Harvey Wilcox’s haven from sin and vice is discussed in Bob’s Wessel most recent

A panoramic view of Cahuenga Valley, just west of Los Angeles, is pictured in the time of Harvey Wilcox. The orchard in the foreground is located at what would later become the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Cahuenga Ave.

Late in 1886, Harvey Wilcox and his second wife, Daeida, purchased a piece of land just west of Los Angeles. Their farming venture soon failed and gave way to the idea of converting the land into a Christian community, free from alcohol, gambling and prostitution. 

Harvey Henderson Wilcox was born in Western, New York in 1832. In 1833, the family left New York for Ogden Township in Lenawee County, where he spent his youth and apparently became a prohibitionist. 

Harvey contracted poliomyelitis at the age of 13 and spent most of the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair. Disabled from the knees down, Harvey took to riding a horse and was quite an accomplished equestrian. 

Unable to work on the family farm, Harvey was apprenticed as a shoemaker under the tutelage of Horace Sheldon of Blissfield. He completed his apprenticeship in the 1850s and left for Ohio. In 1860, Harvey was living in Williams County, Ohio where he pursued his trade as a shoemaker. Refusing to let his disability stand in his way, Harvey entered local politics. He was elected County Recorder in 1860, and also served as Justice of the Peace (he apparently took well to politics as he was Notary Public for Williams County in 1866). He settled in Bryan, Ohio where he married Ellen E. Young as his first wife in 1861. 

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