Tulare & Kings Counties

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In any survey of the substantial enterprises of Hanford, Kings County, Cal., the Gurnee planing-mill is certain to attract attention. Its output in windows, doors, moldings and bank fixtures aggregates $60,000 yearly. The guiding spirit of these enterprises is Brewster S. Gurnee, who came to Hanford from the city of Fresno in December, 1891. Born in Stony Point, Rockland County, N. Y., May 26, 1859, a son of Walter F. B. Gurnee and a grandson of Mathew Gurnee, natives of the Empire state, he traces his ancestry to one of the Pilgrim fathers. Walter F. B. Gurnee, a farmer and a brick manufacturer, served the Federal cause in the Civil war as a private soldier sixty days, then was sent home because of ill health and died in his fifty-sixth year. He married Mary M. Smith. also a native of New York state, who died at Rye, N. Y.. at the age of seventy-six.

In the public school near his boyhood home Brewster S. Gurnee obtained such education as was available to him. His first business experience was in Washington, N. J., where he learned the organ maker's trade with the Beaty Organ company. Later he was employed in a piano factory at New York, but was constrained by his wife's failing health to give up his position there and remove to California. His first location here was at Fresno. After  working in a planing-mill there for about a year, he became foreman in the large planing-mill of M. R. Madary, a position which he filled four years, when he bought a half interest in the establishment. After two years of successful business life, he sold his interest in the planing-mill, December, 1891, and came to Hanford, where he established himself in a prosperous manufacturing business. His success, however, was not achieved without discouraging reverses. Besides his mill property he early acquired a fruit farm near Hanford, and during the panic of 1893-94 he lost both mill and farm; but in 1899, on borrowed capital, he again became owner of the same mill and has since operated it with profit. His first planingmill in Hanford was a small affair covering a ground space of fifty by sixty-five feet. His plant now consists of two buildings, one covering a ground space of one hundred and twenty-five by one hundred and fifty feet, the other seventy-five by one hundred feet. The Gurnee mill is one of the best equipped in the lower San Joaquin valley and its manufactures are sold in all parts of California. It gives constant employment to thirty men.

The Republican party has in Mr. Gurnee a staunch member, but he has persistently refused to accept public office. Fraternally he affiliates with Hanford Lodge, No. 279, F. & A. M.; Hanford chapter, No. 74, R. A. M.; the Hanford organizations of Woodmen of the World and Knights of Pythias; and the Fresno lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Gurnee is no less popular in business and social circles than in these orders, and as a citizen he has never been found wanting in public spirit. He married Eugenia A. Van Valer, a native of Stony Point, N. Y., and they have had five children, one of whom died in infancy. The survivors are Mary, Minnie, Candace and Adelia. Mary is the wife of F. M. Vincent, residing at Niles, Cal. Minnie is the wife of A. R. Schimmell, residing near Tulare. Candace is the wife of W. H. Wilbur, residirig at Alpaugh, Cal.


The population of California is made up very largely of men from other states of the Union and presents more distinct elements than almost any other state. Yet it is a melting-pot in which all immigrants are converted into out-and-out Californians. In local industries, from the railroad builder to the bank president, the citizen of New York birth has shown excellent qualities. One such is Eugene A. Luce, formerly a plumber at Visalia, now a rancher on the Exeter road, east of that city, a self-made man, who has won high repute in the community for all those qualities of mind and heart which make for good citizenship. Mr. Luce was born in Buffalo, N. Y., January 19, 1845, and when he was two years old his father died. He was reared and educated in his native state, and in the spring of 1870 came to California and opened a plumber's and tinsmith shop in Visalia. After a successful business there of twenty years' duration, he sold out his plant and bought a ranch of eighty acres near that city. It was set out to fruit trees which he dug up to convert the place into a dairy ranch of fifty acres of alfalfa and thirty acres of wild feed. He is able to gather six crops of alfalfa each year without  irrigation. A dairy of thirty cows is a feature of his enterprise and he keeps fifty hogs.

In 1907 Mr. Luce married Mrs. Metcalf, a native of Iowa, who has two children: Herman and Odell Metcalf. Mary E. Luce is a child by a former wife. Mr. Luce affiliates with the Visalia Grange and is a man of liberal public spirit.


Many Missourians have come to California and have been perfectly satisfied by their change of location. One such is Edwin F. Hart, of Farmersville, Tulare County. He was born in St. Charles, Mo., December 24, 1860, a son of Amos and Sarah W. (Logan) Hart, natives of Kentucky. He came to this state in 1882, when he was about twenty-two years old, and located in Tulare County. With his brother, he bought three hundred and fifty acres of land at Cottage, on the Mineral King road, where they engaged in hog raising. Three years later they sold the place and Mr. Hart bought his present farm of two hundred and forty acres near Farmersville, forty acres of which is in alfalfa, eight in peaches, ten in prunes and two in a family orchard. He does general farming and has a dairy of twenty-five cows. He owns also a cattle range of one hundred and sixty acres on the Tule River, near Woodville. Fine draft horses are among the products of his farms and he is part owner of an imported Percheron stallion..

Farming and stock-raising do not command Mr. Hart's entire time so as to exclude other interests. His public spirit has led him from time to time to take part in movements for the general benefit of the community. He is president Of the Consolidated People's Ditch company and has been at the head of the corporation since 1894. The other officers are S. T. Pennybaker, vice-president; Bank of Visalia, treasurer; J. C. Lever, secretary. The water used in the system under consideration comes from the Kaweah River. A ditch dug by the old company was merged with the new one in the  consolidation and was the first in the County. It was begun with nine short ditches in 1852 and was known as the Swanson ditch. It was enlarged from time to time down to 1860, and in 1864 the Consolidated company took it over, including it in its present system of five miles of ditches with numerous laterals, each of ten to fifteen miles, making an aggregate of nearly one hundred miles. In the dry season of 1898 the company irrigated more than sixteen thousand acres of land. This enterprise is one of utmost local importance and, as has been seen, has commanded the best efforts of leading citizens in all periods of its history and now is in the hands of some of the best men in the County.

Socially Mr. Hart is identified with the Woodmen of the World and the Fraternal Aid. He married Miss Martha E. Frans, the daughter of a Tulare County pioneer, February 2, 1887, and they have seven children: Sarah F., a teacher in the Farmersville public schools; Charles E., who married Belle Hartsell; John H.; Rebecca E.; James V.; Homer S.; Ruth E. Sarah F. and Rebecca E. were graduated from the San Francisco Normal School. Mr. Hart is recognized not only as one of the successful men of the County but also as one of the most public spirited of those who are leaders in affairs of general import.


In Missouri, in 1862, was born William H. Braly, who now makes his home at Ducor, Tulare County, Cal. When lie wa's three months old his parents made the journey by ox-team to Oregon, and there he lived for eight years. Then coming to California he settled in Alameda County, where he grew up, finishing his studies and familiarizing himself with the details of farming In 1886 he came to Tulare County and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land that is a part of the Braly Brothers' ranch.

The father of the Braly Brothers, Shadrach Braly, was a native of Missouri, and died in 1892. Their mother, who was born in Kentucky, is living on the Braly homestead, passing her declining years amid the scenes of her active life. Her sons, W. H., S. W. and J. C. Braly, constitute the firm of Braly Brothers. Another of her sons, B. F. Braly, lives in this vicinity. Braly Brothers own twenty-two hundred and forty acres of land. While they have raised many horses and mules, they give their attention principally to grain. They have made their own way in the world by hard work and have proven their right to succeed by showing their willingness in a loyal way to contribute their full share toward the prosperity of the community. Their ranch, two and a half miles west of Ducor, is one of the show places of that part of the County. William H. Braly has served his fellow citizens as school trustee, but has never accepted any other office.


In settling in a new country, the measure of one's success is not so much what one brings in as what one acquires.  The man who comes with capital does not always keep it, and the man who comes empty handed may live to fill his coffers. The citizen of Tulare County whose name is above, arrived with thirty cents cash in hand. How he has prospered it is the task of the writer here to narrate. Mr. Kitchel was born in Warren County, Iowa, May 6, 1870, a son of James and A leysana (Webster) Kitchel, the former born in Illinois, the latter in Indiana. The family came to Cali­fornia in 1887 and lived at Antioch, Contra Costa County, and from there eventually came on to Tulare County.

Elmer L. Kitchel made his appearance in the County with the small sum mentioned, but he had more and something better he had work in him, work that was for sale because he needed cash, work that was wanted because it was honest and thorough and effective. For two years after his arrival he was a wage earner, then he rented the Johnson & Levison ranch near Visalia, which embraced forty acres, devoted chiefly to fruit. After operating it three years he was able to come to the ranch which he still leases and which has come to be known as his home. It is the old Patterson ranch, northeast of Visalia, which includes ninety-five acres of cultivated land and one hundred and fifteen acres of pasture. There he has lived since 1906. When he came to the place it was badly run down. He got busy, cleaning up, cutting down sixty acres of dead fruit trees, converting the trees into four hundred and fifty-eight cords of wood. Ever since he has been improving the property, on which there are now twenty acres of flour­ishing prune trees which produced nine tons of dried fruit in 1911, which tested fifty-two and sold at six cents a pound. There is also a young orchard of thirteen acres of French prunes which came into bearing in 1912. In 1909 Mr. Kitchel had forty-five acres of Egyptian corn, which on threshing yielded ten hundred and seventy- five sacks, which he regarded as a very favorable showing. In 1911 he had fifteen acres of corn. Sixty acres of the ranch is devoted to alfalfa, which in 1912 yielded over eight tons to the acre for five cuttings. Ten acres of this was sown in December, 1910, forty-five in October, 1909. A feature is a dairy of twenty-five, all young stock, and there are on the place five Percheron mares from which Mr. Kitchel raises fine draft colts. The mares weigh respectively from fourteen hundred and fifty to seventeen hundred pounds. In 1912 Mr. Kitchel became a stockholder in the Visalia Co-operative creamery, and also owns stock in a Percheron stallion.

Socially, Mr, Kitchel is an Odd Fellow, affiliating with Four Creek Lodge No. 94. In 1896 he married Minnie E. Hummel, daughter of Thomas and Florence A. (Hill) Hummel, both residents of Tulare County for the past forty years. She was born in Tulare County in that part now in Kings. Mr. and Mrs. Kitchel have four children: Ralph, George, Elmer W. and Hattie.


Near Visalia, Tulare County, Cal., George L. Bliss, the reliable abstract man of Hanford, was born January 24, 1866, a son of Henry F. Bliss, Sr., and his wife Roxey (Jordan) Bliss. His father was the first of this family of pioneers to settle in. Central California. He was born in New York state, the son of a Presbyterian minister, whom he accompanied to Michigan.

