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Orange County









            Henry van der Leck, an honored native son and lifelong resident of southern California, has made his home in San Juan Capistrano since 1910 and is widely known as one of the prominent and influential citizens here.  He was born in Los Angeles, California, December 14, 1859, his parents being Lorenzo and Frederica van der Leck, the father a native of Schleswig-Holstein.  Lorenzo van de Leck went to South America in the early days and eventually came to Los Angeles from Chile where he became a successful merchant and owner of extensive vineyards.  He passed away at Los Angeles in the year 1883.  To Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo van der Leck were born two children: Henry and Mrs. Caroline Lenz, the latter a resident of Los Angeles.

            Henry van der Leck acquired his education in public and private schools of his native city and graduated with the first class from the Los Angeles high school in 1875.  He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1879, and subsequently read law in San Francisco for a few years.  However, because of failing eyesight, he had to put aside his books and worked in the hardware business for some time.  He was successfully engaged in this field in Los Angeles for eighteen years and on the expiration of that period turned his attention to the insurance field.  It was in 1910 that he took up his abode in San Juan Capistrano, where he still supervises the cultivation of a few acres of citrus trees.  He is very fond of gardening.  He resides in a beautiful old Spanish adobe on Main Street that was built more than a century ago and is one of the historical landmarks of the community.  Mr. van der Leck has acceptably filled several public offices in San Juan Capistrano, is now secretary of both water companies and is also secretary and manager of the Walnut Growers Association.  Fraternally he is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

            In 1888 Mr. van der Leck was united in marriage to Miss Georgie Mott, who represents honored pioneer families of California, being a daughter of Thomas D. Mott and a granddaughter of Jose Sepulveda.  Mr. and Mrs. van der Leck are the parents of four children, the eldest being Lawrence, who married Miss Dorothy Daniels and is a resident of Altadena, Los Angeles County.  Chonita is the wife of Dr. H. P. O’Neill and the mother of two children, Frank and Hugh Henry.  Dr. and Mrs. O’Neill reside at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, where the O’Neill family has been represented for nearly two centuries.  Viola van der Leck became the wife of William S. Lentz, of Detroit, Michigan, and they are the parents of a daughter, Chonita.  Hallock van der Leck married Miss Agnes Harrison, of San Francisco, and to them has been born two children, Hallock and Mary Georgie van der Leck.




Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 437-438, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis.  1933.

© 2012  V. Gerald Iaquinta.