Tulare & Kings Counties
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The French Canadian, wherever his lot may be cast, generally develops into a good and prosperous citizen with much credit for his easy manner and thrifty qualities. This fact is illustrated in the successful life and high standing of Emerie Renaud, a native of the province of Quebec and a descendant of one of the oldest and most honored French families of Canada, who owns and occupies one of the most attractive of the many beautiful home farms in Tulare County, a stock farm four and a half miles north of Tulare. Mr. Renaud was born July 25, 1857, near Montreal, which was the birthplace of his grandsire, Charles Renaud, Sr., and of his father, Charles Renaud, Jr. The former farmed all his life near Montreal, and his homestead is now the property of one of his grandsons. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, Charles Renaud was a farmer all his life, and passed away when he was but fifty-seven. His wife was Marcellian Pelon, born in Quebec, daughter of Celesta Pelon, who was a farmer. She and ten of her twelve children survive. Emerie, the third in order of birth, is the only one of them living in California.
In the district school and on the farm Emerie Renaud received the practical education that has made possible the success he has achieved. When he was sixteen years old he came with a brother and an uncle to Nevada, but soon located at Sacramento, Cal., where he worked as a farm hand two years. After that he mined four or five years with indifferent success in the diggings at Bodie, Cal., and at others in Nevada, then returned to Sacramento, where he married and whence he came in 1884 to Tulare County. He bought a farm on Elk Bayou, which, however, proved unproductive, and when he had operated it at a loss for two years he rented land and engaged on an extensive scale in grain raising and this latter venture met with great success. Leasing from J. Goldman & Company the old Stokes estate of three thousand acres, he raised grain in large quantities on that land as well as on a three-thousandacre ranch near Porterville, which he leased a number of years. Other purchases and leases brought his holdings to the ten thousand acre mark, and the prosecution of his enterprise required the use of one hundred and fifty horses and mules and two harvesters. In 1903 he bought the old J. B. Zumwalt place, four hundred and twenty acres, in the management of which he has been very prosperous. having four hundred acres in alfalfa, a dairy of one hundred cows with modern equipment, including a separator, plenty of good horses and three hundred hogs. Besides operating his homestead. he operates under lease thirteen hundred acres adjoining, which he devotes to grain and stockraising. He is constantly improving his home place and now has one of the really fine residences of that part of the County, standing as it does amid palms and orange trees, on a beautiful lawn. Mr. Renaud is a director in the Dairymen’s Co-operative Dairy company.
Sacramento, Mr. Renaud married Miss Mary Giguerre, born in Yolo County,
Cal., daughter of Frank Giguerre, a pioneer of 1849, and they have nine
living children: Joseph, Walter, Laura, Flora (wife of J. Damron, Jr.),
Arthur, Blanche, Bryan, Elma and Collis. Mr. Renaud affiliates with Tulare
City lodge No. 306, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, with Tulare
Encampment. and with Olive Branch lodge No. 269, F. & A. M. His moral and
theological creed is “Do right and it will be right.” Politically he is a
steadfast Democrat, and as such he was elected to the presidency of the
board of school trustees of the Enterprise district. In a public-spirited
way he takes a deep and abiding interest in all propositions looking to the
advancement of the community or the amelioration of the condition of the
people at large.
On one of the Azores Islands of Portugal, Joseph Silveira was born October 24, 1877. He came to the United States in 1895, when he was about eighteen years old, and that same year he located in California. For three months he was employed near Truckee on a dairy farm, then went to Marin County, Cal., where he was similarly employed for three years. From there he went to Nevada City, Nevada County, Cal., where he worked in sawmills in the mountains and at times prospected and mined for gold. Oakland, Cal., was his next objective point. There, in partnership with his brother, he was in the creamery business about a year. In 1903 he came to Tulare County, where for a short time he was a partner with another in a dairy ranch, but in the fall of that year he came to his present location. He is the owner of eighty acres and rents two hundred and forty acres, has seventy-five cattle and milks fifty Holstein cows. Ninety acres he devotes to alfalfa. As a farmer and dairyman he is prosperous in Tulare County even beyond his expectation and is recognized by a wide circle of acquaintances as a self-made man of much prominence and of even greater promise. He affiliates with the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S., Portuguese orders, and with the Woodmen of the World.
Mr. Silveira married Violanto Eserada, a native of the Azores Islands, and
they had five children, here mentioned in the order of their nativity:
Manuel, Mary, Louisa, Carrie and Hilda. On June 2, 1912, Mrs. Silveira died.
Mr. Silveira married again. August 26, 1912, Miss Mary Brazill, born on the
Azores Islands, becoming his wife. Though Mr. Silveira has not been as long
in Tulare County as some of its American-born citizens, he has demonstrated
that his public spirit is adequate to any demand that may be reasonably made
upon it. His aspirations are for the uplift of the community and there is no
movement for the general good that does not receive his heartfelt
encouragement and support.
GEORGE ULYSSES WRAY
One of the most popular and well-known citizens of Tulare County who by the exercise of untiring energy and inflexible will has forged to the fore in many industrial circles is George Ulysses Wray, who was a pioneer stockraiser in this vicinity, haying settled about five miles east of Tulare City in 1874. He is a brilliant type of the self-made, self-reliant man, who in spite of many hardships and numerous impediments in the road for knowledge has so thoroughly overcome them that he is today numbered among the reliable and noteworthy short-story writers, his chief theme being nature study. Added to this he is a newspaper correspondent of some note and active interest and wide knowledge of all current events and political subjects makes him a valued acquisition on the publishing staff.
George W. Wray, his father, was born in Crawfordsville, Ind., and came across the plains in 1851. He was a cabinet-maker by trade and upon coming to California followed mining at Hangtown, now Placerville, in Eldorado County. He was married at Suisun City to Miss Ethalinda Vanderbiirgh, who was born in Iowa and came across the plains in 1861. After his marriage he engaged in farming and the nursery business at Placerville and continued to live there until they came to Tulare County in 1874. Mr. Wray was the first man to make a success of farming under the no-fence law by taking up trespassing stock under a law passed by the state legislature in 1875, and was also organizer of one of the best and oldest ditch systems in Tulare County. This is known as the Farmers’ Ditch company, and he served as its superintendent for over twenty years, and he was the largest stockholder during that period. Mrs. Wray is now living near Los Angeles at sixty-four years of age, Mr. Wray having passed away November 24, 1910. They were the parents of a family of ten children, seven daughters and three sons, who are all living. George W. Wray had homesteaded a tract of a hundred and sixty acres on the north fork of the North Tule river, which he proved up, and which his son, George U., bought at the time of the former’s death in 1910.
The eldest of his parents’ family George U. Wray was born at Placerville, March 25, 1869, and was about five years, of age when he was brought by his parents to Tulare County. Owing to the unsettled conditions at that time educational facilities were meager and the boy was obliged to go to work on the stock farm at an early age. When he was fifteen he started out for himself, working at general farming for wages for four years, when he engaged in farming and stockraising for himself. . When he was twenty-one he homesteaded a hundred and sixty acres east of Milo. On March 25, 1904, he was married in Fresno County to Miss Josephine Wood, who died without issue at the present home of George U. Wray in May, 1905. Mr. Wray came to his present ranch about fourteen years ago and bought a hundred and twenty acres, also homesteading the hundred and sixty-acre tract mentioned above, and he now owns two ranches aggregating four hundred acres of land on which is done general farming and stockraising. He has started a young nursery and is clearing land, intending to put in about twenty-five acres to apples and it is also his intention to raise his own nursery stock.
has steadfastly refused political preferment, for he is widely known for his
unusual ability and broad intelligence of matters of moment. He was tendered
the nomination for supervisor on the Populist ticket at the time Populism
was at its height in Tulare County, but declined this honor. Nevertheless he
has taken a very active interest in politics, being forcibly active wherever
there is a principle at stake and he is known as an ultra radical
progressive. In fighting the saloons he has been especially active and he
has assisted in wiping out several of these evils in the County through his
writings and active political work. Notwithstanding the fact that he was
handicapped by few advantages when a child, he is of an active, alert and
inquiring mind, and through extensive reading, close observation and
natural intelligence he has become well- informed and is acceded to be among
the most entertaining as well as instructive writers of the day. For two
years he was a correspondent for the Visalia Times, also the Farm View,
which was printed at Porterville, and for fourteen years served as the
regular local correspondent for the Porterville Enterprise, and is now local
correspondent for the Porterville Recorder. He is strongly opposed to the
liquor traffic and has written many stirring articles against it. Having
ever lived the simple life, close to nature, he has become quite a hunter
and has experienced many thrilling adventures which he has told in a number
of short stories with such interesting style as to endear him to his many
readers, not the least of which are the young readers of the Youth’s
Companion and similar popular publications. A few years ago he started
writing up his own experiences in hunting bear, deer, etc., in the Sierras,
writing under a nom de plume, which are printed in magazine form and attract
much favorable attention.
