Cast of Characters
Chatterman (Co-founder of Richland) - WI. Shanklin
Shanklin apparently owned a store in the nearby community of Olive, then commonly known as Burrell Point. An 1886 real estate tract in Orange was known as the Shanklin Tract, but his name was not listed among the owners. There is a J. I. Shanklin listed in the area in the 1883 to 1884 Los Angeles County Directory as a farmer; whether this is the same man is not known.
Gaswell (Co-founder of Richland) - Isaac Lea Collins
Better known as Lee, was born in Pennsylvania in 1852. Standing 5 feet 8 inches with brown hair, he had come to Villa Park (then known as Mountain View) with his mother, Mary P. Collins (1822 to 1898) in 1877. He served as the first Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Orange in 1889. In the 1903 Orange County Directory he is listed as living with his second wife Susan on Cypress Avenue, 3 miles northeast of Orange. A fruit grower, he had 6-acres in oranges, five in grapes, and 18 of grain. He remained in the area all his live, dying November 8, 1929.
Ignorance Bliss (Tenderfoot) - George L. Massey
Came to Mountain View (Villa Park) in the early 1880s and farmed there for several years. In March 1889 he was appointed Deputy Assessor for the area. In June, he served as a clerk in the election to divide Orange County out of Los Angeles County. He was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Orange and served as its Secretary in 1889. He was also a charter member of the Orange Gun Club, organized in November, 1886. In 1891 he and his family moved to Tulare where Massey had been working in the grape industry.
Perfect Bliss (New York Capitalist) - Frank D. Collins
Was the older brother of Lea Collins. He stood 5 feet 9 inches tall with black hair. He was born October 11, 1850 in Pennsylvania. In 1880 he bought 45 acres along Prospect Avenue east of Orange where he became a farmer. He served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Serrano Water Company from 1883 to 1926. In the 1903 County Directory he is listed as a rancher living with his wife, Elizabeth, in Olive. In 1911 he is shown living in Villa Park. He died March 19, 1926.
Uncle Eliab (Old Timer) - James W Osburn
James W Osburn was the older brother of Robert Osburn. He was an active member of the Orange Public Library Association, serving as President from December, 1886 to January 1887. When he resigned he was immediately elected Secretary. In the 1901 Directory he is listed as living in Orange on Cypress Avenue, about 3 miles out of town. He died about 1903.
Candee (Stage Driver & Town Pump) - Robert W Osburn
Robert W Osburn was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 30, 1867. He came to Orange in 1886, but returned east in the latter part of 1887 to study at Princeton. In 1902 he was living in Riverside, CA where he was a successful citrus grower.
George Washington Glibb (Real Estate Agent) - Edward W Hardy
Edward W Hardy (who preserved the script of The Plaza) was born in Pennsylvania in about 1854. He stood 5 foot 2 inches tall and had black hair. He came to California in 1877. In 1886 he was growing and shipping raisin grapes. Later he went into citrus, cultivating 17 acres of oranges and five lemons. In April, 1892 he married Agnes Hubert in Orange. In 1894 he was a member of the first library Board of Trustees for the city. In 1903 he is listed as a rancher living with his wife on Cypress Avenue (Orange Rural Fire Department 1). He left Orange about 1910, and eventually died in Louisiana in 1932.
Amy Bliss (Wife of Ignorance) - Elizabeth A. Hardy
Elizabeth was a niece of Ed Hardy. She married Frank D. Collins (Perfect Bliss) soon after the production - October 11, 1887. She died in 1946 at the age of 81.
Glibber (Notary) - M. H. Saxton
Appears to have arrived in Olive about 1884. He is listed in the 1884 to 1885 Los Angeles County Directory as a "Rancher." In 1886 he was growing raisin grapes. His wife was a sister of Francis Joslin, who played Serena Bliss.
Mrs. Powers - Mrs. H. E Wadleigh
Was a part of a Los Angeles family, several members of which came to live in Orange at various times. She lived with her husband in Mountain View (Villa Park) in 1886 or 1887, but returned to Los Angeles after the heyday of the boom. She was active in the Orange Public Library Association while in town and maintained her contacts with the organization into the 1890s after she returned to Los Angeles.
Serena Bliss (Wife of Perfect) - Francis M. Joslin
Born in Wisconsin about 1854. She was the daughter of Dr. Jacob M. Joslin (1816 to 1889) who arrived in Orange in 1876. In 1887 he was still practicing medicine. Francis is shown working as a teacher in the 1880 census.
Mrs. Well-To-Do (Interesting Young Widow) - Mrs. George L. Massey
Lived with her husband first in Mountain View (Villa Park) and then in Orange. In the spring of 1889 the Massey's ran a dancing school in the Hotel Rochester that sometimes hosted as many as 25 couples. Mrs. Massey was a niece of the Collins'.
Joy Bliss (Daughter of Ignorance and Amy) - Lena McNitt
Daughter of a Mountain View grape grower. She appeared in a singing duet in the "June Jubilee" presented in 1886 for the benefit of the Plaza Fountain Fund.
Gay Bliss (Son of Ignorance and Amy) - Bert Frederick
Son of Joel H. Frederick, who arrived in Modena in October, 1886. He was born in 1880. Joel served as Secretary of the Orange Fruit and Packing Company in 1887.