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City of Perris

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City of Perris


Pioneer Family to be Honored at the Annual Fred T. Perris Day

Ora Lee Rabb and her family

The pioneer family of Prentice G. and Ora Lee Rabb will be honored during the annual Fred T Perris Day celebration January 27 at the Perris Valley Historical Museum, 120 West Fourth Street in Downtown Perris.

The celebration begins at 11 a.m. at the museum, which is housed in the 1892 Victorian-era Depot Building.

The event is named after Fredeick Thomas Perris, the chief engineer of the California Southern Railroad and the man who mapped out the streets of what is now Downton Perris.

“The Fred T. Perris Day allows us to honor those people and families who have made significant contributions to our City’s history,” said local historian Katie Keyes. “The Rabb family has been an important part of the Perris community for nearly 80 years and we are pleased to celebrate that history. It is important to remember your history and the marks left by those who have come before us.”

Descendents of the Rabb family include current Perris City Councilman, David Starr Rabb.

Councilman Rabb said that when his family arrived nearly 80 years ago, the population of Perris was about 1,200. Today, it’s about 75,000.

“It’s always a great event,” Councilman Rabb said. “It’s been an honor to be part of Perris for such a long time.”

The Rabb family traces its roots in Perris to Prentice G. and Ora Lee Rabb.

Prentice Rabb was born to Bennie and Josephine Rabb in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana on May 2, 1901. He married Ora Lee Currie in the 1920s and the couple had 11 children.

Prentice Rabb

Seeking a better life, Prentice and Ora Lee Rabb came to California in 1939 and settled in the Imperial Valley. A year later, they moved to Perris with their children--Zepolia, Lee Cora, Prentice, Carrie Lee, Bennie, Joesephine, Glennis, Paul, Magadeline and Jessie. Their youngest child, David, was born in Riverside in 1941 and lives in Perris today.

Prentice Rabb was a firm believer in the Baptist Covenant and he joined the First Baptist Church in Perris where he became an assistant Pastor in 1942. He also worked in the potato and onion fields while living in a converted Army barracks and Camp Haun, adjacent to March Air Reserve Base.

The City of Perris has issued a Proclamation honoring the Rabb family. It reads in part:

“The Rabb family have been a big part of the Perris community and continues to be represented by several generations. Coming from humble beginnings, they have left a legacy in Perris of devoted and hardworking family members.”

Tours of the Depot Museum will be given throughout the day. The event is free to the public. Refreshments will be served.