Tulare & Kings Counties

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The ranching and oil interests of Central California engage the attention of many men of ability and enterprise who succeed here not alone because of the fine natural opportunities presented by the country, but because they would succeed anywhere in any field of endeavor to which they might direct their attention. Of this class is Samuel Whitson Hall, who lives two miles west of Hanford, in Kings county. Mr. Hall was born in Tennessee, April 6, 1865, a son of John Ewell and Eliza Jane (Trigg) Hall. John Ewell Hall was born in Tennessee, May 11, 1831, the son of Wilson and Lucy (Ewell) Hall. He was reared on a farm in Bedford county, in that state, was edu­cated in local public schools and farmed there until May 12, 1861, when he died. In 1854 he married Eliza Jane Trigg, daughter of William H. and Mary Ann (Whitson) Trigg, Tennesseans by birth. Mrs. Hall is now living with her son, Samuel Whitson Hall, of Kings county. She bore her husband twelve children, seven of whom are living, all in the vicinity of Hanford. Mary Priscilla is the wife of J. J. Cortner ; Lucy Virginia married W. T. Holt; Neppie Jane is deceased; William Fergus Hall died November 27, 1912; Louis Edgar Hall and John Ewell Hall are next in order ; George Arthur Hall and James Leroy Hall are deceased; Annie died in Tennessee; Finis Trigg Hall and Robert Vance Hall complete the family.

The immediate subject of this sketch, Samuel Whitson Hall, was reared on the old Hall homestead in Central Tennessee and came from there direct to Hanford in 1897. He bought land south of Hanford which remained his home until selling out in December, 1912. It consisted of eighty acres, fifty acres of which were devoted to vineyard, twenty-five to fruit trees. After he took possession he improved the place in many ways, setting out twenty acres of vines and eight acres of prunes and peaches. He bought forty acres of alfalfa land, half a mile west of the Hanford fair grounds, which he is farming to hay, but which he intends soon to set out to orchard. On this last property, where he is now residing, he has erected a fine modern home.

Not only farming but oil operations and other interests demand Mr. Hall's attention and abilities. He has been for some time identified with the oil industry in the Midway field in Kern county and is a stockholder in the Visalia Midway Company, which has three good producing wells on eighty acres of its own land, and also in the Lacey Oil Company, which owns two sections of land in. the Devil's Den country. As a public spirited citizen he is in the forefront of all move­ments for the general good. In local and national politics he takes an interest at once intelligent and patriotic. At his old home in Tennessee he was made a Mason and advanced to all degrees below those conferred in the Royal Arch body. He was raised to the Knights Templar degree at Hanford and is a member of Islam Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S., of San Francisco.



Nine miles south of Hanford, in Kings county, Cal., is the well appointed dairy faith of Elery H. Church, one of the most progressive and successful men in his line in that vicinity. Mr. Church is a Cali­fornian by right of birth, having been born in San Joaquin county August 7, 1875, a son of Caryl Church. When the son was yet quite young the father moved his family to Tulare county, and there Elery grew to manhood and gained an education in the public schools, meanwhile acquiring a pretty thorough training in farming on his father's ranch and under his father's careful instruction. His first venture for himself was on six hundred and forty acres of his father's land, and the following year he farmed eight hundred acres in the lake district. Thus far his success had been but indifferent. His next move was to his present homestead, which then consisted of one hundred acres, half of which he devoted to alfalfa, the remainder to general farming. In 1908 he bought eighty acres of farm land adjoin­ing the original home farm on the west, and here his success has been all that he could have desired. His principal business is dairy­ing, and he owns usually about forty cows, milking the year round from twenty to twenty-five, and raises each year as many hogs as he can conveniently feed.

In 1905 Miss Gertrude Brock, of Kings county, became Mr. Church's wife and she has borne him two children, Susan and Clifford. Not only does Mr. Church take rank with the leading farmers and dairymen in his part of the county, but as a citizen he has shown a patriotic devotion to the general good which has commended him to the good opinion of all who know him. Though he is not especially active in public work he fully performs his duty as a citizen, as a voter and otherwise, and has well defined opinions upon all ques­tions of public policy and acts consistently with his party upon every question of political economy which is brought before the people.



In the last quarter of a century the development of electricity and its application to many of the economies of our everyday life has involved in its scientific or commercial aspects the connection with the electrical business of many young men of exceptional natural abilities and of very exacting special training, and it has been the business in which a young man of the right spirit could begin at the bottom and speedily reach a high place. One of the young men of central California who has demonstrated this in his career is Eber H. La Marsna, agent for the Mt. Whitney Power Company at Tulare, Tulare county.

It was in Kansas that Mr. La Marsna was born December 31, 1875, and in January, 1887, he was brought to California by his father, Jeffery J. La Marsna, a biographical sketch of whom will be found in this work. He was reared in the Woodville district and educated in the public schools there, and in 1903 began his active business life in the employ of the Mt. Whitney Power Company at Porterville, and in the service of that corporation he labored a year and afterward at Visalia three years. During the succeeding three years lie was in the feed and fuel business on his own account in Bakersfield, Cal. From Bakersfield he went to Arizona and was engaged in the electrical business a short time in Clifton, but returning to California, he again entered the service of the Mt. Whitney Power Company, this time as agent of its Tulare division, in which capacity he has served efficiently to the present time.

Fraternally Mr. La Marsna affiliates with the Woodmen of the World. He is a citizen of much helpful public spirit and he and Mrs. La Marsna are popular socially. They married in 1905 and have a son, Dardan, six years old. Mrs. La Marsna was Miss Nellie Barnes, of Hanford, Cal.


The pioneer jeweler of Hanford, Albert E. Gribi, whose well known establishment at No. 113 West Seventh street is familiar to most of the citizens of Kings county, was born in Wells county, Inid.; May 28, 1857. He attended public schools near his home and was graduated from the high school when he was seventeen years old. The succeeding three years he devoted to an acquisition of the knowledge of the jeweler's trade, and in 1913 he rounded out his fortieth year as a practical active jeweler. He came to California in 1876, and two years later he removed to Merced, whence he came to Hanford in 1882. Since that time he has done business in the city continuously and his store has become one of its landmarks. He is a skillful work­man and the people of the town have such confidence in him and his ability that many valuable watches and pieces of jewelry are left with him for repair. He keeps a varied stock of high quality jewelry and silverware, and people who want only the best are sure to find satisfaction at his shop. His business has increased with the growth of the city and he is regarded as one of Hanford's substan­tial and dependable citizens.

On March 25, 1888, Mr. Gribi married Miss Mary A. Manning, who was born in Utah, September 9, 1860, and she has borne him eight children, who were all educated in the Hanford schools: Gerald E., Eugene J., Edward A., Otto R., Bertha A., Marjorie, Alberta and Mildred.

Fraternally Mr. Gribi affiliates with the Woodmen of the World. He is popular with the people at large and there is no movement for the benefit of the community that does not receive his generous encouragement and support.

It was in Bates county, Mo., that John W. Davidson, who now lives at No. 116 West Race street, Visalia, was born August 22, 1865, and in Cedar county, that state, he acquired a public school education and practical knowledge of farming as it was then carried on in that region. In 1885, when he was about twenty years old, he came to Vacaville, Solano county, Cal., and was employed as superintendent of the fruit ranch of Frank H. Buck and for a time by R. H. Chinn. He came to Exeter, Tulare county, in 1899, and was for a time superintendent of the Evansdale Fruit Co. Later he was for seven years superintendent of the Encina Fruit Co. until in November, 1907, when he resigned and moved to Visalia. He is at this time the owner of an eighty-acre fruit ranch, six miles east of town, on which he raises peaches of several varieties, having forty acres of Phillips cling­stones. In 1910 he gathered from his orchard and marketed $6,000 worth of fruit and in 1911 one hundred and twenty-two prune trees brought him an income of $747. He is now developing twenty acres of Crawford peaches, and so thorough and informing have been his study and experience in this field of endeavor that he is widely recognized as an expert fruit-grower. He set the Phillips clingstone trees, and brought them to perfection with his own hands. Besides these he has Muirs and Lovells.

In 1886 Mr. Davidson married Lena L. Ellis, a native of Iowa, and they have two children: Charles G., and Corda May, who married George P. French, of Tulare county. Politically Mr. Davidson is a Democrat, devoted to the principles and policies as well as the tra­ditions and future work of his party. Fraternally he affiliates with the Woodmen of the World, with the Loyal Order of Moose, and with Four Creek lodge, No. 94, I. 0. 0. F., and the encampment. As a citizen he has always taken a public-spirited interest in everything pertaining to the general welfare and there is no proposition which in his good judgment promises to benefit any considerable number of fellow citizens that does not receive his encouragement and support.


On Prince Edward Island, in the extreme east of Canada, Peter Leavens was born January 1, 1844. Until 1868 he there made his home, receiving his schooling in the public schools and later learning the carpenter's trade, and then came to San Francisco via the Isthmus of Panama. From San Francisco he made his way to Cordelia, Solano county, where for eight years he worked as a carpenter, and then moved to Lafayette, Contra Costa county, where he leased land and became a farmer. On December 31, 1863, he had married on Prince Edward Island Miss Martha Gerow and to them six children were born, viz.: William A., Euphemia, Walter, Louis, Frank (of Dinuba), and Gracie. Walter, Euphemia and Louis are deceased. Gracie is the wife of Julius Larson of. Oakland. The mother died in Oakland.

William A. Leavens was born in October, 1864, and was but four years of age when his parents came to California. Educated in Solano county, he learned the trade of carpenter with his father and has ever since followed that line of work, also engaging in ranch­ing at different periods. He married Helen Bordman, and they have had three children, Louis A., Frederick R. and Goldie E. Frederick R. married Alice Fees and they live at Salinas, Cal. 0ldie married Andrew Rader, of Hanford, and they have a son and a daughter. Mrs. Leavens passed away in 1891 and in 1895 Mr. Leavens married Georgia A. Culberson, of Kings county, and three on have been born to them, William Gordon, Bert F. and 'Edgar R.

