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S. G. Havermale


S. G. Havermale, a man of great versatility, successful in both church and State, who now occupies the most beautiful residence in San Diego, corner of Seventh and Ash streets, was born October 15, 1824, in the obscure village of Sharpsburg, Maryland, now become the renowned battlefield of Antietam. His parents were natives of the same State. He was second in a family of eight children, seven of whom are still living, one brother having been killed in that terrible railroad accident on the Wabash railroad, near Chatsworth, Illinois, where lives were sacrificed to such a terrible degree. His father was a weaver by trade in youth, but in later years was devoted to the interests of farm life. In 1833 he moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, where he purchased a small farm. Here the subject of this sketch received his preliminary education, which was finished at the Rock River Seminary, at Mount Morris, Illinois, where he also studied for the ministry. He was educated in the Methodist faith, and began the active work of the ministry in 1852 in Northern Illinois, and for twenty-one years labored in that particular field, and, being a man of genial temperament and loving disposition, was beloved by all and was very successful in his ministry. In 1873 he was appointed Presiding Elder of a district in Washington Territory and Oregon, whither he had been transferred from Illinois, and moved his family to Spokane Falls, from which parish he traveled over his district, which covered an area of some 40,000 square miles, and embraced a pastorate of twenty-five parishes. In 1879, at the age of fifty-five years, feeling that the hardships and exposures of travel were too great, he resigned his charge, after an active pastorate of twenty-seven years, the last six being on the frontier, and exceedingly burdensome.

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In 1875 he took up, by pre emption, the second Government claim of 160 acres at Spokane Falls, there then being but two houses at the place. This land was subdivided and became the center of what is now a city of 22,000 inhabitants, enterprising and progressive. Here, after retiring from the ministry, he built a flouring mill, which was the first full roller mill in the Territory, which he operated with great success for five years, selling out in 1887, that he might seek a more temperate climate in southern California, coming direct to San Diego to enjoy the accumulations of his business prosperity in a balmy atmosphere and amidst continuous sunshine. He soon invested in improved property, and is now the owner of the Richelieu and Bon Ton blocks on D and Fifth streets, and completed the purchase in October, 1889, of the most beautiful residence in Southern California. Mr. Havermale has taken no active part in politics while in San Diego, but at Spokane Falls was president of the first city council, and continued a member thereof for many years.

Mr. Havermale was married November 1, 1849, at Elizabeth, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, to Miss Elizabeth Goldthorp, a native of Illinois. They have three children, two of whom are residents of San Diego, California, and one resides at Spokane Falls, State of Washington.

Mr. Havermale belongs to a family of marked longevity. His parents died at the ages of eighty-nine and ninety years, and were buried in the same grave.

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


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