Captain Benjamin B. Handy commanded a whaling vessel out of New Bedford, Massachusetts for many years. He married Betsy Small and in 1853, they had a son, Benjamin W. Handy, and a daughter, Elizabeth.
In 1876, the family moved to Riverside, and true to family tradition, they traveled by steam ship. Handy purchased an orange grove and became a citrus grower. He was elected a member of Riverside’s first board of trustees when the city was incorporated on September 25, 1883.