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 119 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 119 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the White Star line that landed him in Quebec early in 1882. In company wilh
his friend, Whitsed Laming, he traveled to Kansas and settled in Leavenworth
county, where he secured work on a farm near Tonganoxie. For three years he
continued in the same locality and in the same line of work, after which he
came to California and joined his brothers. Richard and .\ndrew, who had
preceded him to the Pacific C(iast. Immediatel}- after arriving in Bakersfield
he secured employment as a ditch-tender for the Kern County Land Company,
in whose empk.y he continued for nineteen j-ears, meanwhile receiving promo-
tions from time to time until at last he was made foreman of the water courses
and canal system of the corporation. Upon leaving the employ of the com-
pany he removed to his farm six miles south of I'akersfield and here he has
since followed a practical and pn.fitable system of agricultural work.

The marriage of Henry Hosking and Emily Lincoln White took place in
Bakersfield, to which city the bride had come from her native commonwealth
of Iowa. Her parents, Bushrod and Margaret (Cork) White, were natives
respectively of Virginia and Kentucky and were married in the Blue Grass
state, whither Mr. White had removed at an early age. The next removal
took them to Iowa and from that state they came to California and became
pioneers of Kern county, where they made many friends among the early
settlers. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Hosking there are two sons, Ronald
R. and Raymond H.. the former a graduate of the commercial department of


the Kern county high school and the latter a high-school student, both being
young men of fine minds and excellent abilities. In religious connections the
family hold membership with the Bakersfield Episcopal Church, and politically
Mr. Hosking is a Republican.

THOMAS C. CASTRO.— A native of Santa Ana, Sonora, Mexico, Thomas
C. Castro was born December 21, 1864, the son of Thomas and Concepcion
(Coronado) Castro, both of whom were natives of Mexico. (For a full ac-
count of the parental history refer to the sketch of Domitilo Castro.)

Of their children Thomas C. Castro was the fifth in order of birth.
Reared in Kern county, where he attended the public schools and learned the
business of his father, that of raising stock, he became well versed on all
matters pertaining to that line of work, remaining on the home place until he
was seventeen. He then went to Nevada, where he entered the employ of a
ranchman who was largely interested in stock-raising, and after three years
with him came to Bakersfield again and followed ranching on the home place
for a short time. He soon started out for himself, purchasing a twenty-acre
tract, which he cultivated, and it was not long before he had a fine herd of
cattle, also raising horses, both draft and roadsters. These are Belgium
and Standard bred animals, and he has had many of the finest horses bred
in the state on his place. His short-horn cattle, of Durham variety, have at-
tracted much attentitm, and he has taken much pride in their exceptionally
fine condition. He also ran cattle on the Breckenridge mountains. He now
has forty acres of land under cultivation to alfalfa, about three miles south-
west of Bakersfield, where he makes his home.

In Bakersfield, in 1885, Mr. Castro was married to Maria Gonzales, a
native of Sonora and the daughter of Guadalupe and Natividad (Peralta)
Gonzales, both natives of Mexico. Mr. and Mrs. Castro became the parents
of five children, as follows: Angel, Mrs. Charles E. Castro, of Bakersfield;
Ramon ; Carmelita, Mrs. Winn, and Josephine, Mrs. O'Brien, both of Bakers-
field ; and Thomas Mcllvain. The family are devout members of the St.
Francis Catholic Church, of Bakersfield, toward which they are liberal con-
tributors, helping greatly in the building of the church. In politics Mr.
Castro is a Republican.

AUGUST AMOURIG.— The only one of three brothers to settle in Cali-
fornia, August Amourig was born at Gap, Hautes-Alpes, France, September 4,
1865, and is a son of Etienne Amourig, a farmer and stockman between the
Rhone river and the Alps mountains. As a boy he helped with the care
of the stock when not in attendance upon the neighboring free schools. Dur-
ing October of 1884 he crossed the ocean to America and settled permanently
in California, where he found steady work in the employ of sheepmen on the
plains. From the first he frugally saved his wages. W.ithin two years he was
able to buy a small band of ewes. This gave him a start in the sheep industry.
Enjoying the free life of the plains and the care of the sheep, it seemed as if
he would be favored by fortune, for his flock increased from year to year until
it numbered about thirty-five hundred head. A change came in 1893. when
the Democratic administration began to urge the removal of the tariff on wool,
thus greatly injuring the sheep business. To make matters worse, a severe
drought came at the same time. The result was that the young sheep-grower
lost the work of nine years and began anew without any means.

