Some men are born with a genius for leadership and no obstacle can prevent them from attaining the object of their ambition. Of this type is Stephen Scurich, who came to this country a poor boy and through the strength of his character and the force of his mental endowments has overcome circumstances, bending them to his will. He has now reached a field of broad influence and usefulness, and Watsonville is the richer in resources and citizenship because of his enterprise and public spirit.
Stephen Scurich was born in Dalmatia, October 18, 1868, and in 1884, when sixteen years of age, sought the opportunities afforded in the Golden state. He secured work on a ranch near Byron, in Contra Costa county and was next employed in a fruit commission house of San Francisco. He was born and reared in a fruit country, where apples, pears, grapes and olives grew in abundance, and was therefore familiar with that branch of farming. He arrived in Watsonville in 1886 and became associated with his brother, Luke Scurich, in the fruit packing and shipping industry. Later he purchased a tract of one hundred acres in Green valley, on which he planted an apple orchard. This he developed into the finest orchard in the valley and realized a large profit from the sale of the place. He has demonstrated his faith in the future cf Watsonville by investing heavily in city realty and his operations have been of signal service to the community, greatly enhancing the value of property in this locality. He has built over one hundred homes and has large holdings in the residential sections of the city. He owned and placed on the market the Stephen Scurich subdivision, a six-acre tract on Second street, which was separated into lots, on which many fine residences have been erected. He owns a business block on Main street, opposite the California Theater; the Central Hotel, which he has recently remodeled; and a block of three acres at the intersection of West Lake and Walker streets. This consists of packing houses which Mr. Scurich has built, and he is also a director of the Mateo Lettunich Company, owners of the Lettunich block on Main street. Since 1904 he has engaged in the general brokerage business, dealing in packing box shook, paper, nails, labels, paste and lumber. He is the local agent for the Olsen Lithograph Company of San Francisco, supplying the packers and shippers with labels, and agent for the Cunard line and also leading French, American and Italian steamship lines. He represents the Rhode Island Fire Insurance Company and is one of the directors of the Bank of Italy in Watsonville. He also represents the Dwight Lumber Company of San Francisco; the Tarter, Webster & Johns, Incorporated, a lumber firm of the same city; the Blake, Moffitt & Town Paper Company, and the Pittsburgh Steel Company. He was one of the promoters of the California Theater Company, which recently erected at Watsonville one of the finest photo play houses in this region, and is serving as its vice president. He is the moving spirit in all of these undertakings, and his salient traits as a business man are his executive force, his notable foresight, his power to penetrate a labyrinth of intricate affairs and his fertility of resource.
In 1898 Mr. Scurich married Miss Lucia Zar, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and they have become the parents of three children : Anna, the wife of Dr. Sanbuck, of Los Angeles, California, and the mother of a daughter, Jean; Ruth, who resides at home; and Stephen Jr. Mr. Scurich is a notary public and a member of the Transportation Club of San Francisco, which maintains its headquarters in the Palace Hotel. Along fraternal lines he is connected with Pajaro Lodge, No. 90, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Lodge No. 602, of the Loyal Order of Moose. Mr. Scurich loses no opportunity to exploit the resources and advantages of this favored region and has been the means of bringing many of his fellow countrymen to the Pajaro valley. His activities have touched life at many points and he has done much to shape the destiny of his city, in which his name is highly honored.
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.