While Los Angeles emerged during the 1880s from its acknowledged position 

as an unruly frontier town, the economy of the city and its hinterland remained 

primarily agrarian.  Throughout the decade agriculture provided the primary 

source of income for Southern Californians, as it had during the Spanish and 

Mexican eras.  Even within the city it was a major occupation.  

    By 1880 the leading farm commodities in Southern California in terms of 

dollar value came from vineyards and citrus orchards.  Los Angeles County had 

over 5 million bearing vines, with 1.3 million inside the city limits.  Orange 

trees in the county that had reached bearing age {from six to ten years} 

numbered nearly 200,000, more than five times the count in 1870.  

    The wealth of the region was largely agricultural.  The total value of farm 

land, buildings and equipment reported in the 1880 census exceeded $12 million 

compared to only $1 million invested in manufacturing.  Even manufacturing was 

geared toward agriculture, producing goods for the local farm economy or 

processing farm commodities.  As early as 1870 Los Angeles wineries were worth 

$350,000, more than double the value of all other manufacturing plants in the 


    The "Boom of the 'Eighties" is usually told in terms of the rapidly 

escalating price of city lots and creation of an inordinate number of 

townsites, but the permanent population increase throughout the county largely 

resulted from creation of a growing number of ten and twenty acre farms, carved 

out of much larger holdings that remained from the days of the ranchos.  Towns 

that sprang up during that decade were nearly all agriculturally oriented, 

dependent upon the farmers around them for their prosperity.  Thus it was not 

surprising that letters to the editor dealing with economic matters focused on 

agriculture, its problems and prospects.

                      A) THE THREAT TO THE ORANGE GROVES

    At the beginning of the 1880s one of the state's largest citrus groves,  

which had grown from the initial two acres of oranges planted by William 

Wolfskill in 1841, was located within the city between San Pedro and Alameda 

Streets, and extending from Third to Sixth.  Across Alameda from the Wolfskill 

grove Matthew Keller had planted an orchard in 1853 on part of his 70 acres, 

and the D. H. Bliss orchard faced Alameda and the Wolfskill property just north 

of Keller's grove.  A few blocks away on Aliso Street Jean Vignes had 

transplanted trees from Mission San Gabriel in 1834 to create the area's first 

private grove.  

    Wolfskill enlarged his orchard by planting 2000 trees in the mid-'fifties 

though only 32 were bearing fruit in 1856.  By 1860 he had over one hundred 

acres in oranges, and for years his orchard was one of the state's most 

prolific producers.  John Hittell, in his survey of California resources, 

estimated that in 1862 two-thirds of the state's citrus trees were on the 

Wolfskill property.  

    After Wolfskill's death in 1866 supervision of his orchard passed to his 

son Joseph.  Under his direction the Wolfskill grove sent oranges by train to 

the eastern market in 1877, the first such shipment from California.  

    During the 'sixties and 'seventies there was a rapid expansion of orange 

production.  Orchards and vineyards dominated the southern regions of the city, 

particularly between the river and San Pedro Street.  In other parts of 

Southern California the break-up of vast holdings and the collapse of both the 

cattle and sheep industries, followed by a vineyard blight in what is now 

Orange County in the early 1880s, stimulated the planting of orange orchards.  

    The 1870s also saw the introduction of the Washington navel orange, an 

import from Brazil by way of the Dept. of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.  Two 

young trees reached Riverside in 1873 and had produced their first fruit by 

1876.  Seedless, the navels were propagated by budding them onto existing 

seeded root stock.  With introduction shortly thereafter of the valencia, which 

matured later in the season than the navel, California was in a position to 

supply the nation with citrus fruit much of the year.  

    As the decade of the 'eighties opened, orange production had spread 

throughout Southern California and reached new records both in acreage and in 

dollar value.  J. Albert Wilson, writing in 1880, reported that orchards and 

vineyards surrounded Los Angeles on every side and extended within the city 

limits.  A chart produced by the Southern Pacific Railroad revealed the rapid 

development of orange groves in the San Gabriel Valley, from 1300 acres in 1877 

to 2200 acres in 1879.  The 132,000 trees growing there in 1879 nearly doubled 

the 1877 total.  Yet less than 30,000 had reached fruit bearing age.  

    But during the 'eighties citrus production in the city peaked, then rapidly 

declined.  Two factors are cited as responsible for this sudden reversal.  One 

was the great influx of tourists, settlers and speculators brought west by 

increasing competition between the Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe after the 

latter line reached the city in 1885.  The price of a ticket to Los Angeles 

from eastern points fell dramatically and travelers by the thousands streamed 

in.  Lured by the climate and swayed by the skilled tactics of developers, they 

snapped up land and drove up prices to a point where farmers and orchardists 

were unable to resist the temptation to sell their land at huge profits.

    Coupled with this was the sudden appearance of a new orange pest, Icerya 

purchasi, the cottony-cushion scale, that entered the state in the 1860s from 

its home in Australia, brought in with nursery stock.  Commonly known as the 

white scale, it threatened to decimate orange orchards as it spread southward 

from groves near San Francisco.  Experts were not in agreement regarding the 

remedy and by the beginning of the mass eastern migration to Southern 

California in the mid-1880s the citrus industry stood on the edge of ruin.  

    With speculators urging growers to sell at prices far beyond what most of 

them had paid, and with the value of their groves in terms of orange production 

in doubt, orchardists were sorely tempted to take their profits from land sales 

rather than continue what seemed to be a losing battle with the scale.  

    LETTERS FROM THE PEOPLE revealed a great division among those most 

concerned about the survival of the industry.  "W. E. D.," cautioning against 

the destruction of the city's orange groves, realized that the blight 

threatening the orchards came from more than just the cottony-cushion scale.  

His letter was not, however, the first notice that urban life was encroaching 

on the city's groves and vineyards.  On Feb. 12, 1869 the Los Angeles Daily 

News had reported with pleasure:

              The unprecedented advance of real estate in Los Angeles 

         during the past year has given an impetus to enterprise that 

         is fast making it a very active city.  The demand for lots is 

         great and the prices paid are high....  That productive vines 

         fifty years old or upwards should be taken up, wine cellars 

         removed, and bearing orange trees in considerable numbers be 

         uprooted for the purpose of making room for those who must 

         have houses to live in, and lots upon which to build them, is 

         an evidence that enterprise, so long slumbering in Los 

         Angeles, is now awake, and determined to keep pace with the 

         demand of the times.

    "W. E. D." was very likely William E. "Billy" Dunn, city attorney in the 

late 19th century, legal counsel for the transit operations of Henry E. 

Huntington and Moses Sherman, and a founding partner in what became the 

prestigious law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.  Both Dunn and future 

partner Albert Crutcher had arrived in Los Angeles in 1885 and invested in real 

estate.  Dunn's warning, in late summer, 1887, came as the real estate boom was 

already running out of steam.  It ended abruptly a short time later, though 

scholars do not normally cite the issue raised by "W. E. D." as one of the 

factors in the sharp decline in land prices that followed.

                        {Times, Sept. 16, 1887, p. 12}

               Protest Against the Destruction of Orange Groves.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         desire through your columns to call the attention of your 

         readers to what I consider a most important matter.  I refer 

         to the destruction of the beautiful orange groves throughout 

         the city, by what seems to be the most stupid neglect.  Acres 

         and acres of the finest semi-tropical trees are dying in the 

         Longstreet and many other tracts for the lack of a little 

         water and cultivation.  A few owners have saved their trees 

         but by far the great majority are letting their property go 

         to destruction.  On all sides I hear from our Eastern 

         visitors expressions of amazement and disgust at the short-

         sightedness of our lot-owners.  It is a painful fact that in 

         a brief period our orange groves will become a blemish, 

         instead of what they have been before, the pride of our city.

              I am engaged in the real-estate business, and I would 

         say to all lot-owners who are thus neglecting their places, 

         that they are making a fearful mistake.  It is my experience 

         that lots covered with dead and dying orange trees are almost 

         unsalable. Many will find when it is too late that their lot 

         speculation has proved a failure for this reason alone.  The 

         city will furnish through the ditches a half day's water to 

         anyone for $1.25.  Plenty of men can be found to do this 

         irrigating for $2.  For this trifling sum your property can 

         be saved.  When our Eastern visitors come pouring in this 

         winter you may depend upon it they will turn away from the 

         neglected and weed-overgrown lots, covered with dead trees, 

         and put their money in more promising localities.  The 

         prospect is so startling that I hope the most urgent efforts 

         will be made to bring lot owners to their senses.  There is 

         no time to be lost.  Many of our best groves are ruined, and 

         many more will be in two or three weeks.  Let us "turn over a 

         new leaf" at once and show that our boasted enterprise has 

         some foundation.

                                                   W. E. D.

    State Inspector of Fruit Pests W. G. Klee, whose title reminds one of the 

overly-detailed bureaucracy of the French monarchy, echoed the concern of "W. 

E. D."  Implied in his argument, however, was the necessity of collective 

action, which might mean by direction of the state.  That was not a view that 

appealed to all orchardists.

                          {Times, Oct. 7, 1887, p. 2}

                                   A Warning


              Los Angeles, Oct. 6.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         have spent the last week in looking over the various parts of 

         this county, so rich and varied in its resources.  Everywhere 

         I hear the carpenters' busy hammer, and the most wonderful 

         activity is being displayed in building hotels, developing 

         water, etc.  Town after town is springing into existence, but 

         with it, alas! the once beautiful orange orchards and 

         vineyards are going to destruction.  Orchards on which 

         thousands of dollars have been spent, which but a short time 

         ago were the pride of the owners, are falling victims to the 

         merciless King "Boom."  His retainers are the scale-bugs and 

         all insect pests the vegetable kingdom is heir to.  In vain 

         does the bona fide fruit-grower protest against the invasion 

         of the merciless destroyer.  The avalanche that rolls on him 

         awes him, and before he knows it he succumbs to the apparent 

         tempting pecuniary offers of the real-estate man, gives up 

         his home and enters the field of speculation.  Thus the fever 

         of money-making, having started from Los Angeles and 

         Pasadena, now reaches out far into San Gabriel and Santa Ana 

         Valleys.  I know many will say, "Hear the voice of the 

         croaker; these things will right themselves after awhile, and 

         don't amount to much after all.  The money is here, and will 

         come until all this country is settled up.  We have our 

         climate, the glorious sunshine, which even scale-bugs cannot 

         deprive us of."  True, but this is becoming rather stale.  

         Although the majority of the people come here for their 

         health, they also come here with the expectation of making a 

         living, and the industry which invariably is held up to them 

         by the untiring real-estate man is the fruit industry, and 

         especially that of growing of citrus fruits.  Unless there is 

         called a halt soon, and people awaken to the necessity of 

         preserving the orange and lemon orchards, it will soon be a 

         difficult matter to show the intending settler a healthy and 

         profitable orchard in this county, and the goose that has 

         been laying so many golden eggs will die.

              I am well aware that the white scale is one of the most 

         difficult insects to fight.  I know that thousands of dollars 

         have been spent on it, and that many people have become 

         discouraged trying, chiefly because there was no concert of 

         action.  Whatever remedies are used, they must be used 

         thoroughly, nor will one remedy suit every case, all of them 

         will be failures unless everybody is willing to help.  People 

         must be prepared for a little sacrifice in their gardens to 

         help the common cause.  People not directly interested in 

         fruit-growing must remember that the prosperity of this 

         country is largely due to the orange; that it has been the 

         emblem of Southern California, and that they are called to 

         defend it.  We hope that in the coming meeting on Saturday 

         the fruit-growers will show their presence in sufficient 

         numbers to assert their rights.  We hope to be able to 

         convince people, that in the newly-discovered gas remedy may 

         be of great service to the fruit-grower.

              Still it will need the ingenuity of the Yankee to make 

         it more simple and easy in its applications, and it will also 

         need capital to handle it successfully.  To discuss these 

         matters, we ask the presence of the fruit-grower, as well as 

         everybody else interested in the welfare of the county.  I 

         am, yours truly,

                                                     W. G. KLEE.

                                    State Inspector of Fruit Pests.

    To control the scale and other pests, the legislature instituted the first 

state plant quarantine in 1881 and that same year Los Angeles County 

established its Horticultural Commission, consisting of three members.  While 

commissioners had authority to serve an abatement notice on property infested 

with noxious insects, that power could be enforced only if some citizen had 

filed a complaint.  A change in the law in 1889 permitted the commission to act 

on its own initiative.     