After having worked about six months for wages Mr. Amourig had
earned enough to buy a team and he then engaged in the raising of grain near
the lake. It was possible in that section to raise alfalfa and he secured excel-
lent returns through allowing his hogs a free range of the meadows. Unfor-
tunately as he was again prospering he made the mistake of going on the
]-)lains to raise grain and two dry years left him penniless. His next venture
was the cutting of wood along the river. This he sold in Bakersfield and
earned enough to buy a team. At the time of the first oil boom he engaged


in teaming to the ui\ fields. (lri\ ing an eight-liorse team. Later lie bought two
lots in Kern and erected a cottage, making his home there and engaging in
general farm work near the town. .\t first he specialized with alfalfa and later
he also operated a dairy. Tlic purchase of forty-si.x acres under the Mill ditch
proved an excellent investment. This land, situated aixiut one and one half
miles from Kern, was under irrigation and in alfalfa, from which he secured
five or six cuttings each year. In 1911 he bought four lots on Grove near Baker
street, Ilakersfield, and erected a livery iiarn where he now conducts a feed and
sales stable, also sells hay and grain. Since l^ecoming a citizen of this county
lie has supported Republican principles in national elections. iM-aternallv he
holds membership with the l'"i.resters of .'\merica.

H. H. BROWN. — Indiana claims Mr. Brown a native son ; his birth
occurred in Ripley county, that state, about fifty miles south of Indianapolis,
on June 1, 18c0, and here his early youth was spent. At twenty-two years of
age he removed from there to Kansas, where he remained for four years en-
gaging in agricultural pursuits and accustoming himself with the many details
and haljits of that life. In 1891 he came to Kern county, Cal., and taking up a
homestead in the Button Willow country, proved up on it, and this was the
field of his labors for six years. In 1907 he purchased his present place of
twenty-nine acres on Unicn avenue, about two miles from Bakersfield. Suc-
cess has come to him in every project, and this has been largely due to Jiis
imtiring effort in his undertakings, his clever manipulations of tiiem and his
unusual executive ability, which has ser\ed him well in his building o;ierations
especially, where he has had great need of those characteristics to bring alu ut
favorable results. The Brown block in East Bakersfield, which lie has built,
is a brick structure, 65x75 feet, three stories in height, and the arrangement
is such as to make twelve apartments, of three and four rooms, four stores
and basement, the stores being given over to mercantile firms. In addition
he has built six cottages in East Bakersfield which are well-built and nu dern
in every w'ay, their general appearance being most artistic. On his farm,
which he calls the Ltcust farm, Mr. Brown has found time to devote himself to
the poultry business on a large scale, handling mostly thoroughbred Leghorns
and the Silver-Laced Wyandottes, his poultry holding a wide and enviable
reputation. In 1881 Mr. Brown was married to Miss Emily Hamilton, who
was born in Jackson county, Ind., and to them were born six children, five
now surviving, viz.: Pearl married A. J. Ferguson, a farmer in the Panama
district, six miles south of Bakersfield, and they are the parents of three chil-
dren. Fay, Fern and Harold. Ralph married at Denver, Colo., Miss Clara
Fisher; he served as soldier in the Philippines. Stanley is mailing clerk in the
postofiice at Bakersfield. Harold and Helen are attending the high .school at
Bakersfield. Mr. and Mrs. l^.rown are members of the Baptist church at
Bakersfield, and in politics Mr. Brown is a stanch Republican.

CLARK DAVIS MORRIS.— The development of the. Morris ranch of
eighty acres lying on section 31, township 30, range 28, is due to the jjains-
taking and intelligent labors of Clark D. Morris since first he acquired the
property about 1904 and established a home thereon. The neat appearance of
the tract, with its meadows of alfalfa and its orchard of assorted fruits, indi-
cates the systematic oversight of the owner, while his love of comf(,rt and
order appear in his substantial residence and outbuildings. Prior to the
removal to this property he lived three miles to the north and three years
before that he had experimented with dry farming near Rose station, to
which point he had removed fn m Jiis native county in Missouri. The family
of which he is a member became established in Missouri perhaps one hundred
years ago and his parents. Joshua P>. and Klsie (P.aker) Morris, were lifelong
residents of that state. Their family comprised seven children, five of wliom
attained mature vears. namely: John F. ; Clark Davis; Clay B.. who died at


about tvventy-tive years; Julia, Mrs. R. L. Edwards, of Bakerstield ; and
Alice, wife of Albert Whitmer and a resident of Palo Alto, this state.

