Samuel Armor.

History of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present online

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Online LibrarySamuel ArmorHistory of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 31 of 191)
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of fifteen he began working on the old Daniel Webster farm near Marshfield, Mass..
remaining there for three years.

Feeling that the Far West offered greater opportunities Mr. Moulton started on
the long trip to California in 1874, making the journey by way of the Isthmus of
Panama. Locating at once at Santa .Ana, then Los Angeles County, but now Orange
County, he began work on the San Joaquin ranch near Santa Ana, and subsequently
went into the sheep raising business with C. E. French, continuing in this for several
years. Going to San Francisco he established a wholesale slaughter house there, but
this did not prove a financial success, so he returned after a short time to Orange
County. He soon was able to start afresh, and it was but a short time initil he was
on the road to prosperity. His first purchase, about 1895, was a tract of 19,500 acres
adjoining the San Joaquin ranch and extending to the ocean, and this has been in-
creased by subsequent purchase until the ranch now comprises 22.000 acres. Mr.
Moulton is extensively engaged in raising beef cattle for the market, mostly high-
.erade Durham Shorthorn cattle: so he is very naturally a member of the California
Cattle Growers .Association. The acreage not required for pasturage is devoted to


raising barley, wheat, beans and hay, Mr. Moulton leasing it to tenants for this
purpose, from ten to fifteen farmers usually being engaged on the place.

Every department of the business is systematically organized and conducted,
the greater part of it under the personal supervision of Mr. Moulton, whose ability
as a business head and executive has been one of the chief factors in the eminent
success that he has made. A well-appointed ofifice is maintained on the ranch, and
there are two commodious residences, one of which is occupied by Mr. Moulton,
while the other is the home of Mrs. M. E. Daguerre. who owns a third interest in
the ranch, her husband, Jean Pierre Daguerre, having been Mr. Moulton's partner
before his decease. Excellent barns and outbuildings, well-kept lawns and drives
add to the attractiveness of the ranch, which is always kept up to the highest state
of cultivation. While the responsibility entailed by the details of this extensive busi-
ness absorbs the greater part of Mr. Moulton's time, he has always been active in his
support of the Republican party, and is known throughout the county as one of its
most generous and large-hearted citizens in his many benefactions.

MRS. MINERVA J. FLIPPEN.— A liberal-minded, interesting native daughter,
especially proud of the fact that her father was a forty-niner, is Mrs. Minerva J.
Flippen, the widow of a well-known Californian, esteemed by all his associates. She
is the daughter of Nathan Stanley Danner, who was born on the Catawba River, in
North Carolina, in 1822, and the granddaughter of John Danner, who moved from North
Carolina to Missouri, and settled as a farmer near Springfield. There his wife died;
and in 1857 he crossed the great plains in an o.x team train, and died in 1871 in Merced
County in his eighty-fourth year. The Danners are of German extraction, the pro-
genitor of the name in America, John Danner, coming to North Carolina before the
Revolutionary War. Nathan S. Danner came across the plains from Missouri to Cali-
fornia in 1849 as a gold-seeker, and mined in Marysville and the Sierra Mountains,
down into Mariposa County, where he also had a store; and he was so successful that
in 1852 he returned East by way of Panama, to Missouri. There he was married that
year to Miss Minerva Pearce, who was born in Tennessee in 1835, the daughter of
Edmund Pearce, of English descent, and in the year 1857 he again came to California,
once more traveling by way of Panama, and located on the Tuolumne River, in Stan-
islaus County, where he engaged in farming and the raising of cattle. The flood of
1862 washed away his house, cattle and farm implements, and even the farm became
lost in the bed of the Tuolumne River; whereupon he moved to the Merced River, in
1863. He first settled on an island, but the flood of 1867 covered it, and again he lost
his crops; but he took his family away in a boat, and moved to Hopeton, six miles
from Snelling. Here he farmed until October, 1872, when he and his family removed
to Kern County, near Linns Valley, forty miles northeast of Bakersfield, where he
followed stock raising; he improved a farm near \\'oody, and at Blue Mountain he
opened the mine that is still being exploited. He set out big trees and otherwise
improved the place, and went in for stock raising, although, since there were bear,
deer and antelope in profusion, they had plenty of profitable hunting. Later he moved
north into Tulare County, and owned a place on White River, where he resided until he
died, in 1892. Mrs. Danner spent her last days with Mrs. Flippen, and died in 1911,
aged seventy-four years. She had four children; John resides in Porterville; Minerva
J., Mrs. Flippen, is the subject of our interesting sketch; Jefiferson lives at Willows, Cal.,
and Lee J. Danner is also a resident of Orange. Of these, John Danner was born in
Missouri, and the others are natives of California.

