Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Tulare and Kings counties, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the counties who have been identified with their growth and development from the early days to the present"

See other formats




} _ . 





*• ., 



f 'i*' 

Gc ; 

979.401 ; 




3 1833 00828 5105 




Biographical SJ^etches 

The Leading Men and Women of the Counties Who Have Been Identified 

With Their Growth and Development From the 

Early T)ays to the Present 









CHAPTER I. 1285025 

Introductory to History of Tulare County 5 

Earliest White Comers to County Bore Name ot Smith— Indian Records 

of Prior Inhabitants—The Year 1S49 Brings Changes— First Real Settler 

"^J Locates in 1850 — Other Settlers Follow — Rescue of the Wingflelds — 

^ Election of Officers — Derivation of Name Visalia— Survev tor Railroad 

^ in 1853. 




Indian War of 1856 20 

Indians a Factor in Growth of Settlement — Interesting Accounts by 
Stephen Barton — Cattle Stealing the Source ot Trouble — Tocsin of War 
Continues to Sound — War Is Waged Between Whites and Indians- 
Indian Troubles in Owens River District — Hospital Rock. 


The Effect of the Civil War on Tulare County 28 

Southerners Constitute Larger Part of Tulare's Population— Troops 
Sent to Visalia— Whiskey Plays a Part in the Difficulties — Union Meet- 
ing Held— Southern Sympathizers Meet— Killing of Vogle— Killing of 
Stroble — Rowley Affair — Destruction of Newspaper Plant. 


Visalia 34 

Impress of the Vise Family on the Little Settlement — Settlers Who Fol- 
lowed — Early Newspapers — View of the Town in Early Days — First 
Fireworks— Gas Works and Electric Plant Established— City Hall 
Erected — Effect of the Wyllie Local Option Law— Visalia of Today. 


Tulare County's Citru.s Fruit. . 41 

Eastern Slope of the County Almost Continuous Orange Grove — First 
Orange Tree Planted in 1860 — Growth of the Industry — County's Fruits 
Displayed at St. Louis Fair — Tulare County Ranks Fifth in Point of 
Citrus Production in State — County's Present Area. 


The General Rodeo 46 

Cattle Raising in the Early Days — Act of Legislature of 1851— White 
River Incident — Interest in Mining Superseded by Cattle Raising — "No- 
Fence" Law. 


Exeter and Other Towns - 49 

Railroad Reaches Exeter in 1888 — Pacific Improvement Company- 
Exeter's Steady Progress— Monson — Kaweah — North Tule — Pixley — 
Tipton — Alila- Poplar — Frazier — Woodville — Strathmore — Eshom 
Valley— Alpaugh-Tagus— Goshen— Paige— Angiola — Yettera — Piano 
—Three Rivers— Springville — Mineral King — Traver— Hockett Meadows 
—Redbanks— White River— Giant Forest — Orosi—Naranjo— Monson— 
Oriole Lodge— Venice— Klink — Waukena— Woodlake — California Hot 
Springs — Terra Bella— Ducor and Richgrove— Farmersville— Camp Nel- 
son — Camp Badger — Auckland — Kaweah Station. 



Located on the old immigrant road — J. B. Hcickett. a camper of '49 — 
Town named for Royal Porter Putnam — Cattle raising chief occupation 
Coming of railroad in 1888 — Porterville becomes a town of the sixth 
class in 1902 — Schools — Water system — Packing houses — Library — 
Churches — Banks — Newspapers — Fraternal Lodges — ^Dinuba — Tulare — 
Lemon Cove — Sultana — Lindsay. 


Anecdotes 88 

Adventures with Indians — Poindexter nuptials — Piddling from Donkey's 
back — The McCrory Episode — Morris-Shannon affray — Stapleford-Dep- 
uty affair — James M'Kinney's High Life — The Magana Butchery — Mis- 
cellaneous Items — Crossing Streams in the '50s — County Scrip and Gold 
Dust — An Indian Runner — Visalia's First Business Directory — Second 
Courthouse — Cemeteries — Visalia's Title — Politics — Arrival of the Tele- 
graph — A Vigorous Protest — A Novel Engine — Flood Times — The Lost 
Mine — Some Statistics of 1870 — Mankins' Party Arrival — No Fence 
Law — As Seen by Fremont. 


The Mussel Slough War 110 

Early Settlers in the Mussel Slough Country — Land League's Fight 
"WMth the Railroad. 


The Kaweah Colony 113 

One of the Greatest Community Enterprises Ever Inaugurated in the 
United States — Its Chief Promoters. 


The Aborigines 118 

Traditions — Creation Myth of the Yokuts— Diet — Indian Weapons^ 
The Medicine Man— Gathering Salt — Capturing Wild Pigeons — Novel 
Fishing — Hunting Deer — Charming a Squirrel — Catching Ducks. 


National Parks 123 

General Grant Park — Sequoia National Park — Mountain Trails — County 
Roads During the Late '50s. 


Development of Industries 130 

Electric Power — Irrigation — Alta District — Tulare Irrigation District — 
Artesian and Other Wells — Dairying Industry — Deciduous Fruit — The 


The Railroad Dream 144 

Bidding for the Railroad — The Visalia and Tulare Railroad — East Side 
Railroad— Coming of the Santa Fe— The Visalia Electric— The Por- 
terville NorthEastern. 


Great Train Robberies 148 

First of Five Robberies Occurs at Pixley — The Dalton Gang — The Collis 
Robbery — The Evans and Sontag Tragedies. 


V 1 1 


Churches, Schools, Population 154 

The South Methodist— Baptist— Sunday Schools— Presbyterian— Luth- 
eran — Episcopal — Catholic — Methodist Episcopal — Christian — Training 
of the Young — Population — Property Values. 


Tulare's Officers 163 

Supervisors — The Judiciary — The Lawmakers — Sheriff — District Attor- 
ney — Assessor — Surveyor — Tax Collector — Treasurer — Recorder — Public 
Administrator — Auditor — Superintendent of Schools — Coroner. 


Tulare County Today 167 

The County's Boundaries — Nature of the Soil — Towns and Cities— Or- 
ange Groves — Forests. 


The Organiz.\tion op Kings County 174 

Creation and Organization of the County — Received Its Name from 
Kings River- The Division Fight a Feature of the Session of 1892-93— 
Area of the County. 


Lucerne Valley 178 

Mussel Slough Rechristened Lucerne Valley — The Founding of the Han- 
ford Weekly Sentinel. 


Early County Politics 179 

Political Organization of Kings County— First Election Called — Parties 
in Action — Setting Up Housekeeping — No County Building — County 
Without Funds — First Tax Rate Fixed — County Elections. 


Irrigation . . 192 

Beginning of Irrigation in Kings County — Pioneers in the Venture- 
Settlers' Ditch — Last Chance — Lakeland Canal and Irrigation Company 
— Blakeley Ditch — Kings Canal and Irrigation Company — Rainfall for 
Twenty-one Years. 


Exit and Return of Tul.vre Lake — 200 

An Interesting Natural Phenomenon— Original Area of Lake — Swamp 
and Overflow Land Act — "Lakelanders" — Lake Disappears in 1S95 — 
Water Returns and Grain Is Destroyed. 


Railroads 202 

San Joaquin Valley Railroad Company — Its Promoters— Upbuilding In- 
fluence of Improved Transportation Facilities. 


Dairy Industry 207 

Dairying in County Dates from 1889 — Co-operative Company Formed— 
Factories Built— Alfalfa-Raising and Cheese-Making— Butter-Making— 
County Has Five Incorporated Creameries. 



City of Hanford 209 

City Laid Out in 1877 — Named After James Hanford — Officers of City 
Prom 1891 to 1913— Hanford of Today— Vanisliing of the Saloons- 
Churches — Schools of Kings County — Free Public Library. 


Lemoore 219 

Location and Population — Its Founder — Early Settlers — Coming of Rail- 
road — Churches and Public Buildings — Industries. 


Evolution of the San Joaquin Valley 220 

Address by John G. Covert Upon History of the Valley — First Seen by 
White Men in 1772— Mount Diablo— Valley Begins to Attract Attention 
in 1849 — Cattle Raising First Industry — Wheat Farming Follows — Area 
of Valley — Oil Fields — Improvement in Railroad Pacilites. 


Abbott. Daniel 
Adams. Frank C 
Adams, William J 
Agnew, Jesse B 
Ainsworth, Piancis M 
Akin, James M 
Alford, Wilham 
Allen, Byron 
Allen, Geoige E 
Antrim, Cabin H 
Arnett. Ri. hard H 
Ashley, A. N 
Askin, Herbert 
Askin, Capt Robert M 
Atwell, Allen J 
Aulman, Phillip 

Baca, Sam os 
Bacon, Jameb A 
Bacon, John 
Bagby, Earl 
Bairstow, John W 
Baker, Chauncej M 
Baker, Sands 
Balaam, Alfred 
Ballou, George A 
Bardsley, L W 
Barnett, Bught E 
Barney, B. L 
Barney, Fred M 
Bartlett, George 
Barton, Orlando D 
Bass, Alexandei W 
Bassett. Mark 
Bassett, AA'iUiam G 
Batchelder, Elmer A 
Baumann, George W 
Baxley, John W 
Belz, Andiew G 
Bequette, Charles C 
Bequette, lames R 
Bequette, Louis 
Bequette, Paschal, Jr 
Bergen, Jaspei N 
Bernstein, William P 
Berry, R. L 

Bertch, Henry 



Best, Alexander M 


Bezera, Joseph 


Biddle, Joseph D 
Biddle, Samuel E 



Blain, Frank L 
Blain, William H 





Blair, Thomas H 
Blakeley, Frank 
Blakeley, James M 


Blamquist, Charles R 
Blaswick, Charles F 



Bliss, George L 



Blossom, Ira 



Blowers, Cassius M 
Bloyd, Levi. 



Bloyd, William \V 



Bloyd. Winfield S 


Bloyd. W. W 


Bondson. Peter 



Booker. Sanford 



Boone, James T 



Borgman, Henry J 
Bowker, N. B 




Bozeman, John W 



Braly. William H 
Brazill. M. P 



Brewer, Samuel A 



Bridges, Geoige 
Brooks, Parker R 



Brothers, John 



Brown, H. P 



Brown, Joseph C 
Brown. Philip S 



Brown. Samuel C 



Brown. Volnej A 



Brown. William S 



Brown. William W 



Bruce, Lewis 



Buckbee. Martha J 



Budd, William 




Burgamaster, Julius 
Burke, Ivan C 



Burke, Richard 



Burnham, John B 



Burr. Walter S 



Burrel, Cuthberl 



Burrell, John 

Burton, Absalom 



Burton. Arthur 


Bush, Edward E 


Byron, E. H., M D 


Byron, Henry W 


Byron, Lincoln H 


Byron, William P . M D 


Campbell, F. D 


Cann. .Tames M 


Carle, Charles J 


Carlisle, Frederick M 


Carter, David F 


Cartmill, Wooster B 


Cartmill, W. F , M D 


Chance, Edward H 


Charles, William B.. M. D 


Chatten. John.. 


Chatten Richard 


Chatten, Wilmot L 


Church, Caryl.. 


Church, Elery H 


Clark, Harry A 


Clark, Isaac 


Clark, William B 


Clark, William M 


Clarke, Robert C 


Clarkson, Thomas J 


Clement. George S 


Clemente, .John V 


Click, Martin 


Coats, Claude D 


Cochran, S D 


Cody, George W 


Collins. Albert H 


Collins, Oscar F 


Collins. William W 


Colpien, Henry 


Comfort, Aimer B 


Comfort, Byron G 


Conkey, Fred W 


Cooke, William R 


Coolidge. Wilbur 


Cooper, J. R 


> Cosper, Elias T 


Courtney, Samuel E 


Crabtree, James A 


Cramer, M. L. 


Crane, Henry A 


Crawshaw, J. A , M D 


Creath, John V 


Crook, Alexander 


Cutler, A. R 


Cutler, John 



Daly, Arthur G 486 

Danner, John C 441 

Davenport, William H 607 

Davidson, John W 674 

Davis, Andrew J 601 

Dean, Gilbert M. L 582 

Dean, Jabel M 868 

Dean, William F 766 

Deardorff, Oscar S 515 

Decker, Louis 591 

De La Grange, Barney 847 

DeMasters, David W 728 

Denny, Harvey N 641 

DeWitt, E. 665 

DeWitt, William M 407 

Dibble, A. Leroy 516 

Dibble, Judson A .. 721 

Dineley, Samuel . 765 

Dingley, WiUard E 445 

Dockstader, John W 524 

Dodge, A. Fred . 524 

Dodge, Fred A 307 

Donager, Benjamin 637 

Donahue, Martin 767 

Doyle, John J 801 

Dreisbach, A. M 836 

Drennen. Winfred D 597 

Dungan, A. Cliffoid 807 

Dunlap. James E 592 

Dunlap, John W 555 


Eccles, Alexander C 501 

Eklof, Charles J 423 

Elliott, James M 556 

Elster, C. A 771 

Erlanger. Edward 726 

Esrey, Jonathan 685 

Estes. R. J 651 

Evans. John F 558 

Ewing. John, Jr 690 


Farmer. George T 586 

Farmer. Lyman D 538 

Fenwick Sanitarium 493 

Ferguson. Josiah M 837 

Fickle, Benjamin J 764 

Ficklin, Joseph L 535 

Fincher, Robert P 666 

Findley, William 840 

Fine, James W 768 

Finn, Daniel 758 

First National Bank of Lemoore 308 

First National Bank of Tulare 451 

First National Bank of Visalia 731 

Fisher, Charles 722 

Fisher, James 733 

Fitzsimons, Frank E 436 

Follett, Lyman L 73") 

Fontana, M. J 872 

Foster, Earl P 642 

• Foster, E. C, M D ■ 4:)7 

Fowler, Perry D 397 

Frans, John 691 

Freeman, C E 6U 

Fry, Walter 701 

Fudge, Edmund J 60 { 

Fulmer, Alfred C 348 

Furman, William E 514 


Gallaher, W C 367 

Gamble, Da\id 770 

Garcia, Mike V 652 

Garr, John \\ 430 

Gavotto, S 696 

Giannini, Frank iJ59 

Gibbons, O E 545 

GibsoA, E. J 688 

Gill, Charles 587 

Gill, Fred 584 

Gill, Lee 406 

Gill, Levi L 686 

Gilligan, Michael 846 

Glasgow, John M 723 

Glover, Louis N 706 

Goble, William E 258 

Gordon, George 370 

Gough, William 566 

Grabow, J -639 

Graham, R M 643 

Gray, Dallas H 759 

Gregory, I^evy N 725 

- Gribi, All)eit E 673 

Griffin, Asa T 484 

Griffith, Frank 439 

Griswold, Oscar T 544 

Guiberson, J W 411 

Gurnee, Brewster S 791 

Halford. Isaac T 
Hall, Albert A 
Hall, John E 
Hall, Samuel W 
Hamilton, Hugh L 
Hamlin, Benjamin, 


Hanford National Bank 


Hannah, J. A 


Hansen, Christ S 


Harris, G. C 


Harris, Jesse W 


Hart, Charles W 


Hart. Edwin F 


Harvey, John W 


Hastings, V i. 


Hauschildt, John H 


Hawley, Luther C 


Hayes. Frank P 


Hays, John N 


Headrick, Daniel 


Henley, Sle..rien E 


Herrin, Daniel M 


Heusel, Will <iin F 


Hickman, David H 


Hicks. Benjamin 


Hicks, Stephen B 


Higdon, William J 


Hight, Frank R 


Hill, Melvin A 


Hine, John H 


Hockett, John 1! 


Holley, C. H 


HoUey, H. H 


Homen, Manuel R 


Homer, Joseph W 


Horsman, Henij C 


Hoskins. Charleb W 


Houston, George W 


Houston, James 


Howard, Charles H 


Howe, Albert P 


Howe, Edwin H 


Howe, Frank E 


Howe, Fred C 

. 490 

Howes, Thomas E. 


Howeth, Lewis W 


Hubbs, Arthur P 

. r&6 

Huffaker, Jacob V 

. 670 

Hunsaker, I. B 

. 554 

Huntley, John H 

. 255 

Hyde, Jeremiah D 


Hyde, Richard E 



Jacob. Elias 


Jacobs. Hon. Justin 


1 Jacobs, H. Scott 


Jameson, Irving L. 


Jasper. George 


Jenanyan, Moses S 

. . 568 

Johnson, James L 



Johnson. John C 

Jordan, John F 

Joyner, Charles E 


Kaehler, Mrs. Ida M 

Kanawyer, Napoleon P.. 

Kellenherg, Frank R 

Kelly, Samuel W 
Kelsey, Hiram.. 
Kennedy & Robinson 
Kenney, Samuel L 
Kimball, S. C... 
Kincaid, Roland L 
King, Lowery B 
Kinkade, Squire H 
Kitchel, Elmer L 
Klindera, John 

Kneeland, Joel 

Knierr, Albert 
Knight, U G 
Knight, Zenias 
Knox, Geoige W 
Knutson, l\er 
Kyle, T. "W 

Lafever, Andrew J... 

LaMarche, Joseph 

LaMarsna, Eber H 
LaMarsna, Jeffery J 
Laney, Archie F 
Lathrop, Ezra. 
Leach, John H 
Leavens, Peter 
Leavens, William A 
Lee, Anderson W 
Leebon, John A 
Lemos, Manuel B 

Leonl, Leo 

Lewis, D. W 

Lewis, Thomas 

Ley, Joseph 

Light, H. J 

Lindsey, Tipton 
Lorendo, Gideon 
Loucks, Hon. Geo. P 
Lovelace, Byron O 
Lovelace, Joseph \V 
Luce, Eugene A 
Lynch, Michael M 


McAdam. Frank S.. 
McAdam, James 


McAdam Ranches 



McAdam, Robert 



McAdam, William J 


McCarthy, Thomas 


McClure. Benjamin E 



McCord, William P 



McCracken, W. H 



McParland, Charles G 



McFarland, J. H. C 


McLaughlin, Stiles A 



McLean, P. A 


Macfarlane, W. C 



Machado, Manuel I 



Maddox, Ben M.. 



Majors, Columbus P 



Mardis, Oliver P 


Marshall, Lionel W 


Mafhewson, Arthur W 



Mathewson, Earl 


May, James H 



May, Jonathan W 



Mayer, James B. 



Mayes, Francis M 



Melidonian, E. G 



Michaelis, William 


Miller, Herman T 


Milleir Rnliprt W 



Miller, William H , M. D 



Miller, William R 



Millinghausen. William H 



Mills, Merritte T 



Mitchell. Adolphus 



Mitchell, Levi 


Mitchell, S 



Montgomery, Elbert R 



Montgomery, John 



Montgomery, Litchfield Y 



Moore, Hiram 


Moore, Orlando... 



Moore, Robert A 



Moorehead, James A 



Morgan, John T.. 



Murphy, Daniel 



Murphy, Henry and Philena A 



Murphy, Rev. James 




Murray, Auram ri 


Murray, Walter D 






Navarre, Elizabeth 



Newman, Frank A 


Newman, Robert O 


Newman, Thomas 


. 325 

Noble, George A 


. 746 

Null, Robert 


Oakes. James W 853 

Ogden, Robert K 864 

Ogilvie, Albert G 649 

Osborn, Prank 359 

Overall, Daniel G 428 


Parker, Hiram L 781 

Parrlsh, P. M 540 

Parsons, Ulysses G 573 

Peacock, Harrison P 701 

Perry, A. J 814 

Peterson, Alfred. 347 

Peterson, Carl A . 525 

Phariss, Tillman B 875 

Phelps, A. W 790 

Phillips, Perry C . .777 

Piatt, Louis P 527 

Poe, Prank . 721 

Pollock, George W 750 

Powell, Prank 385 

Powell. Harrison A 634 

Powers, Richard 811 

Prestidge, J. L 799 

Price, James S 788 

Putnam, Robert A 620 


Ragle, Emanuel T 249 

Ragle, Henry 752 

Ragle. J. Albert ." 609 

Raisch. Harry J 604 

Ramsey, George U 698 

Raney, As,buiv C 883 

Ratliff, William P 870 

Rea, Prank 814 

Reed, Henry W 818 

Reed, John R 619 

Rehoefer, Samuel 714 

Reinhart. William 5,')7 

Renaud, Emerie 561 

Rhodes, William C 57') 

Rice, John C 605 

Rice, J. Clarence 606 

Rice, J. W B 37,^ 

Richardson, Preeman 638 

Richardson Gustavus A 510 

Richland Egg Ranch 778 

Rivers, William 883 

Robertson Prank P 574 

Robinson. William W 820 

Robison, George A 567 

Rock, Henry P 708 

Roes, Henry C 
Ross, Ean... 
Rosson, Charles T , 
Rourke, Michael P 
Russell, J. C C 


Sage, J. M 609 

Sahroian, Fred 823 

St. Bridget's Catholic Church 462 

Salladay, A. J 782 

Scher, Rev. Philip G 462 

Schimmel Brothers 473 

Schnereger & Downing 663 

Schueller, John J 824 

Sciarone, Andrew 610 

Scoggins, Andrew J 269 

Scoggins, J. E 884 

Scoggins, R. E 886 

Scott. Francis C 339 

Sears, William A 821 

Sellers. Edward G 680 

Setliff, James M 469 

Shannon, Carleton J 594 

Sharp, Benjamin V 543 

Shippey, Alvin B 498 

Shoemaker. Robert M 472 

Shreve, H. M 433 

Sickles, Lewis A 571 

Sigler, John , 611 

Silveira, Joseph , 563 

Singleton, M. P 797 

Slocum, Alvin H 342 

Smith, A. Prank 542 

Smith, Cecil H 819 

Smith. Charles E 470 

Smith. Clark M 709 

Smith. Enoch A _ 865 

Smith, Frank 711 

Smith, Frank P 739 

Smith, Henry C 862 

Smith. John H 457 

Smith. Lewis S 866 

Smith, Thomas 819 

Smith, W. J 474 

Stayton, Charles F 647 

Steuben, William N 740 

Steves, George H 683 

Stokes, John W 2S1 

Stokes, S. C 295 

Storzback, Fred 'J14 

Stubbelfield, William N 806 

Sturgeon, Joseph W 710 

Swall, Arthur :^8C 

Swall, William 849 


Swan, William 353 

Sweeney, James 741 


Taylor, J. L '"-''^ 
Teague, George H 825 
Thayer, J. Carl ^t;? 
Thayer, William H 383 
The Old Bank ot Hanford 438 
Thomas. F. A 4^^ 
Thomas, Isaac H 2«3 
Thomas, Jesse A "4'-' 
Thomas. Louis L "''^ 
Thomas. Martin V ♦S'' 
Thomson, Peter "8(1 
Tomer, George 341 
Tompkins, Charles W "^84 
Townsend, Homer C fi'''- 
Tozer, Charles W 33P 
Tozer, Roy S 'j38 
Traeger, Henry G 491 
Traut. Mrs. Catherine L 659 
Trewhitt, W L) "'^^ 
Tulare Home Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company 376 

Turner, Jesse T 668 

Turner, Lucius H 622 

Tyler, John D 250 

Twaddle, Thomas B 404 


Unger, William 576 


Vail Brothers 863 

Vaughan, William T 313 

Vaughn, David A 471 

Visalia Plumbing and Sheet Metal 
Company . - 309 


Waddell, George E 242 

Walker, John E 6S1 

Walker, John and Serepta f"S6 

Walker, WiUiani G 0S4 

Ward. Harvey L 826 

Warner, Erastus F 623 

Warren. Isaac H 889 

Webb. Octavius H >-6 

Weddle, Ethelbert S 608 

Weddle, M. E T62 

Wegman, George J 442 

Weigle. Martin L 579 

Wells. James M 888 

Wells, Morgan J 599 

Wendling, G. X 375 

West. Joshua E 889 

West. William B 662 

Wheeler, Alexander W 646 

Whitaker, William .. 634 

White, Capt. Harrison 301 

Whittington, William, M D 712 

Williams, Alpheus C 627 

Williams, George W 450 

Williams, Joel W 585 

Williams, John W 743 

Williams, William A 828 

Wilson, Henr> L 713 

Wilson, John A 851 

Wilson. Osborne L 612 

Wirht. Martin 834 

Wood, Daniel 751 

Wood, George 477 

Woodard, Homer D 577 

Woods, A. J.. 526 

Wookey, Sidney H 636 

Work, Enoch 507 

Wray, George U 563 

.Wright, Harland E 330 

Wright, Isaac N 351 

Wright, James W 500 


Young, J. N .' 887 

Zumwalt. Daniel K 401 




By Eugene L. Meuefce. 

A preaclier and a teacher, it appears, curiously enough were the 
two first wliite leaders to enter what is now Tulare county. Each 
bore the name of Smith. Jedediah S. Smith, the preacher, arrived 
in 1825 or '26, accompanied by about fifteen trappers, he being the 
first white man to cross the Sierra Nevada mountains. Entry to the 
valley was made via the Tejou pass. Thousands of naked Indians 
were seen. Tulare lake was observed and successful trai)ping for 
beaver was conducted along the upjier reaches of the Kings, San 
Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. In 1827 Smith made a return tr\p, 
entering through Walker's pass. 

It s-hould be understood that Jed was not an ordained minister, 
but being a strong and aggressive Christian, he endeavored to con- 
vert to that faith the reckless and lawless men who joined his band. 
Bible readings, prayers, exhortations mingled with reproofs were 
features of each day, no matter how wearisome had been the march. 
It is said, however, that efforts at reform were not entirely suc- 

"Pegleg" Smith, the teacher, visited our vicinity in 1830, and 
was eminently successful. "Pegleg" did not hold a degree nor even 
a certificate. He was a horse-thief by profession and he took ujt 
quarters among the Indians, establishing friendly relations with 
them and thus obtained a place of refuge and a rendezvous for the 
round-up of stolen stock when ready to proceed on the return .journey 
to the Santa Fe country. In return for the hospitality extended liim, 
Mr. Smith allowed some of the Indians to accompany him on raids 
to the ranchos of the coast and taught them all the elements of appro- 
priation. Due, no doubt, to Mr. Smith's ability as an educator, 
these lessons were not forgotten and the practices inculcated by him 
were so persistently followed that in the course of time the Indians 
gained the merited title of "the horse-thieves of the Tulare." 

One of Pegieg's party met a tragic fate. Missed from camp 
on Kern river, near the site of the present Keyesville, lie was found 
dead alongside the carcass of a huge grizzly, his body mutilated ami 
his head crushed. There had evidently been a deadly fight in wliidi 
both contestants had succum1)ed. The rude wooden cross wliirli 


marked his lonely .urave still stood in 185(), when the Kern river gold 
rush took place. 

Closely followinii- Jedediah Smith came Ewiug Young and party, 
who started trapping in the San Joaquin valley in 1831, finding 
beaver plentiful. Young hunted in the vicinity of Tulare lake for a 
short time and then took his way northward. During the next 
decade several other groups of trappers passed through the San 
Joaquin valley. Between the Tulare valley and the Calaveras river 
there was at that time an estimated Indian population of 20,000. 

For any accurate knowledge of the county as it existed then we 
must await the coming, in 1846, of John C. Fremont, an account of 
which will be given in a later chapter. 

History — human history — began to l)e recorded in what is now 
Tulare county at a time long prior to the events just related. 

So remote is this date that we of the present day can scarcely 
hazard even a guess as to the number of centuries that have elajtsed 
since this civilization flourished. Probably it existed co-eval with 
that of the mound builders of the Mississippi — with that of the cliff 
dwellers of Arizona. It is probable that at that time the waters of 
the Pacific filled the valley of the San Joaquin so that the area of 
our county was once smaller than it is now. These surmises are based 
on the fact that in numerous places throughout the Sierra Nevada 
mountains are found picture writings of the origin of which our 
latter day Indians have not even a tradition. They cannot interpret 
them, nor do they possess any knowledge of the art of making the 
indestructible paints used. 

On a bluff near the railroad bridge across the Kaweah at Lemon 
Cove, at Rocky Hill, near Exeter, in Stokes valley, at "Woodlake, at 
Dillon's point, at Hospital Rock on the middle fork of the Kaweah, 
some thirteen miles above Three Rivers and in many other places 
these pictures are found. 

In several instances the arrangement of the figures is in columns. 
This would seem to indicate that they are tribal or genealogical rec- 
ords. Swords and spears, weapons absolutely unknown to present- 
day Indians, are among the objects represented. Others are bears, 
birds, pine trees, man, the sun, a fire, circles, crosses, etc. Up to the 
present time no key has been found to these hieroghi:)hics. A fac- 
simile of the paintings on Hospital Rock has been sent to the Smith- 
sonian Institution at Washington, but as yet the learned men there 
have been unable to decipher the record. As the fund of knowledge 
regarding the sign-writing of all tribes throughout the world is con- 
stantly increasing, as they are studied and compared and grouped in 
systems, and certain meanings definitely established, it is not improb- 
able that at some future time the first chapters of Tulare county's 
history may yet lie translated into English. Even so, then would 


elapse a ])eriod of thousands of years without a line. No tradition 
existed here among the Indians as to any migration or separation 
from anotlier tribe. They believed themselves to be aborigines. Yet 
there were trails known to them by whieli the Sierras could l)e 

No reports from the passing bands of trappers hastened the 
coming of settlers. With them a country was good or bad according 
as many valuable pelts could or could not be there obtained, and no 
note was taken of its adaptability for agriculture. Neither was it by 
the accounts set forth by Fremont, which were meager and of a 
scientific nature. 

The fact was that in the '49 rush to the gold fields of California 
many trains came by the southern route and passed through the Four 
Creeks country, as this section was then called. Out of a desert they 
came, and pursuing their way northward, back into what was then 
almost a desert they went. We can well imagine their delight at the 
sight of the vast, oak-forested delta covered with knee-high grasses. 
We can imagine, too, their chafing at the delay here occasioned by 
the necessity of getting their animals in condition to proceed farther. 
All were keenly anxious to reach the foot of the rainbow. And when, 
after toil and trouble, hardship, misfortune and ill-luck, they failed 
to find it, we can imagine them as keenly anxious to return to the 
delightful land they had left. 

The first to really settle thei'e was a trader named Woods, who with a 
party of about fifteen men arrived in Deceml)er of 1850. This party 
came, from Mariposa and was well equipped with saddle and pack ani- 
mals, arms, implements of building, etc. They located on the south 
bank of the Kaweah river, about seven miles east of Visalia, where 
they built a substantial log house. Of the fate of this party accounts 
vary somewhat. The accepted version is that in the spring of '51, an 
Indian bearing the name of Francisco, speaking some Spanish, and 
probably one of the renegades from the ranclios of the coast, with 
a number of Kaweahs, of whom he appeared to be chief, ordered the 
settlers to leave that section of the country within ten days, with 
the alternative of death if they remained beyond the allotted time. 
The settlers agreed to go and made preparations for their departure, 
burying the provisions and such farming implements as they pos- 
sessed and proceeded to gather their stock. While thus engaged the 
tenth day passed, and the Indians returned to fulfill their threat. 
Ten of the .settlers were killed while hunting their stock, two made 
their escape, one of whom was wounded. 

The savages then approached the house in which was AVoods and 
another. They professed friendshiii, and thus removed the appre- 
hensions of their victims, wlio were unconscious of the fate of their 
fellows. One of the whites was asked to hold uii a target tliat the 


Indians might exhibit their skill with the bow and arrow; he com- 
plied, whereupon the treacherous Kaweahs turned their aim upon 
him and quickly shot him to death. Woods fled to the cabin and 
fastened the door. This the savages attacked with great fury, but it 
was strong and resisted their assaults. Woods had a single rifle and 
a short supply of ammunition, and with this he attempted to defend 
himself. Of all this we have the reports of Indians only, as from the 
time the two escaped none other was left to tell the story of the 
treacliery and the tragedy. The entrapped man determined to sell 
his life as dearly as possible. As opportunity olfered he fired through 
the apertures of the logs and with deadly effect, as during the contest 
seven of the Indians were killed. At last the scanty ammunition was 
exhausted, and the despairing condition of the helplessness overcame 
the brave Woods. The assailants, finding their prisoner no longer 
able to do them harm, renewed their efforts on the door, until it at 
last gave way and the enemy was in their power. Woods had made 
a brave defense, had slayed and wounded many of their number and 
a revenge in consonance with the Indian spirit was determined upon. 
This was nothing less than flaying him alive. The doomed man was 
bound down and while defying his torturers, his skin was taken from 
his body and afterwards nailed to an oak tree. 

According to Stephen Barton the cause of the outbreak as given 
by the Indians was that Indians from the north sought the aid of the 
Kaweahs as allies, representing that the whites were seizing their 
country and driving them out. AYhen the tribes of this valley 
declined to assist the visitors, these made war upon them and cap- 
tured many of their women. The majority of. them fled to the hills, 
the few remaining slaughtering the Woods party. Other accounts 
are that from seven hundred to one thousand Indians took part in the 

A party headed by a man named Lane arrived within a day or 
so after the massacre and rescued a woimded man, whose name 
was Boden, and carried him Itack with them to Mariposa, where he 
recovered. To C. E. Wingfield, Boden gave a detailed account of the 
fight at the Woods cabin. 

A report of the massacre was taken to Fort Miller, on the San 
Joaquin river, and a detachment of troops in command of General 
Patten marched to the scene. The log house stood intact and evi- 
dence of the l)rave defense, the massacre and the butchery remained. 
What was left of the bodies was buried and work was commenced on 
the construction of a fort about half a mile from the Woods cabin, 
but before its completion the troops were withdrawn. 

The above story is essentially as given by Stephen Barton in 
Ms early history of Tulare county, his data being obtained from 
several of the first settlers. In tlie issue of the Visalia Sun dated 


September 5, 1860, Abraham Ililliard, wbo arrived iu the spriug of '54 
and lived for three months in the Woods cabin, gives practically the 
same version, placing the date of the massacre, however, as Decem- 
ber 13, 1850. 

Gilliert 'SI. L. Dean, wlio arrived in the Four Creeks country 
when a lad about twelve years of age, states that his father's family 
came from Texas in a party conducted by Nat Vise. Both the Vise 
and Dean families remained for a time at Los Angeles, and Vise, 
taking young Dean with him, left for the northern country, traveling 
on horseback, and with a pack outfit. They remained a few days 
near the Kaweah. Vise decided to push onward to the mines and 
left the Dean boy with Loomis St. John (for whom the St. John 
river was afterwards named), who then had a cabin near the river, 
about a half mile from that afterwards constructed l)y the AVoods 
party. Thus the general belief that the latter structure was the 
first permanent habitation erected by white men within the present 
limits of Tulare county is disputed by Dean, who was living in St. 
John's cabin when the Woods ]iarty arrived to estalilish their settle- 

St. John and his young companion, who were glad to have neigh- 
bors of their own race, went over one day where they had before 
seen Woods and his men felling trees and building their house. They 
were surprised to hear no wood-chopping or other noise when they 
approached, and when near the cabin, which was almost completed, 
they were horrified to see the body of a man lying on the ground. 
The skin had been removed and was fastened to the bark of a large 
oak tree hard by on the bank of the stream. They were unable to 
find any other member of the ])arty, alive or dead, and saw no 

Soldiers and others arrived within a day or two, among them 
being some of the men who had been with Woods. They stated that 
Woods had gone to the cabin to prepare dinner or had remained 
there after breakfast and was attacked by the Indians when alone at 
the cabin. The others heard the firing of AVoods' gun and the shout- 
ing of the Indians, and being unarmed or poorly armed and unable 
to reach the cabin to assist AVoods, they hid their axes and mauls and 
saved themselves by flight. 

Dean says he never heard of any other person than AVoods having 
been killed at that time, but does not remember to have heard 
whether any of the survivoi's were wounded or molested by the 
Indians. The AVoods cabin was used for a schoolliouse aftei-wards, 
and Dean and his brother attended school there later, when, after his 
return to Los Angeles, the Dean family came to the Kaweah settle- 
ment to reside ]jermanently. Dean was therefore at this ])lace as a 
pupil in the first scliool in Tulare county and lie still has a vivid 


recollection of the locality. When visiting the place, with others, a 
few years ago he at once recognized the tree on which Woods' skin 
was hung by the Indians and pointed out the location of the house 
and about the spot where Woods' body lay, and an involuntary 
shudder was noticed to pass through the old gentleman's frame as 
he stood there. Although the oldest resident of Tvilare county, the 
pioneer of Tulare pioneers, he is still vigorous, retains all his faculties 
perfectly and remembers distinctly the principal events of that early 
time, many of which he participated in. 

Apparently unterrified by the fate of the Woods party, settlers 
and traders continued to straggle iu. In the fall of 1851, C. R. Wing- 
field and A. A. Wingfield arrived from Mari])osa. On the way they 
met two men named McKenzie and Ridley, who had been trading 
with the Indians for several \ears and who were somewhere in 
neighborhood when the AVoods party was slain. A bi-idge had been 
built across the Kaweah near the Woods cabin, l)ut lliere was no 
settlement. The Wingfields settled near the (abiii, laying claim to 
the land from the river southward. They found the Indians friendly 
and sociable, and although their outfit was Avitliin the reach of hun- 
dreds of this people and contained a multii)licity of small articles, 
yet they never missed so much as a needle. 

In December of the same year, Nathaniel and Abner \'ise came 
to what is now Alsalia and built a log cabin on the north bank of Mill 
creek. On the site of the camjis of tliese two pairs of brothers were 
afterwards built the two towns that contended for the honor of ])eing 
the seat of justice of Tulare county. These two pairs of brothers, 
between whose camps were seven miles of almost unbroken jungle, 
appear to have been the only settlers in the country with a fixed 
domicile. They were unknown to each other and ignorant of the 
other's whereabouts. 

The state legislature was in session. Many first-chiss politicians 
at Mariposa were either out of a job or ])0vssessed of one the emolu- 
ments of which were not satisfactory. These events and conditions 
would not have interested either the brothers Vise or the Wingfields. 
Yet so interwoven are the strands of destiny that life or death to the 
W^ingfields was later to depend on the activity of the Mariposa schem- 
ers and their "])uH" with the legislators. It was at the behest of 
this horde of hungry office-seekers that the legislature passed an act 
and the same was approved April "20, 1852, as follows: 

"The county of Mariposa is hereby subdivided as follows: Be- 
ginning at the summit of the coast range, at the corner of Monterey 
and San Luis Obispo counties; thence running in a northeasterly 
direction to the ridge dividing the waters of the San Joaquin and 
Kings rivers; thence along the ridge to the summit of the Sierra; 
thence in the same direction to the state line: thence southeasterlv 


alono- said line to the eouuty of Los Angeles; tlience soutliwesterly 
along' the line of Los Angeles county to Santa Barbara ; thence along 
the summit of the coast range to the point of beginning. 

"The southern portion of Mariposa county so cut otT, shall be 
called Tulare county. The seat of justice shall be at the log cabin on 
the south .side of Kaweah creek, near the bridge built by Dr. Thomas 
Payne, and shall be calied Woodsville, until changed by the people as 
provided by law. 

"During the second week of July next there shall be chosen for 
Tulare county one count. \- ,iudge. one county attorney, one county 
clerk, one recorder, one sheriff, one county surveyor, one assessor, one 
coroner and one treasurer. 

"The county judge chosen under this act shall hold his office for 
two years from next October, and until his successor is elected and 
(|ualified. The other officers elected shall hold their respective offices 
for one year, and until their successors are elected and qualified. 
The successors of the officers elected under this act shall be chosen at 
the general elections established by law, which take place next pre- 
cedinii' the expiration of their respective terms." 

James D. Savage, M. P.. Lewis, John Boling and "W. H. McMillen 
were a])p()inted commissioners to carry out the law and conduct the 

The iirime mover in this scheme to form a new coimty was 
William II. Harvey. He and his associates knew of the massacre of 
the Woods party and. fully expecting to have to fight their way to 
the P^ur Creeks, placed the expedition muler the command of Major 
James D. Savage. 

Orlando Barton says: "Major Savage's party as it left Mari- 
posa was composed mostly of men on horseback. Many men with 
families prei)ared to follow with teams. The first general rendezvous 
was on Grand Island. A settlement was already forming on Kings 
river. I ha\e heard it stated that the office-seekers from Mariposa 
liired enough Whigs to come with them to outvote the Democrats on 
Arkansas Flat. On tJrand Island, July 8th, the commissioners held 
their first meeting. They ordered an election to be held on July 10, 
1852, and a])i)ointed William J. Campbell to act as the inspector at 
Poole's Ferry and William Dill to act as inspector at Woodsville. 
These were the only precincts established. All the wagons with the 
women and children stayed on Grand Island, while Major Savage 
marshaled the fighting men for the advance on Four Creeks. 

' ' Including the board of commissioners they were fifty-two strong 
and on the morning of July 9th they started from Poole's Ferry to 
cross the jilains. It lacked about an hour and a half of sundown when 
they arrived in the outskirts of the timber at the foot of Venice hills. 
Here they saw hostile Indians. Major Savage's ]iarty rode along the 


southwest side of tlie Veuic-e hills, tiriiio- right and left at every ludiau 
they saw. 


"On the inorniug of July 8, 1852, three hundred armed Indians 
came to the "Wing-field brothers' camp and took them and an Indian boy 
who was with them prisoners, and marched them across the Kaweah 
and St. John rivers. Near the north bank of the St. John, the Indians 
tied the Wingfield brothers and their companion hand and foot and 
laid them on the ground. The Wiugfields were kept in this place all 
one day and the succeeding night. The 9th of July was hot and sultry. 
The Indians were morose and sulky. They stayed at a distance from 
the Wingfields and talked only to themselves. Neither the Wingfields 
nor their companion could understand the cause of their imprison- 
ment. They knew nothing of the advance of Major Savage's party. 
They did not know that their captors constituted one of the forces 
sent to hold tlie fords of the St. John against the men fi'om Mariposa. 

"If I were a novelist I would now tell what the Wingfield broth- 
ers thought at this crisis in their lives. I would tell how they were 
tormented by swarms of flies, armies of ants, and cold lizards with 
poisonous fangs. But as I am only an historian I can tell only what I 
know. Charley Wingfield said that he did not know what was to 
become of them. The fate of Woods was fresh in their minds and we 
may reasonably be permitted to guess that they expected to be 

"The sun was about an hour high in the west when an Indian 
came running around the southernmost of the Venice hills holding one 
of his arms straiglit ixp in the air. His arm, which was covered with 
blood, was shot through with a bullet. Some of the Indians who were 
guarding the Wingfields ran forward to meet him. A short palaver 
was held. Then three or four of them went to the |)lace where the 
Wiugfields were tied down. They untied them and then all the In- 
dians suddenly disappeared. 

"The Wingfields went to the vWev and after swimming it, were 
climbing up on its south bank, when they saw Major Savage's party 
coming around the point of the hill from the direction of ]\[ount View 
Park. The Wingfields re-crossed the i-iver and joined the party. 


"As soon as ]\Iajor Savage's party arrived, the couuuissioners 
commenced to prepare for the election. For this purpose they selected 
the tree that stood farthest out on the open ground. This was done 
so that they could get the benefit of any breeze that might be blowing. 
There has been recently a sign placed on this tree and any person can 
find it. It stands about half way between the Tulare Irrigation com- 
pany's flume and the Southern Pacific railroad bridge across the St. 
John river. The jiioneers occupied the ground between the election 


tree and the river, and utilized the shade of several other trees. Mes- 
sengers were sent back to Poole's ferry and night found the Mariposa 
adventurers in possession of the camp that the captors of the Wing- 
tields had so recently occupied." 

The poll list of the AVoodsville precinct was as follows: Augustus 
John, S. D. F. Edwards, Early Lyon, Martin Morris, J. B. Marsh, 
John A. Patterson, T. Hale, Richard Matthews, J. M. Snockters, R. 
P. Cardwell, S. P. Carter, C. Keener, Benj. Mettors, A. B. Gordon, 
J. M. Jackson, Henry Crowell, Wni. B. Hobbs, John Eeefe, Clark 
Royster, S. M. Brown, J. G. Morris, P. F. Hesberp, B. B. Harris, 
A. H. Corbitt, L. B. Lewis, William Pedersen, W. C. McDougal, 
George H. Rhodes, Joseph A. Tivy, W. H. Howard, Charles J. Jones, 
Isaac McDonald, Joshua Sledd, W. H. Erving, James D. Savage, 
Robert F. Parks, J. L. Avenill, William Dougle, W. W. McMillen, 
William Dill, Penny Douglas, George H. Rogers, L. St. John, James 
Wate, A. J. Lawrence, Thomas MeCormick, B. B. Overton, James 
Davis, A. A. Wingfield, R. Schuffler, A. M. Cameron. C. E. Wingfield 
voted at Poole's ferry, as did Nathaniel Vise. 

In looking over this poll list the observer is at once struck witJi 
the infrequency of well-known names of early pioneers. This wa< 
Ijecause there were few bona fide settlers in the settlement. 

After the election the commissioners remained in camp, received 
the returns from Poole's ferry and canvass'ed the entire vote. The 
following officers were elected: for county judge, Walter H. Harvey; 
coimty attorney, F. H. Sanford; county clerk, E. D. F. Edwards; 
recorder, A. B. Gordon; sherii¥, William Dill; surveyor, Joseph A. 
Tivy; assessor, James B. Davis; coroner, W. W. McMillen; treasurer, 
L. C. Frankenberger. 

On July 12th, the county officers took the oath of office and tlie 
county seat remained for some time under the election tree, although 
most of the county officers returned shortly to Mariposa. 

Edwards, the county clerk, was killed in a quarrel with a man 
named Boli Collins, shortly after his arrival in Mariposa, and soon 
afterwards Major Savage was killed by Judge Plarvey. Franken- 
berger. in a fit of delirium tremens, wandered ofP into the swamp and 
died. Later in the season. Dr. Everett was engaged in gambling at 
Woodsville with a man named Ball and a dispute arose about $;!. 
Everett asked Ball if he was armed. Ball replied that he was not, 
whereupon Everett commanded him to go and arm himself. Ball said 
that he would and started for his camp. Everett said he would go 
with him and see that he did it, pulling out his pistol at the same 
time. Ball then told him that the best way was to leave the matter 
till another day and it would probably be settled. "No," said Ever- 
ett, "one of us must die now." Ball stooped over and carelessly 
rubl)ed his leg, saving, "If I must light, I shall fight for blood," and 


at the same time suddenly lifting his pantaloons and drawing a 
revolver from his boot, shot Everett dead without drawing the pistol 
from its scabbard. Ball was examined before a justice of the peace 
and discharged. W. J. Campbell and Loomis St. John were justices 
of the peace and they, acting as associate judges with the county 
judge, constituted the court of sessions by which county affairs were 

At the first meeting of the court of sessions held October 4, 1852, 
Judge Harvey presiding, a license for a ferry on Kings river and 
for a toll bridge at the Kaweah was granted. Thomas McCormick 
was appointed assessor to succeed Everett, and P. A. Rainholt was 
named to succeed J. C. J'raukenberger. An election proclamation 
was issued for the general election to be held on tlie first Tuesday 
of November, 1852, for county and state officers and for ]n'esidential 
electors. Bona fide settlers had now commenced to arrive. Among 
the first were S. C. Brown, A. H. Murray and family, three Matthews 
families, three Glenn families. Colonel Baker and family, Bob Stev- 
enson and family, Abraham Hilliard and family, 0. K. Smith, Samuel 
Jennings, Tom Willis, Tom Baker, G. F. Ship, J. C. Reed, John 
Cutler, Nathan Dillon and Edgar Reynolds. 

Nat Vise induced most of these parties to accompany him to 
the neighborhood of his claim, where they could, he said, find better 
land. They were pleased with this locality and got Vise to release 
his title to the claim he had first taken up, with a view to laying out a 
town and having it become the county seat. For protection against 
Indians a stockade was built large enough to hold the wagons and 
supplies and several log houses. This fort was situated on ground 
now bounded by School, Bridge, Oak and Garden streets, and was 
constructed by setting puncheons upright in a ditch about three feet 
deep. An extension of about four feet was made at each corner 
which permitted a raking fire on the side to be directed against an 
attacking party, should an attempt be made 'to climb over. 

The naming of the new settlement appeared to be the occasion 
of some dispute. The majority of the citizens favored naming it 
after its founder, Nathaniel Vise, l)ut the board of supervisors desig- 
nated it Buena Vista. The word Visalia first appears in the record 
of the court of sessions in August, 1853, when an order was entered 
dividing the county -into townships. Woodsville and Visalia town- 
ships were divided l\v a line running north and south from the cross- 
ing of Canoe creek. 

Its derivation is believed l)y some to be from Vise and Sally or 
Salia, the name of V'ise's wife. Others believe it to be a combination 
of A'ise with Sa-ha-la, the Indian name for sweat house, and still 
others tliink it merely the termination "alia," as in ^'andalia, Cen- 
tialia. etc., clioscii on account of its pleasing sound. 


In Octol)er of 1853 was held the first session of the board of 
supervisors. Town lots were parceled out and the record shows the 
entry, "Ordered that the seat of justice be Bueua Vista." In the 
records of the court of sessions for Feliruary, 1854, the name Bueua 
Vista appeared for tlie last time, all subsequent proceedings being 
dated Visalia. On the 11th of March, 1854, the board of supervisors 
entered an order granting the prayer of certain petitioners that the 
name of the seat of justice be Visalia. So much concerns the dispute 
over the name. The election by which the transfer of the seat of 
justice from Woodsville was effected was held in 1853. Judge Cutler 
was the champion of Woodsville and Judge Thomas Baker of Visalia. 
The vote was very close and bribery and corruption were alleged to 
have been used. The friends of AVoodsville charged that the result 
in favor of Visalia was from the bribery of two or three voters and 
there was at least one notable where one man obtained an eligible 
location a half mile south of the site of Visalia and that he thus 
seemed to desert his Woodsville friends. 

Although Baker carried the day in respect to his choice of county 
seat, he was defeated for judge, as Cutler proved far the more pop- 
ular. There was constructed a sort of courthouse of rough boards 
affording an enclosure and a shelter and records were kept on scra]is 
of paper and deposited in a wooden box. Much of the proceedings 
and accounts were kept in memory. 

At the session of the board of supervisors in March, 1854, many 
town lots were sold and an order was entered for building a jail 
sixteen feet in the clear inside and ten feet between floors. The 
building to be two stories high, to be built of hewed logs eight inches 
square, dove-tailed and pinned at the corners; the wall to be double 
with a space between six inches wide, to be tilled with In-okeu rock. 
The floor was to be of logs of similar size, planked, and the i)lanking 
to be held down by "double tens," one nail in every superficial inch. 
This order was to l)e published in a Mariposa newspaper. Although 
this was the first jail and courthouse in the new county, it was not 
built in time to accommodate the first prisoners or to furnish a place 
in which to hold the first trial. 

The first arrest in the county was that of Judge Harvey for 
the killing of Major Savage, but nothing came of it. As prcxionsly 
related. Ball was acquitted for the killing of Everett, 'i'lie first 
case tried in the county was before a justice of the peace. It was 
that of a young Indian charged with shooting an arrow into a 
wbrk-ox whereby the animal was more or less disabled. At this 
time few persons had allowed themselves to think of a lighter 
punishment for an Indian than that of summary execution. All 
concurred in the ojiinion that such miscliief should not be toler- 
ated. The mass of the Indians wei-e disposeil to be fiiendly. but 


were not disposed to take the same view of the necessity of 
adopting a more severe penalty for the Indians than was meted 
out to whites for simihir offenses. The chief was anxious to 
preserve peace and volunteered his services to aid in the arrest 
of the culprit. The officers deputized to make the arrest were 
C. E. Wing-field and Jim Hale. They, in company with the chief, 
went to Cottonwood creek, near Elder Springs (Woodlake). Here 
the old chief suggested the plan of having the officers remain 
under a tree wliile he should go and make the arrest. 

Among these Indians the province of a chief is to advise 
rather than command, and the old chief perhaps regarded it as 
uncertain whether the young men of the camp would acquiesce 
in the surrender until they knew what the character of the ^nm- 
ishment would be. The chief's pony was well jaded and Wing- 
field suggested an exchange of horses. After the officers had 
remained under the trees until they began to grow impatient, 
they saw two or three Indians on foot approaching from a dis- 
tance. They came up and sullenly seated themselves under the 
tree. Soon after three or four more appeared. They were bounti- 
fully supplied with bows and arrows and Wingfield made the 
comment that they were going to l)e able to make an arrest quite 
beyond the scope of their original purpose. He saw no other 
plan, however, than that of awaiting the return of his horse. 
Soon tlie chief made his appearance with the prisoner, followed 
by aliout forty Indians fully equipped for war. 

When they came up, the officers, assuming a ))old front in 
an unpleasant emergency, took the prisoner in charge and started 
for camp, a distance of about ten miles. Arriving there the pro- 
cession halted in front of the office of the justice of the peace, 
i.e., under the election tree. The Indians were resolved to allow 
no punishment which they did not sanction to be inflicted. The 
whites, of whom there were eighteen, were unaccustomed to brook 
anything like insolence from an Indian without shooting him down, 
and, having started in with the case, they saw no nutans of 
retreat without feeling a loss of dignity. 

Such an astounding capture, though unexpected, was fully 
comprehended and both parties were well assured that the first 
display of force on either side until the matter was arranged 
would lead to indiscriminate slaughter. For two days and two 
nights the matter was angrily discussed and finally the Indians 
submitted to having the ease tried in the white man's way. The 
evidence on both sides was heard, and a judgment rendered that 
the accused Indian pay a fine of fifty buckskins to the owner of 


the ox. The Indians accepted this verdict as being perfectly just, 
the fine was at once paid and good feeling re-established. 

In the new settlement, by the close of '53 and the beginning 
of '54. many enterprises had been undertaken and much activity 
along many different lines manifested. Warren Matthews was 
building a millrace and a gristmill, using largely Indian labor. 
Nathan Baker had opened a store; a man named Ketchem started 
a saloon; many settlers made the trip to Stockton for seed, im- 
plements and provisions. A school was started with about half a 
dozen scholars. Children had been born, Commodore Murray being 
the first and "Sieb" Stevenson the second. 0. K. Smith i)ut up 
a sawmill for cutting oak timber, about half a mile east of Visalia. 

But we will pause here in the narration of historical events, 
while we have the opportunity, to survey the conditions in which 
the settlers found themselves. In 1853 the Williamson topograph- 
ical survey party, in search of a railroad route through the in- 
terior of California, passed through this valle>-. The impressions 
of mineralogist William B. Blake, set down at the time, are so 
vivid and interesting that they are reproduced here. 

"Kings river to the Four Creeks, Aug. 1, 40.4 miles: Left 
camp on the borders of Kings river and travelled along its right 
bank to Poole's ferry, twelve miles lielow. 

"From the banks of the river at this ferry, there is nothing 
to obstruct the vision across the whole breadth of the Tulare 
valley, and the coast mountains may be dimly seen rising above 
the limits of the far-stretching plains. The Sierra Nevadas also 
present a magnificent s]iectacle from this place. The chain ap- 
pears to reach a great altitude and to rise abruptly from the 
surrounding subordinate ridge. The outlines of the distant chain 
were sharply defined and the prominent peaks showed out boldl\- 
against the clear blue sky. Snow was resting on the summits in 
liroad white fields that glistened under the rays of an unclouded 
sun and by its rapid melting kept the rivers well supplied with 

"From Kings river to the Four Creeks the surface of the 
ground shows but few undulations and may be considered as 
nearly level. The soil contains a large proportion of clay and 
must necessarily become soft and miry during the rainy season. 
Al)out three miles northward of Elbow creek a large area of 
surface is composed almost wholly of clay without any admixture 
of sand or gravel and has evidently been nearly fluid in llie wet 
season. This was shown by the deep tracks of animals in the 
then hard, sun-baked surface, and by great numbers of skeletons 
of cattle that have sunk in the deep, thick mud and been left 


there to die of starvatiou. Tlieir whitened bones stood upright 
in the clay like posts aronnd a grave. The drying nj) of this 
clayey ground has produced deep shrinkage cracks and fissures 
similar to those observed in the rich soils around the bay of 
San Francisco. 

"Four Creeks: From the level of the arid and treeless plain 
(what is now our richly productive tree and vine covered Alta 
district) bounded on the west by equally barren mountains, we 
made a sudden descent of about ten feet to the bottom land of 
Four Creeks. Here the aspect of the landscape suddenly changed. 
Instead of the brown, parched surface of gravel, to which the eye 
is accustomed on the surrounding plains, we find the ground hid- 
den from view by a luxuriant growth of grass and the air fi-agrant 
with the perfume of flowers. The sound of flowing brooks and 
the notes of the wild birds greet the ear in strange contrast with the 
rattle produced by the hot wind as it sweeps over the dried weeds 
and gravel of the plain. 

"The whole scene is overshadowed by groves of majestic oaks 
and the eye can wander down long avenues of trees until lost in 
the shadows of their foliage. This scene of natural beauty is the 
result of natural irrigation, the ground being abundantly watered 
by the Pi-piyuna river, which supplies the water that forms the 
Four Creeks * * * In fact, a broad delta is here formed between 
the Tulare lake and the mountains, and the profuse vegetation 
may not only be referred to the presence of water, but to the 
fertility of the soil, which is alluvial and is frequently enriched 
by overflows of the creeks." 

Yisalia at this time was practically situated in a jungle sur- 
rounded by a swamp. On the plains beyond and in the more open 
portions of the oak forest, deer, elk and antelope abounded. Here, 
too, were numerous bands of wild horses. 

Capt. Thomas H. Thompson, in his history of Tulare county thus 
graphically speaks of these: "The region, too, as early as the summer 
of 1850, had been visited by large numbers in the pursuit of wild 
horses, these being in droves of thousands on the plains and about the 
lake. Westward but a short distance were the great ranchos of 
the Spanish period and from these the Indians had driven large 
bands of horses which became wild on the plains and increased in 
vast numbers. These animals in their wild freedom, their grace and 
beauty, their long flowing manes and tails, their speed and numbers, 
had attracted the attention and won the admiration of the immigrant 
of 1849, as he, with feeble ox or wornout mule, passed from the 
southern deserts through the valley on his painful journey to the 
mines farther north. He was fascinated with the beautiful and 



romantic sight, as great troops of the fat and glossy animals gal- 
loped past. Many of these immigrants and many other adventurous 
spirits returned the following year in the hope of wealth by captur- 
ing the wild horses of the Tulare plains. Large corrals of brush and 
fence and tule with branching wings were constructed, i^its were 
excavated and other devices were essayed; fleet horses witli skillful 
riders with lassos were employed, and all the efforts possil)le were 
made to capture the wild horses. Many were taken, a comparative 
few were tamed and sulxlued to use; great numbers were killed, and 
so vigorous was the onslaught that but a year or two elapsed when 
the wild horse was a rarity in the valley. They were beautiful 
animals, and in numbers a grand sight in their wild state, but when 
captured difficult to tame, always dangerous to handle, skittish and 
nervous, retaining during life their wild and untamable spirit. At 
least, such is the experience the writer of this had with the wild 
horses from the Tulare in 1850." 




lu tlie o-rowtli of the settlement Indians materially aided. They 
were docile, friendly, willing to work and were employed in taking- 
care of stock and in farm and household work. And yet in 1856 the 
settlers had trouble with them of so serious a nature as to develop 
into what lias been called the "Indian War." 

For an account of this we are principally indebted to Stephen 
Barton, writing in 1874, when the principal actors in the drama were 
still alive and he had every opportunity to obtain an accurate version 
of the matter. Additional facts secured ■ through the researches of 
George W. Stewart in 1884, are linked in with the narrative which 
we present here. 

In the spring of this year there came a rumor that a large band 
of cattle on Tule river had been stolen by Indians and driven off. 
Without investigation hurried preparations for war were at once 
begun. Scores of young bloods were ready to spring to the service 
of their country at once. Now, the Indians were generally employed 
by the settlers in farm work of all kinds, in the care of stock and as 
household servants, and were proving themselves honest and trust- 
worthy. Therefore, a few of the settlers conceived the idea of hear- 
ing both sides of the story and inquired of the Indians what they 
knew of the stealing, and were soon astonished to find that as a 
matter of fact, no cattle had been stolen. The Indians said a young- 
man by the name of Packwood had niarried an Indian girl and that 
according to their custom her tribe had assembled for a feast. Pack- 
wood contributed a yearling- calf taken from his father's herd. 
Thus dwindled to almost nothing the rumor that five hundred cattle 
had been stolen. 

Nathan Dillon, ^Viley Watson, Mr. Kenney and several others, 
feeling that it was an outrage to drive the Indians to the wall on 
so slight a pretext, undertook to remonstrate. These men were among 
the most high-minded and substantial citizens of the county, but 
their arguments proved without avail. The tribe camped a milfe 
below Visalia were ordered to surrender their arrows and to move 
their camp u]> to the western edge of the town. A party of 
mounted men Avent to the camp of the Yokos, near Exeter, and with 
yells and shots dispersed the Indians there, who fled, terror-stricken, 
to the swamps. A band of ruffians met one Indian on the road near 
Outside Creek and killed him without provocation. 

A crowd of lawless men in Visalia conceived the idea of be- 


sieging a camp of a))Out forty unarmed and friendly Indians of all 
ages and sexes, about two miles east of town, and of ))utting tiiem to 
death by night. D. B. James and a few others, hearing of this 
diabolical scheme, brought the Indians into town where they could 
receive the protection of those averse to the shedding of innocent 

Meantime, tlie tocsin of war continued to sound. Settlers and 
miners from distant parts gathered and a military organization was 
effected under the command of Captain Demasters. These prepara- 
tions frightened the Indians and they fled to join their companions 
on Tule river. The command of Demasters, numbering fifty or sixty 
men, started in pursuit and the same day a jiarty of nine mounted 
men followed the trail of a band of sixty Tejon Indians, who were 
traveling southward in the direction of the White ri\er. Cai)taiu 
Demasters' company, after reaching Tule river, continued up the 
north fork several miles, where columns of smoke pointed out to 
them the location of the camp. They found the Indians occupying 
a strong position, which, to their surprise, was well fortified. The 
location was admirably chosen, and the defences would have done 
credit to an experienced military engineer. A line of breastworks 
from two to four feet high, composed of boulders and brush, extended 
a distance of eighty rods along the face of a hill at the head of a 
little cove, or plain. Immediately in the front of the position the 
ground was rough and broken, but to reach it it was necessary to 
traverse the open plain mentioned, exposed to a fire from behind 
the fortification. At either end, and in the rear of the defences, 
was a dense thicket of chaparral extremely difficult to penetrate. 
The position was defended by a force numl)ering in the neighltorhood 
of seven hundred warriors. 

Demasters, confident of the superiority of his men, small as 
their numlsers were, ordered an attack. To protect themselves 
against the arrows of the Indians while attempting a breach of this 
enclosure, a portion of the troops had uniformed themselves in a 
sort of petticoat made of duck, padded inside with cotton, 'i'he 
petticoat brigade marched boldly to the fray, but their shields jjroved 
more vulnerable than anticipated and the whites made a preci]iitate 
retreat to a point about a mile distant to await re-enforcements. 

The party of nine men previously spoken of, on the trail of 
the Tejon Indians, kept in their saddles all day and niglit, and 
about daylight on the following morning, near where the village of 
Ducor is now situated, came upon the Indian cain]j. The dogs liegan 
barking and one of the Indians, painted and decked with feathers, 
stepped forward to a little knoll that commanded a view in all direc- 
tions, to ascertain the cause of the disturl)auce. John W. Williams, 
afterwaixls citv marshal of \'isalia for several years, directed the 


man nearest bim, who bad a rifle, to sboot. Tbe Indian dropped 
dead, and tbe Americans ebarged, firing- rapidly at tbe Indians, wbo 
scattered precipitately, leaving five dead. AVilliams and party tben 
rode back to Tule river to join tbe force under Demasters. It was 
tbe supposition at tbe time that this party of Tejon Indians bad 
been implicated in cattle stealing in Frazier valley, and bad gone on 
a marauding expedition to White river to massacre the few whites 
living along the stream; but nothing was lieard of tliem afterwards, 
and as they had a few women with tliem, lliey were proliahly only 
returning home to their own tribe. 

When the party of whites rejoined the command under Demas- 
ters, it was decided to dispatch Williams to Keyesville for assist- 
ance. Williams set out immediately, going by way of Loom's valley, 
Poso Flat and Greenhorn mountain. At Lynn's valley he changed 
horses and William Lynn, after whom the valley was named, agreed 
to accompany bim i)art of the way. During their ride, after dark, 
through a heavily timbered region, where bears were plentiful, an 
incident occurred that is worthy of note. After riding a short dis- 
tance into the forest they lieard a noise behind, and turning, saw a 
large, black animal following them. Williams was mounted on a 
fractious mustang whicli liecame frightened and darted up the steep 
movmtain side, luit floundered back into tbe trail. Soon they reached 
a small opening and here they determined to try tbe effect of a 
shot at the brute, which followed them persistently. hynn dis- 
charged a load of buckshot and the bear fell at tbe first fire, greatly 
to their relief. 

Sixty miners from Keyesville armed themselves and accom- 
panied Williams back. On tbe return the "bear" killed by Lynn 
was found to be a large black mule owned by a settler. It took 
$90 to square with the mule's owner, but that was tbe least of it. 
For a long time afterwards tbe mere mention of "bear oil" was 
sufficient to cause either Williams or Lynn to stand treat and before 
tbe joke wore out it had cost them in tlie neighborhood of $500. 

When tbe Keyesville })arty arrived tbe entire force, numbering 
one hundred and forty, was jilaced under the command of W. G. 
Poindexter, sheriff of the county, and a second assault made. During 
this attack two young Americans, Danielson and St. John, were 
severely wounded and one other, Thomas Falbert, was shot in 
tbe thigh. "^I'bese were tbe only whites injured. The attack proved 
futile and Poindexter ordered bis command to fall back. A jiortion 
returned to "\^isalia, tbe remainder remaining encamped nearby 
awaiting re-enforcements. Of tbe force which returned to Visalia 
Stephen Barton says: "Now commenced one of the most disgrace- 
ful scenes connected with the history of this valley. Having inglor- 
iously fled from the field of battle, this force now soiigbt a cheap 


plan of retrieving a reputation for heroism by turning on those 
citizens who had counseled moderation and fair dealing. Tlie A'isalia 
Indians had been compelled to surrender tlieir arms and camp at 
the edge of town. The same authority wliidi rccpiircd this now 
required that those who opposed the war sliouhl, at the ])erii (if 
their own lives, as well as of the lives of the Indians invoh-ed. 
convey the Indians out of the settlement. Dillon, Watson, Keeney, 
Judge Baker, the Matthews and several others were the men wlio 
now found their lives imperiled by the fury of a lawless mob, for 
no other reason than that of having used words of moderation during 
a moment of popular frenzy. * * * Dillon gave $10 and a 
thousand pounds of flour, the Matthews gave flour, and the otiier 
parties named gave in proi^ortion and Jim Bell was hired to take 
a heavy ox team and haul the ])oor outcasts to Kings river." 

The "soldiers" left in camp occupied themselves in searching 
out and destroying the caches of provisions which the Indians had 
made at different points along the foothills. These were found 
without difficulty, as they were usually placed in tlie forks of oak 
trees and covered with thatch. 

In a few days a company from Miilerton, under command of 
Ira Stroud, and one from Coarse Gold Gulch under connnand of 
John L. Hunt, arrived. From Fort Miller was sent a detachment 
of twenty-five soldiers under Captain Livingston, bringing with 
them a small howitzer; and from Fort Tejon half as many mounted 
cavalry under the command of Alonzo Ridley, an Indian sub-agent. 
Captain Livingston assumed the chief command of tlie force whicli 
now numbered about four lumdred and comprised nearly all the 
able-bodied men of the A^alley. After all had reached camp a con- 
sultation was held and it was agreed to divide the command into 
four divisions and attack the Indians at daybreak the following 
morning, from the front, rear and both flanks. Parties were sent 
out to view the country so that the several divisions might be 
guided to their respective positions without confusion, and Captain 
Livingston with his soldiers and about sixty volunteers ascended 
an eminence commanding the Indian fortification in order to select 
the most advantageous position for mounting their howitzer. 

The Indians unexpectedly made a vigorous attack on tliis 
party, precipitating the engagement. Livingston ordered a charge 
and with his ofificers, led the men in. They forced their way through 
the brush, at the same time firing upon the Indians, who I)ecame 
demoralized and fled from their strong position into the mountains 
where they had left tlieir women and children. The Americans con- 
tinued the pursuit for several days but,' failing to discover another 
camp or any large liody of Indians, retired to tlie valley. Several 
dead braves were found inside the fortification and there was evi- 


denee of many liaving beeu borne off througli the brush. This was 
the last real engagement and the loss to the Indians in killed and 
wounded from the first breaking out of hostilities was estimated 
at alK)ut one hundred. 

Although the whites posted detachments to prevent the Indians 
from returning to the valley, several parties of mounted Indians 
succeeded in reaching the plains at night and killed or dro\e oiT 
quite a number of cattle. They also burned a few houses in the 
foothills, and all but one along the Tule river and Deer creek, 
thirteen in number, the owners having deserted them for the time 
being. These raids continued for several weeks, until William Camp- 
bell, the sub-agent at Kings river, sought the Indians out in the 
mountains and found them willing to come to terms. The war had 
lasted six weeks, when the Indians returned to the valley and they 
have remained friendly from that time to the present day, although 
a little more than a decade later, a few murders committed on 
Tule river caused the government to send troops from San Francisco 
and force the Indians of that section onto a reservation set apart 
for them. 

George Stewart says : ' ' Thus ended the Tule river war of 
1856; a war that might have been prevented had there been an 
honest desire on the part of the white settlers to do so, and one 
that brought little glory to those who participated therein. Tlie 
responsibility cannot now be fixed where it properly belongs. Pos- 
sibly the Indians were to blame. Certainly the whites were not blame- 
less, and it is too seldom, indeed, that they have been in the many 
struggles with the aboriginal inhabitants of this continent." 

The period between 1854 and the beginning of the Civil war 
was chiefly remarkable for the discovery of gold and the mining 
excitement and boom following, and for the Indian war of 1856. 

D. B. and Brigham James made the first discovery of the 
precious metal in 1853 at Kern river. A stampede followed in which 
several thousand miners participated. Nearly all returned disap- 
pointed. However, other discoveries at White river, Keyesville, 
Owens river, in the Slate range and in the Coso district caused other 
mining booms so that for some seven or eight years there was a 
large population of miners, and the supplying of their wants became 
an important feature of business. 

Two trails were cut across the Sierra Nevada mountains over 
which pack trains carrying supplies were sent. A wagon road was 
also constructed from Yisalia through Keyesville to Lone Pine and 
Fort Independence. 

As early as 1858 there were three quartz mills in oiteration in 
the Keni river district. Tliese, by the way, had a greater value 
according to tlie assessor's figures than all the taxable real estate 


in the comity. A few years later several other stamp mills were 
constructed to mill the ore of the Coso and Owens river districts 
and the freighting of supplies became a business of great magnitude. 

Unfortunately, while rich strikes were found in all these localities, 
it appeared that the gold generally was found either in pockets or in 
leads that "pinched out," and no permanent wealth ])rodueing canqis 


The war of 1856, with its final engagement at Battle mountain, 
settled completely all trouble with Indians in Tulare county proper, 
or that portion lying on this side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. 
For many years, however, sporadic trouble in the Owens river 
valley caused much uneasiness to our people. At times these as- 
sumed such magnitude that several troops of regular cavalry were 
employed to subject the fighting red men. 

Nearly every Visalian of prominence was at this time interested 
in either the Coso or ()wens river mines. Valuable cargo trains 
were at all times on the road and the menace to these as well as to 
the lives of smaller prospecting parties at times assumed serious 
l^roportions. These troubles culminated in 1862 and 1863. It is 
impossible to obtain sufficient data to give a connected account of 
the different uprisings, but the dangerous character of the warfare 
and the difficulties in the way of providing protection to settlers 
and miners may be judged by the following: 

In the s]n-ing of 1862, Visalians sent a party with stores of 
arms and ammunition to render assistance and gather information. 
Warren Wassen reported in part as follows: "Being unable on 
my arrival at Amora to obtain provisions or transportation for the 
company organized there to receive the arms sent in my charge, I 
was compelled to leave them and proceed, accompanied by Lieu- 
tenant Noble and his command of fifty mounted men. We arrived 
at the upper crossing of Owens river on the evening of April 6. 
On the next morning we met -nath Colonel G. Evans with Lieutenants 
French and Oliver; Captain Wynne of his command having been 
left with seven men to garrison the stone fort forty miles below. Tiieso 
were under Colonel Mayfield of Visalia. 

"It appeared that during the past winter the Indians had been 
in the habit of killing cattle, which had led to the killing of some 
Indians, after which the Indians availed themselves of every opjior- 
tunity to kill whites. 

"The whites finally collected their cattle a1 a point about thirty 
miles above the lake, fortified themselves and sent messengers to 
Visalia and Carson for relief. They were reinforced by a ])arty of 
eighteen men who left Amora on March 28. About noon on the 6th 
there was a verv brisk engagement in which ( '. .1. i'leasaiils of 

■26 tularp: and kings counties 

Amora. Mr. Morrisou of A'isalia and Sheriff Scott of Mono county 
were killed. The whites took refuge in an irrigating- ditch, whence 
they fired, inflicting some damage. At night, after tlie moon went 
down, the Indians ceased firing and the whites retreated, leaving 
behind seventeen or eighteen of their horses and considerable am- 
munition and provisions. 

"Colonel Evans the next day met this i)arty and persuaded 
about forty-five of them to return to the pursuit. The remainder 
retreated to the fort. Our party joined that of Colonel Evans and 
we camped that night on the battleground of the previous day. The 
next day, about noon, the Indians were reported located in a canyon. 
The command was divided into three columns, one under Colonel 
Evans, one under Lieutenant Noble and the other under Colonel 
Mayfield. We proceeded up the mountain, facing a terrific snow- 
storm which prevented our seeing three yards ahead of us. Failing 
to find Indians, we returned to camp. After dark the Indians were 
located by their campfires as being in a canyon about a mile north 
of the one we had ascended, and in tlie morning a reconnoitering 
party, under Sergeant Gillispie, was sent out. After advancing 
some three himdred yards they were fired upon. Gillis|)ie was 
instantly killed and Corporal Harris severely wounded. 

"Lieutenant Noble was sent to take possession of the moun- 
tain to the left of the canyon. This position he gained with difficulty, 
facing a destructive fire and, unable to maintain it without severe 
loss, was forced to retreat. Colonel Mayfield. who accompanied 
him, was killed. 

"The whole party under Colonel P^vans were forced to retreat 
down the valley, the Indians following. Colonel Evans, being with- 
out provisions, was compelled to return to his former post near 
Los Angeles. Lieutenant Noble accompanied him as far as the 
fort for the purpose of escorting the citizens in tiiis direction out 
of the valley with their stock, which numbered about four thousand 
head of cattle and twenty-five hundred head of sheep. 

"There were not over twenty-five Indians engaged in this fiyiit 
but they were well armed and from the nature of their ])Osition 
could have held it against any odds." 

In the following year numerous other outbreaks occurred. Visalia 
again despatched a wagon-load of arms to protect the Coso mines. 
In the skirmishes of this season, the whites were generally suc- 

In one battle the Indians ))osted themselves in a ravine near 
the lake, whence they were dislodged and utterly defeated after an 
engagement lasting over four hours. ()nl>- a small number made 
their escai)e. Of these, ".loaciuin Jim." a noted chief, succeeded 
in reaching a raiiclieria iieai- \'isalia where he was killed while trv- 


ing to escape capture by a detachnient of soldiers sent to liriiii;- 
him in. 

In July, 1863, the Owens river Indians were as a body thor- 
oughly subdued. Practically the entire tribe, to the nunilier of nine 
hundred, were marched to the Tejon Indian reservation. They 
were escorted by one hundred cavalry men under command of Cap- 
tains McLaughlin, Noble and l\oi)es. 

Minor outlireaks and outrages continued to occur for a few 
years following, since which time a lasting i)eace has ensued. 


Al)out ten miles above Three Rivers, on the middle fork of 
the Kaweah river near the present extensive constitution works of 
the Mt. Whitney Power company, stands an enormous rock, under- 
cut in siTcli a way as to form a considerable shelter. 

It is covered with the ] tainted sign writing of a prehistoric race 
and until recent years was the abiding place for a settlement of 
Indians. The name "Hospital" rock arose through an accident 
that befell A. Everton in 1873 or 1874. Mr. Everton, in company 
with George Cahoon, was hunting and trapping in the vicinity and 
had out several set guns for bear. One morning the finding of 
fresh blood on the trail indicated a wounded bear and Everton 
started to return to camp to get dogs. On the way he accidentally 
sprung one of the set guns, receiving the load in his leg, a nasty 
wound from which he could scarcely have recovered had it not been 
for the Indians. These carried him to camp and the scjuaws nursed 
him back to health, api)lying such embrocations of herbs as were 
suited to the case. As Hospital Rock it has therefore since Iteen 



When the Civil war broke dut Tulare eoiTiity was peopled lar.uely 
l"»y southerners. In addition to the permanent settlers there were 
(juite a numlier of stockmen from Texas and Arkansas who had 
driven their cattle here for the purpose of fattenin.n' them and of 
later driving them on to the Mariposa mines to sell. 

S^inpathy for the South was very strong and yet the peo])le 
here did not feel called uixm to take an active part in the rebel- 
lion. They were now citizens of the sovereign state of California, 
which had no cause for revolt. Their homes and property were 
here secure; personally they had no quarrel with the government. 
The coimsel of the cooler heads was to be moderate in speech and 
quiet in demeanor, contining their activities to the passing of resolu- 
tions condemning the action of the Republican party, and objecting 
to the coercion of the South. This course of action naturally did 
not appeal to the younger hot-blooded element. They wanted action 
and the young bloods went around with chii)s on their shoulders 
and hurrahed for Jetf Davis. There were not lacking among the 
supporters of the Union cause those also whose blood ran warm 
and who were quick to take offense and eager to resent insults. 

If anything more was needed to cause trouble to start it was 
whiskey, and there was whiskey galore. At every corner was a 
saloon — some Union, some Rebel. Courage and recklessness were 
23urchased freely and street brawls became common. 

Following a request of the Union men for protection, a com- 
pany of troops was sent into Visalia to maintain order. The ar- 
rival of these by no means ]:)ut a stop to brawls, altercations and 
street disturbances. Many bullies were among the number and these, 
knowing the irresistible power that lay behind their organization, 
became very insulting and overbearing in their conduct, especially 
when under the influence of liijuor. 

A jiarticularly disgraceful e])isode occurred on the -J-th of 
July. A crowd of drunken soldiers tilled one of their wooden 
canteens with whiskey, drai)ed around it the American flag, and 
marched up and down the street demanding of each, person they 
met that he drink with lliem to Abraham Lincoln and the Union. 
Those refusing, among wliom were AViley Watson, Doctor Riley 
and Jolm Williams, ])r(iniinent citizens, were arrested and taken to 
Camp I'.ahl.itt. 



On May 25, 1861, in response to a call which was signed l)y 
more than one hundred names, the Union men of Msalia and vicin- 
ity met in mass meeting at the courthouse and expressed their 
adherence to the cause. The meeting was called to order liy S. R. 
Dummer, who nominated W.N. Steulien for president. This motion 
was carried and Mr. Steuben took the cliair. Messrs. D. R. Doug- 
lass, Joseph H. Thomas, D. G. Overall and Peter Dean were cliosen 
vice-presidents and James II. Lawrence and II. G. McLean secre- 

Previous to the regular proceedings of the meeting Miss Louisa 
Kellenberg, beautifully attired as the Goddess of Liberty, came 
forward and presented on behalf of the ladies of Visalia a beautiful 
national flag made of silk. The banner was received by A. .1. 
Atwell-, who returned thanks in an eloquent speech. 

S. R. Dunnner, J. M. Hayes, E. E. Hewitt, F. Bacon and B. B. 
Lawless were ap])oiuted a committee on resolutions and after a 
short speech by S. C. Brown, they presented a set wliicli were 
adopted. Among the resolutions were these : 

"That the constitution of the United States is not a leasiue or 
confederacy of states in their sovereign capacity, but a goxernnicnt 
of the people of our whole coimtry founded on their a<loi)ti()n. and 
creating direct relations between itself and the i>eople. 

"That no state authority has power to dissolve these relations. 

"That we are opposed in the present condition of affairs to 
the formation of a Pacific republic, and will discourage any attempt 
to induce Oalifornia to violate her allegiance to the Union." 


In the following month, June, a mass meeting of those es])ons- 
ing the cause of the Confederacy, or at any rate believing in the 
doctrine of states' rights, was held. 

This meeting was held in a grove near the courthouse, where 
seats and a rostrum had lieen ])rovided, and was very largely 
attended. W. D. McDaniel had been chosen marshal of the day 
and the audience formed in i^rocession in front of Warner's hotel 
and marched to the scene to the tune of Yankee Doodle. 

Thomas R. Davidson was elected president and Messrs. Wiley 
Watson, William Coddington, Capt. E. Hunter, Robert Coughran, 
R. K. Nichols and R. B. Lawless vice-jiresidents. R. P. Gill and 
R. C. Redd were chosen as secretaries. The conunittec on resolu- 
tions, consisting of Joseph H. Clark, K. K. Calhoun. \V. A. K'nssell. 
William B. Poer, Burd Lawless, L. T. Sliei)pard, James L. Wells 
and Wiley Coughran, ])resented the following, which weie aihipted. 

"Resolved, That as American citizens imluu'd with a spirit of 
fidelitv to the constitution and the laws an<l seeking only the hap- 


piness, prosperity and preservation of our common country, we 
deem it our duty in view of the declared hostility to the South and 
her institutions by the Rei)ublican administration to oppose the 
same by all constitutional means ; that we regard President Lincoln 
as the exjjonent of a sectional party whose avowed policy towards 
one section of our country, pursued through a series of many years, 
has been the fruitful source of all our national evils; that the war 
now being waged by the Republican administration is unjust, inhu- 
man and unconstitutional, having for its object the subjugation 
of states, the obliteration of state lines, the political degradation 
of their i)e()])le and the de])rivation of tlieir property, and should 
meet and merit the just condemnation of all true friends of con- 
stitutional lil)erty; that we believe that the best interests of the 
country demand, and her ])olitical existence as a nation depends 
upon the speedy inauguration of a peace policy characterized by a 
spirit of concession and an honorable compromise as the only pro])er 
basis for the satisfactory adjustment of the differences between the 
northern and southern states." 

On May 23, 1861, a meeting was held at Music Hall in Visalia 
for the purpose of organizing a military company. G. A. Botsford 
presided. It was decided to call it the Visalia Mounted Rifles, and 
the following officers were elected: Captain, G. W. AVarner; first 
lieutenant, J. H. Kennedy; second lieutenant, G. W. Roberts; third 
lieutenant, Robert Baker; sergeants, William C. Hill, William p]ly, 
R. Peppard, G. Francis and T. J. Preston; corjiorals, II. C'ha])man, 
H. E. McBride, William Baker, Orrin Barr; ])ermanent secretary, 
Horace Thomas. 

It will be noted that there was no lack of officers. 

In 1863 a volunteer cavalry comi)any called the Tulare Home 
Guards, was organized at Outside Creek with sixty-one members. 
The following officers were chosen : Captain, W. S. Powell ; first 
lieutenant, George W. Duncan; senior second lieutenant, J. T. Col- 
lins; junior second lieutenant, William C. Deputy. 

Com])any D, Second Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Elvans, arrived in September, 1862, crossing the mountains 
from Inde]iendence by trail. A wagon-load of melons was donated 
them. In October they took uj) headquarters at Cam]) Babbitt, a 
mile north of A'isalia, now known as the "Cain" tract. 

Company I, Second Cavalry, arrived from Plaeerville in Octo- 
ber, and Comi)any E, Second Cavalry, called the Tuolumne Rangers 
and supi)osed to be the ones who destroyed the office of the Equal 
Rights Expositor, completed the brigade of regular troops. It 
would appear that three companies of federals and two of militia 
should have been auq)le to preserve the iieace. but it seemed that 
tliex- lather served to ])rovoke disturbances and many quarrels result- 


ing fatally were laid directly to their presence. 

Id accordance with the appeal of the sanitary commission for 
funds to aid the sick and wounded, W. N. Steuben took the matter 
in cliaro-e at Msalia, J. M. Harer at Tule River, J. M. Keyes at 
White River and J. F. Pawing at Kern River. About $300 was 

On October 27, 1862, Senator Baker, Tulare county's most 
prominent citizen, was arrested, charged with discouraging enlist- 
ments in the United States army and of uttering treasonable senti- 
ments, and being denied a parole, was placed in the guardhouse. 


On November 29, 1862, Eugene ^"ogle, a soldier of C'omijany 
I, Second Cavalry, California Volunteers, was shot and killed by 
Frank Slawick, bartender at the Fashion saloon. This place, kept 
by "Ki" O'Neal, was known as a "rebel" saloon and threats had 
been made by soldiers to do up its proprietor. About midnight, a 
crowd of drunken soldiers entered and ordered drinks for which 
they declined to ])ay. They then ordered cigars, which Slawick 
refused them, saying "I have no cigars for your kind." A row 
started and Slawick reached under the bar for bis gun, which was 
accidentally discharged. A fusilade followed in which Vogle was 
killed. Slawick was shot in the arm and two soldiers were slightly 
wounded. O'Neal was struck in the forehead by a glancing shot 
and knocked senseless. 

Slawick made his escape and was taken by "Uncle" Billy 
Cozzens to his place near Lime Kiln (now Lemon Cove) to be cared 
for. A meeting of citizens and officers was held in consequence 
of the atfray to devise means of keeping the peace. Col. George 
S. Evans, in command of Camp Babbitt, said if the soldiers were 
the aggressors he would inmish them, or give them over to the 
civil authorities, but he would punish none for resenting insults to 
them or the flag. He would expect them to protect themselves. 


On August 6, 1863, Charles Stroble, sergeant of Com])any I. 
Second Cavalry, California A'olunteers, was shot and killed by 
James L. "Wells. 

It appears that the trouble started near the corner of Main 
and Church streets. Tilden Reid, who afterwards became sheriff, 
had been drinking some and yelled "Hurrah for Downey" (the 
Democratic candidate for Governor). Jim Donahue, a soldier, told 
him that he would shoot him if he said that again. This trouble 
caused quite an embrogiio in which Wells joined. Reid was ar- 
rested and taken to the guardhouse at Camp Babbitt, and Wells 
started home. 


He had been preceded by Douabne and Stroble, "n'bo, foi- the 
puri)ose of picking a row, awaited liim at the entrance to Knoble 
& Krafts restaurant (near Rouse & Sous' present place of busi- 
ness). Donahue here kicked a chair at Wells, which struck him in 
the leg, saying "I meant that for you." "Wells declined to take up 
the proffered insult -and walked on, Donahue and Stroble following, 
making insulting remarks. Wells stepped inside the doorway of a 
tin shop at the corner of Main and Court streets, and, sheltering him- 
self behind a pillar, secured his revolver. Donahue saw this action 
and yelled, "Look out! he's got a gun!" Wells fired, killing Stroble 
and took repeated shots at Donahue, who escaped into the Union 
saloon across the street. A stray shot is said to have cut G. A. 
Botsford's necktie. 

Wells ran through the alley to the Overland stables (across 
the street from their present location) and secured a saddle horse 
which he rode to the edge of the swamp belt near the site of the 
sugar factory. While this was going on. Bob Houston and Gordon 
Douglass, friends of Wells, drew their six-shooters and were taken 
in charge by soldiers. Wells had narrow escapes from capture. At 
one time, when he was hiding under a log, several of the pursuing 
soldiers came uj) and sat on it. He wandered as far east as the 
Cottage postoffice, where his friend, Jesse Reynolds, secreted him 
and supplied him with provisions. He later disguised himself, got 
to San Francisco and from there went to Mexico. His relatives 
took up the matter and secured a change of venue to Merced county, 
whereupon Wells returned, submitted to trial, and was acquitted. 

During the night following the affray. Wells' house in \'isalia 
was burned, a deed generally believed to have been conunitted liy 
the soldier comrades of Stroble. 


Some time in '63, a half-witted boy named Denny McKay, had 
secured a pair of pants from a soldier, and was wearing them. Hugh 
McKay, a brother, happened along and said, "Hello, Denny, are you 
going to be a soldier?" and made some contemptuous reference to 
the soldiery. Richard Rowley, a private of the Second Cavalry, 
took up the matter and chased McKay, who was unarmed, firiny 
as he ran. A volimteer, seeing the pursuit, also took a shot at 
McKay, but he escaped unharmed. 

On March 4, 1868, Rowley was assassinated in Porterville while 
sitting at dusk before the fireplace in the hotel, the cause being at 
first attributed to the war-time incident. It developed, however, 
that Rowley had an implacable enemy in one Smith Fine. Rowley, 
it was alleged, had gone to Fine's house in his absence and at the 
point of a revolver compelh'd Fine's wife to dance for his amuse- 


meut. Fine was acquitted of the luurder, however, throuiih hiek 
of evidence. 


In 1862 L. P. Hall and S. J. Garrison established a paper iu 
Visalia called the Civil Rights Expositor, later changing the name 
to The Equal Rights Expositor. The ofSce was located above the 
Visalia House. It was a red-hot secession newspaper, ably edited 
bnt extremely radical in its utterances, and at once gained great 
favor with its readers and acquired a large circulation. 

On account of his open advocacy of the southern cause Hall 
was arrested and taken to Camp Babbitt, where he was forced 
to take the oath of allegiance. After this incident the editorials 
in the Expositor were more bitter and inflammatory than ever 
before, angering beyond measure the soldiers aud volunteers. Among 
the choice utterances were: 

"We have said that Abraham Lincoln lias perjured himself. 
and have pi-OA'ed it. We now tell those who i)articii)ate in this 
detestable war, to the extent of their support, that they partici])ate 
with Lincoln in the crime of perjury." 

"Let our states' rights friend look around them and note tlie 
])assion slaves of the President, who prate about reliels and traitors, 
while they hug their chains with the servility of a kicked and cuffed 
hound. ' ' 

Dr. Davenport, owner of the l)uikling in which the printing- 
office was located, fearing that Hall's vituperative utterances would 
incite a riot and damage be done to his property, ordered them to 
leave the premises. The office was removed to Court street adjoin- 
ing the lot on which the Times office now stands. 

On the night of March 5, 1863, a party of soldiers from Camp 
Babbitt, together with a number of townspeople, entered the office, 
tied Garrison up, threw the type into the street and destroyed the 
printing presses. Guards were posted at the street corners to 
prevent interference with the diversion. So resentful of this act 
were Hall and Garrison's friends in Mariposa that a party of 
seventy or eighty armed men came down for the purpose of "clean- 
ing up" Camp Babbitt. These hid themselves in the swamp, ex- 
pecting to be reinforced from Visalia. Cooler counsel among the 
leaders of the southern sympathizers here prevailed, however, and 
they were induced to disband and return to Mariposa. 

Hall and Garrison for several years tried to get a bill through 
the legislature compensating them for the money loss incurred, 
and, in 1868, succeeded in doing so. Governor Haight, however, 
vetoed the bill on the ground that the property had 1)een destroyed 
by soldiers und^r the authority and control of the Ignited States, 
for which the state was not resp(msible. 



Necessarily tlie history of Tulare eoiinty was to all intents and 
purposes, in the early period, the history of Visalia, as tlie activities 
of the entire population centered here. 

The early beginnings are familiar. It will be remembered how, 
in 1852, alone in the wilderness, Nathaniel and Abner Vise located 
for a future homestead the site of the city; how the first immigrants 
thought it necessary to build a stockade to defend themselves from 
Indians. Also will be remembered Nat Vise's generous offer to 
donate his claim to the people if they would locate the county seat 
here; how the offer was accepted and liy the election of 185o, 

The first enterprises tending to making a town here have also 
been detailed in the general history; how Baker started a store 
and Matthews a mill ; how a school and church and a two-stoi-y log 
jail, planked and "pinned with double tens" followed. 

Nearly three score years have ])assed since these things were, 
and here is only space for the bare mention of the milestones of 
progress Visalia has since passed. Many of these, too, marking as 
well the progress of the county as a whole, are treated under sep- 
arate headings. Thus the first two causes tending toward increased 
population were the discovery of gold as early as 1856, and the 
establishment of the Overland stage route through the town in 
1859. For a number of years following the town showed a rapid, 
if what might be, perhaps, termed a hectic, growth. 

Those were the days of easy-going ways, the day of dollars 
easily acquired, easily spent. Between 1856 and 1860 it was esti- 
mated that from five and six thousand miners passed through 
Visalia, en route to the gold fields. Outfitting and freighting and 
the accommodation and transportation of travelers developed into 
a business of magnitude. And the miners, whether going or com- 
ing, whether hopeful, successful, or discouraged, were always thirsty, 
and. whether they had been lucky or unlucky, were still always ready to 
take another chance. 

And catering to these wants, saloons and gambling flourished; 
dance halls were enlarged, musicians imported. Faro, roulette, 
monte, poker and dice games all assisted in the general scheme of 
tlie retention of a goodly portion of the traveler's coin, .^nd when 
the lull in mining began to make itself felt, the Civil war. with its 
l)ay days for soldiers and its grafting quartermasters, again made 


life of this kind pleasant and profitable. New mines in the Owens 
River district were discovered and business flourished anew. 

Durin.o- these years, of course, the population had been increased 
by the addition of all classes of men. Tliere were now keen law- 
yers, shrewd merchants, skilled physicians. There were teachers 
and preachers. Two newspapers had been established, the Delta, 
by John Shannon in 1859, and the Equal Rights Expositor, by S. J. 
Garrison, in 1862. The Masons and Odd Fellows had organized. 
With it all, however, was lacking the element of stability. The fact 
was that although set in the midst of a most fertile section, and 
being the only town within a score of miles, the community, while 
apparently prosperous, was not really self-supporting. This arose 
from its location remote from markets and the lack of communica- 
tion and transportation facilities. For a few vears retrogressicm 
set in. "I'^SSOVS 

And now, before we consider the next era, let us take a survey 
of the old town and try to visualize it as it existed before the war. 

A view taken from the Palace hotel corner on Main street, 
looking east, will serve for a foundation for a correct mental 
building of the picture. The Exchange hotel appears on the left 
and S. Sweet's store in the right foreground. Certainly it is a 
vision of ramshackle neglectfulness, of general unkemptness and 
untidiness. No sidewalks, no curbs, no cleanliness. 

Commencing on the south side of Main street, at the corner of 
Bridge, was located the general merchandise store of 0. Reinstein. 
a two-storybuilding, almost the onh' one in this neighborhood. The 
Birley and Pierce blacksmith shop adjoined on the west and at 
the corner was Swat and Wells emporium. 

At the corner now occupied by the balconies was a lirick iniild- 
iug used as a general store by John G. Parker. The Cosmopolitan 
saloon was next in order, then a little brick drug store, oj^ened by 
Henry Bequette. Then came a general store kept by a Mr. Johnson 
and at the Uhl corner, an old frame building housing the general 
merchandise store of D. K. Douglass. At the corner where is now 
located the Citizens bank, stood the Masonic Hall building, then 
Hockett's, then Rogers' stores. In the middle of the block was 
Keener 's butcher shop, then the Fashion saloon, the Bostwick's tin 
shop. Around the corner, where is now the Harrell building, was 
Peter Goodhue's stable. The National Bank site was occui)ied by 
the dwelling house of John Majors, which later made wa\- foi- a 
two-story building erected by H. and I. Cohen, the lower floor used 
for the St. Charles saloon and the upi)er for Music Hall. 

Commencing once more on Main street, opposite our point of 
beginning, we find Turner's blacksmith shop occupying the site of 
the Ballon buildins,-. On the TIarvev House corner stood a two- 


story brick buildiu.a,' run as a liotel oriiiinally l)y L. R. Ketchum 
and G. G. Noel. In 1858 G. AV. Warner assumed charge, calling it 
the Exchange hotel. 

At the American hotel corner was the appropriately named 
Deadfall saloon, dance hall and bowling alley. Between there and 
the corner was a dwelling house and then a restaurant and two 
stores, occui)ying the lower floo)' of a ))uilding located on a portion 
of the Visalia House site. 

The Delta office, built by Shannon, its first proprietor, stood at 
the corner now occupied by the National Bank; in the neighborhood 
of Li])scomb's pool hall was a two-story frame building occupied as 
the general store of H. Mitchell. At the Palace hotel corner stood 
Dick Billip's hotel, which later came to be called the Exchange 
hotel. Nyothiug now until about the site of the Carnegie library, 
where was located the steam flouring mill originally built by AVagg, 
later operated by Jack Lorenz, son-in-law of Dr. Matthews. 

On east Main, in the block where now the Santa Fe de]iot is 
situated, stood the Eagle hotel, kept by Capt. S. R. Dummer, and 
later by G. W. Warner. Matthews & Co. flour mill of hewn oak 
timbers, operated by a little turbine wheel set in the race, stood 
about where the present flouring mill stands. The wasteway cut 
across Main street and emptied into Mill creek near the depot site. 

Outside of some minor shops, the above constituted all the business 
bouses, although a big stable and barn, surrounded by a high brick 
wall, was built at the present location of Armory Hall b.v the Overland 
stage company in 1859, when the route was established through Vi- 
salia. Townsend's saloon, in the neighborhood of Huffaker's stables, 
also came into existence. 

It must be remembered that there were no sidewalks exce])! 
those of plank in front of the different business establishments; 
there were no pavements, no curbs, no sewers, no lights. Remem- 
ber that this constituted the entire business section of town and that 
the dwellings, with the exception of a few brick residences, such 
as Wiley Watson's and A. J. At well's, were mere shacks, scattered, 
separated from each other by dense growths of brush, weeds, briars 
and a general tangle of vegetation. Streets, while laid out, were 
not necessarily strictly followed where cut-offs enabled one to reach 
main roads by a more direct route. 

Such was Visalia in the late '50s, and it was a good town and 
a growing town; there was life and gaiety, brisk business and 
abundant money. A spreading oak tree, 'just visible in the back- 
ground of the photograph, stood in the street at the corner of 
Bridge. The American flag, one made by Mrs. G. W. Warner, 
was stretched from it to the Warner hotel and flung to the lireeze 
for the first time in Visalia in 1856. 

The first lirecrackei-s, iniportod in 1858, were hailed with delight 


by the fun-luviny pupulace and sold readily at from $1 to $1.50 
a pack. Horce-raciug was a si^ort in those days entered into with 
great enthusiasm. Local stock was used and a large portion of the 
available cash was in the hands of stakeholders before the start was 
made. Sometimes the races were postponed until late in the day 
that visitors from a distance might all have a chance to arrive and 
"get their money up." Some pleasures were more expensive then 
than now. Seven dollars was the usual price for a ball ticket, al- 
though on exceptionally swell occasions, such as tlie opening of the 
St. Charles hotel, a $10 charge was made. 

That the love of "red licker," while natural, and, in fact, essen- 
tial, might be carried to extremes and that therefore the api)etite 
should be somewhat curbed, was early recognized. The Visalia 
Dashaway Association, for the furtherance of temperance, was 
formed and many able citizens joined, and speeches of impassioned 
eloquence were made. As some slight stimulant was necessary to 
exalt the mind to a degree of inspiration in the ])reparatiou of such 
si)eeches, and as it was necessary in some measure to recujjerate 
after the violent physical effort of delivery, report hath it that 
some of the officers of this association were often inclined to over- 
rate their cajiacity for the cup that "l)rig]itens and invigoi'ates the 

We pass on. Came the Civil war. Of the duel to the death 
in the campaign preceding it; of the organization of home guards 
and the- coming of troops; of the street brawls and murders and 
house burnings and news])ai)er destroying during tlic ]ieriod. there 
are accounts elsewhere. 

After the war, the need for rail transportation facilities made 
itself severely felt and for a long period of years untiring efforts 
were made by Visalia 's leading citizens to secure some such. The 
production of wool was becoming important, wheat farming offered 
prospects but excessive freights caused development to halt. Wiicn 
it became known that the Southern Pacific company had definitely 
left Visalia otT the map by leaving it seven miles to the east, R. 1-'. 
Hyde, the leading financier of the city, with assistance from many 
enterprising citizens, Iniilt the Visalia and (Joslien railroad, com 
pleting it in 1875. 

In the meantime the city had been incorporated. This measure 
had been defeated by vote at an election held in 18()0, but it was not 
imtil February 27, 1874, that the a]jpi-ovai of the legislative act gav.' 
the rank of city to the town." The first oflicers were: S. A. She)>- 
pard, M. Mooney, I. A. Samstag, \V. H. IMsliop and \\". (i. Owen, 
trustees; J. C. Hoy, marshal and tax collector; Julius Levy, assessor; 
J. A. Nowell, school superintendent and city clerk; S. C. Brown, 
S. H. Collins, J. C. Ward and W. F. Thomas, school directors, and 
A. Elkins, recorder. 


Arthur and James Crowley establislied a water works system 
in 1875, gas works soon followed and electric lighting came in 1891. 

Increased railway facilities were necessary for growth and 
tardily came. The Visalia-Tnlare steam motor road was built 
by local capital; the Santa Fe, originally the San Joaquin Valley 
railroad, arrived in 1896; the Southern Pacitic made connections 
with the east side branch at pjxeter in 1897, shortly afterward 
taking over the Goshen- Visalia road; in 1907 the Visalia Electric 
road to Lemon Cove, and now on to Woodlake and Redbanks, was 
built, and in 1912 was inaugurated the Big Four electric railroad, 
which will connect Tulare, Porterville, Woodville and Visalia. 

Prior to 1890 municipal improvements were of a very minor 
character, In fact, only within the past few years have they become 
such as befits a modern, rapidly growing city. 

The prevention of the flood waters of Mill creek from over- 
flowing the town had always constituted a jirolilem, and in 1891 
the channel was deepened and straightened and confined to a plank- 
covered flume, which answered with more or less success until the 
excessive high water of 1906. During that season the town was 
repeatedly flooded and adequate protective measures became neces- 
sary. For the purpose of securing immunity from this danger 
bonds in the sum of $70,000 were voted, and in 1910 was con- 
structed, according to the design of the city engineer, M. L. Weaver, 
a cement-lined concrete aqueduct over half a mile in length, the 
same covered for nearly all the distance with a re-enforced • concrete 

Prior to this, in 1902. a sewerage system extending throughout 
the city had been built at a cost of about $80,000, and a commence- 
ment of street paving liad been made in 1895, by the laying down 
of twelve blocks in the business section. 

In 1909 a very handsome and convenient city hall of mission 
design was built in re-enforced concrete, at a cost of $30,000. Among 
other recent municipal improvements we may cite the magnificent 
new high school, now building in the western ]iart of town, to take 
the place of the $40,000 new building com))leted in 1911, and burned 
to the ground in the same year. 

One of the serious passages in Visalia 's recent history has 
been the numerous agitations, controversies and elections over the 
liquor question. This matter first came before the voters in 1874, 
and the proposed no-license measure was defeated by a vote of 
178 to 120. About twenty years elapsed before the sentiment against 
saloons reached proportions. This became es]iecially pronounced in 
1906, when nearly all the precincts in the county outside of incor- 
porated towns voted "dry." 

After repeated efforts, the anti-saloon forces succeeded, in 1911, 
in inducing the city trustees to call an election for the purpose of 


securing by a test or "straw" vote, the sentiment of .the people. 
Twelve hundred votes were cast at this election, the "drys" win- 
ning by one hundred and forty-one. At the city election in April 
following, city trustees favoring no-license were elected, the ma- 
jority in their favor being, however, only about eighty. An ordi- 
nance closing saloons was immediately passed. 

The state legislature had in the meantime passed the AVyliie 
local option law, providing for a submission of the question to the 
people upon the filing of a petition signed by twenty-five per cent 
of the voters. . The advocates of the saloon cause, confident that 
sentiment was changing in their favor, as shown by the recent vote, 
and that this would become more pronounced upon the falling off of 
business incident to the closing of saloons, determined to avail 
themselves of the provisions of the new law. 

A petition having three hundred and four signatures was filed 
and an election held July 17, 1911. The "wets" obtained a majority 
of six votes at this election, there being five hundred and sixteen 
votes for license, five hundred and ten against and nine thrown 
out on account of being blank or incorrectly marked. The city 
trustees decided that as the saloon advocates had not received a 
clear majority of all ballots placed in the box, the "drys'' had won, 
and refused to issue licenses. Intense bitterness was engendered 
by this action and the case carried into court on mandamus pro- 
ceedings. Judge Wallace decided that the election was carried by 
the "wets," but that as the Wyllie law did not provide that the 
liquor traffic must be licensed following a majority vote, therefore 
the writ of mandamus would not lie. 

It was, in other words, optional with the board to follow the 
expression of the will of the people. The trustees, standing on 
their legal rights, and justifying their action by the contention that 
illegal votes were cast, maintained their ]>osition. The saloons 
thereupon gave v]> their fight for a time, but in tlie spi-jiig of J91ll 
a final effort was made to secure a lease of life. This took tlie 
form of initiative legislation. An ordinance providing for the 
licensing of saloons under regulations so strict that it was thought 
that they would meet with the approval of the less radical opposi- 
tion element was prepared, and the requisite number of signatures 
was affixed to a petition asking the trustees to call an election to 
determine whether or not it was the will of the people that the 
ordinance go into effect. At this election, held in April, 1912, 
women for the first time participated in municipal affairs. The 
measure was defeated overwhelmingly, thus finally settling a con- 
troversy that had existed for years. 

The fact that Visalia, the oldest town in the San Joaipiiii vnl 
ley, has allowed some to distance it in poinilation and many to out- 
strip it in rapid growth has l)een the cause of comment. 


Three principal factors there are which have contributed to 
this state of affairs. First, may be placed the fact of its not being 
on the main line of railway, although at present the facilities for 
shipment, and for travel are the same as if. it were on three main 
lines. Second, is the fact that land in the vicinity has been held in 
large tracts by owners who did not desire to sell. Not until re- 
cently have any tracts suitable for colonization beeu placed on the 
market. Third, is the fact that elsewhere the prospective settler 
has in the past been able to find cheaper land. In many other locali- 
ties, lands of low original value were rendered suitable for settle- 
ment by irrigation or other enterprises, and with the cost of this 
and promoters' profits added, could still be sold at a low figure. 

In the rich delta sub-irrigated district, tributary to Visalia, land 
values on undeveloped tracts have been maintained for the reason 
that their conversion into income property was at any time an easy 
matter. The pressure of a flood of homeseekers is now at the bar- 
riers, and an exceeding growth and an increased prosi)erity will 
undoubtedly result. 

Visalia today is a busy and growing modern city of (iOOO in- 
habitants. In addition to the municipal improvements previously 
spoken of, such as the new city hall, new high school building, recent 
extensive street paving, adequate sewer system, etc., there is a 
handsome public library building', a delightful cit.v park, a building 
in which are housed the chamber of commerce displays and which 
affords a meeting place for all civic bodies. 

The city is peculiarly iilcasing to the eye on account of the 
extent of shade tree bordered streets. Situated as it is in the 
center of the sub-irrigated lielt, natural perennial green grasses 
flourish and the lawns and foliage never indicate by failing verdure 
the parching effects of summer heat. Many oaks, remnants of the 
solid groves that once were a feature of the landscape, remain and 
add to the charm. 

