Biography of Charles F. Streight
Riverside County, CA Biographies





CHARLES F. STREIGHT
Very early in the colonization of the new world the Streight family became identified with the rugged pioneers who from the sterile soil of New England wrested a livelihood by dint of unceasing labor. Tradition furnishes only vague information concerning their activities, but it is known that they were intensely loyal to the welfare of the colonies and aided the material development in every way possible. The first to migrate to the unsettled regions west of the Hudson river was Asa, a native of Vermont, born in 1800, who losing his parents at an early age, when six years old was bound out to a man who lived near Elmira, N. Y. Here he grew to manhood and in 1826 was married near Spencer, Tioga county, N. Y., to Miss Lydia Spaulding, a native of that village and together this young couple went to Steuben county and in Wheeler cleared and improved a farm from the heavy timbered land. Here they reared their family and Mr. Streight became a prosperous man for his day and locality. His death occurred at Bath, Steuben county, in 1883, and his wife passed away about 1872. Of their five sons the sole survivor is Charles F., whose name heads this article, and one daughter, Miss Jennie, is still living at Bath, N. Y. The eldest son, well known as the late Gen. A. D. Streight, served as colonel of the Fifty first Indiana Infantry and for a time was imprisoned in the historic Libby prison, from which he made his escape after having suffered all the horrors incident to confinement in that dungeon. He was later given a general's commission.

Born in the town of Wheeler, Steuben county, N. Y., March 10, 1839, Charles F. Streight received a common school and academic education and in young manhood started out to earn his own way in the world, settling in Indianapolis, Ind., where ultimately he became prominent and successful. For some time he carried on a retail lumber business, but later concentrated his energies upon the wholesale lumber business in partnership with General Wood and his brother, A. D. Streight, and specialized in hardwood. After a period of association with General Wood the brothers bought his interest and continued the business under the firm name of A. D. Streight & Brother. The firm operated in Pennsylvania, where they had a large plant, in getting out cherry lumber, also in Vicksburg, Miss., and in Nashville, Tenn., where they owned several sawmills for getting out all kinds of hard woods. These various interests were under the personal supervision of C. F. Streight, his brother having retired from the management on account of ill health. He died in 1892. To facilitate the business Mr. Streight maintained an office and his home in Albany, N. Y.

The extensive and usually prosperous business conducted by the two brothers met with an unexpected reverse when the financial panic of 1892 and '93 brought depression throughout the entire country. Prices were depreciated and losses came with such frequency that Mr. Streight decided to close out the business honorably and promptly. In 1894 he moved to Nashville in order to close out the business there and in Vicksburg, having already done so in Pennsylvania. From Nashville he came to California as a tourist in 1900, spending the winter in Riverside, which impressed him so favorably that he decided to make this his permanent residence and the following year he and his wife settled here; later he purchased a lot on West Seventh street and erected a modern residence. Since his removal to this city he has bought and owned several orange groves and now is the owner of three. He was one of the founders and is president and manager of the Victoria Avenue Citrus Association, which began operations on a small scale with a limited acreage. The annual shipments now reach an average of four hundred and fifty cars and the capacity of the packing house is about a thousand acres. In addition he is now serving as vice president of the Arlington Heights Fruit Exchange.

The marriage of Mr. Streight took place in Wlaitesville, Allegany county, N. Y., in October of 1862, uniting him with Miss Jennie J., daughter of Hiram Ensworth and a native of that county, where she received good educational advantages. No children blessed the union but they have reared to manhood a nephew, James Straight. In 1860 C. F. Streight cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln, since which time he has never failed to support the Repub:lican nominees at all general elections. The years of his identification with Riverside have been filled with activity and have witnessed his increasing devotion to all local interests.

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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