Richard Jewett graduated from Fullerton Union High School in 1930. After graduation, Richard began working at the Firestone Service Store.
In 1937, Richard and his brother William started working as carpenters for their cousin, Robert H. Blair. By the end of the year, the brothers had made the decision to establish their own firm, named Jewett Bros., specializing in general contracting. While they initiated their work with projects outside of Fullerton, they maintained their central office in Fullerton. The company’s initial focus was on constructing homes for private individuals, and they later expanded to building tract homes. Additionally, they undertook the design and construction of duplexes, triplexes, airport hangars, a nursery, and an airplane drive-in office.
After World War II, the brothers extended a generous offer to ex-servicemen by providing the option of zero down payments for their homes. Enhanced features were made available as options. The uptick in home sales prompted the brothers to reorganize their operations to enhance efficiency and the construction of higher-quality homes in a timely manner.
The brothers aspired to establish a record for the fastest home construction. On April 26, 1950, they successfully erected a home within just three days, a feat showcased at the Lions Club Fair. Notably, every component of the house was cut and assembled on-site. This achievement propelled them to become the largest producers of tract homes.
In 1957, Richard took a significant step by founding his own company, R.C. Jewett Construction. Under this banner, he engaged in the construction of homes, apartments, and commercial buildings. Richard also spearheaded the development of a 186-unit complex by combining industrial and commercial structures, showcasing his innovative capabilities.
Richard’s involvement extended beyond his professional life and into the community of Fullerton. He served with distinction in various organizations, including the Fullerton Lions Club, the Elks Lodge, the Chamber of Commerce, the Boys’ Club, and the Building Contractors Association, in addition to his affiliation with the National Association of Home Builders.
On a personal note, Richard Jewett was married to Frances Virginia Barris. Their sons, Billy, Craig, and Michael, all graduated from FUHS, and their son, Tommy, completed his education at Sunny Hills. Adding a touch of historical interest, it’s worth noting that Richard’s mother, Fanny Bess, was also an alumna, graduating in the class of 1905. This family connection further underscores the enduring legacy of the Jewett family within Fullerton’s community.