Amid frontier conditions, in Allegan County, Mich., Henry F. Bliss, Sr., grew to manhood. In 1850 he came overland to California with an ox-team outfit and settled at Sonora for a short time, and later on settled in Tulare County and bought land six miles south of Visalia, which he sold later in order to buy a farm about a mile south of that town, where he built up extensive stock raising interests. It was after he came here that he married Miss Jordan, a native of Texas, who had accompanied Frank Jordan, her father, to California. From girlhood her home was on the Pacific coast and she passed away at the home of her son, Henry F. Bliss, in her fifty-fourth year. Henry F. Bliss, Sr., died in Visalia in his fifty-eighth year. Of their children, William died in Visalia; Henry F. died in Visalia, in 1909; Charles E. is in Fresno ; George L. is the subject of this notice; Irving is a dairyman at Bakersfield; J. H. is in the abstract business in Bakersfield; Mary, the eldest daughter, died in Visalia; Cora is in the abstract business at San Diego; Maggie, a graduate of the State Normal School at San Jose, married I. E. Wilson of Hanford; and Earl (Maggie's twin) is in the U. S. army, located at Vancouver, Wash.

In the public schools of Visalia George L. Bliss was educated and in 1885 he connected himself with the abstract business of his uncle, John F. Jordan, of the  Visalia Abstract company. Eventually he was made deputy County clerk of Tulare County and served two years as city assessor of Visalia. Later he moved to Bakersfield, where he was employed in an abstract office; then, returning to Visalia, he was again connected with the Visalia Abstract company until July 5, 1899, when he took up his residence in Hanford. There he bought a branch of the Visalia Abstract company, which he has operated to the present time, now known as the Kings County Abstract company. Meanwhile he has engaged in real estate business, and since 1899 has been interested in the development of oil lands in this part of the state. He is secretary of the Coalinga Pacific Oil and Gas company. In company with Richard Mills, he has lately erected a new brick block on Eighth Street opposite the courthouse, which he has made the headquarters of his abstract business and his rapidly growing real estate business.

A man of public spirit, as well as of private enterprise, Mr. Bliss has done much for the development of Kings County. Fraternally he affiliates with Hanford lodge, Knights of Pythias. In 1890 he married Miss Hattie Beville, a native of Georgia. Their children are Iris M., Georgia J. and William Payson Bliss.


Back in Indiana, a state from which many men have come to California to find here signal successes, M. F. Singleton, of Ducor, Tulare County, Cal., was born in 1862. When he was about twenty- two years old he went to Kansas, where he remained but a short time, coming on to California and arriving in Tulare County August 27, 1884. Such education as was available to him he obtained in public schools in the Hoosier state, but as he was obliged to go to work for a living when he was fifteen years old his literary training was necessarily not very liberal. He came to the County alone and for four years worked by the day as a farm hand, and his first land was a homestead of eighty acres, which he took up soon after he came. By later purchases he has acquired five other eighty-acre tracts and now owns four hundred and eighty acres. At one time his holdings included other land which brought them up to a total of six hundred and eighty acres. He is now raising grain in goodly quantities, being located six miles from Ducor.

In 1888 Mr. Singleton married Miss Eva J. Hunsaker, a native of Tulare County, who died in 1898. In 1902 he married Miss Clara E. Gibbons. By his first marriage he had five children, Claude F., Louis I., Nettie E., Elsie and Nora. Fraternally Mr. Singleton affiliates with Porterville lodge, No. 359, I. 0. 0. F., and with the Porterville organization of the Woodmen of the World. While he is not a practical politician and has never sought office, he was, in 1910, elected to represent the fifth district of Tulare County in the board of supervisors. This is said to be the largest and wealthiest district of the County. He has never accepted any other official position, but he is not without honor as a public-spirited citizen and as a self-made man, who having begun at the very bottom of the ladder of success, has gained eminence in a fair and square struggle for advancement in which he has always been willing to give generous aid and honorable dealing. In the days before he was himself a landowner he was instrumental in inducing a well-known farmer to have a well put down on his place. It is worthy of note that this well was the first in the Ducor district for agricultural purposes.


This prominent contractor and builder of Hanford, Kings County, favorably known throughout Central California, was born at Cleveland, Bradley County, Tenn. When he was twelve years old he became a resident of Fort Worth, Tex., and there while still quite young, served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade. He worked ten years there, then went to New Orleans, La., whence he came to Hanford in 1886. Here he has been busy as a contractor and builder, the majority of his buildings being handsome brick structures, among which are: the First National Bank, Emporium, Vendome Hotel, the New Opera House, the Sharples, Knowell, Bush and Kutner-Goldstein buildings, the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches, the Axtell block and the Slight & Garwood, Childress & Nunes, Kennedy & Robinson, Chittenden-Flory, Robinson, E. Rollins and Buck buildings, and the Hanford ice plant, all in Hanford; many fine structures in Fresno, Exeter, Porterville, Lemoore, Visalia and San Francisco ; a bank building in Patterson, Stanislaus County, a $50,000 apartment house in Fresno, a $20,000 addition to the Burnette Sanitarium in Fresno, a $40,000 addition to the court house in Visalia, a $20,000 grammar school building at Visalia, the Mt. Whitney Power company's building in Visalia, the Hyde block in Visalia, high school buildings at Tulare and Porterville, grammar school buildings in Lindsay, Exeter and Fresno, a $50,000 school building at Coalinga and some business blocks in Lemoore. One of his notable residences is that of D. R. Cameron in Hanford. The Hanford Sanitarium, the Delano high school, the high school at Visalia, Scally hotel at Lemoore and the Convention Hall at Fresno.

In 1907 Mr. Trewhitt, in association with L. E. Hayes, founded the S. P. Brick company of Exeter, which makes six million vire­cut brick annually. He is one of the owners of the Talc & Soap­stone company at Lindsay, whose stone material is taken from the earth and ground up into a powder which is a base for many products, including paints and paper, soaps and face powders. He has long been interested in ranch property in Kings County and now owns an eighty-acre farm, two miles west of Hanford, which is given over to vineyard, orchard and the raising of horses, cattle and hogs. In 1907 the firm of Trewhitt & Shields was organized. the partners being W. D. Trewhitt and H. W. Shields. Mr. Shields has charge of estimates and drafting.

Fraternally, Mr. Trewhitt is a Mason of the Knights Templar degree, a Shriner and a member of the Woodmen of the World. In 1890 he married Miss Mary Lillian Carney, a native of Kentucky, and they have three children: Elizabeth, Dorris and Douglas Trewhitt.


This native of Mississippi and prominent farmer near Dinuba, Tulare County, Cal., was born April 1, 1861, and remained in the state of his birth until he was seventeen years old, attending school after he had reached school age and acquiring a practical knowledge of farming which has been the foundation of his later success. In 1878 he went to Washington County, Ark., where he remained six years. It was in 1886 that he came to California, locating at Hills valley and remaining one year. In 1887 he went to Kettlemans Plains, where he took a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres and a timber culture claim of one hundred and sixty acres, remaining there until 1894, and six years later he located near Dinuba, where he has since lived. Some idea of the quality of the man may be gained by the fact that he came to the County without capital and without influential friends and has prospered steadily year after year, in spite of many difficulties, until he owns a homestead which could not be bought for $10,000. His friendliness and public spirit have been of material aid to him, for it is true that one cannot be a friend without gaining friends or help the community without helping one's self. Fraternally he affiliates with the Woodmen of the World. In his political relations he is a Democrat and as such has been elected to important township offices. He is one of the most prominent producers of grapes in this part of the state, having a very large acreage devoted to vines. He also raises much fruit.

The parents of Mr. Prestidge were natives of Mississippi and his father died in the Mst siege of Vicksburg. In 1880 he married Myra D. Pore, who was born in Missouri of parents who were natives of Kentucky. Of their five children, three are living. Dean Prestidge is well known in Kings County, where he has lived at Cottonwood for some time past. He married Miss Hattie Totty of Los Angeles. George R. is deputy County auditor of Tulare County. Johnnie is a student in the local public schools. It is probable that there is not another man in the vicinity who is more prompt and ge­erous than Mr. Prestidge in the assistance of every movement for the public good.


A native of Wisconsin, Fred W. Conkey, bookkeeper for G. W. Knox of Orosi and one of the successful farmers Of Tulare County, was born August 16, 1864, a son of Lucius and Julia E. (Sheldon) Conkey, natives respectively of New York and of Michigan. His father died' in Chicago, Ill., in 1904; his mother is still living. Her great-grandfather was captain of a company of patriot soldiers in the Revolutionary war and was captured by the British and might have been severely dealt with had he not been pardoned by King George because of his standing in the Masonic Order. His great-grandfather in the paternal line also fought for the colonies in the Revolutionary struggle, his grandfather being a soldier of the war of 1812.

Mr. Conkey entered the employ of the Swift Packing Company and rose to authority in the office and was for several years private secretary of Mr. Swift. For eleven years Mr. Conkey was chief teller in the office of the County treasurer of Cook County, Ill., which includes the city of Chicago. He married in Chicago Miss Jessie Nye, daughter of the Hon. B. F. Nye, now a member of the legislature of the state of Kansas. By a former marriage he has two children. After the death of his father, his mother removed from Chicago to California and bought fifty acres of, the old Reinheimer ranch in Tulare County for $19,000, and won much success with oranges, raisins, peaches and other fruit, having had many vines and seven hundred four-year peach trees. This property has been sold for $22,000.

For two years after he came to California, Mr. Conkey did outside work. He now has a forty-acre fully improved ranch near Yettem for which he has refused $16,000. He is conducting the El Monte Inn, a place of twenty-six rooms, in the management of which he is ably assisted by Mrs. Conkey, they having acquired this property by their united efforts, evidencing the reward for unceasing labor and toil. Their place is the only hotel in town and holds an enviable repu­tation among the traveling public. Mr. Conkey affiliates with the Masons, is secretary of the Orosi lodge, and is a member of Medina Temple of Chicago. He is a Republican in his politics and as a citizen has evidenced a public spirit which makes him useful and popular in the community.


A descendant of Irish ancestors, that enterprising Irish-American, John J. Doyle, of Porterville, Tulare County, Cal., was born at Lafayette, Ind., April 19, 1844, son of John Doyle. The latter was born in Kentucky, whence he removed in 1829 to Indiana and there followed agricultural pursuits until his death in 1876. John J.'s grandfather was William Doyle, who came from Ireland when a boy, settling first in Virginia and then in Kentucky, where his death oc­curred. John Doyle married Sarah Wilson, born in Virginia, who in 1876 died in California, where she came with her son John J. on his second trip to the coast. She was the mother of sixteen children, of whom John J. was the second youngest.