On the home farm in Montgomery county, Mo., about seventy miles west
of St. Louis, Clark Davis Morris was born December 9, 1859, and his educa-
tion was received in the country schools of the locality. During 1888 he
married Miss Lucile S. Garrett, a native of the same county as himself and
a daughter of Wilson and Mary (McMahan) Garrett. Very early in the
colonial settlement of the new world the Garrett family became. estalilished
in Virginia, where \Villiam B. Garrett was born in 1795, and where the birth
of his wife, who ])ore the maiden name of Mary Ockmon, occurred August 27,

1805. With the occupation of agriculture William B. Garrett harmoniously
united the trade of a millwright and after he removed to the prairies of the
middle west he built the lirst mill in Callaway cuunty, AIo. Among his children
was a son, Wilson, a native of Virginia and an early settler of Montgomery'
county. Mo., having taken up land in that region when all of the surrounding
country was in the primeval state of nature. In early manhood he married
Mary McMahan, daughter of John F. and Polly (Blackwell) McMahan, na-
tives of Kentucky, the former born June 29, 1804, and the latter November 18.

1806. After the death of Mr. Garrett, which occurred in Missouri, his widow
came to Kern county and now resides with her daughter, Mrs. Morris. Be-
sides this daughter, who was sixth in order cjf birth among the sons and
daughters, she had eight children, named as follows : Lydia, who passed
from earth at the age of eighteen years ; Henry L., a resident of St. Louis, Mo. ;
Mary A., living at Bonneterre, St. Francois county, Mo. ; John F., who died in
1910 ; Emma C., whose home is in Montgomery City, Alontgomery county.
Mo.; William B., of Choctaw, Okla. ; James M., living in Kern county; and
Benjamin C, of Bakersfield. Although now (1912) seventy-eight years of age,
Mrs. Garrett retains the full possession of her physical and mental faculties
and enters fully into the activities of the world around her, being especially
interested in and devoted to her grandchildren, whose happiness and welfare
are ever dear to her. Mr. and Mrs. Morris became the parents of six children
and four of these are now living, Elden G.. Howard B., Fletcher :\I. and

Politically Mr. Morris votes with the Democratic party. Although reared
m the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church and identified with that denom-
ination in Missouri, he and his wife became prime movers in the organization
of the Greenfield Congregational Church, which was established on Sunday,
May 12, 1912, with twenty-one names on the list of charter membership. For
the present these members and others of the community who worship with
them are holding religious services in the Greenfield schoolhouse and enjoy
the ministerial oversight of Rev. Mr. Reiley as pastor.

MILES R. MARTIN, JR.— The acquisition of one hundred and sixty acres
of raw land two and one-half miles northwest of McFarland marked the be-
ginning of the identification of Mr. Martin with this portion of Kern county,
whither he had come in 1909 and into whose possibilities and resources he has
since investigated with gratifying results. From the first his impressions con-
cerning the county have been favorable. IDuring January of 1913 he became
the owner of the quarter-section he now operates. The need of water was im-
perative. Immediately after buying the raw tract he sunk two wells and in-
stalled an electric pumping plant which yields him over one hundred and ten
inches of water. The entire quarter section has been leveled and he is rapidly
sowing the whole acreage to alfalfa. Modern improvements are being made
and the place presents a well-tilled appearance, with every prospect of becom-
ing one of the most valuable alfalfa ranches in this part of the county.

