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 135 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 135 of 177)
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mained a resident of that city, and he still retains his membership.

FORD ALEXANDER.— As a member of the .\lli.son & Berry Company,
Incorporated, and manaLjer of their Taft branch, Mr. Alexander has been of
the utmost practical aid in the expert well-shooting which has given to the
firm the appropriate name of "The Dynamiters." From the main office at
Glendale, Los Angeles county, and from the branches at Coalinga and Taft,
the company transacts a business covering all the oil fields of California and
influencing in large degree the results obtained in production work. The
three members of the firm, IMessrs. Allison, Berry and Alexander, are practical
oil operators, familiar with every department of production and supply, and
identified with the industry in difTerent districts prior to their organi-
zation into the present concern. About 1910 Mr. Allison conceived the
idea of the practical efficacy of dynamiting the wells, for the purpose of open-
ing up the cavities in the sand, releasing the oil and increasing the produc-
tion. The idea proved to be feasible. A company was formed and after Mr.
Alexander was admitted as a third partner, papers of incorporation were filed
and a close corporation formed. .At the present time patents have been
applied for on the invention of cap protectors and on single electric wire-
shooting appliances. The claim is that the electrical processes of exploding
the dynamite insure alisolute safety. Large magazines are maintained at
Glendale, Taft and Coalinga.

The junior member of the firm, Ford .\lexander, was born in Washington
county, Ohio, near the county-seat town of Marietta, .April 20, 1886. and is a
son of James Alexander, a pioneer oil operator in the Marietta field. He was
the eldest of three children, the others being Laura Hope .Alexander (now a
school teacher in Washington county), and James Glenn Alexander. .After
completing the studies of public schools and a local academy. Ford .Alexander
began to earn a livelihood in the oil business. At the age of eighteen he took
charge of the estate of James D. Lehmer, who had owned one of the principal
oil properties in southeastern Ohio. For eight years he continued in the
capacity of general foreman. Lfpon resigning that position he came to Cali-
fornia. On Christmas eve of 1911 he arrived in Taft. The following day he



1300 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

exploded two shots for the Allison & Berry Company, and in May of 1912 he
purchased a one-third interest in the concern, which later was incorporated.
While still living in Ohio he married ]\Iiss Nellie E. Hendershot,'of Washing-
ton county, and they are the parents of two children, Garnet and J. Boyd.
In politics he is a Republican of progressive sentiments. Since coming to
Taft he has been an active worker in Taft Lodge No. 426, I. O. O. F., in which
he now officiates as chaplain.

ASA ADDISON CROSS.— A native of the state, Asa Addison Cross was
born near Glennville, Kern county, April 17, 1867, and has lived in Kern
county all of his life. He was the son of Joel and Julia (Whistman) Cross,
natives of Illinois and Missouri respectively. His father crossed the plains
when a young man and after a residence for a time in Mountain View, in 1846
located in Linns Valley, where he followed the vocation of stockman until
his death. His mother was brought across the plains by her parents in 1846,
her father, J. W. Whistman, running the first stage line in Santa Clara county ;
she is now Mrs. Grant of Weldon. To her union with ]oe\ Cross there were
four children, three of whom survive.

Asa A. Cross attended the public schools in Linns Valley and at Weldon
until he was twelve years old, from which time he looked out for himself. His
first employment was with W. W. Sanders in the cattle business on his ranch
"and then with Andrew Brown, ranching for four years. It was not until 1894
that he was in business for himself as the lessee of the Wallace ranch of six
hundred and forty acres, on South Fork, which he operated four years. Then
for two years he worked a tract of the A. Brown land, and after that he leased
the Palmer ranch in Hot Springs valley. During all these years he was gen-
erally successful, gradualh' but sureh' acquiring capital, and in 1908 he was
enabled to buy his present ranch of two hundred and forty acres. He has
devoted the place to general farming and stock-raising, giving attention to
hogs, cattle and horses, and has one hundred and five acres of his land under
cultivation. This is under irrigation and used for raising alfalfa and grain.
His brand is the capital O.

Mr. Cross married Olla Beaty, who was born in Kernville, April 9, 1883,
and she has borne him eight children: Lola (deceased in infancy), Eula (de-
ceased at three years), Dell C, Claude and Clifford (twins), Muriel, Nell and
James Kenneth. As a citizen Mr. Cross is progressive and public-spirited,
and for five years has been a member of the board of trustees of Weldon
school district. A Democrat in politics, he is not without a recognized politi-
cal influence which he e.xerts uniformly for the good of the community.

