Tulare & Kings Counties

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A prominent financier and business man of central California, H. M. Shreve is filling the responsible positions of vice-president and manager of the First National Bank of Tulare. A native of Bordentown, N. J., born February 17, 1864, he acquired his education in public schools and in higher institutions of learning in New Jersey and in Philadelphia. In 1880 he came to California, and for six years thereafter was employed in connection with mining interests in Mariposa County. Later he came to Tulare and was employed for several years as a bookkeeper in the office of the Reardon & Piper Planing Mill, Until he opened an office to handle insurance and conveyancing, and this he operated until the beginning of his connection with the First National Bank. (A historical sketch of that institution will be found in this work.) 

In 1887 Mr. Shreve married Alida E. Beals of San Francisco. He affiliates with Olive Branch lodge No. 269, F. & A. M., of Tulare and with the Visalia Masonic chapter and commandery. He was for several years clerk of the city of Tulare, his interest in the city and County making him a citizen of much public helpfulness, and there are few demands for assistance toward the uplift and devel­opment of the community to which he does not respond promptly and liberally. Socially he is president of the Tulare Club, and as such has had much to do with projects for the general benefit. Among his interests outside the city should be mentioned the National Bank of Visalia, of the board of directors of which he is an active member.



The American family of LaMarche was established in Canada early in the last century and John LaMarche, son of the original emigrant, was born in Ontario and in 1837 enlisted under the banner of MacKenzie in the so-called Canadian rebellion. His son Joseph, born near Montreal in 1823, was graduated from a Canadian college, farmed early in life at LaClinte Mills and was later a merchant and a magistrate. He married Julia LaMare, whose grandfather in the paternal line founded the Canadian family of LaMare. Joseph LaMarche died in 1900, aged seventy-seven years; his wife died when she was seventy. They had thirteen children, ten of whom lived to maturity and stilt survive, the second of these being Joseph LaMarche, Jr., of Tulare County, Who is the sole representative of the family in California.

Mr. LaMarche was born on a farm forty miles from Montreal March 1, 1853, and when he had time to do so in the years of his boy­hood walked five miles to a French school if the weather was not to inclement. When he was thirteen years old he went to Upper Cana& to log and lumber on the Ottawa river for $36 a year, and at the end of a year he came down to Quebec on a raft and signed a contract to work a year in a logging camp not far away. When he was fifteen years old he went to the Lake Superior region and teamed two years among the charcoal furnaces around Marquette, Mich.; from there he came west to Nevada and teamed at Carson and Virginia City and assisted in the construction of a flume. In 1875 he came to California and for three years thereafter was employed on a ranch near Princeton, Colusa County. His first venture as an independent farmer was as a grain grower on rented land, which he operated four years. Coming to Tulare County in 1883, he began farming as a renter, but soon bought two hundred and eighty acres of bayou and railroad land. four miles south of Tulare, which he farmed to grain a year and sold in 1885. In 1886 he married and located on a ranch of fourteen hundred and twenty acres, eight miles southwest of Tulare which was the property of his wife; a part of it was farmed to grain, the remainder was in pasture. Later he owned four thousand acres on the Tule and Elk Bayou rivers, where he raised hay and bred cattle, but this he sold in 1908. He now has twenty-one hundred and sixty acres, of which six hundred acres are devoted to alfalfa, the remainder to grain and pasturage. Since his retirement from active farming he has rented most of his acreage and now has four tenants.

The activities of Mr. LaMarche are by no means confined to the management of his land. He was prominent in organizing the Dairy­men’s Co-operative Creamery Co., was elected one of .its directors three months after it began business, and has acted in that capacity to .the present time. In 1906 he was a director in the Co-operative Creamery Co. of Tulare. He was one of the organizers also of the Rochdale Co., and is a stockholder in the Tulare Canning Co. and the Tulare Milling Co. He was also a director in the Fair Association of Tulare County, which constructed a race track and held fairs for two years, and he is now owner of the track. Through his membership of the Tulare Board of Trade he has had to do with numerous enterprises which have tended to the commercial growth of the city; in 1908 he was elected president of the Bank of Tulare, of which he had for many years been a director. In polities he is a Democrat and he was at one time a member of the County central committee of his party. He was made an Odd Fellow in Colusa County and since he came to Tulare has been active in the work of the local lodge and encampment, his affiliation with this order covering the long period of thirty years.

At Tipton, Tulare County, Mr. LaMarche married August 7, 1886, Mrs. Mary (LeClert) Creighton, widow of John M. Creighton. Mrs. LaMarche was born at Portsmouth, England, a daughter of Theodore and Mary (Sims) LeClert, natives respectively of France and of Eng­land, and member of families long established. When Mr. LeClert settled in England he found employment for a time as a brick mason at Portsmouth. Coming later to the United States, he worked at his trade a while at Albion, N. Y., and from there he came to California in 1856 by way of Cape Horn. After mining at Knight’s Ferry and at Copperopolis he turned his attention to farming and eventually passed away at Oakdale, Stanislaus County, where his wife also died. Of their three daughters and two sons, all of whom are living, Mu._ LaMarche was the second born. In 1861 she, with other members of the family; joined her father at Knights’ Ferry, where she married Melvin Howard, a native of New York state, who became an orchardist at Sonora, Cal., and died there. Later she married John N. Creighton and in 1876 they settled on the Creighton ranch in Tulare County, and a few years later Mr. Creighton died at Byron Hot Springs, Contra Costa County. She is a woman of fine abilities and has been prominent in the work of the Woman’s Christian Temperance

Union and in movements for the emancipation of women and for the uplift of the human race. Both Mr. and Mrs. LaMarche are noted for their public spirit and for their ready and unostentatious charity. They have two children, Joseph F., who is in the United States navy, and Miss Bernie LaMarche, who was a student at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles and in 1912 married Charles Philip of Los Angeles.


The son of George and Agnes (Ward) Fitzsimons, Frank E. Fitz­simons was born March 30, 1886, in Thomas County, Kans., where he lived until he was eight years old. His parents built the first sod house and the first frame house in that part of the County. When they located there they were eighteen miles from the nearest neighbor. twenty-six miles from the nearest considerable settlement and fifty miles from Winslow, which was:their market place, and they were often menaced but never really injured by Indians. In 1894 they sought a more congenial life in California; and after living a year at San Jose they came on to Visalia and for three years the elder Fitz simons was foreman of the Geo. A. Fleming Fruit Company’s ranch. In 1897 they settled near Orosi, where Mr. Fitzsimons has been successful with fruit. Following are the names of the children of George and Agnes (Ward) Fitzsimons: Frank E., Orrin, Ray, Walter, Lulu and Vera. Lulu married F. A. Listman and lives near Orosi. Orrin married May Vance.

