Tulare & Kings Counties
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GEORGE EDWARD ALLEN
Near Lena, in Stephenson County, Ill., George Edward Allen was born January 27, 1850, a son of James Allen, who was born in Canadaand died in Illinois in 1855. The widow remarried two years later and died in Illinois also. For a short time George E. Allen attended the common school and when about twelve years old became self-supporting. In 1869 he went to Knox County, Ill., and there followed coal mining for five years, at that time moving to Iowa and farming in Polk and Jasper counties. From there he went to Turner County, S. Dak., in 1883, and in July, that year, the crops were destroyed by a hail storm. After four years in Dakota, some of which were not as strenuous as the first one, Mr. Allen came to Tulare County, Cal., settling on White River, and for eighteen years harvested crops of wheat that ranged from one-half a sack to six sacks an acre and sold at sixty-eight cents to $1.47 a hundred pounds. He located on his present homestead in 1906, when he bought forty acres of unimproved land, four acres of which are now in Marshall strawberries and two acres in orange nursery trees of one season's growth. His strawberry plants are bearing fairly well and in a recent season he sold eleven thousand baskets at an average price of seven cents a basket. His Muscat grapes are just beginning to bear. He has fourteen acres of them, intends soon to set eleven acres to orange trees, and now has eight acres in peach trees just bearing.
Mr. Allen married in 1870 Margaret Morgan, in Knox County, Ill., and has two children living, Mabel B. and William M. One daughter, Jennie, died in childhood in Dakota. Mabel B. married Henry Ward, of Tulare County, and they have a son named Allen Ward. In political affiliations Mr. Allen is Republican, thoroughly devoted to the principles of his party, and as a citizen he is public-spirited to a degree that insures his usefulness to the community.
JOHN WALTON BOZEMAN
In Hinds County, Miss., August 31, 1836, was born John Walton Bozeman, who has lived in Tulare County about as long as any surviving pioneer. His grandfather, Howell Bozeman, built the first state house, at Milledgeville, Ga., and eventually moved to Mississippi, accompanied by members of his family and others. Thomas Jefferson Bozeman, who was John Walton's father, remained in Hinds County, Miss., until after his son was born and he left his wife Rachel Parker, buried there. In 1842 the family moved to Louisiana, where the father married Miss Eliza Ford, of which union two children, William and Mary Near, survive. In 1849 they settled in Texas and in 1854 crossed the plains in a party with ox-team outfits to California, where he became engaged in farming on Kings River and mining in Mariposa and Kern counties, putting up the first tent on Pcso creek flats, where he mined, kept a boarding house, and did freighting.
J. W. Bozeman's recollections of that cross country trip would be interesting reading could they all be put into print. He helped to bury the bodies of members of the Oatman family, who had been murdered by Indians on their way from Texas to California. Two of the Oatman children were captured by the savages and one of them was rescued later by friends. Usually emigrants were safe so long as goodly numbers of them kept together, but there was great peril for any who became separated from their trains.
It was when he was about eighteen years old that Mr. Bozeman arrived in California, passing through Tulare County along the runigrant trail, and on October 12, 1854, they stopped on Kings River. His opportunities for education had been very limited, as almost from childhood he had ridden after cattle or worked in the cotton field. In 1864, in San Bernardino County, he married Miss Susan Hendrey, born January 16, 1842, in Indiana, daughter of Isaac Hendrey, who was a pioneer of Oregon. He was a descendant of old Irish families and his wife was Miss Mary White of Indiana. Mrs. Bozeman passed away in Kings County in 1898, while the family were living near Hanford. She was the mother of a large family of children, all natives of California, eight of whom grew to maturity and married, viz.: Preston Leander, of Exeter; Julia A., married to L. H. Byron, of Lemoore; Armazila U., wife of E.C. Nowlan, of Exeter; Jesse D., of Hanford; Melissa A., wife of J. Bloomhall, of Alhambra; John W., of Fresno; Hattie, married to Warren Hawley, of Lindsay; and Rachel, wife of Ralph Berridge, of Porterville. Three children died in infancy, and Chester W. passed away in early childhood. The father of Mrs. Bozeman lived to the age of ninety-six years, and one of his daughters, Mrs. Cleghorn, now lives at Highlands, San Bernardino County. Two of his sons are making their home at the Soldiers' Home at Eugene, Oregon.
After his marriage Mr. Bozeman went into the sheep business and was successful for about twenty years, keeping most of the time about ten thousand head. He became the owner of three hundred acres of land on Kings River, where he settled in 1854, with his father, and later rented large tracts on which he sowed grain. His last wheat crop was garnered from thirty-five hundred acres. He disposed of all his holdings in Kings County and lives with his children, and has been a resident of Porterville since January, 1911. He has always been an active, influential and public-spirited citizen.
In that wonderful European republic, Switzerland, Martin Wirht, who now lives a mile and a quarter northwest of Exeter, Tulare County, Cal., was born in 1857. When he was eleven years old he came to the United States and made his way to Springfield, Ill., where he lived a year, and from that time until 1879 his home was in Missouri. He went from Missouri to Kansas, from Kansas to Wyoming, and then back to Kansas, and in 1896 from Kansas to California, living six years in Wyoming and six years in Kansas.
In Tulare County Mr. Wirht's first place of residence was Portervine, from which town he moved to his present home near Exeter, where he has fifteen acres bearing oranges, five acres under grapevines and twenty-five acres on which he grows vines and trees. His navel oranges are of fine variety and are usually among the earliest in his vicinity to reach the market. When he took the ranch in hand it was raw and without improvements, but he has provided it with a house and other buildings and developed it into one of the best homesteads in the Exeter district.
The marriage of Martin Wirht and Eliza Meredith, a native of Missouri, has resulted in the birth of five children, all of whom were educated or are being educated in Tulare County. Their oldest daughter is married. The parents of both Mr. and Mrs. Wirht have passed away. Mr. Wirht is regarded as a self-made man who richly deserves the success that he has won. He has always been too busy to take up political work and is not ambitious for office, but he is public-spiritedly helpful to all worthy interests of the community.
This is the life story of a man whose activities were begun as a drummer boy in the Federal army in the Civil war. Born in Clay County, Ill., July 5, 1849, he was only about twelve years old when the war began. He enlisted at Louisville, Ill., December 21, 1863, in Company K, Forty-eighth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which was attached to the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, with which the name of Gen. John A. Logan is identified. The first fight in which he participated was that of Buzzard's Roost, at Resaca, Ga. From that time on until the end of the war he took part in many hotly contested engagements of greater or less importance, participating in Sherman's march to the sea; his more immediate commanding generals being successively Harland, Hazen, Oliver and Rice. It was not long after his service began that he became a soldier in active duty. He was discharged August 15, 1865, and mustered out at Springfield.
Returning to Clay County, Ill., Mr. Burke remained there unti 1 April 20, 1870, when he started for California, arriving in Stockton, Cal., May 1, that year. He then came to Tulare County and remained until April, 1872, when he located in Squaw Valley, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres of land which he has improved and on which he now lives. By subsequent purchase he has come to own three hundred and fifty-two acres. He farms about one hundred acres, the rest of his land being under pasture and timber, and keeps about one hundred head of stock.
On August 5, 1868, in Louisville, Ill., Mr. Burke married Miss Mary R. Drake, a native of Ohio. Her parents, also of Ohio came to California in 1870, being members of Mr. Burke's party. They found the country very new and were obliged to go thirty-five miles for their mail, which they got at Visalia. They paid eighteen cents a pound for brown sugar by the half barrel, and other things in proportion. Children as follows were born to Mr. and Mrs. Burke . Anna G., Floy I., Elva Lewis, Almeda J., John W., Harry A., Oliver M., Viola L., and Harold R. Anna G. married C. C. Traweek. Floy I. is Mrs. W. A. Hampton. Elva Lewis is the wife of L. B. Holcombe. Almeda J. is the wife of Harlan McIntire. John W. married Miss Jean Lawresten, formerly a teacher. Harry A. married Myrtle M. Akers. Oliver M. married Irene Fleming, who was a teacher. Viola L. married T. R. Byrd. Harold R. is a graduate of Heald's Business College of Fresno and is employed in that city. Mr. and Mrs. Burke have thirteen grandchildren.
In his politics Mr. Burke is Republican. He is a member of Atlanta Post, G. A. R., at Fresno.
A M DREISBACH
At Tiffin, Ohio, April 20, 1852, was born A. M. Dreisbach, who is now a farmer and a minister of the United Brethren Church at Exeter, Tulare County, Cal. His father, a native of Pennsylvania, came to Ohio in his youth; he married a daughter of a German, and died in 1876. Mr. Dreisbach's mother has been dead many years.
A. M. Dreisbach remained at Tiffin until he was twenty-five years old, and there he secured a primary education which he supplemented by a course at the Eastman Business College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He had just completed. his studies at that institution when he was recalled to his home by the death of his father. His earlier labors were all on the ranch, but eventually he entered the ministry. From his old home in Ohio he went to Kansas, and a year later went up into Iowa. From there he returned to Kansas, and he went thence to Utah. About eighteen years ago he came to California and settled at Exeter, where he now has a beautiful ranch of twenty-five acres, his principal crop being oranges. This property he has acquired by industry and economy and those other personal qualities which are the fundamentals of the success of the self-made man.
In 1878 Mr. Dreisbach married Miss Elizabeth Bollinger of Nebraska, who has borne her husband eight children, three of whom, Clara, John Wesley and Hattie, have died since the family came to California. The others are Minnie, Nellie, Harvey, Grace and Roy. The latter is a student in the high school at Exeter. Minnie married Rev. J. L. Hanson in 1909; he is pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church South at LeGrand, Cal. They have one child, Margaret. Nellie married T. W. Harvey, a furniture dealer at Los Angeles. The others are at home. Mr. Dreisbach is patriotic and public-spirited, interested in the political issues of the day, especially solicitous for the cause of temperance. He has held public office, but he does not affiliate with any secret order.
SAMUEL LAVERNE KENNEY
Back in Tennessee in Greene County, Samuel Laverne Kenney, who now lives three miles southeast of Orosi, in Tulare County, Cal., first saw the light of day in the year 1863. He lived there with his parents until he was seven years old, then the family moved to Missouri and located in Pineville, McDonald County, where the elder Kenney farmed sixteen years. It was in 1886 that Samuel L. came to Tulare County, within the borders of which he has since had his home, in the Alta district. The country round about was then a vast wheat field, without trees or fences, and stock roamed at will in the swamps and hills. He now has on his homestead eighty acres of fine land, eighteen acres of which are in Malaga grapes, ten in peaches, ten in miscellaneous orchard trees, and the balance under pasture. His vineyard and orchard are just coming into bearing. He keeps enough horses to work his ranch and raises a few hogs each year. He has a four-year-old grove of eucalyptus trees.
