Edward R. Amerige was born in Malden, Massachusetts in 1857, son of Henry and Elizabeth Amerige. Along with his brother George, he built up a successful grain and hay business there. In 1886 they traveled to the Pacific Coast to check out the real estate boom. The following year, in 1887, they purchased 430 acres of wild, uncultivated land beside what was then the town of Anaheim. On July 5, 1887, they drove the first survey stake into the ground on what is now the corner of Harbor and Commonwealth Ave, thus founding the town site that would become Fullerton.
The Amerige brothers convinced the Santa Fe Railroad to pass through the town by offering George Fullerton (head of the Santa Fe’s real estate arm) a financial interest in the new town. As a sort of “thank you” to George Fullerton, they named the town after him. The Ameriges also partnered with H. Gaylord Wilshire, a real estate developer whom present-day Wilshire Ave. is named after.
Edward was also involved local and state politics, serving as the fist mayor of Fullerton and two terms in the California State Assembly. He was also, for a time, president of the Anaheim Union Water Company, and one of the founders of the Fullerton Lodge of the Masons. After his death in 1915, his body was taken back to Malden, Massachusetts, where he was buried.
Source: The History of Orange County by Samuel Armor