Quite a large uumber of pretentious residences, with carefully 
kept lawns and gardens, grace the environs. Cement sidewalks 
have generally been well extended towards the outskirts, and the 
streets, outside the paved district, are usually oiled and kejit in 
good order. 

In a business way, modern requirements are fully met. There 
are three banks with deposits of nearly $2,500,000; two cauning 
factories; two dried fruit packinghouses; two creameries; two green 
fruit packing concerns and a beet sugar factory. 

The amount of money expended by these concerns in payrolls 
and payments for the products of orchard, dairy and farm reaches 
an enormous total, and forms the foundation for permaneut pros- 



The eastern slope of Tulare county is covered today witli aU 
most one continuous orange grove. In the amount of cajiital in- 
vested, tlie culture of citrus fruits is by far tlie most imjiortant 
industry in tlie county. In yearly revenue it equals or exceeds any 
, other. 

Roughly speaking, there are aliout twenty-seven thousand acres 
set to oranges and lemons, one-third of which is in hearing. The 
production last year was four thousand carloads, having a value 
of $2,500,000. A conservative valuation of these orchards with 
their equipment would be $13,500,000, and a fair estimate of the 
income when the present acreage reaches bearing would be $7,500,000. 
This wonderful develo]mient has been wholly accomplished within 
the past twenty years, but a few words relative to the very earliest 
efforts in this direction may prove of interest. 

The first orange tree planted in Tulare county was in 18(50, when 
Mrs. H. M. White, in Frazier valley, i)lanted the seed from an 
orange brought from the South Sea islands. As one passes now 
through miles of groves heavy with golden fruit or laden with odorous 
blossoms, the symbolism of this act appeals to the imagination 
It seems as if, endowed with the supernatural powers of one of 
the fates, she performed the ceremony of transferring to this 
inland vale some of the spicy fragrance and some of the easy 
opulence of those languorous isles. 

Returning to facts, Deming (libben, in 1863, also planted a 
few orange trees in his yard at Piano. At dates not exactly known, 
Peter Goodhue set out a tree in Visalia and J. W. C. Pogue at 
Lemon Cove planted a few. To trace the extraordinary growth of 
the inchistry from those days until the ])resent, when trainloads 
are shipped daily throughout the season, would fill a volume. And 
yet progress in the beginning was hampei-ed in many ways. Few 
of Tulare county resiclents believed in it. It was expensive, the 
cost even in the beginning reaching $300 per acre for bringing an 
orchard into bearing. The area of adaptable laud was thought 
to be confined only to certain foothill slopes, or coves with certain 
kinds of exposure. Hog-wallow land was deemed unfit. Failure to 
obtain water on the first trial in some districts was considered evi- 
dence that none was there. But when numerous crops came into 
bearing and the fruit was being harvested some six weeks earlier 
than that from Southern California, wlum this fi-uit reached llie 
eastern markets in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas markets 


and sold for exceedingly high prices, there came visitors from the 
southern orange districts who perceived at a glance the great pos- 
sibilities of the section. 

In 1870 W. J. Ellis, county assessor, in his statistical report 
submitted to the surveyor general, listed one hundred oraiige trees 
in the county. In making up his large total, however, he had re- 
course to including about ninety young trees still in the nursery. 
At this period there was no thought in the minds of anyone that 
orange growing would develop as a commercial industry. This did 
not occur until 1890. In that year George Frost, a prominent orange 
grower and nurseryman of Riverside, took a look at the county. In 
Southern California there existed a firm conviction that orange 
growing north of Tehachapi was impossible. While Mr. Frost 
looked at the country with doubtful eyes, he was more unprejudiced 
than the majority. Besides this, he was anxious to find a market 
for nursery trees. At the time he had on hand a large stock, which 
he was unable to sell. In the San Joaquin valley for Mr. Frost's 
inspection there were at the time the following groves only: at 
Porterville, five acres; at the ranch of H. M. White, a few trees; 
at Piano, one acre; at Lemon Cove, one and one-half acres; at 
Centerville, six acres; and at the old General Beale's place, south 
of Bakersfield, a five-acre tract planted to a general assortment of 
citrus fruits. 

The prospects for a new district appealed so strongly to Mr. 
Frost that he engaged in a deal with the Pioneer Land comi)any 
of Porterville whereby, on laud owned by the corporation, he was 
to set out one hundred acres of orange trees and care for them 
for two years. Then he was either to buy the property for -$100 
per acre or the land company were to rejiay him for the trees and 
labor expended. 

Immediately following the exjn-ession of opinion of Mr. Frost 
that the district was adapted to oranges, numbers iirepared to 
engage in it, and the next year witnessed a planting that would 
prove a commercial factor. Albert and Oliver Henry of Porter- 
ville. who already had a few trees in bearing, became the ]iioneer 
enterprising growers and boosters for the Porterville district. 

In 1891 Capt. A. J. riutchinson. together with Messrs. Patten 
and Glassell, purchased the Jacobs' place at Lindsay and in the 
following year set out three acres at Lindsay, which became known 
as the home ])lace. In 1893 planting became general. So well 
pleased was Mr. Frost with his original venture at Porterville 
that he purchased and iiroceeded to sot out an additional tract of 
seventy-five acres. 

Captain Hutchinson organized tlie Lindsay Land company, and 
proceeded to subdivide liis tract into snuiU holdings, agreeing to 


care for the groves of uon-residents. No ditch water for irrigating 
was available at Lindsay. Wells were therefore sunk and steam 
pumping plants installed, the first in the county. Water in abund- 
ance was found at a depth of about seventy feet, which rose to 
within twenty feet of the surface. The experiment generally dis- 
believed in proved an unqualified success. A high water level in 
the wells maintained itself in spite of the drain of constant imniping 
and the supply appeared then as inexhaustible. 

Thomas Johnson, Joe Curtis and other influential men of San 
Jose, became prominent in promoting the Lindsay district. About 
four hundred acres, mostly in ten acre tracts, were planted. Be- 
tween two hundred and fifty and three hundred acres, also in small 
blocks, were planted near Porterville. 

Exeter entered the field in li»()4 tlirougb the ojierations of 
George Frost. This gentleman, with Messrs. Merryman, Carney, 
Hamilton, Davis and others, set out aboiit four hundred acres east 
of Exeter, naming it the Bonnie Brae orchard. In ])assing, it may 
be noted that Mr. Merryman later absorbed the interests of his 
associates and greatly increased his holdings by the purchasing 
of adjoining property. In addition to several hundred acres of 
undeveloped land and a considerable acreage devoted to oli^•es 
and deciduous fruits, there are seven hundred and fifty acres 
devoted to oranges. It is the largest grove in the coimty and this, 
together with the elegant residence, large, beautiful gardens and 
grounds, make it one of the "show places" of the district. 

Development at Lemon Cove did not lag behind this move- 
ment, promotion work there being first accomplished by Messrs. 
Hammond, Berry, Levis, Overall and Jordan of Visalia, who or- 
ganized the Kaweah Lemon Company and set some two luiudrod 
acres to trees. The Ohio Lemon Company shortly thereafter set 
another similar tract to this fruit. 

By 1904 development had been thoroughly launclied in the 
Poi-terville, Lindsay, Exeter and Lemon Cove districts. \\\' turn 
now to the commercial disposition of the product. 

In 1892 there were boosters a-plenty for the new industry. It 
was deemed desirable to show the world that a new citi'us district, 
pi-ndncing fruit unecpialed, had been discovered. The World's Fair 
at St. Louis was to open January 1, 1904. Above all things it be- 
liduved growers here to make a big showing. P. M. Baier was 
selected to prepare such an exhibit. The (irst full carload to 
leave the county was the fruit for this disi)lay and it rc(|uir('d prac- 
tically all grown in the county to fill it. The exhibit was lirst shown 
in the Mechanics Pavilion in San Francisco, and then forwarded to 
St. Louis, and received creditable mention at both jilaces. 

In 1893 there were four carloads at the Frost orchard, and in 


tlie next season both the Exchange and the Earl Fruit Com- 
panies entered the field, getting out a pack of sixteen cars. This 
fruit reached the eastern market in time for the Thanksgiving and 
Christmas markets and sold for extra high prices. As this period 
of ripening is several weeks in advance of Southern California a 
great deal of attention was attracted to this locality and many 
southern growers came, saw the results accomplished, and invested. 

Old residents of Tulare county, however, generally held aloof from 
venturing into this field. In fact, the whole business of the promo- 
tion of the sale of orange lands and their planting appeared to 
them as a rank swindle. The selling of foothill land at $25 to $50 
]ier acre, or with water developed at $75 to $100, seemed to them 
as merely a scheme to catch suckers. Only within the last few 
years, in fact, have numbers of our own citizens taken an active 
part m the enterprise, these now freely paying for lands treble the 
price that they formerly believed extravagant. 

During the first years of the rapid extension of acreage devoted 
to citrus fruits investors were very chary of straying far from the 
original bearing orchards. Objections inmunerable- were in fact 
advanced toward all other lancls. 

The Hutchinson tract at Lindsay was held to mark tlie extreme 
westerly boundary of the thermal belt; only slojjes and coves in 
the hills with certain exposures were suitable; south of Piano 
there was no water; hog-wallow land was unfit; failure to obtain 
water in the first trial in a new district was considered evidence 
that none was there; and so on, endlessly, with able reasons why 
the only true citrus lands had been ]ilanted by the first 'growers. 
Largely in consequence of this attitude, the bearing orchards today 
generally lie in the districts tributary to Porterville, Lindsay, Exe- 
ter and Lemon Cove. 

Commencing some seven or eight years ago, however, there has 
been a bold exi)loitation of new districts, led by jiromoters with caju- 
tal, energy and optimism. These have by actual demonstration shown 
conclusively that the citrus belt is not bounded by such narrow limits. 
Water in (juantities has l>een develoj^ed almost everywhere. Dinnba, 
Orosi, Stokes valley, Yettem, Orange Heights, Klink, Venice Cove,' 
Redbanks, Woodlake, Naranjo, Frazier valley, Strathmore, Zante, 
Terra Bella and the entire district from Piano south to the coimty 
line, including Terra Bella, Ducor and Richgrove, are each now capa- 
ble of demonstrating by showing hundreds of acres of thriving or- 
chards that they are adapted to this culture. 

With the exception of Dinuba, Orosi, Yettem and Redbanks, 
which have other sources of income, all of these new districts are 
solely dependent upon citrus fruit culture for sn])port. In this con- 
nection the solid iiii])rovements at Woodlake. Stratlimore and Terra 
I'x'lla. iinrticiilni-lv in the wav of substantial business structures. 


hotels, banks, newspapers, municipal water sup|)ly, conient sidewalks, 
etc., indicate the confidence of moneyed men in Iho potential produc- 
tive capacity of the community. 

All of this expenditure in the way of permanent municipal im- 
jtrovenients, together with the outlay of capital incident to the installa- 
tion and maintenance throughout the entire district of electric power 
systems, necessarily forms a portion of the entire sum today invested 
in the citrus fruit industry of the county. The estimate of $13,500,000, 
given at the commencement of this sketch, is shown, therefore, to be 
far too low. Twenty million would perhaps come nearer. Likewise, 
with reference to the present income. The estimate of $2,500,000 of 
present return was based on a production of four thousand carloads, 
four hundred boxes to the car, value $1.50 per box. The cost of lalior 
for handling and jiacking and the salaries and profits of the men en- 
gaged in this ])usiness were not included. Tims a fairer estimate of 
the ])resent revenue from this source would be $3,000,000. 

The first plantings were seedlings, but practically all have since 
been replaced by Washington navels. The ]3resent pack of four thou- 
sand carloads consists of about two hundred and fifty cars of lemons, 
four hundred and fifty cars of Valencias and the remainder navels. 
There are tliiity-five packing houses in the district, and double that 
number will ))e needed as soon as the present new acreage comes 
into bearing. 

TuJai-c county now i-anks til'th in the state in tlie production of 
(■itrus fruits, hut it ajipears certain that within four years it will take 
first place. 


The jiresent area of Tulare county is 4,863 square niilcs. 

It is still a large county and its diversified topogra]>liy and ]n-o- 
ductions cause it to seem a veritable empire. How vast the area once 
included in its bounds can be seen by the following slices that have 
been taken from its territory : In 1856, Fresno county, witli 6,0.35 
s(iuare miles; in 1866, Inyo county, with 10,224 square miles; in 1866, 
Kern county, with 1,852 square miles; and in 1893, Kings county, 
with 1,375 square miles. 



Three things were necessary in the early days of cattle raising in 
Tulare county to insure success. These were a branding iron, a range 
claim and a number of active cowboys. 

There was a law at tliat time which had been |)assed by the legis- 
lature of '51, entitled "An act to regulate rodeos," which caused this 
condition. This law provided for a general rodeo on every stock farm, 
and if a rancher failed to make it, it could be made by any of his 
neighbors at his expense; and provided further that no man should 
mark or brand his stock cattle except at one of these general rodeos. 

Of tlie law and its workings, Stephen I5arton, writing in 1874, 
says: "The cap sheaf of tlie enactment, however, was tliis section: 
'All unmarked neat cattle, the mothers of which are unknown, shall 
be considered the property of the owner of the farm on which they 
may be found.' These provisions of law resulted in this county in 
the unoccupied public domain being divided into range claims, and he 
that was unable to make a general rodeo soon found that he had no 
business to keep cattle, while those who undertook it found that the 
business of the year simplified itself to the task of assembling on his 
rodeo ground as many unmarked neat cattle without mothers as it 
were possible to do. Can it be wondered at that, under such circum- 
stances, cattle stealing should rise to the dignity of a science, and 
finally to that of a fine art? The business of manipulating a rodeo 
was at once more simple than that of stacking a deck of cards or that 
of picking the pockets of an unwary traveler. Further, it was more 
respectable and required, in one case, less cai)iial, in the othei', 
less courage." 

In 1907 occurred an incident at White River which at once illus- 
trates the wealth once frtniuently found in the gokl pockets of this 
section and brought to light a story of a mysterious disappearance, 
buried treasure and unfounded susi^icion strange as any fiction. 

It develops that in the early '80s Tom Bradford, a miner thought 
to have been (juite successful, suddenly disappeared. No clue was 
obtained to his whereabouts; it was believed that he had met with foul 
play, and suspicion rested on J. M. White. At this time, so the story 
goes, Dave Hughes and old man Caldwell were interested believers in 
spiritualism and gave seances and table rappings. At one of these 
performances they announced that Bradford had met his death at 
the hands of White. Great excitement ensued in the cam]i and 
White's denial of yuilt was not believed. 



Mr. White, by means of letters to almost every town in the state, 
finally located Bradford and received letters convincing the neighbors 
of his innocence. In one of these letters Bradford stated that he had 
buried some gold in Gordon's Gulch, described the location and told 
White to get it and keep it to repay him for the trouble he had ex- 
perienced. Mr. White and his sons searched Gordon's Gulch over and 
over, but failed to discover the treasure. 

In 1907 Bradford returned, having lost his eyesight and one arm 
through a dynamite explosion, and is now known as "Blind Tom." 
Securing a guide, Tom Willard, in Delano, Blind Tom arrived in Gor- 
don's Gulch and by describing the location, which was by a chimney 
and near a flat rock surface, was conducted to the spot. A little dig- 
ging vmearthed gold iu various tin cans to the amount of twenty-five 

Following the Civil war the failing output of the mines caused a 
lessened prosperity. The lack of transportation facilities was severely 
felt and many endeavors were made to secure rail connections. 

Cattle raising continued profitable and herds were increased. 
The discovery of the immense grazing territory of the Sierras gave an 
impetus to sheep raising, and wool became the principal product. 

The completion of the railroad through Goshen and Tulare in 
1872, with the westward branch through lianford in 1877 caused a 
rush of settlers. These either purchased land of the railroad or 
acquired title by pre-emption of homestead. The population increased 
very rapidly and farming on a large scale had its inception. Irrigating 
enterprises on a large scale were inaugurated. 

It must be remembered that the county by this time had been 
greatly reduced in area, Kern having been cut off in 1856, and Fresno 
and Inyo in 1866. 

The "No Fence" law of 1871, passed just before the coming 
of the railroad, rendered farming practicable and now commenced 
the era of wheat growing. Immense ranches were sown to the 
cereal, an acreage of from five to twenty thousand in one body not 
being unusual. A section, or 640 acres, was considered a small farm. 
Tulare became the banner wlieat producing county of the state. 
Fourteen thousand carloads were shipped in one season. Tiie con- 
struction in 1888 of the east side branch of the Southern Pacific, 
passing through the Dinuba, Exeter, Porterville and Ducor country, 
brought an immense acreage of fine wheat lands into cultivation. 
Sheep raising, meanwhile, since the disastrous dronglil of '77. had 
l)een declining. 

In 1890 the county experienced what may he tci-nuHl its third 
boom. The extraordinary yields and prolits of fruit raising had 


been demonstrated by the crop sales of orchards in the two jjreceding 
years and now a general rush to ijlant trees took place. Prol)ably 
fifteen thousand acres were set to trees and vines in this season. 

The discovery of the adaptability of the foothill belt to citrus 
fruits, the finding of subterranean rivers, and the exploitation of the 
power of the mountain streams were incidents of the succeeding 
years. Dairying, conducted at first on a small scale with inconsider- 
able profit, became shortly, from the increasing necessities of the 
rapidly growing city of Los Angeles, an industry of great im- 

In general, the history of the county duriug tlie last fifteen years 
has been the prosaic development caused by the flourishing growth 
of industry, accounts of which are given under separate headings. 




When, ill 1888, tlie railroad coiistraction crew struck tlie town- 
site of Exeter they found themselves in the grain field of Jolin W. 
Firelniugh. Behind them and hefore them stretched other fields 
of wheat. A few farm houses were in sight, but there was no vestige 
of a town, nor did it appear likeh' that there ever would be. 

The Pacific Improvement Compan}-, who had platted the town 
and owned the "city," found the sale of lots slow indeed. A black- 
smith shop, opened by John Hamilton, a store conducted by George 
W. Kirkinan, a saloon and later a hotel constituted for several years 
the Exeter business establishments, and it was not until 1S9'2 tliat 
a second general store, opened by R. H. Stevens, liecarae necessary. 
At this time there were only two brick buildings in town, and tlie 
remainder consisted largely of mere shacks. 

Not until 1894 did the first stirring of life manifest itself. George 
W. Frost and associates in that year commenced the extensive orange 
plantings at "Bonnie Brae," a short distance east of town. Not, 
however, until about half a dozen years after this, when these 
orchards came into bearing, did the community realize the value 
of the land adjoining and since then growth has been very rapid. 
A bank, now called the First National Bank of Exeter, became neces- 
sary as early as 1901, and in 1912 the banking business had so grown 
as to justify the advent of another, the Citrus Bank. 

Exeter now has a ]jopulation of thirteen hundred, with an 
assessed valuation of city i)roiiei-ty of $388,000. The business section 
is constructed almost wholly of brick, many of the buildings l)eing 
of two stories with handsome pressed brick fronts. Business is not 
confined to a few large emporiums, l)ut distril>uted among a score 
of ])rosperous merchants. 

At two elections attempts to incorporate Exeter were defeated 
because of the opposition caused by the inclusion of much farm 
projierty within the i)ro])osed cori)orate limits. 

On March 2, 1911, the measure carried and under the leadership 
of the following officers the city commenced its career: Boanl of 
Trustees, G. E. Waddell, president; W. P. Ballard, J. F. Duncan. 
James Kirk, W. A. Waterman; city marshal, C. E. ^lackey; city 
treasurer, E. H. Miles; city recorder, W. B. Moore. 

The first imi)ortant measure for the city's welfare undertaken 
was the establishment of a municipal water system, a public service 
previously in private hands and furnishing inadequate service. Bonds 


in the sum of $42,000 were voted in 1911 and this year witnessed the 
completion and commencement of operation on a fine municipal 
plant. About nine miles of piping thoroughly cover the city and 
provide for its needs for several years. Four wells furnish a more 
than adequate supply of pure water and a storage capacity of 100,- 
000 gallons gives good fire protection. 

Modern school buildings are a feature, the high school liuilding, 
constructed in 1910 at a cost of $10,000, being particularly handsome. 
The high school has been in operation but four years, yet six teachers 
are emj^loyed and a seventh has become necessary. In this connec- 
tion illustrative of the city's recent rapid growth it may be stated 
that last year's attendance was just double that of the preceding 

A very progressive Board of Trade has for many years materially 
aided the advancement of city and county interests. Through its 
efforts a citrus fair was held in 1909 which attracted great crowds 
of visitors, not only from the county but from the large centers of 
population. Both financially and as a promotion enterprise this fair 
was an unqualified success. 

At the present time the Board of Trade is engaged in the con- 
struction of a handsome brick structure which will house the city 
officers, afford room for meetings both of the board and the city 
council and furnish the abode for an exhibit of the products of the 
surrounding section. 

Hunt Bros., a big firm of fruit cauners who are also owners 
of a large orchard in the vicinity, have recently established a large 
canning factory which gives employment through the season to 
several hundred people. 

Prior to the completion, in 1899. of the connecting line with 
Visalia, Exeter was quite a stage and teaming center. Even after 
this, Exeter remained the terminus for the Lemon Cove and Three 
Rivers stages and when the orange and lemon orchards of the Lemon 
Cove district came into bearing, the product, amounting to about a 
hundred carloads per season, was hauled to Exeter to be placed 
aboard ears. 

The Visalia Electric Railway, completed in 1907. necessarily 
wiped out this traffic, but by increasing trading, traveling and ship- 
ping facilities, has been a great benefit to the city. 

Exeter now has first class transportation facilities in four direc- 
tions. It may be said to be on the main line and two branch lines 
of the Southern Pacific as well as having an electric railway. 

Aside from these connections and its central location, Exeter is 
situated in a peculiarly favorable position by reason of its being 
practically on the line separating the farming, dairying and deciduous 
fruit district from the citrus belt. Of course, there is no real line of 
demarcation and the land immediately surrounding the town is adapted 


and devoted to l)otli cultures. Orange groves, alfalfa fields, peach 
orchards and vineyards of table grapes adjoin. 

Generally the farming and general fruit lands extend from the 
lowlands to the west to the neighborhood of the town, and eastward 
to the hills orange growing is in almost exclusive vogue. 

The result is that the prosperity arising from the vahuibic 
productions of the fertile soil is not intermittent, but constant tlnxnigh- 
out the year. The facilities for caring for these jn-oducts are of the 
best. In addition to the cannery, there is a packing house for the 
shipment of fresh fruit to eastern markets, and four orange packing 

The station of Monson, on the line of the Southern Pacific north 
of Visalia, is in a fine farming section and there are a number of 
orchards and vineyards in the vicinity. It is a small village; the 
school employs one teacher. 

Two miles north of Three Rivers is the postoffice and stage station 
known as Kaweah. It is located beside a picturesquely tree and vine 
bordered streamlet that is a feeder to the north fork of the Kaweah 
river. Much tillable land in large part devoted to apple orchards 
lies hereabouts and the neighborhood is, for a mountain settlement, 
well populated. There is a daily stage to Lemon Cove and during the 
summer mouths a stage is run from this point to Giant Forest. 


North Tule is the name given to the fertile valley of the Tule 
river after it issues from the western slopes of the Sierras, in the 
southeastern part of Tulare county. The valley is about thirty 
miles long with an average width of five miles and with numerous 
side valleys entering it. The soil is very fertile and has long been 
known for its fine apples. Many villages and settlements are found 
along the valley, among which are Milo, Cramer, Baldwin Flats, 
Duncan's Flat, Springville, Globe and China Flats. 

Anotlier of the stations of note on the line of tlic Sunt hern 
Pacific is the flourishing town of Pixley. It is in a rich farming dis- 
trict and is an important point for grain dealers. It is in the artesian 
country and large alfalfa fields have been sown, and dairying is 
coming to the front. There is a fine school house, hotel and several 
mercantile houses. Much of the lands aljout the town were owned by 
people of San Francisco and they named it in honor of the talented 
Frank Pixley, founder and editor of the Argonaut. 



The town of Tiiiton liad its origin with the eoniinn' of tlie 
Sonthern Paciiic Railway and was made a depot. It is in the midst 
of a rich farming and dairying country, and some of the people 
have i)lanted orchards. It is the natural shipping point for a large 
part of the lower Tule country, but the town has not grown with the 
rapidity of other places. It has a number of mercantile and other 
business houses and the business men are confidently expecting that 
in the next few years there will be a large influx of people. There 
are a number of artesian wells in the vicinity and the dairy business 
is growing to be of great importance. 

The most southerly town in the county on the line of the rail- 
road is Alila. It is in the country between the sinks of Deer creek 
and White river, and in the artesian belt. It thus has a rich and 
\'aluable country around it. There are good warehouses and a large 
amount of grain is handled here. The school and church are well 
represented and there are a number of business houses in town. 


Poplar is not the name of a town, but rather of a rich farming 
country west and south from Porterville, and being southeastward 
from the Woodville country. It is a famous stockraising section and 
also a fine country for grain. In the early days the land owners 
here united and brought in a suijjtly of water from the Tule river. 
This was by means of the Bid ditch. A co-operative company was 
formed and estal)lished a general merchandising house that is still 

doing hnsines 


One of the most beautiful sections of Tulare county is Frazier 
valley, whicJi lies about twenty-five miles east and south of Tulare 
City. It l)orders the Tule river above where the river emerges into 
the more open plains. It has a postoffice and a number of farms 
and orchards. It is, with its side valleys, some fifteen miles long 
and five miles wide. The valley is now attracting much attention as 
being a choice locality for early fruit and vegetables. It is finely 
watered and is comparatively free from frosts. 


The name Woodville was given to a rich farming country lying 
along the south side of Tule river, eight miles west from Porterville 
and twenty miles south of Visalia. It derived its title from the 
extensive groves of white oak covering the country. A store was 
established at an nwly date and a postoffice located there, besides 


a schoolhouse, and ])eople iu the neighborhood are beginning to put 
out orchards and hope in a few years to have a prosperous town 
there. The soil is very rich, and alfalfa fields are becoming 
numerous and much attention is ])aid of late to dairying. 


One of the late towns to spring up in Tulare county is Sti'ath- 
more, and it lias from the first shown a lusty growth. On the line 
of the railway between Lindsay and Porterville it is the depot for 
one of the fine orange districts of the county. At the citrus fair held 
in Visalia in 1910 Strathmore made a remarkably fine exlnbit of 
citrus and deciduous fruits, olives, pomegranates and other products. 


A few miles east of Badger lies the mountain dale called P^shoni 
Valley, one of the beauty spots of the county. The valley is several 
miles long and in places a mile wide. Though situated at a high 
elevation not far below the edge of the pines, the soil is warm and 
fertile and farm crops, vegetables, ])erries, apples, etc., produce 
exceedingly well. There is much good grazing land in the vicinity 
and the hills being thickly wooded with acorn-bearing oaks, hog 
raising has proven a profitable branch of the stock raising industry. 

The climate is so tempered by the altitude that it has become 
a resort favored by tourists iu summer. Eshom Valley is of historic 
interest as being once the home of a great tribe of Indians whose 
powerful chief, Wuk-sa-che, more than once led them to victory in 
battle with the Monaches. The Indian name of the valley was 
"Cha-ha-du," "a place where clover grows the year round." Or- 
lando Barton states that when he first visited the valley, in the 
'60 's, he saw droves of Indians eating clover there. 

The valley was visited as early as 1857 by James Fisher and 
Thomas Davis, and derived its name from Mr. Eshom, one of the 
first residents, who settled there and engaged in farming. In 1862 
Jasper Harrell laid claim to the valley Imt did not succeed in holding 
it. His foreman, J. B. Breckenridge, was killed by the Indians 
in 1863. 


In early days Tulare lake covered a much greater area than at 
present. Near its southeastern end existed a large islaud owned 
by Judge Atwell of Visalia, and known at Atwell's Island. Long 
since the waters of the lake have subsided, the island no longer 
exists, but its location is marked by the growing town of Alpaugh. 
The whole section hereabouts was for many years used liy Miller & 
Lux as a jiastui'e for their immense herds of cattle. The lands were 
deemed unlit for agricultural i)uri)Oses. 


In 1905 a syndicate of Los Angeles capitalists obtained control 
of 8861 acres, comprising Atwell's Island, and placed it on the 
market in small tracts on easy terms. A large number of purchasers 
were found and these, with their families — two hundred and twelve 
persons in all — came up to settle. So general was the idea among old 
residents of the county that this land ,was worthless that the enter- 
])rise was "knocked" on all sides. Every Alpaugh colonist was 
told that he was an "easy mark." The Yisalia Board of Trade 
seriously considered the passing of a resolution condemning the laud 
sale as a swindle, but were dissuaded from hasty action by Ben M. 

The colonists did have trouble. With most of them funds were 
scarce, and many had to leave temporarily. There was trouble in 
getting a supply of good water. Perseverance overcame these 
obstacles. A school district was organized in 1906, a church and 
school house erected and home building was recommenced. Suc- 
cessful experiments in raising alfalfa and vegetables were con- 
ducted, artesian wells were sunk and a supply of water obtained, 
this not sufficient, however, for irrigation purposes. But the wells 
put down were found of double value. Besides water, they sup- 
])lied a natural gas that can be used for heating and lighting. 

The colonists have increased in numbers and much activity is 
shown in raising vegetables. Quite a business has been established 
in the canning of tomatoes, peas, etc. The raising of garden seeds 
for the market has proved especially profitable and it has been 
found that the fine silt soil is peculiarly adapted to the production 
of asparagus, onions and other vegetables. The colonists have 
arranged to get a bountiful sui)ph- of water for irrigating purposes 
from the Smyrna wells, distant a few miles south. 

South and west from Alpaugh much work is being done in the 
reclamation of submerged lake lands by the construction of levees. 
Alpaugh is situated eight miles south and west from Angiola. The 
Santa Fe railroad contemplates the building of a spur to connect 
Alpaugh with the main line, and this, it is believed, will not lie 
delayed, as shipments fully warrant it. 


"While the name Tagus, ai)])lied to the switch on tlie Soutliern 
Pacific track aliout midway between Goshen and Tulare, is not 
worthy of mention, the neighboring country, or Tagus district, is. 
The Tagus ranch of several thousand acres devoted to dairying, 
alfalfa and grain farming has ])roven exceptionally ])rofitable, espe- 
cially since the experiment on it of raising sugar beets. Of neces- 
sity cultivation for this purpose was very deep and thorough and 
crops since have been extraordinarily large. The neighborhood is 


almost exclusively devoted to alfalfa and dairying. Probably no 
district in the county delivers more butter fat to the creameries in 
proportion to its area than the Tagus section. 


The town of Goshen, seven miles west of Visalia, dates its his- 
tory from the completion of the railroad to that point, in May, 1872 
Here the contemplated branch of the Southern Pacitic from San 
Francisco by way of Gilroy, Tres Pinos and Huron, was to join 
the line of the Central Pacific, proceeding from Stockton south. A 
passenger and a freight depot was built, large numbers of lots sold, 
and it was thought that before many years Goshen would become 
an important city. 

The construction, in 1874, of the Visalia-Goshen railway inspired 
renewed hopes in the future of the town as a great railway center. 
In 1876 work was commenced on the westerly branch, running 
through the Mussel Slough country, and supposed to make connec- 
tions at Tres Pinos. This road got as far as Alcalde only. 

However, Goshen did become the railroad center of the coimty 
and of the San Joaquin valley. Geographically, it is admirably 
situated, lying midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, 
within touching distance on. the one hand of Visalia and Exeter 
and on the other with Hanford and Coalinga. Surrounding it lie 
extensive tracts, suitable for fruit, vines or alfalfa. Several produc- 
tive and lucrative orchards and vineyards in tiie vicinity attest tlie 
adaptability of the soil. 

Notwithstanding these apparent advantages, Goshen still re- 
mains a small village. The cause of this failure to grow lies no 
doubt in the fact that the soil surrounding the depot is alkaline in 
character and unfavorably impresses home-seekers looking from the 
windows of a ear. 

A few years ago Goshen was made a sub-station on the Asso- 
ciated Oil Company's pipe line. A number of neat cottages for the use 
of employes were erected and these, while situated in the question- 
able soil spoken of, are now surrounded by lawns and gardens 
creditable to any locality. 

Within the last few years the exceedingly fertile character of 
Goshen lands has become known to many investors. Orchards and 
vineyards have been planted on a considerable scale and it is be- 
lieved that rapid and at the same time solid and substantial growth 
awaits the village kept so long dormant. 


station ( 





1 !•'. 

the larg 






Paige is the name of a station on the Santa l'"f. west from 
Tulare. It is the deiiot tV 


up on and around the great Paige & Morton ranch, wMch once 
claimed the largest vineyard in the world, besides having extensive 
orchards and grain lands. A considerable part of it has in the past 
few years been sold in small holdings. Thus an important settle- 
ment is being made there, and the surrounding country is rapidly 
becoming a great dairy section. 


Angiola dates its history from the coming of the Santa Fe 
railroad. It is in the lake region on the main line of the railroad 
running south from Hanford to Bakersfield. It is an important 
place now for supplying the rapidly growing lake country. It is in 
the artesian belt, and tlie surrounding country is very fertile. The 
greater jiart of the soil is rich silt, capable of producing all kinds of 
crops. Grain and alfalfa predominate, although a considerable acre- 
age is being used for beet raising. The large sugar factory at Cor- 
coran is largely dependent upon the lake lands for the supply 
of beets. 


Lying north of Visalia about sixteen miles is a rich farming 
district formerly known as Churchill. It is along the base of the 
low foothills and has an exceptionally rich soil and comparative 
freedom from frosts. A few years ago a colony of Armenians 
bought property here and put out vineyards and orchards. From 
the fine gardens and rapid growth of tree and vine the Armenians 
named the settlement Yettem, "Garden of Eden." There is now a 
general store, a school and a fine church as the nucleus of a town, 
lying about a mile east of the line of the Santa Fe. The station now 
called Yettem was formerly called Lowell. 


The town of Piano might well be called South Porterville, as it 
lies south of that town and just across tlie Tule river. The name 
was suggested by its location in the great, beautiful plain sweeping 
down from the foothills of the Sierras and extending out westwardly. 
This plain is one of the fairest, and the elegant homes that have 
been made liere and that still are being established receive an 
additional charm from the grand view of the snow-capped Sierras 
to the east. 

Being on the main stage road leading from Visalia to Los 
Angeles, and to the Kern river and Owens valley mining districts, it 
was in early times a stage station. William Thompson was its first 
pioneer merchant and postmaster. Dr. F. A. Johnson was its 
earliest physician. Here it was that the first oranges in Tulare 
county were raised. As noted elsewhere, D. Gibbons here planted 


a few trees in bis yard, and some of them are still bearing fruit. 
It is now grown to be a great orange center, with pleasant homes, 
schools, churches, etc. As a suburb of Porterville, the social ad- 
vantages incident to populous communities are shared, while by its 
separation from the bustling city the charm of suburban life remains 


Twenty-eight miles east of Visalia at the junction of the forks 
of the Kaweah river in the foothills, lies the village of Three Rivers. 
The Three Rivers country may properly be considered to embrace 
the territory included in Three Rivers voting precinct, which extends 
southerly to Yokohl, westerly to Lemon Cove, northerly to Eshom 
and easterly to Inyo county, an area of twenty-one townships. 

The first known white man to enter this section was Hale D. 
Tharpe, a stockman, who came in the fall of 1858. Tlie Works 
family, William Swanson and family, John Lovelace and family, 
Joseph Palmer, A. Everton, Ira Blossom and family, followed soon 
after and were the ])ioneers of the settlement. 

At the time of Mr. Tharpe 's arrival Indians in the vicinity 
were very numerous, the population being estimated at two thou- 
sand. These tribes are now practically extinct, and in this vicinity 
not one remains. The progress of the settlement was very slow, 
there being practically no immigration until 1878, when the gold 
excitement at Mineral King took place. The mining activities at 
Mineral King and the construction of a road to that i^lace caused 
a temporary influx of residents, but the mining excitement dying- 
down, the population remained practically as before. 

In 1886 the Kaweah Co-operative Colony made this tlieir hnse 
of operations, establishing a village on the north fork of the Kaweah. 
These colonists commenced the construction of a road to the Giant 
Forest and completed about twenty miles of it. This project was 
abandoned in 1890, most of the colonists leaving the county. Quite 
a number, however, remained and have materially aided in the 
develo]iment of the district. Settlement has slowly but steadily 
increased until tlie present iiojjuhition nuiiilicrs six hundred and 

In 1878 a postoffice was established at Three Rivers; in 18!)2 at 
Kaweah, on the north fork; in 1905 at Hammond, on tlie main river, 
and in 1907 at Ranger (Giant Forest). 

P)ritten Brothers, in 1897, opened a genei-nl iiKMclinudise store 
and in 1910, the River Inn Com])any, in coiinecticui witli a hotel 
situated at the junction of the nortli fork, installed another. In 1S99 
the Mt. Whitney Power Comiiany put in ;i large ^lower plant, in 
1905 a second was installed iuid at the present wiitinn a third and a 


fourtli are in course of coustruotion. There are two good schools, a 
public hall, two blacksmith shops. Au extensive telephone system 
owned by the community unites the memliers of this widely scattered 

In early days the sole industry of the section was stock raisino', 
the foothill country furnishing an abundance of spring feed and tlie 
mountain ranges contributing the summer supply. 

In the early '70s. Joe Palmer carried in on his back a few ap])le 
trees and became the pioneer of an industry that now adds a con- 
siderable quota to the prosperity of the region. Apples were found 
to do exceedingly well and numerous orchards now dot not only the 
river bottom lands of the lower sections, but are successfully grown 
as far up as the pine lielt at an elevation of forty-five hundred feet. 

The excellent fishing and hunting, the climatic advantages 
and the scenic wonders of the higher Sierras, bring through Three 
Rivers each year an increasing numlier of tourists and sj^ortsmen 
and outfitting and catering to these has become an imiiortant branch 
of business here. 


In May, 1857, the A\"orks and Pemberton families had sold a 
herd of cattle and had considerable money. A few days after the 
sale transaction a band of some eighty or ninety Indians came over 
from the Owens River valley and established camp just across 
the Kaweah river from the Works' house. Many of the Indians 
bore firearms, and amongst them was one man that had recently 
killed a white man on the Owens river without cause or provocation, 
and was wearing the dead man's clothes at the time. On the 25th 
of the month, when the men settlers were away looking after their 
stock, a portion of the Indians looted the premises of Pemberton 
and Works. When the men returned home and saw what had 
transpired, Joseph Palmer, H. Works and Pemberton immediately 
started out for the camp of the Indians to adjust matters. Wliile 
enroute to the Indian camp they met six Indians and told them of the 
depredations they had committed. Immediately the Indian that had 
killed the man at Owens river made an attempt to draw a pistol, 
whereui)on Josejih Palmer struck the Indian ujion the head with his 
gun, instantly killing hiuL Following, several shots were fired at 
close range from both sides in wliicli three or four Indians wei'e 
killed, and the whites not injured. The Indians all left the country 
the same evening, after which 1he dead Indians were all buried by 
the whites. 

This was the lirst. last, and onlv trouble with tlic Indians. 



Among the hamlets which of recent years liave attracted umisnal 
attention among- residents of the soutiieru end of the county Jis 
well as among visiting prospective settlers is the town of Spring- 
ville, situated about sixteen miles eastward from Porterville at an 
elevation of 1072 feet. 

The village lies near the Tule river, below the junction of the 
north fork with the main channel, and takes its name from a splendid 
soda spring found there, the waters of which are noted for their 
agreeable taste and for their curative properties. The town is 
frequently referred to as the "Gateway to the Sierras," as from 
it diverge roads and trails reaching many mountain points of interest. 
Its chief fame, however, rests upon the superb quality of apples 
grown in the neighborhood. These have taken prizes wh.erever 
exhibited and their jiroduction has l)ecome extensive. Oranges are 
also largely grown and with success, comi)arative freedom from 
frosts being enjoyed. 

Originally the town was named Daunt, from William G. Daunt, 
a pioneer settler who ojiened a store during the '60s. The origin 
of the present village, however, dates from 1889, when A. M. Coburn, 
a lumberman operating a mill in the mountains, purchased a tract 
of land originally taken up by John Crabtree, and set aside eighteen 
acres as a townsite. 

The prospective value of the springs was one of the inducements 
for purchasers of the lots, and the town to be was given the name 
Soda Springs. A school house and a building intended to be used 
as a sanitarium were the only structures on the land. The vision 
of a famous "spa" did not materialize, but as Mr. Coburn built a 
box factory and planing mill and sold lots and lumber on easy terms 
to his employees, a numl)er of houses were Iniilt and a nucleus of a 
town started. The "sanitarium" was converted inti) a hotel and 
later torn down for the erection of the ]n-esent Springville hotel. 

The postoffice was at Mr. Daunt 's place, nearly a mile down 
the river. Originally mail had been brought from ^"isalia twice a 
week, Charles Lawless being the carrier. Later it was sent from 
Tulare by way of Woodville, Porterville and Piano. On the com- 
pletion of the railroad to Porterville a daily mail by stage from that 
place was established. 

In 1890 Mr. Coburn bought out Mr. Daunt 's store and mo\-ed it 
and the postoffice to the jn-esent site. The name "Daunt" for the 
postoffice was continued for several years by reason of the fact that 
there was a Springville jiostoffice in Ventura county. This latter 
having lapsed, the name "S]>ringville" applies now to the postoffice 
as well as the town. 



Sixty miles east of Visalia, reached via Lemon Cove and Three 
E.ivers, at the source of the east fork of the Kaweah river, lies the 
mountain valley, Mineral King. Here, at an altitude of eight thou- 
sand feet, the summer climate is cool and invigorating, and this, 
together with the numerous nearhy scenic attractions, the abundant 
wild feed, the good fishing and its position as the furthermost moun- 
tain point accessible to wagons, has caused it to become a resort 
visited in summer by multitudes of people. 

Saw Tooth, a peak of thirteen thousand feet, towers directly 
aliove. From its summit a wonderful view of towering peaks, 
divides, declivities and nestling lakes are obtained. Monarch lake 
and Eagle lake lie close to camp and are readily visited. Soda and 
other mineral springs abound. 

The valley heads at Farewell Gap, a pass of 10,600 feet elevation 
dividing the waters of the Kaweah from those of the Little Kern. 
Over it pass the trails leading to Trout Meadows, to Kern Lakes, 
to Mt. Whitney and to Inyo county. There are also trails leading 
from Mineral King to the Giant Forest over Timber Gap, to the 
Hockett Meadows over Tar Gap, as well as one leading directly to 
Kern Lakes. 

Many people from the valley have l)uilt -cabins and have a per 
manent summer camp here. There is a stable summer population 
of about two hundred, and the total number of visitors, yearly 
increasing, is over one thousand. There is a store, postoffice and 
a telephone line to the valley. 

But time was when the activities here were of an entirely 
different nature. Gold was discovered here in the earh' '70s and 
hundreds of miners flocked to the scene. The Mineral King Mining 
District was formed and locations and transfers filed under the 
Federal laws. A town of about five hundred inhabitants sprung 
up and was named Beulah. Stamp and saw mills were erected. A 
road from Three Elvers, passing over a very difficult territory, was 
built at an expenditure of about $100,000. At one time daily stages 
from ^'isalia made the entire distance in one day. 

• A clear idea of the glory of Reulali in 1870, the year Avhich 
marked its greatest prosi^erity, may be gaineil hy the following, from 
the pen of Judge W. B. Wallace: 

"Ex-Senator Fowler had purchased the Empire mine and with 
characteristic energy was completing the road, erecting a quartz 
mill and tramway, and driving a long tunnel into the mountain. 
Things were moving that year. A sawmill was in operation and 
ealiins were going up in all directions. An assay office was estab- 
lished and mines wei'e located bv tlie hundreds. . 


"Tlie N. P]. Tunuel ami Smelting Conipany was incorporated 
in 1875, another was organized in 1876, and the White Chief Gold 
and Silver Mining Companj^ was called into being in 1880. But the 
year 1879 w^as the most fruitful in the production of these artificial 
persons for that camp. That year ten companies were organized 
with an aggregate capital stock which would put to shame that little 
kerosene side issue of the Standard Oil Company. * * * 

"At the general election held in 1879, the candidates for 
lieutenant governor and chief justice of the supreme court received 
one hundred thirty-seven votes for each office and the candidates 
for superior judge, assemlilyman and district attorney received one 
hundred thirty-six votes in Mineral King. 

"There were ten and perhaps twelve places where intoxicating 
liquors were sold, and events proved that the recorder, who received 
$5 for recording every location notice, and the saloon men worked 
the only paying mines. But there was very little riotousness and 
disorder. There were no such essentially bad men there as are 
usually foimd in new mining camps, with notched pistol handles and 
private burying grounds to which they could point with lilood- 
curdling suggestions. There was but one shooting affray that I 
recall. It grew out of a dispute over the right to the possession of 
a small ti'act of land. One of the participants received a slight 
wound. * » * 

"There are but two graves in Mineral King. In the late '70s, 
early in the spring, one of the newcomers went to Kedwood Meadow 
on foot, taking no provisions with him. A snow storm came on 
which fenced him in. In two or three days he started to return, 
crossed Timber 6a]i and struggled through the snow until within a 
(|uarter of a mile of the camp. He called for help and was heard, 
but his voice was not recognized as that of a human being and the 
next morning his frozen body was found where he had evidently 
sat down, exhausted, and after vainly calling ha<l given u\t the 

"When John lleinlen was ])ros])ecting the ^VIlitt' Cliicf mine. 
two of his minei-s were carried down the mountainside and hurled in 
an avalanche of snow. One was found and dug out alive, but the 
body of the other was not recovered until the spring thaw. 

"In the early days Orlando Barton was the Nestor of the 
cam]), having the most extended and varied fund of knowledge. James 
Maukins and John Crabtree were perhaps the best prospectors. 
John Meadows was the most enthusiastic and confident of the early 
locators, rating his i)ossessions worth a million dollars. He was a 
fanner, a stockraiser. a miner, a pi-eadier. and a fightei-. hut withal 
a brave, honest and conscientious man. 

"J. T. Traugei', who came in l'(n- the New England Company as 

6-2 TULARP: and kings C'OUNTIES 

its superiuteudeut, aud the last recorder of the district, was known 
to all and was a favorite in the district. His wife was for years 
the good angel of the camp, whose cheerful disposition, sterling 
qualities and strength of character won for her the respect and 
admiration of all the curiously assorted denizens of the district. 
The trail was never too rough, nor the night too dark to keep her 
from the bedside of the suffering miner whose cry of distress was 
heard, whether stricken by sickness, crushed in an avalanche of 
•snow or mangled In- an untimely blast. 

"Politicians early discovered the necessity of winning the 
Mineral King voters, and several political meetings were held there 
when local orators avowed in various forms their willingness to 
forego many personal pleasures that they might serve the country. 

"Itinerant ministers also preached to the assembled people, not 
from great cathedrals decorated with paintings of the old masters, 
nor accompanied l)y the music of grand organs, but in those groves 
which were God's first temples, where swaying pine and mountain 
streams made music, under a great dome painted by the Master's 
hand, set with a thousand gems and softly lighted by the moon's pale 
beams, and where all nature joined in anthems of praise. 

"Mineral King was a silver camp and many of the old |)ros- 
pectors were actually silverized. In white, seamless rock they 
would point out wire silver and horn silver. They named the lakes 
and the ledges silver and saw and admired the silver lining to every 
cloud. The very word had such a fascinatiou for them that they 
talked in soft, silvery tones. They pricked up their ears when 
silver gray foxes were alluded to and stood at attention when the 
old bear hunters spoke of the silver-tipped grizzly, and as they lay 
down at night and gazed at the full orbed moon, they viewed it as 
the original of the silver dollar, having milled edges and a lettered 
fiat surface, and wondered whether what they had looked at from 
infancy as the man in the moon might not after all lie a mint im- 
in-ession of the American eagle." 

But the mines proved but tlie graxeyard of many fortunes. 
Notliing came of them but disaster and tlie little town was abou- 
(lont'd. Many of tlie homes were left aud for years were used l)y 
jieoplo who went u]i into the valley for a summer outing, liut the 
snows and tlie rains lia\e destroyed them all. 


Traver was founded April 8, 1884, or ratlier. that was the date 
when town lots were sold at auction. The town owes its origin 
entirely to the construction of the '7(i canal and is the only ]ilace 
on the line of the Southern Pacific railroad not originally owned 
bv thai corporation. However, the Southern Pacilic olitained an 


interest in the property before they would consent to the estiihlish- 
ment of a depot there. 

Traver is three miles south of Kings ri\er. Tlie bottom lauds 
of the stream are exceedingly fertile and capable of producing- every 
known product grown in California. It was named after Charles 
Traver, a capitalist of Sacramento, who was interested in the 76 
canal enterprise. At the time of the sale of lots, excursions were run 
from San Francisco and from Los Angeles. The sales on April 8, 
1884, aggregated $65,000. The only house then in Traver was a 
small structure that had been moved from Cross Creeks, and occu- 
])ie(l l)y Kitchener & Co. as a store. Buildings were soon erected 
and a thriving town ensued. Traver has suffered gj.-eatly from fires, 
but is still a thriving place, and center of a valuable farming, fruit 
raising and dairying section. Fine schools, lodges and churches are 


The Plockett meadows, containing about one hundred sixty 
acres of land lying on the plateau region near the head waters of 
the south fork of the Kaweah, are desirable camping places. The 
elevation is about eighty-five hundred feet and in consequence the 
climate during the summer is cool and bracing. There is the 
greatest abundance of feed, both here and in all the surrounding 
country. Lake Evelyn, one of the most beautiful of mountain lakes, 
is distant about three miles. There is excellent trout fishing in 
Hoekett meadow creek, in Horse creek, one and one-half miles away, 
and in the waters of the south foi-k, two miles away. 

The park line is distant but a mile and a half, so that hunting 
for deer, which are here numerous, is within easy reach. There 
are trails to Mineral King and to Little Kern river, each distiint 
al)Out eight miles. 


Eedbanks, the terminal station of the N'isalia electric road, is 
situated about fifteen miles northwest of N'isalin, and takes its name 
from the pro])erties of the Eedbanks Orchard Company, which 

This orchard, one of the largest in the county and the only 
one devoted exclusively to the production of deciduous fruits for 
the eastern market, is located on the si)ur ol' liill known as Colvin's 
Point. Probably no \y.\vt of Tulare county more vividly sets forth 
the rai)id change from i)arche(l pasture lands to green gardens and 
productive orchards. This orchard venture of some thirteen hun- 
dred and fifty acres had its inception in 1!)04. when P. :M. P.aier, Dr. 
^\. W. Squires and Charles Joannes purchased a considerable acre- 
age, since adding to it. ^Ir. l^.aier, fornierl\- managei' for the Earl 


Fruit Company, aud a man of the widest knowledge of deciduous 
fruit growing aud marljeting, bad become convinced by observatiou 
of vegetable growtli in tbe Aicinit>', tliat bere was a remarkably early 
section, tbe products of wbicb sbould bring extremely bigb ])rices in 
tbe eastern market. 

No care or expense bas been spared on tbe orcbard and tbe 
result bas exceeded expectations. Carloads of several varieties of 
fruits aud table grapes are now sbipped from bere eacb season 
several days in advance of consignments forwarded from any otber 
point in tbe state. 


Wbite Eiver, situated near tbe junction of tbe middle and soutb 
forks of Wbite river, about twenty-six miles soutbeast of Piano, 
arrived at early fame tbrougb tbe discovery bere by D. B. James, 
of gold. Tbis was followed by a wild stampede of miners and a 
typical early day miuing town called "Tailbolt," sprang up at once. 
Stores and sbops, saloons, dance balls, gambling bouses, stage 
station, a quartz mill and a graveyard became necessary to supply 
tbe needs of tbe inbabitants and were provided. 

Seven men were soon "planted" in tbe last mentioned place, 
all dying witb tbeir boots on. It appears tbat eacb of tbese was 
named Dan, but bistory is silent in regard to wby tbe liearing of 
tbat name was of peculiar bazard. 

In addition to tbe mining conducted in tbe vicinity, tbe town 
prosi)ered by reason of being on tbe route to tbe Kern and (Owens 
river mining districts. It l^ecame tbe source of supplies to tbou- 
sands of miners, and tbe princi])al town in tbe soutberu portion of 
tbe county. 

In all tbese districts, bowever. wbile considerable gold was taken 
out, tbere appeared to l)e no large deposits of tbe precious metal. 
Pockets, wbile ricb, soon petered out and tbe glory of tbe village 
lasted but a few years. A score or more miners remained to work 
claims at a small ])rofit, a business wbicb continues to tbis day. 

At one time lumbering developed into tiuite an industry from 
tbe saw mills operated in tbe adjacent pineries. 

Of recent years stockraising bas been tbe principal source of 
revenue to tbe inbabitants of tbe district, altbougb tbe citrus belt 
is extending to tbe neigbborbood and tbe jiossibilities of a]iplo 
culture afford prospective reasons for future develoinnent. 


Tbis, Ibe largest grove of giant sequoias in tbe jtark, and in tbe 
world, is situated at an altitude of from six to seven tbousand five 
bundi-ed feet, on a ])lat('au iving between tbe middle and Marble 


forks of the Kaweali river, at a distance (by road) of about sixty 
miles from Visalia. There are within it over five thousand trees 
of a diameter of ten feet or more, together with many monsters 
whose diameter ranges from twenty-tive to thirty feet. The General 
Sherman tree, whose circumference six feet above the ground is one 
hundred nine feet, is considered to be the largest in the world. Its 
age is estimated at six thousand years. Other large groves are 
the Dorst, situated in the northwest corner of the park, and Gar- 
field, lying a short distance southeast of the Giant Forest, and the 
Muir, which stands on the south side of the south fork of tlie 
Kaweah, about twenty miles above Three Rivers. 

The Giant Forest was discovered by Hale Tharjie in the early 
'60s, and named by John Muir in 1890. 

Camp Sierra, as the site chosen for Jiotel and camii grounds 
is called, is delightfully situated alongside a little meadow, amidst 
groves of sequoias and firs. 

Among the nearby points of interest may be mentioned the 
Marble Falls, nine hundred sixty feet in height; Admiration Point, 
whence precipices of two thousand feet on three sides confront ; Sunset 
Rock, affording a beautiful open view of the valley, and Morro Rock, 
a monolith eighteen hundred feet in vertical height, which overlooks 
the canyon of the middle fork of the Kaweah. From its summit 
is obtained a near view of many snow-covered peaks, ranging from 
ten to fourteen thousand feet in height, a clear view of the Kaweah, 
almost a mile below, of the San Joaquin valley beyond, and of the 
coast range of mountains, visible for perhaps two hundred miles of 
their length. 

Then there are the Ijeautiful Twin Lakes, situated at an altitude 
of nearly ten thousand feet, distant eleven miles. Flanked at oai; 
side by banks of almost perpetual snow, overlooked by precijiitous 
liluffs of granite, the crystal clear waters mirroring ])erfectly tlie 
bordering rocks and tamarack groves, they form a picture tliat li\-es 
long in memory. 

Easy to visit are Log, Crescent and Alta meadows, each having 
its peculiar charms; there is the "house tree," so called because 
in it Everton lived for five winters while engaged in trapping; 
Tharpe's log cabin, a hollow tree fitted with doors and windows and 
furnishings, formerly the summer home of Male Tharpe; "chinmey 
trees," hollow from ground to crown, etc., etc. 

There are four caves in tlio park, as follows: 

Cloughs cave, situated aljout tliirteen miles above Tiiree Rivers, 
on the south fork of the Kaweah river, was discovered by William 
O. Clough in ISSf). Owing to its ease of access and its location on a 
main route of tounst travel, it is visited by gi-eater numbers than 


any of the others. 

Palmers cave, discovered by Joe Palmer, is situated near Put- 
nam canyon on the south fork of the Kaweah. Owing to the almost 
inaccessible position of entrance, it has never been explored. 

Paradise cave is located on the south side of the ridge which 
separates the middle and the east forks of the Kaweah and was 
discovered in 1901 by H. R. Harmon. In 1906 it was ex]ilored by 
Walter Fi-y and C. W. Blossom, park rangers, and oflicially named. 


Due west from Dinuba six miles and almost directly north of 
Visalia sixteen miles is situated the flourishing town and colony 
of Orosi. The foothills curve around the section immediately north 
of the townsite, a great deal of the colony lying in the cove thus 

Prior to 1890 grain farming was practically the only industry. 
There were few inhabitants. By reason of insufficient rainfall 
crops were not sure and there was no material progress. The 
extension of the Alta Irrigation district to this section and the 
subdivision of the lands into ten, twenty and forty acre tracts 
rapidly worked a marvelous change, and the district now is thickly 
settled and solidly ]3lanted to orchards and vineyards in small 
holdings. The avenues which criss-cross the tracts are well-kept, 
many of these are bordered by fig, almond, or other fruit trees of 
a different kind from that to which the orchard is set, and as fences 
have generally been removed both from the roadside and boundary 
lines, a very unique and pleasing effect is produced. 

In 1890 or 1891, at the same time as the heavy initial planting 
of grapes and peaches, several small orange orchards were set. These 
duly came into bearing and demonstrated the adaptability of the 
Orosi country for oranges. Quite recently large acreages in the 
vicinity have been planted to this fruit and there have been heavy 
purchases of land lying in adjoining coves for this purpose. 

The town of Orosi maintains three general merchandise stores, 
many shops, two banks, handsome school buildings for both granunar 
and high school grades, a hotel and branch library. 

It was quite a disappointment to the citizens of Orosi when 
the Santa Fe passed the town by leaving it a mile and a half from 
Cutler, the nearest station. The town and colony continued to grow, 
however, and it is now confidently believed by the residents that the 
"Tide Water and Southern" will be extended to pass through 


The name Naranjo (Spanish for orange tree) is given to the 
citrus district lying along the foothills north of" Lemon Cove and 


across the Kaweali river. It was tlie first section north of the river 
to be set to fruit aud is now a heavy producer of oranges and 
grape fruit. The orchardists have their own packing house and are 
served by the Visalia electric railroad. There is a store and post- 
office. Westward, Naranjo merges into the newer Woodlake district. 


Situated on the Southern Pacific's east side line and lying nortli 
of '\^isalia and southward from Dinuba is a small village with one 
general merchandise store, a few shops, etc. 

It is (|uite an important watermelon shipping point. Farming 
and dairying are the ])rincipal occupations of the neighborhood on 
the south, and raisin growing and deciduous fruit cultuie on tlic 


Some fourteen miles alK)\e Three Kivers on the noithern Hank 
of the east fork of the Kaweah, nestles heaneath the ])ines a lovely 
mountain tarn called Oriole lake. Its outlet forms a picturesque 
little stream which abounds in trout. 

Near the lake is quite a bit of comparatively level land origin- 
ally the homestead location of "Uncle Dan" Highton. The location 
possessed such natural advantages for a delightful summer resort 
that a number of local residents, under the leadership of A. 6. 
Ogilvie, formed, in 1910, a stock company, purchased a site and are 
at present engaged in the erection thereon of artistic bungalows and 
other equipment. They have installed a sawmill and are cutting 
the material on the groimd. The new road to Mineral King, soon 
to be com])]eted. will' render the place easy of access. 


The town of "Woodville had, in 1857, dwindled to almost nothing. 
when its revival was attempted by D. B. James under the name of 
\^enice. The new town was not to be on the site of the old, but 
further north near the southwestern corner of the Venice hills, and 
on the north side of the St. John river. At that time the St. John 
river extended but a short distance furtlier west, tlicre sinking into 
a swamp. 

By reason of the fact that in hauling freight from Stockton 
to Visalia, in order to avoid bogs and swamps, it was preferable 
to travel by this route to Visalia, the new town grew and prospered. 
In addition to James' store and postoffice there came to be a 
saloon, boarding house, blacksmith shop, chair factory, distillery, 
butcher shop and billiard hall. 

In the flood of 1862, however, almost the wliole of tlie town was 
destroyed, and a continuous channel was opened from the sink of 
the St. John to Canoe creek and thence to Cross creek, thus forming 


tlie St. Jolui river of today. Just below tlie site of the town, where 
the cement rook formation in the bed of tlie river became thinner, a 
fall eight feet in height was formed. During the flood of '68 this 
fall was entirely channeled out, and the stream was so broadened 
as to occupy much of the former townsite. 

No attempt was made to rebuild the town and the settlement 
in the neighborhood decreased until once again the region became 
almost abandoned, and remained so until very recent years, when 
the discovery of the thermal belt lying round these hills has placed 
growth on a sul)stantial and |)ermanent basis, and Venice Cove, 
still further north, became the center of the district's iiopulation. 

Northwesterly from Venice Cove, on the Southern Pacific branch 
line, is the station of Klink, lying between Taurusa on the north 
and Kaweali on the south. For many years it was only a spur from 
which occasional shipments of wood and fruit were made. The suc- 
cess of the orange groves at Venice Cove has stimulated planting 
in the similar soil abutting the railroad near Klink, so that now 
quite a district is embraced by the new planting of the neighborhood. 
A general store has been established and it is expected that the 
railroad company will soon erect a suitable depot and install a 
regular agent. 


About ten miles southwestward from Tulare City was a noted 
stock grazing country known as the Crossmore ranch. Several 
years ago a syndicate of Los Angeles capitalists purchased this 
ranch of twelve thousand acres and arranged a great colony scheme. 
The lands lie in the artesian belt, and there are a number of flowing 
wells. Besides dividing the lands up so as to be sold in small hold- 
ings, a town was laid out with broad boulevards and parks. The 
place — this on-coming city — the proprietors named Waukena, the 
beautiful. The tracts did not sell as readily as anticipated. On 
the completion of the Santa Fe railroad from Tulare to Corcoran, 
passing through the tract, a depot was established, and a small 
village has grown up there. The soil in the vicinity is well adapted 
to alfalfa and the rai:)idly developing dairy industry is making for 
the increased pros[)erity of the neighborhood. 


Woodlake, situated some fifteen miles northeasterly from ^'isalia. 
between Naranjo and Redbanks and near the north shore of Bravo 
lake, is a town whose growth during the three or four years of its 
existence has been so phenomenal as to merit especial mention. 

The town is now solidly and substantially built, having a hand- 
some two-story hotel with pressed brick front; several shops, a large 


courrete iiarage, a general store, a iiewsi)ai)er, a ))ank and oilier 
features. During the present year an auction sale of town lots was 
held and quite liiiih prices were realized. Cement sidewalks and 
graded avenues are in evidence here as in the suhurhs of a large 

Development of this district began in 1907, when Jason Barton, 
J. W. Fewell and Adolph Sweet purchased a large tract on the east 
side of Cottonwood creek, in Elder and Townsend school districts, 
and situated about three miles north of Bravo lake. These men 
commenced extensive development work with the view to selling off 
tracts for colonists. A])undant water was found and cement pipe 
built and laid to carry it to the subdivisions. A considerable acreage 
was planted. This colony was called Elderwood and a store aud 
postoffice of that name was established. 

Now appeared on the scene Gilbert Stevenson of Los Angeles, 
a man of means and of great enterprise who, greatly impressed with 
the showing the young trees had made in growth and the fact that 
they had remained untouched by frost, purchased a large tract to 
the southward, started a colony and founded a town, calling it 
Woodlake. The two districts, which merge into one are now called 
by this name, although South Woodlake and North "Woodlake are 
sometimes heard. 

The entire section has developed with magical rapidity and the 
brown hills that a few years ago were held worthless except for 
a scant spring iiasturage are now set to groves and handsome 
residences are building in great number. 


The California Hot Sjirings, formerly known as the Deer 
Creek Hot Springs, were long used by the Indians, and have for 
many years been a favorite camjiing s))ot for ])eople in (juest of game 
or health. 

These si)rings are located about thirty miles southeast of Porter- 
ville, and twenty-two miles from Ducor. The s]n'ings are large 
streams of water, clear and sparkling and hot, gushing out of the 
rocks. Thousands of barrels run off daily into Deer creek. The 
daily How is estimated at 190,000 gallons. The springs are in the 
edge of the pine forest, and are surrounded ])y groves of live oak 
and pine. The waters are highly charged with minerals. 

The lands surrounding the si)riugs were originally taken up 
by the Witt family, early settlers in that section of the county. In 
1898, it was owned by T." J. and N. B. Witt. In that year the prop- 
erty was sold to L. S. Wingrove, G. K. Pike and J. F. Firebaugh. 
These men were from Lindsay and Exeter. In April, ItK)], Dr. C. E. 
Bernard of ^'isalia, bought out the Firehaugh-Pike interests, and 
until 1904 conducted the ])roperty under the name of Bernard and 


"Wiugrove. Dr. Bernard having died, bis interest was in 1905 pur- 
chased by S. Mitchell of A^'isalia, and J. H. Williams of Porterville. 
In the following- June the owners incorporated under the name 
California Hot Springs, Inc. The ])resent owners are Mrs. Edith H. 
Williams, of San Diego; S. Mitchell, of Visalia; L. S. Wingrove and 
Joseph Mitchell of Hot Springs. 

The springs are far and widely known for their curative prop- 
erties, especially for relief from rheumatic troubles, and a host of 
other complaints. Some of the springs have a temi)erature of one 
hundred and thirty degrees, while others are cold. The waters are 
used for drinking and bathing. 

The springs are reached by stages from Porterville or Ducor, 
or by automobile or any other vehicle. The roads are kept in good 
condition. Many from Visalia make the trip thei-e In* auto. Lying- 
back in the mountains are tine streams for trout and ranges for deer. 
Not being in the National park, hunting is a luxury in which one may 
here indulge. 


Years ago, before the establishment of warehouses in various 
towns on the east side of Tulare county, Terra Bella was the largest 
wheat shipping point in the state of California. The country was 
farmed in immense tracts, whole sections being included in a single 
piece of grain. The homesteaders had found this virgin stretch of 
country, but, later, many had deserted it, having experienced a suc- 
cession of "dry" years, several in number, much to their disappoint- 
ment. Wheat raising continued profitable in good years, but the 
possibilities of the fertile soil, extending for many miles in every 
direction from the station at Terra Bella (beautiful earth), appealed 
to the keen insight of the promoter, who, fortified with results ob- 
tained in a small way by citrus ]ilanters, appreciated the fact that 
with the development of water at reasonable cost, the entire area 
could be transformed into profitable orange and lemon orchards. 

Accordingly, the subdivision of several sections of land in and 
about Terra Bella was taken up three years ago by the Terra Bella 
Development Comi>any, which corporation later passed from the 
hands of P. J. S. Montgomery and associates to a coterie of wealthy 
Los Angeles men, including Marco H. Hellman, G. A. Hart, W. H. 
Holliday, F. C. Ensign, W. A. Francis, and others. Since that time 
rapid strides have been made, both in the i)lautiug and imj^rovement 
of orange groves and in the building of a town, modern in every 
respect, — the pride of its builders and the envy of many ambitious 

Several thousand acics of oranges have been planted in the 
Terra Bella district with very good results, and the planting is 
being continued every year, with many iu>w residents coming in. 


Teri-a Bella as a town is, for its age, in a class by itself, having 
graded and oiled streets, cement walks and cnrLing, circulating water 
system, septic sewerage system, electric power and lights, teleplione, 
a fine new $15,000 grammar school building, a $30,000 two-story brick 
hotel, a two-story brick business block erected at a cost of $45,000, 
a two-story brick structure housing the First National Bank of Terra 
Bella, a growing financial institution managed by T. M. Gronen, 
cashier; a mission style passenger station on the Southern Pacific, 
perhaps the handsomest station on that line in the county; a weekly 
newspaper; Wells Fargo express, etc. The population is growing, 
and indications are favorable for a splendid town. Terra Bella is 
situated about eight miles southwest of Porterville and five miles 
nortli of Ducor, another growing town in the new citrus belt which 
is also being transformed from wheat fields to a |)rospei-(ius little 


The town of Ducor is on the line of the Southern Pacific, south 
from Terra Bella about four miles. It is the point of departure 
for stages to the California Hot Sjiriugs. The princii)al improve- 
ment at Ducor at this time is the construction of a large two-story 
brick building, in which will be housed the First National Bank of 
Ducor, financed by leading citizens of that community. A fine two- 
story hotel and a two-story school house have been built, street 
improvements made, two churches erected, a fine park laid out and 
planted in trees and shrubbery. Numerous fine orange groves have 
been set out in the vicinity of Ducor, with more planting this year, 
while several large tracts are now being sul)divided for sale to citrus 

Both Terra Bella and Ducor are wideawake towns, with com- 
mei'cial organizations, and the planted area will demand shortly 
the construction of citrus packing houses in both places. 

South of Ducor, in Tulare county, is another rich citrus section, 
Richgrove, where extensive improvements are being nuide by the 
same people who are promoting Terra Bella. Numerous tracts are 
being set in orange groves this spring. 

All of this territory has the benefit of reasonable water conditions 
for irrigation, thermal climate for the growing of citrus fruits, and 
olives, good transportation and ]3ower facilities. 

There is every reason to believe that the country from Terra 
Bella south to Richgrove will be one of the most productive and 
most prosperous sections in the early orange belt of Tulare count}'. 


Farmersville, sc\eii miles easterly from \'isalia, is next to 
Visalia the oldest settlement in the countv. 


Tlie eavly settlers naturally made their homes in clearings 
along the ei-eek bottoms, and near Outside creek and Deep creek 
farming operations commenced in the early '50s, and a larger 
number of farmers settled in this vicinity than in any other. 

The townsite was located in 1860 by John W. Crowley, and a 
relative named Jasper established a general merchandise store. The 
overland stage passed through the burg and a postoffice was located 
in the store. T. J. Brundage succeeded as manager of the store and 
as postmaster and has made this his home ever since, aiding by 
every means in his power all enterprises tending to increase the 
welfare of the community. One of his sons still conducts the store 
and is heavily interested in farm lands and active in the develop- 
ment of the surrounding territory. 

The first great factor in Farmersville's prosperity was the 
construction of the People's ditch. The Consolidated People's Ditch 
Company had obtained water rights dating from the '60s, and early 
in the '70s their canal throiagh this section was completed. At the 
time the town was established, thousands of acres of land were under 
irrigation, and the vicinity soon became known as one of the choicest 
garden sjDots of the county. 

The name Farniersville somehow fits the jilace, not that here 
are more farmers than elsewhere, but that the typical old-time prod- 
ucts of the farm, siich as corn and pumpkins and potatoes grow to a 
degree of size and perfection seldom obtained. Chinese gardeners 
quickly selected the locality as best adapted to their purpose and as 
.soon as the growth of the other communities warranted, established 
fine vegetable gardens here, distril»uting the jtroduct over a wide 

The Briggs orchard, some tlu'ee miles west of Farmersville, 
was the first extensive one in the county to come into bearing, and 
its first crops of 1888 and 1889 brought such a phenomenal return 
that a veritable boom in deciduous tree planting resulted. 

Pinkham & McKevitt, large fnait packers of Vacaville, with 
some associates, bought and set out the Giant Oak and California 
Prune Company orchards of several hundred acres each; scores of 
individuals planted smaller tracts and in '91 A. C. Kuhn, a San Jose 
dried fruit jiacker, purchased the Arcadia Eanch of ahout one 
thousand acres and set the same to fruit. This orchard has since 
l)assed into the hands of the California Fruit Canners Association, 
and has become one of the largest, l>est and most jirofitalile in the 

Farniei-sviile has become a fruit center of no mean iirojjortiou, 
hundreds of carloads of fruit going forward auunally as the product 
of its groves. The Farmersville prunes have coinc to be recognized 


by dealers as of superior grade, second in size and (juality to none 
produced in the San Joaquin valley. 

The Visalia electric road, which passes througii this section 
and makes stops at nearly every cross roads, as well as at Farniers- 
ville i)roper, is a great convenience to the residents. One section of 
the town clusters at the old site on the county road, where are the 
stores and schoolhouse, but near the railroad station, about a mile 
north, another village nucleus is forming which soon, no doubt, 
will require trading facilities of its own. 


Above Si»riugville about seventeen miles, between the south 
and middle forks of the Tule river, at an elevation of about 4500 
feet is the delightful summer resort known as Nelsons. At present 
the place is reached by a trail about eight miles in length connect- 
ing with tlie wagon road at the forks of the river. 

While the retreat is surrounded by pines, there is much tilhible 
hind and berries, vegetables and fruits are raised to perfection. The 
meaddw land grows timothy hay and there is quite a large a[)p]e 
orchard. At this elevation the summer climate is cool and pleasant. 

Not alone for the outing pleasures in the immediate vicinity, 
however, has Nelsons become noteworthy. By reason of its location 
on the route to the Little Kern, Big Kern, Kern Lakes, Mt. Whitney 
and other points of interest in the higher Sierras it has grown to 
be an equipping station for tourists. A hundred pack and saddle 
animals are maintained foi' tiiis sei'vice. 


Away up in tlie Sierras, east of the Dinuba country and near 
the Fresno county line, is Camp Badger. This is a stage station 
and a small village surrounded by a fine grazing country. It is on 
the road into the high Sierras and to some of the big hnnlier camps. 
It is an im))ortant place for summer campers to spend a time in tlie 
cool mountain air away from the heat of the valley. Some of the 
wildest and grandest scenery in the world lies in the Iiigh Sierras 
beyond, points which are readily accessible from ("amj) Badger. 

It lies in the edge of the pine belt and in the early days was a 
very important camp for teamsters and lumbermen. The first saw- 
mills in the county were set up in tlie pineries near Badger. At 
one time there were as many as two Inindred and fifty teams hauling 
hmiber from the mills through Camp liadger and down the Cotton- 
wood creek to Visalia. 

There is little of the farmer gloi-y left to Uadgcr. a store, post- 
office and scliool being the only industries of today. The surnmnd- 
ing country is lai-gely devoted to stockraising. 



On the old Millwood road, going- up Cottonwood creek, the first 
station was Auckland. As early as 1866 Mr. Harmon preempted 
the lands where the postoffice and store are. Soon afterward James 
Barton preempted the adjoining place. Stockraising was the princi- 
pal business of the early settlers and is likewise that of most of the 
present settlers. General farming is carried on to a limited extent. A 
postoffice, general store and school make up the town. 

Several thrifty apple orchards producing fruit of an excellent 
(|uality are in the vicinity and this culture is engaging the attention 
of a number of new settlers. 


Kaweah is not yet a town, merely a railroad station without an 
agent, but so rapidly is a thickly settled community clustering to 
the north of this station that a store has already been established 
and a little town will probably result. If so, it will be very close — 
within a stone's throw almost — of the site of Woodville, the historic 
village first founded in the county. 

The school and voting precinct are called 'H'eniee and the district 
is well adapted to general farming, fruit and dairying. The reten- 
tion of several large tracts by wealthy non-resident owners' has here- 
tofore retarded development somewhat. 

The Jacob Bros, farm, orchard and nursery is located about a 
half-mile east of the station. This farm, comprising several hundred 
acres, has such a diverse number of products that a constant income 
throughout the A-ear is secured. 



In the southeastern part of Tulare county, situated on a branch 
of the Tule river and connected with the cities of Los Angeles and 
San Francisco by a branch line, which joins the main Southern Pa- 
cific at Fresno and Famosa, lies the city of Porterville; conceded by 
those who have visited it to be one of the most progressive towns 
of its population in the state. While Porterville is in close proximity 
to the mountains, the foothills do not tend to retard development, 
but add to the picturesqueness and prosperity of this thriving com- 
munity of thirty-two hundred people. 

Porterville was, of necessity, on the olden immigrant road, and 
on tlie overland stage line, by reason of the fact that in those days 
it was necessary to keep to the higii ground to avoid the marshes of 
the lowland. Along the base of the spur of hills which here projects 
into the valley lay the only natural route. Then, as now, i)assersby 
found th.e place attractive and many immigrant trains found along the 
banks of the Tule river i)leasant camping and resting places, the first 
encountered for days. 

J. B. Hockett and party camped here in 1849. Mr. Cla])p settled 
here in 1856 or '57. In the late '50s a number of settlers had made 
locations and when the Overland Mail from San Francisco to St. 
Louis was established, in 1859, a stage station was located here. Royal 
Porter Putnam was placed in charge of this station at the i)rincely 
salary of .$30 per month and board. Mr. Putnam easily took a \n-om- 
inent i)lace, became familiarly known by his middle name and the 
stopping place was soon called Porter's station. When the stage 
rovate was abandoned, in 1861, Mr. Putnam established a hotel and 
store and then, as befitting the newly-acquired dignity of the place, it 
came to be entitled Porterville. 

Cattle raising constituted the chief occuiiatiou of the peoi)le in 
this district, in the days before the Civil war. The era of the cereal 
commenced in 187-4, but floods, followed by drought, disheartened 
some of the settlers. Not until th.e coming of the railroad in 1888 
did Porterville lift her head and allow iirosi)erity to enter, the latter 
then coming to remain for all time. The orange now began to i)er- 
form a very imi)ortant function. The first grove, of sixty trees, was 
planted in 1870 by Deming Gibbons on his i)roperty, where now stands 
Piano. These trees were seedlings and for twelve years oranges of 
(luality or quantity failed to mature. Added impetus, however, was 
given citrus culture by A. R. Henry of Pasadena, who has long since 
l)assed to his reward, and in the year 1892 three hundred scattering 
acres had been bnmglit undei' the reign of the citrns Tniit. During 


'this year a bill proposing the segregation of the Porterville district 
from the rest of Tulare county was introduced in the state legislature, 
but was defeated in 1893. To demonstrate the possibilities of Porter- 
ville, orchardists installed an exhibit of citrus fruit and apples at 
Sacramento. Orange experts and many men prominent in the fruit 
world lu'onounced the fruit equal to any grown south of the Tehach- 
api, and Porterville retains this distinction to this day. 

Porterville became a town of the sixth class in 1902, when a 
number of enterprising citizens appeared before the solons at Sacra- 
mento. After due legal red tape the charter was granted and Porter- 
\-ille entered upon a period of united development. Porterville now 
marched rapidly forward until 1908, when by a heavy majority, Por- 
terville citizens voted for the abolition of saloons within the incor- 
|)orated city of Porterville. Two years later voters again declared 
the saloon an outlaw. On April 15, 1912, a drastic ordinance against 
the selling of intoxicants received the unanimous sanction of the city 

Porterville ranks second to none of Tulare county cities in fine 
business blocks and residences. Itemized building figures would be 
useless, for in Porterville the progress of today is history tomorrow. 
Within the past four years two three-story blocks, several two-story 
and numerous single business blocks have been constructed, all of 
fire-proof material and representing a total valuation of $1,750,000. 
The business district covers an area of six blocks, the business 
hoiTses being of brick and reinforced concrete. More beautiful and 
substantial residences are seldom seen, $500,000 being represented in 
residences erected within the i)ast three years. 

Few, if any, towns of the county can present a more imposing 
and practical school structure than has just been completed at a cost 
of .$-i-5,000, situated at the west end of Olive street, in the center of 
a district destined to become the residential section of Porterville. 
It is an eight-room school building of mission design, with the latest 
and most approved methods of heating, ventilating and fire-escapes. 
The structure is the most modern of four grammar school buildings, 
in which more than six hundred children receive instruction. Aside 
from adequate primary and elementary departments, Porterville is 
provided with a massive high school building of granite, with a total 
enrollment of over two hundred students and every probability of 
twice that num1)er within the next two years. Practical courses are 
the specialties of instruction. The cost of Porterville 's schools aggre- 
gate a total of $120,000. 

Porterville 's municipal water system is one of the best, $90,000 
having been expended in obtaining the most improved service. In 
1908, the plant was purchased from the Pioneer Water Company for 
$50,000, incidentally reducing the water rate twenty-five pev cent. 
Since the purchase of the system, $45,000 worth of ini])rovements have 


been added. Located upon Scenic Heights, one hundred sixty-three 
feet above Main street, is a 300,000 gaHon water tower, into whicli 
is pumped pure water from two modern plants, the maximum capa- 
city of the plants being 1,250,000 gallons every twenty-four hours. 
Two auxilary tanks, one containing 75,000 gallons and a 100,000- 
gallon reservoir, add ample pressure for fire protection. The domes- 
tic supply is furnished by four, six aud eight-inch laterals, fed from 
a ten-inch main, the total length of which is eighteen miles. The foot- 
hill lands near Porterville are abundantly supplied by the Pioneer 
Water Company, whose system is capable of irrigating seven thou- 
sand acres, the main canal being sixteen miles in length. De^p well 
pumps are fast displacing the old irrigation methods, the past year 
witnessing the installation of one hundred and fifty plants. 

Within the 'past year a $75,000 sewer system has been com- 
])leted. Nineteen miles of sewer pipe, together with a thirty-acre 
sewer farm, are adequate accessories for years to come. 

Facts and figures show two miles of asphalt streets and ten miles 
of sidewalks, the former having been constructed during the past 
year at a cost of $90,000. Five of the principal thoroughfares. Main, 
Olive, Mill, Putnam and Roche, are the paved streets. 

With the completion of street paving, the necessity for efficient 
fire apparatus was pre-eminent. A chemical engine and a hose cart, 
propelled by gasoline, were purchased for $10,000. Porterville was 
the first city in Tulare county to ado])t the modern fire-fighting 
device and therefore has a minimum insurance rate. 

In resi)onse to the demand for adequate shipping and packing 
facilities for the citrus industry, eight packing-houses in and near 
Porterville have lieen established. These employ a small army of 
]3eople during the fruit season. Aside from one thousand cars of 
oranges shipi)ed annually, Porterville ships many peaches and prunes. 
Apples rivaling those of the eastei-n states are grown in tlie moun- 
tain districts. 

The thriving condition of two creameries, one in Porterville and 
the other nearby, attests the statement that the dairy industry has 
))ossil)ilities as great as those of the orange. 

A Carnegie library, valued at $10,000, is another of Porterville 's 
a((|uisitions. The building is filled with the latest productions in 
science, art, general information and fiction. 

Eight religious denominations. Congregational, Methodist, Chris- 
tian, Baptist, Christian Science, Catholic, P]pi.scoi)al and German, are 
represented in Porterville, all these institutions being in a flourishing 
condition. Seven of the denominations possess buildings of more than 
l)assing attention. The Congregational church, erected at a i-ost 
of $25,000, is one of the most beautiful edifices of its kind in tlie 
valley. A total of $()0,000 is represented in these sanctuaries. 

The First National Uank of Porterville, one of the strongest bank- 


ing institutions in Tulare county, was organized June 9, 1903, with a 
subscribed capital of $25,000. At present the capitalization is $100,000, 
and it has the largest deposit of any bank in the county. The older 
institution, the Pioneer Bank, was organized April 19, 1889, with a 
subscribed capital of $70,000. At the present time this bank is cap- 
italized for $105,000. 

Among the factors which tend to advance Porterville. of most 
importance is the Chamber of Commerce. This is the largest organ- 
ization of its kind in the San Joaquin valley, its membership totaling 
two hundred and fifty. Aside from a continuous and ])rogressive 
advertising campaign, a club room for the members is maintained, 
and also a large reading room, banquet hall and billiard parlors. In 
co-operation with the Chamber of Commerce is the Ladies Improve- 
ment Club, a by no means small factor in the development, improve- 
ment and maintenance of a clean city. 

A public park of thirty acres is situated at the eastern limits 
of the city. The land for this park was donated l)y pultlic-spirited 
citizens and $10,000 has lieen expended in its maintenance and 
improvement. A pul)lic luncli pavilion, i)ulilic play grounds for chil- 
dren and other attractive features have lieen installed. 

An important factor in Porterville's advancement is the char- 
acter of its newspapers. Two of the most consistent boosting journals 
in the county are represented in the Porterville Daily Recorder and 
the Porterville Daily Messenger. Both have weekly editions as sup- 
23lementary publications and their tinancial future is assured. 

Lodges of Porterville include all the leading orders, both l)ene- 
ficiary and insurance. Ancient Order United Workmen, Porterville 
Lodge No. 1999; Foresters of America, Court Porterville No. 181; 
Fraternal Order of Eagles, Porterville Aerie No. 1351; Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, Porterville Encampment No. 89, Porterville 
Lodge No. 359, Canton Porterville No. 6, Golden Rod Rebekah Lodge 
No. 200; Knights and Ladies of Security, Porterville Council No. 
1917; Knights of Pythias, Porterville Lodge No. 93; Pythian Sisters. 
Callamura Temple No. 66 ; Ladies of Maccabees ; Masonic, F. & A. M., 
Porterville Lodge No. 303; Royal Arch Masons, Porterville Chapter 
No. 85; Order of Eastern Star, Palm Leaf Chapter No. 11-1; Modern 
Woodmen of America, Porterville Camp No. 9064; Royal Neighl)ors. 
AVhite Rose Camp No. 5333; Woodmen of the World, Orange Cani]t 
No. 333; Women of Woodcraft, Pomelo Circle No. 292. 

Porterville never has been or never will be a boom town. It has 
grown consistently, and it will continue its advancement, as the neces- 
sary resources, now in their infancy, will always be behind it. To 
the east lie many hundred acres of foothill land yet to feel the orch- 
ardist's hand. Farther east and up into the mountains are the famous 
redwood foi-ests, unhindered by nu)noi)olists. These forests, together 
with th>' I'icli iniiieral resources yet to be developed, form a held of 


inestimable wealth. Excellent mountain resorts, such as the Califor- 
nia Hot Springs, whose mineral waters equal those of the famous 
Arkansas Hot Springs, lieckon tlie tourists from the hot sunnners 
of the valley. The feeding and fattening of beef cattle also forms 
an important occupation of the hill districts. To the south are thou- 
sands of bare acres unequaled in orange culture. Agricultural and 
dairy industries are assured in the broad i)lains to the west and to 
the north are i)roduced tlie finest of navel oranges. — CUnuJc M. 


Dinnba is the largest city in northern Tulare county, situated 
along the foothills on the eastern side of the great San Joaquin val- 
ley. It was nearly thirty years ago that the first settlers made their 
home here, at a time when Traver was a flourishing community and 
Dinnba was but a cross-roads corner. The country was one vast 
wheat field, and it was not thought then that in a generation the entire 
district would be revolutionized and made to bud and lilossom with 
fruit and flower as it does today. 

The site where Dinuba now stands was originally owned b\- 
James Sibley and E. E. Giddings, and at the time the surveyors 
of the Pacific Improvement Company laid off the towusite was but 
a vast stubblefield. Later W. D. Tuxbury bought out Mr. Sibley's 
interest and Mr. Giddings also sold his interests to Mr. Sibley. The 
first lot in the new town was sold by the Improvement Company to 
Dr. Gebhardt, and this was later occupied by the doctor's office, 
opposite the depot and at the rear of what is now the Alta Garage. 
Homer Hall and H. C. Austin bought four lots on the corner where 
the Central Block is now located and on the corner where McCrack- 
en's drug store is situated, Mr. Hall built a $1500 frame building — 
the finest in the district at that time. The lots cost him $250 each 
and cannot be bought today for much more than that amount per 
front foot. Here Mr. Hall engaged in the real estate business in 
the fall of 1888. The building was so arranged that there was a 
room adjoining the realty office and this was occupied by Dave and 
Charles Cohn with their general merchandise store. Later the Cohn 
Brothers bought the corner where the United States National Bank 
now stands, and a year later the old "adobe" on the corner where 
the First National bank is now housed in its splendid $20,000 home. 
This adobe M'as a land mark in the comnmnity for years, and was 
occupied with general stores, saloons and other lines, until a little 
over a year ago, when it was taken down for tlie modern structure 
wliicli has replaced it. 

As stated, the next luiildiug to lu> erected after tlie Hall Imild- 
ing was the office of Dr. Gebiiai'tlt. Then Frank Klaiti Imilt a black- 
smith shoip on the corner where the Akei's shop and inacliine works 


are now, Init this later . burned down. As was nsual with a pioneer 
town, the saloon found a place in the growth of the community, and 
remained here until five years ago. 

A building was moved from south of town liy Mrs. Smith, who 
later became Mrs. Toler, and was located on the rear of the Hall 
and Austin lots, and this became the postoffice. Homer Hall was 
the postmaster, and Mrs. Toler was his deputy, later succeeding to 
the office of the growing little town. 

About this time the Dinuba Hotel was erected by Sibley and 
Tuxbury and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kirkpatrick were the first lessees. 
They are still living south of town. Mine Host Kirkpatrick was 
succeeded by Matthews and Wheeler as landlords. This same year 
the Southern Pacific depot was built and the public auction of town 
lots by the railroad took place in the latter part of January, 1889, 
the auction being "cried" by Mr. Shannon, the railroad auctioneer 
from Fresno. The railroad i)eople gave the peo]jle gathered a big 
dinner that day, and the new town of Dinuba was given its start. 

The "Seventy-Six" Land Company had already commenced the 
development of water for irrigation here, and later the Alta Irriga- 
tion District was formed, with 130,000 acres and absorbing the "76" 
system. From that time the district began to develop, until five 
years ago the city was incorporated and has grown until today 
there are 1800 people here and Dinuba is the largest city between 
Visalia and Fresno along the foothills. The city has fine schools, 
both grammar and high, , and seven churches: Baptist, Methodist 
Episcopal, Christian, Methodist Episcopal South, Presbyterian, Ad- 
ventist and Church of Christ, Scientist. There are eighteen teachers 
in the public schools and nearly six hundred pupils. The city has 
miles of cement sidewalks and paved streets and is reputed as one 
of the cleanest and most attractive cities in the entire west. 


Tulare, the second eit?^ in size in the county, is situated on the 
main lines of both the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe, at their inter- 
section, some ten miles south from Yisalia. AVith a population of 
about 4000, rapidly growing; with the modern facilities and conven- 
iences common to up-to-date cities of its size ; surrounded by a thickly- 
settled, fertile, well-watered and productive farming section. Tulare 
does not present in aspect striking peculiarities. 

Historically, however, Tulare possesses distinctive prominence. 
A checkered career, marked by a series of staggering misfortunes, 
has been her lot. The adage, "It never rains but it pours," seemed 
peculiarly apiilicable at one time. That " 'Tis always darkest just 
l)efore dawn" proved true at last. The record of these events reads 
more like a story tlian the sobei- chroni('h> of liistory. 

The earliest settlers of the countv ])asscd by tlio section in tlie 


vicinity of Tulare, because it did not lie in the path of water-courses. 
A few real pioneers there were, notably W. F. Cartinili, .1. A. More- 
head, J. W. Hooper, 1. N. Wright, the Powell, McCoy, Hough and 
Wallace families, whose homesteads were tributary to what is now 
Tulare, but no settlement existed in this neighborhood i)rior to the 
coming, in 1872, of the Southern Pacific Railroad. 

Unlike the other railroad towns of the county, however, an im- 
mediate growth followed the sale of lots. In fact, Tulare commenced 
with a boom. There was occasion for this, because, according to 
the railroad's plans, which were duly heralded, it was to be the end 
of a division, the site of great railway repair shops, and not least, 
the county seat of Tulare county. In the plats submitted to pros- 
pective investors, the many projected enterprises, as factories, rail- 
road yards, and shops and the courthouse, were outlined. And there 
were many purchasers anxious to get in on the ground floor; the 
town started amidst a general whoop and hurrah. It came to pass 
that the railroad shops were erected, perhaps not on (]uite as exten- 
sive a scale as anticipated, but still there they were, and so, too, were 
several hundred employees, all of whom had to be housed and clothed 
and fed. Consequently there was need for merchants of all kinds, 
and these came. To be sure, the courthouse did not materialize. 
This for the reason that Yisalia influence secured the passage by the 
legislature of a bill permitting Tulare county to issue bonds for the 
l>ur])ose of erecting a new courthouse at Yisalia. Flourishing enoiigh, 
liowe\er, were conditions to cause the town to grow apace. Among 
the pioneers of industry at this time may be mentioned J. O. Lovejoy. 
who built the first residence in the town, also a mill and a hotel, and 
I. H. Ham, who erected blocks of buildings, both in the business 
and residence sections. 

Many of the railroad employees were men of family and these 
in numbers purchased lots and erected dwellings thereon, to l)e paid 
for on the installment plan. Now were planted gardens and lawns 
and on the sides of many of the princi])al streets shade trees, and 
all thrived. An ever-growing beauty and an ever-greater [irosperity 
characterized the town. Monthly came the pay car with $:!i),0()() to 

In July, 1883, a disastrous fire swept tiie business section, enlail- 
ing a loss of about $150,000 and destroying about twenty-five places 
of business. From the effects of this fire Tulare rajndly recovered. 
Better buildings almost immediately took the place of those burned, 
and bustling progress was promptly resumed. 

Prosperity was uninterrupted for three years only. In 188(5, on 
the night of August Ifith, the business i)ortion of the city was entirely 
destroyed by fire. The magnitude of this second disaster can scarcely 
now be realized. Notliing was left except, to (piote from the Tulare 
Register of the time, "a fiiuge of residences around a fire-swept 


gap." In the published list of the business liouses destroyed are 
enumerated seventy-seven — practically all. 

The loss occasioned by this fire was so great, so nearly did it 
take the accumulated savings of all the business men, and so closely 
did it follow the former conflagration, that it might seem that 
endeavor would be paralyzed. 

Knowledge of the town's resources, supposed to be permanent, 
inspired hope and courage, howev^-r, and the town was relmilt in 
lietter and more substantial form than before. 

xVud now, indeed, in the latter part of the '80s, secure once more, 
enjoying renewed prosperity, the inhabitants may be pardoned for 
believing that their troubles were over ; that, having weathered safely 
the storms, they were to have for the remainder of the voyage fair 
weather and fine sailing. 

However, the Fates held the most crushing bolt yet in their hands. 
In 1891 it fell. In that year the railroad company removed its shops 
to Bakersfield, taking tenants and trade. Most dismal and discourag- 
ing was the situation for the villagers who remained. A score of 
merchants found their patronage insufficient to make them a living. 
Ai-tisans and other craftsmen were without employment. Rents 
dropped to almost nothing; business houses suspended and closed; 
gardens were neglected and rioted in weeds; dwelling houses dis- 
played first the sign "For Rent," then "For Sale." 

A dreary stagnation ensued for several years, a retreat, as it 
were, before the overwhelming forces of adversity. Houses by the 
score were sold very cheaply and moved to different portions of the 
county. Tulare was looked upon as dead beyond hope of recovering. 

And yet to the sturdy resident who refused to be a quitter came 
the insistent query. Why! He looked around at the vast expanse of 
fertile land surrounding the town and again asked, Why?. The 
answer that farming tried on a big scale, wheat farming, had failed, 
because of insufficient rainfall or insufficient sub-irrigation did not 
satisfy him. He said "If it is water that is lacking, why, we will 
get water. We will make this land produce the abundant crops 
Nature intended and we shall become a rich and prosperous com- 
munity, self-supporting, independent of railroad patronage." 

And from this resolve a great irrigation system was planned 
with wide canals and far-reaching laterals. To carry out this project 
the people in the territory to be embraced formed the Tulare Irriga- 
tion District and voted bonds in the sum of $500,000. 

AVith the bonds selling readily, the vast irrigation enterprise 
giving emploAmient to an army of men well under way, the vast 
benefits that would accrue on its completion readily foreseen every- 
one again felt encouraged and hopeful. All troultle was now thought 
to be over. 


As a matter of fact, it had just begim. Litigation over watei- 
rights involved the new district from the start. Finally, largely from 
this cause the money was all spent and there was no water, or at 
least, not sufficient water. 

Eemember, all this occurred just as the general hard times and 
financial depression of '93 were being most severely felt. The result 
was that default was made on the interest on the bonds. Conditions 
became almost intolerable. Lack of funds prevented proper ui)keep 
of the canals. There was no water to speak of and yet there was 
an ever-increasing indebtedness that with the dragging weight of 
an incubus prevented any onward progress. 

Land depreciated in value until it practically became unsalable. 
Discouragement gave place to despondency and despair. 

Joe Goldman and other progressive citizens of Tulare finally 
evolved a plan to try to compromise with the bondholders. They suc- 
ceeded in securing a concession whereby the bonds and accrued inter- 
est, aggregating $750,000, could be wiped out for about $273,000. 

An assessment was levied in the fall of 1902 upon the real estate 
of the bonded district sufficient to cover the amount, the bonds were 
placed in escrow and strenuous efforts, ultimately successful, were 
made to collect the money. 

October 17, 1903, was the day appointed for the exchange. A 
monster celebration was held in honor of the event and the cancelled 
bonds were burnt in the presence of the assemblage amidst the great- 
est rejoicings. That day marked the turning point in Tulare's career. 
Progress since has been rapid and increasing. The irrigation system 
is now the i^roperty of the district and the only e.xpense for water 
is the cost of maintenance. Pumping plants, irrigating lands not 
reached by the ditches, have also been installed in great numbers, 
bringing into production thousands of additional acres. 

Having become the center of the dairy district of the county, 
possessing three of the largest creameries, Tulare city now enjoys 
a permanently assured large and increasing income. Vineyards, de- 
ciduous fruits of all kinds and many other products contribute also, 
but the sum received from the sale of cream, now over $100,000 per 
month, is of first importance, not only because of the amount, but 
because it is paid in cash each month. 

Tulare merchants enjoy the benefits of a cash trade and their 
customers partake of the benefits by i-eason of lower prevailing pi-ices 
than in towns where a credit system is in greater vogue. 

The present rajiid growth of Tulare is well indicated by the build- 
ing o])eratii)ns, which for the jiast two years have run about $2.")(),000 
per year. 

Tulare possesses a first-class sewer system, an abundant supi)Iy 
of absolutely pure water piped everywhere, electric jiowcr and lights. 


gas for fuel and lighting. There is a large cannery, tliree creameries, 
a flour mill and a planing mill and furniture factory. A handsome 
free library building houses a six thousand volume collection of books. 
New school buildings with the best modern equipment and with ex- 
tensive surrounding playgrounds and experimental plats are a feature. 

There are two banks, two daily newspapers and corresponding 
business facilities of all kinds. Ten churches of as many denomina- 
tions minister to the religious needs of the people. 

Of the early improvements made in the days of the railroad shop 
and "before the tire" one only remains, and that is the shade trees 
planted along the streets. These, now about thirty years old, have 
grown to be of great girth and, wide-spreading, their tops almost 
meet above the broad streets. 


Eighteen miles east of Visalia the foothill slopes to the north 
and soutli of the Kaweali river approach at an angle to form a 
sheltered vale, which with the village and postoffice there located, 
is called Lemon Cove. 

Originally the settlement and postoffice went by the name of 
Lime Kiln, from the early discovery of lime in the vicinity by Wil- 
liam Cozzens. 

J. W. C. Pogue, one of the earliest settlers, was the founder of 
the town and the father of the great development in citrus culture 
that has taken place in recent years. The first orange orchard in 
Tulare county was planted by him. The successful growth of these 
first few orange and lemon trees and the entire freedom from frost 
noted during the years up to their coming into liearing, led him to 
l^lant a second orchard and to become a whole-souled, energetic ])ro- 
nioter for the section. 

In the early '90s a consideralile acreage was planted to citi'us 
fruits, mostly lemons. In addition to many small tracts, the large 
groves of the Kaweah Lemon Company and the Ohio Lemon Com- 
pany were set. 

A little story must be told here, for at this time the learned Mc- 
Adie, our well-known weather prophet, in company witli a number 
of friends, paid a visit to the high Sierras, reached by way of 
Lemon Cove. On the return the large plantings of young lemon 
groves attracted attention and Mr. McAdie proceeded to comment 
thereon in the presence of Mr. Pogue and other residents. 

McAdie explained that citrus fruits would not mature in the 
localitj'' and that it was a foolish waste of time and money to plant 
them. Reasons scientific, technical and meteorological were given 
to prove it. Old Jim Pogue, boiling inwardly and scarcely able to 
contain himself, finally inteiTupted and said, "Come here a minute; 
got something to show you." Taking McAdie by the arm he led him 


to the rear of his residence, where stretched a full-hearing- orange 
and lemon grove, the branches loaded with the yellowing fruit and 
said, "Tliere, you dad blame fool, there they be." 

About a thousand bearing acres now add their testimony to that 
of Mr. Pogue. The lemon has a more delicate nature and more sus- 
ceptible to frost than the orange. Lemon (\)\e is one of the few 
jilaces in the state where sufficient frost ])rotection is obtained. 

Lemon Cove is the outer gateway to the Sierras of the Kaweah 
watershed and in consequence enjoys a considerable tourist trade. 

The town, though small, is thriving and growing. Citrus fruit 
packing and shipping causes much activity during the season. Three 
packing houses handle the crop, which now amounts to about four 
hundred carloads annually. 

A two-story hotel, large general store, livery stalile. blacksuiith 
shops, bakery and butcher sho]) make up the town. 


Sultana, one of the new towns created by the construction of 
the Santa Fe Railroad in 1896, lies three miles due east from Diimba 
and is just half-way between that city and Orosi. 

Sultana, situated as it is in the very midst of a solidly planted 
area of orchards and vineyards, has become an important shii))iing 
point, both for fresh and dried fruits and raisins and for water- 

Being so near the larger city, which has the advantage of lying 
on both lines of railroad, Sultana will jn-obably never grow to l)e a 
large city. On the other hand, its existence is amply justified by 
the large and rapidly increasing rural poi)ulation surrounding it. 


Lindsay is situated in the very center of the most extensively 
developed section of Tulare county's orange belt, lying about twelve 
miles north of Porterville and eighteen miles southeast from \'isalia. 
on the east side branch of the Southern Paciiic. 

Orange groves in solid formation and stretching miles iu all 
directions, approach to and extend into the city. 

Unlike any of the other towns of the county, diver.sified jiroducts 
do not contribute to the enrichment of city and country here. Oranges 
exclusively are now grown and this fact, in connection with the 
large area of land in the vicinity suited to this culture, has made 
Lindsay the greatest orange shijjping point in the county and many 
lielieve tliat within a few years it will be the most important in the 

Thirteen large packing houses, equipped with the best nuHlern 
facilities and machinery, and having a combined capacity of eiglity 
carloads ]ier day, are required to handle Ww oulimt. which now 
amounts to about two thousand carloails. 


Business diiriug the harvest season, when the handling of the 
immense crop requires the labor of an army of pickers, packers, 
box-makers, etc., is, of course, especially brisk. 

The city now contains a poi^ulation of about twenty-five hundred 
and is growing rapidly. There are two daily newspapers, two banks, 
three machine shops, a foundry, a planing mill, two cement works 
and a talcum powder mill. Two electric companies give power foi 
lighting, heating and pumping. Gas mains will be laid in the near 

Lindsay was incorporated as a city of the sixth class February 
28, 1910, the corporate limits containing an area of nine hundred 
and sixty acres. The government was placed in the hands of a city 
council, composed of W. B. Kiggens, president; Allen McGregor. P. 
T. Ostrander, Basil Pryor and Charles 0. Cowles, and Marshal 
William Gann; city clerk, W. H. Mack; treasurer, G. V. Eeed. 

In 1911, bonds in the sum of $130,000 were voted for the pur- 
pose of acquiring a municipal water plant and for the construction 
of a sewer system. 

Fifty-five thousand dollars was devoted to the purchase of the 
plant of the Lindsay Water and Gas Company and the better- 
ment and enlargement of the system. An additional pumping plant 
was installed, mains extended to cover the entire city, and other 
improvements effected. 

The sewer system, to which $7.3,000 was devoted, is of modern 
type and substantial construction, built by Haviland & Tibbetts of 
San Francisco. Provision for the disposal of sewage was made 
by the purchase by the city of a ninety-acre tract, situated some 
two and a half miles from the city. Preparations for farming this 
tract directly by the city is now being undertaken. 

Lindsay possesses school facilities considered superior to those 
of any city of similar size in the state. These consist of three 
grammar school and one high school buildings, with extensive 
grounds, representing an investment of $70,000. 

The appearance of Lindsay is made attractive bj' the nearly 
uniform excellence of both business structures and residences. There 
are six miles of concrete sidewalks and the streets are generally 
well graded, firm and smooth. 

The growth of Lindsay, while never of a mushroom character, 
has been exceedingly rapid, about fifteen years only having been 
required for it to reach its present status as one of the most 
important cities of the county. 

Nowhere else in the county has a more complete, radical and 
rapid transformation in characteristics been effected than in the 
section around Lindsay. 

When the overland stage line to St. Louis was established in 


'59, a station called the Eighteeu-Mile House was erected a little 
south and west of the present town on the old Porterville road. 
Between Outside creek near Farmersville and Porterville this was 
the only house, and it remained so for many years. The country 
between was a dreary hog-wallow waste considered worthless except 
for spring feed. 

As stock raising became a more important industry ranches 
were located in the foothills where water from springs or creeks 
was to be found and in the spring-time the flocks were removed to 
the adjoining plains and temporary camps established there. 

This constituted all of the development until the early '80s, 
when the coming of the railroad through the valley gave an impetus 
to wheat growing. 

After a few good crops had demonstrated the profits to be made 
in this culture some enterprising men of the period jumped in and 
proceeded to raise wheat on a large scale. 

In the Lindsay district J. J. Cairns, G. S. and W. S. Berry, and 
others, as the Keeley's and William Mehrten (known as Dutcli Bill) 
farmed practically the entire territory from north of Exeter to 
Porterville, including a large area to the west of Lindsay. 

J. J. . Cairns alone put in in one year 25,000 acres and was 
reimted to have cleared up $50,(K)I) on the crop. The lands upon 
which these wheat kings operated were not owned by them, but 
were leased, usually upon shares, and lay in separated tracts. Al- 
though most of the country thus came under cultivation, no material 
progress resulted. Plowing and seeding outlits with temporary 
camps moved from place to place during the winter season and 
temporary movable quarters also sufficed for the harvest time. 
Neither did any permanent profit inure to the few men engaged in 
this lordly farming, as seasons of drought wiped out the profits 
from years of plenty. 

In 1888 the east side branch of the Southern Pacific railroad was 
completed and Lindsay was made a station and given a siding. 
Capt. A. J. Hutchinson donated fifty-one per cent, of the townsite 
for this concession, but this was not considered sufficient inducement 
for the erection of a depot and it was not until two years later, when 
Mr. Hutchinson donated more land, that one was built. 

In 1889, however, the McNear company erected a large grain 
warehouse on the track and a few business houses sprang up to 
care for the wants of the sparse and largely floating population. 
Charles Rankin opened a general store and Ed and George Hauna- 
ford started a hotel and a few other shops followed. 

The new era began in 1891 when Captain Hutchinson began the 
active promotion of the section for orange culture, i)lacing twenty- 
five hundred acres of land on the market for this i)urpose. 

Previouslv John Tuohv, on his Lewis creek ranch, had iilanted 


a number of orange trees, the growth of which liad shown the 
adaptabihty of soil and climate. J. J. Cairns had set out a small 
orchard, and Captain Hutchinson himself had the previous year 
set out an experimental grove of five acres. Mr. Cairns also had put 
down a well, the first in the district for irrigating purposes, and 
had ]iroven the existence of a great available water supply. 

To Mr. Hutchinson, however, properly belongs the credit for 
being the founder of the community, as tln-ough his enterjirise de- 
velo])ment on a larger scale was undertaken and the district's merits 
exploited in a way to attract attention from many men of prominence 
who became identified witli the section's develo]nnent. 

Thomas E. Johnson of San Jose and C. J. Carle were among 
the first outsiders to whom the locality made a strong appeal and 
these, both by their own efforts and through their influence, became 
important factors in furthering the growth of the community. 

