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Full text of "History of Kern County, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present;"

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CSENEALOGY COLLECTION 



HISTORY OF 

KERN COUNTY 



CALIFORNIA 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 



The Leading Jlen and ^'omen of the Countii Ulio Have Been Tdentified 

]J'ith Its Growth and Development From tlie Early 

Days to the Present 



HISTORY BY 

WALLACE M. MORGAN 



ILLUSTRATED 
COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME 



^ 



HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 

1914 






CONTENTS 

1236250 



Introductory 17 

Kern County of Vast Size — Great Natural Wealth — Rapid Increase in Val- 
uations — Necessity of Large Capital — Early Indians Within Borders of 
County — Clash Between White and Red — First Mining in 1851 — Yellow 
Aster Mine— Land Patents and Water Rights— First Oil Developed in 1899 
—The High Point in the County History. 

CHAPTER I. 
A Description of Kern County 20 

Area of Countv — Boundaries — North Line 136 Miles in Length — South Line 
102 Miles Long— View of the Kern Valley— The West Side Oil Fields— 
Buena Vista Gas Belt — Recent Activity in the Oil Fields — Reclaimed Swamp 
Land — Miller & Lux Alfalfa Fields — Irrigation Canals Radiate from Bakers- 
field — Broad Belt of Irrigated Land — Citrus Mesa Skirts the Sierras — Begin- 
nings of Orange Culture — Water for Pumping Abundant — Cheap Power 
Available — Pumping Plants in Other Sections — Great Land Holdings— Kern 
River Oil Field — The Mountain Sections — Early Mining Country — Mountain 
Farming Districts — Ranclio El Tejon — The Desert Triangle Again — Bakers- 
field the Commercial Center. 

CHAPTER II. 

Indians and the Tejon Ranch 29 

Remains of a Prehistoric Village — Early Indian Tribes — The Yokut Indians 
— Living the Simple Life^Specimens of Indian Handicraft — Elaborate 
Ceremonials of the Race — Tribal Names and Characteristics — Distribution 
of Tribes — Civilizing the Indians — Plans of Lieutenant Beale to Protect 
and Prosper Indians — Renegade Indians — Serranos — The Tejon Rancli — 
Sold to Southern California Syndicate. 

CHAPTER III. 
Gold JIining from 1851 to 1875 35 

Rush in 1851 to Kern River — Quartz Mining at Keysville in 1852 — Mining 
the Kern River Placers in 1853 — Discovery of the Keys Mine in 1854 — The 
First Quartz Mill Hauled from San Francisco — Keys and Mammoth Mines 
— Town of Keysville — The Fort — Big Blue Mine and Whiskey Flat — Growth 
of Kernville — Founding of Havilah — Its Most Productive Mine — Fondness 
of Early Miners for Gambling — Other Mining Districts. 

CHAPTER IV. 

Beginnings of Agriculture and Stock-Raising 43 

First Comers were Sojourners Only — Trip Made by Audubon in 1849 — 
The South Fork Pioneers — Dangers of Early Days — The Mason & Henfy 
Gang — South Fork Valley — Early Settlers on the Kern Delta — The Immi- 
grant Road of the '50s — Site of Bakersfield in 1859 — Beginnings of the 
County's Cattle Industry — Some of the Very Old Timers — Beginning of 
the Sheep Industry — The Mexican Settlement — Catching Wild Horses as 
a Business — Stories of the Outlaw Vasquez — The Barnes Settlement. 

CHAPTER V. 

Floods and Swamp Reclamation 54 

Act of 1857 for Reclamation of Swamp Land — The First San Joaquin 
Valley Canal Project— The First State Highway— Attempts to Interest 
Capitalists — How a River in Flood Reclaimed a Swamp — Then the Drought 
Helped, Too— Baker Gets His Patent— Montgomery Patent Annulled— 
The State Did Not Get the Land — Beginnings of Bakersfield — First Settlers 
— First Cotton Crop — First Schools — F^reight Hauled from Los Angeles — 
Architecture in 1863— The Flood of 1867-68— Avalanches form Lakes— Flood 
Reaches Bakersfield — Reclamation Work Completed — Patent Granted to 
Colonel Baker. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VI. 



Organization of the County. 



County Created from Tulare and Los Angeles — First County Seat at Havilah 
— First County Officials — First Court House — First Election Precincts — 
First Election in the County — The Vote for Governor — Officers Elected — 
First Swamp Land District Organized — Agreement with Colonel Baker — 
Changes in the Swamp Land Laws — A Sheep Worth More Than an Acre 
of Land — The First Mountain Roads — Ferry Charges — Purchase of Toll 
Roads by the County. 

CHAPTER VII. 

The Coming of the Capitalists 66 

Era of Large Enterprise Begins — Bakersfield as it Was in 1870 — Sources 
of Ready Cash — Early Captains of Industry — Cotton Growers' Association 
Formed — Livermore and Redington Interests Sold — Kern County News of 
1871-73— Havilah Residents Move to Bakersfield— Death of Colonel Baker 
in 1872. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Bakersfield Becomes the County Metropolis 72 

History of Bakersfield a Story of Hope Deferred — Yet Always the City 
was Full of Life — Contest for County Seat Assumed Final Form in 1873 — 
Contest over Election — Bakersfield Made County Seat in 1874 by 22 Votes 
— Contract for Court House — First Incorporation of Town — First Officers 
— The First Hope Deferred — Delano Founded — The Story of Johnson's 
Ox-Team— News Notes of 1873-75- Bakersfield Disincorporated in 1876— 
The Town Marshal Then Retired. 

CHAPTER IX. 

The Contests Over W.\ter Rights Begin 80 

Large Negotiations by Capitalists — Withdrawal of Redington — Decline of 
Livermore and Chester — The Largest Plow Ever Built — Fertile Causes of 
Litigation — First Great Fight Over Water Rights — Purposes of Haggin and 
Carr — Carr's Dealing with the Ditch Companies — Plans to Gather in the 
Desert Lands — Enter Miller and Lux at Rear of Stage. 

CHAPTER X. 

A Collection of Disconnected Stories 89 

The Drought of 1877 — Disastrous in Its Effects — The Town of Tehachapi — 
Its Pioneers — Moving of Old Town to Railroad — First Apple Trees Planted 
About 1880— Delano Making Progress— The Last of Old Clubfoot— Lynch- 
ing of an Outlaw Gang — The Tehachapi Train Wreck — Importation of the 
Negroes— News Notes of 1886-93. 

CHAPTER XI. 
The Great Lux-Haggin Water Suit 98 

Involving Some Picturesque Characters, a Supreme Court Decision, Two 
State Irrigation Conventions, a Special Session of the State Legislature 
and an Historic Agreement — Some of Miller's Chief Lieutenants — Leaders 
of the Carr and Haggin Forces — Heads of the Rival Literary Bureaus — 
Julius Chester and Richard Hudnut — The Kern County Echo — The Great 
Water Suit — Kern River Plays Another Prank — Supreme Court Decides 
for Riparianists — Irrigators Everywhere Protested — Governor Calls Legis- 
lative Session — State Senate Deadlocks on Water Bills — The Miller-Haggin 
Agreement .Ends Litigation. 

CHAPTER XII. 

First Attempt at Colonization 110 

Haggin Decides to Colonize — Carr Gives Place to Fergusson— Many Plans 
for Progress — Fire Wipes out Business Section — Bakersfield Quickly Re- 
builds — Colonization on a Large Scale — Scions of Nobility Make Things 
Hum — An International Romance — Journalistic Exigencies Aid Cupid — 
Causes for Dissatisfaction in Rosedale Colony — Another Swamp Land Con- 
test — The Jastro Administration. 



CONTENTS Vll 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Important Events of a Decade, 1890-1900 117 

Desert Mining Booms — Traces of Early Prospectors — Discovery of the 
Yellow Aster — Other Famous Desert Mines — The Town of Randsburg — 
Discovery of Tungsten Mines — The Amalic District — Other Important 
Events — Gas and Electric Plants — First Street Railway — The First Levee 
Canal — The Great Railway Strike — Coxey's Army Comes and Goes — Twin 
Towns Incorporate — Companv G Responds to Duty — News Notes 1895- 
1900. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Development of Oil Fields 126 

Discovery of Great Oil Fields That Have Made the County Famous — Early 
Development at McKittrick — First Drilling Unsuccessful — Operators Move 
to Sunset— Refinery Established in 1891— McKittrick Railroad Built— Oil 
Boom Strikes West Side — Discovery of the Kern River Field — The Elwoods 
To be Credited with Discovery— The Great Boom— Sunset Railroad Built 
— Building of Pipe Lines Begun — .Associated Oil Company Formed — In- 
dependent .Agency Organized — A Democratic Concern — Varying Prices for 
Oil — Gushers Swamp the Market — The Boom of 1910 — Developments at the 
Marketing End — More Pipe Lines Built — Getting the Markets Organized 
— Efforts to Check Over-Production — Oil Land Withdrawals — The Pickett 
Bill— The Yard Decision— Smith Remedial Bill— .Asphaltum and Oil Refin- 
ing — Natural Gas Production — Natural Gas in Bakersfield — Making Gasoline 
from Gas — Some of the County's Famous Oil Gushers — Gushers Start 
Boom of 1910 — Lakeview Comes In — Product Swamps Pipe Line — The 
Consolidated Midwav — A Procession of Gushers — North Midway Gushers 
—Effect on the Oil Game— The Lost Hills Field— The Discovery Well. 

CHAPTER XV. 

Progress op the County from 1900 to 1918 148 

Development of Punfp Irrigation — Experiments at Wasco and McFarland — 
Development of the Citrus Belt — Pumping Plant Extension in 1912 — 
Planting .Apples at Tehachapi — Status of Fruit Growing in 1913 — Bakersfield 
in 1904— Good Times Return— Building Boom of 1909-10— Activity in 
Home-Building — Raising the Civic Standards — Consolidation of Bakersfield 
and Kern — Bakersfield Pave~ Her Streets — Bonds for County Roads — 
Public Buildings of 1900-1913— Church Building— Progress of Schools— The 
Rescue of Lindsay B. Hicks— News Notes 1899 to 1910. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Brief Histories of Kern County Towns 173 

Bakersfield in 1859 — Coming of Colonel Baker — Kern County Created — 
Bakersfield Formally Laid Out — Bakersfield Wins the County Seat — Bakers- 
field is Incorporated then Disincorporated — Another Era of Progress — The 
Big Fire — Colonization of Rosedale— Public LUilities in 1889-90 — Kern River 
Oil Boom— Present Prospects— West Side Oil Field Towns— Maricopa— 
Taft — Fellows — McKittrick — Lost Hills — Towns of the Valley Farming 
District — Delano — Wasco — Famosa — McFarland — Rio Bravo — Button willow 
— Shafter — Rosedale — Edison — Towns of the Mountain Section — Tehachapi 
—Glennville— Woody— Kernville— Isabella— Weldon— Onyx— Havilah—Ca- 
liente — Towns of the Desert — Randsburg — Johannesburg — Mojave — Rosa- 
mond. 



INDEX 



A 

Abels, Fred 1506 

Ackerley, C. H 1111 

Adams, G. F 150S 

Adams, James S.... 1260 

Adams, Verne L 1518 

Albrecht, Albert W 1418 

Aldrich, G. J 1363 

Alexander, Calvin B 596 

Alexander, Ford 1299 

Alexander, James 1085 

Allardt, Hugo F 472 

Allen, Charles E :. 1319 

Allen, Louis 921 

Amour, Augustine 1223 

Amourig, August 1202 

Andersen, Barney A 764 

Anderson. C. V 232 

Anderson, Frank 1476 

Andre, Andre 992 

Andre, Cyrille 494 

Annette, James L 1326 

Ansolabehere, Michel 1460 

Ansolabehere, Michel 1139 

Apalatea, Francisco 1377 

Applegarth, Clark 1276 

Ardizzi, Beneditto 1435 

Argy, Michael 1538 

Armstrong, William E 1368 

Arp, James H 446 

Ashe, Eliott M 1530 

Atkinson, Benjamin M 1377 

Atkinson, Thomas W 1376 

Atwell, Joe M 798 

Augsburger, John H 1332 

Avila, Mrs. Mary J 861 

B 

Bach, Philip 1323 

Bailey, E. W 1398 

Bailey, John E 857 

Bailey, Joseph L 857 

Baker, James L 1380 

Baker, Lynn W 1344 

Baker, R. T 872 

Baker, Col. Thomas 722 

Baker, Thomas A 460 

Bakersfield Brewing Co 1282 

Bakersfield Ice Delivery 472 

Baldwin, Frank H 1460 

Ball, Herbert G 663 

Ballagh, C. E 748 

Ballagh, E. E 1093 

Ballagh, Herbert A 730 

Bandettini, Almando 1508 

Bangsberg, O. C 1063 

Banks, Henry F , 1504 

Baptista, Christian and Margaret...- 763 

Barker, E. J 1405 

Barker, Vining E 1262 

Barlow, Hon. Charles A 207 



Barnett, Floyd H 1305 

Barr. James A 1280 

Barrett. Parker 1285 

Bates. J. W 1085 

Bates. Luther A 1551 

Batz, John B 231 

Bauman, Jacob 865 

Baumgartner, Joseph 1282 

Beardsley, Lewis A 1232 

Beck, Charles G 1392 

Becker, H. E 674 

Bemus. Erskine .. 1225 

Benjamin, Ernest V .. 1243 

Bennett, A. V .. 1374 

Bennett, Charles F.. .. 506 

Bennett, J. A .. 1399 

Bennett, John F .. 1312 

Bennett, Hon. Paul W .. 634 

Benson, Clarence D.. .. 738 

Benson, Millard D.. .. 1365 

Berges, Alexander ... - 868 

Bergsten. Albion R.. .. 1451 

Beringer. ?\Iilton D.. .. 629 

Bernard. Francois ... - 1432 

Bertrand, Jean E .. 944 

Bess, R. W....: ■ .. 582 

Bewley, R. L .. 1434 

Bidart, John .. 801 

Bimat, Bernard .. 901 

Bimat, Leon - 741 

Birchard, S. C ... 1385 

Blacker, Ezra N ... 537 

Blacker, Robert E... .. 1417 

Blackball. Alexander R M .. 1021 

Blaettler, Peter .. 1378 

Blair, Frank E ... 1060 

Blanc, Eli ... 1475 

Blanck, Ernest L ... 867 

Blankenship, Phil .... ... 1418 

Blodget. Hugh A ... 883 

Blood, Daniel H ... 1003 

Blood, E. K ... 1224 

Boese. Rev. John H. ... 1494 

Boggs, William S ... 360 

Boggs, Willis W ... 270 

Bohna, Henry ... 388 

Bolstad, Fred P ... 747 

Borda, Domingo .... ... 812 

Borel, Jean ... 1235 

Borgwardt, Henry L ... 772 

Bostaph, C. A ... 1371 

Bowles. P. E.. Jr ... 1123 

Bowman, Charles .... ... 1379 

Bramham. Virginia ... 1025 

Brandt, Henry J ... 1388 

Bratt, Frank O ... 857 

Bresson, Joseph ... 1297 

Breuch, William ... 642 

Brinkman, John J.... ... 677 

Brite, Charles R ... 1335 

Brite. Jesse D ... 1361 

Brite, John B .... 1331 



Brite. Liin- F 281 

Brittan, Edward F 1225 

Britz, Nick 1333 

Brockman Fred C 702 

Brooks, Thomas A 283 

Broom, Mrs Margaret M 1524 

Brower, CcNus 1037 

Brown, Andrew 213 

Brown, Edward S 1097 

Brown, Granville I 320 

Brown, H H 1205 

Brown, James F 1385 

Brown, L T 1491 

Brown, ^ewelI J M D 1257 

Brown, Thomas \V 751 

Browning, William J 1106 

Bruce, James L 897 

Brnndage Hon Benjamin 1012 

Brundage Benjamin L 1245 

Buchanan Lewis R 955 

Buckreus Fran? 330 

Bumgarner G M M D 1018 

Burge, E D 1448 

Burke, D^mel 722 

Burke, V ilter J 560 

Burkett, Georsje F 1539 

Burnes, Andrew \ 1235 

Burnham E L 1371 

Burns, F J 1364 

Burton, Robert 996 

Burubeltz Jean 1335 

Busby, Harrj C 1305 

Bush, Jonathan M 1485 

Byrns, Frank A 1211 

c 

Caldwell, George 1347 

CaldwelL James R 809 

Caldwell, John E 809 

Calhoun, George 1237 

Call, George W 1308 

Campbell, E B 985 

Canaday, John W 1441 

Canfield, W 1454 

Cannell, Thomas A 577 

Capdeville Jean B .. 1195 

Carlock, Francis M 645 

Carlock, Howard W 1429 

Carlton, Eugene R 995 

Carroll, J P 1193 

Carter, Da\ id 931 

Carter, J B 729 

Carver, Alexander 1435 

Carver, Mrs Louisa J 1251 

Cassady, Forrest \ 1462 

Castro, Albert U 879 

Castro, Domitilo 737 

Castro, Emilio C 1341 

Castro, Epifamo P 853 

Castro, Leonides 1168 

Castro, Perfecto C 1550 

Castro, Thomas C 1202 

Cattani, Peter 1544 

Cayori, Chris 1304 

Chadwick, Chessman J 633 

Chastan, Octa\e 846 

Chatom, Paul 756 

Chauvin, Alphonsc 1279 

Chavez, Gabriel 1467 

Chinette, John P 918 



Chittenden, James E 


760 


Christensen, Claus P 


668 


Claflin, Hon Charles L 


1250 


Clar, Miss Anna 


1477 


Clark, Fred C 


1446 


Clark, James \ 


1021 


Clark, Orville L 


216 


Clark, Samuel R 


1236 


dayman, John II 


256 


Clegg, William F 


1471 


Clement, Fred 


1378 


Clickard, John 


1466 


Cline, Christian \\ 


1338 


Clotfelter, Less 


1341 


Cochran, Joseph A 


1542 


Coffee, Dave 


927 


Coffee, George W 


1105 


Colby, C. B 


342 


Coleman, Harrj L 


1477 


Colm, W. W 


743 


Colton, Francis G 


1545 


Condict, Henr> F 


694 


Cook, D. B 


1180 


Cook, F. S 


1435 


Cook, L. R 


1471 


Cook, W. H , M D 


294 


Coolbaugh, Mrs Elizabeth 


865 


Coombs, Leslie D 


926 


Cooney, Joseph P 


1521 


Cooper, Charles F 


705 


Coppin, Thomas C 


1311 


Cornish, Thomas J 


948 


Corsett, Frank H 


1543 


Corti, Paul 


1157 


Coulter, Joel W 


687 


Coulter, L. D 


1363 


Cowan, Marshall R 


973 


Coyne, Martin 


1324 


Craghill. Edward W 


430 


Craig, Fred W 


1143 


Craig, J. N 


1463 


Grain, Mrs. Mice \ 


1390 


Crawford, Clinton B 


1343 


Crawford, James R 


1533 


Crichton, Da\c 


482 


Crippen, Fred N 


1412 


Crippen, S. G 


1423 


Crites, Angus J 


336 


Crites, Angus M 


1045 


Crites, Arthur S 


1244 


Crites, Mrs Louesa M 


1046 


Croft, J. H 


655 


Cromwell, Alexander H 


603 


Cross, Asa A 


1300 


Cross! John 


1370 


Crow, Lewis B 


793 


Cuda, Joseph 


134S 


Cuddeback, John P 


353 


Cuddeback, William N 


347 


Cummings, Clarence C 


1531 


Cummings, Edward G 


1531 


Cummins, Tliom.is L 


659 


Cuneo, P. J , M D 


1075 


Cunningham, W L 


341 


Curran, James 


407 


Curtzwiler, Charles W 


1246 


D 




Daggett, Charles E 


1552 


Dailey, Charles A 


1301 



Dalton. Archibald E 1306 

Daly, Charles 1413 

Darnul, John J 767 

David, Edward A 1467 

Davis, Elonzo P 609 

Davis, George 1516 

Davis, Ira B 896 

Davis, Philip M 151 1 

Davis, Walter E 1303 

Dawley, C. H 743 

Day, Charles E 420 

Dearborn, Judge Elias M 816 

Delfino, George 1157 

Demsey, Cyrus P., M.D 1047 

Denio, John B 315 

Dennen, LeRoy A 1513 

Derby, George W 1433 

Deuel. J. J., Sr 1214 

Deuel, J. J., Jr 501 

Devenney. Henry F l^'iU 

Dickey, C. L 1425 

Dickinson, Charles 1278 

Dickinson, James E 482 

Dixon, Archie H 828 

Dixon, Ola G 836 

Dodge, R. M 1386 

Doherty, William J 887 

Dooley, Joseph P 1368 

Doran, Peter 1510 

Dougherty, Dixon 324 

Dover, H. J 1553 

Dowd, Adolphus 1447 

Drader, Charles 356 

Duhart, Pierre 96S 

Dumble, Herman S 1184 

Duncan, Eugene B 350 

Duncan, M. A 434 

Dunlap, Henry C 1261 

Dunlop, Samuel J 1312 

Dunn, John M 1307 

Dunne, Cornelius 1139 

Durnal, J. A 1527 

Duschak, Simon 1528 

E 

Eardley, W. A.. 244 

Echenique, Miguel 944 

Echenique, Tomas 827 

Echols, A. B.... 1516 

Eckert, Mrs. Belle C 1394 

Eckhoff, Frederick J 1253 

Edmonds, Reuben ,\ 367 

Edwards, E. T 252 

Edwards, George B 403 

Edwards, J. G.. 1328 

Ehlers. Fredrick 1381 

Eiland. Edward F 858 

Ellis, Katharyn W , M D 344 

Elwood, Harry M , M D 956 

Emerson, Charles 1369 

Emmons, E. Carroll 1398 

Emmons, Hon. F J 1500 

Enas, John .529 

Endert, Joseph F 811 

Engelke, W. A 1454 

Engle. William H 1374 

Erb, E. J 1315 

Erickson, Henry K322 

Espitallier, Joseph 1548 
Espitallier, Marius M .. 1372 



Estribou, Jean B 1214 

Etcheverry, Fernando 1191 

Etcheverry, Peter 842 

Etzweiler, Harry A 1194 

Evans, Joseph L 563 

Eyraud, August P 589 

Eyraud, Jean 1549 

Eyraud, Joseph 921 

F 

Fairchild, Charles H : 521 

Fairchild, Margaret H 522 

Farmer, Milton T 891 

Farris, Hamilton 418 

Fechtner, Paul R 1537 

Fenneman, Henry H 850 

Ferguson, Andrew 1124 

Ferguson, W. A 803 

Fergusson, Reginald A., M.D 338 

Fether, Frank A 1026 

Fether, Harry D 1072 

Filben, Arthur B 1274 

First National Bank of Taft 450 

Fishell, Roland R 1489 

Flournoy, George 581 

Fogarty, Thomas H 1357 

Fogg, E. S., M.D 1224 

Follansbee, William G 706 

Forbes, A. D 348 

Forker, William N 1094 

Forsyth, Donald H 1420 

Foster, Edwin L 1249 

Foust, Andrew J 1457 

Foust, Levi E - 651 

Fox, C. A 957 

Fox, J. Frank 778 

Frazier, William W 1523 

Freear, Charles H 906 

Freear, Henry T 683 

Freear, Horace R 475 

Freear, James A 214 

Freear, John A 209 

Freear, Joseph P 498 

Freeman, Albert W 271 

Freeman, Hon. James W 1212 

Freligh, Andrew 433 

Fry, Charles H 1384 

Fry, John A 1000 

Fry, Joseph B 752 

Fuller, Rev. Edgar R 969 

Fultz, Thomas S 1542 

G 

Galbraith, G. H 961 

Gallman. John J 366 

Galloway, Ralph E 262 

Galtes, Paul 307 

Gardette, Peter 197 

Gardner, John A 368 

Gardner, J E 1048 

Gates, N. M 1367 

Geddes, Charles E 1426 

Geiger, Felix 1487 

General Hospital of Taft 373 

Getchell, C E 718 

Giboney, C L 1325 

Gilfillan, Adam W 417 

Gill, John L 810 

Gillespie. J E 819 



XI 



Gillespie, Patrick 1056 

Gillette, Edward D 623 

Gilli, Peter 541 

Girard, Joseph Ill 

Girard, Jules 1539 

Giraud, Cyrille 1524 

Gist. Jabez R 981 

Glanville, Oscar 565 

Glenn. Mrs. Sarah 1330 

Goode, Albert S 489 

Goode, O. P 1416 

Goodman, H. S 1277 

Gormley, F. B 673 

Gould, Bert E 1353 

Graham. James T 1404 

Grant, James C 1431 

Gray, Jonathan E 453 

Green, A. B 1339 

Green, Bernard G 1372 

Green, Bert 1041 

Green Brothers 1041 

Green. Clarence S 678 

Green. John L 1041 

Green, John T 429 

Greer. Jefferson M 1483 

Gribble, Fred L 1450 

Grimaud, Stanislaus 1269 

Grogg, E. A 1326 

Guiberson, Lorraine P 463 

Gunderson, Robert 1445 

Gundlach, Max. Jr 1554 

Gunn, William W 1541 

H 

Haberfelde, George C 1167 

Haberkern, Charles F 374 

Haese. Otto 1011 

Haimes, Reginald F 1150 

Hall, Hon. Fred H 219 

Halloran. John 1465 

Halter. Joseph J 1273 

Hamilton, E, M 999 

Hamilton, John E 278 

Hamilton, Truman W 1497 

Hamlin, Francis A., M.D 313 

Hanning, Cecil H 1215 

Harbaugh, Isaac W 1176 

Harding, Jack 1119 

Hardisty, Charles 1407 

Hare, Frederick E 1445 

Harman. Lane S 269 

Harmon. William 1052 

Harrington, Albert L 578 

Harris, Witten W 868 

Hart, Charles M 1356 

Hart, John 1175 

Harvey, John H 1428 

Harvey, Thomas N 234 

Hastings, George 1045 

Hatfield, George W 1346 

Hath. H. J 1329 

Hay, George 225 

Hayden, James M 756 

Hayes, Emmett L 1147 

Heard, J. W 1500 

Heasley, WilHam E 1470 

Heck. E. P 341 

Heck. O. C 341 

Heldman. Charles H 1078 

Helm. Lesrey G 1440 



Helm, Thaddeus W liZ 

Henderson, George D 1278 

Henderson, Lawrence 1526 

Henderson. William L 1534 

Hendrickson, John J 842 

Hern, J. J 1416 

Herod, Clarence L 1247 

Herod, James 744 

Hickey, John . 637 

Hicks, J. W.... 1459 

Hiemforth, Peter 1188 

Higley. E D 1320 

Hill. Fred \ 718 

Hill, F. F 349 

Hill. Paul C 1011 

Hill. Roland G 510 

Hill. William 11 207 

Hilliard. Weslo> W 1210 

Hillman, Earl 1527 

Hirsch. L. A.. 1334 

Hitchcock, Charles D 1064 

Hoagland, Arthur E 1427 

Hochheimer, Ira 1165 

Hoenshell, David L 1266 

Holden, Rev. John P 566 

Holland, W. J 569 

Holmes, Calvin H 1336 

Holmes, Fred S 1488 

Holmes, Myron 268 

Holson, Dell J 1213 

Holtby, Robert M 564 

Holthe. Oscar \ 1396 

Hopkins. Hariy A 355 

Hopper. Leonard 748 

Hopper, Thoma-, 797 

Hornung. Paul 1051 

Hosking. Henry 1201 

Hougham, Edward I 438 

Houser, William M 111 

Howell, William A 293 

Hubbard, John E 875 

Hudson, Hon. R J 295 

Hughes, H. Guy 763 

Hughes, R. C. 1388 

Hunt. R. R 1529 

Hunter, Alva 1325 

Hur.st. Willis E 1528 

Hutchins, V. G 837 

Hydron, James F 380 

I 

Illingworfh, Carlos G 862 

Irwin, Hon. Rowen 263 

J 

Jackson, Charles W 446 

Jackson, David \ 1120 

Jacobs, A. Neal 1415 

Jacoby, Abraham 973 

James, J. B 1495 

James. Walter 394 

Jameson, John M 476 

Jasper, Mrs. Hariiet 693 

Jastro, Harry \ 1230 

Jastro. Henry \ 195 

Jensen, H. P. 1215 

Jessup, John R 507 

Jewett, Mrs. Catherine ^ 1296 

Jewett. Frank C 1314 



Jewett, Philo L 222 

Jewett, Solomon 1292 

Jewett, S. Wright 1059 

Johndrow, Louis F 1015 

Johnson, Charles F 812 

Johnson, Charles W 922 

Johnson, John 595 

Johnson, John P -. 1042 

Johnson, J. Thomas, M.D 424 

Johnson, Mrs. Melvina 1505 

Johnson, Richard A 1517 

Johnston, Charles N 545 

Johnston, George K 837 

Johnston, H. D 1056 

Johnston, Lucius 689 

Jones, J. A 1554 

Jones, Joseph G 1410 

Jones, Paul R 1390 

Jordan, Judson H 467 

Jorgensen, George 1532 

Joughin, William D 1133 

Judd, Frank S 709 

K 

Kaar, Charles H 1161 

Kaar, Jacob F 1162 

Kaar, John Ill 

Kammerer, George 672 

Kamprath, Otto R 514 

Karns, Ernest 1097 

Kaye, W. W 203 

Kean, Michael T 1116 

Keene, Arthur M 1483 

Keester, Lloyd P 1048 

Keleher, T. P 1456 

Kellermeyer, Edward C 872 

Kelley, Franklin C 1318 

Kelley, George C 1317 

Kelley, Jesse L 1082 

Kelly, John W 1495 

Kelly, W. W 789 

Kerr, Charles 1075 

Kersey, Joe D 1530 

Kersey, Mrs. Lizzie 1467 

Kidd, A. M 1313 

Kimball-Stone Drug Store 233 

King, George W 1384 

King, Layton J 674 

Kingston, Thomas S 1376 

Kinton. Miss Ella B 1459 

Kirsten, A. C. Julius 891 

Kitchen, Charles E 1071 

Kizziar, WilHam L 902 

Klingenberg, August 1477 

Klipstein, Henry W 385 

Klipstein, Thomas E 909 

Knight, Harry S 958 

Knoke, J. C 1425 

Knowlton, Kent S 962 

Koch, John 1438 

Kosel, Peter 1550 

Kramer, Otto 1409 

Kratzmer, August 978 

Kueffner, Rev. Louis 550 

Kuehn, George W 1268 

L 

Lafont, Valentin 1339 

Laird, Rollin 1253 

Laird, William H., M.D 569 



LaMarsna, Gerard C 1515 

Lamb, Patrick 1284 

Lambert, Peter 771 

Lapsley, James T 1529 

Larsen, Christian P 1289 

Larson, Lewis H 1140 

Lavers, Frederick 768 

Lavers, William A 755 

Leake, W. R 419 

LeGar, Keith B 1401 

Leieritz, E. H 781 

Lewis, Edwin T 797 

Lichtenstein. ]\I. M 1081 

Lieb, Edwin P 1473 

Lierly, W. S 308 

Lightner, Abia T 227 

Lindberg, M. A 1442 

Lindgren, Charles J 1231 

Lindgren, Otto P 1302 

Little, C. C 987 

Little, Lindsey B 1301 

Lock. J. R 1333 

Long, E. R 1282 

Long, Samuel C 570 

Lonstrom, Axel 1456 

Lopez, Jose J 880 

Lorentzen. Paul 288 

Lovejoy, George W 1525 

Lowell, Alexis F 619 

Lowell, William H 660 

Lowell, Wilmot 1243 

Lueschen, Alvin G., M.D 296 

Lufkin, Harry R 210 

Lugo. Jose M 1412 

Lutz. Emil T 1348 

M 

McCaffrey, James 1400 

McCaffrey, John 1541 

McCall, L. A 1370 

McCarthy, Jeremiah 943 

McCarthy, William J 1125 

McCausIand, George W 1440 

McClimans. John J 1449 

McClintock, H. H 690 

McClure, William H 1475 

McCombs, Albert J 1101 

McCoy, Charles H 895 

McCullouch, Benjamin F 1239 

McCullough, Harvey N 876 

McCutchen, Edmund W 267 

McCutchen, George W 261 

McCutchen, James B 249 

McCutchen, Preston S 243 

McCutchen, P. J 1300 

McCutchen, Robert L 275 

McCutchen, V. D 1107 

McCutchen, W. C 255 

McDonald, Dan 1332 

McDonald, J. C 1034 

McFarland, James B 442 

McFarlane, Peter J 1501 

McGill, R. W 1453 

McGovern, Thomas H 505 

McGuire, Robert R 1041 

McKamy, James 671 

McKee, Milo G 684 

McKenzie, M. K., M.D 314 

McKinnie, Carle T 555 

McLean, George A 888 



Xlll 



McMahon, Edward T 656 

McManus, Terence B 372 

McMillen, John H 549 

McMurtry, H. A 1452 

McNamara, Thaddeus M., M.D 546 

McNamara, Thaddeus M 221 

McNew, Hugh L 342 

Maddux, David W 1078 

Maddux, William A 1089 

Maguire, James T 1196 

Mahon. Hon. Jack W 319 

Maio, John F 1479 

Mannel, Frederick E 1327 

Mansfield, James H 1380 

Marek, Joseph F 1345 

Marion, Albert W .-. 555 

Marley, John C 706 

Marsh, Fred J 910 

Marsh, Judson D 1209 

Marshall, Joseph J 433 

Martin, David E 1029 

Martin, Miles R., Jr 1206 

Martin, Richard J 781 

Martin, S. H 1321 

Martinto, Jean P 1350 

Massa, Harry G 1474 

Mathews, Sarshel V 1429 

Matlack, William V 238 

Mattly, Christian 335 

Mattly, Peter 1365 

Mattson, Frank S 574 

Maurel, August 1086 

May, Mrs. Amelia H 1112 

May, Charles A 1342 

May, George S 1264 

Mayou, Pierre 1501 

Maze, Frederick S 697 

Means, Thomas A 371 

Menzel, William 490 

Mercy Hospital 895 

Metcalf, Thomas A 437 

Meudell, A. Y 533 

Mier, Jose 1410 

Mikesell, Mrs. W. M 698 

Miles, J. A. C 1323 

Millard, Edward F 1166 

Millard, Stephen W 1383 

Miller, Daniel R 1478 

Milliff, Frank A 1405 

Minor, Theodore H 413 

Molidor, George 428 

Mon, Vincent 1535 

Monroe, W. P 573 

Montgomery, James 738 

Montgomery, Richard D 1480 

Moore, Raleigh A 802 

Mora, Frank J 1401 

Morgan, Alvin E 1258 

Morgan, Rev. Edward 1436 

Morgan, James A 1295 

Morgan, Wallace M 614 

Morley, Joseph V 1395 

Morris, Clark D 1205 

Morris, John F 1387 

Morris, Myron W 1503 

Morris, R. R 1555 

Morrison, Charles V 1419 

Mortenson, Capt. Paul 1408 

Morton, A. S 1101 

Mosher, Herbert C 329 



Moss, A. L.. 1535 

Moss, H. G 849 

Moynier, Jean 901 

Mull, P 1350 

Mull, Robert J 1366 

Munzer, Franc li G 316 

Murdock, Harry F 624 

Myers, Jasper 1422 

N 

Neff, J. R.. 526 

Neill, John 1381 

Neill, Robert 502 

Nelson, Christian 1352 

Nelson, David W 1240 

Newell, Daniel B 630 

Newsom, Edward F 1443 

Newton, Frank H 1469 

Nicolas, Maurice 1270 

Nicoll, John 1524 

Niederaur, Jacob 251 

Nighbert, George T 1297 

Nixon, Andrew 1369 

Noel, Fritz C 1255 

Noriega, Faustino M 1286 

Norris, Edward G 258 

Norris, James N 296 

Norris, Robert T 820 

Nortlirop, Earl lOSS 

Nunez, :\Iax 1093 

o 

O'Boyle, Thomas J 337 

O'Donnell, Mary 832 

O'Hare, Peter 534 

O'Meara, P. J 1444 

Ochs, Oscar R 1298 

Odeman, Gus 1216 

Off, Charles I-" 397 

Ogden, James \ 441 

Olson, Anthony B 293 

Orcier, Romulus 374 

Orr, Frank . 1465 

Osborn, Walter 240 

Oswald, John S 537 

Overall, Joseph W 1511 

Owen, Erwin W 1230 

Owen, Josiah 1234 

Owen, Ray 1464 

Owens, Thomas E 1546 

Owens, Troy M 1484 

P 

Palmer, Robert 1198 

Palmer, Walter 1038 

Parish, George W 530 

Parker, James IT 1242 

Parsons, Horace G 626 

Pascoe, M. W M D 215 

Pauly, Leo G 379 

Payne, J. C. 701 

Payne, Mahlon 1406 

Peacock, Harrison R 479 

Peairs, Howard A 853 

Pearl. M. J.. 1323 

Pearson, Mordecai F 1537 

Peck, William B 542 

Pemberton, George N 815 

Pensinger, James H 742 



Pensinger, William W 1120 

Perry, William C 1348 

Pesante, Mrs. Adeline 1362 

Petersen, Niels P., 497 

Petersen, Peter 1176 

Petray, Mrs. Pauline D 656 

Petroleum Club, The 1437 

Pettus, Martin N 1358 

Petz, George J 1105 

Peyton, L 1391 

Pfost, Joseph F 925 

Phelan, Harry B 1130 

Philipp, Jean 1549 

Philipp, Jean L 1378 

Pickle, John A 1226 

Pierce, Charles C 1209 

Pinnell, Thomas W 1296 

Pippitt, George H 1359 

Plaugher, John P 1153 

Polhemus, A. B 1421 

Posch, Gustav 468 

Pourroy, Jean 1496 

Pourroy, Seraphim 486 

Powell, Francis M 1319 

Powell, H. G 1392 

Powers, Sidney 1077 

Preble, Mrs. Margaret H 1192 

Premo, George W 1154 

Prendiville, Rev. J. J 1165 

Prouty. Herbert V., M.D 309 

Q 

Quails, Oliver 1411 

Quincy, Charles H 457 

Quinn, Harry 327 

Quinn, Margaret 832 

R 

Ragesdale, J. W 838 

Raine, Arthur E 982 

Rambo, Harry C 1108 

Ramsey, John C 591 

Randolph, E. W 1274 

Randolph, E. W 1532 

Raney, James A 1487 

Rankin, LeRoy 1315 

Rankin, Walker 1473 

Ranous, R. E 1498 

Ratliff, William T 1008 

Raymond, Jean B 1393 

Raymond, John A 1303 

Real, C. E 836 

Rechnagel, Charles 977 

Redlick,- Joseph 11)67 

Rees, R. B., M.D 525 

Rench, Arthur W 1129 

Rhea, E. S 1397 

Richard, George J 1553 

Richart, Joy J 1493 

Rinaldi, Otto F 835 

Ripley, John 458 

Ripple, Jacob N 1497 

Ritzman, Conrad 957 

Roberts, Col. E. M 201 

Roberts, James C 310 

Roberts, James E 1464 

Roberts, John E 1187 

Robinson. .Monzo B 741 

Robinson, J 583 

Robinson, Percy L 1211 



Rodgers, Warren 932 

Rodoni, A 1340 

Rogers, Jesse R 1144 

Rooks, William J 1149 

Ross, Harvey L 1126 

Ross, Lyman C 1349 

Rowlee, Charles W 928 

Ruby, Mrs. Amanda 600 

Ruedy, Christian 365 

Rufener, Jules 392 

Rupp, Alfred 350 

Rupp, J. G 1191 

Russell, J. Kelly 951 

Russell, William P 590 

s 

Sabichi, George C, M.D 1217 

Saffell, J. M 1259 

Said, Bellamy K 652 

Salis, Peter 1133 

Sallee, George H 1208 

Samuelson, John P 1098 

Sanguinetti, Henry 1331 

San Joaquin Hospital 832 

San Joaquin Light & Power Corp... 1402 

Sanzberro, Agustin 1180 

Sartiat, Pierre 651 

Savoie, Adlore 1492 

Schaffnit, Henry R 509 

Schamblin, Gustavus 359 

SchiefTerle, Charles 529 

Schneider, E. J 1422 

Schneider, Karl 1004 

Schultz, William J 613 

Schutz, Herman H 1015 

Scofield, Fred N 1298 

Scott, Marion J 599 

Scott, M. P 1277 

Scott, Robert L 608 

Scott & Goodman 1277 

Seager, Carey L 257 

Sears, Charles H 1220 

Sears, Charles N 284 

Sedwell, George W 1550 

Seibert, Benjamin F 1187 

Seinturier, Hippolyte 373 

Sellers, C. H 574 

Seran, Joseph 1004 

Seymour, W. S 1514 

Shackelford, Dick 1540 

Shackelford, Rowzee F 1018 

Shaffer, George W 1284 

Shannon, Phares H 1513 

Shearer, George W 1256 

Sheedy, David 1397 

Sheffler, H. Roy 1430 

Sherman, Charles H 684 

Sherwood, Edgar E 1509 

Sherwood, Fred C 1455 

Shields, Jeremiah 1086 

Shively, Delbert A 583 

Shurban, Charles H 1461 

Siemon, Alfred 1223 

Silber, WiUiam G 1396 

Sill, B. H 898 

Silver, Andrew C 378 

Simpson, R. N 1439 

Simpson, Hon. William E 1229 

Sloan, A. A 591 

Smartt, Samuel G 538 



XV 



Smetzer, Charles C 687 

Smith, Bedell 393 

Smith, Charles D 1450 

Smith. Charles H 481 

Smith, E. C 1316 

Smith, Frederick 1025 

Smith, Fred L 1366 

Smith, Henry E 966 

Smith, jMateo 1263 

Smith, Mel P 1022 

Smith, Hon. Sylvester C 299 

Smith. Thomas H 620 

Smith, Thomas S 939 

Snider, George L 1033 

Snow. Francis M 1375 

Sola, Jose 1221 

Sowash. Charles 846 

Spach, Thomas M 1503 

Spears, H. H 1352 

Spencer, James A 1544 

Sproiile, George C 638 

Sproule. William A 1017 

Stahl, John G 943 

Stapp, Mary E. M 1433 

Star Soda Works 1339 

Stark. Jesse 1295 

Stephenson. W. W 510 

Stevens, James M :. 910 

Stevenson, J. H 289 

Stier, Joseph P 1341 

St. Lawrence Oil Co 706 

Stockton, Isaac D., M.D 1290 

Stockton, Robert L 287 

Stone, James E 233 

Stroble, G. F 1183 

Stutsman, Grant 1414 

Suiter, Benjamin F. and Mayme B.... 803 

Sullivan, Timothy P 471 

Sumner, Hon. Joseph W 237 

Sweitzer, Samuel 1547 

Swett, John L 1373 

Swofford, Alfred 1171 

Sybrandt, Mrs. Emeretta C 1247 

T 

Talbot, William G .". 871 

Tam, Hon. Joseph H 245 

Taussig, Nathan W 607 

Taylor, Albert M 936 

Taylor, Charles C 1382 

Taylor, Charles L 1207 

Taylor, Charles S 1457 

Taylor, George E 1424 

Taylor. John T. . 427 

Taylor, Orrin R. 838 

Taylor, Walter C 1555 

Taylor,' William H D 1309 

Teague, J. J 1508 

Templeton, Charles, Jr 824 

Templeton & Co 824 

Thomas, Burt 1452 

Thomas, Marcus B .. 1512 

Thomas, William H 1241 

Thomas, W. O. . 1468 

Thompson. E. J 1310 

Thompson. L. T. 734 

Thompson. Ralph H 1275 

Thompson. W. N 1030 

Thomson. David E 1281 

Thorand. Anton 610 



Thornbcr, James H 710 

Thornburgh, George P 1463 

Tibbet, Mrs Rebecca 1076 

Tibbetts, Charles B 1474 

Tibbetts, Frank C 917 

Timmons, William B 1228 

Todd, George 11 349 

Tomaier, Charles 1522 

Tough, Frederick B 1294 

Tracy, Mrs. Ellen M 785 

Tracy, Ferdinand A 667 

Tracy, William 517 

Tracy, Mrs. William 518 

True, Henry B 987 

Truesdell, Edward M 914 

Tryon, S. G 1543 

Tschurr, Nicklas 1034 

Tuculet, Peter 1362 

Tyler, William 786 

Tyrer. John 1355 

u 

Underwood, Vernon L 717 

Underwood. William E 641 

Union Ice Company 472 

Upton. John V 1261 

Upton. William 713 

Urie. George W 1458 

V 

Vaccaro. Joseph 1361 

Vandaveer, Mrs. Emma L 1161 

Van Epps. Franklin L 1470 

Van Meter, William E 1415 

Van Norman. Harvey A 454 

Van Orman. Mrs. Harriet 246 

Vaughn, Benjamin C 559 

Vaughn. Fred B 1337 

Verdier, Eugene 1304 

Vieux, Andre 1067 

Villard, Ambroise 786 

Villard, Pierre 1268 

Vrooman. Charles M 759 

w 

Wagy, J. 1 827 

Waldon. Pinkney J 1227 

Walford, Herbert W 1272 

Wallace, William 1148 

Wallen, Frank W 1196 

Waller. George 668 

Walser Brothers 906 

Walser. Daniel V\ 940 

Walter, Jacob 782 

Walters. E. W 1172 

Walters. Raymond I 1520 

Wangenheini Albert L 1351 

Wanner. Rev Joseph 592 

Warren. Amos F 408 

Warren. Arthur R 1521 

Wasson. John L 646 

Watkins. Francis M 1391 

Watson. Gordon W 423 

Weaber. Arthur 1238 

Weaver. A. M 1337 

Weaver. William H 404 

Weedall. Albert 1358 

Weferling. Herm m \ 1334 

Weichelt. ChuMiin 823 



Weichelt, Gaudenz 1360 

Weichelt, John 831 

Weit, Edward 1375 

Weitzel, M. L 1134 

Wells, Hyman B 1090 

Weringer, Joseph 913 

West, Henry D 947 

West, Rev. James S 714 

Whaley, J. H 1038 

Whelan, Roger 939 

Whitaker, Charles 1519 

Whitaker, E. H 584 

Whitaker, George E 1267 

Whitaker, William F 1055 

White, C. LeRoy 1472 

White, James M 1481 

White, Richard E 1449 

White, William G 551 

Whittier, Charles G 599 

Whyte, J. M 1507 

Wible, Simon W 323 

Wilhelm, W. S 198 

Wilhite, Richard T 603 

Wilkes, W. Perry 1354 

Wilkins, George M 1007 

Wilkinson, Nathaniel R 1502 

Williams, E. S 1492 

Williams, Hibbard S 1221 

Williams, John R 1287 

Williams, Nicholas J 935 



Williams, Percy A 365 

Williams, Samuel A 552 

Williams, William A 556 

Willis, Frank T 955 

Willow, E. L 387 

Wilson, Mark : 1394 

Wilton, John 1514 

Winney, E. E 832 

Winser, Philip 1271 

Wirth, Christian A 1490 

Wirth, Wilhelm A 1384 

Wiseman, Thomas B 793 

Withington, Robert W 1294 

Women's Improvement Club 688 

Woodson, Daniel B 1536 

Woody, Elmer H 485 

Woody, Stonewall A 401 

Worley, J. S 1112 

Worthington, Frank M 988 

Worthington, Lewis C 1248 

Wright, Fred 445 

Wright, Mrs. Walter 372 

Wynn, Charles H 1530 

Y 

Yancey, George A 1179 

Yancey, Joseph E 729 

Yarbrough, Ernest E 824 

Young. Thomas M 493 




/7Jl^^^-^3L.<.^ 




(^A^^^ 



HISTORICAL 



INTRODUCTION 

To read Kern Ciiunl\-'s hislory arii^ht. U> luulersland its iiKitixc forces, 
to get in liarmony with the spirit of its people and lii i<now \vh_\- certain 
otherwise inexplicable events and conditions came to pass, it is necessary 
to keep in mind several things. I'irst of all, there always has been some 
big thing doing in Kern County. It is a county of vast size, and its treasures 
of natural wealth are wonderful in their richness and tremendous in their 
variety, range and magnitude. Think of 200,000 acres of svvainp land, worth 
from $50 to $100 per acre now and soon to be worth twice these amoiuits, 
selling within the memory of men now living for fifty cents to a dollar per 
acre and to be acquired from an easy-going state for e\en less than this. 
Think of the great expanse of desert lands almost as cheap and almost as 
valuable. Think of great oil wells flowing from ten thousand to twent\^ 
thousand barrels of oil per day and leagues on leagues of oil lands to be had 
for the going and taking. Think of such manifest richness as this and under- 
stand what dreams the pioneers indulged in, what cupidity and greed of 
gain were fostered, what clashes of strong, aggressive, resourceful men the 
scramble to possess these bounties of nature brought about. 

Remember, then, that all these riches, lying about with such apparent 
abandon, were chained fast and locked tight with locks that golden keys 
alone could open. A penniless man could squat on a piece of government 
land, but it would cost several hundred or possibly several thousand dollars 
even to provide water for irrigating it and otherwise bring it to a jioint where 
the homesteader could make a living from it. A man with $30 or $40 could 
locate an oil claim, but it might cost from $10,000 to $50,000 to get enough 
oil to prove the land and secure a patent. 

Add to these reflections an appreciation of the pioneer's character — the 
daring, the resource, the gift of prophecy that enables him to see in faith 
the things that may not be realized for generations to come, the lack of 
perspective that deceives him into reaching out his hand to grasp these things 
that are a century beyond his time ; the genial hospitality, the never-failing 
sense of humor, and the buo\^ant optimism that covers every loss and every 
defeat with a hope and assurance of better success next time. Understand 
and remember all these things while I touch, first the high jilaces, the 
epoch-making events, in the historv of Kern county, and then recount the 
tale with greater circumstance. 

The Story in Outline 

Long before either the American or the Spanish occupation, the territory 
now comprised within the borders of Kern county was the home of man}' 
Indians of diiTerent tribes. They were not of a high order of intelligence, 
even for savages, and they left few traces save their rude weapons and 
utensils and their bones, lying in shallow graves or strewn whitening on 
the plain where some pestilence had descended upon a village and left none 
with strength or heart to bury the dead. 

The early Spaniards established no missions in Kern county, but expe- 
ditions sent out by the padres in search of savage souls to save crossed the 
mountains and carried back with them numbers of the younger braves to the 
chapels, farms and workshops where they got some inkling of the forms of 



18 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

religion, learned a little of how the white man works, came to know and 
practice some of the white man's vices, and found out that there were better 
things to eat than acorns and grass seed pounded in a mortar. So when 
the white man came, these young Indians, having returned to their tribes, 
knew how to work for him and how to steal from him and how to kill and 
eat his cattle. 

When the inevitable clash between the whites and the red men came, 
Lieutenant Beale, placed in charge of Indian affairs in the state by the 
Washington authorities, gathered the tribes at El Tejon under a patriarchal 
form of government patterned in part after the methods of the mission fathers 
and in part after the customs and practices of the United States army. 

The first white men who sojourned in the county were hunters, trappers, 
small stockmen and farmers who lingered beside the old immigrant trail and 
raised a crop of corn on the rich Kern delta or sought out the fat mountain 
meadows for their herds. But the fame of what is now Kern county did not 
spread abroad until the eager, restless swarms of gold hunters had worked 
their way down the Sierras from the north and found the first shining, 
yellow lumps that the Kern river placers yielded up. This was in 1851. The 
great rush to Kern river was in 1853-4. In the latter year Richard Keys 
discovered the Keys mine, and Keysville became one of the foremost goals of 
the fortune hunters. In 1860 Lovely Rogers chipped a chunk of ore from the 
Big Blue ledge and started the stampede that developed the roaring mining 
camp of Whisky Flat where the pleasant town of Kernville now stands. 

Havilah's wealth was uncovered in July, 1864, and within ten or a dozen 
years thereabout — before and after — Long Tom, Greenhorn, Sageland, Piute, 
Claraville, Tehachapi, White river, Woody and a score of lesser names 
became familiar in the lexicon of the gold miners, and every gulch and cation 
from White river to Tejon had been searched out by burros and bearded 
men with picks and pans and packs of beans and bacon. Since those years 
mining in Kern county has seen its ups and downs, but always it has been 
going on, and always there has been the lure of possible sudden wealth 
down to the day when F. M. Mooers woke from a deep and heavy slumber 
in a desert gulch to see a myriad of tiny yellow eyes winking down at him, 
(as he lay there drowsily on his back) from the ledge that afterward made him 
a millionaire and made millionaires, also, of his partners, Burchard and Sin- 
gleton of the world-famous Yellow Aster. Then came the tungsten mines, 
the silver mines of Amalie, the copper ledges barely touched, and all the other 
later mines of the mountains and the desert. 

Even before 1857 far-sighted men had seen that the great, enduring 
wealth of Kern county lay in its magnificent agricultural and horticultural 
possibilities, and in that year the legislature passed an act providing for the 
reclamation of all the swamp and overflowed land within the county's present 
borders and extending north beyond Tulare lake, half a million acres, or so, 
all told. W. F. Montgomery, Joseph Montgomery, A. J. Downes and F. W. 
Sampson were given the franchise to reclaim all this land, but their rights were 
acquired by Col. Thomas Baker, founder of Bakersfield, and Harvey S. Brown. 
Baker was the active member of the partnership, and inaugurated the reclama- 
tion and irrigation enterprises that later engaged the efforts of some of the 
largest and most powerful corporations in the west and brought on a legal 
battle over water rights that focused the attention of the entire state. 

Floods and droughts combined to help Colonel Baker in his tremendous 
task of reclamation, and he got patent to 89,120 acres of the choicest land 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 19 

in the state. Later the patent was annulled by the district court, and new 
patents were issued to others who had bought lands from Baker and passed 
through the forms, at least, of reclaiming them. Livermore and Chester 
succeeded Colonel Baker as the dominant factor in the county's development, 
taking over his projects and enterprises as the fact developed that Baker 
had not the financial resources with which to carry out his plans. By the 
same inexorable law of the survival of the financially best fitted, Livermore 
& Chester gave way to Redington & Livermore, and Redington & Livermore 
retreated before the superior financial strength of Haggin & Carr. 

Then came the battle royal between Haggin & Carr (really Haggin, 
Tevis & Carr) and Miller & Lux; a contest that involved a supreme court 
decision on the subject of riparian rights, called two great state conventions 
of irrigators and water appropriators. occasioned a special session of the 
legislature, and finally ended in an historic compromise that left the honors 
even between the two giants and paralyzed for unknown years the efforts to 
give the state laws that would fix and determine the ownership and control 
of irrigating waters for all time to come. 

Running through the story of the contest over the disposition of the 
waters of Kern river is the story of the acquisition of the desert lands included 
in the county, and the acquisition by the same parties of many thousands 
of acres of railroad and other land, all of which were included in the present 
magnificent holdings of the Kern County Land Company. The water contests 
settled, there was launched the great plan of colonization of the Haggin 
lands, a project the path of which was strewn with wrecked hopes and 
general failure, not on account of the land, not on account of the water, not on 
account of the colonists or the colonizers, but because of a thousand incidental 
errors and difficulties, and most of all because all the necessary ingredients 
of success, abundantly present, got improperly mixed. With an expensive 
lesson to reflect on and with complaints and accusations sounding everywhere 
in their ears, Haggin and his associates retired from the colonization job as 
far as they could get, and made an immense grain, alfalfa and stock farm out 
of the principality that some day (together with the other principality that 
is held in similar fashion by Miller & Lux) will furnish homes for tens of 
thousands of people and make Kern county an agricultural empire, the 
superior of which has never flourished. 

Then came the development of the great Kern county oil fields. I^ros- 
pected in a tentative, ineffectual manner since the days of the Civil war, the 
real exploration and exploitation of the oil fields did not begin until after the 
country at large had recovered from the financial panic of 1893 and had 
looked about with new courage and eagerness for new outlets for its returning 
energy and vigor. Development began in other fields of the state, but soon 
spread to the west side of Kern county, where the oldest drillings in the 
San Joaquin valley had been made. Then, in 1899 the Elwoods dug the little 
shaft that uncovered the great oil measures of the Kern river field, and 
started the first great oil excitement in the hi.story of the west. The only rival 
of the rush to the Kern river field in 1899-1900 was the rush to the west 
side fields in 1910. The development of the Kern river field made Kern county 
the center of the oil industry of the Pacific coast ; the development of the west 
side fields, spreading now over a territory seventy-five miles in length and 
containing some of the greatest gushers that the world ever saw, furnishes an 
ample guarantee that no other section ever will wrest the honor from her. 

These are the high points, the landmarks in the history of Kern county. 



20 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Woven all through the story are the incidents of county and community 
life, the development of towns, of society and of homes, the building up of 
enterprises, the making of individual fortunes — the things that are common 
to all histories. But in the large the history of Kern county so far has been 
the story of the staking out of the land, the marking of nature's treasure 
houses for future exploration. In no sense and in no particular is the county 
developed. The rough plans have been drawn, prospect holes have been 
sunk, the oil measures have been tapped here and there, experiments of a 
thousand kinds have been made, but so far as development ahd use are con- 
cerned, as these terms are understood in older countries, Kern county is a 
virgin field. Perhaps there will be less romance in the county's history in 
the future, but there will be more profit and less labor and hardship for the 
men who take up the work at the present point and carry this fair empire 
forward to the glorious future that awaits it. 



CHAPTER I 
A Description of Kern County 

One of the several differences between history and romance is that 
whereas romance may be the more entertaining by reason of a pleasurable 
suspense and anxiety concerning the final fate of the hero, history is best read 
with a full knowledge of the ultimate issue of the events recorded. Believing 
that all the pages that come hereafter will thereby be fuller of meaning and 
that all the incidents in the narrative they contain will range themselves in 
a truer perspective, I am giving in this initial chapter of the history of Kern 
county as clear and comprehensive a picture as I ma_v of what the county 
is today and of what the people of the county are looking forward to in the 
development of the next few years. 

A map of the county shows at a glance its general geographical form 
and character, an area of 5,184,000 acres, in form a rectangular parallelo- 
gram with the southwest corner hacked off by a jagged line which con- 
forms roughly to the crest of the Coast range mountains that separate 
Kern from its neighbor, San Luis Obispo, on the west. The north line of the 
county, one hundred and thirty-six miles in length, stretches due east and 
west nearly half the distance across the state and forms the southern boun- 
daries of Kings and Tulare counties and a little more than twenty miles 
of the southern boundary of Inyo county. This same line projected to the east 
constitutes the boundary between Inyo and San Bernardino counties, and 
to the west constitutes the boundary between San Luis Obispo and Mon- 
terey. It is practically identical with the sixth standard parallel line south, 
and moreover it forms the only straight line of political subdivision across 
the map of California. For the latter reason this line marks the place where 
the advocates of separate statehood for Southern California would draw 
the knife were they given permission to carve the Golden State in twain — an 
event of which the small prospects of realization are not likely to be increased 
by the sentiment of the present population of Kern county. 

The south line of Kern county, lying sixty-six miles south of and parallel 
to the north line, is one hundred and two miles in length, and forms the 
northern boundaries of Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The county's 
east line cuts north and south through dry salt lakes, dead, forgotten ranges 



HISTORY OF KERN' COUNTY 21 

of hills, and great wastes of level, barren sands, slicing off from San Ber- 
nardino county for the benefit of Kern a great triangle from the western edge 
of the Alojave desert with its lonesome wildernesses, its bewildering mirages, 
its mocking, brackish waters, its great beds of coarser chemicals, and its 
recklessly strewn treasures of gold and tungsten. The base and altitude of 
this triangle, which fits into the southeastern corner of the county, are approx- 
imately sixty miles each. Its hypothenuse is roughly marked by the eastern 
slopes of the Sierras, where the great range near its southern end curves 
westward toward the sea. In the history of Kern county this desert triangle 
was the last and least tu be appreciated, therefdre we get its description first 
out of the way. 

A View of the Kern Valley 

For our view of the valley portion of the- ci unity — the place where the 
oil fields and alfalfa pastures are and where the orchards and vineyards and 
groves of oranges and olives are coming to be — let us take ourselves to one 
of the round-topped treeless, grass-carpeted mountains that form the eastern 
sentinels of the Coast range. From such a point — near the middle of the 
western line of the county — spreading out before us we would see a great 
sweep of valley, open at the north but closed in by the Coast range on the 
west, by the Sierras on the east and on the south by a cross range that meets 
and joins the two great ranges and forms a mighty horse shoe of mountains 
that walls in the intervening plains and mesas and protects them from 
winds and storms and gives them the warm and e(|ual)le climate that the 
vegetable kingdom loves. 

From the point where the west side mesa begins to slope dcnvn tu the 
floor of the valley to the point where the east side mesa melts into the fnot- 
hills of the Sierras, the distance is close to fifty miles, and from the upper 
edge of the mesa that lies along the northern side of the cross range northwest 
through the center of the valley to the north county line it is approximately 
sixty miles. From the great area thus enclosed, an area every foot of which 
will one day be watered and tilled, or made productive through the extrac- 
tion therefrom of oil or other valuable minerals, a new state like Delaware 
could be carved out, and of the scraps left over a new Rhndc Island might l)e 
pieced together. 

In reality the haze of dust and distance covers all this land as one 
might see it on a summer day from the summit of the Coast range hills, 
and even in the clearer air of winter little of the prospect could be seen except 
the nearby mesas, a great sea of light hiding the valley beyond, and far away, 
floating in the thinner strata of the upper air. the rugged, snow-capped peaks 
of the high Sierras rising, as Mrs. Mary Austin says, "like the very front and 
battlements of heaven." 

But let us suppose the dust and haze arc swept away and mir eyes 
can search out the objects in the valley. Then si.mctiiing like this great 
panorama of industry and natural wealth would be laid Itefure our view. 
The West Side Oil Fields 

Down below us in the foreground is the great sweep nf the west side nil 
fields, beginning near the San Emidio ranch in the southwestern corner of tiie 
county and following northwest with the trend of the hills through Sunset, 
Midway, McKittrick, Temblor, the great, problematic reaches of the Lost 
Hills and Devils Den districts to the northwestern corner of the county and 
on thence to Coalinga. The whole distance prospected with mure or less ])rofit 



22 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

or promise is not far from seventy miles within the county. Wildcat drilling, 
as yet without result, extends eastward of San Emidio fifteen miles farther. 
In width the proven or prospected strip varies from two to fifteen miles. 

Only the merest fraction of this vast territory is as yet commercially pro- 
ductive — a thin line, a mile and a half to three miles in width drawn diagonally 
across five congressional townships represents it. Yet out of this small frac- 
tion of the county's west side oil territory were taken in the year 1910 not 
less than 24,680,000 barrels of oil, equal in fuel value to between eight and 
nine million tons of good coal. Two branch railroads and four pipe lines 
connecting with tide water have been built to furnish an outlet for this oil, 
and a great electric transmission line has been completed to furnish current 
for light and other purposes for which it may be needed in the fields. Three 
towns, large enough and permanent enough to aspire to incorporations — 
Maricopa, Taft and McKittrick — are the fruits of the local business activity 
of these oil fields, and three or four other towns are in process of building with 
varying reasons to hope for the future. 

The Buena Vista Gas Belt 

Just beyond the line of the producing oil fields lies the great gas belt of 
the Buena Vista hills, where wells estimated to produce from ten to fifty 
million cubic feet per twenty-four hours have been brought in within the 
past two years. Already this gas is piped to Bakersfield and to the different 
parts of the west side oil fields for cooking and lighting and for use in fur- 
naces, and a great trunk line is now carrying it over the mountains to Los 
Angeles and other Southern California towns. In addition to this use an ex- 
tensive plant recently has been installed for extracting gasoline from the 
natural gas by means of compression and cooling after a process similar in 
many respects to the making of liquid air. 

If we search the fields from our hypothetical point of vantage we may see, 
perhaps, anywhere trom one to half a dozen great oil wells spouting their inky 
fountains of oil and gas from two hundred to four hundred feet in the air. 
Great pillars of smoke rise from where waste oil and refuse are burned from 
the sump holes, and if it were night and the chance served we might see the 
towering torch of some burning gasser lighting the sands and sage brush 
on the surrounding dunes. 

Recent Activity in the Oil Fields 

The past few years have witnessed a tremendous activity on the west 
side. The older fields of Sunset and McKittrick have been widened and 
extended, the greatest oil gusher in the history of the industry being brought 
in in the former field, and Midway, lying between Sunset and McKittrick, 
sprang from the least to one of the largest of the oil fields of the valley. 
The Buena Vista gas fields were first tapped in 1909. At the present time 
prospectors are drilling with tireless energy in the northward extension of 
the McKittrick field, and all over the Lost Hills district that extends from 
McKhtrick to the north county line, wild-catters are hopefully working, and 
occasionally a productive well of light gravity oil is brought in at the marv- 
elously shallow depth of 500 to 1000 feet. 

In Devils Den, close to the hills in the northwestern corner of the county, 
a few drills are dropping, and strung along the foothills from Devils Den 
southeast to Temblor are a few prospectors' derricks, miles apart and accom- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 23 

plishing little as yet save to demonstrate the faith of their nwncrs tliat the 
oil measures lie beneath in an unbroken belt. 

For the rest the foreground is filled with low, rcilling hills and gently 
sloping mesas, covered in spring with short grass and bright wild flowers, 
but dry and brown throughout the summer and fall, with onh'^ the wandering 
dust pillars of the whirlwinds, the heat shimmer, the straggling growth of 
dwarf sage brush, the lonesome derrick of the wildcatter and the InncsDmer 
cabin of the lease herder to vary their desolate monotony. 
Reclaimed Swamp Land 

These rolling hills and sloping mesas (all of which may some day be 
oil- or gas-bearing) fill a strip of country at the base of the Coast range 
from ten to twenty miles in width. Then comes the western edge of the 
county's agricultural land, its limit clearly defined by the line of the ancient 
swamp that filled the trough of the valley with a width of two to a dozen 
miles before the waters of Kern river that fed it were diverted into a great 
irrigation system, that waters 250,000 acres of land. 

Just to the east of the Midway oil fields is Buena Vista lake reservoir, a 
body of water covering thirty-six square miles, formerly a natural depression 
in the swamp and now enlarged by means of levees on the east and north 
for the purpose of storing the waters of the river for irrigating the reclaimed 
swamp lands to the north. From this lake extending northwest along the 
western edge of the former swamp is a canal, one hundred and fifty feet in 
width, built for the combined purpose of distributing irrigation water and 
carrying away any excess of water that may come down the river in time of 
flood. This great ditch, known as the Kern Valley Water Company's canal, 
runs through lands now belonging to Miller & Lux, and that corporation 
is now extending it northward, by means of the largest steam dredger ever 
brought to the interior of the state, with the ultimate purpose of completing 
an artificial water way from Buena Vista to Tulare lake. The canal will be 
of a size to serve as a means of transportation, but whether it is used for 
such a purpose remains to be determined by the demand, the disposition of 
the owners and the availability of the water at all times to fill it. 

Lying along this canal to the east, in the bed of the ancient swamp, fed 
by the deep, black tule lands, are the fat alfalfa pastures of Miller & Lux, 
the first expanse of perennial green that greets the eye as we look eastward 
from our perch on the Coast range mountain. The Miller & Lux alfalfa and 
grain fields reach to the northward from Buena Vista lake for something more 
than twenty-five miles. Beyond that the old swamp, dry except in unusually 
wet years, extends to the northern limit of the county untilled and unpeopled. 
Irrigation Canals Radiate From Bakersfield 

Twenty miles northeast of Buena Vista lake is Bakersfield, at the eastern 
edge of a great, nearly level plain that extends from the old swamp to the 
point where the land begins to rise again in an upward slope to meet the 
foothills of the Sierras. Just northeast of Bakersfield Kern river leaves a 
deep furrow of a mile and a half in width which it has plowed for itself 
through the hills and mesas to the eastward, and enters the flat, alluvial 
lands of the valley. From Bakersfield the channel of the river runs in an 
approximately direct line to Buena \'ista lake, but the river waters are taken 
out in a series of canals, heading above and below Bakersfield and spreading 
fanwise to the northwest, west, south and southeast. 



24 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

This system of ditches covers roughly a territory twenty miles wide 
and forty miles long, beginning at the southern end of the valley where the 
mesas slope up to Tejon and San Emidio, and extending northwest within 
twelve or fifteen miles of the north county line. Only the circumstance 
that the water is all used on nearer lands prevents the irrigation system 
reaching the northern boundary of the county, but the shortcoming of the 
canal system is supplemented by the presence of an artesian belt in the 
north part of the county, bordering on the eastern edge of the swamp, where 
flowing wells are obtained at a depth of 500 to 1000 feet, and by the existence 
of abundant water strata at depths varying from twelve to forty feet in 
depth from which water may be pumped for irrigation. 

These facilities for irrigation make of the middle distance of this vast 
panorama spread out before us, a belt of country twenty miles in width 
(exclusive of the swamp land heretofore described) and fifty-five miles or 
so in length, every foot of which -can be irrigated, either from canals, from 
artesian wells or from shallow pumping wells. Close to Bakersfield this land 
is tilled to fruit, alfalfa and dairy pastures. Farther south and northwest 
it is utilized for great grain fields or pastures for beef cattle. All of it is 
suitable for similar purposes. 

Beyond this belt of cheaply irrigated land lies the great mesa that skirts 
the western foothills of the Sierras. In width and length it is only a little 
less than the great belt of land just described, and along its lower edge the 
cost of pump irrigation is but a little greater than on the lower valley lands. 
This mesa forms the county's citrus belt — as yet, for the main part, potential. 
But while the county's orange and lemon production is yet in the future, 
so far as any great commercial results are concerned, the capacity of the 
soil, the abundance of the water and the perfect adaptability of the climate 
have been demonstrated past all doubt. Oranges grown on the San Emidio 
ranch, already referred to in the description of the west side oil fields, have 
made a name and fame for themselves in the most critical markets of the 
state. At Tejon, in the hills some twenty miles east of San Emidio, oranges 
of equal size and flavor are grown, and scattered all along the mesa north- 
westward to the north county line are smaller groves that prove the whole 
of the great thermal belt. 

Beginning of Orange Culture 

At the present time near Edison, eight miles east of Bakersfield, the 
Edison Land & ^^'ater Company is beginning the cultivation of orange 
groves on a considerable scale, and is making all its improvements in the 
thorough-going fashion that promises the fullest success. Smaller ventures 
in citrus culture have been launched in the wide stretch of mesa land that 
reaches south from Edison and other centers of development have been 
established at Delano, McFarland and Jasmine, in the northern part of the 
county. The development around the latter places is really the southern 
extension of the orange districts of Tulare county. The great success of 
citrus culture around Porterville has tempted the ]5lanting of similar lands 
farther and farther tci the south, and the result is expected to be the 
gradual closing of the gaps between Ducor and Jasmine and Edison and 
between Edison and Tejon. 

Under all this mesa land water for pump irrigation is found at depths 
that vary almost directly as the height of the surface above sea level. Along 
the lower parts of the thermal lielt water may he found at a depth of forty 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 25 

feet or less, while near the hills the depth may run above twn hundred feet. 
There is an immense body of land, however, on which water is to be had in 
abundant quantities with a lift of less than one hundred feet. 

In addition to the possibilities of the mesa lands for the growing of 
oranges and lemons, they are famous for their early fruits of the deciduous 
kinds and for vegetables. The mesa soil for the most part is an admixture of 
sand, gravel and clay that is easily tilled, very fertile and sufficiently porous 
to insure the best results from irrigation. In places tJie thermal belt is 
almost frostless, and tomato plants live the year round. This means that 
it is possible to have strawberries and a great range of vegetables at Christ- 
mas time, and grapes, apricots, melons and other delicacies that capture the 
high prices of the early markets may be supplied in great quantitv and 
perfect (|uality. 

Cheap Power Available 

For tlie further development of the mesa lands great tilings are expected 
because of the abundance of cheap fuel for the generation of power. In 
addition to the power that may be develojjed from steam plants run by 
crude oil or from gas and gasoline used direct in engines, the San Joaquin 
Light & Power Company, which has recently entered the field with electric 
power and which has now completed a transmission line circling the valley 
portion of the county, announces that it will encourage the use of electricity 
in pumping water by extending its service lines where there is any hope 
for a market. The Lerdo Land & Water Company, which is a kindred cor- 
poration to the San Joaquin Light & Power Company, is preparing to 
lead the way in the use of water pumped by electricity by sinking wells and 
installing pumps on a tract of several thousand acres which it has purchased 
recently and which lies along the Southern Pacific railroad beginning about 
seven miles northwest of Bakersfield. 

At \\'asco is established another center of pumping plant irrigation, and 
the practicability of raising deciduous fruits and raisins 1n- this means is 
being fully demonstrated. At Rio Bravo, south and west of Wasco and 
nearly due west of Bakersfield, farmers are proving that it pays to pump 
water on the lower land for alfalfa and grain. At Semitropic, due west of 
Wasco and thirty-five miles northwest of Bakersfield, a combination of 
pumping plants and artesian wells is solving the problem of irrigation for 
general farming and dairying. Just at the eastern edge of the swamp land 
in what is known as the Goose Lake slough country is a thriving settlement 
that depends wholly on artesian wells to mature its crops. 

Beside the ventures in orange culture around Delano. Jasmine and 
McFarland. many pumping plants have been installed in the northern part 
of the county for the growing of deciduous trees and vines, and for gnjwing 
alfalfa for dairy cows. North of Delano, along the county line, pump irri- 
gators have been especially active. At McFarland within the past three years 
a rose nursery of one hundred and sixty acres has been established for 
the growing of rose bushes for the New York market. 

Along the foothills and out on the mesa as far as Delano dry wheat 
farming has been the main industry from the time of the settlement of the 
country until the present time, but it is considered now but a matter of 
a few years before the pumping plant will make the land too valuable to 
be longer farmed to grain. 



26 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Great Land Holdings 

As for the great area of country under the irrigation system already 
referred to, the bulk of it is held by the Kern County Land Company, a 
corporation that figures largely in the story of the county. Scattered among 
the company's holdings are many small farms, where all kinds of fruits, 
alfalfa, corn, vegetables and the usual agricultural crops are raised and where 
dairying is carried on with handsome profit. The Land Company's great 
fields are devoted to wheat and barley or are fenced into huge alfalfa pastures 
for the fattening of beef cattle raised in the mountains or shipped in from 
other parts of California or from other states. Whole townships of the finest 
garden soil are farmed in immense wheat fields or form rough pastures for 
Arizona steers. The almost equal Miller & Lux holdings, equally desirable, 
are farmed in about the same manner. 

If we were sitting on the top of the Coast range in reality instead of 
metaphorically we could see that the county's agricultural possibilities have 
not yet approached the stage of realization. But a thorough knowledge of 
the facts and the possibilities is necessary to gain any conception of how 
far short of realization the present falls. There is no finer body of land 
in the state than this great valley, and there are few so well watered. With 
the breaking up of the large holdings of land and the coming of small farmers 
in numbers adequate to till the soil in thorough fashion, Kern county will 
become one of the chief sources of food supply in the west. At the present 
time agriculture is so far overshadowed by the oil industry that a greater 
number of farm products are shipped into the county than are shipped out. 
The Kern River Oil Field 

Before we leave the valley for a brief survey of the mountains we must 
take note of the Kern river oil field, averaging throughout its history the 
greatest single producing field of the state, although Coalinga, Midway and 
Sunset have each, at different times forged past it. Thirty miles from the 
nearest of the other oil fields, on the other side of the valley and with no 
apparent connection with the west side oil measures, Kern river holds a 
place alone and needs a wholly separate description. The field lies across 
Kern river to the north of Bakersfield, sloping from the water's edge up 
to the top of the mesa. It covers approximately eleven sections of land, 
under all of which the drill has found a great pool of oil. First drilled in 
1899 and pumped ever since to the limit of the market demand, in 1910 the 
field produced 13,700,000 barrels of oil, and a large part of the proven territory 
is yet untouched. 

It was the Kern river field that gave the county its first oil boom, and 
made the people of the county forget for the time their long demand for 
agricultural expansion. The field has been the best dividend-payer in the 
state, despite the fact that none of the spectacular gushers which have given 
fame to the Midway and Sunset fields have had a parallel in Kern river. 
The drilling has been easy and certain, the percentage of loss has been small, 
and even the limits of the field were established so early that little money 
has been spent in fruitless prospecting about its borders. That the field 
may not be extended in the future is not assumed. In fact, recent drilling 
to the north and northwest has met encouraging indications, and many people 
believe that some day oil derricks will be scattered along the east side 
mesas as they now are scattered along the Coast range. Prospect holes 
are now being drilled due south of the Kern river field about twenty-four 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 27 

miles, and due north of the field almost an equal distance. Roth these new 
prospective districts are near the Sierra foothills, but the results of their 
exploration must remain for a later writing. 

The Mountain Sections 

The description of the mountains is quickly written, although one might 
live there many years and wonder at the freshness of their charm and interest. 
It is because of the impossible task of a full description that little can be 
said. The Sierras fill in between the desert and the valley a great barrier, 
thirty to fifty miles in width, built out of lofty peaks, rugged, pine-clad ridges 
and shoulders of earth, timbered slopes, fertile valleys, streams that tumble 
down rocky cascades and flow gently along level reaches, great ledges that 
carry treasures of gold, silver, copper, and lesser minerals of many sorts. 

Suppose we desert our Coast range mountain top for an airship, pre- 
ferably a dirigible, and sail slowly over the tops of the Sierras from the north 
county line southward. On the western slope of the range in the northern 
tier of townships is Woody, named for one of the county pioneers and not 
for the big oak trees that cover the hills and fill the little valleys. A little 
farther east and a little higher up is Glennville, in the fertile Linn's valley, 
named for W'illiam Lynn, but spelled with an "i" in later years. Cedar creek 
and a number of other little streams water the country hereabout 
and while stock-raising is the chief industry all down the western slope of 
the range, not a little general farming and some fruit raising is carried on 
in the little valleys and fertile meadows about Glennville. To the south 
of Glennville are Granite station and Poso Flat, both small centers of stock- 
raising. 

Over the Greenhorn mountains from Glennville and Linn's valley is 
Kern river flowing at times through narrow caiions, and elsewhere through 
wider valleys where the stream is bordered by fertile bottom lands. It 
was along Kern river, at Keysville, about eleven miles south of the north 
county line, that the first important mining camp in the county was estab- 
lished. Keysville was about three miles below the junction of the north and 
south forks of Kern river. Whiskey Flat (now Kernville) is about the 
same distance above the junction, on the north or main branch. 

Above the junction the South Fork flows through the South Fork valley, 
a fertile strip of bottom land that forms the most important of the mountain 
farming districts. All this valley, about twenty miles in length, is irrigated 
and farmed to alfalfa. Weldon and Onyx on the South Fork, Isabella at 
the junction. Palmer and Vaughn a httle to the south from Isabella, form 
the centers of the sparse population of the northern mountain section. Havi- 
lah, lying in a little valley, hardly more than a gulch, a little farther still, 
was once the metropolis and county seat of Kern, but its glory and greatness 
long since have faded. 

The mountains over which we have sailed so far are rugged and beautiful, 
stretching away in purple vistas, clad on their summits with pines and cedars 
and on their lower slopes with oaks, madrones and chaparral. To the south 
of Havilah, forming the water-shed between Kern river on the north and 
Caliente creek on the south, is Mount Breckenridge, a handsome, broad- 
topped mountain, rich in lumber pine that in earlier days was sawed and 
hauled to Bakersfield. The mill is still there but it has not been operated 
for some years. 

At the southern foot of Mount Breckenridge is Walker's basin, another 



28 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

of the cradles of Kern county's early civilized life, and farther on is Piute 
mountain, the scene of some of the earlier placer mining; Amalie and Paris 
on Caliente creek, centers of a later and more permanent mining development ; 
Tehachapi creek, up which the Southern Pacific winds' its difficult and tortuous 
passage : Bear mountain, rising to the west some seven thousand feet, one 
of the most conspicuous of the landmarks to be seen from the valley about 
Bakersfield ; the pleasant and fertile mountain valleys that bear the names 
of Bear, Brites, Cummings and Tehachapi ; then the saddle at the crest, 
the crow's nest, in which the town of Tehachapi sits. 

On the western slope of Bear mountain is the Rancho El Tejon, one of 
the early Spanish grants, woven closely with the history of the Indians in 
this part of the state, and forming now, with the Alamos, Castac and La 
Liebre grants a magnificent mountain and valley stock range — the third large 
land holding in the county — soon, it is hoped, to be subdivided for more 
intensive use. 

Beyond Tehachapi and the Tejon ranch is a great procession of broken, 
tumbled and unappreciated hills which lead the traveler at last to the wonder- 
ful southland where even a sand dune with a cactus growing on it is a para- 
dise of health and beauty and greatly to be desired at so much per square 
foot. 

The Desert Triangle Again 

Before we bring our airship down let us sail again over the great tri- 
angle of desert with which this description of the county began. Skirting 
the base of the hills at its western edge is the Los Angeles aqueduct, a great 
tube of concrete through which the people of the southern city hope to lead 
the waters of Owens river to fill their faucets, sprinkle their lawns and irrigate 
some thousands of acres of garden land in what are now the suburbs, but 
which undoubtedly the city will soon annex. The Southern Pacific, the 
Santa Fe and the Nevada and California railroads all cross this triangle of 
desert in different directions, all meeting at Alojave, which is both a mining 
and a railroad town. To 'the northeast are Randsburg, Oarlock, Goler and 
Johannesburg, all of which figure in the history of the desert mines, and still 
farther north, Indian Wells and Salt Wells valley, where venturesome pros- 
pectors would find still another oil field, and Inyokern, a new settlement of 
farmers in the northeast corner of the county. 

Bakersfield, the Commercial Center 

The center of all Kern county's commercial activity and the point around 
which the greater part of the county's history revolves, is Bakersfield. Lo- 
cated where Kern river enters its delta ; the spot whence the irrigating canals 
diverge ; the place where the railroads add the helper engines for the heavy 
haul up the mountain ; the place whence the branch railroads lead to the 
west side oil fields ; at the door of the great Kern river field, where the citrus 
mesa meets the lower valley land. Bakersfield is in close and constant touch 
with all the greater resources and activities of the county. Even the roads 
from the mountain mines converge here. Only the mines of the desert are 
far removed by distance and association, from the count}^ seat. 

The federal census of 1910 gave Bakersfield a population of \2,727, as 
against 4836 ten years before. The county census for 1910 was 37,715, and 
for 1900, 16,480. The great gain was mainly due to the development of the 
oil fields, although a slow but steady gain in the valley farming sections was 
evident, and this gain also assisted the growth of Bakersfield. The five banks 




BASKETS MADE l;V KI-KX CoLX'I'V INDIA: 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 29 

of Bakersfield on December 31, 1910, sliowed a total uf tleposits aiiKiuiUiiij^ 
to $5,679,000, a gain of more than two million dollars in the twentj' months 
just previous to that date. The postal receipts for the city in 1910 were over 
sixty thousand dollars. Close to a million and a half dollars was spent in 
building in Bakersfield in 1910, and the cost of the new residences constructed 
in that period ranged up to seventeen thousand dollars each. The assessed 
valuation of Kern county in 1910 was over fifty-three million, making a per 
capita wealth according to the very low estimates of the assessor of $1350 
for every man, woman and child within the county's borders. 

These figures give some fair idea of the prosperity and financial stal)ility 
of the city and county at the present time. The prospects for the future were 
never brighter. 



CHAPTER II 
Indians and the Tejon Ranch 

On the top of Black mountain, northwest of Garlock, among the ranges 
of dead, forgotten hills that stand sentinel over the dead and forgotten wastes 
of desert in the far eastern part of the county, were found in the '80s the 
remains of a prehistoric village which may have lieen nccupied many centuries 
ago by the same race of men that built the extinct and buried cities (if Arizona 
and Mexico. 

In a hollow between two ridges uf the nmuntain are the ruins of two 
parallel walls, two hundred feet in length, with shorter walls extending from 
them at right angles. From the size and form of the building to which the 
walls seem to have belonged it is doubtless permissible to assume that it 
may have been a temple, a fort or some other public building. Down a little 
way on the northern slope of the mountain stand the ruins of what appears 
to have been a dwelling. What is left of the walls, standing two or three 
feet in height, form almost a perfect circle. On the east was a door, and carved 
on the inside of the walls are hieroglyphics identical with those found on 
the famous Poston butte near Florence, Arizona. The rocks, also, are very 
similar to those of the Poston carvings. One of the characters is described 
as not unlike the astronomical sign for the planet Mars. The evident size 
of the work and the character of the carving indicate that the ruins are 
not those of a building erected by any of the more recent Indian tribes, and 
the decay and discoloration of the mck slmw that the carving was done 
centuries ago. 

A circumstance that gives these ruins still greater interest to the visitor 
is the old, dead aspect of all the country around. Tlie dead. l)arren liills, 
the gray reaches of desert, the dry wind, the solemn, cloudless sky, the 
blazing, unobscured sun, the ineffable silence brooding everywhere, all remind 
one, the travellers say, of the Holy Land, and of the old cradles of dead 
races in Asia and Egvpt. 

There is not a little in Kern county for the archeologist to unearth, but 
even of our immediate predecessors, the Indians who possessed the land 
before the white men came, we know comparatively little. There is reason 
to suppose that at somewhat earlier dates California was peopled by a more 
heroic race of redmen than was found here when the first gold seekers began 



30 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

to explore the Sierras for placer mines. The descriptions of the Indians left 
by the first historians disagree widely as to the size, appearance and general 
character of the tribes that inhabited the state and there seems to be an 
equal discrepancy in the measurements of the bones exhumed from the Indian 
burying places. When Kit Carson first visited California in 1829 he found 
the valleys swarming with large and prosperous tribes. About that date it 
was roughly estimated that the number of Indians in the state was upward 
of 100,000. In 1859 Carson again visited the valley and found that the tribes 
he had known on his former tour had wholly disappeared and that the people 
living here at that time had never heard of them. In 1863 the Department 
of the Interior counted 29,300 Indians in the state. 

Between Goose lake in Kern county and Tulare lake was found, years 
ago, the remains of an old Indian village with the ground about it strewn 
with skulls and bleaching bones as though some pestilence had descended 
upon the tribe and mowed it down so swiftly and relentlessly that none 
were left with strength to bury the dead. Early records tell also of epidemics 
of smallpox and other diseases that decimated the Indian tribes. 

In his researches into the history and habits of the Indians, E. L. McLeod, 
who gathered one of the finest collections of Indian baskets in the state, 
fell upon an interesting clue to the origin of the Kern county tribes who were 
known quite generally by the name Yokut. Spending a day in Hanford, 
Mr. McLeod saw a number of Indians squatting along the curb of one of 
the streets, and as was his custom when the opportunity served, he went 
to talk with them. Presently down the street came a runaway team, and 
thereafter the usual crowd of people gathered. 

"Yokut! Yokut!" exclaimed one of the Indian women, pointing toward 
the sudden assemblage. 

Mr. McLeod scented the clue and at once inquired what the women 
meant by the exclamation. 

"They come everywhere," was the explanation forthcoming, and com- 
bining this new knowledge with what he had formerly known of the Yokut 
Indians, Mr. McLeod reached the conclusion that the name did not indicate 
an homogenous tribe but that the Yokuts came from everywhere. 

The average Indian found here by the earliest settlers was not a par- 
ticularly noble specimen of manhood. He reared no temples and built no 
monuments. For a dwelling he hollowed out a little circle in the earth, 
raised above it a cone-shaped framework of poles or brush and thatched it 
with bark, grass or rushes. As late as 1874 many of the old men wore no 
clothes save a breech clout, summer or winter. In cold weather they huddled 
in their huts, scurrying out into the wet or snow, stark naked, when need 
required, to gather a little wood for the fire that smouldered in the center 
of their dingy, smoky homes. Meat formed but a very small part of the 
diet of the Kern county Indians of the earlier times. Those who lived 
by the valley lakes caught clams, and squirrels and smaller game fell victims 
to their arrows. But the main staples of their larder were acorns, juniper 
berries, piiions, the few wild fruits and nuts, the edible roots and seeds of 
wild grasses that grew along the foothills before the foxtail usurped their 
place. 

Through the mountains everywhere are found in broad, flat rocks the 
clusters of hollowed holes where the village women gathered to pound the 
acorns and grass seeds into the dough from which they baked their bread. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 31 

In the vallej-s are found the portable stone mortars and pestles, which the 
squaws had to carry about with them because no native stones were to be 
found by the valley villages. These mortars and pestles, sinkers which were 
cleverly fashioned from granite for the fishermen, the spear and arrow heads 
which were chipped out by touching the heated stones with a piece of wet 
wood, and the handsome and artistically woven baskets which served a 
multitude of purposes, are practically the only specimens of the handicraft 
of the Indians that remain. 

Anthropologists, particularly Dr. C. Hart Merriam of Washington, D. C, 
have been fairly successful in gathering information concerning the customs, 
religion and language of the Indians of this part of the state, and Prof. 
George H. Taylor, now of Fresno, but for many years a resident of Bakers- 
field, after months of effort got one of the remaining tribal singers to sing into 
a phonograph one of the more elaborate ceremonials of her race. Into the 
very striking music of the ceremonial is woven dll the pathos, all the mystery, 
all the fear and all the struggling hopefulness that this childlike people 
gained from the great ^Mother Nature of whom they understood so little 
and with whom they lived in such daily, intimate contact. The music of 
the ceremonial has not yet been transcribed. It will be a pity, indeed, if 
it is not reduced to some enduring form, for it is one of the few legacies 
of a fast-dying people that later races may profitably preserve. 

In some of the Indian mounds in the valley between Buena Vista and 
Tulare lakes the bodies of the dead seem to have been buried in a sitting 
posture, but inquiry does not develop that this was always the case. Many 
of the burying grounds in the lower lands have been disturbed by floods, 
however, and the bones and whatever articles may have been buried with 
the bodies have been scattered and recovered with deeper or shallower 
washings of mud and sand. Some of the remains in the valley mounds had 
been wrapped in blankets or cloth of some coarse texture, and quite recently 
J. W. Stockton dug up and forwarded to the Smithsonian Institution the 
bones of an Indian that had been buried in a sitting posture in the bank 
of Kern river not far from the Kern river oil field. This body had been 
covered with reeds in the form of a coarse basket. 

Tribal Names and Characteristics 

From C. Hart Merriam's "Distribution of Indian Tribes in the Southern 
Sierra and Adjacent Parts of the San Joaquin Valley, California," the fol- 
lowing is condensed: 

"South of the Muwa, and ranging from Fresno creek to Kern lake and 
Tehachapi basin, are tribes of two widely different linguistic families — the 
Yokut and Paiute. These tribes are arranged, in the main, in parallel belts, 
the Yokuts occupying the lower and more westerly country, the Paiutes the 
higher and more easterly. But there is this important difference: The Yokut 
tribes are more numerous, and until the confiscation of their lands by the 
whites their distribution was continuous, while the Paiute tribes are few 
and their distribution is, and always was, interrupted by broad intervals. 
Powers recognized the general facts that the Indians of this part of Cali- 
fornia belonged in the main to the Yokut and Paiute stocks ; that the Yokut 
tribes were a peaceful people and were the earlier occupants of the region; 
and that the Paiute tribes were more powerful and warlike and entered at a 
later period. He states that bands of Paiutes, leaving their desert homes 



32 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

east of the mountains, had pushed through the passes of the Sierras, invaded 
certain valleys of the western slope, and driven out the Yokut people. 

"Tribes of other linguistic families inhabited the hot Tulare-Kern basin 
and the region to the west and southwest, but they do not come within 
the scope of the present paper. In the area south of Fresno creek I have 
obtained vocabularies of eighteen tribes, of which nine are of Yokut origin 
and nine of supposed Paiute of Shoshonian origin." 

Of the nine Yokut tribes which Dr. Merriam enumerates, the Taches 
lived around Tulare lake in the lower Sonoran zone, and the Yowelmannes 
inhabited the Bakersfield plain and thence to Kern lake. But a few of either 
tribe remain. Of the Paiute tribes the Pakanepul are found on the South 
Fork of Kern river, and the Newooah center about Paiute mountain. Dr. 
Merriam states that the languages of the two tribes last mentioned differ so 
greatly from each other and from the supposed common Paiute stock as 
represented by the Owens Valley Paiutes that if they really are of Paiute 
origin they must have crossed the mountains at a very remote date. The 
chief and almost onh^ resemblance in the languages is in the numerals, and 
Dr. Merriam says that this may have arisen through contact rather than 
through common heredity. 

The word Yokut, Dr. Merriam says, means "the people,"' as also does 
the tribal name Newooah, and a number of other famil}^ and tribal names 
b)' which the Indians referred to themselves. 

The Paiute tribes inhabited the cooler Ponderosa pine belt of the moun- 
tains, while the Yokuts lived in the hot San Joaquin valley and rarely- pushed 
their way so high as the Digger pine belt. 

Civilizing the Indian 

While no Spanish missions were established in the territory now com- 
prised in Kern county, the Indians found here had been to some extent in- 
fluenced by the civilization of the padres through the fact that many of the 
young braves from the different tribes were taken to the missions and kept 
there under the teaching of the fathers for longer or shorter periods, and 
also because tribes that had been driven from the older parts of the state 
by the encroachments of the whites migrated to this end of the San Joaquin 
valley or to the mountains round about. 

There were no Indian wars worth)' the name in the history of the 
state, but in 1850 the Indians from ^^'hite river to Kern lake made an appar- 
ently concerted attack on the white miners and settlers, and the fear of danger 
more than the actual harm the Indians inflicted prompted che President 
in 1850 to appoint a peace commission consisting of Redick McKee, G. \\'. 
Barbour and O. M. Wozencraft, Indian agents, to make peace with the 
tribes. These emissaries decided that the Indians had been forced to 
steal from the white men and had been justly angered into attacking them 
by having been driven from their ancient hunting and fishing grounds to 
the less hospitable mountains and desert plains. The peace commission 
recommended that the Indians be made allowances of food and given reserva- 
tions on the plains. On June 10, 1851, it is recorded, treaties were made with 
eleven tribes around Kern lake. 

But after the apparent habit of Indian agencies, jealousies interferred 
with the smooth working of the plans of the peace commission, and the 
three commissioners soon divided the territory into three jurisdictions, Bar- 
bour taking charge of the San Joaquin valley. About the same time charges 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 33 

of graft and mismanagement reached Washington, and in the spring oi 1852 
Lieut. E. F. Beale was made superintendent of Indian affairs in California. 

Beale had very well formed ideas concerning Indian management and 
he proceeded to put them into effect, concentrating his main energies at 
Tejon. In brief his scheme was a mixture and adaptation df the methods of 
the army and the missions. He adopted the plan of communal farming, pro- 
vided instruction under the supervision of resident agents, and established 
forts with garrisons of soldiers both to protect the Indians and to keej) them 
I within bounds and under proper discipline. The plan was working admir- 
ably, but the government authorities thought that the expenditures were out 
of proportion to the number of the wards of the nation provided for, and 
Beale was replaced by Col. T. J. Henley. 

Henley established three other reservations at once, and later increased 
that number, the reservation on Tule river being one. In addition many 
farms and branch reservations were equipped. Soldiers from the forts and 
visitors to the reservations carried word to Washington that too much graft 
was going on under cover of aid to the California Indians, and G. Bailey 
was sent to make an investigation. Further changes followed, the allowance 
for Indian agencies was reduced, the Fresno and Kings river farms were 
abandoned, and in 1863 Tejon was given up and the Indians in this part of 
the state were concentrated on the Tule river farm. In 1873 the Tule 
farm was abandoned, and the Indians were moved to the reservation on the 
south fork of Tule river, back in the mountains. 

Such is a bare outline of a very interesting chapter in the liist(jry of the 
nation's dealings with the aboriginal tribes. J. J. Lopez, for many years 
in charge of sheep and cattle at the Tejon ranch, supplies from memory and 
tradition something of the local color and interest. Many years ago, Lopez 
relates, the mountains around Tejon were a harbor for renegade Indians from 
the coast and southern missions. An Indian that had been taken to the mis- 
sions, baptized, taught the taste of meat and the pains of hard labor and 
who had gone wild again was a worse Indian than one who had remained 
in his savage and ignorant state, and when the original Spanish grantors of 
the land now included in the Tejon ranch came to take possession they found 
the Indians so troublesome and the bears so numerous and aggressive that 
they relinquished their plans. 

Next to the renegade Indians, who were specially adept at stealing, the 
most troublesome of the savages were the Serranos. who in the '505 had 
their hunting grounds in Inyo county and the Monache meadows and drove 
off cattle wherever they could find them through the mountains from Tulare 
to Los Angeles county, and the Tecuyas. a tribe of warlike Indians that 
migrated from the coast and took up their abode a little to the west of the 
mouth of Tejon canon. It happened that the hills between Tejon canon 
and San Emidio had long been the hunting grounds of the Pescaderos, who 
had their village on the border of Kern lake, and the result was perennial 
warfare between the new comers and the old. 

The Serranos, the Pescaderos and the Tecuyas together with the peace- 
able Tehachapis and other tribes from the mountain valleys, all were gathered 
at Tejon, and they seem to have gotten along fairly well under the restraint 
of the soldiers and the influence of Lieutenant Beale's patriarchal govern- 
ment. But when the tribes were moved north the Tecuyas and Castacs elected 
to return to the coast, not caring to associate with the other clans. A large 



34 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

number remained at Tejon, and after Beale had bought the grants and estab- 
lished his farming and stock-raising industries there he gave such of the 
Indians as cared to stay tracts of four or five acres each to farm for them- 
selves and employed them as herders, shearers and farm laborers. About 
one hundred and fifty Indians, mostly Serranos, now live on the Tejon 
ranch, and their presence there links the Tejon of the present with the primi- 
tive days before the white man came, as no other part of the county is linked. 
The Tejon Ranch 
What is generally known by the name of the Tejon ranch includes the 
rancho el Tejon (the ranch of the badger), rancho Castac (the lake ranch), 
rancho Los Alamos y Augua Caliente (the ranch of the cottonwoods and 
the warm water), and rancho la Liebre (the ranch of the jack-rabbit), com- 
prising in all upward of 150,000 acres of mountain, valley and mesa land 
along the western slope of the Sierras reaching from the middle of the county 
to its southern border. 

General Beale bought the old Spanish grants which the different ranches 
represent from the original owners, who were unable or indisposed to do 
anything with them, and following the removal of the Indians he made the 
great sweep of fairly well watered land into a magnificent stock ranch. In 
the very early days Colonel Vineyard ran sheep on the ranch, selling out 
his flock to Solomon and Philo Jewett when the latter first came to the county 
in 1860. The drought of 1864 was the indirect cause of the formation of 
the partnership of Beale & Baker, which figured as the owner of great flocks 
in the early days of the county's history. Baker had been in the sheep 
business near what is now Burbank, in Los Angeles county, but the shortage 
of feed drove him north into the mountains, and he entered into a partnership 
with General Beale. For about seven years the partnership continued, the 
flocks of sheep growing meantime to 100,000 or 125,000 head. Indian herders 
and shearers were employed then as at later dates in the history of the ranch. 
In 1874 W. J. Hill, Dave Rivers, and State Senator John Boggs, comprising 
the firm of Hill, Rivers & Co., leased the ranch. About that time the stock 
kept there included 60,000 head of sheep, 10,000 head of cattle and 200 horses. 
Hill, Rivers & Co.'s lease expired in 1880, when General Beale bought the 
stock. J. J. Lopez, who was in charge of the sheep under the Hill, Rivers 
& Co. regime, recalls that they used to get fifteen to thirty cents for the 
wool in those days, delivered at Los Angeles, and it took about ten days 
to haul it there in wagons. Wethers were worth from $2.50 to $3 per head, 
very much more than an acre of land. The dry year of 1877 and the termina- 
tion of the lease to Hill, Rivers & Co. determined the policy of reducing the 
number of sheep on the Tejon ranch, and in 1879 Lopez was sent to Montana 
with 16,000 head of sheep. The drive consumed six months, led through 
mountains, over deserts, by long trails where the way was Unknown and 
the water bad and far to find, and where treacherous Indian tribes demanded 
all the diplomacy to which Don Jose's Castilian blood had made him heir. 
The long drive is famous in the alnnals of the Kern county sheepmen, few of 
whom are strangers to the long trail, and as a reward for his efficiency, when 
Lopez returned he was placed in charge of both sheep and cattle. For about 
eighteen years R. M. Pogson was general superintendent of Tejon ranch, 
J. G. Stitt following him. 

Truxtun Beale followed the methods of his father in the treatment of 
the Indians at Tejon. and the great ranch with its unsurveyed acres, irregular 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 35 

lines, Indian homes beside tlie ranch house and the patriarchal air that broods 
over the place continued until 1912 to furnish a picturesque and romantic 
reminder of another age in the midst of a state and a county that are rapidly 
becoming the most aggressively modern in the world. But Truxlun Beale, 
shortly before the closing of these pages, sold the Tejon ranch to a Southern 
California syndicate that now is engaged in testing the water supplies with 
the ultimate intention of irrigating so much of the land as possible and 
devoting it to more productive cultivation. 



CHAPTER III 1 23G250 

Gold Mining From 1851 to 1875 

Authentic records of mining in what is now Kern county date back to 
1851. In the early '60s a shaft opened in the Tehachapi valley showed 
evidences that the ground had been worked over many years before, and in 
1870 J. C. Crocker, then a cattleman with headquarters at Temblor, reported 
to the Kern County Courier the finding of a tunnel driven in solid rock in 
the Coast range west of Bakersfield which was proven by a tree growing 
in its mouth to have been dug long before the country came into the posses- 
sion of the Americans. Nothing remained in either case, however, to show 
by whose hands the work had been done, except that in the case of the 
tunnel, marks of a pick or other steel instrument seemed to furnish conclusive 
evidence that it was driven by civilized men. 

In 1851 occurred the first rush to the Kern river placers. Indians car- 
ried vague reports of golden sands to the placer miners in the mountains 
farther north, and the surging tide of fortune seekers that swept over all the 
state in the days of '49 sent a little stream of prospectors to search out 
the new field. They found little, however, and little record was left of their 
adventures. The statement is made by early chroniclers, also, that some 
quartz mining was going on in 1852 at what was later Keysville. 

But the real history of mining in Kern county dates from 1853, when a 
lump of gold, said to have weighed forty-two ounces, was dug out of the 
sands in one of the gulches between Keysville and Kernville. Word of 
the find spread rapidly through the camps of Mariposa and throughout the 
state, and Kern river took a foremost place among the numerous El Dorados 
that attracted the feverish crowds of gold seekers. Running out from the 
main bodies of ore farther back in the hills were little stringer veins from 
which the free gold washed down with the sands into French gulch. Rich 
gulch and all the other gulches and canons leading into Kern river between 
Keysville and Kernville. Into these gulches the stream of prospectors poured. 
The placers were easy to work, and there was plenty of water. \'ery soon 
Kern river was one of the best known camps in the state, although but a 
little while before it was wholly unknown save to the few trappers, explorers 
and stockmen who had wandered through Walker's Pass and over Greenhorn 
mountain. 

In 1854 Richard Keys discovered the Keys mine, and the working of 
the quartz ledges began. The road to Kern river, so far as there was a 
road, lay through Visalia, and during the year no less than 600 miners 
passed the Tulare county capital" on the way to Kern river. In this year 



36 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

A. T. Lightner, Sr., came to Keysville from San Jose, and his son, A. T. 
Lightner, Jr., gives a graphic account of the latter part of the journey, after 
all semblance of a wagon road had been left behind. Such wagons as were 
brought into the new district followed the gulches or the backbones of the 
ridges, the teamsters clearing the way with axes when necessary, some- 
times using as many as fourteen horses to haul one wagon up an especially 
steep place, and trailing felled trees behind the wagons to assist the brakes 
in going down hill. 

For the most part, however, the first miners brought their outfits and 
supplies by pack animals. Even the first quartz mill machinery was packed 
in, and nowhere in the mountains did the fine art of balancing heavy and 
bulky loads on mule and burro back reach a higher degree of perfection. 
When Lightner hauled, or rather lowered, his first wagon down the mountain 
side into Keysville, the route he had by chance selected took him directly 
over the Keys mine. 

The First Quartz Mill 

Lightner brought the first quartz mill to Keysville in 1856, hauling it 
from San Francisco, via San Jose and Visalia, by wagon. He set it up by 
the banks of Kern river a short distance below Keysville, where the gulch 
that ran through the camp met the stream, and built a flume to carry water 
to his wheel. Meantime he had engaged in mining, and was the owner of 
the Garnishee mine, later known as the Mammoth, which, with the Keys mine, 
yielded the best and largest part of the gold produced from quartz in the 
district. The Lightner mill crushed rock for the Keys mine, also, and Light- 
ner, the younger, although he was a small boy at the time, says he clearly 
remembers the old tin bucket in which Richard Keys used to carry his round 
balls of bullion back from the mill. 

The vein of ore tapped by the Keys and Mammoth was traced for 
over two miles, and many lesser mines were opened into it. A legend noted 
by Stephen Barton, one of the later pioneers of the upper Kern river country, 
says that Richard Keys went back to his old home in 1861 with the laudable 
intention of making all his relatives rich, and when he came back he found 
his mine caved in and full of water — hopelessly out of commission. Years 
later Stavert Brothers ran a drainage tunnel at a level of 350 feet below the 
old Keys tunnel, and the rehabilitated mine yielded some $65,000 in gold. 

Stephen Barton describes an old Chilean quartz mill he saw in the 
Keysville district as consisting of "two large wheels hewn from solid granite, 
seven or eight feet in diameter and a foot and a half thick, each weighing 
three or four tons," and both in good repair as late as 1888. The wornrout 
stamps which had carried wooden stems, and the cast-iron slabs that had 
lined a wooden battery box, continues Mr. Barton, were modelled after those 
used by Lord Sterling (General Alexander), north of Morristown in the 
reduction of iron ore in preparing solid shot for Washington's army. 

For years the washing of the sands in the placers went on side by side 
with the quartz mining. At first the more fortunate of the placer miners 
made as high as $16 to $60 per day and more, but a larger number had to 
be content with $5 to $8, and many others panned out much less than this. 
Finally, when the white men had gleaned the gulches of their richest treasure, 
the Chinamen came, and these little men, content with small wages, shovelled 
and washed the sands over and over till they were clean and white to the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 37 

bedrock. For the Chinamen, the aftermath of the Kern river placers con- 
tained fabulous wealth. 

The Town of Keysville 
The placers began to lose their charm for the white miner.s abnut 1857, 
and at that time the quartz mines of Keysville probably were at their height. 
Between the discovery in 1854 and 1857 or '58 the town of Keysville had 
no apologies to oflfer to any mining cam]5 in all the length of the Sierra Nevada 
mines. The town lay in a little cove where the southern slope of Greenhorn 
mountain melts into a flat at the edge of a short, rocky gulch. There were 
no streets. Marsh & Kennedy's store, the blacksmith shop and the office 
of Gen. J. W. Freeman, then justice of the peace and later district attorney 
of Kern county, stood near the center of the little semicircular flat. A little 
way up the slope of the hill to the west of the flat were the residences, 
grouped informally, as houses may well be where all travel is by foot or 
horseback. 

The size of the townsite is well illustrated by a story told by Mr. Lightner. 
General Freeman slept in his office, which, as stated, was near the center 
of the flat, or "business section," and took his meals with the Lightners, 
who lived in the semi-circle of residences on the hillside. That was before 
the days of the handy alarm clock, and it was one of the early morning duties 
of Mr. Lightner's older brother to step out in the front yard and heave 
a small rock down on the roof of the courthouse to waken the slumbering 
justice to his breakfast. 

But if Keysville was small in the amount of space it covered its gamblers 
could pile as many gold pieces on the table as those of many larger places, 
and no man"s costume was complete without two Colt's revolvers and a 
bowie knife strapped about him. After four or five years when the town 
grew older and more conservative, the knife and guns were worn more as an 
ornament than otherwise, but up to the time of the Civil war no well dressed 
man, after he had shaved and put on his clean shirt on Sunday morning, 
forgot to buckle the big, and fully loaded, fire arms about his waist. 

William Weldon and J. V. Roberts, among the first settlers in Walker's 
basin, supplied the Keysville miners with beef, but the bulk of the other 
supplies were brought in from Los Angeles by pack animals. This lasted up 
to 1857 or '58, when the pack trains began to be succeeded by ox-team 
freighters. In the days of the pack train its arrival in camp or the sight of 
it winding over the hills in the distance was the signal for universal rejoicing, 
for it nearly always happened that the stocks of provisions were getting low 
before the new supplies arrived. 