The parents of Mr. Kenney were James D. and Nancy (Goodin) Kenney, natives of Tennessee. The mother died in Missouri and Mr. Kenney came to Tulare County in 1901, where he passed away in December, 1912. They had children named Ebie, Wroten, Bruce R., Samuel L., Callie, and Ida. Bruce R. married Lotta Scott, who bore him three children, Ralph, Laverne, and Goldie. With the exception of Samuel L. and Ida the others have passed away.
As a citizen Mr. Kenney has many times and in many ways demonstrated his public spirit by lending generous aid to movements for the uplift and development of the community. Politically he is a Socialist.
JOSIAH M FERGUSON
A long and useful career which has figured prominently in national as well as civic affairs has identified Josiah M. Ferguson as one of the most valued citizens of his country and his service in the Civil war supplemented by active participation in the development of Tulare County has marked him a stanch patriot. In the state of Georgia, in the heart of the Sunny South, Josiah M. Ferguson was bornMarch 25, 1843, son of Champion and Rachel (Dackett) Ferguson, the former an old Georgia planter, and a native of Kentucky, his wife being a native of Georgia.
Josiah M. Ferguson was reared and educated in his native place and learned much about the cultivation of the soil. In 1863 he made his way through the mountains and enlisted in Company G, Tenth Tennessee Cavalry, serving in that company until he received his discharge. Soon after the war he removed to Tennessee, and there, October 20, 1872, he married Miss Parthenia C. Cundiff, a native of that state. From Tennessee, in 1875, they came to Tulare County, Cal., and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land which Mr. Ferguson developed into a good farm, on which he lived until 1904, when he moved to Porterville, and passed away in 1909. He helped to establish the postoffice at Poplar and served as postmaster one year. He was a man of public spirit, ready at all times to do anything in his power for the advancement of the interests of his fellow-citizens whom he held in warm affection as friends and neighbors. He aided in building the Poplar ditch, ran the first water, and was president of the company. Fraternally he affiliated with the Masons and was a member of the G. A. R. He was a Republican in politics.
The parents of Mrs. Ferguson were Thomas and Mary (Grass) Cundiff, natives of Virginia and descended from old and honorable Southern families. She bore her husband eight children, three of them native sons and four native daughters of California. All of them survive except James, who was drowned at Oakland in 1901. Cordelia, the eldest, born in Tennessee, was nine months old when her parents came to California. She married Fletcher Martin and is living in Tulare County. The others were Dora, Mrs. George Futrell, and Cora, Mrs. William Walker (twins), Mary, wife of Arthur Hayes, Tennia, married to Ernest Ridgeway, James, Thomas and Fletcher. The two last mentioned are in business at Porterville, Cal. Mrs. Ferguson has five grandsons and five granddaughters. She owns a half-section of fine land near Poplar, which was their old homestead. A woman of strong character, whose good influence is manifested in the lives of her children, she is fortunate in being able to pass her declining years in association with friends who honor her for her sake and for her husband's and regard her with gratitude for many kindnesses which she has rendered them.
Descended in the paternal line from old families of Germany, where his father, Peter Click, was born, "Mart" Click, who lives ten miles west of Porterville, Tulare County, is a native of Stark County, Ohio, where he opened his eyes to the world June 18, 1844. He spent his boyhood and youth in attending public schools and helping his father on the farm. In 1864, when he was twenty years old, he came to California. Stopping in Placer County, he worked for wages six years for B. C. Trefry, with whom he came to Merced County in 1870 and bought a band of sheep, numbering about nine hundred head. They remained partners and stayed there until 1874, when they sold out and came to Tulare County and again bought four thousand sheep on the plains. In 1881 Mr. Click bought his partner's interest, since which time he has been engaged independently. In 1877, the year known to sheep men as the "hard year," he had ten thousand head, all of which he lost except about two thousand, by which misfortune he was brought to practical ruin. In 1886, selling his sheep, he bought three hundred and twenty acres of land near Woodville and engaged in raising grain, cattle, horses and sheep, in which business he has continued up to the present time with a degree of success that has done much to make him forget his troubles of the past. His home has been on this ranch since that date, and he has witnessed the development of the County, in which he has been a participant.
In 1883 Mr. Click married Miss Hope Broughtan, a native of Pennsylvania. She has borne him a son, Roy Click, who was educated at Stanford University, and who married Miss Nellie Stockton, they residing with Mr. and Mrs. Click. Mr, Click, while entertaining pronounced opinions on all political and, economic questions, has never accepted any office, but he is not without influence among his townsmen, who honor him as a pioneer, remembering that when he came to Tulare County it and the territory in all directions was wild, open country where any man could feed sheep at will. When he went to Porterville there were only two stores there. Bear and deer were plentiful in the country round about and he often saw cattle come eight to ten miles for water. He has grown up with the country, whose development he has encouraged in many public-spirited ways.
A native of Pennsylvania, John Bacon went to the old frontier in Ohio when he was a small child. Thence he later emigrated to Missouri, and from Missouri he crossed the plains with ox-teams, in 1859. and made his way to the mines in Amador County, where he sought gold for a few months. In 1860 he came to Tulare County and engaged in cattle raising. Later he took up government land near Tulare city and still later he owned a ranch east of Visalia, where he livedthrough the closing years of his life ,and passed away August 18, 1911, aged eighty-nine years. He married Margaret Hall, a native of Canada, and she bore him six children. Catherine, who was the third in order of birth of the family, became the wife of B. S. Velie in 1901. He is a native of New York state, who came to California in 1892 and went into the insurance business at Tulare. He came to Visalia in 1904 and established an insurance and real estate business here, which he manages while looking after his twenty-acre ranch on East Mineral King avenue, ten acres of which is producing peaches. Mrs. Velie has an old chest, a bed quilt, some german silver spoons and other valuable articles which her father brought across the plains with him and which she prizes highly. The members of the family in order of birth are: Mrs. George W. Dailey ; James; Mrs. B. S. Velie; Alexander ; Mrs. Levi Mathewson; Mrs. G. B. Ralph, and Mrs. A. J. Teague. All are residents of Tulare County with the exception of Mrs. G. B. Ralph, who resides in Stockton, Cal.
On the Siberian River, Texas, William Findley was born February 22, Washington's Birthday, 1851. When he was six years old his parents, John and Sarah J. (Masters) Findley, natives respectively of Missouri and Texas, brought him across the plains to California. The family was included in a party which came with ox-teams and had frequent trouble with Indians on the way. The savages often attempted to stampede or run off their cattle, and even when they were driven away they managed to kill the animals. At times the emigrants, under protection of wagon stockades, fought long battles with their red-skinned foes, whose flintlock guns laid many a white man low. Ten of the party were killed by the Indians and Mr. Findley's sister Martha died on the way out. The family came to Hackby Ford in 1858 and started in the cattle business, locating in Tulare later in that year. In August, 1871, the grandfather, John Findley, who was the owner of two square miles of land in Drum Valley, was called to the door of his house by robbers, who demanded his money, evidently believing that he had considerable of it on hand. His wife died in 1900.
About 1907 William Findley located on his present homestead, where he has one hundred and thirty-three acres of grain and pasture land, a garden and about two thousand cords of wood in the tree. He keeps forty-five to fifty head of cattle and about half as many hogs. The elder Findley and his son are Democrats and their fellow citizens recognize them as men of public spirit.
February 22, 1868, his birthday, Mr. Findley married, in the Sand Creek neighborhood, Miss Ellen Woodey, who has borne him ten children. John M. married Martha Dean and has four children, Blanche, Cecil, Gerald, and Inez. William J. married Mrs. Ida Strong, a daughter of Stephen Caster, at one time treasurer of Fresno County. Ivan married Susan Collier and their children are Aaron, Byron and Myrtle. Lee married Minnie Robinson and their children are Earl, Oswald and Melba. Martha married John Dean and is the mother of the following children, Carroll, Maud and Cleo. Callie A. married Levi Dean and their children are Gilbert and Forest. Mary married Fred Kiner and their children are Clare E., Elsie, Harold and Denzelle. Ira, unmarried, resides with William J. Findley. Myrtle is single and lives with her mother at Dinuba. Daisy married Daniel Tullie and resides at Orosi.
CALVIN H ANTRIM
A respected and well-known citizen of Tulare County, now living retired from active cares in Orosi, is Calvin H. Antrim, whose career has been indicative of energy, thrift and perseverance. Born in Clinton, Ohio, April 12, 1827, he was a son of Hiram and Sarah (Whitson) Antrim, natives respectively of Virginia and Pennsylvania and who were the parents of a family of nine children. Receiving his education in the common schools of his locality, Calvin H. Antrim early learned the carpenter's trade, being quite proficient when he was but fourteen years old, and until 1895 that was his chief occupation. He left Ohio in March, 1866,going to Lewis County, Mo., where he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, on which he lived for eleven years with his sons, and followed farming. In November, 1877, he went to Lee County, Iowa, where he farmed and raised stock in partnership with Dr. Todd until he give it up on account of poor health. In October, 1889, he decided to come to Tulare County, Cal., to recuperate, and buying seven town lots in Orosi he erected a residence on one which he sold in the fall of 1912 for hotel purposes. For thirteen years he ran the stage between Orosi and Cutler, carrying passengers, mail, freight and express, but since then he has lived in practical retirement, enjoying the well-earned rest from active life.
On February 6, 1851, Mr. Antrim was married to Nancy Jane Cohagen, a native of Greene County, Ohio, born October 20, 1833, and childrenas follows were born to them: Hiram, A. Ellen, Luella, Lincoln, Elmer, Susan H., Ira, Ida, Elbert, Cora, John W., and Lillian. Hiram, now deceased, married Belle Furtney and had five children. Luella married Andy Langwith and they were the parents of two children. Lincoln married Ida Smith, a native of Iowa, and they had two children. Susan H. married W. D. George. Elbert married Anna Powell and has two children. John W. married Dora Lovelace and they have one child. Lillian is the wife of Ed Combs. The others have all passed away, and the mother's death occurred November 19, 1908, at the age of seventy-four years.