About four hundred acres were set out in 1891, more than 
double that in 1892, and considerably more in the years following. 
Not until 1896 and 1897, however, when returns came in from the 
first orchards planted, did the boom, as it may be called, set in that 
has lasted until the present day and gives no signs of abating. 

Southern California growers in general had not thought it 
possible that oranges could be grown commercially north of Tehachapi. 
When the Lindsay groves first began to produce oranges and get 
them east in time for the Thanksgiving mai-ket, the fact attracted 
wide attention in the south. Many growers visited this section, fore- 
saw its possibilities and invested. 

Lindsay has proven an exceptionally fine locality for hustlers 
of limited means. By reason of the rapid rise in land values and 
on account of the prevailing activity in all lines of business due 
to tlie rush in leveling, ])lauting and installation of pumping plants 
unusual ()])i)ortnnities have offered themselves. Lindsay boasts a 
large number of citizens who, entering the field without a dollar, 
now measure their wealtli in five figures. 




In the adventures of the earh' settlers with the Indians, there 
was frequently an element of humor, sometimes of tragedy. There 
are no other instances, however, that quite equal for the mixture of 
these two elements the two misadventures that befell Fred or "old 


man" Steinman. In 1854 or '55 Steinman, who lived southwesterly 
from Visalia a few miles, went on a hunting trip near wliat is now 
Corcoran on the Mahuran slough. He was looking for deer, and 
the timbered country near this slougli looking good to him, he tied 
his team and proceeded cautiously afoot. He liad not traveled far 
when he espied five or six deer, whereupon he dodged into the 
slough, and stealthily made his way to a point which he judged to 
be directly opposite them. Eaising cautiously up, he discovered one 
liig buck witliin range, the rest being some distance beyond. He 
fired, and at the crack of his rifle what was his horror and dismay 
to hear an Indian scream with agony. It was a dying shriek. The 
Indian was himself stalking deer, clothed in deer skin and carrying- 
antlers. There was no more hunting for Steinman that trip. Fearful 
of revenge, he hurried home and kept exceedingly close for some 
time. Either, however, the Indians failed to learu the slayer's 
identity or were satisfied that the shooting was inirely accidental, 
for no reprisal was ever attempted. 

Equally, or rather more, serious and at the same time more 
amusing, was his next trouble. Steinman was an old bachelor and 
had peculiar habits. His house, which was within half a mile of the 
Indian rancheria, was of clapboards split and smoothed. Above his 
living-room was a loft reached by a ladder. It was Steinman 's 
custom on warm afternoons to re])air to tliis loft, divest himself 
of all clothing, and spend a few trancpiil liours in smoking, meditation 
or repose. 

For some time he iiad lieen missing articles fi'om his cabin with- 
out a clew to the pilferer or his method. On one afternoon, however, 
while taking his ease in the loft in a state of nature he heard noises, 
and looking down through tlie hole in the floor saw two Indians 
enter. They had discovered some loose weather l)oards, ;uid by 
removing the nails had made an ojjening wliich later could l)e 
closed and leave no sign. 

The table, on which was a variety of eatables, was dii-cctly below 
tiie hole in the ceiling, and Steinman 's anger rose as ho watched 
the Indians make free with his grub and then examine the caliin for 
things of use. He determined to scare them into fits, and .jumi)ed 
to tlie table, giving as he did so a wild yell. Instead of fleeing in 
consternation at this frightful ai)parition, as he had anticipated, tlie 
Indians grabbed knives from the table and attacked liim fiercely. 
Steinman, though severely wounded, managed to reach the lirei:)lace, 
where he got hold of a long-handled shovel, with which he killed one 
of his antagonists and drove off the other. 

This time Steinman knew that only by iinincdiatc flight could 
he secure his safety. To his neighbor Willis he thcret'ore went. A 
numl)er of men were here eiiiployeil mnkiug rails and these i»i-ouiised 


him protection. After consultation it was decided that the best 
method to pursue would be to endeavor to square the matter with 
the chief. 

All came to town and secured the siO"d offices of Horace Thomas, 
"Uncle Dan," to act as mediator. The result of the powwow was 
that in consideration of a beef, a horse and a number of trinkets 
it was agreed that there should be no harassment of Steinman. 


John Barker tells this story of W. L. Poindexter, sheriff of Tulare 
county in the late '50s. 

Poindexter was a big, jolly, good-natured fellow, exceedingly 
popular, having hosts of friends not only in the county, but throughout 
the valley from Stockton to Bakersfield. A decided weakness for the 
fair sex was one of his characteristics and when a young lady school- 
teacher from San Jose, Miss Helen S , who was a most 

bewitching blonde, made her ap]iearance in Visalia, Poindexter liecame 
deeply enamoured. Upon her he lavished alnindant affection and pres- 
ents of a substantial nature. 

When after a long but ardent courtship he finally secured her con- 
sent and the day for the wedding was set, preparations on a grand scale 
went forward and from Stockton to Bakersfield friends were invited to 
attend. Barker says : 

"There was a jolly crowd and one of which any man might feel 
justly proud to number as his friends on that occasion. The wedding- 
was to take place Saturday and the bride and groom were to take 
passage for San Jose on the overland stage immediately thereafter. 
In the meantime, Poindexter had to make a trip to the Kern river 
mines. ' ' 

On his return Friday Barker brought his mail to hiiii at his 
room. Of this he says: "I noticed a letter in a feminine liand that 
had been mailed him at Visalia. When I handed him his mail I felt 
a sort of premonition that all was not light. As lie read the letter 
I saw a change come over his features ; he turned pale as death. 
I saw his hand quiver and thought lie would faint. In a few 
moments, by a great effort, he called me and said, 'Jack, read this, 
but never on your life lireathe a word of it to anyone else.' He 
added, 'That is from a woman that has ruined me financially and 
now she has completed the job.' " 

The letter was couched in cold blooded, delilierate language. 
It stated that she had made up her mind not to marry him, did not 
love him, never had and never could, advised him to get some one 
nearer his own age, etc., and suggested that he make no attempt to 
see her. 

"Poindexter told me that he had squandered $8,000 on her. 


We tried to keep things secret that nig-ht, but by the next morning 
everyone in town knew it. Of course, there was a general feeling of 
indignation among Poindexter's friends, and by noon a Saturnalia 
had commenced. Nearly all of the guests liad bought new suits of 
clothes, good ones, to honor the occasion, and they organized what 
they called a 'Lodge of Sorrow.' After installing officers, com- 
mittees went around among the guests and invited them to meet at 
the lodge. As fast as they arrived they were put into an ante-room 
and as their names were called, they were blindfolded and led by 
the arm by a man on each side. The A'ictim was marched around the 
room and then led to the center facing the presiding officer. His 
attention was directed to the awful example of our friend Poindexter, 
and he was then cautioned never to allow himself to succumb to the 
wiles of a siren. He was then requested to repeat after one of liis 
guides the following formula : 

" 'Then shall we stand such treatment? No! As soon seek roses in 
December, ice in June, seek constancy in wind, or corn in chatf. 

" 'Believe a liar or an epitaph or any other thing tliat's false 

" 'We let a woman play us such a score.' 

"At the command 'Restore him to the light' the bandage was 
removed from his eyes, the skirts of his Prince Albert coat were 
seized on each side by his guides and the coat split up the back to 
the collar and the victim turned loose. Of course, his first impres- 
sion was that he wanted to punch the heads of the fellows who tore 
his coat, but when he saw that everyone else in the room had been 
served the same way, his only alternative was to laugh with tliem 
and wait for the next victim. This Saturnalia was kept n\> until 
Sunday morning, when they all struck out for their homes." 


Many tales are told of tlie "devil may care" s])irit tliat animated 
Visalia during the mining boom days. Gambling, boozing, fighting 
and frolicking were the occupations of the miners, especially, as liap- 
pened in the fall of '56 and '57, when their pockets were full of dust 
and they were otf on their way to San Francisco to spend the winter. 

Visalia offered such attractions that they got no further. At 
one lime about twenty-five of these took practical jiossession of the 
town. Wide open and in full blast the attractions were kejit going, 
night and day. Tliis crowd had among them a tall and lanky 
Missourian named Ben Biggs, who could ]3lay tlie fiddle, and that liis 
talents might be exercised in a manner calculated to attract the most 
attention they purchased a jackass for him to ride and were accus- 
tomed to march around the town, lialting in front of tlie different 
saloons, treating all bystanders while the fiddhn' ]ilaypd lustily. The 
sum of $60 per month was paid the musician l>y tlic jiarty. 


Needless to say, due eelat was secured. Judge Sayles, later of 
Fvesuo, who was the leader of this crowd, concluded that this sport 
had become somewhat stale and arranged for a glorious finale. 

At the crossing at Mill creek at Garden street was a ford, below 
which was a ^■ery deep pool. A halt was called here one day and 
Biggs, at the request of the audience, was sawing out a selection 
when a [ireconcerted rush of the spectators dumped both him and his 
steed into the water. 


"^'isalia in tlic '70s numbered among its inhabitants a genuine 
"bad man." This was one James McCrory, who at the time of his 
death had tlie reputation of having killed or wounded thirteen men. 

McCrory, when sober, was ])leasant and companionable and 
gained many friends. When drunk, he was cross-grained and surh- 
and inclined to shoot on little or no provocation. His first serious trou- 
ble occurred here in October, 1870, when without apparent cause he shot 
and killed Manuel Barcla, a Mexican barkeeper in the Fasliinn 
saloon. For this murder he was at his first trial, sentenced to fifteen 
years imprisonment. On the second trial he was acquitted on 
technicalities. As the nmi-der was peculiarly cold-blooded and brutal 
this caused much unfavorable comment. 

The culminating incident of his career, however, and the means 
by which he gained a large amount of such fame as lay within his 
reach, occurred on the night of December 24, 1872. McCrory had 
just returned from a prospecting trip to Arizona. He had met with 
no success and arrived broke, actually in rags, in fact. Charles 
Allen, a barkeeper in the Eldorado saloon, had been his good friend 
for years and to him McCrory appealed for assistance. Allen re- 
plenished his wardrobe, purchasing at Sweet's store a $10 i)air of 
trousers and other articles of good quality. After making the neces- 
sary purchases, the two chums proceeded to carouse around together 
all day. Allen went to bed in the saloon, but McCrory continued to 
celebrate. He became so boisterous that the Mexican barkeeper 
became frightened and woke Allen. When Allen suggested that he 
make less noise, McCrory pulled his pistol and, without a word, shot 
Allen .iust below the eye. There were numerous witnesses to the 
dastardly act and feeling against McCrory was intense. Allen died 
in about an hour. 

McCrory made his escape through the rear of the saloon and 
Jiad hid himself in an outhouse, whence he was coaxed to come out 
by "Picayune" Johnson, a citizen, who placed him under arrest. 
When being taken to the jail by de])uty sheriff Jesse Reynolds, there 
wei-e h)U(l and t're(iueiit cries from tiie crowd of "hang him! hang 


hini!" MeC'rory yelled back, "Yes, you , vou dasseut 

liaiig me." 

It was Christmas eve. The cliurch bells were riugiug tlieir call 
to attend the Christmas trees festivities at the Methodist cliiircli on 
Court street, but there were few men who answered this summons. 
They attended a graver and sterner meeting on Main street at !) ]>. 
m., and as a result marched en masse to the jail where sheriff A. II. 
Glasscock with armed deputies were found guarding the prisoner. 
The sheriff asked the crowd not to act hastily and do things of which 
later they would be ashamed, and requested them to at least wait 
an hour before taking any action. This was agreed to and at the 
end of that time they returned with an eighteen foot piece of timlier 
with which they broke open the outside iron door of the jail. After 
reaching the hall they had to pass the sheriff's office where eight or 
ten armed men were on guard. These were forced to give way and 
were shoved into the office and held there. The keys were taken 
from Reynolds and the cell door opened. 

]\[cCrory had heard them coming and, determined not to "die 
witli his boots on," had removed them. When the leaders entered 
the cell they foimd him lying on his face. Tliey caught him by the 
hair, raised his head up, placed a noose around his neck and half 
dragged, half carried him to the hall. A railing blocked the way 
here and in order to prevent premature strangulation, he was lifted 
over this. Outside, he was taken to the Mill creek bridge on Court 
street, the rope tied to a post of the railing, and he was thrown over. 

A man made a motion that he be left there for one hour, which 
was duly seconded and carried. During the interim, a collection to 
defray funeral expenses was taken uji, and arrangements made witli 
the imdertaker. At the end of the hour "Fatty Johnson," the under- 
taker, appeared witli a spring wagon. Six men pulled McCrory up 
and got him ])artially into the wagon. The incident was closed. 
Certainly there had been no delay or miscarriage of justice and not 
a cent of expense to the county. 


On November 15, 1860, AVilliam Governeur Morris shot and killed 
John Shannon, editor of the Delta. This affray grew out of tiie 
bitterness engendered in the political cam])aign which had just been 
brought to a close, and for a correct understanding of the motives 
actuating the men, it is necessary to relate some of the verlial ])ass- 
ages between them. 

The Visalia Sun had been sta-rted during this campaign as an 
organ of the Republican party, the Ddfa supporting Breckenridge. 
]\rorris, it was stated, controlled tlH> jiolicy of the Smi and contributed 
to it editoiiallv. 


In the first issue of tlie Delta after the election there appeared 
a statement from Shannon as follows : "To the Public : In the last 
issue of the Sun I find a card signed by William Governeur Morris, 
in which is the following language: 'I have endeavored to obtain 
satisfaction from Mr. Shannon for his personal abuse of me in his 
paper, but have been unable to do so.' " After this follow copies 
of a portion of the correspondence. "On the loth of September 
last I received a note from Mr. Morris by the hands of two men, 
who immediately left without stating the object of their visit or the 
purport of the note of which they were the bearers, thus affoi'ding 
me no opjiortunity to give them a written answer or to refer them 
to my friend. Regarding this conduct on the part of these messengers 
as a deliberate insult, and finding one of them on the streets, I com- 
menced, without any ceremony, to chastise him for his imi^ertinence. 
(This was A. J. Atwell.) In so doing I injured my right hand, an 
injury which has since proved to be more serious thau was at the 
time supposed. Mr. Morris was informed of the fact through Mr. 
Beckham, and requested to wait until such time as I could have the 
full use of my hand." Shannon goes on to state that Morris agreed 
to tliis and was to await an answer from Mr. Beckham, which had 
not been given because Shannon's hand was not yet well, and also 
that both Morris and Tate knew that he had also met with an accident 
to his other hand. He accuses them of violating the rules of the code 
and concludes by saying, "Inasmuch as Mr. Morris has chosen to 
retire from his position, I have only to say that hereafter, should 
he or any of his kind feel aggrieved by any act or word of mine, they 
have only to call \\\Kn\ me, with the assurance tliat I will be prepared 
to arrange matters with them very summarily, and without the inter- 
positions of friends or a resort to the code." 

November 15, 1860, a card appeared ' from Morris denouncing 
Shannon as a liar, coward and blackguard and stating that he would 
]3ay him no further attention. The affair occurred the same day. 
The version given by both the Sun and the Delta was : 

"On Thursday evening Shannon entered the office of W. P. 
Gill, Esq., where Morris was sitting. Shannon held in his hand a 
cocked pistol, and on entering raised the pistol, at the same time 
saying, 'Morris, are you armed?' Morris sprang to his feet and 
grappled with his o])ponent. Shannon being the taller of the two 
Morris was unable to disarm him and Shannon beat him severely 
upon the head with the jiistol, inflicting nine severe scalp wounds. At 
the first or second blow Shannon's, pistol was discharged accidentally. 
After receiving these blows, Morris fell to the floor, covered with 
blood, whereuiKin Shannon gazed u]ion him several seconds and 
Innieil and left the room. ISiorris, thereupon, s]»rang to his feet and. 


drawing his i-evolver, rushed out of the south door of the building 
so as to intercept Shannon before reaching his office. The ])arties 
here exchanged shots ineffectually. Morris then left his position 
and proceeding to the north side of the building, climbed on the 
fence (Shannon retaining his position) and took deliberate aim 
and fired, the ball striking Mr. Shannon in the abdomen. At this 
instant Shannon had raised his pistol, but lowered it without firing 
and put his hand to the wound and walked to his office, whei-e he 
died in about an hour and eighteen minutes. 

Shannon was a man highly respected by a large circle of friends 
and sincerely mourned. He was one of the pioneer journalists of the 
state, having previously edited the Placer Democrat and the Calaveras 

Morris later became United States marshal of California. 


One of tlie most bizarre and at the same time most outrageous 
crimes known in the annals of any county was committed in the sum- 
mer of 1858. The heavy villains were one J. D. Stapleford and 
"William Governeur Morris, known as "bloody" Morris, the same 
gentleman who afterwards killed Shannon, the editor of the Delta, 
and later became United States marshal. 

It appears that Stapleford, who hailed from Stockton, had there, 
in order to defraud his creditors, deeded his property, said to amount 
to $30,000 or $40,000, to his uncle, William C. Deputy. Deputy had 
handled this property for some time, selling and reinvesting, and, as 
he claimed, repaying to Stapleford such sums from time to time 
as to cancel the indebtedness. Deputj', however, remained ]iossessed 
of much property and Stapleford demanded of his uncle that he deed 
all his i)roperty to him, claiming that the old score remained unsettled. 
Deputy refused and then Stapleford offered a reward of $1,000 to 
anyone who would compel him to sign an instrument to that effect. 

There being no takers for this offer, Stapleford caused Dejiuty's 
arrest on a charge of swindling, and he was confined in the old wooden 
jail and court house and chained to a ring-bolt, fastened in the fioor. 
Apparently fearing that some attempt at the use of violence might 
be committed on the prisoner, Sheriff Poindexter placed two men, 
Ed Reynolds and Frank Warren, on guard to protect the old num. 

On the 28th of July, a mob headed by Mori-is, who was a lawyer 
and notary, broke into jail, took Deputy to the outskirts of town, 
swung him up to a tree by a noose around his neck until he was 
nearly strangled, let him down, and then requested hiui to sign a 
deed that had been prei)ared. Upon his refusal he was again swung 
up and lashed by Morris with a blacksnake until almost uuconscious. 
He then consented to sign, but after being taken back to jail, showed 


signs of renewed stubbornness. However, after being chained again 
to the ring-bolt and threatened again with the lash, he did sign a 
deed by which he transferred to Stapleford any and all real estate 
of which he might be possessed in the state of California. 

This pro]»erty included that on which the Visalia floui-ing mills 
are now situated, a tract east of town and a hotel and ranch property 
in San Bernardino. The property' was immediately retransferred to a 
supposedly innocent third party and when Deputy brought suit to re- 
cover, the supreme court held that there was no law empowering it to 
reinstate Deputy in possession. 

Stapleford, Morris and four others of the ]irinci]ial men com- 
posing the mob that had committed the outrage were later arrested 
on a complaint signed by many prominent citizens. Morris was 
convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $500 and serve six months 
in jail. Owing to secret influences of some kind, he successfully 
evaded doing either one, and escaped scot free. 

JAMES :\i'k[XXEy's high LIFE 

On Sunday morning, July 1^7, 190l', James McKinney, an ex-con- 
vict, murderer and all round bad man, ran amuck in Porterville, 
shot fi\'e men, one fatally, lield uji a livery stable for a team and 
made his escape. 

McKinney at the time was employed at tlie Mint saloon as night 
manager. About 'midnight he and Ralph Calderwood, known as 
"Scotty," proprietor of a saloon and chop house, got together in 
the Mint saloon. Both had been drinking and McKinney was bois- 
terous. He tired a shot from his revolver at random from the door 
of the Mint and then adjourned to Scotty 's ])lace where more 
promiscuous shooting was indulged in. 

City Marshal John Howell, his deputy, Jolni Willis, Dejnity Con- 
stable W. L. Tompkins and a railroad employe named Lyons ajv 
proached for. the purpose of arresting McKinney, who began shooting 
when the officers were within fifteen feet of him. They returned the 
fire and Willis called, "Jim, stop your shooting." A shot was fired 
in rei)ly. Attem})ting to fire again, the gun snapped and Willis 
remarked, "Come on, boys, he has no more ammunition, we will get 
him now." McKinney fled, pursued by the officers. Willis, who was 
in the lead, fired two shots, one of which hit McKinney in the leg. 
Willis, out of ammunition, continued the chase and got close enough 
to strike McKinney with his cane. McKinney had reloaded while 
running and upon being struck, turned and shot Willis, the liall 
taking effect in the upper lip, knocking him down. 

The chase then ceased, but McKinney continued the flight to the 
house of his mistress, where he procured a shotgun and rifle. Start- 
ing to return to town, he encountered William Linn, a gambler, at 


whom without provocation he discharged a load of buckshot, fatally 
wounding him. Linn had previously been accidentally shot and 
slightly wounded in the exchange of shots with the officers. McKin- 
ney then went to the Arlington stables, roused the hostlers, and, 
covering them with his rifle, demanded a team, threatening to kill 
them if they did not liurry. While the team was being harnessed 
McKiuney fired eight or ten shots towards the main part of town. 
He then got into the buggy and drove up through town, shooting at 
every person he saw. 

George Barrow, a compositor in the Enterprise office, received 
a charge in the right arm and in the small of the back, and W. B. 
West was shot in the right arm and hip. West was slightly and 
Barrow very severely wounded. After shooting Barrow and W^est 
McKinney drove through the main part of town to the residence of 
D. B. Hosier, whom he roused. He said, "I have killed four or five 
men down town and must leave here. I want you to give me all the 
money you have. Take these keys and you will find in the locker at 
the safe at the Mint saloon, $100. Tell the Indian, referring to Ed 
Isham, to give you that money. Tell Ed that I have gone, that they 
will never take me. Tracy won't be in it with me, I will kill anyone 
that looks at me." 

Mosier gave McKinney all the money he had, about $()(). Mc- 
Kinney drove again to Main street and took a parting shot at "Kid" 
Tatman, but without effect. He drove north then from Porterville, 
passing through Lindsay, and in the vicinity of Lemon Cove secreted 
himself near D. McKee's home. 

■ Sheritf Parker was soon on the trail but failed to locate him, 
as McKinney had numerous friends who assisted him in keeping his 
whereabouts a secret. In August, and until October, he was seen 
in the Randsburg district, whence he disappeared to parts unknown, 
not being heard of until June of 1903, when he was reported in 
Mexico. Sheriff Collins secured extradition papers and went after 
him. McKinney, however, escaped and. went to Kingman, Arizona, 
in which vicinity he murdered two men. Fleeing from the scene 
of these crimes he again appeared in the Randsburg region, being 
hotly pursued by Sheriflf Lovin of Mojave county, Arizona, as well 
as by Sheriff Collins and ex-Sheriff Overall of this county and 
sheriff's possees from Kern county. McKinney, evading these, made 
his way successfully through the Sierras to Kernville and there 
narrowly escaped being killed l)y Rankin and McCrackeu, who recog- 
nized him and in a running fight, wounded him. 

On April 19, 1903, McKinney was located in a Chinese joss 
house in B.akersfield. The house was surrounded by a cordon of 
officers, and Jeff Packard, city marshal, and Will E. Tibbett, special 
deputy sheriff, were killed in an attempt to enter it. IMcKinney ap- 


peared at the doorway aud was shot and instantly killed ))y deputy 
sheriff Bert M. Tibbetts. 


The last of the long list of bloody crimes that has cursed the 
comity that will be noted was that committed in Porterville, February 
17, 1911. On that day, just before dark and as the stores were closing 
for the night, Juan Magana, a Mexican laborer who had been at work 
in the county, entered the Lambkin-Graham clothing store. It hap- 
pened that J. B. Lambkin was still in the store and Magana asked to 
look at some shoes. While Lambkin was looking for the shoes the 
Mexican demanded money and on being refused, drew a butcher knife 
and stabbed the merchant to death. 

Some one entered the store just then and gave the alarm. Ma- 
gana broke through a rear window and escaped in the darkness. In 
the tussle in the store he had cut his own hand and he left a trail of 
blood. He escaped to a small settlement of Mexicans near the out- 
skirts of town, and there gave away the knife, but escaped. Early 
the following morning the officers followed the trail to the Mexican 
camp, but there lost it and during the forenoon were beating the 
surrounding country for the criminal. He was soon found by Orral 
Kilroy of Porterville and turned over to the town marshal, E. B. 

Sheriff Collins had gone over in an automobile and immediately 
took the marshal and the prisoner into the machine and started for 
Visalia. The people were greatly incensed over the crime, and a 
move was started to wrest the fellow from the officers and execute 
him on the spot. The driver of the machine speeded through the 
streets of Porterville at a sixty-mile clip, and distanced all pursuers. 
When a few miles from town there was a long bridge to be crossed. 
The driver kept up speed, and striking some obstruction, one of the 
axles broke and the machine careened to one side and toppled off 
the bridge to the dry bed of the creek below. The parties in the 
machine jumped out before -it landed and thus escaped any injury 
more than a severe jolting. The gasoline exploded and the machine 
was burned. The officers, with their prisoner, walked to a nearby 
house, telephoned for a new machine and finally arrived, late in the 
afternoon, at the jail at Visalia. 

Magana made a full confession, was found guilty, and on June 
16, expiated his crime in San Quentin. His is the only case in the 
history of the county when an execution was effected on the day 
first set by a judge. 


The Dcliii January G, 1861, speaks of a sale of Visalia building 
lots held (in the ilav tircvious bv J. E. Wainwright & Co. The sale 


was largely attended and the bidding spirited. One hundred and 
fifteen lots were sold at prices ranging from $5 to $30. The lots were 
in Aughinbaugh's Addition, to Visalia. 

As late as 1891, lands near Visalia were by no means held at high 
prices. J. H. Thomas advertised forty acres three-quarters of a 
mile south of town for $60 per acre. The same year, Sontag & 
Evans, who afterwards became famous criminals, advertised thirteen 
lots, and half a block in Aughinbaugh's Addition to Visalia. orchard 
and vineyard on the land, for $1,600. 

As a showing of the importance of sheep-raising in Tulare in 
early days it is noted that the fall clip of wool of 1872 was 1,-174,.500 
pounds. The winter following was the most severe one ever ex- 
perienced by sheei^men and yet the spring clip of 1873 was 047,375 

J. P. Majors of Visalia was the first postmaster in Tulare 
county, being appointed in 1855 and serving three years. He was 
succeeded by Zane Steuben. 

In 1891 the lumber business was very active. Atwell's mills on 
the Mineral "King road was operated by the Kaweah colonists ; four 
saw mills were located on the Upper Yolo, two of which were run- 
ning; the Comstock mills, above Camp Badger; the Sequoia mills, 
just across the line in Fresno comity. The total cut of these mills 
that year was over three million feet of lumber. 


The business of maintaining ferries across different streams in 
the county appears to have been a profitable one in early days, judg- 
ing from the number engaged in it. 

At one of the first meetings of the board of supervisors in 1853, 
A. B. Gordon was granted the privilege of maintaining a ferry across 
Kern river, free of taxation for a period of eight months. The fol- 
lowing rates were authorized: six-horse team or four yoke of oxen, 
$6; four-horse wagon, $4; two-horse wagon, $2; horse and man, $1; 
pack mules, fifty cents; loose horses and foot men, twenty-five cents 

In 1855 the court of sessions granted licenses to L. A. Whitman 
to conduct a ferry on Kings river, at a point two and one-half miles 
west of Crumley's ranch, and to I. S. George to run a ferry boat at 
the Poindexter crossing; granted to Jolm Pool the right to continue 
his ferry and gave to Crumley and Smitli tlie i>rivilege of conducting 


In August, 1855, at a meeting of the board of supervisors, it 
was "ordered that the treasurer pay to S. C. Brown tlio balance still 


due on onlor tliirteen county spriji, valuin.^- liold dust at $14 jier 
ounce. ' ' 


"Captain George, an Indian and a 'big Injun heap' at that, has 
commenced running as an expressman between this place and Coso. 
For his services he gets very well paid and would be better pai-d 
had he a touch of Yankee in his system. He makes the trijj now in 
al)()ut four tlays and packages of light weight of any description may 
be safely entrusted to his care." — Delta, 1861. 

In September, 1862, Mr. Van Water is credited with having a 
factory in operation in Visalia, making a fine article of sorghum 

In 1863 Nathan Baker init in a field of about twelve acres, near 
Visalia, to tobacco. 

"Splendid deer skins, dressed, were offered for sale in this place 
yesterday morning at $19 a dozen." — Delta, Oct. 20, 1861. 

"Boating — People who have not been here for a .year or two 
will be suri)rised to hear that navigation is now open just north of 
town. The first boat arrived near S. Davenport's, on Saturday last, 
with four tons of freight on board. Since that some thirty tons have 
arrived by the same means, and regular trips will be made until the 
water subsides." — Delta, May 15, 1867. 

"Two hunters, living in the foothills on the waters of the Tule 
river, have killed over one hundred and twenty deer during the 
present winter." — Delta, 1866. 


The business directory of Visalia in 1861 was as follows : Saloons : 
Cosmopolitan, Gem, Fashion, St. Charles. Wholesale and retail dealers : 
H. Cohn, H. Green. Hotels : Exchange, corner Court and Main streets ; 
Visalia House, corner Main and Church streets. General merchandise, 
etc., Sam Ellis, D. R. Douglass, Reinstein & Hockett, Sweet & Ja.-olis. 
Weinshank & Sinclair, M. Reinstein. Stage lines: Hice & Wilson. ^\\< 
cellaneous : Bossier & Townsend, saddlers and harness makers ; Knoble 
& Kraft, bakers and confectioners; G. W. Rogers, jeweler; B. M. Bron- 
son, gunsmith; Johu II. Richardson, painter; Douglass & Magary. 
contractors and builders; Samuel Dinely, barber shop and bathhouse; 
Joseph II. Thomas, lumber yard; George W. Sutherland, tailor shoj); 
Justices of the Peace : S. W. Beckham, Robert C. Redd. Attorneys : W. 
M. Stafford, A. J. Atwell, Morris & Brown, S. A. Sheppard. Physi- 
cians: Dr. M. Baker, Dr. J. D. P. Thomason, Dr. W. A. Russell. Dr. 
James A. Roberts, Dr. T. O. Ellis. Sr. 



Tulare county's second courthouse, built in 185!!, was a l)rick struc- 
ture 40x60 feet in size, of two stories and a basement. In the base- 
ment was a jail, one half being divided into six cells, lined with boiler 
iron. In 1873 an additional jail as a separate bnilding- was constructed. 

As to the building of the present court house without the wings 
(which were added in 1906), there hangs a tale. The Southern Pacific 
had completed its line through the county in 1872, leaving Visalia side- 
tracked and therefore destined to become a "deserted village." At tiie 
site of Tulare, the railroad had ])latted a town in which plat provision 
was made for a court house, and the general expectation, both among 
buyers of town lots in Tulare and citizens generally was that Tulare 
would become the county seat. But the legislature of 1875-1876 passed 
an act authorizing the county of Tulare to issue bonds in the sum of 
$75,000 for the purpose of building a court house in ^"isalia. This 
naturally aroused intense opposition, not only from Tulare and the 
southern end of the county, but even from Yisalia. The Dfltu de- 
nounced it as a job, stating that the then existing court house was good 
enough and that the building of another would be burdensome on the 

A "People's Convention" was called to meet in Visalia, July 15, 
1876, to take action in the matter. Resolutions were passed denouncing 
the methods used in the passage of the bill through the legislature, etc., 
and agreeing to use every legal means to prevent its operation. How- 
ever, the citizens of Visalia regarded it as vital to their welfare, if not 
to the very salvation of the town ; the majority of the board of super- 
visors were favorable to Visalia and pushed the matter forward as 
rapidly as possible, issuing bonds, advertising for bids for the sale of 
the old structure and the construction of the new, etc. 

A. D. Glasscock bought the old courthouse for $686, and R. E. Hyde 
the jail for $205. Stephens and Childers of Santa Rosa were awarded 
the contract for construction for $59,700, and on Octoi)er 28, 1871, 
under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons 
of California, the cornerstone was laid. 


Tulare county's first cemetery was started in Visalia in 1857, near 
where the Tipton Lindsey schoolhouse is now situated. The lirst occu- 
pant was a Dutchman who was drowned in Mill creek and whose only 
known name was Pete. On the rough pine box containing the remains 
was therefore duly inscribed "Pete in the box," the same inscription 
being placed on the headboard. 

Among others whose bodies were laid to rest here and later re- 
moved to the new cemetery were Jack Lorenz. Mrs. Thomas P)aker. 
Mrs. Nathan Baker, and a man called Salty. 



There was for many years a cloud upon the title to lots in Visalia 
and at one time there was serious trouble feared. It appears that after 
Nat. Vise gave up his preemption in favor of the on-coming city, noth- 
ing- was done to comply with legal forms necessary to perfect a title. 

On August 9, 1857, the board of supervisors passed an order asking 
congress to grant the board the right to preempt the town site of 
Visalia, and the clerk was ordered to file in the land office, then located 
in San Francisco, the necessary application. The application was not 
received, the land office claiming that there was no evidence that the 
supervisors were the agents of Tulare county. The matter was drop- 
ped till about 1867. The A^isalia Land District had been formed and 
one George Garish appointed receiver. Discovering the lack of title 
to the townsite, he made application for the lands. This aroused the 
people and stejDS were taken to perfect the title to the county for the 
lands. The matter had to be taken before the land commissioner at 
Washington, but it was finally settled to the benefit of the people. 


In the sirring of 1860 a correspondent to the local paper speaks 
thus of Visalia : ' ' This region, including the town, is little more than 
a labyrinth of crooked creeks, ditches, fences, brush, weeds, etc. A 
quarter of a mile out of town one is in the wilderness to all intents and 
purposes. Streets are straight and square as far as they go, but they 
don't go, and it takes a very uncommon owl to get to his regular roost 
in the burg after dark. Wonder what the 'Beau Brummel' of the 
Mariposa Gazette, who was here about two weeks ago, thinks about it, 
inquiring the way to Visalia at a house about a hundred yards from 
the Court street bridge." 


June 25, 1859 — "We hope to be able soon to give the latest tele- 
graphic news received at St. Louis, by the stages as they pass through 
town. ' ' — Delta. 

"A protest against the contemplated reduction of the overland 
mail service is now in circulation. * * * This is the only direct 
and speedy (sic) connection we have with the east and its promptness 
and regularity have made it an enterprise of the utmost importance to 
the people of California." — Delta, 1859. 


"I would advise the merchants and citizens of Visalia and Tulare 
county to encourage as much as possible men to go into the mountains 
east of this valley and prospect there thoroughly, as nothing but the 
discovery of mines close to us that we can supply without fear of com- 


petition will save us from inevitable Babylonie ruin that will change 
most of our fine buildings into nothing but a shelter for a lot of lousy 
Indians in a few years." — (Newspaper corres])ondent in 1859.) 

The following appeared in the Delta in 1859. 

"We can safely pledge the county of Tulare to give seventy-five 
Democratic votes to one Eepublican or mixed. * * * In Fresno 
county there was never but one abolitionist and he has now left for a 
more congenial clime. His portrait is to be seen at the Millerton 
hotel. Mr. McCray has had the portrait framed at a heavy expense 
that the passerby may look upon the Lone Republican of Fresno. 
Whence he came or whither he went no one knoweth." 


June 21, 1859. — "J. B. Stevens arrived iu Visalia with ten hives 
of bees, the first ever brought to the county. 

J. H. and C. G. Hart had an apiary east of Visalia in 1860, and 
inserted the following advertisement in the Delta: 'Bee Advertisement 
— For sale on and after the first of September next a choice lot of 
honey bees in as good condition as any the county affords. Price $50 
a swarm. A farm or grain will be taken as pay where it suits luir- 
chasers better than to pay money.' " 


On June 18, 1860, the Atlantic and Pacific telegraph line entered 
Visalia and the occasion was celebrated in a fitting manner. Abe Rape- 
ly, agent of the Overland mail company, took the matter in charge. 
A procession consisting of every horse and vehicle in town, with all 
spare stage coaches, decorated with flags and bunting, set out to meet 
the linemen. A large banner on which was painted a representation of 
the earth surrounded by a chain of telegraph wires with the motto "I'll 
])ut a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes," was carried by 
T. V. Crane who made the address of welcome and escorted back iuto 
town the superintendent, James Street. 


"Pursuant to notice a primary election was held iu the Msalia 
precinct at the new saloon of A. O. Thoms, on Saturday last, and the 
following gentlemen chosen as delegates to attend the Union county 
convention"^ of Saturday, August 2nd: Stephen Davenport. Henry 
Hartlev, W. M. Johnson, G. A. Botsford, John Cutler, Hi ISrorrell, 
I. H. Thomas, S. Cadv, T. Lindsey, William Baker. S. G. George, 
Lvtle Owen. John (ViW}'— Delta, July, 1862. 



Dr. AVebb, the eeoeutric individual who obtained a deed to the 
upper story of a building erected in Visalia, as related elsewhere, later 
became county physician and manager of the county hospital at a sal- 
ary of $500 per year. In 1871 the supervisors ousted Webb from his 
position and gave to his successor a salary of $2000 per year. The 
following card appeared in the Times of November 11, 1871, which 
seems to indicate that the reverend doctor was somewhat jjeeved: 

"Rev. James A. Webb to the perjured supervisors of. Tulare 
county, California. 

"Perjured villains, rebel devils and fools; 

"While unscrupulous and jjerjured rebel devils hold political sway 
in our demented rebel county no honest man or christian can expect 
any favors from their nefarious hands. 

"I would lie glad to keep the county hospital for $500 a year, 
but because I am a Union man, and not a perjured rebel devil, you 
will rob me of my only means of support and give my hospital to 
rebel traitors of your own kind for four times the price for which I 
offer to keep it. 

"Therefore, I, the only true physician in Tulare county, Cali- 
fornia, and the only true Gospel minister in Tulare county, and the 
only Bible poet in Tulare county, and the only Advent i)rophet in 
Tulare county and the only Christian patriarch in Tulare; Therefore, 
in the name and service of the Great Jehovah, I offer my services to 
God and him only to continue my tifty years Bible task. 

"Where is your oath of office. Oh! ye perjured Democratic 
demons? Where is your conscience, you ungodly devils? Have you 
any reason why I should not damn you all together?" And follows 
more, signed "Alonzo, the Advent Prophet, Bible Poet and Christian 

A no\t:l engine 
• A correspondent, writing about Visalia in the '90s, thus speaks 
of the engine that hauled the passengers from Visalia to Goshen: 
"The engine doing service on the Visalia railroad is one of the most 
novel arrangements we recollect to have seen in railroading. It has 
engine, tender and car all aggregated together, will carry ten or fif- 
teen passengers and baggage, and can doubtless be run at half the 
cost of an ordinary stage coach. We place no high estimate on its 
speed, but the engineer tells us that it has the power to move any 
train likely to lie loaded at any point in the valley." 


There are a great many people who never lived in Tulare county 
that have a fixed idea that this is a waterless county, where the 


unfortunate denizens are ever parched with thirst. But there have 
been many years wlien there was more water than was necessary for 
drinking puritoses. 

That abused individual, tlie "oldest inhabitant," tells of wcmder- 
ful times back in the early '50s. But the flood of 1867 is one in tlie 
memories of a great many peo^ile, and was surely bad enough. In the 
winter of that year all the streams in the county were on a rampage. 
Tule river spread all over the Poj^lar and Woodville sections. Deer 
creek and the White river merged their waters in their lower course, 
and the Kaweah and St. Johns made a vast expanse of waters. Boats 
bearing supplies passed freely from Visalia to places in Kings and 
Fresno counties. The herds of cattle and sheep looked sad. Many 
hair breadth adventures are recorded and tliere was great loss of 

An account of the experiences at two farm houses will serve to 
indicate prevailing conditions during this flood. Eastward from Vi- 
salia, near where Packwood creek crosses the Mineral King road, 
there resided but three families, those of A. H. Broder, Ira Van 
Gordon and W. H. Mills. Broder suggested that all get together at 
his place, that being situated on higher ground. This was done and 
the men proceeded to build an embankment about three feet high, 
enclosing about half an acre of ground. The siding from the barn 
was removed and a raft built, their labors extending into the night. 
The women, likewise, were busily employed preparing supplies, cook- 
ing beans, etc. The plan was to move to a still higher sand knoll 
which lay to the south and west. By nine o'clock the following morn- 
ing, Broder, who had been keeping tab on the water level by means 
of sticks, reported that it had receded half an inch and that it would 
not be necessary to move. 

About two hundred Indians took refuge on the same high mound, 
and made a gala festival of the predicament. Squirrels and rabldts 
in great numbers were caught and hung on lines to dry, the flood 
affording both amusement and provender. 

At the residence of the Evans family, near Visalia, whicii was 
also located on high ground, there were exciting times this night. 
The water, after a i^revious raise, came suddenly, surrounding their 
house and almost engulfing some of their neighbors' homes. The 
Protliero family lived on the Beutley place and there the water ran 
through the windows. Mr. and Mrs. Prothero with three children 
were assisted to move to tlie Evans house and then came a call for 
help from the home of Mrs. "Williams, wlio lived adjoining. This was 
about one o'clock in the morning, pitch dark and the swirling waters 
icy cold. Mrs. Williams had a baby but four or five days old and 
was unable to walk. Samuel and James Evans waded over, and iilac- 
ing her in a rocking chaii-, carried her to safety. Tom Robinson, 


with his wife aud family, also took refuge with the Evanses, making a 
total of twenty-five gathered there. The l)arn, several hundred yards 
away, half full of hay, provided the only place for sleeping quarters 
for so many people. Between it and the house the water ran two or 
three feet deep. Luckily, a boat had previously been constructed in 
which to go to Visalia, and so the half-dried refugees cuddled around 
the stove in the Evans's kitchen were enabled to get to bed without 
again getting wet. Jim Evans, acting as gondolier, conducted his 
guests to their hay mow lodgings. 


In the days of the early '50s harvesting grain was anything but 
a rajnd process. No reapers or combined harvester then. The labor 
of cutting was done mostly by Indians, with old-fashioned reap hooks. 
The grain was drawn to the threshing yard liy rawhides, and the 
threshing done by tramping the straw with horses in the same old 
style that was in vogue in the days of Noah. 


Tulare county, like many other sections of the state, has had its 
Lost Mine legend. This i^articular one has had many variations in 
the narrative, and many were the people who gave time and means 
in searching for the lost mine. One of the legends was that a party 
of Spaniards had a mine somewhere in the mountains in the head- 
waters of the Kaweah river, that the mine was immensely rich, and 
that going out to Sonora with a pack train all the miners were killed 
and the packs were all of gold. The Indians claimed to know of the 
location of the mine, and several exi)editions were made to tind it 
but with the usual success. Floods had washed away landmarks, or 
something was wrong, so the Indians never quite found the right 

Andrew Ilarrell, familiarly known as "Barley" Harrell, did not 
owe his nickname to the great acreages of the cereal that he was 
accustomed to i)laut, but to the fact that in his courting days when 
visiting his sweetheart he told his parents that he had been to see 
Mr. Bacon about that l^arley. The excuse served well for one visit, 
but the use of it a second time caused much laughter and he was 
ever after designated "Piarley." 


W. J. Ellis, county assessor of Tulare county in 1870, submitted, 
as was the custom in those days, a statistical report to the state 
surveyor-general showing the number of live stock of different kinds, 
areas devoted to different cultures, quantity of different productions, 
etc. On account of the small cultivated area in those days, and on ac- 
count of the conscientious care Mr. Ellis brought to the task, a degree 


of accuracy was obtained greatly in excess of present day statistics. 

For example, there were one hundred and eight orange trees in 
the county, one hundred of which were in a nursery. Today there 
are in the neighborhood of 2,7D0,000. The area devoted to wlicat 
was 2500 acres. In the '80s, when the production of tills cei'eal 
reached its height, scores of ranches each contained a greater acreage 
than this. 

The butter production was 8,150 pounds; today over four )nil- 

While cattle raising was one of the great industries of thai time, 
we find but 28,60-t head of stock cattle, a number almost e(]ualed now 
by dairy cows. 

Of sheep, now almost extinct within this county, there were 158,- 
631, and the annual production of wool was given as 872,670 jjoundii 
This, by the way, was more than doubled in the next four succeeding 

In all, there were but 30,000 acres of enclosed laud, 20,000 of 
which was cultivated. 

In a letter to the surveyor-general accompanying this report, ^Ir. 
Ellis qualified as a prophet by using the following language: "Stock 
raising has ever been and is yet the leading interest in Tulare county, 
but a change is taking place. We have to look but a short distance 
ahead to see the plains of Tulare county covered with beautiful 
farms, nice farm houses, waving fields of grain. The locomotive's 
whistle will thou be heard." 

MAX kins' party ARRIVAL 

The following is quoted from the descrijition of Hie cmtry of a 
party of pioneers into Visalia in 1854, written by one of tlieiii — J. H. 
Mankins : 

"Late in April, 1854, had one been standing on ^lain street, Vi- 
salia, he would have witnessed the entry of a iini(|ue cavalcade. 'I'here 
were ten riders traveling in single file — your humble servant one of 

"That l)road-sliouldered man, weighing above two hundred and 
twenty pounds is 'dad.' He is always in the lead and is dressed 
throughout in smoked buckskin with fringes up the legs, and a lumt- 
ing shirt, also fringed roundabout. Add to the costume a very higli 
plug hat, imagine him then with a mop of raven black hair falling 
over his shoulders, with coal black, piercing eyes, seated on a large 
dapple gray horse. A hunting knife is at his girdle, a six-shooter on 
either side of the saddlehorn and he carries a 'sharp-shooter' rifle in 
front. Such was J. B. Mankins, forty-niner and iiioneer of pioneers. 

"After Dad came next two boys, nearing manhood, one girl 
of eleven, a young Indian I>oy, two Jews and then three boys aged 


fourteeu, eight and six. We were all, except the Jews, dressed 
wholly iu buckskin, well fringed. For hats we wore bearskin caps. 

"We pitched our camp just across Mill creek, north of Visalia. 
The tules then came very close to town and the mosquitoes were 
very numerous. The town consisted of one store, kept by John 
Pemberton, a blacksmith shop and a tavern. 0. K. Smith was 
sheriff and Judge Louis Van Tassell, under sheriff. 

"I remember quite well Mrs. John Keener, Sr. She had gotten 
sight of us and perceived that we were sadly in need of repairs, 
for you see, we were half-orphans. So she had Dad get some 
cloth, and she made us up some clothes, for it became necessary for 
us to conform to the usages of civilization." 

In 1859, the following time schedule was xmblished: Overland 
i^age from San Francisco to St. Louis arrives Sunday and Wednes- 
day morniitgs, departs on arrival. From Stockton to Visalia, arrives 
Tuesday and Friday nights, departs Monday and Thursday mornings. 
From Visalia to Los Angeles, via Kingsbury, Petersburg and Keyes- 
ville, arrives eighth and twenty-fifth of month and departs first and 
fifteenth. Tri-weekly to Honitos — 120 miles, made one day. return 
next. Tri-weekly to Linns valley. 

In July, 1867, Messrs. Thome and Davenport established a 
saddle and pack train over the Hockett trail to Lone Pine and Inde- 

In July, 18fi4, Messrs. Bellows, Lown and Badger, of Owens 
river, started a regular (>argo train over the new trail from "Visalia 
to Owens river. 

W^e are informed that the services at the camp groimd near 
town were disturbed on Sunday by some unregeuerate heathen who 
persisted in singing John Brown, The Star Spangled Banner, Hail 
Columbia, and other airs, which were decidedly offensive to the 
majoritv of those present. This is verv wrong." — Delta , Sept. 3, 

"Wild mustangs seem to be (]uite ]ilenty in our vicinity. A 
company of young men went out on the plains near the head of Cross 
creek on Saturday last and succeeded in securing sixteen of the 
quadrupeds." — Delta . June 12, 1862. 


It is probal)le that no measure ever passed by the legislature 
of Oalifoi'uia had more beneficial effect on the agricultural interests 
of the state than the "no fence" law enacted in 1874. 

This law i-ciiuii-ed cattle owners to ])revent their stock from 
trespassing on the land of otliers when same was in use. In Tulare 
county the agitation in favor of tlie ))assage of sucli a law was in- 
augurated by Stepben iiai-toii. editor of the Delta, in 1870. As 


stock raising was tlie principal industi'v here at that time, and there 
were manj' men heavily interested in it whose revenues would be 
injuriously, affected, the proposed measure was bitterly opposed. 
The election of 1873 for senator from the district comprised of 
Fresno. Kern and Tulare counties turned upon the question of 
"fence" or ''no fence," Thomas Fowler, on the Democratic ticket, 
oiiposiiii;- the law, and Tipton Lindsey, running as Independent, 
favoring it. 

The Times opposed the law on the ground that no time was 
allowed the stockmen in which to make such changes in their methods 
as to permit them to sustain a minimum of loss. 

The Delta pointed out the rapid development of fanning which 
would ensue and the eminent justice of the measure. 

The issue was presented in stirring speeches to the voters of 
almost every precinct by the opposing candidates, the result in this 
county being a majority of votes for Fowler. Lindsey was, how- 
ever, elected, as was a "no fence" assemblraian, and tlie enactment 
into law followed at the next session of the legislature. 


Fremont, when homeward bound, in 184-1, passed through the 
San Joaquin valley and Tulare county. He speaks frequently of the 
numerous bands of wild horses encountered enroute. Elk were 
frequently started near the San Joaquin river, and wolves were seen 
chasing the young antelope. 

(^n April 8th, the Eiver of the Lake, elsewhere denominated the 
Rio de los Reyes, or Kings river, was reached. Here the Indians 
l)rouglit in otter skins to trade. His ford is located at latitude 36- 
24-50, longitude 119-41-40. Of the trip from Kings ri\er to the 
southern end of what is now Tulare county, Fremont says: 

"^Vpril 9th. — For several miles we had very bad traveling over 
what is called rotten ground, in which the horses were frequently 
np to their knees. Making toward a line of timber, we found a 
small, fordable stream (Cottonwood creek), beyond which the coun- 
try imjiroved and the grass became excellent. * * * AVe traveled 
until late through o])en oak groves, and encanqicd among a collection 
of streams." Was this near the Kaweah and Canoe creek and Deep 
creek ? 

"April loth. — Today we made another long journey ol' nliont 
forty miles, through a country uninteresting and Hat, witli very little 
grass and a sandy soil, in which several branches we crossed had lost 
their water. In the evening the face of the c(umtry became hilly, 
and, turning a few miles uj) towards the mountains, we found a 
good encampment on a i)retty stream hidden among the hills, and 
handsomely 1im])ered. ))rijicii)ally with large cottonwoods." 

"April nth.— A broad trail aloiig tlie river here takes us out 


among the bills. Buen camiuo (good road) said one of the Indians, 
of whom we had inquired about the pass, and following it accord- 
ingly, it conducted us beautifully through a very broken country. 
* * * The country had now assumed a character of aridity, and 
the luxuriant green of the little streams wooded with willow, 
oak, or sycamore, looked very refreshing among the sandy hills." 


J. J. Doyle, one of the oldest settlers of the Mussel Slough 
country, in whose charge the settlers later placed all actions under- 
taken to protect their rights, gives this version of the controversy 
in which he took a prominent part. 

"In 1870 I was living on the west side of the San Joaquin river. 
In the Rural Press I saw a letter written by W. S. Chatman, a 
land lawyer of San Francisco who claimed a section of land near uie 
which was also claimed by the railroad company as being included ' 
in their ten mile float. 

"In this letter Chatman stated that as a lawyer he had inves- 
tigated the matter and found that the railroad had no right to an 
acre of this land for he reason that it was a state corporation and 
was to receive similar lands granted to the Atlantic & Pacific rail- 
road company. Their charter provided that they should build a road 
from the bay of San Francisco running through the counties of Santa 
Clara, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Tulare, Los Angeles and San 
Diego, to the town of San Diego' and thence east to the state line. 

"Chatman showed in his letter that according to the Grant 
act they were to file a map of the proposed route, which they had 
not done. 

"Upon investigation I found that there were three hundred and 
fifty-four Spanish land grants between San Francisco and San Diego. 
Of course they would get none of this land. I also foimd that the 
west ten miles of lieu lands was nearly all in the Pacific ocean. They 
knew, however, of the great San Joaquin valley, in which the Laguna 
de Tache was the only land grant, and therefore had changed their 
route near Tres Pinos so as to enter the center of the San Joaquin 
vallev and go over the Tehachapi pass, as the road now runs. 

"T came into the Mussel Slough countrv in 1871 and myself and 
brother located on lands bordei'ing the Mussel Slough. As T be- 


lieved from Chatinan's letter and from my own investigations tliat 
the railroad had no right to a title to these lauds, I petitioned Con- 
gress in the fall of 187-t, but getting no immediate relief, I offered a 
filing in the Visalia land office. This was rejected and I appealed 
my case with thirty others to the Department of the Interior. All 
told, I appealed nearly all of three hundred cases from the Visalia 
land office. We were beaten in these and I then took a case through 
the state courts, the United States courts and to the supreme court. 
Twelve separate decisions were rendered, no two of which agreed. 

"After this, for the purpose of acting unitedly in our fight with 
the railroad, we settlers organized the Land League, wliich at one 
time attained a membership of six hundred. In 1875 I was sent to 
Washington, where I remained six months. I got a bill on the 
calendar, but through manipulation it was defeated. In 1879 I went 
to Washington again, but accomplished nothing. A decision against 
lis had been handed down by the Federal courts and the railroad was 
eager to dispossess us, but as we were so strong and well organized, 
they hesitated to do so. 

"I sent a resolution to Sacramento to Governor Stanford, wlio 
was then president of the road, and at his request we appointed a 
committee composed of Major McQuiddy, J. M. Patterson, and 
myself. We called on the governor and persuaded hiin to visit our 
country, which he did in April, 1880. We started then a negotiation 
for a settlement of the matter with Governor Stanford, and had lieen 
engaged for about a month in a discussion of an equitable arrange- 
ment when suddenly, without a warning and without our knowledge, 
the United States marshal appeared, coming for the avowed purpose 
of dis])ossessing some of our men. We were that day to have a big 
meeting at Ilanford to listen to Judge Terry give an exposition of 
our rights in the i)remises. 

"The marshal was accompanied ])y men named Hart. Clark and 
Crow, who were all loaded down with arms. The marshal, i)rior 
to serving any papers, desired to confer with us, which was granted. 
In the meantime, a number of our men, more through curiosity 
than anything else, went over to the wagon where (^row and Hart 
were. Of these only two, viz., Harris and Henderson, were armed. 

"All at once during the conference shooting conunenced witiiout 
any special i)rovocation and Harris was killed. According to the 
evidence it appeared that he and Hart had fired almost at tiie same 
time. 'Harris hit Hart in the groin and he died within four days. 
Then Crow shot Harris with a number ten shotgun loaded Avitli twelve 
bullets. He hit him right in the breast. Then he shot Knutson, who 
was on horseback, shot him with twelve bullets and Hien turned his 
-iun (in Dan Kelly, whose horse, just as Crow lired. had become 
nnrnlv and whirled aiound so tliat the charge entered Kelly's side 


and pi'actieally blew it off. Crow was ont of the wagon at this time, 
the team having previously run away as Hart was attempting to get 
out. Crow and Hart and Chirk each liad a couple of British hull- 
dog pistols, a number ten shotgun and a Winchester rifle of the 
largest size. 

"After Crow left the wagon he walked about forty steps for 
the purpose of killing McGregor, who was holding the marshal's 
horse. McGregor got behind the horse and Crow reached around in 
front of the horse and shot him with his pistol twice, the bullets 
entering the breast and coming out at the back. 

"This i>ut Henderson into it, who, seeing McGregor murdered 
in that way, ruslied for Crow. They exchanged four shots and 
Henderson fell dead. Then Crow left the grant and attempted to 
get to his home, which was distant about a mile and a half, but was 
shot dead on the way. 

"On accoi;nt of this, seventeen of us, myself included, were 
indicted l)y the United States grand jury for resisting the United 
States marshal, and tried and convicted. I was not within three 
miles of it when it happened and yet we were convicted and served 
eight months in the San Jose jail for resisting the marshal, who as a 
matter of fact was resisted by no one. The marshal, indeed, had 
not attempted the exercise of any authority or the enforcement of 
any order. 

"A remarkable thing about the fight was that every man l)ut 
one who fired a shot or was struck by a bullet was killed. 

"This trouble was simply a legal fight on our part for our 
homes. I think and always shall think that the railroad had no 
legal right to the land, but that they ac(|uired .their title while we 
were fighting. 

"While we were serving our time, a petition of forty-seven thou- 
sand names was sent to the President; the states of California and 
Nevada passed resolutions in our favor and there were numerous 
other petitions, etc. No one of them was listened to any moi-e than 
if it had been a piece of blank brown paper. 

"After we had served our time, the matter dragged on for about 
two years before it was finally settled. In my case, after being in 
the contest over nine years, I had to pay the railroad company $30.60 
an acre for mv land." 




One of the greatest community enterprises ever inaugurated in 
the United States had its inception in Tulare county in 1886. 

This was the Kaweah Co-operative Commonwealth, which in 
spite of certain failures in forethought and some incompetence and 
perhaps some dishonesty in management, flourisjied until 1891. wjien 
it met the same heart-breaking dissolution tliat hail liccn the fate of 
all its predecessors. 

There is little doubt but tliat disruption would have occurred 
sooner or later, on account of the impossibility of harmonizing the 
discordant elements of which it was composed. There is also a 
grave question as to whether e\en if successful for a time in the 
acquisition of lands and timber, mills and other property, the ])rod- 
ucts of the united labor of the colonists would not have been in large 
part alienated by some of its iirst officers. There seems, however, 
to be no doubt but that these colonists were treated by the United 
States government in a manner so outrageously unjust as to merit the 
severest condemnation. 

J. J. Martin and B. F. Haskell of San Francisco, and C. F. 
Keller of Traver, Tulare county, were the chief early promoters. 
Martin and Haskell were in 1885 prominent members and office 
holders in different unions or workingmen's societies. Haskell was 
attorney for several of these, and coupled with a pleasing address, 
possessed unusual gifts of language and persuasion. He was the 
advocate of many more or less impractical schemes for the lietter- 
ment of the workingman's condition and had assisted in organizing 
the California Land Purchase and Colonization association, and the 
Fish Rock Terra Cotta Co-operative company. Keller was a mem- 
ber of several socialistic societies in San Francisco and conducted a 
small store in Traver. 

In October of 1885, Martin informed members of the two asso- 
ciations referred to and also others that their agent had found a 
large body of splendid timber land in Tulare county, and that an 
association would be formed to acquire it. The first i)lans were vague 
but seemed to be in the nature of a mutual company to get possession 
of this tract and hold it for speculative ]nirposes. Between forty 
and fifty applications were at once filed on lands lying along the 
north fork of the Kaweah river, eastward across the :\rarble Fork 
and including what is now known as the Giant Forest. Tlie govern- 
ment price for these lands was $2.50 an acre, and as but few of the 
api)]icauts were possessed of the requisite $400 to comi)lete the 


purcliase of a quarter section, a plan was in view to raise part 
of tlie money by hypothecating lands to which title had been 
secured. This, of course, would be a violation or evasion of the law, 
but was considered justifiable. 

It was agreed by the applicants that one-half the proceeds of 
the iirst sales of timber l)e devoted to a fund for publicity and pro- 

The Tulare Valley and Giant Forest railroad company was 
also organized and its stockholders assessed $60 each for the cost 
of a preliminary survey. Many were unable to pay this small sum, 
but the difficulty was met by some contributing more liberally. It 
will be seen that the undertaking, however profitable potentially, 
bade fair to be wrecked at the launching by reason of lack of capital. 

Then another snag was struck. Land Commissioner Sparks 
became suspicious at the large number of entries made within three 
days for lands lying in one body, especially as seven of the appli- 
cants gave as their residence one San Francisco lodging house. He 
therefore suspended the lands from entry pending an investigation. 
Upon this action each of the applicants tendered to the receiver of 
the Visalia land office the sum of $2.50 per acre, which was of course 
rejected. This money was secured by using the same sum over and 
over again. 

Undeterred by these difficiilties, the enthusiastic colonists pro- 
ceeded. As to the action of the government, they believed that the 
report of the special agent sent to investigate would be favorable to 
them, that he would approve their claims and bear witness to their 
good faith so that they could soon claim title. As to finances, a co- 
operative plan was thought out by which some capital for immediate 
use could be obtained through membership fees of non-residents, 
and by the labor of those on the ground rapid results be secured in 
the way of getting salable goods to market. 

The Kaweah Co-operative Commonwealth Colony was organized. 
Plans in great detail were elaborated. There were to be tliree di- 
visions i;nder the control of managers; these subdivided into thirteen 
departments under superintendents and these again into fifty-eight 
bureaus under chiefs and the last into sections under foremen. 

The grand divisions were those of production, distribution and 
commonweal, and in their ramifications these included almost every 
activity, whether mental or bodily, known to man. The purposes of 
the association, it was set forth, were to insure its members against 
want, to provide comfortable homes, to educate and to maintain har- 
mony, upon the principles of justice, fraternity and co-operation. 
It was the intention to place within the reach of all members "a 
cultured, a scientific, an artistic life." An idea of the high aspira- 
tions of the embryo colony can be obtained by the following extracts 


from au article by Haskell, wliieli appeared in the ofiicial orgau, 
' ' The Commonwealth. ' ' 

"We shall have schools there — not for the children alone, but 
for youths and maidens, for the babes and for the men and women. 
We shall have songs and a band and the music of tinkling gniitars 
under summer stars bv tlie rushing waters of. the wliite Nortli 
Fork." * *• * 

"It may well be that among us alone of all the people of the 
earth shall be tavight courage as a creed, fidelity as a dogma, truth 
as a commandment, love as a law, and purity as a truth." * * * 

"We shall tell our children of the heroes of the world, not the 
butchers; of the moralists, not the priests." * * "The measured 
dances of Athenian days to teach them grace, the quaint ceremonials 
of the middle ages to teach them beauty, modern wonders of light 
and electricity to show them truth, the songs of old Sparta to move 
their hearts to valiant deeds; the cruelly pitiable histories of the 
modern wage slave to stir their hearts to heroic ire and bind their 
wills to freedom's cause and creed alone." 

"We shall have painters and sculptors, I hope, in time, though 
it will be enough now for us all to be humble students." * * * 

"Upon one of the flats by the river we shall build, out of the 
colored marble of Marble canyon, a temple and a theater for our- 
selves alone, and here also will we pursue the Beautiful, the True 
and the Good." 

The membersliip fee in the colony was $500, $100 payable in 
cash and the reiiiaindci', if desired, in labor or material. C. F. 
Keller was made general manager, J. J. Martin, secretary, J. Wright, 
purchasing agent, and B. F. Haskell, legal adviser.. Besides these, 
J. H. Bedstone, P. N. Kuss and H. T. Taylor were among the first 
on the ground. 

About the last of 1886, work was commenced on a wagon road 
to the forest, and on March 1, 1887, articles of incorporation of the 
"Giant Forest Wagon and Toll Road" were filed. The plan was to 
pay the men in time checks at the rate of thirty cents per hour, or 
$2.40 per day, redeemable in such supplies or material as the asso- 
ciation had or in labor at the same rate. It was pointed out that 
while nominally working for a low wage, the workers, on account of 
sharing in the wealth created by the labor of all, would, in reality, 
be laying up fortunes. For example, the material for a house, 
valued in the outside world at $1,000, could be secured for time 
checks equal to the hours that had been consumed in felling the 
trees and sawing and hauling the lumber, which would not amount 
at the thirty-cent rate to over $200. 

Plans of the propaganda were distributed throughout the ((.uiilry 
and manv persons joined the colony. Some of these were workingmen 
socialists, others had wealth, culture, refinement. The beautiful i)en 


pictures of Haskell served to throw such a glamour over the propo- 
sition, that statements as to lands owned were not investigated before 
the entrance fee was paid in. On the north fork of the Kaweah, about 
three and one-half miles above Three Elvers, a town was started 
which grew until it contained upwards of one hundred dwellings. 
There was the company store, a blacksmith shop, planing mill, box 
factory, postoffice, newspaper, etc. Work on the road was actively 
prosecuted, and a survey made for the projected railroad. 

There were brains and brawn and energy a plenty and excellent 
work resulted. Homes, too, were made on the level land, by the river, 
crops were sown, jiastures fenced, orchards planted and barns built. 
Troubles, however, soon commenced. The laborers were insufficiently 
supplied with food, their diet at times being confined to flour, beans 
and coffee. There was a deficiency of clothes and supplies of all 
kinds at the company's store. Dissensions arose, and there was gen- 
eral dissatisfaction with the management. The commonest necessities 
of life were secured from outsiders in return for time checks ridicu- 
lously discounted. 

A number of disaffected members demanded to see the 1)ooks 
and especially the membership rolls, but were refused by the officials 
in charge. The disgruntled ones considered that this was because 
they feared exposure to the non-resident members of the arbitrary, 
incompetent and perhaps dislionest way in which the affairs of the 
colony were being conducted. Martin was an executive of ability, 
energetic to a degree and his sincerity and honesty of purpose were 
questioned by Irat few. Haskell, however, was generally regarded 
as a slick rascal whose aim was to sell all the bites jiossible from 
the rosy apple before a sign of its rottenness reaclicil the surface. 

In spite of these troubles, the road had by 18',IIJ been completed 
to a point about twenty miles from the townsite of Kaweah and at 
an elevation of 5,400 feet had entered the pine belt. Here a little 
saw mill was erected, and a small q^^antity of lumber cut. This road, 
passing through a difficult mountain region, had l>een solidly con- 
structed at a good grade and had cost approximately $100,000. 
Modern tools were not employed and powder was used sparingly. In 
places the grade traversed precipitous mountain sides, making long, 
liigh rock restraining walls necessary. No better evidence of the 
equal and good faith of the colonists is needed than the fact that most 
of these walls have stood without repair to this day. 

In the meantime, land patents were still withheld, although B. F. 
Allen, the special agent sent here, had reported favorably. As late 
as 1891 Land Commissioner Groff recommended that the colonists 
should not be deprived of their lands, stating that they had com- 
plied faithfully with the law under which tliey had made filings; 
that they had expended over $100,000 in roads and improvements 
and had for five years guarded the giant trees, saving them from 


damage or destruction by tire, quoting details from Allen's i-eport. 
However, the congress of 1890 had created the Sequoia National 
Park, which included these lands, and Secretary of the Interior Noble 
denied all claims of the colony, but expressed the opinion that the 
settlers should be reimbursed for the improvements they had made. 

In addition to the internal dissensions mentioned, the officers 
quarreled among themselves and factions took sides in a row Ijetween 
Haskell and Martin. The former was accused of the misappropria- 
tion of colony funds and was in '91 arrested on a charge of em- 
bezzlement preferred by Thomas Kennedy, but the case was dis- 
missed. The greater portion of the colonists perceived that the end 
was at hand and disbandment began. 

Bitter hard it must have been, this giving up of home and friends 
and bright dreams of hapi)y future after the sacrifice of former ties 
and after the giving of years of toil and devotion to a cause. How 
sickening the thoughts of what might have been! Plow bitter the 
thoughts of the false men who had betrayed their confidence and 
of the government that had unscrupulously confiscated to its own 
purposes the magnificent road they had builded! 

Early in 1891 a troop of cavalry imder Captain Dorst was des- 
patched to guard the park and these ejected the colonists from gov- 
ernment land. In April, Henry S. Hubbard, Henry T. Taylor, James 
J. Martin, B. F. Haskell and William Christie were tried in the 
United States district court at Los Angeles on a charge of cutting 
timber on government land, and found guilty. On appeal the ease 
was dismissed. 

A few of the remaining colonists leased as a private enterprise 
a quarter section of land on the Mineral King road, from Isham 
Mullenix and started another sawmill. Work here was stopped by 
the soldiers, but when the Interior Department learned that it was 
on deeded land they were allowed to proceed. 

Quite a number of the colonists remained in tlie vicinity of 
Kaweah, many having secured other land locations or perfected 
entries made on lands outside the park. These have all proven 
worthy, industrious citizens and now possess comfortable homes 
and a fair share of worldly goods. 




At the time of the eutry of whites into the Sau Joaquin valley 
the territory comprising what later became Tulare county had a 
dense Indian population. These consisted of two distinct races, one 
called the Yokuts. more than twenty sub-tribes of which ranged the 
country between the Fresno river and the Tejon pass; the other a 
Piute branch of several sub-tribes living on Mill creek and in Eshom 

Among the former were the Ta-chi (whence Laguna de Tache) 
in the Tulare lake district, the Ta-lum-ne, of Visalia, the Wik-tsum- 
ne. near Lemon Cove; other settlements were on Poso creek, Tule 
river. Deer creek, one near Porterville, one near the forks of the 
Tule river and one on the present Indian reservation, others at Three 
rivers, Dry creek, Woodlake, the Yokohl valley. Outside creek, etc. 

The Piute tribes were the Wuk-sa-chi, of Eshom valley, the 
Wo-po-noich and the En-dim-bits. An idea of their numbers may be 
gained from the fact that the Wik-tsum-ne chief alone could muster 
a thousand armed warriors from his own and other Yokut tribes 
of which he was the ruler. While the above roughly indicates the 
home locations of the larger Indian settlements, it must be under- 
stood that their residences were far from permanent. The hot sum- 
mer found them high in the Sierras stalking deer, eating straw- 
berries and enjoying the climate; in the fall, the harvest season for 
acorns, he was either in the foothills or in the oak belt of the plains, 
according to the crop; in the winter, duck hunting by the lake 
furnished good sport. 

The limits of this history prevent anything approaching a com- 
plete outline of their manners, customs, habits, etc., but the follow- 
ing bits were chosen as interesting sidelights on a mode of life that 
has passed away forever. 


Among these Indians no traditions of migrations existed. They 
believed themselves aborigines— the tradition as to their origin was 
that man was created by the joint effort of the wolf and the eao-le 
and brought forth from the mountain peaks— different tribes from 
different peaks. The Wutchumnas point to Homer's Nose, on the 
south fork of the Kaweah, as the place of their origin, while the 
Kaweahs point to the foothill peak near Redbanks, <>alled Colvin's 
Point, as the cradle of their tribe. These Indians believed that the 
eagle makes it his especial care to guard the welfare of the human 
race, and the eagle on our coin is accepted as evidence that the 


whites recognize tlie sacred character of the bird. The wolf is held 
to have repented the part he took in the jwodnction of man. and to he 
constantly seeking the destruction of the race. 


The following tradition was obtained by George W. Stewart in 
1903, from Jim Herrington, an Indian then ill and now dead, of the 
Wnkchamni or Wiktsumne tribe of the Yokuts. This tribe lived on 
the Kaweah river, in the vicinity of the present town of Lemon 
Cove : 

"Long ago the whole world was rock and there was neither tire 
nor light. The coyote (kaiyu) sent his brother, the wolf (ewayet, 
iweyit), into the mountains, telling him: 'Go upward until you come 
to a large lake, where you will see fire. Then take some of it.' The 
wolf did as ordered by the coyote, and after some fighting, obtained 
a part of the fire. From this he made the moon and then the sun, 
and put them in the sky. Then it was light, and has been so ever 

"The eagle (tsohit, djokhid) kept the coyote at work, and the 
latter made the panther (wuhuset, wohoshit) and the wolf help him. 
The coyote made the springs and streams. He worked very hard 
to do this. Then he and the eagle made people. They also made deer 
and elk and antelope and all game animals, and put fish into the 
water. They gave these animals to the people who went everywhere 
and killed the game for food. 

"The coyote, the wolf and the panther said: 'In time there 
will be too many people and they will kill us.' Now the coyote was 
sorry that he had helped the eagle make the people. The panther 
said: 'They will kill us if we do not go away.' 'Then go up,' the 
eagle told him. The panther answered: 'I have no feathers, I cannot 
fly, I cannot go up.' 'Then go to the mountains,' said the eagle. To 
the wolf he said: 'Go to the hills,' and the coyote: 'Go to the plains.' 
The three went where they were told and have lived there ever since. ' ' 

Acorns, of course, were the staple, but it is a mistake to suppose 
that the Indians' diet lacked variety. In addition to game of all 
kinds and fish, there were various kinds of seeds, nuts, berries, roots, 
and young shoots of the tule and clover. 

Acorns were stored in harvest time in cribs made of woven 
withes, usually placed on the top of a large stone and securely 
roofed over with a rainproof mat to protect them from the elements. 
In making bread, these, after being shelled, were ground in a mortar 
and placed in water in a shallow bed of sand near a stream. The 
action of water running in and out of this depression removed the 
bitterness. Placed then in their water-tight baskets this gruel was 


cooked by means of hot rocks and formed a dish esteemed by whites 
as well as natives. 

One of the rarer delicacies of the Indian's table was roast 
caterpillar. When tlie variety used — a kind of measuring worm — • 
was not found near camp, long trips were made for the purpose 
of collecting them in quantities. A fire of fagots in a hole in the 
ground was allowed to burn down to coals. These removed and the 
hole nicely dusted of ashes, a few quarts of the juicy larvae were 
poured in, which, quickly crisping, were soou ready to serve. 


Tlie bow and arrow was the only weapon. The bow was made 
of ash or mahogany, strengthened by the laying over it of the sinew 
taken from the backbone of the deer. Arrows were constructed in 
three different ways, according to the purpose for which they were to 
be used. For warfare and for large game they were flint-tipped. 
An intermediate weapon was made of button willow to which a hard- 
wood point was spliced. For birds and other small game, a peculiar 
construction was in use. These were about three feet long with a 
blunt point. About half an inch from the end four crossbars, each 
about an inch long, were fastened. Two of these were at right angles 
to the other two and four j^rojecting points were thus formed, ren- 
dering accurate shooting less essential. 


As with otlier tribes, the medicine man was a person of great 
importance, luit woe unto him if he failed to effect a cure. A few 
instances of death following his treatment was cause for his summary 

A sojourn in the sweathouse was usually prescribed, but bleeding- 
was also common. An incision was made, either at the temples or 
the forehead, and he sucked the blood and spat it out. 

His dress was gorgeous. The foundation for the robe was a 
kind of netting made from the inner bark of trees. Through the 
meshes of this was interwoven the brightest colored feathers of 
many species of birds, together witli topknots, fox and coyote tails, 
rabbit ears, etc. 

At a death there were chants from dusk till dawn. The corpse 
was buried usually in a high, dry place in a round hole in a sitting 
posture, the ankles tied to the thighs. All personal belongings were 
placed with it. Members of the family of the dead smeared their 
faces black, in mourning. 


In order to gather salt, a unique method was followed. In the 
mornings, when the salt grass was wet with dew, a squaw would 
go forth armed with a long smooth stick. This she would ply back 


and forth through the wet grass and wave in the air. The result 
was a deposit of salt a quarter of an inch thick on the stick, which 
was then scraped off. 


Wild pigeons helped fill the Indian's larder and the nietliods 
which were employed in their capture are of great interest. It 
seems that the pigeons preferred mineral water, whether it be 
effervescent from soda, or salty, sulphurous or combining the tonic 
properties of iron and arsenic, to the ordinary spring water of the 
mountains. At all mineral springs pigeons came in flocks. The crafty 
buck who held first place among those who lay snares, taking ad- 
vantage of this trait, made his preparations accordingly. 

In front of the spring a large smooth low mound was heaped. 
Next the mound, directly facing it, was dug a trench of the size and 
depth to accommodate a man lying down. The front end of this 
trench towards the mound was open, but screened with grasses; the 
top was covered. In this he lay in wait. An innocent brown willow 
stick, at its end a little noose of sinew, lay on the mound. When 
the pigeons congregated an unobserved motion of the wrist, a little 
raise of the stick sufficed to place this loop over the head of an 
unlucky bird. Silently the game was drawn to the trench, the head 
jerked off and shortly another and yet another fell victim until 
sufficient fresh pigeon meat for the band was secured. It is stated 
that, snared in this way the pigeon does not flutter or raise a dis- 
turbance — he merely, like a stubborn mule, pulls back. To insure 
another flight and alighting at the same place for the following day, 
should occasion require, a few of the birds are kept alive and picketed 
out as decoys. 


In the capture of fish, the use of the hook and line was unknown 
to the Indians. Three effective methods were in use. In the narrow 
streams, which were numerous in the valley, weirs were made by 
driving a row of willow sticks diagonally across the stream and in- 
terlacing the fence thus formed with tules. On the upper side of 
this structure, near one bank a semi-circular trap of like construction 
was built. The fish going down stream, finding their way blocked 
by this barrier, worked along it until they found their way into the 
traj) through a small opening. A larger door whicli included this 
opening allowed the entrance of Mr. Indian to secure the spoil. 

In the pools or sloughs or other places where water was con- 
fined to holes without an outlet, balls of certain kind of weed were 
thrown, which exerted a stupefying effect on the fisb. They sickened 
and would rise to the surface, gasping, when they were easily cap- 


In the fall of the year wheu the water iu the main Kaweali river 
was low, and long still pools were formed having shallow outlets, 
still another method was employed. After damming the outlet, mullen 
weed was thrown in until the water was so roiled that the fish, unable 
to see, could be caught by hand. Scores of Indians, both bucks and 
squaws, would wade into these holes and grope for fish, attesting 
their success by loud shouts of laughter. 


The weapons of the Indian being to our modern eyes puerilely 
inefficient, needs be that he must make up in personal skill their 
shortcomings. One of our modern sportsmen, for example, could 
never get close enough to a deer to hit it with an arrow, and if by 
chance he should do so the wound would be too slight to be effective. 
The Indian knew how. The method, as told by Jason Barton, who 
as a boy found his playmates and companions among the Indians, 
was this : Waiting ready, we will say at the edge of a mountain 
meadow, watched the huntsman, bow in hand. When the wary l)uck 
came for his morning browse, his keen-flashing vision included naught 
of danger, for nothing moved. A peculiarity of a grazing deer is that 
while at short intervals he throws up his head to see or smell any- 
thing that may warn of danger, he precedes this by a flick of his 
tail. As he grazes the Indian advances a step, perhaps two steps, 
without a sound; the tail twitches and he is frozen into immobility. 
There is not a flicker of an eyelash. Assured of safety, the deer once 
more grazes and once more his enemy takes a step. An hour, per- 
haps two hours, go by and the hunter is within bow-shot. The arrow 
is loosed, and the aim is true, but the deer does not fall dead in its 
tracks. This is beyond the capacity of the weapon. The shot is for 
the groin, where eventually, sickening trouble for the deer must ensue 
and he be forced to lie down. That is enough for the Indian. At 
closer range next time, after an arduous pursuit lasting perlia]is a 
day, the quarry is finally despatched. 


In approaching to within bow-shot of a squirrel a similar caution 
was exercised. With bow bent, arrow set and aimed, the Indian would 
take his stand and without the slightest movement except that of a 
gradual advance, would ajiparently so hold the squirrel's attention in 
a sort of trance that a distance near enough to speed the missile with 
surety was gained. 


Without a doubt, white men would find it (piite imi)ossible with- 
out a wea]Jon to secure a mess of wild ducks. Not so our Indian. 
Around the borders of Tulare lake existed labyrinths of water lanes 
bordered with tules. Covered entanglements of these tules were 
formed and the ducks herded into 1hem bv Indians on tule rafts. 




The General Graut National Park containing 2,560 acres, situated 
northeasterly from Yisalia about sixty miles, was set aside by act of 
congress in 1886. It contains a fine grove of sequoias of which the 
largest, named General Grant, has rival claims with tJie General 
Sherman tree of the Secjuoia National Park to being tlie largest 
tree in the world. 

There are fine camping sites which are taken advantage of by 
large numbers of tourists and sightseers during the summer months. 
The government has treated this park generously, having fenced it. 
built eight miles of fire break, piped water to the camp grounds, built 
a ranger's cabin and a building for the postoffice, which was estalt- 
lished in 1910. Accommodations for tourists are provided by Mrs. 


The Sequoia National Park, containing about 170,000 acres of 
land, was set aside by the congress of 1890. Within the park are 
seven large groves of monster sequoias, a score or more of excellent 
trout streams, glacial lakes, caves, other natural wonders of a varied 
character and mountain scenery of surpassing beauty. 

Its control and management are vested in the Secretary of the 
Interior, with military assistance in supervision during the summer 
months. Shortly after the government assumed control, improvement 
work in the way of rendering its attractions accessible to the publi(>, 
and facilitating its jDrotection from fire, commenced, and have liccn 
carried on ever since. 

In the summer of 1900 the Colomy Mill road was repaired and 
widened, and in 1903 the extension of this road to the forest was 
completed. New trails to the extent of three hundred and twenty 
miles have been built, the most important being the "south fork" 
trail, Quinn's Horse Camp trail, the Black Oaks trail connectiuu tlie 
Sequoia and General Grant parks, Alta meadows trail, seven mile hill 
trail, Clough's cave — Cold Si)ring trail. 

In 1907 a telephone line connecting Three Rivers with the 
General Grant forest was built and in 1908 and 1910 Quinn's Horse 
Camp and Atwell's mill were resjiectively connected with Three 
Rivers by telejihone. 

In addition, five ranger cabins have been built, horse }iastures 
for the use of rangers fenced, and one hundred and twenty-nine miles 


of streams stocked with trout. In 1904 a herd of elk were introduced 
in the territory lying along the middle fork of "the Kaweah, their 
egress being prevented by the erection of three and one-half miles 
of strong, high fence. These have thrived and nmltiplied. Wild 
turkeys and pheasants have also been introduced. 

A })ostoFfice called Ranger was established at Giant Forest in 
li)07. and in 1911 a commodious postoffice building was erected. 

A segregation and classification of the land in both the Sequoia 
and General Grant parks shows: merchantable timber, 92,160 acres; 
grass land, 5,760 acres; desert, 4,477 acres; woodland, 62,768 acres. 

The first ranger for park duty was appointed in 1900, and the 
force has since been increased to five as follows : Superintendent, "Wal- 
ter Fry; rangers, C. W. Blossom, stationed at Hockett meadows; 
John von Gruningen, stationed at Ranger ; H. T. Britten, stationed at 
Quinn's Horse Camp; Milo Decker, stationed at General Grant 

The number of tourists visiting the park regions has increased 
annually as year by year the knowledge of the natural beauties and 
scenic marvels therein became general, and as the facilities for reach- 
ing the. points of interest and remaining there with comfort have 
improved. These now number from four to eight thousand. 

In 1902 Messrs. Broder and Hopping established a stage and ]iack 
train service to the Giant Forest and operated a boarding house 
there, but gave up the enterprise in 1908. 

In 1910 the River Inn Company was formed and established 
hotels at Three Rivers and at the forest to cater to the tourist trade, 
also operating a stage line between the two points and maintaining a 
saddle horse and pack train service to points of interest beyond. This 
company planned the erection in 1912 of a new hotel at the forest 
and general extensive improvements in service, but a profitable 
showing not being made during .the two years of operations, the 
enterprise was abandoned, the property of the company sold, and its 
activities distributed. 


The Sequoia National Forest includes the greater part of the 
mountain region of Tulare county. It extends from Poso creek on 
the south across, and includes the upper Deer ci-eek, Tule river and 
Kaweah river basins, and is bounded by the Kings ri\(>r on the 
north. Kern river and Tyndall creek constitute the east boundary, 
while a somewhat irregular line following roughly the lower foothill 
line marks the west. 

Tlie forest has an area of 1,220,000 acres, roughly 2,000 square 
miles, or about five-twelfths of the area of the county. It includes 
within its borders the Secpioia and General Grant National Parks, 
but is wliollv distinct from tlieiii in its administration. The parks 


are iiuder the Department of the Interior, while the Forest is nnder tlie 
Department of Agriculture. 

The tirst proclamation creating the Sequoia National Forest 
was made July 1, 1908. It then included a territory extending from 
Bakersfield on the south to Kings river on the north. By the procla- 
mation of July 1, 1910, all of this territory east of the Kern river and 
south of Tyndall creek was cut off and made the Kern National 
Forest. At the same time small patented tracts were eliminated, 
while other unpatented lands were added. 

The Sequoia National Forest as a whole is under the manage- 
ment of the forest supervisor, who is assisted by the deputy forest 
supervisor, forest assistant and forest clerk. It is divided for admin- 
istrative purposes into five districts, each in charge of a district 
ranger, with one or more assistant I'angers. During the fire season 
the force is increased by the addition of several forest guards to 
each district. , 

The work carried on by the rangers and guards may be bfcst 
described under the headings, timber sales, free use, special use, fire 
patrol and fighting fire, surveys of boundaries and administrative 
sites, June 11 examinations, grazing, forest planting, improA-ements 
and miscellaneous executive duties. 

All mature timber on the Forest not needed for seed trees is for 
sale, either in small quantities or large. You can buy shake, post or 
]3icket timber up to $50 in value directly from the district ranger, or 
if you want more than this amount the supervisor will negotiate the 
sale. A long term saw timber contract is usually made by the district 
forester through the supervisor. 

The Forest Service recognizes a certain right of the home builder 
residing in and near the Forest to the use of its natural resources, 
and it encourages and aids him in the development of his home by 
giving him free of charge post, picket or shake timber, or fuel up to a 
value of $20 annually. Each district ranger usually has his free use 
area staked out, and the trees to be given away are blazed and 
stamped "U. S." An ap])licant is then given a free use permit for 
the quantity of timber desired under the limit above mentioned and 
is directed to the marked area. 

If you wish to enclose a pasture, build a corral, a residence, a 
shop, a ditch or a road on National Forest land you apply for a 
special use permit. If the use is found to be feasible and not likely 
to become detrimental to tlie interests of the Forest a permit for the 
use of the land involved will be granted. A charge may or may not 
lie made for this i)ermit, dejuMiding upon the nature of the use con- 

Fire fighting is the grcvit hug bear of the forest oHicer. lie is 
on the (jui rirr from about .luiic 1. when the grass liegins to turn 
brown and llie underbrush to crackh' dryly under his feet, until lnt( 


Sei)tember or October brings the first welcome rains. During this 
trying season lie ever strains his eyes for fire, sniffs the breeze for 
smoke and listens anxiously for rumors of fire within the borders of 
the forest. Even his vslumbers are disturbed l)y visions of the 
haunting demon. 

He is well iirepared, however, to cope with it when the fire does 
break out. The areas of greatest fire danger are swejit In- the 
watchful eyes of the lookouts, who are usually equipped with field 
glass, sight compass and contour map fastened upon a table properly 
oriented, so that a bearing may be taken upon the point where smoke 
is sighted, telephoned to the next lookout, who likewise takes a bear- 
ing upon the fire from his view ]ioint. Thus data are obtained which 
enable the lookouts to locate the fire accurately and report it to the 
ranger in whose district it is. Fire tool boxes are placed at con- 
venient points throughout the district, and, where needed, caches 
of food. The district ranger is thus enabled to call up the nearest 
forest guard, per diem guard, state fire warden or citizen and start 
tools, provision and men to the fire within a few minutes after he 
receives the alarm. 

When the reserves were first established no provision was made 
for the utilization by homesteaders of the available agricultural land. 
This was for the time being virtually locked up. However, this defect 
was remedied by the Act of June 11, 1906. Under this act a person 
qualified to make homestead entry may make application to the dis- 
trict forester for any tract of vacant land within the forest which 
he believes to be agricultural in character. A careful field examina- 
tion will then be made by the ranger in charge of the district, and if 
the land is found to be chiefly valuable for agriculture and not needed 
for public purposes it will be listed as such, and thus restored to 
entry. Many such tracts liave been and ai'e l>eiug listed and reo]iened 
to entry. 

Grazing is one of the most important branches of the forest 
ofiicer's work, and occupies a large portion of his time. 10,000 head 
of cattle are yearly pastured upon the Sequoia, while at the same 
time tourist pastures and reserves are being maintained from which 
all cattle are excluded. 

Considerable areas have already been planted to big tree, yellow 
pine and sugar pine seed, while experimental plots have been ]ilanted 
at various places throughout the Forest with a view to determining 
the method of tree propagation best adapted to this region. This 
branch, however, is still in the early stages of its development. 

Since the creation of the Sequoia two hundred and uinety-eiglit 
miles of new trail have been built at a cost of :}^22,392; two hundred 
and seventy-two miles of telephone lines costing $10,SS0; eight bridges 
at a cost of $2,000 ;• three and sevent.v-five-hundredtlis miles of 
road, $750; besides numerous tourist pastures, drift fences and cor- 


rals for the proper liaudliug of stock. Each district rauger has his 
house, barn and other buildings at his winter headquarters in the 
low country, as well as a cabin at his summer headquarter's in the 
high mountains. 

Unlike the National Parks the National Forest imposes no 
unusual restrictions upon fishing and hunting within its borders. 
Only the just laws established by the state of California for the regu- 
lation of these sports obtain here. As every statutory ranger is a 
state deputy game and fish commissioner, it is his duty to enforce 
these laws, and he usually does his duty. — G. W. Purdy. 


The first trail across the Sierra Nevada mountains within the 
limits of what now constitutes Tulare county was partially constructed 
in 1861 by John Jordan. It took its origin in the Yokohl valley, 
crossed the Blue ridge, wound around by Peck's canyon through 
Quinn's Horse Camp and following down Little Kern to Trout mead- 
ows, thence up Big Kern to a point below where Kern lakes now are, 
crossed the river and, proceeding eastward via Monache meadows, was 
to strike Owens river below the lake. 

The pressing need of a shorter and quicker route for the host 
of prospectors eager to reach the new mines warranted the project. 
Mr. Jordan secured a charter to maintain it as a toll road and com- 
pleted nearly all the work on this side of Kern river in 1861. In 1862, 
while attempting the passage of Kern river on a raft, he was drowned. 
There were four in the party, the others being his two sons, Allen 
and Tolbert, and a man named Gashweiler. Allen remained on shore ; 
Gashweiler, as the raft liocaiiio uiiiiianageable in the swift current, 
jumjx'd onto a rock. Tolbcil ^i;il)l)('d a limb of a tree which lay on 
the water and swung himself to safety on its trunk. Mr. Jordan was 
tipped off, and although a jjowerful swimmer, was sucked under by 
the strong current and drowned, the body never being recovered. 

In the following year the sum of $1,600 was raised by suliscriji- 
tion in Msalia to complete the trail. G. W. Warner undertook the 
work and finislied it, building a bridge across Kern river. Tlie magni- 
tude of this latter undertaking will be better realized wlien it is 
understood that all chains, harness, stretcliers and implements liad 
to be ])acked from Visalia. 

In 1863 J. B. Ilockett built the trail which bears his name. This, 
commencing at Three Bivers, proceeded up the south fork of the 
Kaweah, passing the Hockett lakes and meadows and joined the 
Jordan trail, continuing on its route to Big Kern. Instead of cross- 
ing the river at the same point, however, it continued up the stream to 
a jioint near the lower Funston meadows, whence crossing and ascend- 
ing the wall of tlie Kern canyon, it made its way via the Wliitney 
meadows to the crossing of Cottonwood creek, near tlie hikes, and 


thence down to Independence. This trail, though altered to eliminate 
steep pitches and other difficult sections, is followed today, practically 
as laid out fifty years ago. 

The trail from Eshom valley through to Owens river by way of 
Kings river canyon, was an old Indian trail, as in part the others 


At this i)eriod roads were few in number, the principal being 
these: The stage road to Stockton, which proceeded westerly as far 
as the old white house, on the Goshen road and then turned in a 
northwesterly direction to Cross creek; the two immigrant roads to 
Los Angeles; the road to Woodville which passed what is now the 
Mineral King orchard, crossed the Ship bridge and continued on to 
the Thomas mill in the mountains; a road through the Packwood 
district which proceeded in a westerly direction from near the south 
city limits of Visalia ; a road proceeding west from the Ship, or 
Cutler bridge to the old Warren Matthews place on Elbow creek, and 
thence by the Bass Parker (now Rush) place to Smith's on Kings 
river and known as the upper Stockton road. 

Due north of town lay a swamp, the St. John's river not yet 
having been formed. The first road made to cross this proceeded by 
the Joe Roger's (now Pratt) place and connected with the Stockton 
road. The Pacheco Pass, or Gilroy road, proceeded west through 
"tin can alley," now West Oak street, crossed Kings river at Mat 
Isely's point, then turned west four miles to Kingston, thence in a 
northwesterly direction by the head of Fresno slough, passing Fire- 
baugh, where the ferry was located, and on to the St. Louis ranch, 
at the mouth of Pacheco Pass. 

One of the roads to Los Angeles left town at the old Wiley 
Watson place, ran due south to Dry creek, thence east about what is 
now Tulare avenue to the Evans' place (now Evansdale orchard). 
After passing this it ran due east to the Pike Lawless place on Pack- 
wood creek, thence easterly to near the site of the former Deep 
Creek schoolhouse, thence southeasterly to Outside creek and on in 
the same direction to Porterville. 

The other road to Los Angeles crossed the old Kelly place just 
south of town, followed in a general way the route of the Tulare road 
and passed through the Buzzard's roost. 

The road from the western portion of Tulare county to the 
coast, crossing the coast range through the Lawless Gap, follows 
essentially the route taken by John Hawpe, Bert T^awless and W. H. 
Mills, who in 1856 traveled to the coast and thence to Los Angeles, 
with many yoke of o.xen. which they there exchanged for stock 
cattle, securing eight head for each voke. 


A road from Warren Matthews place on Elbow creek through 
Visalia to Kern river was surveyed and ordered built in 1857. Five 
district overseers were appointed by the supervisors in charge of 
sections as follows: First district — north of Kaweah and Mill creek, 
W. Matthews; Second district — Kaweah river to Elk bayou, Wiley 
Watson; Third district — Elk bayou to White river, I. S. Clapp; 
Fourth district— White river to North Fork of Posey creek; Fifth 
district — Posey creek to Calwell's ferry. 

In 1863 a franchise was granted by the legislature to John 
McFarlane, Peter Goodhue, William P. Poer, H. A. Bostwick, E. E. 
Calhoun and others, under the name of McFarlane & Co., to build 
a toll road to Owens valley. This road, via Keyesville and Walker's 
pass, was completed in 1864 and proved of great benelit to the pub- 
lic. About one million pounds of freight passed over it the first 
year, and it carried a heavy traffic for some time, but financially the 
venture was a failure. 





One of tlie most potent factors in the development of Tulare 
county has been the electrical energy developed on the Kaweah and 
Tule rivers. Electricity has materially aided the orange and lemon 
industry and made more productive thousands of acres of valley land 
that was worth but little prior to the introduction of pumping plants. 
About twenty-five per cent of the valley and foothill land in Tulare 
county may be irrigated by ditches leading out of the streams that 
flow from the Sierra Nevada mountains. As the water from these 
rivers is all appropriated the only way to make the rest of the land 
of any value is to pump the water from wells. The practicability of 
this method was first demonstrated at Lindsay in 1890, the motive 
power employed being steam or gasoline, which were found incon- 
venient and expensive. 

In 1891 the Tulare County Times began advocating the building 
of a power plant on the Kaweah river and persisted in setting forth 
tl'.e value to the county resulting from the completion of such a 
project. AVilliam H. Hammond became interested in the matter and 
he, together with Ben M. Maddox, editor of the Times, sought to 
interest local capital in the enterprise, but got no encouragement. 

In 1897 A. G. Wishon became associated with Mr. Hammond in the 
management of the Yisalia Water company, and these two again took 
up the proposition. Filings were made on the water of the east fork 
of the Kaweah and surveys showing the head obtainable were made. 
Renewed efforts to enlist the support of capitalists were made, but 
without success. Mr. Hammond then went to London and explained 
the proposition to his brother, John Hays Hammond, the famous 
mining engineer. He at once agreed to put up one-half the money 
needed and on the strength of this, Leo]iold Hirsch agreed to supply 
the remainder. Mr. Hammond at once cabled the good news to 
Visalia and it was received here with nmch rejoicing. 

In the fall of 1898 the work of building a flume for the No. 1 
power house was begun and the plant was completed in June, 1899. 
The water was diverted from the east fork of the Kaweah river at a 
point below Cain's Flat, on the Mineral King road, carried by flume 
seven miles, whence a drop of nine hundred feet to the power house 
was secured, developing about two thousand horse power. 

In 1902 John Hays Hammond bought out the interest of Mr. 
Iliiscli. the latter gentleman being dissatisfied on account of failure 
to ]>a\- dividends. Ben M. Maddox, in 1902, succeeded A. G. Wishon 


as business manager, a i)08ition lie holds at the present time. William 
H. Hammond remained president of the company until he died, in 
1908, when he was succeeded by John Coffee Hays, the present chief 
executive. The company now has sub-stations at Visalia, Tulare, 
Tipton, Delano, Ducor, Porlerville, Lindsay, Exeter, i.emon Cove and 

The No. 2 power house on the Kaweah was completed in lito."), 
as was the auxiliary steam plant in Visalia. The Tule river plant 
was finished in 1!)()9, which made a combined installation of six 
thousand kilowatts. Nine hundred pumping plants are operated. An 
addition of one-thousand horse power is now being added to the steam 
plant in Visalia and two more plants on the Kaweah river are in 
course of construction, which will add ten thousand horse power to 
the system. The conservation of water for the operation of these 
plants has necessitated extensive engineering works in the high 
Sierras. Eagle lake has been tajjped and its stored supply is ready 
for use at seasons of low water. Wolverton creek has been dammed, 
creating an immense reservoir at Long Meadows. 

In addition to the pumping load, the company supplies light 
and power for all jmrposes in the cities of Visalia, Tulare, Porter- 
ville, Lindsay and Exeter, and in the towns of Tipton, Delano, Rich- 
grove, Ducor, Terra Bella, Strathmore, Lemon Cove, Woodlake and 
Klink. It also supplies the power to operate the Visalia electric 
road. The company has recently completed a large, substantial and 
finely equipped office building on West Main street, in Visalia. 

The San Joaquin Power Company, a Fresno institution, supplies 
power at Dinuba and Orosi, in the northern end of the county, and 
also southeast of Tulare along the Santa Fe railroad. This company 
is building a water-power ]ilant on the Tule river. 

The Pacific Light and Power company is building a tower line 
across the county to take current from Big creek in Fresno coiintx- 
to Los Angeles. 

The Tulare County Power Company is building a steam plant 
at Tulare, the current to be used in the cities of Tulare, Exeter and 
Lindsay, and the surrounding neighborhoods. This company has 
a filing on the Tule river and work is being done on the conduit that 
is to take the water from the river to the power-house, which is 
to be located near Globe. This is a joint-stock company with co- 
operative features, financed locally. Messrs. Holley & HoUey, of 
Visalia, promoted the enterprise and its success seems assured. 
Stockholders were secured in large part among the users of power 
for pumping and to these is granted a lower rate than that ac- 
corded to non-stockholders. 


Irrigation in Tulare cduntv dates almost from the countv's or- 


g-anizatiou. Tlie waters from a ramitied network of ditches, from 
several lumdred artesian wells, from thousands of electrically oper- 
ated pumping plants, is now distributed to almost every portion of 
the foothill and valley section. 

No estimates may be made of the increased productivity, in- 
creased value due to more profitable kinds of crops, increased capa- 
city for supi)orting population and the other incalculable benefits 
accruing from the distribution of water and its intelligent use. Yet 
the hisory of irrigation development here and the causes thereof 
differ so materially from that of the reclaimed districts that a few 
words of explanation and comparison are necessary. 

In the first place, water did not here cause "the desert to blos- 
som as the rose," for the reason that no desert ever existed. True, 
there were originally vast semi-arid plains. These in later years, 
without a drop of water artificialh' applied, produced banner wheat 
crops. In 1886 this yield amounted to fourteen thousand carloads, 
and for many seasons Tulare held first rank in wlieat production 
among California counties. 

But in the sections favored by the early settlers — the delta lands 
of the Four Creeks country, there was not even semi-aridity. Here 
was a vast, eye-delighting oasis. Here, beneath groves of oak ex- 
tending miles and miles in either direction, lush, rank meadow grass 
thrived. Here, as far as the eye could follow was a tract where 
verdure was perennial, where riotous growth almost unceasingly 
persisted. Both in the winter by reason of the rains, and in May 
and June by reason of the melting snow of the mountains, much 
land was subject to overflow. Swamps and sloughs were numerous, 
and a system of drainage would have been beneficial. 

The activity of the pioneers in taking out water was usually for 
the purpose of securing stock water on lands not bordering' streams, 
and to irrigate lands for a second or fall crop of corn and i)umpkins 
after hay had been cut. It was not until a much later day. when 
a general influx of new .settlers desirous of farmdng and jilanting 
to vineyards and orchards, lands hitherto held suitalile only for 
grain farming, that the value of the water rights secured l)y these 
early diversions was realized. 

The first effort to irrigate lands about Visalia was made in 
1854, when Dr. Reuben Matthews, assisted by his neighbors, cut a 
ditch from Mill creek to his mill near town. The ditch was intended 
to bring water not only to run the mill, but also to irrigate lands 
for gardens. In later years the Jennings' and one or two other 
ditches obtained their water from this sluiceway. The Persian ditch 
dates also from 18o4, the Evans and Fleming from '58. the Watson 
from 1855 or 1856. and the Birch from the early '60s. In the period 
from 1865 to 1872. a numl)er of irrigation jirojects were inaugurateil. 


chief among- which were the Pioneer, the People's Consolidated and 
the Wutchumma ditch companies. The pioneer, organized in 1866, 
took its water from the Tule river, well np into the hills, and cov- 
ered the territory adjacent to Porterville. The People's Consoli- 
dated Ditch Company bnilt its big canal of about twenty feet in 
widtli in 1871, the head being taken from the Kaweah, a few miles 
west of Lemon Cove. While the first work of this system did not 
begin until this date, many of the water rights secured dated as far 
back as the '50s, and were obtained by a consolidation of the interests 
of the owners with the new organization. 

In 1872 the Wutchumma company organized, and commenced the 
construction of a sj'stem which now consists of about forty miles of 
main and branch ditches. The water is taken from the Kaweah near 
its intersection with the St. John about eighteen miles east of 
Visalia, and is carried to points ten miles west of Visalia. Bravo 
Lake, situated near the intake of this canal, is used as a stor- 
age reservoir for flood waters so that a supply is maintained 
throughout the year. 

Numerous other diversions, including- tlie Tulare District Com- 
pany, under the Wright Act, have been made from the Kaweah and 
St. John rivers so that today twenty-nine corporations divide their 
waters. All but two of these secure their flow below the point of 

The amount of water in the river at this point probabh- aver- 
ages during the three months of April, May and June in the neigh- 
borhood of twelve hundred cubic feet per second, rapidly dropping 
then until mid-summer, when it is negligible. Necessarily, the ap- 
portionment to each company of its proper share has been fraught 
with difficulties, and consideral)le expensive litigation has resulted. 
In order to best secure their rights by being able to act unitedly and 
harmoniously, the ditch companies taking water from these two 
streams have formed the Kaweah River Watei- Association and the 
St. John River Water Association. A spirit of compromise has 
been fostered and in 1907 a threatened law suit of enormous pro- 
portions was settled in this way; one of the features of the agree- 
ment being that the water in the two streams is divided equally 
until such time as a low stage of eighty cubic feet is reached. The 
entire flow is then diverted into the Kaweah and runs there until 
the first day of October. Then, if the flow exceeds eighty cubic feet, 
or as soon thereafter as it does, the stream is again equally divided. 
Diversion dams at the confiluenee of these streams and some 
kind of a division of water tliere, date from 189l'. In 1911 a struc- 
ture of cement dams and confining walls was completed so that now 
perfect control and equitable di^^sion is made possil)le. 

The next great irrigating enterprises were the Alta and Tulare 


irrigation districts, organized nnder the Wriglit law, which pro- 
vides for the issuance by a community of l)onds which become a 
lien on the property in the district. 


In the early '80s, along Kings river and near Traver there lay 
some large tracts of land owned by Darwin & Ferguson, who were 
engaged in stockraising. Their brand was "76," and the country 
was called the 76 country. Considerable attention was also given 
to grain raising, and good crops could generally be had with the 
usual rainfall. 

In 1881 P. Y. Baker and D. K. Zumwalt conceived the idea of 
bringing water onto the land and organized the 76 Land and Water 
comiiany. A main canal one hundred feet wide on the bottom and 
deep enough to carry a stream of water five feet deep, together with 
several large laterals, was constructed, the point of diversion being 
on Kings river, about fourteen miles northeast of Eeedley. 

Now, in 1888, an irrigation district under the Wright law was 
projected in the northern part of the county and at an election bonds 
were voted in the sum of $675,000. Bonds were only issued to the 
amount of $410,000, that sum proving sufficient. This district was 
named Alta, and embraces one hundred and thirty thousand acres, 
four-fifths of which is now under irrigation. The property and 
water rights of the 76 company were purchased and various exten- 
sions have from time to time been made, so that now, including 
laterals of a width of ten feet or more, there are over three hundred 
miles of ditch system. A territory is covered lying within the fol- 
lowing described extremities: southeasterly to a point six miles east 
and four miles south of Monson; southwesterly to points three miles 
west and three miles south of Traver; easterly to a point one mile 
north of Orosi. Portions of Kings and Fresno, as well as Tulare, 
counties are included in this area. 

This district has been a success from the very beginning. In 
twenty years after its formation the number of land owners within 
its boundaries had increased about three hundred per cent. 

From early spring until the middle of summer there is water in 
the greatest abundance for the needs of its dense population of 
orchardists, vineyardists and alfalfa growers, which is secured at a 
cost of fifty cents per acre. 


This district was organized in 1889, and in 1890 bonds in the 
sum of $500,000 were voted and placed on sale. Work on the main 
canal, which had a width of sixty-four feet and a depth of six feet, 
was commenced in 1891. This canal had a capacity of five hundred 
feet per second and took its water from the north side of the St. 


John river. It was to be about twelve miles long with seven laterals 
varying- in width from ten to forty feet, carrying the water to all 
portions of the district. 

In one sense of the word, this district was a disheartening failure 
and for many years proved a heavy incubus to every landowner in 
the district embraced. The causes leading to this condition were 
many, chief among them being the depressed condition of business 
in Tulare resulting from the removal of the railroad shops, the panic 
of 1893, and the failure to get water. This latter difficulty was oc- 
casioned by litigation involving the water rights of the district; by 
the series of dry years immediately following the construction of the 
canal and perhaps also by reason of the lack of sufficient funds to 
complete fully the plant as originally projected. At any rate, the 
payment of a heavy tax to meet the interest on and provide a sink- 
ing fund for the bonds, without receiving any benefits was universally 
resented. The validitj^ of the bond issue was attacked and, acting 
under the advice of attorneys, farmers refused to pay the tax, a 
condition lasting about six years. An injunction preventing execu- 
tion on lands to satisfy judgment for default of taxes was obtained. 
Accrued interest by this time amounted to $150,000, making a total 
indebtedness of $650,000. 

In the meantime land greatly depreciated in value became, in 
fact, unsalable by reason of this cloud on the title. It became ap- 
l^arent that some agreement between bondholders and landowners 
must be reached if general bankruptcy was to be avoided. Joe Gold- 
man, a large landowner in the district and also a heavy bondliolder, 
took the initiative. He agitated the submission by the bondholders 
of an offer to surrender the bonds on payment of fifty per cent, 
of their face value, all interest to be remitted. It took months of 
hard work to secure the consent of each individual bondholder, but 
it was finally accomplished and the bonds placed in escrow in a 
Tulare bank. The plan then was to raise the $250,000 by one direct 
tax. Assessors were appointed and another long tug of war ensued, 
many property owners at first refusing to consent to the assessment 
or to pay the tax. 

