Tulare & Kings Counties
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JAMES B MAYER
From a land of long, frigid winters to a land of winters short and summery came the subject of this notice about the first of October, 1907. How well he has prospered here and how much he has done for the prosperity of his community is well known to business circles throughout Kings County, Cal. James B. Mayer, president of the First National Bank of Corcoran, was born in Superior, Wis., March 21, 1863. When he was about ten years old his father moved onto a timbered farm in northern Minnesota and he soon became well-known there, not only as a farmer, but as lumberman, merchant and banker. Here young Mayer grew up to young manhood. He had begun his studies at the public schools' of Superior, continued them in Minnesota and took a special course at the Curtis Business College of Minneapolis.
At the age of twenty-four he became the deputy County recorder of Carlton County, Minn., in which position his pleasing personality made him a favorite of the general public. His next venture was in the general merchandise business and it was while thus engaged he married Miss Nettie E. Hayes of Thomson, Mimi., November 4, 1879. The felicity of this union was broken, however, by the death of his wife, which occurred at Floodwood, Minn., February 24, 1905, leaving him a son and daughter, Mildred, aged nineteen, and Jay, aged seventeen years.
Other interests than banking
engage Mr. Mayer's attention. He is secretary of the Corcoran Gas & Water
Company, which he helped to organize in 1908, when it took over the Security
Land & Loan Company, and has since provided an ample supply of good water
for the needs of the growing town of Corcoran. He is also associated as
stockholder in the Corcoran Land Company, also in the Los Angeles Suburban
Homes Company. Fraternally he affiliates with the Masons and Odd Fellows.
Socially he is in favor with all who know him and politically he is active
in the promotion of all that he deems best for the general good.
Ireland has given to the United States an element of fellowship that, by itself and by admixture with others, has been potent for progress since immigration began to come to these shores. Thomas McCarthy, born in County Kerry, on the Emerald Isle, April 22. 1855. sailed over to New York in 1872 and made his way with all possible speed to California, which was his real objective point. He stopped in Stanislaus County until 1874, then came to Kings County. where he has since lived and prospered. He became a land owner here in 1875, when he bought eighty acres. In 1877 he bought another eighty-acre tract on which he has since established his home, and iu 1887 bought forty acres southeast of Armona. He acquired two hundred and forty acres more in 1902, and is now owner of four hundred and forty acres of as good land as is to be found in the country round Hanford. He gives his attention to general farming and to hog-raising. His products always bring good prices and he has raised some of the best hogs that have been grown in his part of the County in recent years. His ranch is well equipped with everything essential to its successful operation and is provided with a good residence and plenty of up-to-date outbuildings of all kinds.
As a citizen Mr. McCarthy is
practical and progressive, having a firm faith in the fundamental principles
underlying the government of his adopted country and having at heart always
a deep solicitude for the happiness and prosperity of his fellow citizens of
all classes. He was one of the builders of the Lakeside ditch and is serving
as a director.
JOHN E HALL
One of the Tennesseans who have found fortune in the golden fields of California is John E. Hall, prominent citizen and farmer, who lives a mile west of Hanford in Kings County. Mr. Hall was born in Tennessee June 13, 1868, and was reared there and educated in the common schools and worked at farming there until he was twenty- one years old, when he went to Wichita County, Texas. There he remained until he came, in August, 1893, to Hanford, where he rented three hundred and twenty acres of land just northwest of the city limits and raised grain, grapes and fruit for five years. Then he bought the nucleus of his present ranch, consisting of forty acres. A year after ward he bought another forty acres and later he bought eighty acres, then another forty acres a mile northwest of Hanford. Of the land in these several purchases he has set forty acres in vines and sixty acres in orchard. The remainder of his land is in alfalfa and pasture. In 1911 he erected a large residence suited to his needs.
Politically Mr. Hall is a Democrat who takes a really helpful interest in the affairs of his town and County. In 1905 and again in 1909 he was elected to represent the fourth district as a member of the Kings County board of supervisors. During the time he has served on the board the County purchased the fifty-six acres for the site of the present County hospital and the building was erected thereon; also the courthouse park was enlarged at a cost of $23,000. Besides he has built roads in his district and been identified with all the progressive movements for the upbuilding of the County. Fraternally he affiliates with the Masons, holding membership in lodge, chapter and commandery at Hanford.
In December, 1891, Mr. Hall
married Miss Addle Templeton, a native of Tennessee. Their seven children
are: Ethel, Edna, Leslie, Vesta, Lois, Florence and George.
RICHARD H ARNETT
As a farmer, as a friend to education and as a genial companion, Richard H. Arnett was known to many people in the vicinity of Visalia, Tulare County, Cal. He was born in West Virginia in September, 1850, and died at his home near Visalia, October 27, 1902. He left West Virginia for Missouri when he was eighteen years old, and later came to California.
Arriving in Tulare County in 1875, Mr. Arnett began ranching north of Visalia before many months passed, and two years later he moved to the city. In 1882 he became owner of a ranch on East Mineral King avenue which he began to improve in many ways and cultivated with success, though he had not been able down to the time of his death to clear it of all incumbrance.
In 1877 Mr. Arnett married
Miss Mary E. Shippey, a native of Missouri, whose father was an early
settler in this part of California, and they had ten children: Dora, May,
Frank, Richard H., Thomas, Fred, Blanche, Earl, an infant not named, and
Walter. Dora is the wife of Clarence Goble. May married Andrew Goble. Frank
married Etta Beede. Richard H. married Stella Swanson. Fred has passed away.
Blanche is Mrs. J. R. Thompson. After her husband's death, the burden of
managing the ranch fell on Mrs. Arnett's shoulders. She had never had much
to do with business, but had learned a good deal about it by observation.
Rising to her responsibilities, she accepted the situation, and how well
she has discharged all the obligations of her position is known to the
community with which she and her husband cast their lot. Not only has she
made a success of her farming and stock-raising, but she has cleared her
property of all debt and now owns sixty acres of land in three sections of
twenty acres each, all close to Visalia and valuable from every point of
view. She raises cattle, hogs, chickens and turkeys which find a ready sale
at good prices. All who know her rejoice in her prosperity, declaring that
she is one of the best business women in Central California.
WILLIAM E FURMAN
In Portage County, Ohio, September 4, 1841, William E. Furman was born, a son of Eli and Diantha (Hall) Furman, and when he was about four years old was taken by his parents to Marion County, Iowa. He attended school until he was about fifteen years old, and for thirty years afterward was employed by his father on the latter's farm, sometimes in one state and sometimes in another, for the elder Furman tilled the soil in different places. The family came from Iowa to California in 1859, when William was about eighteen years old, and settled in Santa Clara County, where they lived thirteen or fourteen years. In 1873 they moved to Merced County, where the mother passed away at the age of sixty-one. It was not until his marriage, which was celebrated in 1882, that Mr. Furman took up the battle of life independently. Coming to Kings County in 1883 he settled on an eighty-acre ranch on which his home is now located. In 1887 he bought a second eighty-acre tract, forty acres of which he subsequently sold, and eight years later he bought one hundred and sixty acres. He gives his attention principally to stock-raising. His ranch has been improved by himself with the exception of the house, which was built at the time of purchase. Those who know what Mr. Furman has accomplished know full well that he is a scientific farmer of varied attainments.
September 25, 1882, Mr.
Furman married Miss Mary Stothers, who was born in Pennsylvania, April 2,
1856, and came to this state in 1881. Of their seven children, Eli W. and
Joseph M. are deceased. Those living are: Jesse I., Fred A., Florence A.,
wife of Duncan Hanker, Ella 1., and Elmer L. As a citizen Mr. Furman is
patriotic and public-spirited, interested in everything that pertains to the
advancement of the general welfare. His father came to Kings County and made
his home with his son, dying at the age of eighty years.
OSCAR SAMUEL DEARDORFF
That well-known young farmer, Oscar Samuel Deardorff, whose success near Hanford, Kings County, Cal., is being commented on in farming circles in all the country round about, is not only a native of California, but the son of a native of California, a fact which gives him a double claim to notice in a work of this character. He was born February 29, 1880, not far from his present home, a son of John H. Deardorff, who was born in Amador County, Cal., in 1852, came to Kings County in 1873 and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, winning much success, until he retired from active business.
In the Cross Creek school, Oscar S. Deardorff was a student until he was seventeen years old. Thereafter he assisted his father until he attained his majority, and then he went into business for himself as a farmer and hog raiser. His success has been more than noteworthy and he is now the owner of a ranch of one hundred and twenty acres, highly improved, which is equipped with good buildings of all kinds essential to its operation and with machinery and appliances of the most modern construction. Mr. Deardorff's knowledge of farming is both accurate and diversified and he is probably as good a judge of all that affects the production of -good crops as any rancher in his neighborhood.
September 9, 1903, Mr.
Deardorff married Irene M. Dodge, a native of Kings County, born August 11,
1881. Socially he affiliates with the Fraternal Brotherhood and with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Beyond doing his full duty as a citizen,
at the polls and elsewhere, he is not particularly active in politics, but
his under standing of public questions is definite and his knowedge of all
affairs of state is exact and comprehensive. He has in many ways
demonstrated that he possesses public spirit adequate to all reasonable
demands upon it.
A LEROY DIBBLE
Many a native of Iowa has brought success to or found it in California, to which Iowans have immigrated in large numbers for many years. It is a notable fact that not a few of the men at the head of affairs in this state were born there or born of parents who came from there. A. L. Dibble, whose successes will be mentioned in this notice was born in Allamakee County, Iowa, January 9, 1861. He received a good public school education, and during the year before he attained his majority was employed by his father. The family had come to California about 1864 and to Tulare County in 1873, and the young man was thoroughly at home on the soil and practically acquainted with the most approved methods of husbandry which farmers were applying to their problems here on the coast.
In 1882 Mr. Dibble began farming for himself on rented land, and in due time he bought an eighty-acre ranch and engaged in stock-raising and dairying. This place, which he has greatly improved, has been his home continuously from that time till the present, and as a home ranch it is one of the coziest and best equipped in his vicinity. On May 7, 1882, he married Miss Mary A. Lewellyn, who was born in Nevada County, Cal., August 16, 1864. Their five children are : Grace Arvilla, widow of M. J. Devine; Effie E., Lawrence Leroy, Leonard A., and William Oscar.