In 1862 Mr. Antrim became a member of that famous military organization known to history as the Squirrel Hunters and participated in the operations involving Morgan's raid into the North. He was honorably discharged from the service March 4, 1863. In politics he is Republican, and as a citizen he has always been public-spirited and helpful.
FRANCIS M MAYES
A native of McDonald County, Missouri, Francis M. Mayes is a son of natives of that state and his parents were Richard and Elizabeth (Moffett) Mayes. He was born November 30, 1845, and came overland to California with his father with ox-teams when he was about twelve years old. The party, under direction of Captain Pogue, left their old homes in April, 1857, and consumed about the usual time in making the trip. There were about thirty wagons in the train and enough oxen for convenient relief. The party came by the North Platte, the Hudson Cutoff, the Honey Lake route, and thence by way of Red Bluff. Along the Humboldt River in Nevada the Indians were very troublesome and they had only a little while before massacred all the members of a large party of emigrants, appropriating the stock and running the wagons into the River. Only two yoke of oxen were lost to Indians by Captain Pogue's party and they were later recovered. Every precaution for safety was taken. Encamping, a stockade was formed and guards were ever on the alert. During the progress of the journey there was some sickness and two children were born to women of the party. After a brief rest at Red Bluff the journey was completed and Mr. Mayes and family went to a point near Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, where he lived from late in 1857 until in 1875. There the mother died in 1858, leaving three sons and four daughters, of which family but three survive. Coming to Tulare County the elder Mayes resided with his son until his death in 1878.
Having come thus to California, Francis M Mayes gained his education in public schools in Sonoma County and learned blacksmithing under his father's instruction. He settled in Antelope Valley in Tulare County, on one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land which in the course of events he was obliged to relinquish. But he moved his house onto another tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Sand Creek Gap, which he purchased from the Southern Pacific Railway Company. Later he came into possession of two hundred and forty acres of railroad land which he improved and on which he lived until in 1897. when he sold it and removed to Orosi, buying property there and going into general blacksmithing. It was as a blacksmith that he busied himself during the succeeding eight years. When he first settled in the Sand Creek Gap there was no townsite nearer than Visalia, all trading and postoffice business having been done at Visalia. Deer, bear, antelope, and other wild game was plentiful and much of the country round about was given over to the feeding of sheep. At the end of the period mentioned he sold out his interests at Orosi and bought forty-four acres on the Dinuba road, where he took up his residence and has since developed a fine home ranch. The land was mostly planted to fruit. He has ten acres of Malaga grapes, fifteen of wine grapes and five of Muscats. Eleven acres are given to peaches, his trees now being about six years old, and he has sixty orange trees, some miscellaneous fruit and several attractive palms. In 1911 he sold for shipment sixty-two tons of Malaga grapes at $28 and $30 a ton, grew ninety-eight tons of wine grapes on fifteen acres, produced ten tons of Zinfandels to the acre, of which he has five acres, sold four and a half tons of dried peaches for ten cents a pound, and received $900 for wine grapes and the same amount for peaches. He keeps horses enough to work his ranch.
Politically Mr. Mayes is a Democrat and for more than twenty years he has filled the office of school trustee. He and members of his family are communicants of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The lady who became his wife was Miss Mary E. Faudre, a native of California, and she has borne him children as follows: Mattie, deceased, Frances E., Etta and Arthur, deceased, Melvin L., Oscar0. and Edith, deceased (twins), Ella, and Clara. Frances E. became the -wife of Victor Franzen, a native of Sweden, and they have two sons and three daughters. Clara married Fred G. Nelson, an Englishman by birth, and they are living in Tulare County and they have two sons and one daughter.
STILES A McLAUGHLIN
The McLaughlin family, to which belongs Stiles A. McLaughlin, originated in Scotland. His grandfather, John McLaughlin, lived in Pennsylvania. His father was William Harrison McLaughlin and was a native of Pennsylvania, where he grew up and learned the trade of carriage maker, later removing to Ohio. Following his trade these for_ a short time he engaged in merchandising and various other pursuits with varying success. It was in Ashtabula County, Ohio, that Stiles A. was born January 3, 1852. When he was about ten years old his parents moved to Pennsylvania, and after a residence there of six years they went to Illinois, where they remained for a like period.
The changes of time brought the younger McLaughlin to California when he was about twenty-one years old. He worked in Yolo County about a year, then came to Lemoore, Kings County, and soon afterward acquired a land claim half a mile south of that town. He relinquished it, however, and bought forty acres, bounded on one side by the city line, which lie planted to fruit trees and retained until 1902, when lie sold it to advantage. He then bought forty acres west of the forty just referred to and eighty acres adjoining this last purchase. After having lived there six years, he sold forty acres of the property, retaining the eighty acres, forty of which is in vineyard, and moved to Lemoore. In these various real estate deals he was quite successful, gradually accumulating money and land until he has come to be considered one of the well-to-do men of that part of the County. He is a director of the First National Bank of Lemoore and has been in one way or another identified with several interests of importance. His public spirit impelled him to accept the nomination of his party for membership of the Board of Supervisors of Kings County. He was three times elected and served continuously from November, 1895, to December, 1906.
Local lodges of Free & Accepted Masons, Woodmen of the World and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows include Mr. McLaughlin in their membership. In 1876 he married Mary Wright, daughter of Samuel Wright, a pioneer of 1868 in Kings County, who made his mark as a farmer and stockman. They have children as follows: Wilmot Wright, of Lemoore; Aimee, wife of Samuel McCorkle. of Diimba ; Mary, who is a clerk in the postoffice at Lemoore; and Elmira, a student in the high school. In April, 1912, Mr. McLaughlin completed his comfortable brick residence on West D Street, which is up-to-date in every respect and adds greatly to the residence district of Lemoore, being most tasteful and attractive in design and appearance.
The Wright family of which Mrs. McLaughlin is a member came originally from England and were old Virginia settlers, coming to Ohio in the early part of the nineteenth century. Later they removed to Iowa, whence Mrs. McLaughlin's parents, Samuel and Amelia A. (Orton) Wright, came overland to California in 1849. Mrs. Wright is of Scotch ancestry and is now making her home at Lemoore, bright and active at the advanced age of eighty-four.
JOHN C JOHNSON
In the year 1845, on the sixth of January, John C. Johnson was born near Palmyra, in Marion County, Mo., a son of William Shirley and Ruth (Risk) Johnson. His mother was one of sixteen children of William Risk, an American officer in the Revolutionary war, whose shoe and knee buckles were run into six 'teaspoons and presented to her, as she was the youngest daughter in the family, and this custom is ever since followed from generation to generation, the relics descending to the youngest daughter. She was a native of Scott County, Ky., but moved to Marion County, Mo., and during her first winter there saw the snow three feet deep on level ground. She was early taught the ways of the housewife and often gave members of her family products of her spinning wheel and of her loom. Mr. Johnson has a bedspread which was woven by his mother from material of her own spinning, much of the work having been done by the light of one of the old style grease lamps. By her marriage with William Shirley Johnson she had a daughter named Elizabeth, who died in infancy, and a son, John C., who is the immediate subject of thisreview. By her first marriage with James Johnson, a brother of W. S. Mrs. Johnson had five children, of whom Mary A. is living. William R. married Clementine Adams, who bore him three children, and by a second marriage, with Louisa Dale, he had two daughters. Sarah J. became the wife of William M. Allen and bore him five sons and a daughter. Joseph S. married Rebecca Allen and had five daughters and two sons, all of whom are living in California. James H. married Sarah Shanks; daughter of the Rev. John Shanks, a Christian minister, and has two children. Mary A. married John W. Cason and has three sons and three daughters.
John C. Johnson, who was taken early from Marion County to Lewis County, Mo., has not married. He spent much of his life on the farm his father bought of the United States government at $1.25 an acre, to which John C. added forty acres, making a ranch of four hundred and forty acres. His parents had sold their property in Kentucky before they came to Missouri. In 1905 and 1906 he sold off the Missouri homestead of the family and in the latter year came to Tulare County, Cal., and bought sixty-two acres, thirty-five of which is under vines, twenty acres devoted to peaches. He raises also some alfalfa which runs about a ton an acre to a cutting. He has takenthirty-five tons of dried peaches from his land in a season, which he considers the banner yield. In national politics Mr. Johnson is a Democrat, but on local issues supports men and measures he considers for the public good. His interest in the general good is deep and abiding and he aids to the extent of his ability any movement proposed for the benefit of the community.
In a conversation some time since someone said of this man, who lives in the vicinity of Porterville, Tulare County, Cal., "He is a great booster for Tulare County." This is a homely way of saying very briefly that Mr. Michaelis, though a native of Germany, is loyal to the community with which he has cast his lot and is solicitous for its progress as any native son of the soil could possibly be. He was born August 1, 1882, was educated in the Fatherland and patriotically served two years in the German army. Coming to the United States when he was twenty-four years old, he spent his first few years in California in working at the mason's trade. His father and mother came to this County, too; the former passed away some years ago, and the latter is living in Tulare County.
Martha Yolitz, born September 24, 1881, a native of Germany, became Mr. Michaelis's wife in 1906. She has borne him two children, Willie, born January 4, 1908, and Martine, September 18, 1909. Soon after his arrival here Mr. Michaelis bought land, most of which is in grain, but seven acres are planted in pomegranate trees. His achievements, considering his opportunities, are noteworthy, the more so because they are the achievements of a self-made man, who in his day of small things began in a small way and has risen steadily year by year until he ranks with the prosperous men of his community Politically he is a Republican, interested in all that pertains to the public good. As a citizen he is always generously helpful to all movements for the common benefit.
A native of Ireland, Michael Gilligan was born November 15, 1830. After he had grown up he came to Canada, where he was employed for a time in railroad work. Eventually, in 1871, he came to California and remained long enough to fall in love with the country, but went back to Canada and lived there another year before settling here permanently. He located a quarter-section, his brother having located the same amount of land also. All of this land ultimately became his and by later purchase his holdings were increased to ten hundred and twenty acres. The sheep business subsequently engaged his attention, starting with three hundred and seventy-four head, and in time he owned as high as three thousand, but in 1877 he lost all but about seven hundred head. He was compelled to conform to the changes in farming and in stock growing with which the history of Central and Southern California has made every observer and reader familiar, and in time he sold out his sheep interests and gradually paid more and more attention to his land, which he is now handling in a way that makes it very profitable. In 1911 he sold his sheep to his son, who in turn sold them to a Frenchman who rents the Gilligan ranch.