Eventually all were, however, brought into the fold, the levy 
was made and the money collected. October 17, 1903, was set as 
the day for the transfer and a monster celebration was planned 
and carried out, to signify the universal rejoicing at the lifting of 
the load. 

Some six thousand people, including Governor Pardee, ^layor 
Snyder of Los Angeles, numerous bankers from San Francisco and 
Los Angelefe and other notables were in attendance. Dramatically, 
the bonds were consigned to the flames of a big bonfire. Land values 
immediately doubled, trel)led, quadrupled. A delayed prosperity 


proved swift in action after its arrival. The ditch system of the 
company became the unencumbered property of the district. No tax 
is levied for its maintenance, running expenses being secured by 
water tolls. 

It will doubtless be a matter of great surprise to many to learn 
that in all the foregoing in which is indicated the development of a 
very extensive system, no mention has been made of other sources 
of supply equal to or in excess of that obtained from the Kings, 
Kaweali, St. John and Tule rivers combined. This is the under- 
ground flow, belief in which seems to have existed in very early 
days. Not until 1890, however, when at Lindsay, in wells but seventy 
feet deep, water rose to within twenty feet of the surface and main- 
tained that level under constant pumping, did the people begin to 
realize the fortune that lay below ground. 


The efforts to get water from artesian wells for general use in 
Tulare county were first made in 1859. At that date some of the 
citizens of Visalia and vicinity sank a well, about the present cross- 
ing of Main and Court streets in Visalia. But nothing came of it, 
for after boring two hundred and twelve feet and finding no stratum 
that would rise to the surface, the work was abandoned; but the 
well was long used by the fire department. 

The Southern Pacific, in 1875, bored a well near the track south 
of Tipton. At a depth of two hundred and ten feet a stratum of 
water was found that flowed to the surface in a strong stream. Many 
other flowing wells have since been bored. But the water is tepid, 
with a slight smell of sulphur and rather insipid. In 1881 another 
well was bored on the Paige and Morton ranch, and at a depth of 
three hundred and thirty feet a grand flow of water was obtained. 
The completion of this well was made the occasion of a great cele- 
bration. It established the theory that there is an artesian belt in 
the county. There are at the present time about four hundred flow- 
ing wells used for watering stock and for irrigation. This belt of 
flowing wells seems to be mostly west of the main line of the rail- 
road, and to extend to the westerly line of Tulare lake. 

But the wells along the great plain sloping westerly from the 
eastern foothills, though none of them are flowing, might justly be 
termed artesian. The water is inexhaustible, of fine quality for 
domestic use and for irrigation, and has wrought that wonderful 
miracle of transforming those drj' plains to gardens teeming with 
fruits and flowers. 


Coincident with the arrival of the first family cow, tied behind 
a prairie schooner, the dairy industry started in Tulare county, but 


it was not until tlie introduction of alfalfa and the realization of its 
adaptation to the climate and soil that there was any idea that dairy- 
ing could be conducted as a separate and profitable business. 

The Delta, in its issue of February 4, 1860, under the head of 
Alfalfa, thus speaks : ' ' Those desirous of trying the adaptation of tliis 
clover to the soil of this valley can now have an opportunity of so 
doing by calling at McLane's drug store for the seed. There is no 
doulit in the minds of those who have seen this clover growing that 
it will be one of the most productive crops in the valley. When it 
becomes once rooted, the drought will never atfeet it in the least. 
In this light soil it will root fifteen or twenty feet, at which depth 
water can always be found in abundance in every place in the valley 
in the dryest season. Farmers, try it." 

The farmers did try it and wonders have been accomplished. 
It early became apparent that dairying should pay' and so a number 
of farmers about Visalia formed a joint stock company and built a 
creamery. This was a two-story wooden building, situated on the 
Visalia-Goshen railroad about a mile west of the city limits of Vi- 
salia, and was completed in 1890. W. H. Blain was president, and 
S. M. Gilliam secretary. 

Shortly afterwards D. K. Zumwalt erected a cheese factory and 
creamery on the Tulare-Goshen railroad about midway between the 
two towns. Strange as it seems now, both of these early enterprises 
were destined to failure. Several causes contributed to this result, 
chief among them being the apathy of farmers toward engaging in 
the business, owing to the publicity of the extraordinary profits made 
by the early orchards, at this time just coming into bearing. Dairy- 
ing appeared much too slow. The one business appeared as a 
tedious, arduous method of extracting nickels; the other a leisurely, 
gentlemanly waiting for a shower of golden eagles. Then came the 
panic of 1893, and the great railroad strike. The latter, especially, 
proved disastrous. Mr. Zumwalt at this time had twenty tliousand 
pounds of cheese on hand which he was unable to move. Much of 
this spoiled. The delay in getting the product converted into cash 
necessitated a stoppage of payments to the farmers and caused them 
to become suspicious and uneasy and disinclined to continue deliver- 
ies. Then, markets were not good. Los Angeles produced nearly 
all it consumed. The result was that both enterprises were aban- 

In 1898 W. B. Cartmill leased the Zumwalt and Visalia plants 
and operated them as skimming stations, and in 1901 Thompson and 
Futtrell conimenced in Tulare the operation of a creamery of small 
capacity. Tlie skimming stations were abandoned, but in 1906 Mr. 
Cartmill was instrumental in launching the Tulare Co-Operative 


Creamery, the capacity of this in its first years of existence heiug 
about one thousand pounds per day. 

The entire growth of the industry dates from that time, only 
five or six years ago. Today the industry ranks as one of the most 
important in the county. The county ranks, according to the state 
dairy board, as third in the state. According to figures given out 
hy the creameries, it ranks second. At any rate, there is an annual 
production of four million pounds of butter fat. A conservative 
estimate of the value of dairy products, including skimmed milk, is 
two million dollars per year. 

An idea of existing conditions is obtained by quoting the Tulare 
Register of May, 1912: "The creamery disbursements here today were 
$97,191.26. The fifteenth of the month in tliis city is much like the 
regular montlily pay days in factory districts. * * * Business 
jammed at the local banks all through the day and it was simply a 
question of waiting one's turn at the windows of paying and receiving 

"Nearly every horse-drawn vehicle which comes to this city 
will have the cream cans somewhere about it. Even autos are used 
to convey the cream and milk." 

Dairying has centered particularly al)out Tulare, which includes 
Tagus, Paige and Swall's station; about Porterville, WoodviUe, Tip- 
ton and Poplar, all of wliich may be combined as constituting one 
immense connected district; about Visalia, including Farmersville 
and Goshen; about Dinulia, westerly and southerly to Traver. 

There are now within the county one thousand dair^^nen with 
herds aggregating between twenty and twenty-five thousand animals. 
The Holstein is the favorite breed, and the grade is constantly im- 
proving by reason of the importation of numbers of registered bulls. 

A factor of importance bearing on the relation of this industry 
to general prosperity is the fact that there are few large herds. In 
fact, there are only two in the county numbering as many as three 
hundred. The remainder range from five to two hundred. 

The monthly creamery pay check has become a factor in bixsi- 
ness circles. It pays bills of all kinds promptly; it contributes to 
savings bank balances; it steadies and enhances land values. 

The one thing that has rendered this extraordinary development 
possible and one of the causes for the belief that the industry is 
at present only in its infancy, is the phenomenal growth of the city 
of Los Angeles. And as this metropolis bids fair to maintain a 
healthy growth and as the towns of the citrus district and of the 
oil fields are also rapidh' growing, it appears that a widening and 
increasing demand assures to the industry a stable future. 

Tliere are now eight creameries in the county, each provided 
with the best modern facilities, machinery and etiuipment. These, 


with their managers are : Tulare Co-Operative, W. B. Cartmill ; 
Dairymen's Co-Operative, J. P. Murphy; Good Luck Creamery, J. 
W. Drew, all of Tulare; the Visalia Creamery, W. B. Cartmill; 
Visalia Co-Operative Creamery, N. J. Beck; Sun Flower Dairy at 
Poplar, Ridgeway Bros.; Porterville Co-Operative Creamery, C. T. 
Brown; Tipton Co-Ojierative Creamery, J. H. Drew. 


From its vineyards and orchards of deciduous fruits Tulare 
county now annually receives about three million dollars. The de- 
velopment of this industry, within the county presents peculiarities. 
Thus, at a time when the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa counties, 
the orchards of Santa Clara, Vacaville, Suisun and Ventura were 
in full bearing and iiroducing profitable returns, here, one of the 
richest fields remained until comparatively recent years unknown 
and undeveloped. 

This neglect did not proceed so much from doubt as to the 
adaptability of the section for fruit growing as from the ignorance 
of the earlier inhabitants of the large profits in the business. Life- 
long farmers and stockmen did not readily undertake a change. 
Tlien there was doubt of finding a market, in view of the exorbitant 
freight rates charged in early days. 

Apparently, the very first settlers, however, planted some fruit 
trees and vines. In 1859, the Delta speaks of having received some 
fine apricots from Mr. Goodale, also some api^les of the Summer 
Queen variety that measured thirteen and one-half inches in cir- 
cumference. In another issue mention is made of a vineyard near 
town belonging to Dr. Matthews that was producing grapes "equal 
to those grown in Los Angeles." The doctor brought in a bunch 
weighing nine pounds. Horace Thomas also was bearer to the editor 
of a large cluster of grapes. Again, in the issue of August 7. 1867, 
the editor acknowledged the receipt from Rev. Mr. Edwards of some 
peaches of fine flavor that measured three inches in diameter and 
some lemon clings eleven and three-fourths, inches in circumference. 
Mention, in the '60s, is also made of samples of wine made near 
Visalia, and on the assessment roll of 1860 there appeared one thou- 
sand gallons of wine on hand. 

Humble beginnings, truly, and containing no suggestion of the 
wonderful expansion that was to come. 

The first impetus to the growing of fruit commercially in Tulare 
county was given by I. H. Thomas, since called the father of the 
industry. This gentleman, about 1880, planted near ^'isalia a ten- 
acre orchard of peaches, pears, plums, pruues, aiiricots and nectar- 
ines. Mr. Thomas was a "fruit man," a careful, intelligent observer, 
a member of the state board of horticulture, and very enthusiastic 


about the adaptability of soil and climate here for the growing 
of f I'll it. 

Mr. Thomas exhibited specimens of his products at the meetings 
of the state board in San Francisco and they were regarded as 
phenomenal. The district was recognized as possessing most favor- 
able qualifications. Mr. Thomas, however, met with difficulties in 
the disposition of his product. The fruit was sent to Los Angeles 
by express, the greatest care being exercised in packing. Exoi'bitant 
charges absorbed the profits. However, Frank Briggs and Thomas 
Jacob, the latter an experienced fruit grower and nurseryman from 
San Jose, planted acreage orchards which came into bearing in 1888. 

George A. and Charles F. Fleming, known as Fleming Bros., 
dried fruit packers and speculators of San Jose, noted the event 
of a new district's production, entered the field and in 1889 and 
1890, purchased the output for drying. The phenomenal yield of 
the new orchards in the latter year, coupled with the high ]irices 
prevailing, started a boom for the industry which resulted in an 
almost universal desire to enter the game. The year 1890 wit- 
nessed a general planting of fruit trees all over the county. The 
Orosi colony of forty or fifty ten and twenty-acre tracts was launched ; 
near Tulare the Oakland colony, the Bishop colony, the Chicago 
ranch, the Oakdale colony, the Emma orchard and ni;merous others 
were set out; near Porterville, Dr. W. A. AYitloek, Jim Bursell and 
others made plantings. 

In the district tributary to Visalia and Farmersville the most 
remarkalile showing was made. The Fleming Brothers and J. K. 
Armsby purchased four hundred acres, ])lanting about one-half the 
first year; Pinkham & McKevitt, ^"acaville fresh fruit packers, with 
associates from that section, set out the Giant Oak and California 
Prune Company orchards, each of several hundred acres. Visalians 
organized the Evansdale, the Encina and the Yisalia Fruit and Land 
Co. San Joseans formed the Mineral King Fruit Co.; J. P. Morton 
and William Swall began planting on what is now known as Swall's. 
This furore extended to 1891, when A. C. Kuhn, fruit packer of San 
Jose, purchased about eleven hundred acres near Farmersville, all 
to be set in fruit. Exclusive of these orchards, each of which con- 
sisted of hundreds of acres, scores of smaller plantings were made 
in these two years, so that in the Visalia district alone the acreage 
now amounted to some seven thousand acres. 

The main cause of this extraordinary planting rush, resembling 
a "stami)ede" to a mining camp, was the yield and return from the 
Jacobs' and Briggs' orchards in 1889. Mr. Jacobs, from one hun- 
dred and thirty-tive four-year-old prune trees, received about $800 
net, the trees averaging four hundred pounds each and the fruit 
being sold for $35 per ton. At tlie Briggs orchard the old trees 


averaged eiglit hundred pounds and one tree, which was picked in 
the presence of witnesses, who made affidavit to the fact, produced 
eleven hundred and two pounds. 

Preceding this excitement a few years there had been a general 
though quiet movement of vineyar.d planting, particularly about 
Tulare and in the Dinuba-Orosi district. 

The limits of this article forbid a detailed history of the ex- 
periences of these thousands of fruit and \dne growers. Suffice to 
say that before the present stable basis was attained, many lessons 
were learned by hard experience. It was found that orchards gen- 
erally did not produce such phenomenal early yields as the Briggs' 
and Jacobs' places; that some soils were not at all adapted to the 
culture; that periods of depression in the market, if occurring co- 
incident with a season of heavy yield and of small grade, eliminated 
profit entirely. In the district tributary to Visalia, came, in 1906, 
the misfortune of a flood which practically destroyed thousands of 
acres of trees, especially those on peach root. Other lessons, too, 
the years have brought. 

It has been learned that Malaga and other table grapes in the 
Alta or Dinuba-Sultana-Orosi district ripen very early, reach an un- 
usual degree of perfection and command higher prices in the eastern 
market than those grown elsewhere. It has been found that cling 
peaches of all varieties do exceptionally well and are in great de- 
mand at advanced prices by canners throughout the state. This was 
forecasted in 1895, when peaches from Visalia orchards took the 
gold medal at the Atlanta World's Exposition. Of this exhibit it 
may be stated that one orchard contributed three hundred peaches, 
no one weighing less than a pound. Jars were tilled with peaches 
weighing twenty-two and one-half ounces each. 

It has been found that the earliest and therefore the most profit- 
able district in the state for the production of fresh fruits destined 
for the eastern market lies in our elevated foothill section. 'I'lie 
Redbanks orchard of five hundred acres, situated fifteen miles north- 
east of Visalia on the Visalia electric railway, produces peaches, 
plums, Thompson's seedless and Tokay grapes coincident with or 
earlier than any oflier. 

It has been found that in the A'isalia and in the Farmersville 
districts, French and Robe de Sergeant prunes are of a grade and 
quality superior to any others in the San Joaquin valley and on 
account of the early maturity and heavy yield are to be depended 
upon for large average annual returns. 

A woi-d now as to the growth of facilities and the pi-esent status 
of the industry. The first need felt by the new fruit producing dis- 
trict was for a cannery. Enter])rising Visalians, under the leader- 
shiji of ^Martin l\'ouse, succeeded in inducing the Sacramento Can- 


ning and Drying Company to establish a plant here in 1895. This 
has since been taken over by the California Canners' Association, 
and made into one of the largest and best equipped plants in the 
state. A few years later, the Central California Canners' Company 
located in Visalia; in 1910 local fruit growers built a cannery in 
Tulare, and in 1912 Hunt Brothers of Haywards opened a factory 
in Exeter. Northern Tulare county growers found a ready market 
for canning fruits in Fresno. 

Similarly, in the handling of fresh and dried fruits and raisins. 
Located at Dinuba and Visalia are now packing-houses for raisins 
and dried fruits second in facilities to none; the leading green fruit 
shippers have receiving and foi'warding accommodations at nearly 
every station on the railroad. 

Tor the Los Angeles market, which consumes about one hundred 
and tifty carloads of Tulare county fruit, the Klein-Simpson com- 
pany have been especially active and make carload shipments from 
Dinuba, Sultana, Visalia, Exeter, Porterville and Tulare. 

The shipment of fresh fruit and grapes to the eastern markets 
may be roughly estimated at about eight hundred carloads, of which 
Visalia, Eedbanks and Swall's contribute a little less than one-half 
and the northern or Alta district, including Dinuba, Sultana and 
Cutler, a little more than one-half. This large shipment from the 
Alta district has been entirely developed within the past eight years, 
as it was not until 1904 that carload lots were shipped from Dinuba. 
For several years prior to that time, N. W. Miller of Orosi, the 
pioneer in the industry, had been shipping small lots by local freight 
to Visalia, at which point cars were made up. 

In 1903 Frank Wilson and G. W. Wyllie, who were the only 
growers of table grapes near Dinuba, packed their Emperor grapes 
at their ranches and forwarded the same to Fresno in quarter car 
lots. LTntil 1906 no grapes were shipped other than those produced 
on these two vineyards, although in 1905 a few Malagas wore set 

In 1907 the Earl Fruit Company rented a house to be used for 
packing purposes. Grapes were still the only fruit shipped, and of 
these there were only a few cars of the early variety. The pack- 
inghouse was open for a period of four weeks only. It was not 
until 1908 that shipments of any volume were made. Many new 
vineyards had then arrived at the bearing age. Prices for early 
Malagas were alluring, and many growers disposed of their fruit 
in this wav. Plums, peaches and Tokav grai>es were added to 
tlic list. 

This, ill (uilhiie, is the rapidly made early history of the 
deciduous fruit shii)i)iiig iiidustr\' in wliat is now its center in 


Tulare county. From this district shipments as follows were made 
in 1910: From Dinuba and Monsou, two hundred and eleven car- 
loads; Cutler, sixty-one carloads; Sultana, one hundred and forty 
carloads; North Dinuba, seventeen carloads; making a total of 
four hundred and twenty-nine carloads, having a value to the 
grower of over a quarter of a million dollars. 

In dried fruits, raisins easily lead in volume and value of 
shipments. A conservative estimate of the annual value of the 
product is $750,000. There are two separate portions of the county 
in which the production of raisins heavily increases bank balances. 
These are the district from Dinuba to Yettem, and the section lying 
around Tulare and Paige. Connecting somewhat these two are 
numerous vineyards located near Traver, Goshen and Tagus. 

The prune belt of the county lies almost exclusively in the 
Visalia-Farmersville district, although Tulare and Porterville each 
furnish a considerable quota. The annual production is about 
five thousand tons, carrying a growers' return of about $450,000. 
The actual value for shipment, which would include cost of boxes, 
labor and packers' profits, would lie much more. 

The production of apples is confined to the foothill region 
centering about Three Rivers and Springville. As transportation 
facilities improve the profitable enlargement of the area devoted 
to this culture may be made. 

Wine grapes may be said to be grown commercially only in the 
Alta district, where are located two large wineries. Small plants 
near Tulare and Visalia assist in supj^lying the imlilic demand for 
liquid refreshment. 


Though apparently of minor importance, the industry of rais- 
ing watermelons in Tulare county has exerted such an effect on 
the development of lands into thriving vineyards and orchards 
that it is deserving of especial mention. This by reason of the 
fact that, affording as it does, quick, profitable returns, the fruit 
grower is easily enabled to make a living while awaiting tlie coming 
into bearing of his orchard or vineyard. 

The industry has been confined, on a commercial scale exclu- 
sively, to northern Tulare county. The Alta district has now be- 
come the largest watermelon shipping center in tlie state. The 
earliest melons are grown there and the highest prices realized. 
It all started ten years ago. In 1901 Mrs. J. E. Driver, a very 
bright, energetic business woman, set out forty acres. The venture 
was successful, and by 1905 interest in the growing of melons be- 
came general and large plantings were made from then on. 

In 1908 the Dinuba Melon Growers' Association was formed 
for the purpose of secui'ing higher prices through co-ojierative 


action iu marketing. The association was inunediately successful 
and has remained so. 

The estimated acreage devoted to melons is twelve hundred, of 
which tlie association controls three-fifths. Shipments from the 
district commence the last week in June and continue well into 


In 1861 a mass meeting was held in front of the courthouse for 
the piirpose of considering the project of building a road to San 
Simeon. The proposition was endorsed and William Q. Morris, 
A. H. Mitchell, S. AV. Beckham, Thomas Baker and E. Jacob were 
appointed a committee to view the route and solicit subscriptions. 

The board of supervisors also took up the matter and appointed 
A. 0. Thorns, H. Bostwick and A. J. Atwell to view the routes 
and estimate the probable cost. Altogether, eleven men, including 
ex-Governor McDougal, went on this expedition. The Delta of 
the time says: "They will probably be gone from two to three 
weeks and have taken all the necessary provisions and refresh- 
ments for a trip of that sort." 


A railroad meeting was held in Visalia on the 10th of Decem- 
ber for the purpose of hearing the demands of the Central Pacific 
railroad. The meeting was addressed by J. Ross Brown and Wil- 
liam M. Stewart, senator from Nevada. Tulare county was asked 
to issue seven per cent twenty-year bonds as a gift to the railroad 
company, at the ratio of $6,000 per mile, an aggregate of .$378,000. 
The road was to cross the county via Visalia, a distance of sixty- 
three miles, and it was agreed that the railroad should be taxed at 
the rate of $5,000 per mile. The average time in the receipt of 
merchandise from San Francisco was fifteen days and the rate $60 
per ton. The railroad was to do it in eight hours and at the rate 
of $10 per ton. There were about three thousand tons of freight 
leaving Visalia for the north and about five hundred coming in 
annually. On account of the increase in taxation and the reduc- 
tion in freight it was figured that the bonds would pay for them- 
selves in seven years. 

Resolutions were adopted a))i)roviug the jtroject and pledging 
assistance in the construction of the road. The committee was 


composed of Dr. W. A. Russell, A. J. Atwell, B. G. Parker, Hugh 
Hamilton, T. J. Shackleford, P. W. Blake, Y. B. Stokes, A. H. 
Murray, Tipton Lindsey and J. B. Hockett. 

Popular sentiment was in favor of the issuance of bonds, and 
the legislature passed a bill authorizing Tulare and other counties 
to issue bonds, but it was vetoed by Governor Haight. The people 
of Visalia were still confident that the road would pass through 
the town and speculation and prediction of the exceeding prosperity 
that would ensue were rife. Prices of property soared, and it 
was therefore a most crushing disappointment when the survey of 
1870 was made, which passed through Tulare county at a point 
about eight miles west of Visalia. 

Shortly after the road reached Merced, in February, 1872, an- 
other effort was made to induce the railroad to pass through 
Visalia. A meeting was held and a connnittee consisting of Tip- 
ton Lindsey, R. PL Hyde, Elias Jacob and T. L. B. Goodman were 
api)ointed to obtain the right of waj^ to the route through Visalia. 
The rights of way were quickly obtained and the committee visited 
Sacramento, where they were told to await the action of Engineer 
Montague. On a subsequent visit to Sacramento in April, at which 
conference they were prepared to oEer a large bonus, the committee 
were informed by Governor Stanford that he could conceive of no 
inducement that lay in their power to grant sufficient to influence 
a change in the route. This was by reason of the fact that the 
railroad was entitled by act of Congress to the alternate sections 
of unoccupied land lying on each side of the right of way. Should 
the route be changed to pass through Visalia, in which neighbor- 
hood nearly all the lands were deeded possession, the railroad would 
be forced to relinquish this immense domain. 

Hyde and Jacob, the members of the committee attending the 
latter conference, telegraphed to Visalia: "Ephesians, chapter two, 
verse twelve." Reference to this disclosed: "Cut off from the 
Commonwealth of Israel." 

It now being an established fact that they were to be cut off 
from the main line, the people of Visalia called a mass meeting 
on May 11, 1872, to take measures of last resort. At this meeting, 
Tipton Lindsey presiding, S. C. Brown introduced the following 
resolution, which was adopted: "Resolved, That it is for the best 
interests of the people of Visalia to take steps looking to the con- 
struction of a branch railroad leading from the town to the main 
trunk of the San Joaquin Valley railroad at its nearest jwint to 
this town." 

Tliis was the iucei>tion of the Visalia and Goshon railroad, arti- 
cles of incorporation for which were filed May 19, 1874. The direc- 
tors were R. E. Hyde, S. A. Sheppard, E. Jacob, S. C. Brown, Tip- 


ton Lindsey, John Cutler and Solomon Sweet. It was completed 
and put in operation in the following August, amidst great rejoic- 
ing. The first depot of this road was in the western part of the 
town, but subsequently moved to the present Southern Pacific depot. 
This road continiied to operate, but upon the completion of the 
San Joaquin Valley railroad, now the Santa Fe, the company sold 
out to the Southern Pacific. The latter company then extended 
the road from Visalia to Exeter, making through traffic in 1898. 


The Visalia and Tulare railroad was built by local capital in 
1888, at a cost of $130,000, and proved a gTcat convenience to the 
inhabitants of the two cities. It never proved profitable, however, 
and after the coming of the Santa Fe in 1897 its usefulness was 
over. In 1898 the rolling stock and rails were sold and the enter- 
prise abandoned. 


On December 5, 1887, the Southern Pacific, the successor to the 
Central Pacific in the San Joaquin valley, commenced what is 
locally known as the East Side Line. This road runs east from 
Fresno to Sanger, then southeasterly through Dinuba, Lindsay, 
Porterville and connects with the main Hue at Famosa. Work on 
the road was jjushed forward rapidly and completed in November, 
1888. The road is about one hundred and four miles in lengih, of 
which sixty-eight are in Tulare county. It passes about eight miles 
eastwardly from Visalia and is the only road through the rich 
citrus country. 


In 1895, when the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley 
railroad was organized and the project of building a road from the 
northern metropolis to Bakersfield was set forth, Visalia residents 
determined at once to put forth every effort to get upon the route. 

A mass meeting was held in the old engine house and S. Mitchell, 
Harry Levinson and William H. Hammond were appointed a com- 
mittee on finances and depot sites and Ben M. Maddox a committee 
of one to secure rights of way. Tulare city also eagerly undertook 
to help and agreed to secure rights of way from a point midway 
between Visalia and Tulare south to the county line. 

About $12,000 was raised in Visalia, and with this sum, after 
a strenuous labor of over a year, all rights of way of a present 
probable value of a quarter of a million dollars were secured. 

Construction work was commenced in 1896 and on Admission 
Day, September 9, 1897, the road was completed to Visalia and a 
monster celebration in honor of the event was held. Excursion 


trains from Fresno, Hanford and other points, carrying upwards 
of two thousand people, came; residents from the most remote sec- 
tions of the county, as well as those from the near-by towns, crowded 
to see the first real railroad train enter Visalia. 

A significant coincidence of the occasion was that on that day 
the first Southern Pacific agent to set foot in Visalia also arrived. 
A short time previous the Visalia-Goshen railroad had been pur- 
chased by the Southern Pacific, and at once, upon the com]3letion 
of the competing road, active efforts were made, through better- 
ments of service and equipment, to retain a share of the public's 
patronage, and in a very short time the Southei-n Pacific expressed 
itself as desirous of extending its road to Exeter to connect with 
its branch line. George W. Stewart and John F. Jordan were ap- 
pointed by the Visalia Board of Trade to assist in this matter. 
These gentlemen worked heartily, soon secured all rights of way 
and the road was built the following year. 

Soon after the Valley railroad passed into the hands of the 
Santa Fe. A singular fact in connection with the sale of the little 
railroad from Goshen to Visalia was that E. E. Hyde, its ]3rincipal 
owner, believed that the coming of the Valley railroad would render 
his property practically valueless, and considered seriously offering- 
it for sale for $30,000, about one-fifth the sum he received from the 
Southern Pacific. There is no record, however, of the latter com- 
pany regretting the bargain. 


In 1906 the Visalia Electric railroad was commenced. A cor- 
poration with Mr. Crossett at the head was formed to build and 
operate an electric road from Visalia to Lemon Cove, by way of 
Exeter. The tracks of the Southern Pacific between Visalia and 
Exeter were used. From Exeter the line was extended along the 
foothills through some of the fine orange orchards, and in 1907 
reached Lemon Cove. The road has since been extended up the 
river to the property of the Ohio Lemon Company, and it is expected 
that it will soon be extended up the river to Three Elvers. LeaA-ing 
the main line a short distance northeast of Lemon Cove, a branch 
was constructed, crossing the Kaweah river near McKay Point, and 
thence extending westerly to Eedbanks, with a spur runnint!,- nortli to 


In 1909 a company was formed with the avowed jiurpose of con- 
structing a railroad from Tulare City to the town of Springville, by 
way of Woodville and Porterville. F. U. Nofziger was president of 
the company and Holley & Ilolley of Visalia the engineers. 


The people all along the way were anxious for such a road, and 
very little trouble was offered to the securing of the rights of way. 
Work was immediately commenced on that portion of the project be- 
tween Porterville and Springville, called the Porterville North Eastern 
road, and it was pushed vigorously. On the 9th of September, 1911. 
the people of Springville celebrated the completion of the road. It 
was a great day for the little town. There were crowds of people 
from the other towns in the county, from Fresno and from Bakersfield. 
The road has been absorbed by the Southern Pacific, and is now run 
as a part of that system. 



The first of a series of five train robberies occurred near Pixley, 
on the morning of February 22, 1889. As train No. 17 was leaving 
that place, two masked men climbed over the tender to the cab and 
ordered the engineer to stop the train at a point two miles distant 
from the station. There the engineer and fireman were compelled 
to dismoimt and were placed as shields, one in front of each robber, 
and marched to the express car. J. R. Kelly, the express messenger, 
was ordered to open the door, which he did, and one robber entered, 
the other keeping guard. 

Ed Bently, a deputy constalile of Modesto, who was a passenger 
on the train, got off and proceeded forward out of curiosity and was 
shot and seriously wounded, the robbers firing between the fireman's 
legs. Another ci;rious passenger, Charles Gubert, was shot and 

After securing their booty, the amount of which was never made 
public, the robbers returned the engineer and fireman to their ]iosts 
and disappeared. 

The railroad and express companies immediately offered rewards 
of $2000 each for the arrest and conviction of the robbers, and 
special trains with officers, men and horses, left Tulare and Bakers- 
field for the scene of the robbery. Trails were disclosed leading to 
the coast, but the robbers were not found. 

January 24, 1890, as the train was leaving Goshen about four 
a. ni., the role of the Pixley robbery was re-enacted. Five masked 
men again climbed to the engine from the tender, stopped the train, 
marched engineer and fireman to the door of the express car. The 


messenger was told not to shoot, as the engineer and fireman were 
being held as shields. As these train officers also urged compliance 
the messenger opened the door and one of the robbers entered and 
tilled a sack with valuables. Then dismounting, they compelled Love- 
joy, the fireman, to extinguish the headlight and carry the sack before 
them a few hundred yards down the track. In the meantime, a Dane 
named Christensen, who was riding under the baggage car, thinking 
that the train had been stopped on his account, got off, and was 
fatally shot. The robbers were supjjosed to have secured in tlie 
neighborhood of $20,000 this time. 

As before, they were followed liy officei's toward the west, l)ut 
not captured. 


In the third instance, which occurred at Alila. as train No. 17 
was pulling out of that station at 7:50 a. m., on Feliruary 6, 1S91, 
exactly similar tactics were pursued. 

The express messenger, a man named Haswell, was not so tract- 
able as the others had been. The engineer, J. P. Thoni, and the 
fireman, G. S. Eadelitfe, were marched to the express car door; the 
order to open was given, but not obeyed. Instead, Haswell 
extinguished his light and with a repeating rifle fired several shots 
through the door, one of which fatally wounded Radcliffe. The 
shots were returned by the robbers and a fusilade ensued. The 
contest frightened the bandits and they fled. Under-sheritT Bennett 
of Los Angeles, a passenger on the train, went forward to assist 
after the robbers had fled and was fired on by a third man wlio was 
holding the horses. 

Sheriff Kay immediately i^roceeded from Visalia to Ihe scene, 
and at daylight next morning found the trail of three horsemen, 
leading to the northwest, which, with a posse, lie followed. No 
ca])ture was then made, but in May following William and Grattan 
Dalton of San Luis Obispo county, were arrested and charged with 
the crime. In August, the trial of Grattan Dalton was held and he 
was found guilty, but in September, before receiving sentence, he, 
with two other prisoners. Beck and Smith, broke jail and escaped. 
William Dalton was tried in October and acquitted. 

In the meantime a fourth attempt at train robbery in the San 
Joaquin valley had been made. The Los Angeles express, on 
September 3, 1891, was stopyied by higliwaynien when seven miles 
south of Modesto. Two masked men boarded the train at Ceres, 
compelled the engineer to pull out n mile and a half and stoj). 
Engineer Neif was forced to put out tlii" headlight, get a pick and 
attempt to open the express car door, which tlie messenger refused 
to do. 


Two bombs were then exploded under the car, the first one 
making a hole in the door through which the fireman was compelled 
to crawl and light a lamp. 

Len Harris, a detective who was on the train, sneaked up to tlie 
robbers and fired four shots without efTect. He was shot in the neck 
and dangerously wounded. More shooting ensued and the robbers, 
becoming frightened, left in the direction of the coast range. After 
this robbery, it was reported in Visalia that it was done with a view 
to diverting the attention of officers so that the escape of Grrattan 
Daft on could be effected, and at Sheriff Kay's request. Captain 
Byrnes, N. G. C, placed details of men from Comi:)auy E to guard 
the jail from 3 p. m. until the following morning. 

William Dalton and Riley Dean were arrested for this crime on 
the Sunday following, being found in a ranch house near Traver, but 
the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. 

Before relating the particulars of the fifth and last robbery, 
which occurred at Collis in August of the following year, it will be 
well to finish the history of the Dalton brotliers, who at this time 
were supposed to be the only participants in the whole series of 

The prisoner Beck, a month or so after his escape in company 
with Grattan Dalton, was trailed by Sheriff Kay to the state of 
Washington, and there captured. On his promising information 
leading to the capture of Dalton he was granted immunity, providing 
such information proved to be reliable. It was ascertained that 
Dalton had never left the vicinity; that he ranged on Kings river 
and that a number of people were protecting him and supplying 
him with food. 

On the 24th of December, Kay, with Deputy Sheriffs Wilty and 
Hockett, Fred Hall, Cal Burland," Ed McCardie, Sheriff Hensley of 
Fresno and his men, discovered the camp of Dalton and Dean on the 
upper reaches of Kings river. Dean was captured and shots were 
exchanged with Dalton, who escaped on a horse which he forced a 
farmer to furnish him. Grattan Dalton was never captured. 


The Southern Pacific train, due to arrive in Fresno at 12:10 
a. m., was held up by four robbers near Collis shortly before mid- 
night of August 3, 1892. 

The robbers mounted the tender of the engine and, covering the 
engineer and fireman with arms, compelled a stop. A stick of 
dynamite was placed on the piston rod and exploded. The engineer 
jumped and ran, making his esca^ie, but the fireman was held by 
the robbers, who marched back by tlie side of the train, firing to 
intimidate passengers. When the express car was reached, a stick 


of giant powder was placed ou the sill of the door, and in exploding, 
wrecked the car, breaking three doors, blowing a bole in the roof, 
and scattering the contents in every direction. 

The messenger, George D. Roberts, was lying on the floor, rifle 
in hand. The shock of the explosion threw him across the car, dis- 
located his shoulder and rendered him senseless for a few moments. 
As soon as Roberts recovered his faculties he stuck his hands through 
the open door to announce that he gave up. The robbers went intc> 
the car and compelled him to open the safe. Three bags of coin con 
taining between $10,000 and $15,000 were taken. 


On August 4th Chris Evans appeared in Yisalia after a consider- 
able absence, stating that he had just returned from the mountains. 
George Sontag also reappeared, stating that he had just returned from 
the east. 

These were suspected by the railroad detectives and George 
Sontag was placed under arrest, and Deputy Sheriff George Witty 
and Detective Will Smith went to the Evans house for Evans and 
John Sontag. Smith entered the door and faced a double barreled 
shotgun in the hands of Evans, another gun being handy for the use 
of Sontag. Unable to draw his revolver on account of his coat being- 
buttoned, Smith fled, as did AVitty, Sontag giving chase to the one and 
Evans to the other. In their flight they were forced to leave the 
sheriff's team and rig. Smith was slightly wounded in the back and 
hands, but managed to get to town unaided. Witty was more unfor- 
tunate, receiving some forty shot wounds and a pistol bullet which 
passed through his body, and almost proved fatal. Similar material 
to that of which the masks were made was found at the Evans home. 

Sontag and Evans drove off in the sheriff's vehicle, but returned 
early the next morning. The house was surrounded by a party con- 
sisting of former Sheriff D. G. Overall, Oscar Beaver, W. H. Fox, 
constable Charley Hall of Lucerne, detective Thatcher and sheriff 
Cunningham of San Joaquin county. About one o'clock, Evans and 
Sontag were seen in the barn harnessing the horses and were ordered 
to stop by Beaver, who fired two shots, one of which disabled a horse. 
The bandits returned the fire and Beaver fell, mortally wounded. In 
the excitement which ensued the robbers effected their escape on 
foot, walking twelve miles to the Harvey Ward place, where they 
procured a cart and team, and made tlieir way to the mountains by 
way of Badger. 

The result of the posse's efforts were criticised and ridiculed by 
the press generally. Posses followed the trail and ou Sei)teiiil)er 
14, 1892, the bandits were located at Samjison's flat in a log lionse. 
As the posse approached the house a volley was fired from the inside 


which killed Victor C. "Wilson of El Paso, and Andy McGinnis of 
Modesto, and slightly wounded Al Witty. 

Not until the following spring were the rohbers and murderers 
again seen by officers, although many attempts were made to track 
them down. On April 19, 1893, SherilT Kay received information 
that Evans and Sontag would pay a visit to Visalia that evening. 
A posse consisting of the sheriff, E. A. Gilliam, John Broder, Ed 
McVeagh, Morgan Baird, J. P. Carroll and E. J. Fudge, surrounded 
the house early in the evening, and about eleven o'clock thej' heard 
the barn doors open and discerned the men attempting to escape. 
Kay, Gilliam and Broder fired, but without effect. The cordon around 
the house proved ineffectual and for some time the bandits were not 
again seen. 

On May 26, 1893, deputy United States Marshal Black, standing 
at the door of his cabin near Badger, was shot in the leg and hand, 
and identified his assailant as Evans. 

Not until June 11, 1893, were the outlaws again located. A i)osse 
composed of United States Marshal George E. Gard, F. E. Jackson, 
Hi Rapelje and Tom Burns had, while hot on the trail, taken up quar- 
ters in a deserted cabin at Stone Corral. The robbers were seen 
approaching and the posse stationed themselves outside. In the battle 
that ensued both Sontag and Evans were shot, the former fatally. 
Evans again escaped, but was soon after found at the home of E. H. 
Perkins, and placed ^^nder arrest. Sontag died within about three 
weeks after the Stone Corral fight.. Evans' trial was held in Fresno 
in November and December. He was found guilty of murder in the 
first degree and sentenced to life imprisonment. Within two weeks, 
however, he escaped from the Fresno jail, being assisted by a man 
named Ed Morrell. After getting out of jail, the pair held up a boy 
with a horse and cart, took it, and successfully eluding the guards, 
which were immediately stationed on the roads leading out of town, 
succeeded in again getting into the mountain country. This escape 
was hailed with great glee in Visalia because the Visalia officers had 
been severely rated for inefficiency in the Fresno papers. 

A period of several months ensued, most of which was consumed 
by the officers in following false clues. Evans terrorized the flume 
men in the hills, and the sheep herders, threatening them with death 
if they revealed his whereabouts. 

On February 13, 1894, Sheriff Scott of Fresno county, and posse, 
came upon Evans' and Morrell's camp in Eshom valley. Three shots 
were fired ineffectually, the bandits escaping hurriedly, leaving nuich 
ammunition and camp equii)ment. 

Evans wrote several letters to friends in '^^isalia, and on March 
7th, visited John March, who resided near Orosi, fourteen miles from 
^^isalia. As far as the officers of the law were concerned, however, all 


trace of the bandits was lost after the exchange of shots with Sheriff 
Scott's posse, until the following year. The mountain settlers all 
denied seeing or hearing anything of the outlaws. 

After these exploits, wliich constituted one of the most spectacu- 
lar criminal careers in the history of the county, it seems strange that 
Evans should have submitted tamely at the last, but he did. 

On Saturday, May 18, 1894, the bandits came to A^isalia, and on 
Monday the officers learned of their jiresence. and a posse, including 
Sheriff Kay, United States Marshal Gard, deputy sheriffs Witty and 
Robert Broder, night watchman Byrd and constable English, sur- 
rounded the house. The news brought crowds to the vicinity who 
watched behind houses and barns at as near range as they dared to 

A young man named Beeson offered to take a note to Evans for 
twenty-five cents. He was given $1 and sent in, lint did not return. 
At 10 a. m., an eight-year-old son of Evans came out of the house 
with a note to Sheriff Kay, which read : 

"Sheriff Kay — Come to the house without guns and you will not 
be harmed. I want to talk with you. Chris Evans." 

Kay, replying, recpiested Evans to come out and give himself nji, in 
answer to which he received the following: 

"Sheriff Kay — Send the crowd away and bring Will Hall with you 
to the gate and then we will talk. I will not harm you. You are the 
sheriff of the county, and I am willing to make terms with you, but 
with no one else. I will ste]) out on the jiorch when you come to the 
gate. Chris Evans." 

The crowd had not shown any inclination towards violence, but 
apparently the bandits were more afraid of it than of the officers. 
Accordingly, the crowd was persuaded to move away and Kay and 
Hall met Evans and Morrell on the ])orch and shook hands with tliem 
and then ]ilaced both under arrest. 

Young Beeson related that when he knocked at the door he was 
covered with guns and told to come inside, where he was searched. 
No weapons were found on him, but he was regarded as a spy and 
told to sit down and keep his mouth shut. 

By the next evening, when Sheriff Scott took Evans back to 
Fresno, so many threats of hmching had been exjjressed that it was 
decided not to take the risk of waiting until midnight for the train, 
but to proceed by team. When news of the departure of the officers 
with the prisoner became kuouii a crowd of determined men, con- 
tained in twelve or fifteen livery rigs, started in ]mrsuit with the in- 
tention of lynching Evans. .\t Goshen they learned that the officers 
had taken another road an<l wei-e practically beyond pursuit, so the 
chase was abaniloned. 

Evans was sentenced to life imprisonment at Folsom and served 


seventeen vears and two months, being released on parole, May 1, 

Morrell also received a life sentence but was pardoned after serv- 
ina;' fifteen vears. 



Tlie early settlers in Tulare county ever made the establish- 
ment of schools and the organization of clnirches keep even pace 
with the forming of settlements. If a full history of the churches 
in Visalia could be written it would show a long line of suflferiug 
heroes; little comedy but much tragedy. There is a pathos about 
the lives of the pioneer preachers that is wanting in later times. 
The pastor of the city church, who devotes his week days to study 
in his library, with recreation in the garden, and social intercourse 
with his parishioners, can little appreciate the exalted self denial 
and often severe suffering that generally accompanied the circuit 
riders. Surely a person, to meet the exigencies of a juoneer 
preacher, with conditions as they were in Tulare eoiinty in the 
'50s or even '(30s, nuist be ablaze with a Pauline passion for souls. 

It is with a feeling akin to reverence that one calls up the 
visions of pioneer days, and the keenest interest is aroused by the 
pioneer and his weal. This is especially true when considered 
along with the struggles and victories of the early churches. The 
days of the circuit rider, picturesque in his missionary zeal, have 
passed away, but they have left an afterglow that fills the heart 
with thankfulness and devotion. 


TJie first church in tlie county was the Methodist Episcopal 
South. In 1852, when Visalia consisted of undignified shacks and 
magnificent distances, before it was even selected as a county seat, 
a congregation of this faith was organized here. 

Eev. O. P. Fisher, the presiding elder of the Pacific Congress, 
and the Eev. M. Christianson took charge of the congregation and 
held services as opportunity presented itself. The first house of 
worship, however, was not constructed until 1857. James Persian, 
a leading member and himself one of the largest donors, undertook 
the task and a small lirick church was erected on Church street, 
near Acequia, about where tlie telephone exchange is now situated. 


At that time the Rev. E. B. Loekley was pastor in eharoe and the 
membership was fifteen souls. 

The present church building, ou the corner of Court and 
School streets, was erected in 1872, and enlarged and improvetl 
in 1905- '06, and a new parsonage built in 1911. 

There have been twenty-four pastors in charge of the flock 
here since the organization. The present membership is about one 
hundi-ed and fifty. Rev. W. J. Fenton took charge in 1911, and 
under his care all branches of tlie work are i)r()gressing. 


The Baptist church has had a varied experience in Visalia. 
There was a small congregation in the '50s that held services in 
the oak-grove west of the schoolhouse, and later, jointly with the 
South Methodists, occupied the first chiirch building erected in 

The Rev. James A. Welti), the "Bible Poet" as he called liim- 
self, occupied the ])ulpit at the times when services were held. 
This eccentric individual was engaged in, and it is said, finished, 
the translation into verse of the entire Scriptures. 

Not until the early '70s was a building erected. This, located 
on Main street between Court and Locust, was later destroyed by 
fire and the congregation disbanded. 

In 1907 the Rev. E. M. Bliss came to Visalia as a missionary 
and in March of that year succeeded in organizing a congregation 
with twenty-one charter members. The congregation rented Good 
Templars Hall and there held services until the completion of the 
present commodious and attractive building. This is an impos- 
ing structure of concrete blocks, on the corner of Garden street 
and Mineral King avenue. The north transept has two stories. 
The cornerstone of this building was laid April 18, 1910, and the 
dedicatory services held February 1, 1911. Rev. J. M. Couley 
preached the sermon at the laying of the cornerstone and at the 
dedication. The Rev. Robert J. Burdette of the Temple Baptist 
church at Los Angeles assisted at the dedication. The membershii> 
has increased rapidly and now numbers about ninety. 


About the time of the founding of the first church in Visalia 
came the organization of a Sunday school. All the church people 
united in maintaining a Union Sunday school. In its issue of 
December 11, 1863, the Delta said this school was in a flourishing 
condition with about one hundred children in attendance. There 
were at the time only eighty children in the day schools. A little 
later a school was maintained by each denomination separately. 



On December !), 186G, a band of fourteen men and M'omen 
organized a Presbyterian church in Visalia. This was of the Ohl 
School order. Rev. William Edwards was in charge, and the con- 
gregation met in the small building on the corner of Church and 
Willow streets. Later this building was destroyed by fire and, the 
membershi]j being small, the congregation disbantled. 

The Cumberland Presbyterian people had become so strong 
that, under the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Smith, they organized 
a church in 1878, with a following of about sixty. They purchased 
the property of the Baptists, consisting of the lot on the corner 
of Main and Locust streets and the building thereon. An oppor- 
tunity presented and the property was sold and two lots on the 
corner of Oak and TiOcust streets purchased. The building was 
moved and is still used. This property was jjurchased by the Cum- 
berland Presbyterian Church, incorporated. But the decision of 
the churches at Decatur, 111., in May, 1906, announcing the union 
of the two branches of the Presbyterians, has caused trouble in 
the congregation. Some hold that the title should be in the Pres- 
byterian Church and others that it still remains in the Cumberland. 
The former have jjossession, and a few of the Cumberland brethren 
are meeting in a rented hall. The others have arranged to erect 
a fine new building of concrete blocks, and the congregation, under 
the leadership of Rev. C. H. Reyburn, is growing. 


The Lutheran Church organized a congregation in Visalia in 
1907, under the care of William Grunow, pastor. A commodious 
church building was erected on South Court street. About a year 
later a i)arochial school was opened with about forty pupils. 


The Episcopal church is one of recent date in Visalia. Previous 
to 1880 occasional services were held as circumstances permitted. 
Revs. W. H. Hill, Powell, and D. O. Kelley, were the principal mis- 
sionaries that conducted these infrequent services. In May, 1880, 
the Mission St. John was organized for the entire county, and 
comprised the towns of Visalia, Tulare City, Hanford and Lemoore. 
The Mission was under the charge of Rev. D. O. Kelley, with 
headquarters in Hanford. On February 9, 1887, the Mission of St. 
l*aul was organized in Visalia. During the same year, under the 
care of Rev. C. S. Lindsley, a building was erected on a lot donated 
by Mr. Jacobs, on North' Church street. In 1898 the Rev. C. M. 
Westlake, the pastor in charge, secured the advantageous corner of 
Kncina avciiuc and Center sti'eets. The old building was moved 


to the new location. In 1904, under the care of Rev. II. C. Carroll, 
the rectory was built and in 1!)0!) and 1<)]0 the church was enlarged 
and improved and the parish house built. The St. Paul's Mission, 
Visalia, and the St. John's Mission, Tulare, have been associated as 
one charge. To these was recently added St. John's Mission, Porter- 
ville. The church has a membership of al)out ninety. Nine priests 
have served the local church. 


The Catholic church existed for several years in Visalia before 
a building was erected. Rev. Father D. F. Dade was the priest who 
for many years cared for the flock. As early as 1860 he is reported 
to have celebrated mass in the old courthouse. In the late summer of 
1861 he obtained the use of an old barn and opened a parochial school. 
In memory of the birthplace of the Savior, he named his school the 
Academy of the NatiA'ity. On October 18, 1868, at the corner of 
Church and Race streets, he laid the cornerstone of the brick church 
now standing there, and dedicated it. Church of the Nativity. March 
28, 1909, the Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Conaty, of the diocese of Uos 
Angeles, laid the foundation of the present imposing church building 
on the lot south of the old building. The erection of this fine 
structure of concrete blocks was due largely to the devotion of the 
Rev. Father Foin. The church in Visalia has l)een ministered to by 
eleven i)riests. 


The Methodist Episcopal church was among the first Protestant 
bodies to establish themselves on the Pacific slope. August 15, 
1851, eleven preachers met in San Francisco and held the first 
Methodist Conference on this coast. Their field of labor was from 
Canada to Mexico. But it was not until 1858 that an organization 
was made in Visalia. The class was organized by Jolm McKelvey, 
in charge of this circuit. W. N. Steuben and wife and Mrs. 
Lucinda Kenney were tlie first members. The congregation had no 
settled place of worshiji until 1867, when, under the pastorate of T. 
P. Williams, there was a building erected on the corner of Court 
and "Willow streets. A Sunday school was organized in 1869 by 
D. K. Zumwalt. In 1902 C. A. Bunker was pastor and work was 
commenced on a new church building. The building was not finished 
until the pastorate of Mr. Livingston, Mr. Bunker's successor. In 
Novemlier, 1908, the church, with A. L. Baker as pastor, celebrated 
its fiftieth anniversary, called the (ioldeu Jubilee, in a week of special 
and api)ropriate services, at which many of the previous i)astors were 
present and assisted. 



The Disciples of Christ were represented at au early date in 
Visalia. Some previous efforts had been made by them to form an 
organization, but nothing was accomplished until in August, 1857, 
when fourteen men of this faith under the leadership of William 
Higgens, met and organized the First Christian Church in Visalia. 
They met under a shelter of willow boughs in the lot between Court 
and Locust and Center and Oak streets, west of the present residence 
of Mrs. S. C. Brown. For lack of chairs, trunks of trees were used 
for seats. Of the fourteen charter members, C. P. Majors of near 
Visalia, is the only one on this side of the Great Divide. 

At the organization, William Higgins was chosen minister and 
elder, and John K. Morris, elder, and W. E. Owen and C. P. Majors 
deacons. The congregation made the shelter of willows the place 
of meeting till late in the fall of that year, and then used the school- 
house. For lack of a church bell. Elder Higgins improvised a cow's 
horn and by the sonorous blasts from this unique instrument, called 
the humble worshipers together. 

The congregation later met in various places, among which were 
the courthouse. Centennial hall. Good Templars' hall, the South 
Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, and the City Hall. An 
unfortunate controversy arose among the members over the use 
of the organ in the services, and for some time the ill feeling 
engendered by this controversy greatly retarded the growth of the 
congregation. After several years of rather acrimonious feelings. 
by the efforts of E. B. Ware, then state evangelist, the members 
"forgot it," got together, liought the lot on the northwest corner 
of Court and School streets and in 1890, dedicated the present line 

Among the early ministers were: T. N. Kincaid. ^^lex. Johnson. 
A. W. DeWitt, H. Tandy, J. E. Denton. Since the building was 
erected some of the ablest ministers in the state have been stationed 
here. Among these ministers were W. H. Martin, now of Southern 
California, Peter Colvin, of Santa Rosa, T. A. Boyer of Oakland, 
and J. A. Brown, in the evangelistic field. Frederic Grimes took charge 
of the church in 1911, and has been a strong man in the Bilile school 
and all departments of church work. The Bible school, numlieving 
nearly three hundred, is an enthusiastic one. 


In tracing the history of Tulare county, it is found that the 
l^eople have ever been promjit in the nuitter of i)roviding educational 
facilities for the children. Tlie scliool and the cliui-ch have attended 
the early jiioneers. 

We of todav iivovidc our cliildron with the best modern educa- 


tional facilities by the simple expedient of readily voting "yes" 
on all propositions for school bonds. There was a time in Tulare 
county when, other problems of life far less involved than now, the 
solution of this question was one of great difficulty. Within the 
hearts of the early pioneers, however, the determination was strong 
to give to their offspring a greater measure of learning than they 
themselves had enjoyed, and it came about that in 1853 a school 
was established in Visalia. Remember that this was at the very time 
in which each settler, surging with ambition, was busy inaugurating 
his individual enterprise. One was building a sawmill, another a 
store, another a gristmill, others were sending afar to ])rocur(' tlio 
seed for farming; some were guarding their stock; the first furrows 
were being turned. 

Remember, too, that in a county extending from Mariposa on tlie 
north to Los Angeles on the south and from Nevada on the ens', to 
the summit of the coast range in the west, there were but eighteen 
children, between the ages of five and seventeen. You can readily 
imagine liow much these children were needed to help at home. 
But they started a school. There was no building yet, just a school, 
and thirteen pupils attended. 

In 1854 the first school district, embracing the entire county, wa.-^ 
organized, and the first schoolhouse, made of rough boards set on 
end, was erected near the site of the present Tipton Lindsey grannnar 
school in Visalia. 

The population of Tulare county increased by leaps in the next 
succeeding years, but it was largely transient, composed of the horde 
of miners flocking to the new gold fields of the Kern. The school 
census of 1860 exhilnted a healthy, but of course, not a corresponding 
growth. By that year there had come to be five schools in the 
county, which cared for four hundred and sixty- five children, dis- 
tributed as follows: Visalia, two hundred and eighty; Elbow, one 
hundred and twenty-four; Woodville, one hundred and fifty-two: 
Persian, eighty-five. 

The public school system was developing normally, keoi)iug 
pace with the needs of the people, but it was deemed insuflicient. 
The following notice about a proposed seminary for Visalia api)eared 
in the Delia of December 31, 1859, and shows that jx-ople tluMi were 
thinking of higher education: 

"Seminary. A subscription is in circulation for tlic jmrpose 
of building a seminary near town on a lot donated for the purpose 
by J. R. Keener. The subscription list we saw was liberally signed. 
Attached to about half a dozen names was the sum of $3,700. The 
proposition is to make it a joint stock company. Rev. B. W. Taylor, 
and a lady are to take ciiarge of the institution." 

In 1859 Rev. B. W. Tavlor, of Los Angeles, arrive.l an<l l)r()aclied 


a project for opening a private school, in which the higher branches 
of learning should be taught. His plan met with immediate favor 
and a joint stock coni])nny was formed to finance it. Henry Keener 
donated a lot, and siilisci iptions in an amount sufficient to erect and 
equi}) a large two-story Ituildiug were soon secured. The building 
was erected in the southwestern part of town at the corner of Watson 
avenue and the Tulare road and the institution named The Yisalia 
Select Seminary. For a time the Reverend Taylor and his wife 
were the only instructors, but later M. S. Merrill, of Los Angeles, 
was added to take charge of the newly created primary department. 

In 1861 Rev. Father Dade opened a private school called The 
Academy of the Nativity. The title was suggested by the fact that 
the building which it occupied, located about where Visalia's Catholic 
church now stands, was originally designed as a stable. Father 
Dade's scholarly attainments were such as to well qualify him for 
his position. Modern languages and Latin were among the branches 
taught, and the elements of a classical education, so highly esteemed 
in those days, was imparted. This school, though taught l\v a priest, 
was strictly non-sectarian, and its patrons, sending their children 
there solely on account of the educational facilities afforded, became 
numerous. The boys and girls were instructed separately, the 
reverend father tutoring the former and Miss Hattie Demiug the 

Tlie establishment of these two schools at so early a day amidst 
a population so sparse, clearly indicates the progressive spirit of 
the early pioneers and exhibits anew the cropping forth of the 
cherished longing to jilace their children on a higher intellectual 
plane than it had been the lot of the fathers and mothers to ascend. 
And Visalia became the educational center of the valley. From 
as far south as Tejon and as far north as the Merced river, students 
came, for everywhere the idea was strong to secure for their children 
the best. 

The seminary and the academy flourished for a num})er of years 
— in fact, until their usefulness was over, which came to pass from 
the betteruient of the public schools and the establishment near the 
l)ig centers of population of colleges, universities and normal schools 
of liigh order. 

Tulare's schools are now among the best in tiie state. T];ere 
were at the close of 1911 one hundred and fourteen primary and 
grammar schools in the county, employing two hundred and twenty- 
six teachers. There are also seven high schools in tlie county and 
three joint high schools, employing sixty-one teachers. There were 
in 1910-1911, 6,845 pupils in the grammar and primary grades and 
89:2 in high schools. There were 528 graduates from tlie <jrnmmMr 
grades and ninety-six fi'om the high schools. 



For a nuiiiber of years the population of Tnlai-e county did not 
increase very rapidly. When the county was (jriiaiii/.cil, in IHoi'. the 
total white population was estimated at one hnudnMl. ;',y the cen-;us 
of 1860 it was given as three thousand; in 1S70, 4,:):!;:; isSO, 11,281; 
1890, 24,574; Kings county was cut off in 1893, and still, the census 
for 1910 gave old Tulare 35,543. The present population has been 
closely estimated at 47,500. The census figures for 1910 of some 
of the ditferent cities and villages are given below. To arrive at 
their present population add from thirty to forty per cent: Angiola 
44, Auckland 22, Badger 13, Dinuba 970, Exeter 660. Frazier 29, 
Hot Springs 22, Kaweah 28, Lindsay 1814, Orosi 590, Pixlev 64, Por- 
terville 2696, Tulare 2758, Visalia 4550. White Eiver 94. Woodville, 
76, Farmersville 550. 

One thing was very noteworthy by the last census, and that 
was the rapid increase of population of rural districts as coni|)ared 
with the incorporated towns. All showed a marked rate of increase, 
but the country's, rate was much larger. It would seem that the 
cry "back to the farm" is being heard; The whole county showed 
a rate of ninety-three per cent, increase in ten years. 


The best index to the prosperity of a peoi)le is the assessment 
roll. As that ebbs or flows, so will the prosperity of the citizens. 

The tirst assessment roll of Tulare county, in 1853, consisted 
of a single sheet of foolscap paper and there was not a single piece 
of real estate assessed. The property in the county consisted entirely 
of horses and cattle. That year, when the county treasurer went to 
Benicia to settle with the state, the state comptroller and the state 
treasurer had no knowledge that there was such a county as Tulare 
in exisence. However, the state officials accepted the small sum 
(about $75) that Tulare county tendered toward the sup]iort of the 
state government. 

The assessment roll of 1855 is a curious document. It coutaius 
three hundred and forty-two names, this including those to whom a 
poll tax only was assessed. It totals $437,225. Tljree parcels only 
of real estate were included. These were Jones & Robedee, 320 
acres — $()40; San Ameli;i ranch, eleven leagues, $50,000; Ignacio Del 
Vallo. acreage not given, $100,000. 

S. C. Brown was rated at $550; John Cutler at $960. and Richard 
Chatten at $410. In the roll of 1858, Andrew G. Han-ell's name 
appears; he possessed forty head of Spanish cattle and one horse, of 
a valuation of $1,040. 

The wealthiest residents of 1855, according to the assessment, 
outside of Mi'. Del Vallo and the San Amelia rnncli owners were: 


Elisha Packwood, $23,735; Pemberton Bros., $14,075; S. A. Bishop, 
$21,875 ; Reuben Matthews & Co., $10,070 ; Patterson & Hazelton were 
given as worth $1,210. 

The assessment roll of 1860 showed the following: Acres of 
improved land, 20,313; number of horses and mules, 4,245; number 
of cattle, 42,373; number of sheep, 16,521; number of swine, 32,546; 
bushels of wheat, 40,268; bushels of corn, 6,355; bushels of Irish 
potatoes, 4,067; bushels of sweet potatoes, 1,656; pounds of wool, 
16,900; pounds butter, 30,380; pounds cheese, 14,970; gallons of wine, 
1000; tons hay, 980; schools, five. Real estate valued at $372,835; 
machinerv, $32,763; livestock, $1,212,381. Total debt of the coimtv, 

In 1880 the values had increased somewhat and the total assess- 
ment roll showed property values to be $6,411,378. In the next ten 
years property had taken a double somersault. The assessment roll 
showed for 1890, $21,740,817. In 1893, Kings county, with the rich 
towns of Hanford and Lemoore, was cut off from Tulare, yet the 
assessment roll for 1910 showed the people of Tulare still possessed 
$37,475,140 worth of property listed by the assessor. Surely the 
people are to be felicitated. Each year sees an advance in the rate 
of increase. 



For the miniber of years since orgauization, Tulare has liad 
a long list of official servants. Yet there are few counties in any 
state that can jioint to a list with fewer unworthies and a larger 
numlier of honorable and devoted men. 


Under ditferent statutes the board has consisted of five and 
again of three members, and sometimes the fully authorized number 
was not elected. The following have, served, being either elected or 
appointed in the year set before their names. 

1853 — Loomis St. John, A. J. Lawrence, John Poole, Henry 
Burroughs, Warren S. Matthews. 

1854— J. T. Pemberton, C. G. Sayles, Anson Hadley, W. S. 
Matthews, A. H. Murray. 

1855— Anson Hadley, J. C. Reid, D. L. De Spain. 

1856 — James Persian, William Packard. 

1857— P. Goodhue, R. W. Coughran, J. C. Reid. 

1858— G. E. Long, A. A. Wingfield. 

1859— E. Van Valkenberg, J. C. McPherson. 

I860— William Campbell, R. K. Nichols, H. W. Niles. 

1861— Pleasant Byrd. 

1863— A. M. Donelson, R. K. Nichols, Tipton Lindsey. 

1865— W. R. Jordan. 

1869— C. R. Wingfield, D. Stong, James Barton. 

1871— W. E. Owen, C. R. Wingfield, James Barton. 

1873 — E. N. Baker, James Barton, Samuel Huntling, Edwin 

1877 — J. H. Grimsley (succeeding Baker). 

1879 — J. H. Shore (succeeding Barton). 

1882— S. M. Gilliam, W. H. Hammond, J| W. C. Pogue. C. Tal- 
bot, S. E. Biddle. 

1884— T. E. Henderson, M. Premo, J. W. C. Pogue, D. V. Robin- 
son, G. E. Shore. 

1886 — James Barton, J. W. Newport. 

1888— J. H. Woodv. 

1890— James Barton, S. L. N. Ellis, J. H. Fox. 

1892— T. E. Henderson, T. B. Twaddle, S. M. Gilliam. 

1896— Robert Baker, T. B. Twaddle, J. W. Thomas. 

1898— D. V. Robinson, R. N. Clack. 

1900— R. W. McFarland, T. B. Twaddle, W. II. Moffett. 

1902— W. E. Hawkins, J. M. Martin. 


1904— R. AV. McFarland, T. B. Twatldle. George Birkenliauer. 
1906— E. Tout, J. M. Martin. 
1908— A. C. Williams. 
1910— Robert Horbacb. 
1912— Fay Siiigletou. 


Under tbe old constitution the judicial system ])rovi(led for dis- 
trict courts, tbe districts composed of a num])er of counties, and 
county courts. 

District Judges: In tbe organization of Tulare county it was 
attached to tbe fifth judicial district, which included all tbe San 
Joaquin and Tulare valleys and tbe Sierra Nevada south of Cala- 
veras county. Charles M. Cramer was district judge, holding court at 

In 1858 the thirteenth judicial district was created, which included 
Tulare, Fresno, Mariposa, Merced and Stanislaus counties. For this 
district tbe following were elected: Etbelbert Burke in 1859; A. M. 
Bondurant in 1863; Alexander During, appointed in 1865; A. C. 
Bradford in 1867, and re-elected; A. C. Campbell in 1875; W. W. 
Cross in 1877. 

County Judges: 1852, Walter H. Harvey; 1853, John Cutler. 
1858, Robert C. Redd; 1859, William Boring. E. E. Calhoun was 
appointed May 9, 1860. In 1860 C. G. Sayle was elected ; 1863, Nathan 
Baker; 1867, S. J. Garrison, who resigned, and S. A. Sbeppard was 
appointed; 1873, John Clar-k, who served until tbe adoption of tbe 
new constitution when tbe office was merged in tbe superior court. 

Superior Judges: W. W. Cross, 1879, and re-elected. Tbe 
legislature of 1891 authorized a second superior judge, and Wheaton 
A. Grav was apjjointed. This act was repealed by the next legislature. 
W. A. Gray, 1892; W. B. Wallace, 1898, 1904, 1910.. The legislature 
of 1910- '11 created a second department and J. A. Allen was appointed 
by the governor in 1911. 


State Senators: At first Tulare county joined with Fresno in 
electing senators, but later the senatorial district was confined to 
Tulare, Kings and Kern counties. Tbe following have served tbe 
county, the date following tbe name being tbe date of election : James 
I-I. Wade, 1852; J. A. McNeil, 1854; Samnel A. Merritt, 1856; Thomas 
Baker, 1861; J. W. Freeman, 1863; Thomas Fowler, 1869; Tipton 
Lindsev, 1873; Chester Rowell, 1879; Patrick Reddy, 1882; John Roth, 
1886; George S. Berrv, 1890; AV. A. Sims, 1894; H. L. Pace, 1898; 
E. 0. Miller, 1906; E. O. Larkins, 1910. 

Assemblymen: In tbe assemblj^ district Tulare and Inyo counties 
have for a long time ])een united. Tbe following is a list of those 
elected to tbe assembly, the date being that of the election : John T. 


Tivy, 1853; Thomas Baker, 1854; Robert R. Swan, 1855; (). K. Sinitli, 
1856; A. H. Mitchell, 1857; James M. Roane, 1858; Thomas M. Heston, 
1859; 0. K. Smith, 1860; Jas. C. Pemberton, 1861; J. W. Freeman, 
1862; Joseph C. Brown, 1863; E. W. Doss, 1869; John Burkhalter, 
1871; W. Canfield, 1873; J. A. Patterson, 1875; W. S. Adams, 1877; 
A. B. Dn Brntz, 1879; Rufus E. Arriok, 1880; Allen J. Atwell, 1882; 
E. L. De Witt, 1884; A. B. Butler, 1886; George S. Berry, 1888; W. S. 
Cunningham, 1890; W. H. Alford, 1892; D. V. Robinson, 1894; W. P. 
Boone, 1896-98; H. Levinson, 1900; A. M. Lumlev, ]902-()4; P. W. 
Forbes, 1906 ; G. W. Wylie, 1908-1910. 


William Dill, 1852; O. K. Smith, 1853; W. G. Poindexter, 1855; 
J. C. Reid, 1859; J. C. Pemberton, 1860; W. C. Owen, 1861; John 
Meadows, elected but did jiot serve; John Gill, 1864; Tilden Reid, 
1865 ; W. F. Thomas, 1867 ; A. H. Glasscock, 1869 ; Charles R. Wing- 
field, 1873; J. H. Campbell, 1877; M. G. Wells, 1879; W. F. Martin, 
1882; Alfred Baalam, 1884; George A. Parker, 1886; D. G. Overall, 
1888; E. W. Kay, 1890; A. P. Merritt, 1894; B. B. Parker. 1898; 
W. W. Collins, 1902-06-10. 


J. B. Hatch, 1852; D. W. C. French, 1853; S. C. Brown, 1856; 
Samuel W. Beckraan, 1865 ; S. A. Sheppard, 1863 ; S. C. Brown, 1865 ; 
A. J. Atwell, 1867; R. C. Redd, 1869; A. J. Atwell, 1871; George 
S. Palmer, 1873; W. W. Cross, 1874; E. J. Edwards, 1877; Oregon 
Sanders, 1882; W. B. AVallaee, 1884; C. G. Lamberson, 1886; W. R. 
Jacobs, 1888; M. E. Power, 1890-92; F. B. Howard, 1894; J. A. Allen, 
1898; Dan. McFadjean, 1902-06; Frank Lamberson, 1910. 


Dr. Everett, 1852; J. B. Hatch, 1853; C. G. Sayle, 1855; T. C. 
Hays, 1859; R. B. Savles, 1861; E. H. Dumble, 1863; A. H. Glas.s- 
cock, 1865; T. H. Hawkins, 1867; F. G. Jefferds, 1871; Seth Smith, 
1882; D. F. Coffee, 1890; J. F. Gibson, 1894; Arthur Crowley, 1902; 
T. H. Blair, 1910. 


J. T. Tivy, 1852; Early Lyons, 1853; George Dyer, 1854; J. E. 
Scott, 1857. 

The election of surveyor was neglected at times, and the office 
temporarily filled by appointment by the supervisors, 0. K. Smith 
being appointed on several occasions. 

J. F. Lewis, 1865; J. M. Johnson, 1867; G. W. Smith, 1871; T. J. 
Vivian, 1875; J. M. Johnson, 1876; Seth Smith, 1877; Thomas Creigli- 
ton, 1882; John S. Urton, 1886; A. T. Fowler, 1888; A. G. Patton, 
1892; D. L. Wishon, 1894; Seth Smith, 1898; Byron Lovelace, 1910. 


This office, until 1892, was held ex-officio Ity the sheriff with 


the exception of the term from 1877, when H. A. Keener was elected. 
Since then the following: J. S. Johnson, 1892; G. V. Eeed, 1898; J 
W. Fewell, 1902. 


J. C. Fraukenberger, 1852; Charles R. Wingtield, 1853; W. G. 
Eussell, 1854 ; Erwin Johnson, 1860 ; John C. Eeid, 1861 ; T. T. Hath- 
away, 1863; Paschal Bequette, 1865; J. E. Scott, 1867; Wiley Watson, 
1869; Pleasant Byrd, 1871; John W. Crowlev, 1873; Philip Wagv, 
1877 ; H. A. Keener, 1879 ; W. W. Coughran, 1882 ; C. E. Wing-fieW, 
1886; D. S. Lipscomb, 1888; J. W. Crowley, 1894; J. E. Denny, 1898; 
H. Newman, 1902. 


A. B. Gordon, 1852; County Clerk .ex-officio, 1853; Louis L. Be- 
quette, 1861; T. J. Shackleford, 1863; W. F. Thomas, 1871; J. E. 
Denny. 1875; C. S. O'Bannon, 1877; J. E. Denny, 1882; W. F. Thomas, 
1884; J. M. Johnson, 1888; C. E. Evans, 1890; J. E. Denny, 1892; Ira 
Chrisman, 1894; J. O. Thomas. 1898; Ira Chrisman. 1902. 


This office has usually been combined with that of coroner. In 
1854 L. Meadows held the office independently, as did W. G. Daven- 
port in 1861 and H. A. Bostwick in 1862. 


The clerk and recorder held this office ex-officio until 1877, when 
the following served as noted: W. L. Kirkland, 1877; J. F. Jordan, 
1879; Ben Parker, 1882; D. G. Overall, 1884; C. T. Buckman, 1886; W. 
W. Rea, 1892; E. M. Jefferds, 1894; T. H. Blair, 1898; Austin 
Foucht, 1910. 


During several years the county clerk has been ex-officio super- 
intendent of schools. In 1855 W. G. Eussell was elected, after which 
the clerk tilled the office until 1861, when the following served: B. 
W. Tavlor. 1861; J. W. Williams, 1863; T. 0. Ellis. 1865; M. S. Merril, 
1871 ; S. G. Creighton, 1873 ; E. P. Merril, 1875 ; W. J. Ellis, 1879 ; C. 
H. Murphy, 1882; S. A. Crookshank, 1890; J. S. McPhaill, 1894; S. A. 
Crookshank, 1898; C. J. Walker, 1902; J. E.Buckmau, 1910. 


W. H. McMilleu. 1852; I. N. Bell, 1853; S. T. Corlev, 1856; H. C. 
Townsend, 1859; M. Baker, I860; J. D. P. Thompson, 1860; AV. A. 
Eussell, 1863; J. E. Hamilton, 1865; Joseph Lively, 1867; D. L. 
Pickett, 1871 ; E. P. Martin, 1873 ; W. A. Eussell, 1875 ; L. D. Murphv, 
1877; L. M. Lovelace, 1879; T. W. Pendergrass, 1888; 0. S. Higgius, 
1890; T. A. Sheppard, 1892; J. C. McCabe, 1894; T. C. Carrutiiers. 
1898; E. E. Du Brutz, 1902, died in office; T. M. Dungan, 1904; filled 
vacancy; L. Locey, 1910. 




Jnst a trifle over fifty years ago tlie schoolboy who knew hi.s 
lesson said, "Tulare county is bounded on the north by Mariposa 
county, on the east by tlic state of Nevada, on tlie south by Santa 
Barbara county and on the west by the summit of the coast range of 
mountains." The schoolboy's father, well informed for his day, 
would have replied in answer to a query as to the county's resources 
and productions: "It's a derned good cattle country and mel)be, if 
what I hear about the feed in them mountains is so, it might be a 
blame good sheep country; and they've found gold up there and the's 
lots of good farming country along the creek bottoms down here." 

True and simple answers, these — how much more difficult today 
to render such! For now, although a vastly smaller area is embraced 
within the county, the continued discovery of marvels of nature, the 
finding of unexpected stores of wealth, the effects of man's assaults 
upon the fastnesses of the Sierra and of his energy and toil apjilied 
to the fertile diversified plain have made of it a task difficnit and 
complicated in the extreme. 

When the boy and his father, fifty years ago, described the county 
and told us to what it was adapted they did not mention that down 
from those mountains came streams of such volume that the waters, 
spread over hundreds of thousands of acres of plain, would increase 
fertility enormously and render possible a diversified culture of fruits 
and grains and forage. This they could know but vaguely. They 
did not tell us that beneath the parched plains and worthless hog- 
wallow land below the foothill slopes ran subterranean streams of 
ceaseless exliaustless flow, which tapped and tlieir waters spread on 
the surface would succor and liring to glorious maturity groves of 
orange and lemon and lime. This they did not know at all. 

Now could they foresee that season and soil and water distribu- 
tion would combine to cause certain portions of the county to become 
famous for the production of the earliest fruits and grapes of the 
season, that here the French prune and the cling peach, reaching 
early maturity and producing extraordinary crops, would become 
wealth producing factors. Nor could they imagine the thousands 
upon thousands of acres that were to become iierennially green with 
alfalfa, today supporting great herds of sleek dairy cattle and causing 
the county to rank almost first in butter production. 

And oh, how little of the splendors and the beauties and the 
awe-compelling wonders that were hidden in that lofty eastern iiioiin- 
tain range! They said no word of Mt. Whitney, towering above all 


other peaks witliiu the uatiou's boundaries; they did not tell of the 
immense groves, or rather forests, of giant sequoias, larger, older, 
than any other trees on earth. 

No tale was there of gem-like clusters of glacial lakes, of vast 
caverns from whose ceilings depended glistening stalactites; naught 
was said of gorges and chasms, of tumbling cascades or of bright 
flower-strew meadows. 

Overlooked, too, as a factor of future wealth were the miles 
upon miles of unbroken forest of yellow pine, sugar pine and fir. 
And little thought was there of a day when the dashing, leaping, 
whirling waters of the Kaweah and the Tule would be led quietly 
through cemented conduits to points of vantagne, whence they could 
be released in almost uncontrollable force to move the wheels of 
industry throughout the county. Yet these things have come to pass. 

And there was a day, that also just a little more than fifty years 
ago, when Indian George, or Captain George, "big Injun heap," ran 
as expressman, carrying letters and small packages from Visalia 
to Owens river, the trip occupying four days. It is a far cry from 
then to the daily visit of the mail carrier, a distant retrospect from 
then to the luxuriously appointed through trains that now whisk 
you to Los Angeles or San Francisco during a night. 

Some fifty years ago a freight team from Stockton came bringing 
twenty thousand pounds of goods. This enormous load aroused great 
interest. Today without comment train load lots of oranges leave 
the county daily throughout the season. And so we find that in every 
branch of endeavor giant strides have been made, and a partial record 
of the steps is foimd within these pages. 

A few of the events that have transpired witliiu the county's 
boundaries within the past six decades are recorded here. It is well 
to take a rapid trip over the territory, view it as it exists today, and 
form a mental picture of its present condition. 

Tulare county, situated about midway between San Francisco 
and Los Angeles, at the head of the San Joaquin valley, is one of 
the largest in the state, having an area of 4935 square miles, or 
3,158,400 acres. It has for neighbors Fresno on the north. Kings on 
the west, Inyo on the east, and Kern on the south. 

Its topography, as may be seen by the outline map, is about 
one-half mountainous, the eastern boimdary being the summit of the 
Sierras. Two lai'ge sti'eams, the Kaweah and the Tule, each gathering- 
its waters from an extensive watershed, debouch into the valley 
portion of the county and permit of a vast irrigating ditch system. 
As the sources of these streams lie at great elevations, the flow is 
high during the first of summer on account of the melting of the 
snow. The detritus from these streams has formed throughout the 
valley section a deep bed of alluvial soil varying somewhat in the 


admixture of saud but always friable and productive. A large ]iortion 
of this delta land is subirrigated to the extent that for the growtli of 
alfalfa, grape vines or fruit trees no surface irrigation is necessary. 

Back nearer the hills from this lowland belt the land is found 
less sandy; there is an admixture of clay, decomposed granite, in 
some places gravel. These soils range from a light red and very 
friable to a black dry bog, through red, black and yellowish clay 
formations. Lying in a strip near but not adjacent to the hills, a 
peculiar formation known as "hog wallow" land exists. Hummocks, 
little hills of two or three feet in height, here cover the land. This 
latter soil, formerly held to l)e worthless, has been found highly 
fertile and is now being leveled and cultivated so that in a short time 
the sight of a "hog-wallow" field will be a curiosity. 

Naturally, each ty])e of soil has proven itself particuhirly adapted 
to certain cultures and the great variation in soils and elevations has 
produced a very great diversity of production. 

Before speaking further of these we will take a survey of towns, 
cities and railroads that have been built in consequence of them. 
Again referring to the map we find two almost parallel lines of 
railroad extending from north to south across the countj'. These 
are the main line of the Southern Pacific and the branch or loop line 
of the same company which extends from Fresno to Famosa. These 
two lines are connected by a cross line between Exeter and Goshen, 
which passes through Visalia and over which a number of the through 
trains run. The Santa Fe line enters the county near Dinuba and 
after paralleling the Southern Pacific a short distance cuts south 
across the county to Corcoran and thence southeasterly across the 
southwest corner of the county. 

Between Visalia and Woodlake, passing through Lemon Cove, 
an electric line is in operation and between Porterville and Spring- 
ville is a short Southern Pacific branch. The Big Four, an electric 
road to connect the towns of Visalia, Tulare, Woodville and Porter- 
ville, is in course of construction. 

The present population is estimated to be about 47,500, tliis 
figure being based on the census of 1910, showing 35,440, taken in 
connection with the increase of election registrations since that time. 
A fact worthy of note in this connection is that in the decade 1900- 
1910, the increase in population of Tulare county was 93.4 per cent. 

Visalia, the county seat, with a population of about 6000, is 
situated at the intersection of the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe lines. 

Tulare, southward about ten miles on the main line of the South- 
ern Pacific, and Porterville thirty miles southeast on the branch line 
of the Southern Pacific, each having a population of about 3500. 

Dinuba, Exeter and Tjindsay, witli i)opula1ions respectively of 


1500, 1200 and 2500, are also situated on the east side brancli line. 
These are the six incorporated cities of the county. 

Dinuba, the most northerly, is the center of the raisin belt, 
which extends easterly through Sultana and Orosi and southerly 
to Cutler and Yettem. Tliis district also has demonstrated its peculiar 
adaptability to the growing of early and late grapes for the eastern 
markets, and for the production of a general variety of deciduous 
fruits. Oranges also are produced extensively, particularly near 
Orosi, and south and west of Dinuba one enters a section devoted to 
dairying. But as a whole, this entire district is a checkerboard of 
orchards and \'ineyards. These, all in small tracts, well-kept and 
generally well-provided with comfortable country homes, present a 
picture both beautiful and impressive of assured prosperity. This 
district is well and cheaply irrigated by the waters of Kings river, 
distributed through the canals of the Alta Irrigation District, which 
covers 130,000 acres. 

Proceeding southward one enters a belt of undeveloped land, 
contiguous to Monson on the Southern Paciiic branch line. A little 
dairying is practiced here, but in general this section has been neg- 
lected. Some leveling of "hog-wallow" land and deep cultivation 
and drainage would doubtless transform it. 

Passing on southward one comes into the rich diversified farming, 
fruit and dairying section tributary to Visalia. This, too, is the prune 
belt of the county. Ditches taken from the Kaweah and the St. Johns 
rivers cover the entire district, whicli may be said in a general way 
to extend from Goshen on the west to a point some twelve or fifteen 
miles up the Kaweah river on the east and to include the territory 
within a radius of five to ten miles from the city. No oranges are 
grown in this district, no table grapes and very few raisins. All 
general farm products, such as haj', grain, corn, pumpkins, Egyptian 
corn and sugar beets, as well as peaches, pears and prunes, thrive 
exceedingly and are grown in large quantities. This jiart of the 
former wooded belt of the county still retains numbers of fine speci- 
mens of natural oak trees and many groves, either in their original 
condition or merely thinned by the woodman's axe. In every direction 
the vista is bounded at a short distance by what appears to be an 
unbroken line of timber. On approach this merges into groups of 
oaks or single trees, perhaps far apart, or consists of the growth of 
Cottonwood and willows growing on the margin of stream or canal. 
Soft greens of many shades relieve the landscape no matter what be 
the season. Not only alfalfa, but natural grasses continuously present 
the colors of springtime. And in midsummer gayer hues, for every- 
where, by roadside, by fence line or ditch bank or in unplowed fields 
sunflowers flaunt their yellow lilossoms. And the summer's lieat 
striking this fallow moistui-e-soaked loam causes sucli a riotous growtli 


of all kiuds that a general unkempt appearance is presented. Ort-hard 
alternates with wood lot and salt grass pasture with corn field and 
dairy farm. Many tracts of fertile land remain undeveloped. 

Yet this section contributes heavily in yearly revenue. Two 
creameries in Visalia handle about one-fourth of the cream output of 
the county; nearly all the prunes, having an annual value of about 
half a million dollars, are produced; there are canning peaches for 
two large factories, large quantities of fresh and dried fruits are 
shipped; the beet sugar factory is located here and exports of hay 
and live stock are constantly made. 

Pursuing our way still further south we enter the territory 
tributary to Tulare without perceiving any change in general charac- 
teristics of scene, soil and productions. The oak groves, the alter- 
nate farm and orchard continue. A change, however, has taken 
place as we soon discover. We encounter fewer orchards, alfalfa 
fields adjoin, making vast meadows. We find that we are in the 
center of one of the great dairy sections. Fruit growing, frequently 
in colony tracts, remains a feature, however, and ^-ineyards of con- 
siderable acreage are noted. The dairy region here, besides taking 
in the territory contiguous to Tulare, Tagus and Swall's, joins with 
the Dinuba country by a narrow strip, passing through Goshen and 
widening at Traver. This on the north. Southerly and westerly it 
merges also with the Woodville and Poplar sections. 

These latter districts possess some of the richest alluvial soil 
as yet undeveloped in the county, but so far, dairying, general farming 
and grain raising have been the only industries. Fruit growing, with 
every facility of the most favored sections available, has not been 
engaged in because of the lack of railroad acconnnodations. The 
advent of the Big Four will doubtless change this. 

From Tipton, on passing through Pixley and Earlimart to the 
county line, we find vast grain and hay fields, little alfalfa, few fruit 
trees, much land apparently fertile, unplowed. Also we find large 
tracts being subdivided, settlers in numbers building homes, water 
being pumjjed and alfalfa and orchards being planted. Only in 
recent years has it been discovered that very cheaply could the fertile 
lands in these vicinities be made to produce alnuidantly by pump 
irrigation. A very rapid increase in population seems assured. 

Westward now. towarils the lake in the neighborhood of Cor- 
coran, Augiola and Ali)augli, ciitii'cly ucw characteristics confront 
us. AVe enter again a great alfalfa belt, not only supjilyiug its 
dairies with feed, but furnishing enormous quantities of hay for 
shipment. Great grain fields there are, iiroducing extraordinary 
yields. Some natural swampy meadow land lies here. In i)laces. 
instead of irrigation, leveling and drainage are practiced. Artesian 
wells in manv localities suiiplv wafer for in-igafion and for stock. 


But we must turn now and look at the country lying along the 
east side branch railroad. Surprises most extraordinary here await 
us. So great a difference exists that we can scarcely believe that 
we are in the same county. Merged indeed the two separate regions 
are at Orosi, but as one jjroceeds southward through Exeter, or if 
he choose, first through "Woodlake, Naranjo or Lemon Cove and 
then on and stops off at either Exeter, Lindsay, Stratlunore or 
Porterville, a scene wholly strange greets the eye. 

Orange groves and yet again orange groves, one practically 
continuous stretch. Not even a fence divides them. The chain of 
footliills is their background, but it is a rampart up which they climb 
and into whose recesses all along the way they cluster. No canals or 
ditches here, no alfalfa, no green mats of salt grass pasture, no oaks 
nor cottonwoods. Parched and dry, hard and l)arren looking is the 
soil in the places unset to orchards. And yet, within them everywhere 
trickling in little furrows between the rows run streamlets of water, 
the moisture from them soaking and permeating the soil. 

The system of irrigation here is almost wholly that of pumps 
operated by electric motors, and while this lielt lacks the natural 
beauty of the wooded lowland, it is fast coming to be the most pleas- 
ing and attractive to the eye. Avenues lined with palm or other 
ornamental trees lead to country homes surrounded by handsome 
lawns and exquisite flower plots. 

From Porterville the district extends south through Terra Bella, 
Ducor and Richgrove to the county line. This i)ortion, however, 
is of newer development and the process of converting grain ranches 
into orange groves is but now beginning. Thousands of acres of 
young orchards are set and thousands more liave lieen purchased 
for the purpose of planting to citrus fruits, but liere and almost 
only here within the county remains enough land sown to grain to 
keep harvesters busy and fill warehouses with wheat. 

Eastward back of the orange belt extend thousands of acres of 
foothill grazing range, supporting vast hei-ds. This region is wooded 
and springs furnishing stock water are numerous. Two gateways 
there are to the higher Sierras, viz: Three Rivers for the Kaweah 
watershed and Springville for the Tule river. 

In both of these comumnities apples of fine (luality are grown 
and orange groves reach to their gates. Beyond and between them 
the grazing belt extends for many miles, and still beyond, throughout 
the range of mountains are found extensive meadows and other 
feeding grounds which furnish pasture for many cattle during the 
sunmier months. 

At an elevation of about noOO feet one enters a 1)elt of i)ine 
timber. This, mixed with the Sequoia gigantea, and, as one reaches 
the higher altitudes, with tir and tamarack, extends tliroughout the 


county almost niihrokeuly. Several sawmills ai'c in operation with 
an annual cut of about three million feet, but on account of the lack 
of roads, most of this timber is inaccessible and will probably remain 
so for many years. 

On the way to the higher mountain rcijions one passes on ])otli 
the rivers extensive works of electrical power companies. Dams, 
reservoirs, long high-perched flumes, lines of steel pipe down the 
mountain side, and the whir of immense djTiamos are evidences of 
the enterprises by which the mountain torrent is harnessed ajid the 
river converted into a laborer of the field. 

J^or these utilitarian piirposes of producing milling timber and 
electric energy, for furnishing feed for droves of cattle and for 
storing the snowfall of winter and returning it to the valley in 
time for need, the Sierra Nevada mountains are an incalculably 
valuable asset of Tulare county. 

The mountains also constitute a cool summer retreat and are 
frecfuented by throngs of health and pleasure seekers each year. 
Trout fishing in the mountain streams generally is excellent, the 
Kern lakes and the u]iper Kern rivers and their tributaries being 
especially famous in this respect. Hunting for deer and bear is 
good and the sport has many devotees. 

The mountain scenery is of so marvelous a character as to iiive 
it a wide-spreading and rapidly increasing fame. For beauty and 
grandeur the canyon or gorge of the Kern river is comparable only 
to the Yosemite or to Kings river canyon. Throughout the higher 
Sierras the effects of volcanic and glacial action, of erosion, disin- 
tegration and other forces have caused formations strangely l)eautiful, 
impressively awesome, wierdly fantastic. Combining to charm and 
please are ferns and flowers, silent forests, lawn-like meadows, placid 
lakes. Streams drop in roaring cascades or fall in sheets of misty 
vapor. Th(fy tinkle, or murmur, or rhythmically roar. Snowy peaks 
of jagged outline mark the skyline. 

Many groves of the giant sequoia are found tln-oughout the 
range at an elevation of between 5500 and 7500 feet, the largest 
being known as the Giant Forest. About 5000 of the trees are here 
located, among them being what so far as known is the largest tree 
in the world. Plot springs, caves, mineral springs, are other features 
of attraction. Wholly within the county lies the Sequoia National 
Park, containing seven townships. The Tule river Indian reservation 
is located in the southerly mountain section. There are many peaks 
of thirteen thousand feet and over, several exceeding fourteen thou- 
sand feet, and crowning all, Mt. AVhitney, 14,502 feet above sea level. 



Bij F. A. Dodge 

Tlie creation aud organization of Kiug-s count}' as a political 
division of the state was the accomplishment of the spirit of develop- 
ment and jirogTcss which has ever conquered the wilderness and 
caused the deserts to vanish. 

Until the spring of 189o the territory which we are to consider 
was a part of Tulare county, and therefore the early history of 
settlement and development is a part of the history of that county 
and the reader will find in this volume an interesting and instructive 
accounting of those early days when men and women of small means 
but determined will, laid the foundation of what today is one of the 
most prosperous and enlightened agricultural divisions of beloved 

People who build an imperishable state have always com- 
menced at the foundation, and all enduring foundations ever yet 
constructed have been begun by a community bound together by that 
greatest common tie — Necessity. Those who today behold with 
admiring eye the broad vineyards, prolific orchards and expanding 
meadows of this central valley of California should have jn-eserved 
in some historical form the story of the past that they and their 
children may appreciate the hardy, brave and self-sacrificing ones 
who grappled with the problems which confronted them in an isolated 
desert at a time when even Tulare county was no longer a child 
among the counties of the state; and along with that history it is 
right and proper that mention of those people, with some of their 
personal history, should be written, and this volume is intended to 
accomplish that end. In the department devoted to Tulare county 
the author has dealt with what now is the county of Kings up to the 
date of its organization and what is to be chronicled here will there- 
fore relate to events of comparatively recent occurrence, for this 
county is among the youngest in the state. The efforts of its people, 
however, to secure their independence date back into the year 1886. 
At that time the center of population of the western portion of 
Tulare coimty was the country in the immediate vicinity of the then 
small towns of lianford, Lemoore and Grangeville. This comnumity 
had been made possible through the application of water to the soil 
for purposes of irrigation. Long before the stirring times of 
the Mussel Slough tragedy recounted at length in this work, the 
life-giving waters of Kings river had been taken out upon tlie dry 
plain, and the earliest demonstration of irrigation as practiced in 


central California was made in the vicinity of Grangeville. Fiom 
that time development was as rapid as was possible, considerin.y tlie 
lack of finances possessed by those who had located on the barren 
soil. The story of hardship, deprivation and suffering experienced 
by the early settlers, their struggle with land barons who sought to 
monopolize the great plains for cattle ranges during the short season 
when wild feed was abundant; the fight with the railroad corporation, 
and finally the struggle for and the triurajiliant victory realized for 
mdependent county government are all worthy of record; but the 
progress of the people during the past nineteen years is to foi-ni the 
basis of tliis contrilmtiou. 


Successful agriculture, wherever irrigation had been practiced 
in tlie "Mussel Slough" country, was proclaimed by the early irriga- 
tionists to their friends beyond the Sierras. The letters written 
"back home" to be read and reread around the old firesides brought 
from the states of the Mississippi valley and from the Atlantic 
states many settlers. Californians by adoption who had settled in 
Yolo, Sacramento, San Joaquin and other counties to the north also 
were attracted hither by the stories told of the prolific soil and tlif^ 
opportunities offered in the rich country south of Kings river. (Ir.-iin 
farming was soon made companion to alfalfa, and stockraising was 
undertaken iu a more domestic manner than that which jirevailed 
when the herdsman held sway and laid claim to all the plains his 
vaqueros could survey. Then the planting of the grape and the 
deciduous fruits followed, each step demonstrating the adaptability 
of the soil and climate to diversified husbandry. All of this resulted 
in the western portion of Tulare county acquiring a more rapid 
settlement than those other districts where irrigation had not been 
introduced. This condition was the inspiration to the movement 
to organize a new county government, and in the fall of 1886, Dr. 
A. B. Biitler, who was at that time a practicing ]ihysician located 
at the town of Grangeville, and a very popular gentleman, as well 
as one of the leading physicians of the district, was put fortli as a 
candidate for member of the assembly from the district comprising 
Tulare county. Butler was a Republican, and the county was a 
Democratic stronghold. But Dr. Butler was also an astute politician 
and that portion of the county in which he lived was the Republican 
stronghold of the county. That his successful election to tlie 
Assembly of Cahfornia at Sacramento meant tlie liegimiing of a 
plan to form a new county either did not appear on tlie surface, 
or if it did it was viewed with complacency by those who considered 
such a possibility unworthy of the least attention. Butler was elected, 
and there began the story of liow Kings county caTiic to b(> on tlie 
maj) of California. 


During tbe session of the California legislature in February, 1887, 
Assemblyman Butler introduced a bill to cut off a portion of western 
Tulare county and add to it a portion of Fresno county south 
of the fourth standard parallel line. The movement immediately 
met with opposition and a strong lobby was set to work by Visalia 
and Tulare interests, and the county division measure failed. It 
was, however, the beginning of a long campaign, and the editorial 
prophecy made by the Hanford Sentinel of February 17. 1887, that 
"The seed of county division has been planted which will in tlie 
course of events sprout a new county," came true. 

In the legislative campaign of 1888, W. S. Cunningham, a well- 
known citizen of Lemoore, and a Democrat, was elected assemblyman. 
On the strength of a desire for a new county the candidate received 
much hearty support from Republicans during his campaign. Mr. 
Cunningham introduced a county division bill at the twenty-ninth 
session, but, it too, met with strong opposition from the mother 
county, and failed. The next legislative campaign saw the question 
of creating a new county thrust to the fore. Population had greatly 
increased, and the demand for facilities for the transaction of public 
business nearer the center of that population had received new 
impetus, and a Hanford citizen was agreed upon for assembhanan. 
Frank A. Blakeley, a Republican, and a man well known and popular, 
was the chosen candidate. He won the election, and immediately 
preparation was begun for the final fight. A strong committee 
composed of business men of all political faiths was formed in 
Hanford, and included citizens from Lemoore and Graugeville, and 
farmers. A bill was drafted by Dixon L. Phillips, an attorney of 
Hanford, and a committee headed by such men as George X. 
Wendling, E. E. Busli, Richard Mills, Justin Jacobs, Frank L. Dodge, 
R. W. Musgrave and others established the committee headquarters 
in Sacramento, and assisted Assembl}^nan Blakeley in his fight. 

In the early struggles the name proposed for the new coimty 
was Lorrain, but that name was abandoned and Kings was adopted 
in its stead, as being more significant. The name Kings was well 
received and the county was thus christened after Kings river, the 
principal source of the irrigation for the district, which stream was 
discovered in 1805 by an exploring expedition and named Rio de Tjos 
Santos Reyes (The River of the Holy Kings). 

The Kings county division fight was regarded as the ureat 
struggle of the session of 1892-93. William H. Alford, a lirilliant 
young attorney from Tulare county, and a Democrat, was assembly- 
man from the eastern Y>art of Tulare county, while Stockton Berry, an 
influential landowner, was senator from the district, and both stood 
solidly opposed to division. At this session Fresno county had a 
similar contest on. and the effort to create the countv of ^Madera 


from Fresno was made simultaneously, and succeeded. Riverside 
county was another of the new county movements at this identical 
session. Of course, the leaders who were interested in all of these 
fights sought to comhine their forces, and succeeded in doing so. 
The contest was long-drawn, and much hitterness was engendered, 
but all the wounds have, been long since healed with the salve of time 
and the admitted wisdom of permitting communities possessing suf- 
ficient wealth and population to enjoy those measures of home -rule 
which by right belongs to them. 

The Blakeley bill, after a turbulent, and at times almost hopeless 
history, finally passed both houses. The vote in the assembly was 
forty-five ayes to twenty-seven noes, and in the senate it received 
twentv-four aves to fifteen noes. The senate's action was taken on 
March 11, 1893. 

As originally created the county had an area of 1257 square miles 
and when organized in 1893 had an estimated population of 7325. 
The assessable acreage at that time was 427,281 acres. Ten years 
after organization the county had a bonded debt of only $32,000, 
and ten years later, or now, it has no bonded debt. The United 
States census of 1900 gave the population as 9871, and the thir- 
teenth census, 1910, gave it 16,230, and an assessed valuation of 
$14,283,622. By the addition of a strip of territory from Fresno 
county through the operation of the Webber bill passed by the 
legislature in 1908-9, the county today has a total area of 1375 
square miles or 118 square miles more than it originally possessed. 



In tlie year 1886 Frank L. Dodge, a newspaper man from 
Iowa, arrived with his family in Hanford, ostensibly on a visit 
to brothers and sisters who had located near that town in the 
pioneer days. Mr. Dodge became enamonred of the country and 
there being at that time no newspaper published in Hanford, with 
his oldest brother, the late David Dodge, he founded the Hanford 
Weekly Sentinel. Like many other people from the East he had 
a distaste for the term "slough" as applied to a country, the 
name suggesting mire and miasma to one unacquainted with the 
term as applied to Mussel Slough which, it is known, is the name 
given to the natural channels which in early days were open and 
in flood times were flowing streams. Mr. Dodge sought for a more 
attractive name for this district and in his paper of xipril 21, 1887, 
gave Mussel Slough a new christening and called it Lucerne Vallej^, 
a name which stuck to it until the formation of Kings county. We 
c[uote from the article naming the district the following: "Nestled 
among the heights of the storied Alps, fanned by the breezes of 
Switzerland, is a favored spot, the name of which adorns the page 
of story and gladdens the minstrel's song. 'The Sweet Yale of 
Lucerne' is a canton containing 474 square miles, a beautiful country 
noted for its great production of fruit, stock, grain, and lucerne, or 
alfalfa clover. It has the River Reuss, the placid Lucerne Lake 
and the never-fading Alps for prominent geographical features. 
In 1870, 'The Sweet Vale of Lucerne,' Switzerland, contained 132,338 

"This beautiful country of ours about Hanford with its Kings 
river, its Sierra Nevada and Coast Range mountains, and its glit- 
tering Tulare Lake, with its superior fruits, stock, grain, alfalfa 
and climatic advantages is eminently worthy to be a namesake of 
that old, rich and venerable Lucerne of Europe. This has about 
the same area and the elements of greater possibilities. Had this, 
our district, the population of the Lucerne of Europe the spindles 
of manufacture and the wheels of commerce would thrill the land 
with active life; the thorough cultivation which would be put upon 
the land would make it a lovely garden of vegetable luxury; homes 
would bloom amid floral bowers and fruited branches. 

"The Lucerne of California has all the possibilities that fancy 
may ]iicture for an earthly dwelling place. Let our people awaken 
and hasten on the march of improvements — work to reach that 
grand develo])inent which should enrich, endear and exalt a country 


which kind Nature has so richly endowed with the elements of 
greatness. ' ' 

The suggestion made by the editor fell on fruitful soil and 
took root and grew into a sentiment which finally changed the 
name of the judicial township from Mussel Slough to Lucerne; and 
under a euphoneous and attractive name the glories of this produc- 
tive western country were heralded abroad, doing a share of the 
good work of development. 


As a political organization Kings county dates from May 2."?, 
1893. The bill creating the county was signed by Governor H. IL 
Markham March 23, 1893, and the governor appointed a commis- 
sion for the purpose of carrying out the act. This commission was 
composed of the following named citizens of the now county: 
Samuel E. Biddle, E. E. Bush, William J. Newport, William Ogden 
and John H. Malone. Both Mr. Biddle and Mr. Newport had been 
members of the board of supervisors of Tulare county. 

This commission appeared before Dixon L. Phillips, a notary 
public, on April 3, 1893, and were sworn into office. They imme- 
diately organized by electing S. E. Biddle chairman and by select- 
ing George X. Wendling secretary, then adjourned till the following 
day, Tuesday, April 4, when the commission met and accepted an 
offer from the Farmers and Merchants Bank for an office room free 
of rental in which to hold the meetings of the board. On April 5 
another meeting was held and the county was formed into five 
supervisoral districts, as follows: District No. 1, embracing the 
southwestern portion of the county with three voting precincts, viz: 
West End, Kings River and Lemoore; District No. 2, embracing 
the southern portion of the county with three voting precincts, viz.: 
Paddock. Lakeside and Dallas; District No. 3, embracing the north- 
eastern and eastern portion of the county, with three precincts, 
viz: Lucerne. Excelsior and Cross Creek; District No. 4. embracing 
the northern ' and northwestern portion of the county with three 
precincts, viz: Armona, Grangeville and Lucerne; and District No. 
5, embracing the city of Hanford. 


On the 18th day of April the county commission issued the first 
call for an election. This call embraced, besides the electi(»n of a 


full set of coiiuty officers, the vote upon the question of ratifying 
the act of the legislature in creating the county, said measure re- 
quiring that the vote necessary to ratification must be two-thirds of 
the electors of the county voting in the affirmative. The call fixed 
the date of the election on May 23, 1893. 


As there had been unity of action between the members of all 
political parties within the boundaries of the new proposed county 
in the effort to secure the county there was much harmonious spirit 
prevailing among the parties when it came to placing tickets before 
the people. The one great effort to be made was to secure the 
county and toward that end the politicians worked in harmony 
yet with much zeal for their respective candidates. 

The first political conventions were held in Hauford on Wednes- 
day, April 19, 1893, the Republicans holding their gathering at 
Pythian Hall, a framed structure on East Fifth street, which was 
subsequently burned and never rebuilt, and the Democrats convened 
in Baker's Hall, at that time the most popular lodge and society 
hall in the county, but long since abandoned for public meetings. 
The People's Party also held a convention and placed in nomination 
a few candidates. So enthusiastic were all parties in their desire to 
ratify the legislative act and secure the county, that committees 
were appointed by each convention for the purpose of conferring 
and securing the nomination of candidates that would lend the most 
strength to the cause of county formation. The results of the 
convention day were that the following nominations were made to 
be placed on the Australian form of ballot : For Superior Judge — 
Justin Jacobs, Republican; Dixon L. Phillips, Democrat. For Dis- 
trict Attorney— Cosmer B. Clark, People's Party; C. W. Talbot, 
Republican. For County Clerk — Francis Cunningham, Democrat; 
Fl-ed R. McFee, Republican. For Sheriff — W. V. Buckner, Repub- 
lican; R. E. McKenna, Democrat. For Tax Collector — Jesse Brown, 
Democrat; Frank J. Peacock, Republican. For Treasurer — Stiles 
McLaughlin, Republican; W. H. Slavin, Democrat. For Recorder — 
Louis Decker, Republican. For Auditor — C. C. Farnsworth, Demo- 
crat. For Assessoi- — John Rourke, Democrat; John Worswick, Re- 
publican. For Suijeriutendent of Schools — A. P. Keran, Repul)lican; 
C. A. McCourt, Democrat. For Surveyor — E. P. Irwin, Republican; 
Joseph Williams, Democrat. For Coroner — B. R. Clow, Democrat ; 
Charles W. Sullivan, Republican. 

These were the convention nominations, but the ticket was not 
entirely filled, leaving the way open for independent candidates 
and these were supplied as follows: For district attorney, M. L. 
Short and B. C. Mickle went on the 1)allot as independents, as did 


F. M. Frazer for recorder, C. W. Clark for auditor, Gooryo AV. 
Murray for auditor and A. S. Bryau for coroner. 

Supervisors were nominated from four districts. J. II. Fox, 
who was a member of the Tulare county board of supervisors at 
the time held over, and his residence being at Leraoore, which was 
in District No. 1, no nominations for supervisor were made in 
that district. 

The party nominations in the four remaining districts were: 
District No. 2 — For supervisor, Robert Doherty, Democrat; R. G. 
White, Republican, and Frank McClellan, People's Party. District 
No. 3 — For supervisor, George A. Dodge, Republican; J. G. Mackey, 
Democrat. District No. 4 — For supervisor, Horace Johnson, Peojile's 
Party; W. A. Long, Republican. District No. 5— S. E. Biddle. 
Democrat; Frank J. Walker, Republican. 

The election resulted in the choice of a mixed set of comity 
officers, politically, and the carrying of the cause of county creation 
by an overwhelming majority, the vote on the formation of tlie 
eountv being 182-1, of whicli 1412 were recorded as "Yes" and 
412 as "No." 

The first set of county officials elected in the county was as 
follows: Superior .judge, Justin Jacobs; county clerk, Francis Cun- 
ningham; sheritT, W. V. Buckner; tax collector, Frank J. Peacock; 
W. H. Slavin, treasurer; recorder, Frank M. Frazer; auditor, C. C. 
Farnsworth; district attorney, M. L. Short; assessor, John Rourke; 
superintendent of schools, C. H. McCourt; coroner, B. R. Clow; public 
administrator. Mace Allen ; surveyor, E. P. Irwin ; supervisor, 1st dis- 
trict, J. H. Fox; supervisor, 2nd district, Frank McClellan; supervisor, 
3rd district, J. G. Mackey; supervisor, 4th district, W. A. Long; super- 
visor, 5th district, S. E. Biddle. 


(_)n Monday morning. May 9, 1893, the commissioners met and 
canvassed the returns of" the election and declared the results. The 
official count gave the total number of votes as 1919, thus showing 
that there were 55 who failed to vote either for or against county 

Superior Judge Jacobs received his commission from, the gov- 
ernor on May 31, and filed the same with the clerk of the county 
commission, Mr. Wendling. The supervisors-elect were given cer- 
tificates of election and were sworn into office, each member giving a 
bond of $5000. On June 1 the board of supervisors organized by 
electing J. II. Fox, of Lemoore, chairman. The several county 
officers-elect api^eared before the board and were sworn in on 
that day, and the machinery of government for the new county 
was in working order. 



