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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 142 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 142 of 177)
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tion of the regular course of study and practical work.

Coming to California and settling in Bakersfield in April, 1912, .Mr. Stier
has since filled the position of brewmaster with the Bakersfield Brewing
Company. Understanding the work thoroughly, he superintends the manu-
facturing with intelligence and is not only an able brewer, but also a resource-
ful business man. Fraternally he holds membershi]) with the Hermann Sons.

EMILIO C. CASTRO. — A native son of Kern county. Emilio C. Castro
was born August .^. 1873. His elementary training was obtained in the
local public schools, and at the age of fourteen years he began to work,
procuring a position with the Kern Count}- Land Compan}-, where he remained
for nine years. Then he became employed by the ^Filler & Lux Company,
working for them for a period of seven years. It is proof of Mr. Castro's



1342 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

ability that his employers held him as long as he would remain with them
and reluctantly gave him up. However, he was ambitious to be doing for
himself, and accordingly, in 1907, he bought twenty acres of land two and
one-half miles south of Bakersfield and started farming, putting his land in
alfalfa. He has also interested himself in stock-raising and runs cattle in
the Breckenridge mountains, where recently he has expanded his interests,
giving much of his time to this enterprise. He is a Democrat in political
principles and takes a deep interest in the progress of his country.

Mr. Castro was married May 28, 1907, in Bakersfield, to Mrs. Mary Pink
CClark) May, who was born in Lake county. Ore., June 15, 1874. She came
with her parents, William and Martha (Robinson) Clark, to Kern county
in 1887, and they settled in Cummings valley, Tehachapi, where they lived
for some years; her father died there and the mother in Iowa. She then
returned east to Iowa, but came back to Kern county in 1907 and was mar-
ried to Mr. Castro. By her former marriage she had two children, Pink and
Clark Allen. Of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Castro there is one daughter,
Frances Leonora.

CHARLES A. MAY. — The May Transfer and Storage Company, Incor-
porated, forms one of the stable business concerns of Bakersfield, where under
the enterprising management of the brothers, Charles A. and George S. May,
the business has been developed from a very unimportant affair to a concern
of large transactions. To meet the demands of the business the proprietors
have erected a substantial and commodious transfer building and their stor-
age capacity is equal to every demand that can be made upon it. Other
activities have engaged their attention at different periods. Like their
father, they have tried their luck in the mines and have gained little from
them excepting experience. Like him, also, they have had identification
with stock-ranching, but of recent years they have found it profitable to
concentrate their energies upon the transfer and storage business, which
now receives all of their time and intelligent supervision.

The secretary and treasurer of the company, Charles A. May, was
born in Placer county, Cal., May 27, 1873, and at the age of one year was
brought by his parents to Bakersfield, where he has lived much of the
time since infancy. His father, George May, a California pioneer in 1850,
became a mining partner of George A. Hearst during the early days and
while thus associated he sank the Yellow Jacket shaft, the first in the now
famous Comstock mine. For a time he had mining interests in connection
with Senator Jones of Nevada. During the era of gold mining in Kern
county he prospected here and did work in connection with the Big Blue
gold mine at Kernville. Although a man of great energy and an excellent
judge of mines, they brought him no success financially and eventually
he abandoned the occupation for that of agriculture, taking up a home-
stead sixteen miles south of Bakersfield at the old Tracy Crossing. There
he built and for some years maintained a ferry. Next he operated a cattle
ranch in the mountains at Walker's Basin and until his death, which
occurred in 1898, he devoted his attention wholly to stock-raising and
farming.

From an early age Charles A. May earned his own livelihood, for his
father was unable to aid him in securing a start in the world. Any occu-
pation that offered honorable work and fair wages became an object of
interest to him. For some years he engaged in teaming to the oil fields
and mines and during 1896 he tried his luck at mining near Randsburg in
the eastern part of Kern county, but the goddess of fortune did not smile
upon his efforts. As early in 1896 he and his brother, George S., embarked
in the transfer business at Bakersfield, where they built a warehouse on
the corner of Union avenue and Humboldt street. After his first marriage,



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1343

which uccnrred in 1900 and united him with Miss Alice Yost, of Montana,
he removed to that state and for four years lived at Red I^odge, Carbon
county. During the four years of his residence in Montana he filled numer-
ous important contracts, including the sinking of a three-compartment shaft
one thousand feet deep for the Anaconda Mining Company. Upon return-
ing to Bakersfield he became a teaming contractor for the Southern Pacific
Railroad Company, but more recently has devoted his entire attention to
the transfer and storage business. In 1907 his first wife died leaving two
children. Halcyon and Marshall. During December of 1911 he was united in
marriage with Mrs. Florence Bradley, of Salt Lake City, and they established
their home at No. 127 Humboldt street, Bakersfield. In politics he votes
the Republican ticket. Fraternally he holds membership with the Modern
Woodmen of America. Having passed so much of his life in Bakersfield,
he feels an especially deep interest in this city and in the surrounding
country, and patriotism and loyalty have characterized his citizenship.

