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 139 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 139 of 177)
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with the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company.

For two 3^ears engaged as a plumber with that concern, Mr. Pearl later
spent six years with the same company in the capacity of stationary engineer.
From Arizona he came to California in 1907 and settled in Kern count)', where
immediately he secured work as a plumber and steamfitter on the Imperial
and 33 leases, being retained in the same department when the firm of Keith,
Mack & Guggenheim in 1910 was overtaken by the Kern River Oilfields of
California, Limited. Since coming to this county he and his family have been
members of St. Francis' Roman Catholic Church of Bakersfield. while frater-
nally he is connected with the Eagles, Wcjodmen of the World and Modern
Woodmen of America. The family home is a cottage on the company prop-
erty and the family comprises six children, Irene, Edmund, Clement, Joseph,
John and Clarence, of whom the eldest sons are now employed in the oil fields.

PHILIP BACH.— Philip Bach is of German extraction, his grandfather


having been born in Baden-Baden, Germany- His father, Philip Bach, was
engaged in the dry goods business at Ann Arbor, Mich., being a member of
the firm of Bach & Able there. He married Nancy Royce, whose people came
to Michigan from Massachusetts, and they were the parents of Philip, Jr.
The father died in 1895, and the mother in 1871.

Born in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw county, Mich., October 20, 1863, Philip
Bach was there reared to manhood, attending the public schools, and finally
becoming a student in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Ill health,
however, compelled Mr. Bach to relinquish his studies and he went to New
Mexico to regain his strength. He began in the store-keeping business at
Alma, Socorro county, then at Cooney, going from there to Magdalena, whence
he found his way to Silver City, Grant county, at which latter place he kept a
general store and also became interested in silver mining. Having in the
meantime gained his former good health, in 1897 he came to Los Angeles, Cal.,
to engage in the securities brokerage business, but after a year and a half at
this line of work he gave it up and went to Portland, Ore., where he secured
a position in a dry goods store. After a year and a half there he returned to
Los Angeles, and when oil was struck in Kern county, he came here and was
employed by J. A. Chancellor and C. A. Canfield to take charge of the twelve
wells belonging to the Canfield Company. As superintendent of this com-
pany Mr. Bach increased this property to fifty-seven wells, and so successful
was he in the conduct of it that, in 1902, when it was taken over by the Asso-
ciated Oil Company, he was retained by the latter as foreman of the Canfield
division, which position he has since held. The Canfield produces thirty thou-
sand barrels of oil per month and is numbered among the best producers in
the oil fields.

Mr. Bach makes his home on the Canfield properties, where he and his
wife, who before her marriage in 1905, to Mr. Bach, was a Mrs. Page, give
hearty welcome to their numerous friends and acquaintances. Mrs. Bach is a
daughter of John R. Matlack, of Philadelphia, and sister of William V.
Matlack, mayor of Bakersfield, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this

MARTIN COYNE.— A native of Ireland, Martin Coyne was born at
Castleray, County Roscommon, in 1860, a son of John and Mary (Rourke)
Coyne. His father died when the son was about four years old, and the mother
passed away at Avon, Livingston county, N. Y., in 1875. Of their twelve
children Martin was the third youngest. Six of them preceded their mother
to the United States, and she brought over the remaining six in 1870. He
was a student for a time in the public school at Avon, N. Y., but early went
to work on farms in the vicinity. Accompanied by an older brother, James
Coyne, he came to California in 1876 and joined their brother, Bartley, in the
Santa Clara valley. They engaged in farming there and in Yuba county more
than a year- James and Bartley went back to New York state. Martin
remained at Smartsville for a time, mining in the winter months and herding
cattle during the balance of the year, then went to Nevada county and mined
at Bli omfield until he met with an accident caused by a cave-in, by which he
was buried up to his head in a heavy mass of gravel for more than half an
hour. When he was dug out it was found that his arms and legs were crushed
and he was laid up two years, during which he completely exhausted his little
supply of money. His first employment after the accident was as a clerk in
the Derbeck hotel, where he remained two years gradually improving in health.
Then for three years he engaged in the liquor business in Nevada City. In
1886 he established a liquor store at Fifth and D streets, San Diego, which he
operated until 1892. Early in that year he came to Bakersfield and was
employed in the Hermitage saloon until 1904, when he bought the establish-
ment which he has since managed and which is now the property of the firm