Having- finally formed a new county and installed the officers, 
the next stej) was to secure office rooms for the transaction of 
business, until such time as county grounds could be purchased 
and buildings erected. The supervisors immediately set to work 
and in a short time had the several officials housed, although the 
limited number of vacant ofHce buildings in the county seat necessi- 
tated the scattering of the offices all about the city. The Hanford 
opera house block which had recently been completed at the corner 
of Irwin and Seventh streets, afforded room for several officials 
and their I'ecords, and on the second floor of that building the re- 
corder, auditor, surveyor, district attorney, county clerk, superior 
judge and supervisors were temporarily located. The Farmers 
and Merchants Bank gave accommodations for the tax collector and 
the treasurer; the assessor and superintendent of schools were 
located in a one-story brick structure on West Seventh street. 
Later the sheriff's office and county jail were located on West Sixth 
street to the west of the corner of Irwin, and the superior court 
and county clerk were given quarters on the second floor over the 

While the arrangements were far from convenient, the county 
business was carried on economically and well. A steel cage was 
purchased which answered for a jail for a number of years, and 
while some desperate criminals were at times confined there, there 
was never a jail delivery even from that temporary structure. 


At the final meeting of the board of county commissioners just 
prior to turning over the affairs to the board of supervisors. Com- 
missioner J. H. Malone offered a resolution which was adopted 
and made of record, that the new county possessed a population of 
5900 souls, and tliat Kings county be declared a county of the 
Forty-third class, and when the supervisors took up their work 
they found themselves with that much of a county to legislate for, 
but there was not a cent in the treasury. The first matter, there- 
fore, to attend to was to provide the means for carrying on the 
county business, and the first act of the board of supervisors was 
to apply to Tulare county for that portion of the road and school 
funds belonging to the territory Avithin the boundary of the new 
county, and it was resolved to demand from the old mother county 
such funds due Kings county on the 1st day of June, 189.3, the 
amount being $14,655.58, and accept that amount from Tulare, 
provided that the latter woi;ld stipulate an agreement that no suit 
to contest the legality of the Kings county election would be brought. 
This deuuuid was met by Tulare coimty to the extent of $13,289.2fi. 


of which $1U,;)1().16 was from the road fund, and $2,370.10 from 
the school fund. With this small amount of ready money. Kings 
county began its own official career, and faced the promise made 
during the division campaign to so conduct the affairs of the 
county that the tax rate under the new order of things would not 
exceed the tax rate which had prevailed when the new countv was 
a part of Tulare. 


On the 6th day of the following July the citizens of the county 
held a celebration in the city of Hanford at which the creation of 
the county was joyously ratified in conjunction with the celebration 
of the one hundred and seventeenth anniversary of the Independence 
of the United States. The pleasing feature of the celebration was 
the appearance as orator for the occasion of James H. White, a 
prominent citizen of Tulare county who refused to remonstrate 
against the formation of the new county. He was introduced by 
the Hon. F. A. Blakeley, the assembhTiian who introduced and car- 
ried through the Kings County bill. Sberitf Buckner was the grand 
marshal, and conducted a memorable parade, there being many 
splendid floats displayed in commemoration of the independence of 
Nation and County. 


As an outgrowth of the heated contest waged between the 
mother county and the people of the new county, the question as to 
the validity of the act and the proceedings followed out in the 
creation and organization of Kings county arose. This question 
was settled by an opinion issued by Deputy Attorney General 
Oregon Sanders, approved by the Attorney General W. H. H. Hart, 
on the 19th day of June, 1893. In the opinion the State Department 
set forth at length that the three counties created during the legis- 
lative session of 1892-93, viz: Riverside, Madera and Kings, were 
legally formed, and the acts under which said counties were formed 
are constitutional. This set at rest for all time any question of the 
legal standing of those three counties. 


At the regular meeting of the supervisors held September 
25, 1893, the fixing of the tax rate for the fiscal year 1893-94 was 
ordered. This was the first action of the kind in the new county, 
and the rate was made as follows: State, fifty-nine cents and six 
mills, road eighteen cents, hospital five cents and county general 
forty-six cents and four mills, making a total rate of $1.45 on the 
$100 valuation. 



In the niontli of June, 1894, the several political parties con- 
fronted the first regular nominating campaign to place candidates 
in the lield at the general election, which was held in November 
of that year. The Republicans of the county nominated the follow- 
ing ticket: Superior judge, Justin Jacobs; sheriff, W. V. Buckner; 
county clerk, F. L. Howard; recorder and auditor, F. J. Peacock; 
treasurer and tax collector, J. N. Hoyt; assessor, G. W. Follett; 
superintendent of schools, J. W. Graham; district attorney, A. G. 
Park; coroner and iDublic administrator, J. A. Moore; surveyor, 
E. P. Irwin; supervisors: B. L. Barney, W. A. Long, J. M. Hamilton, 
George B. McCord and Styles McLaughlin; constables, H. M. Bern- 
stein, O. G. Bryan, J. H. Thompson; justices of the peace, J. B, 
Lewis, G. W. Randall, G. Harrington. 

The Democrats placed in nomination the following ticket: 
Superior judge, Archibald Yell ; sheriff, L. E. Hall ; county clerk, 
Francis Cunningham; recorder and auditor, C. C. Farnsworth; 
treasurer and tax collector, W. H. Slavin; assessor, John Rourke; 
superintendent of schools, C. A. McCourt; district attoi'ney, M. L. 
Short; coroner and public administrator, B. R. Clow; supervisors: 
D. Gamble, Jesse Brown; John Dawson, C. D. Coates, H. Clawson; 
constables: A. E. Blakeley, George E. Goodrich; justices of the 
peace : Rufus Abbott, Joseph Williams, Frank Bullard, G. N. Furnish. 

The People's Party also placed nominees in the field, as follows: 
For sheriff, J. C. Goar; county clerk, John Gerow; recorder and 
auditor, P. M. Frazer; treasurer and tax collector, John Wyruck; 
assessor, F. E. Howe; superintendent of schools, N. Z. Woodward; 
district attorney, Cosmer B. Clark; coroner and public adminis- 
trator, T. J. McQuiddy; survevor, David Ross; supervisors: S. H. 
Von Schmidt, E. J. Gibson, T. F. Dillon, Frank McClellan, T. W. 
Standart; constables, J. K. Davis, C. L. Pritchard, G. L. Meadows, 
Bascom Runyon; justices of the peace: J. P. Ford, James Shay. 

The election was held November 6, and there was a total of 
1843 votes cast. That year Kings county cast its plurality vote for 
M. M. Estee, Republican candidate for governor, giving him 696. 
James H. Budd, the Democratic candidate, received 598; J. V. Web- 
ster, People's Party candidate, received 400, and Henry French, 
Prohibition candidate, received 93 votes. 

The county contest was strenuously fought. That was the year 
when Populism was strong in this and Tulare county, and James 
McClellan, Populist nominee for assemblyman, was elected, the dis- 
trict then being composed of Kings county and a portion of Tulare. 

The final count of the votes cast elected the following county 
officials: Superior judge, Justin Jacobs (R.) ; sheriff. W. Y. Bnck- 
ner (R.) ; clerk, Francis Cunningham (D.) ; recorder and auditor. 


F. J. Peacock (R.) ; treasurer aud tax collector, W. H. Slavin (D.); 
assessor, G. H. Follett (R.) ; superintendent of schools, J. W. Graham 
(R.) ; district attorney, M. L. Short (D.) ; coroner and public admin- 
istrator, J. A. Moore (R.) ; surveyor, E. P. Irwin (R.) ; supervisors: 
B. L. Barney (R.), W. A. Long (R.), T. F. Dillon (P.P.), Frank 
McClellan (P.P.), Styles McLaughlin (R.) ; constables: H. M. Bern- 
stein (R.), George E. Goodrich (D.), G. N. Furnish (D.) ; justices 
of the peace: George W. Randall (R.), J. B. Lewis (R.), G. L. 
Meadows (P.P.). 

These officials took office on the following January ]st. 


The election of ]S96 concerned only National and district matters, 
with the exception that in the second supervisoral district of the 
county there was a A-acaney to be tilled. Supervisor Frank McClellan 
resigned his office, aud the contest for the vacancy was between 
George W. Clute, Republican, and F. M. Frazer, People's Party. 
The latter won the election. Kings county at this election went 
with the Fusionists, the McKinley electoral ticket receiving but 673 
votes to 863 for the Bryan electoral ticket. The county also voted 
a plurality of 118 for C. H. Castle, Fusion candidate for congress, 
defeating W. W. Bowers, the Republican candidate. The county 
cast forty-seven independent votes for W. H. Carlson, and twenty- 
two for J. W. Webb, Prohibition candidate. James McClellan. 
Fusionist, carried the county for assembhanan against George ]',. 
McCord, Republican, by a majority of 203. The total registration 
of the county at this time was 1883, and the total vote cast was 1613. 


On account of tlie death of Superior Judge .Justin .lac()l)s, wliicli 
occurred on September 18, 1898, some new interest was injected into 
county politics. Upon the vacancy on the bench being created. Gov- 
ernor James H. Budd appointed Dixon L. Phillips, of Hanford, to 
fill out the unexpired term. Mr. Phillips had been prominent in the 
work of organizing the county, and being strong with the governor 
politically, his application met with executive approval. lie took 
his seat on the bench Se]3tember 29. 

M. L. Short, who was then district attorney, liled his ^x'tition to 
become an independent candidate for judge at the coming election. 
Horace L. Smith, an attorney, who shortly prior to this time had 
located in Hanford, also came out for judge as an independent, and 
Dixon L. Phillii)s ai)i)eared in the race as a Fusionist suppoi-ted 
by the Democrats, Po])ulists and Silver Republicans. The campaign 
was a lively one, but the Repulilicans had no candidate for the 
judgeshi]). There was no regular Democratic ticket for the county 
this year, but all opposition to the K("i)ublican i)arty went by the 


title of Fusionists. The race for the judgeship resulted in a victory 
for M. L. Short, he receiving a clear majority of 219 votes over 
his competitors. 

The Republicans nominated AV. V. Buckner for sheriff, while 
George E. Shore was the Fusion candidate. Buckner was elected; 
F. Cunningham (F.) (;iefeated B. A. Fassett (E.) for clerk; F. J. 
Peacock (R.) and J. M. Bowman (F.) ran a neek-aud-neck race for 
recorder, each receiving 900 votes. The result of this tie caused 
the board of supervisors to call a special election to decide the tie. 
The date of said election was Decem])er 6, and the total vote which 
was cast at that election was 1537, of which Mr. Bowman received 
827 and Mr. Peacock 710, and Bowman was declared elected. 

Rowen Irwin (F.) defeated A. G. Park (R.) for district attorney, 
and S. M. Roseuberger (R.) won the anditorship against S. Sensa- 
baugh (F.). For treasurer W. H. Slaviu (F.) was successful, his 
opponent being A. M. Stone (R.). Peter Van Valer (R.) tried con- 
clusions with John Wyruck (F.) for tax collector, the former win- 
ning. G. W. Fojlett (R.) defeated Frank McClellan (F.) for asses- 
sor, and W. M. Tliomas (R.) won the race for coroner and public 
administrator over Dr. Foley (F.). J. "W. Graham (R.) was chosen 
superintendent of schools, his apponent being J. J. Duvall (F.). 
E. P. Irwin (R.) defeated C. W. Talbot (F.) for surveyor. 

The supervisors elected were J. T. McJunkin, Styles McLaugh- 
lin and George Tomer, Republicans, and L. S. Chittenden and W. S. 
Burr, Fusionists. The unsuccessful candidates were S. B. Hicks. 
C. H. Brooks, James McDonald, all Fusionists, and George Curry, 

Township officers were elected as follows : Justice of the peace 
— George W. Randall, C. M. Smith and Bert Goldsmith, Repub- 
licans, and H. J. Light, Fusionist. Constables chosen were H. M. 
Bernstein (R.) and George Goodrich and Granville Furnisli, Fu- 

The county gave a slight majority for J. C. Needham, Repub- 
lican, for Congress. Also a plurality of twenty votes for Henry T. 
Gage, Republican, for governor. The total vote of the countv was 


In November, 1900, the total vote of the county as counted was 
2082. The county contest was over the election of superior judge, 
member of the assembly and surveyor. The Presidential election 
of this year also called upon the county to vote for a member of 
congress. In the county election the principal fight was between 
E. T. Cosper, an ex-assemblyman, and M. L. Short, the incumbent 
on the bench. Mr. Short was the Democratic nominee, and won 
the election over Mr. Cosper, Reimblican, l)y a vote of 1048 to 950 


R. H. Myers (R.) for the assembly, received 997 votes; R. Mills 
(D.), 887, and W. R. McQuiddy (Pro.), 99 votes. The county gave 
J. C. Needham (R.), for congress, a plurality of 144. The presidential 
electors on the Republican ticket carried the county, the vote being 
1032, to 877 for the Democratic electors, 42 for the Social Demo- 
crats and 48 for the Prohibitionists. 


This campaign was between the Republicans and Democrats, 
the former Populistic organization having passed out of the run- 
ning. The Republicans nominated the following tirhct : Slieriff, W. V. 
Buckner; clerk, Samuel Mullin; recorder, Clark Apiilfizaith ; tax col- 
lector, Peter Van Valer; auditor, S. M. Roseubcrgcr; district attorney. 
H. Scott Jacobs; assessor, George W. Murray; treasurer. J. M. 
Camp; superintendent of schools, J. W. Graham; surveyor. John 
Benedict ; coroner and public administrator, W. M. Thomas. 

For supervisors the following were nominated: S. McLaughlin, 

F. P. Watson, H. D. Barton, John Worswick and James Manasse. 

The township officers nominated were: For justice of the peace, 
C. M. Smith and George W. Randall. For constable, H. M. Bern- 
stein and C. E. Kendall. 

R. H. Meyers, who had been elected two years lu-evious to the 
assembl.v, succeeded during his term to get through a bill making 
Kings county an assembly district by itself and he was, therefore, 
given the Republican nomination for that office for a second term, 
not, however, without much opposition in the county convention. 

The Democrats placed before the people the following ticket: 
For sheriff, L. S. Chittenden; clerk, F. Cunningham; district attor- 
ney, Rowen Irwin; recorder, J. M. Bowman; assessor, M. B. Wash- 
burn; treasurer, William Slavin; superintendent of schools, Mrs. 
N. E. Davidson; coroner and ))ublic administrator, T. Card. For 
supervisors— J. Haves, W. S. Burr, J. R. High, A. R. Davis, R. 

The nominees for township officers on this ticket were: For 
justice of the peace — G. L. Meadows, AV. II. A'auglni. P. (^'arrasco. 
For constables — George Goodrich, J. Alcorn, C. AY. Keller and G. 

The candidates who ran indeiiendeut of i)arty tickets were: 

G. W. Follett for assessor, and J. W. Ferguson for justice of the 

The result of the election held on Noveml)er 2 was favorable 
to the following set of officers: Assemblyman, John G. Covert 
(D.); sheriff. W. V. Buckner (R.) ; clerk," F. Cunningham (D.) ; 
district attorney. H. Scott Jacobs (R.) ; recorder, J. M. Bowman 
(D.); auditor, S. Rosenberger (R.); tax collector, Peter Van Valer 
(R.) assessor, George W. Murray (R.) ; treasurer. W. 11. Slavin 


(D.) ; superintendent of schools, Mrs. X. E. Davidson (D.) ; coroner 
and pviblic administrator, W. M. Thomas (E.) ; surveyor, John Bene- 
dict (E.). 

Supervisors elected were: S. McLaughlin. H. D. Barton, both 
Eepublicans, and E. Mills, A. E. Davis and W. S. Burr, Democrats. 

The township officers chosen were: Justices of the peace — ■ 
George W. Eandall, Eepublican, and G. L. Meadows and P. Car- 
rasco, Democrats. Constables — H. M. Bernstein, Eepublican, and 
G. E. Goodrich and C. W. Keller, Democrats. 

At this election Kings county gave 999 votes to Franklin K. 
Lane, Democrat, for governor and 956 votes to George C. Pardee, 
Eepublican. There were 51 Socialist and 28 Prohibition votes cast. 


Locally this election was a contest between the parties over 
the election of a member of the assembly. J. H. Fox, of Lemoore, 
was the nominee of the Eepublicans, while the Democrats put 
forward John F. Pryor of Hanford. Mr. Pryor was successful, 
receiving 926 votes, to 884 cast for Mr. Fox. 

James C. Needham, Eepublican candidate for congress carried 
the county, receiving 1110 votes, while the Democrats cast 620 
votes for "W. M. Conley. The Socialist vote for congressman was 
95. and the Prohibitionists cast 50 votes. The Eoosevelt electoral 
ticket received 1112, and the Parker electoivil ticket 593. 


This was a general state and county cam])aign, and the interest 
so far as the county fight was concerned was centered in the contest 
for the office of the superior judge. The nominees were Eobert W. 
Miller, Eepublican, and John G. Covert, Democrat, and the official 
returns showed how close the race was, as Mr. Miller received 1081 
votes and Mr. Covert 1087. 

W. V. Buckner (E), who had been sheriff of the county since 
its first organization, was re-elected to the office, and F. Cunning- 
ham (D), who was the first clerk of the county still maintained his 
hold u]ion the politics of the countv and was re-elected over 
Clarence Euggles (E), and T. W. Baker (S), J. L. C. Irwin (D), 
for district attorney was elected, his competitor being H. Scott 
Jacobs (E). J. M. Bowman (D) won the i;ecordership, defeating 
J. T. Baker (E) ; S. M. Eosenberger (E), was elected auditor, de- 
feating . C. T. Walker- (D) and J. H. Eathbun (S) ; Peter Van 
'\'aler (E) was again successful in his race for tax-collector, de- 
feating F. M. Frazer (D) and J. Pfeifer (S). L. C. Dunham (E) 
was chosen treasurer, defeating M. B. Washburn (D.), and B. 
Freese (S.). George W. Murray (E.) was re-elected assessor, receiv- 
ing the largest vote of any caudidato on either ticket, 1509, his 


opponent being J. W. Barbour (D). The office of coroner and 
public administrator was won by W. M. Thomas (R), his com- 
petitors being J. M. Bond (D), and A. L. Weddle (S). Mrs. 
N. E. Davidson (D) was successful in her candidacy for super- 
intendent of schools for the second term, defeating Miss Inez Covert 
(E), and E. E. Douglass (S). For survevor John Benedict (R) 
defeated C. AV. Talbot (D). 

The contest for supervisors was a victory for the Democrats, 
as that party elected G. E. Shore, W. S. Burr, L. Y. Montgomery 
and J. E. Hall, representing the country district. Their Republican 
opponents were: H. L. Jennings, J. M. Denham, H. D. Barton and 
Charles Latham, respectively. Frank Smith (E), of the Hanford 
district won over R. Mills (D) for re-election. 

In the township offices for justices of the peace J. M. Camp (R), 
J. W. Ferguson (D), C. M. Smith (E) and E. Erlanger (E). were 
successful, the other candidates being B. W. Moore, G. L. Meadows, 
James Shay and P. Carrasco, Democrats. For constables, H. M. 
Bernstein (D), G. E. Goodrich (D), H. Ammerman (E), and E. 
Brothers (E) were elected, the other candidates being L. Adkins (D), 
and W. P. Hayes (D). 

The contest for the office of assemlilyman at this election was a 
lively fight, as the question of the division of Fresno county was then 
a burning issue, and Kings county people had united with the people 
of the Coalinga district of Fresno coimty for. the purpose of slicing 
.the latter county in two from the north boundary of Kings county 
westerly along the fourth standard parallel line and adding the 
territory thus cut off to Kings county. 

AVilliam L. McGuire, a young attorney of Hanford, was nomin- 
ated for the assembly, he having the county expansion issue as 
peculiarly his own, and he was backed by a ])()werful force of people 
interested in the oil bearing territory on the west side of Fresno 
county, and other interests. The Democrats nominated Patrick Tal- 
ent, of Hanford. The Socialists put up F. M. Senteney. William 
R. McQuiddy was an Independent candidate for the office, .\fter 
a spirited contest between McGuire and Talent, the former won the 
election by a vote of 11.33. Mr. Talent received 898; Mr. Senteney 
70 and Mr. McQuiddy 95. 

Congressman J. C. Needliam (R) still inaiutaincd liis liold 
upon the voters of tlio count v, receiving ]20ll votes, to 8.">2 cast for 
H. A. Greene (D), S!) cast fur R. Kirk (S), and 41 cast for H. E. 
Burbank (P). 

The countv cast lOofi for James N. Gillett (R) for governor; 967 
for T. A. Bell" (D), and 49 for J. H. Blanchard (Pro.) and 94 for 
W. IT. Laugdon, Independent and Labor Union. 



This county struggle liad one feature which was siniihir to the 
campaign of 1906, in that county expansion was again to the front. 
The McGuire plan to annex the southwestern portion of Fresno 
county to Kings two years ago failed after a severe struggle, and in 
1907-8 plans were laid for another attempt to annex some of Fresno 
territory, but not to such an extent as in 1906. This annexation 
struggle did not develop, however, until after the election in Novem- 
ber, 1908, after which, W. J. Webber, Democratic member of the 
assembly who was elected over Harry P. Brown, Republican, took his 
seat in the legislature and introduced a bill known as the Webber 
bill, which was finally enacted, and added 208 square miles of Fresno 
territory to the northwestern portion of the original county of Kings. 
This was not accomplished, however, without much litigation between 
the counties of Fresno and Kings, but the courts finally settled by 
decision the validity of the procedures, and Kings county went upon 
the map in new form with a vast area of very fertile land watered by 
Kings v'wer added to it. 

The coimty contest this year was confined to the election of 
an assemblyman, Mr. Brown receiving 1042 votes, while Mr. Webber 
received 1072. J. M. Foster, Socialist, received 95. 

In the vote for congressman, J. C. Needham (R), received 1180 
votes; F. P. Fellz (D) 883; W. M. Pattison (S). 103, and J. W. 
Webb( Pro.) 55. 

The Republican electoral ticket received 1198 votes ; the Democrat 
ticket 859 ; Independent League 12 ; Socialist 112, and Prohibi- 
tion 71. 

ELECTION or 1910 

The increased vote cast at this election illustrated the growth 
of the county in ]>oi)ulation and annexation, for the total vote cast 
for the candidates for governor was 2997. Hiram Johnson as the 
Republican nominee, carried the county by 351 plurality over Theo- 
dore A. Bell, whose vote was 1149. Stit Wilson, Socialist, received 
305, and Meade, Prohibitionist, 43. 

The contest over the assemblvman was between W. J. Webber 
(D), Fi-ank J. Walker (R), and W. R. McQuiddy (Pro.). Mr. 
Walker won on a narrow ]ilurality of six votes. 

For the first time since the county was organized the Repub- 
licans put forth a new candidate for sheriff in the person of Lyman 

D. Farmer, a young man who was .the deputy of Sheriff Buckner at 
the time of the convention. Mr. Farmer was pitted against George 

E. Goodrich (D). Farmer won the election with a majority of 247. 

F. Cunningham (D) for clerk was re-elected to the office, defeating 
A. F. Florey (R) ; J. L. C. Irwin (D) defeated Frank E. Kilpatrick 


(R), for district attoruey; D. Bimu Rea (R) was elected auditor over 
James Manning (D) ; L. C. Dunham (R) was elected treasurer, de- 
feating H. L. Conklin (D) ; George W. Murray (R) had no opposi- 
tion for the office of assessor; M. B. Washhurn (D) was elected tax- 
collector, defeating J. Worswick (R) ; J. M. Bowman (D) defeated 
Perry Griswold (R) for recorder; Mrs. N. E. Davidson (D) was 
elected superintendent of schools, defeating W. J. M. Cox (R) ; J. 
Clarence Rice (R) defeated J. D. Hefton (D) for coroner and public 
administrator; A. J. Neilsen (R) was elected county surveyor, de- 
feating J. M. Thomas (D). 

The supervisors elected were: T. E. Cochrane and A. F. Smith, 
Republicans, and J. L. Hall, Frank Blakeley and William Vaughan, 
Democrats. The defeated candidates were: W. S. Burr and James 
Butts, Democrats ; J. M. Dean, Socialist, and Styles McLaughlin and 
H. D. Barton, Republicans. 

Justices of the peace elected were: J. W. Ferguson, G. L. 
Meadows and H. J. Light, Democrats, and C. M. Smith and Jesse 
Harris, Republicans. Constables chosen were: H. M. Bernstein, John 
Bartlet and C. C. A. Henden, Republicans, and Perry Gard and S. 
Blank, Democrats. 




The history of irrigation in Kings county dates back to 1872, 
when its present territory constituted a part of Tulare countj'. The 
lesser benefits of irrigation had been demonstrated by private parties 
in different parts of Tulare county, who made efforts to get water 
from the rivers out to their orchards and gardens on a very limited 
scale. But these primary efforts were all sufficient to prove the 
magic effect of irrigation on the rich desert soil which had lain dorm- 
ant through the embalming summer sunshine of past centuries. Eager 
settlers were rushing into the country and when they saw what water 
put to the soil would do ; when they saw the prolific streams of Kings 
river, Kaweah river and Cross creek sweeping down to the basin of 
Tulare lake; and when they cast their eyes eastward and upward 
to the illimitable fields of snow and ice cradled among the stupend- 
ous heights of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the object lesson 
was easy. Nature's mighty resources lay plainly before them, offer- 
ing the first grand inspiration for organized effort to harness these 
resources for the reclamation of the desert. 

The first successful attempt to irrigate on practical and extended 
lines was made in 1872, by M. D. Bush, V. F. Geiseler, E. B. Huey 
and a number of other citizens, who projected the Lower Kings River 
ditch, covering territory north and east of the town of Lemoore. This 
ditch company was incorporated in 1873 by the enterprising pioneers 
of Lemoore and vicinity and its success was an object lesson that 
inspired the settlers of adjoining districts. When the people saw 
what water applied to the soil would do, there was a firm resolve to 
get it at all hazards. The first crops raised on lands irrigated by 
tliis ditch furnished labor for many hard-up settlers and the straw 
from the grain fields was largely used as fodder for the stock of the 
country which proved a God-send to many a "Sandlapper." 

Soon after the above company had demonstrated probable suc- 
cess an enterprising citizen named Daniel Spangler planned to build 
an irrigating canal from Kings river to what was known as the Lone 
Oak district, which was designated by a single oak tree standing out 
on the plains about four miles southwest of the present city of Han- 
ford. From this "Lone Oak" to the point where Mr. Spangler in- 
tended to tap Kings river to supi)ly his canal with water was a dis- 
tance of about twenty miles. Later the People's Ditch Company of 
Kings river was formed by an association of farmer settlers which 
took over by mutual transfer the Spangler projects. The People's 
Ditch Company was incorporated in Februai'y, 1873, by Jesse Brown, 


W. W. Boyd, George W. Camp, C. Hyatt, Peter Kauawyer, aud a 
score or more of other settlers all eager to be identified with the 
great work of transforming their desert acres into homes of future 
productiveness and wealth. The actual work of making the ditch was 
commenced that year and proceeded as rapidly as possible consider- 
ing the limited means of its incorporators. F. J. Sibley was the 
engineer who located and surveyed the course of the ditch nearly on 
its present permanent line. It was first intended to build one branch 
of the ditch into Township 21 south range 20 east, but said branch 
was never completed beyond the south boundary line of township 18 
South, range 21 east, a short distance from Arraona. The season of 
1874 found between three and four miles of the ditch constructed 
and this was from the point of intake on the river to a point 
below the structure known as the "Burris check." Very little 
irrigating was done that season. During the months of May and 
June of that year the water from Kings river ran through the old 
channel known as the Burris slough, southeasterly into Cross creek. 
During the fall and winter of 1874-5 work was prosecuted quite 
rapidly, so that in the spring of 1875 the company was able to con- 
trol and distribute systematically considerable water to its stock- 
holders for the irrigation of crops. When the water was turned into 
the lower portion of the ditch, considerable difficulty was experi- 
enced in getting it through on account of the porous nature of the 
soil. It frequently happened that forty to fifty cubic feet per second 
would flow for days into subterranean cavities. This would so soften 
the ground, sometimes for a half mile, that it was dangerous to 
drive a team over the field near the ditch. At the end of the irri- 
gating season of 1875 it was found that the ditch was far from being 
completed according to the plans and specifications of the engineer. 
In places it was not down to grade and in other ])laces not up to 
grade and in very few places of the width originally proposed. The 
company was first incorporated for $10,000, but this amount was 
soon found to be inadequate to complete the great undertaking. 
Under existing laws assessments on the stockholders could not be 
collected in sums large enough to complete the work in a reasonable 
time. So the capital stock was increased to $.30,000 in 1875; this latter 
sum not being equal to the demands, the same was increased to 
$100,000. After the struggles, privations and great self-denials of 
these sturdy pioneers the ditch was finally completed as it now exists, 
about the year 1878 or 1879. During the early years of the work 
assessments were called for so frequently that inany of the stock- 
holders were imable to meet them and their stock had to be sold for 
the assessments. The whole number of shares of capital stock issued 
was subscribed for and the assessments kept up for a while, but prior 
to 1881 more than one-third of the stock issued was sold for assess- 


ments aiid bought in for the comijauy, because no one living in the 
country on land covered by the ditch at that time had money to 
buy the stock. In 1912 the total number of shares outstanding and 
which have not varied for twenty-five years, is sixty-three and thir- 
teen-sixteenths shares. These shares are now held by more than 
two hundred persons. The largest number of shares now owned by 
one person is not over five, exeei3t that the Settlers Ditch Company 
now owns sixteen and one-half shares. About 1890, shortly after the 
passage through the state legislature of what was known as the 
Wright Irrigation Bill providing for the creation of irrigation dis- 
tricts throughout the state, the Tulare Irrigation District was formed 
and its promotors bought from the Settlers Ditch Company its right 
to take water from the Cross creek and floated its point of diversion 
to a point on Kaweah river about ten miles northeast of Visalia. 
Thus having sold its water right, the Settlers Ditch Company pur- 
chased from the Peoples Ditch Company the sixteen and one-twelfth 
shares of stock to resupply its ditch. The advantage resulting from 
the change was that the stockholders of the Settlers Ditch Company 
were able to have water for irrigation for a longer season each 

In the early '90s the Riverside Ditch Company was incorporated 
for the purpose of appropriating water from Kings river and for 
taking it from a point just above the lower headgate in the Peoples 
ditch. This ditch extends westerly along the south bank of Kings 
river for a distance of about ten miles and supplies water for irri- 
gation to several thousand acres of rich land lying south of Kings 
river. It operates as an auxiliary factor to the Peoples ditch, many 
of the latter 's stockholders owning stock in the Riverside ditch and 
many laud owners along the Riverside ditch renting water from 
stockholders of Peoples ditch. 


In June, 1874, an association of farmers organized the Settlers 
Ditch Company, with the intention of supplying mostly a tract of 
land in township 18 south, range 22 east, being east and northeast 
of Hanford. Major Thomas J.^McQuiddy, George W. Cotton, C. 0. 
Butler, George Slight, J. M. Cary, Jeremiah Lambert, Orrin Jef- 
fords, J. W. Brown, Alex Taylor, jolm Urton, Joe Perrin, Ely Bock, 
C. H. Robinson, Jack "VVickham, were the leading men in promoting the 
interests of this enterprise and incorporating it under the state laws 
of California. AVilliam R. McQuiddy was the first secretarj'. Attorney 
W. W. Cross wrote the articles of incorporation. The new company 
bought instruments for surveying and William R. McQuiddy acted as 
surveyor for the preliminary work of locating the ditch head at the 
mouth of C'ross creek, after which Jolm S. Urton took charge of the 
engineering and made definite location of the ditch lines and staked 


them out ready for the construction gangs, composed oi' the stock- 
holders who worked ou different sections of the ditch as apportioned 
by the management. Actual work in excavating was begun in the 
fall of 1874 and proceeded under difficulties through the winter and 
spring of 1875. Hard pan was found at the upper end of the works, 
which necessitated a raise in the grade, this calling for a dam or weir 
in Cross creek to elevate the water supply to the new grade of the 
ditch. It was also found necessary to make a cut two miles above 
from this channel across to Main stream so as to insure water at 
all times when there was water therein. This cut was 1600 feet 
long and in places had to be cut down through hardpan. On De- 
cember 1, 1875, the ditch was practically completed as far south as 
the county road running east from the north line of the city of 
Hanford. The water was turned into the ditch about December 1, 
and the stockholders began to use it on their lands with great rejoicing- 
over their deliverance from the arid conditions of the past. To 
celebrate this important event a meeting was called at the Eureka 
schoolhoiise. Nearly every j^erson in the community was present, 
and the good cheer and enthusiasm of all told the story of their 
triumph over the adverse conditions through which they had passed. 
One of the principal actors in this celebration was Lyman B. Euggles, 
who had bought out George W. Cotten a few months previous. The 
speechmaking, the songs composed for the occasion, and the banquet 
of the best eatables that the country then afforded, made this cele- 
bration a very enjoyable one for all. Memory turns back from these 
days of plenty to those days of salt grass, bacon and beans, with 
so little money, and such a scarcity of credit, and wonders how in 
the world they ever accomplished such herculean tasks. It was surely 
a journey through the wilderness, without grain or hay for horse- 
feed, simply salt grass, and very meager food for men. What was 
true of the brave men who builded the Settlers' ditch was true of all 
the other pioneers who from 1872 and later built tlie other ditches 
which now carry the living water to their luxuriant homesteads. The 
Lower Kings river, the Peoples' Ditch, the Last Chance, and the 
Lakeside Companies were all manned by men of splendid courage, 
great endurance and a sublime faith that sustained them and led 
them on in the face of all kinds of hardships and privations to ulti- 
mate success. This history may not give every name entitled to 
credit for the early development of Kings county soil, because they 
may not all be recalled to memory, but those not named are no less 
deserving a place in the record of a righteous service to mankind. 


In 1873 the Last Chance Ditch Company was formed to take water 
from Kings river to supply the rich lands in the vicinity of Grauge- 
ville. The system was about comijleted in one season and proved 


very successful to the territory for wliicli it was iutended. The tirst 
board of directors of the Last Chance consisted of William L. Morton 
(chairman), William Ingram, C. W. Hackett, 0. H. Bliss, J. R. Hein- 
len, Justin Esrev, L. Gilroy (secretary), J. G. Moore, George Smith, 
(surveyor), G. H. Hackett, "l. Waggner, G. S. Foster, G. T. Thornton, 
M. S. Babcock, W. A. Caruthers, 0. L. Wilson, W. R. Sullenger, 
John Kurts, E. Erlanger, L. Lowery, John Martin, W. H. Whitesides, 
William Sutherland, Lewis Haas, Jonathan Esrey, James Sibley. 
Perry Phillips, George W. Cody, E. Giddings, J. H. Shore, A. S. 
Avers, C. Railsback, E. M. Cleveland, Jesse Brown, W. W. Pari in. 
C. M. Blowers, John Chambers were among the sturdy pioneers and 
stockholders of the Last Chance enterprise who plowed and scraped 
on beans and bacon that the desert might bloom as a blessed heritage 
for future generations. 

In the year 1874 the Lakeside Ditch Company was organized, 
but did not get to doing much until 1875, when it built a canal thirty 
feet wide and three feet deep to cover the unirrigated lands southeast 
and south of Hanford. The company appropriated three hundred 
and one cubic feet per second from Cross creek, a branch of Kaweah 
river. The first board of directors consisted of Robert Doherty 
Samuel F. Deardorff, C. W. Clark, George A. Dodge, Perry C. 
Phillips. J. Whiting, Jacob Marsh. Other members and stockholders 
of the company who were identified in the ]iromotion and actual 
construction of the Lakeside were : Claude Giddings, George W. Clute, 
William Kerr, William Covert, John Rourke, Thomas McCarty, Pat- 
rick McCarty, John McCarty, E. J. Dibble, E. McNamee, S. D. Brewer, 
Joseph Peacock, Andrew Blend, W. H. Winnie, A. M. Stone, Simon 
Stone, John Sigler, R. S. Wait, Oscar Clapp, J. C. Rice, E. P. Irwin, J. 
G. Herriford, David Dodge, Caryl Church, Henry Hildebrand. George 
McCann, M. A. Hill, George Doherty, William Doherty, John Smith, 
James McClellan, Frank McClellan, j. T. Gurnsey, E. Twinning, C. B. 
Dodge, L. C. Hawley, William H. Dodds, J. Y. Dodds. The Lakeside 
ditch serves a large district, which is largely devoted to dairy and 
stock interests. 

Some years later Carr and Chambei'lain built a canal to cover a 
fine tract of land formerly lake bottom on the north side of Tulare 
lake. This canal is served by water from the Peoples' ditch and 
hence is not a pi'imary factor, but simply an extension of the irriga- 
tion system. 


In the year 1903 the above named company was formed with the 
intention of appropriating water from Kings ri\-er a few hundred 
yards above the Peoples' Ditch Com])any's ])oint of intake. The 
leading men in its organization were Dr. N. P. Duncan. J. Frank 


Pryor, Dr. R. H Dixou, J. D. McCord. The project coiiteinplated 
the irrigation of hinds altout the present city of Corcoran and those 
lake bottom lands then and thereafter to be reclaimed. Tlie oi)era- 
tions of the company have been held in abeyance on acconnt of 
litigation so that its prospective good results have not vet l)een 
realized. R. D. Hunter, E. E. Bush, F. C. Paulin, Stoddard Jess. 
C. W. Gates, A. II. Brawley are the more recent promoters and 
custodians of the company's interests. The final success of the 
undertaking means much to a large area of very fertile land south 
and east of Tulare lake. 


In the spring of 1899 F. Blakeley, Hi Clauson, Max Lovelace, 
R. E. McKenna, Jack Rhodes and Stiles McLaughlin associated 
themselves together for the promotion of what is commonly called 
the Blakeley ditch, contemplating the irrigation of a tract of fine 
land west and northwest of Tulare lake. The company appro]jriated 
100,000 inches of water from Kings river at a point about one-half 
mile below the lower bridge. After three miles of canal had been 
constructed, Mr. Blakeley on his own account extended the system 
so that its ditches measured thirty-eight miles. 

The Empire Water Company was created to distrilmte water 
over the lands of the rich district known as the Empire rancJi. Also 
the Mercedes Pumping Comjiany was formed prospectively to water 
land west of Kings river. 


This company was promoted by Henry Cousins, Hi Clauson, 
Frank Blakeley, Max Lovelace, Stiles McLaughlin, a Mr. Ogle and 
others about the year 1900 and contemplated the irrigation of lands 
east of Kings river and north of Tulare lake as well as future lauds 
reclaimed by the receding of the lake. It is supplied by the same 
appropriation of the waters from Kings river and • served by the 
same dam as the Blakeley ditch and in fact is twin to the hitter 
named ditch. It is about one hundred feet wide in phices and the 
system embraces about twenty-eight miles of ditch. 


The history of a locality would not be comi)lete witliout containing 
a record of those "heavenly blessings" furnished by the weatlier 
god. Herewith is presented an authentic rain table kept since 1891, 
showing the measurement of rain l)y the month, as gauged at 
Hanf ord : 

Year 18!)l-92— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; Seiiteml)er, ..")J; 


October. 0.00; Novembei-, .40; December, 1.92; January. .41; Febru- 
ary, .99; March, 2.27; April, .19; May, 1.26; total annual^ 7.96. 

Year 1892-93— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00 ; October, .26 ; November, .38 ; December, 1.46 ; January, 2.83 ; Feb- 
ruary, 1.22 ; March, 2.53 ; April, .13 ; May, 0.00 ; total annual, 8.81. 

Year 1893-94— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September. 
0.00 ; October, .02 ; November, .20 ; December, 1.34 ; January, .87 ; Feb- 
ruary, .40; March, .33; April, .09; May, .20; total annual, 3.45. 

Year 1894-95— June, .72; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
.53; October, .25; November, 0.00; December, 3.00; January, 2.79; Feb- 
ruary, .97; March, .96; April, .50; May, .38; total annual, 10.10. 

Year 1895-96— June, 0.00; July, 6.00; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00; October, 1.05; November, 0.00; December, .35; January, 1.70; 
February, 0.00 ; March, .55 ; April, .76 ; May, .15 ; total annual, 4.56. 

Year— 1896-97— June, .0.00; July, .11; August, .02; September, 
0.00; October, .61; November, .72; December, .68; January, 1.56; 
February, 1.86 ; March, .11 ; April, .95 ; May, 0.00 ; total annual", 6.62. 

Year— 1897-98— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00; October, 1.80; November, .21; December, .48; January, .38; Feb- 
ruary, .89; March, .03; April, .91; May, .41; total annual, 5.11. 

Year— 1898-99— June, 0.00 ; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
1.44; October, .11; November, .08; December, .75; January, 1.04; Feb- 
ruary, .17; March, .30; April, 2.66; May, .26; total annual, 6.81. 

Year— 1899-00— June, .26; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00; October, .96; November, 1.18; December, 1.23; January, 1.61; 
February, 0.00; March, 1.26; April, 1.33; May, 2.27; total annual, 10.10. 

Year— 1900-01— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00; October, -.25 ; November, 2.21; December, .22; January, 3.30; Feb- 
ruarv, 2.82 ; March, .67 ; April, .27 ; May, 1.39 ; total annual, 11.13. 

Year— 1901-02— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
.57 ; October, .51 ; November, .80 ; December, .24 ; January, .40 ; February, 
2.17; March, 1.43; April, .50; May, .08; total annual, 6.70. 

Year— 1902-03— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00 ; October, .32 ; November, 1.52 ; December, .63 ; January, 1.28 ; Feb- 
ruary, .57; March, 1.76; April, .80; May, 0.00; total annual, 6.88. 

Year— 1903-04— June, 0.00; July, O.OO"; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00; October, .05; November, .32; December, .13; January, .56; Feb- 
ruarv, 2.15; March, 3.07; April, .36; May, 0.00; total annual', 6.64. 

Year— 1904-05— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
2.00; October, .74; November, 0.00; December, 1.24; January, 1.45; 
Februarv, 1.16; March, 2.20; April, .48; May, 1.05; total annual, 10.32. 

Year— 1905-06— Jime, 0.00; July, O.OO"; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00 ; October, 0.00 ; November, 1.37 ; December, .41 ; January, 1.81 ; 
Februarv, 1.54; March, 4.77; April, .76; May. 1.76; total annual, 12.42. 

Year— 1906-07— June, 0.00; Julv, O.OCi; August, 0.00; September, 


0.00; October, 0.00; November, .39; December, 3.49; January, 3.51; 
February, .67; Marcb, 2.39; April, .32; May, 0.00; total anmial, 10.77. 

Year— 1907-08— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; Septem- 
ber, 0.00; October, .68; November, 0.00; December, 1.74; Jan- 
uary, 1.92; February, 3.03; March, 0.00; April, 0.00; May, .56; total 
annual, 7.93. 

Year— 1908-09— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
.91; October, 0.00; November, .66; December, .31; January, 4.35; Feb- 
ruary, 3.21; March, 1.66; April, 0.00; May, .15; total annual, 11.25 

Year— 1909-10— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
0.00 ; October, .19 ; November, 1.57 ; December, 2.56 ; January, 1.87 ; Feb- 
ruary, .08; March, 1.47; April, .05; May, .24; total annual, 8.03. 

Year— 1910-11— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 
1.51 ; October, .30 ; November, .23 ; December, .72 ; January, 3.37 ; Feb- 
ruary, 1.46 ; March, 2.94 ; April, 0.00 ; May, .50 ; total annual, 11.03. 

Year— 1911-12— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; Augiist, 0.00; September, 
.04; October, .09; November, .23; December, .55; January, .51; Feb- 
ruary, .02 ; March, 3.15 ; April, .27 ; May, 1.52 ; total annual, 6.38. 



The most interesting natural phenomenon that has transpired in 
Kings county since its organization is the vanishing and reappearance 
of Tulare lake, a body of fresh water, for years the largest in area 
of any lake west of the Rocky Mountains. This lake at one time within 
the memory of some pioneers yet living covered one thousand scjuare 
miles of territory, extending from Kern county northwesterly to near 
Lemoore. From 1854 to 1872, a period of sixteen years, the area of 
this lake changed but little. But along in the '70s, irrigation from the 
streams that ])oured into this basin which forms the depression in 
the great Tulare valley, the borders of the lake gradually receded. It 
is the opinion of Dr. G-ustav Eisen, who knew the lake in 1875 and who 
made a study of it again in 1898, that the use of the waters from the 
streams by the farmers caused the gradual recession. In a well-written 
article on the subject Dr. Eisen relates that recession was rapid at 
the end of the first three years of irrigation farming. The tapping of 
Kings and Tule rivers, and Cross creek which is fed by the Kaweah 
river, and the si)reading of the water out upon the plains through 
great systems of canals and laterals caused the southern end of 
the lake to shrink materially. The shore line in 1854 represented the 
diagram of an oyster, but by 1875 the southern end had shrunk until 
it was about a mile in width. At that time the lake was a great hunt- 
ing and fishing ground. Sail boats and a steamboat plied its waters. 
At certain points a man could wade out for miles and not reach 
beyond his depth. From 1875 to 1880 the lake grew smaller and 
smaller and in 1882 the border had left Kern county entirely. In 1888 
it had become almost circular in shape. From a body of water 
almost eighty miles in length in 1858, by the time Kings county was 
formed it had shrunken to about two hundred and twenty square 
miles. The process of evaporation assisted in aiding the irrigationists 
to uncover the bottom and as that appeared it baked and cracked 
under the influence of the summer sun until, checked and fissured, 
it invited the attention of the land seeker, for by placing solid wooden 
shoes sawed out of plank on the feet of horses, teams could be gotten 
upon the land and levees could be built and crops put in. AVherever 
planting was done in this uncovered lake bottom it was discovered 
that the soil was rich, especially at the deltas of Kings and Tule 
rivers and Deer and Cross creeks. The uncovered lands belonged to 
the state under what was known as the Arkansas act jiassed by 
Congress in September, 1850. This act ])rovided that swam]) and 
overflow lands such as were of no value in extending waterways and 


could not be .settled upon under conditions governing the National 
Homestead Act, should revert to the states in which such lands lay. 
The California legislature in 1872 ])assed a swamp and overflow land 
act which was subsequently amended, enabling settlers to locate on 
these lands belonging to the state, the uniform ])rice to be $1 per 
acre. The law also provided for a reclamation system, which when 
the requirements were met, the state would pay back to the settler 
the $1 per acre advanced. Under this act much swamp and overflowed 
land was acquired by large corporations through their allied interests. 
In 1880 the state adopted a new constitution and an important change 
was made in the matter of handling the swamp land, and Article XVII 
provided that lands belonging to the state which are suitable for 
cultivation shall be granted only to actual settlers and in quantities 
not to exceed three hundred and twenty acres to eacli settler. 

As the waters of Tulare lake continued to vanish and the im- 
mense area was laid bare settlers and speculators believing that 
the lake had disappeared for all time, stampeded to Kings county 
and "Lakelanders" were as numerous and as enthusiastic as ])ros- 
pectors attracted to a great mining field where a lode has been 
struck. Reclamation districts of large and small area were organized 
and levees were erected out of the silt marking the boundaries of such 
districts. As fast as the water could be fenced in to smaller area by 
the excited land-seekers the work went on and the claimants ])l()wed 
and planted and harvested. Some enormous yields of wheat and 
barley were recorded. 

Finally, in 1895, there was no lake. Standing in the center of the 
vast expanse one May day the writer of this gazed out ujion a vast 
sea of about 50,000 acres of waving grain. The millions of ducks and 
geese, pelicans, swan and other wild birds that once made the old 
lake their abiding jjlace had vanished. A stray band of pelicans came 
in, looked down for the water, but finding none, vanisherl in the 
distance. Farmers banked upon a bounteous harvest. But during the 
winter months that had just passed the canyons of the mighty Sierras 
had been filled with snow and with the spring rains and warm con- 
ditions in the hills the torrents which had in other years formed and 
kept replenished the old lake came down the rivers. Some of the 
reclaimers who had particularly good levees managed through great 
exertion to get their grain out, while others less fortunate saw tlieir 
thousand of acres go under water; saw their levees melt away like 
sugar, their houses, barns and haystacks float away, and in a few 
weeks the theory that irrigation and the multiplied jiopulation of the 
country using the waters of the Sierras in growing vineyards and 
orchards had rolibed the county of its lake, had vanished, and Tulare 
lake was again on the maj) covering about the same relative area- as it 
did in IS!);!. 


At present a great levee has been built on tbe east side of the 
lake and many thousands of rich acres have thus been reclaimed and 
the further extension of the levee will expand the reclaimed territory 
to a large extent. 


The building of railroads in Kings county since its birth, May 23, 

1893. is a matter of much historical import because of the fact that 
the first competing line for the great San Joaquin Valley originated 
and took root through the action of Kings county citizens on July 5, 

1894. On that date a group of men while gathered at the Hanford 
Sentinel office lamenting the lack of railroad facilities and the l)urdens 
from excessive transportation rates from the plug road already in 
operation, raised a somewhat plaintive cry, "Let's have an inde- 
pendent line," and on Thursday, July 12, 1894, "An Independent 
Line" constituted the headline under which the first report of an 
organized effort was published and from which incipient effort 
resulted what was first called the San Joaquin Valley Railroad Com- 
pany. From the Hanford Sentinel of the above date we quote: "W. H. 
Worswick is the man who first sounded the key. ' ' The first committee on 
promotion was appointed at a meeting held in the office of D. R. Cam- 
eron. July 9, 1894, and consisted of the following representative men : "W. 
W. Parlin, W. H. Worswick, D. E. Cameron, W. S. Porter, W. A. Long, 
A. V. Taylor, Archibald Yell. On the following day this committee met 
at the office of Archibald Yell "to consider the preliminaries of getting 
a start." By invitation E. Jacobs of Visalia was present and gave 
valuable suggestions. The discussions resulted in adding to the above 
committee the names of B. L. Barney, E. Jacobs, S. E. Biddle, W. P. 
McCord, Frank L. Dodge, W. J. Newport, the whole to constitute a 
board of directors for a temporary organization; Archibald Yell being 
made president and D. R. Cameron, secretary. A committee named to 
map out a route through Kings county included the following gentlemen : 
E. P. Irwin, F. J. Walker, W. H. Worswick, George A. Dodge, Joshua 
Worswick, W. P. McCord, W. W. Parlin. Numerous offers were made by 
farmers to give right of way and grade the road through their premises 
and general discussion and liberal offers of assistance were indulged in 
by the community at large. When the above reports had been circiilated 
other counties took uj) tlic cry for "An Independent Line" and the 
next issue of the Soitiiiel carried the cheering headlines, "Now is the 


time to strike, for the iron is hot aud the people kuow their needs. 
The action of Kings county meets with a hearty response from Contra 
Costa county." The Hanford organization was highly encouraged by 
letters from Antioch and San Francisco. Assurances of helj) l)y 
uniting with the Kings county people gave added impetus to the 
cause and the counties of Fresno, Tulare and Kern soon fell into line 
by holding jjublic meetings and appointing committees to confer with 
the Kings county organization. J. S. Leeds, manager of the San Fran- 
cisco Traffic Association, in an interview said: "It is a good time for 
San Francisco to go to work. If one county can do what these people 
of Kings county are doing the other counties can be relied upon to do 
something of the same kind.- Let us join hands with them." At 
Antioch a mass meeting was held and C. M. Belshaw introduced a 
strong resolution stating that the people of Antioch "are in hearty 
accord and sympathy with the scheme promulgated by the citizens of 
Kings county." C. G. Lamberson of Visalia who had interests in 
Kings county enlisted as a helper. Supervisors Letcher and Foster of 
Fresno county came out emphatically in favor of the Kings county 
movement and advocated a plan to l)()ud Fresno county in the sum 
of $600,000 to aid the project. Tulare county people began to awaken 
and Kern county also felt an im2:)ulse to join in a scheme to reduce 
a transportation rate, the excess of which over a fair and just rat(^ 
would soon pay for a competing road. At this juncture the political 
campaign of 1894 came on and also a question of the government 
ownership of the Southern Pacific lines which had a tendency to 
dampen the ardor of the people toward the newly proposed railroad 
in the various interior counties of the San Joaquin Valley; but the 
Traffic Association of San Francisco about the middle of Octolier. 
1894, began an effort to raise $350,000 to start "The ^^alley Eailroad" 
as it was then called. Then a company known as the "United Rail- 
road Comjiany," managed by a man named Hartzell at Stockton, 
launched a scheme to build a road from Stockton to Bakersfield. 
This was in Novemljer, 1894. It sought to unite with the San Fran- 
cisco Traffic Association and was encouraged by P. McRae of Hanford. 
The original movement by Kings county people seemed for a while 
held up by the efforts of the above combines and the seeming reluct- 
ance of capitalists in the northern metropolis to justly aid tlie interests 
of the San Joaquin Valley people. Late in November, 1894, D. R. 
Cameron, secretary of the Kings county railroad promotion committee, 
threw a bombshell into the camp of the San Francisco business men 
by writing a letter to the Los Angeles Chamber of Conmierce, 
setting forth a proposition whereby Los Angeles might unite in 
building a competing railroad into the San Joatpiiu ^'alley, thus 
securing a substantial interchange of trade which their jiresent trans- 
portation rates proliil)itcd. This valley had i)reviously looked north to 


San Francisco for aid, The lethargy of that city was i)henomenal. 
The proposition was well received by Los Angeles people and again 
enthusiasm went to an upper mark. A meeting was called by the 
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce for January 12, 1895. Delegations 
were sent to this meeting appointed by the Boards of Supervisors of 
the respective counties as follows: Kings county, S. E. Biddle, F. L. 
Dodge, D. R. Cameron; Fresno county, T. C. AVhite, Fulton G. Berry, 
J. H. Kelley. O. J. Woodward; Kern county, AY. H. Holabird; Tulare 
county, E. Barris. The delegates were well received by the Los 
Angeles Chamber of Commerce and two enthusiastic sessions were 
held at which resolutions endorsing the Matthews bill which was then 
pending before the State Legislature, empowering counties to issue 
bonds for constructing railroads within their boundaries. A commit- 
tee on Ways and Means was appointed. Said committee elected W. 
H. Holabird chairman, Charles Forman secretary, and J. M. Elliott 
of the First National Bank of Los Angeles, treasurer. The sense of 
the meeting was strong that a line of railway be built from Los An- 
geles into the San Joaquin Valley and recommended the means pro- 
vided b}' the Matthews Bill as an incentive for the various counties to 

The result of the Los Angeles meeting was the bomb that awak- 
ened San P^'rancisco capitalists, for no sooner than reports reached 
them that Los Angeles was interested in getting the trade of this great 
valley did the Bay City see its danger and her prominent business 
men began to bestir themselves to enlist capital to come to the rescue. 
Word was quickly sent to the Kings county organization that a com- 
mittee of twelve had been selected in San Francisco with Clans 
Spreckels at the head, with a subscription of $700,000 ; that a company 
was forming to be ea}utalized in the sum of $2,000,000 which would 
all be subscribed in that city in a few days to guarantee the building 
of the new road from San Francisco to Bakersfield. The San Fran- 
cisco committee consisted of Clans Spreckels, Alexander Bovd, James 
D. Phelan, James F. Flood, O. D. Baldwin, David Meyer, w". F. AVhit- 
tier, Albert Miller, Charles Holbrook, Thomas Alagee, John T. Doyle, 
and E. F. Preston. This action electrified the whole city and set every- 
body talking about the new railroad, while the San Joaquin Valley 
rang with the hallelujalis of promised deliverance. Even Los Angeles 
took up the strain and advocated a continued line of road to that city. 
On January 2nd, 11S95, a mass meeting was held in the Hauford Oi)era 
House. After discussion of the outlook by ])rominent citizens a com- 
mittee was appointed to confer with the San Francisco committee, 
consisting of E. E. Manheim, D. R. Cameron, S. E. Biddle, P. IMcRae, 
F. L. Dodge. Louis F. Montagle, F. W. Van Sicklin, S. C. Lillis. A. 
Kutner, J. E. Rawlins. The San Francisco Chronicle encouraged the 
enterprise by giving a whole page write-up of the great resources of 


the various counties through which the new road would pass. In its 
write-up it said of Kings County: 

"Kings County is known as the hal)y county of the state, from the 
fact that it was the last one to be created. It was taken from Tuhire 
County, and includes all of Tulare Lake, a sliallow basin of about 100 
square miles in area. This new county of Kings is in the direct line 
of all railroad enterprises that expect to traverse the San Joaquin 
Valley. It has an assessed acreage of 427,281 acres and an assessed 
wealth of, in 1892, about $7,000,000. The territory of this county is 
irrigated by ditches having their suj^ply from Kings and Kaweah 
rivers and Cross Creek, furnishing what is claimed to he the best, 
cheapest and most thorougli irrigation system." 

At this time $2,100,000 liad been subscribed and articles of incor- 
l)oration tiled in which San Francisco and Bakersfield were named as 
terminal ])oints. The capital stock of the company was ]3laced at 
$6,000,000, the length of the road to be 350 miles. 

But all great enterprises meet with difficulties and now came the 
one great question, how to get into San Francisco? Clans Spreckels 
found the way blocked against right of way for terminal facilities and 
had to go to the State Legislature to get a Bill enacted so as to be able 
to lease mud flats for terminal groiands. 

Trouble also came to the people of Hanford and Kings county 
in the way of different routing of the line through the valley. Down 
the west side or tlie east side, which? While Kings county as the 
pioneers in the work had lirought it to a proliable success, her people 
were called upon to "])ut u])" or lose the goose. As it was proclaimed 
by C. F. Preston, one of the San Francisco boosters, to be "a people's 
road, built with the i)eople's money and owned by the people," the 
Ilanford committee reported, after a canvass of the county, that 1068 
days' work by men and teams, making over three years' work, liad 
been offered, several hundred tons of hay, an amount of barley and 
some money; besides this three different men had promised to grade 
enough to make one-half the distance across the county. The city of 
Ilanford would furnish dei»ot grounds and right of way. 

At this time .390 names were on the San F'rancisco subscription 
list, aggregating $2,388,300. Claus Spreckels said he wanted it called 
the "people's road" and not Spreckels' road. The San Francisco Ex- 
aminer said in its ]iraise: "The valley road will save the trade and 
industry of the city from the strangling gri]i of the Southern Pacific's 
liolicy that is now directed to give the trade of the interior to Chicaiio 
and Xew York." 

April 29, 1895, Claus Spreckels. Eobert Watt and Capt. 11. li. 
Payson, directors of the new valley road, visited Ilanford on a tour 
of inspection as to probal)Ie routes and to view the resources from 
which the new road might (>x))ect jiatronage. The Ilanford conunittee 
gave them a ride lliiough the sui-rounding country and a bancpu't. 


The "San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Eailroad" bad now be- 
come a certaint}'; rails had been purchased for a Ijeginuing and con- 
tracts for construction were being negotiated. Committees in the va- 
rious counties were working for rights of way, it being about settled 
that the road from Fresno would branch to both sides of the valley. 
May 7th a Planford committee, consisting of E. E. Bush, D. R. Cameron, 
L. S. Chittenden and Frank L. Dodge, were sent on a trij) to look out 
the most direct route down the west side to Bakersfiekl. 

A committee of the directors of the road again visited Hanford 
on a final tour of inspection on May 7th, and it was then admitted 
that Hanford would be on the main line. On Friday, the 22nd day of 
January, 1897, was transacted the very important business of signing 
contracts with the San Francisco and San Joaqiiin Valley Railroad 
Company by which Kings County was to get the main line, and on 
Monday night, January 25th, the Hanford City Council granted a fran- 
chise through the city for the building and operating of the new road. 
On Tuesday, January 26th, duly authorized committee, consisting of 
E. E. Bush, D. R. Cameron and P. McRea, as custodians of the money 
raised and deeds collected for rights of way, signed the contract with 
the railroad company which secured the prize for which Kings county 
had l)een struggling for during the past three years. 

There was little left to be done by the people but to await the 
building of the road south from Fresno to Bakersiield, via Hanford. 
While Hanford people took the initiative and with commendable zeal 
pushed the enterprise from the start, the financial requirements were 
so far beyond them that the actual construction and equipment must 
necessarily pass to the hands of a company of capitalists, which it did 
and thus the matter of control by the people was wholly lost and the 
question of its being and remaining a competing railroad when finished 
was a mere guess. However, it was an improvement much needed and 
desired by the people and all were pleased, and encouraged to greater 
activity in all lines of industry that belong to this, the greatest inland 
empire of the Pacific Coast. The actual coming of the iron horse over 
the new road was celebrated in Hanford on May 23rd, 1897, just two 
years, eleven months and eighteen days from tlie date of the first meet- 
ing in Hanford to start it. 

The celebration of its coming was combined with the fifth anni- 
versary celebration of Kings county. On that date the first passenger 
train over the new road sounded its whistle to the largest crowd that 
had ever gathered at Hanford. There were parades with bauds of 
music; floats representing horticultural and agricultural interests, as 
well as the city business houses, the educational and civic institutions 
of Kings county and many delegations of visitors from surrounding 
counties and towns. One thousand peo]ile came in on tlie first passenger 
ti'ain, including the dii-ectors and other officers of the new road. 

After the grand pniade had been' reviewed ))y the visitors and the 


happy thousands of home people, exercises were held at a grand stand 
where eloquent sjoeeehes were made by E. E. Manheim, president Han- 
ford Chamber of Commerce; Judge Justin Jacobs of Kings county, 
Vice-President Robert Watt of the road, Col. E. E. Preston, counsel 
for the road. It was a gala day for Kings county, then the baby 
county of the state, because the new road had reduced freights and 
farces to San Francisco about one-third and had brought such im- 
proved accommodations as to merit the praise of all. 


No history of Kings county would be complete without mention 
of the dairy industry, and it was only four years prior to the organiza- 
tion of the county that the dairy industry was founded, in the year 
1889, by a few progressive ranchers. It was due to their foresight 
and persistent efforts that a co-operative company for the manufacture 
of cheese was formed and incorporated. At that time it was generally 
believed that climatic conditions in this part of the valley were such 
as to preclude the successful manufacture of dairj' products commer- 
cially, but the new company erected a factory at Hanford and sub- 
sequently another factory was built in the Lakeside district, eight 
miles south. The Lakeside institution operated for several years, but 
was finally acquired by the Hanford company. The establishment of 
these factories inspired the ranchers to improve their stock, and the 
mongrel cows of the old home dairy days gave way to imported short- 
horn Durham, Holstein, Jersey, Ayrshire and other breeds, so we can 
mark the beginning of the present extensive dairy business here to 
the advent of factory cheese-making. As it was soon learned that 
alfalfa was the great forage for the dairy, cheese making prosjiered, 
and in 1889 the two cheese factories passed into the ownership of 
A. B. Crowell, one of the county's first interested dairymen. In that 
year he made up into cheese 1700 pounds of milk per day. During 
the six years which followed, the patronage of the factories grew to 
10,000 pounds of milk per day, and in the year 1902 the Hanford fac- 
tory, which had then swallowed np the Lakeside plant, turned out 
150,000 pounds of cheese. But in 1897, F. J. Peacock estal)lished a 
butter factory in the Dallas district, near where the town of Corcoran 
now stands. He subsequently established othei- luittcr making jilajits. 


and so rapidly did tlie butter industry grow that in 1902 there were 
4500 cows in the eoimty, supplying cream to the factories, the Kings 
County Creamery alone paying out that year to the dairymen $120,000 
for milk and cream. Finally the Hanford cheese factory was destroyed 
by fire, and the butter industry having grown more popular, absorbed 
the attention of the dair^^nen, and cheese making in the county has 
been since confined to small private plants, bnt an article of excellent 
grade is made for local consumption. 

In 1903 a company was organized in Hanford for the condensation 
of milk. A factory was erected and equipped, but through some fault 
in the management the project was a failure. 

The creamery business, however, has flourished until in 1911 the 
output of dairy products from the dairies of the county amounted to 
$1,574,250. There are five incorporated creameries in the county now, 
and others in prospect. 



Hanford, the chief city and county seat of Kings county, is situated 
midway lietween .San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the towusite was 
laid out by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company in March, 1877. 
The town was named after James Hanford, who was auditor of the 
railroad company at the time the railroad was built to this point. 
As an unincorporated town it soon became an important trading point, 
and in July, 1891, after a series of annual conflagrations, the peoi)le 
determined to incorporate the town and make it a city of the sixth 
class. Accordingly a petition was presented to the board of super- 
visors of Tulare county on July 10, 1891, praying for an election to 
be called for the purpose of deciding upon the subject of incor]ioratiug. 

The petition contained the description of the boundaries of the 
proposed city, and they were as follows, to wit: Beginning at a point 
thirty feet north and thirty feet west of the southeast corner of section 
36, township 18 south, range 21 east, M. D. B. and M., thence run- 
ning due north to a point thirty feet south and thirty feet west of the 
northeast corner of section 25, township 18 south, range 21 east, 
M. D. B. and M., thence due west to a point thirty feet south and 
thirty feet east of the northwest corner of said section 25, tlience 
due south to a point thirty feet north and thirty feet east of tlie south- 
west corner of aforesaid section 36, tlience due east to i)oint of 

Those who petitioned for this movement were : Frank J. Walker, 
T. Gebhardt, J. PL Malone, J. Manasse, F. A. Blakeley, O. B. Pheli)s, 
Dixon L. Phillips, R. G. White, S. E. Biddle, S. Rehoefer, R. Mills, 
E. E. Manheim, F. L. Dodge, J. D. Biddle, C. R. Brown, J. J. Harlow, 
George Slight, J. T. Baker, E. E. Rush, R. W. Musgrave, Z. D. 
Johns, X. P. Duncan, D. Gamble, J. H. Sharp, A. J. Huff, A. E. 
Chittenden, F. A. Dodge, J. D. Spencer, B. C. Bestman, W. R. Mc- 
Quiddy, B. C. Miekle, A. P. Gomes, D. L. Healy, E. Axtell, T. J. 
McQuiddv, E. P. Irwin, P. A. Hoy, N. Weisbaum, K. Simon, C. B. 
Rourke, J. P. Ames, J. G. Miekle, J. G. Clanton, J. Hanley, Wm. 
Roughton, J. Weisbaum, J. R. Beckwith, E. J. Benedict, C. R. Hawley, 
Wm. Corey, E. Weisbaum, John S. Thompson, H. G. I^acey. S. M. 
Rosenlierger, R. L. Roughton, H. C. Fallin, W. H. Nyswonger, W. A. 
Arnold, S. M. Joiner, Charles F. Cunning, George W. King, C. J. 
Hall, C. W. Cooper, Charles King, R. Starkweather, A. H. Martin, 
R. Irwin, F. V. Dewey, H. Buck, Cliarles Vosburg, A. E. Gribi, M. 
C. LaFortune, J. C. Davis, E. M. Friant, Wm. McVey. Samuel J. 
Bee, A. G. Dollenraaver, J. F. Garwood, E. Lord. IT. C. taiuly. 


The election was held ou August 8, 1891, and resulted iu tlie fol- 
lowing vote : For incorporation, 127 ; against incoi-poration, 47. 


From 1891 to 1892— Trustees : E. Axtell, B. A. Fassett, James 
0. Hickman, James Manasse and Greorge Slight. President of the 
Board, B. A. Fassett; City Clerk, W. E. McQuiddy; Treasurer. N. 
Weisbaum; Marshal, Wm. A. Bush. 

From 1892 to 1894— Trustees : E. Axtell, B. A. Fassett, E. Lord, 
Richard Mills and George Slight. President of the Board, B. A. 
Fassett ; City Clerk, Edward Weisbaum ; Treasurer, Jas. 0. Hickman ; 
Marshal, Wm. A. Bush. 

From 1894 to 1896— Trustees : S. B. Hicks, J. H. Malone, R. E. 
Starkweather, E. Lord and George Slight. President of the Board, 
George Slight; City Clerk, Frank Pryor; Treasurer, J. 0. Hickman; 
Marshal, H. McGinnis. 

From 1896 to 1898— Trustees : D. R. Cameron, John Boss, S. 
B. Hicks, J. H. Malone and E. E. Starkweather. President of the 
Board. S. B. Hicks; City Clerk, Frank Pryor; Treasurer. Arthur 

D. King; Marshal, H. McGinnis. 

From 1898 to 1900— Trustees : S. E. Biddle, J. G. Burgess, J. H. 
Farley, D. R. Cameron and John Ross. President of the Board, T). 
R. Cameron; City Clerk, Frank Pryor; Treasurer, A. D. King; 
Marshal, H. McGinnis. 

From 1900 to 1902— Trustees : Wm. Abbott, W. H. Camp. S. E. 
Biddle. J. G. Burgess and J. H. Farley. President of the Board, 
J. H. Burgess; City Clerk, B. W. Moore; Treasurer, A. D. King; 
Marshal, Ed. Reuck. 

From 1902 to 1904— Trustees : Wm. Abbott, Wm. Camp, J. W. 

Rhoads, Harry Widmer and J. E. Viney. President of the Board, 

Harry Widmer; City Clerk, Jas. A. Hill; Treasurer, F. R. Hight; 

Marshal, A. M. Frederick. 

/ From 1904 to 1906— Trustees : W. H. Camp, E. H. Walker, J. 

E. Viney, J. W. Rhoads and H. Widmer. President of the Board, 
Harry Widmer; City Clerk, Jas. A. Hill; Treasurer, F. R. Hight; 
Marshal, A. M. Frederick. 

From 1906 to 1908— Trustees : H. A. Beekhuis, W. H. Camp, 
E. H. Walker, Grant Starkweather and J. M. Dean. President of 
the Board, H. A. Beekhuis; City Clerk, Jas. A. Hill; Treasurer, F. R. 
Hight; Marshal, A. M. Frederick. 

From 1908 to 1910— Trustees : H. A. Beekhuis, B. L. Barney, 
David Gamble, J. M. Dean, Grant Starkweather. President of the 
Board, IT. A. Beekhuis, who resigned and B. L. Barney was chosen 
president; City Clerk, James A. Hill; Treasurer, F. E. Hight; Marshal, 
A. M. Frederick. 

From 1910 to 1912— Trustees : B. L. Barnev, F. M. Parish, Grant 


Starkweather, David Gamble, A. W. Bass. Presideut of the Board, 
B. L. Barney; City Clerk, D. C. AVilliams; Treasurer, F. R. Hisht; 
Marshal, A. M. Frederick. 

From 1912 to 1914— Trustees : Charles H. Coe, J. H. Dawson, 
A. W. Bass, F. M. Parish, Grant Starkweather. President of the 
Board, Charles H. Coe ; City Clerk, D. C. Williams ; Treasurer, F. R. 
Hight; Marshal (now appointive), Samuel Humphreys. The latter 
resigned in January, 191:3, and Clarence Seaman was appointed to 
succeed him. 

The City of Hanford at this time, twenty-two years after it was 
incorporated, enjoys fifteen blocks of business streets paved with 
asphaltum concrete and curbed with granite. The city owns its own 
Holly water system for protection against fire, having one of the best 
duplicated sj'stems of steam pumping through a system of under- 
ground water mains extending throughout the city that can be found 
in any city of its size. A volunteer fire department of thirty-five 
men is equipped with auto chemical and hose truck, hand chemicals, 
etc., which were purchased in 1912 and succeeded horse-drawn ap- 
paratus. In October, 1912, the city voted bonds in the sum of $35,000 
to extend the then existing fire system, which was built in the early 
'90s and subsequently extended. At this election bonds of $80,000 
were also voted to rehabilitate a city sewer system constructed orig- 
inally in 1900 by a bond issue. In the latter year a bond election 
was held, November 20, and bonds in the sum of $50,000 were voted, 
the vote being 324 for and 109 against the bonds. A sewer farm of 
one hundred and sixty acres was purchased, the same being the north- 
west quarter of section 12, 19-21. A septic tank was there built, and 
a system of sewers, the largest size of pipe used being twelve inch 
for the outfall, was constructed. At that time, with the population 
of the city being about 2,900, the system was fairly adequate, but 
the rapid increase of population and the fact that the first sewer 
constructed was in many respects improperly done, permitting of 
deterioration, in the summer of 1908 the city reconstructed the outfall 
and extended the service within the city. This proved also only a tem- 
porary relief, and the growth of popiilation having reached the 6,000 
mark in 1912, the sewer question became a pressing one, hence the 
bonds called for and voted in November last, as above stated. The 
contract for this sewer extension, the building of the ImhotT disjjosal 
plant, etc., was awarded January 28, 1913. Through a teclmicality 
the coui'ts declared the bond issue invalid. 

Hanford is supplied with a city hall which is the headquarters of 
the fire department, as well as the seat of municipal government, where 
the city recorder and the city clerk have their offices in connection 
with the chamber of the board of trustees. 



From the time when the Southern Pacitic railroad had reached 
this point and llauford was staked out, the traffic in intoxicating 
liquors flourished as in all western towns until 1912. While the license 
policy that prevailed in the town was perhaps as well managed 
as in any average city, there gradually grew up a sentiment that 
the liquor business was detrimental to the social welfare of the com- 
munity, although the revenue derived from the licensing of the 
traffic was considerable and helped in a large degree to defray the 
expenses of the municipal government. The religious element, as- 
sisted by others not within the churches, gradually encroached against 
the legal barriers thrown about the liquor traffic by ordinances for 
police protection, although the prime object was revenue, and in the 
winter of 1905) under the leadership of the ministerial association 
of the city a campaign was started and was fought out at the municijial 
election in April of 1910. One set of candidates pledged to oppose the 
saloons was nominated and contested for the offices of trustee against 
a "business men's" ticket, not pledged, but generally supposed to be 
pro-saloon. The campaign was bitterly fought, and the election on 
April 11 resulted in the election of F. M.' Parish, A. W. Bass and J. H. 
Dawson, "Good Government" or "Citizens' " candidates, over G. 
Starkweather, J. Hedgeland and C. F. F lemming, of the opposition. 

The vote was close, the average majority of the winning candi- 
dates being but thirty-five votes. The election of these men gave the 
temperance forces a majority of the board, the holdover members 
being B. L. Barney and David Gamble. Between the total vote for 
Dawson and the total vote for Starkweather there was, however, a 
difference of only seven votes in favor of Dawson. This led to a con- 
test, which resulted in favor of Starkweather in a recount before the 
superior court. Judge Malion, of Kern county, i)residing. The case 
was appealed to the supreme court and the judgment of Mahon seat- 
ing Starkweather was affirmed, and he replaced Mr. Dawson on the 
board, thus insuring another term of the license system in the city. 

The anti-saloon forces, however, would not quit. The campaign 
was taken up again by the Anti-Saloon League of California, and the 
state legislature of 1910-11 enacted the Wyllie local option law, which 
gave the anti-saloon people a chance for another round with the 
saloons in Hanford. Petitions were circulated for an election under 
that act, and to decide the "wet" and "dry" (piestion in conjunction 
with the municipal election to be held on April 7, 1912. John Dawson, 
who had been ousted by the Starkweather contest of two years previ- 
ous, and Charles IT. Coe were; candidates for the anti-saloon ticket, 
and S. B. Eicks and W. R. Xewi)ort were the candidates of the o]>po- 
sition ticket for trustees, although both sides were iiledged to enforce 
the law on the li(|uor question in accordance with the ex])ression of the 


voters. A lively and at times bitter campaigii was fought out. At 
the election the total vote cast on the liquor question was 1,740 (the 
women voting under the new franchise act), and there were 753 votes 
cast for license and 987 votes cast against it. The large majority for 
the "dry" element successfully elected Messrs. Coe and Dawson, and 
when they took their seats on the board of trustees the board immedi- 
ately proceeded to eliminate the saloon traffic from the city. The ques- 
tion of granting salaries to the members of the board of trustees was 
also endorsed by the electors, and for the first time in the history of 
the city the trustees became salaried officials. 

The new board met and organized on April 15. Under the new 
law the city marshal became an appointed officer, and Samuel Humph- 
reys was chosen. F. E. Kilpatrick was chosen city attorney. D. C. 
Williams was elected clerk by the people, and the board appointed 
A. M. Ashley city recorder. Thus organized the first city government 
under the "dry" regime began operation. Under the provisions of 
the state law the saloons automatically went out of business ninety 
days after the people had by a majority vote so decreed, and in Han- 
ford, on the night of July 6, 1912, after existing for thirty-five years 
with a legalized saloon system, the bars were closed and the traffic was 
abandoned l)y the edict of the people. 


As early as 1874 a Christian Church organization was formed by 
Major T. J.' McQuiddy, W. R. McQuiddy, Elder Craigie Sharp, Court- 
ney Talbot, J. M. Patterson, Sally Cotton, Welcome Fowler and others. 
This organization held meetings in Eureka schoolhouse. Later the 
Ijlace of meeting was in the Grangeville schoolhouse. In 1878 Hanford 
was chosen by the society as a i^ermanent location and a church was 
built at the corner of Eighth and Brown streets. Later this church 
was rebuilt in its present convenient and commodious proportions. 

In November, 1880, the Presbyterian Church society, which had 
been organized, was given a new impetus liy Rev. N. W. Mo-theral, 
who was given its leadership. He put his native ability and foire 
into immediate action by building a new church building. In this 
enterprise he was obliged to haul lumber fifty miles from the mills, 
then in operation about Tollhouse in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 
Accordingly he engaged Julius Coe, Wesley Underwood, Ben Scrivner 
and a man named Barker, who formed a wagon train of five big teams 
to make the trip to the mills for lumber. In March, 1881, the church 
was completed and the first service held in it by the Presliyterian so- 
ciety was the fvmeral of Joseph Motheral, the sixteen-year-old son 
of N. W. Motheral, the founder of the church. Mr. Motlieral held the 
pastorate of the church for many years, when he resi.gned to serve an 
appointment on the State Horticultural Commission. Rev. E. Lisle 
then served a term as pastor, at the end of whicli Mr. Motheral aa'ain 


took ^a\^ the pastorate and served until his health failed. The Presby- 
terian church has grown and prospered with the city and county under 
the pastorate of the Rev. Sanders, I. B. Self, George B. Gregg, J. W. 
Mount and John Steel. In 1912 the lot at the corner of Eighth and 
Douty streets on which the church was located was sold to the county 
for the sum of $16,000. The church society moved the old building 
to a new location on the southwest corner of Irwin and Dewey streets. 

In the year 1880 the Methodist Church society organized, and 
bought an old schoolhouse, which they moved on to a lot at the south- 
east corner of Douty and Eighth streets. Here the congregation 
worshiped through the struggling vicissitudes of its pioneer days, 
which, as is common to all church societies, seemed at times to baffle all 
efforts to sustain it. In 1886 a new pastor came from Tennessee in the 
person of Andrew G. Parks. He was a young, energetic man, who 
took command with ability and vigor. It was not without great self- 
denial and a perseverance at times sublime that he kept the lights 
burning until the dawn of better times and a growth in the whole 
community that brought a prosperous era. About the year 1891 the 
Methodist society sold their property and relocated on the corner of 
Irwin and Park avenue, where a new and commodious church building 
was erected under the pastorshi]:) of Rev. G. E. Morrison. He was 
considered a specially qualified man to plan, build and collect funds 
for church building, and as such did a good job for the church here, 
but later he became a resident of Texas, where he was convicted of 
poisoning his wife and was hung. The church has since prospered 
and is supported by a substantial congregation. 

In 1880 an Episcopal church was organized, the first service being 
held under Rector D. 0. Kelley in the uncompleted Presliytei-ian 
church building. Rev. Nixon followed in the work until in 1884 Rev. 
C'. S. Linsley took charge and built a comfortable church on South 
Douty street, where the society flourished under various 'rectors until 
the year 1911, when under Rector G. R. E. MacDonald a new brick 
church was built on the corner of North Douty and Eleventh streets. 
Mr. MacDonald was a justly popular leader and under him the church 
grew to be a leading factor among religious interests of the city of 
Hanford. His predecessor, J. S. Majmard, was also a popular rector, 
whose work left a favorable impress on the community. 

In the year 1882 the Catholics built a mission church here on tlie 
corner of Seventli and Reddington streets. Services were held once a 
month for a while by Father Guerrio, a Spanish priest, located at 
Visalia. Following him were Fathers Caraspo, Smith, Murphy, Brady 
and Scher. Father Smith was the first resident priest. In 1912 Father 
Scher made plans to move the church property and enlarge its accom- 
modations, (xround was secured at the coiner of Douty and Florinda 
streets. The new property will include five large buildings, a school, a 
convent, a rectory, a church and an assembly hall. The property as 


a whole will occupy sixteen lots. The Catholic church has a large 
and increasing following among the Portuguese and other 
blood citizenship. 

The Seventh Day Advent church was first established at Lemoore 
about 1887. The second church of that denomination was formed at 
Grangeville a few years later, but about 1900, to make it more cen- 
tral for the increasing membership, it was moved to Armona. In the 
early '90s the Adventists built another church at Hanford on the cor- 
ner of Ninth and Harris streets, and in 1906 also built a church on 
the island northwest of Lemoore. The sect has about 400 members 
in the county and maintains schools in connection with their churches 
at Hanford, Armona and on the island. Elder J. W. Bagby has had 
leading charge of the work for about twelve years. 

The Church of God, at No. 315 East Eleventh street, was estab- 
lished locally about 1904 and later acquired the church property be- 
longing to the LTnited Brethren. The society maintains services, but 
has no regular pastor. 

The First Baptist church, at No. 521 North Irwin street, was es- 
tablished on July 17, 1892. Its first pastor was I. T. Wood, and 
Thomas A. Dodge its first clerk ; Moses P. Troxler, deacon. 

First Church of Christ, Scientist, was established as a society in 
1898 and as a church in 1902, with thirty-two members. W. R. Mc- 
Quiddy and Mrs. Isabella Lloyd were the first and second readers, re- 
spectively, for the first term. 

First Church of Christ was established in a new building built for 
that purpose at the corner of Irwin and Myrtle streets in 1908 with 
Major T. J. McQuiddy, S. J. White and David Utterback its principal 
promoters, J. A. Craig being its first pastor. 

The Free Methodist church at No. 621 North Harris street was 
established in the year 1891. Its first pastor was B. L. Knoll. It has 
a membership of forty-three and maintains regular services, class 
meetings and a Sunday school. 

The Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at the corner of 
Brown and Ninth streets, was established about 1895, first holding 
its meetings in a cottage in the western part of Hanford. Later the 
society built and moved into the ])roperty where they now worship. 
Their first pastor was Rev. W. E. Phillips. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion church, now located at 
South Douty and Second streets, was established about 1890 by Rev. 
Sydney Knox. The society had several j'ears of uphill work, but 
conditions improved and the society maintains its work in the com- 

The Second Baptist (colored) church, at South Irwin and Second 
streets, was started in 1898, its first officers being Henry Wyatt, John 
Welcher, Stephen Shaw. The first pastor was Rev. E. E. Bickers. 



The educational affairs of Kings county are among its proudest 
assets. When the county was organized in 1893 there was but one 
high school, and the formation of the county was in itself an inspira- 
tion for better educational advantages. At the birth of the county 
there were twenty-nine school districts emploj'ing forty-three teachers. 
There were only two thousand census children, and there were only 
five schools employing more than one teacher. Of the sixteen hun- 
dred pupils then enrolled in schools of the county, the one high school, 
that located at Hanford, enrolled fifty-four i^upils. The school prop- 
erty of the county was estimated at less than $90,000. 

The growth of territory by annexation, and the extending of the 
cultivated area, together with the rapid settlement of the farming 
districts and the towns, has brought the school attendance up to three 
thousand two hundred in 1912. 

There are now three high schools, one at Hanford, employing ten 
teachers; one at Lemoore, emploAdng five teachers, and one at Cor- 
coran, emploj-ing two. The enrollment in all high schools, including 
two joint high school districts, was two hundred and twenty-four. The 
Hanford Union High School was established in 1892, the Lemoore 
High School in 1900, and the Corcoran High School in 1912. There 
were at the beginning of 1913 forty grammar school districts in the 
county, employing eighty-five teachers. The enrollment in the gram- 
mar schools was two thousand eight hundred and fifteen, with an aver- 
age daily attendance of two thousand three hundred and eighty-two. 

There were graduated from the grammar schools in 1912 one 
hundred and forty pupils, and from the high schools thirty-seven. 
The school property of the county is now valued at $299,050. As the 
educational affairs of the state at large advance the general effect is 
noted in the building of modern school buildings, and the county has 
today very excellent country school buildings and the city schools 
are also modern in design and facilities for carrying on the work. 
Since the county was formed there have been three different county 
superintendents in office, viz. : James A. Graham, Charles McCourt and 
Mrs. N. E. Davidson, the latter being the present iucumbejit. 


The city of Hanford possesses a free public lilnai'v whicli today 
is the central library of a county library system, the latter l)eiug 
established in 1912. Tlio liistory of the movement which finally 
developed a free city library and afterwards extending its benefits 
and influences county-wide, l)egan back in 1890, when a meeting of 
citizens of the then uniucoriiorated town was held Decemlier 27 
and a reading room association was formed. This association 
opened a reading room on May 26, 1891, in a wooden building on 


Seventh street lietween Douty and Irwin streets. Mrs. M. A. Harlow 
was chosen president of the association and presided at the meeting. 
Mrs. Nellie Henderson (now Mrs. Malone) was the first librarian. 
At the meeting refreshments were served, and interested citizens 
brought books and formed the nucleus of a library. After that 
through the means of donations, socials and concerts sufficient funds 
were raised to maintain the reading room. i)ay rentals and a little 
something to the librarian. 

In May, 1892, after llanford had been incorporated, the reading 
room control was transferred to the city authorities and a librai'v 
board was selectedby the city trustees, the selection being as follows: 
Mesdames D. L. Phillii)s, R." G. White, N. Abrams, J. W. Barbour, 
and W. V. Buckner. Miss Laura Lemon was employed as librarian. 
In a rented building the library was conducted by this board, and in 
September, 1902, application was made to Andi'ew Carnegie for a gift 
of money with which to establish a library. The application was 
for $15,000, and Carnegie offered $10,000. This was not considered 
sufficient by the ladies. A second request was forwarded to Mr. 
Carnegie, and he raised his donation to $12,500. This \vas accepted 
by the library trustees, and they set about securing a site. After 
considerable discussion, which brought out no little contention, the 
Kutner-Goldstein Company offered to the city a site on East Eighth 
street where the present library is situated, and the same was pur- 
chased. In connection with the disposal of the lots the Kutner- 
Goldstein Company pledged the city $500 worth of books as a gift as 
soon as the new Carnegie building was finished. 

Following the decision of the city authorities to purchase the 
site referred to, members of the library board dissatisfied with the 
selection of the site, and backed by other citizens, sued out an injunc- 
tion in the courts to prevent the acceptance of the site by the city. 
The ease was heard in the superior court, Judge Austin, of Fresno, 
presiding, and the injunction was denied. An appeal was taken and 
on January 31, 1905, the appellate court affirmed the decision of the 
lower court, sustaining the action of the city board. This led to the 
resignation of the ladies, who comprised the library board. They had, 
however, secured plans for the new lil)i-ary luiildiiig, wliicli they had 
on file. 

The city trustees then appointed a new board composed of men 
to carry forward the library work. The new board selected consisted 
of Fred A. Dodge, chairman; P. M. Norboe, secretary; Dr. J. A. 
Moore, Z. D. Johns and U. S. Bock. 

This board immediately went to work, slightly altered the plans 
on hand for the building, and let the contract to David Gamble for 
the erection of the building which was to be of artificial stone or 
concrete block. 'I'lie l)uilding work proceeded and (Ui August 12. 


1905, the cornerstone was laid with simple ceremony, consisting of a 
brief address by City Clerk James A. Hill. Within the cornerstone 
were placed copies of the Hanford Daily Sentinel, copies of the 
Hanford Semi-Weekly Journal, a complete set of the then existing city 
ordinances, a card bearing the names of the first board of city trustees, 
viz.: B. A. Fassett, E. Axtell, J. O. Hickman, George Slight and J. 
Manasse, and the first city clerk, W. R. McQuiddy, and many other 
relics of the early history of the town. The construction of the new 
building progressed, and on February 6, 1906, the library board met 
and set February 22 as the date for the dedication of the new building. 

The arrangements were carried out, and at the commodious and 
well-furnished Carnegie library building with a number of fairly 
well-filled book stacks, on the night of February 22, the people 
assembled for a brief program. Fred A. Dodge, chairman of the 
librarj" board, called the assemblage to order and introduced Prof. 
E. H. Walker, principal of the Hanford Union High School, who 
made an address on "The Function of a Public Library." Miss 
Margaret E. Dold, the librarian, also gave an address on "The 
Library and its Wants." Chairman Dodge then on behalf of the 
board of library trustees presented the completed building to the 
city of Hanfoi'd. Secretary P. M. Norboe made an address in which 
Le presented the financial statement of the construction showing that 
the building had been erected and made ready for public use for 
the sum of $12,472.99, leaving a balance from the Carnegie gift in 
the treasury amounting to $27.01. In his remarks Secretary Norboe 
gave credit to library trustee Z. D. Johns, who had freely given his 
time in superintending the construction, for assisting in enabling the 
board to complete the building within the amount appropriated. 

The new building was accepted on behalf of the city J)y Harry 
Widmer, chairman of the board of city trustees, in which he compli- 
mented the library board on the excellent work done. 

Since the dedication of the library it has grown and become a 
most serviceable and prized institution in the city. Miss Dold served 
a number of years as librarian. She was succeeded by Miss Norma 
Burrell, who served until in the fall of 1911, when she was succeeded 
by Miss Bessie Hermann. 

In 1912 Miss Hermann successfully undertook to extend vhe 
scope of the Hanford library and make it the center of a county 
library system. She brought the matter before the city trustees and 
the library board, and those bodies acting with the county board of 
supervisors, carried out the ])lan under the existing state laws, and 
now the institution is {■ouiity-wide, having branch libraries at Cor- 
coran, Armona, Gueinscy. (irangeyille, Lemooie and Hardwick. Tiie 
library is supported troiii the public treasury. 



Lemoore, located on the Southern Pacific Railroad, nine miles 
west of Hanford, the county seat, is the second city in size in the 
county, having- an estimated population of 2500. It was founded l)y 
Dr. Lavern Lee Moore, who located with his family on land where 
the city now stands in April, 1871. The following August Dr. Moore 
surveyed a few acres, and ten of them were staked out as town lots, 
where business soon was set up by the pioneers of the town. Dr. 
Moore christened the young town Latache. The settlers then had 
neither railroad or mail facilities and the postofiSce at Grangeville 
was the nearest point from which postal accommodations were 
enjoyed. Soon Dr. Moore petitioned the department at Washington 
for the establishment of a postoffice, and a new name was selected 
for the place by abbreviating the middle name and combining it 
with the last name of the founder and calling the new postoffice 
Lemoore. Mr. Moore died September 11, 1898, at the town lie 

The early Irasiness men of Lemoore were: J. H. Fox, B. K. 
Sweetland, Max Lovelace, A. Mooney, D. Brownstone, John Heinlen. 
R. Scally, Justin Jacobs, G. W. Follett, John Hayes, Benjamin 
Hamlin, C. ^Y. Barrett, Amos M. Ayers, Dr. L. M. Lovelace, A. S. 
Mapes, E. Erlanger, George W. Randall, Dr. N. P. Duncan, H. 
Larish, R. E. McKenna, the latter serving as postmaster, receiving 
his appointment in 1886. F. M. Powell, now postmaster, is another 
one of the early men identified with the city. 

The Southern Pacific Railroad entered the town in 1877 and tlic 
growth of the town has been steady, the greatest strides liaxiiiu 
been made, however, since the creation of Kings county. 

Lemoore was incorporated as a city of the sixth class in .lutic 
1900, and has a municipal water and sewer system. The first graiinuar 
school was organized in Latache (now Lemoore) in 1873, and a ciieap 
school building was erected on two acres of land donated to the 
district (then called Lake) by a Mr. Armstrong. Tlie l)uildini'- was 
eighteen by thirty feet and was dedicated with a "(■iiuiitiy dance" 
on one December night in 187o. 'I'he (irst teacher was a .Mr. Simpson, 
and the forty to fifty pujiils wlio attended this first school came 
from the surrounding country, some being residents of tlie Kingston 
country on Kings river to the northeast. The citizens of Lemoore 
evidenced a commendable pride in their i)ublic schools when in 1SS7 
a new $10,000 school liuilding was erected. In 1885 the iiauic of 
the district was changed from Lake to Lemoore, wliicli name it now 


bears. In the year 1912 there was erected a maguifieent new iyranimar 
school building at a cost of $40,000. A very sulistantial liigli school 
building was erected in 1910. 

The city is well supplied with churches, public halls, etc. There 
are two banking institutions, and two weekly newspapers. The Repub- 
lican and The Leader. 

The rich soil and the diversified farming interests with ample 
irrigating facilities surrounding Lemoore insure continued substan- 
tial growth. The leading industries upon which the city relies are 
dairying, fruit raising, raisius, wine and general agriculture. 



(An address by John G. Covert. Superior Judge of Kings County. 

Before Members of the Supervisors' Convention.) 

In speaking today of the evolution of the San Joaquin Valley 
I shall mean the industrial and social development, and I shall not 
use the word evolution in a technical sense, nor as a geologist would 
use it. I shall direct my remarks towards the unfolding of the 
potentialities of the valley and its development during the last half 
century. I shall further premise my remarks by briefly defining 
and outlining the territoi-y which in my opinion it comprises : 

Beginning at a point a few miles south of the city of Bakersfield. 
where the Tehachapi Mountains, a spur of the Sierra Nevada, join 
the Tejon Mountains, a s])ur of the Coast Range, and thence extending 
in a northwesterly direction a distance of about three hundred miles 
to a point just north of the city of Stockton, varying in width from 
forty to sixty-five miles, and containing approximately 7,500.000 
acres, lies one of the most fertile and prosperous A-alleys in the world, 
and it constitutes and is known as the San Joaquin Valley. 

So far as I am familiar with history, the San Joaquin Valley 
was first seen by the eyes of white men about March 30, 1772. A few 
days before that date an expedition had set out from the Mission 
Monterey headed by Pedro Fages and Father Crespi on a tour of 
exploration. Padre Junipero, the famous Franciscan missionary, 
was at that time in charge of the Mission Monterey, and it was at his 
instigation the expedition was undertaken. The small ]>arty headed 
by Pedro Fages and Father Cres))! found their way without adveutui-e 
to the waters of Suisuu Bav, and then eastward along its southern 


border, until they reached a point near Mount Diablo, where tlie 
magnificent river and valley that was afterwards known as the San 
Joaquin was presented to their admiring view. At that time, doubtless 
in honor of the patron saint of the Franciscans, the river was called 
San Francisco, and it was not until several years later, probably 
sometime between 1796 and 181.3, that the name of San Joaquin 
was given to this magnificent stream. The honor of bestowing this 
name upon the river, from which the valley subsequently took its 
name, is credited to Gabriel Moraga, a doughtj' Spanish soldier, who 
lead some troops into the northern end of this valley about that time 
in pursuit of hostile Indians. Just when the name San Joaquin 
was bestowed upon this river and valley and by whom is involved 
in uncertainty, but it is a fact that for over a hundred vears this 
great valley and river have lieen known l)y that name. 

Mount Diablo, by some supposed to be an extinct volcano, a ])eak 
in the Coast Range Mountains, stands sentinel like .i^ist olT the 
southwestern extremity of the valley, and from its top. a height of 
about four thousand feet, may be obtained a most excellent view of 
the valley and river. This mountain has been adopted by the United 
States as a datum point for the purpose of seetionalization of the 
lands of the central part of the state, and there is hardly a deed or 
other written instrument affecting land in the San Joaquin Valley 
which does not bear the familiar legend "Mount Diablo Base and 
Meridian." The expedition sent out by Padre Junipero in 1772 
seems to have been the last effort upon the part of the Franciscans 
to explore this territory, and so far as I know, no attempt was ever 
made to found a mission, although there were some Indians in the 
valley and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the east. 

The San Joaquin ^'■alley first began to attract the attention of 
the American people in the days of '49. The discovery of gold by 
John Marshall was a signal for a rush to the Pacific Coast by a class 
of energetic and daring men, whose efficiency as pioneers has never 
been excelled, if ever equalled. The lure of gold, stories of wonderful 
opportunities, and the appeal of a new country brought men to 
California by the thousands. Whatever may have been their intention 
about permanently residing here, when they set out ui)on their 
journey westwaa'd, once here, the charm of climate and scenery 
claimed them forever after. The men who came here in those days 
came to dig gold. They turned their faces towards the mines. A 
plodding agricultural pursuit would not satisfy them. Many of them 
had abandoned good farms and the occupations of their fathers for 
the fascination of gold digging, and nothing could divert them from 
this occupation. On their way to the mines many passed over the 
fertile lands of the valley, and its possibilities attracted their attention 
and appealed to tlieiii, even in tlicir feverish rush to the gold diggini>-s. 


Years later when disappointment came, as it comes to so many who 
hunt fortune in mines, their thoughts turned back to the valley 
with its opportunities, and hundreds of the miners became farmers; 
some of their youth and strength was expended to be sure, but still full 
of energy and hope they determined to wrest from the bosom of 
the valley with the plow the fortune they could not dig from the 
bowels of the mountains with the spade. There was some farming 
done about Stockton in the early '50s. Farm produce commanded 
a big price and found a ready market among the miners. 

The first great business or industry of the valley, however, was 
the cattle business, interspersed to some extent by sheep raising. 
The mild short winters, the abundance of grass that grew upon 
the plains, and the many streams of water made the San Joaquin 
Valley an ideal grazing country, and the plains at one time were 
covered from Stockton to Bakersfield with cattle. These were the 
days of cattle kings. Their herds roamed and grazed at will, save 
the occasional round-up or rodeo, when the calves were marked 
and branded and the cattle fit for beef were cut out and driven to 
the nearest shipping point or market. During the period when the 
cattle business was supreme in the San Joaquin Valley, Major Domo 
and his crew of vaqueros played a prominent part of the drama 
of life. Here in this valley were developed the most skillful and 
daring riders in the world; also the most expert men with the lasso 
or riata. These were still days of picturesque and romantic life in 
California. The vaquero with his beautifully decorated Mexican 
saddle, with its famous Visalia tree, that is now known in every 
cow country west of the Mississippi, his silver-mounted bridle and 
spurs, riding easily and gracefully, was an object of admiration 
and emulation. There were few boys in those days who did not 
intend to become vaqueros when they grew up. The horse and saddle 
called to them like the ship calls to the boy bred beside the sea. 
Before passing the vaquero I will say a word or two for his noble 
mount — the California mustang. There have been horses that could 
run faster but never a horse that could run further; never a horse 
that could live on less forage and pick it himself, often from pasture 
already closely cropped; never a horse with a nobler heart, nor that 
would respond more quickly to rein and spur than the tough, nervy 
little mustang that did the work on the cattle ranges and now has 
passed away in the process of evolution like his companion, the 
vaquero. Sheep grazing was an industry at about the same time, 
or a little later than when the cattle business was at its lieiiilit. 
The same climatic conditions and fertile plains that attracted cattle 
men were equally inviting to sheep men. This was inosiac and 
far less attractive business than the cattle industry. 

Sheep herding was done on foot and attending coiiditidus were 


such that it generally was the last resort of the wage earner. 
However, as a business it probably paid as well or even better 
than the more attractive business of cattle raising. There was always 
some antipathy between cattle men and sheep men, which seems to 
be found in every place where those two industries come in contact 
upon the range, for it is a well-recognized fact among stock men that 
cattle will not graze upon a range over which sheep have been driven 
if they can avoid it. It appears that some odor from the wool or 
body of the sheep attaches to the grass which causes it to be offensive 
to the nostrils and palates of the bovine. 

Wheat farming was the next great industry that appeared in 
the San Joaquin Valley. This business was the thin edge of the 
entering wedge that displaced the stock men and drove them back 
step by step until the only refuge left them was the remote and less 
desirable land for cultivation, also the Spanish grants, vast tracts of 
laud which had during the time of Spanish sovereignty in this state 
been granted to certain Spanish settlers, and had been in turn 
recognized by Mexico and by the United States when California was 
finally ceded to our government. The humble yet powerful fence 
began to appear. It was no longer possible to travel in the direction 
which fancy or business suggested. Roads and trails began to tui-n 
at right angles, and fences marked a line over which one may no 
longer freely pass. Stock grazing, the first great industry of the 
valley, now had in a measure passed and in its place came wheat 
farming. In the earlier days in California it seemed everything 
took its size and character from the lofty mountains, great trees 
and valleys. The wheat farms were no exceptions. They were of 
great size and were operated upon a gigantic scale. Farms consisting 
of several thousand acres of land were not infrequent, and as might 
be svipposed it required hundreds of horses and mules and scores of 
men to perform the necessary work in carrying on the business of 
those ranches. The plains with an average annual rainfall would 
produce great crops of grain yielding from fifteen to as high as 
seventy bushels per acre, the crops varying from year to year in 
accordance with the rainfall and climatic conditions. Some localities 
too were more productive of certain croi)s than others. Wheat raised 
in the Sau Joaquin Valley was geuerally of an excellent quality, 
and was considered to be among the best milling wheat in the world. 
The extensive fields, the level lands, the character of the soil and 
dry climate made jjossible cultivation and harvesting by methods 
more rapid and economical than thus far had ever been used in any 
other place. The cradle and the reaper and the single jilow were 
too slow for farming in the Sau Joaquin Valley. Iuii)lenieuts and 
machinery adapted to the necessity of the time were rapidly invented 
or introduced from othei' places and tliese were inii)roved npon and 


perfected Tintil a high degree of efficiency was reached; as evidenced 
by the great gang plows and combined harvesters and other machines 
of like natnre now familiar to all farmers of this great valley. 

For abont thirty years wheat or grain farming held sway. Then 
the unceasing repetition of crops, together with indifferent cultivation, 
began to tell and grain raising no longer paid as it did in the earlier 
days. Summer fallowing and irrigation were resorted to. This 
was found to be of great aid in the production of crops; but even 
then the land would not yield as it had in former years, and the 
profits from wheat raising, as a general thing, steadily grew less. 
During all this time immigration had continued and the population 
of California, and incidentally the San Joaquin Valley, was rapidly 
growing. New men with new ideas appeared upon the scene. The 
depreciation of profits in grain raising caused farmers to consider 
other crops. Fruit and wine began to attract more attention. Bees 
and poultry were found to yield large profits on small investments 
and with little care. Alfalfa was introduced and that forage was 
found well adapted to the valley. The large farm no longer paid. 
The owners, with a few notable exceptions, began to divide and sub- 
divide their holdings. The profits from trees and vines were found 
to be immense. Fruit orchards, vineyards and alfalfa pastures began 
rapidly to surplant grain fields. There followed a rapid development 
in the wine, raisin and cured fruit industry. The alfalfa pasture 
stimulated dairjdng and the live stock business. Experience, the best 
of all teachers, soon taught the farmers the variety of crops and fruit 
that was best adapted to his soil; the breed of cows best suited 
for the dairy; the kind of horses, hogs and poultry that made the 
best returns; and having learned, as rapidly as circumstances would 
permit, they began to weed out the less desirable and less profital)le, 
and to replace them with the kind best suited to the valley. Now 
we had reached what we might call the third epoch or lap in the 
development of the industries of the San Joaquin Valley. 

Blossoming trees and budding vines in the spring, followed by 
a bounteous crop in the summer, appeared where once wheat and 
barley had grown. The green fields of spring and the brown stubble 
fields of fall had given way to fragrant and gorgeous blooms, golden 
fruit and pleasing autumn tints. Along the foothills of the Sierras 
was found a warm protected region, generally referred to as the 
thermal belt, upon which oranges, lemons and kindred fruit grew 
luxuriantly and ripened early. The population was still increasing 
rapidly. Thousands of pretty and comfortable cottages and bunga- 
lows, with now and then large and commodious houses that might 
properly in many instances be called mansions, began to appear 
everj'where, affording hapjiy and comfortable homes to the ]ieo]-ile 
of the vallev. The cattle men and tlie wlicat fanners, in nianv 


instances, bad looked upon the San Joaquin ^'alley as a jjlace for 
extensive business operations in their particular lines; but gave little 
attention to it as a home for their families. The farmer now began 
to build with the intention of spending and ending his days upon 
the farm, and with a proud hope that when he passed away that his 
property would afford a home for his posterity. Accordingly he 
built with the design of procuring to his family all the advantages 
and comforts that his prosperous condition afforded. 

As I stated before, the San Joaquin Valley comprises approx- 
imately 7,500,000 acres. Of this about 500,000 acres are planted to 
fruit trees, vines and alfalfa. This leaves over 7,000,000 acres of 
the valley yet devoted to wheat raising and grazing; and among 
this latter portion are found thousands of acres of the very best 
land of the valley. Lack of irrigation water from natural streams 
is the chief cause of the lack of development. This condition is now 
being rapidly overcome by means of pumping plants, of which I 
shall say a word later. Horses and mules, beef, pork, mutton, wool, 
hone}' and poultry are also industries that pay exceedingly well. 
Wine of recent years has grown to be one of the principal industries 
of the San Joaquin Valley, the annual yield or produce of this 
commoditv being about 225,000 tons, and is worth ai^proximatelv 

These respective industries not only \deld magnificent incomes 
upon the investments and repays well the efforts and labor of the 
farmer, Init they afford remunerative and congenial employment to 
thousands of men, women and children. The children of the valley 
are afforded unusual opportunities for finding light and paying 
occujiatiou by reason of the fruit harvest coming in the summer 
during the school vacations. In order to take care of the annual 
fruit crops it has been necessary to establish in the different cities 
and towns and convenient shipping points great packing houses and 
canneries, which, when installed with machinery and facilities for 
properly curing and packing the fruit, afford one of the principal 
industries of the urbane life of the valley. All these years on the 
very edge of the San Joaquin Valley had been hidden away a treasure 
we little dreamed we had — petroleum oil. Though some hint of its 
presence had been given by seepage that appeared on the surface 
as tar springs or like manifestations, we never expected to find this 
ideal fuel in the great and paying quantities that we now have it. 
We were mostly farmers and we did not look deeper than the fertile 
surface for our opportunities. Again new men* and new ideas made 
themselves known. Prospect wells were drilled and oil was struck. 
Almost like magic a forest of towers sprang upon the several districts 
where oil had been discovered. A fever of excitement almost as 
great as that caused by the discovery of gold now took hold of 


the people, and the development of the oil indnstry of this valley 
was so rapid that those who took an active part could scarcely 
realize the rapidity with which this business grew. The discovery 
of oil came at an opportune time. The population was growing, 
capital was accumulating, and there was need of some outlet for 
surplus energy. The fuel of the valley was growing scarce. Industries 
were growing rapidly. The steam and gas engine was coming more 
and more into use, and a cheap and plentiful fuel was the most 
necessary factor in the industrial situation, and its discovery solved 
what might have been a serious problem. 

If the oil fields of the San Joaquin Valley should in the course 
of time become exhausted the people have learned a great lesson, 
and the lack of fuel will be provided against by planting forests 
of trees adapted to this purpose. This precaution, together with 
the great source of electric power in the Sierras will forever settle 
the question of fuel and power so far as we are concerned. The 
oil wells jdeld so abundantly that if the consumption was restricted to 
this valley we could not consume it in ages. But great pipe lines 
reaching from the oil fields of the valley across the Coast Range 
Mountains leading to Point Richmond, Monterey and Port Harford 
carry the oil night and day from the fields to those deep water ports, 
and huge steamers docked beside the wharf will load as conveniently 
and readily as the locomotive tender takes on water at a siding. In 
addition to the pipe lines great trains of cars carry oil daily to the 
many points that are eager to procure this most excellent fuel. The 
oil industry has added vastly to the wealth of the valley and provided 
employment for thousands, and has made many an enterprising man 
wealthy beyond the most ambitious dreams of his youth. 