In 1866 Mr. Gilligan married Nora Broderick, who was born and reared in Canada. Of the ten children born to them six have passed away, the four remaining being John E., Hugh, Michael T. and Nora. The latter married Jesse Riley. Mr. Gilligan is a public-spirited man who does his full share in promotion of the general uplift. His interest in the country in which he has cast his fortunes is all the deeper because his recollections of it in the days that are gone are those of a pioneer, who came to it when it was practically a wild state, with antelope and other game plentiful and Indians in evidence everywhere. At that time there was only one house between his home and Visalia, twenty-five miles.
BARNEY DE LA GRANGE
The great grand-father of Barney De La Grange, of Orosi, Cal., came to America to fight for the independence of the colonies under command of General Lafayette, and hence Mr. De La Grange is a genuine Son of the American Revolution, without the necessity of joining the association of that name. Mr. De La Grange is one of the best known carpenters and orange growers in the district north of Orosi and a leading citizen of Tulare County, and was born in West Virginia April 16, 1858, a son of Omie and Elizabeth (McLain) De La Grange, respectively of French and Scotch ancestry. There were in his father's family nine children, five of whom were daughters. When Barney De La Grange was thirteen years old his parents moved to Ohio. He has in the course of his life been an extensive traveler in America, having covered the entire country from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes and from ocean to ocean. He married in West Virginia, Ida M. Lewis, a native of Kentucky, but of English parentage, and she bore him a daughter, Lena Marie, who married George M. Daniels, of Creston, Iowa, and has sons, James B. and Lloyd. Mrs. De La Grange passed away in 1895, in West Virginia.
In his youth Mr. De La Grange learned the trade of carpenter and builder in which he was employed at different times and at different places. He has recently bought a ranch of twenty acres north of Orosi and will plant it to navel, Valencia and other varieties of oranges. He has lived in Tulare County since 1909, having come here from. Fresno County, where he had located eight years before.
It has been seen that Mr. De La Grange is a descendant of a patriot hero "of the days that tried men's souls." He is the proud owner of a pair of shoe buckles once worn by his great-grandmother when she danced with George Washington at a famous ball in Philadelphia. Of German silver, of beautiful design and fine workmanship, they are exceedingly interesting relics. Omie De La Grange, father of Barney, was a veteran of the war of 1812 and served his country in the Mexican war. Mr. De La Grange's brother William enlisted in Company B, Eleventh Virginia Infantry, April 1, 1862, and served three years in the Civil war. He is now a citizen of Selma. Politically Mr. De La Grange is a Republican and his religious affiliations are with the Methodist Church. Fraternally he is identified with the Woodmen.
JOHN B HOCKETT
The life of the late John B. Hockett, of Porterville, Tulare County, Cal., spanned the period from 1827 to 1898. He was born at Huntsville, Ala., and died at his California home. From Alabama he moved to Arkansas and in 1849 from there to California. His father, William Hockett, came here with him and they mined for some time on the Tuolumne River. Eventually John B. Hockett went back east and remained over the winter, returning in 1854 and settling in Lagrange, Stanislaus County, where he operated a butcher shop. There in 1859 he married Miss Margaret McGee, a native of Texas, born January 27, 1840, who bore him seven children, all born in Tulare County, where they settled in 1859. At Visalia he engaged in merchandising withJohnson & Jordan, and later with Reinstein & Clapp. In 1864 became to Porterville engaged in the hardware business in Porterville about 1889, remaining three years, and was interested in the stock business for years.
The parents of Mrs. Hockett made a nine months' journey with ox-teams across the plains to California in 1850, locating for a time at Los Angeles, thence to Santa Barbara, and in 1851 they settled at San Juan. In 1852 they were at Stockton and then settled between the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers near Knights Ferry. On the way across the plains the supply of food was exhausted and they were nourished only by eating boiled wheat. As if to add to their troubles, most of their stock died by the way. Mrs. Hockett states that when she first went to the site of Porterville the town, if such it could be called even by courtesy, consisted of one small shack and a tent. She hasin her possession the first postoffice furniture ever used there, which was brought into requisition some years after she and her husband made their home there. In the early days of the locality there were many Indians near by, and some of them were not pleasant neighbors.
Of the seven children of Mr. and Mrs. Hockett, five are living. Benjamin F. lives near Hot Springs; Robert Lee lives on White River; E. Barton is at Portola; Lena became the wife of R. H. Allen and resides at Roseville; and Dora married E. L. Scott, of Porterville. The old family home included land in Porterville now covered by part of the townsite. Mr. Hockett acquired land from time to time until his holdings were very large. His widow still owns five sections of grazing land in Tulare and Kern counties and one city block in Porterville, where has been the family residence since December, 1864. Mrs. Hockett's recollections of Porterville and vicinity are very interesting. It was four years before her arrival that the River changed its course, but she had her experiences and witnessed some exciting scenes at the time of the floods of '67-'68 and '69-'70 when the water covered almost the entire town and people had to go about in boats.
Fraternally Mr. Hockett affiliated with the Masons and was Master of the Visalia lodge, being member also of Royal Arch Chapter ; the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He was a busy and helpful man who counted his friends by scores, his business associates by hundreds. His interest in the growth and prosperity of Porterville impelled him to do everything in his power for the welfare of the community. He was instrumental in establishing the first school and the first Church there, and served on the school board. Since his death Mrs. Hockett proved up on his homestead and purchased three claims of one hundred and sixty acres each, and has improved them; a well of four hundred and forty feet depth has been put down. When he passed away he was publicly mourned by the people with whom he had lived so long and whom he had helped in so many ways.
The life story of William Swall, one of the large landowners of the Visalia district and one of the honored citizens of Tulare County, a model of honesty and enterprise and foremost in all good works, is a most interesting one. He was born in LaSalle County, Ill., November 5, 1848, a son of Mathias and Elizabeth (Hayne) Swall, both natives of Germany, the father born in Berlin, January 24, 1824.
In 1840, Mathias Swall came to America in an old-time sailing vessel and settled in LaSalle County, Ill., where he marriedSpyil 167 1847. There he farmed till 1865, in the summer of that year coming to California by way of Panama. He remained that winter on a farm near San Jose, and in the fall of 1866 settled near Tracy, San Joaquin County. His land there he sold in 1871, when he went to Monterey County, and farmed and raised stock until in 1877, when he moved to Ventura County. Thence he went to Sherman, Los Angeles County, late in 1882. He farmed and conducted a dairy almost to the time of his death in May, 1896. His widow still lives at Sherman. In religion Mr. Swall was a Catholic, in politics a Democrat.
First born of his parents' family of two daughters and nine sons, William Swall secured what education he could in the public school near his Illinois home. Later he attended school in Santa Clara County, Cal., and was for a term a student at the San Jose Institute. Meantime he had become a practical farmer of wide and accurate knowledge. In 1873 he homesteaded eighty acres of land in Tulare County and later bought land along the Tule River. In 1884 he moved to his present farm of seventeen hundred acres, known as Deep Creek Ranch, which as he has improved it is one of the finest properties in the County, and has four hundred acres in peaches, prunes, pears, apples, plums, nectarines and English walnuts. He owns all in all seventeen hundred acres, and his extensive operations necessitate the renting of an additional thousand acres, which he devotes to stock and fruit. As a farmer he has been well-informed and up-to-date in all respects. He employs on his ranch from thirty to fifty men. His dairy has an electric power plant for pumping water, and there is a similar plant for lighting his house and barns. The place is provided with an adequate and convenient water system. It is one of the notable alfalfa farms of the district, having six hundred acres set apart for that crop.
From time to time Mr. Swall has diverted his energies from the farm to the town and he is a director of the Bank of Tulare, a director of the Tulare Co-operative Creamery Company, a stockholder of the Tulare Telephone Company and a director in the Rochdale stores of Tulare. He has been prominent in the promotion of irrigation and was one of the originators of the Tulare Irrigation District. Since 1903 he has been one of the directors of the district. A Republican, interested in all public questions but never an office seeker, he has nevertheless been a director of the Elk Bayou school district. Mr. Swall married Emma Cole, born in Knox County, Ill., a daughter of Asa Cole, a native of Ohio, who crossed the plains to California with his family in 1856 and located in Contra Costa County. Several years later Mr. Cole went to Santa Clara County and in 1866 he located near Tracy, San Joaquin County. In 1873 he came to Visalia, whence in 1888 he removed to Brentwood, Contra Costa County, where he passed away in the autumn of that same year. Mr. and Mrs. Swall were the parents of children as follows: George, who is a dairy rancher near Visalia; Newell, who is deceased; Walter, who is also a dairy rancher near Visalia; Arthur, who is superintendent of the Neuman ranch, south of Tulare; and William, Jr., who lives south of Visalia, not far from his father. Mr. and Mrs. Swall also have eleven grandchildren.
Mr. Swall has been described as a prince of good fellows, always ready to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate than himself. The responsibilities of citizenship appeal to him forcefully and definitely. While his character is commanding he is eminently fair in all business transactions and is admired for his kindness, sympathy and good judgment. His loyalty to his family, to his friends and to his convictions has never been questioned.
JOHN A WILSON
One of the leading cattle men of his district, John A. Wilson, who lives at No. 720 North Irwin Street, Hanford, was born in 1862, in the part of Tulare County which is now Kings County, twelve miles north east of the site of Hanford, a son of 0. L. and Rose J. Wilson. The elder Wilson came to California in 1848 and was a pioneer of pioneers. He mined in Placer County and on the Feather and American Rivers and after 1850 settled in the vicinity of Gilroy, where he farmed extensively until 1857. In that year he married and came to this part of the state.
It was in the district schools of the days of his youth that John A. Wilson was educated. He began at seventeen, with some financial aid from his father, to fight the battle of life for himself. His career since then has been one of ups and downs, but he has never gone down hopelessly and he is undeniably up at this time so well established that there is little probability that he will suffer further disaster.
In 1887 Mr. Wilson married Miss Mary Alcorn, of California, and their daughter is the wife of Marion Hefton, of Hanford. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows includes Mr. Wilson as one of the most valued members of its Hanford organizations, and he is popular not only with the brethren of the order but with the citizens of Hanford and Kings County generally. Friendly and optimistic, he has a pleasant word for all whom he meets and a ready hand for the assistance of the general interests of the town.
