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 122 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 122 of 177)
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he could find, that of sheep herder for Miller & Lux. After eleven months in
their employ and five months with the Kern County Land Company he came
to Tehachapi, where he worked for Jamison at the Lime Kiln for four months
and was then taken sick. Upon his recovery he went to San Francisco, where
he established himself in the barber business on Powell and Broadway. On
selling out he worked in the Palace shop until three days before the earth-
quake; he had taken a boat for San Pedro and thus escaped the terrors of that
period. Then working at the trade in Los Angeles, Bakersfield and San Pedro,
he next opened a barber shoji in Fresno and while engaged in business there
he married Miss Ignacia Errea, also a native of Spain.

On account of his wife's health he sold his business in Fresno and re-
moved to Tehachapi. Two years later he opened the Yellowstone liarber shop,
where he has been successfully in business ever since and is well and favorably
known. He has built a residence in the town where he resides with his wife
and three children, Mike, Ignatius and Margaret. Fraternally he is a member
of Fresno Aerie No. 3'^, Eagles. He is favorably impressed with the country
of his adoption and his admiration for the Stars and Stripes impelled him to
acquire American citizenship November 20, 1911. Politically he adheres to the
principles of the Rei)ublican party.

HIBBARD SMITH WILLIAMS.— Having been brought to California
when only four years of age, Mr. Williams is a typical Californian in all
except nativity, and no one is more enthusiastic than he regarding the future
possibilities of this state. In this respect he resembles his father, the late
Charles H. Williams, who from tli£ time of his arrival in Los Angeles in



1222 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

1874 until his death in 1879 always contended that it would eventually become
the greatest city along the Pacific coast. The faith he cherished concerning
the future of Los Angeles he backed by his actions, acquiring the title to
about five city blocks in the downtown district. It was not his privilege to
live to witness the fruition of his hopes and the realization of his optimistic
faith, but by his identification with T. E. Rowan in the real estat-e business
he promoted civic development and became a factor in permanent upbuild-
ing. F( r years he was an influential Knight Templar. At dift'erent periods
of his life he had lived in the three great sections of the country: the east,
where he was born at Boston, Mass.. and where he engaged in the stationery
business at Waltham ; the middle west, where he settled after the Civil war
in Floyd county, Iowa, and built and operated a flour mill at Rockford ; and,
lastly, the far west, where his closing years were spent.

The marriage of Charles H. Williams united him with Miss Emma
Irene Hibbard, a native of Milwaukee, and now Mrs. E. I. Winslow, of
Fresno. There were three sons of the first marriage and of these Hibbard
Smith Williams was born at Rockford, Floyd county, Iowa, November 18,
1870. Onlv the vaguest memories remain to him of the old Rockford home
and the flour mill built by his father near the placid Shell Rock river. After
the age of four years he lived in Los Angeles, where he attended the public
schools, the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Business
College. Early in life he began to work as a freight clerk with the Hancock-
Banning Company, after which he attended business college until gradua-
tion. Having a desire to study machinery, he apprenticed himself to the
trade of a machinist with Fairbanks, INTorse & Co. in San Francisco, con-
tinuing with them from 1898 until 1901. On the 15th of January of the latter
year he came to the Kern river oil field, engaging as a bookkeeper and assis-
tant foreman with the Green-Whittier Oil Company. Seeing the possibili-
ties of the oil industry, he determined to learn all of its details. With that
obiect in view he went into the field and took anv position possible to fill.
For a time he was employed as a pumper. Later he learned drilling. After
fourteen months he entered the employ of the Associated Oil Companv as
division superintendent at McKittrick, arriving at this place April 15, 1902.
For seven years he filled the position, discharging its duties with the great-
est efficiency. Meanwhile he had opened up the McKittrick field for the
companv and had accomplished much in their interests. When finally he
resigned from their employ in 1909 it was for the purpose of carrying on the
Pacific iron works at McKittrick, which place he had nurchased in partner-
ship with J- M. Smith. Later he bought out the interest of his partner, since
which time he has been sole pronrietor nf the plant. A specialty is made of
the manufacture of oil well machinery, fishing and drilling tools.

