Notable People of Lemon Grove – Chronological


Argüello, Santiago (1791-1862)  Soldier. Son of the founder of the Pueblo de Los Angeles and twice Spanish colonial governor of California. His brother, Luis Antonio Argüello, was also a Spanish colonial governor of California (1822-1825). Santiago received Mexican land grants including Tia Juana Rancho in 1829, the Trabuco Rancho in 1841 and San Diego Ex-Mission lands in 1846. The Mission land grant included modern day Lemon Grove.


Allison, Robert (1814-1891)   Pioneer sheep rancher. Purchased 3,000 acres in Cuyamaca and 8,000 acres of former mission lands from heirs of Santiago Argüello. The latter purchase included modern day Lemon Grove and parts of La Mesa, Spring Valley and Encanto. Allison was an investor in and provided right-of-way for the San Diego Flume Company which brought water to Lemon Grove in 1889. He was a director and stockholder of the San Diego and Cuyamaca Railroad which ran through his Lemon Grove and La Mesa holdings.

Allison, Temperance “Tempa” Waterman (1815-1890)   Wife of Robert Allison. She is one of two people credited with naming the community “Lemon Grove.”


Atherton, Isaac W.(Rev.)(1826-1915) Minister and circuit rider. He organized Lemon Grove’s first church, the First Congregational Church of Lemon Grove in 1894. He donated the first $100 to construction of the church in 1897. (The church building was saved in 1997-99 by the lemon Grove Historical Society as the Parsonage Museum of Lemon Grove.)


Hill, Henry Martyn (1831/35-1905) Civil War veteran. Montana pioneer. Merchant. Founded mining towns of Montana City and Clancy (1864). Member of the Montana Sixth Legislative Assembly (1886-1899) representing Jefferson County (Clancy). Moved to Lemon Grove for his wife’s health. Purchased the Sunset View Ranch in 1899.

Campbell, Henry Montgomery (1836-?) Victorian Era Opera Singer. Playwright. Music teacher. Enigmatic figure who used multiple stage names through his varied international operatic career. Wrote the song “We are all alike in Khaki” while living in Lemon Grove (1917-1919).

Mesny,  Joseph C. (Rev. Fr.) (1836-1938) First Catholic pastor in Lemon Grove. He began holding services for Mexican Catholics in 1926. In 1927 he founded the Church of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, the predecessor of Saint John of the Cross Parish.

Campobello, Enrico (1836-?)  See Henry Montgomery Campbell

Bryan, Thomas James (Col.) (1838-1924) Civil War Veteran and Montana Cattleman.  Moved to Lemon Grove in 1895. Served as President of Lemon Grove Mutual Water Company and Vice President of Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association. Built the Casa Coronelia, a grand home where notables such as William Howard Taft and Calvin Coolidge were entertained.


Kleinfield, Joseph P. (1840-19**) Grocer.  He owned and operated the Lemon Grove Store from 1896 to 1903 and lived with his family in the adjacent house. Lemon Grove’s third Postmaster.

Kempf, Edward (1842-1930) Kempf was an early rancher and land developer. Moving to Lemon Grove about 1907, he subdivided a tract south of Golden Avenue. The subdivision contained fourteen (14) lots: eight (8) along Golden Avenue and six (6) along the newly created Kempf Street.

Geer, Levi (1843-1898) Merchant. Town Clerk in Dansville, Michigan 1876-1880. Purchased 30 acres from Joseph Allison and built the Sunset View Ranch in 1895.

Cooke, Lorenzo Wesley (1847-1915)  Civil War Veteran (Brigadier-General, US Army Retired)

Allison, Benjamin Franklin “Frank” (1848-1936)  Son of Robert Allison. Sold meat in San Diego from family sheep business. Built the first house in Lemon Grove in 1891, a “small shack” on the corner of modern day Lemon Grove Avenue and Golden Avenue.


Stoddard, Helen Marie (Gerrells) (1850-1941) Teacher, Activist.  First Woman to run for national office from the State of California. She ran unsuccessfully for the United States Congress on the Prohibition Party ticket in 1912. Helen served as President of the Texas Women’s Christian Temperance Union from 1891 to 1907. She lived in Lemon Grove 1913 to 1923. She was elected President of the California WCTU in 1920.

