Orange County









            John Cubbon, deceased, was one of the earliest pioneers of Santa Ana, where he made his home for sixty-tree years and figured prominently in many phases of community life.  He was born at Castletown, Isle of Man, June 15, 1848, being the only child of Robert and Ann (Faragher) Cubbon and a descendent of the old historic Manx family.  He acquired his education in private schools and was a young man of about twenty years when in 1868 he crossed the Atlantic to the United States.  From New York he proceeded to Isthmus of Panama and thence up the coast to San Francisco, where he landed on the 8th of May, 1868.  He first obtained employment as a farm hand in the Sacramento valley, taking this opportunity to accustom himself to the ways of the new land, and in the fall of 1869 went to San Diego, there remaining for one year.  It was in 1870 that he came to what is now Orange County and began farming here, but his first experience was not encouraging, for the grasshoppers ruined his crops.  In 1871, in partnership with Robert McFadden, he established the first port packing industry in Santa Ana and also conducted a dairy business on South Main Street.  Undismayed by the failure of his first farming venture, Mr. Cubbon purchased land south of Santa Ana and while residing thereon bought and improved two other ranches.  In 1887 he sold the three ranches and bought his home place in Santa Ana.  In addition to this property he owned sixty acres nearby.  He was one of the first to sow grain on the San Joaquin ranch and raised barley on an extensive scale there and at El Toro.  Moreover, he was largely instrumental in the organization of Santa Ana Walnut Growers Association, of which he served as president for three years and was a director from the beginning until the time when he quit ranching.  While Orange was still a part of Los Angeles County, Mr. Cubbon was appointed deputy county assessor and served in that capacity for four years, the two counties being separated during his last year in office.  In the early days he rendered efficient service as road overseer, opening up and building roads that have been invaluable in the general development and growth of the county.  In 1910, he was one of the organizers and became president of the California National Bank of Santa Ana, which opened its doors for business the following year.  At the time of Mr. Cubbons’ arrival in Santa Ana in 1870, the town had been founded for little more than a year and contained but a few wooden houses.  With the passing years he witnessed its growth to a city population of thirty-five thousand, and no citizen of Santa Ana was held in higher esteem by his host of friends and by those whom he benefited.  He, with M. M. Crookshank and George Minter developed the south part of Santa Ana.  He was one of the first to set out an orange grove on Lemon Heights and develop that section, having over eighty acres in oranges and lemons.  Besides his ranching interests, he accumulated several business buildings which he developed into modern structures.  A man of charitable and philanthropic spirit, he rendered timely and generous assistance to many in a quiet, unostentatious way and withheld his support from no movement or measures calculated to advance the welfare of the community.  Many years ago Cubbon Street was named in his honor, against his wishes, by Ed Tedford, then city clerk.

            In September, 1875 Mr. Cubbon was married to Miss Catherine Kelly, a native of the Isle of Man, who died in Santa Ana, California, November 11, 1897.  The four children of this union were as follows:  William R., of Balboa, California; Elmer B., a resident of Brawley, this state; Catherine Elizabeth, who is the wife of Clarence Skiles and resides at 902 French Street, Santa Ana, where she and her husband lived with her father for many years prior to the latter’s death; and one son who died in infancy.  Miss Margaret Ore, a niece of John Cubbon, also resides at the family home at 902 French Street.  Mr. Cubbon also had three grandchildren, namely:  Mrs. Margaret Ege, of El Centro, California; Mrs. Catherine Siegel of Newport Beach, California, who has a son, John Siegel, Jr.; and Hazel Cubbon, of Brawley, California.  There are also relatives living in the Isle of Man.

            Mr. Cubbon was a republican in politics and fraternally was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to both the subordinate lodge and encampment.  He was also a member of the Sunset Club of Santa Ana and the Episcopal Church, and was one of the organizers of the Orange County Auto Club.  He enjoyed the warm friendship and high regard of all with whom he came in contact in the varied relations of life.  John Cubbon died on the 2nd of February, 1933, in his eighty-fifth year.  His passing was deeply mourned and his memory will ever be cherished in the hearts of those who were near and dear to him.




Transcribed By:  Michele Y. Larsen on March 9, 2012.

Source: California of the South Vol. II,  by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 167-169, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,  Indianapolis.  1933.

© 2012 Michele Y. Larsen.