CLINTON BUFFUM CRAWFORD.— The founder of the Crawford
family in California was Daniel Peers, who was born at Spring Hill, Nova
Scotia, November 10, 1847, and came to the United States as soon as he
became old enough to earn a livelihood. After his arrival in Boston during
1865 he found employment in factories in and near that city. In 1868 he
came to California, spending the first year in San Francisco, where he
held a position as cashier in a bank. While making his headquarters in
that city he met and married Miss Anna Carter Taylor, who was born in
Indianapolis, Ind., September 15, 1850, and at the age of four years was
brought to the west by her parents. The family traveled via Panama and
the four-year-old girl was carried across the isthmus on the backs of
natives. Her education was received in the schools of San Francisco and
she made her home in that city until her marriage. During 1872 she accom-
panied her husband to San Luis Obispo, where their son, Clinton B., was
born Alay 30, 1873. Some years later the family removed to the southern
part of the state and bought land at Olive, then in Los Angeles county,
but now a part of Orange county. The father still owns business interests,
also an orange grove, at Olive, where he is a well-known and honored
citizen.

After he had graduated from the schools of Olive, June 30, 1890, Clinton
B. Crawford remained at the old homestead and worked for his father
until 1895, when he came to Kern county. Near Rosel station, on what
then was the Toolwass district, he took up a homestead claim of one hun-
dred and sixty acres, where he experimented with dry farming for a few
years. The chief drawback was the lack of irrigation facilities. He was
obliged to haul water from a distance of eight miles for domestic use. The
hard work and lack of success incident to dry farming led him to move
to a new location, but he still retains his farm in that district. Since 1899
he has lived on a farm in the old Goose Lake channel of Kern river, where
at first he bought eighty acres and later purchased an adjacent tract of
one hundred and twenty acres, thus giving him a farm of two hundred
acres, five miles northeast of Button Willow. The land was in the primeval
condition of nature at the time of his settlement here. The most difficult
exertion was required in order to transform it into a productive condi-
tion. The task has been attended with many discouragements, his heaviest
losses being caused by the floods of 1906 and 1908. In 1903 he determined
to specialize in the dairy industry and in order to secure the desired stock
with which to start his herd he drove to Orange county and bought six
head of thoroughbred Jerseys, which he hauled back by wagon, a distance
of two hundred miles, being nine days en route. This was the first pure-
bred Jersey stock brought into his locality, and he now has ninetv head of



1344 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

pure Jerseys. The success of the dairy business proves that the industry
can be made profitable in this part of the county, while the modern improve-
ments on the farm indicate that he is a man of thrift, intelligence and pro-
gressive agricultural spirit. The place is one of the best cared for in the
entire district.

The Republican party has received the vote of Mr. Crawford in national
as well as local elections and he has served as a delegate to local conventions.
He favors educational movements and served most acceptably as trustee of
the Wildwood school district. His marriage took place in Bakersfield October
26, 1895, and united him with Miss Alpha Helen Sisson, by whom he is the
father of four children, Naomi H., Daniel M., Roy M. and Bruce M. Mrs
Crawford was born in Muscatine, Iowa, February 1, 1875, and at the age of
ten years accompanied her parents to California, settling at Santa Ana, where
she attended the public schools. She is the daughter of Martin H. Sisson, who
for many years was a farmer in Kern county and now lives retired in Bakers-
field. During the Civil war he served in a \Visconsin regiment. With her
husband Mrs. Crawford has labored tirelessly to secure the development of
their farms and to promote the welfare of their children, and in the com-
munity she shares with him the regard of a large circle of acquaintances.

LYNN WILLIAM BAKER.— His father, J. K. Baker, was born in
Indianapolis, Ind., where he was reared and educated. His first experience in
the stock business was at Keokuk, Iowa, where he had located, and he became
a breeder of standard and thoroughbred horses, which proved a successful
venture from the start. In 1902 he located in San Jose, Cal., where he now
is living retired, enjoying the fruits of his earlier labors. His wife was
Rebecca Campbell, born in Ohio, and they became the parents of three sons,
Lynn W. being the second oldest.

