LYCURGUS S. WILSON
That opportunities were not lacking in Riverside during the early period of its development no less than during
the present era of horticultural and commercial activity is proved by the gratifying degree of success which has
rewarded the efforts of Mr. Wilson, a pioneer of 1886 in this city and the owner of a well improved ranch of twenty
five acres. At the time of his arrival he was without capital and had a growing family dependent upon his exertions.
Previous efforts to earn a livelihood upon a Missouri farm had not brought their merited fruition in accumulated
capital and he therefore sought the West with the hope of improving his financial circumstances. The outlook at
the first was not especially encouraging. For three years he worked at a compensation of $50 per month, an amount
that seemed scarcely sufficient for the sustenance of his family, but with frugal thrift they saved a portion of
the earnings and this formed a basis of his subsequent acquisitions of land.
The encouraging degree of success secured by Mr. Wilson may be attributed to some extent to habits of self reliance
and industry formed in a boyhood singularly lacking in opportunity. Educational advantages were limited; indeed,
his broad fund of information has been acquired mainly through his personal efforts. Born in Platte county, Mo.,
August 20, 1845, he lived the busy, uneventful life of a farmer boy and had no experience in boyhood more thrilling
than his association of two years with the Missouri State Militia during the Civil War. About the time that the
war ended he took up agricultural pursuits for himself and for a long period he remained in Platte county, meanwhile
serving as justice of the peace and becoming well known as a broad minded, high principled citizen.
The presence of a brother in law in Riverside caused Mr. Wilson to gain considerable information concerning the
country prior to his removal hither. After he had worked for others from 1886 until 1889 he then rented land and
in two years netted $2600 over and above his expenses. Thus he was enabled to buy property and he then acquired
the land at West Riverside which he still owns. Since then he has devoted his attention to the improvement of the
tract. Ten acres are in oranges in full bearing condition and of the choicest quality. There are also peaches and
apricots to some extent, but he has found the deciduous trees less profitable than the citrus fruits, hence he
specializes with the latter. The first house on the place was built of adobe and while it proved to be comfortable,
its appearance was less attractive than the present modern residence, which with its environment of shade and ornamental
trees delights the eye of the visitor.
In Platte county, Mo., October 9, 1870, occurred the marriage of L. S. Wilson and Cordelia I. Smith, who was born
in Dearborn county, Ind., and removed to Missouri with her father, G. B. Smith, settling in Platte county. The
young couple settled on a farm near Platte City and engaged in general farming there until 1886, the year of their
removal to California. They are the parents of nine children, namely: Mrs. Alice Pulley, who lives on a ranch in
San Bernardino county; Myrtle, wife of James Carrington, a business man of Riverside; James H., a rancher by occupation;
May, Mrs. F. E. McBride, who lives on a ranch at West Riverside; Elva J., Mrs. Philip Smith, of Riverside; Roscoe,
who is earning his own way in business; Lora, wife of Henry Davenport, a rancher at West Riverside; Raymond S.
and Oscar. who remain with their parents.
The principles of progressive Republicanism receive the stanch support of Mr. Wilson, who throughout his active
life has maintained a warm interest in public affairs and taken an active part in local politics. Besides a service,
previously mentioned, of eight years as a justice of the peace in Waldron township, Platte county, Mo., he has
officiated in Riverside county as a justice of the peace, also as deputy county clerk and deputy assessor. For
twenty five years he has made his home in Riverside and during twenty three years of that time he has been identified
with the Riverside Lodge, I. O. O. F., besides which he has taken a leading part in the work of the Encampment
and Canton. Wonderful changes have been made in the city and county since he came here and in this transformation
it has been his privilege to assist, so that he has become known as a man of tried integrity and worth and a citizen
of progressive spirit.
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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