The Keysville Fort 
Rumor of an impending attack from the Indians caused the Keysville 
miners in 1855 or 1856 to erect the fort which still stands on the point of a 
ridge running out to the gulch just below the town. The point of this 
ridge is higher than the backbone that joins it to Greenhorn mountain, .so that 
a garrison occupying it could look down upon an enemy approaching from 
any quarter. The fort, which was buih of brush gathered from the chaparral 
and covered with dirt from the hollowed-out center, was shoulder high and 
large enough to accommodate 200 persons. As the Indians of those days 
were armed only with arrows the fort was considered almost as impregnable 
as Gibrahar, arid its location on the gulch leading from the river to the camo 



38 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

was almost as good from a strategic standpoint. W. R. Bower, afterward 
sheriff of the county, and Frank Warren were among the leaders in the 
building of the fort, but it proved that their labors were but an excess of 
caution, for the Indian war of 1856, exciting enough in Tulare county and 
farther north, never reached so far back in the mountains as Keysville. Some 
sixty of the Keysville miners were summoned by John W. Williams of 
Visalia and William Lynn of Linn's valley to assist the settlers along White 
and Tule river in the Tule river war. This war, or so much of it as has 
anything to do with Kern county, is dealt with in connection with the gath- 
ering up of the Indian tribes from the valley and foothills and their concen- 
tration at the Tejon and other reservations. 

Meantime the early gold seekers began to search the other hills and 
ranges both above and below Keysville. General Freeman and others mined 
on Greenhorn mountain in 1855 or a little later. In 1856 Major Erskine had 
a stamp mill on what is now the Palmer ranch in the lower end of the Hot 
Springs valley, and was crushing ore for many miners thereabout. Later 
Major Erskine moved away, but his sons Thomas and M. E., remained, and 
Erskine creek was named in their honor." 

The Big Blue Mine and Whiskey Flat 

One day in 1860, it is related, the mule of "Lovely" Rogers, a Keysville 
miner, wandered away and "Lovely," being a true prospector, when he had 
picked up the trail and found that it led ofif up the river, tucked his pick 
under his arm and followed. Whether he recovered the mule or not, is a 
matter to be only presumed. What is more important, he brought back a 
piece of rock from the place where the Big Blue mine is now located. That 
was the beginning of Kernville, first known as Whiskey Flat. 

Rogers' sample assayed well, and he returned to the place where his 
wandering mule had led him and began to uncover the ledge. Shortly after 
he sold his mine to J. W. Sumner. Sumner moved to the new camp, followed 
by many others, among the first being Adam Hamilton, who stood two 
barrels of whiskey on end, laid a plank across the top, and began to dispense 
the stimulant necessary to the proper development of a new mining camp. 
But Hamilton's bar was in too close proximity to the residences of Sumner 
and Caldwell, and he was ordered to move his whiskey down on the flat, 
a mile below, a circumstance which may or may not have suggested the 
name for the new town. 

Hamilton opened a store as well as a bar. Kittridge & Company were 
among the early merchants in Whiskey Flat, and Lewis Clark was another 
of the pioneer saloon keepers. The Sumner mine, also the property of J- W. 
Sumner, the Jeiif Davis, the Beauregard, the Nellie Dent, named for the 
wife of General Grant by William Ferguson, its owner, the Lady Belle and 
the Sarah Jane were among the early Kernville mines, and most of them 
were onthe same ledge with the Big Blue and were later consolidated under 
that name by Senator John P. Jones, the bonanza king, and E. R. Burke. In 
1867 Kern county was considered the most important of the mining counties 
in the southern part of the state, and Kernville was the most important 
mining town in the county. There were upward of a dozen important quartz 
mines, within a length of a couple of miles, and several extensive mills 
were in operation. At that time the entire county contained some seventeen 
quartz mills, and about 1200 people engaged in mining. 

Senator Jones took over the Big Blue mine from Sumner in 1875, and at 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 39 

once increased the activity of the Kernviile district. lUirixc was the manairer. 
and under his direction the most efficient mining; methods of the time were 
employed. He imported a large number of Cornish miners, employing about 
200 miners all told. The mine was equipped with an 80-stamp mill, and 
about 100 tons of ore were taken out and crushed daily. 

In 1870 there had been but little doing in Kernviile, and there were 
less than a score of people in the town. In 1876 there were six or seven 
stores, .four saloons, a brewery, three hotels, a livery stable, and other busi- 
ness and private establishments in proportion. 

The operations in the Big Blue went on swimmingly until 1879, when the 
bottom dropped out of certain of Senator Jones' Nevada mining stocks, and 
he ordered the work at Kernviile shut down. Ed Cushman, who had been 
book-keeper for Jones, secured a lease on the Big Blue, and worked it for 
about a year. Then Jacoby and Michaels leased it, ran a drainage tunnel under 
the mine at the river level, and took out a large amount of very profitable 
ore. They carried their workings down to the level of their drainage tunnel 
and quit. 

Founding of Havilah 
Long before the glory of Whiskey Flat began to fade, the restless 
advance guard of prospectors had passed on and was exploring all the gulches 
and hillsides for many miles to the south and east. One of the prospecting 
parties about the last week in June or the first week in July, 1864, went down 
Kern river and up Clear creek and found the first color of gold at Havilah, 
the third famous mining camp of Kern county, and a little later, when the 
county was organized out of portions of Tulare and Los Angeles counties, 
the first county seat. 

It is recorded that Benjamin T. Alitchel, Alexander Reid, George McKay 
and Dr. C. De La Borde, the "French Doctor," composed the discovering 
party, but to a man by name of Harpinding goes the honor of giving the new 
camp its name. Harpinding was one of the few early miners who seem to 
have carried Bibles in their kits, or his memory served him well with recol- 
lections of his boyhood days in a more pious land, for he turned to the second 
chapter of Genesis and found it written in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth 
verses that "A river went out of Eden to water the garden ; and from thence 
it parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison ; that 
is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And 
the gold of that land is good ; there is bdellium and the onyx stone." 

The first camp of the prospectors was in a gulch just below the spot 
where the town was afterward located. A month later the Clear creek 
mining district was organized, with Havilah as its focal point, and the latest 
diggings rapidly assumed first rank in interest if not in importance among 
the county's mining towns. 

The first company of prospectors called their mines the Havilah, and 
organized the Havilah Mining Company. They were prospectors rather 
than miners, however, and soon dissolved their partnership and continued to 
search for new leads on their individual accounts. Dr. La Borde and August 
Gouglat located some thirty-six claims in the Clear Creek district, among 
them being the Dijon Nos. 1 and 2, the Cape Horn, the Alma Nos. 1 and 2, 
the Rhone, Eagle, Rochefort, Navarre, Nievre, Lyon and Marengo. A little 
later, in October, La Borde and Gouglat sold their claims for $50,000. 

The most productive mine in the district was the Delphi, located by 



40 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

H. McKeadney and known also as the McKeadney mine. The Tyrone and 
Lexington also were McKeadney's property. Nicewander (or Nyswander), 
Park & Co. were among the early locators. 

The first mill in the Clear Creek or Havilah district was brought by 
Joseph H. Thomas, from the Coso district, where it had been operated by 
the Willow Springs Mining and Milling Company, and the first rock crushed 
was from the Dijon mine. It yielded $37 per ton. In January, 1865, Gen. 
J. W. Freeman moved his 4-stamp mill to Havilah from his mine on Green- 
horn mountain. The first rock he put through the mill was from the mines 
of Nicewander, Park & Co., and out of twenty-seven tons of ore $5000 in 
gold was saved directly from the battery. The same week rock from the 
Rochefort ledge yielded $230 per ton. and a run of Delphi ore netted $180 
per ton. 

These fabulous returns, considering the crude facilities at hand for 
extracting the gold, served to fan the interest in the Havilah mines to a fever 
heat, and the little gulch was soon resounding by day to the sound of blasting 
powder and stamp mills, and by night to the golden clink of coin on the 
gambling tables. According to the graphic account of a woman whose home 
in those days stood on the hillside just below one of the gambling resorts, 
the sound was as though someone were continually pouring twenty-dollar 
gold pieces out of a tin pan. By day the interest in the gambling tables 
was only a little less absorbing. A man who had occasion to search the 
county records some years later said he always had to wait till a poker game 
was finished before he could drag an unwilling official away long enough to 
unlock the archives and give him access to the few and fragmentary docu- 
ments on file. 

The Relief mine, or the Rand, as it was also known, was the property 
of Col. Arnold A. Rand, who bought out the locations of Nicewander, Park 
& Co. The prospectors generally were succeeded by men of larger capital 
who began the development of the mines, and when the county was organized 
in 1866 there was no settlement in all the territory embraced that could 
put forward a rival claim against Havilah for the county seat. 

A writer in 1867 states that there were at that time thirty stamp mills 
in Kern and Tulare counties, twenty-five of them being in Kern county and a 
majority of the latter number being in the Clear Creek district. Throughout 
this district were found many veins of ore ranging from two to six feet in 
thickness, and most of them were worked with marked success. Speaking 
generally of the quartz mines of the county, the same writer says that above 
the line of permanent water the ores carried mostly free gold and the early 
miners extracted it readily. When they reached the sulphureted ores, how- 
ever, so much difficulty was experienced that in 1865 and 1867 not more 
than one-quarter of the mills were in operation, and the production of 
bullion had decreased proportionately. 

Other Mining Districts 

So early as 1861 prospectors had drifted over the hills fifty miles south- 
east of Havilah and twenty miles from Walker's pass and opened the Milligan 
mine in El Poso district. They had sunk a shaft to the depth of 175 feet 
and penetrated a ledge that yielded from $57 to $150 per ton. 

In 1868, according to the Havilah Courier, the Sageland district was 
attracting so much attention as to make things a little dull at Kernville. The 
Sageland district is on the eastern slope of Piute mountain, skirting the desert 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 41 

and is filled with broken ranges of dry, cactus-covered hills. The St. John, 
Hortensia, Burning Moscow and other quartz mines scattered through these 
hills yielded good quantities and qualities of ore, and justified, in the belief 
of the discoverers of the district, the pleasing name of the New Eldorado. 
Tom Bridger was one of the pioneers of the Sageland district. 

In the early sixties, also, Henry and Deitrich Bahten were exploring 
the free gold ledges and placers on Piute mountain. The old Piute and 
Big Indian mines were among the best known producers in this district. 
Robert Palmer and Wade Hampton Williams discovered some very rich 
placers on Piute, and the thriving camp of Claraville was the result. 

Some years later, about 1876, the Bull Run silver mine, located on Bull 
run about five miles above Kernville, was credited by contemporary writers 
with being one of the richest silver mines in the world. 

In October, 1870, a Kernville letter to the Kern County Courier stated 
that forty men were employed about the Kernville mines, mostly working on 
shares and doing well. Three men in one month cleaned up $500. Ore 
from the Big Blue was paying about $25 per ton. 

About the same time it was reported that Burdett and Tucker had struck 
a new lead in the Long Tom mine, the scene later of one of the memorable 
tragedies in Kern county history. 

An optimistic correspondent of the Courier in 1870 wrote that the Joe 
Walker mine in Walker's basin was doing better than ever since new pumping 
machinery, recently installed, had enabled the miners to reach the lower 
ores. But water trouble finally caused the abandonment of the mine. Stephen 
Barton states that the last eflfort on the Joe Walker was made by Judge Colby 
with a Cornish pump that was warranted to throw 100 miners' inches of 
water 400 feet high. When the lift had reached 290 feet the pump was labor- 
ing very hard, and there was more than 100 inches of water to be handled. 
"A week of strain terminated the life of the pump, and the mine was per- 
manently closed." 

A report from the Kern river mines to the Courier by C. Schofield, 
June 3, 1871, said that the Big Blue was in steady operation and keeping a 
16-stamp mill going. The mine had been worked with an open cut to a 
depth of thirty or forty feet and about seventy feet in width across the 
vein. A drift Had been run about thirty-six feet in the direction of the 
hanging wall, but neither wall had yet been seen. The ore was running 
$17.50 to the ton. About two years before there were thousands of tons of 
dump rock, but all of it had then been worked. A shaft was sunk sixty 
feet below the bottom of the cut, and a drift run, but the water was so 
troublesome that work had to be abandoned on the lower level. The Sumner 
ledge, the northeasterly half of the Big Blue, was then owned chiefly by 
A. Staples & Co. From the bottom of an 80-foot shaft, ore running as 
high as $75 to the ton had been taken out, together with immense quantities 
of a lower grade. The hanging wall had been barely touched, and the foot 
wall had never yet been seen. A black, massive, sulphuret rock was the best 
producing ore, but with the facilities at hand a large part of the sulphurcts 
were lost. 

Next in importance to the Big Blue at this time was the Bull Run. which 
had been worked to a depth of 200 to 300 feet with an engine and hoist, and 
from which several hundred thousand dollars had been extracted. Only 
two small companies, working on shares, were taking out oi-e at the time, 



42 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

and these were working near the east end of the ledge on a vein about two 
feet in width which yielded ore running about $20 to the ton. 

The Beauregard, which had paid well at the surface, was not worked at 
that time. Two small companies were taking ore from a narrow but very- 
rich ledge, the rock paying $75 to $100 per ton. All these mines had been 
involved in litigation which interfered seriously with their development. 

In 1873 a Tehachapi note in the Courier says that Green & Henderson 
had just cleaned up $1438 in their hydraulic mine near that place. 

For some time past the Owens river mines had been an indirect means of 
revenue to Kern county, most of their freighting being via Tehachapi and 
Bakersfield to the end of the Southern Pacific railroad, then being built 
down the valley. On November 9, 1872, A. Cross arrived in Bakersfield 
with three teams bringing 335 bars or 30,000 pounds of bullion from the 
foot of Owens lake, to which point it had been brought by steamer from 
the furnaces on the opposite side. It took ten days to make the trip from 
the lake to Bakersfield. The trip from the lake to Los Angeles consumed 
considerably more time, and as a result the railroad officials were hopeful 
of getting all the Owens river trade via teams to the end of the track, then 
Hearing Tipton. 

In 1873 mention is made of the fact that Temple, Boushey & Weston 
were about to begin work on their mine near San Emidio, and expected 
to ship about 500 tons of ore per month over the railroad to San Francisco 
■for treatment — provided it paid to do so, as apparently it did not. 

During the eight days ending June 7, 1873, 1000 bars, or 45 tons of 
base bullion passed through Bakersfield from the Cerro Gordo mines in Inyo 
county to the railroad terminus, and the traffic to and from the mines 
appeared to be increasing. The next month the Kern & Inyo Forwarding 
Company was advertising for fifty mule teams to haul between Owens lake 
and Tipton, and was guaranteeing full loads both ways. 

A letter from the Panamint mountains in November, 1873, tells of a 
little ball of silver being taken from the Dolly Varden lode by Edward Hall. 
The ledge was three feet in thickness and looked good to the prospectors. 
R. C. Jacobs is mentioned as one of the discoverers of the Panamint mines. 
About a year later the Panamint excitement was at its height. 

In December, 1874, E. R. Burke, who was managing the Big Blue for 
himself and Senator Jones, is quoted as saying that the average run of the 
ore paid $15 and cost $5 to handle. The season was an active one in the 
Long Tom mines. 

In 1875 a newspaper note said that the Kernville ledges had been ex- 
plored for twenty-five miles. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 43 

CHAPTER IV 
The Beginning of Agriculture and Stock-Raising 

When the first farmers arrived in Kern county is more a matter of 
tradition than of history. In the early '40s an old immigrant trail came 
through Tejon canon from the south, skirted the hills below Bear mountain, 
wound over the mesa northward, crossing the present line of the Southern 
Pacific between Bakersfield and Edison and forded Kern river, or Rio Bravo, 
as it was then known, a short distance above the present bridge between 
the China grade and the Kern river oil fields. There is reason to believe that 
sons of men who pioneered the virgin forests and prairies of Tennessee, 
Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas, driven westward and westward by the 
hereditary wanderlust, paused on their way to the older sections of the state 
to feed their stock and let their children stretch their legs among the trees 
and grassy hills around Tejon and along the fertile banks of Kern river 
where Bakersfield now stands. Back in the Tejon hills in the earliest days 
were gaunt mountaineers of the Tennessee stock, and the first known set- 
tlers on Kern Island tell of predecessors or signs of predecessors. 

These first comers, however, or those, at least, who paused in the 
valley, were sojourners only. At most they may have hunted and fished for 
a season and replenished their stores of corn with a crop grown on the quickly 
responding soil of the Kern delta where it was necessary only to drop the 
seed and cover it with a little earth scraped up with the foot. Then they 
passed on, and the next flood or the next sand storm wiped out all trace 
of their habitation. 

John Woodhouse Audubon, in his Western Journal, says that when 
he passed through what is now Kern coimty he saw one party of settlers 
preparing to make permanent homes. Audubon came up from Los Angeles 
through Tejon caiion in the latter part of November, 1849, with ten men and 
forty-six mules. Coming through the pass they had to wade knee deep in a 
torrent of water that poured down the trail. The mountain tops about were 
covered with snow, and when they emerged on the plain they were greeted 
with a blast of hail in their faces, swept on by a wind that uprooted cotton- 
wood trees at the caiion's mouth. The plain was wet and boggy, and the 
party skirted the hills and made long detours to keep on fairly solid ground. 
Audubon also saw an Indian village and many scattered huts where the 
natives were grinding acorns and fanning grass seeds for their winter larder. 
The Indians, he says, were friendly, but he does not undertake to fix the 
location either of the Indian village or of the settlement of whites. A Lewis 
woodpecker, Stellar's jay and a new hawk with a white tail were objects 
that fixed Audubon's attention to quite as great a degree as did the beginning 
of civilization upon the Kern delta— if that is where the settlers he mentions 
were pitching their tents. 

The first settlers who came and stayed were those of the South Fork, 
Walker's basin, and other mountain districts contiguous to the early mines. 
Mr. Seibert is said to have first located in South Fork Valley in 1846. Frank 
Barrows about 1857 established a claim on the South Fork on the site of the 
present home of P. T. Brady. John Nicoll came about the same time. William 
Scodie and Thomas H. Smith settled in the upper end of South Fork valley 



44 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

in 1861-62, and the latter resides there to this day. In 1857 William Weldon 
settled in Walker's basin, moving thence to the South Fork. Weldon ami 
J. V. Roberts in connection with their stock ranch, ran a butcher business 
and supplied most of the beef consumed by the Keysville miners. In 1858 
A. T. Lightner, Sr., sold his mining and milling interests at Keysville and 
bought a settler's claim in Walker's basin for $1600. With the claim went 
certain farming implements and a band of 100 to 150 head of Spanish cattle, 
little and lean and wild. 

Other settlers of the South Fork valley were William W. Landers; 
George Clancy, who came in 1861 ; and J. L. Mack, who arrived about 1864. 
John McCray, who had lived with his parents for a few years on Kern Island 
about 1859-60 and later around Visalia, went to the South Fork as a boy in 
August, 1870, and worked for W. W. Landers until he had acquired cattle and 
land of his own. Landers was one of the largest stock men of the mountain 
section, running about 2000 head in the early days and as high as 10,000 
head in the '90s. 

The raising of hay, vegetables and beef constituted the chief occupation 
of the early mountain farmers, and all their produce found a ready market in 
the mining camps. Lightner sold hay at Keysville for $40 to $50 per ton, 
and a little later hay delivered to the soldiers at Fort Tejon brought, some- 
times, as high as $60 per ton. It was while hauling hay to Havilah in 1867 
that Lightner lost his life. The morning was cold and frosty, and while going 
down a hill his foot slipped from the brake and he was thrown forward under 
the wagon wheels. 

Farming in the mountains in these early days was not without other than 
purely pastoral interest. In the very earhest times there was more or less 
danger from Indians and bear as well as white marauders and renegades, 
and on the breaking out of the Civil war the division of sentiment in the state 
between Union and Confederate was made the excuse for the organization of 
guerrilla bands, the real object of which was only theft and pillage. Neither 
the organized bands nor the individual marauders appear to have inflicted 
any serious harm on the settlers, but they helped to keep their nerves at 
tension by not infrequent visits. The three Kelso brothers, for example, 
often demanded the hospitality of the Lightner home, and always, of course, 
were entertained. They slept on the floor with their clothes all on, their 
feet toward the hearthstone and their heads on a pile of murderous guns. 
A. T. Lightner, Jr., had a toy revolver made of the barrel of an abandoned 
gun with a handle whittled out of wood and thrust into the breech. One of 
the Kelso brothers, seeing this one night, secured it and while his youngest 
brother slept, stealthily placed it under his head and drew away one of the 
small cannon that comprised the desperado's armament. The youthful owner 
of the toy was a fearful witness of the prank, and his opinion of the desperate 
character of the youngest Kelso was not changed when the latter awoke 
and cursed and glowered for hours over the trick that had been played 
upon him. 

The Mason and Henry gang was one of the bands of murderers and horse 
thieves organized under the cloak of patriotism. About the time the war 
broke out Mason and Henry called a meeting on Cottonwood creek a short 
distance south of the mouth of Kern river caiion, for the stated purpose of 
organizing a company of men to join the Confederate army. A large number 
of Confederate sympathizers, among them W. R. Bower, afterward sheriff 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 45 

of the county, responded, but the real character of the gang soon becoming 
known, Bower and many others withdrew. Later Bower saddled his horse, 
rode it through to Missouri and served four years under the snuthern flag, 
returning to Kern county after a wound in his ankle had put him out of the 
fight. 

The outlaw gang, either before or after the meeting mentioned, built a 
stone corral or fort, as they called it, on the banks of Cottonwood creek, 
where remains of it are to be seen to this day. Mason and Henry formerly 
were employes of the stage line at Elkhorn station and started on their career 
of crime by stealing so many of the stage animals as they thought they 
needed. They acted a notable part in the drama of outlawry played out in the 
San Joaquin valley in the early days of its history. 

The South Fork Valley 

The South Fork valley is about twenty miles in length and from one to 
three miles in width. Despite its elevation and the stream that flows through 
it, it was practically a desert when the first settlers arrived. The ground, 
very fertile when water was applied, was covered in its virgin state with 
high sage brush and was suitable for nothing but a rough range for cattle. 
The very earliest of the settlers cleared about ten acres each about their 
homes and devoted their energies to herding their cattle up and down the 
river. From 1861 to 1881 the construction of irrigation ditches to carry 
water over the valley progressed with more or less industry until finally 
the whole of the level land was watered and the valley became one of the 
most productive areas of the state. 

John A. Benson surveyed the valley in 1875, charging the settlers at the 
rate of $150 per quarter section, and such an artistic and satisfactory job 
did he do, it is said, that hardly a settler was obliged to move more than a 
few rods of the fences built on section lines run out by instinct and the polar 
star. 

The distribution of the water occasioned a little more difficulty. A number 
of suits were brought between settlers to determine their respective rights, 
but few were carried to a conclusion, and to this day there has not been a 
court decision covering the South Fork irrigation rights generally. About 
1899, however, owners of the different ditches drew up and signed an agree- 
ment, setting aside to each quarter section 150 miner's inches of water and 
establishing the right of precedence according to priority of location. 

In 1885 South Fork failed fully to supply the irrigation ditches, and the 
waters of Whitney creek were diverted from the North Fork to the South 
Fork through a. tunnel six feet high and si.x feet wide, driven 350 feet 
through a hill. The tunnel caved in, and Jeff Gillum was given a contract to 
make the tunnel an open cut for $1000. He failed to get the cut down to 
grade, and in the suit over the settlement expert witnesses said that the 
job could not be done under $3500. The farmers paid the bill, and put a 
dam across the creek to force the water through the unfinished cut. 

In 1895 Miller & Lux and the Kern County Land Company with their 
affiliated canal companies filed a suit asking for an order of the court enjoining 
the farmers of the South Fork from using the water they had appropriated, 
claiming a prior right to all the waters of Kern river and its aflfluents. 
The suit was never pressed to a trial, however, and a similar suit filed 
by the same parties some six years later followed a similar course. In 1908 a 
third suit was filed and is still pending in the early stages. It is stated that 



46 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the plaintiffs have no expectation of depriving the South Fork irrigators of 
their water, but desire a court decision fixing the amount they are entitled to 
divert. 

Very recently a government agent made a careful inspection of the 
South Fork irrigation system and gathered data regarding the suits that 
had been filed, but the purpose was not given out, and no further develop- 
ments as yet have indicated what action, if any, the government may have in 
view. 

The height of the cattle business in the South Fork valley was in 1890 to 
1899. From then on the restrictions of the Federal Forest Reserve have 
curtailed the free range which the stockmen previously enjoyed, and the 
herds accordingly have been reduced to what may be kept on the owners' 
lands and pastured to the extent permitted within the limits of the reserve. 

The revival of activity in the Big Blue mine in 1875 gave farming in 
the South Fork valley its first great stimulus, and beside the cattle, large 
quantities of hogs, grain, vegetables and other products were delivered to 
the mines. In 1872 the culture of alfalfa was begun in the valley by an 
Englishman named Jack Waterworth on the present home ranch of William 
Landers. Gradually the growing of alfalfa took the place of wheat raising, 
and now alfalfa is the principal farm product of the South Fork. 

Early Settlers on the Kern Delta 

John McCray, now a resident of Bakersfield but best known over the 
county as a large stock raiser and rancher of the South Fork valley, carries 
the story of farming on the Kern river delta back a little farther than anyone 
else the writer has been able thus far to find. John McCray, Sr., with a 
party of west-bound pioneers under the leadership of Capt. Johnny Roberts, 
drove a band of 1000 Durham cattle across the plains from Missouri in the 
early '50s, and John McCray, Jr., was born on the journey, somewhere near 
Donner lake. The family settled first in Tuolumne county, and went from 
there to Centerville, on Kings river. At the latter place they were troubled 
so much with malaria that in 1859 they came to the Kern delta, establishing 
themselves about three miles south of the present boundaries of Bakersfield. 
In passing it is to be mentioned that from then until 1864, when the McCrays 
moved to Visalia to give their children the benefit of schools, not one of the 
family had a chill. 

In 1859 the overland or immigrant road entered the valley through Tejon 
pass, going from the fort east of Adobe and then drifting westward and 
northward and crossing the old south fork about eight miles south of what 
was later the Poindexter place. From there it followed about the course of the 
present Kern Island road to what was then the Walker Shirley place and 
what is now the Lowell addition to Bakersfield. The road ran through the 
present townsite and crossed the river about where the old Jewett avenue 
bridge formerly stood. From the other side of the river the road followed 
the present road to Poso creek, past Mon's place and Willow Springs, crossed 
White river at Irish John's place, and thence past Fountain springs to Porter- 
ville and Tulare. 

The old Butterfield stage road followed the same route from Visalia to a 
point near the Kern river oil fields, where it headed down a canon to a point 
just above the present China grade bridge, where a ferry was operated by 
Major Gordon between 1861 and 1864, and previously, according to some 
accounts, by a man named Gale. Major Gordon had an adobe house by his 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 47 

ferry, and a pile of dirt remains to this day to mark the spot. From the ferry 
the stage road turned east along the flat between the river and the bluffs and 
sought an easy place to scale the latter some distance up the stream from the 
bottom of the present China grade. The old road is still in use to some extent, 
about a mile and a half above the bridge. Out east of the Southern Pacific 
round house a few miles was the first stage station south of the river. Twelve 
miles farther south there was another, and at Rose station there was another. 
They changed teams every twelve miles on the entire route, 2888 miles from 
some place back in Texas through New Mexico and Arizona close to the 
present route of the Southern Pacific railroad, through Yuma to Los Angeles, 
thence via Fort Tejon, Kern river, Visalia, Pacheco pass and Gilroy to San 
Francisco. Between stations the horses went at a gallop, dragging the lum- 
bering Concord stage with its twelve passengers (and more if the traffic 
demanded) and the United States mails. They got letters through to San 
Francisco from St. Louis via El Paso in twenty-four days, and the govern- 
ment paid the company $600,000 a year subsidy. The cancelled stamps 
amounted to about $27,000. On the breaking out of the war this mail route 
was discontinued, and transcontinental letters came via the northern route 
only. 

In 1858 the Pacific and Atlantic Telegraph Company started stringing 
its wires along this stage route, and in 1860 the line was completed to Los 
Angeles, where the work, planned to continue east, was halted. Later the 
Western Union consolidated all the telegraph lines of the coast. 

Site of Bakersfield in 1859 

The present site of Bakersfield was not, as some reports would make it 
seem, in the least like a swamp in the '50s. The main channel of the river was 
down what later came to be known as Panama slough, leaving the present 
river channel a little way west of the point of Panorama heights and crossing 
the present intersection of Nineteenth and B streets. It was not a deep 
channel, although occasional deep holes were bored out of the soft, alluvial 
bed by the swirling current. 

The south fork, flowing a little way west of the present course of the 
Kern Island canal, was the second largest of the channels that divided the 
waters of Kern river. It was narrower than the Panama channel, and the 
banks were steep in most places, making it necessary to choose a place down 
which a horse could be ridden and often to swim the animal down stream to 
find a place where he could scramble out on the other side. Lesser sloughs 
and channels of that day were unimportant except as they encouraged the 
growth of willows on their banks and tules in their beds and helped the process 
of sub-irrigation which caused sunflowers, cockleburs, tumble weed and 
other riotous wild vegetation to grow to fabulous heights over all the inter- 
vening land. 

Beginning of the County's Cattle Industry 

The McCrays brought their Durham cattle, between 150 and 200 head, 
to their new home, and are entitled to the distinction of bringing the first 
blooded stock to Kern county. About the only other cattleman in this end of 
the valley at that time was Don David Alexander, who had his headquarters 
at San Emidio about 1861, and whose 20,000 or 25,000 head of wild. Spanish 
cattle ranged all over the San Emidio hills and around Kern and Buena 
Vista lake and the lower reaches of Kern river. Alexander bought all of 



48 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

McCray's bull calves and gradually built up the quality of his herd. Cattle 
were marketed then in San Francisco, and the herds of beeves were driven 
up the valley to the bay with as little concern for the long journey as many 
a farmer feels now in driving his stock. to the nearest railroad station, six 
or a dozen miles away. 

It was later on that the Crockers, J. C. and Ed, established themselves 
at Temblor and went into the cattle business on a large scale in connection 
with Henry Miller. J. C. Crocker was an important figure in the stock 
business for a score of years following his arrival at Temblor. He acted as 
Miller's agent in the purchase of both cattle and land, and helped to build 
up the immense property of Miller & Lux in the San Joaquin valley. It is 
reported that at the end of twenty years of loose, indefinite partnership with 
Miller, Crocker asked for an accounting. Miller discouraged the idea and 
wanted to know what was the use, but Crocker insisted that he was getting 
on in years and would like to know how much money he was worth. Finally 
Miller sent him to the book-keepers at the San Francisco office, where 
Crocker was informed, after due search of the ledgers, that he owed the firm 
a hundred thousand dollars. Despite these discouraging figures, however, 
Crocker soon became the owner of one of the finest of the Miller ranches in 
the Kern delta, long known as the Crocker ranch, and later as the Balfour- 
Guthrie ranch near Panama. In addition to his renown as a cattle man, Jim 
Crocker was known throughout the length of the valley as a hunter of out- 
laws. He was one of the leaders in the successful expedition against Joaquin 
Murietta, and helped also to mete out summary justice to other evil doers 
of less unenviable fame. 

By 1868 there were many cattlemen and many herds both in the valley 
and in the mountains and hills. In 1870 John Funk had succeeded Alexander 
at San Emidio, and was the possessor of great herds. 

Meantime the cattlemen were well established in the valleys about 
Tehachapi, in Walker's basin, in the South Fork valley, around Poso Flat 
and Granite and in Linn's valley, where Staniford & Dunlap made their 
headquarters and ranged their herds all through the mountains and foot- 
hills from Porterville to Tehachapi. Meantime, also, the Jewett Brothers had 
launched the sheep industry of the county from the Rio Bravo ranch on 
Kern river, midway between the Kern river oil fields and the mouth of the 
canon. 

Some of the Very Old Timers 

Getting back to the Kern delta in 1860-61, the settlers besides the Mc- 
Crays included the Shirleys, the Wickers, the Daughertys, the Gilberts, and 
a little farther south and west toward Buena Vista lake, Tom Barnes and 
Jim and Jefif Harris. Where Walker Shirley lived (where the Lowell addi- 
tion is now) was a large thicket of willows growing along the banks of the 
south fork. Similar thickets were scattered about in the low places where 
the water frequently overflowed, and the general landscape, viewed from the 
present center of Bakersfield, was dotted with large cottonwood trees, a con- 
siderable number of which still remain, not so very much larger than they 
were fifty years ago. John Shirley lived close to where the Chinese burying 
ground south of D street is now located. R. M. Gilbert lived where the old 
race track was built later, at the north end of Chester avenue. 

Quite a number of Indian families lived about the present townsite, 
hunting the deer and antelope and other wild game that abounded, and 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 49 

fisliing for the trout that swam in lower Kern river at that time. Also 
they farmed a little and worked, on occasion, for the whites. Mrs. Van 
Orman, who was formerly Mrs. Gilbert, says the Indians used to jab a sharp 
stick into the earth, drop a few kernels of corn therein and close the opening 
with their heels. Later on they harvested the crop, doing little meantime 
save fish and hunt. The white settlers farmed little more thoroughly, for 
the crops grew anyway, and what was the use? The Indians built their abodes 
almost wholly of tules. The whites used willow poles for the frames of 
their buildings and thatched both sides and roof with tules and flags. When 
they got to feeling more settled, they built walls of tules and mud, reinforced 
with willow poles stuck in the earth outside and inside at intervals to keep 
them from falling over. The most pretentious residences were built of 
adobes. The floors were invariably of the native earth, raised a little for 
drainage. There was no lumber, and not even the making of good puncheons. 
The Gilberts had a well some six or eight feet deep with earthen steps leading 
down an incline to the water. They walked down and dipped it up instead of 
using a rope and windlass. 

Nobody bothered about titles to land then. They squatted where they 
pleased, and if their first location did not suit them moved next week or 
next year as their fancy dictated. People who were not in the cattle business 
exclusively like the McCrays and y\le-^ander, kept a few cows, a few hogs 
and maybe a few chickens. It was the easiest place in the world in which to 
make a living, says Mrs. Van Orman. Bill Daugherty was the pioneer hog 
raiser of the county, and many tales are told of his ability and prowess not 
only as a handler of tame swine but with the wild ones that flourished in 
droves about Buena Vista and Kern lakes. Among his other accomplishments 
it is stated that Daugherty could grunt so alluringly that the infant porkers 
would leave their mother's side and run squealing to his outstretched hands. 
Not only Daugherty but many others of the early settlers used to hunt wild 
hogs around the lakes. Dogs were specially trained to trail the swine and 
hold them at bay by barking and nipping their heels until the hunters arrived. 
No number of dogs, it is said, could kill a large wild boar.' Sometimes they 
chewed his ears to rags, but in the end when the dogs were tired out the hog 
would rip great gashes in them with his tusks. An unverified legend is to the 
effect that some of the wild hog hunters, having corralled a bunch of the 
beasts, would sew up their eyes and using tame hogs as pilots, would drive 
them to the mountain mines. As a general thing, however, the Buena Vista 
porkers were better handled in the form of hams and bacon. 

Wild cattle and wild horses added to the resources available to the early 
settlers in the Kern delta. In dry seasons when the early cattle raisers on 
the coast had not enough feed to keep their stock from starving, they used 
to drive a portion of their herds over a range into this valley and leave them 
to shift for themselves until the next rains replenished the home pastures. 
Before their owners returned to seek them, many of these cattle had wan- 
dered too far to be gathered together. 

Beginning of the Sheep Industry 

Conspicuous figures in the history of the sheep industry of Kern county 
are the Jewett brothers, Solomon and Philo D., who, as related in a former 
chapter, bought out the flocks of Colonel Vineyard at Tejon ; Gustav Sanger ; 
the Troys; Harry Quinn, pioneer of the northern Kern foothills whose camp 
at Rag gulch was known as a landmark and a hospitable watering place since 



50 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the early 70s ; Peter Lambert of Long Tom ; A. Pauly of Tehachapi ; L. C. 
Flores, who kept a store and shearing camp at San Emidio in the '70s when 
there was Mexican settlement at that place and many sheep in the hills 
thereabout; the Borgwardts, who ran sheep on Poso creek; Jesse Stark, who 
was out at Tejon in the early days, and later on Ardizzi-Olcese Company, 
who were headquarters and outfitters for the itinerant French sheep men ; 
F. M. Noriega, M. Cesmat, J. B. Berges, A. P. Eyraud, all of whom made 
enough money in the sheep business to launch them in other ventures ; Andre 
Vieux and F'aure Brothers of Delano; Pierre Giraud, "Little Pete", and 
scores of men less famous who followed their bands to the mountains and the 
wide ranges beyond in summer and came back to Kern county's warm mesas 
for the February lambing and shearing time. 

The Jewetts have been shepherds for three generations. Solomon W. 
Jewett, father of Solomon and Philo, the Kern county pioneers, was a sheep 
and wool grower of Vermont, and Philo Jewett, one of the sons of the second 
Solomon Jewett, is today one of the largest owners of flocks in Kern county. 
After they had purchased Colonel Vineyard's sheep in 1860, Solomon and 
Philo Jewett established themselves on the Rio Bravo ranch about a dozen 
miles up Kern river from Bakersfield. Later they acquired land adjoining 
the townsite of Bakersfield and west of Bakersfield in what is now the 
Rosedale country. On some of the latter land Philo Jewett now has his 
shearing camp, but the Indians who sheared the fleeces from his father's and 
uncle's sheep in the days before the Civil war have given place to men with 
shearing machines driven by a gasoline engine. 

Next to the Jewetts in point of years and permanence of location is 
Harry Quinn, who first came to spy out the land in 1868 and came to settle 
permanently in 1874, bringing 8000 or 9000 sheep belonging in part to him and 
in part to Archibald Leach. A few years later Quinn bought out the band, 
and increased his flocks and his acres until he had eventually some 20,000 acres 
of land and one of the largest bands of sheep in the county. Quinn is now 
closing out his sheep and has sold part of his range for orange land and leased 
most of the remainder for possible oil land. Young & Riley and W. L. Smith 
on White river and Templeton on Rag Gulch are among the other pioneer 
sheep men of the northern part of the county. 

While his varied career makes him hard to classify, Capt. John Barker 
figures quite prominently in the early sheep industry of the county, having 
run large bands on Kern river in the same vicinity as the scene of the Jewett's 
first ventures. 

The setting apart of a very great area of mountain land as a federal forest 
reserve and the exclusion of the sheep men from the free ranges which they 
had formerly enjoyed therein, was the cause of curtailing to a considerable 
extent the sheep industry in the county, particularly affecting the wandering 
shepherds, the Frenchmen and Basques who own little or no land and depend 
on leasing cheap ranges and driving their flocks from section to section to 
meet the changes of the varying season. 

Whether the total number of sheep in the county will again increase is 

doubtful. The cheap ranges are being put to more profitable purposes, and 

it will soon be a matter for the shepherds to decide whether or not it pays to 

raise sheep inside good pastures where beef cattle and dairy cows will thrive. 

The Mexican Settlement 

What was known in the early days as the Me.xican settlement where 
Panama now is, was founded in 1865 or thereabout, by Dolores Montano, 
who settled on section 26, 30-27. Ventura Cuen came about the same time 
and settled on section 23, 30-27, both of which places were later a part of 
the Panama ranch of Miller & Lux. Montano went back to Sonora, Mexico, 
to die, but Cuen still lives a short distance south of the cemetery on Union 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 51 

avenue with his daughter, Mrs. Joseph Sunega. Tomas Castro, patriarch of 
the present Castro clan, came here in 1868 from Magdalena, Mexico, where 
he had been driven from his htime by the floods of 18(v-68, as severe in 
Mexico as they were in California. Castro located on the Montano place, 
later moving to section 12, 30-27, where he took up a homestead and reared 
his family of eight sons and one daughter. 

Among the other early settlers at Panama were Encarnacion Padres, 
Averon Sierras, Guadeloupe Gonzoles, Tomas Noriega and Jesus Noriega, 
his son. 

After Miller bought the land included in the Panama ranch, most of the 
settlers there moved to Saletral, about a mile and a half northwest of Panama, 
so named on account of a certain excess of alkali in the soil thereabout. The 
first store at Panama was kept by Lesser Hirshfeld, one of the family of pio- 
neer merchants whose name figures conspicuously in the early trade of Bakers- 
field and Tehachapi as well. Panama was about five or six miles east of the 
old Barnes settlement. Just east of Panama, Howard Cross had a ranch in 
1870 or thereabout, but farther east than that in the valley there was prac- 
tically nothing up to something after that date. 

Tomas Castro built the Castro ditch in 1870 and 1871, and both he and 
his neighbors engaged in general farming and stock-raising along the same 
line as the other pioneers. Dom Castro, son of Tomas, tells of catching and 
partially taming the wild Spanish cattle that used to roam the lowlands of 
the valley. They used to lie in wait for the cattle as they would come from 
the willows in what is now the Lowell Addition to Bakersfield, lasso and 
brand them and take them to fenced pastures where they were kept with 
other cattle until they grew tame enough to be herded or driven in bands. 
The Spanish cattle were small, light and very inferior as l^eef animals, liut 
they were excellent runners, if that can be considered a virtue in a ciiw. An 
old Spanish cow would weigh perhaps 700 pounds — quite as often consid- 
erably less. As late as 1880 wild cattle and deer were seen about the Kern 
river oil fields, antelope were plentiful farther west, and elk roamed in the 
Elk hills and along the Coast range mesas. 

About 1870 Francisco Martinez used to make a business of catching wild 
horses where the Lost Hills oil field is now located and all along the Coast 
range hills from Sunflower valley to Carneros springs. Martinez built cor- 
rals with wide extended wings and drove the wild horses therein, or built 
snares for them about their watering places. Sometimes he would get twenty- 
five or thirty of the mustangs in a corral at a drive, and he sold them, either 
broken or unbroken, for $2.50 to $5 per head. A mustang that had been las- 
soed and thrown down was broken, and one that would not throw itself 
over backward when a halter was put on it was a finished product. Tomas 
Castro used to trade Martinez a hair rope for a mustang, and one day Lee 
and Dom were sent to bring home a couple of fillies so acquired. But in 
crossing the river the colts, tied together by their halters, got dizzy and 
turned round and round until they fell down and drowned in the shallow 
stream, although the boys did their best to hold their heads above water. 
Of such value were the wild horses. 

Stories of the Outlaw Vasquez 

Some of the mustangs of the early day. however, were famous for their 
speed and endurance. One of these, Pico Blanco (white Bill), is the hero of 
sundry adventures. One morning before the light began to streak the sky 
above Bear mountain, Tomas Castro was called from his bed by a voice 



52 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

shouting his name from the road. He went out to find Tiburcio Vasquez, 
the famous outlaw, who said he wanted the best horse on the Castro ranch. 
Tomas brought out Pico Blanco, and Vasquez mounted him and dashed 
away — probably pursued by a posse in search of vengeance for some outrage. 
No more was heard or seen of Pico Blanco for many days, when one 
morning Vasquez was again heard calling from the road. When Castro 
appeared Vasquez tossed him $100 in gold and a rope, at the other end of 
which was a bony shadow of Pico Blanco, took his own horse, which had 
been kept at the ranch, and disappeared. Pico got back his flesh and his 
spirit, and in later years, Dom Castro says, Morris Jacoby, a merchant of 
early Bakersfield, used to ride him to Los Angeles, starting in the morning at 
6 o'clock and arriving in the southern city by 7 or 8 in the evening. 

Lesser Hirshfeld, who kept the first store in the Panama settlement, 
tells another story that illustrates the methods of the Vasquez gang. One day 
a Mexican friend stopped at the store and invited Hirshfeld, or Cristobol, 
as he was known by his patrons, to come with him to a dance at a road 
house a few miles down the road. Business was dull, and a part of the 
science of mercantile success is to maintain friendly relations with one's 
patrons, so Cristobol saddled his horse. Arriving at the dance, the merchant 
was impressed by the presence of a large number of strangers and a display 
of fire arms unusual even for a dance in the early days, and he was not long 
in deciding the character of his fellow guests. Hirshfeld took a perfunctory 
part in the festivities and did the proper thing by treating everyone including 
the outlaws to drinks and cigars, and then making some excuse about a 
business engagement, he took a circuitous route back to his store, gathered 
up his cash and galloped by another round-about way to town. He came 
back next day expecting to find his place robbed, but nothino had happened. 
This was Thursday, and that night the pioneer merchant again galloped to 
town with his day's receipts. The same process was repeated Friday and 
Saturday, and Hirshfeld had about exhausted his ingenuity in inventing 
reasons to give his clerk for passing the nights in town, but when he got 
home Sunday morning there was no need for further explanation. In the 
night Vasquez and his men appeared masked and held a parley in front 
of the store with some of Hirshfeld's neighbors. It developed later that the 
neighbors convinced the outlaws that Hirshfeld had gone to town and taken 
all his money with him. Thereupon the gang threw oflf the masks, entered 
the store, called for drinks and paid for them ; called for another round and 
did not pay; called for a third round and paid, and disappeared on their 
horses in the darkness. Any discerning person will understand that Vasquez, 
with the courtesy for which he was noted, did the proper honors of the time 
and the occasion just as though the proprietor had been present, and the 
proprietor, when he returned, fully appreciated it. 

Meantime a posse that left Bakersfield on Friday (taking every gun in 
the city, it is said) was scouring the hills from Caliente to Tejon canon in 
search of the men who were dancing and feasting at Panama. It was the 
last visit of Vasquez to Kern county. From Panama he went to the San 
Fernando valley where he was captured, through the agency of a woman 
who played him false. 

The Barnes Settlement 

The Barnes settlement was named for Thomas Barnes, who was in the 
county in 1859, and who settled some six or eight miles west of Panama in 




81/^ J^ 



'-Jt^ 



r 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 53 

the early '60s. Barnes lived on section 26, 30-26, near a big natural grove of 
cottonwoods that lay a half mile wide and about three miles long in the 
bed of an old slough. Jeflf, Jim, Ed., Noland and Tony Harris, all brothers 
of Mrs. Barnes, had ranches there, but they were away teaming in the moun- 
tains a larger part of the time than they spent farming. By 1868, when 
P. J. Waldon took up a claim in the Barnes settlement. Bill Daugherty had 
lived there and gone, and some of the other earlier settlers were fading 
memories. Mr. Waldon does not recall the name of an Arkansas woman 
who planted an acre of peach trees on the place where Barnes lived in 1868, 
but the fruit was celebrated throughout the whole delta, where any kind of 
peaches probably tasted good in 1868. Barnes had about forty head of cattle, 
and ran hogs in the tules, and nearly all the other early settlers in the 
vicinity did the same. Waldon says the wild hogs were not very good 
eating, but tame hogs sold readily in Bakersfield at four and five cents per 
pound, and the hog-raisers made money. In the later 70s Waldon, Van 
Stoner, W. W. Frazier, Vining Barker and Jock Ellis ran their hogs in 
one herd for economy of management, and the raising of pork was a con- 
siderable industry about Old River, the Barnes settlement and Canfield 
(so called in honor of Wellington Canfield.) 

Wellington Canfield and F. A. Tracy were first in the cattle business 
on Jerry slough, named for Jerry Bush, a cattleman who ran his herds there in 
1866, but later they bought land near the Barnes settlement, and a little 
town was laid out and christened Canfield. 

There is a tradition that the first alfalfa in the county was grown by 
Tom Barnes from seed sent him from South America by a traveler who had 
visited the delta and believed the clover would do well there. It did do well, 
and the fame of the Barnes alfalfa patch was spread all over the county 
in 1867 or "68. 

The Buena Vista Canal Company was organized in 1870 by Barnes, Har- 
ris, Gillum, John Oleton, P. J. Waldon, Peter O'Hare, John Gordon, James 
Cole and others, and later, as in the case of nearly all the canal companies, the 
controlling interest was acquired by Haggin & Carr. 

Throughout the whole of the great Kern delta in the early days every- 
body within a radius of twenty miles was everybody else's neighbor, ready 
to help dispose of a feast or nurse a stricken fellow settler through a fever 
with impartial alacrity. When Sis Daugherty was married to Corbin Wicker, 
old man Daugherty launched his tule boat on the South Fork and hitching his 
riata to the prow swam his horse across to fetch all the neighbors to the 
wedding supper. On Christmas day just before the great flood of 1861-62 that 
made history and geography both in Kern county, the Skileses. who lived 
somewhere south of Reeder lake, made a dinner for the whole neighborhood, 
and the Gilberts, returning just as the first swelling of Panama channel 
began to make the banks boggy, mired down in the foamy, brown water, 
and friendly Indians waded in and carried Mrs. Gilbert and her infant ashore. 

But before I go on with the tale of the flood I must go back a little 
way and relate how all this peaceful Arcadia, where there was neither law 
nor present need of law was the subject of special acts of the state legislature 
and of plans and dreams of men so far-sighted that they lifted their feet to 
step over the threshold into a future, which to us, nearly a whole lifetime 
later, seems far away on the horizon. 



54 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

CHAPTER V 

Floods and Swamp Reclamation 

Residents of the San Joaquin valley in the year 1913 look forward, in 
hours of faith and prophecy, to a time when the population of the valley shall 
be so large and the freight traffic so great throughout the length of it that it 
will be practicable and profitable to build and operate a transportation canal 
from Bakersfield to the bay. We know that it would be neither practicable 
nor profitable at the present time. But it is of the essence of the pioneer to 
see the ultimate destiny, to leap over, in fancy and undertaking, the inter- 
vening years or centuries — it makes little difference to the true pioneer — 
to set cheerfully at work to accomplish the impossible, and to make some 
shift or other in the face of the inevitable defeat. 

It is necessary to keep all this in mind and to remember, also, that 
everybody in the state of California was a pioneer in 1857 when we read 
in the statutes that in that year was passed and approved an act giving 
W. F. Montgomery, Joseph Montgomery, A. J. Downes, F. W. Sampson and 
their associates and assigns the right to reclaim all the swamp land belonging 
to the state "lying between the San Joaquin river at a point known as Kings 
river slough, and Tulare lake, and also the swamp and overflowed lands 
bordering on Tulare, Buena Vista and Kern lakes, and between said lakes, 
and up to the line dividing the said swamp and overflowed lands from the 
lands belonging to the United States." 

The First San Joaquin Valley Canal Project 

Also they were given the right and privilege to construct and put in 
operation a canal, capable of carrying boats of 80-tons burden, all the way 
from Kings river slough on the San Joaquin river to Kern lake, or, if they 
chose, they could switch the course of the canal to intercept the main channel 
of Kern river instead of passing through Buena Vista and Kern lakes. 

They were given a right of way 200 feet wide on each side of the pro- 
posed canal, and were to have the right to operate the waterway and to 
collect such tolls as the legislature might authorize for a period of twenty 
years, after which the ownership of the canal should revert to the state. 
Incidentally the grantees were to have all the odd sections in the tracts 
reclaimed, and for every odd section therein of which the state might thereto- 
fore have disposed, the grantees were to select in lieu four even sections. 

Note particularly that work on the canal must begin within one year 
ana the whole must be completed within three years from the passage of 
the act in order to comply with the provisions of the grant. 
The First State Highway 

In the spring of 1862 the act was amended, a provision being inserted to 
the efifect that out of the 200 feet of right of way allowed on each side of the 
canal the public should be permitted the use of a highway. It also was pro- 
vided that when the work was done the governor and the surveyor-general 
must certify to the reclamation of the land. The new act also extended the 
time limits to one year and three years, respectively, after the passage of 
the amended act. This date was April 10, 1862. 

Meantime W. F. Montgomery, who was the principal in the scheme, 
had not succeeded in interesting capital in the canal project, and for a con- 
sideration of $10,000 he deeded to Thomas Baker and Harvey S. Brown (each 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 55 

an undivided one-half share) all his right, title and interest in the lands in 
question. For smaller sums Baker and Brown bought out the other owners. 

Baker, who seems to have been the active member of the new partnership, 
set about iinding capital to carry out the enterprise, but he was no more 
successful than iMontgomery had been. But the legislature came to his aid 
most generously and again amended the act providing for the reclamation 
of the lands in question, releasing W. F. Montgomery, et al., their asso- 
ciates and assigns from all obligation to construct and put in operation for 
the purpose of navigation, the several canals referred to in the previous act, 
and providing that in consideration of the reclamation of the lands mentioned 
in the act they should be entitled to the same quantity of land and all other 
rights and privileges as if they had nut been released from the obligation 
to construct the canal. 

With somewhat greater verbosity than the foregoing, the legislature of 
1863 dashed, for something more than half a century, at least, the hope of 
Bakersfield's standing at the head of navigation in the San Joaquin valley. 

But while the open-hearted members of the legislature had generously 
relieved Colonel Baker of mure than half his monumental undertaking he 
was still, so far as any human being had the slightest reason to suppose, 
in the position of a man, who, having discovered that he could not grasp the 
moon, would find himself elevated, suddenly, on legs ten thousand feet in 
height. The assistance would not be effective enough to be even genuinely 
tantalizing. As for the reasonableness of the action of the legislature, con- 
sidering that body as the custodian of the public interest, let it be remembered 
that the flood of 1861-62 broke levees right and left in the Sacramento valley, 
doing damage upward of $3,000,000. The experience taught a new lesson to 
the state concerning the difficulty of handling floods and swamps. And the 
legislature had no means of knowing, it is to be supposed, what a merry 
prank Kern river had just played with Old Tom Barnes' irrigating ditch. 
Like as not many of the legislators honestly thought that a man who would 
reclaim a swamp ought to have the whole of it for his labor, not half. 

As for Colonel Baker, he came to Kern county, hired thirty Indians 
from the Tejon reservation and set to work to reclaim a swamp of upward 
of 400,000 acres that wound for 150 miles through a raw, unsettled country 
and was replenished by the waters of two of the great rivers of the state 
and six or seven smaller streams. Try to compass the sublime audacity 
of it, and then see how Nature can bend her forces to help a sublimely 
audacious man — the kind of man, apparently, that Nature loves. 

Look back a little now and see what old Kern river was doing while the 
legislature was revising its laws, and first Montgomery and then Colonel I'.aker 
were trying to interest capital— in Civil war times — in their mad and visionary 
undertaking. 

How a River in Flood Reclaimed a Swamp 

When the Gilberts went home from their Christmas dinner at the Skiles 
place as related in the previous chapter, they had to cross the first turbid 
forerunners of the flood, because they lived out at the old race track, and 
the river then was all this side. Their house of poles and tules stood in a 
thicket of willows, but a little way to the north was the open, sage brush 
country, through which Tom Barnes and the Harris brothers had begun to 
build an irrigation ditch to lead the water down to lands they had started to 
cultivate. For that dav the ditch was an ambitious undertaking, both in 



56 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

width and in depth, and its construction had progressed for a mile and more. 

The Gilberts had seen high water before, and they went to bed with 
little concern after they had been rescued from the river by the Indians. 
Along in the night, however, there arose a great squealing from the pen 
where some forty porkers fattened, and when Gilbert rolled out of bed to 
see what was the matter, he splashed to his knees in icy water. 

By the time Gilbert and a couple of men who were stopping at the place 
could carry the children and the provisions to a little knoll of high ground 
farther north, the melted snow water was lapping around their waists. The 
hog pen and the corn crib floated down stream, and the tule house followed 
them next day as the water continued to rise. A little exploration to the 
north showed that the swollen current had found Tom Barnes' ditch and 
was scooping it deeper and wider at a faster rate than Barnes could have 
done had he been loaned all the horses and plows in the state of California. 
The virgin earth, unprotected by roots or vegetation, melted before the 
torrent like mounds of sand before the incoming tide. Not many days passed 
before the larger of the two streams was to the north of the Gilberts instead 
of to the south of them, and at frequent intervals a dozen tons or more of earth 
would cave from the bank of the new channel and fall into the brown and 
boiling flood with a roar that did not sound good to the damp and shivering 
refugees perched on their island knoll only a few rods away. 

Fortunately, only a few days before the flood, Gilbert had returned with 
a four-horse load of provisions from Visalia, and a little while before that 
they had bought 700 pounds of flour from a man who had to take flour for 
a debt a Parajo valley rancher owed him and who was peddling it out 
through the length of the valley after the manner of the day. So the family 
made out through what seemed, not only to them but to many other flood- 
bound pioneers in the state, an interminable season of rain and freshet, and 
then they moved to Reeder hill, the highest and dryest spot within the pres- 
ent townsite. 

And so, when Colonel Baker came with his thirty Indians he put a head 
gate in what remained of the old south fork, and built the beginning of 
the Town ditch, and was able to report to the governor and surveyor-general 
in all truthfulness that a very considerable portion of the 400,000 acres had 
been reclaimed. 

Then the Drought Helped, Too 

Still Nature was kind to this generous, enthusiastic optimist who was 
not afraid to attempt great things that other people said were impossible. 
In the year 1864 was the worst drought since the American occupation. All 
over the state cattle and sheep died of starvation by the hundreds of thou- 
sands. Shepherds were glad to dispose of their flocks at a bit a head, and 
failing that they killed them mercifully and saved their pelts. 

Colonel Baker, when he had built the head gate in the south fork, went 
down to the north end of Buena Vista lake and scraped the Baker dam, frag- 
ments of which are still to be found a little way north of the Cole levee. 
Then he took his family back to Visalia temporarily while he did further 
reclamation work north of Tulare lake. 

Baker Gets His Patent 

The Governor sent the surveyor-general and another engineer by name of 
Andrew Jackson to see if the lands had been reclaimed. By that time the 
drought had done what Baker could not do. The engineers found the land 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 57 

as dry as a bone, and so reported. There was some delay in the making out 
of the patent, but finally it was sigi;:ed by Governor Frederick F. Low on 
November 11, 1867. It conveyed to W. F. Montgomery, et al., their asso- 
ciates and assigns, a total of 89,120 acres of land in Kern and Fresno coun- 
ties — about half as much as the grantees originally were to receive. 

The next great fluod — the greatest in the history of the county, came 
between Christmas and New Years in the winter of 1867-8, and spread a 
vast lake of water over every acre of Colonel Baker's reclaimed land. 
Montgomery Patent Annulled 

Years later there fell upon the state a far-flung fore-shadow of the modern 
conservation movement, and the legislatures of 1857 and 1862 were sharply 
criticised for giving away so much land for so small an amount of improve- 
ment. The courts, as courts do now, sometimes, undertook to correct the 
follies of the lawmakers, and on September 17, 1878, in the case of People 
ex. rel. J. L. Love, attorney-general, versus John Center, et al., appellants 
and respondents, the district court of the twelfth judicial district — San Fran- 
cisco — handed down a decree declaring the Montgomery patent null and void. 
In the opinion accompanying the decree the court pointed out that the 
governor and surveyor-general did not issue a certificate to the effect that the 
land had been reclaimed — as the law directed — and held that this omission 
was not cured by the fact that the governor signed the patent, and that the 
document also bore the signature of the secretary of state, who happened 
to be the surveyor-general as well. To a layman it might seem that this 
objection was purely technical. The second defect noted by the court — the 
fact that the land was not actually reclaimed — was not tt) be disputed by 
anyone. 

But the decree mattered little to Colonel Baker. Six years before it was 
signed by the judge his remains had been carried to their last resting place in 
Union cemetery by the strong but gentle hands of other pioneers who knew 
and loved him. Moreover, long before his death Colonel Baker had sold his 
share of nearly all the immense tract the Montgomery patent conveyed. 
Some of it went for ten cents an acre. The highest price the smallest 
purchasers paid for farms was $1 and $1.50 per acre. Baker was no land 
monopolist. 

Before the district court issued its decree the legislature got busy again, 
tempering justice with mercy. An act approved March 20, 1878, provided 
that all persons who had bought land covered by the Montgomery patent, 
subsequent to the issuance of such patent, should be entitled to a decree of 
the court directing that a patent issue to them for such lands, on their 
showing within sixty days after the passage of the act, that they had spent 
for taxes, improvements, fences and reclamation a tntal of nut less than $1 
per acre for all the lands so claimed by each. 

All the purchasers were able easily to comply with these conditions, 
and so the story ends happily for all concerned. 

Beginnings of Bakersfield 

The flood of 1861-2 is a convenient mark in history from which to date 
the earliest beginnings of Bakersfield. As related in the preceding chap- 
ter, the flood moved the main channel out of the future townsite, leaving 
the land dryer and rather more suitable for the habitation of civilized men. It 
made it less desirable for the Indians. Prior to that time, as Mrs. Van Orman 
recalls, there was a considerable settlement of the aborigines somewhere 



58 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

about Chester Lane, and huts of individual savages were scattered about 
the willow groves everywhere. But the flood drowned the squirrels and other 
small game which the Indians used to kill and eat, swept away the fish they 
used to catch in the river, and incidentally the long season of rains when the 
freshet rose and fell day after day in apparently interminable succession made 
the place generally disagreeable even for the stoical redskins. About that 
time, also, the government was moving the larger part of the tribes from 
Tejon to the Tule river farm. So the Indians moved out. So did two families 
by name of Lovelace, and others of whom the names are not remembered. 
The settlers who remained sought the high spots that the waters had not 
covered. 

The people who stayed and helped to form the new settlement were 
the Shirleys, the Gilberts, Harvey S. Skiles, the grandfather of Herman 
Dumble, the present city trustee of Bakersfield, and Lewis Reeder, who 
bought Gilbert's second place on Reeder hill and gave his name to that 
ancient landmark. The next year came Colonel Baker and his family, Edward 
Tibbet, who settled on the present Tibbet homestead just south of the city 
limits, and Allan Rose, who succeeded to the house on Reeder hill after 
Reeder and many of his family had died. Reeder, himself, died in the moun- 
tains whither he had gone for lung trouble, but others of his family who sick- 
ened and died there and later residents who turned their faces to the wall 
in the ill-fated house made a total of seven deaths on Reeder hill in the first 
few years of the settlement. Two others, accidentally shot, raised the total 
to nine, wherefrom grew the tale that the Reeder hill house was haunted. 

Colonel Baker, of course, at once directed his energies toward the recla- 
mation of the swamp lands covered by the Montgomery franchise. The 
others farmed the fertile townsite, raised cattle and hogs or hunted both in 
the swamps and out on the dry ranges. The soldiers at Fort Tejon paid 
$50 per ton for hay delivered, and both at the fort and in the mining camps 
were the best of markets for meat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and all 
other vegetables that the early settlers raised. In a letter written by Solomon 
Jewett in 1871 reference is made to the fact that Harvey S. Skiles raised a 
small patch of cotton in 1862. 

The first genuine cotton culture, however, was in 1865, when the Jewett 
Brothers, who had interests in Bakersfield then in addition to their extensive 
sheep business at the Rio Bravo ranch, raised 130 acres of cotton which was 
harvested and sent to Oakland to be ginned and manufactured. Some of 
the cloth was shipped back to Bakersfield and sold in the first store built in 
the settlement. Mr. Jewett imported two tons of seed, one from Tennessee, 
and the other from Sonora, Mexico. He got the crop in rather late, but he 
declared that the experiment was a success, or would have been had it not 
been for the prohibitive cost of hauling the cotton to Oakland by team — 
probably ox-team. 

Colonel Baker, Mr. Winfey and A. R. Jackson were appointed school 
trustees in 1866, but they never organized. A man by name of Brooks taught 
a private school that year, and in 1863, for a short time, Mrs. Baker taught 
a few of the neighbor children at her home. They had no books, but Mrs. 
Baker cut letters out of paper, and resorted to other laborious shifts to 
help the youngsters up the hill of knowledge. The first active school board 
consisted of Messrs. Tibbet, Troy and Reeder, who were chosen in 1867. In 
that year Mrs. Ranney taught a three-months' term. In 1868 Miss L. A. 
Jackson taught a six-months' term. The first school house, which an old 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 59 

newspaper account says was a brick building 40x6Q feet in size, was built in 
1869 and in June of that year A. R. Jackson opened school in it. The next 
year there were two teachers, A. R. Jackson and :Miss Callie Gilbert, ana 
thirty-five pupils, whose surnames were Adams, Baker, Crawford, Lundy, 
Patria, Pettus, Ranney, Shelley, Shirley, Tibbet, W^ard, Arujo, Collins, Con- 
treras, Gilbert, AIcKenzie, Reeder. Troy and Verdugo. 

For six years after Colonel Baker came to the Kern delta there was no 
postoffice here. Until the breaking out of the war, the removal of the gar- 
rison from Fort Tejon and the discontinuance of the Butterfield stage line 
from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the settlers here used to have their 
mail left at the fort. Later on it was addressed to Visalia, and the thoughtful 
postmaster at that place would forward mail for the whole settlement by any- 
one whom he knew was coming this way. Freight was hauled mostly from 
Los Angeles, and the charge was three cents per pound. Flour sometimes 
got as high as $10 per sack in the earliest days of Bakersfield, and when the 
freshets cut ofif travel to Visalia and snows blocked Tejon pass, corn and 
wheat ground in a hand mill and other home products had to eke out the 
larder. Mrs. Tracy (then Mrs. Baker) says she used to leech salt out of 
the earth to cure pork, and in other times of necessity made a pretty good 
article of soap with grease and alkali. Ordinarily they made their own 
candles, used honey in lieu of sugar, and baked sweet potatoes as a sub- 
stitute for coffee. Meal ground in the old hand mill was not of the finest, 
but the pioneers sifted out the coarsest part and used it for hominy. Dave 
Willis of Visalia tried making salt from an old salt lick about sixteen miles 
south of Bakersfield, with indifferent success. In 1868 a saw mill was started 
in Tecuya valley near Fort Tejon, but the lumber, which was sawed from 
bull pine, was so prone to warp that it needed a ton of boulders on each end of 
a plank to hold it down, and then it would twist in the middle. 

Prior to the days of the Tacuya mill adobes and poles or brush, tules 
and mud formed the building materials, as previously described. Colonel 
Baker's first house, the one the family was living in at the time of the great 
flood of 1867-8, was of adobe with a brush, tule and dirt roof. The first years 
of Colonel Baker's residence here were unusually dry, especially the great 
drought year of 1864, and a dirt roof was a very great protection from the 
sun in summer, and also was unobjectionable in winter, so long as the light 
rains were insufficient to wet it through and tJie intervening days nf sun- 
shine quite sufficient to dry it out again. 

The Flood of 1867-68 

The winter of 1867-68 was different. The heavens wept as though their 
sorrow never would be washed away, and after a while the rain drops began 
to filter through the bed of rich, alluvial soil on the roof until the shower inside 
was almost or quite as heavy as that outside. The chief difference was that 
the shower inside came a few minutes after the shower outside, and the tiny 
streams that trickled from the pendant tule ends were black as ink with the 
humus they extracted from the dirt on the roof. They hung umbrellas over 
the tables to protect the food, and sheltered the beds as best they might. 

It rained, and rained, and then, very strange, as it seemed to the settlers 
along its banks, the river, for two days, went almost wholly dry. They knew 
nothing about it in the little village of Bakersfield, but up in the mountains 
where the lakes of upper Kern river now are. there had been a succession 



60 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

of avalanches that filled the bed of the river with rocks and earth and a 
whole forest of great pine'trees. 

A closer inquiry seems to develop the fact that popular tradition respect- 
ing the slip of earth that held back the waters of Kern river in the flood of 
1867-8, instead of exaggerating it, as tradition is wont to do, falls far short 
of comprehending its tremendous magnitude. The lakes themselves, beau- 
tiful sheets of water far up toward the head of the river, are remnants of the 
great reservoirs that the avalanches made. Many years ago the old Jordan 
trail from Visalia to Inyo county used to pass through where the lakes now 
are. To this day, looking down through the clear waters, in the lake bottom 
mav be seen trees that grew there before the flood overwhelmed them. 

It must be that the thorough soakinsr of the mountain sides after a long 
oeriod of drought caused whole sections of wooded slopes to plunge down into 
the river canon. When the impounded waters finally broke away they came 
down the rocky gorges in a churning, thundering torrent, adding to the roar 
of the water itself the crash and shriek of thousands on thousands of trees, 
sixty and a hundred feet in length, and up to three or four feet in diameter, 
tumbled end over end in the narrower parts of the caiion and rolling and 
swirling with the current in the wider reaches of the stream. Kernville resi- 
dents say that for three days the river flowed past that place a mile in width, 
and from the bank it looked as though a man could walk on logs dryshod 
from one side to the other. 

Those who have seen the steep, narrow rock-walled gorge through which 
Kern river emerges from the mountains sixteen miles above Bakersfield can 
form some guess of their own concerning the steady, increasing, rolling thun- 
der with which the coming flood heralded its approach to the sleeping citizens 
of infant Bakersfield. 

Flood Reaches Bakersfield. 

It was the flatness of Bakersfield and the great expanse of level country 
that opens, fanwise, west and south from the townsite that saved it from 
annihilation. Since the first flood people had sought out the knolls for their 
dwelling places, and there was a little time after the drift logs began to 
bob and crunch among the willows of the sloughs before the water was 
lapping at the threshholds. 

Richard Hudnut, afterward the editor of the Kern County Courier, was 
living in an adobe house somewhere near G and Twenty-fourth street. The 
noise of the water wakened him, and he went out a little wa) from his house 
to see what was coming. He crossed a little swale dry-shod, and looked 
back a moment later to find it full of water, running like a mill race. He 
shouted a warning to his bride and the latter's sister, who remained in the 
house, and in a few seconds he was obliged to climb a tree to keep out of 
reach of the rising flood. The house was on a little higher ground, but 
presently the chilly stream — it was between Christmas and New Years — 
began to flow over the floor. Mrs. Hudnut and her sister perched themselves 
on their beds. But the water steadily rose, and what was equally appalling, 
the roof above their heads was slowly but steadily sinking down. Pretty 
soon they realized that the adobes at the bottom of the wall were melting in 
the flood. By the time the ridge pole had settled down on top of Mr. Hudnut's 
tall book case at the end of the room, the ladies mustered up their courage 
to wade outside. The roof by then was so low that they were able to 
scramble upon it, and there they sat shivering and shouting counsel back 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 61 

and forth with Mr. Hudnut, perched in his tree, until men with a boat came 
to their rescue. 

Similar experiences happened in many places, but no lives were lost, and 
the pioneers, used to pranks of Nature and Fortune, took the experience 
philosophically, and with mutual helpfulness and optimism soon made new 
shifts and forgot their losses. The day after the flood came there was to have 
been a neighborhood feast at the Tibbet's home, and although the waters 
undermined a cupboard where the roast pig was stored and spilled it in the 
flood, it was rescued and re-garnished and a little later than the hour set 
the guests assembled and shared the slightly moistened viands and related 
their several experiences. The Hudnut story and the Tibbet feast are 
incidents of the flood most generally remembered, jirobably because of the 
humor they contain — and that fact furnishes the key to the temperament 
and disposition of the Kern county pioneer. 

The Baker adobe was not overflowed. It was only wet and drizzling 
from the long continued rains, and there a dozen homeless neighbors gath- 
ered and were made as welcome as flowers in February. ■ 

The trees (live trees, not dead driftwood) which were washed down by 
the flood strewed a strip of country a mile wide through Kernville, and 
from the point of Panorama heights past Bakersfield they spread over the 
ground all the way to Bellevue and the old Barnes settlement, a distance of 
ten miles or more. Colonel Baker built a saw mill to cut the logs on the 
townsite into lumber, and Myron Harmon tried the same plan up in Kern- 
ville, but the logs there were so thickly imbedded with sand and broken 
chunks of rock (some of them as big as a man's fist) that sawing them was 
impracticable. 

Meantime Colonel Baker had completed his reclamation of the swamp 
lands covered by the Montgomery franchise, had gotten his patent to 89,120 
acres of land, and plans were forming in the minds of ambitious, enterprising 
men to make a great empire out of the rich lands through which the river 
plowed its devious and shifting channels, and incidentally to make some 
personal profit thereby. 



CHAPTER VI 
Organization of the County 

The county of Kern was created by an act of the legislature approved 
April 2, 1866, out of territory formerly included in the counties of Tulare and 
Los Angeles, chiefly the former. The act fixed the county seat at llavilah; 
provided for a county judge to be appointed by the governor, ordered an 
election to be held on the second Thursday in July, 1866, to select a clerk 
who should be also a recorder, a sheriff who should be tax collector as well, 
a district attorney, an assessor and collector of poll taxes, treasurer, surveyor, 
coroner and public administrator, superintendent of schools and three super- 
visors. Michael H. Erskine, Eli Smith, Dan W. Walser, Thomas Raker and 
John Brite were named as a board of commissioners to appoint election officers 
and canvass the returns. The county was assigned to the fourth senatorial 
district of that day, and was attached to Tulare county for representative 
purposes. The supervisors were directed to name two commissioners to 
meet with other commissioners from Tulare and Los Angeles counties to 
settle upon Kern county's share of the bonded indebtedness of the other 
counties of which its territory had been a part. 



62 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

First County Officials 

Without special incident this program was carried out, the following 
officials being declared elected as the result of the first ballots cast in the 
new county: district attorney, E. E. Calhoun; sheriff, W. B. Ross; clerk, 
recorder and auditor, H. D. Bequette ; treasurer, D. A. Sinclair; assessor, 
R. B. Sagely; coroner and public administrator, Joseph Lively; superintendent 
of schools, J. R. Riley ; surveyor, Thomas Baker ; supervisors, Henry Ham- 
mell, S. A. Bishop and J. J. Rhymes. 

The governor appointed Theron Reed as county judge. J. W. Freeman 
was already state senator, having been elected while Kern county was a part 
of Tulare, and I. C. Brown was similarly in possession of the office of 
assemblyman. 

At their first two meetings, held August 1st and 2nd, the supervisors 
established three judicial townships in the county, fixed the tax rate at a 
total of $2.61 for state and county, and called for bids for building a jail. 
At the next meeting the bid of T. B. Stuart for the construction of the jail 
for $1600 was accepted, and for $800 a site was bought for a courthouse. The 
latter building served until the county seat was moved to Bakersfield, when it 
was taken down and the lumber sold to P. T. Colby, who put it together again 
in the form of a residence just south of the Kern Valley bank on Chester 
avenue in Bakersfield. The first courthouse was built by T. H. Binnex for 
the modest sum of $2200. 

Each judicial (or magistrate's) township was made a school district as 
follows: township No. 1, Havilah district; township No. 2, Linn's valley dis- 
trict; township No. 3, Kelso district; township No. 4, Tejon district. 

It is worthy of note that Bakersfield and the Kern delta do not appear 
in the list, but in February, 1867, Lower Kern River district was formed 
from the Linn's Valley district. Also, each magistrate's township was made 
a road district. 

First Election Precincts 

The first election districts were established by the supervisors May 25, 
1867, as follows : 

Havilah — vote at court house. Claraville — vote at Bodfish's old store. 
South Fork — vote at John Nicoll's blacksmith shop. Kernville — vote at old 
Cove house. Keysville — vote at Marsh & Kennedy's old store. Alpine — vote 
at Eugene Caillard's store. Summit Mill — vote at Knox house, summit. 
Linn's Valley — vote at Myers' store. Long Tom — vote at Yoakum's store. 
Kern Island — vote at Chester's store, Bakersfield. Reservation — vote at Tejon 
reservation buildings. Tehachapi — vote at school house. Walker's Basin — 
vote at Dr. Adams' store. Augua Caliente — vote at Wolfskill house. Cross's 
Mill — vote at Cross' mill. Delonega — vote at Williams & Martin's camp. 

First Election in the County 

Before the election was held on September 4th, Sageland voting district 
was established and Sanderson & Asher's store on Kelso creek was named 
as the polling place. 

In the list above the word "old" wherever used, is quoted from the super- 
visors' record. After forty-four years its use gives some idea of relative 
antiquity. As an index to the relative population of the districts and also to 
show the political complexion of the new county the vote for governor in the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 63 

several precincts in the first election after the county was established is given 
herewith : 

Havilah — Haight, 147; Gorham, 60. 

Kernville — Haight, 38; Gorham, 43. 

South Fork — Haight, 10; Gorham, nothing. 

\\'alker's Basin — Haight, 32; Gorham, 13. 

Alpine— Haight, 11; Gorham, 3. 

Summit Hill — Haight, 18; Gorham, 5. 

Linn's Valley — Haight, 22; Gorham, 6. 

Long Tom — Haight, 20; Gorham, nothing. 

Kern River Island — Haight, 21 ; Gorham, 11. 

Reservation — Haight, 4; Gorham, 2. 

Tehachapi — Haight, 25 ; Gorham, 3. 

Sageland — Haight, 21 ; Gorham, 11. 

Augua Caliente — Haight, 3; Gorham, nothing. 

Claraville — Haight, 13; Gorham, 7. 

Totals— Haight, 385 ; Gorham, 164. 

Haight's majority, 221. 

The election throughout the state gave the following totals for governor : 
Henry H. Haight, Democrat, 49,905 ; George C. Gorham, Union, 40,359; Caleb 
T. Fay, Union-Republican, 2,088. 

At the same election the following county ofificers were chosen : Sheriff, 
R. B. Sagely; clerk, H. D. Bequette ; district attorney, Thomas Laspeyre ; 
treasurer, D. A. Sinclair ; assessor, James R. Watson ; surveyor, Thomas 
Baker; coroner, A. D. Jones; superintendent of schools, E. W. Doss; super- 
visors, first district, D. W. Walser ; second district, J. J. Rhymes ; third dis- 
trict, John M. Brite; constables, township No. 1, John B. Tungate and W. S. 
Gibson ; township No. 2, J. Pascoe ; township No. 3, Thomas F. Owens and 
Thomas McFarlane ; township No. 4, Isaac Hart and James E. Williams; 
township No. 5, J. J. Yoakum and W. W. Shirley. 

Roadmasters for the five townships were William F. Klaiber, C. T. 
W^hite, J. M. Garrett, M. A. Tyler, and William Higgins, respectively. 

At the judicial election held October 16th, P. T. Colby was elected county 
judge, and justices of the peace were chosen as follows: township 1, G. Martel 
and J. W. Venable ; township 2, Thomas Despain ; township 3, ^Villiam S. 
Adams and Daniel Memckton ; township 4, William P. Higgins and Grant P. 
Cuddeback ; township 5, P. A. Stine. 

First Swamp Land District Organized 

Other matters which demanded a large share of the attention of the 
first boards of supervisors other than the political organization of the county 
and the calling of elections were the granting of permits for toll roads and 
ferries, the organization of reclamation districts and the adjustment of assess- 
ments. The first reclamation districts were formed on August 7, 1866, seven 
days after the first board organized. Under an act of the legislature ap- 
proved April 2, 1866, the supervisors, whom the law made ex-officio swamp 
land commissioners for the territory included in the county, divided the 
swamp and overflowed land in Kern county into two districts. District No. 1 
included all the swamp land in the county east of the range between ranges 
26 and 27 east. District No. 2 included all the swamp land in the county 
west of this line, and all the even sections in both districts were set aside 
to defray the expense of carrying out a system i>f reclamation and irrigation 



64 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

provided in an agreement between the supervisors, acting in the capacity of 
swamp land commissioners, and Thomas Baker, his associates and assigns. 

According to this agreement, Baker and his associates were to construct 
a good and permanent improvement to turn from Kern river into the south 
fork water sufficient to irrigate district No. 1, to remove all timber and 
driftwood from the slough so that it would carry water, to build a guard gate 
to afford passage for water across the levee already constructed across said 
slough for reclamation purposes and to keep said gateway and levee in good 
repair so as to allow enough water to pass for irrigation but at the same time 
to prevent a flood. Baker was to begin the work within two years after Jan- 
uary 1, 1867, and was to be paid $6000 for the job, half of the amount as the 
work was finished, and the other half as afterward provided in the agreement. 

Also, Baker was to build irrigating ditches and improve existing sloughs 
so that they would serve as channels to carry irrigation water, being paid 
therefor at the rate of 50 cents per yard for all dirt moved up to a total of 
$8000, half of the amount to be paid as the work was completed, which must 
be within four years from January 1, 1867. The payments were to be made 
in land scrip to be issued to Baker at the rate of $1 per acre in such 
denominations as Baker should elect. The agreement provided that Baker was 
not to be held liable for damage caused by any exceptional floods. 

For the reclamation of district No. 2 Baker was to build a levee across 
Buena Vista slough in township 30-24 (a little north of Cole's levee of the 
present day) to improve the natural channels and build canals at the rate of 
50 cents per cubic yard for the earth moved, up to a total of $26,000, payment 
to be made as in the case of district No. 1, in land scrip at the rate of $1 per 
acre, subject to location on even sections or fractions thereof, within the 
districts described. In the two districts the compensation would amount to 
$40,000 or 40,000 acres of land. The control of the water and distribution 
of the same for irrigation purposes was to remain in the hands of the super- 
visors. 

The reader will recall that heretofore Baker and his associates had, under 
the Montgomery franchise, just completed the reclamation of all the swamp 
and overflowed lands in the two districts mentioned in the agreement and 
had put in their application for a patent for all the odd sections as com- 
pensation for their labors. At this time and a few years later there was no 
little protest against this action of the supervisors by people who pointed 
out that the state had given half the land for taking the water off, and now 
the county was giving the other half for putting the water back on the land. 
Against this contention, however, was presented the argument that while 
the swamps had been drained and now were as dry as tinder, they were no 
more suited to cultivation without water for irrigation than they had been 
when they were submerged. The argument was good, and prevailed. 
Changes in Swamp Land Laws 

Before Baker could complete his portion of the contract with the super- 
visors, the state legislature, which was having a large amount of trouble 
about that time in settling in its own mind what was the best policy to follow 
respecting the swamp lands, made another change in the law, in 1868, plac- 
ing the swamp lands back in the trust of the state, instead of the coun- 
ties, and removing all restrictions formerly in effect as to the amount of 
swamp land which any one person or corporation could acquire. The new 
law provided that purchasers of swamp land must deposit $1 per acre in the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 65 

count)' treasury as a guarantee that the land would be reclaimed, or twenty 
per cent of the amount could be paid outright and the balance made up later. 
Each district was to make its own by-laws and regulations, but in the end, 
if the land was not reclaimed, the title remained in the state. 

The change in the law made a change in the plans for reclamatinn, and 
under the new act, on December 24, 1870, Livermore & Chester, Thomas 
Baker, Julius Chester and Andrew R. Jackson filed with the supervisors a 
petition for the formation of a reclamation district including all the swamp 
and overflowed lands in townships 27-22, 28-22, 28-23, 29-22, 29-23, 29-24, 
30-24. 31-25, 31-26, 32-26 and 32-27. 

The story of the acquisition of the swamp lands forms a long and rather 
complicated chapter which would be of only casual interest to the average 
reader. What has been related so far gives a very guod illustration of the 
manner in which all the swamp land in the county finally was acquired. The 
odd sections for the most part went to parties who had bought them from 
Baker or his assigns subsequent to the Montgomery patent, the purchasers 
being protected by a new act of the legislature when the Montgomery patent 
was annulled by the court in 1878. The even sections were purchased from 
the state for about the cost of completing their reclamation. 

A Sheep Was Worth More Than an Acre of Land 

Probably it will strike the present day reader that the nio\-ing of two 
cubic yards of earth from the center of a ditch to a ditch bank was a small 
amount of labor to give in exchange for an acre of the rich, Kern delta land, 
but the records of the supervisors, sitting as a board of equalization in the 
early days of the county throw an explanatory light on the subject of relative 
values. Nowadays nobody pays any attention to his assessments, whether 
they are high or low, but in the '60s and '70s the meetings of the equalizers 
were enlivened by a steady procession of taxpayers who wanted their assess- 
ments lowered or those of their neighbors raised. For example : In 1870 
sheep were assessed at $2 per head, and the San Emidio grant was assessed 
at $1.25 per acre. The supervisors reduced sheep to $1.50 and the land in 
the grant to $1. In the same year the Western Union Telegraph Company's 
assessment was cut from $170.64 to $85.32. In 1868 three American hor.ses 
belonging to Dave Lavers were raised from the assessor's figures to $300, 
and the next year the Joe Walker mine was chopped from $5000 to $500. 

The First Mountain Roads 

Nearly all the early roads through the mountains were built by private 
enterprise as toll roads. In the valley any traveller could lay uut a new 
road for himself if he chose, and others who came after him soon wore it 
into a trail. But when he came to a stream he could not ford he had to pay 
tribute to the ferryman. J. M. Griffith, in 1868, built a toll road from Moore's 
station at the foot of Tehachapi mountain to Agua Caliente creek and was 
permitted to charge for its use, $2.50 for a wagon and twelve horses, $2.25 
for a wagon and ten horses, $2 for a wagon and eight horses and down to 
seventy-five cents for a wagon and two horses, twenty-five cents for a horse 
and rider, five cents per head for loose cattle, two cents per head for sheep, 
and twenty-five cents for a pack animal. 

Charges were fixed by the supervisors for the ferry operated in the 
same year by J. E. Stine at Telegraph crossing over Kern river near Bakers- 
field as follows: For a wagon and two horses, $2; for each extra span of 



66 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

horses, fifty cents; for a horse and rider, fifty cents; for loose animals of all 
kinds, twenty-five cents each ; for footman, twenty-five cents. 

Rates for other toll roads and ferries were not far from these fifjures. 

In 1868 James Cross built a ferry below the junction of South Fork 
(in the mountains). Cross, Morton & Company were given a permit to 
maintain a toll road from Havilah via Walker's basin to their mill. J. W. 
Sumner was given a permit to build a toll bridge across Kern river near 
Hot Springs valley. Thomas Baker a little later built the famous Baker 
toll road up the mountains between Bakersfield and Havilah. Eight or ten 
years later the county began buying in these toll roads, and there were 
numerous and spicy charges of graft and extravagance in connection with 
the different purchases. 

(Throughout this history it is necessary to distinguish between the South 
Fork of Kern river, which is one of the two chief branches of the stream to- 
ward its source in the mountains, and the south fork channel which ran 
through the eastern part of Bakersfield in the early days. For the purpose 
of lessening the confusion of the dual use of the name I have arbitrarily chosen 
to give the mountain stream and the valley that bears its name the dignity 
of capital initials.) 



CHAPTER VII 

Coming of the Capitalist 

Dividing the history of Kern county into epochs from an industrial point 
of view, the years around 1870 mark the beginning of the influence of large 
capital in the county's development. Prior to 1860 the settlers in the valley 
were mainly small farmers or small stockmen, intent on getting what they 
could from the land and concerned but little or not at all in the permanent 
improvement or development of the country. In the mountains the placer 
miners and the first quartz miners were doing the same — getting money out 
of the ground, and putting little in. Following these came men like Colonel 
Baker, fully gifted with the ability and inclination to plan large developments 
and improvements for the future, but handicapped everywhere for want 
of money to carry out their plans. Nevertheless, Baker and others in the 
Kern delta began the construction of reclamation levees and irrigation ditches ; 
in the mountain valleys the sturdy pioneers, full of energy if short of cash, 
were improving their farms and beginning to accumulate their ilocks and 
herds, and in the mineral sections the quartz miners were delving deeper in 
tTie ledges and developing shafts and tunnels that properly were entitled to 
the name of mines as distinguished from placers and prospect holes. 

All these enterprises were carried on by men of modest means and 
modest ambitions. But before 1868 General Beale had acquired the Tejon 
ranch, and Beale & Baker were building up flocks of sheep aggregating as 
high as 100,000 to 125,000 head. In 1868 J. C. Crocker established head- 
quarters at the Temblor ranch and began buying the land and accumulating 
the herds that formed the nucleus of the immense Miller & Lux holdings. 
About the same time the Chesters were in Bakersfield, planning big enter- 
prises with the money of H. P. Livermore, a wealthy druggist of San 
Francisco, to back them. In 1875 Senator Jones bought the Big Blue mine 
and gave a new character to the search for Kern county gold. In 1872 Walter 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 67 

James came to make a report on the Gates tract, a big body of land lying 
south and west of Bakerstield whicii Isaac E. Gates of New York had acquired 
from the railroad and which was later jnirchased by J. B. Haggin and became 
the nucleus of the Kern County Land Company holdings. In 1873 came 
the Southern Pacific railroad. It is pertinent, therefore, to take account, 
roughly, of the county's stock about the year 1870. 

Havilah was the most important town in the county, althuugh there 
were not lacking men who could foresee that Bakersfield was soon to outstrip 
it in the race for supremacy. A. D. Jones, editor of the Havilah Courier, 
was one of these, and on December 22, 18o9, he had moved to Bakersfield, 
changed the name of his paper to the Kern County Courier, and had gotten 
out the first issue. In the issue of January 18, 1870, the Courier describes 
the town : 

Bakersfield as It Was in 1870 

Bakersfield, laid out about four months previous to that date, contained 
the stores of Livermore & Chester and Caswell & Ellis, one telegraph office, 
a printing office (the Courier) the blacksmith and carriage shop of Fred 
Hacking, a harness shop belonging to Philip Reinstein, Littlefield & Phelan's 
livery stable, John B. Tungate's saloon, a carpenter shop, a school house 
with fifty pupils, and two boarding houses. The professions were represented 
by Dr. L. S. Rogers and Attorney C. H. Veeder. A hotel and grist mill were 
in contemplation. The Baker toll road was in operation between Bakersfield 
and the county-seat; there were good wagon roads to Visalia and Los 
Angeles, and a grade up the mountains to Tehachapi was in progress of 
building. 

The town was protected from flood by a levee built by Colonel Baker, and 
the whole country was supplied with fuel for a long time to come by the 
logs washed down by the flood of 1867-8. The editor cheerfully assures the 
world that the action of the elements is such as to warrant that other floods 
would wash down more driftwood before the then present supply ran out. 

Of the lands on lower Kern river 129,625.34 acres had been entered under 
the state laws, and 40,000 had been patented for reclamation purposed by 
individuals. No reclamation districts had been formed under the new law. 
which provided for the appropriation of $1 per acre for the reclamation of 
swamp lands. This would make a fund of $129,625.34 available for the 
reclamation of lands in Kern county, an amount believed to be sufficient to 
accomplish the task and make nearly 200,000 acres of fine land available for 
cultivation. There were still some 275,000 acres of government land open 
to homestead and pre-emption, beside some 50,000 acres of railroad land 
in the Kern delta which was offered to settlers at government prices. 

All this land was considered among the potential assets of Bakersfield. 
The town was just recovering from an epidemic of fever during the summer 
previous, and the cause of the fever having been ascribed to drinking water 
from shallow wells and irrigating ditches, an agitation for deeper wells was 
under way. Residents of the new town were looking forward to the building of 
the projected railroad up the valley and were worrying about how they were 
going to feed the great number of people who would come with the laying 
of the tracks. They even went to the length of organizing the Kern County 
Agricultural Society for the promotion of agriculture, so that a plenty of 
food would be assured the newcomers. 

In JNIarch of 1870 the town was re-surveyed, and it was announced 



68 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

that shade trees were to be planted at each lot corner. Colonel Baker was 
building his saw mill, a saw mill at San Emidio had just put in new planing 
machinery, and Livermore & Chester's saw mill in the Tecuya valley was 
about to resume work. In 1870 a bill passed the legislature to change the 
county seat from Havilah to Bakersfield, but Governor Haight did not sign 
it, and it failed to become a law. 

In the county there were five postoffices, the following being the post- 
masters : At Bakersfield, George B. Chester; at Havilah, H. H. Denker; at 
Kernville, G. Martel ; at Linn's valley, John C. Reid ; at Tehachapi, P. D. 
Green. 

The surveyor general's report for 1867, published in 1870 showed that 
Kern county on the former date had 5,000 acres of land fenced, 2,398 acres 
under cultivation, 550 acres in wheat which produced 16,500 bushels, 906 
acres in barley, which produced 27,180 bushels, 4,000 grape vines. The 
value of the real estate was placed at $440,000; improvements, $40,000; per- 
sonal property, $866,500; total, $1,346,500. The estimated population was 
1,400, and the number of registered voters was 766. 

The Buena Vista Petroleum Company was working hopefully but not 
profitably at McKittrick, known in early days as Asphalto, almost due west 
of Bakersfield at the end of the Santa Maria valley. 
Sources of Ready Cash 

The Courier summed up five sources from which money flowed in greater 
or less streams, into the channels of Bakersfield's trade. Travellers brought 
some ; a few horses and mules were sold ; lumber, posts, etc., from Greenhorn 
mountain brought in a little ; the Jewett Brothers, the Troys, Gustav Sanger, 
Beale & Baker and others sent away sheep and wool and brought back large 
sums of gold. George Young, Launder, Tracy & Canfield and others sold 
beef cattle. Finally the mines, although not so profitable as formerly, were 
still worked with profit. 

The whole population on the "Island" was estimated in 1870 at 600. Out- 
side the town of Bakersfield and scattered ranches there was only the 
Barnes settlement and the Mexican settlement at what is now Panama. The 
remainder of the people were in the mountains. Old Tehachapi was a thriving 
little village, gaining its support from the stock men who were getting 
well established in the fertile valleys round about, and from the early placer 
miners, who were working over the gravels of China hill. About forty 
men were working about the Kernville mines, for the most part on shares ; 
they were just putting in new pumping machinery in the Joe Walker mine; 
Burdette & Tucker had opened a new lead in Long Tom ; Sageland, Clara- 
ville and other mining camps through the mountains were enjoying fair 
to medium prosperity ; Havilah was passing its best days and looking forward 
to the time when it must fight for the retention of the county seat, which was 
coming to be almost as important to its existence as its mines. 

The South Fork valley. Walker's basin, Linn's valley, Poso flat and less 
important valleys in the mountains were becoming centers of development 
and industry under the hands of the farmers and stockmen. 
Early Captains of Industry 

The new factors in the county's development took up the task with 
energy and enthusiasm. It is to be noted that in each instance the men who 
were supplying the capital for the carrying out of the resident managers' 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 69 

plans lived elsewhere, and except in the case of Henry Miller they appear 
to have given little personal attention to the details of their Kern county 
investments. In each case, however, the resident managers were capable 
of laying their own plans and uf carrying them out, also, provided the money 
kept coming. Julius Chester was the active partner of the firm of Livermore 
& Chester. Livermore furnished the money, but he seldom came to Bakers- 
field. George Chester was less aggressive than his brother, and although 
he figured prominently in the early annals of the city, it was Julius that 
generally directed affairs in which the company was interested. Under his 
guidance Livermore & Chester branched out in all directions. They estab- 
lished the leading mercantile house in the county; as noted, they were 
active, in partnership with Colonel Baker and others, in the formation of 
reclamation districts and they began to acquire land in all available ways. 
They bought large tracts from Baker under the Montgomery patent, paying 
ridiculously small prices therefor. In June, 1870, Livermore & Chester were 
advertising 20,000 acres of farming land for sale at $2 to $10 per acre. In 
July, 1870, the Chesters, Livermore & Chester, Thomas Baker, A. R. Jack- 
son, B. Brundage, C. G. Jackson, John Howlett, H. A. Cross, Solomon Jewett 
and L. G. Barnes filed a petition for the formation of a reclamation district 
comprising 28,000 acres in townships 29-27, 29-28, 30-28, 31-28 and 32-28, 
which include the townsite of Bakersfield and the country south to beyond 
Kern lake. The district previously described lay mostly to the north of 
Buena Vista lake. On March 11, 1871, the first Bakersfield Club was organ- 
ized, with George Chester as president, John Howlett as vice president, J. 
Leopold as secretary and Julius Chester as treasurer. In July, 1871, the 
new livery stable of Livermore & Chester is described as one of the most 
imposing structures in the city. It was of adobe, 275 feet long, and 35 feet 
wide, and was used in connection with the long-distance teaming of those 
days, in which Livermore & Chester were largely interested directly. 

Cotton Growers' Association Formed 

In August, 1871, the California Cotton Growers' Association was organ- 
ized with Julius Chester as president and James Dale as secretary. Dale 
wrote that "Our vast plantation will be divided into cotton parks of 50 
to 100 acres each, surrounded by hedges of mulberry which will be clipped 
regularly. At intervals in the hedge rows different varieties of fruit trees will 
be planted to furnish fruit and shade." 

A later and fuller prospectus states that the California Cotton Growers 
and Manufacturers' Association was composed of Californians and English- 
men ; that after examining all the San Joaquin valley the association had se- 
lected the Kern River valley as the scene of its operations. It had purchased of 
Livermore & Chester 10,000 acres at $5 per acre and planned to plant 1000 
acres of cotton the following spring. The sale from Livermore & Chester 
to the association also included, according to the statement, the townsite of 
Bakersfield, sixteen houses, a large brick store and warehouse, the motive 
power and privileges of the Kern Island Irrigation Company's canal, the 
new flour mill, the merchandising and transportation business of Livermore 
& Chester and an improved farm of 1000 acres with tools, teams, etc. The 
men composing the association were J. H. Redington, A. P. Brayton, C. J. 
Pillsbury, L. A. Bonestell, Horatio Stebbins, J. D. Johnson, H. C. Liver- 
more and C. Maddux. 

In Mav of 1872, the Livermore saw mill twentv-five miles east of 



70 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Bakersfield began operations. A little later Julius Chester was on a trip 
over the mountains to promote a road to the Owens river. All this will 
indicate briefly, the extent, variety and general character of the activities 
which Julius Chester directed, and the place which Livermore & Chester 
and their associates occupied in the enterprise and development of Kern 
county during this period. During this time the association was spending 
money freely in the advertising of the county's attractions, and conducting a 
campaign of general promotion that would have been a credit and advantage 
to a much older community. It is painful to record that Julius Chester's 
plans did not materialize financially. It cost more to run the business than 
the business brought in, and eventually Celsus grower and S. J. Lansing, who 
had come to Bakersfield to look after the affairs of Livermore & Chester and 
the Cotton Growers' Association, found the business in such a badly muddled 
and unpromising condition that they sent for Livermore and the result 
was a change of management and a transfer of the property involved to 
J. H. Redington, a partner of Livermore, in the drug business, as trustee, 
for adjustment. Celsus Brower remained in charge for some years, un- 
tangling the accounts, selling land and town lots, leasing some of the ranches 
and generally getting what returns he could from the large investments of 
Livermore's money. Finally the Livermore and Redington interests were 
sold to Haggin and Carr, and became a part of the principahty of which 
the latter dreamed and for which the former paid. 
Kern County News of 1871-3 

Detached items of news from the papers printed in 1871-3 will serve as 
well as a more extended description to give the reader an idea of the plans 
and ambitions, sorrows and entertainments, dreams and accomplishments 
of the people of the Kern delta during this interesting period. 

February 25, 1871 — R. Van Orman's horse lost in a 440-yard race to a 
nag belonging to Antonio Barreras, and $1000 changed hands on the result. 
On the same day the Bakersfield sports paid over $500 that they had wagered 
on Bob Withington's sorrel against Arujo's bay. 

May 13, 1871 — Public spirited citizens here subscribed $3200 to build a 
town hall with a lodge room upstairs for the Masons and Odd Fellows. 

June 3d— Mr. Lucas is getting ready to again supply Bakersfield with 
ice from Cross' mountain. 

May 27th — The first section of the Kern Island ditch is finished and 
ready to irrigate (so the paper says) 75,000 acres of land. 

An effort is being made to raise money for a church building, and an 
express office is soon to be opened. 

Tiburcio Vasquez, Bartola Sepulveda, Procopio Murietta, Pancho Go- 
linda and Juan Doe Bacinos have held up the stage near San Jose again. 

September 9, 1871 — The surveyors for the Southern Pacific railroad are 
in Bakersfield and the citizens are awakening to the fact that the road is 
going to miss the main portion of the town. 

The third Sunday in October there was a camp meeting on Kern Island. 

Stage fare from San Francisco to Bakersfield is $30, and from Los 
Angeles to Bakersfield, $15. The latter stage is weekly and irregular. 

Laborers get $40 to $60 per month, but save no money. 

October, 1871 — Bishop Amat and Father Dade call the Catholics to- 
gether to discuss the subject of building a church and school. Julius Chester, 
Pablo Galtes and Alexis Godey are appointed a committee to raise the funds. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 71 

Alfalfa is proving a great success on the island. 

Solomon Jewett is awarded a prize of $100 by the state agricultural 
society for the best paper on cotton growing based on actual experiment. 

October, 1871 — Havilah residents are beginning to come to Bakersfield, 
bringing their houses with them. 

And the Santa Barbara Press was boosting for a railroad to Bakers- 
field just as cheerily as it is now (in 1911) — and with the same result. 

The railroad is finished about to the Merced river, and farmers are still 
driving their turkeys from valley points to San Francisco for holiday market. 

December 16, 1871 — J. S. Brittain lands here to found a Democratic 
paper — the Southern Californian. 

A petition is in circulation to move the county seat from Havilah to 
Bakersfield. 

B. Brundage and E. H. Dumble move here from Havilah. 

December, 1871 — Surveyor Yates of the San Joaquin Valley Canal Com- 
pany decides to wait until the weather is settled before continuing his plans 
for a great canal to start at Antioch, run south along the Coast range mesa 
to the head of the San Joaquin valley, circle the base of the San Emidio hills, 
turn north at Tejon, follow the Sierra Nevada mesa to the head of the Sacra- 
mento valley, and return on the west side of that valley to a point opposite 
Antioch. The purpose of the canal is to gather all the waters of all the 
streams of the interior into one great irrigation system that will water every 
foot of land in the two great valleys. (It is too bad the plan was nevei' 
carried out!) 

January, 1872 — Freight by teams from Los Angeles to Bakersfield costs 
4 cents per pound. 

April, 1872 — The legislature defeats a bill to repeal the fence law, and 
a meeting is called in the town hall to discuss means of protection from wild 
cattle. The fight over the fence law is between the farmers and the stock- 
men. The latter want a law which will practically compel the farmers to 
fence their lands or sufifer damage from stock that may trespass upon them, 
while the farmers want the burden of herding the cattle or paying damages 
placed on the stockmen. 

The same month — Surveyors are laying out the town of Fresno on the 
line of the new railroad. 

May 22. 1872 — The Hotel Association is selling stock, and plans to build 
a first class hotel. 

June, 1872 — Mechanics are leaving their work in town and flocking to 
the placer gravels along Kern river about nine miles above Bakersfield. 

August, 1872 — Drs. Baker of Visalia and Howard of San Francisco are 
here to look at new coal mines and petroleum deposits at the base of the 
Coast range west of Bakersfield. The San Francisco Gas Company is plan- 
ning to make gas of crude oil. 

The great register of the county for 1872 contains 785 names, divided 
among the several precincts as follows: Bakersfield, 245; Linn's valley, 140; 
Tehachapi, 90; Havilah, 85; Kernville, 60; South Fork, 40; Sageland, 35; 
Bear Valley, 30; Tejon, 25; Walker's Basin, 15; Long Tom, 10. 

November, 1872 — A. Cross arrives with three teams from Owen river 
with 335 bars of lead bullion, or 30,000 pounds. The bullion was hauled to 
the foot of the lake by steamers from the furnaces on the other side. It 
took ten days to make the trip by team from the lake to Bakersfield. 



72 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

November, 1872 — Colonel Baker makes the first successful attempt to 
burn a kiln of brick. 

Sunday, November 24, 1872 — At 1 p. m. Colonel Baker dies of typhoid 
pneumonia. His funeral is held from the town hall the following Tuesday, 
and the entire population of the town attends. The Masons conduct the 
service, and A. R. Jackson delivers the oration. The body was buried in 
Union cemetery, the ground for which was selected by Colonel Baker about 
a year before. 



CHAPTER VIII 

Bakersfield Becomes the County Metropolis 

In the process of gathering the data for this history the author asked 
one of the men who have been intimately associated with its larger afifairs 
during the last forty years to name over the chief events in the history of 
Bakersfield. He answered : 

"The history of Bakersfield is a story of hope deferred, of promises 
unfulfilled. First we prayed for a railroad. We got it, but it did not unlock 
the door of our possibilities as we expected it would. Then we prayed for 
colonization. Everything was made ready to answer that prayer, when 
the contest over the water rights interfered and nothing could be done 
toward cutting up the land until that was settled. It took years to settle 
it. When it was out of the way and the colonization scheme was undertaken, 
just at the start, when everybody's hope was stimulated, the town burned 
up. We rebuilt on hope, and the colonization scheme went forward. Most 
of the colonists who came were not farmers, or if they knew how to farm 
in the east or in England they did not know how to farm here. The 
water was managed badly ; some of the ground was waterlogged, the ditches 
broke, things dried out on the high ground and flooded out on the low ground. 
Just as the orchards and vineyards came into bearing the panic of 1893-4 
broke. There was no local market, and fruit shipped east would hardly pay 
the freight; sometimes it did not pay the freight and they sent back a bill 
to the shipper. The seasons about that time were dry, but we could have 
managed that. The greatest handicap was transportation charges. Then 
we prayed for a competing railroad. The Valley road (the Santa Fe) was 
built, but it did not compete. There never was a thing happened in this 
county that really gave it any chance, that offered any opportunity to 
go ahead and do things until they began to develop the oil fields." 

Understand that this is the speech of an optimist, not a pessimist. 
Through nearly all this period (this era of hopes deferred and promises 
unfulfilled) Bakersfield was counted by travellers and travelling salesmen as 
one of the "best towns" in the state. It was always full of life and interest, 
always there was something doing. Only to the men of intimate knowledge 
of the county's possibilities and of abounding faith in the county's future 
has the history of the past forty years been one of hopes deferred and promises 
unfulfilled. 

Nevertheless, throughout these forty years the attitude of this optimist 
who speaks like a pessimist has been a typical one. Literally hundreds of 
people, looking about at the immense body of fertile land that fills the 
heart of the county, the great river that flows down from the mountains at 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 73 

exactly the most convenient spot for irrigating it, the warm, even climate 
and the tremendous treasures of oil and other mineral wealth that the hills 
and mountains contain, have been amazed, irritated and angered because 
circumstances have prevented Bakersfield from becoming the largest city 
in the interior of the state, as it justly deserves to be. 

Understand, also, that it is only in the retrospect that the Bakersfield 
optimist has seen that the history of the town was a story of promises unful- 
filled. For only brief periods during all these forty years has the town been 
lingering elsewhere than on the threshold of a great new boom. It was on 
the threshold of one of its booms when its founder, Colonel Baker, died. 
The fertility of the Kern delta was fully established, capitalists in the person 
of Livermore & Chester were promising great things, plans for getting the 
remaining portions of the public domain into private hands with the least 
possible efifort and the speediest dispatch were going forward without a 
hitch worth mentioning, the example of Colonel Baker inspired the belief 
that so soon as these public lands were patented they would be ofTered for 
sale at modest prices, and the Southern Pacific railroad was headed down 
the valley with the long desired transportation facilities. Bakersfield was 
convinced of her future greatness, and was preparing to take her first steps 
forward by incorporating as a city and by wresting the county seat from 
Havilah. 

Bakersfield Gets the County Seat 

The contest for the removal of the county seat from Havilah to Bakers- 
field, preliminary skirmishes of which had been taking place occasionally for 
years before, assumed final, serious form in January, 1873, when, in response 
to a petition signed by upward of one-third of the registered voters of the 
county, the supervisors called an election for February ISth to determine 
the question. 

F. W. Craig, who was one of the supervisors at the time and who 
fought hard for the retention of the county seat at Havilah, says that the 
Havilah partisans did not hope to keep the county seat permanently, but 
they objected to its going to Bakersfield because they considered the place 
unsuited on account of its low and swampy character. They believed that 
with the building of the railroad a new and more permanent town would 
be founded somewhere on higher ground than Bakersfield. and their fight 
was to keep the county offices at Havilah until the expected new town 
could develop and assert its claim to the seat of government. 

The sincerity of the men who made the fight against Bakersfield on the 
ground of healthfulness is shown by subsequent action on the part of some 
of them, although a very few years sufficed to prove that their fears were 
ungrounded. Dr. L. Brown, the county physician in the days of Havilah's 
supremacy, declined to follow the court house to Bakersfield but gave up 
his practice and moved to a farm in Walker's basin where he would at least 
have the advantage of the mountain air. By the irony of fate the good doctor 
died a short time thereafter, while his widow, who some years later became 
the wife of General Freeman, came to Bakersfield, where she still lives in 
the best of health and possessed of an energy and activity that would do 
credit to a woman of half her years. Mr. Craig, who afterward was county 
clerk, came down to the valley perforce, but he took up his residence in 
Sumner (now East Bakersfield). and still maintains that there is more ozone 
in the air east of Union avenue than west of it. 



'74 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Bakersfield people contented themselves with pointing to the mortality 
tables and making fun of the contention of Havilah that Bakersfield was 
not a "fit place for a gentleman to live," but to the complaint that it would 
cost the county a large sum of money to erect the necessary new buildings 
which a change in the county seat would entail, they presented a more 

. material answer. Morris Jacoby gave a bond, with F. A. Tracy and Solomon 
Jewett as sureties, that he would build a brick jail and lease it to the county 

. for five years free of cost if the election resulted in moving the county seat. 
Julius Chester signed a lease to the county at $1 per year for a one-story 
brick building to be used to house the county offices. On the same terms 
John Hewlett and Julius Chester, as trustees, leased to the county the town 
hall for a court room. The lease was for five years. 

