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Joseph Hiltscher

JOSEPH HILTSCHER.—A rancher with an interesting family history is Joseph Hiltscher, of Ronineya Drive, to the southwest of Fullerton. He was born in Sternberg, in Mehren, Austria, on February 24, 1873, the son of a weaver by trade who made the finest kind of linen, especially for the table. His name was August Hiltscher, and he had married Frederika Bockisch. He used to sell his linen in America, and having heard so much about the New World, he decided to come out to the United States. They had five sons, and Joseph was the middle one and attended the usual graded schools of his native country.

In 1886, the family crossed the Atlantic Ocean, sailing from Hamburg on the steamer Retzia, and landed at Castle Garden, New York, from which city they came direct to California and Anaheim. Here .August Hiltscher purchased, only three weeks after his arrival, twenty acres on Orangethorpe and Nicholas avenues. It had been a vineyard, but at the time of the blight, the vines were rooted out. The newcomers planted ten acres to apricots and peaches, and ten acres were left for general farming and the raising of corn and stock. Later, these open ten acres were planted to walnuts. Since that time, the apricots, peaches and walnuts have been pulled out, and the entire twenty acres is now devoted to Valencia oranges. August. Hiltscher died in 1891; his widow, with the aid of her son, Joseph, made the above improvements and she died while on a pleasure trip in the Yosemite Valley in August, 1919. aged sixty-nine. On May 29, 1899, Joseph Hiltscher was married to Miss Flora Weisel, a native of Wisconsin, where she was born in Milwaukee, the daughter of Peter and Josephine Weisel. Her father was a manufacturer of ice-cooling and refrigerating systems, and installed cooling plants in breweries and packing houses. In 1892 Mr. and Mrs. Weisel brought their family of nine children to California, and in their later years enjoyed a balmier climate. Mrs. Hiltscher was educated in the schools of Milwaukee and in Anaheim. Six children have blessed the happy union of Mr. and Mrs. Hiltscher. They are Peter, Josephine, Alphons, Carl, Frederika and Max; and they all attend the Catholic Church at Anaheim.

Mr. Hiltscher and his brother engaged in the meat business in Fullerton for twelve years and had the finest market in town; they killed their own beef, pork, lamb and mutton, but when the packers got control, they discontinued their own slaughter. Mr. Hiltscher sold his interest in the market in 1908 and purchased twenty.-one acres on the Romneya Drive, and himself set the land out to Valencia oranges. Later he purchased ten acres adjoining, also devoted to raising Valencia oranges. He also owns four acres of the old home place, making thirty-five acres in all. Aside from setting out his own and his mother’s orchard he has set out for several other ranchers, or more than 300 acres in all. He is an experienced orchardist and particularly of citrus fruits and his advice and ideas are sought by others. He also helped to make roads and clear and break up much land here. He receives water for his irrigation from a community pumping plant, and profits by the supply of seventy inches in the well. He built the home on his ranch himself—and it goes without saying that it is a comfortable dwelling. He markets his oranges through the Placentia-Fullerton Orange Growers Association, and as he is a hard worker his grove shows the best of attention.

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jason boucher on October 5, 2011 at 10:06 PM said:

I am the great grandson of peter hiltscher. What an amazing story. I knew the general story, but not all the details. Thank you very much.

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