The Journal of San Diego History
January 1957, Volume 3, Number 1
Jerry MacMullen, Editor

TWO HISTORICAL QUESTIONS, raised by Wilmer Shields’s “Thumbing Through San Diego’s First Directory” in the last issue of the Quarterly, have been answered — or have they?

One question concerned the exact nature of an enterprise listed in the Directory as the S.P.Q.R. Store. Charles Angeir supplied the answer: it was a small variety store, and the initials, its proprietor would explain to the curious, stood for “Small Profit, Quick Returns.”

The second problem was raised by the fact that some of San Diego’s leading citizens were listed as “capitalists” by profession; this led, quite naturally, to curiosity as to what constituted a capitalist. The question may be answered — and on the other hand it may have been made just a bit more confusing — by the discovery that, in a later issue, none other than the famous Wyatt Earp is designated as a capitalist. At the time, Earp — of Dodge City and Tombstone fame as a law-man — owned some racehorses at the old Pacific Beach track, and also operated two gambling-houses. Oh, well — if that doesn’t make one a capitalist, what does?

ANOTHER HORTON HOME. Does anyone have a photograph, or detailed information, on the house built by Alonzo E. Horton before he built the one at First and Fir Streets in 1885? It also was on First, at about Date or Elm, and was a replica of his original home of 1868-69, over around Tenth and G Streets. The original house, later owned by Thomas Nesmith, later was moved to Second and Beech Streets. Here it was jacked up, an additional story was built under it, and for years it operated as The Gables, a select boarding-house.

When this building was torn down a few weeks ago to make room for a parking-lot, a reporter called the Serra Museum for information as to its history. When he was told that it was Alonzo E. Horton’s first home in San Diego, there was a brief silence. Then —

“And — just who was Alonzo E. Horton?”