ARCHIE F LANEY
A native son of California and of Tulare County, Archie F. Laney was born in 1877, a son of George W. and Oetavia (Retherford) Laney. His father was born in Ohio and came to California in 1873; he was married in Iowa. He bought land and raised grain and cattle until he retired from active work about fifteen years ago, when his sons assumed the management, and they have continued the business in which he was the pioneer and are yet raising and buying and selling stock, being as well known in the market as any other dealers in the central part of the state. Their ranch comprises twelve hundred acres and they carry about three hundred fat cattle each year, raising only enough grain for feed and growing alfalfa for their own use. The father passed away November 13, 1912.
While Archie Laney has never taken an active interest in practical politics and has never sought public office, he has well defined ideas concerning all questions of economic bearing and in a very public-spirited way performs his whole duty as a citizen. In fact, if we may believe those who know him best and are best able to testify in such a matter, he is liberally helpful to all movements having for their object the advancement and prosperity of the community and in a private way has many times proven himself a dependable friend, doing what he could by word and deed to help struggling neighbors over some of the stony places in life’s pathway.
In Ohio, Preble County, William Gough, who lives two miles northwest of Orosi in Tulare County, was born October 12, 1838. There he was reared and educated and obtained a practical knowledge of farming and of different kinds of useful labor. He was about twenty-two years old when, in 1860, he came to California, the party of which he was a member being under command of Captain McFarland, who had twice before crossed the plains to and fro. The train consisted of sixty-two wagons and the party included one hundred and twenty men and thirteen young women. The route was by way of Omaha, Lone Tree, along the Platte, Salt Lake City, the sink of the Humboldt and thence through beautiful California valleys to Sacramento. The Indians were menacing and succeeded in running off a good many cattle, but none of their attacks were fatal to any member of the party. Forty or fifty cattle died by the way and at Rabbit Hole Springs one member of the party passed away. For a number of years Mr. Gough lived in Sacramento, most of the time engaged in teaming between that point and Nevada. He drove a ten-mule team and the rates on freight ranged from six cents to fifteen cents for one hundred pounds. From Sacramento he came down into Kern County and filed on one hundred and sixty acres of government land which he later relinquished in order to move to Visalia to engage again in teaming. For seven years he drove a stage back and forth between Visalia and Havilah. It was after he took up his residence in Visalia that he married Miss Malinda J. Pemberton, a native of Missouri and a daughter of the Hon. James E. Pemberton. With his brother as a partner Mr. Pemberton conducted the first general store in Visalia. lie was elected to the state legislature for the session of 1865-66 and served with much ability. Later he was elected treasurer of Kern County on the Democratic ticket and re-elected on the same ticket with the Republican endorsement. He was elected for a third term and died in office. A man of much business ability, he became one of the leading cattlemen of the County. Mrs. Gough has borne her husband four children, Ruby A., Anna P., Elmo and Leroy. Ruby A. married R. E. Montague and lives at Orosi. Elmo, who is a graduate of the public schools, married Beulah Howard and they live on the Robert place; they have three children, Howardine, Eugene and an infant. Leroy took for his wife Ethel Tellyer and lives on Sand creek, Squaw valley.
Gough came to this spot little or no farming had been done in the vicinity
and cattle were fed on the plains, over which deer and antelope roamed
almost unmolested. In the swamp were many elk and the bear was a pest to all
who tried to raise hogs. He has participated in and aided to the extent of
his ability the development of the community from that time to the present,
and as a Republican has been influential in local affairs.
GEORGE ALEXANDER ROBISON
An identification with Tulare County interests for more than a quarter of a century, during which time he has been almost a continuous resident in the County, has placed George Alexander Robison among the best known citizens here. He is a native of Linneus, Linn County, Mo., born April 27, 1851, son of Andrew and Eliza (Marlow) Robison, who took their son when a babe in arms to Perry County, Ill. In that County he was reared and educated, living there until 1874, when he went to Indiana, his father at that time coming to California. It was in November, 1875, that George A. came to California to join his parents, and two years thereafter was located in Tulare County. From there he moved to near Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. During these travels he had been working for wages in the intervals of farming rented land. Returning to Tulare County he farmed three-quarters of a section, which was part of the present site of Orosi. In Sonoma County he worked land north of Santa Rosa near Fulton. He remembers 1877 as a dry year in Tulare County; wheat growing and stockraising failed, horses died, and young sheep were killed in order to save the old ones.
In 1880, in Sonoma County, Mr. Robison married Mary Russell, a native of Sonoma County, Cal., and a daughter of Hugh and Sarah Russell. She has borne him five children: Minnie, Lawrence, Dora and Nora (twins), and Pearlie. Minnie married Lee Finley, of Tulare County, and they have two sons and a daughter. Lawrence married Martha Griggs. The three others are members of their parents’ household.
his marriage Mr. Robison came back to Tulare County and bought twenty acres
of land near Orosi at $75 an acre, his present home, which was part of a
grain ranch. He has fourteen and a half acres under vines, his leading
grapes being Muscats and Sultanas. An orchard of four hundred young peach
trees is a feature of his farm. It includes three and a half acres and in
1912 brought him $152. While Mr. Robison regards 1911 as having been a poor
crop year, he states that in that year he sold eighteen tons of raisins. A
comparison of these figures with those of 1893, his first crop, when he
shipped his crop to New York and cleared $50 on it, is not at all
discouraging, and his many years’ residence in this vicinity, while it has
not been without its disappointments, has nevertheless on the whole brought
him substantial prosperity. Preeminently a self- made man, he has succeeded
because he is a good farmer and a good citizen. Politically he affiliates
with the Democratic party.
One of the most prosperous fruit growers in Tulare County is Moses. S. Jenanyan, who was born April 22, 1864, in Armenia and there made his home until in 1893, when he came to Chicago, bringing with him an exhibit of goods from his native land. In 1894 he brought the exhibit to San Francisco and then returned to the east. He came to Tulare County January 4, 1904, and bought ninety acres of land, bare and uncultivated, which he has developed into a fine fruit farm, having now ten acres of Emperor and sixty acres of Muscat grapes, also ten acres of oranges and ten acres of peaches. In the season of 1910 he sold forty-five tons of Muscats, his Emperors not being in full bearing, and his peach crop brought him $1000. He is improving his place with a modern cement residence and has built a barn and made other improvements on the place.
One hundred and thirty-two acres of fruit land in this vicinity is owned by Helena R. Jenanyan, a native of New York, who lives in Philadelphia. She has ten acres in Emperors, thirty in Muscats, thirty-five in Thompsons and ten in Malagas, and has an orange grove of fifteen acres. She sold in 1910 fifty-five tons of Emperors, thirty-five of Muscats, thirty of Thompsons and thirty-five of Malagas. Her orange crop in 1911 brought about $1500.