Dodson, D.N. (1851-1931)   Attorney, Newspaper Editor. Owned the Ramona Sentinel Newspaper from 1902.  Lemon Grove Justice of the Peace 1913-1918

Sonka, Anton (1851-1909)  Immigrant from Bohemia (today, Czech Republic). Patriarch of the Sonka Family and founder of Sonka and Sons General Merchandise 1907. He purchased the Lemon Grove Store in 1909. His headstone is located next to the Lemon Grove Historical Society’s Parsonage Museum.

Allison, Joseph Augustus (1852-1915)  Land developer. Son of Robert Allison. Instrumental in building a flume to bring water to Lemon Grove. Filed the original subdivision maps for the town site of Lemon Grove in 1891. He (along with A.S. Crowder) would file the La Mesa Springs subdivision map in 1894.

Fels, August H.  (1853-1914)  Pioneer rancher.  He and his wife Augusta built the largest ranch comprising approximately one-quarter of modern Lemon Grove. Built the Fels Ranch House in 1885 (extant on Massachusetts Avenue).

Halley, John Hamilton “J.H.” (1854-1944)  Rancher. Director, Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association and member of the Lemon Grove Mutual Water Company. President of the La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley Irrigation District.

Waite, Jerry William (1854-1950)  Pioneer orchardist from Michigan in 1894. Fruit grower. He planted one of the first orchards in Lemon Grove. Products sold nationally under the Waite Orchard Fruit Label.  Waite Drive is named for the family.

Brand, Henry L (1855-1936) Mining Engineer, rancher and early merchant. Bought the first lot in the Lemon Grove subdivision in June of 1892 and built the second house in Lemon Grove. He is credited with selling the first box of lemons from his Lemon Grove orchard for $1.65 in November 1894. Brand ran the Lemon Grove store and was named Lemon Grove’s third postmaster in 1895.

Straw, Fred Walter  (Rev.) (1855-1935)   Pastor of the Lemon Grove 1st Congregational Church. Lemon Grove School Board trustee (1921)

Vogdes, Charles Berard  (1856-1922) Spanish-American War Veteran (Major, US Army)  Rancher.  President of Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association in early 1900s. His brother, Anthony Wayne Vogdes, was President of the San Diego Society of Natural History from 1904 to 1920.

Sessions, Katherine Olivia “Kate”   (1857-1940) Horticulturalist.  Nursery owner. “Mother of Balboa Park.” She owned a satellite nursery on Adams Street in Lemon Grove for raising palm trees. She was a friend and associate of Antwonet Kaufman Treganza.

Braiden, John C (1859-1919) Real Estate developer and loan broker. Active in the early development of Lemon Grove.  When the Lemon Grove store burned down in 1906 Braiden built a temporary store on the site for merchant Milton Mason.


Bond , Mortimer Platt (1860-1940) Rancher and early merchant. Ran the first Lemon Grove Store from 1893-1895. Lemon Grove’s second postmaster.

Noonan, Fred C (1860-1838) Rancher.  President Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Assoc 1925

Williamson, R Fred (1860- )  First known physician & surgeon in Lemon Grove circa 1900.

Woodworth, Samuel Kline (1861-1941)  Attorney, Justice of the Peace, County Attorney and member of school board in Seneca Kansas prior to moving to Lemon Grove in 1906.

Bradstreet, Albert Edward  (1861-1917) Minister. Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Lemon Grove in early 1900’s. He is credited with building the church parsonage in 1900 on the south side of the church on Main Street.

Allen, Sherwood R. (1862-1893) Lemon Grove’s first postmaster (1893).

Maxwell, George E. (1862-1939)  Railroad Agent  and Lemon Grove rancher. He was the Station Master for the Lemon Grove railroad station from (1895-1913). He was active in development of Lemon Grove from 1896 through the 1930s.

Troxell, William Slaughter (1863-1945) First citrus rancher in Lemon Grove. After amassing a fortune in the candy business in Illinois, Troxell relocated to Lemon Grove for the weather. He built the Troxell Manor in 1892, extant but threatened. On of two people credited with naming “Lemon Grove.”

White, Frederick Paul (1864-1948)   Poultry Rancher. Moved to Lemon Grove in 1901. He was a  medical doctor in days before licensing of physicians but continued to provide aid to all who requested his services.

Lester, Arthur (1865-1948) Along with his father Brainerd (1832-1910), he was an early Lemon Grove citrus growers. Lester Avenue is named for the family.