Mr. Dibble is identified with the Fraternal Brotherhood. Politically he is
not active beyond the requirements of his duties as a citizen, but his
positive convictions concerning all questions of public policy make him a
party man who yields staunch allegiance to the principles he feels called
upon to espouse. He has never sought office and has steadfastly declined
such official preferment as has been tendered him; but he yielded to the
solicitations of his friends that he become a school trustee in the Fraser
district, and that office he filled with singular fidelity and efficiency.
JAMES A CRABTREE
Born in Jefferson County, Ill., November 13, 1829, James A. Crabtree, now of Porterville, Tulare County, Cal., was taken to Arkansas by his parents, John B. and Rebecca (Wilkerson) Crabtree, when about a year old. The father was with Gen. Jackson at the Battle of Orleans and was one of the general's body guards. He lived there three years, in Missouri three years and after that in Texas until in 1852. There James A. was educated in the common schools and learned to farm and handle cattle. In the year last mentioned the family started to California with ox-teams but on the way sold their oxen and bought mules. They came to the coast through Mexico, and then made their way from Mazatlan to San Francisco by boat. Enroute they were four days and nights without food, even without a drop of water, and it was with great difficulty that Mr. Crabtree's father prevented some of the other passengers from throwing the captain overboard. They were rescued by another boat, but did not reach their destination until more than two months after their embarkation.
On August 26, 1852, they went to Santa Cruz, where they remained three years. After that they lived at San Juan six years, and then at Windsor, on Russian River, in Sonoma County, and again at San Juan for various periods until 1859, when they came to Tulare County, arriving in March. The elder Crabtree brought considerable stock to the County. He bought land of a squatter but never proved up on it. In 1857 James A. came to Tulare County from Pacheco rancho to look over the County, returning to the rest of the family later on and then coming with them in 1859. In 1857-58 he engaged in the hog business, driving them to the mines, where they found ready sale. After that he engaged in the sheep business and after moving onto his present ranch in 1873 has farmed, prospected and been in the fruit business. James A. bought land in 1868, when he bought the property on which he now lives. He owns in all one hundred and sixty acres, fourteen acres of which is in oranges, and the balance devoted to general farming, and every improvement he has put here himself. When the family came to this County white settlers were few, and Indians had killed several who had come before them. Deer, antelope, bear and other game was plentiful. In one memorable bear hunt Mr. Crabtree came near losing his life, but the bear was killed and proved to be the largest grizzly ever seen in these parts. There being no fences in the mountains, the settlers had to watch their growing crops. Mr. Crabtree has vivid recollections of strenuous occurrences at the time of certain big floods which are historic.
In 1860 Mr. Crabtree married Miss Paulina Moreland, a native of Missouri; she passed away January 12, 1903. Two of their five children are living. Their son, William Crabtree, born in Tulare County in 1861, lives near his father. Their son Thomas was born in Santa Clara County in 1863, and looks after his father's interests. One daughter, Rebecca Maria, died aged about twenty-three, the other two children in early childhood.
As a public-spirited citizen, Mr. Crabtree has always had the high regard of
all who have known him. Deeply concerned for the public welfare, he has
never failed to respond promptly and generously to any demand on behalf of
the general good. He is honored as a pioneer, as a self-made man and as one
who has achieved success honestly and richly deserves it.
ELBERT R MONTGOMERY
It was in Blount County, Tenn., that Elbert R. Montgomery was born, October 10, 1869. He was educated in the public and high schools, and early began working with his father, being so employed until he reached the age of twenty-one years. He then took up farming and stock-raising, which has commanded his attention to the present time.
In 1892 Mr. Montgomery moved from his old home in Tennessee to Texas, where he bought land and farmed until in 1894, when he came to California. Settling in Fresno County, he engaged in ranching there, remaining four years. In 1897 he removed to Kings County and settled at his present location near Hanford, where with his brother John he rented six hundred and forty acres of land for three years, at which time they purchased it. Later they sold a quarter section of this tract and divided the remainder. At the present time Mr. Montgomery owns two hundred and fifteen acres, which he devotes very successfully to stock-raising. His ranch is one of the best of its class in its vicinity and he gives attention to fine stock, which he handles with a success born of long experience and with an intimate knowledge of breeding conditions and of the market.
Fraternally Mr. Montgomery affiliates with the Woodmen of the World and with
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the various interests of which he
is helpfully devoted, and as a citizen he has shown himself to be possessed
of a public spirit equal to any reasonable demand on behalf of the
community. He married Laura E. Barnett, December 3, 1905. She was born in
Kings County, June 25, 1880, a daughter of Z. T. Barnett of Hanford. They
have one child, Elbert Montgomery, who was born October 13, 1906.
A comparatively late comer to California who achieved success here was Wilbur Coolidge, who lives on rural free delivery route number three, Porterville, Tulare County. Mr. Coolidge was a native of the state of Pennsylvania, born December 24, 1849. He was reared and educated in the Keystone state and lived near Wellsboro, until the fall of 1908, when he came to California and located in Tulare County. Most of his years of manhood were passed in the work of a skillful joiner.
In 1873 Mr. Coolidge married Miss Lucy Kimball, of Pennsylvania, who has borne him six children: Jennie married S. F. Bellinger and lives in Philadelphia, Pa.; Leon is married and lives in Kent, Ohio; Purley V. is married and a resident of Tulare County, Cal.; Milton, who is married, is associated with his brother Purley in conducting the ranch; Morton, next in order of birth, is in San Francisco; Gordon is in school. Mrs. Coolidge's parents, Hiram and Katharine Kimball, have passed away.
Mr. Coolidge bought twenty-six acres of raw land which he set to the best
grade of oranges. He was interested in everything that pertained to the
uplift of his community, in schools, in Churches, and in politics.
Especially did the economic questions which have so much to do with the
general prosperity invite his thought, and as a voter he considered all
things involved very carefully before casting his ballot for specific men or
measures. Mr. Coolidge passed away September 10, 1912, aged sixty-three
FRANK E HOWE
Perhaps a man who was born at Silverville, San Mateo County, Cal., January 31, 1853, could not with entire propriety be called a pioneer, but that he was the offspring of pioneers cannot be doubted. The place of his birth does not now appear in the Postoffice Guide, but in those days it was a mining camp and very much alive. When Frank Howe was two years old he was taken by his parents to Mariposa County, when he was seven years old they took him to Santa Clara County, and when he was sixteen years of age he had at least temporarily shaken off the shadow of the parental roof and was working for wages in a sawmill, a hopeful young citizen of a great country, with not so very much behind him but with the whole world before him. In October, 1875, he came to Kings County and in the following year, when he was twenty-three, he was settled on what is now a portion of his home farm and had made a good start with grain-raising and dairying. He has added to his original acreage from time to time until he now owns five hundred and sixty acres, most of it given over to pasture and to alfalfa. He is making a success with stock, raising a goodly number of horses and cattle and many hogs.
In his political affiliations Mr. Howe has been for many years a Republican, devoted heart and soul to the work that has been done by his party and supporting its men and measures in all campaigns and elections. Such political work as he has done has been in the public interest, not to secure official preferment for himself. He has accepted only one office, that of school trustee, which he filled with much ability and credit, using all his influence to improve the school in his vicinity. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, generously helpful to all its interests. May 22, 1877, he married Annie Dibble, who was born in Iowa in 1859 and has a vivid recollection of having crossed the plains in a wagon in 1862 with a train of fourteen wagons drawn by oxen and mules. She is a daughter of Edwin J. and Hannah (Blend) Dibble, pioneers of California. They have children named Edwin H., Albert P., and Chester M. Two died in early childhood. Ernest and Frank both died in 1886.
ROLAND L KINCAID
The father of R. L. Kincaid was James A. Kincaid, who came across the plains to California in 1850, took up land in Tulare County, about the present site of Tulare. City, moved to Springville, and is now living at Porterville, Cal., his wife, Mary Bibbins, having passed away in 1904. Their son was born in Mountain View, Santa Clara County, on October 2, 1871, and in 1879 was taken by his parents to Tulare County, to a home on the ranch on which he now lives. It embraces four hundred and eighty acres and is devoted principally to grain-growing.
In the public school in Frazier valley Mr. Kincaid received his primary education and it was by three years' study in Los Angeles that he attained his graduation. On October 2, 1892, he married Miss Alice Weddle, a native of Washington County, Ind., born in 1873. She has borne him seven children: Gertrude A., Ava L., Harold R., Mary B., Bessie I., and Erma A. Edith died in infancy. The four eldest have finished their grammar school studies. Mrs. Kincaid's father, Arne L. Weddle, a native of Virginia, has passed away; her mother, Lucinda Motsinger Weddle, is living in Dinuba.
As a farmer, Mr. Kincaid is up-to-date in his methods and his success is
such as is achieved only by close attention to the work of the farm and by
the application of an intimate knowledge of its requirements. He is not
active in a political way but has the interests of the community at heart
and, officially and otherwise, has done much for the school in the Frazier
valley district. It is probable that no other important question appeals to
him so strongly as does that of public education, but there is no demand on
his public spirit that does not receive prompt and generous response.
MICHAEL M LYNCH
In the County of Limerick, Ireland, Michael M. Lynch was born in 1849. There he was reared to manhood and educated and when he was twenty years old, he and a cousin came with his brother, who had been in New York a year, to California via Panama. In his native land he had worked on farms and in order to get a start in America, had made up his mind to come west. California had been his objective point, and in his journey to the other side of the continent he was destined to encounter discouraging vicissitudes. The vessel on which he started was disabled and wrecked and put back into New York harbor twice. Then he made a successful departure and came to San Francisco, arriving in June, 1869. After a short stay in the Bay City, he went to Santa Cruz County, where he remained from late in 1869 until in April, 1873. Then, locating in Tulare County, he pre-empted and homesteaded land and engaged in farming and raising horses, sheep, hogs and cattle and was so successful that he was enabled to buy land from time to time until he owned more than two thousand acres.
At this time, Mr. Lynch, though he has sold off a considerable acreage, retains a large holding. In the days when he farmed and ran cattle he had many exciting encounters with cattle thieves. He sold the last of his cattle about a year ago and at his ranch, seven miles and a half northeast of Porterville, is living in retirement from active enterprise, or as he expressed it is "taking life easy." He has been too busy to take any active part in political work, but he has always been deeply interested in economic questions and has been ready at all times to do his utmost for the welfare of the community.
In 1885 Mr. Lynch married Miss Fannie Grant, a native of Ireland, who has
been a resident of California since 1880.