Noteworthy among the pioneer settlers of Tulare County was the late James Houston, for over forty years a respected and valued citizen of Visalia. The descendant of a long line of Southern ancestry, he was also a native of the Southland, having been born in Tennessee. During young manhood he located near Pocahontas, Randolph County, Ark., this being at a time of an uprising of the Indians, and he valiantly took a hand in quieting these disturbances and other troubles that arose incident to border life. During the Sabine disturbances of 1837 he enlisted in the United States army and as a lieutenant of the mounted gun militia of Arkansas rendered a service that was appreciated, as was evidenced in the fact that at the time of his discharge he received the brevet of major. Mr. Houston was a second cousin to the famous Sam Houston of Texas, and no doubt inherited his intrepid spirit from the same source as did his celebrated relative.
The marriage of James Houston united him with Frances Sebourn Black, a native of Virginia and the descendant of a prominent Southern family, being related to the Sebourns of South Carolina and to General Cobb, the latter a conspicuous figure in the Revolution. In 1859 James Houston brought his family to California across the plains by means of ox-teams. For a short time he mined at Hangtown, now Placerville, but in the spring of 1860 he came to Tulare County and made settlement in Visalia. Purchasing land near town he made his home thereon until 1902, when his earth life came to a close, at the venerable age of ninety-three years. His wife survived him about three years, passing away in 1905 at the age of eighty-four years. Of the eleven children born to this worthy couple seven are living, as follows: Mrs. E. B. Townsend, of Visalia; Mrs. J.W. Oakes, also of Visalia; Miss Thalia Houston; Mrs. R. A. Robertson, of Kingman, Ariz. ; Mrs. Ed Graham, of Berkeley; Mrs. John Wentworth, of Globe, Ariz.; and Andrew, an extensive cattle rancher near Phoenix, Ariz. The four children deceased are: Maria, who was the wife of A. H. Glascock, a well known citizen of Tulare County; Samuel T.; Mrs. Frances S. Chilson, and William, who was a well known attorney of Visalia.
In Seneca County, Ohio, January 27, 1852, was born Joseph Ley, son of Andrew and Mary (Steinmetz) Ley, natives of Alsace Loraine, Germany. When he was nine years old his family removed to Noble County, Ind. There he grew up on his father's farm and he was employed as a farmer until he was twenty-four years old. In 1876 he went to Iowa, farmed near Sioux City for five years, going from there to Thomas County, Neb., where for six years he followed farming. He came to Tulare County in 1891 with little worldly goods besides an ax and a cross-cut saw, with which he was ready to make his living unless some better means should be at hand. He prospered by hard work and was enabled, eventually, to buy seventy-five acres of land at $3 an acre in Squaw Valley, Fresno County, and in1905 he bought one hundred acres more. His holdings consist of one hundred and seventy-five acres, located in Squaw Valley, which was so named because in an earlier day Indians often left their squaws there to await their return from hunting expeditions. He has ninety acres under cultivation and some of it has produced four tons of hay per acre, and in 1911 he raised twenty sacks of barley to the acre. The remainder of his tract is in pasture. He keeps horses for his own use and usually has on his farm about twenty head of cattle. All the improvements he installed on the place.
Mr. Ley married, in Indiana, Miss Effie Smith, of English birth, whose parents had settled in Pennsylvania and moved thence to the Hoosier state. They have six children: John E., Martin M., Oliver, Mary, Rose Ann and Susan A. John E. married May Applegate and has a daughter and a son. Mary is the wife of Frank Volf; they have two sons and four daughters and their home is in Calaveras County. The others make their home with their parents.
Politically Mr. Ley is independent of party affiliations. He has no great liking for practical politics, and one of the most vivid recollections of his boyhood days is of having gone to the polls on election day to see and hear Northern and Southern sympathizers wrangle over questions on which they were at odds. He and his family are members of the Catholic Church.
JAMES WALLACE OAKES
The Canadian family of Oakes, originally from France, had its first American representatives in New Brunswick. John W. Oakes died there at the advanced age of one hundred years. His son, Hammond Oakes, was for many years a lumberman on the St. John's River, then located near Port Ryerse, where he farmed and raised stock, prospering as a stock-raiser near Port Ryerse. He became the owner of three farms, and died aged eighty-five years. He married Miss Isabelle Hammon, who was descended from old New England families, and located as a farmer and stockman near New London. She died aged sixty-eight sears. Of their eleven children, only five of whom are living, James Wallace Oakes, fifth in order of nativity, was the only one who came to California. He was born in Canada West, in 1836, and reared on his father's farm. He was not only well educated in a literary way, but wasgiven practical training which was beneficial to him as long as he lived. He came to the United States in 1855 and stopped near Sabula, Jackson County, Iowa, until the following spring, when he bought one hundred and eighty acres of prairie and timber land in Harrison County, Mo., which he proceeded to break and improve, one of his first purchases for his farm having been a yoke of oxen. In the spring of 1857 he was employed by Upton Hayes as driver of a freighting team between Fort Leavenworth and Camp Floyd. Relinquishing that employment, he went to Salt Lake, Utah, and from there he and fifteen others set out for California by way of Carson, Nevada, but at Genoa they sold their ox-teams, and came the rest of the way on mule back. He mined at Placerville, in Nevada County, and at Marysville until 1868, then came to Tulare County and rented a ranch of B. G. Parker, on Elbow Creek, where he began farming on a scale large for that time. He conducted three farms, meanwhile improving his own ranch, operating altogether about seven hundred acres. He also operated a ranch owned by his wife. Mill Creek and Packwood Creek and a ditch which he and others constructed all traverse this property, about one hundred and thirty acres of which was devoted by him to alfalfa, the balance having been given over to dairying. At one time he owned eighty-five mulch cows. Toward the end he leased this ranch for dairy purposes, furnishing the stock. He had also a stock ranch of twenty-two hundred acres, about thirty-five miles east of Visalia, on which he raised cattle and horses.
Fraternally Mr. Oakes affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he was a Democrat; never shirking the responsibilities of citizenship, but never consenting to become a candidate for office. However, he was for two years a deputy sheriff under Sheriff Balaam and later for three years a deputy United States marshal under Marshal Franks. The duties of the last-mentioned position included the settlement of the Mussel Slough troubles of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and settlers on its land in this vicinity and demanded great tact and diplomacy, for the people were naturally suspicious of anyone attempting an adjustment of the dispute. Before undertaking the work, Mr. Oakes gained the consent of the railroad company to exercise his own discretion, and he soon won the confidence of the land claimants and brought about amicable settlement of all questions in controversy and returned to private life with the commendation of all with whom he had business dealings.
The lady who became the wife of Mr. Oakes was Mrs. Margaret I. (Houston) Allen, a native of Arkansas, whose first husband, W. B. Allen, came to California in 1857 and settled in Mariposa County, but later became a stock-raiser in Tulare County, where he passed away July 26, 1867. Her son, William Byron Allen, is engaged in farming on a ranch of two hundred and twenty acres, two miles east of Visalia, and owned by himself and his mother. Mr. Oakes died December 4, 1909.
M L CRAMER
This active and progressive citizen of Springville. Cal.,was born in 1864 near Cottage postoffice, Tulare County, one of the early settlements in that part of the state. In 1865 his parents moved to Mountain View, on the north fork of the Tule, and continued to reside there until 1887. When he was a small boy there was no school near his home, but one was available to him there when he was nine years old and he attended it in 1872 and in 1873. His life has been a busy and useful one and he has had to do with many interests of importance. As a machinist he has been employed in responsible places here and there. Since locating in Springville lie has worked at his trade as occasion has offered, giving attention, meanwhile, to other business matters also. His activities in connection with the Lindsay Planing mill are matters of public knowledge. Fraternally he affiliates with the Porterville lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. His experience in this part of the state dates back to the days when deer were plenty in the woods and wild game was to be found everywhere. He has seen the country settled and improved and villages spring up on every hand and quickly develop into cities of more or less importance. In all this growth he has taken the interest of a public- spirited man. As a member of the local school board he has done not a little to advance the efficiency of the public schools.
In 1887 Mr. Cramer married Miss Mae Baker, a native of Kansas, who has borne him six children: Morris, Bessie, Frank, Violet, Eleanor and John. Mr. Cramer's father, J. K. Cramer, a native of Pennsylvania, came to California in 1851, crossing the plains in the slow and dangerous way then in vogue. Taking up land which eventually proved to be railroad property, he suffered disappointment and loss in being compelled to forfeit it. His wife, Eleanor Ott, a native of Ohio, came overland with her parents in 1850, and they were married at Petaluma, Cal., in 1857.
ALLEN J ATWELL (HON)
The name above will be recalled as that of one who as lawyer, journalist, legislator and man of affairs was long. prominent in the County. The late Allen J. Atwell was born at Pharsalia, Chenango County, N. Y., April 16, 1836, and died at Visalia November 21,1891. His parents were Daniel L. and Mehetabel (June) Atwell, both natives of the Empire State. When he was ten years old his family removed to Wisconsin, and after a preparation in the public schools he became a student at the Lawrence University at Appleton, Wis„ graduating with first honors from the first class of that university. Because of alphabetical precedence his name headed the membership list of the class.
The day after graduation, Mr. Atwell went to Nebraska, where he read law a year under competent direction. In the early '50s he crossed the plains to California, and after stopping for a time in San Diego he came to Visalia, where he was soon afterward admitted to the bar and where in due course of events he gained a place in history as the orator who delivered the first Fourth of July oration at that County seat. He succeeded as a general practitioner of law, was made district attorney of the County and was elected to represent Tulare County in the legislature of California. He won much success as prosecuting attorney, several important eases having fallen to his management during his term of service, and as an assemblyman the records show that he not only achieved distinction on the floor of the house, but did important and patriotic work as a member of committees. He was for a time owner of the Visalia Times, which under his control was a local newspaper of much influence. During another period he owned and operated a lumber mill near Mineral King, and among his possessions at one time was Atwell's Island, in Tulare lake, where he raised cattle and hogs. For some years he was associated in the practice of law with N. 0. Bradley of Visalia. In his long and useful career he was identified from time to time with various local organizations, and as a citizen he was notably public-spirited.
In 1861 Mr. Atwell married Miss Mary M. Van Epps, a native of Illinois, who survives him, and they were the parents of nine children: Mary, wife of F. M. Creighton; Arthur J.; Nellie, wife of B. J. Ball, of Visalia ; Irving, who is dead; Clarence C.; Allen L.; Paul; Ethel, who is the wife of Hugh McPhail; and Lizetta, who is Mrs. E. Martin.
