Tulare and Kings Counties, California


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Oscar L. Hemphill, deputy horticultural commissioner for Tulare county, California, was born in St. Clair county, Missouri, April 28, 1890. On August 5, 1900, his parents, James A. and Mary C. (Brown) Hemphill, landed in Tulare county. They lived in Visalia for about two years, but early in July, 1902, they removed to Porterville. There the father took up citrus fruit culture and still has an orchard near Porterville, Which yields handsome returns.

After attending the Porterville schools, Oscar L. Hemphill matriculated as a student in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Los Angeles. He soon gave up the study of medicine, however, and became associated with his father in growing oranges. Later he was connected with the management and care of orchards, the property of non-residents. In 1919 he took charge of the Parr & Shippy lemon and grape fruit orchard of seventy acres, but remained there only a short time, as in July, 1919, he was appointed inspector under Charles F. Collins, then county horticultural commissioner for Tulare county.

While employed as inspector Mr. Hemphill prepared himself; took the examination required by the laws of California, which he passed successfully, and was then appointed deputy county horticultural commissioner under Frank R. Brann, which position he still holds. As deputy commissioner he has done effective work, especially during the spring and summer of 1924, while the hoof and mouth epidemic was at its height. Uniformly courteous, yet firm and conscientious in the performance of his duties, he has won the respect of the horticulturists of the county, who regard him as an efficient official.

On May 12, 1913, Mr. Hemphill was married to Miss Rosalie Cox, a native of Missouri, and they have two children, James Philip and Betty May. Mr. Hemphill resides in Visalia. He became a member of Porterville Lodge No. 303, F. & A. M., while a resident of that place, and he also belongs to the Royal Arch Masons. Since becoming a citizen of Visalia he has joined the Visalia Pyramid No. 26, Order of Sciots.


J. Luther Davis, manager of the Lindsay Cooperative Citrus Association, which owns and operates two large packing houses located in Lindsay,California, is a native of Senaca, South Carolina, and was born December 2, 1885. When he was about four years old his parents, Daniel and Mary (Quail) Davis, came to California and located in Riverside. There Daniel Davis (now deceased) was for several years superintendent of streets and active in various civic improvements, while his two children, James Luther and Cora Cordelia, attended the public schools.

J. Luther Davis began his business career and had his first contact with the citrus industry at the age of seventeen, as a box-maker for the firm of Worthly & Strong, fruit packers of Riverside. He continued at this trade in the Riverside district until the year 1906, when he came to Lindsay for the first time, where he was employed by the Central California Citrus Union as a box maker for one year. He then returned to Riverside and reentered the employ of Worthly & Strong, until the year 1908, when he secured a contract for the boxmaking for the Lindsay Packing House Company at Lindsay, and later became foreman of its plant.

When the original plant of the Lindsay Packing House Company was taken over and operated by Harry S. Drake, Mr. Davis continued as foreman for him, and when the business of the latter was incorporated as the Drake Packing Company, he continued in that capacity until the year 1918. During the packing season of that year he was superintendent of the plant of the Lindsay Packing House Company. After leaving its employ in the summer of 1919, he took charge of the plant of J. J. Cairns at Lindsay during the packing season of 1919. After the close of the 1919 season, the labor situation was such that a great many of the experienced fruit workers felt the need for a definite organization, and on account of his long experience not only as an employe in the citrus industry and the deciduous as well, but also as an employer in the same industries, he was secured to act as business agent for their organization which was known as the Central California Fruit Workers Union. He was active in the conduct of their affairs until the fall of 1920, at which time he entered the employ of the Drake Packing Company again.

In the year 1921 the Drake Packing Company sold out its packing interests to a newly formed association known as the Lindsay Cooperative Citrus Association. This association retained the entire personnel of the former company, employing Mr. Davis as superintendent of packing in the plant until 1923, when the association built an additional plant in Lindsay, which was also placed under his charge. Upon the resignation of the manager in June, 1925, Mr. Davis was chosen by the association to act as manager. On account of his long experience in the citrus industry in all the various districts of the state, and his constant study of the different methods of handling citrus fruits, Mr. Davis has reached a high rank as a citrus fruit shipper.

Mr. Davis owns a comfortable home at No. 245 North Harvard avenue, Lindsay, where his family, consisting of his wife, formerly Miss Frances Reck, and three children Lucille, Hazel, and James reside. Another daughter, Naomi, by his first wife, formerly Miss Ethel Foster, who died in 1913, is married and living in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Davis is a member of Porterville Lodge, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.


Arthur Steinberg, manager of the popular Pioneer Hotel in Porterville and widely known in hotel circles and among the traveling public throughout this section of the state, is a native son of California and has been a resident of this state all his life. Mr. Steinberg, who is better known among his friends as "Art" Steinberg, was born in the city of San Francisco, May 1, 1881, and is a son of John and Hannah (Anderson) Steinberg, both of whom were born in the kingdom of Sweden. John Steinberg was a trained and skilled cabinetmaker who became a resident of San Francisco in the '70s and who was long actively engaged in working at his trade in that city.

Reared in San Francisco, Arthur Steinberg acquired his education in the schools of that city, attending variously the Lincoln, the Columbia and the Hearst schools, and as a young man engaged in clerical work in various commercial establishments about town. In 1912 he became employed as clerk in the Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco, at that time conducted by Robert Kendall, present proprietor of the Pioneer Hotel in Porterville, and in 1915 became clerk in the Terminal Hotel in that city. When in 1916 Mr. Kendall transferred his activities in the hotel line to Porterville, Mr. Steinberg accompanied him and has ever since been connected with those activities, and is now the manager of the Pioneer Hotel, which is recognized as one of the best conducted and most popular hotels in this section of California, as is set out elsewhere in this work.

On December 7, 1918, in Porterville, Arthur Steinberg was united in marriage to Miss Laketta M. Williamson, who was born in the village of Lakeside, in Sheridan county, Nebraska, daughter of Leonard N. and Margarette (Bates) Williamson, and who has been a resident of California since 1904. To Mr. and Mrs. Steinberg two children have been born: A son, Mark Steinberg, born November 3, 1919; and a daughter, Norma, born October 17, 1920. Mr. Steinberg is a Royal Arch and Knights Templar Mason, affiliated with Porterville Lodge, No. 303, F. & A. M.; and also the chapter at Porterville; and with San Francisco Commandery, Knights Templars at San Francisco.


Carl F. Loyd, proprietor of Loyd's undertaking establishment in Porterville, one of the best and most completely outfitted establishments of its kind in California, is a native son of Porterville and has been a resident of that city all his life, actively identified with the business affairs of the community since the days of his boyhood. Mr. Loyd is a member of one of the real pioneer families of this section of California and is thoroughly familiar with the history and traditions of the community, his parents both having been here at the beginning of orderly settlement hereabout. He was born September 5, 1889, and is a son of John W. and Jane (Campbell) Loyd, the latter of whom is still living, one of the honored pioneer residents of Porterville. Mrs. Loyd also was born in California and is a daughter of David Campbell, a Kentuckian, who came to this state by the plains route in 1849 and presently became one of the first residents of the Porterville district in what is now Tulare county, the Porterville settlement at that time having had but three houses and a small store to distinguish it as a nucleus around which a city might grow. He engaged in cattle raising and fruit-growing in this district and was for many years one of its substantial and helpful residents. He lived to the age of eighty-seven years and his family is numerously represented hereabout. David Campbell was an active member of the California Pioneer Society and at his passing left a good memory in the community which he had done much to develop.

The late John W. Loyd, a veteran of the Civil war, was a native of Arkansas who had come into California by the plains route and was for some time engaged in mining in the Green Valley district in Placer county. In 1861 he came to what now is Tulare county but which then was included within the confines of the great county of Mariposa, "mother of counties", and engaged in sheep-raising in the Porterville district. He later went into the mercantile business in Porterville and there established his home. During the time of the Civil war Mr. Loyd rendered military service as a member of one of the California regiments on duty in connection with the Indian troubles which broke out in this state during that period of national stress. He carried on his mercantile operations for years and for two terms served as postmaster of Porterville. In 1890, when the Southern Pacific Railroad was being built through here Mr. Loyd bought the Arlington Hotel (now the Hotel Porterville), the leading hostelry of that time in Porterville, and did a thriving business, the patronage bestowed by the men engaged in construction, work keeping his hotel filled to overflowing. He was one of the leaders of the re­publican party in Tulare county and in addition to his two terms of service as postmaster ofPorterville also had rendered public service as a town trustee, a school trustee and a justice of the peace. John W. Loyd died in 1906. As noted above, his widow is still living in Porterville, for many years one of the active workers in the congregation of the First Methodist Episcopal church. She has five sons, the immediate subject of this biographical review having four brothers: Wesley, Edgar W. and J. Webb Loyd of Porterville, and Thomas Loyd of Los Angeles.

Reared in Porterville, Carl F. Loyd finished his education in the high school in that city and was for some years after leaving school employed as a clerk in the post office. Meanwhile he was perfecting plans for getting into business on his own account and in 1917, after taking a course of instruction in the Worsham School of Embalming in San Francisco, bought the old established undertaking business of W. J. Murray in Porterville, a business in which he since has been engaged. In September, 1923, Mr. Loyd completed and opened at No. 401 North Hockett street, one of the finest and most adequately furnished undertaking establishments in California, his equipment in this new place conforming in every way to the highest standards of modern usage with respect to the exacting requirements of his profession, and since then he has made further improvements as developing conditions required until now he has a mortuary establishment to which the community well may point with pride. Mr. Loyd is a republican, as was his father, and is now serving as deputy coroner of Tulare county. He not only has been diligent in his own business but has been attentive to general local development work along commercial and industrial lines and in 1924 served as a member of the board of directors of the Porterville Chamber of Commerce.

On June 20, 1910, Carl F. Loyd was united in marriage to Miss Ruby Conner, also a member of one of the pioneer families of Tulare county, born in the city of Tulare, a daughter of George W. Conner. Mr. and Mrs. Loyd have one child: A daughter, Melba Jean Loyd. Mr. Loyd is a Royal Arch Mason, affiliated with Porterville Lodge No. 303, F. & A. M., and is a past exalted ruler of Porterville Lodge No. 1342, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.


Prominent among the worthy representatives of the pioneer element in Tulare county is Elam Manier, who for many years was a forceful factor in the growth, development and prosperity of this section of the valley and as such his name and reputation extended far beyond the limits of the locality where the greater part of his life has been spent. Elam Manier, who is of French descent on the paternal side, was born in Texas on the 31st day of July, 1850, and is the son of William and Susan (Miles) Manier, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Illinois. William Manier, who was a rancher in Texas, died when his son Elam was but four years old. He had one child besides Elam, Elizabeth, who became the wife of B. F. Mitchell of Colusa county, California.

Elam Manier attended the common schools during his early youth, but in 1864, when but fourteen years of age, he accompanied his uncle, H. H. Miles, to California, the trip being made by the way of the Isthmus of Panama. The uncle settled in Healdsburg, Sonoma county, where Elam Manier remained until 1868, when he came to Tulare county and went to work for his maternal grandfather, William Miles, who had come to California in 1851. Elam Manier was an industrious and economical young man, so that in 1874 he was enabled to buy his first land. This was located five miles southeast of Springville, and to this he added by homestead and other purchases from time to time until he had at one time two thousand, one hundred acres of land and for many years was known as one of the big cattle raisers and extensive grain farmers of this part of the county. He operated his ranches until 1922, when he sold his farm land and retired from active business, buying a comfortable home on three acres of land in Springville, where he made his home until March, 1925, when following the death of his wife on February 26th of that year he came to Porterville, where he makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Myrtle Doty.

On January 8, 1873, Mr. Manier was married to Miss Ellen Osborne, who was born in Grass Valley, Nevada county. She was the daughter of Ashbell Osborne, who came from the east by ox team, remained until 1852, then returned east and brought his family, thus making three trips across the plains by ox team. To Mr. and Mrs. Manier were born nine children, namely: Eva, who died at the age of ten years; Rebecca, who died at the age of nine months; Myrtle, the wife of Elmer Doty; Sada, now deceased, who was the wife of C. W. Hubbs; Letha M., the wife of Richard Withrow; Edgar, who died at the age of ten months; Fay; Glenn, who died at the age of twenty-three years; and Ollie, the wife of Thomas Bobo. There are also twenty grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. A most enjoyable event was the celebration, on January 8, 1923, of the golden anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Manier, which was observed in a manner befitting the unusual occasion. Mr. Manier has all through his long residence in this locality been true to his duties of citizenship and has given earnest support to every movement for the advancement of the public welfare. He is a genial and approachable man, whom it is a pleasure to deal with, and by his upright life and fine qualities he has won a host of loyal friends throughout the community.


The most powerful influence in shaping and controlling public life in any community is the press. Reaching a greater number of people than any other agency, it is unquestionably a most important factor in moulding public opinion and shaping the destiny of the nation. One of the most influential journals in the San Joaquin valley is the Tulare Daily Register, owned and published by H. A. Charters, dean of the editorial fraternity of Tulare county. He was born on the 23d day of January, 1855, in Crescent City, Del Notre county, California, a son of Oliver and Delilah (Bradford) Charters. His father was a native of New York state, going from there to Michigan, whence, in 1852, he made the long journey by ox team to California, locating in Hangtown (now Placerville). The mother of H. A. Charters is a direct descendant of William Bradford, the first governor of Massachusetts colony.

H. A. Charters attended the public schools and at the age of sixteen years went to work in a sawmill. Two years later he began an apprenticeship to the printing trade in the office of the Del Norte Courier and from that time to the present has been continuously identified with the printing business in one form or another. He was employed at his trade in various cities of the state, including San Francisco and Bakersfield, and in December, 1882, came to Tulare and went to work on the Register. He has been connected with this paper continuously since, with the exceptions of a short period as news editor of the Visalia Delta and one year in San Francisco. Mr. Charters is thoroughly familiar with the details of every branch of the printing business, including job printing. In 1903 he bought an interest in the Register and for several years has been sole owner of the paper and plant. The daily edition of the Register has been issued continuously since 1888 and during these years it has been a potent force for good and for the betterment of the community along legitimate lines. Mr. Charters is a forceful writer and possesses to an unusual degree the natural instinct for news without which no man can be a successful newspaper man. The Register is one of the best edited newspapers in the San Joaquin valley and its typographical style is at once attractive and satisfactory. Mr. Charters is a member and president of the Tulare County Association of Newspaper Owners and Proprietors. 'Personally he is a man of modest and unassuming manner, but genial and approachable, and he occupies an enviable position among the representative men ofTulare county.

Mr. Charters was married to Miss Anna Marie Whiteside, who was born and reared in Kansas, and they are the parents of two sons: Harold and Clifton. The former is now a bookkeeper in the First National Bank of Tulare; and Clifton, who for two years attended Fresno State College, where he was quite prominent in athletics, is a Junior in the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Charters is a Mason, in which order he has taken the degrees up to and including that of Royal Arch Mason; belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World and the Fraternal Brotherhood. His residence on Lindsay highway, at the outskirts of the city, is one of the most attractive homes in Tulare.


Edwin S. Boyd, proprietor of the Boyd & Boyd dry cleaning establishment, located at No. 530 North Encina street, Visalia, California, was born in Dresden, Ohio. He attended the public schools, worked in a printing office and clerked in a drug store. Upon reaching manhood he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was employed for seven years as a traveling salesman by a house selling drugs and surgical instruments.

In 1905 Edwin S. Boyd came to California and was for a time in Long Beach, connected with the City Dye Works, where he gained a thorough knowledge of the dry cleaning business. On October 6, 1910, he opened the Boyd & Boyd dry cleaning works, which he still conducts, and in which he has been quite successful.

Mr. Boyd also owns a ranch of twenty acres in the Ivanhoe district of Tulare county. In 1920 he sunk wells for irrigating purposes and put out a vineyard of ten acres. This vineyard is in what is known as the frostless belt and when the vines were four years old he harvested sixty- two tons of grapes. On the third picking one vine yielded four and a fourth boxes of grapes, which netted him $7.00.

Mr. Boyd is a member of the Greene Fruit Packing Company and is an elder in the First Presbyterian church of Visalia. During his residence of fourteen years in the city he has shown himself to be public-spirited and always ready to further any project for the general welfare of the community.