    Unwilling to rely on state action, some orchardists sprayed, others 

fumigated, hosed the trees down with cold water, white-washed the trunks or 

even hand painted each individual leaf in some cases - all with mixed results.  

Growers who relied like W. Blanchard on spraying were concerned about the great 

cost involved and sought a means to reduce the expense and to make sure that 

what they did was not negated by neighbors who failed to take any action. 

                          {Times, May 11, 1889, p. 6}

                            Save the Orange Trees.

              Los Angeles, May 8.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  Are 

         we going to let the red and white scale bugs destroy all of 

         our orange orchards or not?  That is a question that ought to 

         receive some attention from the Supervisors of this county.  

         In the past three years there have been over $3,000,000 worth 

         of trees destroyed, and if something is not done to check 

         this pest there will not be an orange orchard in this county 

         in five years more, and it is and was the golden fruit that 

         attracted the attention of the people of the United States, 

         and it is a sin for us to let the orchards die.  There is 

         nothing that a man can make so much money out of as a good 

         orange tree or orchard if he takes care of it, and if the 

         fruit is clean. I sold my oranges from 1500 trees for $2700 

         net this year, and my next crop will be much larger if I can 

         keep the scale down.  I have had some 80 trees that had the 

         scale last spring, and this spring I can only find 18 that 

         have any scale, and what are left are the white scale.  That 

         goes to show that by work the scale can be checked so that 

         they will not do much harm.  It will not do much good for a 

         man to spray his trees once or twice, but go for them 

         whenever you see one of them, the same as you do with the 

         gophers.  Every man that has trees should have a spray pump 

         and keep it ready for use.  There are a good many washes that 

         will kill the scale, but most of them will hurt the trees or 

         fruit.  The only one I find that does not hurt the trees or 

         fruit is Compere's.  The trees that I sprayed with this wash 

         are the brightest and healthiest in my orchard.  I sprayed 

         some of my trees with caustic soda and resin wash, but it 

         marks the fruit badly and makes the trees look yellow, and 

         they don't bloom this year, while all the balance of the 

         trees did.  But the orchard on the south side of mine is full 

         of scale, and it should be somebody's business to see that 

         such places are cleared up.  Suppose the county spends a few 

         thousand dollars?  For every thousand they spend they will 

         save a million to the county.

                                                    W. BLANCHARD.

    Klee had recognized the expense involved in eradicating the pest; 

Blanchard, a year and a half later, noted the even greater cost if the battle 

were lost.  George C. Edwards, who eventually found real estate sales more 

lucrative than spraying groves, endorsed Blanchard's proposal for collective 

action by offering a very specific suggestion that appealed to the agrarian's 

cooperative spirit.  

                          {Times, June 6, 1889, p. 6}

                        A SUGGESTION FOR CO-OPERATION.

              Pasadena, May 30.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  "Save 

         the Orange Trees."  Under this heading there appeared in The 

         Times of the 8th inst. an interesting letter from Mr. W. 

         Blanchard giving his experience as a fruit-grower, and 

         expressing a hope that the Supervisors would step in and 

         assist in eradicating the scale pest.  Mr. Blanchard also 

         gives his experience of the different washes and emulsions in 

         use, and states that the only one he finds that kills the 

         scale without injuring the tree is Compere's.  Now, this is 

         exactly my experience after three years' trial, and during 

         that time I have sprayed some 18,000 trees in this county, 

         but the drawback to its universal use is the price charged by 

         the manufacturer.  I, on behalf of some of the largest 

         orchardists in this neighborhood, have been in communication 

         with Mr. Compere, and find that the cost is almost entirely 

         due to the amount of handling, cost of putting up freight, 

         and such like incidental charges, and that but for this it 

         might be manufactured by the fruit-growers themselves at a 

         cost not exceeding 1 1/2 cents a gallon when ready for use.  

         I have also ascertained that the formula and right of 

         manufacture can be purchased of Mr. Compere upon fair terms, 

         and I think if the growers would combine and subscribe a sum 

         for the purchase of this emulsion perhaps the Supervisors of 

         the county might see their way to supplement their 

         contributions, and in this way the non-resident owners of 

         trees would be forced to contribute to the expense of 

         eradicating this pest they have done so much to encourage by 

         neglect of their orchards.

              I should be very glad if owners of orchards, and others 

         interested, would express their views in your valuable paper, 

         or address their communications to me, at Pasadena-- 

         postoffice box 801.  Yours truly,     

                                     G. C. EDWARDS.

    Other orchard pests had threatened the industry before and been deterred, 

giving hope that the white scale would likewise be overcome.  That optimism was 

demonstrated in this 1887 letter that compared the current fear about white 

scale with previous concern over black and red scales.  Red scale had been a 

serious problem early in the 'eighties and was the only orange blight that 

writers of several letters in 1882 had complained about.  The white scale had 

not yet become a serious problem in Los Angeles by that date.  Ironically, in 

the column adjacent to "N's" comment about the decline of the red scale threat 

the Times ran a news item noting that growers in San Bernardino were protesting 

importation of orange trees from Santa Ana where red scale was reportedly still 


                         {Times, Dec. 14, 1887, p. 3}

                               The White Scale.

              Los Angeles, Dec. 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Last summer, under the caption "Clean the Trees," The Times 

         had a vigorous editorial calling upon derelict property 

         owners to tackle the white scale bugs which were playing 

         havoc with their orchards.  This caused a general spraying of 

         orange trees, but now the new crop of scales are covering the 

         trees and "General Apathy" reigns supreme.  "Thousands of 

         dollars," says Prof. Klee, in a late article, "have been 

         expended in spraying and many have become discouraged 

         trying."  The reason of this discouragement is that the 

         expense has been altogether disproportionate to the 

         thoroughness of the work, too little care has been taken not 

         to unnecessarily injure the trees and the spraying has been 

         done at too long intervals.  Now, if those who own even two 

         or three acres of orange grove on which the white scale has 

         found lodgment, would purchase a spraying apparatus and 

         superintend the spraying themselves the result would be 

         likely to be far more satisfactory, for with an outfit always 

         on hand the warfare against the scale is likely to be kept up 

         vigorously and continuously.  The entire outfit can be 

         procured for about $20 and the best material for spraying at 

         15 cents per gallon, and as each gallon requires to have 

         added thereto four gallons of water, it reduces the price of 

         the compound actually used to 3 cents per gallon.  The 

         writer, stirred up by your editorial, concluded to try this 

         plan, and trees which seemed six months ago about to succumb 

         have this season put forth a luxuriant growth.  By keeping up 

         the spraying as necessary I expect to have a crop of oranges 

         next year which will well remunerate me for the expense and 

         trouble, to say nothing of the visual pleasure derived from 

         the beautiful dark and light green foliage of the trees, for 

         a thrifty orange grove is "a thing of beauty and a joy 


              While likely always to be an enemy to be guarded and 

         fought against, still it is pleasing to note that the white 

         scale's powers of destruction are waning, and its spread from 

         one orchard to another becoming less and less rapid each 

         year, as has been the case with its predecessors, the black 

         and red scale.  Col. Wheeler of San Francisco remarked that 

         he was in Los Angeles when the black scale first made its 

         appearance, and one of the pioneer orchardists, calling his 

         attention to it, sorrowfully remarked: "I fear we shall never 

         be able to raise oranges in Los Angeles."  While still a 

         detriment, their power for evil has been reduced to a 

         minimum, and this may in time be the fate of the white scale.  

         "So mote it be."


    Albert F. Kercheval contributed numerous letters on agriculture to the 

Times in the 1880s.  A '49er who mined in both the Mother Lode and Nevada, 

Kercheval settled in Los Angeles in 1870 and became one of the community's 

leading horticulturists.  He was elected president of the county Horticultural 

Commission and also served on the city council.  To some growers he would come 

to represent a bureaucratic establishment that did not know what to do about 

the problem facing the industry yet dictated unreasonable solutions to which 

the growers must conform.  This letter, written at the peak of the white scale 

infestation, may explain why those growers had little faith in the commission's 

efforts to stem the blight.  The Weiss grove, about twenty acres, was two miles 

south of the Plaza, near the present intersection of Alameda and Olympic and 

near Kercheval's grove.

                          {Times, Oct. 4, 1888, p. 6}

                              Are the Bugs Sick?

              Los Angeles, Oct. 3, .--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Is the terrible cotton cushion scale, like the yellow 

         Mongolian pest, about to "go" and leave our groves forever?  

         This is the question suggested by a visit to the beautiful 

         orange orchard of Mr. Alexander Weiss, on Alameda street, in 

         this city.  A day or two since the writer was informed by Mr. 

         W. that there appeared to be trouble and demoralization in 

         the legions of the white scale holding possession of his 

         grove, and requested me to come over and investigate.  It is 

         proper in this connection to state that Mr. Weiss is one of 

         our most painstaking and thorough horticulturists, and, until 

         within the past year, spared no effort, labor or expense in 

         combatting the advance of the terrible foe, but becoming 

         discouraged from the fact that the surrounding orchards had 

         long since been abandoned to their fate by the owners, gave 

         up the fight, although continuing to cultivate and irrigate 

         as usual.  During the past summer, many of his trees have 

         been literally white with the voracious and virile insects in 

         all stages of development, every leaf, limb and twig being 

         coated completely, but within the last two weeks a great 

         change has taken place, and on many trees they appear to be 

         sick, dying and dead.  On some of the trees worst affected, 

         they can be scraped off by the handful; great and small, eggs 

         and all, dead and dry as Egypt's mummies, and can be reduced 

         to impalpable powder by the slightest rubbing process.  

         Occasionally one may be found amongst them with a semblance 

         of vitality, and on other trees the mortality seems to have 

         made but little progress, or is just in its incipient stage.  

         Whether by some mysterious disease, or law of Nature, they 

         are about to disappear entirely, or that only a partial 

         decimation is taking place, time only can determine, but 

         certainly the facts as above stated give strong ground to 

         hope that Nature's cure may yet effect a result where human 

         science, art and labor have utterly failed.  Upon examination 

         of several trees in surrounding orchards, a similar state of 

         affairs was found to exist.  

              Questioned as to a theory to account for the phenomena, 

         Mr. Weiss had none, but it was suggested that President 

         Cleveland's message, the Mills Bill, and the possibility of 

         withdrawal of all protection for our citrus industries, had 

         discouraged the bugs and made them sick unto death.                                                                             

                                                  A. F. KERCHEVAL.

    Kercheval was not alone in his amazement at the unexplained disappearance 

of the white scale.  Professor D. W. Coquillett, an entomologist with the U. S. 

Dept. of Agriculture who would later be instrumental in the elimination of the 

pest, explained in a more scientific manner than Kercheval the decline in 

scale, particularly red scale, that he found in the San Gabriel Valley.  Like 

Kercheval, he found a bit of humor in a very serious matter.

    In a second letter, written several months later, Coquillett identified the 

parasite of the red scale and confirmed his earlier findings.  By that time the 

efforts of Albert Koebele, sent to Australia by the Dept. of Agriculture to 

seek a solution to the scale problem, resulted in the introduction of a 

parasite that would soon end the white scale threat.  Coquillett, who set up an 

experimental citrus field lab at the Wolfskill orchard to test various pest 

controls, was a leader in distributing Koebele's parasite, the Australian 

ladybug or Vedolia cardinalis, throughout Southern California.  {It is now called 

Rodolia cardinalis.}  By the summer of 1889 its experimental use at the Wolfskill 

grove had demonstrated its value.  San Gabriel orchardist J. R. Dobbins, cited by 

Coquillett, served on the county Horticultural Commission in the mid-1880s.  He 

was largely responsible for the introduction of the valencia orange in the region 

and was one of the area's largest growers.  Jackson A. Graves was lawyer, banker 

and sometime-historian as well as a citrus grower.

                         {Times, Dec. 24, 1888, p. 2}

                                Bug Destroyers.


              Los Angeles, Dec. 22.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  We 

         recently had the pleasure, in company with Mr. A. Scott 

         Chapman, of visiting some of the principal orange groves in 

         the San Gabriel Valley.  Those who have never seen this 

         valley, especially that portion of it lying at the very base 

         of the foothills, have missed seeing one of the finest 

         portions of this banner county of the State.

