Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector (ATC) Ensen Mason is pleased to present another fascinating story of the many great county residents that have served in his position since 1853.

Richard H. Stetson was born in Marshfield, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. His father, James H. Stetson, was a direct descendant of Cornet Stetson, a prominent townsman who settled in the area in 1634 in the place where Richard H. Stetson was born. His mother was Phebe C. Nickerson, the great granddaughter of Sir Thomas Nickerson.

Upon reaching adulthood, Stetson migrated to San Bernardino, California in March 1877. He was employed as a clerk at a lumber company for three years, and later engaged in the hotel and livery business. At one time, he co-owned three hotels and two livery stables in Colton, Daggett, Needles and San Bernardino.

Stetson was elected as the county tax collector in 1886. He received the largest number of votes of all candidates on the Republican ticket, by a majority of 431. He was reelected in 1888, this time by a majority of 700, the highest of all candidates on the ticket.

Eventually, Stetson became a resident of Redlands, where a large brick building was erected for him to use as a livery stable. It was located on Orange Street between the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe depots.

Stetson passed away at the age of 85 on January 8, 1942. He was married to Miss Jennie Cole, a California native and the daughter of James A. Cole from San Bernardino. They had five children: Richard, Bessie, Rebecca, Mary and Percy.

Additional County Update News – April 4, 2024