From Contra Costa county Peter Leavens brough his family to what is now Kings county, where he followed farming and carpen­tering. Buying a farm of eighty acres near Yettem he made improve­ments and finally sold, obtaining $100 an acre for half, while the other forty acres sold for $125 an acre. Later he purchased twenty acres at Yettem which he is now improving and preparing for sale. Carpentering, however, has been his chief industry, in which he has met with signal success. Mr. Leavens is a Republican in national issues, but in voting for local officials he supports the man best suited for office. As a citizen he has proven himself most public-spirited and very helpful to the community.

A career of much unusual activity and usefulness has marked Henry Washington Byron as one of the valued citizens of his com­munity, he having been a strenuous worker in the pioneer days, evincing high traits of character and forceful will. Much credit is due him for his work and expense in securing the winery at Lemoore and the organization of the Kings County Raisin and Fruit Associa­tion, which has proved a splendid influence for good among the fruit growers of the community. Henry W. Byron makes his home a mile north of Lemoore, Tulare county. He is a son of an Englishman, Peter Byron, who located in Pennsylvania and there married Mary Hesketh, a native of that state and of Dutch stock, and took her with him to Ohio. Six children were born to Peter Byron and wife. James served in the Mexican war as artilleryman and during an engagement lost his left arm by a premature discharge; Philander served in the Civil war and was a prisoner at Andersonville ; William was also in the Civil war, being a prisoner at Libby Prison; Olive became the wife of Mr. Greensides and went to live in Ohio ; Elizabeth married in Peoria county, Ill., and lived at Elmwood, Ill.; and Henry Washington, born in Ohio, February 22, 1840, was so named because of the date of his birth.

When Henry W. Byron was seven years old he accompanied his parents to Illinois, where he lived until 1859, coming then to San Francisco by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and in 1860 was a miner in Placer county. In the year last mentioned, following the lure of the gold-seekers, he went to Australia, where he mined until 1864. Returning to San Francisco he made his way to Somersville, Contra Costa county, where he worked in a coal mine until August, 1869. Then, with $25 in his pocket, he started in a spring wagon to move to Visalia, but at the ferry at Kingston he heard such glowing accounts of the land in the Mussel Slough country he drove to that point and took up one hundred and sixty acres where he now lives. He soon found employment digging ditches and making barriers of willow trees as protection against wild cattle and horses. Two years later he and twenty-five other men organized and constructed the Lower Kings River ditch which was a boon to the whole section of country. After eight years of grain farming he began setting out vineyards, his first venture having been on forty acres. The next year he started a fourteen acre apricot and nectarine orchard and put some land under alfalfa. He now has seventy acres of vineyard and fourteen acres of fruit trees, and except for eight and a half acres which he gave for a cemetery the remainder of his homestead is under alfalfa. During recent years he has interested himself in oil and has become a stockholder in the following companies: The Devil's Den Consolidated, the Tresseiretos Oil Company, the Alamo Oil Company, the Pluto Oil Company and the Lemoore Oil Company.

While in Australia Mr. Byron was married to Rosina Gallard, daughter of Matthew and Frances Ann (Smith) Gallard, both natives of England, near Kent. Mrs. Byron was born in New South Wales, Australia, and is one of a family of ten children born to her parents. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Byron, as follows: Lincoln H., of Lemoore; Dr. E. H., of Lemoore; Dr. W. P., of Lemoore; Dr. Albert, of Oakland; Olive and Rupert, both deceased; and Frank Mark, who died in infancy.

Fraternally Mr. Byron has long affiliated with the Odd Fellows. In Australia, in 1862, he identified himself with the Manchester Unity, the forerunner of American Odd Fellow lodges. When he returned to California he joined the lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Somersville, Contra Costa county, from which later he was transferred to the Lemoore lodge. He was identified also with Manhattan Tribe, No. 2, I. 0. R. M., of Somersville, the second tribe organized in California, and later joined the tribe at Lemoore. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen until his lodge gave up its charter. In all the affairs of his community he takes an active interest. Until 1903 he long was president of the Lower Kings River Irrigation Ditch Company, and in all his various connections with concerns in this community he has evinced the habits of honorable dealing, straightforward and conscientious in every detail, and loyal and active in his citizenship.

Born in Kings, county, Cal., February 26, 1884, the well-known young farmer whose name is above is a native son of the Golden State. He attended public schools until he was eighteen years old, then joined his father on the ranch and was his chief assistant as long as his parent lived. David Ross, his father, came to Kings county, Cal., in 1871, and in 1873 settled near Lemoore, where for a time he taught public school, and he also taught in Tulare, Kern, Fresno, Mariposa, Merced, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, and for two years filled the office of school trustee.

In 1873 there came to California a young woman who was to become the wife of David Ross. She was Maggie Bell Ross, a girl of strong common sense, who took a hopeful view of life and was to him a helpmeet to the end of his days. Quite early in life he engaged in stock-raising, farming and dairying, in which occupations he met with considerable success and in 1874 he took up public land, to which he later acquired title and which he developed into the fine ranch which came to be known as the Ross place. On that property he labored with good financial results as long as he lived. He passed away February 11, 1911. His widow, Maggie. Bell Ross, survives and is living with her son on the homestead. The latter manages the eighty-acre place, giving attention to general farming, dairying and stock-raising. He learned farming under his father's enlightened and practical instruction and has achieved successes in his specialties of which many an older agriculturist might be justly proud.

One of the most successful horticulturists and general ranchmen of Tipton, Tulare county, is William Budd, who was born June 29, 1842, in Camden county, N. J., over the river from Philadelphia. He grew up and was educated in his native county and at seventeen located in Philadelphia, whence after a few years he moved to Kansas City, Mo., where he was for ten years well known in the shoe trade. In 1890 he came to California and made his home at Tulare, Tulare county, and four years later he bought eighty acres about five miles north of that town which he converted into a fine vineyard and eventually sold in order to move to a point five miles southwest of Tipton. Here he bought four hundred and eighty acres, and he has since given his attention to stock-raising, growing cattle, horses and hogs of breeds and quality which have always made them in demand in the market. When he came on the place it included thirty-five acres of orchard, but that is now out of bearing; in 1910 he set out ten acres of new orchard. He also has twenty acres in vineyards, given over entirely to raisins, and is preparing one hundred and sixty acres for alfalfa. In every respect his homestead is first class of its kind, its buildings being modern and ample and its appliances up-to-date. On the place is an artesian well which flows two hundred and fifty gallons a minute and two pumping wells, one of them supplied with a ten horse-power electric motor, the other, which is exclusively for domestic use, having a two horse-power motor. Mr. Budd's residence is modern and substantial, one of its conveniences being an electric light plant. He gives considerable attention to dairying, at present milking fifty cows and planning to milk in the near future twice as many: He sells about twenty tons of raisins in a season from twenty acres of land. His live stock includes twelve horses, about one hundred and fifty head of cattle and many hogs, and he has also made quite an investment in poultry.

In 1890 Mr. Budd married Miss Katie Spankle, a native of Ohio. In comparatively recent years a member of their household has been William Blauw, their grandson and a son of Antonio Blauw, whom they have reared since he was eight months old. Mr. Budd is active, energetic and animated by public spirit. He has from time to time had to do with business interests not directly connected with his ranching. The dairy interest also has been fostered to an extent through his identification with it. He is at this time a stockholder in the Tipton Co-operative Creamery.

Two miles north of Orosi, Tulare county, Cal., lives George Bartlett, son of Isaac Bartlett, grandson of Abraham Bartlett, great- grandson of Cornelius Bartlett, and great-great-grandson of Dr. Josiah Bartlett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Mr. Bartlett's father married Hannah Williams, who like himself was a native of Lebanon Springs, N. Y. She had five brothers in the army of General Grant in the Civil war, not one of whom was wounded, and they are all still surviving. She had five sisters, of whom one survives. The grandmother on the maternal side reached the age of eighty-eight and the grandfather passed his ninetieth year. George Bartlett was born in Albany, N. Y., September 16, 1858. In his youth he learned the millwright's trade and at different times
has converted many old-style grist mills to new-style roller process mills. For six years he traveled in the interest of the E. P. Allis Company, of Milwaukee, Wis., visiting twenty-two states, and then settled at Hay Springs, Neb., for a time. Later he spent one year in Salt Lake City and in November, 1890, settled in California, staying for a year in Tuolumne county, where he now owns property.

He owned a half interest in the eighty acre Anthony prune orchard in Kings county, where he was a resident of Grangeville and vicinity for sixteen years. In 1908 he bought thirty-eight acres, nineteen acres of which are in Muir and Lovell peaches, paying $7,500 for the property, and has sold over $12,000 worth of peaches since he bought the place. Without irrigation he is able to harvest five crops of alfalfa each year. He keeps just stock enough to properly operate the ranch and has made a specialty of chickens, having raised one thousand in 1911, when he sold $180 worth of eggs from one hundred and eighty hens. His home is one of the most comfortable in its vicinity. He bought property in Berkeley which he traded for orange land near Bacon Buttes and owns an undeveloped mine in Tuolumne county.

In Sheridan county, Neb., Mr. Bartlett married Miss Julia M. Knowlton, a native of Salem, Oregon, and they have two daughters, Gladys and Ethel. Gladys was graduated from the University of California in 1910 and is teaching school, and Ethel is a student at the University of Berkeley, Cal. Independent in thought and action, Mr. Bartlett affiliates with no political party. He was a member of the high school board for three years and in that capacity has had to do with the advancement of the school at Hanford. He was reared in the Presbyterian faith. Mrs. Bartlett is a Baptist.

Among the active citizens of Lemoore is numbered Edward G. Sellers, the progressive and flourishing farmer and contractor, who is honored not only as a worthy citizen of that place, but as having been the first rancher in this section to install a cream separator in connection with his dairy. This, however, is but one example of the aggressive initiative spirit which has marked Mr. Sellers' entire business career.

