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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 116 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 116 of 177)
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careful management of his teams. Freight machinery, lumber and cement
were carried for this firm, and Mr. Swofiford hauled the first and last load, his
services proving most valuable to his employers. The job was completed in
November, 1904. He remained with the Reed Brothers until July 1, 1905, then
driving sixteen-horse teams fcr the borax contractor. Hank Hawn, and hauled
borax from the Frazier Borax Mines in Ventura county to Bakersfield, taking
eight days to make the round trip. In about November. 1905. he went to Los
Angeles and engaged with Donovan-Bourland as a teamster, and remained
with them through the winter, then returning to Bakersfield. He went to
logging for the Frazier Borax Company until September, 1906, and through
September, October and November of that year was at Edison hauling heavy
machinery for the Edison Electric Company as teamster for the Short Broth-
ers, who had the contract for hauling all that heavy machinery. It was while
in this employment that he drove thirty horses and hauled some i)ieces of
machinery weighing as much as twenty-eight tons apiece. In 1907 he re-
engaged with the Frazier Borax Company and became head teamster, work-
ing for them until January, 1908. when he was transferred to Lang, Los
Angeles county, and there continued teaming until August 1, 1908. when he
went east to ^lissouri for a three months' visit, during August, September
and October. The first of November found him back in Kern county and he
then leased the Beeknian ranch for five years, this ])eing his present place,
which bids fair to become one of the most productive places in the county.
Mr. Swofford has snent much time in corn-growing and has evinced a great
interest in its production. In 1912 he grew several acres of corn which in yield
and quality would compare favorably with that grown in Missouri. He has
raised fine corn as a second crop after the first crop (of barley hay) has been
taken of¥. In 1912 he planted several acres in this manner and found to his



1172 HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY

surprise that the seconti crop outyiehled the ccirn planted as the first crop
over two tons to the acre and the ears were exceptionally large and fine. So
fuccessfiil has he been in this venture that he is becoming a specialist on corn-
raising. Mr. Swofford is also interested in the breeding of good horses and is
a shareholder in the celebrated Union Avenue Horse Company, owner
of one of the best imported stallions ever brought to this state. Politically
Mr. Swofl^ord is a Democrat.

E. W. WALTERS.— A personal identification with Kern county cover-
ing one-quarter of a century and a connection with ranching for twenty years
of that period entitle Mr. Walters to rank among the pioneer farmers to
whose optimistic labors, unwearied application and large-hearted devotion
the county owes in large degree its high standing as an agricultural center.
When eventually approaching age imposed its limitations upon his strength
and necessitated his retirement from ranching he sold the farm that had
been his home for twenty years and removed to Bakersfield, where he has
bought lots, erected a number of cottages and now makes his home, having no
labor more arduous than the supervision of the six houses he still owns. It is
but natural that a man who fought under the stars and stripes during the
Civil war and who has been a lifelong student of governmental problems,
should maintain a patriotic interest in every movement bearing upon our
national prosperity and continued development. Political economy has been
studied bv him for many years and has made hiin a Socialist.

In a family of seven sons (all now deceased excepting two) the fourth in
order of birth, E. W. Walters was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, Janu-
ary 15, 1842, being a son of the late Isaac and Isabelle (Correll) Walters,
natives of Ohio, where the mother remained until death. The father, who
had followed the trade of blacksmith in the Buckeye state, removed to Illinois
during 1858 and embarked in the mercantile business. The last years of his
life were passed in Alissouri and there his death occurred. At the time of
the removal of the family to Illinois in 1858 E. W. Walters was a youth of
sixteen years, rugged and energetic, well qualified to do a man's work in the
breaking of new land and placing under cultivation of a farm. When twenty
years of age he was accepted as a private in the Union army, becoming a
member of Company H, Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry, during August of
1862. With his regiment he marched to the front and bore an active part
in the contest between north and south. His principal engagements were
those at Resaca, Dallas, Snake Creek Gap, Peach Tree creek, Kenesaw moun-
tain, l.oveioy S:ation and Atlanta. From beginning to end of the great march
to the sea he was with the troops, enduring the hardships of forced marches,
the fatigue of camp routine and the dangers of frequent skirmishes. On that
march the most important battles in which he bore a part were at Golds-
borough and Bentonville. As one of "Sherman's Greezers" he marched in the
grand review at Washington, D. C, and from that city was ordered to Louis-
ville, Ky., where in August of 1865 he was mustered out of the service. From
there the regiment proceeded to Chicago, where he was honorably discharged.