Chester Elwood McCourt, senior member of the mercantile firm of McCourt Brothers, dealers in men's clothing and furnishing goods, in Porterville and Tulare, a veteran of the World war, and long recognized as one of the leaders in the commercial life of this section of the state, is a native son of California and his activities always have centered in this state. He was born on a ranch (the old Ben Woodson place) in the vicinity of Lodi, in San Joaquin county, January 8, 1888, and is a son of Robert McCourt and Martha Woodson, the latter of whom was a daughter of one of the pioneers, Ben Woodson, one of California's "49ers", who had crossed the plains with a wagon train in the year in which the great tide of emigration turned this way, following the announcement of the discovery of gold in the hills and river valleys of California.

C. E. McCourt's education was finished in the schools of the city of Fresno and he early entered upon his mercantile career, beginning at the age of twelve years to work during school vacations as a wrapper and errand boy in one of the stores of that city. When he was sixteen years of age he became employed as a clerk in the clothing store of Redlick Brothers, in Fresno and was later employed in the department store of the Kutner-Goldstein Company in, that city. From Fresno, with a desire to extend his mercantile experience, Mr. McCourt went to Sacramento and in that city became employed in the hat department of the Albert Elkus store at the corner of K and Ninth streets.

While in Sacramento, Mr. McCourt accepted a position with Henry Lions & Sons of  San Francisco, at that time the largest exclusive clothing store west of Chicago. From there he was called to Fresno to take charge of the furnishing goods department of The Fashion Shop, and a -S-Tear-later identified himself with Arthur McAfee of Fresno, who at that time was recognized as the leading clothier of the San Joaquin valley.

Mr. McAfee also was interested in a store in Porterville known as the Lamkin-McAfee Company, and Mr. McCourt was sent to Porterville to look after the McAfee interests in the year 1910. During that year Mr. McAfee disposed of his interest in the Porterville store to Mr. E. E. Graham, a pioneer of the district in the orange industry, and the firm name was changed to the Lamkin-Graham Company.

A year later happened the atrocious murder of Jack B. Lamkin, shortly after six o'clock, in the store on Main street. It was then that Mr. McCourt was made manager of the Lamkin-Graham Company, and during this year bought stock in the incorporation. Business grew to such an extent that Mr. McCourt brought his brother Harold H. McCourt from Fresno, who had quite an experience in the clothing and furnishing goods business, and he too, bought stock in the incorporation.

The year 1913 the incorporation needed larger quarters, and the Baker block was remodeled to care for the ever-increasing business, which is the present location of McCourt Brothers' Store in Porterville.

The year 1917 Mr. C. Elwood McCourt enlisted in the army and served for a period of nineteen months, and during his absence Mr. E. E. Graham sold his interests in the incorporation and the firm name was changed to the Lamkin-McCourt Company. After arriving home from service the McCourt Brothers sold their interests in the incorporation and took over the Tulare store as theirs individually, under the firm name of McCourt Brothers.

While in Tulare Mr. C. E. McCourt served as exalted ruler of Tulare Lodge, No. 1424, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, having joined as a charter member. He also served as a member of the executive committee of the Tulare Board of Trade, and took a very active part in the Lions Club of that city.

In the month of August, 1925, the McCourt Brothers purchased the Lamkin Clothing Company store in Porterville, and Mr. C. E. McCourt is again in charge of the store he opened in the year 1913, Mr. Harold H. McCourt remaining in charge of the Tulare store.


Herbert C. Evans is among the foremost business men of Tulare and has by his enterprise and progressive methods contributed in a material way to the industrial and commercial advancement of the city and county. He was born in Accomack county, Virginia, on the 9th day of June, 1873, a son of J. Stuart and Susan (Bundick) Evans, both of whom were members of old Southern families. The father was a wheelwright, black­smith and carriage trimmer by trade and was a first-class workman, as well as a man of high character.

Herbert C. Evans attended the public schools of his native locality and was employed at farm work until he was twenty-one years of age. He then clerked in a store and the postoffice for a time, but later learned the trade of carpenter, at which vocation he was employed in New Jersey and New York city. He went to work for the Hoover Mercantile Company of Brooklyn, and later was transferred by that company to a subsidiary company in Fresno,California, known as the California Products Company, a fruit by-product establishment. Some time later Mr. Evans went to work in a planing mill in Fresno, where he remained three years, at the end of which period he came toTulare and in company with Herbert Newby, bought the planing mill of Mrs. T. E. Everett. This is one of the best equipped mills in this section of the country, having the best improved machinery for all forms of work, and they turn out a high grade of inside finishing material, bank fixtures and all kinds of mill work. The main mill building is fifty by one hundred feet in size, with an ell forty by sixty feet. Fifteen men are constantly employed, all of whom are specialists in their individual lines. It is a notable fact that at no time during the business depression of the last few years has there been any notable decrease in this company's business, owing mainly to the steady demand for high-class work such as is turned out by them.

Mr. Evans was married to Miss Sarah A. Northam, who was a schoolmate of his childhood days in Virginia, and they are the parents of two daughters: A. Frankie, teacher in the grammar school at Tulare; and Virginia Susan, a pupil in the grade schools. The Tulare Planing Mill Company is one of the important commercial and industrial establishments of Tulare and Mr. Evans has been indefatigable in his efforts not only to promote the success of his own concern, but also has been consistently faithful in his support of every movement or enterprise for the betterment of the community in any way. Because of his earnest life and public spirit, he enjoys the confidence and respect of the entire community.

Mr. Evans is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, while he and his wife are affiliated with the Fraternal Aid. Mr. Evans served for eight years on the high and grammar school boards of Tulare. He has been active in the Y. M. C. A. work and is its local treasurer. He also has belonged to the Scout Council of Boy Scouts for some time.


The young man who reads this brief review of the career of J. H. Bradley, superintendent of the public schools of Lindsay, California, will find an illustration of what can be accomplished by energy and determination. He was born April 5, 1886, in Fillmore county, Minnesota. His parents, William and Mary (Haggerty) Bradley, belonged to that great class of moderately well-to-do people, but the educational facilities then lacked many of the advantages presented by the schools of the present day. As a boy he attended the local public schools and later the high school. A better education was the goal of young Bradley's ambition. 

He therefore enrolled as a student in Fremont College, Fremont, Nebraska, from which institution he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then studied for a time in the University of Southern Minnesota, at Austin, after which he entered the University of North Dakota, from which he was graduated with the class of 1918, as a Master of Arts. During the next four years he was superintendent of the public schools at Velva, North Dakota.

In the summer of 1922 Mr. Bradley came to California to attend the summer school of the University of California at Berkeley. That autumn he came to Lindsay as vice principal of the high school. At the close of the school term in 1923 he was elected to his present position of superintendent. He is a member of the California Teachers Association and in 1924 was chairman of the nominating committee forTulare county; also vice chairman of Tulare County Institute.

In 1913 Mr. Bradley was united in marriage with Miss Hulda Ronning of Columbus, North Dakota. To this union have been born three daughters: Ina, Jean and Vivian. Mr. Bradley is a Scottish Rite Mason and stands high in that order.


Francis M. Pfrimmer, recognized as one of the representative citizens of Tulare county, who by his enterprising and progressive methods has contributed in a very material way to the advancement of his section of the county, is the efficient supervisor of the first district. He was born in the historic little city of Corydon, which was the first capital of the state of Indiana, on the 25th day of November, 1870, the son of Charles and Martha (Cline) Pfrimmer, the latter of whom also was a native of the Hoosier state. Charles Pfrimmer was born in Strassburg, Germany, but came to the United States at the age of fifteen years and here followed the vocation of farming.

Francis M. Pfrimmer attended the public schools, graduating from the Corydon high school. He had been reared on a farm and when taking up business on his own account continued to follow that line of work, first in his native state and later in northwestern Missouri. In 1893 he took part in one of the famous land "runs" into Oklahoma, where he was successful. He farmed and operated a nursery in Tulsa, being a resident of that state altogether about thirteen years. In 1906 Mr. Pfrimmer came to Tulare county and located in Lindsay, which at that time was a comparatively new town. He took an active part in the development of the district and was one of the first directors of the Lindsay-Strathmore irrigation district. He engaged in the nursery business for a short time, but in 1916 was elected supervisor of the first district of Tulare county and so eminently satisfactory was his discharge of his official duties that he was reelected to that position in 1920 and again in 1924. That he is peculiarly well qualified for the position is generally acknowledged by all who have been at all familiar with his conduct of the office. He exercises sound judgment and wise discrimination and was the first to advocate and put into practice the use of heavy machinery for road work. The results demonstrated the soundness of his judgment and his methods are now followed generally. Mr. Pfrimmer has been successful in his individual affairs and is now the owner of two fine ranches, comprising about one hundred acres, planted mainly to fruit and alfalfa.

Mr. Pfrimmer was married to Miss Lena Wynn in November, 1905, who was bornAugust 24, 1879, in the same locality in Indiana as was he, and they are the parents of a son: Forest W., who now resides in Strathmore.

Mr. Pfrimmer is a sportsman, being fond of hunting and fishing. He is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America. In the latter order he was a charter member of the camp in Lindsay and is a past venerable consul of the camp. He also belongs to the Porterville Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Pfrimmer is regarded as a good business man, of sound judgment and keen foresight, who believes in progress and development along all legitimate lines. Because of his business ability, his upright living, his interest in public affairs and his friendly manner, he enjoys to a marked degree the respect and esteem of all who know him. His religious faith is manifested by his membership in the Baptist church.


For the last quarter of a century members of the Hudson family have been more or less intimately connected with the business and transportation interests and public affairs of the San Joaquin valley, particularly in Fresno and Tulare counties. Charles E. Hudson, an uncle of George H. Hudson of this review came from Indiana in 1880 and entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company as a fireman on the division between Fresno and Bakersfield, making his home in Tulare. In due time he was promoted to the position of engineman and is still running between Fresno and Oakland.

James H. Hudson, the father of George H. Hudson, was born in Fortville, Indiana, but came to California as a young man. For some time he held the position of railroad conductor on the Truckee Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1879 he located in Tulare, but continued to follow railroading until 1888, when he opened a general store in Fresno. He continued in the mercantile business until his death, which occurred on December 1, 1916. After coming to California he married Miss Clara Thom, who is still living and is now a resident of Berkeley, California. They were the parents of three sons and a daughter, viz.: George H., the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Laura C. Bodfish of New York; James Harrison, late of Oakland, California, who died November 27, 1924; and Jenness L., of Berkeley.

George H. Hudson was born in Tulare, Tulare county, California, October 16, 1881. He attended the schools of Fresno and Newark, Alameda county, California, until about the beginning of the Spanish- American war in 1898. He enlisted as a private in Company M., Forty-third United States Volunteer Infantry, which regiment was ordered to the Philippine Islands in 1899, to assist in quelling the Filipino insurrection. Young Hudson remained on duty in the islands for twenty-nine months. For the greater part of that time his regiment constituted a part of the command of Major General Henry T. Allen, who distinguished himself as a commanding officer on the battle fields of France in the late World war. In 1902 Mr. Hudson was discharged with the rank of sergeant and returned to his home in California. Soon after this he entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company as a locomotive fireman, but a little later he became associated with his father in the latter's store in Fresno. In the meantime his father had, in 1880, homesteaded a tract of land north of Traver, Tulare county, and planted eighty acres in peach and fig trees. This place he sold in 1888 and later he bought other ranches in Fresno county. After the Philippine war the son was employed in looking after these ranches until after the death of his father in December, 1916.

Mr. Hudson was appointed a special agent of the United States department of justice in the spring of 1917, and assigned to the northern division of the southern district of California, with headquarters in Fresno. This district includes eight counties. He and four of his associates were directly connected with the arrest, trial and conviction of nearly three hundred members of the Industrial Workers of the World” usually referred to as the "I.W.W." in the federal courts in Chicago, Kansas City and Sacramento. Mr. Hudson was a witness in the United States district court of Chicago when one hundred and ninety-nine of the "I.W.W." were convicted and sentenced to prison for disloyalty. One of the defendants in this case was the man known as "Big Bill Haywood", who forfeited a bond and escaped to Russia. Later in 1917 Mr. Hudson again appeared as a witness in Kansas City, when forty-seven "I.W.W." were convicted and not long afterward his testimony assisted in securing the conviction of forty-seven more in Sacramento.

In December, 1921, Mr. Hudson retired from the department of justice and located in Tipton, Tulare county. Here in 1922 he planted twenty acres of the Fresno Beauty table grapes and during the next year spent most of his time in improving and developing his vineyard. In August, 1923, he was appointed county prohibition enforcement director by Fred C. Scott, then district attorney, and this position he still holds. 

His previous experience as an agent of the department of justice has enabled him to prove a valuable officer in the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act.

Mr. Hudson married Miss Effie Hobson, a native of Missouri, and to this union has been born one son: George L., who married Miss Bessie McIntyre and lives in Tulare county. While living in Fresno, Mr. Hudson became identified with several of the fraternal societies. He belongs to Fresno Lodge No. 247, F. & A. M.; is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason in the Fresno Consistory ; Fresno Camp, United Spanish War Veterans; Fresno Lodge No. 439, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks; and Pyramid No. 10, Order of Sciots. He also belongs to Islam Temple Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of San Francisco.


Paul J. Robinson, district manager of the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company of Los Angeles, with local office and headquarters in Porterville, is an easterner by birth and rearing but has been a resident of California for almost 18 years and thus feels quite as much at home here as though he always had lived here, and his activities in Tulare county and throughout this section of the state generally have given him as thorough an acquaintance with local conditions as any. He was born in the city of Elizabeth, in the state of New Jersey, September 21, 1887, and acquired his education in the schools of that city and in New York city and Massachusetts.

Upon leaving school Mr. Robinson became employed as a clerk in the home office of the Prudential Life Insurance Company at Newark, New Jersey, and there became well grounded in the details of the insurance business. In 1907, he then being twenty-one years of age, he came to California to visit his sister, Mrs. T. R. MacSwain, who had become a resident of Lemon Cave in Tulare county, and before the period set for the termination of his vacation had ended he had become so deeply charmed with the location and so highly impressed by general conditions here that he decided to cut loose from his eastern connections and make this his home. Securing employment as a clerk in the office of the Visalia Electric Railway Company at Lemon Cove, Mr. Robinson settled down to the engaging business of becoming a resident of Tulare county. He later became connected with the United States Forest Service and was for three years thus associated, operating in the mountains east of Porterville. In 1912 he went into the grain and produce business in Porterville, in association with Howard Lyng. When fire presently destroyed this firm's plant the partners did not resume the business and Mr. Robinson then turned his attention to orange growing, buying an orchard which he later sold and in 1923 he was made the manager for this district of the operations of the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company of Los Angeles and has since been engaged in that capacity with offices at No. 3, the Baker building in Porterville. Mr. Robinson has not lost his interest in fruit-growing and he is a member of the board of directors of the local packing house and citrus growers association. He and his wife make their home on a twenty-acre tract within the limits of the city of Porterville and he there has room for a nice orange grove and a snug little dairy plant.

In 1913, in Porterville, Mr. Robinson was united in marriage to Miss Laurel A. Baker, who was born in the city of San Francisco and who is a daughter of the late Robert Baker, who was one of the leaders in development work in Tulare county. Robert Baker was a native of Iowa, who in the days of his young manhood came to California and became a settler in what is now Tulare county. When this county was erected into a separate civic entity he was elected a member of the first board of supervisors of the county and thus was a prominent factor in the formal organization of the county. He became engaged in the general mercantile business in Porterville and was for years one of the leaders in the work of developing that city's general commercial and industrial interests. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are members of the Tulare County Golf and Country Club, of the Monache Golf Club and of the Monte Vista Tennis Club and are otherwise interested and helpful participants in the community's general social activities. Mr. Robinson is the captain of the golf team of the first named club and is the secretary of the last named, he being well practiced in both, golf and tennis. He is a charter member of the locally influential Lions Club, an organization for general civic service, and has long given his earnest attention to such movements as have to do with the promotion of the community's best interests. Mr. Robinson also takes an interested part in the activities of the local fraternal organizations, is a member of Porterville Lodge No. 93, of the Knights of Pythias and is a charter member of Porterville Lodge No. 1342, of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is a director in the People's Finance and Thrift Company of Porterville.