It was at Fruitvale, now a part of the site of Oakland, Cal., that Edward G. Sellers was born July 24, 1864, a son of Samuel Sellers. He was reared in Contra Costa county, where his father farmed, and received his education in the public schools near Antioch, and it was in that vicinity that he had his early experience in farming and fruit raising. In 1885, when he was twenty-one years old, he settled on a ranch near Lemoore and since then at various times he has bought several pieces of property. The first was his present alfalfa ranch of one hundred and sixty acres seven miles southeast of Lemoore. Another one hundred and sixty acres, located five miles south of Lemoore, he sold in 1905 after having put some improvements on it. Later he bought eighty acres four miles south of Hanford, which he improved with thirty acres of vineyard, putting the remainder under alfalfa, and this he sold in 1904. A year later he bought two hundred and twenty acres near Stratford, all in alfalfa, which is one of his present holdings. In 1902 he had invested in twenty-five acres, three miles north of Lemoore, of which eight acres is in vineyard, seventeen acres in alfalfa, which improved place is a valued part of his property.

For many years Mr. Sellers has been a contractor in teaming, freighting, ditching and moving dirt. He did most of the ditching and much of the work on the levees on the Empire Investment Company's ranch of nineteen thousand acres near Lemoore, a large amount of levee work on the Riverdale reclamation project, and much heavy teaming in the hauling of pipe and machinery for a pipe line of the Standard Oil Company. In 1910 G. B. Chinn became his partner in this enterprise. They employ an average of twenty men the year round and their business requires the work of fifty horses. Mr. Sellers is a stockholder in the Chinn Warehouse Company of Lemoore and is a stockholder in and a director of the First National Bank of Lemoore.

Mr. Sellers married July 24, 1887, Miss Ella Graves, a daughter of Nathan L. Graves, born in Calaveras county, Cal., but at the time of her marriage she was living in Kings county.

The famous bee culturist of central California, John E. Walker, was born near Woodville, on the Tule river, June 27, 1876. As a youth he had opportunity to learn a good deal about practical farming and acquired a good business education in the public schools. For some time after he started out for himself he worked for wages, early in his career becoming interested in honey bees. Since his boyhood he has kept bees and studied them and become more and more expert as a producer of honey; for the past decade this busi­ness has commanded his principal attention and he was the first in this vicinity to sell any considerable amount of honey, he having made his first delivery at Armona where a carload was being made up, the price paid him having been three cents a pound. The first load of honey, twenty years ago, was drawn by a four-horse team. The delivery at Visalia and Tulare in 1911 aggregated $20,000. Mr. Walker has six hundred colonies of bees and his average output is about twenty-five tons a season. For some years past he has been selling agent for the Tulare County Bee-keepers Association of whia—fur three years past he has also been president.

It was in 1903 that Mr. Walker bought his present homestead of twenty-one acres, most of which is under alfalfa, but carries only enough stock for his own business. He has become widely known among the apiarists of the entire country and is recognized as an authority on bee culture and the production and marketing of honey. 

In his relations with his fellow citizens he is liberal-minded and helpful, and in his religion he affiliates with the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints. On October 11, 1899, he married Miss Arna Headrick, and they have four children, Oliver, Vernon, Neva and Elvin.

The wise application of sound business principles and safe financial conservatism accounted for the noteworthy success of the late popular citizen of Visalia whose familiar name is the title of this article. Mr. Hyde was born at what is now Port Ewen, Ulster county, N. Y., and died at Visalia in 1911. He was a son of David and Sarah (Houghtaling) Hyde, natives also of the Empire State. He was fortunate, in his youth, in being poor and in living among people who respected labor, frugality and honesty and cultivated a feeling of good-will toward their fellow men. It was with such ideals that he fared forth in the chances of life. He was but a big boy when he began to earn his living as a clerk in a general merchandise store, and it was in the same capacity that he began his career in California, years afterward, in one of the then busy mining districts. Later, at Santa Cruz, he opened a store of his own, and still later he established the Bank of Visalia, the pioneer monetary institution of Tulare county and one of the oldest in the San Joaquin valley. It is a matter of record that this last important business beginning was made in August, 1874, and that he was at the head of the institution, latterly with the honored title of president, during the remainder of his life.

The large interests of Mr. Hyde reached out along many avenues of activity. Many buildings were erected at Visalia by him, and he naturally acquired landed interests. From time to time he was, in one way or another, associated with important commercial enterprises. Though his connection with some of them was only indirect and not avowed, his eminent ability for affairs was very potent in advancing them, and his faculty of success made him master of strong propositions.

The family of David and Sarah (Houghtaling) Hyde consisted of Richard E. and his six brothers, the others being Abram, Jeremiah D., Alfred, Christopher, John and William. Richard E. was quite young when his father passed on, leaving the training of his sons to a watchful and prayerful mother, whose affectionate devotion was rewarded by the compensating knowledge that her sons had all developed into honest and trustworthy men, each a credit to his community, helpful in its advancement and in sympathy with its people and their aspirations. Two of them, Christopher and John, were pioneers in Wisconsin and were leaders in the agricultural and eco­nomic affairs of their respective localities. Christopher reared two daughters and a son, the latter being a well-known business man of Oakland. John became father of a large family.

Like many others who have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of the far west, Mr. Hyde brought to the task eastern energy, industry and confidence. He became known as one of the wealthiest, as well as one of the coolest and most reserved and digni­fied men in Tulare county, recognized along the San Joaquin valley as the personification of social and business integrity.

The father of George H. Steves was Jeremiah Steves, his grand­father was Joshua Steves, his great-grandfather was Jeremiah Steves the first. The only other Steves to found a family in America was Franklin Steves, a nephew of the first Jeremiah. George H. was born in Chautauqua county, N. Y., January 24, 1840. On June 9, 1861, soon after he became of age, he enlisted in Company H, Ninetieth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry. Louisiana was the scene of his first battle experience and the last regular engagement in which he participated was at Cedar Creek, during the interim of which he saw active service in twenty-five or thirty hot skirmishes. At Cedar Creek a shot entered his breast and lodged behind his shoulder-blade inflicting a serious wound which, while it did not send him to the hospital, has troubled him ever since, and in recognition of which he has had conferred upon him a pension of $36. He has a vivid recollection of service under General Banks in a small Louisiana town where he helped confiscate the silver spoons of certain Con­federate sympathizers. The immediate effect upon him of his wound was to reduce his weight from one hundred and eighty-six pounds to eighty-six pounds, and he was honorably discharged from the service at Camp Russell, December 9, 1864, returning to his native county in New York. There he remained until 1902, when he came to Tulare county. He owned some property at Jamestown, N. Y., which be sold when he came West. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and politically he affiliates with the Republican party. In his religious identification he is a Methodist. Mr. Steves has during recent years been a great traveler. He married in New York state Miss Lucinda R. Wilson, a native of that state, who passed away nine years ago. The names of his children are Ida B., J. G., Melvin F. and Matie L. Ida B. married Frank Wilcox and their daughter is named Rose Belle. J. G., guard at the Auburn, N. Y., penitentiary, married Ethel Sampson and has children Catherine, Ethel, William and Annie Melvin F. married Louisa Karsthorse and they have children, Lewis, Louise, Mary, Henry and Elizabeth; their home is in Rochester, N. Y. One of Mr. Steves's most precious possessions is a Grand Army badge, Department of Utah, 1909.

A native of Arkansas, William G. Walker was taken when a small boy to Texas, where his father's family established a home. There he grew up and was educated so far as local facilities permitted, and there he enlisted for service in the Mexican war, in which he bore the part of a true and dependable soldier. After immigration to California had set in, he came across the plains from Texas by the Mexican route and stopped for a short time at San Jose, and from there for a short time he devoted himself to stock-raising, and thence went went to San Juan and later mined in Tuolumne county. In 1859 he took up his residence in Tulare county, and there for a short time he devoted himself to stock-raising, and thence went eventually to Mono county, where he passed away in 1863.
In 1846 Mr. Walker married in Texas Miss Martha M. Tolbert, whose parents had brought her in her childhood to Montgomery county, that state, where she was reared to womanhood. J. T. Walker, of No. 427 South Court street, Visalia, was the youngest of their children; Anna is Mrs. J. A. Keer of Los Angeles ; Mary is Mrs. McEwen of Visalia; and Mrs. Amanda Wren is their youngest daughter. Mr. Walker was a member of Visalia lodge No. 94, F. & A. M., and as a citizen he was public-spirited and helpful to the community. Mrs. Walker, who is one of the few living connecting links between the old order of things and the new, has a vivid recollection of her over­land journey to California. The Indians were at the time very hostile and her party had an encounter with a band of them. There were sixty people in the train and the mode of locomotion was by means of horses and mules. In the period before that of California immigration she had thrilling experiences in Texas in connection with the Mexican war, while her husband was absent from home in furtherance of his duties as a soldier.

It was in Tulare county that J. T. Walker, youngest child of William G. and Martha M. (Tolbert) Walker, was born in 1862. He attended the public schools near the home of his childhood and boy­hood and learned the trade of harness-maker and saddler, at which he was employed during his earlier years. Eventually he became in­terested in oil properties in Kern and Kings counties, Cal., and at this time he is quite successfully handling patent lands in the oil belt. A man of enterprise and of public spirit, he is not without his due share of local influence, and there is no movement for the good of the community which does not have his hearty encouragement and co-operation. A native son not only of California but of Tulare county as well, he is also a son of a pioneer and has himself witnessed much of the development of central California which has made it one of the wonderlands of the United States.