Hart, George Edward (1867-1941)  Merchant. Hart was a prosperous Wisconsin merchant. After relocation to Lemon Grove, he kept accounts for the Sonka Brothers Store from WWI to the great depression. With his wife Mabel, he owned “Hartland” on Main Street.

Troxell, George Arthur (1867-1937)  William Troxelll’s younger brother. He built a Victorian home on “Lemon Grove Road” in 1894. The home was used as a stage coach stop and hotel. It was demolished in 1993 to make way for the Home Depot.

Barry, James H. (1868-1931)  Farmer. Lemon Grove’s first constable 1903

Bryan, Eveleen Kennedy (1868-1945) Attorney.  Practiced law in Montana prior to marriage.  Admitted to California Bar in 1905. First female attorney in Lemon Grove; second female attorney in San Diego County. Instrumental in formation of the Grossmont High School District. Past President of the Forward Club of Lemon Grove. Wife of Col. Thomas James Bryan.

Hay, Arthur (1868-1944) Civil Engineer.  President of the Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association 1918-1923. Member of Lemon Grove School Board of Trustees. (1920-1921) His wife, Grace, was a violinist with the John Philip Sousa Band. Their 1897 home is extant on Palm Street.

Kerfoot, Arthur Sterling (1868-1944) Businessman.  Proprietor of the Lemon Grove Lumber Yard

Christianson, A.E. ( 18**-1893)  Early merchant.  Built the first Lemon Grove Store in 1891 to fill ranching and domestic needs of the area.


Good, Charles Long (1871-1958) Dentist in San Diego, lived on his 30-acre citrus ranch along Buena Vista Avenue from Central Avenue to Pacific Street. He built the general store in 1912 on main street.   San Diego City Board of Delegates (1903-1905); San Diego County Supervisor (1915-1930).  Championed road building in the early days of the automobile.

Fletcher, Edward (Col.) (1872-1955) Produce farmer, real estate developer, promoter. He lived in a sod house on Vista Street in 1888 at the beginning of his career.  He later built a home in Lemon Grove for his grandfather, Charles K. Fletcher. Fletcher was elected to the California State Senate three times.  He brought piped water to Lemon Grove (1910).

Miller, Charles G (1873-1953)  Dairyman.  Founded Miller Dairy in 1926.  The dairy would become largest in Lemon Grove. During the Great Depression and World War II it was the sole supplier of milk to the Lemon Grove School District.

Schellback, Luera Woodruff (1874-1973)  First president of the Forward Club of Lemon Grove (1913).

West, William Henry (1875-1978)  President of the Lemon Grove Citrus Association (1927-1957) and a director of the first Lemon Grove Mutual Water Company. First president of the Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce in 1927. In the early years the Chamber had a quasi-governmental function by overseeing the maintenance of roads, garbage collection, and fire protection. West helped form the Lemon Grove volunteer fire department and obtained the first fire engine from Tijuana.

West, Ada P (1876-1948) Wife of William West. President of Lemon Grove Forward Club in 1922. Active in the San Diego Federation of Women’s Clubs. She was largely responsible for organizing fund raising and construction efforts for the “new” Forward Club building on Main Street.

Treganza, Alberto Owen (1876-1944)  Architect, artist, amateur ornithologist, furniture and cabinet maker.  Designed many civic buildings and homes in the Spanish Revival style including the MacGregor house in Lemon Grove and the old San Diego Police Headquarters at 801 W. Market Street.  He has multiple buildings listed on the register of historic places. In 1928 he designed the “Big Lemon” – the iconic landmark of Lemon Grove.

Hand, Clifford Nott (1877 -1936)  Pastor.  Lemon Grove Congregational Church 1910-1915 and 1917-1918. He formed Boy Scout Troop 1, the first troop in Lemon Grove, in 1912.

Mason, Milton Walter (1877-1955)  Operator of the Lemon Grove Store and postmaster in 1906-1907. Founder of Mason Feed and Supply (in 1891). The business was later run by his son, Channing Perdue Mason.

Ray, [Edward] Russel, (1878-1950) Architect. WWI Veteran (Lt. US Army, Signal Corp.) Designed Friendship Hall of the First Congregational Church of Lemon Grove in 1949.  (The building was demolished in 1995.)


