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Biographical SJ^etches 


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

With Their Growth and Development From the 

Early 'Days to the Present 









•IT 1^5 





Lf 30 



Introductory to History of Tulare County 5 

Earliest White Comers to County Bore Name of Smith — Indian Records 
of Prior Inhabitants — The Year 1849 Brings Changes — First Real Settler 
Locates in 1850 — Other Settlers Follow — Rescue of the Wingfields — 
Election of Officers — Derivation of Name Visalia — Survey for Railroad 
in 1853. 


Indian War op 1856 -ry. 20 

Indians a Factor in Growth of Settlement — Interesting Accounts by 
Stephen Barton — Cattle Stealing the Source of 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 Citrus 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River Incident — Interest in Mining Superseded by Cattle Raising — "No- 
Pence" 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 — Yettem — 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. Hockett, 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 — Fiddling 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 
With 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 
' Watermelon. 


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 CoUis 
Robbery — The Evans and Sontag Tragedies. 



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. 


Tul.\re'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. 


TuL.\RE County Today 167 

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


The Organization of 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 Tulare Lake 200 

An Interesting Natural Phenomenon — Original Area of Lake — Swamp 
and Overflow Land Act — "Lakelanders" — Lake Disappears in 1895 — 
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 
From 1891 to 1913— Hanford of Today— Vanishing 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 Jo.\quin 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 Facilites. 



Abbott, Daniel 534 

Adams, Frank C 424 

Adams, William J 423 

Agnew, Jesse B 875 

Ainsworth, Francis M 761 

Akin, James M 364 

Alford, William 829 

Allen, Byron 783 

Allen, George E 832 

Antrim, Calvin H 841 

Arnett, Richard H 513 

Ashley, A. N 687 

Askin, Herbert 598 

Askin, Capt. Robert M 784 

Atwell, Allen J 855 

Aiilman, Phillip 527 


Baca, Santos 752 

Bacon, James A 830 

Bacon, John 839 

Bagby, Earl 494 

Bairstow, John W 602 

Baker, Chauncey M 496 

Baker, Sands 357 

Balaam, Alfred 757 

Ballou, George A 464 

Bardsley, L. W 662 

Barnett, Bright E 702 

Barney, B, L 552 

Barney, Fred M 648 

Bartlett, George 679 

Barton, Orlando D 483 

Bass, Alexander W 505 

Bassett, Mark 717 

Bassett, William G 715 

Batchelder, Elmer A 617 

Baumann, George W 380 

Baxley, John W 553 

Belz, Andrew G 276 

Bequette, Charles C 419 

Bequette, James R 669 

Bequette, Louis 772 

Bequette, Paschal, Jr 456 

Bergen, Jasper N 858 

Bernstein, William F 625 

Berry, R. L 695 

Bertch, Henry 482 

Best, Alexander M 621 

Bezera, Joseph 597 

Biddle, Joseph D 315 

Biddle, Samuel E 326 

Blain, Frank L 533 

Blain, William H 546 

Blair, Thomas H 418 

Blakeley, Frank 528 

Blakeley. James M 588 

Blamquist, Charles R 509 

Blaswick, Charles F 477 

Bliss, George L 796 

Blossom, Ira 628 

Blowers, Cassius M 298 

Bloyd, Levi 650 

Bloyd, William W 323 

Bloyd, Winfleld S 382 

Bloyd, W. W 716 

Bondson, Peter 755 

Booker, Sanford 243 

Boone, James T 763 

Borgman, Henry J 596 

Bowker, N. B 874 

Bozeman, John W 833 

Braly, William H 794 

Brazill, M. P 689 

Brewer, Samuel A 481 

Bridges, George 785 

Brooks, Parker R 660 

Brothers, John 502 

Brown, H. P 871 

Brown, Joseph C 272 

Brown, Philip S 759 

Brown, Samuel C 754 

Brown, Volney A 272 

Brown, William S 664 

Brown, William W 756 

Bruce, Lewis 654 

Buckbee, Martha J 668 

Budd, William 678 

Burgamaster, Julius 550 

Burke, Ivan C 374 

Burke, Richard 835 

Burnham, John B 580 

Burr, Walter S .- 531 

Burrel, Cuthbert 703 

Burrell, John .-. 615 

Burton, Absalom 689 


Burton. Arthvir 724 

Bush, Edward E , 877 

Byron, E. H., M. D 404 

Byron, Henry W 676 

Byron. Lincoln H 485 

Byron. William P., M. D 426 


Campbell, F. D 427 

Cann, .James M 661 

Carle, Charles J 648 

Carlisle. Frederick M 776 

Carter. David F 880 

Cartmill, Wooster B 296 

Cartmill. W. F., M. D 446 

Chance, Edward H 398 

Charles, William B., M. D 868 

Chatten, John 632 

Chatten. Richard 489 

Chatten. Wilmot L 632 

Church, Caryl 492 

Church. Elery H 672 

Clark, Harry A 551 

Clark, Isaac 309 

Clark. William B 590 

Clark, William M 867 

Clarke, Robert C 381 

Clarkson, Thomas J 616 

Clement, George S 735 

Clemente, John V 593 

Click, Martin 838 

Coats, Claude D 657 

Cochran, S. D 729 

Cody, George W 536 

Collins. Albert H 468 

Collins, Oscar F 554 

Collins. William W 425 

Colpien, Henry 549 

Comfort, Aimer B 417 

Comfort, Byron G 650 

Conkey, Fred W 800 

Cooke, William R 805 

Coolidge, Wilbur 518 

Cooper, J. R 730 

Cosper, Elias T 654 

Courtney, Samuel E 352 

Crabtree, James A 516 

Cramer, M. L 855 

Crane, Henry A 589 

Crawshaw, J. A., M. D 629 

Creath, John V 658 

Crook, Alexander 537 

Cutler, A. R 420 

Cutler, John 420 


Daly, Arthur G 486 

Danner, .lohn C 441 

Davenport, William H 607 

Davidson, John W 674 

Davis, Andrew J 601 

Dean, Gilbert M. L 582 

Dean, .label 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, Willard 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. Clifford 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 


X 1 

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 735 

Fontana, M. J 872 

Foster, Earl P 642 

Foster, E. C, M. D 457 

Fowler, Perry D 397 

Frans, John 691 

Freeman, C. E 641 

Fry, Walter 704 

Fudge, Edmund J 603 

Fulmer, Alfred C _ 348 

Furman, William E 514 


Gallaher, W. C 367 

Gamble, David 770 

Garcia, Mike V 652 

Garr, John W 430 

Gavotto, S 696 

Giannini, Frank 559 

Gibbons, O. E 545 

Gibson, 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, Levy N 725 

Gribi, Albert E 673 

Griffin, Asa T 484 

Griffith, Frank 439 

Griswold, Oscar T 544 

Guiberson, J. W 411 

Gurnee, Brewster S 791 


Halford, Isaac T 787 

Hall, Albert A 618 

Hall, John E 513 

Hall, Samuel W 671 

Hamilton, Hugh L 389 

Hamlin, Benjamin, M. D 335 

Hanford National Bank 636 

Hannah, J. A 723 

Hansen, Christ S 653 

Harris, G. C 376 

Harris, Jesse W 586 

Hart, Charles W 458 

Hart, Edwin F 793 

Harvey, John W 530 

Hastings, U. G 720 

Hauschildt, John H 4S7 

Hawley, Luther C 395 

Hayes, Frank P 876 

Hays, John N 314 

Headrick, Daniel : 595 

Henley, Stepnen E 508 

Herrin, Daniel M 506 

Heusel, William P 775 

Hickman, David H 644 

Hicks, Benjamin 261 

Hicks, Stephen B 548 

Higdon, William J 304 

Hight, Frank R 148 

Hill, Melvin A 718 

Hine, John H SSI 

Hockett, John B «48 

Holley, C. H 732 

Holley, H. H 732 

Homen, Manuel R 715 

Homer, Joseph W 788 

Horsman, Henry C 039 

Hoskins, Charles W 802 

Houston. George W 719 

Houston, James 851 

Howard, Charles H 657 

Howe, Albert P 705 

Howe, Edwin H 532 

Howe, Frank E 519 

Howe, Fred C 490 

Howes, Thomas E 495 

Howeth, Lewis W 738 

Hubbs, Arthur P 786 

Huffaker, Jacob V 670 

Hunsaker, I. B 554 

Huntley, John H 255 

Hyde, Jeremiah D 692 

Hyde, Richard E 682 


Jacob, Elias 737 

Jacobs, Hon. Justin 278 

Jacobs, H. Scott 405 

Jameson, Irving L 414 

Jasper, George 461 

Jenanyan, Moses S 568 

Johnson. James L 817 

X 1 1 


Johnson, John C S44 

Jordan, John F 331 

Joyner, Charles E 630 


Kaehler. Mrs. Ida M 496 

Kanawyer, Napoleon P 640 

Kellenberg, Frank R 859 

Kelly. Samuel W 403 

Kelsey, Hiram 861 

Kennedy & Robinson 4.'j5 

Kenney. Samuel L 837 

Kimball, S. C TS9 

Kincaid, Roland L. 520 

King. Lowery B 4S0 

Kinkade. Squire H S15 

Kitchel, Elmer L 795 

Klindera. John 697 

Kneeland. Joel 696 

Knierr. Albert 694 

Knight, U. G _ 368 

Knight. Zenias 581 

Knox, George W 256 

Knutson, Iver 873 

Kyle. T. W 392 


.Lafever. Andrew J 808 

LaMarche, Joseph 434 

LaMarsna, Eber H 673 

LaMarsna. Jeffery J 699 

Laney, Archie P _. 565 

Lathrop. Ezra _ 288 

Leach. John H 753 

Leavens. Peter ^ 675 

Leavens. William A 675 

Lee. Anderson W 816 

Leebon, John A 547 

Lemos. Manuel B 776 

Leoni. Leo 665 

Lewis, D. W 707 

Lewis. Thomas 445 

Ley, Joseph „... 852 

Light. H. J 320 

Lindsey, Tipton 270 

Lorendo. Gideon 391 

Loucks, Hon. Geo. P 821 

Lovelace. Byron 396 

Lovelace, Joseph W., 631 

Luce. Eugene A 792 

Lynch. Jlichael M .S21 

McAdam, Frank S 325 

McAdam, James 746 

McAdam Ranches 319 

McAdam, Robert 744 

McAdam, William J 363 

McCarthy. Thomas 512 

McClure. Benjamin E 700 

McCord. William P 345 

McCracken. W. H _ 521 

McFarland. Charles G 616 

McFarland. J. H. C 283 

McLaughlin, Stiles A 843 

McLean, P. A 336 

Macfarlane. W. C 778 

Machado. Manuel 1 497 

Maddox, Ben M 362 

Majors, Columbus P 241 

Mardis. Oliver P 361 

Marshall, Lionel W 390 

Mathewson, Arthur W 541 

Mathewson, Earl 625 

May. James H 504 

May. Jonathan W 764 

Mayer, James B 511 

Mayes, Francis M 842 

Melidonian, E. G 354 

Michaelis, William 845 

Miller. Herman T 747 

Miller. Robert W 324 

Miller, William H.. M. D 882 

Miller. William R 360 

Millinghausen, William H 572 

Mills. Merritte T 748 

Mitchell. Adolphus ^ 803 

Mitchell. Levi 769 

Mitchell. S 731 

Montgomery. Elbert R 518 

Montgomery. John 523 

Montgomery. Litchfield Y 287 

Moore. Hiram 529 

Moore. Orlando 379 

Moore. Robert A 429 

Moorehead. James A 452 

Morgan. John T 626 

Murphy, Daniel 569 

Murphy. Henry and Philena A 656 

Murphy. Rev. James 812 

Murray, Abram H 448 

Murray, ^y alter D 645 


Navarre. Elizabeth 570 

Newman, Frank A 310 

Newman. Robert 478 

Newman. Thomas C 613 

Noble. George A 275 

Null. Robert 749 


X 1 1 1 

Oakes. James W 853 

Ogden. Robert K 864 

OgiU-ie, Albert G 6*9 

Osborn. Frank 359 

Overall, Daniel G 428 


Parker. Hiram L 781 

Parrish. F. M 540 

Parsons. Ulysses G 573 

Peacock. Harrison F 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 F 527 

Poe. Frank 721 

Pollock. George W 750 

Powell. Frank 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 D 698 

Raney. Asbury C '. 883 

Ratliff. William P 870 

Rea, Frank 814 

Reed. Henry W 818 

Reed. John R 619 

Rehoefer. Samuel 714 

Reinhart. William 557 

Renaud. Emerie 561 

Rhodes. William C 575 

Rice. John C 605 

Rice, J. Clarence 606 

Rice. J. W. B 373 

Richardson. Freeman 638 

Richardson. Gustavus A 510 

Richland Egg Ranch 778 

Rivers. William 883 

Robertson. Frank P 574 

Robinson. William W 820 

Robison. George A 567 

Rock. Henry F 708 

Roes, Henry C - 856 

Boss. Ean 677 

Rosson. Charles T., M. D 290 

Rourke. Michael F 522 

Russell, J. C. C 708 


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, Ahin B 498 

Shoemaker. Robert M 472 

Shreve, H. M 433 

Sickles, Lewis A 571 

Sigler, John 611 

Silveira. Joseph 563 

Singleton. M. F 797 

Slocum, Alvin H 342 

Smith. A. Frank 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 437 

Smith, Lewis S 866 

Smith, Thomas 819 

Smith, W. J 474 

Stayton. Charles F t)47 

Steuben. William N 740 

Steves, George H 683 

Stokes, John W 2S1 

Stokes, S. C 295 

Storzback. Fred 514 

Stubbelfield. William N 806 

Sturgeon. Joseph W 71i» 

Swall. Arthur 380 

Swall. William 849 

X 1 V 


Swan, William 359 

Sweeney, James 741 


Taylor, J. L 622 

Teague, George H 825 

Thayer, J. Carl 773 

Thayer, William H 383 

The Old Bank of Hanford 433 

Thomas, F. A 488 

Thomas, Isaac H 263 

Thomas, Jesse A 742 

Thomas, Louis L 774 

Thomas. Martin V 499 

Thomson, Peter 780 

Tomer, George 341 

Tompkins, Charles W 884 

Townsend, Homer C 693 

Tozer, Charles W 33? 

Tozer, Roy S 'J38 

Traeger, Henry G 49T 

Traut, Mrs. Catherine L 659 

Trewhitt, W. D 798 

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 681 

Walker, John and Serepta . 686 

Walker, William G 6.S4 

Ward, Harvey L 826 

Warner, Erastus F 023 

Warren, Isaac H 889 

Webb, Octavius H MV) 

Weddle, Ethelbert S G08 

Weddle, M. E 762 

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, Henry 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 Eiigejie L. Menefee. 

A preat'lier and a teaclicr, it apitears, curiously euou.uli wore the 
two first white leaders to enter what is now Tulare county. Each 
l)ore the name of Smith. Jedediah S. Smith, the preaclier, 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 Tejon pass. Thousands of naked Indians 
were seen. Tulare lake was observed and successful trai)i)ing for 
beaver was conducted along the upper reaches of the Kings, San 
Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. In 1827 Smith made a return trij), 
entering through Walker's pass. 

It should be understood that Jed was not an ordained minister, 
but being a strong and aggressive Cliristian, 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 his efforts at reform were not entirely suc- 

"Pegleg" Smith, the teacher, visited our vicinity in 1S:5(1, and 
was eminently successful. "Pegleg" did not hold a degree nor even 
a certificate. He was a horse-thief by profession and he took u]) 
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 him, 
Mr. Smith allowed some of the Indians to accompany him on raids 
to tlie ranchos of the coast and taught them all the elements of a])i)ro- 
priatiou. Due, no doul)t, to Mr. Smith's ability as an educator, 
these lessons were not forgotten and tlie practices inculcated by him 
were so i)ersistent]y folh:)wed that in the course of time the Indians 
gained the merited title of "the horse-thieves of the Tulare." 

Oiie of Pegleg's ])arty met a tragic fate. Missed from cami) 

on Kern river, near the site of the present Keyesville, he was found 

dead alongside the carcass of a huge grizzly, his body mutilated and 

his head crushed. '^I'liere had evidently been a deadly fight in which 

both contestants had succumbed. 'i'lie I'ude wooden cross whicli 


marked bis lonely fi,rave still stood in 1H'A\ when the Kern river j^old 
rush took place. 

Closely following;- Jedediah Smith came Ewing Young and party, 
who started tra])])ing in the San Joafpiin valley in 1831, finding 
beaver plentiful. Young hunted in the vicinity of Tulare lake for a 
short time and theu took his way northward. During the next 
decade several other groups of trapjiers passed through the San 
Joaquin valley. Between the Tulare valley and the Calaveras river 
there was at that time an estimated Indian iwpulation 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 lie 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 elapsed 
since this civilizatioji flourished. Probalily 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 Joacpiin so that the area of 
our county was once smaller thau 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 
indesti'uctible paints used. 

On a bluff near the railroad bridge across the Kaweah at Lemon 
Cove, at Rocky Hill, near Exeter, in Stokes valley, at "VVoodlake, at 
Dillon's point, at Hospital Rock on the middle fork of the Kaweah, 
some thirteen miles above Three Rivers and in many other jilaces 
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 hieroglyphics. 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 com]>ared and grou]ied 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 mav vet be translated into English. Even so, then would 


elapse a period of thousands of years without a line. No tradition 
existed Iiere among tlie Indians as to any migration or se])aration 
from another tribe. They believed themselves to be al)origines. Yet 
there were trails known to them l)y which the Sierras could be 

No reports from the passing l)ands of trappers hastened the 
coming of settlers. With them a country was good or liad according 
as many valuable pelts could or could not be there obtained, and no 
note was taken of its adaptaliility for agriculture. Neither was it by 
the accounts set fortli by Fremont, wliich were meager and of a 
scientific nature. 

Tlie fact was that in the '4!l rush to tlie gold fields of Calif ornia 
many trains came l)y the southern route and passed through the Four 
Creeks country, as this section was tlien called. Out of a desert they 
came, and pursuing their way northward, Inick 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 there was a trader named Woods, who with a 
party of about fifteen men arrived in December of 1850. This party 
came from Mariposa and was well equipped with saddle and pack ani- 
mals, arms, implements of l)uilding, etc. They located on the south 
bank of the Kaweah river, about seven miles east of ^^isalia, where 
they built a. substantial log house. Of the fate of this ]iarty accounts 
vary somewhat. The accepted version is that in the spring of '51, an 
Indian l)earing the name of Francisco, speaking some Si^anish, and 
probably one of the renegades from the ranches of the coast, with 
a number of Kaweahs, of whom he apj^eared 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 prejiarations 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 Woods and 
another. They professed friendship, and thus removed the aii])re- 
hensions of their victims, who were unconscious of the fate of their 
fellows. One of the whites was asked to hold up a target that the 


ludiaiis miylit exhiliit their skill with the bow aud arrow; he com- 
plied, whereupon the treacherous Kaweahs turued their aim uijon 
him aud f|uickly 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 sujiply of ammunition, aud 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 
treachery and the tragedy. The entrapjjed man determined to sell 
his life as dearly as possible. As opportunity offered 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 l)rave 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 ]iower. Woods had made 
a brave defense, had slayed and wounded many of their numlier 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 liody aud 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. When 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 ]:)arty. 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 wounded man, whose name 
was Boden, aud carried him back with them to Marii)osa, where he 
recovered. To C. R. 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 inarched to the feceue. The log house stood intact and evi- 
dence of the In-ave 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 
his early history of Tulare county, his data being obtained from 
several of the first settlers. In the issue of the Visalia Sun dated 


September 5, 1860, Ahriilwnn llillianl, who arrived in the sprini;' of '.'')4 
and lived for three months in the Woods cabin, gives i)rac'tically the 
same version. i)la('insi' tlie date of tlie massacre, however, as Decem- 
ber 13, 1850. 

Gilbert M. L. Dean, who arrived in the Fonr Creeks conntry 
when a lad abont twelve years of age, states that his father's family 
came from Texas in a party conducted by Nat ^"ise. 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 i)ack 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. 
al)out a half mile from that afterwards constructed l)y the AVoods 
party. Thus the general belief that the latter structure was the 
first permanent lialiitation erected by white men within the present 
limits of Tulare county is disputed by Dean, who was living in St. 
John's caliin wlien the Woods party arrived to establish 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 groTind. 
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 

S(ildiers and otliers arrived within a day or two, among tliem 
being some of the men wlio had been with Woods. They stated that 
Woods had gone to the cabin to ])repare dinner or had remained 
there after l)reakfast and was attacked by the Indians when alone at 
the cabin. The others heard the firing of Woods' gun and the shout- 
ing of the Indians, and lieing unarmed or poorly armed and unal)le 
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 Woods having 
l)een killed at tliat time, but does not remember to have heard 
whether an.\- of the survivors were wounded or molested by the 
Indians. The Woods cabin was used for a schoolhouse afterwards, 
and Dean and his l)rother attended school there later, when, after his 
return to Los Angeles, tlie Dean family came to tlie Kaweah settle- 
ment to reside permanently. Dean was therefore at this i)]ace as a 
pupil in the first school in Tulare county and he still has a vivid 


recollection of the locality. When visitin.o- the i)lace, with othei's. a 
few j'ears ago lie at once recognized the tree on wliich Woods' skin 
was hnng by the Indians and pointed out the location of the honse 
and about the spot where Woods' ))ody lay, and an involuntary 
shudder was noticed to pass through the old gentleman's frame as 
he stood there. Although the oldest resident of Tulare county, the 
l)ioneer of Tulare pioneers, he is still vigorous, retains all his faculties 
perfectly and remembers distinctly the [iriucipal events of that early 
time, many of which he participated in. 

Apparently uuterritied l)y the fate of the Woods i)arty, settlers 
and traders continued to straggle in. In the fall of 1851, C. B. Wing- 
field and A. A. Wingfield arrived from Mariposa. On the way the>' 
met two men named McKeuzie and Eidley, who had been trading 
with the Indians for several years and who were somewhere in the 
neighborhood when the Woods jiarty was slain. A bridge had been 
l)uilt across the Kaweah near the Woods cabin, but there was no 
settlement. The Wingfields settled near the cabin, laying claim to 
the land from the river southward. They found the Indians friendly 
and sociable, and although their outfit was within the reach of hun- 
di-eds of this people and contained a multiplicity of small articles, 
yet the.v never missed so much as a needle. 

In December of tlie same year, Xathauiel and Abner Vise came 
to what is now \'isalia and l)uilt a log cabin on the north bank of Mill 
ci'eek. ()n the site of the camps of these two pairs of brothers were 
afterwards built the two towns that contended for the honor of being 
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 witli a fixed 
domicile. They were unknown to each other and ignorant of the 
other's whereabouts. 

The state legislature was in session. Many first-class politicians 
at Mariposa were either out of a job or i)ossessed of one the emolu- 
ments of which were not satisfactory. These events and conditions 
would not have interested either the l)rothers Vise or the Wingfields. 
Yet so interwoven are the strands of destiny tliat life or death to the 
Wingfields was later to dei)end on the activity of the Mari])osa schem- 
ers and their "pull" with the legislators. It was at the l)ehest of 
this horde of hungry office-seekers that the legislature passed an act 
and the same was approved A])ril 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 Obisi)o covmties; 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 


along said line to the comity of Los Angeles; tlience sontliwesterly 
along the line of Los Angeles connty to Santa Barbara; thence along 
the summit of the coast range to the point of beginning. 

"The southern portion of Mariposa county so cut ofi, shall l)e 
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 sliall l)e called Woodsville, until changed by the ijeople as 
l>rovided l)y law. 

"During the second week of July next there shall l)e chosen for 
Tulare county one county judge, 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 
ciualified. The other officers elected shall hold their resi)eetive offices 
for one year, and until their successors are elected and qualiiied. 
The successors of the officers elected under this act shall be chosen at 
the general elections established by law, which take place next pre- 
ceding the expiration of their respective terms." 

James D. Savage, M. B. Lewis, John Boling and W. H. McMillen 
were appointed conunissioners to cari-y out the law and conduct the 

The i)rime mover in this scheme to form a new county was 
William H. Harvey. He and his associates knew of the nuissacre of 
the Woods party and, fully expecting to have to tight tlieir way to 
the P^our Creeks, ])laced the cx])editiou under the connnand of Major 
James D. Savage. 

Orlando Barton says: "Major Savage's party as it left Mari- 
posa was com]K)sed mostly of men on horseback. Many men with 
families ])re]iared to follow with teams. The first general rendezvous 
was on Grand Island. A settlement was already forming on Kings 
river. I have heard it stated that the office-seekers from Mariposa 
hired enough Whigs to come with them to outvote the Democrats on 
Arkansas Flat. On Grand Island, July 8th, the commissioners held 
their first meeting. They ordered an election to be held on July 10, 
1852, and appointed William J. Campbell to act as the ins])ector at 
Poole's Perry and William Dill to act as inspector at Woodsville. 
These were the only ])recincts 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 !)tli they started from Poole's Ferry to 
cross the plains. It lacked about an hour and a half of sundown when 
they arrived in the outskirts of the timber at the foot of \'enice hills. 
Here they saw hostile ludiaus. Major Savage's party rode along the 


southwest side of the A'enit-e hills, Hriiii;- riiilil and left at eveiv Indian 
they saw. 


"On the mornino- of July 8, 1852, three lumdred armed Indians 
came to the Wiugfiekl hrothers' camp and took them and an Indian boy 
who was with them jirisoners, and marched tliem across tlie Kaweah 
and St. John rivers. Near the north banl< of tlie St. John, the Indians 
tied the Wingfield brothers and their companion liand and foot and 
laid them on the ground. Tlie Wiugtields were kept in this ])lace 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 AVingfields 
nor their companion could understand the cause of their imprison- 
ment. They knew nothing of the advance of Major Savage's ])arty. 
They did not know that tlieir captors constituted one of tlie forces 
sent to hold the fords of the St. John against the men from ^lariposa. 

"If I were a novelist I would novr tell what the AViugheld broth- 
ers thought at this crisis in their lives. I would tell how they were 
tormented by swarms of Hies, 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 reasonalily be permitted to guess that they expected to be 

"The sun was about au hour high in the west when an Indian 
came running around the southernmost of the Venice hills holding one 
of his arms straight u]) 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 place where the 
Wing-fields were tied down. They untied them and then all the In- 
dians suddenly disappeared. 

"The AVingtields went to the river and after swinuning 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 Mount A'iew 
Park. The Wingiields re-crossed the river and joined the ])arty. 


"As soon as Major Savage's party arrived, the commissioners 
commenced to prejiare 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 lie blowing. 
There has been recently a sign ])laced on this tree and any person can 
find it. It stands about half way l)etween the Tulare Irrigation com- 
pany's flume and the Southern Pacific railroad bridge across the St. 
John river. '^Die jiioneers occujiied the ground between the election 


tree and the river, and utilized the shade of several oilier trees. IMes- 
sengers were sent hack to Poole's iVrry and night found the Mariposa 
adventurers in possession of the camp that the captors of the Wing- 
fields had so recently occupied." 

The poll list of the Woodsville i)recinct was as follows: Augustus 
John, S. D. F. Edwards, Early Tiyon, 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 Reefe, Clark 
Royster, S. M. Brown. J. G. Morris, P. F. HesJjerp, 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 McCormick, B. B. Overton, James 
Davis, A. A. Wingfield, R. Schuffler, A. M. Cameron. C. R. AVingtield 
voted at Poole's ferry, as did Nathaniel Vise. 

In looking over this poll list the observer is at once struck with 
the infre(]ueucy of well-known names of early pioneers. This was 
because there were few bona lide settlers in the settlement. 

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

On July 12th, the county otlicers took the oath of office and the 
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 Bob Collins, shortly after his arrival in Marijiosa, and soon 
afterwards Major Savage was killed by Judge Harvey. Franken- 
berger. in a fit of delirium tremens, wandered off into the swamp and 
died. Later in the season. Dr. Everett was engaged in gambling at 
Woodsville with a man named Ball and a dis]mte arose about $5. 
Everett asked Ball if he was armed. P)all replied that he was not, 
whereujion ?]verett co/mnanded liim to go and arm himself. Ball said 
that he would and started for his camji. Everett said he would go 
with him and see that he did it, ]>ulliug out his pistol at the sanu' 
time. P>all then tf)ld him that the best way was to leave the matter 
till another day and it would pro1)ably be settled. "No," said Ever- 
ett, "one of us must die now." Ball stoojted over and carelessly 
rubbed his leg, saying, "If I must fight, I shall fight for Ijlood." and 


at the same time suddenly lifting iiis jiantaloons and drawing a 
revolver from his boot, shot Everett dead without drawing the pistol 
from its scal)bard. 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 liy which county affairs were 

At the lirst meeting of the court of sessions held October 4, 1852. 
Judge Harvey ])residiug, 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. Eainholt was 
named to succeed J. C. Erankenberger. An election proclamation 
was issued for the general election to be held on the first Tuesday 
of November, 1852, for county and state officers and for presidential 
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 Ililliard and family, 0. K. Smith, Samuel 
Jennings, Tom Willis, Tom Baker, G. F. siiip. 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 lietter 
land. They were i)leased 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 climl) over. 

The naming of the new settlement ai)i)eared to be the occasion 
of some dispute. The majority of the citizens favored naming it 
after its founder, Nathaniel A'ise. l)ut Ihc lioard of supervisors desig- 
nated it Buena Vista. The word A'isalia lirst appears in the record 
of the court of sessions in August, 1853, when an order was entered 
dividing the county into townships. Woodsville and A'isalia town- 
ships were divided by a line running north and south from the cross- 
ing of Canoe creek. 

Its derivation is believed by some to be from Vise and Sally or 
Salia, the name of ^'ise's wife. Others believe it to be a combination 
of Vise with Sa-ha-la, the Indian name for sweat house, and still 
others think it merely the termination "alia," as in Vaudalia, Cen- 
tralia, etc., chosen on account of its ])leasing sound. 


lu October of 1853 was lield the tirst session of the board of 
supervisors. Town lots were parceled out and the record shows the 
entry, "Ordered that tlie seat of justice be Buena Vista." In the 
records of the court of sessions for February, 1851, the name Buena 
Vista api)eared for the last time, all suljseciuent jiroceedings being 
dated Visalia. On the 11th of March, 1854, the board of supervisors 
entered an order granting the prayer of certain ])etitioners that tlie 
name of tlie seat of justice be Visalia. So much concerns the dispute 
over the name. The election l)y which tlie transfer of the seat of 
justice from Woodsville was effected was held in '[SoA. Judge Cutler 
was tlie cham]>ion of Woodsville and Judge Thomas Baker of \'isalia. 
The vote was \ery close and bribery and corruption were alleged to 
have l)een used. The friends of Woodsville charged that the result 
in favor of ^^isalia was from the bribery of two or three voters and 
there was at least one uotable ease where one man obtained an eligi])le 
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 scraps 
of ])aper and deposited in a wooden box. Much of the ])roceedings 
and accounts were kei^t in memory. 

At the session of the l)oard of supervisors in March, 1854, many 
town lots were sold anil 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 indies 
square, dove-tailed and i)inned at the corners; the wall to be double 
with a space iietween six inches wide, to be filled with liroken rock. 
The floor was to be of logs of similar size, planked, and the planking 
to be held down by "double tens," one nail in every superficial inch. 
This order was to be pulilished in a Mariposa newsjiaper. Although 
this was the first jail and courthouse in the new county, it was not 
built in time to acconmiodate 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, luit notliing came of it. As previously 
related, Ball was acquitted for the killing of F]verett. Tlie first 
case ti'ied in the county was before a justice of tlie ])eace. It was 
that of a young Indian charged with shooting an arrow into a 
work-ox whereby the animal was more or less disabled. At this 
time few i)ersons had allowed themselves to think of a lightei' 
jumishment for an Indian tliau that of summary execution. All 
concurred in the oiiiiiion tliat siicli mischief should not be toler- 
ated. The mass of the Indians were disposed to be friendly, but 


were not disposed to lake the same view of the uecessity of 
adoptin.o' a more severe penalty for the Indians than was meted 
out to whites for similar offenses. The chief was anxious to 
preserve jieace and volunteered his services to aid in the arrest 
of the culi)rit. The officers de]iutized to make the arrest were 
C. R. "Wingfield and Jim Hale. They, in company with the chief, 
went to Cottonwood creek, near Elder Springs (AVoodlake). Here 
the old chief suggested the plan of having the officers remain 
under a tree while he should go and make the arrest. 

Among these Indians the jirdxince of a chief is to advise 
rather than command, and the old chief perhaps regarded it as 
.uncertain wliether the young men of the camp would acquiesce 
in the surrender until they knew what the character of the ])un- 
ishment would 1)e. 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 ))egan to grow impatient, 
they saw two or three Indians on foot aiijiroaching from a dis- 
tance. They came up and sullenly seated themselves under the 
tree. Soon after three or four more appeared. They were hounti- 
fuUy supplied with bows and arrows and "Wingfield made tJie 
comment that they were going to be 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 the chief nuide liis appearance with the prisoner, followed 
by about forty Indians fully equipped for war. 

"When they came up, the officers, assuming a bold front in 
an uni^leasant emergency, took the pi'isoner in charge and started 
for cam]), a distance of about ten miles. Arriving there the jiro- 
cession halted in front of the office of the justice of the peace, 
i.e., mider 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 means 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 case tried in the white man's way. 'i'lie 
evidence on both sides was heard, and a judgment rendered that 
the accuse<l Indian pay a fine of fifty l)uckskins to the owner of 


the ox. Tlie ludians aeoe])ted this verdict as being ])erfectly just, 
the fine was at once paid and .yood feeling re-establislied. 

In the new settlement, by the close of '53 and tlic 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 o]iened a store ; a man named Ketchem started 
a saloon; many settlers made the trip to Stockton for seed, im- 
plements and ])r()visitms. A school was started with aliout half a 
dozen scholars. Children had been born, Commodore Murray being 
the first and "Sieb" Stevenson the second. 0. K. Smith imt 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 valley. 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 below. 

"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 jilains. The Sierra Nevadas also 
present a magnificent spectacle from this place. The chain aj)- 
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 boldly 
against the clear blue sky. Snow was resting on the summits in 
broad white fields that glistened under the rays of an unclouded 
sun and by its rapid melting kept the rivers well su])plied with 

"From Kings river to the Four Creeks the si;rface 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 nnles 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 the 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 smik in the deep, Hiick nuul and been left 


there to die of starvation. Their wliitened liones stood uprinlit 

in the clay like posts around a srave. The drying up of this 

clayey ground has produced deep slirinkage cracks and fissures 

similar to those observed in the rich soils around tlie 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) Iiounded 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 iind the ground hid- 
den from view by a luxuriant growth of grass and the air fragrant 
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 Ti;lare 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." 

Visalia 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 foi'est, deer, elk and antelope abounded. Here, 
too, were numerous bands of wild horses. 

CajJt. 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 


roiuautie siylit, as great trooi)8 ut" the fat and glossy animals gal- 
lo]>ed past. Many of these immigrants and many other adventurous 
spirits returned the following year in the hoi)e of wealth by captur- 
ing the wild horses of the Tulare i)lains. Large corrals of brush and 
fence and tule with branching wings were constructed, pits were 
excavated and other devices were essayed; fleet horses with skillful 
riders with lassos were emi)loyed, and all the efforts possible were 
made to capture the wild horses. Many were taken, a comparative 
few were tamed and subdued to use; great numbers were killed, and 
so vigorous was the onslaught that but a year or two elajised 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." 



In the growtlt of the settlement Indians materially aided. They 
were docile, frieudl\', 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 develoj) 
into what has been called the "Indian War." 

For an account of this we are i)rineii>ally 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 }iresent here. 

In the spring of this year there came a rumor that a large l)and 
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 astmiished 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 married 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, Wiley Watson, Mr. Kenney and several otliers, 
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 Avithout avail. The tribe camped a mile 
below Visalia were ordered to surrender their arrows and to move 
their camp up to the western edge of the town. A party of 
mounted men went 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- 


siej^iiig a caiiiii ol' aliout I'di'ty uiianiicd and frii'iidly Indians ol' all 
ages and sexes, ahout two miles east of town, and of i)nttin,<i- them to 
death l)y ni.iilit. D. B. James and a few others, liearin.y- of this 
diabolical scheme, hronght the Indians into town where tliey conld 
receive ihe i)rotection of those averse to the shedding of innocent 

Meantime, the tocsin of war continned to sonud. Settlers and 
miners from distant parts gathered and a military organization was 
effected nnder the command of Captain Demasters. These prepara- 
tions frightened the Indians and they fled to join their companions 
on Tnle river. The coimnand of Demasters, nnmberiug tifty or sixty 
men, started in jtnrsnit and the same day a party of nine mounted 
men followed the trail of a hand of sixty Tejon Indians, who were 
traveling southward in the direction of the White river. Cai)tain 
Demasters' comi^any, after reaching Tnle river, continued uj) 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 iDositiou, 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 eiglity rods along the face of a hill at the head of a 
little cove, or jdain. Immediately in the front of the position the 
ground was rough and l)roken, but to reach it it was necessary to 
traverse the open i)lain mentioned, exposed to a fire from behind 
the fortification. At either end, and in the rear of the defences, 
was a dense thicket of clmparral extremely difficult to i>enetrate. 
The position was defended by a force numbering in the neighborhood 
of seven hundred warriors. 

Demasters, confident of the superiority of his men, small as 
their numbers 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 jjetticoat made of duck, jiadded inside with cotton. The 
petticoat brigade inarched boldly to the fray, but their shields ]iroved 
more vulnerable than anticijiated and the whites made a precipitate 
retreat to a ])oint about a mile distant to await re-enforcements. 

The party of nine men previously spoken of, on the trail of 
the Tejon Indians, ke])t in their saddles all day and night, and 
about daylight on the following morning, near where the village of 
Ducor is now situated, came upon the Indian camp. The dogs began 
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 disturliance. John \V. Williams, 
afterwards cily marshal of \'isalia for several veai's, directed the 


man nearest liini, who had a liHe, ti) slioot. The Indian dropped 
dead, and the Americans charged, firing- ra])idly at the Indians, who 
scattered preci]>itately, leaving five dead. Williams and party tlien 
rode l)ack to Tide river to join the force under Demasters. It was 
the supposition at the time that this i)arty of Tejon Indians had 
l)een im])Iicated in cattle stealing in Frazier valley, and had gone on 
a marauding expedition to White river to massacre the few whites 
living along the stream; liut nothing was heard of them afterwards, 
and as they had a few women with them, they were probably only 
returning home to their own tribe. 

When the party of whites rejoined tlie command under Demas- 
ters, it was decided to dispatch Williams to Keyesville for assist- 
ance. Williams set out inunediately, going by way of Lynn's valley, 
Poso Ulat and (xreenhorn mountain. At Lynn's valley he changed 
horses and William Lynn, after whom the valley was named, agreed 
to accompany him i)art of the way. During their ride, after dark, 
through a heavily timbered region, where bears were i)lentiful, an 
incident occurred that is worthy of note. After riding a short dis- 
tance into the forest they heard a noise behind, and turning, saw a 
large, black animal following them. Williams was mounted on a 
fractious mustang which became frightened and darted up the steep 
mountain side, but floundered back into the trail. Soon they reached 
a small opening and here they determined to try the eflfect of a 
shot at the briite, which followed them persistently. L^^Tin dis- 
charged a load of buckshot and the l)ear fell at the first fire, greatly 
to their relief. 

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

When the Keyesville party arrived the entire force, numbering 
one hundred and forty, was placed under the command of W. (!. 
Poindexter, sherifT 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 
the th.igli. These were the only whites injured. The attack ])roved 
futile and Poindexter ordered his command to fall back. A ]iortion 
returned to A'isalia, the remainder remaining encamped nearby 
awaiting re-enforcements. Of the force which returned to Visalia 
Ste]ihen Darton says: "Now connnenced one of the most disgrace- 
ful scenes connected with the history of this valley. Having inglor- 
iously fled from the Held of battle, this force now sought a cheap 

TULARP: and kings counties 23 

l)laii of rt'ti'ieviii.n' a rejuitation for lieroisiii hy tiu-niii,!j,' on those 
citizens who liad counseled moderation and fair dealins"'. The Msalia 
Indians liad heen conipelled to surrender their arms and cam]) at 
the edge of town. The same autliority which required this now 
required that tliose wlio o])j)osed the war should, at tlie peril of 
their own lives, as well as of the lives of the Indians involved, 
convey the Indians out of the settlement. Dillon, Watson, Keeney, 
Judge Baker, the Matthews and several others were the men who 
now found their lives imperiled hy the fury of a lawless mol), for 
no other reason than that of having used words of moderation during 
a moment of i)0])ular frenzy. * * * Dillon gave $10 and a 
thousand j^ounds of flour, the Matthews gave fiour, and the other 
l)arties named gave in iJrojiortion and Jim Bell was hired to take 
a heavy ox team and haul the i)oor outcasts to Kings river." 

The "soldiers" left in camj) occupied themselves in searching 
out and destroying the caches of jn-ovisions which the Indians had 
made at ditTerent ]ioints along the foothills. These were found 
without difficulty, as they were usually placed in the forks of oak 
trees and covered with thatch. 

In a few days a company from Millerton, under connnand of 
Ira Stroud, and one from Coarse (rold Gulch under connnand of 
John L. Hunt, arrived. From Fort Miller was sent a detachment 
of twenty-live 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 the force which 
now numbered about four hundred and comprised nearly all the 
able-bodied men of the valley. 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 Ca))tain 
Livingston with his soldiers and about sixty volunteei-s ascended 
an eminence connuanding the Indian fortification in order to select 
the most advantageous position for mounting their howitzer. 

The Indians unexpectedly made a vigorous attack on this 
party, precipitating the engagement. Livingston ordered a charge 
and with his officers, led the men in. They forced their way througli 
the brush, at the same time firing upon the Indians, who liecame 
demoralized and fled from their strong position into the mountains 
where they had loft their women and children. The Americans con- 
tinued the jjursuit for several days but, failing to discover another 
caju]) or any large body of Indians, retired to the valley. Several 
dead bi'aves were found inside the fortilical ion and (here was evi- 


deuce of many liaviui;' lieeii liunie oif through the )n•u^sh. This was 
the last real engagement and the loss to the Indians in killed and 
wounded from the first hreakiiig out of hostilities was estimated 
at about one hnudi-ed. 

Although the whites i^osted detachments to prevent the Indians 
from returning to the valley, several ]5arties of mounted Indians 
succeeded in reaching the plains at night and killed or drove off 
quite a number of cattle. They also burned a few houses in the 
foothills, and all l)ut 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 tiie 
mountains and found them willing to come to terms. The war liad 
lasted six weeks, when the Indians returned to the valley and they 
have remained friendly from that time to the i)resent day, althougli 
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 ju-eveuted 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. The 
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 inhalutants of this continent." 

The period between 1854 and the beginning of the Ci\-il 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 tirst discovery of the 
precious metal in 1853 at Kern river. A stampede followed in which 
several thousand miners ]iartici})ated. 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 liecame 
an important feature of business. 

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

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


in the oounty. A few years later several other .stanip uiills were 
constructed to mill the ore of the Coso and Owens river districts 
and the freighting of supplies became a Imsiness 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 "])inch('(l out," and no ])ermanent wealth ])roducing camps 


The war of ISoG, with its final engagement at Battle mountain, 
settled completely all trouble with Indians in Tulare county i)roi)er, 
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 lighting red men. 

Nearly every Visalian of prominence was at this time interested 
in either the Coso or Owens 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 
proportions. 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 settlei's 
and miners may be judged by the following: 

In the spring of 1862, ^'isalians sent a jiarty with stores of 
arms and ammunition to render assistance and gather information. 
Warren Wassen reported in part as follows: "Being unable on 
ray 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 Nol)le and his command of fifty mounted men. AVe arrived 
at the upjier crossing of Owens river on the evening of A]u-il 6. 
On the next morning we met with Colonel G. P^vans witli Tiientenants 
French and Oliver; Captain Wynne of his connnaud having ))een 
left with seven men to garrison the stone fort forty miles below. These 
were under Colonel Mayfield of Visalia. 

"It appeared that during the past winter the Indians had been 
in the lial)it of killing cattle, which had led to the killing of some 
Indians, after wliich the Indians a\aih'd themselves of every ojiitoi'- 
tunity to kill wliite,s. 

"The whites finally collected their cattle at a jioiiit about tliii-fy 
miles above the lake, fortified themselves and sent messengers to 
Visalia and Carson for relief. They were reinforced by a jiarty of 
eighteen men who left Amora on March 28. About noon on the (itli 
there was a verv lnisk engagement in which C. J. Pleasants of 


Amora. Mr. Morrison of Msalia and Slieriff Scott of Mono county 
were killed. The whites took refuge in an irrigating ditch, whenoe 
they fired, inflicting some damage. At night, after the moon went 
down, tlie 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 i)arty 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 re])orted 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 ns. Failing 
to find Indians, we returned to camj). 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 the morning a reconnoitering 
party, under Sergeant Gillispie, was sent out. After advancing 
some three hundred yards they were fired upon. Gillisi)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 ))osition he gained with difficulty, 
facing a destructive fire and, unable to maintain it without severe 
loss, was forced to retreat. Colonel Mayfield, who accom])anied 
him, was killed. 

"The whole party under Colonel Evans were forced to retreat 
down the valley, the Indians following. . Colonel Evans, being with- 
out i)rovisions, was comjielled 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 this direction out 
of the valley with their stock, which numbered about four thousand 
head of cattle and twenty-five hundred head of sheep. 

"There wei'e not over twenty-five Indians engaged in this fight 
Imt they wei'e well armed and from the nature of their iiosition 
could have held it against any odds." 

In the following year numerous other tiutbreaks occurred, ^'^isalia. 
again despatched a wagon-load of arms to i)rotect the Coso mines. 
In the skirmishes of this season, the whites were generally suc- 

In one battle the Indians jiosted themselves in a ravine near 
the lake, whence they were dislodged and utterly defeated after an 
engagement lasting over four hours. Only a small number made 
their esca]ie. Of these, "Joacpiin Jim," a noted chief, succeeded 
in reaching a rancheria near Msalia where he was killed while trv- 


ing' to escape capture l)y a detacliineiit of soldiers sent to l)riny 
bim in. 

In July, 1863, tlie Owens river Indians were as a body tbor- 
ougbly sul)dued. Practically the entire tribe, to the number of nine 
Imudred, were marched to the Tejon Indian reservation. They 
were escorted by one hundred cavalry men under connnand of C'a])- 
tains McLaughlin, Noble and Ropes. 

Minor outl)reaks and outrages continued to occur for a few 
years following, since which time a lasting peace has ensued. 


About ten miles above Tliree Rivers, on the middle fork of 
the Kaweah river near the present extensive construction works of 
the Mt. Whitney Power company, stands an enormous rock, under- 
cut in sucji a way as to form a considerable shelter. 

