Monday, November 24, 2014

John E. Hibsch, Early Azusa California Resident (52 Ancestors #43)

This is another article for the series "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks", a challenge by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small.

John E. Hibsch was born 19 Feb 1880 in Stockbridge Township, Calumet County, Wisconsin to John Ernest Hibsch and Christina Henschel Hibsch.  He was my 2nd great uncle.  My Uncle B called him Uncle Johnny and remembered him fondly.

John's Siblings
Caroline Hibsch, born 1867 in Prussia
William C. Hibsch,, born 1869 in Prussia
Charles W. Hibsch, born 1875 in Calumet County, Wisconsin
Herman A. Hibsch, born 1878 in Calumet County, Wisconsin

The family lived in southern California by 1891.  In 1900, John "Hibch", age 20, lived with his parents in Azusa, Los Angeles County, California.  He worked in a grocery store owned by H.A. Williams.

John married Pearl Abigail Trogdon in 1903.  Both were 23 years of age and lived in Azusa,.  They had three daughters:

Mamie R. Hibsch, born about 1904
Zelma E. Hibsch, born about 1906
Ina E. Hibsch, born about 1908

John "Hibsch" and Pearl owned their home in 1910 Azusa.  Their daughters were 2, 4, and 6 years old.  He was born in Illinois.  Hmm.  Either he forgot where he was born or the informant didn't know the correct answer.  Definitely a reminder that census records are rich in clues, not reliability.

For about 30 years, John worked at the H.A. Williams grocery store located at 717 Azusa Avenue, Azusa, California.  I think Mr. Williams was John's sister's husband's grandfather. He also worked as a foreman at a fruit farm.  By 1940, he worked as a street conductor at the Street Department (city or county government unknown). His annual income was $1500.

WWI Draft

WWI draft registration record
(click photo to enlarge)
At age 38 in 1918, he registered for the World War I draft, the old man's draft Category C.  No surprises on this record about his birth date, address, wife and employment based on matching information in other records.  His height and build (medium) were ordinary.  The 'wow' came with his blue eyes and red hair!  Is Uncle Johnny the reason for why I have (real) red highlights in my hair and my brother has blue eyes?

New Wife
In the 1930 U.S. federal census, John "Hibisch" was married to Myrtle Pearson.  He was 49 at the time of marriage.  What happened to Pearl?  Well, I had to track that down.  She died in 1929 at age 49 and was buried at Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, Los Angeles County, California.

For the Covina and Azusa historians in my family, I listed the locations where John lived over the years.  Your mission is to tell me what's on these properties now!

1900 - 175 Dalton, Azusa, Los Angeles, California*
1910 - 303 Center Street, Azusa
1920 - same
1930 - 1963 - 325 Foothill Blvd., Azusa (value of home in 1940 $3000)
After 1963 - somewhere in Van Nuys, Los Angeles County, California

John died 7 Aug 1966 in Van Nuys, Los Angeles County, California.  Myrtle preceded him, passing in April 1965.

Future Research
  • Obtain, records for birth, marriages, death
  • Research H.A. grocery store and street department jobs
  • Plot residences on map
  • Obtain land records for the Dalton/Foothill Blvd. properties

  • Uncle B
  • U.S. federal censuses
  • City Directories
  • WWI records
*John's brother Charles W. Hibsch and his wife Rosie A. also resided on Dalton Avenue.  Uncle B told me they actually lived next door to each other, owning the parcels on Dalton at the corner of Alosta (also called Foothill Blvd. or Route 66 depending on the time frame).


  1. I'm Gail Piper Yancey, John Hibsch's great granddaughter & you may contact me if you like. His granddaughter Ina Mae is also still in CA.

    1. Gail, we were in touch shortly after your comment but I wanted to acknowledge you here anyway. I'm thrilled you found the blog and we can collaborate on the Hibsch line. - Denise


Comments only take a moment and mean so much. Thanks!