The Rev. H. S. Jenanyan bought about fifteen hundred acres of land in association with his brother, Moses S., and they brought twenty-five families to a colony which they have established on this land on Rural Free Delivery Route No. 1, four miles southeast of Mr. Jenanyan’s homestead. This has increased to about sixty families in 1913. They employ about thirty workmen and at bleaching time hire about forty people. Most of their fruit they ship direct to eastern markets.
In Philadelphia, in 1899, Mr. Jenanyan was married to Miss Maude P. Pulsifer, a native of Canada, and they are the parents of four children, viz.: Gladys and Clarence, who were born in Boston, and Vincent and Alden, natives of California.
ranch of Mr. Jenanyan, of ninety acres, which had been a wheat field before
he bought it, has been improved by an irrigation system and transformed
into a fine orange and grape farm. Mr. Jenanyan is as enterprising toward
the public welfare as he is where his own personal interests are involved.
As a Republican he has been elected to the office of school trustee of the
Churchill district. In religion he affiliates with the Presbyterian Church.
A career of usefulness and unceasing labor has been that of Daniel Murphy, who has figured prominently in the development . of Dinuba and Orosi for many years. He was born February 1, 1828, in Antigonish (Indian name for River of Fish), Nova Scotia, and there his life was spent until he reached the age of about sixty- five years. He made a marked success of his life as a farmer and manufacturer, devoting himself principally to milling and to woolen manufacture. He built up the business from a small beginning, in partnership with Robert Trotter, combining gristmilling and woolen manufacturing of tweeds and yarns as well as blankets and flannels, and so extensive did the enterprise become that he long employed a hundred or more skilled workmen. Later he built a small steam mill, and this he sold for $7,000, in order to come to California and in November, 1892, he became one of the pioneers of this section of the County, buying forty acres of land, twenty of which he later sold. His land was all wheatfield and there were no graded roads. He acquired other property and had two stores and seven saloons in Dinuba, and two houses and one store in Orosi. Mr. Murphy planted six acres to grapes, seven acres to peaches and in 1909 replaced the peach orchard with an eight-acre tract of oranges.
So well equipped is his place in the matter of water supply that he could irrigate it more cheaply with his own plant than from the ditch. Nevertheless his public spirit impels him to patronize the latter. His well is eighty feet deep, with eleven inch casings and a five-horsepower engine for pumping. All his operations are carried on by the latest and most scientific methods.
In Nova Scotia, Mr. Murphy married Miss Ann MacDonald, who has borne him children as follows: Bessie (Mrs. Sydney Holland), who has a son, Percy; William, who married Rose Phelps and lives in St. Paul, Minn.; Tina, who married Wesley Ferguson and has four children, they residing in Minneapolis; Huntley, who married Abbie Wheelock, and is an employe of the Southern Pacific Railroad company, living in Oakland; Grace, who became the wife of J. H. McCrackin, druggist, at Dinuba. Four children died in Nova Scotia. Mrs. Murphy passed away June 18, 1902.
politics Mr. Murphy is a stanch Republican and in religion a communicant of
the Presbyterian Church. As a citizen he is public- spiritedly helpful to
all worthy interests of the community.
It was in Monroe, Mich., that Elizabeth Navarre was born in 1842 and lived until 1881, when she accompanied her husband, Samuel Navarre, to California, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in Tulare County, the site of her present home. They were married in Michigan in 1868 and had three children, Bert. Dot and Lillie. Bert passed away in 1901, aged thirty-one years. Dot and Lillie are married. Mrs. Navarre’s parents were natives of Ireland, who sought and found their fortunes in America and have gone to their reward. Mr. Navarre was born in Michigan and was a man of winning personality, who was beloved by all who knew him. He died at his home in Tulare County in 1897, aged fifty-six years. Their children were all born in Monroe, Mich.
Since the death of her husband Mrs. Navarre has sold a part of the old farm, but retains what she has always called her home place. When she came to the County, settlement was so sparse that many miles intervened between the houses. The country was wild, lonely and unproductive, and her husband had no difficulty in buying good land. at $2.50 an acre. Most of her land is planted to grain, and along this line she is farming very successfully. A woman of the highest character and genial and affable, she has made and kept many friends in the community in which she has cast her lot, and in a public-spirited way she has done whatever was possible for the promotion of the general interest. Her late husband is. remembered as having been a friend of education and a promoter of progress and prosperity.
In Lewis County, northeast Missouri, Lewis A. Sickles was born, in 1874, and there made his home until he was about twenty-five years old, when he went to Kansas City, Mo., where he lived until 1904. Then he came to Porterville, Tulare County,. and after living there two years he removed to Springville; Cal. Two years later he bought the Springville hotel, which he still owns, and which has been written up in the Visalia Morning Delta, published December 21, 1912, as follows :
There is no class of institutions throughout the whole category of business concerns which exercise so wide an influence or have so important a bearing upon the general character of a city as its leading and most representative hotels. These establishments have an individuality which becomes impressed and engrafted upon the character of the community, and to the vast majority of the transient traveling fraternity a city is just what its hotels make it; for it is here that the visitor receives his first and his last distinct impressions, and accordingly as he is favorably or unfavorably inclined toward the hostelry of his temporary abiding place, in just that measure is he pleased or displeased with the community in which it is located.
Springville has every reason to be proud of the Springville hotel; it has thirty-two large airy rooms, all comfortably furnished, and the dining room has a seating capacity of seventy-two.
A. Sickles bought this hotel six years ago, and then it was not the hotel
that it is today, for it was only one-third of its present size. Mr. Sickles
is commonly referred to as the Mayor of Springville, for it was to him that
the honor fell to drive the last spike in the completion of the railroad.
Mayor Sickles is a genial host, ever looking after the comforts of his
guests, and he leaves no stone unturned to impress upon all of his patrons
the wonderful resources of this chosen spot.
In 1906 Mr. Sickles married Anna Akin, a native of Shelby County, Ohio. In 1895 his father and mother came to this state and his father, B. T. Sickles, is living in Porterville. Mr. Sickles is one of the directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Springville and was so important a factor in securing the construction of the railroad to that city that on the completion of the line he was tendered the honor mentioned.
This progressive man was educated in his native Missouri and has always been connected with enterprises of importance. For four years before he came to California he was a foreman in the packing house of Schwarzschild & Sulzberger at Kansas City. After coming to California he became proprietor of the hotel as stated. This is the only hotel in the town and he manages it with much ability, catering successfully to both transient and commercial trade.
It is as
a self-made man that Mr. Sickles should appeal most strongly to those who
come to know him. Starting out in life with nothing, he has made a success
in every way creditable, and such of this world’s goods as he possesses he
has won by his own unaided ability and industry. Wherever he has lived his
public spirit has never been found wanting. He is deservedly popular in
business circles and in a fraternal way he affiliates with the Modern
WILLIAM H MILLINGHAUSEN
Of German-American lineage, William H. Millinghausen was born at Lincoln, Neb., in 1877. His father was a native of Germany and his mother made her advent into this world in Michigan; they are now living in retirement from the active labors that commanded their devotion through all their earlier years. They gave their son such advantages for education as were possible, and under his father’s instruction he learned the practical side of lumbering and farming. When he was two years old they moved, taking him from Nebraska to Oregon, and two years later the family came to Tulare County, and it was in the Mountain View school that he fitted himself for business life.