John J. Doyle was reared on the parental farm until he was nineteen, attending the common schools and also taking a course at a commercial college. Then he went to Ohio, but soon returned to Indiana, whence he came overland to California in 1865. It was not long, however, before he returned to Indiana, but he came again in 1867 and taught school in Sonoma County in 1869. He settled in Tulare County in 1871 and has paid taxes there ever since, during a period of more than forty years. In the historic Mussel Slough fight, in which J. M. Harris, Ira Knutson, John Henderson, Archie McGregor and Dan Kelley were killed, Mr. Doyle did not participate, but he and four of his friends were jailed for eight months because of their influence in bringing about the troubles which culminated in the encounter. He started the fight and fought the railroad company nine years and four months and was obliged finally to pay $30.60 an acre for his land for which he had so long contended the railroad company had no title. it is a matter of history that more than six hundred other land owners set up a similar claim. The memorable year in which he served his jail term was 1881. In 1883 he was the first to locate a timber claim in the mountains at Summer Home. At one time he owned over one thousand acres, which he has since sold. After ten years of farming in that district he went to the mountains and planted an orchard at Doyle's Springs. He now owns about two hundred and eighty acres, one hundred and twenty-one acres of which, adjoining Porterville. he platted into lots and is offering for sale. In 1907 he bought ten hundred and forty acres east of Porterville, known as the old Indian tract, and divided it into twenty-acre farms, all of which, except one hundred. he has sold. One acre he gave for school purposes and a school house was built on it which accommodates about forty pupils. He is buying land and selling on easy terms, as much to benefit the town as for any purpose of his own, and he intends soon to plant near Porterville an extensive orchard of deciduous fruits.

In 1880 Mr. Doyle married Miss Lillie Alice Holser, a native of California, who has borne him four children, three of whom are living and married, viz., Chester H.; Ruby S., wife of John McFadyen; and Floreda Alice, married to C. S. Pinnell. Mrs. Doyle's parents were California pioneers, settling in Sacramento County in the early mining days. Her father died in 1866; her mother December 19, 1911, aged ninety-two years. Mr. Doyle's parents both died in 1876. The experiences of the family link the early days with the present time. Mr. Doyle has always been noted for his public spirit and has never sought any office, though he has ably filled several appointive ones. He is helpful to an eminent degree and his most distinguishing characteristic is his disposition to look on the bright side of things.


No real success in life is won without a persevering struggle, and the self-made man is, in the commercial and financial sense of the term, literally self-made. At the beginning he is handicapped by lack of capital, and after that his progress must be made in the face of strenuous circumstances and often unfair competition. When he has reached the top he knows how he got there and so do those whom he has left behind in the race. One of the men of this class in Kings County is Charles William Hoskins. Born in Adams County, Iowa, June 8, 1861, it was in 1862 that he was taken by his parents to Pennsylvania. He was able to attend public schools only two years, but he made the best use of his limited advantages and has since acquired much knowledge from books and by an informing course of instruction in the college of hard experience. In his infancy he had reversed the general rule by going East. He was still but a boy, however, when he was in business life as a clerk in a store in Nebraska. In 1891 he came to California and in September settled in Tulare County. He moved in 1892 to the Lakeside district and opened a blacksmith shop which he operated about a year, then, gave up the enterprise as having a not very promising future. He had now had experience in selling goods and in ranching and in blacksmithing, and, between times, had made himself useful in other ways. Returning to Hanford, where some of his experience had been obtained, he again became a clerk in a general store. Here he would have seemed to have settled down to the kind of business to which he was best adapted naturally and by association. In 1900 he became manager of a general merchandise store at Guernsey, which he bought a year later and which he conducted with steadily increasing success until August 1, 1912, when he sold out and removed to his property in Hanford. In 1882 he married Miss Alma Atwood, a native of Henry County, Ill., who has borne him a son, Howard A., who is in the automobile business in Hanford. Mr. Hoskins is a member of the W. 0. W., and is a man of public spirit who seeks rather to give to, than receive from, the community with which he cast his lot.


The life of Adolphus Mitchell has been closely identified with the early history and development of the state of California, and he is numbered among those pioneer settlers who have been instrumental in its progress for many years. He is a representative of an old and honored family, members of which have taken active part in the wars of the new as well as the old world. He is the son of Lewis and Mary E. (Duff) Mitchell. His grandfather, Solomon Mitchell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and fought under General Pickens of South Carolina, while his son, Lewis Mitchell, father of Adolphus, was a soldier in the war of 1812. The latter's' death occurred in 1861, when he was aged about seventy years. On the maternal side, the Duff family is of Irish descent. His grandfather, Robert Duff, was major in the Irish rebel army. The Irish lost their cause, and so Mr. Duff came to America; but on account of religious difficulties he dressed in woman's clothes, was stowed away on a vessel and thus came to America, locating in West Virginia. Robert Duff married Miss Dickerson, who was also of Irish extraction, and their daughter was Mary E. Duff, who was born in West Virginia. Her husband, Lewis Mitchell, was born in South Carolina.

Adolphus Mitchell was born in Hawkins County, in eastern Tennessee, May 28. 1829, and in 1836. moved with his parents to south western Missouri, in what was then Barry County, but which has been changed to McDonald County. He attended the common schools there, but at that time the method of educating was very crude, owing to the lack of facilities. The lights used were pine knots and candles. His entire attendance at school here covered a period of only nine months, the last two months when he was over twenty years of age. Reared on the frontier, accustomed to face hardships and unflinchingly forged ahead, he was a man well fitted for work in his new home. He remained at home until he had reached the age of twenty-five years, when he started out with oxen and wagons for the coast, but finally decided to leave them on Green River, and packed from there. He had many encounters with Indians .en route, both warriors and friendly, but he finally arrived in California August 5, 1855. As he was undecided what line of work to follow he stopped in the mines for a time and then came to Tulare County, where, in 1857, he embarked in the cattle business, buying Spanish cattle to the amount of a hundred and fifty head, at $12.50, pasture being free. The next spring he sold thirty head at $30 each.

Mr. Mitchell had decided not to follow the miner's life because of their ill luck, and accordingly in 1859 bought land in Visalia, when that town had but three business houses. He had crossed the plains in company with, his brother and there was also a Mrs. Billips in the party, whom he afterward found keeping a restaurant in Visalia. At the time of this purchase the houses there had canvas tops and were rudely built. He has seen this country grow to its present proportions and has benefited by it. In 1857 he met Colonel Baker, founder of Bakersfield, who advised him to buy land. This he did, from time to time, until he owned twelve hundred acres in that vicinity. Through all his had struggle to gain a foothold in the new country, Mr. Mitchell had the assistance and earnest co-operation of his brother, Ozro, who was born June 4, 1831, and whose death occurred in December, 1906, at Mr. Mitchell's home, which had always been his. He had never married.

On January 11, 1862, the flood covered their tract with water, and there seemed to be three waves pass through the valley. The second flood. on December 24, 1867, coming in one wave, covered everything. Mr. Mitchell returned to Missouri in 1869, leaving Visalia on the 9th of June and arriving home in the same month. Here he remained for a time, being taken with an attack of typhoid in July, and he was obliged to stay there for fifteen months, during which time his marriage took place. He returned to California, by stage from Stockton, and settled on a ranch near Visalia, where he made a specialty of raising stock, but at the time the railroad came was giving his attention to the cultivation of wheat. Visalia courthouse was to be moved by the railroad, but as the Constitution prohibits removal more than once, and it was formerly at Woodville and thence removed to Visalia, it could not be taken to Tulare as they proposed. However, it was a hard fight to hold it at Visalia, but through the hard work of the citizens it was finally kept there. Mr. Mitchell had rented sixteen hundred acres for cattle in what is now Kings County, and owning cattle, was there when the County division was made.

Mr. Mitchell was married to Susan Bogle, who was born in Cannon County, Tenn., but had lived in Missouri since 1859. They had five children born to them, viz.: Mary, who is unmarried; Walter Franklin, who works on his father's ranch; Addie, who is the widow of Edward C. Jones, of Visalia; Chester, deceased; and Arthur Galen, who is also on the ranch with his father. Mr. Mitchell owned at one time about twenty-five hundred acres of land, but he has divided his property among his children.

Mr. Mitchell takes an active interest in all public matters and is a progressive, energetic citizen, but he would never consent to holding office. Since 1856 he has made many prophesies concerning the welfare and growth of his adopted state, and they have in most cases materialized. A self-made, self-educated man, he is public-spirited and interested in all that tends to the prosperity of his community, and he is well known throughout the County as a most successful man.


This native of California and well known citizen of Tulare County was born in Placerville, January 22, 1857, a son of W. S. and Lucy (Rutledge) Cooke. His father was born in Leeds, England, in 1827, and his mother was born in England that same year. The former came to South Carolina when he was sixteen years old and was for some time engaged in shipping. Eventually he located in Boston, where he completed his education and whence he moved after four years to Davenport, Iowa, where for a time he sold fanning mills and John Deere plows. There he married Miss Rutledge, who had come from her native land when quite young. She is living in San Francisco at the advanced age of eighty-five years. In 1851 they came overland with a large train from Iowa, halting a short time in Salt Lake City. From time to time they had dangerous encounters with Indians and when they reached Hangtown, now Placerville, they witnessed the hanging of a man named Van Lugan. Later they were attacked by Indians who drove off their cattle, killing several. They witnessed the sinking of the Humboldt mine in Gold Canyon on the site of Gold Hill. At Hangtown, where Mrs. Cooke arrived wearing a green silk dress, she was one of but two women in the settlement. A dance was given on the evening following their arrival. It was at Ford's Bar on the American River that Mr. Cooke had his first experience as a miner. He long remembered the arrival of the first circus that visited at that diggings. At one time he walked from Hangtown to Sacramento, bare­footed, and brought back with other purchases a pair of copper-toed boots for his son, the subject of this review. From Hangtown the family moved to Mountain Springs and from there they moved about eighteen months later to Ford's Bar, where in 1857 more than five hundred votes were cast. Their next place of residence, where they remained until 1859, was at Iowa Hill. Mr. Cooke owned several mines one after another and made and lost considerable money. He became prominent in affairs in Placer County and for eight years filled the office of sheriff. Later at Virginia City he was elected police judge and tax collector. He died there in 1898 and his widow removed to San Francisco.

The children of W. S. and Lucy (Rutledge) Cooke were named as follows: Sarah A., Mary E., William R., F. W., .Jennie V., Henry S., deceased, Joseph E., Lucy, and Edwin, deceased. Sarah A. married Andrew Lane and has three children. Mary E. married W. G. Thompson of Storey County, Nevada, and has borne him two children. William R. married Lantha A. Kelso and their home is near Orosi ; they have twin sons, Bruce E. and Roy A., born in 1886, who were educated at Selma and Stockton, graduating from the Western School of Commerce at the age of twenty years, Roy being now bookkeeper for the Kirby Winery at Selma. Bruce and Roy prepared for entrance at the National Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., received the appointment, but did not go. Jennie V. is editor of the Pacific Coast Nurses JoUrnal, and resides in San Francisco.

From several of the leading families of America Miss Kelso, who became Mrs. Cooke, is descended, one of her ancestors having been Henry Clay. Her father, John Russell Kelso, a native of Ohio, was a colonel in the Federal service in the Civil War and was a member of congress. Mrs. Cooke's mother was born in Missouri and educated at Springfield. Mrs. Cooke was a normal school graduate of the year 1878, became a teacher and rose to the position of vice-principal from which she was promoted to that of principal. She taught thirteen years in Fresno County, six years in Selma, where she was for four years vice-principal. Later she was for one year principal of Bishop school in Inyo. Her recollections of California would make an interesting volume. She distinctly remembers seeing the notorious Sontag and Evans pursued by the men who later brought them to justice.