Frank E. Fitzsimons was educated in the common school and at Occidental College, Los Angeles, 1906-07. He married Edna Furtney and has a son named Richard, who is attending high school. They formerly lived near Orosi and had thirty acres in peaches, which he sold for $400 an acre. The remainder of his ranch brought a satis­factory price. He had owned the place three years and had improved it in many ways. He next bought one hundred and forty acres, eighty of which he has sold. He now lives in Orosi. The balance of his ranch he is going to set to Thompson and Malaga grapes and figs. He is a close student of everything that pertains to his business and is advancing along scientific lines, and his methods are certain to bring him even greater success than that which he has already attained. Mr. and Mrs. Fitzsimons are Republicans and members of the Methodist church. He affiliates socially with the Woodmen of the World and is public-spiritedly devoted to the community’s highest and best interests.


This well-known veterinarian of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., was born October 4, 1850, twelve miles northeast of the site of Merced and nine miles from Snelling, Cal., a son of Dr. Joshua Griffith, at which time the place described was in Mariposa County. Dr. Joshua Griffith was born June 28, 1800, seven miles below the site of Brownsville, Washington County, Pa., which was then known as Red Stolle Fort. In 1810 he was taken by his family to Ohio, to a sparsely settled section in which the nearest schoolhouse was twenty-five miles distant. In 1820 he went to Missouri, and there he met John Hawkins, and in 1822 he was a member of the Ashley expedition, consisting of sixty men, to explore the Missouri river to the mouth of the Yellowstone. The party made the trip in a large keel-boat, returning in 1823: In 1824 he opened a gunshop at Santa Fe, N. M., where he made con­siderable money, and in 1830 he went to Sonora, Mexico, and had many interesting adventures. In 1831 he established a variety store at Hermosillo, Mexico, and from that time until 1848 he prospered variously. In the last named year he came to Los Angeles, Cal., and soon after he was mining at Amador with old man Amador. Later he mined at Volcano and Mokelumne Hill and on the fifth of November, 1848, he discovered Jackson creek in Amador County.

July 25, 1844, Dr. Griffith married Miss Fanna Arreas, a native of Sonora, Mexico. He brought his wife with him to California in 1848 and theirs was a slow journey across the plains and through mountain passes. Some of his recollections of mining at that time included experiences at Aqua Frea. From Amador County he went back to Los Angeles and from there he moved to near Snelling in July, 1849. Thus began his experiences in Merced County. He was the first to sow wheat on the bottom lands and plains there and he garnered his first crop in 1851. Going to Santa Cruz he brought back with him a pack-train, some seed corn, some chickens, three dogs and several cats. When he settled on the Merced river the only other settlers along the stream were Samuel Scott, James Waters and J. M. Montgomery. Before he built his house and while it was under construction he camped under a big oak tree in the open and there his wife gave birth to their son Frank. It was necessary for the doctor to go to Santa Cruz and Stockton for the necessaries of life. He packed in liblisTel - hold goods and trees and once brought from Santa Cruz a sack of wheat for which he paid $150, and from which he raised his first crop. In 1853 he built a small flour mill principally for his own use, which was operated by water which he brought from the Merced river through a ditch two miles long, and was the first water-power grist mill in the San Joaquin valley south of Sutter’s Fort. It stood until 1861-62, when it was washed away by flood.

In his young manhood Dr. Griffith studied medicine, and he practiced almost continuously as occasion offered from the time he was twenty-four years old until 1874, during a period of fifty years. As a pioneer and in his later business enterprises he was a potent factor in the development of the country, and as a citizen he was widely known and respected. He died June 11, 1896, his wife in June, 1897. They had four children of whom two, Frank and Frederick, are living. The old Griffith homestead was later sold to Henry Cowell of Santa Cruz.

Frank Griffith was reared on his father’s home farm, educated in the public schools and assisted his father until 1875, when he came to the site of Grangeville in what is now Kings County, Cal., which was nearer to Kingston than to any other town. Having gained a good knowledge of medicine under his father’s tuition he took up veterinary practice in connection with farming. He had been to this locality in 1870 on a trip of exploration and at that time had rowed a boat over Tulare lake, which then covered much land which was bare in 1875. He had rowed to within ninety yards of the school house at Lemoore, in company with Judge and Mrs. R. B. Huey, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Skaggs and Mrs. Griffith, and their boat had floated over the land later included in the Cochran, Stratton and Jacobs tracts. He remained at Grangeville practicing veterinary surgery until 1877. As a citizen he attained to considerable prominence and eventually became a constable, a deputy sheriff and a deputy United States marshal, and in 1884 he was made under sheriff of Tulare County and took up his residence at Visalia. In 1886 he removed to Santa Cruz for the benefit of his wife’s health, and there opened a veterinary office and built a home. In 1890 he came to Hanford, and in 1891 his wife, who had greatly improved, joined him. He had in the meantime bought seven acres of land on Seventh street, where he has since lived. He established his office on the site of the present Emporium building, but several years later moved it out to his ranch, where he constructed and fitted up a hospital, and until 1907 he maintained his office and infirmary on Green street not far from his present location. In 1907 he built his present quarters, consisting of an office, a hospital and an infirmary for the accommodation of twenty-four animals in the main building with fifteen outside stalls under a separate roof. While carrying on a general veterinary practice, he makes a specialty of the treatment of dogs and is the owner of a fine kennel. His acquaintanceship and his professional reputation have been extended through his incumbency of the office of County livestock inspector and County veterinarian of Tulare County for fourteen years, he being appointed to these positions by the supervisors of the County after the division. He has for many years raised thoroughbred Berkshire hogs, Dark Brahmah chickens and Muscovy ducks.

September 19, 1869, Dr. Griffith married Harriett A. Moore, a daughter of Joseph Moore, who brought his family to Kings County from Oregon in 1864. Fraternally the doctor affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a member of lodge, encampment and canton, and with the Native Sons of the Golden West, a charter member of Visalia parlor No. 19, in which he has passed all chairs.


The man who practically owns and operates the commercial interests and general industries of White River, Tulare County, Cal., is John C. Danner, a native of Missouri born in 1857. Nathan Danner, his father, was a native of North Carolina, and it was in Tennessee that his mother was born, but they are now both deceased, the latter having passed away in 1911. His parents came to California in 1858, when John C. Danner was scarcely more than six months old, and landed at San Francisco, and from there they went to Tuolumne County. In 1864, when he was about seven years old, they moved to Merced County, where the boy was educated in the public schools. Later the family lived in Kern County till 1887, and there John C. was superintendent of the Kern County Land Co. In the year last mentioned he bought a farm nine miles east of White River, where he lived until 1907, and in the meantime bought ten hundred and forty acres of range land and went into the cattle business. He continued at this until he moved to White River, where he bought the land in­cluding the townsite, most of which he owns at this time. He eventually sold his cattle and range land, but is still the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of valuable California soil. He is the proprietor of a hotel, a livery and feed establishment, a general store and other business interests at White River and he and his son own a telephone system of about one hundred miles of wire which centers there. He has been a school trustee since he was old enough to hold office, was a deputy County clerk, and in Kern County served as deputy County assessor during two years of the administration of Tom Harding.