No doubt the people of Visalia, California, will remember for years to come the late George Birkenhauer, who for thirty-four years was an active participant in the industrial, civic and fraternal life of the city. He was born in the state of New York, January 21, 1861, but while still a young man went to Lockhaven, Pennsylvania. Having graduated in a school of pharmacy, he began his business career as a clerk in a drug store. His uncle in Lockhaven was engaged in the manufacture of cigars and after a time George gave up the drug business to learn the trade of cigar maker with his uncle. He became an expert in this occupation and when he was about twenty-seven years old he decided to try his fortune on the Pacific coast.

On August 1, 1888, Mr. Birkenhauer arrived in Visalia and, liking the appearance of the town, settled down to become a permanent resident. With a rather limited capital he opened a cigar factory in the Palace Hotel annex on Court street. As this was the first cigar factory in Visalia, and one of the first in the San Joaquin valley, it attracted no little amount of attention. Being a good workman and a thorough judge of tobacco, Mr. Birkenhauer's cigars quickly found a market and the demand for them grew as their quality became known to smokers. The result was that he prospered and invested some of his earnings in a ranch on the Tulare road. After some years he disposed of his cigar factory and devoted all his time to fruit-growing on his ranch, where he had one of the most productive orchards in the county.

Mr. Birkenhauer, from the time he came to Visalia in the summer of 1888 until his death on June 17, 1922, manifested a consistent interest in the affairs of Tulare county and his adopted city. As a democrat he was influential in the councils of his party, rejoiced with other democrats over a victory at the polls, but was never seriously cast down when his party ticket was defeated. While not an office-seeker, he was three times elected to theVisalia city council, and was at one time a member of the board of supervisors of Tulare county. It is worthy of note that in his candidacy for supervisor he ran on an independent ticket and was triumphantly elected over two opponents. No better evidence of his personal popularity and the esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens is necessary. As supervisor he always tried to apply the same principles to county affairs that he had applied and proved in his private business. Progressive and public-spirited, he believed in public improvements that would be of general benefit to the community, but he also believed that the county should receive value to the amount of 100 cents for each dollar of the public fund expended in making such improvements.

In the fraternal organizations of Visalia few men were better known than George Birkenhauer. He was a thirty-second degree Mason in the Scottish Rite and about a year before his death, when sixty years of age, he was made a member of Islam Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of San Francisco. As one of the charter members of the Visalia Lodge, Fraternal Order of Eagles, he was one of the organizers of the Lodge and its first presiding officer. He also belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Visalia Lodge No. 1298, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

On December 14, 1879, in Flemington, Pennsylvania, Mr. Birkenhauer and Miss Jessie Slenker, a native of Pennsylvania, were married. Mrs. Birkenhauer accompanied her husband to California and is still living in Visalia, where she is active in the work of women's clubs and civic orders. She recently headed a subscription list with one thousand dollars for the erection of a new Masonic temple as a memorial to her late husband. She owns seventy-two and one-half acres of prunes, peaches and plums, and the ranch is being handled by William Brown.


Old residents of Visalia, California, can recall the familiar form of Edward Oliver Miller, who for many years was one of the prominent attorneys of the city. He was born in Visalia, November 23, 1861, and his parents, A. O. and Elizabeth Miller, long since deceased, were among the pioneers of Tulare county.

Edward Oliver Miller was educated in the public schools and the Normal School at Visalia. His ambition was to be a lawyer and after leaving school he started in to earn enough money to enable him to study for that profession. Through the kindness of Mr. C. J. Giddings he was given a position in Mr. Giddings' real estate office, where, in connection with his real estate work Mr. Miller continued to prepare himself for the law. However, after a time he purchased, in partnership with Mr. Valknupp, the real estate office and business, which they continued for some years, and in the meantime he studied law privately until he felt qualified to practice, when he took the bar examination and was admitted. All his active practice was in his native, where he occupied a high place among the attorneys, commanding the esteem and confidence of the bench, the bar and the general public.

When he retired from active participation in the legal affairs of Tulare county, Mr. Miller removed to San Francisco. There he and his family lived at the Bellevue Hotel until his last illness, when they returned to Visalia. His death occurred in Los Angeles on June 3, 1911. For years before his death Mr. Miller was recognized as one of the leaders of the democratic party in California. He served with distinction as state senator, held the important position of register of the land office in Visalia, and at the time of his death many of his party friends were trying to gain his consent to become a candidate for governor, but his health was such that he declined the honor.

Mr. Miller was a member of the California State and Tulare County Bar Associations; was interested in agriculture and owned several ranches; held large interests in California oil lands, and was for years a director of the Southwest Trust & Savings Bank of Visalia. His fraternal relations were with the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In these organizations he was popular because of his high character and genial disposition.

Mrs. Miller, who is still living, was before her marriage Miss Cora Ellen Dineley. Her father came from England while still a young man and settled in New York and later in San Francisco, then in Visalia. Her mother came to Visalia at the age of sixteen years from the city of Washington, D. C. After their marriage they settled in Visalia in 1859, and there Mrs. Miller was born. Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. E. O. Miller, only one is living; Ernest, the only son, died at the age of thirty-six years; Ruby L. died when only four years old; and Cora Marguerite is now Mrs. Geo. E. Gibson of Visalia.

Since the death of her husband Mrs. Miller has maintained an interest in the ranches and other business enterprises with which he was connected, and by her executive ability and the exercise of good judgment has added materially to the value of the estate. Like her late companion, she is public spirited and progressive, contributes liberally to worthy charities, and finds her greatest happiness in doing good to others. She is president of the Monday and Saturday Afternoon Bridge Clubs, belongs to several other clubs, and is an honored and respected member of Visalia's best society.


The record of William R. Neal is that of a man who by his own unaided efforts worked his way from a modest beginning to a position of independence and influence in his community, and the history of Tulare would be incomplete without specific mention of him. William R. Neal,. leading merchant and postmaster of Springville for the past twelve years, was born on the 18th day of March, 1851, and is the son of W. R. and Elizabeth (Burnett) Neal, both representatives of old Southern families and of Scotch-English descent. The Neals usually followed farming, though among them were Methodist preachers and merchants. Grover Cleveland's mother was a Neal and a first cousin of W. R. Neal. During the latter's boyhood he had considerable correspondence with Grover Cleveland and these letters are cherished highly by the members of the family now in Tennessee.

William R. Neal secured his elemental education in the public schools. and then entered Burrett College, in Van Buren county, Tennessee, from which he was graduated with the class of 1872. During the following thirty-two years he engaged in pedagogical work, teaching school in Comanche, Texas, Golden Dale, Washington, and Arlington, Oregon: While at Golden Dale he was elected county superintendent of schools, holding that position four years, and also served one term in the lower house of the state legislature and one term as state senator. After locating in Arlington, Oregon, he was also elected county superintendent of schools. His record as an educator was a most enviable one and still further honors doubtless awaited him had he elected to continue in that profession. However, he retired from the school room and went to Monmouth, Oregon, where he was in the mercantile business two years. In 1907 he came to Springville, Tulare county, and bought a small stock of groceries. In this enterprise he was successful and as he was prospered he enlarged his stock and his scope of goods until eventually he became the owner of a general mercantile business, which he is still operating. He carries a large and carefully selected line of goods, pays particular attention to the needs of his trade, and by his courteous and prompt service he has built up a large and profitable trade. On March 4, 1913, he was appointed postmaster of Springville and is still the incumbent of that office.

Mr. Neal was married on August 30, 1875, to Miss Sarah Jane Murphy, a native of Iowa, though their marriage occurred in Texas. They have five children living and three dead: W. A., now a merchant of Bakersfield, was associated for a time with his father in business; Minerva is the wife of Rev. W. M. Holderby, a Presbyterian clergyman of Chicago, who has done much lecturing on the Chautauqua platforms during the summer seasons; Jennie is the wife of W. J. Taylor, a rancher near Springville; Lilly, the wife of K. D. Dutton of Los Angeles; Gwendolyn is now Mrs. Harold Baker of Visalia; James, the second child in order of birth was accidentally killed by a gunshot wound at the age of twenty-one years; John C. died in infancy; and Rockey also died in infancy. Mr. Neal is a democrat and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Neal has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows ever since attaining his majority. He was president of the Springville Chamber of Commerce when one was in existence here some years ago.


"No job too large and none too small." This is the slogan under which Jesse D. Althouse, practical pump fitter and proprietor of a well equipped machine shop in Porterville, carries on his business and in the pursuit of his vocation he has come to be one of the best known men in this section of the state, for his operations, particularly in the line of irrigation projects, have carried him far and wide throughout the valley. Mr. Althouse not only has installed pumping plants on many of the most important ranches in the valley but has taken over numerous more extensive operations, these latter including his installation of the booster pump for the Alta Vista Water Company. During the past few years he has worked in more than sixty wells in this region and his expert labors in that connection include everything in the way of installation but digging the well. In connection with his operations he maintains in Porterville one of the best equipped general machine shops in this part of the state and he also carries the local agency for the Byron Jackson Pump Manufacturing Company of  Berkeley, his machine shop and pump works being located at No. 302 Second street, Porterville.

Jesse D. Althouse is a native of the state of Nebraska, born in the vicinity of the city of Omaha, on April 17, 1894, but was reared in California, acquiring his education in the schools of the city of San Francisco and of Los Angeles. He early became interested in mechanical processes and made a careful study under practical conditions of general mechanical engineering, with particular reference to foundry work and machine designing. As a young man Mr. Althouse was attracted to Tulare county by reason of its promising possibilities in the way of horticulture and for a time after coming here he followed ranching, but he soon gave that up and established himself, in 1912, as a general machinist in Porterville, opening there a machine shop which has been developed into his present extensive establishment. The development of his business in the pump line was a gradual one, growing out of his operations in the machine shop, and this latter phase of his industry has come to be the dominant one, for by his practical experience and the expertness of his methods he has become a leader in that line throughout this section, and calls for his services come from far and near.

In 1917 Jesse D. Althouse was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Owens of Porterville and they have two children: A son, Wilbur G. Althouse; and a daughter, Fern E. Mrs. Althouse was born in Porterville and is a daughter of J. J. Owens, a well known resident of that city.


A man who has stamped the impress of his strong individuality upon the minds of the people of Tulare county in such a manner as to render him one of the conspicuous characters of the county, is F. C. Ensign, who probably has done more practical work in the exploitation and development of this section of the state than any other one man. He was born in Cleveland,Ohio, the son of Seba and Almira (Smith) Ensign. These parents were pioneer settlers in the Buckeye state.

F. C. Ensign secured a good education in the public schools of his native city and then learned the trade of a tinner, which vocation he followed until 1885, when he came to California. He first located in San Jose, where he engaged in the real estate business, making a specialty of opening up and selling new subdivisions. In this particular field he has shown himself almost without a peer and his record is one of which he is justifiably proud. In all he has subdivided into small ranches upwards of twenty thousand acres, operating in Tulare county first in Lindsay, then Strathmore, Terre Bella and Richgrove. He took the first party of buyers into Lindsay from Los Angeles and in a few years had sold six thousand acres of land there. In this work he has had associated with him for many years, Marco Hellman, George H. Hart, D. H. Hart, the well known Hart Brothers of Hotel Rosslyn fame, and P. J. S. Montgomery, all well known capitalists of southern California. He maintains permanent offices in the H. W. Hellman building, Los Angeles, and has perfected an organization which is fully prepared to handle any real estate proposition presented to it. Mr. Ensign has been uniformly careful at all times to handle nothing but absolutely legitimate projects and his record as a reliable and trustworthy dealer has gained for him the unstinted praise of all who have been familiar with his operating methods. Mr. Ensign is now secretary and manager of the Terra Bella Development Company, and the Richgrove Development Association, and president of the Terra Bella Packing House. He has taken an active interest in local affairs and has been a steady and consistent booster for the community with which he is identified, his efforts in the direction of betterment of the public welfare being duly appreciated by his fellow citizens.

Mr. Ensign was married to Miss Jessie Holcomb, daughter of Charles F. Holcomb, a pioneer photographer of Cleveland,Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Ensign are the parents of two sons, namely: Ralph H., who is associated with his father in the real estate business; and Sterling W., who is engaged in the automobile business in Inglewood, California. Both sons served in the army during the World war. Mr. Ensign is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a past noble grand of his lodge.


Todd C. Claubes, proprietor of the Claubes drug store in Porterville and for twenty years recognized as one of the leading merchants and men of affairs of that thriving city, is a Missourian by birth, but has been a resident of California and of Tulare county since the days of his boyhood and is thus as thoroughly familiar with conditions here as though indeed a native son. He was born in the city of Maryville, the county seat of the county of Nodaway, in the northwest corner of the state of Missouri, on February 24, 1880, and is a son of Charles H. and Laura A. (Stewart) Claubes, both of whom also were born in Missouri, members of old families in that commonwealth, the former born in the city of St. Louis and the latter in the city of St. Joseph, and their last days were spent in Porterville, the former dying in 1909 and the latter in 1921.

The late Charles H. Claubes, who in his generation was one of the best known and most highly respected residents of Tulare county, became attracted to the possibilities of the citrus fruit industry in this section of California in the early '90s and came here from Missouri to investigate the truth of the interesting stories that were being heard back east concerning the amazing developments then being made in that line. He found conditions satisfactory and bought a forty-acre tract, five miles north of Porterville, which he planted to oranges. He then returned east and in 1895 brought his family with him and established his home on that tract, developing there a fine piece of property. Ten years later he retired from the ranch and with his family moved to Porterville, where he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring on December 12, 1909. Mr. Claubes was an ardent Mason, a profound student of this ancient craft, and for five consecutive terms prior to his removal to California had served as the worshipful master of his home lodge in Quitman. He transferred his interest in Masonry to the bodies of that order inTulare county and in time was made the worshipful master of Porterville Lodge No. 303, F. & A. M. He also was a member of Porterville Chapter No. 95, R. A. M.; a knight of Visalia Commandery No. 26, Knights Templars ; and was otherwise interested in local fraternal activities, having been a member of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the local camp of the Modern Woodmen. His funeral was conducted under Masonic auspices in accordance with the solemn rites of that ancient order, representative Masons from all the lodges in this section of the state participating. As a signal mark of honor and as an evidence of the high regard in which the deceased was held in his home town, the business houses of Porterville were closed during the hour of the funeral and local commercial and industrial activities suspended for the time. Mr. Claubes was an active and influential factor in general development work hereabout, helpful in many ways in bringing about proper conditions, and at his passing left a good memory. The home ranch which he developed is still held in the family. Charles H. Claubes and wife are survived by five children, the immediate subject of this sketch having three brothers: Leslie V. and Harry E. Claubes of Porterville, and Benjamin S. Claubes of Los Angeles; and a sister, Mrs. J. B. Lockyer of Porterville.

As will be noted by a comparison of above dates, Todd C. Claubes was fifteen years of age when he came here with his parents from Missouri in 1895, and his education was finished in California, his local schooling being supplemented by a course in the business college at Stockton and later by a course in the school of pharmacy of the University of California, from which institution he was graduated in 1905, the year in which he engaged in business on his own account in Porterville. Mr. Claubes was attracted to the drug line as a boy, his first service in that connection having been rendered as an errand boy and general factotum in the drug store of Pierce & Robbins, the pioneer drug firm of Porterville. He was advanced in this service until he had become thoroughly familiar with the details of the local drug trade and remained with that firm until he entered the pharmacy school, where he became a properly accredited registered pharmacist. For awhile after obtaining his diploma Mr. Claubes was the registered pharmacist in the Cousin & Howland drug store in Hanford, in the neighboring county of Kings, and then he returned to Porterville and opened a store of his own, taking a room twenty-four feet front and forty feet back in the Pioneer Hotel building. His business prospered from the beginning and he presently found it necessary to enlarge his quarters, which he did by securing a fifteen-foot extension at the rear. Since then he has taken additional space in the Pioneer hotel building until now his store covers ground space of forty-eight by fifty-five feet and is recognized as the largest drug store in Tulare county. Mr. Claubes started in business there with two clerks and one boy, an ample force for the trade. Today he has a cashier, a bookkeeper, five clerks and two boys in the drug department, besides a force of five in the lunch and refreshment department. The store is equipped in up-to-date fashion and is amply stocked for the general needs in that line of the trade in the fine trade area centering in Porterville.

