BIO: Hugh T. O’Connor

Hugh T. O’Connor is a name that pops up frequently in any study of the City of Los Alamitos from 1900 to 1940.   He was first heard from while a store clerk in town for Felts Co., which was the general store in town.  He then invested in his own store which was located on Los Alamitos Blvd.  He was also the long-time postman.

He was named as one of the directors of the Chamber of Commerce when it was officially formed in January 1927, and by the 1930s was President of the Chamber of Commerce and served on many other local business groups during this time..

He also bought 40 acres of land (see map, click to enlarge) just northeast of town on the east side of Bloomfield.  (It is now in Cypress, just south of Tanglewood.)  Some of this land he leased to the Alamitos Farmers Gun Club in the 1930s.

Below is his biography from the 1920 edition of the History of Orange County by Samuel Armor.

HUGH T. O’CONNOR — A representative citizen of the Los Alamitos section of Orange County who won recognition for his locality during the various drives for loans and other allied needs, is Hugh T. O’Connor, who served as chairman of the committee that brought their section “over the top” in every drive in record time, thereby winning for Los Alamitos the medals and banners offered for efficiency.

Mr. O’Connor is a successful merchant in Los Alamitos, and has served as the postmaster since 1914, and since 1916 under civil service rules. He was born in New Orleans, in 1865. a son of Daniel and Eliza (Sheffield) O’Connor, the former born in Ireland and the latter in New Orleans. Hugh T. was the third in order of birth in a family of five and is the only one living in California. He received a good schooling and launched out in his business career when a young man and by strict attention to business has gradually worked his way to a position of trust and responsibility.

 Mr. O’Connor has been a resident of Los Alamitos for a number of years, spending six years as bookkeeper and cashier for the Felts Company, at the same time serving as postmaster. In 1918 he opened up in the grocery business for himself in a structure he erected on the boulevard, in dimension 66×50 feet, and well stocked with an assorted line of goods suitable for the needs of the community. Mr. O’Connor served as a justice of the peace, being appointed to fill a vacancy.

In 1905 occurred the marriage of Hugh T. O’Connor and Miss Florence Shattuck. After two years of happily wedded life Mrs. O’Connor passed away. Mr. O’Connor is a genial, courteous gentleman and has won the esteem of a large circle of friends in the county. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

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One Response to BIO: Hugh T. O’Connor

  1. Geraldine Knatz says:

    I have an update for you based on my visit to the Orange County Archives today. I found out who the Farmers Gun Club purchased their hundred acres from. The ten equity members of the club purchased 100 acres in June 1921 from Hugh O’Connor, a single man, and K.V. And Nina Bennis of Los Alamitos. The price was $25,000. Even though Gus Strodthoff was the gun clubs first president, he was not one of the ten original equity members. However, I did notice he served as Notary public on the transaction. I would have thought O’Connor and Bennis purchased their property from Bixby. But they bought the property from M.Kreig and Alvina Kreig of Phoenix Arizona in May of the same year. O’Connor and Bennis bought 296 acres for 15,0010. and then the next month sold 100 of those acres to the gun club for 25,000. About a year earlier, Los Angeles Trust and Savings Bank sold the same 296 acres to the Kreigs of Riverside for ten dollars on April 15, 1920. Now I am wondering who are the Kreigs?

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