By trade Mr. Cooke is a machinist and millwright, in which capacities he worked thirty-eight years. In 1901-02 he mined in Alaska with indifferent success, was caught in the ice and sojourned for a time on Siberian Island. He was at one time interested in the purchase of five hundred and one acres of land and now owns one hundred and sixty acres of orange land, vines and figs. He has about six thousand budded trees for transplanting. He makes a specialty of white Leghorn poultry, owning about three hundred chickens. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and is a popular citizen who does much for the public good. He and his family are Socialists.


Arkansas, a state of central geographical location which partakes largely of the agricultural qualities of the East, North, South and West, has been for many years in a way a clearing house for pioneers, gathering them from the older parts of the country and distributing them to newer fields further on. One of the numerous good citizens which that state has furnished to California is William Norval Stubbelfield, who was born in Fayetteville, Washington County, Ark.. January 7, 1873, and lived there until he was nineteen years old.

From Arkansas Mr. Stubbelfield went to Baylor County, Tex., and after one year's residence there went up into Oklahoma and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres at Cheyenne, Roger Mills County. In six years he had proved up on his land, acquired title to it and sold it for two thousand dollars. Then he came to California and at Cutler, Tulare County, bought ten acres, six of which are in peaches, four acres in vineyard, and he secured a very good crop in 1911, selling two and one-fourth tons of grapes to the acre. Mr. Stubbelfield has given his entire life to different kinds of farming, and as he has made a study of soils and seeds and seasons and of every other factor in the production of crops of various kinds and operates by up-to-date and thoroughly scientific methods, he is able to achieve success where it is possible. He is a member of the Fraternal Brotherhood. Politically be affiliates with the Socialist party.

Mr. Stubbelfield was married in 1894, at Fayetteville, Ark., to Miss Victoria Gulley, a native of that state. Seven children were born to them, viz.: Eula, Eddeth, Annie, William, Claud, Ladona and Bessie (now deceased).


A native of Virginia, A. Clifford Dungan, of Exeter, Tulare County, was born at Glade Spring, September 10, 1875, the youngest of the large family of children of Thomas N. Dungan. He came to California in 1894 and settled at Three Rivers, Tulare County, where he worked in his brother's sawmill. In 1895 he was employed by the Kaweah Lemon Company, and for three years had charge of one of its lemon orchards. The ensuing year he was in the employ of the Ohio Lemon Company. By carefully saving his earnings he was enabled to buy seven acres of land five miles southeast of Exeter. The property was rough and without improvements, but with charateristic energy and foresight he set out orange trees, erected a pumping plant and put on other necessary auxiliaries, and soon had seven acres of fine bearing navel trees, which proved very profitable.

After he had improved his original seven acres Mr. Dungan entered the service of George T. Frost, who had charge of the Bonnie Brae orchards, and was made superintendent of the vineyards of the Frost & Carney Land and Lumber Company. Two years later he was given the management of the orange grove on Badger Hill. While thus employed he was studying the fruit business, and in 1903 he began caring for groves in the Bonnie Brae district on contract. He now has seventy-three acres under fruit and vines and a contract covering quite a number of orchards. Two hundred and fifty dollars an acre for a crop of grapes on twenty acres of four-year-old Emperors was the price paid him recently by R. D. Williams. This was a record price for a crop of grapes bought outright in the Exeter district, and was especially good for the product of a vineyard of that age. On the other hand the crop on this orchard was very heavy and Mr. Dungan made a fine profit. On the twenty acres there are approximately eight thousand vines, most of them yielding three or four crates to the vine.

At Fresno Mr. Dungan married Miss Nellie Tuohy, a native of Oakland, daughter of A. V. Tuohy of Vacaville and niece of John Tuohy of Tulare. She is a graduate of the San Francisco Normal. School and was for a time a student at the Johns Hopkins Art Institute. Mr. and Mrs. Dungan have the following children, May Virginia, John Anthony and Helen Margaret.

In his political alliances Mr. Dungan is a Democrat, and fraternally he affiliates with the Woodmen of the World. He came to California in 1894, without capital, and by industry and good business ability has made a fine property. His success is the success of the self-made man, and those who best know him say that it has been fairly won and is richly deserved. In many ways Mr. Dungan has demonstrated a public spirit that marks him as a citizen of much patriotism and helpfulness to all worthy community interests.


Born in Knox County, Tenn, November 14, 1826, Andrew J. La- fever was a representative of families noted for their valor and devotion to justice. His parents were William and Elizabeth (Roberts) Lafever. In colonial days Henry Lafever, great-grandfather of Andrew J., came from France to Virginia and remained there two years, then returned to his native land. Later he came with Lafayette and fought under that commander for American liberty and after the end of the Revolutionary war went back to France, and at Waterloo he was a brave soldier under Napoleon. His son, John Lafever, a native of Virginia, lived most of his life in Tennessee and gained wealth and prominence as a cotton-grower. He fought for the cause of the col­onies in the war of the Revolution and yielded up his life in defense of free America in the war of 1812. He married Lucy Barbankez, a woman of much courage and decision of character. While in the Revolutionary army, British soldiers stole sweet potatoes from his farm and she shot down seven of them. Though she was arrested she was not prosecuted, as the soldiers were appropriating her property and her stern sense of justice entitled her to a place in the history of those thrilling times. She bore her husband two children and lived to be eighty-seven. Her son William, father of Andrew J., was born in Tennessee and in 1834 became the owner of land in Ray County, Mo., partly by purchase and partly by pre-emption. He prospered as a planter and slave owner and achieved prominence through his interest in the state militia and in the training of soldiers, and fought in the war of 1812, the Black Hawk war and the Seminole war. He married Elizabeth Roberts, a native of South Carolina, and he lived ninety-seven years, she eighty-four.

The third of the fourteen children of William Lafever was Andrew J., who inherited much of the valor and stern sense of right and wrong of his forefathers in both lines of descent. Such education as he received he acquired in a private school. In his youth he had to do with the labor of cotton growing and through trading on his father's plantation became expert as a judge of horse-flesh. In 1846 he volunteered for service as a soldier under General Taylor and was assigned to the division commanded by Colonel Willock. In 1847 he re-enlisted and was assigned to Company C, Santa Fe Battalion, United States Army, under command of Gen. Sterling Price, and rose to be sergeant, and in 1847-48 was a member of the general's escort. He was honorably discharged from the service at Independence, Mo., in October, 1848, and November 4 following cast for his old commander, General Taylor, his first presidential vote. For a time he was in the meat­packing business at Camden, Mo., where he heard much of the discovery of gold on the Pacific coast. April 4, 1849, he left there for an ox-team journey across the plains; and about seven months later ar­rived at the Peter Lawson ranch, near Bidwell's Bar, Cal., and he mined in that vicinity during the succeeding thirteen months. At Bidwell's Bar, according to an interesting writer, "a thief was discovered in camp who had tried to purloin a can of syrup. A consultation was held by the other miners and it was decided to hang without ceremony. Mr. Lafever, however, objected, owing to the absence of a code of laws covering such misdemeanors. The life of the man was spared-,,but an attempt was made to obviate further trouble of that kind by drawing up a code calculated to terrorize evil doers." Flogging and hanging were features of this code. "Men condemned to trial had the benefit of the opinion and judgment of twenty-four substantial men of the community and every question had to be answered by the witness." From this point Mr. Lafever went as a member of a prospecting party to the south fork of the Feather River and took part in an unsuccessful attempt to change the course of that stream. Later he mined at Marysville and then set out on a fruitless quest of Gold Lake, which the history of California mining tells us was never found. Before 1850 he prospected around St. Louis, Pine Grove, Howland Flat, Nelson Creek and Poor Man's Creek, and in that year he mined in Told's Diggings and at Forbestown. In the last mentioned camp he engaged in business as a butcher and as a general merchant. The spring of 1851 found him at Lexington, where he built and opened the Lexington house, which hostelry was kept in a log building near a spring which he had discovered the year before; and here also he engaged in general merchandising. He built a new house near the log cabin at Lexington, of lumber which he sawed by hand, in 1852, and established a hotel and butcher shop at Spanish Flat. In 1854 he disposed of his Lexington interests. He lived at Spanish Flat until 1857. "In the meantime, in 1856," says the writer already quoted, "there had been great excitement in camp over the water ditches, resulting in shooting scrapes and the organizing of a mob that would have hanged an innocent man had it not been dispersed by Mr. Lafever. In the spring of 1857 Mr. Lafever himself escaped serious trouble because of the justifying circumstances surrounding his act. In self defense he shot and killed Judge John Chapels, the leader of that mob, and though he surrendered to the authorities, nothing ever came of the matter. Mr. Lafever showed wonderful clemency for his fallen foe hired a man to care for him, and so far ingratiated himself that the dying man shook hands with him and expressed an appreciation of his bravery.  Mr. Lafever went to Marysville in the fall of 1857 and started thence for Mendocino County, but stopped at Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Later he bought a place at Ukiah in Mendocino County and eventually set out for Colorado, but passed the winter in Merced County, where he fed two hundred and fifty horses and mules, many of which fell sick. He reached Visalia with his stock in August and took his horses to the mountains for the winter. Twice, in Mendocino County, thieves tried to deprive him of his land and in 1870, in Potter Valley, H. Griffiths shot him through the left lung and left hand and wrist, almost destroying his left arm.

In 1873 Mr Lafever bought land near Kings River in Fresno County, to which he added by later purchases until he had more than a township of unsurveyed land, including Pine Flat, a quarter of a township, which he presented to his only child, Henry C. Lafever. "When the fence law was passed," narrates the writer already referred to, "he experienced serious trouble with his land, for grabbers resorted to every device to deprive him of it, even waylaying and killing his son, November 17, 1882. During the trial following this brutal murder Mr. Lafever killed Zeb Lesley in the court yard at Fresno, the outlaw being at the bottom of the difficulties over the land and the killing of his son. The outlaw was surrounded by forty-eight of his gang. Through the prevalence of injustice Mr. Lafever lost his cattle and land and practically everything that he had in the world." Mr. and Mrs. Lafever had at different times narrow escapes from Indians.

In November, 1885, Mr. Lafever bought forty acres outside the borders of Visalia, where he raised cattle, horses and hogs until 1893, when he moved to his home within the city limits at No. 409 Watson avenue. His house and all its contents were burned May 29, 1904, causing a loss of more than $7,000, only $2,200 of which was covered by insurance. He passed away at his home October 6, 1912. His estate consists of two ranches near Visalia upon which hog raising is carried on extensively.

March 19, 1852, at Marysville, Cal., Mr. Lafever married Catherine Trullinger, a native of Baden, Germany, who came to California in 1850. The tragic death of their only son saddened the lives of both. Mrs. Lafever passed away in May, 1908. A Democrat in politics, Mr. Lafever was formerly a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, and was a veteran of the Mexican war, having served as commander of his division, and a member of the California Society of Pioneers. Few residents of Tulare County witnessed so much of its development as did Mr. Lafever, and there are few men remaining in California today who look back on careers as perilous and as full of vicissitudes as was his during the earlier years of his citizenship here.