The development of Tulare County has had in Mr. Danner not only a witness but a factor, his public spirit having impelled him to assist all local interests to the extent of his ability. In 1884 he married Alice Barbeau, a native of Illinois, and they have six children: Lea S. was born in Kern County, is married and is associated with his father in business; Lucian Carl, who also was born in Kern County, assists his father in the management of his mercantile interests; Frederick Earl and Violet M. are members of their parents’ household, and Violet is an accomplished musician; Edgar and Royal complete the family.

One of the prominent business men of the County, recognized by all who know him as a man of great ability and of the best judgment, Mr. Danner generously and patriotically ascribes .a fair share of his success to the splendid opportunities which Tulare County has afforded him, and while laboring to build up his own fortunes he has paused from time to time to render good offices for the benefit of the community.


Of German birth and ancestry, George John Wegman opened his eyes to the world in Hesse-Darmstadt, where Michael Wegman, his father, owned a vineyard and winery. He was educated .in the good schools kept near his home, and after he became old enough helped his father, by whom he was trained to be industrious, self-reliant and persevering. He was yet a comparatively young man when he married Caroline Wennerholdt, born in Kur-Hessen, daughter of Jacob Wennerholdt, an officer in the Ggrriciatt army, who, during his nineteen years’ service participated in the wars  forced on Europe by Napoleon, fighting at Waterloo, running many: risks and receiving numerous wounds, and who when his service was ended was a hotel-keeper until his death.

In 1849 Mr. Wegman and his good wife sailed for the United States, their cash capital small, but they had youth, health and hope. For a time after their arrival, Mr. Wegman worked as a cooper at Lancaster, Pa., but about 1855 he went west to Warsaw, Hancock County, Ill., and established himself as a cooper, then as a farmer. Some ten years later he moved to Wisconsin and took up a farm in Jefferson County, where he remained ten years, till in 1875, when he came out to the Pacific coast and settled in Tulare County, on Elbow creek, three miles northeast of Visalia, where he bought land and engaged in farming and stock-raising. His success was very satisfactory and he prospered until his death, which occurred December 29, 1896, when he was about seventy-five years old. His wife died June 24, 1903, aged eighty-two years, five months and twenty-three days. She was a devout member of the German Reformed Church, all through her long life exemplifying in character the doctrines she professed. Mr. and Mrs. Wegman had four children: Caroline, wife of Andrew Belz ; Theodore, who died in Wisconsin, aged fourteen years ; Eliza Otelia, who cared for her parents until they passed away and has since lived on the old Wegman homestead, with her sister and her brother-in-law; and Mathilda, who died in California when she was eighteen years old. From the time of his arrival in California until his death, more than two decades afterward, Mr. Wegman was a citizen of Tulare County, and held an honorable position among its good and thrifty farmers.


The late Thomas Lewis, whose widow lives in Tulare, two blocks west of A street and Kern avenue, was born in Michigan, April 3, 1838, and was reared to maturity at Toledo, Ohio. In 1859, when he was about twenty-one years old, he came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama and took up land on the Mokelumne river, about twenty miles from Stockton. There he lived until 1865, when he sold out and went to Sacramento, and here he bought farm land and operated a dairy until 1870, when he located at Tulare on a home­stead of eighty acres and pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres more and a timber culture tract of the same area. Later he bought four hundred and thirty acres on the Tule river, in the vicinity of Woodville and about twenty miles from Tulare, and for a time raised cattle and horses and kept a dairy, but later he gave some attention to farming and devoted two hundred acres of land to alfalfa, and in following out his plans herein indicated he spent the remainder of his life. He died November 28, 1887, and his widow conducted the ranch until April, 1891 ,when she sold part of the land and removed to Woodville. There she made her home until in 1907, when she disposed of her property in that town and took up her residence in Tulare, renting her farm property to tenants.

Before her marriage Mrs. Lewis was Miss Martha A. Johnson and was born in Missouri, a daughter of James T. and Elizabeth (Bond) Johnson. She came to California in 1864 and lived in Woodbridge, San Joaquin County, until in 1866, and she was married May 15 of that year. Of the five children she bore her husband, four survive, namely: Chloe E. married Edwin Hamlin; Rosa is the wife of A. Wann; George S., of Fairbanks, Alaska, is an engineer ; and Ruby is Mrs. William Beare of Tulare. Charles is dead. Mrs. Lewis is a member of the Baptist church and with her husband she was formerly connected with the Grange.       


No work devoted even in part to the prominent men and lead­ing interests of Kings County, Cal., would be complete without some detailed reference to the well-known farmer, financier and man of affairs whose name is above.

It was at San Francisco, Cal., that Willard Ernest Dingley was born, December 4, 1874. He was reared in that city and in Oakland, and it was in the public schools of Oakland that he gained his educational training. In 1898, when he was about twenty-four years old, he came to Kings County and engaged in farming just outside of Lemoore. From the outset of his career here he liked the town and its people and had faith- in its future. He achieved success as a farmer and gave very close attention to his ranch interests until he became cashier of the First National Bank of Lemoore, which position of trust and responsibility he accepted in April, 1907, and since that time he has devoted all his ability and energy to the upbuilding of all the interests of the staunch financial institution which is the pride of. the business community of Lemoore. Meanwhile he has superintended the farming of four hundred acres, one hundred and thirty of which is in vineyard, the remainder being under alfalfa. To stockraising he has given considerable attention, with very satisfactory results. Taking an interest in all the affairs of Lemoore and of Kings County, he has been helpful in the promotion of many movements for the general good, and has won an enviable reputation as a citizen of enterprise, initiative and public spirit.


In 1861, when Dr. W. F. Cartmill bought property in Tulare County, the city of Tulare had not been founded and the County was for the most part unimproved. He saw here promising conditions which had escaped the attention of many others, and soon bought a quarter section of land ten miles southwest of Visalia, to which he added from time to time till he owned twelve hundred acres, all under irrigation. He raised cattle as long as cattle raising was profitable, then turned his attention to sheep. His flock at one time numbered six thousand, but he sold it about 1894 and for the succeeding ten years conducted an apiary. In 1904 he sold his bees and retired from active life. He had lived at Tulare since 1872, about the time of the coming of the railroad to the town. The residence that he had built at the time was one of the first imposing ones in the place, and it soon became a land­mark on West Tulare street.

