Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


The old world has given to the new many upright, honorable men who have brought with them habits of industry and thrift which constitute the basis of good citizenship. In this classification belongs Luke Scurich, a Dalmatian, who has fought life's battles unaided, and his example is one well worthy of emulation, showing that in the individual and not in his environment is found the opportunity for advancement. He has experienced the hardships of pioneer life in California and for many years was numbered among the foremost fruit growers and packers of the Pajaro valley. He has reached the age of sixty years and is now enjoying a well deserved period of leisure, making his home in Watsonville.

Mr. Scurich was born September 17, 1864, and received his education in the schools of his native land. In 1883 he responded to the call of adventure and crossed the Atlantic, but did not remain in the eastern section of the United States, making the long journey across the continent to the Pacific coast. He entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad, working first as a section hand in Redding, California, but in 1888, he came to Watsonville. He embarked in the fruit packing and shipping business, forming a partnership with Nick Banaz and theirs was one of the first firms of the kind in the valley. Mr. Scurich had spent his youth in a country which abounded in fruit and was well acquainted with many phases of horticultural pursuits. Subsequently he was joined by his brother, Stephen Scurich, who had come to the Golden state when sixteen years of age, and they became the owners of a ranch of one hundred acres in Green valley, on which they planted an apple orchard. By scientific methods and concentrated effort they brought the farm to a high state of development and afterward sold the place, making a large profit on the investment. The subject of this sketch then retired from agricultural pursuits and purchased business and residential property in Watsonville and also acquired ranch land, from which he receives a good income.

During the thirty-six years of his residence in Watsonville Mr. Scurich has witnessed the pageant of progress, in which he has borne his part, and he rejoices in what has been accomplished. He remembers the time when he could have bought all of the land on the street on which he lives for the price his present home would bring today on the market. When he came here there were apple orchards on Main street, in what is now the business section of the city. The welfare and advancement of his community is a matter in which he takes much personal pride and his worth as a citizen is uniformly conceded. In 1898 he organized the Austrian-American Benevolent Society of the Pajaro valley, which has become a strong and prosperous organization, having the sum of thirty-five thousand dollars in its treasury. His political support is given to the republican party.

At San Francisco, California, in 1893, Mr. Scurich married Miss Mary Ulahutinr also a native of Dalmatia. Antone L. Scurich, the only child of this union, was born in Watsonville, December 18, 1898, and attended the public schools of this city, afterward completing a course in the Heald Business College at Santa Cruz. He was employed for some time by fruit packing and shipping houses and in January, 1924, formed a partnership with Charles Sambralio, who became the junior member of the firm. They are engaged in the real estate, insurance, produce and general brokerage business and are prospering in their undertakings. Antone L. Scurich has inherited his father's business acumen and ability and is treasurer of the Austrian-American Benevolent Society. He is affiliated with the Catholic church and holds membership relations with the Knights of Columbus. He married Miss Pauline Pierovich, who was born in the province of Dalmatia, Austria.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.