Minerva J. Danner was educated in the public schools of Merced County, par-
ticularly in the district of Woody; and there she was married on May 10, 1876. to
Thomas M. Flippen, a native of Virginia, who came to California when seventeen,
accompanying his father. Archer Flippen. The latter had had a tobacco factory and
three plantations in Virginia, all of which were destroyed by the Civil War; but h*"
recuperated somewhat in taking up stock raising in California, near Woody. Mi.
Flippen also engaged in the sheep raising business in Fresno County, then began
raising stock in Linns Valley after his marriage; but in February, 1891, he traded his
ranch for land in Orange County. The first ranch that he owned here was located
near Olive, and there he went in for general farming. He set out walnuts, apricots
and peaches, and three years later made a trade for the present Flippen place of
twenty acres on East Chapman Avenue. He improved it in many ways, taking out
the old trees and setting out Valencia oranges; and as he developed the valuable prop-
erty, he became an active member of the Santiago Orange Growers Association, in
which he also became a director. His lamented death, on May 19, 1913, at the age
of sixty-two years, cut short a very useful career, of benefit to himself as well as to
others. He was a director in the First National Bank of Orange, and a stockholder
in the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Santa Ana. He was also a director in the

O-^- ^^^^UA


Orange County Mutual Farmers Insurance Company. He was made a Mason in the
Bakersfield Lodge during the eighties.

Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Flippen. Marion S. is an orange grower
of this vicinity, as are also Wade H. and Lucian, while Jeffie is in the California Art
Craft School at Berkeley, and \'irginia, the youngest, is a student at Stanford. Florence,
next to the youngest, is a graduate of Occidental College, and the wife of Donald
Smiley of El Modena. Since Mr. Flippen's death, Mrs. Flippen has continued to run
the ranch and to look after the business, assisted by her children. She is a member
of the Presbyterian Church and participates actively in the work of the several ladies'
societies affiliated with that excellent congregational organization.

CHARLES DEXTER BALL, M.D.— Closely identified with Santa Ana and
Orange County since 1887, Charles Dexter Ball, M.D., is recognized as one of its suc-
cessful physicians as well as one of the stanch upbuilders of Santa Ana. He comes
from English forbears, and his lineage is traced back to Wiltshire, England, and it
was from that place that six Ball brothers came to America in 1635 on the ship Planter.
Benjamin Ball, a grandson of one of these brothers, settled in Framingham, Mass., in
1703. His grandson, Dr. Silas Ball, was a surgeon in the American Army during the
Revolutionary War.

Dr. C. D. Ball's father was Seth F. Ball, grandson of the Revolutionary surgeon,
and he was born in Leverett, Mass., in 1822, and died in Santa Ana in 1900. He was
twice married, his first wife being Arvilla Field, who died in 1884, and he was later
married to Mary E. Rogers, who survives him. Two children were born of his first
marriage, Charles Dexter Ball of this review, and a daughter who died in infancy.
The mother was a descendant of Zachariah Field, one of the grantees of the state
of Connecticut, and of Benjamin Waite, preacher, guide and Indian fighter, who was
killed in the Deerheld massacre in 1704. The French and Indian wars of New England
presented no more daring and picturesque character than Benjamin W'aite. Seth F.
Ball came to California in 1854 and remained for four years, after which he removed
to Canada. He resided there until 1894, and then returned to California and settled
in Santa Ana, where his last years were spent.