On September 29, 1909, in San Francisco, California, Todd C. Claubes was united in marriage to Miss Christine Francis, who was born in Monterey county and who had been serving as a teacher in the schools of Porterville. They have one child, a daughter: Zoe Patricia, born in 1912. Mrs. Claubes is a past president of the locally influential Ladies Improvement Club of Porterville and has rendered effective public service as a member of the city school board. She also belongs to the Tulare County Golf and Country Club and the Monache Golf Club. Mr. Claubes is a Royal Arch and Knights Templar Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, affiliated with Islam Temple at San Francisco, and is a past worshipful master of Porterville Lodge No. 303, having filled that station in 1909, in succession to his father, past worshipful master. He also is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and is a charter member of Porterville Lodge No. 1342, of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.


John T. Morgan, proprietor of the Morgan Meat Market, Visalia, California, was born in San Bernardino county, California, July 12, 1863. His father, Thomas Morgan, who was born in the state of Illinois and crossed the plains in 1859, was the first sheriff of San Bernardino county. The mother of John T. Morgan was Miss Eliza Mee, a native of England, who came across the plains from Utah about the time of the Mountain Meadows massacre in the fall of 1857. Thomas Morgan died shortly after his son, John T., was born, and his widow married again.

John T. Morgan lived with his mother and stepfather and attended the Los Angeles schools until he was fifteen years of age. When he was about fifteen he went to Arizona with his stepfather, who was engaged in hauling ore from the Silver King mine. Here the boy drove a team for a time, but not liking the work he returned to California, where he started in to shift for himself. When he was only eighteen years old he owned and conducted a butcher shop in Riverside and later established a shop in San Jacinto, California, where he was in business for sixteen years. In the meantime he worked at the butcher's trade in the shops of Los Angeles.

In 1902 Mr. Morgan came to Visalia and purchased the butcher shop on Main street, known as the Parr Market. It was then a small place, but since it came into his possession he has made numerous improvements and now has one of the best appointed markets in the city. About the same time he bought this place he also bought twelve acres of ground a mile from Visalia, where he built a cattle corral and an up-to-date slaughter-house. Here he kills and dresses the meats he supplies to his customers, the number of which he has seen increase until he has a large patronage. He does both a wholesale and retail business. His sons, Everett C., Howard G. and J. T. Jr., are associated with him in the business. The property he bought when he came to Visalia in 1902, particularly the twelve acres where he has his cattle corral and slaughter­house, has greatly increased in value, but he still retains it because it is one of the principal assets of his business.

Mr. Morgan married Miss Lillie R. Cleveland, a native of Iowa, and they have three sons: Everett C., Howard G. and John T. Jr. Mr. Morgan takes an interest in municipal affairs and served for two years as a member of the board of trustees of the city. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He also belongs to the Kiwanis Club.


Among the favorably known and representative business men of Tulare stands B. F. McMurry, who has since becoming identified with this community gained an enviable position in the confidence and esteem of the people. He is proprietor of the leading jewelry store in Tulare, and is a native of the Lone Star state, born in Bonham, March 19, 1885. He is the son of William J. and Francis Lou (Finger) McMurry. His father was for many years prominently engaged in grain farming and stock raising in Texas, but is now a resident of California.

B. F. McMurry took the public school course, graduating from high school, and then entered Trinity University, at Waxahachie, Texas, but remained there only two years. In 1904 he came to California and locating in Merced, served an apprenticeship at the watchmaking and jewelers trade. Subsequently he went to Hanford, where he was employed in a jewelry store until 1910, when he came toTulare and bought a jewelry store. In this enterprise he has been successful to a gratifying degree and is now in command of the largest trade in this locality. He carries a large and well selected stock of watches, jewelry and music and customers entering his store are sure of courteous and painstaking attention. Mr. McMurry has identified himself with local public affairs and is an earnest supporter of every local movement or enterprise having for its object the betterment of the public welfare. He possesses to a marked degree those qualities which attract men and he enjoys a large circle of warm and loyal friends.

Mr. McMurry was married on September 11, 1907, to Miss Edna E. Crowder, of Merced, California, and they have a son, Richard. Mrs. McMurry is an active member of the Women's club of Tulare and is a popular member of the social circles in which she moves. Mr. McMurry is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Tulare Rotary Club, and the Tulare Board of Trade, of which he was formerly a director and member of the executive board and is now the president. He is a republican in politics. He is at present serving as clerk of the board of trustees of the Tulare Union high school.


James K. Barbis, one of the proprietors of the Riverside/Cafe and Grill Room, was born in Corinth, Greece, February 24, 1891. When he was about fourteen years old he came with his parents to America. The family located in St. Louis, Missouri, where James K. Barbis found employment in a box car factory. In this, his first job in the United States, he was so unfortunate as to lose the end of one of his fingers, which caused him to change his occupation. He then became a bus boy in the old Planters Hotel at St. Louis, where he worked until he came to California.

Shortly after the great earthquake and fire in San Francisco in 1906, James K. Barbis landed in that city. The following year he and his cousin, Mike Barbis, came to Visalia and purchased the Riverside Cafe. The cafe was then located in a small room on Main street, but the new proprietors soon had the satisfaction of seeing their business expand until larger quarters were necessary. Additional room was secured and the Riverside is now considered one of the best appointed eating houses in the San Joaquin valley.

Besides himself, Spiro and A. Barbis and Mike Barbis, a cousin, constitute the firm. They own a substantial business block on Main street,Visalia, and Mike Barbis conducts a cafe, known as the Barbis Grill, in Dinuba. The six members of the Barbis family "brothers and cousins"” are all successful business men. The Visalia Fruit Market and the Palace Cafe on North Church street are owned and conducted by them, and James K. Barbis owns a fine prune orchard and vineyard near Visalia, purchased and paid for within the last few years with the fruits of his industry and good business management. 

During the latter part of the great World war, after the United States entered the conflict, Mr. Barbis served in the quartermaster department at Camp Lewis, in the state of Washington. The troops there, himself among them, were just ready to sail for Siberia when news was received that the armistice had been signed and the war was over. When he received his honorable discharge he returned to Visalia and resumed his business connections where they had been broken off when he entered the military service.

Mr. Barbis is a member of the Visalia Kiwanis Club, Elks Lodge No. 1298 of Visalia, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the American Legion, in all of which he is recognized as a "good fellow" and is deservedly popular.


Charles R. Miel, president of the California Granite Company of Sacramento, Porterville and Rocklin and a large operator in architectural and monumental stone, with headquarters in Porterville, is a native of the old Keystone state but has been a resident of California since the days of his infancy and thus all his conscious recollections center in this state. He was born June 16, 1882, and was but a few months old when in the fall of that year his parents moved with their family from Pennsylvania to California and settled in San Francisco. Mr. Miel's boyhood days were passed in San Francisco and in Sausalito and he early became connected with stone quarry operations, giving particular attention to the working of some of the great granite quarries in this state.

In 1907 Mr. Miel became associated with the operations of the granite quarry in Rocklin, Placer county, and also with the operations of the Ajax Dredging Company, in putting through the big drainage and irrgation project in Sutter county. When in the line of further development of the granite quarry in Rocklin the California Granite Company was organized, with general offices in Sacramento, Mr. Miel was elected president of that company and his since been thus serving. In 1914 this company took over the operations of the granite quarry at Success, on Rocky Hill, three miles east of Porterville, and Mr. Miel has since made his general headquarters in Porterville. This Success quarry was opened in 1913, and when Mr. Miel's company took it in charge operations were extended, and particularly during the past five or six years these Operations have been conducted on a large scale, the demand for the products of this quarry keeping the force working to capacity. While the quality of the stone at both the Rocklin and Porterville quarries is excellent, that at the latter quarry is considered superior for building and monumental purposes and it has come into wide demand. Experts declare that the granite of the Porterville quarry is more nearly akin to that in the great quarries at Barre, Vermont, than that of any other quarry on the American continent and it is on this account that one quality of the product of this quarry is known as Newbarre granite, the other quality being known as the Porterville black granite. In fact, demonstrations have revealed that the Newbarre granite of the Porterville quarry has a higher resisting strength than the Barre stone, it being able to withstand a crushing force of twenty-four thousand pounds to the square inch.

The popularity of the products of the Porterville and Rocklin quarries of the California Granite Company may be realized when mention is made of some of the great building projects recently carried out in this state with granite from these quarries. The new post office in Bakersfield was constructed from this stone and a few of the other notable building projects based on the use of the products of these quarries include the great new Bank of Italy building, at the corner of Powell and Eddy streets in San Francisco; the building of the National Bank of D. 0. Mills & Company in Sacramento ; the new civic auditorium in Oakland; the new agricultural hall of the University of California in Berkeley; and many other buildings of monumental character. This granite also is in wide demand for mortuary monumental uses and some of the finest mausoleums and mortuary monuments in the state have been made of these products. As a foundation stone this granite also has a wide use and the quarries are kept busy supplying the growing demand.

During the time of this country's participation in the World War Mr. Miel rendered military service as first lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps of the army and was in active service overseas, participating in the decisive campaign ending in the Argonne forest. His original overseas service was with the Second Division of the American Expeditionary Forces and when the war came to an end he was with the Seventy-seventh Division.

Mr. Miel was married to Miss Ladye Jean Hope, on July 31, 1921 in Memphis, Tennessee. She was born in Tennessee. They have a very pleasant home in Porterville. Mr. Miel is an ardent sportsman, fond of the hunt, and he maintains a fine kennel of registered bird dogs. He is a member of Porterville Lodge No. 1342, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.


One of the young, promising physicians and surgeons of Lindsay, California, is Dr. James C. McClure, who came to the city about the beginning of the year 1924. He was born in Alpena, Michigan, September 22, 1896, son of John and Marian (Munro) McClure. He was educated in the Alpena high school and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. In 1922 he was a member of the graduating class in the medical department of the last named institution, having spent six years in a thorough preparation for the practice of medicine.

While in college Dr. McClure acquired considerable notoriety as an athlete, especially in wrestling. In 1918 he was the champion lightweight wrestler in the university. He is a member of the Phi Chi Medical fraternity, which he joined while a student, and has won a membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha National honorary society. He also belongs to the Tulare county, CaliforniaState and American Medical Associations.

Upon receiving his degree of M.D., Dr. McClure came to California and practiced in Fresno for about a year. He then located in Lindsay, where he has formed many acquaintances and is on the road to a successful practice. The Doctor is associated in practice with Dr. E. R. Scarboro, who is also a young man of ability.

In 1923 Dr. McClure was married to Miss Florence R. Williams, a native of Oroville, California, and an accomplished young woman. He is a republican in politics and belongs to the Congregational church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, which is the only secret order to claim his allegiance.


For more than a quarter of a century Dr. Thomas 0. McSwain has been a practicing physician and surgeon of Visalia, California, and he may be appropriately called the dean of the medical profession of that city. He is a native of the Hawkeye state, born in Winneshiek county, Iowa, February 18, 1862. When he was about twenty-three years of age he came to California and located in the city of San Francisco. After the necessary preparation by private study, he matriculated in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in that city and graduated with the class of 1897, receiving the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Soon after receiving his diploma Thomas 0. McSwain came to Visalia, where he opened an office and engaged in the practice of his profession. He was then thirty-five years old, which gave him a mature air for a young physician and helped to inspire the confidence of the public. Consequently he soon established a practice, and as he was usually successful in the treatment of cases that practice gradually grew until he became generally recognized as one of the city's leading physician. In addition to his professional work, the Doctor owns two ranches, one of which is devoted to a peach orchard and the other is used as a dairy farm. He is a member in good standing in the Tulare county and California State Medical Associations, keeps in close touch with the progress of medical science, and enjoys the respect and confidence of his professional brethren, as well as of the public at large. For two years he was county physician of Tulare county.

For many years Dr. McSwain has been somewhat active in the work of fraternal societies. He is a member of Visalia Lodge No. 128, F. & A. M., and belongs to the higher Masonic bodies in both the York and Scottish Rites. A fact of which he is especially proud is that he is a life member of the Islam Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of San Francisco. This membership was granted to him on September 24, 1892, his card being numbered five hundred seven. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World and Visalia Lodge No. 1298, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In all these organizations he has a high standing because of his willingness always to advance the welfare of the lodges and their benevolent work, and because of his genial disposition.

In his home life Dr. McSwain has been as fortunate as he has in his professional career. He married Miss Mabel K. Wasson, a native daughter of California, a cultured and accomplished woman, who is a past worthy matron of Visalia Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, the Masonic degree to which the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of Master Masons are eligible. In politics Dr. McSwain is a republican.


The town of Goshen is very largely indebted to Robert H. Wills for the many substantial and permanent improvements he has made in that place and for the progressive spirit which he shows in every move he makes in business affairs. He was born in Marysville, Kentucky, on the 14th day of December 1861, the son of Alonzo and Mary (Soyster) Wills, both of whom were natives of the Blue Grass state. Alonzo Wills was a wheelwright and mill man by vocation, was a self-educated but well informed man, and became prosperous in his business affairs and influential in his community.

Robert H. Wills attended the common schools in his native locality and was employed at agriculture, owning a nice farm near Marysville, which he operated successfully until 1905, when he sold out there and came to California. He came at once to Tulare county, bought a ranch, to which he gave his attention and also dealt extensively in cattle for several years. In 1912 Mr. Wills came to Goshen and bought a tract of land across the Southern Pacific tracks from the townsite. There, fronting on the highway, he built a two-story store and hotel building, thirty- six by seventy feet in size, there being sixteen rooms in the hotel section. He has been very successful in both store and hotel and now owns several residences, a gas filling station and a creamery. The latter is now being operated by the Golden State Dairy Products Company of San Francisco. Adjoining the store building Mr. Wills has fifty-five acres of land, mostly in alfalfa. Altogether his holdings here represent an investment of approximately fifty thousand dollars.

Mr. Wills has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Amanda Fite, who was born and reared in Kentucky. To this union were born eight children, namely: Robert, of Kentucky; Nellie, the wife of Quincy Carr of Huntington, West Virginia; Joseph, of Long Beach, California; Mattie, the wife of William Pine of San Jose, California ; Bessie, the wife of S. King of Fresno; Clifford, of Fresno; and Alma and Anna, twins, the former the wife of Walter Baker of Exeter, and the latter the wife of Walter Johnson of Fresno. Mrs. Amanda Wills died in 1902. Subsequently Mr. Wills was married to Mrs. Mary Brazil, who is the mother of five children by her former marriage: Abel, John, Joseph, Mrs. Mary Aseveda and Manuel. Mr. Wills belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. While engaged closely in the prosecution of his individual business affairs, Mr. Wills has always taken time to perform his full part, in advancing movements for the general public welfare. Because of his upright life, his business ability and his genial and courteous manner, he commands the respect and good will of the entire community.


Vernon Lee Hall, of the firm of Hall Brothers, proprietors of the popular Pioneer Cafeteria in Porterville, a veteran of the World war, and recognized as one of the most alert and progressive young business men of Porterville, is a native son of Tulare county and has lived here all his life. He was born on a ranch in the near vicinity of the city of Porterville in 1895 and is a son of Alma and Etta (Parker) Hall, the latter of whom also was born in the Porterville neighborhood, daughter of Jack Parker, who was one of the pioneer sheepmen of this county.

Alma Hall, who with his wife is now living retired in the city of Porterville, was born in the state of Missouri and was but a child when in 1864 he came with his parents to California, the family crossing the plains and mountains by ox team, and settling in Visalia. It was thus that Alma Hall grew up in what is now Tulare county. When he was twenty-eight years of age he homesteaded a tract of land on Deer Creek and was there engaged in farming and in the raising of live stock until his retirement in 1904 and removal to Porterville. Mr. and Mrs. Altria Hall have two sons, the subject of this biographical review having a brother, Ernest G. Hall, who is engaged with him in business in Porterville, the brothers being joint owners of the Pioneer Cafeteria, which they operate under the firm name of Hall Brothers and in which line they have made a conspicuous success, the Pioneer Cafeteria having come to be recognized throughout this region as one of the best eating places in this section of California.