Contest Over Election 

First unofficial returns of the election gave a majority of twelve for 
Bakersfield, but when the vote was canvassed on February 24th, Super- 
visors Craig and John M. Brite, father of the present supervisor, voted to 
reject the returns of Hudson, Bear valley and Walker's basin precincts on 
account of irregularities on the part of the election officials. Solomon Jewett, 
the third supervisor, recently elected, voted to count the returns from the 
three precincts but was outweighed, and Havilah was declared to be the 
choice of the voters for the county seat by a vote of 328 to 318. 

An application for a writ of mandamus compelling the supervisors to 
count the returns of the rejected precincts was thrown out of court by 
Judge Colby on a demurrer filed by Supervisors Craig and Brite. An appeal 
was then taken to the district court. 

Meantime there was another county election, and John Narboe suc- 
ceeded Brite as supervisor from the third district, and Andrew H. Denker 
was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Supervisor Craig, who had been 
elected county clerk. This changed the attitude of the majority of the board 
on the county seat removal, Supervisors Jewett and Narboe favoring Bakers- 
field while Denker, who was a merchant and hotel owner of Havilah, stood 
for his own town. Jewett was chairman of the board. 

The case was entitled People of the State of California on the relation of 
A. R. Jackson, plaintiffs, against the Board of Supervisors of Kern County, 
defendants, and was heard before Judge Alec Deeming at Tulare. B. Brun- 
dage appeared as counsel for the plaintiff, and A. J. Atwell represented the 
board of supervisors as the defendant. An answer filed by Attorney A. C. 
Lawrence and verified by Supervisor Denker, was stricken out by the court 
on affidavit of Supervisors Jewett and Narboe that he did not represent the 
board. The case being submitted on the pleadings. Judge Deeming issued a 
peremptory writ of mandate requiring the supervisors to canvass the vote of 
the Hudson-Rosemyer and Bear Valley precincts. The returns as finally 
canvassed on January 26, 1874, gave Bakersfield a majority of twenty-two 
votes, and stood, according to precincts, as follows: 

Havilah — Havilah, 97; Bakersfield, nothing. 

South Fork — Havilah, 33; Bakersfield, 1. 

FIudson-Rosemyer — Havilah, nothing; Bakersfield, 14. 

Kern Island— Havilah, 5 ; Bakersfield, 265. 

Long Tom — Havilah, nothing; Bakersfield, 10. 

Tehachapi— Havilah, 40; Bakersfield, 18. 

Bear Valley— Havilah, 4; Bakersfield, 22. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 75 

Sageland — Havilah, 22; Bakersfield, 1. 

Linn's Valley— Havilah, 38; Bakersfield, 23. 

Kernville — Havilah, 71; Bakersfield, nothing. 

Claraville — Haviland, 21 ; Bakersfield, nothing. 

Totals— Havilah, 332; Bakersfield, 354. 

No election was held in Alpine precinct, and for some reason the vote 
of Walker's Basin was never included in the ofiicial count. 

For a short time the seat of government was transferred to the town 
hall in Bakersfield, located on the present site of the Beale Memorial library. 
But preparations at once were made for more permanent quarters. An act 
of the legislature was secured authorizing the board of supervisors to bond 
the county for $25,000 for a court house and jail. In lieu of the offers of 
free rent for the county offices, George B. Chester tendered and the board 
accepted on September 1, 1874, a deed to the block of land just south of 
Truxtun avenue and west of Chester avenue. In those days the intersection 
of these avenues was considered the civic center of Bakersfield, and all 
streets were numbered with reference to that point. Seventeenth street was 
known as First street North, Eighteenth street was Second street North, 
and Nineteenth street was Third street North. I street was First street 
West, etc. 

New Public Buildings 

On October 5th, a contract was let to A. W. Burrell of the California 
Bridge and Building Company for the new court house at a price of $29,999, 
the work to be completed within a year. T. W. Goodale, who had suc- 
ceeded Denker as supervisor, voted against the awarding of the contract for 
the reason that the price was in excess of the bond issue. The new court 
house which comprised the south wing of the building now in use, was ac- 
cepted April 3, 1876, on the favorable report of a committee of inspectors 
composed of J. A. Riley, N. R. Wilkinson, E. H. Dumble and P. A. Stine. 
The court house was furnished for $3802. In the fall a contract was let 
to William McFarland to build a county hospital for $1400. For a time a 
branch hospital was maintained at Havilah, and later a branch was estab- 
lished at Hot Springs. In November, 1874, a branch jail was built at Kern- 
ville for $200, and in 1875 the old county jail at Havilah was presented to 
Caliente and moved to that place. 

Bakersfield's First Incorporation 

Meantime Bakersfield had launched on its first experiment as an in- 
corporated town. Pursuant to a petition of the citizens, the county super- 
visors at their May meeting, 1873, declared the town incorporated and called 
an election of officers for May 24th. J. B. Tungate, E. H. Dumble and 
A. R. Jackson were appointed election officers. The town limits included all 
of section 30, 29-28; the east half of the southwest quarter and the east half of 
the northeast quarter of section 25, 29-27. The following were chosen for 
the first officers of the new municipality: 

Trustees— W. S. Adams, president; L. S. Rogers, M. Jacoby, J. B. Tun- 
gate and R. W. Withington. 
Recorder — A. R. Jackson. 
Treasurer — J. Weill. 
Assessor — William McFarland. 
Marshal — Joseph Short. 



76 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Adams was a liveryman, Jacoby and Weill were merchants, Rogers was 
a physician, and Withington and Tungate were saloon keepers. 

The new board fixed a license of $20 per year on saloons and general 
merchandise establishments; $10 per year on breweries, and lesser sums 
on other businesses. They made it a petit larceny oiifense to use water from 
an irrigating ditch without permission ; required that all canals must be 
bridged to the full width of the streets; forbade bathing in the ditches, and 
fixed a limit of three cubic feet on the amount of litter that might be piled 
in either of the two chief business streets of the city. 

The First Hope Deferred 

Meantime, also, the long cherished hope of a railroad into Kern county 
had been realized at last. On July 21, 1873, the track had been completed to 
a point four miles south of the north county line, and there work was 
stopped, as the people of Bakersfield complained, "out in an open plain, 
thirty miles from wood or water, thirty miles from the nearest farm house, 
thirty miles from the nearest point where the transportation company could 
hope to get a single passenger or a single pound of freight." There was a 
wail of protest from residents of Bakersfield and Kern Island, who could 
not understand why the road had not been completed at least to the north 
bank of the river. Whether the railroad builders had run out of funds or 
were actuated by motives of purposeless, inscrutable malice were questions 
of common debate during the eight months or more that the grading and 
track-laying gangs were idle. The latter hypothesis, however, seems to have 
been the more popular. About this time the Courier refers editorially to 
the alleged fact that from its very beginning the railroad was the object of 
popular distrust. This aversion or hostility went even so far, the paper 
declared, that settlers were buying little railroad land, although it was offered 
at attractive prices and was generally of good quality and desirably located. 

Delano Is Founded 

But while the railroad halted and the people of Bakersfield fumed, the 
new town of Delano was founded and became a flourishing business center 
on a small but active scale. Merchandise that formerly was delivered to 
the Kern delta and all the mountain districts via Visalia. Walker's pass or 
Tejon caiion now came to Delano and was hauled thence by freight teams. 
All outgoing freight was delivered there, even to the great loads of bullion 
from the Cerro Gordo mines. The sheep shearing camps that had been 
scattered over the country from White river to Poso creek moved up toward 
Delano to shorten the haul by wagon. The stage from Los Angeles made 
that place its northern terminal, dry wheat farmers on the mesas between 
the railroad and the Sierras increased in number, and broke trails to the rail- 
road, and generally Delano became a very lively and prosperous place. 
The Story of Eph Johnson's Ox Team 

Just how new and strange a thing a railroad was in the San Joaquin 
valley then is illustrated by the story of Eph Johnson, one of the best known 
of the teamsters who broke the trails from the mountains to the new ship- 
ping point. On one of his first trips to Delano Johnson got his first near 
view of a freight engine. He looked the thing over, and did not think much 
of it. Loyalty to the old methods of transportation and instinctive antag- 
onism toward this new machine that threatened to put the teams and team- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 77 

sters out of business got him into an argument with the trainmen, and finally 
Johnson bet his eight good oxen against the locomotive that he could drag the 
iron horse backward on the rails that had been laid with so much expense 
for it to run upon. Johnson stipulated that he should be allowed to tighten 
the chains before the engine was started, and he cracked his long bull whip 
and shouted to Baldy, the leader. Baldy stiffened his neck to the yoke, 
and all the eight great animals got their hoofs against the ties and sank 
their bellies low toward the soft, new roadbed in a perfect exhibition of 
bovine team-work. Then the engineer opened the throttle and jerked the 
finest eight-ox team in Kern county into a tangled mass of chains and 
cattle. The trainmen had no more use for Johnson's oxen than Johnson 
would have had for the engine, and so the bet was never paid, but it cost 
the teamster the value of at least one yoke of cattle before the thirst of the 
other teamsters, the railroad crews and all the population of Delano was 
assuaged. 

News Notes of 1873-75 

A few mc>re news notes of the time will fill out the detail in this picture 
of the county in 1873-75 : 

June 22, 1873 — At Tehachapi Brite & Bennington are building a steam 
saw mill with a capacity of 10,000 feet in twelve hours. 

Tehachapi merchants are asking 100 per cent profit on grain sold to 
Owens river teamsters. 

John Narboe & Co. are gathering salt from the salt lake near Tehachapi. 

Green & Henderson clean up $1,438 in their hydraulic mine near 
Tehachapi. 

The Kern & Inyo P^orward-ing Company advertises for fifty mule teams 
to haul between the end of the railruad and Owens lake, and guarantees a 
full load both ways. 

Stage fare from Delano to Bakersfield (thirty-two miles) is $7; from 
Bakersfield to Los Angeles, $25 ; from San Francisco to Los Angeles, $25. 
The "long and short haul" problem is a cause of complaint. 

August 2, 1873 — Escalet's new hotel at the corner of Chester avenue and 
Third street (now Nineteenth) is completed. 

August 23d — The aft'airs of the California Cotton Growers' Association 
and Livermore & Chester have been assigned to J. H. Redington. 

August 23, 1873 — Tiburcio Vasquez is reported overtaken in Rock caiion 
east of Los Angeles. 

September 12, 1873 — ^Montgomery and Rurkhalter of Tulare are building 
a schooner-rigged boat fifty feet in length and of seventj' tons burden for 
Atwell & Goldstein, who have an immense hog ranch on an island in Tulare 
lake. 

November 22, 1873 — J. C. Crocker and Miller & Lux are fencing a great 
tract of land between Buena Vista and Goose lakes with redwood posts 
and lumber shipped from Oregon. They will plant alfalfa. 

Many stage robberies are reported from Visalia. 

December 6, 1873 — The Stine Irrigating Canal Company levies an assess- 
ment of $25 per share. 

Farmers' Irrigating Canal Company is supplying water to a new dis- 
trict between Panama and Kern lake, which is fast settling up. A school 
is to be opened there in February, with Mrs. S. A. Burnap as teacher. 

January 17, 1874 — W. B. Carr, the "world renowned Billy Carr, political 



78 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Napoleon of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company," is here looking over 
the country. He owns some land in Kern county and is anxious to get more. 
He has plans for the complete and thorough irrigation of the valley. 

A bill is introduced in the legislature to form a new county out of a 
strip of territory cut from the north end of Kern and the south end of 
Tulare counties, Porterville to be the county seat and the name of the new 
county to be Monache. (The bill, of course, did not pass.) 

March 7, 1874— Julius Chester, E. Tibbet, P. Tibbet and R. Trewin are 
raising funds to build a Methodist Episcopal church. The building is to 
be open for the use of all evangelical denominations. 

The Pioneer canal is finished for a distance of eight miles. 

W. G. Souther, who is building the Kern Island canal, is having con- 
structed at Hollister a big plow with a mould board eleven feet long by 
nearly three feet deep which will cut a furrow five feet wide and two feet 
deep. The naked plow will weigh 1800 pounds, and eighty horses or forty 
yoke of oxen will be required to pull it. 

The Kern Valley Bank, incorporated on February 24, 1874, with a 
capital of $50,000, will open for business in the Wells Fargo office about 
April 20th. Solomon Jewett is president; S. J. Lansing, secretary; F. A. Tracy, 
P. T. Colby and P. D. Jewett, directors. 

April 6, 1874 — Work on the extension of the Southern Pacific railroad 
south from Delano is resumed with 100 men and thirty-five teams. 

Local option is the subject of agitation all over the state. 

Rev. Thomas Fraser, Presbyterian missionary, preaches in the court 
house. 

Citizens discuss a plan to build a water tank thirty or forty feet high near 
the flour mill to afford a gravity pressure for fire protection. 

The two business streets of the town are sprinkled. 

Mexicans are preparing for a bull and bear fight in the southern outskirts 
of the town. 

Local option loses in Tulare township because the returns from a pre- 
cinct giving an anti-license majority of twenty-seven votes were sealed up 
in the envelope marked "ballots" and so were not counted in the official 
canvass. The unofficial count gave a majority of one against the saloons. 

August 1, 1874 — Trains reach the north side of Kern river. 

August 29, 1874 — The Southern Pacific is grading for the depot (at the 
present site in East Bakersfield.) A large body of land in the vicinity has 
been covered with indemnity scrip, and the railroad probably will lay out a 
town. 

October 10, 1874 — The Bakersfield Fire Company meets to adopt a con- 
stitution. N. R. Wilkinson is foreman; W. McFarland, assistant foreman; 
A. T. Whitman, secretary; W. E. Houghton, treasurer. A fireman's ball is 
planned for November 6th. 

December 19, 1874 — Judge Brundage plants out eucalyptus trees about 
his residence (at the northwest corner of H and Eighteenth streets). 

Mining excitement at Panamint. 

January, 1875 — The river is in flood and the only way to cross is by the 
railroad bridge. No damage. 

February, 1875 — Seven or eight Mexicans, supposed to have been led by 
Chavez, one of Vasquez' lieutenants, rob the store of William Scodie about 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 79 

five miles above Weldon on the South Fork. They tied Scodie, stole about 
$800, a new outfit of clothing and a horse apiece and left toward Indian Wells. 

\V. B. Carr expects to sow about 1500 acres of alfalfa this season. The 
Southern Pacific engineers are struggling with the grade up Tehachapi. The 
roadbed is built about fourteen miles east of Bakersfield. 

February 27, 1875 — The Bakersfield brass band holds its third anniversary 
ball. A revival is in progress at the Methodist church. The Good Templars 
organize Kern Island lodge. Murders and robberies are constantly reported 
throughout the county. 

March, 1875 — Much building is going on in Bakersfield. Lumber is $40 
per thousand, and brick are $10. The great Kernville gold ledge has been 
traced for twenty-five miles. A thousand men are working on the railroad 
grade to Tehachapi. 

Bakersfield Tires of Being a City and Disincorporates 

On February 27, 1875, the Kern County Courier announced that the 
town government was a miserable failure. A large amount of money had 
been collected in the form of licenses, the editor declared, but there was 
little or nothing to show for it. If a beginning had been made toward build- 
ing a sewer system or a municipal water works or if some other substantial 
public improvement were in evidence, the incorporation of the city might be 
justified, but there were none of these. This was the line of argument that 
appeared in the press. Pioneers who were active in public affairs at the time, 
however, say that the town was disincorporated to get rid of the marshal — 
Alex Mills. 

Alex Mills was one of the thousand or more picturesque characters that 
have graced the history of Kern county and given it the pungent, preservative 
spice of human interest. He was an old man, by the time he became marshal 
of Bakersfield, and walked with a cane. But he was a Kentuckian, a handy 
man with a gun and not lacking in initiative and resource when the mood 
moved him. For example, once when he was given papers to serve in an 
attachment suit against the Southern Pacific railroad, Alex chained a log 
to the rails, sat down on it with his rifle in his hands and announced that he 
had attached the track, the roadbed, and the right of way and there would 
be nothing stirring over them until the judgment was satisfied. It was 
promptly satisfied. 

But these exhibitions of energy on the part of the town's historic marshal 
seem not to have happened very often. Urged to relate what Alex did that 
the town should want to get rid of his services, pioneers, one after another 
declare, "Nothing. He just stumped around from one saloon to another and 
at the end of the month he drew his seventy-six dollars." But diligent re- 
search reveals the fact that Alex had a habit of telling the truth on unfelicitous 
occasions. Perhaps he would stump into the office or store of a prominent 
citizen and something like this conversation would ensue : 

"Mr. Blank, suh, good morning." 

"Good morning, Mr. Mills." 

"Mr. Blank, suh, you're the pop-eyed progeny of a race of runts. Nature 
never marks her critters wrong, suh. A pop-eyed man will steal, a pop-eyed 
pup will suck eggs, and a pop-eyed woman will flirt with the hired help. 

"Good morning, suh." 

And the marshal would stump out. 

Of course this is not what IMarshal Mills really said. His language was 



80 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

apt to be too lurid and literal for the genteel purposes of print. But the 
paraphrase furnishes some faint idea of the historic marshal's frank and 
freehand ofifensiveness. Such means of recall as were then available were dis- 
cussed by the good citizens, but they were assured by the undaunted Alex 
that "you may remove me from my office, suh, but my constituents will 
triumphantly elect me again," which everyone knew to be a fact. 

And so the good citizens disguised the issue. They pleaded economy 
and everything else that might suggest itself as an argument for disincor- 
poration. A petition was duly circulated, duly signed by more than three- 
fourths of the legal voters of the city, and the county supervisors, acting 
under the law as it then existed, on January 4, 1876, declared that Bakers- 
field was disincorporated. Samuel J. Lansing was appointed to close the 
municipality's financial afifairs. On April 3, 1876, Lansing filed his report with 
the county board, and Bakersfield was free from all restraint, expense and 
contumely incident to city marshals until January 11, 1898, a respite of 
twenty-two years, during which period Bakersfield and Kern county passed 
through many experiences and were the scene of many stirring events, the 
story of which must now be recounted. 



CHAPTER IX 
The Contests Over Water Rights Begin 

Referring back to the news items reproduced in the previous chapter it 
will be noted that on August 23, 1873, appeared a legal notice to the effect 
that the afifairs of the California Cotton Growers' Association, and Livermore 
& Chester had been transferred to J. H. Redington ; that in November of the 
same year J. C. Crocker and Miller & Lux were fencing in a great tract of 
land between Buena Vista and Goose lakes and preparing to sow alfalfa ; that 
in January, 1874, "the world-renowned Billy Carr, political Napoleon for the 
Southern Pacific Railroad Company," was in Kern county looking over his 
possessions here and planning how to increase them. 

About 1874 Dr. George F. Thornton was getting the Bellvue and 
McClung ranches established for J. B. Haggin. In the same year W. G. 
Souther was having the big plow built at HoUister for use in completing 
the reclamation of swamp land district No. Ill, a task which had been taken 
over by the Kern Island Irrigation Canal Company, which was a Livermore 
& Chester enterprise, now assigned to J. H. Redington. In March, 1876, Liver- 
more mortgaged to William Houston 5736 acres of land for $60,000. On 
October 1, 1877, Livermore mortgaged 9792.72 acres of Kern county land to 
Redington for $97,000. On the same date another mortgage was executed 
between the same parties involving 12,800 acres of land and $128,000. In 
the same year, which was one of exceptional drought, Livermore & Chester 
(as the concern continued to be known despite the transfers noted) are 
credited by newspaper report with having spent $20,000 in the construction 
of a dam of brush and gravel thrown across Kern river for the purpose of 
turning the water into the Kern Island canal. On July 2, 1877, the Kern 
Valley Water Company, of which J. H. Redington was president and H. P. 
Livermore was secretary, made an agreement with the trustees of swamp land 
district No. 116 or 121 (lying north of Buena Vista lake) to complete the 




COL. THOMAS BAKER 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 81 

work of reclamation which the trustees of the district had begun. In March, 
1877, Congress passed the desert land act, and work was begun on the 
Calloway canal. In January, 1878, Livermore made another mortgage to 
Redington covering 4480 acres for a consideration of $44,800. In 1878 the 
Kern Valley Colony issued a prospectus offering seventeen sections of land 
under the Kern Island canal for sale at $25 per acre in tracts of forty to 
eighty acres at terms of one-fifth cash, with the balance in four annual pay- 
ments; interest at nine per cent. For information apply to H. P. Livermore, 
San Francisco, or Celsus Brower, Bakersfield. 

In June, 1879, Livermore and Redington sold to J. B. Haggin the Cot- 
ton ranch, comprising 729.03 acres in what is now the northwestern part of 
the city of Bakersfield. The consideration was nothing. A previous deed 
had conveyed all the other Livermore and Redington holdings in Kern 
county to Haggin, and after the deal had been completed Redington threw 
in this remaining body of land — now selling in town lots at $20 to $200 per 
front foot — for good measure, and also, as there is good reason to suppose, 
because he did not care to keep any souvenir of his Kern county investments. 

Add to the foregoing the record of suit after suit filed against Livermore 
& Chester, Livermore & Redington and the diiiferent parties individually by 
Haggin & Carr, all dismissed or compromised, and you will have a fairly com- 
plete syllabus of the complicated chapter in the history of Kern county 
which bridges over the period during which Haggin & Carr and Miller & 
Lux came to be the overshadowing factors in Kern county's development ; 
during which Bakersfield's first hope of colonization came to naught, and 
most of the remaining sections of valuable farming land in the valley portion 
of the ciiunty were thoughtfully gathered up. The chapter includes, also, the 
first bitter contests over the control of the waters of Kern river, and the 
placing of the troops and batteries for the great battle that was to come 
later on between the appropriators represented by Haggin and the riparianists 
represented by Miller & Lux. 

The Decline of Livermore & Chester 

Livermore & Redington were wholesale druggists of San Francisco, 
men of large wealth outside of their drug business, and are referred to by their 
Kern county acquaintances as of most estimable character. From the start 
their Kern county land investments were a side venture, and commanded 
little of their personal attention. Livermore came to Bakersfield but seldom, 
and Redington almost never. Taking them on their face, nothing could 
have been more promising than the Kern county swamp land projects. The 
early reclamation contracts, as we have seen, were taken on the basis of an 
acre of land in return for moving two cubic yards of earth in the construction 
of canals and levees. Ten or a dozen years later E. M. Roberts and H. W. 
Broad took a contract to finish the Calloway canal at seven cents for moving 
ordinary earth and nine cents for hardpan, and they made big money. The 
haul is longer and heavier in building a big canal like the Calloway than in a 
smaller canal like the Kern Island, and the earth moved in the former 
averaged much heavier and harder to handle than was that in the latter. It 
would seem that under normal circumstances and management the men \^ho 
participated with Colonel Baker in the original contract for the reclamation 
of district No. Ill should have secured their land at an outlay of ten or 
fifteen cents per acre. 

But many things combined to overturn what seemed to be perfectly laid 



82 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

plans. Before the arrival of the railroad, materials of all kinds that had to be 
shipped in were exceedingly high in price, and after the railroad came the 
expected reductions in transportation charges were only partially realized. 
Labor was scarce and inefficient. Drinking water from shallovv wells or 
irrigation ditches resulted in a liberal infection of workmen with the microbe 
of weariness, and eiTorts to drown the microbes in the bad liquors that 
unlimited saloons dispensed were not wholly successful from all points of 
view. 

Then it was an era of large ideas. The big plow that Souther had built 
at Hollister was not his first nor largest invention of the kind. He built in 
the Livermore & Chester shops at Bakersfield a plow designed to cut a furrow 
five feet in width and three feet deep, whereas the Hollister plow cut a furrow 
three feet wide and two feet deep. The top of the mould board of the first 
plow was even with the head of a man on horseback. The depth of the 
cut was controlled by a screw operated from a platform high over the shear, 
and a long lever extending to the rear was used in keeping the furrow 
straight. With forty yoke of oxen hitched to it the plow would cut through 
4 Cottonwood root as thick as a fat man's arm and the shear and coulter 
shaved a clean path through the thickets of button willows that grew along 
the sloughs. The plow was perfectly designed and constructed, according to 
men who saw its try-out, but the oxen walked so slowly that the earth 
which the shear picked up was not carried out on the mould board but fell 
back in the furrow as in the case of a plow that does not "scour." When the 
bull whackers beat the cattle into a faster gait the plow made a clean furrow, 
but the faster gait could not be maintained, and at the end of a twelve-mile 
furrow it was evident that the big plow was almost as unsuited for ditch- 
building as it would be for a watch charm. 

Then Souther had the "little" plow built at Hollister. This could be 
handled with forty head of mules, and the faster animals made the new plow 
a success. Many of the smaller ditches about the delta were made with the 
Hollister plow, but its use benefited chiefly the assigns of Livermore & 
Redington. 

Fertile Causes of Litigation 

In the early days of irrigation in Kern county it was the custom to 
build wing dams of sand or of sand and brush in times when the river was 
low to force the water into the canals. These wing dams would start just 
below the head of the canal and extend at an angle upward and across the 
river nearly to the farther bank. A freshet sufficient to raise the water above 
the top of these dams would speedily melt them away, scattering the brush to 
form impeding islands in the river bed, and the work would have to be re- 
peated so soon as the river fell again. Before the Kern valley canal was finished 
the cost of these wing dams had reached so great an aggregate that the 
managers of the enterprise decided to move the intake higher up on the river. 
This was done, the new intake being finished in 1874. The old south fork 
channel, however, was still used in lieu of a canal, the water being turned 
into the old channel from the new intake. Still later the head of the Kern 
Island canal was moved still farther up the river, and an artificial canal sub- 
stituted for the old natural channel south as far as the present mill. All 
these changes were made the excuse for a number of law suits over water 
rights, the questions involved turning on use, priority and the right of 
riparian owners to have a natural water course maintained. The suits and the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 83 

questions involved were technical and of little interest to the average reader 
except to suggest the numberless good opportunities for litigation that arose 
while the waters of Kern river were being apportioned. Few such oppor- 
tunities, it may be added, were allowed to pass unseized. 

The agreement between the Kern Island Canal Company and the trustees 
of the irrigation district was that the company should construct the canal 
and necessary levees for $16,240, the company to own the canal and retain the 
right to the use of the water, provided that the owner of swamp land should 
be given one share of stock in the canal company for every fifty dollars which 
his land paid into the reclamation fund, and provided that the owners of 
swamp land in the district should have the preference right — or the exclusive 
right in case they demanded it — to purchase the water in the canal at 
rates which would net the canal comiiany a return not to exceed ten per cent 
of its capital stock annually. 

First Great Fight Over Water Rights 

When the very dry year of 1877 came the former expedients to which 
the Kern Island Canal Company had resorted to draw the water into its 
ditch did not suffice, and the dam, which is alleged to have cost $20,000 was 
built across the river. Not only were brush and sand used, but wooden 
chutes were built against the shoulder of Panorama heights and gravel and 
boulders were chuted down to the river edge to serve as more enduring bal- 
last. Heavy timbers also were used to stay the waters, and the dam took 
on so much the character of a permanent work that settlers and water users 
over the entire delta from Bakersfield to Buena Vista lake were up in vigor- 
ous protest against this alleged effort to monopolize the entire flow of the 
river. 

It is profitless now, as well as difficult, to decide just where the right 
and justice lay. Those who were close to Livermore say that the dam was 
never intended to take all the water of the river and never did so. It was to 
act merely as the present weirs do, and it was only for the purpose of 
diverting into the Kern Island canal the ajnount of water which was due it 
by right of prior appropriation. This right, they point out, was later estab- 
lished and affirmed by the Miller-Haggin agreement and the Shaw decree, 
and to this day the canal is entitled to its quota of water whenever there is 
that much in the river and whether there is anything left for other canals 
or not. 

Partisans of Livermore go on to say that much of the outcry against the 
Kern Island was raised by Carr, who had begun a systematic campaign to 
oust Livermore and Redington from their commanding position on the river 
and (like the astute and experienced politician that he was) sought to enlist 
popular sentiment as one of the chief means for carrying out his ends. 

■At any rate, it appears that about this time Carr was a prince of good 
fellows. He was suffering as much as any of the smaller water users, but 
he was willing to divide with everyone the little trickles that the monopolistic 
Kern Island people permitted to come down past their works. In fact Carr 
was the leader and ally of the anti-monopolists, and he was efficient and 
resourceful. 

The men who relate the story from the other side say that no objection 
ever was made to the Kern Island company's dams so long as they built 
them of brush and sand as others did, and no complaint was made against 
the Kern Island taking all the water to which it was entitled and which the 



84 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

irrigators under it could use. The objectors, however, go on to affirm that 
so much water was forced into the Kern Island canal that it broke and the 
precious fluid ran to waste over untilled lands while settlers farther down the 
river had to stand by and see their crops perish for want of moisture. Out of 
this difference of opinion regarding right and equity and of understanding 
as to matters of fact, arose the first great contest over the waters of Kern 
river. 

The contests between Haggin & Carr and Livermore & Chester were 
not so fierce nor on so large a scale as those that came later between Haggin 
& Carr and Miller & Lux, but they were fairly strenuous. On one occasion 
when Carr had secured from the court a restraining order to prevent Liver- 
more & Chester from placing a dam across the river to force the water into 
the Kern Island canal, instructions were issued to the Livermore superintend- 
ents to proceed with the work on the assurance that the injunction would be 
lifted the following morning. From every camp the- men and teams were 
started out at noon, each taking an independent course as though going 
about some ordinary work, but all of them arriving during the afternoon at 
the foot of Panorama heights where the Kern Island intake was. The hours 
until nightfall were spent in quietly filling bags with sand and piling them 
on the river's edge. When darkness fell, two hundred men under the direc- 
tion of C. L. Connor and C. C. Stockton began building a wall of sand bags 
out into the stream. 

Carr's scouts discovered what was going on about midnight, but nothing 
was done until morning, when Connor and Stockton were placed under arrest 
for contempt of court. There had been a hitch and the injunction was not 
lifted. The judge was furious, and Carr was insistent on the officers placing 
Connor and Stockton in jail, but J. C. Crocker interceded, and Crocker's 
influence in those days was potent, even with a judge whose dignity had been 
badly ruffled. The men did not go to jail, and both of them afterward were 
given good positions by Carr, who could recognize an efficient fighter no 
matter which side he happened to be on. 

As to just what happened to Livermore & Chester's dams the testimony 
differs, but a notice published in a paper of a little later date offers a sub- 
stantial reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons that 
dynamited them. 

Colony Plan Is Nipped in the Tender Bud 

Of course, with Haggin's millions and Carr's far-famed genius and gen- 
eralship arrayed against them. Livermore and Redington did not fight as 
stubbornly as they might under more equal terms. No suit of importance 
seems to have been decided against them, and their contention respecting the 
paramount rights of the Kern Island canal was never overwhelmed. In 1878 
they demonstrated their faith in their position by putting a magnificent body 
of land under the Kern Island canal on the market and printing a book and 
maps descriptive of the advantages of Kern county that would do high 
honor to any colonization agency of present days. At the rate of $1000 for a 
forty-acre farm and the best water right in the county, $200 down and $200 
each year for four years, the seventeen sections which the Kern Valley Colony 
offered should have sold readily and Bakersfield's early colonization hopes 
should have been redeemed. But the sale to Haggin checked the colony 
plans before they got under way, and a long halt was called in the matter 
of inducing settlement, for Carr had drawn his plans on a much greater scale 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 85 

than any of the earlier land holders, and he was by no means ready to begin 
subdivision in the year 1879. 

Purposes of Haggin & Carr 

It would be a matter of much interest were it possible to ascertain with 
absolute certainty what were the ultimate plans that Carr had in mind for 
the vast estate which he helped to upbuild. Some of his old friends state with 
assurance that he intended (when he had gotten together all the land avail- 
able in the county and had secured full control of the water) to launch a 
great colonization scheme and build a little empire of small land owners. Carr 
is quoted as having called attention to the fact that he was a younger man 
than either J. B. Haggin or Lloyd Tevis, the other and larger partners in 
the enterprise, and remarking that in the end he expected his plans to prevail. 
But the oldest of the three men survives alone, and years before his death 
Carr's policy was over-ridden and his interest in the Kern county lands 
purchased. 

In a statement published in May, 1880, J. B. Haggin over his signature 
declared that his purpose was not to monopolize the lands he was acquiring 
in Kern county but that he intended to ofifer them for sale on liberal terms. 
In the early days, however, Haggin's trips to Kern county were very few 
and very brief. He came in his private car, was driven direct to Belle View, 
where he looked at the blooded racers that were bred for him there, returned 
to his car and was sped away. Lloyd Tevis was a banker of San Francisco, 
and while his financial interest in the Kern county venture dates from the 
beginning of operations here, his name was not connected with the firm, which 
for years was known locally as Haggin & Carr or Carr & Haggin. and which 
appeared in the chief legal documents as J. B. Haggin. 

Carr's money contribution to the Kern county venture is variously esti- 
mated as high as $500,000 to $800,000. Others declare it was very much less. 
The Gates tract of approximately 52,000 acres, being the odd sections in 
townships 30-26, 30-27, 31-26, and 31-27, and comprising the heart of the 
Kern river delta, was the foundation of the Carr & Haggin holdings. This 
was a tract of railroad land which fell into the hands of Isaac Gates of New 
York shortly after the grant of the odd sections along the line of the pro- 
posed Atlantic & Pacific railway had been made by Congress. Carr's position 
as political manipulator for the Southern Pacific enabled him, without doubt, 
to secure other railroad lands on agreeable terms, and he took steps at once to 
share in the wealth of swamp land which was being so rapidly and cheaply 
acquired when he arrived in Kern county. All through the records of swamp 
land districts from 1875 to 1893 the names of Haggin, Carr and Hearst figure 
prominently. 

Carr's Dealings With the Ditch Companies 

Aleantime, Carr, on his first arrival here, began taking steps to gain a 
controlling interest in the canal companies that had locations on Kern river. 
Few if any of these companies were incorporated and Carr early set himself 
to induce the owners to organize under the laws of the state. Dififerent 
methods were pursued in different cases, but one by one the companies filed 
incorporation papers, and just as surely Haggin and Carr eventually got a 
controlling interest in the stock. To tell how this was done would require 
a separate chapter for every canal company, and in most cases they would be 
interesting chapters. In every case, however, Carr presented the advantages 
of co-operation, showed how nnich faster and more effectually the work of 



86 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

building canals and ditches could be prosecuted with the financial aid of his 
powerful firm, offered wages to the stockholders, management and authority 
to the directors and water to the patrons of the ditch, who usually were the 
stockholders themselves. 

Testimony respecting the treatment of the minority stockholders after 
Carr & Haggin had acquired control of the canal companies dififers according 
to the alliance and experience of the witness. Pioneers of unimpeachable 
character and unquestioned sincerity who were directors and officers of canal 
companies when Carr began his overtures and for a long time thereafter 
declare that the alliance was always to the benefit of the farmers. "We did not 
have money to build weirs and headgates, but Haggin did," says one of these 
pioneers. "Carr paid us wages for working on canals, his engineers ran out 
the lines so that we got the water in the right place, and it was my experience 
that when it came to dividing the water we always got our share. Carr said 
he did not care to manage the canals — that he would rather we did it. Carr 
used to come to the directors' meetings, but he let us run things as we 
pleased." 

"Did you ever notice a big cow standing over a water trough when 
there was only a little stream running in from the pump? Did you ever notice 
how she gets all the water and the little cows have to stand back? And did 
you ever notice that when she gets all she wants to drink the big cow is 
in no hurry to move away and let the little cows have a chance? VVell, that 
gives you an idea of the way Haggin and Carr and the little farmers handled 
the water in the early days." This is the statement in brief, of another pio- 
neer of equal standing and reputation and with equal opportunity for informa- 
tion and observation. Between the two opinions the reader may make his 
guess, or he may let the puzzle go with the knowledge that Carr's control of 
the canals and the water in them finally became an accomplished fact. 

But another factor entered into the method of Carr's acquisition of water 
rights and into all his dealings with the settlers. He clearly foresaw, as testi- 
mony abundantly verifies, the fierce contest that was coming over the use 
of the waters of Kern river, and he made it a matter of distinct and settled 
policy to ally his interests with the interests of the people wherever it was 
possible to do so. The wisdom of his course showed in the great suit of 
Lux against Haggin, and in the celebrated Miller-Haggin agreement Carr's 
policy was carried to its logical, ultimate application by making all present 
and future land owners within the reach of the river parties to the terms 
under which its waters should be disposed. 

Plans to Gather In the Desert Lands 

While they were gathering up the large and luscious remnants of swamp 
land which the earlier comers had overlooked and were buying railroad lands, 
homesteads and school lands and were getting a firm grasp on water rights, 
Haggin & Carr were by no means overlooking the desert lands. In March, 
1877, just as Carr was getting well established in Kern county, Congress most 
opportunely passed the desert land act that is known by that date. Already, 
on May 4, 1875, water to the amount of 850 cubic feet per second had been 
appropriated under Carr's direction for the express purpose of irrigating 
desert land, and work on the great Calloway canal which was to carry the 
water to this desert land had been commenced. The first work on the canal 
was begun by Carr & Haggin's men and teams, but a little later a contract for 
excavation was given to Vining Barker. In 1877, the year the desert land act 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 87 

was passed, a contract to complete tlie canal a distance of about twenty-five 
miles was taken by Broad & Roberts. 

The Calloway canal takes water from the north side of Kern river almost 
opposite the center of Bakersfield, bears west through the northeastern part 
of Rosedale and then swings to the northwest over a great territory that 
needed only water to transform it into the finest of fruit and farming land. 
Broad & Roberts took the contract to complete the canal at seven cents per 
cubic yard for dirt and nine cents per cubic yard for hardpa" Mr. Roberts 
says they found nothing that they could not plow with eight mules in all 
the length of the ditch. It took about a year to finish the job, and meantime 
Carr & Haggin were busy securing entrymen to take up the land. 

In his statement published in 1880 Haggin describes his operations in 
Kern county with special reference to the desert lands, which at that time 
were the object of much discussion. He runs briefly over the subject of his 
first activities in the county, stating that the Belle View and McClung ranches 
were established under the direction of George F. Thornton. On account of 
the malaria bred by Buena Vista and Kern lakes Haggin bought them, and a 
large amount of swamp land around them with a view to reclaiming them. 
He proceeded to divert the water of the river from the lakes to land formerly 
considered worthless for agriculture. He then built Goose lake slough canal 
to carry oflf the excess water, but this was not sufficient to handle it all. In 
March, 1877, the statement continues, Congress passed the desert land act. 
Haggin bought large numbers of odd-numbered sections north of the river, and 
induced his friends to enter the even-numbered sections adjoining. He bought 
more water rights and built canals to irrigate a much larger area of land and to 
utilize all the surplus waters of the river. Haggin states that he desired the 
co-operation of the owners of even-numbered sections and desired to have 
them pay their share of the expense of constructing the irrigation system. 
In order to avoid conflict with strangers he got nearly all the even-nUmbered 
. sections entered by friendly parties. Since the lands were entered, the state- 
ment continues, "invidious and designing persons have grossly misrepre- 
sented the facts touching the character of these lands," and efforts had 
been made to induce unusual rulings by the department of the interior to have 
the entries cancelled. Haggin had a government commission previously ap- 
pointed visit the lands in question and make a report to the authorities. In 
conclusion he made the statement of policy already referred to, to the efTect 
that he did not desire to monopolize lands, but intended to offer them for sale 
on liberal terms. 

In some cases, it appears, agreements were made with parties to enter the 
desert lands giving the entrymen the alternative of paying a certain amount 
for having the water placed on the lands, or selling their equities to Haggin 
& Carr at a stipulated price. In other cases the entrymen's names seem 
to have been loaned gratis or for a small fee without the expectation that 
they would figure in the ownership of the land after it was reclaimed. In 
either event there were not lacking arguments to show that the bargain was 
fair and advantageous to all concerned. The lands could be irrigated by no 
other means known and practicable at the time than by canal from Kern 
river, and such a canal could be built only by the expenditure of large sums 
of money. The state or federal government might have taken up the task 
but aside from these methods there was no alternative that would not 



88 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

necessitate the bonding of individual entries to meet their share of the ex- 
pense. 

But the invidious and designing persons got the ear of the general land 
office authorities, and orders were issued suspending all action with regard 
to the entries. In February, 1891, the order of suspension was revoked, 
after something like 50,000 acres of land had been withheld from settlement 
and development for a little over thirteen years. Meantime the original 
entrymen, homesteaders and pre-emptors generally had become discouraged 
and abandoned their claims; some of the friends of Haggin who had allowed 
him to use their names were dead, others had moved away, and generally 
the plans for gathering in the desert lands were badly disarranged. 
Enter Miller & Lux at Rear of Stage 

During all of the busy and important scenes just described, Miller & 
Lux lingered at the back of the stage. Their lands lay mostly to the north 
of Buena Vista Lake, twenty miles or more west of Bakersfield, and about 
the same distance from the center of the contests between Carr and Liver- 
more over the water rights. It must be borne in mind, however, that Miller's 
interest in the disposal of the waters of Kern river was quite as great as was 
that of Haggin, and it must be remembered, also, that his position on the 
river bore the same relation to that of Haggin as the position of Haggin 
bore to that of Livermore & Chester. When Livermore & Chester put a dam 
across the river to force the water into the Kern Island canal it left dry the 
canals in which Carr & Haggin had acquired the controlling interest. Later, 
when Carr & Haggin built the Calloway weir to force the water into the 
Calloway canal the result was to dry up Miller's newly-planted alfalfa fields, 
and the tule swamps where his herds gathered rough forage. The sloughs 
and natural water courses through which the remnants of Kern river had 
meandered leisurely through the broad, flat trough of the valley to Tulare 
lake changed from clear, though limpid and leisurely streams, to green and 
slimy sinks of stagnant water. Then they became nothing but streaks of 
mud in which the feet of the weakened cattle were held fast until the vaqueros 
came to drag the poor beasts out by riatas about their horns. A little later 
all the sloughs and swamps were parched as dry as the naked, gray expanses 
of alkali desert that bordered them, and where the waters had been, great 
cracks opened in the earth down which a walking stick could be thrust its 
entire length. Only in deep holes, puddled by the feet of many starving cattle 
and fouled by the carcasses of dead brutes, was any water left in all the fifty 
miles of swamp land between Buena Vista and Tulare lakes. 

Of course such a state of affairs could lead but to vigorous defensive 
action on the part of Aliller & Lux, and so the suit of Lux versus Haggin was 
filed, and after the usual delay was brought to trial on April IS, 1881, before 
B. Brundage, judge of the superior court of Kern county. 

However, before I take up the story of this great contest of rival cor- 
porations, let me tell how lesser factors in the development of the county 
were faring, relate the stories of some disconnected incidents of importance, 
and show by transient items of interest something of the daily doings of the 
citizens of those days. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 



CHAPTER X 
A Collection of Disconnected Stories 

So long as the traditions of the pioneer stockmen of California remain, 
the drought of 1877 will be remembered as a period of ruin and disaster. 
Possibly the year was not so dry as 1864, but there were more stock in the 
state to suffer from hunger and starvation and more stockmen to wear out 
the days and nights with anxiety and frantic efforts to save the remnants of 
their ilocks and herds. In Kern county the stock industry was better estab- 
lished than any other line of productive enterprise, and the heavy blows 
dealt the cattle and sheep men in the long, pitiless months when not a drop of 
moisture fell from the skies and not a green blade nor a dry and withered 
stem of grass was left to cover the absolute nakedness of the desert, left scars 
that were not effaced until many prosperous years were passed. 

In 1877 Harry Quinn, starved out of his magnificent range on Rag gulch, 
drove 18,000 sheep to Nevada and brought back 2700; 15,000 of the flock per- 
ished in a great storm east of the Sierras that piled the snow waist deep on the 
level plain. Other sheep men of the county who had less resource and stayed 
at home, saw their flocks literally wiped out. The cattle men fared little 
better. While the river continued to flow down the swamps and there were 
tules to be eaten, the cattle survived, but finally there was no water save 
what was taken out in the irrigation ditches, the tule lands were dry, and the 
few remaining pools of water grew stagnant, black and poisonous. 

A very few men, like the Jewetts, who had irrigated fields and could 
grow forage despite the failure of the rains, were able to buy cattle and sheep 
at almost nothing a head, and so profited as much as they lost by the long 
continued drought. But the irrigated fields were few in those days. 

The next season the feed was good, and the next was dry again. It was 
then that Hill & Rivers sold out their interest in the stock at Tejon to General 
Beale, and Jose Lopez, to reduce the Tejon flocks, drove 16,000 sheep to Green 
River in Wyoming, whence they were shipped to Cheyenne. Lopez and his 
herders were six months on the trail, and established a record, not only for 
distance traveled, but for small percentage of loss and general success on the 
exceedingly difficult expedition. In 1880 General Beale bought out Boggs, 
the remaining partner in the firm of Hills, Rivers & Co. The sheep were 
gradually closed out on the Tejon ranches, and the herds of cattle were in- 
creased to a maximum of 29,000 head. 

The Town of Tehachapi 

The town of Tehachapi was founded in the summer of 1876, when the 
Southern Pacific railroad finally surmounted the difficulties of the grade up 
the mountains and reached the little valley at the summit. Prior to that time 
Old Tehachapi (or Old Town, as it soon came to be known) was a thriving 
and active little place of 200 or 300 inhabitants. Old Town drew its sus- 
tenance from the miners who washed gold from the sands and gravels of 
China hill and from the stockmen who had established themselves in the 
fertile Tehachapi, Brite's, Cummings and Bear valleys and were pasturing 
their herds on the meadows and mountain sides. J. J. Murphy and Hirsh- 
feld Brothers were the pioneer merchants of Old Town, Spencer & Durnal 
kept a hotel, and four or five saloons dispensed liquid refreshments. 



90 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Among the early stockmen were the Brite and Cummings families (after 
each of which one of the valleys was named), the Cuddebacks, Matt Tyler, 
John Hickey, the Fickerts of Bear valley, Dan Davenport, Joe Kaiser, Henry 
Seegur, George Rand, and Antone Pauly, one of the few permanent settlers 
around the Tehachapi who raised sheep. There were traveling sheepmen 
in the Tehachapi country in the early day, and at Pauly's corral in fall 
and spring many sheep were shorn. The other shepherds, however, did not 
own land or maintain established headquarters there. 

The placer mining around Tehachapi dates back to the early '60s. As 
elsewhere the white miners were followed by Chinamen, who worked over 
the abandoned placer sands with considerable profit. 

The railroad missed Old Town by about three miles to the east, and 
a rival village was started about the station. Of course the new town got 
the business, but it was not until 1883 or thereabout that Old Town began 
to rnove over, bodily, to the railroad. 

Lime burning began around Tehachapi a little before 1880, but not until 
the Union Lime Company of Santa Cruz established a branch at Tehachapi 
and built an up-to-date kiln in 1883 or 1884, was the lime industry any great 
success. From that time on, however, the great lime deposits in the Tehachapi 
mountains continued to grow in importance until they now constitute one 
of the large factors in the county's wealth. 

Farming started actively in the Tehachapi country about 1885, and rich 
new ground and a succession of favorable years brought the mountain val- 
leys rapidly to the front agriculturally. Moses Hale, about 1880, grew the 
first apple orchard around Tehachapi, and is entitled to the name of the 
father of the apple-growing industry, which now promises to give a new 
value to the Tehachapi lands. 

Ben Kessing was the first postmaster of new Tehachapi, and was fol- 
lowed in that office by P. D. Green, manager of Baldy Hamilton's horse and 
cattle ranch, justice of the peace and friend and benefactor of everyone in 
the town who needed his help to draw up a deed, nurse the sick or lay out 
the dead. Among the first school teachers of Tehachapi were L. A. Beards- 
ley, W. W. Frazier, Dr. Hoag, and R. L. Stockton. 

Delano Making Progress 

Meantime the town of Delano had ceased to be a railroad terminus, but 
it was one of the most important wool-shipping points in the state, and it 
was gradually coming to be a noted wheat-shipping center. The warm, 
sunny plains about Delano where feed starts earlier than almost anywhere 
else in the state, early attracted the itinerant sheep owners, and flocks were 
driven there from the mountains and desert and from over the range in 
Nevada for the lambing and shearing time. Grain farmers soon found that 
the same conditions that made the early grass were good for early wheat, 
and homesteaders dotted the mesa with their dwellings and began marking 
out the great fields that were distinctive of the wheat farming districts of 
the valley before the advent of the orchardists and the alfalfa growers. 

By this time the South Fork valley, the Kernville country, Linn's valley, 
Woody, and all the other mountain districts were developing under the hands 
of stockmen and farmers into permanent and prosperous communities, able 
to weather droughts and other periods of adversity with less relative loss, 
perhaps, than any other portion of the county. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 91 

The Last of Old Clubfoot 

In 1879 Uld Clubfoot made his last trip north past Tejon and back to 
his principal haunts in the San Bernardino mountains. Since the days of 
the earliest settlements, Old Clubfoot was the hero of the principal bear 
stories of the pioneers. Big as an ox, and easily identified by sight or by 
his tracks from the fact that his right fore paw had been chewed off — prob- 
ably by a trap in his infancy — the great beast used to make his pilgrimage 
into the mountains of Kern county every summer, always coming by one 
trail and returning by another. A party of twelve men met Old Clubfoot one 
day on the Alamos trail as they were going to Los Angeles from the Kern 
River mines. The bear did not offer to fight, noi did he exhibit the slightest 
disposition to retreat. He simply stood there, calm and statuesque, his big 
body filling the road from cliff to precipice — or at least leaving no clear 
space on either side down which the miners cared to venture. Clubfoot got 
the right of way. What became of him at last neither history nor tradition 
records. After 1879 the Tejon herders saw him no more, and no more is 
known of him. 

The Lynching of an Outlaw Gang 

It was while the long and ineffectual battle to save the life of the out- 
law, Tiburcio Vasquez, was dragging in the courts and before the governor 
that a number of vaqueros and amateur horsethieves started out to emulate 
Tiburcio's notorious career. They stole a number of horses and saddles from 
livery stables in Bakersfield, went to Caliente, robbed the depot, shot up 
the town and were preparing a dastardly assault on a woman when the con- 
struction train with a gang of workmen came along and frightened them 
away. 

Determined to nip this new outburst of lawlessness in the tender bud, 
cattlemen, ranchers and residents of Bakersfield took instantly to arms. Jim 
Young, a cattleman, saw the gang on its way to the Utah trail and gathered 
a small posse composed of himself, Sam Young, Bull Williams and perhaps 
one or two others. "Bull" Williams got his name from the fact (veraciously 
reported by his friends) that when he started in the cattle business as a 
tenderfoot the old timers sold him a hundred head of bull calves as a nucleus 
for his herd. A very few years later Williams sold twelve hundred cattle 
as the increase of his band, which indicates that he did not remain a tender- 
foot all the rest of his life. 

The Youngs and Bull Williams found the outlaws in a house near the 
Alamos ranch beyond Gorman station, and got between them and their guns. 
Five Mexicans and a young man named Elias were brought to the jail in 
Bakersfield, and then a meeting of the men who had been hunting them was 
held at the office of Justice of the Peace W. S. Adams. Adams was requested 
to retire, and an agreement was drafted and signed in which the men present 
pledged their support and loyalty to each other. 

Then they went to the jail, where the jailor was easily overpowered, 
took the outlaws to the courtroom and organized a court by appointing a 
judge, jury and prosecuting attorney and attorney for the defense. Mean- 
time, that there might be no delay in the workings of the wheels of justice, 
another man was appointed to put ropes to soak and lay a heavy timber 
between the crotches of two willow trees at the rear of the court house 
yard. He also placed a plank across two barrels underneath the heavy timber. 

In the morning, very early, a great crowd gathered in the court house 



92 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

yard to see six bodies hanging stiffly by their necks. They were cut down 
and laid out side by side on the floor of the hall in the courthouse, and a 
coroner's jury promptly summoned promptly found that the deceased per- 
sons came to their death from being hanged by a person or persons to this 
jury unknown. At least the jury swore truly so far as its official cognizance 
was concerned, for no testimony touching the identity of the executioners 
was introduced at the inquest. 

Not a few people condemned the hanging of the boy Elias, and a large 
number of Mexican citizens considered the affair an affront to their race. 
There was some talk of asking the Mexican consul to interfere, and a small 
fire starting in the alley back of the Arlington hotel gave rise to a report 
that an attempt had been made to burn the town in resentment of the lynch- 
ing. Guards were sworn in and stationed about the streets for a night or 
two, but the excitement died out as the Mexicans were convinced that no 
discrimination between races had been intended or had been made. 

This was the last organized gang of thieves and outlaws to ply their 
profession in Kern county. 

The Tehachapi Train Wreck 

On January 20, 1883, occurred the train wreck on the Tehachapi grade, 
still remembered with horror. The Southern Pacific passenger train reached 
Tehachapi at 2:30 a. m. with seven cars, a postal car, baggage car, express 
car, two sleepers, smoking car and day coach in the order named. The con- 
ductor, B. F. Reid, got off to register and get the train orders, the head brake- 
man, C. Maltby, went to turn the switch when the engines were discon- 
nected and the helper engine was being detached, and the rear brakeman, 
John Patten, left his post to show a lady passenger the way to the depot. 
The night was very dark, and a strong and bitterly cold wind was blowing 
over the mountain from the south. The last man of the train crew had hardly 
left the cars before they began moving backward. The grade at the station 
was twenty feet to the mile, and rapidly grew steeper, and besides there was 
the wind to help give the runaway train velocity. The train was making 
furious headway before anyone inside noticed that anything was wrong. Then 
Eli Nabro, a passenger, set the hand brakes on the sleepers. This checked 
the forward part of the train so that the smoker and day coach broke loose 
and dashed on ahead. The hand brakes however, were insufficient to hold 
the cars on the steep grade, and new velocity was gained. Two miles and 
a half below the station, the sleepers left the track just after they had passed 
over a deep fill. The first was thrown against the wall of a cut and crushed 
to splinters, the second turned completely over in the air and landed on the 
bank. Both caught fire, and the first was completely consumed with every- 
one in it. From the other sleeper and from the postal, express and baggage 
cars, all of which rolled over the fill to the bottom of the gulch, eighteen or 
twenty persons escaped, all more or less seriously hurt. A Miss Squires, 
caught in the wreck unhurt, was burned to death before the eyes of other 
passengers who were powerless to help her. The smoker and day coach 
raced on a mile and a half farther, where the efforts of the passengers served 
to stop them. Just how many people were killed in the wreck was never 
accurately established. The testimony at the inquest tended to show that 
the brakes never were set at the station, though railroad officials maintained 
that the brakes were set, but that tramps released them with the intention 
of robbing the passengers. The body of one tramp was found in the wreck. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 93 

Importation of the Negroes 

Haggin & Carr inherited from Livermore & Chester and the Cotton 
Growers' Association the idea that cotton growing should be one of the most 
profitable purposes to which the delta lands could be put, and as a means 
of securing suitable labor in the cotton fields Carr undertook the importation 
of negroes from the southern states. The St. Louis Chronicle of November 
13, 1884, records that F. M. Ownbey was there on that date arranging to 
bring to Kern county 1100 negroes to work on the Haggin lands, and states 
that the immigrants were ofifered wages at the rate of $12 per month for 
men, $8 for women, and $6 for boys and girls. 

Ownbey never brought so many negroes to the county as he planned, 
but three or four parties came at different times under contract to work for 
a year at the wages stated. In the last party were 130 families. Among 
them were M. Stevens and his wife, Will, Belton and Gideon Vessel; John, 
Henry and Joe Pinkney; A. W. Vessel, Mrs. Susie Hall, Francis Campbell, 
Henry Caldwell, Anderson Bowen, Mary Bowen, Pleasant Martin and Will 
Walker and his family, all members of the colored colony of Bakersfield today. 

But from Carr's standpoint the bringing of the negroes was not a suc- 
cess. No sooner had they landed than the missionaries of discontent were 
among them, pursuading them to disregard their contracts and showing them 
how much better wages they could secure elsewhere. The result was that 
the greater number of them never did enough work for Carr to pay their 
transportation. Some never did a stroke of work for him. Stevens and per- 
haps a dozen others stayed on the ranches about eleven months, and Tom 
Ferryman, who was given a patch of ground to work for himself, stayed three 
years. The others found work in Bakersfield or scattered over the state. 
The importation of the negroes helped to increase the breech that was widen- 
mg between Carr and a considerable portion of the people around Bakers- 
field, particularly working men and homesteaders who depended on their 
wages to finance them and who considered Carr's action an effort to cheapen 
the price of labor. 

The non-success of the cheap labor scheme, on the other hand, put an 
end to the plan for raising cotton and hops, and helped, in all probability, 
to confirm the decision of Haggin and Tevis to dispose uf their lands. 

News Notes of 1886 to 1893 

August, 1886 — Billy Carr is undertaking to manage buth the Democratic 
and Republican parties in Kern county. At the last general election 394 votes 
were cast — 198 Republican and 196 Democratic. W. W. Drury ships his 
first crop of ramie — about 500 pounds — to Pittsburg, and the proceeds net 
him about 5 cents per pound. 

September 11, 1886—The adjournment of the legislature without having 
passed the irrigation bills is heralded as a defeat for Haggin & Carr and a 
victory for Miller & Lux and their attorney-in-chief, R. E. Houghton. 

October, 1886 — Clashes are frequent between Carr and settlers on desert 
lands under the Calloway canal. Carr is accused of trying to prevent settlers 
from remaining on their claims by fencing the roads and otherwise, and set- 
tlers make trouble by cutting Carr's fences. Miss Conway, a school teacher 
who has filed on a desert homestead, chops down a Idcked gate while Carr's 
men look on. It is alleged that dead hogs were thrown in Miss Conway's 
well. 

December 9, 1886— Haggin & Carr are making 400 to 1000 25-pound 



94 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

cheeses per month on the Mountain View and Kern Island ranches. From 
January 1st to September 26th 201,886 pounds of cheese were shipped to Los 
Angeles and San Francisco. 

December 30, 1886 — The people of Sumner are discussing the subject 
of a water supply for fire purposes. The Kern County Immigration Society 
is organized with H. Hirshfeld, president; A. C. Maude, secretary, and P. 
Galtes, W. H. Scribner, E. M. Roberts, W. E. Houghton and B. Ardizzi, 
directors. It is planned to keep a permanent exhibit in Los Angeles. 

February 3, 1887 — The Bakersfield water works has two eight-inch wells, 
seventy-five feet deep, and pumps about 133,000 gallons of water per day. 

February 5, 1887 — A big sandstorm from the east almost stops business 
in Bakersfield. Complaints are made concerning the large bills presented 
by the constables and justices. 

March, 1887 — The Wright irrigation bill becomes a law. 

June 2, 1887 — A news letter from Delano to the Echo describes that 
town as having four stores, two hotels, one lodging house, one restaurant, 
two livery stables, two meat markets, two blacksmith shops, one barber shop, 
three real estate offices, and a right smart sprinkling of saloons and dance 
houses — no church, no doctor, no drug store, no lawyer. The spring's ship- 
ments of wool amounted to 4600 bales. 

June, 1887 — Mr. Collins, agent of the general land office, concludes an 
investigation of the Haggin & Carr desert land claims. 

June 23, 1887 — The Tehachapi Lime Company has recently begun opera- 
tions. 

June 30, 1887 — R. M. Pogson buys the old town hall and moves it to 
Tejon. The agitation begins for a $100,000 bond issue for building roads 
throughout the county and for the purchase of fair grounds. 

July, 1887 — In the election of a chief of the Bakersfield fire department, 
the Alerts and the Neptunes combine on L. F. Burr and defeat W. H. Ream, 
the candidate of the Eurekas, by a few votes. Other officers elected are: 
E. R. Jameson, assistant chief; J. W. Ahern, secretary; H. A. Blodget, treas- 
urer. 

Charles A. Maul's peach orchard is celebrated in the local press. 

September, 1887 — The Crocker ranch south of town, largely in alfalfa 
and with a good house on it sells for $32,000 — $100 per acre. 

September, 1887 — The Southern Hotel Association incorporates. 

September, 1887— L. P. St. Clair buys for $2400 a block of land southwest 
of the courthouse, afterward the site of the first St. Francis hospital at G 
and Fourteenth streets. 

September, 1887 — Articles of incorporation are filed in San Francisco by 
the San Francisco & San Joaquin Valley Railroad Company. A camp of 
workmen in Tejon canon is doing work preliminary to grading^supposed 
to be for the Santa Fe. The Tejon lemon and orange trees are in bearing. 

September 29, 1887 — General Beale has given a right of way across his 
Tejon lands for a railroad from Mojave to Bakersfield. The road is to be 
completed to Bakersfield within three years. 

November 1, 1887 — Cornerstone of Masonic temple is laid. 

December 26, 1887 — Superintendent J. S. Hambleton, drilling on land 
owned by the Union Oil & Land Company, reports a strike at 720 feet on 
section 19, 30-22. The drill went through oil standstone into a bed of gravel, 
and gas forced oil, sand, and gravel the size of walnuts thirty or forty feet 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 95 

in the air. The well flowed for some little time, and the gas was so suffo- 
cating that the workmen were driven back from the well. The Sunset Oil 
Company is daily expecting machinery from the east, when it will begin 
drilHng. Hirshfeld Brothers and R. T. Norris will soon begin prospecting 
for oil eight or nine miles from Bakersfield in the direction of Kern river 
caiion at a point where gas is detected coming from the ground. 

December 25, 1887 — Fire Chief Burr brings to town the new Silsby fire 
engine, and the day being Sunday and Christmas, a great crowd gathers on 
the street to inspect the new acquisition. Alex Heyman is foreman of the 
Eureka engine company. 

January 10, 1888 — An immigrant car at the rear of a Southern Pacific 
passenger train, while coming down the grade from Tehachapi, breaks a 
wheel, is wrenched loose from the train, leaves the track, rolls over and over 
down a seventy-five-foot embankment, and is burned up by a fire which 
starts from the heating stove. All the passengers escape by crawling through 
the car windows, Charles Ankrum and his wife (colored) being the worst 
injured. Ankrum's shoulder was dislocated, and the fire burned a hole in 
the back of his coat just as he was getting through the window. 

January 26, 1888 — Clerks begin agitation for Sunday closing of stores in 
Bakersfield. Rabbit drives are frequent in the county. About 40,000 jack 
rabbits were killed in drives during January, Februar}^ and March, 1888. 

February 16, 1888 — The Kern River Caiion Irrigation Company, which 
owns 25,000 acres of land east and north of Sumner, and which plans to take 
water out of the river near the caiion to irrigate lands east of Sumner and 
as far south as the Weed Patch, has bonded its lands and franchise to San 
Francisco people for thirty days. (Plans never materialized.) 

March, 1888 — Bakersfield Drum Corps organized at R. A. Edmonds' store. 

May 10. 1888 — The Porterville branch of the Southern Pacific is graded 
from Fresno to Porterville. 

June 14, 1888 — W^ork has been started on the Southern hotel. 

July 12, 1888 — The Woman's Relief Corps is organized. 

July 19, 1888 — Work begins on the new railroad shops at Sumner. 

July 26, 1888 — The details of the Miller-Haggin agreement are pub- 
lished. The only opposition appears to come from the owners of the McCord 
ditch. The immediate effect of the agreement is to advance the price of land 
around Bakersfield. Large land owners subscribe to a fund totaling between 
$3000 and $4000 for the purpose of advertising Kern county. Carr contri- 
buted $1500. 

September. 1888 — County supervisors give L. P. St. Clair a franchise 
for a gas and electric light system for Bakersfield. Work on the plant is to 
be commenced in six months and be completed within a year. Briggs, Fergu- 
son & Co. announce a great auction sale of Haggin lands beginning Monday, 
December 17, 1888. In two hours ninety-two towns lots were sold. On Tues- 
day thirty purchasers bought nineteen colony lots of five acres each and 145 
town lots. The grand jury recommends that the saloon licenses be raised 
from $25 to $75 per quarter. 

January 24, 1889 — J. S. Hanibleton, superintendent of the Sunset Oil 
Company (Jewett & Blodget), has brought in on section 16, 11-23, at a 
depth of 110 feet, an oil well that flows five barrels per day. The county 
officials are suing the county for fees which they claim they needlessly paid 
into the county treasury. 



96 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

March 14, 1889— H. A. Blodget, H. H. Fish and Jeff Packard get a 
franchise for a street railway down Chester avenue, past the site of the "new 
Southern Pacific depot" (which was never built) and out to the river bridge. 

Same date — Another Haggin land sale is announced. The sales will be: 
First day, at the Cotton ranch ; second day, in Bakersfield ; third day, at the 
hop ranch. Barbecues first and third days. Baldwin and McAfee conduct 
the sale. Town lots sell at $142 to $640. Colony lots at $57 to $135 per acre. 

April 4, 1889 — Hirshfeld brothers, who have been in the mercantile busi- 
ness in the county continuously for twenty-five years, sell to Dinkelspiel 
brothers. 

May 13, 1889 — The county, by a vote of 852 to 281, elects to issue bonds 
in the sum of $250,000 to build a new jail, a county hospital, an addition to 
the court house and to improve highways. 

Same date — Second sale of Haggin's irrigated lands begins under the 
direction of L. C. McAfee, who is now the manager, with C. Brower, of the 
land department of J. B. Haggin. McAfee announces that it is Haggin's 
policy to dispose of all his Kern county lands. McAfee and Brower have 
their first office where the Odd Fellows hall is now. 

Same date — Plans of the Poso irrigation district are submitted. 

July 7, 1889 — The entire business section of Bakersfield is destroyed by 
fire. Soon after the great fire property owners in the business section began 
laying asphalt sidewalks. 

August 31, 1890 — Carr & Haggin are working 300 head of horses ex- 
tending canals to the lands which they will colonize next winter. J. J. Mack 
is here from San Francisco to organize the Bank of Bakersfield. 

September, 1890 — The Kern County Land Company is incorporated in 
San Francisco. Report says that S. W. Ferguson is to be the resident mana- 
ger. Lloyd Tevis is anxious to dispose of the Kern county lands, as he pre- 
fers other investments. 

October 1, 1890 — James Herrington is tarred and feathered by citizens 
who disapprove of his activity in jumping lands and filing contests against 
homesteaders. 

October 27, 1890 — Work begins on the Poso irrigation district canal. 
Engineers are here surveying for the valley railroad. 

A bi-partisan committee is named by Republicans and Democrats to pre- 
vent "ward heelers and toughs" from dominating the coming election. 

November 1, 1890 — Milo McKee has both arms blown off while firing 
a salute with the old brass cannon in honor of Senator Stanford, who had 
just arrived in Bakersfield on a speaking tour. On the same day at Tulare, 
W. Baker had one arm blown off in almost the same manner, also while 
firing a salute to Senator Stanford, and the engine that hauled Senator Stan- 
ford's special train to Bakersfield, while returning light to Tulare ran over 
and killed Wallace and Ed Ray, two Delano boys who were riding a railroad 
bicycle to Alila to attend a dance. The headlight of the engine was broken 
and it was running dark. 

January 1, 1891 — Ten tons of asphalt in boxes are shipped east. 

January, 1891 — Judge Arick dies, and Governor Waterman appoints 
A. R. Conklin of Inyo county to succeed him on the superior bench. 

Stores in Bakersfield agree to close on Sunday after March 1, 1891. 

February, 1891 — The ruling of the interior department of September 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 97 

12, 1877, suspending desert land entries Xos. 1 to 3i7, inclusive, is revoked, 
and old applications to contest are recognized. 

An amendment to the desert land act of 1877, just passed, validates as- 
signments of desert entries, and permits Haggin to complete and present 
proof of reclamation of his hundreds of desert claims under the Calloway. 

February, 1891 — Tlie bonds of the Kern and Tulare irrigation district 
are sold. 

April 2, 1891 — John Barker has developed a gas well on his ranch be- 
tween Bakersfield and the Kern canon and has piped it to his house for 
cooking and lighting. 

April 30, 1891 — President Harrison speaks from rear of train. 

April, 1891 — Colonization Agent Knewing of the Kern County Land 
Company arrives from England with thirty young English colonists. 

July 17, 1891 — At a meeting in Sumner, George C. Doherty and John 
Barker explain their plan for the Doherty canal, which would take over water 
rights to 30,000 miner's inches of water located by John Barker in 1878, 
build a canal down the river to a point opposite Sumner, run a tunnel under 
the hill to the mesa north and east of Sumner. The company was to be 
incorporated for $1,000,000, the promoters proposed to sell perpetual water 
rights for $11.25 per acre, and planned to irrigate 80,000 acres. (This plan 
was never carried out, of course, but it was believed at the time to have been 
partly responsible for the building of the East Side canal, which covers part 
of the territory which the Doherty canal was to water.) 

The state legislature has placed a bounty on coyote scalps. 

August 25, 1892 — E. M. Roberts is given a contract to construct the 
East Side canal, which is to take a portion of the water allowed to the Kern 
Island canal under the JMiller-Haggin agreement, and which is planned to 
irrigate 30,000 acres of land. 

August, 1892 — Construction trains are working on both ends of the Mc- 
Kittrick branch railroad. 

November, 1892 — A hot campaign and an election contest results in 
the election of H. A. Jastro as supervisor from the Fifth district, defeating 
H. F. Condict by three votes. 

February 10, 1893 — Kern river breaks its levee and floods the northern 
and western part of town. The water was a foot deep at I and Nineteenth 
street on Thursday, but by Friday noon it had disappeared everywhere in 
town except in very low places. 

February 23, 1893 — Celsus Brower is chosen to go to the world's fair 
at Chicago in charge of the Kern county exhibit. 

March 6, 1893 — Rosedale colonists meet to discuss water rates and re- 
solve that "no individual or corporation should have the right to fix the 
rates at which a necessity of life shall be sold." (The Land Company was 
offering the colonists for signature an agreement fixing the rate for irriga- 
tion water at $1.50 per acre per year, the contract to be perpetual and the 
charge for water to become a Hen on the land if not paid.) 

February 4, 1893 — President Cleveland signs the proclamation creating 
the Sierra forest reserve, including a great territory in the mountains of 
Kern county. 

The people of Delano are discussing the possibility of getting water from 
the Calloway and Beardsley canals. 



98 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

May 25, 1893 — Company G, National Guard, is mustered in with Captain, 
W. H. Cook; first lieutenant, H. A. Blodget; second lieutenant, H. P. Bender. 

August, 1893 — At an anti-Chinese meeting in Kern City, is drafted a 
letter to the United States district attorney stating that there are 1500 
Chinese in Kern county who are not registered under the Geary law. It is 
proposed to remove the Chinese, but by peaceable methods only. 

September 21, 1893 — Fruit shippers catch seven men stealing fruit from 
cars, and haul them out to a quiet place and spank them on the bare skin. 
Fresh peaches are bringing $1 for a twenty-pound box in Chicago. The 
freight is sixty-five cents per box, leaving the shipper thirty-five cents. 



CHAPTER XI 

The Great Lux-Haggin Water Suit 

While the short but interesting preliminary between Carr & Haggin 
and Livermore & Chester was being fought to a finish, Miller and Lux 
were getting established in Kern county and gathering about them able 
leaders and captains, of whom J. C. Crocker, S. W. Wible and Capt. John 
Barker were types. Long before this time Miller & Lux had acquired great 
ranches and ranges around Gilroy, along the San Joaquin river and far up 
along the northern coast. In 1872, in conjunction with W. S. Chapman, 
owner of the Chowchilla ranch, Miller & Lux as owners of the Columbia 
ranch had begun a canal, the largest and longest in the state, which took 
water from the San Joaquin river at the mouth of Fresno slough and 
extended for seventy-five miles across Fresno and Merced and a part of 
Stanislaus counties. 

Miller's activities in Kern county (Miller was the active member of 
the firm) were an extension of the operations along the San Joaquin. It 
is not unlikely that Miller at some time had pleasant visions of a great 
cattle and sheep ranch extending in an unbroken sweep through the rich, 
black tule lands from Stockton to Bakersfield. During his fight with Haggin 
& Carr, Miller is commonly reported as assuring them that he would make 
them "pack their blankets out of Kern county," and there were not lacking 
admirers of the doughty and vigorous old German who full)^ expected to 
see him make his threat good. 

Jim Crocker had been in Miller's employ on the San Joaquin and was 
sent to Kern county to lay the foundations for the Miller occupancy here. 
Crocker was the sort of a man Miller would be expected to choose for the 
job. A quiet, self-contained man, but a good mixer in spite of his reserve 
and a man of native force and personality that made him a natural leader. 
He was bred to get up in the morning at 4 o'clock and go out on hard 
jaunts with the vaqueros. Chasing down and breaking up organized bands 
of horse and cattle thieves appears to have been his favorite pastime. If 
a friend or fellow stockman was in trouble, financial or otherwise, Crocker 
was ready to go on his bail to the extent of his possessions. Men rallied 
to the standard of Crocker because of their friendship and confidence and 
because they liked to fight with a fighter. The men who fought under 
Carr's colors did so more usually because they believed their personal interest 
lay in that direction. It was Carr's strong point of strategi', as we have 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 99 

seen, to make the personal interest of many people lie in the same direction 
as his own. 

S. W. Wible, who figures prominently among the Miller forces in the 
Miller-Haggin contest, was a pioneer of 1852, beginning his western experi- 
ence as a miner and constructor of miners' canals and sluices and later under- 
taking the management of larger water engineering enterprises. He came 
to Kern county in 1874 and built a number of the early canals from Kern 
river. When the Kern Valley Water Company was formed by Livermore, 
Redington and others to undertake the reclamation of swamp land district 
No. 121, Wible was placed in charge as engineer. Celsus Brower had charge 
of the business affairs of the company. Wible built the great Kern Valley 
Water Company's canal which extended north from Buena Vista lake for a 
distance of some twenty-six miles, when first constructed, but which has 
since been carried much further down the swamp and ultimately is to be 
built through to Tulare lake. The canal follows the western edge of the 
swamp and overflowed district, and was 125 feet wide on the bottom and cal- 
culated to carry a stream seven feet in depth. It was designed to carry all 
the waters of Kern river that might flow so far, and also was to serve as 
the feeder for irrigation ditches that would cover 100,000 or more acres of 
land. When ]\Iiller & Lux acquired the Kern Valley W^ater Company's 
interests Wible went to the new management, as most of the men who 
were prominent in the operation of Livermore & Redington's Kern Island 
projects went over to Haggin & Carr when the latter came into possession of 
those properties. Wible afterward became the general superintendent for 
Miller & Lux. He was noted as one of the few men who stood in no awe 
of Miller when the latter flew into his celebrated fits of passion. It is related 
that on an occasion when Miller had made the discovery that one of his 
warehouses had leaked and wet a great quantity of wool and was dividing 
his time between furiously chopping hole after hole in the wall of the structure 
and as furiously jumping on his hat when he found new evidences of de- 
struction, Wible followed his employer along the warehouse wall and jumped 
on the hat while Miller chopped the holes until the ludicrousness of the per- 
formance finally appealed to the cattle king and appeased his wrath. In 
his old age Wible lived true to his pioneer instinct. He was one of the 
first to respond to the Alaskan mining boom, and summer after summer 
he donned the great fur overcoat that identified him for years to strangers and 
new comers, and sailed for the north to meet the melting of the snows above 
his frozen placers. 

Capt. John Barker got into the Miller-Haggin fight partly l^ecause he 
was a riparian owner, although his lands were higher up on the river than 
the intake of any of the irrigation canals, and partly because, like an old 
war horse, he could not remain inactive when his nostrils caught the scent 
of battle. Born in England and bred to the sea, he came to California on 
the news of the first gold excitement, explored the upper San Joaquin valley 
on horseback in 1854, fought in the Indian wars of Tulare county in 1856, 
served in a troop of volunteer cavalry during war times, and came to Kern 
county in the early 70s. He was a bluff, out-spoken man, a vitriolic writer 
when his righteous wrath was stirred, and an ofT-hand orator, the sarcasm 
of whose phrases was dulled only by the sledge-hammer method of their de- 
livery. Captain Barker would roast his victim alive, pour carbolic acid over 
his withered remains and end by quoting a few pages of Shakespeare, Byron 



100 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

or Bobby Burns to give a classic flavor to his philippic. He entered no less 
fervently into his friendships, and between his battles and his benefactions 
Captain Barker left his record deeply drawn across the history of the county. 
In his old age, crippled by infirmities, he used to ride about Bakersfield 
and between the town and the mouth of Kern river canon, driving an old 
white horse and a roomy phaeton, planning over old plans for the im- 
provement of the Pierce and Barker ranches and the utilization of resources 
and opportunities that still lie fallow, waiting till the time is ripe for the 
fulfillment of the prophecies of the pioneer. 

Leaders of the Carr & Haggin Forces 

Incidental references in preceding pages have given some insight into 
the character of W. B. Carr, the generalissimo of the Haggin forces. Fat, 
aggressive, determined, absolutely unabashed, with bull-dog courage and 
endurance, he was a typical political boss of the larger and more perfect type. 
Frequently and fervently cursed and hated, he could walk into a saloon 
in a hostile ward and in ten minutes have enough sworn allies to insure the 
victory of his candidates. If a delegation of angry farmers in the days of 
the bitter water troubles came after Carr with the intention of puncturing 
him with bullets or stringing him up to a high-branching cottonwood, he met 
them with an outstretched hand and slaps on their backs and sent them away 
wreathed in smiles of hope and assurance. Moreover, Carr had the valuable 
instinct that showed him to a nicety when it was necessary to dispense good 
coin and valuable favors and when mere promises would suffice. Carr was 
a finished performer and a skillful tutor, and later actors on the Kern county 
stage sat at his feet and learned to do politics in the scientific, metropolitan 
style. 

Walter James figured in the water disputes, in court and out, mainly 
as an expert witness. His long and intimate association with everything 
that had to do with the appropriation and use of Kern river's waters from 
1870 down, aided by a retentive memory and a logical, consecutive manner 
of stating the salient facts concerning a subject made him invaluable as an 
authority, and no investigation of water or water rights was complete until 
Walter James had been examined and cross-examined and with a little nasal 
drawl and imperturbable deliberation had told just how and why it all 
happened and came to pass. It is difficult to say whether Walter James 
in his long record in Kern county shines more as an engineer or as a 
diplomat, but he is hard to out-class in either capacity. 
Heads of the Rival Literary Bureaus 

Dozens of portraits of interesting actors in the great drama of the Kern 
river water contest might be added to this little gallery of character sketches, 
but I shall attempt but two more — those of the chiefs of the rival literary 
bureaus that flooded the state with syndicated editorials and syndicated sup- 
plements setting forth the rival arguments of appropriators and riparian 
owners and the history, law, custom and usage touching the utilization of 
water for any and all purposes since Noah launched the ark on the diluvian 
seas. 

In addition to his numerous other activities Julius Chester, in the days 
of his ascendency in Kern county, founded the Southern Californian and was 
its editor for a number of years. Like the other weeklies of the pioneer days, 
the Southern Californian was stronger as an organ of personal opinion than 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 101 

it vyas as a purveyor of news, and Uncle Julius, as he was called by rival 
editors, was as handy as the best of them in the use of the king's English. 
He was almost as diplomatic and persuasive in his writing as he was in 
his speech, and how effective he was in the latter may be gathered from an 
incident that is related as the truth by a veracious citizen of the time. Uncle 
Julius had used some of his best literary art in writing up a certain very 
undesirable citizen, and the day following the appearance of the paper on 
the street he was sitting comfortably in his ofifice with his feet on the desk 
when the undesirable citizen appeared. His eye was wild, his breath was 
laden with liquor and he waved a big six-shooter before the editor's stomach 
in a very promiscuous manner while he talked. 

"Get your feet down from there because I'm going to kill \-ou," the bad 
citizen commanded. 

Uncle Julius recognized that if the bad citizen had really intended to 
kill him a little matter of his feet being on the desk need not have interfered, 
and he asked what the trouble was all about as coolly and pleasantly as 
though it were only an advertiser wanting to know why his announcement 
did not appear to the top of the page next to pure reading matter as per 
contract. 

"You know blanked well what the matter is," said the bad citizen, "that 
there thing you wrote about me in your paper." 

Chester took his feet down deliberately, deliberately found a copy of 
the paper, sat down, put his feet on the desk again, adjusted his glasses and 
began to read the offending article aloud. 

He stopped at the end of the first paragraph. "I don't see anything the 
matter with that, Tom," he said. "That's all so, aint it?" 

"Yes," said Tom, "that's all so, but you read on farther." 

Chester read another paragraph, and repeated his question as to the 
accuracy of the narrative. 

Tom indicated with his gun that the most offensive portion of the story 
was to be found still farther down, and Chester read on. When he got to the 
bottom of the last paragraph Tom had admitted that every assertion in the 
red hot arraignment — and it was red hot — was true, and the two men went 
out and had a drink together. 

Chester in these days had descended from his former position of prin- 
cipal factor in the county's industry and commerce, his property was slip- 
ping out of his hands or had previously escaped, and he was constantly being 
sued for debt. His fighting instinct never forsook him, and during the 
latter part of his journalistic career he was engaged, a very large share of 
his time in putting the county officials on the spit and turning them slowly 
and scientifically over the coals of incandescent journalism. The county 
officials winced in patience at first, but after Chester was known to be on the 
financial toboggan they joined gleefully in pelting him on his way to the 
bottom. Everything Chester had was attached over and over. Once he 
was arrested on a charge of stealing corn from a Chinaman, but that prob- 
ably was only a fair offset to the defamatory charges which Chester heaped 
upon them. The corn theft case was dismissed. But finally Chester's presses 
and type were attached and sold to A. C. Maude, and Chester was able 
to retain possession of them only by showing that they had been leased to 
George ^^'■ear, another of the picturesque and notable newspaper men of the 
county, who figures more prominently at a little later date, ^^'ear held down 



102 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the outfit, and Chester continued to publish the Southern Californian and to 
berate the county officials. Maude, who claimed that he had bought not 
only the outfit but the name of Chester's paper, began publication of the 
Kern County Californian, with Richard Hudnut as editorial writer and news- 
gatherer in chief. Finally Wear sold his lease to a printer by name of Warren 
and a school teacher by name of Vrooman. For a time the latter kept a guard 
over the shop by night as well as by day, but one evening Maude's forces 
inveigled the guard away and captured the shop. 

With nothing left but the name of his paper, Chester took himself to 
San Francisco and issued the Southern Californian from there until the close 
of the political campaign that ended with the defeat of what he was pleased 
to call the Reed ring, and the election of B. Brundage, the opponent of 
Judge Reed, to be the first judge of the superior court of Kern county. Judge 
Reed had been judge of the county court, but that office was abolished by 
the change in the constitution. 

Richard Hudnut was a highly educated and very dignified man. His 
writing was silkier than Chester's, and he had such an easy, refined and 
polished way of flaying his victim that after the victim was flayed he knew 
that he had lost his hide, but had in his mind only a vague, circumstantial 
suspicion that it was Hudnut who had skinned him. When Chester was 
charged with stealing the Chinaman's corn Hudnut mourned over him in 
paragraph after paragraph as one might mourn over the grave of misled 
innocence. 

It will be appreciated readily that in a fight like the one which the great 
water contest occasioned, where it was necessary to depict everyone on the 
other side as a red-handed pirate, a dark-alley thug and a horse thief, the 
peculiar accomplishments of Hudnut and Chester were invaluable. More- 
over, both Hudnut and Chester had all the history of Kern county water 
rights at their fingers' ends, and when they were established at Sacramento 
with the money of the two rival corporations behind them, respectively, they 
poured out a class and quantity of militant, journalistic literature that marks 
a milestone in the newspaper history of the state. 

Still another journalistic factor was injected into the great fight. When 
the issue was fairly joined between the riparianists and the appropriators, in 
1886, the Kern County Echo was founded by a company of farmers and 
business men, who gathered one day at the old Burnap drug store and 
decided that there was still a third side to the great question and that a 
new organ should be established to advocate it. Capt. John Barker was sent 
to San Francisco to buy the plant, and S. C. Smith, then a young lawyer of 
Bakersfield, afterward state senator and still later congressman from the 
eighth district, was elected managing editor. Through the controversy the 
Echo urged that neither appropriators nor riparian owners be given a mon- 
opoly of the water of the river, but that the state retain the ownership in 
trust for the people and that the use of the water be permitted for irrigation 
and other purposes under state regulation and control. Water is one of the 
elements and is no more a proper object of monopoly than is the air, was 
the gist of the Echo's persistent argument during those days. 
The Great Water Suit 

The great water suit, known by the title "Lux versus Haggin," not 
only marks an epoch in the history of Kern county, but marks an epoch, also, 
in the history of irrigation in the state of California. It began with little 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 103 

more notice from the public than any of the other hundred or more suits 
that had been filed by rival claimants to the waters of Kern river, but before 
it had gone far local people realized that this was the battle royal, and 
before it was finally dismissed it had focussed the attention of the state, 
ranged practically every California newspaper of general circulation on one 
side or the other, resulted in the calling of two state irrigation conventions 
and a special session of the legislature, and started a movement to amend 
the state constitution so that the supreme court, which rendered an unpopular 
decision in connection with the suit, might be reorganized. The latter 
movement did not succeed. 

In brief, the contention of the plaintiffs was tliat the}- were the owners 
of riparian lands along the lower reaches of Kern river, that Kern river was 
a natural stream flowing in an established and continuous channel through 
their lands, and that under the common law of England they were entitled 
to have the waters of the river flow over, through and upon their lands, 
undiminished in quantity and unimpaired in quality. 

The defendants claimed that they were entitled by right of appropriation 
to divert the waters from the river for purposes of irrigation, to develop 
water power, and for domestic and other purposes. It was a contest, in short, 
between riparian rights and the right of appropriation. In addition to set- 
ting forth the rights of the plaintilifs the complaint alleged that the defend- 
ants, by diverting the water in their canals had rendered the lands of the 
plaintiffs dry and barren to such an extent that their cattle had neither 
grass to eat nor water to drink. 

The papers in the suit were drawn in San Francisco and sent here to 
be filed in the superior court on September 2, 1880. On the morning of 
April 15, 1881, the trial began with Judge B. Brundage on the bench and a 
formidable array of counsel for both parties before the bar. Louis Haggin 
was in charge of the case for the defendant, and was assisted by John Garber 
and George Flournoy, Sr., father of the present justice of the peace of the 
sixth township of Kern county. Hall McAllister was nominally the chief 
counsel for Lux, but R. E. Houghton, then a comparatively young attorney, 
was the active man and really the one who outlined and carried on the 
campaign. 

The reporters of the day declared that the testimony, the taking of 
which consumed forty-nine days, was tedious and uninteresting, but it is 
suspected that they were too close to the scene to realize in full its dramatic 
interest or even its numerous comedy features. The witnesses included 
everybody in the county who was supposed to know anything about the his- 
tory and habits of Kern river, the locations of its various courses and the 
dates when these courses were changed, or anything concerning the appro- 
priation of water from the river, and in addition to these, sundry expert wit- 
nesses who had read in books what happened in Calcutta or what the river 
Nile did in the days of the Pharaohs and whose testimony was duly objected 
to because they had not been present at the times and places mentioned nor 
seen with their own eyes the things they pretended to describe. 

Walter James, chief engineer for Haggin. and S. W. Wible, superin- 
tendent and engineer for Miller & Lux, were the star performers and spent 
day after day on the witness stand, mainly under cross-examination. Mean- 
time all the attorneys whittled redwood shingles, and it was a part of the 
unofficial duties of the sheriff to see that the supply of timber never ran low. 



104 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

John Garber carried a potato in his pocket for luck, and developed a habit of 
taking it out and shaking it at the witness when he asked a question of 
especial moment. R. E. Houghton, on a like occasion would stand up, reach 
across the table and dip his pen in the ink as though he intended forthwith 
to write the answer down in plain black and white so that it could never 
be denied, altered or evaded evermore. The witnesses were even more eccen- 
tric and picturesque. An old man by name of Stevens, who came from the 
head of the South Fork valley, made a speech in response to every question 
that was put to him, and finally as he was leaving the stand he swept his 
long arm out over the big assemblage of pioneers who crowded the space 
behind the attorneys and remarked : "I'm gettin' to be an old man, and I don't 
know if I'll ever see you all here together again; and I want to say to you 
now, while I've got you all together, that I'm the oldest settler in Kern 
county." Of course one of the attorneys took an exception to the statement 
and asked that it be stricken from the records. 

Each evening when court was adjourned for the day the attorneys and 
many of the witnesses for Haggin were driven to headquarters at Bellevue 
where the walls beneath the spacious porches were lined with maps and 
diagrams. Here the net results of the day's testimony were reviewed, and 
engineers, zanjeros and scouts of all descriptions were sent out to get what- 
ever evidence was needed to fill in the gaps. 

In the meantime, if the local papers were not doing much in the way 
of reporting the trial they were sparing no effort to prove what the judgment 
of the court should be. Despite all efforts to put him out of business, Julius 
Chester was still editing the Southern Californian, and was presenting through 
its columns the contentions of the riparianists as represented by Miller & 
Lux. The Californian, owned by A. C. Maude and edited by Richard Hudnut, 
was doing no less valiant service for Haggin. But the choicest language of 
which these masters were possessed they saved for rhetorically pummelling 
each other. 

The last witness was heard on June 2, 1881, and all the testimony, when 
it was written up, made a stack of paper four feet high. For the convenience 
of the lawyers the court consented to hear the arguments in San Francisco. 
The speech-making began on June 20th, and on November 3d, Judge Brun- 
dage rendered his decision in favor of Haggin, which was to the effect that 
the appropriators were entitled to the water of the river as against the riparian- 
owners, represented by Lux. Of course Miller & Lux appealed to the supreme 
court, and forthwith in Kern county there began a fierce political campaign 
to re-elect Judge Brundage on the one hand and to defeat him on the other. 

Kern River Plays Another Prank 

We have seen heretofore in the course of this narrative that Kern river 
seemed possessed of a certain titanic sense of humor, and none will be sur- 
prised to read that while the supreme court took its time in considering a 
mass of evidence, a gist of which was that neither party to the suit was 
willing to let the other have any water, the river began to increase its flow, 
and in the early part of 1884 the two chief parties to the suit were engaged 
in a fiercer fight than ever to keep the swollen river from flooding their lands, 
even though it involved turning the excess waters over on the other. 

As indicated in his statement referred to in the previous chapter, Haggin 
had reclaimed the beds of Kern and Buena Vista lakes and had built the 
Goose lake canal to carry off any excess water that the Calloway and other 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 105 

irrigation canals could not handle. The Goose lake canal led off to the nurth, 
and on the south side of the river Haggin had built the Cole levee farther to 
prevent the river from breaking over and flooding his reclaimed lake bottoms. 

By far the greater part of Haggin's reclaimed lands lay to the south of the 
river, and by far the greater part of Miller & Lux's reclaimed lands lay to the 
north. The latter had built levees along the north bank to protect their 
lands, and had constructed the great Kern Valley Water Company's canal 
to carry any excess waters off to the north of their cultivated fields. 

As the snows melted in the mountains and the river lapped higher and 
higher against the levees it became a most absorbing question as to whether 
the waters would break on Miller's side or on Haggin's. They broke on 
Haggin's side on ]\Iay 17, 1884, and in a few hours there was a hole in the 
Cole levee forty feet wide and through it a stream of muddy water, twenty 
feet deep, was rushing to cover all the lands that Haggin had reclaimed with 
so great expense. 

There were great forces of men on the Haggin ranches in those days, and 
in very short order Billy Carr, Walter James, C. L. Conner, Dave Coffee and 
other superintendents and foremen for miles around were dispatching work- 
men, teams, scrapers, shovels and sand bags to the break. With the bags 
of sand the broken ends of the levee were rip-rapped to prevent further 
washing, and a row of piling was driven across the break. 

Early in these proceedings Henry Miller arrived with R. E. Houghton. 
Having a suit in the supreme court in which their contention was that they 
were entitled to have the full flow of the river run over, through and upon 
their lands at all times, ]\Iiller and his attorney were hardly in a position to ob- 
ject to Haggin's men repairing a break in their levee that would tend to throw 
the full force of the stream over on Miller & Lux. But Houghton was fully 
equal to the emergency. It happened that Miller owned forty acres of land 
in the bed of Buena \^ista lake (surrounded by the Haggin sections) and 
Miller set up the claim that he was entitled to have the river flow unhindered 
over, through and upon this land, also. 

Miller strode up to the break in the levee where Walter James was 
superintending the driving of the piles. "\\'hat are you doing here? \\'hat 
are you doing here?" he demanded. 

"I'm just carrying out my instructions," drawled ^^'alter James in his 
imperturbable manner. "We thought we'd put a few piles in here, because 
we may want to build a bridge across, or something." 

"Well, I don't want you to stop my water. I don't want you to stop my 
water. Do you understand? I don't want you to stop my water," shouted 
Miller. "Have a cigar, Mr. James." 

So soon as the train could take him back to San Francisco, Houghton 
went to Judge Hunt of the superior court, and on a petition setting forth that 
Miller was the owner of a piece of land, to wit, forty acres, etc., and that 
whereas when the waters of Kern river were allowed to flow over it unhin- 
dered, etc., large quantities of tules and other plants and grasses valuable for 
feed grew thereon, and whereas one Haggin had a force of men at work with 
piles, a pile driver, brush, etc., endeavoring to restrain the said water from 
flowing over Miller's said land, etc., and whereas Miller would be greatly 
damaged, etc., etc., an injunction was duly secured. 

By the time the injunction was served the ends of the levee were pretty 
well protected with sand bags, and most of the piling had been driven, but 
the water was flowing through the break almost as rapidly as ever. 



106 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Walter James was out at the levee when a telegram arrived ordering 
him to make all speed to San Francisco. He jumped on the horse that brought 
the inessenger, galloped to Bellevue, and found there another horse saddled 
and waiting. A man thrust into his hand a purse of money. "The gates are 
all wide open," they shouted, and James was off for the Southern Pacific 
depot. He got there fifteen minutes late, but the train was an hour behind 
time, and he walked over to the hotel. The first man he saw was S. W. 
Wible. 

"Hello, James," said Wible, "where are you going?" 

"I'm just going down to the city for a few days," said James. 

"Well, that's funny," said Wible, "I'm just going down to the city myself. 
Come in and let's have a drink." 

In San Francisco the next morning James assured Louis Haggin that 
if he had a free hand and all the resources of the Haggin ranches at his 
command he could stop the break in the Cole levee in twenty-four hours. 
Haggin told him to take the first train back to Bakersfield, and to look for a 
telegram at Lathrop. Meantime the lawyer would undertake to get Judge 
Hunt's injunction lifted, and if he succeeded he would send a message to 
Lathrop reading, "Make the trip." 

It was no small task to get the injunction set aside for the reason that 
after he had issued it Judge Hunt had gone on a fishing trip back into the 
mountains, leaving orders for nobody to interfere with any matter in his 
court. during his absence. Louis Haggin, however, prevailed on another 
judge to set aside Judge Hunt's order, and James got his telegraphic instruc- 
tion to "Make the trip." 

On the journey home James laid out his campaign, and on his arrival 
at Bellevue orders were dispatched in all directions. Florence Gleason with 
a gang of men was already at the gap in the levee filling sand bags. Word 
was sent to C. L. Connor to report at once at the levee with all his men. J. E. 
Yancey and Frank Collins with the crews under them were to follow a little 
later, and still later were to come C. W. Jackson and the men from the Poso 
ranch. There were enough men, altogether, to keep* fresh shifts at work at 
the gap all day and all night. 

The camp previously established en the levee was enlarged to accommo- 
date no less than five hundred men. Lender the direction of Dave Cofifee the 
hoisting engine used in driving piles was rigged to haul wagons loaded with 
sand along the levee. Heavy cables were laced back and forth among the piles, 
and the work of building in a wall of sand bags to stop the rushing flood 
proceeded with system and dispatch. 

"But R. E. Houghton never overlooked anything," said Walter James 
in telling the story. While Louis Haggin was getting rid of Judge Hunt's 
injunction in San Francisco, Houghton was getting another, injunction out of 
the superior court of Napa county. This was issued at the request of George 
Cornwell, who owned a small piece of land on the south side of the river 
and many thousands on the north side and who made the same representation 
as Miller had made before Judge Hunt. 

Wible was less than a da}- behind James, but when he had reached 
Bakersfield, and came dashing down the road along the Cole levee with his 
Napa county injunction and Sherifif Coons, James and his great crew of men 
were swarming over the levee like human ants, working in a frenzy of haste 
to place the last sand bags that would stop the torrent of water. 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 107 

Every superintendent from the Haggin ranches in Kern county was there, 
with Billy Carr in personal command. The sheriff waved the injunction and 
ordered the work stopped, but everyone was too busy to hear. It was an 
intense moment, for many months of work, tens of thousands of dollars, and 
(what was almost more than either for the men of fighting blood who were 
ranged on either side) victory or defeat in the contest depended on a few 
more minutes of time. 

Sheriff Coons handed the injunction to Carr and explained its purport, 
but Carr had to read the document, and his glasses were over in the tent. 
He went to the tent, got his glasses, sat down and read the injunction and 
the complaint which accompanied it. All the while Wible was enjoining haste. 
When Carr finished studying the order of the court he desired James to read it, 
and James read it, quite as slowly and carefully as Carr had done. Wible 
stormed over to where Dave Coffee was rushing in the sand bags with 
redoubled haste and energy, and commanded him to desist in the name of 
the law. But Coft'ee knew nothing of law or injunctions and he kept right 
on shoving the sand bags down to the men who were building them, now, 
just above the surface of the yellow water. Finally Carr sauntered back from 
the tent, saw that the gap in the levee was closed and the bags of sand rose 
clear and dry above the surface, and held up his hand as a signal uf submission 
to the court's decree. 

But one thing had not been done. James had buried logs, or "dead men" 
on the upper side of the levee and had attached to them loops of cable ready 
to slip over the tops of the piling to help them carry the great weight of the 
water pressing on the narrow dam. But these loops of cable had not been 
adjusted, and the upper ends of the piling were without support. For a little 
while the piles and the wall of sand bags stood, and then, as the water low- 
ered on the outer side, they leaned and swayed ; the sand-bag wall splashed 
out of sight, the broken piles bobbed merrily to the surface, and the yellow 
flood leaped through the breech once more to spread over section after section 
of Haggin's reclaimed swamp land, and "undiminished in quantity and unim- 
paired in quality," flowed over, through and upon Miller's forty acres of 
Buena Vista lake bottom until it was covered a dozen or fifteen feet in depth, 
and it remained covered until the wild geese came and went and went and 
came again. 

On July 5th, more than a month after the wall of sand bags washed out, 
the water was still pouring thruugh the Cole levee upon Haggin's land 
at the rate of 3000 cubic feet per second. 

But R. E. Houghton never overlooked anything. On July 26th he had 
W. B. Carr and Walter James haled before the court of Napa county to 
show cause why they should not be punished for contempt of court for 
consuming a quarter of an hour in reading the court's injunction. 

"Did you have any thought in your mind, 'Sir. Carr." said the Napa 
lawyer who appeared for Houghton, "that you might profit by the delay you 
were causing?" 

"Not in the least," said Carr. 

"Of course not." said the Napa lawyer with fine sarcasm. 

The Napa judge let Carr and James off with a mild admonition, but 
Judge Hunt was more obdurate. He declared that no court had any authority 
to set aside his injunction, and that all the time the five hundred men were 



108 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

rushing sand bags into the break they were in contempt. "The defendants 
are fined $1000 each." 

Supreme Court Decides for Riparianists 

Another victory was coming to the Miller forces. The same issue of the 
Haggin & Carr paper that contained the short paragraph about the Cole 
break and the San Francisco injunction carried an equally short paragraph 
stating that the great water suit had been resubmitted. It took until October 
27, 1884, for the supreme court to reach a final decision, and the remittitur 
was not filed in this county until May 28, 1886, but not to make the story long, 
the supreme justices, or a majority of them, found that Judge Brundage had 
committed an error in not allowing certain testimony on the part of the 
defense that would have made but little diiiference, probably, in the main 
issue. But accompanying their order was a most important expression of 
opinion to the effect that the English common law respecting riparian rights 
governed the use of water in the state of California. In other words, as the 
Chester and Hudnut literary bureaus soon after made the whole state aware, 
the owner of land on the banks of a natural water course was entitled to 
have all the waters of the stream flow over and through his land, undiminished 
in quantity and unimpaired in quality. That meant that nobody could take 
water out of a stream in an irrigating ditch and spread it over his land, for 
if he did so, certainly he could not restore it again to its natural channel, un- 
diminished and unimpaired, or either. 

Of course every irrigator in the state sat up and howled, and it was not 
very long before an active and able politician like Billy Carr had them 
organized and holding big irrigation conventions, first at Riverside and then 
at Fresno, and drafting laws for submission to the state legislature that were 
calculated to send the doctrine of riparian rights back to England on the 
first tramp steamer that left the Golden Gate. 

Carr did more. He went to work quietly among the members of the 
state legislature and before Miller's men knew what was going on he had 
the signatures of about two-thirds of them appended to a petition asking the 
governor to call a special sess'ion of the legislature and virtually pledging 
themselves to enact into law the measures framed at the two irrigation con- 
ventions. 

Governor Calls Legislature Together 

Armed with this petition and reinforced by a stalwart bunch of his 
friends from Kern county and elsewhere, Carr met Governor Stoneman at a 
hotel in San Francisco. Everybody had a good time, and the governor, who 
was a veteran of the Union army, distinguished and endeared himself in the 
eyes of Carr's southern followers by consuming without a quiver more mint 
julips than any man in the crowd from below the Mason and Dixon line 
could carry off. Before the evening was over the call for the special session 
of the legislature was signed. 

This was in July, 1886, but meantime Kern county had gone through 
another political campaign (the hottest and most vindictive, perhaps, which 
was ever waged in the valley) in which the issue turned on the election of 
the superior judge before whom the great water suit should come for re-trial. 
Brundage, of course, was supported by the Haggin & Carr forces, and all of 
Miller's strength was thrown behind Judge Arick. The latter was victorious 
by the scant majority of four votes. 

Meantime, too, the whole state was being flooded with the fruits of the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 109 

labors of Chester and Hudnut and other writers of the Miller & Lux and 
Carr & Haggin literary bureaus. Supplements treating the water question 
from Miller's side were furnished free to every paper of importance in the 
state that would handle them. The next week an equally copious flood of 
Haggin supplements descended on the readers. Plain print was seconded by 
whole page, colored cartoons, and these in addition to being sent to the 
papers were posted on the dead walls about the towns like circus announce- 
ments. 

The extra session of the legislature convened in August, 1886, and with 
the din of a state-wide battle in their ears, the members of the assembly 
passed the irrigation bills as per schedule. But the senate balked. It would 
not defeat the bills nor would it pass them, and on September 11, 1886, the 
legislature adjourned with the question of water legislation immersed a 
thousand fathoms deep in statu quo. 

It was sometime during the events recorded in this chapter that Henry 
Miller made the important discovery and confided it to a friend that "plenty 
of money makes a good politician." 

How much money it took to make the very high grade politicians that 
fought each other to a stand still in the legislature of 1886, the author has 
not been able, even approximately, to ascertain, but battles like the one over 
the judgeship and battles like that at Cole's levee were evidently so immensely 
expensive that both Haggin & Carr and Miller & Lux wished for peace. The 
big suit fell to Judge Arick to try, but he granted a petition for a change of 
venue to Tulare county, which the supreme court sustained, and there the 
case lay until all the points involved in the contest were settled to the satis- 
faction of both parties by the celebrated Miller-Haggin agreement. 
Miller-Haggin Agreement Ends Litigation 

This agreement, which was signed on July 28, 1888, and which bears the 
signatures of thirty-one corporations and fifty-eight individuals owning water 
rights at the time on Kern river, practically divided the waters of the stream 
between Miller & Lux and Haggin and the diiTerent canal companies that 
were represented by them. The length of the document is fully commensurate 
with its importance and the number of parties interested, but as it was later 
incorporated into the findings of the Shaw decree, issued by Judge Lucien 
Shaw of Los Angeles sitting in the superior court of Kern county in 1895, 
and has been made a part of every deed executed by either of the two great 
land owners of the county since then, a scant summary of its provisions here 
is justifiable. 

The agreement begins by recognizing that certain of the parties 
have riparian rights, and that certain other of the parties have 
-vested rights by appropriation against all the world except the aforesaid 
riparian owners. This point settled, the agreement provides that the parties 
of the first part, represented by Miller, shall have one-third of all the waters 
of the river during the months of March, April, May, June, July, and August 
of each year, and that the parties of the second part, represented by Haggin. 
shall have all the remainder. 

It provides for the measurement and delivery of the water, and for the 
construction of the Buena Vista Lake reservoir, covering approximately 
thirty-six sections of land. The two parties join in this undertaking, sharing 
equally the expense of construction, repair and maintenance. The two parties 
also share equally the expense of building the levees necessary to carry the 



110 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

water of the river from the second point of measurement to the reservoir, and 
of building an outlet canal from Buena Vista lake to the Kern Valley Water 
Company's canal. Both parties agree to join in suit against any person or 
persons who attempt to divert any water from the river above the second 
point of measurement, and each is to bear half the expense of such litigation. 
All pending suits between the two parties were to be dismissed. The agree- 
ment is made a perpetual covenant, running with all the land owned or claimed 
by any of the parties within the territory described in the contract. 



CHAPTER Xn 

First Attempt at Colonization 

The first effects of the settlement of the contests over water rights by 
means of the Miller-Haggin agreement were to stiffen land values in all the 
irrigated portion of the county, and to bring to a head the plans of Haggin 
and his associates for subdividing their lands and placing them on the market. 
The inevitable great expense of developing water rights, building canals and 
improving large ranches had been increased enormously by the outlays con- 
nected with the water contests with Livermore and Chester and then with 
Miller & Lux and by the expensive political campaigns incident thereto, and 
by the summer of 1888 the expenditures of Haggin and Tevis in their Kern 
county ventures had reached a huge aggregate. Meantime the growing of 
cotton and hops had not proven remunerative on account of the large labor 
cost and the failure of the attempts to secure low-priced workmen, and the 
same difficulty seemed to place a bar across other avenues to profit through 
agricultural activities on a vast scale. Lloyd Tevis, it is remembered, was 
a banker, and from the viewpoint of a banker who keeps tab on the amount 
of money invested and the amount of interest which it should bring in at 
current rates, the Kern county property of Haggin & Carr certainly did not 
look very hopeful. 

Hence the decision to colonize the Haggin lands. But from the start 
differences arose between the parties interested as to the exact methods of 
procedure. According to seemingly reliable statements, it appears that Carr 
was skeptical about the wisdom of beginning the land sales at all just at 
that time, and he interposed strenuous objections to parting with any of the 
lands which had been planted to alfalfa or otherwise brought into a revenue 
producing condition. He objected, also, it is said, to selling the most desir- 
able of the lands, which generally were those south of Bakersfield under the 
Kern Island canal. L. C. McAfee and C. Brower, managers of the sales de- 
partment under the name of the Land Department of J. B. Haggin, proposed 
making certain improvements on the lands before offering them for sale, 
and employing a superintendent to advise and instruct the colonists in the 
management of their farms and orchards so that fewer mistakes would be 
made through inexperience. But all this involved more expenditures, and the 
plan did not meet with favor from those who had to sign the checks. 

Still other points of difference arose. S. W. Fergusson, who had estab- 
lished a reputation as a boomer of real estate subdivisions, was sent to take 
charge of the Haggin colonization, and clashes of authority arose between 
him and Carr. For example, Carr and Fergusson differed as to the proper size 
for the irrigation ditches that were built through the colonies. Gradually 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 111 

Fergusson superseded Carr in the control of different departments of the 
Haggin activities, and it was not in Carr's nature to like a second place. In 
the end Carr sold out his interest, and the Kern County Land Company 
succeeded to Haggin & Carr. But these initial elements of failure in the 
colonization project were under the surface, and the people of Bakersfield 
rejoiced over the prospect that at last the great land holdings that had 
hedged the town about and impeded its growth and development were to be 
broken up. It was like opening the throttle to the pent up energies of the 
community, and new enterprises began to spring into life as the restraint was 
removed. There were other incentives to hope and progress. At a banquet 
tendered him by the citizens of Bakersfield. General Beale announced that 
he had plans for the colonization of the Tejon ranch; the Southern Pacific 
was grading the Porterville branch railroad; the railroad shops were being 
moved to Sumner, and more and more confidence was being placed in the 
constant report that the \'alley railroad was soon to be built. 