Kida, Jizaemon (1880-1975)  Pioneer Japanese American farmer. Operated farms in El Cajon, La Mesa and Spring Valley. His family was interred at Poston, Arizona during World War II.  His son, Tamotsu, would go on to operate Lemon Grove’s Kida farms.

Hunter, Howard Hatfield (1880-1874)  Nurseryman.  Founded the Hunter Tree Nursery in 1919. Supplied trees for orchards and landscaping in Lemon Grove and surrounding areas.

Golden, Robert  (1882-1962)  Early rancher. see Golden Ave.

Nicolson, Charlotte M.  (1882-1967) Beginning as a clerk in the Sonka Store, she worked for the U. S. Post Office for 32 years. She ended her career serving as Lemon Grove’s first permanent woman postmaster (1941-1949). (Antwonet Treganza served as the acting postmaster for five and one-half months in 1940-41.)

Greene, Jerome T (1882-1946)  Notre Dame graduate. Assisted Marconoi with first trans-Atlantic cable. Taught at San Diego State College. Principal of Lemon Grove Grammar School who, acting on order the school board, barred entrance to the grammar school to Mexican-American students in 1931. Known as the Lemon Grove incident it spawned the first successful school desegregation case in the United States, Alvarez v. Lemon Grove School Board.

Ferriera, Enrique (1883-1949) Mexican Consul in San Diego.  He played a central role in supporting parents during the Lemon Grove Incident and procuring attorney to represent the families in the Roberto Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District school desegregation case.

Fisher, Jabez William (1883-1955) Mechanical Engineer, Citrus rancher. He established the “Cuyamaca Court” subdivision on Buena Vista Avenue and the Lemon Grove Land Office on Main Street in 1912. After leaving Lemon Grove he became the President of the Southwest Onyx and Marble Company (in 1935) and served on the county Water Authority and board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District. Fisher Lane is named after the family.

Fisher, Alice Wilder (Day) (1883-1961)  Citrus rancher. Wife of Jabez William Fisher. She was the founder and first Commissioner of the San Diego County Chapter of the Girl Scouts of America in 1918 (the first Girl Scout Council west of the Mississippi River). After moving to San Diego she organized the Barn Players which later became the Globe Players forerunners of the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.

Jester, Arthur V. (1883-1976)  Manager, Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association (1912-1921) during the historic January 7, 1913 freeze in San Diego County, damaging half the local citrus crop.

McKnight, Thomas Joseph Hempstead (1883-1969)  Chula Vista Poultry Rancher Civil Engineer.  President of the California Leghorn Breeders of Lemon Grove (1922).  He also served as the President of the Chula Vista Board of Trustees (1918-1922).

Olney, Amos Dexter (1883-1972)  Packing House Manager Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association 1920s

Sonka, Anthony Ferdinand “Tony” (1885-1974)  Influential merchant. Philanthropist. Lemon Grove’s “First Citizen.”  Ran the Sonka Brothers Store with his brother Emil beginning in 1910.  Coined the term “Best Climate on Earth.” Active participant in assembling historical materials for the Lemon Grove historical group.  Postmaster (1907-1940).

Mukai, Tasaburo “Thomas” (1886-1954)  Operated a large farm on the edge of Lemon Grove south of Palm Avenue with produce marketed under the “Spring Valley Pride” label. He was among the earliest Nikkei pioneer farming families in San Diego County. The farm was taken in the 1968 for the SR-125 freeway right-of-way.

Gonzales, Ramona Castellanos Alvarez (1886-1966) Emigrated to US from Mexico in 1908.  Longtime Lemon Grove resident. Family and Latino community historian.

Denlinger, Walter Franklin (1887-1968) Early rancher, citrus grower.  Holdings ran along Washington Street between Alton and Golden Avenue. Donated land for town’s first park on Washington Street.  Today the land is the Lemon Grove Park and Senior Center.

Sunbury, Pearl May (1887-1960)  Early pioneer with husband Oscar. Columnist for the San Diego Union. Their home is extant on Central Avenue.

Sonka, Joseph Emil (1887-1947) Merchant and rancher.

Treganza, Antwonet Kaufman (1888-1954)   Columnist for San Diego Union newspaper. First woman president of Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce (1938) and first women to serve as postmaster (in an acting capacity 1940-41).


Hayes, Casey Hewitt (1890-1967) Colonel US Army. Served in both world wars. Received the Distinguished Service Cross – the second highest military award of the US Army – for gallantry in battle during WWI (1919).