A clerkship of about twelve months was followed by the marriage of Mr.
Walters in November, 1866, and his removal to an Illinois farm. For twenty
years he followed agriculture in that state, after which, from 1886 to 1888,
he made his home in Creston, Iowa, and thence came to California in 1888,
settled in Kern county, took up a homestead and began to transform the
virgin soil into a productive ranch. The task was one of great difficulty.
The arduous nature of the work might have daunted one less persevering than
he, but in the end he had the satisfaction of owning an improved ranch, with
neat residence, other substantial buildings, fences, fine stock, needed ma-
chinery, etc., the property being one of the best in the San Emidio country.
In 1908 he sold the ranch and came to Bakersfield. which has since been




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HISTORY OF KKRX COUNTY 1175

the home of himself and wife, the latter formerly Miss Mary E. Scott and a
native of SistersviUe, Tyler county, \V. Va. Her father, John Scott, removed
to Adams county and later to Hancock county. He and his wife, Marv E.
Scott, both passed away in Illinois. Of the four sons and three daughters^
two are living. Three of the sons served in Illinois regiments in the Civil'
war, two of them giving up their lives in battle. Mrs. Walters, ne.xt to the
youngest of the children, was brought up in Illinois. To herself and husband
six children were born, five of whom are living. Named in order of birth
they are as follows: Mrs. Etta I. Allen, of Los Angeles; Frank A., a farmer
at Lerdo: John R., an oil driller on the west side; Oscar E., who died in
infancy ; Thomas E., who served in a California regiment in the Spanish-
American and Philippine war, and now employed in the Kern river oil field;
and Raymond I., a plumber engaged in business in Bakersfield. For many
years Mr. Walters has been connected with Hurlburt Post No. 126, G. A. R.,
while he also is identified with the blue lodge of Masonry. Mrs. Walters is
a charter member of Hurllnirt Relief Corps No. 115, \\'. R. C, and a member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

JOHN OLIVER HART.— Kern county, Cal., is particularly for-
tunate in having a board of supervisors composed of men large in char-
acter and in achievements. Prominent among these is John Oliver Hart,
supervisor representing the third supervisorial district. Mr. Hart is a
native of Kern county, a son of Joseph Bishop Hart, whose father, Joseph
B., early located in Texas and came overland with ox-teams to California,
through the Indian country, by way of Fort Yuma, to Elmonte, soon after
1850, accompanied by his son and other meml)ers of his family. Jdseph
Bishop Hart obtained his schooling at Elmonte and engaged in stock-
raising and farming, operating for many years near Keene. Kern county.
In 1897 he sold his land and located at East Bakersfield, where he is now
living aged sixty-nine years. He was a pioneer at Tehachapi, where he
engaged in farming, stock-raising and freighting with o.x-teams from Los
An,geles across Tehachapi to Havilah. In the latter enterprise he was
assisted by his brothers Aaron and Martin and sometimes by others.
Once his outfit was attacked by Indians near \\'alker's Basin and his two
brothers were killed, a companion named Dawson making his escape. Jo-
seph Bishop Hart married Mary A. Finley, a native of Texas, who was
brought to California while a child by her father, John Henry Finley. She
grew up in Fresno county to be a true woman of the west, and 1)ore her
husband three sons and three daughters, uf whom two sons and two
daughters are living.

John Oliver Hart, the eldest, was born at Tehachapi. October 21. 1S71,
and obtained his education in the public schools. He early gained a jirac-
tical knowledge of the stock business, and after having assisted his father
for some years, began to raise cattle in the mountains for himself. The
brand he used was one which his father had established and was one of
the early brands used in the county. It represented a heart with a yoke
underneath, connected. In 1899 5lr. Hart settled in East Bakersfield,
building his residence on Grove street, and he has since made his home
there, giving attention meanwhile to his extensive stock interests. His
stock range on the Kern river is one of the best in this part of the county.
He has become well known to the business community as the local repre-
sentative of the Union Hardware & Metal Company, the .Associated Oil
Company and Fairbanks, Morse & Co. Some of these relations have
been maintained for twelve years. He was long foreman for the Asoociated
Oil Company and severed his connection with Fairbanks, Morse & Co.
only because of his election as supervisor of the third district, to which
he was chosen as a Democrat in November, 1910. He took the oath of
office, to serve four years, in Tanuary, 1911. and is making an cnvialile