              Cosy homes nestle among groves of orange trees, 

         interspersed with fine specimens of our native oaks, which 

         lend their beauty to the already exceptionally beautiful 

         landscape.  The day was fine, could scarcely have been any 

         finer if it had been made expressly for the occasion, 

         reminding one of the soft, warm, halcyon days of Indian 

         summer in the East, when Nature seems to be doing her very 

         best to give to her children the necessary vigor which will 

         enable them to withstand the rigors of the approaching 

         winter.  Here, in this favored valley, however, the sequel is 

         quite different, and after Dame Nature has infused her 

         creatures with the requisite vigor, she kindly wards off the 

         inclement winter weather, permitting her children to expend 

         this increased vigor either in the usual pursuit of business 

         or of pleasure, according to their own inclinations.

              As in the traditional Garden of Eden, the advent of the 

         woman and the serpent--what a combination!--caused the 

         exclusion of mankind from that enchanting place, as the 

         advent of the white and red scales--pardon the 

         comparison--has threatened to cause the exclusion of mankind 

         from this modern Eden.  Rumors were afloat, however, that 

         these pests--the scales, not the woman and the serpent--were 

         dying in great numbers from some unknown cause, and it was 

         mainly to satisfy ourselves of the nature of these rumors 

         that the present visit was made.  We found that the scales 

         were indeed dying in large numbers, but the cause thereof was 

         far from being unknown; a careful examination of the red 

         scales revealed the presence of the tell-tale holes in their 

         anatomy out of which the minute parasites had made their 

         escape to the outside world.  The scales which had thus met 

         their death at the hands, or rather the mouths, of these 

         little parasites were mostly females, and, what seemed very 

         singular, were always located on the upper side of the 

         leaves.  As if it were not enough for us to have discovered 

         these indications of parasitic attacks, it was our good 

         fortune to meet Madam Parasite herself, a fussy, petite atom 

         of animated nature scarcely discernable with the naked eye, 

         busily engaged in searching for new victims in which to 

         consign her future progeny.

              Evidences of the presence of this little but powerful 

         friend of the orange-growers were found in three different 

         orange groves situated several miles apart, showing that 

         already it is quite widely spread over this valley; and, 

         although its legitimate victims--to which it is heartily 

         welcome--may for a time carry everything with a high hand, 

         still it is very evident that this parasite, which is 

         carrying out one of the fundamental laws of Nature, will 

         eventually reduce their numbers to such a degree that they 

         will no longer be able to prevent our orange groves from 

         producing their accustomed quota of fruits.

              In several places we found that the white scales of all 

         sizes and ages had perished in large numbers; and Mr. 

         Chapman, who has closely watched the progress of this 

         mortality, tells me that it reached its greatest height in 

         the month of August, when fully three-fourths of the scales 

         succumbed to the inevitable.  It would appear that this 

         mortality was due to the enfeebled condition of the trees 

         attacked.  The fact that the greatest mortality occurred 

         during the time when the trees were in their stage of partial 

         dormancy, when the flow of sap is very limited, gives 

         additional weight to this hypothesis.

              While on the subject of scale diseases and parasites, I 

         may state that several years ago, Messrs. J. W. Wolfskill and 

         Alexander Craw {Wolfskill's superintendent} found a pear 

         orchard in this city very badly infested with San Jose 

         scales, so badly infested that during the entire growing 

         season the trees had scarcely made any growth; a few years 

         later they were much surprised at the changed appearance of 

         these trees, which had neither been sprayed nor fumigated, 

         and upon carefully examining the scales they found that a 

         very large proportion of them had been perforated by 

         parasites.  At the present time these trees are remarkably 

         clean and healthy, while scarcely a living scale is to be 

         found upon them.

              The advent of these scale-destroying parasites among us 

         is very opportune, and the fact that our National Department 

         of Agriculture, through Prof. Riley and his assistants, is 

         now engaged in introducing other scale-destroyers from 

         foreign lands, gives us great hopes that in a few years, at 

         the farthest, the reign of the ubiquitous scale bug will have 

         drawn to a close, and our orchards and orange groves, the 

         pride and ground work of our delectable State, will again 

         flourish in all their glory, as of yore.   

                                       D. W. COQUILLETT.

                          {Times, Aug. 4, 1889, p. 3}

                               The Pest Must Go.


                                 AS THE WHITE.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 3.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         About six months ago I took a trip through the San Gabriel 

         Valley in company with one of our representative orange-

         growers, A. Scott Chapman, and gave a brief account of it 

         through the columns of The Times.  I there recorded the 

         discovery of a minute parasite that was destroying large 

         numbers of the red scale,  I recently had the pleasure of 

         again visiting portions of this valley in company with two of 

         our more prominent orange-growers, J. A. Graves and Col. J. 

         R. Dobbins, and found that the parasite above-mentioned, a 

         species of Coccophagus had continued its good work in a very 

         encouraging manner.

              This was especially the case at Mr. Cogswell's, at 

         Sierra Madre Villa.  When I visited this place, about six 

         months ago, the orange trees were very badly infested with 

         the red scale, but at the present time they are remarkably 

         free from them.  Mr. Cogswell informs me that these trees had 

         not been sprayed with anything except pure cold water for 

         over eighteen months and it does not seem possible that the 

         water alone could have had the effect of freeing the trees of 

         the scales; it would evidently have no effect whatever upon 

         those already covered over with a shell.  The recently 

         hatched ones would evidently be washed from the trees and 

         destroyed, but as these become covered over with a shell 

         within 24 hours after leaving the parent, the time when they 

         would be affected by the latter is very limited.  The only 

         hypothesis we are able to give that would account for the 

         disappearance is to suppose that they were destroyed by 

         parasitic and predaceous insects, and that the dry, empty 

         scales had been washed from the trees by the force of the 


              Our party were fortunate to discover several of the 

         adult parasites, and in many of the scales still remaining on 

         the trees were the tell-tale holes out of which the adult 

         parasites had made their escape.  Of predaceous insects we 

         saw quite a number of larvae of the lace-winged fly, an 

         unnamed species of Chrysopa, which evidently contributed not 

         a little toward the destruction of the red scales, since I 

         have repeatedly seen them with one of their jaws inserted 

         under the shells of one of these scales, busily engaged in 

         extracting the juices of its victim.

              As additional evidence for believing that the above 

         result was brought about through the agency of parasitic and 

         predaceous insects I may mention the case of an orange grove 

         adjoining the one owned by Col. Dobbins.  Several months ago 

         this grove was in a very pitiful condition, owing to the 

         ravages of the red scale, but at the present time it is 

         looking remarkably healthy, and Col. Dobbins informs me that 

         it has not been sprayed even with cold water for over a year.

              While these parasites and predaceous insects will 

         undoubtedly accomplish much good in restricted localities, it 

         cannot be expected that they will destroy the red scale in 

         such a wholesale manner as the Australian ladybug, recently 

         introduced by our National Department of Agriculture, is 

         making away with the icerya or cottony-cushion scale.  

         Wherever these ladybugs have been colonized they have thrived 

         and multiplied in a manner that is simply astonishing.  This 

         is especially the case on the large orange grove of Col. 

         Dobbins, where I made the first attempt at colonizing these 

         ladybugs on trees in the open air.  Thirty-five of them were 

         colonized on one of the trees February 22d, and 110 others 

         were placed on several of the trees on the 21st of March.   

         They have multiplied and spread until every tree in the grove 

         is now inhabited by them, and so industrious have they been 

         in their work that the icerya in this grove are rapidly 

         becoming a thing of the past.  A few months ago Col. Dobbins 

         wrote me he was willing to wager that by the middle of 

         November next his grove would be practically free from the 

         icerya--an assertion that many of his fruit-growing friends 

         were inclined to receive cum grano salis; but the industrious 

         little lady-bug has exceeded even his most sanguine 

         expectations, and he now asserts that his grove will be freed 

         from the pest by the middle of August, and few persons who 

         take the trouble to examine his grove at the present time 

         will doubt his assertion.

              As might naturally be expected, the freeing of the 

         orange groves from the ravages of the icerya lifts a great 

         weight from the shoulders of our growers, whose groves were 

         afflicted with this pest.  One year ago many of these groves 

         were in a very precarious condition, and their owners thought 

         very seriously of abandoning them.  At that time we had 

         washes that would destroy these pests, but washes cost money, 

         and the rapidity with which the trees became reinfected was 

         disheartening, to say the least; in fact, so rapidly did this 

         take place that the impression prevailed in the minds of a 

         few that the pests were resurrected.  Or, as my German 

         friend, who is a trifle left-handed expressed himself: "You 

         can kill the bugs, but they won't stay killed."  Now, 

         however, all this is changed, the imported lady-bugs, armed 

         with nothing more formidable than an insatiable appetite, 

         having already killed millions of these pests so very dead 

         that their chances of a subsequent resurrection is extremely 

         small, and it is only a question of time--and that, too, of a 

         comparatively short time--when the remaining iceryas will 

         have shared a similar fate.

                                         D. W. COQUILLETT.

    Critics argued that agricultural bureaucrats and self-styled experts were 

misguided and misinformed.  When the highly respected San Gabriel 

viticulturalist and one-time state senator Leonard J. Rose of Sunny Slope spoke 

publicly on the raising of cabbages he was chastised in the letters column for 

having made a mistake "often made by well-meaning men in public addresses and 

in public prints, that of assuming to give advice upon a subject he is 

practically ignorant of."  The views of Rose and Kercheval on the white scale 

brought forth the same charge, though in this case they were commenting about a 

citrus industry that recognized them as leading growers.  This anonymous 

letter, bearing not even a pseudonym, appeared in the letters column a few 

weeks after Kercheval offered his explanation for the demise of the white scale 

on the Weiss property.  The influence of the Times was recognized by the writer 

in the opening paragraph.

                         {Times, Oct. 29, 1888, p. 2}

                             The Deadly Scalebug.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 27.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Recognizing the great interest manifested by orange growers 

         throughout Southern California generally in the great inroads 

         made on groves of the golden fruit in this county by that 

         seemingly unconquerable pest known as the white cottony 

         cushion scale, I would ask space in the journal of most 

         general circulation in this county for the expression of some 

         ideas extended experience have inculcated in my mind 

         regarding this destructive member of the insect family.

              I have noted recently several contributions to the press 

         from alleged experts on the white cottony-cushion scale 

         question.  My experience has taught me that the views given 

         expression by these writers are, in most instances, as 

         erroneous as they are ridiculous.  I would call the attention 

         of orange-growers in Los Angeles county to the remark made by 

         the Hon. L. J. Rose on the white cottony cushion scale at the 

         recent meeting of the State Agricultural Society.  Regarding 

         the migratory disposition of this scale pest, Mr. Rose held 

         that the scale never, after depositing itself on the tree, 

         migrates downward or toward the earth.  Senator Rose is 

         mistaken.  I have noted often that the upward or tree-top 

         migration of the scale occurs during the forenoon, the 

         downward migration occurring toward nightfall.  While not 

         presuming that all scales so migrate, I assert that 

         invariably the male bug does.  He goes directly to earth and 

         into the ground.

              Again: Mr. Kerchival, a leading grower, holds that the 

         scalebug nuisance is fast becoming a thing of the past, and 

         asserts as a reason for this declaration, that he had noted 

         the ground underneath his trees covered with scale, dead.  

         Mr. Kerchival underestimates this matter.  It is a fact that 

         the white cottony cushion scale bids to soon wipe out 

         entirely some of the most famous of Los Angeles county's 

         orangeries.  Mr. Kerchival's reason for believing as he does 

         may be easily dispelled.  It is a well-known fact that the 

         "mother bug" is gradually eaten up by her young before the 

         latter leave the shell.  The white portion left by the 

         offspring is nothing more than a cover of protection to them, 

         and it drops to the ground when vacated by the young.

              I hold the white cottony cushion scale can be totally 

         eradicated from our orchards, if the proper authorities 

         exercise common sense and discretion in the execution of the 

         work.  The idea promulgated that the police department can 

         abate the evil is, to my mind, a ridiculous, a perfectly 

         untenable one.  Men of experience, men who have studied 

         carefully this question, should be employed.  There are 

         plenty of such men in this county--and allow me to say, in 

         conclusion, men who would gladly aid the extradition from our 

         beautiful groves of oranges the diminutive, but frightfully 

         active, destroyer now slowly, but steadily, ruining them.  

         The city government and county officials should at once take 

         action in this matter.  The city authorities convene next 

         Monday, and then and there they should consider as to the 

         best means for staying the evil.