It is covered with the painted sign writing of a prehistoric race 
and until recent years was the abiding i)Iace for a settlement of 
Indians. The name "H()si)ital" rock arose through an accident 
that befell A. Everton in 1873 or 1874. Mr. Everton, in company 
with George Cahoon, was hunting and trai)]>ing 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 
s]inmg one of the set guns, receiving the load in his leg, a nasty 
woimd from which he could scarcely have recovered bad it not been 
for tb.e Indians. These carried him to camp and the scpiaws nursed 
him back to health, applying such embrocations of herbs as were 
suited to the case. As Hospital Rock it has therefore since been 



"When the Civil war broke out Tulare county was peopled lar.nely 
by southerners. In addition to the permanent settlers there were 
(piite a number of stockmen from Texas and Arkansas who had 
driven their cattle here for the piirpose of fattening them and of 
hiter drivino- them on to the Marii)osa mines to sell. 

Sympathy for tlie South was very strong and yet the peo]>le 
here did not feel called upon 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 (|uarrel with the government. 
The counsel of the cooler heads was to be moderate in speech and 
quiet in demeanor, confining 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 chips on their shoulders 
and hurralied for Jeff Davis. There were not lacking among the 
supporters of the Union cause those also whose blood ran wai'm 
and who were quick to take offense and eager to resent insults. 

If auythiug 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 
purchased freely and street brawls l^ecame 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 tlie irresistible i)ower that lay behind their organization, 
became very insulting and overbearing in their conduct, esjiecially 
when under the influence of li(|uor. 

A ]iarticularly disgraceful e])isode occurred on the 4th of 
July. A crowd of drunken soldiers filled one of their wooden 
canteens with whiskey, draped around it the American flag, and 
marched up and down the street demanding of each person they 
met that he drink with them to Abraham Ijincoln and the Union. 
Those refusing, among whom were Wiley Watson, Doctor Riley 
and John Williams, prominent citizens, were arrested and taken to 
Camp Babliitt. 



On ]May 25, 18()1, in response to a call which was signed by 
more than one hnndreil names, the Union men of Visalia and vicin- 
ity met in mass meeting at the court Iiouse and exjiressed their 
adherence to the cause. The meeting was called to order by S. R. 
Dummer, who nominated AV. N. Steuben for president. This motion 
was carried and ^\r. Steulien took the chair. Messrs. D. R. Doug- 
lass. Joseph H. Thomas, D. G. Overall and Peter Dean were chosen 
vice-presidents and James 11. Lawrence and H. G. McLean secre- 

Previous to the reguhir i)roceediugs of the meeting Miss Louisa 
Kellenberg, lieautifully 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. J. 
Atwel], who returned thanks in an eloquent speech. 

S. R. Duunner, J. M. Hayes, E. E. Hewitt, F. Bacon and B. B. 
Lawless were apjjointed a committee on resolutions and after a 
short speech by S. C. Brown, they presented a set which were 
adopted. Among the resolutions were these -. 

"That the constitution of the United States is not a league or 
confederacy of states in their sovereign capacity, but a government 
of the i)eople of our whole country founded on their adoption, and 
creating direct relations between itself and the peojile. 

"That no state authority has ])ower to dissolve these relations. 

"That we are opposed in the i)resent condition of affairs to 
the formation of a Pacific rejniblic, and will discourage any attempt 
to induce California to violate her allegiance to the Union." 


In the following month, June, a nuiss meeting of those espous- 
ing the cause of the Confederacy, or at any rate believing in the 
doctrine of states' rights, was held. 

Tins meeting was held in a gi'ove near the courthouse, where 
seats and a rostrum had been provided, and was very largely 
attended. W. D. McDaniel had been chosen marshal of the day 
and the audience formed in jirocession in front of Warner's hotel 
and marched to the scene to the tune of Yankee Doodle. 

Thomas R. Davidson was elected president ami Messrs. Wiley 
Watson, William Coddington, Cai)t. E. Hunter, Robert Conghran, 
R. K. Nichols and R. P.. Lawless vice-jnesidents. R. P. Gill and 
R. C. Redd were chosen as secretaries. The committee on resolu- 
tions, consisting of Joseph II. Clark, E. E. Calluran, W. A. Russell, 
William B. Poer, Burd Lawless, L. T. Sheppard, James L. Wells 
and Wiley Coughran, ])resented the following, which were adopted. 

"Resolved, That as American citizens imbued with a spirit of 
fidelity to the constitution and the laws and seeking only tlic hajv 


piuess, ijrosperity aud preseivatiou of our common t-ountry, vre 
deem it our duty in view of the declared hostility to the South aud 
her institutions by the Republican administration to oppose the 
same by all constitutional means; that we regard President Lincoln 
as the exponent 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 ])olitical degradation 
of their people and the deprivation of their jtroijerty, and shouhi 
meet and merit the just condemnation of all true friends of con- 
stitutional liberty; that we believe that the best interests of the 
country demand, and her iiolitical existence as a nation depends 
upon the speedy inauguration of a peace i>olicy characterized l)v a 
spirit of concession and an honorable compromise as the onlv proper 
basis for the satisfactory adjustment of the differences between the 
northern and southern states." 

On May 2:^. 18(U, 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 Msalia Mounted Rifles, and 
the following officers were elected: Oaptain, G. W. Warner; first 
lieutenant, J. H. Kennedy; second lieutenant, G. ^Y. Roberts; third 
lieutenant, Robert Baker; sergeants, William C. Hill, William Ely, 
E. Peppard, G. Francis and T. J. Preston; corporals, H. Cha]mian, 
H. E. McBride, William Baker, Orrin Barr; ]iermanent secretary. 
Horace Thomas. 

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

In I860 a volunteer cavalry company called the Tulare Home 
Guards, was organized at Outside Oreek 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. 

Company D, Second Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Evans, arrived in September, 1862, crossing the mountains 
from Indei)endence by trail. A wngon-load of melons was donated 
them. In ( )ctol)er they took ui) headquarters at Camp Babbitt, a 
mile north of "N'isalia, now known as the "Cain" tract. 

Com))any I, Second Cavalry, arrived from Placerville in Octo- 
l)er, and Comi)auy E, Second Cavalry, called the Tuolumne Rangers 
and supposed to be the ones who destroyed the office of the Etjual 
Rights Expositor, completed the brigade of regular troops. It 
would appear that three com])anies of federals and two of juilitia 
should have been am))le to preserve the peace, but it seemed that 
they rather served to provoke distu!bances and many ipiarrels icsult- 


in.U' fatally were laid directly to their iireseuce. 

Ill accordance with the appeal of the sanitary commission for 
funds to aid the sick and wounded, W. N. Steuben took the matter 
in charge at ^''isalia, J. M. Harer at Tule River, J. M. Keyes at 
White Ri\er and J. F. Ewing at Kern River. About $300 was 

On October 27, 18(52, Senator Baker, Tulare county's most 
prominent citizen, was arrested, charged with discouraging enlist- 
ments ill the United States army and of uttering treasonable senti- 
ments, and Ix'iiig denied a ])arole, was placed in the guardhouse. 


On November 2i>, 1S()2, Eugene Vogle, a soldier of Company 
I, Second Cavalry, California ^^olunteers, was shot and killed by 
Frank Slawick, l)artender at the Fashion saloon. This ]ilace, 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 pay. 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 his 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 escajie 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 conseqiience 
of the affray 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 punish 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 fi, 1863, Charles Strolile, sergeant of Com])aiiy I, 
Second Cavalry, California A'olunteers, was shot and killed by 
James L. Wells. 

It ap})ears 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 (juite an embrogiio in which Wells joined. Reid was ar- 
rested and taken to the guardhouse at Camp Babbitt, and Wells 
started home. 


He had beeu preceded by Doualme and Strohle, wiio. for tlie 
IJiirpose of picking a row, awaited him at the entrance to Knoble 
(S: Krafts restaurant (near Rouse & Sons' i)resent place of busi- 
ness). Donahue here kicked a chair at "Wells, which struck him in 
the leg, saying "I meant tliat for you." Wells declined to take up 
the ])roffered insult and walked on, Donahue and Stroble following, 
making insulting re)narks. 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 lired, 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. AVhile this was going on. Bob Houston and Gordon 
Douglass, friends of AVells, drew their six-shooters and were taken 
in charge liy soldiers. Wells had narrow escapes from capture. At 
one time, when he was hiding under a log, several of tlie pursuing 
soldiers came up 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. 
whereu])on Wells returned, submitted to trial, and was acquitted. 

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


Some time in '()3, a half-witted boy named Denny McKay, had 
secured a ])air of pants from a st)ldier, and was wearing them. Hugh 
McKay, a brother, happened along and said, "Hello, Denny, are you 
going to be a soldier.'" and made some contemi)tuous reference to 
the soldiery. Richard Rowley, a private of the Second Cavalry, 
took uj) the matter and chased McKay, who was unarmed, tiring 
as he ran. A volunteer, seeing the i^ursuit, also took a shot at 
McKay, but he escaped unharmed. 

On March 4, 1868, Rowley was assassinated in Portervillc while 
sitting at dusk before the fireplace in the hotel, the cause being at 
first attributed to the war-time incident. It develo])ed, 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 compelled Fine's wife to dance for his amuse- 


ment. Fine was accjuitted of the murder, liowe\-er, tlirougli lack 
of evidence. 


In 1862 L. P. Hall and S. J. Garrison establislied a iiai)er in 
Visalia called the Civil Rights Expositor, later changing the name 
to The Eqttal Rights Expositor. The office was located above the 
Visalia House. It was a red-hot secession newspaper, ably edited 
liut extremely radical in its utterances, and at once gained great 
favor with its readers and ac(]uired 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 tlic editorials 
in the Expositor were more bitter and inflammatory than ever 
liefore, angering lieyond measure the soldiers and volunteers. Among 
the choice utterances were : 

"We have said that Abraham Lincohi has perjured himself, 
and have proved it. We now tell those who participate in this 
detestable war, to the extent of their support, that they participate 
with Lincoln in the crime of perjury." 

"Let our states' rights friend look around them and note the 
passion slaves of the President, who ])rate al)out rel)els and traitors, 
while they hug their chains with the servility of a kicked and cuffed 
hound. ' ' 

Dr. Davenport, owner of the building 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 
l)revent interference with the diversion. So resentful of this act 
were Hall and Garrison's friends in Mariposa that a jiarty of 
seventy or eighty armed men came down for the ])uri)ose of "clean- 
ing up" Camp Babbitt. These hid themselves in the swamp, ex- 
pecting to be reinforced from A'isalia. Cooler counsel among the 
leaders of the southern sympathizers here prevailed, however, and 
they were induced to disband and return to Marijiosa. 

Hall and Garrison for several years tried to get a l)i!l through 
the legislature compensating them for the money loss incurred, 
and, in 1868. succeeded in doing so. Governor Ilaight, however, 
vetoed the bill on the ground that the pro])erty had been destroyed 
by soldiers under the authority and control of the United States, 
for which the state was not responsible. 



Necessarily tlie history of Tulare county was to all intents and 
purposes, in the early period, the history of Visalia, as the activities 
of the entire i)oi)ulatiou centered here. 

The early Iieginninss 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 
here; how the offer was accejited and liy the election of 1853, 

The first enterprises tending to making a town here have also 
been detailed in the general history; how Baker started a stoi-e 
and Matthews a mill ; how a school and church and a two-story 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 
l)rogress Visalia has since passed. Many of these, too, marking as 
well the jirogress 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 s]ient. Between 1856 and 1860 it was esti- 
mated that from five and six thousand miners ]iassed through 
Visalia, en route to the gold fields. Outfitting and freighting and 
the accommodation and transportation of travelers develoj^ed 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 
the retention of a goodly portion of the traveler's coin. And when 
the lull in mining began to make itself felt, the Civil war, with its 
pay days for soldiers and its grafting quartermasters, again made 




life of tliis kind pleasant and in'otitable. New mines in the Owens 
River district were discovered and business flourished anew. 

Dnrini!,' tliese years, of course, the ])0])ulation had been increased 
by the addition of all classes of men. There were now keen law- 
yers, shi'ewd merchants, skilled physicians. There were teachers 
and ]irearhers. Two newsi)a])ers had been estal)lished, the Delta, 
by John Shannon in 1859, and the Equal Rights Expositor, by S. J. 
Garrison, in 1<S62. 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 i)rosperous, 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 years retrogression 
set in. 

And now, liefore we considei' 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 O. Reinstein, 
a two-story building, almost the only one in this neighborhood. The 
Birley and Pierce blacksmith sho}) adjoined on the west and at 
the corner was Swat and Wells emporium. 

At the corner now occuined by the balconies was a brick build- 
ing used as a general store by John G. Parker. The Cosmopolitan 
saloon was next in order, then a little brick drug store, ojteued by 
Henry Bequett(\ 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 shoji, then the Fashion saloon, the Bostwick's tin 
shop. Around the corner, where is now the Ilarrell building, was 
Peter (Joodhue's stable. The National Bank site was occupied by 
the dwelling house of John Majors, which later made way for a 
two-story building erected by H. and I. Cohen, the lower floor used 
for the St. Charles saloon and the up])er for Music ITall. 

Commencing once more on Main street, o])i)osite our point of 
beginning, we find Turner's blacksmith shop occupying the site of 
the Ballon Imilding. Oji the flarvev House corner stood a two- 


story hiick Imilding rim as a hotel originally l)y L. R. Ketchuin 
and G. (i. Xoel. In 1858 (J. W. Warner assumed charge, calling it 
the Exchange hotel. 

At the American hotel corner was the apjjropriatcly named 
Deadfall saloon, dance hall and bowling alley. Between there and 
the corner was a dwelling house and then a restaurant and two 
stores, occupying the lower floo)- of a building located on a portion 
of the Visalia House site. 

The Delta office, built by Shannon, its first i)roprietor. stood at 
the corner now occupied l)y the National Bank; in the neighborhood 
of Lipscomb's pool liall 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. Nothing now until about tlie site of the Carnegie library, 
where was located the steam flouring mill originally built by Wagg, 
later ojierated by Jack Lorenz, son-in-law of Dr. Matthews. 

On east Main, in the lilock where now the Santa Fe depot is 
situated, stood the Eagle hotel, kept tiy 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 
houses, although a big stable and barn, surrounded liy a high brick 
wall, was built at the present location of Armory Hall by the Overland 
stage company in 1859, when the route was established through Vi- 
salia. Townsend's saloon, in the neighl)orhood of Huffaker's stables, 
also came into existence. 

It must be remembered that there were no sidewalks except 
those of plank in front of the different business establishments; 
there were no ])avements, no curl)s, 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 lirick residences, such 
as Wiley Watson's and A. J. Atwell'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. 

Siich 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 juade by Mrs. G. W. Waiiier. 
was stretched from it to the Warner hotel and flung to the In-eeze 
for the first time in Visalia in 1856. 

The first firecrackers, imported in 1858, were liailed with delight 


by the fun-luviii.i;- puiJiilace and sold readily at from $1 to $1.5(J 
a pack. Horee-racing was a sport in those days entered into with 
great enthusiasm. Local stock was used and a large i)ortion 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 the o])ening of the 
St. Charles hotel, a $10 charge was made. 

That the love of "red licker," wdiile natural, and, in fact, essen- 
tial, might be carried to extremes and that therefore the ai>])etite 
should be somewhat curlied, was early recognized. The \^isalia 
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 i)rei)aration of such 
speeches, and as it was necessary in some measure to recuperate 
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 capacity for the cu]) that "brightens and invigorates the 
consciousness. ' ' 

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 lirawls and nmi-ders and 
house burnings and newspajjer destroying during the jieriod, 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. AVhen 
it became known that the Soutliern Pacific company had definitely- 
left Visalia off the map by leaving it seven miles to the east, R. K. 
Hyde, the leading financier of the city, with assistance from many 
enterprising citizens, built the Visalia and Goshen railroad, com- 
pleting it in 1875. 

In the meantime the city had been incor]K)rated. This measure 
had been defeated by \-()te at an election held in ISfiO, Ijut it was not 
until February 27, 1874, that the approval of the legislative act gave 
tlie rank of city to the town. The first officers were: S. A. Shep- 
pard, M. Mooney, I. A. Samstag, W. B. Bishop and W. G. Owen, 
trustees; J. C. Hoy, marshal and tax collector; Julius Levy, assessor; 
J. A. Nowell, school suiK'i'iiitendent and city clerk;- S. C. Brown, 
S. H. Collins, J. C. Ward and AV. F. Thomas, school directors, and 
A. Elkins, recorder. 



Arthur auil Jaiiit's Crowley esstahlished 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-Tulare steam motor road was Imilt 
by local capital; the Santa Fe, originally the San Joaquin \'alley 
railroad, arrived in 1896; the Southern Pacitie made connections 
with the east side branch at Exeter in 1897, shortly afterward 
taking over the Goshen- Yisalia road; in 1907 the Visalia Electric 
road to Lemon Cove, and now on to Woodlake and Redlianks, was 
built, and in 191"2 was inaugurated the Big Four electric railroad, 
which will connect Tulare, Porterville, AVoodville and Visalia. 

Prior to 1890 municipal imi^rovements were of a very minor 
character, in fact, only within the past few years have they become 
such as betits a modern, rapidly growing city. 

The prevention of the flood waters of Mill creek from over- 
flowing the town had always constituted a problem, 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 190(5. During that season the town was 
repeatedly flooded and adequate piotective 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 connnence- 
ment of street paving had been made in 1895, by the laying down 
of twelve blocks in the Inisiness 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 part 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 in-oportions. This became especially pronounced in 
190(1, 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 tlie people. 
Twelve Imndred votes were cast at this election, the "drys" win- 
nina,- l)y one hundred and forty-one. At the city election in April 
following, city trustees favoring no-liceuse were elected, the ma- 
jority in their favor being, howe\'ei', only about eighty. An ordi- 
nance closing saloons was immediately passed. 

The state legislature had in the meantime passed the Wyllie 
local option law, providing for a submission of the question to the 
people u]3on 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 fax'or, 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" olitained a majority 
of six votes at this election, there Ijeing 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 jirovide that the 
liquor traffic must be licensed following a majority vote, therefore 
the writ of mandamus would not lie. 

It was, in other words, oi)tional with the board to follow the 
expression of the will of the peoi)le. The trustees, standing on 
their legal rights, and justifying their action by the contention that 
illegal votes were cast, maintained their ])osition. The saloons 
therenjion gave up their fight for a time, but in the sjjring of 1912 
a final effort was made to secure a lease of life. This took the 
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 apjjroval 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 Joaquin val- 
ley, has allowed some to distance it in population and Tuany to out- 
strip it in rapid growth has l)een the cause of connnent. 


Tliree principal factors there are wliicli have contributed to 
this state of affairs. First, may be placed tlie 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 laud 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 been 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, trilnitary 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 prosperity will 
undoubtedly result. 

Visalia today is a busy and growing modern city of fiOOO in- 
habitants. In addition to the municipal imi)rovements ])reviously 
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 city 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 ]ileasing 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 
flourisii and the lawns and foliage never indicate by failing verdure 
the ])arcliing el^'ects of sununer heat. Many oaks, remnants of the 
solid groves that once were a feature of the landscaije, remain and 
add to the charm. 

Quite a lai-ge number of pretentious residences, with carefully 
kept lawns and gardens, grace the environs. Cement sidewalks 
have generally been well extended towards the outskirts, aud the 
streets, outside the jiaved district, are usually oiled and kept in 
good order. 

In a business way, modern requirements are fully met. There 
are three banks with deposits of nearly $2,500,000; two canning 
factories ; two dried fruit packinghouses ; two creameries ; two green 
fruit packing concerns and a l)eet 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, aud forms the fouudation for permanent pros- 



The eastern slo]ie of Tulare county is covered today witli al- 
most one continuous orange grove. In the amount of capital in- 
vested, the culture of citrus fruits is by far the most important 
industry in the county. In yearly revenue it equals or exceeds any 

Roughly speaking, thei'e are about twenty-seven thousand acres 
set to orauges and lemons, one-third of which is in bearing. 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 jiresent acreage reaches bearing would be $7,500,000. 
This wonderful develo]nnent 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 1860, when 
Mrs. H. M. White, in Erazier valley, planted the seed from an 
orange brought from the South Sea islands. As one passes now 
through miles of groves heavy T\atli golden fruit or laden with odorous 
blossoms, the symbolism of this act appeals to the imaginatiop 
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 Gibben, in 1863, also ]ilanted 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 industry from those days until the present, when trainloads 
are shipped daily throughout the season, would fill a volume. And 
yet progress in the beginning was hampered in many ways. Pew 
of Tulare county residents 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 land 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 wlien numerous crops came into 
bearing and the fruit was lieing harvested some six weeks earlier 
than that from Southern California, when this fruit reached the 
eastern markets in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas markets 


and sold for exceediiioly high jirices, there came visitors from tlie 
southern orange districts vrho perceived at a glance the great pos- 
sibilities of the section. 

In 1870 W. J. p]llis, county assessor, in liis statistical report 
submitted to the surveyor general, listed one hundred orange trees 
in the county. In making u]i his hirge total, however, he had re- 
course to including al)out 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 tliat 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 assoi-tment of 
citrus fruits. 

The prospects for a new district apj^ealed so strongly to Mr. 
Frost that he engaged in a deal with the Pioneer Land company 
of Porterville wherel)y, on land owned liy the corporation, he was 
to set out one liundred acres of orange trees and care for them 
for two years. Then he was either to buy the ]>roperty for $100 
per acre or the land conijiany were to repay him for the trees and 
labor expended. 

Immediately following the ex]n-ession of oinnion of Mr. Frost 
that the district was adapted to oranges, numbers i^repared to 
engage in it, and the next year witnessed a planting that would 
prove a commercial factor. Albert and Oliver Henry of Portei-- 
ville. who already had a few trees in bearing, ))ecanie the i)ioneer 
enterprising growers, and boosters for the Porterville district. 

In 1891 Cajit. A. J. Hutchinson, together with Messrs. Patten 
and Glassell, jnirchased the Jacobs' i)lace at Lindsay and in the 
following year set out three acres at Lindsay, which became known 
as the home jilace. In 1898 planting became general. So well 
pleased was Mr. Frost with his original venture at Porterville 
that he imrchased and iiroceeded to set out an additional tract of 
seventy-five acres. 

Captain Ilulcliiiison organized the Ijiudsay Land company, and 
proceeded to subdivide his tract into small holdings, agreeing to 


care for the oroves of non-residents. No ditch water for irrigating 
was avaihilile at Lindsay. Wells were therefore sunk and steam 
pumping plants installed, the first in the county. Water in al)und- 
ance was found at a de]ith of ahont seventy feet, which rose to 
within twenty feet of tlu' surface. The experiment generally dis- 
believed in proved an unciualitied success. A high water level in 
the wells maintained itself in spite of the drain of constant pumping 
and the supply appeared tlien as inexhaustible. 

Thomas Johnson, Joe Curtis and other influential men of San 
Jose, became prominent in ])romoting 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 held in 1904 through the oi)erations of 
George Frost. This gentleman, with Messrs. Merryman, Carney, 
Hamtlton. Davis and others, set out about four hundred acres east 
of Exeter, naming it the Bonnie Brae orchard. In passing, it nifiy 
be noted that Mr. Merryman later absorlied the interests of his 
associates and greatly increased his holdings by the inirchasing 
of adjoining iiroiterty. In addition to several hundred acres of 
imdeveloped land and a considerable acreage devoted to olives 
and deciduous fruits, there are seven hundred and lifty acres 
devoted to oranges. It is the largest grove in the county and this, 
together with the elegant residence, large, beautiful gardens and 
grounds, make it one of the "show yilaces" of the district. 

Development at Lemon Cove did not lag behind this move- 
ment, iiromotion 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 hundred 
acres to trees. The Ohio Lemon Company shortly thereafter set 
another similar tract to this fruit. 

By 1904 develoi)ment had been thoroughly launched in the 
Porterville, Lindsay, Kxeter and Lemon Cove districts. We turn 
now to the commercial disijosition 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 citrus district, 
producing fruit unecpialed, had been discovered. The World's Fair 
at St. Louis was to open January 1, 1904. Above all things it be- 
hooved growers here to make a big showing. P. M. Baier was 
selected to ])repare such an exhibit. The hrst full carload to 
leave the county was the fruit foi' this display and it required prac- 
ticall\- all grown in the county lo lill it. The exhibit was first shown 
in the Mechanics Pavilion in San l-'rancisco, and then forwarded to 
St. Louis, and received creditable mention at both ])laces. 

In 1893 there were four carloads at the Frost orcliai-d, and in 


the next season Itotli llie Kxcliange and tlie Earl Fruit Com- 
panies entered the field, getting out a i>ack 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 jieriod 
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 ap])eared to 
them as a rank swindle. The selling of foothill land at $2.") to $50 
per 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 in the enterprise, these now freely paying for lauds 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 innumerable were in fact 
advanced toward all other lands. 

The Hutchinson tract at Lindsay was held to mark the extreme 
westerly lioundary of the thermal belt ; only slopes 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 planted liy the first growers. 
Largely in conseciuence of this attitude, the bearing orchards today 
geuerally lie in the districts tributary to Porterville, Tjiudsay, Exe- 
ter and Lemon Cove. 

Couuuencing some seven or eight years ago, however, there has 
been a bold exploitation of new districts, led by promoters with capi- 
tal, energy and o])tiraism. These have by actual demonstration shown 
conclusively that the citrus belt is not bounded by such narrow limits. 
Water in (|uantities has been develojied almost exerywhere. Dinuba, 
Orosi, Stokes valley, Yettem, Orange Heights, Klink, Venice Cove, 
Redbanks, AVoodlake, Xaranjo, Frazier valley, Strathmore, Zante, 
Terra P>ella and the entire district from Piano south to the county 
line, including Terra Bella, Ducor and Richgrove, are each now capa- 
lile 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 support. In this con- 
nection the solid improvements at Woodlake, Strathmore and Terra 
Bella, ))articularly in the way of substantial business structures. 


hotels, liauks, news])ai)(M-s, imiiiiciital water snijply, cement sidowalks, 
etc., indicate the conlideiice of moneyed men in the potential prodnc- 
tive capacity of the community. 

All of this expenditure in the way of permanent nmnicipal im- 
provements, together with the outlay of capital incident to the installa- 
tion and maintenance throughout the entire district of electric power 
systems, necessarily forms a ])()rtion of the entire siun today invested 
in the citrus fruit industry of the county. The estimate of $i;'.,r)00,000, 
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 pi-esent income. The estimate of $2,500,000 of 
present return was based on a production of four th.ousand carloads, 
four hundred boxes to the car, value $L50 per box. The cost of labor 
for handling and packing and the salaries and profits of the men en- 
gaged in this business were not included. Thus a fairer estimate of 
the present revenue from this source would be $.3,000,000. 

The first plantings were seedlings, but practically all have since 
been replaced by AVashington navels. The present 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 thirty-five packing houses in the district, and double that 
numiier will be needed as soon as the present new acreage comes 
into bearing. 

Tulare county now ranks fifth in the state in the jiroduction of 
citrus fruits, but it appears certain that within four years it will take 
first place. 


The present area of Tulare county is 4,86.3 square miles. 

It is still a large county and its diversified topography and pro- 
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 
l)een taken from its territory : In 1856, Fresno county, with 6,035 
square miles; in 1866, Inyo county, with 10,224 square miles; in 18()6, 
Kern county, with 1,852 s(|uare 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 uunilter of active cowboys. 

There was a law at that time wliich had been jiassed l)y the legis- 
lature of '51, entitled "An act to regulate rodeos," which cau.sed 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 lu-and his stock cattle except at one of these general rodeos. 

Of the law and its workings, Stephen Barton, writing in 187-i, 
says: "The cap sheaf of the enactment, however, was this section: 
'All unmarked neat cattle, the mothers of which are unknown, shall 
be considered the jiroperty of the owner of the farm on which they 
may be found.' These provisions of law resulted in this county in 
the unoccupied {)ul)li(' 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 i)ockets of an unwary traveler. Further, it was more 
respectable and re<iuired, in one case, less capital, in the other, 
less courage." 

In 1907 occurred an incident at White River which at once illus- 
trates the wealth once frequently found in the gold jiockets of this 
section and brought to light a story of a mysterious disapjiearance. 
buried treasure and unfounded siisjiicion strange as any fiction. 

It develops that in the early '80s Tom Bradford, a miner thought 
to have been quite 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 
])erformances they announced that Bradford had met his death at 
the hands of White. Great excitement ensued in the camp and 
White's denial of guilt 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 eyesiglit and one arm 
tlaH)iigh 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 unearthed gold in various tin cans to the amoulit of twenty-five 

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

Cattle raising continued ])rofitable 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 tlirough Goshen and Tulare in 
1872, with the westward branch tlirough Hanford in 1877 caused a 
rush of settlers. These either purchased land of the railroad or 
acquired title bj^ 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 count}' by this time IkuI 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 i)racticable and now connneuced 
the era of wheat growing. Immense ranches were sown to the 
cereal, an acreage of from five to twenty thousand in one l)ody not 
being unusual. A section, or 640 acres, was considered a small farm. 
Tulare became the banner wheat ])roducing county of the state. 
Fourteen thousand carloads were shipi)ed in one season. The 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 drought of '77, had 
been declining. 

In 1890 the county experienced what may be termed its third 
boom. The extraordinary yields and jirofits of fruit raising had 


been demonstrated by tbe crop sales of oreliards iu the two preceding 
years and now a general rush to plant trees took place. Probably 
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, tlie history of the county during the last fifteen years 
has been the prosaic development caused liy tlie flourishing growth 
of industry, accounts of which are given under separate headings. 



When, in 1888, the railroad construction crew struck the town- 
site of Exeter they found themselves in the grain field of John W. 
Firebaugh. Behind them and before them stretched other lields 
of wheat. A few farm houses were in sight, but there was no vestige 
of a town, nor did it appear likely that there ever would be. 

The Pacific Improvement Comjuiny, 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. Kirkman, a saloon and later a hotel constituted for several years 
the Exeter business establishments, and it was not until 1892 that 
a second general store, opened by R. H. Stevens, became necessary. 
At this time there were only two brick buildings in town, and the 
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, tlie Citrus Bank. 

Exeter now has a iiopulation of thirteen hundred, with an 
assessed valuation of city property of $388,000. The business section 
is constructed almost wholly of brick, many of the buildings being 
of two stories with handsome pressed lirick fronts. Business is not 
confined to a few large emporiums, but distributed among a score 
of prosperous merchants. 

At two elections attempts to incorporate Exeter were defeated 
because of the opposition caused by the inclusion of much farm 
pro])(M-ty within the pro]iosed cor])orate limits. 

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

The first im]iortant measure for the city's welfare undertaken 
was the establishment of a municipal water system, a pulilic service 
previously in private hands and furnishing inadequate service. Bonds 


iu the sum of $42,000 were voted in 1911 and this year witnessed the 
completion and commencement of oi)eratiou on a fine municii^al 
plant. About nine miles of piping thoroughly cover the city and 
jirovide 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 building, 
constructed in 1910 at a cost of $10,000, being particularly handsome. 
The high school has been in operation but four years, yet sis teachers 
are eni])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 jneceding 

A very ]irogressive 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 l)ut from the large centers of 
population. Both financially and as a promotion enterprise this fair 
was an imqualified success. 

At the ]n-esent 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 exhil)it of the products of the 
surrounding section. 

Hunt Bros., a big firm of fruit canners who are also owners 
of a large orchard in the vicinity, have recently established a large 
canning factory which gives emi)loyment 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 i)roduct, amounting to aliout a 
hundred carloads per season, was hauled to Exeter to be placed 
aboard cars. 

The Visalia Electric Railway, completed in 1907, necessarily 
wiped out this traffic, but by increasing trading, ti-aveling and sliip- 
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 Southei'ii Pacific as well as having an electric railway. 

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


and devoted to both cultures. Orange groves, alfalfa fields, ])ea('li 
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 prosjierity arising from the valuable 
l)r()duotions of the fertile soil is not intermittent, but constant through- 
out the year. The facilities for caring for these products 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 Paciiic noi'th 
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 postofifice 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 liereabouts and the neighborhood is, for a mountain settlement, 
well poinilated. There is a daily stage to Lemon Cove and during the 
summer months 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 ajiples. Many villages and settlements are found 
along the valley, among which are Milo, ('ramer, l^aldwin Plats, 
Duncan's Flat, Springville, Globe and China Flats. 


Another of the stations of note on the line of the Southern 
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 ai'tesian 
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 about 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 Tiptou had its origin 'with the comini'- of the 
Southern Pacitic Railway and was made a depot. It is in the midst 
of a rich farming and dairying country, and some of the people 
have planted orchards. It is the natural shipping point for a large 
part of the lower Tule country, but the town has not grown with the 
rajiidity 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 liusiness 
is growing to l)e 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 
valuable country around it. There are good warehouses and a large 
amount of grain is handled here. The school and churcli 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 supply of water from the Tule river. 
This was by means of the Bid ditcli. A co-operative comi)any was 
formed and established a general merchandising house that is still 
doing business. 


One of the most l)eautiful sections of Tulare county is Frazier 
valley, which lies al)out twenty-five miles east and south of Tulare 
City. It borders the Tule river above where the river emerges into 
the more open plains. It has a po^toffice and a number of farms 
and orchards. It is, witli its side valleys, some fifteen miles long 
and five miles wide. The valley is now attracting much attentioTi 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 early date and a postoffice located there, besides 


a solioollunise, and jieople in the neighborhood are l)eginnini>' to put 
out orchards and lioi)e in a few years to have a ])rosi)erous town 
there. The soil is very rieli, and alfalfa fields ai'e liefoniing 
numerous and much attentioii is paid of late to dairying. 


One of the late towns to spring up in Tulare county is Strath- 
more, and it has 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 tine orange districts of the county. At the citrns fair held 
in Visalia in 1910 Stratlimore nuule a remarkably fine exhibit of 
citrns and deciduous fruits, olives, jiomegranates and other jirodncts. 


A few miles east of Badger lies the mountain dale called Eshom 
Valley, one of the beauty spots of the county. The valley is several 
miles long and in ]>laces 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 croj^s, vegetables, l)erries, apples, etc., produce 
exceedingly well. There i.s 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 liy the altitude that it has liecome 
a resort favored l)y tourists in snnnner. Esliom 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 
"Oha-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 but did not succeed in holding 
it. His foi'cman, J. B. Breckeni-i<lge, was killed l>v the Indians 
in 1863. 


In early days Tulare lake covered a much greater area than at 
present. Near its southeastern end existed a large island owned 
by Judge Atwell of "N'isalia, 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 tlie growing town of Alpaugh. 
The whole section hereal)0uts was for many years used by Miller & 
Lux as a ])astnre for their immense hei'ds of cattle. The lands were 
deemed unlit I'oi' agi-iculturnl purjioses. 


In 1!)()5 a syiulicatc of Los Au^eles caiiitalists obtained control 
of 88G1 acres, coniprisin.ii- ^Vtwell'.s Island, and ])la('ed it on tlie 
market in small tracts on easy terms. A large number of purchasers 
were found and tiiese, 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- 
prise was "knocked" on all sides. Every Al|)augh colonist was 
told that he was an "easy mark." The '\"isalia Board of Trade 
seriously considered the passing of a resolution condemning the land 
sale as a swindle, but were dissuaded from liasty action by Ben M. 

The colonists did have trouble. AVith most of them funds were 
scarce, and many had to leave temporarily. There was trouble in 
getting a supply of good water. Perseverance o\ercame 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 sui)ply of water obtained, 
this not sufficient, however, for irrigation purposes. But the wells 
put down were found of double value. Besides water, they sup- 
]ilied a natiiral gas that can be used for heating and lighting. 

The colonists have increased in niuubers and umcli activity is 
shown in raising vegetaliles. Quite a Inisiness has been established 
in the canning of tomatoes, ]3eas, etc. The raising of garden seeds 
for the market has ]iroved especially profitable and it has been 
found that the fine silt soil is peculiarly adajited to the production 
of asparagus, (uiions and other vegetables. The colonists have 
arranged to get a bountiful suppl.\- of water for irrigating purposes 
from the Smyrna wells, distant a few miles south. 

South and west from Alpaugh nmch 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 tlie building of a spur to connect 
Alpaugh with the main line, and this, it is believed, will not be 
delayed, as shipments fully warrant it. 


AVliile the name Tagus, a])plied to the switch on the Soiithern 
Pacific track about midway between Goshen and Tulare, is not 
worthy of mention, the neighlioring country, or Tagus district, is. 
The Tagus ranch of several thousand acres devoted to dairying, 
alfalfa and grain farming has ])roven exce])tionally in-ofitable, 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 exohisively devoted to alfalfa aud 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 com])letion of the railroad to that point, in May, 1872 
Here the contemplated branch of the Southern Pacific 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 dejiot was built, large numbers of lots sold, 
and it was thouglit that l>efore many years Goshen would become 
an important city. 

The construction, in l!S7-i-, of the X'isalia-Goshen railway insjjired 
renewed hopes in the future of the town as a great railway center. 
In 1876 work was conunenced 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 county 
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 TTanford and Coalinga. Surrounding it lie 
extensive tracts, suitable for fruit, vines or alfalfa. Several produc- 
tive and lucrative orchards and vineyards in the vicinity attest the 
adaptability of the soil. 

Notwithstanding these apparent advantages, Goshen still re- 
mains a small village. The cause of this failure to grow lies no 
(loul)t in the fact that the soil surrounding the de])ot is alkaline in 
character and Tinfavora1)ly impresses home-seekers looking from the 
windows of a car. 

A few years ago Goshen was made a sub-station on the Asso- 
ciated Oil Company's ])ipe line. A numlier of neat cottages for the use 
of emi)loyes were erected and these, while situated in the cjuestion- 
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. 


Paige is the name of a station on the Santa Fe, west from 
Tulare. It is the dei)ot for the large settlement that is growing 


up oil and aroimd the great Paige & Morton ranch, which 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 the surrounding country is very fertile. The 
greater part 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 ricli soil and comparative 
freedom from frosts. A few years ago a colony of Armenians 
bought property here and jjut 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 the Tule river. The name 
was suggested l)y its location in the great, beautiful plain sweeping 
down from the foothills of the Sierras and extending out westward! y. 
This ]ilain is one of the fairest, and the elegant homes that have 
been made here and that still are being established receive an 
additional charm from the grand view of the snow-capi>ed 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 his yai'd, and some of them are still bearing fruit. 
It is now yrown to he a great orange center, with pleasant homes, 
schools, churches, etc. As a suburlj of Porterville, the social ad- 
vantages incident to pojiulous conunnnities 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. The Works 
family, William Swauson and family, John Lovelace and family, 
Joseph Palmer, A. Everton, Ira Blossom and family, followed soon 
after and were the pioneers 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 ])lace caused 
a temporary influx of residents, but the mining excitement dying 
down, the population remained practically as before. 

In lS8r) the Kaweah Co-ojjcrative Colony made this their base 
of oi)erations, establishing a village on the north fork of the Kaweah. 
These colonists commenced the construction of a road to the (iiant 
Forest and completed about twenty miles of it. This project was 
abandoned in 18i)(), most of the colonists leaving the county. Quite 
a number, however, remained and have materially aided in the 
development of the district. Settlement has slowly but steadily 
increased until the present pojiulation numbers six hundred and 

In 1878 a postoffice was established at Three Rivers; in 1892 at 
Kaweah, on the north fork; in 1905 at Hammond, on the main river, 
and in 1907 at Ranger (Giant Forest). 

Britten Brothers, in 1897, opened a general merchandise store 
and in 1910, the Rivei- Iim (*omi)any, in connection with a hotel 
situated at the junction of the north fork, installed anothei-. In 1899 
the Mt. Whitney Power Company ]mt in a large ])ower plant, in 
1905 a scM'ojid was installed and at the present writing a thii'd and a 


fourth are in coui-jse of coustnictioii. There are two good scliools, a 
public liall, two blacksmith shops. Au extensive telephone system 
owned by tlie coiiiniiHiity unites the iiUMiil)c'rs of this widely scattered 

In early days the sole industry of the section was stock raisins,-, 
the footliill country furnishing an almndance of s])rino- feed and the 
mountain ranges contril)uting the summer supply. 

In the early '70s, Joe Palmer carried in on his back a few a])ph' 
trees and became the jiioneer of an industry that now adds a con- 
siderable (juota to the jirosperity 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 jiine belt 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 number of tourists and sjiortsnien 
and outfitting and catering to these has become an important branch 
of business here. 


In May, 1857, the Works 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 Kiver 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 
transiiired. Joseph Palmer, H. Works and Pemljerton immediately 
started out for the camp of the Indians to adjust matters. While 
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 attem])t to draw a ])istol. 
whereuijon Jose]>h Palmer struck the Indian u))on the head with his 
gun, instantly killing him. Following, several shots were fired at 
close range from both sides in which three or four Indians were 
killed, and the whites not injured. The Indians all left the c(uintry 
the same evening, after which the dead Indians were all l)urie(l by 
the whites. 

This was the first, last, and onlv trouble with the Indians. 



Among the lianilets which of recent years liave attracted unusual 
attention among residents of the southern end of the county as 
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 Tulc I'iver, below the junction of the 
north fork with the main channel, and takes its name from a sjilendid 
soda si)ring found there, the waters of which are noted for their 
agreeable taste and for their cui'ative properties. The town is 
frequently referred to as the "Gateway to the Sierras," as from 
it diverge roads and trails reaching many mountain jioints of interest. 
Its chief fame, however, rests u]5on the superb quality of apples 
grown in the neighborhood. These have taken i)rizes wh.erever 
exhibited and their jiroduction has become extensive. Oranges are 
also largely grown and with success, comparative freedom from 
fi'osts being enjoyed. 

Oi'iginally the town was named Daunt, from William G. Daunt, 
a ])ioneer settler who opened a store during tlie '6()s. The origin 
of the ])resent village, however, dates from 1889, when A. M. Ooburn, 
a lumberman operating a mill in the mountains, purchased a tract 
of land originally taken uj) l)y 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. Ooburn built a 
box factory and planing mill and sold lots and lumber on easy terms 
to his employees, a number of houses were built and a nucleus of a 
town started. The "sanitarium" was converted into a hotel and 
later torn down for the erection of the present Springville hotel. 

The postoffice was at Mr. Daunt 's place, nearly a mile down 
the river. Originally mail had been brought from Visalia twice a 
week, Charles Lawless being the carrier. Later it was sent from 
Tulai'e by way of AVoodvillc, Porterville and Piano. On the com- 
pletion of the railroad to Poilerville a daily mail by stage from that 
l)lace was established. 

In 1890 Mr. Cobuni bought out Mr. Daunt 's store and moved it 
and the postoffice to the present site. The name "Daunt" for the 
postottice was continued for several years by reason of the fad tliat 
there was a Springville postoffice in Ventura county. This latter 
having lapsed, the name "Springville" applies now to the postoffice 
as well as the town. 



Sixty miles east of Visalia, reached via I^cinon Cove and Three 
Rivers, at the soiiree of the east fork of the ixaweah river, lies the 
mouutain 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 nearby scenic attractions, the abundant 
wild feed, the good fishing and its position as the furthermost moun- 
tain ])oiut 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 
above. J^'rom its summit a Avonderful 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 s])rings 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 built cabins and have a per 
manent summer camp here. There is a stable summer population 
of aliout 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 early '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 Rivers, passing over a veiy difficult territory, was 
built at an exjienditure of about $100,000. At one time daily stages 
from Msalia made the entire distance in one day. 

A clear idea of the glory of Beulah in 1S7i). the year which 
marked its greatest prosperity, may be gained liy 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 (|uartz 
mill and tramway, and driving a long tunnel into the mountain. 
Things were moving that year. A sawmill was in operation and 
cabins were going u]) in all directions. An assay office was estab- 
lished and mines weie located bv the hundreds. 


"The X. K. Tunnel and Smelting Company was incorporated 
in 1875. anotlier was or,i;anized in 1876, and the White Chief (xold 
and Silver Mining C'ompany was called into being in 1880. But the 
year 1879 was 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 thirt.v-seven votes for each office and the candidates 
for superior judge, assemblyman and district attorney received one 
hundred thirty-six votes in Mineral King. 

"There were ten and perhaps twelve places where intoxicating 
licjuors were sold, and events ]n-oved 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 riotousuess and 
disorder. There were no such essentially bad men there as are 
iisually found in new mining camps, with notched pistol handle.'^ and 
private burying grounds to which they could point with blood- 
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 tract of land. One of the particiitants received a slight 
wound. * * * 

"There are but two graves in Mineral King. In the late '70s, 
early in the sjiring, one of the newcomers went to Redwood 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 (iaji and struggled through the snow until within a 
quarter of a mile of the camj). 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 had given up the 

"When John Heinlen was prospecting the White Ch.ief mine, 
two of his miners were carried down the mountainside and buried in 
an ;ivalanche of snow. One was found and dug out alive, Imt the 
l)ii(Iy (if the other was not recovered until the spring thaw. 

"In the early days Orlando Barton was the X^estor of the 
camp, having the most extended and varied fund of knowledge. James 
Maukins and John (/i-abtree were ])erliaps the best prospectors. 
John Meadows was the most enthusiastic and conhdent of the early 
locators, rating his jiossessions worth a million dollars. lie was a 
farmer, a stockraisei-, a miner, a preacher, and a fighter, hut withal 
a l)i'a\'e. honest and conscientious man. 

"J. T. Trauger, who came in for the X^ew England Company as 


its superintendent, and the last recorder of the district, was known 
to all and was a favorite in the district. His wife was foi- yeais 
the jj:ood angel of the camp, wliose cheerful disposition, sterling 
(|ualiiies 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 keejj her 
from the hedside of the suffering miner whose cry of distress was 
heard, whether stricken hy sickness, crushed in an a^•alanche of 
snow or mangled hy an untimely hlast. 

"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 i)leasures that they might serve the country. 

"Itinerant ministers also preached to the assemhled people, not 
from great cathedrals decorated with luiintings of the old masters, 
nor accompanied by the nmsic of grand organs, but in those groves 
whicli were God's first temples, where swaying pine and mountain 
streams made music, under a great dome ])ainted 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 pros- 
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 fascination for them that they 
talked in soft, silvery tones. They pricked up their ears wlien 
silver gray foxes were alluded to and stood at attention when the 
old bear hiraters sj^ike 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 
flat surface, and wondered whether what they had looked at from 
infancy as the man in the moon might not after all be a mint im- 
pression of the American eagle." 

But the mines proved but the graveyard of many fortunes. 
Nothing came of them but disaster and the little town was a])on- 
doned. Many of the homes were left and for years were used by 
peoi)le who went u]) into the valley for a suunuer outing, !)ut the 
snows anil the rains have destroyed them all. 