It was in Franklin County, Ohio, that Dr. Cartmill was born, Ja­uary 5, 1822, the sixth in order of nativity of the seven children of William and Isabelle (Ferguson) Cartmill, natives, respectively, of Virginia and of Old Virginia. To Kentucky Mr. Cartmill emigrated and there he met and married Miss Ferguson. Soon after their marriage they moved to Franklin County, Ohio, and later they went to Madison County, in the same state, and on Darby creek in that County Mr. Cartmill cleared and improved a farm. There the couple lived out their days, Mr. Cartmill living to be ninety-seven years old. As a boy, Dr. Cartmill attended a subscription school in a little log building that was little better than a hut. He read medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. Thomas, of London, Ohio, and practiced his profession there 1846-48. In the latter year he set out for California, but was persuaded to stop in Columbia, Mo., where he practiced about two years. In 1850 he crossed the plains with horses, following the over­land trail up the Platte, on to Salt Lake (where he staid a fortnight), thence down the Humboldt and by the Carson route. One hundred days passed after he crossed the Missouri state line before he arrived in California. Locating at Rancheria, near Volcano, Amador County, he divided his time between mining and practicing medicine and surgery. In 1854 he returned by way of the Isthmus of Panama to Ohio, and from there went to Missouri. Near Columbia, March 27, 1855, he married Miss Sophia Barnes, who was born in that neighborhood, a daughter of the Rev. James and Elizabeth (Burkhart) Barnes, natives, respectively, of Kentucky and Missouri. Mr. Barnes, after settling in Randolph County, Mo., became a pioneer farmer and Baptist preacher. He was a hero of early Indian wars. He and his wife, parents of fifteen children, both died in Missouri. All but two of their sons and daughters grew to maturity and four of them lived to old age. Mrs. Cartmill was the only one of them who came to the Pacific coast. Dr. and Mrs. Cartmill came to California by the Nicaragua route and he resumed his work in Amador County, where they settled. From there they came to Tulare County in 1861. Some account of his activities has been given above. He believed in Republican principles and voted for the nominees of his party, but was never a practical politician. He long maintained a warm interest in the San Joaquin Valley Pioneers’ Society. During his long residence in the County he supported movements for the benefit of the people and in every possi­ble way labored for the good of the community. He passed away - March 26, 1906; his wife, July 5, 1907. The deepest bereavement that came to them was the death, by diphtheria, within ten days, of their three daughters, Flora, Eva and Mary. Their youngest son, Walter Selmon, died, aged two years. There appears in this work a biographical sketch of their son, Wooster B. Cartmill. They reared to woman­hood a girl named Amelia Jessie, who married R. F. Guerin, a dairy-man, living near Tulare.


The president and manager of the Old Bank of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., is Frank R. Hight, one of the most trustworthy financiers in central California. Mr. Hight was born in Wyoming County, Pa., January 15, 1862, and after having been graduated from the State Normal school at Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pa., taught school in his native state. In 1889 he came to California and resumed teaching in Merced County. He located in Hanford in 1893 and after teaching two years in the public school bought an interest in the Hanford Abstract Company, which he retained until in 1901, when upon the organization of the Old Bank he became its assistant cashier, a position from which he has advanced to that of president and manager. He has been city treasurer of Hanford since 1902, in which position he has handled big responsibilities with much conservatism and discretion.

In 1894 Mr. Hight married Miss Mary Williams, a native of Colorado, and they have four children, Harriet I., Robert B., F. Raymond, and Helen I. Hight.


Of Scotch-German blood Abram Hunter Murray, Sr., was in everything that the term can. imply a typical patriotic American. From his father he inherited the rugged constitution and intellectual characteristics of a long line of ancestors who lived their lives and died in Scotland, and through his mother many qualities which have made for good citizenship on this side of the Atlantic since Germans first set foot on American soil. His ancestor, Thomas Murray, born in Tennessee, removed to Missouri with his family, one member of which was Thomas, who was born in Campbell County, Tenn., January 28, 1797, and who in his early, manhood had plenty of experience of war. He went to the front in 1812, took part in the Black Hawk war and was in command of troops in the Mormon war. From his old home at Boones Lick, Cooper County, Mo., he moved to the mouth of the Moniteau river, in that state, where he was a farmer and a ferry­man until 1843, and then settled near West Point, Cass County, Mo., and resumed farming. Responding to the call of gold in California, his sons came to the Pacific coast as pioneers, and in 1853 he and his wife and their three daughters joined them at Petaluma, where he died in his eighty-fifth year. In Missouri he was County judge fourteen years and there and in California he long held the office of justice of the peace.

The woman who became Mrs. Thomas Murray, Jr., was Miss Bar­bara Hunter, who was born in Powell’s Valley, Tenn., July ‘7, 1797, and died at Cloverdale, Cal., in her eighty-fifth year. Her family came over from Germany to Virginia and moved from there to Tennessee, where her father was a farmer. She bore her husband twelve children. Mary M. (Polly) became Mrs. Walker and died at Santa Rosa. Margaret (Mrs. Hensley) died in Madera County. Jane C. married Enoch Enloe and died in Cole County. Emily M., of Ingo County is Mrs. Hugh Enloe. Abram H., Sr., is the immediate subject of this notice. Urith (Mrs. Orr) died in California. Barbara Ann, of San Diego County, is Mrs. Williams. Joshua H. came to California in 1850, was a farmer and died at Visalia. Josephine died when she was ten years old. Rachael, of Santa Rosa, is Mrs. Clark. Sarah E., of Humboldt County, is Mrs. Stanley. Hannah Retta, of Cloverdale, Cal., is Mrs. Cooper.

Abram Hunter Murray, Sr., was born January 17, 1827, ten miles west of Jefferson City, Mo. At sixteen he moved to Cass County, where he lived until April 19, 1852, when, accompanied by his wife and three children, he started over the plains toward California with ox-teams, driving a herd of cattle. The journey was made by way of the Missouri, the Platte and the Humboldt river trails into California by way of the Carson river route. They stopped a few weeks in Stockton, then came into what is now Tulare County. The country was then a wilderness, and with the exception of S. C. Brown, who had arrived a few days earlier, Mr. Murray was the first settler here. The ill-fated attempt of a Mr. Woods to establish a settlement near the present town of Woodville in 1850 is a matter of history, which relates how he and seventeen of his men were killed by Indians, only one man escaping to tell the story of the slaughter.

In what is now the western part of Visalia, Mr. Murray began to farm on an extensive scale. From California and the general government he bought eighteen thousand acres of land which he after­wards lost through the vicissitudes of business, and in dry years he lost many sheep. In 1879 he engaged in steam-boating and in the wood trade, with headquarters at The Dalles, Oregon, but the climate there drove him back to California and he acquired a tract of two hundred acres in the rich San Joaquin valley. Much of this property was sold, but at the time of his death he owned forty acres in vineyard and alfalfa.

