Barton Road

Image of Dr. Benjamin Barton
Dr. Benjamin Barton

Dr. Ben Barton, for whom the road skirting the foothills between Grand Terrace and Redlands was named, was a native of South Carolina. He studied medicine in Lexington, Kentucky, and practiced in Alabama and Texas, until he came to California in 1854.

He first settled in El Monte, then went to the northern part of the state. He came to San Bernardino in 1857, and purchased from the Mormon Elders, Lyman and Rich, the property known as the "Old San Bernardino Mission," including the Asistencia itself. For 640 acres he paid $500, according to Ingersoll1.

In 1858, Dr. Barton built an adobe building on the corner of C [now called Arrowhead Ave.] and Fourth Streets, in which is installed a drug store. He was also postmaster, and operated the post office at the same building. About 1859 he sold this property, and soon afterward gave up the practice of medicine to devote himself exclusively to his ranch. He and his family occupied the Asistencia as their home until, in 1867, he completed a large brick residence immediately behind the Mission and in this house he lived for twenty years. Hence, it was only natural that the road leading to the Asistencia and the brick home be called "Barton Road".

Dr. Barton and his wife had five children, two of whom were born at the Mission. Dr. Barton, according to Ingersoll, "occupied a large place in the early history of the community."2 Soon after his arrival in San Bernardino he was elected to the Assembly, and served on many public boards and positions of trust. He died in 1898. The ranch property was sold in 1887 to a Los Angeles syndicate and the Barton Land and Water Co. was organized to dispose of the "home" tracts into which it was divided.

1 Ingersoll, L.S., Century Annals of San Bernardino County, Los Angeles, 1904.

2 Ingersoll, op. cit.

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