HENRY CHRISTOPHER ROES
A native of Hanover, Germany, Henry Christopher Roes, who now lives three and a half miles southeast of Dinuba in Tulare County, Cal.. was born November 10, 1835. He received the usual common school education of the place and time and when he was in his fourteenth year came over seas to New York. There he attended night school and was for six years a clerk in a grocery store. Then he came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, sailing to Aspinwall, crossing the Isthmus on foot and transporting his baggage on a mule, and from Panama came to 'Frisco on a ship that had come around the Horn. The voyage from Panama to San Francisco consumed eight days and was not marked by any accident. After a short stay in 'Frisco Mr. Roes went to Stockton, where during the ensuing eighteen months he was proprietor of a general store. Then for three years he was mining in Calaveras County, where he and a man named Hines staked out a claim and were measurably successful, taking out some days as much as $50 worth of ore, but not being experienced miners they lost in one way or another about as much as they made. Returning to Stockton, Mr. Roes operated a grocery six months, then went to La Grange, where he mined until 1868. Early in that year he went to Europe, and returning he made a tour of the Southern states and in November was in South California when General Grant was elected president the first time. About two years later he started for San Francisco by way of Panama. He arrived in San Francisco in February, 1870, and soon went to Stanislaus County, where he was for three years a merchant. His next place of residence was Merced, which was then coming into prominence by reason of the building of the railroad. There he dealt in lumber. It was in Merced that he married Miss Louisa Snedeker, of French descent and a native of New Orleans, in 1874. She bore him two children, Edna L. and Edna Louisa. The latter. has passed away. Edna L. married W. E. Rushing, a native of Texas. Mrs. Roes died in 1887.
Mr. Roes sold his lumber yard two years before he was married and started in the sheep business in the Smith mountain district. At one time he was the owner of twelve thousand head of Spanish Merinos, had other important interests and was in receipt of a salary of $125 a month and expenses as manager. The country all about him was in a state of nature. Standing on the mountain with a spy glass, he could see sheep, cattle, horses and antelope for many miles in every direction. Many herds of antelope contained as many as fifty or sixty animals and he killed many antelope for meat. Deer and bear were numerous in the mountains. He had but few neighbors and one of them, in his early days there, was Mr. Edmonson. He was in the sheep business eighteen years and made many thousand dollars. He left it to engage in wheat growing and eventually homesteaded and improved land. The business had not been without its disadvantages. Many of his sheep had been killed by bear and his loss by accident and disease was sometimes heavy. He was twenty-two milesdistant from Visalia, his nearest market town, which he had frequently to visit for many purposes, on one memorable occasion running his horse nearly the whole distance. The journey to and fro consumed a day or more time. There being no roads a part of the way was necessarily difficult. About six years ago he bought twenty acres which he has devoted to vines and alfalfa and he has charge of twenty acres, the property of another man. He has been particularly successful with the Thompson seedless grapes.
When he was twenty-three years old Mr. Roes became a member of the Masonic order and he has been identified with the Blue Lodge at Merced since 1899. In his politics he is Republican. He is a communicant of the German Lutheran Church.
JASPER N BERGEN
April 19, 1862, Jasper N. Bergen was born in Minnesota. He is now a prosperous fruit grower, two miles and a half southeast of Lindsay, Tulare County, Cal. His parents, natives of Indiana, have passed away. His sister was the first of the family to come to California. When he was twenty-six years old, in 1888, Mr. Bergen came here to visit her, and during a seven months' stay made trips of observation to different parts of the state. He went back to his old home and remained there seven years, then came again to California and during the succeeding seven years was farming five miles north of Woodville. It was not until 1902 that he occupied his present ranch of twenty acres. Small farms are rapidly becoming a feature of Tulare County; many families are not only making a good living, but are each year banking money from returns of twenty-acre orchard, vineyard or alfalfa field. Such farmers are always located close to town and they have daily mails and telephone service that rob rural life of its isolation and make social conditions agreeable. The home built up by Mr. Bergen is one of the pleasantest in its vicinity. For the vacant land he paid $65 an acre, and planting seven acres of figs, he produced a good crop, packed it himself and sold it in the local market at fifteen cents a pound. Four years later he planted five acres of orange trees and two years ago he planted five acres more. His place is almost entirely devoted to figs and oranges.
In 1901 Mr. Bergen married Miss Sarah Etta Dunham, a native of Indiana and a daughter of parents born in that state. Socially he affiliates with the Lindsay organization of the order of Fraternal Aid, of which he was a charter member. While he is not an active politician, he takes an intelligent interest in all economic questions and is helpful to the uplift of the community in a public-spirited way. As a fruit grower he is progressive and resourceful and he is fast coming to the front as one of the leaders in that industry in his part of the County. With figs he has been remarkably successful, and in 1911 he packed about forty-five hundred pounds gathered from four hundred and eight trees.
A son of Frederick and Sarah (Butler) Swan, William Swan was born in Kent, England, November 7, 1849, and was two years and a half old when he was brought to the United States by his mother, his father having preceded him in 1850. The family lived in Indiana until 1858, then settled in Decatur County, Iowa, where Frederick Swan bought one hundred and sixty acres of government land at $1.25 an acre, which he improved and on which he lived out his days, dying in 1893, aged eighty-four years. Mrs. Swan died in 1900.
In Iowa, William Swan learned farming and worked at it until 1875, when he came to Tulare County. He went up into the mountains in the neighborhood of Sequoia lake and worked in the timbers and later tended sheep for a while in Kings River at Reedley. Then he came to the valley. Those were pioneer days in a new, wild country, and he had often to cope with bears foraging for food and saw at different times as many as a thousand antelope. His first holding in the valley was two hundred and forty acres of railroad land. Later he bought six hundred and forty acres of other land and acquired a half interest in oak timber land in the mountains. He sold forty acres of land in small tracts, by judicious subdivision. He has now ten acres of fruit bearing land. Around his house are a number of large trees and he owns the biggest orange tree in Tulare County.
The woman who became Mr. Swan's wife was Mary Smith, a native of Kansas, who had taken up her residence in California. Their children who are living are: Bertha J.; Wesley W.; Gertrude; and Wilma E., at home. Bertha J. married J. W. Smith, a native son of California. The Swan family is a family of Democrats and Mr. Swan has served his fellow townsmen as school trustee, in which office his son-in-law, J. W. Smith, is serving at this time. Mr. Swan and Mr. Smith are enterprising and public spirited, ready at all times to do their utmost for the general good.
FRANK REMBRANDT KELLENBERG
Prominent in real estate circles in Visalia and the San Joaquin valley in general, Mr. Kellenberg's enterprise and ability ho'i;:t.--ivonfor him an enviable place among his fellows, yet his high principles and keen sense of justice have actuated throughout his successful career none but the fairest dealings. Mr. Kellenberg was born June 11, 1854, in Alton, Madison County, Ill., and was the second youngest in a family of two sons and five daughters. His father, Francis Jerome Kellenberg, a native of Georgetown, D. C., was an artist of exceptional ability, his early predilection for drawing having been followed by thorough training therein. In his home town he established a studio where he devoted his time to his beloved art, both landscapes and portraits receiving his attention, and after his removal to Alton, where he opened a studio, he continued to maintain his first work shop. In 1860, after the death of his wife, he took his family to Visalia, Cal., where, until his death in 1876, he continued to work at his profession, taking up artistic sign painting also during his latter years. Among his best works are his copies of the Duke of Athens, Venus Arising from the Sea, the Court of Death. upon which he worked almost twelve years, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and an original study, The Dance of the Four Seasons. He painted, also, many of the scenic charms of the beautiful Yosemite valley. His delight in life was to work out through the medium of his brush the dreams created by his soul, and his nature. kindly and compassionate toward all living creatures, was unsullied by selfish greed of gain.
Frank Rembrandt Kellenberg received his education in the schools of Visalia, whereupon he entered the employ of Richard E. Hyde, a pioneer merchant of that city, also for thirty years president of the Bank of Visalia. In his first position Mr. Kellenberg served eighteen months. when he became a clerk in the establishment of Douglas & Company, who later sold to Stevens & Company, with whom Mr. Kellenberg remained many years. Eleven years and six months from the date of his entrance as an employee of the store, he purchased a one-fourth interest in same, but in 1881 he disposed of his share in the establishment and started a retail shoe business, which for seven years he profitably conducted. In 1906 he sold his store and entered the real estate field which, offering a more untrammeled and largely open air life, had long appealed to him.
In1885 Mr. Kellenberg was united in marriage with Miss Minnie Rebecca Kelsey, a daughter of Hiram Kelsey, who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. Some of the most important sales of which Mr. Kellenberg is the author, are the following: The Bequette estate, consisting of eight hundred acres; the Benjamin Hicks tract north of Visalia, eight hundred acres; a tract of six hundred and forty acres in Kings County, and the twenty-four hundred acre Brandon ranch in Fresno County. He owned and sold also large ranch interests as follows: Three hundred and twenty acres near Orosi; six hundred and ninety- one acres near Orosi, in the Stokes mountains; one hundred and sixty acres near Cross creek; eighty acres near Farmersville; one hundred and sixty acres on the Tule River; fifty acres three miles from Visalia. and numerous smaller places. He is at present interested in a section of land in the Lost Hills, Kern County, where oil has been found and where drillings are now taking place.
Mr. and Mrs. Kellenberg have been blessed with a son and a daughter, Frank Guido and Louise. In retrospection, Mr. Kellenberg frequently mentions his early days in the west, beginning with the never-to-be-forgotten stage coach trip across the plains, from Gilroy to Visalia, then inhabited only by wild horses and antelope, which took flight at thesound or sight of man. He has been one of Visalia's most dependable citizens, always prompt to lend his aid whenever possible toward the development of the community.
One of Visalia's substantial citizens was Hiram Kelsey, who passed away August 8, 1907. He was born in Logan County, Ohio, December 10, 1829, his ancestors having been pioneers of Kentucky and also among the first settlers of Ohio. In 1799 his grandfather, John Kelsey, moved from the former state toWarren County, forty miles north of Cincinnati, when his son Abner, father of Hiram, was but six months old. In this section Abner Kelsey spent his youth, and ere he reached his majority wedded Miss Nancy Purdy, a native of Genesee County, N. Y., whose mother, Miss Brown before her marriage, was a native of Scotland. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Kelsey, nine of whom grew to maturity; but two, however, are now living. Both husband and wife lived to a good old age, ninety-one and eighty, respectively.