On April 25, 1844, Mr: Murray married Miss Sarah T. Hensley, who was born in Cole County, Mo., July 4, 1824. It was traditional in her family that her father, the Hon. John Hensley, a native of Tennessee and a pioneer in Missouri, passed through St. Louis when that old city was yet under the flag of Spain. For a time he lived in Gasconade County, that state,. but later was a pioneer in Cole County, and was three times elected to represent his district in the senate of Missouri, where he made a record as a man of honor and of progressive ideas. Mrs. Murray died July 8, 1902, and her place at the old home­stead has been filled by her eldest child, Mary Fannie, wife of William J. Adams, who came to California in 1859, and is mentioned elsewhere in this publication. The other children are: Thomas H., a ranchman near the Toll Gate, in Fresno County; Commodore P., a retired rancher, of Humboldt County; Jackson C., who is farming in Fresno County; and A. H., Jr., court reporter of Visalia. Barbara E., who become Mrs. Taylor, died at her home on the White River, in Tulare County. Fraternally Mr. Murray affiliated with Visalia lodge No. 128, F. & A. M., of which he was twice elected master, and he was a de­mitted Chapter Mason. Politically he allied himself with Democrats. In his religious ideas he was liberal, but he was generous to all local denominations, especially to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. of which Mrs. Murray was a member. He passed away at his home in Tulare County, January 18, 1911.



In Polk County, Mo., George Washington Williams, who lives near the Santa Fe depot at Tulare, Tulare County, Cal., was born January 17, 1868. There he was reared and educated and there he lived, farming after he was old enough, until he was twenty years old. Then he turned his back on the parental homestead and set out alone in quest of the fortune which he was destined to find in far away California. Arriving in Tulare County in 1898 he worked there for a time on wages and then went to Butte County, where he was likewise employed a year and a half. Later he returned to Tulare County, within which he has since made his home. He continued working and saving his money four years and at the end of that time began farming for himself on three hundred and twenty acres of land on White river, where he made a crop of grain, and in the following year with a partner he seeded fourteen hundred acres, but the year Was a dry one and the crop did not materialize. The next season he garnered a very good crop from five hundred acres south of Tulare, where he remained five years altogether, and then for one year farmed on rented land northwest of Tulare. In 1904 he bought eighty acres adjoining the city limits, on which he farmed and conducted a dairy four years, but which he now rents for dairying purposes. In 1907 he bought four hundred and eighty acres nine miles southwest of Tulare, which he sold in 1909, soon afterward buying four hundred acres six miles northwest of the city, and here he has farmed with much success and has at this time one hundred acres in alfalfa, the remainder of his land being devoted to the production of barley, wheat and corn.

As a stockholder in the First National Bank of Tulare and other­wise, Mr. Williams has had from time to time to do with business interests not directly connected with the land, and in different ways he has, as occasion has offered, manifested a public spirit which has given him high place as a citizen. In 1898 he married Miss Emma Moody of Tulare.


It was within the borders of West Virginia of today, then a part of the Old Dominion, that James Addison Moorehead was born in 1830, and there he remained until he was seventeen years old, attending school and learning something about farm labor and other work. In 1850 he went to Louisa County, Iowa, where he farmed until 1862, and in that year, in company with De Witt Maxwell and the latter’s family, he came overland to California, the slow and wearisome journey consuming six months’ time. They stopped at Salt Lake, Utah, three weeks, then came to Placerville by way of Carson, and from Placerville they pushed forward to Stockton, where the train was divided according to the respective destinations of the different members of the party. Mr. Moorehead worked a few .days in a lumber yard in Stockton, and then found employment on the ranch of William Bailey, with whom he remained two years, when, with two men of the name of Neuel, he went to the mines in Eldorado County, remaining there until in 1869, when he came to Visalia. Having decided to take up land, he was advised to file a pre-emption claim on one hundred and sixty acres of public land six miles northwest of Tulare. Upon following this advice he lived there until he legally perfected his title to it and then he took up eighty acres adjoining his original claim. This land he improved and developed and farmed with success until 1906, when he began to rent it out, its tenant at this time being Fred Billings. Mr. Moorehead was the first in this section to fence in a ranch and first to file on land here under the- advertising law, his claim having been entered in the fall of 1869. On his place is one of the largest oak trees in the world. The original Grange at Tulare numbered Mr. Moorehead among its members, but when its charter lapsed, he did not join the new grange which succeeded it. For many years a feature of his business was threshing and one of his interesting reminiscences is of farming five hundred acres in Stokes valley in the period 1870-73, which were truly pioneer days in that section.



Among the prominent business men of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., the members of the firm mentioned above are in high repute. Their establishment is one of the leading business institutions of the city and in its own field is perhaps a leader in the County. It was opened July 1, 1910, though its proprietors had previously associated in business at Lemoore, Robinson bought a half interest in the undertaking enterpriser of .:BiYanS & Kennedy, Mr. Bryans retiring froth the firm. J. L. Robinson was born in Delaware County, Iowa, April 19, 1872, and When he Was seven years old was brought to Sutter County, Cal., by his parentS, who lived there but a year. Going back to Iowa, they came again to California at the end of another twelve months. Once more they lived in California a year, and this time they removed to Nebraska, where they remained until 1888, when they came to Redding, Shasta County, Cal. Not long there­after they made their way back to Nebraska, whence they came to Hanford, arriving November 13, 1898. In the meantime Mr. Robinson had gathered a good knowledge of ranching by actual experience in the west and of the grain and elevator business by connection with that interest in Cedar Rapids, Neb. During the first five years which elapsed after his coming, he raised wheat along the lake, about twenty miles south of Hanford; then he bought a ranch half a __ north of that city which he traded after two years for another five and one-half miles to the northwest, which he operated three years and then sold out. Before this, however, he had bought into his present business, and in July, 1910, it was installed in a building built especially for it in Hanford. Since then the firm has conducted a branch establishment in Lemoore and its business in both towns has been very successful. Their equipment is as complete and as expensive as that of any of its kind in Central California and they operate the only ambulance in Kings County. Mr. Robinson has the Hanford end of the enterprise in charge, while Mr. Kennedy superintends the branch at Lemoore.

Since he became a member of the business circle of Hanford, Mr. Robinson has in many ways demonstrated his public spirit. He is solicitously and helpfully interested in everything that tends to promote the city’s growth and prosperity. Socially he affiliates with the Hanford organizations of the Order of Fraternal Aid and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having membership in the lodge, the encampment and the Rebekah auxiliary of the latter.


