Frank Hinckley, one of the most successful horticulturists in San Bernardino Valley, is a native of Rhode Island. His father, E. B. Hinckley, was an architect and builder. He early came to California, where he died in 1880.
The subject of this sketch was graduated at the Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York, in civil engineering, and almost immediately after came to California, his first work as a civil engineer was on the fortifications in San Francisco. He next worked on the Northern Pacific Railroad. He followed engineering for a period of ten years, and has since given his attention to farming and fruit culture, having been thus engaged in Alameda, Santa Clara and Monterey counties. Six years ago he purchased sixty acres where he now lives. He has one of the finest residences in the valley, and no finer fruit orchard can be found in Southern California.
The following statement was made by Mr. Hinckley to the Board of Trade of San Bernardino County: ” My seedling orchard, ten years old, yielded an average of three and one-third boxes to the tree, from which I realized $1.75 per box, net, on the tree the season just past. My budded trees, five years old, yielded two boxes to the tree, and sold for $2.50 and $3.00 per box on the tree, net. I have three seedling trees, twenty years old, which between 9,000 and 10,000 oranges, and brought $1.75 per box on the tree, net.”
Frank Hinckley is well and favorably known all over San Bernardino County, and stands at the head in fruit culture. Everyone riding from San Bernardino to Redlands on the motor road, which passes his premises, remarks: ” What a nice residence and tine orchards and grounds!” If they should have occasion to stop off for a brief hour or two they would be most hospitably and agreeably entertained by Mr. Hinckley and his excellent wife.
He was married in 1870 to Miss Sarah C. Meek, daughter of William Meek, who crossed the plains in 1846 and brought the first grafted trees that were ever brought to the coast. He watered them on the way across the plains, and thus kept them alive during the long journey. It is said that he owns the finest fruit ranch in the State of California, located in Alameda County. Mr. and Mrs. Hinckley have a large family, ten children in all. The oldest one is attending college at Berkeley. Socially Mr. Hinckley is a member of the Masonic fraternity and affiliates with the lodge in San Francisco. As a citizen no man in the county stands higher than Mr. Hinckley, and it is saying only what is just and right that he has honored the avocation he has chosen.