Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Edwin W. Sandison -- 6525 Franklin Avenue

Edwin Wallace Sandison (1844-1918) found his business love early on--developing real estate.  His short biography from Homes of Los Angeles indicated he was the founder of three Kansas cities--Everest, Horton, and Liberal--all of which he did before moving in the late 1890's to Los Angeles. Of course it was also before he took 15 trips to Alaska for the gold rush.  Married in 1875 to Sabina Wigle (1855-1938), their children as listed in censuses demonstrate well the family's travel across the U.S. First child Edna (b. 1878 NE), was followed by Edwin Jr. (b. 1880 NE), Wilbur (b. 1885 KS), Mamie (b. 1883 KS), Gordon (b. 1886 KS), and Addie V (b. 1888 CO).

Out West Magazine  Volume 3, in 1895 recorded their early family home in the "University Place" district of Los Angeles:

According to street directories of the day, it was located at  the "ne corner W 39th and Budlong", which would have placed it about three blocks west of Exposition Park and the university. At the time their youngest son Gordon was twelve. That may have been him in the yard.

By 1905 the Sandisons had moved to their new home "out" in Hollywood. In April of that year daughter Addie garners a mention in the L.A. Herald for taking a picnic to Ocean Park as part of the Jolly Six Club, which appears to be Addie and five of her friends.

The winter of 1905-1906 was a very wet one, with constant newspaper reports of rain.  (It's good to know that back then the rains also came in winter to Southern California.) It was so omnipresent that season that when tragedy struck the Sandisons in March, 1906 with the death of their son Gordon--the funeral notice, while mentioning the funeral was held at the Sandisons' Hollywood house, also reported in a large sub-headline that "Cars near Hollywood Tied up by Washouts and Sanded Tracks". The funeral was overseen by Rev. Bovard, who may have been related, as daughter Mamie had married a Bovard.
225 W. Franklin in 1909

 In 1910 living in the house were E.W., wife Sabina, daughter Edna (who never married and lived with Sabina until her death), son Wilbur (age 25), and daughter Addie (age 22). About this time E.W. invested in large tracts of land in Wilmington, near San Pedro.  Son Edwin Jr. and his wife Ruth ran the real estate office there, and lived in the area at 1149 Marshall for many years. Continuing the naming tradition, grandson Edwin III and great-grandson Edwin IV also lived in Wilmington.

In July, 1918 Edwin Sr. died, and Sabina and Edna moved out of the large house to the Wilmington area, probably to be nearer son Edwin Jr. They stayed a short period at the Hotel Schuyler in Long Beach, then moved to Banning Avenue in Wilmington, where Sabina passed away in the late 1930's.

The house at 225 West Franklin received an address change with Hollywood's merging into Los Angeles, becoming 6525 Franklin. The next family was to live there longer than the Sandisons had.

William F. Beesemyer Jr.(1887-1953) was a local, native-born son, one of five, graduating from Hollywood High in 1906, where he was also one of the commencement speakers. He was the son of Hollywood pioneers William (1854-1947) & Sophie (1858-1946) Beesemyer, whose early investment in Hollywood land made them quite wealthy. Their Hollywood ranch was bordered by Sunset & Santa Monica Blvds. on the north and south, and Western and Bronson Aves. on the east and west. Their house address was 1407 N. Wilton, right in the middle of the property. Part of the ranch included today's KTLA-TV lot, which was an early Warner Bros. studio location--it was sold to the Warners for $25,000 by William Sr. and Sophie around 1919.

William Jr., the third of five sons of William and Sophie, married Leah Marsh, also a Californian, and by 1920 they had moved into 6525 West Franklin with their new baby son, William III. Son Frank (1920-1990) joined the family that year, as William Jr. pursued a career in wholesale food brokering, rather than land or movies.

The Beesemyer neighborhood--looking east on Franklin Ave. at Whitley, 1928
The house is on the left side where the street crests the hill (blocked by the tree).
(courtesy of USC Digital Archives)
It seemed to be a quiet life for the family. As William Sr. continued in ranching and real estate, William Jr.'s older brother Arthur (1882-1923) became superintendent of streets for Hollywood. Another brother, Clarence (b. 1891) went into the oil business, ultimately becoming president of Gilmore Oil Co. Brother Gilbert (b. 1885) went into banking, with spectacular results--he was arrested for embezzling over $7 million. He was convicted in 1930 and sentenced to prison for 10 to 100 years.

Sometime around 1950, William and Leah left the house, as records indicate son Frank and his wife Phoebe (1921-2012) are living there in 1951. William passed away in 1953; Leah moved to an apartment on Scenic Drive.

By 1956 the Franklin Ave. house had become an apartment house--as it is today.

Aerial view of the lot--outlined in red
link checked 2/9/20

Additional info: 

The short bio for Edwin Sandison from the author's 1910 copy of the book 

A larger copy of the 1910 photo from the book



  1. You do an... amazing... job researching these people's lives. How much time do you put into each post? And - any info on their first house?

  2. Thanks for the compliment. There isn't much to add for the first house. In 1900 the census detailed the address to 1245 39th St. The image came from this book ( a copy digitized by Google may be found at ). The description is all about the neighborhood!

  3. Oh, the early ones were taking about an hour... the book is about done now, which I'm thankful for since I'm now wasting about 4-6 hrs. for each one. The biggest one is on Arthur Letts, where I went searching for his biography to better chronicle his house. It's been enjoyable.

  4. You mention the bio of EW Sandison coming from Homes of Los Angeles. Can you provide the complete reference for this book?

  5. Sure, click on the box at upper right titled "Your Online Host". That will take you to the back story about the book, and the various editions available online. EW's bio in my 1910 copy of the book is shown in the link at the bottom of the article.

  6. This is really neat for me to see.. Edwin W Sandison is my great Grandfather. My dad was also Edwin W Sandison. I am Kimberly Sandison

  7. EW Sandison is not in the 1910 copy it is a different EW. Do you have a link to the book with the Sandison Bio. I would love to read it.

  8. Glad you found the article on your great grandfather. As it turns out, not all editions of the book are posted online--and mine is one of them not posted. But links at the bottom of the article can show you what was present for EW. His "bio" was just the one page with his photo in 1910. I just added the 2nd link so it is easier to download a larger image of the house. Hope this helps!


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