Los Angeles County







MCCARTHY, JOHN HARVEY, California Real Estate and Land Operator, Los Angeles, California, was born in San Diego, California, May 4, 1870; his parents being Daniel O. and Amanda (Anderson) McCarthy. At Santa Ana, California, he was married to Mary Patterson, daughter of a distinguished family. A son, William Harvey McCarthy, blessed this union August 2, 1906.

Mr. McCarthy was educated by a private tutor, and in the San Francisco schools. He attended Laurel Hall Military Academy at San Mateo, California, until 1887, at which time he left to prepare for a business career.

In 1888, D. O. McCarthy organized a large mercantile firm, taking his son J. Harvey in partnership, and opened with headquarters at Siempreviva, California. After three years of successful life, Mr. McCarthy yielded to the lure of journalism, and selling his interest in the mercantile business, he located in San Diego, and established the “Morning Vidette,” a live news sheet, which he published profitably for several years.

Mr. McCarthy, with wonderful foresight, recognized Los Angeles as the coming metropolis of Southern California, so disposing of his San Diego interests, he came to Los Angeles where he immediately became an important factor in realty operations.

He was a charter member of the Pioneer Investment & Trust Company, active operators in financial and realty circles of Los Angeles, and was elected its President and General Manager. Due chiefly to its executive head’s energy and ability, this concern opened several valuable residence subdivisions in the path of the city’s greatest growth. Among these were the University Place of eighty acres in the Southwest; Windermere, in the Western end of the city, and Cresta Del Arroyo, in the Boyle Heights section. These districts are among the valuable residence properties of Los Angeles, and are lasting monuments to the foresight of the men responsible for their promotion and development.

Still retaining his seat on the directorate of the Pioneer Investment Trust Company, Mr. McCarthy organized and became President and General Manager of the Planada Development Company, incorporated under the laws of California, with the object in view of establishing a model city and farming community. Several thousand acres in Merced County, on the main line of the Santa Fe Railroad, were purchased and development work commenced at once. The building of a model city was started, after plans prepared by Wilbur David Cook, an expert of international reputation on municipal matters. In a year from its start, Planada had a bank, a $50,000 hotel, electric lights, water system, graded, curbed and palm-lined streets, schools, public parks and playgrounds, and scores of comfortable houses—an enviable record for new towns—made possible by the energetic methods of Mr. McCarthy and his associates. On the farms surrounding Planada, experiments were constantly being made by an agricultural expert in Mr. McCarthy’s employ, and the results applied to benefit Planada farmers so as to assist them in getting increased production.

Several months later, the Planada Development Corporation, with a capital of $500,000 was organized to take over the Planada Development Company in order to increase its efficiency, and Mr. McCarthy was elected President of the new corporation. Planada has risen from a barley field to a city and its farms to an important place among the food-producing regions of the State, in a little more than a year from the day Mr. McCarthy stood on the ground for the first time and recognized its possibilities.

Mr. McCarthy is also Vice president of the Bank of Planada and Vice President of the Planada Water Company—both positions carrying much responsibility and requiring an efficient and energetic man to administer them.

In the Democratic party of California, Mr. McCarthy is a power—having been a Delegate to the St. Louis Convention in 1904 that nominated Alton B. Parker for president. He is a close personal friend of William Jennings Bryan and has entertained him several times on occasion of his visits to California. Although prominent in polities, he has declined several times to run for various important offices.

Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy are prominent in Los Angeles and Southern California social life and their palatial residence is often the scene of brilliant social functions.


Transcribed 2-9-11 Marilyn R. Pankey.

Source: Press Reference Library, Western Edition Notables of the West, Vol. I, Page 589, International News Service, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta.  1913.

© 2011  Marilyn R. Pankey.