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 108 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 108 of 177)
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ment of liakersfield is the jewelry store situated at No. 1414 Nineteenth street
and owned by The Lichtenstein Jewelry Company. When I\Ir. Lichtenstein
came to this city in 1910 and selected for his store the central location he now
retains, he decided to reproduce in the fixtures a Parisian establishment which
he had admired during one of his trips abroad. The development of the idea
proved successful. In all probability there is no other store in America simi-
larly equipped and finished, and visitors in Bakersfield invariably pause before
the store in admiration which always finds expression in terms of highest
praise. The walls are made of French plate mirrors, while the large scjuare
slu-wcases of French plate glass rest on marble bases, the entire equipment
representing an expenditure of $8500 and testifying silently as to the elegant
tastes of the owners.

The Lichtenstein family comes of German lineage. M. H.. father of
M. M., was born near Berlin, Germany, and at the age of thirteen came to the
United States with his parents, settling in St. Louis. After he had grown to
manhood he went to New York City and there with his father engaged in the
millinery business. Tales of the discovery of gold in Califi^irnia lured him to
the west, for he was of an adventurous disposition, fond of travel and fearless
in danger. During 1850 he landed at San Francisco after an uneventful voyage
via Panama. For a time he was employed in the express business in San
Francisco, but in 1852 he started an express and exchange business between
that city and Sacramento. It was his characteristic love of adventure that led
him to join the filibustering expedition organized by William ^^'alker, who
attempted, with a force of four hundred men, to make himself master of
Nicaragua. In that brief but disastrous campaign he had even more excite-
ment and danger than he liked. He narrowly escaped execution with many
of the other members of the expedition. The fate which others met he for-
tunately escaped. Without doubt he owed the preservation of his life to the
fact that he wore his Masonic eml)lem. As he made his way alone up the
coast, riding on a burro, he sutTered many hardships, went through many
exciting experiences and often traveled on very short rations.

\\'hen finally the unfortunate adventure had reached a safe termination.
Mr. Lichtenstein returned to San Francisco, secured employment and re-
mained until about 1870. Joining the rush to Pioche, Nev., at the time of the
Raymond-Ely excitement, he met with good luck and made a fortune of $150,-
UOO in the mines. However, being a true Californian of the old school and fond
of speculating on the Stock Exchange, he soon lost his entire fortune. Nothing
daunted, he began at the bottom once more and as soon as he had a suf-
ficient capital he engaged in the jewelry business in San Francisco. In spite
of his frequent losses on the Stock Exchange, he became well-to-do and con-
tinued to conduct a large jewelry trade until the time of the fire, .-\fter that he
Jailed rapidly and .■\pril 21. 1007. he passed away. .Surviving him and still


"living in San Francisco is his widow, Mrs. Toba Lichtenstein, who settled in
that city in 1865. Of their ten children four sons and one daughter still sur-
vive. The youngest son, M. M., was born in San Francisco September 5, 1872,
and received his advanced education in the city high school and Heald's
Business College. After he had graduated from the latter institution in 1887
he engaged in the jewelry business with his father on Stockton street, but
after the fire he opened a store on Market street near Powell, where he con-
tinued until his removal to Bakersfield. Meanwhile he made his first trip abroad
in 1894, when he met Miss Mathilda Herzog, a native of Mainz. They later
married at San Rafael, Cal., where she visited relatives. During 1909 they
made a long and enjoyable tour of Europe. All public movements receive the
support of Mr. Lichtenstein when he is convinced of their utility. In politics
he votes with the Democratic party. Several fraternities 'have the benefit of
his cordial co-operation. At this writing he acts as secretary of Bakersfield
Parlor No. 42, N. S. G. W., and with others is endeavoring to develop and pre-
serve all of the historical places in Kern county.

JESSE L. KELLEY.— The ability to judge stock accurately Mr. Kelley
inherits from his father, the late Thomas Kelley, who was considered a
successful stockman of his day and locality. Born in Maine, he had set-
tled in Missouri during young manhood and by gradual development he had
built up a large stock industry, owning thousands of head of cattle, horses
and mules. Early in the '50s he had crossed the plains with a party of men
desirous of inspecting the west. Soon he returned to JMissouri, but subse-
quently he made four other trips to the coast, at times traveling with ox-
teams and at times with horses. In addition to his homestead of fifteen
hundred acres near Marysville, Nodaway county. Mo., he acquired large
tracts of farm lands in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Eventually he sold
his stock and closed out his extensive interests in Missouri, removing from
that state to California, where he settled in Humboldt county. There he
soon became interested in the stock business and on his large ranch near
Ferndale he always kept a drove of fine horses as well as many head of
mules and cattle. On that ranch he remained until his death, which occurred
at the age of eighty-six years.

