Benjamin E. McClure

A member of an old-established family in central California, Benjamin E. McClure is the grandson of Thomas McClure, who was a very early settler in Woodland, where he built the first black­smith shop and followed that trade. James M. McClure, father of Benjamin, was a native of Missouri, as was also his wife, Sarah (Ely) McClure. In the early '50s James M. came overland to this state and in 1857 his mother came by way of Cape Horn. Mr. Mc­Clure identified himself with the best interests of Yolo county in his time and spent most of his life there, winning a success that placed him among the enterprising men of that section.

Benjamin E. McClure was born at Buckeye, near Winters, Yolo county, in 1866. In the public schools near his father's home he was a student in his childhood and boyhood. He began his active career in Yolo county and won distinction there as a successful farmer, operating land in farms of a single congressional section to immense tracts which included five thousand or more acres. He remained there till 1902, when he sold out his Yolo county interests and came to Visalia. Seeing the value of real estate investment there he bought eighteen acres in the southern part of the city, which he developed into one of the finest homes in its vicinity, and thirty-five acres south of his home, which he cut up into one- acre lots, on twenty-one of which houses have been erected and families are living. On his homestead he has a four-acre alfalfa field, from which he cut forty tons of hay in 1910 with only one irrigation. For some years, until 1912, he leased the Coombs ranch of two hundred and forty acres and farmed it with good results. He cleared up the land and raised five crops. In 1911 he planted fifty acres to Egyptian corn and later sowed the same land to barley, which yielded twenty sacks to the acre. In 1910 he sowed eighty acres to barley with like results. With such an experience to refer to, he is naturally enthusiastic in praise of Tulare county as a place of residence and a promising field for the endeavors of the scientific farmer. He owns two eight-mule teams, one of which is employed in grading alfalfa land in the county, the other on street work at Dinuba. Socially Mr. McClure affiliates with the Woodmen of the World.

In 1896 Mr. McClure married Miss Ida B. Dearing, born in California. Mrs. McClure was born in California, the third of a family of eight children of John W. and Martha E. (Morris) Dearing, the former of whom was born in Missouri, was a pioneer of this state and died in 1884. Mrs. Dearing survives and makes her home with the McClures, enjoying splendid health. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dearing were California pioneers, the former crossing the plains with his father in 1849, driving ox-teams, and upon ar­rival he engaged in gold mining near Hangtown. The mother came overland by way of Texas when a little girl about six years of age, and her father "Uncle" Dickie Morris was one of the founders of Woodland and at one time owned eighty acres where the county hospital of Yolo county is now situated. Mr. and Mrs. Dearing were married in Lake county.

The beautiful residence of the McClures was built in 1903 on the homestead and is a model of architectural elegance. Here Mr. and Mrs. McClure dispense a broad and liberal hospitality.

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