Mrs. Cross was the fourth child born to John and Elvina (Pemberton)
Beaty, the former a native of Pulaski county, Ky., and the latter of Missouri.
Mr. Beaty came across the plains in 1858 with o.x-teams, finally making his
way to Kern county, where he mined on Greenhorn mountain for a time,
afterward for four years in Oregon, and then returning to Kern county,
engaged in teaming until he retired. He now resides in Los Angeles. His
marriage occurred in Visalia in 1859 and to this union a family of nine chil-
dren were born, of whom six are living. The mother died in Kernville.

P. J. McCUTCHEN.— To battle against ill health in youth is to face tre-
mendous odds in life's unending struggle for advancement. That Mr. Mc-
Cutchen, while yet a young man, should not only overcome invalidism and
reach a condition of excellent health, but in addition should establish a busi-
ness of growing volume, testifies much concerning his force of will and
energy of character.

Although not himself a native of California, Mr. McCutchen is a member
of one of the old families of Kern county, and his father, J. B. McCutchen,
still has charge of the old home ranch about twelve miles southwest of Bakers-
field in the Old River district. During a sojourn in Arizona in young man-
hood he married Margaret Dixon, who was there born in Skull valley; her



HISTORY OF KKRX COUNTY 1301

mother was the first white woman ever married in Arizona and the Dixons
also were very early settlers of that part of the country. Born in Arizona
February 3, 1889, P. J. McCutchen was brought to Kern county by his par-
ents in 1892 and grew to manhood on the Old River farm, meanwhile attend-
ing the school in that district. For a time he also studied in a commercial
college in Fresno and in 1909 he was graduated from Heald's Business Col-
lege at Santa Cruz. In spite of ill health he has been a worker from his
youth up and steadfast persistence in the performance of each duty, together
with practical care of the bod}', has restored him to strength and given him
the promise of a useful life. For three years he worked on the ranch for his
father and received one cow a month for his wages. In this way he laid the
foundation of a herd of fine milch cows and at the present time he owns thirty-
nine head, the majority being pure-bred Jerseys, although in the bunch there
are to be seen a number of Durhams and Holsteins. In 1912 he bought the
Terser dairy milk route and has since supplied customers at Taft with the
best quality of milk, delivered twice a day from the Old River ranch.

CHARLES A. DAILEY.— From an elevation at Taft the stranger is in-
terested in observing the derricks that extend in every direction as far as the
eye can see. To the northeast and southwest for a distance of fifteen miles,
and six miles across the main range of hills to the Buena Vista and Elk range,
probably every section of land contains from half a dozen to half a hundred
oil rigs, not all of course re|)resenting producing oil wells, but indicative of the
great activity of the region. To the north of Taft and adjacent to the city
lie the holdings of the Standard Oil Company, in whose interests Charles A.
Dailey is engaged as cable-tool foreman.

Mr. Dailey was born in Wells county, Ind., January 2, 1880, and is the son
of Michael Dailey, a lifelong worker in the oil fields of the east and middle
west. Trained early in boyhood to a knowledge of the industry, he became
self-supporting at the age of seventeen, when he secured a position in the oil
field at Alontpelier, Ind., working as an assistant to his father and learning
the details of the occupation. At one time and another he worked in a num-
ber of the best-known Indiana fields. Coming to California in 1908, he spent
five months in the Los Angeles fields, and in 1909 became a pioneer at Aloron
(now Taft), where he has since been connected with the Standard, first as a
driller, then as a driller foreman and now as cable-tool foreman. So closely
has his attention been given to occupative duties that, aside from identifica-
tion with the Elks at Bakersfield, he has formed no fraternal ties nor has he
taken any part whatever in public or political afi'airs. The Standard employs
two systems of drilling, namely: the old-time cable-tool standard drilling
system and the newer rotary system.