In Iowa County, Wis., Paschal Bequette was born in December, 1845, a son of Col. Paschal Bequette, Sr. In 1852 Col. Bequette brought his family across the plains with ox-teams to California and was for a short time in general merchandise trade in Sacramento, but being a man of unusual ability he was, soon called to a more important field of action. In 1853 he went to San Francisco to enter upon his duties as receiver of public money and pension agent under appointment by President Franklin Pierce, and these offices he filled through the administration of President Buchanan. In 1859 moving with his family. to Visalia, Tulare County, he there became the owner of land and established himself as a breeder of cattle and horses. He served the County as its treasurer and as deputy recorder and passed away in December, 1879. His wife was Elizabeth P. Dodge, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of ex-Governor Dodge of Wisconsin, afterward the first United States senator from that state and a sister of Hon. A. C. Dodge, United States senator from Iowa, the father and son serving in the United States senate at the same time. Col. Bequette was a native of Missouri.

Following are the names of the children of Paschal and Elizabeth P. (Dodge) Bequette : Lewis L., Mary L., Christiana A., Philip, Mrs. N. 0. Bradley, Mrs. S. G. Patrick, Frank R., and Paschal, Jr. The latter passed his childhood days in Wisconsin and was in his seventh year when his family moved to California. His education was begun in San Francisco and continued at Visalia, and it was in the office of the Visalia Delta that he served a five years’ apprentice­ship at the printer’s trade. When he had perfected himself in his knowledge of “the art preservative of all arts” he went to Havilah. Kern County, and became half owner of the Courier, a newspaper published in that town. In 1869 he disposed of his interests at Havilah and became a student at a business college at San Francisco, and in 1871 and 1872 he was connected with the Los Angeles News for a year. Returning to Visalia in the year last mentioned, he bought a half interest in the Visalia Times, which he disposed of eventually in order to engage in sheep raising in Kern County. On his return to Tulare County he took up general farming and interested himself more actively in local politics than he had ever done before. He has served eight years as deputy County assessor, four years in the United States land office, four years as under-sheriff, in the administration of B. B. Parker, and he is now deputy County recorder and deputy County treasurer. All of these various offices he has filled with ability and integrity which have commended him to the good opin­ion of his fellow citizens of all classes.

In 1875 Mr. Bequette married Martha L. Clarke, who has borne him children as follows: Augustus D., Paschal, Mary C., Elizabeth T., and James C. Mrs. Bequette is a daughter of James T. Clarke, a Mexican war veteran, and a California pioneer of 1849, who was a prominent early stock-raiser in this state. Her mother, who was Mary A. Graves, was a member of the famous Donner party, the awful experiences of which are a part of the history of pioneer immigration to California. Led by a man named Donner, these pioneers were snow-bound at the point now known as Donner. Lake in Nevada County, Cal., and a great number of them starved to death.


A native of California and a graduate of its leading medical college, Dr. E. C. Foster, whose office is in the Emporium building, Hanford, Kings County, Cal., has amply proven his ability and success as a physician and surgeon in general practice.

Born in San Francisco, Cal., in 1877, Dr. Foster was educated in the public schools there and in Oakland. He was graduated from the Oakland high school in 1898 and in that same year entered the medical department of the University of California, which in 1902 conferred upon him a diploma which declared him to be a clnly educated and fully competent Medical Doctor. For nine months after his graduation he served with great profit to himself as an interne of the French Hospital at San Francisco. He began the regular practice of his profession in Colusa County, but soon went to Mexico, where he was in successful practice about a year and a half. In May, 1909, he came to Hanford, where he has since been in general practice, meeting with good success and winning a high place in the esteem of the people of that city and the surrounding country. He is a member of the San Joaquin Medical Society and of the Fresno Medical Society. Fraternally he affiliates with the Masons, the Wood men of the World and the Fraternal Brotherhood.

By his marriage in 1908, Dr. Foster was united with Miss J. E. Rathbun, who was born in Colusa County, a daughter of J. P. Rathbun.

The father of Dr. Foster, C. A. Foster, of San Francisco, is a native of Maine, who came to the Golden State in 1868 and was in 1893 appointed a customs inspector, with headquarters at the Bay City Custom House.



A native Californian, Charles W. Hart, farmer, stock-raiser and dairyman, three miles southeast of Farmersville, Tulare County. was born at Gilroy, Santa Clara County, June 30, 1860. His father. Charles C. Hart, born in Litchfield County, Conn., in 1826, represented old New England families. He married in his native state and came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama about 1857. His brother John had come by way of Cape Horn in 1849 and had settled at Gilroy as a dairyman, and later he moved to Tulare County and thence to Kings County, dying at Hanford. Charles C. joined his brother in Gilroy and was a dairyman there until 1861. when he bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres three miles south of Visalia and went into ranching and stock-raising. In 1865 he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres, now the homestead of his widow, which he improved and put under cultivation. Later, with Charles W. Hart, his son, he bought six hundred and forty acres half a mile from his home and eighty acres of land under timber. They farmed together until he died, July 18, 1891. He married Miss Helen Payne, a native of New York, who survives him, and they had five children: Fred Miles, of Kings County, Cal.; Charles Weston; John H., a farmer near the Hart homestead; Carrie Ellen, wife of H. T. Anderson, and Kittie A., who married J. L. Tuohy, and died in 1904. The mother of these children is a consistent member of the Baptist church. The father was a man of strong principles, an advocate of progress and reform and a stanch Republican who took an active interest in all movements for the benefit of his community or his country.

Only six months of his life had been passed when Charles Weston Hart was brought from Santa Clara County to Tulare County. He was educated in the public schools in the district and received valuable early training from his father. At fourteen he was an active farmer on his father’s ranch, operating with remarkable ability and judgment. At twenty-one he was made his father’s partner in the business of grain production and hog raising. After his father’s death, Mr. Hart bought the farm outfit and stock and continued the enterprise, renting from time to time one thousand to twenty-five hundred acres of land for the purposes of his business, and he now owns six thousand acres. He has a herd of six hundred cattle of the Durham and the Aberdeen Polled Angus breeds, five hundred Poland-China hogs, one hundred and fifty horses and mules and a dairy of ninety cows.