W H McCRACKEN
In Hickory County, Mo., W. H. McCracken, the successful orchardist of the Woodlake district of Tulare County, was born February 8, 1861. There he made his home until he was twenty years old. Then, after spending some time in West Texas, a year and a half on a range in the Panhandle district, he returned to railroading, in which he had had some experience in his native state. In 1887 he came to San Bernardino, Cal., and after twelve years' residence there began planting orchards. Some of his early work was for F. E. Harding and the J. H. Pattee Land Company, for whom he planted two hundred and fifty acres, the first one hundred and fifty acres thirteen years ago, mostly with his own. hands. Having completed this work, he spent a year and a half at Lindsay in orange culture, then came to Woodlake valley for the Woodlake Orchard Company, the first purchase of whose large holdings was a tract of eight thousand acres. It has since made other purchases and has sold off fifteen hundred acres to the Citrus Land Company. Now it has about twenty-five hundred acres in one tract, six hundred acres of which was planted before 1913, when the company planned to plant quite extensively in the near future. Its trees range in age from one year to four or five years.
During recent years Mr. McCracken has ably filled the position of
superintendent. His prominent connection with the business of Captain Thomas
of Lindsay is well known. Mrs. McCracken died some years ago, and he and his
son, C. P. McCracken, live on the Woodlake ranch, which has electric railway
connection with Visalia. They are promoting the development of an orange and
lemon orchard of thirty-three acres, twelve of which is devoted to lemons,
the balance to oranges. As a citizen Mr. McCracken is helpful in a truly
public spirited way and is independent in politics and a staunch protector
of home industry.
MICHAEL F ROURKE
A native son of the Emerald Isle, descended from families famous in history and tradition, Michael F. Rourke was born January 22, 1860. He was brought to the United States by his parents in 1863 and lived in the city of New York until 1876, when he came to California and located in the Lakeside district in Kings County. In 1889 he went to Coalinga, Fresno County, where he was engaged in general farming, devoting some of his time to teaming. It is a matter of local history that he hauled the first oil rig set up in that district, and hauled the first oil that was shipped from the oil fields. He owned three hundred and twenty acres of land where the Empire Oil Company and the Castle Oil Company are now operating. There he remained until 1904, prospering fairly and winning honors as a citizen, then came back to Kings County and resumed farming here. In 1910 he settled on the land which is now his home place. He owns in all one hundred and sixty acres which he devotes to general farming The place is improved, has adequate buildings and modern machinery and is operated in a scientific way that insures the success of its proprietor.
In the Civil war Mr. Rourke's father, William Rourke, won honors as a
Federal soldier in the Eighteenth New York Cavalry, Volunteers, and as the
son of a veteran he holds membership in the local body of the Sons of
Veterans. He affiliates also with the Woodmen of the World and with the
Foresters of America. As a citizen he is progressive and public-spirited,
ready at all times to do his full share in promotion of the general welfare.
He married Miss Ruth E. Garner, November 21, 1885. She was born near Reno,
Nev., April 11, 1864. To this worthy couple have been born four daughters:
Anna S., wife of W. J. McDade of Los Angeles; Irene, Ruth E., and Mildred
Frances. Irene died in 1889. Mr. and Mrs. Rourke have an ever-widening
circle of acquaintances in which they are always welcomed, by reason of
their friendly interest in all forward movements and they retain the
friendship of all with whom they come in contact.
In that picturesque and productive state, Tennessee, in the County of Blount, John Montgomery, a resident of the Hanford district of Kings County, Cal., and one of the well-known stockmen of the central part of the state, was born in February, 1861. He attended public school and State Normal school until he was eighteen years old and applied himself with diligence to his studies. Then until he attained his majority he helped his father on the home farm, and his independent career in business was begun as a farmer in his native state, remaining there until 1884, when he came to California. The first two years in this state he passed in the Mussel Slough district, where he and his brother leased a section of land. Subsequently he lived six years in Fresno County, but returned to the vicinity of Hanford, where he now owns two hundred and sixty-five acres, which he devotes to the raising of cattle, hogs and 'horses, and in this he has been very successful. He has gradually improved his homestead until it is one of the most valuable and attractive in the district, outfitted with good buildings and all of the accessories requisite to its profitable operation. As a citizen he has proven himself public-spirited and helpful to the best interests of the community.
A FRED DODGE
A native son of Kings County, Cat, who is winning a commendable success on the home soil, is A. Fred Dodge, who is descended from old American families and whose family name has been prominent in all periods of the history of the United States. He was born July 22, 1877, and attended the public schools until he was fifteen years old and after that he gave his services to his father until he was twenty-one, at which time he was deeded a tract of land. He was his father's partner, and they gave their attention to dry farming, hog-raising and dairying, in which they were very successful. In 1907 Mr. Dodge moved on his eighty-acre tract, which he has developed into a fine ranch and home, with a good residence and barns and ample outbuildings of all kinds. His methods of cultivation are thoroughly scientific and he is probably as successful as a breeder of hogs as any rancher in his vicinity.
On October 3, 1901, Mr. Dodge married Miss Nellie E. VanVlear, a native of
Michigan, born December 14, 1879, who was brought to California by her
parents when she was about three years old. Mrs. Dodge has had three
children who are here mentioned in the order of their birth: Richard V.,
Doris and Dortha. Doris died in 1904. Mr. and Mrs. Dodge take an interest in
all that pertains to the public welfare and are generously helpful to all
propositions promulgated for the general good. He has served his fellow
townsmen as a trustee of schools and as such has been influential in
elevating the local standard of education. He is a member of the
Independent Order of Red Men, in the work of which he is practically
JOHN WHITMORE DOCKSTADER
A splendid example of the selfmade, self-reliant man, who from early boyhood has earned his own livelihood, is John Whitmore Dockstader, now prominent as a business man and an official at Lemoore, Kings County. He was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., November 23, 1870, but was reared in Missouri, where he had been taken by his parents when a small boy. When he was fourteen years old he found himself obliged to earn his way and going to Nebraska he worked there for about a year and then went to Barton County, Mo., remaining there three years. At this time he had reached his nineteenth year and be decided to come to California and in 1889 he stopped at Tulare where he remained twelve months and later engaged at farming near Porterville for two or three years. For the next five years he conducted a store and bakery at Porterville, but gave that up and during the ensuing four years he was in the barber business at San Francisco, whence he came to Lemoore in 1899 to open a barber shop, which he conducted until he became a partner in the grocery business of L. S. Stepp. After four years he disposed of his interest in the grocery business to Stepp and bought back his barber shop, which he operated a year. In 1903 he bought the draying business of Mrs. Thomas Winsett at Lemoore, in which his brother, Hiram Dockstader, soon acquired a half interest. Besides doing a general draying and moving business they handle ice in large quantities, distributing it throughout the city. Their enterprise requires the use of four wagons and teams, besides a big Packard motor truck which was the first brought to Kings County.
In 1899 Mr. Dockstader bought eighty acres of land three miles south of
Lemoore on which he raises stock and alfalfa. He has also an eighty-acre
dairy ranch, mostly under alfalfa, and milks fifty cows. This land he rents
on a cash basis, as he does also forty acres, nine miles south, for farming
purposes. He has found time from his business to devote to the public
welfare, and in 1909 accepted appointment as city trustee of Lemoore, to
fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of that office by his old grocery
partner, L. S. Stepp ; at the expiration of the term he was elected to the
same office for the ensuing term. In 1908 he was elected a member of the
school board of Lemoore. Fraternally he associates with the Circle, and with
the Woodmen of the World. In 1894 he married Miss Lulu Kelly, a native of
Tulare, and a daughter of H. C. Kelly, who long farmed at Porterville and
who now makes his home with his sons. Hiram Dockstader, father of John W.,
is a member of his son's household. He was born in New York state, married
Louada Whitmore, and came to Kings County in 1908. John W. and Lulu (Kelly)
Dockstader have two children—Lansford and John W. Dockstader, Jr.
CARL AUGUST PETERSON
The prominent orange grower of Tulare County, Cal., whose name is sufficient to direct attention to this brief narrative of his-lit2, - was born in Sweden in 1871 and when he was nineteen years old came to the United States. He first located in Iowa, whence he moved to Humboldt County, Cal., in 1891. There he remained seventeen years, conducting a dairy business and was foreman in a mechanic's shop at Ferndale. In the fall of 1908 he came to Tulare County and bought twenty-five acres of land. His first work here was the planting of thirty acres to trees for others. The entire product of his place is divided between Valencia and Navel oranges which are just coming into bearing.
In 1902 Mr. Peterson married Miss Theoline Swanson, who has borne him three
children: Ivan L. and Edna H., in school, and Paul Wesley. A progressive man
of great public spirit Mr. Peterson is as solicitous for the welfare of the
community as for the success of his own enterprise and never fails to
respond to any reasonable demand upon him for the general good.
A J WOODS
In Andrew County, Mo., A. J. Woods, of Tulare County, Cal., was born. The time of his birth was October 5, 1845, and he came to California in the spring of 1863, when he was between sixteen and seventeen years old. The youth settled near the site of Lodi, San Joaquin County, where he developed to manhood and farmed till 1888. Then he came to Tulare County and located at Waukena and went into wheat raising. He gradually increased the volume of his business until he was farming, some years, as many as two thousand acres. In 1890 he bought his present ranch of one hundred and ninety acres at Tulare, a productive dairy and alfalfa farm, which he now rents out. He has always raised fine horses, and recently sold a two- year-old colt for $250.
Miss Eva Pierson, a native of Indiana, whom Mr. Woods wedded in 1872, bore
him children as follows: Albert B., of Stockton, Minnie and Claude E. His
present wife, their marriage was celebrated in 1907, was Miss Lizzie Moore.
Mr. and Mrs. Woods are active members of the Tulare Grange, in which they
have held many offices. For thirty-five years (since 1877) he has been a
Granger, nearly all the time holding high positions in the organization. In
fact is one of the oldest Grangers in the state. Tulare Grange No. 19S was
instituted in 1886 and now includes sixty members. It has been an instrument
for the promotion of many public interests, one of its notable achievements
having been its agency in securing the Sequoia National Park, in the
mountains. The Mooney Grove Park, north of Tulare, was promoted by Tulare
Grange and a committee of its members will handle the money raised by the
board of super- visors for the improvement of the property. In a general
way, this Grange has, during the last twelve years, done much to better
high- ways in the County and to bring about the construction of good roads.