LINDSEY B. LITTLE.— Trustworthiness and intelligence have been
the keynote to the gradual rise of L. B. Little, recently appointed superin-
tendent for the Standard Oil Company in the Midway field as successor to
Cyrus Bell. In turn the latter has been promoted to the place held by F. M.
Atwell, of Bakersfield, while Mr. Atvvell has been transferred to San Fran-
cisco to fill a post of great trust for the Standard in that city. Mr. Little re-
flects credit upon his family and upon South Carolina, his native common-
wealth. Attending strictly to business, unmarried, not connected with politi-
cal aflfairs and caring little for social functions, with no fraternal associations
aside from membership with the Elks when living at Jennings, La., and identi-
fication with the Masons of the thirty-second degree and \oblcs of the Mystic
Shrine, he has given practically all of his mature existence to the oil industry.
In Gafifnev, S. C, where he was born May 16, 1881, L. B. Little attended
the public schools and had his first experience of business while clerking in a
store. For a year he was employed as fireman on the Southern Railroad
in South Carolina. Upon attaining his majority he went to Jennings, La.,
and secured work as a roustabout. For six years he remained in the same



1302 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

field and during four years of that time he was employed as a driller. While
in Louisiana he entered the service of the Standard, and when he came to
California in 1908 he drilled at Altamont as an employe of the same corpora-
tion. In the summer of 1909 he came to the Midway field, where at first he
worked as a driller and then as tool foreman, from which position in July,
1913, he was promoted to be division superintendent in the Standard's produc-
tion department.

OTTO P. LINDGREN.— The village of Norkoping in Ostergotland,
Sweden, on the shores of the Baltic sea, formed the environment familiar to
the childhood of Otto P. Lindgren, who was born there July 20, 1873, being
among the youngest in a family of twelve children, seven of whom are now
living, all but one of them in the United States. The parents, John and
Marie (Johnson) Lindgren, died respectively in 1905 and 1893 at Norkoping,
where the father had engaged extensively in building and general contracting.
The surviving members of the family are named as follows : Mrs. Mathilda
Lindstrom, of Norkoping, Sweden : Charles J., president of the Lindgren
Construction Company, of San Francisco ; Mrs. Annie Excell, of Kansas City,
Mo.; A. Frederick, of San Francisco; Hilma, Mrs. Manley, of Bakersfield;
Otto P.; and Ellen, now living at Merrick, Long Island, N. Y. When only
twelve years of age Otto P. Lindgren was brought to the United States by his
older brother, Charles J., who settled in Chicago. Two years later they came
to California and settled in Los Angeles, where the lad of fourteen years
served an apprenticeship to the trade of a bricklayer. September 9, 1889, he
came to Bakersfield and worked at his trade in the rebuilding of structures
ruined by the disastrous conflagration of two months before. Later he be-
came foreman for his brother, who was the most extensive contractor in the
city at that time. With full charge of all the brick work for the Lindgren
Construction Company, he continued in active employment until July, 1911,
when the firm disposed of their Bakersfield interests, and since then he has
engaged as foreman for dififerent contractors. He is now conducting the
LTnion Cigar Store at Chester and Twenty-first streets.

Of recent years Mr. Lindgren has erected four brick houses in East
Bakersfield and one of these, built in 1910, is owned by himself and occupied
by his family, this residence occupying an attractive location at No. 818 Ore-
gon street. April 20, 1899, occurred the marriage of Mr. Lindgren and Miss
Myrtle Carter, who was born at Santa Ana, Cal., being the youngest daughter
of David Carter, an honored pioneer now residing at No. 1600 Kern street.
East Bakersfield. When a mere youth Mr. Carter left Illinois for Utah, but
finding little inducement to- remain there he came to California. At the time
of his arrival in Bakersfield the place was a very insignificant hamlet, and he
frequently hunted wild game on the present site of the Southern hotel and
also where stand other buildings of permanent and substantial construction.
Mrs. Lindgren has spent the larger part of her life in East Bakersfield or in
Bakersfield, and received an excellent education in the local schools. Of her
marriage there is an only child. Otto Frederick. In politics Mr. Lindgren is
a Democrat and fraternally he belongs to the Woodmen of the World. Upon
the organization of the Bricklayers' International Lhiion Local No. 3, Septem-
ber 10, 1901, he became one of its charter members and from that time to the
present he has been very influential in its activities. Formerly he was hon-
ored with the office of president and at another time he was elected secretary,
while at this writing he is filling the office of treasurer. He also holds the
position of first vice-president of the California State Conference of Brick-
layers, Masons and Plasterers' LInion of America, and has been called upon at
different times to proceed to dififerent cities on the Pacific Coast as far north
as Vancouver, British Columbia, to settle labor disputes. In May, 1898, he
volunteered for the Spanish-American war, enlisting in the Hospital Corps of
the Fourth Army Corps, with the expectation of going to the Philippines, but



HISTORY OF KF.RN COUNTY 1303

the corps was not ordered there. He was mustered out and honorably dis-
charged December 18th, 1898. He is a member of Shatter Camp No. 3,
Spanish-American War \'eterans, and is a member of its board of trustees.