Osgood, Agnes Hamilton (1890-1988) Historian/Photographer. Founded the Lemon Grove historical group in the early 1970s which became a driving force behind the formation of the Lemon Grove Historical Society. She was a founding director and the first historian of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Ray, Mary Ester (Jackson) (1891-1982)  Founder, St. Philip the Apostle Episcopal Church.  In 1950, Ray held the first service in her home across the street from the current church on Palm Street. She was instrumental in raising funds to bring the historic St. Dunstan’s Church building to Lemon Grove in 1970.

Martin, Elwood Good “Speed” (1893-1983)  Professional Baseball Player. Martin was a major league pitcher (1917-1922) and went to the World Series with the Chicago Cubs in 1918.

Wight, Anna E (1893-1988)  School Trustee  Named in the Alvarez vs Lemon Grove School District case in 1931.

Bell, Spencer M (1895-1918)  Lieutenant US Army WWI  Died in aircraft accident in France. Buried in Suresnes Cemetery, France.

Anderson, Henry Arnold “Andy” (1895-1972)  Airplane Mechanic and Pilot. He was among the first flying aces in WWI. Opened the first Lemon Grove automobile repair garage at Imperial and Lester Streets. The Lemon Grove Volunteer Fire Department began using the garage for its fire equipment in 1928. Anderson became the volunteer’s first fire chief. Anderson served on the school board (1926-1934). He was the school board president (1929-31) during the Alvarez vs. Lemon Grove School Board desegregation case.

McGregor, Ebon Bell (Dr.) (1895-1967) US Navy Lt. during WWII.  Lemon Grove’s only doctor during the depression era (1928-1943). He built the 1937 McGregor house on Main Street with volunteer labor from unpaid medical bills from depression era residents. He was the Director of the Veteran’s Administration under FDR and made the Wasserman Test mandatory. He ran unsuccessfully for state office.

Lee, Harold Vernon (1896-1986) Businessman, San Diego auto body and paint shop. British immigrant. Original owner of the H. Lee House designed by Frederick C. Clemeshaw and built in 1928. The building was moved to Civic Center Park in 2002 and is now the H Lee House Cultural Center, the home of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Lindsay, William Taylor. (1897-1992)  Boy Scout Executive.  Founding director of the Lemon Grove Historical Society. Moved to Lemon Grove in 1912. Later retired in Lemon Grove.

Dunn, Edmund J (1898-1970)  Building Contractor.  Collaborated with architect Alberto Treganza on numerous buildings in the Lemon Grove, La Mesa, and the Mount Helix area from 1928 through the 1940s. Builder of the 1928 “Big Lemon” parade float. His home (which he built) and orchard survive on Adams Street.

Prévost, Renan (1898-1990) Grower.  With his brother, Voltaire Prévost (1901-1946), he ran a large farming operation (Mesa Grove Produce). They operated one of Lemon Grove’s largest packing houses on North Street at the railroad tracks.  After retiring from the produce business, Renan became an author and publisher of books and music.

Tooker, Earl Lester  (1899-1937)  WWI Veteran (Army Signal Corp) Returned home after suffering a gas attack in France. Worked as a station agent and railroad telegraph operator until his death at age 38 from the effects to exposure to poison gas.


Young, Joseph H (1900-1997)  Founding director of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Goodbody, Michael D (1901-1942)  Mortician  Founder of one of San Diego’s oldest mortuaries, Goodbody Mortuary in 1920.  Resided in the 1895 Hay House (extant) on Palm Street.

Hutchings, Donald Stowell (1901-1976)  Manager of the Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association 1928-1933.

Showalter, Esther Lighthall Tooker (1901-1984)   Charter member of LGHS and collector of life stories of early Lemon Grove pioneers.

Handcox, John L (1904-1992)  Labor Organizer, Poet, Songwriter. Handcox wrote depression era folk songs dealing with conditions in the rural south. His works are recorded in the Library of Congress.

O’Donoghue, Daniel Msgr (1904-1985) Catholic pastor from Ireland. He founded Saint John of the Cross Catholic Church in 1939. He was the founder and organizer of the Lemon Grove Horse Shows (1941-1957). In 1948 the show attracted 65,000 attendees. Revenues raised were used to build the parish school and 1959 church building. He went on to found the Saint Mary Magdalene parish in 1958, becoming its first pastor.