Charles Dexter Ball was born in Stanstead. Quebec, October 5, 1859. He re-
ceived his literary education at Stanstead Academy and the Wesleyan College of Stan-
rtead; later he studied medicine at Bishops College in Montreal, completing his course
and receiving his degree of M.D. in 1884. He began the practice of his profession in
his native city, but it became necessary for him to seek a milder climate, and he accord-
ingly came to Southern California and settled in Santa Ana in September, 1887. This
was before Orange County had been formed, and the territory was a part of Los
Angeles County, and ever since that date he has been actively engaged in the practice
of his profession here, and is now the second oldest practitioner in point of residence
in Santa Ana. In 1912 Dr. Ball received the ad eundem degree from McGill Univer-
sity, Canada. He has been closely identified with the movements that have made
Orange County one of the best-known counties in the State, if not in the United States.

Dr. Ball assisted in organizing the Orange County Medical Association in 1889, and
later served as its president: he was also a charter member of the Southern California
Medical Society, organized in 1888, and has filled the office of president; he also holds
membership in the American Medical Association. He has seen Santa Ana grow from
a small village into one of the leading small cities of the state, and has been owner
of valuable realtv holdings from time to time.

In 1883 Dr". Ball married Lizzie S. Bates, and she died in August. 1888. On
October 24 of the following year, in San Leandro, Cal.. he married Emma L. Rankin,
born in Richmond, Canada, on June 3. 1861. a daughter of Zera Rankin, of Scotch
descent, and a prominent business man of Richmond. Mrs. Ball's mother died when
she was a babe of two months. In 1886 she came to California, and in 1888 she was
graduated from the Oakland high school. Of this happy marriage four children have
been born: Charles F. Ball, now first assistant chief engineer of the Holt Manufac-
turing Company at Peoria, 111. He married on .April 26, . 1917, Miss Margaret G.
Weeks, and they have a daughter. Margaret Elizabeth, born October 2. 1918: Dexter
R. Ball is interning at the University Hospital in San Francisco; John D. Ball is a
senior in the medical department of the University of California at San Francisco. He
married Isabel Jayne on June 28. 1919; and Emma Arvilla Ball makes her home with
her oarents in Santa Ana. .All of the children are graduates of the University of
California, at Berkeley.

Dr. Ball has always been a Republican and has taken an interesting part in
I'olitical afifairs of the state and nation, being elected a delegate to the Republican
National Convention in Chicago in 1920 by a large majority. He has been president
of the .Abstract and Title Guaranty Company for thirty-five years, is a director of the


First National Bank of Santa Ana; president of the Santa Ana library board since
1895; president of the Orange County Historical Society; a member of the Sons
of the American Revolution, California Chapter; prominent in the Odd Fellows
and Masons, holding membership in the various bodies of the latter in Santa Ana,
and the Shrine in Los Angeles. He served in Los Angeles throughout the entire
war as the medical member and referee of the Southern California District Exemp-
tion Board No. 1, giving of his best efforts to help win the war. He and his family
are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Public spirited and progressive, Dr. Ball has always been a leader in all enter-
prises for the upbuilding of Santa Ana and has done all that was possible to advance
the social and moral welfare of its citizens. He has built up an extensive practice and
is well known in the medical circles of the entire state as an able and high-minded
practitioner and citizen.

CHARLES PARKMAN TAFT.— The ninth generation of the Taft family in
America is represented by Charles Parkman Taft, of Orange County, Cal., and he
was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, July 11, 1856. His father, Henry Cheney Taft.
was a native of Uxbridge, Mass., and of Scotch descent, who married Hannah Sophia
Parkman of Westboro, Mass. She represented the fifth generation of the Parkman
family in America and was of English extraction. The various members of the Taft
and Parkman families in this country have been prominently identified with the
making of American history as statesmen, scientists and scholars, many of them
attaining to places of prominence in the various localities in which they have lived
and labored.

Charles P. Taft ' is a thorough American, is a graduate from Racine College,
Racine, Wis., class of m . and after leaving college he taught school for two and one-
half years, then ca'me to California and spent a year looking about the state for a
desirable place of residence. He then settled in Los Angeles County with his parents,
on the ranch where he now lives, and has participated in the wonderful development
of what is now Orange County. Here he has twenty-three acres of land that he has
developed from its primitive condition, and is carrying on e.xperimental work in the
propagation of semi-tropical fruits, meeting with very good results in his labors as thus
far developed. He has done some valuable work in originating new varieties of
loquats, avocados and feijoas, demonstrating that these varieties can be grown suc-
cessfully as a commercial proposition. He considers his experiments are still in
their infancy and is still deeply engrossed in his experimental work. The leader in
his list is the well-known variety of the "Taft .\vocado." which has proven to be a
commercial success, and is being widely planted throughout Southern California.

