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Madera Biographies: Teaford

    GEORGE TEAFORD - George Teaford of North Fork has the distinction of having been a member of the board of supervisors of Madera County from two different districts, during two different period of service o the board.  He is now supervisor from the fifth district.
    Mr. Teaford was born near Georgetown, Indiana in Floyd County, twelve miles from New Albany, April  24, 1857, the son of Jacob S. and Phoebe (Hickman) Teaford.  His father and mother both came from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.  His grandparents came from Germany.  The family settled in Indiana about 1847, homesteaded there, and in 1866 moved to Illinois.  Two of the sons were in the Civil War on the Union side, with the 23rd Indiana Regulars.
    George Teaford was raised on a farm in Illinois and in 185 came on an overland train to California. Locating first at Visalia.  One of his early experiences in Tulare County was in handling fish from Tulare Lake, working for a fisherman at the mouth of the Tule River.  It was possible for one man to catch from 500 to l000 pounds of fish a day.  The fish wee sold all the way from Bakersfield to Modesto.
    In 1876, he went to Kernville, Kern County, to work for Judge Summer.  There he was placed in charge of the cattle.  The terrible drought of 1877-78 followed, in which most of the cattle died.  Then I 1878, he went to work in the Big Blue mine, near Kernville, owned by Senator John P. Jones of Nevada.  In 1884, he located at Fresno Flats, and later I Crane valley where Bass Lake is now.  This valley, according to Teaford, received its name from the number of blue cranes that were seen there during the summer.
    In 1885, Mr. Teaford was employed by George Sharpton in Crane valley and there met the lady who was to become Mrs. Teaford—Mary Sharpton.  They were married in Fresno by Justice S. H. Hill.  He farmed in Crane valley until 1900, when the flooding of the valley by the power company drove them out.  He then bought his present place from John W. Dunlap, which included 350 acres near Coarse Gold.
    In 1902 Mr. Teaford was elected supervisor from the fourth district and served one four-year term, but refused re-election as the salary then was but $50.00 a month.  In 1923, he sold his cattle interests, but continued dry farming.  In 1926, he was elected supervisor from the fifth district.  He is the only man ever in Madera County to serve as supervisor from two different districts.
    Mr. Teaford has been an active Democrat in politics, and has been a delegate to many conventions.  He helped to organize the first school in Crane valley, and later was a school trustee at North Fork.
    Mr. and Mrs. Teaford have had five children:  Taylor, killed, 1918, at Wawona; Clayton who served in the World War in the A. E  F., 20th Engineers, and died n 1924; Otis, who is married has two children, and is road master for his father; Sabina (Mrs. Galt of Clovis); and Florence (Mrs. W. A. Seabury) whose husband is a live stock inspector of Madera County.

From the History of Fresno and Madera Counties, 1933, Joseph Barcroft, editor for Madera County.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: March 19, 2002
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