Frederick H. Rindge

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Frederick Hastings Rindge
Frederick Rindge.jpg
Born 1857
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Died 1905
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Businessman, industrialist, real estate developer, philanthropist
Known for Philanthropy; founding of Malibu, California
Home town Cambridge, Massachusetts
Net worth US$1.4 billion (2018)[1]
Title King of Malibu[2]
Spouse(s) Rhoda May Knight

Frederick Hastings Rindge (1857–1905) was an American business magnate, real estate developer, philanthropist, and writer, of Los Angeles, California. He was a major benefactor to his home town of Cambridge, Massachusetts and a founder of present day Malibu, California. Rindge was the only surviving son of banking and shipping tycoon Samuel B. Rindge. Rindge and his wife Rhoda were informally known as the King and Queen of Malibu.[2] Between 1905 and 1940 with an estimated net worth of between US $700 million[3] and US $1.4 billion, the Rindge family was widely considered one of the wealthiest in the world.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Rindge was born in Cambridge, the only surviving son among the six children of Samuel B. Rindge (1820–1883) and Clarissa Harrington (1822–1885).[7][8] He grew up in the "Rindge mansion," still standing at the corner of Dana and Harvard Streets in Cambridge. He entered Harvard College in 1875 but poor health forced him to leave the College in his senior year. He spent several years traveling through Europe and America, including a brief period as a Colorado sheep rancher.[9] In 1883 he inherited his father's estate, then worth nearly $2 million, from his father's investments in textile mills and real estate.[10]

Cambridge, Massachusetts[edit]

In 1887, Mayor William Russell of Cambridge, a Harvard friend, requested Rindge's help in funding a new public library. Rindge responded in July 1887 with an offer of land and full funding for Cambridge's public library. Later that year he enlarged his offer to include three additional buildings: a new city hall (now the Cambridge City Hall), the Rindge Technical School, and a proposed high school (not built). He also paid the bulk of the costs for the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church. Today Rindge is commemorated in Cambridge through the high school, Rindge Avenue, Rindgefield Street, and Rindge Towers, low-income apartment buildings.

Southern California[edit]

Rindge moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1887. In 1892 Rindge purchased the 13,300-acre (54 km2) Spanish land grant Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit or "Malibu Rancho", in Malibu, California.[11] He later expanded it to 17,000 acres (69 km2) as Rindge Ranch.[12]

Rindge founded the Conservative Life Insurance Company (now Pacific Life), and was a vice-president of Union Oil Company, and a director of the Los Angeles Edison Electric Company (later Southern California Edison Company). His investments included land near Stockton, California and real estate holdings in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, and the state of Sinaloa, Mexico.

He was President of the Harvard Club of Los Angeles and a member of many historical, archaeological, patriotic, and religious organizations which mirrored his interests. A supporter of the temperance movement, Rindge reimbursed the city of Santa Monica for the loss of license fees when Santa Monica abolished saloons. He established the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Santa Monica. He wrote several self-published books which were spiritual and meditative in nature.[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 1887 Rindge married 22-year-old Rhoda May Knight (1864–1941) of Michigan.[14] They moved to Wilshire and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and then built a home at 2263 Harvard Boulevard in Los Angeles, known today as the Frederick Hastings Rindge House; weekends and summers were spent at their Malibu estate.[15] They had three children: Samuel Knight Rindge (1888–1968), Frederick Hastings Rindge, Jr. (1890–1952),[16] and Rhoda Agatha Rindge (1893–1962).[17] Samuel Knight Rindge married Agnes Marion Hole, daughter of Willits J. Hole. Rhoda Agatha Rindge married Merritt Adamson,[18] and they built the Adamson House,[19] which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rindges also had a vacation home in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Frederick H. Rindge is interred in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles.[20]

Selected works[edit]

  • Can You Read Your Title Clear to a Mansion in the Skies? (1889)
  • Thoughts Concerning Ourselves and Our Interests (1890)
  • Meditations on Many Matters (1890)
  • Happy Days in Southern California (1898)
  • The Best Way (1902) [21]

See also[edit]


  2. ^ a b Mostrom, Tony (7 March 2016). "Meet the Couple Who Made Malibu, Then Lost the "Battle for Paradise"". 
  3. ^ Randall, David K. "The long and complicated fight to preserve paradise in Malibu". 
  4. ^ "The Making of Malibu - David K. Randall". Lapham’s Quarterly. 
  5. ^ "May K. Rindge, 1930s - FF-173". 
  6. ^ "May K. Rindge, a Fighter to the End". 18 January 2011. 
  7. ^ Francis Jewett Parker (1891) Memoir of Samuel Baker Rindge, David Clapp & Son, Printers, Boston.
  8. ^ The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Memorial Biographies, Vol VIII, 1880–1889, Boston
  9. ^ History of City Hall, Cambridge Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Frederick Hastings Rindge Collection, Cambridge Historical Commission Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Malibu, CA - Official Website - Official Website". 
  12. ^ Randall, David K. (March 13, 2016). "Op-Ed The long and complicated fight to preserve paradise in Malibu". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  13. ^ Ingersoll, Luther A (2008). Ingersoll's Century History, Santa Monica Bay Cities - Prefaced with a Brief History of the State of California, a Condensed History of Los Angeles County, 1542-1908; Supplemented with an Encyclopedia of Local Biography. ISBN 978-1-4086-2367-1. 
  14. ^ Rhoda May Knight Rindge at Find a Grave
  15. ^ "Monument Search Results Page". 
  16. ^ Frederick Hastings Rindge, Jr at Find a Grave
  17. ^ Rhoda Rindge Adamson at Find a Grave
  18. ^ Rindge Adamson Family Archived 2009-03-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Welcome to Adamson House". 
  20. ^ Frederick H. Rindge at Find a Grave
  21. ^ The Online Books Page: Happy Days in Southern California, by Frederick Hastings Rindge at

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]