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Madera Biographies: SHARP

L. W. SHARP, a newspaperman in central California for many years, he has been secretary of the Madera County Chamber of Commerce since 1930. He is also secretary of the Madera Lions Club, and has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 190. Mr. Sharp has given special attention to the history and economic growth of his part of the state and is an authority on information regarding Madera county.
    "Walter" Sharp, as he is better known, was born in Mariposa County, near the pioneer town of Buchanan, on the border of what was then Fresno County, December 9, 1871, the son of L O. and Frances W. (Smith) Sharp. The father, native of Delaware, came across the plains with his father, Lewis Sharp, in 1850.They located at Mariposa, then the great mining center. After several years spent in mining, L. O. Sharp became a sheep raiser on a large scale. Later he conducted a general merchandise store at Buchanan. From there, the family moved to Madera in 1881, where L.O. Sharp engaged in the general merchandise business in partnership with E.E. Moore. He was postmaster at Madera from 1888 to 1893. He developed on of the early vineyards and orchards of the locality. Mrs. L. O. Sharp cultivated a noted rose garden at Madera, with 125 varieties of roses.
    L. W. Sharp had his schooling at Madera and started work in a printing office at the age of 17 years in the office of the Madera Mercury. He next was with the County Review, another weekly paper, first issued at Madera and then at Fresno. Later Mr. Sharp returned to the Mercury at Madera.
    In 1896, Mr. Sharp and George A. Clark bought the Madera Tribune from W. J. Deater. They published this in partnership until 1919, when Mr. Sharp wold his interest to Howard A. Clark, son of George A. Clark. While Sharp sold his interest to Howard While still retaining his interest in the Tribune, Mr. Sharp established the "Mariposan" at Mariposa in 1900, and soon after bought the Mariposa Gazette and consolidated the two papers. He published this for 5 years. In 1910, he went to Taft, Kern county, and started the present Midway Driller, which he published for five years and then sold out. During the World War, he served as a member of the Selective Service Board for Madera County, most of the time as chairman of the board. In 1921, in partnership with D. R. Hanhart, Mr. purchased the Madera Mercury and converted it into a daily paper.
    Two years later he sold his interest to Mr. Hanhart. Since 1930, he has been secretary of the Madera County Chamber of Commerce.

Barcroft, Joseph, ed., History of Fresno and Madera Counties, (Fresno, CA, May 29, 1933)

Last update: October 17, 2012
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