    Kercheval strongly believed that orchardists who so neglected their trees 

that they became a breeding ground for pests, ultimately endangering 

surrounding groves, should be forced by law to correct the offending 

conditions.  In his opinion, growers ought to have a social responsibility to 

maintain an orchard so that it would not jeopardize the groves of their 

neighbors.  Absent that responsibility, the state had a duty to intervene.  The 

reference to police department action in the preceding letter's concluding 

paragraph should be read in that light.  In the midst of the white scale threat 

in 1887 Kercheval outlined his position in the Times.

    Scale infestation at the Bliss place, soon to be subdivided, threatened 

neighboring orchards, including the holdings of Joseph Wolfskill, whose battle 

against the blight was necessitated in part by the failure of growers like 

Bliss to effectively fight the scale.  

                          {Times, May 9, 1887, p. 7}

                              A Deadly Nuisance.

              Los Angeles, May 7.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Whoever may pass by the once beautiful Bliss place, upon 

         Alameda street, can there view a most loathsome and 

         threatening nuisance.  The trees are simply alive with the 

         deadly white scale and not a single effort, apparently, is 

         being made to disinfect, or in any manner to prevent the 

         rapid multiplication and spread of the awful scourge.  No 

         more fruit can possibly ever again be borne by these trees, 

         and they should promptly be burned up right where they stand.  

         A few armfuls of straw about the body of the tree, a little 

         coal oil sprinkled thereon, and a match applied, will 

         disinfect them most thoroughly, and at an expense of not 

         exceeding 10 cents per tree.  There may be other neglected 

         orchards in this city requiring similar treatment.  There 

         are, or ought to be, State laws and city ordinances covering 

         such cases, and no time should be lost in enforcing them.  

         Will our authorities make an effort to do their duty?

                                          A. F. KERCHEVAL.

    Although both Kercheval and his anonymous critic urged government to act on 

the matter of eradicating scale, the heavy hand of government was distasteful 

to many growers, and calls for passage and strict enforcement of pest 

eradication measures brought forth from them bitter, mocking replies.  Much of 

their ire was directed toward the county Horticultural Commission, of which 

Kercheval was a leading member.  

    Though a large segment of American farmers rejected a laissez-faire 

position and supported state and federal intervention in economic matters, the 

belief that government agents were incompetent bureaucrats out of touch with 

reality was as much a part of the mindset of many Americans then as it would be 

a century later.  

    "Angeleno," "Taxpayer," "A Sufferer" and "Victor" voiced that sentiment at 

a time when the scale problem seemed out of control and efforts by the 

commission had failed to correct it.  "Vedolia C.," a pseudonym taken from the 

short version of the scientific name then in use for the Australian ladybug, 

wrote after the crisis had passed, shortly after Orange County had been created 

out of a portion of Los Angeles County, leading to the removal of Orange 

resident Hiram Hamilton from the Horticultural Commission.

                         {Times, Oct. 13, 1886, p. 1}

                              "A Costly Humbug."

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The Horticultural 

         Commission is just now making a loud appeal to our public 

         authorities for more men and money to make war on the white 

         cushiony scale.  Experience has proved to me, and to every 

         candid person, that this public crusade to demolish the white 

         cushiony scale is a very costly humbug.  We have not made a 

         step of progress in demolishing it, and have only succeeded 

         in demonstrating that under our present regimen it is an 

         expensive, foolish and positively illegal appropriation of 

         the people's money.  We have been trying this scale crusade 

         on, now, for over a year, and we have quite as many "bugs" as 

         when we started, while our citrus trees are very much reduced 

         in numbers and health, from numerous sprayings, and have 

         spent more money in the operation than the people in the 

         "infected districts" have derived from a sale of their citrus 

         fruits.  But you very rationally ask, "What will you do about 

         it?  I will answer you: Abolish your horticultural 

         commissions, your fruit inspectors and all such illegal 

         bodies, and leave the demolition of the bugs to the voluntary 

         mercies of those who have them on their premises; if they 

         prove to be a nuisance to them they will remove them, their 

         interests will prompt them to do what is necessary and proper 

         in the premises, and if anyone should not be satisfied with 

         that policy, do not ask for any more courts or officers or 

         mocking of the law than you now have, but go to any Justice 

         of the Peace and have the person who has the bugs on his 

         premises arrested for maintaining a nuisance on his premises, 

         and if you can prove that he is guilty you can have him 

         punished, and after you have once proved in the courts that 

         the bugs are a nuisance, you will then be able to have 

         "everybody in town" arrested, tried and convicted, who has 

         "bugs" on his premises, and you will have won the battle.

              This is the ordinary way to get at it, and, indeed, the 

         only way.  Then why attempt to do by an illegal body what you 

         can do with the courts and officers you already have open to 

         you, the properly constituted authorities to test this 

         question, if there is anything in it at all as I fear there 

         is not!

              I believe it is right and proper for our authorities to 

         offer large rewards for the discovery of an effective and 

         thorough "medicine" that will annihilate the "bugs"; but 

         please abolish this Horticultural Commission, "Bug" 

         Inspectors, et id omne genus!


                         {Times, Oct. 15, 1886, p. 3}

                          That "Costly Humbug" Again.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  As a taxpayer and 

         horticulturist I heartily endorse what "Angeleno" says in 

         Wednesday's Times concerning that "costly humbug," the 

         Horticultural Commission, so-called, and their army of 

         inspectors.  It is about time for the taxpayers to begin to 

         look into this matter of expense and useless waste of the 

         people's money.

              This so-called Horticultural Commission have caused 

         hundreds of beautiful orange and lemon trees to be either dug 

         up or killed by means of their unskilled experiments in 

         spraying.  They have drawn their salary with regularity, but 

         have found no remedy for the white scale, and yet illegally 

         annoy or compel, by threats of arrest--under the shadow of 

         their authority--fruit raisers to spend large sums of money 

         in a way which the intelligent orchardist feels and knows 

         that, to all practical purposes, he is throwing away his 


              As a matter of fact, while scale bugs "are plenty, and 

         as lively as ever," we say this with all due respect to the 

         host of city and county inspectors.  

              I hope the taxpayers will speak out in tones so loud 

         that our Board of Supervisors will hear and know that the 

         taxpayers have no further use of that "costly humbug," the 

         Horticultural Commission.                      


                         {Times, Oct. 19, 1886, p. 2}

                               Strong Language.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I am glad to see you 

         come out on the infernal bug commissioners.  I have always 

         considered it an outrage on the taxpayers.  I, for one, 

         bought my place and paid four prices for it on account of 

         having fine trees on it, and then comes the damnable Council, 

         and other framers of said commission come in and say we must 

         cut our trees down or they will fine us $100 and hire some 

         one to cut them down for us, and then levy a tax to pay them 

         for going around to blate and show their authority, just as 

         if a man would not try and protect his property after he had 

         paid four times the worth of it to try to save it.  I had to 

         destroy seven or eight fine trees which cost me hundreds of 

         dollars as I could have bought in a vacant block for a large 

         amount less, and then to have a law passed to make a man 

         destroy his property and pay for doing it is horribly 

         ridiculous and unfair to an extreme.           

                                       A SUFFERER.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 17.

                         {Times, Oct. 22, 1886, p. 2}

                                   Bug Juice.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Your readers who 

         complain so heavily of the annoyance caused them by scale-bug 

         inspectors should learn how to pacify them.  A few dollars in 

         hand, or even a glass of whisky in some cases causes them to 

         pass on entirely oblivious of the noble army of scale-bugs 

         which have possession of your trees, while failure to add 

         some trifle to the handsome sum they draw from the public 

         funds (supplemented by "commissions" for work obtained and 

         "wash" recommended) opens their eyes to an alarming extent.


              Los Angeles, Oct. 21, 1886.

                         {Times, July 31, 1889, p. 5}

                                 "Vedolia C."


              San Gabriel, July 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  An 

         article in the Sunday Times, entitled "The Scale-bug War," 

         should by rights be termed the humbug war, for certainly such 

         has been the result of the policy pursued by Los Angeles 

         county's intelligent Board of Horticulture.

              Notwithstanding it is a well-known fact that Nature 

         keeps in check its most destructive creatures by means of 

         parasites feeding upon them, this brilliant board insists 

         upon pursuing the suicidal policy of cutting back and 


              At the time this present Board of Horticulture came into 

         existence, the vedolia cardinalis was well established in Mr. 

         Wolfskill's orchard, and doing effective work.  The heroic 

         policy of cutting back had been pursued in the Wolfskill 

         place, and in consequence there was but little verdure on 

         which the white scale could exist, and the vedolia made quick 

         work of it.  A colony was also settled at Col. Dobbin's 

         place, in San Gabriel, fulfilling their mission in a manner, 

         the effectiveness of which the most credulous could not deny.  

         And yet, in the face of all this comes this o'er wise board 

         and orders that all trees infected with the white and red 

         scale insects must be topped back, and the remains sprayed 

         with an emulsion or wash.

              Every effort possible was put forth by the interested 

         fruit-growers to induce the board to give up its mossback 

         methods, and use all its efforts in spreading the parasites 

         among infected orchards.  In vain it was illustrated to this 

         wise body that the washes used were not only injurious to the 

         trees, but had undoubtedly in the past kept down, if not 

         entirely destroyed, the parasites that Nature has provided 

         for the destruction, or at least subjection, of the red 


              However, in pigheadedness, was the motto the board 

         adopted, and right royally have they lived up to it.  For all 

         they are servants of the people, and their employers expected 

         some returns for wages earned, it has been left to the 

         enterprise and energy of two public-spirited citizens, at 

         their own expense, to save our orange orchards from entire 


              "Honor to him to whom honor is due."  To Mr. Wolfskill 

         of Los Angeles and Col. Dobbins of San Gabriel alone, the 

         honor is due for all that has been accomplished in 

         exterminating the white scale.  Mr. Wolfskill has given away 

         from his colony over 20,000 of the vedolia cardinalis.  

         Meanwhile Col. Dobbins has established in the San Gabriel 

         Valley, from Alhambra to Covina, and from the mountains to 

         Downey, 226 colonies of 100,000 of this parasite.  It is hard 

         to realize the time, trouble and expense to which Mr. Dobbins 

         has been put in the dissemination of such a body of insects.  

         From early in June up to date the approach to his residence 

         has been a public thoroughfare, lined from early morning to 

         night with eager fruit-growers anxious to obtain the panacea 

         of their horticultural woes and troubles.  The Colonel has 

         attended to them all without any compensation, save the 

         satisfaction of knowing that the orange industry was to be 

         saved from entire destruction.

              The Tribune, however, would repay such efforts by the 

         Sunday article, wherein "the people of Los Angeles county are 

         to be congratulated upon the successful effort of the 

         intelligent (?) board of horticulture;" and in addition to 

         this base ingratitude, "the Tribune is happy to be able to 

         state that the Horticultural Commissioners have discovered, 

         and are now using an effective remedy that costs 

         comparatively nothing."

              It may possibly put a damper on the Tribune's state of 

         felicity, as also bring a blush to the bronzed faces of the 

         "intelligent" board to be informed that this "simple wash" so 

         recently discovered, consisting of resin, caustic soda and 

         water, was formulated by Prof. Albert Koebele in 1886 and has 

         been extensively used ever since, both in Los Angeles and the 

         San Gabriel Valley orchards.  Furthermore, in this valley 

         this and all other washes have been discarded as injurious to 

         trees and destructive to parasite life.

              It is impossible at present to find a live cottony 

         cushion scale insect in any stage of existence in Col. 

         Dobbin's orchard.  This happy result has been accomplished by 

         assisting the vedolia in every way possible in its passage 

         from tree to tree.  Still at this late date we are gravely 

         informed that "the commissioners have erected five large 

         buildings with cloth sides, in which, apparently, to imprison 

         and starve the vedolia or render it a cannibal.  Why this has 

         been done no common horticulturist can find out.  And again, 

         why this board isn't cognizant of the undisputed fact that 

         the chilocorus or twice-stabbed lady-bird and the lace-winged 

         fly and another parasite not yet named are now feeding on the 

         red scale and that further spraying insures the destruction 

         of these good Samaritans, is past all understanding.  And 

         still, again, why an inspector appointed by this board should 

         only last Thursday serve a notice on a South Pasadena 

         orchardist, giving him just five days in which to wash his 

         orchard, infected with the white scale, when it is a self-

         evident fact that the vedolia is putting in its best licks on 

         the pest, is past the comprehension of any one outside the 

         County Board of Horticulture.

