Left: Lyman C. Waite home, enlarged by Augustus Boggs in 1890. Right: Lyman C. Waite.

Lyman C Waite

Three months after the colony in Riverside was started, Lyman C. Waite, 28 years old, arrived from Wisconsin. He was admitted to the San Bernardino County Bar Association in 1871 and opened his law office in Riverside. He served as a justice of the peace. In that role, he is credited for formalizing the relationship of Luther and Eliza Tibbets, although it is not described as a marriage. He had been a teacher in Wisconsin and Iowa before getting his law degree in 1870. Lyman was one of the earliest school teachers in Riverside and the first lawyer.

On April 5, 1872, Waite married Lillian Shugart, the daughter of Dr. K. D. Shugart. This was the first wedding performed in Riverside.

Waite’s most important work was the development of his citrus property. He bought 25 acres of land north of First Street and in 1873 added to this acreage and opened a nursery. It became famous in Riverside and was called the Waite and Simms Nursery. In all he was connected with 22 corporations, serving as director or board member. They included water, construction, banking, railroads, and cultural institutions.

Waite also served on the Riverside City Council from 1906 to 1912, until poor health caused him to retire from the council and some of his businesses. Lyman died in 1934 just one year after his wife passed away.