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Posted By: Sarah Thorson Little (email)
Date: 6/18/2008 at 22:40:44

JOSIAS J. ANDREWS. During the past twenty-five years Josias J. Andrews has been so closely identified with the affairs of the city as to be recognized as a leading citizen of more than ordinary merit and a maker of history in the truest sense of the word. He has been actively associated with the political and governmental affairs of the municipality almost since his advent into the city itself, and is always to be found arrayed staunchly on the side of the people and of right. He served as a member of the grand jury in 1908, which was near the close of the term of office of former Mayor Harper, and he was one of the six men who made the minority report which led to the recalling of Mr. Harper from his high office. In recognition of his services Mr. Andrews was appointed police commissioner by Mayor Alexander, serving for nine months or until the close of that term of office. Following this he was elected a member of the common council, serving in this capacity for three and a half years, and while a member of the council he took an active part in the affairs of the city and was a member of eleven different committees on public service. In all his associations with the municipal affairs of the city he has always evidenced the courage of his convictions and has stood firmly for what he believed to be the right and for the best interests of the people. He has never been swayed by personal motives, or by outside interests, and pressure from any such source has only served to make him stand the more firmly by his principles of justice and public welfare. Mr. Andrews is a native of Ireland. When a lad of thirteen years his parents removed from there to the United States, settling on a farm in Whiteside county, 111. There he grew to manhood, receiving his early education in the common schools of the county. Later he attended an academy in northern Iowa, and following this he attended Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, receiving his degree in 1868, after which he attended for one year the law department of Michigan University and on examination in Davenport, Iowa, was admitted to the bar. During the Civil war Mr. Andrews enlisted in the one hundred days' service, May 19, 1864, and was discharged October 29 of that same year, after having been first sergeant in Company A, One Hundred and Fortieth Illinois Volunteers, and serving for five and a half months. Before his enlistment Mr. Andrews had been engaged in teaching school and after the close of the war he returned to this occupation.

Subsequent to his graduation from college he became principal of the schools of Toledo, Iowa, and from there he went to Eagle Grove, Wright county, Iowa, where he engaged in business enterprises, organizing the Bank of Eagle Grove, which later became the State Bank of Eagle Grove, and of which Mr. Andrews was president. He also became actively interested in the commercial and municipal affairs of the city, and was elected as one of the first town trustees. The call of the far west was, however, continually sounding for him, and in the summer of 1890 Mr. Andrews disposed of his interests in the little Iowa city and came to Southern California. One of his first investments here was the purchase of a thirty-acre fruit ranch at Ontario, in San Bernardino county. This place is located on Euclid avenue in the heart of the beautiful orange grove district, and under the skillful management of Mr. Andrews it became one of the show places of the district. He raised oranges, lemons and olives and spared neither labor nor expense to improve his groves and make them profitable and beautiful. He made a careful and thorough study of fruit raising, and became known as an expert orange grower and an authority on matters of importance, thoroughly efficient in every branch of the work. While a resident of Ontario he served on the committee that settled the water disputes of that section and became a director and president of the San Antonio Water Company. It was in 1902 that Mr. Andrews disposed of his Ontario property and came into Los Angeles to make his home. He became interested in real estate, buying property, improving it and then selling again. He associated himself with the well-known real estate firm of David Barry & Co., and has been heavily interested financially in many of their subdivisions in and about Los Angeles, among which may be mentioned Fremont place, one of the handsomest residence parks of the city. This park is beautified by massive entrance gates and has a number of especially attractive features in its improvements. Another business undertaking in which Mr. Andrews has been interested, together with a syndicate of prominent men, was the development of Victoria Park and the placing of this tract on the market. Politically Mr. Andrews is a Progressive and he is altogether progressive in profession and practice in the broadest sense of the word. He was twice elected to the city council and during the time of his service was active in procuring the passage of various progressive measures. He was a strenuous advocate of the law which later as incorporated in the city charter limiting the height of new buildings, and was instrumental in having it passed. It will be remembered that this was an issue at the time and that the opposition was strong and well conducted. There were other measures also of great importance which owe their passage to his support ; and during the entire term of his service he was constantly in the public eye, and one of the best known men in Los Angeles. He also helped to organize and is a director of the Continental National Bank. Aside from his business and political associations Mr. Andrews is well and favorably known throughout the county to a wide circle of admiring friends. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, affiliating with the Ontario lodge, although being well known in the various organizations of the order in Los Angeles. He is a power for good at all times, and his influence is a constant factor in all affairs of importance. He is a member of the various city clubs interested in the betterment and uplift of the social and moral conditions of the city and is prominent in their work. The marriage of Mr. Andrews occurred in Illinois, uniting him with Miss Anna Anthony, a native of New York, now deceased. Mrs. Andrews was a second cousin of the famous Susan B. Anthony, her father being an own cousin of the noted suffrage advocate. She bore her husband two daughters, Jesselyn, who passed away in Los Angeles and who was for a number of years an assistant in the City Library, and Anna, who is well known in Los Angeles. The real estate ventures and investments of Mr. Andrews have been extensive and profitable and he today owns interests in some of the most valuable property in and around Los Angeles. He has always had the most implicit faith in the future of the city of his adoption and in his investments has always shown especially good judgment. That he has been instrumental in aiding in the establishment of a splendid city government in the Angel City is one of the greatest gratifications that Mr. Andrews enjoys, and his record in the council and in other civic matters is justly merited.



Wright Biographies maintained by Sarah Thorson Little.
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