The history of Imperial County, California

It is related of Lord Byron that when a boy in school he, with his fellows, was required to write a paraphrase of the Biblical account of the miracle of turning water into wine; within a few moments he handed to his teacher this line: "The conscious water saw its God and blushed." Nothing could have been added which would have strengthened or added beauty to the matchless setting.

May we not, in humble imitation of that great genius, say of Imperial Valley: Its fruitful soil was caressed by the wasting water of an unregarded river and blossomed in perennial beauty? The magic touch of the life-giving water was not an accident. It followed the most intense and unremitting efforts of big brained, big souled men, who wrought under such difficulties and discouragements as would have daunted smaller men. What heroes they were, and how richly they deserve the crowns today so grudgingly bestowed, but which the future will surely bestow upon them.

And the pioneers who located the first ranches and planted the first crops who can fitly write their heroic annals? Who tell of their privations and sacrifices which resulted in making life within the magic borders of Imperial Valley the priceless heritage of man? Standing today by the grave of that infant civilization which blossomed, amid such hardships, upon a desert, we would fain lift the veil and see the unthought-of transformation which fifty years will bring. Even in infancy, a colossus, a giant, what will the years bring to this wonder land? It deserves a better, wiser, abler historian than any man alive today can be.


Table of Contents


Chapter I
History of Imperial County I

Chapter II
Formation of the Colorado Desert 82

Chapter III
Early History of Imperial County 97

Chapter IV
Irrigation 154

Chapter V
Educational 159

Chapter VI
Religious 167

Chapter VII
Library Development 177

Chapter VIII
Agriculture 184

Chapter IX
Horticulture 192

Chapter X
Imperial County Farm Bureau 198

Chapter XI
Medical History 209

Chapter XII
Journalism 219

Chapter XIII
Transportation 224

Chapter XIV
Banking 227

Chapter XV
Chambers of Commerce 233

Chapter XVI
Fraternal 238

Chapter XVII
Architecture 243

Chapter XVIII
Federation of Women's Clubs 246

Chapter XIX
Woman's Christian Temperance Union 257

Chapter XX
Imperial 264

Chapter XXI
Calexico 269

Chapter XXII
Brawley 272

Chapter XXIII
Holtville 274

Chapter XXIV
El Centro 279

Chapter XXV
Seeley 286

Chapter XXVI
Calipatria and Niland 287

Chapter XXVII
The Mud Volcanoes 291

Chapter XXVIII
Live-Stock 293

Chapter XXIX
The Northern District of Lower California 296


Biographical 311


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But this work is devoted to the southernmost point of the state known as Imperial County, which is the youngest and newest county of the great Pacific Commonwealth, having been formed in 1907 from the eastern portion of San Diego County.