Victor Valley History 1921 To 1930

By Mark Gutglueck
In January 1921, the city of Pasadena initiated an effort to appropriate water rights along the Mojave River. After buying or securing options on some riparian properties along the river, Pasadena filed an application with the California Water Commission to allow it to divert 110 cubic feet per second from the Mojave River by means of a 70-mile long aqueduct to provide water and power services in that city. Upon learning of the move, land and water rights owners in the Victor Valley pooled their interests and lobbied the board of supervisors to protest Pasadena’s move and oppose the application. Attorney Ralph Swing was hired to represent the county before the state water commission.
On June 3, 1921, seven seniors graduated from Victor Valley High.
On October 5, 1921 the California Highway Commission awarded a $226,219 contract to R. T. Shea & Company of Riverside to construct a 16-foot wide and six-inch deep road of bituminous macadam between Cajon Summit and Victorville.
In the spring of 1922, the Mojave River Irrigation District asked a judge to set for trial the district’s request for condemnation of the Arrowhead Reservoir & Power Company’s land holdings along the Mojave River. Since 1909, when the Arrowhead Reservoir & Power Company had abandoned its plans to divert a large portion of Mojave River water southward, thousands of acres of land that company had secured in the Victor Valley had remained in its possession. The city of Pasadena’s filing to divert Mojave River water to Los Angeles County in 1921 had spurred the Mojave River Irrigation District to take action to ensure that water rights along the river be secured by interests which would not allow the water to be diverted to irrigation or municipal uses outside the local area.
Throughout late 1921 and early 1922, the Mojave Irrigation District along with a collection of Victor Valley residents lobbied San Bernardino County officials to use the authority of the county to prevent the city of Pasadena’s effort to divert Mojave River water to that municipality while a filing to do just that was yet pending before the California Water Commission.
In June 1922, the First National Bank of Victorville installed radio equipment, including a 75-foot high antenna, giving the savings and lending institution the ability to receive market reports from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Denver.
In June 1922, interests in San Bernardino, in apparent reaction to Pasadena’s effort to secure water for itself from the Mojave River, undertook an effort to divert an annual flow of 2,000 inches of water from Lake Arrowhead and an additional 4,000 inches from Deep Creek to San Bernardino, Redlands, Colton, Rialto and other cities south of the Cajon Pass.
On October 12, 1922, the new state highway completed between Cajon Summit and Victorville was opened.
On May 25, 1923, ten member of the Victor Valley High School Class of 1923 graduated.
In 1923, the city of Pasadena abandoned the idea of obtaining water from the Mojave River.
In August 1923 corporate officials with the Arrowhead Lake Company signed an agreement to allow water it held rights to to be used to irrigate 27,000 acres of farmland in Apple Valley. Pursuant to the agreement, surveys were made to determine the feasibility of constructing a reservoir on the Mojave River’s west fork near the junction with Deep Creek.
On Sunday, August 19, a petition signed by thirty Victorville property owners was forwarded to the county asking that the board of supervisors impose a special tax to fund the construction of a sewer line between First and Ninth streets and the river bank and Yucca Avenue.
In November a vote for the formation of a sanitation district in downtown Victorville was held, passing 80 in favor and 15 opposed.
On June 20, 1924 a vote on the issuance of $30,000 in bonds to build an outfall sewer in the Victorville Sanitary District carried by 107 to 10.
In October 1924 L. Weiss of Victorville was given a $1,226.50 contract to deliver cement pipe to be used in the construction of the sewer. His low bid consisted of 45 cents per foot for 7,350 feet of 14-inch pipe, 20 cents per foot for 500 feet of 8-inch pipe and 19 cents per foot for 3,150 feet of 6-inch pipe.
In November 1924, the Ontario-based firm of Cox & Teggett was awarded the contract for doing the excavation necessary for the city’s sewer system based upon its low bid of $10,826.
In January 1925 work on the Victorville sewer system began.
Building upon legislation for a public highway system first enacted in 1916 and revised in 1921, Congress passed a comprehensive highway act in 1925. A Chicago-to-Los Angeles route which would correspond with a major portion of the National Trails Road was identified as a major component of the system. San Bernardino County officials, eager to facilitate tentative plans to incorporate a Victorville-to-Barstow leg into the route, allocated money to make improvements to the desert’s roadways.
