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Guide to the Alonzo and Lydia Knapp Horton Collection MS 26
MS 26  
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Collection Overview
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This collection contains deeds and business correspondence of Alonzo E. Horton and some personal papers of Alonzo E. Horton and Lydia Knapp Horton.
Alonzo Erastus Horton, known as the “Father of San Diego,” was born in Union, Connecticut on October 24, 1813. He moved to Wisconsin in 1836, where he founded and developed the town of Hortonville. In 1850, he sold those lands and moved west to San Francisco to take advantage of the gold boom, and he found success selling supplies to miners and running a used furniture store. In 1867, he turned his attention south to San Diego, where he bought 800 acres of public land at auction for $265. Two years later he bought an additional 160 acres to complete Horton’s Addition in New San Diego. Horton was an active promoter and returned to San Francisco with maps and brochures to pitch the growing city. He partnered with San Diego businessman Ephraim W. Morse and sent him a stream of tourists, settlers, and speculators. In addition to selling his lots at high profit, Horton encouraged community growth by donating lots to religious organizations, building the wharf at the end of Fifth Avenue, opening the first bank in New San Diego, and helping to promote and finance a post office, a telegraph line, and increased railroad service. He lost most of his holdings after a series of real estate boom-and-bust cycles and by 1903 he was left dependent on the income of his third wife, Lydia Knapp Horton. Alonzo died on January 7, 1909.
0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.
This collection is open for research.