Mrs. Woods was its worthy master in 1911. Its officers were in 1912: Master,
Mrs. C. A. Sayer; lecturer, Mrs. A. J. Woods; overseer, Mrs. L. C. Lawson;
steward, Frank Stiles; assistant steward, Thomas Jacobs; chaplain, Mrs. Emma
Loman; treasurer, George Watts; secretary, Mrs. Bertha Morris; gatekeeper,
A. J. Woods. Mr. Woods is a Mason. In San Joaquin County he served for some
years as a member of the board of education of his town.
Another of those good German citizens who have so nobly done their part in the development of California was Phillip Aulman, who came to the state in 1855 and died at Visalia, Tulare County, in July, 1910. Born in the Fatherland in 1827, he came to America when he was twenty-two years old and in 1849 he settled in Iowa and engaged in farming After six years there he came across the plains to California, where he put in his first twelve months at mining, meeting with indifferent success in the venture. Subsequently he turned his attention to farming and dairying near Suisun, Solano County, and later he operated in the vicinity of Gilroy, Santa Clara County. At length he went back to Iowa, farming there until 1864, when he went to Oregon and Washington, and there prospered as a dairyman. He came again to this state in 1869 and lived for a time in the Packwood district, Tulare County, whence he subsequently moved to the vicinity of Visalia, which was his home for many years, and where his widow now resides. There he engaged in dairying and developed a farm of a hundred and sixty acres.
In 1850, five years before he started overland from Iowa to California, Mr.
Aulman married Miss Parthenia E. Hughes, a native of Indiana, born in 1833.
Her experiences enable her to relate many interesting incidents of their
trip across the plains. She is one of the dependable business women of
Tulare County, recognizing all responsibilities and discharging all
obligations, carrying out very ably the plans made by her late husband for
the conduct and improvement of the home interests.
LOUIS F PLATT
This progressive and popular architect and contractor of Tulare City, Cal., was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1874, and began his education in the public schools of his native city. After a five years' course of study he was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was fitted for the professions of architect and civil engineer. He devoted himself to a practice of the two professions in the east till 1908, when he came to California and, locating in Tulare, took up contracting and building. It should be recorded that in New York City he designed sixty residences and store buildings, in Wilmington, Del., one hundred and seventy-seven, and in York, Pa., thirty-two, all of brick and stone construction. In 1905 he designed a beautiful residence for A. M. Clegg, of Brooklyn, N. Y., which is one of the show places on the Ocean Park and Burly road boulevard. At the time it surpassed in cost and magnificence any other house in the vicinity.
In beginning his work in Tulare County Mr. Platt recognized the necessity of
combining contracting and building with his practice of architecture, and he
was the first builder there of the bungalow now so popular throughout
California. He has designed and erected residences in and around Tulare City
for Dr. Charles, George H. Castle, F. N. Schnable, W. E. Flagg (for whom he
built two), W. Sampsons, A. Primmes, F. E. Standley, A. Frazer, Joseph
Myers. Dr. C. E. Harper, F. Newcity, E. F. Treadway, Mrs. Lathrope, A.
Martin and others, and stores for W. L. Weidman and A. W. Wheeler. His work
both in design and construction takes rank with the best in the state and
his services are coming into greater demand with each passing year. Perhaps
the concrete buildings on South J Street constitute the most conspicuous
monument to his artistry as an architect and his skill and integrity as a
builder. Personally he has become popular in a wide circle of acquaintances
and socially he affiliates with the Eagles and the Modern Woodmen of the
World. In 1904 Mr. Platt married Miss Sarah E. Bowers, a native of
The life story of a pioneer, however briefly or however crudely told, must of necessity be of interest for two reasons—it inevitably possesses historic interest and human interest. Out of the fragments of personal experience history is largely constituted, for when it is finished it is a composite of biographical material. The history of man is the history of the country in which he lives. Such life histories as that of Hiram Moore, a native of New York state and a pioneer of 1849 in California, are in the aggregate the material from which our local history must be constructed. It was among the 49ers that Hiram Moore came across the plains, on the overland trail, to the then half-fabulous land of gold. He mined in Nevada City, Nevada County, Cal., with varying success until 1868, when he settled at Porterville, Tulare County. Later he was the proprietor and land‑lord of the old railroad hotel at Tipton. It was in 1873 that he came to Tulare. At that time, according to good authority, there were only four houses within the present limit of the city; but there was travel through the place and it was beginning to attract attention. By 1876 the settlement had advanced somewhat and representatives of one of the political parties erected a liberty pole, the first that ever stood up against the sky above the town. Mr. Moore helped to select that pole and to put it in place. During the pioneer days of Tulare he filled the office of justice of the peace. It is significant of his versatility that he was given charge of one of the first stationary engines set up in the town. He affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Tulare until his removal, late in life, to Bakers field, where he passed away in 1899. He married Jane Atkins, a native of Scotland, and they had a son and a daughter, Hiram Moore, of Fresno, Cal., and Lizzie, Mrs. A. J. Woods, of Tulare. There will be found in this work a biographical sketch of Mr. Woods, which includes interesting mention of the activity of Mrs. Woods in connection with the Grange movement in Tulare County.
Hiram Moore, Jr., is a railroad man in the employ of the Santa Fe. He began
railroading while a very young man at Tipton and was a conductor on the
Southern Pacific, and in that capacity when he was twenty-one years of age
he took one of the first two trains that were ever run over the Tehachapi
mountains. His mother still survives and makes her home with her daughter,
Mi. A. J. Woods, being now seventy-four years old. Where the Rochdale store
in Tulare now stands the firm of Sisson, Wallace & Company had a general
store some years ago, and on the fourth of July, 1876, wishing a flag for
their flagstaff they found it impossible to procure one. Finally the
material was procured from them and Mrs. Moore and her daughter, Mrs. Woods,
then a young lady, assisted in the making of the first flag ever used in a
celebration at Tulare.
JOHN WILLIAM HARVEY
The successful vineyardist of Waukena, Tulare County, Cal., John W. Harvey, is a native of Cumberland County, Ky., and was born October 2, 1863. He attended public school until he was seventeen years old, then turned his attention to farming for which he had fitted himself by practical experience during all the days of his youth. In 1885 he went to Hill County, Tex., where for two years he grew corn and made crops of cotton. Then he returned to his old home, and after remaining there for a short time came in December, 1888, to Tulare County and settled on the place which is now his home farm, none of which, however, did he purchase until 1890, when he became the owner of fourteen acres of bare land. Meanwhile, he devoted one year to the service of the Kings River Lumber Company. He has made other land purchases from time to time, as he has prospered and laid aside money for the purpose, and he now owns ninety-five acres of good land in the Waukena neighborhood. For the past fifteen years he has been the proprietor of a combined harvester, which he has operated in season and which he has made a source of considerable yearly profit. He is a farmer of skill and resource, who knows his ground and his seed and every condition of locality and climate that can possibly affect crop production, and his success is achieved not only by industry, but by careful attention to every detail of the work in hand.
Fraternally Mr. Harvey affiliates with the Fraternal Aid Association. In
his political alliance he is a Democrat. On October 3, 1893, he married Miss
Carrie F. Torrey, who was born in St. Louis, Mo., November 16, 1862, and
they have three children, Elizabeth, Catherine and John W.
WALTER S BURR
A loyal son of the Golden State, who despite discouragements has become one of its successful ranchers, is Walter S. Burr, whose birthplace was in Yolo County, seven miles west of Woodland, and the date of his nativity was January 22, 1857. His childhood was passed in Yolo and Tehama counties and in 1869, when he was about twelve years old, he was brought to Tulare County. His father, B. F. Burr, was a farmer who tried his fortunes with the soil near Tulare a short time, then went to the eastern part of the County and operated a sawmill and handled lumber until the spring of 1876, when he moved to the Mussel Slough district, where he soon became known through his activity in the promotion of the construction of the People's ditch. For several years he lived on and farmed lands which were ultimately appropriated by the railroad company, but he had in the meantime bought forty acres adjoining, in the next section, and consequently was not left without a home. Then he planted a vineyard and an orchard and lived until 1886, when he joined a colony in Mexico. He returned to Tulare in 1896 and died there soon afterward, aged seventy-one years.
As a farmer Walter S. Burr may be said to have begun at the bottom of the ladder. He acquired a Maim to a quarter-section of land seven miles south of Hanford and homesteaded it. About the same time he pre-empted forty acres, and later, when fortune had smiled on him, he bought two hundred acres adjoining his original purchases and now has four hundred acres. He devotes himself to farming, stock-raising and dairying, owning seventy-five head of cattle, many horses and mules and about two hundred and fifty hogs. One hundred acres of his land is in alfalfa. Water for irrigation he draws from the Lakeside ditch, and on his place are ample wells for his stock as well as for irrigation, he having two pumping plants. In association with his sons he operated an alfalfa thresher for two years. He was active in securing irrigation ditches for his part of the County and the legislative passage of the no-fence law.
For three terms aggregating twelve years he ably filled the office of supervisor, representing the second district, and during one of the terms he was president of the board. His activity in the work of the local Grange brought him election as secretary of that body. Fraternally he affiliates with the Woodmen of the World and with the Foresters.
Mr. Burr married, December 30, 1884, Mary L. Graham, daughter of John
Graham, a pioneer in the vicinity of Visalia, and they have three children,
Carl T., Maud and Reel G. Maud is the wife of E. H. Howe. Mr. Burr has won
his success in life by the exercise of those qualities which enter into the
character of all self-made men, and those who know him best know that he has
prospered honestly and deservedly.
FRANK L BLAIN
The well known farmer and cattleman whose name heads this sketch is a native of California who made his start and has won sue- cess in life within a few miles of the place of his birth. He first saw the light of day in Visalia, Tulare County, in 1880. After finishing a course at the public schools of the town he took a six months' course at the Stockton Business College in 1899, and in the following year he took over all of his father's large ranch interests, which he conducted successfully during the ensuing three years. In 1904 he moved to his present ranch of eighty acres, to which he has added one hundred and sixty acres opposite, built him a comfortable bungalow and in a general way got ready for success as a farmer and cattle raiser. He put twenty acres in peaches of the Tuscan and Muir varieties, gave forty acres to alfalfa, prepared for extensive operations as a stockman, and cleared and cleaned up the ranch, greatly improving the property in every way. In partnership with his sister, he has taken possession of all of the real estate left by their father and is managing the same with much success. He devotes himself principally to the raising of beef cattle, is acquiring large cattle ranges and bids fair soon to rank among the leading cattlemen of the County. He and his sister have seven thousand acres of range land in the mountains, on which they have from seven hundred to eight hundred head of cattle, also thirteen hundred and sixty acres of good cattle land north of Visalia. He owns one hundred and sixty acres near the San Joaquin Hill. Mr. Blain controls a total of five good .ranch properties in Tulare County.
