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J. Sidney Torrance and Valentine Peyton

J. Sidney Torrance, receiver of Mount Lowe Railway after 1896 bankruptcy

J. Sidney Torrance was named receiver for the Mount Lowe Railway after Lowe went bankrupt. A successful real estate developer, he was instrumental in building Pasadena’s Masonic Temple, Pasadena’s first golf course, La Vina Sanitarium in Altadena and the city of Torrance, built on 3,522 acres of the Dominguez Rancho, and designed as a model industrial town. Torrance ran the railway briefly before a group of investors, headed by Valentine Peyton purchased it in 1899. After the sale, he remained a member of the railroad’s board of directors.

Valentine Peyton, who began his career as a successful wholesale grocer in Danville, Illinois, made a substantial profit from his investment in a Canadian gold mine and decided to move west when he was offered the opportunity to buy the Mount Lowe Railway. The high costs associated with running the enterprise, combined with the destruction of the Echo Mountain Hotel, proved too much for him, and he sold the railroad to a railway company owned by Henry Huntington in 1901. Despite this setback, Peyton continued to invest profitably in Los Angeles area real estate and became interested in helping delinquent boys. He was director of the McKinley Home for Boys and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the George Junior Republic, located near his property in the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, now known as Boys Republic.