From that day in 1772 when the little expedition headed In- Pedro 
Fages and Father Crespi set out from the Mission Monterey u]i to 
the present time, transportation has been an important factor in 
the development of the valley. All our progress and evolution 
especially in the beginning was not accomplished without hardships 
and exertion. All the cattle men and most of the miners foimd their 
way across tlie valley on horse-back and their camp equipments were 
carried upon the backs of horses or mules. This means of trans- 
portation served for awhile, but increased population and development 
called for greater facilities. This was supplied by the stage and 
freight teams; augmented greatly by the navigation of the San 
Joaquin river and its tributaries. The stage lines at one time fairly 
well covered the valley, and one could reach by their means all the 
principal towns and mining districts south of Stockton. Along the 
same roads upon which the stages plied their traffic also traveled 
the great freight teams, that carried supplies and provisions to the 
mines and interior towns. These teams sometimes consisted of as 


many as twenty-fonr horses or mules, and as high as four or five 
wagons eonjiled in train. The stages and freighters found all they 
could do to handle the business of the day. The flat-bottomed stern- 
wheel river boats with huge barges in tow plied up and down the. 
San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers as far as they 
were navigable, and these crafts, too, found occupation for all their 
tonnage and passenger accommodations. Railroad companies were 
not slow in appreciating the opportunities of the Pacific coast, and 
they built and extended their lines into this state. With the appear- 
ance of railroads in the San Joaquin Valley transportation under- 
went a rapid evolution. The stage with its galloping horses and 
marvelously skilled drivers, together with the freight teams, were 
relegated to the mountain districts and less accessible regions. River 
navigation was gradually abandoned. The railroads covered their 
territory and competition under the attending conditions rendered 
the steamboat business unprofitable, consequently steamboat com- 
panies practically withdrew from all points of operation south of 
Stockton. The first railroad in the valley was down its center on 
the eastern side of the San Joaquin river. This line was built by 
the Central Pacific Railroad Company ,but was afterward taken up by 
the Southern Pacific Company, which has owned and operated it 
ever since, and after it entered into the valley it was rapidly pushed 
on over the Tehachai^i Mountains, with many tunnels and its cele- 
brated loop, until it reached Los Angeles, and thence turned east- 
ward, connecting the San Joaquin with the northern and southern 
part of the state and with the eastern states. 

From this pioneer line down the valley several short lines of 
feeders were constructed, which have proved highly valuable in the 
progress and development of the territory which they covered. Later 
a line was laid down the valley on the western side of the San Joaquin 
river, beginning at Tracy and connecting with the original line at 
Goshen Junction, and later on again at Fresno. 

About 1893 there was constructed from San Francisco to Bakers- 
field what was known as the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley 
railroad. This was later on taken by the Santa Fe and has become 
a part of its great system. Of recent years the oil industry and 
the rapid development among the foothill regions have demanded 
greatly increased railroad and transportation facilities, and this in 
a measure has been met by spurs from the Southern Pacific and 
certain independent companies that have organized and built short 
accommodation railroads in different places in the valley. It is 
evident that the rapid growth and population and development of 
the San Joaquin Valley will not only afford, but will demand, greatly 
increased transportation facilities. Probably there is no place in 
the world where railroads can be built and operated as cheaply as 


here. Tracks may be laid iu any district and to any point within 
this valley by practically following the contour of the earth. The 
general level of the plains is siich as to require but very little grading, 
and few cuts and the constructing of the roadbed may be done by 
plows and scrapers operated by horses, and at a cost per mile that 
is as cheap and probably less than the same work can be done for 
at any other place in the United States, or the world for that matter. 
I venture to say that in building a railroad from Bakersfield to 
Stockton along any line within the confines of the San Joaquin Valley 
it will not be necessary to resort to drilling or blasting and it is a 
certainty that no tunneling would be required. 

The Sierra Nevada Mountains on the east contain potentially 
millions of horsepower that may be converted into electricity, and 
by means of a slender wire suspended from poles or towers placed 
at intervals of eighty to two hundred yards apart conducted to all 
points where it may be desired to apply the power. I believe that 
for the purpose of operating railroad trains, electric power, if not too 
costly in the generation thereof, is considerably cheaper than steam 
or other motors. Beyond a question it is the most economical and 
best adapted power to railroading. Thus we have united two very 
important factors in railroad transportation that will be an estimable 
advantage; cheap fuel and cheap construction. As a result, in time 
the valley will be laced by electric lines, u];)on which will be operated 
highly efficient and rapidly moving trains. People living in the 
most remote parts will be put in easy reach of business centers and 
the coast, and San Francisco will be only about one-half day's journey 
away. Perishable produce, such as sweet cream and table fruits of 
a delicate nature, can readily be shipped to the markets of the 
cities and points on the coast. 

Transportation by rail again can be augmented by transporta- 
tion VLTpon the rivers, if the state or the federal government should 
see fit to dredge the natural streams of the valley and remove the 
snags and other obstructions therefrom. More than that it would be 
an easy engineering feat to build a canal from Bakersfield, connecting 
with the navigable waters of the San Joaquin, and by a system of 
locks and reservoirs navigation could be had from the southern end of 
the valley to the waters of San Francisco bay. There would be some 
question as to the advisability of establishing navigation to this 
extent for this reason: The electric power that may be so readily 
develojied and the facility with which railroads may be constructed 
iu the \-alley will probably cause railroads to be so numerous and 
competition so sharp that the public would never resort to the 
necessarily slow and tedious transjiortatiou by water tliat would 
attend canal and river navigation. 

A very cursory mention of the San Joaquin ^^alley requires some 


consideration of the mountains on either side and in the course 
of my remarks I have referred to them. But I desire to say a word 
or two more concerning the mountains, which are so closely related 
to this valley. Our warm, dry climate is a most important factor 
in this valley. Doubtless tliis condition is brought about largely by 
the Coast Range Mountains that stand on our west as a wind lireak 
and a barrier to the fogs and cold atmosphere of the coast. If it 
were not for this range probably our rainfall would be heavier, 
but the cold fogs and chilling winds of the Pacific would reach us 
and if they did several of our principal industries would be seriously 
affected if not entirely destroyed. The raisin and cured fruit 
industry could not successfully be carried on if it were not for the 
warm dry climate peculiar to the San Joaquin Valley and it is 
highly probable that alfalfa would not grow as luxuriantly as it 
does now. Again the climate is peculiarly adapted to stock-raising. 
These Coast Range Mountains beyond question were a wise provision 
of Providence, and have added special advantages in the way of 
climatic conditions, notwithstanding they increase tlie sunnner heat 
and lessen the winter rainfall. On the east lies what probably are 
the grandest mountains in the world, at least a Californian may be 
pardoned for so designating them. There we find the wonderland of 
California. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the United States, 
surrounded with neighboring peaks, scarcely less in height, the 
Yosemite Valley with its unrivaled falls, the magnificent Kings River 
canyon, the great forests of pines and the celebrated giant redwoods 
or sequoias find their abode in the Sierras that skirt the eastern 
border of the valley, and are so closely related to it that without 
indulging in poetic license we may consider them, if not a part, an 
•inseparable complement of the San Joaquin. These mountains 
constitute a gigantic and beautiful reservoir erected by a beneficent 
Providence for the jmrpose of moistening and fertilizing the plains 
of the valley. Great towering peaks and abysmal canyons covei'ed 
with gigantic trees and thickly-matted brush and undergrowth gather 
and conserve the snows of winter. In the spring and summer comes 
the sun and beats alike upon the valley and the mountains and as 
the plains become parched and dried and as the growing trees 
and grass suck up the moisture from the soil and from the air the 
frozen snows of winter are released upon the mountainside and 
begin their journey through scenery the grandest and most beautiful 
imaginable, through forests of pines and redwoods, by flowers and 
delicate ferns, over rocks and through rills, uniting and ever uniting 
in rivulets and creeks, and in each union gi-owing stronger until 
finally they rush in a mighty river upon the ai-id iilniiis, cni-rying life 
and drink to thousands of thirsty acres. 

These streams, deep and with jirecipitous banks, at first gradually 


approach the surface of the land so that it is frequently possible to 
divert water from them and spread it upon the land within two or 
three miles from the point of diversion. The loose loamy nature 
of the soil and comparatively level surface render ditch-building in 
this valley an easy task, and particularly well adapted to irrigation. 
Many of the pioneer irrigation ditches were built without the 
assistance of an engineer or even the use of a transit. Many of the 
farmers had had experience in hydraulic mining, which rendered 
them peculiarly qualified in the art of constructing dams and ditches, 
and often the only capital used was the daily labor of the farmers 
and their livestock, generously assisted by the business men of the 
valley towns who extended them credit for the necessities of life 
while engaged in this development. When the settlers of the valley 
began to go back from the streams to find homes, water was the 
first problem for them to solve, and like Jacob they dug wells. The 
first wells were almost entirely dug with the pick and shovel. They 
ranged in depth from twelve to as much as two hundred feet, 
depending on the location, and were surface wells, that it to say, 
the wells were only dee})ened to the first water. Near the streams 
and i)articularly on the east side of the San Joaquin river and 
the southern part of the valley surface water can generally be 
reached at a depth of twenty-five to thirty feet, while on the west 
side and especially near the foothills the depth of water was greatly 
increased, sometimes requiring a well of over a hundred feet in 
depth. There wells were dug with a shovel, and the earth excavated 
was hoisted to the surface by means of a barrel sawed in the middle, 
to which a bale was affixed. To this was tied a rope of sufficient 
length, and the power used was either a windlass turned by a man 
on the surface or sometimes by hitching a horse to the end of the 
rope. When the water was reached it was hoisted by the same crude 
methods. The half barrel that served the purpose of hoisting the 
earth and rocks was converted into a bucket for drawing water. 

Since those days when wells were dug with spades there have 
been great improvements made. They are no longer dug, but are 
bored or drilled with efficient machinery operated by steam or 
gasoline power, and are driven to a depth averaging from fifty to 
eighty feet, which results in a plentiful flow of pure water. 

Artesian wells in most parts of the valley are readily developed 
and the natural flow from them furnishes an abimdance of water for 
livestock and domestic ]mr])Oses, and frequently will irrigate as many 
as from eighty to three hundred acres of land yearly. Electric power 
and gasoline engines have made irrigation by ]ium])ing feasilje. 
and it has been discovered that subterranean streams are found in 
nearly all ])arts of the valley carrying water sufficient foi- the ]Uirpose 
of irriiiating the surface of the lands undei- wliich they lie, and now 


hundreds of wells are being developed and pumping plants installed, 
which are an immense aid to the present system of irrigation and 
will cover thousands of acres that cannot be reached by water from 
the natural streams. 

Step by step and hand in hand with cooperation and harmony, 
the urbane and rural evolution of this valley has progressed. The 
valley is dotted with many prosperous cities and towns, not so exten- 
sive in population, but energetic and progressive in the extreme. 
Paved streets, electric lights, gas plants, excellent water systems, 
magnificent public buildings and sanitary drainage are to be found 
in all of them. The amount of business transacted is startling as 
compared with cities of the same population of other places. A town 
of five thousand inhabitants will transact more business and the 
banks will represent more capital than in other places having a 
population of twenty-five thousand. While speaking upon the subject 
of towns and public improvements I desire to congratulate the entire 
people of the San Joaquin Valley upon the magnificent courthouse 
that has just been completed in the county of Kern. Its beautiful 
architectural lines, extensive proportions, light and air)- rooms and 
great corridors are certainly a source of pride and pleasure to the 
people of this valley. I particularly congratulate the people of this 
county upon their magnificent building, which is a noble tribute to 
their energy and progressiveness and faith in their county, and 
a monument to the efficiency and ability of the board of supervisors, 
who served the people so well in its construction. 

I have said something of the evolution of the valley, made lirief 
mention of the progress and development of the different industries, 
and in a poor way directed your attention to the wonderful o]ipoi-- 
tunities and advantages that may be found here; and now I want 
to say a word for the actors, for the men and women who so well 
and faithfully played their part in this drama of evolution, and 
whose efforts brought about this great development and progress. 
Back in the days of "Forty-nine" and for a number of years there- 
after there were two ways of reaching California, one was by water 
around Cape Horn, or by a shorter but equally as perilous way 
across the Isthmus and then up the coast to San Francisco, or the 
other was across the plains by means of the slow moving emigrant 
trains. Either of those routes was fraught with grave danger and 
many hardships and deprivations. The perils of a voyage in the 
old-time sailing vessels in their tedious ways around Cape Horn 
and then up the Pacific Coast to San Francisco were such as to 
cause the stoutest heart to ]iause. The shorter route by the Isthnnis. 
while requiring less time, was almost equally as dangerous. "Wliaf 
was missed in the perils and hardships of the sea by taking tlio 
Isthmian wav was counterbalanced bv the dangers CTitailed in crossirisi 


this tropical neck of land laden with the germs of many diseases to 
which the emigrant so readily fell a jirey. The fever and dissentery 
of the Isthmus and the unwholesome quarters of the emigrant ships 
claimed many an ambitious and deserving man who had set out to 
find his fortune in the Golden West. 

The overland route, crossing the Rocky Mountains, over the 
vast plains inhabited by hostile Indians, across the Platte with its 
treacherous sands, requiring from three to six months with the slow 
moving ox teams of the emigrant trains, that finally crossed the 
Sierras through Truckee Pass makes a story familiar to everyone. 
Like the tragedy that ended the glorious career of Julius Caesar, 
it is acted and re-enacted upon the stage and told and retold in 
stories even to this day. Therefore it is no wonder that only the 
young and active thought of venturing upon this perilous western 
journey. Of the young and active only those of ambitious and daring 
spirits would risk life and all that was most dear to them in order 
to reach the alluring shores of California. 

We of today who sail in floating palaces with every luxury and 
convenience of the hour at hand, or who cross the vast plains and 
lofty mountains in comfortable, rapidly moving cars can hardly 
realize the dangers and hardships endured by the men and women 
who first came to California. These pioneers were a race of ambitious 
and courageous men and women that assembled in California on 
new grounds, far removed from the hampering conventionalities of 
society. Not many from any place — a few from every place — they 
rapidly adjusted themselves to conditions and necessities of the 
time. All classes, states and nationalities were represented, and from 
this cosmopolitan people was developed that noble, brave and hos- 
pitable race, the Pioneers of California, whose praises have been so 
often sung by the poet and told by the historian. They were all 
young and strong. When a boy my father came to the west with 
an emigrant train, dri%dng an ox-team all of the way, and I have 
heard him say that a gray head was so rare that it excited attention 
and comment when found among the men of pioneer days. 

Emigration after the gold rush was comparatively slow. The 
cost and inconvenience of transportation deterred travel westward. 

Those who foud their way here were rapidly absorbed. They 
were eager to become Californians and quickly fell into our ways and 
customs. Later the railway service was greatly improved, cost of 
passage came more within the reach of the average person. The 
newspapers, magazines and histories constantly told of the glories 
and opportunities of this coast, and in consequence emigration grew 
by leaps and bounds. The population increased so rapidly now that 
we began to undergo a change of character. Entire colonies were 
often made up from the ])eoi)l(' of some particular state, and they 


looked to-n-ards their former homes for customs and i^recedent. In 
the near future without a doubt our emigration will increase far more 
rapidly than ever before. The great opportunities ofifered by increased 
irrigation facilities, more careful and diversified farming, the stimulus 
given to the manufacturing by the development of electric power and 
discovery of oil, the immense benefits that will follow the completion 
of the Panama Canal, and the attraction of the World's Fair will 
bring thousands here. The melting pot of which Zangwill speaks 
will be brought into play and on this coast from a cosmopolitan people 
will be recast a race as peculiar to California as the flowers and 
trees that adorn her valleys and mountains. Short winters, generous 
sunshine and fertile soil will develop a race of splendid men and 
w^omen, hospitable and fun-loving, the happiest people in the world, 
and this will be the greatest achievement in the evolution of the San 
Joaquin Valley. 


liioAM C. ^aj/yt^ 

^; y^ J^Ca^^f 



A California pioneer who recalls with interest early days in 
Tulare county when he took a prominent part in local affairs, is 
Columbus P. Majors, of Visalia. Mr. Majors was born in Morgan 
county, 111., March 22, 1830, and in 1853 crossed the plains to Cali- 
fornia with an ox-team, starting April 14 and arriving at Sacramento 
September 13 following. The party, which came with a train of 
nineteen ox-wagons, was made up of Iowa and Illinois people and 
was under command of Captain L. M. Owen, who had made one trip 
to the Pacific coast in 1849. The overland emigrants were several 
times compelled to corral their wagons, fearing attacks by Indians, 
but made the journey without any very lamentable mishaps. For two 
years after his arrival in California, Mr. Majors worked in the 
Sherlock Flat mine on the Merced river, but it was not as a miner 
that he was destined to make his success in this state. He came to 
Visalia in 1855 and found the people all living in the old fort as a 
means of protection against the redskins, who were at that time menac- 
ing the settlers in this vicinity. He took up eighty acres of government 
land on the CHitler road and for many years raised cattle and sheep, 
and it was not until 1884 that he bought his present home ranch on 
Mineral King avenue. Here he has twenty acres of fine orchard, 
having planted all the trees with his own hands, and his peaches 
include Phillips cling-stones, Tuscan cling-stones, Fosters and 
Albertas. He has developed a fine farm on which he has met with 
well deserved success. 

In 1861, after the Civil war had begun and while rioting was in 
progress at Visalia, Mr. Majors was captain of the Home Guard 
Cavalry, which was organized to keep order. His bi'other, John P. 
Majors, also came to California and was the first postmaster at 
Visalia, which was the first postoffice established in Tulare county. 

In April, 1852, Columbus P. Majors married Miss Mary C. Owen, 
a' native of Lee county, Iowa, who bore him a son and four daugh- 
ters: Amador H. ; Mrs. Anna L. Arkle, who has passed away; 
Celestia J., who is Mrs. L. E. McCabe ; Mrs. Caroline Arkle, and Mrs. 
Eva Sadler, deceased. During his active years Mr. Majors was 
identified largely with the public interests of the community and 
there was no call upon him in behalf of the general good to which 
he did not respond promptly and liberally. 



Numbered amoug the well-known and respected citizens of Exeter 
who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of that place 
is George E. Waddell, who has been identified with the civil affairs 
of Exeter from its earliest history, having filled the oflfice of its 
mayor as its first incumbent, and so fulfilling the duties of that ofifice 
as to win the confidence of all his fellow citizens, and he has since 
been sought to fill many other public positions to which the people 
have called him. In industrial circles he has also figured prom- 
inently, having been merchant there and he is now giving most of 
his attention to his real estate interests which are large and varied. 

Mr. Waddell is a native son of California, having been l)orn 
in Lancha Plana, Amador county, September 9, 1862, the son of Isaac 
and Mercy B. Waddell, the former a native of Baltimore, Md., who 
crossed the plains to California in 1852 and began his career in the 
mines of Amador county. The mother came of a pioneer family who 
made the overland journey with ox-teams. The family made their 
home at Lancha Plana until 1872, when they moved to lone, where 
the father died in 1893, and the widowed mother after a while removed 
to San Francisco, where after a residence of several years she 
re-established their home at lone, and three years later, in 1903, 
occurred her death. 

Reared to industrial lial)its and inheriting a taste for mercantile 
pursuits, at the age of nineteen George E. Waddell went to work 
for John Marchant, who was in the meat business at lone and for 
twelve years he remained steadily in his employ. He then leased 
the premises from the latter and conducted the business for about 
ten years, when he sold out and came to Yisalia, buying a half 
interest in the Pioneer market business, which after conductiiTg for 
about ten months, he sold. It was at this time that he came to Exeter 
and bougJit out the Exeter and Lindsay markets, which at the time 
were very rudimentary business places. With his son, George H., Mr. 
Waddell set to work with a will to build up these establishments into 
modern markets, remodeling and rebuilding them and introducing 
new and up-to-date equipments and installing a refrigerating system 
which made them among the best markets in the county. Since then 
the Exeter market has been sold, Init they retain the Lindsay place 
of business which the son, George II., is managing with marked 
aliility, while Mr. Waddell gives his attention to the i)urchase of stock. 
They first had built a structure at Lindsay 25x75 feet in dimension for 
their business, but this soon l)ecame too small and they built a new two- 
story brick block, 40x130 feet, in 1910 with new refrigerating and cold 
storage equipment, and its appointments are all modern and first-class. 
The marlile coiiiiters and excellent tool equipment give the ])la('e an air of 


cleanliness and wholesomeness which bespeaks the f^ood taste of the 
owner, and their joroduct and the handling of their goods bear the most 
gratifying reputation in the community, it having l)een credited ])y 
the press at one time as being one of the finest places of its kind 
in the state. 

In connection with this business Mr. Waddell gives attention 
to real estate, in which he has been most successful. He has jilanted 
and owns a very fine thirty-acre orange grove within eighty rods of 
the city limits, and also owns tracts in different parts of Tulare 
county aggregating three hundred and fifty acres in all, and l)eside 
tliis he owns a well-improved farm of four hundred and eighty aci'es 
about seven miles east of Stockton. With all of these interests, Mr. 
Waddell finds time to be most active in the affairs of his city and 
is a constant worker for its best interest, being president of the city 
board as well as treasurer of the same. In August, 1911, the city 
voted bonds in the amount of $42,000 for the purpose of providing 
an adequate water system, which was fully completed in the summer 
of 1912, consisting of two twelve-inch bored wells, one hundred feet 
deep, with mains six, eight and ten inches respectively, while tlie 
laterals are four and two inches in size. At the present time six 
blocks of street in the business part of Exeter are being paved, and 
these large movements toward improving the town have had the 
active interest and co-operation of Mr. Waddell in his official cai)acity 
on the city board. In fraternal relations he affiliates with the pjxeter 
lodge, F. & A. M., and the Exeter division of the Knights of Pythias. 

In 1885 George E. Waddell married Susan Vogan, a native of 
California and a daughter of John Vogan, who died while he was 
filling the office of sheritt" of Amador county, where he had come as a 
pioneer. The widow of Mr. Vogan now makes her home in lone. Mr. 
and Mrs. Waddell are the parents of two children, Edwin II., born 
November 23, 1886, who after finishing his education at tlie Affiliated 
College at San Francisco, took up the study of dentistry and is well 
established in his profession at Visalia; and George Harold, born 
March 28, 1888, who was educated in the schools of Visalia, and is 
now his father's partner in the meat business. Both sons were lioi"n 
at lone, Amador county, and reflect credit on tlieir training and the 
honored name thev bear. 

S.\XF()1JD !',()( )KKR 

A native of Gaidiucr, Mc. Sanl'ord P.ooker was l)orn O.-tolier 12. 
1833. and there reared to manhood, educated and gi\en a knowledge 
of the ship carpenter's trade, and later learned liouse l)uildini>-. 
When he was twentv vears old he moved to Medford, Mass., wliei-c 


he worked as a carpenter about fifteen years. At the outbreak of the 
Civil war he enlisted in the Lawrence Light Guards of Medford, a 
militia company, which, as Company E, Fifth Regiment Massachusetts 
Volunteer Infantry, was mustered into the government service after 
President Lincoln issiied his first call for volunteers, April 15, 1861. 
Next day the company was ordered to be in readiness, and on the 
eighteenth an order to march was issued by Col. Samuel C. Lawrence, 
this order being taken to the members of the organization by the 
Colonel's brother, Daniel W. Lawrence, who on the night of the 
eighteenth rode from town to town for that purpose. Among those 
soldiers of 1861 there was a strong conviction that Lawrence rode 
over the same route that Paul Eevere had followed on a similar errand 
eighty-six years before. The regiment was quartered at Faneuil 
Hall, Boston, until the morning of April 21, when it left for New 
York. When Lawrence brought the order to Mr. Booker the latter 
was running a mill. Going home immediately, he reported that he 
was ordered out and would have to go to Washington, and he went 
to Boston and slept that night in Faneuil Hall with his comrades; 
on that same night the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment was mobbed 
in the streets of Baltimore. At Washington the Fifth was mustered 
into service for three months from May 1, and it participated in the 
fight at Bull Run, where Colonel Lawrence was wounded and the 
regimental color-bearer was shot down. Ten days later the Fifth 
Massachusetts was mustered out of the service and soon afterwards 
Corporal Booker's company was mustered out at Medford. His 
corporal's commission is dated February 12, 1861. 

About 1868 Mr. Booker moved to De Kalb coimty, J\Io., and 
engaged in building until 1874, when he came to California. He 
stopped at Los Angeles, but soon settled at San Bernardino, where 
he lived seven years operating extensively as a contractor and builder 
and he erected there the county court house, the Congregational and 
Baptist churches, some school houses and several fine residences. 
He was the builder of the first house at Redlands, the latter the 
property of Frank Brown, civil engineer, who constructed the reser- 
voir through which Redlands is supplied with water. Mr. Booker 
had to gTub out sage brush before he could lay the foundation of the 
building, and he and his men boarded themselves, for there was no 
one living in the vicinity. In 1887 he sold his property at San 
Bernardino and removed to Hanford, buying a one hundred and sixty- 
acre ranch northeast of the town, where he farmed until 1892, and 
then sold his land and built himself a residence in town. He was very 
active in securing county division of Tulare county and the partition 
of Kings county in that year, and assisted with his own means to 
finance the movement. Indeed there was no otlier man at Hanford 
who was more influential to these ends than was lie. He personally 

^^^ c4-C^.^ J/lpf^ 

i' T' i^j-- 


canvassed every home in the county to ascertain if a two-thirds vote 
for the new county would be possible if a favorable bill should be 
passed by the legislature. After this matter was settled he visited 
the World's Fair at Chicago. Since then he has lived in Hanford, 
which when he first saw it in 1887 was a mere hamlet containing but 
one store and in the prosperity of which he has been a potent factor. 
In 1893 he bought twelve acres of fruit land and, having suffered 
a stroke of paralysis which incapacitated him for work, retired from 
active business. When the "Old Bank" at Hanford was established 
he was its first depositor, having until then done his banking at 

On November 27, 1854, Mr. Booker married Miss Sarah E. Carr, 
at Medford, Mass. Mrs. Booker, who was a native of Massachusetts, 
bore her husband two children, Everett S., of Hanford, aud Sarah 
Elizabeth, who has passed away. Everett S. Booker married Edith 
O'Brien and they have a daughter, Mary Florence. Mr. Booker is 
identified with McPherson Post, G. A. E., of Hanford, and is a Blue 
Lodge and Eoyal Arch Mason, and he and Mrs. Booker were charter 
members of the Eastern Star, Mrs. Booker being past worthy matron. 


A true type of the self-made man is evidenced in the career of 
Emanuel T. Eagle, who now lives one mile east of Naranjo, in 
Tulare county, Cal. He was born May 8, 18.33, back in Tennessee, 
in Hawkins county, and there attended public schools after he was 
old enough until he was eighteen years old, when he went to In- 
diana. After remaining there but a short time, he went to Iowa, 
where his residence was likewise brief. He returned to Indiana and 
from there started for California in 1854 aud drove an ox-team 
across the plains for $10 a month and his board. He located near 
Eedding, Shasta county, Cal., but soon went into the mines in Men- 
docino county. Meeting with but indifferent success there, he made 
his way to Sonoma county, where he farmed until 1863. Eeturning 
to Mendocino county, he remained there a year and in 18G5 came to 
Tulare county, and after a couple of years spent on Outside creek 
near the dam, he came to his present location, where he bought 
eighty acres of land. Soon afterward he homesteaded one hundred 
and sixty acres, and by subsequent purchases he has increased his 
holdings to seven hundred and seventy-five acres, notwithstanding he 
has in the meantime sold two hundred and thirty-five acres. He 
has devoted his land to grain, aud raises cattle, horses aud liogs. 
and in each one of tliese several fields of endeavor he lias done well. 


When he came to the county, nearly all the farming was in grain, 
settlement had not far advanced and improvements were few and 
widely scattered. He had his initial experience with grain and has 
followed the development of agriculture, sometimes keeping in ad- 
vance of it, thus profiting by every new development and having 
advantage of every innovation. 

Beginning life with $1.50 ('ai)ital, Mr. Ragle has worked and 
persevered, triumphing over difficulties as he has met them until he 
is now one of the prosperous men in his community. It is probable that 
two causes above all others have contributed to this achievement. 
He has at all times been what we are pleased to call a hustler, aggres- 
sive, active and up-to-date, and he has at the same time been always 
a Christian gentleman, devoted to the honorable dealings and the 
uplift of his community. He is widely known throughout the sur- 
rounding country for the high grade of his stock and he keeps usually 
about one hundred head of cattle and forty to fifty head of horses. 
The schools of his community have been his constant care, and he 
has done much to advance them. 

Mr. Ragle married, September 28, 1858, Miss Eliza Aim Moffett, 
a native of Tennessee, who was brought early in life to Califor- 
nia, and she has borne him thirteen children, nine daughters and 
four sons, all of whom are living, and all of whom are native sons 
and daughters of California. Mrs. Ragle's father was Hamilton 
Moffett, of Scotch-Irish blood, who died in Missouri when Mrs. Ragle 
was four years old. Her mother was Charlotte Bunn, born in Vir- 
ginia, who died in Tulare county. Mr. and Mrs. Ragle are the proud 
grandparents of half a hundred grandchildren, and twelve great- 

The father of Emanuel T. was George H. Ragle, l)orn in ^"irginia 
and died in Tennessee. His grandfather was born in Germany and 
settled in Virginia, where he was accidentally drowned. 


J. D. Tyler was the oldest living representative of the original 
settlers on Tule river, Tulare county, Cal., and had been engaged in 
agricultural pursuits and the stock business here since 1859 and as 
a pioneer is entitled to a more than passing mention in the history 
of the county. Mr. Tyler was born in Marcellus, Onondaga county, 
N. Y., in 1827, the son of Job Tyler, a farmer and a minister of 
the Seventh Day Baptist denomination. His early life was rather 
migratory, his father going to Ohio in 1834 and to St. Joseph county, 
Mich., in 1836. Educational advantages in those days were limited 


and young Tyler's schooling was confined to the three months 
winter term, not infrequently being detained at home to accomplish 
some work on the farm and not attending school at all after his 
fourteenth year. 

In 1851, with his father and brother James, Mr. Tyler started 
for California via New York and the Isthmus of Panama. Their 
steamer was the first to land emigrants at Aspinwall. At Panama 
they embarked on the English brig Tryphenia, with one hundred 
and thirty passengers, the vessel being much overloaded and having 
only a meager supply of water and stores. The sufferings on that 
terrible journey of sixty-five days from Panama to San Diego were 
intense. The last thirty days they had no bread and only one-half 
pint of water per day to the man. Their small allowance of peas 
or beans must be soaked in salt water or the greasy slush that 
came from the cook room. For twenty days they nearly stai'ved 
and Mr. Tyler's father contracted disease to which he succumbed 
while in port at San Diego and was there laid to rest. J. D. Tyler 
and his brother then reshijaped for San Francisco, arriving there 
February 29, 1852, just four months after leaving New York. They 
went to the mines at Nevada City and followed life in the mining 
camps either in boarding house work or in actual mine workings 
of their own until 1859, when, hearing that cattle were selling in 
Tulare county, they started for Tule river witli a view to purchas- 
ing and driving to the mines. Upon their arrival they found the 
statement to be without foundation, and, in partnership with Len 
Redfield, they settled on Tule river and engaged in the stock busi- 
ness. This association continued until 1865, when Mr. Redfield 
withdrew and the Tyler brothers continued in partnership until 
1871, when they separated, J. D. Tyler remaining on the river. ITis 
home place of one hundred and sixty acres was homesteaded under 
the first homestead act or law in 1864. He later added to his orig- 
inal holdings, and owned two hundred acres, much of which he. 
farmed to grain and fruit. He was also largely interested in 
horses and cattle and rented two sections of land for stock range. 

Mr. Tyler was married at Visalia in 1864 to Miss Mary J. Mc- 
Kelvey, a native of Pennsylvania and the daughter of George Mc- 
Kelvey, who came to California in 1852 by way of Cape Horn. 
They "had five children, Clyde D., Carl R., Chris W., Corda F. 
(daughter) and Clair H. Mr. Tyler was a charter member of the 
Farmers' Alliance, belonging to the Porterville branch, of which 
he was the first president. He never sought the emoluments of 
office and always avoided every suggested nomination. He was the 
first Republican on Tule river, and in 1859 his was the only Re- 
publican vote cast out of the thirty-one cast at that time. When 
tiie county was filled with Southern sympathizers in 1S()1 lie stood 


firm in his convictious and was only the more respected for loyalty 
to his country. 

At his home, two miles east of Porter ville, Tulare county, 
J. D. Tyler passed away November 18, 1895, at the age of sixty- 
seven years and eleven months. Eeligiously he was not bound by 
any creed, but he believed and followed implicitly the Golden Rule: 
"Love thy neighbor as thyself." Politically he was a stanch Repub- 
lican, ever ready to battle for the cause. Too much a lover of home 
to care for the emoluments of office, yet he was ever ready to work 
and aid the ones whom he believed were the best fitted to hold the 
reins of government, and if they were defeated he always bowed 
to the inevitable and gave the victors all honor and support. Moral- 
ly, he was an earnest, conscientious citizen. As every nation must 
have soldiers to defend its honor and maintain its rights, so every 
town or precinct must have its citizens to uphold its integrity. Citi- 
zens who realize that the moral atmosphere of the country permeates 
the homes and adds or detracts from their happiness and glory 
recognized such a citizen was Mr. Tyler. His influence and work were 
ever in the cause of temperance, and he always by his own acts stro\'e to 
influence the young to walk morally upright, and gave his aid and 
countenance to the uplift of humanity. His sickness was of long 
standing, dating really from the hardships endured in coming to 
California. His system never rallied from the strain then received. 
In 1893 he began to fail perceptibly and in 1894 he gave up work en- 
tirely and after going to the polls on November 6 he did not again 
leave his home. In his death his country has lost a loyal, zealous 
citizen, his town an earnest worker for its good, his neighbors a 
faithful, true-hearted friend, his children a noble-hearted father, 
his wife a faithful, loving, trusting companion, and each and all 
mourn his earthly loss. On the afternoon of the 20th of November 
services were held at the homestead by Rev. J. G. Eckels, pastor 
of the Congregational church, and, surrounded by his most intimate 
friends and loving relatives, he was laid to rest in the beautiful 
cemetery in which he took so much interest and of which he was 
president and superintendent for many years. 


When ihe hill of life )vas steepest, 
When the forest froivn ivas deepest. 
Poor hxit young, you hastened here. 
Came when solid hope was cheapest; 
Came a pioneer. 


Toil had never cause to doubt you, 
Progress' path you helped to clear, 
A)id your ivonder works outlast you. 
Sleep, old pioneer! 


A pioneer of 1852, a busy and patriotically active citizen since 
1865, John Holmes Huntley, of Visalia, Tulare county, was ever 
a factor in the upbuilding- of his community whose influence has been 
potent all along. Born in Canajoharie. N. Y., September 7, 1829, a 
son of Oliver D. and Mary (Stark) Huntley, he was educated in the 
public schools of his native county and at Ames academy, and to a 
considerable extent in a bookstore in Albany, N. Y., where he was 
employed two years. His father was a native of Stonington, R. I., 
and his mother was born in Connecticut, a daughter of Joshua Stark, 
a farmer, who passed away in New York. Jolm Holmes Huntley was 
but six years old when his mother died. His father was brought up 
to the mercantile business and sold goods many years; his second 
wife was a sister of his first. By each marriage he had six children. 
He died at the age of sixty-five years. 

John H. Huntley was the third child of his father by the first 
marriage and inherited industry and thrift from ancestors who had 
behind them unnumbered ancestors of Scotch blood. In 1852, when 
he was about twenty-three years old, he started for California by way 
of the Nicaragua route and arrived in November that year. In the 
Sonora mining district he kept busy and made some money buying 
and selling stock till October, 1861, when he enlisted for Federal 
service in the Civil war in Company E, Second California Cavalry. 
He was mustered in at San Francisco, was on duty for a time against 
Indians on the northern liorder, was transferred to Tulare county, 
served at the time of the Owens River outbreak, acting as sergeant- 
major of a detail of his regiment, and was mustered out in 1864 after 
a continuous service of three years and four days. In the mines of 
Nevada he speculated a year after the war, then returned to Tulare 
county and engaged in loaning money in Tulare, Kern and Fresno 
counties. From time to time he bought land till he owned eight 
hundred and forty acres in the San Joatpiin valley, mostly devoted 
to stock-i'aising, and acquired a fine residence on the Mineral King 
road, two miles east of Visalia. 

In politics a Repul)lican, Mr. Huntley served his i)arty in various 
offices of trust, having been internal revenue collector for Tulare. 


Kern, Inyo and Fresno counties for five years, until the oifiee was 
abolished, and was also gauger of liquors and surveyor of stills until 
he resigned. He was a member of Gen. Wright Post, G. A. R., of 

On August 3, 1879, Mr. Huntley married, at San iRafael, Nina E. 
Willfard, born at Southampton, Eng., and they were the parents of 
two sons : Willfard H. and Chester S. In 1900 he moved his family 
temporarily to Berkeley, in order to afford his children good educa- 
tional advantages. In all matters that have advanced the social, 
political and educational welfare of Tulare county Mr. Huntley was 
always eagerly helpful, evidencing a public spirit commensurate with 
his conspicuous integrity. He passed away at the home ranch near 
Visalia, February 24, 1912. 

When the old high school in Visalia was built, Mr. Huntley 
bought the entire issue of the bonds, amounting to $40,000, and as 
they ran from one to forty years, some of them have twenty-five 
years yet in which to mature. He invested largely in ranch property 
in Tulare county, his first purchase of this kind being the Lewis Creek 
ranch of one hundred and sixty acres, which he later sold. One of his 
holdings was the Cross ranch at Bakersfield, a hundred and sixty 
acres; another, a second ranch in the Bakersfield neighborhood, a 
himdred and sixty acres, and both of these he rented. He bought the 
Cameron Creek ranch of a hundred and sixty acres, stock and timber 
land, and gave it to his son Chester S. Three hundred acres of the 
old Dr. Halsted ranch he bought and transferred to his wife and son. 
Mrs. Huntley and her son have also large ranch holdings in Tulare 
and Kern counties and are extensively engaged in stock-raising. 

There is one feature of Mr. Huntley's biography of which he 
seldom talked in later days, yet which should be made a matter of 
record. Before the railroad came, he rode pony express three trips 
a month lietween Visalia and Fort Tejon. 


The well-known and popular proprietor of the general merchan- 
dise business in Orosi, Cal., which enjoys such a flourishing and gi'at- 
ifying trade there, is George W. Knox, whose influence in the commer- 
cial, industi'ial and political fields in this state as well as in the middle 
states has been most effectively exerted. Unusual executive ability, 
a most sagacious reasoning power, a clear mind and the forceful 
spirit to bring to a successful issue all that he set out to accomplish 
have been the means of Mr. Knox's brilliant achievements in the po- 
litical field, and the state of Minnesota especially has reason to bold 


him in high esteem and to ever silently thank him for his activities 
toward the welfare of that vicinity. 

A native of Columbia coimty, Wis., the son of George and Julia 
A. (Jackson) Knox, George W. was born November 20, 1852. His 
parents were both natives of Essex county, N. Y., coming to Wisconsin 
at an early day and settling down to farming for a long period of 
years. Persevering, hard-working people, they here reared their 
family and became well-to-do farmers of their day, giving to their 
children the benefits of a good education and imparting to them that 
rare good training which has made of so many of our citizens the 
well-balanced men they are today. The latter years of their life was 
spent in California whence they had come in 1904, and in Grangeville 
the father passed away, at the age of ninety-three years, his widow 
dying a short time later at Orosi at the same age. 

At the common and high schools of Kilbourn, Wis.. George W. 
Knox received his educational training, working during the summers 
with his father on the home farm. Mercantile life early attracted him 
and upon graduation from school he became clerk in a drug store for 
a few years, later embarking in that business for himself at Elroy. 
Wis., which engaged his entire time for several years. In 1874 with 
his brother he drove across the plains to Boise City, Idaho, but 
remained here but a short time, returning east to locate in Aitkin. 
Minn., where his brother D. J. Knox was then living. His career 
here covered the period between 1876 and 1908, during which time 
he became a central figure in industrial and political circles, and be- 
came most prominent through his efforts in the legislature to bring 
about the improvement of many conditions there. With his brother 
D. J. Knox he engaged in the wholesale and retail mercantile busi- 
ness, lumbering and logging, which they carried on until the former's 
death; he then continued alone until his removal to California, at that 
time selling out the business. A stanch Republican in political senti- 
ment, he soon became prominent in local affairs in Minnesota, and 
held the office of county auditor, being later superintendent of schools 
in Aitkin county. His exceptional ability soon attracted the attention 
of ijoliticians, and he was elected to serve for two years on tlie State 
Board of Equalization, which office he tilled with such satisfaction to 
his constituents that he received the election to the State Legislature 
for the term of 1907-08, and served two years as member of tlie staff 
of Governor VanSant, with rank of colonel. He was chairman of 
Aitkin County Central Committee for years and during his incum- 
bency many long-felt wants of the county were fulfilled, the county 
being benefited in many directions by his presence on this connnittee. 
With all movements tending to the growth and development of Min- 
nesota and the surrounding country Mr. Knox had a great interest, 
and was usuallv instrumental in aiding in their furtherance. He had 


many oppoituuities iu his business to find these deficiencies and his 
experience in the lumbering business had taught him the value of cer- 
tain conditions which he sought to bring about. 

For many years the business of Mr. Knox in Aitkin was the lum- 
bermen's headquarters in this country, they being the most extensive 
outfitters in that section in their day. After relinquishing his interests 
here in 1908 he decided to come to California, whence his parents had 
preceded him, and accordingly came to Orosi, which has since been his 
place of residence. In Minnesota, Mr. Knox had married Ella H. 
Smith, a native of Illinois, who passed away in Minnesota, and one 
son was born to this union, Walter DeP. Upon arriving in Orosi, 
Cal., he investigated conditions there, finally deciding to establish 
himself in his own line of business, and on January 1, 1909, the busi- 
ness of Bump & Knox was begun, dealing in lumber and builders' sup- 
plies, and this has grown and increased to such an extent that a whole- 
sale and retail liusiness is carried on, Mr. Knox now being sole pro- 
prietor. He has a general merchandise business in connection and 
enjoys a wide and profitable trade, gaining his patronage chiefly l)y his 
sagacious handling of his wares and his courteous yet business-like 

In 1909 Mr. Knox married in Los Angeles, C'hristina (Thompson) 
Smith, and they make their home in Orosi, being well-known mem- 
bers of society there. Mr. Knox has been a prominent Mason in 
Minnesota as well as in California; he is a 32d degree Scottish Rite 
Mason and Knight Templar of York Rite, member of Osman Temple 
of St. Paul, Minn., and past master of Blue lodge at Aitkin. Minn.; 
member of the Knights of Pythias of Orosi ; and is also a member of 
the Blue lodge of Masons of Orosi. He has one sister, Mrs. S. J. 
Knowlton, widow of E. G. Knowlton, who is residing in Orosi. 

It is of interest to add that Mr. Knox has become very interested 
in drainage systems in Minnesota, and his entrance into the legislature 
was for the furtherance of the project to secure appropriations for 
that pnr]30se. During his term of sei'vice $400,000 was secured under 
his bill, and the appropriation has been continued ever since under the 
same ratio, thus perpetuating the influence and accomplishments of 
its loyal instigator and fi'iend. Mr. Knox's career has spelled power 
and success from its inception, and he has earned the deepest grati- 
tude and admiration of all who have come to know him. 


In Coles county. 111., November 18, 1872, William E. Goble, 
now a resident of Tulare county, two and one-half miles east of Orosi, 
was l)orn. IIo is widelv known as a iiionoor in this section and as 



a successful uurserymau. When lie was nineteen years old he went 
to Labette county, Kans., where he lived six years. Prom that state 
W. E. Goble came to Tulare county, where he bought sixty acres of 
an old place on which an orchard had been established about 1871. 
He now has four thousand small orange trees and ten thousand grape 
vines in three varieties, six thousand Malagas, three thousand 
Thompsons and one thousand Emperors, all of which he intends using 
on his own place. He has nine acres of Emperor grapes, six acres 
of Malagas and four acres of Muscats. He is gradually working out 
of the nursery business and caring for his own land. Water is made 
available from wells from which it is drawn by means of rotary 
pumps, and a continual flow of thirty inches assures him a sufficient 
quantity for tlie entire i)]ace. 

While he was living in Kansas, Mr. Goble married Miss Ida 
Stoddard, a native of Indiana, and they have two children, Gladys 
and Reva Goble. His parents were John and Catherine (Re^Tiolds) 
Goble, the former now living in Kansas and the latter died in Illinois 
in 1890. Politically he is an industrial organizer and socially he 
affiliates with the P^raternal Brotherhood of America. He holds 
membership in the Baptist church. As a citizen he is progressive 
and public-spirited, willing at all times to contribute liberally to the 
support of any measure which in liis oiMuion jiromises to benefit 
the eommunitv at large. 


A descendant from old Canadian families, Benjamin Hicks was 
born in Toronto, Canada. December 30, 1847, and grew to maturity 
and acquired his education in the city of his nativity. It was in 
1869 that he set out to seek his fortune. Crossing the line into the 
United States he made his way through the heart of the West and 
located in Tulare county, Cal., and settled on a ranch a mile and a 
half north of Yisalia. From there he moved in 1884 to an eight 
hundred-acre stock and grain ranch on the Smith road and on rural 
free delivery route No. 2 of the Visalia postal district. There he 
farmed nine years, saving considerable money, a portion of which he 
invested in an eighty-acre grain tract, and in another tract of one 
hundred acres two miles Noi'theast of Yisalia. From the time of his 
settlement in Tulare county until his deatli, June 9, 1900, a ])eriod of 
about a quarter of a centurv, he was identified with the agricuHural 


development of ceutral California. When he began here nothing had 
been done to irrigate the soil and the degree of its productiveness was 
unknown, but he and other pioneers proved that profitable grain 
cultivation and cattle-raising were not only possible but easy of 
attainment. He gained a position of influence in the county and was 
respected for his keen judgment, high honor and energy. In his 
dealings with Ms fellow men he exemplified the teachings of the Chris- 
tian Church, of which he was a devout and helpful member. Polit- 
ically he was Eepublican, and as a citizen he gave his support to all 
measures tending to the benefit of the community. The free school 
system always had his generous promotion and he long held the office 
of trustee of the Elbow Creek district, greatly to the benefit of the 
local school. Fraternally he affiliated with the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 

In 1871 Mr. Hicks was married near Visalia to Miss Elizabeth 
A. March, who was born in Merced, Cal., a daughter of Robert and 
Mary Jane (Holloway) March, who were of Kentucky birth. Her 
parents settled early in Missouri and from there came overland to 
California in 1849. They lived first in Mariposa county, next in 
Merced county, and then in Tulare county, where she died in 1881, in 
her fifty-seventh year, he passing away in 1903, in his seventy-ninth 
year. Until his removal to Tulare county Mr. March had devoted 
himself entirely to farming; here he gave some attention to mining 
interests. Mr. and Mrs. Hicks had seven children, four of whom 
survive: Albert E., Mary Pearl, Jewell and Ruby Louise. 

Albert E. Hicks has charge of the old Hicks homestead, which 
he has managed since 1876. After his father's death he planted 
eighty acres to orchard, and now he has one of the best producing 
orchards in the county. Thirty acres of liis land is devoted to 
peaches and of that fruit he sold one hundred and fifteen tons in 1911, 
chiefly Phillips clingstones, Lovells and Muirs. The relative value 
of these i)('arlics per acre was, in the order in which they have been 
named, $:)()(), $15(1 and $50 an acre. The entire average value of his 
peach crop is somewhat in excess of $4,000. His eight hundred and 
sixty prune trees produce one hundred and ninety tons of prunes 
\'alued at more than $6,000. Mr. Hicks married Miss Elizabeth Alles, 
and they have children named Gladys, Elwood and Allison. Mr. 
Hicks affiliates with the Woodmen of the World. His sisters Mary 
Pearl and Jewell live with their mother at No. 503 North Church 
street, Visalia, and his sister Ruby Louise became the wife of A. E. 
Blair and their home is near Visalia. By the will of Benjamin Hicks 
his wife was made administrator of his estate and her management 
of it has given her a rejuitation for uncommon business ability. The 
Hicks family is strong in its support of the Christian Church. 



The name of Isaac 11. Tliomas atauds as a syuouym i'or all 
that is highest and best in horticnltural accomplishments in Tulare 
county, as is attested in the fact that he is proudly referred to by 
the citizens as the Luther Burbank of Tulare county. The earliest 
recollections of Mr. Thomas are of a home on a southern planta- 
tion, his birth havmg occurred in Grayson county, Ky., in 1838. 
lie was a lad of twenty years when he turned his back on the scenes 
of his boyhood and came to California by way of Panama and 
Aspinwall, a voyage filled with interest to the young traveler. It 
had been the intention of the party to visit Panama City, but on 
account of the riots then prevailing they were marched between 
lines of soldiers to lighters and taken aboard the steamer. This was 
overcrowded to the point of discomfort, the late arrivals having to 
content themselves with standing room. When the ship hove in sight 
of the Golden Gate the passengers became unruly in their eagerness 
to land and thus relieve the tension and discomfort which they had 
endured during the long voyage on the Pacific. The crowding of 
the passengers to one side of the ship nearly capsized it, and in order 
to right the ship and preserve order the captain was compelled to 
turn the hot water hose on the unruly crowd. At San Francisco 
Mr. Tliomas boarded the overland stage for Yisalia, arriving No- 
vember 5, 1858. He had been attracted to Visalia from the fact that 
his brother, Joseph H. Thomas, was located here, having come to 
California in 1852 and to Visalia in 1856. Here the latter was en- 
gaged in the lumber business on Mill creek, cutting and sawing pine 
lumber. The brothers formed an association in the lumber busi- 
ness that lasted eleven years, during which time they lost three 
mills by fire and flood. The mill was located forty-five miles from 
Visalia and they paid $40 to $50 per thousand feet for hauling tlie 
Inmlier to town, where it sold for $90 a tliousand. The logs wore 
blasted in order to get them into tlie mill. 

After giving up the lumber business Tsatic H. Thomas turned 
his attention to the nursery and orchard industry and his interest 
in the same has continued to the present time. To him is given the 
credit for taking orders for and selling the first fruit trees in Tulare 
county, obtaining his initial stock from San Into bis nur.sery. 
located one and a half miles east of Visalia, he introduced many 
new varieties of fruit trees. A .subsequent undertaking- was tlie 
planting: and development of a ninety acre orchard adjacent to town. 
Since 1904 he has been associated with the Red Bank Orchard 
Company in the capacity of horticulturist. This orchard was started 
M'itli tlic intention of catcrin-i- to the eastern tr;ide exclnsivelv and 


grows the earliest fruit in the state uortli of tlie Imperial valley. 
Some idea of the duties involved as manager of the Red Bauk or- 
chard may be gathered from the fact that the ranch comprises 
twenty-two hundred acres, of which nine hundred and forty acres 
are in fruit, as follows: oranges, table grapes (fourteen varieties), 
seedless limes, tangarines, plums (fifteen varieties), as well as an 
early variety of peaches, in fact the very earliest produced in the 
United States. The orchard has an exceptional location ou the face 
of Colvin mountain. Electric power is used for irrigation, water 
being supplied from a system of wells seventy-seven feet deep and 
pumped one hundred and seventy-five feet up hill into cement flumes. 
Mr. Thomas has exhibited Visalia grown fruits all over America, 
and abroad also, and has never taken any but first premiums. Be- 
sides sending exhibits from his own ranch, which he owned before 
he became associated with the Red Bank Orchard Company, he 
also packed and shipped fruit that came from the George A. Flem- 
ing ranch, consisting of three hundred pounds of large peaches, to 
the fairs at Atlanta, Buffalo, and Paris, the ])eaches running from 
sixteen to twenty-one and a half ounces each. 

The marriage of Mr. Thomas in 1864 united him with Miss 
Caroline Owsley, a native of Missouri. The eldest of their three 
children, John O., now deceased, was elected recorder of Tulare 
county and served one term. Horace M. is a resident of Oakland. 
Annie, the only daughter, is the wife of P. M. Baier, of Msalia. 
Mr. Thomas is a member of Four Creek Lodge No. 94, T. O. O. F., 
and a charter member of the old volunteer fire deiiartment. He 
served nine years on the state board of horticulture and has taken 
an active part in combating the fruit pests, he having invented the 
composition of lime, sul]ihur and salt for killing insects and the 
San Jose scale. 

In retrospect Mr. Thomas calls to mind his first impression of 
A^isalia, which at the time he arrived here contained three stores, 
a hotel and a blacksmith sho]i. In the course of half a century he 
has seen wonderful changes in the country round about and no one 
more than he can be given credit for what has been accomplished. 
Few indeed are those now living who were residents here when he 
settled here. He cast his first vote in Visalia in 1859, supportinc; 
Bell and Everett. Mr. Thomas is the proud possessor of two old 
i'(^1ics which ho pvizcs very liia-hlv. One of these is an old drum, 
wliich first saw service in the Rovolutionarv war and later fisjured 
in the battle of New Orleans. This relic is now on exhibition at 
Stanford Universitv. The other inemento is an old hickorv cane, 
cut in 1855 at General Jackson's old home in Tennessee. The Horm- 






Among the well-known i)ioneers of Tulare county is numbered 
Andrew J. Scoggins, son of David Green and Martha (Breedlove) 
Scoggins, who was born May 28, 1828, in Alabama. His parents were 
natives of North Carolina. The family moved at a comparatively 
early date to Tennessee and were among pioneers in Eoane county 
and later in another county in that state and the father prospered 
fairly as a farmer and as a tanner. When Andrew was twenty-two 
years old he settled in Arkansas, but finding the country unhealthy 
removed to southwest Missouri. In 1848, before leaving his old home 
in Tennessee, he married Miss Julia Buttram, a native of that state, 
who bore him a daughter, Martha Ann, who eventually married the 
Rev. L. C. Renfroe of the Methodist church and bore him children, 
Maud and Louis. Mrs. Scoggins died October 3, 1853. On October 
3, 1856, he married Miss Rebecca Cleek, a native of Tennessee, whom 
he bronght across the plains to the Far West. The journey was made 
in the warm part of the year 1857 and he started with two hundred 
head of cattle and lost a few by the way. The start was made from 
Fort Scott and the Platte river was reached at Fort Kearney. The 
latter part of the jonrney was made by the southern route and Mr. 
Scoggins settled in Yolo county, then a wild country in which he found 
wild oats higher than his head. By his second marriage Mr. Scoggins 
had nine children: Margaret M., Byron, Josephine, Nettie, John L., 
Frank, Pearl W., A. J. and an infant unnamed. The three last-men- 
tioned have passed away. Margaret M. married C. Fremont Giddons 
and has three sons and a daughter. Byron has not married. Jose- 
phine married Travers Welch and bore him one child who has won 
success as a teacher at P^esno, where the family live. Nettie married 
C. L. Knestric of Dinuba and has a daughter. Frank married Belle 
Ellis, daughter, of J. W. Ellis of Visalia, and has two sons and a 
daughter. Mr. Scoggins lias nine grandchildren and three great-grand- 

Mr. Scoggins crossed the plains the second time, the journey 
being made in comparative safety, there having been no trouble 
with the Indians. He came to Hanford in 1866 and lived south of that 
town for ten years. He bought land of the railroad company at $12.50 
an acre and passed through the experiences which culminated in the 
Mussel Slough tragedy and the subsequent settlement of^iuestions at 
issue between settlers and the railroad company. One of his recollec- 
tions is of having seen Mr. Crow after the latter had been shot down. 
He went for a time to Texas to raise sheep and fed many sheej) in 
Colusa county, Cal. He had now entered u])on what may be termed 
his second period of prosperity. In 1870 lie had paid taxes on ])rop- 
erty valued at $350,000 and the opening of the year 1876 had found 


him poor. He began to raise grain, operating extensively in Colusa 
county, where he grew ten thousand sacks of wheat in one memorahle 
season and was known as a leading wheat producer in that part of the 
state. In the spring of 1888 he owned eleven thousand sheep and 
sheared four hundred. His house in Colusa county, a brick structure 
which cost $15,000, was the finest house in the county at the time of 
his residence there. On coming to Dinuba he bought fifty acres of land 
a mile and a half southwest of the town and has given ten acres to his 
heirs. He has thirty acres in grapes and a fine family orchard. 

The country in this region was new when Mr. Scoggins first he- 
held it. Sheep and cattle were fed everywhere, wild game was plenty 
and he often saw large herds of antelope wh'ich at a distance looked 
like bands of sheep. Not only has he participated in the development 
of the country, but as a public-spirited citizen he has aided it in every 
way possible. In politics he calls himself a Bryan Democrat. He has 
long been a Mason and is also an Odd Fellow. He and members of 
his family are communicants of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 


The honor which belongs to the pioneer and to the leader in 
affairs of importance to the community attaches to the name of the 
late Hon. Tipton Lindsey, of Visalia, Tulare county, Cal. Mr. 
Lindsey was born in St. Joseph county, Ind., May 21, 1829, and was 
reared on a farm there. Educated in public schools near his boy- 
hood home, he was well advanced in the study of law by the time 
he was twenty years old. In 1849, as a member of a party of thirty, 
he made the journey with ox-teams across the plains to California 
and mined for a time at Placerville. He then settled in Santa Clara 
county, whence he came to Tulare county, in November, 1860, driv- 
ing a band of cattle. He pre-empted a piece of government land 
near Goshen and tui-ned his cattle out to range, but they died in a 
dry season four years later. He then went to Visalia, completed 
his study of the law and was admitted to the bar, entering iipon a 
successful professional practice. From the first he took an active 
interest in public affairs and from time to time was called to fill 
responsible officials positions. He was for twelve years receiver of 
the United States Land Office at Visalia, was long a school trustee, 
served one term as supervisor and represented his district four 
years in the senate of the state of California. During all his active 
life he took a deo]i and lieljiful interest in ]iublic education and tlic 


Tipton Lindsey gx"ammar school of Visalia, named in his honor, is 
a monument to his activities as a promoter of educational advance- 
ment of the city. Indeed, it may be said of him that there was no 
local interest tending to the improvement of the peo^Dle at large 
that did not receive his public-spirited support. Comparatively 
early in the history of Visalia he bought sixteen home lots in the 
town for $800, and the lot on which his widow now has her home 
has been owned in the family fortj'-six years. Her fine ranch of 
one hundred and sixty acres, three miles west of town, he purchased 
forty-six years ago. The property formerly bore prunes and 
peaches on trees which he set out, but eventually he had them 
taken out and devoted the land to alfalfa, and for several years 
it has been operated by tenants. Fraternally he affiliated with the 
Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with the An- 
cient Order of United Workmen. He was identified with the Cali- 
fornia Society of Pioneers, the headquarters of which are at San 
Francisco, and helped to organize the Tulare County Society of 
Pioneers. His recollections of 1849' were very comprehensive and 
very interesting. In these days, when the high price of foodstuffs 
is so much discussed, readers should be interested in his narratives 
of a time when water sold for $1 a gallon and eggs for $1 each in 
San Francisco. This honored pioneer passed away on his ranch 
west of Visalia in 1894. 

In 1859 Mr. Lindsey married Miss Eliza Fine, niece of John 
Fine, who crossed the plains with her uncle in 1853. When she 
came to Visalia it was only a village; she saw the trees set out and 
the homes built in her vicinity, and has watched the development of 
the city to its present proportions and importance. She recalls many 
entertaining experiences of her journey across the plains. In every 
direction she saw long emigrant trains until they looked small and 
dim on the horizon. She remembers a stampede of buffaloes in 
which a herd of thousands bore down on her train, threatening death 
to humans and cattle alike, a tragedy which was prevented by a 
diversion in the path of the maddened bison which took them past 
the camp without inflicting injury to anything in it. She recalls the 
flood of 1868 at Visalia, when for more than twenty-four hours 
water stood a foot deep on the property which is now her home, and 
tells how after the water subsided tons of fish were left on the 
plains west of Visalia. The flood interfered with travel in the coun- 
try round about to such an extent that for two months not a letter 
or newspaper was received in the town. Mrs. Lindsey has two 
children, Charles F., of San Francisco, and Mrs. :\r. P. Frasier. of 
Los Angeles, who has a son named Harold. 



In 184!*, durin,i>- the days of the gold excitement, which was the 
booming of California and the misfortune of many of its pioneers 
who had not learned that grain is more golden than gold, Joseph 
C. Brown, a native of Kentucky and a man of unusual ability, came 
across the plains in the historic wearisome way and mined for a 
time at Placerville. Then he bettered his fortunes by turning school 
teacher, holding forth to a few pupils in the Deep Creek school-house 
in Tulare county, a structure which can be dignified only by de- 
scribing it as a log cabin. But there was a career before him. He 
had a taste for politics and was a forcible and convincing public 
speaker, and in those times and in this then remote region the pub- 
lic speaker liad a distinct advantage over his less voluble neighbor. 
He represented Tulare county in the California legislature in 1866, 
1867 and 1868, and the records show that he served on important 
committees and did good work for his constituency. 

Later Mr. Brown ranched in the White River mountains, near 
Exeter, Tulare county, where he operated two hundred and forty 
acres of land in the raising of hogs, the bacon from which he enter- 
prisingly sold in the mines. He homesteaded a one hundred and 
sixty-acre ranch of government land, two and one-half miles south- 
east of Exeter, which he developed into a productive farm on which 
he lived out his life and died April 25, 1896. 

Of the California constitutional convention of 1876 Mr. Brown 
was an active and influential member, representing Tulare county, 
and in political circles he was widely and favorably known through- 
out the state. At the time of the flood of 1868, when he was living 
in the White River mountains, his food supply was cut off tem- 
porarily and for a while he had nothing to eat but boiled barley. 
He married Mollie M. Lovelace, who bore him children as follows : 
Stanly B., Volney A. and Lueretia E., now Mrs. L. Martin. 

On his father's ranch near Farmersville, Volney A. Brown grew 
to manhood, and in the public schools near the home of his boy- 
hood days he acquired his education. When his father's estate was 
divided, eighty acres fell to his share and it is now his home, and 
he has improved it and made of it such an up-to-date ranch as would 
be the pride of any farmer in his district. He has set out a new 
]n-une orchard, which produced eleven tons in 1911, and raises bar- 
ley, hogs and stock cattle. In connection with his homestead he 
farms a ranch in the hills under lease. He has also invested in 
valuable town lots in Exeter, and has just completed a fine residence 
on his premises, where he and his wife and one son, Joseph C. Brown, 
enjoy all the comforts of a haiijiy home. 

Some of his father's ]nil)lic spirit and concern in jmblic affairs 



was inherited by Mr. Brown, who has an enviable reputation as a 
liberal-minded and very helpful citizen who has at heart the best 
interests of the communitv. 


A prominent citizen and successful builder of Tulare county, 
and a native son of the Golden State, George A. Noble was born in 
Soquel, Santa Cruz county, in 1856, a son of Augustus and Johanna 
M. (Short) Noble. His parents were both born in Massachusetts, 
and his father is living at Soquel at the age of ninety years. 

The elder Noble came to California on board a sailing vessel by 
way of Cape Horn in the year 1849, a member of a party of thirty- 
nine men who were three months in reaching their destination, and 
he is one of the few '49ers surviving in this state. On the voyage 
the supply of meat was exhausted and some of the people on the 
ship died of scurvy, for a time there being no fresh food but tish. 
Soon after his arrival Mr. Noble began mining on the Feather 
river, and in nine months took out gold to the value of $20,000, 
sending some of his nuggets back East. Later he returned to his 
old home, married and brought his bride to California. Locating 
in the mining district of Marysville, he set himself up in busi- 
ness as a cooper, working over the material of old whisky barrels 
into kegs, which he sold profitably to miners, but he was burned out 
at Marysville, losing his all. After a time he went to San Fran- 
cisco, bought a cooper shop near Black Point, operated it success- 
fully two years and then sold it in order to remove to Soquel, Santa 
Cruz county, where he has since made his home. He bought an undi- 
vided one-ninth interest in the Soqi;el ranch of two thousand acres 
and in the Argumentation ranch of nine hundred acres, which he 
still owns. He was one of the early justices of the peace on the 
Pacific slope and is a member of the Pioneer Society of California. 
His wife, who died in 1907, bore him children as follows : Mrs. Char- 
lotte M. Lawson, of San Francisco; George A., of this review; Ed- 
ward T. ; Frederick Dent; Prof. Charles A., of the University of 
California at Berkeley; and Walter. 

In Soquel, Santa Cruz coimty, Cal., George A. Noble grew to 
manhood, acquired his education and gained practical familiarity with 
fruit growing. He began his independent business life in 1878 as a 
fruitman near Fresno, on a tract of eighty acres, twenty of which 
was in vineyard, forty in fruit and the remaining twenty in alfalfa. 
In 1888 he moved to Seattle, Wash., where he was for a time a sue- 


cessful contractor and builder. Returning to California, lie bought 
eighty acres at Savilla, near Atw ell's Island, Tulare county, but 
owing to failure on the part of the vendors to furnish water accord- 
ing to their agreement he was compelled to abandon his holdings 
after two years' work and many improvements made on it. He 
then removed to Fresno, where he devoted his time to the cultiva- 
tion of Indian corn. In 1900 he settled at Visalia, renting twenty 
acres, which he afterward bought and still owns. He developed it 
into an orchard and is now doing well as a grower of peaches. His 
property, lying within the city limits of Visalia, is exceedingly 
valuable. In connection with his fruit growing he has done much 
contracting and building at Visalia since 1905, having erected, 
among other buildings, the Episcopal church, five houses for J. S. 
Johnson, the W. R. Pigg home, the M. J. Wells home, the Willow 
district schoolhouse and Mrs. Dyer's home. In the year 1912 he 
built the Bliss, Cutler and East Lynne schoolhouses in Tulare county 
and is at present engaged on the new Presbyterian church at 
Visalia. The residence of Mrs. Oaks, opposite the new Baptist 
church in Visalia was also completed by him. Besides buildings of 
the classes mentioned he has built numerous cottages in different 
parts of the town, and his work has been such as to give him high 
standing among the builders and contractors of the county. He is 
a charter member of the local organization of Modern Woodmen, 
and as a citizen is progressive, public spirited and helpful to all 
good interests of the cominunity. 

In 1877 Mr. Noble married Miss Otto, a native of Germany, 
whose father, long in the employ of Claus Spreckels, built in Wis- 
consin the first beet sugar factory in the United States and later 
erected the Eldorado sugar factory, near San Francisco. Mrs. 
Noble has borne her husband six children, Augustus, Edgar, Rosa, 
Ewald, Gertrude and George. Rosa is the wife of Clarence Brown 
of Visalia. Mr. Noble has recently organized the California Build- 
ing Co., which has platted the Nobles Subdivision to Visalia and 
is now engaged in building houses and selling off lots to prospective 
homemakers, this being the finest available residence district in 
Visalia. The family home is at No. 820 West Mineral King ave- 
nue, Visalia. 


As far back as the ancestral recoi'ds can be traced the home of 
the Belz family has been in Germany. Christoflf Belz, a Saxon by 
birth and a machinist bv trade, came to the United States and set- 


tied in Rome, N. Y., in 1854, and in that city he followed his trade 
throughout the remainder of his life. He married Margaret Schnuer, 
also a native of Saxony, who died at the home of her son, Andrew 
G., when she had reached the advanced age of eighty-nine years. 
She bore her husband four children, of whom Andrew G., the eldest, 
was the only one to make his home in California. In their religious 
belief Christoff Belz and his wife were Lutherans, devoted to their 
church and contributing to the limit of their ability to all its various 

In Saxe-Meiningen, Germany, Andrew G. Belz was born Janu- 
ary 31, 1832. In his youth he learned the machinist's trade, attend- 
ing a mechanical school, in which he specialized as an ironworker 
and a locksmith. Subsequently he served for two years in the army 
of his native country, as required by law, but the service was so dis- 
tasteful to him that he fled to the United States to escape the third 
and last year. In 1854 he accompanied his father to the United States, 
settling in Rome, N. Y., where his first occupation was burning char- 
coal. From New York state he went to Pennsylvania, subsequently 
to Jefferson county, Wis., and finally, in 1862, he came to California. 
In 1864 he became a pioneer settler in Visalia, where he set up 
the first blacksmith shop, and here it was that he welded the first 
four-inch wagon tire that was made in the county. He continued to 
follow the blacksmith business here with good success until the '80s, 
when the failure of his eyesight made it necessary for him to give 
it up. Following this he became interested in the hotel business, and 
on the site of his blacksmith shop he erected the Pacific lodging house. 
As this was near the Southern Pacific depot it had a good patronage 
from the first and is still dispensing hospitality to the weary wayfarer. 
At Watertown, Wis., August 17, 1874, Mr. Belz was married to 
Miss Caroline Wegman, a daughter of George J. and Caroline 
(Wennerholdt) Wegman. A sketch of the former will be found else- 
where in this volume. Three children have blessed the marriage of 
Mr. and Mrs. Belz, as follows: George A., Frank A. and Eliza M., 
the latter the wife of E. Blair. George A. is a graduate of the San 
Jose state normal school, class of 1902. Frank attended the grarmnar 
school, passed three years in high school, and then attended Santa 
Clara college. Finally both sons entered the University of Wisconsin 
and graduated from the college of agriculture connected with that 
well-known institution. They are now engaged in carrying ou scien- 
tific farming and dairying on the old Wegman estate, and associated 
with them are Mr. and Mrs. Blair. The sons are young men of much 
ability and of the highest integrity, who carry into their business the 
high ideals that made the names of their father and grandfather 
honored wherever they were known. Mr. and Mrs. Wegman fol- 
lowed their daughter to California in 1875 and settled on what is 

278 TULARP: and kings ('(JUNTIKS 

now known as the "Wegnian ranch, three and one-half miles north- 
east of Visalia. 

Just fifty years have passed since Mr. Belz canae to California 
by way of Panama in 1862. From San Francisco, where he landed, 
he first went to Sacramento and then to Stockton, where he stacked 
about one thousand acres with wheat for Mr. Newton. All was 
destroyed in a flood, a circumstance which discouraged Mr. Belz with 
any future attempts at farming. After coming to Visalia in 1864 he 
worked for several men in the capacity of blacksmith before setting- 
up a shop of his own. The passing of years has obliterated the 
memory of early discouragements and disappointments, and in the 
enjo>Taient of his present prosperity he rejoices that he persevered, 
adjusting himself to circumstances and conditions. 


The life story of Judge Justin Jacobs is interesting and should 
be instructive to the ambitious young man who desires to get on in 
the world in a high-minded way and to win substantial and creditable 
success. Justin Jacobs was born in Troy, N. Y., in 1844. His father, 
who had been an officer in the Seminole war, was connected with 
the United States arsenal at Troy until he was crippled for life by the 
explosion of ordnance in that military establishment. Then he went 
to Wisconsin and in 1847, when his son was three years old, the 
family settled near Waupun, where the future jurist was educated in 
the common school. When the Civil war broke out he was sixteen 
j^ears old and, responding to President Lincoln's call for volunteers, 
he became one of the very young soldiers in the Federal army. On 
the same day he enlisted in the Sixteenth Regiment Wisconsin Vol- 
unteer Infantry, which was under command of Colonel Fairchild ; his 
brother Curtis enlisted in the Third Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantry. The Sixteenth Wisconsin was assigned to the Department 
of the Tennessee and followed Grant and Sherman in all their long 
and brilliant cam]iaigus in the west. Private Jacol)s took part in many 
hotly contested engagements, including that of Shiloh, where he was 
one of those who stood in tlie historic "Hornet's Nest." Exposure 
and bad surgical treatment resulted in the loss of one of his eyes and 
he was discharged from the service in March, 1865, so nearly blind 
that he was unable to resume his studies for a year and a half. How- 
ever the sight of his remaining eye was restored, and he soon became 
a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After the 
junior year he entered the law department of that institution, from 
which he was graduated in 1871, and after two years spent as jirin- 

^:>i>«i--<2--^<l-<:^ ^/^^-^r^c/^^ . 


cipal of the AVaupuu public schools, he began the practice of his 
profession. He came to California in 1874 and until 1876 was con- 
nected with Tipton Lindsev of Visalia in professional work. In the 
year last mentioned he moved to Lemoore and built the first dwelling- 
house in the town on laud which he bought from the railroad com- 
pany which was promoting development there. Diiring the legal 
struggle between the settlers in what was once known as "the Mussel 
Slough Country" he was their attorney and ably defended them in the 
courts. In 1883 he sold his property at Lemoore and until 1885 was 
the law partner of L. H. Van Schaick, of San Francisco. Returning 
to Lemoore he was until 1891 the leading lawyer in Western Tulare 
county, and in that year he took up his residence in Hanford, where 
for a year he had as his law partners M. L. Short and B. T. Mickle. 
When the western part of the county became settled and developed 
and a movement for the creation of a new county took form he 
was one of the advisors who supplied the legal knowledge upon which 
the work of separation and re-establishment was carried to success. 
This fact gives him standing in history as having been one of the 
founders of Kings county in 1893. He was elected superior judge 
of the new county and re-elected to succeed himself, and he won the 
reputation of being one of the ablest judges of the Superior Court 
of California. He was foremost in all the work of general develop- 
ment so long as he lived, instrumental in bringing about the bonding 
of the county for public school purposes and in establishing the 
Union high school and in securing good roads throughout the county. 
In the founding and building uj) of the First Unitarian church of 
Hanford he was a factor and of its congregation he was a member 
until he passed away. 

At Janesville, Wis., in 1872, Judge Jacobs married Miss Annie 
M. Lowber, a native of New York, and they had three children, Clara 
Belle, H. Scott and Louisa M. Fraternally he was an Odd Fellow, 
a Knight of Pythias, a member of the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen and of the Grand Army of the Republic, and passed all 
the cliairs in each of these orders. He died September 23, 1898. 


Not only by reason of identification with California dui'ing its 
early formative period, but also by virtue of his long association 
with the stock and farm interests of Tulare county Mr. Stokes holds 
a leading position among the citizens of the community. When in 
the winter of 1855 he came to the vicinity of his present location in 
Visalia few attempts had as yet been made to jilace the surrounding 


country under cultivation. A'isalia was a very small village, sur- 
rounded by a wilderness, and Mr. Stokes drove his cattle along the 
foothills east of Visalia, where now stand the thriving towns of 
Exeter and Lindsay. Game of all kinds abounded and it was not 
uncommon to see three hundred elks in one band. 

A native of Missouri, John W. Stokes was born in Daviess 
county. July 2, 1837, the son of Yancy B. Stokes, a native of Kentucky. 
Removing from Kentucky to Missouri in an early day the latter 
engaged in farming and stock-raising, and became well known 
throughout tlie middle west through his large stock transactions. 
From 1840 until 1850 he made his home in Iowa, and on April 10 
of the last mentioned year he took up the march across the plains 
for California. He was accompanied on the trip by his son John W,. 
then a lad of about thirteen years, and the incidents of the ox-team 
journey covering seven months proved a source of unfailing interest 
to the youth. The party arrived at Hangtown on October 12 and 
the first winter was passed in Stockton, the father suffering ill- 
health the greater part of that season. It thus devolved iipon the 
son to take care of the stock that winter, and with the opening of 
the spring father and son went to the Curtis Creek mines. They 
were especially fortunate in their mining experiences during the 
three months they were there, but all to no purpose, as the entire 
accumulation was stolen from Mr. Stokes' trunk. From there he 
went to Mokelumne river, Calaveras count}', remaining there until 
the spring of 1852, when he located in Marysville on the Yuba river. 
The following spring and simmier were spent in prospecting in the 
mines, after which he returned to Stockton. In the fall of that 
year he returned to Iowa and in 1853 he brought his family to Cali- 
fornia across the plains. The journey was broken by a stop in 
Carson ^'^alley, where the family spent the winter, and the following 
spring they located in Contra Costa county, near Martinez. One 
year later, December 25, 1855, they came to Tulare county, locating 
on government land which Mr. Stokes took up six miles west of 
Visalia. Here he engaged in general farming and stock-raising 
until selling the property to his son, after which he bought another 
tract in the same section, his holdings at the time of his death 
amounting to sixteen hundred acres. He iiassed away Marcli 4, 
1886. His wife, in maidenhood Elizabeth Moore and a native of 
Missouri, also died in California. 

A family of six sons and five daughters was born to this pioneer 
couple. Only three of the children, S. C, B. F. and J. W., are 
living in Tulare county. Two daughters, Martha J. Sanders and 
Hattie Webb, are residents of the state, and Mrs. Rachel Brewer, 
the eldest of the children living, makes her home in Iowa. The 
school advantages that fell to the lot of John W. Stokes were limiteil. 


for his entire boyhood was passed on the frontier, first in Iowa 
and later in California. In 185.3, while his father returned to Iowa 
for the remainder of the family, he went to the mines at Hangtown 
with a brother, buying flour and other stuff which they sold to the 
emigrants, flour bringing $1 per pound. They raised water melons 
in Carson valley and sold them for $1 each. Coming to Tulare 
county with the family, J. W. Stokes was for some time associated 
in general farming and stock-raising on property which was later 
sold to the son, as previously stated. The latter afterward branclied 
out along the same lines on a large scale and at one time owned 
as high as sixteen thousand acres of land. Considerable of this has 
since been disposed of, although he still owns valuable farm lands in 
the county. He can truly be numbered among the extensive and 
successful stockmen of Tulare county. 

It was in Tulare county that Mr. Stokes' first marriage occurred, 
uniting him with Eachel M. Gibson, a native of Missouri. She died 
in San Luis Obispo county, Cal., leaving the following children: 
Christina, the wife of S. N. Chase; John Thomas; Elta ; Miles 
Andrew and Claud. Subsequently, in Visalia, Mr. Stokes was 
married to Nancy Liggett, a native of Tennessee. The two children 
born of this marriage are Henry J., a rancher near Goshen, and 
Eoxanna, the wife of C. B. Dorrity. ' Mr. Stokes espouses the i)rin- 
cipjes of the Republican party, as did his father before him. 


As rancher, stockman and horticulturist James H. C. McFarland 
has become one of the most prominent citizens of his community. 
His activities date from 1891, when he bought his property south 
of Tulare. He was born in Springfield, Greene county. Mo., August 
19. 1849, son of William and Martha (Roberts) McFarland, "" the 
youngest of their family of three sons and five daughters, all of 
whom grew to maturity and five of whom are living. William Mc- 
Farland was taken to Cooper county, Mo., by Jacob McFarland, his 
father, who was a native of North Carolina, and there he grew up, 
was educated and learned the work of the farmer and stockman. It 
was as such that he was engaged during the active years of his life 
five miles from Springfield, where he passed away in 1863. A Whig 
and a Union man, he organized the first Home Guards in Greene 
county. Each of his three sons was a volunteer in the Union ser- 
vice: George, now of Springfield, having borne arms in a Missouri 
regiment; John, also of Springfield, in the Eighth Missouri Cavalry; 
and James Henry Clay in Company F, Fourteenth Missouri Cavalry, 


into which he was mustered at Springfield in March, 1865, when he 
was in his sixteenth year. William McFarland married Martha 
Roberts, a native of east Tennessee, whose father, John Roberts, 
took his family to Cooper county. Mo., and later to Greene county, 
where he died. Mrs. McFarland 's death occurred in 1880. 

On his father's farm in Missouri James H. C. McFarland was 
reared to manhood. He attended the district school near his home 
until he was obliged to leave it in order to go to work. After his 
enlistment as a soldier his regiment was detailed for frontier duty 
against Indians in western Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. A 
liattle with the Cheyennes and Comanches was fought at Salt River 
and the Indians were defeated, but the cavalry remained on the 
ground until the government effected a treaty with the Indians, where 
Wichita, Kans., now stands. Mr. McFarland was mustered out of 
service at Fort Leavenworth in November, 1865, and was later dis- 
charged at St. Louis. He was at. that time a few months past his 
sixteenth birthday, and he went back to school, but left it soon after- 
ward to become a farmer and stockraiser on his own account. He 
successfully conducted an eighty-acre farm five miles from Spring- 
field until 1887, when he came to California and located in Tulare 
county. He rented three hundred acres of the Bishop Colony land, 
east of Tulare, for two years. Then he rented two hundred and forty 
acres of the Zumwalt ranch for a year and forty acres belonging 
to Mrs. Traverse. In the spring of 1891 he bought twenty acres 
of the Oakland Colony tract, which he put in alfalfa. He also 
rented two hundred and forty acres of the Gould ranch in the 
Waukena section, which he farmed to grain for three years. In the 
fall of 1894 he and his brother-in-law rented four thousand acres, 
east of Lindsay, which was a part of the Tuohy ranch, and farmed 
it one year. The following year they farmed the Gould ranch and 
in 1896 operated two hundred and forty acres of the Woods place 
in the Poplar section. He also bought three hundred and twenty 
acres on the bayou, three miles south of Tulare, where he raised 
stock. That place he sold in 1904 and bought sixty acres adjoining 
his twenty acres in the Oakland Colony tract, which he put under 
alfalfa. There he lived until 1910, when he sold the property and 
bought eighty acres of the John Shufflebean ranch, two miles west 
of town, all of which he operates himself and on which his residence 
is located. He has installed an electric power plant for pumping. 

In 1869 Mr. McFarland married, near Springfield, Mo., Miss 
Martha J. Wharton, a native of Greene county, that state, and a 
daughter of Emsley Wharton, born in North Carolina, who settled 
eai-jy in Missouri and died there some time after the Ci^dl war, in 
wliicli he saw service in the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, U. S. A. To 
Mr. and IMrs. McFarland have been born two children. Tlieir daugh 





ter Clara married W. J. Al)erer()ml)ie of Tulare. Their son Charles 
G. is a rancher near that city. Mrs. MeFarland is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. In politics Mr. MeFarland is Repub- 


Of those who are engaged in ranching and stock-raising in the 
vicinity of Hanford, Kings county, none stand higher in public favor 
than L. Y. Montgomery, who came to this county in January, 1881, 
and during the long time that has elapsed since has demonstrated 
the value of industry and fair dealing in the making of a career 
of usefulness and honor. Mr. Montgomery was born in East Ten- 
nessee on May 17, 1857, the son of William Glaspy and Mary Jane 
(Burton) Montgomery, natives res]iectively of Tennessee and Vir- 
ginia. Both passed away on the old homestead, the father when 
about seventy years old, and the mother also lived to pass her sev- 
entieth year. L. Y. Montgomery was educated in public schools near 
the family plantation and at Maryville College. He was early 
instructed in all of the details of successful farming as conducted 
in that part of the country at the time, and may be said to have 
been in the fields since he was a lad of ten years. After he left 
college he assumed charge of his father's business, managing it for 
a short time, and in Januai-y, 1879, he went to Louisiana, where he 
was much enthused over the fine opportunities which the farming 
interests of that state offered to a young man, and in leaving there 
he felt that he was turning his back on fortune, besides leaving 
behind many appreciated friends whom he had made among the 
planters. However, falling a victim to malaria, he decided to seek 
a change of climate and came to California. 

Mr. Montgomery's first emplo^anent in the Golden State was 
iri' the redwood lumber camps controlled by Sau Francisco parties, 
and in June, 1881, he found work in the harvest fields for a time. 
In the latter part of that year he came to Grangeville, then Tuhire 
county, and for the following two years was paid well-earned wages 
by G. H. Hackett for ranch work. After he had saved some money 
he leased land and for some time was successfiil as a farmer on his 
own account; still later on, as success smiled on his efforts, he 
became a land-owner and engaged in general farming and stock- 
raising. At this time he owns his home place of eiglity acres, five 
miles north of Hanford, besides two hundred acres in Fresno county, 
all of which is well imiiroved. He has fortv acres in fruit, to tlie 


cultivation of which he gives considerable attention. He is interested 
in irrigation projects and is a director of the Peo^Dle's Ditch com- 
pany and also of the Eiverside Ditch company. For four years, 
from 1906 to 1910, he served as supervisor from the third district 
of Kings county and while a member of that body the new county 
hospital was erected and the courthouse park was enlarged. 

On November 30, 1891, occurred the marriage of L. Y. Mont- 
gomery and Miss Jennie Gr. Latham, who was a native of Sutter 
county, born on August 7, 1870. They have three sons, Cloyd Bur- 
ton, a stvident in Heald's Business College at Fresno; Eussell 
Latham and Creed Litchfield. Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery are mem- 
bers of the Kings River Methodist Episcopal church and both be- 
long to the order of Rebekahs, and he is a member of the Odd Fel- 
lows, lu all matters pertaining to the well-being of the county or 
the peo]»Ie, Mr. Montgomery has always shown his public spirit and 
has advocated and supported measures to the best of his ability along 
those lines. To such men as he the county owes its development and 
standing among its sister counties of the state. 


The wise counsel, good judgment and progressive spirit of Ezra 
Lathrop have been factors in the upbuilding and prosperity of Tulare, 
Cal. Mr. Lathrop came from his old Iowa home to Nevada, but soon 
afterward, in 1866, came to California, and since 1873 he has lived in 
Tulare. His family is of English descent and was early established in 
the state of New York. AVilliam and Perrin Lathrop, his grandfather 
and father respectively, were born there, but settled in Susquehanna 
county. Pa., where the former died. The latter became a pioneer at 
Cascade, Dubuque county, Iowa, but soon went to Center Point, near 
Cedar Falls, in Blackhawk county, where he improved a farm. Later 
he farmed in Louisa county, that state, but passed his declining years 
in Blackhawk county. Clementine Dowduey, who became his wife, 
was of Eastern birth, but passed away near Center Point, Iowa. She 
bore her husband two sons and a daughter : Ezra of Tulare ; Grilead 
P., who died in the Civil war, a member of the Eighth Regiment, Iowa 
Volunteer Infantry; and Mrs. Mary Ellen Brown, who lives in Tulare 
coimty, north of Visalia. 

At Rush, near Montrose, Susquehanna, Pa., Ezra Lathrop was 
born in 1839 and there he began attending district schools. He was 
ten years old when his family went to Iowa and sixteen when liis 
mother died, and then he set out to make his own wav in the world. 


For a time lie was employed on farms, Imt in ISG-i sought fortune in 
the West as a member of an emigrant party that crossed the plains. 
The Indians were nnnsnally troublesome at that time, but the train 
went unmolested up the Platte and l)y way of Salt Lake City to Ne- 
vada, where Mr. Lathrop began farming on the East Walker river. 
In 1865 he was teaming at Dayton and in 1866 he was farming near 
Suisun, Cal, whence he removed three years later to Montezuma Hill. 
In 1873 he came to Tulare and built the residence which has since l)een 
his home and found emplojTiient as a driver of six-horse teams in 
mountain freighting. In 1874 he honiesteaded eighty acres of gov- 
ernment land north of Tulare, which, with other lands, he began to 
cultivate six years later, and by adjoining purchases he came to own 
four hundred and thirty acres. He formerly owned the Round Valley 
ranch of thirt^'-eight hundi'ed acres. At this time his holdings com- 
prise four hundred and forty acres in one body, all under ditch; five 
hundred and sixty acres, south of Tulare; and eighty acres southeast 
of that city. He was for a time a director in the Rockyford Irrigation 
Ditch Company. 

In 1882 Mr. Lathrop embarked in the lumber business and soon 
built up a valuable trade, but after eighteen months a concern that 
had been his most bitter competitor and which he had worsted sold out 
to Moore & Smith, a company financially very strong. Unable to hold 
his own against such opposition, he sold out in 1884 to the Puget 
Sound Lumber Company, which appointed him its local agent. In 
1886 the two concerns were merged as the San Joaquin Lumber Com- 
pany and his agency was continued. When the new company was 
incorporated he became its manager and had its affairs in charge 
until November, 1898, when it retired from business. He was one of 
the promoters of the Gas Company of Tulare, was financially inter- 
ested in it when it was incori)orated, January, 1884, and has been its 
president since May, 1885. Its electric light plant dates from 1890 
and since 1894 it has manufactured no gas. His patriotic work in 
bringing about the compromise with the bondholders of the Tulare 
Irrigation district resulted in a grand jollification and bond burning 
which is a part of the history of Tulare. He has performed efficient 
service as fire commissioner and school trustee and has helped the 
people of the town by his wise and conservative judgment in financial 
affairs. In 1885 he assisted in the organization of the bank of Tnlaic. 
the oldest in the town, of which he was pi-esident from that day to the 
time of his death, November 17, 1908, and which has lieen an important 
aid to the welfare of the peo])le. It is apparent that a record of the 
life of Mr. Lathrop is in a sense a record of the progress and develo]>- 
ment of Tulare, for he was inseparably identified with many of its 
leading interests. Politically he was a Democrat until 1896. Then, 
unable to sujijiort the financial theories of Mr. 15ryaii. he hccame a Re- 


publican. Praterually he affiliates with the Ancieut Order of United 
Workmen, wluch has a flourishing lodge at Tulare. 

In Iowa, Mr. Lathrop married Miss Virginia Blake, a native of 
Oakland, that state, who bore him twin daughters and died in 1898. 
One of the daughters, Martha Adeline, married G. W. Bauman, a bio- 
graphical sketch of whom will be found in this volume, and the other, 
Matilda Eveline, married "W. J. Sturgeon. 

On January 20, 1908, Mr. Lathrop married Mrs. Lena Aver, whose 
maiden name was Lena De Vine, born in Nova Scotia. Mr. and Mrs. 
Ayer came to California from Boston, Mass., December, 1890. 


The profession of medicine and surgery is becoming more and 
more specialized as time passes, and its two principal branches are 
today more distinct and individual than they have ever been before. 
One of the medical profession in Kings county, Cal., who is becom- 
ing well known in central California through his successful devotion 
to surgery is Charles Tilden Rosson, M. D., of Hanford, who was 
born in Vergennes, Jackson county. 111., in 1876, and was there edu- 
cated in the public schools. In 1894, when he was about eighteen 
years old, he came to Tulare county, Cal. It was in the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons of San Francisco that he finished his pro- 
fessional education and was graduated with the M. D. degree in 
1903, and in that and the following year he was house surgeon in the 
City and County Hospital at San Francisco. In 1904 he came to 
Hanford and for a time made the office of Dr. Holmes his head- 
quarters, but it was not long before he established an independent 
office, which is now located in the Emporium building. 

It is to surgery that Dr. Rosson has given special attention and 
it is as a surgeon that he has developed an ability and won a suc- 
cess that have made him known throughout a wide territory sur- 
rounding Hanford. An idea of his progressiveness and of his ini- 
tiative in his chosen field may be conveyed by the statement that he 
was one of the first to perform laparotomy in Kings county. Until 
1911 he was for some years surgeon in Central California for the 
Santa Fe Railway system and he is now Southern Pacific Railroad 
surgeon and physician. He is a member of the San Joaquin Medi- 
cal Society, the Fresno County Medical Society, the California State 
Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and is presi- 
dent of the Hanford Sanitoriinn, Inc. Though he is in constant de- 
mand as a family ]iliysician, he is in still wider demand as a sur- 

3 ^ Jii^jJ 

<^/ ^^^^^^^ 


geon and does a large share of the capital surgery in the county; 
his work in this line is gradually extending to neighboring counties. 
In 1901 Dr. Rosson married Miss Burnett of Tulare, who has 
borue him three sons, John, Charles and Robert. Socially he affili- 
ates with the Improved Order of Red Men and with Hanford Lodge 
No. 1259, B. P. O. E. Politically he is patriotically interested, and 
as a citizen he gives his aid to the development of Hanford and its 
interests and to the uplift of its people of all classes. 


It was in Decatur county, Iowa, that S. C. Stokes was born, 
November 15, 1845, and one of his early recollections is of fishing in 
the Platte when he got on his hook a large catfish which might have 
pulled him into the river if his mother had not come to his rescue 
and helped him land it. He was then nearly five years old. His 
parents were Yancy B. and Elizabeth (Moore) Stokes, the father 
and mother both born in Kentucky in 181-I-. In 1850 they started 
overland to California, bringing their children; their youngest, a 
daughter, was born later in Carson valley, Nev. They were six 
months in making the journey and their adventures were many. In 
}iarties before and behind them numerous men and women died of 
cholera ; Mrs. Stokes was attacked by that dread disease, but was 
saved by the prompt administration of burned brandy. At Rocky 
Ford there was an Indian attack and a Frenchman was chased into 
cam]3, barely escaping with his life. After mining for a time at 
Hangtown, Mr. Stokes returned to Iowa with $6,000 in gold slugs 
of the value of $50 each, arriving in 1852. Returning to Califoimia 
by way of the isthmus of Panama he secured fifty head of Spanish 
heifers in Mexico, which he drove to his destination. His activities 
were then centered in Cottonwood and Grapevine, and he bought 
three hundred and twenty acres of railroad land at $5 an acre, 
improving it with a house and other buildings and appurtenances 
and he entered upon a career of measurable success. 

In 1866 S. C. Stokes married Sarah J. Lytle, a native of iMis- 
souri, who was brought across the plains by her parents in the early 
'50s, and she bore him these children : Mary, Charles, William, John, 
Robert, Prentice and Corinthia (twins), and Harry. Mary became the 
wife of Nathan Bristol, a Civil war veteran, and has borne liim a 
son and a daughter. Charles married Mary Johnson and has chil- 
dren named Erma, Ella, Iva and Florence; his home is near Visalia. 
William married Charlotte Vasques and they live in Cottonwood 
vallev; their children are Stokley, Ruby, George, Gladys, Odetta, 


Shirley, Lottie, Neavie and Rachel. John married Clara Enorgan 
and lives at Portland, Ore. Robert married Rebecca Mankins and 
lives in Fresno county, where he deals in horses. They have a son 
named Rucen. Prentice, who lives in Goshen, married Hazel Stearns. 
Corinthia married Wallace Evans and has a son named Marshall, 
their home being at Cottonwood ; they have two children. Harry 
married Nellie Adams. 

Pioneers and men of {nomiuence in earlier days, of every char- 
acter, were well-known to Mr. Stokes. He relates that Sontag and 
Evans, who won historic distinction as stage robbers, lived in the 
mountains near him for four years. He has from young manhood 
been prominent in public affairs, has been active as a Republican and 
has for a number of years held the office of school trustee. He tells 
that in 1856-57 antelope were as numerous in Stokes valley as rab- 
bits and grizzl}^ bear were plentiful in the woods all round about. 
Once, when he was fishing, he came upon a female bear with cubs. 
She chased him for some distance. He threw his hat in her face 
and she tore it to pieces while he made good his escape. In his 
younger days he killed many elk, which he took home in his big 
wagon. There is a tree standing on Stokes mountain in the shade 
of which he rested when he was only thirteen years old. He and 
others went to Mexico and bought a lot of Spanish cows, which they 
bred to American cattle until they had a herd of tliree thousand. 
In 1857 a bear killed several hogs in the neighborhood and John Mc- 
Huam, Y. B. Stokes, three of the . Halsteads and John Stokes went 
after him and found him, much to their own discomf orture ; for he 
killed several dogs, treed the men and gave them a fight which 
lasted nearly all day, then escaped from them and killed nine sows 
that cost $50 per head. Mr. Stokes's mother killed many antelope 
with her grandfather's gun, the barrel of which is a valuable family 
possession at this time. He remembers that in 1862, just after the 
big flood, a party of hunters chased a band of antelope twenty miles 
without getting an animal. Mr. Stokes remembers when a neighbor. 
Cook Everton, set a spring gun in his apple orchard for bear and 
was himself accidentally shot by it. Y. B. Stokes served in the Indian 
war of 1856, and he was one of the original locators of the Mineral 
King mine. 


The Tulare County Co-operative Creamery Association, the larg- 
est institution of the kind in the country, was organized in 1903 and 
has branches at Visalia and at Corcoran. Its officers are: S. B. An- 


derson, president; P. E. Eeinhart, vice-president; M. G. Cottle, secre- 
tary; the above mentioned and William Small and Charles Meador, 
directors; Wooster B. Cartmill, manager. The main station, at Tu- 
lare, occupies a modern brick building, which is equipped with up-to- 
date machinery and appliances of all kinds necessary to its successful 
operation. Its output of two tons of Imtter daily is sold in bulk to the 
Los Angeles Creamery. The milk consumed, that of four thousand 
cows, is supplied by dairymen in the vicinity of Tulare. 

As stated above, the active and practical management of this great 
industry is in the hands of Wooster B. Cartmill. This gentleman, 
well known personally or by reputation in dairy circles throughout the 
San Joaquin Valley, is a native son of California. He was born in 
Amador county, Cal., in 1857, a son of Dr. W. F. and Sophia (Barnes) 
Cartmill. His father was a native of Ohio; his mother was born in 
Missouri. In 1861, when the immediate subject of this notice was four 
years old, his family moved to Tulare county. There he was reared 
and educated and there he obtained a practical knowledge of Cali- 
fornia farming, under his father's thorough instruction. For years he 
assisted the elder Cartmill on the family's big ranch of twelve hun- 
dred acres, and later he took charge of it and managed it successfully 
until about 1898. It included eighty acres of prunes, peaches and 
grapes, a hundred and sixty acres of alfalfa and a fine dairy. His 
father upon coming to Tulare county made his beginning as a dairy- 
man, by running a farm dairy from 1862 to 1870. He made butter 
which he sold at the mines in Tulare and Inyo counties in the early 
and interesting days, and became one of the leaders in the industry. 
Naturally, the younger Cartmill early in life acquired a practical 
knowledge of dairying. He operated the old D. K. Zumwalt creamery 
from 1889 to 1900, and in the latter year established a skimming sta- 
tion of his own at Tulare, which was really the beginning of the his- 
tory of the Tulare Co-operative Creamery Association, as the company 
took over that enterprise and its visible property in October, 1903. 
Mr. Cartmill was one of the original directors of the Tulare Irrigation 
Ditch District. He was one of its most enthusiastic and efficient pro- 
moters and was personally active four years in its establishment and 
maintenance. He is the owner of a two hunderd and forty-acre tract 
near Tulare, which he rents out. In all the interests of the city and 
county he takes a public-spirited interest. He is a Mason and as such 
is identified with local organizations of the order, and he also affiliates 
with the order of Woodmen of the World. 

Twice has Mr. Cartmill married, the first time, in 188:>, to Miss 
Hatch, and she bore him a daughter, who is Mrs. W. C. Eldridge. His 
present wife, whom he married in 1894, was Mrs. Jane Henry. They 
have three children — May, Eva, and AVilliam G. Cartmill. 

Mrs. Cartmill's maiden name was Jane Gilmer. She is the daugh- 


ter of Rnfus Gilmer, of Visalia. By lier first husband, Albert Henry, 
who died in 1891, she had two children. Rufus and Albert are farm- 
ers, operating the old Henry farm near Porterville. 


This pioneer farmer and business man, whose ranch is three miles 
northwest of Hanford, Kings county, Cal., has come to his i^resent 
prominence only after a struggle in which he wrung success out of 
situations that to many another man would have spelled ruin. When 
he first saw Kings county, in 1874, it was a desert, sandy and prac- 
tically worthless, but irrigation, which he long advocated, has resulted 
in its reclamation. The land, then worth next to nothing, is now 
valued at $250 an acre and upward. 

To the student of history genealogy is a fascinating jiuisuit and 
it is to be regretted that the lack of printing in the earlier ages 
rendered an interesting work so difficult. Cassius M. Blowers is de- 
scended from an Englishman, John 0. Blowers, his grandfather, who 
early settled in Crawford county, Ohio, where he pre-emjated govern- 
ment land on which he died in his eighty-fifth year. Not only was 
he a pioneer farmer, but he was a pioneer preacher of the Methodist 
faith, who often discoursed to the people of Bucyrus. His son, 
Lemuel Lane Blowers, born on the pioneer's Ohio farm, came to 
California in 1850, making the trip overland. For a time he mined 
on the American river, but in 1854 he took up land in Yolo county, 
where he died in 1855. He had married Caroline Foster, of Ohio 
birth, and she had died in 1849, leaving five children, of whom Cassius 
M., born December 20, 1845, was the fourth. The boy was about 
four years old when his mother died and between nine and ten years 
old when his father passed away, aged thirtj'-eight years. 

When Mr. Blowers was ten years old he was brought to Califor- 
nia by his uncle, R. B. Blowers, who became a laioneer fruit grower 
in this state and grew the first California raisins. The boy lived on 
his uncle's ranch near Woodland, Yolo county, then began business 
for himself, teaming to Nevada and the inountain district when lie 
was but fifteen years old. 

His next venture was as a farmer in Yolo county, Imt in 1874 
he transferred his interests to Kings county, where he has since 
lived. He bought a railroad land claim for $600, but the land was 
a waste of desert sand, unfit for cultivation. In so doing he was 
planning for the future and he soon became one of the promoters 
of the Lower Kings river. Last Chance and People's irrigation ditches, 
which were completed in 1877. Then Mr. Blowers sowed his land to 



wheat and the next year he set out a few vines. In 1883 he shipped 
the first raisins whicli were boxed in Tulare count}-, which then in- 
cluded the present Kings county, and he originated the system of 
employing fruit cutters at piece prices instead of on salary. At 
that time there were but three canneries in the state, San Jose, San 
Francisco and Sacramento. All had been paying day wages for em- 
ployees, and Chinese and white workers were intermingled in one 
large room. In 1886 Mr. Blowers went to Sacramento and induced 
the management of the cannery there to try piece work, which was 
done. The orientals were separated froju the whites and so suc- 
cessful was this method that it has been generally adopted by all 
fruit growers throughout the state. 

In his home ranch Mr. Blowers has two hundred and forty acres, 
forty acres devoted to vines, seventy to peaches, apricots and other 
fruit, the remainder to grain and alfalfa. He owns also a stock 
and alfalfa ranch of two hundred and fifty acres in Kings county, 
formerly in Fresno county prior to the annexation, and a fruit, vine 
and alfalfa farm of eighty acres near Lemoore. 

The marriage of Mr. Blowers, January 19, 1875, united him 
with Miss Susie McLaughlin, and their eight children were born on 
the home ranch in Kings county. Hubert Lane is operating a ranch 
of thirty acres not far from his father's. Russell M. is farming and 
growing fruit on thirty acres of land given him by Mr. Blowers. 
Olive G. married George Blowers, who is the proprietor of a machine 
shop in San Francisco. Francis is ranching on fifty acres of land 
given him by his father. Bessie, who died in 1905, was the wife of 
Fred Arthur, who is farming in Kings county. Mary, Ralph and 
Viola Susan are members of their parents' household. Mr. Blowers 
has long taken an active part in the affairs of the Raisin Growers' 
association and has been for about a quarter of a century president 
of the Last Chance Ditch corporation. Politically he is a Republican. 
His interest in school affairs impelled him to fill the duties of 
school trustee about twenty years, and his ])ulilic sjiirit, many times 
tried, has not been found wanting. 


The name of White has long been associated with affairs in 
the United States, dating in fact from the historic Mayflower, when 
Peregrine White came to these shores and endured the liardships 
and trials whicji are woven in the history-making of the Atlantic coast. 
From this intr('i)id jiioneer have descended men of valor in war and 
])ainstaking industry in times of ])eace. During the Revohitionary 


war Silas White, a native of New York state, enlisted in a company 
from that state, and as captain of the company, led his men into the 
thickest of many a struggle with the opposing Tory forces. No 
less valiant was a son and namesake of this Revolutionary captain, 
who left his native state, New York, and in 1842 settled on the Fox 
river in Illinois, becoming a pioneer farmer of La Salle county. 
He did not long survive his immigration to the then frontier, for he 
passed away six years after locating upon his farm. He was a man 
whose life had been uniformly upright, with character unstained, and 
it was this heritage that he left to his widow, who long survived him. 
In maidenhood she was Maria MacClave. The MacClave family came 
from Scotland to America in an early day and settled in New York, 
and it was in Albany, that state, that Maria MacClave was born. 
She lived to attain the venerable age of ninety-eight years, dying in 
Illinois. Of the ten children who attained mature years three are 
now living, one of whom, Selem, is a resident of Coal City, Grundy 
county. 111. He served throughout the entire period of the Civil 
war, holding the rank of captain of a company in the Fifty-third 
Illinois Infantry. Mrs.- Cyrus W. Cook, a daughter, is residing at 
Sandwich, Illinois. 

Harrison White was born in Syracuse, N. Y., June 28, 1836. 
At the age of six years he accompanied his parents to Illinois, there 
obtaining a primary education in the public schools, after which he 
alternated teaching school with attendance at Wheaton College. The 
breaking out of the Civil war at this time was destined to add an 
important chapter to his interesting life. He responded to the call 
of President Lincoln for three-months men and in April, 1861, he 
became a member of Company F, Eleventh Illinois Infantry. When 
his three-months term had expired and he was honorably discharged 
from the service, he determined to enlist in the cavalry branch of the 
army, and accordingly he assisted in the organization of Company 
B, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, which was mustered into service at Ottawa 
in August of 1861, and from there made its way to Cairo. Among 
the engagements in which he participated were tliose at Forts Henry 
and Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth and Vicksburg. It was in the siege 
of the last mentioned city that his company was detailed as an escort 
to General Grant, continuing as such until the latter was ordered 
east as commander-in-chief. Soon afterward Captain White was 
placed on detached service and for a short time was assistant quar- 
tei-master at Vicksburg, after which he joined his regiment and aided 
General Custer in Louisiana during the reconstruction ]5eriod. In 
Memphis, Tenn., January 26, 1866, he was honorably discharged with 
the rank of Captain, having been promoted to that office as a reward 
for meritorious service at Vicksburg. Previous to this he had served 
as an orderly sergeant. Notwithstanding the fact that he was often 


in the midst of fierce struggles, and witnessed the wounding and death 
of comrades on every hand, he escaped without injury until the battle 
of Shiloh, where a piece of shell killed his horse and knocked him 
senseless. Soon recovering, however, he joined his comrades. 