In the Prairie State, Jonathan Esrey was born December 2, 1831, and when he was about ten years old he went with his father's family to Missouri, where he completed such education as was available to him and lived until 1852, gaining meanwhile a practical knowledge of farming He was a member of a party which crossed the plains to California with ox-teams in the year last mentioned and after mining for a while at Placerville and at Sacramento, he came in the early '60s to Tulare county and went into the stock business. Later he took up farming and in time developed an important dairy interest He pre-empted land along the line of the railroad, a mile and a half northwest of the present site of Lemoore, for which he was later Compelled to pay the railroad company a good price. Eventually he sold this property and in 1878 he bought four hundred acres three miles from Lemoore and by later purchases he increased his holdings in this vicinity to nine hundred acres. He sold off tract after tract until he had only one hundred and sixty acres, a fine ranch two miles and a half northwest of Lemoore, twenty acres in vineyard, most of the remainder in alfalfa. Here he established an important dairy busi­ness, which his widow has conducted since his death.

In 1871 Mr. Esrey married Miss Sarah A. Winsett, a native of Missouri and a daughter of . Robert and Nancy (Schooler) Winsett, natives of Tennessee. She came to California in 1870 and her parents came seven years later and lived in central California until they passed away. She made her home in the vicinity of Lemoore during her marriage. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Esrey: George lives on the family homestead; Kate married L. L. Follett and died November 20, 1908; Robert is conducting a ranch four miles from Lemoore; and Justin died April 7, 1912. Mr. Esrey was a man of well-defined public spirit who did much in his time to advance the interests of his community, and he was well known as a friend of education. While not particularly active as a politician, he was influential in local affairs. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and for several years was a trustee and deacon of the church at Lemoore.

Born in Piekaway county, Ohio, June 23, 1837, Levi Lukens Gill was raised on a farm and educated in common schools there. He was married February 4, 1858, to Eliza A. Harriman, born in Pickaway county, May 18, 1842, daughter of Aaron A. and Eliza (Mitten) Harriman, the former born in Vermont and the latter in Ohio. At the time of the Civil war they moved to Ringgold county, Iowa, and there he farmed until 1873, when he embarked with his family on an emigrant train for California. Settling in Yokohl valley, he bought, homesteaded and pre-empted land and engaged in the stock business on a large scale, taking his sons into partnership. Here he was active until his death, September 4, 1909.

Levi L. Gill and his wife had sixteen children, ten of whom are living, viz.: Charles 0., born in Ohio; Will and Fred, twins, born in Iowa ; Louis, also born in Iowa; Julia, wife of Marion Anderson; Pruda M., widow of John C. Hodges; Frank and Lee, on the ranch; Martha, who married Harry Sickles; and Ora, at home. In politics a Republican, he assisted in organizing schools there. He bought the White ranch upon which the first orange trees were planted in Tulare county, in Frazier valley. He retired a short time previous to his death. Mr. Gill built a home in Porterville, at Oak and Gravilla streets, where his widow now resides.

One of the early settlers of Tulare county who remains to tell of the days of the pioneers when there was no Tulare city, when the country was just open plains, when stock-raising was the only business, and when the railroad had not been thought of, is Mrs. Serepta Walker, who lives two miles northwest of Tulare. She was born in Iowa in 1849, a daughter of Adam Pate. and in 1852, when she was three years old, was brought by her father across the plains to Cali­fornia. For a time after he came he ventured in the mines, but later turned to farming north of Stockton and still later moved to a place near that town. The daughter came to Tulare county in 1869 and for five years lived near Porterville and then pre-empted a homestead on the Tule river near Woodville. After he had perfected his title to this property she moved to her present location, two miles northwest of Tulare, where she and her husband bought thirty-two acres which she owns at this time. She was married in Stockton in 1867, to John Walker, a native of Illinois, who came to California among the pio­neers and died in 1888 on the ranch which is now his widow's home. Mrs. Walker, who was left with a large family of children, has farmed the homestead successfully to the present time. She is now conducting a dairy on a small scale and has sixteen acres of alfalfa and ninety colonies of bees.

Of Mrs. Walker's eleven children, nine are living. Clara is the wife of Jesse Fugate of Fresno. Loren lives with his mother and works a ranch adjoining hers. Edwin is an apiarist near Tulare. John E. is represented by a separate biographical sketch in this volume. Frank is a member of his mother's household. William lives at Tulare. Lydia married Preston Hodges of Tulare. Lucy lives in San Francisco and Edna is still of her mother's home circle.

A man destined to strange experiences, much arduous travel and somewhat notable vicissitudes of fortune was A. N. Ashley, who first saw the light of day in Placer county, Cal., in 1864. There he was reared and attended school more or less until he was seventeen years old, when he went to work in the mines near his home. From there he went to Santa Clara county, in 1883, and was during most of the time until 1889 engaged in the mercantile business. Then selling out he went up into Washington and Oregon, where he mined about ten years, until after the gold strike there took him to Nome, Alaska. He was in Nome from 1900 till in 1905, when he came back to California to visit his parents, and took up eighty acres of fine land in Tulare county, with the determination to go back to Nome and dig out the money with which to pay for it. There he worked in 1907 and 1908. In 1910 he returned to California to take his place in hand and soon afterwards purchased twenty acres more with a view to devoting it to the growth of olives.

John T. Ashley, father of A. N., came across the plains to California by way of Salt Lake and was in his day a pioneer in the place of his location. Whether his forefathers bad been navigators or explorers is not known, but it is certain that he had inherited blood of men who were explorers and carried civilization among strange peoples, and it is equally certain that he passed some of it down to his son who, when he penetrated far into the northern gold regions and remained there year after year doggedly working to carry out a fixed purpose, had experiences which could they be given in full would in themselves constitute a most interesting volume. A. N. Ashley affiliates with the Arctic Brotherhood and with the Native Sons of the Golden West.

In 1905 Mr. Ashley married Miss Lizzie Firzlaff, who has proven a helpful companion to him and enjoys with him the pleasure of having one of the most beautiful homes in the valley. He is a man of public spirit, who has in many different ways evidenced his interest in the community.

A Pennsylvanian by birth, born in Lawrence county April 19, 1849, E. J. Gibson was reared and educated there and lived there until he was twenty-two years old. He then went to Kansas, but soon returned to Pennsylvania and two years later went to Missouri, where he farmed on rented land three years. Going back to Pennsylvania, he was married in 1879 to Miss Nanny Alcorn, a native of that state, and returned with his bride to Missouri. In 1885, his wife requiring a change of climate, they came to California and Mr. Gibson bought sixty acres of land six miles southwest of Hanford. Two years later he sold off twenty acres of this tract and planted the remainder to orchard. Afterwards he sold twenty acres more and bought twenty- seven acres adjoining his original purchase. Next he traded the remaining twenty acres of his original sixty-acre place for land adjoining his twenty-seven-acre purchase and bought thirty-three acres adjoining this, then owning in all eighty acres in a compact body. In 1902 he bought twenty acres north of the city which he sold in 1904 to L. D. Porter; after this transaction he returned to Pennsyl­vania, visiting among old friends and relatives of his family and Mrs. Gibson's. In the fall of 1907 he bought his present home place, twenty acres, three miles west of the city. He has sold twenty-seven acres of his old eighty-acre purchase and the remaining fifty-three acres of the tract is farmed now by his son, Fred Gibson, who has thirty-five acres of it in orchard.

For his present homestead Mr. Gibson paid $400 an acre and twelve acres of the twenty is devoted to peaches, seven to vineyard. He has put on the place all the improvements visible there now, including his fine residence which was erected in 1908, Taking an interest in Hanford and the country round about that thriving little city he has public-spiritedly assisted all local interests to the extent of his ability. He is a member and supporter of the Presbyterian church of Hanford and he and his son affiliate with the Hanford lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The latter, Fred Gibson, married Kate Simpson, a daughter of Dr. R. G. Simpson, of Indiana. and she has borne him three children, Glenn, Gertrude and Lucile.

The Portuguese farmer in California has set an example well worthy of emulation by those who are obliged to begin small and are ambitious to achieve success and prominence. One such at Tulare, Tulare county, Cal., is M. P. Brazill, a native of the Azores, born December 9, 1871. He was eighteen years old, in 1890, when he came to Tulare county and went into the sheep business, ranging his flock through the San Joaquin valley and into the Sierra Nevadas. In a few years he owned eight thousand sheep and lie continued in the business until 1904, when he sold it out in order to give his attention to an up-to-date ranch about a mile from the business center of Tulare, which he had bought in 1901. He owns eighty acres all in alfalfa and is raising hogs, but his principal business is dairying. He milks seventy-three cows and sells their milk and other products in the city. In addition to the eighty acres which he owns he rents one hundred and eighty, thus making a dairy ranch of two hundred and sixty acres. As a dairyman he has won success beyond that of many others in central California. As a citizen he is popular because of his friendly disposition and of the real interest in the community which has commanded the exercise of a commendable public spirit. Fraternally he affiliates with the W. 0. W., the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S., which are among the numerous orders having local organizations at Tulare.

In 1899 Mr. Brazill married Miss Emma Hoskins of Tulare, who bore him two children and died in 1902. His present wife, whom he married in 1904, was Miss Mary Vierra, of Oakland, Cal., and by this marriage he has four children. The six children are here named in the order of their nativity: Emma, Louisa, Lee, Angelina, Josephine and Ernest.

One of the successful general ranchmen of Kings county is Absalom Burton, born in Missouri, February 18, 1852, a son of Absalom Burton, Sr. In 1866, when he was about fourteen years of age, he came to California with his father's family, and for three years thereafter helped the elder Burton at his work in the coal mines at Mount Diablo, Contra Costa county. In 1873 the Burtons moved into the part of Tulare county which is now Kings county and took up land ten miles southwest of Hanford, the title to which was subse­quently secured by payment on the part of the young Absalom Bur­ton's brother Richard. Absalom worked two years on the construction. of the People's ditch, then started a herd of sheep, which he drove through a wide range of country round about and which he eventually sold to take up ranching. In 1873 he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land, nine miles southwest of Hanford, on which he made some improvements while working out on ranches in the neighborhood. Later he sold eighty acres of this tract to his brother. He bought land six miles northeast of Visalia, which he sold after having farmed it a, few months, and then for six years he farmed a rented half-section on the lake. After that he engaged in hog raising, a few years, subsequently turning his attention to dairying. At present he milks twenty cows, raises about one hundred hogs annually and keeps an average of about two hundred stands of bees. About forty acres of his original eighty is under alfalfa. In June, 1908, the family bought eighty acres east of his old homestead, forty acres of which he set out to peach, apricot and other orchard trees. The remaining forty acres he devotes to general farming.