Traver was founded >\pril 8, 1884, or rather, that was the date 
when town lots were sold at auction. The town owes its origin 
entirely to the construction of the '76 canal and is tlie only place 
on the line of the Southern Pacific railroad not originally owned 
by that corporation. However, the Southern Pacilic ol)taine(l an 


interest in the property lu^'ore they would consent to the establish- 
ment of a depot there. 

Traver is three miles south of Kings river. The bottom lands 
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, 
188-1-, aggregated $65,000. The only bouse then in Traver was a 
small structure that had been moved from Cross Creeks, and occu- 
pied l)y Kitchener & Co. as a store. Buildings were soon erected 
and a thriving town ensued. Traver has suffered greatly 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 Ilockett 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 ])laces. The 
elevation is about eighty-five hundred feet and in consequence the 
climate during the sunnner is cool and bracing. There is the 
greatest abundance of feed, botli here and in all the surrounding 
country. Lake Evelyn, one of the nuist beautiful of mountain lakes, 
is distant about three miles. There is excellent trout fishing in 
Hockett meadow creek, in Horse creek, one and one-half miles away, 
and in the waters of the south fork, 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 distant 
aliout eight miles. 


Redlianks, the terminal station of the Visalia electric road, is 
situated about fifteen miles northwest of Msalia, and takes its name 
froin the i)roi)erties of the Redbanks Orchard Company, which 

This orchard, one of the lai'gcst in the county and the only 
one devoted exclusively to the ])roduction of deciduous fruits for 
the eastern market, is located on the siiur of hill known as Colvin's 
Point. Pi'obably no part of Tulare county more vividly sets forth 
tlic rapid change from i)arched pasture lands to green gardens and 
prodndive orchards. This orchard venture of some thirteen hun- 
dred jiiid fifty acres had its inception in 190-!-, when P. ^l. Haier, Dr. 
W. W. S(|uires and Charles Joannes purchased a considerable acre- 
age, since adding to it. INfr. P>aier, formerly manager for the Earl 


Fruit Company, and a man of the widest knowledge of deciduous 
finiit growing and marketing, liad become convinced by observation 
of vegetable growth in the \'iciuity, that here was a remarka1)!y early 
section, the products of wliicli sliould bring extremely high ]irices in 
the eastern market. 

No care or expense has been spared on the orchard and the 
result has exceeded expectations. Carloads of several varieties of 
fruits and table grapes are now shipped from here each season 
several days in advance of consignments forwarded from any other 
])oint in the state. 


White Kiver, situated near the junction of the middle and south 
forks of "White river, about twenty-six miles southeast of Piano, 
arrived at early fame through the discovery here by D. B. James, 
of gold. This was followed by a wild stampede of miners and a 
typical early day mining town called "Tailholt," sprang up at once. 
Stores and shops, saloons, dance halls, gambling hoiTses, stage 
station, a quartz mill and a graveyard became necessary to supply 
the needs of the inhabitants and were provided. 

Seven men were soon "planted" in the last mentioned place, 
all dying with their boots on. It appears that each of these was 
named Dan, but history is silent in regard to why the bearing of 
that name was of peculiar hazard. 

In addition to the mining conducted in the vicinity, tlie town 
prospered by reason of being on the route to the Kern and Owens 
river mining districts. It became the source of supplies to thou- 
sands of miners, and the principal town in the southern jiortion of 
the county. 

In all these districts, however, while considerable gold was taken 
out, there ajipeared to be no large deposits of the precious metal. 
Pockets, while rich, soon petered out and the glory of the village 
lasted but a few years. A score or more miners remained to work 
claims at a small profit, a liusiness whidi continues to this day. 

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

Of recent years stockraising has been the principal source of 
revenue to the inhabitants of the district, althougli the citrus belt 
is extending to the neighborhood and the possibilities of ai)ple 
culture afiford })rospective reasons for future development. 


This, the largest grove of giant sequoias in the ]nuk. and in the 
world, is situated at an altitude of from six to seven thousand five 
hundred feet, on a plateau lying between the middle and ^larble 


forks of the Kaweah river, at a distance (by road) of about sixty 
miles from Visalia. Tliere are within it over iive thousand trees 
of a diameter of ten feet or more, together witli many monsters 
whose diameter ranges from twenty-five 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 the 
Kaweah, about twenty miles above Three Rivers. 

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

Camp Sierra, as the site chosen for hotel and camp 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 heiglit, 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 jierhaps two hundred miles of 
their length. 

Then there are the beautiful Twin Lakes, situated at an altitude 
of nearly ten thousand feet, distant eleven miles. Flanked at oue 
side 1)>- banks of almost ]3erpetual snow, overlooked by precipitous 
bluffs of granite, the crystal clear waters mirroring i)erfectly the 
bordering rocks and tamarack groves, they form a picture that lives 
long in memory. 

Kasy 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 Hale Tliar]ie; "chimney 
trees," hollow from grtnind to crown, etc., etc. 

There are four caves in the ]>ark, as follows: 

Cloughs cave, situated about thirteen miles a1)o\e Three Rivers, 
on the south fork of the Kaweah river, was discovered by William 
O. Clough in 1885. Owing to its ease of access and its location on a 
main route of tourist travel, it is visited by greater numbers than 


any of the otliers. 

Palmers cave, discovered by Joe Palmer, is situated uear 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 l)y H. R. Harmon. In 1906 it was ex]:)lored by 
"Walter Fry and C W. Blossom, park rangers, and officially named. 


Due west from Dinuba six miles and almost directly north of 
Msalia 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 ])ractically the only industry. 
There were few inhabitants. By reason of insufficient rainfall 
crops were not sure and there was no material iirogress. 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 planted to orchards and vineyards in small 
lioldings. 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 ])oth 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 ]>eaches, several small orange orchards were set. These 
duly came into bearing and demonstrated the adaptability of the 
Orosi country for oranges. (j)uite 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 pur^iose. 

The town of Orosi maintains three general mei'chaudise stores, 
many shops, two banks, handsome school buildings for both grammar 
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 Xaranjo (Spanish for orange tree) is given to the 
citrus district lying along the foothills north of Lemon Cove and 


across tlie Kaweali rive'r. It was tlie first section north of the river 
to be set to fruit and is now a lieavy producer of oranges and 
grape fruit. The orcliardists liave their own packing house and are 
served by tlie Visalia electric railroad. There is a store and ])Ost- 
office. "Westward, Naranjo merges into the newer Woodlake district. 


Situated on the Soutliern Pacific's east side line and lying north 
of \'isalia and southward from Diiiul)a is a sniall village with one 
general merchandise store, a few shops, etc. 

It is quite an important watermelon shipping point. Farming 
and dairying are the principal occupations of the neighborhood on 
the south, and raisin growing and deciduous fruit culture on the 


Some fourteen miles above Three Rivers on tlie northern flank 
of the east fork of the Kaweah, nestles beaneath 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. G. 
Ogilvie, formed, in 1910, a stock com|:)any, purchased a site and are 
at present engaged in the erection thereon of artistic bungalows and 
other eipiipment. They have installed a sawmill and are cutting 
the material on the ground. The new road to Mineral King, soon 
to be comijleted, will render the place easy of access. 


The town of Woodville had, in 1S57, dwindled to almost nothing, 
when its revival was attenqjted by 1). B. James under the name of 
Venice. 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. Jolm 
river extended but a short distance further west, there 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 liouse, blacksmith shoji, chair factory, distillery, 
Imtcher shop and billiard hall. 

In the flood of IHG'2, however, almost the whole of the 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 


the St. ,I<)lm river of today. Just below tlio site of the town, wliere 
the cement rock formation in the bed of the river Ijeeame 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 occujiy 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 substantial and ]iermanent basis, and Venice Cove, 
still further north, became the center of the district's population. 


Northwesterly from "^'enice 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 exjiected 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 lauds 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 jiroprietors named Waukena, the 
beautiful. The tracts did not sell as readily as anticipated. On 
the comj^letion of the Santa Fe railroad from Tulare to (^orcoran, 
passing- through the tract, a depot was established, and a small 
village has grown u]) there. The soil in the vicinity is well adapted 
to alfalfa and the rapidly develo])ing dairy industry is- making- for 
the increased iirosperity of the neighboi-hood. 


Woodlake, situated some fifteen miles northeasterly from ^^isalia, 
between Naraujo and Kedbanks and near the north shore of Bravo 
lake, is a to-wn 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 


concrete sai'ii."^'' «' ii'eiifi'Ml store, a])er, a l)aiik aud oilier 
features. During' the present year an auction sale of town lots was 
held and (piite lii.yli prices were realized. Cement sidewalks and 
graded avenues are in evidence here as in the sulturlis of a large 

Development of this district began in 1907, when Jason Barton, 
J. W. Fewell aud xVdolph Sweet ]>urchased 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. Abundant water was foimd and cement pipe 
built and laid to carry it to the sul)divisions. A consideral)le acreage 
was planted. This colony was called Elderwood and a store and 
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 AVoodlake 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 ]iasturage are now set to groves and handsome 
residences are l)uilding in great number. 


The California Hot Springs, formerly known as the Deer 
Creek Hot Springs, were long used by the Indians, and have for 
many years been a favorite cam]iing sjiot for people in quest of game 
or health. 

These springs are located about thirty miles southeast of Porter- 
ville, and twenty-two miles from Ducor. The springs 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 flow is estimated at 190,()(){) gallons. The springs are in the 
edge of the ])ine forest, and are surrounded by groves of live oak 
and ])ine. The waters are highly charged with minerals. 

Tlu' lands surrounding the springs were originally taken up 
by the Witt fainilx-, early settlers in that section of the county. In 
1898, it was owned l)y T^ J. and N. B. Witt. In that year the pro]i- 
erty was sold to L. S. Wingrove, G. K. Pike and .1. V. Eirebaugh. 
These men were fi'om Lindsay and Exeter. In Ajn-il, 1!)()1, Dr. C. E. 
Bernard of "N^isalia, bought out the I'irebaugh-Pike interests, and 
until 1904 condu<'1('(l the |)i-o])erty under the name of Bernard anil 


^Viugrove. i)r. Bernard liaviiig died, liis interest was in I'JOo pur- 
chased by S. Mitchell of Visalia, and J. 11. Williams of Poi'terville. 
In the following' June tlie owners incorporated under the name 
California Hot Springs, Inc. The present owners are Mrs. p]dith H. 
Williams, of San Diego; S. Mitchell, of Visalia; L. S. Wingrove and 
Joseph Mitchell of Hot S^Drings. 

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

The springs are reached by stages from Porter\ille or Ducor, 
or by automobile or any other vehicle. The roads are kept in good 
condition. Many from ^"isalia make the trip there by 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 disap])oiut- 
ment. Wheat raising continued ])rofitable in good years, but the 
possibilities of the fertile soil, extending for nuiny miles in every 
direction from the station at Terra Bella (beautiful earth), appealed 
to the keen insight of the ])romoter, who, fortified with results ob- 
tained in a small way Ity citrus ])lanters, apjireciated the fact that 
with the development of water at reasonable cost, the entire area 
could be transformed into profitable orange and lemon oi-chards. 

Accordingly, the subdivision of several sections of land in and 
about Terra Bella was taken up three years ago by the Terra Bella 
Development Company, 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. llellman, G. A. Hart, W, H. 
Holliday, F. C. Ensign, W. A. Francis, and others. Since that time 
ra[)id strides have been made, both in the planting and imiirovement 
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 acres of oranges have been jdanted in the 
Terra Bella district with very good results, and the jjlanting is 
being continued every year, willi many new residents coming in. 


Terra Bella as a town is, for its age, in a class l)y itself, having 
graded and oiled streets, cement walks and cnrbing, circulating water 
system, septic sewerage system, electric power and Hglits, telephone, 
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. (Ironen, 
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 
north of Ducor, another growing town in the new citrus belt which 
is also being transformed from wheat fields to a prosperous little 


The town of Ducor is on the line of the Southern Pacific, soi;th 
from Terra Bella about four miles. It is the jioint of departure 
for stages to the California Hot Springs. The principal improve- 
ment at Ducor at this time is the construction of a large two-story 
brick building, in whic-h will l^e 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 l)nilt, street 
improvements made, two churches erected, a fine ])ark laid out and 
]ilanted in trees and shrubbery. Numerous fine orange groves have 
lieen set out in the A'icinity of Ducor, with more planting this year, 
while several large tracts are now being subdivided for sale to citrus 

Both Terra Bella and Ducor are wideawake towns, with com- 
mercial organizations, and the planted area will demand shortly 
the construction of citrus packing houses in both i)laces. 

South of Ducor, in Tulare county, is another rich citrus section, 
Richgrove, where extensive improvements are being made 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 power 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 county. 


Farmer.sville, seven miles easterly from A'isalia, is next to 
Visalia the oldest settlement in the county. 


The early settlers naturally made their homes in clearings 
along the creek 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 18()0 by John W. Crowley, and a 
relative named Jasper established a general merchandise store. The 
overland stage passed through the liurg 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 enter]irises tending to increase the 
welfare of the comnuinity. One of his sons still conducts the store 
and is lieavily interested in farm lands and active in the develop- 
ment of the surrounding territory. 

The first great factor in Parmersville's prosperity was the 
construction of the People's ditch. The Consolidated People's Ditch 
Company had olitained water rights dating from the '(iOs, and early 
in the '70s their canal throligh 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 spots of the county. 

The name Farmersville somehow fits the place, not that here 
are more farmers than elsewhere, but that the tyiiical old-time ])rod- 
ucts of the farm, such as corn and jiumpkins and i)otatoes grow to a 
degree of size and ])erfection seldom obtained. Chinese gai'deners 
quickly selected the locality as best adapted to their ])urpose and as 
soon as the growth of the other communities warranted, established 
fine vegetable gardens here, distributing the product over a wide 

The Briggs orchard, some three 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 
tliat a veritable boom in deciduous tree planting resulted. 

Pinkham & McKevitt, large fruit 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 packer, purchased the Arcadia Eanch of about one 
thousand acres and set the same to fruit. This orchard has since 
passed into the hands of the California Fruit Canners Association, 
and has become one of the largest, best and most profitable in the 

Farmersville has lieconie a fruit center of no mean proportion, 
hundreds of carloads of fruit going forward annually as the product 
of its groves. The Farmersville prunes have come to be recognized 


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

The Visalia electric road, which i)asses tlirough this section 
and makes stops at nearly every cross roads, as well as at Farmers- 
ville proper, is a great convenience to the residents. One section of 
the town clusters at the old site on tlie county road, where are the 
stores and sehoolhouse, but near the railroad station, altout a mile 
north, another village nucleus is forming which soon, no doubt, 
will recjuire trading facilities of its own. 


AI)ove Springville about seventeen miles, between the south 
and middle forks of the Tule river, at an elevation of aliout 4500 
feet is the delightful summer resort known as Nelsons. At present 
the place is reached by a ti-ail about eight miles in length connect- 
ing with the wagon road at the forks of the river. 

While the retreat is surrounded by pines, there is nmch tillable 
land and berries, vegetables and fruits are raised to perfection. The 
meadow land grows timothy hay and there is quite a large apple 
orchai'd. 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 for this service. 


Away uj) in the 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 lumber camps. 
It is an important place for summer campers to spend a time in the 
cool mountain air away from the heat of the valley. Some of the 
wildest and grandest scenery in the world lies in the high Sierras 
beyond, ])oints which are readily accessilile from Camp Badger. 

It lies ill the edge of the jiine belt and in tlic early days was a 
very imjiortant cam]) for teamsters and lumliermen. The lirst saw- 
mills in the county were set u)i in the pineries near Badger. At 
one time there were as many as two hundred and fifty teams hauling 
hmiber from the mills thiongli Ciiiiip Badger and down the Cotton- 
wood creek to Visalia. 

There is little of the former glory left to Badger, a store, ]iost- 
office and school lieing the only industries of today. The surround- 
ing countrv is laruclv dc\'ot('d to stockraising. 



Ou tlie old Millwood road, going up Cottouwood 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 
l>resent 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 
quality are in the vicinity and this culture is engaging the attention 
of a number of new settlers. 


Kaweah is nt)f 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 foimded in the county. 

The school and voting jirecinct are called ^"enice and the district 
is well adai)ted to general farming, fruit and dairying. The reten- 
tion of several large tracts liy 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 vear is secured. 



In tlie 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 he one of the most progressive towns 
of its population in the state. AVhile Porterville is in close proximity 
to the mountains, the foothills do not tend to retard development, 
hut add to the pictnres<|ueness and iirosperity of this .tlniving com- 
munity of thirty-two hundred people. 

Porterville was, of necessity, on the olden immigrant road, and 
on the overland stage line, by reason of the fact that in those days 
it was necessary to kee]t to the high ground to avoid the marshes of 
the lowland. Along the l)ase of the spur of hills wliicli here projects 
into the valley lay the only natural route. Then, as now, passersby 
found the place attractive and many immigrant trains found along the 
banks of the Tule river pleasant cam])ing and resting places, the first 
encountered for da.\s. 

J. i>. Ilockett and jiarty camjjed here in 1849. Mr. Clapp 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 princely 
salary of $30 ]ier month and board. Mr. Putnam easily took a ]irom- 
inent place, became familiarly known by his middle name and the 
stopping place was soon called Porter's station. When the stage 
route was abandoned, in 1861, Mr. Putnam established a hotel and 
store and then, as befitting the newly-acquired dignity of the jilace, it 
came to be entitled Porterville. 

Cattle raising constituted the chief occupation of the people in 
this district, in the days before the Civil war. The era of the cereal 
commenced in 1874, but floods, followed by drought, disheartened 
some of the settlers. Not until the coming of the railroad in 1888 
did Porterville lift her head and allow prosperity to enter, the latter 
then coming to remain for all time. The orange now began to i)er- 
I'orm a very imiiortant function. The first grove, of sixty trees, was 
planted in 1871) by Demiiig (Jibbons on his ])roi)erty, where now stands 
Piano. These trees were seedlings and for twelve years oranges of 
(|uality or (juantity failed to mature. Added impetus, however, was 
given citi-us culture by A. R. Henry of Pasadena, who has long since 
passed to his reward, and in the year ]80"_' three hundred scattering 
acres had liccn brought uiidci' the reign of the citrus fi-uit. During 


this year a bill proposiug' the segregation of the Porterville district 
from the rest of Tulare county was introduced in tlie state legislature, 
but was defeated in 1898. To demonstrate the j)Ossibilities of Porter- 
ville, orcliardists installed an exhibit of citrus fruit and a))ples at 
Sacramento. Orange experts and many men prominent in the fruit 
world pronounced tlie fruit ecjual to any grown south of tlie Teliach- 
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- 
ville entered upon a period of united development. Porterville now 
marched rapidly forward until 1908, when l)y a heavy majority. Por- 
terville citizens voted for the abolition of saloons within the incor- 
porated 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 i)rogress 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-i)roof material and representing a total valuation of .$1.7r)i),000. 
The business district covers an area of six blocks, the business 
houses being of brick and reinforced concrete. More beautiful and 
substantial residences are seldom seen, $500,000 being represented in 
residences erected within the past three years. 

P^ew, if any, towns of the county can present a more imposing 
and practical school structure than has just been completed at a cost 
of $45,000, 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 probaliility of 
twice that number witliin the next two years. Practical courses are 
the si)ecialties of instruction. The cost of Poi'terville's schools aggre- 
gate a total of $120,000. 

Porterville 's municiiial water system is one of the best, $90,000 
liaving been expended in obtaining the most im])roved service. In 
1908. the plant was ]iurchased from the Pioneer "Water Comjjany for 
$50,000. incidentally reducing the water rate twenty-five per cent. 
Since the purchase of the system, $45,000 wortli of iiii))rovements have 


been addetl. Located upon Scenic Heights, one hundred sixty-tln-ee 
feet above Main street, is a 300,000 gallon water tower, into which 
is innnped ]iure water from two modern plants, the maxinnim capa- 
city of the i)lants being 1,1250,000 gallons every twenty-four hours. 
Two auxilary tanks, one containing 75,000 gallons and a 100,000- 
gallon reservoir, add. amjile jtressure for fire protection. The domes- 
tic supply is furnished by four, six and eight-inch laterals, fed from 
a ten-inch main, the total length of which is eighteen miles. Tlie foot- 
hill lands near Porterville are abundantly supplied by the Pioneer 
Water Company, whose system is cai)able of irrigating seven thou- 
sand acres, the main canal being sixteen miles in length. Deep well 
]mmps are fast disidacing the old irrigation methods, the ])ast year 
witnessing the installation of one hundred and fifty plants. 

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

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

AVitli tiie completion of street paving, the necessity for ellicient 
fire apparatus was i)re-eminent. A chemical engine and a hose cart, 
proiielled by gasoline, were purchased for $10,000. Porterville was 
the first city in Tulare county to adojit the modern fire-fighting 
device and therefore has a minimum insurance rate. 

In res]>onse to the demand for adequate shipping and packing 
facilities for the citrus industry, eight packing-houses in and near 
Porterville have been established. These employ a small army of 
])eople during the fruit season. Aside from one thousand cars of 
oranges shij^ped annually, Porterville ships many peaches and i)runes. 
Apples rivaling those of the eastern states are grown in the moun- 
tain districts. 

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

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

Eight religious denominations. Congregational, Methodist, Chris- 
tian, l:>a])tist. Christian Science, C*atholic, Episcojjal and (Jeriiian, are 
represented in Porterville, all these institutions being in a flourishing 
condition. Seven of the denominations possess buildings of more than 
))assing attention. The Congregational church, erected at a cost 
of $25,000, is one of the most beautiful edifices of its kind in the 
valley. A total of $()0,00() is re])resented in these sanctuaries. 

The First National IWuik of I'orterville, one of the strongest bank- 


ing institutions in Tulare county, was organized June !<, litOo, with a 
subscribed capital of $l25,000. 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 A\n'il 10, 1889, with a 
subscribed cajntal of $70,000. At the present time this bank is ca])- 
italized for $105,000. 

Among the factors which tend to advance Porterville, of most 
importance is the Chamber of Commerce. Tliis is the largest organ- 
ization of its kind in the San Joaiiuin valley, its membership totaling 
two hundred and fifty. Aside from a continuous and jirogressive 
advertising campaign, a club room for the members is maintained, 
and also a large reading room, banquet hall and billiard ]iarlors. In 
co-ojieration with the Chamber of (^ommerce is the Ladies Imjirove- 
ment Club, a by no means small factor in the development, imjirove- 
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 by public-spirited 
citizens and $10,000 has been expended in its maintenance and 
improvement. A public lunch jiavilion, ]mblic play grounds for chil- 
dren and other attractive features have been installed. 

An im]iortant 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 Eeeorder and 
the Porterville Daily Messenger. Both have weekly editions as suji- 
plementary ])ublications and their financial future is assured. 

Lodges of Porterville include all the leading orders, both bene- 
ficiary and insurance. Ancient Order United Workmen, Porterville 
Lodge No. 1999; Foresters of America, Court Porterville No. ISl ; 
Fraternal Order of Eagles, Porterville Aerie No. 1351; Indejiendent 
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, 
Callanmra 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. 114; Modern 
Woodmen of America, Porterville Camp No. 906-t; Royal Neighbors, 
White Rose Cam]) No. 5333; Woodmen of the World, Orange Camp 
No. 333; Women of AVoodcraft, 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 band. Farther east and up into the mountains are the famous 
redwood forests, unhindered by monopolists. These forests, together 
with the rich minei'al resources yet to be de\'el()i)ei:l, foi'iu a field of 


inestimal)le wealth. Excellent niountain resorts, such as the Califor- 
nia Hot Springs, whose mineral waters equal those of tlie famous 
Arkansas Hot Springs, beckon the tourists from the hot summers 
of the valley. The feeding and fattening of beef cattle also forms 
an imi)ortant occupation of the hill districts. To the south are thou- 
sands of l)are acres unequaled in orange culture. Agricultural and 
dairy industries are assured in the broad plains to the west and to 
the north are produced the linest of navel oranges. — Claude il/. 


Dinnba is the largest city in northern Tulare county, situated 
along the foothills on the eastern side of the great San Joaquin val- 
le>-. It was nearly thirty years ago that the first settlers made their 
home here, at a time when Traver was a flourishing community and 
Dinuba 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 Inid and lilossom with 
fruit and flower as it does today. 

The site wliere Dinuba now stands was originally owned by 
James Sil)ley and E. E. Giddings, and at the time the surveyors 
of the Pacific Improvement Company laid ofT the townsite was but 
a vast stubblelield. Later W. D. Tuxlniry 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 liy the Improvement Com])any to 
Dr. Gebliardt, and this was later occupied by the doctor's office, 
(ipl»osite the depot and at the rear of what is now the Alta Garage. 
Homer Hall and H. C. Austin bought four lots on the cornei- 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 Iniilding — 
the finest in the district at that time. The lots cost him $L'50 each 
and cannot be bouglit 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 I)a\-e and 
Charles Cohn with their general merchandise store. Later the (^'ohn 
Brotliers 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 was a land mark in the community 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 the modern structure 
which lias re])laced it. 

As stated, the next building to be erected after the Hall i)uild- 
ing was the office of Dr. (rel)hardt. Then Frank Elam built a iilack- 
smith shojt on the corner whci'c the Akcrs sho]) and machiue works 


ai'e now, hnt this Inter Imiiii'd down. As was usual witli a pioneer 
town, the saloon found a place in the irrowtli of the oommnnity, and 
remained here until five years ago. 

A building was moved from south of town by 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 oSce of the growing little town. 

About this time the Dinuba Hotel was erected by Sibley and 
Tnxl)ury and ]\fr. and Mrs. Henry Kirkpatrick were the first lessees. 
They are still living south of town. Mine Host Kirkjjatrick was 
succeeded by Matthews and Wheeler as landlords. This same year 
the Southern Pacific depot was built and the ]niblic 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 people gave the people 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 loO,000 acres and absorbing the "76" 
system. From that time the district began to develo]i. until five 
years ago the city was incorporated and has grown until today 
there are 1800 peojile here and Dinuba is the largest city lietween 
Visalia and Fresno along the foothills. The city lias fine schools, 
both grammar and high, and seven churches: Baptist, Methodist 
E]iis('o|)al. Christian, IMethodist E)nsco])al South, Presbyterian, Ad- 
vent! st and Church of Christ, Scientist. There are eighteen teachers 
in the inililic 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 city in size in the county, is situated on tlie 
main lines of both, the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe, at their inter- 
section, some ten miles south from Visalia. With a population of 
about 4000, rai)idly growing; with the modern facilities and conven- 
iences common to up-to-date cities of its size; surromided by a thickly- 
settled, fertile, well-watered and productive farming section. Tulare 
does not present in aspect sti^ikiug peculiarities. 

Historically, howevei-. 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 apjilicable at one time. That " 'Tis always darkest just 
before dawn" ])roved true at last. The record of these events reads 
more like a story than tlie sober chronicle of history. 

The earliest settlers of the county ]iassed 1iy the section in the 


vicinity of Tulare, because it did nut lie iu the i)atli of water-courses. 
A few real pioneers there were, notably W. F. Cartniill, J. A. More- 
head, J. W. Hooper, 1. N. Wright, the Powell, McCoy, Hough and 
Wallace families, whose homesteads were triliutary to what is now 
Tulare, but no settlement existed in this neigjiborhood prior 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 l)oom. 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 jjrojected 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 whooji and hurrah. It came to ])ass 
that the railroad slioi)s were erected, i)erliai)s not on quite as exten- 
sive a scale as anticipated, but still there they were, and so, too, were 
several hundred em])loyees, all of whom had to be housed and clothed 
and fed. Consequently there was need for merchants of all kinds, 
and these came. To l)e sure, the courthouse did not materialize. 
This for the reason that Visalia influence secured the ])assage by the 
legislature of a bill permitting Tulai-e county to issue l)onds for the 
purpose of erecting a new courthouse at Visalia. Flourishing enough, 
however, were conditions to cause the town to grow a])ace. Among 
the i)ioneers 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 be paid 
for on the installment ])lan. Now were jjlanted gardens and lawns 
and on the sides of many of the principal streets shade trees, and 
all thrived. An ever-growing beauty and an ever-greater prosjiei-ity 
characterized the town. Monthly came the pay car with $.30,UUU to 

In July, 188o, a disastrous fire swept tiie business section, entail- 
ing a loss of about $150,000 and destroying about twenty-five places 
of business. From the effects of this fire Tulare rapidly recovered. 
Better buildings almost immediately took the ])lace of those burned, 
and bustling progress was promptly resumed. 

Prosperity was uninterrupted for three years only. In 1880, on 
the night of August Kith, the business portion of the city was entirely 
destroyed by fire. The magnitude of this second disaster can scjircely 
now be realized. Nothing was left except, to quote from the Tulare 
Register of the time, "a fringe of residences around a lire-swept 


gap." In the published list of tlie business houses 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 rebuilt in 
better and more substantial form than before. 

And now, indeed, in the latter part of the '80s, secure once more, 
enjoying renewed prosperity, the inhabitants may be pardoned for 
believing that their troul)les were over; that, having weathered safely 
the storms, they were to have for the remainder of the voyage fair 
weather and tine 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 i)atronage insufficient to make them a living. 
Artisans 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 sul)-irrigation did not 
satisfy him. He said "If it is water that is lacking, why. we will 
get water. AVe 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 jilanned 
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 emploATuent to an army of men well imder way, the vast 
benefits that would accrue on its completion readily foreseen every- 
one again felt encouraged and hopeful. All trouble was now thought 
to be over. 


As a matter of fact, it had just begun. Litigatiuii oxer water 
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. 

Remember, 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 intoleralile. Lack of funds prevented proper u])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 ]»rogress. 

Land depreciated in xalue until it practically became unsalable. 
Discouragement gave place to despondenc.v and despair. 

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

An assessment was levied in the fall of 19i)'2 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 celeliration 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 property of tlie district and the only expense for water 
is the cost of maintenance. Pumping jilants, 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 ]iermanently assured large and increasing income. Vineyards, de- 
ciduous fruits of all kinds and many other products contril)ute also, 
but the sum received from the sale of cream, now over $100,000 i)er 
month, is of first im])ortance, not only because of tlie amount. Init 
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 reason of lower iirevailing prices 
than in towns where a credit system is in greater vogue. 

The present ra[)id growth of Tulare is well indicated liy the build- 
ing ojjerations, which for the past two years have run about $250,000 
per year. 

Tulare possesses a first-class sewer system, an abundant supply 
of absolutely pure water piped ever>-where, electric power and lights, 


o-as for fuel and li.Klitiiiii'. Thei'e is a largo cannery, three creameries, 
a flour mill and a planing mill and furniture factory. A handsome 
free lil)rary liuilding- houses a six thousand volume collection of books. 
New school Iniildings witli the best modern equij^ment 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 reUgious needs of the people. 

Of the early improvements made in the days of the railroad shop 
and "before the fire" 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 south of the Kaweah 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 jjlace 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 u]) to their coming into bearing, led him to 
]ilant a second orchard and to become a whole-souled, energetic ]iro- 
moter for the section. 

In the early '9()s a considerable acreage was ])lanted to citrus 
fruits, mostly lemons. In addition to many small tracts, the large 
gi-oves 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 jirophet, in company with a numlier 
of friends, ]:)aid a visit to the high Sierras, reached by way of 
Lemon Cove. On the return the large i)lantings of young lemon 
groves attracted attention and Mr. McAdie iiroceeded to comment 
thereon in the presence of Mr. Pogue and other residents. 

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


to tlie rear of liis residence, wiiere sti'etelied a i'ull-heariiin' orang-e 
and lemon grove, the brandies loaded with the yellowing frnit and 
said, "There, you dad l)lanie fool, there they he." 

About a thousand bearing aeres now add their testimony to that 
of Mr. Pogue. The lemon has a more delicate nature and more sus- 
ceptible to frost than the oran,s>e. Lemon Cove is one of the few 
])laces in the state where sufficient frost ])rotection is obtained. 

Lemon Cove is the outer gateway to the Sierras of tlie Kaweah 
watershed and in consequence enjoys a consideral)ie tourist trade. 

Tlie town, tiioui^h sinall, is thrivin,"- and lirowini;-. Citrus fi-uit 
packing and shi])i)in.i;- causes much activity durin,^' tlie season. Tliree 
packing houses handle the cro]), which now amounts to al)()ut four 
hundred carloads annually. 

A two-story hotel, .i^eueral store, livery stable, l)lacksmith 
shops, bakery and butcher shop make up the town. 


Sultana, one of the new towns created by the construction of 
the Santa Fe Railroad in ISiXi, lies three miles due east from Dinuba 
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 shipi:)ing 
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 lioth lines of railroad. Sultana will ])robably never grow to be a 
large city. On the other hand, its existence is amply justified by 
the large and rajiidly increasing rural ])0]iulation surrounding it. 


Lindsay is situated in tlie very center of the most extensively 
develo))ed section of Tulare county's orange belt, lying about twelve 
miles north of Porterville and eighteen miles southeast from Visalia, 
on the east side branch of the Southern Pacific. 

Orange groves in solid formation and stretchin.o- miles in all 
directions, approach to and extend into the city. 

Unlike any of the other towns of the county, diviersified products 
do not contribute to the enrichment of city and country here. Orano-es 
exclusively are now grown and this fact, in connection with the 
large area of land in the vicinity suited to this culture, has made 
Ijindsay the .greatest orange shipjiins' ])oint in the county and many 
believe that within a few yoai's it will be the most important in the 

'i'hirteen large packing houses, equipped with the best modern 
facilities and machinery, and having a combined capacity of eighty 
carloads ])cr day, are required to handle the output, which now 
amounts to alK)ut two thousand carloads. 



Eiisiuess during the harvest season, -n-lieu 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 population of about twenty-five hundi-ed 
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, AV. H. Mack; treasurer, G. V. Keed. 

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 $75,000 was devoted, is of modern 
type and substantial construction, built by Haviland & Tibbetts of 
San Francisco. Provision for the disiDosal 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 Imildings, with extensive 
grounds, representing an investment of $70,000. 

The appearance of Lindsay is made attractive by 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 Eighteen-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 Dutch Bill) 
farmed ]iractically 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 
rejjuted to have cleared up $50,000 on the crop. The lands upon 
which these wheat kings operated were not owned liy 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 outfits 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 comjiany ei'ecfed a large grain 
warehouse on the track and a few business liouses sprang up to 
care for the wants of the sparse and largely floating population. 
Charles Eankin opened a general store and Ed and George lianna- 
ford started a Jiotel and a few other shops followed. 

The new era began in 1891 when Captain Hutchinson began the 
active iiromotion of the section for orange culture, placing twenty- 
five hundred acres of land on the market for this purpose. 

Previously John Tuohy, on his Lewis creek ranch, had planted 


a number of orange trees, the g-rowth of which had shown the 
a(hi])tahility 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 proven the existence of a great a\ailable water supply. 

To Mr. Hutchinson, however, projjerjy Itelongs the credit for 
being the founder of the community, as througli his enterprise de- 
velopment 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 with the section's development. 

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 tlian 
double that in 1892, and considera]>ly more in the years following. 
Not until 189(i 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 iiresont day and gives no signs of al)ating. 

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 market, 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 the rush in leveling, planting and installation of pumping jilants 
unusual opportunities have offered themselves. Lindsay boasts a 
large number of citizens who. entering the field without a dollar, 
now measure their wealth in five figures. 



In the adventures of the early 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 


iiiau" Steiuiiuiu. lu 1854 or '55 Steinmaa, who lived southwesterly 
from Visalia a few miles, went on a huuting trip iieai- what is now 
Corcoran on the Maluiran sh)u,nh. He was looking for deer, and 
the timhered country near this slough looking good to him, he tied 
his teani and proceeded cautiously afoot. He had 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 ojiposite them. Raising cautiously up, he discovered one 
big buck within range, the rest being some distance beyond. He 
tired, 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 iiome and kept exceedingly close for some 
time. Either, however, the Indians failed to learn the slayer's 
identity or were satisfied that the shooting was jnirely accidental, 
for no reprisal was ever attempted. 

Eciually, 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 raucheria, was of clapboards split and smoothed. Above his 
li\ing-room was a loft reached by a ladder. It was Steinman 's 
custom on warm afternoons to rejiair to this loft, divest himself 
of all clothing, and spend a few tranquil hours in smoking, meditation 
or repose. 

For some time he had been missing articles from 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 the hole in the floor saw two Indians 
enter. They had discovered some loose weather l)oards, and by 
removing the nails had made an opening which later could be 
closed and leave no sign. 

The table, on which was a variety of eatables, was directly below 
the hole in the ceiling, and Steinman 's anger rose as he watched 
tlie Indians make free with his gi-ub and then examine the cabin for 
things of use. He determined to scare them into fits, and jumped 
to the table, giving as he did so a wild yell. Instead of fleeing in 
constci-nation at this frightful apparition, as he had anticipated, the 
Indians grabbed knives from the table and attacked him fiercely. 
Steinman, though severely wounded, managed to reach the fireplace, 
where he got hold of a long-handled shovel, with which he kiUed one 
of his antagonists and drove off the other. 

This time Steinman knew that only by immediate flight could 
he secure his safety. To his neighbor Willis he therefore went. A 
nuiiiber of men were here employed making rails and these promised 


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

All came to town and secured the s'ood 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 jjarker tells this story of W. L. Poindexter. sheriff of Tulare 
county in the late '50s. 

Poindexter was a 1)ig-, ,iolly, 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 appearance in Visalia, Poindexter became 
deeply enamoured. U]ion her he lavished al)undant affection and pres- 
ents of a substantial nature. 

"When after a long but ardent courtship he finally secured her eon- 
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 fee! 
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 tri]! to the Kern river 
mines. ' ' 

On his return Friday Barker brought his mail to him at his 
room. Of this he says: "I noticed a letter in a feminine hand that 
had been mailed him at Visalia. "When I handed hini his mail I felt 
a sort of premonition that all was not right. As lie read the letter 
I saw a change come over his features; he turned ]iale as death. 
I saw his hand quiver and thought he would faint. In a few 
moments, by a great effort, he called me and said, 'Jack, read this, 
liut never on your life breathe 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, deliberate 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 bo make iio attempt to 
see her. 

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


We tried to keep tliiugs secret that night, but by the next morning 
everyone in town knew it. Of course, there was a general feeling of 
indignation among Poindexter's friends, and liV noon a Saturnalia 
had commenced. Nearly all of the guests had 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 aim ))y a man on each side. The victim 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 liimself to succumb to the 
wiles of a siren. He was tlien requested to repeat after one of his 
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 chaff. 

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

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

"At the command 'Restore him to the light' the bandage was 
removed from liis 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, Imt when lie 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 up until 
Sunday morning, when they all struck out for their homes." 


Many tales are told of the "devil may care" s]urit thai animated 
Visalia during the mining boom days. Gambling, boozing, fighting 
and frolicking were the occupations of the miners, especially, as hap- 
pened in the fall of '56 and '57, when their pockets were full of dust 
and tliey were off on their way to San Francisco to sjjcnd th(> winter. 

^'isalia offered such attractions that they got no further. At 
one lime a))Out twenty-tive of these took i)ractical ])ossession of the 
town. Wide ojjen and in full Itlast the attractions were kejit going, 
night and day. This crowd had among them a tall and lanky 
Missourian named -Ben Biggs, who could play the fiddle, and that liis 
talents might be exercised in a manner calculated to attract the most 
attention they ]mrchased a jackass for him to ride and were accus- 
tomed to march around the town, halting in front of the different 
saloons, treating all bystanders while the liddlcr ])layed lustily. The 
sum of $60 pel- uKintli was ]iaid the musician by the ]iarty. 


Needless to say, (liu- celat was secured. .Judge Sayles, later of 
Fresno, who was tlie leader of this crowd, concluded that this sport 
had become somewliat stale and arran,s;ed t'oi- a glorious finale. 

At tlie crossing at Mill creek at Garden street was a ford, below 
which was a very deep pool. A halt was called here one day and 
Biggs, at the request of the audience, was sawing out a selection 
when a preconcerteil rush of the s))ectators duini)ed both him and his 
steed into the water. 


Visalia in the '70s numbered among its inhabitants a genuine 
''bad man." This was one James McCrory, who at the time of his 
death had the rcpntatiou of having killed oi- wounded thirteen men. 

McCrory, when solter, was pleasant and companionable and 
gained many friends. When drunk, he was cross-grained and surly 
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 liarkeeper in the Fashion 
saloon. For this nmrder he was at his first trial, sentenced to fifteen 
years imprisonment. On the second trial he was acquitted on 
technicalities. As the murder was peculiarly cold-blooded and brutal 
this caused nmch unfavoralile comment. 

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

McCrory made his escape througli the rear of the saloon and 
had 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 deiiuty sheriff Jesse Reynolds, there 
were hnid and frequent cries from the crowd of "hang him! hang 


Jiiin!" MeCrory yelled baek, "Yes, yoii , you dasseiit 

han.a,' me." 

It was Christmas eve. The church bells were rinftiuj>- their call 
to attend the Christmas trees festivities at the Methodist church on 
Court street, but there were few meu who answered this summons. 
They attended a graver and sterner meeting on Main street at p. 
m., and as a result marched en masse to the jail where sheriff A. U. 
Glasscock with armed deputies were found guarding the pinsoner. 
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 tlie>- returned with an eighteen foot piece of timber 
with which they broke o|)en the outside iron door of the jail. After 
reaching the hall they had to pass the sheriff's office where eight or 
ten armeil men were on guard. These were forced to give way and 
were sho\-ed into the office and held there. The keys were taken 
from Reynolds and the cell door opened. 

McCrory had heard them coming and, determined not to "die 
with his boots on," had removed them. When the leaders entered 
the cell they found him lying on his face. They caught him by the 
hair, raised his head up, placed a noose around his neck and half 
dragged, half carried him to the liall. A railing blocked the way 
here and in order to ])revent ])remature 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 l>e left there for one hour, which 
was duly seconded and carried. During the interim, a collection to 
defray funeral expenses was taken up, and arrangements made with 
the undertaker. At the end of the hour "Fatty Johnson," the under- 
taker, ap]ieared with a s])ring wagon. Six men pulled McCrory u]) 
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, 18G0, William Governeur Morris shot and killed 
.John Shannon, editor of the Delta. This affray grew out of the 
bitterness engendered in the political campaign which had just been 
bi-ouglit to a close, and for a correct understanding of the motives 
actuating the men, it is necessary to relate some of the verbal pass- 
ages between them. • 

The A'isalia Sun had been started during this campaign as an 
organ of the Ke|)ublican party, the Delta supporting ]*>reckenri(lge. 
Morris, it was stated, controlled the policy of the Sim and contributed 
to it editoi'iallv. 


lu the first issue of the Delta after the election there appeared 
a statement fi'om Shannon as follows: "To the Public: In the last 
issue of the Suu I find a card signed by William Governeur Morris, 
in wliich is the folIowiuK lauftnage: 'I have endeavored to obtain 
satisfaction from Mr. Shannon for liis 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 15th 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 
purjiort of the note of which they were the bearers, thus aifording 
me no opportunity to give them a written answer or to refer them 
to my friend. Eegarding this conduct on the part of these messengers 
as a deliberate insult, and finding one of them on the streets, 1 com- 
menced, without any ceremony, to chastise liim for his impertinence. 
(This was A. J. Atwell.) In so doing I injured my right hand, an 
injury which has since proved to be more serious than 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 this 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 upon me, with the assurance that 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 
pay him no further attention. The affair occurred the same day. 
The version given by both the .S'»/; and the Delta was: 

"On Thursday evening Shannon entered the office of AV. P. 
Gill, Esq., where Morris was sitting. Shannon held in his hand a 
cocked ]nstol, and on entering raised the pistol, at the same time 
saying. 'Morris, are you armed?' Morris sprang to his feet and 
gTa])pled with his opponent. Shannon being the taller of the two 
Mori-is was unable to disarm him and Shannon beat him severely 
upon the head with the pistol, 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, whereupon Shannon gazed upon him several seconds and 
turned and left the room. Morris, thereupon, sjirang to his feet and. 


drawing his revolver, rnslied out of the south door of the building 
so as to intercept Shannon before reaching his office. T!ie ])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 Itall 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, where he 
died in about an hour and eighteen minutes. 

Shannon was a man highly respected b}' 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 the most bizarre and at the same time most outrageoiis 
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 Stai)leford, 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, A\'illiam C. Deinity. 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. Deputy, however, remained |)ossessed 
of nnich proi)erty and Stapleford demanded of his uncle that he deed 
all his i)roi)erty 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 De])uty'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 floor. 
Apparently fearing that some attempt at the use of violence might 
be committed on the prisoner. Sheriff Poindexter ])laced two men, 
Ed Re\nolds and Frank "Warren, on guard to protect the old man. 

On the 28th of July, a mob headed by Morris, who was a lawyer 
and nofnry, broke into jail, took Deputy to the outskirts of towu, 
swung him u}) to a tree by a noose around his neck until he was 
nearly strangled, let him down, and then requested him to sign a 
deed that had been prepared. ITpon his refusal he was again swung 
U)) ;rii<l lashed by Morris with a blacksuake until almost miconscious. 
He then consented to sign, but after being taken back to jail, showed 


signs of renewed stubbornness. However, after being chained again 
to tlie riug-lK)lt and tlneateiied again witli tlie lash, lie did sign a 
deed by which lie transferred to Stapleford any and all real estate 
of which lie niiglit be i)ossessed in the state of California. 

This property included that on which the Visalia tiouriug mills 
are now situated, a tract east of town and a hotel and ranch propertj^ 
in San Bernardino. The pro])erty was immediately retransferred to a 
supposedlj' innocent third party and when De})uty 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 princi]3al men com- 
posing the mob that had committed the outrage were later arrested 
on a com]ilaint signerl by many prominent citizens. Morris was 
convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $500 and sei've six months 
in jail. Owing to secret influences of some kind, he successfully 
evaded doing either one, and escaped scot free. 


On Simday morning, July 27, 1902, James McKinuey, an ex-con- 
vict, murderer and all round bad man, ran amuck in Porterville. 
shot five men, one fatally, held up a livery stable for a team and 
made his escape. 

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

City Marshal John Howell, his deinity. John "Willis, Dejtuty Con- 
stable AV. L. T()m])kiiis and a railroad emiiloye named Lyons ap- 
proached for the ]nirpose 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 reply. Attempting 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 ball 
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 sliotgun and rifle. Start- 
ing to return to town, he encountered "William Linn, a gambler, at 


whom witliout jirovopation lie diseliarsed a load of hiieksliot, fatally 
woiuidiug liim. Linii had ]iii'viously heen aceideiitally shot and 
slightly wounded in the exchange of shots with the officei's. McKiu- 
uey then went to the Arlington stahles, roused the hostlers, and, 
covering them with his rifle, demanded a team, threatening to kill 
them if they did not Imi-ry. While the team was iieing harnessed 
McKinney fired eight or ten shots towards the main part of town. 
He then got into the huggy 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 hack, and W. B. 
West was shot in the right arm and hij). West was slightly and 
Barrow very severely wounded. After shooting Barrow and West 
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 he in it with me, I will kill anyone 
that looks at me." 