The distinction of being the largest manufacturing business in the north-
west part of Kern county belongs to the Pacific iron works. Steam and elec-
tric power enable the work to be conducted with dispatch. Besides carrying
on this important plant Mr. Williams is known as the pioneer wild-catter
in the McKittrick field. Some years ago he drilled a well on the Leader Oil
Company's lease in North McKittrick, but found no oil. With a Ball and
Williams outfit he drilled a well in the same field that still gives out a
splendid production, but his interests in this well have been sold. .'Kbout
1911 he obtained a lease of forty acres seven miles north of McKittrick,
where he put down a well to a depth of fourteen hundred feet and obtained a
good supply of oil. Considerable profit has come to him through his specu-
lation in the oil game, in which he has taken many hazards, but has come
out in excellent financial shape. He has given very little attention to poli-
tics, but votes the Republican ticket in national elections. Fraternally he
was made a Mason in Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., and he is also
identified with the Bakersfield Club. His marriage took place in Los Angeles



HIST(')RY OV KF.RX CC^l'NTY lJ2.i

and united him with Miss Delia A. Bowlsby, who was born at Elizabeth, Jo
Daviess county. 111., but has been a resident of California from girlhood.

AUGUSTINE AMOUR.— Horn at Marseilles, France, February 12, 1SS1,
and reared at Gap, Hautes-Alpes. Mr. .Amour was orphaned in biixlindd.
\\ liile still very youne; he served an apprenticeship tn the trade nf
butcher, workin.?' for his board and clothes, and at the cc inclusion
of his time receiving; regular wa.ges. Neither the trade nor the sur-
roundings afforded him satisfaction. Prospects for the future s'^emed
discourag-ing. Hearing much concerning- the favorable openings in California
he determined to come to the west. When he first reached the state and landed
finally in IJakersfield in November, 1903, he was without means, but he experi-
enced no difficulty in earning a livelihood through the herding of sheep. A
year later he went to San Francisco and in about three months proceeded to
Napa county, where for three years he held a position in the dairy department
of the state hospital.

Upon coming to Bakersfield with the intention of becoming a permanent
resident, Mr. .Amour embarked in the bakery business on Humboldt street.
In time he bought the lot and building, continuing in that location until
August, 1913, when he rented the place. Iminediately thereafter he began to
improve his lots on the corner of I\ern and Grove streets, where he has
erected a two-story brick structure, 37x52 feet in dimensions. The Amour
building will be utilized for a store and a roomin.g house, both under the per-
sonal supervision of Mr. Amour, assisted by his wife, who was Miss Alberta
Riccalde, a native of the province of Asturias, Spain, but a resident of Cali-
fornia from girlhood. Their family comprises two children, Augustina and
Albert. Since becoming a citizen of our country Mr. Amour has been stanch
in his allegiance to the Republican party. In fraternal relations he is con-
nected with the Druids.

ALFRED SIEMON.— Born in Van Buren county, Iowa, January 2, 1881,
Afred Siemon is a son of William and Josephine Siemon, who for a consider-
able period made a home in Iowa, but when their son had become a pupil in
the eighth grade of the public schools they moved to ]\Iissouri. settling in
Caldwell county. Later he became a student in the high school of Brecken-
ridge, Caldwell county, and continued there until his graduation with the
class of 1898. In his early life the family made a number of removals and
thus he was privileged to see something of the country in Iowa, Missouri and
Colorado before they came to California in 1902 and established their home
in WMiittier. Los Angeles county. The presence in that section of a con-
siderable number of members of the Society of Friends had attracted them to
Whittier, where for four years he attended the Friends' College in the classical
course. Before he had ci mpleted school he had fixed his ambition upon the
profession of law and his first studies in that line were conducted in the law
ofifice of A. Moore at Whittier, where also he served for four months as a
justice of the peace, but resigned at the time of .going into Los .Angeles to
pursue his law studies. There he matriculated in the law department of the
University of Southern California and while carrying on his studies in that
institution he earned a livelihood as a law clerk in the offices of H. T. Gordon
and A. P. Thompson.

