Left: Robert Spurgeon and his family, wife Lillian, granddaughter Gloria, daughter Grace, and son Robert Spurgeon, Jr. Right: Robert Spurgeon, Jr. designed this Ladera Lane house for his parents, Robert Spurgeon, Sr. and Lillian Spurgeon.

Robert H Spurgeon Sr

Robert Spurgeon, Sr., was born in Canada and trained as a lawyer. He left Toronto for Chicago in 1886, where he married Lillian Maguire in 1891. They moved to Denver briefly, then returned to Chicago where their daughter, Grace, was born. Spurgeon had a successful legal career and later, in New York City, became the attorney for the U. S. Steel Corporation. Their son, Robert H. Spurgeon, Jr., was born in New York and became an architect.

Spurgeon and his wife moved to Riverside to be with their daughter, Grace, after her husband died unexpectedly. Robert Junior followed them.

Robert Junior designed many homes in Riverside, including the large home at 4651 Ladera Lane he built for his parents. Thick walls, recessed windows, and a central tower were distinctive features of the home, and inside, a high-domed ceiling, spacious dining room, library, sunroom, and five bedrooms and three baths contributed to the home’s charms.

Eventually, Grace remarried and moved to Santa Barbara and in January 1925, Robert Spurgeon, Sr., died at home, attended by his wife and son.