Of the sons of Illinois who have come to California and made a success of their undertakings mention belongs to Richard Powers. He was born in the Prairie State, June 24. 1847, and came to California when he was twenty-one years old with his brother John, settling in San Joaquin County, where for thirteen years he was engaged in stock and grain farming Then he went to Merced County and farmed near Minturn for ten years, after which he moved to Butte County and carried on farming near Chico for three years. Subsequently he engaged in railroad work for two years with headquarters at Redding. It was in 1884 that he came to Tulare County, and in 1891 he located in Porterville, devoting himself with ability and energy to the stock business. His specialty was the raising of draft horses and roadsters, which he exhibited at the different fairs and he secured many premiums for his draft horses. At the time he came to Porterville it was a mere hamlet of but few houses, and his was the first residence to be erected off Main Street. He has seen the settlement grow to its present importance and has witnessed and participated in the marvelous development of the country round about.

December 23, 1883, Mr. Powers married Miss Stella Smith, a native of Butte County and the daughter of Theodore and Sarah W. (Horton) Smith, who came to California in 1849 and 1852 respectively. The former was a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia. Both came across the plains with ox-teams and they were married in 1855 in Butte County. Later they lived for a short time in Shasta County, but returned to Butte County and there passed their remaining years. Besides Mrs. Powers two sons survive, Harry C., of San Francisco, and Jay, of Redding.

The devotion of Mr. Powers to the stock business during so long a period marks him as a man of persistency, who having formulated a plan of action will carry it out intelligently, allowing no obstacles to deter him, and bring it to ultimate success if years and opportunity are given him. He not only raises many cattle, but he buys and sells in the market, and in his business transactions has won a reputation for fair dealing of which any man might be proud.


The long and useful life of Rev. James Murphy, which throughout its entirety signifies untiring energy, unselfishness and perseverance for the good of others, is a most interesting one, embracing many hard and trying experiences but withal receiving the tribute for the high calling which he had responded to in that he was beloved by all who were fortunate enough to come to know him, and his memory is revered by a wide circle of admiring friends. One of God's noble creatures, he had ever accepted his task without murmuring and filled his duties to the best of his ability and many there are who have had reason to bless him.

Born near Richmond, Va., March 18, 1803, James Murphy at an early date removed to Tippecanoe County, Ind., where he was married to Miss Jane Morris. To this union was born a family of twelve children, six of whom grew to maturity. He was ordained a minister in the United Brethren Church when he came to Indiana and continued to preach for forty years. Moving from Indiana to Woodford County, Ill., he resided there until in August, 1854, when he went to Iowa and settled at Clarksville, where he was a pioneer minister. He established the first United Brethren Church at Corbley Grove, Fayette County, Iowa, which grew rapidly, and forty years later a new Church was built at Westgate by that congregation, and this was named Murphy Memorial Church in honor of Rev. James Murphy, who had been its organizer.

In 1886 Henry Murphy, son of Rev. James Murphy, visited the latter at Oldwein near Westgate, Iowa, and finding him in ill health took him to his home on the north branch of the Tule River, where he spent the remainder of his life, passing away March 18, 1892. Rev. James Murphy was twice married and as mentioned above six of his twelve children by his first marriage lived to mature age. Delilah, who was the wife of Daniel Fague, had two children, Mary and Henry; she died in 1911, at Oldwein, Iowa, aged eighty-two years. Nancy was married three times, first to Ira Havens of Bloomington, Ill.; second to James Phillips, of Delhi, Iowa, and had one son, Zina; and third to Zina Wheelock, of Manchester, Iowa; she passed away in April, 1911. James, now deceased, was married in 1856 to Mary Buckmaster, and is mentioned below. Henry is mentioned fully on another page of this publication. John, a stockman residing at Atchison, Kans., is married and has a family; he is unfortunate in that he is blind. Emaline is the widow of Elonzo Spencer, formerly of Bloomfield, Iowa, and she had three children, Bert, Louise and William, all residing in the vicinity of Bloomfield. By his second marriage Rev. James Murphy was the father of three children: Hattie, conducting a hotel at Livingston, Mont.; Fred, a wholesale tobacco dealer at Pocatello, Idaho; and Wenrich, a railroad man on the Oregon Short Line.

James Murphy, son of Rev. James, married in 1856 Mary Buckmaster, and the eldest daughter of this union is Sara. J., now the wife of W. R. Neal, who resides at Springville, Tulare County. Mr. Neal is one of the leading merchants and postmaster of Springville and was at one time state superintendent of public instruction of the state of Oregon. He is an educator of note, having followed the profession of teaching more than thirty years before taking up the mercantile business at Springville, and is pursuing his enterprise with unusual energy and such success as to mark him one of the leading business men of the County. Mr. and Mrs. Neal have had a family of six children, viz.: Minerva is the wife of Rev. William M. Olderby, pastor of the Northern Liberty Church at Philadelphia, Pa., situated at No. 51T Street, and they have one child, James. William is married to Catharine Gulley and is a partner with his father at Springville. Jennie Neal is vice principal of the schools at Porterville. Lillie is bookkeeper in her father's business. Gwendolyn is a student in the school at Springville. James accidentally shot himself while the family were residing in Oregon when nineteen years of age.


This well known citizen of Hanford, head of the firm of Perry & Barbeiro, was born on the Azores Islands, July 31, 1863, and worked in a store there from the time he was eleven years old until he was eighteen. His first employment in this country was on a farm near Fall River, Mass., where he remained twenty-two months. In 1883 he found employment in Fresno County in the construction of levees on the Laguna de Tache grant, to prevent the overflow of water, and was retained on the work seven years. After that for fourteen months he had a liquor store in Kingsburg. Then for a season he helped operate a threshing machine in the vicinity of that town and for a year after that had charge of some sheep. The next year he put in as a farmer on the Laguna de Tache grant. Next he opened a liquor store in Hanford, in the old Freeman house on Fifth Street, but a month later removed to a store on Sixth Street and still later to the McJunkin building, which was his headquarters until 1905, when he moved to a location at 104 Sixth Street, where he sells soft drinks and cigars.

For a time M. V. Garcia was Mr. Perry's partner. He was succeeded by S. L. Jackson and he after two years and a half by J. I. Barbeiro. The firm conducts a ranch of three hundred and ten acres, four miles north of Lemoore, which is now rented out for dairy purposes. Beginning January 1, 1913, Mr. Perry will superintend the ranch and the business in Hanford will be taken care of by Mr. Barbeiro. Mr. Perry is a stockholder and was three years a director of the Hanford Mercantile store. He is a stockholder in the Portugese-American bank, at San Francisco, in connection with which he is known to men of his nationality throughout the greater part of the state. Fraternally he affiliates with the U. P. E. C., the I. D. E. S. and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

In 1898 Mr. Perry married Anna S. Flores, and they have had eight children, seven of whom are living: Lillian, Edward, Tony, Lorianno, Earl, Geraldine, Harry and Edith. The latter died when she was six years old.


The Rea family is one of the early Virginia families Edward Rea, great-grandfather of Frank Rea, came from Ireland and settled in Virginia before the Revolutionary war. He was a Universalist in religion and every generation of the Reas has clung to that faith as does the present representative of the family. It was in Macon County, Ill., that Frank Rea was born June 9, 1845, and he attended public schools until he reached the age of sixteen. Enlisting in the Civil War, he rendered faithful service to the Federal cause as a private soldier during three eventful years. After the war he returned home and for one year attended Lombard University, then completing a commercial course at Decatur, Ill. He worked for his father until after he became of age. During the succeeding four years he was engaged in farming in Illinois. Then he came to California and after spending two years in the Santa Clara valley came in 1874 to Kings County and later located on what has come to be known as his home­stead. During the first few years of his residence here he worked for others, but as soon as water was obtained he went into stock- raising, dairying and fruit-growing. He has been active in ditch construction, and for some years was a director in the company controlling the outer ditch, which was under his superintendency a year, and consequently one of his public responsibilities after he came to the County. He has served as trustee of schools by election as a Republican, he being a member of that party, a venerator of its history and an ardent advocate of all its economic policies. By membership with the Grand Army of the Republic, he keeps alive memories of the Civil war days which tried men's souls. Mr. Rea has been a director in the Alta Irrigation District for fourteen years, and on February 6, 1913, was reelected for another term of four years.

Even beyond his expectations Mr. Rea has been prosperous. From time to time he has bought land until he is the owner of ten hundred and eighty acres, eighty acres of which is devoted to fruit, the remainder to ranching and stock-raising. His cattle herd averages two hundred head of blooded stock. The improvements on his land are up-to-date and in every way first class, and his home is one of the most attractive and hospitable in the County. His marriage occurred in September, 1868, to Miss Mattie Ehrhart, who was born in Macon County, Ill., in January, 1848. Their five children are named respectively Clara, Edgar, Frank, Bunn and Neva.


In Monroe County, Mo., S. H. Kinkade was born January 1, 1836, and there he went to school in a log cabin from the time he was six years old until he was fourteen, when the family moved to Boone County, Mo. From there they went to Scotland County, Mo., whence they started to California. Young Kinkade was about sixteen years old when the family set out to cross the plains in 1852. A large party was banded together for company and mutual protection and the long journey was made with ox-teams, thirty wagons, which made slow progress over the prairies and through the desert for many long weeks which would have been dreary had it not been for the daily excitement inseparable from such a venture. Fortunately there were no Indian attacks. The party arrived at San Bernardino in the fall, the Kinkades wintering there, and in the spring settled in Santa Cruz County. There they remained two years, then moved to Contra Costa County, whence they came to Tulare County in 1857 and settled two and a half miles southwest of Visalia. Their first experience here was in raising hogs; later they took up cattle and in 1868 went into the sheep business, in which they continued twelve years, running their stock over a wide range of country and owning at one time four thousand head. There were at that time so many Indians in the County that out on the plains as many as six were encountered to each white man that was seen. Half a mile south of the Kinkade home about four hundred Indians were encamped for some time. Mr Kinkade has passed through all the changes and revolutions of farming and ranching in Central California and since 1892 has resided in the vicinity of Porterville. He closed out his sheep interests in 1881, and after selling his ten-acre ranch in December, 1912, he moved to Porterville.

In 1887 Mr. Kinkade married Miss Harriet Anderson, who was born April 21, 1851, in Rock Island County, Ill. They have had two sons: Benjamin Harrison Kinkade, who is employed by Mr. Traeger in Porterville, and Milton Kinkade, who died aged eleven months. B. H. Kinkade married Jessie Lauders, by whom he had two daughters, Evid M., who died when about two years old, and Jessie Bertha, an infant. Mrs. Kinkade died in October, 1912. Mr. Anderson, the father of Mrs. Harriet Kinkade, passed away when she was about ten years old and her mother when she was four. Mr. Kinkade's father died in 1877; his mother in 1885. In his political affiliations Mr. Kinkade is a Republican, and his interest in the community makes him helpful in a public-spirited way to every movement looking to its advancement and prosperity.