1176 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

record as an official, taking an active part in public improvements, such
as road building, the building of the court house and the Kern river
bridge and jail. Fraternally he affiliates with the Woodmen of the World,
Eagles and the Order of Moose. As a citizen he has demonstrated his
public spirit in many ways. He was married, at Tehachapi July 2, 1897,
to Miss Carrie Roberts, daughter of Lewis and Nellie (Miller) Roberts,
natives, respectively, of Canada and Vermont, both of whom are living in
Globe, Ariz. She was born in Burlingcon, Vt., and accompanied her par-
ents to Idaho in 1882 and thence came to California in 1896. Mr. and Mrs.
Hart have four children, Lila, Nora, Agnes and John.

PETER PETERSEN.— A native of Denmark Mr. Petersen was born
at Swenburg, on the Island of Fyen, May 23, 1879, being the second oldest
of a family of twelve children born to Hans and Katrina (Hansen) Petersen.
The father is a carpenter in his native place, but the mother is deceased.

Peter Petersen was educated in the public schools until fourteen years
of age, when' he began working at the carpenter's trade under his father,
continuing with him until he was seventeen. In the meantime, having
saved some mcne}^ he began attending the high school and after completing
the course he entered the Government Dairy School at Joelland, working
his way through school and graduating in 1902. He further perfected him-
self as an engineer by taking a course at the Engineers' School in Odense,
after which he became manager of a creamery at Skaro, Denmark. Having
a desire to try his fortunes in California he came hither in 1906 and the
first six months was an engineer with a gas well-borer near Stockton. He
was then manager of a creamery in Oregon, later buttermaker at Layton,
Cal., and later held a similar position in Fresno.

In 1911 Mr. Petersen came to McFarland and became manager of the
McFarland Creamery Company, engaged in the manufacture of butter, and
since then the compan)- has taken first prize at the state fair for the best
quality of butter in the state. The company is also engaged in the manu-
facture of ice. Mr. Petersen owns twenty acres three-quarters of a mile
west Lif McFarland, where he has built his home and is engaged in intensified
farming and the dairy business. He has two pumping plants yielding one
hundred and twenty-five inches of water, not only supplying his own place
with ample water for irrigation, but also sixty acres adjoining, all devoted
to raising alfalfa. He has on the place a herd of sixteen cows, all full-
blooded and high grade Holsteins.

Mr. Petersen was married in Denmark in 1906, being united with Afiss
Christene Willumsen, and they are the parents of one child. Harry. Having
been reared in the Lutheran Church, he and his wife adhere to that faith.

ISAAC W. HARBAUGH.— Mr. Harbaugh was born in Washington
county, Md., October 20, 1855, a son of Lewis F. and Anna (Hoffman)
Harbaugh of old Maryland families. His grandfather, Alexander Har-
baugh, served as a captain through the war of 1812. After he had completed
the studies at the public schools Isaac W. Harbaugh entered a business col-
lege in Baltimore and took a commercial course. Leaving college at the age
of eighteen he began to work for his father and continued with him for three
years, when he started cut to earn his own way in the world. During 1877,
he came to the west and became a resident of California, where for six years
he was employed as a bookkeeper in a store in Mendocino county. Thence
he went to Fresno to join his father, who had embarked in farm pursuits in
that section of the state. In 1889 he came to Kern county and bought a quar-
ter-secticn of unimproved land from the railroad company. The tract, which
he still owns, lies twelve miles west of Bakersfield in the Rosedale district
and in addition he owns one hundred and sixty acres between his home place
and Rosedale. and he also owns property in Bakersfield. His quarter-section



