Jose Apollo Rivera, a native of California, was born where the City of Pomona now stands, July 23, 186l. His grandfather came from Spain and his father from the City of Mexico. Owing to the death of his father, Jose was compelled to make his own way in the world after his ninth year, and also assisted in the support of a brother and two sisters. He received such schooling as was within his reach, at intervals of employment and in night schools, and, when about fifteen, went to Salt Lake City, where he remained three years. Returning to California, he knew the Redlands country before there was any thought of a town here, and was in Lugonia when the original surveys were made by Judson & Brown. In those days he worked for some of the old residents, such as Col. William Tolles, Dr. Stillman, the Messrs. Myron Crafts and James Garrison, and was also employed for a time by Governor Waterman. He was with the Santa Fe surveying parties when the road was constructed between San Bernardino and Barstow, in 1884 and 1885, and acted as foreman of a gang of laborers for the Bear Valley Company in construction the pipe line to Moreno and on the Whitewater. With Juan Baca he succeeded Dan Finley in the ownership for the first meat market established in Redlands, which they kept for about a year.
In 1888, Rivera ran as an independent candidate for constable, for a joke, competing with seven other candidates. He received nearly all the votes at that election and has served ever since, having been re-elected four times. He is a member of several of the social and other organizations of Redlands, such as the Foresters, the Native Sons, the Odd Fellows, the Rebekas, the Junior Order, and the National Reserve. In 1890 he was married to Mary Preciado, also a native Californian, and three children, two sons and a daughter, have been born to them.
(Source: Illustrated Redlands, 1897, p. 15.)