In 1852 Hiram Kelsey crossed the plains to California and prospected for a time in Placer County, later moving to the San Jose valley, where he conducted a farm. In 1854 he returned to Placer County and engaged in the butcher business, securing his beef from the well-known Todd brothers, cattle dealers of Napa valley. In addition to his profitable trade, Mr. Kelsey's income from his mine ventures was not inconsiderable. After three years in this location he returned east, where he married Miss Jemima Hill, and with his bride located on an Iowa farm, where they resided seven years, and where three of their children were born: Isadora May ( now Mrs. George A. Butz), Harlan W. and Minnie R. (wife of Frank R. Kellenberg of Visalia). As a proof of his popularity and executive ability, Mr. Kelsey was elected three times to serve as supervisor while residing in Marion County, Iowa. Later he disposed of his farm and took his family to Michigan, where they resided two years, moving, in 1886, to Missouri. Their youngest son, John W., was born in California, and in 1873 the family came to Visalia, where Mr. Kelsey engaged in business and where his conscientious principles and wide sympathies, soon recognized by his fellow citizens, were able to find adequate expression during his service of two years as health officer. Later he established a butcher shop in Tulare, and in 1887 retired from active life, spending his last days in Visalia. For many years Mr. Kelsey was the oldest member of the Knights of Pythias, and upon his death was mourned by a large number of friends who appreciated his genial, kindly nature and his keen sense of justice.
HENRY C SMITH
The hardy Norwegian, wherever the fortunes of life may cast him, be he safely landed or shipwrecked, is quite likely to make the best of the situation in which he is placed and more certain than men of some other nationalities which might be mentioned to win all the success that is enwrapped in the possibilities of the unknown future. Kings County has had some pioneers and numerous citizens of this nationality. One of the best known of them is Henry C. Smith of Guernsey, son of John H. Smith, who was born in Norway in November, 1813, eventually coming to Tulare County, and died there May, 1907.
Henry C. Smith was born at Sonora, Tuolumne County, Cal., February 12, 1866, and lived with his father wherever the latter's agricultural enterprises caused him to establish a home until the old Norwegian farmer passed away. As a boy he attended Lakeside district school until he was seventeen years old. Afterwards, in accordance with the custom which has obtained quite generally with farmers' sons, he gave his services to his father until he was twenty-one years old. After that, as has been stated, the two were associated in business during the remainder of the life of the elder Smith. Since his father passed away the son has given his attention to general farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of the breeding of hogs. He owns eight hundred acres of good land and a one-half interest in an additional two hundred and eighty acres. As a farmer he has been very successful and takes rank with the best agriculturists in his part of the County.
In 1909 Mr. Smith built the Kings County Cheese factory, of which he is the sole owner, and its location is on the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of section twenty-five, township twenty, range twenty-one. On his land are a hundred and seventy-five cows whose milk is utilized in the factory. His cheese-maker is an expert in his line and they manufacture three brands of cheese, viz.: Young American, Flat and Monterey, all being full-cream and commanding the highest market prices because of their delicious taste and excellent quality. Constantly looking for improvements, Mr. Smith, in 1911 and 1912, put down two artesian wells so that his lands are now among the best irrigated tracts in the County. The wells have a depth of twenty-three hundred and eighty and two thousand feet respectively, and flow copiously, and in connection with the Lakeside ditch furnish an abundance of water for irrigation purposes.
In 1899 Henry C. Smith married Miss Marie Heinrich, a native of Kansas, who has borne him six children: Albert, Ethel, Clara, Vernon, Marie and Queenie. Mr. Smith takes a deep and abiding interest in everything that pertains to the advancement of his County and state and is ready at alltimes with liberal encouragement of measures directed to the benefit of the people at large.
Painting and paper hanging is now a well recognized trade, and those who succeed in it are men who like the Vail Brothers of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., have given years to its acquisition and practice. J. W. and E. M. Vail were born at Antioch, Contra Costa County, Cal., sons of F. M. Vail, a painter, who had himself served an apprenticeship to a trade which he had perfected by long years of experience. When the sons were mere boys their parents took them to Lemoore, Kings County, where their father taught them their trade and they began their career as contractors of painting and paper hanging. It was in 1911 that they built their present store and shops on North Douty Street, Hanford, materially extending their business after having devoted ten years of work and study to it. Besides handling materials for their own contracts, they sell house lining, wall paper, paint, oils and glass and merchandise of all kinds which can be utilized in interior or outside decoration of buildings.
There are not in Hanford, in the younger business circles, two more popular or well esteemed men than J. W. and E. M. Vail. They take a public spirited interest in all the affairs of the town and affiliate with several of its fraternal organizations, notably with the Native Sons of the Golden West, the. Improved Order of Red Menand the Woodmen of the World. They are members of the Painters' union, of which J. W. has served as trustee and E. M. is the recording secretary.
In July, 1897, J. W. Vail married Miss Mary Bollman, a native of Atlanta, Ga., then living in Kings County, and they have daughters named Mary and Agnes. E. M. Vail married Miss Minnie Cox in 1901, and they have had two sons and a daughter. The second son died when two years of age. The two living are named respectively Frank and Minnie May.
To F. M. Vail, the father of J. W. and, E. M. Vail, belongs the distinction of being the first man married in Kings County. His second union at an age of forty-three with his present wife, then Mrs. Hattie Stanton, a native of California, on the second day of June, 1893, is the first marriage recorded in said County.
ROBERT K OGDEN
A native of the Prairie State, now one of the successful men of Tulare County, the career of Robert K. Ogden has been one of struggles and success. He was born at Victoria, Knox County, Ill., April 2, 1864, a son of Mathew B. and Catherine (Fisher) Ogden, the one a native of Pennsylvania, the other of Illinois. The father came to California and, locating in Riverside, was one of the pioneer orange growers in the southern part of the state. He met with much success and became widely known in fruit circles as well as in the leading markets of California and the East. He so far won the confidence of his fellow citizens that they called him to the office of justice of the peace and elected him a member of the board of supervisors of Riverside County.
In young manhood Robert K. Ogden engaged in freighting between Leavenworth, Kans., and Santa Fe, N. Mex. Buffalo and other wild game were plentiful in that part of the country at that time,, and he saw buffalo chased by hunters through the Streets of Dodge City, Kans. After he had freighted for a time he went to Indian Territory. He once drove a band of horses to New Orleans and later was engaged in the livery business for a year in Arkansas. We next find him in Montgomery County, in his native state, working for wages. From Illinois he went to Kansas City, Mo., where he was employed to assist in the construction of a railroad from that city to Beatrice, Gage County, Neb. California has been his home since 1889 and he began his career here as a rancher on Lewis creek, between Exeter and Lindsay. In the period 1891-95 he was farming west of Visalia, growing wheat extensively and breeding hogs in large numbers. In 1896 he bought his present farm of sixty acres on the Exeter road, four miles from Visalia, and has greatly improved the property, planting much of it to alfalfa and maintaining a fine dairy. He is considered one of the up-to-date farmers of Tulare County and his success is of so substantial a character that it seems to hold out a promise of noteworthy future achievement.
In December, 1891, Mr. Ogden married Miss Pearl Mathewson, who was born in Tulare County, a daughter of one of its pioneers. They own a fine home in Visalia. Mrs. Ogden has been a worthy helpmate to her worthy husband and hasgiven him her sympathy and encouragement in all the years since their marriage. They have children named Arthur M., Harry R., Beulah, Beryl, Ralph and Wanda. Mr. Ogden affiliates with the Eagles, the Modern Woodmen and the Woodmen of the World.
ENOCH A SMITH
On his father's side the subject of this sketch is descended from old Virginia families and on his mother's from families long known near Frankfort, Scott County, Kentucky. His parents were Jeptha and Nancy Rachel (Waller) Smith and he was born in Kentucky, January 26, 1840. When he was five years old his parents took him to Northeast Missouri, where his father farmed and where his mother died in 1848. In 1850 his father came overland, with ox-teams, with the Hill outfit, to California and located in Yolo County. From there he later went to Nevada County, where he mined for a short time and later was otherwise employed until 1866, when he passed away. Enoch remained in Northeast Missouri until 1857. In the spring ofthat year the Vines and McManus party was organized for immigration to California by the overland route. Ox-teams were to be used; there were forty wagons manned by twenty men. The train left St. Joseph, May 5, 1857, and arrived at Santa Rosa September 1, following. Six hundred head of cattle, the property of Mr. Moore, were driven. At Gravelly Ford, Indians stole twenty-one cattle, seven of which they killed, but the immigrants rescued the fourteen others. The twenty men kept up a long running fight with twenty-five Indians, killing nineteen of them. Closely pursued, the surviving redskins sought safety by jumping into the Humboldt River, but the white men waited on the bank and shot at a head whenever it appeared above the water. After that there was no molestation of this party by Indians. Between Lassen Meadows and Honey Lake valley the immigrants came upon a deep spring which they sounded to a depth of one hundred and thirty-two feet without finding bottom.
After living for a time near Windsor, Mr. Smith came to Tulare County and located at Visalia in 1859. He was acquainted with all the old settlers, the Evanses, the McCrurvs, the Morriss' and the Shannons and others, and was a witness to the hanging of James McCrury and knew the latter's friend, Mr. Allen. For a time he had charge of a band of sheep in Frazier valley which numbered two thousand head. After his marriage he bought government land in Sand Creek district, holding three hundred and twenty acres. He preempted one hundred and sixty acres in 1869 and has taken over land since until he and his son, George E. Smith own one thousand acres, farming two hundred and fifty acres anddevoting the remainder to pasturage. They keep an average of one hundred and fifty head of stock and seventy-five hogs.
When Mr. Smith came to this part of the state, cattle and sheep were being fed everywhere, houses were scattered very sparsely over the country and travelers found at Smith Ferry the only dwelling they passel in eighteen miles from that point to within four miles of Visalia. There were many bands of deer and antelope and he shot deer from time to time for food. Brown bear were numerous. He is the owner of many relics of by-gone days. Mr. Smith is a public-spirited citizen of Republican principles and has done his full share toward the development of the County. He married in 1872, in Northeast Missouri, Miss Ellen Harley, a native of Maryland, and their only son and child, George E., a native of California, is a member of their household.