Vernon Lee Hall was but nine years of age when his parents moved from the ranch near Porterville into the city in 1904 and his education thus was finished in the schools of that city, going on through the high school. As a young man determining on a business career he recognized the possibilities underlying a well conducted place of refreshment and in association with his brother, Ernest G. Hall, opened a candy store in Porterville, to which they gave the name of The Sweet Shop and he was thus engaged in business when this country took a hand in the World war in the spring of 1917. He went into the service of the army and was assigned for training to the camp at Camp Fremont, where he was made sergeant of the Forty-third Ambulance Corps of the Eighth Division. Upon the completion of his military service Mr. Hall resumed his business in Porterville, he and his brother carrying on with The Candy Shop. The growing popularity of this shop and the general expansion of their business prompted Hall Brothers in 1921 to extend their operations to include an up-to-date cafeteria service and it was then that they opened their now popular Pioneer Cafeteria, a very well equipped and admirably conducted establishment in the Pioneer Hotel building.

On June 15, 1918, in San Jose, Vernon L. Hall was united in marriage to Miss Marjorie Leffler, who was born in Chicago, daughter of J. Frank Leffler, and who has been a resident of California since 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Hall are members of the Monache Golf Club and take a proper part in the city's general social activities. Mr. Hall is a member of the local post of the American Legion and an active member of the locally influential Lions Club. He is a Mason, affiliated with the local lodge (No. 303) of that ancient order, and is also a member of Porterville Lodge No. 1342, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.


Dr. H. R. D. Shoemaker, a son of R. H. and Maude (Ryan) Shoemaker, was born in Santa Barbara, California, November 12, 1891. His parents came to California in 1883 and his father early became interested in the orange industry. For forty years he has been an active factor in the development of the citrus fruit business of the state and is now manager of the Lindsay Merriman Citrus Exchange.

H. R. D. Shoemaker received his elementary education in the public schools. After graduating from the high school he studied for two years in Pomona College, at Pomona, California. Then, after six months in the University of California, he matriculated as a medical student in the Hahnemann College of the Pacific. He completed the four-year course in this institution, graduating as a member of the class of 1917. In a very little while after receiving his degree of M.D., he joined the Medical Corps of the United States army and was commissioned first lieutenant. He served successively at Forts McArthur, Sherman, Hancock, Old Point Comfort and Stewart. From the last named he sailed for France, but when only two days out a message was received announcing the signing of the armistice. Accordingly, the vessel turned back and he was mustered out at Camp Sherman. For nearly two years Doctor Shoemaker then practiced his profession in the City of San Francisco. In 1920 he located in Lindsay, where he has been successful in the treatment of his patients and has built up a lucrative practice.

In 1917 Dr. Shoemaker was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude Jones, a native of Georgia. Dr. Shoemaker is a prominent figure in the fraternal and club life of Lindsay, being a member and past dictator of the Loyal Order of Moose; the Modern Woodmen of America; the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Knights of the Maccabees. He is charter member of the Tulare County Golf and Country Club and belongs to the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce.


Among the young, progressive business men of Visalia, California, Walter J. Fullwiler is entitled to recognition as an example of what intelligent effort and industry can accomplish in a field where opportunities abound. He was born in Woodville, Tulare county, California, July 4, 1892, and is a descendant of pioneer families on both sides. His father, Wallace J. Fullwiler, was born in the state of Ohio, but came to California with his parents when only six years of age. He grew to man­hood in Tulare county, was educated in the public schools, was married to Miss May Towery, the daughter of one of the early settlers, and followed agricultural pursuits all his life. Of the children born to Wallace J. and May (Towery) Fullwiler, three are living: Walter J., engaged in the furniture business in Visalia ; Ralph, a resident of Santa Cruz; and Mrs. R. J. Loebl of Oakland, California.

Walter J. Fullwiler received his primary education in the Harmony school of Woodville, after which he attended schools in Visalia and Santa Cruz. While going to school in Santa Cruz, as a lad of fifteen years, he began his business career by working part time in a hardware store. Later he went to Porterville, where he entered the employ of Sepaugh & Roach, dealers in furniture. After some time in Porterville, he came to Visalia and was for awhile employed in the furniture store of J. A. Sepaugh. He then opened a soft drink parlor under the Palace Hotel, which he fitted up in an attractive manner, and by his personality and the excellence of the goods supplied to his customers he built up a profitable business.

Selling this place at a profit, on November 10, 1919, he opened his furniture store at No. 306 East Main street, having purchased the stock, fixtures and good will from J. A. Sepaugh, his former employer. His early experience in handling furniture had taught him much about the public taste in house furnishing, which has enabled him to make judicious purchases, suited to all demands from the kitchen of the humblest home to the drawing-room of the most pretentious mansion. Consequently "Fullwiler's" has become a popular place to buy furniture and its proprietor has prospered. Added to the general high quality of his stock is a uniform courtesy to all patrons of the store and a desire to meet their wants. If an article called for is not in stock and the customer can wait a few days, Mr. Fullwiler will undertake to secure it. Such an accommodation is usually appreciated and an increasing trade results.

Mr. Fullwiler was married to Miss Lena Oldfield of Porterville, and they have one daughter: Cleonie, aged eight years. Mr. Fullwiler is one of the directors of the Visalia Kiwanis Club and is interested in other ways in promoting the civic and material interests of the city. He is regarded by those who know him best as one of the intelligent and systematic boosters of Visalia and Tulare county, as well as one of the most public-spirited citizens. He is member of Visalia Lodge No.-1298, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, which is the only fraternal organization to which he belongs.


Grover Hill, assistant prohibition director of Tulare county, California, was born in that county on the 21st of December, 1895. His father, George Hill, is also a native of the county. Grover was educated in the Hanford grammar school, the State College in Fresno, and then took the agricultural course in the California Agricultural College at Davis, graduating in 1919.

Before completing his education Grover Hill enlisted in Company M, Second Infantry Regiment, California National Guard. When Villa, the Mexican revolutionist, made his raid into the United States in 1916 and the National Guard of several states was ordered to the border, the Second California was stationed in Nogales, Arizona. Shortly after the regiment was recalled to California, Mr. Hill left the National Guard, while holding the rank of senior noncommissioned officer, to enter the Officers Training School at the Presidio, San Francisco. On December 13, 1917, he was discharged for disability and was then sent by the government to the Agricultural College at Davis, as already stated. Through his connection with the National Guard and the training school he holds membership in the American Legion and the Disabled Veterans Association.

After being discharged from military service, Mr. Hill took up the life of a ranchman. He is the owner of two ranches in Fresno county, one of five thousand acres devoted to raising cattle, and the other to a vineyard. In 1922 he was appointed prohibition director for Tulare county, under Fred C. Scott, then district attorney, and since then he has taken an active part in the enforcement of the eighteenth amendment to the Federal Constitution and the Volstead Law. Mr. Hill resigned on May 10, 1925, and is devoting himself to his ranch.


Charles William Eyer, proprietor of the Crystal Theater in Portervile, a veteran of the World war with an overseas record and one of the enterprising and progressive business men of Porterville, has been a resident of California for about fifteen years and is quite content to regard this as definite home. He was born in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1, 1889, and is a son of William and Anna (Eichsteadt) Eyer, both members of well established families of that place, the latter of whom is still living, now making her home in the vicinity of Salinas in Monterey county, this state. William Eyer died in Milwaukee, in December, 1889, his son Charles then having been but nine months of age, and his widow continued to make her home in that city until she took up her residence in California.

Reared in Milwaukee, Charles William Eyer acquired his education in the schools of that city and early became apprenticed to the highly technical trade of the photo engraving art, finishing a three-year apprenticeship to that trade and becoming a skilled photo-engraver. Instead of following this trade, however, Mr. Eyer became connected with government operations on the Great Lakes and was thus connected until 1911, when he came to California, locating at Beaumont in Riverside county. For five years he remained there and in various parts of southern California and then engaged in ranching in Madera county, being thus occupied when in the spring of 1917 this country took a hand in the World war and called on its young men to prepare to go to war. Mr. Eyer lost little time in getting into the army and after a period of intensive training was assigned to the Fortieth Division and with that command went overseas, where he presently was transferred to the Thirty- seventh Division. For eight months Mr. Eyer was in overseas service, during this time participating in some of the important campaigns which marked the closing months of that great war, these including service on the Flanders front, the Ascott river and the Lys sector. During one of these engagements he was severely gassed and was for some time a sufferer from that cause.

Upon the completion of his military service in 1919, Mr. Eyer returned to California and resumed his ranching operations in Madera county, where he remained for a year, at the end of which time, in 1920, he moved to Porterville and there bought the Crystal Theater, which he since then has been quite successfully operating, this place of entertainment having come to be recognized as one of the most popular in this section of the state.

On November 21, 1917, Charles W. Eyer was united in marriage to Miss Louise Abbott of Porterville and they have one child, a daughter: Charlotte Louise. Mrs. Eyer was born in Porterville and is a daughter of Daniel Abbott and Francis E. (Fine) Abbott, the former of whom was a member of one of the pioneer families of Porterville. Daniel Abbott, who died at his home in Porterville, in 1916, was but a youngster when he came with his parents across the plains to California in the fall of 1859, but he ever retained vivid recollections of a thrilling brush with the Indians which the party with which he was traveling had during that long trip.


The enterprise of Hobart Webster, well known orchardist of' the Success district east of Porterville, has been crowned with success as the result of rightly applied principles and today no one in this section of the county enjoys to a greater degree the respect and esteem of the community. As a recent issue of The California Citrograph (March, 1925) very aptly observed in this connection : "With the capacity for leadership and for an executive, with the desire to work for and with the men engaging in the same industry, with the ambition to make a success of the line of endeavor which he chose to follow when thirty-nine years of age, Hobart Webster is today a successful citrus grower because he possessed those qualities and gave them full sway. For more than twenty years he has helped place the industry on the firm footing it now enjoys."

In this same connection The Citrograph observed that "Mr. Webster's material wealth is not his claim to distinction. To see the man is not to visualize his true worth. But to talk to him and to listen to those who have long been associated with him is to recognize in him a dynamic figure. Courage, foresight, ambition and energy are essential to true success. Perhaps that is the reason Mr. Webster is pointed out as a big man in the district he represents, for he surely had those requisites to place his all in an industry that was at that time very unstable and with a none too bright future. He saw possibilities in the citrus industry, possibilities with the aid of cooperative marketing, for he felt that without cooperation among the growers in getting their crops to market the industry would have been a failure. Mr. Webster is a man of sixty-one years, looks ten years younger and probably feels ten years younger than he looks. It is little wonder he commands the position he holds in the citrus industry. The personal magnetism of the man, combined with his natural ability and training, make up a figure that is a credit to the industry he represents."

The first crop shipped by Mr. Webster was in 1906 when his crop from three acres of young trees a total of about forty boxes went through the Tule River Citrus Association's packing-house. His fellow growers, recognizing his ability, made him a member of the board of directors and president of the Tule River house and in the fall of that year he was made manager of the association. At that time the seasonal output of the house was about sixty cars. Today (1925), in the new Tule River house, the seasonal shipments run about two hundred cars. Mr. Webster retained this managerial position for three years, at the end of which time he resigned in favor of his old "back east" neighbor, Frank Wilson, who also had become a successful grower in the newly developed Success valley, and has since held that position and is regarded as one of the very efficient packing-house managers in the state. After his resignation as manager Mr. Webster, by growers' demand, again was elected president of the association, a position he has held almost every year since that time. For three or four years he was the vice president of the Tulare County Fruit Exchange and since 1919 has been its president. He has always been a strong supporter of the exchange and believes that its continuance is the hope and salvation of the industry. As he says in this connection : "The production centers are scattered and the markets are a long way from the centers of production. Before the advent of the exchange the annual production of five thousand cars confronted a most serious marketing situation and great difficulty was had in selling the fruit. Today, with the exchange selling most of the California fruit, a market is found because of the cooperative body." The first Sunkist advertising program put on by the exchange was carried out in Iowa, the exchange's experiment along that line having the cooperation of the railroads. The results, as Mr. Webster points out, were immediately gratifying, the consumption increasing forty per cent the first year. Since that time the advertising has increased until today the annual advertising appropriation is upward of one million dollars. It is but proper to say that, largely due to Mr. Webster's fine executive influence and prudential administration the Tulare River Citrus Association enjoys an unusually high rating in the New York markets. Mr. Webster also had much to do with the organization of this irrigation district and aided materially in getting it on a sound financial basis. He is a director of the irrigation association and for ten years served as its president, until, at his request he was relieved.

Hobart Webster is a native son of the old Keystone state, born in Mainesburg, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, February 11, 1864, and is a son of Philander and Mary (Rockwell) Webster, both natives and lifelong residents of that county, the former of whom was a son of Roswell Webster, a member of one of the colonial families of Massachusetts, who became one of the pioneers of north central Pennsylvania and had much to do with the creation of proper social and economic conditions in Tioga county in the days when orderly settlements were being established. Early devoting himself to the teaching profession, Hobart Webster was graduated from the Pennsylvania State Normal School in Mansfield and later had post graduate work in a business college and in the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, Lima, New York. In his teaching he specialized in commercial forms and while employed in the schools of Elizabeth, New Jersey, opened there the first high school commercial department on record in this country. It was out of the success of this experiment in commercial schooling that Mr. Webster presently became emboldened to establish a business college in Elizabeth, which he quite successfully carried on for some years and which is still a going institution, operating under the name of the Union Business College, a continuing monument in that city to Mr. Webster's useful service there.

It was in 1884, when twenty years of age, that Mr. Webster had his first experience with the glorious climate and other manifest advantages of the state of California, an adventurous impulse in that year prompting him to come to the coast as a vacation experience. In Porterville he became employed in the mercantile and other operations of Porter Putnam, founder of the town, and instead of making a mere vacation trip of his sojourn here found conditions so much to his liking that he remained for three years, or until 1887, when he returned east and took up his school work. The lure of California was too much, however, and two years later, in 1889, he returned to Tulare county and was for three years here engaged in teaching school, his summers being occupied in exploring the high Sierras to Mt. Whitney. Upon his return east he became engaged in business in New York city and after his marriage in 1896 established his home there, giving his attention to his commercial college across the bay at Elizabeth. Then in 1903 the lure of California brought him back here and he since has been a definite and useful "fixture" in Tulare county, rooted to its soil and devoted to its interests.

Upon taking up his residence in this county in 1903 Mr. Webster bought a tract of twenty acres in the Success valley in the Porterville neighborhood, established his home there and entered upon the program he long had been working out in his mind of going into citrus fruit growing on a basis which seemed to him to be both horticulturally and economically sound. And this was the beginning of the Webster orchards. That was more than twenty years ago and neither Mr. Webster nor Mrs. Webster ever has had occasion to regret the choice which brought them to this wonderful valley. As Mrs. Webster says : "It was easy to be lonesome the first years we were here, when there were scarcely any neighbors and no roads. But now with so many of each, I have become accustomed to the restful solitude of the mountains and love the beautiful valley. I know I should be dissatisfied elsewhere." Mr. Webster and his sons are fond of hunting and fishing and there is plenty of both in the towering mountains close by. Mr. Webster expresses himself as being fascinated by the mountains, their claim on his affections dating from his first visit here more than forty years ago. His landholdings have been increased until now he is the proprietor of a fine tract of two hundred and forty acres and is continually developing and improving the place which has come to be recognized as one of the model establishments of the valley.

It was on June 30, 1896, that Hobart Webster was united in marriage to Miss Bertha J. Shaw, of New Brunswick, New Jersey, a suburb of the city of New York, and they have two sons: Hobart S. Webster, born in 1898, engaged with his father; and Rockwell Webster, born in 1905, who is now (1925) a student in the University of California, specializing in agriculture.


