San Diego County
CHARLES H. CAMERON
Charles H. Cameron, United States customs inspector at Campo, is a native son of California and a representative of a family whose name has been closely identified with the history of this great commonwealth for more than four score years. He was born near the city of San Francisco, November 6, 1863, his parents being Thomas R. and Mary Catherine (Lee) Cameron, whose marriage was solemnized in one of the eastern provinces of Canada. The father was Scotch and the mother of English lineage. Thomas R. Cameron became a pioneer of California, in which state he and his wife arrived in the year 1851 and established their residence on a ranch near San Francisco. Mr. Cameron was for some time carpenter on river boats at Yuma, Arizona, and thence came to Lower California, where he conducted a stage station for the Staley-Capron Stage Company, which ran through to Nogales, Arizona, this being before any wagon roads had been constructed in the portion of the United States bordering on Mexico and Lower California. He had varied pioneer experiences in that section, where he remained several years. In 1868 Thomas R. Cameron came with his family to San Diego County and took up a tract of land near Campo. This property he improved and developed as a productive ranch, first running sheep and later cattle. Both he and his wife were residents of Campo at the time of their death, passing away in the years 1917 and 1920, respectively. They were the parents of two sons: Charles H.; and George W., who still maintains the home ranch comprising approximately six hundred acres, and runs a number of fine cattle.
Charles H. Cameron was about seven years of age at the time when the family home was established in San Diego County, where he was reared to adult age and where he was afforded the advantages of the public schools of the period. Prior to entering government service in 1906 he gave his attention principally to stock raising and blacksmithing, and finally he was made immigration inspector, in which position his service was largely in San Diego County, California, and at Douglas, Arizona. He resigned from the immigration department in 1911 and subsequently entered the United States customs patrol service. His command of both the Spanish and English languages has been of great value to him in this district. For many years prior to the introduction of the automobile he rode the border on horseback, and he is known far and wide as an honest, fearless and capable official. In August, 1914, he was appointed deputy collector and inspector of customs at Campo, and later he was advanced to his present office, that of mounted inspector at this point. There are two patrolmen on his staff. Writing of Mr. Cameron, a contemporary biographer said: “He is one of the efficient and popular government executives in the county that has represented his home from boyhood, and his official duties have gained him an especially wide circle of acquaintances and friends in this section of the state. He has had no desire to enter the arena of practical politics, but is found arrayed as a staunch advocate of the basic principles of the Republican Party.”
Mr. Cameron was twenty-eight years of age at the time of his marriage to Miss Rachel Dukes, who likewise was born and reared in California, and who was about twenty-six years of age at the time of her death. She is survived by three children: Mabel, the wife of C. R. Collins, of San Diego; Amos, who entered the nation’s military service at the time of the World War and is now a resident of Mexico; and Pearl, who is the wife of J. W. Wood and resides in Iowa. The second wife of Mr. Cameron, who bore the maiden name of Manuela Salazar, passed away leaving five children, namely: George A., who is in the employ of the San Diego & Arizona Railway; Charles F., who is head of the Merchant’s Patrol of San Diego; Thomas W., at home; Mrs. Julia McClister, of San Diego; and Henry, who is at home with his father.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 317-319, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.