RENTON, David Malcolm

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J-69
The D.M. Renton home,
Catalina Island, California

RENTON, David Malcolm (1878-1947), Canadian-born contractor who immigrated in 1898. Renton was a building contractor in Pasadena, who met William Wrigley, Jr. in 1916. He went to Santa Catalina Island in 1919 as vice-president and general manager of the Santa Catalina Island Company from 1919-1936. Renton worked on Wrigley’s house in Pasadena, and was hired to supervise building projects on the island, including installation of a water system, sewer system, diesel electric plant, gas plant and mains, among other projects. Renton helped to build the Bird Park, Casino, two Wrigley homes (Mount Ada and Casa del Monte), Catalina Airport-in-the-Sky, and an 18-hole golf course and club house. D. M. Renton had telephone number 1, Santa Catalina Island Company, in the 1924 Avalon Telephone Directory. His residence at 356 Catalina Avenue was telephone number 8.

D. M. Renton married Maine-born Elizabeth “Lizzie” Blaisdell Ryder (1877-1935) in 1906, and they had two children:

  • Malcolm Joseph Renton (1908-1997)
  • Arthur Lincoln Renton (1912-1979)

His wife died in 1935, and he married Isabel Blanche Cline in 1937. David Renton served on the board of the Santa Catalina Island Company for 27 years. He was also a member of the Masonic order (32nd degree, Shriner) and the Scottish Rite Consistory. When Renton retired in 1936, he lived at a cattle ranch in Atascadero, California, “Rancho Santa Catalina,” until his death in 1947.



In the News~

December 31, 1924 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. and Mrs. D. M. Renton and family left for the mainland Tuesday, to attend the Rose Tournament parade at Pasadena January 1st. Mr. Renton, who is vice-president and general manager of the Santa Catalina Island Company, is supervising the Catalina Island float that will represent Avalon in the parade.”


February 5, 1931 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. In ‘recognition of the saving of life on the high seas,’ the Mrs. William Wrigley, Jr. awards of a handsome gold watch to each were presented to Captain William Cummings, First Officer Frank Penoyer and Second Officer Gustav Metji of the S.S. Avalon and to Harry Boosinger of the glass-bottom boat Emperor… The presentation took place at the new Casino theatre and was made by Mr. D. M. Renton, general manager and vice-president of the Santa Catalina Island Company, on behalf of Mrs. Wrigley...”