Copyright
Wallace Melvin Morgan.

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

. (page 101 of 177)
Online LibraryWallace Melvin MorganHistory of Kern County, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present; → online text (page 101 of 177)
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1912, and he was buried in Bakersfield with impressive Masonic services.
He and his wife and family were Presbyterians. Mrs. Fry, who before her
marriage was Miss Mattie Dorsay, was a native of Arkansas, having been
born in the Ozarks. She was a member of an English and Scotch family,
lier father having been born in Maryland, whence at an early day he and his
family removed to Arkansas. Mrs. Fry came across the plains with her par-
ents in 1852 and married her husband in Sonora, Cal., February 14, 1865.
She survived him but ten days.

Mr. Fry was the father of seven children, two by his first marriage
and five by his second. Frances M. is now the wife of L. P. Guiberson,
who has further mention in this publication. John W. is superintendent
of the \\'illiam McKittrick ranch, south of Bakersfield. Dessie M. is the
wife of Henry Dubbers, a farmer and stockman ; Mrs. Dubbers has taught
school in Kern and Fresno counties for twenty-five years and is one of the
county's most successful instructors. Helen M. is the wife of Roberts Coats,
of Bakersfield. William, the brother of the half blood, is a ranchman near
Lemoore, Cal. Calvin died in Kern county, unmarried, and Charles Adolphus
in his childhood. The father of these children was at his death one of
the best known and most loved pioneers in the county. He had occasion
to lend his aid to many unfortunates among the Rosedale colonists and he
gave of his stores with a free and generous hand. All in need found in him
a readv giver and his memory is held dear by many who have been rescued
from want and hunger through his kindly assistance and forethought. Mr.
Fry never held any public office, but his life was full of duties well done,
and he was ever deeply interested in the welfare of his community.

DANIEL H. BLOOD.— Among the men who cast their lot in Kern
countv and helped to build it up to the best of their ability we find Daniel
H. Blood, who was born near Ovid, Clinton county, Mich., December 10,
1849. He is the son of Daniel and Susan (Turner) Blood, natives of New
York state, who were honored farmers of Clinton county, Mich. Daniel H.
was educated in the schools of his vicinity and was brought up on the home
farm. After reaching his majority he engaged in farming, thereafter,
except for the period that he followed the mercantile business and later ran
a grist mill.

Being desirous of locating in California Mr. Blood leased his farm and
in March, 1891, came with his wife and family to Bakersfield. The first two
years were spent in farming in the Rio Bravo district and he then pur-
chased three and one-half acres on Dracena street. Bakersfield. This they
improved and brought to a high state of cultivation, setting it out to berries
of all kinds which he continued to raise for many years, afterwards following
carpentering until his death, December 24, 1905.

Mr. Blood was married in Ovid, Mich., November 12, 1873. when he was
united with Miss Adelia Jones, who was born in Yates county, N. Y. When
a mere child she went with her parents, Silas E. and Fannie (Eldred) Jones,
to Clinton county. New York, where they were farmers. Mrs. Blood was
reared in Michigan where she also received her education. They were the
parents of four children ; Ella, Mrs. McCloud of Hollywood : Clifford, de-



1004 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

ceased; Fred M., of Braly ; and Roscoe, who resides with his mother in
Bakersfield.

Since her husband's death Mrs. Blood has continued to reside on
Dracena street, where she built a new residence and enjoys meeting her
many friends, who esteem her for her many acts of kindness.

Fraternally Mr. Blood was a Mason in Laingsburg, Mich., but after
coming to Bakersfield he affiliated with Bakersfield Lodge No. 224,
F. & A. M.

JOSEPH SERAN.— Lockhaven stock farm located five miles southwest
of Bakersfield, comprises six hundred and forty acres devoted to raising
alfalfa, Holstein cattle, Percheron horses and Yorkshire hogs. The latter
were exhibited at the state fair in 1913, taking fourteen blue ribbons and
four gold medals. The owner of the ranch is Otis Lockhart cif Los Angeles,
while Joseph Seran is the superintendent of the ranch and he is intensely
interested in having all stock of the purest blood and highest grade. On
the ranch is a herd of full blooded Holstein cattle, one hundred and forty-two
of them comprising the dairy.

Joseph Seran was born in Lenape, Leavenworth county, Kan., January
26, 1874, the son of Capt. William L. and Amanda (Lashley) Seran, born
in Aura, N. J. The father enlisted as a private in Company H, Twelfth New
Jersey Volunteer Lifantry. Afterwards he was commissioned captain of
Company H, One Hundred and Twenty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops and after
the close of the war was ordered to Ft. Bliss, Texas, where he was quarter-
master's quartermaster. He was mustered out October 31, 1867, then located
in Lenape, Kan., and engaged in farming. Later he removed to Muskogee,
I. T., making his home there until he retired, and he now resides with his son.
The mother died in Oklahoma in 1909.

