HOMES OF THE WESTERN STARS – THE JOHN WAYNE TOUR #1
May 29, 2011
HOMES OF WESTERN MOVIE FILM MAKERS
IN FRONT AND BEHIND THE CAMERAS
BY BOB SILER
THE JOHN WAYNE TOUR
Since this is Memorial Day weekend I thought that it was only fitting to post my updated John Wayne Tour.
So, times – a – wastin’. Saddle up and lets get this party started.
1907 – 1914
1907 – 1910
216 SOUTH SECOND STREET
THE MORRISON FAMILY HOME
On May 26, 1907, Marion Morrison (John Wayne), was born here.
1910 – 1912
320 OHIO STREET
When he was four years old his family moved here.
1912 – 1914
11 SOUTH 9th STREET
He was six when they moved here. In 1914 they moved to California.
DES MOINES, IOWA
1716 HIGH STREET
They lived here
HOW DUKE ENDED UP IN CALIFORNIA
John Wayne’s grandfather, Marion Morrison arrived in Los Angeles and found a job at the firm of Ryder, Munch and Grants.
503 SOUTH WESTLAKE – LOS ANGELES
He rented this house.
Morrison later filed a claim on some cheap property in the Mojave Desert and planned
on investing his own cash into improving the land. He would live on it for a while, secure the title to the property and then leave it to his son, Clyde, (Duke’s father), in his will. That way, Clyde, his wife Molly, and their two sons, Marion and Robert, could live on it for free.
They would grow wheat and corn and use the money from the crops to try and make a better life for themselves.
In late 1913 Clyde Morrison left his wife and children behind and joined his father.
For most of 1914 they worked the land and planted the crops.
The land that Marion Morrison had settled on was the Southern half of the Northeastern quarter of Section 34, Township 7N, North of Range 12, West of the San Bernardino Meridan – a total of 80 acres. The property was near the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, about three miles south of Lancaster. Morrison shelled out close to three thousand dollars of his own money into the land.
One hundred yards from the tracks they built a three – room frame house that was five hundred square feet, with a tin roof. In later years John Wayne would call it a glorified shack.
They also built a 12 x 16 barn, just in case they decided to buy a horse and cow, which they did. A corral was needed, so they built one behind the barn. A shelter was built to house the twenty – horsepower, Victor Horizontal gas engine and Ingersall Rand air compresson that ran the water pump. An outhouse was built and a drilling company installed the well.
Ditches were dug for water pipes and Clyde plowed ten acres and planted their first crop of corn and wheat. Father and son then filed the necessery papers with the Bureau Of Land Management, testifing to their improvements on the property and asking for the title.
At the end of 1914 Molly and her two boys jumped on a train and headed out west to join Clyde and Marion. Thats how John Wayne wound up in California.
1914 – 1916
His father and grandfather had a small farm here where they lived in a small shack.
Clyde and Molly and the two kids worked long hours, from dawn to dusk, during the Spring of 1915.
812 EAST 14th STREET – LOS ANGELES
Molly’s parents moved to Los Angeles and rented this house for a few months.
VALENCIA STREET – LOS ANGELES
Then they moved into a larger house on this street.
THE THORNYCRAFT SANITARIUM – GLENDALE
Near the end of the year Marion Morrison became ill and Clyde committed him here for three weeks.
THE PATTON VERERAN’S HOSPITAL
Marion Morrison was then brought here where he died later that year.
LANCASTER GRAMMER SCHOOL
He was enrolled in second grade in September 1914. His nickname was ‘Skinny’.
Clyde and Molly had had enough of farm life and sold it. They packed up their few belongings and moved to Los Angeles.
This ends the first part of the tour. The second leg of the tour will be leaving in a few minutes.
Bob Siler grew up in Burbank, not far from Universal Studios and Warner Brothers where they made his favorite monster movies. A long-time fan of Westerns, he still has a hard time believing that the great John Wayne could die. Bob has created many lists detailing where the famous and infamous lived, are buried, and the cars they drove. He has recently completed this list of Western Stars homes after many years. Burbank Bob now resides in Portland, Oregon.