Many Plans for Progress 

Under the influence of all these better prospects the Southern Hotel 
.Association began the construction of its first building at the corner of 
Nineteenth street and Chester avenue ; L. P. St. Clair and O. O. Mattson 
undertook the construction of a gas and electric lighting system ; H. H. 
Fish, H. A. Blodget and T. J. Packard launched their plans for building a 
street railway system, and citizens of the town and land owners of the sur- 
rounding country subscribed a fund of $3000 for advertising the county at 
Los Angeles, then as now the distributing point for the Eastern home-seekers. 
In the spring of 1899 the Postal Telegraph Company completed its line to 
Bakersfield, the people of the county voted by 852 to 381 to bond the county 
for $250,000 for public improvements including an addition to the court house, 
a new jail, a county hospital and the grading and improving of many roads 
in different parts of the county. 

Fire Wipes Out Business Section 

In the midst of all these evidences of progress and while Bakersfield 
was looking forward with greater hope and expectancy than ever before in 
its history, came the fire of July 7, 1889, and wiped the business part of the 
little city clean. The business section of Bakersfield was confined in those 
days to the area bounded on the west by I street, on the south by Seven- 
teenth, on the east by M, and on the north by Twentieth. Practically every- 
thing within these limits was destroyed. 

The fire started in or near N. E. Kelsey's residence on Twentieth street 
about midway between Chester and I street, just back of where the Bank of 
Bakersfield now stands, or about on the spot where the rear quarter of the 
bank building is located. J\lrs. Kelsey was getting the Sunday dinner on a 
gasoline stove, but as to further details of how the building caught fire 
reports differ widely. The volunteer fire department responded to the alarm 
with ordinary promptness, and hitched the suction hose of the Silsby steam 
fire engine to the old cast iron hydrant that still stands in front of the Southern 
Hotel at Nineteenth and Chester. This' hydrant connected with the old Scrib- 
ner water system, which was supplied by pumps and wells located at the 
southeast corner of Seventeenth street and Chester avenue. The small mains 
and the light engine, however, were insufficient to provide a stream that would 
check the flames. There was no wind, and the smoke and flames for a time 



112 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

mounted straight upward. In a very little time the fire spread to the Kelsey 
furniture and undertaking establishment on the corner where the Bank of 
Bakersfield is, and to the store of Hayden & White and the Echo office, all 
of which were on the same half block with Kelsey's residence and faced on 
Chester avenue. From these the Southern Hotel Association's new building 
at Nineteenth and Chester was ignited. By that time the heat from the flames 
had driven the firemen east on Nineteenth street, where the hose was dropped 
into one of the cisterns built at the street intersections on purpose to supply 
water for fighting fire. These cisterns were connected with the Town ditch 
by redwood conduits six inches square, but the conduits had grown full of 
roots and the cisterns were soon exhausted. Meantime burning shingles carried 
high in the air by the draft from the fire, had fallen on the roof of the Union 
stable, on the south side of Nineteenth street between K and L, and a new 
center of conflagration had been started. Also the fire had leaped across 
Nineteenth street to the south from the Southern hotel and was eating out 
the line of buildings on the west side of Chester avenue. Everything was 
burned along this street as far south as Seventeenth street, where the skating 
rink, standing where the new Morgan building now is, was the last building 
consumed. The water tower, diagonally across the avenue, was saved by the 
■man in charge, who climbed to the roof and kept it wet down. 

For a long time the Arlington, almost in the center of the fire, was 
saved by two means. The roof and veranda were covered with wet blankets 
and a small hose was used to keep them wet, and after the fire was well under 
way a breeze seemed to suck around the Southern hotel corner in such a 
way as to keep the heat from the Arlington. The building finally succumbed 
to the backfire from the east, but it was one of the last to go down in the 
central part of town. 

The Episcopal church at Seventeenth and I streets, the Catholic church 
at Seventeenth and K, and the Baptist church at I and Twenty-second were 
mentioned roughly as the limits of the burned district, although the fire did 
not reach really so far as the Baptist church. How completely the business 
houses were wiped out is illustrated by the fact that it was impossible to 
buy a plug of tobacco in Bakersfield after the fire. 

The fire occasioned a staggering property loss to the people of Bakers- 
field, but none went hungry or unsheltered for a night. Very few residences 
were destroyed, comparatively, and probably not over a hundred people were 
made homeless. These were speedily cared for by the more fortunate. For 
provisions there were the stores of Sumner, a mile away, including the well- 
stocked general merchandise establishment of Ardizzi-Qlcese Company, and 
Haggin & Carr at once hauled in a large stock of provisions of all kinds from 
the company store at Bellvue. Carr also had many beeves slaughtered, and 
everyone had meat in abundance, whether he had money to pay or not. 

So soon as the news of the disaster reached San Francisco an offer of 
aid was tendered by that city. Bakersfield was able to answer that no aid 
was needed, but the people of this city remembered the prompt offer years 
after when San Francisco was stricken, and few communities responded more 
promptly or liberally to the bay city's need than did Bakersfield. 

Bakersfield Quickly Rebuilds 

Before the embers were cool on the lots in the burned district new offices 
and business houses were being established in hastily built shacks in streets. 
Every newspaper office in the city was destroyed, but George Wear of the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 113 

Gazette managed to save an old hand press and some cases of type, and the 
usual editions were gotten out with these meagre facilities, or copy was for- 
warded to San Francisco and the papers printed there until new plants could 
be obtained. The Southern Hotel Association rebuilt better and larger than 
before, and almost every other burned building was replaced at once by a 
better one. In a year's time all the temporary buildings had disappeared from 
the streets, and the city was bigger and better than it had been before the 
fire. During the rebuilding time, of course, the town was very active. The 
colonists were coming then in large numbers, extensions were being made in 
the canal systems, and there was great activity in locating desert lands, home- 
steads and pre-emptions. 

A little more than a year after the fire the Bank of Bakersfield was 
founded, engineers were surveying in the vicinity of Bakersfield for the new 
valley railroad, the Kern County Land Company had been organized to take 
over the Haggin & Carr holdings, and S. W. Fergusson was placed in charge 
of the Rosedale and other colony lands, including Greenfield and Lerdo. 

Colonization on a Large Scale 

Fergusson at once organized a large office force in Bakersfield, estab- 
lished branch agencies in the east and in England, and prepared to do a 
colonization business on a very large scale. His advertising and the activities 
of his agents soon had a stream of immigrants and prospective land buyers 
flowing into Bakersfield from all points of the compass. Rosedale, situated six 
or eight miles due west of Bakersfield, was the principal scene of the colon- 
ization operations, although numbers of tracts of land were sold at Greenfield 
and elsewhere. The Rosedale lands lie under the Calloway canal, and are 
chiefly light, sandy soils, easily tilled, well suited to irrigation and quite pro- 
ductive. Most of the newcomers were well satisfied with the propositions 
offered them, and sales were reasonably brisk. The arrival of the English 
colonists was a great event in Bakersfield. They were of all sorts and con- 
ditions from market gardeners of experience who had saved small sums of 
money in years of industry and thrift, to scions of nobility who were shipped 
abroad by their relatives as a last despairing means for their moral and 
industrial redemption. It was a vain hope so far as the latter was con- 
cerned. 

The few farmers among the English colonists got to work in their own 
fashion to the amazement and mirth of the California ranchers. The latter, 
used to driving six to ten horses attached to a gang plow, made great sport 
of the English farmers who went to their fields with a boy to lead the single 
horse while a man held the plow handles. But the little orchards and vine- 
yards that the Englishmen planted grew and throve, and so did the peanuts, 
corn and other vegetables that they planted between the rows. 

Scions of Nobility Make Things Hum 
The scions of nobility for the most part disdained to toil. There were 
neither orchards, vineyards nor vegetables to show for their labors, but they 
certainly made lively times about the Southern bar and lobby and in many 
other parts of the city less approved by good society. Nearly all the idlers 
were remittance men, and they ran uniformly successful races with time to 
dissipate their monthly allowances before the next batch of checks came 
from home. If they were sent out here to be clear of the temptations of 
English city life they were thrown from the frying pan into the fire, for if the 



114 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

slums of Bakersfield lacked anything that the young British bloods were used 
to they speedily arranged to supply the deficiency and to give all vice a 
Western air and relish that the most artistic panderers to depravity in Euro- 
pean capitals could not put to blush. It was profitable to cater to the pleas- 
ures and follies of the remittance men, and in those days a dollar that was 
not in visible circulation was counted a dollar lost in Bakersfield. To illustrate 
how cheerfully and enthusiastically the sports from across the seas put their 
money into circulation while it lasted it is related that on one occasion when 
the birthday of the queen was being celebrated with a banquet at the South- 
ern, the loyalty rose to such a height that not only was her majesty's health 
drunk copiously in the Southern's best champagne but the cheering crowd 
came storming out of the dining room and tried to pour champagne down 
the throats of the ponies tied at the rail beside the curb. 
An International Romance 

With this story of the Rosedale remittance men belongs the romantic 
tale of the wooing of Loretta Addis by Lord Sholto Douglas, third son of the 
Marquis of Queensbury. Loretta Addis was Miss Maggie Mooney's stage 
name, and Miss Maggie Mooney was a pretty and piquant little Irish girl 
who made an honest if not conventional living for herself by doing a turn 
on the stage of big Frank Carson's place on Twentieth street. 

Lord Sholto and many others were captivated by Miss Mooney's charms, 
and Sholto proposed on every appropriate and inappropriate occasion he could 
find or manufacture. But Loretta was suspicious of alliances with the nobil- 
ity, and she did not lack friends who told her that the marquis and marchion- 
ess never would sanction the match and that if she married their son she 
certainly would be cast off and renounced but a little later. Being cast oS 
and renounced did not suit the fancy of this spunky Irish girl, and she set 
her face sternly against the tender appeals of Sholto. Finally the young 
lord's friends interfered to break up the languishing match, and failing in 
persuasive tactics they had Sholto arrested on a charge of insanity. Then 
they set to work to get Miss Mooney out of Bakersfield. 

Undoubtedly this would have been accomplished had it not been for 
the exigencies of journalism, which include the fostering of a good story and 
the making of a sequel to a good story when the good story plays out. The 
love affairs of Lord Sholto and Loretta Addis made a good story, or at least 
the stories that the Bakersfield correspondents sent out looked good to the San 
Francisco city editors, and they gave the Bakersfield correspondents carte 
blanc, printed their stuff on the front page and clamored for more. C. P. Fox 
and W. D. Young, both familiar figures in Kern county journalism, were 
local correspondents for the Chronicle and the Examiner and were working 
the story together. Five dollars a column and full space rates for pictures was 
like a gold mine while it lasted, but it did not last sufficiently long. 
When Sholto was locked up in one of the private rooms at the sheriff's quar- 
ters and Sholto's friends were about to succeed in persuading or hiring Miss 
Mooney to move to another city. Young and Fox saw the end of their pay 
streak. They held a solemn consultation and decided that the only way 
to save the story was to complete Sholto's wooing for him. So they hired 
a hack and drove in all state to Miss Mooney's lodgings. She received them 
graciously, but turned a deaf ear to the eloquent words in which they pictured 
Sholto's double despair, spurned by his heart's desire and charged with 
madness, for nothing more than that he loved the fair Loretta. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 115 

It was of no use. ^liss Alooney knew blarney when she heard it. Then 
Fox and Young painted the glamor of the British nobihty and showed Aliss 
Mooney how much better off she would be as a member of one uf the oldest 
families of England than as a dancer and singer in a vaudeville theater in 
the wild west. It made no difference to Miss Mooney how fine the British 
nobility might be if the British nobility was going to renounce her, and she 
indicated as much. It began to look pretty desperate for that five-dollar-a- 
column stuff", but Fox rallied his jaded eloquence and taking an argumentative 
tone he recounted the history of the Marquis of Queensbury, showed that the 
old gentleman was a true old sport, quick to recognize merit, not too fas- 
tidious in his associates and amusements and altogether unlikely to play the 
part of a prude or a pharisee when the variety actress was presented to him 
as his daughter-in-law. The argument fell flat. The opposition had preju- 
diced her mind too thoroughly. 

Then Young played his last trump card. He raised himself to the full 
of his raw-boned height and assumed a belligerent air. "Let them renounce 
you, if they dare," he exclaimed, "and you go on the stage as Lady Sholto 
Douglas, daughter-in-law of the Marquis of Queensbury. With the talent 
you've got " 

The practical instinct of a good press agent won where flattery and per- 
suasion failed. 

"I'll do it!" exclaimed Miss Mooney, springing up. 

"Get on your hat," said Fox, also springing up. 

Fifteen minutes later Fox and Young and Deputy Sheriff Joe Droul- 
liard were ushering Miss Mooney into the little room where Sholto sat brood- 
ing his unhappy fate. 

Another fifteen minutes, and they were receiving her in the little corridor, 
and the happy Sholto was consoling himself in his imprisonment with dreams 
of future bliss. 

The San Francisco papers had another big story next morning: another 
when, a few days thereafter, came a cablegram containing the cheerful consent 
of the Marquis to his son's proposed alliance ; another when Sholto was 
released without a complaint of insanity actually having been placed against 
him, and still another when Lord Douglas and Miss Mooney were happily 
married in an Episcopal church in San Francisco. 

It is pleasant to conclude the story with the statement that they are 
still living happily on a ranch in Canada where Sholto has learned to 
farm and where Lady Sholto reigns with all the grace of sweet domesticity, 
her children growing up about her. 

Not All Beer and Skittles 

But it was not all champagne and romance with the Rosedale colonists. 
Only a small proportion, even among the industrious knew how to irrigate 
or understood the use and duty of water. A lot of them had a reckless habit 
of shutting down the gates of the side ditches when they wanted to go to 
their meals, and the water, backing up, would break the main ditch and flood 
five or ten acres of land before anyone knew anything about it. The low 
lands were the ones invariably flooded in this manner, and presently, what 
with the breaking of ditches and the prodigal use of water at all times, the 
lower lands became water-logged and black with the alkali that the rising 
water level brought up. 



116 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

The Land Company put teams and men at work digging miles of drain 
ditches. About the time they were finished the dry years came, and the 
trees and vines on the high lands that had escaped the drowning began to 
perish for want of water. The Calloway's water right was good only after 
certain other ditches had been supplied. 

There was no home market except for a very limited amount of fruit 
and farm produce, and shipments of fruit to the east began to show returns 
in red figures. Added to everything else was the financial panic that swept 
over the entire country in 1893-4. It is little wonder that Rosedale colony 
became a reproach in the county and that Bakersfield's second great hope 
for the cutting up of the great land holdings of the county came to naught. 

It did not quite come to naught, for a few steady, industrious farmers 
stayed with their Rosedale land, and in the end developed fine homes and 
valuable property. They did it, moreover, with no less labor and waiting 
than the ordinary farmer has to undergo in any new country before his land 
pays for itself and begins to earn him a competency. At the present time, 
sixteen or seventeen years after it was denounced as a failure, Rosedale col- 
ony is as fair and pleasant a place and the farmers there are as happy and 
prosperous as any to be found in all the valley. 

But the Fergusson administration of the Kern County Land Company 
aflfairs ended in general denunciation, and the big concern was more unpop- 
ular than at any other time, before or since, in the history of the county. 
Another Sw^amip Land Contest 

Another incident that added to the bad favor in which the Land Com- 
pany found itself about the year 1895, was the contest over swamp lands 
bordering Buena Vista lake between settlers and the Land Company. This 
contest began to assume the form of open hostilities in March of the year 
named. Haggin claimed the land under certificates of purchase from the 
state as swamp land obtained by Duncan Beaumont in the 70s and as- 
signed to Haggin. The settlers claimed that when the United States deeded 
the swamp and overflow land in California to the state the land in dispute 
was unsurveyed and was, as a matter of fact, a part of the bottom of a 
navigable lake and so was not conveyed by the grant to the state and was 
not subject to sale by the state. 

The contest was soon carried into the courts, but while it was pending 
■there men sent out under the command of Count Von Petersdorf tore down 
a number of the settlers' houses and threw them off the land. The settlers 
rallied, replaced their houses and again were driven off. There seems to 
have been no bloodshed, but both parties to the contest were armed, and 
arrests were frequent. There was quite a furore over the affair, but the 
proceedings of the justice court before which the combatants were brought 
were not of a character to promote solemnity. One day a company of settlers, 
all of whom were or had been fully armed, would be brought into court and 
duly charged with disturbing the peace by loud, boisterous and tumultuous 
language, fighting or offering to fight and exhibiting fire arms with the threat 
then and there to do bodily harm to certain other persons then and there 
present, all of which was contrary to the peace and dignity of the people of 
the state of California, etc. The settlers would then be admitted to bail in 
certain generous sums and released on their own recognizance. The next 
day Von Petersdorf and a dozen or so of his men would be haled before the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 117 

court on a similar charge and released in the same manner. Altogether a 
sufficient total of bail bonds was named by Justice Fox to have bought all 
the land in dispute several times over. Eventually W. S. Tevis and Jrl. A. 
Jastro took a hand in the matter, met the settlers and effected a compromise 
in which the Land Company got the land but the settlers were reimbursed 
for their improvements and expenditures. 

The Jastro Administration 

Not very long after that date H. A. Jastro became the general manager 
of the Land Company and inaugurated a new policy in the handling of the 
affairs of the concern. Under Carr's administration nearly all the money 
handled in the Haggin and Carr offices went out. Carr was buying land 
all the time, and building canals or making other improvements. Fergusson, 
of course, took in large aggregates of cash, but in another sense his adminis- 
tration was an extravagant one, for the colonization scheme consumed a 
large sum and was not a success, and the ranches paid little if any more under 
Fergusson than under Carr. Jastro put the business on a paying basis. 
Enterprises that did not yield a balance on the right side of the ledger were 
discouraged, and a minimum amount of money was spent on improvements 
that did not add to the immediate revenue producing power of the property. 

Jastro's polic}' and its revenue producing result probably have prevented 
further efforts to sell the Kern County Land Company holdings to the 
present time. At least there have been no more colonization projects on 
the part of the Land Company, although the company has sold three consid- 
erable tracts for colonization — the Wasco and Mountain View colonies, which 
were handled by the California Home Extension Association, and the Lerdo 
tract which is to be colonized by the Lerdo Land & Water Company. 



CHAPTER XIII 
Important Events of a Decade, 1890-1900 

The desert gold mines of Goler were first worked in the spring of 1893, 
and in December of that year a newspaper correspondent writing from Kane 
springs states that approximately $50,000 had been taken out by the thousand 
or more men who had been there. Four-fifths of this amount was found 
by less than a dozen men, and the bulk of the remaining fifth was taken out 
by a small fraction of the nine hundred and eighty-eight others. Coming 
from Bakersfield or Los Angeles the first camp in the Goler district was at 
Red Rock cafion, in a side gulch of which were developed the richest placer 
diggings in the state. At the time of the letter eight men were taking out 
$1000 a week from the Bell claim in this gulch. Over the ridge in another 
draw Sullivan & Black were doing about as well. At Goler. fifteen miles 
east of Red Rock, a few had struck it rich, others were doing fairly well, 
and many were obhged to live on the money they had brought with them. 
Bonanza gulch placers were yielding thirty cents to the pan from the bed 
rock. Twelve miles east of Goler at .Summit, the Van Sykes had struck it 
rich. 

That the desert mines had been prospected bv the first of the California 
gold seekers was shoAvn by the discovery in 1894 by W. T. Langdon of a 



118 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

location notice posted by Hiram Johnson bearing date of 1853. On a rock 
near by Langdon also found a pair of rusty gold scales, and by an old fire 
place, buried under three feet of drifting sands, the same prospector found a 
black whiskey bottle with gold dust in it to the value of $6.20. 

The desert placers were exceedingly rich on the surface, but the great 
lack of water, not only for washing but even for drinking, held back devel- 
opment until the remainder of the state was long overrun by the placer miner 
and his burro. In 1894 Langdon, Ben Magee of Selma, a man by name of 
Cummings from Los Angeles, and F. M. Mooers, formerly a newspaper man 
of New York, panned the first gold in the Randsburg district, then unnamed. 
Even then, although the sands were found to be exceedingly rich, the dif- 
ficulties of desert mining discouraged the majority of the party from con- 
tinuing. They all drifted away except Mooers who went back to the Summit 
mines for a while, worked out his placers there, and then, in partnership with 
John Singleton and C. A. Burcham, went back to the Rand district and began 
dry washing in a gulch. They made about $5 per day each here, and later 
struck a better placer on the top of the hill. 

Discovery of the Yellow Aster 

One night when they had been away from camp and were coming home 
late they lost their way and made their bed in a gulch by chance. They slept 
late, and when Mooers opened his eyes in the morning the sun was glistening 
on the little particles of free gold in the ledge about his head. Burcham 
got his hammer, struck the rock of the projecting vein, and laid bare before 
the dazzled eyes of the three prospectors the treasure of the Yellow Aster. 
This was in the fall of 1895. Not for more than a year later was the wealth 
of the great mine demonstrated. For a long time its owners were content 
to take out its riches in a modest way. They had no money to begin with, 
and large development on the desert meant the investment of large sums. 
Ore for the first millings was hauled to Garlock, a distance of ten miles. 
Water for all purposes was hauled back from the same place and retailed for 
ten cents a gallon or three dollars per barrel. Later water was piped from 
Goler and from Squaw springs on Squaw mountain. 

With the Yellow Aster, Mooers, Burcham and Singleton located the 
Rand, Olympus and Trilby claims, combining them under the name of 
Yellow Aster mine. In 1898 they built a thirty-stamp mill, and afterward 
increased it to one hundred stamps. The mine is now reckoned as the largest 
gold mine in the state. The ore is quarried out in glory holes, run down 
to the mill in cars and handled in every way on a wholesale scale. 

Other Famous Desert Mines 

Other famous mines of the Rand district include the Kinyon, named for 
its owner, who came to the desert without a dollar, and took out $40,000 
with a windlass the first year from a little shallow shaft a short distance 
from the Yellow Aster. Silas Drouillard was grubstaked by the sheriff and 
his deputies in Bakersfield and went to Randsburg in search of the desert's 
treasure. The desert lured him across the sands until he dropped in ex- 
haustion beside a rock. As a parting blow in the face of fate he struck the 
rock with his hammer and broke off a chunk that even in the dazzling days 
of the first Randsburg boom was worthy a place on a shelf in a saloon where 
the hungry-eyed prospectors could look and marvel between their libations 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 119 

to the fickle Fortune of the desert. The Wedge, Haninioiid's Winnie, and 
the Ramey brothers' Butte were among the strikes that gave the camp its 
first fame. 

The Town of Randsburg 
The town started first on the Yellow Aster property where Cuffle had 
a store and Airs. Freeman ran a boarding house. In 1895 Abram Staley and 
his son Homer opened a blacksmith shop on the flat, the first wooden build- 
ing on the present townsite. Charles Keehn opened the first store in the 
town proper; Montgomery Brothers started a saloon, John Crawford started 
another, and after that the arrivals were too rapid and numerous to be remem- 
bered. 

During the rush of 1896 Randsburg had its first experience of the dis- 
order that belongs by tradition to new mining camps. "The Dirty Dozen," 
as the members of a gang of dry washers from an older camp chose to call 
themselves, conceived the pleasant pastime of visiting Randsburg of even- 
ings, making a rough house in the different saloons and finally promenading 
the streets, firing their revolvers. As most of the houses in the camp had 
onh' canvas walls and as the members of the Dirty Dozen were careless 
in their aim there was a general protest which resulted in a mass meeting 
on the porch of the Cliff house (hotel) and the organization of the Citizens' 
committee. At first it was planned to make it a vigilante organization, but 
soberer discussion resulted in the agreement that the disorders were not 
grave enough for such means of repression, and "Ironsides" Raines was hired 
to act as town marshal at a salary of $100 per month. A number of citizens 
were made deputy constables without pay. Personal notice was served on 
all the known members of the Dirty Dozen that their visits could be dispensed 
with, and a notice in the following words was posted in the streets : 

The Citizens of Randsburg have organized to enforce the laws. Ten 
Deputy Constables have been appointed, and any riotous and threat- 
ening conduct will be punished, 
by order of the 

CITIZENS' COMMITTEE 
There was no further disorder. At least there was no further general 
menace to life or limb, although for some time afterward the diversions of 
the miners that assembled in the desert camp differed somewhat from those 
of a Sunday-school picnic. 

At the present time there is more genuine, profitable mining going on 
in the Randsburg district than at any other time since the camp was estab- 
lished. All the mines named heretofore are worked with profit, and in addi- 
tion the King Solomon, Sunshine and Pierced are yielding good returns to 
their owners. Mooers of the Yellow Aster is dead, but his heirs and his 
original partners, Burcham and Singleton, still own the mine and are taking 
out about 600 tons of $.S ore per day. 

Discovery of Tungsten Mines 
About ten years ago, during the progress of a strike of union miners at 
the Yellow Aster, Charles Taylor, one of the strikers, and Tom McCarthy 
went prospecting and discovered the afterward famous tungsten mines of 
Randsburg district. It soon developed that the tungsten deposits were among 
the largest and most accessible in the world, and the quality was excep- 



120 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

tionally good. Somewhere between two million and three million dollars 
worth of the mineral have been taken out, and the mines are but fairly 
opened up. 

The Mojave mines were discovered about the time of the first Rands- 
burg rush or a few months later. The Queen Esther, Carmel, Golden Treas- 
ure and other mines of Mojave are celebrated producers, but the district 
never attained the fame that was accorded to Randsburg. 

The Amalie District 

Among the more important of the recent mining op.erations in the 
county are those about Amalie, a short distance above Caliente on the north- 
ern side of the Tehachapi pass. The Amalie mines carry both silver and 
gold, and with depth the ledges improve greatly. The Gold Peak, Amalie 
and other less celebrated mines of that vicinity have passed the stage of 
experiment and are reckoned as certain producers in the hands of competent 
management. Mining men familiar with the district prophesy that the future 
will see Amalie recognized as one of the most important mining sections 
of the state. 

Other Important Events 

Other matters that lend a special interest to the busy and eventful period 
in Kern county's history about the years of 1890 to 1900 include the building 
of the electric light, gas and street railway systems of Bakersfield, the begin- 
ning of the utilization of the waters of Kern river for the development of 
electric power, discovery and development of the desert mines, the local 
phases of the great railroad strike of 1894, the visit of the Oakland contingent 
of Coxey's army, the second incorporation of Bakersfield and the issuance of 
the celebrated Shaw decree, by which theUerms of the Miller-Haggin agree- 
ment were given a semblance, at least, of judicial authority. 

Gas and Electric Plants 

The first gas plant was built and operated by L. P. St. Clair, Sr., and 
O. O. Mattson about the first part of 1889. Later H. A. Blodget and H. A. 
Jastro bought out Mattson's interest. The first plant was a crude affair 
comprising eight retorts, and the gas was manufactured from gasoline. In 
summer it was too rich, and in winter it was too thin for perfectly satis- 
factory use. During the summer of 1889, it is recalled, a big bellows was 
used to pump air into the holders to reduce the quality of the gas and pre- 
vent its smoking by reason of an excess of carbon. In the fall of 1889 the 
plant was changed to use coal instead of gasoline. The use of crude oil in 
the manufacture of gas was begun in 1896 and 1897, and continued to 
the fall of 1911, when natural gas from the great gas wells of the Standard 
Oil Company in the Buena Vista hills was turned into the mains. 

It was not long after the gas plant was established that electric lighting 
began to gain greatly in popularity, and outside parties visited BakersSeld 
with a view to obtaining a franchise for an electric lighting system. They 
failed to get the franchise, but their visit spurred the local lighting com- 
pany into action, and electricity was added to gas as a means of illumina- 
tion in the city. In the spring of 1890 a 40-light dynamo was installed and 
a wood-burning steam engine was utilized to furnish power. The limita- 
tions of wood-generated steam and the advantages of water power in the 
generation of electricity were speedily recognized, and for a time a plan 
for using water power from the mill ditch was entertained. The fact that 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 121 

it is necessary to dry out the ditch occasionally for cleaning and repairs 
stood in the way of this plan, and the idea of maintaining a steam auxiliary 
plant for use when the ditch was out of commission did not appeal to the 
electric company. 

It was the natural thing to turn to Kern river caiion as a source of 
power, and the plans for the first power plant built there were drawn by 
Blodget, Jastro, W. S. Tevis. S. ^V. Fergusson and C. N. Beale. The first 
intention was to interest eastern capital in the enterprise, but when it was 
mentioned to Lloyd Tevis he said that he would take it up himself, and 
did so. Work was begun December 13, 1894, building the flume along the 
wall of the cafion to carry the water from the intake up the canon to the 
water wheel at the caiion's mouth where the present power house is located. 
The wooden flume first used to convey the water was later replaced by a 
tunnel driven in the rock of the cafion wall. 

First Street Railway 

The first street railway sj'stem was established about the same time 
as the gas plant. John Al. Keith and H. A. Blodget were the originators of 
the project, and they called in H. H. Fish, who was operating a line of hacks 
and omnibuses and whose co-operation instead of competition was desirable. 
Fish went into the street car plan and Keith withdrew. The first equipment 
of rolling stock consisted of little horse cars, and one of the diversions of- 
fered the passengers was to help put the cars back on the track once in 
a while when the unaccustomed street car nags would get scared at some- 
thing and bolt off at a tangent from the rails. 

With the building of the power plant in the canon (finished in 1897) 
the horse car system was supplanted by electric cars and C. N. Beale joined 
with Fish and Blodget in the enterprise. Six or eight years later the Power, 
Transit & Light Company was organized as a subsidiary corporation of 
the Kern County Land Company, and the street car, gas and electric light- 
ing systems were taken over by it. In 1911 the San Joaquin Light & Power 
Corporation bought out the Power, Transit & Light Company. Meantime, 
in 1897, the Electric Water Company, also a Land Company corporation, 
bought the Scribner Water \\'orks and extended the system to meet the 
growing needs of the city. 

The First Levee Canal 

What is known as the levee canal, built a little distance south of Kern 
river from the Kern Island canal near Panorama heights southwest to the 
Stine canal, was constructed in the summer of 1890. On May 8th a sub- 
scription paper was circulated for the purpose of raising money to buy land 
for a right of way and for building the levee, and the following subscrip- 
tions were secured: W. B. Carr, $500; Celsus Brower, L. S. Rogers, H. C. 
Park, H. A. Jastro, H. A. Blodget, W. H. Scribner, J. Neiderauer, Dinkel- 
spiel Brothers, Joseph Weringer, Solomon Jewett, Kern Valley Bank, A. C. 
Maude and J. E. Bailey, each $100; Paul Galtes, A. Weill and Hirshfeld and 
Brodek, each $150; C. L. Connor and Alex Mills (not the ancient marshal), 
each $50. 

The right of way, however, was purchased by the county from Haggin 
& Carr for $4500, the deed being made on July 15, 1890. The levee canal 
was built along the right of way, and the dirt was thrown mostly on the 
side of the ditch next to the river so as to make an embankment sufficient 



122 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

to restrain any ordinary high water. This levee broke toward the north 
end at the time of the flood of 1893, and since then has been strengthened, 
a little dirt and sand being added whenever the river became threateningly 
high. 

Ever since the first levee was built periodic movements have been started 
looking to the construction of an embankment that would permanently dis- 
pose of all possibility of the river getting into the town, but with the sub- 
sidence of the freshets the interest in the plans wane and only the inci- 
dental repairs and improvements mentioned have been made. The latest 
project for levee building includes the construction of a boulevard along 
the top of the proposed embankment, connecting with Oak street on the 
west and mounting Panorama heights on the east and connecting thence 
by Baker street and Truxtun avenue with the southern end of Oak street 
and forming a complete driveway around the northern half of the city. 
This project has been lingering in statu quo for several months past, but 
has not been definitely abandoned. 

The Great Railway Strike 

The great strike of the American Railway Union which began Thursday, 
June 28, 1894, affected Bakersfield and Kern about as it affected any other 
railroad division point. There was much excitement during the first few 
days of the tie-up, and on July 12th, two hundred men met at Reich opera 
house, which stood just across Jap alley from Weill's store, and organized 
the Citizens' committee of safety. S. W. Wible acted as chairman, and 
after the adoption of resolutions and a prayer by Rev. Henry, fifty men 
signed the roll as volunteer home guards, took the oath to support the con- 
stitution and pledged themselves to guard duty in case Company G of the 
National Guard were ordered away from town and their services were 
required. Officers were elected as follows: captain, F. S. Rice; lieutenants, 
G. K. Ober and C. A. Maul ; sergeants, John O. Miller, G. L. DiUman, C. Von 
Petersdorf, Leo F. Winchell and H. C. Park; corporals, H. F. Condict, W. 
Lowell, A. W. Storms and R. M. Walker. 

The committee of safety, however, was never called upon for active 
duty. Before the guards were organized the railroad men had established a 
patrol of their own under the informal but recognized leadership of Parker 
Barrett (then a conductor, but later one of the owners of the world-famous 
Lakeview oil gusher), and generally the best of order prevailed among the 
strikers. Following the meeting at Reich opera house the A. R. U. repre- 
sentatives called a mass meeting at Athletic park, at the southeast corner of 
Nineteenth street and Union avenue, where about four hundred people were 
addressed by three or four speakers and where long resolutions were 
adopted. 

Bakersfield did not go hungry because of the strike, but a large part 
of it went thirsty or drank warm beverages. Most of the ice used in the city 
was shipped here from Truckee in those days, and except in the case of 
E. Downing's candy store the supplies were all small when the tie-up of the 
railroad began. When the saloons were out of ice they were nearly out of 
business, for few people would drink warm beer in July. Downing had 
3000 pounds of ice when the strike began, and for a time his soda water 
fountain was the most popular place in Bakersfield. Finally the stock of ice 
was reduced to 700 pounds, and Downing hung the closed sign on the front 
of the fountain. "The rest of it is for the sick folks," he explained, and after 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 123 

that anyone who could show that he was sick got ice from Downing for 
nothing. Nobody else could get it at all. 

Coxey's Army Comes and Goes 

On June 7, 1894, what was known as the Oakland contingent of Coxey's 
Industrial Army arrived in Bakersfield on its way to Washington to join in 
the celebrated protest which ended in the "army" being ordered off the 
White House grass. For a time the supervisors entertained the army at the 
Reich opera house and later they were kept in a stockade built back of the 
jail. Even the latter accommodations were expensive to maintain, however, 
and the supervisors held a conference with Division Superintendent Burk- 
halter of the Southern Pacific with the result that a special train consisting 
in large part of stock cars was ordered, and the whole army was loaded aboard 
and headed for the south. Chairman Jastro of the supervisors and some 
of the railroad officials accompanied the army to Mojave, where they were 
landed in the midst of a blinding sandstorm. The army would have eaten 
Mojave out of house and home in a day's time, and to leave it there was out 
of the question. So Jastro and the Southern Pacific men called the leaders 
into consultation. "What you people want," they put it, "is to get east as 
quickly as possible. Now the Santa Fe is the shortest and fastest line from 
this coast (think of the S. P. men saying that) and what you want to do is 
just to confiscate the first Santa Fe train that comes along and take yourselves 
east with it." 

It looked like a good plan to the army officers, and they proceeded to 
carry it out. Then a telegram was sent to Los Angeles, and a light engine 
loaded with United States deputy marshals ran out, headed off the stolen 
Santa Fe train at Barstow and carried the whole army back to Los Angeles 
under arrest, for the Santa Fe was in the hands of a receiver at the time 
and so under government authority. 

Twin Towns Incorporate 

With all these movements for the progress and improvement of Bakers- 
field under way the re-incorporation of the town was inevitable. Kern, the 
lesser of the twin towns, not half so populous as Bakersfield, had been incor- 
porated. But a large element of the voters in Bakersfield opposed incor- 
poration, and when, in December, 1896, the question was submitted after a 
long period of agitation, it was voted down by 268 to 197. In January, 1898, 
a second election was held, and the proposition won by 387 to 146. The 
vote by precincts was as follows: 

Number 1 — For, 121 ; against, 30. 

Number 2 — For, 74; against, 15. 

Number 3 — For, 43 ; against, 44. 

Number 4— For, 70; against, 39. 

Number 5 — For, 79; against, 18. 

The first officers elected were: Trustees, Paul Galtes, L. P. St. Clair, 
Sr., H. H. Fish, W. R. Macniurdo, J. Walters ; board of education, J. A. 
Baker, Celsus Brower, O. D. Fish, F. S. Rice, E. P. Davis; assessor, H. F. 
Condict; marshal, T. A. Baker; treasurer, O. O. Mattson ; attorney, S. N. 
Reed ; clerk, A. T. Lightner. 

Bakersfield was incorporated as a city of the lifth class, taking the charter 
provided by state law for such cities, and the same charter is in effect still, 
although Bakersfield and Kern have since been consolidated and the com- 



124 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

bined population is far in excess of the number required for a city of the 
fourth class. 

Company G Responds to Duty 

On May 8, 1898, Bakersfield proudly dispatched its first company of citi- 
zen soldiery to the defense of the state. Company G, National Guard, was 
ordered to San Francisco to do garrison duty at San Francisco during the 
progress of the Spanish-American war, and although the men left the armory 
at 5 a. m. they were greeted at the depot by a large body of citizens who gave 
them a farewell breakfast and presented them with a handsome silk flag on 
behalf of those who stayed at home. T. W. Lockhart made the speech of 
presentation. Capt. W. H. Cook made an address in response. The roster 
of the company was as follows : 

Captain, W. H. Cook; second lieutenant, Lucien Beer; first sergeant, 
B. A. Hayden ; second sergeant, H. C. Lechner ; third sergeant, K. C. Mastel- 
ler; fourth sergeant, C. E. Harding; corporals, H. J. Haley, C. L. Dunn, J. G. 
Broom, H. F. Stanley, C. R. Blodget, F. J. Downing and William Reddy; 
privates, L. C. Moon (musician), A. H. Abram, I. Barnes, John Barnes, 
W. Barnes, W. Barnhart, E. H. Bartley, J. L. Benoit, F. F. Blackington, 
H. H. Borem, D. E. Brewer, A. Brundy, A. M. Cammack, E. H. Chandler, 
A. S. Colton, E. R. Crane, A. S. Crites, G. S. Crites, F. W. Crocker, L. Cun- 
ningham, J. R. Daly, T. E. Davis, E. Dixon, R. Dinwiddie, R. Durnal, A. R. 
Elder, D. Fiedler, G. N. Frazier, R. Garner, W. G. Garrison, C. Colby, F. 
Hamilton, W. C. Hewitt, E. A. Hicks, F. M. Hicks, W. F. Hunt, S. A. 
Ice, G. H. Ingles, C. W. Kirk, Bert Kunkelman, O. P. Lindgren, E. 
P. Munsey, F. N. Mills, H. R. McKenzie, W. Olds, C. H. 
Ortte, J. H. Paulke, J. Pennington, W. H. Powers, Lynn Roberts, E. J. Ruddy, 
J. Savage, J. Timson, I. W. Tucker, J. B. Ware, C. W. West, B. F. Whittom, 
J. C. Ashby, C. W. Bollinger, E. Brodley, A. R. Shurtlefif, W. Lakin, C. Man- 
ley, F. J. Kincaid, J. Manning. 

News Notes, 1895 to 1900 

August 29, 1895— J. B. Haggin had deeded to W. B. Carr all his right, 
title and interest in 14,280 acres of swamp land in Kings county. 

Letters from farmers and others published in the newspapers suggest 
general farming as a solution of the troubles of the Rosedale colonists. Es- 
pecially the farmers are urged to raise hogs. 

October 10, 1895 — The Kern River Power Company is surveying for 
its power generating plant on Kern river and for an electric transmission line 
to Los Angeles. 

November 14, 1895 — Mooers, Burcham and Singleton win in a suit attack- 
ing their title to the Yellow Aster mine. 

December, 1895 — W. S. Tevis settles with homesteaders on the Haggin 
swamp lands near Buena Vista, giving them a year's rent free and paying 
them for the improvements on the land. 

Same date — Rights of way are being secured for the Valley railroad. 

June 11, 1896 — The new court house is finished. 

July 16, 1896 — An unsuccessful attempt is made to crack the vault in 
the county treasurer's office. 

July, 1896 — Silas Drouillard finds the St. Elmo mine in the Randsburg 
district and names it for one of his partners, Elmo Pyle. 

September 25, 1896— The contract is let for the Power, Transit & Light 
Company's substation, and the machinery is ordered from Schenectady. 




."'. T> 





HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 125 

January 28, 1897 — The business of the Bakersfield post office for the 
past year amounted to $74,000. 

December, 1896 — The Bakersfield Creamery is established. 

April 4, 1897 — The electric current is turned on from the power plant in 
the canon, and the Kern County Land Company is preparing to use the elec- 
tricity for pumping water at Stockdale, to run a cold storage plant at Bellevue, 
and to drive the machinery in its shops in Bakersfield. 

May 10, 1897 — W. B. Carr is found dead in his room in San Francisco 
from asphixiation. 

August, 1897 — The Kern County Land Company is constructing a 
slaughter house and meat-packing establishment at Bellevue. 

April, 1897 — The Bakersfield Labor Exchange is organized. 

September 23, 1897 — The Land Company is laying pipes for a new water 
system in Bakersfield. 

October 28, 1897— S. C. Smith has secured the last deed for the right of 
way for the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley railroad. 

December, 1897 — H. E. Huntington says that the Southern Pacific is 
willing to build a loop into Bakersfield and build a depot nearer the business 
section. 148 citizens signed a petition asking W. S. Tevis to use his influence 
to prevent the proposed loop and depot from being built. 

May 12, 1898 — Company G of the National Guard goes to San Francisco 
lor duty in the Spanish American war. 

May 27, 1898 — The arrival of the Valley railroad is celebrated in Bakers- 
field with a parade, floats, wild west show, speeches and fireworks. 

July 14, 1898 — Fire, starting in the California theater, lays waste the 
larger part of the business section of Kern city. 

November, 1899 — The paving of the streets in the business section of the 
city is in progress. 

During October, 1899, 323 oil land locations were recorded in the county. 

Bakersfield is soon to have free mail delivery. 

Levee agitation is active. 

\Y. S. Tevis and others make tender of sites for city parks, but all of 
them are rejected for one reason or another. 

January 12, 1900 — The corner stone of the Woman's Club Hall is laid. 

January, 1900 — Oil land locators begin to have trouble with scrippers. 

February, 1900 — The electric road between Bakersfield and Kern is soon 
to be started. 

March, 1900 — The Southern Pacific has begun the use of oil as fuel in its 
engines. 

March 16, 1900— Solomon Jewett, H. A. Blodget, L. P. St. Clair, C. N. 
Beal and F. T. Whorfif incorporate the Sunset Railroad Company to build 
a road to the Sunset oil fields where Jewett «& Blodget are largely interested 
in development work. 

March 26, 1900— Truxtun Beale presents to the city of Bakersfield a deed 
to the Beale ]Memorial public library. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 



CHAPTER XIV 
Development of Oil Fields 



Ask the first man you meet on the streets of Bakersfield what gave the 
town its great boost forward about the year 1900, and he is very likely to 
answer that it was the discovery of the oil fields. Perhaps he will be more 
specific and say the discovery of the Kern river oil field. In either case, how- 
ever, he will be very far from the actual, historic truth as to the date of these 
discoveries. Titus Fey Cronise's "The Natural Wealth of California," pub- 
lished i,n 1868 by Bancroft & Company at San Francisco, states that from 
Fort Tejon to Kern river, a distance of forty miles and extending out a 
space of ten miles from the Coast range, the country is covered with salt 
marshes, brine and petroleum springs. Petroleum and asphalt deposits, the 
same authority continues, extend from San Emidio cafion to Buena Vista 
lake (so named by the Spaniards in 1806) the main deposit being eighteen 
miles southeast of the lake. At that place there was a spring of maltha 
covering an acre in extent, the center of which was a viscid pool, agitated by 
gas, and the outer edge of which was hardened into stony asphalt, full of the 
bones of beasts. Works erected here, Cronise says, produced in 1864 several 
thousand barrels of good oil, which was shipped to San Francisco. The 
great cost of transportation prevented the enterprise from being a financial 
success. 

About the same date R. M. Gilbert took a barrel of thick, tarry oil out of 
an oil spring on tlie north bank of Kern river at the lower edge of the present 
Kern river field and hauled it to Solomon Jewett's sheep ranch a few miles 
up the river to mark the sheep with. On April 23, 1872, J. O. Lovejoy 
deeded to the Buena Vista Petroleum Company all his right, title and interest 
in a certificate of purchase dated April 3, 1872, for 640 acres in the northeast 
quarter and the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section nineteen ; 
the west half and the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter, the east half 
and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter and the southwest quarter 
of the southeast quarter of section twenty, and the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion twenty-nine, all in township thirty, south of range twenty-two. This 
comprised the heart of the old McKittrick field, where many of the present 
producing wells are located, and the exact description of the land is given to 
show that even in those days the oil men had learned to "lay the ruler diagon- 
ally across the sections from northwest to southeast" when they studied 
their maps. 

This is sufficient to show that thirty or thirty-five years before the first 
big oil boom in Kern county oil had been discovered in all the great fields of 
the present day except Midwa}^ and Lost Hills. Moreover, six years before the 
oil boom in 1899, when the Kern river field was uncovered and oil began 
to be the principal subject of interest in Kern county, the quiet, laborious 
and not too profitable development of the oil and asphalt industry at McKit- 
trick and Sunset had reached such a stage that the McKittrick railroad had 
been built and the Sunset road was projected. The big oil boom was not, ac- 
cordingly, so much a boom of discovery as a boom due to the ripening of mar- 
ket conditions and the revival of industrial enterprise and expansion after the 
financial depression of 1893-4. Similarly all the later booms have depended as 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 127 

much on outside conditions as on the bringing in of wells in new territory. 
Whenever the market has demanded more oil and the price offered has been 
tempting the oil industry of Kern county has risen to the emergency, and 
there is now every reason to believe that future renewals of the same con- 
ditions will stimulate the industry to renewed activity until the county's oil 
production reaches several times its present great aggregate. 

Early Development at McKittrick 

Aside from the unprofitable efforts of the war-time oil prospectors already 
referred to, the first development of the Kern county oil deposit was in the 
early 70s when a company of Italians from Mariposa county built a crude 
refinery at McKittrick, sunk shafts into the beds of asphaltum and dug some 
shallow wells in search of oil. 

It was the natural thing that development should begin at this place, 
for near the present site of the town of McKittrick violent upheavals of the 
earth in ages past had rent and torn the strata leaving a great body of oil 
sand exposed. From this oil sand the crude petroleum oozed and flowed 
gently over the broken edge of the hill, thickening as the sun and air ex- 
tracted the lighter elements and finally forming great masses oi natural as- 
phalt, pure and clean except for the sand and dust that the winds carried into 
it. At no other place in the county were the oil sands so largely exposed, 
and nowhere else were the surface evidences of petroleum so conspicuous and 
extensive. It was only a matter of quarrying to obtain the asphalt in great 
quantities, and the early operators sought only enough oil to serve as a flux 
for the heavier product that Nature had prepared in her own laboratory. At 
one place the Italians drove a tunnel eighty feet into a mass of asphalt that 
had flowed over the edge of a little canon, but at that time there was no 
railroad in the valley, and it was altogether out of the question to reach a 
profitable market. 

Following the building of the Southern Pacific and the beginning of new 
enterprises in Kern county with the capital of Livermore & Redington and 
J. B. Haggin, the Columbian Oil Company was organized by Solomon Jewett, 
F. R. Fillebrown, Dr. George F. Thornton, J. G. Parke, Alfonse and Jacob 
Weill and others and a well was started on section 13, 30-21, on what is now 
known as the Del Monte property. Parke, who was a civil engineer, had 
some experience in the Pennsylvania oil fields, and was the prime mover in 
the enterprise of the Columbian. The company drilled to a depth of 800 
feet, but by that time the gas pressure had become so strong that the drillers 
were unable to go deeper with the imperfect machinery then obtainable. The 
derrick was moved to section 24, and a contract made for a hole 1000 feet 
deep. The result was a clean, dry hole with neither gas nor oil nor any other 
valuable product. 

Operators Move to Sunset 
The Columbian abandoned the field, and in 1890 the derrick was moved 
to Sunset, where Jewett & Blodget had begun operations. The first activity 
at Sunset began in 1889, when Solomon Jewett, H. A. Blodget, John Ham- 
bleton. Judge J. O. Lovejoy, J. H. Woody, William F. Woods and others 
located 2000 acres of land along the edge of the hills northwest and southeast 
of Old Sunset, organized the Sunset Oil Company, and started a well on sec- 



128 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

tion 2, 11-24, about half a mile west of where the fine producing wells of the 
Adeline Extension were subsequently brought in. 

This first well was drilled by William DeWitt of Tulare, and was located, 
as was the case of nearly all the earlier wells, in a bed of brea, just at the 
point where the oil sands outcropped. DeWitt got a strong flow of sulphur 
water at 300 feet and abandoned the well. Had he moved his derrick a little 
farther to the east he would have developed an oil well at a very shallow 
depth, but instead he found another bed of brea on section 21, 11-23, about 
five miles southeast of his first location, and started drilling there. At a 
depth of 100 feet the drill went into a very heavy oil that rose in the casing 
and oozed over the top. 

Meantime Jewett & Blodget and Charles Bernard of Ventura county se- 
cured a lease on the Sunset Oil Company's 2000 acres of land, and Bernard, 
who had gained some experience in the Ventura oil fields, took over the De- 
Witt outfit and began a new well close to the second hole which was drilled 
by the latter on section 21. By the time Bernard had gone down 300 feet he 
had three strings of tools in the well, and decided that it was cheaper to move 
than to fish them out. He took his derrick to section 13, 11-24, drilled down 
300 feet, got a flowing sulphur water well, and sold his interest in the lease 
to Jewett & Blodget. 

Blodget then took charge of the development of the Sunset field, bought 
the rig of the Columbian Oil Company at McKittrick, and drilled a number 
of small wells along the edge of the outcroppings near Old Sunset. None 
of the wells yielded much oil, but the total output was sufficient to supply the 
flux for making asphalt, and in 1891 the Jewett & Blodget refinery was 
established at Old Sunset. The natural asphalt was quarried as at Mc- 
Kittrick and melted in open kettles with a small amount of crude oil as a 
flux. Then the hot asphalt was drawn off into wooden boxes, and the settlings 
of dirt and sand were shovelled out of the kettles ready for another batch. The 
asphalt was hauled to Bakersfield by teams of sixteen to twenty-four horses 
and shipped east. 

McKittrick Railroad Built 

The expense of this method of transportation was so great that Jewett 
& Blodget through H. F. Williams and A. N. Towne began negotiations with 
the Southern Pacific for a railroad to Sunset and one to McKittrick, where 
Jewett & Blodget were operating also to some extent. The result was an 
agreement in 1892 by which the railroad undertook to build a road to Mc- 
Kittrick within two years, and another to Sunset within five years, Jewett 
& Blodget to secure the right of way and guarantee sufficient business to pay 
the operating expenses. As a part of the agreement, also, the Standard As- 
phalt Company was organized with Jewett & Blodget and the railroad com- 
pany as equal partners. Later the agreement as to the building of the roads 
was amended by the Southern Pacific beginning the construction of the Mc- 
Kittrick branch at once and the Sunset branch construction being postponed 
indefinitely. The McKittrick road was completed in 1893, just in time for 
the financial panic to offset by reduced demand for asphalt the advantage 
of better transportation facilities. The operations of the Standard Asphalt 
Company did not pay, and the partnership between Jewett & Blodget and 
the railroad was dissolved, Jewett & Blodget going back to Sunset and the 
railroad taking the McKittrick end of the business. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUiNTY 129 

Jewett & Blodget kept plodding away in the Sunset field, bringiiig in 
small, shallow wells near the outcroppings, and in 1895 they had a production 
that justified them putting in stills for the manufacture of asphalt. These 
operations comprised the whole of the oil business in Kern county until 1898, 
when ]\lcWhorter, Doheny and others of the advance guard of the first rush 
of oil men began to explore the west side. In 1899 the oil excitement had 
spread from the south and from Coalinga. There was much talk of the Mc- 
Kittrick field and many visitors and prospectors were arriving there from all 
parts of the state. 

One of the men who invested in McKittrick was Judson F. Elwood of 
Fresno, who bought a few shares in one of the early companies and went to 
see what the property looked like. On his way home he stopped to visit his 
brother, James Munroe Elwood, who was keeping a small wood yard in 
Bakersfield. Judson told his brother about his McKittrick oil venture, and 
remarked that the country north of Kern river looked much as it did at 
McKittrick. James Elwood's interest was further excited by overhearing two 
men discussing the story of the oil spring from which Gilbert took the tar 
to mark Jewett's sheep in the '60s. He made inquiries of Thomas A. Means, 
who owned land along the north side of the river, and Means told him that 
the Kern County Land Company, in excavating for a ditch years before, had 
uncovered oil sand and that gas had been seen bubbling up in the waters 
of the river. The exposed oil sand had long been recovered, however, and the 
gas was seen no more. Means for a long time past had been seeking to in- 
terest someone in the oil prospects on the north side of the river, and had 
shown E. L. Doheny and W. S. Tevis over the land without result. Accord- 
ingly he was only too glad to give James Elwood a favorable lease, and 
Elwood wrote to his father, Jonathan Elwood, who was living in Fresno 
county and who was an old prospector, to come and help him find the Kern 
river oil. 

Discovery of the Kern River Field 

In a letter to the California Oil World published August 24. 1911, Jon- 
athan Elwood tells the story of the discovery in these words : 

"James Munroe Elwood and I, Jonathan Elwood, alone and without the 
assistance of anyone, discovered oil on the north bank of Kern river, seven 
miles northeast of Bakersfield on Thomas A. Means' farm. This was in 
May, 1899. We made the discovery with a hand auger, under the edge of a 
clifif, close to the river. Our auger consisted of a piece of thin steel about 
four inches wide and twisted so as to bore a hole about three inches in 
diameter. 

"We had a short piece of one-half inch iron rod, making the bit and rod 
together four feet long. A screw was cut on the end of this rod to receive a 
one-half inch gas pipe which we had cut in four and eight-foot lengths, so we 
could bore one and the other alternately and never have our auger handle 
more than four feet above the ground. We bored a number of holes fifteen or 
twenty feet deep and every time would bore into water sand that we could 
not keep on our auger. 

"We concluded that the bank must have slid down and that we were 
boring where the river had once been. We then went where the bank was 
worn of? by the river perpendicularly thirty feet. We dug back into the bluff 
as if making a tunnel three or four feet, and set our auger on solid formation 



130 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

and in three hours we were in oil sand at a depth of only thirteen feet. We 
had enough auger stem with us to go on to a depth of twenty-five feet and it 
was looking well. 

"We then went up onto the bluff and commenced a shaft, and at the 
depth of forty-three feet we again struck the oil sand. We were then obliged 
to get timber and curb as we went down, as the oil sand was too soft to stand 
up. We were obliged to put in an air blast to furnish fresh air to the man 
below on account of the strong odor of gas. At a depth of seventy-five feet 
there was so much oil and gas that we concluded we had better get a steam 
rig. We got this and went down 343 feet. 

"By this time men were coming there from all over the state, locating 
government land and quarreling over first rights, jumping some that we had 
located, three or four claims deep. The shaft furnished us with oil to run 
our own steam rig also rigs for several of the locators. The first oil taken 
away was when I took four whiskey barrels of it to Kern city and shipped it 
to Millwood for skid grease, getting $1 a barrel net." 

As Mr. Elwood says, by that time people were coming to Kern county 
from all parts of the state, and very soon after they were coming from all 
parts of the world. The boom resulted in development that soon proved the 
land over the great Kern river oil pool, and scattered derricks north along the 
low hills as far as Poso creek. It extended to the Sunset and McKittrick 
fields, and spread a line of prospectors all across the territory between, which 
soon took the name of ]\Iidway. 

Sunset Railroad Built 

In March, 1900, Solomon Jewett, H. A. Blodget, L. P. St. Clair, C. N. Beal 
and F. T. Whorff incorporated the Sunset Railroad Company, and Beal, who 
formerly had been in the employ of the Santa Fe railroad, undertook to in- 
terest President Ripley of the Santa Fe in the Sunset branch. This he suc- 
ceeded in doing, and arrangements were made to float a bond issue of $300,- 
000, guaranteed by the Santa Fe. Before the plan was carried out, however, 
the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific entered into an agreement to build and 
operate jointly all branch or feeder roads terminating at common points. 
This agreement and the death of C. P. Huntington, president of the Southern 
Pacific, delayed the building of the Sunset road until 1902. 

The Southern Pacific in December, 1899, began building the short branch 
from its main line west of the Kern river field into the lower part of the pro- 
ducing territory, where oil from all the leases higher up could be delivered 
by gravity or small pumping power to the loading racks. By these means 
all the producing fields of the county had rail transportation by the latter 
part of 1902 except Midway, which was then hardly in the producing class. 

Begin Building Pipe Lines 

In the spring of 1902, also, the Standard Oil Company began its eight-inch 
pipe line from the Kern river field to Point Richmond, and in October or 
November it was practically ready for use, thus affording a large additional 
means of handling the oil. But the production of oil and the means for 
handling it increased much faster than did the markets. In 1902 the Kern 
county fields produced 9,705,703 barrels of oil. In 1903 the amount had jumped 
to over 18.000,000 barrels. The production of the state was nearly 14,000,- 
000 barrels in 1902, and in 1903 it was over 24,000,000 barrels. The result of 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 131 

this tremendous increase in the supply of a commodity which the state had 
been getting along without only a very few years before could have but one 
consequence — a rapid and steady decline in price. In spite of the decline the 
impetus that the industry had gained from the first excitement carried it 
to a production of 19,600,000 barrels in Kern county in 1904. 

Then the prices went to complete ruin, and the Standard Oil Company 
built great earthen reservoirs — holding a half million to a million barrels each 
— and began tilling them with oil at fifteen, twelve and a half, and finally at 
eleven and twu-thirds cents per barrel. Bankruptcy stared the producers in 
the face. 

Associated Oil Company Formed 

With tlie first appearance of the Standard on the horizon of the Cali- 
fornia oil industry a number of producing companies in the Kern river and 
other fields joined in the organization of the Associated Oil Company, the 
avowed object of which was protection from the aggressions of larger con- 
cerns and economy and efficiency in the marketing of its oil. The Associated 
early effected an alliance with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and 
at the time of the depression in 1904 it occupied a position of great strength as 
compared with the independent, unorganized producers. In fact .the large 
factors in the oil situation in the state at that time were recognized to be the 
Standard, the Associated, the Union Oil Company, the Southern Pacific Rail- 
road and the Pacific Oil & Transportation Company. 

It was early in August, 1904, that the Standard announced that it would 
pay eleven and two-thirds cents for oil in the Kern river field. Although the 
Associated and Standard were commonly supposed to have a working agree- 
ment by which each steered clear of competition with the other, officers of 
the former company gave out that for the sake of accommodating the pro- 
ducer it would pay fifteen cents. About the same time W. S. Porter, general 
manager of the Associated, estimated the overproduction of oil in the state 
at 8,000,000 barrels per year. On .\ugust 15th the Standard, which was at 
that time completing storage reservoirs in the Kern river field at the rate of 
one half-million barrel reservoir per month, announced that it did not care 
to buy Kern river oil at any price. 

Independent Agency Organized 

Oil men estimated that under twenty-five cents per barrel they could not 
produce oil, pay expenses and set aside the sinking fund to meet the value of 
their investments against the time the wells went dry. The plan of shutting 
down the wells was generally discussed, but for many of the companies this 
was wholly out of the question, either because they had leases that required 
the operation of the property or because they had creditors who would not 
consent to wait for their money. On August 23d the Morning Echo of 
Bakersfield printed an interview with H. H. Blood, one of the best known 
of the early operators in the Kern river field, in which the organization of 
the producers was strongly urged, not for the purpose of fighting, as Blood 
pointed out, but for the purpose of facilitating the sale of oil and to prevent 
the indiscriminate, disorganized competition by means of which the pro- 
ducers were constantly opposing each others' interests. 

Blood's suggestion formed a stable point around which the random 
discussion of the situation began to crystalize, and that evening, on the 



132 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

initiative of W. D. Young, a meeting of oil men was called at the National 
Oil Supply Company's office to talk the matter over. The meeting was organ- 
ized by the election of W. S. Morton as chairman and W. D. Young as sec- 
retary, and the secretary was instructed to send out invitations to the ind&- 
pendent producers of the state asking them to meet in Bakersfield on Sep- 
tember 1st for the purpose of forming a permanent organization. On the date 
named representatives of forty-four companies met at the Southern hotel 
parlor, elected Timothy Spellacy chairman and W. D. Young secretary and 
appointed a committee to name a committee of five on organization. 

At that meeting it was stated that between 9,000,000 and 10,000,000 
barrels of oil were stored in the Kern river field, mostly in the reservoirs of 
the Standard. The next day, however, the committee on organization decided 
that the job was too big for it, and another meeting was called for Sep- 
tember 5th to name a committee of ten to draft a plan for the new concern. 
This committee, duly appointed and consisting of T. Spellacy, T. Earley, 
M. V. McQuigg, W. B. Robb, A. H. Liscomb, C. H. Ritchie, W. W. Steven- 
son, F. W. McNear, I. E. Segur and H. U. Maxfield, met on September 10th, 
with all members present, and spent the whole day and until 10 o'clock at 
night in deliberating over the task. A further meeting was held next day, 
and lawyers were called in counsel, among them being George W. Lane, who 
remained with the organization as its attorney until the present day. 

The result of all these serious and extended conferences was the formal 
organization of the Independent Oil Producers' Agency on November 3, 1904. 
On that date incorporation papers were filed in Sacramento having 
first been filed in Kern county, and the following officers were 
elected: President, M. V. McQuigg; first vice president, Timothy Spellacy; 
second vice president, F. F. Weed; secretary, A. H. Liscomb; treasurer, W. 

B. Robb; auditing committee, W. H. Hill, T. Turner and J. Benson Wrenn. 
The directors for the first year, each representing a producing oil 
company, were Timothy Spellacy, W. B. Robb, A. H. Liscomb, W. S. Morton, 

C. H. Ritchie, W. W. Stevenson, L. P. St. Clair, Jr., S. P. Wible, W. H. 
Hill, G. J. Planz, Lesser Hirshfeld, W. A. Ferguson, E. E. Jones, C. C. Bowles, 
J. F. Lucey, J. B. Batz, T. O. Turner, C. A. Barlow, H. A. Jastro, J. Benson 
Wrenn, W. D. Young, T. V. Doub, L. E. Doan, E. Dinkelspiel, Thomas 
Earley, J. F. Ker, F. F. Weed, L. Woodbury, E. Denicke, G. W. Lane, A. J. 
Wallace, M. V. McQuigg, T. M. Gardner, F. P. Fuller and F. N. Scofield. 

The organization, which has had so large a part and influence in the 
making of subsequent history in Kern county as to require especial detail in 
its description, was organized on a plan conspicuous both for its strength 
and its democracy. Each constituent company signed a lease of its property . 
to the Agency for a period of five years, and the Agency executed a license 
and agreement giving each company the right to operate its own property, 
the Agency, however, reserving the right to handle and dispose of all the 
oil produced. Each constituent company was given one share of stock in the 
Agency, entitling it to one vote in all stockholders' meetings. The unique 
feature of this arrangement was that no matter whether the Agency company 
owned a thousand acres of oil land and was producing 100,000 barrels per 
month or had a lease on two and a half acres and was producing 1000 barrels 
per month it had the same voice and vote in the management of the affairs 
of the Agency. It is a matter of history, also, that the Agency has been 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 133 

remarkable throughout almost its entire career so far for the free publicity 
which has been given to its aliairs and its deliberations. A great percentage 
of its directors' meetings at which matters of vital importance have been 
discussed have been with open doors and with representatives of the press 
occupying seats about a table in the foreground. Whether or not it has been 
in any degree a result of this policy, it is a fact that the Agency, struggling 
at all times to increase the price of its product, has had the universal good- 
will of the people of the state, including the "ultimate consumer," who is 
usually supposed to be hostile to any movement for an advance in prices. 

The first plan of the Agency was not to go into the business of marketing 
of oil, and its first sales contract was with the Associated. After two weeks 
of negotiations with the executive committee of the Agency, the Associated 
agreed, on December 23, 1904, to buy, at eighteen cents per barrel, sixty per 
cent of the Agency's total output for the year, estimated at 3,500,000 barrels, 
and to store the other forty per cent at a reasonable rate. 

In view of the fact that the producers had been declaring that oil could 
not be produced under twentyfive cents per barrel and meet all expenses and 
depreciation, this contract was not hailed with absolute satisfaction. It was 
agreed, however, that the executive committee had done as well as it could 
under the circumstances, and the situation was accepted with good grace. 

The low price, hard as it bore on the individual producers, had two good 
effects on the market. It discouraged production and it encouraged consump- 
tion. The production in the Kern county fields fell oiif from 19,600,000 barrels 
in 1904 to 14,487,967 barrels in 1905. In 1906 the Kern county production was 
almost the same, and the production throughout the state increased only 
3.600.000 barrels from 1904 to 1906, inclusive. 

On the completion of the first year's contract with the Associated it 
was renewed at twenty-seven and a half cents per barrel, the half cent 
representing the cost of handling the oil by the Agency. The increase in price 
was very gratifying to the independents, but it did not result, as we have 
seen, in any great immediate increase in production. The prices for the two 
years, however, did permit the marketers to extend the use of oil to new fields, 
with the result that all the stock oil in the state except what was stored in 
the Standard's reservoirs, was well cleaned up by the spring of 1908, and L. 
P. St. Clair, then president of the Agency and charged with the sale of the 
independent oil. was able to close a contract with W. S. Porter of the Asso- 
ciated for two years on the basis of sixty and a half cents for the first year and 
sixty-three and a half cents for the second year. 

The new prices gave the oil producer some of the rewards which his 
toil and waiting had justified, and they also excited the imaginations of oil 
producers, promoters and the investing public generally with visions of 
wealth to be taken from the Kern county oil fi-elds. Pumps were started 
everywhere. Air compressors were installed on leases in the Kern river 
field where the wells had fallen off in their yield or had gone to water, and 
in many instances their oil productivity was revived. Drills began dropping 
everywhere, and Bakersfield felt the blood of a new boom quickening in her 
veins. In 1907 the oil production of the county was 15,600,000 barrels. In 1908 
it had jumped to 17,800,000 barrels, and in 1910 it reached the tremendous 
total of 39,958,000 barrels. 

Fortunately the increase throughout the state did not keep pace with 



134 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the increase in Keni county. Elsewhere the fields were restricted or devel- 
opment expensive or both, and so it happened that of the entire gain in 
yield throughout the state in 1910, five-sixths was credited to Kern county. 
This great increase in output was due only in part to the activity in drilling 
which the higher prices for oil stimulated. Operators working farther out 
from the hills to the north of Alaricopa and in the Midway valley north, 
northwest and east of Taft began reaching the great gusher sands and brought 
in the remarkable procession of flowing wells that made the year 1910 and the 
latter part of the year 1909 famous in the history of California oil. It is 
literally true that many producers got a great deal more oil than they 
expected to get which is saying much, indeed. 

As early as the spring of 1909 the men close to the marketing end of the 
industry began to sound a note of warning against another period of over- 
production, but it always has been hard for producers to curb their native 
instinct to get more oil so long as they had money in the bank to pay the 
bills, and there is something about an oil gusher that fires the imagination 
of the most staid and commonplace of men and makes him a plunger for the 
time being. Two other circumstances lured the oil men on to greater and 
greater activity in drilling new land. The bringing in of the great flowing 
wells of the Midway valley and the development of great gas wells in the 
Buena Vista hills in the latter part of 1909 proved that the oil measures 
crossed the valley from the older portions of Midway and Sunset and rose 
in an anticline beneath the Buena Vista hills. This meant a great extension of 
the practically proven territory, and not only did operators rush in to hold 
all the land within the newly proven strip, but they located everything far 
out on the Elk hills, to the north of McKittrick and to the east of Sunset and 
Old Sunset. Then came the oil land withdrawal of September, 1909, which 
was interpreted as permitting the development of claims on which rights more 
or less shadowy had at that time been secured, but which plainly denied the 
right to any subsequent location of oil claims within the territory described in 
this order. This made it necessary to do something toward development in 
order to hold down the claims already entered, and most of the locators who 
were able to do so either began drilling themselves or leased their claims 
to someone who could proceed with development for them. Others who could 
do neither built cabins or derricks on their land or did some other work which 
they could swear was in line with and necessary to actual drilling. 
The Boom of 1910 

All these considerations and necessities brought about, on the night 
of December 31, 1909, a great rush of locators to the west side fields and 
especially to the Elk and Buena Vista hills. The rush was not heralded, but 
as dusk fell autos loaded with armed men and camping outfits began rolling 
out of Bakersfield and the west side towns, and on the morning of January 1, 
1910, the desert hills were well sprinkled with tents, armed guards and stakes 
from which fluttered the little, white location notices. Nearly all this land 
had been located before in earlier booms, sometimes bv the same narties and 
sometimes by others, and on some of the land were many conflicting claims. 
This conflict of interest caused many encounters and manv threats of violence, 
but for the most part actual hostilities were avoided or the rival forces lay on 
their arms behind their entrenchments while their principals got together 
and divided the land or effected a compromise on some other basis. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 135 

The whole effect of the oil boom of the spring of 1910 was to bring a 
rush of people to Bakersfield and the oil fields that would have done justice 
to any gold excitement in the history of the state. In fact the Nevada mining 
camps gave up a large share of their population to swell the rush to Bakers- 
field. All the hotel accommodations of Bakersfield, Maricopa and McKittrick 
were swamped. Taft, in the Midway field, sprang into existence during the 
year 1909 and in 1910 claimed the supremacy from Maricopa and McKittrick, 
both eif which had been small but prosperous little towns since the first oil 
boom. All the lumber yards of the county were exhausted and train loads of 
derrick timbers were hurried here from all points of supply on the coast. 
The oil well supply houses were almost equally depleted. Strings of big 
teams made new roads radiating fanwise to the northward of Maricopa, Taft 
and McKittrick. and autos kept perpetual clouds of dust hanging over the 
roads from Bakersfield to the west side. Bakersfield experienced the greatest 
building boom in its history, and the new houses were filled as soon as they 
were ready for occupancy. 

[Meantime important things were happening at the end of the industry 
where oil is turned into dollars. In June. 1909, an agreement was made be- 
tween the Union Oil Company, the Independent Oil Producers' Agency of 
Kern county and a similar agency which had been formed among the producers 
of Coalinga whereby the Union became a member of the agencies, putting its 
Kern county property into the Kern county Agency and its Coalinga properties 
into the Coalinga Agency, and also undertook to act as sales agent for the 
oil produced by both Agencies for a period of ten years beginning February 
1, 1910. The agreement included also the formation of the Producers' Trans- 
portation Company, and bound the Agency for a period of ten years to 
deliver its oil to the latter for transportation at certain rates fixed in the agree- 
ment. The Union was allowed by the agreement a commission of ten per 
cent on all sales of oil made for the Agency. An arbitration committee pro- 
vided for in the agreement gave the representatives of the Agencies a direct 
voice in the making of contracts and as a matter of fact, L. P. St. Clair, pres- 
ident of the Kern county Agency (and later of the consolidated Agency, 
when the Kern county and Coalinga organizations were joined in one) has 
1)een the active selling agent so far in the life of the Union-Independent con- 
tract. 

The Producers' Transportation Company, provided for in the Union- 
Independent agreement, built during the winter of 1909-10 a pipe line con- 
necting all the Kern county fields and Coalinga with the ocean at Port Har- 
ford. The Associated meantime had completed its Coalinga-Port Costa pipe 
line down the west side to McKittrick and Midway, the Standard had ex- 
tended its pine line from Kern river to Midway and McKittrick and was 
planning to duolicate the entire line from the west side fields through Kern 
river to Point Richmond. 

All these pipe lines and the railroads reaching every field in the valley 
furnished the necessary transportation facilities, and the chief problem re- 
mained the expansion of the market to consume the oil produced. .\s a means 
of further oreranization of the marketing end of the industry the .'\gency, 
not Ions: after the signiner of the Union-Independent agreement, took into its 
fold the Doheny comoanies. the .American Oilfields, the .American Petroleum, 
the Nevada Petroleum and other big factors in the state's production, and 



136 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

late in 1910 an agreement was negotiated between L. P. St. Clair and the 
Associated Oil Company officials whereby the Associated became practically 
a partner with the Union-Independents in the marketing business. 

Briefly, the Associated-Union-Independent agreement — which was made a 
month to month affair, revocable by either party on notice — makes the Asso- 
ciated the selling agent for the Union-Independents for all the latter's unsold 
oil. The Union-Independents were to retain all their present business, the 
Associated was to retain all its present business, and so fast as the Asso- 
ciated took new contracts (which were subject to approval by the Union- 
Independents) they were to be assigned to the Union-Independents until such 
time as the monthly sales of the Union-Independents should equal the monthly 
sales of the Associated. After that the new business taken was to be divided 
equally. Under a separate contract the Associated agreed to purchase from 
the Union-Independents (which is to say the Agency) all oil which it might 
need outside its own production and present contracts to supply its sales 
contracts. 

The efliect of all these agreements was to make but two large factors 
in the oil industry of the coast, the Agency-Union-Associated combination and 
the Standard Oil Company. It is stated unofficially that an effort was made 
to bring the Standard into a harmonious agreement with the others to pre- 
serve and regulate the oil market in the interest of stability of price and 
production, but while the Standard's Pacific Coast representatives were dis- 
posed to look favorably on the proposition it was turned down quickly and 
decidedly when submitted to 26 Broadway for approval. 

Getting the Markets Organized 

By this organization of the marketing arrangements it has been possible 
to effect a very great saving in the expense of handling the oil. Competition 
of the small, vexatious, mutually expensive sort has been eliminated to a very 
great extent, and by the ability to insure prompt and unfailing deliveries of 
oil in large quantities it has become possible to obtain contracts from large 
consumers of fuel who could not be reached by individual producing com- 
panies or even by smaller combinations of such companies. At the present 
time the larger fuel consumers of the entire state are practically all using 
California fuel oil, and the same is true of western Washington and Oregon 
except in the immediate vicinitv of the coal mines or in the heavy timber 
districts. All the railroads having Pacific Coast terminals are burning oil 
in their engines. The northern railroads have installed but a comparatively 
few oil burners as yet, but the way is opened for a great extension of the 
market in this direction. Oil is used by the steamships plying between the 
Hawaiian islands and the mainland, and by coastwise vessels, and it is be- 
lieved to be but a matter of a short time before oil will constitute a large part, 
at least, of the fuel of the trans-Pacific liners. California oil has found markets 
in Arizona and the northern part of ^Mexico, and has reached down along the 
west coast of South .America. 

Efforts to Check Overproduction 

But all these extensions of the field of consumption have not sufficed to 
utilize all the increase in the production and all durinsr 1910 and the early 
part of 1911 the stocks in the hands of the As:ency continued to increase. Oil 
produced outside the Agency companies, the Associated, and the Southern 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 137 

Pacific and Santa Fe railroads has been sold chiefly to the Standard in the 
last few years, and that company also has added greatly to its stocks on 
hand. Early in the present year the Agency adopted a resolution that in the 
future only so much oil should be received from the constituent companies 
each month as would equal in aggregate the sales of the preceding month. 
Companies producing more than their share of the deliveries on this basis 
have been obliged to store their own oil or shut down their wells to the 
required output. By this means a halt has been called in the increase of 
surplus oil. but the restriction of production is not wholly satisfactory, and 
the Agency is now working on the details of a plan for providing 10,000,000 
barrels of storage for its excess oil and other plans which it is hoped may 
permit the companies to develop and pump their properties without restraint. 

The oil land withdrawals already referred to have served, also, as a bar- 
rier against over-production, although their effect will be more apparent 
in the future than at the present time. Very briefly the history of the oil 
land withdrawals follows : 

Oil Land Withdrawals 

During the sunuuer (if 1909 the news of bringing in of great flowing 
wells on land only recently taken up from the public domain under the placer 
mining laws began to drift east and acting in conjunction with the great 
popular demand for the conservation of natural resources and the retention 
of the title to natural resources by the government, prompted the summary 
withdrawal from further entry of all the public land in the San Joaquin valley 
which was held to be oil bearing by the government geologists. This with- 
drawal order was dated September 27 . 1909. 

Strange or not, as the reader may consider it, little attention was paid 
to the withdrawal order except to stimulate claimants under locations made 
prior to the order to begin drilling or to induce others to begin drilling on 
their account. It was variously held that the executive department exceeded 
its authority in making the order without express authority from Congress, 
or that the order did not forbid drilling on lands which had been covered 
by previous locations. I\Iost of the larger companies took leases on with- 
drawn land from men who held it under these previous locations, and either 
began drilling or indicated their intention to do so by building cabins or 
other improvements thereon and establishing guards or "lease herders" in 
charge. Smaller companies, assuming that the big fellows were acting under 
competent legal advice, did the same. 

The Pickett Bill 

The ensuing Congress passed what is known as the Pickett bill, which 
gave to the President authority to withdraw oil lands from entry, but which 
contained the following provision : 

"Provided, That the rights of any person who, at the date of withdrawal 
heretofore made, is a bona fide occupant or claimant of oil or gas-bearing lands 
and who, at such date, is in diligent prosecution of work leading to discovery 
of oil or gas — shall not be affected or impaired by such order, so long as such 
occupant or claimant shall continue in diligent prosecution of such work." 

Following the passage of the Pickett bill. President Taft made a new 
withdrawal order, dated July 2, 1910, which included all the lands covered 
by the previous order. Subsequently other withdrawals were made, estab- 
lishing the fact that the administration's policy was to withdraw all land in 



138 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the public domain on which there was any reason to suppose that oil might 
be found. 

The Yard Decision 

Further adding to the rigors of the situation as affecting oil land locators, 
a ruling was made by the general land ofiftce officials to the effect that there 
could be no valid location of land under the placer mining laws prior to the 
actual discovery of the oil or other mineral for which it was taken up, and 
another (known far and wide as the Yard decision) to the effect that "a placer 
location for 160 acres, made by eight persons and subsequently transferred to a 
single individual, invalid because not preceded by discovery, cannot be per- 
fected l)y the transferee upon a subsequent discovery." 
Smith Remedial Bill 

By the spring of 1911 the number of acres included in the oil land with- 
drawals had reached the enormous aggregate of nearly four and a half million. 
It should be at once understood, first that hundreds of thousands of acres 
included in the withdrawals probably will never yield a drop of oil, and second 
that the withdrawals were made in blanket fashion and included in the de- 
scriptions of land sent out great tracts which had been patented under home- 
stead claims, railroad grants and otherwise many years before. Nevertheless 
the withdrawals included an immense amount of undoubted oil land, the title 
to which remained in the government, and by far the greater part of this land 
is in Kern county. In very many cases oil companies had spent from $10,000 
to $100,C00 and upward in development work on land to which they would 
have not the slightest title under these rulings and withdrawals, and the 
question of legislation for the relief of these companies and of locators of oil 
land generally became the most urgent public matter in Kern county and 
among oil men throughout the state. A committee of oil men was sent to 
Washington to present the case of the locators and developers to the federal 
authorities and with their aid Congressman S. C. Smith of the Eighth Cali- 
fornia district, whose home was in Bakersfield, succeeded in securing the 
passage cf the Smith remedial oil land bill, which nullified the effects of 
the Yard decision so far as oil lands are concerned and also cleared away in 
part some of the other complexities which had clouded the decision. 

But while the Smith bill rescued from jeopardy millions of dollars in- 
vested in legitimate development on the public domain and enabled many 
oil companies to perfect title to lands which they otherwise would not have 
been al^le to retain, the great 1)ulk of the withdrawals remained in full force, 
ami constituted an eft'ectual bar to further development or extension of the 
producing oil fields. In view of the present overproduction of oil this arbitrary 
restriction of development has not been generally regarded as a thing to be 
regretted except by men who would like to assume the hazard of prospecting 
for oil on the public domain. When the withdrawn land will be restored to 
entry and under what conditions is a problem for the future. It is not likely, 
however, that withdrawn land will again be subject to entry under the placer 
mining laws, these laws having been abundantly shown to be inadequate 
and unfit for application to' oil lands. 

Asphalt and Oil Refining 

Paradoxical as it may appear, the business of manufacturing the products 
of crude petroleum in Kern county antedated the commercial production 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 130 

of the crude oil itself. As has been noted, in the early 70s a number of Italians 
began quarrying asphaltum from the great deposits which were formed in 
the McKittrick hills by the evaporation of the lighter elements of the crude 
oil that seeped from the exposed edges of the broken oil-bearing strata. And 
from this time down to 1898, when the oil boom reached Kern county, the 
primary object of the development in the West Side fields was the production 
of asphaltum. Oil was desired only as a flux for handling the heavier product. 

There is an interesting legend, however, to the effect that kerosene, not 
asphaltum, was the very first commercial product ot the Kern county oil 
fields. Far back, about the time of the Civil war, some old chap, whose name 
the legend fails to preserve, stretched woolen blankets over the pools of 
thick, tarry oil that oozed out of the ground about Old Sunset and got a 
pretty decent quality of illuminating oil by wringing his blankets over a 
bucket after the vapors rising from the pool had saturated them. Such is 
the legend. The writer does not vouch for it. 

The history of the oil refining business in the county, however, begins 
with the establishment of the Jewett & Blodget refinery at Old Sunset in 
1891. From that time until the present the junior member of the firm has 
been engaged in making asphaltum, and, in later years, many other products 
of petroleum, including kerosene, gasoline, distillates, and' lubricating oils of 
different kinds. 

With the development of the Kern river field refineries were established 
there, and because of the special aptitude of the Kern county oils for the 
production of asphaltum the industry developed until, in 1907, ten refineries in 
the countv were producing about 6000 tons of asphaltum per month, valued 
at about ?84,000. 

The number of refineries producing asphaltum has not since increased, 
but there has been a steady gain in the quantity and quality of the output, 
until now Kern county asphaltum is held in the highest esteem by road- 
builders in every part of the United States. The National Oil Refining & 
Manufacturing Compan}-, the Phoenix and others, also, are competing suc- 
cessfully with the Standard Oil Company in the manufacture and sale of 
illuminating oil, gasoline, distillate and all grades of lubricants. 

Natxoral Gas Production 
As has been noted, the presence of gas in the oil-bearing formation was 
one of the difficulties wdiich defeated the first eft'orts to drill oil wells in the 
West Side fields. Nearly all of the wells of the Sunset, Midway and McKii- 
trick fields produce a greater or less quantity of gas, and in the former field 
even the thick, heavy oil from the shallow wells is forced out in intermittent 
gobs, rather than in a steady stream — by the pressure of the gas in the oil 
sands. 

Natural Gas in Bakersfield 

However, it was not until the great gas wells of the lUieiia \'ista 
hills began to come in during 1909 that plans began to be made for the com- 
mercial utilization of natural gas on any large scale. The Standard Oil 
Company began using gas in its furnaces in the \Vest Side fields in the early 
part of 1910, and a little later laid a gas pipe line to carry the fuel to its 
pumping stations on its oil pipe line between Midway and the Kern river 
field. Toward the last of 1910 the California Natural Gas Company, a sub- 
sidiary of the Standard, was organized, and the gas pipe line was completed 



140 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

to the city limits of Bakersfield, where the gas was turned into the distributing 
system of the Bakersfield Gas & Electric Company. 

During the past year a pipe line has been laid from Midway to Los An- 
geles to carry natural gas to that city, and late in the summer of 1913 gas was 
turned into the city mains along with the artificial product. Gas wells in the 
Buena Vista field when first brought in range in output from twelve million 
to fifty million cubic feet per twent_v-four hours, and the force with which 
the gas shoots from the ground when first released by the drill is almost 
irresistible. 

For example, a gas well belonging to the Standard Oil Company on 
section 26, 31-23, one day tore the heavy iron gate from the top of the casing, 
sent it hurtling through the derrick, knocked over six workmen as though 
they had been ninepins, and. went roaring through the derrick top like a 
cyclone, while the men lay stunned on the ground, some of them with broken 
bones, until rescuers came from a neighboring derrick. 

The pressure of the gas in one of the Honolulu Consolidated Oil Com- 
pany's wells on section 6, 32-24, tore away not only the massive iron gate but 
a section of pipe to which it was fastened extending eighteen feet into the 
ground. The outer, "stovepipe" casing was uninjured, and around this was 
dug a pit fourteen feet across and thirty-seven feet deep. This pit was filled 
with concrete to serve as an anchor for another cap with which the well 
eventually was controlled. Before the well was finished, however, the gas 
became ignited, and formed* a giant torch, 125 feet in height, which burned 
until additional boilers could be installed on the lease and pipes laid with 
which to direct a great stream of steam upon the mouth of the well to smother 
the flames. Several of the great gas wells have been set on fire accidentally, 
and their great towers of flame have formed one of the most awe-inspiring- 
sights of the West Side fields, where exhibitions of the power of natural forces 
are not uncommon. 

Making Gasoline From Gas 

During 1910 experiments were made with a process of extracting gasoline 
from gas. The method is similar to that employed in making liquid air, and 
the theory is similar. The gas is alternately compressed and cooled until it 
is reduced to a liquid form. The pressure required is about 400 pounds to 
the square foot, and in some instances two gallons of gasoline are taken from 
1000 cubic feet of gas. The amount of gasoline contained in the gas varies 
greatly, however. The extent of the county's proven gas belt has been 
estimated at seven miles in width and sixteen miles in length, making an area 
of about 72,000 acres. 

Some of Kern County's Famous Oil Gushers 

It is the romance of oil, the ever present possibility of sudden wealth and 
the ec|ually ubiquitous chance of sudden disaster, that moulds the spirit of 
the oil fields, and the spirit of the oil fields was generally the spirit of Kern 
county during the period from 1899 to 1913. And there is no better means 
of setting forth the circumstances that contribute to this romance than by 
recounting the history of the great gushers that made the Sunset and Midway 
oil fields celebrated around the globe in the years 1909 and 1910. 

Great quantities of gas confined in the oil measures of the Sunset field 
have made it throughout its history a field of flowing wells. The earlier 
wells, drilled into the shallower strata of thick, heavy oil, flowed in but 
very small amounts, compared with the gushers of the later period, and in 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 141 

very many cases the flow was the merest trickle over the top of the casing 
or an occasional gob of thick, tarry substance, thrown up with much guttural 
sputtering by the imprisoned gas below. But during the year 1909, wells 
drilled farther out from the hills, and particularly in the northern part of the 
field, produced a lighter oil and a larger flow. Notable airiong these were 
the wells of the Ethel D., the Wellman, the Monte Cristo and the Kern 
Trading & Oil Company in sections 36, 12-24, and 1, 11-24, a mile northeast 
of Maricopa. 

In 1909, also, came the Santa Fe's famous 10,000-barrel well on section 
6, 32-23, in the North Midway field, and in section 10, 32-24, over in the 
Buena Vista hills, nearly seven miles north of Alaricopa, the Honolulu's 
great gasser, drilled down into the oil sand, became an oil well, flowing 
between 3000 and 4000 barrels per day. Other wells that prepared the public 
mind for the big events that came later on the program were the St. Lawrence, 
on section 35, 32-23, the Crandall on 31, 31-25, and the Standard's big wells on 
section 30, 32-24, the largest of which flowed for some time at a rate of 10,000 
barrels per day. 

The bringing in of all these wells proved the whole of the Midway valley 
to be oil bearing, and the Honolulu's strike demonstrated that the oil sands 
extended far out under the Buena Vista hills. A strip of territory roughly 
estimated at sixteen miles in length and five or six miles in width was added 
to the proven oil belt of the Sunset-Midway field, and the cause was laid for 
the oil land boom of 1910, which swept over the whole of the Elk and Buena 
Vista hills, over the North McKittrick front and out along the hills east of 
Old Sunset, far past San Emidio. 

Gushers Start Boom of 1910 

By the end of February, 1910, the secrecy which was first observed by 
the locators who swarmed to the new territory at the beginning of the new- 
year had been cast aside, and the eyes of the whole state were turned to 
the Sunset and Midway fields and the great things that were going on there. 
On March 6th the Mays gusher on section 30, 32-24, broke loose and drenched 
the surrounding country with a rain of oil. There was the widest variation 
in the estimates of the amount of oil produced, and no measurements could 
be made for the reason that very little of the oil was saved during the few 
hours' flow prior to the first sanding up. The state of the public mind, 
however, was such as to accept the biggest estimates most readily, and before 
there was time for a careful decision of the controversy the Lakeview came 
in and for many months thereafter held the center of the stage. A week 
after its first performance the Mays well broke loose a second time, tore away 
a "T" that had been placed on the casing to control the flow, wrecked the 
upper part of the derrick, wet down the desert sands about it with another 
shower of oil, and again sanded. Sometime later the well was brought under 
subjection and became a steady producer of little spectacular interest to the 
public, but of much greater profit to the stockholders. 
Lakeview Comes In 

At 8 o'clock on Monday night on March 14, 1910, the Lakeview gusher, 
at the west end of fractional section 25, 12-24, a mile and a half due north of 
Maricopa, came in with a rush of gas that hurled the baler into the crown 
block of the derrick and followed it with a shower of oil that was estimated 
at 18,000 barrels for the first twenty-four hours' flow. Tuesday night some- 
thing happened down at the bottom of the well, 2260 feet in the earth. For a 



142 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

few seconds the flow of oil stopped and its place was taken by a torrent of 
rocks, sand and gas that filled the derrick with incandescent atoms, tore 
away the top of the derrick in which the baler was still hanging, and sent 
the drillers scurrying for their lives. 

Nobody got very close to the mouth of the Lakeview for many months 
after that. Oil rained on everything for miles around as the breeze carried the 
spray from the gusher. The Union Oil Company's new camp just built on 
a nearby hill, was abandoned, and the neat green cottages soon wore a funereal 
black. Other wells drilling in the neighborhood were left unfinished, fires 
were put out in all the boiler plants within the radius that the gas from the 
Lakeview reached. Hundreds of men and teams were rushed to the scene 
to dig ditches, build dams across gulleys and scrape reservoirs in the earth 
to catch and hold the oil. The sand that the well threw out built a mound 
fifteen or twenty feet high all about the derrick, burying the engine house. 
Graduplly the derrick was torn to pieces by the rushing column of oil, and 
sections of the inner casing of the well were hurled out. The question of 
whether the casing would all be worn out by the cutting of the sand 
and the well become a great crater in the ground became a very serious one. 
The Union Oil Company's engineers tackled the job of harnessing the great 
well with faint hope of sucqess. An hour's work in the suffocating gas and 
drenching oil about the gusher brought $4 or $5 and upward, and men did 
not seek the job at that price. The first futile device for smothering the well 
was a great wooden hood made of timbers a foot or more in thickness. But 
the stream of oil ate its way through the wood, and went on playing the 
biggest and blackest fountain the world ever saw. Every train to Sunset bore 
sightseers, and a line of guards was placed in a great circle about the well 
to prevent the possibility of any accidental ignition of the gas. 

Finally after some months of effort, when the well was largely cleared of 
sand and the upward force of the oil was less, an embankment was built about 
the gusher with sacks of sand anc| earth to a height of twenty or thirty feet, 
thus confining the oil over the mouth of the well and forming a cushion against 
which the big, black geyser could beat. By that time every vestige of the 
derrick was gone, and the well looked like an inky fountain playing in an 
inky pool. 

Meantime, down on the flat a half mile or farther away, lakes of oil were 
accumulating. By September 5,000,000 barrels of oil had been stored in these 
makeshift reservoirs. The seepage was great, and the evaporation was greater, 
and the danger of accidental fire turning the whole into a flood of flame to go 
farther down the valley was the greatest anxiety of all. 
Product Swamps Pipe Lines 

At one time the Lakeview's output reached 68,000 barrels per day, twice 
the capacity of the greatest oil pipe line on the coast. There was no such 
fhing as properly caring for the oil. During the months of September and 
October the Producers' Transportation Company's pipe line to the coast was 
placed almost exclusively at the service of Lakeview oil, and pumps and 
pipe lines installed by the LTnion were set to work forcing the oil from the 
temporary reservoirs on the flat to two new reservoirs built in the edge of the 
hills. These reservoirs, dug in a cafion and protected with earth and concrete 
dams and artificial waterways cut through the hills above them, held five 
million barrels of oil. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 143 

After ten or eleven months of continuous production the Lakeview was 
still delivering 8,000 or 10,000 barrels per day, but its product was a mixture 
or emulsion of oil, water, and mud called "mulsh" by the oil men, and deemed 
of no value at the then low price of good oil. Months later the flow suddenly 
stopped altogether, and after letting the giant slumber undisturbed for a 
respectful period the owners rigged a derrick over the crater, explored the 
hole with the drill, patched up the wornout casing, and finally tapped the 
sands again. The well flowed a little and gave up large quantities of gas, 
but it never resumed its place in the ranks of the big producers. 

The Consolidated Midway 

A mile east of the Lakeview was brought in the Consolidated Midway 
gusher on section 30, 12-23. It was spudded in March 2, lyiO, and on June 
20th went through a thin shell into the gusher sand at 2165 feet. The 10-inch 
casing had been landed at 2145 feet and the last twenty feet of the well was 
an open hole. A gate was fixed on the 10-inch casing and the 10-inch was an- 
chored to the 12-inch, making a total load of sixty-six tons of casing with 
which to hold down the enormous gas pressure which was anticipated. The 
water in the well was baled down 600 feet when the flow started. The well 
soon sanded, but each time it responded to further baling, and each time the 
flow grew greater. Another gate was placed above the first one as a safe- 
guard against one of them being worn out by the friction of sand and oil, and 
later reducers were placed on the pipe above the upper gate to lessen the 
flow and better control the well. The result was that the well, estimated at 
10,000 barrels daily capacity, was as easily and thoroughly controlled as a 
faucet in a kitchen sink. Like most gushers, however, the Consolidated Mid- 
way finally went to water. 

A Procession of Gushers 
Other gushers of the Lakeview group include a 5,000 barrel well of the 
Maricopa-Thirty-Six, on section 36, 12-24; a well of the Sunset Monarch 
which started flowing at a 24,000-barrel rate ; the Standard's three gushers on 
section 30, 32-24, and the Sage wells on section 35, 12-24, belonging to the 
Union Oil Company. The Sage wells were chiefly famous for the terrific bom- 
bardments of sand and rocks which they sent through the tops of their derricks 
at uncertain intervals. At the beginning of these bombardments would come 
a roll of thunder from the casing mouth ; the drillers and tool dressers would 
scamper to the lee of a neighboring hill, and the tools that happened to be 
in the well would go shrieking through the crown block, followed by the 
sand and rock and a little sprinkling of oil. Then the well would choke with 
1500 or 2000 feet of sand in the casing, and the workmen would repair the der- 
rick and tools and begin the long job of digging down toward the oil measures 
again. With a certain amount of sand removed the pent-up gas would hurl 
forth another shower, the casing would sand up again, and the whole process 
would start over again. And this kept on and on, and on, for so manv months 
that everyone except the owners and the immediate neighbors finally forgot 
what eventually became of the Sage sand gushers. 

North Midway Gushers 

Next to the remarkable group of wells of whicli the Lakeview was chief, 
range in interest the magnificent wells of the North Midway valley. Reginning 
with the Santa Fe, St. Lawrence, the Crandall and the Mavs. the North 



144 HISTOR\ OJ- KERN COUNTY 

Midway gusher population was increased by the American Oilfields' great 
No. 79, several lesser producers of the same company, the Eagle Creek, Le 
Blanc, the California Midway, Pioneer Midway, the Visaha Midway and 
Santa Fe on section 25, 31"22, the Midway Premier, Midway Five, on section 
5, 32-23, and others of lesser fame, if not of lesser merit. 

The prince of them all in North Midway was the American Oilfields 79, 
which ranked next to the Lakeview as a producer. At its best it made 22,000 
barrels of oil per day, which is the more remarkable from the fact that it was 
finished at a little over 900 feet with a single string of 12-inch casing and 
produced 23-gravity oil. Like the Lakeview, the well made great quantities of 
sand, and it was impossible to control or diminish its flow. The only thing 
accomplished in this line was to slant a heavy shield of boiler iron over 
the mouth of the well to deflect the column of oil and prevent so much of 
it being lost in vapor. The well gave out great quantities of gas and standing 
on the edge of the great sump built about it, its roar was like that of a Kansas 
tornado heard from the conning tower of a cyclone cellar. The well was 
brought in. in April, 1910, and at the end of the year it was still flowing at 
the rate of 5000 barrels per day. 

The American Oilfield Company's well No. 56 is celebrated as the first 
big Midway gusher to catch fire. It ignited at 1:30 p. m. September 11 from 
a burning sump, and shortly after the well of the Honolulu Consolidated, 
formerly the Crandall, just across the section line to the east, started flowing 
and immediately was ablaze. The two great pillars of flame, 200 feet or more 
in height, burned until 5 o'clock while a frantic swarm of men from all the 
nearby country employed every effort to keep the other flowing wells and 
oil reservoirs in the vicinity from joining in the conflagration. The task of 
putting out the two burning wells was too great to be seriously attempted, 
and a general pean of thanksgiving went up from the tired workers when 
at the last named hour both wells sanded up and went out. During the 
night No. 56 again started flowing and again took fire from the embers of the 
derrick, but it stopped once more of its own accord. 

The Eagle Creek gusher on section 31, 31-23, brought in in April, 1910, 
at 1600 feet, has the distinction of having thrown up a good portion of the 
vertebrae of some deep-buried saurian monster. When the Eagle Creek 
first came in the Santa Fe, just across the section line, stopped flowing for 
a time, and then started in at a greater rate than ever as though in rivalry 
with its new neighbor. 

EfTect on the Oil Game 

The story of Kern county oil gushers might be indefinitely prolonged. 
They continue to come in to the present day, and some of the later arrivals 
rival in interest and output the American Oilfields 79 and the Lakeview 
itself. But the stories related are typical of all the gushers in a general 
way, and the partial list of big wells that were brought in in the first few 
months of 1910 will suggest the fever of excitement and expectancy which 
spread not only over Kern county but throughout the state wherever people 
read newspapers and bought oil stocks. 

The fact that nearly all the gushers were brought in in territory which 
but a few months before had been miles away from the proven oil belt gained 
credence for the promises of the wildest of wildcat oil promoters and there 
was a rush of tenderfeet into the oil game, quite regardless of the fact that the 
product of the gushers was beating the price of oil to the bankruptcy level. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 145 

and that seasoned operators were growine^ more and more pessimistic as the 
stocks of oil on hand increased. 

Fortunately for the old producers and unfortunately for the tenderfeet, 
a great proportion of the drilling begun in the latter half of 1910 proved 
unproductive. Gradually the prospect holes started in the Elk hills were 
abandoned, and the companies that began pushing the line of development 
far out on the Maricopa flat went broke or got tired of paying assessments. 
By the end of 1911 most of the drilling still going on was by old hands in the 
business who had contracts to fill or who had capital sufficient to carrv them 
over the period of low prices. 

In addition to proving the productiveness of a portion of the Maricopa 
flat and practically all of the Midway valley, the drilling since the beginning 
of 1910 has demonstrated that oil underlies the gas formation in the Buena 
Vista hills ; that if there is oil in the Elk hills it is not so easy to find as the 
first prospectors hoped ; that there is a considerable amount of barren or 
excessively deep territory north of ]\IcKittrick ; that just north of this seem- 
ingly barren territory is the Belridge anticline where excellent wells of light 
oil are brought in at shallow depths and that still farther north in the Lost 
Hills country is another shallow formation carrying light oil and large quan- 
tities of gas. 

To the Union Oil Company fell the lot of demonstrating the unprofitable- 
ness of the territory between the McKittrick field and Belridge. It drilled 
a number of deep holes without finding oil in paying quantities, but the big 
concern went about the job in a quiet, systematic, businesslike way that be- 
comes a strong organization that takes the lean with the fat and so there 
was little romance and only a passive public interest in its operations there. 

The same is true of the development of Belridge. which was as profit- 
able as the Union's North Midway venture was unprofitable. The Belridge 
operators were stockholders in the Associated Oil Company and other sea- 
soned oil men, and they staked out the land, sunk some prospect holes, 
found the oil and exercised options on a great amount of land surrounding 
their strike before the public in general knew what was going on. 

The Lost Hills Field 

Martin & Dudley, who were the dominant factors in the discovery and 
development of the Lost Hills field, followed the same plan, but their opera- 
tions were attended by more picturesque features, and the Lost Hills, although 
no more important than Belridge in the matter of production, perhaps, at- 
tracted vastly more attention from the outside world. 

The story of the Lost Hills field really dates from 1899, the year in which 
the Elwoods found oil at Kern river. Orlando Barton, son of one of the oldest 
of the Kern county pioneers, prospected the lonesome desert country in the 
northwestern part of the county from the Devil's Den to the swamp, includ- 
ing in his general survey the present Lost Hills field. In 1907 he helped form 
the Lost Hills Mining Company, and located the section of land on which 
the Lakeshore well, the well in which the Lost Hills discovery was made, is 
now situated— section 30, 26-21. A contract was let to Los Angeles parties 
to drill the section, but it was allowed to lapse without action. The news got 
about in the south, however, that there was government land on which oil 
might be found, and shortly all the government land in the township 
was filed upon by homesteaders. 

The Square Deal Oil Company of Hanford made an unsuccessful effort 



146 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

to reach the oil sand on section 18, and this failure discouraged the home- 
steaders, most of whom abandoned their claims. The Lost Hills Mining 
Company worked its claims for gypsum, and Barton personally remained 
in possession of the land practically all of the time until the Lakeshore well 
was brought in. 

The Discovery Well 

In December, 1909, Barton interested Martin & Dudley, real estate men 
of Visalia, and after looking over the field they acted on the advice of Barton, 
who told them that they would find oil at less than 600 feet. Barton picked 
the location of Lakeshore No. 1, and very early in 1910 Martin & Dudley 
began to drill. 

On March 8, 1910, the well was down 160 feet, and there was so much oil 
in the hole that drilling was stopped, and arrangements were begun to take 
advantage of the strike which the Lakeshore Company felt sure was coming. 
Other rigs were secured, titles to land in the vicinity were looked up, and the 
plans were laid which made Martin & Dudley the complete masters of the sit- 
uation when the field came in some months later. 

The Lost Hills were far out in the midst of the lonesome west side 
desert, but oil prospectors see far, and even out there it was necessary to use 
the utmost caution to prevent premature publicity of the important find. 
Along in May some more drilling was done in the Lakeshore well, and by 
June 3d so much gas was developed that drilling was again stopped to await 
the progress of the other features of the program. The place was fenced 
and guards were left to see that inquisitive people did not get near enough 
to the well to smell the gas. 

In July work was again resumed and on July 26th, at a depth of 463 feet, 
the gas threw the water out of the hole and over the derrick top. After that 
the drillers had frequent shower baths of mud, water and oil, and on July 29th, 
at 527 feet depth the oil was struck and rose within 80 feet of the top of 
the casing, and refused to be lowered more than a dozen feet by the most 
rapid baling. 

The oil sand was not penetrated and the casing was far from the bottom 
of the hole, but Martin & Dudley did not bother about finishing their well in 
the most scientific fashion. They put a cap on it, instead, moved away the 
derrick, obliterated all traces of oil, left a guard to keep strangers outside 
the fence, and began taking options on all the land they could tie up in the 
district. 

How successful they were was demonstrated when the news of the 
strike came out. Martin & Dudley were the big men in the new field, and 
the hundreds of oil men and tenderfeet who rushed to the Lost Hills dis- 
covered that the men from Visalia had some sort of claim on practically every 
piece of land that was worth a prospect hole. Martin & Dudley arranged 
with the Associated Oil Company to take up their options on a great body 
of land along the Lost Hills anticline, and the Associated was the first of the 
big concerns in the new field. The Universal and the Standard also secured 
considerable tracts of land there, and most of the development has been done 
by the three companies. 

But it took time for prospectors and would-be prospectors to find out 
how thoroughly Martin & Dudley had preempted the ground. Scores of men 
who had overlooked the opportunity to get in on the ground floor when the 
other oil fields were opened up, resolved not to sleep on their chances in the 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 147 

Lost Hills, and after the first profound skepticism concerning the genuine- 
ness of the new strike gave way to conviction, the dust got no chance to 
settle on the road between Bakersfield and the little ridge of sand that was 
understood to mark the apex of the Lost Hills anticline. It was proclaimed 
as a poor man's field. The territory was wonderfully shallow, and a well 
could be drilled with a light, portable rig and stovepipe casing, according to 
popular report. So there was presently a string of portable rigs headed 
toward the Lost Hills. Also there were men with shotguns and rifles to 
hold the claims against the rival prospectors, and later on there were law- 
suits to determine the relative value of homestead filings and mineral claims. 
Then winter came on, and showers of rain amounting to half an inch or less 
made the alkaline roads almost impassable. The Associated built a standard 
rig a little west of the anticline and drilled for weeks and months, without 
finding any oil so far as the public knew. Water and fuel were difficult to 
get, and the portable rigs were not efficient. So the tenderfoot operators got 
out with as little loss as they could manage, and the field was left to the 
big concerns. 

With a number of good walls brought in a little to the south of the 
Lakeshore, the big companies soon put Lost Hills in the list of producing 
fields, and the output continues to increase with a few strong concerns doing 
all the development. 

A Field Not Yet Arrived 

One other oil e.xcitement punctuates the history of the industry in Kern 
count)'. In the fall of 1912, Dr. A. H. Liscomb, a pioneer operator of the 
Kern river field, and a number of his friends, and Harry C. Rambo, a rancher 
of Semitropic, and a number of his friends formed a theory that the con- 
necting link between the West Side oil formation and that of the Kern 
river field was via the ridge of land that runs northwest past Lerdo and 
Semitropic in the general direction of Lost Hills. They were strengthened in 
this theory by the assurance of a Mrs. Brown, who used an instrument in 
detecting the presence of oil and minerals hidden in the earth. They tested 
Mrs. Brown's powers by having her expert land in proven fields and checking 
her figures against the logs of drilled wells, and finally they secured options 
on a large body of land at prices based on its probable value for agriculture, 
and began drilling two wells. The Liscomb well made the most progress, 
and early in January, 1913, a reported strike of exceedingly light oil started 
a miniature oil boom over all the territory between Wasco and the swamp. 
If any oil was found in the Liscomb well, however, it was drowned by water, 
and the well had to be abandoned. The Rambo well was a failure for the same 
reason, and although one or other of these parties have been drilling almost 
steadily throughout the year, neither has yet made a strike that the oil public 
accepts as of any value. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 



CHAPTER XV 
Progress of the County From 1900 to 1913 

The events of larger and more permanent importance which have trans- 
pired in Kern county between 1900 and the summer of 1913, when this chron- 
icle closes, range themselves under four heads : Development of the oil fields, 
the beginning of a new agricultural development through the agency of 
pump irrigation, a great advance in permanent construction in Bakersfield, 
including a better class of dwellings, business structures, public buildings and 
paved streets, and a steady improvement in civic standards coincident with 
the transition of the county from a field of speculation and transient resi- 
dence to one of investment and permanent homes. 

First honors are due to the oil development, for it occupied the mosi 
conspicuous place in the public interest and because, to a very large degree, 
it made all the other developments mentioned possible. Because of theii 
importance and for the sake of continuity in the narrative, the discovery and 
development of the county's oil fields have been given a chapter to themselves 
Second place in logical sequence belongs to the development of pump irriga- 
tion and the new agricultural and horticultural enterprises which it opened 
up. 

Development of Pump Irrigation 

A history of the efforts of the first pump irrigators would be but a dreary 
and disheartening tale. As other portions of this narrative have shown, the 
waters of Kern river were early appropriated by the owners of the delta 
lands that lie in the lower portion of the valley, leaving only the scanty 
rainfall — averaging between six and seven inches per season — to wet the 
equally rich lands along the mesa and the higher or more distant portions of 
the plain. The efforts of the dry grain farmers demonstrated that the mesa 
lands were not only fertile but easy to work. Many of the grain farmers 
installed windmills to pump stock and domestic water, and the surplus was 
used to irrigate vegetable gardens and small family orchards. This demon- 
strated, first that good water wells were to be found in any part of the valley 
or tlie mesas at depths varying with the elevation of the surface ; second, 
that comparatively little water was necessary to make the soil productive, 
and third, that on the higher lands the growing season was even longer 
than in the trough of the valley, and the winter frosts were less severe. The 
magnificent area of the dry plain and mesa lands offered a tempting prize for 
successful pump irrigation, but the difficulties that faced the first experi- 
menters were practically insurmountable. 

These experimenters lived before the day of gas engine efficiency, and 
suitable fuel for steam engines, prior to the development of the oil fields, 
was not to be had. The steam engines used for threshing grain burned straw, 
and some of the first pump irrigators lifted their water with these straw- 
burners. Others used for fuel the sage brush which they cleared from their 
land. Both methods were laborious, expensive and generally unsatisfactory. 