The woman who became the wife of Mr. Hart was Miss Lila Conlee, who was born in Morro, San Luis Obispo County, Cal., a daughter of Frank Conlee, who was a native of Illinois and a set­tler in California in 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Hart became parents of children as follows: Weston C., Helen, Hazel Irene, Ethel C., Forest F. and Verna. Her father became a lumber manufacturer at Creston and in Tulare County, and he is now farming and growing fruit at Springville. Ella Robinson, who became his wife and the mother of Mrs. Hart, was born in Canada. Mrs. Hart is the third in their family of nine children, all of whom were early instructed in the faith of the Methodist -church, of which both Mr. and Mrs. Hart are also members.In political convictions Mr. Hart is both liberal and conservative, Prefering to reserve the right always to cast his ballot for 4.he.’nriati whom 116 regards the best fitted for a specific office


The well-known stockbuyer, George Jasper, of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., is a native son of the state, having first opened his eyes on the world in San Francisco, which city was his home until after he had entered active life on his own account. He was but thirteen years old when he began riding the ranges for the firm of Miller & Lux. Later he was in charge of their livestock in different parts of the San Joaquin valley until he became a buyer, in which capacity he traveled throughout the coast country in quest of caft-te­for that firm. For twenty-three years he continued in their employ, and in 1907 severed his connections with them and located at Hanford as an independent buyer. He buys stock in practically all counties in the valley, and ships about two carloads of hogs each week through the year, and about sixteen hundred to two thousand cattle annually. He is the owner of three hundred and eighty acres of pasture land located within six miles of Hanford.

In 1898 Mr. Jasper married Freda Von Helms, who has borne him two children, Myrtle and Tillie. Fraternally he affiliates with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Woodmen of the World and I. D. E. S. As a business man he is in high repute and is privileged to take pride in his success because it has been won with principles of honor and square dealing. He takes a helpful interest in everything that pertains to the growth and development of Hanford, his public spirit impelling him to aid to the extent of his ability all movements for the general good. His standing in the community is all the more noteworthy because he is one of the finest and most satisfactory examples of the self-made man to be found in Central California.


It is said “the prophet is not without honor except in his own country.” The pioneer is a prophet who is honored in his own country as nowhere else; that is, after his prophecies have come true. His faith in the country where he elects to establish his home is a prophecy, and the development of the community to numbers and to wealth is the fulfillment of his prophecy. Everywhere the pioneer is respected, and thoughtful men and women grieve because, like the veterans of the Civil war, our pioneers are passing away. Soon they will be seen no more. But the good they have done will live after them. The making of the Tulare County of today came largely through the long-distance foresight and the humble trust and work of its pioneers. All such who could be reached have been given place in these pages. Indirectly many readers of this owe much to George A. Ballou, who has earned the rest from activity and from material cares which follows honest and patriotic endeavor.

The Ballous of America are of French extraction. Bravely have they borne their part in the successive wars through which we have come to our national greatness. Many of the early Ballous were weavers, and it was but natural that in the infancy of our cotton industry they became connected with it in one way or another. Ballou’s cottons, manufactured at Woonsocket, R. I., by Oliver Ballou, became known round the world. lHarveyBallou, Oliver’s son, of Rhode Island birth and-iparng, --Was farmer and a bricklayer and plasterer. He married Ruth Gould, twin at Cape Cod, Mass., and they both died in Rhode,Island, he in 1854. Of their three sons and three daughters, George A. was next to the last born. September 26, 1832, was the time of his birth, and Cumberland, R. I., was the place. He gained a common school and academic education and received full instruction from his father in the secrets of the plas­terer and bricklayer.

In 1850 Mr. Ballou came to California, with other gold seekers, by way of Panama, and stopped eighteen months at San Diego, whence he went to Los Angeles. His mining was more remunerative than was that of others whom he remembers, and after a stay of eight months in Los Angeles, a shorter one at San Francisco and a period of working at his trade in Stockton, he resumed it for a time in Mariposa County. From there he went, eventually, back to Los Angeles, and in 1860 he became a pioneer at Visalia. Here, after working as a plasterer and bricklayer several years, he began contracting in his line, and many of the early buildings of the town were erected under his superintendency. He continued his business actively till 1899, when he retired, the better to give attention to his property in town and his large holdings, of more than a thousand acres, in Tulare and two other counties. His lands were bought when he could buy them cheaply, and he has wisely held them till they have participated in the rise in values which marks the difference between the California of the last half of the last century and the California of today. When he invested in them he very practically prophesied that they would be worth much more in his time than they were worth then, and he has been spared to know that his prophecy was not idly made. His sympathies with humanity, of high and low and intermediate degrees, made him a Republican in the days when men of his intellectual type cast their influence for the elimination of slavery from the United States, and through all its history, through all its changing issues, he has acted with that party ever since. All about him are evidences of his public spirit. Everywhere he goes he is greeted as a father and as a friend. He has been useful and in his declining years he is honored and happy and unfaltering in his faith in things to come.



A wide and diversified career has been that of John H. Smith, who was known as one of the oldest pioneers in the County. He was commonly called “Uncle John,” his bright, cheerful and sunny disposition making him a favorite of all who were fortunate enough to know him. Born at Grimstad, Norway, November 28, 1813, he was there reared, but being early imbued with a desire to follow the sea he followed this inclination and was but a boy when he shipped as a sailor, and for thirty-five years thereafter he endured the hardships as well as the joy of living on the water and visiting every port of interest in the world. His sea life took him often to the East Indies, and he sailed around Cape Horn three times. It was in 1848 that he decided to give up seafaring life and at that time he landed in New York, where reports of gold found in the west immediately fired him with ambition to go there. He set sail for California, going around Cape Horn, and in 1850 reached San Francisco. He became a gold miner and followed this vocation for some years with varying success until 1866, his operations being chiefly in Tuolumne County. Turning his attention to more positive means of livelihood, Mr. Smith removed from that County to Summerville, Contra Costa County, asks there engaged in coal mining in the employ of the Pittsburg Coal Mining company, remaining with them until 1875. During this service a fire broke out in the mines and Mr. Smith evinced the most courageous spirit in bravely entering into a burning shaft and rescuing seven men. For his heroism he received from his employers as a memento a handsome gold watch costing $200. This watch, presented him by the president of the mining company, is solid gold and engraved as follows : John H. Smith, Pittsburg C. M. Co. For Noble Conduct during a fire at the Mine, Dec. 10th, 1871.

Leaving the coal mines Mr. Smith came to the present homestead near Guernsey in 1875. Subsequently he again engaged in coal mining at Coalinga, serving as superintendent of a coal mine for Messrs. Robinson & Rawlings, and it was while employed here that he lost his faithful wife and helpmate in 1889. The remainder of his life lie spent engaged in farming and stockraising in company with his sons, Henry and William, at his home near Guernsey. Mr. Smith was well known for his honesty and kindly attitude toward everyone. Energetic and hardworking, when past eighty he performed his regular duties on the farm and he lived to attain a great age, his death occurring May 19, 1907, at which time he was probably the oldest man living in Kings County.