Of their family of ten children nine are living, Joseph being the fifth
oldest. His boyhood was spent on the farm, securing his education in the
public schools. He followed farming in Indian Territory until 1903, when
he came to Los Angeles county and became superintendent of the Lockhart
ranch in Inglewood. In 1911 he came to Kern county to take charge of the
Lockl:aven stock farm at Gosford to which he gives his best efforts.

In Indian Territory occurred the marriage of Joseph Seran with Cora
Stackhouse, a native of Missouri and they have one child, Otis. Fraternally
he was made a Mason in Seminole Lodge No. 106, F. & A. M., but his mem-
bership is now at Inglewood. He is also a member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and the jModern Woodmen of America. Politically
he is a Republican.

KARL SCHNEIDER.— A native of Germany, Karl Schneider was born
at Laugenbach, Weisbaden, October 19, 1850, the son of Christian and
Katherina (Schob) Schneider. The father was a contractor and builder in
Laugenbach, where he and his wife died. Of their seven children Karl was
the third oldest and received his education in the public schools, after which
he became a stationary engineer, being employed in the iron mines in
Herdorf. In 1883 he came to the LTnited States, locating in Marion county,
Kan., where he followed farming and later also worked as a carpenter and
afterward as a bricklayer. In 1892 he located on a homestead twenty-two
miles west of Hennessey, in Kingfisher county, Okla. He made valuable im-
provements, bought land adjoining and had four hundred and eighty acres
which he devoted to raising grain and stock.

In 1910 Mr. Schneider brought his family to California and located
on a farm of one hundred and eighty-two and one-half acres which he
purchased eight miles northwest of Bakersfield. He has made improve-
ments, built a residence and barns, sunk a well and installed an engine and
pumping plant for irrigating alfalfa. He is also raising grain and hay.




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HISTORY OF KKRX COIIXTY 1007

Mr. Schneider was married in Marion county, Kan., to Loiii.se Ortner,
who was born in Caucasus, Russia, the daughter of Christian and Kathrina
fMiller) Ortner, who emigrated to Marion county, Kan., and later to Okla-
homa. To Mr. and Mrs. Schneider were born twelve children, ten of whom
are living, namely: Carrie, Mrs. Voth. who resides in this county; Samuel,
a farmer in Blaine county, Okla. ; Amelia, Airs. Sinner of Shafter, this
county; Karl, a farmer in Kingfisher county, Okla.; and Hannah, Ezra,
Isaac, Williain, Louise, and Herman, who reside at home. Mr. Schneider
and his family are meml)ers of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

GEORGE M. WILKINS.— The growth and prosperity of a city is
evidenced by its building operations and in this respect the advance of
Bakersfield has been more than notable. Much capital has been invested in
new buildings, the designing and construction of which have called for
trained ability of a high order. Many architects and builders who would
have made their marks in much larger cities have found here a worthy field
for their endeavor, and among the most successful of them is George M.
Wilkins, who is at the head of the Builders' Exchange as its president. Mr.
Wilkins was born in Nevada, Mo., May 20, 1873, a son of Alexander and
Martha J. (Pryor) Wilkins. His father, Alexander Wilkins, Jr., was a son
of Alexander Wilkins, Sn, a native of Scotland, who became a contractor
and builder in Vermont and lived out his days there. The younger Alex-
ander Wilkins was born and reared in Vermont and early learned the builders'
trade. In the course of events he removed to Wisconsin, from which state
he went to the Civil war as a member of a Wisconsin regiment which did
gallant service in that struggle. His brother, A. B. Wilkins, was an officer
in the same regiment, and another brother,- Matthew, also fought under the
stars and stripes on southern battlefields. Alexander is now a resident of
Bakersfield, where he lives retired. His wife, Martha J. Pryor, was born on
Pryor's creek in Vernon county, Mo., a daughter of James P. Pryor, a pioneer
in that vicinity, and she, too, is living. Of their thirteen children four sur-
vive, George M. being the eldest of these. When he was six years old he
was taken by his parents to Barry county. Mo., and he grew up and attended
public school in that vicinity. His natural inclination led him to a knowl-
edge of the carpenter's trade and at eighteen he began work as a journeyman
at Fort Worth, Tex. Later he located at Dublin, Tex. He availed himself
of an opportunity to take a commercial course meanwhile, and later pursued
a course in architecture under the system of the International Correspondence
School at Scranton. Pa. From Dublin he went to Osawatomie. Kans., and
thence removed to Kansas City, where until 1899 he was employed in con-
structing refrigerating cars for the Armour Packing Company. After that
he took up farming in Barry county. Mo., but in 1901 found himself in
Truckee, Cal., superintendent for the McClellan Construction Company. In
1903 he established himself as a contractor and builder at Fresno and about
a year later he went into the real estate business at Long Beach, handling
property there and in Los Angeles with considerable success, acquiring a
residence on Hermosa street. In 1907 he took up his residence in Bakers-
field, opening an office as an architect and builder, and since that time he
has drawn plans for over four hundred buildinc^s. He was for a time super-
intendent for James Arp, but resigned in 1909 to accept a local superin-
tendency of the business of the Linds:ren Company of San Francisco.