Castellanos, Tiburcio “Thomas” (1906-1999)  Patriarch of Castellanos Family. Leader of the Lemon Grove Neighbors Committee (El Comité de Vecinos de Lemon Grove) which successfully fought against the segregation of Lemon Grove schools in 1930-31.

Griffen, Harry (1907-2001) Bank Manager, Celery Grower, “Mr. Water.” Griffen served as a trustee of the Grossmont High School District (1941-1945); the Lemon Grove School Board 1946-1953. He represented Lemon Grove on the Helix Water District Board of Directors (1951-1978). He was President of Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)(1972-1973); Served on the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA)(1956-1995) and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD)(1963-1995). Harry Griffen Regional Park in La Mesa is named after him. He designed and built the lemon Grove home extant on Alton Drive.

Hensley, Harold Laverne “Pappy” (1908-1987) First fire chief of the Lemon Grove Fire Protection District in 1952.

Whiting, Genevieve B (1908-2001) Founding director of the Lemon Grove Historical Society. Served as the second President of the Society (1982-1984)

Dorman, Vroman J (1909-1994) Attorney. Lemon Grove School Board Trustee (1946-1953) Delegate to the Republican National Convention 1944 and 1952. Top vote getter for mayor in 1955 incorporation election (which failed).  Father of future mayor of Lemon Grove.

Goodwin, Max  (nee Gutman) (1909-1999)  WWII veteran (Army), Newspaper Publisher, Homeland Publishing Company, Editor of the Lemon Grove Review (1952-1989).

Mason, Channing Perdue (1909-1969)  Owner of Mason Feed and Supply Company. Member and President of Lemon Grove School Board (1954-1957). Served as a fire commissioner for Lemon Grove Fire District and President of the Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce.

Huebsch, Mildred C (Murrey) (1909-1976)  Civic Leader.  Charter member and past president of Lemon Grove Business Women’s League. She was involved in all four incorporation attempts, serving on the steering committee for Citizens for Incorporation of Lemon Grove and a member of the Reorganization Committee during the 1976-77 campaign.


Payne, Brent Wilkes (1910-1993) Printer.  Newspaper Publisher. Payne founded the Lemon Grove Review publishing the first edition September 2, 1948

McCrae, Isabelle Garrett  (1912-1999)  WWII Flight Nurse and WASP pilot. Flew B-26 bombers in non-combat missions.  Won the Powder Puff Derby in 1953 and was an avid private pilot.

Treganza, Amorita Dr. (1912-2002)   Pediatric optometrist.  First Miss Lemon Grove in 1928. Voted “Woman of the Year” in San Diego in 1964. She became the first president of a national organization for developmental optometry in 1971. She was a member of the first working group (formed in 1965) to begin collection of historical photos, papers and recollections that would become the first Lemon Grove archives. She helped to lead the founding of the Lemon Grove Historical Society in 1978 and was its president (1988-1990 and 1996-1999).

Pfister, Ruth Fredericka Wagner (1913-2008)  Director of Food Services for the Lemon Grove School District for 32 years.  She co-founded the California School Food Service Association (CSFSA) and wrote its Code of Ethics.  She wrote “Nutritional Guidelines for Schools” for the California State Office of Education that became the bible for nutritious lunch menus for decades.

Graham, Denver         Constable 1913-1915

McCormick, Elizabeth Helen Wellington (1914-1990)  Founding director of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Faucher, Francis “Frenchie” (1914-1999)  Lemon Grove Postmaster for 20 years beginning in 1949. President of Lemon Grove Historical Society (1994-1995)

Gray, Fred                   Constable 1915-1918

Dugas, Virginia M (1916-2005)  Served as the third President of the Lemon Grove Historical Society (1984-1987).

Heyser, Donald Louis  (1916-1991)  Engineer, Inventor. He held multiple patents for industrial processes. Founding director and the second historian of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Treganza, Adan Alberto (1916-1968)  Son of architect Alberto O. Treganza and writer Antwonet Kaufman Treganza. Noted anthropologist and artist. Founded department and museum (named for him) at San Francisco State University.

Wilkes, Edith Marie  (1916-2008) Escrow officer. Early advocate for preserving Lemon Grove history. She was a member of the first working group (formed in 1965) to begin collection of historical photos, papers and recollections that would become the first Lemon Grove archives.

