Biography of Thomas R. Cundiff

Thomas R. Cundiff came to California in 1874, and the next year located in Riverside. Upon his arrival he sought work as a nurseryman, and first worked for Mr. Carleton, and then Mr. Russell. He soon became familiar with horticultural pursuits, and purchasing a team and wagon engaged in improving and planting orchards and orange grove lands for non-residents. He worked for several years at this, and some of the now finest fruit groves in the colony were those he planted in the early days, among which may be noted the groves of Peter Suman and Henry Jaracki, on Brockton Avenue.

In 1875 Mr. Cundiff bought twenty acres in Brockton Square, on the south side of Bandini Avenue, and this he partially improved and then sold to Aberdeen Kieth, and in 1877 purchased a twenty-acre tract on the north side of Bandini Avenue. Upon that land he commenced his horticultural pursuits upon his own account, planting a large variety of citrus and deciduous trees and also raisin grapes. In latter years he corrected his mistake by rooting out his deciduous trees and vines and planting oranges. In 1882 he sold the east ten acres of his tract to George Bryant. This fine place is now owned by Captain J. W. Sayward. The remaining ten acres Mr. Cundiff reserved for his home, and erected upon it a neat cottage residence and comfortable out-buildings. He is destined to have one of the most productive places in Brockton Square. Nearly all of his land is in budded orange trees at this writing. Some six acres is giving a fair yield, and trees are coming into bearing every year. His grove shows the care and attention of a thorough horticulturist.

Mr. Cundiff is a native of Missouri, dating his birth in 1852. He was reared and schooled in Farmington, Missouri, until he came to California, in 1874. His parents were Richard and Agnes (Blue) Cundiff. His father is a native of Kentucky, and his mother of Tennessee.

In 1882 Mr. Cundiff was united in marriage with Miss Anna Finch, the daughter of William Finch, a well-known resident of Riverside. From this marriage there are four children: Florence A., Grace A., Harry T. and Bert N. Mr. Cundiff’s long residence has made him well known in the Riverside colony, and his consistent course of life and sterling qualities have won him a large circle of friends. In political matters he is a conservative Democrat.



The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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