Practically all of his life Mr. Millinghausen has spent in Tulare County, and practically all of it has been given to two interests, lumbering and farming, and in the latter avocation he has given particular attention to stockraising. As a lumberman and an owner of stock, he naturally engaged in the hauling of lumber, and from that work a graduation to miscellaneous freighting was natural, and as a freighter he has also busied himself profitably from time to time.
father of William H. is August Millinghausen, who is a man of strong
character; his mother is such a woman as gives herself heart and soul to
the moral instruction of her children; and consequently Mr. Millinghausen in
his youth did not lack the ethical and patriotic instruction which is
essential to good citizenship. Those who know him recognize in him a
fellow-townsman of public spirit, who does all that can be expected of him
in the encouragement of measures directed to the general good. While he is
not an active politician, he is well informed on all public questions and
votes for the men who will, in his judgment, do the best for the community.
He has always been liberal in support of the Church and of public education.
ULYSSES GRANT PARSONS
A self-made man who in spite of many vicissitudes and hardships has succeeded and is now prospering as a farmer in Tulare County is Ulysses Grant Parsons, a native of Meigs County, Ohio. Named in honor of General Grant it appears that he has taken as his motto Grant’s dogged declaration, “We will fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”
It was in July, 1866, that Mr. Parsons was born. In 1884, when he was eighteen years old, he turned his back on his Ohio home and went west as far as Nebraska, with a few dollars in his pocket over and above the sum absolutely necessary for traveling expenses. He worked there on farms until in 1890, when he went to Portland, Ore., and found employment on a ranch at thirty dollars a month. From Oregon he came to California, arriving in Tulare County, February 22, 1891, and here for a time he was variously employed, sometimes working for wages and sometimes cutting wood and selling it in town, just as General Grant had done at St. Louis many years before. But all the time he was saving all the money he could possibly put aside until at length he was able to buy a team with which he returned to Oregon, seeking better opportunities. Nevertheless he found conditions there so bad that he made his way back to Nebraska and put in one hundred acres of corn, which failed because of lack of rain. He then found work in the hay fields at one dollar a day and board. Returning to California by way of Nevada he left his wife and children there and came on to Tulare, arriving with twenty-five cents in his pockets and owing - the railroad company $1.80 baggage charges. He borrowed the latter amount from a friend, securing his scant personal property, and then looked around for work. Bound to get a start in some way, he worked at odd jobs in Tulare and Fresno counties, being at one time obliged to work for only sixty cents a day. By working and scrimping and persevering he at length managed to save enough money to enable him to rent a farm of forty acres near Visalia.
Later he bought the place, paying fifty dollars down, improved it and then sold it at a profit of six hundred dollars. He next, in 1903, purchased the one hundred and forty acre farm northwest of Tulare which has since been his home, and at this - time he owes not a dollar in the world and owns one of the most productive ranches of its size in the County. He has twenty acres of Egyptian corn and fifty acres of alfalfa, raises grain and sells fifty to one hundred and fifty tons of hay each year. One of the paying features of his enterprise is a dairy of fifteen cows.
Mr. Parsons married Miss Annie McConnaughay, who has borne him children as
follows: Gertrude, Maud, Edna, Inez, Frank, Fred and Fay (twins), and
George. Mrs. Parsons has always been a true helpmate to her husband and
during the earlier years of their married life encouraged and assisted him
so effectively that he readily accedes to her the credit for more than half
of his success.
At Willamette Valley, Ore., Frank P. Robertson, now one of Tulare County’s best known farmers and dairymen, was born February 18, 1855, son of William J. and Mary (Matthews) Robertson, the former a native of New Jersey, the latter of Missouri. William J. Robertson was the captain in command of the troops which fought for law, order and civilization in the Rogue River war in Oregon, and years afterward he ably filled the office of justice of the peace at Tulare, Cal., where his son has come to the front as a splendid citizen and a first-class man of affairs.
When he was but sixteen years old, Frank P. Robertson left Oregon, and, making his way to California, settled in Tehama County, where he farmed till he moved on to Modoc County to take charge of a sawmill. He came to Tulare County in 1885 and found employment on the old J. B. Zumwalt ranch, where he set out many of the trees which, developed to largeness, now adorn the place. For some years past he has been the owner of ranch interests more or less extensive, mostly within the limits of Tulare County, and at one time owned a ranch three miles south of Visalia. He first occupied the ranch which is now his home by lease, and in 1906 acquired it by purchase. Formerly he farmed it to grain, but for ten years has been operating it as a dairy plant, having now about twenty-five cows. Fifty-five acres of the place he devotes to alfalfa and pasture, and recently he has grown Egyptian corn with much success.
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, lodge and encampment, includes Mr.
Robertson in its membership, and he affiliates also with the Woodmen of the
World and with the Circle of Woodcraft. He has a wide acquaintance
throughout the County and is esteemed as a high-minded, public-spirited
citizen who has the welfare of his community very much at heart. He
married, in 1888, Josephine Siddall, who died in 1896, leaving three
children, Nellie, wife of James Tingley, of Visalia; Charles, and Elmer.
WILLIAM C RHODES
The death of William C. Rhodes, which occurred in 1888 on the frontier between Texas and Mexico, removed from his vicinity one of the oldest and most honored pioneers of California. He was born in March, 1817, in Knox County, east Tennessee. From his native state he went to Texas in 1847, and in 1857 made his way overland to California by the southern route, starting with a band of cattle which were eventually run off by Indians. At the Platte river it was necessary to block up the beds in the wagons to keep them out of the water in crossing, and a box floated off with three children and their mother in it. About this time Mr. Rhodes saw a Mexican amputate an arm of a man whose life was thought to be in danger from a gunshot wound, he having been accidentally shot while unloading bedding from his wagon. Mr. Rhodes made his home in San Bernardino three years, returning to Tennessee at the end of the first year via the Isthmus to bring back more stock. At Carson City he left his stock for the winter, in care of the Houston brothers, but the animals all died before spring. For a time after his arrival in 1860 at Tulare County he engaged in farming and later was in the sheep ‘business on land where he had settled east of Visalia, and which was his home for years. Subsequently he moved south of Porterville and remained there until some time before his death. His widow, who before her marriage was Sarah Rebecca Douglas, survives at the present age’ of eighty-four. They were the parents of twelve children; Nancy, now deceased; Thomas; John; Harriet, Mrs. J. L. Johnson; Julia, Mrs. A. Scruggs; Ann Hazleton, Mrs. C. Har per; William R; Tennessee B., Mrs. S. Fay; Martha E., Mrs. E. Halbert; Samuel S.; Hugh, deceased; and Ora, Mrs. G. Robbins. Thomas married Sarah Fly and they have several children. John married Mrs. Mary Tewksberry and they have five children. Harriet married J. L. Johnson and has three children. Julia became the wife of Thomas Turner and they had one child; by her marriage with Alba Scruggs she had nine children. Ann Hazleton married Charles Harper and bore him eight children. William R. married Miss Lou Mefford and has six living children. Tennessee B. became Mrs. Spencer Fay and has two children. Martha E. married Edward Halbert and they have four children. Samuel S. married Mary A. Garrison. Ora is Mrs. George Robbins.
pioneer Mr. Rhodes won great honor. Fraternally he affiliated with the
Masonic order. In his politics he was a Democrat and as a citizen he was
In Petaluma, Sonoma County, a place made famous by General Vallejo, ‘whose old adobe will live long in history, William Unger, who now lives near Orosi in Stokes valley, was born January 3, 1869. a son of Frederick and Dora (Jantzen) Unger. His parents, natives of Germany, came to New York City and from there sailed for California by way of Panama in 1849. Arrived within the present territory of the Golden State, they lived in Sonoma, Santa Clara and Solano counties successively. In 1880 they settled at Selma, Fresno County, and that remained the family home thereafter. For a time Mr. Unger mined and later he worked for the United States government at $4 a day. In the old mining days he one day picked up a gold nugget which was of considerable value. He died in 1902, his wife in 1904.