In 1882 Mr. Burton married Mrs. Elizabeth (Robinson) 'Ogden, a native of England, who bore him a son, A. F. Burton, who assists him in the management of his business. By a former marriage with John Ogden, Mrs. Burton had two children, William and Lettie. Mr. Burton is a generously helpful man, actuated by a lively public spirit.

Conspicuous among the progressive farmers of Tulare county, whose many experiences in this country have made them the expert agriculturists they are today is John Ewing, Jr., the eldest and only survivor of the family of John and Margaret (Ewing) Ewing. The other members of this family are: Mrs. Margaret E. Bolton, whose sons were James and Charles; William, who left two children, Henry and Margaret; Mrs. Mary Sherman, whose three sons were David, John, and William; Mrs. Elizabeth Swanson, who left two children, Elmer and Stella; Mrs. Isabella Sherman, whose children were Gilbert, Samuel and a daughter.
John Ewing, Jr., was born in Pennsylvania, fifteen miles from Philadelphia, April 3, 1840. In 1857 his family moved to Putnam county, Ill., whence they came to California in 1876. He settled first at Big Oak Flats, in the mountains, thirty miles east of Visalia; where he. early pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of government land and with his sons now owns an entire section. He raised cattle there until 1906, when he located two miles east of Visalia and operated a ranch under lease from Samuel Gilliam. Seventy acres were planted to. alfalfa and a fine dairy of fourteen Holstein cows engaged his time ; he has also raised some good draft horses and now has a bay colt three years old, weighing sixteen hundred pounds, in which he takes much pride. An average of fifty hogs was kept on the place, and Mr. Ewing became an expert in these lines. A scientific farmer, his machinery and methods are up to date, and his ideas and his manner of executing them are as advanced as any farmer's in the county.

In 1863 Mr. Ewing married Rachel Davis, a native of Pennsylvania, and they have several children. William H., of Exeter, married Jeanette Hatch, of San Francisco, and they have two children, Dorothy and Girard. John M. is a farmer near Visalia; he married Mary Cuda and they have two children, Salina and Emery. Mrs. Nira Kelley, next in order of birth, is a trained nurse and the mother of two sons, Cecil and Otis. Howard married Stella Chedester, and they have two daughters, Elva and Eileen. For a number of years Howard ran a pack team through the mountains and at times acted as a guide to tourists. He now assists his father in his ranching operations. Mr. Ewing is a man of strong convictions and has well defined ideas on all questions of public policy. He believes in the election of good and honest men to office and uses his influence as far as is possible to secure the nomination of such by his party. He is a man of undoubted public spirit, patriotically generous in support of all measures proposed for the general benefit.

One of the most successful stockmen of Tulare county and a native son of California, having been born at Santa Rosa, So­noma county, January 11, 1859, is John Frans, who lives at No. 609 South Court street, Visalia. His father, John B. Frans, was born in Kentucky and lived there until, in his young manhood, he removed  to Missouri, to become a farmer in the vicinity of St. Joseph. There he enlisted for service in the Mexican war under Gen. Sterling Price. In 1853 he was one of a party that came across the plains to Cali­fornia with ox-teams. Remaining several years at San Jose, he then went to Santa Rosa, where he farmed until 1863, when he removed to Tulare county and bought four hundred and twenty acres, three miles and a half east of Visalia. Here he farmed until in 1870, when his death occurred in his fifty-third year. He married Miss Elizabeth Fulton, a native of Indiana, who survived him, but is now deceased, and of their three sons and five daughters, John Frans was the fourth child and the youngest son. The other sur­viving children are: Thomas H. of Los Angeles; Mary; Mrs. Daniel Switzer of Visalia, and Mrs. Edward Hart, who lives near Farmersville.

John Frans was educated in the common schools near his home, and in 1878 began farming the Frans homestead in partnership with his brothers, Thomas H. and James Madison, the latter of whom died three years later in his twenty-sixth year. In 1882 he bought his present ranch and in 1886 began farming independently. He has met with such success that he is classed with the .prominent business men of the county. For the past five years he has rented his ranch. The Cross Hardware block, on Main street, Visalia, was built by Mr. Frans and R. F. Cross, and later Mr. Frans bought Mr. Cross's interest in the property, thus becoming sole owner of one of the finest business properties in the city.

It should be noted in passing that Mr. Frans and one or more of his brothers operated the old Frans ranch until their mother remarried. His beginning was small, but he has added to his original purchase until he is now the owner of a large and valuable property. Politically he is a Democrat, and as a citizen he has proven himself remarkably enterprising and public-spirited. He married, at Visalia, Miss Dora Jones, who was born at Santa Rosa, Cal., and is a member of the Society of Native Daughters of the Golden West. They have a son whom they have named in honor of his paternal grandfather, John B. Frans.

The Hyde family, of which Jeremiah D. Hyde is a member, is well known in this part of the country. Son of David and Sarah (Houghtaling) Hyde, natives of New York state, Jeremiah D. Hyde was born in Ulster county, the scene of a historic Huguenot settlement, and died in Visalia, Tulare county, Cal., in 1897. He came from the Empire state with his brother, Richard E., mined with him and was with him in his mercantile venture at Santa Cruz. In 1873 he came to Visalia and was for many years receiver in the United States land office in that town, and was also interested with his brother in lands in Tulare county. As a man of affairs he developed an admirable ability. His character was lofty and full of beauty and he was patriotic, charitable and devoted to the advancement of the human race along all lines of creditable endeavor. Though not a practical politician, he wielded a recognized political influence, and while never an office-seeker, he was at times prevailed upon in the interest of public welfare to accept public trusts. His interest in education impelled him to consent to serve on the school board, which he did for some time, with much credit to himself and greatly to the benefit of the local schools. His desire for certain reforms and innovations led him to submit to election as a member of the board of trustees of Visalia. He married Mary Schuler, a native of Iowa, and she bore him two sons, Richard E. Hyde, Jr., and Dr. Lawrence D. Hyde, both citizens of Visalia.

In Visalia, in 1878, was born Richard E. Hyde, Jr., son of Jeremiah D. Hyde and nephew and namesake of Richard E. Hyde, pioneer and financier. He was educated in the public schools and at the California State University at Berkeley. At present he has numerous ranch interests in Tulare county, and he is vice-president of the Visalia Savings bank and a director of the National Bank of Visalia. He was married, in 1905, to Miss Luella Burrel, daughter of Cuthbert Burrel, and they have two children, Cuthbert Burrel and Richard E., Jr., Mr. Hyde is able and ready at all times to do his full duty as a citizen as he has often heard it defined by his honored father and uncle, and his many friends in the business community regard him as a worthy successor of those useful and influential citizens of a day now past, but not soon to be forgotten.

A native of Noblesville, Ind., born January 8, 1832, Homer C. Townsend crossed the plains to California in 1852, prospered in the land of his adoption and died in 1885, after a career in many ways interesting. He was but twenty years old when he came to the state, young, hopeful, ambitious and determined to succeed. After a long journey full of trials, of dangers and of weariness, he arrived at a point on the American river, and there he began mining, continuing in 1854 and 1855 at Placerville, Eldorado county. He I-WC­was ready to take to ranching, and he followed this near Sacramento, remaining till in 1856, when he came to Visalia. .In the spring of that year he located on the old Pratt place, on which he lived about a year, and then again became a miner, operating on White river in Kern county, meanwhile having an experience as a. grocer, in a venture in which he had Ira Kinney as a partner.

Back to Visalia Mr. Townsend soon came, now to go into the harness and saddlery business, in company with Mr. Bossler. He served his fellow citizens as public administrator of Tulare county eight years and as deputy county assessor for a shorter period. Eventually he engaged in stock-raising and farming on a ranch two miles east of Visalia, where, in the course of events, he was washed out of house and home by a flood. His next location was at a ranch on the Mill road, in the mountains, which he bought and devoted to raising cattle and horses. There he lived out his days and passed from the scenes of earth. His widow conducted the ranch a few years after his demise, then sold it; before her marriage she was Miss Elizabeth Huston. She was born in Arkansas and her father was a pioneer in California, long well known in Tulare county. This daughter of one pioneer and wife of an­other, who now lives at Visalia, was the mother of children as follows: James H., who married Myrtle Pattie and has two sons, Russell H. and Ray W.; Thomas H., who has passed away; Fan­nie M., who is the wife of S. Simmons of Coalinga, Cal., and Frank A., of Montana.

A man of fine character, devoted to the development of his town, state and county, Mr. Townsend was a model citizen, active, patriotic and useful. The vicissitudes, through which he passed in his earlier years here were a good preparation for the main struggle of his life which brought him success, contentment and honor.