Following his retirement from the army Captain White made 
his home on a rented plantation' at Yazoo Pass, Miss., but both climate 
and occupation proved unsuited to his health and it was on this 
account that he returned to Illinois. For several months he con- 
ducted a mercantile establishment at Sandwich, 111., but in the fall 
of 1868 he sold the business and left Illinois. Traveling up the 
Missouri he reached Fort Benton, and from there went to Helena, 
Mont., where he engaged in merchandising, and subsequently he 
carried on a store in a mining camp. The fall of 1869 found him 
in Illinois on a visit to friends and relatives, and in the spring of 
the following year he came to California, settlement being made in 
Porterville, Tulare county. For the first two years of his residence 
there he was interested in the sheep business, having also purchased 
a ranch, but five years later he again became interested in the 
mercantile business, conducting a general store in connection with 
Porter Putnam. His identification with Visalia dates from the year 
1877. Three years after making this city his home he was appointed 
deputy to the internal revenue collector, William Higby, whose dis- 
trict embraced Kern, Tulare, Fresno, Merced and Stanislaus counties, 
mth headquarters in ^^isalia. Captain Wliitf rdaiiuMl the office of 
de]nity until 1889, during which time he also contiiuu'd his ranch and 
sheep interests and still owns a ranch of two hundred and forty 
acres on the Tule river, the property now being leased to a tenant. 
The land is partially under irrigation, water being provided by means 
of a pumping plant connected with wells. His holdings also inchide 
grazing lands. It was during 1891 that Captain White was appointed 
under-sheriff to Sheriff Overall, an office which he held for eighteen 
months. Subsequently, from 1893 to 1895, he served by appointment 
as United States ganger. It was in 1898 that he was appointed to 
the position which he held until retiring in 1911, — that of supervisor 
of the southern district of the Sierra Forest reserve, .comjjrising 
more than two million acres in Kern, Fresno, Tulare and Inyo 
counties, with headquarters in Visalia. It goes without saying tliat 
the position entailed many responsibilities, but he has proved amjily 
qualified to discharge every duty with a master hand, his long 
experience in many avenues of activity having equipped liim witli 
a breadth of knowledge and extent of information Ixttli rare and 
valuable. ' 

It was after coming to Visalia that Captain White formed 
domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Hattie Pauline Anthony, a 
native of Watertown, N. Y. By right of his service in the Civil war 


Captain White is associated with the Grand Army of the Republic, 
twice serving as commander of Gen. George Wright Post No. 111. 
Under appointment by Governor Waterman he held the position of 
major and quartermaster on the staff of General Budd, of the 
California National Guard. A leader in the ranks of the Republican 
party, for twelve years or more he was secretary of the Republican 
county central committee and for two terms officiated as its chairman. 
He took an active part in the councils of that body, as he did subse- 
quently as a member of the congressional committee. It is unneces- 
sary to state that a man of his breadth of character should be loved, 
and respected by all, irrespective of party affiliation, for the position 
which he holds represents the possession of ability of high order, 
sterling qualities and a breadth of patriotism that knows no party 


A native son of California, William J. Higdon was born in 
Nevada county, in 1876. AVhen he was seven years old his jiarents 
moved to the Capay valley, in Yolo county, where he was educated 
in the public schools and acquired some knowledge of farming. In 
1898, when he was about twentj--two years old, he followed the lure 
of the gold-seeker to Alaska, where he remained a year and a half 
and in 1901 he came to Tulare county and for three years was in the 
livery business, first as proprietor of the Dexter stables then of tlie 
Grand stables, and finally of the City stables. After a year and a 
half spent in Tulare following his retirement from this business, h(! 
moved on to the I. N. Wright ranch of two hundred and fifiy-four 
acres, one hundred and seventy-four acres of which was within the 
city limits, and there engaged in farming, stock-raising and dairying, 
milking fifty to eighty cows. He owns two hundred and fort\ acres 
of other land, eighty acres of which is half a mile southeast and" 
one hundred and sixty acres three miles southwest of his homestead. 
The larger tract is used for farming and grazing and the smaller 
one is rented and devoted to the production of corn and othei- grain. 
One hundred and sixty acres of the home I'anch is in alfalfa. Mr. 
Higdon keeps an average of about two hundred and fifty hogs and 
one hundred head of stock besides his milch cows. He is a stockholder 
in and a director of the Dairymen's Co-operative Creamery Co., and 
the Rochdale Store Co. of Tulare, and is a stockholder in the New 
Power Co. He has also been secretary of the Tulare County Dairy- 
men's association since its organization. 

Fraternally Mr. Higdon affiliates with the Independent Order 


of Odd Fellows. His public spirit has led him to identify himself 
with many movements for the general benefit. On November 23, 
1904, he married Miss Hattie M. Wright, a native of Tulare and a 
daughter of Isaac N. Wright, who was instrumental in securing the 
location of the city of Tulare where it has been built, and who is 
mentioned fully elsewhere in this publication. Its boundaries include 
the old home place where his daughter was born. Mr. and Mrs. 
Higdon have a son and a daughter, Alice Charlotte and Newton 
Elliott, who are now (1913) aged respectively seven and four years. 
Mrs. Higdon, a graduate of the State Normal school at San Jose, 
was for ten years a teacher in the public school at Tulare. 


A native of Illinois, Mr. Dodge was born December 2, 1858, on 
the farm where his parents settled in 1839, in Dunham township, 
McHenry county. His parents, Elisha and Susan Dodge, were pio- 
neers of that part of the west, coming from New York state to 
Illinois. They were of New England stock, Elisha being a native of 
Vermont, and his wife, who was Susan Smith, a native of New York 

The subject of this sketch was the eighth living child of their 
union, and was reared on the farm. His mother died in 1863 and his 
father subsequently married Mrs. Abigail Harkness. After the farm 
was sold they established a residence at Harvard, 111., where Fred 
entered the public school, and remained in that city until he completed 
the branches taught there at that time. His father died in Feb- 
ruary, 1878, and in the following summer he drove by team west to 
Parkersburg, Iowa, where his older brother, Frank L. Dodge, was 
engaged in the pul)lication of a weekly newspaper called the Eclipse. 
There he entered the printing office and learned the printer's trade. 
In 1880 he purchased an interest in the Eclipse, and subsequently, 
with his brother, established the Allison Tribune, a weekly news- 
])aper at Allison, the county seat of Butler county, Iowa. The two 
brothers conducted these papers for a nimiber of years, but finally 
dissolved partnership, Fred becoming sole proprietor of the Par- 
kersburg paper, which he edited and published until August, 1887. 
when he sold it. 

On February 28, 1882, Mr. Dodge was united in marriage, at 
Parkersburg, Iowa, to Miss May F. Davis, a native of Maine. A 
daughter was born to them in Parkersburg, and in 1887 they moved 
to Hanford, Cal., where they purchased five acres of land on the 
edge of what was then the town limits. Mere they erected a cottage. 


and Mr. Dodge entered the office of the llauford Sindiuel, which was 
establislied by David and Frank L. Dodge in February, 1886. Sub- 
sequently he purchased the half interest of David Dodge, and the 
firm of Dodge Brothers continued to publish the Sentinel until 1897, 
when Frank L. sold out his interest to J. E. Richmond. The firm 
name was then changed to Dodge & Richmond, since which time 
Fred A. Dodge has been the editor and Mr. Richmond the business 
manager of the paper. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dodge are the parents of two children, liorn in 
Hanford, George Raymond, born February 3, 18!»1, and P^lorence 
Mildred, born November 16, 1895, , 

Mr. Dodge has for more than thirty years been in the harness 
of a newspaper man, most of the time engaged at editorial work. 
"While he has served many terms on boards of education, boards 
of library work, and on business and conmiercial committees, he has 
never souglit political office. 


That strong financial institution, the First National Bank of 
Lemoore, the policy of which from the first has been to extend to 
the business community all accommodations consistent with sound 
banking and which has been a potent factor in the upbuilding and 
development of Lemoore and its tributary territory, was organized 
June 9, 1905, and began business in July following. Its original 
capital stock was $25,000, all paid up. The first officers and direc- 
tors were: B, K. Sweetland, jiresident; Stiles McLaughlin, vice- 
president; F. J. P. Cockran, cashier; E. G. Sellers, C. H. Bailey, 
John Trimble and E. P. May. In February, 1912, its capital stock 
was increased to $50,000. The bank has erected a fine two-story 
building, covering a ground space of seventy-five by one hundred 
feet, at Fox and D streets. It is a modern brick structure, contain- 
ing fine banking offices and the best facilities for the keeping of 
cash and valuable securities. It is the belief of the bank officials 
and of the general public that this banking establishment is as nearly 
fireproof and burglar-proof as it is possible to make it. 

The First National Bank of Lemoore has from the day of its 
opening steadily grown in the confidence of the business community 
of the city and surrounding country, and numbers among its de- 
positors many of the wealthiest and most important business men 
and citizens of that part of the county. The following are the names 
of its present officers and directors: C. H. Bailey, president; E. G. 
Sellers, vice-president; W. E. Dingley, cashier; 6. B. Chinn, Stiles 
McLaughlin. L. S. Steii, and J. K. Trimble. 



To be successful in the field of mechanics a man must neces- 
sarily possess thorough training in the science which he attempts 
to represent. The world of today demands skill in every line of 
labor, and the man who is not prepared to compete with his expert 
neighbor is beaten ere the flight begins. Apropos of the above 
subject, Visalia is godmother to a plumbing and heating company 
of which she is justly proud, and, having helped to maintain its 
popularity, feels that she has a share in its success and growth. The 
most difficult points in the work of installing heating and plumbing 
apparatus, the erection of windmills, tanks and troughs, etc., are 
accomplished by the Visalia Plumbing and Sheet Metal Company 
with the greatest skill and ease, as may be attested by the many 
citizens who have been fortunate enough to secure their services. 

Visitors to the showrooms of the Visalia Plumbing and Heating 
Company feel well repaid for their trip, for there are displayed many 
models of the most up-to-date appliances for toilets, bathrooms, 
furnaces, etc., and they are conceded to have the finest and most 
up-to-date showroom of that character in any town between Fresno 
and Bakersfield. This business was started about five years ago 
in the Odd Fellows and Masons building on Church street opposite 
the court house. Their fine sheet metal work is not the least of 
their accomplishments, as countless illustrations may testify. The 
mechanics whom they employ are the best that can be secured, and 
as they guarantee every detail of their work they have given general 
satisfaction. The business has grown rapidly and now its annual 
output amounts to $50,000 worth of business and the plant is indicated 
as one of the successful enterprises of the growing and prosperous 
city of Visalia. Against the moderate charges for services, no 
comi)laint has ever been received; on the contrary, the people of 
Visalia and locality are unanimous in their opinion that the terms 
are low in comparison with the standard of perfection maintained in 
their work. The firm is owned and controlled by Isaac Clark and 
Frank A. Newman, long established citizens of the community. 

Isaac Clark was born in Frankfort, Maine, January 12, 1870, 
and upon completion of his education learned the stone-cutter's trade, 
wliich he conducted nine years in his home town, removing thence 
to Augusta, where he worked two years at his trade. He then served 
three years as an apprentice to Malcolm & Dyer, plumbers, after 
which for five years he filled the position of custodian of the Augusta 
city hall'. In 1905 he immigrated to California, and choosing \'isaiia 
as his permanent location, accepted a position as sheet me^tal worker 
for the Cross Hardware Co. Upon, the erection of the factory 
of the Pacific' Sugar Co., Mr. Clark was engaged by said cojupany 


to do the sheet metal work, accomplishing the work most satisfac- 
torily. In 1907 he joined Frank A. Newman and C. B. Porter in 
establishing a general plumbing business. Two years later Mr. 
Porter withdrew from the firm, leaving Mr. Clark and Mr. Newman 
sole proprietors. 

In 1897 Mr. Clark was united in marriage with Miss Mary A. 
Beck, also a native of Maine. They have two charming children, 
Marjorie F. and Addison W. Mr. Clark is a valued member of the 
Knights of Pythias, Calantha Lodge, No. 52, and the Bethlehem Lodge, 
A. F. & A. M., No. 135, both of which he joined in Augusta, Maine. 

Frank A. Newman was born in Cooper county. Mo., January 
31, 1869. His father, Jesse Newman, died before his son reached 
manhood, and in the fall of 1884 the mother, formerly Elizabeth 
Hill, brought her little family to California. Frank A. Nevnnan 
ranched several years and also served as foreman of the Harrell 
stock and grain rauch. Later he conducted on his own account a 
three hundred and twenty-acre wheat farm in the Stone Corral 
district, Tulare county, and he then became an apprentice to the 
Cross Hardware Co., and upon completion of this service engaged 
in the plumbing business with Isaac Clark. The partners started 
their venture in a small way, but their trade grew steadily and they 
now employ twelve able assistants. 

Following is a list of the buildings which this comjiany have 
equi]3ped with plumbing and heating fixtures : The Exeter high school 
building, the Lemoore high school building, the new hotel at Lemoore 
and the new high school building at Delano. They have also recently 
installed the heating apparatus in the Kingsbury grammar school; 
the sheet metal and heating work in the Eeedley grammar school; 
all the sheet metal work on the First National Banlc building at 
Porterville; also on the three-story Blue building on Main street, 
Visalia. They have replaced the old plumbing for new throughout 
the county jail, the three-story Harrell building, and put in all the 
new plumbing in the Merriman building and the Tipton and Lindsay 
grammar school. For years Mr. Clark has made a thorough study 
of the matter of proper heating for public as well as private build- 
ings and uses the gravity and mechanical systems in order to produce 
complete circulation, replenishing the air in a room from six to ten 
times during one hour. He has obtained the most satisfactory results 
both regarding even temperature and sanitation. Among the resi- 
dences thus equipped by him mav be mentioned those of A. Lewis, 
H. F. Miller, R. E. Hyde and the M. E. Church of Visalia. The 
company has also installed plumbing and heating systems in the 
residences of R. F. Cross, Capt. II. White, Ralph Goldstein, Meyer 
E. Eisemau, two houses for J. F. Carter, Mrs. Oaks' home and 

i 7- 7^-^ 

OL-t^ <^^ '^'C'-i^ 


numerous other private residences in Visalia and throughout Tulare 

Both Mr. Clark and Mr. Newman by their rigidly fair and 
honest dealings have won the trust and favor of their many patrons. 
In every movement pertaining to the development of the locality 
they are always prompt to tender their practical assistance. 


Among the prominent men of Tulare and Kings counties men- 
tion is made of the efficient supervisor of the third district, W. T. 
Vaughan, who was born at Visalia, Tulare county, June 21, 1865. 
In September of the same year he was taken by his parents to San 
Luis Obispo county, where he attended school and lived until 1877, 
when the family moved to Pima county, Ariz., and that territory re- 
mained his home until 1900. After his arrival in Arizona the young 
lad begun work on cattle ranches. He had but little opportunity 
to attend school and until he was nineteen years of age his educa- 
tion was obtained by contact with the primitive conditions to be 
found on the frontier. He grew up on a cattle range and was con- 
nected with the stock interests of that part of the country until his 
removal back to California in 1900. At the age when most boys 
are in school he was superintending a large ranch and becoming 
an expert in the handling of stock, enduring privations, but develop- 
ing a strong and sturdy constitution and laying the foundation for 
his future success. When he was about fourteen he was conducting 
a meat market in Eamsey's canyon and going to the school at that 
place. He would sit so he could watch the door of liis shop and 
when a customer would come he would have to leave the school- 
room and attend to his wants and then retiarn to his books. He 
was also a member of the Territorial militia and was compelled 
to keep his gun within reach at all times should a call come to 
defend the settlers against the Indians. After he was eighteen he 
attended the University of Southern California at Los Angeles for 
a time and says he got more education during that short time than 
in all his former years. 

His days for book-learning over, he returned to Arizona and as 
he succeeded he built up a cattle business of his own and carried it 
on very successfully until 1900, when, having sold his six thousand 
cattle and closed out his other interests in the territory, he returned 
to California and, with his father and brother, bought three hundred 
acres of land one mile north of Hanford, upon which were erected 
buildings suitable for their needs and ])egan the development of the 


land. He now has one hnndred and fifty-five acres in fruit and the 
remainder in alfalfa. In 1911 he sold eighty acres at a good profit. 
He is the owner of eighty acres a mile south of Hanford, which he 
put into alfalfa and leases to others, also has ten acres west of the 
city, which is in fruit and which he bought in 1901. 

The father of W. T. Vaughan, James Upton Vaughan, was born 
September 9, 1841-, in Mississippi, went to Texas and in 1852 crossed 
the plains to California. He passed away in Kings county Novem- 
ber 7, 1911. His widow makes her home with her children. A 
brother, Andrew Henry Vaughan, came to Kings county with Wil- 
liam T., and they had interests together for several years. On 
September 25, 1892, Mr. Vaughan was united in marriage with Miss 
Elenora Sorrells, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., born July 13, 1874, 
daughter of A. B. and Melvina (Parker) Sorrells, who were natives 
of Arkansas and California respectively. Mrs. Vaughan received her 
schooling in Arizona and was there married to Mr. Vaughan. They 
have four children. Merle E., Pearl E., William J., and Bertha L., 
all members of their parents' household; the two eldest are attend- 
ing the Hanford high school. 

Mr. Vaughan has invested in residence property in San Diego, 
Cal., is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Hanford, owns 
shares in the Lacy Oil company, operating in the Devil's Den 
country, and in the Castle Oil company of the Coalinga field; is a 
member of the Hanford lodge of Elks, has passed all the chairs in 
the local lodge of the I. 0. O. F., and for one year served as District 
Deputy Grand Master; he also belongs to the K. of P. and with 
Mrs. Vaughan belongs to the Daughters of the Rebekahs. Always 
interested in politics he has taken an active part in local and state 
affairs. In the fall of 1910 he was elected to the board of super- 
visors, representing the third district of Kings county, and is serv- 
ing with fidelity those interests that placed him in office. He has 
had charge of the road building of his district in every detail and 
devotes his energies towards the faithful discharge of his duties. 
He represents Kings county in the matter of the erection of" a counties 
building at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915 at San Francisco. 
It is safe to say that no man has become so closely allied with the 
people in all things tending towards public betterment than has W. 
T. Vaughan. 


The president of the Hays Cattle Co., John N. Hays, a i)rominent 
business man of Kings county, Cal., has had a career the history of 
which thus far is ))oth interesting and instructive, and it should be 


an encouragement to yonng men wlio would succeed in spite of lack 
of capital and in the face of many obstacles. Mr. Hays was born in 
Missouri, February 3, 1854, and came to California in September, 
1872, when he was in his nineteenth year. The first eighteen months 
of his life here were spent in Mariposa county, where he was employed 
by some relatives who had come on before him. Late in 1873 or 
early in 1874 he came to Lake Tulare (then in Tulare but now in 
Kings county), where his people took up land on the border of the 
lake. For two years they farmed on rented land in the Dingley 
Addition, now the site of Lemoore, Mr. Overstreet, his stepfather, 
having lieen in charge, and there Mr. Hays remained until 1886, 
when he disposed of his interests at the lake and moved to Cholame 
valley, Monterey county, where he lived and labored ten years. At 
the expiration of that time he came back to Lemoore and went into 
the stock business and in 1894 he bought three hundred and twenty 
acres of land, a mile and a half west of Guernsey, which he devoted 
to grazing. He operated indej^endently imtil 1911, increasing his 
business from year to year till he took rank with the big cattle men 
of central California. He then organized and incorporated the Hays 
Cattle Company, of which he is president; Roy D. Hays, vice-presi- 
dent; and R. W. Forbes, secretary. The company expects to dispose 
of about six hundred to eight hundred cattle annually, its last year's 
business having amounted to six hundred, and is renting forty 
thousand acres of pasture for its stock. 

Oil development in the Devil's Den country has interested Mr. 
Hays, who has investments there, and he owns also an interest in 
oil lands in the Cholame valley district. He has from time to time 
had to do with business of other kinds and his interest in the com- 
munity makes him a citizen of much public spirit. Fraternally, he 
affiliates with the Circle and with the Woodmen of the World. He 
married Miss Lillie Mills in 1882 and she passed away in 1891, leaving 
three daughters and a son. Floy is the wife of R. W. Forbes, of 
Lemoore. Roy D. is vice-president of the Hays Cattle Company. 
Pauline married Clarence Esrey of Lemoore. Alice is Mrs. William 
McAdam and her husband is operating in the oil field. In 1907 Mr. 
Hays united his life with that of Mrs. Jeanette Bryan, who li;is 
borne him children whom they have named Richard L^pton, Doi-otliy 
and Ann. 


The forceful character of the citizenship of J. D. Biddlc duiin'ii' 
the past quarter of a century has given him foi- ;ill time a i>Iace 
in the annals of the state as well as of Haiiford. which li;is been his 


penuaueut lioino during tliis time and the scene of his activities to 
a large extent. A native of Tennessee, born in Bedford county, 
April 30, 1852, he passed his boyhood, youth and young manhood 
in the vicinity of his birth and the home of his parents, and at the 
age of twenty-seven, in 1879, made his first trip to the west. After 
a stay of two months he returned to the south, but in 1882 retraced 
his steps and this time remained six months. It was in 1887 that he 
made his third and last journey to California, his two prior trips 
of inspection thoroughly satisfying him that here as nowhere else 
were opportunities awaiting the young man of push and determination. 
Having disposed of his merchandise and milling business in Shelby- 
\nlle, Tenn.. in 1887 he came that same year to California and located 
in Hanford, his first work here being as auctioneer of livestock. As 
an adjunct to this business he bought livestock and sheep, as well 
as wool, the latter being gathered from a large territory, extending 
from Mexico to the Oregon line. His sliipments of this commodity 
are large, being made to all ])arts of this country, as well as to 
Canada. His first experience in the wool business was in his early 
days in the west, when he was a representative for the Thomas 
Dunnigan &: Son Co., a well-known wool house of San Francisco. 
The live stock which Mr. Biddle handles he secures from all parts of 
the state, and he has had as high as twenty-five thousand sheep in 
his possession at one time. 

In financial circles throughout tlie San Joaquin valley few 
uanios are better known than that of Joseph D. Biddle, and to his 
splendid judgment and conservatism may be given much credit for 
the substantial character of the monetary institutions with which he 
has had to do. Among the latter may be mentioned the Sacramento 
Bank, German Savings & Loan Society of San Francisco, Savings 
Union Bank of San Francisco, Union Trust of San Francisco, and 
he has also made large loans of money through independent capitalists. 
He also represents several of the largest and best insurance com- 
panies of San Francisco, and is largely interested in the oil industry. 
His first venture in this field was the purchase of some of the best 
oil lands in the Coalinga district, and following this he organized 
several oil companies which are now organizations controlling great 
wealth, these and the banks through which the business is carried 
on rejjresenting a combined capital of over $150,000,000. Mr. Biddle 
made large expenditures in drilling on his oil fields, but owing to the 
low prices of oil at the time it was deemed advisable to suspend 
operations until it demanded a better price. The jiroperty is still 
owned by the various companies, in all of which Mr. Biddle is a 
director, as follows: Investment Oil Company and the Phoenix Oil 
Com]iany. Other companies were also organized in the Bakersfield 
district, lint these have since lieeu disposed of. 


N^ot only was Mr. Biddle a pioneer and moving spirit in the 
industries above mentioned, but be bas been equally forceful along- 
agricultural and borticultural lines. During bis early years bere 
be bought and platted the Bonanza vineyard, embracing a tract of 
three hundred acres. Later acquisitions were the Silvia ranch of one 
hundred acres, the Griswold apricot orchard of eighty acres (at that 
time the largest orchard of the kind in that section, but which has 
since been sub-divided into small holdings), the Haywood vineyard 
of eighty acres, tbe Eedwood vineyard and orchard of one hundred 
and twenty acres, tbe Savings Bank vineyard and orchard, consisting 
of eighty acres south of Hanford, which has since been sold, the 
Happy Home vineyard of twenty acres and the A. P. Dickenson 
ranch of eighty acres. For five years he also leased and operated 
the Banner vineyard of three hundred and twenty acres and for 
a number of years also leased Mrs. M. S. Templeton's vineyard of 
one hundred and sixty acres northeast of Hanford. In connection 
with bis large fruit interests Mr. Biddle erected a grading plant 
on tbe Bonanza ranch, where be was prepared to dry, cure and 
bleach tbe fruits from his various ranches, all of which found a ready 
sale in eastern markets. Besides handling and shipping all of his 
own fruit, he also bovigbt raisins and peaches all over this section, 
paying tbe local packers in the country to pack his raisins and peaches 
under his own brand and ship them direct to the eastern markets. 
In order that none of the fruit should be wasted, he bought peaches 
and sacked them at the depots when tbe jDacking house was filled to 
its capacity. 

Mr. Biddle 's interests in another direction are apparent in a 
number of substantial structures in Hanford. One of his first 
ventures along this line was tbe rebuilding of the block formerly 
occupied by the city stables, the site now occupied by tbe Old Bank. 
He also owns the building occupied by the Hanford Mercantile 
Corporation. This organization is capitalized for $100,000- and Mr. 
Biddle is one of its largest stockholders and secretary, and a director 
also. He was also one of the prime movers in the organization of 
the Hotel Artesia, which was built by tbe corporation of which he 
was a member and subsequently sold to B. J. Turner. Through an 
exchange of property Mr. Biddle became tbe owner of tbe Axtell 
block at the corner of Seventh and Irwin streets, the name of which 
has since been changed to the Sharpless block. He also moved the 
postoffice from its old site and placed it on Irwin street; and he 
moved both telegraph offices into the Hotel Artesia, their present 
locations. He at one time owned what is now the Vendome hotel, 
and he also bought and moved the first hotel erected in Hanford to 
the corner of Fifth and Douty streets, remodeling it and ultimately 
selling it to B. J. Turner. 

318 tularp: and kings counties 

Reference lias elsewhere been made to Mr. Biddle's interest 
and activities in the stock business. It was no uncommon thing 
for Mm to have on hand from ten to twenty thousand hogs on the 
McJunkin ranch, one and a half miles north of Hanf ord. It • was 
during his earliest experiences in the business that he attempted to 
fatten his hogs on grain that had been saved as salvage from a large 
fire in Stockton. He purchased the damaged grain to the extent of 
one hundred thousand sacks, or one hundred cars, and shipped it to 
Hanford. It required all of the vehicles availalile to haul the grain 
to the Bonanza vineyard, where it was spread over eight acres of 
ground to dry in the sun. It was then resacked and stacked in the 
dry yard, the whole presenting the appearance of hay stacks in a 
field. He then bought steam engines and large tanks in which to steam 
the wheat, after which he fed the grain thus treated to the seven or 
eight thousand hogs which he had on the ranch at the time. The 
experiment proved a failure, it being demonstrated that charred grain 
was injurious to hogs, as they sickened and died under the diet. The 
experience was a costly one, but it did not deter Mr. Biddle from 
making further investigations as to the most desiral)le methods of 

Owing to his wide experience and versatile knowledge it is not 
surprising that Mr. Biddle has been called upon from time to time 
to act in the capacity of administrator and transact other business 
of a similar nature. On numerous occasions when a difference of 
opinion arose as to the proper settlement of legal matters he has 
been called into consultation with attorneys, not only in Hanford, 
but also in Fresno, Visalia, Sacramento and even to San Francisco. 
At one time he was called to Portland, Ore., to settle a law suit 
involving $30,000, and he was also called to Nevada in the adjustment 
of a suit with Carmen & Richey involving $1,000,000, and this also 
was equably adjusted. At the present time Mr. Biddle is interested 
in the live stock, wool, oil, insurance, real estate and merchandise 
business, being in close touch with all of the details of each, and 
he is also actively interested in all of the organizations of his home 
city which have for their objects the uplifting of the citizens and the 
general welfare of town and county. He is a valued member of the 
Chamber of Commerce and he was also a member of the committee 
appointed to attend the convention held in Los Angeles for the 
purpose of discussing matters relative to tlie Panama canal. He 
has also been an active member of a committee appointed by the 
supervisors of Kings county for the purpose of preparing a petition 
for bringing the main liigliway through Hanford, the county seat, 
through Visalia to Bakersfield. He has also been a])pointed a member 
of the highwav commission to meet in Sacramento in Januarv. 191.S, 


when the above matter will come before the commission for discus- 
sion and settlement. 

In the early days when Ilanford did not boast a railroad Mr. 
Biddle started a donation to get the Santa Fe to run its road through 
Hanford and the valley. The completion of the road was celebrated 
in royal stj-le, and in this too Mr. Biddle took the lead. In the 
display was one wagon to which were attached twenty-four large 
white horses, followed by three large wagons loaded with one 
hundred bales of wool, another wagon showing the quality of sheep 
and hogs, and still another containing a large prune tree which 
Mr. Biddle dug from his orchard, full of growing prunes. Mr. 
Biddle had the honor of shijjping the first three carloads of wool 
from Hanford over the road, the cars bearing large banners on which 
was printed in large letters, "Hanford the first city to patronize the 
Santa Fe railroad out of the Valley." 

On May 1, 1878, Mr. Biddle was united in marriage with Miss 
Sallie M. Landis, a native of Tennessee. The success that has 
rewarded Mr. Biddle 's efforts is commensurate with his industry 
and perseverance. It is rare indeed that one is privileged to meet 
a man of such versatility, resolute character and determined will as 
Mr. Biddle possesses, and Hanford is proud to claim his citizenship. 


In 1908 Robert McAdam, who is now a resident of Pasadena, Cal., 
bought sixteen hundred acres of land, formerly known as the Paige 
and Mouteagle orchards, five miles west of Tulare. Of this tract 
he sold all but about nine hundred acres, and this he divided among 
members of his family, Annie McAdam receiving eighty-five acres, 
Robert, Jr., and Fred McAdam two hundred and five acres, William 
J. two hundred and twenty acres, Mrs. Isabelle McAlpine eighty 
acres, Frank S. McAdam one hundred and eighty acres, and Robert 
McAdam, Sr., one Imndred and sixty acres. 

These ranches, all in one body, are irrigated with water developed 
on them, there being six wells with an aggregate flow of five hundred 
inches, besides numerous other wells for watering stock. The water 
developed by the nine large wells, which is used solely for irrigation, 
is pumped by five motors and three gasoline engines; two of the 
wells are artesian. The entire combination of ranches is supplied 
with cement irrigation pipe and galvanized iron surface pipe. There 
is six miles of the cement pipe and the iron pipe is used instead of 
ditches. This notable irrigation system will be connected and com- 
pleted before the end of 1913. 


The McAdams have put ou the place all the improvements that 
now add to its utility and attractiveness, including a new $3500 con- 
crete residence on the Frank S. McAdam ranch, a new barn, occupying 
ground space of 40x45 feet, and a new tank and dairy house com- 
bined, with a power separator in the dairy house. On the William 
J. McAdam place there are two new 56x60 foot barns. Another 
improvement is eight miles of wire hog-tight fence between the 
different ranches. The farms of Mrs. McAlpine, Robert McAdam, 
Jr., and Fred McAdam are rented on a cash basis and that of Robert 
McAdam, Sr., is operated by a tenant on shares, and the combined 
annual cash rentals of the above ranches aggregate $11,800, and all 
has been developed in the last five years. 


The prominent citizen of Lemoore whose name is above is widely 
known as a promoter of the oil industry. Judge Light, as he is 
familiarly called by his many friends, was born in Virginia, March 
19, 1851, was reared in the western part of Floyd county and fin- 
ished his education at the Salem Academy in Roanoke county. Then 
he took up school teaching as a profession and was so employed 
many years. In 1866 he went to Kansas, and after teaching there 
a short time took up his residence in Springfield, Mo., where he 
taught until 1874. Then he came to California, and locating at 
Visalia pursued his vocation there and northeast of the city for 
five years. During the succeeding four years he was teaching again 
in Missouri, but he came back to California and settled at Lemoore, 
renting land on the lake of Elias Jacobs and establishing himself 
as a farmer. In 1886 he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres 
of land, pre-empted a hundred and sixty acres and took up a timber 
claim of one hundred and sixty acres in the same section. Later he 
bought the remainder of the section under the isolated land act. He 
ran a stock ranch until in 1909, when he leased his land to tenants 
and moved to Lemoore, where he has since lived. He has bought 
property here and expects to pass his declining years in the town. 

In the spring of 1910 Mr. Light was elected a member of the 
city council of Lemoore and in November of that year to the office 
of justice of the peace. For nine years he served as justice of the 
peace of West End judicial township and resigned the office the 
better to attend to his private interests. He has been a trustee of 
the Union high school since the organization of the district. 

In 1907 Mr. Light married Ella (Hunt) Logan. He has six 
children by a former marriage: Tespan, of Kings county; Swinton; 


Robert Denuy, of Santa Barbara county; Theodore, of Coalinga; 
William Kings, of San Luis Obispo, and Mrs. W. P. Smith, ""of 
Lemoore. William Kings Light has the distinction of being one 
of the first four children born in Kings county, he having been 
born on the morning after the election for the petition of Tulare 
county and the formation of Kings county. Mr. Light has been 
an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 
he was twenty-two years old. In his political affiliations he is Repub- 
lican and as such he has been influential in local affairs. A man of 
much public spirit he has done much toward the development and 
improvement of the city and of the country round about. His in- 
vestments in real estate at Lemoore include ten acres and several city 
lots and on one of the latter he erected his office building. While he 
lived on his ranch he gave particular attention to the breeding of 
cattle and horses. In 1890 he and Orlando Barton, of Visalia, located 
land in Lost Hills. They were the first there and he was one of the 
original incorporators of the Lost Hills Mining company, which was 
sold in 1911. Its property is located in what is now a great oil field. 
Mr. Light was and is interested in oil lands in De\al's Den and 
Kettleman's Hills and in the West End Oil company, the property of 
which he located in x4-ugust, 1908. He was one of the incorporators 
of the Lake Oil company, which with the West End Oil company is 
leased to the Medallion company. With the Devil's Den Consolidated 
he was interested also, and he helped to organize and owns stock in 
the Lauretta Oil company and is identified with the Dudley Oil com- 
pany, a San Francisco concern operating in the Devil's Den field. 


The life of the late William Washington Bloyd extended from 
July 18, 1835, when he was born in Illinois, until in November, 1908, 
when he died at his home in flanford, Kings county, Cal. He grew 
to manhood on the farm in Hancock county. 111., and was married 
April 14, 1855, to Miss Elizabeth Cowan, who was born in Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, April 18, 1835, and had come to Illinois. After his 
marriage he lived four years in his native state, then sold out his 
interests there and moved to Appanoose county, Iowa, where he 
made his home until 1861, when he came with a train of eight wagons 
drawn by oxen over the southern overland route to California. For 
two years he lived at Red Bluff, Tehama county, and afterwards 
until 1874 in San Joaquin county, where he bought a ranch. Then 
because he could not do well in so dry a country he sold out and came 
to what is now Kings countv. settling on r.-iilroad land in the Grange- 


ville section four miles west of Hanford, homesteading at the same 
time one hundred and sixty acres nearby. It was not until after the 
rioting at Mussel Slough that he finally paid out on his railroad land. 
He naturally sided with the settlers, and was at Hanford at the 
time of the historic light. Mrs. Bloyd, hearing of it, hurried to the 
scene of action, but did not arrive until the conflict was over and one 
man lay dead and two woimded on the ground; Mr. Bloyd arrived 
a few minutes afterward. It was not very cheerfully that the settlers 
later gave up so much good money for their land, but the courts 
compelled them to do it and they made the best of the situation. 
After a time Mr. Bloyd sold out here and lived for a year in Oregon. 
Eeturning then, he bought back liis old ranch and lived on it until 
1907, when he sold it to move to Hanford, where he had bought a 
residence at 115 West Elm street. As an investment he owned 
several other houses in the city. 

Eight cliildren were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bloyd, viz: Eosalie 
Adeline, deceased; Winfield Scott, mentioned elsewhere in this work; 
Charles S., who lives at Hanford; Clara Ellen, who is the wife of 
K. L. Wilcox, of Los Angeles ; Ida Belle, who married Ed Parsons, of 
Hanford; Elizabeth Jane, deceased; Levi, who is also mentioned fully 
in this publication; and Willie Wilford, who lives in Kings county. 
Of tbese children Adeline and Winfield were born in Illinois, the 
others being natives of California. 

The fraternal affiliations of Mr. Bloyd were with the Masons and 
the Ancient Order of United Workmen and his religious •convictions 
drew him to the Christian church. His early experiences in California 
included some in the mines in Placer county. He superintended the 
construction of the People's Ditch in Kings county. When he came 
to that county it was an open plain on which wild horses and cattle 
roamed at will and in all of the development down to a comparatively 
recent time he manfully did his part, for he was pulilic s])irited to 
a degree that made him a most useful citizen. 


In Jasper county, 111., Robert W. Miller was born September 5, 
1847. Orphaned when very young, he grew up in Crawford county, 
that state, under the care of a guardian who allowed him practically 
no educational advantages. When he was nineteen years old he 
became a student in a public school in Sangamon county, 111., from 
which he was graduated when twenty-one and given a teacher *s cer- 
tificate. While teaching school during the next two years, he 
prepared himself by special courses of study to enter the University 



of Illinois, and iu 1871 lie took the law course of that institution; 
in 1874 he was admitted to the bar to practice as a lawyer in the 
Supreme Court of Illinois. He soon afterward went to Minnesota, 
where he taught school two years, also procuring admission to 
practice in tlie Supreme Court of that state, and he was in profes- 
sional work there until the fall of 1879, when he located in Humboldt 
county, Cal. For two years thereafter he practiced at Eureka and 
then gave up the law temporarily in favor of mining, but in two 
years he was glad to return to his law office, and on June 17, 1885. 
he became a member of the bar, admitted to practice in the Supreme 
Court of California. After laboring professionally for a short time 
at Eureka and Del Norte, he located at Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, 
and was in legal practice there until 1904, when he came to Hanford, 
where he at once opened offices and has since been professionally 
successful. Shortly after his arrival in Kings county he was appointed 
Court Commissioner, and in 1906 he was a candidate on the Repub- 
lican ticket for the office of judge of the Superior Court but was 
defeated by a very small majority. After the Santa Cruz Republican 
State convention in 1906, he became most active in furthering 
progressive government principles to which he had been a convert 
for many years. In 1907 he was appointed state organizer for Kings 
county and he gave his best efforts to the organization of the Lincoln- 
Roosevelt League of California which culminated in the election of 
Hiram Johnson for Governor and later in the birth of the Progressive 
party in 1912. Fraternally he affiliates with the Masonic order. 
His social popularity is wide, and his fellow citizens admire him as a 
man of ability and of honesty who has the interests of the community 
at heart and does in a public-spirited way all that he is able to do 
for their promotion. 

In 1880 Mr. Miller married Miss Mattie Morrison, a native of 
Wisconsin, who has borne him a daughter and four sons. Maud E. 
is the wife of Dr. Edward Dunbar of Fallon, Nev. R. Justin is a 
student in the University of Montana, a graduate of Stanford Uni- 
versity of the class of 1911, and was recently admitted to practice 
law in the Montana Supreme Court. J. Arthur is studying engineer- 
ing at Stanford University. He is a graduate of the Palo Alto high 
school, where his brothers, W. Leslie and Lowell Miller, are now 


The farm of Frank S. McAdam, one of the McAdam ranches, 
consists of one hundred and eighty acres, ninety acres of which is 
rented for dairy purjioses and seventy-fivo acres of the ninety is 


under alfalfa. The dairyman renter milks forty cows and raises some 
hogs. Thirty acres of the remainder of the place is devoted to 
alfalfa, and the last acre of it will be given to that crop as soon as 
possible. At this time Mr. McAdam milks eight cows and farms 
forty acres to grain. 

Mr. McAdam was born June 3, 1885, in Pembina county, Dakota 
Territory. In 1907 he married Miss Schukenecht, of Hobart, Ind., 
and their son Lawrence McAdam was born October 25, 1908. 

Mr. McAdam 's management of his portion of the big McAdam 
ranch has been evidence of his capability for the handling of big 
business. A man of enterprise and of public spirit who has the 
welfare of the community at heart, he is one of the most helpful 
citizens of his part of the count}'. He is at present interested with 
his brother William J. in the Castle Dome silver and lead mines of 
their father, Robert McAdam. The mines are located in Yuma county, 


The death of Hanford's most prominent banker, who had been 
identified with its financial, coromercial and political circles for many 
years, proved a great shock to the people here and was deeply felt 
throughout the entire county, whose welfare had been of so much 
importance to him. Samuel Edward Biddle had more to do with 
things pertaining to the business life here and in this county than 
any other citizen of the city. His death, which occurred May 7, 1908, 
at the St. Helena Sanitarium at Hanford, removed from their midst 
one of the people's best friends. 

Mr. Biddle was a native of Normandie, Bedford county, Tenn., 
born there September 15, 1845, the son of J. V. and Eliza Biddle. He 
received his educational training in the schools there and iu 1874 came 
to California to ever afterward make it his home. When but fifteen 
years of age he had enlisted in the Confederate army, seeing active 
service, but he was finally incapacitated by a wound and received his 
discharge, returning to Tennessee. Here in his native town he was 
married on January 6, 1870, to Miss Achsah A. McQuiddy, daughter 
of Major T. J. McQuiddy, who is a well known pioneer of Tulare 
county, and is still living in Hanford. Major McQuiddy made his 
first trip to California in the early '70s and selected lands for himself 
and other members of the party of emigrants who came ovex"land with 
him in 1874 and settled at ,Tulare county. This said party consisted 
of eighteen people, including Samuel E. Biddle and his family, M. P. 
Troxler and family and Major Cartner and wife. Major McQuiddy 
also bringing his family. 


After his marriage and before coming to California, Mr. Biddle 
took his bride to live in Gibson county, Tenn., where they stayed for 
some time, later being at Brazil, Trenton and Humboldt. He had learned 
the milling business and ran a flouring mill at Trenton, later at Hum- 
boldt, and this experience proved most helpful to him upon coming to 
the new country. When he came to California his family consisted of 
his wife and two children, a son and daughter, and they settled upon 
a railroad quarter-section of land a mile and a half north and three 
miles east of the present site of Hanford, which Mrs. Biddle 's father, 
Major McQuiddy, had selected for them. They here built a board and 
batten house, Mr. Biddle immediately seeing the necessity for many 
improvements which he started to make. Irrigation ditches were 
erected and the land was prepared for cultivation, and in the year 
1876 he harvested his first crop, which was of wheat. 

In the meantime Mr. Biddle found that all this had taken much of 
his resources, and he accordingly went to work for I. H. Ham, the 
pioneer miller of Tulare county, taking charge of the mill at Tulare, 
and as the agriculturists in the surrounding country were meeting 
with good success in the cultivation of grain, he found much work and 
demand for his milling. At this time his means were practically ex- 
hausted, he having only $3.75 in his pocket. Accepting the first job 
that offered, he began as a roustabout at the Tulare mill. Leaving his 
family at home, he walked six miles and worked all day on Cross 
Creek bridge, and then proceeded to Tulare, where he took his position 
as roustabout. Mr. Ham soon recognized his ability, for in less than 
a week he was made miller, and from this time a very close intimacy 
grew up between Mr. Ham and himself. It was in 1877 that he, in 
partnership with Mr. Ham, ])uilt the Lemoore mill, of which he took 
charge and built up a prosperous business, in 1880 selling it at a hand- 
some iirotit. He then came to Hanford and built a grain warehouse 
which he operated himself. This warehouse was so much in demand 
that it became filled to its capacity, and finally, under the stress of too 
heavy a weight of grain, it collapsed and Mr. Biddle was greatly in- 
convenienced financially by the disaster. He turned to R. E. Hyde, 
the banker of Visalia, for assistance, and the latter proved his true 
friendship for Mr. Biddle when he came forward and supplied the 
means to rebuild the warehouse, which was immediately done. From 
this time on is chronicled for Mr. Biddle one success after another. 
In 1883 he built a large brick building on the corner of Sixth and 
Irwin streets in Hanford, where in association with his 1)rother he 
conducted a profitable farm im]3lement business until 1887, at which 
time his banking interests became his most vital business. 

On April 11, 1887, was launched the Bank of Hanford, in whose 
incorporation Mr. Biddle was most actively interested. It was the first 
bank established in Hanford and he was installed as its cashier and 


manager, serving in tliis capacity for a long period, and when this 
was succeeded by tlie First National Bank of Hanford, Mr. Biddle 
severed his connection therewith and organized in November, 1901, 
what is now the Old Bank, and of this establishment he was president 
and manager up to the time of his death, being also a heavy stock- 
holder. His wide reputation for strict integrity of character and hon- 
esty in all his dealings made him sought out by many for advice and 
the handling of their capital, and he had always proved himself to be 
a clever and shrewd business man in making investments and in the 
execution of his duties in general. 

Along with these heavy business cares, Mr. Biddle had found time 
to give himself to public service, having served as supervisor for this 
part of Tulare county for one term, and at the time the fight was made 
for the independence of Kings county he was one of the earnest 
workers, was one of the conmiissioners, and afterward served as a 
member of the first board of supervisors of Kings county. Asso- 
ciated with him in the organization of the new county government 
were J. H. Malone, W. H. Newi^ort, William Ogden, E. E. Bush and 
G. N. Wendling. Later he was president of the Hanford Chamber of 
Commerce and Board of Trade, and in all these offices he had ever 
held the advance and development of his town and county foremost in 
mind. His exceptional activity as a public-spirited citizen and a 
charitable and well-wishing friend to all with whom he came in contact 
caused his death to cast a shadow over the entire public of this city 
and county. 

Samuel E. Biddle and his wife were the parents of three sous and 
four daughter, viz.: Tolbert Vance, who resides in Coalinga, Cal. ; 
Eliza Jane, wife of I. C. Taylor, of Berkeley; Samuel Edward, Jr., 
cashier and manager of the Citizens' Bank of Alameda; Reta PL, wife 
of Robert Crawford, of Hanford; Wallace J., a plasterer, with resi- 
dence at Oakland; Kate J., wife of Dallas H. Gray, of Armona, Kings 
county ; and Annie Dale, Mrs. William S. Andrews, of Berkeley. 


One of the organizers and present cashier and manager of the 
Hanford National Bank, conspicuous in various public enterprises, 
Harland E. Wright, of Hanford, Cal., is a leader among the younger 
business men of Kings county. Now an out-and-out Westerner, he 
is by birth a Yankee, having first seen the light of day in Wiscasset, 
Lincoln county, Me., May 22, 18G3, a son of Sullivan Wright and 
Maria L. (Bailey) Wright, both of whom were natives of the Pine 
Tree state and members of old New England families. The father 


was a jeweler and was working at his trade when the Civil war 
began. Inspired by the patriotic blood of Eevolutionary ancestors, 
he tried to enlist as a soldier in the federal army, but was disquali- 
fied by physical disability. He passed away at the comparatively 
early age of fifty-five years, his widow now living in Maine. 

When his father died Harland E. Wright was nine years old. 
He was brought up in the parental home and educated so far as 
was possible in the local public schools. He stepped out into the 
world and began to take care of himself when he was thirteen years 
old, becoming a telegrapher, in which capacity he was employed by 
the Western Union Telegraph Company in Boston and in different 
cities of Maine until the fall of 1882, a year known in telegraphic 
history as "the year of the great strike." Then he came to Cali- 
fornia, and until the fall of 1892 was bookkeeper for George P. 
McNear, banker and grain dealer at Petaluma. Taking up his resi- 
dence in Hanford at that time, he became assistant cashier of the 
Farmers and , Merchants bank, and eighteen months later he was 
made cashier, which position he retained until March, 1903. He 
had become the largest stockholder in the bank, but he now sold 
his interest in it and in May organized the Hanford National Bank, 
an historical sketch of which is given in these pages. 

Besides his interest in the bank Mr. Wright owns, with S-Til. 
Railsback, one thousand acres of land thirteen miles south of Han- 
ford, which is rented for dairy purposes. He is interested in or- 
chards with Mr. Eail shack and Charles King, and they own a fine 
fruit farm north of Grangeville, where they have ninety acres de- 
voted to prunes. He was one of the organizers of the Lake Land 
(^anal Company and one of the builders of its improvements. 

November 15, 1888, Mr. Wright married Etta Eanard, who was 
born in Sonoma county, Cal., and they have a daughter, Fae, who is 
a student in the high school. Politically he is a Republican, influen- 
tial in the work of his party, but has no personal ambition for an 
official career. Fraternally he affiliates with the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World. He has won his 
success by his own unaided efforts, through tlie forcefulness of a 
character the distinguishing characteristics of whidi are integrity, 
earnestness, independence and self-reliance. 


The prominent citizen of Tulare county whose name is above 
and whose residence is at No. 108 West Center street. Visalia, is a 
son of Fi-ank and Alabama (McMicken) Jordan, natives respectively 


of Illinois and Alabama, and he was born in eastern Texas December 
10, 1850. His father had settled there early and had been for a 
time manager of a plantation near Shreveport, La. In 1854 he 
came to California as a captain of a train which included seventy- 
four families, whom he brought through safely, overcoming many 
difficulties by the way. Locating within the present borders of San 
Benito county, he became a stock-dealer and hotel keeper, and in 
1858 he made his headquarters in Tulare county, where he brought 
his family in 1860. He prospered as a stockman, traveling extensively 
in the prosecution of his business, and died at Visalia in 1878, in his 
sixtieth year, his wife having passed away while the family was in 
San Benito county. He won the credit to which every self-made 
man is entitled of having begun with almost nothing and achieved 
good financial success. He was a citizen of much public spirit, 
influential in the councils of the Democratic party. 

Of the four sons and three daughters of Frank and Alabama 
(McMicken) Jordan, John F. Jordan was the fifth in order of birth 
and he was four years old when he accompanied his parents on their 
memorable overland journey to California. After having completed 
his studies in the Visalia public schools, he became a student at 
Heald's Business College, San Francisco, from which institution he 
was duly graduated in February, 1875. Soon after his return to Visalia, 
in that year, he was appointed deputy postmaster of that city, and 
in 1876 was appointed deputy sheriff. He was elected in 1879 county 
auditor of Tulare county, in which office he served with great credit 
for five years. Later, in 1884, he engaged in the abstract business. 
in 1892 incorporating the Visalia Abstract Company, in which he 
is now a director, being formerly its secretary and general manager. 
The knowledge he has acquired of land titles in Tulare county is the 
result of years of study and experience and it makes his advice along 
these lines of the greatest practical value. At the same time it 
should be noticed that his work as secretary and manager of this 
enterprise is no indication of the extent of his activities. In June, 
1912, he became president of the Citizens' Bank of Visalia, at which 
time he retired from the management of the abstract business. He 
assisted in organizing the Kaweah Lemon Company (Inc) of which 
he is secretary and which owns three hundred and seventy acres 
in the foothills east of Visalia. He is a director in the Encina Fruit 
Company and has had much to do with the development of its lands, 
which include four hundred and forty acres, two miles north of 
Visalia. In the organization of the Visalia Fruit & Land Company 
he was prominently active and he is secretary of the Lemon Cove 
Ditch Company. 

The lady who became the wife of Mr. Jordan was Alice L. Neill. 
a native daughter of Calirornia, ;iu(l they liave three children : Ethel 

A. /3^ /4^^^-^^^ 


v., wife of William B. Ro^Ylalld; Eay F., and Neill J. Mr. Jordan 
affiliates fraternally with Lodge No. 128, F. & A. M., of Visalia; 
Chapter No. 44, R." A. M. ; Commandery No. 26, K. T., of which he 
is recorder; Scottish Rite No. 9, of which he is treasurer; and Islam 
Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of San Francisco. He has 
been a local leader of the Democracy, was a delegate to the state 
convention of his party in 1904 and at (me time served on the 
county central committee. He also served on the city council of 
Visalia for eight years. It goes without saying that in every 
emergency his fellow citizens have found his ])ubli(' spirit equal to 
any demand iipon it. 


A factor and a landmark in the history of Kings county is Dr. 
Benjamin Hamlin, of Lemoore, who was born January 20, 1824, and 
came to the present site of Lemoore in 1874, when he was about 
fifty years old. But at that time there was np town there; on 
the ground Lemoore now occupies were a few scattered houses of 
primitive construction and a few settlers had come to the country 
round about. The doctor has witnessed the transformation of the 
county from wild land to a vast wheat-field and has watched the 
gradual supplanting of grain by fruit and vine. There are few peo- 
ple who have ever lived at Lemoore with whom he was not at one 
time or another personally acquainted, and many who have known 
him have had just reason to recognize in him the proverbial friend 
in need who is a friend indeed. 

When he was seven years old the future physician, dentist and 
druggist was taken by his parents to Lorain coimty, Ohio, where he 
grew to manhood. After leaving the public schools, he entered upon 
his professional studies under the preceptorship of Dr. Hubbard, 
teaching school in the meantime to provide for current expenses. In 
1847 he received his degree of M.D. at Angola, the county seat of 
Steuben county, Ind., where he practiced medicine during the decade 
that immediately followed. The next ten years he spent in practice 
in St. Joseph count}', Mich., and while practicing here he volunteered 
Ms services in the Civil war, and engaged as a hospital surgeon at 
Chattanooga during the time of Hood's raid, being in that service for 
seven months. From St. Joseph county he went to Florida, where he 
practiced dentistry five years. In 1872 he came to Santa Cruz, Cal., 
where he practiced medicine and dentistry until 1874, when he came 
to a little settlement on the site of Lemoore and opened a small drug 
store on the front of which he hung his professional sign. In 1875 he 


was appointed postmaster there and for ten years he combined the 
l^ractice of medicine with the sale of drugs, then abandoned the former 
the better to give attention to the latter. For many years his drug store 
was the only establishment of its kind in the vicinity. He retired from 
the drug trade in 1899, since when he has done little business beyond 
giving attention to his fruit and vine ranch, north of Lemoore, which 
is now operated by a tenant. 

In 1847 Dr. Hamlin married Miss Margaret Fowls, who bore him 
three daughters and a son. Of these children only one of the daugh- 
ters is living, her home being in Santa Cruz. Mrs. Hamlin died in 
1886 and on the 16th of September, 1889, he married Maria L. Wells, 
a native of Buffalo, N. Y., but at that time living in San Francisco. 
Together they are spending their declining years in the companionship 
of many old friends, and in all the country roundabout Lemoore the 
doctor is held in loving regard as a pioneer. 

Mrs. Maria L. (Wells) Hamlin is a member of a patriotic family 
of soldiers, her brother, the late Brig.-Gen. A. B. Wells, having had 
a military record of over forty years' actual military service. Her 
father. Captain William U. Wells, was one of the pioneer miners at 
Virginia city, Nev., and he had four sons and one daughter in his 
family. All four of her brothers were enlisted soldiers in the war of 
the Rebellion, and the three surviving have given their entire lives 
to their country's military service. Of these, Capt. Charles H. now 
resides at St. Louis, Mo. ; he served through the entire Civil war, 
was at Libby and Andersonville prisons and was one of the brave 
men who dug his way out of Libby by means of an oyster-shell as 
their sole tool, and he has recently published a book which fully 
describes this incident. The second brother was the late Brig.-Gen. 
A. B. Wells. Another is Capt. William Wells, of Chicago, and the 
fourth brother. Aimer H. Wells, of Chicago, enlisted as a drummer 
boy when he was thirteen years old. 

Mrs. Hamlin has had the misfortune of losing her eyesight, but 
notwithstanding her life has been one of philanthropy and kindness, 
and hundreds of needy and unfortunate people at San Francisco as 
well as Lemoore will ever liless her for her gentle and generous aid. 


Of Scotcli higiilaiid stock and born in Canada, P. A. McLean, of 
Tulare has demonstrated the potency of the influences that were 
back of him in the production of good American citizenship. He has 
also shown what a man of the right kind may ho]ie to accomplish 
in Calit'oruin. if lie makes it liis Imsiness to succeed. It was at 


Milton, across our northern border, that he first saw the light of 
day, November 22, 1842. His parents were natives of Scotland, and 
his mother was of the clan of the Camerons. She was a descendant 
of Lord John Cameron, and her brother, Capt. John Cameron, came to 
California as early as 1832, later saw service in the West under 
Fremont, and eventually was killed in the battle of Monterey, in 
our war with Mexico. So passed an old Indian fighter whose history 
is a part of the history of California. 

P. A. McLean has had many interesting and not a few thrilling 
exiieriences. Seven years he sailed on the oceans, visiting about 
every important port in the world. Off the coast of Africa he was 
shipwrecked and for four days and nights was afloat on a spar. 
He was a comrade of "Buffalo Bill" Cody, shooting buffaloes with 
him on the plains and fighting Indians shoulder to shoulder with 
that picturesque American hero. It all happened in the period in 
which the LTnion Pacific railroad was being constructed across the 
continent. Several times he was wounded, ai^d to his grave he will 
carry a bullet in his body. Through his participation in Indian 
wars, and otherwise, he became acquainted with most of the famous 
chiefs of his time. Many years in the saddle, he participated in 
some of the famous rides that add spice to western history. It is 
of record that he made the trip from Dayton to Lewiston, sixty 
miles, in six hours, and rode from Spokane to Walla Walla, one 
hundred and fifty miles, in eighteen hours. He helped to locate 
government posts in Washington, and was the first white man to 
pilot a raft down Lake Chelan. He tells how plentiful deer and 
bear were along the lake. At Cheney, Wash., he built the lirsi 
bank and the first gristmill, and later had a blacksmith shop, and 
the earliest gristmill at Spokane was erected by him. 

In his native town, Mr. McLean learned the trades of blacksniitli 
and carriage maker, though his apprenticeship was finished at St. 
Johnsliury, Vt. After a time he found employmemnt on the A'ermont 
Central railroad, and in 1866 he went to Chicago, where, a few years 
later, he built the first cabin after the Great Fire on the site of tlie 
old postoffice on Dearborn street. But meantime he was busy else- 
where, for in 1869 he rode into Los Angeles, Cal., and saw an old 
and not very promising cluster of adobe houses, relics of a former 
civilization, and that was about all. His trip on horseback from 
there took him to Idaho and Washington. It was on tlie 7th of 
November. 1876, that he made his first appearance in Tulare county, 
riding astride a mustang. He has lived there most of the time since, 
always identified with the county's growth and develoimient. For 
a long time he made his home in Visalia, where he had a blacksmith 
shop, but did a good deal of carpentering. He it was who framed 
the first joist that wont into the construction of tlic old coui-lhouse. 


and iuto that same historic structure he put the doors and Iniilt 
the bench for the judge. For six years he blacksmithed in Exeter, 
and from there he moved back to Visalia. He later rented a shop 
in Cochrane. He drifted to Visalia and was in the liquor business 
there four years, and in 1907 he ran a hotel in Cochrane, and came 
back to Tulare, August, 1909, where he now runs a shop. It was 
in the year 1888 that he bought the old Lyle ranch, two miles east 
of Visalia. He is now the owner of a house in Visalia and of the 
Rosenthal ranch, north of the town, which is stocked and rented. 
He has one hundred and sixty acres in Fresno county and town 
property in Fresno, and property in Kings and Riverside and Sonoma 
counties, besides his old blacksmith shop at Cochrane. At present 
he busies himself with his blacksmith and carriage shop at Tulare 
and with the supervision of his pro])erty. Public office has been 
thrust upon him from time to time. He was a deputy sheriff in 
Vermont, a justice of the peace at Cheney, Wash., and a school 
trustee at Cochrane, Cal. He he]]ied to organize the Odd Fellows 
lodge at Cochrane and the Knights of Pythias lodge at Visalia, 
also helped organize the K. of P. and I. 0. 0. F. in Exeter, and 
holds membership in Itoth witli due honor. He was a charter mem- 
ber also of the Odd Fellows lodge at Exeter. August 22. 1878, 
he married Miss Sarah M. Thomas, and thev have a daugliter, 
Sarah F. 


A California jiioneer of 1851, a miner, a fruit grower, a man of 
many interesting experiences in all parts of the world, thus, 
briefly, might be summed up the biography of Charles W. Tozer; 
but there is very much more to tell, and no old Californiau would 
regard this book as complete if in some measure it did not tell it. 
Mr. Tozer was born in New York, February 10, 1830, and died in 
California in 1905. He came to the state by way of the Isthmus 
of Panama and in the early days thereafter mined in Amador, Cala- 
veras and Trinity counties. He was, in fact, interested in mining 
during most of the years of his busy and adventurous life. At dif- 
ferent times he dug for precious metal in California, Nevada, Ari- 
zona, Alaska, Siberia, China and Japan. After his experience in 
Nome, where he was associated with Charles D. Lane, he went to 
the state of Washington, where he installed a large stamp mill. 
To the mining fraternity of the entire country he was known as 
an expert mining engineer. In the ]irosecution of his work in new 
and wild districts lie frc(|nontly participated in scenes peculiar to 


gold diggings at the times under consideration. During liis stay 
in Arizona Indian wars were in progress and at one time he was 
a member of a party sent against the savages in defense of some 
people whose lives were in danger because of a threatend attack. 
He was sheriff of Siskiyou county, Cal., and represented his district 
in Nevada in the territorial Legislature. 

In 1890 Mr. Tozer came to Tulare county and bought part of 
the old Page & Morton ranch, west of Tulare. There he grew fruit 
for a decade, meeting with good success, and sold out in 1900, his 
ranch now being a dairy plant. He married Miss Mary Seaton, a 
native of Youngstown, Ohio, whose father, Daniel Seaton, was a 
pioneer lawyer in Amador county, where he practiced his profes- 
sion many years. There were born to him children as follows: 
Roy S., of Tulare; Charles M., of old Mexico; Mrs. R. G. Cople, of 
San Francisco. Roy S. Tozer, a native of California, was educated 
in the public schools of Tulare and San Francisco and at the 
University of California, at Berkeley. He began his business career 
in connection with the dried fruit trade in San Francisco, and after 
a five years' residence there came to Tulare and took over the man- 
agement of the Fair Oaks Creamery. He is now manager of the 
E. M. Cox Lumber Company, which in 1910 succeeded the Tulare 
Lumber Company, which had had an existence of many years and 
was one of the old and substantial business enterprises of the 
town. Mr. Tozer is one of the most progressive of Tulare's yoimger 
set of business men, interested in all that pertains to the city's 
growth and development and ready at any time to assist to the 
extent of his ability any measure inaugurated for the public welfare. 


As a soldier no less than as a citizen Francis C. Scott is deserving 
of attention by writer and reader. He was born in Martin county, 
Ind., May 19, 1841. When he was nineteen years old he enlisted 
in Company E, Twenty-fifth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. 
His first fighting was at Fort Donelson. He saw plenty more at 
Shiloh, Corinth, Hatchers Run, Grand Junction, Holly Sjirings, Mud 
Creek, Pearl River, Marion Station, Memphis, Lookout Mountain, 
Mission Ridge, Kenesaw Mountain, Buzzard's Roost, Atlanta, Chat- 
tanooga, Kingston, Goldsboro and at other points in the South. 
He has vivid recollections of the men of his command drinking 
the polluted water of Mud cieek. After that fight his company 
was so small because so manv of its memliers had been killed that 


it was assigned to provost duty in Tennessee. From there it went 
to Vicksburg and later it went with Sherman to Mississippi. A 
sixty days' furlough came soon afterward, and Mr. Scott rejoined 
his command at Chattanooga. The march from Atlanta to the 
sea under Sherman he will never forget. A provisional division, of 
which his regiment was a part, was sent back to Chattanooga. From 
that point a march was made to Paducah, Kj'., thence to Cincinnati 
and thence to Baltimore, where the regiment joined its old command. 
A coast voyage followed and Mr. Scott was shipwrecked in Cuban 
waters, but was finally landed in North Carolina and marched to 
Newberne, where fighting was resumed. After the fight at Golds- 
boro, the regiment was marched to Raleigh, N. C. Several skirm- 
ishes followed, then came the Confederate surrender, the Grand 
Review at Washington, D. C, the discharge and the muster out. 

Returning to Indiana, Mr. Scott located in Perry county, set- 
tled down to farming and married Louisa Goble, a native of that 
state, who bore him children as follows : Harrison Y., John W., 
Hiram Curtis, Thaddeus M., Sidney F., Lee Esting, Flora C. All 
have died except Thaddeus M. and Sidney F. John W. married Nancy 
Harmon, by whom he had a son named Edmund L. By. a second mar- 
riage two daughters were born. Sidney F. married Nellie Wilson 
and has had four childreu: Ray. Leslie. Maynard and Flora. Leslie 
has passed away. 

From Indiana Mr. Scott moved in 1866 to Montgomery couuty, 
Iowa, where he lived three years and then returned to Indiana. 
From there he went to Shelby county. 111., and after a year's resi- 
dence there moved to Sedgwick county, Kas., where he remained 
until he was forced to leave on account of his crops being destroyed 
by pests. From there he returned to Illinois, whence he went to 
Nebraska. There he remained four years, meantime preenqiting 
and improving land, after which he returned to Union Star. DeKalb 
couuty, and two years later took up his residence in Shannon county. 
Mo., where he conducted a hotel for four years. He again took up 
farming in Texas county for eight years. He came to Fresno 
county in 1904 and bought ten acres near Laton. Six months later 
he sold out and came to Tulare city, bought ten acres, then sold and 
purchased residence property and remained there imtil he came 
to Orosi. He bought ten acres half in vines and trees and the bal- 
ance in pasture. His profits from this investment are quite satis- 

As a farmer Mr. Scott is successful along his chosen lines and 
as a citizen he is pu])li(' spirited and helpful. In politics he is 
Republican. He is a moinl)or of the Grand Army of the Re]>ublic 
and is a Mason. 


The story of the life of a self-made man is always interesting 
and always carries its lesson of industry, integrity, perseverance and 
thrift. Of this class is George Tomer, a native of Iowa, born August 
16, 1847, whose early life was one of work and study in an environ- 
ment that was not conducive to rapid progress either in earning 
money or acquiring knowledge. But he got a start in life, largely 
by reason of his coming to California. He made his appearance in 
this state in 1862, quite young to undertake much responsibility, but 
of a self-reliant nature and determined to make something of and 
for himself. For several years he lived in Yolo county, variously 
employed, as occasion offered, and in 1873 came to Hanford, Kings 
county, where he acquired one hundred and eighty acres of good 
farm land, on which he has lived continuously to the present time. 
When he first came here he helped himself financially by working 
on the Peoples ditch until that work was finished. He is included 
among the pioneers in this vicinity, and is on the membership list 
of the Settlers' League. From the first he has taken an interest in 
pulilic affairs, and as a Republican has been elected to several impor- 
tant local offices, which he has filled with ability and credit to him- 
self and to the community. He was trustee of the Eureka school 
fourteen years, trustee and chairman of the Hanford high school 
board seven years, and was elected constable in 1878 for two years. 
In 1898 he was elected supervisor from the third district, serving 
four years. 

As a farmer Mr. Tomer has been successful even beyond his 
expectations. He has three acres in vineyards and twenty-five in 
alfalfa. While giving attention to general farming he breeds hogs 
and cattle and makes a specialty of dairying, having at this time 
about twenty fine cows. For twenty-nine seasons he has operated 
a header very successfully. He is thoroughly up-to-date in all his 
metliods and liis farm is fitted with good buildings and modern 
macliiuery and appliances. He has shown a faculty for planning and 
working out his plans, such as many farmers do not possess, and 
which doubtless has been a factor in his steady progress. 

In Woodland, Yolo county, on September 21, 1872, Mr. Tomer 
was united in marriage with Miss Carrie Kohler. who was born in 
St. Louis, Mo., in 1855, and who was brought to California by her 
mother in 1860. All of her life since that date has been passed in 
this state and she has been a resident of Kings county since 1873. 
The following children have been born to this worthy couple : William 
H. ; Leonard L.; Nettie M., who married George Tilton; Clarence 
E. ; Clara E., widow of AValter Kelly; Annie C, widow of George 
Ehle; George, deceased; Read A.; Rose lone; King F. ; Forest W. ; 


and Isaac. All of the children were born, reared and educated in 
Tulare and Kings counties and are located in the vicinity of Hanford, 
with the exception of Clara E. and Annie C, who reside in Oakland. 


It was in the beautiful Genesee valley, in the Empire state, that 
Alvin H. Slocum was born in 1837. His family went to Wisconsin 
when he was a year and a half old and remained there thirteen years, 
during which time he learned a good deal about farming, more about 
hunting, and in public and private schools got a good start toward 
an ediication. From Wisconsin the family moved to Iowa, where 
Alvin remained until after he became of age. In 1859 he came across 
the plains to California and until the fall of 1861 he lived near the 
Feather river, in Butte county. At the first call of President Lincoln 
for volunteer soldiers for service in the Civil war he enlisted and 
was on duty constantly until his discharge, taking part in many his- 
toric engagements and enduring many hardships and privations. A 
remarkable feature of his war record for which he is particularly 
thankful is that when the war came to an end he had never been 
captured by the enemy. He was mustered out at Las Cruces, N. Mex., 
and bought a team of horses and drove through to Sacramento, Cal., 
near which place he worked in the mines two years. In 1866 he came 
to Tulare county with no more definite purpose than to hunt awhile, 
but the country pleased him so well that he determined to remain. 
Improvements were few and there was game everywhere, bear and 
deer especially being plentiful. He had Bruce Wilcox as a companion 
until in 1869, when Wilcox stumbled onto a set gun and was shot to 
death. Mr. Slocum was only two feet behind him when the explosion 
came. In speaking of those earlier days, he tells of the killing of 
fourteen or fifteen bears in the autumn of one year and relates how 
in one hunt he shot twenty-one bucks; his largest bear he killed in 
1867. Jacob Cramer, Marvin Wilcox and Frank Knowles were with 
him, and they have often testified that it weighed, dressed and with- 
out hide or head, fifteen hundred and fifty pounds. Mr. Slocum went 
on his first bear hunt when he was about twenty-one years old and 
killed three bears, the first wild bear he had ever seen. 

As soon as was practicable after he came to the county Mr. 
Slocum began to acquire laud. He took up one hundred and sixty 
acres and a little later another one hundred and sixty acres, and 
began to raise hogs and fruit, in which business he has continued 
with success to the i)resent time. He has for many years been a 
memlier of the local school lioanl and has in other ways been gener- 

(X-, /^e/i^ 



ously active on behalf of the community. In 1880 he married Nancie 
Alma Hudson, a native of California, who has borne him six children, 
all of whom are living and all but two are married. His father, 
who was born in 1811, in New York state, died in 1904 in California, 
at the advanced age of ninety-three years. Mr. Slocum has mechanical 
genius of a high order, and has made a uum1)er of violins and guitars 
of an excellent quality. 


This highly resjjected citizen of Hanford, Kings county, Cal., 
has during his long and busy career .won distinction in many ways. 
He was born in Ohio February 6, 1831, and there received a limited 
education and jiractical instruction in different kinds of useful work. 
In 1852, when he was twenty-one years old, he came to California 
by way of New York and the Isthmus of Panama, going from New 
York to Panama on the steamer Brother Jonathan, crossing the isth- 
mus on foot and coming to San Francisco on the steamer Winfield 
Scott. He stopped on the Island of Toboga six weeks waiting for 
a steamer and retains a fond remembrance of the place and people. 
From San Francisco he went to Sacramento and thence to Ringgold. 
After mining three months he located at Suisun, Solano county, with 
his brother, with the intention of going into the mercantile business. 
Going down to put up some hay on the island, he learned that John 
Owens had already erected a store there, and he and his brother-in- 
law engaged in the butcher business, opening the first meat shop in 
Suisun, and traded there until 1856, when he went back east and 
brought his family out to California. Upon his return he engaged 
in teaming with his own teams, carrying supplies to Virginia City, 
Hangtown (now Placerville), and other mining centers and selling 
goods at the stores in all the camps round about. Thus he was em- 
ployed three years, then for four years he ran a meat market in 
Vacaville. Disposing of that he returned east and farmed in Ohio 
and after four years went to Denver, Colo. From there he came 
on to Los Ajigeles, Cal., and soon engaged in biiying cattle, which he 
drove to Bakerstield. He located in Bakersfield in 1872 and was a 
charter member of the first lodge of Masons organized there and is 
now the only survivor of the original fourteen members. He estab- 
lished the McCord ranch, on the north side, a mile and a half from 
Bakersfield, constructed an irrigation ditch and for seven years fur- 
nished water free to everyone in the vicinity. Then, selling most of 
his stock, he located on government land. ]uit in alfalfa, built levees, 
extended the ditch, sold it niid .-iftcrward uiaiiat;e(l it two years, under 


the direction of AV. B. Carr, making during that time $15 a day over 
and above the support of his family. From there he came to Tulare 
county and iu 1886-87 bought land at the mouth of Cross creek, twelve 
miles south of Hanford. One section, which he bought of O. E. Mil- 
ler, at $2.75 an acre, is still owned in his family and is now worth 
over $150 an acre. Another section, which he bought of Bird & 
Smith and wliich is now valuable, cost him $7.50 an acre. He bought 
in all about two thousand acres. He and his sons engaged in stock- 
raising and he and his brother built a levee and reclaimed thousands 
of acres of laud from the Cross creek overflow for settlers in that 
vicinity. Mr. McCord farmed there and raised horses and stock 
on a large scale, putting in more than one thousand acres of alfalfa 
on his own land, and maintained his home in Hanford while operating- 
there. The family now owns eight hundred .acres of that property. 

In 1874 Mr. MeCord and his son Dallas opened a butcher shop 
at Bakersfield. The latter conducted it many years and at the age 
of twenty-nine was elected sheriff of Kern county, and was the young- 
est sheriff in the state at that time, 1887. After tilling the office one 
term he joined his father on the ranch. The latter retired from 
farming in 1908 and sold all his remaining land. He made a specialty 
of selling Arizona horses in San Francisco and attained prominence 
as an. auctioneer at Bakersfield and San Francisco. In his younger 
years he was an athlete and won honors at Vacaville and Suisun and 
later at Bakersfield and was first president of the Bakersfield Ath- 
letic club. For a long period he was renowned as a boxer, and when 
he was sixty-five years old he won in a wrestling match with an 
opponent of twenty-eight. He drove his own teams through Tulare 
couuty from Tipton to Bakersfield liefore the advent of the railroad 
and he and George McCord and Bill Woswick interested Claus 
Spreckels to construct the Santa Fe railroad through this section. 
Spreckels was later president of the Valley road, which was even- 
tually absorbed by the Santa Fe system. Mr. MeCord early became 
expert in the handling of horses and was champion of all horse 
trainers round San Francisco and Bakersfield for some years. 

In February, 1850, Mr. McCord married Lois Sophia Crippen, 
a native of Ohio, and they had five children, two of whom are living. 
Alice, deceased, was the wife of James McCaffery, of Hanford ; Dallas, 
who was successful in business with his father, died in 1891 ; Douglas 
lives in San Francisco; Burnside is a citizen of San Jose; Margery 
died at the age of three years. The mother of these children passed 
away at Hanford in April, 1911, and was buried by the order of 
Eastern Star. Mr. McCord has long lieen widely known as a Mason. 

When county division was talked of he was a strong advocate 
and supiioi'ter of the niovenieut. and for every other uiibuilding 
agency df tlie state and county. He has never asi)ired to any office. 


though solicited to become a candidate many times, and once was 
forced to accept the office of justice of the peace at Bakersfield, win- 
ning over his opponent five to one in a Democi-atic strongliold. 


A native of Sweden, Alfred Peterson is descended from old fami- 
lies of that country. He was born August 23, 1869, near Oskar- 
shamn, Smoland, a son of Peter and Christine (Johnson) Carlson. 
His father was a sexton, in charge of the local church and cemetery, 
and his grandfather, a Swedish cavalry soldier, did gallant service 
in the Napoleonic wars 1812-15. Alfred and his sister, Mrs. Selma 
Pospeshek, of Tulare county, are the only living children of the 
father's family. In 1884, when he was between fourteen and fifteen 
years old, Alfred Peterson came to America with his brother Oskar 
and found employment on a farm near Long Point, Livingston county, 
111. From there he went to Marshall county in the same state, and 
in 1889 came to Los Angeles, near which city he worked two years 
in an orange grove for Abbott Kinney. Then he went to Antelope 
Valley, intending to locate land there, but did not like the prospect 
in that vicinity and proceeded to Formosa, where he and his team 
were employed for two months in construction work, and after that 
he teamed four months at Fresno. In 1891 he came to Tulare, where 
he was variously employed until the spring of 1893, when, with Wil- 
liam Kerr as a partner, he went into the threshing business, buying 
an engine of twenty-four horse power. At the expiration of two 
yeai-s he took over the business, which he continued until in the fall 
of 1901, when he retired in order to devote himself almost exclusively 
to stockraising. In 1893 he had farmed at the Oaks, north of town, 
on one hundred and sixty acres of land leased for one season. In 
the spring of 1894 he rented twenty acres, three and one-fourth 
miles east of Tulare on the Lindsay road, where he now lives. In the 
following fall he bought that property and in the spring of 1895 
he bought twenty acres more. In the fall of 1897 he bought forty 
acres adjoining on the east and in the spring of 1900 two hundred 
and sixty-five acres adjoining on the north. In the winter of 1905 he 
bought one hundred acres known as Bliss field, across the road, south 
of the other property, fle has introduced many improvements and his 
land is all fenced in. He has about one hundred acres of alfalfa, 
twenty-five acres under orchard trees, farms two hundred . acres to 
grain and devotes the remainder of his land to i)asturage. 

The marriage of Mr. Peterson, in Chicago, in the sjjring of the 
vear 1904, united him with Miss Hilda Anderson, who was born near 


Westervik, Smolaud, Sweden, and they have children named Carl, 
Creorge and Helen, the first of whom is in school. While maintaining 
a deep affection for the land of his birth, Mr. Peterson is loyal to 
America, especially to California. He has long been an advocate of 
irrigation, realizing that the lack of water here is the only drawback 
to the achievement of satisfactory results in agriculture. He was for 
a time a director in the Farmers' Ditch Company, from the im- 
provements of which his own land was irrigated, and he has in 
other ways promoted the irrigation facilities of his part of tbi' 
county and has not been less helpful in a public spirited way to 
other movements for the benefit of the people among whom he has 
cast his lot. He is a stockholder in the Bank of Tulare and in the 
Rochdale store. During the entire period of his residence in Tulare 
county he has affiliated fraternally with the lodge, encampment and 
Rebekah organization of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
During recent years he has devoted much of his time to travel and 
in 1902 he journeyed thirty thousand miles by railroad and steamer. 
Nine times he has crossed our own continent and twice has he re- 
turned to his old home to renew the associations of his youth, the 
first time in 1902, when he enjoyed a visit with his father in Oskar- 
shamn and with other relatives and friends from whom he had long 
been separated. In the spring of 1908 he went back again for five 
months, accompanied by his family. Since the establishment of the 
reformation by Martin Luther, the successive generations of the fam- 
ily have been of the Lutheran faith and Alfred was reared in its doc- 
trine, but since he came to America he has affiliated with the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church, of which his wife is also a member. 


The grandson of a gallant soldier, Alfred C. Fulmer, of Orosi, 
Tulare county, Cal., was born in Crete, Nebr., on Independence Day, 
1890, son of William and Amelia (Wilkie) Fulmer. The former is 
deceased and the latter is now the wife of W. F. McCormick. He 
attended public schools and graduated from the grammar school 
when he was fourteen years old. In 1909 he came to Tulare county, 
where for a time he worked for wages during the summer months, 
attending winter terms of school. Following a post-graduate course 
at Orosi he began working at ranching and planned and strove 
for such successes as he might win by industrious application of the 
business • ability which he certainly possessed. In the course of 
events he paid $3,500 for fifteen acres of land. He has three and a 
half acres of Thompson grapes, which brought him $1,100 in 1911, 
ten acres bearing vines of Muscat and Malaga grapes and two acres 


of iiasture land. Thougli yoimg in years he is succeeding along 
lines that mark him as a scientific cultivator in his chosen field, and 
there are those who predict for him great achievements in the years 
that are to come. As a citizen he is jmhlic spiritedly helpful to all 
worthv local interests. 


One of the oldest residents of Tulare county, reckoning from the 
days of his pioneering, was the venerable and respected Isaac N. 
Wright, a man of industry, thrift and sound judgment, who succeeded 
for himself and was active in every movement for the advancement 
of the industrial and agricultural advancement of the county, his 
death occurring at his home at Tulare, Cal., February 17, 1910. Of 
English stock, he was born near Mount Vei'non, Knox count}', Ohio. 
October 13, 1823, son of AVilliam Wright, who was born, reared and 
educated in England; he was a pioneer in Knox county, and began 
his life there in a log cabin which he erected in a small opening in 
the forest, improving a farm and prospering there until he removed 
to Iowa, where he passed away. His mother, Elizabeth Newton, also 
a native of England, died in Omaha, Nebr. Mr. and Mrs. Wright had 
eleven children, four of whom survive. One of the children, George, 
who came to California in 1850, died in Tuolumne county; James 
came with Isaac N. in 1851 and died in San Diego; a daughter, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Smith, resides at Long Beach, Cal.; and another daughter, 
Mary, resides in Montana. 

Under the tutelage of his mother, a woman of refinement and 
education, Isaac N. Wright gained . his elementary knowledge of the 
contents of school books. Brought up on a woodland farm he became 
an expert chopper, and when he was sixteen years old helped to build 
a log schoolhouse near his home and was chosen to cut the saddles 
and notches for one corner of the building, and in that crude struc- 
ture he attended school five years. Soon after he was twenty-one 
years old he entered upon an apprenticeship to the miller's trade 
and later he was the lessee and operator of a grist and sawmill on 
Owl creek, at Mount Vernon, for two years. In November, 1851, he 
sailed from New York on the steamer Georgia for Aspinwall, and 
from there he went by rail to Gorgona, whence he was taken by 
steamer to the head of navigation. The remainder of the trip across 
the isthmus of Panama, abor;t twenty-five miles, he made on foot. 
Prom Panama he came to San Francisco on the steamer Northerner, 
arriving in December, 1851, and for two years he and his brothers 
did placer mining at Jamestown, Tuolumne county, and met with 


some success. In 1S54 lie aud his brother George leased a sawmill 
which was operated four years. Then he went back to Ohio for his 
family, arriving at his old home February, 1856, and in April that year 
he left for California with his wife and child, by the Isthmus route, 
and was in Panama April 15, the date of the historic riots there. His 
wife and child were safe in the American hotel, near the Plaza, but he 
armed himself with an old American flint-lock musket and participated 
in the affair. They made a good passage to San Francisco on the 
steamer John L. Stevens and he located at Sonora and was successful 
several years as a quartz miner and as a miller. In 1869 he moved 
his family to San Jose and prospected through the coast counties into 
the San Joaquin valley and might have embarked in stock-raising if 
the season had not been too dry. In 1870 he pre-empted one hundred 
and sixty acres of land now within the municipal limits of Tulare 
which in 1872 he traded to the railroad company for his present home- 
stead on which he located that year. He set about improving his ijrop- 
erty and placing it under irrigation, and almost immediately he was 
achieving success as a farmer and stockman; much of his land was in 
alfalfa. He has raised many high-grade cattle and hogs and has a 
large dairy. His public spirit prompted him in actively promoting 
the growth and development of the city of Tulare; he was one of the 
promoters of the Kaweah Canal & Irrigating Co., was one of its direc- 
tors from the first and later was elected its president. During his ten 
years' service as school trustee, he had charge of the erection of the 
brick schoolhouse in Tulare. A Republican in national politics, in local 
affairs he always advocated the election of the best man for the place 
without regard to party affiliations. 

At Mount Vernon, Ohio, January li, 1851, Mr. "Wright married 
Charlotte A. Phillips and they had four children, as follows : Victoria 
is Mrs. A. D. Neff of Oakland, Cal.; George W., born in Tuolumne 
county and now living at Tuolumne, is a locomotive engineer, and in 
that capacity ran the first passenger train into Sonora; Alice L. ; 
Hattie M. is Mrs. W. J. Higdon of Tulare. The mother was born 
November 28, 1830, fourth of the six children of Charles and Addie 
(Foster) Phillips, her mother having been a native of England. She 
is the only survivor of the family and is still living on the "Wrigjit 
home at Tulare, California. 


'i'liis well-known nursci-yiiiiui, who is agent lor the Capitnl ('it' 
Nurseiy and whose residence is in Ennna Lee Colony, northwest o 
the limits of Hanford, is a native of Count v Antrim, Ireland, an( 


was born iu 1862. The Courtney progenitors cauie from llollaiul 
with Prince William and fought in the religious wars. On tlie 
maternal line Mr. Courtney is of Scotch and Danish extraction. He 
was about eighteen years old when he came across the ocean to 
Ontario, Canada, and he lived at Oshawa for some time thereafter. 
In 1885 he volunteered for service in the suppression of the insur- 
rection known as the Northwest rebellion. After his discharge he 
lived for two years at Fort William, with his brother, and they were 
employed in the construction of a large elevator, quartering oii]iosite 
the historic battleground at Quaminisque; and they endured many 
hardships in that new country, the temperature often registering as 
low as sixty degrees below zero. They bought jn-operty in that 
vicinity, but eventually went to Halifax, N. S., where Mr. Courtney 
married and was engaged in farming and as a builder until 1892. 
Then he sold out and went to Boston, where he worked six montlis 
as a carpenter. During his stay in Boston he heard much of Cali- 
fornia and the wonderful opportunities it held out to the horticulturist, 
and coming out in 1893 and locating at Hanford, he found employ- 
ment at his trade, and later as a contractor, built many residences 
there and throughoiit the country round about. In 1902 he ))ecame 
a salesman for the Capital City Nursery Co., of Salem, Ore., and 
during his second year of work in that capacity sold $16,000 worth 
of peach and apricot trees (most of the peach trees being Albertas), 
all of which were planted in Kings county. He has handled the line 
ever since, adding to it local and home grown stock, and his yearly 
sales during the last few years have averaged $6,000. In 190.S he 
bought tive acres of land for a home at the northwest corner of tiie 
city, paying $100 an acre for it ; it is now worth $1,000 an acre. He 
has built on it a fine house and other necessary buildings and has 
set it out to fruit trees. He is also the owner of twenty-two and a 
half acres in the Crowell addition, a good portion of which he has 
set out to fruit. Another tract which he owns is one of sixty acres, 
three and a half miles east of Hanford, whicli he intends to i)ut in 
vines and trees, and he intends to improve this property still further. 
Having a liking for horses and cattle, he has devoted some attention 
to raising both and intends to go into the business more extensively. 
In 1911-12 he bought out four small nurseries and has disposed of 
their stock, his nursery business being one of the most comprehensive 
in this part of the state. Its numerous offerings include twelve 
varieties of peaches, seven of plums, ten of such apples as do well 
in the San Joaquin valley countr.y, three of prunes, three of ai)ricots, 
seven of table grapes, Franquette walnuts, olives, plums, eucalyptus 
trees, shade trees, palms and roses. 

The place on which Mr. Courtney lives was foniicily owned l)y 
one Knudson, who was shot at the time of the Mussel SKiuliIi 1 rouble; 


brought home, he died under an old walnut tree which is still standing 
in the nursery yard. In 1887 Mr. Courtney married at Halifax, 
N. S., Miss Annie Roper, a native of Nova Scotia, and they have 
had children as follows: James; Hugh, deceased; Millicent M. ; 
Blanche M. ; and Samuel Ernest. Three of these are living. Millicent 
M. is the wife of Charles Fellows of Modesto, who is also in the 
nursery business. 

Mr. Courtney was converted in the Presbyterian church in the 
north of Ireland, when a boy. His father, James Courtney, of French 
Huguenot stock, was an evangelist in his home locality. He was 
connected with the Salvation Army of Hanford from the start and 
has always been in the fight for the right and advocates and supports 
all worthy movements. He is a National Prohibitionist, secretary and 
treasurer of the Kings county delegation, and took a leading part 
in the fight to eliminate the liquor traffic from his home city. 


It was on the second day of Jiily, 1867, that the well-known citi- 
zen of California whose name is above was born at Zetoon, Armenia. 
He was duly graduated from a missionary school in 1886, with a 
competent knowledge of the English language and many who knew 
him and appreciated his fine abilities urged him to become a minister 
of the gospel. He was twenty years old in 1887 when he came to the 
United States, and for two years he lived in Paterson, N. J., and for 
twenty-one years he was actively employed as a weaver of silk ribbon. 
It was in New Jersey that he married Miss Mary Kahacharian, also 
a native of Armenia and a graduate of a missionary school at Marash, 
where she received a diploma in 1885. She taught school for two 
years and her husband was likewise emj^loyed for one year. She has 
borne him six children, whom they named as follows in the order of 
their nativity: Mary, Anna, Victoria, Elizabeth, Dove and Martha. 
Mary married James Erganiau, who was graduated from the same 
missionary school in Armenia in which his father-in-law was edu- 
cated. After coming to the United States he took up work as a but- 
ler in Boston and Charlestown, Mass. Four years later he came to 
California and bought twenty acres of land, which he has improved 
with vineyards and orchards. Anna married Peter Besoyan and thoy 
have a son named Sergius aud live at Yettem. Victoria graduated 
from the grammar school and is the wife of Fred Sahroian. Elizabeth 
has finished the grammar school and Dove and Martha are in school. 

On coming to California in 1908 the subject of this notice bought 
fiftv acres of land at $50 an acre at Yettem. He has thirty acres of 

^OjuLcLi fJoAiA^ 


vines, a small orchard, and ten acres of pasture, and intends to take 
up the cultivation of oranges and peaches on the other ten acres. 
Although he purchased the land but four years ago, it is now worth 
about $300 an acre. He has built a good house on the property and 
keeps enough stock and horses for his own use. Mr. Melidonian is 
a Republican, a Presbyterian, a member of the Royal Arcanum and 
a progressive citizen of nmch public spirit. 


It was in the lovely country along the Hudson river, in the state 
of New York, that Sands Baker, of Dunlap, Fresno county, CaL, 
was born December 19, 1837. His parents were George and Martha 
N. (Bentley) Baker, of English ancestry, who had emigrated to New 
York state from Massachusetts. His father died when the boy was 
yet very young, and at fifteen years old Sands Baker was taken to 
Oconto county. Wis., by an uncle who was in the lumber business 
there. He early obtained a good knowledge of that industry, for 
which, however, he had no liking, his inclinations being for the 
acquisition of an education. He managed to attend a public school 
and then entered a seminary near Albany, N. Y., where one thousand 
students were being prepared for professional careers. From there 
he went to Madison, Wis., where he entered the high school, giving 
particular attention to the English course until, because of failing eye- 
sight, he was obliged for a time to give up study. However, he soon 
found a field of usefulness at Green Bay, Wis., where he taught 
three years in the public school, and he was the author of several 
innovations the wisdom of which was soon evident to the school offi- 
cials and the ijublic generally. One of these was the closing of the 
doors of the school house at nine a.m., thus enforcing punctuality 
or absence. Then came a period of travel for health and recreation. 
He wandered through Minnesota and Iowa and down to St. Joseph, 
Mo., where he met men who so vividly pictured the beauties and 
opportunities of California that he quickly decided to seek fortune 
here, and accordingly he left St. Joseph in the spring of 1860 with 
a party which made the journey with American horses and Califor- 
nia mustangs, by way of Salt Lake. Finding feed scarce they aban- 
doned their original course and came through Salt Lake valley. 
Indians were menacing but wrought them no harm and they arrived 
in Los Angeles in September. From Los Angeles Mr. Baker came 
on to Visalia. At Rockyford, while he was helping to lialo one 
hundred tons of hay, he met a county superintendent of schools who 
wanted to employ a teacher. There were at that lime only two pul)- 


lie schools in the county and Mr. Baker estal)lislied a private school 
which he taught two years. After this he went north to investigate 
the mines of eastern California and was soon employed as principal 
of the public school at Downieville, Sierra county. He closed the 
schools daily at one p.m., and spent the afternoons in the mines, 
but careful study of conditions and resiilts convinced him that there 
was nothing in mining for gold without the investment of considerable 
capital. So successful was he there as a teacher that he was given 
an increase of salary of $40 a month to continue his work. Return- 
ing to Visalia, he taught a private school for about six months. For 
some time he filled the offices of revenue assessor, ganger of liquprs 
and inspector of tobacco with increasing responsibility and emolu- 
ment, meanwhile serving four years on the board of education of 
Visalia. He acted one year as deputy county assessor and soon be- 
came known as an expert mathematician and was often called on to 
figure interest on notes and accounts and to straighten out tangled 
bookkeeping, for which services he was well paid. This work he con- 
tinued until his health began to fail. 

Ill Octolier, 1872, Mr. Baker married Sarah Josephine Drake, a 
native of Ohio, whose parents came to California in 1870, settling- 
near Tulare lake and later at Squaw valley. On her mother's side 
she was descended from Virginian ancestry. Seven children were 
born to them: Martha A., Royal R., Chauncey M., Lulu M., Blanche 
C, Pearl A., and Elsie F. ; and Mrs. Baker and lier husband adopted 
a boy, who became known as William M. Baker. Martha A. married 
L. B. King and l)ore him four children. Royal R. married Nellie J. 
Hodges and they Vive at Farmersville. and have a son and a daughter. 
Chauncey M. married Olive E. Hargraves of Mendocino county, who 
taught school at Dunlajx Lulu M. married J. A. Mitchell, postmaster 
at Dunlap, and they have a son and a daughter. Blanche C. mar- 
ried Charles F. Hubbard, of Stockton. Elsie F. married James R. 
Hinds. Pearl A. is teaching in the Merriman school at Exeter. Wil- 
liam M. is ranching near Exeter. Most of Mr. Baker's children have 
attended the high school at Visalia. Blanche C. was graduated from 
a business college at Stockton in 1902 and is a competent stenographer 
and bookkeeper. 

From Visalia Mr. Baker removed to Shipes valley, now i)op- 
ularly known as the Foot of Baker mountain. He took u]) a squat- 
ter's claim and pre-empted and homesteaded land and has added to 
his holdings from time to time until he has a fine stock ranch of two 
thousand acres, much of it well improved, some of it under valuable 
timber. He has one hundred and twenty acres of valley land de- 
voted to fruit and alfalfa. He could very easily farm five hundred 
acres, but he gives attention ])rincii)ally to stock. He has on his prop- 
ertv fullv five thousand coi'ds of wood and individual oak trees which 


would cut fifty cords each. He keeps about two hundred head of 
stock and twenty horses. He has sold many cattle at Hume Mills, 
about twenty miles away. His hogs have brought him ten to twel\e 
and a half cents a pound on the hoof at times. He has a stallion, 
thoroughbred and Percheron, and has raised fine stock for market, 
always finding ready sale, and Mr. Baker has maintained a high 
reputation for grade and quality. 

In politics, Mr. Baker is a Republican who is ])roud of the fact 
that he east his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and he 
has for many years filled the offices of school trustee and clerk of the 
local school board. Formerly he was an active member of the Ma- 
sonic order. 


In Fountain count}' on the Wabash river in Indiana Frank Osborn, 
a musician and singer of note and now superintendent of the Tulare 
County Hospital at Visalia, was born May 2, 1851, a son of Oliver 
and Margaret (Dyer) Osborn, natives respectively of Ohio and of 
New Jersey. Oliver Osborn brought his family to California in 
1875 and settled in Tulare county on the Upper Tule river near 
Grlobe, where he bought land and acliieved success as a stockraiser. 
His wife, who was a singer of exceptional ability even when she was 
more than seventy years old, died there in 1898 and he in August, 
1909. Mr. Osborn was a man of influence in the community and 
during all his active life gave much attention to educational mat- 
ters. He and his wife were devout members of the Christian church. 
Of their thirteen children four survive: Oliver P., a rancher near 
Porterville; Frank, of this review; Mrs. Sarah A. Ph'aus, of Indiana, 
and Mrs. Mary E. Clark, of Missouri. 

From liis boyhood Frank Osborn has been familiar with all the 
details of stockraising and until 1897 was identified with his father 
in that industry. As long as he can remember he has been a singer, 
he having inherited marked musical ability from his talented mother. 
As such he became known throughout all the country round about 
Visalia, and he was long in great demand as a teacher of vocal 
classes during the winter months, for many years leading the choir 
of the Christian church at Visalia. In 1897 he was aitpoiuted su])er- 
intendent of the Tulare County Hospital at Visalia, which jiosition 
he has since filled with a degree of ability and integrity which has 
commended him to all the jieople of the county. He has in all his 
relations with his fellownieii proven liiniscir public spirited in an 
eminent degree. Fraternallv he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias. 


lu 1870 Mr. Osborn married Miss Elleu Marksbury, a native of 
Kentucky, who was so situated during the Civil war that she was an 
eye-witness of many engagements between the Federal and Confeder- 
ate troops. A detailed account of her experiences and the conditions 
which made them possible could not but make a most interesting 

To Frank and Ellen (Marksbury) Oslwrn have been born chil- 
dren as follows: Mrs. Edna Hannaford, who has children named 
Lura, Duke and Laura; Charles H., who married Miss Minta Berry, 
daughter of Senator G. S. Berry of Lindsay, and has children named 
Audra and Irma; Earl, who married Maud Carter, who has borne 
him a child whom they have named Rolla; and Gladys, wife of E. L. 
Cary, of Stockton, who has a daughter, Ellen L. Carv. 


It was in England that William R. Miller, who now lives eight 
miles southwest of Hanford, was born October 26, 1843. When he 
was about eighteen months old his parents brought him to Troy, 
N. Y., and he lived there and at Saratoga, in the same state, until he 
was nineteen years old. Then he enlisted in the One Hundred and 
Twenty-fifth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, with which 
he served until June, 1865, when he was honorably discharged at 
Alexandria, Va. As a member of Company C of that organization 
he was included in the second army corps of the army of the Potomac, 
participating in many ougagcnients, including the fight in the Wilder- 
ness, the battle of SpottsN Ixaui.i Court House, where he was wounded; 
the fighting in front of I'ctfrshiirg, where he cast his first Presiden- 
tial vote for Lincoln, and other encounters no less important. His 
wound caused him to be in the hospital three months. After the war 
he farmed in New York state until April, 1870, when he located 
sixteen miles north of Webster City, Iowa, and there farmed and 
raised stock until 1887, when he came to California. After stopping 
a short time at Tulare he went to the west side, near Dudley, accom- 
panied by his immediate family, his father and his wife's mother. 
He and his father and his brother took up land there which soon 
proved so unpromising for farming purposes that his father and 
brother abandoned their claims, but he retained his, which after he 
had sold part of it proved to be valuable oil land, but this holding 
is not the least of his possessions. Returning to Tulare county, he 
soon went to Delano, where he put in two crops, and in June, 1899, 
came to Kings county and worked a year near Armona. In his 
second year tliere he liought twenty-two and 9 lialf acres, eight miles 
soutli of Aniiona. on wiiicli lie built a liousc and itut all otlier im- 


provements, setting six acres to a vineyard and a family orchard and 
giving the remainder over to alfalfa, and this is his present home 
place. He began here as a stockraiser and was successful for some 
years. His son, Fred C. Miller, now also operates a dairy on the 
place. In 1911 Mr. Miller bought forty acres of the Jacobs tract, 
south of his ranch, on which there are improvements. 

In 1867 Mr. Miller took for his wife Caroline A. Chesterman, of 
English birth, who was brought to the United States when three 
months old and grew to womanhood in New York state. They have 
five living children: The Rev. Charles N. Miller, who is blind, is an 
ordained minister of the gospel and resides at Bakersfield; Carrie M. 
married John C'. Goodale, of Denair, Cal. ; Jessie L. is the wife of 
Clarence E. McMillen, of Bakersfield, Cal; May M. married E. W. 
Houston, of Visalia; Fred C, the youngest son of the family, mar- 
ried Anna J. Erni and is ranching and dairjdng on his father's land. 
William R., Jr., was accidentally killed by a boiler explosion, aged 
twenty-five years, and Mina M. was married to E. R. Houston and 
died aged about twenty. 

Mr. Miller keeps alive memories of the days of the Civil war 
by association with his comrades of McPherson Post, G. A. R. He 
is a genial man, given to pleasant reminiscence, and is welcomed as a 
friend wherever he may go. His interest in the welfare of the com- 
munity makes him a citizen of much public spirit. 


One of the Kentuckians who is making a record for himself in 
Tulare county, Cal., is Oliver P. Mardis, who is farming on the Exe- 
ter road, out of Visalia. He was born in Laurel county, Ky., Sep- 
tember 5, 1855, and when he was nine years old was taken by his 
parents from Kentucky to Johnson county, Kans., where he finished 
liis education in the public school and gained a practical Itnowledge 
of farming. In 1875, when he was twenty years old, he came to 
Colusa county, Cal, and worked there a year for wages. In 1876 he 
"hired out" to a farmer in the Deer Creek district, in Tulare coimty, 
where he later bought eighty acres of land, mostly under alfalfa. 
When wheat began to be gathered on the farms round al)out to the 
extent of ten sacks to the acre he sold his eight}^ acres of alfalfa land 
and bought a half section near liy, which he farmed until December 1, 
1908, when he came to his incscnt iniich of fifty-two and one-half 
acres near Visalia. He keejis mi ;i\c:,iii(' of two hundred and twenty- 
five hogs, which yield him a gond niiiinal profit. Twenty-three acres 
of Egyptian corn has given him fifty tons, and liis land has returned 


him seventy bushels of Indian corn to the acre. He has ten acres of 
alfalfa yielding him several crops each year. Many melons are 
grown on his place, he has raised wheat seven feet tall and has five 
thousand eucahqstus trees. 

In 1883 Mr. Mardis married Miss Josephine Collins, a native of 
California, whose father was a pioneer in the Deer Creek section. 
She passed away, leaving two children, Oliver and Alice. By his 
marriage with Miss Lucy Bunton, a native of Missouri, Mr. Mardis 
lias two daughters, Anna and Claudine. As a farmer he is thor- 
oughly up to date in every department of his Avork, and his pair of 
finely matched black colts for which he lias been offered $600 is in- 
dicative of the quality of his stock. As a citizen he is helpful in a 
public-spirited way to all worthy local interests. 


The descendant of southern ancestors and himself a native of the 
south, Ben M. Maddox was born in Summerville, Chattanooga county, 
Ga., October 18, 1859, the son of George B. T. and Sarah (Dickson) 
Maddox, they too being natives of that state. In 1877, when he was 
seventeen years old, Ben M. Maddox started out in the world on 
his own responsibility, at that time going to Texas, where he hunted 
buffalo on the plains. From there he went to Arizona and followed 
mining from the spring of 1878 until February of the following year. 
In the meantime he and some friends had determined to come to 
California, and in February, 1879, the party of three left Prescott, 
Ariz., having one pack horse and one saddle horse between them 
for the overland trail. The journey being safely accomplished, Mr. 
Maddox went to the mining camp of Bodie, Mono county, where he 
secured work on a newspaper, and subsequently he found work of 
a similar character in Mammoth City, same county. Newsj^aper work 
then gave place to mining, following this for a time in Mammoth City, 
and later, in 1880, in Fresno Flats, Madera county, where he was 
employed in the Enterprise mine, and in the latter place he also 
clerked in a hotel for a time. 

In September, 1881, Mr. Maddox went to Mariposa, where he 
found work at the printer's trade on the Gazette, and the following- 
year, in San Francisco, lie worked on the Chronicle. Giving uj) work 
on the latter paper in October, 1882, he returned to Mariposa and 
was employed on the Herald until he purchased the paper later in 
the same year. After continuing the publication of the Herald for 
four years lie sold it in 1886 and the same year came to Tulare 
county, with the intention of purchasing the Tulare Register. Being 


unable to carry out tliis plan at that time he returned to San Francisco 
and resumed work at the printer's trade. This was for a short 
time only, however, for on October 18, 1886, he was appointed deputy 
clerk of the superior court and thereafter gave his whole time and 
attention to the duties and obligations which thus devolved upon him. 

A ho]3e which Mr. Maddox had long cherished was realized when, 
on Thanksgiving Day, 1890, he became the owner and proi)rietor 
of the Visalia Times. For two years he ran the paper as a weekly, 
but on February 22, 1892, the paper became a daily, and as the Visalia 
Daily Times it has ever since been published under his able management. 
The management of his newspaper has not absorbed all of his thought 
and attention, as the following will show: When the Mount Whitney 
Power Company was organized in 1899 he was elected a director, in 
1901 was made secretary of the corporation, and on September 9, 
1902, he became business manager of the company, and he still holds 
this responsible office, having in the meantime relinquished to some 
extent the active management of his newspaper in order to devote his 
time to the interests of the power company. In 1894 he was nominated 
for secretary of state on the Democratic ticket, but was defeated in 
the election. As secretary of the Democratic state central connnittee 
he served two terms, and several times was chairman of the Demo- 
cratic county central committee. He also served as president of the 
Visalia board of trade for four years and for some time was a director 
of that body. At the present time he is chairman of the county 
state highway commission, a director of the Visalia electric railroad, 
president of the Encina Fi'uit Co., president of the Evansdale Fruit 
Co., and a director of the Producers' Savings Bank. Some years ago 
Mr. Maddox in company with William H. Hammond opened uj) 
and ])ut on the market the Lindsay Heights and Nol) Hill Orange 
colonies, orange land which is now fully developed. 

At Mariposa, CaL, March 15, 1883, Mr. Maddox was married 
to Miss Evalina J. Farnsworth, a native of California. Tlie.\- liavc 
five children, Morley M., Hazel C, Ruth E., Dickson F. and l'>en 
M., Jr. Fraternally Mr. Maddox is a Knight Templar and a thirty 
second degree Mascm; also belonging to the Shrine, the Knights ol' 
Pvthias and tlie Woodmen of the World. 

Wn.LL\:\[ .1. McADAM 

The ranch of this enter|)iising Tulare county farmer is one of the 
well-known McAdam ranches. It is located five miles west of Tulare 
and consists of three hundred and twenty acres. Mr. McAdam has 
one hundred and twenty nci-cs rented out for daii-y imi-poses. The 


remainder of the ranch is gradually being devoted to alfalfa and all of 
it but five acres will be under that grass in a short time. 

The principal business of Mr. McAdam has been stock-raising, 
though he is planning a dairy for the fraction of the ranch which will 
not be under alfalfa when his scheme is worked oiit. He now owns 
forty-five head of dairy cows and twenty-five head of young stock. 
Formerly he conducted the dairy which he now leases out, and in 
the days of his management of it he milked forty cows. He kept 
sis hundred hogs, and rented on the outside three hundred acres 
which he gave over to grain raising and which produced in 1909 and 
1910 an average of eighteen sacks to the acre, and in 1911 an average 
of sixteen sacks to the acre. He is one of the progressive up-to-date 
farmers, stoekraisers and dairymen of Tulare county, and those who 
know him and the quality of his land look for developments in the 
future which will be well worth studying. 

AVilliam J. McAdam was born August 27, 1887, in Pembina 
county (then in Dakota Territory). Along with his agricultural inter- 
ests he is now actively interested in the Castle Dome Silver and Lead 
mines of his father, Robert McAdam, they being located in Yuma 
county, Arizona. 


The Akin family is an old English one and the American branch 
of it was established before 1700. Still other Akins have come over 
from England since, and it was from pilgrims and pioneers that 
James M. Akin, who lives near Springville, Cal., was brought down 
through successive generations to his own. He was born in the state 
of New York in 1850, his mother dying at his birth, and in 1852 
his father came overland to California. The boy was reared as a 
member of the family of an uncle in his native state, attended school 
there and did chores on the farm until he was eighteen years old. 
Then he came to California, where his father had preceded him 
by about sixteen years. Locating in Sacramento, he remained there 
about one year, then came to Tulare county. His life here began 
in 1870 and for two years thereafter liis home was in the vicinity 
of Visalia. In 1880 he settled on his ranch of three hundred and 
twenty acres three miles from Springville. Early in his career here 
he engaged in stock-raising, in which he made so much success that 
he is considered one of the substantial men of his neighborhood. 
The confidence reposed by his fellow townsmen in his ability and 
intelligence is shown in the fact tliat they have conferred u]ion him 
for twentv rears the lionor of tlie office of school trustee. 


