Sunday, June 12, 2016

George Amerige: Co-Founder of Fullerton

The following is from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In: A History of Fullerton.

George Amerige was born in Malden, Massachusetts in 1855 to Henry and Elizabeth Amerige.  His family was one of the oldest in New England.  George and his brother Edward established a successful grain and hay business in Massachusettes, before moving to Southern California in 1886, during a real estate boom.  In 1887, the Amerige brothers, in conjunction with the Santa Fe Railroad, founded the town of Fullerton.  They named the town after the George Fullerton, president of the real estate arm of the Santa Fe.

George Amerige

The Amerige brothers real estate office, the first structure built in the town, still stands next to Amerige park on Commonwealth.  The second building they built was the St. George Hotel (named after George), which was demolished in 1918 to make room for a new business block.  The brothers were instrumental in establishing the fist banks in Fullerton: the First National Bank, and the Fullerton Savings Bank.

The Amerige Bros. Real Estate office still stands next to Amerige Park.

George and Edward named many of the first streets of Fullerton after streets of their hometown of Malden.  Some of these include: Commonwealth Avenue, Malden Street, Highland Avenue, and Amerige Avenue.  Other streets were named after officials of the Pacific Land and Improvement Company and the Santa Fe Railroad Company, which were business partners with the Ameriges.

George married his wife Annette in 1894.

Annette J. Amerige

In addition to having interests in real estate, commodities, and banking, George Amerige was also (for a time) a walnut farmer.  He was one of the founders of the Fullerton Lodge of the Odd Fellows.  He was a Republican.

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