It is now thirty-three years since William Unger came to Fresno County, where he remained until 1904, buying and improving three fine homes, one after the other. From there he came to Stokes valley. where he bought one hundred acres of land. He has sixty-five thousand citrus trees and is building up a nursery business and improving his land. His place is well improved and is well provided with modern irrigation facilities, having a pumping capacity of five inches. He was the first to put in a well and pumping plant here, and has over thirty inches of water from the plant installed in 1912. His twelve acres of nursery stock has attracted. much attention and he intends soon to plant one hundred acres of oranges and limes. His farm has been made entirely from raw land and as now advanced is one of the best in the vicinity. Since Mr. Unger came to the valley many colonists have followed him and $600,000 worth of land has been sold there, all of which amply demonstrates the wisdom of his choice, as he has shown the possibilities of this section of the country for growing citrus fruit.
In Fresno County Mr. Unger married Miss Ada E. De La Grange, and they have three children, Bertha, Elwood F. and Velora. Bertha has graduated from the grammar school and Elwood F. is a student.
members of this family are popular with all who know them. Mr. Unger is a
Republican in his politics, and is actively interested in all public
A successful and greatly lamented farmer and stockman who before his death was a prominent representative citizen of Tulare County was Homer Dailey Woodard, who was born November 22, 1850, and died in 1908. His native place was Waukesha, Wis., and he was a son of Myron Woodard, who was born near Rochester, N. Y., June 9, 1819. The family of Woodard had been prominent there during several generations. William Williams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was an ancestor of Myron Woodard in the maternal line and Mr. Woodard’s father saw service as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and served under General Scott in the war of 1812. Myron Woodard was an early settler in Waukesha, Wis., where he cleared a farm and assisted to build up the best interests of his community. In 1854 he crossed the plains with the Hawkins boys, driving cattle, and became a gold miner in California. He went back in 1857, spent a year in Wisconsin and brought hiA family to Knights Ferry, San Joaquin County, making the trip by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Until 1862 he was again a miner, and then he engaged in farming and wool growing in the Washoe valley, Nevada. Returning to California in 1867, he spent three months in Linden, San Joaquin County, then again took to mining, this time at Columbia, Tuolumne County. In 1870 he went to Badger, on the Mill road, where he organized a school district and established a postoffice of which he was the first postmaster. There he farmed, raised stock and conducted a hotel until he retired from active life and made his home with his son, Homer Dailey Woodard, with whom he lived until in 1886, when he died, aged sixty-seven years. His political and religious attitude will be understood when it is stated that he was a Republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Miss Eunisa Dailey, a native of Rochester, N. Y., born June 8, 1822. After her husband’s death she sold—the Badger property and lived on the Woodard farm in the Townsend district until her death, October 4, 1899, aged seventy-seven years. She left four children: Marvin W., in Tehama County; Melvin C., a farmer in Tulare County; Homer Dailey, and H. P., a railroad man of Arizona.
In the district schools in California and Nevada Homer Dailey Woodard acquired such education as was available to him, and when he was twenty he became a brakeman on the Southern Pacific railroad between Fresno and Sacramento. After three years of such work he turned to farming and stockraising. In the fall of 1876 he homesteaded a hundred and sixty acres in section two, township seventeen and range twenty-six, a site that later became known as his home stead. He bought other land from time to time until he owned sixteen hundred acres here, fifteen hundred acres in the foothills, a hundred and sixty acres near Tulare and another one hundred and sixty acre tract in Kings County, all of which he devoted to stock- raising and general farming, with such success that he was recognized as one of the leading farmers in this part of the state. His sons, Chester H. and Myron F. Woodard, are partners with their mother in the old home ranch. They sold out their cattle interests in the mountains and now own three hundred and ninety acres and are renting two hundred acres more. They have a dairy of twenty- five cows and have two hundred Poland China hogs. Fifty acres are planted to alfalfa, seventy to Egyptian corn and one hundred and fifty acres to barley.
Mr. Woodard’s marriage in Tulare County, May 24, 1876, united him to Susie F. Roork, who was born near Carrollton, Ark. She was a daughter of Thomas Roork, a Tennessean by birth, who came by the southern overland route to California in 1859, he and his family constituting a part of a large immigrant train. He stopped near Visalia for a while and later became a pioneer in the Cricketville neighborhood, where he farmed during the remainder of his life. His wife, formerly Miss Mary Daniel, was born in South Carolina, daughter of Abner Daniel, who died there. She died in Fresno County in 1889. Of her thirteen children eleven grew to maturity and five were living in 1912. Mrs. Woodard was educated at the Visalia Seminary and taught school five years in Tulare County. She bore her husband six children: Flora, a graduate of the San Jose State Normal school, and formerly a teacher in the public schools of California, married H. Swank and leaves near Visalia; Orvis, who was educated at the Pacific Business college, San Jose, and at the Kings Conservatory of Music, married Viola Smith in 1911, and they have a daughter, Mildred; Myron F. married in 1906 Alice Fudge and they have a son, Homer D.; Chester H. married Ethel Elster in 1911, and they have a daughter, Dorris; Hazel and Myrtle are members of their mother’s household. Hazel is now teaching the Chatham school and Myrtle is a student, being a senior in the State Normal at Fresno.
Fraternally Mr. Woodard was associated with the Ancient Order of United
Workmen and he was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at
Antelope, with which his widow affiliates. Politically he was a Republican
and always took a keen interest in local affairs, serving from time to time
as a member of the County central committee. He was a member of the first
board of directors for the Townsend district and long acted either as its
clerk or as its trustee, and it is worthy of note that the school building
of the district stands on an acre of ground which he donated as its site. In
many ways he was useful to the community, always occupying places of trust
MARTIN L WEIGLE
Many a man who has come to California hoping to find good health has found that and good fortune as well. The experience of Martin L. Weigle is evidence in point. Born in York County, Pa., in 1846, he obtained some common school education in his native state, after which he acquired a practical knowledge of cigar making. When he was about eighteen years old he went to Ohio, where he worked at his trade until failing health made necessary a change of climate. In February, 1890, he came to California and soon afterward bought forty acres of land northwest of Tulare City, and to, his original holding he has added by purchases from time to time until he is now the owner of two hundred acres. His farming operations have been somewhat extensive and at one time he worked five hundred acres in the County. At present he has fifteen acres in vineyards, giving special attention to raisin grapes, and ninety-five acres in alfalfa, with twenty acres devoted to a peach orchard, in which he grows freestones and canning fruit. He has also ten acres of fouryear-old peach trees which in 1911 produced fruit amounting to the value of $1,700, and twenty acres of young peach orchard not yet hearing. Among his possessions is a fine flock of Indian Runner ducks. There are on his place several good breeding mares and he has raised some fine colts, having recently sold a pair for $450. It will be seen that his career in California has been one of increasing success, and it should be noticed that this success has been the result of careful planning and intelligent labor. To an extent it has depended also on a good knowledge of crops, climate and market peculiarities. In short, Mr. Weigle has made a careful study o-f everything that could possibly affect his business and has taken advantage of every opening for improvement and profit.
Mr. Weigle married Miss Matilda B. Wilson, a native of Pennsylvania. Though
he takes an intelligent interest in all important public affairs, he is not
in the usual sense of the phrase a practical politician, but he has
demonstrated the possession of public interest of the kind that makes him a
The Burnham family to which John Brown Burnham belongs came originally from England and settled in Massachusetts at a very early date. They were Pilgrims. Mr. Burnham’s paternal grandmother was born in England and died at Essex, Mass., at the age of a hundred and ten years. An interesting record of this family will be found in a volume, “Genealogy, Eight Generations of Burnhams,” by Rosana Angeline Burnham, which was published at Boston, Mass.
In the old Bay State, in the old town of Essex, John Brown Burnham was born July 7, 1838, the third son of a family of seven children born to Nathan and Sarah A. (Brown) Burnham, the latter of whom was a native of Ipswich, Mass., and was Mr. Burnham’s second wife. Nathan Burnham was a merchant and stockman. He was born at Essex, Mass., where he lived and passed away.