The early pumps were inefficient, and when a fairly successful combina- 
tion of pump and engine was effected the irrigator had trouble with his well. 
The first wells were well suited to windmill power, but when greatly in- 
creased drafts were made upon them by larger pumps great quantities of 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 149 

sand were sucked out with the water, and presently the walls ot the well 
near the bottom caved in, choking off the supply of water with quantities of 
falling clay. Not a few of the early pump irrigators became insolvent trying 
to construct wells that would not cave in, and the general pessimism as to the 
possibility of obtaining water in any considerable quantities by this means 
increased. 

Simultaneously all these discouraging experiences were suffered in the 
vicinity of Delano, at Rio Bravo, in what is now the Wasco country, and 
on the mesa southeast of Bakersfield. Gradually the pump irrigators learned 
to make the perforations in their casing so small that only the finer grains 
of sand could be drawn through, and also to attach one pump to several wells 
so that the suction on each well would be reduced. 

A great boost was given to pump irrigation by a lowering in the price 
of gasoline and distillate that followed their manufacture in the Ivern county 
oil fields, and by the production of a light oil at Coalinga that could be used 
in the gasoline engines without refining. 

In the spring of 1902 pump irrigation had reached about this stage of 
development and was being taken seriously by the people of Delano where 
Ben Thomas, Frank Schlitz, R. \\'. Lockridge and several others were suc- 
cessfully operating plants. At Rio Bravo, about this time, H. S. Knight was 
making about the same progress, and the Kern County Land Company had 
installed several pumps at Rosedale and Stockdale and was operating them 
with electricity to supplement canal irrigation in dry seasons. But the new 
means of irrigation made progress very slowly so far as practical results were 
concerned and in the succeeding five years the area made productive by this 
means did not materialh- increase. 

Experiments at Wasco and McFarland 

With the founding of Wasco colony in the spring of 1907 the success of 
• an entire community was staked on pump irrigation for the first time in Kern 
county. And the outcome for the first two years was full of doubt. Most of 
the colonists were short of funds and had to make payments on their land 
in addition to meeting their living expenses and the constant demand for 
buildings, fences and implements that goes with the founding of a new farm. 
For this reason the mutual water company which the colonists formed to 
sink wells and install pumping plants practiced a frugality far in excess of 
true economy. Second-hand pumps and engines were purchased, cheap ditches 
were built, and the inevitable poor service brought hard times to the irrigators 
and fomented one storm after another in the stockholders' meetings. 

Despite discouragements, however, the sturdy Wasco colonists gradually 
replaced their poor pumping equipment, laid cement ditches and conduits, 
and in 1911, when the San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation began cover- 
ing the farming districts of the county with transmission wires, they sub- 
stituted electric power for gasoline. From that date the advancement of the 
colony was very marked, and in a couple of years more it had come to be one 
of the show places of the county's farming districts, outranking in attractive- 
ness and evidences of prosperity the rich delta districts where cheap canal 
water had been available for many years. 

McFarland colony, founded a year later than Wasco, went through less 
hardships in its earliest infancy because Wasco's mistakes were largely 
avoided and better equipment gave good results from the start. To McFar- 



150 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

land and Wasco, almost equally, is due the credit of having lifted pump 
irrigation from the slough of doubt and discredit and made it generally recog- 
nized in the county as one of the greatest factors in the county's agricultural 
development. 

Development of the Citrus Belt 

What Wasco and McFarland did with pump irrigation in the alfalfa and 
deciduous fruit districts, the Edison Land & Water Company is doing in 
the citrus belt. The company began sinking wells at Edison in the winter 
of 1908, and planted its first orange trees in the spring of 1909. It was for- 
tunate in possessing ample capital, and all the improvements were of the best 
character and workmanship. Deep well pumps were installed and electricity 
was secured from the power generating plant in Kern river cafion. An 
abundance of water was obtained where a few years previous it was sup- 
posed no considerable amount of water could be developed. The orange trees 
did well from the start, and the following year many orange growers from 
the southern part of the state became interested. In 1911 and 1912 the 
acreage planted was greatly increased. The unprecedented frosts of 1912-13 
checked planting at Edison as in every other part of the state, but the sum- 
mer of 1913 demonstrated that the trees in the Kern citrus belt had suffered 
no more than in the most favored citrus districts and that the full extent of 
the damage would not exceed the loss of a year's growth of the trees. 

Meantime pumping plants were being installed at intervals all over the 
great belt of mesa land that stretches south and southeast from Edison, around 
Delano and all along the high sloping lands to the east and southeast of that 
place. At Rio Bravo the same progress is being made, and the new colonies 
of Shafter and Lerdo are laying good foundations for a similar success. 

Pumping Plant Extension in 1912 

The Lerdo colony was founded in 1912 by a corporation controlled by 
the same men who are the dominant factors in the San Joaquin Light & ' 
Power Corporation, and one of the purposes in mind was to furnish a market 
for electrical power which the latter concern would supply. Wells were sunk 
and pumps and electric motors installed before any land was offered for sale. 
Active selling began in the spring of 1913. Shares in the wells and pumping 
plants go with the land, which is sold on long time payments. 

The Lerdo colony proposes to make a specialty of hemp and ramie 
culture. George W. Schlichten, inventor of an improved decorticating ma- 
chine, is taking the lead in this enterprise and promises to furnish a market 
for the product of all the lands planted to ramie as well as to assist in fur- 
nishing the plants necessary to get the ramie fields established. 

The Shafter colony is a venture of the Kern County Land Company. A 
number of wells have been sunk on the Shafter lands, but this is only for the 
purpose of demonstrating the water supply. The company does not propose 
to sell wells and pumping plants with the land, but it will let each buyer 
develop his own water. 

On the mesa south of Edison are the Sunflower colony, the Citrus Foot- 
hill Farms colony, and numerous small centers of development all estab- 
lished within the past three years. 

As a result of all these successes and promises of success the people of the 
county, who were very doubtful of the practicability of pump irrigation a 
very few years ago, have come to believe that eventually every acre of arable 



I 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 151 

land in the valley portion of the county not irrigated from canals will he 
reclaimed by means of pumping plants. 

Conservative estimates place the number of pumi)ino- plants in operation 
in Kern county at the present time at not less than 1500. Of this number 
about 275 are run by electricity and the remainder by gasoline engines. The 
San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation supplies current for 250 of the pumps 
and the remainder is furnished by the Mount Whitney Power Company, whose 
lines extend into the country about Delano. 

The engines and motors average about ten horsejiower each, and with 
the average lift they are capable of raising water to irrigate about 45.000 
acres in the aggregate, or about thirty acres for each ten horsepower. 

Of the total number of pumps about eighty per cent were installed 
within the past five years, and about 500 were installed during the past year. 
At present about fifty are in process of installation, and between ten and 
fifteen well-drilling outfits are kept busy developing water for prospective 
pumj) irrigators. This summer Miller & Lux are preparing to install pumps 
and motors which will utilize about 700 horsepower of electricity in raising 
water to irrigate the old swamp land north of Buena Vista lake reservoir. 
This will be the first extensive use of pumping plants in this section, and their 
installation is due to dry seasons just past when Miller & Lux's share of the 
waters of Kern river have been inadequate for their needs. 

In addition to the activities of its allied corporation at Lerdo, the San 
Joaquin Light & Power Corporation is actively aiding the extension of pump 
irrigation by a liberal policy of extending its transmission lines into new 
territory where there is any prospect of building up a market for power. The 
company also is promoting experiments in the most economical use of water. 
Rates for electric power still remain at the seemingly exorbitant figure of 
$50 per horsepower per year, but the pumpers are looking forward to a sub- 
stantial reduction in rates when the use of electricity for this purpose becomes 
more general. 

At this time, the summer of 1913, electric power is available for pumping 
at Delano, McFarland, Famoso, ^^'asco, Shafter, Lerdo, Edison, and all the 
country south and east of Pjakersfield so far as the pump irrigators have 
ventured, which is about to the lower line of township 31. 

Planting Apples at Tehachapi 

I^'ollowing close <in the successful devehipment nf the valley districts as 
just related came evidence that the mountain valley country about Tehachapi 
is especially adapted to the cultivation of apples, pears, cherries and other 
deciduous fruits of that character. Tehachapi's metamorphosis from a stock 
and grain country to a fruitgrowing district began in 1910 when B. M. Denison 
sunk a thirteen-inch well, installed a pumping plant and planted forty acres to 
Bartlett pears. The evidences of an ample water supply and the growth 
made by the young trees encouraged other ventures, and at this time 
the young orchards about the mountain town make an imposing displa3\ 

Still later the pumping plant invaded the desert about Rosamond and 
Willow Springs, and in the far northeastern corner of the county at Inyokern. 
In the latter place a good beginning was made last spring in the planting of 
deciduous fruit trees as well as in the raising of grain and alfalfa. 

As this book is designed mainly for future reading it may lie well to 
leave the future to put its own appraisement on the permanent value of the 
experiments and developments recounted. Suffice it to say that they have 



152 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

been the means of awakening a new interest in the agricultural and horti- 
cultural development of the county, and also of raising the market value of 
the arid plain and mesa lands from almost imperceptible figures to anywhere 
from $20 to $100 per acre. The higher prices are paid for lands nearer the 
centers of development. Still higher prices are asked for land close to Bakers- 
field or for land on which pumping plants have been installed and water de- 
veloped. It is the common belief that these prices will continue to ascend, 
although the vast area subject to development and settlement and the moder- 
ate rate at which these processes so far have proceeded may make any further 
advance in values equally deliberate. 

Status of Fruit Growing in 1913 

Figures collected by Kent S. Knowlton, county horticultural commis- 
sioner, show a total of 444,000 fruit trees in the county, in the summer of 1913, 
of which 121,500 are bearing and 322,500 non-bearing, and 935 acres of grape 
vines, 660 acres of which are bearing. 

The acreage in grape vines has fallen off greatly since the early days of 
the Rosedale colony, when large numbers of raisin vineyards were planted. 
The ill success of the Rosedale colonists and years of low prices for raisins 
discouraged the raising of grapes, and no great extension of this industry is 
in sight at present. 

That oranges and apples are forging to the front as the county's leading 
fruits is shown by the following table, which is prepared by the commissioner 
and which also shows at a glance the recent progress of fruit growing in the 
county : 

Fruit Trees in Kern County in 1913 

Variety Bearing Non-bearing 1 year 2 year 3 year 4 year 

Apricot 20,000 12,000 4,000 3,000 3,000 2,000 

Apple 10,000 92,500 48,000 30,000 10,000 4,500 

Fig 1,000 

Olive 4,000 15,000 15,000 

Peach 50,000 15,000 3,000 3,500 3,500 25;000 

Pear 1,500 65,000 20,000 35,000 15,000 10,000 

Plum 5,000 6,000 2,000 2,000 1,000 1,000 

Prune 20,000 2,000 1,000 500 500 

Orange 10,000 115,000 25,000 45,000 25,000 20,000 

These figures, of course, do not include trees in family orchards, and 
small orchards of lemons, cherries, almonds and walnuts are omitted. Most of 
the apple and pear trees are in the Tehachapi country, and the bulk of the 
orange trees are around Edison and Delano. 

Bakersfield in 1904 

As will be noted more fully in the chapters devoted to the oil industry, 
the enormous increase in oil production from 1902 to 1904 resulted in a com- 
plete demoralization of the market and brought not only the threat of bank- 
ruptcy to the producers, but general depression to all lines of business in 
Bakersfield, which by that time had become a distinctively oil town, recog- 
nized as the center of the oil industry of the state and chiefly dependent on 
that industry for its prosperity and growth. As a matter of fact, Bakersfield 
continued to grow and business remained reasonably good even during the 
summer of 1904, which saw the price of oil drop to the ruinous figure of 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 153 

eleven and tvvo-tliirds cents per barrel. But the air was blue with pessimism. 
On the street corners it was alternately predicted that consumption never 
would overtake production, and that the Kern river field was going to water 
and its derricks would be sold for kindling wood in a few years more. 

Good Times Return 

But both prophecies failed. Kern river continued to' produce, and fol- 
lowing the organization of the Independent Oil Producers' Agency prices 
began to recover. In the spring of 1908 the Agency closed a contract with the 
Associated for sixty and one-half cents per barrel, and a new oil boom began 
that presently filled Bakersfield to such a state of overflowing that visitors 
to the town were compelled to telegraph ahead at least twenty-four hours to 
secure any sort of sleeping quarters, either in the hotels or in the rooms, in 
private residences and elsewhere throughout the city, which tlie liotel ])ro- 
prietors had leased to meet the emergency. 

Under such circumstances a building boom was inevitable and in 1909 
began a rush of construction that involved a total investment in residence and 
business buildings before the close of 1910 estimated at upward of $2,500,000. 

Quite as significant as the size of the investment was the fact that the 
buildings generally were of a better character than had been erected pre- 
viously in the city's history. The cost of the business buildings erected 
during this period ranged from $10,000 to $70,000, and the residences from 
$1500 to $17,000. Among the business buildings built at this time are the 
Brower building at Nineteenth and I streets, the Manley apartments at 
Eighteenth and F, the Security Trust Company's bank at Eighteenth and 
Chester, Southern hotel annex on Twentieth street, an additional story on 
the Southern hotel, the Redlick building at Eighteenth and Chester, the Willis 
building on South Chester, the Rice building and Baer building on diagonal 
corners at Chester and Twenty-first, the Kosel hotel, Herrington-Cohn build- 
ing, Bakersfield garage. Southern garage, Kern Valley garage, Webster 
garage and extensive additions to the Mason & Flickinger garage. The auto- 
mobile business was in its glory. 

It is particularly worthy of note, also, that during this period a great 
number of well-to-do Bakersfield people who had been living in apartments or 
rented houses, manifestly because they lacked a feeling of permanence and not 
from lack of means, cast their lot with the city by building handsome and 
expensive homes. The change of sentiment that accompanied this action 
was very marked. Previously a very great proportion of the residents of 
the city considered themselves as sojourners only, and did not disguise from 
themselves or others their expectation of making their permanent residence 
elsewhere when they had accumulated a fortune, a competence or a working 
capital from the easy money that circulated in the oil town. 

Raising the Civic Standards 
To this change of attitude may be traced a new public sentiment de- 
manding the elimination of various forms of flagrant vice that had been 
tolerated as symptoms of the general fever of speculation and endurable 
in a city of temporary sojourn, but instantly recognizable as out of place in a 
city of permanent homes. The public dance halls, conducted as adjuncts of the 
more disreputable saloons, went first as the result of a crusade in which a 
number of prominent private citizens served in tlie capacity of special officers 



154 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

to make arrests. Efforts to curb illegal forms of gambling continued long 
with vacillating symptoms of success and failure. Gradually the worst places 
were closed, and the professional gambler sought less troubled fields of oper- 
ation in the new West Side oil towns. The slot machines vanished in a day 
when the state law making it an offense to have them on one's premises went 
into effect. In the spring of 1911 an effort on the part of the city trustees 
to narrow the boundaries of the redlight district provoked a war between 
keepers of rival resorts and an injunction suit brought at the instance of one 
of the parties closed every known disorderly house in town. Strenuous efforts 
were made to effect a compromise, but public sentiment refused to permit 
any retrogression, and two years later the old redlight district remains prac- 
tically deserted. 

Consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern 

Occasional movements for the consolidation of Bakersfield and the rival 
town which the Southern Pacific railroad founded under the name of Sumner 
and incorporated later under the name of Kern, resulted finally on February 
25, 1908, in an election in which the union was defeated by ten votes in 
Kern, although the voters of Bakersfield approved it by a majority of 342. On 
December 21, 1909, however, a second election resulted in a vote of 265 for, to 
154 against, in Kern, and 518 for, to 186 against, in Bakersfield. The first 
election of the consolidated city, held on July 18, 1910, resulted in the selection 
of the following officers: Trustees, W. V. Matlack, J. R. Williams, F. L. 
Gr.ibble, H. S. Dumble, P. L. Jewett ; board of education, L. G. Pauly, George 
Hay, H. A. Blodget, G. L. Snider and Celsus Brower ; city clerk, H. F. Mur- 
dock ; city attorney, Matthew S. Platz ; marshal, James McKamy ; treasurer, 
A. Weaber; recorder, W. H. Thomas; assessor, Ben L. Brundage. In April, 
1911, the date of the regular elections for cities of the fifth class — which class 
the consolidated city assumed — the trustees and nearly all the other city 
officials were re-elected. 

Bakersfield Paves Her Streets 

The same new feeling of permanence and proprietorship in the city's 
future that prompted the building of many residences and the improvement 
of moral conditions showed further evidence in the demand for better streets, 
and following the consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern and the election of a 
new board of city trustees in the summer of 1910 systematic preparations 
for a long campaign of street paving were begun. The city leased a gravel 
pit at the west end of Panorama heights, installed a screening plant and 
purchased a steam traction roller and other street-building apparatus. All 
of these were placed at the disposal of street contractors for the purpose of 
inducing favorable bids for paving. 

The first ambitious job undertaken was the paving of East Nineteenth 
street. Grove and Park streets, connecting the business centers of East 
Bakersfield and the main portion of the city. This main thoroughfare of the 
city had been in a chronic state of bad order from time immemorial, owing 
to the heavy traffic and the light, friable soil of which the roadbed was 
made. Nothing short of a standard pavement would answer the requirements, 
and the fact that a large percentage of the abutting property was vacant and 
producing no revenue discouraged the hope that the owners would bear the 
expense of pax'ing. However, the city trustees adopted a resolution ordering 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 155 

the work done under the Woonian act, and the proceedings went through 
without protest. 

Long before the paving of East Nineteenth street was completed prop- 
erty owners on other streets began tihng petitions for similar improvements 
at their expense, and for two years the work has continued without inter- 
ruption about as fast as the facilities at hand would conveniently permit. 
During this time about 200 blocks have been paved at a cost of a little over 
half a million dollars, and indications are that the campaign will continue 
for many ensuing months. 

Bonds for County Roads 

Considerations similar to those that prompted the paving of Bakers- 
field streets, coupled with a desire to bind together the several centers of 
development in the county, led, in the summer and fall of 1912, to a county- 
wide agitation in favor of a county system of permanent roads. At this 
time the preliminary survey for the state highway had been comijleted 
through the county, following the Southern Pacific railroad from the north 
county line to Bakersfield, and running thence in a nearlj- southerly direction 
through Tejon canon to Los Angeles. People interested in the Tehachapi 
and desert sections of the county continued their efforts to have the state 
road routed past the mountain town, but it was officially assumed that the 
Tejon route would be adopted, and the county highway commission, con- 
sisting of C. E. Getchell, A. J. Woody and J. L. Evans, laid out a proposed 
system of county roads branching from the line of the proposed state high- 
way and reaching all the important centers of population of the county save 
Randsburg and the farthest eastern portion of the desert section. This plan 
was submitted to the voters of the county on July 8, 1913. and was approved, 
together with a bond issue of $2,500,000 for carrying it out. The vote was : 
For the bonds, 2,529; against the bonds, 693. 

The bond issue as submitted to the voters provided for improving the 
following roads at the estimated costs indicated: Delano to the Tulare county 
line, 8.5 miles, $37,243; Wasco to AIcFarland, 11.6 miles, $66,327; Wasco to 
Lost Hills, 21.3 miles, $274,766; Rio Bravo to \\'asco, 18 miles, $87,237: 
Bakersfield to AIcKittrick, 37.6 miles, $325,207; McKittrick to Maricopa, 25.5 
miles, $249,244; Bakersfield to Taft, 37.1 miles, $378,609; Old River school 
house to JMaricopa, 28.7 miles (connecting with road from Taft to Bakersfield) 
$252,314; Bakersfield to Oil Center, 7.4 miles, $67,405; Bakersfield to Sand 
Cut, 21.5 miles, $90,086; Weed Patch loop, 13.3 miles, $69,010; all the fore- 
going graded and paved, and the following only graded : Oil Center to 
Glennville, 30.5 miles, $80,775 ; Sand Cut to Tehachapi, 28.2 miles, $300,663 ; 
Tehachapi to Mojave, 20.8 miles, $86,483; Caliente to Kernville, 38.5 miles, 
$80,775; Randsburg-Johannesburg-Stringer district highwavs, 14.5 miles, 
$53,850. 

Public Buildings of 1900-13 

The new county court house heads the list nf important ])ul)lic l)uil(lmgs 
erected in the county in the past decade. A $400,000 bond issue for its erection 
was approved by the voters on September 14. 1909, and construction was be- 
gun in July, 1910. F. J. Amweg of San Francisco secured the contract for 
S340,827. The site, which includes two blocks on the east side of Chester 
avenue between Truxtun avenue and Fifteenth street, was bought from 
Miller & Lux and R. E. Houghton for $16,000, and about $50,000 was spent 
on the interior furnishings and the improvement of the grounds. The build- 



156 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

ing is of white Manti stone, is three stories and basement and covers a ground 
space of eighty-two by two hundred and forty-five feet. 

The old court house occupying the block across Chester avenue to the 
west, was sold to the city of Bakersfield for a city hall for $125,000 on July 9, 
1913. Funds for the purpose and $25,000 additional for the remodelling of 
the building were voted by the city on June' 18, 1912, at which time, also, 
were approved bond issues as follows : For the construction of a supple- 
mental sewer system, $210,000; for the construction of two new fire stations 
and the purchase of a new auto-driven equipment, $60,000; for a library 
building and site for East Bakersfield, $27,000. 

Church Building 

That the progress of the churches has kept pace with other lines of 
improvement during the past decade is witnessed by the fact that nearly 
every church organization has erected a new building or made extensive 
additions to its old one during that time. Handsome and commodious brick 
structures have been built by the Methodist Episcopal, Roman Catholic and 
Baptist. The German Lutheran, East Bakersfield Methodist and Christian 
Science churches have' built frame buildings, the Methodist Episcopal Soutii 
and the Christian churches have made important additions, and the Presbyte- 
rian and Congregationalist are beginning fine brick edifices. Most of the new 
church buildings are equipped for institutional work to a greater or less 
degree. The Catholic church has maintained a parochial school for three 
years past, and the Sisters of Mercy have this year completed a large brick 
hospital on West Truxtun avenue to supplement a commodious wooden 
structure which they purchased several years ago. 

Progress of the Schools 

Recent events of importance in the city and county educational systems 
include the introduction of manual training in the city schools in January, 
1903, and the addition of a thorough course of domestic science under the 
direction of Mrs. F. B. Thomas in 1906. Inspired by the same practical aim, 
the high school, which was organized in 1893, added consecutively courses 
in bookkeeping, commercial law and stenography, manual training, domestic 
science, agriculture and assaying. Land for a high school farm was leased 
in 1909, and in June, 1910, the county supervisors purchased for $16,000 the 
twenty-seven acres comprising the old Hudnut place and used just previously 
as a county fair ground. This land, which lies in the northern part of the 
city, is being improved steadily as an experiment station where high school 
pupils are taught the practical art of husbandry, propagation of plants, 
breeding of stock, dairying and poultry raising. The manual training depart- 
ment, meantime, has grown to include a well equipped machine shop, a 
wood-working department, blacksmith shop and foundry, all housed in a 
commodious manual arts building of brick and concrete floors, erected in 
1911. The first high school building was finished in 1895, and the second in 
1906. 

At the present time plans are being perfected to add to the regular 
academic course the first two years' work of the university, which will enable 
graduates of the high school to enter the state university as juniors, and will 
much better equip those who end their period of instruction with their high 
school graduation. 

In 1910 there were 5812 school children in the county, eighty school 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 157 

districts, and 168 teachers. The school property of the county was appraised 
at $470,667. In the same year Bakersfield and Kern contained 2600 children 
of school age, and $66,289.36 was expended in their education. Since that 
time the growth of the city schools has required the building of three new 
school buildings and the construction of additions practically doubling the 
capacity of two others, and during all of the time it has been necessary to 
use temporary buildings to keep pace with the demand. 

The Rescue of Lindsey B. Hicks 

No more intensely dramatic incident has happened in the history of 
Kern county than the rescue of Lindsey B. Hicks just before midnight on 
December 22, 1906, after he had been buried nearly sixteen days under thou- 
sands of tons of earth by the caving in of the great shaft of the Edison 
Electric Company at its power generating plant in Kern river canon about 
seventeen miles above Bakersfield. The accident occurred in the process 
of putting the heavy steel and concrete lining in the shaft which carries 
the water from the forebay down to the power plant eight hundred and 
sixty-five feet below. The whole length of the shaft is seventeen hundred and 
twenty-three feet. It was mined upward from the bottom, and as the work 
progressed the walls were supported by timbers cut and fitted end to end to 
form a succession of octagons fitting against the earthen sides of the shaft 
and wedged tightly to hold them in place without nailing or cross braces. The 
placing of the sections of steel tubing followed the same direction. First 
the bottom sections were placed, and concrete tamped about between the steel 
and the walls of the shaft. 

In order to protect the workmen engaged at this task from clods or 
stones that might fall from above, a bulk head of heavy timbers was built 
across the shaft a little way above them. As the work progressed this bulk- 
head was moved higher and higher up. On the morning of Friday, December 
7th, the bulkhead had been moved successively upward until it was two-thirds 
or more of the way to the top of the shaft, and the progress of the workmen 
below had made it necessary to move it once again. 

To do this work. Hicks, Gus Anderson (foreman), George Warner, 
C. D. Robles, H. Parris and John Wilbar were sent down the shaft from the 
top. Preliminary to moving the bulkhead one of the men was ordered by 
Anderson to knock loose the lowest of the set of timbers. Some objection 
was made to doing this on the ground that it was not safe, and it was stated 
later that express orders had been given against the removal of the timbers. 
However, on the order being repeated the workman knocked out the wedge 
that released the timbers. The reader who is unfamiliar with the subject 
should understand that the timbers were held in position only by being 
wedged tightly against the walls of the shaft. No sooner was the first set of 
timbers collapsed than a cave started that released the second set of timbers. 
This let down more earth, and in turn released the third octagon. With the 
falling of the second set of timbers the men turned to flee up the steep incline 
of the shaft, but the falling of the timbers, one after another, like dominoes 
that knock each other over in a row, was too fast for them. One man 
reached a point of safety. The others were caught like rats in a deadfall. 

Hicks, who was somewhere midway in the group of men, was struck 
by a falling timber just as he reached a skip — or small car built to run 
down the shaft on an iron track — and he fell forward beside the car, with tiie 



158 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

timber pressing on his back, and the whole mountain above him, apparently 
thundering down to close him in. 

The superintendents and workmen about the tunnel, the shaft and the 
power plant gathered about the collapsed hole in horror. The coroner was 
notified, the news of the death of the buried men was telegraphed, and the 
tremendous task of exhuming the dead bodies began. Seventy hours later, as 
the muckers were digging away at the top of the cave, Pearl Davis, a shift 
boss, heard a faint tapping that seemed to come from deep down in the earth. 
He stood still for a moment while his flesh turned cold, and then he heard 
the tapping again. He put his ear to the tram rail that led into the collapsed 
shaft, and heard it again, clearly and distinctly. Someone, down beneath 
the crumbled mass of earth and boulders, was striking with a piece of steel 
against the rail. Davis answered the signal and was answered in turn. 

The news spread quickly that one or more of the men was alive, but it was 
not until the 11th (the cave occurred on the 7th) that definite communication 
was established between the buried miner and the men who now were keyed 
to the highest tension to efifect his rescue. A gaspipe, cleansed and sterilized 
under the direction of the company's physician, was driven down beside the 
rail of the tram to where Hicks lay. On the eleventh this work was done and 
Hicks was breaking his four days' fast with milk and broth poured down the 
pipe. General Superintendent W, S, Cone of the Edison Electric Company 
came from San Fernando. General Manager Sinclair came from Los Angeles, 
The best miners and the cleverest engineers were summoned from the dif- 
ferent camps, and one of the finest and in many respects most remarkable 
efforts for the rescue of a human being in the history of the state was begun. 
Hicks was absolutely an unknown man, without a relative or a special friend 
on earth so far as was known then or has developed since, but the news 
of his peril and the heroic work for his rescue was telegraphed twice a day 
to every section of the United States. 

The plan of digging down from the top of the caved shaft was abandoned 
as unsafe for both Hicks and the rescuers, and a tunnel was started in the 
shoulder of the mountain a little below and ninety-six feet distant from 
where the buried miner lay. The mouth of the new tunnel was seven hun- 
dred feet or more above the river bed, and on the face of a precipice so steep 
that a scaflfolding had to be built from which to start the work. 

The earth and crumbled rocks through which the path of the tunnel lay 
were treacherous, and it was necessary to timber nearly all the way. When 
nothing else impeded progress, the miners would run against a boulder. Some- 
times it could be cracked ; once they mined around it, rolled it out of the tun- 
nel and sent it hurtling down the mountain side. The miners worked in fre- 
quent shifts, and pick handles never cooled. The last five days the tension 
was extreme. City editors in cities a hundred and fifty miles away called 
up the Bakersfield newspapers the last moment before going to press to 
know if Hicks was rescued yet, or to know the exact number of feet and 
inches of earth that remained to be penetrated. 

Finally, when the tunnel was done, and the foreman of the rescue shift 
had shaken hands with Hicks and passed him a plug of tobacco, it was 
necessary to saw the rails of the tram in four places and haul the buried 
man under the car. A man had to lie on his back and saw the rail over 
his head. 

Newspaper men at the tunnel 'phoned to Bakersfield when the sawing 



HIST.ORY OF KERN COUNTY 159 

began, and a crowd of thousands of people walked the streets and waited for 
further news. Arrangements had been made to ring the fire bell when the 
first word came that Hicks was safe. For two days and nights J. M. Duty, an 
old Texas ranger, with two men hired to help him, had kept his irons hot 
ready to fire a salute of anvils on the lot where the new court house stands, 
the moment the good news should come. 

At 11 o'clock at night someone 'phoned to tlie engine house that Ilicks 
was out, and Foreman Arthur Nagle sprang to the tower and turned the old 
l)ell loose. Duty got his anvils in action, loading them, not with powder, but 
with dynamite. The crowd on the street went frantic. Newspaper men at 
this end of the line got in touch with the watchers at the tunnel. Hicks was 
still beneath the car. A messenger hastened to the engine house, warning 
the crowds on the sidewalk as he went that the danger was not yet over, that 
the loosening of the last bit of rail might let the car fall and render fruitless 
the sixteen days of toil and care. But there was no stopping the premature 
rejoicing. By that time the engines in the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe 
\ards were sending up their shrill jubilee, society women in the residence 
districts were beating tin pans, marching and laughing hysterically. Out 
in the Kern river oil fields the great steam whistles were sounding a sym- 
phony of joy that floated into Bakersfield like the rushing of a wind in the 
pine trees. Dell Gamble, custodian of the town clock, was making the big 
bell in the tower peal ofif as many hours as Hicks had lain in his living tomb. 
Church bells were ringing everywhere. 

It was a full quarter of an hour after the wild demonstration l)egan 
liefore Hicks was out in the tunnel, and at least five minutes more before the 
word was shouted down from the mountain side to the man at the 'phone 
by the river and by him transmitted to Bakersfield. 

Of course Hicks went on the stage, and his first appearance was in the 
Armory in Bakersfield. An ordinary sitting room would have held the crowd. 
He fell. as flat in Los Angeles, and everywhere. Hicks buried alive with 
heroic men risking their own lives to save him was an object of national 
interest. Hicks rescued dropped back to his old place and importance. He 
was a mucker, no different from any other mucker, no better nor more inter- 
esting than any other man that may be carrying a hod or sweeping up the 
litter on the streets. 

The last heard of Hicks was that some widow had married him, and so 
he passed permanently from his brief pedestal of public prominence to the 
common le\-cl of domestic obscurity. 

News Notes, 1899 to 1910 

October 5, 1899 — Scribner's opera house is filled at a reception to Major 
Frank S. Rice on his return from a campaign in the Philippines. 

October 9 — Mojave's business section is wiped out by a fire whicli is 
believed to be incendiary. 

November 16 — The sidewalk-building campaign is in full blast, and prop- 
erty owners on West Nineteenth street petition for the building of concrete 
walks from Chester avenue to Oak street, a total length — counting both 
sides — of 7556 feet. 

December 15 — Bakersfield expects free mail delivery soon. 

December 21 — Bakersfield is discussing park and levee plans, and Engi- 
neers W. C. Ambrose. W. R. Macmurdo and Walter James submit a report 



160 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

estimating that a sufiRcient levee to guard against all danger of flood from 
the river can be built for $12,000. 

January 17, 1900 — The corner stone of the Woman's Club hall at Six- 
teenth and H streets is laid, and the Beale memorial library at Seventeenth 
and Chester is nearing completion. 

March 21 — The Sunset Railroad Company is incorporated by local men. 

March 28 — Truxtun Beale deeds the Beale library to the city as a 
memorial to his father. General E. F. Beale. 

April 11 — Work starts on the electric railroad from Bakersfield to Kern. 

July 19 — A call is issued for a meeting of oil producers to organize to 
control the market and insure remunerative prices for oil. This is the begin- 
ning of the Associated Oil Company. 

July 20 — Meeting is held and a committee on organization is appointed 
consisting of C. A. Canfield, J. M. Keith, W. G. Kerckhoff, W. E. Knowles, 
E. L. Doheny, H. A. Blodget, W. H. McKenzie, Burt Green, B. F. Brooks, 

0. Scribner, H. H. Blood and D. S. Ewing. 

September 12 — Producers' Oil Association is organized as a result of 
the meetings on July 19 and 20. 

September 25 — Judge Ross of the federal court in Los Angeles decides 
against the scrippers in the cases of Pacific Land and Improvement Company 
against Elwood Oil Company, and Cosmos Exploration Company against 
Gray Eagle Oil Company. 

Electric cars will run on the new street railway soon after January 

1, 1901. 

February, 1901 — A building boom is on in East Bakersfield. 

A campaign against illegal gambling starts. The games are closed on 
Sunday but run all the week. 

April 17 — A meeting is held preliminary to the organization of the First 
National Bank of Bakersfield. 

April 18 — The famous battle at Midway between representatives of the 
Mt. Diablo Oil Company and the Superior Sunset Oil Company occurs in the 
darkness of night, and G. P. Cornell and J. T. Walker, alleged gunmen in 
the employ of the latter company, are badly wounded. The battle is over 
sections 24 and 26, 32-23. The Mt. Diablo people get the land by court de- 
cision, but long litigation follows over the shooting affair. 

April 25 — Kern City floral carnival opens with Miss Delia Wells as 
queen. 

April 26 — Bakersfield gets news of a decision against the scrippers in 
the case of Kern County Oil Company against Gray Eagle Oil Company. 

May 18 — The Southern Pacific is changing its engines from coal to 
oil burners. 

May 20 — George Hinkle has hard luck in a poker game, and just as 
he gets aces up with big money in the pot his wife enters and leads him out 
by the ear.. At home Hinkle gives his wife a beating, and has to leave the 
town hastily to escape a band of fellow gamblers who are warming a pot of 
tar and emptying a feather bed. 

May 23 — The Masonic temple at Chester avenue and Twentieth street 
is dedicated with elaborate ceremonies. 

May 25 — The senior academic class of the high school is suspended for 
insubordination as the result of a quarrel about the place on the stage which 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 161 

the commercial class is to occupy at the graduation exercises. The trouble 
is adjusted later and all graduate happily. 

June 1 — The county supervisors are putting oil on the Rosedale road 
for the first time. 

June 10 — An agitation for the closing of the stores at 6 o'clock is started. 

June 25 — The ministers and the retail clerks join in a meeting at the 
opera house to promote the 6 o'clock and Sunday closing movement. 

Tulv 5— Kern county's assessment totals $20,850,000, against $15,184,000 
in 1900.' 

July 23 — A petition with 441 signers is presented to the city trustees 
urging the purchase of parks for the city. 

August 13 — The Santa Fe Railroad adopts plans for a new depot at 
Bakersfield. 

August 8 — The site for the Lowell school is purchased. 

August 20 — The Edison Electric Company announces plans for building 
a power plant in Kern river canon. 

August 28— The Pacific Refinery (afterward the Phoenix) starts work on 
its refinery near Reeder lake, just west of Bakersfield. 

October 16 — The Standard Oil Company is securing rights of way for 
its pipe line to Point Richmond (the first pipe line built in the county). 
Producers are complaining of shortage of tank cars. 

October 16 — A party leaves Bakersfield to hunt grizzly bears in the 
mountains above Tejon. 

October 16 — The contract is let for the Lowell school. 

October 20— The tracks of the Sunset Railroad have reached Hazelton 
in the Old Sunset field. 

November — The Kern River Power Company is organized to build 
power plants on Kern river. 

December 21 — Kern Company, Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias, is 
mustered in. 

December 21 — The supervisors let the contract to L. Wilcox to build a 
bridge across Kern river opposite the oil fields. 

December 23 — The first train leaves for Sunset over the new road. 

December 24 — The Southern Pacific has ordered more engines to handle 
the increased business that the oil fields create. 

January 1, 1902 — The St. Paul's Episcopal church at Seventeenth and I 
streets is consecrated. 

January 3 — Miller & Lux offer to give the herd of elk that has roamed 
on the company's lands for years to the Bakersfield lodge of Elks. The 
offer was accepted and the elk moved to the national park in the Sierras. 

January 14 — Work is progressing on the Producers' Savings Bank build- 
ing at Nineteenth and H streets, and the directors of the Bank of Bakersfield 
decide to build at Chester and Twentieth streets. 

There is much talk about an electric railroad to the coast, and there are 
rumors that the Denver & Rio Grande will build through Walker's pass into 
Bakersfield. 

The January shipments of oil from the Kern river field reach 3,000 cars 
and break all records. 

January 31 — The Board of Trade is organized with Frank S. Rice as presi- 
dent and the following additional members of the executive committee: L. M. 
Dinkelspiel, L. P. St. Clair, A. Weill, W. J. Doherty, Alfred Harrell, R. C. 
Hussey, L. C. Ross and S. C. Smith. 



162 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

February 10 — The Southern Pacific begins building oil storage tanks 
along its tracks through the state. 

February 20 — E. F. Carter strikes a strong flow of gas on section 25, 32-23. 

March 1 — The First Congregational church celebrates its tenth anniver- 
sary. The church was organized on February 28, 1892. 

April 15 — The shippers lose again in contests over oil lands. 

April 22 — Miss Theresa Ellen Lacey is elected queen of the street car- 
nival to be held on May 3d. 

May 2 — The Oil Exchange building at H and Nineteenth streets is 
formally opened. 

May 3 — The Merchants' Free Street Carnival opens with Queen Tessie 
on the throne. The coronation ball is held on Monday night, and the week 
is given over to mirth and gaiety. Governor Gage visits the city on the last 
day of the carnival. 

May 7 — Oil companies talk of building a railroad to Maricopa with pri- 
vate capital. «'' 

May 11 — The school census shows 2011 boys and 1911 girls of school 
age in the county. 

May 21 — Pipe is being delivered for the Standard Oil Company's pipe 
line to Point Richmond. 

May 22 — Ben Thomas is putting in a pump irrigation plant at Delano 
at a cost of $1200. 

May 25 — Company G wins a prize as the most efficient company in the 
regiment. 

July 4 — The Kern County Democrats hold a "non-partisan" Fourth of 
July celebration with a big barbecue on West Nineteenth street. 

August 3 — The first carload of materials for the Kern River Power Com- 
pany's canal is delivered. 

September 3 — The first Labor Day celebration is held in Bakersfield. 

Many plans are discussed for building a railroad to Ventura and a meet- 
ing is held to consider a railroad to Kernville. None of these plans have yet 
materialized. 

October 17 — Dr. George C. Pardee speaks in Bakersfield. Governor 
Gage speaks at the opera house. A hot political campaign, both state and 
county, is in progress. 

December 4 — A petition is in circulation asking that the legislature create 
a second department of the superior court. The movement was successful, 
and late in the next spring Governor Pardee appointed Paul W. Bennett to 
the new office, a position which he filled continuousl}' until his death in the 
summer of 1913. 

January 7, 1903 — Sheriff John W. Kelly closes the illegal gambling 
games which previously had been running wide open. 

March 24 — The Associated Oil Company starts work on a 470,000 barrel 
earthen reservoir in the Kern river field. 

April 19 — The outlaw, James McKinney, after being tracked from Visalia 
through the mountains to Arizona and back to Bakersfield, is killed in a 
battle with officers on Sunday morning about 9:30 o'clock in the Chinese 
joss house on L street between Twenty-first and Twenty-second streets. 
Marshal T. J. Packard and Deputy Sheriff W. E. Tibbet are shot and killed by 
McKinney and an associate supposed to be Al Hulse, in whose room in the 
joss house the outlaw was hiding. Hulse is arrested, and B. M. Tibbet, who 
shot McKinney, is appointed marshal by the city trustees. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 163 

April 27 — The Native Sons of the Golden West hold their state parlor 
in Bakersfield. 

August 22 — City election ballots are stolen from a vault in the city clerk's 
office to prevent their being recounted in a contest filed by E. P. Davis against 
the election of T. J. Packard as city marshal. The thieves took the ballots 
to a lonely gully east of Kern city and partly destroyed them by fire. J. T. 
Wells, a rancher hauling hogs to town before daylight in the morning, saw 
the fire and two men with a buggy. He reported to Constable Stroble, who, 
with Marshal Ham Farris of Kern, went out and found the ballots on the 
24th and placed them in the safe in Justice Marion's office. The theft was 
not made public until September 10th. 

November 10— The trial of Al Hulse begins in Judge Mahon's court. 

November 20 — The San Joaquin Valley Federation of Woman's Clubs 
meets in Bakersfield. 

December 15 — The city trustees decide on the intersection of Chester ave- 
nue and Seventeenth street as the site for the Beale memorial clock tower. 

January 5, 1904 — The election contest of E. P. Davis against T. J. Packard 
comes to a hearing before Judge Mahon after long delay, despite the death of 
Packard and the burning of the ballots, and Davis is declared elected by a vote 
of 442 to 445. Davis lost one vote and Packard nine in the hearing. 

January 15 — H. A. Jastro is elected vice president of the National Live- 
stock Association. Later he served several times as president. 

.A.pril 15 — G. P. Cornell, one of the men who were wounded in the Mid- 
way battle of April 18, 1901, enraged at the outcome of a preliminary exami- 
nation of men against whom he had brought a charge of deadly assault, fired 
seven shots from a Colt's automatic revolver at Dr. A. F. Schafer and E. J. 
Boust, one bullet passing through Boust's coat and the others flying wild 
about Nineteenth street in front of the Arlington hotel, where Cornell was 
standing at the time. One shot drew blood on the leg of a salesman stand- 
ing in the door of Weill's department store and another struck the shoe of 
John Herrick, who was standing in front of the Alagnolia saloon. 

Alay 16 — The Knights of Pythias and Rathbone Sisters hold their state 
conventions in Bakersfield. 

May 25 — The second trial of Al Hulse for the murder of Packard and 
Tibbet begins. Hulse was convicted, but committed suicide several years 
later while still waiting in the county jail for the result of an appeal. He 
never went to prison. 

November 2 — The Independent Oil Producers' Agency files articles of 
incorporation. 

November 8 — Roosevelt carries Kern county and the Republicans elect 
an assemblyman, judge and two supervisors. Chairman E. M. Roberts of 
the Democratic -county committee presents Chairman J. W. Wiley of the 
Republican committee with a new broom, which is hung out of the window 
of the Republican headquarters. 

November 19— The Eagles celebrate the fourth anniversary of the found- 
ing of the Bakersfield aerie. 

November 23 — The Independent Oil Producers' Agency completes its 
organization and the member companies sign over to the agency leases cover- 
ing $25,000,000 worth of property. 

November 28 — The post office is moved to its present location in the 
Southern Hotel building on I street. 

December — Water is giving serious trouble in the Kern river oil field. 



164 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

December 20 — A campaign against the dance halls is in progress. 

December 29 — Litigation between the irrigating canal companies and the 
power development companies is settled and Judge Bennett issues a decree 
perpetually enjoining the Kern River Power Company from building storage 
reservoirs or from diverting water from Kern river except for power develop- 
ment purposes. 

December 30 — Water is turned through the Kern River Power Company's 
tunnel and power plant and electricity is carried to Los Angeles to run the 
street cars. 

January 4, 1905 — The county supervisors let the contract to the Edison 
Electric Company to build the road up Kern river canon for $21,000. 

January 9 — The city trustees begin hearing a protest against the open 
dance halls, and on January 16th, after a stormy session of the board, Trustee 
R. McDonald left the meeting and the other trustees declined to renew the 
licenses of the saloons having dance houses in connection. Mayor 
H. H. Fish ordered the marshal to close the saloons having no 
licenses, but the saloons evaded the issue by selling soft drinks only. The 
dance hall cases were carried from the trustees to the city recorder's court, 
and the jury disagreed. The dance hall keepers applied to the superior court 
for a writ of mandate to compel the trustees to issue them liquor licenses, 
but the writ was finally refused. 

March 5 — Knights of Columbus lodge instituted. 

]\Iarch 25 — The Catholics make plans for the new St. Francis church, 
which is to cost $40,000. 

April 9 — The new First Baptist church is dedicated. 

April 12 — The Salvation Army buys a lot at K and Twentieth street. 
, Free mail delivery is to be established in Kern in June. 

April 10 — In the city election R. McDonald wins over H. H. Fish by a 
vote of 630 to 387, and Mayor Fish, in retiring from the board, declares that 
the election is a victory for the "wide open town." 

April 25 — The new board of city trustees reconsiders the action of the 
old board in refusing to issue licenses to the saloons having dance halls in 
connection. It is declared that the dance halls will not be allowed to run, 
but they are gradually reopened. 

The Redmen are raising $5000 for a Fourth of July celebration. 

May 1 — The Santa Fe railroad has bought the Chanslor-Canfield 
Midway Oil Company's great holding of oil lands at Midway. 

May 1— H. A. Jastro, on behalf of the Kern County Land Company, 
tenders the city thirty acres of land in the western part of the city for a 
public park on condition that the city spend at least $3000 per year in im- 
provements until a total of at least $30,000 is expended. The city accepted 
the tender, but did not comply with the terms, and the land was withdrawn 
by the donor. 

May 12 — Plans are submitted for the Elks' building on South Chester. 

June 2— Burglars roll the safe out of the Santa Fe depot and across the 
street and maul it open with sledge hammers stolen from the section crew's 
tool box. Never apprehended. 

June 17— Kern river is shipping little oil, but is storing a lot. 

June 24 — The jury finds E. P. Cornell not guilty of assault to kill E. J. 
Boust. 

July 4 — The Redmen's Fourth of July celebration is a great success. 
Mrs. Frank Fether is Goddess of Liberty, Miss Flo Massa represents Cah- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 165 

fornia, and Aliss Buxton represents Kern count}' in the big parade. Gov- 
ernor Pardee delivers the oration. 

August 15 — Scribner"s opera house and adjoining builditiiis burn and a 
loud complaint concerning the fire department and the water supply results 
in a reorganization of the fire company. 

August 21 — The Standard Oil Company is pumping oil into its big 
earthen reservoirs west of the Kern river field at the rate of 30,000 barrels 
per day. 

September 1 — The Southern Pacific is corrugating the pipe for its pipe 
line between the Kern river field and Delano. 

October 12 — The dance halls are trying to get permission to run all night 
Saturday nights and until 3 o'clock in the morning other nights. 

November 14 — The county supervisors decide to build a new high school 
building to supplement the old one. The cost is estimated at $50,000. 

December 23 — The Public Ownership party is organized by Charles P. 
Fox and W. D. Young, and during the meeting, which is held in the court 
house, the heaviest earthquake shock felt in Bakersfield in many years occurs. 

January 16, 1906 — The corner stone of the new St. Francis church is laid 
by Bishop Conaty, who delivers an address in the open air to a great gathering 
of people. 

April 3 — Rev. A. M. Shaw, president of the Law and Order League of 
Kern County, issues a statement declaring war 'on the dance halls, but some 
years more elapse befure they are finalh^ closed, not to reopen. 

April A — The Allison Machinery Company installs a steam plant to 
furnish steam heat to downtown business houses. 

April 8 — The Buckeye Refinery is making kerosene oil in the Kern river 
field. 

April 17 — Plans are drawn for the Bakersfield opera house. 

April 19 — A mass meeting is held at Armory hall to draft plans in aid 
of the San Francisco fire sufferers and $2777 is subscribed by the citizens 
present. 

May 27 — Kern river reaches the highest point since 1893. 

May 30 — The contract between the Independent Oil Producers' Agency 
and the Associated Oil Company expires and producers begin shutting down 
their wells on account of the low price of oil. 

July 4 — The Bakersfield Board of Trade makes an excursion to the Ama- 
lie mining district which is showing renewed activity. 

July 7 — The Masons have placed a six-ton granite boulder in the center 
of their plot in Union cemetery. 

August 11 — Plans for the Santa Fe's new round house are announced. 

August 23 — Bakersfield's assessment roll totals $3,147,213. 

September — Northern Kern county farmers will get $300,000 for wheat 
grown on 30,000 acres. 

September 3 — The Brodek block at Nineteenth and K streets is burned. 
Loss $41,000. 

September 9 — Bakersfield trustees adopt plans 
calculated to serve a population of 20.000 people. 

September 10 — Bakersfield city schools open 
schools, 415. 

September 29 — The new St. Francis Catholic 
pletion. 

October 14 — Al Hulse, partner of Outlaw McKinney in the joss house 
battle of April 19, 1903, commits suicide in the county jail where he is await- 



for 


a 


new 


sewer system 


wi 


th 


702 


pupils : 


Kern 


ch 


urch is 


nearing 


com- 



166 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

ing the result of his appeal from the superior court, where he was convicted 
of murder. 

October 25 — S. C. Smith and C. A. Barlow, candidates for congress 
from the eighth district, hold a joint debate on the issues of the campaign 
at Armory hall, and one of the largest audiences that ever attended a po- 
litical meeting in Bakersfield is present. 

November 2 — Stud poker games are closed by Sheriff Kelley's order. 

November 5 — The new Bakersfield opera house is opened with Checkers, 
a character play. 

November 6 — The Democrats carry the county by pluralities ranging 
from 400 to 1000. 

November 11 — Gen. William R. Shafter, commander in chief of the San- 
tiago campaign in the Spanish-American war, died at the home of his son- 
in-law, Capt. W. H. ]\IcKittrick, fifteen miles south of Bakersfield. 

November 13 Bakersfield trustees are discussing dollar gas to no 

effect. 

November 17 — Delano ranchers have filled the warehouses and have 
thousands of sacks of wheat piled in the streets waiting shipment. 

November 23 — After a two days' session in the Kern river fields the 
Independent Oil Producers Agency closes a contract to sell to the Associated 
Oil Company 950,000 barrels of stored oil at twenty-five cents, and all its 
product for the ensuing year, estimated at 2,555,000 barrels at twenty-seven 
and one-half cents. 

December 6 — The shortage of cars for handling oil is causing agitation 
for the passage of the "Texas car law." 

December 7 — Lindsay B. Hicks and five other miners are buried alive 
by the collapse of the Edison Power Company's shaft in the Kern river 
cafion. 

December 11 — News reaches Bakersfield that Hicks is still alive and 
work of rescuing him is begun. 

December 15 — Committee of Home Extension Association inspects 
Wasco land and decides to locate a colony there. 

December 22 — Hicks is rescued after sixteen days' imprisonment in the 
collapsed power shaft and the town of Bakersfield goes wild with jo}-. 

December 27 — Hicks makes his first appearance on the stage at the 
Armory and is a decided failure as a footlight hero. 

January 14, 1907 — City trustees order an election to vote bonds as fol- 
lows: For a new sewer system, $120,000; for a city hall and site, $50,000; 
for the improvement of city parks, $30,000. 

January 19 — Geologists estimate the original oil deposits of the San 
Joaquin valley fields at 1,254,000,000 barrels, of which 112,000,000 barrels 
have been taken out. 

January 18 — Cornerstone of Oil Center Congregational church is laid. 
^^^ '\\\ Rlley, pastor. 

January 18 — Woodmen of the World initiate sixty candidates. 

January 25 — The Porter-Higgins Company buys 2000 acres north of De- 
lano and a large acreage east of Bakersfield, and plans to bring colonists 
from the east. 

February 1 — One hundred and ninety families secure allotments of land 
in Wasco Colony. 

February 6 — State Federation of Woman's Clubs begins its sixth annual 
session in the First IMethodist church. 

February 8 — Mrs. E. D. Buss of Bakersfield is elected president of the 
State Federation of Woman's Clubs. 

February 10 — The Standard is pa)'ing thirty cents for Alidway oil. 

February 18 — The price of highballs, Tom and Jerrys, all case goods and 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 167 

fanc)- drinks is raised to twelve and one-halt cents by Bakersfield thirst em- 
poriums. 

March 22— Cosmopolitan hotel block burns, loss $25,000. 

March 25 — A $120,000 bond issue for building a new sewer system car- 
ries by a vote of 499 to 91. 

iMarch 26 — The $30,000 bond issue for improving city parks is defeated 
by a vote of 321 to 219. It needed two-thirds to carry. 

I\Iarch 27— The $50,000 city hall bonds are defeated by a vote of 16 for 
and 213 against. 

April 15 — J. E. Bailey becomes mayor of Bakersfield. Truxtun Beale 
tenders two-black park to the city. 

April 16 — City trustees begin investigation of fire department that re- 
sults in retirement of Chief Willow and nearly all the old firemen. 

April 16 — African Methodist conference for Northern California meets 
in Bakersfield. 

April 21 — Consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern is under discussion. 

April 22 — ]\lany burglaries occur in Bakersfield. 

Ma}- 6 — The sixth regiment, N. G. C, is mustered out and Company G 
goes with it. 

May 15 — The Edison Electric Company's first power plant in Kern river 
canon is put in commission. 

May 16 — A month's course of lectures at the \Voman's Club hall by 
State University professors is begun. Truxtun Beale, who pays the expenses 
of the course, proposes to make it an annual affair. 

May 24 — The Bakersfield Club is drawing plans for a club building. 

May 28 — State Aerie of Eagles meets in Bakersfield. 

May 31 — Burglars crack Attorney Clafiin's safe with a sledge hammer 
and trj' to enter three other offices in the Bank of Bakersfield building. 

June 11 — Colored Mason's grand lodge meets in Bakersfield. Illegal gam- 
bling is being suppressed. 

June 21 — A petition for the consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern is put 
in circulation. 

July 3 — The east levee of Buena Vista lake breaks and floods the old 
swamp lands to the east border of Kern lake, doing damage estimated at 
$250,000. 

July 11 — Southern Pacific will continue its pipe line to Port Costa. 

July 12 — J. W. \\''iley is appointed code commissioner. 

July 15 — Work of repairing break in Buena Vista levee begins. 

July 20 — Judge Paul \A'. Bennett is acting as trustee to secure titles from 
the government to Havilah town lots. Havilah was built on unsurveyed 
land, and the residents have held their lots all these years by right of occu- 
pation only. 

July 20 — Mr. and ]\Irs. S. J. Swift, driving a Ford auto from Los Angeles 
to San Francisco on their wedding trip, let the empty machine run off the 
grade in Tejon canon and fall eighty feet to the bottom. Swift, who is a 
machinist, rebuilds the car with an old saw, an axe, a jack knife and a lot of 
bailing wire and drives it into town, making a record in emergency auto re- 
pairing. 

August 6 — Trustees sell sewer bonds to Los Angeles Trust Company 
for par and accrued interest to date of delivery. 

August 9 — Enormous deposits of rich ore uncovered in Clear Creek 
canon. 

August 11 — Destructive forest fire burns over several thousand acres in 
the Greenhorn mountain. 

August 31 — Sunset Road Oil Company makes contract with the Salt 



168 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Lake Road to supply them with fuel oil for a period of five years at thirty 
to fifty cents. 

September 1-1 — Eight hundred pupils are enrolled in the city schools. 

September 17 — Illegal gambling closed again. 

September 18 — Kern county oil takes prize at the State Fair. 

September 20 — Eagles hold first meeting in new hall. 

September 25 — The pipe organ for the Episcopal church arrives. 

October 1 — Trustees order census of Kern and Bakersfield in prepara- 
tion for consolidation, 

October 10 — Truxtun Beale presents to trustees plans for a Greek the- 
atre to be built in Beale park. It is built later at Beale's expense. 

October 22 — A valuable collection of pictures, the gift of Truxtun Beale, 
was placed in the new high school building. 

October 27 — Census returns for the city of Bakersfield, 7,338, and for 
Kern, 3,422. 

October 31 — The first tract is sold in the Mountain View Colony. 

November 5 — The contract for the Hall of Records is let to Weymouth 
Crowell of Los Angeles for $44,340. 

November 14— Thomas B. Larson, a pioneer of Linns Valley district 
dies in San Francisco aged eighty-two years. 

December 4 — Trustees call for bids for sewer construction. M. W. Buff- 
ington qualifies as city engineer. 

December 5 — Supervisors plan to raise saloon tax from $100 to $300. 

December 8 — Work begins on Greek theatre. 

December 19 — The Bakersfield band is organized. 

December 31 — Thirty-one thousand acres of the Cox ranch sold. 

January 1, 1908 — The Santa Fe is finishing its new thirty-five-stall round 
house. 

January 7 — City trustees let contract to Glass & Fisher to build new 
sewer system for $53,877. 

January 10 — City trustees call Bakersfield and Kern consolidation elec- 
tion for February 25th. 

January 11 — F. A. Tracy, pioneer, dies. 

January 11 — Congressman Smith has introduced a bill to provide a post 
ofiice building for Bakersfield and the post office department has asked for 
statistics regarding the town and the business of the ofiice. 

January 1-^1 — W. S. Tevis files libel suit against San Francisco Bulletin. 

January 31 — The Independent Agency is standing pat on its demand for 
seventy-five cents per barrel from the Associated. First meeting is held to 
organize a branch of the Lincoln-Roosevelt League in Bakersfield. 

Februar}' 11 — The ^^'oman's club plans to issue bonds to cover its in- 
debtedness of $2400. 

February 18 — I\Iayor Bailey introduces an ordinance to reduce the price 
of gas to $1. It never passed, but it caused a long controversy and great ex- 
pectations. 

February 19 — Independent Oil Producers Agency closes contract with 
the Associated for the sale of its oil for two years at sixty and one-half cents 
for the first year and sixty-three for the second year. 

February 25 — The first election for the cpnsolidating of Bakersfield and 
Kern is carried in Bakersfield but is lost in Kern. 

March 4 — Disorderly saloons are under investigation and Trustee 
Everett St. Clair promises to introduce the afterward famous St. Clair ordi- 
nance, to close dance halls and side and rear entrances of the saloons. 

March 9 — St. Clair ordinances are introduced at a meeting attended by 
the largest audience the city trustees ever had. 

March 11 — Municipal reform is the chief talk of the town. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 169 

March 13 — Lincoln-Roosevelt League organized b)- Chester H. Rowell. 

March 16 — St. Clair ordinances are passed. 

March 17 — Santa Fe round house is accepted. 

March 20 — Walter Stiern and Drurj' Wieman win third intercollegiate 
debate for Kern county high school, making three annual viccories for the 
local school. 

March 23 — Illegal gambling gets "another death blow." 

!March 23 — The Tliomas flyer. America's car in the International New 
York to Paris automobile race, goes through Bakersfield. 

March 24 — It is announced that a railroad will be built from Los Ange- 
les to San Francisco via the Tejon canon and the west side oil fields. (It 
has not yet materialized.) 

March 26 — Oil men meet to urge passage of Smith oil land bill. 

March 31 — To the tune of "Auld Lang Syne," "Home Sweet Home" and 
"There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight." the dance halls closed 
at midnight in compliance with the St. Clair ordinance. The Owl and Stand- 
ard will continue to sell soft drinks. 

April 5 — Gambling is in full blast again. 

April 7 — Soft drink dance halls are dull. 

April 13 — Woman's Club urges park improvement. 

April 13 — It is announced that City Trustee George A. Tilton will resign 
from the board as the result of an efifort to get him to introduce amendments 
to the St. Clair ordinances. 

April 16 — Labor council endorses Trustee Tilton and petitions are in cir- 
culation asking the trustees to appoint G. J. Planz to the expected vacancy. 
Fred Gunther is also advanced as a candidate for the place. 

April 21 — Trustee Tilton resigned. 

April 27 — The Wasco Congregationalists are building a church. 

April 28 — The Delunega stage and four horses roll 200 feet down a cliff. 
The passengers jump and escape with varying degrees of injury. 

April 30 — Kern city is discussing municipal water works, but never 
takes final action. 

May 2 — The Order of Owls, Bakersfield Nest, is organized with twenty- 
one charter members. 

May 2 — Ardizzi-Olcese plant five acres to oranges on the Kern Heights. 

May 3 — R. G. Hill, cattleman of Tehachapi, buys twenty-five sections of 
the Towne ranch. 

May 5 — Second movement for consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern 
starts with petitions circulating in both towns. 

May 7 — The funeral of Wellington Canfield, pioneer ranch ciwner, is 
held in Bakersfield. 

May 14 — Mr. and Mrs. Placido Giglo are experimenting with silk culture 
in Bakersfield. 

Mav 15 — Kernites saw the big fleet of war shijjs at San Francisco. 

June 4 — Kern City stores close during funeral of James L. Depauli. 

June 5 — Anti-saloon league presents petition with 624 signatures asking 
the county supervisors to pass an ordinance giving each precinct local option. 
The ordinance was never passed. 

June 11 — Bakersfield buys the west half of section 3, 30-28 from the 
Southern Pacific for a sewer farm. Price $2.30 an acre. 

June 27— Bakersfield will spend $2200 celebrating the Fourth. 

June 27 — An organization of citizens is making a crusade against illegal 
gambling. Constable D. B. Newell and citizen deputies raid crap and rou- 
lette games at 1215 Twent3'-first street and M. H. Sisson swears to complaint 
against the gamblers. 



170 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

July 3 — Undersheriff T. A. Baker, Constable Newell and thirty citizens 
raid the Palace, Standard and Owl dance halls and arrest the keepers. 

July 16 — The jury disagrees in the first gambling trial. 

July 19 — The county assessment roll shows an increase of $2,371,641 over 
1907. Present total, $26,712,953. 

July 21 — The Sisters of Mercy buy the L. P. St. Clair residence at H. and 
Fourteenth streets for a hospital. 

July 27 — Kern County Anti-saloon League organized. 

August 4 — State Federation of Colored Woman's Clubs meets in Bakers- 
field. Colored Odd Fellows open district lodge. 

August 6 — Charles P. Fox launches the California Oil World, a weekly 
devoted to the state oil industry. 

September 6 — The St. Clair Hospital, afterward Mercy Hospital, is opened. 

September 7 — Kern County High School opens with two new depart- 
ments, manual training and domestic science. Delano installs first street light. 

September 7 — Bakersfield city schools show attendance of 792; High 
School 211 ; Kern city schools 440. 

September 9 — A. F. Stoner is appointed city trustee to fill vacancy left 
by George A. Tilton's resignation. 

September 10 — New hall of records is accepted. Cost, $50,000. 

September 11 — Gamblers arrested in citizens' crusade plead guilty. Crap 
and roulette tables will be shipped to Nevada. 

September 22 — State convention of county assessors meets in Bakersfield. 

September 25 — Woodmen of the World adopt plans for building at I and 
Eighteenth streets. 

October 7 — Dance hall cases go on trial before Justice of the Peace Black 
and Slim Moore is acquitted. 

October 10 — John McWilliams buys 5000 acres of Lerdo Land from Kern 
County Land Company. 

November 13 — Building boom strikes Bakersfield. 

November 18 — First probation committee appointed. 

December 3 — Mrs. F. A. Tracy gives two acres of land to Children's 
Shelter in memory of her husband, F. A. Tracy. 

December 5 — First Children's Shelter tag day is held and $6,000 is raised. 

December 17 — Union Oil Company has leased 6000 acres of land from 
the Sunset Road Oil Company. 

December 22 — Bakersfield new sewer system is finished. 

January 15, 1909 — High water in Kern river threatens levees. The river 
is carrying about 15,000 cubic feet of water per second. 

January 21 — H. L. Packard dies in San Francisco. 

February 3 — O. D. Fish dies in Los Angeles. 

February 5 — Supervisors create Aqueduct and Standard School districts. 

February 7 — W. T. Jameson dies at his ranch. 

February 25 — The Edison Land & Water Company is organized. 

February 27 — Mrs. W. M. Beekman and four children are burned to death 
in their beds when their home is consumed by fire. The origin of the fire 
still remains a mystery. 

March 13 — The edict goes forth that illegal gambling in the AVest Side 
oil towns must cease. 

April 15 — The Independent Oil Producers' Agency asks producers to 
curtail the production of oil for six months on account of the increasing 
surplus. 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 171 

April 20 — Henry J. Martens lands here with fifty Mennonites to found 
the Lerdo colony. The colony failed because Martens could not give title to 
the land, and the colonists scattered to other parts of the county and the state. 
The first children's playground in Bakersfield is opened under the supervision 
of Aliss Evelyn Pluss. 

April 21 — Admiral Robley D. Evans lectures in Bakersfield. 

April 25 — A Kern county steer weighing 2500 pounds live weight and 
standing twenty hands high, is slaughtered in San Francisco by Miller & Lux, 
who claim that it is the record for size. 

April 28— The Associated Oil Company votes $25,000,000 bonds to build 
pipe lines from Coalinga to Port Costa and from its west side holdings to 
Gaviota and for other improvements. 

April 29— A $55,000 school bond election called fur May 22 to build an 
addition to the Lowell school and buy sites for two more buildings. 

May 6 — There are over 200 motor cars in Kern county. 

May 6 — The Elks are excavating for their building on South Chester. 

The Bakersfield band is ])laying at Nineteenth and Chester every Saturday 
night during the summer. 

May 9 — The Kern County High School captures the pennant in the 
valley inter-scholastic track meet. Lloyd Stroud, Cecil Baker, Gordon Baker. 
John Stroud, Antone Wegis and Drury Wieman are the stars. 

May 12 — William Harrison Lowell, Civil war veteran and Kern county 
pioneer, dies. 

May 21 — Plans are drawn for the Producers' Transportation Company's 
pipe line to the coast. Capt. John Barker, pioneer, dies at his home in Bakers- 
field. 

June 2 — The school census shows 5039 school children in the county. 

June '^ — The supervisors decide to call an election to vote $400,000 in 
bonds fo\ a new court house. 

June 11 — The Producers' Transportation Company files incorporation 
papers. 

June II — Bakersfield merchants organize the Kern County Credit Asso- 
ciation to protect its members from bad debts. 

June 15 — Caliente is wiped out by fire. Loss, $46,800. 

June 17 — The subject of better levee protection is discussed in Bakersfield. 

July 5 — The Eagles celebrate with a big picnic and barbecue. 

July 9 — The Druids are finishing their hall in East Bakersfield. 

July 16 — ^The county supervisors decide to add an agricultural department 
to the High School. A small plot of rentf^d ground was used for experimental 
purposes for a time and later the Hudnut Park tract of twenty-six acres was 
bought by the county from the Kern County Fair Association. 

July 20— The county assessment roll totals $31,787,898. 

August 21 — The county's hay and grain crop is estimated at $1,271,000. 

August 25 — A Santa Fe freight train with forty-seven loaded cars runs 
away down the Tehachapi grade and collides with a switch engine in the 
yards at Mojave. Five men killed; property loss, $200,000. 

August 30 — Dr. A. F. Schafer is experimenting with the manufacture of 
serums for the cure of acute diseases. 

September 12 — City schools open with 965 pupils and twent}--four teach- 
ers ; High School, 205 pupils. 

September 14 — Kern county votes $400,000 to build a new court house. 

September 22 — Miller & Lux are extending the old Kern Valley Water 



172 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Company's canal north along the west side of the swamp and plan eventu- 
ally to continue it to Tulare lake. 

September 25 — A new movement is launched to consolidate Bakersfield 
and Kern. 

September 27 — The historic oil land withdrawal order is made, and 
many thousands of acres of oil land claims in the West Side fields are clouded. 

October 1 — The Bakersfield Baseball Association is organized and a 
valley league is planned. 

October 2 — The Kern County Land Company sells five sections for the 
Mountain View colonization project. 

Much general interest is taken in oil lands on the North McKittrick front. 

October 10 — President Taft speaks to many thousands from a platform 
near the Southern Pacific depot in East Bakersfield. 

October 13 — The Edison Land & Water Company is subdividing its land 
at- $200 per acre with an interest in pumping plants and cement irrigation 
systems. 

October 22 — The town of Moron is wiped out by fire. Loss $35,000. 

October 28 — Two auto loads of gun fighters go out to do battle over the 
J. C. Yancey oil claims on the North McKittrick front. No blood shed. 

Business men are looking for stores to rent in Bakersfield, but none are 
to be found. 

November 2 — Bakersfield city trustees pass a 12 :30 saloon-closing 
ordinance. 

Transient visitors to Bakersfield have to telegraph several days ahead 
to secure rooms, the town is so full of people. The 1910 oil boom is getting 
under way. 

November 12 — The Children's Shelter is dedicated. 

November 25 — Flaming arc street lights are being placed along Nine- 
teenth street by property owners. 

December 10 — Plans are made for organizing a building trades council. 

The Producers' Transportation Company's pipe line will be finished 
January 15th. 

December 21 — Bakersfield and Kern vote to consolidate. Bakersfield, 
518, for; 186. against. Kern, 265. for; 154, against. 

December 29 — Barney Oldfield makes a mile in 1 :10^ with an auto- 
mobile at Hudnut park, lowering the former record of 1 :12 for a mile on a 
half-mile dirt track. 

December 30 — The year's building record in Bakersfield is estimated at 
$221,300, and fifty-three buildings are under construction. Building trades- 
men employed are: Carpenters. 180; plumbers, 25; painters, 50; brick 
masons, 30; plasterers, 15 ; cement workers, 25 : inside wirers, 10; laborers, 100. 

December 30 — Fifteen Bakersfield architects banquet at the Southern 
hotel. Building activity is near the top notch in Bakersfield's history. 

December 31 — Many auto loads of armed men leave Bakersfield for the 
West Side to post oil land locations with the stroke of midnight, and usher 
in with the new year the last great contest to take and hold — by force if need 
be — the rich government oil land of the Midway valley and the Elk and 
Buena Vista hills. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 173 

CHAPTER XVI 
Brief Histories of Kern County Towns 

Ever since Bakersfield wrested the county seat from Havilah in 1874 
she has been the center of trade, growth and development in the county, 
and as such her story is closely interwoven with the story of the county, 
told in the preceding pages. It is not the purpose to repeat this story in detail 
in this chapter, but only to pick out some of the more important dates and 
events in the town's history for convenience in reference and for the purpose 
of furnishing a little clearer picture of Bakersfield's progress than the general 
history of the county affords. 

The location of Bakersfield was fore-ordained from the time the 
geography of the southern end of the San Joaquin valley was determined. 
It is located at the point where Kern river leaves the deep furrow which it 
has ploughed for itself through the higher mesa land and reaches the flat, 
alluvial plain. It is the point where the water of the river could be most 
easily and profitably diverted for irrigation, and the soil of the townsite was 
such as to tempt the first settlers in the valley to locate there. 
Bakersfield in 1859 

The first of these settlers who established permanent homes on what 
is now the site of Bakersfield came in 1859 or just before that date. At that 
time Bakersfield was not a swamp, but Kern river divided just below Pano- 
rama heights and flowed through the present townsite in two main and one 
or two lesser channels. The largest of the channels was later known as 
Panama slough and crossed the townsite diagonally to the southwest, passing 
the present corner of B and Nineteenth street. The second largest channel 
was the old south fork, the remains of which are still in evidence just west of 
the Mill ditch. 

In 1859 the Overland stage road or immigrant trail which came through 
Tejon pass ran through the Lowell addition and crossed the river somewhere 
west of Panorama heights. Immigrants entering the valley over this road 
formed the first transient settlement of what is now Bakersfield, and in the 
winter of 1861-62, at the time of the first flood that history records, this 
settlement numbered something more than half a dozen families besides na- 
tive Indians. 

The flood came the day after Christmas and cut a new channel for the 
river — the one it now follows — as is described in more detail in chapter five 
of this book. Some of the settlers and a good part of the Indian population 
moved away when the roads got dry enough, but at least four families re- 
mained, the Shirleys, the Gilberts, Harvey S. Skiles and Lewis Reeder. 
Coming of Colonel Baker 

In 1862 came Colonel Thomas Baker and Edward Tibbet. Colonel Baker 
had a contract with the state to reclaim all the swamp land that was over- 
flowed by Kern river and immediateh' began the construction of a dam across 
the south fork below Panorama heights. The other settlers farmed the future 
townsite. 

In 1863 a private school was estabHshed in the settlement, and 
the first public school was opened in 1877. During the Civil war the 



174 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

mail service over the southern route was discontinued, and the settlers here 
got their mail from Los Angeles or Visalia by the courtesy of neighbors or 
travelers. The first post office was established at Bakersfield about 1868. 

In the winter of 1867-8 came the second flood, larger than the first, 
cutting the new channel deeper and strewing the townsite with logs from 
the mountains. 

Kern County Created 

Kern county was created by an act of the legislature on April 2, 1866, 
by which the county seat was fixed at Havilah. One of the first acts of the 
county supervisors, however, was to organize reclamation districts covering 
the land all around Bakersfield, and the settlement soon took on an activity 
that foreshadowed its eclipse of the mountain town the legislature had hon- 
ored. 

Bakersfield Formally Laid Out 

On December 11, 1869, A. D. Jones, publisher of the Havilah Courier, 
moved his plant to Bakersfield, which Colonel Baker had formally laid out 
the September preceding. In January, 1870, Bakersfield had two stores, Liv- 
ermore & Chester's and Caswell & Ellis', a telegraph office, printing shop, 
carriage shop, harness shop, fifty school children, two boarding houses, one 
doctor, one lawyer and a saloon. 

In March, 1870, the town was resurveyed, and in the fall of that year 
a bill was introduced in the legislature to make it the county seat, but it did 
not become a law. At that time the whole population of "the island" was 
placed at 600. 

In September, 1871, the surveyors were running preliminary lines through 
Bakersfield for the Southern Pacific railroad, and a month later it is recorded 
that Havilah residents were moving to Bakersfield and bringing their houses 
with them. Colonel Baker died November 24, 1872. 

Bakersfield Wins the County Seat 

Efforts of Bakersfield to secure the county seat resulted in an election on 
February 15. 1873, in which Bakersfield was declared the winner by twelve 
votes. Havilah secured an injunction, however, and litigation followed which 
resulted in a new count of the ballots on January 26, 1874. in which the 
figures stood. Bakersfield, 354; Havilah, 332. 

For the growth which made this victory possible Bakersfield was indebted 
to the rich delta lands, which were being hungrily gathered up under the 
generous swamp reclamation laws. By this time Livermore & Chester had 
become the dominant factors in the community and were carrying on large 
operations in land reclamation, teaming, trading and other lines. The town 
was a center for sheep and cattle men, and was a stopping place for teamsters 
hauling ore and other products from the south and east to the end of the 
Southern Pacific railroad, which was then building down the valley. 

Bakersfield Is Incorporated 

In May, 1873, the county supervisors, acting on a petition of residents, 
declared Bakersfield an incorporated town, and on May 24th the first city 
officers were elected as follows: Trustees, W. S. Adams, L. S. Rogers. M. 
Jacoby, J. B. Tungate. and R. W. Withingtnn. 

Early in 1874 W. B. Carr. the fore-runner of J. B. Haggin and the Kern 
County Land Company, arrived in Bakersfield. That spring the first ]\Ieth- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 175 

odist Episcopal church was built. In August the Southern Pacific reached 
the north side of the river; in September it was getting ready to lay out the 
town of Sumner, afterward Kern, now East Bakersfield. On September 1, 
1874, George B. Chester deeded to the county the old court house block, 
and on October 5th a contract was let for the erection of a court house at a 
cost of $29,999. 

Bakersfield Disincorporates 

A perusal of the fuller accounts in chapters seven and eight will show 
that this was an era of great expectation for Bakersfield. But the railroad did 
less for the town than had been expected, and a series of dry years and the 
beginning of a contest between Livermore & Chester and Haggin & Carr 
for control of the irrigation waters caused a period of waiting and uncer- 
tainty that checked the town's growth. In 1876 Bakersfield got tired of paying 
a town marshal $7b per month for doing nothing, and disincorporated. It 
was incorporated a second time January 11, 1898. 

B}- 1880 Billy Carr had out-generaled Julius Chester, and Haggin & Carr 
succeeded Livermore & Chester as the dominant factors in the growth of 
Bakersfield and Kern county. Then came the contest between Haggin & Carr 
and Miller & Lux told at length in preceding chapters, and the final com- 
promise by which the waters of Kern river were divided between' the two 
corporations. This compromise was embodied in an agreement signed on 
July 28, 1888. 

Another Era of Progress 

A little later rumor of plans for the colonization of the Haggin lands 
began to take on apparent substance, and the years 1888 and 1889 seem to 
have been notable for community progress in Bakersfield. On December 25, 
1887, the Silsby fire engine — revered in the memory of the pioneers — arrived 
in town. In the summer of 1888 work was started on the Southern hotel. That 
fall L. P. St. Clair got a franchise for gas and electric works, and the next 
year H. A. Blodget, H. H. Fish and Jefif Packard got a franchise for the first 
street railway. In the spring of 1889 Haggin did put a small amount of land 
on the market, and the county voted $250,000 bonds to build a jail, a county 
hospital, an addition to the court house and to improve the county roads. 

July 7, 1889, fire swept the business section of the hopeful young city and 
left little more than 'some acres of ashes with a fringe of dwelling houses 
around them. 

Colonization of Rosedale 

In September, 1890, the Kern County Land Company was incorporated, 
S. W. Fergusson was made manager, and the colonization of the Rosedale 
lands was begun. Extensive advertising of the Rosedale lands, the arrival 
of colonists and the expectation of the people of Bakersfield gave the town 
its next boom. Building, mostly of a light character, went forward with 
feverish activity. 

On February 10, 1893. Kern river broke its levees and the water flowed 
over the northern part of the town and stood a foot deep at Nineteenth and 
I street, but in a few days it disappeared with little damage. The abundance 
of water which the flood indicated helped the Rosedale colonists— nearly all 
unaccustomed to irrigation — to nvcr-irrigate their lands. Succeeding dry 
years and a shortage in the river largely remedied the error, so far as tlie lands 



176 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

were concerned, but the colonists meantime became doublj' discouraged by 
the failure of their crops and the general hard times of 1893 and 1894. 

When the Kern County Land Company fully decided that the Rosedale 
colonization venture was a failure it withdrew its agents, stopped selling land, 
and H. A. Jastro succeeded to the management of the concern and its great 
properties in the county. 

Public Utilities in 1889-90 

The first gas plant was built in Bakersfield about the first part of 1889, 
and the first electric lighting plant, run by steam, in 1890. The Power, Tran- 
sit & Light Company finished the electric generating plant at the mouth of 
Kern river caiion in 1897 and took over the street car system, which pre- 
viously had been run by horse power. In 1897, also, the Electric Water Com- 
pany took over the old Scribner Water Works and began supplying the city 
generally with water. Chapter 13 gives important events and dates of this 
period in detail. 

Kern River Oil Boom 

In May, 1899, Jonathan El wood and his son James discovered oil in the 
Kern river field, gave a great incentive to the oil boom that was beginning 
to materialize through work in the West Side fields, and started the greatest 
boom that Bakersfield had experienced up to that time in her history. In 
Bakersfield the result of this boom showed mainly in the rapid building 
of business and residence buildings to meet the swiftly expanding demand 
and the laying of miles of cement sidewalk in all parts of the city. Before 
the movement for public improvement reached the point of paving more than 
a few blocks in the business center the price of oil dropped under the weight of 
over-production. 

Bakersfield did not drop back from the eft'ects of this boom, nor did it 
ever drop back from the effects of any boom in its history ; it has always 
held all it has gained, and been ready to take advantage of the next incentive 
to growth that good fortune afforded it. 

Present Prospects 

In Chapter 15 the more recent events in the history of Bakersfield are 
related and it is unnecessary to repeat the story here. At the present time 
the city is looking forward chiefly to prospective colonization enterprises, to 
the settlement of the mesa lands through pump irrigation, and to the hope of 
electric railways joining this city and Los Angeles via the Weed Patch and 
other lines from this city to the West Side oil towns. Bonds have been voted 
for the construction of a system of paved roads connecting Bakersfield with 
all parts of the county, and by these and other means the city is hoping to 
maintain her supremacy as the trade center of the county, a destiny of no 
modest proportions when the vast resources of the county are developed. 

Towns of the West Side Oil Fields — Maricopa 

The first railroad station established in the Sunset oil field when the 
Sunset railroad was built in 1.902 was called Hazelton, but the wells around 
the first terminal were small producers, and the development gradually drifted 
to the north. The railroad followed with an extension of its tracks past the 
present site of Maricopa to a point known to the railroad company as Monarch, 
but which never attained much significance in the mind of the public. Most 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 177 

oi the people who bought tickets to Monarch found it more convenient to 
get off at a point a mile or so to the south where many shallow wells producing 
a heavy road oil were brought in about 1902 and 1903 and thereafter, and 

gradually — because the slump in oil prices discouraged haste in those days 

the present town of Maricopa took root and established itself as the per- 
manent trade center of the Sunset field. 

The first store was opened in 1906 by F. F. Torpey, and the first hotel 
was built by William Carter. C. W. Beatty opened a store in Maricopa in 
1C08, and also served as postmaster for a number of years. 

During these years Maricopa was the only town in the West Side oil 
fields, and she therefore claims the title of Mother City of the West Side 
fields as well as the title of The Gusher City. But it was not until the gushers 
began coming in and the boom of 1909 and 1910 struck the West Side fields 
that Maricopa made any great progress toward prosperity or permanence. 

But when the Lakeview gusher baptized the town with oil and the flood 
of land locators, prospectors and genuine oil producers began to arrive, 
Maricopa arose to the occasion. In 1910 the railroad company gave up the 
fiction that Monarch was the chief point on its Sunset line and built a 
substantial and commodious depot at Maricopa. A $12,000 grammar school 
building was built, two new hotels, the Lakeview and the Lenox, were opened 
to the public, the first garage and the first steam laundry were built; the 
VVagy Water Company completed laying water pipes from springs in the 
mountains, affording the city a good supply of water for domestic purposes 
and tire protection ; 7,000 feet of private sewer main were laid, and gas and 
electric light and power service were extended to all parts of the town. 
During 1910 new houses were completed at the rate of two or three per day, 
telephone lines were extended throughout the Sunset field with a central 
office in Maricopa, and later these lines were carried to all parts of the 
expanding West Side district by the Kern Mutual Telephone Company, a 
West Side concern. 

Maricopa was incorporated in July, 1911, at which time the following 
officers were elected: Trustees, C. W. Beatty, W. E. Thornton, James Wal- 
lace, H. C. Doll and C. Z. Irvine; clerk, E. E. Ballagh ; treasurer, M. Y. 
White; recorder, T. W. Brown; attorney, L. R. Godward ; marshal, H. J. 
Babcock; fire chief, Harry Parke; engineer, L. L. Coleman. 

On June 20, 1911, about a third of Maricopa's business houses were 
destroyed by fire, but all the buildings were promptly replaced by others 
of a more enduring character. 

During the past year and a half Maricopa's growth has been a little less 
rapid owing to a falling off in the activity of oil development, but every 
year the permanence of the West Side oil fields and of the cities that depend 
upon them seems more and more assured. 

Maricopa has good banking facilities, and is well served in the field 
of journalism by the Maricopa Oil News, .\mong the prospects for the future 
is a good automobile road connecting Maricopa with the Ventura coast, and 
an electric railroad from Los Angeles via Tejon pass through Maricopa to 
the other W^est Side towns. The citizens of Maricopa have been actively 
promoting the coast road for a year and more past, and are now very hopeful 
that it will be built. This will place Maricopa on the line of much through 
travel from other parts of the valley to the sea, and the electric line, if it is 



178 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

built, will give the people of the Sunset town quick and frequent communica- 
tion with Los Angeles. 

Taft 

The town of Taft has been at all its stages the logical outgrowth of the 
necessities of the Midway oil field, of which it is the business center. Although 
the first oil prospectors who entered Kern county from Coalinga overran and 
located the greater part of the Midway field, the lack of transportation 
facilities, water and fuel and the depth of the oil sands as compared to that 
in the older parts of the McKittrick and Sunset fields discouraged develop- 
ment. A map of the field published in 1901 shows but six oil wells, all in 
township 32-23. At that time 900 or 1000 feet was considered the limit of 
profitable drilling, whereas the big producers of the field in later years were 
brought in, for the most part, at twice that depth, or more. 

In 1903 and thereabout, in the Midway field, occurred some of the bit- 
terest contests over oil lands that have marked the history of the industry in 
the state, but the drop in oil prices just after that period reduced the activity 
of the Midway operators almost to the vanishing point. As late as 1907 the 
production of the Midway field was only 134,174 barrels for the entire year, 
less than half what some of the later wells of the territory produced per well 
in a month. 

But with the cleaning up of the surplus oil stocks of the state during 
1907, interest turned again to the Midway field, and the train of events which 
resulted in the building of Taft began. Foreseeing that the possession of 
its own supply of fuel might some day be of great advantage, the Santa Fe 
railroad bought the extensive holdings of Chanslor & Canfield in the Midway 
field; the Standard Oil Company also began to acquire land in Midway — the 
first venture of the big concern into the field of production in this state — 
and the construction of the Standard pipe line from the Kern river field to 
Midway was begun. Under the name of the Sunset Western, the Sunset rail- 
road was extended from Maricopa to a point a little northwest of the present 
townsite of Taft, and a side track for the unloading of lumber and oil well 
supplies was put in. In the winter of 1908-9 an excursion of Bakersfield 
people went by train to the end of the Sunset Western road and spent half 
an hour looking at the sights of the embryo metropolis of the Midway field. 
They consisted of two or three shacks and several acres of oil well casing 
and derrick timbers piled along the siding. 

But when the town began to grow it lost no time. By the summer of 1909 
it had ten or a dozen business houses and some 200 inhabitants, and in July 
of that year it was given a post office with H. A. Hopkins, one of the pioneer 
merchants, as postmaster. Less than two years later the population had been 
multiplied by ten, and the business had increased still faster. 

But there were intervening vicissitudes. Before the railroad was built 
water had to be hauled from Buena Vista lake and cost $8 per barrel. After- 
ward it was shipped by tank cars from East Bakersfield and retailed at 
fifty cents. The town was first built on the south side of the railroad track 
on land leased from the railroad on short tenure, and the architecture was of a 
correspondingly frail and temporary character. On October 22, 1909, at five 
o'clock in the morning a drunken man tried to light a distillate burner in a 
Chinese restaurant. He turned on the distillate and struck a match. The 
match went out, and he struck another. Meantime the distillate flowed out 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 179 

of the stove and through a hole in the floor. The second match started the 
fire. There was an explosion, and in an hour and a half the business street 
of the little Midway town was in ashes. There was no such thing as a fire 
department, and the total supply of water in the town at the time was esti- 
mated at ten gallons. Some of the losers by the fire were I^vans & Parish, 
general merchants; W. L. Alvord, confectioner; Hahn & KruU, furniture 
dealers: Max Tupper. stationer; Fred O'Brien, pool hall and barber shop; 
Harry A. Hopkins, general merchant and postmaster; S. C. Burchard, butcher; 
James & Dooley, clothing merchants ; Dr. Summers, and two or three others. 

The remainder of the town was composed of tents, tent houses and 
shacks of the lightest construction. The railroad company in July had notified 
its lessees on the south side of the track that all that ground was needed for 
sidings, and had platted a townsite on the north side of the track where 
lots were offered for sale outright, except with provisions in the deed reserv- 
ing the right to drill for oil and forbidding the sale of liquor. 

About the same time J. W. Jameson platted a townsite on the south 
side of the railroad a little distance from the tracks on section 24, and a 
sharp contest arose over the location of the post office. The railroad company 
won the post office and most of the business houses, although enough of the 
latter located on the Jameson townsite to make quite a showing and to keep 
the ultimate result of the rivalry between the two locations in doubt for a con- 
siderable time. 

Up to this time the railroad had called the new town Moro, but as there 
was an express office in San Luis Obispo county by that name an "n" was 
added to the end of the name of the Midway town. But there was a Moron 
in Colorado, and the postal authorities objected to duplicating the name in 
California, as the abbreviations used for the two states look so much alike. 

After many weeks of debate and the vigorous rejection of several sug- 
gested names, Postmaster Hopkins, sitting in the office of Postmaster R. A. 
Edmonds in Bakersfield one day, happened to raise his eyes to a portrait of 
the president which hung above the desk. "Let's call it Taft," said Hopkins 
10 Edmonds, and the suggestion finally prevailed, so far as the post office was 
concerned, although the railroad still clung to the name of Moron for its 
station. 

Up to the end of 1909 neither of the rival towns had made much progress, 
but with the beginning of 1910 both began to forge ahead with a vigor and 
enterprise that renewed the doubt as to which would gain the supremacy. 
But in September, 1910, the Jameson townsite was swept by fire, and the 
backset which it thus received put its rival hopelessly in the lead. 

A movement for the incorporation of Taft was started in April or May, 
1910, and on November 8th of that year, at an election called by the county 
supervisors, the proposition carried by a rousing vote, and the following 
officers were elected: Trustees, H. W. Blaisdell, H. A. Hopkins, E. L. Burn- 
ham, J. \V. Ragesdale and J. I^. Dooley ; marshal, E, G. Wood ; clerk, Dr. I^'red 
Bolstad. The trustees appointed T. J. O'Boyle recorder, and Fred Seybolt 
city attorney. 

The Taft Public L'tilities Company, the first corporation formed to 
serve the public in the new town, was incorporated in the fall of 1910. It 
shipped water from East Bakersfield by tank cars, pumped it to a couple of 
1200-barrel tanks, and delivered it thence by gravity to the consumers. On 



180 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

February 1, 1911, the company's business and distributing system was sold 
to the Consumers' Water Company, a concern controlled by stockholders of 
the Western Water Company, which pumps water through a pipe line from 
wells located not far from Buena Vista lake in the trough of the valley. 

The city is supplied with gas from the natural gas wells in the Buena 
Vista hills, and with electricity by the San Joaquin Light & Power Corpora- 
tion, whose transmission lines run through all the West Side fields. 

In November, 1912, the town of Taft voted bonds in the sum of $41,000 
for the construction of a sewer and a system of water mains for fire protection. 
The sewer was completed in June, 1913, and the fire mains and hydrants were 
put into service shortly thereafter. The city built a concrete jail at a cost of 
$1650 in 1911, and in the summer of 1913 completed a new $20,000 grammar 
school building. The concrete building used as a post-office was built by popu- 
lar subscription, and free sites were offered to the city for a school building 
and to the first church that would erect a house of worship. The Catholics 
were the first to accept the latter offer. 

At the present time Taft is a well-built little city of about 3,000 people; 
has a good percentage of brick and concrete buildings ; is well supplied with 
public utilities, as has been seen ; has a daily paper, The Midway Driller, and 
a weekly oil paper, The Petroleum Reporter, edited by members of the Petro- 
leum Club. Besides the Sunset Western railroad which connects it with Mari- 
copa and Bakersfield, it has an auto stage line running to McKittrick, and is 
promised another running to Bakersfield. Within the last few weeks an- 
nouncement has been made that an electric railroad will be built from Los 
Angeles through the Tejon pass and thence west and northwest through the 
Sunset, Midway and McKittrick fields. With all these facilities and with the 
rich and steadily increasing oil field about it, the future of Taft as this history 
is closed is very bright. 

Fellows 

Fellows first appeared on the map as a railroad terminal in 1908, when 
the Sunset Western railroad was extended from Pentland Junction, near 
Maricopa, to the northern portion of the Midway field. Nothing but a grow- 
ing or diminishing pile of lumber and oil well supplies marked the spot, how- 
ever, until the rfival of interest in oil development in 1909 began to make it 
an important point for the unloading of supplies for the oil companies that 
began about that time to venture out into the upper part of the Midway val- 
ley. Then the Santa Fe, operating large oil properties in North Midway as 
the Chanslor-Canfield Oil Company, established headquarters at Fellows and 
made the place noteworthy by sparing enough of its expensively obtained 
domestic water to grow a row of Cottonwood trees on the barren mesa. As 
the field developed Fellows became a modest trading point. James & Dooley 
established the first store in the place in 1910. Lawton & Blanck followed 
soon after with a similar establishment, in which was located the postoffice, 
and by the beginning of 1911 Fellows boasted two stores, a drug store, a 
billiard room, a livery stable and a liberal supply of saloons. 

In the last two years Fellows has taken on an air of greater stability 
by the erection of better buildings, among which is a grammar school build- 
ing that would do credit to a place of several times its age and number of 
inhabitants. The Fellows Courier, an enterprising weekly, has been estab- 
lished recently. 



\ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 181 

McKittrick 

The town of McKittrick, which is the shipping and trading point for the 
oil fields of that name, is about forty miles west of Bakersfield. The earliest 
settlement at that place was called Asphalto, because of an asphalt mine 
located there in the early days, and the railroad, which was built to the field 
in 1891. still calls its station by the original name, although everyone else 
adopted the name McKittrick in 1895. The manufacture of asphaltum was the 
first industry of the town, and was the means of inducing the Southern Pa- 
cific to build a branch of its railroad to connect the place with Bakersfield. 
The railroad refined asphaltum under the name of the Standard Asphalt 
Company for some years. The first mail was distributed b-^- Mrs. Ouarra, but 
she did the work as a matter of accommodation and not as a government 
official. When H. F. Peters built the first store in 1900 he was appointed the 
first postmaster. Prior to this date A. Bandettini was conducting a hotel at 
McKittrick. The town was laid out as it now is in 1900. 

With the general activity in oil development beginning in 1900 McKit- 
trick began to grow, and it has been conspicuous among oil towns for the 
even prosperity it has enjoyed, although it never developed the booms which 
sent the population of Taft and Maricopa into the thousands. 

McKittrick now has about 500 inhabitants. It was incorporated in Sep- 
tember, 1911, with the following officers: Trustees, R. Butterfield, president; 
W. J. McCarthy, S. A. Hubbard, H. E. Phelan and Fred Ehlers ; city clerk, 
Warren Bridges. The McKittrick Clarion dispenses the local news. 

Lost Hills 

The founding of the town of Lost Hills followed the discovery of the 
oil field of that name, the story of which is told in the chapters devoted to oil. 
Martin & Dudley, discoverers of the field, laid out a townsite on sections 2 
and 3, township 27, range 21, the winter following the strike. G. T. Nighbert 
erected the first building, which was occupied by a restaurant conducted by 
Mrs. Hamilton, the first woman in the new town. Nighbert also built the 
first hotel and the first store building, the latter being leased to Crow & 
Cullen, who previously conducted the first mercantile business in Lost Hills 
in a tent. 

With the development of the Lost Hills field the town has grown 
steadily until there are now about 200 residents, and all lines of business one 
would expect to find in a city of that size are represented. Excellent tele- 
phone service with the fields and with the outside world is afforded, there 
is a daily stage to Wasco, and bonds for a school house have been voted. 

Two explanations of the origin of the name "Lost Hills" are at the dis- 
cretion of the historian. One is that a traveler approaching the district from 
the east sees from a distance what appears to be a considerable elevation of 
land, but as he comes nearer the hills seem to fade away until, when he has 
actually reached them, they appear hardly higher than the surrounding land. 
The second explanation is that the low range of hills which bear the name 
has no apparent relation to the surrounding country and the man who named 
them may have humored the conceit that they had wandered away from the 
other foothills of the Coast range — from which they are many miles distant — 
and lost themselves on the desolate and uninhabited mesa. 

.^s a matter of fact, the Lost Hills are formed by a very steep anticline 



182 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

which the wash of centuries has nearly covered with alluvial sands. But it 
required expensive drilling to ascertain this fact, and so it probably did 
not inriuence the selection Of the name. 

Towns of the Valley Farming Districts — Delano 

The town of Delano had its beginning as a railroad terminal. On July, 

1873, the Southern Pacific railroad, building from Oakland to Los Angeles, 
reached that point with its tracks, and work was suspended until August 6, 

1874. During this interval of a year and fifteen days Delano was the end of 
the line, and freight to and from Bakersfield and all the valley and mountain 
districts south and even as far away as Inyo county, was hauled to Delano 
or from Delano by big ox- and mule-teams. For some weeks before and after 
these dates Delano was headquarters for the railroad grading and track- 
laying crews, and for many years thereafter it remained a favorite gathering 
place for itinerant sheep men at the spring arid fall shearing times. 

In addition to all these incentives to growth, Delano became the trading 
point for a large number of homesteaders who settled the fertile, sunny, 
attractive plains that spread between the railroad and the Sierra foot hills. 
The rainfall on these plains is scant, and the crops of wheat which the home- 
steaders raised were correspondingly meager, but the land was so easily 
tilled that one man with six horses and a gang plow could farm several hun- 
dred acres. As a result, Delano, a little later in its history, was an important 
wheat-shipping point. The more gradual development of the heavier lands to 
the west of the railroad brought a little more business to Delano. The 
organization of the Poso irrigation district, and the hope of getting gravity 
water from Kern river or from Poso creek nursed Delano's dreams of great- 
ness for some years, and when both of these projects had to be abandoned, the 
town turned to the pumping plants. 

Delano was the first place in the county to build air castles on a founda- 
tion of pump irrigation, but the somewhat greater depth to water than pre- 
vailed at Wasco and McFarland, and the fact that a series of dry years and 
low prices had left the wheat ranchers too poor to risk investments in un- 
proven experiments delayed progress in the successful installation of pump 
irrigation. 

It was not until 1908 that pump irrigation began to be a considerable 
factor in the development of Delano, but from that date on it grew steadily 
in importance, and those who are familiar with the soil and the water con- 
ditions expect to see Delano take rank among the most productive and pros- 
perous farming sections of the country. 

The first store in Delano was conducted by E. Chauvin, and stood nearly 
straight across the street from the railroad depot. Chauvin also was the first 
postmaster. The principal business houses of the earliest days faced the rail- 
road, but in 1890 a fire swept most of them away, and the next street to the 
east took front rank in importance. The town now boasts two business 
streets, a fair number of brick buildings, a large grammar school building, a 
high school, opened in 1912, a bank, three churches. Baptist, Methodist and 
Catholic, two grain warehouses, and a weekly newspaper, the Delano Record. 

Wasco 

Wasco colony as founded in February. 1907, as the result of indirect 
efforts of the Kern county board of trade. The executive committee of the 



i 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 183 

board, having failed of great success in the attempt to induce ininiigration, 
decided, during the previous year, t(i interest colonization agencies and let 
the latter do the hard work of getting in touch with the home-seeker. This 
endeavor resulted in the purchase of nine sections of land from the Kern 
County Land Company by the California Home Extension Association and 
the organization of the Fourth Home Extension Colony by M. V. Hartranft, 
manager. Capital to float the enterprise was supplied by the sale of bonds to 
prospective colonists, and these bonds were exchanged for land at a general 
meeting of the purchasers in February, 1907. At that meeting the land, 
which was laid out in 20-acre tracts and town lots, and duly appraised, was 
auctioned ofT to the bond holders. Choice tracts brought a small l)onus above 
the appraisement, and this bonus was turned into a general improvement 
fund, the bonds being exchanged for the land at the appraised \aluation. 

The first settlers arrived on the colony March 1, 1907. While the land 
was under the Calloway canal it was sold without a water right, and a mutual 
water company was formed to sink wells and install pumping plants. In a 
year twenty-two wells were sunk and five pumping plants were in operation. 
As stated elsewhere, the need of economy prompted the purchase of second- 
hand engines, and the result was endless diiificulty and a perennial shortage of 
water in time of need until years after, when the San Joaquni Light & 
Power Corporation extended its power lines to the colony, electric motors 
were installed. 

With more reliable power the complete success of pump irrigation was 
demonstrated, and Wasco soon developed into one of the most attractive 
farming sections of the county. All kinds of deciduous fruits and grapes 
were planted by the early colonists, but a large part of the land has been 
devoted at all times to the growing of alfalfa and general farm crops. The 
comparative small water lift and the easily tilled land make this practicable. 

The discovery of the Lost Hills oil field in the summer oi 1910 and the 
excitement that developed the following winter gave a great boost to Wasco 
as a trading point. All the supplies for the new field were unloaded frtmi the 
Santa Fe railroad at Wasco and hauled thence about twenty-one miles by dirt 
road to where the wonderfully shallow wells were being brought in. I'eanis 
of eight, ten, twelve and sixteen horses speedily wore out the roads with 
their loads of derrick timbers and rig irons, and made exceedingly rough 
sledding for the whirring strings of automobiles that carried their loads of 
eager fortune seekers to the Lost Hills. 

Wasco became a very necessary half-way house, and the business of its 
merchants trebled. Moreover, one of the more venturesome land owners 
began sinking a deep well in the colony itself, and persistent rumors that good 
oil indications were encountered ])revailed. Nothing more developed, but 
before hope from this source was abandoned Harry Rambo and associates 
began drilling for oil at Semitropic, and Dr. A. H. Liscomb and a number of 
his friends started a similar effort still nearer Wasco not far from the Lost 
Hills road. Both these wells were started in the fall of 1912. and shortly after 
the first of the following year a considerable amount of excitement was 
created by report that light oil had been struck in the Liscoml) well. Real 
estate prices jumped in \\'asco and all the adjacent country on the strength 
of the report, but the strike did not materialize, and six months later the oil 
is still undisciixered. although the iirdspecturs are not \-et discmiragcd. 



184 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

With or without oil, however, Wasco's future seems assured. Land 
in the colony is valued at $150 per acre with water, and at still higher 
prices with more improvements. The population of the town is about 300, 
and the business streets are well lined with brick and concrete buildings. A 
bank, four churches, a club hall and a fine new grammar school building are 
among the landmarks in the town. The colonists generally have built com- 
fortable houses and an abundance of trees and vines add to the attractiveness 
of the place. 

The Wasco News was established by J. L. Gill on November 23, 1911, 
and a year later was sold to Lawrence Lavers, the present proprietor. 

Prior to the founding of Wasco colony the Santa Fe railroad maintained 
a station at that place under the name of Dewey. The depot, a store, a black- 
smith shop and two saloons composed the town at the time the colony was 
launched. 

Famoso 

Famoso, on the Southern Pacific about midway between Bakersfield and 
Delano, took its place on the map as Poso station when the railroad was first 
built through the valley. The name wa§ inherited from the creek which flows 
past the place in time of freshet, and the first postoffice was established there 
under that name. Mail intended for the residents, however, got mixed with 
that intended for Pozo. San Luis Obispo county, and the government changed 
the name to Spottiswood. The natives could see neither reason nor romance 
in Spottiswood, so a protest resulted in the adoption of the name Famoso, 
which is understood to mean the city of the rolling hills. 

For many years the Kern County Land Company has maintained a large 
warehouse, stock yard and sheep-shearing camp at that place in connec- 
tion with its Poso ranch, which adjoins the town on the west. In the earlier 
history of the town the business that developed twice a year during the 
spring and fall shearing seasons was a large factor in its commercial activity. 
The plains to the east of Famoso formerly were farmed to grain, and the 
Poso district achieved some fame by sending the first wheat to the San Fran- 
cisco market every spring. 

An ill-starred scheme to bring water from Poso creek by canal to 
irrigate the country to the east and north developed the fact that water was 
not available from that source and left the Poso irrigation district burdened 
with a heavy load of bonds and nothing to show for it save many miles of 
useless ditches. This unfortunate venture blocked the growth of Famoso 
down to the present time. Recently, however, promising efforts have been 
made to effect a mutually advantageous arrangement between the bond 
holders and the owners of the land, and it may be possible soon to clear the 
titles which have been clouded by unpaid bond assessments for nearly twenty 
years. Should this result materialize the Famoso district probably will take 
its place in the general march of progress with the country adjoining it on all 
sides. 

The first store at Famoso was conducted by John Barrington, who was 
succeeded by J. S. Brooks. The latter previously had been station agent for 
the Southern Pacific. Brooks retired and left the mercantile field to C. E. 
Kitchen, who still occupies it with a general merchandise store and who 
also dispenses justice as a justice of the peace. 



HISTORY OF KE](N COUNTY 185 

McFarland 

McFarland colon}- and town were founded in the spring of 1908 by 
T. B. McFarland and \\'. F. Laird on land purchased by McFarland the 
year previous. Up to that time a siding on the Southern Pacific railroad 
known as Hunt was the only thing that distinguished the spot from any 
other part of the miles of bare and unfilled plain between Delano and Famoso, 
but through the energy of McFarland and Laird water wells were sunk, 
pumping plants installed and colonists located on the land, and in a few 
months' time the place took on the character of a permanent settlement. 

Most of the people who purchased land in McFarland had some capital, 
and the homes built and the other improvements made gave the colony from 
the start an appearance of prosperity and attractiveness. Ralph Kern opened 
the first grocery store early in 1908, and in the fall of that year he was 
appointed postmaster. The following year O. Woodard opened a general 
merchandise store and a hotel and lumber yard were established. In the 
same year the Associated Oil Company built its pipe line from the Kern river 
fields to San Francisco bay, and built one of its pumping stations at 
McFarland. 

The McFarland colonists have made a specialty of dairying, and have 
been very successful. Good land and a low water lift have formed the basis 
for a thorough demonstration of the practicability of pump irrigation, and 
to McFarland, perhaps, belongs the honor of having first answered that ques- 
tion past all shadow of doubt. In five years the place has progressed from 
a tract of absolutely virgin land to a town of 300 people and a colony of 
over 100 pumping plants, with telephone, electric light and electric power 
service, a new railroad depot, a creamery, ice plant, bank, two churches, a 
four-room grammar school built at a cost of $12,000, and exceptionally at- 
tractive homes and prosperous fields and orchards. McFarland butter is 
noted for its quality and won a gold medal at the state fair in 1911. The 
town and colony are "dry," a clause having been inserted in the deeds to 
the land forbidding the sale of liquor thereon. 

Other centers of farming development in the valley hardly ranking as 
towns are Rio Bravo, which is only a neighborhood of pioneer pump irri- 
gators about fifteen miles west of Bakersfield ; Button Willow, which is a 
shipping point and headquarters for the Miller & Lux ranches; Shafter, 
where the Kern County Land Company is just opening a townsite in con- 
nection with a subdivision of 7000 acres now being placed on the market ; 
Rosedale, which was founded as the community center of Rosedale colony 
in 1889 and which is now holding its own with a country store, a school 
house and two churches, and Edison, which is the chief center of the new 
citrus industry just beginning on the mesa east of Bakersfield. At present 
Edison is only a little group of residences with a school house and a railroad 
station and unloading tracks, but it has reasonable prospects fur a more im- 
portant place in history later on. 

Towns of the Mountain Section — Tehachapi 

The first permanent settler in the Tehachapi region, according to the 
best memorj- of the oldest present residents, was John Moore Brite. who 
located in Tehachapi valley in the fall of 1854. Afterward he moved to the 
valley that now bears his name and built an adobe residence, in which he 
also kept a stock of groceries and miners' supplies to accommoilate the scat- 



186 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

tered miners and stockmen who comprised the early population of the moun- 
tain district. This was the first store in the Tehachapi country. 

The first of the Cuddebacks arrived soon after John M. Brite, and he 
settled first in what is now Brites' valley, moving later to the present site 
of Tehachapi. 

The China hill placers were responsible for the first considerable immi- 
gration to the Tehachapi country. The hill turned out several thousand 
dollars in gold, and some of the miners made as much as $15 per day while 
the placers were at their best. Mining created a demand for lumber, which 
was supplied by whip-sawing the native pine logs. 

According to the best authority, the first post office in the vicinity of 
Tehachapi was opened about 1870 by John Narboe, who lived in Narboe 
canon on the stage line that ran to Havilah. Before Narboe's time the 
settlers got their mail from Los Angeles, when they or their neighbors went 
to that place for provisions. William Wiggins was the first postmaster 
at Old Town, and was also the first justice of the peace at that place. 

One of the first Fourth of July celebrations that the traditions of Kern 
county record was held under a large oak tree near the present site of 
Tehachapi in 1856. Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Brite, Mrs. Smith and their families 
and a number of bachelor residents of the country helped to kindle the 
fires of patriotism in the new land. Red, white and blue calico decorations 
and a good dinner stand out among the enduring memories of the day. 

Ed. Green opened the first store, in the original Tehachapi, later known 
as Old Town, after Squire Wiggins became postmaster there, and a little 
later a man by name of Murphy, who had started a store a little distance 
away, moved his establishment into the embryo city. Ed. Green succeeded 
to the office of postmaster and retained it for many years. 