Born in Clarion county, Pa., September 13, 1873, Miles R. Martin, Jr., is
the son of the late Miles R., Sr., who was a native of New Jersey and resided


near Newark, that state. Throiii;h a cun.'^idcrablc period of prosperous activity
he was in business as a wholesale coal merchant. Later he became an oil
operator in the Clarion field in Pennsylvania, where a brother, Mahlon C,
had preceded him, the latter becoming also largely interested in railroads as
well as in manufacturing. One of the greatest enterprises attempted by the
two gentlemen was the building of a street-car line in Bogota, South America.
At the age of fourteen years Miles R., Jr., entered the office of the Cincinnati,
Hamilton & Dayton Railroad as supervisor's clerk at Lima, Ohio, where he
continued for several years. Gning east to New York City, he engaged as
clerk with the LInited States Rubber Company and continued for ten years in
the same office. LTpon resigning he returned to Pennsylvania to look after
the business interests of his father and for two 5'ears he remained in that state.
During 1905 he went to P)Ogota, South America, and entered upon the duties
of acting general manager of the Bogota City Street Railroad, of which his
father was treasurer and his brother the general manager. During the absence
of the brother in Europe and elsewhere he served as manager for two years,
after which he came to California in 1907 and took up mining pursuits at Hart,
San Bernardino county. In that locality he bought, developed and sold mines.
Some of his interests there he still retains. While living in that part of the
state he was made a Mason in Needles Lodge No. 326. F. & A. M., and later
he was raised to the Scottish Rite Consistory in Bakersfield. His marriage took
place at Paterson, N. J., in 1904, and united him with Miss Frances May, a
native of Elizabeth, that state, and a daughter of William F. May, a manu-
facturer conducting business in New York City.

CHARLES L. TAYLOR. — Significant of the abundant opportunities of-
fered by Bakersfield to men of business ability and untiring energy is the suc-
cess already achieved by Charles L. Taylor as proprietor of Taylor's bargain
store at No. 1333 Nineteenth street on the corner of K, an establishment built
up through his own painstaking industry and tireless devotion to busmess.
That there is "no royal road to success" his own history indicates, for it has
been only by indefatigable industry and keen sagacity that he has laid the
foundation of a large business and has gained a rank among the progressive
merchants of the city. Selecting as his specialties articles of small value, he
built up an establishment known as the five and ten-cent store, in which he
carries a full line of glassware, crockery and stationery, also many styles of
neckwear and underwear, jewelry and hosiery; with such other articles and
notions as may usually be found in stores of the kind. The tremendous sales
enable him to buy at the very lowest prices. The goods are moved rapidly
and thus everything is new, in excellent condition, pleasing to the most fas-
tidious. An amount between $18,000 and $20,000 has Ijecn invested in the
stock of merchandise.

The proprietor of this large business is a native of Ohio and was Ijorn
at Winchester in the southern part of that state March 10, 1868. From an
early age he has been self-supporting and always his interests have been along
general lines of merchandise. As a youth in Ohio he clerked in general stores
and acquired a knowledge of dry-goods enterprises. The first mercantile ven-
ture that he made was at Antrim, Ohio, where he conducted a general store.
When he came to California in 1900 he selected Bakersfield as his headquarters
and secured employment in the laundry at this place, where he held a trust-
worthy position for four years. During 1905 he organized and opened a five
and ten-cent store out of which he has developed his present large establish-
ment, which each year shows a healthy growth in its trade and a satisfactory
enlargement in patronage. Many regard his success in business as phenome-
nal, but it is rather the anticipated result of his energy, sagacity and keen
business talent.

Mr. Taylor is at present engaged in erecting a new brick two-story build-
ing (plans by Architect J. M. SafTell), on Chester avenue between Seventeenth


and Truxtun, 53>^xlOO feet. Ground was broken March 15, 1913, and it is
expectetl that building will be completed by September 1, 1913. The entire
first floor will be occupied by Taylor's bargain store, and the second floor will
be devo;ed to offices.

While the store has taken much of Mr. Taylor's time, attention and capi-
tal, he has had other interests, notably the Tejon Oil Company, of which he is
vice-president, and in which he owns a one-eleventh interest as a stockholder.
The members of the concern are principally residents of Bakersfield, the wells
being located only six miles from this city. The company is a dividend-payer
and has excellent prospects for a growing success. Five years Ijefore coming
to the west Mr. Taylor married Aliss Ola Beggs, of Antrim, Ohio, and they
are the parents of one son, Raymond, born in 1900. The family hold member-
ship with tlie Bakersfield Presbyterian Church and contribute generously to
religious movements. In fraternal relations Mr. Taylor is connected with the
Elks, Woodmen and Workmen. In politics he is a Republican.

