Edward Pierce Moulton (1871 – 1940) and his wife, Zada Belle Burkett Moulton (1873 – 1950), relocated to Palmdale from Kansas in 1919. One of his first local endeavors was the development of pear orchards on 40-acres of land near Sierra Highway.
His next business venture was to expand, opening the Palmdale-Moulton Hardware Store which was located on Palmdale Boulevard and Eighth Street East, the site of the present-day Western Union. He and his family owned and operated this business for many years.
In addition to this business, Edward also served as President of the Palmdale Irrigation District from 1921 to 1924. Zada worked as clerk of their hardware store, while also engaging with the community by leading special events and serving as a member for the Palmdale Woman’s Club.
Their son Owen Sr. became the owner of one of the most popular service stations in Palmdale, the Red Crown gas station, which was located on the Southwest corner of Palmdale Boulevard and Sierra Highway, operating from 1930 to 1946. In addition to this, he negotiated a contract with the government for Star Route 1 which stretched from Palmdale to Littlerock, Pearblossom, Valyermo, Llano, and Juniper Hills. Owen was also heavily involved with the community, much like his father. Owen served as President of the Palmdale School District, the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, and the Kiwanis. He was also a founder of the Palmdale Fin-and-Feather Club, and a volunteer fireman.
The Moultons became a large part of the Antelope Valley’s history, with three generations of the family attending school at Antelope Valley Union High School. Because of the long distance between their home and the school, it was common for the children to stay in the school’s dormitory during the week, as was the case with Edward's daughter-in-law Cora.
Many of the early members of the Moulton family are buried in the old Palmdale Cemetery, with other members of the family still living locally. Edward’s great-granddaughter Connie pays homage to her family’s history, displaying artifacts from the original Palmdale-Moulton Hardware Store in her home.
"Gurba, Norma H. Legendary Locals of the Antelope Valley. Arcadia, 2013.
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections"