Glendale, California Biographies

George B. Woodbury

George B. Woodbury, a well known pioneer of Glendale, where he has resided since 1884, was born in Monticello, Minnesota, July 21, 1860, a son of George L. and Anna (Rich) Woodbury. His parents were natives respectively of Massachusetts and Maine, and of old Yankee ancestry. George L. Woodbury was reared and educated in Salem, Massachusetts. He conducted a mercantile establishment in his home town for several years, then selling out started for California via New Orleans while his wife went to Minnesota to visit relatives, and while she was there the subject of this sketch was born. The following winter there was a great uprising among the Sioux Indians and Mrs. Woodbury returned to New Orleans, and a few weeks later was bereaved of her husband and left alone with her infant son. She decided to leave the South – for there were rumors of war and the war clouds hung low – on “Old Ironsides,” the last boat out before war was declared. Conditions were so unsettled that she was not able to realize on her household possessions.

She made her home in Boston, Massachusetts, for a time before going to Pittsfield, Maine, where Mr. Woodbury was educated in the Main Central Institute, taking the normal course. He taught school and clerked until 1884 when with his mother he came to Glendale and bought a twenty acre tract of land on Verdugo Road, and in due time built a home and resided on the ranch for some years. His mother returned to the East in 1888 and passed away in 1889.

Mr. Woodbury soon began to take in active interest in local affairs. In 1886 he was made superintendent of the Verdugo Water Company, which position he filled until he resigned in April, 1922. He was the first city clerk of Glendale and filled that office for eight years, declining to be a candidate for re-election. Four years later he was elected a trustee, and serve in that capacity for four years, the last year being chairman of the board. Mr. Woodbury is one of the outstanding personalities in the “fastest growing city” and to him much of its development and progress in the earlier years of its existence may be attributed. The service he rendered in the position of City Clerk in the city’s infancy, may truly be said to have been invaluable; while in the place of Trustee at a later period, his good judgment and untiring thoroughness in all that he attempted for the welfare of the city, was attended by valuable results. While he has voluntarily retired to private life, he is still active in participation in civic affairs and is always classed among those who are outspoken champions of that which is progressive and yet “safe and sane.” He is the inventor of the Woodbury Sub-irrigation System which has been patented and is a demonstrated success. Machinery is being installed to manufacture the device in large quantities. Fraternally he is a member of Unity Lodge No. 368 F. & A. M. and politically has always been a Republican.

Mr. Woodbury married Alice C. Wright, who is a native of Pennsylvania. They have one daughter, Anna C., who is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she received the degree of A. B. and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She later took a postgraduate year at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, receiving the degree of A. M.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. P. 316-317.