Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

New city attracts new businesses

Newcomers moving into Glendale often came from cities and regions

where public services were provided as a matter of course. Once they

moved to the booming town of Glendale, they wanted those same

services in their new home.


In the 1906 vote to incorporate, a slate of officers was selected

to run the new city (at the time, they were called the Board of


Wilmot Parcher was elected as mayor at the first meeting on Feb.


21 of that same year, and his first official act was to appoint

committees on such matters as public works, police and sanitary


At that first meeting, the new leaders discussed a city seal and

paid a bill from the state of California for filing the city’s

certificate of incorporation.

They also received their first petition, a request that the city

grade an extension of “A” Street. Other topics discussed were


regulation of all the guy wires on the electric lights and telephone

poles popping up around town and caring for the trees that bordered

public highways.

That first meeting was at the home of one of the trustees, but

after that, they met in a brick building on the south side of

Broadway between Isabel and Jackson.

Soon, the trustees proposed building a new City Hall, befitting

their new status as a city. The building was erected at the corner of


Broadway and Howard, at a cost of $7,047, and completed in March


The new building was an imposing, two-story, brick structure and

no doubt became the backdrop for many pictures, including this one of

the Macdonald Express, Glendale’s first delivery business.

One of the new city’s residents was David Macdonald, who came to

the city in 1904 at 26. He had heard about the new community called

Glendale and thought that it might be just the right place for a

young man with a little cash. He bought a “broken down wagon and

swaybacked horse for $10,” according to historian Ellen Perry,

writing in a 1988 edition of the Glendale News-Press.

Macdonald hauled everything from furniture to lumber, leaving each

morning from his stables in the 400 block of South “L” (now Louise)


Once his business was successful, he brought his fiancee, Barbara

Young, here from Scotland. They celebrated their wedding at the

magnificent Glendale Hotel.

Macdonald soon became known as “honest Dave.” His business grew to

10 rigs and 10 horses, and within a few years, he brought his

brothers from Scotland.

As Macdonald’s business prospered, so did the city of Glendale.

The city’s staff soon outgrew the first City Hall and it was enlarged

in 1922 to almost twice its size. It has been remodeled extensively

several times since.

* KATHERINE YAMADA is a volunteer with the Special Collections

Room at Central Library. To reach her, leave a message at 637-3241.

The Special Collections Room is open from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays

or by appointment. For more information on Glendale’s history,

contact the reference desk at the Central Library at 548-2027.