Glendale, California Biographies

Charles Bentley Guthrie

        Charles Bentley Guthrie, who is a prominent and progressive real estate dealer, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, December 9, 1875, son of Dr. James Welch and Adda (Bentley) Guthrie. The Guthries are descended from a well-known Scotch family whose home was at Guthrie Castle. His ancestors have taken a prominent part in the history of America, one of them having come over in the Mayflower. Captain John Guthrie was a famous Revolutionary War hero. William Guthrie, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this review, was an Indian fighter as a young man, guarding the frontier that, at that time, was what is now the western border of Pennsylvania,.

        Dr. Guthrie was educated in medicine at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated in 1862 with the class that became famous for placing on the campus the big rock, which still adorns the grounds. The class was graduated in March to allow the young men to enlist. Dr. Guthrie enlisted as a surgeon with the Twentieth Ohio Regiment, and served on General Grant’s and General Sherman’s staffs for the duration of the war. At Bishop’s Landing he had charge of Grant’s Hospital. At Vicksburg, with Grant, he was wounded while giving aid tot he suffering on the battlefield. He was with Sherman on his famous march to the sea. The diary that Dr. Guthrie Kept while in the service, which he titled “Four Years in the Saddle with Grant and Sherman,” is preserve by members of the Guthrie family, and tells of the occasion, on the outskirts of Atlanta, when General Sherman uttered his famous epigram regarding war. Addressing Dr. Guthrie he exclaimed, “Guthrie, war is hell.”

        After Dr. Guthrie was mustered out of the service he returned to Cleveland, Ohio, and shortly thereafter was elected city physician, which office he creditably filled for several years. During the war he became a close friend of Colonel Van Horn, who, after the war, settled in Kansas City, Missouri, and became the owner of the Kansas City Journal. In 1876, at the instance of Colonel Van Horn, Dr. Guthrie became a representative and reporter of the Kansas City Journal and spent two years traveling over Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa. At Cedar Rapids, Dr. Guthrie was offered, in exchange for a drug store owned by him in Cleveland, Ohio, a section of land which long since had been taken within the corporate limits of that city. Dr. Guthrie did not accept this offer. He nevertheless became greatly enthused over the possibilities of Iowa, and returning to Cleveland, disposed of his holdings and moved his family to Davenport, Iowa, where he remained for two years. He went to Bedford, Taylor County, Iowa, where he was for many years a leading citizen and a prominent physician and surgeon. The latter years of his life were spent in retirement near Bedford, where he died in 1912. Mrs. Guthrie, before her marriage to Dr. Guthrie, was a well-known schoolteacher in Cleveland, Ohio. Laura C. Spellman, who later became the wife of John D. Rockefeller; Mr. Spencer, father of the Spencerian System of writing; and Mr. Rickoff, author of Appleton’s school books, were at one time members of the same faculty. Mrs. Guthrie died at Bedford in 1910.

        The subject of this sketch is the youngest of three brothers. His older brothers being William J., of South Dakota, and Harry L., of Los Angeles. Mr. Guthrie graduated from the school at Bedford, Iowa, and then for eleven years was in the railway mail service between Chicago and Omaha. In 1905 he came to Los Angeles and secured a position as a clerk in the office of the Los Angeles Abstract & Trust Company; in which capacity he served only a short time before being transferred to the escrow department which he helped to organize and managed for two years. He next embarked in the real estate business, with which he has since been continuously identified. For two years he was with the Rodman-Guthrie Investment Company of Los Angeles.

        In 1913, Mr. Guthrie moved to Glendale and several years later transferred all his real estate activities to Glendale and vicinity. His business has grown from a small office on Brand Boulevard at Doran Street, to seven offices, six of which are in Glendale and one in Eagle Rock. Fraternally, Mr. Guthrie is a Master Mason, an Elk and a Knight of Pythias. He is a member of the Glendale Realty Board, and was its first president; the Chamber of Commerce and the Brand Boulevard Improvement Association, of which he is secretary. At the Santa Ana convention, he was elected a director of the California Real Estate Dealer’s Association, and is a member of the legislative committee of that body.

        At the time of the Spanish-American War, Mr. Guthrie endeavored to enlist but was refused permission, as he was a government employee. During the late war he desired to give his services in the ranks, but because of advanced age was repeatedly refused until the draft age was raised to forty-five. Then he enlisted and was assigned to the C.I.O.T.C., and sent to Waco, Texas; but shortly thereafter the armistice was signed and he was mustered out and returned home. He is a member of the American Legion, and is chairman of the executive committee.

        At Long Beach, California, on May 22, 1905, Mr. Guthrie married Pearl C. Coles, a native of Chariton, Iowa. They have one daughter, Catherine, a junior in the Glendale Union High School. Mrs. Guthrie is a charter member of Chapter B. A. of the P. E. O. The family home is at 1641 Grand View Avenue. They are members of the Congregational Church.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 367-369. A photo of Charles B. Guthrie appears on page366.