OSCAR P. COOK
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
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.
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