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 129 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 129 of 177)
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the Horn, sailed up the Pacific and cast anchor in the harbor of San Fran-
cisco. For some years he followed mining and in addition he also owned and
conducted hotels. After having conducted an hotel at Old .Alameda he fol-
lowed the same business in Gilroy and later in Hollister. While engaged in
placer mining in Tuolumne county he died there at the age of seventy-four.
Later his wife, who was a member of a pioneer family of Santa Clara county,
came to East Bakersfield to make her home with her son, Mateo, and here
she died at seventy-three years of age. There were eleven children in the
family and five of these are .still living. Of the eleven Mateo was fifth in
order of birth. From ten years of age he not only supported himself, but
also aided in the maintenance of the family. It was impossible for him to
secure a good education, liut he has acquired a broatl fund of information
through habits of close iil)ser\ati(in and tlirnugh tlu- intelligent cultivation of
his mental faculties.

After having been a helper in a dray business at Hollister for a number
of years Mr. Smith came to Bakersfield in 1886. His energy and versatile
talents led him to acquire a thorough knowledge of carpentering and of
plumbing and steam-fitting, besides the trade of a stationary engineer, which
last-named occupation he followed not only in this city, but also in the moun-
tain sawmills. All of these trades he followed more or less and should he
choose, he could now earn a livelihood at any of them. In addition he has
been interested in mining and has improved a number of claims, but this
work he has found far from profitable. .Among the i)rincipal points of his
mining \entures Keyesville and Piute have been the most important and now



1264 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

he also has claims on Mill creek in the Breckenridge mountains. While min-
ing at Keyesville he located a ledge, Good View, out of a small strata of
which he took $6,000, but that entire sum he afterward sunk in attempting a
further development of the same ledge. While mining has been an interest-
ing occupation for him, as for all who have ever entered it, it is his belief that
the greatness of California consists less in its mines than in its rich soil, its
possibilities of horticulture and agricultural cultivation and its superb climate.
His marriage took place in East Bakersfield February 12, 1911, and united
him with Mrs. Delia (Fowler) Miller, a native of Kirksville, Mo., and the
mother of one child, Mary Elizabeth, by her first marriage.

Mrs. Smith is the daughter of Dr. R. M. and Martha (O'Brien) Fowler,
natives of Berlin, Germany, and Dublin, Ireland, respectively. The father
was a graduate physician from the University of Berlin and for many years
practiced medicine in Kirksville, but he is now retired and Ifoking after his
large real-estate interests. Mrs. Smith is a graduate of the State Normal at
Kirksville. Most of her life has been spent in business; since coming to
Bakersfield she has engaged actively in the real-estate business and is ably
assisting her husband. She has charge of the renting department, which
she is bringing to marked success, and has a large clientele among the large
property owners of the city.

GEORGE S. MAY.вАФ The president of May's Transfer and Storage Com-
pany, incorporated under the laws of the state of California, has had many
interesting experiences since first he embarked in the draying business in
1898. The incident which led to the starting of the business was in itself
apparently insignificant. The proprietors of what was then the leading
transfer company of Bakersfield caused his arrest, as he thought very un-
justly, for hauling a trunk without a city license. A second complaint against
him caused him to embark in the business for himself and he then organized
the Opposition Transfer Company. For a year his sole equipment comprised
one horse and a wagon which had been rebuilt from an old hotel bus, the
whole worth about $40. One of his first friends and helpers was Las Mon-
toya. who aided in the rebuilding of the wagon. Opposition of every kind
was presented, but he steadily gained in the competing game against his
business opponents. Soon it became apparent that the trade required addi-
tional equipment. Accordingly he bought out the George Carlock Trucking
Company and thus secured needed wagons and horses. Later he took in the
Union Transfer Company on a percentage basis and on his suggestion his
brother, Charles A., purchased that concern, becoming one-third owner with
his brother. About three months afterward Charles A. bought out Wood's
Transfer Company and thus became one-half owner in the whole business.

Disposing of their trucking and draying interests, the brothers devoted
themselves strictly to the transfer and storage business and for fifteen years
have handled the business of all the theatrical companies in Bakersfield.
Meanwhile they secured the government contract for hauling mail between
the depots and the postoffice. They also secured the contract with the Wells-
Fargo Company for transfer of packages between the depots. Last of all
they won the commercial trade of the city. From a very modest beginning
their trade increased steadily and now they utilize eleven transfer and dray-
age trucks. Trunks and suit-cases formerly were stored in a room, 10x16,
which previously had been used as a harness-room in their barn. Soon this
small space proved inadequate. Other rooms were rented, but each in turn
became too small for the growing business. It then became necessary to
erect a suitable storage warehouse and in August of 1911 the brothers began
the construction of a building, 50x110 feet in dimensions, with a capacity of
ten thousand square feet. This fireproof structure stands on the corner of
Stockton and Humboldt streets. East Bakersfield, and the large barns stand



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1265

in the same block not far distant from the residences of the two brothers.
The office of the company is in the basement of the Old Fish building in
Bakersfield. The capital stock of the company, $20,000 paid in, was secured
by the sale of two thousand shares of stock at $10 per share.

A native son of the state, George S. May was born at Sierraville, Sierra
county, near Truckee, Nevada county, where his father, George, was a popu-
lar pioneer, a well-known miner and the manager of a sawmill. The pos-
sessor of musical ability of a high order (although undeveloped) he learned to
play the violin and was in constant demand at the country dances of the
early days. In that way he came to be known as "Fiddler" May. His warm-
hearted disposition brought him hosts of friends, while his remarkable exec-
utive ability made him a leader in pioneer circles. While engaged in mining
he had business relations with Senator Jones of Nevada and Senator Stewart
and at ciie time he was a partner of Senator George Hearst. For some years
his life record was a history of the mining development of the west, whither
he had come during the eventful year of 1849. Born in Hamilton county,
Ohio, in 1829, he had gone to Springfield, that state, in early life and thence
to Springfield in Illinois. As soon as he heard



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 129 of 177)