LEWIS S SMITH
In no lines of business is true progressiveness more eagerly sought or more quickly recognized than in those which touch upon our household economies. Especially is this true of the dairy business, which is ably represented at Hanford by Lewis Smith, proprietor of the up-to-date concern at No. 416 S. Irwin Street, which is operated under the name of Smith Brothers. Mr. Smith was born in Lawrence County, Ohio, April 3, 1879, and was there reared and educated. He early inclined to a business occupation and was employed as a salesman in a general store until 1904. Then he came to California and, locating at Hanford, worked in that vicinity until 1907. Then, with his brother George R. as a partner, he engaged in the retail milk business and built and equipped the fine plant at the location above mentioned. It is a building eighteen by forty feet in area measurements, haying a concrete floor and other equipment, thoroughly sanitary and of the latest models. In 1909 he bought his brother's interest in the business, but has since conducted it without change of name. His milk is purchased from R. R. Butler and Ray Campbell, both of whom keep inspected dairies. In 1912 he added a complete outfit for the manufacture of ice cream for the wholesale and retail trade.December 20, 1910, Mr. Smith married Miss Bessie Johnson, a native of Missouri, born April 2, 1891, who had become a resident of Hanford. They have one son, Lewis Sidney, born November 14, 1912. Socially he affiliates with the Odd Fellows lodge, encampment and canton at Hanford and with the organizations of Knights of Pythias. As a member of the Chamber of Commerce and in his other relations with his fellow citizens he has always shown a degree of public spirit that has commended him their good opinion.
WILLIAM M CLARK
The birth of William M. Clark occurred in Scotland County, Mo., November 5, 1866. He was a son of James M. and Martha E. (Baker) Clark, the former a native of Kentucky, his mother a native of Missouri. James M. Clark served in the Civil war under General Morgan in the Confederate army and was one of ninety-nine of Morgan's men who tunneled out of the Federal prison for Confederate captives at Chicago. One of the guards hailed him after he had left the tunnel, and failing to get a response fired at him, but missed him. He had other narrow escapes which would be interesting could they be narrated here. He was in the service from 1862 until the end of the war, all the time in Lee's command and a part of that time under the great general's authority, took part in many battles and skirmishes, and from time to time did hazardous scouting. One of his recollections was of an involuntary horse trade on a bridge, another was of the instantaneous disappearance of the nose of the man near him whose face had unfortunately come into the range of Federal firearms. After the war he lived in Missouri until 1892, when he died, aged forty-five. It was beside his father's deathbed that William M. Clark married Miss Mary Johnson, and they have had three children, Arthur, Marvin and Laurin. Mrs. Clark was born in the same County in Missouri as was Mr. Clark. Their oldest child is now a student in the grammar school.
Mr. Clark lived with his father in Missouri until he was twenty- three years old. He learned farming, and contracting and building, and was employed at different times at these occupations. When he came to California and settled in Tulare County, in 1889, he found himself in the midst of a vast wheat country, the land ranging in market value from $5 to $15 an acre. Later he bought thirty acres at $25 an acre, which is now worth $200 an acre. He has fourteen acres of grapes and ten acres of peaches and will soon plant five acres to orange trees. His first crop of grapes yielded him three-quarters of a ton to the acre and his peaches in 1911 sold for $400. He is not giving much attention to stock and keeps only such as is required on his ranch.
Fraternally Mr. Clark affiliates with the Modern Woodmen, Mrs. Clark with the Royal Neighbors. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In his political conviction he is a Democrat. As a citizen he is public-spirited and helpful.
JABEL M DEAN
As citizen and official, Jabel M. Dean, of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., has impressed his personality upon the progress of that city. Born in Tennessee, June 29, 1860, he settled in Hanford in 1880 and learned the carpenter's trade with W. H. Nyswonger. He worked as a carpenter until 1896, when he engaged in contracting and building with W. W. Cole as a partner. Among the residences built in Hanford by this firm may be mentioned those of T. J. MeJunkin, A. G. Parks, L. C. Dunham, Charles McGee, J. Bowman, William Trewhitt, Thomas Ebod, A. M. Fredericks, Frank Arnold, E. W. Pilkington, Mrs. Mary Bruner, and three for H. E. Wright. In Lemoore they erected the residences of Ed. Sellors and R. Deacon; they built an addition to the Methodist Church at Hanford; and among the country homes of their fashioning are those of J. J. Cartner and John W. Jones, and those of Mrs. Hitchock and Mr. Hackett of Grangeville. They draw their own plans for buildings and give the most conscientious attention to every detail of construction.
In 1906 Mr. Dean was elected city trustee of Hanford, and during his four years' service a number of important civic matters were undertaken, including the beginning of cement sidewalk construction in residence Streets, the extension of the sewer system, the buying of chemical fire engines and of hose carts, and the extension of the electric fire alarm system. In this period a proposition was made to submit to the people the question of the abolition of saloons in the city, and Mr. Dean was the only member of the board who voted for it. He introduced an ordinance demanding that the people vote on the question of a municipal water system. In other ways he has proven his public spirit. He is a member of the Carpenter's Union.
WILLIAM BRYAN CHARLES (M. D.)
In Salem, Washington County, Ind., William B. Charles, M. D., of Hanford, was born March 12, 1857, a son of Levin and America (Rodman) Charles. Nathan Charles, his grandfather, a Quaker, was born in Maryland and was taken by his parents to North Carolina, where lie married. In 1818 he settled within the present limits of Washington County, Ind., as a farmer and saddler, and died there in 1868, aged ninety-one years. His son, Levin Charles, born in North Carolina, was four years old when his parents took him to Indiana, where he passed the remainder of his years, dying at the age of sixty-five after a useful career as a farmer. He was prominent in local affairs as a Whig and later as a Republican. He married America Rodman, who was born in Shelby County, Ky., daughter of Hugh Rodman, a native Kentuckian, who settled in Washington County, Ind., about 1825. He had served in the war of 1812 and later became a successful farmer and he lived to be seventy-five years old. Hugh Rodman, Sr., his father, born in Bucks County, Pa., settled in Kentucky in 1786, going thence by boat down the Ohio River. He traced his ancestry to Scotland. America (Rodman) Charles died in Indiana in 1875, fifty-two years old, having borne eleven children, of whom Doctor Charles was the sixth.
After attending the schools at Salem, Ind., until he was nineteen years old, Doctor Charles came in 1876 to what is now Kings County, Cal., and for two years was employed at farm work and teaming. Then, returning to Indiana, he entered an academy at Salem to prepare himself for the university and was graduated in 1882. A part of the time while he was a student at the academy he taught school in the vicinity and gave some attention to an acquisition of a knowledge of the drug business under the instruction of his brother, who was a physician as well as a druggist. He entered the medical department of the University of Kentucky at Louisville and was duly graduated from that institution March 1, 1887. It was at Norcatur, Kans., that he entered upon the practice of his profession. There he remained until 1894, and in March of that year he located at Hanford, building up a lucrative practice and commending himself to his fellow citizens of all classes by his thorough knowledge of his profession and a winning personality. At Norcatur, Kans., Doctor Charles was married November 30, 1887, to Miss Carrie S. Wildfang, a native of Wisconsin, and two of the children born to them are living, Ethel and William Gordon. Though he was always very busy professionally, Doctor Charles, as a loyal, public-spirited citizen, found time to devote himself to the uplift of the community. He was a stanch Republican and influential in political affairs. He served as delegate to several County and State conventions and was a member of the Republican State Central Committee. He was appointed to the office of County physician in 1899 and served until 1906, when he resigned and, on account of his wife's ill health, returned to Kansas and practiced at Oberlin for one year. November 30, 1907, he returned to Hanford and in 1909 was reappointed County physician. In 1912 he was appointed city health officer, and remained in active practice and official life until his death, October 13, 1912. His interest in his profession was deep and sincere and he kept in touch with the progress which medical science is constantly making. Fraternally he affiliated with Hanford Lodge No. 279, F. & A. M., and the Woodmen of the World, Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Knights of Pythias.
WILLIAM P RATLIFF
W. P. Ratliff has been postmaster at Tulare since May 1, 1902, having received his original appointment under President Roosevelt in the preceding April. He has been a local leader in the Republican party, has served on state and County central committees, has been city assessor and city treasurer of Tulare and president and secretary of the Board of Trade. Fraternally he affiliates with Olive Branch Lodge No. 269, F. & A. M., in which he was made a Mason and in which he is past master; with Tulare Chapter No. 71, R. A. M., in which he is past high priest; with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and with the Woodmen of the World. With the members of these orders he is no more popular than in the business and social circles of the city and County.
In Oskaloosa, Iowa, Mr. Ratliff was born October 12, 1859, a son of John and Elizabeth (Madden) Ratliff. John Ratliff was a son of William Ratliff, whose father, a native of the Isle of Man, settled in Pennsylvania. William moved from Pennsylvania to Indiana. and later pushed on to Iowa. When his parents left Pennsylvania John was but a small boy. In his early manhood he settled on a farm in Iowa, but the stories of gold in California which came to him in the late '40s awoke within him a spirit of adventure. He crossed the plains in 1850 and prospected and mined for eight years, then went back to Iowa by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York. He made a brief stop in New York City and there married Elizabeth Madden, a native of Dublin, Ireland. whose brother Michael had shared the ups and downs of mining with him in California. At the beginning of 1860, when their son William P. was about three months old, John Ratliff, who had stopped in Iowa to settle up some business preparatory to his intended return to California, was killed by being thrown from a horse.His widow brought their child to California before the close of that year and found a home in Plumas County, where she later married E. H. Holthouse, to whom she bore four sons and a daughter, who live in Santa Clara County. The family moved to a farm near Lawrence Station, not far from San Jose, in 1870. There Mrs. Holthouse died as the result of an accidental fall in 1902, when she was in her sixty-ninth year. Her son, William P. Ratliff, supplemented a common school education by a three years' course in Santa Clara College, then became a clerk in the employ of T. W. Spring. In 1882 he came to Tulare and became a brakeman in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad company. In a year he was made conductor of a train running between Tulare and Huron. In 1888 he identified himself with the business of Braly & Blythe, real estate agents and representatives of the Wells-Fargo Express Company. He withdrew from that connection in 1892 to become cashier of the Tulare County Bank and the Tulare Savings Bank. In August, 1896, he resigned to accept the assistant cashiership of the Bank of Tulare, which he held until February, 1901, when he removed to Kern County as superintendent of two oil companies operating in the Kern River oil field. There he fell a victim to typhoid fever, which held him to his bed for five months. Meanwhile he was taken to San Francisco, where better attention and care were pssible than he was receiving in Kern County. He came back to Tulare in November, 1901, and a few months later accepted the cashiership of the Bank of Tulare, which he held until his appointment as postmaster.
June 5, 1888, Mr. Ratliff married Alice Harter, a native of Stockton and a daughter of Isaac and Matilda (Parker) Harter, pioneers in California. Their wedding was celebrated in Tulare and there their son Clinton P. was born.
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 832-871
Site Created: 16 January 2009
Martha A Crosley Graham
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