riverside county, Mr. Reynolds secured employment as a clerk in the Ormsby retail grocery and continued in that position until 1900, when he bought out his employer. From that time he was prospered until, through no fault of his own, he suffered a heavy loss. On the 12th of July, 1910, the explosion of a lamp in a neighboring shoe shop burned down that building and his own as well, leaving him a heavy loser by the catastrophe. Since then he has engaged in the hardware business at Arlington. A large circle of friends bears testimony as to his honorable dealings in business, his courtesy as a neighbor, his accommodating spirit as a friend and his enterprise as a citizen, while in the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which he belongs, he is regarded as a conscientious Christian and a generous helper in all religious measures. The cause of prohibition has appealed to him with especial force and has induced him to give support to the party pledged to its enforcement, for he believes the indiscriminate sale of liquors to be one of the greatest detriments to national advancement. His family consists of wife and daughter, the latter, Blanche, now a student in the Riverside high school. His wife, Ella (Tisdale) Reynolds, a lady of genial manner and unfailing tact, is a native of Ware, Mass. She came to Riverside prior to her marriage, which occurred on June 1, 1892.

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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