• GEORGE H. SALLEE.— The superintendent of the Volcan Oil and
Refining Company has spent the greater part of his life in California, Init
claims Missouri as his native commonwealth and Kentucky as the hime of
his paternal ancestors during the pioneer era, while his maternal progenitors
were members of an old family of Roxbury, Mass. His parents. Jasper N. and
Lucinda (White) Sallee. for years worthy and industrious members of the
farming population of Missouri, eventually established their home in California
and embarked in stick-raising and general farming in the far west. At this
writing they have retired from active cares and are living comfortably and
happily at Dinuba, Tulare county, the father being quite rugged notwithstand-
ing liis seventy-two useful years of existence. The family consisted of two
sons and six daughters. The second child, who was likewise the second son,
George H., was born in Knox county. Mo., on the last day (jf the year 1870
and attended the country schools near the home farm in that state. After
he came with his parents to California in 1883 he also attended the public
schools of the state, but for the most part in boyhood he helped his father
with the farm we rk. While yet a mere lad he did a man's work in the care
of the stock and the tilling of the soil. The early home of the family was in
Amador county, where he helped to improve and place under cultivation a
tract of one hundred and sixty acres.

When twenty years of age George H. Sallee removed from Amador to
Tulare county, where he became interested in fruit culture, making a specialty
of a vineyard and also raising peaches and pears, in which way he aided his
father in securing a financial foothold as a horticulturist. While residing there
he formed the acquaintance of Miss Jeannette McWherter, with whom he was
united in marriage in 1C03. Three children bless their union, George McW..
Fay and Fern. Mrs. Sallee is a sister of George McWherter, a prosperous
fruit-grower in Fresno county, and a daughter of Elias and Jeannette (Ben-
nett) McWherter, the former deceased in 1901 and the latter, at the age of
sixty years, still living at the old homestead in Fresno county.

As early as December of 1901 Mr. Sallee came to the Kern river fields
and secured employment as a boilerman for the Nevada Oil Company. Six
months later he transferred to the Peerless, with which company he continued
for six years, meanwhile working in every department except that of drilling.
By constant study and practical application he developed into an efficient
worker and his services were called into requisition as superintendent by the
Del Rey Oil Company. After eighteen months with the Del Rey he entered
the employ of the Volcan in 1909. At that time the organization was known
as the Cleveland Oil Company, but through bankruptcy of the proprietors the
plant reverted to its original owners, the present officers being as follows:
C. H. Wagner of San Diego, president; S. S. Johnson, postmaster at National


City, vice-iiresident ; Mr. Nulan of San Uici^o. secretary; and the People's
National Bank of National City, treasurer. Mr. Bailee i.s a Mascm, l)cl(ine^in.c:
to the blue lodge, chapter and commandery at Bakersfield.

CHARLES CLARENCE PIERCE.— Mr. Pierce claims Indiana as
his native commonwealth and Lake county as the place of his birth, which
occurred January 12. 18,^9. During 1872 he came to the Pacific coast in com-
pany with his parents, Isaac B. and Emily (Hayward) Pierce, and settlcd'in
Santa Barbara, where his education, primarily carried on in Indiana schools,
was completed through the grammar grade. Upon attaining the age of seven-
teen years he left high school, where he had studied for several terms, and then
took up the task of earning a livelihood. At first he worked for his father, but
at the age of twenty-one he left the home place and removed to the Tejon
canyon, where he remained for six years, meanwhile buying land of E. D.
Parks and also acquiring a ranch of three hundred and twenty acres that had
been owned by Joe Short. -In many respects the location was unsatisfactory
and he was led therefore to dispose of his holdings, whereupon in about 1888
he bought from H. .\. Blodgett a farm cf one hundred and twenty acres, ad-
joining Bakersfield on the west, and he has so improved it as to make it a
source of a growing income and an object of admiration to those familiar with
the work of its transformation into a profitable holding. For some eight or
ten years he engaged in the dairy business and meanwhile built r.p a herd of
milch cows of known quality and breeding. Since relinquishing his dairy
interests he has engaged in the raising of grain and alfalfa. Eighty acres were
sown to alfalfa which gives him a meadow of superior excellence and large
yield, there being from five to seven tons cut to the acre, with four and some
times five cuttings a year. Forty acres are in grain, which usually give a
gratifying yield. Mr. Pierce has K cated a desert claim of two hundred and
forty acres, six miles north of Bakersfield on the Glennville read, where he
has developed water, sinking a well to the depth of four hundred and twenty

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 119 of 177)