W. C. Wiggins taught the first school in Old Town in 1861. The name 
of his successor is not recorded, but the third teacher was "Doc" Dozier. 
In May, 1867, Miss Louisa Jewett, afterward Mrs. Crites, began a term 
of several months in a log cabin that had been built for a school house 
about half way between Brites' valley and Old Town. Miss Jackson fol- 
lowed Miss Jewett, and later the old log school house was abandoned for 
a new building in Old Town. As the country settled up schools were 
started in Brites, Cummings and Bear valleys. 

Uncle Jimmie Williams built the first hotel in Old Town and also started 
a blacksmith shop, livery stable and feed corrals to care for the travellers 
and teamsters who passed that way between Los Angeles and the San Joaquin 
valley. Prior to the building of the Southern Pacific railroad a large amount 
of teaming was carried on by way of Old Town, and it became quite a 
busy and hopeful little town. 

But in the summer of 1876 the railroad was built through Tehachapi 
pass, and changes began to take place in the map. Tehachapi, meaning "the 
crow's nest," was located about three miles west of the site of the present 
town, in the edge of the hills. But the railroad chose the level land over 
which to run its tracks and on which to build its station. Anticipating the 
coming of the railroad a settlement had sprung up about a mile west of 
the present Tehachapi station under the name of Greenwich, so called in 
honor of P. D. Green, who kept the post office there. The railroad founded 
the new town of Tehachapi, taking the name of the older place in the hills, 
which struggled against fate for a time, came to be known as Old Town 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 187 

and finally capitulated to the power of modern transportation. Greenwich 
promptly moved itself to the railroad's townsite, and Green took his post 
office there. For a time the office continued under the name of Greenwich, 
but in the end it was changed to Tehachapi, and the name Greenwich sur- 
vived only as the designation of a voting precinct. 

\\''hile the post office was at Greenwich, William N. Cuddeback, then 
but a boy, carried the mail on muleback, furnishing his own mule. P. D. 
Green was elected justice of the peace at Tehachapi and Charles A. Lee, 
afterward county recorder, succeeded him as postmaster. 

The first store in Tehachapi (New Town) was owned by J. E. Prewett, 
now judge of the superior court of Placer county. The second store was built 
by S. Alexander, who had been a clerk for Hirshfeld Brothers at Old Town. 
The exodus from Old Town soon became general. Hirshfeld Brothers closed 
their store there, and Isidor Asher, another of their clerks, moved the re- 
mainder of the stock to Tehachapi, where he opened a business on his own 
account. 

Many of the residents of Old Town brought their houses with them 
when they moved down to the railroad. Mr. and Mrs. Kessing and Mrs. 
Mary Anne Haig moved in from "Camp 7," and established the first eating 
house in the new town. Soon after Mrs. Haig opened the first rooming 
house. Jack Eveleth built the first hotel, which stood on the corner oppo- 
site the depot. 

In 1875 a school was established in a log cabin at Greenwich, hut when 
the new town got under way it followed the shifting center of population 
and was housed in a two-story frame building erected for the purpose. This 
school house did duty until 1901, when it was moved south of the rail- 
road track, made into a hotel, and its place was taken by a $10,000, three-room, 
lirick building. 

The Catholics built a church early in the history of the mountain town, 
and the Protestant denominations united in the construction of a union 
church. 

At the present time Tehachapi has a population of about 600. It was 
incorporated by an election held on August 13, 1910, at which time T. P. 
Sullivan, John Hickey, J. M. Jackley, H. S. Downs and Fred Snider were 
elected as the first board of trustees; E. V. Reed, first city clerk; C. V. 
Barnard, first marshal, and C. O. Lee, first city treasurer. John Hickey is 
now the president of the board of trustees. 

In 1912 Tehachapi voted bonds to the amount of $14,000 and con- 
structed a public water system consisting of wells and pumping plants which 
furnish an abundant supply of good water. 

Twice Tehachapi has been almost destroyed by fire, but each time it 
has been pluckily rebuilt in more substantial form. 

For years after it was founded Tehachapi was only a trading point 
for stockmen and miners scattered through the hills and mountains, and a stop- 
ping place for the through travel over the pass. Then the fertile valleys began 
to be tilled, and it became a shipping point for" grain, hay, wool and stock. 
The early settlers, however, planted little family orchards of apple and pear 
trees, and within the past five or six years experienced horticulturists 
have noted the excellence of the fruit from these trees and have established 
what promises to be a very thriving and profitable industry. In the past 
two years the acreage planted to fruit trees in the Tehachapi and other 



188 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

valleys has greatly increased, and while the young orchards are not yet 
old enough to have demonstrated their producing qualities, the growth of 
the trees is very satisfactory, and the orchardists are satisfied to trust the 
matter of fruitfulness to the evidence furnished by the old, family orchard 
trees. 

As an evidence of its faith in the future of Tehachapi as an apple country 
Kern county this summer waged a successful campaign for the election of 
Miss Ruby Brite as queen of the Watsonville apple carnival, an annual 
festival in which all the apple-growing sections of the state participate and 
in which they all compete for the honor of naming the queen. 

Glennville 

Linns valley was named for William Lynn who came to what is now 
Kern county in 1854 with his partner, George Ely. Like nearly everyone 
else who came here in those days they were attracted by the mines, but 
unlike most of the early miners they turned to agriculture and stock-raising 
instead of following the rainbow of fortune to the next mining camp. Event- 
ually Lynn returned to the east, but Ely lived out his days on a farm 
which he homesteaded in the fertile valley, and was finally buried there. 

David Lavers arrived in Linns valley in the spring of 1855, and soon 
afterward located on the farm where he still resides, a short distance above 
Glennville. In 1857 came the Glenn, Reed and Ellis families. Glennville 
was named for Martin Glenn, who took up a farm close to where the present 
town of Glennville stands. The first house in the town, an adobe, was built 
by Thomas Fitzgerald, and the first store was opened by Reed & Wilkes. 

Throughout its history thus far stock-raising, together with a small 
amount of farming in the mountain valleys and meadows, has been the 
main support of Glennville, although the prospector and his burro have 
been familiar sights along the roads thereabout through all the years, and 
some business is brought to the town by summer campers seeking the 
cool and beauty of the mountains. 

Woody 

The little foothill town of Woody took its name from S. W. Woody, 
one of the early pioneers of the mountain section. A school teacher by 
name of Gurnell was the first postmaster, and he was succeeded by Thomas 
Hopper, who opened the first store. 

Mining and stock-raising have been Woody's chief industries, and al- 
though the latter finally displaced the former, interest still remains in the 
gold ledges, and Woody residents insist that the old mines will again be 
worked. 

In 1891 Joseph Weringer opened the Greenback copper mine and 
founded the town of Weringdale a quarter of a mile above the old Woody 
store. This copper mine is now showing promising ore. carrying some 
gold and silver with the copper. Weringer is working day and night shifts 
and expects soon to begin shipping ore in quantity. 
Kernville 

Kernville is the successor of the early mining camp which was famous 
over the state at one time as Whiskey Flat. It lies on the west bank of 
the North Fork of Kern river about four miles above its junction with the 
South Fork. Kernville discarded the picturesque but undignified name of 
Whiskey Flat in 1864. The first store in the place was founded by Curtis 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 189 

& Davis in 1863, and Mrs. Carmel taught the first school, which was con- 
ducted in a private residence. The post office was established in 1864 with 
Adam Hamilton as postmaster. 

The Big Bhie mine was the greatest factor in the early prosperity of 
Kernville, but in later years the farms and stock ranches of the mountain 
valley have maintained its business activity at a steady though not a killing 
pace. In 1883 fire destroyed a part of the business section of the town and 
many dwellings. N. P. Peterson, who lost a hotel and several dwelling 
houses, was one of the largest sufiferers in the fire. 

Kernville has a good grammar school, a Methodist church, a daily stage 
to Caliente and telephone communication with the outside world via the 
same place. The store of A. Brown Company carries a very complete stock 
of general merchandise. 

Isabella 

Isabella, at the junction of the South and North Forks of Kern river, 
was laid out in 1892 by Stephen Barton on a portion of his homestead. 
G. W. King conducted the first store and was the first postmaster. The 
place numbers about fifty residents, has a grammar school, a Methodist 
church, and a justice of the peace who represents the third branch of gov- 
ernment for the surrounding mountain district. 

Weldon 

At Weldon, ten miles above Isabella on the South Fork, the A. Brown 
Company has a store and keeps the postoffice. 

Onyx 

Onyx, four miles above Weldon, boasts only a posroffice in a private 
residence. 

Bodf^sh 
Budfish is a little hamlet at the foot of Hot Springs hill. For many 
years it was only a post office at the home of Mrs. Vaughn, the postmistress. 
In 1896 John Cross opened a store and stage office. There is a country 
grammar school at the place, and three miles distant, on Kern river, is the 
plant of the Pacific Light & Power Corporation. 

Havilah 

The history of Havilah is told in chapter three, along with that of the 
other early mining districts and in chapters six and seven where the story 
of its decline and the rise of Bakersfield as the dominant center of the county's 
development is recounted. Today, Havilah is little more than a memory, 
and its memory is best honored by letting the curtain fall over the years 
of its decline after it lost its gallant fight to retain the county seat and its 
people began moving not only their household goods but their houses as 
well to the more vigorous and promising city on the plain. 

Caliente 

Caliente was established first as a railroad grading camp when the 
Southern Pacific railroad began its long job of building its roadbed up the 
hills of Tehachapi. The town is located almost in the edge of the hills 
where the canon of Caliente creek widens out into a little valley. About 
this point the railroad grade begins its difficult climbing, and the track makes 
great curves back and forth that afford the traveller recurring views of 



190 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the town from different elevations as he looks out from a car window, climbing 
or descending. 

Stage lines and mail carriers leave Caliente for Havilah, Kernville and 
other mountain points, and the town is the first shipping point for a great 
mountain section. One or two fires and a flood last summer that filled the 
streets with mud and washed two or three light houses from their founda- 
tions are among the few events that have varied the slow but even growth 
of the little village. 

Towns of the Desert — Randsburg 

Randsburg, in the extreme eastern part of the county, is the principal 
trading point for the Rand mining district, which was organized at a meeting 
of miners held on December 20, 1895. John Singleton presided. A resolu- 
tion was adopted naming the district after the famous Rand of South Africa, 
and E. B. McGinnis was elected the first mining recorder. The great Yellow 
Aster, the largest gold mine in the state, located by John Singleton, C. A. 
Burcham and Fred M. Moores, was first called the Rand mine, its name 
being changed in 1897, when the Yellow Aster Mining &' Milling Company 
was organized. 

W. C. Wilson, who had been conducting a general store in Mojave, moved 
to Randsburg and opened a like establishment at the beginning of the ex- 
citement in the new camp. D. C. Kuffel was his first manager. The building 
first occupied was vacated in 1896, and a larger building, 28 by 80 feet in size, 
was moved from Oarlock. S. J. Montgomery built the second store soon after, 
and both establishments, together with practically the whole of the town, 
were wiped out by fire in 1897. 

In 1898 a railroad was built from Ivramer to Johannesburg, about a mile 
distant from Randsburg, but prior to that time everything the Rand mining 
district wanted from the outside world had to be hauled fifty miles by team 
from Mojave. 

The post office was established at Randsburg in 1895 with Fred Moores 
as the first post master. At the first miners' meeting in 1895 thirty-three 
votes were cast, but so rapidly did the new camp acquire fame and population 
that a year later the number of votes at a similar meeting was 687. In the 
fall of 1896 the St. Elmo hotel was built, only to be burned in the big fire the 
next June. Twice since 1897 fire has swept the mining town. 

The first school was established in 1897. In April, 1901, the present 
school building was built at a cost of $3500. 

Randsburg now has a population of about 1000, and is the metropolis 
of the greatest mining district in the state in the value of its output. The 
principal mines are the world-famous Yellow Aster, the Consolidated Mining 
Company's properties, the Little Butte, the King Solomon group, the Baltic 
and the G. B. Mining Company's group. 

Just at present Randsburg is being given a boost by the introduction of 
electric light and power by the Southern Sierras Power Company, the installa- 
tion of dry crushing, the cyaniding of raw ore and the starting up of some 
of the larger placer mines. The town is supplied with water by the Rands- 
burg Water Company, which pipes it from Squaw and Mountain springs. 
Johannesburg 

Johannesburg, a mile south of Randsburg, "was founded in the fall of 
1897 and the spring of 1898. it is said by Chauncey M. Depew and associates. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 191 

who bought a half section of school land, laid out the townsite and built the 
railroad connecting it with the Santa Fe main line at Kramer, expecting that 
the new and thriving camp of Randsburg would move over to the railroad 
en masse. In this hope they were disappointed, and the Johannesburg railroad 
was sold to the Santa Fe. 

The founders of the town piped water from Mountain spring, and this 
sj'stem later was combined with the Randsburg water system, which had its 
supply from Squaw springs. 

Johannesburg boasts the Johannesburg Reduction Works, known as the 
Red Dog, a custom mill, built in 1897; the Santa Ana, the Pioneer and the 
Windy. 

Mojave 

The town of Mojave was established by the Southern Pacific railroad 
when it laid its tracks through the desert in 1876. The first store was built 
by a man named Moon, and Mrs. Morrissey opened the Morrissey hotel, 
which was the first hostelry. Robert Charlton was the first postmaster. 
W. C. Wilson, at one time county auditor, conducted a general merchandise 
store at Alojave for some years. 

Up to the present time the railroad has been the chief reason for the 
existence of the town. It is situated at the foot of the climb from the south 
to the top of Tehachapi pass, and is therefore a convenient place for 
coupling and uncoupling helper engines. It is now the end of an oil pipe line 
carrying fuel oil over the Tehachapi mountains for the use of the railroads. 
Mojave also has been the shipping point for borax hauled from Borax lake 
and Death valley. The beds at Borax lake were discovered' by John Searles 
of Skilling & Searles, who for many years have hauled the product across the 
desert sands to Mojave with 20-mule teams, taking fifteen days for the round 
trip. 

During the early days of the Randsburg mining boom Mojave was the 
point at which miners and their provisions and materials left the railroad, 
and the trade so produced helped the town to prosper until the railroad was 
built to Johannesburg. The building of the Los Angeles aqueduct gave 
Mojave another temporary boom. 

For many years some mining has been carried on in the country tributary 
to Mojave, and recently satisfactory results have been obtained in developing 
water for pump irrigation in the vicinity of the town. The desert lands are 
rich and adapted to cultivation if a sufficient supply of water for irrigation 
can be obtained, and on the experiments in this line may depend Mojave's 
ultimate prosperity or adversity. 

During the past year a refinery has been built at Mojave for extracting 
some of the lighter elements from the oil that is piped over the mountains, the 
residue being as valuable for fuel as the native oil, and the part taken out 
selling for enough to make a verv substantial reduction in the railroad's fuel 
bill. 

Two churches and a good grammar school are among Mojave's public 
assets. 

Rosamond 

Rosamond is a station on the Southern Pacific fourteen miles south of 
Mojave, near the southern line of the county. The first store was opened 
about 1888 bv a man bv name of Hyde and Miss Sarah Haves. C. P. Sutton 



192 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

was the first postmaster and was succeeded by E. S. Waite, Charles Graves 
and Miss Kinton, in the order named. Ike Boyles ran the first hotel, and 
Miss Kate Titus taught the first school. It was kept up for two seasons by 
private subscription, but not until 1908 were there enough children to warrant 
the establishment of a school district. 

Rosamond was named for a daughter of one of the Southern Pacific rail- 
road ofificials. 



■i 




^^^-o^y-i^ ^>1 c Is^x:? 



BIOGRAPHICAL 

HENRY A. JASTRO.— A record of the life of Henry A. Jastro is in 
many respects an epitome of the progress of Kern county. So long has been 
his identification with this great region and so intimate his association with 
local development that, viewing the remarkable transformation wrought 
within his memory, he may well exclaim, "All of which I saw and part of 
which I was." Great as has been his business activity, bringing to him 
prominence and prestige throughout the entire United States, it is as super- 
visor that the people of his home county know him best and regard him 
with the deepest affection. Through the period of more than twenty years 
measuring his service as a member of the board of supervisors, to which he 
was chosen by a large majority at each election and as invariably made chair- 
man of the board, mind and heart have been engrossed in the well-being of 
the count3^ Evidence of his unusual ability as a financier appears in the fact 
that Kern county is operated on a cash basis with the lowest tax rate in the 
state, yet there have been erected quite recently a county high school and hall 
of records, an addition to the county hospital duuljling its capacity, and a 
courthouse that ranks among the finest in the state; also, the Kern River 
bridge, one of the longest bridges in the state, built of reinforced concrete. 
Eacii of these buildings and structures is attractive in architecture, substan- 
tial in construction, modern in equipment and convenient in interior arrange- 
ment, each in a word a model of its kind, yet such was the skill of the super- 
visors as financiers, under the leadership of their chairman, that the enor- 
mous tasks were completed amicably and economically without taint of graft 
or criticism of extravagance. The courthouse in particular has attracted 
architects from distant points, for its pronounced excellence invites a close 
inspection on the part of all associated with the architecture of public build- 
ings. The plans of the supervisors did not end with construction work, but 
include the ultimate transformation of the courthouse grounds into a bower 
of horticultural beauty unsurpassed in the valley of the San Joaquin. 

Born in Germany in 1850, Henry A. Jastro was thirteen years of age 
when he accompanied his family from Germany to America. Later he came 
alone to California by way of Panama and after landing in San Francisco 
traveled from there by stage to Los Angeles. With youthful enthusiasm he 
threw himself into the task of earning a livelihood in a strange country, far 
from the friends of earlier days. For a time he engaged in freighting to 
Arizona. .Another task was that of working with cattle and sheep between 
Wilmington and Catalina Islands. In the meantime he was learning much 
conceining the great undeveloped resources of the state. During 1870 he 
saw Oakersfield f( r the first time. The now flourishing city was a small ham- 
let, comprising a primitive collection of cabins and offering little inducement 
to the ordinary settler. But i\lr. Jastro was then as he is now an optimist con- 
cerning the country. From the first he realized its possibilities and foresaw its 
future growth, although not realizing at the time that oil and natural gas 
would form the secret of such development. Subsequent events have deepened 
his faith in Kern county and he is now a "veritable encyclopedia" concerning 
its resources. In his opinion the discoveries of oil and natural gas are the 
greatest benefits California has ever received, not excepting gold. With the 
advent of natural gas in Bakersfield, pipes were laid to convey it to San 
Francisco and Los Angeles; while it is not inferior to manufactured gas for 
illuminating pur|)Oses. it has the advantage of a greater heat unit. After oil 
had given the state cheap fuel, California jumped from the twenty-fifth place 



196 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

in manufacturing to the eleventh, and Mr. Jastro beheves that within a few 
years it will rank fourth or fifth among the manufacturing states. In his 
estimation this will come through the establishment of cotton and woolen fac- 
tories. Already cotton is being produced in large quantities in the state, while 
sheep always will be raised on lands adapted for no other purpose than graz- 
ing. 

Through his marriage to Miss May E. Baker, who died in 1894, Mr. Jastro 
became allied with a notable family of Kern county, for his father-in-law, Col. 
Thomas Baker, is remembered in the annals of local history as the founder 
of Bakersfield. A son, Harry A., and two daughters were born of the union. 
One of the daughters, now residing at Albuquerque, N. M., is the wife of M. 
O. Chadbourne, son of Colonel Chadbourne, of San Francisco. Since the death 
of his wife Mr. Jastro has made his home with his widowed daughter, Mrs. 
May Greer, in a comfortable home in Bakersfield, and he is seldom away 
from the city except at such times as the demands of his large business inter- 
ests necessitate his presence elsewhere. His identification with Messrs. Carr 
and Haggin, the predecessors of the Kern County Land Company, began in 
1874, four years after his location in Bakersfield. From that time to the pres- 
ent, excepting a period of about four years from 1886 to 1890, he has become 
more and more a power in the profitable development of this close corporation, 
comprising the estate of Lloj'd Tevis (represented by William S. Tevis) and 
the holdings uf J. B. Haggin, now of New York. Stockdale, one of the com- 
pany's great ranches, is the seat of the Tevis home. The tropical splendors of 
this ranch defy any description. One of the most unusual attractions is a 
bamboo forest, where the bamboo by actual measurement has grown twenty- 
five inches in twenty-four htiurs. The hothouse contains rare plants and 
the artificial lake is stocked with rare water fowl, while grottoes and foun- 
tains add to the charm of the ranch. 

A colonization scheme by the manager of the company failed signally in 
1903. Mr. Jastro, who had been with the company for nineteen years in diiTer- 
ent capacities, was chosen manager. The properties over which he has absolute 
control include four hundred and sixty thousand acres in California, six hun- 
dred and ten thousand acres in New Mexico, one hundred thousand acres in 
Arizona, and two hundred and twenty-five thousand acres in Mexico. An ex- 
tensive irrigation scheme has been installed by the general manager on the 
San Pedro river in Arizona and this will irrigate ten thousand acres. The site 
of the government Elephant Butte dam in New Mexico is on forty thousand 
acres formerly held by the company, but taken over by the government on an 
equitable basis, ^^'ater from the reclamation project will be used on the com- 
pany land. 

As early as 1885 this company attempted to raise cotton and in that year 
they raised the first big crop of cotton ever grown in California. The product 
was of very fine quality, but labor conditions made the venture a failure. In 
order to secure the required number of cotton pickers they imported negroes, 
but they did not remain. Next they tried Chinamen, but cotton picking re- 
quires long fingers and the short Chinese fingers tore the staple. The industry 
was then abandoned. At the present time alfalfa and grain are the principal 
crops, but citrus and deciduous fruits and vines are raised, while in stock 
they have good success with every department, cattle, horses, mules, sheep 
and hogs. In Bakersfield and on the ranches the manager has established 
machine and wagon shops, warehouses, supply departments and tinshops, 
besides which he has built canals and waterworks. The cattle are raised in 
Arizona and New Mexico, then brought to Kern county for fattening on 
alfalfa or corn and chopped hay. Enough beef is produced to supply regularly 
eighty thousand people. The stock business conducted upon such an enor- 
mous scale calls for rare abilities, but the general manager lias proved equal 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 197 

to every eiiiery^ency and lias displayed a sagacit}', keen discriniinatii m and 
wise foresight seldom equalled. 

The fact that .Mr. jastro is a stanch Democrat has made no dilTcrcncc to 
the people in their solicitude to secure his public services. Republicans ha\'e 
displayed as much enthusiasm for him as supervisor as have the Democrats 
and during the great Roosevelt landslide in 1904, when the county gave a 
great Republican majority, he received a flattering majority for sui)ervisor on 
the Democratic ticket. In fact, the people have divorced politics from public 
service in their desire for his able assistance in public affairs and in this 
respect they resemljle Mr. jastro himself, for one of his hob])ies is the divorc- 
ing of trade relations and civic progress from politics. P^ive times elected 
president of the National Live Stock Association (the last time at Phoenix, 
Ariz., in January of 1913), in that office he has made a study of the tariff 
question in connection with the hides and wool schedule. It is his belief that 
the commerce of our countrv will not much longer permit itself to be a 
prey to political vicissitudes. As a remedial agency he favors the appointment 
of a board of tariff commissioners on a non-])artisan basis, such board to be 
continuously in session and have the power to adjust the tariff duties as occa- 
sion may demand. The action of President Taft in appointing tariff commis- 
sioners he regards as a step in the right direction. As a memlier of the state 
board of agriculture of which he was president for three terms his able 
services have been given to the uplifting of the farmer, whose interests he 
believes to be second to none in importance if the permanent piosperity of 
our commonwealth is to be conserved. In every post of honor accepted bv 
him he has given dignified and noteworthy service. With his commanding 
presence and magnetic personality, he is equally a power among the great- 
est captains of industry in the country and among the humbler workers 
of life's great field. His name ever will stand at the very forefront in the 
annals ( f Kern county and in the history of the stock industry throughout 
the we.st. 

PETER GARDETTE.— A record of the life of Peter Gardette is in many 
respects an epitome of the agricultural development of Kern county, whither 
he came at a period so earh' that no county organization had yet been 
effected and few emigrants had endeavored' to surmount the sufferings inci- 
dent to existence on plains undeveloped, unsettled and often drought-stricken. 
The tenacity of purpose which characterized him is exhibited in his fearless 
attempt to aid in the huge task of pioneer develo'iment. While he knew little 
of frontier hardships, he had learned to be persistent in labor and self-reliant 
in action, and every former association of his busy life had qualified' him for 
pioneering. Born near Danzig, Prussia, December 22, 1825, he had attended 
a school of navigation in youth and then had followed the sea for a livelihood. 
During 1851 the ship on which he was employed sailed around the Horn and 
came up the Pacific to San Francisco. The influx of emigrants had not 
lessened since the first excitement caused by the discovery of gold. Swept 
away from former plans by the contagion of large throngs making for the 
mines, he left his ship at San Francisco, although he did not follow the gen- 
eral example in trying his luck at the mines. Instead' he spent a winter in 
San Francisco. It was a season of great excitement. Not the least important 
of his experiences there was a participation in fighting the great fire of that 
winter which almost destroyed the city. Shortly afterward he left the city 
for the mines of Mariposa county and in April, 1854, when the first excite- 
ment was aroused through the discovery of gold at Keyesville, then in Tulare 
county, he followed the rush of travel to the new camp. 

It was the privilege of Mr. Gardette to witness the organization of Kern 
county and to be one of the very first citizens admitted by naturalization 
papers, this being about 1866. In partnership with Judge Sayles, later of 



198 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Fresno, now deceased, he started a general store on Greenhorn mountain at 
the present site of the camp of the forest supervisors. Within ten miles of the 
store he located a homestead on Poso Flat, where he began to raise cattle and 
sheep. His brand, the capital letter "S," was the very first to be recorded in 
Kern county and is now used by his son, Henry B., who continues the stock 
business at the old homestead. A log cabin was built on the claim as early 
as 1859 and in it the pioneer stockman kept bachelor's hall for some time. 
Eventually his means permitted him to provide better accommodations and in 
1871 he erected a frame house that still stands. Meanwhile he had put in a 
valuable irrigation system for his own use and had purchased adjacent land, 
so that five hundred and twenty acres were devoted to grain and alfalfa. 
When his children began to need educational advantages he erected a resi- 
dence on the corner of F and Twenty-first streets, Bakersfield, and there the 
family maintained their headquarters, although much of his time continued to 
be spent upon the ranch until his final retirement from heavy manual work. 
It was not until 1905 that he relinquished the management of the ranch into 
the hands of his son, Henry B., and thereupon he retired to private life, 
spending his last days quietly in Bakersfield, where he died May 19, 1911, at 
the family residence. 

The marriage of Peter Gardette occurred in San Francisco March 24, 1871, 
and united him with Miss Agnes E. A. Weber, a native of Dresden, Saxony, 
and a daughter of Henry and Augusta W. (Otto) Weber. Her father followed 
the occupation of a builder and both he and his wife remained in Saxony until 
their death. During young womanhood Mrs. Gardette left her home in Ger- 
many and came via Panama to California in 1868, settling at Visalia. Three 
years later she became the wife of Mr. Gardette and accompanied him to the 
ranch in Kern county. Since the death of her husband she has continued to 
reside in Bakersfield and has superintended her business matters with quiet, 
keen capability, one of her undertakings having been the building, with her 
son, Henry B., of the Kern Valley garage on the corner of L and Eighteenth 
streets. I'or years she has been identified with the Kern County Pioneer 
Society, to which Mr. Gardette also belonged, he having been at the time of 
his demise one of the very oldest settlers of the county. In religion she is of 
the Episcopalian faith, while he was reared in the Lutheran denomination and 
always adhered to its doctrines and creed. Their family consists of four 
children, of whom one daughter, Margaret D., is a successful teacher in the 
Bakersfield schools; a son, Henry B., continues at the old home ranch; Mrs. 
Mildred Munsey is a resident of Bakersfield, and the younger son, Helmuth C, 
follows the occupation of an electrical engineer in Los Angeles. 

W. S. WILHELM. — The president and general manager of the Mari- 
copa Queen Oil Company is an lowan by birth and was born in Musca- 
tine October 16, 1864, being a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Christ) Wilhelm. 
The lineage of the family is traced back to worthy Teutonic progenitors. 
Very early in the colonization of Amexica members of the family crossed the 
ocean from Germany and identified themselves with the material upbuilding of 
the new country. Later generations became pioneers of Iowa. The Muscatine 
branch of the family had little means, but possessed worth of character and 
nobility of purpose. In the midst of discouragements and poverty they re- 
tained their devotion to the higher principles of life. It was not possible for 
W. S. to attend school with any regularity, yet he has become a man of the 
broadest information and widest culture. Brought up to a life of hard work on 
a farm, when only fourteen years of age he engaged in cutting wood at sixty 
cents a cord. By such work he supported himself in the months of' winter. 
The summer seasons were given to farming. The sterling qualities of industry 
and thrift instilled in his mind during youth have stood him in good stead 
through his subsequent career. For a time in young manhood he was con- 



HISTORY ()!• KKRN COUXTY 201 

nected with the secret service of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 
in Missouri. While employed in that state he met and married Miss Dora J. 
Duncan, a cultured woman who in every way has promoted his success and 
enhanced his happiness. Seven children blessed their union and they still 
remain to brighten the elegant and attractive family residence in Long Beach. 
For two years after his marriage Mr. Wilhelm engaged in farming in 
Missouri, but later he remox-ed to Coloradu and interested himself in mining. 
By slow degrees he rose to wealth. Important interests were acquired not 
only in Colorado, but also in Idaho, Montana and Nevada. Since coming to 
California and establishing a home in Long Beach he has devoted much of 
his time to tlie interests of the Maricopa Queen Oil Company, of which he is 
president and general manager. The company has the distinction of owning 
an exceedingly valuable lease, comprising twenty acres on section 32, town- 
ship 12, range 23, in the Sunset-Midway field. There are now seven wells 
on the lease and two of these flow from fifteen hundred to two thousand 
barrels per day. In the development of this important lease Mr. Wilhelm 
has used his large means lavishly and the returns have fully justified his 
most sanguine expectations. In addition to his holdings previously men- 
tioned he has valuable mining properties in the west and considerable oil 
property in Texas. 

COL. E. M. ROBERTS.— Martial valor has been a leading characteristic 
of the Roberts family during the entire period of its known history, which in 
.•\merica dates from the colonial period of \''irginian settlement and reveals a 
record of patriotic devotion guided by a high order of intelligence. It is 
worthy of note that not only the Colonel's paternal grandfather, but likewise 
his maternal grandfather, Adam Harber, served under General Jackson in 
the memorable battle of New Orleans during the war of 1812 and gave loyal 
service to the country throughout that historic struggle. Of English birth 
and honorable .\nglo-Saxon lineage, Mr. Harber had immigrated to the new 
world during young manhood, settled upon a plantation in Tennessee and 
married a southern lady. Their daughter, .\nnie Aletha, a native of Tennessee 
and a lifelong resident of that state, became the wife of H. B. Roberts, who 
was born in North Carolina. While still a young woman she passed away, 
leaving a family of three sons and one daughter, the eldest son, E. M., having 
been born at Chapelhill, Marshall county, Tenn., September 11, 1843. After 
the death of the mother the children were taken to Missouri in 1849 by their 
father, who settled in Springfield in the midst of a vast tract of unimproved 
acreage. Being a skilled mechanic he opened a blacksmith's shop and there 
he made the first moldboard plow ever seen in Springfield. With this he 
turned the first furrows in the soil of his raw land. The other settlers, seeing 
the success of his invention, engaged him to manufacture similar implements 
for their use. The first decade of his residence in Missouri brought him grati- 
fying success and, had fate spared him for later usefulness, he would have 
gained financial prosperity. Through all of his life a resident of the south, in 
sympathy with its institutions, devoted to its people and attached to its 
policies, he naturally embraced' the Confederate side at the opening of the 
Civil war. At the very outset he enlisted under General Price, but it was not 
his destiny to see the defeat of the Southern flag. Near the close of the year 
1861, while in active service, he died in Springfield at the age of forty-five 
years. 

Auk ng the memories of childhdoil days treasured in the mind of ( 'ol- 
onel Roberts are those associated with the removal (jf the family from Ten- 
nessee to Missouri when he was six years of age. In company with a train 
of emigrants comprising probably thirty teams he and other members of 
his family journeyed in their own wagon drawn by oxen and crossed the 
Mississippi at St. Lcjuis in a ferry run by hiirsepower. The frontier of 



202 HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 

Missouri was the environment of his boyhood. The country was new and 
settlers few, so that schools were widely scattered. About two or three 
months of each year a subscription school was held six miles from his home 
and to it he walked each day. Notwithstanding the handicap of limited 
education he became a man of broad information and fine mental attain- 
ments. During the opening year of the Civil war he lost his father, and 
the example of that gallant Confederate soldier led him to enlist in the 
Southern army. During 1862, when scarcely nineteen years of age, he 
enlisted in Company A, Third Regiment of Missouri Cavalry, under Col. 
Dick Campbell, of Springfield, Mo., remaining at the front until he gave 
up his arms at Shreveport, La., in June of 1865. Among the engagements 
in which he bore a part were those of Pea Ridge, Cain Springs, Saline River, 
Prairie Grove, Poison Springs, Hartville (where he had a horse shot under 
him), Camden and Pine Blufif, all in Arkansas, besides which he fought in 
Price's raid, where six weeks were given to continuous skirmishing, includ- 
ing the battles of Iron Mountain, JefTerson City, Herman, Little Blue and 
Big Blue, Brush Creek, Llelena, Little Ruck and Granby, Ark. 

During the battle of Saline River the young Southern soldier served as 
an orderly for General Shelby. Many years later, when the General was 
serving as United States Marshal of Missouri and had engaged a negro lad 
to act as deputy. Colonel Roberts met his old commander and inquired 
about the deputy. General Shelby replied that the boy's father and mother 
took care of and saved his family from danger during the Civil war and the 
gratitude which he felt caused him to recognize the undoubted worth of 
their son. Returning home at the close of the war. Colonel Roberts visited 
there for a month and then went to Kansas City in search of employment, 
landing there without a dollar. His first position, which he held for four 
years, was that of assistant in a saw mill at $33.33 per month. When he 
left the place he had saved an amount sufificient to buy one hundred and 
sixty acres near Paola, Miami county, Kansas, and to that location he 
moved, beginning there in agricultural undertakings that continued with 
fair success until the grasshoppers in 1874 completely destroyed his crop. 
With such funds as he could secure from the disaster he came to California 
in September, 1874, and settled at Oakland, where he formed a partnership 
in the butcher business. There he not only lost the balance of his money, 
hut was left in debt. Beginning anew he became buyer for H. M. Ames. 
Six months later he paid the last of his debts, besides which he had been 
able to buy a span of horses, harness and wagon. With $20 in cash and his 
team, accompanied by his wife and child, he came to the San Joaquin 
country in April of 1876. On the first of May he arrived in Kern county 
and located on one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land, which he im- 
proved with such success that the railroad company charged him $10 an 
acre for the place, an excessive amount for those days. One year after com- 
ing to the valley he became superintendent of canal work for the Kern 
County Land Company (later known as Haggin & Co.), and in addition he 
had the contract for iDuilding the Beardsley canal of thirty miles and the 
McCord canal of fifteen miles. With a partner, W. H. Brand, he built 
twenty-five miles of the Calloway canal and the East Side canal of twenty- 
seven miles. Under his direction about sixteen sections of desert land were 
reclaimed for the Kern County Land Company, and after ditches had been 
dug and the land brought under irrigation, settlers could legally prove up 
on claims. 

The trials of frontier existence are indicated by the fact that when 
Colonel Roberts began to farm in Kern county he and his wife lived in a 
brush shed for a time, then occupied a log cabin and next had to content 
themselves with a box-house 12x15. Finally, however, his increasing pros- 
perity was evidenced by the erection of a tw( -story residence of ten rooms. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 203 

Cdnsidered the finest farm house in the entire county in its day. IJesides 
raisings fine horses and mules extensively, he had one hundred milch cows 
comprising one of the largest dairy herds in the county. From time to 
time he added to his ranch until he owned three hundred and thirty-one 
acres under cultivation to alfalfa and fitted for the stock industry and 
dairy business through valuable improvements. During March of 1909 he 
sold the ranch at an excellent figure and removed to Bakersfield, where 
he owns and occupies a commodious residence at No. 2402 L street. In ad- 
dition he owns about twenty houses in liakersfield and a ranch of one lum- 
dred and twenty acres in the county, besides being interested in oil lands. 
Throughout his long identification with the San Joaquin valley he has 
favored every enterprise for its development. From early life a Democrat, 
stanch in his adherence to party principles, he has been a local leader and 
for sixteen years or more has served as chairman of the Kern ccvunty 
Democratic central committee. For seven years he was a member of the 
be ard of supervisors and during four years of that time he ofificiated as its 
chairman. The congressional and state central committees of his party have 
had the benefit of his ripened judgment and intense devotion to party tenets. 
At the time of the election of Governor Gage he was the Democratic nominee 
for state senator in a district that gives a customary Republican majority 
of five hundred. Notwithstanding- the fact that the Republicans received 
an overwhelming majority at that election he was defeated by only thirty-two 
votes, which in itself furnishes a tribute to his popularity and high standing 
in the district. The P>akersfield Board of Trade for years has had his name 
upon its membership roll and other organizations for local progress have 
enjoyed the aid of his splendid citizenship. Fraternally he is identified 
with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Independent Order of Odd 
l'"ell()ws and Ancient Order of United Workmen. 

While living in Kansas City, Mo., Colonel Roberts married Miss Lydia 
Eaton, who was born in Ontario, Canada, and descended directly from Sir 
Francis Eaton of England, who crossed the ocean to Plymouth as a pas- 
senger on the historic Mayflower. The family owned a large estate in 
England, but the American descendants were never able to secure their 
share of the property. Three children of Colonel and Mrs. Roberts are now 
living and all reside in Bakersfield, viz.: Mrs. Maude Davis, Mrs. Daisy 
Pyle and Herbert. The older son, Lynn, enlisted in the Sixth California 
Regiment at the t)pening of the Spanish-American war and died in the 
service while stationed with his company at San Francisco. 

W. W. KAYE. — The senior member of the law firm of Kaye & Siemon, 
who is also widely known as one of the most scholarly men of Kern county 
and one of the leading representatives of the Bakersfield bar, came to the 
west from Iowa. On a farm near Riverside, Washington county, that state, 
where he was born June 26, 1869, and where he spent the first seventeen 
years of his life, his parents, Jesse I. and Anna L. (Kling) Kaye, labored with 
self-sacrificing devotion to provide a livelihood for their family. While still 
in the midst of the struggle the father died on the home farm. The mother, 
who was a native of Pennsylvania, but a resident of Iowa throughout all of 
her active life, was privileged to reap the reward of her patient industry, and 
now, at the age of eighty-four years, is passing her declining days at I'oulder, 
Colo., where she is surrounded by the comforts deservedly won in those years 
of strenuous labor. It was not possible to give the son good educational ad- 
vantages, but with characteristic ambition he determined to work his way 
through school. The splendid university education which he acquired rep- 
resents his unaided exertions. At the age of seventeen he entered the Iowa 
City Academy, from which he was graduated in 1889. During the fall of 
that year he matriculated in the Iowa State Uni\ersity and in 1893 he was 
graduated from the classical course of that institution. Meanwhile he had 



204 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

devoted eighteen hours of each day to study or to teaching, for in order to 
pay his expenses in the university he had taught higher arithmetic, algebra, 
geometry and physics in the academy. 

Immediately after his graduation from the university in 1893 Mr. Kaye 
went to Washington and organized the high school at VVaterville, of which 
he was chosen the first principal. During the two years of his service in 
that position he placed the school upon a substantial basis and raised its 
standard so that all of its graduates were eligible to admission to any uni- 
versity, their names being placed on the accredited list according to their 
standing". After two years at Waterville he left Washington for California 
and entered the Hastings Law School of San Francisco, from which in 1898 
he received the degree of LL. B. During the same year he was admitted 
to the bar by the supreme court of California. Meanwhile he had paid all 
of his expenses in the law school. For a time he had taught school at 
Berkeley, Cal., and in addition as a traveling salesman carrying a commercial 
line he visited every town from Seattle to San Francisco. At various times 
he worked in the law offices of Judge A. W. Thompson, C. L. Tilden. W. H. 
Payson and A. H. Ricketts. After graduating from the law college he spent 
several 3'ears with Curtis H. Lindley, author of Lindley on Mines, his special 
task being the making of an abstract on all current decisions of state and 
federal courts pertaining to mining laws. The abstract thus prepared played 
an important part in the preparation of the second edition of Lindley on 
Mines, which now is the standard text-book on mining law. When Mr. 
Lindley began to prepare data for his treatise on the Law of Waters, he 
engaged Mr. Kaye to abstract all statutes and state and federal decisions per- 
taining to the subject. Another task that commanded much of his time was 
important editorial work for a very prominent firm of publishers of law 
books. 

Upon coming to Bakersfield in 1902 and opening a law office, Mr. Kaye 
formed a partnership with C. V. Anderson under the firm name of Anderson 
& Kaye. Three years later the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Kaye 
opened an office in the Hopkins building, where he has continued ever since. 
During June of 1911 he formed a partnership with Alfred Siemon, who had 
come to Bakersfield early in the previous year and had identified himself 
with the Title Assurance Company as its secretary. The firm carry o;i a 
general practice in all of the courts and are consulted for every class of legal 
advice. The interests of their large clientele are protected with skill and 
success. To aid them in their practice they have one of the best law libraries 
of the San Joaquin valley, these books having been gathered together by Mr. 
Kaye during his stay in San Francisco and representing the decisions of the 
best legal lights of this and preceding eras. 

]\Iuch of the success of Mr. Kaye is due to his fondness for work. The 
most difficult and intricate case does not weary him, but spurs him on to 
further efforts in his zeal to unravel knotty law problems. No case can be 
presented to him that he finds too intricate for his eager mind. An invet- 
erate, tireless worker, he finds his greatest pleasure in tasks that would dis- 
may men of lesser energy and to this fact may be attributed much of his 
success in the law. Good judgment is responsible for much of his financial 
success. Investments have been made sagaciously and have brought him 
gratifying returns. Included in his possessions are a ranch of two hundred 
and thirty acres with an adequate pumping plant, citrus property east of 
Kern, suburban acreage, town lots, a controlling interest in the stock of the 
Kern Citrus Realty Company, and a modern and attractive residence on 
North B street, Bakersfield. This home is brightened by the presence of his 
four children. Louise, William Minton, Emelie and Jessie, and presided over 
with dignity and grace by his accomplished wife, a woman of culture and at 
one time a teacher. Born in Oregon, she bore the maiden name of Fanny 



I 




-^J[^<X;^-^^^ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 207 

B. Minton and received excellent educational advantages, which she utilized 
in her chosen profession. During 1895 she became the wife of Mr. Kaye at 
Berkelev, where the)' established a home and resided until their removal to 
Bakersfield. Politically a Republican, Mr. Kaye has served as secretary of 
the Kern county central committee and has been very influential in local 
party affairs. Fraternally a Mason of the Shriner degree, he has been chosen 
past master of Bakersfield Lodge No. 224,, F. & A. M., also has served as 
past high priest of Bakersfield Chapter No. 75, R. A. M., and has been an 
officer in Bakersfield Commandery No. 39, K. T., all of which degrees of the 
order have benefited by his devotion to their advancement and his cordial co- 
operation in all of their philanthropies. 

HON. CHARLES A. BARLOW AND WILLIAM H. HILL.— No 
industry has contributed in greater degree to the wealth of Kern county 
than that of oil development and probably no firm has been identified more 
intimately with the advancement of the industry during the past decade than 
that of Barlow & Hill, a title familiar to all who have kept in touch with 
local progress. Since the organization of the firm in 1902 they have organized 
many companies, all of which have been successful, and the six which they 
now operate have shares of stock that are quoted as gilt-edged security 
with a continuous tendency to rise in public and private markets. Besides 
the six companies they are at present interested in Maricopa and Midway 
oil properties and in addition have been successful in establishing a national 
reputation for Sunset road oil, which is extensively used in the states of 
California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, 
Texas and Idaho and, in fact, as far east as Kansas City. To the enter- 
prise, knowledge and direction of the two members of the firm, Kern county 
is in a great measure indebted for its present high standing as an oil-pro- 
ducing section. No temporary discouragement has lessened their faith in the 
oil industry of this region and in the natural mineral wealth of the state. 
Thoroughly optimistic in temperament, yet conservative in action, they 
stand for that large element of luyal citizenship indissolubly associated with 
the progress of city, county and commonwealth. 

Born in Cleveland, Ohio. March 17, 1858, Hon. Charles Averill Barlow 
is a son of Hon. Merrill and Ann Frances (Arnold) Barlow, the former a 
distinguished attorney in Cleveland, who during the war administration 
was selected to serve as quartermaster-general of Ohio. About 1872, when 
forty-eight years of age, he was stricken suddenly with apoplexy and passed 
from earth before he had achieved financial success, but in the midst of a 
remarkable professional career that had brought him fame as a leading crim- 
inal lawyer of Cleveland. Surviving him were his wife and four children, 
the latter named as follows : Coralinne, now the wife of James S. Rice, a 
retired orange-grower living at Tustin, Orange county, Cal. ; Charles 
Averill, of Bakersfield: Edward Sumner, who resides on the old home farm 
at Ventura, this state: and Belle Remington, now the wife of Frank Bates, 
of Ventura. When the family came to California about the year 1875 they 
settled at Ventura-by-the-sea and C. A., then a youth of seventeen years, 
began with eagerness to study western conditions, resources and prospects, 
meanwhile earning a livelihood on farms and in various occupations in town. 
Possessing ideas that were in advance of his time, he joined enthusiastically 
in many reform movements and for such work he found a favorable opening 
when he and a partner, Mr. Tuley. established and conducted the Reasoner, 
a weekly jiaper that became the Populist organ for San Luis Obispo county. 
As early as 1888 he began to support the free silver cause and for years 
he was the leading exponent of that movement in his part of the state. Dur- 
ing 18^3 the Populist party elected him to the state legislature, where he 
served not i nly with fidelity, but even with distinction. 

\\'ith the assistance of the votes of free silver Republicans Mr. Barlow 



208 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

in 1896 was elected by the Populist party to the P^ifty-fifth congress as the 
representative from the sixth congressional district, which at that time 
included the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis 
Obispo, Monterey and Santa Cruz. In congress he distinguished himself 
for his uncompromising stand in favor of reform measures. Credited to his 
efforts was the passage of a bill setting aside the Pine mountain forest 
reservation, comprising several million acres of land extending south almost 
as far as Pasadena. Other measures for the permanent benefit of the state 
and the people received his steadfast aid. When the principles of the Popu- 
list party were to some extent adopted by the Democrats, he turned to the 
older party organization, in which since he has been an active worker. 
During 1912 he was chosen one of four delegates-at-large from California to 
the national Democratic convention at Baltimore that nominated Woodrow 
Wilson for President of the United States. The American Mining Congress, 
of which he is a member, selected him as committeeman to propose a plank 
in the national Democratic platform of that year favcrable to mining and 
the oil industry. 

During 1901 Mr. Barlow and his accomplished wife, who was formerly 
Miss Elizabeth McDonell, of Ventura county, established their home in 
Bakersfield, where they erected and now occupy a beautiful residence fitted 
with all modern improvements and conveniences. Since his removal to this 
city Mr. Barlow has become a very prominent citizen and has served ably 
as president of the Kern county board of trade, besides being a large stock- 
holder and one of the directors in the new Security Trust Company. In 
business circles he enjoys a high reputation. Fraternal!)' he has been 
actively associated with the Woodmen, Elks and Indeoendent Order of Odd 
FelUws. Since 1902 he has been a partner of W. H. Hill, a resident of 
California and Bakersfield from the year 1901 and a native of Geneseo, Liv- 
ingston county, N. Y., born November 19, 1848. While yet very young Mr. 
Hill began to work in the lumber business and for years he gave to that 
occupation his entire time and attention. For twelve years he served as chair- 
man of the board of supervisors of Schoolcraft county, Mich. Since coming 
west he has become known as a well-informed, accurate business man and 
his counsel is much sought, particularly by those wishing to embark in the 
oil business. He is a stockholder and director of the First National Bank of 
Bakersfield and the Producers' Savings Bank. Like his partner, he owns a 
fine home in l^akersfield and is a firm believer in a prosperous future assured 
for the city. 

Concerning the firm of Barlow & Hill we quote the following from the oil 
review edition of the Morning Echo, Bakersfield, February 28, 1911 : "Califor- 
nia has no Ijetter known industry than oil and the oil industr}' has no more well 
known firm than Barlow & Hill, for the past nine years doing a large busi- 
ness in Bakersfield and Kern county as dealers in oil lands and producing 
oil companies, essentially the latter. The personnel of the firm, C. A. Barlow 
and W. H. Hill, assures its high standing and gives confidence to its con- 
stantly increasing clientele. Barlow & Hill formed a partnership in August, 
1902, to deal in oil lands. Since that time they have organized many oil 
companies, all of which have become producers, and Barlow & Hill have 
never taken a dollar of their clients' money but what in each case the com- 
pany joined the ranks of the paying producers. They have six oil com- 
panies of their own and are extensively interested in Maricopa and Midway 
oil properties. They rehabilitated three oil companies which were sold to 
eastern capitalists and have produced oil in quantities as claimed by the firm, 
frequently in excess of their estimates. Among the many successful ven- 
tures which Barlow & Hill have had to deal with was the making of the 
ccnmtry-wide reputation for Sunset road oil. They took hold of the Sunset 
companies at Maricopa when it was considered un]inifital:)le and well-nigh 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 209 

impracticable to handle this oil. owing to its being too heavy and hard for 
fuel purpcises. But Barlow & Hill were not discouraged and by dint of their 
well-directed efforts Sunset road oil or its equivalent has become a part of 
the specifications in road-building with oil as demanded by municipalities on 
the Pacific coast and elsewhere." 

A Half Century of Progress, Bakersfield and Kern County, l'U2, in 
mentioning the progressive business efforts of Barlow & Hill, give the 
following summary of their work in the oil industry and the importance of 
this industry to the development of local wealth : "It should be a matter 
of the liveliest satisfaction to the people of California to know that no 
single corporation or group of individuals is controlling the destiny of the 
state's oil industry by the monopolization of territory, rate tif development 
and production, o'r the fixing of arbitrary prices. The petroleum interests 
of California are too big for any combination of capital to swing and manipu- 
late at will for any period of time. Petroleum apparently exists in every 
secti( n of this big commonwealth, so blessed by nature in the glories of 
skv and air, in the ocean about it and in its pregnant soil, blessed even in 
the bowels of its earth, which yield a rich return to man's labor almost for 
the asking. There are any number of safe investments in Kern county open 
to inspection. Money must be active to make quick and large profits. Slow 
money slowly responds with slow interest. The investor who is content 
with the latter is out of joint with the times and in the rear end of the race 
for competency and wealth. No class of speculative investment is safer or 
promises larger profits than investment in oil companies backed by unlim- 
ited ca]iital and experience, and directed by reputable men. Such is the 
character of the six oil companies operated by Iiarlow & Hill, a firm estab- 
lished in 1902 to deal in oil lands, and that since has been one of the 
effectual forces in the building up of the oil industry in Kern county. Among 
their many successful ventures was the making of a country-wide reputation 
for Sunset road oil. The two partners in the firm are widely known and are 
numbered among the most influential men of the community, taking an 
actix-e interest in all measures for the advancement of Bakersfield and her 
commercial interests." 

JOHN ALFRED FREEAR.— The superintendent of the Maricopa Queen 
Oil Company's lease of twenty acres occupies a position of importance in 
the Sunset-Midway field. Not alone a native of California, but also born in 
Kern county and practically a lifelong resident hereof, he is deeply devoted to 
this ])(irtion of the state, believes in its future ]Kissibilities and promotes with 
enthusiasm all movements for the local progress. With his twin brother, 
James Albian, likewise associated with the Maricopa Queen lease, he has 
exhibited a devotion to work, a morality of conduct and a talent for the oil 
business that reflects credit upon himself and upon his native county, the two 
men displaying an efficiency and thoroughness that came to them as an inheri- 
tance from worthy parents and patriotic ancestry. 

Born in P.akersfield August 24, 188.^, John .Alfred Freear was primarily 
educated in the schools of that city and in 1905 was graduated from Heald's 
Business College at Stockton. During early life he had become familiar with 
farming in the old River district, but agriculture interested him less than oil 
enterprises and it is not strange that his preferences led him to seek employ- 
ment in the oil fields. For a short time he engaged as bookkeeper for the 
Associated and Union Oil Companies in the Kern river field and there too he 
gained practical experience in the industry through working as a roustabout. 
From this county he went to the Santa Maria oil field and remained four 
years, meanwhile learning to dress tools and to drill wells. Upon returning to 
Kern county and coming to the west side field, in 1909, he secured employment 
cm the .Maricopa Queen lease of twenty acres, situated on sectinn ?>2. t( iwnslii]) 



210 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

12, range 23. At that time the lease had one well, a gusher. Since then he 
has helped to bring in five wells on the lease, the last one, Maricopa Queen 
No. 7, brought in March 1, 1913, being a gusher yielding two thousand barrels 
per daj' of oil of twenty-five degrees gravity. The entire production from the 
lease averages about seventy thousand barrels per month, an almost phenom- 
enal record' and one indicative of the value of the properties. The superin- 
tendent understands the business in ever}- detail and has proved thoruughly 
competent to handle the many vexatious problems presenting themselves for 
daih- consideration and S( lution. 

" HARRY ROSCOE LUFKIN.— The day of the office boy who enters a 
business establishment and soon works his way to a place of high responsi- 
bility is well nigh past. It may not be impossible for such a thing to occur 
under present conditions, but the likelihood of its occurring in the case of 
any specific office boy is very slight. To meet the strenuous economic condi- 
tions now existing young men and young women must be equipped with a 
business training thoroughly up-to-date, such as may be obtained at the 
Bakersfield Business college, of which Harry Roscoe Lufkin was the founder 
and of which he is the proprietor and manager. 

It was at Walnut Grove. Sacramento county. Cal., that Professor Lufkin 
was born June 3. 1880, a son of H. T. and Louisa' J. (Wise) Lufkin. His 
father was born at Freeport, Cal., a son of David T. Lufkin, a native of Maine, 
who came to California in the early '50s and died in the East while absent 
from home on a business trip. Grandfather Lufkin farmed and mined in the 
Sacramento valley and was one of the early horticulturists in the vicinity of 
Freeport. His son, H. T. Lufkin, was in his early life a teacher and later a 
general merchant at Walnut Grove. Still later he engaged in horticulture on 
the old Lufkin homestead at Freeport, where he died in 1899. Louisa J. Wise, 
whom he married, was born at Walnut Grove, a daughter of Joseph Wise, a 
native of Missouri, who came across the plains with an ox-team train locat- 
ing in 1852 on a ranch at Walnut Grove, where he has prospered and where 
he is still living at the advanced age of eighty-four years. Mrs. Lufkin, who 
died at Freeport, bore her husband three children, of whom Harry Roscoe was 
the eldest. He hved at Walnut Grove until he was sixteen years old, attending 
public schools, then his activities were transferred for a time to Freeport. 
After having acquired a normal school education, he became a student at the 
Atkinson Business College in Sacramento, where he was graduated May 5, 
1902. He found employment as a bookkeeper in a commercial house in that 
city, but after five months was sent for by Professor Atkinson and ofifered a 
position as teacher in the commercial department of the Atkinson Business 
College, where he was in charge of actual business instruction for more than 
four years. He then went to Reno, Nev., to take the management of the 
Atkinson Business College in that city. After a year and a half he went back 
to Sacramento with a commercial house there, but at the solicitation of Pro- 
fessor Atkinson again took charge of the commercial department of the Atkin- 
son Business College in Sacramento. In 1907 he gave up his position there 
and came to Bakersfield and in September of that year opened the Bakersfield 
Business College in the Galtes building, where he conducted it until in Septem- 
ber, 1910. It having outgrown its quarters he removed it to its present loca- 
tion at No. 2020 I street. The institution was a success ahuost from the start. 
Beginning with five students it had twenty-three before thirty days had passed 
and has been growing ever since. This popular school is conducted on strict 
business lines and its rooms are especially arranged, well lighted and ventil- 
ated, and no expense has been spared to afford to the student every possible 
convenience. The work of imparting a business education is as systematic as 
if the institution were a real financial, commercial or industrial concern. In 
the stenographic department students work exactly as they would work in 
a business office and are instructed how to conduct themselves in a real office 




cV/S-t ^ c^i^^~/ "-^-r-*-- '^'^^ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 213 

position. Shorthand, bookkeeping, typewriting and commercial law are taught 
and a high grade of scholarship is maintained. Graduates, now filling posi- 
tions in commercial and manufacturing, railroad, real estate and law ofifices are 
giving satisfaction and working their way to high places in the business wurlcl. 
In politics Mr. Lufkin is a Republican. He was made a Mason in Bakers- 
field Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M. He was married at Reno, Nev., to Miss 
Myrtle G. Reel, a native of Oregon, and they have a son, Harry Roscoe 
Lufkin, Jr. 

ANDREW BROWN— A summary of the splendid life of the late An- 
drew Brown would be indeed lacking were the mention of his influence and 
close associations in Kern county omitted, for to him not less than to any 
other individual who has lived in that vicinity is due the advancement and 
improvement of commercial ci editions in the county. A self-made man in 
the l)est sense of the word, upon coming to Kern county he lent his aid 
toward its progress, his keen foresight, wonderful business acumen and 
strict honesty early winning for him resiiect and esteem from all with whom 
he had dealings. The son of Samuel Brown, a merchant and farmer in Fal- 
carragh. County Donegal, Ireland, it was in that place that Andrew was 
born September 1.^. 1829. Ft)rtune brought him when a youth U> Philadel- 
phia, Pa., whence in 1852 he sailed around Cape Horn and landed in San 
Francisco. Like many of the early pioneers he rushed to the mines, but 
not finding the Eldorado dreamed of he began the mercantile business and 
conducted a store in Mariposa county. Later he became a farmer and 
stockman in Tulare county, but soon afterward made his way to Kernville 
to enter the employ of Judge Joseph VV. Sumner, who later became his 
father-in-law, and had charge of operating the quartz mill of the latter. 
Purchasing the store in Kernville, which later assumed such large propor- 
tions, he successfully conducted it, and later seeing an opp. rtunity opened 
to him whereby he could purchase the store and ranch at VVeldon on the 
South Fork he became owner of them, continuing the mercantile business 
at W'eldon in connection with his store in Kernville. At the same time 
he began farming operations on his Weldon ranch. As business increased 
he bought other farms on the South Fork and became engaged extensively 
in raising cattle, horses, sheep and hogs. Large quantities of wheat were 
raised on his land, and to achieve the best marketing results he built a flour 
mill at Weldon, where the wheat was ground into flour and prepared for 
the local trade. This saved the long haul over the mountains to the railroad. 
He next built a sawmill, where he manufactured lumber from his lands, 
much of his lumber being used in the building throughout that section. By 
additional purchases Mr. Brown became the owner of thousands of acres 
of land, among which were several thousands of acres of valuable farm lands 
on the South F'ork, which have been brought under irrigation by ditches 
from the river. Grain and alfalfa are raised in abundance. He also acquired 
large holdings at Pampa, which are now being developed with a pumping 
plant fur irrigation, as the land lies in a thermal belt which bids fair to 
prove valuable citrus land. 

In 1901 Mr. Brown incorporated the North and South Fork interests 
as the A. Brown Company, of which he was president until his death, Octo- 
ber 12, 1909, since which time Mrs. Brown has filled that position in the 
company. He also had large real estate interests in Los Angeles which are 
still owned by Mrs. Brown and their children. In 1904, after many long, 
useful years of active participation in business, Mr. Brown retired and 
moved to Los Angeles, where he made his home until he passed away, 
leaving the imprint of his energetic and persevering career in the many im- 
provements he had accomplished in the county. Truly he was a benefactor 
to Kern county, and he was known throughout the cuunty as one of its 
most prominent upbuilders, his unselfishness, dauntless courage and never- 



214 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

failing will power proving a splendid example for the young men of today 
to emulate. In fraternal affiliations he was a Master Mason, while his 
religious tendencies were with the Episcopalians. A Protectionist and a 
Republican, he was ever stanch in his allegiance to ])arty ])rinciples. For 
many years Mr. Brown was a director in the bank of Bakersfield. 

The marriage of Mr. Brown to Miss Alice M. Sumner took place in 
Kernville June 18, 1873. She was born in Lubec, Me., the daughter of Judge 
Joseph W. Sumner, a native of Newburyport, Mass., and of old Colonial 
and Revolutionary stock. Judge Sumner was a merchant in Lubec, ^le., 
for some time, in 1849, however, becoming excited over the gold discoveries 
and coming via Panama to San Francisco. He followed mining in different 
districts in California and even into British Columbia, and he was one 
of the early miners at Kernville, operating the Sumner mine and quartz 
mill until he bought his ranch on the North Fork. He spent his last days 
in Kernville, where he died in 1911, aged ninety-two years. Like so many 
of his comrades he had ever a deep interest in mining, which he retained 
to the last days of his existence. He served as justice of the peace for over 
thirty years and he was so well liked and esteemed in the community that 
there was not another person who held a higher place in their regard. His 
wife was Mary E. Dakin, a native of Digby, Nova Scotia. She passed away 
in Kernville two months after her husband's death, when she was eighty- 
five years -old. They were the parents of three children, of whom Mrs. 
Brown was the youngest. Her girlhood was spent in Maine and in the 
schools ff Saco she received her elementary educatii.in. later attending 
Saco Academy. Since her husband's death she has alternated her residence 
between Kernville and Los Angeles and continues to look after the large 
business interests which her husband left. She is a member of the Friday 
Morning Club as well as the Ebell Club, in Los Angeles, maiking her home 
at 949 South Hoover street, and she is a devout member of the Emanuel 
Presbvterian Church. Her two children are P. Sumner, in the real estate 
business in Los Angeles, and M. Elizabeth, who is the wife of Dr. Edward 
M. Pallette, of Los Angeles. Mrs. Brown is a woman much beloved, and 
numbers her friends bv her acquaintances. She is charitable and kind, but 
so unostentatious in her giving that none but those receiving the benefits 
are cognizant of it, and refinement, intelligence and strong will power are 
her marked characteristics. 

JAMES ALBIAN FREEAR.— The name of Freear has been identified 
with the development of Kern county for a period of almost forty years, its 
first representative in this region having been Henry T. Freear, an honored 
veteran of the Civil war, a man of indomitable perseverance and a farmer of 
considerable ability. After he had served the Union for three years in the 
Civil war he received' an honorable discharge from the Seventeenth Illinois 
Cavalry and returned to his old home, there to take up the earning of a liveli- 
hood through the arts of peace. About 1875 he came to California from 
Nebraska, where he had engaged in general farming for a few years. In his 
trip to the west he was accompanied by his family, which at that time con- 
sisted of two children beside his wife. Settling in the Old River district of 
Kern county, he took up raw land, developed a farm, devoted himself to the 
cultivation of the land and finally retired with a competency. During the last 
years of his life he made his home in Bakersfield, where he was a leader among 
the members of the Grand Army and where he was well known for his stanch 
allegiance to the Republican party. Since his death, March 23, 1904, his 
widow, Mary (Garhck) Freear, has made her home at No. 1709 Maple avenue, 
Bakersfield, where she has a comfortable modern bungalow and where, at the 
age of sixty-three, she attends to housekeeping duties with much of the zest 
and energy of her younger years. In her family there are eight children, 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 215 

namely : H. R. and C. H. : Lena, wife of R. L. McCiitchen, of Old River ; J. P. ; 
John Alfred and James Albian, (twins) ; Verna, who married R. W. Bess, 
lessee of the United Crude Oil Company, of Maricopa ; and Viola, wife of 
William Perry, engaged as a salesman and demonstrator at Baker-sfield for 
Ben L. Brundage. 

The early years of James Albian Freear were passed in an uneventful 
manner. Work on the home farm alternated with attendance at country 
schools in Old River district. When twenty years of age in 1905 he was 
graduated from Heald's Business College at Stockton. From that time until 
1909 he was employed in the Santa Maria field, where he learned the details 
of the oil industry and studied it from the viewpoint of production. Naturally 
he began work as a roustabout. Later he learned to be a driller. More recent- 
ly he has been employed in the production department of the Maricopa Queen 
Oil Company. As gang pusher he has proved energetic, capable and efficient, 
well liked b}' the workmen, popular among other officers. The high reputation 
of the company as the owner of one of the best leases in the Sunset field may 
be attributed in no small degree to his laborious and intelligent devotion to 
the production department. 

M. W. PASCOE, M. D.— Intense devotion to the science of therapeutics 
and a thorough knowledge of the attractions, demands and possibilities of the 
profession, supplementing an excellent practical training in one of the finest 
universities of the new world, admirably qualify Dr. Pascoe for the building 
up of a substantial clientele represented by a growing practice in the city of 
Taft and the surrounding oil districts. While the period of his association 
with professional work in the west has been comparatively brief (for it was 
in September of 1911 that he came to California and to Taft), the confidence 
and patronage of the people of the community have been accorded him and he 
numbers among his friends the leading men of the locality. When he under- 
took the establishment of a general hospital at this point he received the warm 
support of the general public, for all saw the wisdom of his belief that there 
should be first-class accommodations for the care of men injured in the work 
of the oil fields or for those of the community in need of surgical treatment 
or special care. The success of the hospital has been a source of gratification 
to him personally besides affording him an opportunity to offer to his patients 
superior advantages and experienced nursing. 

Of Canadian birth and parentage, Dr. Pascoe was born at Bowmanville, 
Ontario, May 10, 1871, and is the fourth among seven children and the young- 
est of four sons in the family of Thomas and Margaret (Hogarth) Pascoe, 
now residents of Hempton, Ontario. Excellent educational advantages were 
put within his reach and of these he availed himself to the utmost. For some 
years he pursued a special scientific course in Trinity University. Later he 
took the medical course in the Trinity Medical College, from which he was 
graduated in 1898 with the degrees of M. D. C. M. and F. T. M. C. Shortly 
after graduating he came to the States and settled at Ottumwa, Iowa, where 
he practiced for a period of twelve years. ^Meanwhile he developed special 
aptitude for the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear and nose, and in order to 
fit himself to specialize in these branches he took a post-graduate course in 
Chicago during 1910-11, after which he came to California and settled at 
Taft. During his residence in Ottumwa he met and married Miss Mary E. 
Hendershott and they enjoy the comforts of a cozy home in a five-room bunga- 
low erected by the i3octor shortly after coming to this place. During 1913 
he completed the general hospital which he erected at a cost of $5,000 and 
which is open to all practicing physicians and surgeons for use by their 
patients, the most experienced and skilled care being given to every inmate. 
Personally the Doctor is of genial and companionable disposition and he has 
formed many friendships through his active identification with mernbers of 



2\h HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the blue lodg'e of Masonry, and with the Elks and Moose. In politics he has 
been a stanch believer in Republican principles and a firm supporter of candi- 
dates of that party. 

ORVILLE LEE CLARK.— A colonial identification with the common- 
wealth of Massachusetts and a later migration to Ohio marked the early his- 
tory of the Clark family in America. It was Orin Clark, a native of the old 
Bay state, who established his branch of the family in Ohio, settling upon 
a farm in Cuyahoga county and devoting the balance of his life to its cultiva- 
tion, excepting only the period of his service in the Sixth Ohio Infantry during 
the Civil war. The valor which he displayed in military service and the 
patriotic character of his life both in peace and in war were duplicated in 
the history of his son, Wallace Watson Clark, a native of Cuyahoga county, 
Ohio, and at the age of only fifteen years a volunteer in the Union army. Being 
accepted in spite of his youth, he went to the front with the Fifth Ohio Cavalry 
and served with recognized bravery and devotion for three years, until the 
struggle had ended, meanwhile receiving several wounds in battle. For 
several years after the war he worked in the employ of a large lumber con- 
cern at Saginaw, Mich., but from there returned to Cleveland, Ohio, and took 
up contracting and building. After a long period of activity in that occupa- 
tion he removed to California in 1903 and is now living retired in Los 
Angeles. During young manhood he had married Martha Celestia Newton, 
who was born in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, and died at Cleveland in February 
of 1886, leaving four children. The next to the youngest of these, Orville 
Lee, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, March 10, 1883, and was orphaned by the 
death of his mother when he was yet too young to realize his irreparable loss. 
The family continued to make their home in Cleveland for some time and he 
was sent to the grammar-schools of that city, later becoming a student in the 
high school at Huntsburg, Geauga county. Next he studied mathematics and 
mechanics at the institute in New Lyme, Ashtabula county, Ohio, and at the 
same time studied architecture with Mr. White, a prominent architect of 
Ashtabula. A breakdown in health obliged him to engage in outdoor work 
and he took up carpentering, from which he was promoted to be superintend- 
ent of construction with an Ashtabula concern. 

Coming to California during 1907 and from Los Angeles to Bakersfield 
in February of the next year, Mr. Clark embarked in business as an architect 
and engineer and since then has been engaged to design many of the most 
important buildings in the city and county. Among his contracts may be 
mentioned those for the Hotels Kosel, Olcovich, and Decatur, the addition 
to the homelike and attractive hotel Massena, the Dixon apartments and the 
Barlow, Hill and Helm residences. The Southern garage on Chester avenue 
and Twenty-fifth street represents a style of architecture which is one of his 
favorites for this climate. This building is almost absolutely fireproof and has 
a storage capacity of fifty cars. In addition he was architect and engineer of 
the Bakersfield Club building and Mere}' hospital. Two school buildings at 
Taft, admittedly the most substantial of their kind in the entire county, were 
designed by him, as were also the Maricopa school house and the H. F. Wil- 
liams school house, the Franklin school house and the large wing of the 
Emerson school, the last three in Bakersfield, as well as the Pacific Telephone 
and Telegraph Company's main office building on Twentieth street which is 
a fire-proof building and one of the most substantial and artistic office build- 
ings in the city. The Bakersfield Club has his name enrolled upon its mem- 
bership list. Made a Mason in Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., he 
always has supported the philanthropic principles of the order and has been 
a most generous contributor to its charities, besides being interested warmly 
in the work of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Among the scientific 
societies of which he is a member is the American Institute of Architects and 
the National Geographic Society of Washington, D. C. 



HISTORY OF KKKX COUNTY 219 

HON. FRED H. HALL. — From whatever standpoint the life of Mr. 
Hall is viewed, whether as a deputy sheriff and marshal in his earlier years 
or as a special agent of the Santa Fe Railroad Company, whether as a mem- 
ber (if the state legislature promoting measures for the welfare of his con- 
stituents, whether as the owner of alfalfa lands or as a large stockholder and 
director in oil organizations and in water companies, he is found to be a man 
of versatile abilities, possessing a high order of intelligence, devoted to the 
connnonwealth of his nativity, well informed concerning its possibilities and 
eager to develop its vast resources. To such citizens may be attributed the 
great development of the state and from them and their successors must 
come all future advancement. No narrow spirit has governed his business 
enterprises, for they have been as broad-gauged as his own mental equip- 
ment and as purposeful as his own existence. Throughout the entire west 
he is well-known in man}- avenues of activity, where his splendid character 
and broad intelligence have left an indelible impress for good. 

A study of the Hall genealogy indicates that Fred George Hall, a native 
of Portland, Me., learned the occupation of nurseryman and horticulturist 
under his father, who for years engaged in that avocation in Maine. As 
early as 1852, when about thirty-four years of age, he came via Panama to 
San Francisco and engaged in mining at Mormon Island. During the Civil 
war he served in California and .Arizona as a member of Comoany I, Second 
California Cavalry. After receiving an honorable discharge from the army 
he became interested in horticulture and the nursery business east of Visalia, 
Tulare county, but a long period of invalidism greatly hampered his activi- 
ties. His death occurred at Visalia in July of 1893, when he was seventy-iive 
years of age. During 1907 occurred the demise of his wife at Fresno, this 
state ; she bore the maiden name of Matilda Dillon and was born at Peoria, 
111. Their family comprised two sons and four daughters, but at this writing 
there survive only Fred H. and one of his sisters. The former was born near 
Visalia, Tulare county, this state. May 17, 1868, and from the age of four to 
twenty years he lived with his parents at Tulare. After he was ten the 
invalidism of his father prevented him from attending school and forced him 
to work not only for his own support, but also to aid the family. Indeed, 
for Si me time he was the sole support of the family. He worked in brick- 
yards, harvest fields and wherever honest labor commanded living wages. 
During 1888 he took the family back to Visalia, where he secured employ- 
ment as deputy city marshal under E. A. Gilliam. In addition he served as 
deputy sheriff. For one term, beginning about 1892, he served as marshal of 
Visalia, but he was not a candidate for re-election, continuing, however, as 
deputy sherifT and deputy city marshal and in these capacities making about 
thirty-four hundred arrests, some of the suspects proving to be desperate 
criminal characters. \\Miile acting as marshal O. P. Byrd served as his 
deputy. 

Subsequent to his service in Tulare county Mr. Hall entered the special 
agents' department of the Santa Fe Railroad, where during the first fourteen 
months his duties consisted chiefly in investigating stolen goods and the 
pilfering of box-cars. From that he was promoted step by step until finally 
he was appointed assistant chief of the department with headquarters in Los 
Angeles. The duties of the position consisted in hiring men and superintend- 
ing the department work between .Albuquerque and San P^rancisco, also in 
collecting evidence in law suits and investigating matters that came up in 
the law department. Often it was said concerning him that he was the only 
man serving in the office who left the railroad company without an enemy. 
Railroad Brotherhoods and legislative boards wrote him very complimentary 
letters of thanks for his services. In every responsibility he exhibited not 
only wise judgment and practical connnon sense, but also the utmost tact 
and the greatest consideration of others. 



220 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Resigning from the Santa Fe railroad service in 1906 in order to engage 
in private business and havins; previously purchased oil lands, Mr. Hall be- 
came a large stockholder in the Visalia Midway Oil Company and assisted 
in the development of lands secured by that concern. From the first he has 
been vice-president and general manager of the company and under his saga- 
cious supervision the work of development has proceeded without any ne- 
cessity for an assessment of stock. On the other hand, there has been an 
assured income for investors. Near Fellows on the west side the company 
owns eighty acres, where there are five wells producing and two in process 
of drilling. It is said that the company for its size is one of the most pros- 
perous in the state. The success of the enterprise may be attributed in 
large measure to the sagacity of the general manager. The oil lands, how- 
ever, do not represent the limit of his useful activities. As vice-president 
and the largest stockholder of the Western Water Company, a company 
organized to furnish water for the west side oil fields, he has been identified 
with a movement of considerable importance. By an expenditure of over 
$500,000 the company has secured water from the artesian wells near the 
north end of Buena Vista lake. This water, pumped through a twelve-inch 
line for a distance of twelve miles to Taft and then stored in two tanks of 
fifty-five thousand barrel capacity in order to furnish pressure for the villages 
of Taft and Fellows and vicinity, was the first water of good quality ever 
secured in the locality and the expense to consumers is only one-quarter for 
domestic use, and one-sixth for oil wells, of what was formerly paid for 
poor water. On the organization of the National Bank of Bakersfield he 
was elected a member of the board of directors, and is now serving as its 
vice-president. 

Included among the other interests of Mr. Hall may be mentioned his 
alfalfa and hog ranch of two hundred acres situated four miles southeast of 
Kern. One of the most important improvements of the ranch is a pumping 
plant with a one hundred-inch stream. In addition he is interested in the 
development of oil in Humboldt county, Cal., where already top oil has been 
struck. As a member of the California Oil Men's Association of Bakersfield 
he is connected with an organization that fosters this recent and nrosnerous 
industry of the west. Upon the organization of the Western Oil Producers' 
Association, with headquarters in Los Angeles, he has served as a member of 
its board of directors. The advisory board of the American Mining Congress 
also has the benefit of his intelligent co-operation as one of its members. • 
Mr. Hall is an active member of the Prospectors' Alliance of America. 
Having made a close study of the question of conserving our natural re- 
sources and being a man well-posted on the subject, he was selected by the 
executive committee of the board of directors as a committee of one to pre- 
sent the case to President-elect Wilson, then Governor of New Jersey. The 
chief object was to acquaint Mr. Wilson with the conditions that exist in the 
west which directly afifect the mining interests and the disposition of the 
public domain. Making the trip to New Jersey, at Trenton he visited Mr. 
Wilson and in the interview presented his subject and acquainted the latter 
with existing conditions in the west, laying before him certain facts per- 
taining to the public domain, and he urged him to appoint a western man to 
the office of Secretarv of the Interior. As his reason for this apoeal he stated 
that the people of the coast states, where most of the unsettled portion of 
the country's acres lies, wanted a man for the position who would be able to 
see the needs through western eyes and make his decisions accordingly, one 
who was old-fashioned enough to believe in those principles laid down in 
the Constitution of the United States, and who would not delegate to himself 
the power to abrogate the laws passed by Congress and in lieu thereof make 
rulings to conform to his own ideas and whims. A western man received 
the appointment, and the trip marked success and clever manipulation. 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 221 

Keenly devoted to the development of Bakersfield, where he built and occu- 
pies a comfortable residence at No. 1915 Eighteenth street, he is serving as 
vice-president of the Board of Trade and by constant co-operation with all 
progressive movements is endeavoring to promote the growth of his Imme 
city. 

The marriage of Mr. Hall took place in V'isalia and united him with Miss 
Ruth C. Stokes, who was born near that city, being a daughter of Y. B. 
Stokes. Possessing an excellent education and a broad culture, she has 
found mental uplift in the activities of the Woman's Club and also has 
enjoyed the social amenities of the Eastern Star and the Women of Wood- 
craft. The marriage was blessed by four children, Rnwen F.. ^laurice F... 
Thelma and Thalia. Fraternally Mr. Hall holds membership with the Ba- 
kersfield lodge and chapter of Ma.sonry. the A\'oodmen of the World, and the 
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. In politics he is a Democrat of the 
stanchest kind, loyal to all party principles. His service was recognized in 
an appreciative manner during the autumn of 1910. when he was elected to 
represent the sixty-sixth assembly district in the state legislature. During 
the thirty-ninth session, 1911, he was a member of nine committees, among 
them being those on counties and county boundaries, county and township 
government, fish and game, irrigaticn and drainage, manufactures and in- 
ternal improvements, mines and mining interests, oil industries and nil 
mining interests. Largely through his efforts was secured the defeat of a 
measure to appoint a third judge in Kern county. Needed legislation was 
promoted by his keen, capable discrimination. The welfare of his constit- 
uents was guarded in every emergency and he proved himself not only a 
faithful, loyal representative of the people, but also a most tactful and intel- 
ligent promoter of their interests. 

THADDEUS M. McNAMARA, LL. B.— The first representative of 
the AlcXamara family in America was William Murro McNamara. who after 
having served as an officer in the British navy resigned his commission and 
sought the opportunities afforded by the vast agricultural areas of the new 
world. The son of a hemp merchant in London, he was born in that city 
at No. 9 Gloucester place, and entered the navy immediately after gradua- 
tion from Sedgely Park College. LTpon crossing the ocean in 1848 he pro- 
ceeded direct to Illinois and located on one hundred and sixty acres of gov- 
ernment land in Cook county, where he transformed a tract of virgin soil 
into a productive and profitable dairv farm. At Favville, Kane county, 
February 6, 1854, occurred the birth of his only son, Thaddeus M., and on 
the old preemption claim he spent many useful, orofitable years, but event- 
ually sold the tract in order to remove to California. Close to Visalia he 
boueht a tract of land and established a country home. On that place he 
died March 6, 1887, at the age of sixty-five years. His wife, who bore the 
maiden name of Bridget Mary Keating, was born in Tipperary, Ireland, 
where her father, Patrick Keating, engaged in mercantile pursuits prior to 
his emigration to the United States and his settlement among the pioneer 
farmers of Kane county in the vicinity of Elgin. 

A temperament inclining him toward the acquisition of knowledge was 
fostered by the encouragement of devoted parents, so that Thaddeus M. 
McNamara had every opportunity to gain a thorough education. After he 
had completed the studies of the Elgin .Academy and the University of 
Notre Dame, he matriculated in the LTnion College of Law (affiliated with 
the Northwestern University as the law department of that famous insti- 
tution) and in 1874 he was granted the degree of I^L. B., upon the comple- 
tion of the regular course of study. Believing the west to offer favorable 
opportunities for the practice of his profession, he came immediately to 
California and opened an office at Visalia, where he continued for fifteen 
years. Since 1875 he has practiced law in Tulare and Kern counties, with 



222 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the exception of several years' practice spent in Seattle, San Francisco and 
the Imperial valley. Besides conducting a general practice in Bakersfield, 
he has affiliated himself with movements for the material upbuilding of the 
city and also has been prominent in local fraternities, including the Wood- 
men of the World, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Fraternal Brother- 
hood, the Yeomen of America, and the Benevolent Protective Order of 
Elks. 

The first marriage of Mr. McNamara took place in Visalia, this state, 
and united him with Miss Alice Asay, who was born in Philadelphia, Pa., 
and died at Visalia in 1887. During the Civil war her father, J. L. Asay, 
M. D., had served as a surgeon in the Union army. A graduate of the 
medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, he was well qualified 
for such responsibilities through education and natural endowments. Upon 
removing from Pennsylvania to the western coast he settled in Visalia, and 
later he became an instructor in surgery .in the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons at San Francisco. In each place he built up a large practice and 
attained professional distinction. There are three children of the first mar- 
riage of Mr. McNamara, the eldest of these bearing the name of the father 
and being well-known among the physicians of Bakersfield ; the second, 
Loretta, lives in Oakland, and the youngest, Agnes, is the wife of Edward 
C. Crabbe, of Honolulu. The second marriage of Mr. McNamara occurred 
in Visalia and united him with Miss Christine E. Gilmore, a native of San 
Francisco and a daughter of Samuel Gilmore, a native of New Brunswick 
and reared in Maine. In 1847 he came around Cape Horn to San Francisco, 
where he was very prominent in building up the city and also in the banking 
business as a director of the San Francisco Savings & Loan Bank, commonly 
known as the Clay Street Bank. He was married in San Francisco to Eva 
Pelty, who was a native of the Bahama Islands and came as a child to Cali- 
fornia with her parents. Mrs. McNamara was a graduate of the Girls' High 
School in San Francisco. Born to Mr. McNamara's second union were three 
children, namely: William E., now with the New York Cloak & Suit House, 
in Los Angeles ; Genevieve, wife of Carl Beck, also of Los Angeles, and 
Arthur, of Bakersfield. 

PHILO LANDON JEWETT.— Although the distinction of being a 
native son of California does not belong to Mr. Jewett, who was born near 
Weybridge, Addison county. Vt., January 18, 1871, he has passed the greater 
part of his life in the west and by long residence as well as close observation 
has acquired a thorough knowledge of Kern county, both as pertaining to its 
oil fields and its agricultural lands. After his father. Solomon Jewett, the 
pioneer stock-raiser and oil-promoter of Kern county, became a citizen of 
Bakersfield. the son was sent to the local schools and later attended the 
Oakland high school until his graduation in 1889. Upon his return to Bakers- 
field he secured a position as bookkeeper in the Kern Valley Bank. Soon, 
however, he began to study the stock industry and particularly the sheep 
business. Careful observation convinced him that there were great possi- 
bilities in the raising of sheep and at the end of seven months in the bank he 
resigned in order to embark in his desired specialty. That his judgment was 
not at fault the succeeding years have proved and he still engages in the raising 
of sheep with gratifying success. It is said that he has no superior as a judge 
of a flock of sheep. His preference for this country is the Shropshire breed, 
which he carries exclusively and which seem well adapted to this climate and 
range, producing both mutton and wool in profitable measure. At first it 
was possible to range the flocks on the plains and hills of Linns valley during 
the summer months, but eventually the reservation was closed to sheep and 
this forced him to look for other quarters. Since then he has rented railroad 
lands. 

The present headquarters of Mr. Jewett's sheep industry are situated near 



HISTORY ()!■ Kl-.KX COUNTY 225 

Rosedale, seven miles west iif ISaUcrstiekl. where he owns six hunch-eel and 
forty acres in one tract and an adjacent property of four hundred acres. His 
mountain headquarters near (ilennville contain the ranch-house known amon<.j 
the Mexicans as Casa F.lanca and called by others the White house. The six 
hundred and forty acres at Rosedale are in alfalfa, large crops of which are 
cut each season. The entire tract lies under the Beardsley ditch and is in the 
usual farm crops, all feed raised being- used for the sheep in winter. The size 
of the flocks varies from one season to another, but there are never less than 
five thousand head and at times there have been as many as ten thousand in 
the flocks. 

\\'hile recognized as one of the mo'^t resourceful and energetic shee])- 
raisers in the county, it must not be sui)p<.)sed that this industry represents 
the limit of Mr. Jewett's activities. In addition he owns an interest in six 
hundred and forty acres in the Midway oil field, also acts as president of the 
Jewett Oil Company operating in the McKittrick district and owning one 
hundred and sixty acres on 13 and three hundred and twenty acres on 24, 
operating thirteen wells with a production of thirty-five hundred barrels per 
week. The Republican party has received the stanch support of Mr. Jewett in 
national elections and he has been prominent in its local afifairs. Upon the 
consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern in July. 1910, he was elected a member 
of the board of trustees of the new corporation and at the regular election 
held in April of the following year he was chosen by the people to fill the 
place for the next term, since which time he has acted as chairman of the 
finance committee and through that service, as well as in other ways, he has 
proved helpful to the best interests of the community. Enterprising in temper- 
ament, progressive in ideals, patriotic in citizenship and loyal to California,- 
he represents that splendid class of men who are giving of their time and 
talents to further the permanent prosperity of our commonwealth. As a 
charter meniber of the Bakersfield Club he was identified with the early 
history of an organization now prominent and popular and he also has been 
interested in the upbuilding of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in his 
home city. 

GEORGE HAY. — During the first half of the nineteenth century James 
H. Hay, a sturdy young Scot, left the highlands of his native country and 
crossed the ocean to the United States, where he settled upon a farm in 
Delaware. When his son, John, a native of Delaware, was a child of three 
years, in 1835, he took the family across the country to Indiana and settled 
at Indianapolis, but later moved by wagon northward to Fulton county in 
that state and took up raw land near Rochester, where he remained until his 
death. For perhaps twenty years John Hay served as assessor of Fulton 
county, where for years he ranked as a leading farmer and an honored resi- 
dent and prosperous citizen until his death, December 28, 1912, at the age of 
seventy-eight. When he was taken to Indiana there were no railroads in 
the entire state, and he recalled vividly the excitement incident to the com- 
pletion of the first railroad built into Indianapolis. In early manhood he 
married Miss Mary Myers, who was born in Fulton county, that state, and 
died there in 1900. To her father, John Myers, belonged the distinction of 
being one of the first settlers in Fulton county and he engaged in general 
farming there throughout the balance of his busy life. 

There were eleven children in the family of John and Mary Hay and 
nine of these are still living, one son, A. W., being now superintendent of 
the Union cemetery. George, who was sixth in order of birth among the 
children, was born near Rochester, Fulton county, Ind., April 15, 1869, and 
at the age of fifteen began to earn his livelihood as a farm laborer. \Vhen 
seventeen years of age he was given a teachers' certificate and began to 
follow that occupation in Fulton county. By the frugal saving of his salary 
he was al)le to spend two vears in the Xorthern Indiana State l^niversity at 



226 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Valparaiso, where he took the scientific course of study. During 1889 he 
was graduated from the Terre Haute Business College, after which he taught 
school in Indiana for a few years. May 1, 1892, he arrived in Bakersfield 
with a cash capital of $5, but with an abundance of energy and determina- 
tion. Immediately he found work by the day on a ranch in the Rosedale 
section, where he remained during the summer. In the fall of the same year 
he and a brother-in-law, George Batz, rented a stock farm on the south fork 
of the Kern river, and there he engaged in raising cattle and hogs for three 
years, after which he disposed of his interests and returned to Bakersfield in 
1895. For one year he was employed by Bender & Hewitt, and there gained 
his first knowledge of the abstract business. Next for two years he served 
as deputy county assessor under Winfield Scott, and then as deputy tax col- 
lector under Charles Day, after which he returned to the employ of Bender 
& Hewitt for a year. When the county treasurer, J. B. Batz, went to San 
Francisco on account of business enterprises on the bay, he appointed Mr. 
Hay deputy county treasurer to take charge of the office during the three 
years yet remaining of his term of office. 

The Bakersfield Abstract Company was incorporated in 1903 by J. H. 
Jordan, J. B. Batz and George Hay. The following year they bought out 
Bender & Hewitt, and thus acquired the oldest set of abstract books in the 
entire county. From the organization of the company Mr. Hay has acted 
as its secretary and manager. The office of the company is in the basement 
of the Bank of Bakersfield building, where there are private vaults for records 
and safety deposit vaults for the public use. The facilities of the concern 
embrace the ownership of books and documents constituting a complete 
record of the transfers, changes of ownership, subdivisions, and incumbrances 
covering all real estate in Kern county from government entry to date ; and 
the company is prepared to issue unlimited certificates of title and complete 
abstracts of land, water and mining titles in this county. By this system 
the entire details of the examination of titles and the closing of property sales 
are assumed by the firm, which is responsible to all parties concerned for the 
correct carrying out of all instructions as well as for the correctness of the 
title, for which it issues guaranteed certificates. The company also buys 
and sells real estate, negotiates loans, takes charge of property for non- 
resident owners, writes insurance of all kinds, fire, plate-glass, accident and 
life, issues surety bonds and represents two building and loan companies 
of Los Angeles. 

Aside from his identification with the Bakersfield Abstract Company 
Mr. Hay has numerous personal interests, having been one of the original 
stockholders of the Security Trust Company, and also owning interests in 
several oil companies. Under his ownership the West Park tract of thirty- 
three acres on Oleander avenue was subdivided and lots were placed on sale 
with building restrictions that made this one of the finest residence sections 
in Bakersfield. On some of the lots he built modern and elegant homes 
which he later sold. The Bakersfield Board of Trade has enjoyed the benefit 
of his progressive ideas. For some years he has been a member of the board 
of education, and his intelligent labors in this position have been beneficial 
to the educational interests of Bakersfield. The improvement of the schools 
has been a hobby with him. No stone has been left unturned in his effort to 
raise the standard of education. New buildings have been erected, locations 
have been secured, a course in domestic science has been added and a repu- 
tation has been acquired deservedly that ranks the Bakersfield schools with 
the best in the state. While not active in politics he has been stanch in his 
allegiance to the Democratic party. The Woodmen of the World, Benevo- 
lent Protective Order of Elks, Ancient Order of ITnited Workmen, also the 
Bakersfield Club, number him among their members. His marriage took 
place in this city and united him with Miss Elise Stahlecker. who was born 



I 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 227 

in Germany, but at an early age came to Kern county. Her father, John 
Stahlecker, is now living in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Hay are the parents 
of five children, Mildred, Gerald, Byron, George and Marjorie. 

ABIA TAYLOR LIGHTNER.— Genealogical records indicate that dur- 
ing" the eighteenth century three l^rothers, William A., John and Nathaniel 
Lightner, crossed the ocean from Holland to America and settled in Penn- 
sylvania, where the last-named devoted the remainder of his life to farming 
in Lancaster county. Capt. Abia Tajdor Lightner, son of Nathaniel, was 
born in that county in October of 1801 and at a very early age became a 
pioneer of Missouri, where at Independence he married Miss Jemima S. 
Snelling, a native of Louisville, Ky., born in September, 1809. The Snelling 
family is of Welsh lineage. During 1849 her aged mother and two brothers, 
Daniel and Benjamin Snelling. started across the plains, but in the course of 
the tedious journey the mother died at the age of about eighty-nine years. 
The brothers continued on their way, settled in California and became men 
of some local prominence, r.enjamin being the founder of the village of 
Snelling, in Merced county. 

Having decided to try his fortunes in the west, Captain Lightner out- 
fitted at Independence, Mo., and during June of 1849 started as captain of a 
train that journeyed with ox-teams along the southern route through New 
Mexico and Arizona. More than six months were spent on the way and 
often in the lonely road they were in great danger from the Indians, but 
they traveled well-armed, each family taking a large supply of guns and 
ammunition. The twenty wagons comprising the train were under his 
guidance as trainmaster and were drawn by oxen, while milch cows were 
taken along, not only in order that milk and butter might be obtained for 
daily use, but also to be used for motive power in case of accident to the 
oxen or to furnish beef if needed. In every respect the expedition was well 
equipped, hence they escaped many of the privations that befell other bands 
of Argonauts. A brief stop was made near the present site of Pomona in 
Los -Angeles countv. and there on New Year's day of 1850 the numerical im- 
portance of the expedition was enhanced by the birth of Abia Taylor Light- 
ner, Jr. Proceeding to the coast and thence northward, the travelers finally 
separated at Alviso, Santa Clara county, where the captain took up land 
one anil one-half miles from Santa Clara and engaged not only in farming, 
but also in teaming for James Lick. During the mining excitement on the 
Kern river he made a trip of investigation and decided to remove to the 
location. As early as 1856 he bought on that river near Keyesville a mine 
later known as the Mammoth and also built a quartz mill, where he not only 
utilized rock from his own mine, but also engaged in custom work. The 
family established their home at Keyesville during 1857, but the following 
year, the milling and mining not proving profitable, he purchased the claim 
and stock owned by "Bob" Wilson in Walker's Basin and removed his wife 
and children to the new location. Ever since then the place has been occu- 
pied by members of the family and is now owned by one of his daughters, 
Mrs. Walker Rankin. While hauling a load of hay, February 12, 1867, from 
Walker's Basin to Havilah, then the county seat, he fell from the wagon and 
was run over by the team and killed. At the time of the accident he was 
alone and when found life was extinct. The widow remained at the old 
homestead until her death in 1896 Devoted to the doctrines of the Baptist 
Church and a generous contributor to denominational work, her interest and 
gifts continued until her demise; her daughters have exhibited the same in- 
tense loyalty to Baptist tenets. 

There were nine children in the parental family. 1>ut two of these died 
in Missouri prior to the date of the westward migration. Isaac died at 
\\'alker's Basin in 1906, and William i^assed away in Calaveras count}' Janu- 
ary 3, 1907. while Daniel S. died in Cnsta Rica. Central .\merica. in 1909. 



228 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Diana is the widow of F. T. Barrows and resides at Bando'n, Coos county, 
Ore.; Mary F. married D. W. Walser, of Walker's Basin; and Lavenia E. 
is the wife of Walker Rankin, also of Walker's Basin. Abia Taylor Lightner, 
who was the youngest of the family, resides on the northwest quarter of 
section 24, township 29 south, range 28 east, this being the township in 
which the city of Bakersfield is located. Proximity to the city and the fact 
that this is a frostless belt suitable for horticulture, especially for citrus fruits, 
induced him to build his residence at this point. 

Coming to Kern county at the age of seven years, Abia Taylor Lightner 
remained here from 1857 until 1861, after which he spent a year in Santa 
Clara county with a sister, Mrs. Diana Barrows. This gave him an oppor- 
tunity to attend school, which was not possible at the time in Kern county. 
After the death of his father in 18fi7 he attended Vacaville College fur one 
year and during 1870 he entered Heald's Business College, from which he 
was graduated in June, 1871. Returning to Kern county and resuming 
farming and stock-raising, he continued at that occupation for a time, but 
afterwarrl engaged as a bookkeeper. The Democrats of Kern county in 1873 
nominated him to the office of county clerk, but he was defeated by F. W. 
Craig. From 1876 to 1878 he served" as deputy sherifif under M. P. Wells. 
During 1879 he was elected county clerk and recorder, defeating his former 
opponent, F. A\'. Craig. On the first Monday in ]\Iarch, 1880, he entered 
upon his official duties. The new constitution went into efifect during that 
year and rendered necessary another election. In the fall of 1880 he was 
again chosen for the position. At the expiration of the term of two years 
he was re-elected, serving until January of 1885. 

After having engaged in mining with a brother, Daniel S., in May of 
1886 Mr. Lightner associated himsetf with a brother-in-law, C. W. Fore, in 
the hotel business in Tulare. Ninety days later the hotel was burned to the 
ground. The disaster was complete and entailed a heavy loss upon Mr. 
Lightner, whose next position was that of searcher of records for Miller & 
Creighton of Visalia. Returning to Bakersfield in the spring of 1887, he 
formed a partnership with W. E. Houghton under the title of Houghton & 
Lightner, searchers of records. Upon being elected county assessor in the 
fall of 1890 on the Democratic ticket he retired from the abstract business. 
From January, 1891, until January, 1895, he acted as assessor, after which, 
his former partner having died, he took up the old Houghton & Lightner 
records and resumed abstracting, which he followed f( r three years. Upon 
the incorporation of the municipality of Bakersfield he was chosen city clerk. 
At the expiration of his term in 1910 he was not a candidate for re-election. 

As an authority concerning land titles and values Mr. Lightner is said 
to have no superior in Kern county. His memory of location is unerring, 
his knowledge of valuations accurate, his judgment keen and his decisions 
seldom questioned. His office in Room 1. Producers' Savings Bank l:)uilding, 
is a scene of constant business activity, for he is in demand as a searcher of 
records, a judge of land locations and values and an authority concerning 
titles. As an attorney practicing before the Interior Department, he is re- 
garded as authority in all matters relating to the procedure of acquiring 
titles to lands under the various acts of congress pertaining thereto. He is 
one of the inheritance tax appraisers for Kern county, appointed by the state 
comptroller. The accuracy of his judgment is enhanced by his broad knowl- 
edge of jurisprudence, for at an early age he was admitted to practice as an 
attorney before Ignited States land offices, his certificate of application bear- 
ing the signature of Hon. R. E. Arick, judge of the Superior Court of Kern 
county. One of the oldest native sons in California, he is also one of the most 
influential and prominent and further has the distinction of being the first 
past president of Bakersfield Parlor No. 42, N. S. G. W. Besides being con- 
nected with the Indei:)endent Order of Foresters, he is a charter member of 



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 231 

Bakersfield Lodge No. 266. B. P. O. E., and is now the oldest surviving 
member of that body. Mrs. Lightner, former!}' Miss Tena Morrell, is also 
a native Californian and has spent her entire life in the west. There are 
two daughters in the family, Gladys and Marguerite, the elder of whom is 
the wife of B. K. Stroud, superintendent of drilling operations in Lost Hills 
for the LTniversal Oil Company. 

JOHN BUTLER BATZ.— The president of the Bakersfield Abstract 
Coniiiau}-. whn is a picmeer of 1874 in Kern county, represents the fourth 
generation of the 'l^ntunic family of Batz in America. Henry, a son of the 
(M-iginal Cierman immigrant, was born in Pennsylvania, learned the trade 
of a slioemaker and followed the same in Indiana for many years and until 
his death. When he removed from the Keystone state he was accompanied 
l)y his son. Benjamin, who was born and reared near Philadelphia and 
after settling in Indiana followed the trade of millwright. Xear Rochester, 
Fulton county, he built a grist-mill operated l^y water power. Ten miles 
from the nearest town he took up a tract of raw land and from it he devel- 
oped a profitable farm, where he was still engaged in agricultural pursuits 
at the time of his death in 1863. In 1911. in that same vicinity, occurred 
the death of his wife, who bore the maiden name of Clarissa S. Rice and was 
botn in Ohio. Of their six children only three are living. John Butler 
being the eldest of these. His two sisters are Mrs. Amelia Meredith of 
Bakersfield and Mrs. Emma Edgington of Indiana. .\t the old home farm 
in Fulton county. Ind.. where he was born January 25. 1852. he passed 
the uneventful years of boyhood alternating attendance at the public schools 
with such farm work as his size and strength permitted. At the age of 
sixteen years he began to learn the carpenter trade with a skilled con- 
tract(!r in the home neighborhood and when only eighteen he was able to 
take U]-) building contracts of his own, making the doors, sash, blinds, etc., 
by hand and finishing jobs in a manner satisfactory to customers. 

Believing that opportunities would be greater further west, in 1872 
Mr. P.atz removed to Kansas and settled at Grenola. Howard county, but 
now Elk. where he engaged in carpentering. Not being entirely satisfied 
with the Sunflower state he came on to California in 1874 and settled in 
Kern cmmty. where after a time he was employed as superintendent of the 
Landers stock farm in the -South b^ork country. Next he secured a clerkship 
with Afichaels & Co.. at Kernville. While thus occupied he established 
domestic ties, being married to ^liss Sophie E. Smith, a native of Oakland, 
this state, and an earnest member of the Methndist Episcopal Church. They 
are parents of two children now living. The daughter, Daisy M., is the 
wife of J. H. Jordan, vice-president of the Bakersfield Abstract Company, 
and the son. Vernon S.. is an employe of this company. Mrs. Batz is 
a daugliter of Thomas H. Smith, a native of England, who after crossing 
the ocean settled in Ohio, but at the time of the discovery of gold in Cali- 
fornia he closed out his interests in Ohio and in 1849 sailed around the Horn 
to San Francisco. Later he engaged in the mercantile business in Oakland. 

r^'or st.me years Mr. Batz engaged in stock-raising and some time after 
his marriage he bought two hundred and forty acres on South l-'ork. where 
he had a ])rofitable acreage in alfalfa, also engaged in horticulture and 
in addition made a specialty of the str ck industry. For two years he served 
as under-sheriff with \A'. ]. Graham and he also held office as trustee of the 
Scodie school district for some years, b'rom the early period of his residence 
in the county he ranked among the leading Democrats and his services were 
in frequent demand as a member of the county central committee of the 
party. Nominated by the Demt crats for the office of county treasurer in 
1894. he was elected by a gratifying majority and took the oath of office in 
January of 1895. .\t the expiration (if his term he was re-elected 1iy a 
greatly increased majorit}-, a fact which bears strong exidence as to the 



232 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

satisfactory nature of his services. ^Vhe^ tlie second term expired in Janu- 
ary, 1903, he was not a candidate for re-election, his business interests "being 
so important as to demand his entire time and attention. Prior to that he 
had acquired stock in the Occidental Oil Company, operating a producing 
well near Maricopa, and of this company he served as treasurer and manager ; 
besides he owned an interest in the Monarch Oil Company, proprietors of 
one hundred and sixty acres and managers of a well of strong productive 
capacity. After he had sold his oil interests he went to San Francisco and 
became treasurer and manager of the New Blue Jay Mining Company, owners 
of the Blue Jay mine on CoiJfee creek in Trinity county near Carrville. He 
assisted in organizing the Bakersfield Abstract Company in 1903 and was 
elected its first president, which position he has filled up to the present time. 
The company acquired the plant of Bender & Hewitt and thus became owners 
of the oldest set of records in the county. Employment is furnished to six- 
teen persons and a business of great importance has been established. On 
the organization of the National Bank of Bakersfield Mr. Batz was one of 
the incorporators and is a member of the board of directors. In the midst 
of extensive business interests and large political connections, he has found 
leisure for social and fraternal activities and with his wife has been active 
in the Kern County Pioneer Society, while in addition he is associated with 
the F'raternal Brotherhood, the Degree of Honor and the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen. In the latter he is past master workman and has served 
as representative to the grand lodge. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
has had the benefit of long years of interested activity on his part. As past 
noble grand and representative to the grand lodge, he is a leading factor in 
local lodge work, while he further has Iseen prominent in the encampment 
and the canton, in the former having been representative to the Grand En- 
campment as well as a prominent official. Muvements for the benefit of 
Kern county have received his stanch support and not the least of these 
is the organization and maintenance of the Bakersfield Abstract Company, 
which is a concern of vital importance to the realty affairs of the county 
and also of more than passing importance through its representation of 
insurance agencies and building and loan associations. 

C. V. ANDERSON.— As examiner of titles for the Kern County Abstract 
Company, in which he is a large stockholder and also holds the office of 
vice-president, Mr. Anderson is intimately identified with one of the leading 
concerns of its kind in the San Joaquin valley. Descended from an old 
southern family, he was born at Memphis, Tenn., March 11, 1874, and is a 
son of James A. and Maria Anderson, the latter of whom died when C. V. 
was a very small child. After a successful career as an attorney in Memphis 
the father came to California in 1885 and opened a law office in Los Angeles, 
where he engaged in practice as a partner of the late Attorney-General Fitz- 
gerald, of California. Twice married, by the two unions he became the 
father of fifteen children, seven of whom are living. Out of this large family 
C. V. was thirteenth in order of birth. From an early age he expressed a 
decided preference for the profession of the law, in which his two brothers, W. 
H. and James A., Jr., have also been successful, forming the firm of Anderson 
& Anderson, well-known among the law firms of Los Angeles. 

After he had completed the studies of the public schools and St. Vincent's 
College, C. V. Anderson entered his father's office as a law student and during 
1897 was admitted to the bar. With other members of the family he then 
engaged in practice in Los Angeles, whence he came to Bakersfield during 
the latter part of 1900, influenced in this move by the recent oil discoveries 
in the Kern county fields. In 1901 he formed a partnership with W. W. Kaye 
under the firm title of Anderson & Kaye, which connection continued until 
1905 and meantime, from 1902 to 1905, he acted as adviser to the Kern County 
Abstract Company. Returning to Los Angeles in 1906 he became examiner 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 233 

of titles for the Title Insurance & Trust Compan\', also practiced his profession 
as a member of the firm of Anderson & Anderson, but in 1910 was induced to 
relinquish his associations in the southern metropolis in order to identify him- 
self with the Kern County Abstract Company, an important and well-estab- 
lished concern of Bakersfield. 

The marriage of Mr. Anderson took place in 1903 and united him with 
Miss Elizabeth Alexander, of Los Angeles, daughter of the late Col. Richard 
Henry Alexander, and Emily W. (Houston) Alexander, the latter still a 
resident of Los Angeles. During a long and brilliant career Colonel Alexander 
was retained successively as a surgeon in the army, as colonel on the staff of 
General Allies and as the head of the medical department of the west. Air. and 
Mrs. Anderson are the parents of two daughters, Emily and Betty. The re- 
ligious home of the family is in the Episcopal Church of Bakersfield, to the 
maintenance of which Mr. Anderson has contributed generously and in whose 
philanthropies he has been a willing assistant. The Alasonic Order and the 
Bakersfield Club number him among their active members and their pro- 
gressive projects have received his quiet but earnest co-operation. The Re- 
publican party embodies in its platform the principles which he believes to 
be best adapted to the welfare of the nation and he has given to it his stead- 
fast allegiance. 

JAMES EDGAR STONE.— The Kimball-Stone Drug Company ranks 
among the leading business concerns of Bakersfield. The present organi- 
zation, which dates from 190-1. has been engaged in business since 1910 at 
No. 1413 Nineteenth street, where the first floor is utilized for the various 
departments of the trade and in addition the basement furnishes storage 
facilities for a large reserve stock. The modern stock of the company, 
valued at $25, COO, includes everything known to the science of medicine. 
The firm carries a full line of pure drugs and druggists' sundries, patent 
medicines of all kinds, toilet articles, perfumes, brushes and other articles 
to be found in a first-class shop of the kind. The compounding of prescrip- 
tions is a special feature of the business. For that purpose the freshest and 
purest of drugs are kept in stock. The prescription counter, unsurpassed 
by any in the state, is open to the public view by means of plate glass. The 
entire store is a model of neatness and system and indicates the thrifty 
qualities of the proprietors, whose skill as pharmacists is attested by their 
high reputation throughout the community. 

The junior member of the firm, James Edgar Stone, was born at AA^'ar- 
rensburg, AIo., July 23, 1881, and is a son of John W. and Elizabeth (Emery) 
Stone, natives respectively of Kentucky and Indiana, and early settlers of 
Missouri, where they were married and where they since have made their 
home. The father has engaged in raising live stock and still makes a 
specialt}' of handling live-stock, through which occupation, coupled with 
general farming, he has been enabled to reach financial success. In his 
family there are six children, the eldest of whom, Nellie Alay, is the wife ol 
AV. L. Hyer, an employe of a large packing house at Warrensburg, Mo. 
The eldest son, John AA'illiam, Jr., is engaged in the drug business in Kansas 
City. The third and sixth among the children, Josephine B. and Pansy K., 
are teachers in the Bakersfield public schools. The fifth, Luther Brooks, 
is engaged in the stock business with his father. James Edgar, the fourth 
in order of birth, received his education in Warrensburg, where for three 
years he was a student in the Missouri State Normal, after he had com- 
pleted the regular course in the public schools. 