Farming and stock-raising have not cominauded all of Mr. Akin's 
attention. He and his son Claude have twelve mining claims, which 
will be developed soon, and the latter has copper and zinc mines 
near Spring-\'ille. In 1911 Mr. Akin started a nursery known as 
Akin's nursery, which is devoted to the raising of oranges. He 
makes a specialty of Washington navels, of which he has twenty 
thousand two-year-old budded trees. In 1913 thirty thousand more 
will be planted, the new industry promising to become very im- 
portant in this section. It was in 1880 that Mr. Akin married Sarah 
Hudson, who was born in California and who bore him live children, 
all of whom, except the youngest, are married. Their names are 
Claude, Lola, Lerta, Leeta and Melva. They are native children of 
California. All of them were born in Tulare county, and four of 
them were educated at Springville, aud the fifth is being educated 
there. Their mother died February 2, 1911, and was buried near 
Springville. It will he interesting to note that Mr. Akin was in- 
duced to come to California in quest of health. In order to be in 
the open air as much as possible he spent his first six years in the 
state hunting in the woods and on the plains. Pie relates that 
within a comparatively short time he and his brother-in-law killed 
seven bears. He has literally grown up with the country, and being 
a man of public spirit, has done much for the general welfare. Fra- 
ternally he is a member of the Court of Honor. 


One of the successful and liiglily esteemed of the younger 
business men of Hanford, Kiugs county, Cal., is AV. C. Gallaher, 
wholesale and retail dealer in meats. Born in Missouri, February 
11, 1874, Mr. Gallaher to the vicinit\ of Hanford when he was 
about eleven years old and grew to manhood in Kings county. His 
first business engagement was as an assistant in the meat 7uarket 
of E. Selbah, at Lemoore, where he remained for two and a lialf 
years, during wliich time Mr. Selbah passed away. Mr. Gallaher in 
partnership with I. Burlington then leased the market fi-oTu ilrs. 
Selbah ancl for a year and a half ran the business, but at the end of 
that time Mr. Gallaher sold out his interest in the market. During 
the succeeding three years he owned and operated the old Hanford 
Stables, one of the oldest livery and feed stables in the town, which 
was destroyed by fire shortly after he sold it. On September 10, 
1900. Mr. Gallaher opened a meat market on the site of the Vogel 
store on Seventh street, but this establishment was destroyed by fire 
January 3, 1903, and he later occupied a little shack which proved 


most inadequate to his needs. On the tirst of February, 1905, he 
moved into his present building on North Irwin street, and here 
he has since dond a general business in meat and kindred merchandise, 
both retail and wholesale. Mr. Gallaher took into partnership on 
January 1, 1912, G. T. Lundh, who assumed the duties of inside 
manager of the retail department, and in connection with this 
business Mr. Gallaher owns and leases on shares a three hundred 
and twenty-acre stock ranch five miles south of Hanford. He buys 
and feeds stock, and thus supplies his own market with the best of 
beef, also being a heavy shipper to the San Francisco market. 

All in all, his business is one of the largest of its kind in the 
county, and he is entitled to much credit for the fact that he started 
it on a very small scale and has gradually but steadily built it up to 
its present fine and promising proportions. 

In 1897 Mr. Gallaher married Miss Laura Hess of Tulare. 
Socially he affiliates with Hanford oi'ganizations of the Benevolent 
Protective Order of Elks, Woodmen of the World, and Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to all local bodies of the last men- 
tioned order, and he is also a member of the Portuguese Orders of 
I. D. E. S. and U. P. E. C. The same enterprise which he has 
exhibited in his private business he manifests in all that he does for 
the general welfare, for he has an abiding faith in the future of Han- 
ford and is ready at all times to do anything within his aliility to 
further its development and prosperity. 


The editor of the Exeter Sun, iiulilished at Exeter, Tulare county. 
Cal., was born in Constantine, Mich., in the late '60s, a son of Captain 
G. W. Knight, of Company E, Third Regiment, Minnesota Infantry, 
who served nearly five years including all of the period of the Civil 
war. and won praise for his bravery, especially at the time of the 
Indian uprising in Minnesota and Dakota in 1863, in the suppression 
of which he took part with his regiment. Captain Knight passed 
away in Nebraska in 1898. His widow is living in Los ^Vngcles 
county, Cal. 

The future editor of the Siai accompanied his parents to Webster 
county. Neb., when he was but a few years old, and there grew to 
manhood and acquired an education, beginning his active career as 
a school teaclier. In 188() he journeyed to California and spent a 
year in looking over the state, 1)ut went back to the Grasshopjier 
State, where he was married in 189.") to Miss Daisv M. Garner, of 


Invale, Neb., who has borue him a son now a student in tlie Exeter 
high school. 

In his early days, Mr. Knight turned his attention to newspaper 
work, almost entirely editorial and reportorial, and was frdiii time to 
time employed on the Omaha Bee, the Omaha Wmhl-II, xthl. the 
Lincoln Journal, the Kansas City Star and several papers in Xeliraska. 
Eventually he came to the conclusion that, to be a competent all-round 
newspaper man in business for himself, he should understand the 
types and presses. So, dropping work at far better pay, he took 
employment in the press rooms of the Hebron (Neb.) Journal, and 
later he held cases on the Denver Daily News and other large papers, 
also working in and out of editorial offices as occasion offered. 

Soon after his marriage, Mr. Knight turned to the soil as a 
farmer in Nebraska. A certain amount of success rewarded him 
for several years, but two or three "lean" years drove him out of 
the business. In 1900 he passed a civil service examination and was 
given a responsible position in the semi-secret service of the United 
States, in which his duties consisted in part in obtaining data and 
official figures required by the Government. In this work he traveled 
over most of the Middle and Mountain states, encountering many 
dangers, but turning in such satisfactory information that he was 
urged to retain the place. He resigned, however, and went to .VUierta, 
Canada, stayed a year, then came back to California. 

Here he again engaged in newspaper work, at first as editor and 
part owner of the Oxnard Sun. Later that paper was merged with 
the O.rnard Courier and he continued as editor, but in 1905 he sold 
out his interests at Oxnard and became editor and part owner of 
the San Pedro Neivs, a daily. After six months he sold out and was 
given editorial employment on the Los Angeles Herald, which he gave 
up a few months later to go on the Los Angeles Examiner. In Jan- 
uary, 1908, he resigned and moved to Exeter to take an interest in 
the Stin, of which he later became sole proprietor and editor. 

The Sim is a sprightly paper, more newsy than most papers pub- 
lished in small towns, well liked and well patronized. It has prac- 
tically grown up with the town, is now twelve years old, and as a 
booster of Exeter and vicinity it has been a factor in the uplift of 
the city. To considerable extent Mr. Knight is interested in real 
estate, having sold many of the choicest tracts in the vicinity, lie 
is considered one of the best authorities and judges of land in the 
county. He is also interested in banking, having a large number of 
shares in the new Citrus Bank, which was established in Exeter 
in May, 1912, and was offered a directorshii) in this institution but 
did not care to accept. Fraternally, he affiliates with the Masons, 
Red Men, Modern Woodmen and other secret and beneficial organiza- 
tions, including the Masonic auxiliary order of the Eastern Star. 


He has one of the finest homes in Exeter, a large house and an orange 
grove inside the city limits. He is a member of the Exeter Board of 
Trade and in many ways has demonstrated a public spirit that makes 
him a most helpful citizen with his pen and otherwise. 


The profession of veterinary medicine and surgery has within 
the last half-century taken a recognized place among the learned pro- 
fessions and in its membership are included many practitioners who 
have given to its study and research as much time and thought as 
the average physician. The veterinary colleges are well equipped 
and their courses of study are very thorough, enabling their students 
to become most efficient in their branch of treatment. One of the most 
proficient and popular veterinarians in central California is Dr. George 
Gordon, whose establishment at the end of South Douty street, Han- 
ford, is one of the places of interest of that town. 

Dr. Gordon was born in Scotland, January 4, 1870, and was there 
reared to manhood. His earlier education was obtained in public 
schools in Banffshire and in Dundee, and later he took a course at 
the London Polytechnic, wliere he gave two years to the preparation 
for his professional education, which was finished in the Veterinary 
College of San Francisco, except for six mouths of experience at 
the Chicago stockyards, where he did post mortem work. His diploma, 
given him in San Francisco, bears date 1904. The first fifteen months 
of his professional experience were spent at Lemoore, whence he came 
to Hanford to establish liis veterinary hospital, which has stalls 
for the accommodation of twenty horses. The hospital and grounds 
are located at the south end of South Douty street and occupy five 
acres. It is fully equip]3ed with chemical and microscopical labora- 
tories. There is also a dental department in connection, with a com- 
plement of dental and surgical instruments, and he is thus enabled 
to give every branch of the veterinary profession the best possible 
service. In San Francisco, before he entered the veterinary college, 
he conducted a dog hospital and became well known as a canine ex- 
pert, and he also makes the treatment of diseases of the dog a feature 
of his practice here. In February, 1910, he was appointed livestock 
inspector for Kings county and in April following was made a state 
dairy inspector. He finds time from his professional duties to affiliate 
with various fraternal bodies, including the Royal Order of Scottish 
Clans, Lemoore lodge and Hanford chapter. No. 74, R.A.M., the In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World. 
The able assistant of Dr. George Gordon is W. D. Gordon, who 

~^^X^^£i^e^ ~(3^^-i.^^ir2>^ 


has been identitied with his enterprise since 1906 and is now taking 
the course at the San Francisco Veterinary College. He will grad- 
uate with the class of 1913, after which he will enter activelj^ upon 
the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery. 

Dr. George Gordon left Scotland in 1888, when he was eighteen 
years old, and has since returned to his native land four times. His 
travels in South America have been extensive and he passed two 
years in the West Indies as a representative of the International 
Phosphate company, and was for a time located on Connitable island, 
off the northeast coast of French Guiana, near the city of Cayenne. 
While in South America he became assistant superintendent of the 
aforesaid International Phosphate company, ancl thus had a most 
valuable and interesting experience in a line only indirectly connected 
with his profession, but one of great importance in furthering pro- 
duction and commerce. 

J. W. B. RICE 

As farmer, cattleman and orange grower, J. W. B. Rice, whose 
activities center in the vicinity of Lemon Cove, has become well 
known throughout Tulare county. He is a native of Iowa, born 
December 30, 1860, who lived in his native state until he was eighteen 
years of age. At that time he set out to make his own way in the 
world, and Nebraska was the scene of his earlier independent labors. 
He had already had some experience as game collector for Central 
Park in New York City. After reaching Nebraska he found employ- 
ment until in the fall of 1882, when he went to Minnesota and thence 
back to Iowa. There he was employed three years collecting game for 
said Central Park, among them the Whooping Crane or American 
Ostrich which were worth about $30 apiece. In capturing tliese 
birds he had many enjoyable and interesting experiences and some 
that were more unpleasant at the time than they are as reminiscences 
of the past. In April, 1886, he came to California, and in 1889 lie 
married Miss Cora Marks, a native of Iowa, who bore him several 
children: Charles James and Mary Clementine (twins); Pearl, aged 
nineteen; Roy M., aged seventeen; Villa Frankie, Elmo D., Inez, 
Emma, Alice, Fern and Robert. Villa passed away, having been 
drowned when eighteen months old. Those of the younger children 
who ai'e of the school age are acquiring education. Mr. Rice's father, 
James Nicholas Rice, a native of Indiana, and his good wife are still 
living in Cherokee coimty, Iowa. Mrs. Rice's parents descended from 
German ancestors ; her father is dead, but her mother survives. 

A vear after he came to California, Mr. Rice, who had alreadv 


beguu in the cattle business, bought t'oi'ty acres of land. He soon 
bomesteaded one hundred and sixty acres and acquired another one 
hundred and sixty acres by purchase. Securing other tracts subse- 
quently, he came in time to own six hundred acres. He has about 
twenty acres of oranges but devotes much of his attention to cattle. 
When he came to the county, a little more than a quarter of a century 
ago, there was no business but cattle raising and the inhabitants were 
all cattle men or cattlemen's wives and children. In the development 
that has intervened he has had his full part, for he is public-spiritedly 
devoted to all affairs of the community. Politically he is a Socialist. 

Mr. Eice is the pioneer orange grower of Tulare county. He 
took the first prize at the Citrus Pair at Fresno before the orange 
business of Tulare county had started, and in 1894 exhibited some 
beautiful oranges at the Palace Hotel at Visalia, which were the first 
oranges grown from budded trees to secure a premium in Tulare 
county. Mr. Rice is the manager of the Marx and Rice Co., growers 
and shippers of oranges, pomelos, limes and lemons; also nursery 

irAN C. BURKE, D. D. S. 

The ])rofessiou of dentistry approaches nearer and nearer to 
the realm of exact science with each passing decade and only those 
of its devotees who keep informed of the details of its progress win 
permanent success. One of the up-to-date doctors of dental surgery 
of central California is Ivan C. Burke, of Hanford, Kings county. 
Dr. Burke is a progressive son of a progressive state, having been 
born in Crawford county, Kans., September 21, 1885. When he 
was about five years old he was taken to W^alla Walla, Wash., in the 
public schools of which city he received his practical English educa- 
tion. Desiring to follow a professional career, in 1904, when about 
nineteen years old, he entered the dental department of the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons of San Francisco, from which he was 
duly graduated with the D. D. S. degree in June, 1907, immediately 
after which Dr. Burke began the practice of his profession in Seattle. 
Wash. In 1908 he came to Hanford and opened an office in the First 
National Bank building whore he has since devoted himself with 
much success to the jiractice of his profession, keeping abreast 
of the times, employing the licst facilities in the way of instruments 
and appliances, and his work is of a class well calculated to give 
permanent satisfaction. 

As he has prospered \n his jH-ofossion Dr. Burke has from time 


to time made judicious investments in real estate. Besides some 
good town property, his holdings include one hundred and sixty acres 
near Walla Walla, Wash., which under the superintendency of a hired 
farmer is producing good alfalfa in paying quantities. At Hanford 
Dr. Burke is popular in all circles, political, professional, social and 
fraternal, and his public spirit has brought him high esteem as a 
citizen. He is a member of the Independent Order of Red Men and 
is devoted heart and soul to all of the interests of that beneficent 
order. His marriage in 1909 united him with Miss Vera A. Donald- 
son, of Kansas, a charming woman of many accomplishments, who 
is bravely aiding him in his struggle for professional and social 


A native of New York, G. X. AVendliug came to California in 
January, 1888, and was in the employ of the Valley Lumber Company 
of Fresno until November 3, 1889, when he located at Ilanford. 
Probably no man did more than he to promote the establishment of 
Kings county in 189.3. To that end he labored indefatigably and with 
great efficiency for months, appearing so often at Sacramento as 
sponsor for the proposed organization that he came to be known as 
the "Father of Kings County." When he came to the town he 
engaged in the lumber business on his own account and he was one 
of Hanford 's foremost citizens until February 21, 1897, when he 
removed to San Francisco, where he has large and varied interests. 
He organized in that city the California Pine Box and Lumber Co., 
which turns out one hundred and sixty million feet of box material 
annually. He organized also the Weed Lumber Company, of Weed, 
Cal., the productiveness of which he has seen increased from eight 
million feet of lumber in its first year to seventy-five million feet 
at the present time. An idea of the extent of his activities may be 
gleaned from the following list, showing his connection with various 
enterprises. Pie is a director in the Anglo & London-Paris National 
Bank of San Francisco and president of the Napa Lumlier Company, 
the Stanislaus Lumber Company, the Big Basin Lumber Comjiany, 
vice-president of the Klamath Development Company of Klamath 
Falls, Ore., and president of the Wendling-Johnson Lumber Com- 
pany, the California Pine Box Lumber Company, the Weiidliui!: 
Lumber Company, the Wendling-Nathan Luml)er Comjiany, tlic Weed 
Lumber Company and the First National Bank of Wccil. 



Those admirable public utilities of Tulare, its telephone and 
telegraph service, are controlled in part bj- the corporation named 
above, which is officered as follows -. G. C. Harris, president ; Dr. T. D. 
Blodgett, vice-president; Sol A. Rosenthal, secretary and treasurer; 
G. C^ Harris, S. B. Anderson, N. G. Cottle, Dr. T."D. Blodgett and 
Sol A. Rosenthal, directors. This company took over the plant of the 
Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company, and transformed 
its Tulare business into that of a local corporation. Nearly all the 
stockholders are men of Tulare and vicinity, and the people of the 
town take much interest in the company's success and advancement. 
The Home company has put in two miles of cable and practically 
rebuilt the line, discarding everything antiquated in the operating 
system for something up to date and thoroughly efficient. This has 
been done regardless of cost and with a view single to the very best 
service, a fact which the business community fully appreciates. The 
present system, known as the common battery system, is so satisfac- 
tory that the number of the company's patrons has been increased 
three hundred in the last three years. The president .of the new com- 
pany was its founder and the chief promoter of the project along 
local lines. A second company known as the Lindsay Home Tele- 
phone and Telegraph company, was subsequently organized, which 
company was incorporated with aims and conditions similar to 
those of the Tulare City company, and the plant was bought from 
private parties in Lindsay. Plans are now being perfected to im- 
prove it and put the system on a plane with that of the Tulare City 
company. Both companies make connections with the long distance 
lines of the Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph company. 

The president of this company, Gurdon C. Harris, a man of long 
and informing experience in the telephone business, was long con- 
nected with the business of the Bell Telephone company in Minnesota, 
where he was born and passed the earlier years of his life. ?Ie came 
to California in March, 1905, still in the service of the Bell company, 
for a time as division wire chief, the duties of which position took 
him to practically every part of the state, and for two years his 
headquarters were at Sacramento. There he became a member of 
the Sacramento lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks, and since he came to Tulare he has been made a Mason in Tu- 
lare City Lodge No. 326, F. & A. M. In a position in which be is in con- 
stant touch with the people of his community, in a social as well as in 
a business way, he is commending himself to all with whom he has 
communication as a courteous and obliging semi-public official who 
has the interest of the patrons of his company and of the people at 
large close to his heart and desires to render to everyone every due 
consideration or concession. 




Visalia has no more prominent citizen along indnstrial and agri- 
enltnral lines than Orhiudo Moore. The son of Henry C. and Amelia 
(Renalds) Moore, he was born at Venice Hill, Tulare county, Cal., 
March 30, 1869. His father and mother were natives respectively 
of Missouri and Iowa. 

Henry C. Moore came to California in the early '60s, taught 
school in Tulare county and raised sheep, and later he operated one 
of the pioneer sawmills in the mountains which was one of the 
first in this vicinity, l)nt at length he returned to Missouri. Eight 
years later he came back to California with a carload of cattle and 
went into the cattle business on a section in the swamp lands of 
Tulare county with R. E. Plyde as a partner. Eventually, however, 
he sold out his interest to Mr. Hyde and went to Puget Sound, 
where he farmed and operated a saw and shingle mill seven years. 
He came again to Tulare county in 1900 and has since lived there. 

In some of the ventures mentioned above, Orlando Moore was 
his father's helper and after a time he engaged extensively in the 
cultivation of watermelons, in one season he receiving $2700 from 
the sale of melons; at the Fourth of July celebration at Visalia in 
1903 he had seventeen horses and five wagons selling melons through 
the town, he and his brother Edward making a fine display of his 
product with five four-horse teams. Mr. Moore was the pioneer 
orange grower at Venice Cove. Buying twenty acres there, he raised 
the trees from seeds, brought fourteen acres of the fruit to bearing 
and sold out for $14,500. The nursery business also commanded the 
attention of Mr. Moore and his brother for a while. In 1910 he 
sold out his Venice Cove property and bought twenty acres near 
the west city limits of Visalia, which he has improved and put on 
the market in half-acre and quarter-acre lots. He owns also a 
mountain ranch of one hundred and sixty acres and one hundred and 
sixty acres near Spa on the Santa Fe, five miles northeast of Alpaugh. 
One of his possessions is a fine auto-truck with a capacity of fifty 
people, and with which he made an experimental run to San Fran- 
cisco with fruit that he took through without bruising or otherwise 
injuring it. He contemplates a like trip with his auto-truck to Port- 
land, Ore., with fruit from Tulare coimty, and it will doubtless at- 
tract much attention to this part of the state. The raising of toma- 
toes has been another experiment of Mr. Moore's wiiich has ]ii'oved 
noteworthy. He set half an acre to fifteen hundred vines, and sold 
his product as high as ten cents a pound ; for tomatoes grown on five 
acres in a single season he received $1750. 

Mr. Moore's latest venture has been in the Held nt' iiiveiilicui. 
In the year 1912 he took out a patent uixui a dctaclialile tread for 


any sized double-tired auto-tnick. This invention enables the truck 
to be changed into a tractor for tield and farm purposes, and it bids 
fair to become an extremely useful and popular devise. Its advan- 
tages may be listed as follows: Protection to the rubber tire; in- 
crease of tractile power so that it can be used in a field for the 
purposes of plowing or discing and seeding summer fallowed or loose 
sandy land; prevention of slipping upon a muddy or sandy road; 
great strength and durability; inexpensive and capable of lasting 
a lifetime; and easily and quickly adjusted. 

Socially Mr. Moore is identified with the Fraternal Brotherhood. 
He and Mrs. Moore are members of the Methodist Episcopal church 
at Visalia. He married, in 1903, Muriel Witherell, a native of Knox- 
ville. III. and they have three children, Eamou. Ealph Spencer 
and Kathrvn Moore. 


In Iowa George W. Baumaun lived until he was five years old, 
and after that he lived in Kansas until 1878, when he came to Visalia, 
Cal. He was born in the Hawkeye State March 10, 1859. February 
9, 1890, he married Miss Martha A. Lathrop, daughter of Ezra 
Lathrop, a California pioneer, and she bore him two sons, Grover 
Cleveland and Ezra Gottfried Baumann. A separate biogra]-)liical 
sketch of Ezra Lathrop appears elsewhere in these pages. 

Soon after Mrr Baumann located at Visalia he began farming, 
but three years later returned to the East, to come back a few months 
later bringing his parents. The family located near Farmersville, 
where he operated rented land. Soon after Ms marriage he home- 
steaded one hundred and sixty acres near Lindsay, where Mr. and 
Mrs. Baumann settled, and at the same time engaged in the stock- 
raising lousiness in the mountains. Later on he bought three hun- 
dred and twenty acres at Poplar, where they engaged in running a 
good-sized dairy in connection with the farming and stock business. 
In 1906 he rented his farm and moved to Lindsay, whence in the 
following year he moved to Tulare, which was his home as long as 
he lived. His death occurred January 16, 1909. A man of nnich 
public spirit, he was a helpful friend to every good movement for 
the benefit of the community. Fraternally he affiliated with the Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of ITnited Workmen 
through their local organizations in Tulare. 

Mrs. Baumann is identified with the order of Royal Neighbors, 
is a stockholder in the Tulare National Bank and is extensively en- 
gaged in stockraising on twenty-two hundred acres of land, carrying 


an average of three hundred to four liundred head of stock. She was 
one of the pioneers of Tulare City, eomino- here with her parents 
before either a schoolhouse or a church had been erected here, and 
later for eleven years she taught in the public schools of Tulare 
county and city. She has a distinct recollection of the digging of 
the first grave, so far as the white population is concerned, at Tulare, 
when her schoolteacher's wife, Mrs. Ha slip, was buried, she being 
the first white person who was laid to rest in the city of Tulare. 
She reiuembers when religious meetings were held in the waiting 
room of the depot and has a vivid recollection of a Christmas tree, 
gifts from which were distributed in that same room. A woman 
of forceful character and of winning jjersonality, she does much 
good and has many friends. 


A native Canadian, Robert C. Clarke, of Tulare, Tulare county, 
Cal., was born in New Brunswick, in quaint old St. John, December 
29, 1829, and when this is written is in his eighty-fourth year. He 
was educated in his native town and there learned the carpenter's 
trade. In 1852 he boarded the ship Java, an old whaler, bound for 
San Francisco by way of Cape Horn, under an arrangement permit- 
ting him to earn his passage. Richly he earned the money he might 
have saved in that way — if he had had it. At Valparaiso he went 
ashore when the cargo, consisting of building materials, was sold, 
to be delivered at Caldera. Finding employment at his trade in 
this latter Chilian port, he earned enough money to pay his fare 
from there to his objective point, but it took him about half a year 
to do it under labor conditions prevailing there at the time; he ar- 
rived at San Francisco in the fall of that year and went almost im- 
mediately to the mines. 

In the diggings at Sonora, Tuolunme county, he labored a short 
time with such indifferent success that when he was offered eight 
dollars a day to work at his trade at Stockton he fairly jumped at a 
chance to better his condition. Two years he was employed at Stock- 
ton, then went to Knight's Ferry, Stanislaus county, and resumed 
mining and, not altogether expectedly, met with some little success. 
He constructed an irrigation conduit for running water into his 
claim, and his crude and primitive ditch was the beginning of the ex- 
tensive irrigation system now being completed in that section, down 
through the San Joaquin country. That his part in this great work 
may have a historical record it should be said that his work on his 
ditch was begun in the early '."ids. Afining some of tlic time in .\ma- 


dor county, as well as at Knight's Ferry, he made the latter place 
his headquarters for ten years. For a time he was in the mercantile 
business, with James Allen as a partner. Sheep raising on the 
ranges along the Tuolumne river also commanded his attention tem- 
porarily. It was in 1875 that he came to Tulare county and bought 
one hundred and sixty acres, three miles north of Tipton, where he 
ranched successfully till 1909, when he retired from active life and 
came to Tulare City to pass the years of rest that were before him. 
In the eai-lier period of his farming he grew grain and alfalfa. Later 
he ran a dairy and had an annual average of fifty acres of alfalfa. 
Alfalfa seed also he made a source of revenue. He bred some fine 
horses, ranging in weight from fourteen hundred to eighteen hun- 
dred pounds. 

Tulare City Lodge No. 326 includes Mr. Clarke in its member- 
ship. He married, in 1887, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson, a native of 
Pennsylvania, and they have children named Nettie A. and Roberta 
C. Samuel Sampson, Mrs. Clarke's father, was born in Ireland and 
eventually made the United States his adopted country. Twice he 
came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, first in 1851. 
He mined for gold in Tuolumne county and went back to Pennsyl- 
vania, whence he had come, in the late '50s. There he spent the 
declining years of his life and passed to his reward. His wife was, 
before her marriage, Miss McKewon. In 1859 she and Mrs. Clarke, 
her only child, came to California by way of the isthmus and estab- 
lished a home in Stanislaus county, where Mrs. Clarke grew to wom- 
anhood and was married. 


In Colchester, McDonough county. 111., AViufield Scott Bloyd, now 
a prominent business man of Hanford, Kings county, Cal., was born 
November 18, 1858, son of W. Washington Bloyd, of whom a sketch 
appears elsewhere in this publication. In 1861 his parents brought 
him across the plains to California and settled in Tehama county, 
removing from there to the San Joaquin valley, and in 1871 located in 
Kings county. Here they made their home until after the Mussel 
Slough fight, when they turned their faces toward the Northwest and 
for a year and a half resided in Oregon. Then they returned to Cali- 
fornia and bought a ranch at Summit Lake, in Fresno coimty. wliicli 
they operated two years and sold out, in 1892 coming to Grang(>ville, 
Kings county, where they began raising fruit. 

In 1905 Mr. Bloyd came from the ranch to Hanford, and he has 
since made his home in that citv. For three vears he bousiht and sold 


hay and he and his brother Levi are now contractors of cement work, 
doing an increasing volume of business, which requires the investment 
of considerable capital and the employment from time to time of a 
number of skilled workmen. In different parts of the city are to be 
seen evidences of their handicraft and enterprise. 

Mr. Bloyd affiliates with the Fraternal Aid and the Woodmen of 
the World. As a citizen he is pub]ic-s])irited and helpful to all the 
interests of the commvmity and in political i)rinciple is Kepublican. In 
1881 he married Miss Louisa Samuels, a native of California, who died 
in 1900. In 1902 he married Mrs. E. Eddy. He has two daughters, 
Mrs. John Bassett and Miss Rubv Blovd. 


That old and reliable dairyman, William Henry Thayer, of Cor- 
coran, Kings county, Cal., is a native of Dunkirk, Chautauqua coimty, 
N. Y., and was born November 15, 1834. He was brought up to farm- 
ing and to country work of various kinds and educated in such public 
schools as were available to him in his childhood and boyhood. He 
came to California in 1863, and engaged in farming and the breeding 
of horses, cattle and hogs, a business which he has since made his life 
work. From time to time as his means has permitted he has bought 
tracts of land, his first venture in the acquirement of land in Kings 
county being in 1881, when he took up three hundred and twenty acres 
in the Dallas district, as swamp and overflow lands, and this he has 
successfully reclaimed. In the dyking of this land Mr. Thayer found 
the skeletons of several human beings, evidently the remains of de- 
ceased warriors who had engaged the Mexicans. On Mill creek, in Tu- 
lare county, he also acquired a hundred and sixty acres, which he has 
deeded to his children, and later in 1900 he bought the hundred and 
sixty acre tract on which he now lives, situated one mile east of Cor- 
coran. He operates three hundred and twenty acres which is inchaded 
in his dairy plant. His homestead is a fine large property, with good 
Imildings of all kinds, including a residence which has many modern 
improvements. His cattle are of good breeds, as fine specimens as 
can be ]3roduced, and he has become known in his market for the 
excellence and purity of his products, which find ready sale wherever 
they have been introduced. 

By his marriage, which was celebrated April 18, 1877, Mr. Thayer 
identified his fortunes with those of Miss Sarah M. Austin, who was 
born at Sacramento, Cal., March 27, 1863. Mrs. Thayer has borne 
her husband the following children, who will be found mentioned here 
in the order of their nativity: Arthur Y., Enos E., Lillie, Henry, 
Jennie, Cora. Clarence. Mabel and Lester. 


Of progressive ideas and patriotic impulses, Mr. Thayer is a 
model citizen, who performs bis whole duty as such in society and at 
the polls. While he is not an active politician in the ordinary sense 
of the phrase, he takes a lively and helpful interest in all questions of 
public policy and has never been known to withhold his encouragement 
from any measure which in his opinion has promised to bring better 
things to the lives of anv considerable number of his fellow citizens. 


As secretary and treasurer of the Tulare County Beekeepers' 
Association, Charles TV. Tompkins is most prominent in that industry. 
He is the son of Caleb and Lavonia (Saxby) Tompkins. His father 
was born in Canada, his mother in Wisconsin; the former died Sep- 
tember 11. 1908. the latter Au,?ust 19, 1879. Caleb Tompkins came 
to California and settled at Tulare in 1882 and found work at his 
trade, which was that of the carpenter, and was elected constable 
and served for some eight years as a night watchman. He was a 
man of great decision of character, brave to a fault, and was very 
efficient as a peace officer. Following are the names of his children 
who survive at this time: Charles W., who is mentioned below; 
Benjamin W., who married Gussie Woodard and has four children 
living at Corte Madera. Marin coimty, Cal.; Ida. who married Jesse 
Halla and has two childi-en; and Fred, who married Margaret Frary 
and has two children. 

Charles W. Tom])kins was born at Iowa Falls, Hardin county, la.. 
February 14, 1868. A quarter part of his boyhood was spent at 
Atchison. Kan., and he acquired a practical knowledge of the car- 
penter's trade in Tulare and was for seven years a railroad carpenter 
in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, in charge of 
a crew of men who worked wherever their services were required 
along the road from Mendota to Los Angeles, also on the Santa Bar- 
bara branch from Saugus to Santa Barbara. He assisted in the con- 
struction of many residences at and near Tulare, among them those 
of B. A. Farmer. A. E. Miot. Mr. Wheeler, William Muller, Mrs. 
Thomas Thompson, James Halanan and C. S. Nicewonger. He helped 
also to build the Crow block and other business buildings. His spe- 
cialty in all this work was in putting in fine interior finish, in which 
he is recognized as an expert. 

In 1894 Mr. Tompkins engaged in the bee business and soon be- 
came an expert apiarist. He took swarms of bees from trees and in 
one instance cut down thirty trees to obtain one swarm. All his sjiare 
time he devoted to the study of books and journals giving instruction 
in different phases of bee culture. In time he had acquired three 


hundred and fifty swarms of bees and he is the owner of many at 
the present time. His apiaries, each consisting of sixty hives, are 
distributed in different favorable sections of the county and are 
moved from place to place, according to season. He is at present 
secretary and treasurer of the Tulare County Beekeepers' Association. 
In the S23ring of the year he j^laces his bees over near the mountains, in 
the orange section, in order that they may gather honey from the 
orange blossoms, the honey thus produced being sweet, clear and pure 
and of an extra quality. In this section of Tulare county the bee busi- 
ness is rapidly growing; eleven carloads of honey were shipped from 
Tulare in 1911 and six carloads in 1912, which was a rather unfavor- 
able season on account of the prevailing drought. In this industry 
Mr. Tompkins is one of the leaders. He possesses public spirit to 
such a degree that he is a most useful citizen, always to be depended 
upon in emergencies calling for activity in behalf of the general good. 
He is identified with Tulare City lodge. Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, and with the local organization of the Independent Order of 

In 1899 Mr. Tompkins married Nina L. Eeams, a native of 
Tennessee, and she has borne bim sons named Charles A. and Win- 
fred W. 


The people of Lemoore have many times been congratulated on 
having such a genial and eflScient postmaster as Frank Powell, who has 
held the office continuously since his first appointment by President 
Harrison. Mr. Powell is a native of Sacramento, Cal., bom March 22, 
1867, a son of F. M. Powell. He was brought up at Brighton, near 
Sacramento, and came to the vicinity of Lemoore with his parents in 
187.3, when he was about six years old. The elder Powell turned his 
attention to farming and the boy became a student in the Lemoore 
public school and later was graduated from the high school at Tulare. 

The first postal work done by Mr. Powell was in the Tulare 
postoffice, where he was for two years a deputy under Postmaster 
M. D. Witt. Usually postmasters are appointed chiefly for political 
reasons, but Mr. Powell was called to the postmastership of Lemoore 
because he was experienced in the work that the postoffice demanded 
and could adapt himself to the situation more easily and become an 
efficient postmaster with greater facility than any other man in 
town. He was first appointed under the Harrison administration 
and he has since been five times reappointed. His management of 
the office has put it on a business plane considerably higher than 
that usually occupied by postoffices of towns of about the poinilation 


of Lemoore. So far as he lias been able he has brought the estab- 
lishment to a system resembling in some ways that which obtains 
in cities of considerable importance. 

Elight miles from Lemoore, in the midst of the Empire district, 
is a fine ranch owned by Mr. Powell, which he devotes to the cultiva- 
tion of alfalfa and the raising of fine hogs. Politically he is a Re- 
publican and socially he is a Woodman of the World. As a citizen 
his public spirit is equal to all demands which tend toward municipal 
welfare. He married, in 1898, Miss Belle Adams of Kings county, 
and they have a daughter whom they have named Ella. 


A prominent citizen of Tulare county, genial and whole-souled, 
who has since 1910 been manager of the Newman ranch, which is 
located eleven miles south of the city mentioned, is Arthur Swall. 
This property, which consists of thirty-four hundred acres, was bought 
in 1909 by J. B. Newman of Santa Monica, Cal. The principal busi- 
ness of the ranch is dairying and stock-raising; one hundred and 
twenty cows are milked, and about two hundred and fifty hogs are 
fed. One hundred and fifty acres of the ranch are devoted to alfalfa 
and before the expiration of two years seven hundred acres will be 
given over to that crop. Three hundred acres are farmed to grain 
and five hundred head of cattle are kept. There are on the ranch 
two thirty-horse power motors to provide water, one two-horse 
power and one one-horse power motor to operate cream separators, 
and other small motors for pumping water for domestic use and for 
the cold storage plant, ice being manufactured on the place. The ranch 
is irrigated from Tule river by an eight-mile ditch, a motor being, 
used to raise water thirty-five feet from wells. The buildings on 
the property are modern, including two barns for sixty-two cows 
and one large horse stable. The bunk-house for the men cost $3000 
and the concrete cream house $1800, and the buildings to house 
machinery and the sheds to protect vehicles are ample and up-to- 
date. One of the most notable of the buildings is the manager's 
residence, which is outfitted with all modern improvements. The 
entire place is lighted by electricity. Twelve to fifteen men and 
thirtj-two horses are kept busy on the ranch the year round. The 
cream from the dairy is sent to a creamery. 

The nucleus of this ranch was one hundred and sixty acres of 
land homesteaded by William Swall, father of Arthur. The latter 
was born on the place and grew to manhood on his father's home- 
stead north of Tulare. From his bovhood he had been familiar 

/^^^J^^L^ ^^iLj-ztw-j 


with all the details of ranch life and enterj^rise, his first venture 
being in partnership with his father in the rental for a year of 
orchard land near Visalia. Then he bought forty acres four miles 
southwest of that city, on which he began farming and set out twenty 
acres of peach trees and devoted ten acres to alfalfa, giving the rest 
of the place over to pasturage. He made many improvements on 
the ranch and in 1910 leased it to his brother-in-law on shares, in 
order to accept his present position with Mr. Newman. He is a 
stockholder in the Rochdale store at Tulare and Mr. Newman is a 
stockholder in the Dairyman's Co-operative creamery, the headquar- 
ters of which is in that city. 

In 1899 Mr. Swall married Miss Maud Gum, of Hanford, Cal., 
and they have three children: Victor, at this time (1913), eleven 
years old; Harold, five years old; and Richard, an infant. Frater- 
nally Mr. Swall affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
of Tulare, being identified with lodge, encampment and the auxiliary 
organization of Rebekahs, and he also holds membership in a local 
division of the Fraternal Brotherhood. As a citizen he is public- 
spirited to a degree that makes him helpful to all local interests. 


One of the sturdy characters in the business life of Exeter is 
Hugh L. Hamilton, a blacksmith there. Born in 1861, in Mississippi 
county. Ark., he was a son of Andrew Hamilton, a native of Ireland. 
His mother died when he was three years old and he was only in his 
eighth year when his father passed away. About a year after his 
second bereavement, he went with his grandfather and the latter 's 
family to Missouri, where he remained three years. In 1872 he was 
brought to Tulare county, Cal., and his education, begun in Missouri, 
was continued in the public schools here. He was taken into the family 
of his uncle, Hugh Hamilton, for whom he was named. In his early 
life he worked at stock-raising and later for a considerable time gave 
his attention to both that and grain farming, meanwhile learning the 
blacksmith's trade and devoting himself to it as occasion offered. 
Eventually he turned his attention entirely to blacksmithing, and his 
shop in Exeter is one of the leading concerns of its kind in that part 
of the county. 

When Mr. Hamilton came to Tulare county there were few settlers 
in file vicinity of Exeter and the whole country round about was new 
and undevelo{)ed. Stock-raising and grain-growing were the principal 
interests for many years. His imcle had one of the big stock ranches 
of the time and locality, and he gave his ne])hew a fair start in life. 


At one time Mr. Hamiltou owued five hundred and ninety acres of 
land and did well as a farmer, but his inclination made him a follower 
of his chosen trade. 

In 1884 Mr. Hamilton united his fortunes with those of Miss 
Mildred Ferril, a native of Missouri, who bore him six children, five 
of whom are living. She died in 1895, and in 1897 he married Ida 
May Butts, a native of California. By his second marriage he has 
had two children, one of whom is deceased. The other, Harvey W. 
Hamilton, is a student in the Exeter high school. In his political 
affiliations Mr. Hamilton is a Democrat. He is identified with the 
Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of the World and is a loyal 
citizen, for no worthy interest of the connnuuity is without his en- 


Another lowan who is succeeding in Tulare county, Cal., is 
Lionel W. Marshall, of Tulare. Mr. Marshall was born in Marshall 
county, in the central part of Iowa, January 10, 1857. When he was 
fifteen years old he was taken to Yankton, S. Dak., by his parents, 
who maintained the family home there two years, then, in 1874, came 
to California, locating in Los Angeles. The elder Marshall was a 
builder, and the son gained a jjractical knowledge of the carpenter's 
trade under his instruction. He, in an earlier day, had acquired 
similar experience in England, where he first saw the light of day. 
From Los Angeles father and sou went to Pomona, where they 
erected the first building in the town, which, as it happened, was a 
hotel. They w-ere kept busy there, contracting and building, three 
years, then went back to Los Angeles. Soon Lionel W. Marshall 
built homes in Tulare for Thomas H. Thompson and Banker Lathrop. 
He remained in tlie town during the period 1907-08 and moved to 
Lindsay, where he built himself a fine home and fine residences for 
James Reynolds, Edward Halleck, John Walker and Messrs. Metcalf 
and Evans. He also remodeled the building of the National Bank 
of Lindsay, and while he was operating there went over to Visalia 
and built residences for A. W. Wing and James Richardson. He 
took up his residence in Tulare in September, 1911, and soon after- 
ward erected the H. A. Cliarters home in that city. Even the most 
fleeting inspection of the structures he has erected conveys an idea 
of their artistic design, workmanlike construction and solid per- 
manency. They are ornaments to the towns in which they stand and 
the best possible advertisement of his skill and ability. Some of liis 
recent architectural achievements arc in evidence and he has in hand 


contracts for execution in tlie near future wliich cannot but add to 
his laurels. 

In 1906 Mr. Marshall married Miss Elizabeth Parker, a daughter 
of Andrew Parker, a |)ioneer at Monrovia. He is a member of the 
Visalia body of the order of Moose. In the affairs of the community 
he is interested and helpful. 


In the province of Quebec, Canada, forty-nine miles west of the 
city of the same name, Gideon Loreudo was born, September 17, 1846, 
a son of Cyril and Locadie (Delcours) Lorendo, natives of Canada. 
His father, who was a farmer, held the office of sheriff more than 
forty years. When Gideon left his native province he went to Lowell, 
Mass., and found employment in a cotton mill. Later he worked in a, 
sawmill, then for five years he traveled throughout New England, then 
went west by way of the Great Lakes and in 1869 stopped at Duluth, 
Minn. There were at that time only five cabins in the place and they 
were occupied by half-breed Indians. He found there employment con- 
nected with lumbering, but soon went back to the province of Quebec 
where he married Jane L. Bounty, a native of Vermont, who became 
the mother of his eight children: Minnie, Napoleon, Ellen, Philip, 
Louisa, Alfred, Albert and Josephine. His second marriage was to 
Elizabeth Ruch, a native of Oregon. Their children are named Wil- 
liam, Peter and Agnes. Agnes is attending school at Orosi. Napoleon 
married Jessie Woods, and resides in Oakland, Cal., and has two 
children. Ellen married John Fisher of Mariposa county, Cal., and 
has five daughters. Philip married Lulu Beggs; their home is in Mono 
county and they have two children. Alfred married Ethel Griggs and 
they live at San Francisco. Albert, who is an engineer on the rail- 
road l)elonging to the mill company at Sugarpine, Cal., married Pearl 
Uslis and they have a son and a daughter. Josephine married Ira 
Thomas ; they live at Hanford and have two children. Mr. Lorendo 
has thirteen grandchildren. 

From Windsor, Canada, across the river from Detroit, Mr. 
Lorendo came to California in 1877. In 1881, because of the dry sea- 
son, he sold one hundred and sixty acres of land for $500. Soon after, 
he bought another one hundred and sixty acres at Sand Creek Gap for 
$2.50 an acre and in 1888 sold it for $24 an acre and went to Oregon 
and lived in Josephine county, that state, for six years, farming for a 
time, then mining for gold. As he was spending more money than he 
was getting out of the groimd, he disposed of his holdings in Oi'egon 
and sold a place near Chamberlain, S. Dak., which he liad owned for 


some time, for $25, and went to British Columbia and kept a tavern on 
the Caribou road until he had taken in from lodgers enough to give 
him another start. Then he came back to Orosi and sent for his wife. 
He then had but $2.50 to his name and faced the certainty of having 
to pay out the first $200 that he could earn over and above a bare 
living. But he struggled manfully for a foothold, and in 1901 bought 
twenty acres of land at $25 an acre. This he has improved with a 
house, a barn and other buildings. He has nine and a half acres in 
Malaga grapes, eight acres in peaches and two acres in alfalfa. He 
has paid for his land and improvements, has plenty of stock for home 
use, and is prospering in the regular California way. Politically he is 
a Socialist and he and the other members of his family are members 
of the Catholic church, in which they were all born and brought up. 

Before settling down in Tulare county Mr. Lorendo travelled 
through twenty-seven states, trjdng to find the best location possible, 
and is very much pleased with California. He was twenty-six mile> 
from their postoffice at Visalia when he first settled here. 


To California, Indiana has given many citizens who have be- 
come prominent in one relation or another. The ranks of the builders 
of different classes include many of them. Of the builders of Tulare 
county few are more deservedly popular than the son of the Hoosier 
State whose name is above. It was in Jennings county that Mr. Kyle 
was born, 1853. He came to California first in 1879, remained a year 
and went to Texas, where he worked as a brick mason. In 1889 he 
came back, and settling in Tulare, began there a successful career as 
a brick contractor and builder. In nearly all parts of the county may 
be seen fine brick structures which are monuments to his skill and en- 
terprise, and among them the following are conspicuous: At 
Tulare— the I. H. Ham block, the W. Clough block, the new high school 
building, the Carnegie Library building, the city hall; at Visalia — the 
George Ballon block, the county jail, the Herroll block, the Delta 1)uild- 
ing, the Lucier block, the Baptist church; at Porterville — the Sarton 
block, the flour mill, the Henry Traga building, the remodeled First 
National Bank building; at Hanford — the Biddle Bank building; at 
Tipton — a hotel ; at Traver — a hotel ; at Dinuba — the Hayden & Boone 
block; and many other lesser buildings for different purposes. He 
has built also some fine blocks in Bakersfield, Kern county. 

As he becomes better and more widely known his business in- 
creases rapidly. It is already one of the most considerable of its 
class in this part of the state and bids fair within the next few vears 


to outrank all competitors. His business methods are such as to com- 
mend him to all requiring such service as he is so well able to render ; 
he has ample capital and backing and may be depended on faithfully 
to carry out any contract he may make, however large or difficult. 

In 1891 Mr. Kyle married Miss Florence Owens, a native of Ala- 
bama, and she has borne him children whom tliey have named Alvin 
J., Forrest and Ruth. 


In Trumbull county, Ohio, within the Western Reserve, Luther 
C. Hawley was born May 4, 1829, and when he was six years old his 
father, who was a farmer, removed to Bond county, Illinois, where 
the boy gained some schooling and a knowledge of farming. In 
1851, when he was twenty-two years old, he with two partners 
traveled with a four horse team to Oregon City, Ore., being five 
months on the road. He went to Salem, Ore., and from there to 
Eugene, Lane county, where he was among the first settlers, and 
shortly after became first clerk of that county. In 1855 he helped 
to organize and enlisted in the Mounted Volunteers and was made 
first lieutenant, serving as such in the Indian service from October 
to January. His term having expired he with others organized 
another comjiauy and he was appointed chief of the staff, with rank 
of major, under General Lamerick. He served as such until the war 
was over and later was a clerk in the Governor's office at Salem 
and helped in the settlement of local war and Indian affairs until 
1857. Desiring to again see his mother he returned east by way of 
the Isthmus of Panama, and the Panama railroad was the first rail- 
road he had ever seen. Remaining in Illinois until in the spring of 
1859, he then started across the plains to Colorado, with a determina- 
tion to reach Pike's Peak. He was captain of a- train of fifty-three 
wagons, and his party located on the present site of Denver, where 
there was then but one house, this being a double log cabin. He did 
placer mining in Russell's Gulch, then returned East with a mule 
team to Illinois. He practiced law at Greenville, Bond county. 111., 
until in 1862, when he enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirtieth 
Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served as 
sergeant major until the end of the war, ]mrticipating in the siege 
of Vicksburg forty-seven days, also in the fighting at Champion Hill 
and Fort Gibson. He remained at Vicksburg, in McPherson's com- 
mand, until February, 1864, and fought under that general at Tom- 
bigbee river and at Jackson, Miss. In June he marched toward 
Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge and Cliickaniauga. niid al'tci- 


participating in the fighting at those points went to Atlanta, where 
General McPherson was killed. Mr. Hawley was then acting as 
assistant adjutant-general; after the death of General McPherson 
he was transferred to General Canby's headquarters at New Orleans, 
ranking as captain. He was present at the capture of Mobile, whence 
he returned to New Orleans, and remained there until the close of 
the war, being mustered out November, 1865. 

After the war Mr. Hawley went back to Illinois and resumed the 
]iractice of law at Vandalia. wliere he married and lived until 1870, 
when he came to California, In-inging his family with him. He lived 
in the Sacramento valley, raising wheat until 1874, then came to 
Tulare county. The country round about was a naked plain and one 
could scarcely see a house in half a day of fast riding. Mr. Hawley 
bought a quarter-section of railroad laud near the present site of 
Hanford on the south, and for a time he prospered with wheat and 
stock, later putting his land into fruit trees. He lived on his place 
until 1905, when he rented it and bought a residence in Hanford, and 
since his removal to the city he has sold the ranch. He was a 
participant in the Mussel Slough tragedy and was a member of a 
committee sent to San Francisco to deal with the railroad company. 
He and his associates were put in prison there but were released the 
next day. In the later development of this section he has been active in 
the promotion of irrigation, and in all relations with his fellow 
citizens has been helpfully i)ublic spirited. He keeps alive memories 
of 1861-65 by membership with McPherson Post, G. A. E., of Hanford. 

In 1865 Mr. Hawley married Alice M. Stevenson, a native of 
Kentucky. Two of their eight children were born in Illinois, the 
others being natives of California. Their son Charles Richard 
became a lawyer, l)ut has passed away. Samuel Vincent is a farmer 
located a mile and a half from Hanford. Clarence E. is a rig-builder 
in the oil fields at Maricopa, Cal. Lulu J. is the wife of John II. 
Van Vlear, of Hanford. Ralph S., of Berkeley, is a civil engineer. 
Edgar L. is deceased. Victor C. and Claude were twins. Victor is 
a plumber at Hanford; Claiide is deceased. Mrs. Hawley passed 
awav in 1902, aged sixtv-two vears. 


The i)ui)lic ollicials of a county rurnish to the outside world the 
best expression of the character of its ])(Mi]ile and indicate not onl>- 
its present state of development, but also its trend and its aspira- 
tions. Tried by this standard, Tulare county (•(ninnands the respect 
and conlidence of idl inquirers by reason of the repi-osentative char- 


acter of the men who are filling its official positions, and among them 
none is worthy of higher respect for capacity and devotion to tlie 
interests confided to his charge than Byron 0. Lovelace, who has 
ably and honorablv filled the office of conntv survevor since Jan- 
nary 1, 1911. " " ' ■ 

A son of Joseph W. and Helen (Schlichting) Lovelace, Byron 
O. Lovelace was born in Texas in 1883. He was educated in the 
public school at Visalia and was graduated after a special course 
of scientific study from the Van der Naillen School of Engineering 
and Mines. of San Francisco. During the ensuing six years he was 
in the employ of the United States government, doing surveying 
for the agricultural department, most of the time in National Forest 
Reserve work in California and Nevada. Returning to Visalia in 
1910, he was a candidate as a Republican at the August primary elec- 
tion for the office of county surveyor of Tulare county, to which he 
was duly elected by a large majority in the fall of that year. 

As a man of public spirit Mr. Lovelace takes high place in the 
citizenship of Tulare county, to the important general interests of 
which he has been conspicuously devoted. Fraternally he affiliates 
with the Woodmen of the World. He married, July, 1910, Miss 
Eula Simmons, a native of Riverside county, Cal., and a daughter 
of a pioneer stockman in that part of the state. 


As horticultural commissioner for Tulare county, Perry Dor- 
man Fowler is proving excellent ability. His splendid life dates 
from March 1, 1851, when he was born in the state of Missouri, a 
son of Benjamin and Mary Ajin (Thompson) Fowler, natives re- 
spectively of Indiana and of Missouri. In 1854, when he was about 
three years old, his parents accompanied an ox-team immigration 
party to California, bringing their family, and the father mined for 
a time near Oroville, but moved from there to the San Ramon 
valley and farmed there until in the fall of 1858. From that time 
until in 1868 he farmed near Woodland, Yolo county, and there 
Perry D. attended- the public schools and was a student in the Hes- 
perian College. The next home of the family was near the present 
site of Newman in Stanislaus county, where the elder Fowler bought 
three thousand acres of land, raised stock and grew gi-ain until in 
1874. After that he herded sheep and farmed in the Deer Creek 
region of Tulare county until February 20, 1876, when he passed 
away. The son settled the family estate and in the fall of that year 
Mrs. Fowler moved to Tulare, which was her home as long as she 


lived, her death, however, occurring iu Los Angeles in September, 

Until 1S81 Perry Dorman Fowler farmed and raised sheep. 
Then he began buying grain for G. W. McNear and selling farm 
machinery for Baker & Hamilton of San Francisco. In the period 
1887-1900 he operated the Fowler farm. In 1900 he was appointed 
horticultural commissioner for Tulare county and to the work of 
that office he has since devoted himself. He has a farm of seventy- 
one acres, five miles from Tulare, which is leased by his son-in-law. 
Thirty acres of it is in orchard and thirty acres in alfalfa. 

On September 9, 1879, Mr. Fowler married Jeanette Josephine 
Hawkins, who was born at Suisun, Solano county, Cal.. February 
1, 1857, and died May 12, 1910. She was a daughter of Vardiman 
Hawkins, of Elmira, Solano county, a pioneer in that part of the 
state. She bore her husband two children, Jeanette May, December 
10, 1880, and J. Benjamin, July 19, 1882. The daughter is the wife 
of J. B. Southwell of Tulare county. The son, who is farming on 
the Lindsay road, seven miles east of Tulare, married Mrs. Annie 
Smith, and they have two sons, Eoy Benjamin and Perry Daniel 

By the board of directors of the Tulare irrigation district. Mr. 
Fowler was appointed to assess property to raise revenue with which 
to pay off the bonded indebtedness of the district to settlers, as 
provided in the compromise with the bondholders in 1883. He is a 
member of the Mutual Farmers' Insurance Company, and being a 
man of much public spirit has been identified from time to time 
with other interests of importance to the community. He is a mem- 
ber of the First Christian church of Tulare. 


One of the extensive agriculturists of his county, who lias been 
closely identified with its development for many years is Edward 
H. Chance, who now lives near Sultana in Tulare county. He was l)orn 
near Versailles, Ind., March 24, 1860, a son of Henry and Louisa 
(Nuekles) Chance, and has not seen his mother -since he was four 
years old. His father was a pioneer in Oregon, living for a time 
in Cottage Grove. Tliere Edward 11. went in 1887, having spent 
his life in Indiana and Kentucky until that time. He was employed 
at logging and lumbering nine years in that part of Oregon, then 
came to Fresno county, Cal., where he remained one year before settling 
in Tulare county. 

Soon after liis arrival iu this county Mr. Chance bought fortv 


acres of the Bnmp tract, paying $800 for twenty acres and $35 an 
acre for the otlier twenty. lie has five acres planted to a peach 
orchard, fonrteen acres under alfalfa and a good acreage of corn. He 
keeps seven head of stock and a few hogs, and has gradually improved 
his ranch from a wheat field until it is one of the best in the neighbor- 
hood. By bringing it to a high state of cultivation he is securing 
crops which do not suffer by comparison with any others of their 
respective kinds raised in the vicinity of Sultana. As a progressive 
farmer and citizen he enjoys a high reputation. His public spirit 
impels him to help all movements for the benefit of his community to 
the extent of his ability. In politics he is a Republican but has 
never sought office. While living in Oregon he was road supervisor 
for two years in Crawfordsville, and deputy constable in the Sultana 
district. Fraternally he affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of 
America, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Beavers. 

In Indiana, March 24, 1883, Mr. Chance married Miss Martha 
Carson, who was born sixty miles north of Indianapolis, and they 
have four children living, Percy E., Lester Carl, Eddie Frank, and 
Bruce Allen. Pearl, the only daughter, is deiceased. Percy married 
Mollie Ramsey; later he married Sadie Carter and they have a child 
and are living in Benton county, Oregon. 


A descendant of an old ^'irginia family, Daniel Kindle Zumwalt 
was born near Joliet, 111., January 24, 1845, of German extraction, 
his first American ancestor, George (or Adam) Zumwalt, having emi- 
grated from the Fatherland in the eighteenth century, to become a 
settler in Virginia and later a pioneer in Ohio, which was then on the 
fringe of civilization. Jacob Zumwalt, son of the emigrant, went, in 
January, 1830, from Adams county, 0., to Hancock county, Ind., where 
he died December, 1833. Jacob, his son, was born in Ohio, September 
15, 1807. He married, June 24, 1830, Susanna Kindle Smith, born in 
Ohio, June 12, 1811. With his father, his three brothers and his five 
sisters, he went to Hancock county, Ind., in 1830, and four years later 
he went to Will county, 111., about ten miles from Joliet. There he 
remained twenty years, until March, 1854, when lie started with ox- 
teams overland for California. He farmed in the Sacramento valley 
until 1872, when he came to his farm near Visalia, Tulare county, where 
he died May 31, 1878. His wife died in Sacramento November 20, 
1896, and they are both buried there. He was a Methodist and in many 
ways evinced great public s])irit. His wife ))ore him children as fol- 
lows: Nancy (Mrs. Rockwell Hunt), who died in Sacramento in li)04; 


Sarah M. (Mrs. James Shoemaker), of Santa Clara; Joseph, born 
April 30, 1836, who died in Kern county, August 1, 1878; John H., of 
San Jose, Cal. ; Elizabeth (Mrs. Hawk), of Sacramento; Daniel Kindle, 
of this re^iew. 

When his father came to California, Daniel Kindle Znmwalt and 
other members of their family came alout>-, and Daniel rode horseback 
and helped to drive the oxen. He was only nine and his youth ex- 
empted him from guard duty, but every other duty that fell to the lot 
of his elders was performed by him at one time or another. He 
attended the public and high schools of Sacramento, and was graduated 
in 1865, later taking the degrees of A.M. and A.B. at the University 
of the Pacific. Having been awarded a first-grade teacher's certificate, 
he taught school a year at Yolo, then came, in 1869, to Tulare county, 
where he lived out his allotted days. For twenty-three years he was 
land agent and attorney for the Southern Pacific Railroad company, 
his territory including Tulare, Kern and Fresno and what is now 
Kings county. He was one of the originators and organizers of the 
76 Land and Water company, most of the capital for which he per- 
sonally secured. Preparatory to the formation of the company Mr. 
Zumwalt bought the water rights of Risley & Cameron and others 
and secured options on large tracts- of land. As secretary of the 
company he promoted its interests until its principal office was moved 
from Visalia to Traver. He was a prime factor and a stockholder of 
the Kaweah Canal and Irrigation Co. and was influential in the pre- 
vention of the diversion of the water from the settlers. In the course 
of his busy life he improved and developed lands of his own, and his 
estate owns a fine farm between Visalia and Tulare, which is devoted 
to dairying and the raising of Shorthorn cattle; in the improvement 
and equipment of this property he established a creamery. He was 
instrumental, also, in the setting up of another at Visalia. 

In the construction of other canals than those mentioned above 
Mr. Zumwalt was active. With others, he was indefatigable in pre- 
senting proofs to the Interior Department, at Washington. D. C, of 
the necessity for the preservation of the redwood forests for future 
generations. It was he who enlisted the co-operation of Congressman 
Vandever of California, who secured the passage of an authorization 
of the setting aside of General Grant Park, which insures the preser- 
vation of the giant redwoods, there more numerous than in any other 
part of the Sierras. 

At Tulare, May 20, 1890, Mr. Zumwalt married Emma F. Black- 
wedel, a native of Taycheedah, Wis. J. Henry Blackwedel, her father, 
born in Hemsliug, Hanover, Germany, was a son of John Blackwedel. 
who brought his family to the United States in 1847 and settled on a 
farm in Wisconsin, whence they moved later to Jo Daviess county, III. 
John Henrv Blackwedel was a iarmer in Wisconsin and later a mer- 


cliant in Sauk City, Wis., and Galena, HI., and later l)eeauie a resident 
of Dubuque, Iowa, in which city he i^assed away November 29, 1863. 
Of literary tastes and education-, he entertained writers and lecturers 
who visited him wherever he lived. He deserves a place in history as 
one of the sponsors of the Republican party. His wife, formerly Anna 
Meta Holterman, was born in Germany, a daughter of H. C. Holter- 
man, who lived out his days there. She died in Dubuque, Iowa, in 
1872. Two of their children lived to maturity, Mrs. Zumwalt and Mrs. 
Minnie Pillsbury. Of a former marriage two sons, Henry Herman and 
John Frederick, died in service, while members of Company I, Seven- 
teenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry. Mrs. Zumwalt, next to the young- 
est, was reared and educated in Dubuque, came to Riverside in 1886 
with her sister, Mrs. Pillsbury, and in 1887 came to Tulare county. 
She is a helpful member of the Methodist church and does much for 
Visalia Lodge No. 48, Independent Order of Good Templars, with 
which she has been identified since its organization by her late hus- 
band November 18, 1870. He was foremost in incorporating the Good 
Templars' Hall Association and in building the Good Templars Hall at 
Visalia and in so safeguarding it that it cannot be diverted from its 
intended use or pass from the control of the society. He was Grand 
Councilor of the order and for many years one of its most devoted and 
liberal supporters. He was a member and a trustee of the Methodist 
church of Visalia and in 1869-70 organized its Simday school, of which 
he was long superintendent. Politicallj', he was in early life a Repub- 
lican, in later years a Prohibitionist. His opinions on the liquor ques- 
tion are shared by Mrs. Zumwalt, who, as an ardent woman suffragist, 
has seen much in which to rejoice in these later days of awakening 
and of regeneration in matters political. She was a valued assistant to 
Mr. Zumwalt, standing beside him in all trials and encouraging him 
with her devoted wifely love. Their union was a very happy one, and 
at home, in chui-ch work or in lodge work their interests were mutual 
Mr. Zumwalt 's death occurred November 2, 1904. 

The town of Traver, Tulare county, was laid out through Mr. 
Zumwalt 's instrumentality. So versatile was he that he carried on an 
abstract and land business, gave attention to stock-raising and dairy- 
ing, patented a process for photographing and preserving records, 
and did many other odd and interesting things not directly connected 
with his chief pursuits. With the instincts of a true liusiness woman, 
Mrs. Zumwalt personally attends to business connected with her sev- 
eral ranches. She has a dairy ranch of twelve hundred acres near 
Tulare City. On her Deer Creek ranch of thirty-three hundred acres 
she raises many fine beef cattle. She has a quarter-section of land on 
the Tule river, of which eight acres are planted to oranges just com- 
ing into bearing, and she has other ranches which she rents out 



The birth of Dr. E. H. Byron occurred at Lemoore, September 
17, 1877, the son of H. W. Byron. He was educated in the common 
school and in the Union high school at Santa Paula, Ventura county, 
graduating in 1896, when he entered the California Medical College 
at San Francisco, where he was graduated in medicine in 1900. 
Then he took the pharmaceutical course at the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons of the same city, and was graduated as a pharmacist 
from that institution in 1907. 

After leaving college Dr. Byron was in charge of McLean hos- 
pital, San Francisco, for a year, and during the ensuing two years 
he was in the practice of his profession, with offices in that city. 
Then, going to Guerneville, he opened an office and was in practice 
there two years and during the next two years he was in profes- 
sional work at Wheatland, Yuba county. He then opened a drug 
store in Oakland which he conducted in connection with professional 
practice nntil in 1909. In November of that year, he entered into 
professional partnership with his lirother at Lemoore, and in the 
month of November. 1912, opened up liis present office in the Bolt- 
man block in the city of Lemoore. He is a member of the San 
Joaquin Valley Health Association, the California State Medical 
Society and the American Society of Medicine and is the health 
officer and a member of the city board of health. He affiliates so- 
cially with most of the fraternal orders represented at Lemoore. To a 
general practice Dr. E. H. Byron has consistently devoted himself 
with such success tliat his services are in demand not only in tlie 
town but also in its tributary country and as a citizen he has 
demonstrated much public spirit. In 1902 he married Miss Har- 
riet Freeman of San Jose. Their son, Herbert Freeman Byron, 
celebrated liis seveutli birthdav Mav, 1912. 


The pvosent cbainiiaji of the Board of Sujiervisors of Tulare 
county is Tliomas B. Twaddle, who has long been prominent in the 
affairs of this part of tlie state. Born in Utah, in 1857, he was 
taken as a cliild by bis faniilv on their removal to Nevada, and it 
was in the last named state that he grew to manhood and obtained 
an education and a practical knowledge of elemental business. He 
came to California in 1879. when he was about twenty-two years 
of age, and settling three miles east of Tulare, he rented land, raised 


grain and did general farming in the vicinit}^ of Tulare until 1904, 
since when he has given his attention to other interests. 

In 1892 Mr. Twaddle was first elected to the office of supervisor, 
and he has served in that capacity by repeated re-election continu- 
ously to the present time. It is said that he holds the record in 
California for unbroken service as supervisor for nineteen years, 
and during the long period of fourteen years he has been chairman 
of the board. In every measure for the advancement and improve- 
ment of Tulare county that has been put forth during the last two 
decades he has taken a helpful interest and some of the more im- 
portant ones he has been instrumental in putting through by sheer 
force of will, determined that Tulare county should have the very 
best in any line that was available to it regardless of reactionary 
opposition. He has proven himself a model official and has come 
to be known as one of the men of California who accomplish things. 

In 1883 Mr. Twaddle married Miss Emma Garison, daughter of 
a pioneer in Stanislaus county, Cal., where she was born, and they 
have children as follows: Alice M., who is the wife of W. J. Fislier 
of Tulare ; Forrest J. ; Frank C. ; William, and Thomas B., Jr. 
Socially he is a member of the order of Woodmen of the World 
and has for several years been council commander of his local di- 
vision and is a supporter of the auxiliary order of Women of Wood- 
craft. He is a Red Man, also, and affiliates with the order of Fra- 
ternal Aid. 


The talented and siiccessful lawyer of Hanford, who has at- 
tained a high position at the bar of Kings county, Cal., and by 
many pulilic-s]iirited acts has won reputation as one of the leading 
citizens of Hanford, is H. Scott Jacobs who was born at Yisalia 
November 2, 1875. He obtained his English education in public 
schools at Lemoore and in the San Jose high school from which he 
was graduated in 1894. His professional studies were begun in 
1895 under competent direction, and after mastering the law course 
at the University of California he was graduated in 1899 and was 
admitted to the bar of California May 19th that year. 

It was at Hanford that Mr. Jacobs entered upon the practice 
of his profession, opening an office in the First National Bank build- 
ing. From the outset he succeeded even beyond his expectations. 
Not much time was re(|uived for his ability and attainments to 


become knowu to tlie buainess public and his general attitude as a 
lawyer and as a citizen commended bim to the people. It became 
evident that his public spirit was equal to any reasonable demand 
upon it and that he was willing at all times to encourage to the 
extent of liis ability any proposition put forth for the benefit and 
development of the town and county. In November, 1902, he was 
elected district attorney for Kings county, in which office he served 
faithfully and efficiently four years. In 1906 he was appointed 
by the board of trustees of the city of Hanford to the office of city 
attorney, and in that relation to the general public he has still more 
markedly' won the good opinion of all. In his political affiliations he is a 
Eepublican, and fraternally he is identified with Hanford Parlor 
No. 37 Native Sons of the Golden West, the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World. 

Mr. Jacobs married, April 30, 1901, Mary Elizabeth Mauuing, 
a daughter of T. A. Manning, of Lemoore, and they have three chil- 
dren, Elizabeth Belle, Justin Manning and John H. 


A son of L. L. Gill, a pioneer of Tulare county, by many 
thought to have been the owner of the first orange trees in Tulare 
county, Lee Gill was born in Yokohl valley, Cal., August 16, 1884. 
When he was a child, his father moved to Frazier valley, to the 
property on which Lee now lives. The old jilaee was iiurchased 
from H. M. White and was the scene of the itrimitive venture in 
orange-growing referred to above. 

In the public schools near his home, Mr. Gill was educated and 
on his father's ranch he obtained the intimate knowledge of stock- 
raising which has made him an ade]jt in that line. His operations in 
association with his brothers mark him as one of the leading- 
stockmen of California. They own about forty-eight thousand acres 
of range land and keep on Lee's ranch about six hundred cattle, 
two hundred hogs and many fine horses, buying and selling for the 
city market, in which Mr. Gill is as well knowu and as highly es- 
teemed as any stockman in the state. 

Ill 1908 Mr. Gill married Miss Maud Porter, a native of Cali- 
fornia, a lady of many accomplishments who shares with him much 
social popularity. They have one son, Austin. Mr. Gill is a 
young man of much public spirit, who is found always ready to assist 
to the extent of his ability any movement for the benefit of the 



This old establislied, reliable and sueeessful lawyer of Tulare, 
Cal., was born in Monroe county and grew to manhood in Warren 
county, Ky. The time of his birth was May 17, 1839, and his parents 
were the Rev. Allan W. and Hannah (Tooley) De Witt, his father 
having been a native of Kentucky and his mother having been born 
in ^"irginia. Eventually the family moved to Illinois. From there, 
in 1859, they crossed the plains with ox-teams to California, starting 
in April and arriving September 18. Allan W. De Witt, who was 
a minister of the Christian church, died at Tulare May 31, 1897, 
his wife having passed away in 1896. Their son Samuel lives in 
Los Angeles; Eleazar, their second son, is a rancher living west of 
Tulare; their daughter, Lydia A., is Mrs. Zumwalt of Tulare; William 
M. is the immediate subject of this sketch. 

It was as a school teacher that William M. De Witt began his 
life in California in 1861, in charge of a country school at Red Blutf, 
Tehama county. With Job F. Dye he drove a band of cattle and horses 
from Red Bluff to eastern Oregon in 1862. They intended to drive 
their cattle up to the mining camps of British Columbia, where 
there was a great number of miners at work and where they intended 
to butcher their cattle, freeze the meat by burying it in the snow, 
and sell it out during the winter as it would be needed. While camp- 
ing on John Day's river near Canon City, De Witt suggested that 
they try a pan of the gravel at that place. Mr. Dye improvised 
a pan, with which they succeeded in finding considerable gold in the 
very first pan. The news of their find spread and in an inconceivably 
short time some six hundred miners had located claims and were busily 
"and profitably engaged at placer-mining. It is needless to say that it 
became unnecessary for them to take their cattle to the British 
Columbia market. Thus was gold first discovered at Canon City on 
the John Day's river by William M. De Witt and Jol) F. Dye. Returning 
to California, Mr. De Witt read law, in 1866 was admitted to the bar 
and began the practice of his profession at Woodland, Yolo comity. 
There he succeeded very satisfactorily and attained so much personal 
liopularity that he was elected to represent Yolo county in the State 
Ijegislature at the session of 1877-78 and was appointed a member of the 
judiciary committee and of other important committees. Meanwhile he 
conducted a successful practice at Santa Cruz for about six years. He 
came to Tulare from Woodland in the spring of 1878 and has been 
in active practice there ever since. For ten years he has held the 
office of justice of the peace in Tulare and during that long period 
no decision of his has been reversed. He has traveled extensively 
throughout the state, having visited nearly every county within its 


A lover of country life, Mr. De Witt has given some attention 
to ranching near Tulare. He was married in Santa Cruz, January, 
1872, to Miss Agnes McDonald, a native of Vermont, who has borne 
Inm nine children: Florence C. (Mrs. Brown), has children named 
Earl and Maud. Alice W. is Mrs. Barnaby of Spokane, Wash. 
William H. married Miss Shedler and they have children named 
Camille and Earl. The others are Walter, John (of Coalinga), 
Edward and Edna (twins), Irani and Earl. In every relation of life 
Mr. De Witt has shown himself a man to be depended iipon. Where- 
ever he has lived he has taken an interest in all matters affecting the 
public good. Since coming to Tulare he has in many ways demon- 
strated his solicitude for the advancement and prosperity of the city 
and its people. 


From Arkansas, which has long been a distributing ground for 
settlement throughout the south and west, Samuel W. Kelly emi- 
grated to California in 1857, coming by way of the overland trail 
with ox-teams and consuming seven months in making the journey. 
He was then twenty-nine years old, having been born February 11, 
1828, in Alabama, and had been taken as a small boy by his parents 
on their removal from his native state. It was in Arkansas that he 
was educated, grew to manhood and acquired a working knowledge 
of agriculture. 

On his arrival in California, Mr. Kelly settled in Tulare county 
and engaged in teaming between Stockton and Yisalia. Settling on 
Elbow creek, he put up a rail pen with but a dirt floor and this was 
the home of the family for three years. In 1867 he went back east, 
but soon made a second overland journey to the Pacific coast, this 
time using mule teams, which brought him through in three months. 
From the time of his return until the completion of the railroad, 
which put him out of business, he teamed between Fresno slough and 
Visalia. Then he bought ten acres within the city limits, on which 
he farmed for a time and which has been cut up into lots and dotted 
with dwellings. For about twelve years he operated successfully as 
a cattleman in the Three Rivers section. Politically he affiliated with 
the Democratic party, and as a citizen he showed his public sjiirit 
in many practical ways. 

In ]Sr)o Mr. Kelly married Miss Celetha Hudson, who was born 
and leared in Arkansas and accompanied him to California. She 
bore liim three children, Samuel .\., ^frs. Ltiln p]; Reeves and Mrs. 


Mary J. Sparks, who with the widow survive him. The home of Mrs. 
Kelly is No. 500 Goshen avenue, Visalia. Mr. Kelly passed away 
April 15, 1911, deeply regretted liy all who had known him. 


Conspicuous among California's self-made men, is the prom- 
inent financier and member of the state Legislature, whose name 
heads this article. He is a native of the state, having been born 
in Lake county, November 26, 1865. AVhen four years of age he 
was taken to Ventura county, where he grew up, attending the pub- 
lic schools, and later became a student at the University of Southern 
California, supplementing this with a commercial course at Wood- 
bury Business College. 

Full of ambition and eager to succeed, J. W. Guiberson started 
his active business career without a dollar to aid him. At the age 
of nineteen he rented a six hundred and forty acre stock ranch in 
Ventura county, his good reputation and credit enabling him to 
obtain a five-year lease of this ranch. He devoted himself most 
assiduously to the operating of this place, reaping such a measure 
of success, that when he was dispossessed of it at the end of fifteen 
months, because of the sale of said ranch, he was reimbursed for 
his labors there to the amount of $1,500. He then rented mountain 
land for a cattle range and increased his herd. Meanwhile he had 
bought out a drug store and made some good investments in real 
estate at Santa Paula, the results of which at the end of that year 
netted him a capital of $3250 cash. His career, however, had not 
been an easy one. His health broke because of his close confinement 
in the drug store, and he was compelled to seek an outdoor life 
For a short time he engaged in the mercantile business, but met 
with heavy financial losses, and with such discouragements at hand 
he again was obliged to begin at the bottom to retrieve his losses. 
He obtained a lease for one-half share in the renting of the same 
ranch on which he had started out when nineteen years old, at the 
end of the first year being able to make a payment on eighty acres 
in Ventura county which he immediately began to improve and 
farm. Some years later he purchased a second ranch of forty acres 
in the same county, improving and farming it for some time, and 
finally having a fine farm, good buildings and most productive or- 
chards on both places. His orchards were planted to apricots, lemons 
and prunes', and he soon had them in condition to be good income 


Continuing- to operate the two ranches, Mr. Guiberson bought 
out a livery business at Piru with the jDroceeds, and engaged in the 
livery and team contracting business, sending his teams into the oil 
fields near Piru, and he soon was the proprietor of an extensive 
teaming business. He prospered well and by 1905 found himself 
the owner of considerable money for which he sought good invest- 
ment. In company with about twenty-five others, many of whom 
were from Los Angeles, as members of the Security Land and Loan 
Company, he bought thirty thousand acres of land in Kings county, 
and in that year came to Corcoran as the superintendent of said 
company, whose affairs he managed very successfully. During this 
time he made large individual purchases of land in that vicinity, his 
ideas of purchase proving most ingenious, as for instance his pur- 
chase of a thousand acres at $13 per acre, which he sold a few 
months later at $30. He has explicit faith in the fertility of the 
lands of this locality and it has never been shaken, and it is due to 
him more than to any other person that the value of the lands about 
Corcoran has been demonstrated. 

Mr. Guiberson 's principal aim has been to develop and improve 
these lands and place them on an income-paying basis. He has no 
hesitancy in saying that for the growing of alfalfa these lands have 
few equals and no superiors in the entire state of California. Among 
his first purchases were eighty acres of land adjacent to the town- 
site of Corcoran, forty acres of which he retains as his home place, 
and this he has beautified and improved until it is a model suburban 
home. To him belongs the distinction of liaving erected the first 
building on the townsite of Corcoran. 

At a later date Mr. Guiberson organized the J. W. Guiberson 
Company, a dairy and stockraising concern with a capital of $500,000 
based on bona fide land values. In this he is associated with J. C. 
Sperry, of Berkeley; Nathan W. Blanchard, of Santa Paula, and 
the company's holdings aggregate twenty-six hundred acres in all, 
two thousand acres of which is planted to alfalfa and irrigated by 
means of artesian wells. On one section of this property are two 
dairies which produce cream to the amount of $2075 per month. 
There are six hundred head of cattle on this property, and about 
nine hundred hogs, all of which are very well kept. 

Besides these great landed interests Mr. Guiberson has others, 
different in character but almost as important. He is vice president 
of the Bank of Corcoran, vice }>resident of the company operating 
the Corcoran Department Store, president of the Kings County 
Dairyman's Association, vice president of the Board of Trade of 
Corcoran, Adce president of the Kings County Chamber of Com- 
merce and president of the California State Dairy Association. 


The lady who became the wife of Mr. Griiiberson was before her 
marriage Miss Nellie F. Throckmorton, who was born in Illinois, 
October 8, 1866. They have four daughters, viz. : Hazel, Claire, 
Helen and Edythe. Mr. Guiberson is a Mason, a member of the In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows and the Fraternal Order of Elks. 
Of unusual public spirit, he is ready whenever occasion demands to 
aid any measure which in his judgment involves the public good, 
and he is confidently relied upon to be the friend and helper of all 
public enterprises. With the privilege of the pioneer to take pride 
in the town, he is zealous for the promotion of every interest, and 
in church and educational circles he is particularly active. He is 
president of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian church at 
Corcoran, and the commodious edifice recently erected by the con- 
gregation at once testifies to his munificence in gift of money as 
well as able and untiring effort as a member of the building commit- 
tee. He is president of the high school board and Corcoran will 
before the commencement of another school year have a fifty thou- 
sand dollar high school building. 

Relying upon his ability and good judgment Mr. Guiberson was, 
by the Board of County Supervisors of Kings county, made vice 
president of the Kings Coimty Panama Pacific Exhibit Commission, 
a position for which he is peculiarly qualified. No better testimo- 
nial of his real worth can be adduced than to mention the fact that 
in the campaign of 1912 he was elected as a Democrat by the people 
of his county, which is normally Republican, by more than thirteen 
hundred majority. For years he has been interested in the subject 
of good roads, and takes an active part in everything else pertain- 
ing to the public welfare and human uj^liftment. As a natural con- 
sequence he at tlie last election received a very flattering vote in his 
home and all other i)recinets in that county, where lie was best 
known, aud in his election to the assenilily his fellow-citizens have 
made no mistake. This fact is recognized by the oiiposition as well 
as his Democratic friends, and liecainc very evideiit from such 
expressions as the following editorial from the pen of L. P. IMitcbell. 
editor and proprietor of the Corcoran Journal of November 14, 1912 : 

Assemblyman-elect J. W. Guiberson is well qualified for tl'.e 
position to which he has been elected. lie is a self-made man who 
has achieved success in his own affairs, and Corcoran people feel 
sure he will represent his district in a most satisfactory manner. 
Mr. Guiberson is an enthusiast on good roads and advocates the 
abolition of the present unsatisfactory system of handling county 
road matters, favoring the employment of an expert road man and 
placing the entire county road system in his charge. We consider 
this a very logical solution of the vexatious road problem. 



Boru near Dixou, Solauo county, Cal., in 1862, Mr. Jameson is 
a true son of California, proud of its bistoiy and traditions, and 
devoted heart and soul to its best interests. His parents were John 
B. and Catherine (Watts) Jameson, natives of Illinois. His fatlier 
crossed the plains with mule teams in 1854, and at the end of his 
long and tiresome, but never to be forgotten, overland journey settled 
in Napa county. Later he moved to a place near Dixon, Solano 
county, where he acquired government land and engaged in farming 
and stock-raising, his chief product being grain, with which he was 
quite successful. Mrs. Jameson bore her husband children as follows : 
Henry, of Glenn county; Edwin, of the stat-e of Washington; Mrs. 
John Bond; Mrs. Robert Board; and Irving L. The father died in 
1902, the mother in 1874. Mr. Jameson was enterprising and pro- 
gressive, honest, industrious and public spirited, in every sense of 
the term a good and useful citizen. 

It was in the public school near his childhood home in Solano 
county that Irving L. Jameson laid the foundation for the practical 
education which has helped him to make a success of his life. His 
primitive venture into business was made as a rancher on the Jame- 
son homestead, near Dixon. Afterward he became owner of the place 
by purchase from his father. In 1888 he moved from Solano county 
to Tulare county and bought one hundred and sixty acres of land on 
Deer creek, where he raised grain. From there he eventually moved to 
Porterville. He came to his present ranch of about eighty acres, four 
miles north of Tulare, in 1898, and has greatly improved the place, 
making of it a high grade dairy ranch of thirty-five cows, sixty-five 
acres being devoted to alfalfa. His new dairy barn, recently built after 
his own plans, is one of the most practical for its purposes in the 
county. The cow stalls have cement floors, and there are individual 
stalls, which were desigiied by Mr. Jameson with a view to giving each 
animal comfort. The feed alley also is cemented, and the provisions 
for convenient grain storage are excellent, while the plant for pump- 
ing water is up-to-date and thoroughly efficient. Mr. Jameson's finely 
bred Holsteins attract the attention of all visitors to the vicinity of 
his dairy. He is practically and enthusiastically interested in horses, 
and owns the well-known imported French Percheron stallion, Mar- 
dochet, registered; five brood mares and colts and an imjjorted jack 
for breeding mules. 

Absolutely as his home interests command his attention, Mr. 
Jameson has others. He is a director of the Tulare Rochdale store, 
a member of the Dairymen's Co-operative Association of Tulare, and 
is identified with local bodies of the Woodmen of the World and the 
Fraternal Brotherhood. He married, in 1898, Miss Ida Roberts, a 


native of Solano county, and they have children: Mada, Lawrence, 
Doris and Lowell. The interest in pnl)lic affairs so characteristic 
of the elder Jameson has been passed down to the son, and there is 
no other man in this part of the county more willing to assist, 
according to means and opportunity, any measure that may be pro- 
posed for the general good. 


Conspicuous among the prominent citizens and officials of 
Guernsey, Kings county, Cal., who has evidenced the power of staunch 
loyalty to Ms early training, which has materially acquired for him 
the success he has reachecl today, is Aimer B. Comfort, the well- 
known proprietor of the flourishing and active general store business 
of Guernsey, which he also serves as postmaster. Inheriting the 
splendid traits of his father, Byron G. Comfort, a pioneer of Kings 
county, who is a prosperous fai'mer near Hanford, he early evidenced 
the abilit}' and perseverance which led him to mercantile interests, 
and his entire career has been indicative of thrift, energy and integrity. 

Born in Kings county, Cal., the sou of Byron G. and Carrie H. 
(Drullard) Comfoi't, ]\lr. Comfort was there reai'ed to manhood, 
acquiring his elementary education in the common schools, and becom- 
ing thoroughly familiar with farm work and steady, honorable and 
clean habits. Upon reaching manhood's estate he rented a large 
dairy farm in the vicinity of Corcoran, which he operated with 
signal success, following that line of business for a long .period until 
in 1912 he found himself able to purchase a business of his own. 
Being attracted by a chance to purchase a general merchandise 
business at Guernsey he went there to make investigation with the 
result that he bought and has since conducted it with the most 
gratifying results. Being naturally of a genial, optimistic disi)o- 
sition, he attracts many friends to him, and in his position as post- 
master of Guernsey, which appointment he received in December 
of 1912, he finds himself the recipient of many good wishes and the 
good will of the entire connnunity. In addition to these duties he 
has taken over the management of the lumber yard at Guernsey, which 
l)ids fair to become an important business in the near future. 

Mr. Comfort belongs to that circle of young men of California 
who have the future of the country in their hands, and who give 
every prophecy of taking the burden of business and political life 
on their shoulders with ca])ability and sjilendid executive ability. 
Ever alert for the welfare of tlieir interests and those of tlicir town 


and comity, they are public-spirited and quick to move in the direction 
they deem best for all concerned. 

Mr. Comfort is not a holder of any public office. In politics he 
votes the Rei^ublican ticket, and his interest in the affairs and issues 
of his party is ever active, he l)eing well-informed on all current 
topics pertaining' to the advancement of his country. 


The character of any people is usually well indicated by that of 
its public officials. Throughout its history Tulare county has quite 
generally commanded the confidence of the public through the re]^re- 
sentative men who have been called to fill its offices. Jiadged by 
capacity and by zealous devotion to the interests in his charge, none 
has gained higher place in popular regard than Thomas H. Blair, 
county assessor. In qualifications essential to the proper discharge 
of his difficult duties he is adequate to all demands upon him, and by 
keeping in close touch with increase of property values and familiar- 
izing himself with all current improvements he is able to judge 
accurately as to the proper assessment to place upon a given piece 
of property. Looking solely to the interests of the county, he comjjlies 
with the law in the performance of his duties, manifesting always 
a conscientious regard for the rights of the taxpayer. 

In Randolph county, Mo., Thomas H. Blair was born in 1864, 
a son of Calvin H. and Mary E. (Moffett) Blair, natives respectively 
of Arkansas and of Tennessee, and was brought to California by 
his parents, who settled in Sonoma county in 1865 and in Tulare county 
about a year later. Calvin H. Blair crossed the plains first in 1850 
and after mining two years in California went back to Missouri in 
1852. There he married in 1856 and about ten years later he moved 
to Iowa, where he remained about three months, losing all his 
worldly possessions except an ox-team and a saddle horse, which 
he sold for just enough money to take him to California by way 
of New York and the Isthmus of Panama. Pie moved from 
Sonoma county to Tulare county, bringing his family and l)e- 
longings in wagons, and settled on Dry Creek. From there he 
moved to near Exeter, in the Yokohl valley, where he farmed for 
some years. In 1875 he went to Orosi, in the northern part of 
the county, and bought land there which he farmed until 1896, 
when his death occurred. Following are the names of the ehil(Jren of this 
pioneer and his wife. Mary E. (Moffett) Blair, who died Januarv 14, 
1912: AVilliam M., Thomas H., ^Mattie, wife of H. Mevers of Fresno 


county, Cal., Laura, Caledonia, Sarah, wife of George Hedgepeth , 
Frank L. , James I., Finis E., and Clarence Holmes. 

On his father's stock ranch, Thomas H. Blair was reared, aequir 
ing a good knowledge of cattle raising, meanwhile attending public 
schools as opportunity afforded. After the death of his father he 
associated himself with his brothers in the management of the home 
ranch. From his early manhood he has been active as a Democrat in 
local political affairs, and in 1902 was elected county auditor of Tulare 
county. He was re-elected to that office in 1906, and in 1910 was 
elected county assessor. The work of the county assessor is of such 
a character that his duties are not to be compared with those of any 
other officer. His success depends largely upon the accuracy of his 
judgment; he comes in direct contact with all classes of people and 
in designating jiroperty valuations he must treat all with impartial 
fairness. That such is the spirit of Mr. Blair's official conduct is 
well known to all, and he is personally acquainted with nearly every 
old citizen of the county and no man or official is held in higher 
esteem. Socially he affiliates with the Knights of Pytliias, the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. 


The name Bequette has long been honored not only in Tulare 
county, but in the state at large. In these pages appears a biograph- 
ical sketch of Paschal Bequette, Jr., in which is given some of the 
history of Col. Paschal Bequette, Sr., a native of Missouri who rose 
to eminence on the Pacific coast. Charles C. Bequette was liorn 
at Saint Genevieve, Mo., in 1834. His parents dying while he was 
yet but an infant, when he was five years old he was taken to Wis- 
consin, where he became a member of the family of his uncle. In 
1850, when he was about sixteen years old, he and his brother crossed 
the plains to California and located at Hangtown. Later, in 1852, 
they went to Sierra county, where they mined until 1857. In 1859 
Mr. Bequette drove a band of cattle from Yolo county to Tulare 
county and settled on land at Outside Creek, where he ])rospered as 
a stockman until 1867. Then selling out his interests there, he home- 
steaded a tract of land near Lemon Cove, where he was successful 
in the breeding of cattle and horses for fifteen years, until he took 
up his residence at Visalia, where he has since lived, continuing an 
active interest in the political affairs of the county. His public 
spirit and his capacity for public business have been recognized by 
his apjiointment to various responsible offices, he having served two 


terms as deputy recorder and auditor of Tulare county, of wliich he 
has also served as deputy county treasurer and deputy county 




A native of Indiana, Judge C*utler was born in 181!l, in the town 
of Newport, Vermilion county. A predilection for the medical pro- 
fession led him to take up studies with that object in view at an early 
age, and he completed his studies and received his diploma in Iowa. 
In the last mentioned state he followed his profession until the mem- 
orable year' of 18-1:9, when he crossed the plains to California and 
made settlement in Eldorado county. While a resident of that 
county he served as a representative to the state legislature. 

Judge Cutler's residence in Tulare county began with the year 
1852, at which time he engaged in agriculture on a large scale, farm- 
ing one thousand acres five miles northeast of Visalia, on the St. 
John's river. Here, as in his former place of residence, his fellow- 
citizens recognized his unusual ability and fitness for public office 
and for two terms he served them efficiently as judge of Tulare 
county. The marriage of Judge Cutler united him with Mrs. Nancy 
(Rice) Reynolds, a widow with two daughters, Amelia and Celeste. 
Seven children were l)orn of her marriage with Judge Cutler, three 
sons and four daughters, as follows: Mrs. V. D. Knupp of Porter- 
ville; A. R.; Jolm; Mary; Loyal 0.; Ida, and Mrs. Edna Hartley. 
Judge Cutler passed away on the family homestead near Visalia 
July 12, 1902, and his wife died in Santa Cruz several years ]n-ior 
to his demise. 

The second child born to Judge and Nancy (Rice) Cutler was 
A. R. Cutler, a native of Tulare county, born in 1860. When his 
school days were over he assisted his father in the care and manage- 
ment of the home ranch, and later undei'took ranching on his own 
account. At the present time he is ranching on a large scale in 
Tulare county, having under his immediate supervision the Venice 
Cove, Monson and Hills Valley ranches. His stock now numbers 
four hundred head. Fruit is raised on one hundred acres — raisin 
grapes, peaches, apricots and oranges predominating — besides which 
he has twenty acres in prunes, and the remainder of the land is in 

Following a service of four years as deputy county clerk. Mr. 



Cutler received still greater honors in April, 1911, when he was elected 
mayor of "\^isalia, an office which he is well qualitied to fill. His mar- 
riage in 1888 united him with Miss Nimmie Pringle, and they have 
two sons, John F. and Albert R. 


Nmiibered oousijieuously among the thrifty and prosperous or- 
chardists of Tulare county is Charles John Eklof, born October 10, 
1869, in Sweden. In April, 1889, when he was about twenty years 
old, he landed in New York, equipped with a good education obtained 
in the public schools of his native land. His early training had laid 
a splendid foundation on which to enter the struggle for success in 
America, to which he dedicated himself, his ambitious and his energies. 
Mr. Eklof had been born and brought up on a farm, and it was as 
a farm hand in Nebraska that he passed the first year of his life in 
America. In 1890 he went to the Northwest, into Washington, where ■ 
he remained three years and four months, and in 1894 he embarked 
for San Francisco, whence he soon made his way to Fresno, being 
here employed in a vineyard till 1897. In the year last mentioned 
he located near Lindsay and engaged in the nursery business, which 
commanded his efforts for twelve years and brought him fairly good 
financial recompense. Then he began to buy land, securing forty 
acres and then twenty, forty of which were put into an orange 
orchard. The estimated value of his crop in 1912 is $10,000 and he 
is one of the most successful men in his line in his vicinity, with 
promising plans for the future. 

In 1911 Mr. Eklof married Mrs. Mary B. Frans, a native of 
Ohio. As a citizen he is loyal and patriotic, taking an active interest 
in the welfare of his community. His success has-been great, for 
he started with nothing and could now turn his interests into $50,000 
cash, but it has been the success of a self-made man, well deserved. 


The life of the late William J. Adams of Visalia, Tulare county, 
spanned the period from April 4, 1837, to June 8, 1909. He was born in. 
Graves county, Ky., and died at his California home. Reared and 
educated in his native state he left there with a herd of cattle which 
he drove to Texas and from there across the plains to California, 
arriving in 1859. Settling near Tulare Lake in Tulare countv. he 


ranged cattle for many years and later removed them to the moun- 
tains on Adams Flat, wjiere he expanded his enter])rise by raising 
both cattle and horses. 

In 1871 Mr. Adams disposed of his cattle and horse interests and 
gave his attention to sheep lierding. For two years he operated in 
Oregon, then came back to California and settled near Madera on 
the Fresno river, in Madera county, but after two years spent there, 
he returned to Tulare county and for twelve years farmed the old 
Murray ranch, near Visalia. 

In January, 1865, Mr. Adams married Miss Mary Fannie Murray, 
a native of Missouri, a daughter of Abram H. Murray, who crossed 
the plains in 1852 and settled his family in the Visalia neighborhood. 
There their children have since become known and respected. They 
are Sarah, Mrs. E. Hilton, of Porterville; Abram P.; Frank C, a 
biographical sketch of whom is elsewhere in these pages, and Russell, 
who has passed away. 

A man of strong character, upright in his dealing with all, ready 
at all times to do all in his power for the uplift or develo]:imont of 
the community, Mr. Adams was a helpful citizen and the county and 
its people are benefited by his influence among them. 


The well-known and successful Imilder whose name is above is 
a native of Visalia, Tulare county, Cal., born February 28. lS7o, 
son of William J. Adams. He gained his education in the excellent 
schools of that town and began his business career as an emi^loyee 
of the Seeded Raisin Packing Company of Fresno, Cal. From Fresno 
he went to Stockton, where lie learned the carpenter's trade, at which 
he worked for three years. Later he was for a time located in Angels' 
Camp, Calaveras county, whence he returned to Visalia, and in the 
fall of 1908 entered the contracting and building business on his own 

Among the structures which serve to call attention to the skill and 
enterprise of Mr. Adams are the Charles Berry residence, the A. D. 
Wilson home, the addition to the E. 0. Miller residence, the Simon 
Levy brick block, the Dr. W. W. Squires residence, the Meyer Iseman 
residence, the Howard Parish residence, and numerous others of differ- 
ent classes and of equal importance at and near Visalia. On January 17. 
1911, Mr. Adams formed a partnership with J. H. Johnson in order to 
give attention particularly to the ai-chitectural department of his enter- 
prises, but the firm was dissolved October 20 following, and since 
tli;it time Mr. Adams lias been in sole control of tiie i)usiii(\-.s which 


lie has built U]). Of the luuldings erected by Adams & Jolinsou, the 
following mentioned, perhaps as conspicuous as any others, are the 
residences of Tug Wilson, John C. Hayes, Harry Hayes, D. E. Perkins 
and Ralph Goldstein. 

May 1, 1912, marks a very iiuiiortaut ejioch in Mr. Adams' 
career. He then became the builder for the Mt. "\Vhitne.y Power & 
Electric Co., of Visalia. His first work was the building of a large 
brick and iron addition to the steam plant at Visalia, and on June 
25, 1912, he began the construction of the Mt. Whitney Power Plant 
and cottages at No. 3 on the Kaweah river. 

In the National Association of American Engineers Mr. Adams 
holds membership and he affiliates fraternally with Four Creek lodge, 
No. 94, I. 0. 0. F. He married October 7, 1894, Miss Mary A. Nichols, 
a native of Missouri, who has borne him three children, Willard, 
Merle and Russell. As a citizen Mr. Adams has commended himself 
to all who know him as a man of public spirit who has the welfare 
of the community at heart and is ready at all times to respond 
promptly and liberally to any call on behalf of the general good. 


The present sheriff of Tulare county is William W. Collins, 
now serving his third term in that important office. Mr. Collins is 
a son of Albert 0. and Sarah J. (Cochran) Collins, natives of Ohio. 
In 1862, Albert 0. Collins enlisted in Company C, Eighty-fifth Regi- 
ment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served continuously 
from April that year until the end of the Civil war, rising to the 
rank of captain. Returning to Ohio he taught school there until the 
spring of 1866, when he moved to Putnam county, Mo., where he 
lived until May, 1873, at which time he came to California and 
located in Bakersfield, Kern county. There he was for a time in 
the meat trade and later conducted a large ranch until 1887, when 
he took up his residence in Inyo county and engaged in stock-raising 
near Bishop. Mrs. Collins passed away in San Francisco in 1910, 
aged sixty-eight years. 

To Albert 0. and Sarah J. (Cochran) Collins were born three 
sons and two daughters: Charles A., sheriff of Inyo county; Wil- 
liam W. Collins; John L. ; ]\linnie, widow of W. L.Blythe of Palo 
Alto, Cal.; and Leora. who is the wife of Bertrand Rhine of Bishop, 

William W. Collins was born on the old Collins homestead, near 
Coshocton, Ohio, June 23, 1865, and was eight years old when his 
father removed to California. He was educated in the imblic schools 


of Kern county, at the A'isalia Normal school and at the California 
State Normal school at Los Angeles. After his graduation he 
assisted his father for a time in the latter 's cattle business. In 1889 
he entered business life for himself as a wheat gTOwer and as the 
proprietor of a livery stable at Tulare, and in 1895 began buying 
wheat in Tulare and Kern counties for the Farmers' Union Milling 
Co. of Stockton. The next year he accepted a position with J. Gold- 
man & Co. of Tulare as foreman, in charge of their lands, orchards 
and stock. He has recently set out, at Lemon Cove, a forty-acre 
orange grove. 

In Eepublican politics Mr. Collins has long been locally ]")romi- 
neut, and in 1902 he was elected sheriff of Tulare county. He has 
Iieen twice re-elected, and now, in his third term, is one of the most 
po]mlar sheriffs the people of the county have ever known. A 
man of much public spirit, he has been helpfully identified with many 
important home interests, and has in all things devoted himself, heart 
and soul, to the welfare of the community. Fraternally he affiliates 
with the Woodmen of the World, the Ancient Order of United Work- 
men and the local lodge and encampment of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, and in the last mentioned order he has been elected 
to different offices of importance. Sharing with him in the esteem 
of the people of Visalia is Mrs. Collins, a native daughter of Inyo 
county, who was formerly Miss Louise Clarke. She has borne him 
three daughters — Hazel, Vera and Blanche. 


That able and popular medical man of Kings county, Cal., Dr. 
William P. Byron of Lemoore, was born in that town, October 22. 
1878, and was there reared and educated in the public schools. He 
is. the son of H. W. Byron, one of the first pioneers of this part of 
the state. In 1900 Dr. Byron became a student at the California 
Medical College, San Francisco, and in 1904 was graduated from 
that institution with the degree of M. D. He began" the practice of 
his profession at Ridgefield, Wash., and continued it there with con- 
siderable success until 1906, when he returned to Lemoore and opened 
an office there. He was successful from the outset and soon became 
one of the most popular ])hysicians in that ]iart of the county. In 
Novemljer, 1909, Dr. E. H. Byron, his l)rother, became his profes- 
sional partnei-, and this jiartnership continued until November, 1912. 
He has always devoted himself to general practice and is in much 
favor as a family physician. He was made district surgeon for the 
Soutliern Pacific K'aihoad Co. in 1907, and is still liolding that respon- 


sible position. He is the city health officer of Lemoore; county 
physician for Western Kings county, and a member of the San 
Joaquin Valley Health Association, the California State Medical 
Society and the American Society of Medicine. Socially he affili- 
ates with the Masons, Odd Fellows, Red Men, Knis^hts of Pythias, 
Foresters, Woodmen and the Fraternal Brotherhood ; also the orders of 
I. D. E. S. and U. P. E. C, Companions, Rebekahs and the Order of the 
Eastern Star, and with all women's auxiliary lodges in the city of 
which specific mention has not been made. 

In 1910 Dr. Byron married Miss Ruby E. Fassett of Iowa and 
they live on Heinlin street, opposite the jiark. Exacting as are the 
demands that are made upon him professionally he gives much 
time to the promotion of the general interests of Lemoore, and has 
proven himself a public-spirited citizen, to be confidently depended 
upon in any emergency. 


It was in that old southern town, Yazoo City, Miss., that F. D. 
Campbell was born in 1861. But a child when his parents moved to 
Texas, it was in that state that he was reared and went to school, 
and there he became a cowboy, and he lived the wild life of the plains 
and ranges in Texas, New Mexico, Missouri and Montana. He was 
for three years a Texas ranger, a sworn member of the long-famous 
organization so potent in the preservation of order in the country 
along the border. Then it comprised six companies, of twenty-one 
men each, all under command of Greneral King, each company having 
a captain, a lieutenant and a sergeant. The members were men of 
proven bravery, picked from among the boldest and truest spirits 
on the frontier. Much of their work was against smugglers along 
the Mexican border, and some interesting experiences were had in 
l)ursuit of cattle rustlers. One band of smugglers was pursued 
relentlessly by the rangers five years, and was captured at length 
by Mr. Campbell's company at Persimmons Gap, Tex. The head- 
quarters of the rangers was at Austin, Tex., and companies were 
stationed at Sunset Water, Aberdeen, Colorado City and Fort Davis, 
all points of strategic importance on the frontier. Mr. Campbell, 
who was twice wounded in this arduous and exciting sei'vice, received 
his honorable discharge November, 1883. 

Going to Kansas City, Mo., after leaving the frontier service 
in Texas, Mr. Campbell shipped all kinds of livestock from that point, 
till in 1910, when he came to Tulare, to engage in tlie buying and 
selling of livestock. His business at once assumed important pro- 


portions and he was shipping $30,000 worth of cattle and hogs each 
month, as the months averaged. In no department has there been 
a falling off, and in some departments a wonderful growth has been 
recorded. He is also part owner of and a director in the Kern 
Street Market of Tulare, one of the conspicuous concerns of its kind 
in this part of the state. 

In 1896 Mr. Campbell married Miss Alice Landers, a native of 
Mississippi, and they have the following children, mentioned 
in the order of their birth : Ethel, Gladys, Argyle, Blanche and Theo- 
dora. Since taking up his residence in Tulare he has in many ways 
demonstrated that he is a helpful and dependable citizen, patriotically 
devoted to the general interests of the community and ready and 
able at all times to respond to demands in behalf of measures under 
promotion, with a view to the advancement of the public welfare. 


The Texan is as cosmopolitan as any citizen of the United 
States. Wherever his lot may be cast, he immediately becomes one 
of the people and is ready with heart and hand and money to do 
his part toward the advancement of the public weal. Texas, too, has 
been a station in the travels of families bound for California, but 
who have been leisurely in their travels; the stop in Texas has some- 
times been premeditated, sometimes it has been incidental and some- 
times accidental. These stops in Texas have been signalized by the 
addition, by marriage or by birth of members to families from further 
east or north. It was in Texas, in 1857, that Daniel G. Overall first 
saw the light of day. His father, Daniel G., Sr., was a native of 
Missouri; his mother, Charity (Mason), was a native of Illinois. 
The father sailed around Cape Horn to California in 1849. Later 
he went back to Missouri, and from there went to Texas. While 
tarrying in the Lone Star State, he busied himself by getting to- 
gether a large band of cattle, which he drove through from there 
to Tulare county in 1859. Selling his cattle, he was enabled to Ijuy 
ranch property here. He prospered as a farmer, and here he and 
his wife both died. They had two children — Mrs. Mary E. Farrow 
of Visalia and Daniel G. Overall, Jr. The latter was reared and 
educated in Tulare county and went into the real estate business 
at Visalia, in association with John F. Jordan and W. H. Ham- 
mond. A man of public spirit, and influential politically, he was 
elected auditor and sheriff of Tulare county and served in the former 
capacity during 1887-1888 and in the latter during 1889-1890. 

Ranching and stock-raising have commanded Mr. Overall's atteu- 


tion during most of bis business career, but in late years be bas been 
mucb interested in orange-growing in tbe citrus fruit belt of Tulare 
county, and is now president of tbe Central California Citrus Fruit 
Excbange. He is manager and principal owner of tbe Kaweab 
Lemon Company, director in tbe First National Bank of Visalia 
and tbe president of tbe Visalia Abstract Company. For tbirteen 
years be was proprietor of tbe Palace Hotel, Visalia, and be bas 
extensive oil interests in Kern county and mining interests in Cala- 
veras county. He is a Scottisb Rite Mason, Knigbt Templar and a 
Sbriner, active and widely known in tbe order, and affiliates witb 
tbe Fresno lodge of tbe Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 
He bas married twice. His first wife was Miss Hawpe, wbo bore 
him a son, Orvie Overall, wbo bas attained mucb fame as a base- 
ball pitcber in some of tbe great games of tbe past decade. His 
present wife was Miss Van Loan. 


As president of tlie Lemoore Cbamber of Commei'ce and chair 
man of tbe Kings county Republican central committee Robert Ander- 
son Moore has become well known throughout central California, and 
be has other claims to distinction than these. Born in Grant county. 
Wis., in 1861, he lived there until be was fifteen years old, when bis 
family moved to Minnesota and later to Oregon. He came, event- 
ually, to California, and after stopping for a time in Los Angeles 
came to Kings county and became a salesman in tbe McKenna Broth- 
ers' hardware store. He mastered the business and acquired great 
popularity with its patrons and in 1890 bougbt the esta1:)lisbment, 
which he conducted with success until 1911, wben he sold it to the 
Lemoore Hardware Company. 

Since disposing of his hardware interests Mr. Moore bas inter- 
ested himself in real estate operations. He owns two ranches, one of 
forty acres, three miles north of town, and one of one hundred and 
sixty acres, ten miles south and near tbe lake; the former is in vine- 
yard, tbe latter in barley and alfalfa. He has invested to some extent 
in oil property and is a director in tbe Mount Vernon Oil Company, 
which is operating in tbe Devil's Den field. He was one of the organ- 
izers and is in bis second year as president of the Lemoore Chamber 
of Commerce. As chairman of tbe Kings county Republican central 
committee and in other capacities he bas long been active in jiolitical 
work, and he was three times elected a inemlier of tbe l^>()ai-d of Trus- 


tees of the city of Lemoore, serving two terms as chairman of that 
body. Socially he affiliates with the Odd Fellows and the Foresters. 

In 1886 Mr. Moore married Miss Clara H. Peck, a native of Hol- 
lister, Cal. Their son, B. C. Moore, is the successful manager of an 
automobile garage. During all of the years of his residence at Le- 
moore, Mr. Moore has manifested a lively interest in the development 
and prosperity of the town, and as a man of public spirit he has 
cheerfully and generously done much for the betterment of local condi 
tious as occasion has presented itself. 


When John Wesley Garr, who lives half a mile north of Monson, 
came to Tulare county there were but three houses between his resi- 
dence and Hanford, roads were few and unimproved, the towns Dinuba 
and Sawyer had not come into existence, and irrigation ditches had 
not been constructed. Mr. Garr was born in Indiana, September 10, 
1837, and his father was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was reared 
and educated there and passed his active years there until he was 
forty years old, and then went to Texas, where he lived three years. 
His next place of residence was in southern Iowa, in which state 
his brother died aged ninety-six years, their father living to lie 
eighty-six years old. 

In Indiana Mr. Garr married Mary J. English, a native of th