Left: The North home, shown here, is today the site of North Park. Right: Ann Loomis North as a young woman.

Ann Loomis North

Ann Hendrix Loomis North was the second wife of Riverside founder John Wesley North and mother to his six children: Emma, Richard, Edward, John Greenleaf, Augusta, and Mary.

John North was elected to the Minnesota legislature and was influential in the founding of the University of Minnesota, wrote the legislative act that became the university’s charter, and was treasurer of its board of regents from 1851 to 1860.

In 1855, North became one of the founders of the Republican Party of Minnesota. He also purchased 160 acres of land and platted an entire tract of 320 acres, founding the town of Northfield. Ann assumed the social and cultural role of a politician’s wife. Ann’s family, especially her father, supported many of North’s financial ventures.

The panic of 1857 ended John’s dreams for Northfield and he suffered financial failure, but despite this setback, North participated in Minnesota’s state constitutional convention that year.

In 1860, John North was a delegate to the Republican convention that selected Abraham Lincoln as the party’s candidate for president. After Lincoln’s election, he appointed North to be the official surveyor of the new territory of Nevada.

In 1869, North began to plan a new model colony in earnest, and, in 1870, he issued a broadside advertising for colonists to join him in investing in land in California. North came to Riverside in 1870 and his wife and children followed. Ann’s talents as a musician and collector of songs were much appreciated in the new community. She also gardened extensively. North lost control of the Southern California Colony Association in 1875.

In1879, the North family moved to San Francisco. In 1880, John North left San Francisco to become the agent for the Washington Irrigated Colony near Fresno. Ann did not join him in this move.