Joseph Maurer, junior member of the firm of Cobb & Maurer, druggists in Porterville and one of the well established merchants of that flourishing city, has been a resident of California since 1912 and is so thoroughly "sold" on the manifold merits and advantages of this region as a place of residence that he is quite content to regard himself as a thoroughgoing Californian the rest of his life. Mr. Maurer has been engaged in the pharmacy line since the days of his boyhood and is highly qualified along that line. He came here as a registered pharmacist from the state of Wisconsin, readily passed the examination for professional registration in this state and has since been following that profession in California, a resident of Porterville since 1913 and engaged in business on his own behalf since 1920. He was born on a farm in Calumet county, Wisconsin, April 26, 1890, the last born of the ten children of Mathias and Anna (Phillippi) Maurer, who are now (1925) living retired in Appleton, that state, the former at the age of eighty-four years and the latter at the age of eighty-one. The eldest daughter of this venerable couple, Eva, is a member of the sisterhood of the Convent of St. Agnes at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The other members of this family, besides the subject of this sketch, are: Mary, John, Catherine, Anna, Nicholas, Elizabeth, Mathias, Jr., and Margaret. The senior Mathias Maurer and his wife are both natives of Germany, born in the Rheinish province of Prussia, but have been residents of this country since the days of their childhood, having come to America with their respective parents in their youth. They met and were married in Woodville township, Calumet county, Wisconsin, in 1866, and Mathias Maurer established himself on a farm in that township, where he continued actively engaged in farming until his retirement in 1905 and removal to the near-by city of Appleton, where he and his wife now are living. They are earnest members of the Roman Catholic church and their children were reared in that faith. Mathias Maurer was a democrat until the memorable campaign of 1920 came on, when he aligned himself with the republicans and helped swell the enormous majority returned in behalf of that party's nominee for the presidency in that year.

Reared on the home farm in Wisconsin, Joseph Maurer put the finishing touches to his early education in the Appleton high school and then began working in the Rufus C. Lowell drug store in that city. After a period of practical experience along that line in that store Mr. Maurer, when eighteen years of age, entered the School of Pharmacy of Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and upon finishing his work there in 1909 was licensed as a registered pharmacist by the board of pharmacy of the state of Wisconsin and became employed in that state as a professional pharmacist. In 1912 Mr. Maurer left his home state and came to California with a view to engaging in business along some other than his professional line, but old ties are often found binding and it was thus that after three months of "prospecting" here he went before the state board of pharmacy and after a critical and exacting examination was licensed to practice his profession in this state. In the fall of 1913 Mr. Maurer became employed in the Claubes drug store in Porterville and was there engaged as pharmacist for seven years, at the end of which time, on January 1, 1920, he formed his present business connection with William J. Cobb (a partnership) and has since been in business as the junior partner of the firm of Cobb & Maurer, proprietors of a well stocked, admirably appointed and thoroughly up-to-date drug store, one of the most popular establishments of its kind in this section of the state, and is doing very well. Mr. Maurer is a member of the local lodge (No. 1342) of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is also a member of the local council of the Knights of Columbus.


Years of successful participation in the business affairs of a community give a man an unquestioned right to be rated as a representative citizen of his locality, and when that man has by his upright life and public spirit won the confidence and respect of his fellowmen he is eminently entitled to specific mention in the history of his county. In this class stands Jacob Mode, whose meat market is the oldest in Dinuba in point of years of continuous operation. He was born in Jersayville, Illinois, on the 17th day of March, 1869, the son of John Mode, who was a wagonmaker by trade.

After completing his public school education, Jacob Mode began working in meat markets and slaughter-houses and has been connected with the meat business ever since. In 1912 he came to Dinuba and opened a market, which was successful from the start and during the subsequent years he has, by courteous treatment and close attention to the tastes of his patrons, won and retained a large share of the local trade. He owns his slaughter-house and prepares all the meat sold in his market. He maintains a first-class market in every respect and in his dealings with the public he observes the strictest principles of business honor. Mr. Mode is also the owner of eighty acres of vineyard, which he and his son take care of, and which also is a profitable source of income.

Mr. Mode was married to Miss Louisa Griesbaum and they are the parents of three sons, namely: Otis C., who is in partnership with his father; Fred, of San Bernardino,California; and Morris, who is a senior in Stanford University. Mr. Mode is a member of the Dinuba Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants Association. Genial and approachable, Mr. Mode is popular among his acquaintances and enjoys a high standing throughout the community.


Without any intention to moralize or preach a sermon, it is safe to say that the young man who selects a trade, learns it thoroughly and then follows it through life, can be numbered among the most independent and best contented of human beings. An example of this is seen in the career of Charles Birnie, one of the proprietors of the Visalia Granite & Marble Works. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, May 18, 1875, and after acquiring a good common school education started in at the age of eighteen years to learn the trade of stone-cutter. He followed this occupation in his native city until 1900, when he came to the United States.

Arriving in this country, a stranger in a strange land, Charles Birnie sought and found employment at his trade in Milford, Massachusetts. During the next eight years he worked in Portland, Maine, and in the granite quarries of New Hampshire and Vermont. In the latter state he was employed for some time in the famous quarries at Barre, the granite from which is considered the finest in the United States. While engaged in these quarries he added materially to his knowledge of methods in carving and polishing granite, and also to his skill as a stone-cutter, assisting in the construction of some of the finest monuments in the New England states.

In 1908 he came to California and located in Raymond, Madera,. county, the largest granite quarrying center in the state. Here he remained until February, 1919, when he came to Visalia and purchased Robert Johnston's interest in the Visalia Granite & Marble Company, thus becoming the partner of James W. Emrick, which association still exists. This company is the largest retail dealer in granite and marble in Tulare county. Since Mr. Birnie became interested in it the business has experienced a healthy growth and the company has erected a number of the finest monuments in the San Joaquin valley. Among these may be mentioned the Dillon, DeMasten and Zumwalt monuments in the Visalia cemetery; the Keeler monument in Lindsay; the Brundage monument in Exeter; the Reed monument, in Reedly; and several in the cemeteries in Dinuba and Tulare.

Mr. Birnie married Miss Isabel Salter, a native of bonnie Scotland, like himself, and they have two daughters Alexandria and Louise. Mr. Birnie has long been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having joined the lodge in Portland, Maine.


It frequently happens that important business enterprises have their origin in small beginnings. Such an institution is the Visalia Meat Company, the largest concern of the kind in the San Joaquin valley. The company was reorganized in 1924, with an authorized capital of one hundred thousand dollars; J. B. Newman, one of Tulare county's best known cattlemen, president; Emil F. Deppe, vice president and general manager, in charge of the production department; Carmen Wenn, secretary. Within the last few years the company has invested sixty thousand dollars in a modern slaughter-house, twenty thousand dollars in a cold storage plant, and five thousand dollars in barns and feeding sheds. Connected with the slaughter-house is a fertilizer outfit, which utilizes the offal from the slaughtered animals, the blood is used in the production of chicken feed, the hides are prepared for the tanner, and all this work is carried on in the most scientific and sanitary manner. The company also maintains a retail market on East Main street. While animals are slaughtered for other meat companies in Tulare and adjoining counties, for its own trade the Visalia company kills only selected hogs and cattle. Strict observance of federal and state laws is a feature of the business, and in addition the company has certain rules and regulations of its own to insure the quality of its product and protect the health of its patrons. Emil F. Deppe, to whom this business owes its beginning and much of its present prosperity, was born in Hanover, Germany,August 5, 1875, one of three sons born to August and Sophia (Burnhartman) Deppe. One of these sons was killed in the late World war and the other two are now citizens of the United States. August Deppe was a butcher by trade and followed that occupation in Germany. He met his death in an accident. His widow is now living in Marshfield, Goose Bay, Oregon.

Emil F. Deppe was educated in the public schools of Germany, learning to read and write three languages. He learned the butcher's trade in Germany and followed that business all his active life, except the two years he served in the army. Although he visited the United States when he was eighteen years of age, he did not become a resident of the country until the spring of 1907. On the 5th of May in that year he landed in California, coming from Australia, and soon afterward came to Visalia. For about eight and a half years he was employed in Joseph Morgan's market, when he decided to go into business for himself.

In front of the slaughter-house of the Visalia Meat Company are two large cottonwood trees, in the forks of which may be seen the timber from which Mr. Deppe swung his first beef in April, 1916. Speaking of this event recently Mr. Deppe said: "You will note that I did not even have money enough to buy the necessary timber, but patched up the so called stringer with pieces of small boards." The company now employs fourteen men constantly and the products are sent to practically every town and village in Tulare and Fresno counties. Not the least important feature of the business is the latest improved sausage machine, capable of turning out 1,000 pounds a day.

Before leaving Germany Mr. Deppe was united in marriage to Miss Doris Keine, though they were married in South Africa. The children born to this union are: Emil, Jr., who is associated with his father in the management of the meat busines ; Mrs. Gertrude Schmidt; Bertha and Bernard, attending school. Mr. Deppe is a republican in his political views, but prefers the certain returns from a well conducted business to the uncertain proceeds of a political career. Hence, while he takes an interest in all matters of public policy, he has never been a seeker for political office. He is a home-loving citizen and a lover of music.


One of the best known among the younger business men of Tulare county is J. A. Thomas, Jr., who is in charge of the Tagus ranch of the Pacific States Corporation, and who has demonstrated in no uncertain manner that he possesses executive ability of high order. He was born on the 4th day of March, 1899, in Topeka, Kansas, the son of J. A. and Anna (Johnstone) Thomas, natives, respectively, of Illinois and Texas. J. A. Thomas, Sr., is in the railroad business, having followed that. work for many years on the Sante Fe Railroad, and is now living in Los. Angeles.

J. A. Thomas, Jr., received a good public school education and then entered Chicago University, of which he is an undergraduate and where he was studying mining engineering when he relinquished his technical studies to become private secretary to H. C. Merritt, Jr., who is vice president and manager of the Pacific States Corporation. During Mr. Merritt's absence Mr. Thomas was sent to take full charge of the Tagus ranch, near Tulare, consisting of six thousand, five hundred acres of land, all splendidly improved and under a diversified system of agriculture.

This is a position of great responsibility and evidences the confidence reposed in his ability and discretion by his superior officer.

Mr. Thomas was in the military service of his country during the World war, being assigned to the heavy artillery and training at Fort MacArthur. He is a past commander of the American Legion post in Tulare, of which he was one of the organizers. He is a Mason, in which order he has taken the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, and also belongs to the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine ; is a member of the Rotary Club of Tulare, of the Tulare Board of Trade and of the Greek letter college fraternity, Kappa Alpha. Genial and courteous in manner, he has won and retains many warm and loyal friends throughout this community.


Leslie A. Laidlaw, superintendent of operations in the great plant of the Sierra Magnesite Company in Porterville and one of the best known and most progressive young men of that city, was born in Porterville and has lived there all his life. He was born January 3, 1893, and is a son of Allan R. and Minnie E. (McCallion) Laidlaw, who had become residents of Porterville in the year prior to that important date, and the latter is still living there. The late Allan R. Laidlaw, an experienced building contractor, millwright and bridge builder, came to California from the Atlantic seaboard and in 1892, in Porterville, became associated with George C. Murphy in bridge building operations throughout this valley, that being about the time the demand for better and more substantial buildings and bridges, constructed along modern lines, became imperative hereabout. In that connection Mr. Laidlaw had a hand in the construction of some of the best buildings and bridges constructed throughout this section of California. He continued to make his home in Porterville and there spent his last days, his death occurring in 1921.

Reared in Porterville, Leslie A. Laidlaw attended the schools of that city and supplemented this by a course in mechanical engineering in the International Correspondence School. From the days of his boyhood he was interested in mechanical operations and in due time and when by practical experience he had acquired a competent knowledge of the business, he was given the superintendency of the mill operated in Portervine by his father in connection with the latter's building operations at that place. Afterward he became a mechanic in the plant of the Tulare Mining Company and when that concern was taken over by the Sierra Magnesite Company of Chicago he continued this employment and in 1922 was made superintendent of the plant, a position of responsibility which he has since occupied. As is set out elsewhere in this work, the operations of the Sierra Magnesite Company, constitute one of the most important industries in this section of the state and Mr. Laidlaw's connection with those operations, as superintendent of the reducing plant in Porterville, have been helpful in promoting the interests of the company and in increasing the output of its products.

On July 12, 1913, in Porterville, Leslie Laidlaw was united in marriage to Miss Leona Gibbons, who also was born in Porterville, daughter of Cornelius Gibbons, and they have ever taken an interested and helpful part in the city's general social activities. Mr. and Mrs. Laidlaw are republicans and take a proper interest in local civic affairs. They are members of the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and Mr. Laidlaw is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Woodmen of the World, and the Sciots. He is fond of outdoor life and finds pleasant diversion in hunting and fishing during such times as he has leisure for those forms of recreation.


Among the real veterans of the rubber tire and vulcanizing business in this section of California there is perhaps none who is better established or who has a wider acquaintance or a better reputation in the trade than has Claude A. Remsburg, proprietor of the Superior Vulcanizing Works of Porterville and one of the most substantially established men in that line in the state of California. He went into that business in Porterville in 1913 and has built up there a trade which has come to be recognized as one of the real leaders in that line hereabout, even as its proprietor has come to be known as the oldest continuous operator in this valley. He was born on a farm in the immediate vicinity of the city of Atchison, Kansas, February 14, 1883, and is a son of John Eleazer and Nora M. (Eiler) Remsburg, the latter of whom, also a native of Kansas, is still living, now making her home in Porterville, where she has resided since 1918.

The late John Eleazer Remsburg, whose last days were spent in Porterville, was in his generation one of the most conspicuous writers and lecturers in this country, his fame having been based upon his ardent and enthusiastic support of free thought and secularism. During the period of his activity as a lecturer he delivered no fewer than three thousand lectures and appeared in more than twelve hundred cities and towns, his tours in this behalf covering every state in the Union and most of the provinces of Canada. So wide a fame did he attain and so widely recognized did his work become that his lectures and some of his books have been translated into German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Bohemian, Japanese, Bengali and Singhalese languages. No fewer than twenty volumes issued from the pen of Professor Remsburg, among the more notable of these books being his "Life of Thomas Paine", 1880 ; "The Image Breaker", 1882 ; "False Claims", 1883 ; "Bible Morals", 1884 ; "Sabbath Breaking", 1885; "The Fathers of Our Republic", 1887; "Was Lincoln a Christian?", 1893; "WasWashington a Christian?", 1899; "The Bible", 1903 ; "Six Historic Americans", 1906, and "The Christ", 1909.

John Eleazer Remsburg was born in Fremont, Ohio, January 7, 1848, and was a son of George J. and Sarah A. (Willey) Remsburg. He was but thirteen years of age when the Civil war broke out but before that struggle between the states was ended he got into service, enlisting at the age of sixteen, and served as a soldier of the Union until the close of the war. An instinctive student and a conscientious and studious thinker, he acquired a liberal education and early became a school teacher. After the war he went to Kansas and taught in that state. He was married to Nora M. Eiler of Atchison on October 9, 1870, and established his home on a farm in the vicinity of that city, carrying on farming operations during the summers and for some years thereafter continuing his labors as a teacher during the winters. For fifteen years he rendered service as a teacher and for four years served as superintendent of public instruction in Atchison county. Conscientiously convinced of the accuracy of his conclusions along certain lines of human thought, Professor Remsburg early began to give voice and substance to these conclusions both on the lecture platform and by means of the printed page, and for more than forty years was sought as a lecturer in support of his views concerning free thought and secularism. As noted above, his first distinctive book appeared in 1880 and for many years thereafter there was a continuous call for the output of his pen, until the bibliography of free thought carried no fewer than twenty titles under his name and, as also noted above, his works were translated into nearly all the languages of civilized man. The Professor was a life member of the American Secular Union and was for several years the president of that body. He also was a member of the Authors Club of London and of the National Geographic Society and was for years an active and useful member of the Kansas Horticultural Society. For some years after leaving the farm he made his home in Potter, Kansas, and then in 1918 came to California and established his home in Porterville, where his last days were spent, his death occurring there on September 23, 1919.

Reared on the home farm in the Atchison neighborhood, Claude A. Remburg's public schooling was supplemented by a wide range of private schooling under his father's capable tutelage and he was a helpful factor in the operations of his father's farm until the latter's retirement and removal to Potter. He afterward was for two or three years employed in railroad work and then in 1913 came to California and at Porterville became engaged in his present line, the sale of automobile tires and the proprietor of a well equipped vulcanizing plant. Mr. Remsburg has ever been recognized as a "hustler" in the promotion of his business interests and some of his distinctive publicity work has attracted much attention. Particularly has his slogan with relation to his tire service

"They Will Carry You Through"made a hit in the trade and has been copied by some of the big manufacturers and dealers throughout the country. Mr. Remsburg's Superior Vulcanizing Works is equipped with every device essential to that line of operation and calls on his expert service are not confined alone to, the normal trade era centering in Porterville but come in from widely separated points throughout this section of the state.