John B. Burnham was brought up at Essex and at Lawrence. where he learned the carpenter’s trade, at which he was employed until after the outbreak of the Civil war. December 3, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Nineteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He received his baptism of fire at Yorktown, where he for the first time faced the enemy in an engagement. He fought later at West Point and Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, and in intermediate engagements, and at Malvern Hill was taken prisoner. At one time. through a blunder, he came near shooting General McClellan, and while he was held at Richmond he had a memorable talk with Gen. T. J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson. He was near the spot where Gem Albert Sidney Johnston fell, when that brave Confederate officer yielded up his life for his beloved South. In Richmond he was confined in Libby Prison eighteen months and had many gruesome experiences. One of his recollections is of having paid $2.50 in gold for a green apple pie for a dying comrade. After his release he bore rifle and knapsack through many a hard-fought fight till 1865.
At the close of the war Mr. Burnham went back to Massachusetts, where he remained two years, then went to Wisconsin, intending to take up government land. Not finding conditions there to his liking, he went to Waterloo, Blackhawk County, Iowa. In 1887 he came to Fresno County, Cal., but soon located at Visalia, where he worked as a carpenter nineteen years. Eventually he bought thirty- seven and a half acres of land, on which he has a sixteen-acre vineyard and a family orchard. He has built a fine house on the place and has built and sold four city homes in Visalia. As a citizen he is helpful in a public-spirited way to every movement for the general good. Politically he affiliates with the Socialists.
Mr. Burnham married Elizabeth Van Derburgh, a native of that state, a
daughter of Isaac Kelly and Charlotte E. (Gleason) Van Derburgh. Her father
went to Iowa when a boy, and was married in Dubuque, Ia., where Mrs. Burnham
was born July 25, 1846. Her mother died in Cedar County, Ia., when Mrs.
Burnham was in her fifth year, leaving her and a little sister, Laura, then
in her third year. Mr. Van Derburgh married a second time in Iowa and by his
second marriage became the father of three sons and three daughters. John B.
Burnham and his wife have six children: Sarah E., Jessie B., Anna B., Pluma
B., John B. B., and David C. Sarah E. has married three times. David Carlton
was her first husband, Oscar Nelson was her second and Frank McCain is her
present husband. She has two children by her first marriage, four by her
second and one by her last. Jessie B. is the wife of Hans Larson of Forest
City, Iowa, and has ten children, three of whom are sons. Anna B. married
Tilden H. Botts, and has five sons ; they live in Dinuba. Pluma B. is the
wife of 0. H. Philbrick, of Oakland, Cal., and they have a son and a
daughter. John B. B. became the husband of Emma Castilian and she has borne
him a son. David C. married Etta Cline, of Dinuba, and they have one child.
A son of James H. and Mary M. (Worley) Knight and a well- known citizen of Tulare County, whose residence is half a mile southeast of Monson, Zenais Knight was born in Jones County, Iowa, November 16, 1854. In 1860, before he was yet six years old, he came as an emigrant to California. A train of one hundred wagons left Wyoming, Iowa, and at Baker, Idaho, was divided into two trains, one of which, consisting of thirty to forty wagons, started for Oregon, while the other came on to California. Of the Oregon party an aunt of Mr. Knight was a member. Indians at that time were very troublesome and they attacked the train, killing most of the emigrants, appropriating the stock and burning the wagons. The lady mentioned was one of those who escaped and it was not until four or five years afterwards that she was enabled to inform her California friends of the fate that had overtaken the train. The journey to California was made by way of Omaha and Lone Tree, Neb., up—ha - Platte River valley, by Salt Lake and down the sink of the Humboldt to Hangtown, where the party rested for a few days. The Oregon party consisted of about seventy-five individuals, the California party of about one hundred and seventy-five.
The Knights located in Green River valley, after a short stop at Sacramento and took up one hundred and sixty acres of railroad grant land which they had later to abandon. The father lived out his days in California; the mother is living in Merced County. Zenias Knight’s early days were passed as a pioneer in a new and undeveloped country. Work was plentiful and educational advantages few, but by reading, study and observation he became well informed. He married, at Hanford, Miss Sarah E. Halford, who was born in California, and they have had seven children: Warren, Walter, Laura, Alice, Wallace, Harvey and Zenias. Alice married Jacob Christen and had a son named Christopher. They live at Dinuba. Warren, a resident of Bakersfield, married Elizabeth Worthley.
After his marriage for a time Mr Knight lived in Merced County. From there he moved to eastern Oregon, whence after seven years he came back to California and located in Tulare County. He bought sixty acres of land in 1904 which he has since developed into a fine fruit ranch, giving attention at the same time to stock. He has eight acres of peaches five years old and from twelve acres of his land he secured three cuttings of alfalfa in 1911. His stock consists of eight head and he has ten good hogs.
Knight first came to this County there was not a house between Visalia and
Fresno, and he saw herds of from five hundred to seven hundred antelope and
many elk, while bear were numerous in the swamps. The whole country was a
vast undeveloped plain. He was acquainted as boy and man with many pioneers
and one man of note among several he knew was Evans of doubtful fame. In
1867 and 1868, then only a big boy, Mr. Knight freighted between Stockton
and Bakersfield, often visiting Sacramento, “hauling mill stuff. He
recollects that on one occasion the transportation charges on a steam boiler
amounted to $50 more than the original cost of the boiler at Sacramento.
Those were the days of primitive things in California. In the later
development of this part of the state Mr. Knight has manfully borne his
part. Politically he is a Republican. He formerly had membership with the
Baptist Church. In every relation of life he has been public-spiritedly
helpful to those with whom he has been brought in contact.
GILBERT M L DEAN
At Clarksville, Red River County, Texas, Gilbert M. L. Dean was born November 11, 1839. In 1850 he came with his parents overland to California by the southern route, reaching Visalia by way of Fort Yuma. He was the son of Levi and Letitia (Paten) Dean, natives of Tennessee, who had been pioneers in Red River County, Texas, in 1836. The party was in charge of Captain Bailey and Levi Dean would appear to have been second in command They were often menaced by Apache Indians, from whom they were successful in concealing the knowledge of their numerical strength, sometimes camping for the night in stockades well guarded on all sides. Indians claiming to want to buy tobacco or oxen to be killed for beef, sought entrance to their stronghold but were excluded on one pretext or another. Nine months was consumed in making the trip, for the party often withdrew to one side of the trail to rest their stock and hunt. They brought one hundred cows and eighteen yoke of oxen. At this time a span of mares and a carriage would be a small price to pay for one hundred cows, but such a purchase was made on that basis by these immigrants in 1850. The party, consisting of thirty-two men in charge of the same number of wagons, arrived at Visalia just before Christmas of that year and Mr. Dean soon located on the Jacob Brus ranch up the creek. His family consisted of himself, his wife and their eight children, the latter being Anna N., Martha J., Helen, Mary A., Henrietta, George W., Gilbert M. L. and Albert L. Anna N. married Robert Huston, whom she bore six children and with whom she went back to Texas. Martha J. became the wife of Robert Hamlington and they had five children. Mary A. married Claiborne Dunn and bore him two children. Henrietta became Mrs. John Baker and had two daughters. George W. is married and has two sons and a daughter.
Gilbert M. L. married Laura E. Shaw, and following are the names of their eight children: Levi, Letitia A., John H., Laura B., Martha J., James S., Mary A. and Jesse L. Levi married Adeline Filey, who bore him two sons. Letitia A. became the wife of Alfred Wooley and had two daughters. John H. married Martha Filey and they were the parents of three children. Laura B. became the wife of George Hill and the mother of his three sons and one daughter. Martha J. married John Findley and has borne him three daughters and a son. Mary A. married George T. Seamunds. Jesse L. took for his wife May Downing and they have a son. Mr. Dean has sixteen grandchildren and one of his granddaughters is married.
