Shoup Avenue

Paul Shoup (1872-1946) was a San Bernardino boy hired by the Southern Pacific Railroad right out of high school. That was in 1891 and he was a humble ticket seller. Forty-seven years later, in 1938, he retired from the SPRR after serving as its president and vice-chairman. Talk about working your way to the top! As a young man, Shoup was a prolific short story writer; in 1898, he merged his interests in literature and railroads by helping launch Sunset magazine, originally published by the SPRR itself. By this point, Shoup had left San Bernardino for the Bay Area. In 1906, as his employer was laying tracks down the San Francisco Peninsula, Shoup was forced to buy 100 acres of land owned by Sarah Winchester – she of the Winchester Mystery House – while negotiating for a station and a right-of-way. So he and his partners developed the extra acreage into a new town: Los Altos. Shoup’s Los Angeles era began in 1911 after the SPRR bought Henry Huntington‘s Pacific Electric Railway and put him in charge. In 1917, City Council changed the West Valley’s Second Street to Shoup Avenue in his honor. As for Paul Shoup’s personal life, in 1900 he married Rose Wilson (1872-1942) and they had three children, but his job always came first and he effectively abandoned them in Los Altos when he moved down here.