JOHN A. RAYMOND.— The Raymond ancestry is of old French lineage,
represented for generations in Hautes-Alpes, and John A. Raymond is a
native of the vicinity of Gap, born August 2, 1881. During boyhood he
learned the essentials of agriculture at home and the three R's in school, so
that he was qualified for the responsibilities of maturity. As early as 1887
his father. August, had left the little farm for America and had settled in
California, where he became interested in the raising of sheep. For a con-
siderable period the length of his sojourn in the west was uncertain, but
eventually he decided to remain and therefore sent for his wife and children,
who joined him in Kern county in 1898. The mother, Rosalie (Martin) Ray-
mond, died in this county, and here in 1904 also occurred the death of the
father. Of their four children, Mrs. Rosie I^ambaud lives in Kern, Peter is
engaged in the sheep business with our subject, and Louise is the wife of Eli
Blanc, of Kern.

The second in order of birth among the four children was Jean (or John)
August, who on his arrival in California in December, 1898, found work with
Jean Escallier, known as "Fourteen," who was a sheepman in Delano, and
later had employment with others in the same line of work. .\t the end of
about five years he formed a partnership with his father and brother, the
three buying a flock of sheep to range on Poso creek. Upon the death of the
father, the two brothers succeeded to his interests and since then they have
worked together, ranging their flocks on the plains or in the Tehachapi
mountains as abundance of pasturage and water render advisable. The com-
fortable home of John A. Raymond at No. 924 Humboldt street, East Bakers-
field, is presided over by Mrs. Raymond, formerly Aliss Rose Eyraud. who
was born in Hautcs-.\lpes and l)y whose marriage there are two children,
Marcelle and Jean.

WALTER E. DAVIS.— The City meat market under the capable owner-
ship and management of the two partners, Messrs. Venator and Davis, has
risen to a prominent rank among the business enterprises of Tehachapi, where
since August of 1908, Mr. Davis has made his home and business headquar-
ters. The esLablishment in town has been etjuipped with every modern
convenience to be found in model city markets, while at some distance from
town the partners own and operate a slaughter house. To supply their whole-
sale and retail trade, they ship in cattle by the train-load from .Arizona and
their operations reach an aggregate of many thousands of dollars every
month. A modern cold-storage and ice plant has been added to their equip-
ment and as the machinery has a capacity of three thousand pounds daily they
are able not only to keep their own refrigerators supplied with an abundance
of ice, but in addition they sell to consumers throughout the town. P>esides
their other operations they sell water for city consumption, liaving a deep
well and pumping plant that furnishes more water than is needed for the use
of their own business.

The youngest among four children, Walter F. Davis was liorn at Lowell,
Washington county, Ohio, September 11, 1879, and is a son of Walter and
Elizabeth (Trapp) Davis, natives respectively of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The latter, at the age of seventy-three years, is still living at the old Wash-
ington county homestead. The former, who served in the Thirty-seventh
Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, took up mercantile pursuits at an early
age and rose from a clerkship to the inanagement of a general store of his
own. Later he engaged in farming near the town of Lowell, and there he
died about 1892. .\t the time of his death his youngest child, Walter E.,
was a boy of thirteen and from that time he became self-supporting. With
characteristic energ\- he determined to work his way through school and so