For several years Mr. Dean lived near Visalia, where he carried on an extensive stock business and raised corn and vegetables. He remembers when he thought he was doing well to sell one hundred pounds of shelled corn for seventy-five cents. He was for a time engaged in freighting from Stockton and had a government contract to deliver supplies for soldiers at Fort Independence. He voted at the first election in the County, casting his ballot for Lincoln with his father, under an oak tree in the open. He remembers well when the County seat was changed. He herded stock quite extensively and sold many cattle at the mines in California and Nevada and was for a time in business in Visalia. In 1867 he homesteaded land in the County, which later he sold in order to lease a ranch of nine hundred acres for stock raising purposes. He keeps an average of two hundred head of cattle and horses and sufficient number of hogs for his own use.
Dean’s experiences in Tulare County cover the period of much of its
development. He has seen land which was formerly worth only $1.25 an acre
sold for $5 to $20 an acre and other lands at much higher prices at a
corresponding increase in value. During his early years here he hunted a
good deal, killing many deer and bear. He has seen as many as two hundred
and fifty deer in a single winter and more than one hundred bear, sometimes
in groups of eight or ten. At one time he shot a bear which had come to the
mill at Visalia for water. He killed also many antelope and saw numerous
elk. For a time his association with Indians was rather intimate and they
often called upon him for advice in their relations with their white
neighbors. At one time they counselled with him as to whether they should
give a war dance or peace dance at Isham. His knowledge of Spanish and of
Indian tongues made him useful in this capacity. He has been school trustee
of the Isham Valley school fourteen years. In politics he is a Democrat and
as a citizen he is markedly public-spirited. Mrs. Dean passed away in
February, 1911, after forty-nine years of wedded happiness.
For many years Iowa has attracted settlers from the east and distributed them through the southwest and the Pacific coast country, and Tulare County has profited because of this fact. Fred Gill was born in Iowa in 1869 and when he was five years old was brought by his father to California, and his education was acquired in the public schools at Exeter. He grew up in the stock business and his earliest recollection is of hundreds of cattle and hogs ranging on the plains in sight of his father’s house. In fact, he never turned his hand to work of any other kind. In 1897 he married Miss Carrie Hickman, a native daughter of California, who bore him three children. Roy, now sixteen years old, is a student in the grammar school, and Emmett and Adolph, aged thirteen and eight years respectively, are students in the public school.
Tulare County Mr. Gill and his brother are recognized as leaders among
stockdealers. They own forty thousand acres of land, mostly devoted to
grazing, keep an average of four thousand head of cattle, and in 1912 their
sales reached three thousand head. Mr. Gill’s whole active life has been
given to the raising of horses, cattle and hogs, in which business he has
been peculiarly successful, having made all that he possesses practically
within the last fourteen years. He has never affiliated with any secret or
fraternal order, nor has he ever held a political office, but he performs
his duties as a citizen in a public-spirited way that makes him valuable to
the community His father was a native of Iowa and a man of ability and
considerable success, who passed away in 1910, aged seventy- three years.
His mother is living in Porterville. Mrs. Gill’s mother is dead, but her
father survives, and is an honored citizen of Tulare County.
An honored pioneer who has passed away within a comparatively recent time was Joel W. Williams, a native of Missouri, born in 1841, who came overland to California in 1857, when he was about sixteen years old, making the journey with ox-teams and having in his possession at his arrival a cash capital of fifteen cents and no more. Locating in Sacramento, he soon found employment stringing telegraph wires on a line then under construction between that town and Reno, Nev. Later he was long in the employment of railroad companies as a foreman, and afterward for fifteen years he worked in the wiring department of telegraph installation and repairs, saving money with which he started in the sheep business in Fresno and Tulare counties, with which he busied himself profitably until 1883. In 1881 he bought the Joel W. Williams ranch of one hundred and sixty acres, a mile and a half northeast of Lemoore, where in 1886 and 1887 he planted forty acres to vineyard. He devoted himself principally, however, to the breeding of fine horses, making a specialty of standard bred animals. Bay Rose, a stallion of his raising, was sold when six years old to the Queen of Guatemala. For many years he was successful in his chosen line and was widely recognized as a leading stock-raiser of Central California.
religious preference Mr. Williams was a Presbyterian. He was a charter
member of Lemoore lodge No. 225, F. & A. M. In 1882 he married Miss Christie
E. Edmonds, of Kirksville, Mo., who bore him a daughter, Iva W., who is the
wife of William J. Bry-dns-, of Lemoore. He passed his declining years on
his ranch and died December 14, 1907. He is survived by his widow and the
daughter mentioned, and the inevitable termination of his long and useful
career was sincerely regretted by many admiring friends, who during their
many years companionship with him had had the daily encouragement and
consolation of his loyal and warm hearted friendship.
CHARLES O GILL
No ranchman in the Porterville district of Tulare County is more widely or more favorably known than C. 0. Gill, who lives seven miles and a half north of that city. Born in Ohio, August 15, 1863, he was taken to Iowa and there remained till he was ten years old, then was brought by his parents to California The family located in Tulare County, and here the boy was sent to school at the Yokal - valley school house, where, under the tutelage of the teachers there employed, he acquired a practical education which has been of great benefit to him in his active life as a stockman and man of affairs.
The first work to which Mr. Gill gave attention was among his father’s stock, and when he was twenty he was raising cattle on his own account, and from that day to this his energies have been directed to the advancement of this one kind of business. He has found this concentration profitable. In 1888 he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of public land, and since then has bought tracts, from time to time, till he now has twelve thousand acres, all of which is devoted to stockraising. He keeps on hand about six hundred head of cattle and from fifteen to twenty horses. His homestead is fitted up with all appliances and improvements essential to a successful enterprise in his line.
In 1887 Mr. Gill married Miss Clemmie Anderson, a native daughter, whose father, Garland Anderson, came to California in 1851, among the pioneers. They have two children, Maurice, born in 1889, and Ada, born in October, 1910. The son was educated in the Frazier school and is assisting his father in his business affairs.
city markets, in which Mr. Gill always sells his cattle and hogs, he is
popular and highly respected because of his fair and square business
methods. In all of the relations of life he is friendly and helpful and as a
citizen he has many times demonstrated his public spirit.
An extensive land owner and cattle dealer of Tulare County and one who has figured prominently in business affairs here is James Early Dunlap.. His father, John Dunlap, was a native of Missouri and a pioneer in Texas and in California, and met his death on the San Bernardino fair grounds by being struck by a sulky. His wife, a native of Texas, died there when James E. was five years old.
James E. Dunlap was born January 1, 1838, in Washington County, Tex., and here learned something about books in the public schools, and a good deal about handling cattle on the ranges which stretched for miles and miles in all directions round about his home. When he was in his seventeenth year he came overland to California with his father and others, and the Dunlaps located in Los Angeles County. In 1855 the younger Dunlap made his first visit to Tulare County, bringing Texas cattle to Visalia. He had started with about thirteen hundred head, but about nine hundred had died by the way for want of water. His father came to Tulare County in 1858 and bought one hundred and sixty acres of land of Mr. Lynn. James took up a homestead in Lynn’s valley, and he has been a land owner in the County ever since, having owned at one time three hundred and twenty acres, but never less than one hundred and sixty acres. He has been an extensive handler of cattle for the market and from time to time has farmed considerable tracts to various crops. He deeded to the Bald Mountain Mining company a strip off the side of his ranch on which the mine of that corporation is located.