On July 26, 1855, Mr. Smith was married at Sonora, Cal., to Anna Nilson, a native of Sweden. They became the parents of six sons and two daughters, as follows: George, born in 1856, died in infancy; William was born in 1858, and is a partner of Henry C., his brother ; Albert, born in 1860, died in 1887; Emma, born in 1862, married Charles Freisch, of Traver, and died without issue in 1902; George (2), born in 1864, died in 1888; Henry C. is mentioned elsewhere in this publication; Matilda is the wife of Joseph Dalton, of Coalinga; she was born in 1867 and is the mother of seven children; Lewis, born in 1870, still owns an interest in the home ranch. Mr. Smith was particularly well known by all the people in the Lakeside country and was highly respected. His noble and loving character has ever been a beautiful example of true living, and his influence for good was wide and strong, his memory being held dear by many who have just reason to honor his name and revere his memory.


One of the up-to-date and prosperous farmers of Tulare County, whose career has been one of progressive success, is Albert H. Collins, whose home is on the Tulare road, rural free delivery route No. 1, near Tulare city. Mr. Collins was born in Scotland County, Mo., March 2, 1861, grew to manhood on his father’s farm and was educated chiefly in the public school in his home district. In 1882, when he was twenty-one years old, he went to western Montana, where for a time he was a stock-raiser and afterward until 1892 a general merchant. Then he returned to his old home in Missouri, whence he came in 1894 to California. Renting land two miles west of Tulare, he devoted himself to the production of wheat, alfalfa, vineyard and some miscellaneous crops until he bought his present place, five miles north of Tulare, where he has lived since 1902. It is a fifty-acre ranch, which he has greatly improved by the planting of shade trees and otherwise. He has forty-five acres in alfalfa, maintains a dairy of twenty cows and keeps thirty-six head of beef cattle, the same number of hogs, five horses and four hundred white Leghorn hens.

In 1889 Mr. Collins married Miss Emma Riley, a native of Missouri, and they have a son, Floyd W. Collins, who is now about ten years old. Mr. Collins was a charter member of the local lodge of the Woodmen of the World and of the local lodge of Women of Woodcraft, a sister order to the Woodmen of the World, and with which Mrs. Collins is also identified. He affiliates also in a fraternal way with Kaweah Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men, of Tulare. He was one of the promoters of the Dairy­men’s Co-operative Creamery and has been a stockholder in the company controlling it during its entire history. He is a director also in the Tulare Irrigation Ditch Company and has from time to time been identified with other important interests. As a citizen he has met all demands on his patriotism with a ready liberality that has added not a little to his popularity.


On North E street in Tulare lives James Milton Setliff, who is well and favorably known throughout Tulare County as a progressive and successful farmer and stockraiser. Mr. Setliff was born in Tennessee March 8, 1864, and was reared on a farm and educated in the public schools there. When he was twenty-one years old he came to California, locating in Tulare, where he was employed for three years at carpentering and doing farm work. He then began farming on rented land, taking a tract of two hundred acres a mile out of town and one hundred and sixty acres six miles southwest. On both of these properties he raised grain. In the following spring. in partnership with two others, he rented four hundred acres four miles west of Pixley and raised grain with good success. Next year he farmed that land and six hundred and forty acres a mile south of it, which proved a splendid undertaking. The following season was dry and he lost everything, and the next spring found him working for wages in an effort to recover. The year after, with a partner, he farmed seven hundred acres west of Waukena, near the Artesia school house, and was able to market nothing but ten tons of hay. During the succeeding year he devoted himself to teaming.

The following spring he seeded and planted forty acres near Paige, and in the fall he harvested fifteen tons of hay and four hundred and sixty-four sacks of grain. The subsequent year, with 0. W. Griffith as a partner, he farmed seven hundred acres five miles south of Tulare and eighty acres of the Huff place near Paige. His next experience as a renter was on two hundred and forty acres of the Huff place and seven hundred and sixty acres in the section adjoining it on the west, but he did not receive a great gain from this, and since 1906 he has farmed one hundred and ninety-five Huff acres and conducted a dairy on eighty acres of his own land, milking thirty cows. Seventy acres of this tract, which he bought in 1896, are under alfalfa. In 1903 he bought sixty-four acres adjoining the Huff ranch, on which he keeps about two hundred and fifty hogs and breeds draft and driving horses. He has put eighty acres of the Huff land under alfalfa with a view to the establishment of a dairying enterprise. He owns an interest in a thoroughbred Percheron stallion that cost $2,800 and has a good residence property in Tulare, to which city he moved in order to better educate his children.

In 1891 Mr. Setliff married Miss Nannie Gully, a daughter of Bryant Gully, who lives eight miles south of Tulare, and she died in 1898, having borne him three children, Russel, Guy and Nannie. Russel has passed away. In 1901 he married Miss Lydia Garrett, a native of Mississippi, and to this union was born a son, Roland. Mr. Setliff was married a third time. On August 2, 1910, Mrs. A zaela Nicholson, of Tulare, became his wife. She is a daughter of Silas R. Gully, of Tulare. As a citizen Mr. Setliff takes a public spirited interest in the community and in a fraternal way he affiliates with the Odd Fellows, the Elks and the Woodmen of the World.


A native of the Prairie State who has made good in California is Charles Edward Smith, of Porterville, Tulare County. It was in Madison County, Ill., that he was born December 20, 1854. There he was educated and in the intervals of study acquired a practical knowledge of farming. In young manhood, with his parents he went to Missouri, where he lived on a farm for about five years. After that he came to California, in the fall of 1886, locating in Tulare County and stopped for a short time at Lemoore. Later he made his home in Tulare City and from there went to Kern County and pre-empted land on which he lived until he located his home at Porterville in 1891. There he acquired land which he eventually sold in order to engage in the grocery business. Thus he was employed for ten years, then he sold his interests at Porterville and moved to San Jose, the better to educate his children, and remained there three years. When he first came to Porterville it was a mere hamlet of a few houses, with only some small business beginnings of different kinds. By the time he removed to San Jose it had acquired considerable importance, and when he moved back in 1906 it was to a town something like the bustling and prosperous Porterville of today.

In April, 1883, in Girard, Kan., Mr. Smith married Miss Livonia Leach, a native of Clinton county, Ill., born April 18, 1862, who has borne him four children, three of whom are living. May married James Large and is living in Ventura county. Bessie is a student at the Normal school at Fresno, and Eda is in the grammar school at Porterville. Henry Allen died when he was twenty months old. Mrs. Smith's parents, William A. and Letty (Smith) Leach, immigrated to California in 1892. Her father died here in 1907 ; her mother survives, aged eighty-six years. Mr. Smith's father, Edwin Smith, is living at the age of eighty-six, but his mother, Elizabeth (Robinson) Smith, has passed away.

Fraternally Mr. Smith affiliates with the Odd Fellows' lodge and encampment. As a citizen he is liberally public-spirited, never failing to respond to any appeal in the interest of the public good.

History of 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 - 433 - 471

Site Created: 12 January 2009

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Updated 14 September 2017

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