Mosier gave McKinney all the money he had, about $60. Mc- 
Kinney drove again to Main street and took a parting shot at "Kid" 
Tatman, hut 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. 

Sheriff Parker was soon on the trail hut 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 190;>, when he was reported in 
Mexico. Sheritf 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, l)eing 
hotly pursued by Sheriff Lovin of Mojave county, Arizona, as well 
as by Sheriff Collins and ex-Sheritf 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 esca])ed being killed by Rankin and McCraeken, who recog- 
nized him and in a I'Uiming iiglil, wounded him. 

On A])ril 1!), IDO,"}, McKinney was located in a Chinese joss 
house in Rakei'sfield. The house was surrounded by a cordon of 
officers, and Jeff Packard, city marshal, and Will E. Tibbett, si)ecial 
deputy sheriff, were killed in an attempt to enter it. McKinney ap- 


peared at the doorway and was shot and instantly killed by deputy 
sheriff Bert M. Tibhetts. 


The last of the long list of bloody crimes that has cursed the 
county 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- 
]Dened 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. 

Soine 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 diiring 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. 

Sheritf Collins had gone over in an automobile and innnediately 
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 uji 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 tinally arrived, late in the 
afternoon, at the jail at Visalia. 

Magana made a full confession, was found guilty, and on June 
IG. 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 Delta January 6, 1861, speaks of a sale of Visalia building 
lots held on the day previous by J. E. Wainwright & Co. The sale 


was largely atteuded aud tlu; bidding spirited. One luuulreil aud 
fifteen lots were sold at prices ranging from $5 to $30. The lots were 
in Aughinbaugb'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-qnarters of a 
mile sonth of town for $60 per acre. The same year, Sontag & 
Evans, who afterwards became famous criminals, advertised thirteen 
lots, aud 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 1,474,500 
pounds. The winter following was the most severe one ever ex- 
perienced by sheepmen and yet the s^Dring clip of 1873 was 947,375 

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, 
jiist across the line in Fresno county. 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 John Pool the right to continue 
his ferry and gave to Crumley and Smith the privilege of conducting 


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


(hie on oriler tliirteen county sfi'lp, valuinir gold dust at $14 per 
ounce. ' ' 


"Captain George, an Indian and a 'big Injun liea])' at tliat, lias 
commenced running as an expressman between this ]ilace and Coso. 
For his services he gets very well paid and would be better paid 
had he a tench of Yankee in his system, lie makes the tri]) now in 
about four days and packages of light weight of any description may 
be safely entrusted to iiis care." — Delta, 1861. 

In September, 1862, Mr. '\"an Water is credited with having a 
factory in operation in Visalia. making a tine article of sorghum 

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

*'Si)lendid deer skins, dressed, were offered for sale in this ]ilace 
yesterday morning at $19 a dozen." — Delta, Oct. 20, 1861. 

"Boating — People who have not been here for a year or two 
will be surprised to hear that navigation is now open just north of 
town. The tirst 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. "^Z>c//rt, 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."— Dc//rt, 1866. 


The business directory of Visalia in 1861 was as follows: Saloons: 
Cosmopolitan, Gem, Fashion, St. Charles. Wholesale and retail dealers : 
II. Cohn, H. Green.- Hotels: Exchange, corner Court and Main streets; 
\'isalia House, corner Main and Church streets. General merchandise, 
etc., Sam Ellis, D. E. Douglass, Reinstein & Hockett, Sweet & Jacobs, 
"Weinshauk & Sinclair, M. Reinstein. Stage lines: Hice & Wilson. Mis- 
cellaneous: Bossier & Townsend, saddlers and harness makers; Knoble 
& Kraft, bakers and confectioners; G. AY. Rogers, jeweler; B. M. Bron- 
son, gunsmith; John H. Richardson, painter; Douglass & Magary, 
contractors and builders; Samuel Dinely, barber shop and bathhouse; 
Jose]ih H. Thomas, lumber yard; George AV. Sutherland, tailor slioj); 
Justices of the Peace: S. AY. Beckham, Robert C. Redd. Attornevs: AA". 
M. Stafford, A. J. Atwell, Morris & Brown. S. A. Sheppard. Phvsi- 
cians: Dr. M. Baker, Dr. J. D. P. Thomason. Dr. AV. A. Russell. Dr. 
James A. Roberts, Dr. T. O. Ehis, Sr. 



Tulare county's second courthouse, built in 1859, was a brick struc- 
ture -10x60 feet in size, of two stories and a basement. In the base- 
ment was a jail, one half l)ein.o' divided into six cells, lined with lioilei' 
iron. In ISJ'A an additional jail as a separate building was consti'ucted. 

As to the building of the ])resent court house without the wings 
(which were added in 190()), there hangs a tale. The Southern Pacific 
had completed its line through the county in 187:2, leaving Visalia side- 
tracked and therefore destined to become a "deserted village." At the 
site of Tulare, the railroad luxd ])latted a town in which plat provision 
was made for a court liouse. and the general expectation, both among 
bu.vers 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 Tulai'e to issue bonds in the sum of 
$75,000 for the pur))0se of building a court house in \'isalia. This 
naturally aroused intense opposition, not only from Tulare and the 
southern end of the county, Init even from Visalia. The Delta de- 
nounced it as a job, stating tliat 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 o])eration. 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 i)Ossil)le, issuing ))ouds, advertising for bids for the sale of 
the old structure and the construction of the new, etc. 

A. D. Glasscock ])ouglit the old courthouse for .$686, and R. E. Hyde 
the jail for $J05. Stephens and Childers of Santa Rosa were awarded 
the contract for construction for $59,700, and on October 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 first occu- 
l)ant was a Dutchman who was drowned in Mill creek and whose only 
known name was Pete. On the rough i)ine box containing the remains 
was therefore duly inscribed "Pete in the box," the same inscription 
being placed on the headboard. 

Ajuong others whose l)odies were laid to rest here and later i-e- 
moved to the new cemetery were Jack Lorenz, Mrs. Thomas P>akei', 
Mrs. Nathan Raker, and a man called Salty. 




There was for many years a elond upon the title to lots in Yisalia 
and at one time there was serious trouble feared. It appears that after 
Nat. "\'ise gave u]^ his preemption in favor of tlie 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 preem):)t the town site of 
Yisalia. and the clerk was ordered to file in the land office, then located 
in Sau 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 Alsalia 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 steps were taken to iierfeet 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 spring of 1860 a correspondent to the local pajser 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 
pur])Oses. 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." 


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

"A protest against the contemplated reduction of the overland 
mail service is now in circulation. * * * xhis 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 Init the 
discovery of mines close to us that we can supply without fear of com- 


petition will save ns from inevitable Bahylonic rnin that will change 
most of our fine buildings into nothing Imt a shelter for a lot of lousy 
Indians in a few years." — (Newspaper correspondent in 1859.) 


The following apjieared in the Delta in 1859. 

"We can safely pledge the county of Tulare to give seventy- tive 
Democratic votes to one Rejiublican or mixed. * * * In Fresno 
county there was never but one al)olitionist 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 B"'resno. 
Whence he came or whitlier he went no one knoweth." 


June 21, 1859. — "J. B. Stevens arrived in 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 tirst 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 pur- 
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 e\'ery 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 
]iut a girdle round al)0ut the earth in forty minutes," was carried by 
T. y. Crane who made the address of welcome and escorted back into 
town the superintendent, James Street. 


"Pursuant to notice a primary election was held in the Visalia 
]irecinct 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 
Hartley, W. M. Johnson, G. A. Botsford, John Cutler, Hi Morrell, 
T. H. Thomas, S. Cady, T. Lindsey, William linker, S. G. George, 
Lytle Owen, John GiW— Delta, Julv, 1862. 



Dr. Wt4ib, tlie ocrentrie iiidividnal wlio ol)tainecl a deed to the 
np])er story of a building erected in Visalia, as related elsewhere, later 
became county jihysician and manager of the county hospital at a sal- 
ary of $500 }ier year. In 1871 the supervisors ousted Webb from liis 
l^osition 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 peeved: 

"Rev. James A. Webb to the perjured sui)ervisors of Tulare 
county, California. 

"Perjured villains, rebel devils and fools; 

"Wliile unscruinilous and perjured 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 be 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 jioet in Tulare county, and the only Advent pro]ihet in 
Tulare county and tlie only Christian ])atriarch in Tulare; Therefore, 
in the name and service of the Great Jehovah, I offer my services to 
God and him only to continue my fifty 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 correspondent, writing alwut Visalia in the '90s, thus s]ieaks 
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 be loaded at any point in the valley." 


There are a great many people who never li\ed 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 when there was more water than was necessary for 
drinking purposes. 

That abused individual, tlie "oldest inhabitant," tells of wonder- 
ful times back in the early '50s. But the flood of 1867 is one in the 
memories of a great many people, and was surely bad enough. In the 
winter of that year all the streams in the county were on a rampage. 
Tnle river si)read all over the Poplar and Woodville sections. Deer 
creek and the White ri\er merged their waters in their lower course, 
and the Kaweah and St. Johns made a vast expanse of waters. Boats 
bearing su]iplies iiassed freel.N' from Visalia to places in Kings and 
Fresno counties. The herds of cattle and sheep looked sad. Many 
hair breadth adventures are recorded and there was great loss of 

An account of the experiences at two farm houses will serve to 
indicate ]irevailing conditions during this flood. Eastward from Vi- 
salia. near where Packwood creek crosses the Mineral King road, 
there resided but three families, of A. H. Broder, Ira Van 
Gordon and W. H. Mills. Broder suggested that all get together at 
his i)lace, that being situated on higher ground. This was done and 
the men in-oceeded to build an emliankment about three feet high, 
enclosing about half an acre of ground. The siding from the barn 
was ren'ioved and a raft built, their labors extending into the night. 
The women, likewise, were busily employed preparing supplies, cook- 
ing beans, etc. The i)lan 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 tal) 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. Sfjuirrels and rabbits 
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, which was 
also located on high ground, there were exciting times this night. 
The water, after a previous raise, came suddenly, surrounding their 
house and almost enguiting some of their neighbors' homes. The 
Prothero family lived on the Bentley place and there the water ran 
through the windows. Mr. and Mrs. Prothero with three chihlrcn 
were assisted to move to the Evans house and then came a call for 
help from the home of Mrs. Williams, who lived adjoining. This was 
about one o'clock in the morning, |)itch 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 plac- 
ing her in a rocking chair, carried her to safety. Tom Robinson, 


with his wife aud family, also took refuge witli the Evanses, making a 
total of twenty-five gathered there. The barn, 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, aud so the half-dried refugees cuddled around 
the stove in the I] vans '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 anytliing but 
a rapid 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 by rawhides, and the 
threshing done l)y 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 particular 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 Souora 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 expeditions were made to find it 
but with the usual success. Floods had washed away landmarks, or 
something was wrong, so the Indians never quite found the right 

Andrew llarrell, familiarly known as "Barley" Harrell, did not 
owe his nickname to the great acreages of the cereal that he was 
accustomed to plant, 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 barley. The excuse served well for one visit, 
but the use of it a second time caused much laughter aud he was 
ever after designated "Barley." 


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 iK-euracy was obtained greatly in excess of present day statistics. 

For example, there were one hundred and eight orange trees in 
the county, one liundred of which were in a nursery. Today there 
are in the neighl)orhood of 2,700,000. The area devoted to wheat 
was 2500 acres. In the '80s, when the production of this cereal 
reached its height, scores of ranches each contained a greater acreage 
than this. 

The butter i)roduction was 8,150 pounds; today over four mil- 

While cattle raising was one of the great industries of that time, 
we find Ijut 28,604 head of stock cattle, a number almost equaled 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 j^ounds. 
This, l)y the way, was more than doubled in the next four succeeding 

In all, there were but 30,000 acres of enclosed land. 20.000 of 
which was cultivated. 

In a letter to the surveyor-general accompanying this report, Mr. 
Ellis qualified as a ])rophet by using the following language: "Stock 
raising has ever lieen 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 then be heard." 


The following is quoted from the description of the entry of a 
party of pioneers into Visalia in 1854, written by one of them — J. H. 
Mankins : 

"Late in April, 185-t, had one been standing on Main street, Vi- 
salia, he would have witnessed the entry of a unique cavalcade. There 
were ten riders tra\-eling in single file — your humble servant one of 

"That broad-shouldered man, weighing above two hundred and 
twenty pounds is 'dad.' lie is always in the lead and is dressed 
tliioughout in smoked buckskin with fringes up the legs, and a hunt- 
ing shirt, also fringed roundabout. Add to the costimie a very high 
plug hat, imagine him tlien with a mop of raven black hair falling 
ovci- his shoulders, with coal black, piercing eyes, seated on a large 
(l;i|)i)le 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 pioneer of pioneers. 

"After Dad came next two boys, nearing numhood, one girl 
of eleven, a young Indian .boy, two Jews and then three boys aged 


fourteen, eight ami six. We were all, exeept the Jews, dressed 
wholly ill buckskin, well fringed. For hats we wore bearskin caps. 

"We pitched ouj- 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, kei)t liy John 
Peraberton, a blacksmith shop and a tavern. O. K. Sinitii was 
sheriff and ,Jud.i>e Tjouis Van Tassell, under sheriff. 

"I reineiuber 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 liecame necessary for 
us to conform to the usages of civilization." 

In IS.-j!), llic following time schedule was ])ublished: Overland 
stage from San Francisco to St. Louis arrives Sunday and Wednes- 
day mornings, de]3arts on arrival. From Stockton to Visalia. arri\es 
Tuesday and Friday nights, departs Monday and Thursday mornings. 
From Visalia to Los Angeles, via Kingsbury, Petersburg and Keyes- 
ville, arrives eiglitli 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. Thorne and Davenport established a 
saddle and i)ack train over the Hockett trail to Lone Pine and Inde- 

In July, 1864, Messrs. Bellows, Lown and Badger, of Owens 
river, started a regular cargo train over the new trail from Visalia 
to Owens river. 

We are informed that the services at the camj) ground near 
town were disturbed on Sunday by some unregenerate heathen who 
persisted in singing John Brown, The Star Spangled Banner, Hail 
Columbia, and other airs, which were decidedly offensive to the 
majority of those present. This is very wrong." — Delta, Sept. 3, 

"Wild mustangs seem to be quite ])lenty in our vicinity. A 
com])any 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 ]irobal)l(' that no measure ever jiassed by the legislature 
of California had more beneficial effect on the agricultural interests 
of the state than the "no fence" law enacted in 1874. 

This law required cattle owners to ])revent their stock from 
trespassing on the land of others when same was in use. In Tulare 
county the agitation in favor of the passage of such a law was in- 
augurated by Stephen Barton, editor of the Delta, in 1870. As 


stock raisin,i>' was the ])rin('ii)al iiidiistry Iiere at tliat time, and there 
were many men lieavily interested in it whose revennes wonld be 
injnriously atTected, tlie proposed measure was bitterly opposed. 
The election of 1878 for senator from the district comin-ised of 
Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties turned u])on the (piestion of 
"fence" or "no fence," Thomas Fowler, on the Democratic ticket, 
ojiposing the law, and Ti])ton Lindsey, running' as Independent, 
favorii}<>- it. 

The Times o])posed 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 mininuuii of loss. 

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

The issue was presented in stirring S]ieeches to the voters of 
almost every precinct by the opposing candidates, the result in this 
county l)eing a majority of votes for Fowler. Lindsey was, how- 
ever, elected, as was a "no fence" assemblyman, and the enactment 
into law followed at the ne.xt session of the legislature. 


Fremont, when homeward bound, in 1844, passed through the 
San Joa(|uin 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. 

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

"Ajnil Otli. — For several miles we had very bad traveling over 
what is called I'otten ground, in which the horses were frequently 
up to their knees. ^Making towai'd a line of timber, we found a 
small, fordable stream (Cottonwood creek), beyond which the coun- 
try inqiroved and the grass became e.xcellent. * * * "We traveled 
until late through o))en oak groves, and encam))ed among a collection 
of streams." Was this near the Kaweali and Canoe creek and Deep 
creek ? 

."Api'il loth. — Today we made another long journey of about 
forty miles, thi-ougli a country uninteresting and fiat, with very little 
grass and a sandy soil, in which sex'ei'al branches we crossed had lost 
their wate)'. In the evening the face of the country became hilly, 
and, turning a few jniles up towards the mountains, we found a 
good encanq)nient on a pretty si ream bidden among the hills, and 
handsomely timbei'ed, principally with large cottonwoods." 

"April lltli. — A broad trail along the liver here takes us out 


among: the hills. Bueu camino (good road) said one of the Indians, 
of whom we had inquired about tlie 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 1 saw a letter written by W. S. Chatman, a 
land lawyer of San Francisco who claimed a section of land near me 
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. 

"L'pon 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 found that the 
west ten miles of lieu lands was nearly all in the Pacific ocean. Tliey 
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. 

"I came into the Mussel Slough countrv in 1871 and myself and 
brother located on lands bordering the Mussel Slough. As I be- 


lieved from Cliatmau's letter aud from my own iuvestisations that 
the railroad had no ri,a,lit to a title to these lands, I petitioned Con- 
gress in the fall of 1874, but gettin.a; 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 l)eaten 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 whicli ;\greed. 

"After this, for the purjiose of acting nnitedly in our fight with 
the railroad, we settlers organized the Land League, which 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 
ns 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, who 
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 him to visit our 
country, which lie did in Ajiril, 1880. We started then a negotiation 
for a settlement of the matter with Governor Stanford, and had been 
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 apjieared, coming for the avowed jmrpose 
of dispossessing some of our men. We were that day to have a big 
meeting at Hanford to listen to Judge Terry give an exposition of 
our rights in the premises. 

"The marshal was accom]:)anied by 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 ns, which was granted. 
In the meantime, a number of our men, more through curiosity 
than anything else, went over to the wagon where Crow and Hart 
were. Of these only two, viz., Harris and Henderson, were armed. 

"All at once during the conference shooting commenced witliout 
any sj^ecial ])rovocation and Harris was killed. According to the 
evidence it a])peared that he and Hart had fired almost at the same 
time. Harris hit Hart in the groin and he died within four days. 
Then Crow shot Harris with a numl)er ten shotgun loaded with twelve 
bullets. He hit him right in the breast. Then he shot Knutson, who 
was on horseback, shot him with twelve bullets and tlien turned his 
gim on Dan Kelly, whose horse, just as Crow lir-ed, had become 
unrnlv and whirled around so tliat the charge entered Kellv's side 


and practically blew it ofif. Crow was out of the wa.aon at this time, 
the team having ])revioiisly run away as Hart was attempting to get 
out. Crow and Hart and Clark each had a couple of British bull- 
dog pistols, a number ten shotgun and a Winchester rifle of the 
largest size. 

"After Crow left the wagon he walked al)out 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 Inillets 
entering the breast and coming out at the back. 

"This put Henderson into it, who, seeing McGregor murdered 
in that way, rushed for Crow. They exchanged four shots and 
Plenderson 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 account of this, seventeen of us, myself included, were 
indicted by 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. 

"^\. remarkable thing about the tight was that every man but 
one who fired a shot or was struck l)y a bullet was killed. 

"This troul)le was sim])Iy a legal fight on our jiart for our 
homes. I think and always shall think that the railroad had no 
legal right to the land, but that they acquired 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 more than 
if it had been a piece of blank In-own pai)er. 

"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." 



Oue of tlie greatest eomiiiuuity enterjirises ever inaugurated in 
the United States had its inception in Tulare county in 1886. 

This was the Kaweah Co-operative Commonwealth, whicli in 
spite of certain failures in forethought and some incompetence and 
perhaps some dishonesty in management, flourished until 1891, when 
it met the same heart-breaking dissolution that had been tlie fate of 
all its predecessors. 

There is little doubt but that disrui)tion 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 even 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 first olilicers. 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 Sau 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 better- 
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 l)e formed to accjuire it. The first plans were vague 
but seemed to be in the nature of a mutual company to get ])ossession 
of this tract and hold it for s])eculative i)uri)oses. Between forty 
and fifty applications were at once filed on lands lying along the 
north fork of the Kaweah river, eastward across the Marble Fork 
and including what is now known as the Giant Forest. The govern- 
ment price for these lands was $2.50 an acre, and as but few of the 
applicants were possessed of the reijuisite $400 to comjjlete the 


pnrrliase of a quarter section, a plan was in view to raise part 
of the money by liypothecating 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 first sales of timber be devoted to a fund for publicity and pro- 

The Tulare "\'alley 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 jiay this small sura, 
but the difficulty was met by some contributing more liberally. It 
will be seen that the undertaking, however profitable poteutially, 
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 lauds 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 difficulties, 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 sonje 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 three di- 
visions under 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 liomes, to educate and to maintain har- 
mony, iipon the i^rinciples of justice, fraternity and co-operation. 
It was the intention to place witliin 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 an article by Haskell, wliieli appeared iu tlie ol'iicial organ, 
"The Commonwealth." 

"We shall have schools there — not for the children alone, but 
for youths and maidens, for tlie babes and for the men and women. 
We sliall have songs and a band and the nuisic of tinkling guitars 
under summer stars bv tlie rushing waters of the white North 
Fork." * * * 

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

"We sliall 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 fiats 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 membership fee in the colony was $500, $100 payable in 
cash and the remainder, 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. Redstone, P. N. Kuss and II. 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 i5er 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 u)^ 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 ])ro])aganda were distributed throughout the country 
and many persons joined the colony. Some of these were workingmen 
socialists, others had wealth, culture, refinement. The beautiful pen 


pictures of Haskell served to throw such a glamour over the i)ropo- 
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 Rivers, a town was started 
which grew until it contained upwards of one hundred dwellings. 
There was the company store, a blacksmith shop, }3laning mill, box 
factory. ]iostoffice. newspaper, etc. "Work on the road was actively 
prosecuted, and a survey made foi- the projected railroad. 

There were brains and lirawn and energy a plenty and excellent 
work resulted. Homes, too, were made on the level land, by the river, 
crops were sown, pastures 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 books 
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 perhajis dishonest 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 but few. Haskell, however, was generally regarded 
as a slick rascal whose aim was to sell all the bites possible from 
the rosy apple before a sign of its rottenness reached the surface. 

In spite of these troubles, the road had by 1890 been completed 
to a point about twenty miles from the townsite of Kaweah and at 
an elevation of 5,400 feet had entered the ])ine belt. Here a little 
saw mill was erected, and a small quantity of lumber cut. This road, 
passing through a difficult mountain region, had been 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, 
high 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 they had made filings; 
that they had exiiended over $100,000 in roads and imi)rovemeuts 
and had for five vears guarded the giant trees, saving them from 


damage or destructiou hy fire, quoting details from Allen's report. 
However, the congress of 1890 had created the Sequoia National 
Park, which included these lands, and Secretary of the Interior Nohle 
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 factious took sides in a row Ijetween 
Haskell and Martin. The former was accused of the misappropria- 
tion of colony funds and was in '!)1 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 happy 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! How bitter the 
thoughts of the false men who had betrayed their confidence and 
of the government that had unsci'upulously confiscated to its own 
purposes the magnificent road they had builded ! 

Early in 1891 a troop of cavalry under Captain Dorst was des- 
patched to guard the park and these ejected the colonists from gov- 
ernment laud. 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 case 
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 uumber of the colonists remained in the 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 worldlv goods. 



At the time of the entry of whites into the San Joaquin valley 
tlie 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. Thev 
believed themselves aborigines— the tradition "as to their oridn was 
that man was created by the joint effort of the wolf and the eagle, 
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 oris>-in, while the 
Kaweahs point to the foothill i^eak near Redbauks, called 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 reooguize the sacred character of the bird. The wolf is held 
to have repented the part he took in the production of man, and to be 
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 
Wukchamni or Wiktsumne tribe of the Yokuts. This tribe lived on 
the Kaweah river, in the vicinitv of the present town of Lemon 
Cove : 

"Long ago the whole world was rock and there was neither fire 
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 lias 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 be 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 bills,' 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 rain]>roof 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 Tormed a dish esteemed by whites 
as well as natives. 

One of the rarer delicacies of the Indian's tal)le was roast 
caterpillar. When the 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 soon ready to serve. 


The bow and arrow was the only weapon. The how was made 
of ash or mahogany, strengthened by the la^'ing over it of the sinew 
taken from the backbone of the deer. Arrows were constructed in 
three dit¥ereut 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 ]ioint 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 projecting points were thus formed, ren- 
dering accurate shooting less essential. 


As with other tribes, the medicine man was a person of great 
importance, I)ut 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 rohe 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 with 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 methods 
which were employed in their ca])ture are of great interest. It 
seems that the jjigeons preferred mineral water, whether it be 
effervescent from soda, or salty, sulphurous or combining the tonic 
proj^erties of iron and arsenic, to the ordinary si)ring water of the 
mountains. At all mineral springs pigeons came in flocks. The crafty 
buck wlio 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, directl.v facing it, was dug a trench of the size and 
de})tli 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 waj^ 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 itirds 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 sti'eam, finding their way Itlocked 
by this l)arrier, worked along it until they found their way into the 
trap through a small opening. A larger door which 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 stuiiefying effect on the fish. They sickened 
and would rise to the surface, gas))ing, when they were easily cap- 


lu the fall of the year when the water in the main Kaweali river 
was low, and long still pools were formed having shallow outlets, 
still another method was employed. After damming the outlet, muUen 
weed was thrown in until the water was so roiled tjiat 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 ])uerilely 
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 liy 
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 buck 
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. Tlie shot is for 
the groin, where eventually, sickening trouble for the deer must ensiie 
and he be forced to lie down. That is enough for the Indian. At 
closer range next time, after an arduous pursuit lasting perhaps 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 a])parently 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 doulit, white men would find it quite impossible with- 
out a weaijon 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 them bv Indians on tule rafts. 


rals for the proper liandlin.ii' of stock. Each district ranger has liis 
house, barn and otlier buildings at liis winter headquarters in the 
low country, as well as a cabin at his summer headquarters 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 th^e 
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 arouud by Peck's canyon through 
Quinn's Horse Camp and following dowu Little Kern to Trout mead- 
ows, thence up Big Kern to a point below where Kern lakes now are, 
crossed the river and, i)roceeding 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 became unmanageable in the swift current, 
jumped onto a rock. Tolbert grabbed 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 powerful swimmer, was sucked under by 
the strong current and drowned, the body never being recovered. 

In the following year the sum of $1,()00 was raised by subscrip- 
tion in Visalia to comjilete the trail. G. W. Warner undertook the 
work and finished it, liuilding a bridge across Kern river. The magni- 
tude of this latter undertaking will be better realized when it is 
understood that all chains, harness, stretchers and im])lements had 
to be ])acked from Visalia. 

In 1863 J. B. Ilockett built the trail which bears his name. This, 
commencing at Three Rivers, proceeded up the south fork of the 
Kaweah, jiassing the Ilockett lakes and meadows and joined the 
Jordan trail, continuing on its route to Big Kern. Instead of cross- 
ing the river at the saTue point, however, it continued up the stream to 
a point near the lower Fuiiston meadows, whence crossing and ascend- 
ing the wall of the Kern canyon, it made its way via the Whitney 
meadows to the crossing of Cottonwood creek, near the lakes, and 


thence clown to Independeuoe. This trail, though altered to eliminate 
steep pitches and other dillicult 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 period 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 
]\fiueral 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 ]iroceeding 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- 
haugh, 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 jilace, 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 Lawless and W. H. 
Mills, who in 1856 traveled to the coast and thence to Los Angeles, 
with many yoke of oxen, which they there exchanged for stock 
cattle, securing eight head for each yoke. 


A road from Warren Matthews ]:)lace on Elbow creek through 
Visalia to Kern river was surveyed and ordered built in 1857. Five 
district overseers were ajipointed 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 benefit to the pub- 
lic. About one million pounds of freight passed over it the tirst 
year, and it carried a heavy traffic for some time, but financially the 
venture was a failure. 




One of the most jiotent 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 hut 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 
the value to the county resulting from the completion of such a 
project. William H. Hannnond 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. 6. Wishon became associated with Mr. Hammond in the 
management of the Visalia Water company, and these two again took 
up the jiroposition. 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, Leopold Hirsch agreed to supply 
the remainder. Mr. Hammond at once cabled the good news to 
Visalia and it was received here with mucli rejoicing. 

In the- fall of 1898 the work of building a flume for the No. 1 
power house was begim and the ])lant was completed in June, 1899. 
The water was diverted from the east fork of the Kaweah river at a 
point 1)elow 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. 
Hirsch, the latter gentleman being dissatisfied on account of failure 
to pay dividends. Ben M. Maddox, in 1902, succeeded A. G. Wishon 


as business manager, a ])Osition he holds at the present time. William 
H. Hammond remained jiresident of the company until he died, in 
1908, when he was succeetk'd liv John CofTee Hays, the present chief 
executive. The company Jiow has suli-stations at Visalia, Tulare, 
Tipton, Delano, Ducor, PortcrNille, Lindsay, Exeter, Lemon Cove and 

The No. 2 power house on the Kaweah was completed in 1905, 
as was the auxiliary steam plant in A'isalia. The Tule river plant 
was finished in 1909, 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 
})lant in Visalia and two more plants on the Kaweah river are in 
course of construction, whicli 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 tapped 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 com})any supi^lies light 
and power for all jnirposes 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 comjiany lias recently comyjleted a large, substantial and 
finely equipped ollice building on West Main street, in Visalia. 

The San Joaquin Power Company, a Fresno institution, sujiplies 
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 i)lant on the Tule river. 

The Pacific Light and Power company is building a tower liiie 
across the county to take current from Big creek in Fresno county 
to Los Angeles. 

The Tulare County Power Company is building a steam j^lant 
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 gi'anted a lower rate than that ac- 
corded to non-stockholders. 


Irrigation in Tulare county dates almost fiom the county's or- 


ganization. Tlie wjitcrs from a ramified network of ditches, from 
several Imiidied artesian wells, from thousands of electrically oper- 
ated pumping plants, is now distiilmted 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 profital)le kinds of crops, increased capa- 
city for supporting 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 tliat 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 ]ilains. These in later years, 
without a drop of water artificially applied, produced banner wheat 
crops. In 1886 this yield amounted to fourteen thousand carloads, 
and for many seasons Tulare held first rank in wheat ]3roduction 
among California counties. 

But in the sections favored by the early settlers — the delta lauds 
of the P'our 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 pumpkins 
after hay had been cut. It was not until a much later day, when 
a general influx of new settlers desirous of farming and planting 
to vineyards and orchards, lands hitherto held suitable only for 
grain farming, that the value of the water rights secured by these 
early diversions was realized. 

The first effort to irrigate lands about Visalia was made in 
185-I-, 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 1854, 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 number of irrigation projects were inaugurated. 


cliief ;iiii()ii,i>' wliifli were the Pioneer, tlie Peoi)le's Consolidated ;nul 
the Wutcliumma ditch companies. The pioneer, organized in 1866, 
took its water from the Tule river, well w]} into the hills, and cov- 
ered the territory adjacent to Porterville. The Peojjle's Consoli- 
dated Ditch Company built its big canal of about twenty feet in 
width 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 oi-ganization. 

In 1872 the Wutclmmma company organized and commenced the 
construction of a system 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 ])oints 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 the Tulare District Com- 
))any, under the Wright Act, have been made from tlie Kaweah an(l 
St. John rivers so that today twenty-nine corporations divide their 
waters. All Init two of these secure their flow below the point of 

The amount of water in the river at this point probably 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 jDroper share has been fraught 
with difficulties, and considerable 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 Water Association and the 
St. John River Water Association. A spirit of com])romise 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 confluence of these streams and some 
kind of a division of water there, date from 1H9'2. In 1011 a struc- 
ture of cement dams and confining walls was completed so that now 
perfect control and equitable division is made possible. 

The next great irrigating enterprises were the Alta and Tulare 


irrigation districts, organized under the Wright law, which pro- 
vides for the issuance by a community of bonds 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 
company. 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 dejith 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. 


Jolm 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 
pa^Tuent 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 validity 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 laud greatly depreciated in value became, in 
fact, unsalable by reason of this cloud on the title. It became ap- 
parent 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 bondholder, 
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 signifj' the universal rejoicing at the lifting of 
the load. 

Some six thousand people, including Governor Pardee, Mayor 
Snyder of Los Angeles, numerous bankers from San Francisco and 
Los Angeles and other notables were in attendance. Dramatically, 
the bonds were consigned to the flames of a big bonfire. Land values 
immediately doubled, trebled, 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 surjirise to manj' 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, 
Kaweah, 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 pumjiing, 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, al)0ut the ]iresent 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 stratimi 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 comi^letion of this well was made the occasion of a great cele- 
bration. It established the theorj^ 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 dry 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 the introduction of alfalfa and the realization of its 
adaptation to the eiimate and soil that there was any idea that dairy- 
in.e; could be conducted as a separate and ])rofitable business. 

Tlie Delta, in its issue of February 4, 1860, under the head of 
Alfalfa, thus speaks: "Those desirous of trying the adaptation of this 
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 
doubt 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 affect it in the least. 
In this light soil it will i-oot lifteen or twenty feet, at which depth 
water can always be found in a])undance in every i)lace in the valley 
in the dryest season. Farmers, try it." 

The farmers did tr.\- it and wonders have been accomplished. 
It early became ajjparent that dairying should pay and so a numlier 
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 ]iresident, and 
S. M. Gilliam secretary. 

Shortly afterwards D. K. Zumwalt erected a cheese factory and 
creamei'v 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 ajiathy of farmers toward engaging in 
the business, owing to the publicity of the extraordinary prolits made 
by the early orchards, at this time just coming into bearing. Dairy- 
ing appeared much too slow. The one business ajipeared 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 thousand 
pounds of cheese on hand which he was unable to move. Much of 
this spoiled. The delay in getting the ])roduct converted into cash 
necessitated a stojjpage 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 enter] )rises were aban- 

In 1898 W. B. Cart mill leased the Zumwalt and Visalia plants 
and ojjcrated them as skiimuing stations, and in 1901 Thompson and 
Futtrell connnenced in Tulare the o))eration of a creamery of small 
cajiacity. The skinuning stations were abandoned, but in li)0() Mr. 
Cartinill was instrumental in launching the Tulare Co-Operative 


Creamery, the cai^acity of this in its first years of existence being 
about one thousand pounds per day. 

The entire growth of the industry dates from that time, only 
five or six years ago. Today tlie industry ranks as one of the most 
important in the county. The county ranks, according to the state 
dairy board, as tliird in the state. According to figures given out 
by 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 ol)taiued by quoting the Tulare 
Register of May, 1912 : ' ' The creamery disbursements here today were 
$97,191.26. The fifteenth of the month in this city is much like the 
regular monthly 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 wliich 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 about Tulare, which includes 
Tag-US, Paige and Swall's station; about Porterville, Woodville, Tip- 
ton and Poplar, all of which may be coml>ined as constituting one 
immense connected district; about Yisalia, including Farmersville 
and Goshen; about Dinuba, westerly and southerly to Traver. 

There are now within the county one thousand dair>nnen "vvith 
herds aggregating l)etween 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 moutlily creamery pay check has become a factor in busi- 
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 rapidly growing, it appears that a widening and 
increasing demand assures to the industry a stable future. 

There are now eight creameries in the county, each provided 
with the best modern facilities, machinery and equipment. These, 


with their managers are: Tuhire Co-Operative, W. B. Cartmill; 
Dairj-men's Co-Operative, J. P. Murphy; Good Luck Creamery, J. 
W. brew, all of Tulare; the Visalia Creamery, W. B. Cartmill; 
Visalia Co-Operative Creamery, N. J. Beck; Sun Flower Dairy at 
Poplar, Eidgeway Bros.; Porterville Co-Operative Creamery, C. T. 
Brown; Tipton Co-Operative Creamery, J. H. Drew. 


From its vineyards and orcliards of deciduous fruits Tulare 
county now annually receives about three million dollars. The de- 
veloiunent of this industry within the county presents peculiarities. 
Thus, at a time w^hen the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa counties, 
the orchards of Santa Clara, Vacaville, Suisuu and Ventura were 
in full bearing and producing profitable returns, here, one of the 
richest fields remained until comparatively recent years imknown 
and undeveloped. 

This neglect did not proceed so much from doubt as to the 
adajitability 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 readilv undertake a change. 
Then there was doubt of finding a market, in view of the exorbitant 
freight rates charged in early days. 

A]3]3areutly, 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 apples 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 circumfei-ence. 
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 Tuhire 
county was given by I. li. Thomas, since called the father of the 
industry. This gentleman, about 1880, i^lanted near Visalia a ten- 
acre orchard of peaches, pears, })lums, prunes, apricots 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 adaptahilily of soil aud climate here for the growing 
of fruit. 

Mr. Tlionias exhibited specimens of his ])rodiicts at the meetings 
of tiie state Iward in San Francisco and they were regarded as 
phenomenal. The district was recognized as i)ossessing 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 ]iacking. Exorbitant 
charges absorbed the profits. However, Frank Briggs and Thomas 
Jacob, the latter an experienced fruit grower and nurseryman from 
San Jose, planted acreage orcliards which came into bearing in 1888. 

George A. and Charles F. Fleming, known as Fleming Bros., 
dried fruit packers and sjieculators of San Jose, noted the event 
of a new district's production, entered the field and in 1889 and 
1890, purchased the output for di'ving. The phenomenal yield of 
the new orcliards in the latter year, coupled with the high prices 
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 aud twenty-acre tracts was launched; 
near Tulare the Oakland colony, the Bishop colony, the Chicago 
ranch, the Oakdale colony, the Emma orchard and numerous others 
were set out; near Porterville, Dr. W. A. Witlock, Jim Bursell and 
others made plantings. 

In the district tributary to Visalia and Farmersville the most 
remarkable showing was made. The Fleming Brothers and J. K. 
Armsby inirchased four hundred acres, planting 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, ^'isalians 
organized the Evansdale, the Encina and the Visalia 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 plautings 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 "stampede" to a mining camp, was the yield and return from the 
Jacobs' aud Briggs' orchards in 1889. Mr. Jacobs, from one hun- 
dred aud thirty-five 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 the Briggs orchard the old trees 


averaged ei.^lit hundred pounds and one tree, wliiHi was ])ieked in 
the presence of witnesses, who made affidavit to the fact, jjrotluced 
eleven hundred and two pounds. 

Precedin,i>- this excitement a few years there had been a general 
though quiet movement of vineyard planting, jiarticularly about 
Tulare and in the Diiuiba-Orosi district. 

The limits of this article forbid a detailed history of the ex- 
periences of these thousands of fruit and vine growers. Suffice to 
. say that before tlie present stable basis was attained, many lessons 
were learned by hard experience. It was found that orchards gen- 
erally did not ])roduce such i)henomenal 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 Yisalia, 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 connnand 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 "\lsalia 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. The 
Redbanks orchard of five hundred acres, situated fifteen miles north- 
east of Yisalia on the Yisalia electric railway, produces peaches, 
plums, Thompson's seedless and Tokay grapes coincident with or 
earlier than any other. 

It has l)een found that in tlie Yisalia and in the Farmersville 
districts, French and R<)i)e de Sergeant prunes are of a grade and 
quality sujierior to any others in the San Joatpiin valley and on 
account of the early maturily and heavy yield are to be depended 
U])on for large average annual returns. 

A word now as to the growth of facilities and the jiresent status 
of the industiy. The first need felt by the new fruit i)roducing dis- 
trict was for a cannery. Enterprising Yisalians, under the leader- 
shi)) of Martin Rouse, 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 jDlants 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 HajTvards 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 aud Visalia are now packing-houses for raisins 
and dried fruits second in facilities to uone; the leading greeu fruit 
shippers have receiving and forwarding accommodations at nearly 
every station on the railroad. 

For the Los Angeles market, which consumes about one hundred 
aud fifty 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 aud 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 1908 Frank Wilson and G. W. Wyllie, who were the only 
growers of table grapes near Dinuba, packed their Emperor grape.s 
at their ranches and forwarded the same to Fresno in quarter car 
lots. Until 1906 no grapes were shipped other than those produced 
on these two vineyards, although in 1905 a few Malagas were set 

In 1907 the Earl Fruit Company rented a house to be used for 
packiug purposes. Grapes were still the only fruit shipped, aud of 
these there were only a few cars of the early variety. The pack- 
iughouse was open for a period of four weeks only. It was not 
until 1908 that shipments of any voliune were made. Many new 
vineyards had then arrived at the bearing age. Prices for early 
Malagas were alluring, and many growers disposed of their frtxit 
in this way. Plums, peaches and Tokay grapes were added to 
the list. 

This, in outline, is the rapidly made early history of the 
deciduous fruit shipping industry in what is now its center in 


Tulare county. From tliis district shipments as follows were made 
in 1910 : From Diuuba and Monson, 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 ]5rodnction 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 be 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 sujiplying the public 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, jirofitable returns, the fruit 
grower is easily enabled to make a living while awaiting the 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 the 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 ]ilantings were made from then on. 

In 1908 the Dinul)a Melon Growers' Association was formed 
for the purpose of securing higher pi-ices through co-operative 


action iu marketing'. Tlie association was immediately successful 
and has remained so. 

The estimated acreage devoted to melons is twelve hundred, of 
which the association controls three-fifths. Shipments from the 
district commence the last week in Jime and continue well into 



In 1861 a mass meeting was held iu front of the courthouse for 
the purpose of considering the j^roject of building a road to San 
Simeon. The ])roposition was endorsed and William G. Morris, 
A. H. Mitchell, S. W. 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 aud appointed 
A. O. Thoms, H. Bostwick and A. J. Atwell to view the routes 
and estimate the probable cost. Altogether, eleven meu, including 
ex-Governor McDougal, went on this expedition. The Delta of 
the time saj's: "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 )niri)ose 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 ])er 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. Tliere were about three thousand tons of fi-eight 
leaving ^"isalia for the north and about five hundred coming in 
annually. On account of the increase in taxation and the reduc- 
tion iu freight it was figured that the bonds would pay for them- 
selves in seven years. 

Resolutions were adopted approving the project and iiledging 
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. Sliackleford, F. W. Blake, Y. B. Stokes, A. H. 
Murray, Tipton Lindsey and J. B. Hockett. 

Popular sentiment was in favor of the issuance of houds, 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 tlie 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 ]ioint 
about eight miles west of Visalia. 

Sliortly 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. E. Hyde, P]lias Jacob and T. L. B. Goodman were 
appointed to obtain the right of way to the route through Visalia. 
The rights of way were quickly olitained 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 offer 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 A^isalia, 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 ^'^isalia called a mass meeting 
on May It, 1872, to take measures of last resort. At this meeting, 
Tii)ton Lindsey presiding, S. C. Brown introduced the following 
resolution, which was adopted: "Resolved, That it is for the best 
intei-ests of the peo])le 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 ])oint to 
this town." 

This was the inception of the Visalia and Goshen railroad, arti- 
cles of incor]>oration for which were filed May ID, 1874. The direc- 
tors were R. E. Hyde, S. A. Sheppard, E. Jacob, S. C. Brown, Tip- 


tou Liudsey, John Cutler aud 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 continued 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 Yisalia and Tulare railroad was built by local capital in 
1888. at a cost of $130,000, and proved a gTeat 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 line at Famosa. Work on 
the road was pushed forward rapidly and completed in November, 
1888. The road is about one hundred and four miles in length, 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 A^isalia 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 completion 
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 Southern 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 ]irincipal 
owner, believed that the coming of the Valley railroad would render 
his property practically valueless, and considered seriously otfering 
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 np 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 Rivers. Leaving 
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 Redbanks, with a spur running north to 


In 1909 a company was formed with the avowed purpose of con- 
structing a railroad from Tulare City to the town of Spring-\'ille, by 
way of Woodville and Porterville. F. U. Nofziger was president of 
the company and ITolley & liolley of Visalia the engineers. 


The peo]>l(' 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 connnenced on that jiortion of the project be- 
tween Porterville and S))ringville, called the Porterville North Eastern 
road, and it was puslied 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 otlier towns in the county, from Fresno and from Bakerstield. 
The road has been absorbed l)y 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 dismount and were ]ilaced 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 deinity constable 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 curious jiasseuger, Charles (iubert, was shot and 

After securing their booty, the amount of which was never made 
public, the robbers returned the engineer and fireman to their jjosts 
and disapjieared. 

The railroad and express companies inunediatel.v 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. m., the role of the Pixlev robbery was re-enacted. Five masked 
men again climbed to the engine from the tender, stopj^ed the train, 
marched engineer and fireman to the door of the exjiress car. The 


messenger was told not to shoot, as tlie engineer iind fireman were 
being lield as shields. As these train officers also urged eomplianee 
the messenger opened the door and one of the robbers entered and 
filled a sack with valuables. Then disinoiinting, they eomiielled Love- 
jo}', 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 Christenseu, who was riding under the ])aggage ear, thinking 
that the train had been stopped on his account, got off, and was 
fatally shot. The robbers were supposed to iiave secured in the 
neighborhood of $20,000 this time. 

As before, they were followed by officers toward tlie west, l)ut 
not captured. 


In the third instance, which occurred at Alila, as train No. 17 
was imlling out of that station at 7:50 a. m., on February 6, 1891, 
exactly similar tactics were pursued. 

The express messenger, a man named Jlaswell, was not so tract- 
able as the others had been. The engineer, J. P. Thoin, and the 
fireman, Q. S. Radcliffe, 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-sheriff Bennett 
of Los Angeles, a passenger on the train, went forward to assist 
after the robliers had fled and was fired on by a thii'd man wlio was 
holding the horses. 

Sheriff Kay immediately i)roceeded from '\"isalia to the scene, 
and at daylight next morning found the trail of three horsemen, 
leading to the northwest, which, with a ])osse, he followed. No 
capture 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 nuule. The Los Angeles express, on 
September .1, 1891, was stojiped by highwaymen wdien seven miles 
south of Modesto. Two masked men boarded the train at Ceres, 
compelled the engineer to ])ull out a mile and a half and stoj). 
Engineer Neff was forced to i)Ut out the headlight, get a jtick and 
attempt to open the express car door, which the messenger refused 
to do. 



Two bombs were then exploded uuder the car, the first one 
making a hole in the door through which the fireman was compelled 
to crawl and light a lamp. 

