San Diego County
CLARENCE ANTHONY SOPER
††††††††††† Progress has even been the watchword of Clarence Anthony Soper, who owns and operates the Soper Ranch and Resort in the Matilija Canyon, five miles from Ojai, and is one of the foremost orange growers of southern California.† He was born on his present ranch on the 9th of May, 1881, a son of P. W. and Sarah E. (Sharp) Soper, the former a native of Canada and the latter of Nebraska.† The father came to the Ojai Valley as a pioneer of 1874 and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of wild land in Matilija Canyon, securing eighty acres across from the home place for three thousand, four hundred dollars, and some years later his son Clarence bought back the tract for seventeen hundred dollars.† The father was a carpenter and cabinet-maker by trade but after locating on this land he followed the occupation of farming, and ran a threshing machine in the valley.† However, in the early days he made coffins when they were required by the settlers in his district.† He planted ten acres of oranges on his ranch.† Later he went to the valley with his son Clarence and for twenty years they cultivated the Miner Ranch, specializing in the raising of grain.† The fatherís upright, useful life was brought to a close in 1914 and his passing brought deep sorrow to those who knew him.† The mother is living, making her home with a son, who resides in Ventura, and another son lives in Ojai.† Mr. and Mrs. P.W. Soper were the parents of five children, of whom four survive:† Mrs. Clara A. Patrick, of Tracy, San Joaquin County, California; and William D., Martin Leonard and Clarence Anthony Soper, all residents of Ventura County.
††††††††††† Clarence A. Soper attended the public school of this locality and until his fatherís death assisted him in all his farming activities.† About 1917 he returned to the home ranch and on his tract of one hundred and sixty acres established an attractive resort for both summer and winter guests.† He has fifteen cottages which contain stoves for heating, electric lights, and also a provision store is maintained on the place.† This has become a favorite vacation and resting spot for many who desire ideal surroundings for their recreation.† Recently Mr. Soper purchased a string of saddle horses, providing his guests with the best means of enjoying the many fine trails in this district.† The water from Wonder Spring on his ranch is bottled under the name of Mountain View is sold all over the valley.† The Mission oranges grown on his ranch he packs in small boxes, sending them to Los Angeles hotel men, who sell them to their guests for shipment east.† These oranges, the finest grown in California, are shipped not only to many points in the United States but also to Great Britain and from their sale Mr. Soper derives a substantial addition to his income.† He is an alert, enterprising businessman whose plans are carefully formulated and who carries forward to a successful issue everything that he undertakes.†††††††††
††††††††††† In 1923 Mr. Soper was married to Miss Jessie Catlett Kellogg, a native of Santa Barbara and a member of one of its pioneer families.† Deeply attached to his native county, Mr. Soper has watched with keen interest each step in its development, in which he has played an important part, and belongs to that class of men who make their private enterprises public assets.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 305-306, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,† Indianapolis.† 1933.
© 2012 †V. Gerald Iaquinta.