In May 1926 Victor High graduated seven.
In January 1926, the highway census staff checked 368 cars as an average daily number through the Cajon Pass.
On March 23, 1926, at a Victorville Lions club meeting, assistant district attorney M. O. Hart, who had served for 18 years as the city attorney in Colton, gave a presentation on the process of municipal incorporation, including petitioning for an incorporation vote and the transference of tax revenues and responsibility for managing local affairs to a duly elected city council.
In June, 17 students graduated from Victor High School.
In January 1927, the highway census staff checked 443 cars as an average daily number through the Cajon Pass
In January 1928, the highway census staff checked 461 cars as an average daily number through the Cajon Pass
In January 1929, the highway census staff checked 603 cars as an average daily number through the Cajon Pass. On Sunday January 13 1929 1,818 cars were checked through the pass in one 24-hour period.
At noon on April 19, 1929 the Southern Sierras Power Company and the Interstate Telegaraph Co established phone service to Lucerne Valley.
In May 1929 Western Air Express inaugurated air mail service to Victorville as part of its Los Angeles to Albuquerque mail rout. Using Fokker triplanes, pilots for Western Air Express would fly daily routes, dropping mail at prearranged sites.
Eighteen members of the Victor Valley Union High Class of 1929 graduated on June 6.
On June 10, improvement on Cajon Pass Road began. The project, which entailed the widening and straightening of some curves, involved the removing of more than 401,000 cubic yards of earth.
On June 17, 1929, a new post office was opened in Victorville.
On June 28, 1929, Thirty-six land owners with property adjacent to the Mojave, represented by the law firm of Byron, Waters, Swing & Wilson and P. N. McClosky filed suit against the Adelanto Farms Company with demands that the concern be restrained from taking or using water and that the rights of the landholders be given official recognition. The suit claimed the Adelanto Farms Company had sunk wells and taken water from the stream to the detriment of adjacent lands. The plaintiffs maintained that the action of the Adelanto Farms Company caused and threatened to cause the land owned by the plaintiffs to become dry, arid and worthless. The suit asked for a court order and judgement forever barring the defendant concern from taking water from the Mojave River or its tributaries to distant and non-riparian lands and that the company be barred from interfering with the surface or subsurface flow of the Mojave.
In July 1929, the Bell Telephone Company brought 160 workers into Victorville to assist in the construction of that company’s trunk line, which passed the city on the east side of the river
In the September 6, 1929 edition of the Victor News-Herald there was a page two article on methods of controlling green alfalfa caterpillars, the offspring of the yellow butterfly, which were extremely damaging to the desert’s alfalfa crops.
In May 1930, the State of California , through the highway commission, began condemnation proceedings against B. N. Dunning, Oliver and Clara Knudson, W.E. Robinson, Jas. Katcherside, W.T. Ball and W. E. Leonard. Dunning, the Knudsons, Robinson, Katcherside, Ball and Leonard were the owners of four properties who had declined to sign deeds for land necessary to widen Seventh Street and the National Old Trails in the vicinity of the high school grounds. All other owners of property necessary to make the thoroughfare 100 feet wide had deeded the necessary frontage to proceed with the project.
On May 29, 1930 Alfred Johnson was the valedictorian for the Victor High Class of 1930, which numbered 14 graduates.
In June 1930 Pickwick-Greyhound Stage Lines purchased the Motor Transit Company’s routes, buses and equipment and applied to the state railroad commission for a permit to operate a local service from Los Angeles and San Bernardino to the cities and communities on Route 66 to Needles and also on the Arrowhead Trail to the Nevada state line and onto the eastern cities and all connections east and west. With the Greyhound line’s permit application pending, on Friday night June 13, a 53-passenger bus came through Victorville and Barstow enroute to Chicago. The application for a bus permit was made to the state railroad commission because at that time, the railroads operated bus lines.
On August 26, 1930, Arthur Doran defeated R. B. Peters in the race for First District Supervisor, 3583 to 946.
On the same day, Stanley Mussell, who was formerly in practice in Victorville as an attorney, defeated the incumbent, George H. Johnson in the race for district attorney, 12,393 to 11,128.

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