Local Family Histories
'Working to preserve the rich heritage of the Temecula Valley'
The Knott Family History
by Gene Knott
      John Knott

   John Knott was born in 1855 in London, England. His parents were John Knott and Ann (Dodd?)

    The year John Knott came from London, England to the U.S. is not known. When he found work in Ohio, he sent for his wife, Eliza (Constable) and small son John II arriving in New York on the 23rd of January, 1880. He was a miner and Sunday school Superintendent, she a chambermaid, making one pound a month, while they lived in England. They moved to Oklahoma Territory where John worked in the coal mines. There, two more sons, Tom and George, were born.

    After an accident at the coal mine in which a friend was killed, John decided he didn't want his sons to become coal miners. In 1888 they moved to the Dakota Territory. They took up a claim five miles SE of Lebanon on the SE 1/4 of Sec. 12 in Roy Twp. They built a sod house and other buildings which served for several years. Here five more children were born--Millie, Florence, Annie, Al, and Ella.

    In 1904, at the age of 48, John Knott died. His wife Eliza stayed in Dakota a few more years before moving to California, taking the younger children with her. Al, the last to pass on died in 1982 in Rainbow, Ca.

    John Knott II farmed in Potter County and served as County Commissioner. He died in 1945. Tom farmed in S.D., moved to California, and died in 1970. George, the second son, homesteaded on the SE 1/4 of Sec. 10 in Canton Twp. He farmed all his life, never married and died in 1962 at the age of 80. Millie, Florence, and Ella all migrated to California and eventually died there. Annie died of the flu in Potter Co., in 1918.

    John II and his wife Emma Mikkleson took over the homestead place and raised five children: Anna Louise, Maxine, John, Ardell, and Loyd. All of them reside in California except John III. He married Verna Carlson of Columbia, SD. They own and live on the original homestead. They have one child, Margie Knott Hause and one grandson Yuri Judah Hause.

Alfred (Al) Knott

Born in South Dakota in 1891. He left South Dakota with his mother Eliza Knott and moved to California in 1908 (at the age of 13). Eliza bought some property at the north west corner of Lake Elsinore. Al got a job working for Amos Sykes, farming in the Murrieta area, making $300 per season raising grain and wheat. (A season in California is from March through the early part of October, planting to harvest). In the winter months he worked for Farrell Freeman, a cattleman who owned a blacksmith shop in the town of Temecula (Temecula Iron Works) at the N/E corner of Front & 5th St.

    In 1912, Farrell asked Al if he would like to purchase the blacksmith shop, because he didn't have enough time to run it, and his cattle operation at the same time. Al told Farrell that he didn't have money to take such an offer. Farrell said that was O.K., he could pay him when he could. AL accepted the offer and moved the building from where it sat on Front & 5th, across the street to the west side of Front St. onto 10 lots of property he purchased.

    He recruited help and lifted the building off its foundation blocks and set it onto dollies (axle and wheels), hitched up a team of mules and moved the building across the street.

    Al noticed how popular the automobile was becoming, so once again, in 1918, he moved the blacksmith shop farther back into his property, and he built an automobile repair shop facing Hwy 395 (Front St).

    Al said that was the first time he took out a loan. It cost him $1800 to build Knott's Garage, his automobile repair shop, using terricota blocks, manufactured in the little town of Alberhill, just north of Elsinore, Ca. It only took him a couple of years to repay his loan, due to his speculation on the success of the automobile. His garage was one of the only places where a traveler could get their cars repaired between Riverside and San Diego for many years.

    Al provided the area with horse shoeing, wagon, farming implement, automotive, and truck repairs for many years. He sold the business and property in 1967 and moved to the small town of Rainbow, Ca. He passed away in 1982.