Born in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1868, Albert Knierr came to the United States when he was sixteen years old and made his way to Burlington, Iowa, where he was employed a year as a butcher. During the next four years he traveled quite extensively in Illinois, Kansas; and Colorado, stopping from time to time in one town after another to work at his trade. Eventually he came to California, arriving in San Francisco in 1889. For a time he worked there at his trade; then, with a Mr. Allan as his partner, he started a small slaughter house, killing one or two cows a day. Their business began to grow and at length advanced almost by leaps and bounds, and at this time they have one of the largest and best appointed slaughter houses on the Pacific coast and carry­on a very heavy wholesale business. Their sanitary cold storage plant at Fifth and Railroad avenues, San Francisco, cost $50,000; they kill eight hundred cattle monthly and one hundred and fifty sheep daily. In 1909 Mr. Pyle became a member of the firm and its style was changed to Knierr, Allan & Pyle. Mr. Knierr has always attended to the outside work of the concern, traveling in its interest and buying cattle wherever lie could do so to the best advantage. He has bought many in Tulare county in the last twelve years, and in 1909 he established his home in Visalia, at No. 415 South Court street. He has large personal interests in the county, owning three thousand acres of cattle-grazing land between Tipton and Angiola and leasing six thousand acres near that tract and five thousand acres near Cross creek. On these large ranges he constantly keeps fifteen hundred to twenty-five hundred head of cattle. At Visalia lie is known, as lie has long been known in San Francisco, as a man of great public spirit, who is alive to the best interests of the community. In the world of commerce lie is rated as one of the best informed butchers in the country. His success in life has been won fairly and in the open, and those who know him best realize that it is richly deserved.

By his marriage to Miss Marcella Rowan, Mr. Knierr had four children, Byron, Marcella, Alberta and Francisco. Byron is deceased. Mrs. Knierr died in 1910 and in 1911 he married her sister, Miss Annie Rowan.

Among these public-spirited citizens of Tulare county who have put forth their efforts toward promoting better conditions, is R. L. Berry, who was born May 6, 1860, in Tuolumne county, Cal., a son of John M. Berry, a native of Missouri. The latter in 1857 came across the plains with ox-teams to California, and his widow, a native of Virginia, is surviving him at the advanced age of eighty- seven years.

When R. L. Berry was ten years old he was taken by his par­ents to Tulare county and the family settled on the site of Lindsay when their house was one of two within the present limits of the city. The boy was given some opportunities for schooling but was early called upon to take the place of a hand at herding sheep; and made familiar with the details of dry farming as it was practiced in the district at that time. Most of the land for many miles round about was government land subject to entry. Some years after his arrival there he entered three quarter-sections, but eventually went to Kern county and abandoned all claim to them. Returning later he took up farming and buying and selling land and has since handled or operated tracts aggregating a considerable acreage.

In 1879 Mr. Berry married Miss Ella Berry, a native of San Joaquin county, and she has borne him a daughter, Ethel May, who is the wife of F. G. Hamilton, superintendent of the Mount Whitney Power company of Visalia, Cal. In his political affiliations Mr. Berry is a Socialist. Fraternally he affiliates with the Woodmen of the World and the Women of Woodcraft of Lindsay, Mrs. Berry being also a member of the order last mentioned. He is a friend of public education and an ardent promoter of good roads. In fact, no demand made upon him on behalf of the community fails to receive his ready and helpful response.

A native of New England, Joel Kneeland was born in Vermont in 1830. In 1860 he removed with his family to Shawnee county, Kans. In 1870 the family went to the western part of the same county and carried on farming there until 1874, when the father died. Subsequently the son came with his mother to Red Bluff, Cal., where they farmed four years, and from there they removed to Mr. Kneeland's present ranch, where he has since prospered. The woman who became Mr. Kneeland's wife was Agnes Wilson, of Scotch descent, who came to California about twenty years ago. They have five children: Eugene S., Francis F., Joel M., Mary 0., and Willis W., of whom the three eldest are attending school.

Politically the father of Mr. Kneeland was a Republican, and he himself is a Socialist. His mother died at the age of sixty years, and her mother lived. to the advanced age of eighty-seven. Mr. Kneeland is a member of the Farmers' Union and affiliates with the Modern Woodmen. As a farmer he ranks with the best in his neighborhood. Of his thirty-acre farm he has three acres under alfalfa, most of the remainder being pasture land. He keeps fifteen to eighteen head of stock, and from twelve to twenty hogs.

The name of Gavotto indicates the Italian origin, and it was in Italy that S. Gavotto was born March 18, 1865. There he grew to manhood, was educated in the schools and learned lessons of industry and economy. In 1884, when he was about nineteen years old, he left his native land and in 1886 located in Sacramento, Cal., where he was employed until 1889, then coming for the first time to Tulare. He almost immediately went north, however, but in 1890 came back and paid $800 for an interest in a small ranch which proved such a failure that he lost his entire investment. He then bought a lease of the D. A. Fox ranch with some stock that was on the place of a Mr. Pike, who had been operating the property. Establishing a dairy, he sold milk in Tulare until 1898, when he disposed of his entire dairy and farming interests. For four years thereafter he worked for wages, saving his money and planning for the future, and then embarked in the cattle business in a small way. After the bonds were burned in 1893, he bought seventy acres just outside the city limits of Tulare and established another dairy, and he now has ten cows and keeps an average of about seven hogs. Twenty acres of his land is under alfalfa and he farms a few acres to corn and a few other acres to grain, producing only enough feed for his stock.

In 1895 Mr. Gavotto united his fortunes with those of Margaret Monteverde, by marriage. This lady, who is a native of Italy, has two sons by a former marriage and their Christian names are Andrew and Frank. She has borne her present husband children named Lucca, Carlo, Henry and William. Mr. Gavotto is a man of much public spirit and of a genial and social disposition. Fraternally he associates with the Tulare organization of the Woodmen of the World.

The popular citizen mentioned above, the second of the name to be known and honored in Tulare county, was born in Visalia in 1873, and is a son of John Klindera, Sr., and his wife, Annie. His father was born in Bohemia in 1843, made his way eventually to Chicago, and from there came by way of New York around the Horn to California in 1865. He remained in San Francisco until in 1867, and then took up his residence in Visalia, where he be­came an accountant in the mercantile establishment of R. E. Hyde
Co. Later he went into sheep raising, three miles west of Tulare, where, in 1878, he was killed by a falling tree. He left four children,viz.: Robert is a railroad man and lives at Montalvo, Cal.; G. W. lives in Fresno ; Lillie is the wife of Ed Tribau, and John, Jr. The mother of these children still survives.

John Klindera, Jr., lived three miles west of Tulare until he was six years old, then moved to Tipton, where he was reared and educated. With his brothers, he went into the sheep business with sheep which they brought from the home place, and soon bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, their mother three hundred and twenty acres and one of the brothers two hundred and forty acres. They erected brick buildings on this property, improved it otherwise, and eventually sold it. Meanwhile, in 1884, they disposed of their sheep and after that they raised grain on their land until 1905. Then John engaged in dairying and stock-raising on four hundred and eighty acres of the Crowley ranch, near Tipton, on which he also grew grain. In 1909 he rented six hundred and forty acres of the Dresser ranch, of which sixty acres is in alfalfa. He milks thirty cows and raises horses, cattle and hogs, considerable of his acreage being devoted to. pasture.

In 1898 Mr. Klindera married Miss Ethel Thomas and they have a son, Martie Klindera, named in honor of. his grandfather, Martie Thomas, who was a pioneer in Tulare county and in California. Mr. Klindera owns and rents out a dairy ranch of forty acres on the Hanford road, a mile and a half west of Tulare. He is a stock­holder in the Tipton Co-operative Creamery company and the cream from his place is marketed with that concern. He affiliates with the Tipton organization of the Woodmen of the World and as a citizen is public-spiritedly helpful to all important interests of the community.

Among the representative farmers in the vicinity of Hanford is George D. Ramsey, who was born in Knox county, Mo., October 28, 1866, a son of John Wilson and Eliza A. {McVey) Ramsey. The elder Ramsey was born April 3, 1843, in Adams county, Ill., remaining there until moving to Knox county, Mo. Here he lived until he brought his family to California in 1871. Arriving in this state he settled near Danville, Contra Costa county, one year later he went to the Panoche valley in Fresno county, and three years later came to what is now Kings county, settling on the 'Hanford and Tulare road. He was a member of the Settlers' league during the Mussel slough troubles. He worked on the Lakeside ditch and helped build and was superintendent of the Mussel slough ditch, also working on the construction of the Wutchumna ditch. Later he settled down to farming and was one of the first men to put in a crop on Tulare lake, from which he reaped a good harvest. He had to do with every progressive movement in the county, was a Mason before leaving for the west, and also held membership in the A.O.U.W. foi many years. While a resident of Fresno county he served as deputy sheriff and during his life was for many years a school trustee. From 1906 he made his home with his son, George D., his death occurring January 24, 1912, aged nearly sixty-nine years. His wife passed away on December 14, 1894, aged forty- eight. Their three children survive, John Theodore, George D., and Mrs. Effie P. McClellan.

George D. Ramsey was. brought to California by his parents when he was about five years of age, and in October, 1875, was brought to Kings, then Tulare, county. He attended school until he was about sixteen years old, meanwhile working with his father on the ranch, and eventually he took up farming for himself; and he later drifted into the dairy business, in which he is now making a substantial success. Kings county remained his home until 1901, when he moved to Elk Grove, Sacramento county, and during the ensuing five years made a success of his venture there. Returning to Kings county at the end of that time he bought eighty acres of land from his father and engaged in raising hogs and horses and cultivating fruit. He is constantly developing his place along those different lines and in each of them has come to the front. What success he has made has been by his own efforts.

On November 20, 1898, Mr. Ramsey was united in marriage with Mrs. Margaret P. (Jones) Lewis, and of this union four children have been born: Velma I., George E., John H., and Delbert E. Wherever he has lived Mr. Ramsey has exercised a generous public spirit which has won him recognition as a helpful citizen, for he has been solicitous for the general welfare and devoted to the best . interests of his fellow townsmen of all classes.

The life of Jeffery J. LaMarsna embraced the period from 1846, when he was born in Canada, to January 24, 1907, when he died at his home in Tulare, Tulare county, Cal. As a babe of six weeks he was brought from his birthplace to Michigan, whence his parents later removed to Illinois, and there he grew up and acquired some little education in public schools. In 1862, when he was only about sixteen years old, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry and did soldier's duty in the Civil war until he lost a leg in the battle of Kenesaw Mountain. When he was able to leave the hospital he returned to his home, crippled for life, when but in his eighteenth year.