Busy as he necessarily is with his cattle-raising industry, Mr. Blain finds
some time to devote to general interests, especially to such as affect men
who get their living off the soil. As an instance, it should be noted that
he is a director of the People's Co-operative Ditch Company, a concern which
is doing good work in the way of irrigation. He is not an active politician,
but views all public questions with a patriotic intelligence. In November,
1906, he married Miss Bertha Givens, of Californian birth, and they have a
daughter whom they have named Carroll.
Born in Washington County, Ark., January 3, 1836, Daniel Abbott has been a resident of California since 1857 and has attained much prominence in the San Joaquin Valley. He was a son of Joshua Abbott, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1800 and had come to California in 1850 and engaged in mining for a time. He returned to Arkansas and farmed, and here his son Daniel was reared and trained to the work on the farm, having but little chance to go to school. In May, 1857, the family started for California overland with oxen and prairie schooners; there was a large train and the party arrived in Calaveras County in the following October.
In Calaveras County Daniel Abbott farmed on a small scale and in the year 1861 he went to Tulare County, settled near Porterville and engaged in raising stock. The rains came that winter with such force that there was a flood and for almost forty days it fell, everything portable was washed away and the settlers had difficulty in saving themselves. Mr. Abbott built a raft of some lumber he had and in this way saved the family from perishing. He was offered $500 for it after he had finished it. In 1862 he went to Mariposa County and engaged in contracting for wood for the mines, but two years later went to Stanislaus County, bought land, and embarked in the sheep business. Upon the settling up of that part of the valley Mr. Abbott came again to Tulare County in 1874, bringing with him his band of sheep and he finally became the owner of thirty-nine hundred and sixty acres of land, for which he paid an average of $3 per acre. He was, in all, in the cattle and sheep business for about forty years, at the end of which time he sold his land and stock and bought property at Porterville, where he erected two business blocks and several residences. About 1902 he purchased the home in which he now lives, his object in removing into the city being to further the educational advantages for his children, and here they have since made their home.
In 1880 Mr. Abbott married Mrs. Frances Elizabeth (Fine) Bursey, a native of Arkansas, who bore him nine children; five daughters survive, viz.: Mrs. Louisa Mahaffrey, Mrs. Lana Nancollis, Winnifred and Minnie (twins) and Emma Lee. Those children who are deceased are Martha, Arlesa, Charles and Daniel.
In 1886, occurred the death
of his father, who was born in Ohio in 1800. Mr. Abbott, who has been a
cripple since August 24, 1857, has been by his infirmity forbidden the
activities of some other men and he has been too closely confined to his
home to take a prominent part in politics, but he has been a member of the
school board and has found other ways to serve his fellow townsmen. He is
fond of reminiscence and sometimes tells some interesting stories of his
over land journey to California in 1857. Once when the party was encamped
one hundred and twenty-five miles this side of Salt Lake, Indians stampeded the cattle and wounded some of the men. Mr.
Abbott himself was shot while coming in from guard duty, and got to the
camping place only to find that his comrades had moved on. He was able soon
to rejoin them, however, but one of his companions, an intimate friend,
who was shot at the time, died soon after.
JOSEPH LEWIS FICKLIN
It was in Scott County, in old Kentucky, the cradle of Western history, that Joseph Lewis Ficklin was born November 27, 1831. When he was four years old he was taken to Missouri, where he remained until 1852, scarcely leaving the neighborhood of his home. Then he came to California as a gold-seeker, remaining four years. He returned to Missouri, to come out again to the coast country in 1886, when he settled on his present homestead. His first journey across the plains was made with oxen. There were with the party four hundred cows and fifty head of work cattle, and the trip consumed six months time His second journey to California was made by rail in four days.
In Missouri Mr. Ficklin gained such education as was afforded by the public school near his home. He married Miss Elizabeth Turner, a native of Missouri, who bore him one child and passed away in 1864. In 1865 he married Miss Sarah A. Davis, who was born in Crawford County, Mo., and they had five children, two of whom died in infancy. The survivors are William Kennett Ficklin, in Yellowstone Park, Anna Ficklin, who married F. 0. Fridley, and Mirtha, who is Mrs. H. A. Powell. Benjamin Ficklin, Joseph L. Ficklin's father, was born in Kentucky in 1808 and his father, John Ficklin, participated in the Black Hawk war, serving as captain under Col. Dick Johnson. The father of Sarah A. (Davis) Ficklin was born in Virginia, in 1798, and her mother in Scott County, Ky., in 1802.
When Mr. Ficklin came to Tulare County he bought eighty acres of land at $10
an acre which was at that time devoted to wheat, and he helped to harvest
grain where the city of Exeter now stands. During the last four years he
has converted his ranch to a fruit farm and vineyard. One of Mrs. Ficklin's
brothers came to California in 1850 and four of them died in Tulare County.
Mr. Ficklin has held public office and affiliates with the Masonic order.
Politically he is a Democrat. As a citizen he has in many ways demonstrated
his public spirit.
A pioneer and a son of a pioneer, the career of Alexander Crook has been a most active one in this vicinity. He was born in Harrison County, Ind., in 1838, a son of Wiley Crook, and came to California when he was nineteen years old. He and his brother made the long journey by way of the Isthmus of Panama and settled in Sonoma County, remaining in the valley five years. Subsequently they lived for a time in Nevada, and in the interval between their departure from that territory and the year 1874 they lived in various places east and west. In the year just mentioned they located in Tulare County, where the land had just been surveyed by the government, and took up-me hundred and sixty acres. Mr. Crook is now the owner of six hundred and forty acres on which he is farming and raising cattle and some fruit with a degree of success that makes him conspicuous among farmers of his vicinity.
In 1873 Mr. Crook married Elizabeth Kipp, a native of Indiana, and they had five children, all of whom are natives of California. Catherine married Holmes Batcheler. Blanch is the wife of Bert Smith. Ethel is Mrs. Frank Gill. Arthur B. and Fred A. are members of their parents' household. The family is well-known and popular in the County and Mr. Crook has demonstrated his deep interest in public affairs by assisting movements for the general good. In association with George Dillon he promoted the organization of the first school near his home, was instrumental in having the first school house built there, and for a time he ably filled the office of school director.
His father, Wiley Crook, was born in Indiana and came to California in
1849, eight years before the settlement here of his two sons, making the
journey on board an old English brig which was forty days at sea without a
landing. He began here with about one hundred dollars in cash, with a part
of which he secured a few cattle, and prospered fairly well until 1885,
when he died, leaving his possessions to his two sons.
HENRY C HORSMAN
Of Kentuckians who have become prominent in Tulare County, Henry C. Horsman of Dinuba is, perhaps, as highly regarded as any. He was born in Daviess County, in that grand old state, in 1844. His father was a native of Virginia and his mother was a Kentuckian by birth and ancestry. When he was five years old, which was in 1849, his family removed to Illinois, and thereafter he did not leave that state until in 1861, after he had enlisted in Company H, Twenty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry. By re-enlistment he served four years and was finally discharged at Louisville, Ky., and given papers testifying to his bravery and fidelity as a soldier. It is somewhat remarkable that he participated in twenty-seven hard-fought engagements without receiving a wound, and it is to his credit that he enlisted as a private and rose to be a corporal.
It was not until 1884 that Mr. Horsman came to California. He homesteaded land in Tulare County and the woman who later became his wife also acquired government land. All of this he sold when he removed to his present homestead near Dinuba, where he raised grain a number of years, but eventually turned his attention to fruit airci - vines. For his ranch, which is one of the most beautiful in this vicinity, he paid $47 an acre ten years ago, and today it could not be bought for $500 an acre.
The lady who was the wife of Mr. Horsman's youth was Nancy E. Smith, a native of Illinois, who came with him to California in 1884 and died in the fall of that year. In 1886 he married Lydia E. Hoskins, a native of Oregon, who had come to California. Mr. Horsman is a patriotic citizen, who has in a public-spirited way done much for the community and has been called to some public offices, which he has filled with ability and credit. All who know him deem him a Christian gentleman, having at heart the welfare of mankind, and there are not a few who have felt his kindly influence for good and his generous helpfulness.
By his first wife Mr. Horsman had one child, Clarence E. Horsman, who is
identified with the educational profession of Tulare County as a public
school teacher, having followed this profession for about twenty years. He
was principal of the Orosi grammar school six years and has been principal
of the Dinuba grammar school four years. He is at present in charge of the
public school at Venice in Tulare County. Mrs. Horsman is a member of the
local W. C. T. U. and has given much active attention to the upbuilding of
that society. She was president of the local organization for four years,
then became president of the Tulare and Kings County W. C. T. U., which
position she held with great ability. Mrs. Horsman is a daughter of the
Golden West. She was born in Douglas County, Oregon, and came with her
parents, William and Peninah (Hobson) Hoskins, to California in 1867, when
she was thirteen years of age, and settled in Tulare County in 1873.
ARTHUR W MATHEWSON
In Wheelock, Caledonia County, Vt., Arthur W. Mathewson was born November 14, 1834, a son of Charles Mathewson, a native of Rhode Island and a descendant of English ancestors who early settled there. He married Sarah Williams, also of Rhode Island birth, a direct descendant of Roger Williams and a relative of Governor Sprague of that state, with whom members of her family were largely interested in cotton manufacture. Arthur W. Mathewson, the sixth in a family of ten children, was brought up to farm work by his father and educated in public schools and at an academy at Linden, Vt. Self supporting from the time he became sixteen years old, he worked in a tannery about two years, then on his father's farm three years, and in 1856 came to California by way of Cape Horn. For two years after his arrival here he worked in the mines and in 1858 he was in Tulare County a short time, then bought land at San Jose, which he operated until 1864, when it passed from his possession because of a previous Spanish claim. Returning to Tulare County in the year last mentioned he engaged in herding sheep and in time acquired four thousand head: From time to time he bought and sold ranch property and, August 17, 1896, when he died, he owned a ranch near Farmersville, Tulare County. He did much to promote irrigation and was for many years president of the People's Consolidated Ditch Company. Fraternally he affiliated with the Farmers Alliance and with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In his politics he was Republican.
