Jane Porter Reynolds, another leading pioneer of the Antelope Valley, was born in Cork County, Ireland, in 1864. She immigrated to the United States when she was 22 years old, staying in Chicago for several years.
Jane came to Lancaster in 1896, securing work as the Western Hotel's cook. It was at the Western Hotel that she met and fell in love with Maurice Reynolds Sr. who was staying at the hotel. The couple married in 1897 and later had four children, three surviving past infancy. The family resided in a house on Ninth Street (present-day Jackman Avenue), where Jane lived until her death.
The Reynolds became fairly successful farmers, owning and tending to an alfalfa farm that was located on what is now Lancaster Boulevard and Fig Street.
With so much land in her possession, she donated a block of property between Elm Avenue and Thirteenth Street to be used as a park in 1937. Reportedly, she felt sorry for the farmer's children who came to Lancaster and had nowhere to play. This park is still in Lancaster today, with a public pool addition made in honor of Jane's good friend and employer, Myrtie Webber.
Jane and her husband are both buried in the pioneer Lancaster Cemetery on the northeastern corner of Division Street and Lancaster Boulevard. Her name is carried on within Lancaster, with descendants of the Reynolds still living locally.
"Gurba, Norma H. Lancaster. Arcadia, 2005.
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections"