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Alvord Name

The History Behind the name of “Alvord” Unified School District

Many would say the name “Alvord” is a little unusual and wonder, “Where did this name come from?” So, we went on a fact finding journey to find out the history behind the name of our school district. On
February 17, 1876 , a Deed of Conveyance was filed for the Riverside area, and on this legal transfer of ownership, one square mile was reserved for the “Townsite of Alvord”. This town was named by S. C. Evans, President of the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company, in honor of William Alvord, President of the Bank of California and also a director of the San Jacinto Tin Company. Evans’ company became the full owner of the San Jacinto Tin Company when William Alvord, at the September 17, 1885 meeting of the Tin Company’s Board of Directors made the motion that a quitclaim deed be executed in favor of the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company, thus amending the original Deed of Conveyance. This land extended roughly from Arlington to Temescal Wash. According to Jane Davies Gunther in, “ Riverside County , California , Place Names” , Mr. Alvord showed his appreciation of having this new town named for him by commissioning a flag for the Alvord Townsite and sending a letter of thanks to his long time Riverside friend, Mr. Evans.

The letter of appreciation sent by Mr. Alvord in San Francisco to Mr. Evans on April 11, 1889: “Accept many thanks for the delicious oranges, which were in my rooms when I went home last evening; filling them with fragrance of your own delightful groves. Your kindness, like your own raisins and oranges, is perennial, and fully appreciated. … I trust (this flag) will wave over land growing the finest oranges in the state, and over people blessed with abundant prosperity and contentment. Yours sincerely, William Alvord.”

In late 1892, the site of Alvord was changed to where the main line of the Riverside , Santa Ana and the Los Angeles Railway (now Santa Fe ) roadbed crossed Magnolia Avenue from Corona into Riverside . The Alvord rail extension opened in August 1893 with mule drawn cars being used to transport people from the Alvord Railway Tower , down the middle of Magnolia Avenue to Van Buren Street . The “ Alvord Tower ” watched over the transition from Corona into Riverside and had large platforms for shipping the abundant amount of Riverside produce. In 1899, pepper trees were planted down the center of Magnolia from Tyler to Temescal Wash with palm trees planted along the avenues, to both beautify the area and encourage development. However, Alvord never developed as a town.

 
William Alvord
January 3, 1833 –
December 21, 1904
1833 Born January 3, 1833 , in Albany , New York
1850 Graduated from Albany Academy at the age of 17 and engaged in the mercantile business in New York City
1853 Came to California and spent six months in the Sierra Nevada foothill gold fields and conducted the hardware business of Alvord and Haviland in an unoccupied shanty in Marysville
1856 Opened his own importing firm, William Alvord & Co., in San Francisco , directed for 10 years
1866 One of the original organizers of the Pacific Rolling Mills, producers of rails for the Central Pacific Railroad

1866 Active in organizing the Risdon Iron & Locomotive Works, manufacturing small steam engines
1871 Elected 14 th Mayor of San Francisco for a two-year term, on December 6, 1871
William Alvord

1872 Backed a Children’s House in San Francisco that provided shelter for abandoned children and very young violators of the law
1872 Sponsor of and first president of the San Francisco Art Association and joined the new and struggling

Academy of Sciences
1873 Named to the Board of Commissioners of Golden Gate Park and named a director of the Bank of California
1873 Resumed active management of the Pacific Rolling Mills and became a trustee of the new College of California
( Current University of California )

1873 Member of the Board of Trustees of the James Lick inter vivos trust
1878 Elected President of the Bank of California, a position he held until his death on December 21, 1904

Mr. Alvord also served as a member of the San Francisco Police Commission and the Board of Health, was President of the Alaska-Treadwill Gold Mining Co., the Alaska-Mexican Gold Mining Co., the Alaska-United Gold Mining Co., the San Francisco Clearing House, the Spring Valley Water Company, and the
Pacific Union Club. He was Vice-President of the San Francisco Loring Club and of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. As William F. Heurtz, his biographer, remarked, “there is little wonder that marriage, or the raising of a family, was a diversion he never had time for in his seventy-one years of life.” What an honor to be named after such an illustrious man!

 
"Acknowledgements for History"
 
 
Student Achievement
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