HISTORY ()!•• K1-;RX (.( Jiwrv 1325

of Coyne & Hewitt. In I'XIO the Inisiness was removed to its present location
on Chester avenue. Mr. Coyne erected his l)eautifiil residence at Eighteenth
and D streets at an expense of $10,000. He was one of the orijanizers of
the Paraffine Oil Company, was a member of its first board of directors, has
been one of its directors ever since and was for a time its vice-president. The
company put down two wells in the Templor country without success, but
later operations on 25 Hill were productive of better results. It now has six
wells which produce about twenty thousand barrels of oil per month. He is
also interested in the U. S. Oil & Mininjj Company, of which he is a director
and vice-president and which has sunk four producing; wells at McKittrick.
He is a director and vice-president also of the Bakersfield Six Oil Company,
which owns one hundred acres at McKittrick. and in numerous other cor-
porations engaged in the development of the California oil fields.

At San Diego Mr. Coyne married Miss Nellie Hewitt, a native of
Schenectad}-, X. "\'., who has borne him five children. Marguerite, George,
Helen, Esther and ]\Iary. Marguerite is a graduate of Notre Dame College,
San Jose, and George is a senior in Kern county high school- Mr. Coyne
served as an officer in the Royal Arch, is a member of the Elks, and as a
member of the Rt ard of Trade and otherwise he has demonstrated a public
spirit wliicli has placed him in the foremost ranks of citizens of Bakersfield.

ALVA HUNTER. — Among those self-reliant, self-made citizens of Kern
comity who have solved the vital problem of achieving success in spite of the
many impediments which have crossed their paths in the new country is Alva
Hunter, the efficient and well-known superintendent of the Nevada Oil Com-
pany, which is known as one of the most profitable producers in the region.

Alva Hunter is the son of Aaron and Charlotte (Grant) Hunter,
born in Indiana in 1872. He was twenty years old when he came
with his parents to Bakersfield, Cal., and he immediately began to work for
the Kern County Land Company. Subsequently he farmed in San Luis Obispo
county, this state, and it was here that he became interested in the oil business,
obtaining employment at Rio Grande as tool-dresser for L. D. Heine. A year
later, in 1902. he came to the Kern River field and secured a position as driller
for the Nevada Oil Company, at which he worked for a year and a half. He
remained with this comjiany from that time on and proving himself to he so
well-grounded in the details of the work, that in 1010 he was made superin-
tendent of the company-

Sime idea of the company may be obtained from the information that it
has twenty-two wells, and produces about ten thousand barrels monthly. Mr.
Hunter fills the office of superintendent of this company and enjoys the con-
fidence of his employers and the respect of all with wlioni lie has business

In 1909 Mr. Hunter was married to Miss Effie Walker, of Arkansas, and
they have two children, Xellia .\. and William Grant. Mr. Hunter takes no
part in public affairs, holding no offices, but he is actively interested in the
Republican party, and votes that ticket. His home is on the Nevada holdings.

C. L. GIBONEY.— At an early age the obligation of self-support de-
volved upon Mr. Giboney. who assumed such responsibilities with the cheerful
aptitude that has marked every step of his existence. When only fifteen
years of age he l)egan to hustle for himself, yet he did not abandon all efforts
toward securing an education ; on the other hand, side by side with his
energetic devotion to material affairs was a persistence in educational work,
so that he not only was able to graduate from the Kern county public schools
but in addition he took a commercial course in the business college at
Bakersfield. A native son of California, he was born Deceinber 23, 1885, and
at the age of sixteen years he entered upon an apprenticeship to the trade of
a machinist at Needles, at the satne time learning the blacksmith trade. Later


he engaged as a horse-shoer at a railroad camp in Arizona. When the Edison
plant was installed on the Kern river he went to Havilah in Kern county,
where he worked under the contractor, J. B. Reed. It was the latter who had
induced him to locate in the town. Besides doing general work in the black-
smith shop he did the greater part of the horse-shoeing in the Kingman
blacksmith shop.