In 1872, when he was about twenty-six years old, Mr. LaMarsna married Miss Maria Clough, a native of New Hampshire, and they soon afterward moved to Pottawatomie county, Kas., where, in association with his father and brother, he raised cattle and sheep sixteen years. Then his services as a soldier and the bodily sacrifice he had made for his country were recognized by his appointment to a position in the pension office at Washington, D. C. After he had labored there four years, he was transferred to Ohio, where for three years he was in the field work of the department.

In 1887 Mr. LaMarsna came to California and located on a farm at Woodville, where he raised crops and stock until 1903. Then he moved to Tulare, where he made his home until he passed away. His ranch of eighty acres was sold when he gave up farming. As a. citizen he was always patriotic and public spirited. Members of the Grand Army of the Republic were proud to hail him as a comrade and he affiliated also with the Royal Society of Good Fellows.

The children of Jeffery J. and Marie (Clough) LaMarsna, four in number, are named as follows: John Walter, who is a rancher at Woodville ; Eber H., who is represented in these pages by a separate sketch; G. C., who is an electrician, and Ella, who is well known in Tulare.

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

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

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

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

Well known throughout central California as a fruit grower, Harrison F. Peacock of Hanford, Kings county, was born in Oneida county, N. Y., May 5, 1836. There he remained until he was twelve years of age and then began his education in the public schools near the home of his childhood. Then he was taken to Wayne county, in the same state, where from his sixteenth year to December, 1863, he was engaged as a farm hand, and thus he had begun his career as a self-made man, and it was to be continued as a soldier. In the year last mentioned he enlisted in Company B, Ninth New York Heavy Artillery, for service in the Civil war. He participated in quite a number of important engagements and in many that were less noteworthy, was promoted to be a sergeant and received honorable discharge at the end of his term of enlistment, in 1865 at the close of the war, and was discharged from the Second Heavy Artillery

In 1868 Mr. Peacock came to California and settled in Napa County, where lie found employment at mason work in which he had had enough experience to gain a practical knowledge of the trade. He stuck to such employment for years, until his health failed, then turned to farming and teaming. Eventually he took up rail road land in Tulare, now Kings county, which he still owns and on which he has made his home since 1875. While his career here has not been without its reverses, his prosperity has been in a general way progressive and his success compares favor­ably with that of any farmer of the better class in his vicinity. During recent years he has given much attention to fruit growing, which he has made a source of considerable profit. He has taken an intelligent interest in irrigation and was one of the build­ers of the Lakeside ditch.

As a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Mr. Peacock keeps in touch with comrades of the Civil war period. He married, January 25, 1872, Miss Rebecca J. Bonham, a native of Illinois, and they had three children: Mary, deceased; Grace and George; of these George is in the dairy business in Kings county. As a citizen Mr. Peacock is public-spirited to a degree that makes him helpful to the community.

Born in Kings county, Cal., October 15, 1886, Bright Earl Barnett attended public schools near his boyhood home until he was sixteen years old. After that he was employed by his father on the latter 's ranch until he attained his majority, when he took up the battle of life for himself and met with much success. He is managing, at this time, three hundred and twenty acres of well improved land, which he devotes to the purposes of stock-raising and dairying. He has a vineyard of fifteen acres, keeps forty milch cows and raises many hogs. One hundred and fifty acres of his land is used for pasturage and for the production of alfalfa, of which he harvests from four to six crops annually.

Fraternally Mr. Barnett affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He takes intelligent interest in public affairs from the point of view of his party and is ready at all times to respond with prompt generosity to any call on behalf of the community at large, and there is no proposition which in his judgment promises to benefit his community that does not have his cordial encouragement and support. On December 23, 1907, he married Miss Vera Russell, a native of Pike county, Illinois, born November 27, 1884, and she bore him a son, Glenn Ray Barnett, who was born May 8, 1911.

In Wayne county, in central New York, Cuthbert Burrel was born November 28, 1824, a son of George and Mary (Robinson) Burrel, natives of England, his grandfather, for whom lie was named, being an English squire. Of his parents' nine children, Cuthbert was the fourth in order of nativity. In 1834, when he was ten years old, his people moved to Plainfield, Will county, Ill., where he attended school and grew to man's estate. He crossed the prairies and mountains to California in 1846, driving an ox- team, and consuming almost six months' time in making the journey. Stephen A. Cooper was the leader of the party which with its belongings constituted the train.

For about six months Mr. Burrel was in army service under Fremont, and after his discharge lie went to Sutter's Fort, and there he found the wagon in which he had made his overland journey. Procuring it, he traveled in it to Yount's ranch, in Napa county, taking with him one of the children of the historic Donner party. Later he went to Sonora, where he was employed during the summer of 1847 by Salvator Vallejo, and for his work received $100 cash, one hundred firkins of wheat and two hundred heifers. In 1848, working in a hay field in Suisun valley one day, he was approached by John Patton, who showed $500 worth of gold that he had brought down from the mountains, assuring Mr. Burrel and  the latter's companions that there was plenty more where that had come from. The haymakers at once determined to work no longer in the field, sold their interests in the hay and set out for the mines. Mr. Burrel mined three years, but soon after leaving the mines, he bought land in Green valley, Solano county, where he farmed and raised stock until 1860. Then he sold his ranch for thirteen hundred and eleven head of cattle, which he drove to the Elkhorn ranch in Fresno county, where he raised stock until his death, acquiring there a ranch of twenty thousand acres. He was in the east during the period 1871-1874. Coming back to California in the latter year, he bought a thousand acres of land in Tulare county, five miles northwest of Visalia, and later he bought an addi­tional thousand acres.

In 1873 Mr. Burrel married Mrs. Adaliza H. Adams, who has borne him four children, three of whom are living: Varina J., May and Luella (Mrs. Richard E. Hyde, Jr.). Mr. Burrel was a member of the Society of California Pioneers and was widely known throughout the San Joaquin valley. He found time from his farming and stock-raising to interest himself in business and com­mercial matters, as is evidenced by the fact that he was a director of the First National Bank of San Jose, and assisted in the found­ing of the Bank of Visalia. His landed interests became extensive and he was one of the leading men in his vicinity. He died August 7, 1893, deeply regretted by a wide circle of acquaintances.

The family of Fry is an old one in America and in different generations representatives of it have attained prominence. An offshoot of one branch of it located rather early in Iroquois county, Ill., and there Walter Fry was born in 1859. His father, a native of Ohio, died in 1897; his mother, who was of Illinois birth, passed away when he was ten years old. When he was nine years old the boy was taken from the Prairie state to Kansas, and he lived there and in Oklahoma, by turns a cowboy, a miner, a rancher and deputy United States marshal, till he came to Tulare in 1887. Then he was given employment with the railroad company and was made a peace officer, in which capacity he served until 1895. During the succeeding two years lie lived elsewhere, and in 1899 he moved on his present homestead, comprising fifty-five acres, near Three Rivers. He has for some time been in charge of General Grant park and Sequoia park, with official standing as a ranger, and acting superintendent, which latter position he holds at the present time. With a record of eleven years' service under the United States government, he has for eight years filled his present position, for which he was selected by the Secretary of the In­terior because of his special fitness and experience. As rancher, cowboy and ranger he has spent most of his years out doors and his life has been the full, free, broad life of the western plains, forests and mountains.

In 1879 Mr. Fry married Miss Sarah A. Higgins, a native of Illinois, whose father, John T. Higgins, died in Illinois in 1880 and whose mother is living in Tulare. Mr. and Mrs. Fry have four children, two of whom are citizens of this county. Fraternally, Mr. Fry affiliates with the Exeter lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with the local division of the auxiliary order of Rebekahs, in which Mrs. Fry also holds membership. As a citizen Mr. Fry is public-spirited to a notable degree, ready at all times to assist to the extent of his ability any movement which, in his good judgment, is promising of benefit to the community.

A native-born son of Kings county, Cal., who is achieving suc­cess on his native heath is Albert Pratt Howe, of Guernsey. It was in 1881 that Mr. Howe was born and he was reared in the Lakeside district and educated in the public schools near his home. He and his brother Edwin and their father farmed on the lake bottom from 1898 to 1906, when they were driven from their land by the filling up of the lake. Before this catastrophe the brothers had bought of their father the farm of one hundred and sixty acres, eight miles southwest of Hanford, now owned by Edwin Howe, and there they farmed several years as partners. In 1906 Albert sold out his interest there to his brother and bought two hundred and seventy-five acres at Guernsey and eighty acres one mile south of that place. The land has been improved with a new house and a barn, occupying a ground space of 56x80 feet, with a capacity for the storage of one hundred tons of hay. Of the two hundred and seventy-five-acre tract, one hundred and twenty acres is in alfalfa, the balance being farm land and pasture. Mr. Howe sows forty to sixty acres to grain each year. The eighty-acre tract is im­proved pasture land.
The principal business of Mr. Howe is in stock-raising and dairying, though he raises some hogs, and he milks an average of about thirty-five dairy cows. From his farming and dairying  he has spared some time and money for investment otherwise. He married, in 1907, Miss Elvira Comfort, daughter of B. G. Comfort, who is well known in Kings county, and she has borne him two daughters and one son, Carrie, Eunice and Earl. Mr. Howe is a wide-awake man who takes an interest in everything that can possibly influence the public good. He is especially interested in the development of the community with which he casts his lot and is ready at all times to give generous aid to any movement proposed for the general uplift.