It was in Indiana that Anderson W. Lee, who now lives four miles southeast of Dinuba, Tulare County, was born March 22, 1867. There he lived until in 1889, for three years thereafter making his home in Illinois and Missouri. On March 1, 1893, he came to Tulare County, Cal., finding the country round about the site of his present home practically a vast wheat field. Dinuba had two small stores, there was a little store at Orosi and at Sultana no beginning had been made.

He was a daily observer of the building of the railroad in his part of the County and often saw many ten and twelve horse teams awaiting the unloading of the wagons which they had hauled out to the line. Soon after coming to the County he bought eighty acres of land at $45 an acre and planted twelve acres to vineyard, twelve to trees and gave most of the remainder to alfalfa. He early had a twenty-five acre melon patch from which he sold in one season about $2,000 worth of melons, feeding about as many more to his hogs. His place is well planted to young vines and he has raised twenty-five tons of peaches on five acres of six-year-old trees and in 1912 planted twenty-five acres to peaches. He keeps eighty head of stock, besides four good horses.

In politics Mr. Lee is a Socialist, and fraternally he affiliates with the Woodmen of the World. In Johnson County, Mo., he married Miss Mary E. Null, a native of that state and whose parents crossed the plains with ox teams to California. The party of which the Nulls were members were often menaced by Indians, who drove off their cattle but killed none of the emigrants. Among pioneers known to this family was Charles Crow, who crossed the Isthmus of Panama on foot. Among Mr. Lee's household possessions is a quart bottle weighing four pounds which was brought overland to California in 1852. Anderson W. and Mary Ellen (Null) Lee have three daughters and one son: Lilly M., Mary Z., Ruby E. and James W. Lilly M. has completed her school studies and is now studying music. Mary Z. is a student in the high school at Dinuba ; while James W. and Ruby E. are attending grammar school.


It was in the state of Arkansas that James L. Johnson was born August 22, 1844. Early in the following year, when he was about seven months old, his parents, Joseph H. and Mary (Murray) Johnson, took him overland to Oregon. After a four years' residence there, they came to California. They located first at Napa City, later engaged in stockraising in the vicinity, and then went to Oakland, and for several years they lived there and at Martinez and on San Joaquin Island. Subsequently they were at Merced, Gilroy and Watsonville one after the other, and in the meantime James L. had acquired an education in the public schools. At Porterville lie married Miss Harriet Rhodes, daughter of the late William C. Rhodes, a biographical sketch of whom appears in these pages. Mrs. Johnson bore her husband three children. Edna married William Lucius Kelley, of Fresno County, and they have had three children named Charlotte, deceased; Loren and Ora. Elmo married Bertha A. Crocker and she has borne him three children: Idena, Florence and Odessa. Lena is deceased.

The first land in this vicinity owned by Mr. Johnson was bought from the United States government. He pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres in Jordan Valley and paid it out at $1.25 per acre, and has added from time to time and now owns about four sections. Three hundred and fifty acres is devoted to farming, the remainder is hill land, used for pasture. On the place are kept about seventy-five head of cattle and one hundred head of other live stock. When Mr. and Mrs. Johnson settled in the valley, land could be bought at $1.25 an acre which would now be cheap at $200 and upward. The only buyers of stock in those days were Miller and Lux.

The old Democratic politics of his sire was in a way inherited by Mr. Johnson, a man of public spirit, ready always to aid to the extent of his ability any movement for the good of the community.


The well known citizen of Tulare County whose name is the title of this article and who lives a mile north of Sultana could tell many an interesting story of the days before the law was fully established in central California. He was personally acquainted with Sontag and Fyans and the. Dalton brothers, and with George Radcliff, who was shot by the latter on Alkali Plains. He tells how the train was stopped by the bandits by force of arms and how, when the door of the express car was blown from its hinges, Radcliff received a load of shot in the abdomen, and he does not fail to add that the brave engineer hung to the throttle until he ran the train to Tulare, then died; and he could indicate the place in Fresno County where the Daltons for a time maintained their mountain residence.

A native son of California, Mr. Reed was born in Kern County June 23, 1873, and was reared, educated, and lived there until 1884. In 1900 he came to Tulare County, settling near Visalia. He married in August, 1907, Mrs. May (Price) Schaaf, widow of Louis Schaaf. She was born in Crawford County, Kans., June 23, 1876, and had three children, Milo, Chester F. and Marguerite E. Schaaf. By the union with Mr. Reed, one son has been born, Harris Reed. Mr. and Mrs. Reed are Republicans.

In 1907 Mr. Reed located on twenty acres of land, which was the home of Mrs. Reed, all of which is devoted to fruit and vines, he having nine acres of vineyard and seven acres of apricots. In 1911 he marketed eight tons and a half of raisin grapes. He is an enterprising farmer and a progressive public-spirited citizen.


The sons of Ireland makes friends everywhere, succeeding in any community with which their lot may be cast, and California has always welcomed this industrious class to the ranks of its citizens among those who have sought a home under her sunny skies. One of the most prosperous farmers in the vicinity of Hanford is Thomas Smith, who was born in Ireland, June 27, 1841. He came, comparatively young, to the United States and finished his studies in New York, whence about 1860 he went to San Francisco, and from there he moved to Merced County. Later, in September, 1872, he settled in Tulare County, in that part now known as Kings County. Soon thereafter he located on one hundred and sixty acres which was the nucleus of the homestead which is now one of the landmarks of his part of the County. One year later, in 1873, he bought a second one hundred and sixty-acre tract, increasing his holding to three hundred and twenty acres. He engaged in dry farming and has given much attention to dairying and to hog-raising. Having been a farmer all his life he has obtained an intimate practical knowledge of everything making for successful cultivation, and so expert is he that in the operation of his fine ranch very little is left to chance except such things as unavoidably depend upon unforeseen developments in the way of blights and pests. He is one of the very few pioneers in his part of the County and every improvement on his ranch today was placed there by himself. In 1912 he and his son bought a twenty horse-power gas engine which is used for pumping water for irrigation on his place as well as his son's. The wells are eighty feet in depth, furnishing ample water for their need.

October 13, 1886, Mr. Smith married Mrs. Margaret (Gann) Whitworth, a native of Wisconsin, who in 1852 was brought in an ox-wagon across the plains by her parents, who were California pioneers of that time. By a former marriage Mr. Smith was the father of two children, William H., who lives on an adjoining farm, and Mrs. Stella Curry, residing near Hanford. One child was born, to his union with Mrs. Whitworth, a daughter, Myrtle J. Wilkinson, who resides near Riverdale. Mrs. Smith was married (first) to P. Johnson and became the mother of two children, Mattie and Katie. By her Marriage to Mr. Whitworth she had a son, Clarence.


It was in Athens County, Ohio, that Cecil H. Smith was born in 1867. There he lived until he was seventeen years old, gaining an education in the public schools and obtaining an intimate knowledge of agriculture by actual daily contact with the soil. When he left the home of his childhood it was to go to Kansas with his parents, who established a new home for the family in that state. There he worked for wages until in 1887, when he immigrated to California and settled in Tulare County, which was then almost entirely devoted to grain- growing. After he had farmed five years he and his brother began to buy land, their first purchase being a tract of one hundred acres, and they soon afterward bought another of fifty acres. At this time Mr. Smith has one hundred and. fifty-five acres which he operates as a dairy, milking about forty cows and doing a business of about $200 a month. Beginning with no capital, he has made all he has by hard work and the exercise of good business ability. The excitement of politics has never appealed to him and he has little liking for partisan activity, but he takes a public-spirited interest in everything that in any way influences the well-being of the people. At this time he is very creditably filling the office of school trustee. His parents passed away after lives of usefulness. His father was a native of the state of New York, while his mother was born in Ohio, a daughter of pioneers. He has himself been familiar with pioneering in the middle west and on the coast, and, accepting the conditions under which the pioneer must strive, he has striven and succeeded.


The late W. W. Robinson was born in Indiana, and was united in marriage there when a young man to Miss Margaret McClintock, and they resided in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, in which states their children were born. In 1880 they all came to California, and Mr. Robinson bought some land near where Armona is now located. There he lived with his family until recently, when he went over into Fresno County, when he had another ranch, and after putting in a crop was taken ill.

At his death Mr. Robinson left, besides his widow two daughters, Mrs. H. P. Brown of Hanford, and Mrs. George Campbell, of Suisun, also five sons, Marion, George, Grant, Henry and Charles, all of Kings County. One daughter, Mrs. Knapp, died near Armona in 1903.

W. W. Robinson was a brother of the late J. S. Robinson, who was likewise a Kings County pioneer and had one sister, Jane Sutcliff, of Albion, Iowa. Mr. Robinson was a man who was very successful in his business undertakings. He was a man of large executive ability, decided force of character, very reserved and unassuming, quiet, and very industrious, with exceptional powers for enduring work and sustaining effort. He was known as a thoroughly good man at heart, and had many warm friends. In his home circle he will ever be remembered as a kind parent, while the vicinity in his death suffered the loss of a man of the strictest integrity. He died at Hanford Friday morning, February 24, 1905, aged sixty-nine years, ten months and twenty-three days.


The Sears family, of which William A. Sears is a prominent member, is an old historic one in America, whose numerous representatives are residing in nearly every state of the Union, giving to their country patriotic and industrious service and adding greatly to the best and most representative citizenship. There are many branches of the family in this country and nine generations have lived in the United States. Originally of England, the first American ancestor of the family was born in England, probably not far from the Guernsey Islands, but there the name was spelled Sares. This progenitor was named Richard Sears, and the first authentic record we have of him is on the tax list of Plymouth Colony, dated March 25, 1633, when he was one of forty-four out of eighty-six persons who were assessed nine shillings in corn at six shillings per bushel. He soon crossed over to Marblehead, Mass., and was listed as a tax-payer of that place, and in the Salem rate list was granted four acres of land "where lie had formerly planted." This was dated October 14, 1638.

Arthur Elliott Sears, father of William A., was an industrious and well-known minister in California as early as 1878 and his memory is deeply revered by all who have had the good fortune to know him. He was born in Cincinnati, and. in Missouri was married to Eliza E. DeFrance, who was born in Mercer County, Pa., near New Lebanon. Mr. Sears had been previously married and was the father of five children by this marriage, William A. being the only child of the second union. In 1862 Arthur E. Sears came across the plains with ox-teams and settled in Oregon, bringing his family with him. He was a Methodist minister and was an early organizer and itinerant preacher, and was a pioneer of Methodist preaching, traveling and organizing in that state, giving his services up to that vocation for a period thirty years. In 1874, his health becoming impaired, he went to Colorado and was given entire charge of the work of organizing for the Methodist Episcopal Church South in Colorado, where he labored diligently until he came to California in 1878. As a local minister he continued to labor in California for the rest of his days, and such was his influence for good that at his death in 1906 this community felt deprived of a kindly spirit whose place could never be filled. He made his home with his son and his widow continued to live with him until she passed away February 14, 1913, at Porterville, where both of them were buried, and their memory will ever be held in high reverence for the lives of high principles and honor which they had led, to say nothing of their energetic efforts and achievements in their chosen field, which ever command unselfishness and untiring industry and courage, marked traits in their characters.