              Possibly the division of the county was a blessing in 

         disguise, as it will relieve this board, so highly endowed 

         with reason, of its non-resident member, who can retire to 

         his district, where slashing and spraying prevails, and where 

         the trees stand without leaves.               

                                            VEDOLIA C.

    Undeterred by criticism of the commission, even by an editorial in the 

Times criticizing the Horticultural Commission for pursuing its cut and spray 

strategy despite the success of the ladybug, Kercheval justified the action he 

and his fellow commissioners had taken to eradicate the scale.  

                         {Times, June 29, 1889, p. 6}

                              Vedolia and Icerya.

              Los Angeles, June 28.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         an article in The Times this morning--with some portions of 

         which I cordially agree and some I do not--you say, "it is 

         remarkable to learn that the County Horticultural 

         Commissioners recommend, or are about to recommend, the 

         Supervisors to order the cutting back or spraying of trees 

         throughout the county."  You say, "it is difficult to 

         understand why the board should make such a recommendation, 

         inasmuch as that would destroy or starve to death the 

         ladybug, leaving the county to look like a wilderness, 

         setting the fruit crop back a couple of years and leaving the 

         bushes, the grass and the ground infested when we should soon 

         be in a worse condition than ever."

              Speaking for myself as a member of the commission, and 

         not by authority, permit me to say that we have never dreamed 

         of endeavoring to force upon or recommend to any one the use 

         of any particular wash or emulsion, in the interest of any 

         patentee or manufacturer.  Let the owner of an infected 

         orchard use cold water if he so desires, as some are doing, 

         provided he is keeping down the scale and preventing it from 

         spreading to his neighbors.  What we do want, in my opinion, 

         is to prevent the pest from spreading to the districts in the 

         county not already infected, and where but slightly so, to 

         stamp it out at once, by washes or emulsions or even the 

         total destruction of infected trees.  Regarding the argument 

         you make in favor of leaving all our old poisoned trees, 

         sapped of all vitality and vigor, in their present state, 

         just to breed more scale in order to raise a few more 

         ladybugs, permit me to say it is a curious one at least, 

         inasmuch as the vedolia would perish any way a few years 

         hence, having completed her mission, and leaving our groves of 

         half-dead, ghostly orange trees, that will then have to be 

         dug up or cut back before we can ever hope to receive any 

         benefit from them or the land.  Why not cut back these 

         diseased trees at once, reserving a few upon which to 

         cultivate colonies of the vedolia, then with good cultivation 

         they will start forth vigorously--as will also the scale, but 

         we shall have the ladybug on hand to follow them, and in two 

         or three years we shall have thrifty, healthy trees, bearing 

         first-class fruit, one crop of which will be worth more than 

         the trees would ever produce in 50 years (should they survive 

         so long) without cutting back.  The object of cutting back is 

         two-fold, to help the ladybug conquer the enemy and restore 

         the impaired vitality of the tree as quickly as possible.  

         Giving the vedolia due credit for vigor and energy in 

         procreative qualities, as well as hostility to the scale bug, 

         it will yet be two or three years before we can say "the 

         victory is ours," or hers, rather.  There is plenty of the 

         icerya along the zanjas, streets and waysides, on all the 

         grass and weeds, for legions of them to feed upon for a long 

         time to come, and I most respectfully submit it is to our 

         interest to help her along with her task as quickly as 

         possible by cutting back all trees that, if today freed from 

         the scale and left standing with all the old top, would 

         forever remain unproductive to the owner and an offensive 

         nuisance in the sight of the public.

                                          A. F. KERCHEVAL.

    Kercheval, too, succumbed to the lure of the developer, selling his home 

and orchard at Santa Fe and Ninth.  In July, 1887, the Times carried an 

advertisement: "The Magnificent Kercheval Tract now being subdivided," claiming 

it to be the "best soil, finest groves and trees ever offered for sale in the 

city of Los Angeles."  The same issue announced the subdivision of the McGarry 

orchard at Ninth and Alameda and the Mairs Tract between Seventh and Eighth.  

    In the 1890s the Wolfskill grove would also disappear.  Part of it had 

become the site of Southern Pacific's Arcade depot in 1888 while the remainder 

of the property was broken into commercial and residential lots, some only 25 

feet wide, the last of which was disposed of in 1893.  What the cottony-cushion 

scale had not eaten, the real estate agent gobbled up.


    After the introduction of navel and valencia oranges there was no longer 

any question about a market for California citrus.  Local growers were 

impressed by the display of navels at the Riverside citrus fair in 1879 and 

either gradually replaced their seedling trees or grafted navels onto them.  

Though groves were uprooted in Los Angeles during the 'eighties, planting 

increased outside the city.  By the time Lyman H. Washburn wrote to the Times 

there were over 500,000 bearing trees in the county.  Exhibits of California 

citrus in the Midwest and East, and especially at the New Orleans Exposition, 

1884-85, brought to the attention of the nation the marvel of the state's 

agricultural potential, both increasing the market and encouraging more farmers 

to leave Iowa for the West Coast.  Washburn, an Iowa resident who conducted 

tours to California for prospective settlers in the early 1880s, reported on 

the fruit exhibit he took back to Muscatine, Iowa in October, 1883, and the 

future it foretold for not only citrus but other western fruit.  Like many of 

his tourist clients, he soon settled in California - and became a real estate 


                          {Times, Oct. 4, 1883, p. 3}

                              WINNING THEIR WAY.

           California Fruits in Eastern Markets--A Favorable Report.

              To the Editor of the Daily Times--Sir:  You are aware 

         the undersigned brought an assortment of California fruit, 

         for exhibition here in Iowa, the fore part of this month.  It 

         was among the chief attractions at the County Fair held here 

         following our return, and was a source of wonder and 

         amazement to those who had never seen such a display.

              Our experience in bringing these fruits through, taught 

         us a lesson that has made us think more of California fruits 

         and the future demand for them than ever before.  Most of 

         them were bought in Los Angeles with no other selection than 

         to get as good as were to be had the day we left.

              Several of the samples were inferior to those we had 

         seen during the previous week.  They were packed in the usual 

         manner for shipment, and were five days on the road to Iowa, 

         and kept here for the fair five days longer.  Still, not more 

         than five per cent. of the grapes spoiled.  We had mostly 

         Muscat grapes, but some Rose of Peru, Black Hamburgs, White 

         Corinth, and Flaming Tokay.

              We brought several fine clusters in a large basket 

         packed in cork dust, which, aside from shrinking some and 

         some slight bruises, came through very nicely and kept very 

         well till the last day of the fair, when offered for 

         sale--and thus they went like frost before a summer sun, at 

         20 cents per pound.

              We brought a box of oranges, however, that we think 

         illustrate the superior keeping quality of this class of 

         California fruits very favorably.  These were also bought in 

         the market there, and it should be remembered were of the 

         crop which ripened in March last, yet have remained on the 

         trees till Sept. 1st, and were now transported to Iowa 

         through a hot climate and disposed of ten days after leaving 

         Los Angeles, with only the loss of three, from any sign of 

         decay.  We brought quinces, apples, pomegranates and other 

         fruits without the loss of any by decay.

              These facts convince us that the time may not be distant 

         when cheaper freights may make it possible for Southern 

         California fruits to find a market over here in the 

         Mississippi valley that will make them worth more than anyone 

         can afford to pay for wine purposes.  We were much surprised 

         even now, as we spent a few days in Chicago, last week, to 

         find that California grapes and pears had possession of the 

         market.  Every fruit stand we saw in the great metropolis had 

         almost exclusively California grapes, retailing at twenty 

         cents per pound.  They ought to be furnished there for ten 

         cents, and then your vineyards may do their best, and the 

         surplus will all be taken east of the mountains.  Your 

         readers do not need telling that in no place on the American 

         Continent do they grow either the kind or quality of grapes 

         we do in California; and who don't like grapes?  Place our 

         luscious grapes of Los Angeles at ten cents per pound in 

         Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Kansas City, and you will 

         want a whole train load daily at each place to supply the 

         market.  We doubt if the most sanguine has yet approached a 

         proper estimate of the possibilities of a well regulated 

         fruit farm in Los Angeles valley.

              Our association are doing all in their power to make 

         known the great attractions and possibilities of Southern 

         California, with a clear conviction that we do a person a 

         kindness in helping him to reliable information about the 


              Our next excursion will leave Chicago for Los Angeles 

         and San Francisco the 17th of October, and the prospect is 

         good for a large company. 

                                         L. H. WASHBURN.

              Muscatine, Iowa.  Sept. 28, 1883.

    Rumors of almost unbelievable profits to be made from oranges circulated in 

the early 1880s.  The Wolfskill orchard reportedly returned $1000 per acre,  

$3000 an acre was credited to one grower, and claims of $800-$1000 were 

commonplace.  But newcomers found that the price of orchard land advanced to 

meet these profits.  Even with the rising cost of land, acreage increased and 

inevitably the market was glutted with an oversupply despite the superior 

quality of California fruit.  

    In the 1870s, as the industry developed, middlemen had purchased the crop 

on the tree and were responsible for picking, packing and shipping.  This 

system had virtually assured the grower a profit and, coupled with the limited 

supply in the early years, accounted for the exceptional profits claimed by 

Wolfskill and others.  

    As the 'eighties advanced and the number of growers increased, speculators 

drove a harder bargain.  Furthermore, shippers flooded some markets with 

oranges while shortages existed elsewhere.  By the early 'nineties middlemen 

would ship fruit only on consignment, with the orchardist assuming nearly all 

costs and risks.  What had seemed like the ultimate in farming - a good living 

on ten or twenty acres - was replaced with worry over unpaid bills and 

mortgages on the brink of default.  

    Long before that occurred the thoughts of citrus growers turned to 

organization and cooperative action to better control market shipments and to 

earn a fair profit.  In late October, 1885, growers gathered in Los Angeles to 

consider what course of action to take.  The meeting lasted several days, and 

in the midst of the conference Pomona grower J. W. Sallee used the letters 

column to state both the problem and to urge support for the organization that 

was about to emerge.   

                         {Times, Oct. 28, 1885, p. 2}

                        The Fruit-Growers' Organization.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The work of 

         organization and co-operation of fruit growers goes on with 

         great satisfaction.  Never has there been a move of such 

         importance commenced in this county, where there was such 

         unanimity of feeling and concert of action.  If fruit raising 

         fails to be remunerative to the producer in Southern 

         California, then this country is a failure and our labors in 

         vain.  The question of producing in quantity and quality is 

         no longer an experiment, neither is it a question of being 

         able to put this fruit on the Eastern market in good 

         shape--these all have been settled.  But to sell the fruit so 

         as to pay the producer a reasonable profit is what we are at 

         work for now.  And in this matter the interest of the 

         producer is the one we work for.  While all others connected 

         with the business should be--and will be--allowed a good 

         compensation for services rendered (for these receive first 

         money from the business), yet if the producer is not 

         compensated for his labors the whole thing is a failure and 

         this country a fraud.  Then why should commission men--or 

         middle men of any class--object to this movement because it 

         is intended to curtail the expense of selling, and retain the 

         profits with the producer, where it so justly belongs?  Fruit 

         cannot be put on the Eastern market in a manner free from 

         competition by any other method than the one proposed.  We 

         want no competition amongst ourselves.  We want no market 

         glutted.  If fruit is to be dumped, dump it at this end of 

         the line.  We must have no competition, save that from the 

         Mediterranean.  If commission men want to take the advantage 

         of this, they are welcome to it.  The orange-growers of 

         Southern California are a unit.  It is true many growers are 

         not yet made fully acquainted with the plan, but they will 

         soon be, and then they will see that it is a movement of the 

         grower, by the grower, and for the grower.  There is nothing 

         obscure or dark about it.  It is plain, prudent and 

         practical.  And the growers in every locality will hail with 

         joy the committee on organization, as they visit each 

         locality.  All other issues are buried, and we move in one 

         solid phalanx.                           

                                             J. W. SALLEE

              Pomona, Oct. 25, 1885.

