Dr. Ira Hinckley
Dentist, Pharmacist, Violinist
Born in Connecticut in 1879, Ira Hinckley was the eldest of John and Cora Hinckley’s children. He moved with the family to first South Dakota and then to Ventura, California. Ira attended dental school at University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1899. Shortly thereafter, he married Catherine “Kate” Elizabeth Cruson of Bardsdale. The newlyweds originally lived near Dr. John Hinckley on Ventura Street, but by the 1930s they had moved to a home in the 400 block of First Street. Kate’s mother, Susan Crusan, lived next door to them. The house Dr. Ira and Kate Hinckley lived in is no longer there. It was damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the Corl Family donated it to the Fillmore Historical Museum. It now has pride of place at the Historical Park on Main Street.
Catherine Cruson Hinckley
Besides being one of Fillmore’s earliest dentists, Ira Hinckley also was a pharmacist. At first he had his office and pharmacy “one block south of Fillmore State Bank, telephone Black 233” according to an entry in the 1910 City Directory. He operated the drug store at the corner of Central Avenue and Ventura streets for many years. After retirement he would fill in as relief pharmacist at the Fillmore Pharmacy as well as at Clough’s Pharmacy.
Advertisement from the 1910 City Directory
Interior of Ira Hinckley's Office and Pharmacy
Ira had other interests besides his profession. He was the violinist in the Harmonson Rood Orchestra. This was a group of around twelve musicians (the number varied) made up of members of the Rood and Harmonson families augmented by John B. McNab, A. J MacKenzie (pastor of the Sespe and Bardsdale Methodist Churches) and Ira Hinckley among others. They often could be found playing under the Sycamore tree on the McNab property at 411 First Street.
Harmonson and Rood Orchestra
July 4, 1906 at the McNab Residence
Ira Hinckley plays the violin, third from right
Like his father, Ira was a member of the Fillmore Masonic Temple and also served as Worshipful Master. The 1930 City Directory listed him as secretary of the Lodge rather than as dentist or pharmacist.
Also like his father, Ira had citrus groves and was a member of the Fillmore Citrus Association. By 1938 he was listing himself as a rancher.
Kate and Ira Hinckley had two children, Lawrence and Hattie Mae. Lawrence would become a well-known artist and put Fillmore on the map as a town which supported the arts. Hattie Mae married Chet Hanson, who was a boarder at Hattie’s grandmother Cruson’s house and worked at the refinery.
Standing: Ira Hinckley, Kate Hinckley, Tom Cruson (brother of Kate), Mrs. Tom "Nettie"Cruson, Hattie Mae Cruson (sister of Kate)
Seated: R. G. Cruson and Susan Cruson (Parents of Kate, Tom and Hattie Mae Cruson)
On Ground: Lawrence Hinckley and Hattie Mae Hinckley
Ira died suddenly in 1939, only two years after his father, John P Hinckley. Kate lived to see grandchildren and great-grandchildren, passing away in 1971.
Family gathering in front of the Hinckley home
Hinckley Home today at the Fillmore Historical Museum