While living in Missouri, Thomas Kelley had met and married Mary
Lee, who was born in Kentucky and died in Missouri. At an early age
she left her home in the Blue Grass state in company with her father, Noah
Lee, a native Kentuckian and a member of a pioneer family of that com-
monwealth. For years Mr. Lee was one of the extensive and prominent
farmers of his county in Missouri. The twelve children of Thomas and
Mary (Lee) Kelley are living at the present writing and the youngest of
the large family, Jesse L., was born at the old homestead near Marysville,
Nodaway county, Mo., April 2, 1878. Reared on the farm, from boyhood
he was familiar with the stock industry in every department. As a boy
he was able to point to the defects in a horse or steer. He also studied their
diseases and the best cures for each. When only eleven years of age he was
trading in horses and while some of his trades were more fortunate for the
other party than for himself, yet each was a stepping-stone in his training
and added to his knowledge of animals. As early as 1893 he made his first
trip to California and at San Francisco followed the riding of race horses.
In other large cities of the United States he engaged in the same work.

When twenty-one years of age Mr. Kelley began to buy and sell stock
at Marysville, Mo., where he had a yard of his own and operated with a
skill that was little short of remarkable in view of his youth. Older dealers
in stock were amazed at his trained judgment. After some years in the
same place he decided to remove to California. During 1899 he located in
San Francisco and engaged in buying and selling horses and mules, fre-



cjuently returning to Missouri on business, but always considering- Cali-
fornia his home. Since 1906 he has engaged in business in Bakersficld and
has become the largest shipper of stock in the entire San Joaquin valley.
His shipments of horses and mules have been especially large. Growers of
stock have come to place every confidence in his judgment and have found
his prices the best that the market justifies. Four miles from Bakersfield
on the Kern Island road he owns a fine alfalfa ranch of eighty acres and
finds the care of the property an enjoyable change from his business affairs
in the city. While he never has been active in politics nor has sought office
he keeps posted concerning public affairs, and votes the Republican ticket
at general elections. By his marriage in Marj'sville, Mo.. November 20, 1900,
to Miss Mattie McLean, who was born and reared near Marysville, Mo., he is
the father of two children, Floyd and Clara, now students in the Bakersfield

JAMES ALEXANDER.— Everywhere, in every community, people Im.k
up to Scotchmen as an example of that which constitutes good citizenshi]j. The
Scotchman is a worker, an economist, a lover of country and a friend of educa-
tion and enlightenment. He prospers and, prospering, helps others to prosper.
The citizen of Weldon, Kern county, Cal., whose name is at the head of this
brief notice daily impresses upon his neighbors the truth of these reflections.
Born in Kincardineshire, Scotland, October 22, 1875, a sun of David Alexander
and a descendant of old and honorable Scottish families, he was early placed in
the public schools of his native place and studied hard until he was twelve year*
old, when he was obliged to lay down his books and help to earn the family
livelihood. Owing to his father's ill health, the boy had from a very early age
much responsibility in the conduct of the family affairs. When he was
eighteen years of age, in 1893, the whole family came to America and, making
their way to California, settled before the end of that year on what is now
James Alexander's ranch on the South Fork of the Kern river. He took charge
of affairs and they leased from the A. Brown Company until 1911, when they
purchased the place. Mr. Alexander owns two hundred and forty acres, one
hundred and ninety acres of which is under cultivation. It is under irrigation
and about one hundred acres is in growing alfalfa. He is also a grower of
grain and is engaged quite extensively in the breeding of cattle, hogs and
horses, also cattle and hogs for the market, his brand being a JA joined.

Fraternally ]\Ir. Alexander is a member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, affiliating with Kernville Lodge No. 251. He is a member of the
board of trustees of Weldon School District and is clerk of the board. .\ suc-
cessful man, of public spirit, he has been a promoter of many local m()\e-
ments for the general good. June 27, 1907, he married Miss Grace L. Bishop,
in Kings county. She was born in Nova Scotia, daughter of William A.
Bishop, who brought his family to California. ^Irs. Alexander was educated
in Santa Clara county and was graduated from the state normal at San Jose
in 1900. engaging in educational work until her marriage. Two daughters have
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Alexander and his wife, Mabel and .\lice. The
mother of Mr. Alexander died in 1906, and his father now lives with him. .