Leu Harris, a detective who was on the train, sneaked up to the 
robbers and fired four shots without eflfeot. lie 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 re]iorted in Visalia that it was done with a view 
to diverting the attention of officers so that the escape of Grattan 
Dalton could be effected, and at Sheriff Kay's request. Captain 
Byrnes, N. G. C, placed details of men from Company 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 brothers, 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 
d\Tiamite was placed on the piston rod and exploded. The engineer 
jumped and ran, making his escape, but the fireman was held by 
the robbers, who marched back by the side of the train, firing to 
intimidate passengers. When the express car was reached, a stick 


of giant powder was placed on the sill of the door, and in ex]ilodino:, 
wrecked the car, breaking three doors, blowing a hole 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 into 
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 Visalia after a consider- 
able absence, stating that he had just returned from the mountains. 
George Sontag also reajspeared, 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 Witty, Sontag giving chase to the one and 
Evans to the other. In their flight they were forced to leave the 
sheritf '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 sheriif 
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 Hai'vey Ward place, where they 
procured a cart and team, and made their 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 on September 
14, 1892, the bandits were located at Sampson's flat in a log house. 
As the posse approached the house a volley was fired from the inside 


which killed A'ictor C. Wilson of El Paso, aud Audy McGinuis of 
Modesto, and .slightly wounded A I Witty. 

Not until the following spring were the robbers and murderers 
again seen by oIKeers, although many attempts were made to track 
them down. On j\i)ril 19, 1893, Sheriff Kay received information 
that Evans and Sontag would pay a visit to Visalia that evening. 
A posse consisting of the sherifT, E. A. Gilliam, John Broder, Ed 
McVeagh, Morgan Haird, J. P. Carroll and E. J. trudge, sun-ounded 
the house early in the evening, and about eleven o'clock they heard 
the barn doors o])en and discerned the meu attempting to escape. 
Kay, Gilliam and l^roder fired, Imt 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 tlie outlaws again located. A posse 
composed of United States Marshal (reorge E. Gard, P. E. Jackson, 
Hi Eapelje 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, luit was soon after found at the home of E. H. 
Perkins, and placed under 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, aud successfully eluding the guards, 
which were immediately stationed on the roads leading out of town, 
succeeded in again getting into the moimtain country. This esca])e 
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 flunie 
men in the hills, aud the sheej) herders, threatening them with death 
if they revealed his whereabouts. 

On Fe])ruary 13, 1894, Sheriff Scott of Fresno county, and ])osse, 
came upon Evans' and Morrell 's camp in Eshom valley. Three shots 
were tired ineffectually, the bandits escaping hurriedly, leaving much 
ammunition and camp equipment, 

Evans wrote several letters to friends in Visalia, and on March 
7th, visited John March, who resided near Orosi, fourteen miles from 
Visalia. As far as the officers of the law were concerned, however, all 


trace of the baudits was lost after the exchange of shots witli Sheriff 
Scott's posse, until the following year. The mountain settlers all 
denied seeing or hearing anything of the outlaws. 

After these exploits, wliicii constituted one of the most s))e('tacu- 
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 IS, 1894, the ])andits came to Visalia, and on 
Monday the olhcers learned of their presence, and a posse, including 
Sheriff Kay, United States Marshal Gard, deputy sheriffs Witty and 
Robert Broder, night watclunan 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, but 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 up, 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 stej) out on the porch when you come to the 
gate. Chris Evans." 

The crowd had not shown any inclination towards violeiu-e, 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 ]iorch and shook hands with them 
and then placed Iioth 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 wea])()ns were found on him, luit 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 lynching had been exjn'essed that it was 
decided not to take the risk of waiting until midnight for the train, 
but to ]iroceed l)v team. When news of the departure of the officers 
with the prisoner became known a crowd of determined men, con- 
tained in twelve or fifteen livery rigs, started in pursuit with the in- 
tention of lynching Evans. At (joshen they learned that the officers 
had taken another road and were jiractically beyond ]>ui'suit, so the 
chase was abandoned. 

Evans was sentenct'd to life imprisonment at Eolsom and served 


seventeen years and two mouths, being released on parole, Mav 1, 

Morrell also received a life sentence Init was pardoned after serv- 
ing fifteen years. 


The early settlers in Tnlare county ever made the establish- 
ment of schools aud the organization of churches 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 suffering 
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 pioneer 
IJreacher, with conditions as they were in Tulare county in the 
'50s or even '60s, must 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 wlien 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. 


Tlie first church in the 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. 

Rev. O. P. Fisher, the presiding elder of the Pacific Congress, 
and the Rev. 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 snuill brick church was erected on Church street, 
near Acequia, about where the telephone exchange is now situated. 


At that time the Rev. E. B. Lockley was pastor in diarge and the 
membership was tifteen souls. 

Tlie present church building, on the corner of Court and 
School streets, was erected in 1872, and enlarged and improved 
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 membershi]i is about one 
hundred and fifty. Rev. W. J. Fenton took charge in 1911, and 
under his care all l)i;ni('lies of the work are progressing. 


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, .iointly with the 
South Methodists, occupied the first church building erected in 

The Rev. James A. Webb, the "Bible Poet" as he called him- 
self, occupied the pulpit 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 membershiji 
has increased ra])idly 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, 18(5.3, 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 maiutniiicd by each denomination s(>i)aiately. 



On Deceiuber 9, 18f)6, a liaml of fourteen men and women 
organized a Pres1)yterian olrarcli in Visalia. This was of tlie Old 
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, tlie 
membership being small, the congregation disbanded. 

The Cumberland Presljyterian 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 ])urchased 
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 Locust streets purchased. The building was 
moved and is still used. This proi)erty was purchased 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 possession, and a few of the Cumberland brethren 
are meeting in a rented hall. The others have arranged to erect 
a tine new building of concrete blocks, and the congregation, under 
the leadership of Rev. C. H. Reyburn, is growing. 


The Lutheran Cluuch 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 parochial 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 ])ermitted. 
Revs. W. H. Hill, Powell, and D. O. Kelley, were the principal mis- 
sionaries that conducted these infrequent services. In May. 18S0, 
the Mission St. John was organized for the entire county, and 
comprised the towns of Visalia, Tulare City, Hanford and Lemoore. 
The Mission was imder the charge of Rev. D. 0. Kelley, with 
headquarters in Hanford. On Feliruary 9, 1887, the Mission of St. 
Pan! 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 jiastor in charge, secured tlie advantageous corner of 
Encina avenue and Center streets. The old buildimj- was nu)ved 


to tlie new location. In ]!i()4, under tlie care of Rev. II. I'. Carroll, 
the rectory wa.s huilt and in IDOll and 1!)10 the church was enlarged 
and improved and tlie 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 about ninety. Nine priests 
have served the local church. 


The Catholic cliurcii 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 rejiorted 
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 Nativity. 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 Los 
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 de\otion of the 
Rev. feather Foin. The church in Visalia has been ministered to by 
eleven priests. 


The Methodist Episcopal church was among the tirst Protestant 
bodies to e.stablish themselves on the Pacific slope. August 15, 
1851, eleven i)reachers met in San Francisco and held the first 
Methodist Conference on this coast. Their field of labor was froTO 
Canada to Mexico. But it was not until 1858 that an organization 
was made in Visalia. The class was organized by John McKelvey, 
in charge of this circuit. W. N. Steuben and wife and Mrs. 
Lucinda Kenne.v were the first members. The congregation had no 
settled jJace of worship until 1H67, wlien, under the pastorate of 'J\ 
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 Imilding. The building was not finished 
until the pastorate of Mr. Livingston, Mr. Bunker's successoi-. In 
November. 1908, the church, with A. L. Baker as pastor, celebrated 
its fiftieth anniversary, called the Golden Jubilee, in a week of special 
and approj)riate services, at which many of the previous pastors were 
present and assisted. 



The Disciples of Christ were represented at an 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 tlie leadership of William 
Higgens, met and organized the First Christian Church in Yisalia. 
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 vised 
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. B. 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, bought the lot on the northwest corner 
of Court and School streets and in 1890, dedicated the present tine 

Among the early ministers were : T. N. T\ incaid, Alex. 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. Fredei'ic Grimes took charge 
of the church in 1911, and has been a strong man in the Bible school 
and all departments of church work. Tlie Bible school, numl)ering 
nearly three hundred, is an enthusiastic one. 


In tracing the history of Tulare county, it is found that the 
people have ever been prompt in the matter of providing educational 
facilities for the children. The school and the church have attended 
the early pioneers. 

We of today provide our children with the best modern educa- 


tional facilities by the simple exjiedient of readily votiii,s>' "yes" 
ou all projiositions for school l)onds. 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 "Teat difficulty. Within the 
hearts of the early iiioneers, howe\er, the determination was stroui^- 
to give to their offspring a greater measure of learning than they 
themselves had enjoyed, and it came al)out 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 l)usy inaugurating 
his individual enterprise. One was building a sawmill, another a 
store, another a gristmill, others were sending afar to procure the 
seed for farming; some were guarding their stock; the first farrows 
were being turned. 

Remember, too, that in a county extending from Mariposa on the 
north to Los Angeles on the south and from Nevada on the east to 
the summit of the coast range in the west, there were but eigliteen 
children, between the ages of tive and seventeen. You can readily 
imagine how 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 185-1: the tirst school district, embracing the entire county, was 
organized, and the first sehoolhouse, made of rough boards set on 
end, was erected near the site of the present Tipton Lindsey grammar 
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 exhibited 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; Klbow, one 
hundred and twenty-four; "WoodviJle, one hundred and fifty-two; 
Persian, eighty-five. 

The public school system was developing normally, keeping 
pace with the needs of the people, Imt it was deemed insufficient. 
The following notice about a projiosed seminary for Visalia a])i:)eared 
in the Delta of December .'>1, 1859, and shows that ])eoi)le then were 
thinking of higher education: 

"Seminary. A subscription is in circulation for the purpose 
of building a seminary near town on a lot donated for the purjiose 
by J. R. Keener. The subscrii)tion 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. R. W. Taylor, 
and a lady are to take chai'ge of the institution." 

In 1859 Rev. B. W. Taylor, of Los Angeles, arrived and broached 


a project for opeiiiii.s>' a private scliool, in wliich the higher brandies 
of learning should be taught. His pUm met with immediate favor 
and a joint stock e()ni])auy was formed to finance it. Henry Keener 
donated a lot, and subscriptions in an amount sufficient to erect and 
equip a large two-story building were soon secured. The building 
was erected in tlie southwestern part of town at the corner of Watson 
avenue and the Tulare road and the institution named The Visalia 
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 de]iartment. 

In 1S()1 Rev. Father Dade opened a private school called Tlie 
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 (jualifv him for 
his ])osition. Modern hmguages and Latin were among the l>ranches 
taught, and the elements of a classical education, so highly esteemed 
in those days, was imparted. This school, though taught by a ])riest, 
was strictly non-sectarian, and its i^atrons, 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 Deming the 

The establishment of these two schools at so early a day amidst 
a ijopulation so sparse, clearly indicates the progressive spirit of 
the early pioneers and exhibits anew the cro})ping forth of the 
cherished longing to i)lace 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 Tejou and as far north as the Merced river, students 
came, for ever>'where the idea was strong to secure for their children 
the best. 

Tlie seminary and the academy flourished for a number of years 
— in fact, until their usefulness was over, which came to pass from 
the betterment of the ]iublic schools and the establishment near the 
big centers of ])o|mhition of colleges, universities and normal schools 
of high order. 

Tulare's schools are now among the best in the state. There 
were at the close of I'Jll one hundreil and fourteen primary and 
grammar schools in the county, emi)loying two hundred and twenty- 
six teachers. There are also seven high schools in the county and 
three joint high schools, employing sixty-one teachers. There were 
in 1910-1!)! L (v'^45 pupils in the grammar and primary grades and 
892 in high schools. There were 523 graduates from the grammar 
grades and ninety-six fi'om the high schools. 



For a imml)er of years tlie population of Tulare couHty did uot 
increase very rapi<lly. When the county was ori>anized, in 185"J, the 
total white population was estimated at one hundred. r>y the census 
of 1860 it was s'iven as three thousand ; in 1870, 4,533 ; 1880, 11,281 ; 
18!)0, 24,574; Kings county was cut off in 1893, and still, the census 
for J910 gave old Tulare 35,543. The present population has lieen 
closely estimated at 47,500. The census figures for 1910 of some 
of the difPcreut 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, Dinulia 970, Exeter 660. I^razier 29. 
Hot Springs 22, Kaweah 28, Lindsay 1814, Urosi 590, Pixley 64, Por- 
terville 2696, Tulare 2758, Visalia 4550, White River 94, Woodville, 
76, Farmersville 550. 

One thing was very noteworthy hy the last census, and tliat 
was the rapid increase of po))ulation of rural districts as compared 
with the incorporated towns. All showed a marked rate of increase, 
but the country's rate was much larger. It would seem that the' 
ci-y "back to the farm" is being heard. The whole county showed 
a rate of ninety-three ]ier cent, increase in ten years. 


The best index to the prosperity of a ])eople is the assessment 
roll. As that ebbs or flows, so will the prosperity of the citizens. 

The first assessment roll of Tulare county, in 1853, consisted 
of a single sheet of foolscap pai)er 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 
(al)()ut $75) that Tulare county tendered toward the support of the 
state government. 

The assessment roll of 1855 is a curious document. It contains 
three hundred and forty-two names, tliis including tliose to whom a 
])oll tax only was assessed. It totals $437,225. Three parcels only 
of real estate were included. These were Jones & Robedee, 320 
acres — .$640; San .\melia ranch, eleven leagues, $50,000; Iguacio Del 
Vallo, acreage not given, $100,000. 

S. C. Brown was rated at $550; .lolm Cutler at $960, and Ricliard 
Cliatten at $410. In the roll of 1858, Andrew G. Harrell'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 Mr. Del Vallo and the San Amelia ranch owners were: 


Elisha Packwood. $23,735; Pemberton Bros., $14,075; S. A. Bishop, 
$21,875; Eeuben Matthews & Co., $10,070; Patterson & Hazeltou were 
given as worth $1,210. 

The assessment roll of 1860 showed the following: Acres of 
improved land, 20,313; nnmber of horses and mules, -4,24:5; 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 $372,8.35; 
machinery, $32,763; livestock, $1,212,381. Total debt of the county, 

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 projjerty listed by the assessor. Surely the 
people are to be felicitated. Each year sees an advance in the rate 
of increase. 



For the nnniber of years since organization, Tulare lias had 
a long list of official servants. Yet there are few counties in any 
state that can point to a list with fewer unworthies and a larger 
number of honorable and devoted men. 


Under different 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, AVarren 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 Camiibell, 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. W^ingfield, 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. Po,gue, D. V. Robin- 
son, G. E. Shore. 

1886 — James Barton, J. W. Newport. 

1888— J. H. Woody. 

1890— James Barton, S. L. N. Ellis, J. H. Pox. 

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. H. Moffett. 

1902- W. E. Hawkins, J. M. Martin. 


1904— R. ^y. IMfFailaiid, T. B. Twaddle. George Birkenliauer. 
1906— E. Tout, J. M. Maitiu. 
1908— A. C. Williams. 
1910— Robert Ilorliacli. 
1912— Fay Singletou. 


Under the old constitution the judicial system provided for dis- 
trict courts, the districts composed of a number of counties, and 
county courts. 

District Judges: In the organization of Tulare count}' it was 
attached to the fifth judicial district, which included all the San 
Joaquin and Tulare valleys and the 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 the following were elected: Ethelbert 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; AV. AV. 
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. Shepjiard was 
appointed; 1873, John Clark, wlio served until the adoption of the 
new constitution when the office was mei'ged in the superior court. 

Superior Judges : W. W. Cross, 1879. and re-elected. The 
legislature of 1891 authorized a second superior judge, and Wheaton 
A. Grav was appointed. 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 a])iiointed 
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. The following have served the 
countv, the date following the name being the date of election : James 
H. 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. Berry, 1890; W. A. Sims. 1894; II. L. Pace, 1898; 
E. 0. Miller, 1906; E. O. Larkins, 1910. 

Assemblymen: In the assembly district Tulare and Inyo counties 
have for a long time l)een united. The following is a list of those 
elected to the assembly, the date being that of the election : John T. 


Tivy, 185.5 ; Thomas Baker, 1854; Kol)ert R. Swan, 1855; (). K. Smith, 
1856; A. II. 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 Bnrkhalter, 
1871; W. Caiifield, 1873; J. A. Patterson, 1875; W. S. Adams, 1877; 
A. B. Du Brutz, 1879; Rufus E. Arrick, 1880; Allen J. Atwell, 1882; 
E. L. De Witt, 1884; A. B. Butler, 1886; George S. Berrv, 1888; W. S. 
Cunningham, 1890; W. H. Alford, 1892; D. V. Robinson, 189-4; W. P. 
Boone, 1896-98; H. Levinson, 1900; A. M. Lumlev, 1902-04; P. W. 
Forbes, 1906; (I. W. Wylie, 1908-1910. 


William Dill, 1852; 0. K. Smith, 1853; W. G. Poiudexter, 1855; 
J. C. Reid, 1859; J. C. Pemberton, 1860; W. C. Owen, 1861; John 
Meadows, elected but did not serve; John Gill, 1864; Tilden Reid, 
1865; W. F. Thomas, 1867; A. H. Glasscock, 1869; Charles R. Wing- 
field, 1873; J. 1 1. Campbell, 1877; M. G. Wells, 1879; W. F. Martin, 
1882; Alfred Baalam, 1884; George A. Parker, 1886; D. G. Overall. 
1888; E. W. Kav, 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. Beckman, 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. Wallace, 1884; C. G. Laml)erson, 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, 18.53; C. G. Sayle, 1855; T. C. 
Haj's, 1859; R. B. Sayles, 1861; E. H. Dumble, 1863; A. H. Glass- 
cock, 1865; T. H. Hawkins, 1867; F. G. Jefferds, 1871; Seth Smith, 
1882; D. F. Coffee, 1890; J. F. Gibson, 1894; Arthur Crowlev, 1902; 
T. H. Blair, 1910. 


J. T. Tivy, 1852; Early Lvons, 1853; George Dver, 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 Creigh- 
ton, 1882; John S. TTiion, 1886; A. T. Fowler, 1888; A. G. Patton, 
1892; D. L. Wishon, 1894; Seth Smith, 1898; Byron Lovelace, 1910. 


This oflHce, until 18!)2, was held ex-officio bv the sheriff witli 


the exception of the term from 1877, wheu li. A. Keener was elected. 
Since then the following: J. S. Johnson, 1892; G. V. Eeed, 1898; J. 
W. Fewell. 1902. 


J. C. Frankenberger, 1852; Charles R. Wingfield, 1853; AV. G. 
Eiissell, 1854; Erwin Johnson, I860; John C. Eeid, 1861; T. T. Hath- 
away, 186.3; Paschal Bequette, 1865; J. E. Scott, 1867; Wiley Watson, 
1869; Pleasant Bvrd, 1871; John W. Crowlev. 1873; Philip Wagy. 
1877; H. A. Keener, 1879; W. W. Coughran, 1882; C. E. Wiugfield, 
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. 
Dennv, 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. Eea, 1892; E. M. Jetferds, 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. O. Ellis, 1865; M. S. Merril, 
1871; S. G. Creio-hton, 1873; E. P. Merril, 1875; W. J. Ellis, 1879; C. 
H. Murphv, 1882; S. A. Crookshank. 1890; J. S. McPhaill, 1894; S. A. 
Crookshaiik. 1898; C. J. Walker, 1902; J. E.Buckmau, 1910. 


W. H. McMillen, 1852; I. N. Bell, 1853; S. T. Corley, 1856; H. C. 
Townsend. 1859; M. Baker, I860; J. D. P. Thompson. I860; AV. A. 
Eussell, 1863; J. E. Hamilton, 1865; Joseph Lively, 186*; D. L. 
Pickett, 1871; E. P. Martin, 1873; W. A. Eussell, 1875; L. D. Murphy, 
1877; L. M. Lovelace, 1879; T. W. Pendergrass, 1888; 0. S. Higgins, 
1890; T. A. Sheppard, 1892; J. C. McCabe, 1894; T. C. Carruthers. 
1898; E. E. Du Brutz, 1902, died in office; T. M. Dungan, 1904; filled 
vacancy; L. Locey, 1910. 



Just a trifle over fifty years ai;o tlie srhoolhoy who knew iiit; 
lesson said, "Tulare county is bounded on the north by Mariposa 
county, on the east liy the state of Nevada, on tlie south l)y 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 mebbe, 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! Tor 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 applied 
to the fertile diversified plain have made of it a task difficult and 
com[)licated 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 ]iossil)Ie 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 exhaustless flow, which tapjied and their waters spread on 
the surface would succor and bring to glorious maturity groves of 
orange and leinon 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 nraturity and producing extraordinary cro])s, would become 
wealth producing factors. Nor could they imagine the thousands 
upon thousands of acres that were to become perennially 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 moun- 
tain range! They said no word of Mt. Whitney, towering above all 


other peaks witliiu the nation'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 giisteuiug 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 vantage, 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 ^"isalia 
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 found within these pages. 

A few of the events that have transpired within 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 boundary being the summit of the 
Sierras. Two large streams, 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 sand lint always friable and productive. A i)ortiou 
of this delta land is snhin-i.iiated to the extent that for the growth of 
alfalfa, gra^^e 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" hind exists. Hummocks, 
little hills of two or three feet in height, here cover the land. This 
latter soil, formerly held to be 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" Held will be a curiosity. 

Naturally, each type of soil has proven itself particularly 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 consefjuence of them. 
Again referring to tlie map we find two almost parallel lines of 
railroad extending from north to south across the county. 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 AVoodlake, 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. 

Tlie present population is estimated to be about 47,500, this 
figure being based on the census of 1910, showing .■)5,440, 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 ))oi)ulation of Tulare county was 93.4 per cent. 

Visalia, the county seat, with a population of about (iOOO, 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 cm the l)ranch line 
of the Southern Pacilic, each having a population of about 3500. 

Dinuba, Exeter and Lindsay, with populations respectivelv 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 tlie raisin belt, 
which extends easterly throug-Ji Sultana and Orosi and southerly 
to Cutler and Yettem. This district also has demonstrated its peculiar 
adaptability to the growing of early and late grapes for the eastern 
markets, and for the ]iroduction of a general variety of deciduous 
fruits. Oranges also are jiroduced 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 vineyards. These, all in small tracts, well-kept and 
generally well-provided with comfortable country homes, present a 
picture both beautiful and impressive of assured ])rosperity. This 
district is well and cheaply irrigated by the waters of Kings river, 
distributed through the canals of tbe Alta Irrigation District, which 
covers 130,000 acres. 

Proceeding southward one enters a belt of undeveloped land, 
contiguous to ]\rouson on the Southern Pacific 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. Jolms 
rivers cover the entire district, which 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 tliis district, no table grapes and very few raisins. All 
general farm products, such as hay, grain, corn, pumjikins, Egyjjtian 
corn and sugar beets, as well as peaches, pears and in-unes, thrive 
exceedingly and are grown in large cjuantities. This part of the 
former wooded belt of the county still retains numliers of fine sjieci- 
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 ]5resent 
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 blossoms. And the summer's heat 
■ striking this fallow moisture-soaked loam causes sucli a riotous growth 


of all kinds that a general uukenipt appearance is presented. Orchard 
alternates with wood lot and salt grass pasture with coi'n field and 
dairy farm. Many tracts of fertile land remain undeveloped. 

Yet this section contributes heavily in yearly revenue. Two 
creameries in ^"isalia handle about one-fourth of the cream output of 
the county; nearly all the jirunes, having an annual value of about 
half a million dollars, are produced ; there are canning peaches for 
two large factories, large (juantities of fresh and dried fruits are 
shipped; the beet sugar factory is located here and ex])orts 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 
l^laee as we soon discover. We encounter fewer orchai-ds, 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 vineyards of con- 
siderable acreage are noted. The dairy region here, besides taking 
in the territory contiguoiis 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 lieen 
engaged in because of the lack of railroad accommodations. 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 api)arently fertile, unplowed. Also we find lai'ge 
tracts being sul>divided, settlers in numbers building homes, water 
being pumped 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 abundantly liy ])umi) 
irrigation. A very rapid increase in population seems assured. 

Westward now, towards the lake in the neighborhood of Cor- 
coran, Angiola and Alpaugh, entirely new characteristics confront 
us. We enter again a great alfalfa belt, not only supjilying its 
dairies with feed, but furnishing enormous quantities of hay for 
shipment. Great grain fields there are, producing extraordinary 
yields. Some natural swamjiy meadow land lies here. In ])laces, 
instead of irrigation, leveling and diainage are practiced. Artesian 
wells in many localities supplx water for irrigation and for stock. 


But we must tuni now and look at the country lying along tlic 
east side brancli 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 proceeds southward through Exeter, or if 
he choose, first through Woodlake, Naranjo or Lemon Cove and 
then on and stojjs off at either Exeter, Lindsay, Strathmore 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 
foothills is their background, but it is a ramjjart u]) 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 barren 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 belt 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 exciuisite flower ])lots. 

From Porterville the district extends south through Terra Bella, 
Ducor and Richgrove to the county line. This portion, however, 
is of newer develo])ment and the i^rocess of converting grain ranches 
into orange groves is but now beginning. Thousands of acres of 
young orchards are set and thousands more have been imrchased 
for the purpose of planting to citrus fruits, but here 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 herds. This region is wooded 
and springs furnishing stock water are numerous. Two gateways 
there are to the higher Sierras, viz: Three Rivers for the l\aweah 
watershed and Springville for the Tule river. 

In both of these communities apples of line quality 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 
summer months. 

At an elevation of about .3000 feet one enters a belt of pine 
timber. This, mixed with the Sequoia gigantea, and, as one reaches 
the higher altitudes, with fir and tamai-ack. extends throughout the 


county almost unbrokenly. Several sawmills are in operation with 
an annual cut of about tlu-ee million feet, but on acooiint of the lack 
of roads, most of this timber is inaccessible and will ])robabIy remain 
so for many years. 

On the way to the higher mountain regions one passes on both 
the rivers extensive works of electrical power companies. Dams, 
reservoirs, long high-j)erched flumes, lines of steel pipe down the 
mountain side, and the whir of immense dynamos are evidences of 
the enterprises l\v which the mountain torrent is harnessed and the 
river converted into a la1)oi('r of the tield. 

For these utilitarian ])urposes of ])roducing 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 nu)untains are an incalculably 
valuable asset of Tulare county. 

The mountains also constitute a cool summer retreat and are 
frecjuented by throngs of health and pleasure seekers each year. 
Trout tishing in the mountain streams generally is excellent, the 
Kern lakes and the ui)per Kern rivers and their tributaries being 
especially famous in this respect. Hunting for deer and bear is 
good and the s|)ort has many devotees. 

The mountain scenery is of so marvelous a character as to give 
it a wide-spreading and rapidly increasing fame. For beauty and 
grandeur the canyon or gorge of the Kern river is comjiaraljle 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 beautiful, 
impressively awesome, wierdly fantastic. Combining to charm and 
please are ferns and flowers, silent forests, lawn-like meadows, ]ilaeid 
lakes. Streams dro}) in roaring cascades or fall in. sheets of misty 
vapor. Th('y tinkle, or murnuir. or rhythmically roar. Snowy ]ieaks 
of .lagged outline mark the skyline. 

Many groves of the giant secpioia are foruid throughout the 
range at an elevation of between 5500 and 7500 feet, the largest 
being known as the (liant Foi'est. About 5000 of the trees are here 
located, among them being what so far as known is the largest tree 
in the world. Hot si)rings, caves, mineral springs, are other features 
of attraction. Wholly within the county lies the Sequoia National 
Park, containing seven townshii)s. 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. "Whitney, 14,502 feet above sea level. 




Bij F. A. Dodge 

The creation and organization of KinQ,s county as a political 
division of the state was the accomplishment of the spirit of develop- 
ment and iiro.inrcss which lias evei- concjnered the wilderness and 
caused the deserts to vanish. 

Until the s]iring- of 1893 the territory which we are to consider 
was a i^art 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 inleresting- 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 imiDerishable 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 preserved 
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 <levoted 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 l)e chronicled here will there- 
fore relate to events of comi)aratively 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 county was the country in the immediate vicinity of the then 
small towns of Hanford, Lemoore and Grangeville. This community 
had been made possible through the application of water to the soil 
for pur)ioses of irrigation. Long before the stirring times of 
the Mussel Slough tragedy recounted at lenglh in this work, the 
life-giving waters of Kings river had been taken out upon the dry 
plain, and the earliest demonstration of irrigation as practiced in 


central California was made in the vicinity of Grangeville. From 
that time development was as vii\nd as was possible, considering the 
lack of finances possessed by those who bad located on the barren 
soil. The story of hardship, deprivation and suffering experienced 
by tlie 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 triumphant \ictory realized for 
indejiendent county government are all worthy of record; but the 
progress of the people during the past nineteen years is to foi-m the 
basis of this contribution. 


Successful agriculture, wherever irrigation had been practiced 
in the "Mussel Slough" country, was proclaimed by the early irriga- 
tionists to their friends beyond the Sierras. The letters written 
"))ack 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 the 
opportunities offered in the rich country south of Kings river, drain 
farming was soon made companion to alfalfa, and stockraising was 
undertaken in a more domestic numner than that which pre\-ailed 
when the herdsman held sway and laid claim to all the ])lains his 
vaqneros could survey. Then the planting of the grajie and the 
deciduous fruits followed, each step demonstrating the adaiDtability 
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. Butler, who was at that time a practicing physician located 
at the town of Grangeville, and a very pojiular gentleman, as well 
as one of the leading ]ihysicians of the district, was put forth as a 
candidate for member of the assembly from the district conqirising 
Tulare county. Butler was a Repul>lican, and the county was a 
Democratic stronghold. Bui Dr. Butler was also an astute politician 
and that portion of the county in which he lived was the Repulilican 
stronghold of the county. That his successful election to the 
Assembly of California at Sacramento meant the lieginning of a 
plan to form a new county either did not ai)pear on the 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 how Kings county came to be on the 
map of California. 


Diniiiii- the session of the California lesiislatnre in February. 1887, 
Asseniblynian Butler introduced a bill to cut off a portion of western 
Tiilare 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 the 
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 sii]>port from Republicans during his campaign. ^Nlr. 
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 
Imsiness nearer the center of that population had received new 
impetus, and a Hanford citizen was agreed upon for assembhmian. 
Frank A. Blakeley, a Republican, and a man well known and po])ular, 
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 Grangeville, and 
farmers. A bill was drafted by Dixon L. Phillips, an attorney of 
Hanford, and a conmiittee headed by such men as George X. 
Wendling, E. E. Bush, Richard Mills, Justin Jacobs, Frank L. Dodge, 
R. AV. Musgrave and others established tlie committee headquarters 
in Sacramento, and assisted Assembh^uan Blakeley in his fight. 

In the early struggles the name proiiosed for the new county 
was Lorrain, but that name was abandoned and Kings was ado])ted 
in its stead, as being more significant. The name Kings was well 
received and the county was thus christened after Kings river, the 
princijial source of the irrigation for the district, which stream was 
discovered in 1805 liy an exploring ex])edition and named Rio de TiOS 
Santos Reyes (The River of the Holy Kings). 

The Kings county division fight was regarded as the great 
struggle of the session of 1892-93. William H. Alford, a brilliant 
young attorney from Tulare county, and a Democrat, was assembly- 
man from the eastern part 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 county of Madera 


from Fresno was made simultaueously, and succeeded. Riverside 
county was another of the new county movements at tliis identical 
session. Of course, the leaders who were interested in all of these 
fights sought to combine their forces, and succeeded in doing so. 
The contest was long-drawn, and mucli bitterness was engendered, 
but all the wounds have been long since healed with the salve of time 
and the admitted wisdom of jiermitting comnuinities possessing suf- 
ficient wealth and population to enjoy those measures of home rule 
wliich by right belongs to them. 

The Blakeley bill, after a turbulent, and at times almost lio])eless 
history, finally passed both houses. The vote in the assembly was 
forty-five ayes to twenty-seven noes, and in the senate it received 
twenty-four ayes 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 the 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 enamoured 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 Se)ifiiiel. 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 April 21, 1887, 
gave Mussel Slough a new christening and called it Lucerne Valley, 
a name which stuck to it until the formation of Kings county. We 
quote 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 Vale 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 Eiver 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 witli 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 manvifacture 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 picture for an earthly dwelling place. Let our people awaken 
and hasten on the march of improvements — work to reach that 
grand development 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 23, 
1893. The bill creating the county was signed by Governor H. H. 
Markham March 23, 1893, and the governor appointed a commis- 
sion for the purpose of carrying out the act. TMs commission was 
composed of the following named citizens of the now county: 
Samuel E. Biddle, E. E. Bush, William J. Newport, William Ogdeu 
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 
l)ublic. on April 3, 1893, and were sworn into office. They inmie- 
diately organized by electing S. E. Biddle chairman and by select- 
ing George X. Wendling secretary, then adjourned till the following 
day, Tuesday, Ajiril 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, omliracing 
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 election of a 


full set of county 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 eft'ort to l)e 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 Hanford on Wednes- 
day, April 19, 1893, the Republicans holding their gathering at 
Pythian llall, 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 jaarties 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 Sujierior 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; E. E. McKeuna, Democrat. For Tax Collector — Jesse Brown, 
Democrat; Frank J. Peacock, Republican. For Treasurer — Stiles 
McLaughlin, Republican; W. H. Slavin, Democrat. For Recorder — 
Louis Decker, Re])nblican. For Auditor — C. C. Farns^\*orth. Demo- 
crat. For Assessor — John Rourke, Democrat ; John Worswick, Re- 
publican. For Superintendent of Schools^ — A. P. Keran, Republican; 
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. Miekle went on the ballot as independents, as did 


V. M. Frazer for recorder, C. "W. Clark for auditor, George W. 
Murray for auditor and A. S. Bryan 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 Lemoore, 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, People'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 county 
officers, politically, and the carrying of the cause of county creation 
by an overwhelming nuijority, the vote on the formation of the 
countv being 1824, of which 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; sheriff, W. Y. Buckuer; 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, Fi'ank McClellan; supervisor, 
3rd district, J. G. Mackey; supervisor, 4tli district, W. x\. Long; super- 
visor, 5th district, S. E. Biddle. 


On Monday morning, May 9, 1893, tlie 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 countj' 

Superior Judge Jacobs received liis conunission 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. IT. Fox, of Lemoore, chairman. The several county 
officers-elect appeared 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 step was to secure office rooms for the transaction of 
business, until sucli 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 office Imildings in the county seat necessi- 
tated the scattering of the offices all al)0ut 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 records, and on the second floor of that building the re- 
corder, auditor, surveyor, district attorney, county clerk, sujierior 
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 des])erate 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 that Kings county be declared a county of the 
Forty-third class, and when the su])ervisors 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 within 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, 1893, the 
amount being $14,655.58, and accejit that amount from Tulare, 
provided that the latter would stipulate an agreement that no suit 
to contest the legality of the Kings county election would be brought. 
This demand was met by Tulare county to the extent of $13,289.26, 


of whioh $l(),!»l!).l(i was from tlie road fund, and $2,370.10 from 
the school fund. With this small amoimt of ready money, Kings 
county began its own official career, and faced the ])romise made 
during the division cam]iaign to so conduct the affairs of the 
county that tlie tax rate under the new order of things would not 
exceed the tax rate which ha<l ])revailed when the new county was 
a part of Tulare. 


On the 6th day of the following July the citizens of the county 
held a celel)ration 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 api)ea ranee as orator for the occasion of James 11. Wliite, 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 assemblyman who introduced and car- 
ried through the Kings County l)ill. Sheriff Buekner was the grand 
marshal, and conducted a memorable parade, there being many 
s])lendid floats displayed in commemoration of the independence of 
Nation and C^ounty. 


As an outgrowth of the heated contest waged between the 
mother county and the people of the new county, the (juestion 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, ajjproved liy the Attorney General W. IT. H. Hart, 
on the l!)th 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 tlie 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. 



lu the month of June, 1894, the several political parties con- 
fronted the first regular nominating campaign to place candidates 
in the field 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 public 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, 0. 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 attorney, 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 BuUard, 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, F. 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. McQuiddv; surveyor, David Ross; supervisors: S. H. 
Von Schmidt, E. J. Gibson, T. F. Dillon, Frank MeClellan, T. W. 
Stanclart; 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 
MeClellan, 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. V. Buck- 
ner (R.) ; clerk, Francis Cunningham (D.) ; recorder and auditor. 


F. J. Peacock (R.) ; treasurer and tax collector, W. H. Slavin (D.) ; 
assessor, G. H. Follett (R.) ; siiperintendent 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 1st. 


The election of 1896 concerned only National and district matters, 
with the exception that in the second supervisoral district of the 
county there was a vacancy to be filled. Supervisor Frank McClellan 
resigned his office, and 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 Imt 673 
votes to 863 for the Bryan electoral ticket. The county also voted 
a plurality of 118 for C. IT. 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 assemblyman against George B. 
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 the death of Superior Judge Justin Jacobs, which 
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 ajijilication met with executive approval. He took 
his seat on the bench Se]itember 29. 

M. L. Short, who was then district attorney, filed his petition to 
become an inde]:)endent 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. Phillips a])poarod in the race as a Fusionist su))ported 
by the Democrats, Populists and Silver Republicans. The cam]iaign 
was a lively one, but tlie Republicans had no candidate for the 
judgeslii)i. Tliere was no regular Democratic ticket for the county 
this year, but all opposition to the Republican party went by the 


title of Fusionists. Tlie 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 W. V. Buckner for sheriff, while 
George E. Shore was tlie Fusion candidate. Buckner was elected; 
F. Cunningham (F.) defeated B. A. Fassett (R.) for clerk; F. J. 
Peacock (R.) and J. M. Bowman (F.) ran a neck-and-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 December 6, and the total vote which 
was cast at that election was 1537, of which Mr. Bowman received 
827 and Mr. Peacock 711). and Bowman was declared elected. 

Rowen Irwin (F.) defeated A. G. Park (R.) for district attorney, 
and S. M. Rosenberger (R.) won the auditorship against S. Sensa- 
baugli (F.). For treasurer W. H. Slavin (F.) was successful, his 
opponent being A. M. Stone (R.). Peter Van Valer (R.) tried con- 
clusions with John AVyruck (F.) for tax collector, the former win- 
ning. G. W. Follett (R.) defeated Frank McClellan (F.) for asses- 
sor, and ^Y. M. Thomas (R.) won the race for coroner and public 
administrator over Dr. Foley (F.). J. W. Graham (R.) was chosen 
su2)erintendent of schools, his apponent being J. J. Duvall (F.). 
E. P. Irwin (R.) defeated C. W. Talbot (F.) for surveyor. 

The su])ervisors elected were J. T. McJuukin, Styles McLaugh- 
lin and George Tomer, Re]Hiblicaus, 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 jieace 
— George W. Randall, C. M. Smith and Bert Goldsmith, Repul)- 
licans, and H. J. Light, Fusionist. Constables chosen were H. M. 
Bernstein (R.) and George Goodrich and Granville Furnish, 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 Noveml)er, 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 figlit was lietween 
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, Republican, by a vote of 1048 to 950 


R. H. Myers (R.) for the assembly, received 997 votes; R. Mills 
(D.), 887! and W. R. MoQniddy (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 
MV.VI. to 877 for tlie Democi-atic electors, 42 for the Social Demo- 
crats and 48 for the Proliibitionists. 


This campaign was between the Republicans and Democrats, 
the former Populistic organization having passed out of the run- 
ning. The Rei)ublicans nominated the following ticket: Sheriff, W. V. 
Buckner; clerk, Samuel Mullin; recorder, Clark Apjilegarth; tax col- 
lector, Peter Van \'aler; auditoi-, S. M. Rosenberger; 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, 11. M. Bern- 
stein and C. E. Kendall. 

R. H. Meyers, who had been elected two years jirevious to the 
assembly, 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 ojiposition 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- 
Imrn; treasurer, William Slavin; su]ierintendent of schools, Mrs. 
N. P]. Davidson ; coroner and inil)lic administrator, T. Card. For 
sni)ervisors — J. Haves, W. S. Burr, J. R. High, A. R. Davis, R. 

The nominees for townshij) officers on this ticket were : For 
justice of the peace — G. L. Meadows, W. II. Vaughn, P. Carrasco. 
For constables — George Goodridi, J. Alcorn, C. W. Keller and G. 

The candidates who ran iude]iendent of party tickets were: 

G. "VV. Follett for assessor, and J. W. Ferguson for justice of the 

The result of llic election held on November 2 was favorable 
to the following set of officers: Assemblyman, John G. Covert 
(I).); sheriff. W. V. P.uckner (R.) ; clerk," F. Cunningham (D.); 
district attorney, II. Scott .lacobs (R.) ; recorder, J. M. Bowman 
(D.) ; auditoi-, S. Jiosenberger (R.); tax collector, Peter Van Valer 
(R.) as.sessor, George W. Muiray (R.); treasurer, W. H. Slavin 


(D.) ; snperinteudeut of schools, Mrs. N. E. Davidson (D.) ; coroner 
and public administrator, W. M. Thomas (R.) ; surveyor, John Bene- 
dict (R.). 

Supervisors elected were: S. McLaughlin. H. D. Barton, both 
Republicans, and R. Mills, A. R. Davis and W. S. Burr, Democrats. 

The township officers chosen were: Justices of the peace — ■ 
George W. Randall, Republican, and G. L. Meadows and P. Car- 
rasco. Democrats. Constables — H. M. Bei-nstein, Republican, 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, 
Republican. 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 Republicans, while the Democrats put 
forward John F. Pryor of Ilanford. Mr. Pryor was successful, 
receiving 926 votes, to 884 cast for Mr. Fox. 

James C. Needham, Republican candidate for congress carried 
the county, receiving 1110 A-otes, while the Democrats cast 620 
votes for W. M. Conley. The Socialist vote for congressman was 
95, and the Prohibitionists cast 50 votes. The Roosevelt electoral 
ticket received 1112, and the Parker electoral ticket 593. 


This was a general state and county campaign, 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 Robert W. 
Miller, Re])ul)lican, 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 (R), 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 upon the politics of the countv and was re-elected over 
Clarence Ruggles (R), and T. W. Baker (S), J. L. C. Irwin (D), 
for district attorney was elected, his comjietitor being H. Scott 
Jacobs (R). J. M. Bowman (D) won the recordership, defeating 
J. T. Baker (R) ; S. M. Rosenberger (R), was elected auditor, de- 
feating C. T. Walker (D) and J. H. Rathbun (S) ; Peter Van 
Valer (R) was again successful in his race for tax-collector, de- 
feating F. M. Fra^zer (D) and J. Pfeifer (S). L. C. Dunham (R) 
was chosen treasurer, defeating M. B. Washburn (D.), and B. 
Freese (S.). George W. Murray (R.) was re-elected assessor, receiv- 
ing the largest vote of any candidate 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 candidacj^ for super- 
intendent of schools for the second term, defeating Miss Inez Covert 
(R), and E. E. Douglass (S). For surveyor John Benedict (R) 
defeated C. W. Talbot (D). 

The contest for supervisors was a victory for the Democrats, 
as that i)arty elected G. E. Sliore, W. S. Burr, L. Y. Montgomery 
and J. E. Hall, representing the country district. Their Repiiblican 
opponents were: H. L. Jennings, J. M. Denham, H. D. Barton and 
Charles Latham, respectively. Frank Smith (R), 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. AY. Ferguson (D), C. M. Smith (R) and E. Erlanger (R), were 
successful, the other candidates being B. "W. Moore, G. L. Meadows, 
James Shay and P. Carrasco, Democrats. For constables, IT. M. 
Bernstein (D), G. E. Goodrich (D), H. Ammerman (R), and E. 
Brothers (R) were elected, the other candidates being L. Adkins (D), 
and W. P. Hayes (D). 

The contest for the office of assembhinan 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 county 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. 

William 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 powerful 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 Inde]Dendent candidate for the office. After 
a spirited contest between McGuire and Talent, the former won the 
election by a vote of 1133. Mr. Talent received 898; Mr. Senteney 
70 and Mr. McQuiddy 95. 

Congressman J. C. Needham (R) still maintained his bold 
upon the voters of the county, receiving 1202 votes, to 8.'>2 cast for 
H. A. Greene (D), 89 cast for R. Kirk (S), and 41 cast for H. E. 
Burbank (P). 

The countv cast 1056 for James N. Gillett (R) for governor; 967 
for T. A. Beli (D), and 49 for J. H. Blanchard (Pro.) and 94 for 
W. IT. Langdon, Tndcjx-ndent and Tiabor Union. 



This connty strnggie had one feature which was similar to the 
campaign of 1906, in that count}' 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 190<). 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, Eepul)lican, 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 river added to it. 

The county 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. 


The increased vote cast at this election illustrated tlie growth 
of the county in poi)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 iilurality 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), Frank J. Walker (R), and W. R. McQuiddy (Pro.). Mr. 
Walker won on a narrow plurality 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 L>"man 

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. Goodi'ich (D). Fanner 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 attorney; D. Buun Rea (R) was elected auditor over 
James Manning (D); L- C. Dunham (R) was elected treasurer, de- 
feating H. L. C'onklin (D) ; George W. Murray (R) had no opposi- 
tion for the office of assessor; M. B. Washburn (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 .1. D. Hefton (D) for coroner and ]mblie 
administrator; A. J. Neilsen (R) was elected county survevor, 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 
11. 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. Constaliles chosen were: H. M. Bernstein, John 
Bartlet and C. C. A. Henden, Republicans, and Perry Gard and S. 
Blank, Democrats. 



