The Hurst family, including Josiah
Newell, his wife Anna Belle, and their
three children, Allie, Harriet Maude, and
Charles Josiah, moved from Dover, Ohio
to Whittier, CA in 1898. In 1906, the
family purchased 50 acres on the corner
of Orange and Merced in West Covina.
Soon, a barn, engine house, pump house, and a home were built.
Brief History of the Hurst Family and Ranch
became the Hurst Ranch headquarters where Charles Josiah and his wife
Maude lived and raised their family. Annabelle born in 1913 and Charles
Josiah, Jr. born in 1914.
With hard work, strong family ties, and community roots, the children grew
and flourished on the ranch. Both Anna Belle and Joe attended Sunset
Grammar School and Covina High School. Annabelle then graduated from
Pomona College and Joe from U.S.C.
After college and marriage, farming was still a way of life for the Hurst
Joe and his wife Ruth, and Anna Belle and her husband Sanford,
carried on and expanded the operation from the mid 1930's to the late
1950's. The primary crops were walnuts from 1919-1929 for the Blue Diamond
Label, from 1930 to 1950 oranges were grown for the Sunkist Label. Over the years, truck crops
were added including potatoes, beans, cucumbers, onions, cabbages,
cauliflower, and carrots. The Hurst ranch grew to about 70 acres planted in
oranges and 70 acres planted in seasonally rotated crops.
During the 1950s, West Covina began to grow people and houses instead of
oranges. For the Hurst family, this meant moving the faming operation to
the San Joaquin Valley and with a bit of sadness, developing the West Covina
Property. Those early 1906 roots in West Covina were planted deep within the family
and after 100 years are still growing strong today. With the formation of this
museum, the Hurst family hopes to preserve a small yet special part of rural
history for others to enjoy.