At the age of twenty-one years Air. Stone matriculated in the St. Louis 
College of Pharmacy, where for two years he studied with industry, diligence 
and intelligence. At the expiration of that time he was graduated with the 
degree of Ph. G., as a member of the class of 1904, in which he had the honor 
of serving as vice-president. During the autumn of the same year he came 



234 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

to Bakersfield and purchased the interest of Dr. B. E. Morrow in the Mor- 
row-Kimball Drug- Company, the predecessor of the Kimball-Stone Drug 
Company. After some years at the old stand the firm removed in 1910 to 
their present location, where they have a modern and model shop, equipped 
with every facility and improvement designed to render the business satis- 
factory and successful. Customers are treated with the most gracious cour- 
tesy and are given every possible attention. The Johnson line of remedies 
and toilet articles is prepared at the manufacturing table, back of which is 
a room for reserve stock and in the basement a large reserve stock also is 
maintained. The firm makes a specialty of poisoned wheat manufactured 
for the extermination of squirrels and gophers. Their stock of Parke-Davis 
goods is the largest in the San Joaquin valley. Among their bacteriological 
serums is Dr. Schaefifer's phylacogeus, manufactured by a Bakersfield physi- 
cian and already having to its credit many astonishing cures. 

The marriage of Mr. Stone took place in Kern county and united him 
with Miss Mae Mouliot, daughter of Martin Mouliot, a stockman now resid- 
ing in Bakersfield. Born at Tehachapi, Mrs. Stone received her early edu- 
cation in the r'>akersfield schools and later completed a course of study in the 
Chico State Normal. Eor three years prior to her marriage she taught in 
the schools of East Bakersfield with gratifying success. Politically Mr. 
Stone has been stanch in his allegiance to the Democratic party, and has 
maintained a warm interest in public affairs. Since coming to Bakersfield 
he has been active in Masonry, and is now a Shriner of the York Rite. 
Personally he is decidedly popular with everyone with Whom he has busi- 
ness dealings or social relations. 

THOMAS NORMAN HARVEY.— The genealogy of the Harvey family 
is traced to England and includes the names of many men of sterling worth 
and patriotic spirit. During the progress of the Revolutionary struggle they 
became associated with Canadian afifairs, and their intense sympathy with the 
cause of the Tories led to their being classed with the empire loyalists. Cul- 
tured endowments marked every generation of the past. Out of the traditions 
that lighten the obscurity of bygone ages their names emerge as educators of 
talent and as far back as the lineage can be traced their identification with 
pedagogy has been established and even at the present time their association 
with educational afifairs is as pronounced as it is successful. After a lifetime 
of service in the Canadian schools, during which time he had the supervision 
of the schools at Sydenham and other Ontario towns, W. B. Harvey died at 
Toronto, Canada, January 10, 1913. One of his sons, J. F., is superintendent 
of the high schools at Peterboro, Ontario. A daughter, Catherine, married R. 
H. Cowley, who now holds the office of superintendent of education for the 
province of Ontario and resides at Toronto. The present identification of the 
family with educational work in Canada will thus be seen to be intimate and 
influential. 

The youngest child in the family of W. B. and Jean (Watt) Harvey, (the 
latter of Scotch extraction) was Thomas Norman Harvey, whose birth 
occurred in Ontario, Canada, December 9, 1878, and whose education was 
received in his native province. After he had graduated from the Sydenham 
high school in 1896 he matriculated in the Ottawa Normal School and took 
the regular course of study in that institution, graduating with the class of 
1900. Immediately after his graduation he took up the task of teaching and 
served successively as principal of the schools at Strathroy and Parry Sound, 
Ontario, while in addition for a short time he acted as proprietor and publisher 
I if a weekly newspaper in the village of Wyoming, a small town in Ontario, 
directly east of Port Huron, Mich. During January of 1904 he came to Cali- 
fornia and settled in the Napa valley, where for six months he studied law in 
the office of W. F. Henning and then continued his studies in the Hastings 
Law School at San Francisco. During 1905, while still a student in the law 





^ 



<i2-^<?-^?'>-> 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 237 

school, he was admitted upon examination to the supreme court of California 
and since then he has devoted his attention to law practice. Comin^ to 
Bakersfield in July of 1910 he opened an ofifice and has since made a specialty 
of oil and mining law, practicing before the United States land ofifice. His 
office is located at No. 1667 Chester avenue and there much of his time is 
devoted to tireless and eiTective work in behalf of clients. Earnest in the 
preparation of cases, logical in reasoning faculties, well informed in the law, 
he has demonstrated his admirable qualifications for his chosen profession. 
One month before he came to Bakersfield he was united in marriage with Miss 
Violet Salter, daughter of J. W. Salter, who was a prominent pioneer and 
well-known druggist of San Francisco. Mr. Harvey is the father of a son who 
bears his name. In religion he was reared in the faith of the Church of Eng- 
land and has assisted in other movements for the general advancement 

JOSEPH WARREN SUMNER.— With the' earlier events thai shaped 
the histiiry of Kern County the name of this California pioneer of '4<) was 
intimately associated and the title of Judge, l^y which he was long and 
familiarly known, came to him through an efficient service of more than 
thirty years as justice of the peace at Kernville. For the difficult tasks 
incident to the development of a frontier community he was well qualified by 
the inheritance of rugged traits of mind and sturdy endurance of bodv from 
a long line of American ancestors who were pioneer uobuilders. Whether 
his task was that leading occupation of earlier days, mining, or the equally 
arduous experiences incident to hauling freight between Los Angeles and 
Kernville; whether presiding over the justice court with keen discrimination 
and impartial judgment or with far-seeing discernment concerning future 
conditions planting and developing the first commercial orchard in the 
Kernville region, into each responsibility he threw his energies with the 
whole-souled devotion and enthusiastic interest that made him a leader 
among pioneers. 

The genealogy of the Sumner family shows a close association with the 
colonial history of New England, where they became residents about the 
middle of the seventeenth century. The family history shows that William, 
the only son of Roger and Joan (Franklin) Sumner (the former a husband- 
luan of Rice.ster, Oxford. England), was born in that English shire in 1605 
and some time after his marriage to Mary West he brought his family to 
.Xmerica, settling at Dorchester, Mass., where for many years he was a 
meml)er of the general court and a prominent citizen. The next generation 
was represented by William, Jr., likewise a native of Bicester, England, and 
who married Elizabeth, daughter of Augu3tine Clement, of Dorchester, 
England. Thrc ughout much of his life he followed the sea, but eventually 
he retired to Boston and there his death occurred in February, 167.5. Clement, 
son of William. Jr., was born in Boston September 6, 1671, and married 
Margaret Harris, by whom he was the father of a son, Samuel Sumner, born 
in Bo.ston August 31, 1709, and married at Charlestown, Mass., to A))igail, 
daughter of Samuel I'-rothingham, of that place. The death if Samuel 
Sumner occurred January 26, 1784. In the next generation was Ebenezer 
Sumner, liorn in Boston in March of 1742. married to Elizabeth Ta'ipan and 
deceased at Newburyport, Mass., December 27 . 1823. Hon. Joseph Sumner, 
son of Ebenezer, was born at Newburyport, Mass., May 26, 1783, becarue a 
merchant at Lubec, Me., served as a member of the Xfaine state legislature 
and died September 21, 1861. By his marriage to Sarah Wiggin, a lineal 
descendant of Governor Wiggin, of Massachusetts, there was born at New- 
buryport, Mass., January 3, 1819, a son, Joseph Warren Sumner, who in 
early manhood, after having completed an academic education, engaged in 
merchandising in Lubec, Me., and also operated a line of fishing boats from 
that isolated Atlantic port. The discovery of gold in California furnished the 
incentive for his emigration from the bleak coast of eastern Maine to the 



238 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

then unknown shores of the .Pacific. A voyage via Panama brought him to 
San Francisco, from which city he proceeded to the mines of the Sierras. 
From that time he never entirely reHnquished his identification with mining 
and his interests in that work took him as far away as British Cohimbia. 
During 1860 he became the owner of the Sumner mine at Kernvihe, where 
for many years he also owned and operated the Sumner mill, besides conduct- 
ing a freighting business to Los Angeles. As early as 1869 he purchased 
the Sumner ranch across the north fork from Ivernville and there he embarked 
in horticulture upon a scale larger than that attempted by previous experi- 
menters in that occupation. 

The marriage of Judge Sumner in Lubec, Ale.. August 3, 1843, united 
him with Miss Mary E. Dakin, who was born at Digby, Nova Scotia, January 
16, 1826. They were spared to a long married life of mutual service and 
helpfulness and in death were not long divided, his demise taking place at 
his Kernville home ^March 29, 1911, when he had reached the age of ninety- 
two, while the death of his wife followed in the same year on the 31st of 
May, rounding out eighty-five useful years. Their only son, Elisha Payson 
Sumner, had passed away at Saco, Me., November 23, 1871. The older 
daughter, Mary Josephine, of Los Angeles, was the wife of the late Rev. C. G. 
Belknap, a member of the Southern California conference of the Methodist 
Episcc.pal church. The youngest member of the family circle, Alice Maude, 
is the widow of Andrew Brown, formerly a prominent merchant and banker 
of Los Angeles. From the standpoint of citizenship Judge Sumner was 
progressive, in personal character he was just and yet generous and broad. 
For many years he served as a member of the school board and aided in 
the building of school houses and the establishment of school districts. 
Fraiernall}- he was a Master J\Iason. Originally an old-line Whig in politics, 
on the founding of the Republican party he transferred his allegiance to its 
principles and also supported the abolitionist movement from its inception. 
It was his privilege to vote at eighteen presidential elections, dating back to 
the exciting campaign of William lienry Harrison, when even at the remote 
and isolated Maine home of the Sumner family the cry of "Tippecanoe and 
Tyler too" was the most familiar slogan of the period, and extending through 
all the years up to and including the scarcely less exciting and interesting 
Roosevelt campaigns. 

WILLIAM VANDEVER MATLACK.— The cashier of the Security 
Trust Company of Bakersfield traces his lineage to England and Holland and 
is himself a native of Philadelphia, born February 20, 1859. His parents, 
John R. and Lydia B. (Vandever) Matlack, were natives respectively of 
Philadelphia and Baltimore and for many years the former engaged in a 
manufacturing business in his native city, but after his retirement from 
business cares he came to California, and in 1896 his death occurred in this 
state. The English progenitors of the family had spelled the name Mat- 
lock and during the Revolutionary war Timothy Matlock, a leading Phila- 
delphia representative of the family, had been identified in business activi- 
ties with Robert Morris, the financier of the colonists during the first strug- 
gle with England. The maternal ancestry was of Dutch extraction. The 
records show that William Vandever, exiled from Holland during the thirty 
years' war, found a temporary refuge in Sweden and during 1682 crossed the 
Atlantic ocean to the new world in company with a colony of Swedes that 
settled in Delaware. From him descended William Vandever, a bookbinder 
by trade and a gallant soldier during the War of 1812; after the close of that 
struggle he settled in Baltimore, where occurred the birth of his daughter, 
Lydia B., later Mrs. Matlack. Her death occurred in Philadelphia. The 
oldest son in the family became a prominent resident of California and 
served as member of congress from Ventura county. 

In a family comprising four sons and two daughters, of whom two of 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 239 

the sons are deceased, William Vandever Matlack was third in order of 
birth and was reared in Philadelphia, where he was graduated from the high 
school and where later he held a mercantile position. Coming to California 
in 1887. he made a sojourn of two years in Monrovia and in 1889 settled at 
Bakersfield, where since he has made his home and where he has wielded a 
large influence as public-spirited citizen and progressive business man. For 
some years he was associated with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 
first as an assistant and later as chief clerk of the Bakersfield freight office. 
During 1898 he was chosen local freight and passenger agent, a position of 
great responsibility, which he filled with recognized efificiency and tact. 
Resigning in 1908 to accept a position as assistant cashier of the Bank of 
Bakersfield, he entered upon his present connection with the financial affairs 
of his home city. Since February 1, 1911, he has been cashier of the bank of 
the Security Trust Company. While still living in Philadelphia he married 
Miss Margaret V. Mendenhall, who was born in that city and descended 
from English ancestry. They are the parents of five daughters, Florence, 
Edith, Lydia, Mary and Ellen. 

Ever since attaining his majority Mr. Matlack has voted with the Re- 
publican party. Throughout the entire period of his residence in Bakers- 
field he has maintained an unceasing interest in civic and educational afifairs. 
During 1891 he was elected a member of the Sumner school board and for 
fifteen years he served as slerk of that organization, two new schoolhouses 
being erected during the term of his service. During April of 1908 he was 
elected a member of the Kern board of trustees and in the summer of the 
same year he was chosen chairman to fill a vacancy caused by the death of 
James L. de Pauli. Upon the consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern in 1910 
and the organization of Bakersfield as a city of the fifth class, as decided 
upon by a majority of the voters of both towns, a new election was held July 
10, 1910, and Mr. Matlack was chosen a member of the board of trustees of 
the new city. At the organization of the board he was elected its president. 
The election of April, 1911, again made him a member of the board of 
trustees and again he was chosen president of the board, which position he 
now fills, discharging its duties with characteristic energy and efficiency. 
For years he has been a leading local worker in the Benevolent Protective 
Order of Elks, in which he served as Exalted Ruler, and in addition he has 
been associated with the Bakersfield Club. In Pennsylvania he was made a 
Masrn in Fort ^^'ashington Lodge. A. F. & A. M. 

The Security Trust Company, of which Mr. Matlack is cashier, was 
incorporated October 7, 1910, with an original paid-up capital of $300,000, 
but which was increased to $500,000 on January 21, 1913, and conducts 
business at Chester avenue and Eighteenth street. A savings department 
forms an important addition to the bank. There is also a trust department, 
which acts as executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, etc., and the advan- 
tages of a strong and perpetual company over individuals in these capacities 
are too apparent and too universally recognized to call for special comment. 
The safety deposit department is outfitted with fire and burglar-proof vaults, 
with rental compartments convenient for the needs of patrons. Since its 
ince]3tion the bank has pursued a conservative course in the making of loans 
and has won the confidence of a growing list of depositors. On October 19, 
1912, the Bank of Bakersfield was purchased and consolidated with the Se- 
curity Trust Company, whose deposits have now reached practically $3,000,- 
000. The success of the concern may be attributed to the sagacious judg- 
ment of its officers and directors, who are as follows; G. J. P.lanz, Presi- 
dent; William V. Matlack, cashier; C. A. Barlow, D. L. Brown, A. S. Crites, 
W. W. Colm, W. W. Frazier, H. R. Peacock, Chris Mattlev, J. M. Jameson, 
T. A. Hughes. D. Hirshfeld, L. P. St. Clair. G. T. Planz. F. "W. Warthnrst, 
T. W. Heard and W. A. Howell. 



240 HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 

WALTER OSBORN.— Education and experience alike abundantly 
qualify Mr. Osborn for able services in the profession of law. When first 
he determined upon his future calling he placed before himself a high ideal 
and aspired to gain a classical and legal education that would give him a 
standing equal to the best. Studious in childhood, always near the head of 
his class in the public schools, he carried the same devotion to scholarship into 
ct liege and university and allowed no trivial matter to lessen his ardor for 
his books. The result was that he acquired a broad knowledge concerning 
all subjects of general importance, while in his specialty he grasped the 
principles of jurisprudence with a calm, logical and well-trained mind, and 
upon receiving his degree entered upon a professional career with every 
promise of success. During the course of his practice in Indiana he was 
more than ordinarily popular and it was only the failure of his health that 
induced him to sever ties so promising for future gains. Since he came to 
Bakersfield he has been given a place in the profession for which his talents, 
education and former record qualify him. 

The youngest of eight children, all of whom lived to maturity, Walter 
Osborn was born near Wanatah, LaPorte county, Ind., June 10, 1875, being 
a son of John and Jane (Mclntyre) Osborn, both now deceased. The father 
passed away when his youngest child was a boy of ten years, but the mother, 
a woman of energy and capability, did not permit the education of the chil- 
dren to be neglected by reason of their bereavement, and she constantly aided 
the boy in his eflforts to secure the best possible advantages. After he had 
completed the high-school course at Wanatah he entered Valparaiso Uni- 
versity, where he took the commercial course. Next he matriculated in the 
classical department of Indiana University at Bloomington, from which he 
was graduated in 1902 with the degree of A.B. Continuing in thesame insti- 
tution as a law student, he completed the regular course and in 1904 received 
the degree of LL.B., at the same time winning admission to the state and 
federal courts of the Indiana bar. 

Three and one-half years of association with the firm of Anderson, 
Parker & Crabill, of South Bend, Ind., proved most helpful to the young law- 
yer, who left them in order to form a partnership with Charles Weidler under 
the firm name of Weidler & Osborn. For one and one-half years he remained 
in that connection and meanwhile enjoyed a steady growth in practice, laying 
the foundation of a success that would have been permanent had not the 
failure of his health forced him to seek another climate. Altogether, his 
experience in South Bend has proved most helpful to him in later activities. 
The firm with which he first associated was one of great prominence, repre- 
senting the Grand Trunk Railroad, the Pennsylvania lines, St. Joseph County 
Savings Bank, Studebaker Bros. Manufacturing Company and other large 
corporations of that important manufacturing city. Upon leaving the state 
he spent fifteen months in the Coeur d'Alene district of Idaho, whence in 
October of 1910 he came to California, settling in Bakersfield on the 13th of 
December of the same year. On the 12th of that month he was admitted to 
practice in the courts of California, this being about six years after he had 
been admitted to practice in the St. Joseph Circuit Court of Indiana, the 
Supreme Court of that state and the Circuit Court of the United States for 
the district of Indiana. 

As an attorney Mr. Osborn is to be credited for two things particularly, 
first : he makes a very thorough preparation of each case and his briefs on 
questions of law are most thorough ; second, he is a lawyer of strict integrity. 
To these particulars he clings with most unswerving fidelity, much to the 
advantage of his growing clientage. While engaged in practice in Indiana 
he married at Remington, that state, April 27, 1905, Miss Priscilla Hawkins, 
by whom he has two children, Marion B, and Priscilla J. In politics he is 




f^Jl'Sc^A 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 243 

stanch in allegiance to Democratic principles and the present administration. 
Fraternally he holds membership with the Elks and Masons and is a firm 
believer in the principles of kindness, philanthropy and helpful comradeship 
for which these orders stand. 

PRESTON SMITH McCUTCHEN.— Very early in the colonization of 
America the AlcCutchen family became identified with the agricultural devel- 
opment of a region lying near the Atlantic seaboard. In the new world, as in 
iheir former home m Scotland, they evinced a forceful and resolute deter- 
mination that won local prestige. Not the least conspicuous member of the 
family and certainly one of its most gallant patriots and honored representa- 
tives was James Corsey ^IcCutchen, a native of Georgia and a soldier in the 
war of 1812, where oiUy his lack of education prevented him from winning 
an officer's commission. Upon the close of the war he engaged in the trade 
of blacksmithing in Virginia. However, while giving his days to manual 
labor, he devoted his evenings to study, for he was ambitious to make up for 
lack of early advantages. After he had attained man's estate he took up 
the common branches of study, taught himself by dint of resolute perse- 
verance and eventually became the possessor of a broad fund of information 
along every line of mental activity. Particularly was he thorough in math- 
ematics and his work in that line showed considerable native talent. Withal, 
he was a skilled mechanic, a capable blacksmith and invented a process of 
.-netting wagon tires which has never since been improved upon by anyone. 

XV'hile living in Virginia James Corsey AlcCutchen married Mrs. Mary 
Humphreys, a widow with three children, James, William and Jane. Born in 
the Old Dominion, she was a daughter of John Nevins, an Irishman who 
enlisted under the English flag and became a sailor in the British navy, but 
deserted his ship in order that he might enlist in the feeble army of ijatriots 
fighting for lil)erty during the Revolutionary war. Having served with dis- 
tinction until the close of the struggle, he then secured an honorable discharge 
and settled in \'irginia to devote his remaining years to development work in 
his ad<i])ted ci unti y. In person he was stalwart and strong, the possessor of a 
splendid physique, while temperamentally he had the characteristics of the 
Celt. His daughter, Mary (or Polly, as she was called in the home circle) 
became the wife of John Humphreys, who served as a commissioned officer 
during the war of 1812 and remained at the front until he was shot in battle. 
.\ few years later the widow became the wife of James Corsey McCutchen. 
Nine children were born of their uni(in. namely : John N., .Allen fwho died at 
the age of six months). Preston Smith, Robert Sloan. Nancy. Martha. Mar}- 
Margery. Elizabeth and Perry. 

From \'irginia the family removed to Missouri and after a brief sojourn 
in St. Louis ijroceeded up the river to St. Charles, where the second son, 
Prestnii Smith, was born February 24, 1820. In March of that year the 
family removed to Callaway county. Mo., where the father not only had a 
blacksmith shop, but also cultivated land. Leaving Missouri in 1836. he took 
the family to Iowa and settled on a tract of raw land in Van Buren county, 
where his wife died. Later he married a second time, but had no children 
by that union. In 1854 he died at the old Iowa homestead. When the family 
left Missouri Preston Smith AlcCutchen was a youth of sixteen, strong and 
sturdy, eager to be of use in the home and in the world. His father had not 
Dermitted any of the boys to learn blacksmithing, therefore he had turned 
his attention to farming and kindred pursuits. In those days one of the most 
important tasks on a farm was the clearing of the land and no one could use 
an axe with greater skill than he. nor could any of the young farmers of tlie 
locality surpass him in swinging a scythe or in cradling the grain. Agri- 
culture was then conducted in somewhat primitive fashion, for the magnifi- 



246 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

admitted to the bar of the state in 1887, and immediately afterward began in 
practice in his native city, where in 1890 he was elected city justice. At the ' 
expiration of his term of four years he was re-elected for another term and . 
when he had served out that time he removed from Stockton to San Fran- 
cisco, where he engaged in a general practice for six years. Attracted to 
Alaska during 1900 by a desire to travel through and investigate conditions 
in that country, he was induced to establish a law office at Nome, where he 
remained for seven years, meanwhile also engaging actively in placer mining. 
In addition to a general practice he acted as attorney for the Pioneer Mining 
Company and other corporations. 

Upon leaving Alaska to resume residence in the United States, Mr. Tarn 
traveled for a time and during 1909 opened an office at Bakersfield, where he 
has since become prominently identified with professional and civic enter- 
prises. In coming to this city to establish a home he was accompanied by 
his accomplished wife, whom he had married in 1896, and who was formerly 
Miss Alice Carey Treadway, of Covington, Ky. Movements for the progress 
and development of his home city receive his cordial support. The high 
standing which he occupies in professional circles is indicated by the fact that 
he has been chosen chairman of the board of trustees of the law library, while 
his popularity in the Republican party is evidenced in the presentation of 
his name September 3, 1912, at the party primaries as a candidate for the 
assembly from the fifty-sixth district. Although not solicitous for party 
honors, preferring indeed the quiet round of professional duties and social 
enjoyment, he is not negligent of his duties as a loyal citizen and public- 
spirited patriot, nor is he unmindful of the opportunities for efficient service 
for which his unusual abilities eminently qualify him. 

MRS. HARRIET VAN ORMAN.— Any list of the pioneers of Bakers- 
field would be incomplete without the name of Mrs. Van Orman, whose life 
has been identified with this place continuously since 1860 and who has 
witnessed the remarkable transformation of the community from a desolate, 
unpeopled spot to a large city, teeming with industry and surrounded by 
fertile, well-tilled fields. No attribute of her character is more pronounced 
than that of devotion to the community of her adoption. Every part of the 
city possesses for her a unique interest, far beyond the feeling it would 
arouse in the casual visitor. For many years she has lived at her present 
home on the corner of Seventeenth and K streets, where it is her expecta- 
tion to remain until her earth life ends and where she will continue to watch 
with unabated pleasure the upward growth of Bakersfield. Even in the days 
when Kern Island had no population excepting rabbits, mosquitoes and 
gnats, when the sole crop was weeds and the sole visitor an occasional 
wandering Indian, she had faith that a large city would one day stand on 
the spot, and she is equally optimistic now concerning Bakersfield's great 
future and large influence as a business center. 

Harriet Taylor was born at Jonesboro, Tenn., September 26, 1835, and 
is a daughter of the late Skelton and Mary (McCray) Taylor, natives re- 
spectively of Virginia and South Carolina. Her paternal grandfather, Henry 
Taylor, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and her great-grandfather, Christo- 
pher. Taylor, who descended from English ancestry, served in the Revolu- 
tion. The maternal grandfather, Henry McCray, a native of Scotland, mar- 
ried a Miss Moore of South Carolina and became a large planter on the 
Chattahoochee river in Georgia. When she was one year old her parents 
moved to Alabama and settled at Huntsville, where she was educated in 
private schools and an academy. At the age of fifteen she accompanied 
her family to Texas and there completed her education in a private school. 

At Bonham, Tex., in 1854, Miss Taylor became the wife of Robert Gil- 
bert, a native of Tennessee and for years a large land owner in Texas, 
where he built and operated a saw and grist mill on Bordeaux lake. Two 





/L 




HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 249 

cliiklren were born of their union. The sun, William Gilbert, became a 
mining man and died at Bakersfield in 1904. The daughter, Mrs. Call-e 
l^ettit, is now living at Teji n, Kern county. During 1859 Mr. and Mrs. 
Gilbert, accompanied by their two children, removed from Texas to Cali- 
fornia, making the journey via the Butterfield stage-coach. Their destina- 
tion was San Jose, but in the fall of the same year they settled at Visalia 
and September 26, 1860, they arrived at what is now the site of Bakersfield. 
Later Mrs. Gilbert took up a claim of a quarter section on section 18, near 
Bellevue. and afterward she became a shareholder in the canal, which made 
it possible for her to put the place under cultivation to alfalfa. Her second 
marriage united her with N. Van Orman, of this county. Having been well 
posted concerning affairs in early days and possessing a retentive memory, 
she is a very interesting conversationalist and an hour spent in her society, 
when she is in a reminiscent mood, enables one to gain a vivid comprehen- 
sion of the trials, hardships and discouragements of those far distant days. 

JAMES B. McCUTCHEN. — The position to which he has risen and the 
obstacles which he has overcome prove the ability of Mr. McCutchen, at the 
same time indicating what it is within the power of any man of integrity, 
energy and determination to accomplish for himself. Of discouragements 
he has had many and vicissitudes not a few, yet all of these he endured with 
fortitude and conquered by persistence. Whether it was the misfortune of 
failure in viticulture or an attempt in peach-raising where the cost of pro- 
duction exceeded the receipts from the total sales, or whether it was long 
sojourns in Old Mexico, enduring the hardships of camp life and the native 
food, none of his disastrous experiences dampened his ardor or lessened his 
courage, but each in turn rendered possible the attainment of a final success, 
represented now by the possession of a fine alfalfa ranch of eighty acres sit- 
uated nine and one-half miles southwest of Bakersfield under the Stine canal ; 
represented also by a valuable dairy herd comprising one hundred and twenty 
cows and the modern and sanitary equipment demanded by the up-to-date 
development of the dairy industry. Recently he erected on his ranch an 
attractive bungalow of ten rooms, fitted with modern conveniences, not the 
least ni these being electricity furnished by his own electric (Gray and Davis) 
plant. 

Although not a native of California, the early recollections of James B. 
McCutchen cluster around this state and he was familiar with its development 
from a frontier community filled with gold-miners to a prosperous common- 
wealth with varied industries and great possibilities. Born at Bentonsport, 
Iowa, October 26, 1849, he was four years of age when his father, Preston S. 
McCutchen (represented elsewhere in this volume) brought the family across 
the plains and settled at Franklin, Sacramento county. During boyhood he 
attended the public schools and when not in school he aided his father on the 
home farm. At the age of twenty years he passed an examination for a 
teacher's certificate and secured a school at Stony creek in Colusa county, 
where he taught for two years. From early life he was an expert marksman 
and interested in the hunting of game. Upon giving up his school he joined 
with his brother in hunting geese, ducks and quail for the San Francisco 
markets. Their headquarters were at Tulare lake, from which place they 
hunted throughout Tulare and Kern counties. During the winter of 1874-75 
they shipped almost forty-two thousand ducks and geese, a total weight of 
forty-two tons in the one season or a little over two pounds per bird, the 
express charges on the shipments being three cents a pound. 

After having given his time to hunting game for a number of years, Mr. 
AFcCutchen in 1880 went to the Tiger mine in Arizona. In a short time he 
secured a school near Prescott and during the next four years he taught in 
^'a^•apai cimnty. The stock-raising industry in the .Agua P^ria region next 



250 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

engaged his attention. Upon his return to California in 1890 he came to 
Bakersfield and purchased twenty acres in the Old River district. This tract 
forms the nucleus of his present possessions. His first attempt was to cul- 
tivate raisin grapes, but after two crops he replaced the vines with peach 
trees. The orchard developed successfully and the fruit was of the finest 
quality, but after peeling and drying the peaches he could not secure more 
than six cents per pound, which was less than the cost of production. Poinding 
the enterprise unprofitable he grubbed out the trees and put the land under 
cultivation to alfalfa. While in the main he has devoted himself to the ranch 
he has had other interests in the meantime. From 1892 to 1895 he spent much 
time in Old Mexico along the west coast from California to Central America, 
hunting the aigrette and the heron for their plumes. At times he would have 
$3,000 worth of plumes in one suitcase. The dealers in New York paid as 
much as $30 an ounce for aigrettes and $10 an ounce for the heron plumes. 
Unfortunately the business was almost annihilated by the natives, who 
hunted ruthlessly, without any regard to the saving of the young. This ren- 
dered continuance in the business unprofitable. 

In order to secure the pasturage necessary for his large herd of milch 
cows. Air. AlcCutchen has leased an alfalfa ranch of three hundred and 
twenty acres two miles from his home and on the leased property he main- 
tains his stock. The dairy is equipped with a modern sanitary system for the 
handling of the milk and this, during the heated season, is iced en route to 
Taft, Maricopa and Fellows, where it is sold to the local retail trade. The 
utmost care is maintained in the management of the dairy. Not the slightest 
detail is neglected and it is due to the rigid supervision that complete satis- 
faction exists among the customers. While the supervision of the dairy and 
the care of the ranch require close attention on the part of Mr. McCutchen, 
he has found time for ether interests and has been particularly interested in 
oil development. With his brothers he located one hundred and sixty acres, 
forming the southwest quarter of the famous section 32, two miles east of 
Maricopa. On twenty acres of this tract there has been developed by the 
Maricopa Queen Oil Compan}' one of the best oil wells on the west side, 
the production from the well averaging two thousand barrels per day of 
twenty-four gravity oil. 

The marriage of Mr. McCutchen was solemnized at Prescott, Ariz., 
December 26, 1886, and united him with Miss Margaret P. Dickson, who 
was born at Downey, Cal., January 27, 1868, and is a woman of refinement 
and true worth. Her parents, John and Mary (Ehle) Dickson, natives of 
Tennessee and Iowa respectively and pioneers of Los Angeles county, Cal.. 
afterward became early settlers of Yavapai county, Ariz., and lived upon a 
stock ranch there for some years. In 1901, when seventy-two years of age, 
Mr. Dickson died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. McCutchen, with whom 
Mrs. Dickson, now sixty-four years of age, has since remained. There are 
four children in the McCutchen family, namely: Preston J., who is engaged 
in the retail milk business on the west side, his headquarters being at Taft ; 
Ollie, a graduate of Heald's Normal and Business College at Stockton and 
now a teacher at Taft ; Van Dickson, proprietor of the Chester machine works 
in Bakersfield : and Perry, a student in the Kern County high school. Deeply 
interested in the cause of education, Mr. McCutchen has not limited his atten- 
tion to aiding his children in securing excellent educational advantages, but 
has been desirous that every child in the community should receive a prac- 
tical education. For some years he has served as clerk of the board of 
trustees of the Old River school district. Politically he is a protectionist and a 
Republican of progressive tendencies. As a citizen he favors all movements 
for the well-being of the people, while as an agriculturist he is deeply inter- 



HISTORY OF KKRN COUNTY 251 

ested in tlie ile\ elnpnient of Kern connty land and has an abiding faith in 
the possibilities of the soil when rightly cultivated and regularly irrigated. 

JACOB NIEDERAUR.— It was the good fortune of Bakersfield to enjoy 

during its earl\- history, as in its later era of progress, the loyal dex'otion of 
men of ability, energy and progressive spirit To the foundation laid by such 
citizens was added the superstructure of subsequent efTort that rendered 
possible the prosperity now attained by the city. In the list of capable pio- 
neers no name stands out with greater prominence and none is more worthy 
of an honorable place in local annals than that of the late Jacob Niederaur, 
who from the time of his settlement in the then struggling, insignificant 
village in 1869 until his death, February 9, 1903, contributed persistently, 
effectively and intelligently to the advancement of the town commercially, 
materiall}- and financialh^ contributing his quota to every enterprise for the 
general welfare and leaving the impress of his forceful personality upon every 
civic project. It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to name an enter- 
prise of pioneer days which failed to receive his quiet but efficient support. 
A master workman, skilled in the use of tools, and without a superior in his 
trade of a cabinet-maker, he did not limit his activities to the occupation in 
which he had achieved signal success, but entered into other avenues of 
labor. From the first he appreciated the value to this county of its great 
oil resources. Xor did he fail to realize the excellent location of Liakersiiekl 
as a business headquarters for the oil fields. Other resources of the com- 
munity were backed by his sincere faith and generous support and the wis- 
dom of his judgment was proved by his own large success, as well as by the 
steady advancement made by the county and city of his adoption. 

Born in Bavaria, Germany, June 15, 1841, Jacob Niederaur was nine 
years of age when brought to America by his parents, who settled at Bryan, 
Ohio. He was one of four sons, all of whom were trained by their father, 
a skilled mechanic, into a thorough knowledge of cabinet-making as soon as 
they were old enough to handle tools. In skill and quickness he soon proved 
the equal of the others and was able to earn his livelihood at the trade while 
yet very young. When he came to Bakersfield at the age of twenty-eight 
vears he had no difficulty in finding employment as a cabinet-maker. .Al- 
though he had no capital he was thrifty and economical and soon he was able 
to embark in the furniture business. The beginning of the business was very 
small, but as time passed he enlarged his stock of furniture and became the 
leading furniture dealer in the entire valley. Shortly after his arrival in 
Bakersfield he was impressed by the need of an undertaking establishment 
and he at once began to study the business, acquiring a thorough familiarity 
with its every detail. He is remembered today as the pioneer undertaker of 
the city. During the early days the business houses were mere shacks, but 
he became a chaniDion of better buildings and himself set the example by 
erecting a suh.stantial block, the first floor of which he utilized for his under- 
taking establishment and furniture, while the second floor he rented for general 
lodge, hall and lecture purposes. At the time of the incorporation of the 
Southern Hotel Company he became a stockholder in the new enterprise 
and was enthusiastic in his efforts to secure adequate hotel accommodations 
for the growing city. Although intensely devoted to the welfare of the 
community it was m-t possible to secure his acceptance of public offices and 
he took no part in politics whatever aside from voting the Republican ticket. 
The only lodge to which he belonged was the Knights of I^ythias, and in that 
order he ever maintained a warm interest. 

For some years after his arrival in the west Air. Niederaur continued to 
lead a single life, and it was in this city that he met the attractive young lady 
whom he chose as his wife. She was Miss Lucy J. Williams, who was born 
in Ross county. Ohio, May 10. 1860, but grew to girlhood in Vermont, her 
mother having returned to that state after the death of the husband and 



252 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

father. At the age of sixteen years Atiss Williams left the east to come to 
California as governess for the children of Philo Jewett at Bakersfield. While 
filling this position she met Mr. Niederaur, whom she married August 6, 1878. 
Two children came to bless their union, Philip Williams and Helen Jewett, 
After the death of I\Ir. Niederaur his widow continued to make her home in 
the elegant family residence, which since her death, November 30, 1909, has 
been occupied by her daughter and son-in-law, Helen Jewett Forrest and 
Thomas W. Forrest. This young couple were married October '16, 1911, 
Mr. Forrest being vice-president of the E. H. Loveland Produce Company 
and one of the leading young business men of Bakersfield. The son, Philip 
Williams Niederaur, formerly engaged in the furniture business in Bakers- 
field, but now resides in San Francisco. 

Among the many friends whom Mr. Niederaur won through his fine qual- 
ities of heart and mind there was none to whom he was more deeply attached 
than to Franz Buckreus, for many years superintendent of the Kern county 
hospital. Between those two pioneers there was a deep bond of affection 
which time -only served to deepen. The implicit faith which Mr. Niederaur 
reposed in his friend was shown by his selection of him as administrator of 
his estate, without bonds, and also as guardian of his children. After the 
death of his friend Mr. Buckreus continued to operate the furniture and 
undertaking establishment for a time. During March of 1904 he sold the 
undertaking business to Morton & Connelly, who are now in that business 
at No. 1712 Chester avenue. About the same time the furniture business 
was sold to George C. Haberfelde, who since has become a leading repre- 
sentative of this line of commercial enterprise in Bakersfield. The estate 
left by Mr. Niederaur was valued at $70,000 and had he been spared to enjoy 
the present remarkable growth of his chosen city he would have attained 
much greater wealth, but the large estate which he accumulated is especially 
significant because it represented the unaided efforts of a man who ever 
lived up to his high ideals of honor and his lofty principles of business 
integrity. Of such pioneers the city and county may well be proud and 
their descendants may recount their activities with pardonable gratification. 

E. T. EDWARDS. — Among the men of resourcefulness and executive 
force who have sought out the great ^Midway oil field as the center of their 
activities, none has been welcomed more heartily and none is forging to the 
front more rapidly than Elbert T. Edwards, president and general manager 
of the California Well Drilling Company, Incorporated, whose main office 
is on the well-known Supply Row in Taft. The company represented by 
Mr. Edwards is young, strong and aggressive. The special business is con- 
tract drilling of wells, whose completion is guaranteed. Besides himself 
the officers are H. G. Moss of Maricopa, vice-president, and J. H. Osgood, 
of Taft, secretary and treasurer, with W. W. Stephenson, a director, as the 
Bakersfield representative of the concern. In addition to Mr. Stephenson 
and the officers J. F. Swank is also serving as a member of the board of 
directors. Incorporation was made on a capitalization of $250,000, the stock 
being divided into two hundred and fifty thousand shares, par value $1 
each. The business of the company is not limited to the Midway field l)ut 
extends through the west side and brings to them the patronage of some 
of the greatest organizations doing business in Kern county fields, so that 
the general msnager finds himself crowded to the utmost with important 
work. Tremendous responsibilities rest upon him. These are courageously 
met and intelligently discharged. In no respect is he more careful than in 
his eft'orts to lessen the hazards of a work which, at best, contains the ele- 
ment (if danger and the constant fear of accident. The members of the 
drilling gangs pursue their work with the knowledge that the manager i-^ 
using exery ]irecaution to prevent accidents and injuries to them, and this 




^5^^^.^:2S,^^^...^ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 255 

knowledge is in itself a large asset in giving to the company all the work- 
men that are needed, numbering at times as many as one hundred and fifty. 
The first eighteen years in the life of Mr. Edwards were passed in Ten- 
nessee, where he was born at Nashville January 7, 1881. Ever since leaving 
that state he has engaged in the oil industry and kindred pursuits, first at 
Houston, Beaumont, Sour Lake and other Texas oil towns, and next at 
Jennings and Welsh, La., and after 1909 in California. After a short time 
in the Kern river field he went to Coalinga and engaged as a driller with 
the Southeastern Oil Company, Limited. During the latter part of 1910 he 
came to the Midway field. In the latter part of 1911 he organized the Cali- 
fornia W'ell Drilling Company, which is prepared to do cementing as well 
as drilling, and which keeps from three to fourteen strings of tools in use, 
using the rotary tools principally. Among the concerns for which the com- 
pany has drilled wells may be mentioned the West Side, Sunset Monarch, 
May's Consolidated, Pacific Crude, General Petroleum, California Counties, 
Northern, Spreckels, Maple Leaf, Northern Exploration and other oil and 
gas companies. The general manager has many heavy duties in connection 
with a business so great in magnitude. That he has been successful proves 
him to be a man of force of character and high intelligence. Since coming 
to Taft he has identified himself with the Petroleum Club. During 1912 
he erected a bungalow on North and Second streets, Taft, and here he and 
his wife, formerly Thelma Sells, a native of Kentucky, have established a 
home that is sought by their large circle of friends in Kern county. 

W. C. McCUTCHEN.— The name of the four McCutchen brothers is 
identified with many enterprises well-known in the early history of Maricopa, 
wliere they have been land-owners from a period antedating the memorable 
rush incident to the bringing in of the world-famous Lake View gusher. 
They were among the first to discern oil possibilities in the region and events 
have proved the wisdom of their forecasts. One of the four, W. C, a man of 
great energy and a leader in every forward movement in this region, has 
spent all of his life in the west with the exception of the first four months, 
for he was born in Iowa December 4, 1853, four months before his parents, 
P. S. and Jane McCutchen, left that state for the Pacific coast. The long 
journey across the plains was made with wagons drawn by oxen. The first 
location of the family was in Placer county, where the father engaged in 
mining for a number of years. Removing from that locality to Sacramento 
count}-, he ti^iok up land near Franklin and engaged in general farming. His 
next removal occurred in 1872 and took him to Monterey county, where he 
made his home in the Cholame valley near Parkfield. During 1878 he was 
bereaved by the death of his wife and afterward he went to live with his 
children, being for a time at Hanford. For some time he has resided with his 
s, n, ( leurge, at Maricopa. .Although now ninety-three years of age, he retains 
the ])nssession of physical and mental faculties and exhibits a constant in- 
terest in neighborhood business aflfairs. 

.After the death of his mother in 1878 the famil}- home was broken 
up and W. C. McCutchen went to .Arizona to engage in mining. For two 
years he worked in the silver mines near Bradshaw. Returning to California 
he located at Hanford in 1880 and tcok up land on the Lone Oak slough six 
miles southwest of town, where he began to improve a farm and engage in 
the raising of crops suited to the soil and climate. During 1900 he sold out 
and moved to Tipton, Tulare county, near which town he bought land and 
engaged in agricultural enterprises. Two years later he came to Bakersfield 
and about the same time located twent}' acres of land at Maricopa. During 
the great gold rush to the Nevada mines he joined the Argonauts bound for 
that country and spent two years at Goldfield, finding himself, however, 
little the richer f. .r the venture. Since BX)8 he has had' liis heachiuarters at 



256 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Maricopa and has been interested in the development of property with his 
brothers, G. W., J. B. and R. L. The company organized by themselves has 
put down eight wells, six of which proved to be producers, although only 
four are now in use, being flowing wells. In addition to bearing his share 
in the management of these wells and the putting down of new ones, Mr. 
McCutchen has devoted considerable attention to other property interests and 
is the owner of real estate in the city of Richmond as well as orange land 
near Edison. ^Vith his wife, formerly Miss Louella McClintock, he has estab- 
lished a home at Maricopa (living at the present time on the McCutchen 
Bros, oil property) and has identified himself with enterprises for the upbuild- 
ing of the new .town, whose existence is dependent upon the oil industry and 
whose future has the glowing promises oiifered by that wealth-producing 
activity. By a former marriage he is the father of four children, of whom 
the two sons, G. P. and W. W. (twins), are residents of Maricopa, as is also 
the youngest child, Mrs. G. E. Fritz, while the third child and elder daughter, 
Mrs. J. A. Fritz, makes her home at Taft. 

JOHN H. CLAYMAN. — An honored place among the pioneers of Cali- 
fornia is held by John H. Clayman, who has been identified with the devel- 
opment of the commonwealth for a period covering more than fifty years 
and meanwhile has himself been a large contributor to the industries of 
agriculture, horticulture and stock-raising, Ijesides aiding in the expansion 
of the public-school system and in other projects indispensable to permanent 
prosperity. It is to such pioneers as he that the state owes its remarkable 
growth in years past and they laid well the foundation for future continued 
prosperity, so that it may be safe to predict that the development of the 
past is but the precursor of similar advances in years to come, for all of 
which due credit must be given to the pioneers. 

Much of the active life of John H. Clayman was spent upon the then 
frontier, and it was not until 1910 that he relinquished agricultural activi- 
ties, disposed of his ranch and came to Bakersfield to enjoy in his declining 
days the fruits of lung-continued labors. His parents, Benjamin and Per- 
melia (Randall) Clayman, were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and 
Ohio, and during their early married years lived upon a farm in Marion 
county, Ohio, where occurred the birth of John H. Clayman March 11, 1842. 
In 1845 the family removed to the then frontier of Indiana and settled upon 
a tract of unimproved land in Elkhart county, where the most arduous labor 
was necessary to improve a productive farm. The mother died in that 
county. Of her seven children three are now living, John H. being the 
fourth in order of birth. In 1853 the family followed the tide of migra- 
tion still further toward the setting sun and established a home on the 
desolate prairies of Nebraska. The claim which they pre-empted was 
wild land and the task of developing the property proved so formidable that 
in 1859 the father with his family crossed the plains with wagon and ox- 
teams to California and were only thirty-six hours behind the Mountain 
Meadow massacre. Accompanying them was John H., then an energetic. 
capable youth of seventeen years, ready and willing to do a man's work 
and eager to see the vast region west of the mountains. With the hopeful 
spirit of youth, he tried his luck in placer mines in Shasta county. The 
success of the experiment was so gratifying that he continued for eight 
years and at the expiration of that period had accumulated an amount 
sufficient to enable him to invest in land. 

Securing a raw tract of land in Tehama county four miles east of Red 
BlufT, Mr. Clayman at once l)egan the task of making the property pro- 
ductive and remunerative. At first he engaged in grain-raising and in the 
stock industry, but having ascertained that certain varieties of fruit would 
thrive in the region he planted a large orchard of apples, prunes and peaches. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 257 

In some years tlie fruit brought him a very larfje income, so tliat he pros- 
pered beyond his early expectations. The entire estate of one hundred 
and sixty acres was placed under cultivation and when eventually sold to 
other parties brought a great advance over the original purchase price. 
Meanwhile Mr. dayman had interested himself in movements for the 
material upbuilding of his township and county. At the time of the build- 
ing of the schoolhouse in the Antelope district he served as member of 
the board of trustees and his counsel and progressive spirit proved of great 
assistance in the enterprise. Since coming to Bakersfield he has built three 
residences on the corner of Fourth street and Chester avenue and two of 
these he rents, occupying the third for a home for himself and wife. 

The marriage of John H. Clayman and Catherine Elizabeth Worley was 
solemnized at Red Blufif, Cal., November 14, 1874, and was blessed with 
five children, named as follows : Carrie, now a teacher in Tehama county ; 
Elmer, a resident of Bakersfield ; Zola, wife of Joseph Percy Freear, of 
Bakersfield; Crim and Mrs. Bessie Hosmer, also of Bakersfield. Born 
ill A\ashington county, Iowa, Mrs. Clayman is a daughter of the late James 
and Elizabeth (Albaugh) Worley, natives of Ohio and pioneer farmers 
of Washington county, Iowa. During 1859 the family crossed the plains 
with an expedition of wagons drawn by ox-teams. For a time Mr. Worley 
engaged in teaming in Shasta county, but later he took up farm pursuits in 
Tehama county, where he resided until death. There were two sons and 
one daughter in the ^Vorley family and of these Mrs. Clayman was the 
eldest. In religion she was reared in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, to which she since has adhered with earnest sincerity. Politically 
Mr. Clayman is a Republican. Fraternally he has been connected with the 
Independent CJrder of Odd Fellows and with his wife holds membership 
with the Rebekahs. 

CAREY L. SEAGER.— The Producers Refining Company, of which 
Mr. Seager is secretary, treasurer and superintendent, ranks among the 
leading organizations of its kind in the Kern river field. Not only does its 
plant utilize the entire pre duct from the Lackawanna lease of eighty acres in 
the Kern river oil fields, but in addition crude oil of the West side fields 
is bought in large quantities. An average of twenty-five hundred barrels 
of crude oil is treated each month. From the Kern river crude oils the 
following products are made: kerosene; 34 degrees stove distillate; gas en- 
gine cylinder oil ; autogram, the copyrighted title of a cylinder oil particu- 
larly adapted to the use of automobiles and now winning the highest praise 
from its users; light engine oil, heavy engine oil, steam cylinder oil, fuel 
distillate and asphalt. The crude oils of the west side are utilized in the 
manufacture of four products, viz.: gasoline; gas engine distillate of grades 
Nos. 1, 2 and 3; fuel distillate and asphalt. The lubricants are admittedly 
of a superior grade. Their value is recognized even by the experts con- 
nected with the most formidable rivals and competitors of the companv. 
while the quality of both kerosene and gasoline is of the highest grade. 

Of eastern descent, belonging to a family of high standing and excep- 
tional culture, Carey L. Seager was born at Randolph, Cattaraugus county, 
N. Y., August 12, 1884, and was the eldest of three children. The second 
son, Roy E., is engaged with the Producers Refining Company, and the 
youngest child. Pearl J., is employed as a bookkeeper with this concern. 
The lather, George H. Seager. was born and reared on a New York farm 
and at the age of sixteen married Miss Julia F. Mack, a girl of fifteen who 
had been his schoolmate. Shortly after his early marriage he began to work 
in the oil refining industry, to which his later years have been devoted with 
such success that he now ranks as an expert in the construction and operation 
of refineries as well as in the production of kerosene, gasoline and high-grade 



258 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

lubricating oils. As assistant superintendent he had active charge of the 
construction work of the Gulf refinery owned by the Gulf Refining Com- 
pany at Port Arthur, Tex. He served as superintendent for the Union Oil 
Company at the time they constructed the addition to their refinery at 
Oleum on San Pablo bay. At present he is engaged in the buying, selling 
and mixing or compounding of oils at Tulsa, Okla., where he makes his 
business headquarters. 

Although a native of York state, the earliest recollections of Carey L. 
Seager are associated with Pennsylvania, for in his infancy the family 
established a home at Corry, that state, and later lived in Chester, Dela- 
ware county. Eventually his mother established her permanent home at 
Warren, Pa., and there he spent two years in the high school. At the age of 
seventeen he was graduated from the Warren Business College. Shortly 
after graduation he joined his father at Port Arthur, Tex., where for four 
years he was connected with the Gulf Refining Company, serving first as 
assistant stillman and later as foreman. His next experience was as assist- 
ant to his father while the latter superintended the construction of the re- 
finery for the Union Oil Company at Oleum. Later he was given work for 
nine months as stillman with the Standard Oil Company at Point Rich- 
mond, Contra Costa county. Meanwhile, having determined to start a re- 
finery of his own, he had the good fortune to meet with members of the 
San Francisco firm of W. P. Fuller & Co., compounders, and they encouraged 
him in his project. In addition, they rendered him practical help, introduc- 
ing him to George Calhoun of the National refinery. The latter agreed to 
form a partnership on equal terms with Mr. Seager, the two taking a 
lease of the Buckeye refining plant and continuing together for two 3^ears. 
At the expiration of that time Mr. Seager took a sub-lease from C. Apple- 
garth of the Volcan Refining Company, which under the title of C. L. 
Seager & Co., he operated for seven months. 

Through a deal with Dr. Liscomb of Pasadena, Cal., made in May of 
1911, Mr. Seager turned in his property and took stock for it in the Pro- 
ducers Refining Compan}', which since has made many valuable improve- 
ments. The officers of the company besides Mr. Seager are as follows: Dr. 
A. H. Liscomb, president; William Ellery of San Francisco, first vice- 
president; and H. S. Bridge of San Francisco, second vice-president. Em- 
ployment is furnished to six men regularly. The one ambition of every 
worker is to maintain a product of admitted perfection and a constant stim- 
ulus to their work is given them by the enthusiasm and energy of the super- 
intendent. The latter has his home in the oil fields, his family comprising a 
daughter, Margaret Pearl, and his wife, who prior to their marriage in 
New York state in 1902 was Miss Pearl G. Bouton. While living in Penn- 
sylvania he became a member of the Maccabees at Warren and later he was 
initiated into Masonry at Port Arthur, Tex., becoming a member of Cos- 
mopolitan Lodge No. 872, F. & A. M., at that place. Since coming to the 
west the demands upon his time by business aflFairs have been so engrossing 
that -he has not taken an active part in fraternal or political matters, 
although always ready to assist in any movement for the permanent devel- 
iipment of Kern county or the expansion of its great resources. 

EDWARD GARFIELD NORRIS.— When the Norris family disposed 
of their interests in Missouri and made the long journey to Bakersfield with 
the anticipation of establishing a permanent home, Edward Garfield Norris, 
whose birth had occurred near Kansas City on the 17th of April, 188L was 
a small boy only two years of age, hence his earliest recollections cluster 
around Kern county and the associations of a lifetime endear him to the city 
of his residence and business afifiliations. Educated in the grammar and 
high schools of Bakersfield. upon the completion of the regular course of 




^yCA^CyTL^--^^^ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 261 

study he was apprenticed to the trade of pUimber with C. H. Ouiiicy, re- 
maining with that gentleman until he had acquired a thorough preparatory 
training. Later he completed the trade in a large shop in Los Angeles, 
where he had the best possible facilities for gaining a complete knowledge 
of the many details connected with the occupation. Upon returning to 
Bakersfield he secured employment as a journe3'man and worked for others 
for three and one-half years. Meanwhile he had cherished the plan ot 
embarking in business for himself. During November of 1907 he carried 
out the plan and established the Kern Plumbing Company, of which he 
continued to be the sole proprietor for the first two years. At the expira- 
tion of that time he sold a one-half interest to Edward Miller and the two 
gentlemen immediately purchased a lot at No. 517 Grove street, where they 
erected a building to be used for warerooms, shop and ofifice. Since begin- 
ning in the new structure they have engaged in sheet metal work and have 
carried a full line of plumbing and heating supplies, by their excellent busi- 
ness methods and recognized skill having been able to secure and carry to 
completion many important contracts for the plumbing and heating of public 
buildings and residences. 

For a time Mr. Norris was honored with the presidency of the Master 
Plumbers" Association and he still is one of its most influential members. 
Fraternally he holds active connections with the Woodmen of the World. 
The residence which he erected at No. 815 N street he still owns, but lately 
he has built and now occupies a home at No. 615 Flower street. East 
P.akersfield, which is presided over by Mrs. Norris, whom he married in 
Pjakersfield and who was Miss Mabel Hunt, a native of Missouri. The 
pleasant and comfortable home is brightened by the presence of one son, 
Kenneth Edward. 

GEORGE W. McCUTCHEN.— The genealogy of the McCutchen fam- 
ily is traced to Scotland, whence religious persecution caused a number of 
that name to seek refuge in Ireland, later generations establishing the 
family in Georgia. After having served with conspicuous valor in the War 
of 1812 James Corsey McCutchen removed from his native Georgia to Vir- 
ginia and settled upon a plantation. Marriage united him with a daughter 
of John Nevins. an Irishman by nativity and a sailor by occupation, who 
having landed in Boston during the course of the Revolution, enlisted in the 
American army and fought until the close of the war. later settling in Vir- 
ginia upon a farm. Preston S. McCutchen, son of the soldier of 1812, was 
born in St. Charles, ]\To., February 24, 1820, and at Bentonsport, Iowa, mar- 
ried Jane Wilsey. a native of LTtica. N. Y. The discovery of gold in Cali- 
fornia directed his attention to this part of the country. During the summer 
of 1850 he crossed the plains from Bentonsport, Iowa, (where he was living 
at the time), and began to mine for gold, although without any special 
success. However, he was so pleased with the west that he remained until 
1853, and then returned only for the purpose of getting his family, who in 
the meantime were living in Iowa. The summer of 1854 found the family 
en route to their new home. Arriving in safety, they established themselves 
at Wisconsin Hill, Placer county, where May 6, 1855. occurred the birth of 
George W. McCutchen, the third son. His older brothers are James P.. and 
\\'arren C, the former a dairyman living at: Old River in Kern county, and 
the latter an operator in the Maricopa oil field. 

Besides these three older children five others were born during the resi- 
dence of the family in Placer and Sacramento counties. They are named 
as follows: Edmund W.. of Bakersfield; Mary A., wife of C. W. Johnson, 
who has charge of the Phoenix Distributing Company at ]\Taricopa ; Clara 
J., widow of W. G. Wallace, and a resident of Hanford, this state; Mrs. 
Harriet C. Scott, of Stockton ; and Robert L., residing at Old River in Kern 
county. After the father had lived about four years in Placer county, 



262 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

meantime engaging in placer mining and running a dairy, in 1858, he moved 
to Sacramenro county, settling at Georgetown, seventeen miles south of the 
capital city. Upon a tract of land he took up in its primeval state he en- 
gaged in ranching and his children were sent to the schools of that neigh- 
borhood. After leaving school George W. began to make a business of hunt- 
ing, and with his brothers made several trips from San Francisco by steamer 
to Mexican ports, where he engaged in shooting birds of plumage. The 
feathers were marketed in New York. During 1871 he became interested 
in sheep-raising in Monterey county, and in 1877 went to Tulare county, 
where with his brothers he engaged in shooting ducks for the San Francisco 
market. Later, with his brothers, J. B. and R. L., he mined in Arizona for 
two years, thence came to Kern county in 1885 and took up ranch land at 
Old River. The ensuing years were devoted to farming and stock-raising, 
although in addition he engaged in hunting during the winter months and 
made several trips to Mexico. In 1898 he spent the summer in the Klondike, 
but his prospecting tours did not bring any reward, and he returned to 
California in October. During October of 1909 he was united in marriage 
with Mrs. Martha E. Colly, a native of Missouri. 

Upon the opening of the Sunset field Mr. McCutrhen and his brother, 
Robert L., located the north one-half of section 2, township 11, range 24, and 
the west one-half of section 1, township 11, range 24, also a fractional 26-12- 
24, and all of 32-12-24. Their own ten acres at 2-11-24 is undeveloped, but 
the)' control a leasehold on the same section, comprising twenty acres one- 
half mile north of Maricopa, also lease twenty acres to the Maricopa Queen 
Oil Company on 32-12-23. The new vi^ell. No. 7, brought in February 27, 
1913, is a gusher and produces sixteen hundred barrels per day, while No. 6, 
after being re-drilled and cemented, is a twelve-hundred barrel per day well. 
The firm is composed of the four brothers, George ^^^ and ^^'arren C, of 
Maricopa, also Robert L. and James B., of Old River, this county. Their 
expectations have been rewarded by a large measure of success. They now 
have six producing wells with a net production of nine thousand barrels per 
month. Not only are they successful as oil operators, but in public affairs 
they have been prominent, in ranching enterprising, in their friendships con- 
stant, and in character conscientious, typical of our fine class of American 
citizenship. 

RALPH E. GALLOWAY.— The superintendent of the Visalia Midway 
Oil Company, one of the pioneer concerns operating in the North Midway 
field, has been identified with Bakersfield and the San Joaquin valley since 
1892, the year of his graduation from college. Practically all of his active 
life has been identified with Kern county, whose resources he has aided in 
developing through the aid of his own aggressive energy and optimistic faith. 
Illinois is his native commonwealth, but in boyhood he lived mostly in Wis- 
consin, where his father. Rev. John B. Galloway, an ordained minister in the 
United Presbj'terian denomination, held pastorates in various towns in the 
southern part of the state. Throughout all of his life this devoted minister 
has labored with the greatest sacrifice for the welfare of the church. When 
a mere boy, in his native shire of Ayr in Scotland, he was trained to a knowl- 
edge of the Bible and a desire to become a minister of the Gospel. Scarcely 
fourteen years of age when the family crossed the ocean and settled at Sparta, 
111., he directed his studies toward theology and by his own unaided exertions 
paid his way through college, graduating from Monmouth College with the 
degree of A. B., and later taking a complete course in theology in an institu- 
tion at Xenia, Ohio. Meanwhile the Civil war had cast its dark cloud over 
the country. Taking up the cause of the Union, he offered his services to 
his adopted country and was assigned to the One Hundred Thirty-second 
Illinois Infantry, in which he served as corporal until the end of the great 
struggle. Later, having completed his college course and entered the min- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 263 

istry of the United Presbyterian Church, he held pastorates in Southern Wis- 
consin. Since his retirement from the ministry he has made his home at 
Poyuette, that state. 

R}' the marriage of Re\-. Jolm r>. (iallmvay tn Matilchi Kidchxi, who was 
born in Pittsburg, Pa., and died at Clarence, Iowa, in 1878, there were four 
children, all but one of whom still survive. The eldest, Ralph E., was born 
at Galesburg, 111., July 1, 1872, and attended public schools in Wisconsin. 
After he had graduated from the Sparta (111.1 high school he taught for two 
years in Waukesha county. Wis., earning the money with which he defrayed 
his expenses through Carroll College at Waukesha. Having received his 
diploma in 1892 from the scientific department of that institution, he left 
college to make his own way in the world and soon afterward arrived in 
Rakersfield, a small place at that time in comparison with its present metro- 
politan proportions. Pirief experiences as a clerk in the Hirschfield store, as 
a law student under Judge Wiley and as a collection agent, made him fa- 
miliar with conditions in the community. During 1894 he became a reporter 
on the Echo, which at the time was published weekly. When the daily was 
established he became city editor. Employment with the Californian for two 
years, during a portion of which period he engaged as city editor, was fol- 
lowed by his appointment as editor of the Labor Journal. This editorship 
he resigned at the expiration of two and one-half years. In 1910, with F. C. 
Noel as a partner, he founded the San Joaquin Valley Farmer, the circulation 
of which he built up to large proportions. Since selling his interest in that 
paper in April, 1912, he has acted as superintendent uf the \'isalia Midway 
Oil Company, a concern in which he has held stock from the start and which 
has developed into one of the best producing properties of its size in Kern 
county. 

Since the organization of the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Mr. Gal- 
loway has been one of its active workers and interested members. Politically 
he has been independent from the time of casting his first ballot, favoring 
men and principles rather than any specified party organization. For years 
after coming to the west he remained a bachelor, but May 3, 1909, at Bakers- 
field, he established domestic ties, being then united with Mrs. Lulu M. San- 
ford, a native of Des Moines, Iowa. Of a genial, friendly temperament, he 
has found pleasure in an active association with various fraternities. Among 
the organizations of which he is a member we mention the following: Al- 
buquerque Lodge No. 461, B. P. O. E. ; Kern Lodge No. 76, K. of P., and 
Uniform Rank, in which he has served as an officer and has been a member 
of the Grand Lodge of California; Bakersfield Aerie No. 93, Order of Eagles; 
Bakersfield Camp No. 460, Woodmen of the ^^'orld, and the Brotherhood of 
American Yeomen. 

HON. ROWEN IRWIN.— Very early in the colonization of the new 
world the Scotch family of Irwin left their ancestral associations in the high- 
lands and crossed the Atlantic ocean to Virginia, where they became capable 
planters. Some of the name removed to South Carolina and Isaac Irwin, a 
native of that commonwealth, established the name in Kentucky, where at 
line time he served as sheriff of Jeflferson county which has Louisville as its 
county-seat. After a short time he crossed the Ohio river into Indiana 
and there spent his last years upon a frontier farm. His son and namesake, a 
native of P>ankfort, Ky., and for years a resident of Putnam county, Ind.. 
followed agricultural pursuits for a livelihood, while as a gratuitous offering 
to the cause of religion he preached in the Baptist denomination. For fifteen 
years he acted as pastor of one church, giving much of his time to its upbuild- 
ing and to the spiritual welfare of the congregation, doing all this work with- 
out thought of remuneration. In that pioneer era it was customary for the 
brainiest of the pioneer farmers in any community to serve as preacher, fill 



264 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the country pulpit on Sunday, unite the 3^oung couples in marriage and read 
the last prayer over the dead. P'or such a task he was well qualified by his 
sympathetic heart, kindly disposition, splendid reasoning faculties and deep 
devotion to the cause of Christianity. During 1866 he removed to Nebraska 
and took up land on Elk creek, five miles south of Tecumseh, Johnson 
county, a district then beyond the confines of civilization. White settlers 
had not yet penetrated regions so remote from the east, but he did not lack 
for neighbors, the Indians being in close proximity and making frequent 
visits to his cabin in order to beg. At such times it was the custom for 
the Indian chief to come first, salute and appeal, while the others would 
remain at a distance. If his request was granted, a squaw would come to the 
cabin and carry away food or clothing that had been presented to them. 
Later white settlers began to arrive and the savages receded ; improvements 
were rapidly made and the country took on an aspect of prosperity. It was 
the privilege of the pioneer preacher to enjoy some of the later prosperity 
and when he died in 1899 the country bure little resemblance to its aspect 
at the time of his arrival. 

During the period of his residence in Indiana Rev. Isaac Irwin had 
married jane Leatherman, who was born in that state and died in Nebraska 
during 1900. Her father. Rev. John Leatherman, a native of Germany and a 
pioneer of Putnam county, Ind., served in the ministry of the Baptist Church 
in that locality until his death. There were twelve children in the Irwin 
family and all but one of these are still living. Six reside in California, 
namely : Mrs. Avert and Mrs. Reynolds, of Hanford, and Mrs. Ball, of Los 
Angeles ; John, now district attorney of Kings county ; Washington, who fol- 
lows the carpenter's trade at Taft ; and Rowen, district attorney of Kern 
county. The last-named was born at Reelsville, Putnam county, Ind., May 
13, 1858, and at the age of eight years accompanied his parents to Nebraska, 
where during three months of each year he attended the country schools. 
The balance of the year was devoted to hard manual labor on the farm. A 
seeming chance occurrence decided his destiny. When a mere lad he at- 
tended a murder trial at Pawnee City, Neb. It was his first observation of 
law cases and he became deeply interested, watching with peculiar interest 
the movements of the judge. When he learned that the jurist received a 
salary of $3,000 per year his interest deepened. Afterward he mentioned the 
matter to his father, who verified the report as to salary and encouraged the 
boy when he announced that some day he would be a lawyer. His ambition 
was realized by his own later efforts. 

Upon coming to California during 1881 Rowen Irwin secured employ- 
ment in Kings count)', working with headers and threshing machines during 
the season. In the fall of the same year he began to study law at Hanford. 
The following summer found him again working on a header. In this way 
he continued until he was admitted to the bar in 1883. He won his first case 
and received a fee of $20. Admitted first to the superior court, he later was 
admitted to practice before the supreme court and carried on professional 
work at Hanford, where he served as district attorney from 1898 until 1902. 
During January of 1903 he came to Bakersfield, opened an office and engaged 
in the practice of law, which he has continued with increasing success. With 
him came to this city his wife, whom he had married in Portersville, Tulare 
county, and who was Miss Mildred Barnes, a native of Missouri. In fra- 
ternal relations he holds membership with the Eagles. Politically he has 
been a Democrat ever since he began to study public questions and as his 
party's candidate he served as member of the assembly in' the state legis- 
lature during the session of 1909, also during two special sessions. As a 
legislator he aimed to promote the welfare of his constituents, but also gave 
stanch support to enterprises for the general good. The Democratic party 




6^^^mi^^^^yt^^c 



HISTORY OF KKRX COUNTY 267 

in lyiO iiDiiiiiiated him fur district attorney and he received the verdict of 
popular appro\'al at the election. Since he took the oath of office in Jan- 
uary, 1911. for a term of four years he has devoted himself closely to the 
duties of the office and thereby has added prestige to an already enviable 
reputation. The office is one which calls fur fearless honesty and more than 
ordinary ability. High as are its demands, he has proved equal to them and 
has met every crisis with a clear brain, accurate judgment and admirable 
reasoning faculties. 

EDMUND W. McCUTCHEN.— The lineage of the AlcCutchen family 
is traced back through a line of honored ancestors in Scotland to one of the 
gallant lieutenants who served in the army of the illustrious Robert Bruce 
during the fourteenth century. The colonial period of American history 
found some of the name in the new world, established upon Virginian soil. 
Very early in the nineteenth century a member of the family left the Old 
Dominion and followed the westward tide of emigration across mountains 
and rivers into Alissouri, where he took up new land and developed a farm. 
In the family of this pioneer was a son, Preston, born in Callaway county, 
AIo., and reared in Keokuk 'county, Iowa, where he took up agricultural 
pursuits. While living in Iowa he married Miss Jane Wilsey, a native of 
Utica, N. Y., and by that union were born five sons and three daughters, 
all still living, the fourth of these, Edmund W., having been born at Moke- 
lumne Hill, Calaveras county, Cal., October 18, 1856, about six years after 
the arrival of the family in the west. It was during 1850 that the father 
had brought his family across the plains with wagon and ox-teams and had 
settled in Calaveras county, where he engaged in mining at Mokelumne Hill. 
Not finding the occupation as profitable as he had anticipated, he deter- 
mined to devote himself to agriculture and accordingly moved to the vicin- 
ity of Sacramento, where he developed a grain and stock farm. Removing 
to Monterey county in 1872, he again took up general farming and stock- 
raising. Not far from the fertile Cholame valley he took up land and began 
to till the soil. For a long period he devoted his attention closely to farm- 
ing at that place, but eventually the infirmities of age obliged him to relin- 
quish manual labors and now at the age of ninety-three years he is living 
quietly and contentedly at Maricopa, Kern county. His wife passed away 
when advanced in years. 

After having spent his boyhood days mostly on the home farm near 
Franklin, Sacramento county, Edmund W. McCutchen accomijanied his 
father to Monterey county at the age of sixteen years and continued in the 
stock business there until twenty-one. From 1877 until 1880 he engaged 
in mining in MohaVe county, Ariz. Upon his return to .California he be- 
came interested in farming in the San Joaquin valley. Selecting a location 
near Hanford he devoted about one thousand acres to wheat, using headers 
in the harvesting of the Crops. For ten years he continued in the same 
location, but in 1890 he came to Kern county and bought a ranch of sixty 
acres nine miles southwest of Bakersfield. The land was devoted to fruit 
and alfalfa, and it was not until ten years after he had bought the property 
that he discontinued such activities for oil operations, organizing the Supe- 
rior Oil Company, with himself as a director and manager. Several wells 
were put down (Sunset field), the land was patented, and the investment 
proved profitable, but after a time the interests were sold to other parties. 
Next Mr. McCutchen became a member of the Eight Oil Company operating 
in the North Midway district and owning lands and wells of excellent value. 
In these he still retains a large interest. Besides his other enterprises he 
engaged in mining at Goldfield for two years with fairly satisfactory re- 
sults. Successful in striking oil, he ranks among the best informed men that 
Kern county has contributed to this industry and his successful operations 
have brought him financial independence. Mr. McCutchen is developing 



268 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the citrus resources of Kern county, having selected for his operations forty 
acres at Trevis, fourteen miles east of liakersfield. He sunk a well three 
hundred and twenty-five feet and installed a pumping plant which supplies 
ample water facilities. On his ranch he has a nursery of orange trees, of 
which he makes a specialty. It is a fact worthy of mention that during the 
cold winter of 1912-13 not even his seed-bed stock nor young grafts were 
injured. About one-half of the nursery is set out to navel oranges. 

With his wife, whom he married in Visalia, and who was Miss Kate 
Thompson, a native of Florence, Nebr., Mr. McCutchen is occupying his 
own comfortable residence, located on the corner of Seventeenth and D 
streets, Bakersfield. Having no children of their own, they have reared 
two of Mrs. McCutchen's nieces. Iris Taylor is now Mrs. C. W. Beatty, 
and Lizzie Taylor is the wife of R. V. Dorn, both of Maricopa. 

MYRON HOLMES.— The genealogy of the Holmes family is traced 
back to an old family of England and a scion of that honored race founded 
the name in the new world when he crossed the ocean to New York. Will- 
iam J., a son of the original immigrant, was born in Schoharie county, N. Y., 
and early learned the rudiments of agriculture' as conducted in that locality 
and era. Establishing a home of his own, he chose as his wife Miss Marcia 
Partridge, a native of Schoharie county and a daughter of Adelbert Part- 
ridge, for years prominent in the community as a manufacturing cooper. 
Hale and hearty notwithstanding their advanced years (for he is eighty-five 
and she eighty-one) William J. and Marcia Holmes now reside in Wellesley, 
Mass., surrounded by the comforts that have been secured through their own 
earlier, assiduous efforts. All of their seven children are still living, but the 
third, Myron, is the only one residing in California. Born at Richmondville, 
Schoharie county, N. Y., August 15, 1860, he received public-school advan- 
tages and upon leaving school gave his whole attention to farming. With 
a desire to be independent, he bought a farm adjacent to the old homestead 
and began for himself as a general farmer and stock-raiser, which occupation 
he followed in the same locality for a number of years. 

Selling out his eastern interests in 1890 and locating in Bakersfield the 
following 3'ear, Mr. Holmes here bought the corner of I and Eleventh streets, 
built a house and has since made his home at the same place. Meanwhile 
he spent his first year in Kern county as superintendent of a farm owned by 
H. H. Fish and his second year as manager of the Kingsley dairy, after 
which he clerked for six months in a grocery. Since 1894 he has been a 
trusted employe of the Kern County Land Company. For a considerable 
period he was connected with the engineering department, but in 1900 he 
was promoted to be storekeeper for the company and since then has had 
charge of the company's stores, a position of great responsibility, for which 
duties he has proved eminently qualified. 

Throughout his entire active life Mr. Holmes has been interested in the 
development of the free-school system and since coming west he served for 
eight years as a member of the Bakersfield Board of Education. During the 
period of his service additions were built to the Emerson and Lowell schools, 
making of the buildings modern structures with complete equipment for edu- 
cational work. The Hawthorne school was erected during his service on the 
board and a block of land was bought on A and Eighteenth streets as a site 
for a new school. In his marriage Mr. Holmes became allied with a family 
deeply interested in educational affairs and he and his wife have worked in 
unison, striving to secure for their own children and for other children in 
the city the best advantages possible, in order that they might be qualified 
for the duties of life. 

Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were married at Richmondville, N. Y., January 
16, 1883, Mrs. Holmes having been Miss Lillie Mann, a native of West Ful- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 269 

tun, Schoharie county, and a daughter of Almarien and Hannah (Chapman) 
Mann. Her father was a native of Vermont, but spent the greater part of 
his life in New York, where his death occurred and where his widow still 
makes her home. Of their thirteen children all but one lived to mature 
years and eleven still survive, Mrs. Holmes being the sixth in order of birth. 
All have engaged in educational work as teachers or superintendents of 
schools at some period in their lives, the youngest son, Manley Burr Mann, 
a graduate of Cornell University and a successful attorney-at-law, having 
taught in young manhood in order to aid in defraying his university ex- 
penses. 

F"or a short time prior to her marriage Mrs. Holmes also taught school 
and she, too, was successful in the work. Of her marriage there are four 
children, namely : George Erwin, a graduate of the Kern county high school, 
now employed as electrical operator with the San Joaquin Light and Power 
Corporation : Marguerite, also a graduate of the high school, now engaged 
as sten( grapher with the Western Water Company ; Myron Burr and 
Charles Raymond, members respectively of the high school classes of 1913 
and 1914. The eldest son married Hattie L. Davis and has four children, 
Lillian, Roy, Maynard and Ernest. Not only are both grandmothers of these 
four children still living, but it is a noteworthy fact that three of the great- 
grandmothers still survive. The Holmes family is sincere in allegiance to 
the Methodist Episcopal denomination. For years Mr. Holmes officiated as 
a trustee of the First Methodist Episcopal Church and at the time of the 
erection of the present fine house of worship he was secretary of the bnard. 
Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 
1902 he served as foreman of the grand jury and at other times he has held 
other public responsibilities. For many years he has been a member of the 
county central committee of the Democratic party and a local leader in that 
political organization. 

LANE S. HARMAN.— An identification of more than twenty years 
with the material upbuilding of Kern county enables Mr. Harman to judge of 
values and forecast growth with an impartial judgment and keen sagacity. 
These qualities have proved helpful to him in the discharge of his duties as 
manager of the Kern City Realty Company, transacting a general business 
in real estate, dealing in property throughout the county, buying and selling 
on a commission basis and making a specialty of oil, orange and fruit lands. 
The company maintains an insurance department and underwriting is done 
'n absolutely reliable organizations. In every department of the business a 
arge clientele has been established. The company is doing its full share 
n advertising to the world the excellence of the climate, the fertility of the 
soil and the opportunities for agricultural and commercial prosperity. The 
manager is usually to be found at the office. No. 805^2 Baker Street, East 
Bakersfield, where he has every facility for prompt investigation of lands 
and direct intercourse with possible buyers. 

Mr. Harman is of eastern birth and lineage and was born in York county, 
Pa., March 24, 1854. Primarily educated in common schools, he later attended 
Mount Union College in Ohio and completed a commercial course of study. 
The family of which he is a member comprised three children, but one of 
these died in early years. A brother, Monroe, seven years older than himself, 
has become very prominent in the silver-mining industry in the state of Wash- 
ington. Both had to make their own way unaided from youth. After he 
had taught one term of school Lane S. Harman became connected with a 
mercantile business at ^^'ellsville, Pa., where he remained for two years. 
From 1877 until 1890 he made his home in Alansfield, Ohio, and Columbus, 
same state, and meanwhile in 1880 he married Miss Ada E. Carpenter, a 
resident of the former city. As a means of livelihood he worked as traveling 



270 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

salesman for agricultural implement houses and built up an enviable reputa- 
tion as a specialist in that line, being indeed regarded as an expert judge con- 
cerning every kind of farm machinery. 

Upon resigning from the road in 1890 Mr. Harman came to California 
and settled in Kern county, where since he has made his home. Joining the 
Rosedale colony, he bought forty acres of land covered with sage brush. To 
develop the tract from its primeval state required strenuous labor. For years 
he devoted himself diligently to the task of removing the brush, cultivating 
the land, providing irrigation, planting portions of the farm to fruit and 
bringing the entire acreage to a high condition of fertility. The task was 
one of great difficulty and brought many discouragements in its wake, but 
he had the cheerful co-operation of his wife and the assistance of the chil- 
dren, so that he was able to develop the property as he had desired. In order 
that his children might have the advantages offered by the city schools he 
sold the farm and came to East Bakersfield a number of years ago, since 
which time he has engaged in the real estate and insurance business, also 
has acted as notary public and conveyancer, having offices in the First Bank 
of Kern building. In politics he is a Republican with progressive sympathies, 
while in religious connections he and his wife are members of the Congrega- 
tional Church of Bakersfield. Their family consists of ten children and it 
has been their greatest ambition in life to train and prepare their sons and 
daughters for whatever responsibilities may await their future years. The 
children are as follows: Emrie L., a carpenter, who follows his trade in 
Bakersfield; Will C, a bridge inspector on the Southern Pacific Railroad and 
a resident of East Bakersfield; Jeanette, wife of L. T. Peahl, of Bakersfield; 
Frances, who married Frank S. \\'ilson and lives at McMinnville, Warren 
county, Tenn. ; Jo R., now ]\Irs. H. G. Spitler; Helen W., now Mrs. George 
W. Jason, of Bakersfield; Ada I., Monroe, Jr., Winifred and Alice, who aVe 
the youngest members of this interesting and popular family. 

WILLIS W. BOGGS.— The genealogy of the Boggs family is traced to 
the colonial era of American history. During the early part of the nine- 
teenth century Hon. Lilburn \V. Boggs held an influential position in the 
public life of Missouri and he was serving as governor of that state at the 
time of the expulsion of the Mormons. By supporting the anti-Mormon ele- 
ment he incurred the hatred of the leaders of the sect, who afterward in a 
spirit of revenge sent one of their number back to the state for the purpose 
of killing the governor. Several bullets lodged in the head of the intended 
victim of their revenge, but he escaped fatal injury as by a miracle. When 
somewhat advanced in years he joined an expedition bound for California 
and shortly after his arrival in Sonoma he was appointed alcalde in place of 
John H. Nash, whose resignation had been asked for, but who, refusing to 
give up the office, was taken to San Francisco, thence to Monterey, in order 
that in his absence peace might be restored to the community. Ex-Governor 
Boggs died in the Napa valley at the age of sixty-three years. 

During the summer of 1846 William Boggs, son of the ex-governor, 
came with his family to California. Being a man of resolute purpose, excel- 
lent judgment and commanding personality, he was chosen captain of the 
emigrant train. Arriving at Fort Bridger, a dispute arose as to the route 
to Ije taken. Captain Boggs insisted upon following the highway generally 
used by emigrants and he pursued that road with the larger number of the 
party, arriving in safety at his destination without loss of men or stock. 
About ninety insisted in taking the Hastings Cut-off. They found travel 
impossible through the mountains. The sad fate of the Donner party is a 
matter of history. Just before starting across the plains in the spring of 
1846 Captain Boggs had married a young Missouri girl. Their child, Guada- 
loupe Vallejo Boggs, was the first white child born in California after the 





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HISTORY OK KERN COUNTY 275 

government was taken out of the hands of Mexico. A younger son, Angus 
M. Boggs, who at the age of sixty-three years is living at Highland Springs, 
Lake county, was a member of the stock commission firm of Boggs & Behler, 
with oiilices in San Francisco and Napa. His marriage took place at Santa 
Rosa, this state, and united him with Miss Sallie Northcott, a native of 
Missouri, who came to California in 1861. They are the parents of eight 
children, all living, namely: Mervin J,, who spent eleven years in the Kern 
river oil field, meanwhile being foreman on the 33 and Imperial, later super- 
intendent of the Fulton at Alaricopa, and is now a rancher at Lindsay, Tulare 
county; Paul N., formerly general manager for the J. F. Lucey Company at 
Bakersfield and now general manager for the same concern on the Pacific 
coast, with ofiices in Los Angeles ; Leland Stanford, of Napa, a traveling 
salesman for the clothing house of Newmark & Co., in Los Angeles ; Ken- 
neth E., agent for the Wells- Fargo Express Company at Eureka, Cal. ; Willis 
W., who was born at Napa, Cal., January 24, 1886, and is now purchasing 
agent for the North American Oil Consolidated Company on section 15, 
township 32, range 23; Hugh F., who assists his father on the ranch in Lake 
county ; Lawrence B., and Elizabeth, who also remain with their parents. 

Entering the sales department of the J. F. Lucey Company at Bakers- 
field in 1908. Willis W. Boggs continued with that concern for three and 
one-half years, meanwhile going from Bakersfield to Maricopa, thence to 
Shale, next to McKittrick and finally to San Francisco. During 1911 and a 
part of 1912 he also acted as local buyer for the North American Consoli- 
dated on section 15 and engaged as salesman at the Taft store of Fairbanks, 
Morse & Co. Re-entering the service of the J. F. Lucey Company, he con- 
tinued with that corporation from February, 1912, to June, 1913, and on the 
15th of the latter month he returned to the service of the North American 
Consolidated, for which he now acts as purchasing agent, a post entailing 
large responsibilities and necessitating a thorough knowledge of oil supplies 
and valuations. 

ROBERT L. McCUTCHEN.— As a native son of California it has been 
the privilege of Mr. McCutchen to live through years marked by unparalleled 
growth along all lines of industry, in which, not content to be merely an inter- 
ested observer, he has been a prominent participant and resourceful promoter. 
Although still in the prime of a useful existence, his memory is stored with 
historical data of value and his personal activities have brought him in touch 
with the remarkable development of the west. The course of business pur- 
suits has taken him along the Pacific coast and into Mexico, so that he is 
thoroughly conversant with localities, soils, climates and opportunities. Years 
ago, when hunting geese and quail for the San Francisco market, he traversed 
the section of country now known as the west side oil fields, where frequently 
he saw owls and quail helplessly enmeshed in pools of oil and asphalt, but at 
the time no one realized the commercial importance of the discovery. Later 
developments proved the immense value of the hidden resources of the region 
and in the early progress of the oil industry he and other members of his 
family maintained an active connection, nor are his interests in the business 
less important at the present time. 

A member of a pioneer family that always has stood for integrity, honor, 
truth and high morals, and a son of that influential citizen, Preston S. Mc- 
Cutchen, whose personal history in many respects is a history of the develop- 
ment of certain parts of the west, Robert Lincoln McCutchen was born in 
Sacramento, Cal., July 20, 1865, and at the age of seven years accompanied 
his parents to Monterey county, where he was reared on a stock ranch near 
Parkfield. During winter months he studied, first in the public schools and 
later under a private teacher, while in the summers he assisted his father in 
the care of the stock and the culti\-ation of the farm. Startin:r out for himself 



276 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

in 1882, he accompanied a brother, James B., to Arizona, where, joining an- 
other brother, G. W., he became interested in mining at the Tiger and Peck 
mines in Yavapai county. Returning to Monterey county at the expiration of 
two years, he remained, there for a year, meanwhile being interested in farming. 

Associated with his brothers, in 1885 Mr. McCutchen began to hunt game 
for the market. For a time he made his headquarters on the Tulare and Buena 
Vista lakes. The game was shipped to the San Francisco market, where it 
brought the highest prices. It was during the period of activity as a hunter 
that he came through Kern county on a number of trips and began to study 
the soil of this part of the state. The result of his investigations caused him 
to purchase in 1890 twenty acres of raw land in the Old River district. This 
tract he set out to vineyard, but the experiment did not prove profitable. 
After he had removed the vines he put the land under cultivation to alfalfa, 
which he has continuously raised from that time to the present. By later 
purchase he added sixty acres to his tract, so that he now owns eighty acres 
in one body, situated nine and one-half miles southwest of Bakersfield. With 
the improvement of the land he continued in his hunting expeditions and it 
was ivA until 1899 that he abandoned hunting for the oil industry, in which 
he since has been interested. From 1892 to 1895 he and his brothers engaged 
in hunting along the west coast of Mexico, where they hunted the heron and 
aigrette for their plumage, selling the same at from $10 to $30 per ounce. On 
returning from these expeditions he more than once carried $3,000 worth of 
plumes in a suit case. Ultimately, however, the business was destroyed by 
the natives, who ruthlessly slaughtered the birds, even killing them while 
they were nesting, and thus rendering a continuation of the business un- 
profitable. 

After having developed and sold oil lands in the Sunset and Midway 
fields, during 1907 Mr. McCutchen with his brothers selected a location in 
the north edge of Maricopa, on section 2, 11-24, where they struck a seven- 
hundred barrel well of thirteen-gravity oil. This being the best well up to 
that time and one of the early gushers, attracted wide attention and created 
considerable excitement in the field. In addition the brothers located the 
famous sectinn 32. 12-23, some of which is sold and the balance leased, twenty 
acres of the tract being now operated by the Maricopa Queen Oil Company, 
that struck a two-thousand barrel well in March of 1913. In the midst of his 
many other activities, Mr. McCutchen has continued to raise alfalfa and grain 
on his ranch, where in 1914 he completed a residence of twelve rooms, mod- 
ern in every respect, equipped with every convenience and forming a most 
desirable improvement to the property. Besides the ranch he owns valuable 
real estate on Chester avenue, I'akersfield, and in Richmond, and further has 
a ranch of eighty acres in the Edison district where the possibilities of citrus 
culture are arousing wide interest. 

While political questions have never been made matters of moment to 
Mr. McCutchen (who believes that the highest type of citizenship is expressed 
in the character and not in the opinions), he keeps alive to the issues of the age 
and has been steadfastly Republican in his adherence to party principles. 
Fraternally he holds membership with the Woodmen of the World in Bakers- 
field. By marriage he became allied with a pioneer family of Kern county. 
In the Old River district, November 30, 1893, he was united with Miss Lena 
Freear, a native of this district and a daughter of Henry T. Freear, an honored 
citizen of the county. Six children comprise the family of Mr. and Mrs. Mc- 
Cutchen, namely : Vernon IngersoU and Irene Marie, who are respectively 
members of the senior and freshman classes of the Kern county high school ; 
Harold, Ethel, Evan and Laverne. The influence of Mrs. McCutchen has 
been a benefaction in the family and the community. A resident of the same 
locality throughout all of her life, educated in its schools and reared in one of 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 277 

its finest homes, she is an honored native daughter and has a permanent place 
in the regard of many friends. 

ALBERT W. FREEMAN.— The Freeman family comes of old English 
stock and was established in America by Henry Freeman, a native of Ket- 
ton, county Kent, England, born February 28, 1828. From his birthplace, 
which was but a short distance from London, the family removed lo the 
metropolis and in boyhood he had the advantages incident to schooling in 
that great city. It was his ambition from childhood to come to the United 
States and at the age of eighteen he left the scenes of youth, bade farewell 
to friends and relatives, and started on the voyage across the Atlantic The 
sailing vessel on which he embarked ploughed its slow way over the waters 
and finally cast anchor in the harbor of New York City> whence he i)ro- 
ceeded to Ohio and in a short time to Illinois. At Joliet, where he found 
employment, he met and married Emma Adeline Hart, a native of that city. 
^\'hen the first call came for volunteers for three months at the opening of 
the Civil war he offered his services, enlisted, was accepted and sent to the 
front. At the expiration of the three months he again enlisted, this time 
for three years, so that his entire period of active service covered three years 
and three months. Meanwhile he bore a brave part in many memorable 
engagements, including Shiloh, the Wilderness, Lookout Mountain, Chicka- 
mauga, Bull Run and Gettysburg. Under the leadership of Sherman he 
marched to the sea and took part in the numerous skirmishes and battles of 
that great campaign. With the defeat of the Confederacy he received an 
honorable discharge from the Union service and returned to his Illinois 
home. Removing to Kansas in 1870, he took up land in Butler county 
twelve miles from Wichita and on that farm occurred the birth of his sev- 
enth child, Albert W., April 15, 1872. After years of close attention to ag- 
riculture he retired in 1899, established a home in Wichita, and there re- 
mained until his death March 17, 1906. Since his demise the widow has coa- 
tinued to reside in Wichita. Like him. she gives earnest adherence to the 
doctrines of the Methodist Episco;iaI Church. .\11 but two of their twelve 
children are still living. 

At the age of eighteen years in 1890 Albert W. Freeman left Kansas, 
where all of his previous life had been spent, and went to .'Vrizdua, where 
for six months he was employed in the lumbering business at Flagstaff. 
From there he returned east as far as Manzano. Valencia county, N. M., 
where he found employment in lumbering. However, at the end of six 
months he returned to Arizona and resumed work at Flagstaff. In the fall 
of 1892 he came to Bakersfield, where f(ir three years he was employed l)y 
different contractors in the building of ditches and canals. During 189.^ he 
became a zanjero with the Kern County Land Company and continued as 
such until 1899. when he resigned in order to return to Arizona. L^pon his 
arrival in that state he found conditions had changed since the period of his 
previous sojourn there. The outlook was unfavorable and at the end of six 
months he returned to Bakersfield, where he secured a position as clerk in 
the old Cosmopolitan hotel. During the spring of 1901 he resumed work 
with the Kern County Land Company. After a brief period as workman on 
the Calloway canal he was made foreman, also was given charge cf the 
books, and continued steadily in the same nlace until February of 1910. when 
he was transferred to the charge of the Home ranch and made superintend- 
ent of the Kern island canal, his present post of duty. The many responsi- 
bilities incident to his position he discharges with satisfaction to all cim- 
cerned. 

In politics Mr. Freeman votes with the Democratic party, .\fter com- 
ing to California he was made a Mason in Bakersfield Lodge No. 224. F. & 



278 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

A. M., and in addition he united with the Bakersfield Lodge No. 202, I. O. 
O. F., while also he and his wife are identified with the Rebekahs. At 
Rosedale, Kern county, June 13, 1905, he married Mrs. Lucy (Cheney) 
Adams, who was born near Petaluma, Sonoma county, Cal., and by whom 
he has one child, Martha. Her parents, Return J. and Martha E. (Green) 
Cheney, were born in Bloomington, 111., where their marriage was solem- . 
nized March 8, 1860. As early as 1856 Mr. Cheney had made a trip across 
the plains with ox-teams and was so pleased with the country that he de- 
termined to remain. Returning to Illinois in 1859 upon a visit to the old 
home, he married there during the spring of 1860 and then brought his 
bride via Panama to San Francisco, thence to Sonoma county, where he had 
taken up land. For years he operated one of the first threshing-machines 
brought into Sonoma county. In addition to his work as thresherman he 
developed a large tract of land in Sonoma county and was similarly inter- 
ested in Tulare county, after his removal thither in 1886. From Tulare 
county he came to Kern county in 1892 and settled at Rosedale. Of recent 
years he and his wife have made their home at Coalinga. They became the 
parents of ten children who attained mature years and all but one of these 
still survive. Mrs. Freeman, who was the youngest of the large family, was 
given high-school advantages and received the careful home training which 
has made her a notable housekeeper and efficient assistant to her husband. 
JOHN EDWARD HAMILTON.— The supervising principal of the 
Conley school district of Taft was born in New York City May 27. 1853, 
and is a son of Callaghan and Margaret (O'Connor) Hamilton, both of whom 
were natives of county Kerry, Ireland, but crossed the ocean in early life 
and were married in the city of Brooklyn. There were four children in the 
family, but two of these died in infancy, the present survivors being John 
Edward and Charles C, the latter an attorney in Oakland. During 1868 
the family removed to California and settled in San Francisco, but four 
years later J. E. returned east in order to receive treatment for spinal trouble. 
For a time he remained in Indianapolis. Upon coming back to California 
in 1874 he settled in Mendocino county, where his brother was teaching his 
first term of school. As he wished to take up the same line of work, he 
began to study under his brother preparatory to taking the teachers' exam- 
ination. Februarjf 8, 1875, he began to teach school at Willits, Mendocino 
county. In order, the better to prepare for pedagogical activities he took a 
course of study in St. Ignatius College at San Francisco. Later he secured 
a scholarship in the Hastings College of Law, but instead of entering that 
institution he made a trip to Seattle and on his return to California settled 
again in Alendocino county. Lentil 1886 he taught school there. Meanwhile 
in 1882 he had married Miss Margaret E. Muir. By the union there are 
two children now living. Ethel M. and Charles I. After leaving Mendocino 
county he went to Santa Barbara county and for twenty-two years made 
that region his headquarters. Meanwhile for ten years he served as a mem- 
ber of the county board of education and for six years of the period he was 
honored with the presidency. For three years he acted as principal of the 
Los Alamos schools and for fifteen years he taught in Santa Maria. 

A newspaper experience as editor of the Santa Maria Graphic for two 
years (1891-92) supplemented the" work of Mr. Hamilton as teacher, but 
when he was elected principal at Santa Maria he abandoned journalistic 
activities. For thirteen vears he served as princioal at Santa Maria. U^pon 
resigning in 1906 he went to Kansas City to act as eastern representative 
of various enterprises operating in the middle west and on the Pacific coast. 
LTpon his return to California he came to Taft in November, 1911, and se- 
cured employment as bookkeeper for Lierly & Son. During January of 
1912, the teacher in the North .American school having resigned, he was pre- 




X^v^SW^^ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 281 

vailed upon to complete the unexpired term, at the same time maintaining 
charge of the books for the firm. In June of 1912 he was chosen supervising 
principal for one year and in June of 1913 he was re-elected for four years. 
As principal he has made a record for efficiency and progressiveness. Under 
his supervision the schools are keeping pace with similar institutions 
throughout the county and have become a source of gratification and pride 
to all public-spirited citizens. In addition to his responsibilities as super- 
vising principal he has found leisure for the composing of songs and the 
writing of lectures. One of his compositions, a baseball song entitled "Base- 
ball," has become very popular among the boys in Taft. As a popular lec- 
turer he makes a specialty of literary subjects and while all of his addresses 
have been received with enthusiasm, "An Hour with Tennyson" is perhaps 
the favorite and has elicited the greatest applause from interested audiences. 
LUCAS FRANKLIN BRITE.— As one of the most extensive cattle 
growers in Kern count)- and as a member of the board of supervisors Mr. Brite 
is well known throughout the entire length and breadth of the county where 
he has made his home from his earliest recollections. In his life work he 
follows the example set by his father, the late John Moore Brite, who for 
years engaged extensively in agricultural pursuits and at the same time was 
a prominent supervisor of Kern county. Born in Missouri, but from early 
life a resident of Texas and employed as a teamster and farmer near the 
capital city of Austin, the father crossed the plains with ox teams in 1854, 
accompanied by his family, arriving at El Monte, Los Angeles county, 
in September of that year. The same fall he located in the Tehachapi Valley, 
where he began operations in the stock business. On his arrival he built a 
log house a little below what afterwards became known as Greenwich, resid- 
ing there until he made his location in the valley that now bears his name, 
residing there continuously with the exception of one year, 1857-58, spent in 
Walkers basin and nearly a year in El Monte. During the residence of the 
family at El Monte a son, Lucas Franklin, was born August 13, 1859. In the 
same year the father returned with his wife and children and settled in a 
small but fertile valley in the Tehachapi mountains, where he entered land and 
built an adobe house which is still standing, and continued in the stock busi- 
ness. As he was the first and principal settler in the region and as the entire 
district is now owned by some of his heirs, the name of Brite's valley appro- 
priately was given to it. During the early days it was remote from any mar- 
ket and the large crops of farm products as well as the large herds of stock had 
to be taken long distances when sold, but eventually the Southern Pacific 
lailroad built to within six miles of the farm house, and from that time the 
family found conditions less irksome. 

Upon the organization of Kern county John Moore Brite was chosen a 
member of the first board of supervisors, which created the first county gov- 
ernment and directed public affairs from the county seat, then known as 
Clear Creek, but later called Ilavilah. For the greater part of the next six- 
teen years he was a supervisor and during part of the time was honored with 
the chairmanship of the board, being an integral factor in the difficult task 
connected with the removal of the county seat to Bakersfield. With all of his 
work donated to the early upbuilding of the county, he did not neglect the 
management of his land or the care of his stock. His herds increased in size 
and his brand, a half-moon capital J, was known all over the county, while 
his possessions in land increased until at the time of his death, during April 
of 1893, he had about two thousand acres. He is still survived by his widow, 
who was Miss Amanda Emeline Duty, a native of Austin, Tex. Their family 
consisted of thirteen children. Of these Martha died in Texas at two years 
of age, Mattie died in Brite's valley when two, and Mary passed away when 
seventeen. The eldest sons, Joseph 11. and James Moore, are extensive ranch- 



282 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

ers in Brite's valley. Lucas Franklin, of Bakersfield, was sixth in order of 
birth. Eliza Lee married W. T. Wiggins, of Brite's valley ; William is living 
in the Imperial valley ; John B. and Charles Richard live in Brite's valley, the 
last-named being with his mother at the old homestead ; Chloe is the wife of 
E. A. Stowell, of Cummings valley ; Clara married Henry O'Neal and lives at 
Stockton ; and Cora is the wife of W. H. Adams, of Stockton. The mother, 
together with her sons, Joseph, James, Charles, Richard and John, also a 
daughter, with her husband (Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Wiggins) own all of 
Brite's valley. 

The earliest recollections of Lucas Franklin Brite cluster around the val- 
ley which bears the family name. Early in childhood he was a pupil in a log 
schoolhouse two and one-half miles from the old homestead, next he attended 
school in a frame building at Oldtown, four and one-half miles from home, and 
finally he completed his study of the three R's in the Cummings valley school, 
four and one-half miles from home. From school he drifted into ranching 
and when he started out for himself he located on railroad land. When this 
came into the market he bought six hundred and forty acres at $2.50 and 
$3 per acre. The land was level and fertile, comprising some of the best 
acreage in Cummings valley. At this writing he owns five thousand acres in 
this valley and of the total amount eighteen hundred acres are level. The vast 
tract represents his own industrious application and self-denying perseverance. 
With the aid of his sons he manages his large holdings, devoting about four- 
teen hundred acres to grain and the balance to stock range. Alfalfa also is 
raised without the aid of irrigation, although he installed a pumping plant 
on his home farm, ten miles west of Tehachapi. 

The raising of grain formed the largest agricultural interest of Mr. Brite 
for many years. During early days he utilized a header and stationary 
thresher. Later he operated five headers which elevated the grain to the wag- 
ons, nets being placed in the bed of the wagons. The wagons were then 
hauled to the thresher and the nets dumped on the table of the threshing ma- 
chine. In the work as thus conducted thirty head of mules or horses were 
used on the headers, forty head were used on the ten wagons (four to a 
wagon), two head were used for the lifting of the derrick and eight head were 
carried as extras, for special needs. About twelve thousand acres of grain 
were harvested and threshed in two months. When the combined harvester 
came into use, Mr. Brite was quick to see its advantages and avail himself of 
its improvements over the old-fashioned methods. At one time his brother 
John arranged a plow with ten gangs hinged in the middle so that it was 
possible to turn the soil even in rough places or in hog wallows. Ten horses 
or rriules were used on each plow and as many as five of the implements 
were kept in steady use during the season. The greater part of his land is 
located in the Tehachapi and Cummings valleys and is well adapted for grain 
and stock. Some very fine horses of the Percheron and French coach breeds 
have been raised on his lands, while his shorthorn Durham cattle, with their 
well-known brand of GB, have no superiors in quality throughout the entire 
county. 

The marriage of Mr. Brite took place in Brite's valley, December 5, 1885, 
and united him with Miss Laura Smith, who was born in Cummings valley, 
Kern county, being fourth youngest among the eleven children of John and 
Amanda E. (Stark) Smith, natives of Texas. At an early period in the settle- 
ment of the coast country the Smith family crossed the plains with wagon 
and oxen and settled in Bakersfield after a brief sojourn in Los Angeles. Mr. 
Smith died in Cummings valley, while his wife passed away in Brite's valley. 
In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Brite there are five children, of whom the two 
eldest, John Perry and Lucas Vance, are farmers and stock-raisers at the old 
homestead, Tiie third child. Bertha, is a student in the University of Call- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 283 

lurnia. The two youngest, Bonnie and Ruby, are students in the Bakersfield 
high school. It was for the purpose of giving his youngest children the ad- 
vantages of the Bakersfield schools that in 1910 Mr. Brite came to this city 
and erected a residence at No. 1819 Orange street, where the family since 
have spent the school year, returning to the ranch for the summer. In his 
home city Mr. Brite has a large circle of friends, while throughout the country 
he is well known and universally respected. From early life he has been 
a supporter of Democratic principles and it was upon the regular party 
ticket that in 1902 he was elected from the second district to the board of 
county supervisors. At the expiration of his first term in 1906 he was re- 
•elected, and again in 1910 he was chosen his own successor. As supervisor he 
has favored all movements for the permanent advancement uf the county, has 
given his support to needed improvements and been identified with the build- 
ing of bridges and county buildings, including the addition to the county 
hospital, the new high school, manual arts building. Hall of Records and the 
imposing new court house, yet at the same time he has maintained a conserva- 
tive policy and has guarded the interests of taxpayers with conscientious fidel- 
■\ty and keen discrimination. 

THOMAS A. BROOKS. — The manager of the Pacific Telephone and 
Telegraph Company for Kern county has followed this line of business since 
the age of sixteen years and meanwhile has gained a varied experience of 
the utmost value to his present and future activities. Sent for the first time 
to Bakersfield during the early part of 1911 and for the second time in the 
spring of 1912, he has been closely in touch with the development of the 
business at this point and has forwarded with customary energy the interests 
of the company, which now reaches every important point in the county. 
The task has been and still continues to be one of no slight importance. The 
greatest tact and the highest intelligence are required in order to superin- 
tend the local interests with success. It speaks well for the manager that 
he has been able to satisfy patrons, enlarge the field of operation and at the 
same time advance the financial status of the company shareholders. The 
satisfactory growth of the business in the past betokens similar development 
in the future. 

The elder of two children, Thomas A. Brooks was born in San Fran- 
cisco June 20, 1886, and is a son of Thomas J. and Mary (Anderson) Brooks, 
natives respectively of Boston, Mass., and Bristol, England, who came to 
California, were married in Oakland, and shortly afterwards established a 
permanent home in San Francisco. In that city the mother died in 1911 
and there the father still remains. Educated in the public schools until he 
had gained a thorough knowledge of the common branches, in October of 
1902 Thomas A. Brooks began the task of earning his own livelihood. At 
that time he entered the employ of the telephone company as a solicitor in 
San Francisco. .\ year later he was given a clerkship in the city office. 
Later he was promoted to the division office in San Francisco as division 
commercial engineer. The splendid manner in which he discharged the 
duties of the position led to his promotion to the rank of commercial en- 
gineer in the general office. All of these promotions had occurred within a 
decade after his original identification with the business. 

The interests of the business caused Mr. Brooks to be detailed for im- 
portant duties at San Diego, Cal, and Portland, Ore., after which he was 
sent to Bakersfield in January of 1911. The result of his investigations in 
this city is apparent in the large new telephone building on Twentieth be- 
tween I and Chester. During the process of construction of this building 
he filled a similar mission in the city of Los Angeles, from which place he 
returned to Bakersfield in March, 1912, to act as manager of Kern county 
for the company, which is profiting now, as it has profited in the past, by 



284 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

his far-seeing discrimination and keen insight into matters along the line of 
his specialty. Since coming to this city he has identified himself with the 
Bakersfield Club and with other organizations connected with the social and 
commercial life of the city. 

CHARLES N. SEARS.— The identification of the Scotch family of 
Sears with the new world began during the colonial period of American 
history, the first immigrant of the name having established himself on a 
plantation in Virginia, and from the Old Dominion Enoch Sears removed 
to Ohio during the early portion of the nineteenth century. Several 
generations have made their home in Guernsey county, Ohio, where 
James and Alary Sears passed the early years of their lives. When the call 
came for volunteers in the service of the Union during the Civil war he 
bade farewell to his young wife and set forth to fight for his country, going 
to the front with an Ohio regiment of which he was a member. When the 
disastrous battle of Chickamauga was being fought he and three of his 
brothers were killed in action. The little community in Guernsey county 
where they had been born and reared mourned their tragic taking away, but 
revered their memories as heroes of the struggle. Surviving this one of the 
brothers was a son, Charles N., who was born at North Salem, Guernsey 
county, Ohio, January 13, 1861 ; he was also survived by his wife, who later 
became Mrs. Wyatt and is now living in Nebraska in the city of Minden. 
The only child in the family was taken from Ohio to Illinois at the age of 
thirteen years and afterward attended school at Roseville, Warren county, 
where he prepared for college. It was his ambition to acquire a thorough 
education and with that object in view he matriculated in Abingdon (111.) 
College, from which in 1879 he was graduated with the degree of A. B. and 
with a high standing for excellence of scholarship. 

A desire to see more of the country and also to acquire cheap land led 
Mr. Sears with two companions to start for Nebraska. Buying a team and 
wagon and securing the necessary outfit, they drove overland to Phelps 
county and entered land near Holdrege. Later he took up a homestead of 
one hundred and sixty acres, to which in time he secured the title. To one 
of his energetic temperament the idle waiting for the expiration of his home- 
stead period was impossible and he passed the time profitably and pleasantly 
in acquiring a knowledge of the law. For a time he read with a prominent 
attorney and jurist at Kearney, Buffalo county, and so well was his time 
passed that in 1887 he was admitted to the bar of Nebraska, after which he 
began to practice at Holdrege with W. P. Hall as a partner. In order to 
enlarge his professional knowledge, he took a course in the law department 
of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, from which he was graduated 
in 1892 with the degree of LL. B. Immediately after his graduation he en- 
gaged in the practice of law at Benton Harbor, Mich., from which point he 
came to California during the fall of 1900 and in February of the following 
year established himself in practice at Bakersfield, where he is well known 
as a man of scholarly attainments, an attorney of ripened experience, a coun- 
selor of sagacious judgment, and a citizen of the most unquestioned pa- 
triotism. Besides his professional activities he also is interested in oil opera- 
tions, while his deep devotion to and prominence in the Republican party 
gives him added influence in his home city. Paternally he holds member- 
ship with the Knights of Pythias. In Benton Harbor, Mich., occurred his 
marriage to Miss Alberta Putnam,, who was born in Niles, that state, re- 
ceived excellent educational advantages and is a woman of culture and an 
earnest member of the Congregational Church of Bakersfield. The only 
child of their union is a son, Herbert Putnam Sears, a student in the 
city high school. The lineage of Mrs. Sears is historic, one of her ancestors 
having been a Revolutionary soldier, John Putnam, of Green Mountain fame. 



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HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 287 

and a brother of that illustrious ])atriot, Gen. Israel Putnam, who, when 
news came concerning the opening battle at Lexington, left his plough in 
the field at Pomfret, Conn., mounted his horse, and the next morning was 
in Concord, later led some untrained patriots in a successful assault north- 
east of Boston, and from that led from one victory to another until he was 
recognized as one of the greatest men of his da3^ 

ROBERT L. STOCKTON. — An epitome of the history of educational 
ad\'ancenient in Kern County presents in brief a recapitulation of the life 
work of Robert L. Stockton, county superintendent of schools since January 
of 1903, also vice president of the Central California Teachers' Association 
and ex-officio secretary of the county board of education. In reviewing his 
identification with the educational advancement and present standard of 
scholarship in the county he might well exclaim, "All of which I saw and 
part of which I was." From the age of eighteen years he has given his 
attention with whole-hearted devotion to the tasks confronting an educator 
and no problem has been too vexatious for his patient consideration, no 
progress too great for his aspiring vision and no change too radical ])rovided 
only that the welfare of students and the interests of the schools thereby 
are promoted. Since he entered upon the duties of county superintendent 
the school work has quadrupled entailing upon him duties far more weighty 
than th( se incident to the first months of his official incurhbency. In addition 
to the county high school there are now eighty-eight districts, while about 
two hundred teachers are given employment in the grammar and thirty 
in the high schools, there being expended annually in the interests of county 
educational work an amount approximating a half million dollars, which 
includes not Only salaries of teachers, but also expenditures in new buildings, 
reiairs of old buildings, janitor service and the manifold lesser expenses 
connected with a work of such magnitude. The duties of the county super- 
intendent have expanded to such proportions that two assistants now 
are given steady employment and the superintendent's office is a scene of 
busv activity during practically every season of the year. 