    From the Los Angeles meeting came The Orange Growers Protective Union of 

Southern California, the first attempt to organize an industry-wide association 

of citrus orchardists.  The union came none to soon, for carload shipments of 

citrus fruit from Southern California in the 1885-86 season were double the 

previous year.  Despite short term gains, the union proved less than the 

success Sallee and others expected as middlemen preferred to deal with 

individual growers, many of whom remained outside the organization, rather than 

with the union.  Ezra F. Kysor {the Times apparently misspelled the name as 

"Kyser"} recognized that problem as he shared a communication from a 

distributor who worked with the union in San Francisco.  The city's first 

prominent architect and the man who designed St. Vibiana's Cathedral, Kysor 

also dabbled in citrus and other businesses, as did many professional men.  

"Porter Bros. & Co." was a major commission house.

                          {Times, Feb. 7, 1886, p. 5}

                Will the Orange-Growers Unite in a Solid Union?

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The inclosed letter 

         will explain itself, and in connection with it, I would 

         propound this question to the growers who are not in the 

         Union:  Will you not come in and make the Union solid, and 

         let us, the men who grow the fruit, get a good, fair price 

         for our work in growing oranges?          

                                            E. F. KYSER.

                "San Francisco, Jan. 28, 1886.

              "E. F. Kyser--Dear Sir:  Your oranges to hand and sold, 

         but would say they were beginning to rot already, and it 

         would not do to keep them much longer.  In regard to holding 

         them for higher prices, would say that if we were to hold on 

         to them they would all spoil, and we would not realize half 

         as much for them.   If there was nothing but Union men 

         shipping here, the price would be raised to $2 or $2.50, and 

         oranges that now sell for $1.50 could be sold just as easily 

         for $2 and $2.50; but, as you are aware, Porter Bros. & Co. 

         here, and two or three others are receiving oranges, and, as 

         they do not belong to the Union, they cannot be compelled to 

         sell for any specified amount; and, in fact, they are selling 

         to-day oranges for $1.25 just as good as yours, and, as we 

         said before, if there was nothing but Union men shipping here 

         we could then set a price on the fruit.

              "Hoping this will prove satisfactory, we remain, yours 


                                       "L. G. Sresovich & Co."

    Poor returns continued to plague the industry, creating discord among 

growers in different sections of Southern California.  The quarantine that San 

Bernardino placed on importation of trees from Santa Ana was echoed in the 

sniping engaged in by orchardists in Riverside and Los Angeles.  Historian 

Esther Klotz wrote that in 1886 at least 50 carloads of Los Angeles oranges 

were shipped to Riverside, relabeled as Riverside fruit, and sent east.  She 

called this a "swindle on eastern customers."  Riverside grower Elmer W. 

Holmes, who would edit the Riverside Press, serve as county supervisor and hold 

a seat in the state assembly, had obtained good prices for his fruit in earlier 

years and resented what he considered to be unfair practices by Los Angeles 

growers and shippers.  While he may have been overly optimistic in terms of 

prices received for Riverside oranges, he clearly indicated a nagging hostility 

toward growers in Los Angeles.  Germain & Co., cited by Holmes, was the Los 

Angeles seed company established in 1871 by Eugene Germain.  In the 'eighties 

Germain also operated a packinghouse in the city.

                         {Times, Dec. 22, 1886, p. 6}

                              A CORRECTION ASKED.

              Los Angeles, Dec. 21, 1886.--[To the Editor of The 

         Times.]  Upon the strength of the assertion so often made in 

         your columns that you desire to treat all sections justly and 

         fairly, I ask for space to correct a statement which appears 

         in your local columns this morning.  It was as follows:

              "Riverside navel oranges which were frozen during the 

         late cold spell are being peddled around the streets at 10 

         cents a dozen."

              It is quite possible that Los Angeles has at last 

         developed a "poor critter" so wicked as to hawk his cheap 

         oranges as Riverside grown, and your reporter, not being an 

         expert, has innocently attributed this marvelous fall in 

         price to the wrong reason.  I should like to believe that 

         this and not a malicious desire to injure an important 

         industry was his motive.  I unhesitatingly deny the truth of 

         the statement.  The statements as to the injury from frost 

         have been grossly exaggerated.  After a careful examination 

         of the fruit stands and inquiring of the two leading 

         packing-houses of the city, I am prepared to assert that no 

         Riverside fruit has been sold in this city this fall, except 

         that which Germain & Co. and Porter Bros. have shipped, and 

         that the lowest price at which any of the windfall oranges of 

         the variety named, from that locality, have sold was $4 per 

         box.  They sell at Germain's today at $4.50, and when I am 

         convinced that retailers will buy oranges at 40 cents a dozen 

         and sell them at 10 cents, I shall be prepared to believe 

         there is ground for such an item.

              Several statements have appeared referring to the damage 

         done, and the best answer I can make is to reply that the Los 

         Angeles and San Gabrial buyers are pushing the Riverside 

         packers hard for control of the Riverside fruit, and that the 

         prices being received from men who fully understand the 

         situation, and who certainly are not disposed to boom prices 

         for fruit, are higher than those received during the last 

         very successful season.

              Trusting you will feel disposed to give this room, I am 

         yours truly,

                                                E. W. HOLMES.

    As the decade ended the Orange Growers Protective Union failed, unable to 

overcome increasing resistance from middlemen and the lack of unity among 

orchardists.  Economic conditions within the industry deteriorated further, and 

"croakers" began to doubt that there was a future for citrus in Southern 

California.  Faced with a costly fight against white scale on the one hand and 

worry over profit and loss on the other, growers looked for the cause of their 

dilemma, or for a scapegoat.  Fred A. Binney offered his candidate, a popular 

one in the 1880s not only in California but elsewhere in the nation.  While 

this letter was directed to the editor of the Mirror, which was the weekly 

edition of the Times, it was printed in the Times letters column.  Linda Rosa 

was located between Murrieta and Temecula.

                         {Times, Nov. 20, 1889, p. 5}

                            Does Fruit-growing Pay?

              Linda Rosa, San Diego county, Cal., Nov. 11.--[To the 

         Editor of the Mirror.]  Upon the answer to this question the 

         future prosperity of Southern California depends, because if 

         this country is not to pay as fruit farms, it must revert to 

         cattle and wheat, which means a sparse population as compared 

         with a dense population.

              I am sorry to say the word has gone forth, in England, 

         at least, that it is no use for settlers to come here, as 

         fruit-growing doesn't pay.

              I have been trying for six months past to get people 

         from England to come and settle on a ranch near here, but my 

         efforts have been marred by letters written from here to the 

         English papers warning people against coming here.  "H. H. 

         C.," writing from San Francisco to the Manchester Guardian, 

         says: "Although many have risen here, I strongly advise any 

         one who has work at home not to emigrate to this city or this 

         State....   Hundreds of Englishmen have lost fortunes by 

         buying fruit ranches in Southern California.  Grapes are now 

         selling in this city 6 pounds for 15 cents; so you can 

         imagine if it pays to grow them."

              Another writer, Mr. L. H. Lewis, writes to the Worcester 

         Herald as follows: "I can, at a moment's thought, name a 

         dozen Englishmen whose experience would coincide with mine; 

         almost all who go to California are disappointed."

              A correspondent writes that his broker, who was to come 

         here, now declines, because he had heard of so many who have 

         tried fruit-growing here and found "there was nothing in it."

              Now, sir, however much it may suit the purposes of 

         interested persons in this country to pooh pooh all this, 

         there cannot be the least doubt that there is a great deal of 

         truth in these statements, and whether true or not, people 

         are deterred from coming here.  I have lost at least 8 or 10 

         possible settlers solely through the bad name fruit-growing 

         has got in England.

              It would be much more to the purpose if the various 

         chambers of commerce would invite fruit-growers to state 

         their experience and grievances and find out where the fault 


              As long as raisins sell retail for 20 to 30 cents per 

         pound in the East it is absurd to say that there is not money 

         in raisin-growing; and, I presume, the same remark and 

         similar facts apply to figs, canned and dried fruits of all 

         kinds, and possibly fresh fruits also.  The prices paid in 

         the East show a very handsome profit, but the trouble is that 

         the producer does not get it.  This is the key to the whole 

         question.  The profits are grabbed by middle men and railway 

         companies, who, in their greed for gain, are rapidly killing 

         the goose that lays the golden eggs.  Railway companies are 

         crying out for freight and passengers, discharging hands and 

         reducing their train service, and all the time their and the 

         middlemen's greed for gain is ruining or discouraging the 

         grower to such an extent that hundreds are obliged to give 

         the business up in disgust.  These curse the country and 

         spread the report that there is no profit in fruit-ranching, 

         and that settlers should not come here.  At least half a 

         dozen of my correspondents who were keen to come here have 

         now changed their minds and gone to Canada, Australia or New 


              It seems to me that the greed for money is the curse of 

         the country, and is doing more to keep back property than 

         anything else.  No sooner is there an influx of new-comers 

         than there is a general conspiracy to fleece them--by raising 

         prices.  Land goes up, rents go up, lumber goes up, sugar and 

         coal and railway freights--in fact, all that a settler wants 

         is raised against him and he is fairly driven away.  This was 

         the history of the last "boom," and there is little guarantee 

         it will not be repeated on the first occasion.

              As to the railway companies, they tell us their lines 

         don't pay; they can't carry for less.  When more people come 

         in, says Senator Stanford, freights and rates will be 

         reduced.  In my humble opinion it would be infinitely 

         preferable for the railways to be owned and worked by the 

         State or Government.  The State can at least afford to run 

         them at a loss if necessary, and so they ought to be, while 

         the country is young.  To begin charging high rates where 

         population is sparse and little capital is in the country on 

         the plea that the railways must "pay" is like expecting an 

         orange orchard to pay on the second or third year and 

         abandoning it in disgust if it doesn't.

              I met a farmer here recently who had traveled 70 miles 

         by road to attend a funeral.  When asked why he did not use 

         the railway, he replied that the fares were too high.  This 

         surely is a commentary on the railway management of this 

         country.  When people take to traveling by road because of 

         the exorbitant railway charges, one wonders for what purpose 

         railways exist.  If railway traveling is not cheaper than 

         going by road, the railways had better cease to exist.  As 

         another example of railroad management and their incapacity 

         to march with the times, I ordered a $30 incubator from the 

         East, but had to cancel the order because the companies 

         wanted $8.50 for bringing it here.  As there were hundreds on 

         order, the firm has now decided to manufacture them here.  

         Thus the railways will lose that particular traffic entirely.

                                               FRED A. BINNEY.

    Orchardists struggled through what were referred to as the "red ink years" 

in the early 1890s.  With the stability of citrus production in question,  

growers met again.  Aware that their survival depended upon successful 

cooperative marketing they formed, in 1893, The Southern California Fruit 

Exchange, superseded in 1905 by the California Fruit Growers Exchange, the 

organization later identified by the Sunkist label.

                        C) HARD TIMES IN THE VINEYARDS

    Growers in other fields faced similar problems.  Grapes for some time had 

been the principal market crop shipped out of Southern California.  Great 

vineyards were scattered across the southland, originating with cuttings from 

the vineyards at San Gabriel and producing what were referred to as Mission 

grapes.  In the 1850s a million pounds of table grapes a year had been shipped 

north to the miners, though that trade declined greatly once grape culture 

developed in the northern part of the state.  

    L. J. Rose of Sunny Slope, as important a vineyardist as he was a leading 

orange grower, imported cuttings from Europe to replace the less desirable 

mission grapes.  Wine production replaced table grapes, with the German colony 

at Anaheim a center of the industry.  By the early 1880s Southern California 

grape growers were concerned about their inability to compete with the 

developing vineyards in the north.  "San Gabriel" urged grape growers to share 

their thoughts on the problems they faced.

                         {Times, Oct. 25, 1882, p. 4}

                     A Meeting of Grape-Growers Proposed.

         To the Editor:

              I believe much good would be likely to grow out of a 

         meeting of the wine-grape growers of this county to compare 

         notes on the different varieties of grapes that are best 

         adapted to this locality and the different modes of planting 

         them.  Probably, if invited, some of the State viticultural 

         officers would meet with us and give us the benefit of their 

         experience.  We certainly are not getting any such price for 

         our grapes as they get in Napa and Sonoma counties.  Perhaps 

         we have too many Mission grapes, and too few varieties of 

         other grapes, so that a wine cannot be made of them that will 

         compete with the wine made elsewhere.  I notice that Mission 

         wine is quoted about fifteen cents per gallon less than other 

         varieties.  This is destined to be a great industry, and much 

         will depend upon the variety of grapes planted, and much may 

         be learned by comparing notes and getting the best 

         information we can.