The history of irrigatiou iu Kings couuty dates hack to 1872, 
when its present territory constituted a part of Tulare county. The 
lesser benefits of irrigation had been demonstrated by private parties 
in dit¥erent iiarts 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 east 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, R. 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 aljout 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 supply liis 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 February, 1873, by Jesse Brown, 


W. W. Boyd, George W. Camp, C. Hyatt, Peter Kanawyer, 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 aud proceeded as rapidly as possible consider- 
ing the limited means of its incorporators. P. 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 comijleted beyond the south boundary line of township 18 
South, range 21 east, a short distance from Armona. 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- 
liolders for the irrigation of crops. When the water was turned into 
the lower ]iortion 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 ]ier 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 lieing 
completed according to the plans and specifications of the engineer. 
In places it was not down to grade and in other places not u]i to 
grade and in very few places of the width originally ]:)roposed. 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 many of the stock- 
holders were unable 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- 


meiits and bought in for the company, because no one living- in the 
country on land covered liy 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- 
teeu-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, except that the Settlers Ditch C'ompany 
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 i)romotors 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 Kaweali 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-tweTfth 
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 ajJiiropriating 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 land 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 supjjlying 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, John Urton, Joe Perrin, Ely Bock, 
C. H. Robinson, Jack Wickham, were the leading men in })romoting the 
interests of this enterprise and incorporating it under the state laws 
of California. William R. McQuiddy was the first secretary. 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 i)reliminary work of locating the ditch head at the 
mouth of Cross creek, after which John S. Urton took charge of the 
engineering and made definite location of the ditch lines and staked 


them out ready for the coustruetion gangs, composed ol' the stock- 
holders who worked on different sections of the ditcli as ai)portioned 
by tlie nianagemeut. Actual woik in excavating was begun in the 
fall of 187-i and proceeded under dil'liculties through the winter and 
spring of 1875. Hard pan was found at the upper end of the works, 
which uecessitated 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 wlien there was water therein. This cut was 16UU feet 
long and in places had to be cut down through havdpan. On De- 
cember 1, 1875, the ditch was practically completed as far south as 
the county road running east from the nortli line of the city of 
JIanford. 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 
celeljrate this iminntant event a meeting was called at the Eureka 
schoolbouse. Nearly every person 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. Ruggies, 
who had bought out George W. Cotten a few months i)revious. 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. AVhat was 
true of the brave men who builded the Settlers' ditch was true of all 
the other pioneers who from 1872 and later built the 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 sjilendid courage, 
great endurance and a sublime faith that sustained them and led 
them on in the face of all kinds of hardsliips 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 Grange- 
ville. The system was about completed in one season and proved 


very successful to tlie territory for which it was intended. 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 Esrey, 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. SuUenger, 
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. Eailsback, E. M. Cleveland, Jesse Brown, W. W. Parlin, 
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 Hauford. 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. Wliiting, Jacob Marsh. Other members and stockholders 
of the company who were identified in the promotion 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. V. Dodds. The Lakeside 
ditch serves a large district, which is largely devoted to dairy and 
stock interests. 

Some years later Carr and Chamberlain 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 primary 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 river a few hundred 
yards above the Peoples' Ditch Comi^any's point of intake. The 
leading men in its organization were Dr. N. P. Duncan. J. Frank 


Pryor, Dr. R. E. Dixon, J. D. MeCord. The project fontemjilated 
the irrigation of hinds al)ovit the present city of Corcoran and those 
hike bottom lauds then and thereafter to be reclaimed. Tlie opera- 
tions of the company have been held in abeyance on acconnt of 
litigation so that its prospective good results have not yet been 
realized. R. D. Hunter, E. E. Bush, F. C. Paulin, Stoddard Jess, 
C. W. Gates, A. H. Brawley are the more recent promoters and 
custodians of the comjiany'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 Clausen, Max Lovelace, 
R. E. McKenna, Jack Rhodes and Stiles McLaughlin associated 
themselves together for the promotion of what is commonly called 
the Blakeley ditch, contemjilating the irrigation of a ti'act of fine 
land west and northwest of Tulare lake. The company approjiriated 
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 Com]iany was created to distribute watei- 
over the lands of the rich district known as the Empire ranch. Also 
the Mercedes Pum])iug Company was formed prospectively to water 
land west of Kings river. 


This <'om])any 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 lands 
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 latter 
named ditch. It is about one hundred feet wide in places and the 
system embraces about twenty-eight miles of ditch. 


The history of a locality would not 1)e com])lete without containing 
a record of those "heavenly blessings" furnished by the weather 
god. Herewith is presented an authentic rain table kept since 189L 
showing the measurement of rain by the month, as gauged at 
Hanford : 

Year 1891-92— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; September, .52; 


October, 0.00; Noveml)er, .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, .;>8; December, 1.46; January, 2.8.3; 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; Felv 
ruary, .97; March, .96; April, .50; May, .38; total annual, 10.10. 

Year 1895-96— Jime, 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; xVugust, 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; 
Februarv, 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- 
ruarv, .57; March, 1.76; April, .80; May, 0.00; total annual, 6.88. 

Year— 1903-04— June, 0.00; July, 0.00; 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— June. 0.00; July, 0.00; 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; July. 0.00; August, 0.00; September, 


0.00; October, 0.00; November, ..39; December, 3.49; Jamiary, 3.51; 
February, .67 ; March, 2.39 ; April, .32 ; May, 0.00 ; total ammal, 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— lf)08-09— June. 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 0.00; Sej^tember, 
.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— Jime, 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— Jime, 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; Mav, .50; total annual, 11.03. 

Year— 1911-12— Jiiue, 0.00; July, 0.00; August, 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 iuleresting natural plienomeuon 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 li\dng covered one thousand square 
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. Gustav 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 rajud 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 siireading 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 lengih 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 irrigatiouists 
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 i)lacing 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. "Wherever 
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 Septeml)er, 1850. This act provided that swamp and 
overflow lands such as were of no value in extending waterwavs and 


oonlfl not be settled upon under conditions governing' the Xntioual 
Homestead Act, should revert to the states in which such lands lay. 
The California legislature in 1872 passed a swamp and overflow land 
act which was subsequently amended, enabling settlers to locate on 
these lands belonging to the state, the uniform price 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 )ier acre advanced. Under this act nuich swamp and overflowed 
land was acquired l)y 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 lielonging to the state which are suitable for 
cultivation shall lie granted only to actual settlers and in quantities 
not to exceed three hundred and twenty acres to each 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 pros- 
pectors attracted to a great mining field where a lode has been 
struck. Eeclamation 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 plowed 
and ]ilanted 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 upon 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 place had vanished. A stray band of pelicans came 
in, looked down for the water, but finding none, vanished 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 their 
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 nudtii^lied population of the 
country using the waters of the Sierras in growing \-ineyards and 
orchards had roblied the county of its lake, had vanished, and Tulare 
lake was again on the map covering about the same relative area as it 
did in 189:5. 


At present a great levee lias been built on the 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 T)uilding of railroads in Kings county since its birth. May 23, 
1893. is a matter of much historical im])ort 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 burdens 
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 rejiort 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 •(, 1891, and consisted of the following representative men : "\V. 
W. Parlin, W. H. Worswick, D. R. 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 
hoard 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. TT. il. 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 circulated 
other counties took up the cry for "An Independent Line" and the 
next issue of the Sentinel carried the cheering headlines, "Now is the 


time to strike, for the iron is hot and the people know their needs. 
The action of Kings county meets with a hearty response from Contra 
Costa county." The Hauford organization was highly encouraged by 
letters from Antioch and San Francisco. Assurances of help by 
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 public meetings and apitoiuting 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 tn 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 bond Fresno county in the simi 
of $fi()O,000 to aid the project. Tulare county people began to awaken 
and Kern county also felt an impulse to join in a scheme to reduce 
a transportation rate, the excess of which over a fair and just rate 
would soon pay for a competing road. At this juncture the political 
camiiaign of 1894 came on and also a question of the government 
ownership of the Southern Pacific lines which had a tendency to 
damjjen the ardor of the jieople toward the newly proposed railroad 
in the various interior counties of the San Joafpiin Valley; Init the 
Ti'aftic Association of San Francisco about the middle of October, 
1894, began an effort to raise $350,000 to start "The Valley Railroad" 
as it was then called. Then a comi)any known as the "United Rail- 
road Com])any, " managed liy a man named ITartzell at Stockton. 
launched a scheme to build a road from Stockton to Bakersfield. 
This was in November, 1894. It sought to unite with the San Fran- 
cisco Traffic Association and was encouraged by P. McRae of Ilanford. 
The original movement by Kings county people seemed for a while 
held U)) by the efforts of the above combines and the seeming reluct- 
ance of capitalists in the northern metropolis to justly aid the interests 
of the San Joaquin A'alley people. Late in November, 1894, D. R. 
Cameron, secretary of the Kings county railroad jiromotion committee, 
threw a bombshell into the camp of the San Francisco business men 
l)y writing a letter to the Los Angeles Chamber of Conmierce, 
setting forth a proposition wlu'rel)y Los Angeles might unite in 
building a competing railroad into the San Joacpiin Valley, thus 
securing a substantial interchange of trade which their ])resent trans- 
portation rates prohibited. This valley had ])reviously looked north to 


San Franoisco for aid. 'I'lie lethargy of that city was ])henonipnal. 
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 Chamlier of Commerce for January 12, 1895. Delegations 
were sent to this meeting appointed by the Boards of Svipervisors of 
the res})ective counties as follows: Kings county, S. E. Biddle, F. L. 
Dodge, D. R. Cameron; Fresno county, T. C. White, Fulton G. Berry, 
J. II. Kelley. O. J. Woodward; Kern county, W. H. Holaliird; Tulare 
county, E. Barris. The delegates were well received by the Los 
Angeles Chaml)er 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 by 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 Francisco 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 ca]ntal 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 Claus 
Spreckels at the head, with a subscription of $700,000; that a company 
was forming to be capitalized 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 Claus Spreckels, Alexander Bovd, James 
D. Phelan, James F. Flood, O. D. Baldwin, David Meyer, w". F. Whit- 
tier, Albert Miller. Charles Holbrook, Thomas Magee, 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 hallelujahs of promised deliverance. Even Los Angeles 
took u)) the strain and advocated a continued line of road to that city. 
On January 2nd, 1895, a mass meeting was held in the Hanford Opera 
House. After discussion of the outlook by prominent citizens a com- 
mittee was appointed to confer with the San Francisco committee, 
consisting of E. p]. Manheim, D. R. Cameron, S. E. Biddle, P. McRae, 
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 throu<>"li whieh the new road would pass. In its 
write-uji it said of Kings County : 

"Kini;s County is known as tlie l)aby county of the state, from tlie 
fact tliat it was tlie last one to be created. It was taken from Tulare 
County, and includes all of Tulare Lake, a shallow 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 sujiply from Kings and Kaweah 
rivers and Cross Creek, furnishing what is claimed to be the best, 
cheapest and most thorough irrigation system." 

At this time $2,100,000 had been subscribed and articles of incor- 
poration filed in which San Francisco and Bakersfield were named as 
terminal points. The ca|)ital stock of the company was placed at 
$6,000,000, the length of the road to be 350 miles. 

But all great enterjirises meet with difficulties and now came the 
one great question, how to get into San Francisco? Clans Spreckels 
found the way l)locked 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 grounds. 

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 the east side, which? While Kings county as the 
pioneers in the work had brought it to a probable success, her people 
were called u]iou to "put up" 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 jieople's money and owned by the people," the 
TIanford committee reported, after a canvass of the county, that 1068 
days' work by men and teams, making over three years' work, had 
been offered, several hundred tons of hay, an amount of liarley 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 
Hanford would fui'nish depot grounds and i-ight of way. 

At this time 390 names were on the San Francisco subscrijition 
list, aggregating $2,388,300. Claus Spreckels said he wanted it called 
the "people's road" and not Spreckels' road. The San Fi-ancisco Ex- 
aminer said in its |)raise: "The valley road will save the trade and 
industry of the city from the strangling grip of the Southern Pacific's 
policy that is now directed to give the trade of the interior to Chicago 
and New York." 

April 29, 1895, Clans Spreckels, Robert Watt and Cajit. H. 11. 
Payson, directors of the new valley road, visited Hanford on a tour 
of inspection as to jjrobable routes and to view the resources from 
which the new road might expect pati'onage. The TIanf(U-d conunittee 
gave them a ride througli the surrounding couiiti\v and a ban(|uet. 


The "Sau Fraucisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad" had now be- 
come a certainty; rails had lieeu purchased for a beginning 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 Hanford committee, consisting of E. E. Bush, D. R. Cameron, 
L. S. Chittenden and Frank L. Dodge, were sent on a trip to look out 
the most direct route down the west side to Bakerstield. 

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 Joaquin 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 been 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 Bakerstield, 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 comi^any 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 the 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 bands of 
nmsic; floats representing horticultural and agricultui-al 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 people came in on the first passenger 
train, including the directors and other officers of the new road. 

After the grand parade had been reviewed by the visitors and the 


happy thousands of home people, exercises were held at a grand stand 
where eloquent speeches 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 tlie state, because the new road had reduced freights and 
farjes 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 foimded, 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 dairy 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, Plolstein, Jersey, Ayrshire and other breeds, so we can 
mark the beginning of the i^resent 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 prospered, 
and in 1889 the two cheese factories passed into the ownership of 
A. B. Crowell, one of the coimty's first interested dair^^nen. 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 ]ier day, and in the year 1902 the Hanford fac- 
tory, which had then swallowed up the Lakeside plant, turned out 
150,000 pounds of cheese. But in 1897, F. J. Peacock established a 
butter factory in the Dallas district, near where the town of Corcoran 
now stands. He subsequently established other butter-making plants, 


and so rapidly did the butter indiistry grow that in 1902 there were 
4500 cows in the county, 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 tire, and the butter industry having grown more popular, absorbed 
the attention of the dairymen, and cheese making in the county has 
been since confined to small private plants, but 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, hut 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 between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the townsite 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 peoj^le 
determined to incorjjorate 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 incorporating. 

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 
thii'ty feet east of the northwest corner of said section 2.5, thence 
due south to a point thirty feet north and thirty feet east of the south- 
west corner of aforesaid section 36, thence due east to point of 

Those who petitioned for this movement were : Frank J. Walker, 
T. Gebhardt. J. H. Malone, J. Manasse, F. A. Blakeley, 0. B. Phelps, 
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. Rusli, 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- 
Quiddv, B. C. Mickle, A. P. Gomes, D. L. Healy, E. Axtell, T. J. 
McQuiddv, E. P. Irwin, P. A. Hov, N. Weisbaum, K. Simon, C. B. 
Rourke, J. P. Ames. J. G. Mickle. J. G. Clanton, J. Hanley, Wm. 
Roughton, J. Weisbaum, J. R. Beekwith, P]. J. Benedict, C. R. Hawley, 
Wra. Corey, E. Weisbaum, John S. Thompson, H. G. Lacey, S. M. 
Rosenberger, R. L. Roughton, H. C. Fallin, W. H. Nyswonger, W. A. 
Ai-nold, 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, Charles Vosburg, A. E. Gribi. M. 
C. LaFortune, J. C. Davis, E. M. Friant, Wm. McVey. Sanmel J. 
Bee, A. G. Dollenmayer, J. F. Garwood, E. Lord, H. C. Tandy. 


The election was held on Anaust 8, 1891. and resulted in the fol- 
lowing vote: For incorporation, 127; against incorporation, 47. 


From 1891 to 1892— Trustees : E. Axtell, B. A. Fassett, James 
0. Hickman, James Manasse and George Slight. President of the 
Board. B. A. Fassett; City Clerk. W. R. McQuiddy; Treasurer, N. 
Weisliaum ; 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 Ross, S. 
B. Hicks, J. H. Malone and R. 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, D. 
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, Harrv 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. Vinev, 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. Cam]i, 
E. H. AValker, 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. H. 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. Barney, F. M. Parish, Grant 


Starkweatlier, David Gamble, A. W. Bass. President of the Board, 
B. L. Baruey; City Clerk, D. C. Williams; Treasurer, F. R. Higbt; 
Marshal, A. M. Frederick. 

From 1912 to 19 IJ— 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, 1913, 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 systems 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 etjuijiped 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 resi)ects 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 population having reached the 6,000 
mark in 1912, the sewer question became a pressing one, hence the 
bonds called for and votecl in November last, as above stated. The 
contract for this sewer extension, the building of the Imhoff disposal 
plant, etc., was awarded January 28, 1913. Through a technicality 
the courts 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 -wheu the Southern Pacitio railroad had reached 
this poiut aud Hauford was staked out, the tratfio in intoxicating 
liquors flourished as in all western towns until 1912. While the license 
policy that i^revailed 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 1909 under the leadership of tlie ministerial association 
of the city a campaign was started and was fought out at the municipal 
election in April of 1910. One set of candidates pledged to oppose the 
saloons was nominated aud 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 aud the total vote for Starkweather there was, however, a 
ditf erence 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 Mahon, of Kern county, presiding. The case 
was appealed to the supreme court aud 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 Hauford. Petitious were circulated for an election under 
that act, aud to decide the "wet" and "dry" question in conjunction 
with the municijial election to be held on Ajiril 7, 1912. John Dawson, 
who liad been ousted by the Starkweather contest of two years previ- 
ous, and Charles II. Coe were candidates for the anti-saloon ticket, 
and S. B. Hicks and "W. R. Newport were the candidates of the oppo- 
sition ticket for trustees, although both sides were pledged to enforce 
the law on the liquor question in accordance with the expression of the 


voters. A lively and at times bitter campaign 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. Ooe and Dawson, and 
when they took their seats on the board of trustees the board inunedi- 
ately proceeded to eliminate the saloon traffic from the city. The ques- 
tion of gi'anting salaries to the members of the board of trustees was 
also endorsed liy 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 by the edict of the people. 


As early as 1874 a Christian Church organization was formed by 
Major T. J. McQuiddy, W. E. 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 
place of meeting was in the Grangeville schoolhouse. In 1878 Hanford 
was chosen l)y the society as a permanent 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 imjietus by Rev. N. W. Motheral, 
who was given its leadershij). He put his native al)ility and force 
into immediate action by Imilding 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, wlio formed a wagon train of five big teams 
to make the trij) to the mills for juiiiber. In Mai'cli, 188], the rliurch 
was completed and the first service held in it by the Presbyterian so- 
ciety was the funeral of Joseph Motheral, the sixteen-year-old son 
of N. W. Mothei-al, the founder of the church. Mr. Motlieral hold the 
pastorate of the church for many years, when he resigned to serve an 
appointment on the State Horticultural Commission. Rev. E. Lisle 
then served a term as pastor, at the end of which Mr. Motheral ayain 


took up tlie pastorate and sei-ved uutil liis licaltli failed. The Presby- 
terian church has grown and prospered witli tliecity and count}' under 
the pastorate of the Eev. Sanders, I. B. Self, George B. Gregg, J. AV. 
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 $1G,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 
1)ought an old schoolhouse, which they moved on to a lot at the south- 
east corner of Douty and Eighth streets. Here the congregation 
worshi])ed 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 conunaud with ability and vigor. It was not without great self- 
denial and a persevei-ance at times sublime that he kept the lights 
Inuning until the dawn of lietter times and a growth in the whole 
counuunity 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 
foi- clmi'ch 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 himg. The church has since prospered 
and is supported by a substantial congregation. 

In 1880 an Ei)iscopal church was organized, the first service being 
held under Rector D. O. Kelley in the uncompleted Presbyterian 
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. Mayuard, 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 the 
corner of Seventh 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 churcli ]iroperty and enlarge its accom- 
modations. Ground was secured at the corner of Douty and Florinda 
streets. The new jjrojierty 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 increasin.g following among the Portuguese and other foreign 
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 United 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. E. 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. AVhite and David Utterback its princi])al 
promoters, J. A. Craig being its first pastor. 

The Free Methodist church at No. 621 North Plarris 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 westei'n part of Hanford. Later the 
society built and moved into the property where they now worship. 
Their first pastor was Rev. W. E. Phillii)S. 

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 years of uphill work, but 
conditions im])roved and the society maintains its work in the com- 

The Second Baptist (colored) church, at South Irwin and Second 
streets, was stai'ted in 1898, its first officers being Henry Wyatt, Jolni 
Wclcher, StcpJien Sliaw. 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 employing forty-three teachers. 
There were only two thousand census children, and there were only 
five schools emplopng more than one teacher. Of the sixteen him- 
dred pupils then enrolled in schools of the county, the one high school, 
that located at Hanford, enrolled fifty-four pupils. 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, emplo>-ing five teachers, and one at Cor- 
coran, employing 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 jnipils, 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 coimty 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, Cliarles McCourt and 
Mrs. N. E. Davidson, the latter being the i)resent iucumbeiit. 


The city of Hanford possesses a free ])ublic library which today 
is the central library of a county library system, the latter being 
established in 1912. Tlie history of the movement which finally 
developed a free city library and afterwards extending its benefits 
and influences county-wide, began back in 1890, when a meeting of 
citizens of the then unincorporated town was held December 27 
and a reading room association was formed. This association 
opened a reading room on May 26, 1891, in a wooden building on 


Seventli street between Douty and Irwin streets. Mrs. M. A. Harlow 
was chosen president of tlie 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 
broniiht books and formed the nuclens of a library. After that 
throngh the means of donations, socials and concerts sufficient funds 
were raised to maintain the reading room, pay rentals and a little 
something to the librarian. 

In May, 1892, after Ilanford had been incorporated, the reading 
room control was transferred to the city authorities and a library 
board was selected by the city trustees, the selection being as follows : 
Mesdames D. L. Phillips, 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 
Septeml)er, 1902, aiiiilication was made to Andrew Carnegie for a gift 
of money with which to establish a liltrary. The application was 
for $15,000. and Carnegie ottered $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 was 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 jirevent the acceptance of the site by the city. 
The case was heard in the sujierior court. Judge Austin, of Fresno, 
presiding, and the injimction was denied. An appeal was taken and 
on January 31, 1905, the ai)pellate 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 ha<l, 
however, secured plans foi- the new library building, which 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 tiic building which was to be of artificial stone or 
concrete block, 'i'iic building work proceeded and on August 12. 


1905, the cornerstone was laid with sini]>le ceremony, consisting of a 
brief address In- City Clerk James A. Hill. AVithin the cornerstone 
were placed copies of the Hanford Daily Sentinel, copies of the 
Hanford Senii-Wcrkli/ Journal, a complete set of the then existing- pity 
ordinances, a card l)earing the names of tlie first board of city trnstees, 
viz.: B. A. Fassett, E. Axtell, J. 0. Hickman, George Slight and J. 
Manasse, and the first city clerk, AV. R. McQniddy, and many otlier 
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 tlie date for the dedication of the new building. 

The arrangements were carried out, and at the connnodious and 
well-furnished Carnegie library building with a number of fairly 
well-filled book stacks, on the night of February 22, the peojjle 
assembled for a brief program. Fred A. Dodge, chairman of the 
library board, called the assemblage to order and introduced Prof. 
E. H. Walker, principal of the Hanford TTnion 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 Hanford. Secretary P. M. Norboe made an address in which 
he presented the financial statement of the construction showing tliat 
the building had been erected and made ready for pulilic use for 
the sum of $12,-t72.99, 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 supei'intending 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 by Han-y 
Widmer, chairman of the board of city trustees, in which he compli- 
mented the library lioard on tlie excellent work done. 

Since th.e 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 the 
sco]3e 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 plan under the existing state laws, and 
now the institution is county-wide, having branch libraries at Cor- 
coran, Armona, Guernsey, Grangeville, Lemoore and Hardwick. Tlie 
library is suppoi-lcd from the ]iublic treasury. 



Lemoore, located on tlie Soutlicni Pacific Railroad, nine miles 
west of Hanford, tlie county seat, is the second city in size in tlie 
connty, liavin,<>' an estimated i)Oitnlation of 2500. It was founded by 
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 postoffice 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 ]iostoffice 
Lemoore. Mr. Moore died Se])tember 11, 1898, at the town he 

The early l)usiness men of Lemoore were: J. II. Fox, B. K. 
Sweetland, Max Lovelace, A. Mooney, D. Brownstone, John Heinlen, 
R. Scally, Justin Jacobs, G. W. FoUett, John Hayes, Benjamin 
Hamlin, C. W. Barrett, Amos M. Ayers, Dr. L. M. Lovelace, A. 8. 
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 1S77 and the 
growth of the town has been steady, the greatest strides lia\ing 
been made, however, since the creation of Kings county. 

Lemoore was incorporated as n city of the sixth class in June, 
1900. and has a nmnicipal water and sewer system. The lirst grammar 
school was organized in Latache (now Ijemoore) in 187;!, and a chea]) 
school building was erected on two acres of land donated to the 
district (then called Lake) by a Mr. Armstrong. The building was 
eighteen by thirty feet and was dedicated with a "couutiy dance" 
on one December night in 187.'!. Tlu^ iii'st teacher was a Mr. Siiiipson, 
and the forty to fifty iiu|)ils who attended this first school came 
from the surrounding country, some l)eing residents of the Kingston 
country on Kings river to the northeast. The citizens of Lemoore 
evidenced a commendable pride in their ])ublic schools when in 1887 
a new $10,000 school building was erected. In 1885 the name of 
the district was changed from Ijake to Lemoore, which name it now 


bears. In the year 1912 there was erected a magnificent new grammar 
school building at a cost of $40,000. A very substantial high scliool 
building was erected in 1910. 

The city is well supplied with churches, i)ulilic halls, etc. There 
are two banking institutions, and two weekly newspapers, Tlie Repub- 
lican and The Leader. 

The rich soil and the diversified farming interests with amjile 
irrigating facilities surrounding Lemoore insure continued substan- 
tial growth. The leading industries uj^on which the city relies are 
dairying, fruit raising, raisins, wine and general agriculture. 



(An address by John G. Covert, Su]ierior Judge of Kings County, 

Before Members of the Supervisors' Convention.) 

In speaking today of the evolution of the San Joacjuin Valley 
I shall mean the industrial and social development, and I shall not 
ilse 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 ]i]'emise my remarks by briefly defining 
and outlining the territory which in my o])inion it comprises : 

Beginning at a ])oint a few miles south of the city of Bakersfield, 
where the Tehachajn 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 pros])erous valleys 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 expeditiou had set out from the Mission 
Monterey headed by Pedro Fages and Father Crespi on a tour of 
exploration. Padre Juuipero, the famous Franciscan missionary, 
was at that time in charge of the Mission Monterey, and it was at his 
instigation the ex]iedition was undertaken. The small i^arty headed 
by Pedro Fages and leather Cresjii found their way without adventure 
to the waters of Suisun Bay, and then eastward along its southern 


border, until they reached a point near Mount Diablo, where tlie 
niagnihcent 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 1813, 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 doughty Spanish soldier, who 
lead some troops into the northern end of this valley about that time 
in i)ursuit of hostile Indians. Just when the name San Joaquin 
was bestowed upon this river and valley and by whom is involved 
in uncertainty, Init it is a fact that for over a hundred vears this 
great valley and river have l)een known by that name. 

Mount Diablo, by some supposed to be an extinct volcano, a peak 
in the Coast Range Mountains, stands sentinel like just off 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 sectionalization 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 ujion the part of the Franciscans 
to explore this territory, and so far as I know, no attempt was ever 
made to foi;nd a mission, although there were some Indians in the 
valley and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the east. 

The San Joaquin Valley first began to attract the attention of 
the American peoj^le 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 
aliout permanently residing here, when they set out ujion their 
journey westwaj-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 jmrsuit 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 ai)pealed to them, even in their feverish rush to the gold diggings. 


Years later wlieu 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 Bakerstield with cattle. These were the 
days of cattle kings. Their herds roamed and grazed at will, save 
the occasional round-u}t or rodeo, when the calves were marked 
and bra-nded and the cattle tit for beef were cut out and driven to 
the nearest sliipping 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 i>rominent 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. Tliese 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 u]i. 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 ]iasture 
already closely cropped; never a horse with a nobler heart, nor that 
would respond more quickly to rein and s]iur than the tough, nervv 
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 height. 
The same climatic conditions and fertile plains that attracted cattle 
men were equally inviting to sheep men. This was prosiac and 
far less attractive business than the cattle industry. 

Shee|) licnling was done on foot and attending conditions 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-recoguized 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 
land 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 ])owerful fence 
began to appear. It was no longer possible to travel in the direction 
which fancy or business suggested. Roads and trails began to turn 
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 everytiiing 
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 supposed it required hundreds of horses and mules and scores of 
men to ])erform the necessary work in carrying on the business of 
those ranches. The plains with an average annual rainfall would 
])roduce great crojis of grain yielding from fifteen to as high as 
seventy bushels per acre, the crojts varying from year to year in 
accordance with the rainfall and climatic conditions. Some localities 
too were more productive of certain crops than others. Wheat raised 
in the San Joarpiin Valley was generally of an excellent (piality, 
and was considered to be among the best milling wheat in the world. 
The extensive fields, llic level lands, the character of the soil and 
dry climate made possible cultivation and harvesting by methoils 
more rapid and economical than thus far had evei" been used in any 
(iflici- jilace. The cradle and the reaper and the single i)low were 
too slow for farming in the San J(ia(|uin Valley. Imjilements and 
machinery adapted to the necessity of the time were rapidly invented 
or introduced from other places and these were improved upon and 


perfected until a hisyh degree of efficiency -was reached; as evidenced 
by the great gang pk)ws and combined harvesters and other machines 
of like nature now familiar to all farmers of this great valley. 

For about 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 api^eared upon the scene. The 
depreciation of ])rofits 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 ]irofits 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 cui-ed fruit industry. The alfalfa pasture 
stimulated dairying 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 le'ss profitable, 
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 jirotected 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 apjiear 
everjTvhere, affording happy and comfortal)le homes to the people 
of the vallev. The cattle men and the wheat farmers, in manv 


instances, had looked upon the San Joaquin ^'alley as a place 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 i^roud hope that when he jiassed away that his 
property would atford 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, 
honey 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 
commodity ))eing about 225,000 tons, and is worth ap])roximately 

These respective industries not only \deld magnificent incomes 
upon the investments and repays well the efforts and labor of the 
farmer, but they atford remunerative and congenial em])loyment to 
thousands of men, women and children. The children of the valley 
are afforded unusual opportunities for finding light and paying 
occupation by reason of tlie fruit harvest coming in the summer 
during the school vacations. In order to take care of the annual 
fruit crojis it has been necessary to establish in the different cities 
and towns and convenient shii^ping 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 tliese 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 disti-icts 
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 peojile, and the development of the oil industry of this valley 
was so rapid that those who took an active part conld scarcely 
realize the rapidity with which this business grew. The discovery 
of oil came at an opportune time. The po])ulation 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 gi'owing rapidly. The steam and gas engine was coming more 
and more into use, and a chea]) and plentiful fuel was the most 
necessary factor in the industrial situation, and its discovery solved 
what might liave been a serious ]>roblem. 

If the oil fields of the San Joaquin Valley should in the course 
of time become exhausted the jieople have learned a great lesson, 
and the lack of fuel will be provided against by planting forests 
of trees adapted to this purpose. Tliis 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 yield 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 i")orts, 
and huge steamers docked beside the wliarf 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 i^rocure this most excellent fuel. Tlie 
oil industry has added vastly to the wealth of the valley and ])rovided 
employment for thousands, and has made many an enterjjrising man 
wealthy beyond the most amliitious dreams of his youth. 

From that day in 1772 when the little expedition headed by 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 develoi^ment of the valley. All our progress and evolution 
especially in the lieginning was not accomplished without hardships 
and exertion. All the cattle men and most of the miners found their 
way across the valley on horse-back and their camp equiimients were- 
carried u])on the backs of horses or nuiles. This means of trans- 
portation ser\'ed for awhile, but increased ])opulation and developmeni 
called for gi-eater 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 \-ailey, 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 tweuty-fonr horses or mules, and as high as four or five 
w;iii,-ons coupled in train. The staj^es and freighters found all tliey 
could do to handle the business of the day. The fiat-bottomed stern- 
wheel river boats with huge liarges 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 trans])ortation under- 
went a rapid evolution. The stage witli its galloping horses and 
marvelously skilled drivers, together with the freight teams, were 
relegated to the raountaift districts and less accessible regions. River 
navigation was gradually aliandoned. The railroads covered their 
territory and competition i;nder the attending conditions rendered 
the steamboat lousiness 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 ojjerated it 
ever since, and after it entered into the valley it was rapidly pushed 
on over the Tehachapi Mountains, with inany tunnels and its cele- 
brated loop, until it readied 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 industr\' 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 inde])endent companies that have organized and built short 
accommodation railroads in different ])laces in the valley, it is 
evident that the rapid growth and i)0])ulation and development of 
the San Joaquin Valley will not only afTord, but will demand, greativ 
increased transportation facilities. Probably there is no jilace in 
the world wlicic railioads can l)e 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 such 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 iu building a railroad from Bakerstield to 
Stockton along any line within the confines of the Sau 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, upon 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 upon 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 
developed and the facility with which railroads may be constructed 
in the valley will proliably cause railroads to be so numerous and 
competition so sharp that the public would never resort to the 
necessarily slow and tedious transpoi-tation by water that would 
attend canal and river navigation. 

A very cursory mention of the San Joaquin Valley 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 concerniu«' the mountains, which are so closely related 

to this valley. Our warm, dry climate is a most important factor 

in this valley. Doubtless this condition is brought about largely by 

the Coast Range Mountains that stand on our west as a wind break 

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 bej'ond question were a wise provision 

of Providence, and have added special advantages in the way of 

climatic conditions, notwithstanding they increase the summer heat 

and lessen the winter rainfall. On the east lies what probably are 

the grandest mountains in the world, at least a Californian may lie 

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 mag-nificent 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 iwetic 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 purjiose of moistening and fertilizing the plains 

of the valley. Great towering peaks and abysmal canyons covered 

with gigantic trees and thickly-matted brush and undergrowth gather 

and conserve the snows of winter. In the sjiring 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 lieautiful 

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 growing stronger until 

finally they rush in a mighty river upon the arid plains, carrying life 

and drink to thousands of thirsty acres. 

These streams, deep and with precipitous banks, at first gradually 


approaoli tlie surface of the land so that it is freciuently possible to 
divert water from them and spread it upon the laud within two or 
three miles from the point of diversion. The loose loamy nature 
of the soil and comi)aratively level surface render ditch-buildiu,!>- 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 deepened to the first water. Near the streams 
and particularly on the east side of the San Joaquin river and 
the southern part of the valley siirface 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 im])rovements made. They are no longer dug, but are 
bored or drilled with efficient machinery operated by steam or 
gasoline ))ower, and are driven to a depth averaging from fifty to 
eighty feet, which results in a jilentiful flow of pure water. 

Artesian wells in most parts of the valley are readily develo]ied 
and the natural flow from them furnishes an abundance of water for 
livestock and domestic ]nir|)oses, and frequently will irrigate as many 
as from eiglity to three hundred acres of land yearly. Electric power 
and gasoline engines have made irrigation liy ])umping feasible, 
and it has been discovered that subterranean streams are found in 
nearly all parts of the valley carrying water sufficient for the purpose 
of irrigating the surface of the lands under which they lie, and now 


hundreds of wells are being develoi:)ed and pumping plants installed, 
which are an immense aid to the present system of irrigation and 
will cover tliousands of acres that cannot be reached by water from 
the natural streams. 

Stej) by step and hand in hand with cooperation and harmony, 
the urbane and rural evolution of tliis valley has progressed. The 
valley is dotted with many prosperous cities and towns, not so exten- 
sive in population, but energetic and in-ogressive in the extreme. 
Paved streets, electric lights, gas jilants, excellent water systems, 
magnificent i)ublic Iniildings and sanitary drainage are to be found 
in all of them. The amount of business transacted is startling as 
compared witli cities of the same ]io])ulation of other places. A town 
of five thousand inliabitants 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 tlie 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 conijileted in the county of Kern. Its beautiful 
architectural lines, extensive proportions, light and airy rooms and 
great corridors are certainly a source of pride and pleasure to the 
people of this valley. I particularly congratulate the peoi)le 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 efiliciency and ability of the board of supervisors, 
who served the jieople so well in its construction. 

I have said something of the evolution of the valley, made brief 
mention of the progress and development of the different industries, 
and in a poor way directed your attention to the wonderful op]ior- 
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 ])layed their ])art 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 u]) the coast to San Francisco, or the 
other was across the i)lains 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 Caiie Horn 
and then u\> the Pacific Coast to San Francisco were such as to 
cause the stoutest heart to pause. The shorter route by the Isthmus, 
while re(|uiring less time, was ahnost ecjually as dangerous. What 
was missed in the perils and hardships of the sea by taking the 
Isthmian way was counterbalanced Ijy the dangers entailed in crossing 


this tropical neck of land laden witli the germs of many diseases to 
which the emigrant so readily fell a prey. 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 bj' 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 inoving 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 anj^ 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, driving 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 ])ioneer 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 people of some particular state, and they 


looked towards their former homes for customs and precedent. In 
the near future witliont a doubt our emigration will increase far more 
rapidly than ever before. The great opj^ortunities offered 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 
women, 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. 


S S Si 03 

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A California pioneer who recalls with interest early days in 
Tulare county when he took a prominent part in local ai¥airs, 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 wae 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 
ineans 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 Cutler 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 tine 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 brother, 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 PL; 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 connnunity and 
there was no call upon him in behalf of the general good to which 
he did not respond promptly and liberally. 



Numbered among the well-known and respected citizens of Exeter 
who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of that jilace 
is George E. Waddell, who has been identified with the civil affairs 
of Exeter from its earliest history, having tilled the office of its 
mayor as its first incumbent, and so fulfilling the duties of that office 
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 })rom- 
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 born 
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 wlio 
made the overland journey with ox-teams. The family made their 
home at Lancha Plana until 187l2, when they moved to lone, where 
the father died in 189.3, 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 190o, 
occurred her death. 

Reared to industrial habits and inheriting a taste for mercantile 
pursuits, at tlie age of nineteen George K. 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 Jmsiness for about 
ten years, when he sold out and came to Visalia, buying a half 
interest in the Pioneer market business, wJiich' after conducting for 
about ten months, he sold. It was at this time that he came to Exeter 
and bought 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, but they retain the Lindsay place 
of business which the son, George H., is 7nanaging with marked 
ability, while Mr. Waddell gives his attention to the jmrchase of stock. 
They first had built a structure at Lindsay 25x75 feet in dimension for 
their business, Init this soon became too small and they Iniilt a new two- 
story brick block, 4-0xL')0 feet, in 1910 with new refrigerating and cold 
storage equijimcnt, and its appointments are all modern and first-class. 
The marble countcis and excellent tool e(|uii)mcnt give the place an air of 


cleanliness and wholesomeness which bespeaks the good taste of the 
owner, and their product and the handling of their goods l)ear the most 
gratifying repntation in the community, it having been credited by 
the press at one time as being one of the tinest places of its kind 
in the state. 

In connection with this business Mr. Waddell gives attention 
to real estate, in which he has l)een most successful. lie has ))lanted 
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 tlirec hundred and fifty acres in all, and l)eside 
this he owns a well-improved farm of four hundred and eighty acres 
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 purjiose 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 the 
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 ca])acity 
on the city board. In fraternal relations he affiliates with tlip Exeter 
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 ofSce of sheriff 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 the 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 ])artner in the meat business. Both sons were born 
at lone, Amador county, and reflect credit on their training ami the 
honored name they bear. 


A native of Gardiner,. Me., Sanford Booker was born October 12, 
1833. and there reared to manhood, educated and given a knowledge 
of the ship carpenter's trade, and later learned house building. 
When he was twenty years old he moved to Medford, Mass., where 


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 Eegiment Massachusetts 
Volunteer Infantry, was mustered into the government service after 
President Lincoln issued 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 18(11 there was a strong conviction that Lawrence rode 
over the same route that Paul Revere 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 rejDorted 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 county. Mo., 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, wlio constructed the reser- 
voir through which Redlands is supplied with water. Mr. Booker 
had to grub out sage brush before he could lay the foundation of the 
building, and he and his men boarded themselves, for there was no 
one li-^-ing 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 imtil 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 other man at Hanford 
who was more influential to these ends than was he. He personally 

^'^^^ c^i-C^yt^ ^Tlpf^ 



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 estabUshed 
he was its fii-st depositor, having until then done his banking at 
VisaUa. ° 

On November 27, 1854, Mr. Booker married IMiss Sarah E. Carr, 
at Medford, Mass. Mrs. Booker, who was a native of Massachusetts' 
bore her husband two children, Everett S., of Hanford, and Sarah 
Elizabeth, who has passed away. Everett S. Booker married Edith 
O'Brien and they have a daughter, Marv Florence. Mr Booker is 
identified with McPhersou Post, G. A. R.. 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 worthv matron 


A true t>-pe of the self-made man is ex-idenced in tlie career of 
Emanuel T. Eagle, who now lives one mile east of Naranio 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 18.54 and drove an ox-team 
across the plains for $10 a month and his board. He located near 
Redding. 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. Returning 
to Mendocino county, he remained there a year and in 1865 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, notwithstandin? he 
has in the meantime sold two hundred and thirty-five acres. "^ He 
has devoted his land to gi-ain. and raises cattle, "horses and boss, 
and in each one of these several fields of endeavor he has done well' 


Wlien lie came to tlie eounty, 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 ])rofiting by every new development and liaving 
advantage of every innovation. 

Beginning life with $1.50 capital, Mr. Ragle has worked and 
persevered, trinm))]iing 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 u]vto-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 
aliout one hundred head of cattle and forty to fifty head of horses. 
The schools of his community liave lieen his constant care, and lie 
has done much to advance them. 

Mr. Ragle uuuried, Seiitember 2.S, 1858, Miss Eliza Ann Moft'ett, 
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 
Motfett, of Scotch-Irish blood, who died in Missouri when Mrs. Ragle 
was four years old. Her mother was Charlotte Bunn, born in \'ir- 
ginia, who died in Tulare coimty. Mr. and Mrs. Ragle are the proud 
grandparents of half a hundred urandchildren, and twelve great- 

The father of Emanuel T. was George H. Ragle, born in \'irginia 
and died in Tennessee. His grandfather was born in Germany ami 
settled in Virginia, where he was accidentally drowned. 


J. D. Tyler was the oldest living representative of the original 
settlers on fule 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 yonnfj; Tyler's schooling was confined to the three months 
winter term, not iufreciuently 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 jieas 
or l)eans nuist be soaked in salt water or the greasy slush that 
came from the cook room. For twenty days they nearly starved 
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 reshipped for San P'rancisco, 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 with a view to purchas- 
ing and driving to the mines. Upon their arrival they found the 
statement to be without foundation, and, in partnershi}) 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 tiie Tyler brothers continued in partnership until 
1871, when they separated, J. D. Tyler remaining on the river. His 
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 wav 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 
the county was filled with Southern sympathizers in 1861 he stood 


firm in his convictions and was only the more respected for loyalty 
to his country. 

At his home, two miles east of Porterville, 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 read}' 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 iue\-itable 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 hajopiness 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 strove 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, trvie-hearted friend, his children a noble-hearted father, 
his wife a faithful, loving, trusting companion, and each and all 
mourn his earthh' loss. On the afternoon of the 20th of November 
services were held at the homestead by Rev. J. G. Eckels, pastor 
of the CongTegational 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 the hill of life u-as steepest, 
When the forest froivn ivas deepest, 
Poor hut young, you hastened here, 
Came ivhen solid hope was cheapest; 
Came a pioneer. 


Toil had never cause to doubt you, 
Progress' path you helped to clear, 
And your ivonder works outlast you, 
Sleep, old pioneer! 


A pioneer of 1852, a busy and patriotically active citizen since 
1865, John Holmes Hnntley, 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. John 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 kejit 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 border, 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 lie bought land till he owned eight 
hundred and forty acres in the San Joaquin valley, mostly devoted 
to stock-raising, and acquired a fine residence on the Mineral King- 
road, two miles east of Visalia. 

In politics a Republican, Mr. Huntley served his party in various 
offices of trust, having been internal revenue collector for Tulare, 



Kern, Inyo and Fresno counties for five years, until the office 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. E., of 

On August 3, 1879, Mr. Huntley married, at San Rafael, Nina R. 
AMilfard, l)orn at Southam]iton, 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. Himtley was 
always eagerly helpful, evidencing a public spii'it 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, amoimting 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 lumdred 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 
hundred 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 trijis 
a month between Visalia and Fort Tejon. 


The well-known and ]Hi])ular proprietor of the general merchan- 
dise business in Orosi, Cal., which enjoys such a flourishing and grat- 
ifying trade there, is George W. Knox, whose influence in tlie commer- 
cial, industrial 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 fiehl, and the state of Minnesota especially has reason to hold 


him in higli esteem and to ever silently thank him for his activities 
toward the welfare of that vicinity. 

A native of Columbia county, 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 
s))ent in California whence they had come in 1904, and in Grangeville 
the father passed away, at the age of ninety-three years, his widow 
dj^ng 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 Ijrother 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 Reiiublican 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. THs exceptional ability soon attracted the attention 
of politicians, and he was elected to serve for two years on the 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 the 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 committee. 
With all movements tending to the growtli and development of Min- 
nesota and the surrounding country Mr. Knox had a great interest, 
and was usually instrumental in aiding in their fuitherance. He had 


man}" opportunities in liis business to find these deficiencies and his 
experience in the himbering 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 DeF. 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- 
]ilies, and this has grown and increased to such an extent that a whole- 
sale and retail business 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 by his 
sagacious handling of his wares and his courteous yet business-like 

In 1909 Mr. Knox married in Los Angeles, Christina (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 Osmau 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 lias 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 purpose. During his term of ser\ice $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 loval instigator and friend. 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 born. He is widely known as a pioneer in this section and as 



a successful uurseryman. When he was nineteen years old he went 
to Labette county, Kans., where he lived six years. From that state 
W. E. Goble came to Tulare county, where he bought sixty acres of 
an old place on whicli an orchard had been established about 1871. 
He now has four thousand small orange trees and ten thousand grape 
vines in tln-ee 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 laud. Water is made 
available from wells from wJiicJi it is drawn by means of rotary 
pumps, and a continual flow of thirty inches assures him a sufficient 
quantity for the entire place. 

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 (Reynolds) 
Goble, the foriner now living in Kansas and the latter died in Illinois 
in 1890. Politically he is an industrial organizer and socially he 
affiliates with the Fraternal Brotherhood of America. He holds 
membership in tlie 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 his opinion pi-omises to benefit 
the community 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 Visalia. 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 Northeast of Visalia. From the time of his 
settlement in Tulare county until his death, June 9, 1900, a period of 
about a quarter of a century, he was identified with the agricultural 


development of central 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 his fellow men he exemplified the teachings of the Chris- 
tian Church, of which he was a devout and helpful member. Polit- 
ically he was Republican, and as a citizen he gave his support to all 
measures tending to the benefit of the connnunity. The free school 
system always had his generous |n-on'iotion 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 18-19. 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 his 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 peaches per acre was, in the order in which they have been 
named, $.300. $150 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 
valued 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 Ms estate and her management 
of it has given her a re)nitation for uncommon business ability. The 
Hicks family is strong in its support of the Christian Church. 



The name of Isaac ii. Thomas atands as a synonym for all 
that is highest and best in horticultural 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 having occurred in Grayson county, Ky., in 1838. 
He 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 tilled 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 i)assengers 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 uninily crowd. At San Francisco 
Mr. Thomas boarded the overland stage for \'isalia, ari'iving 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 \'isalia in 1856. Here the latter was en- 
gaged in the himlier business on Mill creek, cutting and sawing ])ine 
lumber. The brothers formed an association in the himlter busi- 
ness that lasted eleven years, during which time they lost three 
mills by fire and flood. Tlie mill was located forty-five miles from 
Visalia and they paid $40 to $50 i)er thousand feet for hauling the 
lumlier to town, where it sold for $90 a thousand. The logs were 
blasted in order to get tliem intd tlic mill. 

