Henry’s grandparents, Charles John (“C.J.”) and Bertha, came to America from Sweden in 1882. They lived in Chicago, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The family, which would eventually include 10 children, migrated to California, eventually settling in what is now Costa Mesa. They farmed on leased land and then bought 40 acres.
The family added acreage over the years, and never sold any land for the 50 years they were in Orange County. Eventually the family had 2,500 acres of farmland. They grew alfalfa and had dairy cows, but the family made its reputation in lima beans. C.J. Segerstrom & Sons was the nation’s largest independent producer of the legume, and known for producing beans of such quality that canners, who required nearly perfect specimens, paid the highest prices for the pristine Segerstrom product.
Of C.J. and Bertha’s 10 children, four stayed in Orange County, including Henry’s father Anton. They formed the partnership C.J. Segerstrom & Sons. Two older brothers