                                       SAN GABRIEL.

              October, 1882.                        

    Throughout the mid-'eighties the vineyards were decimated by blight in much 

the same way that citrus suffered.  The vast grape acreages of the Anaheim 

colony were so devastated that the land was converted to oranges.  Elsewhere, 

after much trial and error, the vines were saved by the same parasite that had 

rescued the citrus industry - the ladybug.  By 1889, with the stock no longer 

in danger of extinction by pests, the growers turned their attention again to 

the low prices they received for their crops.  Not surprisingly "P. W." found 

that the culprit was the same one that Fred Binney denounced.

                         {Times, July 29, 1889, p. 5}

                          "Wo Barthel Den Most Holt."

              Los Angeles, July 26.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Replying to your article in today's issue, headed "A 

         Depressed California Industry," I wish to say that the real 

         causes of the deplorable condition rests mostly at the 

         threshold of our divers railroad companies, who charge such 

         an exorbitant high rate to the local and eastern markets that 

         it is almost double the amount of its real value.  By having 

         adopted such a rate, however, the railroad companies may not 

         be aware that they cut their own throats thereby at the same 

         time.  For instance, dry wines can be bought after 

         fermentation in September, October and November from 10c to 

         15c a gallon, at a fair profit to the producer, and shipped 

         without risk, being thence the proper season to the eastern 

         market.  Such young wines can be handled with more care at 

         destination than they generally experience in the hands of 

         our vineyardists, as the wine and liquor-dealers East are 

         generally provided with better cellars.  Our cellar 

         facilities are as a rule, with a few exceptions, very 

         inferior and don't answer the purpose to give age to wine, 

         and the natural consequence will be that the wine so held 

         during the hot spell will gradually suffer and eventually 

         turn sour and no more fit to take the place as a healthy 

         wine.  The result is that all such wines are offered to the 

         distillers at a loss to the vineyardist at about 3-7 cents 

         per gallon, and are converted into brandy.  It takes from 7 

         to 12 gallons of this stuff to make one gallon of brandy.  

         Now, does not the railroad company lose by this 

         transportation at an average, say, of 10 gallons to one?

              I am no railroad man, but it seems clear to me in sight 

         of such facts that they are hurting themselves, as well as 

         the public good, the great wine industry of this country, 

         which will afford the richest resources if properly 

         developed, and the future destiny of this glorious country.  

         Let the railroad companies affix their rate ad valorem, or 

         say down to eight-tenths of a cent per gallon, and the wine 

         industry will feel the stimulant, which will soon tell as a 

         German proverb says: "Wo Barthel den Most holt."

                                              P. W.

                            D) BUREAUCRACY RUN AMOK

    The criticism of government efforts to eliminate citrus scale was repeated 

to a lesser degree by others, demonstrating again that not all farmers were as 

keenly interested in bureaucratic intervention in agricultural matters as 

Horticultural Commissioner Kercheval.  His claim that the commission 

"never dreamed of endeavoring to force upon or recommend to anyone the use of 

any particular wash or emulsion in the interest of any patentee or 

manufacturer" contrasts sharply with C. H. Robert's account below regarding 

"Ongerth's Powder" and the Viticultural Commission.  Like Roberts, "Victor" 

{see above} had suggested that recommending washes was part of the corrupt 

behavior of the "bug inspectors."

    "J. G. D.," initials sometimes used by former Democratic Governor John G. 

Downey as a signature on letters, reflected the disdain "practical men" 

expressed toward scholarly bureaucrats whose work seemingly had no relevance to 

the problems facing farmers.  Charles Teague, for fifty years a prominent 

Ventura County citrus grower, would later express a similar view regarding a 

University of California scientist who seemed more concerned about the life 

cycle of a particular pest than developing a practical way to eliminate it.

                         {Times, May 19, 1889, p. 11}

                        Concerning a Patent Bug Poison.

              Monrovia, May 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]--  With 

         your kindly permission I would like to ask of the gentleman 

         who holds the position of Viticultural Commissioner for this 

         region, how it comes about that in his exhaustive report of 

         the investigation officially made by him recently, into the 

         cause and cure of the vine disease, that the only remedy 

         suggested for the fungus is a formula which is {illegible}.  

         The said formula is as follows: Sulphate of copper, 10 per 

         cent.; lime, 60 per cent.; sulphur, 15 per cent.; "Base of 

         Ongerth's Powder," 15 per cent.

              All plain sailing till we come to the last ingredient, 

         and I have searched in vain through the United States 

         Dispensatory, the National ditto, British Pharmacopoeia and 

         the French Codex for a record of this delusive pharmaceutical 

         product.  No where can I find a trace of either Mr. "Orgerth" 

         or his highly essential powder, and was on the point of 

         writing to our estimable Commissioner for light on the 

         subject, when I chanced to observe this morning in The Times 

         an artistic wood-cut of what appeared at first sight to be a 

         representation of B. Franklin doing the bottled-lightning 

         act.  On closer observation, however, I discovered it to be 

         nothing else in fact than an advertisement of the "missing 

         link" in our worthy Commissioner's highly-recommended fungus 

         annihilator, giving the corporate name and place of business 

         of the lucky possessor of Mr. "Ongerth's" very valuable and 

         highly essential pulverulent substance.  Comment seems 

         superfluous, taken in connection with the fact these deadly 

         fungi, in such quantity as to threaten the very existence of 

         all the vines in South California, are developed 

         spontaneously, and that a commission was specially delegated 

         and empowered to investigate the disease and devise a remedy 

         at the expense of the State.  The peculiar connection between 

         the company advertising "Ongerth's" powder, and the 

         designation of that powder (instead of its chemical 

         constituents) as one of the ingredients in the remedy 

         recommended by the Commissioner, seems to point pretty 

         clearly to something peculiar.

                                         C. H. ROBERTS

                         {Times, Sept. 19, 1882, p. 4}

                            Technicality Gone Wild.

         To the Editor of The Times:

              I have before me under scrutiny the special report of 

         the Agricultural Department, No. 31, entitled "Contagious 

         Diseases of Domestic Animals."  

              Of course it is designed for general instruction to the 

         great people of this Republic, and is exceedingly interesting 

         as a contribution to science; but really it might as well be 

         written in Hebrew, Greek or Coptic as far as general readers 

         are concerned.

              It is intensely technical, and would take all the 

         encyclopaedias ever published, and all modern dictionaries as 

         well as classical, to explain one single chapter of it.  

         Therefore it will be consigned to the waste basket.  Whereas, 

         if it were written in our own beautiful English, such as 

         Goldsmith, Longfellow and Irving used, it would be of 

         infinite use.  As it is, the cost of its publication is money 

         thrown completely away - a display of words, or "Vox et 

         patretoria nihil."

                                           J. G. D.

                                SAMPLE EXTRACT.

              Results of microscopic examination of a Guilford pig:  

         "Tube No. 1, pleural effusion, containing many very small 

         spherical granules (monococci;) a few chains of three to ten 

         elements, similar in appearance to the single granules 

         (streptococci;) a few chains and couples of oval elements one 

         four-thousandth of an inch in short diameter by one twenty-

         five thousandth of an inch in long diameter.  A few Beilli 

         were present, mostly as single rods, though one chain of 

         these made up of six rods was seen, each of which was one 

         two-thousandth of an inch in length, but not more than three 

         or four of these filaments could be found in a preparation, 

         and the majority of the fields contained none, though 

         swarming with the mono and diplococci.  Finally, many 

         gliacoccus masses were to be seen made up of the spherical 

         granules, the size of these clusters being sometimes twice 

         the diameter of the red globules.  Tube No. 2, pleural 

         effusion: This tube did not fill entirely, and had commenced 

         to decompose.  It contained many monococci and piplococci; a 

         few Bacterium termo and some oval granules having the 

         appearance of spores, but no rods."

              [We are sorry for that pig.--Ed.]

                           E) THE VEGETABLE BUSINESS

    Vegetable production in California rose dramatically during the 1880s.  The 

amount exported from the state in 1889 was ten times what it had been a decade 

earlier.  Yet, the Times noted in an editorial comment entitled "The Vegetable 

Business," most of the state's vegetables were produced by "Chinamen," who 

seemed always to thrive in that occupation.  "Americans" {the Times pointedly 

omitted Italians from inclusion as "Americans"} were not good gardeners because 

they lacked "that patient toil and faithful attention to detail, so necessary 

to success."  Furthermore, the editor argued, Americans treated vegetable 

gardening as a "small" business, comparing it to washing clothes or selling 

peanuts.  That was a mistake according to the Times, pointing out that 

gardening was light, easy work requiring little capital and was carried out on 

a cash basis - great advantages at a time when capital was scarce and credit 

hard to obtain.  

    "Inquirer" defended "American" farmers and, citing a bit of anecdotal 

evidence involving two Pasadena ladies who went into crops, suggested the 

problem lay elsewhere.

                         {Times, Nov. 20, 1889, p. 5}

                       The Vegetable Business--A Reply.

              Pasadena, Nov. 16.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Seeing an article in the Mirror of November 16th, on "The 

         Vegetable Business," it seems to be some one's duty to 

         respond; for to my certain knowledge there are a few 

         "Americans" in our vicinity who have made honest and earnest 

         effort in this "vegetable business."  I know of two ladies 

         who bought lots at a high price during the boom, and who at 

         the opening of the present season said:  "Let us put our lots 

         into onions; they are a profitable crop, and surely should 

         pay for their 'seed and raising,' and leave us sufficient 

         margin to pay the interest on the money invested in the lot 

         and our taxes."  The crop was a fine one when harvested.  The 

         market reports were watched with interest.  November 14th a 

         man and team with a load of onions was sent to Los Angeles to 

         make the first sale.  The entire day was spent in the effort.  

         Commission men, hotel men, grocery men, etc., etc., were 

         faithfully interviewed.  "Onions?  No!  We don't want onions; 

         the market is flat, overstocked, no sales; don't bring 

         nothing."  At last one man was pursuaded to take a few, 

         paying 30 cents per 100 pounds.

              At night the man returned with his report of the sale.  

         Just $1.25 it amounted to!  If you will undertake to subtract 

         from this amount the hire of the man and team for one day you 

         will see one reason why "Americans" prefer that dirty 

         Chinamen, who board themselves and live on next to nothing, 

         should be left an open field for this kind of profits.

              It is unfair and unjust to say that Americans "look 

         down" on honest industry.  In these hard times certainly 

         there are very few that are not anxious to till the soil if 

         there is one cent of profit in it.  The papers are filled 

         with daily exhortations for farmers to come to our goodly 

         land.  Residents are importuned to do more gardening, and 

         fruit raising.  But what use?  Where is the market?  Where is 

         the encouragement?  Are crops to be raised with care and 

         patience to find no market, and then left to rot or be dumped 

         in the ditch?  

              Oh, well, this is an awful year on onions!

              Is it?  Well, then, it is an off-year on beets, carrots 

         and figs, as well.

              There is something wrong.  Will some wise one come to 

         the front and explain?  What can be done?  How is an 

         "American" to find a market at any price?       


    "Inquirer" had, by that brief reference to "dirty Chinamen," raised the 

still smoldering issue of competition with Chinese agricultural labor.  {For a 

more thorough exploration of the "anti-Chinese" question see the chapter on 

that topic.}  "Plowshare's" rebuttal made the Chinese issue paramount, with a 

surprising twist.  "Corner lots," referred to by "Plowshare," were a symbol of 

the speculative real estate fever that raged in the 'eighties.  "G. D. L.," one 

of the Cahuenga farmers "Plowshare" referred to, offered some advice to the 

lady gardeners of Pasadena.

                         {Times, Nov. 29, 1889, p. 5}

                                  The Garden.

              Pasadena, Nov. 23.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  A 

         recent issue contains an article by "Inquirer" on "The 

         Vegetable Business."  Since coming to Southern California I 

         have made the Chinamen and their mode of farming quite a 

         study, and I find that their motto is "strictly business."  

         "John's" crops are well tended and his tools well taken care 

         of.  And he has adopted the best mode of placing his wares 

         before the people.  He calls at our doors in the morning of 

         certain days each week, and the housewife can rely upon his 

         coming.  And if my American brother wishes to compete with 

         John for a share of the trade he must adopt the same tactics 

         and make his daily or tri-weekly rounds with his wagon.  