At Lon.g Beach Mr. Wilkins married Miss Anna J. O'Hanrahan, a native
of Dublin, Ireland. Fraternally he affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of
America. One of the organizers, in 1910, of the Bakersfield Builders' Ex-
change, he is now president of that body. In all his relations with his fellow
citizens he is public-spiritedly helpful to all local interests.

In 1912 he purchased fifteen acres in the Mayflower addition, subdivided
it into one hundred and fifty lots, and erected five residences and a store,



1008 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

the last mentioned being- on Brundage lane and Wilkins street. He opened
up the store with a line of general merchandise and the business is under
the management of Mrs. Wilkins. A splendid example of Mr. Wilkins' abil-
ity as an architect and builder may be seen in the fine residence which he

owns at No. 2700 Chester avenue.

WILLIAM T. RATLIFF.— The attainment of a considerable degree of
financial success and commercial prestige may be attributed to the self-
reliant, energetic labors of Mr. Ratliff and his persistence in the face of
repeated discouragements that would have brought failure to a man of
less determination. In addition to the ownership of an important business,
conducted under the title of the Bakersfield Produce and Implement Com-
pany, he engaged in the poultry and dairy business and owned and occupied
a well-improved ranch of fifteen acres situated on Jewett lane. It was his
good fortune to have the assistance of one son in the store and of the other
son on the ranch and the three, working in harmony, gained the confidence
of business associates as well as a satisfactory financial return for their
investment of time and capital. Ill health overtook Mr. Ratliff in the midst
of his business success, and in the hope of regaining his former strength
he went to Long Beach, where his death occurred June 5, 1913.

Noting the history of the Ratliff' family we find that Milton Ratliff
was born in Kentucky and returned to that state to spend his last days after
many years of active business association with the city of Indianapolis,
where still lives his widow, Elizabeth (Bracken) Ratliff and where occurred
the birth of their two children. Of these the only one to attain mature years
was William T., whose birth occurred December 2, 1863, and whose educa-
tion was secured in Indiana public schools. For a time during young manhood
he engaged in farming in Boone county, Ind., but in 1891 he closed out
his interests in that state and came to Bakersfield. Near this city he became
interested in general farming, stock-raising and fruit-growing. Afterward
he engaged in shipping hay and grain. The discovery of oil caused him to
discontinue the running of a stage to Glenville and take up the freighting
business to the Kern river field and to the west side field. At first he kept
only two horses, but the demands of the business caused him to enlarge his
stable until finally he owned ten teams of fine horses.

As an employe and as manager of the pit owned by the Union refinery
Mr. Ratliff held for three years a position involving constant work and
many responsibilities. During the following two and one-half years he
engaged as a carpenter in the building of the roofs of the large reservoirs
owned by the Standard Oil Company. Upon resigning that position he
embarked in the livery business, buying the Panama stable in Bakersfield
and later buying the old Diamond stable on Chester avenue. After operating
both barns for two and one-half years he disposed of them and bought the
Union stable on K street. For two years he operated that business and
then sold to E. P. Davis. We next find him connected with the oil industry
on the west side as an organizer of the Sunset Security Oil Company. Upon
the incorporation of the concern he was made vice-president and manager.
The company acquired one thousand acres, most of it on section 29, town-
ship 11, range 23, in the Sunset field. During Janua,ry of 1910 he resigned
his official position with the company and in September of the ensuing year
he bought a one-third interest in the Bakersfield Produce and Implement
Company at No. 1711 Chester avenue. Afterwards he bought out both of
his partners, maintaining in his establishment a complete line of heavy and
shelf hardware, agricultural implements, paints and oils, feed and seed, dairy
and poultry supplies. In 1884, while living in Indiana, he was married in
Boone county to Miss Rosa Emmert, born in Montgomery county, Ind.,
bv whom he had four children, namely : Carrie, Mrs. H. A. Martin of Taft ;




t=^



HISTORY OF KFRN COUNTY 1011

Opal, Mrs. Arthur Bean of San Francisco; Joseph William, who assists in
the store; and Ora Warren, who manages the little ranch. In politics Mr.
Ratliff voted with the Democratic party. Fraternally he was identified with
the Elks, Eagles and \\'oodmen of the World, and was also a member of the
Bakersfield ^[erchants' .Association. Mrs. Ratliff is a member of the Women
of W^oodcraft.

OTTO HAESE, — The postmaster at Mojave is one of those capable,
efficient young men who have been attracted to this section of the country-
through the development and construction work connected with the Los
Angeles a . (/^r>^i^



Online LibraryWallace Melvin MorganHistory of Kern County, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present; → online text (page 101 of 177)