In 1866 Mr. Mathewson married Miss Lucinda Tinkham, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Nathaniel Tinkham, who was from Vermont. They had eight children of whom five are living:
Mrs. Pearl Ogden, Levi, Mrs. Edith M. Mosier, Earl and James A. October 1, 1870, Levi Mathewson was born near Visalia, Tulare County, where he was reared and educated. He began his active life by helping his father on the ranch, and in 1891 bought forty acres near Visalia, which he devotes to the cultivation of prunes and alfalfa and to the breeding of hogs, and on which he formerly had a dairy of twenty-five cows. He set out ten acres to prunes and has otherwise improved the property. In 1911 he sold six tons of dried prunes from two hundred and fifty trees and he has no difficulty in gathering from five to six crops of alfalfa each season. His ranch, one of the oldest in the valley, has been farmed for more than half a century and was formerly known as the old Judd place. Mr. Mathewson remembers the old slab house that was built on it by Mr. Judd some time before 1860.
In 1897 Mr. Mathewson married Margaret J. Bacon, a native of California,
whose father, John Bacon, settled early in Tulare County. Mr. and Mrs.
Mathewson have two children, Guy and Madeline. Socially Mr. Mathewson
affiliates with the Native Sons of the Golden West and with the Woodmen of
the World. He is interested in everything that pertains to the development
of the County and responds generously to all demands for public-spirited
promotion of the community.
O E GIBBONS
The prominent citizen of Plano whose name is well known throughout Tulare County, Cal., as an enthusiastic promoter of the
development and prosperity of Central California and as a man whose public spirit is always equal to any demands that may be made upon it.
O. E. Gibbons is a native of Lake County, Ill., born August 2, 1850. He lived in Texas from the time he was about four years old until he was nearly ten. Then his father started with his family to California, arriving at Plano September 2, 1861. There the boy was educated and has lived continuously to the present time except for such brief absences as the developments of life often demand. His father, Deeming Gibbons, took up a homestead which was number nine of its series, a fact which in itself would suggest how sparsely the country was settled at that time. He planted a few trees on the place and raised a small crop of grain in 1863, and it is said that he was the first man in Tulare County to set out orange trees and sell oranges. He had half an acre of seedlings and sold the first oranges from them at twenty-five cents-each.
O. E. Gibbons was brought up on the farm and carefully instructed in the details of agriculture and horticulture by his father. The father died January 4, 1884, his wife April 1, 1880. At this time Mr. Gibbons is the proprietor of the only general merchandise store at Plano; he is the local postmaster and has been justice of the peace and served as a member of the school board. Fraternally he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias. He is a man of enterprise and of helpful disposition, who while winning success for himself has not forgotten his obligations to the community.
In 1874 Mr. Gibbons married
Miss Fannie E. Thomson, a native of Ohio, and they have three children:
Clara E. married M. F. Singleton; Hiram E. married Nellie Monroe; and
Pauline is living with her parents and acquiring an education in the high
school at Porterville.
WILLIAM H BLAIN
More than a half century in the land where he came as a pioneer brought to the late William H. Blain well deserved rewards. California has proven herself a generous mother to her adopted children, and Mr. Blain was loyal to her. He was a Missourian, born in Pike County, twelve miles from Bowling Green, January 3, 1839, son of W. W. and Ann (Turner) Blain. The father, a cooper, a mason and a brickmaker, built and conducted the Blain Hotel, at Bowling Green. In 1844 he built the Pike County court house. There he lived and kept tavern till the end of his days; his wife died at Hannibal, Mo. Of their nine children, six are living. Two came to this state. The oldest of the girls emigrated thither with her brother and married Hugh Jones, a retired pioneer of 1849, and died at Gilroy.
The second born of his father's family, William H. Blain, was brought up at Bowling Green, attending the public schools and, under his father's instruction, obtaining, a knowledge of stock-raising. His first trip to the coast, in the year 1854, was made with a bunch of cattle. He was but fifteen at the time, a mere boy, but observant and receptive for one of his age, and he stood guard at night like the most seasoned plainsman in his party and shrank from no other duty that came to him. He left Missouri April 20, reaching Santa Cruz in October, after having made the trip by way of Sublett's Cut-off, thence down the Humboldt, through the Thousand Springs valley to Walker's, thence to Tuolumne County, a route on which there would be no lack of feed for the cattle. From October until December Mr. Blain stopped at a point near Santa Clara; then he went to Monterey County, now San Benito, where he managed a stock ranch a year. Going back to Santa Clara, he farmer there on shares till 1857, then engaged in hauling lumber in Tuolumne County, whence, eventually, he went to Monterey County, to raise cattle on shares in Pacheco Pass. He sold out there early in 1863, and in June drove to Visalia, Tulare County, and, making headquarters there, teamed to the mountains till the spring of 1865. The first winter of this period he spent at Wilcox canyon. From 1865 to 1869 he was in the sheep business, making money, and then he opened a butcher shop at White Pine, Nev., whence he went later to Eureka, continuing in the same business. By 1873 he had mastered the butcher trade so that he had no thought of changing his occupation, and it was as a butcher that he then went back to Visalia, where he established a market, which he conducted successfully many years, in conjunction with a cattle business so large that he at one time owned six hundred head. He acquired an improved cattle ranch of thirteen hundred and twenty acres near Monson, Tulare County; three hundred and fifty acres northeast of Visalia; five thousarid acres in the foothills of Tulare County; a hundred and sixty acres east of Visalia; and a handsome home in that city. For a time he was in the dairy business, but eventually he gave attention only to stock-raising.
In Santa Cruz, Mr. Blain married Sarah Collier. Their daughter, Mrs. Laura
Zimmerman, lives at Tiburon, Cal., and their son, William, is a citizen of
Bakersfield. His second marriage was to Julia Strube, a native of Texas,
whom he wedded at Visalia. Mrs. Blain, who crossed the plains from her old
home in 1861, has had four children: Frank L., who became his father's
partner ; George William, who is dead; Gladys and Marguerite. Mr. Blain was
a stockholder in the First National Bank of Visalia, and in various ways
manifested his solicitude for the town and its people. He was a member of
the Independent Order of Good Templars, in which he passed all chairs of
the subordinate lodge, and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In the
promotion and development of the San Joaquin Valley Cattle Growers
Association he was helpfully active. His religious affiliations, as are
those of his family, were with the Presbyterian Church. He passed away
November 1, 1908.
JOHN AUGUST LEEBON
The productive ranch of John August Leebon is located three miles east of Visalia, Tulare County, Cal., on East Mineral King ave- nue. Mr. Leebon, who is one of the most progressive and successful ranchmen of this district, was born in Sweden, May 16, 1861. He grew to manhood there and was educated in the common school near the home of his childhood and youth. In 1881 he came to the United States and made his way west as far as Minneapolis, Minn. In order to acquire necessary English education, he went to school there a year, then was employed as a laborer on a Minnesota farm. In 1886 he came to California and found employment in an orchard at San Jose. Eighteen months later he went to Tacoma, Wash., and worked in a sawmill, where he received an accidental injury which kept him in a hospital for a long time. He came back to San Jose in 1889 and from then until 1897 was profitably engaged in the teaming business. Then he came to Tulare County and leased one hundred and eighteen acres of land, not far from Visalia, from the First National Bank of San Jose. In 1901 he was able to buy this property, the bulk of which was then planted to fruit, eighty acres in peaches, twenty in prunes, six in nectarines, the remainder devoted to grain and pasture. He now has a dairy of eighty cows and keeps an average of one hundred and sixty hogs, and one hundred acres of his land is under alfalfa.
An enterprising and public spirited citizen, Mr. Leebon
commands the esteem of all who know him. He is a stockholder in the
Co-operative Creamery company of Visalia and is from time to time
identified, directly or indirectly, with other important local interests.
Politically he is Republican, and though he is without ambition for
political preferment he
accepted the office of school director and was made secretary of his
district board of education. He was one of the founders of the Swedish
Mission Church of San Jose, of which he was a constituent member. He donated
the land for the Mineral King chapel and helped build it, and is a member of
the board of trustees. Mr. Leebon was married in San Jose to Annie Anderson,
of Swedish birth, who died at their home in Visalia, leaving two sons, Oscar
William and Carl Edward Leebon.
In his career, which on the whole has been very successful since he came to America in 1893, Henry Colpien of Enterprise colony, Tulare County, Cal., has demonstrated the advantages of following a life of integrity, industry and perseverance. He was born in Holstein, Germany, March 6, 1874, and there grew to manhood and was educated in the public schools. He learned farming there also, according to methods in vogue. In 1893 he determined to come to America, and being without funds, he borrowed $135 from a friend with which to pay his passage. He was not very provident on the voyage, and when he arrived in California, which was his objective part of the country, his entire cash capital was ten cents and no more. His first work in the United States was in Tulare County, herding sheep, which he says he ran all over the County and into the mountains. He was thus employed for nineteen months, and from 1895 to 1899 he did hard ranch work for wages. Up to this time he had spent his earnings as fast as he received them, but he now began to see the error of his financial ways and decided that if he were to save his money he must have some definite use for it and some ambition to gratify. Accordingly, in the fall of 1899, he rented two hundred and twenty-seven acres northwest of Tulare City, which for two years he operated on shares, devoting his attention principally to wheat and stock. Accumulating money he wisely laid it by for future use and soon was able to buy forty acres of land near where he had been farming. He cleared and improved it and built on it a good house and other necessary buildings. The land cost him thirty dollars an acre and soon was yielding him a splendid profit in alfalfa. By 1907 land values in his vicinity had materially increased and he bought another forty-acre tract, paying sixty dollars an acre; in 1909 he bought forty acres more, under some improvement, and had to pay for it $125 an acre. At this time he owns, clear of all debts, one hundred and twenty acres of improved land in one piece, all of which he acquired in a comparatively brief period of eleven years. Twelve acres of his land is in Egyptian corn and fifty-five acres are producing fifteen sacks of wheat to the acre. He raises fine horses, has a dairy of twelve cows, and usually keeps about one hundred and fifty head of hogs. In 1912 Mr. Colpien added to his holdings by buying another forty acres, for which he paid $7,500.
In 1901 Mr. Colpien married 011ie M. Johnson, a native of Indiana, and they
have children named Herman J., Raymond C. and Heubert H. Socially he
affiliates with Tulare City lodge No. 306, Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
and he is also a member of an encampment of that order.
