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Mayor Don Schweitzer

  • Modeling at 80 years, Fern Smith of Brea celebrates her 104 B-day!

    6 years ago by

    Fern Smith recently celebrated birthday number 104. Mayor Don Schweitzer gave her a certificate from the City of Brea at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor.

    Fern Smith’s 104th B-day party: Fern was given a birthday party by her  family at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor and loved every minute of it.  Primary  children of LDS Third Ward presented the birthday gal with 104 roses. Mayor Don  Schweitzer presented her with a certificate from the City of Brea.
     
    Fern has lived in Brea since 1943. She was born in  Diamond, Missouri in 1908.
     
    Fern is an amazing gal and you never know she  was 104. She started modeling when she was 80.
     
    Teddy Roosevelt was President and Henry Ford  started producing his first Model T automobile.She has 2 daughters, 3 Grandchildren, 5 great Grandchildren and 9 Great-Great  Grandchildren.
     
    Her motto: “Do the best you can everyday of your  life and the Lord will take care of you”
    Story by Susan Gaede

  • The Schweitzer Family: A Long Legacy of Serving Brea, Pt. 1

    6 years ago by

    When Wilhelm and Maria Schweitzer immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1864, they arrived at New York Harbor, most certainly excited at their prospects for the future in their newly adopted country.

    Eventually settling in Toledo, Ohio, the Schweitzer's set about raising a family and by 1877, Franz (Frank) Schweitzer was born. Pre-ceeded by a sister, Ana Bertha in 1873, the young Schweitzer's were soon joined by another sister, Emma Rosa in 1880.

    Wilhelm and Maria Schweitzer, ca. 1870's

    Young Frank Schweitzer. Jr (right front), with his Grandparents in Toledo, Ohio

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Near the turn of the 20th century, Frank, then in his late 20's, learned of an opportunity for a position at a machine tool company in Olinda, CA, owned by W.D. Shaffer. He sent Shaffer a resume of his qualifications, as well as a letter of introduction. Later, he would learn Shaffer was not only impressed with the resume, he was equally impressed by his clear, neat penmanship. Frank was hired, and by 1905, after traveling by rail and wagon, Frank and his new bride Julia Schweitzer were settled in Olinda, CA living on an oil lease, where they made their home until 1912.

    By 1912, the township of Brea began to flourish and had officially become a city. After several years of fits and starts, newspapers in the area ran advertisements describing Brea as "the best located townsite in all the country" and recommending Brea as "a rare opportunity for businessmen hunting a location". With homesites priced at $225 to $450, and water piped to the lots, within months twenty-five residential lots had been sold. One of those was a site on Madrona, near todays Edwards Cinema 2. It was here that Frank and Julia built their first home and where Frank Schweitzer,Jr was born.

    Frank and Julia Schweitzer, 1907 Olinda, CA

    Soon Frank, Sr. and Julia became leaders in their new community. Julia was involved in women's service groups, who organized to provide transients and the less fortunate with food and clothing. Frank, after filling a vacancy on the city council,  helped find ways to bring more much needed water to Brea, as well as participating in the design of City Hall Park and designing the landmark “Brea Welcome’s You” sign that once spanned Pomona Ave (now Brea Blvd). Frank, Sr's Brea City Council career spanned 21-years, and during that time he also helped Brea form it's first Fire Department.

    In the midst of Brea's growth, Frank Schweitzer, Jr was also growing with the city. After attending Brea-Olinda High School and Fullerton Junior College, Frank continued his education at UC Berkeley. On one of his trips home while attending Berkeley, he met Ruth Huntington, an Anaheim girl. They soon became engaged and married in 1939.

     

    Frank Schweitzer, Jr, BOHS Graduation Picture 1929

    In 1950, Frank, Jr. was elected to a City Council seat and served the city for twelve years. In 1960, while serving  as Mayor, Frank oversaw the renaming of Pomona Ave to Brea Blvd, and the naming of the rose as the official city flower. As Brea continued to flourish, Frank, Jr saw an opportunity and became the leading advocate for annexing Olinda into Brea's city limits. The City of Fullerton also had designs on annexing Olinda, and had they succeeded, Brea would be bordered by Fullerton on it's East, West, and South sides. Beating the county filing deadline, and Fullerton, by one day, Frank Schweitzer, Jr became instrumental in helping shape todays modern Brea.

    Frank, Jr and Ruth Schweitzer

    The Schweitzer Family, 1963. From left, clockwise; Frank, Jr, Charles, Don, Ruth, Jim

     

                       

     

     

    Among Frank's other notable accomplishments, he served as Co-Chair of Brea's Golden Jubilee, co-founder Chair of Brea Bonanza Days (today's 4th of July Country Fair), and co-founded the Brea Historical Society with LaVeta Daetweiler.

    BBON would like to thank Mayor Don Schweitzer for his time and assistance with this history. All images are used with permission of the Schweitzer family.

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