While still in the Thompson law office, during the July session of the
district court of appeals, Mr. Siemon was admitted to the bar in 1908, and in
the following year he finished his work at the law school. While employed as
law clerk he had acquired a thorough knowdedge of stenography and type-
writing and his skill in the art proved of great advantage to him in his work in
law offices. Possibly his most important and most helpful position, from the
standpoint of experience gained, was that of salaried assistant for one year
to Oscar A. Trippett, general attorney for many extensive interests in South-



1224 HISTORY ()F KKRX COUNTY

ern California, and special attorney for the California National Bank, the
Home Telephone Company, the William R. Staats Company, the Lowe Gas
Company and other corporations. The prominence of Mr. Trippett in trial
cases gave Mr. Siemon an opportunity to appear in court on motions, etc., and
he also became an expert in the preparation of briefs, so that when he
opened an office in Bakersfield he was thoroughly qualified to attend to the
interests of clients in every department of the law. Since establishing himself
in this city he has been associated with W. W. Kaye, with offices in the Hop-
kins building, and the firm has become well known throughout all of the San
Joaquin valley. Six months before he came to this city he had married, in
July, lt09, Miss Inez Bennett, of Whittier, Cal., and they have a pleasant
home in Bakersfield, brightened by the presence of a daughter, Josephine, and
a son, 15ennett. The family hold membership with the First Methudist I'-pisco-
pal Church, in which Mr. Siemon officiates as a steward and in addition he has
been for many years an active adherent of the Young Men's Christian Asso-
ciation, in which organization he rendered intelligent and constant assistance
during the period of his college and university attendance.

Mr. Siemon is taking an active part in furthering the work of the Good
Citizenship League of Bakersfield

E. S. FOGG, M. D. — Northern Kern County is fortunate in having located
in its midst the person of Dr. Fogg, a man of much professional ability, high
ideals and strong moral worth. He is well and favorably known, not only
among his patients and wide range of practice, but among the men of his
profession in the county. His birth occurred in Cumberland County, N. J.,
August 28, 1867, and he is the youngest child of a family of eight children
born to Joseph H. and Rebecca W. (Davis) Fogg, both having: been born in
that county. On his paternal side he is descended from an English family,
members of which came to Philadelphia in its early settlement and were
Quakers. On the maternal side he is of Welch extraction.

His parents were farmers so that early in life Dr. Fogg learned the rudi-
ments of farming, receiving his preliminary education in the public and high
school at Shiloh, N. J. After completing the high school he took the scientific
cc urse at Alfred university in western New York, where he remained two
years. During this time he became acquainted with Dr. Mark Shepherd and
the association with him decided him to study medicine when he should have
acquired the necessary credits to enter medical college. He next spent two
years in the scientific department at Milton college. Rock county. Wis., and
then entered the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann
Arbor and was graduated in July, 1897. with the degree of ]M. D. For one
year he attended the Philadelphia Polyclinic Hospital and then began the
practice of his profession in Bridgeton, N. J., a place in his native county
where he continued with marked success until 1910. During this time he was
surgeon to the Bridgeton hospital for about ten years. Coming to California
in 1910 he located in Wasco in the fall of the same year and here he has
met with deserving success as a physician and surgeon, having attained a
large and lucrative practice throughout the northern and northwestern part of
Kern county. He is the local surgeon for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe
Railroad.

The marriage of Dr. Fogg to Miss Emma Bullock was celebrated in
Shiloh, N. J., his wife being a native of Derbyshire, England, and they have
one child, Katherine. Fraternally he is a Master Mason.

E. K. BLOOD. — When the eastern states were giving up some of their
finest young people to aid in the settlement of the vast regions to the west,
Daniel H. and Susan (Turner) Blood, natives of Ontario county, N. Y.,
joined the tide of westward emigration and betook themselves to the then
wilds of Michigan. Clinton county had few settlers when they arrived -to take



ITIS'|-()RV Ol- KI:RX cOL-XTV 1223

up residence there. One of their first steps was the locating of a claim and
the securing of title to land, from which they endeavored to develop a farm.
Near them sprang up a tiny village, wdiich Mr. Blood named Victor in honor
of his n.itive town nf X'ictor in New ^'urk. At that place in LS.^f) occurred
the birth of a son. E. K., who was next to the youngest in a family that com-
prised twelve children, eight of whom are now living. In boyhood this youth
had few advantages. The country was new, schools widely scattered, the
towns small and industries stagnant. The new tide of progress had not yet
begun which was to make of Michigan one of the greatest states in the union.
Theirs was the pioneer task of working in the midst of discouraging difficulties
and earning a livelihood by the most strenuous and unceasing exertion.