The numerous varieties of the loquat that he has perfected are listed under
the names of the Premier, the Early Red, which is ready for market in February
and continues until the middle of June; the Champagne, the best of all; the Advance,
and the Tanaka, of Japanese origin, are the strains he has improved.

Mr. Taft vvas united in marriage on July 17, 1888. with Miss Jennie McMullan,
of Oakland, and she has shared with her husband the esteem of all those who have
the pleasure of knowing them. Of an unassuming nature, Mr. Taft has carried on
his experimental work quietly at his ranch. Though engrossed with his labors he
has never failed to assist all worthy movements for the building up of his adopted
county by giving of his time and means to those ends.

ISAAC R. WILLIAMS. — .\s one who contributed generously to the development
of Orange County, Isaac R. Williams was well-known and universally honored as
one of its pioneer settlers, and his passing away, after a brief and sudden illness, on
March 23, 1906, removed from the community one of its stanchest citizens, and one
who had furthered every good cause during his long years of residence here.

Pennsylvania was Mr. Williams' native state, and there he was born on June
20, 1854, in Schuylkill County. His parents were Daniel and Jane (Rosser) \\'illiams,
both natives of Wales, who came to this country with their families at an early date
and settled in Pennsylvania. Daniel Williams made the long journey to California
in 1856, coming via the Isthmus of Panama, and after spending some time in San
Francisco he engaged in gold mining in Nevada County. In 1858 his family joined
liim, and in 1869 they removed to what is now Orange County, where he settled on
a ranch, and there made his home until his death in 1889, Mrs. Williams passing away
the following year.

As he was but four years old when the family came to California, and but fifteen
when they came to Orange County. Isaac R. Williams had but little recollection of
any other state. At the time he came here the county was but sparsely settled and
ranching was yet in its infancy, and it was Mr. W'illiams' privilege not only to see


the wonderful de\elopment of the ensuing years, but to take an important part in
bringing these changes about. He early acquired a thorough knowledge of farming,
and also was interested in stock raising. His first purchase was a tract of twenty
acres at Buena Park, and for some time he was successfully engaged in dairying
there. He increased his holdings from time to time in this district, and in after years
devoted quite a large acreage to raising sugar beets, also raising cabbage and hay in
large quantities, and he continued actively on his ranch until a short time before his
demise. While Mr. Williams was a leading worker in the Republican party, he was
in no sense a seeker for political preferment, but as a recognition of his capability
he \vas four times appointed road overseer of his district, an ofifice that he filled with
much credit to himself and to the satisfaction of all.

In 1874 Mr. Williams was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Hunter, whose
parents were John and Mary (Downing) Hunter, and they were for a number of
years residents of Canada. Mr. Hunter was the postmaster and the proprietor of
a general merchandise store at Bobcaygeon, and was also interested in the milling
business there. Mrs. Williams' family were of Scotch and Irish descent, and many
of her near relatives were prominent in the professions of law and medicine, her
own father being a highly educated men. Mrs. Williams, who was the eldest of a
family of four children, came to Orange County in 1871, where her father was engaged
in ranching near Fullerton until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Williams were the
parents of three children: Annie Jane is the widow of William Goldie, and they
were the parents of two children — Mrs. Clark of Fullerton, and Margaret of Buena
Park; John Walter married Miss Viola West of Fullerton and they have two children —
George and Velma. He acts as manager for his mother's ranch and resides in a com-
fortable home on the property. He is popular in the ranks of the Fraternal Brother-
hood and is one of the enterprising farmers of the Buena Park district, as is his
brother, Daniel R., who assists him in the management of the place. The latter mar-
ried Miss Grace Lucas, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lucas, and they are the
parents of a son, Daniel R., Jr. They are planting a considerable acreage of the
estate to citrus fruit, adding largely to its future value in this way, and besides the
ninety-two acres of the home place they rent land in the vicinity, and thus carry on
their ranching operations on a large scale.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE HELMS.— An old resident of Orange County
whose life has been fraught with interesting events is Napoleon Bonaparte Helms,
who was born in Missouri on April IS, 1844, the son of Huston and Nancy Helms,
natives respectively of Indiana and Missouri. A pair of twins was granted these worthy
parents, and our subject was one, his brother, Lafayette, who died in May, 1919, being
the other.

