La Porteans used to gather for reunions — in Long Beach, California

A 1929 postcard shows a scene in Bixby Park Long Beach, CA. (

Bixby Park, Long Beach, CA. (2013

La Porte County Historian Fern Eddy Schultz

By Fern Eddy Schultz, La Porte County Historian
On May Day, May 1, 1926, the La Porte-California Colony held its 12th reunion in Bixby Park, Long Beach, California. There were over 50 individuals in attendance representing Burbank, Eagle Rock, Glendale, Hollywood, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Gabriel, and Uplands. Bixby Park is located only two blocks from the Pacific Ocean and the cooling breeze made this an enjoyable visit. The bountiful spread of “eats” helped this along.
A short business meeting was the first event of the day following the accomplishment of “satisfying of the inner man” (and woman). The meeting was concluded with the re-election of the old officers, those being William J. Lonn (president), Willis E. Beal (vice president), Lottie Closser (secretary) and Burdette Hastings Norton (treasurer). A decision would be made by the officers later as to the location of the 1927 reunion.
There were two new attendees: Dr. Grace Line Homman and Clem Christy. Each gave a brief presentation. Grace was one of the first women accepted for an internship at Cook County hospital because of her outstanding undergraduate academic record. She conducted her first medical practice in La Porte at 708 Jefferson Ave. until she was forced to move west because of health reasons. Grace was assistant head of the Women’s division of the Mayo Clinic, where she pioneered in radium therapy. One of the Mayo brothers remarked that she was one of the best cancer diagnosticians in the medical profession.
Christy read a poem by the “Lady Across the Bay,” which had been published in “The Wake” column of the La Porte Herald-Argus.
Nellie Poole, who was known for her musical abilities, provided an impromptu mixed choir who sang “Hoosier Tipperary,” “Juanita,” “La Porte Will Shine” and “America, the Beautiful.” William Wilbraham and Lyman B. Ashton related information about some incidents that occurred in 1855-56. This portion of the event was concluded by President Lonn reading a letter of regret from Mrs. Emma Mead Jordan of Los Angeles, whose extreme age prevented her from being present.
The rest of the time was devoted to handshaking, greetings and reminiscences in which everybody entered with “zest and satisfaction.” It was reported that Moses Sternberg captured the good will of all present by supplying ice cream sandwiches. His generosity and thoughtfulness were appreciated by all. Prof. August Wolf, who formerly was a La Porte violinist and director, exhibited a copy of the illustrated railroad magazine published in the 1890s titled the “Headlight.” This is a particularly important publication yet today and a copy may be found on the shelf in the Fern Eddy Schultz Research Library at the La Porte County Historical Society, Inc., Museum.
Morris Henoch was, at the time of the reunion in 1926, 92 years of age. As usual, for the past several years, he had been the oldest person present. He was born in Germany and came to La Porte when a young man. He lived in La Porte until about 1921 when he moved to Los Angeles and from there to San Diego. He married Bertha Hamburger. They had three sons, Solomon M., Louis and Milton. Morris died May 10, 1929, at his home in San Diego. Bertha and Milton had preceded him in death. All are buried in the B’ne Zion Jewish Cemetery in La Porte.
Research is continuing to locate information about additional reunions and when the final one was held. Anyone with information, please contact


2 Responses to “La Porteans used to gather for reunions — in Long Beach, California”

  1. Jan

    Jul 21. 2019

    Fascinating! Thank you Fern.

    Reply to this comment
    • Lori Henoch-Hamlin

      Feb 07. 2020

      Very interesting! Morris & Bertha Henoch were my great great great grandparents. I am very interested in my family’s genealogy, and so was my Dad. When he passed I got all the obits and information including pictures of them which I will cherish. Thank you, Lori Henoch- Hamlin

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