San Bernardino County
A resident of southern California for thirty-seven years, William Lindenberg spent most of that period in Redlands, and with the history of the city’s growth and progress his name is inseparably associated. As a result of his labors land that was covered with greasewood and sagebrush was converted into orange groves, fruit orchards and beautiful drives, and today tourists share with the citizens much that his work, supervision and care gave to Redlands. Mr. Lindberg was a pioneer orange grower in his district and a recognized authority on matters relative to the production of citrus fruits. He not only developed, but he saved from extinction many groves. His advice was always followed and it was freely given, benefiting the new growers and those of long experience.
Born in Hildesheim, Germany, January 21, 1845, Mr. Lindenberg attended school there until he reached the age of fourteen, when a combination of circumstances terminated his studies in the class room, but through subsequent reading, travel and observation he secured a good practical education. Leaving the fatherland in 1864, when nineteen years of age, he sailed for America and in St. Louis, Missouri, joined an older brother, Frederick Lindenberg.
It was in 1876 that William Lindenberg came to California. He first located in Los Angeles but a year later decided to make his temporary home in San Bernardino. There he followed the occupation of farming until 1880, when he removed to Redlands, and in the Lugonia district [sic] purchased twenty acres of land, setting aside a portion of it for the growing of deciduous fruit, while the remainder was planted in oranges. Many of the orange groves in this productive section were set out by Mr. Lindberg, who was also a reconstructionist, purchasing groves which had been neglected, and through constant care transformed them into productive properties, which he later sold to advantage. He likewise superintended the planting and care of a one hundred acre tract on San Bernardino avenue [sic]. Subsequently he located on the Williams tract [sic], leaving flourishing groves of oranges on the Lugonia ranch [sic]. Following the removal he set out a grove and built a modern residence, which was his home for ten years. On the expiration of that period he purchased a lot on the Terrace, an exclusive residential district of Redlands, improved the property and in 1903 his attractive new home was completed. In this dwelling, set in the midst of beautiful grounds, he resided until his death on December 13, 1913.
In his home life Mr. Lindberg was most fortunately and happily situated. On the 6th of February, 1873, while living in Missouri, he married Elvira McCullough, who was of Scotch decent, and her death occurred on November 14, 1929. She had become the mother of three children: Christine, a graduate of the Redlands high [sic] school [sic] and an accomplished musician; Henry, who died at the age of eighteen; and Beatrice, who also attended the local schools. The daughters still occupy the beautiful home at 12 Terrace avenue [sic] in Redlands. They attend the Congregational Church and are members of the Woman’s Club of Redlands. Miss Christine Lindberg is a director of the community Music Association and of the wonderful bowl at Redlands, the scene of notable concerts in which the foremost musicians of the country take part. The mother was a pioneer member of the Holiness Church and a woman much beloved by all who knew her.
Mr. Lindberg was a Congregationalist in religious belief and a sincere Christian. Of him it was said: “When he passed away the community lost one of its best citizens, one who had from the first a vital interest in its material growth and adornment, one who sought to maintain the high character of its citizenship and who left visible monuments of his love for the beautiful in which the esthetic and the practical were so deftly blended…
“It was not alone as a grower that Mr. Lindberg will be long remembered by the generation which was his in the city of his adoption, for he was one of the most public-spirited citizens Redlands has ever known. In the early days level headed, broad-minded men were needed, men who had the vision to see what the future held, if they were only wise enough and courageous enough to grasp the opportunity. He was consulted on many of the early problems of the city and his advice was accepted always, the result being success in all such undertakings. His honest, upright principles and charities made him early known as a worth-while citizen, and in his long life he stood out as one of Redlands’ most dependable, reliable and prominent men. He is today cited as an example of what a man may become if he is blessed with the perseverance, intellect, moral courage and hearty will possessed by Mr. Lindberg, but unfortunately, such men are rare. He passed into eternity loved by his family and friends, respected and honored by the city he had served so long, so freely and so well.”
Transcribed by Jeanne Turner.
Source: California of the South Vol. II, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 341-343, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 Jeanne Turner.