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Ventura County









The first nurseryman in Ventura County, O. P. Cook operated on a large scale, gaining a substantial competence, and is now living in his fine home at 795 East Main Street, Ventura, occupied with the supervision of his ranch, which is one of the best in this district. He was born in Connersville, Indiana, February 10, 1860, and when a young man of twenty-one yielded to the lure of the west, coming to California in October, 1881. He first located at Coleta, a few miles west of Santa Barbara, and leased the Santa Barbara Nursery from Joseph Sexton for seven years. He then transferred his nursery stock to the Sexton ranch in the Santa Clara valley of the south, where he developed a business of extensive proportions, and was a pioneer in this field, having for some years the only nursery in Ventura County. In 1890 Mr. Cook bought forty acres of land, a part of the Kile ranch near Montalvo, and resumed the nursery business at the new location. He set out forty acres in nursery stock but removed this in 1900 and planted walnut trees and lima beans. With sixteen inches of rainfall his crops averaged one ton to the acre. In addition to the cultivation of his own land, he leased and later purchased the Truesdale ranch, which gave him one hundred and sixty acres. He now has a walnut grove of one hundred and twenty acres and everywhere the farm reflects the thrift, efficient management and progressive methods of its owner.

On December 30, 1900, Mr. Cook was married in Ventura to Miss Maude White, who was left an orphan in early childhood by the death of her parents, Benjamin and Margaret White, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. Mrs. Cook has membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church and is a zealous worker in its behalf. In recent years Mr. and Mrs. Cook have traveled extensively, making several trips across the ocean, and are now preparing for another long sea voyage. Sailing from Los Angeles they will visit in turn Honolulu, China and India, next going inland to Palestine, thence to the countries of Europe by way of the Mediterranean, and finally returning to the United States. Fraternally Mr. Cook is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has been a member of the lodge at Ventura for a period of forty-five years. He is an exemplary representative of the order and measures up to high standards in every relation of life. Mrs. Cook belongs to the Rebekahs and is serving as president of the Tuesday Club of Ventura. Genial and kindly, Mr. and Mrs. Cook have many steadfast friends in the city and their hospitable home is a center of its social life.




Transcribed by Bill Simpkins.

Source: California of the South Vol. II, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 461-462, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.

2012 Bill Simpkins.