See the correction, in red, about my Grandfather’s Mother.
My grandparents, George and Catherine Horlacher, were born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pa. in the late 1800s. My grandfather was born April 23, 1892 in a house at the corner of Orianna and Lehigh. My grandmother was born June 20, 1894. I don’t have the exact location of her birthplace.
My grandfather worked for his father, Harry Horlacher, in the stables where he kept the horses he used in his dairy business. Later, my grandfather delivered milk by horse and wagon and the horse was so familiar with the route that my grandfather would walk the sidewalks while the horse pulled the wagon down the street. When they reached a customer’s home, my grandfather would get the milk from the wagon, put it on the porch, and whistle to let the horse know that he was off to his next customer! Faithfully, the horse was always there, too!
My grandmother worked, at this same time, for my grandfather’s uncle who owned an Ice Cream and Butter Shop. She and my grandfather were married in 1912, and they had two children, my father, George William, in 1913, and my Aunt Catherine in 1915. In 1917, the whole family traveled by train to Los Angeles, California. My grandfather worked at many different jobs, oil field worker, survey crew member, street car repairman, and he also ran the kilns that fired ceramic tiles for the Matlock Tile Company. My grandmother worked at Matlock, too. She hand-painted some of the tiles.
During the Depression, both my grandfather and grandmother sold Watkins Products, door-to-door. (Watkins products included spices, liniments, and more.) They made a contest of it. Choosing a side of the street, they competed to see who could sell more Watkins by the time they met up at the end!
From 1931 to 1934 my grandfather had a Richfield gas station in Hermosa Beach, California. He sold blue gas, eight gallons for a dollar! Later, my grandfather went to work for the National Supply Company as a core maker molder. National Supply made pumps and oil field equipment.
Sometime in 1936, my grandparents bought 3.3 acres in La Sierra, California (near Riverside) and started a chicken ranch. They sold eggs and fryers, and every Thanksgiving, they sold 500 turkeys!
I remember working with my grandparents on the ranch. I helped vaccinate the chickens, build the chicken houses, fryer pens, and brooders. I also remember cleaning the chicken houses, fryer pens, and brooders! It was demanding, tedious work, but it wasn’t dull!
One morning I went out to help load the eggs for delivery and found a large gopher snake stretched along the edge of one of the egg cases. It had already consumed four eggs! My grandfather killed the well fed snake and we loaded the eggs.
My grandfather had several vehicles he used for work and for transportation. I remember his 1928 or 1929 Nash. He used it to pull down old dead fruit trees so he could clear an area to expand the ranch. He also had a 1932 or 1933 Willys Knight with double side mounts, wire wheels, and a trunk that was a real trunk mounted on the back! This car had a six cylinder sleeve valve engine that ran very smooth and quiet. When my grandparents first started in the chicken/egg business, one of their neighbors used his 1927 Diana to help them haul their eggs to market. (I’ve written about the Diana in previous blogs.)
Another vehicle I remember from those days belonged to the man who sold Watkins Products in their area. He showed up about once a month in his 1936 Ford panel. Of the four cars I’ve mentioned, the Ford is the only one I didn’t get to ride in!
As the egg business grew, my grandparents were able to contract with a company that sent out a truck to pick up the eggs. Finally, in the early 1950s, they retired. My grandfather died in 1968, my grandmother in 1980.
The ranch still looked the same at that time. It had all of its old buildings. The only thing missing were the chickens!
Notes on grandmothers family: Her father William Nolan born Dec 1863 in Pennsylvania, Pa. Her mother Mary Nolan born 1863 also.My grandmother had a sister Stella Nolan Worth born in 1890, she had one son Robert Worth born 1917, My grandmother had two brothers William Nolan born 1887 and Edward Nolan born 1899 . One of these brothers worked for a produce business in Pasadena, California and was killed in truck accident sometime in the late 1920s he had three children Johnny Nolan, George Nolan and Alice Nolan. Johnny Nolan had a used car lot in Pasadena, California for many years. Grandfather, George Washington Horlacher was born in 1892, his father Harry Horlacher, was born in 1869 in Pennsylvania, and his mother, Elizabeth Hood Horlacher, was born 1861 in Pennsylvania. They had two sons George W. Horlacher, 1892, and Harry J. Horlacher born 1896. Harry’s wife, Laura M. Horlacher, born 1893. They had a daughter Beverly M. Horlacher born 1917.