William Spurgeon and the Beginning of Santa Ana

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by Diann Marsh, from Santa Ana, An Illustrated History, ©1994 Heritage Publishing.

William Spurgeon was looking for a suitable location to begin a town. He liked the small tract which Jacob Ross had purchased from Ana M. Chaves. Its central location would allow him to serve the farmers that were rapidly settling in the large area to the south of Anaheim, and to the west of Orange and Tustin. A much-traveled man, he planned to settle down and open a store. He paid $594 for 74.25 acres on October 27, 1869. The boundaries were First Street on the south, Seventh Street on the north, West (now Broadway) Street on the west, and Spurgeon Street on the east.

Soon after buying the 74.25 acres, William Spurgeon hired George Wright of Los Angeles to lay out the 24-square-block townsite. Mr. Spurgeon named the new town Santa Ana, after the land grant, Santiago de Santa Ana. Old Santa Ana, located where Olive now stands, was called Santa Ana Abajo. Years later the residents of Santa Ana wanted to change the town’s name to Spurgeon, but Mr. Spurgeon resisted the idea.

Starting in 1868 there were a surprising number of settlers arriving in the Santa Ana valley. They were attracted to the rich, cheap lands that became available for settlement after the large ranchos had broken up. The settlers purchased portions of the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana and settled down. There were enough new residents to cause the formation of the Spring School District in 1869 and the Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1870.

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Jeffery is an avid writer and reader of blogs and stuff. He likes everything techie and internet related. Jeffery also loves to cook, eat & work out.

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