William A. Sears was born in Milan, Sullivan County, Mo., December 14, 1860, and lived in Oregon from 1862 to 1874. In the common school of Polk County, Ore., he received his elementary education and also at the schools of Golden, Colo., where he completed the high school course. Upon arriving in California he matriculated at the Normal school at San Jose and was graduated with the class of 1882. Eager to complete a law course he had read law with his uncle, the Hon. A. H. DeFrance, while he was in Colorado. Hon. DeFrance was then First Territorial Senator, then State Senator and then was appointed Supreme Court Commissioner, and later was elected United States District Judge from Colorado, which office he held with great honor until his death. He was also attorney for the Colorado Central Railroad Co., and under his able supervision Mr. Sears imbibed the rudiments of legal training which have served him to no mean purpose in his real estate and other business interests. After coming to California and graduating from the Normal he taught school for a time and soon began to interest himself in real estate investments. Buying land, he developed a fruit ranch in Santa Cruz County and this was his real start in his chosen line of work. In 1903 he came to Tulare County from San Jose and bought in partnership with A. V. Taylor, of Hanford, a tract of four thousand acres at Angiola, which for one year he superintended and then sold out his interest to Mr. Taylor and made his way to Porterville. He then bought a tract of three thousand acres on the White River which he still owns and which is operated as a stock and dairy ranch. Mr. Sears is the present proprietor of the Sears Investment Co., with offices at No. 508 Main Street, Porterville, and is well known in his community as a prosperous business man, who is an authority not alone on land, but on fruit growing and all their relative branches. He is a stockholder in the Porterville Co-operative Creamery Co. He has just moved his family into their fine residence on El Granito avenue, Porterville, which is one of the picture places of that city. Independent in his political views he has always refused any political honors and votes locally for the man he deems best suited for the office. In national affairs he unites with the Democratic party.

Mr. Sears was married January 1, 1888, to Miss Sara B. Loucks, of Contra Costa County, the daughter of the late Hon. George P. Loucks, who was for many years in political office in Contra. Costa County. He was a leader in politics in the Republican party in Southern California, where he was justly well and favorably known. For years he was a member of the Republican National Committee and of the State Central Committee. The eldest of Mr. and Mrs. Sears' four surviving children is George Arthur, now manager of the telegraphers in the K office of the Southern Pacific Railway at Bakersfield. By his marriage with Miss Abbie Gibbons of Porterville he has two children, Georgie and Eloise. William Allison, Jr., is at present manager of a drug store at Strathmore and is unmarried. Emma Pauline and Annie Belle are both at home. These children represent the tenth generation from their American ancestor, Richard Sears. In religion the family are Congregationalists and socially are well known and number their friends by the score.

Mr. Sears has the honor of being the first grower to open up, advertise and make known the orange lands south of Porterville under the new irrigation system for oranges, and his success has been such as to attract the attention of many who have those interests at heart. A very interesting article written by Mr. Sears on this subject and giving a detailed account of the beauties and advantages throughout the Earlimart Colony in that vicinity may he found in the July, 1906, issue of the magazine entitled Out West. He was one of the organizers of the Porterville Realty Board and Chamber of Commerce and has since been one of its influential members. He has found time from his active business life to organize the Improvement Club here and this has been since taken over by the ladies of Portervine. Such a citizen merits the praise and earnest gratitude of his fellow-citizens, and Mr. Sears is fortunate in that he receives the esteem and confidence of all who know him and he holds an enviable place in the minds of many who have come to appreciate his excellent characteristics and his sagacious and well-informed mind                   



This skillful farmer is well known and respected in the vicinity of Yettem, where he is enjoying prosperity as the result of well-directed effort. He was born November 25, 1884, and remained in his native Armenia until he was fourteen years old, then Came to the United States with his father and at Philadelphia, Pa., ate his first turkey dinner, an experience which he will always remember. After a short stay there, he came to California and settled in Fresno County, where he lived seven years. He attended school for a time, farming and fruit-growing for wages and learning the work and the ways of the country.

It was to Tulare County, where he has since lived, that Mr. Sahroian went from Fresno County in 1907. He soon bought twenty acres of land and later forty acres more, making a farm of sixty acres, which he has improved with a house, abarn and other necessary buildings. He has forty-three acres under vines, seven acres bearing peaches and ten acres devoted to oranges. One year he sold twelve tons of Thompson seedlings from six acres; also eleven and one-half tons of Muscats, and forty-eight tons of Zinfandels His orange grove is young and his peach trees are just coming into bearing. As a citizen he has the good opinion of his neighbors, and fraternally he affiliates with the Yettem Banavalum club. Politically he is a Republican. He married Victoria Meledonian in April, 1912.

Mr. Sahroian's parents, Melick and Elbis Sahroian, are members of his household. Of their six children he is one of the most helpful to them. His sister married James Dagdighian and lives at Selma, Fresno County. Mr. Sahroian, still loving his native land with true patriotism, is nevertheless thoroughly Americanized, and his aspirations are all for the future greatness of his adopted country. In many ways he has shown that he possesses a commendable public spirit and there is no local interest that does not have his encouragement and support.


One of the most persistent and successful promoters of the devel­opment of Central California is John J. Schueller of No. 401 South Bridge Street, Visalia. Mr. Schueller was born in Prussia in 1844, and was brought to the United States by his family, which settled in She­boygan County, Wis. After leaving school he became a salesman of agricultural implements, in which capacity he traveled many years, winning much success and acquiring a wide acquaintance. In 1884 he bought land and settled down to farming and cattle, horse and hog breeding, besides giving considerable attention to grain, and eventually he allied himself successfully with the insurance business. Twenty years later, in 1904, on account, of impaired health, he gave up the latter business and settled at Visalia, Tulare County, becoming the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land northeast of town, so exceedingly rich and productive that in 1907 he marketed one hundred and eighty tons of hay cut from one hundred acres. This property is now operated by a tenant under lease. Mr. Schueller is the owner of valuable real estate on South Bridge Street, Visalia, and being a man of much public spirit he has from time to time participated prominently in movements for the benefit of the community. He is much interested in the development of Tulare County, and as a correspondent to German papers published in Wisconsin, has put many glowing accounts of local conditions and advantages before his countrymen in that state. This work he has followed up by writing letters to inquirers, setting forth the healthfulness of Tulare County's wonderful climate and giving in detail some account of the opportunities here offered to home-seekers. As the result of his personal efforts forty nine families of Germans have become permanent settlers in the County. He is the moving spirit also in German Lodge, California D. 0. H., No. 693, which has a membership of one hundred and twenty- two Germans, all of whom are able to read and write the English language.

In 1872 Mr. Schueller married Miss Augusta Poppe, a native of Germany, and he has seven children and thirteen grandchildren. Following are the names of his children: John P., Andrew, Herman, Casper, Joseph, Josephine and Clara. Josephine married Casper Schlaich, and Clara is the wife of A. L. Depute.


On the farm near Exeter, Tulare County, on which he now lives, George H. Teague was born in 1877. He was educated at Exeter and at Visalia and was reared to familiarity with farm work. John Teague, his father, was born in Missouri and came with an ox-team to California more than forty years ago and settled on the ranch which is now the home of his son. The country was then new and not very productive and his greatest success was in raising stock. He married Susan Buckman, a native of Kentucky, who survives him, he having passed away in 1907 on the family homestead near Exeter.

After his father's death Mr. Teague became associated with his mother in the conduct of the farming and stock raising enterprise which the elder Teague had brought to such important proportions. They have seventeen hundred and thirty-five acres of land in the foothills, which is a cattle range. Besides the homestead, which consists of one hundred and fifty-three acres, they own one hundred and sixty acres one-half mile north which George H. and his brother,  Edward E. devote to stock raising. A man of public spirit, Mr. Teague is in every way a worthy and useful citizen. In 1907 he married Miss Eva Wiley, a native of Iowa, whose parents had brought her to California. While he does not hold membership in any parlor of Native Sons of the Golden West, he is a native son of sunshiny California, proud of his birth within its borders and solicitous not only for its material advancement, but for the moral uplift of all its people of whatever class or condition.


A native of the Old Dominion, Virginia, 0. H. Webb, whose present postoffice address is Dinuba, Tulare County, Cal., was born in historic Fluvanna County, January 27, 1857. His father, George H. Webb, a carpenter by trade, served under General Lee in the Civil war, from 1861 to the end of the struggle, and during the closing years of his service was detailed to the commissary department. He married Martha Noel, who like himself was a native of Virginia, and they had three children.

In 1887 0. H. Webb came to California and since then has given all of his active years to ranching. He has bought town lots in Dinuba and built a residence near the high school. For one acre he paid $100 and for his other Dinuba lots $100 each. He leases forty acres of the Humphrey land and has five acres in orchard, the remainder in vineyard, yielding an average crop of one ton per acre. Five acres he devotes to peaches, which yielded in 1911 one ton of dried fruit per acre at an average price of eight cents a pound.

In his youth Mr. Webb learned the carpenter's trade with his father, who was a contractor and builder, but he has not followed his trade since coming to California. Politically he has always affiliated with the Republicans. In Virginia he married Sallie Mahaynes, and they have a son, Horace L. Webb, who is married and has two children. Mrs. Webb died in May, 1887, deeply regretted by all who had known her. As a citizen Mr. Webb is public spirited to a noteworthy degree, taking a deep and abiding interest in all economic questions affecting the welfare of his community and state.


December 28, 1851, Harvey L. Ward, son of Lewis and Mary (Harmon) Ward, was born in Shiawassee County, Mich. His father was a native of Vermont, his mother was born in the state of New York ; they were the first couple married in the vicinity of their home and Mrs. Ward taught the first school there. Lewis Ward was a successful farmer. In 1862 the family crossed the plains with horse teams to California by way of Omaha, Salt Lake City and the Sink of the Humboldt, traversing the desert and arriving eventually at Placerville. They soon located at Mud Spring in Placer County and lived afterward at Bodega Corners, Sonoma County. In 1866 the family returned to Michigan, experiencing considerable delay at Greytown, where they had to wait for a vessel. For two years they lived near Clarence, Shiawassee County, Mich., maintaining themselves by farming, and in 1868 they returned to California by practically the same route over which they had come out before, except that they crossed the River at North Platte, taking their wagons across on hand-cars and swimming their stock, which they effected successfully, while others, who paid $200 to have their stock taken over, lost some of it. On the way they saw many graves marked "Killed by Indians." After a short stop at Sacramento they went on to Bodega Corners, where Mr. Ward operated a hotel, meanwhile becoming owner of a farm in Green Valley.