HISTORY OI- KI'RX (OrXTY n7->

ranch is rented and he devute;; liis attenliun to ihc raising of alfalfa, grain and
stock on his home place, where now he has seventy-live head of hogs, the same
number of cattle and twelve head of horses. The success crowning his well-
directed efforts has been enhanced by the unceasing co-operation of his wife,
whom he married August 10, 1898, and who bore the maiden name of Cecelia
Burr. She is a native daughter of the state, having been born in San Francisco,
where her parents were earl}^ settlers. Her father, Charles H. Burr, served in
the Seventh Battery Wisct nsin Light Artillery during the Civil war, and he
passed awaj' October 27, 1911. Her mother was before her marriage Martha
L. Cantrell. a native of the state of New York, and she now makes her home
with Airs. Harbaugh. The education of Mrs. Harbaugh was acquired in the
public schools and the Universit_v of California, and she was engaged in teach-
ing in Kern county until her marriage. There are two children in the family,
Charles L. and Clarence Arthur, whose training for future usefulness in the
world forms the chief ambition of Mr. Harbaugh and his capable wife. The
father is interested in the cause of education and is clerk of the board of trus-
tees of the Greeley school district. The family attends the Episcopal church
of which Mrs. Harbaugh is a member.

GEORGE A. YANCEY. — Two miles south of the town proper of
Bakersfield, Kern county, lies the improved and up-to-date farm of Ceorge
A. Yancey, a farmer of prominence in the community, who has prospered
well since his coming to California in 1897, at which time he became a
permanent and loyal resident of the coun;y, giving his support to all
projects proposed for the advancement and development of his community.

William Yancey, father of George A., was born in Tennessee and was
formerly a resident of Indiana, where in Benton county his son was born
March 12, 1860. He married Maria Onesettler, born in Pennsylvania, and
together they made their way to California in 1895, settling in the Weed
Patch in Kern county. Inured to the hardships of pioneer life, they soon
found themselves the owners of an improved and well-cultivated farm
which they had acquired by their hard labors from the land in its wild
state, and many happy days were spent there in the enjoyment of their
well-earned prosperity. The father passed away in 1903, the mother, now
at the age of seventj^-two years, making her home at Glennville, Cal.

Receiving his primary education in his native county, George A. Yan-
cey made his home in Indiana for many years, growing to manhood and
developing splendid traits of character which his parents had instilled in
him in their quiet, even home life. At the age of twenty-six he removed
to Cass count)'. Mo., where he was married to Aliss Sadie Bateman, a native
of Coshocton county, Ohio, the daughter of Mathew and Mar:ha (McFar-
land) Bateman, who were natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively.
She was reared in Cass county. Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Yancey became the
parents of two children, Gertrude, who is now the wife of Bob Kincer, a
farmer of Gosford ; and John, who is at home with his parents. Mr. Yancey
made his home in Missouri for many years, following the vocation of
farmer, which has been his life work. His interest had ever been turned
toward the west and with the thorough understanding of a farmer as to the
exceptional conditions of the fertile soil and the climate in California, he
decided in 1897 to follow his parents to Kern county, where upon arrival
he purchased his present forty-acre farm on Union avenue and Brundage
lane, just two miles south of the town of Bakersfield. Building house and
barns, he set out to improve this land and such has been his success that
today he is the owner of one of the best producing and generally well-kept
farms in the vicinity devoted principally to alfalfa. His wife is also the
owner of twenty acres of land on Union avenue, which tract is situated
six miles south of Bakersfield and is a select piece of property. .-V Democrat
in political matters, Mr. Yancey is well versed in party afl^airs and is alive



1180 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

to all questions of importance concerning his party's welfare. He unites
fraternally with the Modern Woodmen and Mrs. Yancey is a member of
the Congregational church.

AGUSTIN SANZBERRO.— The exercise of judicious foresight and care-
ful management, supplementing perseverance and untiring industry, has
enabled Mr. Sanzberro to achieve independence while yet a young man and
within a comparatively brief period frtjm the time of his arrival in California,
a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with the soil of the country. Only a
few years have elapsed since he purchased his present well-improved farm
nine miles northwest of Bakersfield. At the time of buying the tract of one
hundred and sixty acres, no improvements had been put on the property
and the possibilities of the soil were little known. Under his keen over-
sight and wise judgment as to cultivation, large crops of alfalfa are annually
cut and fed or sold. Irrigation is provided by means of the Beardsley canal.
Combined with or supplementary to the making of hay, the owner of the
ranch devotes much time to the sheep business, in which indeed he has been
more or less interested from boyhood and in which his experience, skill and
expertness are unquestioned by those standing at the head of the business
in the county.