After giving nji the lumber business Isaac H. Thomas turned 
his attention to the nui'sery and orchai'd industry and his interest 
in the same has continued to the jiresent 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 Jose. Into his nursery, 
located one and a half miles east of Visalia, he introduced manv 
new varieties of fruit trees. A .subsequent undertaking was the 
planting and development of a ninetv acre orchard adjacent to town. 
Since 1904 he has ])een associated with the Red P>ank Orchard 
Company in the capacity of horticultui-ist. This oi-chaid was started 
willi the intention of fatei'inii- t<> tlic eastern ti-ade exclusivelv and 


grows the earliest fruit in the state north of the Imperial valley. 
Some idea of the duties involved as manager of the Red Bank 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 irrigatiou, 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 Yisalia 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 Eed 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 peaches 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 Yisalia. 
Mr. Thomaa is a member of Four Creek Lodge No. 94, I. O. 0. F., 
and a charter member of the old volunteer fire department. He 
served nine years on the state board of horticultiire and has taken 
an active part in combating the fruit pests, he having invented the 
composition of lime, sulphur and salt for killino- insects and the 
San Jose scale. 

In retrospect Mr. Thomas calls to mind his first impression of 
Visalia, which at the time he arrived here contained three stores, 
a hotel and a blacksmith shop. 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, supportine; 
Bell and Everett. Mr. Thomas is the proud possessor of two old 
relics which he prizes very highly. One of these is an old drurn. 
which first saw service in the Revolutionary war and later fi2:ured 
in the battle of New Orleans. This relic is now on exhibition at 
Stanford ITniversitv. The other memento is an old hickory cane, 
cut in IR.'i.T at General Jackson's old home in Tennessee, The Herm- 








F <^ 









Among the well-kuowu pioneers of Tulare county is numbered 
Andrew J. Scoggins, sou 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 Roane county 
ami 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 brought 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 journey was made by the southern route and Mr. 
Scoggins settled in Yolo county, then a wild country in which he found 
wil<l 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 Fresno, where the family live. Nettie married 
C. L. Knestric of Diuuba and has a daughter. Frank married Belle 
Ellis, daughter of J. W. Ellis of Visalia, and has two sons and a 
daughter. Mr. Scoggins has nine grandchildren and three great-grand- 

Mr. Scoggins crossed the plains the second time, the journey 
being made in comparative safety, there liaA-ing 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 questions at 
issue between settlers and the railroad company. One of his recollec- 
tions is of having seen Mr. Crow after llie latter had been shot down. 
He went for a time to Texas to raise sheep and fed many shee]) in 
Colusa county, (^al. He had now entered upon what may be termed 
his second period of prosperity. In 1870 he had i)aid taxes on prop- 
erty valued at $350,000 and the oi^ening 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 countj^ 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 which 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 E]iiscopal Church South. 


The honor which belongs to the pioneer and to tlie 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 count.y, Ind., May 21, 1829, and was 
reared on a farm there. Elducated 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 bund of cattle. He pre-empted a piece of government land 
near Goshen and turned 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 upon a 
successful professional practice. From the first he took an active 
interest in jiublic 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 deep and heljiful interest in jiublic education and the 


Tipton Lindsey graiuinar 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 people at large 
that did not receive his public-spirited support. (Comparatively 
earh" in the historj' 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 forty-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 wheu water sold for $1 a gallon and eggs for $1 each in 
San Francisco. This honored pioneer jiassed 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. Wheu 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 projiortions 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 stamjjede of buffaloes in 
which a herd of thousands bore down on her train, threatening death 
to humans and cattle alike, a tragedy which was ])ic\ented l)y a 
diversion in the \)iith 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 ]:)roperty 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 newspajjer was receivcnl in the town. Mrs. Lindsey lias two 
children, Charles F., of San Francisco, and Mrs. M. P. Frasier, of 
Los Angeles, who has a son named Harold. 



In 1849, (luring- the days of the gold excitement, which was the 
booming of California and the misfortune of many of its pioneers 
who liad not learned that grain is more golden than gold, Joseph 
C. Brown, a native of Kentucky and a man of nnusual ability, came 
across tlie 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 i)upils 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 had 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 wMch he enter- 
prisingly sold in the mines. He homesteaded a one hundred and 
sixty-acre ranch of government land, two and one-lialf 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, rei^resenting Tulare county, 
and in |)olitical 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- 
])orarily 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 Lucretia E., now Mrs. L. Martin. 

On his father's ranch near Farmersville, Volney A. Brown grew 
to manhood, and in tlie 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 
prune 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 happy home. 

Some of his father's public spirit and concern in public affairs 



was inherited by Mr. Brown, who has an emdable reputation as a 
liberal-minded and very helpful citizen who has at heart the best 
interests of the community. 


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 mouths 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 
shijs died of scurvy, for a time there being no fresh food but fish. 
Soon after his arrival Mr. Noble began mining on the Feather 
river, and in niue 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 uj) in Imsi- 
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 Soquel 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 county, 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- 


cessfnl contractor and builder. Returning to California, he bought 
eighty acres at Savilla, near Atwell's Island, Tulare county, but 
owing to failure on the i^art 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 L^Tine 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 AVoodmen, 
and as a citizen is progressive, public spirited and hel]ifu] to all 
good interests of the community. 

In 1877 Mr. Noble married Miss Ot-to, 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 prosjiective 
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 records can be traced the home of 
the Belz family has been in Germany. Christoff Belz, a Saxon by 
birth and a machinist by 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 Sclmuer, 
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, 18,32. 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. P^ollowing 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 grammar 
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 on 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 
aliility 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 


now known as the Wegman ranch, three and one-lialf miles north- 
east of Visalia. 

Just fifty years have passed since Mr. Belz came 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 
enjojinent 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 
years 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 imder 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 campaigTis in the west. Private Jacobs took jjart in many 
hotly contested engagements, including that of Shiloh, where he was 
one of those who stood in the 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 prin- 


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eipal of the Waiipnn public schools, he began the practice of his 
profession. He came to California in 1874 and until 1876 was con- 
nected with Tipton Lindsey of Visalia in professional work. In the 
year last mentioned he moved to Lemoore and built the first dwelling' 
house in the town on land which he bought from the railroad com- 
pany which was promoting development there. During 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 law^'er in Western Tulare 
eoimty, 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 develojjed 
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 up 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 Rejmhlic, and passed all 
the chairs in each of these orders. He died September 23, 1898. 


Not only by reason of identilication with California during 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 place the surrounding 


countrj' under cultivation, ^'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 liorn in Daviess 
county, July 2, 1837, the son of Yancy B. Stokes, a native of Kentucky. 
Removing from Kentucky to Missouri iu an early day the latter 
engaged in farming and stock-raising, and became well known 
throughout the 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 bj- 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 imfailing 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 upon 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 county, remaining there until 
the spring of 1852, when he located in Marysville on the Yuba river. 
The following spring and summer 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 stoj) in 
Carson Valley, 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 Mi-. 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 ])assed away March 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 limited. 


for his entire boyhood was passed on the frontier, first in Iowa 
and later in California. In 1853, 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 ))ringing $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 branched 
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 Rachel 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 
Roxanna, the wife of C'. B. Dorrity. Mr. Stokes espouses the prin- 
ci])les of the Republican ])arty, 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 connnunity. 
His activities date from 1891, when he bought his pro]ierty south 
of Tulare. He was born in Si)ringfield, 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 Coo]ier county, Mo., by Jacob McFarland, his 
father, who was a native of North Carolina, and there he grew uji, 
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 Si)ringfield, where he ])assed away in 18fi.3. 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 Cavalrv, 


into which he was inustered at Springfield in March, 1865, when he 
was in his sixteenth year. "William McFarland married Martha 
Eoberts, 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. lie 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 
battle 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 bou^iit 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 
boiight 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 
early in Missouri and died there some time after the Civil war, in 
which he saw' service in the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, U. S. A. To 
Mr. and Mrs. McFarland have been born two children. Their daugh- 


ter Clara married W. J. Abercrombie of Tulare. Their son Charles 
G. is a rancher near that city. Mrs. McFarland is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. In i^olitics Mr. McFarland is Repub- 


Of those who are encased in ranchino' and stock-raisiuf? in the 
vicinity of Hanford, Kinj^s 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 respectively 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 January, 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 employment in the Golden State was 
in the redwood lumber camps controlled by San 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 Tulare 
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 successful 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 eighty aci'es. five 
miles north of Hanford, besides two hundred acres in Fresno county, 
all of which is well improved. lie has forty acres in fruit, to the 


cultivation of which he gives considerable attention. He is interested 
in irrigation i^rojects and is a director of the People's Ditch com- 
pany and also of the Riverside 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 G. Latham, who was a native of Sutter 
county, born on August 7, 1870. They have three sons, Cloyd Bur- 
ton, a student in Heald's Business College at Fresno; Russell 
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. In all matters pertaining to the well-being of the county or 
the people, 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. William 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 ])ioneer 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 Dowdney, who liecame 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; Gilead 
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 
county, north of Visalia. 

At Rush, near Montrose, Susquehanna, Pa., Ezra Lathro]i 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 his 
mother died, and then he set out to make his own way in the world. 


Foi" a time he was employed on farms, but in 18(i4 sought fortune in 
the West as a member of an emii^rant party that crossed the plains. 
The Indians were unusually troublesome at that time, but the train 
went unmolested up the Platte and by 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 been 
his home and found employment as a driver of six-horse teams in 
mountain freighting. In 1874 he homesteaded eighty acres of gov- 
ernment land north of Tulare, which, with other lands, he began to 
cultivate six years later, and b\' adjoining purchases he came to own 
four hundred and tliirty acres. He formerly owned the Round Valley 
ranch of thirty-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 comjietitor 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 ap])ointed him its local agent. In 
1886 the two concerns were merged as the San Joaquin Lumlier Com- 
pany and his agency was continued. When the new comi)any was 
incorporated he became its manager and had its atfairs in charge 
until Xoveml)er, 1898, when it retired from business. He was one of 
the ]iromoters of the Gas Company of Tulare, was financially inter- 
ested in it when it was incorporated, 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 comiiromise with the bondholders of the Tulare 
Irrigation district resulted in a gi'aud 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 Tulare, 
the oldest in the town, of which he was president from that day to the 
time of his death, November 17, 1908, and which has been an important 
aid to the welfare of the people. It is apparent that a record of the 
life of Mr. Lathrop is in a sense a record of the jirogress and develop- 
ment of Tulare, for he was inseparably identified with many of its 
leading interests. Politically he was a Democrat until 1896. Then, 
unable to su|)iioit tlie financial tlicories of Mr. Bryan, lie liccnme a Re- 


publican. Fraternally he affiliates with the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen, which 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 l)io- 
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 Ayer, 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 sijecialized 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 Rossou. 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 Em]3orium biiilding. 

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. Lentil 
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 Sauitorium, Inc. Though he is in constant de- 
mand as a family physician, he is in still wider demand as a sur- 

a ^ Jii^iJ 

<f ^ ^^^^^LJb 


geou aud 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. Rossou married Miss Burnett of Tulare, who has 
borne him three sous, John, Charles and Robert. Socially he affili- 
ates with the Improved Order of Red Men and with Hanford Lodge 
No. 1259, B. P. 0. 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 iu 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 helloed 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 1814. 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 
parties 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 
camp, 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 California 
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. ('. Stokes married Sarah J. Lj^tle, a native of Mis- 
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 him 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 
valley; their chiidixm are Stokley, Rub.y, 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 prominence 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 grizzly 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 three 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 190.3 and 
lias branches at Visalia and at Corcoran. Its officers are: S. B. An- 


derson, president; P. E. Reinhart, 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 equipi)ed with up-to- 
date machiuery and appliances of all kinds necessary to its successful 
operation. Its output of two tons of butter 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 count}' 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 ])ractical 
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 i^ro- 
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 be also affiliates 
with the order of Woodmen of the World. 

Twice has Mr. Cartmill married, the first time, in 1883, 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 William G. Cartmill. 

Mrs. Cartmill 's maiden name was Jane Gilmer. She is the daugh- 


ter of Rufus Gilmer, of Visalia. By her first busbaud, 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, wliose ranch is three miles 
northwest of Hanford, Kings county, Cal., has come to his present 
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 laud, then worth next to nothing, is now 
valued at $250 an acre and upward. 

To the student of history genealogy is a fascinating pursuit 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 O. Blowers, his grandfather, who 
early settled in Crawford county, Ohio, where he pre-empted 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 thirty-eight years. 

When Mr. Blowers was ten years old he was brought to Califor- 
nia by his uncle, R. B. Blowers, who became a pioneer 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 mountain district when he 
was but fifteen years old. 

His next venture was as a farmer in Yolo county, but in 1874 
he transferred his interests to Kings county, where he has since 
lived. He bought a railroad laud 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 which were boxed in Tulare county, which then in- 
cliided the present Kings county, and he originated tlie 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 from 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, Rali)h 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 ])ul)lic s]iirit, 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 liardshi])S 
and trials which are woven in the history-making of the Atlantic coast. 
From this intrepid jiioneer liave descended men of valor in war and 
painstaking industry in times of peace. During the Revolutionary 


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 ^laria 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, (irundy 
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 S^Tacuse, N. Y., June 28, 1836. 
At the of six years he accompanied his parents to Illinois, there 
obtaining a primary education in the public schools, after which he 
alternated teachin,g 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 
armv, and aecordin.gly 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 those 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 oi'dered 
east as commander-in-chief. Soon afterward Captain White was 
placed on detached service and for a short time was assistant quar- 
termaster at '^'icksbur.g. after which he joined his regiment and aided 
General Custer in Louisiana during the reconstruction period. In 
Memphis, Teuu., January 26, 1866, he was honorably discharged witli 
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 tlie wounding and death 
of comrades on every hand, he esca]ied 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 l)otli climate 
and occupation proved uusuited 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 ]nirchased 
a ranch, Imt 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 apjiointed 
deputy to the internal revenue collector, William Iligby, whose dis- 
trict embraced Kern, Tulare, Fresno, Merced and Stanislaus counties, 
with headquarters in Visalia. Captain White retained the office of 
deputy until 1889, during which time he also continued 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 include 
grazing lands. It was during 1891 that Captain White was appointed 
under-sheriff to Sherit¥ Overall, an office which he held for eighteen 
months. Subsequently, from 189.3 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, comi)rising 
more than two million acres in Kern, Fresno, Tulare and Inyo 
counties, with headquarters in Visalia. It goes without saving that 
the position entailed many responsibilities, but he has proved amply 
qualified to discharge every duty with a master hand, his long 
ex])erience in many avenues of activity having equipped him with 
a breadth of knowledge and extent of information j^otli rare and 
valuable. rV 

It was after coming to Visalia that Cai)tain White foi'uied 
domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Ilattie Pauline Anthony, a 
native of Watertown, N. Y. By right of his service in the Civil war 


Oaptain White is associated with the Grand Army of the Republic, 
twice serving- as commander of Gen. George Wright Post No. 111. 
Under appointment l)y 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 
conntj^ central committee and for two terms officiated as its chairman. 
He took an active part in the councils of that liody, 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 he 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 liorn in 
Nevada county, in 1876. When he was seven years old his parents 
moved to the Capay valley, in Yolo comity, where he was educated 
in the public schools and acquired some knowledge of farming. In 
1898, when he was about twenty-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 the 
Grand stables, and finally of the City stables. After a year and a 
half spent in Tulare following his retirement from this business, he 
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 forty acres 
of other land, eighty acres of which is half a mile southeast and 
one hundred and sixty acres three miles southwest of bis homestead. 
The larger tract is used for farming and grazing and the smaller 
one is rented and devoted to the production of corn and other grain. 
One hundred and sixty acres of the home ranch 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 puhlio spirit has led him to identify himself 
with mam' 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. AVright, 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 sou and a daughter, Alice Charlotte and Newton 
Elliott, who are now (1913) aged resiieetively 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 18.39, in Dunham township, 
McHeury 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 i)ublication of a weekly newsi)a])er called the Eclipse. 
There he entered the printing office and learned tlie ])rinter's trade. 
In 1880 he purchased an interest in the Eclipse, and subsequently, 
with his brother, established the Allison Trihimc, a weekly news- 
paper at Allison, tlie county seat of Butler county, Iowa. The two 
brothers conducted these pai)ers for a number of years, Init linally 
dissolved partnership, Fred becoming sole proprietor of tlie Par- 
kersburg paper, which he edited and ])ublished 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 Pai-kersbui'g, and in 1887 they moved 
to TIanford, Cal., where they ))iirchased five acres of land on the 
edge of what was then the town limits. Here they erected a cottage, 


and Mr. Dodge entered the office of the Ilanford Sentinel, wliich was 
established 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 i)u])lish tlie 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 tlie business 
manager of the paper. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dodge are the parents of two children, born in 
Ilanford, George Ra^^nond, born February 3, 1891, and Florence 
Mildred, born November 16, 1895. , 

Mr. Dodge has for more than thirt>' years been in the harness 
of a newspaper man, most of the time engaged at editorial woi-k. 
"While he has served many terms on boards of education, boards 
of library work, and on business and commercial committees, he has 
never sought 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 
develojjnient 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, president ; 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 bjink 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; G. B. Chinn, Stiles 
McLaughlin, L. S. Step, 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 fight begins. Apropos of the above 
sulijeet, 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 Sbeet 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 Imilding 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 enter]jrises of the growing and prosperous 
city of Visalia. Against the moderate charges for services, no 
com]ilaint 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 ]ierfection maintained in 
their work. The firm is owned and controlled l)y Isaac Clark and 
Frank A. Newman, long established citizens of the community. 

Isaac Clark was born in P'rankfort, Maine, January V2, 1870, 
and u)ion comj^letion of his education learned the stone-cutter's trade, 
which 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 apjn-entice to Malcolm & Dyer, ])himbers, after 
which for five years he filled the position of custodian of the Augusta 
city hall. In 1905 he innnigrated to California, and choosing Visalia 
as his permanent location, accepted a position as sheet metal worker 
for the Cross Hardware Co. Upon the erection of the factory 
of the Pacific Sugar Co., Mr. Clark was engaged by said company 


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. Newman 
ranched several years and also served as foreman of the Harrell 
stock and grain ranch. 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 iipon 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 company have 
equipped 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 Reedley grammar school ; 
all the sheet metal woi'k on the First National Bank 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 may 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. H. White, Ralph Goldstein, Meyer 
E. Eiseman, two houses for J. F. Carter, Mrs. Oaks' home and 



OL^C^ ^^/A <:='C.-n^ , 


uiimeroiis other private resideuces in Visalia aud throughout Tulare 

Both Mr. CMark and Mr. Newman by their rigidly fair and 
honest dealings have won the trust aud 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. 
Yaughan, 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 dcvelov)- 
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 Ramsey's canyon and going to the school at that 
place. He would sit so he could watch the door of his shop and 
when a customer would come he would have to leave the school- 
room and attend to his wants and then return to his books. He 
was also a member of the Territorial militia aud 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 
I)uildings suitable for their needs and began the development of the 


land. He now has one liimdred 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, 184-1, in Mississip]ii, 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 
lirother, Andrew Henry "^'aughau, 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 Sori'ells, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., born July 1.3, 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. O. 0. P., 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 Eebekahs. 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 AV. 
T. Vaughan. 


The president of the Hays Cattle Co., John N. Hays, a prominent 
business man of Kings county, Cal., has had a career the history of 
which thus far is both interesting and instructive, and it should be 


an encouragement to yoiuig men who would sueoeed in spite of lack 
of capital and in the face of many obstacles. Mr. Hays was lioru in 
Missouri, Fe})ruary 3, 1854, and came to California in Sejitember, 
1872, when lie was in his nineteenth year. The first eigliteen months 
of his life here were spent in Mariposa county, where he was emiiloyed 
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 uj) 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 been 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 independently until 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 Comi)any, of which he is president; Eoy 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 develoinnent 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 Com]3any. 
Pauline married Clarence Esrey of Lemoore. Alice is Mrs. William 
McAdam and her husl)and is operating in the oil field. In 1907 Mr. 
Hays united his life with that of Mrs. Jeanette Bryan, who has 
borne him children whom they have named Richard Ujiton, Doi-otln- 
and Ann. 


The forceful character of the citizenshij) of J. D. Biddlc during 
the past (|uarter of a century has given him for all time a place 
in the annals of the state as well as of Hanford, which li;is Ikmmi his 


permanent home during this 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 liis parents, and at the 
age of twenty-seven, in 1879, made his first trip to tlie 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 Shelliy- 
ville, Teun., 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 shee}), as well 
as wool, the latter being gathered from a large territory, extending 
from Mexico to the Oregon line. His shipments of this commodity 
are large, being made to all ]:iarts 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 shee]:) in 
his possession at one time. 

In financial circles throughout the San Joaquin valley few 
names 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 ])urchase of some of the best 
oil lands in the Coalinga district, and following this he organized 
several oil com])anies which are now organizations controlling great 
wealth, these and the banks through which the business is carried 
on representing 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 property is still 
owned by the various comjianies, in all of which Mr. Biddle is a 
director, as follows: Investment Oil Company and the Phoenix Oil 
Company. Other companies were also organized in the Bakersfield 
district, but these have since been disposed of. 


Not only was Mr. Biddle a pioneer and moving spirit in the 
industries above mentioned, l)ut he has been equally forceful along- 
agricultural aud horticultural lines. During his early years here 
he 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, the Redwood vineyard and orchard of one hundred 
and twenty acres, the Savings Bank vineyard and orchard, consisting 
of eighty acres south of llanford, 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 his large fruit interests Mr. Biddle erected a grading plant 
on the Bonanza ranch, where he was prepared to dry, cure and 
bleach the 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 bought raisins and peaches all over this section, 
paying the local packers in the countrj- 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 the packing 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 the rebuilding of the block formerly 
occupied by the city stables, the site now occupied by the 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 the corporation of which he 
was a member and subsequently sold to B. J. Turner. Through an 
exchange of property Mr. Biddle became the owner of the 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; aud 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. 


Reference has elsewhere been made to Mr. Biddle's interest 
and activities in the stock business. It was no uncommon thing 
for him to have on hand from ten to twenty tliousand hogs on the 
McJunkin ranch, one and a half miles north of Hanford. It was 
during his earliest experiences in the business that he attemjited to 
fatten his hogs on grain that had been saved as salvage from a large 
fire in Stockton. He ]nirchased the damaged grain to the extent of 
one hundred thousand sacks, or one hundred cars, and shipi)ed it to 
Hanford. It required all of the vehicles available 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 whicli 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 
ex]ierience was a costly one. but it did not deter Mr. Biddle from 
making further investigations as to the most desirable 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 eacli, 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 the Panama canal. He 
has also been an active member of a connnittee appointed by the 
supervisors of Kings county for the purpose of preparing a ]ietition 
for bringing the main highway through Hanford, the county seat, 
through Visalia to Bakersfield. He has also been appointed a memljer 
of the highwav commission to meet in Sacramento in January. 1913, 


wheu the above matter will oome before the commission for discus- 
sion and settlement. 

In the early days when Hanford 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 style, and in this too Mr. Biddle took the lead. In the 
disi)la>' was one wagon to which were attached twenty-four large 
white horses, followed 1)\' 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 sliii)ping the tirst 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 persevei'ance. 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 Monteagle orchards, live 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 hundred 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 solel.v 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 jiipe and galvanized iron surface pipe. There 
is six miles of the cement ])ipe and the iron pipe is used instead of 
ditches. This notable irrigation system will be connected and com- 
pleted before the end of 191,'!. 


The McAdams have put on 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 coimty 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 resignaed 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 Denii}-, of Santa Barbara county; Theodore, of C'oaliuga; 
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 ]iolitical afiiliations 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 ]:)articular 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 Devil's Den and 
Kettleman's Hills and in the West End Oil company, the property of 
which he located in August, 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 heljied 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, 18.35, when he was born in Illinois, until in November, 1908, 
when he died at his home in Ilanford, Kings county, Cal. He grew 
to manhood on the farm in Hancock county. 111., and was married 
April 14, 18.55, to Miss Elizabeth Cowan, who was liorn in Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, April 18, 18.35, 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 county, settling on railroad land in the GrnTige- 


ville seetion four miles west of Ilanford, homesteading at the same 
time one hiuidred 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 tlie settlers, and was at Hanford at the 
time of the historic tight. 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 wounded on the ground ; Mr. Blo>d 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 his 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 children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bloyd, viz: Rosalie 
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 pultlieatiou; and Willie Wilford, who lives in Kings county. 
Of these 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 i>lain on which wild horses and cattle 
roamed at will and in all of the tlevelopment down to a comparatively 
recent time he manfully did his part, for he was public spirited 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 ]iractically 
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 in 1871 he took the law course of that institution; 
in 1874 he was admitted to the hnv to practice as a lawyer in the 
Su])renie Court of Illinois. He soon afterward went to Minnesota, 
where he taught school two years, also procuring admission to 
practice in the Supreme Court of that state, and he was in profes- 
sional woi-k 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 l)ar, 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 eiTorts 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 pojmlarit.v 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 PI 
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 McAdan) ranches, 
consists of one hundred and eiglity acres, ninety acres of which is 
rented for dairy purposes and seventy-five 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. McAdani 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 McAdani 
ranch has been evidence of his capability for the liandliug 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 ])art of the county. 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 l)een 
identified with its financial, commercial 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 in 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 overland with 
him in 1874 and settled at Tulare county. Tliis 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 liein,i>' at Bi'azil, Trenton and Huml)oldt. lie had learned 
the milling business and ran a flouring mill at Trenton, later at Hum- 
boldt, and this experience i)roved 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 nuich 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 Ms 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, built the Lemoore mill, of which he took 
charge and built up a prosperous business, in 1880 selling it at a hand- 
some [irofit. 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 collajDsed and Mr. Biddle was greatly in- 
convenienced financially by the disaster. He turned to R. E. Hyde, 
the lianker 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 brother he 
conducted a profitable farm implement business until 1887, at which 
time his banking interests became his most vital business. 

On Ai)ril 11, 1887, was launched the Bank of Hanford, iu 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 this capacity for a long period, and wlieu this 
was succeeded by the 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 tlie 
execution of his duties in general. 

Along with these heavy business cares, Mr. Biddle had found time 
to give himself to public ser\dce, 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 commissioners, 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. Newport, William Ogden, E. E. Bush and 
G. X. AYendling. 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; Beta H., 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 casliier and manager of the 
Hanford National Bank, conspicuous in various pul)lic 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, 1863. a sou 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 liis trade when the Civil war 
began. Inspired by the patriotic blood of Revolutionary 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 W^esteru Union Telegraph Company in Boston and in different 
cities of Maine until the fall of 1882, a year known in telegraphic 
historj" as "the year of the great strike." Then he came to Cali- 
fornia, and vmtil 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.~E. 
Railsback, one thousand acres of land thirteen miles south of Han- 
ford, which is rented for dairy purposes. He is interested in or- 
chards witli Mr. Eailsback and Charles King, and they own a fine 
fruit farm north of Grangeville, where they have ninety acres de- 
voted to prunes, lie was one of the organizers of the Lake Land 
Canal Company and one of the builders of its improvements. 

November 15, 1888, Mr. Wright married Etta Ranard, who was 
l)()rn 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 amlntion for an 
official career. Fraternally he affiliates with the Indejiendent Order 
of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World. He has won his 
success l)y liis own unaided efforts, through the forcefulness of a 
character the distinguishing characteristics of which are integrity, 
earnestness, independence and self-reliance. 


The proniiiu'ut citizen of Tuhire county whose name is al)ove 
and whose residence is at No. 108 West Center street, Visalia, is a 
son of Frank 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 tlie four sous 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, lie 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 California, and they have three children : Ethel 

j» /^, ^>4^.^^^X^ 


v., wife of William B. Rowland; Ray F., and Neill J. Mr. Jordan 
affiliates fraternally with Lodge No. 128, F. & A. M., of Visalia; 
Chapter No. 44, R. A. M. ; Conniiandery 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 jiarty in 1!H)4 and at one 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 
emergencj' his fellow citizens have found his public spirit equal to 
any demand upon it. 


A factor and a landmark in the history of Kings county is Dr. 
Benjamin Hamlin, of Lemoore, who was born Janiuiry 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 no 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 county, 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 pro\'ide for cui-rent 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 ])ractice 
in St. Joseph county, Mich., and while practicing here he volunteered 
his services in the Civil wai-, 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 
practice of medicine with tlie 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 roundal:)put 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 puV)lished 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 i)hilanthropy and kindness, 
and hundreds of needy and unfortunate people at San Francisco as 
well as Lemoore will ever bless her for her gentle and generous aid. 


Of Scotch highland 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 hope to accomplish 
in California, if he makes it his business to succeed. It was at 


Milton, across our nortliern liorder, that he tirst 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, ('apt. 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 tighter whose history 
is a ]>art of the history of California. 

P. A. McLean has had many interesting and not a few thrilling- 
experiences. 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, and to his grave he will 
carry a bullet in Jiis 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 first 
bank and the first gristmill, and later had a blacksmith slio]i, and 
the earliest gristmill at Spokane was erected by him. 

In his native town, Mr. McLean learned the trades of blacksmith 
and carriage maker, though his apprenticeship was finished at St. 
Johnsbury, Vt. After a time he found employmemnt on the Vermont 
Central railroad, and in 18(i6 he went to Chicago, where, a few years 
later, he built the first cabin after the Great Fire on the site of the 
old ])ostoffice 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 tri]) on horseback from 
there took him to Idaho and Washingtcni. It was on the 7th of 
November, 1876, that he made his first apjiearance in Tulare county, 
riding astride a nnistang. lie has lived there most of the time since, 
always identified with the county's growth and develoi)meiit. For 
a long time he made his honu> in \'isalia, where he had a blacksmith 
shop, but did a good deal of carpentering. He it was who framed 
the first joist that went into the construction of Ihc old coui'thouse. 


and iuto that same historic strneture he put the doors and huilt 
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 
Eosenthal 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 sho]j at Tulare 
and with the supervision of his jn'operty. Public office has been 
thrust upon him from time to time. He was a dei:)uty sheriff in 
Vermont, a justice of the peace at Cheney, Wash., and a school 
trustee at Cochrane, Cal. He heljjed 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 both with 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 daughter, 
Sarah F. 


A California pioneer of 1851, a miner, a fruit grower, a man of 
many interesting exi)eriences in all parts of the world, thus, 
briefly, might be summed up the biograi)hy of Charles AV. Tozer ; 
but there is very much more to tell, and no old Californian would 
regard this book as complete if in some measure it did not tell it. 
Mr. Tozer was l)orn 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 tlie early days thereafter mined in Amador, Cala- 
veras and Trinity counties. He was, in fact, interested in raining 
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 AVasliingtou, where he installed a large stamp mill. 
To the mining fraternity of the entire covmtry he was known as 
an expert mining engineer. In tlie prosecution of his work in new 
and wild districts he frequently i^articipated in scenes peculiar to 


gold diggings at the times under consideration. During his 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 1891) 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. Q. 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 younger 
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 Springs, .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 creek. After that fight his comj^any 
was so small because so many of its members had been killed that 


it was assigTied 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 conmiand 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, Ky., thence to Cincinnati 
and thence to Baltimore, where the regiment joined its old command. 
A coast voj-age followed and Mr. Scott was shipwrecked in Cuban 
waters, but was finally lauded in North Carolina and marched to 
Newberne, where fighting was resumed. After the fight at Golds- 
boro, the regiment was marched to Kaleigh, 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 AV.. 
Hiram Curtis, Thaddeus M., Sidney F., Lee Esting, Flora C. All 
have died except Thaddeus M. and Sidney F. John AV. married Nancy 
Harmon, by whom lie had a son named Edmund L. By a second mar- 
riage two daughters were born. Sidney F. married Nellie Wilson 
and has had four children: Ray, Leslie, Maynard and Flora. Leslie 
has passed away. 

From Indiana Mr. Scott moved in 1866 to Montgomery county, 
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 preempting 
and improving land, after which he returned to Union Star, DeKalb 
county, 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 until 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 public spirited and helpful. In politics he is 
Republican. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic 
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 
l)y 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 
public 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 
methods and his farm is fitted with good buildings and modern 
machinery 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 coui)le: William 
li. ; Leonard L. ; Nettie M., who married George Tilton ; Clarence 
E. ; Clara E., widow of Walter 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 whicli time he learned a good deal about farming, more about 
hunting, and in pulilic 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 dutj'' 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 tlirough to Sacramento, Cal., 
near which place he worked in the mines two years. In 1866 he came 
to Tulare county witli no more definite imrpose than to hiuit awhile, 
but the country pleased him so well that he determined to remain. 
Improvements were few and there was game everywhere, liear and 
deer especially being ])lentiful. 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 AVilcox and Frank Knowles were with 
him, and they have often testified that it weighed, dressed and with- 
out liide or head, fifteen hundred and fifty pounds. Mr. Slocum went 
on his first liear lumt when he was about tw6nty-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 land. He took up one himdred 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 present time. He has for many years been a 
member of the local school board and has in other ways been gener- 

(x-> yh,^/^^ 



oiisly 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 number of violins and guitars 
of an excellent quality. 


This higlily respected citizen of Hanford, Kings county, Cal., 
has duriug 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 practical 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 
Y'ork 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 Cit.v, 
Hangtown (now Placerville), and other mining centers and selling 
goods at the stores in all .the camps round about. Tims 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 Angeles, Cal., and soon engaged in buying cattle, whicla he 
drove to Bakersfield. 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 ori.ginal 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, ])ut in alfalfa, built levees, 
extended the ditch, sold it and afterward managed it two years, under 


the (lirtH'tioii of W. B. Carr, making during tliat time $15 a day over 
and above the support of bis family. From there he came to Tulare 
county and in 1886-87 l)OUght land at the mouth of Cross creek, twelve 
miles south of Hanford. One section, which be bought of 0. E. Mil- 
ler, at $2.75 an acre, is still owned in bis family and is now worth 
over $150 an acre. Another section, which he bought of Bird & 
Smith and which 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 land from the Cross creek overflow for settlers in that 
vicinity. Mr. McCord farmed there and raised horses and stock 
on a large scale, juitting in more than one thousand acres of alfalfa 
on bis own land, and maintained his home in Hanford while o])erating 
there. The family now owns eight hundred acres of that property. 

In 1874 Mr. McCord and his son Dallas opened a butcher shop 
at Bakerstield. 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 filling 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 Bakerstield and San Francisco. In bis younger 
years be was an athlete and won honors at Vacaville and Suisun and 
later at Bakerstield and was first president of the Bakerstield Ath- 
letic club. For a long period be was renowned as a boxer, and when 
he was sixty-five years old be won in a wrestling match with an 
o])ponent of twenty-eight. He drove bis own teams through Tulare 
county from Tipton to Bakerstield before the advent of the railroad 
and lie 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, wliich was even- 
tually absorbed by the Santa Fe system. Mr. McCord early liecame 
expert in the handling of horses and was champion of all horse 
trainers round San Francisco and Bakerstield for some years. 

In February, 1850, Mr. McCord married Lois Sophia Crii)i)en, 
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 bis 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 iiassed 
away at Hanford in April, 1911, and was buried by the order of 
Eastern Star. Mr. McCord has long been widely known as a Mason. 

When county division was talked of he was a strong advocate 
and supporter of the movement, and for every other ujibuilding 
agency of the state and county. He has never asjiired 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 Ills (tpi)onent five to one in a Democratic stronghold. 


A native of Sweden, Alfred Peterson is descended from old fami- 
lies of that country. He was born August 2.3, 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 foimd 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 emjiloyed 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, l)uying 
an engine of twenty-four horse power. At the exi)iration of two 
years he took over the business, which he continued until in the fall 
of 1901, when he retired in order to devote himself ahuost exclusively 
to stockraising. In 1893 he liad farmed at the Oaks, north of town, 
on one hundred and sixty acres of land leased for one season. In 
the si)ring 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 tlie road, south 
of the other property. Pie has introduced many im])rovements 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 pasturage. 

The marriage of Mr. Peterson, in Chicago, in the spring of the 
year 1904, united him with Miss Hilda Anderson, who was born near 


Westervik, Smoland, Sweden, and they have children named Cai'l, 
George 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 the 
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 \4sit 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 pasture land. Tlioui>Ii yoimft- 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 public spiritedly helpful to all 
wortliv 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 Vernon, Knox county, Ohio, 
October 13, 1823, son of AVilliam Wright, who was born, reared and 
educated in England ; he was a ])ioneer 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 ISfjO, 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, atid 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, about twenty-five miles, he made on 'foot. 
From 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 1854 he and 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 comjiauy for his present home- 
stead on which he located that year. He set about improving his prop- 
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 sclioolhouse in Tulare. A Repulilican 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 14, 1851, Mr. Wright married 
Charlotte A. Phillips and they had four children, as follows : Victoria 
is Mrs. A. D. Nefif 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 Wright 
home at Tulare, California. 


This well-known nurseryman, who is agent for the Capital Cit> 
Nursery and whose residence is in Emma Lee Colony, northwest of 
the limits of Hanford, is a native of County Antrim, Ireland, and 


was born in 1862. The Courtney progenitors came from Holland 
with Prince William and fought in the religious wars. On the 
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 opposite 
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 property 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 months 
as a carpenter. During his stay in Boston he heard nmch 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 throughout the country round about. In 1902 he became 
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 1903 he 
bought five acres of land for a home at the northwest corner of the 
city, pacing $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, which he intends to ]iut 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 country, three of prunes, three of apiicots, 
seven of tal)le grapes, Francjuette walnuts, olives, plums, eucalyptus 
trees, shade trees, palms and roses. 

The place on which Mr. Courtney lives was formerly owned by 
one Knudson, who was shot at tlie time of the Mussel Slough trouble; 


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 Eoper, 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 July, 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 gos]iel. 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 employed 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 Erganian, 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 they 
have a son named Sergius and 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 
fifty acres of land at $50 an acre at Yettem. He has thirty acres of 

J>(u^cli ^/oAjuL^ 


viues, a small orchard, and ten acres of pasture, aud intends to take 
up tlie cultivation of oranges and peaclies on the other ten acres. 
Although he purchased tlie land Itnt four years ago, it is now worth 
about $300 an acre. He has built a good house on the proijerty and 
keeps enough stock and horses for his own use. Mr. Melidouian is 
a Rei)ublican, a Presbytei-iau, a member of the Royal Arcanum and 
a ]n-ogressive citizen of much 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 olitained 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 ])rei)ared 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. liowever, he soon 
found a field of usefulness at Green Bay, Wis., where he taught 
three years in the jiublic school, and he was the author of several 
innovations the wisdom of which was soon evident to the school offi- 
cials and the public 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 sjn-ing 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 barm and tliey arrived 
in Los Angeles in Seplcmltci-. From Los Angeles Mr. Baker came 
on to Visalia. At Rockyfoi-d, while he was heljjing to bale one 
hundred tons of hay, he met a county superintendent of schools who 
wanted to employ a teacher. There were at that time only two iiub- 


lie schools in the county and Mr. Baker established a private school 
which he tau^^:ht two years. After this he went north to investigate 
the mines of eastern California and was soon employed as principal 
of the pviblic 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 results convinced him that there 
was nothing- in mining for gold without the investment of considerable 
capital. So successful was he there as a teacher tliat 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 liquors 
and inspector of tobacco with increasing responsibility and emolu- 
ment, meanwhile serving four years on the board of education of 
Visalia. lie 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 i^aid. This work he con- 
tinued until his health began to fail. 

In October, 1872, Mr. Baker married Sarah Josephine Drake, a 
native of Ohio, whose j^arents 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 her husband adopted 
a boy, who became known as William M. Baker. Martha A. married 
L. B. King and bore him four children. Royal R. married Nellie J. 
Hodges and they live at Farmersville, and have a son and a daughter. 
Chauncey M. married Olive E. Hargraves of Mendocino county, who 
taught school at Dunlap. 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 lousiness college at Stockton in 1902 and is a competent stenographer 
and bookkeeper. 

From A'isalia Mr. Baker removed to Shipes valley, now j^o))- 
ularly known as the Foot of Baker mountain. He took up a squat- 
ter's claim and pre-emiited and homesteaded land and has added to 
his holdings from time to time imtil 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 principally to stock. He has on his proj)- 
ertv fullv five thousand cords of wood and indiA'idual oak trees which 


would cut fifty cords eacli. He keeps about two liuudi'cd liead of 
stock and twenty horses. He has sold many cattle at Hume Mills, 
about twenty miles away. His ho,s>s have brought him ten to twelve 
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 ])olitics, Mr. Baker is a Repulilican wlio is i)roud of tlie fact 
that he cast his first Presidential vote for Aln-aham Lincoln, and he 
has for many years filled the oflices of school trustee and clerk of the 
local school board. Formerly he was an active member of the Ma- 
sonic order. 


In Fountain county on the Wabash river in Indiana I' rank Usboru, 
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 OsI)orn brought his family to California in 
1875 and settled in Tulare county on the Upper Tule river near 
Globe, where he bought land and achieved 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 connnunity 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. Evans, 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 mai'ked musical ability from his talented mothei-. 
As such he liecame known throughout all the country round about 
Visalia, and he was long in great demand as a teacher of \'ocal 
classes during the wintei' tiiDiiths, for many years leading the choir 
of the Chi'istian chui-ch at N'isalia. In 1897 he was appointed super- 
intendent of the Tulai'e County Hospital at Visalia, which position 
he has since filled with a degree of ability and integrity which lias 
commended him to all the jjcople of the county. He has in all his 
relations with his fellowmen i>i-oven himself ]mblie spirited in an 
eminent degree. Fraternally he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias. 


In 1870 Mr. Osboru married Miss Ellen 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) Osboru 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. Cary. 


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 "\"olunteer Infantry, with which 
he served until June, 1865, when he was honoralily 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 engagements, including the fight in the Wilder- 
ness, the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, where he was wounded ; 
the fighting in front of Petersburg, 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 stoi)i)ing 
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 uni)romising 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 jnit in two crops, and in June, 1899, 
came to Kings county and worked a year near Armona. In his 
second year there he liought twenty-two and a half acres, eight miles 
south of Armona, on which he built a house and put all other im- 


provenients, setting six acres to a vineyard and a family orchard and 
giving the remainder over to alfalfa, and this is his present home 
jihiee. He began here as a stockraiser and was snccessful for some 
3'ears. 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 brovight to the United States when three 
months old and grew to womanhood in New York state. They have 
five living children: The Eev. 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 dairying on his father's land. 
William E., Jr., was accidentally killed by a boiler explosion, aged 
twenty-five years, and Mina M. was married to E. E. 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. E. 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 lie was nine years old was taken by his 
parents from Kentucky to Johnson county, Kans., where he finished 
his education in the public school and gained a practical knowledge 
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 county, 
where he later bought eighty acres of land, mostly under alfalfa. 
When wheat began to be gathered on the farms round about to the 
extent of ten sacks to the acre he sold his eighty acres of alfalfa land 
and bought a half section near by, which he farmed until Deceml)er 1, 
1908, when he came to his present ranch of fifty-two and one-half 
acres near Visalia. He keeps an average of two hundred and twenty- 
five hogs, which yield him a good annual profit. Twenty-three acres 
of Egyptian corn has given Iiim fifty tons, and his land has returned 


him seventy bushels of ludiau 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 eucal\-]")tus trees. 

In 1883 Mr. Mardis married Miss Josephine Collins, a nati\e of 
California, whose father was a pioneer in the Deer Creek section. 
She ])assed away, leaving two children, Oliver and Alice. By his 
marriage with Miss Lucy Bunton, a native of Missouri, Mr. Mardis 
has two daughters, Anna and Claudine. As a farmer he is thor- 
oughly up to date in every dejiartment of his work, and his pair of 
finely matched black colts for which he has 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 res]ionsibility. at that time going to Texas, where he hunted 
buffalo on the plains. From there he went to Arizona and followed 
mining from the sjiring of 1878 until P^ebruary 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. Xews])a])er 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, he worked on the Chronicle. Giving \\\i 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 he 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 this 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 (if the superior court and thereafter gave his whole time and 
attention to the duties and obligations which thus devolved upon him. 

A hope which Mr. Maddox had long cherished was realized when, 
on Thanksgiving Day, 1890, he became the ownei- 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 al)le 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 secretarj' of state on the Democratic ticket, but was defeated in 
the election. As secretary of the Democratic state central committee 
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 Fruit 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 up 
and put on the market the Lindsay Heights and Nob 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. They have 
five children, Morley M., Hazel C, Euth E., Dickson F. and Ben 
M., Jr. Fraternally Mr. Maddox is a Knight Templar and a thirty- 
second degree Mason; also Itelonging to the Shrine, the Knights of 
Pvthias and the Woodmen of the World. 


The ranch of this enterprising Tulare county farmer is one of the 
well-known McAdani ranches. It is located five miles west of Tulare 
and consists of three liundix'd and twenty acres. Mr. McAdam has 
one hundred and twenty acres rent('(l out for dniiy imiposes. The 


remainder of the ranch is oradnally 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 out. 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 
six 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, stockraisers and dair^inen 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. 

William 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, Eobert McAdam, they being located in Yuma 
countv, 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 
l)y al)out 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 his home was in the vicinity 
of A'isalia. In 1880 he settled on his ranch of three hundred and 
twenty acres three miles from Siiringville. 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 that they have conferred upon him 
for twenty years the honor of the office of school trustee. 


Farming and stock-raising have not commanded 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 Spriugville. In 1911 Mr. Akin started a nurserj- known as 
Akin's nurserj', which is devoted to the raising of oranges. He 
makes a specialty of Wasliington 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 five 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, and the fifth is being educated 
there. Their mother died February 2, 1911, and was buried near 
Springville. It will be 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 j^ears in the 
state hunting in the woods and on the plains. He relates that 
within a comparatively short time he and his l)rother-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- 
ternallv he is a member of the Court of Honor. 


One of the successful and highly esteemed of the younger 
business men of Hanford, Kings county, Cal., is W. C. Gallaher, 
wholesale and retail dealer in meats. Born in Missouri, February 
11, 1874, Mr. Gallaher came to the vicinity of Hanford when lie was 
about eleven years old and grew to manhood in Kings county. !iis 
first business engagement was as an assistant in the meat market 
of E. Selbah, at Lemoore, where he rejnained for two ;ind a lialf 
years, during which time Mr. Selbah passed away. Mr. Gallaher in 
partnershiji with I. Burlington then leased the market from Mrs. 
Selbah and 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 nu'at market on the site of the ^^ogel 
store on Seventh street, but this establislmient was destroyed by fire 
January 3, li)03, and ho later occupied a little shack which ])roved 


most inadequate to his needs. On tlie tirst of February, 19U5, be 
moved into his present building on North Irwin street, and here 
he has since done 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 
countj% 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 organizations 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 ability to 
further its development and prosperity. 


The editor of the Exeter Swi, published 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 supjiression 
of which he took part with his regiment. Captain Knight i)assed 
away in Nebraska in 1898. His ■nddow is living in Los xVngeles 
county, Cal. 