An opening for a bookkeeper occurred in the department store of Hoch-
heimer & Co., at Bakersfield, where Mr. Giboney found employment for which
his talents qualified him in an admirable degree. So well did he succeed as
bookkeeper for the concern that at the expiration of eighteen months he was
made cashier and was given charge of the entire office force in the store, where
he remained through a period aggregating five and one-half years. On May 4,
1908, he became bookkeeper for the Associated Oil Company. In a short
time he was made chief clerk. After two years of office labor he was given
a position as outside man and since then he has acted as foreman in the oil
department- In every respect he has given satisfaction to the company and
his work has reflected credit upon himself. In addition to handling the oil
produced by the Associated, he also handles all that is bought by the company
in the Sunset, Midway and McKittrick fields. Fraternally he is a member
of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Bakersfield. His marriage at
Fresno united him with Miss Rose Basye and they have an adopted child.

E. A. GROGG. — The Fellows Mercantile Company, although one of the
recent institutions of Kern county, is unsurpassed in the character of its
establishment and in the appreciation of its patrons. June, 1910, the company
was incorporated with a capitalization of $10,000, and on the 1st of August
their house of business was opened, with E. A. Grogg as treasurer and
manager, C. W. Dickinson as president and John Patterson as vice-president.
In every respect the store would do credit to a city far larger than Fellows.

The son of Samuel J. Grogg, an Ohio farmer, E. A. Grogg was born in
Fayette county, that state, January 15, 1863, and became inured to the hard
loil of the farm at a very early age. Leaving the country at the age of nineteen
he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits. When twenty he became a
clerk in a country store at Balbec, Jay county, Ind., and continued there for
eight years, after which he clerked at Pennville for four years- Continuing in
Jay county, he established himself as proprietor of a general store at Bryant,
where he remained until 1903. The complete failure of his health forced him
to sell out and seek a dilTerent climate. Going to Florida, he bought a small
lanch near the town of Ripley and there engaged in the poultry industry.
The illness of a brother caused him to leave Florida to be with the invalid
during an operation at Mobile and later he sold the Florida place, returned
with the brother to Indiana and cared for the suliferer until the end came
after an illness of six months. The management of a store at Dunkirk, Jay
county, kept him in that town for a time, but later he availed himself of a
better opening in the county-seat town, Portland, where he was connected
with the department store of Cartwright & Haddington.

A desire to see the west caused Mr. Grogg to relinquish his interests at
Portland, Ind., from which place he went to Portland, Ore., in October of 1907.
In 1908 he came to California, settled in Tulare county and became manager
of the Rochdale store at Orosi. After one year he embarked in the gent's
furnishing business. At first there was every indication of success, but a
panic resulted from the depreciated values of raisins, the principal crop of the
locality, and he was forced to retire from business at a considerable loss.
Thereupon he sought a new location and was led to establish himself in
Fellows, where he has a business that is solid, growing and substantial and
that merits and receives an excellent patronage from the community.

JAMES LOWELL ANNETTE.— The founder of his name in the new


world. J. Wyatt Annette, led an eventful existence from the time that he left
his native France and crossed the ocean to America, settled in Missouri and
engaged in coal mining near St. Louis, until he was impelled to join an
expedition of Argonauts who crossed the plains with wagons and ox-tcams
early in the '50s. Upon arriving at his destination he began to mine on the
Feather river. At first fortune seemed to favor him, for he struck gold and
with seven partners developed a profitable mine. After they had taken out
as much gold as they were able to carry, in buckskin bags fastened to their
bodies, they left the mine and started with their treasure for a place to market
the gold, but as they were crossing Feather river all were drowned On-
lookers were powerless to aid them, for the weight of the gold caused them
to sink before help could reach them.

The unfortunate gold-miner left a son. James William, a native of the
vicinity of St. Louis. >Io.. and from young manhood a resident of California,
where he planted an orchard of Bartlett pears in Lake county. By his mar-
riage to Fannie Baker, who was born in Missouri and died in California,
there was only one child, James Lowell, born at Kelseyville, Lake county,
Cal., November 14. 1880. and reared on the home farm, meanwhile attending
local schools and the Kelseyville academy. At the age of nineteen he became
an apprentice under Mr. Kemper in the old Star mills at South Vallejo. Three
years later he left the mill temporarily in order to take a course of study in
the Oakland Polytechnic Business College, but after his graduation in 1904
he returned to the mill to resume his trade. Two years later he resigned as
second miller there to accept a position as head miller with the Dixon Milling
Company, but stayed there only five months, resigning in order to become
head miller of the Kern river mills with the Kern County Land Company,
coming December 27, 1906. to the ]ilant where he has continued ever since.