County Superintendent Stockton is proud of the fact that he can claim 
California as his native commonwealth and that his father. Dr. I. D. Stockton, 
was one of the honored pioneers of Kern County. Born at Santa Rosa 
October 25. 1863, he accompanied his parents to Kern County in 1872 and 
afterward attended the schools here. Diligent in study, intelligent in appli- 
cation and keen in mental comprehension, he acquired a wide fund of infor- 
mation notwithstanding the handicap occasioned by poorly equipped schools. 
After he had taken a course in the Los Angeles Business College he returned 
to his home county and took up educational work, for which he possessed 
inherent ability and in which he has achieved signal success. From his 
first identification with the schools as an instructor he aimed to advance the 
standard of scholarship. He rejected as obsolete the inadequate theories 
of earlier days and injected into pedagogy the spirit of twentieth century 
progress. As a result of his efforts the schools soon gave evidence of more 
thorough work and the advancement thus begun has continued to the present 
with auspicious results. For many years he served as a member of the county 
board of education and even yet he retains a connection with that useful 
organization. As the Democratic nominee in 1902 he was elected county 
superintendent of schools after an exciting contest with the then incumbent, 
whom he defeated by a large majority. In 1906 he was re-elected and 
again in 1910, the latter time without opposition, but with the endorse- 
ment of all parties. There are now about eight thousand pupils in the public 
elementary schools of the county, besides about five hundred in the high 
schools. 

In the management of educational work so large and important he 



288 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

has the hearty co-operation and helpful assistance of the board of super- 
visors and the county board of education, all of whose members have the 
welfare of the schools as their slogan. 

It should be stated that the Kern County High school has more than quad- 
rupled in attendance in the last ten years and its departments multiplied until 
the state superintendent of public instruction pronounced it the most com- 
plete course and best high school in the state. They have added courses 
in surveying, assaying, wireless telegraphy, manual training, domestic 
science and art and agriculture, and claim the unique place of having the 
largest agricultural farm of any high school in the state. 

The marriage of Professor Stockton united him with Miss Frances Engle, 
a native of Kern County and a daughter of David Engle, a pioneer stockman 
near Granite. They are the parents of eight children, namely : Ralph, Denton, 
Warren and Marion, all of whom are graduates of the Kern County High 
school, and the two last-named are now students in the Hastings Law school 
in San Francisco ; Irving and Jesse, who are attending the Kern County High 
school ; Clara and Frank, pupils in the public schools. The oldest son is a 
mining man in Nevada and the second son is engaged in the stock industry 
in Kern County, where Professor Stockton owns a stock ranch near Granite, 
also an alfalfa ranch near Button Willow. On the former place a specialty 
is made of horses, mules and cattle, while on the latter tract alfalfa is raised 
both for hay and for seed. Besides being a member of the Bakersfield Board 
of Trade he is interested in other movements for the civic well-being of the 
community. Fraternally he holds membership with the Benevolent Protective 
Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of the World, but the 
duties incident to educational work are so engrossing that he has had little 
leisure to participate in the activities of any of these fraternities, although in 
the heartiest accord with their philanthropies and social amenities. 

PAUL LORENTZEN.— The genealogy of the Lorentzen family is 
traced back through a long line of worthy ancestors identified with the po- 
litical and religious history of Schleswig-Holstein and transplanted to Amer- 
ican soil as a direct result of the revolution of 1848 in Germany. An unusual 
coincidence is found in the fact that the heads of three successive genera- 
tions bore the name of Paul Lorentzen and each served as a minister of the 
Lutheran Church in Schleswig-Holstein. It was the third of these three 
Pauls who bore an active part in the great revolution and as a consequence 
was forced to leave the country. America appealed to him as a land of free- 
dom of thought. Crossing the ocean to the new world, he had among his 
companions in the voyage Carl Schurz, later one of the leading German- 
American citizens of the United States. Well qualified for ministerial work 
through his graduation from Heidelberg College and his successful labors 
in the old country, he threw himself actively into the Lutheran ministry and 
held a number of important pastorates. Perhaps the most responsible of 
these was the work in the Lutheran Church at Eighth and Mound streets, 
St. Louis, and he continued in that city throughout his remaining years. 
After crossing the ocean he had married Anna Broises, who was born in 
Pennsylvania and died in Petersburg, Menard county. 111. The Revolution- 
ary participant was not the only member of the family to emigrate, for his 
father, the second Paul, also lived in Pennsylvania for some years and later 
settled in Illinois, in both commonwealths engaging in the ministry of his 
chosen denomination. 

Out of a family of nine children, seven of whom are still living. Paul 
Lorentzen was the third youngest and he represents the fourth generation 
of the name of Paul. L^nlike his ancestors, however, he did not enter the 
ministry, although he has been devoted in his allegiance to the Lutheran 
Church and a contributor to its missionary movements. Born at Mount 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 289 

Carroll, 111., September 16, 1857, he was reared at Petersburg, four miles 
from New Salem, that state, and in early boyluiod attended public schools. 
At the age of fourteen he became an apprentice to the trade of carpenter. 
Having completed his time he went to Denver, Colo., in 1878, and secured 
employment as a carpenter. After two years as a day worker he was made 
a foreman in the bridge and building department of the Denver & Rio 
Grande Railroad, which position he tilled fur three years. Coming to Cali- 
fornia in 1883 he entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Company on 
the Shasta division. Five months later the company sent him to Guatemala, 
Central America, for the purpose of acting as foreman in the building of 
the pontoon and laying of the track across lake Amatilan, also in the build- 
ing of the track to Guatemala. At the expiration of two years he was called 
back from Central America to California, where he acted as foreman of car- 
penters in building the branch from Berendo to Raymond. Next he hlled a 
similar position on the Coast line between Soledad, Monterey county, and 
Templeton, San Luis Obispo county. From that division he was sent to act 
as foreman in building a bridge across the American river at Sacramento, 
after which he had charge of construction work between Napa Junction and 
Santa Rosa. In 1888 he was foreman in construction work from Templeton 
to Santa Margarita and the following year he worked on the bridge across 
the San Joaquin west of Fresno, after which he engaged as foreman on the 
line from Alerced to Oakdale, Stanislaus county. The company then sent 
him to Kingsburg, Fresno county, to take charge of building a bridge across 
the Kings river, after which he was a construction foreman between Fresno 
and Kerman. 

Having engaged as foreman in the bridge and building department of 
the San Joaquin division until 1899, the Southern Pacific Company in that 
year transferred Mr. Lorentzen to Texas and stationed him in Galveston as 
general foreman of the Southern Pacific docks. The memorable flood and 
destruction of Galveston were personally witnessed by Mr. Lorentzen, who 
took an active part in the work of rebuilding the city and particularly the 
company dock. Returning to California in 1905 he here had the rare ex- 
perience of a vacation of three months, after which he was appointed road- 
master of the Tehachapi division between Bakersfield and Mojave. Since 
March 10, 1906, he has served in that capacity and his difficult position has 
been filled with admirable energy and recognized fidelity. 

The marriage of Mr. Lorentzen and Miss Pearl Hedgpeth, a native of 
Eureka Springs, Ark., was solemnized at San Lucas, Monterey county, Cal., 
and was blessed with five children, one of whom, Ray, died in Tulare at the 
age of twenty-one years, and Genevieve died in Tehachapi May 16, 1912. The 
survivors are Paul, Anna and Harold. Paul is employed at Needles. Since 
attaining his majority Mr. Lorentzen has supported the Democratic party. 
\^'hile living at Tulare he was a leading worker in the Fraternal Aid, also 
in Tulare Lodge No. 306. I. O. O. F., and Mount ^^^^itney Encampment No. 
82 of the same city. In addition he has been identified actively with Sum- 
ner Lodge No. 143, K. of P., in East Bakersfield. ^Irs. Lorentzen is acti\'e 
in social and educational work in Tehachapi and is a member of the hoard 
of trustees at Tehachapi and clerk of the board. 

J. H. STEVENSON.— The hotel Metropole at East Bakersfield, of which 
Mr. Stevenson has been one of the owners since 1905, deservedly occupies a 
high place in the estimation of the traveling public and has become a favorite 
stopping place for people of all classes, but particularly with miners, rail- 
road employes and stockmen has its popularity been manifest 'and its prestige 
assured. The location of the building, at the corner of Baker and Sumner 
streets, furnishes every facility for the prompt accommodation of travelers 



290 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

on the Southern Pacific Railroad and many of the trains stop at this point 
for meals. Those desirous of qtiick service are accommodated at the lunch 
counter, while others find every facility for elegant service in the well- 
equipped dining room, with its large seating capacity and its supply of ex- 
cellent food at moderate prices. The management prides itself on its model 
kitchen, equipped with every convenience for cookery, ventilated in accord- 
ance with the most modern s^-stems and finished by experts understanding 
the laws of sanitation. The hotel maintains thirty-five guest-rooms neatly 
furnished and provided with modern conveniences, a number of them having 
private baths attached. 

The senior proprietor of the hotel comes from Missouri, but has made 
Kern county his headquarters for fifteen years or more. He was born in 
Texas county, Mo., March 15, 1870, and was fourth in order of birth among 
ten children who lived to years of maturity. The father, John, died in 1904, 
and the mother, who bore the maiden name of Louisa Martin, still makes 
Missouri her home and is hale and rugged at the age of seventy-nine (1912). 
J. H., being of a venturesome disposition, fond of travel and change, consid- 
ered it no hardship that he was forced to earn his own livelihood from boy- 
hood. Work indeed interested him. far more than schooling and he felt a 
special interest in mining, so it is not strange that at the age of thirteen he 
was working in quartz mines in Colorado. Ever since that time he has kept 
posted concerning mining of every kind and few men in Kern county are 
better posted than he concerning the details connected with the occupation. 
Upon leaving the Colorado mines in 1895 he went to Alaska, where he mined 
in the Klondike and the Yukon basin, remaining for eighteen months. Leav- 
ing the cold frozen north he came to California and later mined at Esmerelda, 
Calaveras county, at Pine Grove in Amador county, at Bodie in Mono county, 
besides other mining centers. In addition for three years he spent considera- 
ble of his time in Nevada mines. After having prospected in the Panamint 
range in Inyo county he was attracted to Randsburg, Kern county, and to 
the Mojave district, where he was one of the first to develop prospects. One 
of his best-paying claims, the Eleven, he sold to Dr. Nelson in 1900, after 
having developed it to a high degree of profit. For some time he was iden- 
tified with the development of the Yellow Rover, and it was not until 1911 
that he disposed of his interests there, the sale bringing him an excellent 
return upon his investment. 

The first connection of Mr. Stevenson with the hotel business occurred 
in Caliente, Kern county, in 1902, when he purchased the Caliente hotel, but 
after having managed the property for two years he sold it and removed to 
East Bakersfield. For two years he conducted the hotel Metropole alone, but, 
realizing the need of co-operation in the large undertaking, he took into 
partnership James A. Bernard under the firm title of Stevenson & Bernard. 
Subsequent changes have made the title of the firm Stevenson, Woody & 
O'Meara, the other owners being A. J. Woody and P. J. O'Meara, well-known 
real-estate men of Bakersfield. The present management dates from April 
11, 1911, and has been successful from the first, so that each member of the 
firm is receiving a deserved return for his time, labor and investment. While 
giving close attention to the hotel, Mr. Stevenson finds time to keep posted 
concerning politics, aids the Democratic party in local affairs and is public- 
spirited in every respect. Fraternally he holds membership with the Elks, 
Eagles and Knights of Pythias. During 1509 he was united in marriage 
with Miss May Gazzolo, a native of Coulterville, Mariposa county, this state. 
With his wife and two children, Athena and Regina, he has a comfortable 
home in East Bakersfield and finds a special delight in a happy and contented 
domestic life. 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 293 

WILLIAM A. HOWELL. — From the age of thirteen years a resident of 
Uakerstield, Mr. Howell is thoroughly in sympathy with the educational, com- 
mercial and material upbuilding of this city and holds it to be, in point of 
possibilities, unsurpassed by any place in our great commonwealth. Born in 
New Orleans, La., December 11, 1863, he is the only surviving child of the 
late William and Mary (Hea\ey) Howell, natives respectively of Wales and 
Ireland. After having crossed the ocean during early life, the father settled 
in New (3rleans and worked his way forward until he acquired the ownership 
of a mercantile business in that city. Seeking the advantages of the west, 
he came to Bakersfield in 1876 and, finding the outlook favorable, sent for his 
wife and children, who joined him in 1877, establishing a permanent residence 
in the county-seat town. Scarcely had he established himself in business 
here when in 1879 his life came to an end. Afterward his wife remained in 
this city until her death, which occurred in 1897. Aleanwhile she had given 
her only remaining son an excellent education in the public schools and had 
trained him for the responsibilities of the workaday world. While yet a mere 
lad he became proficient in stenography. The correctness of his transcripts 
attracted attention. It was deemed little less than remarkable that one so 
young should be so skilled and accurate in the reporting of cases involving 
technical terms to which he was unaccustomed. Before he became of age he 
was by stipulation of the attorneys secured to report court cases for over 
three years, and after he had attained his majority he was regularly appointed 
b}- the judge of the superior court as the official court reporter. Ever since 
then he has filled the same position and it is said that he has the honor of 
being the oldest oiificial, in point of years of continuous service, connected 
with the courthouse of Kern county. Nor has his identification with county 
work been limited to stenographic service, for in addition he has been a 
deputy at different times in nearly all the offices of the county, also for three 
terms of two years each he filled the office of county auditor, there as in all 
other positions displaying accuracy, fidelity, energj' and wise judgment. 
Mr. Howell was one of the organizers of the Security Trust Company and has 
been a member of the board of directors since its inception. 

The residence which Mr. Howell erected en the corner of H and Seven- 
teenth streets and which he still owns and occupies, has for its presiding 
genius a woman of great capability, a native daughter of the commonwealth, 
formerly i\Iiss Elizabeth G. Dugan, who was born in Amador county, but 
made Bakersfield her home at the time of her marriage. Two children bless 
their union, Genevieve and William A., Jr. Upon the organization of the 
Knights of Columbus in Bakersfield Air. Howell became a charter member 
and later he held the office of district deputy for three years, besides which in 
other ways he has contributed to the interests of the order and to its local 
growth. For five years he has served as a member of the board of trustees 
of the Beale memorial library and at the same time he has promoted other 
worthy movements identified with the permanent prosperity of the city 
The Democratic party receives his support in local and general elections. 

ANTHONY B. OLSON.— Although of American birth and tvpically 
-American in mode of thought and action, he comes from Scandinavian 
forbears and is a son of John Olson, a native of Vermland, Sweden, the 
founder of this branch of the Olson family in the United States. Skilled in 
merchant tailoring, he followed the trade after his arrival in the new world. 
Starting in with a very small tailor shop on Chicago avenue, Chicago, he 
gradually built up an important business and finally had forty workmen in 
his employ. The great fire of 1871 destroyed his shop and ruined his busi- 
ness. Forced to start anew, he removed to Michigan and opened a tailor shop 
at Muskegon, where in time he recuperated his losses and attained a fair de- 
gree of financial success. Upon giving up the work of a merchant tailor, he 



294 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

returned to Chicago and there he died in 1906. One year later occurred the 
demise of his wife, who bore the maiden name of Erliana Swensen and was 
a native of Sparta. Mich. Surviving them are fi.ur children, the youngest of 
whom, Anthony Benjamin, was born in Muskegon, Mich., May 11, 1887, and 
received such advantages as the schools of that city afforded. After having 
graduated from the Muskegon high school in 1905 he removed to Chicago 
and there occupied clerical positions with different firms. 

Upon his arrival in California during May of 1908 Air. Olson secured 
employment at Sanger in the office of the Hume-Bennett Lumber Company. 
A year later he was transferred to the work of a yardman and from that 
rose to be foreman of the yard, in which responsible position he proved effi- 
cient and trustworthy. Resigning January 1, 1911, he came to McKittrick as 
an employe of the King Lumber Company, which in September of the same 
year transferred him to their Bakersfield yard to take charge of the work 
there. During February, 1912, he returned to McKittrick in the capacity of 
manager for the King Lumber Company, in whose interests he since has 
served with conscientious devotion and encouraging results. While living 
in Sanger he met and married Miss Carrie L. Barr, who was born in Kansas, 
but passed her girlhood almost wholly at Sanger. After graduating from 
the Sanger high school she had taken a course of study in the San Francisco 
Normal and had fitted for educational work, in which she engaged with suc- 
cess prior to her marriage. In political allegiance Mr. Olson adheres to 
Democratic principles and fraternallv he holds membership with the Masons. 

MAJOR W. H. COOK, M. D.— The notable record achieved by Dr. Cook 
in sanitation and surgical work during the Spanish-American war and subse- 
quent service in the Philippines duplicates in many respects the able and 
prominent identification of his father, the late J. A. Cook, M. D., with the 
Union army during the Civil war, in which as a surgeon attached to the 
Nineteenth Army Corps he had charge of hospital boats and hastily equipped 
surgical wards on Virginian battlefields. For such responsible tasks he was 
qualified by graduation from Rush Medical College and by long service as a 
physician and surgeon with a large private patronage. Himself a native of 
Tinton halls, Monmouth county, N. J., he had married some }'ears before the 
beginning of the war Miss Mary M. Harris, a native of Virginia, and they 
had established a home in Kendall county, 111., where the eldest of their 
four children, William Harris Cook, was born at Fox, February 19, 1855. 
Following the Civil war, a home was made at Washington, D. C, but eventu- 
ally the doctor removed to Kansas and engaged in practice at Humboldt until 
his death. The last days of the mother were passed in the home of her son, 
W. H., at McKittrick, where she passed away in 1912 at the age of eighty- 
three. 

Subsequent to graduation from the Aurora (111.) high school and the 
Naperville (111.) branch of the commercial department of Northwestern Uni- 
versity, at the age of eighteen William Harris Cook matriculated in Rush 
Medical College and completed the course in 1875, but, on account of not 
having attained his majority, he was not granted a diploma and the degree 
of M. D., until a year later, February 15, 1876. Meanwhile he had gained 
considerable experience as an assistant to his father in Aurora, 111., but after 
graduation he removed to Kansas and opened an office at Larned, Pawnee 
county, where he remained for two years. Following a period devoted to 
recuperation in Colorado he returned to Illinois and opened an office at 
Elwood, Will county. The year 1880 found him a pioneer at Globe, Ariz., 
of which town he was a leading citizen and successful physician. On account 
of his familiarity with the language of the Mojave and Apache tribes he was 
chosen for two years to make the official count of the Indians at the White 
mountain reservation. 

A pioneer of 1887 at Bakersfield, Dr. Cook engaged in practice in this 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY • 295 

then small town. On the org;anizatiiin of Company G, Sixth California Na- 
tional Guard, he was chosen the first captain and continued as such until 
the outbreak of the war with Spain. A commission as captain in that war 
bore date of May, 1898. and expired with his honorable discharge in Decem- 
ber of the same year. Entering the medical department of the United States 
army as an assistant surgeon, he was dispatched to Fort Leavenworth and 
with the Thirty-second United States Infantry was sent to the Philippines. 
From assistant surgeon with the rank of lieutenant he was promoted in 
December, 1899, to captain with the rank of surgeon and in March of 1900 
was commissioned surgeon, on the recommendation of General Wheeler, the 
imiuediate cause of the promotion having been the skill displayed in the 
command of the extreme left of the firing line at the time of the advance 
on Porac. Afterward he was assigned to civil service as deputy insular health 
officer under Major C. E. Carter, in which capacity he visited every province 
but one. established boards of health and instructed the same in the best meth- 
ods of combating and preventing bubonic plague, cholera, leprosy and small- 
pox. Within less than ten months there had been over three hundred thou- 
sand deaths from cholera and one hundred eighty-five thousand deaths from 
bubonic plague. Such was the beneficent result of the fight against disease 
that contagious epidemics were almost exterminated. 

After a year in the United States, during February of 1905 Dr. Cook 
returned to the Philippines with the Eighteenth Infantry and served as 
surgeon on the island of Samar. About a year later he resigned and returned 
to New York, but in March of 1907 came to California and opened an office 
at McKittrick, where he has since engaged in practice, meanwhile forming 
associations with the county, state and American medical associations. Dur- 
ing his term of army service he became allied with the military order of 
Caribou and he is also prominent in Masonry, being connected with the 
Knights Templar, Scottish Rite Consistory and thirty-second degree. ]\Irs. 
Cook was formerly Lorena Williamson and was born in Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Her parents, S. Stryker and Mary E. (Hubbard) Williamson, were natives 
respectively of Brooklyn and Tinton Falls, N. J., and the latter traced her 
linea.ge to England, while Mr. \\'illiamson was of old Knickerbocker blood, a 
member of a family that bore an honorable part in the Revolutionary war 
and in the activities of the colonial era. 

HON. R. J. HUDSON.— The distinction of being a native son of the 
great west belongs to Judge Hudson, who was born in Napa county, this state, 
February 20, 1837, being a son of David and Frances (Griffith) Hudson, 
natives respectively of Missouri and North Carolina, the former now deceased, 
and the latter still a resident of California. It was the privilege of Judge 
Hudson, but a privilege largely resulting from his own determined energy 
and ambition, to secure excellent educational advantages. After he had com- 
pleted the studies of the Napa high school he matriculated in the classical 
department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he took the 
regular course of study. Next he entered the law department of Cumberland 
University at Lebanon, Tenn., and in 1878 he was graduated from that insti- 
tution. Returning to California he was admitted to the bar by the supreme 
court during the same year and immediately afterward established himself in 
practice in Los Angeles, where for a year he had Judge Anson Brunson as a 
partner. From 1880 to 1882 he served as district attorney of Los Angeles 
county. The failure of his health led him to seek a change of climate and he 
established himself in Lake county, this state, where he soon rose to promi- 
nence through the prompt recognitu)n of his splendid abilities. .After a year in 
private practice he was elected judge of the superior court of Lake county, 
which responsible office he filled for ten years, meanwhile regaining his health. 
When he retired from the judicial connection he removed to Manford. Kings 
county, where he engaged in practice for six years, coming from there 



296 ■ HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

in 1911 to Bakersfield, where he is a member of the law firm of Emmons & 
Hudson, with offices in the Producers' Bank building. Much important litiga- 
tion has been given over to his charge in the various places of his residence 
and he has fully proved his broad knowledge of the law as well as his ability 
to carry through to solution intricate cases involving large issues. 

In 1882, at Napa City, Judge Hudson was united in marriage with Miss 
Panthea B. Boggs, a native of Napa county. They are the parents of two 
sons, the elder of whom, Howard, is a resident of San Francisco, while the 
younger, Marshall, is nowi in Dawson City. Ever since he became a voter 
Judge Hudson has supported Democratic principles. 

ALVIN G. LUESCHEN, M. D.— To rise out of a condition of poverty, 
to earn self-support from the age of thirteen years, to secure an excellent 
education without aid and to develop into a successful professional man and 
a cultured citizen of his community, such is an achievement calling for supe- 
rior ability and the most undaunted persistence of effort. That this is the 
record of Dr. Lueschen affords a silent but eloquent testimony as to a self- 
reliant personality. By dint of personal energy he paid his way through 
medical college and gained not only a thorough professional education, but 
also a broad knowledge on all subjects of historical, national and scientific 
interest, thus rounding out a mental culture of breadth and dignity. 

A descendant of old Teutonic ancestry, Dr. Lueschen was born in Co- 
lumbus, Platte county, Neb., in 1880, and is a son of Gerhard Lueschen, a pio- 
neer farmer and rancher of Nebraska, and in the early days a chum of Will- 
iam F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill. The father, still a resident of 
Nebraska, possesses abundant health and vitality notwithstanding his early 
years of hardships. Born about 1848, he has seen much of the development 
of the west and has borne his own share therein. As previously stated, the 
poverty of the family forced Dr. Lueschen to become self-supporting when 
thirteen years of age and by dint of persevering energy he carried out a child- 
hood ambition to become a physician. During the fall of 1900 he matricu- 
lated in Creighton Medical College at Omaha, Neb., from which he was 
graduated with the class of 1904. Returning to his native town, he opened 
an office and gained his initial experience as a practitioner, and in the same 
town in 1908 he married Miss Gertrude Elias, by whom he has one son, 
Alvin Gerald. The family came to California in 1910 and settled in Bakers- 
field, where the Doctor opened an office at No. 212 Producers' Bank building 
and about the same time erected a modern and beautifully appointed bunga- 
low at No. 1917 Orange street at a cost of more than $3,000. In political 
faith he adheres to Republican principles and in religion he is a generous 
contributor to the Episcopal Church, of which his wife is an earnest member. 

JAMES NICHOLAS NORRIS.— Very early in the colonization of the 
new world the Norris family became established in South Carolina and in 
that state David Norris owned and operated a large plantation during the 
early portion of the nineteenth century. The exact date of his migration 
to Missouri is not known, but it occurred early in the century named and 
thereafter he devoted his time to the difficult task of developing a produc- 
tive farm out of a tract of raw land. Among the children in his family was 
a son, Abner, who became a man of such deep religious fervor and such 
intense spiritual zeal that he gave his services for years to the Baptist de- 
nominaticn without hope of remuneration or thought of financial returns. 
Indeed, he made his livelihood and that of the family through his work 
as a farmer and stock-raiser, but always he was ready to sacrifice his own 
interests for those of the church with the hope that thereby the cause of 
Christianity might be promoted. Cheerfully, willingly he gave his all to 
promote religion and the ideals that possessed him he endeavored to im- 
plant in the hearts and minds of his children. In early manhood he had 
married Jane Evans, who was born in Kentucky and had gone from that 




/^.^^- /<0 ^V-v-v^/M^ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 299 

state to Missouri in company with lier father, Samuel Evans, a pioneer 
farmer of the middle west. Sharing with her husband his self-sacrificing 
purposes, she cared for the farm and the family during his absences on 
preaching tours and desired no recompense other than the thought of duty 
done. ^Vhen advanced in years she came to Bakersfield to the home of her 
son, James Nicholas, and here her death occurred at the age of ninety-six. 

The youngest of the ten children of Rev. Abner and Jane Norris, James 
Nicholas Norris was born near St. Joseph, Mo., April 17, 1849. When the 
Civil war began he was too young to participate, but he recalls the anxieties 
and privations of that period of national trouble and individual distress. 
His schooling was meager, but he was trained well in agriculture and made 
that his occupation for some years in Dekalb county, Mo., after which he 
conducted a general mercantile business at Cosby, Andrew county. Leav- 
ing Missouri in 1883, accompanied by wife and children, he came to Cali- 
fornia and settled in Kern county, where for a brief period he devoted him- 
self to ranching. However, for the greater part of his residence in the west 
he has given his attention to carpentering and building in Bakersfield. Not 
only has he taken contracts for many residences for others, but he has built 
a number of houses for himself and he still owns two in Bakersfield and one 
in Kern (East Bakersfield). In politics he is a Republican and in religion a 
member of the Baptist Church. For one term he served as superintendent 
of streets of Bakersfield. By his marriage in Dekalb county, Mo., to Sarah 
Lee, a native of Iowa, he had a family of two daughters and two sons, 
namely: Mrs. Lillie Gamble, of Bakersfield: Mrs. Lulu J. Adams, also of 
this city : Edward Garfield, one of the proprietors of the Kern Plumbing 
Company : and Herbert H., property man at the Bakersfield opera house. 

HON. SYLVESTER CLARK SMITH.— The Smith genealogical rec- 
ords indicate an identification with American soil dating from the arrival in 
Massachusetts of John Smith of Puritan fame and continuing through all of 
the succeeding generations, each member stanch of purpose, earnest of soul 
and positive in achievement. The family remained resident in New England 
until finally the westward drift of emigration bore Sylvester Smith in its tide 
and planted him upon the then frontier of Northern New York. Nor did 
this represent the end of his journeyings. With true pioneer instinct he 
followed the star of empire in its course toward the prairies and plains of the 
west. When his son, Edward, a native of New York, was still a small child 
the family removed to Ohio and later traveled by wagon to Illinois. In that 
state Edward grew to manhood, rugged in body and resolute in character. 
The vicissitudes incident to frontier existence had developed within him self- 
reliance and independence and he was admirably qualified to contribute to the 
development of the middle west. As early as 1835, when Iowa was yet in the 
infancy of its agricultural progress, he removed to that state, where he met 
and married Celia Shockley, a native of Ohio. She, too, came of stanch 
pioneer ancestry. In infancy she had been taken from Ohio to Iowa by her 
parents, who became residents of the last-named state at a time when it was 
very sparsely populated. 

Taking up land in the rich but undeveloped section of southeastern Iowa 
Edward Smith gave himself entirely to the task of changing the homestead 
into a productive and remunerative farm. As the years went by he and his 
wife had the capable assistance of their children, numbering five sons and 
three daughters. While riches did not come to them, they gained that which 
is more to be desired, the deep respect of acquaintances and the implicit 
confidence of all with whom they had social intercourse or business dealings. 
In type they were representative of the splendid element whose labors were 
the foundation of the ultimate agricultural development of Iowa and whose 
sincere characters reappeared in a later generation of practical, sensible 
daughters and talented sons. 



300 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

The life which this narrative depicts began in the home of Edward and 
Celia Smith near Mount Pleasant, Henry county, Iowa, August 26, 1858, 
and closed at Hollywood, Cal., January 26, 1913. In early years there came 
ever and anon glimpses of the splendid mental endowment and resolute 
nature that were to bring subsequent national prominence, yet those years 
were far from eventful. More fortunate than the sons of many pioneers, he 
was allowed a term in an academy after he had completed the studies of the 
country schools. The few months spent in Howe's academy at Mount Pleas- 
ant aroused his ambition for higher educational opportunities and at the 
age of eighteen he began to teach in the spring and summer months in order 
to earn the money necessary for attending school in the winter. Coming to 
California in 1879 he secured a position as teacher in a school of Colusa 
county, where, Ma}' 7, 1882, he was united in marriage with Miss Maria Hart, 
a native of Franklin county. Mo., and soon afterward they removed to San 
Francisco in order that he might have the best advantages for the study of 
law. The summer of 1883 found them newcomers in Kern county, and from 
that time until his death the history of ]\Ir. Smith was in many respects a 
history of the county itself, so intimately was he associated with its moral, 
educational and political growth. An ambition to complete his law studies 
led him to teach school at Tehachapi and Glennville in order that he might 
earn expenses during the course of his law education. 

After having been admitted to the bar in October of 1885, Mr. Smith 
opened an office in Bakersfield. Chance directed that his fame should come 
in another field than that of the law. A great struggle was being waged 
between the riparian owners and the appropriators of the waters of Kern 
river. In 1886 the Kern County Echo was founded as a militant factor in the 
controversy and Mr. Smith became editor. The controversy ended, but the 
Echo, having established a place of its own in the journalistic field, has con- 
tinued with increasing circulation and popularity up to the present time and 
now, as the Morning Echo, wields a high influence for good in every avenue 
of local activity. During the early years of the existence of the paper, when 
funds were low and the future prospects at times discouraging, the editor 
made his home on a claim at the extreme southern end of the Kern mesa, 
riding horseback to and from the editorial rooms in Bakersfield. Meanwhile 
he had become a member of the first company of the National Guard organ- 
ized in this city, had helped to organize debating clubs and street improve- 
ment associations, and from the very first had been a local leader in the Re- 
publican party. Editorial work then, even more than now, necessitated the 
possession of both physical and moral courage, and that he possessed such 
qualities is evidenced by an incident that still is told among his friends. One 
evening a citizen, armed with a gun, rushed into the ofifice exhibiting a clip- 
ping from the morning paper that had aroused his wrath. Presenting the 
gun at the head of Mr. Smith, he demanded that the editor literally eat the 
oflFending article. It was useless to argue with the infuriated man. Still 
covered with the weapon, Mr. Smith quietly asked a clerk to telephone for 
the sherifif. As he resumed writing at his desk, the angry man had time to 
become ashamed of his fury and the afifair ended amicably. Nor was Mr. 
Smith less brave morally. Always he expressed his personal convictions in 
the paper, no matter how unpopular they might be or how much they might 
seem to augur his personal defeat. Indeed, his high moral courage was one 
of his most notable attributes, and while at times bringing him criticism, in 
the end it became the foundation and the root of his great influence. From 
the day the first issue of the Echo appeared until the last day of his life (a 
period of twenty-six years, seven months and twenty-one days) his name 
appeared at the head of the editorial columns of every issue. In addition 
he was the leading editorial writer during much of that time. Even when 
official duties kept him from the city he still directed the policy of the paper. 



HISTORY OF KP:RN COUNTY 301 

In every step of its advancement might be seen his quiet Ijut decisive influ- 
ence. Not only was he one of the oldest editors in the state in point of con- 
tinuous service, but he also had the distinction of being one of the most 
able, forceful and influential. 

The distinction attached to the career of Mr. Smith derives much interest 
from the public service of the man. Even more important than his labors 
as editor were his disinterested services in behalf of his state and country. 
Broad as was his field of usefulness as the journalistic head of a great paper, 
helpful as was his work on the Bakersfield Board of Trade and Board of 
Health, progressive as was his co-operation with many organizations of the 
community, he realized that there was need of reform movements in the com- 
monwealth and he desired to aid in the legislative work of the state — hence 
his first campaign for the state senate in 1894. Elected not only then, but 
again in 1898, he served for eight years with honor and fidelity. Usefulness 
as a legislator paved the way for a later service in congress. As senator he 
was the author of a counties government act, the registration law of 1898, 
the constitutional amendment authorizing the use of voting machines, and 
(this he regarded as his most important public service) a bill establishing the 
state polytechnic school at San Luis Obispo. This institution became a 
pioneer in the field of manual training. The author of the bill had in mind 
a training in agriculture, mechanics, engineering, business methods, domestic 
economy and indeed all occupations except those dealing with the profes- 
sional walks of life. When he first presented the bill in 1895 the senate 
passed it, but failure came in the assembly. In 1897 it was passed by both 
houses, only to be vetoed by the governor. Session after session he labored 
persistently until finally in 1901 it became a law and the school was estab- 
lished. His theory in urging so persistently the establishment of the school 
was that labc r must be made more efficient and better trained, then it will be 
better paid and less irksome ; and every trained worker, if industrious and 
frugal, may reasonably hope to support his family and educate his children, 
in turn preparing them to be trained specialists in some avenue of employ- 
ment. 

When he first announced himself as a candidate for congress in 1902 
Mr. Smith was defeated in the convention on the forty-ninth ballot. The 
contest, begun in Sacramento and ended at Ventura, had been peculiarly 
strenuous and even bitter, but no trace of the bitterness lingered in the mind 
of Mr. Smith, for with characteristic enthusiasm he threw himself into the 
campaign on the side of his successful competitor. Captain Daniels, and the 
latter was elected. His own laurels came to him at a later date, .\ugust 23, 
1904, he was nominated by acclamation and in November he was elected by 
a majority of more than ten thousand. From that time until the day of his 
death he continued to represent the Eighth California district. Meanwhile 
he had been recognized in congress as a ready debater and an excellent 
committee-worker. As a member of the original commission appointed to 
revise the banking and monetary system, he served until the loss of health 
necessitated relinquishment of such duties. The present postal savings bank 
bill is a monument to his labors, supplementing those of other congressmen. 
\MTen the speaker of the house was shorn of much of his power, Mr. Smith 
was elected a member of the new rules committee, to which was given much 
of that power. 

As was natural to one coming from Kern count}-, the interest maintained 
by Mr. Smith in the oil industry led him to make an effort to promote the 
permanent welfare of that business. A bill presented by him sought to 
extend to the taking up of oil land the essential provisions of the homestead 
law, varied of course to suit the different need. No provisions had been made 
to secure to a locator of oil land any legal right of possession until such time 
as he might make an actual discovery of oil. Before any such discovery it 



302 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

was necessary to spend thousands of dollars, which under the then law was 
jeopardized. The bill limited the amount of oil land which a man or com- 
pany could acquire, but also insured peaceful possession of an oil claim 
during the time necessary to complete a well. However, although the bill 
passed in the house, it failed of the support of the senate, and before the 
next session the deluge of oil land withdrawals swept over every district of 
the west where the presence of oil was suspected. Then followed the Yard 
decision with its disastrous results ; the visits of delegations of oil men to 
Washington ; the presentation of memorials to congress ; and finally, under a 
suspension of rules, the Smith remedial bill was passed in February, 1911, 
when Mr. Smith, so ill that he was supported by fellow-members and so weak 
that his voice could hardly be heard a dozen paces away, asked consent for 
the passage of the measure. 

Another measure of importance presented by Mr. Smith prevents the 
monopoly of patented articles and processes by permitting any person to 
make use of an invention on the payment of a stipulated royalty to the in- 
ventor, and providing for government supervision of these royalties so that 
favoritism might be eliminated. Through his labors an appropriation of 
$2,000,000 was secured to protect the settlers in the Imperial valley from the 
ravages of the Colorado river. His highest honor in the congress came with 
his appointment in 1908 as a member of the national monetary commission. 
During 1910 he secured an appropriation of $20,000 for a site for a federal 
building in Bakersfield. Later a recommendation was made to appropriate 
$135,000 for the erection of a postofifice, and this will ensure the erection in 
the near future of a building here for federal use. In all of his official career 
his affection remained deeply rooted in Bakersiield. When he returned 
hither after an absence he noted with intense eagerness every phase of indus- 
trial development, every improvement made, whether in an electric light or 
sewerage system, in the residence district or the business center, in the 
streets, the paving or the roads. Along every line of civic activity he had 
pronounced and progressive opinions and he had studied park systems, fire 
departments and indeed every department of importance to a growing muni- 
cipality. One of his ideas was the establishment of comfortable rest rooms 
in the lodging-house districts, where the men, necessarily idle at certain sea- 
sons of the year, might congregate in their old clothes without any feeling 
of discomfort, but with a genuine enjoyment of their own club room. Many 
of these men, disliking to loaf on the sidewalk or in the saloons, would greatly 
enjoy a plain but pleasant club room where they might meet their friends 
and enjoy conversation or games during the days of their unemployment. 
Parks also would aid in promoting the happiness of the people and give them 
healthful outdoor exercise, hence he earnestly advocated them. 

Through a long illness Congressman Smith never lost touch with the 
world of progress and particularly with his own home county. The mails 
kept him in touch with Bakersfield and Washington, the two spots of his deep- 
est interest. To his friends he sent the most encouraging messages. No word 
of discouragement was allowed to leave his room at the sanatorium, but in 
illness as in health he was brave, hopeful and dignified, always interested in 
others and constantly urging measures for the benefit of the people. In one 
of his last letters he urged better church equipment and pledged his full co- 
operation to that end. T)n his last day a public document called his atten- 
tion to the fact that sixteen members of the sixty-first congress had passed 
from earth. Before the sun had risen he was the seventeenth. He had fallen 
with his armor on, with mind alert, with reputation at its highest and with 
honor unimpeached. Surviving him were his wife and two daughters, Mrs. 
E. S. Larsen, of Washington, D. C, and Mrs. A. W. Mason, of Bakersfield. 
Relatives and a delegation of friends accompanied the body from Hollywood 
to Bakersfield. where the magnificent funeral cortege with marchers repre- 




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HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 307 

seating military, labor, civic and fraternal organizations attested to his deep 
hold upon the affections of his fellow-townsmen. Thus passed into eternal 
silence one who had lived nobly and well and whose name will long stand in 
the annals of Bakersfield as that of a distinguished citizen, who climbed by 
sterling worth from obscurity into an honorable place in the councils of the 
nation. 

PAUL GALTES. — To present the biography of the pioneer merchant 
of Bakersfield is to depict in many respects a commercial history of the city 
itself, with the development of which he has been identified from the days 
when it sheltered onl}^ six families up to the present time with a proudly 
acclaimed population of almost seventeen thousand. A few shanties repre- 
sented the business blocks of the village at the time of his arrival in 1871. 
The railroad had not been built and passengers had no means of conveyance 
aside from the stage or their own private vehicles. On every side the barren 
land stretched out toward the sun-stricken desert and only an optimist 
could have predicted the possibilities of irrigation. The following year, 
however, found the county-seat removed from Havilah to Bakersfield and 
the prosperity of the present dates from that period. Meanwhile the young 
Spaniard had bought a shanty with a frontage of twenty-five feet on Nine- 
teenth between K street and Chester avenue and in the small building he 
stocked groceries to the amount of $600, for the greater part of which he 
had been given credit. It should be mentioned for the good of young people 
that one of the reasons that he was given so great credit was, as was stated 
by one of the prominent wholesale merchants of San Francisco of that day, 
that the mercantile agency book stated that Paul Galtes of Bakersfield never 
entered saloons nor played cards, hence his unlimited credit. From that 
time his rise was steady, his debts were met as promised, his credit became 
first-class and he entered into the financial independence whose later fruition 
has brought him every comfort of life as well as every possibility for rest, 
travel and recreation. In 1889 he returned to his native city in Spain to 
visit old friends and again in 1911 he made a trip to Barcelona, besides tour- 
ing throughout Europe and into Palestine. 

Mr. Galtes was born near Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, October 2^. 1840, 
being a son of Paul Sr., a blacksmith and a manufacturer of tools for farmers. 
.'Kfter he had been given an excellent education in the Spanisli language the 
son was taken from school and apprenticed for four years to the trades of 
locksmith and blacksmith. Builders" hardware also was among his special- 
ties. In those days all hardware for buildings was made by hand and he 
acquired considerable skill in the art. .\t the expiration of four years, during 
which he liad received no pay whatever, he began to work for wages and 
traveled as a journeyman throughout Europe. In 1861 he crossed the 
ocean to Cuba and secured employment in Santiago as clerk in a dry-goods 
store, where he remained for eight years. While favorably considering an 
offer of partnership in the business trouble arose with the mother country 
over the city of Independence, a revolution seemed imminent and, rather than 
take up arms against his native land, he decided to come to California. 
The attractions of the west had been depicted to him often and always 
with alluring eloquence, therefore he was prepared U> find a country of 
great possibilities and unexcelled climate. Landing at San I'rancisco De- 
ceml)er 23, 1868, he found himself at great disadvantage by reason of lack 
of knowledge of English. On the advice of Archbishop Alamany of San 
Francisco, who had come from the same Spanish province as himself, he 
spent four months in language study at St. Vincent's College in Los An- 
geles. At the expiration of that time he secured work in a Los Angeles 
bakery. During the erection of the then leading hotel he was a hired work- 
man and when the building was completed he received an appointment as 
steward, with full charge i>f all supplies. For fourteen months he filled the 



308 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

same position at ^75 per month and this gave him a little sum to invest 
in business when he came to Bakersfield, where by 1874 he had accumulated 
$27,000 in general merchandise. During 1878 he erected the first brick 
block in the city. This cost $18,000 and was his business headquarters until 
he retired from the mercantile business in 1888. At the time of his retire- 
ment his stock was valued at $40,000 and his credit was the very best. 
His confidence in Bakersfield was shown in the erection of the first two-story 
brick block with plate glass front, a building which was burned in 1889, but re- 
placed with a block equally substantial and expensive. In retiring from the 
mercantile business it was not with any desire to enter larger affairs, but 
in order that young men ambitious to become merchants might have a 
better chance to succeed. Since then he has built the Grand hotel on the 
corner of Chester avenue and Twentieth street and the Para theatre on 
Chester between Twentieth and Twenty-first, besides which he owns an ele- 
gant residence on Truxtun and F streets. 

Upon the incorporation of Bakersfield and the election of the first board 
of trustees Mr. Galtes was elected to serve as trustee, but declined re- 
election at the end of the term. In politics he has been independent and has 
voted for the man or the principle rather than the party. For some years 
he has been a leading worker in the Kern County Pioneers' Association. In 
addition he is associated with the Knights of Columbus. At San Francisco 
in 1874 he married Miss Mariana Lexague, a native of Basses-Pyrenees, 
France. Seven children were born of the union and four are now living. 
The eldest son, Paul, Jr., a graduate of Santa Clara College, has entered 
the order of Jesuits and is now a priest in St. Louis, Mo. The younger son, 
Felix, also a graduate of Santa Clara College, is employed in the Security 
Trust Company Bank of Bakersfield. The elder daughter. Sister Mary 
Christa, is stationed at Santa Monica with the Sisters of the Holy Name. 
The younger daughter, Lucy, is the wife of Edward Helbling, of Bakersfield. 
Mr. Galtes is a member of the Roman Catholic Church. 

W. S. LIERLY. — To make mention of commercial, financial or educa- 
tional aft'airs in Taft and to omit therefrom the name of Mr. Lierly would 
be to do an injustice to one of the pioneers of the town, one of the up- 
builders of its permanent prosperity and one of the promoters of its school 
system, a man of clear brain, strong character, iron will and strict integrity. 
The importance of his identification with Taft may be inferred from the fact 
that as senior member of the firm of Lierly & Son he owns and operates 
two barns, known as the Midway stables, engages in house-moving and 
team contracting, sells and hauls sand and gravel, owns and conducts a well 
equipped blacksmith shop, also owns the Taft harness shop (an enterprise 
of no small importance), and is president of the company, incorporated for 
$25,000 and known as the Taft Ice Delivery, the purpose of which is to 
handle and deliver ice to stores and private customers. In addition the firm 
carries on an express and transfer business at Taft and owns nine small 
houses which are rented to tenants. All of this has been accomplished and 
developed since the arrival of Mr. Lierly at Taft March 10, 1909. 

Twenty-seven miles east of Quincy in Adams county. 111., W. S. Lierly 
was b(irn and reared. His father, Elijah W. Lierly, was taken by his parents 
to Illinois at the age of only seven years and thereafter made his home in 
Adams county, where he died at Kellerville in March of 1913. Surviving 
him are two sons and the widow. Mrs. Sarah Margaret (Hargrave) Lierly, 
the latter still living at the old Illinois homestead. There were ten children 
in the family, but two of these died in early life and a sister, Nancy, died 
at about twenty-four years; she left a husband, Albert Huffman, and one 
child, Ansil Huffman, of Sacramento. William K., a well-to-do farmer, oc- 
cupies the old homestead in Adams county. W. S., who came to California 
at the age of seventeen, spent his first year in the west with his grandfather, 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 309 

Wilson Lierly, on a ranch in Mendocino county. May 1, 1879, he arrived 
in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara county, where he worked as a farm hand 
for one year. Next with a partner he engaged in barley farming and culti- 
vated about five hundred acres. On leaving the farm he embarked in the 
livery business in Santa Maria, where for fifteen years he conducted the 
Champion barns, bought and sold horses and established a market for his 
stock in Los Angeles. In order to secure feed and pasturage for his stock 
he became interested in agricultural undertakings and at one time leased 
two thousand acres. After he had sold the livery and retired also from 
ranching he became a special agent for the Equitable Life Insurance Com- 
pany of New York, having charge of the work in Santa Barbara, San Luis 
Obispo, Kern and Ventura counties, and remaining in the business from 
1900 to 1906. Meanwhile in 1902 he was tendered a fine gold watch, neatly 
engraved, this being the gift of the officials of the Equitable in recognition 
of his having written the greatest amount of insurance of any agent of that 
company in California. On two other occasions he won the second prizes 
in similar contests. 

From 1906 to 1908 Mr. Lierly acted as manager of the Pacific Valley 
Lumber Company in Monterey county and he still owns a considerable 
amount of stock in that concern. While still in Monterey county he handled 
oil lands for the Standard Oil Company, making King City his headquarters, 
and during that period he made a trip of inspection to Taft, with the ex- 
pectation of speculating to a small extent in oil lands in this field. An open- 
ing for a livery business seemed so favorable that he decided to establish 
himself at this point and he has had no reason to regret the decision, for he 
has prospered to an unusual degree. Practically his only oil interests now 
lie in four sections of land at Elk Flill. The express business, teaming and 
livery oblige him to keep about one hundred horses and mules, besides one 
Packard auto truck. A blacksmith shop is maintained for the shoeing of 
his own horses, although in addition considerable custom work is done for 
outsiders. As before stated, Lierly & Son own the Taft harness shop, a 
large bh ck of stock in the Taft Ice Delivery and an express business and 
numerous cottages in town. One of their most important lines of business 
is the moving of houses. Each member of the firm owns a residence in 
Taft, while Mr. Lierly also owns a house at Santa Alaria and large interests 
in redwood timber in Monterey county. While living in Santa Maria he 
married Miss !\Iary A. Blcsser, daughter of L. W^. Blosser. of that place. 
They are the parents of five children : Clarence E., a team contractor resid- 
ing at Imperial, this state; Lorenzo \\'illiam, who operates the Packard 
auto truck for the firm ; Ray Lucas, a partner with his father in the exten- 
sive business interests of the firm ; Irene and Nellie Margaret, both at home. 

Fraternally Mr. Lierly holds membership with San Luis Obispo Lodge 
Mo. 322, B. P. O. E. Politically he is a staunch Democrat. Public education 
interests him deeply. No citizen of Taft has done more for its schools than 
he. Practically ever since his arrival in the town he has served as a mem- 
ber of the school board and he now fills the position of clerk. 

HERBERT V. PROUTY, M. D,— In 1852 the Prouty family was estab- 
lished in California. In the summer of that year Christopher C, born in 
Ohio in 1839. crossed the plains with other members of the family, the long 
journey being made with wagons and ox-teams. Although only thirteen 
years of age, he supported himself from the time of his arrival in the west 
and contributed also to the family maintenance. Mining was his first source 
of livelihood, and later he took up farm pursuits. Eventually he became a 
large stock-raiser in the vicinity of lone. Although now to a large extent 
retired from agricultural duties, he still lives at the old homestead. Some 
years after coming west he married Australia Bennett, who was born in 



310 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Missouri and during the '50s came to California with her parents. Fourteen 
children were born of their marriage. Eleven of these are still living, the 
seventh in order of birth having been Herbert V., who was born near lone, 
Amador county, February 20, 1878, and passed the years of boyhood on the 
home farm, meanwhile attending the country schools in the winter months. 
Later he was a student in the California School of Mechanical Arts in San 
Francisco. After his graduation in 1900 he matriculated in the California 
Medical College and in that institution carried on the regular studies of the 
course. In 1904 he received the degree of M. D., and became an interne in 
the City and County hospital of San Francisco, where he remained for two 
years in that capacity and as resident physician. 

Professional interests of growing importance, first in San Francisco and 
then at Richmond, where he established and superintended a hospital, gave 
to Dr. Prouty a number of busy years prior to the failure of his health and his 
removal to another climate, and since June, 1912, he has engaged in 
practice with headquarters at McKittrick. Ever since leaving college he has 
kept in touch with professional advance and developments in therapeutics. 
Membership in the California State and National Eclectic Medical Associa- 
tions keeps him in sympathy with the general progress of the profession. In 
an especial degree he finds surgery interesting and it is his ambition to keep 
abreast with the latest developments in that important art. Since coming 
to his present location he has engaged as surgeon at McKittrick for the 
Southern Pacific Railroad. In politics he votes with the Republican party 
and fraternally he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America. His 
marriage was solemnized in San Jose and united him with Miss Dora Hughes, 
who was born in Kansas and by whom he has a daughter, Dorothy. 

JAMES CHATHAM ROBERTS.— From the time of his arrival in 
Bakersfield during December of 1882 up to the present time, a period of 
about thirty years, Mr. Roberts has been a resident of Kern county and a 
contributor to the development of its agricultural and material interests. 
Prior to his removal to the coast he had called three states his home at 
different times, namely: Missouri, where he was born near Springfield 
December 7, 1855, and where he grew to manhood upon a farm ; Illinois, 
where he engaged in general farming near Decatur from 1875 until 1879; 
and Texas, where he carried on a ranch near Pilot Point from 1879 until 
his removal to California. The family of which he is a member belongs to old 
Virginia and North Carolina stock, and his parents, H. B. and Frances 
(Duke) Roberts, were natives respectively of North Carolina and Tennes- 
see, the former dying in 1861 while serving in the Confederate army under 
General Price. A son of his first marriage. Col. E. M. Roberts, came to 
California in 1874 and settled in Kern county May 1, 1876, since which 
time he has risen to prominence and influence. The family genealogy ap- 
pears in his sketch upon another page of this volume. 

Soon after settling in this county James C. Roberts bought eighty 
acres under the Johnson canal fifteen miles west of Bakersfield and there 
he engaged in raising alfalfa and stock. At the expiration of six years he 
sold the property. Meanwhile he had served as road overseer for four 
years. A trip back to Texas iiccurred in 1893, when he bought a section of 
land in Floyd county with the expectation of ranching, but his plans were 
changed and he sold the tract after three months, then came back to 
California and bought eighty acres under the Beardsley canal nine miles 
northwest of Bakersfield. For ten years he devoted his attention to alfalfa 
and stock-raising. Disposing of that place he bought ten acres three miles 
north of Bakersfield on the road to the oil fields and for seven years he 
made his home on his new purchase, after which he disposed of all of his 
ranch property by sale and retired to Bakersfield. In this city and in 
East Bakersfield he has erected eight houses and one of these. No. 307 





^.^^-^^^^^ 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 313 

Grove street, is his residence. Near Decatur, 111., January 4, 1877, he mar- 
ried Miss Elizabeth J. Allmon, a native of Webster county, Mo., and a 
daughter of William and Jane T. (Cowan) Allmon, who were born in 
Tennessee, but settled in Missouri at an early day. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts 
are the parents of two children. The son, Ernest, is engaged in farming and 
lives five miles northwest of Bakersfield. The daughter, Maude, is the wife 
of A. P. Offutt and resides at Glendale, this state. .'Mthough not a jiartisan, 
Mr. Roberts is a stanch Democrat. 

FRANCIS ALLAN HAMLIN, M. D.— Not alone through his paternal 
forbears, but also by the ancestors of his mother, Dr. Hamlin traces his lineage 
to some of the earliest settlers of New England, whose names are linked with 
the material development of that region and whose heroism in the period 
of privation and wars entitles them to an honorable place in the annals of 
their several communities. Eor several generations the family has been 
represented in Maine, where Charles and Etta (Sylvester) Hamlin are now 
living at Topsham, Sagadahoc county, in the enjoyment of a material 
competency secured through years of arduous application to farming pursuits. 
The chief ambition of this couple was not the acquisition of wealth, but the 
education of their sons, Francis A., Truman L. and James A., and they con- 
sidered no hardship too great that would promote the object of their desire. 
With manly enthusiasm their sons seconded their efifcjrts. Working unitedly 
and harmoniously, each striving to help himself yet lending good cheer and 
sympathy to the others of the home circle, they rose to positions of recog- 
nized worth. The second son is now professor of mathematics in the Uni- 
versity of Maine and the youngest son acts as principal of the high school 
at Oldtown, that state. 

The eldest son in the family was born in Oxford county. Me., June 16, 
1873, and attended the public schools of Maine between the years of six and 
fourteen, after which he attended the high school at Lancaster, Mass. The 
failure of his health forced him to give up his studies and in 1890 he came 
to California with the hope that the balmy air of the west would restore his 
strength. Joining an uncle, Francis Hamlin, in Sutter county, he began to 
work in the open air and persistently sought those occupations that would 
prove of physical benefit. For two years he remained in Sutter county or at 
Geyserville in Sonoma county, and then with renewed strength he returned 
to the old Maine homestead. After he had spent two years in the scientific 
course at Bridgton Academy situated in the lake region of Cumberland 
county he entered the high school at Brunswick, Me., where he graduated from 
the classical course. Matriculating in Bowdoin College he there continued 
until 1898, when he was graduated with the degree of A. B. During the next 
two years he held the principalship of Bridge Academy at Dresden Mills, 
Lincoln county. Me., and then for four years served as principal of the high 
school at Wilmington, Mass. Meanwhile he had married at Portland, Me., 
in 1900, Miss Gertrude E. Wilkie, a native of Michigan, who was reared in 
California and received excellent educational advantages in Napa College and 
the University of the Pacific. 

Returning to California during the summer of 1904, accompanied by his 
family, Mr. Hamlin established a home in San Francisco and there entered 
Cooper Medical College, now the medical department of the Leland Stanford, 
Jr., University, from which he was graduated in 1908 with the degree of M. 
D. From 1908 until 1910 he took special studies under Prof. Adolphus 
Barkan, M. D., a specialist in diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. Dur- 
ing this same period he served on the stafif of Lane hospital in San Francisco 
and also acted as instructor at Cooper Medical College in the department of 
the eye, ear, nose and throat. Since coming to Bakersfield in 1910 he has 
.specialized in these diseases, acquiring a wide reputation and large practice. 

With his wife and two sons, Francis Kenneth and Wilkie Sylvester, Dr. 



314 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Hamlin resides at No. 2120 B street. Since coming to this city he and his 
wife have identified themselves with the First Congregational Church. While 
living at Dresden Mills, Me., he was made a Mason in Dresden Lodge and 
now affiliates with Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., and King Solomon 
Lodge of Perfection No. 3. Los Angeles. Both he and his wife were leading 
officers in Acacia Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, at Wilmington, Mass., 
and since removing to the west have placed their membership with the chapter 
at Bakersfield. While living in San Francisco he became a member of the 
Foresters of America. Although not active in politics, he is a stanch Re- 
publican and keeps well posted in national affairs. However, it is his profes- 
sion that interests him most deeply. LTpon it are concentrated the hopes and 
ambitions of a lifetime of resolute purpose. That he has been successful in 
large degree his growing practice proves, as well as his high reputation as 
a member of the Ophthalmological Society of the Pacific Coast and the 
interest evinced in his contributions to various medical journals. In pro- 
fessional acquaintances he is not limited to the line of his specialties, but 
has a host of friends among the members of the Kern County Medical 
Society (of which he acts as secretary) and is likewise identified with the 
California State and American Medical Associations. 

M. K. McKENZIE, M. D.— Through a long line of fathers and sons the 
clan of McKenzie led in the warfare that darkened the early history of Scot- 
land and in times of peace tilled the soil according to the primeval methods 
common to those days. The founder of the name in America was one 
Douglas McKenzie, a true Scot in birth and breeding, but loyal to the welfare 
of his adopted country. The early American home of the family was on a 
farm in York state and Duncan, son of Douglas, was born near Lockport, N. 
Y., at the parental homestead, where he lived until his removal to Canada 
during young manhood. By his marriage to Elizabeth Burt, a native of Scot- 
land, he became the father of fourteen children and it is a noteworthy fact 
that every one of the large family lived to years of maturity. The thirteenth 
in order of birth, M. K., was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, in 1855, 
and at the age of one year was taken to Michigan by his parents, who settled 
at Stockbridge. Ingham county. The father later returned to the old McKenzie 
homestead in Ontario. Canada, where he died at the age of seventy-eight, and 
the mother when sixty-eight years of age. 

When a mere child M. K. McKenzie did a man's work at the plow and 
in the harvest field, where the old-fashioned method of cradling and binding 
grain by hand was still followed. Timber was plentiful in that country and 
he early became an expert woodman, swinging an axe with a skill and speed 
surpassed by few. With all of his hard work in woods and field and meadow 
he kept his mind as busy as his body and was constantly endeavoring to en- 
large his store of knowledge. He seem.ed to have a natural talent for the 
medical profession and was c|uite young when he commenced to read with 
Dr. Simpson at St. George, Canada, later reading with Dr. Manwaring of 
the same town. There was, however, no well-defined purpose on his part 
to become a physician and his readings were pursued from the mere love 
of the healing art. When he left home at the age of seventeen years he began 
to make his own way in the world and devoted his leisure hours to the study 
of law under an older brother, continuing indeed until he was able to pass 
an examination for the bar, but his preference for medical work caused him 
to decide in favor of that calling. During September of 1878 he entered 
the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and 
studied there until his belief in the larger clinical advantages offered by the 
Detroit Medical College led him to pursue a course of study in the latter in- 
stitution. There he became well acquainted with Messrs. Stanton and Brice 
and also -vyith the yvife of ex-Governor Bagley, trustees pf the Woman's hos- 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 315 

pital and Foundling's Home, and by them he was accorded special privileges 
in connection with these institutions. In that way he laid the foundation 
of his splendid success in obstetrical cases and treatment of the diseases of 
women. After he graduated with the class of 1881 he opened an office at 
Plainfield, Livingston county, Mich., and there he engaged in practice for 
five years. From Plainfield he removed to Laingsburg, Shiawassee county, 
same state, where he continued until the fall of 1890, when the complete 
failure of his health forced him to seek another climate. About the time of 
his graduation he had married, March 31, 1881, Miss Millison Tyler, of Shia- 
wassee county. Of their three children two survive, Misses Lois Janet and 
Florence H., both at home. 

At the time of his arrival in Bakersfield in 1890 Dr. McKenzie weighed 
only one hundred and twenty-two pounds, but the climate uf Kern county 
proved beneficial and he gradually renewed his strength. Even now, not- 
withstanding a long and arduous professional career, he is in almost perfect 
health. He has given efficient service as county physician and for fourteen 
months was superintendent of the county hospital. As guardian of the public 
health, he has fully merited his enviable reputation, while as a family physician 
he is known and loved by many whom he has guided safely through a critical 
physical ordeal or a lingering and dangerous illness. With true professional 
devotion he has given his life to his chosen calling and it has not been possible 
for him to engage in civic enterprises or public affairs. However, he has kept 
well posted concerning national issues and has given stanch allegiance to the 
Republican party. In fraternal relations he holds membership with the Ma- 
sonic blue lodge and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

JOHN BRITTON DENIO.— Coincident with the early colonization of 
America began the identification of the French family of Denio with the pio- 
neers of New York, where several successive generations lived and labored. 
The first to follow the tide of migration toward the west was William W. 
Denio. a native of Akron, Genesee county, N. Y., and a pioneer of Ingham 
county, Mich., where he cleared a farm in the oak openings and gave years 
of the most arduous effort to the improvement of the homestead. Event- 
ually he sought a home in the milder climate of Missouri, where his last days 
were passed in retirement from agricultural cares. During young manhood 
he had married Miss Lucia Atkins, who was born at Elba, Genesee county, 
N. Y., and died in Kern county, Cal., at eighty-two years of age. 

On the old homestead near Lansing, Ingham county, Mich., James G., 
son of William W. Denio, was born and reared. For about ten years he 
worked in the lumber woods in the Grand Traverse country of ^Michigan, and 
he also spent a number of seasons on the lakes in the lumber trade. During 
1880 he removed from Michigan to Kansas and settled on a farm in Ottawa 
county, whence in 1887, he went to Cameron Junction, Clinton county. Mo., 
to take up farming pursuits in the more southerly location. The fall of 1891 
found him in California, where he since has engaged in farming and poultry- 
raising in Kern county. At this writing he and his wife (who was Mary E. 
Bacon, a native of Sycamore, Ind.) own and have charge of a place of twenty 
acres located on the Rosedale road six and one-half miles west nf Rakers- 
field. Their family numbers seven children, namely: John Britton, who 
was born at the old liomestead near Lansing, Mich., September 30, 1878; 
Mrs. Daisy Stewart, of Rosedale: Truman and Hugh, of Rio Bravo; Charles, 
Esther and William. 

The first years in the life of John Britton Denio were passed in Michigan, 
Kansas and Missouri, but since the age of thirteen he has lived in California, 
where he completed a grammar-school education in the Rosedale district, 
Kern county. From early life he has been interested in farming. From 
1906 to 1909 he was employed by the Kern County Land Company on the 
Rosedale ranch, where he rose to be foreman, but resigned the position in 



316 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

order to engage in farming for himself. Having purchased forty acres of 
raw land under the Beardsley canal six miles northwest of Bakersfield, he 
at once entered upon the difficult task of converting the tract into remuner- 
ative property. Checking and leveling the land, he sowed it to alfalfa and 
now devotes his attention almost wholly to the raising of hay. In addition 
to managing his own place he leases hay and grain land from the Kern 
County Land Company. Politically Mr. Denio is a Republican. 

Mr. Denio's marriage was solemnized in the Rosedale district November 
7, 1903, and united him with Miss Bingie Kuhs, who was born in Worms, 
Germany, a daughter of Carl and Mary (Kraud) Kuhs, the father deceased, 
and the mother still living. A sister, Mrs. Nelson, and a brother, John 
Kuhs, having preceded Miss Kuhs in migrating to California, she joined them 
in Kern county, where she met and married Mr. Denio. They are the parents 
of two children, Mamie and Bessie. 

FRANCIS GEORGE MUNZER.— When the Munzer family first be- 
came identified with the industrial development of America they established 
themselves in Connecticut and in that commonwealth, at Southington, Hart- 
ford county, the birth of Francis George Munzer occurred February 2, 1859, 
his parents having been the late John Bernard and Elizabeth (Balzer) Mun- 
zer. Both families are of German descent, the Munzer records being traced 
back to the fifth century in Germany, where Johan Bernard Munzer took an 
active part in one of the religious wars. Throughout the earlier years of 
his mature activities the father conducted mercantile enterprises at South- 
ington, but eventually he became a resident of Ohio and carried on busi- 
ness at Edgerton, Williams county, near the Indiana line and not far dis- 
tant from the border of Michigan. After the death of his wife, which oc- 
curred at Edgerton, he removed to Toledo and there he passed away in 
September of 1911. Of their thirteen children seven are still living. The 
eldest of these. Francis George, attended public schools in Southington and 
then spent two years in a private school in New York City, after which he 
continued his studies in Lewis Academy at Southington, from which in 
1878 he was graduated with an excellent standing in every department. 
During vacations he had assisted his father in the mercantile business 
and he had the further advantage of one year spent in a clerkship in New 
York City. 

Removing to Edgerton, Ohio, with his father in 1878, Mr. Munzer 
secured employment there as clerk in a drug store. After two years he re- 
signed the position and removed to Illinois, where he was given charge 
of a general store owned by F. Menig at Danville. For five years he filled 
the position with characteristic energy and recognized efficiency. In order 
to engage in business for himself he resigned as manager. During the next 
year he uwned and conducted a grocery business in Danville. Selling out in 
the spring of 1886 he came to California and made a tour of inspection through 
the state, eventually selecting Bakersfield as his home. Here he secured 
a very humble position with Carr & Haggin. Six weeks of persistent industry 
as driver of a four-mule buck scraper convinced his employers that he was 
capable of higher duties and they made him bookkeeper and foreman at the 
old Jackson ranch. Health considerations caused him to go to Mendocino 
county in April of 1887 and during the next six months he worked in the 
lumber camps, remaining outdoors as much as possible. In the autumn he 
resumed his former position in Kern county. Again in April of 1888 he went 
to the lumber woods of Mendocino county and spent six months in out- 
door work, resuming his position on the Jackson ranch in the fall of the 
same year. In January of 1889 he went to the Santa Clara valley in old 
Mexico at the time of the gold excitement, but a prospecting tour of two 




% 




HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 319 

months proved futile and he returned to the Jackson ranch. About that time 
he was also made foreman of the Poso ranch. 

Transferred to the headquarters otitice at the Bellevue ranch in May 
of 1889, -Mr. Alunzer was appointed payroll clerk for the north side ranch 
and continued at that place until October 1, 1890, when the company moved 
its headcjuarters to Bakersfield and incorporated the Kern County Land 
Company, with Air. Munzer as chief clerk of the water department. For 
a considerable period he filled the position ; meanwhile, in July, 1892, he 
resigned his position and went to Arizona, where he had charge as office 
superintendent of the Gila Bend Irrigation Company at Sentinel, Ariz. The 
Kern County Land Company, through S. W. I'erguson, the then manager, 
wired him requesting him to return at an increased salary, and on his return, 
in November, 1892, he was made assistant office superintendent and later 
he was promoted to office superintendent, in February, 1895, ever since 
which time he has filled the important position with marked ability and 
the utmost fidelity. Like the majority of the people living in Kern county, 
he is interested in oil and oil lands. In addition with W. J. Doherty as 
partner he owns the Breckenridge Lumber Company and has mills and 
timber on Mount Breckenridge. 

December 20, 1892, at Bakersfield, occurred the marriage of Francis 
C.eorge Munzer and Mary Ellen Baker, a native of Missouri and a daughter 
of Melvin Baker, one of the pioneers of Kern county. They are the parents 
of two children, Frances Alice and Bernard Melvin. Interested in the growth 
of Bakersfield and a contributor to its p'rogress, Mr. Munzer served for five 
years as a member of its board of trustees, is now prominently connected with 
the Merchant's Association and likewise officiates as vice-president of the 
San Joaquin Valley Water Problem Association. The Democratic party 
receives his stanch support at all elections. For many years he was an 
active member of Company G, Sixth Regiment of the California National 
Guard and finally retired with the rank of second lieutenant Made a Mason 
in Bakersfield Lodge No. 224. F. & A. M., he later rose to the chapter 
degree in this city and furthermore with his wife belongs to the Eastern 
Star chapter at this place. Other organizations having the benefit of his 
interested ci -operation are the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the 
Woodmen of the ^^^orld and the Bakersfield .Aerie of Eagles. 

HON. JACK W. MAHON.— The family patronymic of Mahon indicates 
the Celtic origin of the race. The founder of the name upon American soil 
was Henrv Mahon, a native of Ireland and for many years a planter in the 
vicinitv of Raleigh, N. C. where he continued to reside until his death. 
Among his children was W. J., who was born, reared and educated in North 
Carolina and during young manhood entered the ministry of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. South. To the cause of religion he gave the deepest 
devotion of his splendid mind and the self-sacrificing loyalty of his noble 
character. In order that he might engage in ministerial work upon the then 
frontier, he removed from North Carolina to Tennessee and crossing that 
then sparsely settled state almost to the banks of the Mississippi river he 
took up raw land in Dyer county and became the founder of a church at 
Dversburg, the county-seat, where he labored with consecration for -the 
advancement of Christianity. Cnder his able efforts his denomination made 
noteworthy advances numerically and spiritually. While he did not accumu- 
late riches nor indeed a competency, he was successful in his labors for the 
uplifting of the race and the world was the better for his life of toil and 
sacrifice. During the Civil war he found an opportunity to engage in religious 
activities while serving as chaplain under Gen. Kirby Smith. Coming to 
California during 1875 he became a minister in San Francisco, but later as 
presiding elder became familiar with church needs in various portions of 

17 



320 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

the state. For twenty years he officiated in that responsible position. Ulti- 
mately the infirmities of age obliged him to relinquish the responsibilities 
of ministerial work and after a retirement of five years he passed away at 
his home in Bakersfield. He had reached the age of eighty-eight years. 

In the counsel and companionship of a capable helpmate Rev. W. J. 
Mahon was greatly blessed. During early manhood he had married Phoebe 
Gilbert Wood, who was born in Virginia, the daughter of George Wood, 
an Englishman identified with the early development of Virginia. The 
death of Mrs. jMahon occurred in Modesto at the age of seventy-six years. 
In their family there were four children Init only two survive. One uf her 
sons, Stephen Wood Alahon, an attorney by profession and for some years 
a justice of the peace, was officiating as -city recorder of Bakersfield at the 
time of his demise. The youngest son, Kirby S., is now judge of the superior 
court of Sutter county, this state. Judge Jack W. Mahon was born at Dyers- 
burg, Dyer county, Tenn., February 24, 1858, and in 1875 accompanied his 
parents to California, where later he was graduated from the Gilroy high 
school. At the completion of high-school studies he began the study of law 
under R. H. Ward, of Merced. Possessing a quick intelligence and receptive 
mind, he advanced rapidly in his readings and during 1883 was admitted to 
the bar of California. Immediately afterward he opened an office in Bakers- 
field, where he soon rose to a position of recognition as a promising young 
attorney, whose knowledge of jurisprudence was broad and whose devotion 
to the profession was intense. It soon became apparent that he was as well 
qualified for the bench as for the bar and during 1896 the Democratic party 
of Kern county nominated him for judge of the superior court. The nomina- 
tion was endorsed by the Populists. The election brought him a handsome 
majority and in January of 1897 he took the oath of office. At the expiration 
of the first term in 1902 he was re-elected and again in 1908 he was chosen 
to be his own successor. The success of his official labors was shown in 
the fact that in the campaign of 1908 he had no opposition, all parties 
appreciating his able service to such an extent that they brought forward no 
other candidate for the office. 

Reared in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, Judge 
Mahon has never swerved from his allegiance to the denomination so long 
honored by the faithful ministerial labors of his father. While not deeply 
interested in fraternities, he was won by the philanthropic tenets of the 
Masonic Order and entered its blue lodge, later rising to the Royal Arch 
degree. His marriage took place in Bakersfield and united him with Miss 
Rachel E. Nash, a native. of Dyer county, Tenn., and a graduate of an educa- 
tional institution in New York state. Of the union two children were born, 
the elder, Ruth Estabrook, being now the wife of Ernest Alston, of Los 
Angeles, while the younger. Jack Howell, is a student in the Vanderbilt 
University at Nashville, Tenn. It is said of Judge Mahon that no enterprise 
for the permanent progress of Bakersfield lacks his intelligent co-operation. 
On the contrary, he has been generous in his sympathetic assistance given 
to civic measures and has proved public-spirited and progressive in his broad 
comprehension of and tactful participation in movements of far-reaching value 
to permanent civic prosperity. 

GRANVILLE L. BROWN, D. D. S.— The family represented by this 
well-known practitioner of Bakersfield comes from Kentuckian and Virgin- 
ian ancestry and he himself claims Kentucky as his native commonwealth, 
having been born in Allen county, January 12, 1859. Likewise the Blue 
Grass state was the native home of his parents, Henry and Margaret (Patton) 
Brown, both of whom remained in the state throughout their lives, the 
father following the occupation of a farmer as a source of livelihood. Of 
this union there were four children, the third being Granville L., who was 
reared on the old Kentucky farm and received a fair education in local 




: yr. 'yr.Mju 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 323 

schools. For a time he ens'aRed in teaching in the public schools and with 
the earnings of his labor he entered into mercantile enterprises with a 
brother at Scottsville, Allen county. It was not, however, his intention to 
devote his life either to pedagogy or to business, for he had early been inter- 
ested in the profession of dentistry and had an ambition to enter its study 
and practice. Through a course in the dental department of the University 
of Tennessee he gained a fair knowledge of the profession and, not having 
the means necessary to complete the regular course, he entered upon dental 
practice before he had been graduated. Later he was able to return to the 
university, complete the course and finish the regular work, so that in 1890, 
when he was graduated with a very high standing, he received the degree 
of D. n. S. from the institution. 

Prior to graduation Dr. P.rown not only had practiced for two years at 
Rurkesville, Cumberland county, Ky., but also had entered upon a very 
successful professional connection with the city of Glasgow. Ky., where 
altogether he practiced about ten years. l\Teanwhile he had met and mar- 
ried Miss Clara Dickey, who was born, reared and educated in that Kentuckv 
town, and is a representative of a cultured old Southern family. Upon 
leaving Kentuckv to engage in practice in California in 1892, the Doctor 
chose F>akersfield on account of its excellent prospects for material growth, 
its healthful climate and its professional opportunities, and he certainlv has 
had no cause to regret his decision. At first he had an office in the Galtes 
building, but removed to the Scribner opera building, on the comple- 
tion of that structure and when the Producers' ftank building was com- 
pleted he leased a suite of rooms in it, his present location. With his wife 
and son, Arthur B., he resides in a comfortable home in East Bakersfield, 
the same having been planned and built by himself. Since coming to Bakers- 
field he has been a member of the Southern California Dental Association, in 
which his ability well qualifies him for a leadership which his characteristic 
modestv prevents him from claiming. In politics he votes with the Republi- 
can party. 

SIMON W. WIBLE.— Born near Greonsbur- Pn.. ATr. W'ible removed 
to Illinois with his father, Peter Wible, and had settled near Mendon. Adams 
county. The difficult task of transforming a raw tract of land into a produc- 
tive farm had filled his boyhood years with strenuous labor and had prevented 
him from attending school regularlv, althourrh during the winter months 
it was his custom to study in a near-by log schoolhouse, which with its slab 
benches and puncheon floors presented a striking contrast to the educational 
equipment of the present generation. When old enough to start out for 
himself he determined to follow the tide of emigration to California and 
accordingly during the spring of 1852 he joined an expedition bound for the 
west, making the trip with wagons and oxen. Later he returned east and 
broueht out a second wagon-train. During the summer of 1858 he piloted 
a third train through, but on that trip he met with trouble, for the Indians 
separated the train by a stampede and not only stole all of the stock, but 
killed a number of the emigrants. Forced to flee for his life and left without 
a horse, the young captain of the train walked to Fort Laramie, where he 
found an opportunity to join another expedition and thus came through to 
the coast. For years he engaged in mining and, indeed, he never lost his 
interest in the occupation, for at the time of his death he owned and operated 
a valuable mine in Alaska. Meanwhile he picked up a thorough knowledge 
of surveying and came to be reckoned among the most efficient surveyors and 
civil engineers on the coast. Much of his work was done for the government. 

It was about 1872 when Mr. Wible took up a homestead claim twelve 
miles west of Bakersfield and began to cultivate the land and raise crops 
suited to the soil and climate. From time to time he bought stock and finally 
he ranked among the extensive sheepmen of the county. Other interests 



324 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

filled his days with busy activities. The original work on the Pioneer canal 
was unsatisfactory and on that account it was turned over to him. Under 
his charge as superintendent an improvement was made. When Henry 
Miller came to Bakersfield to look up matters pertaining to the reclamation 
of the Miller & Lux lands, which some man had attempted to drain, but only 
with partial success, he sought out Mr. Wible and asked his opinion. Mr. 
Wible claimed the lands could be reclaimed and he could do it, providing he 
had the money. Instantly Mr. Miller responded that he had the money. 
Thereupon Mr. Wible made plans and these proved satisfactory to Mr. Miller, 
who appointed him to superintend the work. Under his supervision the 
dam and Buena Vista reservoir were built, an outlet or drainage canal was 
dug and levees made to turn the water in and out of the lake, also a canal to 
carry the water to the lake. The venture proved an overwhelming success. 
Farming land was made out of the once worthless tules. Seventy-five thou- 
sand acres were placed under cultivation as a result of this great feat of engi- 
neering. During the process of building Mr. Wible checked as desired against 
the Miller & Lux account without the necessity of any O. K.'s, being the only 
man ever permitted to do so. After the completion of this task he continued 
with the same firm as general manager of their ranches until about 1900, 
when he retired from active labors. However, he did not relinquish all in- 
terests, for he retained the management of his large mine near Sunrise on 
the Kenai peninsula in Alaska and each summer for eleven years he went to 
that region to superintend the operation of the mine. Upon his return from 
his eleventh trip of this kind he was taken ill and died in San Francisco 
September 13, 1911, at the age of eighty years. 

The death of Mr. Wible marked the passing of one of the most influential 
pioneers of Kern county. Every line of activity had felt the impetus of his 
large endeavors. The Bank of Bakersfield was organized under his efficient 
supervision and he continued to serve as president as long as he lived. When 
in 1858 he joined lone Lodge of Odd Fellows, he had the distinction of 
being one of the first to be initiated into that order in the entire state. The 
fruit industry num.bered him among its progressive pioneers and his enthusi- 
asm in starting an orchard and vineyard encouraged many others to follow 
his example. He was one of the very first to succeed in horticulture in Kern 
county and the orchard of four hundred and eighty acres which he planted 
contipued under his personal oversight until it was sold during 1910. When 
the water works were in an embryonic phase of development he and W. H. 
Scribner took charge of the enterprise, developed the plant, built a complete 
line of mains into every part of the city, turned an uncertain project into a 
valuable system and he continued to act as president of the Bakersfield 
Water Company until its interests were sold to the Kern County Land Co. 

DIXON DOUGHERTY.— Since the age of twelve years Dixon Dough- 
erty has lived in California. Born at Old Vincennes, Ind., January 6, 1861, 
he was one of seven children, of whom only himself and his brother, 
C. A., are still living. The parents, both of whom died in Indiana, were 
Joseph A. and Palace (Horsey) Dougherty, natives respectively of Pennsyl- 
vania and Paoli, Orange county, Ind., the former a farmer for many years, 
but also for a time a merchant in Vincennes. J. P. was the first of the sons 
to come to California, and in 1873 C. A. and Dixon came together to join 
their older brother, with whom they spent a short time at Pleasanton, Ala- 
meda county. Next they went to San Diego with the intention of proceed- 
ing to Mexico and there embarking in the cattle business, but the fierce 
Apaches were on the war path at the time and the older brother advised 
against the expedition. Accordingly Dixon went to Sacramento and found 
employment. After his first trip to Bakersfield in 1875 he went to Los An- 
geles and from there to the suburb of Artesia, where with his brothers he 
engaged in farming for two years. Upon returning to Kern county in 1877 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 327 

he found employment on a ranch owned by Charles Jewett and located in 
the Breckenridge mountains. After eighteen months on the ranch he was 
brought to Bakersfield by Mr. Jewett, who gave him employment as driver 
of an ice wagon and in that position he continued for two years. Meanwhile 
having married Miss Mary Kubovec. a native of Austria, he and his wife 
found a desirable opening for a hotel business and for three years operated 
the American Exchange on Eighteenth street. 

An opportunity to secure a homestead took Mr. Dougherty back to the 
Breckenridge mountains, where he entered the southeast quarter of section 
18, township 29, range 31, and established headquarters at Dripping Springs 
ranch. On the land he put up necessary buildings. The place was fenced 
and cross-fenced, so that he could handle his stock advantageously, and also 
that he might devote some fields to the raising of grain. P'or years he made 
a specialty of the shorthorn Durham breed of cattle and in stock-raising 
operations he was more than ordinarily successful. Meantime he had added 
to the original claim until his ranch comprised three hundred and twenty 
acres, besides using other ranges for his stock, bearing the 7L brand. After 
he and his wife had lived on the mountain ranch about five years he estab- 
lished a home for the family in East Bakersfield, in order that the two sons 
might attend the city schools, but he himself remained on the ranch and 
gave personal attention to the cattle. After he disposed of the property in 
1913 he came to East Bakersfield to remain, and since has given attention 
to the supervision of his alfalfa farm near the city, and also to the care of 
the various residences he has built here, five of which houses still remain in 
his possession. His younger son, Joseph A., assists him in his various 
enterprises, while the older son, Charles R., has embarked in the stock busi- 
ness independently and now conducts a stock ranch at Adobe Station. 

HARRY QUINN.— The Quinn family springs from Scottish ancestry 
and has an honorable history extending back to eras far antedating the relig- 
ious persecutions in that country. About that time some of the name, forced 
to flee from their native land on account of their religious views, found a 
safe and permanent refuge in the north of Ireland, where, at Kilkeel, county 
Down, Harry Quinn was born on Christmas day of 1843 and where during 
boyhood he attended the national schools. He was the son of Thomas and 
Margaret (Donaldson) Quinn, the latter the daughter of William Donald- 
son, who was a wholesale baker and confectioner in Kilkeel. The paternal 
grandfather, William Quinn, was a farmer and also a linen merchant. In 
his family of ten children there were seven sons, all successful business or 
trades men. Thomas Quinn, the seventh child in order of birth, became a 
farmer near Kilkeel and resided there throughout the remainder of his life. 

The necessity of earning his own livelihood sent Harry Quinn to Aus- 
tralia at the age of fifteen years and there he prospected and mined, but with- 
out success. After this experience he worked on stock ranches and thus 
was enabled to save an amount of money sufficient for another stake. \Vhile 
on his way from Melbourne to Queensland he heard of a new strike, but 
returning miners brought back discouraging reports and while waiting there 
he saw the American barque Penang, which, on account of the fact that it 
was Sunday, was displaying American flags. Mr. Quinn remarked to his 
companions: "Boys, there is my flag and my country," and the next day 
he not onh' purchased a ticket for himself to San Francisco, but also for 
three companions. Two of them afterward repaid him at the first oppor- 
tunity, and the third paid one-fifth of his indebtedness. It was about May. 
1868. that Mr. Quinn landed at San Francisco, a stranger in a strange land. 
Working his way from place to place he was able to see much of the state, 
but did not find a location or an opportunity suited to his condition. Tie 
had been reared to a knowledge of the sheep industry, so it was his desire 



328 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

to buy sheep and rent land for their pasturage, but at the time sheep were 
held at a figure far beyond his reach. As early as 1868 he came to Kern 
county for the first time, but did not locate here permanently then. In 
1872 he found employment with Archibald Leitch, an extensive slieep-raiser 
and large land-owner in Stanislaus county, who, being pleased with the 
energy and ability of young Quinn, sent him into Kern county as pilot for 
his flocks, and at the end of two years took him into partnership. The 
connection continued with mutual profit until the death of Mr. Leitch in 
1896, and afterward with the estate until 1906, whereupon the interest in the 
land and sheep was purchased by Mr. Quinn. 

It was during the year 1873 that Mr. Quinn purchased one-half interest 
in twenty-two hundred head of sheep and also took up a pre-emption claim 
of one hundred and sixty acres where his residence now stands. Besides this 
he bought railroad land and also acquired large tracts from homesteaders who 
were unable to prove up on their claims. During the early days in the history 
of Kern county the Quinn farm was the only place in miles where a traveler 
could obtain water and hence emigrants headed for the ranch from every 
direction, watering their stock and resting awhile as they enjoyed the never- 
failing hospitality and cheerful welcome of Mr. Quinn. At his home the 
latch-string was always hanging out and no one was too humble or too 
poor to feel the hearty inspiration of his welcoming hand. His splendid 
hospitality made him known to and loved by early settlers throughout all 
this part of the country. At one time he owned as high as twenty-two 
thousand acres, but in 1906 he sold a large tract to a company of promoters 
and it is now being planted to orange trees. At present he still owns fifteen 
thousand acres. 

While in the main successful in his enterprises and particularly so in 
his sheep-raising ventures, Mr. Quinn had his share of misfortune. During 
the serious drought of 1877 he was forced to seek new ranges for his sheep. 
With a flock of eighteen thousand six hundred and sixty sheep he went 
into Nevada and at first found abundant pasturage, but while at Fish Lake 
valley he was caught in a severe snow-storm and fifteen thousand sheep 
perished at one time. On his return to Kern county he had only twenty- 
seven hundred head of sheep and was $5,000 in debt. Undismayed by a 
catastrophe that would have discouraged most men, he started in anew 
and in a few years had paid ofif his debt, enlarged his flock and secured 
another foothold financially. For many years he was engaged in raising 
thoroughbred French merinos, and the high grade of the stock can be esti- 
mated when it is known that his sheep were not only shipped into all parts 
of the United States for breeding purposes, but also to Mexico, South 
America and Africa. After a long association with the sheep industry he 
sold the last of his flock about 1911 and since then has devoted his attention 
wholly to raising Short-horn Durham cattle. Not only was he the first set- 
tler on the plains east of Delano in Kern county, but besides he merits men- 
tion because he is one of the few successful men who have engaged in dry 
farming and stock-raising on the plains. The Quinn ranch is located ten 
miles east of Delano and lies principally in Rag gulch, although some parts 
of it lie in the Sierra Nevadas inside of the forest reserve. The ranch i.-, well 
improved with a new, modern residence, which was completed in Decem- 
ber. 1912, and is also equipped with the needed farm buildings and three 
pumping plants. The sons are now preparing to set out forty acres to 
oranges. 

Several of the state conventions of the Democratic party have I)een 
attended bv Mr. Quinn, who maintains a warm interest in political afifairs. 
For vears he has served as a trustee of the local schools. Fraternally he is 



HISTORY OF KI':RN COUNTY 329 

a charter member of Porter Lod^e. 1. O. < '. I'"., was made a Ala'^oii in 
\"isalia Lodge No. 123, F. & A. 'SI., is a member of N'isalia Ciiapter Xm. 44. 
R. A. M., Visalia Commandery, K. T., \'isalia Consistory. Scottish Rite, 
thirty-second degree, and is also a member of Islam Temple, .\. M. S.. 
of San Francisco. Mr. Quinn's marriage, solemnized in Robertson county, 
N. C December \5. 1886, united him with Miss Katie Robertson, who was 
born in Robertson county, X. C, on the last day of the year 1858. Seven 
chihlrcn were horn of the union and to each lias been given the educational 
training essential to a thorough preparation for life's activities. The eldest 
daugliter. Marguerite, is the wife of Nelson Smith. The eldest son, lohn, 
who graduated with the class of 1912, I'niversity of California, at Berkeley, 
with the degree of P>. S.. is assisting his father in the management of the 
ranch. Tom, the second son, has charge of his father's stock. The third 
son, Archie, a graduate of the Bakersfield high school, class of 1912. is also 
assisting in the care of the stock. The youngest daughters. ]\Iary and Mil- 
dred, are attending college at Oakland during the winter months, while 
in the summer tliev are with their parents on the ranch near Delano. The 
younsrest son. Cletus, is attending the Kern county high school at Bakersfield. 

HERBERT C. MOSHER.— The secretary and treasurer of the Torney 
& Jones Company, Incorporated, of ]\Taricopa, has been a resident of Califor- 
nia almost from his earliest recollections. Born in Georsria October 25, 
1872, he was scarcely four years of age when in 1876 the family became resi- 
dents of Los Angeles, where he received such advantages as the public 
schools then offered, supplemented bv a course of study in the normal school. 
After his graduation from the normal in 1892 lie began to teach in the schools 
of Goleta, Santa Barbara county, where he continued in the saiue school for 
two years, and then devoted the next two vears to similar work in the Los 
Angeles city schools. Resigning his position and retiring from educational 
pursuits, he turned to an industry then newly inaugurated in the state. This 
was the raising of sugar beets. At that time Oxnard was the only center 
of the industry in the state and he took up land in Ventura county near the 
Oxnard factory, where he engaged in raising beets for a few years. 

Coming to Bakersfield in 1899 Mr. Mosher began an active and prominent 
identification with the upbuilding of Kern county, an association that at first 
lent helpful aid to the making of good roads. Forming a partnership with 
his brother. J. W. Mosher, he cirganized the firm of Mosher Brotliers, wh'ch 
in 1900, under the oversight of Supervisor H. A. Jastro, oiled the first roads 
in the entire San Joaquin valley. Their contract called for the oiling of about 
seventy miles of road and the results were so satisfactory that they were 
called to difTerent parts of the state by those desirous of securing good roads 
in their communities. Eventually J. W. Mosher established headquarters for 
the business at Stockton and with that as a center he carries on a large busi- 
ness in the oiling of roads, an interest in the concern being retained by Her- 
bert C. Mosher, who, however, of recent years has given over to the brother 
the active management of the entire enterprise. 

The business identification of Mr. Mosher with the new town of Mari- 
copa began in 1909, when he organized the Gate City Oil Company and pur- 
chased forty acres owned by the Maricopa Oil Company. After a period as 
manager of the Gate City he resigned in order to give his attention to other 
interests, but he still holds stock in the concern. As secretary and treasurer 
of Torpey & Jones Company, Incorjiorated, he is connected with, a pioneer 
mercantile enterprise of Maricopa, having during June of 1909 purchased 
the interest of J. D. Jones in the firm. At that time the company occupied 
twelve hundred feet of floor space, but since then they iia\-e erected addi- 
tional rooms and now use five thousand feet of floor space. The same com- 
pany also supplies the town with water, controlling the stock in the Maricopa 



330 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

Water Company. Prior to the organization of that concern water was 
shipped in from Bakersfield and was consequently so expensive that its use 
was limited to the most stern necessities. Torpey & Jones conduct business 
upon the department system and each department is practically a complete 
store in itself. The groceries, dry-goods, ladies' and gent's furnishings, sup- 
plies for oil men, wines and hardware, are indicative of the lines carried in 
stock and of the quality of the same. The first president, F. T. Torpey, was 
the pioneer merchant of Maricopa and the remarkable growth of the business 
is largely due to the substantial foundations laid by him at the start. The 
firm passed through the disastrous fire of June 20, 1911, and aided in the 
work of rebuilding. They promoted the incorporation of Maricopa as a city, 
which occurred July 20, 1911, and since then all members of the company 
have given liberally of time and means to further civic projects, Mr. Mosher 
having served first by appointment as a member of the board of trustees, later 
elected to the position April 8, 1912, after which he was chosen chairman of 
the board, a position equivalent to that of mayor. He resigned from said 
board on account of very pressing business duties in May, 1913. 

FRANZ BUCKREUS.— The superintendent of the Kern county hos- 
pital is of German birth and the descendant of a long line of honored Teutonic 
ancestors, his parents having been Dr. Michael and Babetta (Sauer) Buck- 
reus, the former a graduate physician and the son of a Bavarian millwright. 
For a long period Dr. Buckreus engaged in professional labors in the pros- 
perous village of Bamberg, lying along the banks of the Main river in Ober- 
franken, Bavaria, and there occurred the birth of his third child, Franz, 
November 30, 1845. After he had been given the advantages of the national 
schools and gymnasiums he was taken into the doctor's ofifice and taught the 
principles of surgery as well as the treatment of disease. The death of the 
father in 1866 prevented him from gaining a comprehensive knowledge of 
materia medica and obliged him to work diligently to support the family. 
At first he engaged in nursing the sick and during the Franco-Prussian war 
he held a position in the sanitary department of the army. Coming to the 
United States in 1871 he followed the barber's trade in New York, New 
Jersey and Connecticut successively. January of 1875 found him in Cali- 
fornia and during March of the same year he came to Bakersfield, where 
he worked as a journeyman barber for six months, and then established a 
shop on Chester avenue on the present site of Scribner's opera house. Later 
he conducted a shop in the Arlington hotel, but in 1883 he sold out to accept 
the position of superintendent of the Kern county hospital, which had been 
established in 1881. Since then his own history has been practically that 
of the institution which he manages. 

The early home of the hospital was on G between Thirteenth and Four- 
teenth streets and there it was conducted until the inadequacy of the facilities 
there afforded compelled a different location and larger quarters. During 
1895 removal was made to Nineteenth and Oak streets, where there are six 
acres of grounds picturesquely adorned with trees and shrubs planted by 
the superintendent, whose good taste and artistic ability are reflected in the 
entire arrangement of the place. Under his trained judgment the grounds 
have been converted into an attractive park with permanent walks and lawn, 
beautified further by flowers and ornamental trees. However, the superin- 
tendent has proved more than a successful landscape gardener, for in the 
management of the institution he has been efficient, reliable and capable. 
The main building, two stories in height with a frontage of two hundred and 
twenty feet, proved too small, and in 1911 the company added a sixty-foot 
wing on the east to be utilized partly as a surgical ward and operating room. 
The capacity has been increased from seventy-five to one hundred patients. 
An excellent system of heating, lighting and ventilation has been introduced 
and the entire equipment bespeaks the oversight of a wise intelligence. 



I 



f 




^BfA CIlAAijMn O'Ho^^, 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 335 

In the days when it was impossible for Kern county to pay a health 
officer Mr. Buckreus served in that position gratuitously. When the county 
was able to give him some recompense for his services, he was paid $25 
per month. The service without pay lasted for six years and the service 
with pay covered eight years, at the expiration of which time the state legis- 
lature passed a bill requiring all health officers to possess medical diplomas. 
In politics Mr. Buckreus has been a Democrat ever since he became familiar 
with the national issues of his adopted country. For twelve years he 
officiated as county coroner and public administrator, having been appointed 
to fill a vacancy in 1890. At the expiration of that term in 1892 he was elected 
for two years. During 1894 he was elected for a term of four years and 
again in 1898 for four years, holding the office until January of 1903, when 
he retired. Upon the organization of the Benevolent Protective Order of 
Elks in Bakersfield he became a charter member of Lodge No. 266, in the 
upbuilding of which he has maintained a warm interest. In addition he has 
been actively associated with the Knights of Pythias. 

CHRISTIAN MATTLY.— A gratifying degree of success has rewarded 
the industrious efforts of Mr. Mattly, whose profitable management of a 
dairy industry in Kern county furnishes evidence as to the possibilities of the 
business in this part of the state and also bears testimony concerning his own 
abilities in that direction. The fact that he comes of a long line of Swiss 
ancestors, among whom were not a few famous cheese-makers and skilled 
dairymen, may account in part for his own talents in the same direction. 
When it is considered that he was only seven years of age when he lost his 
father and that he had no influential friends tu assist him in getting a start 
in California when he landed here without means, his present high standing 
indicates his determination of character and energy of temperament. Born 
at Zillis. Canton Graubunden, Switzerland. March 30, 1852, he was a son of 
Leonard and Menga (Cayori ) Mattly, natives of the same canton as himself 
and lifelong residents thereof, the father dying in 1859 and the mother in 
1885. There were five children in the family and four of these are still living. 
Christian having been next to the youngest of the number. After he had 
attended school for some years he was apprenticed to the trade of a stone- 
cutter and from that time earned his own way in the world. During 1873 
he came from Europe to the LInited States and settled at Gilroy, Cal., but 
after eight months of work he removed to Marin county and secured employ- 
ment in a dairy at Point Reyes. Another six months were passed there and in 
1874 he came to Kern county, where he pre-empted one hundred and sixty 
acres on Kern Island, fifteen miles from Bakersfield. 

Six years spent upon the pre-emption claim were followed by employ- 
ment with W. Canfield, owner of a dairy, in which Mr. Mattly engaged 
as foreman and buttermaker. Previous experience aided him in the work 
and he soon proved himself to be skilled in that occupation. Encouraged 
by his evident fitness for the calling, in 1885 he embarked in the dairy busi- 
ness fur himself, buying three hundred and twenty acres fourteen miles south- 
west of Bakersfield and at once starting a herd of milch cows. The land 
was under irrigation and the raising of alfalfa was thus made possible. From 
the first he was prosperous. Industrj' and wise management brought their 
deserved returns. Skill in the manufacture of butter and cheese brought him a 
steadily growing business, .^s time passed he added to his possessions until 
he had acquired five hundred and fifty-three acres in one body, all under 
irrigation and well suited to alfalfa. .\11 of the hay raised was fed to the 
stock during the winter months. A specialty was made of the shorthorn red 
Durham cattle and at times he milked as many as one hundred and twenty 
cows with the aid of his hired help. When he first settled on the ranch he 
manufactured Ijutter in the old-fashiuned way, but this soon proved to be too 
tedious and so he began t<i put in machinery and at the time he rented the 



336 HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 

dairy to others in 1903 he had it fitted out with modern conveniences of the 
most approved designs. Upon leaving that farm he settled four miles south 
of Bakersfield, where he had bought an alfalfa ranch of eighty acres. On the 
new farm he started another dairy and this he conducted until 1910 with 
continued success, eventually renting the property and then selling it to 
others. Retiring from the arduous labors that had' filled his life from early 
manhood, in 1910 he erected an attractive and commodious residence on the 
corner of Eighteenth and B streets, where he and his family since have made 
their home. While residing on the big ranch he established family ties, the 
ceremony occurring April 6, 1896. His wife, formerly Nina Weichelt, is a 
native of the same part of Switzerland as himself and came in 1893 to Cali- 
fornia, where she was married in Kern county. Born of their union are three 
sons. Leonard, Gotleib and Christian. The family are identified with the 
Lutheran denomination and Mr. Mattly has been a regular contributor to 
religious enterprises. Since becoming a citizen of the United States he has 
voted with the Republican party. Upon the organization of the Security 
Trust Company he was elected a director and since then he has continued 
a member of the board. Fraternally he is associated with the Knights of 
Pythias and the LTniform Rank, K. P. Both himself and wife are members 
of the Kern County Pioneer Society. Always interested in educational work 
and a stanch believer in the free-school system, for some years he officiated 
as director of the Old River school district and during that time of service 
he promoted the school work and advanced the grade of scholarship through 
his capable and constant support. 

ANGUS J. CRITES.— The honored and influential pioneer family of 
Crites, founded in Kern county during the latter part of the '50s by Angus 
M. Crites and connected by marriage with another leading old family, that 
of Jewett, has lost none of its early prestige or long-time popularity through 
the commercial activities of the present generation, one of whom, Angus 
J. Crites, has acquired a wide reputation as a successful and efficient super- 
intendent in the Kern river oil fields. It is said by competent judges that 
the Kern river district holds no better oil lease than that of the Peerless Oil 
Company, the high standing of which results frbm the able supervision of 
the manager. Having filled his present position since 1904, he has become 
familiar with the entire district and especially with the growing possibilities 
of the Peerless at Oil Center, which had thirty-four wells at the time of his 
original association with the company, but has increased its leases until in 
1913 it has fifty-eight wells, all of them productive and remimerative. 

Relative to the family history, it may be stated that Angus M. Crites 
settled at Kernville about the year 1858 and was one of the original miners 
at Havilah, then the county-seat. By his marriage to Louisa Jewett, he be- 
came a brother-in-law of Solomon Jewett, one of the most influential pio- 
neers of the county. For years he engaged in ranching and stock-raising 
and at times had as many as five hundred head of cattle on his range. 
Having valuable water rights on Clear creek, he was able to engage in the 
stock business with more success than many. Among his children was 
Arthur Saxe, who as Colonel Crites has been prominently connected with 
the Second California National Guard and at this writing also fills the posi- 
tion of cashier of the First Bank of Kern. Another son, Angus J., whose 
name introduces this article, was born in Bakersfield April 26, 1874, and 
passed the years of boyhood on the family ranch near Tehachapi. When a 
public school was established at Keene he became one of the first pupils 
and there gained a practical education. In company with his father he 
engaged in mining in Caliente valley, also in the vicinity of Sageland and 
Red Rock. At the age of twenty-three he entered the employ of the Jewett 
& Blodgett Oil Company. During the seven years of his association with 
the company he helped to develop oil fields in the Sunset, Hazleton and 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 337 

Maricopa districts. When thirty years of age he became connected with 
the Peerless Oil Company, first acting as superintendent of their lands at 
Coalinga, then coming to the Kern river field as superintendent at Oil Cen- 
ter. The Peerless, which under his management has become one of the 
most profitable properties in the entire field, utilizes about twenty-four hun- 
dred hi rse-power day and night and has successfully installed an air-lift 
system as well as other modern improvements. The storage capacity has 
been increased until now it aggregates two hundred thousand barrels. Mr. 
Crites is a Republican and belongs to the Masons and Elks. 

By Mr. Crites' marriage to Miss Mary Kirkpatrick, a native nf ^)r^• Run, 
Pa., he has two daughters, Dorothea and Catharine. The family maintain 
their residence on the Peerless lease. Mr. Crites is an enthusiast on the 
subject of good roads, and with such men taking hold of the project it is 
safe to say that Kern county will soon have first-class county roads. 

THOMAS J. O'BOYLE.— Born at Scranton, Pa., October 19, 18S3, he was 
the son of a poor miner who lost his life in the coal mines during 1863. The 
struggle to support the family, always most difficult, was rendered doubly 
acute by this catastrophe and the boy of ten years soon had to go into the 
mines, where he was 'employed in driving a mule and in picking the slate 
from the coal. The death of his mother left him wholly orphaned and de- 
pendent upon his own eiTorts for food and clothing. Needless to say that 
he suffered from the lack of necessities, yet he bore his hardships with 
patience and worked with the good cheer sometimes lacking in those older 
than he was at the time. At the age of eighteen he became an apprentice 
to the trade of a machinist in the shops of the Delaware, Lackawanna & 
^Vestern Railroad, where he remained until he had completed his time. 
During 1873 he became clerk in a dry-goods store and remained in that 
business for four years, after which he secured employment in the oil fields 
of Pennsylvania. Meanwhile the lure of the west had weakened the ties 
that bound him to his native commonwealth. Traveling by way of Cincin- 
nati toward the west, he worked for a time in Arkansas and followed the 
machinist's trade as well as the dry-goods business. 

Upon coming to California in 1879 Mr. O'Boyle first settled at Sutter 
creek in Amador county, where he found employment in a dry-goods store. 
Two years later he came to Bakersfield. His search for employment met 
with success in the machine shops of the Southern Pacific Railroad at Kern. 
From the first he was interested in local affairs. When the village of Sum- 
ner was incorporated as the city of Kern he was one of the enthusiastic 
supporters of the project and was elected a member of the first board of 
trustees, serving as such for six years. From 1887 to 1889 he engaged in 
the general mercantile business at Kern and later bought and started to con- 
duct the Paul Gates store in Bakersfield, but in 1889 he lost everything by 
fire. Lacking the necessary capital to embark anew in mercantile pursuits, 
he took a position as bookkeeper and accountant. The Democrats of the 
town co-operated to secure the Kern postmastership for him during the 
administration of Crover Cleveland and he filled the position acceptably for 
four years, besides which he served as justice of the peace at Kern for some 
years. During the early period of his identification with Kern county he 
purchased the Cosmopolitan hotel from John E. Bailey and conducted the 
same for three years. 

The department store of Heard & Painter was started at Taft during 
March of 1909 by J. W. Heard and C. C. Painter and Judge OT.oyle came 
to the village shortly afterward for the purpose of keeping books for the 
new firm. Later he was placed in the dry-goods department as a salesman. 
Upon the organization of the district in the fall of 1910 he was elected 
justice of the peace, which position he had filled previously by appointment. 
.\s an indication nf his high standing it may be stated that in Midway 



338 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 

precinct No. 2 only eight votes were cast against him out of a total of five 
hundred and fifty, while in the other precincts every ballot was in his favor. 
Since then he has given his attention to the duties of the ofiice, which he 
has filled with an impartial spirit and a comprehensive knowledge of the 
law. He is a member of the Eagles and Foresters. 

The first marriage of Judge O'Boyle took place in 1882 and united him 
with Miss Margaret Dugan, who died after a few years. Two of their 
children, Thomas and Monica, also are deceased, the sole survivor being 
Edward, assistant cashier of the First Bank of Kern. During 1890 occurred 
the marriage of Judge O'Boyle to Miss Nellie Moore, by whom he became 
the father of two children. The son, Thomas, is deceased. The daughter. 
Miss Mary, is now employed as bookkeeper in the California market. 

REGINALD A. FERGUSSON, M. D.— The genealogy of the Fergusson 
family is traced back to the old Scotch clan of that name in Fergus 
Castle in Stirlingshire. In the midst of such picturesque but isolated sur- 
roundings was passed the early life of William Long Fergusson, M. D., 
whose professional skill and splendid Scotch qualities of mind and heart 
brought him a large circle of friends and admirers. For a considerable 
period prior to the memorable revolution that culminated in the execution 
of Maximilian in 1867 he had officiated as private physician to that ill-fated 
emperor. Upon returning to Great Britain he took up the practice of 
medicine in Claremont Square, London, where he remained until his death, 
meanwhile rising to professional prominence in the metropolis of the world. 
While living at New Granada he had been bereaved by the death of his 
wife, who was a Miss Chapman, of English birth and education. The only 
son of that union, Reginald Archibald, was born in New Granada in 1857 
and received a classical education in England and Scotland. After having 
graduated from Oxford he took his medical course in the Royal College of 
Physicians in Edinburgh, from which he received the degree of M. D. Later 
he took a post-graduate course in London and then embarked in practice 
at Corn Hill Exchange in that city. 

Coming to Southern California in 1881, Dr. Fergusson opened an office 
in Los Angeles. A year later he removed to Bakersfield, where soon his 
professional skill became recognized. A constantly increasing practice 
filled the ensuing years. Among his co-laborers his standing was the high- 
est. It is said that he was without exception the leading physician of his 
day and locality, and combined with professional prominence was the pres- 
tige associated with culture acquired by association with people of the high- 
est refinement and by travels throughout diflfe'rent countries. At the time 
of his demise, which occurred September 4, 1899, he held the position of 
president of the San Joaquin Valley Medical Society, besides being actively 
associated with the California State and American Medical Associations. 
While his profession had engrossed his energies and called forth the highest 
powers of his fine mind, he had found leisure for the amenities of society 
and for the pleasurable relations of fraternities, having been one of the 
founders and charter members of Bakersfield Lodge No. 266, B. P. O. E., 
in whose development he retained a deep interest to the last. 

The marriage of Dr. Fergusson was solemnized at Brighton, England, 
in 1880, and united him with Miss Bertha Maud Shriber, who was born in 
Calcutta, India, and received a classical education in England. Her parents 
were Dr. Edward and Eulalia (Alexander) Shriber, the former a native of 
London and a graduate of Guy's Hospital College with the degree of M. D., 
afterward a surgeon in the English army, stationed in India for many years. 
Upon his retirement he returned to England to spend his last days amid the 
scenes familiar to his youthful years. A year after her marriage Mrs. Fer- 
gusson accompanied her husband to the United States and since then has 
made California her home, having since the demise of the Doctor continued 



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 341 

to occupy the family residence at No. 1521 Seventeenth street, Bakersfield, 
and giving her attention to the management of her varied business interests, 
the enjoyment of the society of warm friends of many years' standing and 
the benefactions of the Episcopal Church, to wliich she has given a devoted 
allegiance from childhood. 

HECK BROS.— Established in June of 1910, almost simultaneously with 
the founding of Fellows, the history of the mercantile firm of Heck Bros, 
h