The future editor of the Snn accompanied his parents to Webster 
county, Neb., when he was but a few years old, and there grew to 
manhood and acquired an education, be.ginning his active career as 
a school teacher. In 1886 he journeyed to California and spent a 
year in looking over the state, but went back to the Grasshopper 
State, where he was married in 1895 to Miss Daisy M. Garner, of 


Invale, Neb., who has borne him a son now a student in the Exeter 
high school. 

In his early days, Mr. Knight turned his attention to newspaper 
work, almost entirely editorial and reportorial, and was from time to 
time employed on the Omaha Bee, the Omaha World-Herald, the 
Lincoln Journal, the Kansas City Star and several papers in Nebraska. 
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, dro])ping work at far better pay, he took 
emploTOient 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 liim out of 
the business. In 1900 he passed a civil service examination and was 
given a responsible position in the semi-secret service of tlie United 
States, in which his duties consisted in part in obtaining data and 
official figures recjuired by the Government. In this work ho 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 Alberta, 
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 Siin. 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 News, 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 Sun, of which he later became sole proprietor and editor. 

The Sun is a sprightly paper, more newsy than most pa]iers pul}- 
lished in small towns, well liked and well patronized. It lias 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 tlie uplift of 
the city. To considerable extent Mr. Knight is interested in real 
estate, having sold many of the choicest tracts in the vicinity. He 
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 directorship 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 oi'der of the Eastern Star. 


He has one of the finest homes in Exeter, a large house and an orange 
grove inside the city Kmits. He is a member of the Exeter Board of 
Trade and in many ways has demonstrated a pnlilic spirit that makes 
him a most helpful citizen with his pen and otherwise. 


The profession of veterinary jnedieine 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 pre])aration 
for his professional education, which was finished in the Veterinary 
College of San Francisco, except for six months 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 his 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 equipjjed 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 


has been identified with his enterprise since 1906 and is now taking 
the course at the San Francisco Veterinary College. Pie will grad- 
uate with the class of 1!)1.'), after which he will enter actively upon 
the practice of \'eterinary medicine and surger>'. 

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 haxe 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 Fi'ench Guiana, near the city of Cayenne. 
While in South America he became assistant superintendent of the 
aforesaid International Phosphate company, and 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 tliroughout Tulare county. He is a native of Iowa, born 
December 30, 18(J0, who lived in his native state until he was eigiiteen 
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 Citj'. 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 al)out $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 ]iast. In April, 1886, he came to California, and in 1889 he 
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 Praukie, Elmo D., Inez, 
Emma, Alice, Fern and Robert. Villa passed away, having been 
drowned when eighteen months old. Those of the younger cliildi'en 
who are 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 county, Iowa. Mrs. Rice's parents descended from 
German ancestors; her father is dead, Taut her mother survives. 

A year after he came to California, Mr. Rice, who had alreadv 


begun in the cattle business, bought forty acres of land. He soon 
hoiuesteaded 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 lie-is public-spiritedly 
devoted to all affairs of the community. Politically he is a Socialist. 

Mr. Rice is the pioneer orange grower of Tulare county. He 
took the first prize at the Citrus Fair 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 shi]ipers of oranges, pomelos, limes and lemons; also nursery 

T\^AX C. BURKE, D. D. S. 

The profession 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 "Walla Walla, Wash., in the 
public schools of which city he received his ]iractical 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 tlie First 
National Bank building where he has since devoted himself with 
much success to the general practice of his profession, keeping abreast 
of the times, employing the best 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 in his profession 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 puhlie 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 accomplislnnents, who 
is bravely aiding him in his struggle for professional and social 


A native of New York, G. X. AVendling 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 Hanford. 
Probably no man did more than he to promote the establishment of 
Kings county in 1893. 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. He is a director in the Anglo & London-Paris National 
Bank of San Francisco and president of the Napa Lumber Company, 
the Stanislaus Lumber Company, the Big Basin Lumber Company, 
\'ice-president of the Klamath Development Company of Klamatli 
Falls, Ore., and president of the Weudling-Johnson Lumber Com- 
pany, the California Pine liox Lumber Company, tlie Weiidling 
Lumber Company, the Wendling-Nathan Lumber Company, tlie Weed 
Lumber Company and the First National Bank of Weed. 



Those admirable jinblie utilities of Tulare, its telephone and 
telegraph service, are controlled in part by 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 Ijindsay 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 ])lant was bought from 
])rivate parties in Lindsay. Plans are now being perfected to im- 
prove it and jnit the system on a plane with that of the Tulare City 
company. Both comi)anies make connections with the long distance 
lines of the Pacific States Telephone and Telegrajih company. 

The president of this company, Gurdon C. Harris, a man of long 
and informing ex])erience in the telejihone 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. He 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 
head(iuarters 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 iiosition in which he 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 senii-jiublic 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 uo more prominent citizen along industrial and agri- 
cultural lines than Orlando Moore. The son of Henry C. and Amelia 
(Renalds) Moore, he was born at Venice Hill, Tulare county, Cal., 
March 80, 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, hut at length he returned to Missouri. Eight 
years later he came hack 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. Hyde 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 
190.3 he had seventeen horses and five wagons selling melons through 
the town, he and his brother Edward making a fine disjilay 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 ^'enice 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 fi'uit from Tulare county, 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 which has proved 
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 field of invention. 
In the year 1912 he took out a ])atent upon a detachable tread for 


any sized (loul)le-tired autotruck. This invention enables the truck 
to be changed into a tractor for field and farm purposes, and it bids 
fair to become an extremely useful and ]iopular 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; ]irevention of slipping upon a muddy or sandy road; 
great strength and duralnlity; 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. 111., and they have three children, Ramon, Ralph Spencer 
and Kathrvn Moore. 


In Iowa George W. Baumann 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 
Lathro]x a California ]iioneer, and she bore him two sons, Grover 
Cleveland and Ezra Gottfried Baumann. A separate biograpliieal 
sketch of Ezra Lathrop appears elsewhere in these pages. 

Soon after Mr. Baumann located at Visalia he began farming, 
but three years later returned to the East, to come back a few months 
later bringing his i)arents. The family located near Farmersville, 
where he operated rented land. Soon after his 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 Imsiness 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 much 
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 United 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 Imudred to four hundred head of stock. She was 
one of the pioneers of Tuhu'e City, coming here with her parents 
before eitlier a schoolhouse or a church had been erected here, and 
later for eleven years she taught iu 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 i)opulation is concerned, at Tulare, 
when her schoolteacher's wife, Mrs. Haslip, was buried, she being 
the first white person who was laid to rest in the city of Tulare. 
She remembers 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 personality, 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 shi]) Java, an old whaler, bound for 
San Francisco by way of Cape Horn, imder 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, Tuolumne 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 jum]ied 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 |)art in this great work 
may have a historical record it should be said that his work on his 
ditch was begun in the earlv 'oOs. Mining some of the time in .\nui- 


dor county, as well as at Kuight's Ferry, he made the latter j)lace 
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 earlier period of his farming he grew grain and alfalfa. Later 
he ran a dairy and had an annual average of tifty acres of alfalfa. 
Alfalfa seed also he made a source of revenue. He bred some tine 
horses, ranging in weight from fourteen hundred to eighteen hun- 
dred pounds. 

Tulare City Lodge No. 32fi includes Mr. Clarke in its memlier- 
ship. He married, in 1887, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson, a native of 
Pennsylvania, and they liave children named Nettie A. and Eoberta 
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 Istlimus 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., Winfield 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 bi'ought 
him across the plains to California and settled in Tehama county, 
removing from there to the San Joacpiin 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 county, which 
they operated two years and sold out, in 1892 coming to Grangeville, 
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 tliat citv. For three vears he bought and sold 


hay and lie and liis brother Levi are now contractors of cement work, 
doing an increasing volume of business, which requires the investment 
of considerable capital and the enij)loyment 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 public-spirited and helpful to all the 
interests of the community and in political principle is Eepublican. In 
1881 he married Miss Louisa Samuels, a native of California, wlio died 
in 1900. In 1902 he married Mrs. E. P]dd.y. He has two daughters, 
Mrs. John Bassett and Miss Ruby Bloyd. 


That old and reliable dairyman, William Henry Thayer, of Cor- 
coran, Kings county, Cal., is a native of Dunkirk, Chautauqua county, 
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 
conuty I)eing 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 i-emains 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 included 
in his dairy plant. His homestead is a fine large property, with good 
buildings of all kinds, including a residence which has many modern 
inqn-ovements. His cattle are of good breeds, as tine specimens as 
can l)e produced, 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 Iiorne 
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 i^atriotic impulses, Mr. Thayer is a 
model citizen, who performs his whole duty as such in society and at 
the polls. While he is not an active ))olitician 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 any considerable number of his fellow citizens. 


As secretary and treasurer of the Tulare County Beekeepers' 
Association, Charles W. 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 August 19, 1879. Caleb Tomi^kins 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 county, Cal. ; Ida, who married Jesse 
Halla and has two children; and Fred, who married Margaret Frary 
and has two children. 

Charles W. Tompkins was born at Iowa Falls, Hardin county, la., 
February 14, 1868. A quarter part of his boyhood was S]ient 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. Fanner, A. E. Miot, ^h: Wheeler, William Muller, Mrs. 
Thomas Thompson, James Halanau 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. Pie took swarms of bees from trees and in 
one instance cut down thirty trees to obtain one swarm. All his spare 
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 tlie Tulare County Beekeepers' Association. 
In the spring of the year he places his bees over near the mountains, in 
the orange section, in order tliat 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 shijiped 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 jtublic 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. Reams, a native of 
Tennessee, and she has borne him sons named Charles A. and Win- 
fred W. 


The people of Lemoore have many times been congratulated on 
having such a genial and efficient 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., born March 22, 
1867, a son of P. M. Powell. He was brought u]i at P>righton, near 
Sacramento, and came to the vicinity of Lemoore with his parents in 
1873, when he was about six years old. The elder Powell turned his 
attention to farming and the boy became a student in the Tjcmoore 
public school and later was graduated from the liigh school at Tulare. 

The first postal work done by Mr. Powell was in the Tulare 
jiostoffice, where he was for two years a dejnity 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 gi-eater facility than any other man in 
town. He was first apiiointed under the Harrison administrntion 
and he has since been five times reappointed. His management of 
the office has put it on a l)usiness plane considerably higher than 
that usually occupied by postoffices of towns of about the jxipulation 


of Lemoore. So far as he has l)een able he has brought the estab- 
lishment to a systein resembliug in some ways tliat which obtains 
ill cities of eimsiderable importance. 

Eight miles from Lemoore, in the midst of the Empire district, 
is a fine rancli owned by Mr. Powell, which he devote.s to the cultiva- 
tion of alfalfa and the raising of tine 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. lie married, in 1898, Miss Belle Adams of Kings county, 
and thev have a daughter whom thev have named Ella. 


A prominent citizen of Tulare coimty, 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 o]>erate cream separators, 
and other small motors for |)umi)ing 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 sixtj'-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 
thirty-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 liome- 
stead north of Tulare. From his liovhood he had been familiar 


with all the details of ranch life and enterprise, 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 1!)K) 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 Dairyiimn's Co-operative creamery, the headquar- 
ters of which is in that city. 

Tn 1809 Mr. Swall married Miss Maud Gum, of Ilanford, Cal., 
and they have three cliildren: 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 ])ublic 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-i-aisi)ig 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 p]xeter 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 the vicinity of Exeter and the whole country round about was new 
and undeveloi)ed. Stock-raising and grain-growing were the princi))al 
interests for many years. His uncle had one of the big stock ranches 
of the time and locality, and he gave his nephew a fail- start in life. 


At one time Mr. Hamilton owned 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 conmiunity 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 practical 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 son went to Pomona, where they 
erected the first Iniilding in the town, which, as it happened, was a 
hotel. They were kept busy there, contracting and building, three 
years, then went back to Los Angeles. Soon Lionel W. Marshall 
ijuilt homes in Tulare for Thomas H. Thompson and Banker Lathro]). 
He remained in the 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. Charters 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 liis skill and ability. Some of his 
recent architectural achievements are in evidence and he has in band 


contracts for execution in the near future which cannot but add to 
his laurels. 

In 1906 Mr. Marshall married Miss Elizabeth Parker, a daughter 
of Andrew Parker, a pioneer at Monrovia. He is a member of the 
Visalia body of the ordei- 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 Lorendo was born, September 17, 1846, 
a son of Cyril and Locadie (Deleours) 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 .i 
sawmill, then for five years he traveled throughout New England, then 
went west by way of the Great Lakes and in 1869 stopped at Duhith, 
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 childi'en: Minnie, Napoleon, Ellen, Philip, 
Louisa, Alfred, Albert and Josephine. His second marriage was to 
Elizabeth Euch, 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 
covmty and they have two children. Alfred married Ethel Griggs and 
they live at San Francisco. Albert, who is an engineer on the rail- 
road belonging 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 llanford and have two children. Mr. Lorendo 
has thirteen grandchildren. 

From Windsor, Canada, across the river from Detroit, Mr. 
Lorendo came to Califoi'nia in 1877. In 1881, liecause 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 Gaj) for 
$L'..")0 an acre and in 1888 sold it for $24 an acre and went to Oregon 
and lived in Josephine county, tliat state, for six years, farming for a 
time, then mining for gold. As he was spending more money than lie 
was netting out of the grcnind, he disposed of his holdings in Oregon 
and sold a place near Chamberlain, S. Dak., which he had 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 ])ay 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 lie has improved with a 
house, a barn and other buildings. He has nine and a half acres in 
Malaga grapes, eight acres in jieaches and two acres in alfalfa. He 
has paid for his land and improvements, has ]jleuty 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, trying 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 po]iular than the sou 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 HerroU block, the Delta build- 
ing, the Lncier block, the Baptist church; at Porterville — the Sartou 
block, the flour mill, the Henry Traga building, the remodeled First 
National Bank building; at lianford — 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 years 

:^^ ^ . /^ c=.^..<j^ 


to outrauk all coiiiiictitors. His busiuess methods are such as to com- 
meud him to all requiring such service as he is so well able to render; 
he has amjile capital and backing and may be dei)ended 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- 
l)ama, and she has Jiorne him children whom they have named Alvin 
J., Forrest and Kuth. 


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 company 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. Desiiing 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 Greeu\'ille, 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 nuijor unlil the end of the' war, participating in the siege 
of Vicksburg forty-seven days, also in the fighting at Champion Hill 
and Fort Gibson. Tie remained at Vickslnirg, 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 Chickamauga, and after 


participating' in the fightiug at those points went to Atlanta, where 
General MoPherson was killed. Mr. Hawley was then acting as 
assistant adjiitaut-general ; after the death of General MePherson 
he was transferred to General C'anby'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 tlie war Mr. UawIey went back to Illinois and resumed the 
practice of law at ^^andalia, where he married and lived until 1870, 
when he came to California, bringing his family with him. He lived 
in the Sacramento valley, raising wheat imtil 187-1, 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 land near the present site of 
Hanford on the south, and for a time he prospered with wjieat and 
stock, later putting his land into fruit trees. He lived on his jilacc 
until 1905, when he rented it and liought 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 
conuuittee 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 public spirited. He keeps alive memories 
of 1861-65 by membership with MePherson Post, G. A. R., 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 Eichard 
became a lawyer, but 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 H. 
Van Vlear, of Hanford. Ralph S.. of Berkeley, is a civil engineer. 
Edgar L. is deceased. A'ictor C. and Claude were twins. Victor is 
a plumber at Hanford; Claude is deceased. Mrs. Hawley passed 
awav in 1902, aged sixty-two years. 


The ])ul)lic ollicials of a county furnish to the outside world the 
best expression of the character of its people and indicate not only 
its present state of development, but also its trend and its aspira- 
tions. Tried by this standard, Tulare county commands the respect 
and confidence of all inquirers l)y reason of the representative char- 


acter of tlie men wlio are filling its official positions, and among them 
none is worthy of higher respect for capacity and devotion to the 
interests confided to his charge than Byron O. Lovelace, who lias 
ably and houoral)!y filled the office of county surveyor since Jan- 
uary 1, 1911. 

A son of Josejjh W. and Helen (Sehlichting) Lovelace, Byron 
0. 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 lie 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 ma,]ority in the fall of that year. 

As a man of piiblic spirit Mr. Lovelace takes high place in the 
citizenship of Tulare county, to the important general interests of 
which he has been cons]ncuoush^ devoted. Fraternally he affiliates 
with the Woodmen of the World. He married, July, 1910, Miss 
Eula Simmons, a native of Riverside county, C-al., 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- 
siieetively of Indiana and of Missouri. In 1854, when he was about 
three years old, his jiarents accompanied an ox-team immigratinn 
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 tliat 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 coimty, where the elder Fowler bought 
three thousand acres of land, raised stock and grew grain until in 
1874. After that he herded sheep and farmed in the Deer Creek 
region of Tulare county unlil February 20, 187(5, 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 1881 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 couuiiissiouer for Tulare county and to the work of 
that office he has since devoted liimself. 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, -is 
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 coimty, who has been 
closely identified with its development for many years is Edward 
H. Chance, who now lives near Sultana in Tulare county. He was born 
near Versailles, lud., March 24, 1860, .a son of Henry and Louisa 
(Nuckles) Chance, and has not seen bis mother since he was four 
years old. His father was a pioneer in Oregon, living for a time 
in Cottage Grove. There Edward H. 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 his arrival iu this countv Mr. Chance bought fortv 


acres of the Bump tract, i>ayins- $800 for twenty acres and $:^5 an 
acre for the other twenty. He has tive acres planted to a peach 
orchard, fourteen acres under alfalfa and a good acreage of corn. He 
keeps seven head of stock and a few hogs, and has gradually imj^roved 
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 higii reimtation. His public spirit 
impels him to lielp 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 atliliates 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 deceased. 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 Mrginia 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 ciA'ilization. Jacob Zumwalt, son of the emigrant, went, in 
January, 1880, from Adams county, 0., to Hancock county, Ind., where 
he died December, 1883, Jacob, his son, was 1)orn 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. III., aliout ten miles from Joliet. There he 
remained twenty years, until March, 1854, when he 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 jniblic spirit. His wife bore him children as fol- 
lows: Nancy (Mrs. Rockwell Hunt), who died in Sacramento in 1!)04; 


Sarah M. (Mrs. James Shoemaker), of Santa Clara; Joseph, l)oru 
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 review. 

When his father came to California, Daniel Kindle Zumwalt and 
other members of their family came along, 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 jiublic 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 18(59, 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 Ijetween 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 tlie 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 tlie Interior Department, at Washington. D. C, of 
the necessity for the preservation of the redwood forests for future 
generations. It was lie 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 Hemsliiig, 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. TU. 
John Henrv Blackwedel was a farmer in Wisconsin and later a mer- 


chant in Sauk City, Wis., and Galena, III., and later l)ecanie a resident 
of Dubuque, Iowa, in which city he passed 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 jived 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 nun-h for 
Visalia Lodge No. 48, Independent Order of Good Templars, with 
which she has lieeu identified since its organization by her late hus- 
band November 18, 1870. He was foremost in incorporating the Good 
Templars' Hall Association and in l)uilding 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 supjiorters. He was a member and a trustee of the Methodist 
church of Visalia and in 1869-70 organized its Sunday school, of which 
he was long superintendent. Politically, 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 nuich 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 l)eside him in all trials and enc'ouraging him 
with her devoted wifely love. Their union was a very happy one, and 
at home, in church 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 
a])stract and land business, gave attention to stock-raising and dairy- 
ing, patented a process for ])hotographing and preserving record?, 
and did many other odd and interesting things not directly connected 
with his chief pursuits. "With tiie instincts of a true business woman, 
Mrs. Zumwalt personally attends to business connected with her sev- 
eral ranches. She has a dairy ranch of twelve hundi'cd acres near 
Tulare City. On her Deer Creek ranch of thirty-three iiundred acies 
she raises many fine beef cattle. She has a quarter-section of ];\\u\ 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. AV. Byron, lie was educated iu 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 lyUU. 
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 iu 1907. 

After leaving college Dr. Byron was in charge of McLean hos- 
pital, San Francisco, for a year, and during the ensuing two years 
lie was iu the practice of his profession, with offices in that citj'. 
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 iu connection with professional 
practice until in 1909. In Novemlier of that year, he entered into 
professional partnership with his brother at Lemoore, and in the 
month of November, 1912, opened up his jjresent 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 sucli success that his services are in demand not only in the 
town but also in its tributary country and as a citizen lie lias 
demonstrated much ])ubUc spirit. Tu 1902 he married Miss Har- 
riet Freeman of San Jose. Tlieir son, Herbert Freeman Byron, 
celebrated his seventh liirthday May, 1912. 


The present cluiirman of the Board of Supervisors of Tulare 
county is Thomas B. Twaddle, who has long been prominent in the 
aifairs of this part of the state. Born in Utah, in 1857. he was 
taken as a cliild liy his familv on their removal to Nevada, and it 
was in the last named state that ho grew to manhood and obtained 
an education and a practical knowledge of elemental business. He 
came to California in 1879, when he was about twentv-two years 
of age, and settling three miles east of Tulare, he rented land, raised 


grain aud did general farming in the vicinity of Tulare until 19U4, 
since when he has given his attention to other interests. 

In 1892 Mr. Twaddle was first elected to the office of supervisor, 
aud he has served iu 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, 
ami 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 Garisou, daughter of 
a pioneer in Stanislaus county, Cal., where she was born, aud thej' 
have children as follows: Alice M., who is the wife of W. J. Fisher 
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 aud successful lawyer of Hanford, who has at- 
tained a high position at the hnv of Kings county, Cal., and by 
n:any public-spirited acts has won reputation as one of the leading- 
citizens of Hanford, is H. Scott Jacobs who was born at Visalia 
November 2, 1875. He obtained his English education in i)ul)lic 
schools at Lemoore and in the San Jose high school from wliicli lie 
was graduated in 1894. His professional studies were begun in 
1895 under comjjetent direction, and after mastering the law course 
at tlie University of California he was graduated in 1899 and was 
admitted to the bar of California May 19th that year. 

Tt was at Hanford that Mr. Jacobs entered upon the jiractice 
of his profession, opening an office in the First National Bank liuild- 
ing. From the outset he succeeded even beyond his expectations. 
Not much time was required for his ability and attainments to 


become known to the business public and his general attitude as a 
lawyer and as a citizen commended him 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 Ms 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 count}", 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 
Republican, 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 Manning, 
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 
tlioiight to have Ijeen the owner of the first orange trees in Tulare 
county, Lee Gill was liorn 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 place was purchased 
from H. M. White and was the scene of the primitive venture in 
orange-growing referred to above. 

In the public schools near his home, Mr. Gill was educated and 
on his father's rancli he obtained the intimate knowledge of stock- 
raising which has made him an adept in tliat line. His oi^erations 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, bu^-ing and selling for the 
city market, in which Mr. Gill is as well known and as highly es- 
teemed as any stockman in the state. 

In 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 
youns" man of nmch public spirit, who is found always readv to assist 
to the extent of his ability any movement for the benefit of the 



This old established, reliable and suecessfnl lawyer of Tiilarc 
Cal., was boru in Monroe comity 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 l)orn 
in Virginia. 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 iil, LS97, 
Ms 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 Bluff, 
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 np 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 lie needed. While cam])- 
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 whicli 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 imneeessary for them to take their cattle to the J3ritish 
Columbia market. Thus was gold first discovered at Canon City on 
the John Day's river by William M. De Witt and Job F. Dye. Returning 
to California, Mr. De Witt read law, in 1866 was admitted to the bar 
and began the practice of his ]5rofession at Woodland, Yolo county. 
There he succeeded very satisfactorily and attained so much 
popularity that he was elected to represent Yolo county in the State 
Legislature at the session of 1877-78 and was appointed a memlier 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 lias 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 
him 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 W^alter, John (of Coalinga),- 
Edward and Edna (twins), Iram and Earl. In every relation of life 
Mr. De Witt has shown himself a man to be depended upon. 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 througliout the south and west, Samuel W. Kelly emi- 
grated to California in 1857, coming liy 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 Visalia. 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, whidi brouglit him through in three mouths. 
From the time of his return until the completion of the railroad, 
which put him out of business, he teamed between Fresno slougji and 
Visalia. Then he bought ten acres within the city limits, on which 
he farmed for a time and which has been cut ti]i into lots and dotted 
with dwellings. For about twelve years he oi>erated siiccessfully as 
a cattleman in the Three Rivers section. Politically he affiliated with 
the Democratic ]iarty, and as a citizen he showed his public spirit 
in many practical ways. 

In 1853 Mr. Kelly married Miss Celetha Hudson, who was born 
and reared in Arkansas and accompanied him to California. She 
bore him tliree children, Samuel A., Mrs. Lulu E. Reeves and Mrs. 





Mary J. Sparks, who with the widow survive him. 'J'iie lioine of Mrs. 
Kelly is No. 500 Gosheu avenue, Visalia. Mr. Kelly passed away 
April 15, 1911, deeply regretted l)y all who had kuown 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. When 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 
^^eutura 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 $;)250 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 l)egin 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 lieing able to make a payment on (Mghty 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 aud 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 


Continuiug to operate the two ranches, Mr. Guiberson bought 
out a livery business at Piru with the proceeds, 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 
comi)any, 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 Ms 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 imjiroved until it is a model suburban 
home. To him belongs the distinction of having 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 otln>rs. 
different in character but almost as important. He is vice president 
of the Bank of Corcoran, vice president 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, vice 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. Guiberson was before lier 
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 v;nusual 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 County 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 Deiiiocrat 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 upliftment. As a natural con- 
sequence he at the last election received a very flattering vote in his 
home and all other precincts in that county, where he was best 
known, and in his election to the assemlily his fellow-citizens have 
made no mistake. This fact is recognized by the oi)position as well 
as his Democratic friends, and became vei-y evident from such 
expressions as the following editorial from the ])en of L. P. Mitchell, 
editor and proprietor of the Corcoran Journal of November 14, 1912: 

AssembhTnan-elect J. W. (fuiberson is well (lualilied for th.e 
l)osition to which he lias been elected. He is a sell-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. 



Born near Dixon, Solano eoiinty, Cal, in 1862, Mr. Jameson is 
a true son of California, proud of its history and traditions, and 
devoted heart and soul to its Ix'st interests. His parents were John 
B. and Catherine (Watts) Jameson, natives of Illinois. His father 
crossed the plains with mule teams in 1854, and at the end of hi-s 
long and tiresome, but never to be forgotten, overland journey settled 
in Napa county. Later he moved to a ])lace 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 state 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 ]iublic 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 Solauo 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 yilace, 
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 
bis 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 designed by Mr. Jameson with a view to giving each 
animal comfort. The feed alley also is cemented, and the jn-ovisions 
for convenient grain storage are excellent, while tlie 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 
Ms 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 imported 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 tht» 
Fraternal Brotherhood. He married, in 1898, Miss Ida Roberts, a 



native of Solauo county, and they have children: Mada, Lawrence, 
Doris and Lowell. The interest in jiublic 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 ojiportunity, 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 jiower of staunch 
loyalty to his early training, which has materially acquired for him 
the success he has reached today, is Aimer B. Comfort, the well- 
known proprietor of tlie 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'uier near Hanford, he early evidenced 
the ability 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 son of Byron G. and Carrie H. 
(Drullard) Comfort, Mr. Comfort was there reared to manhood, 
acquiring his elementary education in the common schools, and becom- 
ing thorouiihly 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 tliat line of business for a long period until 
in 1912 he found himself able to purchase a business of his own. 
Being attracted l)y a chance to purchase a general merchandise 
business at Guernsey lie went there to make investigation witli the 
result that he bouglit and has since conducted it with tlie most 
gratifying results. Being naturally of a genial, optimistic dis])o- 
sition, he attracts many friends to him, and in his position as ])ost- 
iiuister of Guernsey, whicli aiipoinlment he received in Deceml)er 
of 1912, he finds himself the recipient of many good wislies and the 
good will of file entire coiinnunity. In addition to these duties lie 
has taken over the managoiuent of the lumber yard at Guernsey, which 
bids 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 wiio give 
every prophecy of taking the burden of business and jjolitical life 
on their shoulders with capa)>ility and splendid executive ability. 
Ever alert for the welfare of their interests and those of their town 


and county, tliey 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 Republican ticket, and his interest in the affairs and issues 
of his party is ever active, he being well-informed on all cuncut 
topics pertaining to the advancement of his country. 


The character of any peoiile is usually well indicated by that of 
its public uflicials. Throughout its history Tulare county has quite 
generally commanded the confidence of the y>ublie through the repre- 
sentative men who have been called to fill its offices. Judged by 
capacity and by zealous devotion to the interests in his charge, none 
has gained higher place in popular regard than Thomas H. Blair, 
eountv assessor. In qualifications essential to the proper discharge 
of his difficult duties he is adequate to all demands upon hiiu, and by 
keeping in close touch with increase of property values and familiar- 
izing himself with all current improxements he is able to judge 
accurately as to the proper assesstnent to place upon a given piece 
of property. Looking solely to the interests of the county, he eom])lies 
with the law in the perfor7nance 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 sou of Calvin H. and Mary E. (Moflfett) Blair, natives respectively 
of Arkansas and of Tennessee, and was brought to California by 
his parents, who settled in Sonoma county iu 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 liim to California liy way 
of New York and the Isthmus of Panama. He moved from 
Sonoma county to Tulare county, bringing his family and be- 
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 children of this 
pioneer and his wife, IMary E. (Moffett) Blair, who died January 14, 
1912: William 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, actiuir 
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 lirothers in the management of the home 
ranch. F}-om 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 i)eople and 
in designating jaroperty 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 Pythias, 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 born 
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 liecame a member of the family of his uncle. In 
1850, when he was about sixteen years old, he and his brother crossed 
the ]ilains to California and located at Hangtown. Later, in 1852, 
they went to Sierra county, where they mined until 1S.")7. In 1859 
Mr. Bequette drove a l)and of cattle from Yolo county to Tulare 
county and settled on land at Outside Creek, where he ])rosj)ere(l as 
a stockman until 1S()7. 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 jiolitical affairs of the county. His public 
spirit and his caiiacity for public business have been recognized by 
his appointment to various responsible offices, he having served two 


terms as deputy recorder aud auditor of Tulare county, of which he 
has also served as deputy county treasurer and deputy county 




A native of Indiana, Judge Cutler was born in 1819, 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-t9, 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 
aud 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 born 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 prior 
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 undertook 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. 

(3^^^^!^ /- SJ^^ yP^^ Q^a^ ^ ^j^^ 


Cutler received still greater honors in April, 1911, when he was elected 
mayor of Visalia, an office which lie is well qualified to fill. His mar- 
riage in 1888 united him with Miss Nimmie Pringle, and they have 
two sons, John F. and Albert R. 


Numliered conspicuously among the thrifty and prosperous or- 
chardists of Tulare county is CUiarles John Eklof, born October 10, 
3869, in Sweden. In April, 1889, when he was about twenty years 
old, he landed in New York, equipjied 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 ambitions 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 cro^a 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 Ml's. Mary B. Fran?;, 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 liorn 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 18.')9. Settling near Tuhire I^ake in Tulare count v, he 


ranged cattle lor many years aud later removed them to tiie mouu- 
tains on Adams Flat, where he expanded his enterprise l)y raising 
both cattle and horses. 

In 1871 Mr. Adams disposed of his cattle and horse interests and 
gave his attention to sheep herding. 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, read\' 
at all times to do all in his power for the uplift or development 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 Msalia, Tulare county, Cal., born February 28, 1873, 
son of William J. Adams. He gained his education in the excellent 
schools of that town and began his business career as an employee 
of the Seeded Raisin Packing Company of Fresno, Cal. From Fresno 
he went to Stockton, where he 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 l)rick l)lock, 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 foi-med a partnership with J. H. Johnson in oi'der to 
give attention particularly to the architectural department of his enter- 
prises, but the firm was dissolved October 2G following, and since 
that time Mr. Adams has been in sole control of the busill(^■^s wliicli 


he has built up. Of the huihlings erected bj- Adams «& Johnson, the 
following mentioned, jierhaps as conspicuous as any others, are the 
residences of Tug Wilson. .John C. Hayes, Harry Hayes, D. E. Perkins 
and Ealph Goldstein. 

May 1, 1912, marks a very important epoch in Mr. Adams' 
career. He then became the Imilder for the Mt. Whitney Power & 
Electric Co., of Visalia. Ills lirst work was the building of a large 
brick and iron addition to the steam ])lant at Visalia, and on June 
25, li)12, he began the constrnction of the Mt. Whitney lN)wer Plant 
and cottages at No. o on the Kaweah river. 

In the National Association of American Engineers Mr. Adams 
hohls membership and he aftiliates fraternally with Four Creek lodge. 
No. 1)4, I. O. O. F. He married October 7, 18!')4, 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 resjiond 
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-lifth 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 cai)taiu. 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 ]>assed away in San Francisco in 1910, 
aged sixty-eight years. 

To Albert O. and Sarah J. (Cochran) Collins were born three 
sons and two daughters: Chai-les A., sheriff of Inyo county; Wil- 
liam W. Collins; John L. ; Minnie, widow of W. L. Blythe of Palo 
Alto, Cal.; and Leoi-a, who is the wife of Bertrand Rhine of P>isho|). 

William W. Collins was born on the old Collins homestead, neai- 
Coshocton, Ohio, June 23, 1865, and was eight years old when his 
father removed to California. He was educated in the ))ul>lic schools 


of Kern coimty, at the Visalia Normal sohool 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 grower 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 Republican politics Mr. Collins has long been locally jiromi- 
nent, and in 1902 he was elected sheriff of Tulare county. He has 
been twice re-elected, and now, in his third term, is one of the most 
popular sheriffs the people of the county have ever known. A 
man of much public spirit, he has been helpfully identitied with many 
im]iortant home interests, and has in all things devoted himself, heart 
and soul, to the welfare of the community. Fraternally he affiliates 
witli 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 ditferent 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 jiojmlar 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 liecame 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 physicians in that part of the county. In 
November, 1909, Dr. E. H. Byron, his brother, became his profes- 
sional partner, and this partnership 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 
Southern Pacific Railroad Co. in 1907. and is still holding 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 Eellows, Red Men, Knights of Pythias, 
Foresters, Woodmen and the Fraternal Brotherhood; also the orders of 
I. D. E. S. and U. P. E. C., ComiJanions, Rebekahs and the Oi'der of the 
Eastern Star, and with all women's auxiliary lodges in the city of 
which specific mention lias not been made. 

In 1910 Dr. Byron married Miss Ruby E. Fassett of Iowa and 
they live on Heinlin street, opposite the park. Exacting as are tlie 
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 tliree 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 General King, each company having 
a captain, a lieutenant and a sergeant. The members were men of 
proven In-avery, 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 
jmrsuit 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 Port Davis, 
all points of strategic importance on the frontier. Mr. Campbell, 
who was twice wounded in tliis arduous and exciting service, received 
his lionorable discharge November, 1883. 

(roing to Kansas City, Mo., after leaving the frontier service 
in Texas, Mi-. Cam])bell shijiijcd all kinds of livestock from that point, 
till in 1910, when he came to Tulare, to engage in the 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 wondei'ful 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 Ignited 
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 buy 
ranch property here. He prospered as a farmer, and here he and 
his wife botli died. They had two children — Mrs. Mary K. 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 coi;uty 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 atten- 


tion during most of his business career, but in late years be has been 
much interested in orange-growing in the citrus fruit belt of Tulare 
county, and is now president of the Central California Citrus Fruit 
Exchange. He is manager and principal owner of the Kaweah 
Lemon Companj', director in the First National Bank of Visalia 
and the president of the ^'isalia Abstract Company. For thirteen 
years he was proprietor of the Palace Hotel, Visalia, and he has 
extensive oil interests in Kern county and mining interests in Cala- 
veras county. He is a Scottish Eite Mason, Knight Templar and a 
Shriner, active and widely known in the order, and affiliates with 
the Fresno lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 
He has married twice. His first wife was Miss Hawpe, who bore 
him a son, Orvie Overall, who has attained much fame as a base- 
ball pitcher in some of the great games of the past decade. His 
present wife was Miss Van Loan. 


As president of the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce and chair- 
man of the Kings county Republican central committee Robert Ander- 
son Moore has become well known throughout central California, and 
he has other claims to distinction than these. Born in Grant county. 
Wis., in 1861, he lived there until he was fifteen years old, when his 
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 ))ecame a salesman in the McKenna Broth- 
ers' hardware store. He mastered the business and acquired great 
popularity with its ]iatrons and in 1890 bought the establishment, 
which he conducted with success until 1911, when he sold it to the 
Lemoore Hardware Company. 

Since disposing of his hardware interests Mr. Moore has inter- 
ested himself in real estate operations. He owns two ranches, one of 
forty acres, three miles nortli of town, and one of one hundred and 
sixty acres, ten miles south and near the lake; the former is in vine- 
yard, the latter in barley and alfalfa. He has invested to some extent 
in oil property and is a director in the Mount Vernon Oil Company, 
which is operating in the Devil's Don field. He was one of tlie organ- 
izers and is in his second year as president of the Lemoore Chaml)er 
of Commerce. As chairman of the Kings county Republican central 
committee and in other capacities he has long been active in political 
work, and he was three times elected a member of the Board of Trus- 


tees of the city of Lemoore, serving two terms as chairman of tliat 
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 nuieh for the betterment of local condi 
tions 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 liad 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 be 
eighty-six years old. 

In Indiana Mr. Garr married Mary J. English, a native of that 
state, whose parents came there from Pennsylvania. She was the 
mother of children as follows : Alice J., Charles N., William F., 
James F., Martha and George. Alice J. married Light Frazier and 
lives near Dinuba; they have had two children (one has passed away), 
and Dora is married, her husband being employed in the oil fields of 
California. William F., whose wife died thirty years ago while he 
was a citizen of Texas, is living with his father. John W. Garr has 
lived in Tulare county since 1881. Pre-empting an eighty-acre 
homestead, he paid for it ]iartially by chopping wood and has im- 
proved it and prospered on it as a farmer. He has given some 
attention to figs and has on his place the largest fig tree in Tulare 
county, which he planted twenty years ago, and which in 1911 pro- 
duced $75 worth of fruit. From twelve trees his crop altogether 
made more than a ton. 

In his political affiliation Mr. Garr is a Democrat. He takes a 
deep and alnding interest in every question pertaining to the welfare 
of the community and co-operates i)ublic-spiritedly in every move- 
ment for the general good. 






The history of "The Old Bank," at Hanford, Kings county, 
Cal., would be interesting, even were it not inseparably interwoven 
with that of the development of the city and its tributary territory. 
It is a state bank, established under the laws of the State of Cali- 
fornia, December 1, 1901. It was founded by S. E. Biddle, the pio- 
neer banker of Hanford, who founded the Bank of Hanford, the 
latter being the first bank in the town. The original officers of The 
Old Bank were S. E. Biddle, Sr., president; P. McRae, vice-pi-esi- 
dent; S. E. Biddle, Jr., cashier; Frank E. Hight, assistant cashier. 
In 1903 S. E. Biddle, Jr., resigned and Frank R. Hight was made 
cashier and J. J. Hight, assistant cashier. In 1908 S. E. Biddle, Sr., 
died, and Daniel Finn was elected president, Frank R. Hight becom- 
ing cashier and manager. The present officers of the institution are: 
Prank R. Hight, president and manager; P. McRae, vice-president; 
J. J. Hight, cashier. Its directors are: Mrs. A. A. Biddle, P. 
McRae, Frank R. Hight, Charles Kreyenhagen, Joseph Schnereger, 
N. Weisbaum and J. J. Hight. The bank's growth has been 
steady and strong and it is regarded as one of the staunch and most 
dependable financial institutions of central California. Its depos- 
itors are among the leading business men of Hanford and vicinity. 
It pays interest on term deposits, and its present capital is $50,000 ; 
its deposits aggregate $600,000. 


A prominent financier and business man of central California, 
H. M. Shreve is filling the responsible positions of vice-president and 
manager of the First National Bank of Tulare. A native of Borden- 
town, N. J., born February 17, 18(54, he acquired his education in ))ublic 
schools and in higher institutions of learning in New Jersey and in Phil- 
adelphia. In 1880 he came to (California, and for six years thereafter 
was employed in connection with mining interests in Mariposa county. 
Later he came to Tulare and was employed for several years as a 
bookkeeper in the office of the Reardon & Piper Planing Mill, until 
he opened an office to handle insurance and conveyancing, and this 
he operated until the beginning of his connection with the First 
National Bank. (A historical sketch of that institution will be found 
in this work.) 

In 1887 Mr. Shreve married Alida E. Beals of San Francisco. 
He affiliates with Olive Branch lodge No. 2(59, F. & A. M., of 
Tulare and with the Visalia Masonic chapter and commandery. He 


was for several years clerk of the city of Tulare, his interest in the 
city and county making Mm a citizen of much public helpfulness, 
and there are few demands for assistance toward the uplift and devel- 
opment of the community to which he does not respond promptly 
and liberally. Socially he is president of the Tulare Club, and as 
such has had much to do with projects for the general benefit. Among 
his interests outside the city should be mentioned the National Bank 
of Visalia, of the board of directors of which he is an active member. 


The American family of LaMarche was estalilished in Canada 
early in the last century and John LaMarche, son of the original emi- 
grant, was born in Ontario and in 1837 enlisted under the banner of 
MacKenzie in the so-called Canadian rebellion. His son Josepli, born 
near Montreal in 1823, was graduated from a Canadian college, farmed 
early in life at LaClinte Mills and was later a merchant and a magis- 
trate. He married Julia LaMare, whose grandfather in the jiaternal 
line founded the Canadian family of LaMare. Joseph LaMarche died 
in 1900, aged seventy-seven years ; his wife died when she was seventy. 
They had thirteen cliildren, ten of whom lived to maturity and still 
survive, the second of these being Joseph LaMarche, Jr.. of Tulare 
county, who is the sole representative of the family in California. 

Mr. LaMarche was born on a farm forty miles from Montreal 
March 1, 1853, and when he had time to do so in the years of his boy- 
hood walked five miles to a French school if the weather was not too 
inclement. When he was thirteen years old he went to Upper Canada 
to log and lumber on the Ottawa river for $36 a year, and at the end 
of a year he came down to Quebec on a raft and signed a contract to 
work a year in a logging camp not far away. "Wlien he was fifteen 
years old he went to the Lake Su]ierior region and teamed two years 
among the charcoal furnaces around Mari|nette, Mich.; from there he 
came west to Nevada and teamed at Carson and Virginia City and 
assisted in the construction of a flume. In 1875 he came to California 
and for three years thereafter was employed on a rancli near Prince- 
ton, Colusa county. His first venture as an independent farmer was 
as a grain grower on rented land, whicli he operated four years. 
Coming to Tulare coimty in 1883, he began farming as a renter, but 
soon bought two hundred and eighty acres of bayou and railroad land, 
four miles south of Tulare, whicli he farmed to grain a year and sold 
in 1885. In 1886 he married and located on a ranch of fourteen hun- 
dred and twenty acres, eight miles southwest of Tulare which was the 
property of his wife; a part of it was farmed to grain, the remainder 


was in pasture. Later he owned four thousand acres on the Tule and 
Elk Bayou rivers, where he raised hay and bred cattle, but this he 
sold in 1908. He now has twenty-one hundred and sixty acres, of which 
six hundred acres are devoted to alfalfa, the remainder to grain and 
pasturage. Since his retirement from active farming he lias rented 
most of his acreage and now has four tenants. 

The activities of Mr. LaMarche are by no means coulined to the 
management of his land. He was prominent in organizing the Dairy- 
men's Co-operative Creamery Co., was elected one of its directors 
three months after it began business, and has acted in that capacity 
to the present time. In 1906 he was a director in the Co-operative 
Creamery Co. of Tulare. He was one of the organizers also of the 
Rochdale Co., and is a stockholder in the Tulare Canning Co. and the 
Tulare Milling Co. He was also a director in the Fair Association of 
Tulare county, which constructed a race track and held fairs for two 
years, and he is now owner of the track. Through his membership of 
the Tulare Board of Trade he has had to do with numerous enter- 
prises which have tended to the commercial growth of the city; in 
1908 he was elected president of the Bank of Tulare, of which he had 
for many years been a director. In politics he is a Democrat and he 
was at one time a member of the county central committee of his 
party. He was made an Odd Fellow in Colusa county and since he 
came to Tulare has been active in the work of the local lodge and en- 
campment, his afliliation witli this order covering the long period of 
thirty years. 

At Tipton, Tulare county, Mr. IjaMarche married August 7, 1886, 
Mrs. Mary (LeClert) Creighton, widow of John M. Creighton. Mrs. 
LaMarche was born at Portsmouth, England, a daughter of Theodore 
and Mary (Sims) LeClert, natives respectively of France and of Eng- 
land, and member of families long established. When Mr. LeClert 
settled in England he found employment for a time as a brick mason 
at Portsmouth. Coming later to the United States, he worked at his 
trade a while at .Vlliion, N. Y., and from there he came to California 
in 1856 liy way of Cape Horn. After mining at Kniglit's Ferry and 
at Copperopolis he turned his attention to farming and eventually 
passed away at Oakdale, Stanislaus county, where his wife also died. 
Of their three daughters and two sons, all of whom are living, Mrs. 
LaMarche was the second born. In 1861 she, with other members of 
the family, joined her father at Knights' Ferry, where she married 
Melvin Howard, a native of New York state, who became an orchard- 
ist at Sonora, Cal., and died there. Later she married John N. 
Creighton and in 1876 they settled on the Creighton ranch in Tulare 
county, and a few years later Mr. Creighton died at Byron Hot 
Springs, Contra Costa county. She is a woman of fine aliilities and 
has been prominent in the work of the Woman's Christian Temperance 


Union and in movements for the emancipation of women and for the 
uplift of the human race. Both Mr. and Mrs. LaMarche are noted for 
their public spirit and for their ready and unostentatious charity. 
They have two children, Joseph F., who is in the United States navy, 
and Miss Bernie LaMarche, who was a student at the University of 
Southern California at Los Angeles and in 1911' married Charles 
Phillip of Los Angeles. 


The son of George and Agnes (Ward) Fitzsimons, Frank E. Fitz- 
simons was born March 30, 1886, in Thomas county, Kans., where he 
lived until he was eight years old. His parents built the tirst sod 
house and the first frame house in that part of the county. Wlien 
they located there they were eighteen miles from the nearest neighboi', 
twenty-sis miles from the nearest considerable settlement and fifty 
miles from Winslow, which was their market place, and they were 
often menaced but never really injured by Indians. In 1894 they 
sought a more congenial clime in California ; and after living a year 
at San Jose they came on to Visalia and for three years the elder Fitz- 
simons was foreman of the Geo. A. Fleming Fruit Company's ranch. 
In 1897 they settled near Orosi, where Mr. Fitzsimons has been suc- 
cessful with fruit. Following ar