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A. Overbaugh


A. Overbaugh, who lives in a beautiful residence in San Diego at the corner of Sixth and Beech streets, overlooking the city, bay and the Pacific ocean, was born in Charlestown, New York, November, 1821; his parents were natives of the same State. His father was a farmer and owned 320 acres in the Mohawk valley, where his only living brother still resides, on the old homestead. The subject of this sketch remained at home until he was twenty-nine years of age, receiving a common school education, and engaged in the tilling of the soil. In 1850, he started out for himself into the great unknown West, going by rail to Buffalo, then by steamer to Milwaukee, and stage to Janesville, Wisconsin, then the second town in the State. He did a loaning and discount business until January, 1884, when he went to La Crosse in the western part of the State and there experienced the first excitement in a real-estate boom. He bought 120 acres adjoining the town, which he subdivided and sold in town lots. La Crosse at that time was a town of 500 inhabitants, but in 1857 numbered 5,000. The town lots sold well, but in 1857 there was a panic, owing to a free banking law which allowed every bank to issue paper regardless of responsibility, so that redemption was impossible and bankruptcy seemed to settle upon the town. Business became much depressed until the opening of the war when trade revived, increasing as the war continued. In 1869, Mr. Overbaugh came to San Josť, California, and again bought acre property, which he sold in town lots. In 1873 he came to San Diego and bought a lot on the corner of Ash and Second streets, and immediately built a residence, to which he moved his family in 1874.

This was during the Torn Scott boom, which soon subsided, and business was very quiet until the completion of the California Southern Railroad in 1882, when the town took a fresh start and activity began, reaching the culminating point in 1886. Having experienced two land booms, Mr. Overbaugh was a cautious and careful investor, foreseeing the result from the beginning, though he is now a large holder of city property.

Mr. Overbaugh was married at La Crosse, Wisconsin, October 3, 1857, to Miss Emily F. Parker, a native of Ohio. They have two children, who are both living and at home.

Mr. Overbaugh has never sought political distinction, but the honor was forced upon him while at La Crosse, where he served as an alderman for three years, but at San Diego he has studiously avoided public life.

Source: An Illustrated History of Southern California; pub. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1890.


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