Ontario Mutual Water Companies collection
Finding aid created by Ontario City Library, Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room staff using RecordEXPRESS
Ontario City Library, Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room2014
215 East "C" Street
Ontario, California 91764-4111
Title: Ontario Mutual Water Companies collection
Collection Number: Consult library
Creator/Collector: Ontario Mutual Water Company South Side Mutual Water Company
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
Repository: Ontario City Library, Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room
Ontario, California 91764-4111
Abstract: This collection contains the business records of the Ontario Mutual Water Company and the South Side Mutual Water Company.
Language of Material: English
Collection is open for research during the operating hours of the Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room or by appointment.
Collection is open for research.
Ontario Mutual Water Companies collection. Ontario City Library, Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room
This collection is part of the Robert E. Ellingwood Model Colony History Room's legacy collection. It is assumed that these records were transferred to the History Room from another city department.
Water was vital to the success of the Chaffey brothers' vision of Ontario, the Model Colony. To bring water down from the mountains north of their land they formed the San Antonio Mutual Water Company in 1882. Water was distributed to shareholders based upon the amount of stock held by the respective owners. This business model of a “mutual water company” was very successful and many more local mutual water companies were formed between 1910 and 1926. With names like Arena, Fifth Street, Mountain View, Euclid, Canyon Ridge, Cucamonga, South Side and West Ontario, these companies formed the backbone of the irrigation systems necessary for the area’s explosive growth as a national citrus producing center. Two of these companies – West Ontario Mutual Water Company and South Side Mutual Water Company – are included in this collection. West Ontario was incorporated by the state of California 1910 and South Side in 1919. Local gentry were among the shareholders in these companies. In 1957, the West Ontario Mutual Water Company shareholders voted to sell the company to the City of Ontario for $12,000. It is assumed that South Side followed suit, as records show that the city purchased at least one well from the company in 1966 and no further business records are in existence after 1967.
This collection includes the original incorporation proclamation from the state of California for the West Ontario Mutual Water Company, stock certificates (issued and unissued), minute books of stockholder’s meetings, cancelled checks and other financial papers from South Side Mutual Water Comapany's principal checking account with First National Bank of Ontario, invoices for diesel and gas to run the water pumps, monthly accounts of water used per shareholder, county property tax returns, and state and federal corporate tax returns.