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Orange County










            Anaheim mourned the loss of a beloved pioneer in the passing of Mrs. Marie H. Dwyer, who died as the result of an automobile accident on the 10th of May, 1933, when seventy-one years of age.  Marie L. Horstmann, as she was known in maidenhood, was born in June, 1862, in Anaheim, Orange County, California, in a dwelling located adjacent to the present Pioneer House.  She was reared and educated in Anaheim, and the property on which she resided throughout her life was part of the original sixteen acre tract her father bought from Christian Mosseman, while in San Francisco, before colonists came to settle here.  Mr. Horstmann came with others subsequently, and set out a vineyard.  He died in 1867.

            Marie L. Horstmann became the wife of John J. Dwyer, a native of Connecticut, who arrived in California in 1905.  Mr. Dwyer has been a successful orange grower for many years, is a director of the Anaheim Citrus Fruit Association and also a director of the Anaheim First National Bank.

            We quote from a review of the career of Mrs. Dwyer which appeared in the Anaheim Gazette at the time of her tragic death:  “Mrs. Dwyer throughout her life has been associated with civic, church and charity work of the community.  She was particularly interested in the history of Anaheim.  Some of her recent work included acting on a committee appointed two months ago by the city council for selection of a fountain in the city park in memory of Mrs. Clementina Langenberger, who left money for the gift; taking an active part in the Diamond Jubilee celebration in September, 1932, when she unveiled the marker installed at North and Los Angeles streets; and numerous private charities.  In 1929 she installed the monument to Anaheim pioneers in the cemetery, and in 1928 deeded property at the corner of Sycamore and North West streets, just across the street from her residence, to the Mother Colony Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, where the first residence built in Anaheim was moved and now is known as the Pioneer House.  She also contributed many of the furnishings, all original heirlooms of settlers, to the chapter.

            Mrs. Dwyer was associated with St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and throughout her life took an active interest in its work.  Rev. D. Howard Dow, rector, states that records of thirty-five years ago show that she headed a committee which raised money for church activities, and she contributed some of the windows that now are in the building.  She was a member of the Sunday-school classes when a girl … Over a period of about five years, Mrs. Dwyer worked on the original minutes of the Los Angeles Vineyard Society, founder of the Anaheim colony.  The minutes were written in German.  She translated them for the Anaheim Union Water Company, and they have been running in serial form in the Gazette for the last seven months.

            Even in death the charitable spirit of Mrs. Marie L. Dwyer manifests itself.  The widower, J. J. Dwyer, who acted upon the oft-expressed wish of his wife, requested that no flowers be sent to the funeral.  His statement said:  ‘No flowers requested in accordance with expressed opinion of Mrs. Dwyer that friendship be shown by donation to charity.’  Hundreds of friends see in the statement a continuance of the unostentatious charity for which Mrs. Dwyer was particularly noted.”  Mrs. Dwyer was buried in the family plot at the Anaheim Cemetery, not far from the impressive memorial which she erected in 1929, entirely from her own funds, in memory of Mother Colony pioneers, among whom were her parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Christian Horstmann.




Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 239-240, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis.  1933.

© 2012  V. Gerald Iaquinta.