Among the first land purchasers in his part of Tulare County was Julius Burgamaster, who was a native of Missouri, and came with his family to California in 1901, buying a tract of fifteen acres of land from Dudley Brothers and locating permanently in Tulare County. His wife was Margaret Tiedemann, also a native of Missouri, and they both were descended from German ancestry. Upon coming to California in 1901, they settled in Farmersville, then came to the present location of the homestead, where Mr. Burgamaster purchased fifteen acres of land and developed and improved it, ever after making it his home, until his death, which took place in Tulare County in 1911. Three children were born to this couple, of whom two survive, Otto and Mattie. In politics Julius Burgamaster was a Democrat and was devoted heart and soul to the principles of his party, all of which he has handed down to his son, who is following closely in his footsteps. As a man of enterprise and public spirit he many times demonstrated his high citizenship. Believing that his interests could be advanced only with those of the community at large, he was always generous in his help to movements for the general benefit.
Otto Burgamaster, son of Julius, who since his father's death has conducted
the splendid ranch, was born in Missouri, August 29, 1885. Educated in the
public schools there, he was taught the fundamentals of farming and while
yet young was afforded much practical experience as a tiller of the soil.
Six acres of the ranch are in vineyard, producing Muscat and Thompson
grapes, and during 1911, which was an unusually dry year, the vines produced
four tons of grapes. Two acres are in orchard and the ranch is in a high
state of cultivation, and ranks among the most productive in the County.
HARRY A CLARK
The esteemed citizen of Tulare county, Cal., Harry A. Clark, has achieved good results as farmer, fruit culturist, dairyman and stock- raiser and is known through his interest in the Tulare Canning company and his activities as a member of the finance committee of the Dairymen's Co-operative Creamery company. From time to time he has been identified with other important interests in Tulare and the county at large, and in many ways he has demonstrated that he possesses a public spirit that may be safely relied on whenever its exercise is demanded.
It was in Woodson county, Kans., that Mr. Clark was born, July 30, 1872. He came to California in 1892, and worked for wages at and near Tulare during the ensuing three years, and then went into wheat growing, nine miles south of that city. His operations soon became so extensive that they involved the cultivation of six hundred and forty acres of land, which he farmed till in 1904, when he bought his present home ranch of seventy-one acres, five miles north of Tulare, and under his able management and scientific cultivation this property has been greatly improved. He has set out twenty-five acres to peaches and fifteen are in alfalfa. He has a small dairy, and is setting out at the present time fifteen acres to prunes. He has one hundred head of Jerseys, large Durocs. In 1910 he planted to Egyptian corn eighteen acres between rows of peach trees, and the crop yielded thirty and one-half sacks to the acre, in all amounting to four hundred and thirty-nine sacks, truly a record achievement. He planted also black-eye beans between the trees and they produced, in 1911, eighteen sacks to the acre. Fine blooded brood mares are among his choicest possessions and he raises each year two or three colts bred to a Percheron stallion. He makes somewhat of a specialty also of mules. One of his colts recently was sold for $250.
On December 9, 1908, Mr. Clark married Miss Iris Hemphill, a native of
Missouri, and they have children, Hazel G. and Jessie E.
JOHN W BAXLEY
One of the most successful of the citizens of Tulare county who have come within its borders in recent years is John W. Baxley, a native of Berkeley county, W. Va., born February 8, 1852. Mr. Baxley was brought up and educated and became acquainted with the details of practical farming in his native state, where he successfully raised wheat, corn, red clover, tobacco and other crops till 1882, when he removed to Allen county, Kans. There he farmed many years, acquiring eight hundred acres and giving his attention principally to wheat and corn. It was in 1909 that he came to Tulare county, Cal., where he rents one hundred and sixty acres of the Giannini ranch and has charge of six hundred and forty acres more of it as superintendent. He raises chiefly prunes, grapes, olives and almonds and has produced some fine crops of beans between rows of fruit trees. In the spring of 1911 he planted a sack and a half of black-eyed beans and fifteen pounds of brown beans and harvested two hundred sacks of the former and thirty-four sacks of brown beatis.
In Kansas Mr. Baxley served his fellow townsmen as township trustee and road
superintendent. Since coming to California he has been too busy with his
purely private affairs to give any time to political work, but he has well
defined ideas concerning all questions of public policy and, being an
outspoken man, he is quite certain to be heard from whenever he shall
consider it necessary to raise his voice in advocacy of any measure directed
to the enhancement of the public weal. He married, at Gettysburg, Pa.,
February 11, 1875, Miss Amanda C. Beecher, a native of that state, and they
have had eleven children, all of whom survive: William A. married Alice
Griffin, and they have two sons, Walter and Marvin. David D., who married
Anna Orth, has three daughters, Rose, Violet and Lillian. Charles married
Maud Meyers and they have a son named Ralph. Mary is the wife of Edward West
and has borne him three children, Russel, Irene and Everett. Laura married
R. R. Ross and they have a son, Elmer. Grace became the wife of M. J. Adams
and their children are Viola, Harold and Catherine. Bessie is the wife of
William Stevens and they have a daughter named Edna. Ernest married Edna
Dornburg and has borne him a daughter, Hilda. Mattie married Howard Clark
and they have one child, a son, Clive Howard. The remaining two are Clarence
I B HUNSAKER
This native son of California was born in Contra Costa county, August 24, 1867, and was only about a year old when his parents moved to Tulare county, locating near the Tule river, where they engaged in farming, and he eventually became a student in the public school. His first venture in the field of independent endeavor was as a grain farmer in the Waukena neighborhood, on Tulare lake. After operating there with success for fifteen years he developed an alfalfa ranch four miles and a half southeast of Tulare, where he established a dairy. This property consists of four hundred and seventy-five acres, four hundred acres of which is under alfalfa. It is occupied by two dairies and is operated by tenants.
In 1906 Mr. Hunsaker, whose residence is at F street and Kern avenue,
Tulare, was elected a trustee of that city and he was re-elected in 1910. As
a citizen he is public spirited and helpful to all local interests.
Fraternally he affiliates with Olive Branch lodge No. 269, F. & A. M., and
with local organizations of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the
Woodmen of the World.
In 1893 Mr. Hunsaker married Miss Eva Galbraith, a native of Stockton and a daughter of George Galbraith, and she has borne him two children: Juanita is a student at the University of California at Berkeley; Mary is deceased.
OSCAR F COLLINS
Of the number of able men who have succeeded as dairymen in Tulare county, Cal., none has more richly deserved his success than Oscar F. Collins, of Tulare. Mr. Collins was born in Memphis, Mo., May 17, 1858, and was reared and educated in his native state. There, too, he learned farming according to methods then in vogue, and it was at farm work that he was employed till he came to California, where he saw before him the road to success, straight and wide and not too long, and he set himself cheerfully to the task of working for wages to acquire capital with which to make a promising beginning He was employed thus, saving every dollar possible, from in 1887 until in 1890, and then he was able to rent a hundred and sixty acres of land a mile west of Tulare, where for two years he raised grain, hay and stock. Then, moving to a point north of Tulare, he went into dairying with his brother, A. H. Collins, as his partner, and they continued their joint efforts till 1902. From that time, Oscar F. Collins operated independently in the same place till 1905, when he came to his present dairy ranch of one hundred and twenty acres, where he has twenty-five acres in alfalfa, a goodly field of Egyptian corn and a dairy of sixteen fine cows. He has some good horses also, and recently sold a fine animal for $250, and has also sold colts from one mare to the value of $1115.
Of the Dairymen's Co-operative Creamery association Mr. Collins is a
stockholder, and he is otherwise active in a general way for the advancement
of the dairy interests of the county and state. He is a charter member of a
local body of the Woodmen of the World and has for twenty-one years been
identified with Tulare City lodge No. 306, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
There is no movement for the public benefit that he does not encourage to
the extent of his ability. In 1892 he married Miss Marietta E. Riley, who
was born in Missouri, and they have three children, Edith M., Jessie M. and
JOHN W DUNLAP
Hannibal, Mo., was the scene of the birth of John W. Dunlap, champion sack sewer of California, November 24, 1850. He was a son of Lemuel S. and Cynthia A. (Zumwalt) Dunlap, natives respectively of Kentucky and Missouri. The family arrived in California November 1, 1869, having made the journey from St. Louis in eleven days on one of the earliest transcontinental railway trains. The trip was a novelty not only to them, but to nearly all who participated in it. They settled in Colusa county, where Lemuel Dunlap established himself as a farmer.
Early in life John W. Dunlap began working on threshing machines in Colusa county, and he soon. became the best and fastest sack sewer in the state, sewing as many as two thousand sacks in a day and making a record of two hundred and fifty-six sacks in one hour. In 1883 he bought of Samuel DeWitt his present ranch of fifty-one acres, three miles and one-half north of Tulare City. He makes a specialty of raising chickens and is probably one of the most scientific poultry men in California, a state in which there are so many such dealers that to excel is somewhat of an honor. In 1911 he received $1500 from the sale of eggs from five hundred chickens, mostly leghorns. His chicken ranch is well appointed in every particular and is one of the most complete in the county. Its incubators and other appliances are of the most efficient kinds and of the latest models. Mr. Dunlap has given some attention to peach culture and in two years received $1200 from two acres devoted to that fruit. He now has six acres in peach trees and two acres in prunes. A feature of his business is a small dairy, by means of which he adds considerably to his yearly profit.
Mr. Dunlap married, April 2, 1876, Lillie F. Green, a native of Nevada
county, Cal. Jeremiah Green, her father, was a pioneer in that county and
was a storekeeper there in the old gold-mining days. Mr. and Mrs. Dunlap are
the parents of five children. Bertie is the wife of Alexander Whaley.
William E. is cashier. of the First National Bank of Tulare. George L. is
employed by the E. F. Cox Lumber company of Tulare. Harry is connected with
the Stockton Iron company. Leslie is a member of his parents' household.
JAMES M ELLIOTT
The life of James M. Elliott, Waukena, Tulare county, Cal., began in Cherokee County, Texas, August 23, 1881, and he was brought to California in 1888 by his parents, who settled at Pomona, Los Angeles county. In 1890 they removed to Orange county, and there he remained until 1908, when he took up his residence at Waukena and became a partner in a general merchandise business with his sister, Miss Hattie Elliott, who is postmistress of that town, an office which she fills with great fidelity, giving to its duties the most careful attention in all details. In connection with merchandising, Mr. Elliott gives attention to another enterprise, that of the installation of pumping plants, in which he is associated with his half brother.