On July 24, 1905, in Visalia, Claude A. Remsburg was united in marriage to Miss Jewell Stewart and they have one child: a daughter, Helen. Mrs. Remsburg is a native of Tulare county, born in Poplar, and is a daughter of Virgil Stewart. Mr. Remsburg is a member of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias in Porterville, and is president of the Porterville Fish and Game Protective Association.


Since 1918 Frank E. Johns has been numbered among the scientific and successful plumbers of Visalia, California. He was born in Tulare, Tulare county, November 22, 1893, a son of Zachary D. and Ida Jane (Corkery) Johns. His father came to California in the late '70s from Ontario, Canada, where he was born, grew to manhood and learned the plumber's trade. He located in Tulare county and followed the same occupation in Hanford, Tulare and Visalia, being one of the first plumbers in the county. He also conducted a chain of hardware stores in several towns of the San Joaquin valley. Mr. Johns was one of the organizers of Kings county. His death occurred in 1918.

On the maternal side, Mr. John's grandfather, Thomas Corkery, came from Ireland in his youth and was one of the early settlers of California. He was a butcher by trade, following that occupation first in San Francisco and after 1871 in the San Joaquin valley. He had butcher shops in Mineral King and Hanford, and was also an extensive cattle raiser. He died in 1923, aged ninety-seven years. Of the children born to Zachary D. and Ida Jane Johns three are still living: Melville, a resident of Hanford; Frank E., the subject of this sketch; and a daughter named Vera.

Frank E. Johns received a good practical education in the schools of Hanford and San Francisco and followed various occupations before taking up the plumbing trade, though he had worked at that as a boy with his father. Upon leaving school he was employed for sometime in a logging camp; then he worked with a railroad surveying crew, and was next a clerk in the Lindsay National Bank. In 1918 he established his present business in Visalia. Among the buildings in which he has installed the plumbing may be mentioned the. Delano grammar school, the Woodlake grammar school, the Orosi high school, the new building of the Visalia Abstract Company and the Home Bank building, of Porterville.

He also did all the sheet metal work on the new business block recently erected in Visalia by the S. Sweet Company.

As is usual with plumbers he is frequently called on to make repairs, or to add new fixtures to old plumbing systems. In many of his repair jobs he has taken out old pipes put in by his father twenty-five or thirty years ago. He has worked all over Tulare county and has the satisfaction of seeing his business constantly growing a verification of the saying: "There is no advertisement like a satisfied customer."

A few years ago W. A. Simms, Jr., of Farmersville, California, invented a tree protector a galvanized contrivance intended to support the limbs of fruit trees when heavily laden with fruit. A small number of the protectors were introduced among the fruit-growers for trial. They proved to do all that was claimed for them, which resulted in an increased demand. Mr. Sims then formed a partnership with Mr. Johns and the appliances are made in the latter's shop in Visalia. This is sort of a "sideline" to his plumbing business, but is growing as the advantages of the protector becomes better known.

Mr. Johns was united in marriage to Miss Sylvia Klepinger, who was born in Toronto, Kansas, and they have one son: Frank E., Jr. Mr. Johns is a member of the Visalia Kiwanis Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Commercial Club, the Visalia Lodge of Elks, and the Visalia Camp of the Woodmen of the World.


Among the successful ranchmen and packers of Tulare county, none occupies a higher place in the esteem of his fellowmen than E. K. Walls of Lindsay. He was born in Racine, Wisconsin, on the 19th day of August, 1878, and is of Scottish descent, his father, Thomas Walls, having been a native of that country, and from that country also came the ancestors of his mother, whose maiden name was Harriet McClellan. Thomas Walls was an iron-molder by trade and was an industrious and highly respected man.

After E. K. Walls had completed his public school education, he served an apprenticeship to the moulder's trade, which vocation he followed a number of years in Racine, the New England states and San Francisco, coming to California in 1903. Quitting the iron business in San Francisco, he went to San Jose and engaged in the poultry business until 1909, when he came to Lindsay and until 1912 was employed in local orchards. In 1912 he bought his first orchard, in which he was successful, and subsequently bought and sold a number of fruit ranches. He is now the owner of five orange groves, comprising sixty-eight acres, and also owns ten acres of plums. He has been particularly successful in raising and handling oranges. For a number of years he was a director and vice president of the Lindsay Packing Company, but is now the owner of a packing plant, which he bought in 1925 from Captain A. F. Hutchinson of Palo Alto. The capacity of the plant is six cars a day and all fruit will be shipped through the Lindsay Merryman Citrus Exchange. He intends to also do commercial packing of fruit. He owns 68 acres of oranges, and manages, including his own, five hundred and eighteen acres three hundred and twenty acres of Rockford Lindsay as supervisor, mostly vineyard; the balance is all citrus.

Mr. Walls was married in Lindsay to Miss Cora Maranville, who is a native of Iowa, born June 14, 1880, but was reared in Chicago. Mr. Walls belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he has taken all the degrees of the Yoke Rite, including that of Knights Templar, and he is past master of the blue lodge known as Lindsay Lodge No. 416. He also belongs to the Sciots, while he and his wife are members of the Order of the Eastern Star. They are also both active members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Walls is a genial and accommodating man in his relations with his fellowmen, by whom he is held in the highest regard. He is public-spirited and takes an active part in advancing every movement for the betterment of the community and its development along all normal lines.


Among the individual factors that have been prominent in the recent development of the manifold interests of the pleasant and thriving village of Pixley and of that section of Tulare county centering at that place, there is perhaps none who has created a more distinct impression upon the community than has Asa Alan Clark, rancher, manufacturer and capitalist, who during the comparatively brief period of his residence there has been one of the real "mainsprings" in the work of community development. Coming to this county with a wealth of valuable and very practical experience as a builder and promoter, an engineer of great irrigation projects, a builder of roads and bridges and schoolhouses in Utah, Idaho and Nevada, Mr. Clark sought quiet retirement on a nice bit of land he had bought in the Pixley neighborhood, thinking he would be quite content to settle down to the development of a fruit ranch. He got his ranch going, improved it in fine shape and modern buildings, a swimming pool and other accessories to a well conditioned rural home, but found that "retirement" was not as easy a job as it sometimes seems to be, so he pretty soon found himself getting interested in other enterprises of a local character and thus found a continued outlet for his energies. As president of the Pixley Mutual Water Company he has been able to promote that essential industry in many ways and as a member of the manufacturing firm of Bent Brothers & Clark, manufacturers of concrete pipe in Pixley, is doing a good work along industrial lines, so that after all he has come to be regarded as one of the busiest as well as one of the most energetic and enterprising men hereabout.

Asa Alan Clark is a native of the old Sunflower state, born March 13, 1885, in the city of Emporia, Lyon county, Kansas the town made famous by William Allen White and Walt Mason a son of H. P. and Grace (Hood) Clark, the latter of whom was born in Charlevoix, Michigan, a member of one of the pioneer families of that state. H. P. Clark, now one of the prominent business men of Pixley, banker and realtor, was born in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, and in his youth was well trained to commercial forms. He later took up the study of the law and after his marriage became established in Emporia, a banker and lawyer in that town in the days when it was just coming to be recognized as a commercial center. When the former Indian lands in what now is the state of Oklahoma were opened for settlement in the early '90s and the promise of development in that section of the country began to attract the attention of settlers, Mr. Clark moved with his family into the Oklahoma country and became one of the influential factors in the development of the present important city of Guthrie. He took a prominent part in civic affairs and was for some time adjutant general of the state. From Guthrie he moved to California, where he engaged in banking business in San Francisco, and was also the holder of considerable banking interests in Salt Lake City, as well as mining interests of considerable magnitude in Utah and Nevada. In 1920 he became a resident of Pixley and has since resided there, looking after his mining interests from that point. He was made cashier of the First National Bank of Pixley in 1920, serving in that capacity and at the same time directing his local realty and insurance business.

Reared in Emporia, Asa Alan Clark attended the schools of that city and supplemented this by attendance at St. John's Military Academy at Salina, Kansas. He early became interested in construction work, with particular reference to irrigation projects and street and highway construction and was for years a contractor along such lines, his field of operations being confined to Utah, Idaho and Nevada, one of the big works thus carried out by him having been the great Boise-Payette irrigation project. He also carried on a considerable business as a contractor in the erection of school buildings and became widely known in his line throughout the mountain country. It was in 1920 that Mr. Clark bought his eighty-acre tract in the Pixley neighborhood and became a resident of Tulare county, as is set out above, and he is quite content to regard himself as a permanent resident of this favored valley.

In 1914, in Kansas City, Missouri, Asa Alan Clark was married to Miss Anna Fluhrer, who was born in York, Pennsylvania, daughter of William Fluhrer. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have four children: two sons, Richard Peter and Asa Alan Clark, Jr.; and three daughters Elizabeth, Rachel, and Nancy. Mrs. Clark has taken an earnest interest in the general cultural affairs of the community since taking up her residence in Pixley and is now serving as secretary of the board of the Pixley union school. Mr. Clark is a Knights Templar and Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.


It has become proverbial that many of America's most successful men have been developed from boys who started early in life to "hoe their own row." Such boys, in the struggle for existence, naturally evolve many of the traits essential to success. They learn self-reliance, industrious habits and initiative, which give them confidence in themselves, thus encouraging them to undertake enterprises that otherwise they would tend to avoid.

William J. Coon is a man of this character. He was born in Gentryville, Spencer county, Indiana, June 14, 1875. His father, Joshua Coon, was a native of Pennsylvania, an attorney of note and a Civil war veteran. He came to Indiana after the war and was married to Miss Jane Perry, a member of one of Gentryville's pioneer families. Both parents died before William was eleven years of age. When only twelve years old he began work as a clerk and helper in a store and followed that occupation for several years, attending school as opportunity offered, supplementing this by study in his spare time.

In 1903 Mr. Coon came to California and located in Porterville, where he obtained a position as salesman in Leggett's men's furnishing goods store. About two years later he went to Hanford and there formed a partnership with a man named Barnett, under the firm name of Barnett & Coon, for dealing in furnishing goods. A year afterward he sold his interest in this store and returned to Indiana to attend to some business and visit his old home. Upon coming back to, California he opened a branch store for Mr. Leggett in Visalia Leggett's first store in that city. He continued as manager of this store for three and a half years, when he removed to Lindsay and opened Coon's Emporium, general dry goods and ready to wear goods. That was in 1909. In 1914 he sold out and for the next two years was manager of Leggett's store in Lindsay. In 1916 Mr. Coon became a special agent for the New York Life Insurance Company and has continued in that business. He evidently found it as easy to sell life insurance as furnishing goods, as for several years he has stood at the head of some fifty agents reporting to the Fresno office, writing more insurance than any other man in the central California field. Probably the main reason for his success in this line is that he is a firm believer in life insurance and has an unbounded confidence in the company he represents.

Besides his insurance interests Mr. Coon takes an active interest in local affairs. He is now vice president of the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce, of which he was one of the directors for nine years prior to his election to his present office. He was one of the organizers and a charter member of the Tulare County Golf and Country Club. Politically he is a republican, but has never aspired to public office, being content to work in the ranks and uphold the principles of his party.

On November 13, 1904, Mr. Coon was united in marriage to Miss Meda Ray of Tulare, and they have four children: Rush J., Janet, Dick and William J., Jr. Mrs. Coon is a past worthy matron of the Eastern Star chapter and is a member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club of Lindsay. The Coon residence, at No. 141 Lindroe avenue, is regarded as one of the coziest homes in the city. Mr. Coon is a Royal Arch Mason, a past worthy patron of the Eastern Star chapter, and belongs to the Visalia Pyramid, Order of Sciots, and Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in Porterville.


Dr. Chester McKinley Sewell, a well established young doctor of chiropractic in Porterville and one of the best known young men of that city, is a native of the old Bay state but has been a resident of the coast country since the days of his childhood and thus is thoroughly familiar with conditions here in the golden west. He was born in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, September 10, 1901, and is a son of W. H. and Jessie (Patterson) Sewell, both members of old families in New England. The father is now a resident of Porterville, but the mother died in 1918. W. H. Sewell, a contracting plumber in Porterville, came west with his family about twenty years ago and until 1919 was located in Washington and in Oregon. In that year he came to California and established his home in Porterville.

Reared in Washington and in Oregon, in which states his parents had their home during the days of his youth, Chester McKinley Sewell acquired his early education in the public schools of those states, finishing in the high school in North Bend, Washington, and was eighteen years of age when in 1919 the family was established in Porterville. He became interested in the study of chiropractic and presently entered the Golden State College, now affiliated with the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, from which institution he was graduated on December 15, 1924, with the degrees of D. C. and Ph. C. Upon receiving his diploma Dr. Sewell returned to Porterville and began practice in that city, where he since has been located, with well equipped and admirably appointed offices in the Home Bank building, where he has every facility for taking care of his growing practice. It is recognized that chiropractic as a curative process is yearly becoming more and more popular with the public, as the efficacy of that form of healing becomes more and more visibly demonstrated, and Dr. Sewell has done much during the time of his professional activities here to advance the interests of the profession to which he has devoted his life and his talents.


For the past thirty-five years Eldridge C. Farnsworth, Sr., member of the law firm of Farnsworth, McClure, Burke & Maddox has practiced his profession in Visalia, California, and is now one of the oldest and best known members of the local bar. He was born in Mariposa county, California, where his father, Calvin E. Farnsworth, resided for forty years. Calvin E. Farnsworth was a native of what is now the state of West Virginia. He married Ann Isabel McCready, who was born in Ireland, reared in Pennsylvania, and in 1859 came to California.

Eldridge C. Farnsworth was educated in the San Francisco schools, after which he entered the Hastings Law College, from which he was graduated in 1884. The same year he was admitted to practice by the California supreme court. From that time until 1890 he practiced in Amador county and part of that time was district attorney. In 1890 he came to Visalia, where he has since resided and has taken an interest in many local matters pertaining to the public weal. He served for some time as president of the Visalia Board of Education, and in 1894 was elected mayor of the city.

Mr. Farnsworth is a prominent figure in fraternal circles. He is a member of Visalia Lodge No. 128, F. & A. M.; is also al Royal Arch Mason, a Knight Templar, and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Islam Temple of San Francisco; a Knight of Pythias; a member of Visalia Lodge No. 1298, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and belongs to the Woodmen of the World.

While practicing law in Amador county Mr. Farnsworth was married to Miss Cora Madge McLaine, a native of that county, and they have two daughters: Mrs. Lillian M. Burke of Visalia; and Mrs. Winifred F. Booth of Los Angeles.


James E. Murdock, proprietor of the Murdock Automobile Electric Company and Willard Battery Service of Tulare, California, was born in Rome, Floyd county, Georgia, September 16, 1879. He grew to manhood and was educated in his native state, where he followed agricultural pursuits for several years. He then went to Dallas,Texas, and took a position with the Padgent Brothers Saddlery Company. When the United States declared war against Spain in 1898, he enlisted in the Forty-third United States Volunteer Infantry, in the company commanded by Captain John Cook. His regiment was ordered to the Philippine Islands, where he served for seventeen months. In September, 1899, he was made a corporal. During that time he was in numerous engagements with the insurgents and on May 6, 1900, received a wound in the leg. He was mustered out at Manila, Philippine Islands, July 5, 1901, and returned to the United States.

In 1911 Mr. Murdock came to California and during the next seven years was in the employ of Overholtzer & Son, undertakers in Los Angeles. The next two years he resided in Reno, Nevada. Returning at the end of that time to the San Joaquin valley, he was manager of the Wilard Battery Station in Reedley, Fresno county, and owned a half interest in a branch establishment in Exeter, Tulare county. On December 1, 1921, Mr. Murdock purchased the Willard Battery Station in Tulare. Subsequently he bought a half interest in the undertaking establishment in Tulare, which business in now conducted under the firm name of Murdock & Murry, and both concerns in which he is interested are doing a profitable business.

Mr. Murdock has been twice married. His first wife bore him two children: George and Juanita. His second marriage was to Miss Estelle Taggart, a native of East Liverpool, Ohio. This union has been blessed by two daughters: Martha Elizabeth and Elsie Jane. Mr. Murdock is a member of Tulare Lodge No. 1494, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.