While yet a young man. Napoleon was to be found in Texas following the enter-
prise, in which so many young men of that day engaged, of stock raising. The Far
West, however, soon proved more alluring to him; and when the opportunity was offered
him to join a company of some fifty persons then being organized in Texas, each with
the same ambition, namely, to reach California and the Land of Gold, he did so, and
started on the venturesome trip. They trusted in the courage of their hearts and
the strength of their arms, and believed that they would reach the desired-for haven,
and perhaps that was why little out of the ordinary occurred on their journey of four
months by ox-team, until they reached San Bernardino in November, 1859. There
Mr. Helms made his home, working at various pursuits, and taking up farming by way
of preference when he could.

In 1867 Mr. Helms returned to Texas and with two uncles bought a herd of
1,800 steers to drive to California on speculation. Cattle at that time cost about five
to eight dollars a head, and it was predicted that the Medlin Train, so-called because
of the name of the leader, would realize a handsome profit on the deal. Everything
went veil until they got about 120 miles from El Paso, in the Guadalupe Mountains,
when they were attacked by the Indians; and while thev were overpowered to some
extent, they lost only their cattle and all their horses. There were only sixteen men
against eighty Indians, and they fought them two days. The ox-teams and their lives
were saved by hard fighting, and in October, 1868, they reached California.

At San Bernardino, in 1869, Mr. Helms married Miss Elizabeth Long, one of the
attractive ladies then in this western country, and three children were born to them:
William L., Isabelle T., wife of William Prichard, of Laguna, and Rosie Jane, wife of
Joseph Glines, of Oakdale. Six years later, in 1875, Mr. Helms came to Los .Angeles,
now Orange County, and located at Santa Ana, at that time a very small town with
only one store for the accommodation of the few pioneers: and here, for twenty-nine
years, he followed well drilling. Mrs. Helms passed away in October, 1914, at the age
of sixty-five, beloved by all who knew her.


Now Mr. Helms owns a trim little ranch of five acres, highly cultivated and
maintained in a manner such as would do anyone credit, upon which he conducts
general farming and where he is visited by his many friends; and there, too, he discusses
national politics, with the enthusiastic bias of a Jeflfersonian Democrat, but also as an
American citizen who will always put the welfare of his community ahead of party
triumphs, and who, therefore, never permits partisanship to affect him in his attitude
toward strictly local measures and movements.

JOSIAH C. JOPLIN. — Among the men who have built up a reputation that is
worthy of emulation and who have had the best interests of Orange County at heart
is Josiah C. Joplin. He was born near Liberty, what is now Bedford City, Bedford
County, Ya., a son of James W: and Emily (Booth) Joplin, both natives of that state.
The father, who was of Scotch extraction and a farmer by occupation, was born Novem-
ber 14. 1807. and died in Kentucky in 1900 at the venerable age of ninety-three. The
years between these dates were filled with hard toil and the endurance of trials that
are incident to life in a frontier country. The family was first represented in the United
States by Rafe Jopling who, with two brothers, James and Thomas Jopling. emigrated
from Scotland in the eighteenth century and settled in Virginia. Rafe Jopling espoused
the cause of his adopted country and sacrificed his life in the Revolutionary War.
James Jopling, the paternal grandfather of Josiah C, was a nephew of this soldier and
a planter in Virginia. The family originally spelled their name with the final g, one
of the family. Dr. Josiah, for whom the subject of this review was named, being the
first to use the present spelling, dropping the g. James W. Joplin was united in
marriage in Virginia with Emily Booth, who was born there on June 4. 1816, and died
in the same state August 2, 1869. Nine children were born to them: Thomas M.,
James Benjamin. Jesse, William, Josiah C, Ferdinand, Mrs. Betty Martin, Otho and
Charles. The latter was accidentally drowned at Memphis, Tenn.

Born in Bedford County, in the Old Dominion State, September IS, 1844, Josiah
C. Joplin was reared on a farm and received the training accorded to children in the
pioneer days. However, he had some educational advantages, though limited, in the

Online LibrarySamuel ArmorHistory of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 31 of 191)