Charles H. Toll is justly considered one of the important men of Southern California. A financier of prominence, he has been closely identified with the progress of Los Angeles County. He believes firmly in the future greatness of Southern California and has done all firmly in his power to help in its advancement. Although a very busy man he still has time to devote to the welfare of his community.
Mr. Toll was born at Clinton, Iowa, November 24, 1858, a son of Hon. Charles Hulbert and Elizabeth (Lusk) Toll. His parents were natives of New York State. His father was an Iowa pioneer and was one of the men who really built up and developed Clinton as a city. He was a manufacturer there, and also held the office of postmaster. In all public affairs he was a leader. He was chosen to represent his district in the State Legislature and serve several terms with distinction. At the time of the Civil War he enlisted in the tenth Iowa Infantry, and was in the service until the end of the war. He was advanced to the rank of Major after the battle of Chickamauga and was put in charge of the Commissary Department. Major Toll died in Los Angeles in 1887.
Charles H. Toll, the youngest of five children, grew up in Clinton, Iowa; acquired a public school education and finished in Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa. For a time he was a clerk in the Clinton postoffice and later was deputy clerk of courts of Clinton County. Mr. Toll moved to Los Angeles in 1885. He was credit man for several large firms in the city and gradually became identified with business and finance in an ever increasing scope, so as a banker he has met with accustomed success and is a recognized power in the local money market. In 1900 he was chosen cashier of the Southern California Savings Bank, and upon its merger with the Security Trust and Savings Bank in 1906, was made a vice-president of the latter institution, which position he has since retained. He was a member of the city council of Los Angeles from 1896 to 1900. He is a vice chairman of the War Finance Corporation for the Twelfth Federal Reserve District; a member of the Glendale and Los Angeles Councils of Boy Scouts, being treasurer of the latter. He is a member of the Salvation Army Board, of Los Angeles County; belongs to the California, University Club; and the Athletic Club of Los Angeles; and the Chamber of Commerce of Glendale. He is a director of the Van Nuys State Bank; was one of the organizers and the first president of the Glendale State Bank, is a director of the Goodyear Textile Mills and a trustee of Harvard Military School. Politically, Mr. Toll is a Republican. In 1911 he moved to Glendale. His residence at 1635 Kenneth Road is one of the most spacious and attractive in Glendale, the residence grounds occupying seven acres.
At Los Angeles, September 4, 1902, Mr. Toll married Eleanor Margaret Joy. She was born in Minnesota and came to California at the age of six. She is a daughter of William Henry and Ruth Anna (Dougherty) Joy. Her father is a descendant of Thomas Joy of Boston, Massachusetts, who came to America on February 20, 1637, from Norfolk county, England. An architect, Thomas Joy designed and built the first Town House of Boston, which served as the capitol building of Massachusetts from 1657 until its destruction by fire in 1711. This historic building (referred to by Emerson in his “Boston Hymn”) had for its site the open space at the head of what is now State Street. Many of the ancestors of Mrs. Toll, on both the father’s and the mother’s side, served in the colonial forces in the Revolutionary, and in the French and Indian Wars, and in the war of 1812; and her father served with distinction in the Eleventh Minnesota Volunteers, during the period of the Civil War.
Mrs. Toll was graduated from the Oakland High Schools, and took Collegiate work privately with some of the ablest professors of two of the leading universities of California. She became a teacher and after a brief experience in the schools of Sonoma County, moved to Los Angeles County, where she was a resident at Pomona for a brief period, before becoming affiliated with the schools of Los Angeles. She pursued this calling for nearly fourteen years and was, at the time of her marriage to Mr. Toll, a member of the faculty of the Los Angeles High School.
Four sons were born into the family: Charles Hulbert, Junior, now a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gerald Sidney, a junior at the University of California at Berkeley; Maynard Joy, who graduated from Glendale Union High School with the class of 1922; and Carroll Costello, a student at intermediate school. Mrs. Toll counts it as one of the great privileges of her life that she was enabled to teach her own boys for a period of two years each, before consigning them to the care of others.
When her children became older, Mrs. Toll felt the call to the service of her community and resultant from her intense interest in the affairs of her sons in school, she became vice-president of the Parent-Teacher Federation of Glendale, serving in this capacity during the year of 1912 and 1913. She then became president of the Federation, which place she filled during the period 1914-1915. As Educational Chairman for this organization, she in 1916 founded the Mutual Benefit Reading Circle, under the care of the Bureau of Education at Washington. This organization met for four years, weekly, in Mrs. Toll’s home. Its numbers increased so greatly that its tow hundred members transferred their home to the Glendale Library. This Circle has been the motive for much widespread comment by the Bureau of Education, as it has been called in numerous bulletins issued by this department, “a model organization.”
In 1917, Mrs. Toll was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Glendale Schools, defeating her opponent, a man, by a large majority. She served as president of the board for three years. On the formation of this Foothill Club in 1915, Mrs. Toll was made its first president. In 1918, Mrs. Toll became the first vice-president of the Ebell Club of Los Angeles, one of the largest, if not the largest, Women’s Clubs in the United States; which office she held for two years. She was then elected president of this organization, and served a complete term of office of two years in this well-known club, now being a member of its board of directors. In 1920, Governor Stephens appointed Mrs. Toll a member of the board of Trustees of the California School for Girls at Ventura, which position she still fills.
From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 356-362. Photos of Chas. H. Toll and Eleanor Joy Toll are found on pages 358 & 359.