Early Life and Career
Andrew Glassell was born in Orange County, Virginia September 20, 1827. He came to San Francisco in 1853 and established a law practice. His appointment as the United States attorney at Sacramento soon followed. During the Civil War his sympathies were with the South, and he left his public office and engaged in other pursuits, as he refused to take the loyalty oath to the United States required of lawyers. After the war he came to Los Angeles in 1865 and was the first President of the Los Angeles Bar Association.
Glassell, Chapman & Smith
He formed a partnership with Alfred Beck Chapman and Col. George H. Smith, a former Confederate Army officer, the firm becoming known as Glassell, Chapman & Smith. Their law practice was confined chiefly to real estate transactions and they made their fortunes by being retailed in the large partition suits. Chapman was the businessman of the firm. They would take their compensation in land, and nearly every final decree in partition would find that Glassell and Chapman had quite an acreage in severalty. The law firm looked after the interests of the Yorba family of the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, and when after a drought, the final settlement was reached there was not enough cash to satisfy attorney fees. Reluctantly a few thousand acres of land were taken in payment, and Chapman and Glassell came into possession of the land on which the City of Orange was built.
In 1872, the Richland (later Orange) subdivision was placed on the market by Andrew Glassell. Glassell and Chapman employed the former's younger brother, Captain William T. Glassell to plot the town site. Captain Glassell surveyed a section of land for his brother and Chapman in 1871. He divided the tract into 60 ten-acre lots surrounding a 40-acre town site, which he called Richland, and served as sales agent for the property. In 1873, when a post office was sought for the village it was discovered that there was a town in Sacramento County by the name of Richland. As an alternative, Orange was chosen in honor of Andrew Glassell's home county.
Andrew Glassell was one of the incorporators of and attorney for the Farmers and Merchants' Bank. He also incorporated the Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad, and was prominent in its management until it was absorbed by the Southern Pacific Company. When this transfer was made he became chief counsel of the railroad company in Southern California, and remained in that capacity until he finally decided to retire.
In 1857, Andrew Glassell married Lucy Toland, daughter of Dr. H.H. Toland, a pioneer physician of San Francisco. Several children were born to this union. After her death he married Mrs. Virginia Micou Ring of New Orleans. Glassell died at his home in Los Angeles on January 28, 1901.