         There is not a family in Southern California who will not 

         give an American gardener the preference in buying their 

         vegetables if they are equal in quality, and brought to their 

         doors, the same as John does.  To a great many the idea of 

         peddling from a wagon is distasteful.  Why should it be?  How 

         many merchants are there today who do not secure their trade 

         and introduce their goods by the personal solicitation of 

         their agents, and that agent very often one of the firm?  As 

         to prices and profits, John don't give his goods away, and 

         the weekly returns from his business would keep a good-sized 

         family well fed and clothed, and leave a balance for a rainy 

         day.  He is obliged to pay higher prices for his implements 

         and the land he rents than an American would, and still he 

         makes money.  And there is another field of profit for the 

         vegetable-grower--and as to the success of it I will refer my 

         brother to two ladies who also invested their savings in 

         corner lots, but did not plant onions as their only crop--and 

         that is raising vegetables for the early winter and spring 

         market of the East.  There is a colony of gardeners at 

         Cahuenga, composed of people who own or rent places of five 

         acres and upward.  They not only supply the hotels of Los 

         Angeles, but also ship in car lots to Chicago, and realize a 

         nice profit.  In order to handle their products in a 

         business-like way, and get the best returns, they have formed 

         among themselves a shippers' association, and elected a 

         manager, who reviews the produce and attends to loading the 

         car and shipping.  Among the members are the Bristol sisters, 

         to whom I would refer all Americans who want to know how to 

         raise garden truck profitably.  Such a colony would prosper 

         on the lands adjoining Pasadena or any other part of our 

         glorious country.  And to our grocerymen I would suggest that 

         they adopt the ways of their eastern brethren and have an 

         attractive display of fresh vegetables every morning, and in 

         that way patronize those who deal with them.  So now, instead 

         of standing around the corners with your hands in your 

         pockets up to your elbows calling the Chinamen dirty and 

         wishing you had never left "cyclone" Kansas or "dry" Iowa, go 

         to work and tackle "John" at his own game; your fellow-

         citizens will all give you the preference.  Never lay claim 

         to being an American if you cannot successfully compete with 

         a Chinaman in any and every branch of business.  Yours 



                         {Times, Dec, 13, 1889, p. 5}

                             LETTERS FROM FARMERS.

              Colegrove (Cahuenga Valley), Dec. 6, 1889.--[To the 

         Editor of the Mirror.]   I have noticed with a certain amount 

         of interest the communications in your journal alluding to 

         the occupation of gardening, and if you will allow me space 

         to insert a few ideas I shall feel that I am highly rewarded.

              I think the idea that "Plowshare" advanced was a good 

         one, and instead of our sitting down and depicting out a sad 

         fate for this "Chinese-infested" country, I, for one, will 

         make a rival for John and his garden.  Are we beneath these 

         heathens in practical knowledge and style of workmanship, and 

         are we to stand aside with this idea in our heads, that he 

         knows of better plans for raising vegetables and will have 

         better success at the business than we can?  No.  If with 

         their crude mode of working they annually send thousands of 

         dollars out of the country, the proceeds of a few acres of 

         market garden, why cannot a white man with a fair degree of 

         intelligence make a comfortable living and also have 

         something to spare for the improvement of a home that will 

         benefit himself, his neighbors and his country?

              I am pleased to see, Mr. Editor, that your paper has an 

         interest in the development of the garden and the home, and I 

         hope that as a reward it will see many of our American 

         neighbors convinced that a white man can produce an article 

         as good and as cheap as any begrimed Chinaman that peddles at 

         their door; and, also, that it will convince the people of 

         the American nationality that gardening is not a small or 

         mean business, but, on the contrary, is the most healthful 

         and mind-absorbing employment that any country affords, 

         especially in this delightful climate of Southern California.  

         Trusting that our American friends at Pasadena will not plant 

         all onions next year, and overstock the market, I am your 

         faithful subscriber, 

                                             G. D. L.

                               F) THE HIRED HAND

    Not all who engaged in farming owned land, though owners were the ones who 

normally wrote letters to the Times.  While workingmen in the city - 

carpenters, painters and printers, for example - were frequent contributors, 

only two letters from farmhands found their way into print in the 1880s.  David 

Fisher, otherwise unknown, represented the "permanent" class of farmworkers as 

opposed to harvest hands who labored only temporarily at one place and then 

moved on.  In fact, the David Fishers were not likely to remain at one place 

very long either, though their employment was not dependent upon the harvest or 

planting seasons.  

    In the years following the Civil War California farmers expressed a sincere 

interest in encouraging young farm families to migrate west where they could 

take up employment on established farms until they were able to till their own 

land.  They held the Jeffersonian concept of a classless agrarian society, in 

which the hired hand was considered a member of the family who ate at the table 

with the owner and who someday would possess his own farm.

    But California agriculture, influenced by unusually large landholdings and 

by the ability to produce crops that benefited from large numbers of cheap, 

temporary workers, turned elsewhere for that source.  Before the Civil War some 

farmers had looked to slavery as the best means to meet their needs, but the 

hostility of the state's voters to servitude would not permit that.  After 

miners drove the Chinese from the Mother Lode, growers found a labor supply 

that provided the benefits of slave labor within a free society.  In 1870 

Chinese workers provided one-tenth of the state's agricultural labor force.  By 

1880 that had increased to one-third.  While those statistics would change 

abruptly with passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the end of Chinese 

immigration in the early 1880s, the condition of farm workers did not improve 

noticeably.  In a touching call for fairness, David Fisher lamented upon the 

loneliness and hard life of the permanent hired hand in 1882.  There was no 


                          {Times, Aug. 8, 1882, p. 4}

                           Grievances of Farm Hands.

         To the Editor of The Times:

              You have kindly placed a column of your newspaper at the 

         service of the people--a kindness that is appreciated by the 

         working men of this county.

              Yesterday at Santa Monica I could not but admire, and to 

         a certain extent participate in, the enjoyments of the day.  

         I saw carpenters, stone-masons, painters, firemen, etc., with 

         their wives and sweethearts, giving themselves up to a day of 

         pleasure and recreation, having no thought of to-morrow.  I 

         mingled amongst them on the beach, saw them sporting in the 

         surf, patronized the candy man, had a wine dinner at 

         Eugene's, danced in the Pavilion, lost my return ticket, and 

         had to put up four bits; and still I was not happy.  Here, in 

         one of the most glorious climates of the world, surrounded by 

         everything that is beautiful, your readers will ask:  Why was 

         I not happy?  Because I belong to that unfortunate class of 

         men known as farm hands.  To those of your readers who have 

         never worked on a ranch in Los Angeles or Ventura counties, I 

         will give an idea of what it is.  I hired out to a man not 

         six miles from town, at $30 per month.  He was a Dutchman 

         with a wife and two grown daughters.  Routine:  First day 

         rise at 4 a. m.; feed stock, milk cows, clean out stable, 

         groom buggy horses; at 6 a. m., breakfast, (Chinese cook,) 

         beans, bacon, syrup, and heavy bread; at 6:30 out in the 

         field hoeing corn in a hot sun till 12 n.  Dinner, beans, 

         bacon and syrup.  At 1 p. m. hoeing corn, continuing till 

         sunset; then back to ranch house, feed and water stock and 

         milk eleven cows.  At 9 p. m. supper, beans, bacon and syrup.  

         No bed--sleep on the lee side of a haystack.  No papers, no 

         friendship, nothing but hard, dreary toil, from sunrise to 

         sunset.  Why should not a farm hand have regular hours for 

         labor, the same as others have?  It is only through the press 

         that we can make our grievances known.  In his own country 

         the above Dutchman probably eked out his own existence in the 

         same way that he treats a willing American.  Circumstances 

         compel men to work on a ranch, but why not treat them as men 

         and Christians--not worse than slaves?

                                  DAVID FISHER.

    Near the end of the decade the Times rejected a call for repeal of the 

Chinese Exclusion Act that came from "a few wealthy fruit growers" who claimed 

their industry would be ruined without Chinese labor.  Otis editorialized that 

any shortage of white labor was the result of failure "to provide decent 

accommodations for their help, or to treat them like human beings."  In support 

of his position, Otis ran in his editorial column this letter, "from a ranch- 

hand, whose plain, unadorned statement carries with it a conviction which no 

amount of literary style could increase."  The letter carried no title, 

dateline, salutation or name.

                         {Times, Jan. 10, 1889, p. 4}

              In looking over The Times I saw where the editor had 

         taken up the labor question concerning the fruit growers and 

         ranchers of Southern California.

              I am a laboring man and have worked on several different 

         ranches in the State, both here and in Fresno county.  The 

         editor of The Times in that able article has expressed the 

         sentiments of every white man who ever did work on the 

         ranches in this State, and I am glad to know that he was bold 

         enough to tell the exact reason why these fruit growers 

         prefer the Mongolian to white men.

              I was born and raised on a farm in the good old State of 

         Illinois.  I like the farm and it is a pleasure to me to 

         follow the occupation of farming or fruit growing, but it is 

         a sad and most deplorable fact that one loses his taste for 

         farm work when he works on these California ranches awhile.

              I have nothing to say against the work to be done on 

         these ranches, but as to the treatment of the men while 

         working there I cannot find the language to express by 

         bitterness.  It is simply inhuman and barbarous, and a white 

         man will not stand it except by compulsion.

              It is unnecessary to go into details about this 

         treatment of white laborers here.  The editor of The Times 

         has told all that was necessary.  I will only say that unless 

         a white man chooses to put up with a dog's life by sleeping 

         in barns and working 16 hours out of the 24, he had better 

         not look for work on the ranches or fruit farms of Central or 

         Southern California.  I speak from a very extensive 

         experience, and I do not want to say anything against the 

         fruit growers that I do not think is absolutely true.  

              They say (the ranchers) that it is a custom here, and I 

         say that it is a heathenish custom, and should only be 

         tolerated in a heathen land.  This is too grand and good a 

         country to tolerate such a custom.  A great many readers of 

         The Times are no doubt impressed with the idea that the white 

         laborers who work on ranches are a very unsteady set--who 

         work a few days for their kind benefactors; get a few dollars 

         ahead, and then quit and go into town and "blow it in" with a 

         grand carouse.  While I admit that such is the case with 

         many, yet there are plenty of good, sober, industrious farm 

         lads from the East, who came here to work on the ranches 

         because the wages were better.  These go to work with good 

         intentions, only to find to their bitter disappointment that 

         they left a country where farm hands were treated "white," to 

         lead a rough-and-tumble camp life of hardships and rough, 

         inhuman treatment at the hands of these same fruit growers 

         and Chinese laborers.  If these ranchers would ask these boys 

         whether they would prefer the kind treatment and low wages of 

         the Eastern States to such a life as a white man leads on 

         California ranches and high wages they would tell them they 

         prefer the easterner's lot far better at half the wages.

              What is more heathenish than to see a white man in this 

         free and favored country carrying a great roll of blankets on 

         his weary back for miles over a muddy or, perhaps, hot, dusty 

         road?  I say it is a shame on American civilization, and if 

         it was a custom here (as they are careful to tell you) so was 

         slavery a custom once in America; but it is abolished.  

         Abolish the blanket packing, too.

              If those who are in favor of Chinese immigration and who 

         think their fruit and crops will be lost unless we send for a 

         few million more Chinese will turn over a new leaf and try to 

         treat white men as free-born American citizens, they will 

         find plenty of white labor, and their fruits will be garnered 

         without any trouble.

              Let John Chinaman keep his laundry, now that he is here, 

         but let the white citizens and voters of this country have a 

         chance.  The fruit growers of California are getting good 

         returns from their labor and expense, and they can afford to 

         deal honestly with the white laborers.  Treat us "white," Mr. 

         Fruitgrower, and we will meet you half way.

    Focusing on one theme offered by the ranch-hand, Otis concluded his 


              The fruit growers of this State, as soon as they 

         accumulate sufficient wealth to relieve themselves from the 

         necessity of wielding the hoe or handling the plow, are too 

         apt to assume the airs of southern planters in dealing with 

         their employes--an assumption of superiority to the "vulgar 

         herd" which is not, in every case, justified by the manner in 

         which Nature has endowed them.

              ... On one thing they may rest assured--there is not the 

         remotest probability that the people of California will 

         consent to have this transformed into a semi-slave State, for 

         the sake of saving a little inconvenience to a few wealthy