W. Ladd, of Redlands, first came to California in 1851. He shipped his horses and wagons from near Detroit, Michigan, to Chicago, and then to Missouri. April 9, 1851, they started from St. Joseph, Missouri, across the plains, and on August 11, of the same year, they arrived in Virginia City. Mr. Ladd mined until 1852, when he went back to Michigan by way of Panama. He worked at blacksmithing and the wagon-maker’s trade at Dearborn, Michigan, from 1852 until 1859, and on April 9, of the latter year, he again started from St. Joseph, Missouri, across the plains for the “Golden State,” this time with oxen, and arrived at Virginia City, August 14, having made the trip in just three days less time than he had made the first trip with horses in 1851.
He mined from August to February and then worked as a millwright for five years in the Eureka Mills. He then engaged as contractor, sinking shafts and making tunnels for about four years. At this time he lost all he had and went back to the Eureka mills, where he worked for fifteen years for a mining company. In 1882 he came to Redlands and purchased twenty acres of land, for which he paid $1,500, on which he built the third house in the place. He at once put this land out to oranges and today has one of the finest and most beautifully located orchards and home in all the valley. His residence is located on the corner of Grant and Brookside Avenue. The slope of his land is such that irrigation is complete. Starting at the southeast corner he runs water along the east side to the northeast corner, and thence along the north side to the northwest corner, and from that point to the southwest corner, where he is met by a stream flowing from the southeast corner, thus making the circuit complete, and he can sleep while the life-giving stream is flowing to the roots of his oranges, lemons and vines, knowing that everything is being done with the regularity of clock-work.
Mr. Ladd is a Canadian by birth. He was born four miles east of Wallaceville, Ontario, February 19, 1826. His parents, Orrin and Lucinda (Youngs) Ladd, were natives, respectively, of Vermont and Canada. They moved to Michigan in 1839, where Mr. Ladd worked as a mechanic until his death in March, 1886, at the age of eighty-three. His wife died in 1872. They had a family of five children, of which the subject of this sketch was the eldest. Be has been twice married. His present wife was Miss Mary Quillin, to whom he was married February 10, 1857. She is the daughter of David and Hannah (Molton) Quillin, natives, respectively, of Pennsylvania and England, who were married in Canada, and subsequently moved to Michigan. Her father died at the age of eighty-nine years, and she was but ten years old when her mother died. Mr. and Mrs. Ladd have had born to them a family of three girls, the oldest of whom, Cordelia, is now Mrs. J. S. Gould; Annie J. died in infancy, and Annie V. is now attending college.