Matthew Helme, Family and Friends in front of the Historic Helme -
Worthy Building in 1910 - Huntington Beach Photos and Information

Matthew E. Helme played a significant role in the formation of the incorporated City of Huntington Beach. He owned the first furniture store, served as mayor of Huntington Beach and helped shape the city. His original store building still exists and is owned and operated by family members today. The M.E. Helme Antiques Store sells unique items and gifts. The building looks much as it did 100 years ago. Matthew Helme is the man seated with a white beard on the left hand side of the picture.

 
Matthew Helme
Matthew Helme
Helme Building
Piggy Salt & Pepper Shakers
Helme Antiques
Dolls for Sale
Helme Antiques
Gene Autry
Helme Antiques
Military Uniforms
Helme Antiques
Photos and Dishes
Helme Antiques
Grooming
Helme Antiques
Shop Window
Helme Antiques
Books
 Helme Antiques
Globe & Ship
Helm Antiques
Elvis G.I. Blues
Helme Antiques
Pink Stove
Helme Antiques
 
1910 Store Interior
Helme Antiques
Crystal Lamp
Helme Antiques
Dress and Gloves
Helme Antiques
 

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Historic Registrations
National Register: 86003668 (3/31/1987)
Helme--Worthy Store and Residence, also known as Worthy Building and Residence on 513--519 Walnut St. and 128 Sixth St., Huntington Beach

Historic Person: Helme, Matthew E. (bearded man seated on left in photo on top)
Significant Year: 1903, 1904
Area of Significance: Architecture, Exploration/Settlement
Period of Significance: 1900-1924

Matthew E. Helme, a member of the first Board of Trustees in Huntington Beach. Serving also as its fourth mayor,  he played a significant role in the formation and settlement of this sea side town. He moved to Huntington Beach in 1903, living in this house. He contributed much to the formation and incorporation of the community of Huntington Beach. He fought for incorporation, was elected to the town's first Board of Trustees, worked to get that all-important commodity, water, functioning in a city system, helped to set up a modern fire department, helped set up the city manager system which still prevails, authored an ordinance setting up the sale of the city's first gas bonds, and introduced a substantial street paving and lighting program.


In 1903 Matthew and Mary Josephine Helme moved their two-story house from the farm country near 5th and Verano (now Euclid Street) to the corner of 6th and Walnut Streets in Huntington Beach. The wooden house, previously owned by Leatherman family, was moved 11 miles by a mule team into the heart of town.

The next year the Helmes built a two-story wooden commercial building and opened the M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company. Located next to their residence, the business was the first furniture company in the new village and was quite successful, offering all kinds of household goods ranging from furniture to bird cages, baby buggies and mirrors. In addition, there were seven furnished rooms and two one-bedroom units on the second floor.

Mary Josephine Helme, born on October 4, 1862, in Indiana, was a woman of courage and fortitude. She was orphaned at an early age when her father was killed in the Civil War and her moth passed away. She moved in with her grandparents who already had 12 children of their own. In 1883, she married Charles E. Helme. Sadly, he lived only two years after their marriage. Heading west in the spring of 1886, she homesteaded 160 acres on Rattlesnake Flat in Washington State. Three years later she and Matthew, her deceased husband's brother, were married. They moved to Santa Ana so that their three children might get a better education than what was available in Washington at that time.

Matthew Helme went on to become one of Huntington Beach's most influential citizens. After fighting for incorporation in 1909, he was elected to the new city's first Board of Trustees (City Council). He worked hard to bring water, that all-important commodity, flowing in the new town. He helped set up the modern fired department and in 1916, worked to get the city manager system into place. His next important tasks were to introduce an ordinance to set up the city's first gas bonds, and to begin a substantial street paving and lighting program. He served as president of the Huntington Beach Tent City Company in 1914.

Helme was the town's fourth mayor in 1916 and 1917. Among his accomplishments were the gas lighting system, with gas lights installed along Main Street; paving Ocean Avenue from Main to 17th Street and providing a new brick boulevard along Fifth Street. He introduced the action resulting in the urchase of the water system from the Huntington Beach Company by the City.

In 1917, Helme resigned from the Board of Trustees and he and Mary Josephine moved back to their wheat farm in Washington. The house and the store remained in the family, however, when their daughter, Amy, and her husband, Lawrence Worthy, opened a plumbing business in the store building and continued the Helme-Worthy family legacy of active involvement in the community. Today the City of Huntington Beach recognizes and remembers the accomplishments of this family with two public parks. Be sure to visit Helme Park and
Worthy Community Park in Huntington Beach.
 

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