In 1877 Mr. Ward came to Stokes Mountain and in 1880 he married, in the Wilson district, Miss Martha E. West, a daughter of California, whose parents had come across the plains in 1849. Her father. Morris M. West, a native of Kentucky, had lived some time in Missouri, whence he came to California, partially by the Platte route. His cattle gave out on the way and he made a trade by which he had a better outfit than that with which he started from Missouri. After living for a time in Sutter County, he moved to San Jose, whence he came to Tulare County, later locating in the Wilson district. Mr. and Mrs. Ward have had four children, Phoebe G., Arthur T., Henry H.. and Stella. The last-mentioned has passed away. Henry H. married Mabel Allen, a native of California, and she has borne him a son. Allen Ward. Phoebe G. has distinguished herself in the high school at Visalia. Mr. Ward, most of whose schooling was obtained in the public school at Bodega Corners, Sonoma County, was determined to give his children the best education at his command. In 1892 he bought ten acres, where he now lives, two miles north of Orosi. That land was then mostly under vines. He has since been an extensive purchaser of land and now devotes twenty-two acres to vineyards, growing Muscat grapes and a few Sultanas. He has five hundred acres on Sand Creek devoted to pasturage, with two hundred acres of woodland adjoining He also owns one hundred and twenty acres in the Baker Valley. Giving considerable attention to stock, he is especially interested in his fruit trees and vines. In a single year he has raised thirty-two tons of raisins and he has several thousand coras wood on his property. When he came to this locality, where he and his brother, I. T. Ward, were among the earliest wheat growers, wild game was plentiful and he has killed many deer and antelope as well as bear, mountain lions and foxes. He was interested in teaming to the mountains 1877-99 and freighting to the mines in Tuolumne County 1888-1900. His recollections of the past are most interesting. Politically Mr. Ward is an independent Republican. He and his family are communicants of the Christian Church.


In Queens County, N. Y., part of Long Island, in the old town of Jericho, William A. Williams was born January 1, 1840, a son of George and Mercy Williams, both of whom were natives of Hyde Park, London, England. When he was six years old his family removed to Mill Neck, N. Y., whence they went to Hempstead, Long Island. After two years' residence there they moved to a place four and a half miles west of Hoboken, N. J., near the Hudson River, and there lived for quite a number of years. The father was an industrious teamster and farmer, and there were nine children in the family. On July 30, 1862, William A. Williams enlisted as a private in Company K, Eleventh Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, and later saw some of the most hazardous service of the Civil war. At Chancellorsville, his first battle, of five hundred men detailed for a certain duty, eighteen were killed, one hundred and forty-six wounded and five missing. On the second day of the fight at Gettysburg seventeen men of his regiment were killed, one hundred and twenty-four wounded and twelve missing. The Eleventh New Jersey was included in Humphrey's division of the Third Army Corps, being afterwards transferred to the Second Corps under General Hancock. Mr. Williams took part in twelve battles and in a large number of skirmishes, among them the second Chancellorsville, Battle of Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor. In his last general engagement he was wounded in the head by a Confederate sharpshooter and sent to the hospital, and in the course of events he was discharged from the service for disability, March 11, 1865, about a month before the collapse of the Southern Confederacy.

Returning to New Jersey, September, 1865, Mr. Williams married Josephine L. Williams, in June, 1866, and she bore him four children, Gertrude, Clark V., Josephine and one daughter, deceased. After his marriage, he lived three years in Adams County, Wis., where he devoted himself to farming and hop-raising. In 1870 he homesteaded land in Kansas, where during a time of privation he and his family lived on buffalo meat and artichokes, for the cooking of which there was no fuel but buffalo chips. It was necessary for them to haul their provisions one hundred and fifty miles, from Waterville and Marysville. The great grasshopper year, 1874, Mr. Williams will never forget. One of his neighbors had his grain in shock and he helped him to thresh his wheat. The man declared that he would cut his corn as soon as the first grasshopper would appear, but the pests came in such numbers that they ate ten acres of corn before he could do anything to prevent them, and after having vainly attacked them with rollers, he and his wife were obliged to burn the prairie to kill them. From 1880 to 1906 he lived in various places in Colorado and South Dakota. In October of the year last mentioned he bought forty acres in Tulare County at $40 an acre. Previously he had owned land in the Owens River valley, which he sold to the city of Los Angeles. His forty-acre tract in Tulare County was unimproved, but he has since built a house, a barn and other necessary buildings on the property and is making a specialty of the cultivation of Muscat grapes.

Associations of the days of the Civil war are maintained by Mr. Williams in a way by his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic and he receives a government pension of $24. He was a charter member of General Shafter Post No. 191, G. A. R, of Dinuba. Politically he is a Republican. As a citizen he is public-spirited and helpful to all good interests of the community. Dear to him as are the memories of his youth and of the Civil war period, the recollections of his days of overland travel, in the period 1870-85, are no less fondly cherished. They picture to him the old road to Kansas and to Colorado, glimpses of Greeley and Fort Collins and of other wayside places and of Miller, S. Dak. Those days under the white-topped prairie schooner were days of discomfort, but they were days of hopes that after a time were fully realized. Mrs. Williams died in 1887 at her home in Missouri Hot Springs, whither she had gone on a visit and for her health while her husband was getting settled in his new location.


One of the native sons of California who are winning success in Tulare County is William Alford, who is farming and dairying eight miles north of Exeter on rural free delivery route No. 1. Mr. Alford was born in Plumas County in 1862 and began attending school near his childhood home. When he was twelve years old he was brought by his family to Tulare County, where he completed his education and where he has lived continuously to this time except during three or four years. His father, who was a native of Virginia, was a prominent farmer and an active promoter of irrigation who had much to do with the construction of early ditches in the County. His mother, also a native of the Old Dominion, was a woman of the finest character, who influence has been a beneficent force in her son's life. They came to California among the pioneers, as long ago as 1853, and passed to their reward many years ago. Mr. Alford has been familiar with the work of the farm since his childhood, having been early instructed in it by his father. When he came to Tulare County the country was new, settlements were sparse and improvements were few and primitive. He has been permitted not only to witness but to participate in its development into one of the most productive districts of a state of wonderful resources.

In 1882 Mr. Alford bought forty acres of land and in 1907 one hun­dred and sixty acres more, constituting a farm of two hundred acres, which he devotes to farming, dairying and stock-raising, keeping about twenty cows the year round. His career has been successful from every point of view, for while he has prospered financially he has won the respect of his fellow-citizens by an exhibition of public spirit that has made him most helpful to all worthy local interests. His reminiscences, could they be given in full, would be most interesting as a contribution to the history of the County. He knew the pioneers and has known all the prominent men of a later day. At the time of the lamentable Mussel Slough fight, so-called, he was within a half a mile of the scene of action.

In 1890 Mr. Alford married Miss Mary Etta Mason, a native of California and a daughter of a pioneer freighter in this part of the country, and she has borne him twelve children, all of whom. survive. Mr. Alford's interest in education has impelled him to accept the office of school trustee, which he has filled greatly to the advantage of the schools and his neighborhood.


In St. Louis County, Mo., James Allen Bacon was born November 19, 1838, the eldest of the eight children of William Bacon, six of whom survive. The father was born in Kentucky in January, 1800, a son of Nathaniel Bacon, who located in St. Louis County, Mo., after the war of 1812. There William lived until 1849, when he started with his family to Texas. In Crawford County, Ark., they were detained by illness and there he bought a farm on which he lived until 1859, when he set out for California with his wife, four daughters and three sons. They came by El Paso and stopped for a while at Tucson, Ariz. Later they completed the journey to California by way of Yuma to Los Angeles and the Tejon Pass to Tulare County. They crossed the Colorado River at Ft. Fillmore and soon met Indians who run off their cattle; but followed two of them who had the cattle in charge and rescued the animals. Ten miles northeast of Visalia on the Kaweah, Mr. Bacon bought a farm, and in 1868 he took up one hundred and sixty acres, now the site of Orosi, where he was a pioneer settler. James A. Bacon hauled lumber from the mountains and with help of hired men built the first house there, which is yet standing. The family afterward removed to Visalia, where the father died, aged eighty-one years. The mother, Mrs. Permelia Bacon, a native of St. Louis County, Mo., died in Fresno County in her seventy-ninth year. The sons of the family are James Allen; Thomas, of Fresno; Charles F., of Hollister; and William, of Phoenix, Ariz. The daughters are Missouri A. Kirkland, of Arizona ; Elizabeth Campbell, of Sultana; Mary Smoot, of Cochran; and Martha Morris, of Arroyo Grande.

When he was ten years old James Allen Bacon accompanied his parents to Arkansas, where he was educated in a log school house. He drove a team to Tucson, Ariz., and remained there a year, driving a stage for Butterfield over a route east from Tucson some eighty miles, changing horses every ten hours at stations twenty miles apart. While thus employed he was twice attacked by Indians, but was saved by his swift horses. One of the red-skinned parties was in war paint. At another time his presence of mind enabled him to save his own life and that of his passengers as well. When he made his last trip as stage driver, Indians formed in line across the road and demanded whisky and tobacco. The passengers handed out their bottles, and while the Indians were drinking Mr. Bacon put whip to the horses and soon had the whole party out of danger.

Mr. Bacon's observations and experience would be interesting could they be given in full. He told of having seen a monument on the east border of Tulare County which was erected by General Scott in the early '50s. He was acquainted with the Dalton brothers, with Sontag and Evans and with James McKinney, and saw James McCreary hanged at Visalia. He said the condemned man had said he would never die with his boots on and pulled them off before going to the gallows. Mr. Bacon built a dwelling in the Orosi district, between Centerville and Visalia. He rode back and forth in all directions over this country before there was any fruit or grain raised here. He homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land east of Visalia and bought some railroad land. After he had gone into the sheep busi­ness, he met a man from Visalia to whom he traded for a horse a claim to one hundred and sixty acres of land where Orosi now stands, which is worth now $500 an acre. In the period 1860 to 1870 he saw thousands of antelope and wild horses and many Indians, and on ash__ slough and other swamps saw many elk. Bear were plentiful on the plains and many of them were killed for meat. Mr. Bacon himself killed fifty bears and was in many a desperate bear fight.

The Bacon family came on to California in 1859 and for a time James was employed by his uncle, James Fielding Bacon, in the stock business. In that same year he went to the mines at Princeton, in Mariposa County. After having been employed five years there, at Marysville and elsewhere, he went to Orosi and built his father's house. Later he again helped his uncle for many years in hog and stock-raising. He also found lucrative employment in driving stock to the southern mines. After the organization of the California Raisin Growers' Association he was active in its development.

On October 17, 1880, in Tulare County, Mr. Bacon married Sarah Edmiston, a native of Calaveras County, and a daughter of N. B. Edmiston. The family home was at Orosi after January, 1889. Mr. Bacon died July 3, 1912, in Fresno. His wife passed away, in her forty-seventh year, March 17, 1901. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Following are the names of five children who survive: Alice Maud, married William Mackersie, of Dinuba, and has two sons, Gerald Edward and William Kenneth; Thomas Allen, of Dinuba, married Cora Tracy and has one son, James Emerson; Edith Theodate married R. J. Reed and has one son, John Allen; Jessie Ethel is the wife of Jesse Furtney; and Elsie Viola. In his political affiliations Mr: Bacon was a Democrat, and was a member of the County central committee and was also elected and served two terms as a school trustee. As a man of public spirit he always took a helpful interest in the community.

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 791 -  832

Site Created: 16 January 2009
                                                                  Martha A Crosley Graham

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Site updated: 29 January 2018

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