Cremer, George Dorland (1917-2008) M.I.T. graduate. Aerospace pioneer. Served on the Manhattan Project. He developed products and fabrication techniques for the Saturn and Apollo rockets while working for the Solar Aircraft Company. He lived with his family in the H Lee House 1950-1996.

Klein, Leonard Alton (1917-1980)  Businessman. Civic booster. Owner of Marders Stationery. Active in incorporations efforts and the Chamber of Commerce. House manager of the Lemon Grove Players. Marshal of the Lemon Grove Old Time Days Parade in 1980.

Folk, James Frederick (1918-2007)  San Diego Postmaster. President of Lemon Grove Historical Society (1995-96)

Thren, Daniel Frederick (1918-1995) Prominent realtor and philanthropist. Dan bequeathed half a million dollars in 1995 toward the construction of a new Lemon Grove Library. The fund grew to over nine hundred thousand dollars by the time the library was built in 2013.

Kida, Tamotsu “Tom” (1919-2009)  Operated the Kida Farms near Berry Street from 1948-1976, marketed produce under the “Kida Farms” label. Son of early farm family.

Lake, Dell E. (1919-2014)  Member of the first Lemon Grove City Council (1977-1986). Retired US Navy Chief.  Electrician. WWII veteran. Lake was a local businessman who founded Dell Enterprises extant on Broadway as Dell Awards. He chaired the Citizens for the Incorporation of Lemon Grove. He served on the Lemon Grove Fire Protection District Board of Directors prior to election to the City council.

Lange, Jack Bishop (1919-1996)  Businessman. WWII Veteran (US Army) Owner of Lemon Grove Lumber and the Lemon Grove Fire Watch Tower.

Coady, Merle Gaylord (1919-1985)  WWII Veteran (US Navy Musician) Musician/educator. Mason. Ran the Coady School of Music.

Alvarez, Don Roberto Ricardo (1919-2003) WWII Veteran (US Navy) International produce distributor. Founder of the Coast Citrus Company. At age twelve he was the lead plaintiff in the desegregation case of Roberto Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District, the first successful school desegregation court decision in the history of the United States. The auditorium of the Lemon Grove Academy is named after him.

Buckner, H Warren (1919-2012)  Engineer, aircraft designer. Lemon Grove School Board (1957-1977); Chairman, Lemon Grove Planning Commission 1978-1980. Director, Helix Water District (1980-2007) The H Warren Buckner Succulent and Cactus Garden in the San Diego Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College, and the Helix Water District’s Buckner Pump Stations are named for him.

Heiserman, Lois (1919-2004) First woman elected to the Lemon Grove City Council. Heiserman had been active in the Soroptimists. She was the founding president of the Lemon Grove/Spring Valley Nutrition Board.  She narrowly missed election to the City Council in the incorporation election in 1977. She served on the Planning Commission 1977-1980. She defeated W. Dale Bailey and served on the council for 14 years (1980-1994).


Miller, William (1921-2015) Dairyman.  WWII Veteran (US Army Air Corp)  Miller was the last Lemon Grove dairyman when Miller Dairy closed in 1985.

Reese, Jean (1921-2007)  Bookkeeper. Along with Agnes Osgood, Tony Sonka and Amorita Treganza, Jean was responsible for assembling historical binders that created the early index and foundation for the Lemon Grove Historical Society’s archives.

Van Zanten, Albert Lee (1921-1987)  Lemon Gove Grammar School math and industrial arts teacher  WWII veteran (USN)  He rescued the historic Lemon Grove school bell in 1976 and stored it for 25 years until the historical society retrieved it in 2003.

Smart, W Earl  (1921-1970)  Attorney  WWII Veteran (US Army bomber pilot) Past president of Lemon Grove Rotary and Chamber of Commerce. He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 1966.

Moore, Mary Francis (1922-1962)  Played in the All American Girl’s Professional Baseball League (AAGBL) in 1948. Pitcher for the Rockford Peaches. There is a permanent display honoring the AAGBL players in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Bowersox, Willis John “Bill” (1922-1996)  Pacific Bell Company supervisor and WWII veteran,  Bowersox served on City Council 1982-1986. He was a member of the planning commission prior to his election. He filled a vacant seat when original council member Jack Doherty chose not to seek re-election to a third term.