Born in the village of Bastan, Navarra, April 2, 1878, Agustin Sanzberro
is a son of Julian, a farmer, and was reared on the old home farm, giving his
time to the aid of his father until he had reached the age of twenty. Mean-
while a brother, Marcos, had preceded him to California and the reports he
sent back induced the younger brother to join him in Kern county, where
he arrived in February of 1898, ready to earn a livelihood as a herder of
sheep. Starting out from East Bakersfield, he gave his attention to the care
of the flock of his brother and ranged the sheep on the plains to the north-
east. After five years as a herder he bought a flock of his own and started in
business for himself, making his headquarters in jMono county, where he
found an abundance of feed and water. Even when he bought his present
farm in 1900 he did not relinquish his interests in sheep, but still owns a flock
and finds their care neither laborious nor unprofitable. However, he no longer
travels with the flocks over the ranges, but since his marriage in 1910 to Miss
Catherine Etchart, of East Bakersfield, a native of Basses-Pyrenees, he has
remained on the home farm, devoting himself earnestly to its care, cultivation
and improvement. With his wife he holds membership in St. Joseph's Catholic
Church at Fast Bakersfield. Politically he is a Republican.

D. B. COOK. — Experience in various lines of work in various parts of the
east did not prove profitable to Mr. Cook, who dates the beginning of his
prosperity from the time of his removal to California. By birth and lineage
he is a Virginian, identified with that part of the Old Dominion that during
the Civil war remained true to the Union and resulted in the erection of a
new commonwealth. West Virginia. Born in Rowlesburg, Preston county,
in October of 18S6, he is a son of the late Isaac Cook, likewise a native of
Preston county and long a resident of that locality. During 1860 he crossed
the Ohio river into Ohio and settled in Washington county, where he engaged
in farming for a long period, ultimately, however, removing to Michigan to
spend his declining days Since his demise the widow, who bore the maiden
name of Alcinda Newman, has made Chicago her home. Of their thirteen chil-
dren only five are now living, the next to the eldest being D. B., whose birth
occurred in the decade prior to the Civil war and whose memories therefore
include the privations incident to that period. The migration of the
family to Michigan, in the hope that better fortune awaited them in a newer
country remote from the scenes of the war, caused him to earn his livelihood
during youth as a worker in the northern lumber woods. Having learned the
trade^of a blacksmith, he followed that occupation in Kansas and for a time



HISTORY OF KF.RN COl'NTY 118.^

cuiidiicted a shop of his own at Seward, with, however, ver}- little profit from
the undertaking.

From Kansas to Ohio and from hlacksniitliint;- tn luniberini; represented
the next change in the life of Mr. Cook, who later spent some time in lum-
bering in Preston county, W. \'a., thence going to the city of Washington
and from there to Lewinsville, Va. It was the next move that brought him
to California and to Kern county, where he has made his home since 1903.
Arriving here with little means, he secured employment as a pumper in the
Kern river oil fields. Later he filled a similar position at McKittrick, where
he soon embarked in the butcher's trade and also carried on an hotel. Mean-
time in 190.T he had bought a tract of land six and one-half miles northwest of
|]akersfield, under the lieardsley ditch. This he leased to tenants for three
years, but in 1908 sold out his business interests and settled on the place,
where he since has engaged in raising alfalfa. The forty acres are in the highest
possible state of cultivation. Large crops of alfalfa are harvested and sold and
the owner has found the investment a profitable one- While living at Mc-
Kittrick he held membership with the Improved Order of Red Men.

G. F. STROBLE. — A citizen who conscientiously devotes himself, his abil-
ity and his high integrity to the public service is richly worthy of all the honor
that can possibly come to him. To hold an office is at the best an unsatisfac-
tory task, unsatisfactory at least to the incumbent. However well he may
do there will always be jiersons who will censure him ; but there are a few
officials who, like G. F. Stroble, constable of the third judicial township of
Kern county. Cal., win almost universal approval. Mr. Stroble was born near
Burgettstown, ^Vashington county. Pa., February 3, 1862, a son of Frederick
and Elizabeth Stroble, who were of German birth. The father, a native of
\\'urtemberg, became a miner in Pennsylvania and later in West Virginia
and was eventually killed by an accident while at work. His widow died at



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 116 of 177)