A pioneer rancher of Ventura County and one of its successful walnut growers, David Darling stimulated the development of his district along many lines, and at the age of seventy-three years is now living largely retired on his farm near the city of Ventura. A native of Scotland, he was born in Ayton, Berwickshire, April 16, 1859, and his parents were David and Charlotte (Renton) Darling. At the age of fifteen he left school to aid in the operation of the home place and under his father received thorough training in agricultural pursuits.
As a young man Mr. Darling yielded to the lure of the new world and came to California, renting two hundred acres of the Sudden Ranch near Saticoy, Ventura County. He specialized in the raising of hogs, and in the early days experienced the hardships incident to frontier life, on several occasions narrowly escaping death from the attacks of wild boars. In 1891 he removed to his present place on Telegraph Road, purchasing a tract of forty-seven acres, and gradually added to his holdings. He is now the owner of a ranch of one hundred twenty-five acres, devoted to the growing of walnuts, and has one of the best groves in this locality. Closely studying soil and climatic conditions in this region, he utilized the most effective methods in the cultivation of his land and was one of the first agriculturists to prove that beans could be grown successfully in Ventura County. His ranch is improved with good buildings and the equipment used in its operation is thoroughly modern. Mr. Darling is a member of the board of the Walnut Growers Association of Saticoy and has done much to advance the standards of agriculture in his part of the state. Also capable of successfully conducting business and financial interests of importance, he contributed materially toward the improvement of this district while serving as president of the Saticoy Development Company. Formerly he was vice president of the Farmers & Merchants Realty Association and a director of the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Santa Paula. He is now a member of the board of the First National Bank of Saticoy, also a director and vice president of the Union National Bank of Ventura, and his name is a valuable asset to these institutions, which have profited by his wisdom and foresight.
In 1888 Mr. Darling was married in Scotland to Miss Eliza Edington Simpson, a native of Glasgow, but educated and reared in Ayton, Scotland; two children were born to them. The daughter, Eliza, an alumna of Stanford University, became the wife of H. H. A. Hastings, Jr., a graduate of the University of Washington, and they reside on a fine ranch in Los Angeles County; they have two children, Douglas Darling, and Erminie Jean. The son, David Darling (III), a veteran of the World War, is cultivating a tract of four hundred fifty acres and also operates the old Darling Ranch. He married Josephine Beckley, by whom he has two children, Eleanor Jean and Jo Ann.
Mr. Darling is an Elk, belonging to the Lodge at Ventura, and his political allegiance is given to the Republic Party. With his wife he has made several trips to Scotland and in recent years they have toured the world, visiting places of modern and historic interest. Deeply attached to the country of their adoption, they are in complete accord with American ideals and institutions and have no desire to change their place of abode, regarding California as one of the finest states in the Union. Mrs. Darling is a member of the Ebell Club and the Poinsettia Club at Saticoy and an earnest worker in behalf of the Foster Memorial Hospital. Like her husband, she is ever ready to cooperate in movements destined to prove of benefit to their community and both are highly esteemed by the residents of Ventura and the surrounding district.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 465-467, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.