1304 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

learned the butcher's trade, from which he earned enough to pay his expenses
in the Lowell high school and Marietta College. After he had completed the
studies of the freshman class he left the institution at Marietta and matricu-
lated in the Ohio Valley Business College, where he remained until gradua-
tion. During 1898 he came west as far as Colorado and started a butcher
shop on Nineteenth and Curtis streets, Denver. From 1899 to 1901 he en-
gaged in mining in New Mexico and Arizona, after which he embarked in the
meat business in Prescott, where he remained for about six years. Coming
to California during April of 1908 he settled in Tehachapi four months after-
ward and since then by energy, intelligence and business acumen he has de-
veloped a valuable trade. The Tehachapi Board of Trade has had the benefit
of his services as a progressive citizen and an upbuilder of the town. Al-
though a stanch Republican, he has not been active in politics nor has he
displayed a partisan spirit in his support of public measures. Fraternally he
holds membership with the Modern Woodmen of America. While engaged
in business at Prescott he met and married Mrs. Susie (Merrill) Robbins, who
was born and reared in that Arizona city and who by her first marriage had
one daughter, Maude. Her education was secured in the Prescott schools
and in that city she was an active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church,
to which she has belonged since early life.

CHRIS CAYORI. — A native of Switzerland, Chris Cayori, who now
lives fourteen miles southwest of Bakersfield, was born in Zillas, Graubunden,
July 2, 1878. and has been a citizen of Kern county, Cal., since 1896. His
father, George Cayori, was a native of the same place, and followed farming
in the Alps. He married Menga Catrina, and both are still living on the old
home place. Of their five children Chris was the third in order of birth. He
attended public school in his' native land until he was fifteen years old, and
during the succeeding three years was employed by his father. He had
heard much of the opportunities offered in America to honest, industrious men
of enterprise and upon coming to the United States, made his way direct to
Kern county, Cal. For ten years, or until 1906, he worked at dairying, then
leased one hundred and sixty acres of alfalfa land, the old Chubb place, which
he has operated to the present time. In 1912 with his partners, Peter and
Hill G. Mattly, he bought the old Chris Mattly place of five hundred and sixty
acres, upon which their efforts are concentrated. All the land is under the
Stine canal and planted to alfalfa. This property the}^ are developing into a
good dairy plant, and they are raising cows with a view to the early establish-
ment of what they confidently expect to make one of the best producing milk
and butter establishments in the county. In connection with these prepara-
tions, they have also given their attention quite successfully to the breeding
of mules. Politically he is a Republican.

EUGENE VERDIER.— Since 1878 Eugene Verdier has been a resident
of California, and since 1883 has made his home in Kern county, having in the
meantime figured prominentl_y in the upbuilding of Kern, now East Bakers-
field. He was born in the department of Gers, Hautes-Pyrenees, July 4, 1863,
and attended the schools of his native place until fifteen, when he came to
San Francisco with friends, there attending public school for two years,
when he began working in a restaurant. In 1883 he came to Sumner, after-
wards Kern, and now East Bakersfield, where he engaged in the sheep busi-
ness, ranging his flocks on the plains and in the mountains until 1886, when
he sold out and returned to San Francisco, but in 1889 he again returned to
Kern and purchased two separate corners on Humboldt and Baker streets,
afterwards selling one corner to the First Bank of Kern for the purpose of
erecting their bank building". On account of their making this permanent
improvement, Mr. Verdier reduced the price of the lot $500. He afterwards
built a concrete hotel building on the other corner, 75x75, two stories, which
he leases and which is known as the Imperial Hotel. In February, 1908, he



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1305

located at Granite Station, where he is the proprietor of the hotel and store
and is the postmaster at Klmer, as the postoffice is named. In connection he
owns and operates a stock ranch located six miles above Granite.

Mr. Verdicr was married in San Francisco to Miss Marie Laborde, also
a native of Basses-Pyrenees, France, and they have two children: George,
who has charge of the ranch, and Eugene, who is in charge of the store, and
is assistant postmaster. Fraternally Mr. Verdier is a member of the Eagles
and Owls, while politically he is a Protectionist and Republican. In l')li lie
made a trip back to France, visiting the place of his childhood afier thirty-
four years' absence.

FLOYD H. BARNETT.— Prior to the Revolutionary war the Barnett
family became established in X'irginia. where successive generations lived and
labored and where they bore themselves courageously alike in war and peace.
One of the brave soldiers of the Revolution was Isaac Barnett, who partici-
pated in a number of memorable engagements with his comrades of the Vir-
ginian troops. A son and namesake of this Revolutionary hero left the Old
Dominion for the then primeval forests of Tennessee and his son, Frank,
was a native of Washington county, that state, while the next generation



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 135 of 177)