Cominer to (\-ilifornia during 18''3 and settlins; at r.akcrsficld. where later
he'built a residence on Dracena avenue, Mr. Blood began to work at his trade
under Frank Hicox. For two years he continued with the same employer and
during the latter part of the period he acted as foreman on jobs. Later he
worked for James Rich and Mr. Ashton. About 1899 he began to take con-
tracts for building. Since then he has built numerous public structures and
private residences, including the Noriega block in East Bakersfield at No. 525
Sumner street, the barns for the Union Ice Company in Bakersfield, the
Gregory building, Ideal Livery Stable, home of J. B. Wrenn and residence of
Arthur Crite as well as many others. For three years he was employed on
contracts in Monterey county at Carmel by the Sea, where he built stores and
cottages and aided in the early construction work in that popular resort. From
the time of attaining his majority he has voted the Republican ticket and his
interest in national issues has been that of a progressive, loyal citizen. In
religious belief he is connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church and has
been unvaryingly generous in contributions to such work as well as to gen-
eral philTithrojiic pri jects. Before leaving Michigan he had married Miss
Carrie Chapman, a native of that state; she died at Bakersfield, leaving an
only child, Laverne. Afterward he was united in marriage with Miss Minnie
Wilhite, a native of Missouri, and by this union there is a daughter, Agnes.

EDWARD F. BRITTAN.— Born in Adams county. Iowa, October 2,
1881, >'r. T'.rittan recei\cd a good common-school education there, and at
the age of about eighteen he removed to Montana with his parents, L. A. and
Olive J. (Moore) Brittan. The parents settled on a large farm near Boze-
man, Montana, and there the father engaged in the real estate business while
the boys took care of the farm, raising many cattle. Edward F. became a
student in the Montana Agricultural College at Bozeman and finished the
sophomore year, coming then to California and securing employment in the
vicinity of Los Angeles. For one year he was employed as an officer in the
Whittier reform school, but resigned that position in order to take up the
study of law in the L'niversity of Southern California. In order to pay his
way through the law school he secured a clerkship in the law office of VVood-
rutt & McClure. with whom he continued for two years after he had been
admitted to the bar in 1908, and his service in their emi)loy proved of the
greatest assistance to him through the gaining of a wide experience in their
large practice. Coming to Bakersfield in 1910 he opened a law office in the
Havden building and upon the completion of the Brower building engaged an
office in this block, where since he has given his attention to a general prac-
tice. Mr. Brittan was elected chairman of the Republican Central Commit-
tee of Kern county in 1912, in which capacity he is still serving. In October,
1912, he was united in marriage with Miss Edna H. Smith, daughter of
Bedell Smith, deputy county clerk of Kern county.

ERSKINE BEMUS.— During the colonial period of American settle-
ment the Benuis family crossed the ocean from England and settled on the
Atlantic seaboard in New England. Later generati(jns aided in the coloniza-



1226 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

tion of New York and in Genesee county, that state, occurred the birth of
S. J. Bemus, son of Asael, a fifer in the war of 1812. Throughout much of his
life he followed the occupation of an architect, first in Dunkirk, N. Y., and
later in Corry, Erie county. Pa., where he passed from earth at an advanced
age. In young manhood he had married Laura Richardson, who was born in
New York and died in Pennsylvania. Of their three children the eldest,
Erskine, was born in Dunkirk, Chautauqua county, N. Y., August 25, 1849,
and received public-school advantages in his native county and in Erie coun-
ty. Pa. In the fall of 1864 when only fifteen years of age he offered his
services as a volunteer in the Union army, was accepted as a private, and at
Meadville, Pa., was mustered into Company E, One Hundred and Third Penn-
sylvania Infantry, with which he went to the front. The greater part of his
service was in North Carolina. At the expiration of the war he was honorably
discharged at Harrisburg, Pa., in June of 1865, and returned to his home with
a meritorious record for fidelity to his country and gallant service in the
army. In later years he has maintained an intimate association with the
Grand Army of the Republic and is now actively connected with Hurlburt
Post.

