San Diego County
JOSEPH A. WARREN
Practically the entire lifetime of J. A. Warren, who has reached the Psalmist’s allotted span of three score years and ten, has been spent within the borders of San Diego County, for he was brought to the Campo district when a child of two. Here he owns a ranch embracing about thirteen hundred acres and is also the proprietor of the famous Warren Hotel. He was born in Texas, January 10, 1863, his parents being pioneers of the Lone Star state. The father was killed in one of the engagements of the Civil War. The mother subsequently married again and her death occurred in Arizona about 1917.
J. A. Warren, as stated, was but two years of age when in 1865 he was brought to San Diego County by his mother, who took up a tract of land in Campo that is a part of the present finely improved ranch of our subject. He acquired his early education in the pioneer schools of the county and participated in many stirring events in the early days; he carried the mail on horseback over this wild and undeveloped region when a youth of twelve years. With the passing years he has prospered greatly, in line with the admirable development of the Imperial Valley, which has become one of the garden spots of southern California. An earlier biographer wrote: “Mr. Warren made good improvements on his land, which he made the scene of successful ranch industry, and his home became a favorite stopping place for those passing through the Imperial Valley in the days of travel by stage. With the splendid progress that has been made in the civic and material development of the fine valley in later years, the Warren ranch has fully upheld its popularity in the entertainment provided for tourists and travelers, and the property is now on the main highway, so that gradually a definite hotel business has here been developed, especially since the automobile has become the main medium of transportation, the result being that the name of Warren’s ranch signifies the best of service to guests, both in attractive lodgings and in food that is most inviting in both quantity and quality, the place being notable for genial and generous hospitality. The spacious ranch house has rooms for twenty guests, and on the place is maintained a thoroughly modern garage and filling station for the use of guests and travelers by automobiles.” The modern café conducted in conjunction with the Warren Hotel is presided over by Mrs. Nora Hemme, daughter of J. A. Warren. The Warren ranch is a fine domain of about thirteen hundred acres, and is devoted to diversified agriculture and stock growing, with an average herd of one hundred head of cattle as well as a number of hogs. “Not to know him and his ranch,” said a contemporary biographer of Mr. Warren, “is to argue oneself unknown in this locality, and the friends of the Warren family are in number as their acquaintances.”
In 1885 Mr. Warren was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Garner, of San Bernardino County, and they are the parents of five children, as follows: Mrs. Nora Hemme, whose husband died in 1931 and who has one daughter; Frank, who is married and is in charge of a district in the San Diego County Road Department; Clara, who is the wife of H. C. Oakland and the mother of two daughters and a son and who resides in Chula Vista, San Diego County; Ralph; and Bertha, a resident of San Diego.
Naturally, Mr. Warren has taken deep interest in everything touching the civic and material progress and prosperity of his home county, and he is essentially liberal and public-spirited. In addition to being a deputy sheriff of San Diego County, he has served many years as a trustee of his school district, and he has long been numbered among the prominent, representative and highly esteemed citizens of this part of the state.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 595-597, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.