A leader in things agricultural, who lives six miles south of Tulare city in Tulare county, Cal., and was .born in the historic old state of Kentucky, October 2, 1860, is Louis N. Glover. He passed his boyhood and youth in the 'public schools and on the farm and when he was twenty-one years old went to Nebraska, whence after six months' residence there lie went to Colorado. Two months spent there determined him to come to California, and he arrived at Stockton, October 10, 1882. In that same autumn lie found employment on Roberts' island, and then, after three months spent at Lockeford, he came to Tulare county January 23, 1883, in response to an invitation of friends who had bought land there. Liking his surroundings, he entered the employ of Paige & Morton and marked off the land and set out the first orchard on the ranch of that firm, for whose cannery he employed all help. It is said that this was the first establishment of its kind in the county. After three years' connection with that enterprise, he bean to farm rented land and at one time worked fourteen hundred acres. After operating the 'Laurel Colony property seven years, he put in two years at dairying in a modest way, and in the fall of 1904 he bought three hundred and five acres, six miles south of Tulare, on which he conducts a dairy of forty eight cows, raises stock, keeps twenty-two head of horses, feeds one hundred and fifty head of hogs and maintains a growing venture in poultry. One hundred and seventy acres of his land is devoted to alfalfa and on the balance be raises corn and grain. He was one of the promoters of, and is a stockholder in, the Dairymen's Co-operative creamery, and he helped to establish the old Co-operative creamery at Tulare. Of the Tule River Riparian .Water association lie was the organizer and it was largely through his influence that certain historic differences concerning water rights near that river were finally adjusted to the satisfaction of all concerned. The official title of the association is now the Tule River Riparianist, incorporated. Its district comprises the country between the sum­mit and the lake. One of Mr. Glover's possessions is a good residence property in Tulare.

At Tulare, Mr. Glover married, April 12, 1893, Miss Ettie Moody, a native of Kentucky, who has borne him three children, one of whom died in infancy. Their son, James Earl, died December 1, 1907. Their daughter, Wilrma, born October 21, 1895, is a pupil in the high school at Tulare. Fraternally, Mr. Glover affiliates with. the Tulare organization of the Woodmen of the World and with the Watsonville organization of the Yeomen. As a citizen, he is helpfully public-spirited, never withholding his support from any movement which he deems conducive to the good of the community.

Corcoran, Kings county, Cal., is the home of D. W. Lewis, president of the Tulare Lake Dredging company, who has made his home in that enterprising town since 1906. He was born in Redlake, Beltrami county, Minn., November 24, 1848, and while young was taken by his parents to Morrison county, where he lived until he was fourteen. At that time he was done with the public school at Belleplaine, Minn., and became a student at Oberan college. His studies were soon cut short, however, by his enlistment in the United States army, in which lie saw arduous and hazardous service during the latter part of the Civil war. In 1866 he came to California and lived principally in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties. He traveled over various parts of the state, and from Santa Clara county he moved to Fresno county in 1879, where he established the first commercial nursery in the valley south of Stockton, which he conducted until 1906, and then came to Kings county. His first venture there was to plant out a tract of hind to asparagus, but he soon relinquished the latter business to embark in a dredging enterprise and organized the Tulare Lake Dredging company, of which lie is president. This business has been highly successful and of much benefit to the country in which it has been operated. Meanwhile, Mr. Lewis has also given attention to wheat farming, which has brought good results.

In 1866 Mr. Lewis married Miss Margaret Clark, a native of New York city, who has been his helpmate and adviser in the various interests to which he has devoted himself from time to time. They are a genial and helpful couple, and their kindly interest in all with whom they come in contact insures them a welcome wherever they may go. Public spirited to an unusual degree, Mr. Lewis extends aid cheerfully and generously to any measure which, in his opinion, promises to promote the general welfare or to enhance the prosperity of any considerable number of his fellow citizens.


That progressive merchant and real estate investor of Armona, Kings county, Cal., Henry F. Rock, was born in Shasta county, in this state, September 12, 1870. His youth and the earlier years of his manhood were passed on a farm and he was educated in the public school in his home district. When he was about twenty-nine years old he located on a farm in Fresno county, which he operated with varying success for some years. By this time he had made up his mind that he would be a merchant and had saved money with which to go into business. Buying the 0. B. Hanan store at Centerville, Fresno county, he conducted it four years, meanwhile farming on rented land in the vicinity. In 1907 he closed out the merchandise business to Messrs. Elliott & Coleman of Conejo, Fresno county, and came to Armona, Kings county, to take over the well established mercantile enterprise of Muller Brothers, who had been trading here five years. He has since handled the business with increasing success. From his merchan­dising he has found time to interest himself in real .estate, and has acquired an interest in town and country property, in different alfalfa ranches and in a farm of seventy-eight acres. Besides, he is a stockholder in the commission house of Zaiser Brothers, Los

Fraternally, Mr. Rock affiliates with Lucerne lodge No. 275, I.O.O.F., Hanford. He married, November 6, 1890, Miss Lora Burner, at Glenburn, Shasta county. She was born in Colusa county, and has borne him four children, only one of whom survives, Carl E., who was educated in the public school of Armona and Heald's Business College at Fresno, and is now engaged in the bakery business at Armona. Taking a deep and abiding interest in the uplift and development of his community, Mr. Rock has proven himself dependable when demand is made for aid in movements for the public good.

One of the few members of Kings county bar, who is a native of the Golden state, is J. C. C. Russell, who has offices in the First National Bank building at Hanford. Mr. Russell was born Jan­uary 8, 1868, in Merced county, seven miles south of the site of Merced, a son of J. C. C. Russell, Sr., and his wife, Sophia M., who was a daughter of Dr. T. 0. Ellis. The latter was a pioneer in Tulare and Fresno counties and once prominent as a physician.

The elder Russell, a native of Winchester, Tenn., came to California in 1849, when he was eighteen years old, and after mining for a while, went to Los Angeles, where he remained until April, 1857, when he settled in Mariposa, within the present limits of Merced county. Here he homesteaded government land, which he improved and on which he farmed and raised stock until his death, which occurred September 30, 1891. His son, J. C. C. Russell, grew up and began his education in the public schools, continuing it in the high school at Oakland, where he was graduated July, 1886. The succeeding two years he spent in farming, then entered the University of California, where he was graduated in 1895. Meanwhile, in his spare time, he was a student in a law school at San Francisco, and such good use of his opportunities did he make that he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California, January 9, 1894. After an English course, in which he graduated in 1895, he began the practice of his profession in San Francisco, where he remained for over two years, and then moved to Mariposa, but after a residence of not quite two years there he came to Hanford, September 14, 1897. In 1898 he established himself here in the general practice of his profession, which he has continued till the present time with much success, winning a high place at the bar and an enviable standing in the public repute.

Socially, Mr. Russell affiliates with the Foresters, the Eagles, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Degree of Honor, the Woodmen of the World and the Modern Woodmen of America. On June 13, 1903, he married Gwendolyn Darnell, a daughter of Mrs. Clara E. Myers, and they have a daughter, Mercedes.

Numbered among those brave patriots who fought so cour­ageously for their country's cause in the Civil war is Clark M. Smith, born May 5, 1847, at Adrian, Mich., where he grew up, attending the public school. He did farm work until he enlisted in Company K, Sixth Michigan Infantry, and was transferred to Heavy Artillery, for service in the Federal army. He was enrolled January 4, 1864, and was honorably discharged August 20, 1865. During his term of service lie participated in many historic engagements, notably at Mobile Bay, Fort Morgan and Fort Blakeley. His father was a member of the same company and died on the way home after having been discharged.

Returning to Michigan Mr. Smith remained there, employed mostly on the farm, until July 14, 1873, when he started for California. Locating at Ferndale, Humboldt county, he engaged in business, was soon elected constable and served as a special officer four years. Then he engaged in the furniture trade, continuing in it there till 1889, when he took up his residence in Hanford and bought out the old Lillie furniture store, but in 1893 the building he occupied was destroyed by fire. It was his intention to resume business, but before lie could secure other quarters he fell ill and was not able to take up the activities of life again until four years afterwards. Then he was elected justice of the peace at Hanford, and after he had filled the office with much credit four years he was, in June, 1903, appointed to the same office at Armona by the board of supervisors of Kings county, and since then the latter town has been his home. He is a justice of the peace, a notary public and fills the office of secretary of the Grangeville Cemetery association, besides doing considerable business in real estate and insurance.

On October 22, 1890, Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Georgia Amner and they are the parents of two children, Osmond and Georgia Irene, both of whom have been educated in Kings county. Fraternally, he has passed the chairs in both the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as well as the encampment. In 1895. Mr. Smith was commander of McPherson post, G.A.R., of which he has been quartermaster six years and is in his eleventh year as adjutant. He is also a member of the local organization of the Sons of Veterans. As a soldier, as a public official and as a business man and citizen, he has been equal to every demand.

As a farmer and as a business man, Joseph William Sturgeon has achieved distinction in the country round about Tulare, Tulare county. He is a native son of California, having been born in Amador county, October 7, 1855, and was in his sixth year when, in 1860, his father, Francis Marion Sturgeon, located near Farmersville, in Tulare county. There the boy was reared and educated in the common schools and on his father's ranch instructed in the fundamentals of farming and stockgrowing. His original land holding was one hundred and sixty acres, but he rented and farmed other land and grew as a stockraiser until lie now has two thousand acres and handles about three hundred head of cattle. Fifteen hundred acres of his land is reserved for farming and is at this time used for pasture. He owns also eighty acres of alfalfa land on the Tule river, ten miles from Tulare, which is being improved under his personal direction. He lived on his ranch until 1895, When lie removed to Tulare, where he has since made his home. Since his retirement from active farm life he has identified himself with several important interests and is a stockholder in the bank of Tulare. His father, Francis Marion Sturgeon, ranched near Farmersville until his activities were terminated by his death.
In 1889 Joseph W. Sturgeon married Matilda Evelyn Lathrop, and they have three children, Mildred Lee, and William Tyler and Wallace Ezra (twins). The Sturgeon family is well and favorably known to members of most of the best families in the county and its head is recognized as a citizen of much public spirit, who is never backward in assisting any measure which, in his opinion, promises to promote the public will..

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  671 - 711

                                                              Site Created: 15 January 2009
                                                                  Martha A Crosley Graham


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Site updated: 29 January 2018

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