In addition to acting as head miller of this mill Mr. Annette started and
for one year operated the Annette bakery, where he put in the first dough
mixed in Bakersfield. After selling the bakery he started on Nineteenth
street the A. & L. sweet shop, which he sold about 1910. He now owns twenty-
seven acres near Lakeport which he set out to Bartlett pears.

Mr. Annette is a Republican. \\'hile at \'allejo he was made a Mason in
Solano Lodge No. 229, F- & A. M., is a member of Bakersfield Chapter No.
75, R. A. M., Bakersfield Commandery No. 39, K. T., and .Al Malaikah Temple.
N. M. S.. of Los .Angeles. In \"allejo occurred his marriage to Miss Lillian
Steflfan. a native of that city and a graduate of the high school there. For
many years her father, Philip StefFan. has been engaged in the wholesale and
retail meat business in Vallejo. The family of Mr. and Mrs. .\nnette com-
jjrises two daughters, Madelyn Beth and Doris.

FREDERICK E. MANNEL.— The youngest in a family of four children
and the only one of the number to establish himself in the United States,
Frederick E. Manuel was born in Dresden. Saxony, Germany, .\ovember 30,
1864. and was named after his father, the manager of the zoological gardens
in Dresden. An excellent education was afforded him through attendance
itpon grammar and high schools in Dresden and he was educated with a view
to becoming a medical practitioner, but the profession did not appeal to him
and he emigrated to the L'nited States in 1880. With him he brought letters
of introduction to William Conklin, manager of the zoo in Central park. New
York City, and that gentleman gave him employment for a year. During 1881
he shipped to Montevideo, South .America, impelled by a desire to see some-
thing of that part of the world. Upon his return to New York he proceeded
west to iMontana in 1882 and secured work in the government employ. Some
time later he went back to Dresden to visit friends.

It was during 1885 that Mr. Manuel saw California for the first time.
After a brief sojourn in San Francisco he proceeded to Sonoma county and


bought a small vineyard near Mark West Springs, later locating near Colfax,
Placer county, where he planted vines and developed a valuable vineyard.
Upon the sale of that property he removed to San Jose and became a retailer
of oil and gasoline, continuing the business until 1896, when he sold out and
started upon a trip around the world. The beginning of his journey took him
to the old German home and gave him an opportunity again to renew the
associations of childhood. Traveling through Germany and Denmark, he
went thence to Norway and Sweden and as far north as Spitzbergen, after
after which he returned to Germany and from there traveled through Austria
and Russia, next back to France and from there to England. A long voyage
from London took him to Cape Town, Africa, and after debarking he traveled
with a hunting expedition to Fort Salisbury. The trip was made with wagons
and oxen and enabled the men to prospect and hunt in leisurely manner. Upon
leaving the party he traveled on foot across the Zambesi river into the interior
of Africa, where he passed six months in exciting explorations among the
natives. From there he traveled back south to Transvaal, Orange Free State
and Cape Colony.

Australia was the next country visited, where he made a study of the pearl
fisheries on Thursday Island, later visiting Port Darwin at the extreme
northern end of the continent. Next he went to the island of Timook, his
intention being to investigate some oil formations, but the natives were on
the warpath and rendered personal investigations impossible. He next sailed
for the Philippines and made a sojourn in Manila. In China he visited
Shanghai, Hong-Kong and other points. En route to the United States he
stopped at Yokohama, Japan, and Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, landing in
1899 at San Francisco, whence he came to Bakersfield. With friends he
secured a tract of oil land on section 11-29-21. His associates having been
misinformed, decided to abandon the work at a depth of five hundred feet,
but afterward this was found to be excellent oil territory. Next he prospected
at McKittrick and in the Sunset and Midway fields, after which he went to
Coalinga, bought a lease and extended the field three miles toward the north.
On coming back to Kern county he developed his property in the Midway
field and afterward as manager of the Mountain Girl lease put down several
wells that became good producers. With others he secured the building of
the Standard pipe line into the Midway field- During 1908 he started the
Bakersfield soap works, which he developed into a plant of considerable size
and importance. As the organizer of the St. Lawrence Oil Company operating
on section 5 in the Midway field, for some time he held a large number of
shares in the concern, but later sold his interest. Further he organized the
Successus Oil Company now operating on the McKittrick front.