As a merchant, Mr. Elliott is progressive and up-to-date, handling salable
articles of good quality which he offers at such prices as to make them
available to the trade of Waukena and its tributary territory. As a
citizen, he takes an intelligent interest in everything that pertains to the
general welfare. He is a believer in the square deal which would give the
greatest good to the greatest numbers and is ready at all times to respond
in a public-spirited way to any demand on behalf of the enhancement of the
good of the community, for he realizes that be who reaps must first sow and
that the prosperity of one is the prosperity of all.
The father of James M. and Hattie Elliott, the venerable William M. Elliott, who was born in Mississippi January 6, 1827, was during all his active years a successful farmer, and is now a member of the household of his son at Waukena.
One of the numerous Pennsylvanians who have become successful as farmers in Tulare county, Cal., and passed on to the long reward of the honest and the industrious was William Reinhart, who was born in Greene county in the Keystone State in 1832, and died in his far western home in August, 1888. When he was two years old his parents left Pennsylvania and settled in Ohio, where he was reared and educated and took up the battle of life on his own account. In 1857 the family moved to Cole county, Mo., and located near Jefferson City. There Mr. Reinhart farmed until 1874, when he came to California He put in ten years at ranching near San Jose, in the Santa Clara valley, and early in 1885 rented land north of Tulare City, where he resumed farming with much promise of success, but died three years later. He was a man of considerable business ability and was for some years deputy sheriff of Miller county, Mo.
On January 1, 1863, Mr. Reinhart married Margaret J. Dripps, a native of Pennsylvania, and they had several children, of whom five survive : Madora, wife of Frank E. Dalzelle, of Berkeley, Cal.; Imbrie D., who lives on the Reinhart home farm; Pliny E., who married Martha Luck and has a son named Kenneth E.; James A., of Hollister, Cal., who married Laura Ashcroft, and they have four children, James H., Margaret P., Ulla and Laura J.; and who is a mining engineer. Mr. Reinhart was a member of the Grange. He loved his home and his farm and had little to do with politics beyond doing his duty as a citizen. His public spirit was such that he was ready at all times to aid to the extent of his ability any measure which in his opinion promised to benefit his town, his county, his state or the American people in a broader sense.
For some years after her husband's death Mrs. Reinhart managed the farm
property which he had accumulated. Later her son, Imbrie D. Reinhart, bought
the ranch, which he has operated with much success. It consists of forty
acres, eight of which are in vineyard. Considerable alfalfa is grown and
the family derives a good income from a dairy. It should be noted that,
while in his latter years the elder Reinhart was working leased land, he was
ambitious for a home of his own and his widow and son have carried out his
plans so far as they have been able.
JOHN F EVANS
When the Evans family went to Tipton the plains about the site of that town were a runway for wild cattle. John F. Evans, of Tulare, was born in Santa Clara county, October 5, 1865, a son of Dudley and Sarah A. (Doty) Evans. Edward Doty, his mother's great-grandfather, came to America with the Mayflower Pilgrims and is said to have been the first of the party to set foot on Plymouth Rock. Later he had a memorable experience as a sailor in Greenland, being wrecked and cast away on the shore of that inhospitable land, and having to subsist there through an entire winter under circumstances such as to make his survival depend on the merest chance. Dudley Evans was a native of New York, while his wife, Sarah A. Doty, was born in Ohio, 1834 being the year in which they both were born. Dudley Evans crossed the plains to California in 1852, and went into stockraising in Santa Clara and San Luis Obispo counties. On coining to Tulare county, he settled six miles west of Tipton, taking up government land. To his original one hundred and sixty acres he added a purchase of one hundred and sixty from the railroad people and then owned three hundred and twenty acres, all in one body. When he came to the vicinity there were only seven houses in Tulare. It should be noted that there is evidence in support of the statement that to him belongs the credit of having burned the first kiln of brick in Tulare City. He passed away in 1893. His widow, who lives at Tipton, is surrounded by loving relatives and friends, happy in her declining years and most interesting in her reminiscences of the pioneer days which tried the souls of men and women among the mountain passes and prairie stretches of beautiful California, a land of promise and of fulfillment, but a land of vicissitudes which sometimes sank to the plane of fatal disappointments. Following are the names, in order of birth, of the children of Dudley and Sarah A. (Doty) Evans : John F.; William, of Fresno; Albert D., of Cochran; Elmore H. and Harry N., of Tipton.
John F. Evans spent his early life on his father's ranch, went to school and gained a good deal of useful knowledge of different kinds in the college of hard experience. His ranching life is varied and was spent in different parts of the country. It includes the operation of threshing machines, rough work on the Creighton ranch near Tipton and the breaking of wild horses, and it has other interesting features. He started farming on his own account in 1889, on rented land, six miles east of Tulare, where he remained only one year. After that he operated a thousand to fifteen hundred acres in the Dinuba and Orosi section of Tulare county. Returning to the vicinity of Tipton, he first rented and later bought two hundred and forty acres. He is now renting out two hundred and forty acres near Tulare. A dairy of fifty cows is a feature of his enterprise, and he has one hundred acres in alfalfa. In 1910 he had twenty acres of Egyptian corn which yielded eighteen sacks to the acre, and in 1911 eight acres, planted to the same corn, gave him twenty-two sacks to the acre. He owns a fine home on East King street, Tulare, where he and his family have lived for some years.
John F. Evans married, September 25, 1892, Mary Cortner, a native of
California, and they have children as follows: Reba L., Harry D., James and
Helen A. Mrs. Evans's father was William C. Cortner, a native of Tennessee,
who' came overland to California in 1852, ox-teams affording him a means of
transportation. For a time he mined with some success, but we find he was
in Tulare county before the end of 1853, with a stock ranch in the mountains
and a farm north of Visalia, but later he farmed near Orosi, and died in
March, 1894. The father of Mrs. Cortner was John Jordan, who was in command
of the party with which he came overland to California the same pioneer
Jordan who helped to blaze the Hockett and Jordan trail in the mountains.
The following named of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Cortner were living in
1912: Mrs. S. L. N. Ellis; Lee, of Tipton; Mrs. John F. Evans; Talbert, of
Orosi; Preston, of Auckland. Mr. Evans is a member of the Independent Order
of Foresters and a director of the Tipton Co-operative Creamery, and in
other relations he has demonstrated his public spirit so unmistakably that
he is regarded by all who know him as a citizen generously helpful to all
Of Italian ancestry, Frank Giannini was born at Porto Ferrajo, Island of Elba, off the Tuscan coast, March 3, 1864, and is one of three brothers who came to the United States. His parents, Dominico and Magdalena (Bolano) Giannini, had also four daughters. The mother died on Elba in 1869, the father, who was a prosperous farmer and vineyardist, died there in 1911.
Frank Giannini early learned the secrets of grape culture and at seventeen was given charge of his father's vineyard. Soon after he was twenty-one, he carried out a well-studied plan to immigrate to California, of which he had read much, believing that here he would find a climate not unlike that of Elba, which would offer better chances for advancement than he could obtain there. Bringing with him $1200, for the purchase of land, in 1885, about a month after he landed at San Francisco he began grain farming on his own land near Brentwood. An experience there running through two years convinced him that he had not hit on the true plan for industrial and commercial success. He first saw Tulare county in 1887, but did not buy land there until about two years later. Meanwhile he farmed and raised fruit and grapes in Madera and Fresno counties and during the period from 1887 to 1902 he operated a stock farm and was manager of an orchard, both located at Reedley, Fresno county. In 1889, with two others, he bought a hundred and sixty acres of raw land, two miles and three-quarters northeast of Tulare. The price paid was $20,000, a very high price for the time, yet as events proved a good investment. A hundred and twenty acres were set out to an orchard and the rest of the tract to vineyard, and in 1891, by replacing an occasional vine with a tree, increased profits per acre were made possible. In that year Mr. Giannini bought out the interests of his partners. By purchase he has acquired four hundred and eighty acres adjoining, and now he has an entire section in one body, eighty acres of which is devoted to alfalfa. On his place are two wells with never-failing supply of water which are pumped by two fifteen-horsepower electric motors. He has displaced his gas motors formerly used for pumping by electric motors; he is a stockholder in the Electric Power company. He is now putting down a third well which will be pumped by means of twenty-horsepower electric motors. On the place are modern buildings of ample capacity for every purpose, and drying yards and packing houses for preparing the fruit for shipment and forwarding it when ready. There are also a new winery, with a capacity of two hundred thousand gallons annually, and a brandy plant, with an annual capacity of fifty thousand gallons. In the busy season Mr. Giannini employs on the place one hundred and fifty men. In 1910 he incorporated the Elba Land company, which now includes most of his interests, being capitalized at $500,000, and he is the president and general manager.
Besides his regular business Mr. Giannini has interests of importance, being a stockholder in the First National Bank of Tulare, having given the site for the Tulare Power company's plant and promoted the Tulare Milling company and bought the first share of its stock that could be purchased. He sold his Tipton ranch in 1908, his dairy ranch in 1911, and devotes his attention to his land business, to fruit, alfalfa and wine. He has had much to do with organizations to promote the advancement of these and kindred interests, and is a Mason, of Blue lodge and Royal Arch chapter, having originally identified himself with the Madera lodge and been transferred to the Reedley lodge. His acquaintance with the California fruit and wine fraternity is large and constantly increasing in a measure commensurate with his advancing fortunes and the growth of his home interests. His homestead has been enlarged to twelve hundred and sixty acres; he has two hundred and fifty acres in peaches, five hundred and sixty in vineyard, one hundred and seventy-five in prunes and the largest individual orchard in Tulare county. His home acreage in alfalfa is ninety acres. In 1911 he sold prunes at $115 a ton.
Miss Louise Lombardi, daughter of a pioneer in northern California, became Mr. Giannini's wife and was most helpful to him in all his aspirations, working with him side by side for all that has meant success to both. She died in 1907, leaving one child, Aulrina.
Tulare and Kings Counties, California with Biographical Sketches
History By Eugene L Menefee and Fred A Dodge
Los Angeles, Calif., Historic Record Company, 1913
Transcribed by: Martha A Crosley Graham - Pages 511 - 561
Site Created: 13 January 2009
Martha A Crosley Graham
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