Edward B. Daley

Edward Barber Daley, a road builder, pioneer and one fo the founders of the City of San Bernardino, was born on March 31, 1825 in Skaneatles, New York. He was the son of Moses Daley (1796-1869) and Almira Barber Daley (1901-1874) and the grandson of John Daley (1752-1811) and Amy Mapes Daley (1752-1842). In about 1840, the Moses Daley family migrated to the new state of Ohio and in 1844 to Quincy, Illinois. Here Edward met Nancy Ann Hunt, the daughter of Captain Jefferson and Celia Hunt. Captain Hunt, perhaps the most accomplished of Mormon adventurers, was chosen to guide a wagon train of pioneers, which included the Daley family, westward. Edward and Miss Hunt were married in Pattawatomie, Iowa.
To the couple born eleven children, Loami, Celia, Edward, Jefferson, John, Grace, Annetta, Frank, Lou, May and Kate Daley. Three of their children, Laomi, John and Grace, predeceased Mr. Daley.
In 1851, Edward and Nancy traveled to Salt Lake City, where they joined another train of Mormon settlers bound for new lands in the San Bernardino Valley in California, under the guidance of Captain Jefferson Hunt. It was Captain Hunt’s third trip to San Bernardino and he was often referred to as being “The Father of San Bernardino.” The party arrived at “Sycamore Grove” near what is now Devore, in June of 1851 where they camped while arrangements were being made to purchase lands for their permanent home. On September 22, 1851 the Mormon leaders Charles Rich and Amasa Lyman closed the deal on the 80,000-acre Lugo San Bernardino Rancho, whch was purchased for $1 per acre. Here the colonists built a fort in which to secure themselves against occasional attacks by hostile Indians. Much of the task of road building was entrusted to the supervision of Edward Daley.
When the call came from Salt Lake City for the faithful “Saints” to return with all haste to prepare for the defense of that city against a threat from the United States Army being sent to Utah by President James Buchanan, most of the Mormons, with saddened hearts, obeyed the call. The Daley Family was among the very few who decided that their love for San Bernrdino outweighed their adherence to the Mormon beliefs and remained behind. Captain Hunt again guided a large party back to Salt Lake City but when the threat abated, was among those to return. In 1870 Edward Daley and his young sons assisted his farther-in-law in building the old Waterman Canyon switchback road into the mountains to help those living and lumbering in the Huston Flat (now Gregory Lake) Valley. Later Ed Daley and his sons built another road into the hills called the “Daley Road.” It started at the head of what is now Del Rosa Avenue. At the crest there is a monument where it crosses into the old Blue Jay Canyon, which was the headwaters of what is now Lake Arrowhead. The road, formerly serving the Talmadge and La Prais saw mills, will always remain a monument to the resolution and perseverance of Edward Daley. It afforded more convenience in those saw mills to expedite the supply of lumber in the ever-increasing needs for material with which to build the new city. Many years later, one of Edward’s grandsons, J.S. Bright, Jr., county surveyor from 1911 to 1915, was one of th engineers on the Rim-of-the-World Highway along the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains.
Mr. Daley was active in all matters promoting the welfare of his community. He opened the first restaurant to accommodate those traveling through the area near what is now Third and “E” Street, known locally as “Daley Inn.”
Edward Daley was elected to the county board of supervisors, representing the Third District, serving from January 5, 1880 to January 8, 1883. He was chairman of the board from July 26, 1880 through the balance of his time in office. As a supervisor, he guarded the welfare and interests of the people as he did his own family, with great care and circumspection. His home was a gathering place for his neighbors and friends, who were always made welcome.
Mr. Daley died at his homestead, January 25, 1896 in his seventy first year.
Edward Barber Daley, a warmhearted and kindly man, loved his politics and influenced people in a quiet way. He was a successful farmer and had a good eye for selecting rich farmland. At his death he left a good piece of land for each of his eight living children. Edward Jr. worked with his father on the large Daley farm in Northeast San Bernardino and was the agent who sold to the state the acreage occupied by the Patton State Hospital. Two other sons, John and Frank, were lawyers. Frank B. Dale became a judge of the San Bernrdino County Superior Court in 1923. Three of Edward Daley’s daughters became schoolteachers. The Edward B. Daley family made an indelible impression upon the City of San Bernardino.

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