The marriage of Mr. ]\Iannel and Miss Elsinore Hutton took place in
San Francisco. Although a native of Indianapolis, Ind., Mrs. Mannel was
reared in Alameda, Cal., where her father, Edward L. Hutton, was at the
head of a mercantile establishment. After coming to Bakersfield Mr. Mannel
built the residence which he now occupies at No. 2116 B street and which is
brightened by the presence of his two children, Elsie Hutton and Frederick
E., Jr. Since 1912 he has been manager of the Mannel-Minor Petroleum
Company operating on the Balridge lease of two hundred acres. The com-
pany was organized that year by himself and F. F. Minor and he is vice-
president and manager. Two wells have been completed and a third started.
One of these at a depth of two thousand feet, has a capacity of two hundred
barrels per day of twenty-five gravity oil- Politically he is a Republican.

J. G. EDWARDS. — The farming element of Kern county has a note-
worthy representative in the person of J. G. Edwards, who after having fol-
lowed the ( ccupation of a millwright for years in Missouri finally met with
reverses that took from him the fruits of his long toil, forcing him to start


anew at an ai;e when he inif;ht have been juslifietl in anticipating ease and
comfort. It was liis good fortune, in choosing a new location, to select Kern
cuiinty for a home and here he has retrieved tlie losses of the past, so that he
and his capable wife are now surrounded by every comfort. Their success has
been made possible by the possession and ownershij) of a fertile farm in the
Weed Patch. Working contentedly and iiappily and enjoying life to the ut-
most, they do not shut themselves out from the sorrows uf the world and are
especial!}' in sympathy with the an.xieties of the laboring man in his effort
to provide food and raiment for his family. Mr. Edwards is a Socialist.

As a soldier in the Civil war he fought for the Union and in times of
peace he has been equally loyal to the nation. Although himself of American
birth, he is a descendant of Scotch progenitors. His father, Hugh Edwards,
was born in Scotland, but crossed intu Ireland during boyhood and as a young
man became an immigrant to the United States, where he si)ent his remaining
years in Pennsylvania. In that state he married Miss Catherine Cantwell, a
member of a Welsh family. By trade a wagonmaker, he engaged in the inanu-
facture of vehicles in Pennsylvania throughout the balance of his life. When
gold was discovered in California he was employed to build wagons for the
trip to the coast.

Born near Johnstown, Pa., February 8, 1839, J. G. Edwards was one of
three children who attained mature years. A brother, Charles G., twelve
years older than himself, died in the army during the Civil war. His younger
sister, Catherine, Mrs. McKnight, died in Philadelphia. At the age of twelve
years he went to Coshocton county, Ohio, joining an uncle, Ciuy Edwards,
a millwright and farmer. In thai community the uncle had a reputation as an
expert mechanic. The most intricate jobs were taken to him. It was under
such excellent direction that the lad took up the occupation of mill-building.
While thus engaged he enlisted in the Unit n army as a substitute. Becoming
a member of Company F, One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Ohio Infantry,
he engaged in guard duty below Baltimore, was stationed for some time in
Virginia and \\ est Virginia, and later was assigned to the secret service for
duty in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania. At the expiration of two
years and eight months at the front he received an honorable discharge.

A period of activity as' a millwright in Ohio was followed by the removal
of Mr. Edwards to Missouri, where he took up his trade in Greene county.
There in 1872 he married Miss Torinda V. Tuttle, wiio was born in Indiana
and at the age of twelve years accompanied relatives to Missouri. Until
1892 Mr. Edwards continued to live in Missouri and meanwhile he built
or bought and sold mills in about six of the leading counties of
southeastern Missouri. At first he was prospered, but reverses began to
fall upon him and eventually he was obliged to give up the business. It was
then that he came to California and secured work as a ranch-hand for Blodgett,

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 139 of 177)