Orville W. Sunderland, of the firm of Williams & Sunderland, proprietors of the People's Market and dealers in meat in Porterville, is one of the well known and substantial business men of that city. A Missourian by birth, but a resident of California by choice, he was born on a farm in Polk county, in southwestern Missouri, June 8, 1886, and is thus now in the very prime of his vigorous manhood. When he was but a lad his parents moved from Missouri to Illinois and later became residents of Sumner county in south central Kansas, he thus having had boyhood experiences in three states before coming to the wise conclusion that California was the best state of all.

As a young man Mr. Sunderland engaged in farming and stock raising in Sumner county, Kansas, and later went into business in the village of Oxford in that county, carrying on there as the proprietor of a poolroom and cigar store. In 1911 Mr. Sunderland closed out his affairs in Kansas and came to California, taking up ranching in Tulare county, on a ranch five miles northwest of Porterville and giving his special attention to alfalfa culture until February 1, 1920, when he engaged in his present business in Porterville, in association with Luther E. Williams, a member of one of the old families of Tulare county, opening the People's Market at No. 331 North Main street. In connection with this well established and well equipped meat market this firm maintains its own stockyards and killing plant and the people of Porterville are thus assured of the freshness and high quality of the meats on sale at the popular People's Market. Mr. Sunderland has been successful in his affairs since coming to Tulare county and in addition to his proprietary interest in the People's Market has considerable realty holdings in Porterville.

On April 14, 1909, in Winfield, Kansas, Mr. Sunderland was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Jacobs, who was born in that state, a daughter of Charles and Mary (Porter) Jacobs. Mr. and Mrs. Sunderland have had two children: Newell V., who died at the age of six years; and Donald Sunderland, born July 6, 1922. Mr. Sunderland is a member of Porterville Lodge No. 1342, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Sunderland has a summer home at Camp Nelson, and a very comfortable home in Porterville.


One of the most active and energetic men in the city of Visalia, California, is George A. Bigard, proprietor of the transfer and storage business at No. 324 East Main street. He was born in Greenville, Bond county, Illinois, August 1, 1884. His early life was spent on a farm, driving a team and doing general farm work, attending the public school during the fall and winter seasons. Leaving the farm, he took a job as locomotive fireman on the division of the Illinois Central Railroad between East St. Louis and Cairo.

In October, 1904, George A. Bigard came to California and found employment as a tool dresser in the Coalinga oil field in Fresno county. Later he followed the same occupation in Bakersfield in the Kern county oil fields. His residence in California at that time proved to be only temporary. Returning to his native state he was for some time employed in the oil field in Casey, Illinois. In 1907 he came to California a second time and located in Visalia, with the intention of making that place his permanent home. His first employment there was with S. J. Scott in the Visalia Creamery Company.

During the next ten years he was engaged in various lines of activity. In 1918 he started in his present business, hauling grain, fruit and household goods, with one truck. He now has a fleet of ten trucks and employs from six to twenty men, according to the season, and maintains a large storage warehouse at No. 324 East Main street,Visalia. His field of operation covers all the territory between San Francisco and Los Angeles. In addition to his own trucking business he is the Visalia agent for the San Joaquin Valley Transportation Company, which maintains a daily service between Fresno and Los Angeles.

Mr. Bigard married Miss Ella Martin, a native of Bond county, Illinois, and they have one daughter and two sons: Alma, George and Harold. Mr. Bigard is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Royal Neighbors of America.


Elwood Oliver Larkins has been actively engaged in the practice of law since 1886, residing in Visalia. His professional business has comprised much of the heavy litigation of the San Joaquin valley, although confined mostly to civil cases. His specialties are water rights and land titles. Of late he has been occupied with cases in the state federal courts, involving title to petroleum oil locations. Although he has devoted himself industriously to his profession, he has taken considerable interest in politics, being an enthusiastic republican, and having stumped the northern part of this state for Senator George C. Perkins when he was a candidate for governor. He has taken part in nearly every campaign since that time, making a hard fight for President McKinley in 1896. He is a director in the Bank of Visalia, and has considerable business interests in and around that city. At the last republican state convention, held in Sacramento in 1898, he placed in nomination the Hon. M. J. Wright for surveyor-general. He has served in the state conventions on important committees at various sessions. He is a Mason and Odd Fellow in high standing, and takes great interest in educational affairs, having been recently appointed one of the educational commissioners by Benjamin Ide Wheeler, David Starr Jordan and the superintendent of public instruction, to meet at San Francisco for the discussion of educational matters of concern in the state.

E. 0. Larkins was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, December 16, 1854; graduated from the State Normal School at Kirksville, Missouri, in 1876; came to California in 1876, and engaged in the profession of teaching for several years, during which time he was principal of several important schools. He is the son of J. B. Larkins, whose father married Mary Oliver, a native of Pennsylvania, and a relative of Oliver T. Morton, William Larkins, grandfather of J. B. Larkins, came from England at an early day, and fought on the American side in the War of 1812.

In 1880 Elwood 0. Larkins (or E. 0. Larkins, as he is commonly called) was married to Miss Sallie C. Calloway of Waverly, Missouri, who is a descendant of the Boone family of Kentucky, and who is closely related to the Hardins of that state. Her father's sister married a cousin of Robert E. Lee. The Sebring Brothers, of Sebring, Ohio, who are extensively engaged in the manufacture of chinaware, famous throughout the United States, are cousins of the subject of this sketch. For a short time Mr. Larkins was engaged in the practice of law with Hon. J. F. Wharton, in Fresno, and later for many years with the Hon. Tipton Lindsey of Visalia, but he is now alone in the practice, his former partners both being dead.


Clarence L. Bradley, the junior member of the well known law firm of Bradley & Bradley, of Visalia, is a native of that city, a son of 0. N. and Virginia (Bequette) Bradley. He was born on October 20, 1885, attended the local schools in his boyhood and in 1915 received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in electrical engineering from Leland Stanford University. For some years before his graduation he was engaged in electrical engineering work, dating from 1910, and has held the position of deputy county surveyor of Tulare county.

Mr. Bradley commenced the study of law in the office of Bradley & Bradley, a firm composed of his father and older brother, and was admitted to practice in 1915.

Mr. Bradley served in the army during the World war, leaving Visalia with Company D, Second California Infantry. He served in France with the Thirty-ninth Infantry, Fourth Division, in command of Company C, in the battles of St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne, was wounded in action and honorably discharged with the rank of first lieutenant.

Upon his return from France he became a member of the firm and since then has been actively engaged in the practice of his chosen profession. Among his clients are the Pacific Southwest Trust and Savings Bank, the Japanese Association, the People's Consolidated and Lower Extension ditch companies, as well as a number of other Visalia firms and corporations. Mr. Bradley is United States referee in bankruptcy for Tulare county.

Mr. Bradley is a member of the Tulare County Bar Association; the American Legion, in which he belongs to the Forty and Eight; the Kiwanis Club; the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks; and the Knights of Columbus.


One of the most successful and best known ranches in Tulare county is that owned and operated by J. T. Sparks & Sons on the State highway about one and one-half miles south of Tipton. They have owned this land since coming here in 1920, and have developed it to a high state of cultivation, bringing the equipment up to a point where it is now capable of being worked to the maximum capacity of the place. The crops are somewhat diversified, though special attention is being given to grapes, fruits, alfalfa and cotton. The irrigation of the farm, which comprises an entire section of land, is well provided for, there being six pumping stations and four reservoirs. In addition to the actual operation of the farm they also own and operate a fruit packing plant, where they care not only for their own fruit, but also do a large amount of commercial packing. They are members of the Sun Maid Raisin Association, and are recognized as leaders among the successful and progressive ranchmen of the valley.

J. T. Sparks & Son was long recognized as one of the largest horse and mule buying firms in Missouri, having first been established in Kansas City and later in St. Louis. During the World war they did a tremendous volume of business, handling for the United States and other governments thousands of animals, which were devoted to war purposes.

J. T. Sparks is a native of Virginia, and his wife, who bore the maiden name of Ella Osborne, was born and reared in Kentucky, both being members of old southern families. Mr. Sparks. after a long, active and honorable career, is not now taking any active part in business, having retired, enjoying that rest which he so richly earned. The sons are: Homer, Robert and James. Homer, who was associated with his father in the horse and mule business in Missouri, and who now resides in Tulare, was married to Miss Sarah Belt of Liberty, Missouri, and they have a daughter, Mildred, who is now a student in high school in Tulare; Robert was married to Miss Florence Lockwood of Fresno, and they have a son, John T., Jr. ; and James. Mr. Sparks is independent in politics.


Daniel D. Webster, local agent of the Associated Oil Company for the trade area centering in Porterville and one of the best known young men in this section of the state, is a native son of California and has been a resident of this state all his life. He was born in the city of Sacramento,October 22, 1890, and is a son of Cassius and Annie Mary Howard Webster, the latter of whom died in 1923. Cassius Webster, a veteran of the government forest service with headquarters in Hanford, is a native of the state of Illinois but has been a resident of California since the days of his young manhood. By kinship he is connected with the pioneer Phillips family of this state. For some time after his marriage he made his home in Sacramento, for awhile thereafter farmed in the Kingston neighborhood and then moved to the Hanford neighborhood, where he was for twenty years engaged in farming. About twenty years ago he became connected with the government forest service and is now one of the real veterans of that service, and hale and hearty at the age of seventy-five years.

Reared on the home place in the immediate vicinity of Hanford, Daniel D. Webster received his early education in the schools of that city, going on through the high school, and then began working in the Coalinga oil fields in Fresno county, later taking part in the operations in the Los Angeles oil field. It is thus that since the days of his boyhood Mr. Webster has been familiar with oil operations, his acquaintance with all departments of that business being based upon practical experience in the field. In 1909 he became connected with the production department of the Union Oil Company, continuing this association for one year and then entered upon his service with the Associated Oil Company, going into the sales department. After a period of service in this connection in the field Mr. Webster, in September, 1922, was assigned by the Associated Oil Company to have charge of the distribution of that company's products throughout the Porterville territory and he has since been thus engaged, with headquarters in Porterville, where he is in charge of an extensive and well equipped plant for the distribution of oil products. The territory thus comprised extends from Lindsay, south to Delano, east to the mountains and west to the main highway and since Mr. Webster took charge of operations there the interests of the company have been greatly extended throughout the territory. Mr. Webster knows the oil business "from the ground up" and is widely known in the trade throughout this section of the state.

On June 2, 1913, in Visalia, Mr. Webster was united in marriage to Miss Ruby Wilson, who was born in Gridley, Butte county, and who is a daughter of Henry Wilson. Mr. and Mrs. Webster have one child: a son, Daniel Harold Webster. Mr. Webster is a member of the locally influential Lions Club of Porterville and is also affiliated with the Sciots. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and he and Mrs. Webster both are connected with the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, taking an active interest in local Masonic affairs.


Webster R. Bailey, of Visalia, California, is a native of the Hoosier state. He was born in Peru, Indiana, February 3, 1888, and attended the public schools of that city until he graduated from high school in 1905, when he left for California. In 1905 he arrived in Long Beach, where he found employment in the city engineer's office and for the next four years was engaged in survey work.

In 1909 he entered the employ of the Pacific Sugar Corporation and was assigned to duty in Tulare and Kings counties, with headquarters in Visalia and Corcoran. He quickly learned the details of the sugar business and rose to be superintendent of the farming and shipping operations of the company. While with the sugar company Mr. Bailey took up the study of law with Senator E. O. Larkins of Visalia, and in 1913 he was admitted to the bar. He then formed a partnership with his preceptor, under the firm name of Larkins & Bailey, which continued up to the death of Senator Larkins, in 1924. This firm and Mr. Bailey as supervisor have made a specialty of irrigation law and have handled and is now handling much of the litigation growing out of irrigation matters. The offices of Larkins & Bailey have been in the Larkins building at No. 117 North Church street, where since the death of Senator Larkins Mr. Bailey still retains his office.

Mr. Bailey is a member of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce and for eight years was president of the Visalia Board of Health. He is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of Visalia Lodge No. 1298, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and belongs to the Order of Sciots.

On June 26, 1913, Mr. Bailey was united in marriage to Miss Addie T. Larkins, a native of Visalia and daughter of Senator Larkins. After graduating from the Visalia high school she entered the State Normal School at Los Angeles, where she prepared herself for teaching. At the time of her marriage to Mr. Bailey she was a teacher of art in the Visalia public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey have one son Walter C. Bailey.


For more than half a century Nathaniel Oliver Bradley practiced law in Visalia,California, and at the time of his death on October 13, 1922, he was generally recognized as the nestor of the TulareCounty bar. Born in the state of New York, he was educated and admitted to the bar in his native state in 1866, soon after reaching his majority. Deciding that the west offered better opportunities for the young lawyer, he crossed the continent and in 1867 began the active practice of his profession in Visalia.

The life history of Mr. Bradley is practically the history of Tulare county. When he alighted from the stage at Visalia in the fall of 1867 he was in a new land a region which had been for less than twenty years under the American flag. His eyes wandered over broad plains, almost uninhabited and uncultivated; over streams that were alternately flooding the adjacent lands and drying up to mere rivulets ; over the largest fresh water lake west of the Rocky mountains. Upon the bosom of that lake his first partner in California, A. J. Atwell, operated a steamboat for a few years, but the bed of the lake is now a great grain field. Then Visalia was the only town in a county which extended across the valley from summit to summit of the opposite mountain ranges. The few homes he saw in this valley were the primitive cabins of the pioneer, devoid of all modern conveniences and lighted by tallow candles or crude oil lamps. Supplies for the few inhabitants were brought from Stockton by mule or ox teams, over roads which at times were almost impassable. Hills and plains alike were dotted with herds of cattle, for at that time Tulare county was the cowman's paradise.

Probably many persons would have been utterly discouraged by such a prospect. But Mr. Bradley, with prophetic vision, saw a brilliant future for this fertile valley and went cheerfully to work to realize the fulfillment of his dream. With interest and enthusiasm he watched the coming of the first railroad in 1872; the enactment of the "no fence law" two years later; the introduction and development of the great irrigating system, which transformed the valley from a barren waste to one of the greatest agricultural districts of the nation. He lived to see the herds of cattle give way to orchards, vineyards, alfalfa fields; he saw cities and towns spring up almost as if by magic, bringing thousands of intelligent, industrious citizens; he witnessed the harnessing of the streams and the establishment of hydro-electric plants, which give light and power to these cities and towns; the building of electric railways and improved highways, upon which automobiles and motor trucks have taken the place of the mule and ox teams which constituted the best known means of transportation at the time he arrived in Visalia. He also saw the passing of the pioneer schoolhouse and the introduction of a modern system which has brought to every boy and girl in the land the best of opportunities to acquire an education. From the slow methods of communication in vogue when he first came to California, he saw the introduction of the telephone, placing all the inhabitants of the county in immediate touch with each other. All these, as well as many other changes, were made during the brief period of one man's active life. And of this progress Mr. Bradley could have said: "All of which I saw, and part of which I was."

Whether practicing his profession alone, or as a member of the firms of Atwell & Bradley, Bradley & Farnsworth, or Bradley & Bradley, in which his two sons were associated with him, he always occupied a commanding and influential position at the bar and participated in much of the important litigation. As an attorney he realized and appreciated the importance of the California code system of laws enacted in 1872. He was deeply interested in the adoption of the state constitution of 1879; saw the establishment of the superior court in the place of the district and county courts; was particularly interested in the enactment of the laws providing for the formation of irrigating districts, the primary election law, and the act by which Tulare county was divided in 1893. In his private practice he was guided by the principle that it is the attorney's duty to protect his client's interest by keeping him out of litigation under certain conditions. This policy aided in winning for him the reputation of a wise counselor, as well as that of a skillful advocate. To his clients he gave his best in care and legal skill and his cases in court

History of Tulare County California: By Kathleen Edwards Small
History of Kings County, California: By J Larry Smith
Volume 1 - Chicago - The S J Clarke Publishing Co, 1926

Transcribed by: Martha A Crosley Graham, Pages: 93- 173

Rights Reserved: 2017

Updated 14 September 2017
Tulare County Biographies  
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