A year in school followed the return from the war and in 1866 I\Ir. Bemus
removed to Ohio, first living in Ashtabula and later in Urbana. At an early
age he took up the study of architecture and ever since he has followed the
occupation. For seventeen years he was the leading architect in Sidney,
Shelby C' unty, Ohio, where he designed and superintended the erection of
an opera-house, school-house and many private residences as well as a num-
ber of churches. Meanwhile during 1897 he spent six months in Pasadena and
thus became interested in California. After his return to Ohio he resumed
occupative work at Sidney, but he never ceased to reflect with pleasure upon
his western experiences and eventually he closed out his Ohio interests,
removed to California in 1909 and took up the work of an architect in Bakers-
field. His ability as an architect appears in the Labor Temple building, the
Bakersfield garage, the Barlow, Baer, Jamison and Beggs residences, and
otlier buildings of unusual attractiveness. Since coming to Bakersfield he
has officiated as president of the board of trustees in the Baptist Church and
has been a leading local worker in that denomination. Fraternally he holds
membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. While living in
Urbana, Ohio, he married Miss Lucy Fisher, who was born in Defiance, that
state, and died at Sidney in 1908. Throughout her years of maturity she had
been an earnest member of the Baptist Church and a liberal giver to charit-
able movements. Surviving her are six children, namely: Temperance, Mrs.
Given, of Sidney, Ohio; Mrs. Clara McLeod, of Bakersfield; Mrs. Beatrice
Steffa, of Los Angeles; Alice, who owns and conducts the Sweet shop in
Bakersfield; Denton, a cement contractor in Sidney, Ohio; and Harry, who is
engaged in the building business in Bakersfield.

JOHN A. PICKLE.— From the time of his arrival at the McKittrick oil
fields during November of 1902 up to the present time, with the sole excep-
tion of two months spent in the Coalinga oil fields, Mr. Pickle has been em-
ployed on the quarter section which includes the ten-acre lease of the Kern
River Oil Company and the lease of one hundred and fifty acres owned by
the Jewett Oil Company. Since July of 1909 he has filled the position of
superintendent of the latter company, whose large lease now has fourteen
wells, ten of them producers, with a monthly average of eight thousand bar-
rels. The company takes its name from the president, Philo Jewett, of Bakers-
field. The vice-president, H. A. Blodgett, and the secretary-treasurer, A. Weil,
also are Bakersfield capitalists.

As early as 1851 the Pickle family established itself in California. During
the fall of that year John F. Pickle, a native of Alabama, came across the
country with a herd of cattle and settled on a tract of raw land in Sonoma



HISTORY ()!• Ki'Rx c■()^^"^^■ 1:27

coiinty. Later he lived for l^rief periods in Mendocino, Santa Barbara, San
Dic^o and Orange counties, and now, hearty and robust for a man of eighty,
he is making his home at Ukiah. All of his twelve children attained maturity
and only one is now deceased. From their father they inherited a robust
constitution and under his training each was prepared for life's responsi-
bilities. John A. was born in Mendocino county .April 30, 1879. and aitcnded
school in his native county and Santa Barbara county, followed by one term in
the public schools of San Diego county. From the age of thirteen years until
nineteen he aided in the cultivation of farm lands operated by his father in
San Diego and Orange counties, and afterward for four years he helped to
cultivate a farm in Mendocino county, from which he came to the oil fields
of Kern county to enter upon an occupative identification that has reflected
credit upon his intelligence and industry. During 1905 he was married at
Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, to Miss Lulu Gavin, of Potter valley, Mendocino
county. Besides owning a city residence at Santa Rosa he has purchased a
tract of forty acres near the Rosedale colony in Kern county, where he is
improving a small farm and brihging the land under excellent cultivation. In
politics he voles with the Demricratic party. Fraternally he is ctmnected
with the Lnproved Order of Red Men at McKittrick.

PINKNEY J. WALDON.— Xear Enterprise, Ind., 1'. J. Waldon was
burn March 11, 1837, a son of Isaac and Lucinda (Bennett) Waidun, the
latter of whom died in Indianapolis, Ind. The former, a lifelong farmer,
removed from Indiana to Missouri in 1839 and remained in that state for
five years, returning to Indiana in the spring of 1844 and settling at Rising
Sun, Ohio county, where he died in the fall of the same year. Of
his family of four daughters and five sons there now survive two daughters
and three sons. The third in order of birth, Pinkney J., was two years of
age when the family went to Missouri and seven when they returned
to Indiana. As a boy he lived in Ohio and Switzerland counties, which



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 122 of 177)