Sjogren, Robert Thomas (1922-2006)  Attorney. Lemon Grove School Board trustee (1959-1971; President 1963-1965). He provided pro bono incorporation service to the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Burns, Dr. Robert (1923-2003) Member of the first Lemon Grove City Council (1977-1996); Mayor (1994-1996). Occupation: veterinarian. He founded the Lemon Grove Veterinary Hospital in 1955. He served on the Lemon Grove Fire Protection District Board of Directors prior to election to the City council. He was the City representative to the Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB). He was responsible for leading efforts to build the Trolley Depot and Lemon Grove Senior Center. Founding member of the Sheriff’s Department Senior Volunteer Patrol Unit in Lemon Grove. Member of the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Dunton, Robert Arden (1923-2017) WWII veteran. Grandson of Charles Long Good. Grew up in Lemon Grove in 1930’s.  Major benefactor to the Lemon Grove Historical Society archives.

Durham, John S. “Jack”  (1925-2014)  Businessman & Entrepreneur.  Stock boy at Sonka Brothers Store at age 15. WWII veteran (US Navy). Businesses included the Durham Insurance Agency and the historic Cinema Dine drive-in movie theatre. Active in multiple civic organizations including the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Guest, Robert L (1927-2009) Banker.  Branch Manager of the Lemon Grove branch of San Diego Trust & Savings Bank. President of the Lemon Grove Rotary Club and president of the Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce the year Lemon Grove was incorporated as a city (1977).


Hopper, Dennis Lee (1930-2010)  Actor, film maker, photographer. Known for 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause. Directed the 1967 film Easy Rider.  Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film Hoosiers (1986). Lived in Lemon Grove (1949-1954). Attended Lemon Grove Junior High School, Grossmont and Helix High Schools. Studied at Old Globe Theatre.

Pero, Ernest Genesis Jr. (1931-2012)  Vietnam War Veteran (US Navy – Retired) Owned a real estate and property management company. He was active in the Lemon Grove business community. Rotarian. Served as chapter president and President of Rotary District Council (2004-2005).

Farella, Nicola Vito “Nick” (1932-2015)  Businessman  Korean War Veteran (US Army) Founder/Owner of Lido’s Italian Foods (1955-1978).

aneko, Julio  (1935-1967)  Staff Sergeant US Army Vietnam Infantry Direct Fire Crewman (ARMY), Headquarters 4thh Division Recon, out of Dragon Hill Pleiku.  Killed in action. His name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Kunkel, Daniel Vincent (1936-1988)  Building contractor. Lemon Grove City Councilman (1986-88). Died in office. Daniel V. Kunkel Memorial Park is named in his honor.

Campbell, Gloria Castellanos  (1939-2002) Popular teacher  who taught in the Lemon Grove School District for 38 years. Untimely death due to breast cancer. Memorial garden I the Lemon Grove Middle School is named after her.

Spizak, David (1939-2014)  San Diego Police Lieutenant.  Served on the Lemon Grove School District Board (1977-1990); Board President (1982-83 & 1984-85).


Weber, Paul Frederick  (1945-1969)  Sergeant US Army Vietnam – Aircraft Maintenance Crew.
Killed in aircraft crash over hostile territory near Long Khanh, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).  His name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

O’Rourke, Karen  Berry Starelli (1949-2010)  Journalist, newspaper founder and editor. Elected to the Lemon Grove City Council (1986-1990). Served as the President of the Lemon Grove Historical Society (1987-1988).

Pecarero, Frank Anthony (1949-1970)  Combat Engineer US Army Vietnam.  Killed after stepping on land mine in Phuoc Tuy, South Vietnam. His name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Calhoun. Robert Darrell  (1950-1969)  US Marine Corp Lance Corporal Vietnam.  Killed in action by artillery/rocket fire in Quang Nam, South Vietnam. His name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Roxburgh, Edward George (1951-2017) Artist. Distinguished legacy of landscape, seascape and still life in oils, graphic design, pastels, murals (the Dr. Seuss mural at the Globe is one), sign design, industrial and event design/installation, scenic design/painting.

Dates Unknown

Castellanos, Robert Alvarez See Alvarez, Don Roberto Ricardo

Gutman, Mortimer M (See Max Goodwin)

White, George B ( – ) Along with Tony Sonka, revived the Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce in 1946 after the organization had gone dormant during WWII. He became its first post-WWII president.