J. W. BATES.— As field superintendent of the Fairfield Oil Company,
Mr. Bates has charge of one hundred and twenty acres lying on section 13,
31-22, a similar tract on section 19, 31-22, all of section 11, 31-22 (which is
undeveloped), and twenty acres on section 19, 30-22, at McKittrick, upon
which there are seven producing wells. The average production runs from ten
thousand to twenty thousand barrels, and it is the ambition of the superintend-
ent to develop the leases to the fullest degree possible, with the hope that the
returns may be commensurate with justifiable expectations.

Prior to coming to the west Mr. Bates made his home in New Hamp-
shire, where he was born January 18, 1889, where he received a common-


school education and where he was trained for the responsibilities of the busi-
ness world. An interesting experience at Dartmouth College was brought to a
close with his graduation in 1910. In the course of his study in that institution
he had been prominent- in a number of societies and fraternities. In the fall of
1910 he left the east and came to California, where a friend in San Francisco
secured work for him in the McKittrick oil field. The position was not one of
importance, being that of mule-driver. To work strenuously and laboriously
did not daunt him in the least. By the quiet discharge of uninteresting duties
he proved that a college graduate was not superior to manual labor and did
not disdain the humblest duties. Soon he was promoted to be a tool-dresser
and in May, 1913, he was made manager of the Fairfield Oil Company, which
has four wells and one now drilling. During 1912 occurred the death of his
father, F. C. Bates, for years the owner and proprietor of a large boot and
shoe business at Somersworth, Strafford county, N. H. Surviving him are the
wife and daughter, still residents of New Hampshire, and the only son, who
inherited the shoe business. Being pleased with California and the oil busi-
ness, Mr. Bates has given over to his mother the management of the store at
Somersworth and she in turn has entrusted it largely to an experienced old
employe long connected with the establishment.

AUGUST MAUREL.— Gap, Hautes-Alpes, France, was the birthplace
of August Maurel, the date being July 11, 1865. His father, Francois Maurel,
being a farmer, he was reared to that pursuit, attending school until he reached
the age of fifteen. In 1882 he made his way to the United States, coming
directly to the Pacific coast and followed gardening in San Francisco for a
while, in January of 1883 coming to Sumner. Mr. Maurel found work with
a sheepman on the plains, being thus occupied for about three years, when
he purchased a flock of ewes and started out for himself. This he has
since continued with such marked success that he is designated as one of
the large sheepmen in the county. His herd at starting consisted of about
fifteen hundred head, but at times it has reached twelve thousand. For
the first seven 3'ears he ranged his sheep at Poso Bridge, then between Kern
river and Poso creek, then for about ten years at Granite Station and vicinity,
and still later in the Weed Patch and Rock Pile country.

Mr. Alaurel owns property near San Bernardino, but he has always made
his home in Kern county, his place of residence being now at the corner of
Eureka and Owens streets. East Bakersfield. He has invested in real estate
in this city and owns five other residences which are valuable pieces of prop-
erty. He was married in East Bakersfield July 12, 1893, to Miss Marie
Robert, who was also a native of Hautes-Aloes, France. They are the par-
ents of three children, viz.: August G., who is attending Heald's Business
Colles-e, San Jose ; Alice, attending Bakersfield Business College ; and George.
Mr. Maurel is a member of the Order of Eagles and the Druids, and in
politics is a stanch Renublican.

JEREMIAH SHIELDS.— .Among the ancestors of Jeremiah Shields on
the maternal side his great-ereat-grandfather McElroy came from Scotland
and settled in county Eondonderry, Ireland, where later generations have been
identified ud to the present time. The Shields family were distinctly from
countv Donep-al, that being the lifelong home of James and Catherine (Mc-
Elrov) Shields. The earlv associations of their son, Jeremiah, bound him
closelv to that county, where he was born on New Year's day of 1843 and
where he was reared on a farm sixteen miles from the city of Londonderry.
May 4, 1868, he landed in the city of New York, oenniless but hooeful. and
possessine a robust constitution that enabled him to endure without harm the
heavv work of later vears. After a brief sojourn in New York Citv and Phila-
delphia he went to Omaha, Nebr., and secured employment on the construc-
tion work of the Union Pacific Railroad. The vast plains were almost wholly


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 108 of 177)