September 23, 1860, Mr. Dunlap married Miss Lucy Ellis, a native of Texas,
who has borne him six children: Thomas is deceased. Henry lives near
Bakersfield, Cal.; John’s home is at White River, Cal.; William James is
well known in Tulare County; Emma married Henry Conner, and Mary is
deceased. Mr. Dunlap’s recollections of his early experiences in this
County are those of a pioneer. At this time there are very few others living
here who were here when he came. He relates that during the time of the
Indian trouble his father camped near Deer creek; he has himself killed many
bear and deer within the limits of the County. For some time after he came,
there were few houses within a radius of many miles in any direction from
the place of his settlement, the whole territory- being open country,
utilized as cattle ranges. He has prospered with the community in which he
lives, and while he has been winning fortune for himself has watched the
development of a wilderness country into one of the rich and important
counties of a great state; and as opportunity has offered he has encouraged
and aided that development in a public-spirited way that has insured him the
respect of all who have known him.
It was across the ocean on the other continent at Pico, in the Azores islands, that John V. Clemente was born, May 6, 1S64, and he now lives a mile north of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., and is a successful dairyman and fruit grower. He is a true citizen of America, devoted to the best interests of his adopted country and especially to those of the community with which he has cast his lot. He remained on his native isle in a far-away sea until he was eighteen years old, then came to the United States, and direct to California, locating at Pescadero, San Mateo County, where for four years he was employed at ranch work. For the five years thereafter he worked on ranches in San Luis Obispo County. In 1891 he came to Kings County, bought a band of sheep and went into the sheep business, to which he devoted himself nine years, having at one time a flock of twenty-five hundred.
In 1901 Mr. Clemente bought one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved land, on which he has put fences and buildings and which he is now cultivating with success. He has ten acres of vines, two acres of orchard and thirty acres of alfalfa, the remainder of his tract being given over to pasturage. In connection with this business he manages a small dairy. With three associates, he bought four hundred and eighty acres of land north of Lemoore, his interest in which he sold in 1910. He is a stockholder in the Hanford Mercantile company and affiliates fraternally with the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S. As a citizen he is public-spirited to a degree that makes him helpful to every worthy local interest.
1903, Mr. Clemente married Maria Garcia; and they have three children:
Leonard, Elvira and Maria.
CARLETON JAMES SHANNON
Prominent as a farmer and dairyman and through his connection with the Dairymen’s Co-operative Creamery association and the Farmers’ Irrigation Ditch company, Carl James Shannon of Tulare is probably as favorably known as any other citizen of Tulare County, where he has lived since 1889. He was born in Coleborne, Ontario, Can., June 9, 1870, the second in a family of four sons and one daughter, born to Robert and Deborah (Richardson) Shannon. The parents left Canada in 1891 and came to California, making their home on a farm -near Visalia, where Mr. Shannon died. His widow lives at Dinuba. Their son, Carleton J., lived on the parental farm in Canada until he was sixteen years old, attending the public school near his home. At sixteen he became self-supporting and for three years worked at such employment as he could find in the vicinity of his birthplace. At nineteen he was making only fifteen dollars a month and he’ was not at all satisfied with his income. But he saved the little money that he could and in 1889 reached Tulare County, all traveling expenses paid, with twenty dollars in his pocket. Here he began working for one dollar a day. He remained with his first employer, J. R. Robinson, a year and eight months and then worked two full years for John Frans at stockraising. Next he ventured in the field of business on his own account, renting the R. H. Stevens ranch near his present farm for five successive years. Returning to the Frans ranch he became Mr. Frans’s partner in handling stock, and by 1897, through good management, acquired enough capital to purchase a farm of one hundred and forty acres, which was the nucleus of his present ranch. In 1900 he bought two hundred and forty acres more and in 1902 another hundred acres, bringing his holding up to four hundred and eighty acres in sections thirty-two and thirty-three, township nineteen, range twenty-five, located five miles northeast of Tulare. He has improved and cultivated the tract until it ranks with the best ranches in the County. By later purchases he has become the owner of fifteen hundred and sixty acres. Forty acres is devoted to peaches, one hundred to alfalfa and eighty to vineyards. He has a dairy of sixteen Holstein cows, keeps an average of four hundred hogs and raises seventy-five beef cattle yearly, and he has also raised some fine Percheron colts. In 1911 he planted one hundred and two acres to Egyptian corn which yielded thirty-three hundred sacks. He is a member of the Dairymen’s Co-operative Creamery association and president and manager of the Farmers’ Irrigation Ditch company, which has an eight-mile ditch whose practical length is greatly increased by many laterals. Besides President Shannon, the officers of the company are W. P. Ratliff, secretary, and Bank of Tulare, treasurer. Its directors are Carl J. Shannon, P. F. Roche, E. P. Foster, Joseph LaMarche and A. W. Church.
Fresno, Cal., in 1902, Mr. Shannon married Mrs. Lulu B. (Jordan) Smith, born
near Visalia, daughter of James B. Jordan. By her former marriage Mrs.
Shannon had one son, Leslie Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Shannon have three children,
Gordan, Dorothy and Richard. Fraternally Mr. Shannon is an Odd Fellow,
affiliating with Four Creeks lodge No. 92, of Visalia, and politically he is
a stanch Democrat. Public-spiritedly he is all that his many admiring
friends could wish him.
It was in Kentucky in 1832 that Daniel Headrick was born, and when a child was taken to Missouri. From there he came to California in 1860 with his mother, his father having died previously. He had learned the blacksmith’s trade, but settling in Butte County, he worked there as a farmer for some time and from there went to San Joaquin County, where he was both farmer and blacksmith several years, as he was later for ten years in Fresno County. His next place of residence was near Kings river, in the vicinity of Hanford, until 1883. He removed from there to Deer creek, thence to Tulare, thence to Round valley, thence to Porterville and thence, in 1899, again to Tulare, where he remained until his death, which occurred November 9, 1909. Wherever he lived he combined his two occupations, farming and blacksmithing.
Mr. Headrick married Sarah Palmer, a native of Wisconsin, who had been
reared in Iowa and was then living at Fresno. She bore eleven children, six
of whom are living: Leonard Fry, George Fry and Della Fry, who married Ellis
Marvin of Hanford, Cal. (these three by a former marriage), and Arna, Emory
and Ivy (by her marriage with Mr. Headrick). Arna is the wife of John E.
Walker of Tulare, a biographical sketch of whom appears in these pages;
Emory lives at Porterville; Ivy married S. J. Miller of Tulare.
A leader in the transfer business at Exeter, Tulare County, Cal., Henry Joseph Borgman is the owner of considerable property in that city and its vicinity. One of the successful men of the town he has made his way in the world by his own unaided efforts and is recognized as one of the prominent self-made men of the County. He was born in Kewaunee County, Wis., in 1871, was educated in the public schools there and lived there until 1902, about the time he attained his majority. His father, Max Borgman, a native of Germany, landed in New York city April 14, 1865, the day of the assassination of President Lincoln. He died in 1894, and his widow, also a native of the fatherland, survived until 1907.
When Mr. Borgman came to California he found employment as a laborer and by industry and frugality as well as by good business ability, he has made himself the owner of the most extensive transfer business in his part of the County. He keeps five teams and five men constantly busy. In connection with the enterprise he maintains a large storage warehouse which has been installed at considerable expense during the last year. He has bought property from time to time until he owns several valuable pieces in Exeter and in the country round about. Politically he is a Republican, and as a citizen he has in many ways demonstrated his public spirit, showing a willingness at all times to do anything in his power for the community with which he has cast his lot. Fraternally- he affiliates with the Modern Woodmen and the Woodmen of the World.
Mr. Borgman married Miss Frances Wahl, a native of Wisconsin, whose father
has passed away, but whose mother is a member of Mr. Borgman’s household.
Mr. and Mrs. Borgman have eight children : Lena, Eddie, Katie, Mary, Joseph,
Clara, Antone and Adolph. The first four mentioned were born in Wisconsin,
the others are native sons and daughters of California. Lena, Eddie, Katie,
Mary and Joseph are students in the public school at Exeter.
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 551 - 597
Site Created: 13 January 2009
Martha A Crosley Graham
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