CHAPTER VIII ---- RETIREMENT YEARS
WILL and LIZZIE KING arrived in Riverside in the late summer of 1918. They rented a house on Victoria Avenue for several months while looking for a place to buy. They bought the house at 4044 Linwood Place including the vacant lot on the east side for $1,800.00 from a man who was about to be drafted into the Army. His name was also King but was no relation. The numbering system was different at the time they bought the house than it is now. (282 Linwood was the original address). They moved in on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, and stayed there until they died. Mr. King who sold the house was never drafted as World War I was just then over. He left with his things to find another place to live. [Google maps shows the house as still there, looks original]
Returning to WILL KING for 12 to 14 years the yard in back of the house and the vacant lot produced all kinds of fruits and vegetables which supplied not only the KINGs but often the neighbors. WILL KING grew and experimented with grapes, almonds, plums, walnuts, avocados, peaches, apricots, and figs. There was no end to the vegetables he raised on that small parcel. The property had originally been an orange grove before subdivision and two of the original trees were still there. For years the place was one of the best looking ones on Linwood. Also, as previously mentioned, during those early years in Riverside WILL KING worked in the Hemet apricot drying yards during' the harvest season. Some of the grandchildren can remember him driving his Dodge touring car (about a 1920 model) into the garage in the late afternoon after coming from work at Hemet.
Those first few years in Riverside were good ones. There were visits by friends, relatives, and former neighbors from most of the places they had lived going clear back to Missouri. Especially during the holiday season there was nearly always someone there. The grandchildren, if around, would promptly dismiss any interest in these visitors. If we had paid some attention this family history could probably be a lot more complete.
Over the years WILL KING had built houses and developed three successful ranches from scratch. He had bought and sold property starting in his youth in Dade County. He was generally regarded as being quite well fixed financially. When he came to Riverside in 1916 he put most of the money he had accumulated into the former savings and loan on the corner of Market Street and Whittier Place. As the depression came on in the early 1930's this concern went Linder and wiped him out completely. The family had a tough go of it after that and everything from then on was downhill.
LIZZIE's health had started to deteriorate. She had a disabling stroke in 1936 and was confined to bed for about a year. BESSIE PATTERSON moved from Coachella to Riverside to take care of her during that time. CLYDE would come up on week ends and MARY attended school in Riverside that year. LIZZIE died on March 17,1937 at 73.
WILL KING was not doing so well either. After LIZZIE's death he stayed alone in Riverside for awhile and then spent some time in Coachella Valley with BESSIE and her family. He was gradually going blind with cataracts. Surgery was only partially successful at best. We can recall him holding his great grandchildren when babies, feeling their faces with his hands and looking at them through his magnifying glass, While trying to work in his garden during that time he stumbled one day and fell over a shovel breaking his hip. Again surgery did not turn out too Well. After months in the hospital he finally went home but was in a wheel chair and never walked again after that. BESSIE took care of him from then on. He gradually seemed to adjust to the situation and usually maintained a good attitude despite all his problems. MARY PATTERSON WHITE recalled some of the songs he used to sing to her when he was in his 80's. In a quavering voice but still carrying the tune very well he would sing Grandfather's Clock and other old time songs he had learned as a child. He died October 23,1946 at the age of 88. WILL and LIZZIE are buried at the Olivewood Cemetery in Riverside. California.
Going back a few years, CLYDE and BESSIE PATTERSON had preceded WILL and LIZZIE KING to Riverside, arriving there in 1914. CLYDE and BESSIE then moved to Coachella Valley in the spring of 1920. In Riverside they lived on JOHN J. PATTERSON's ranch and then on their own, both located on the southeast corner of California Avenue and Jefferson. CLYDE set up a 12'x24' 3 room tent house he bought mail order from Sears Roebuck in Chicago. The property has since been subdivided. The tent house was on what is now Willow Street which runs east-west and bisects the former ranch. The tent house was located on the left, where the third house is now, going east from California Avenue. This is where KENNETH KING PATTERSON, second child of BESSIE KING PATTERSON, was born March 2,1916. WILLIAM MARION PATTERSON was born in Riverside on March 2,1920 although the family had moved to the Valley (Coachella) a few months before. MARY ELIZABETH PATTERSON, BESSIES's last child, was also born in Riverside November 4,1924. CLYDE and BESSIE left the Coachella Valley in 1942 when CLYDE returned to Riverside to work in the same defense plant as he had during World War I some 25 years before. Regarding the tent house CLYDE always said no one ever had more comfortable living quarters, winter or summer. He Could never understand the housing shortage and why more People didn't live in tents. BESSIE thought he was stretching the truth a little. When she heard some of her relatives were coming from Lockwood, Missouri to see her she didn't want to be caught living in a tent, so CLYDE bought a small adjoining farm with a large house on it. Then the relatives never came.