L. W. Baker was born June 23, 1885, in Keokuk, where he attended
the common school until he reached the age of thirteen. In 1899 he
went to Shoshone, Idaho, where he entered the employ of the Stockgrowers
Mercantile Company, which position he filled for eleven months. For thir-
teen months following he followed mining in Inkum, Bannock county, Idaho,
working in the old Wildhorse mine there, and he then removed to Quincy,
111., where he was enabled to take a course at the high school and also at
the Gem City Business College, from which latter he was graduated in 1903.
Returning to Keokuk he was an employe of a clothing firm for some time, in
1905 coming to San Francisco to enter the employ of the wholesale grocery
firm of Garretson & Company. He remained with the latter company until
1910 when they sold out, and in February of that year he came to Kern county
where he has since made his home in Bakersfield. Buying out the cigar busi-
ness of which he is now proprietor he built up a flourishing trade. In 1912 with
W. C. Taylor he built the Dreamland Rink, on Nineteenth and R streets, 62x
116, the largest pleasure hall in the county and a venture that has been a
decided success. Methodical and painstaking he has proved himself an apt
business man.

As one of the organizers of Bakersfield Lodge No. 473, L. O. O. M., Mr.
Baker was most prominent, putting forth every eft'ort to procure their charter
and establish the lodge on a firm basis. At the first election he was elected
as secretary and was installed at the first meeting February 4, 1911, when
there were a hundred and seventy-five members in the lodge. It grew to
large proportions and numbered over eleven hundred in its membership
when he resigned the position in September, 1912, in order to devote his time to
his various interests, as the duties of his secretaryship demanded more of his
time and attention than he could spare from his business. Mr. Baker is also a
member of the Eagles. He takes no active part in politics other than to vote
independently for the local men whom he deems best fitted for oilfice.



HISTORY ()!• KI'RX COUXTY 1343

JOSEPH CUDA.— In ])oiiU of years of actual residence, it is doubtful
if the celebrated Weed Patch of Kern county can boast an older settler than
Joseph Cuda, who for a long period of useful activity has been a leading
horticulturist of the locality and owns a finely improved ranch of eighty acres.
The property and an adjacent tract of equal size were taken up by him as a
homestead. Born near the city of Prague, Bohemia, Jnnc 28. 1864. Joseph
Cuda was brought to America in infancy l)y his parents, John and Catherine
(Pracil) Cuda. The parents settled in Nebraska between Omaha and Lincoln
and there two sons and a daughter were born. Having no means, the children
were obliged to become self-supporting as soon as old enough and therefore
liad no educational advantages. The information Josei)h Cuda now possesses
has been acquired l)y observation, experience and reading. Upon arriving in
this state he settled on a farm in Kings county near Hanford, but a year later,
in 1888, he came with his family to Kern county, where he took up a home-
stead of one hundred and sixty acres in the Weed Patch. At the end of seven
years he proved up on the land, one-half of which he sold, retaining eighty
acres for his own hi mestead. There are two children, Frank and Helen. The
son is engaged as a driller of oil wells.

To have seen the Cuda farm in 1888 and not again until 1912, a stranger
might have considered that a miracle had been wrought. But the only miracle
is that of hard work, which has transformed the sage brush into a fine fruit
farm. Besides the valuable vineyard of four acres there is a tract of eight
acres in figs now twenty years old, while during 1910 Mr. Cuda planted
ten acres in the same fruit. Twenty acres have been planted to peaches of the
finest varieties. Of this peach orchard five acres were put out in 1907 and fif-
teen acres in 1908, the whole being now in thrifty bearing condition. The bal-
ance of the farm is in corn and alfalfa.

JOSEPH F. MAREK.— The president of Horn & Co., of Bakersfield,
J. V. -Marek. is an lowan by liirth, but his earliest memories are associated with
the frontier of Nebraska, where his father, John Marek, settled in 1876 and
acquired a tract of raw land with the intention of converting it into a pro-
ductive farm. The tract was situated in Platte county near Columbus, at the
edge of the then confines of agricultural development and until his death he
continued at that place. It was imi)ossible to give to the large family of ten
children any special educational advantages and each was obliged to become
self-supi)orting at as early an age as nracticable. The j'oungest of the ten,
Joseph F.. was born February 10, 1873, during the residence of the family
in Chickasaw county, Iowa, and in boyhood attended country schools in
Nebraska, but his present broad fund of information has been obtained
principally by habits of close obser\ati(jn and reading and by his long identi-
fication with the printer's trade. When only fifteen he began as printer's devil
to serve an apprenticeship in the pressroom of the IIumi)hrey (Neb.) Dem-
ocrat and continued in the same place until he had mastered the trade. During
1891 he left Nebraska and came to California, where he followed his trade
in a commercial printing office at Los Angeles. For twelve years he con-
tinued in that city and during a brief part of that time he engaged in the
printing business for himself. Coming to Bakerseld in 1903, he was for three
years a type-setter on the Daily Californian.

After many years of active identification with the i)rinting business Mr.
Marek, believing that he would be profited financially by a change, in 1906
bought a cigar stand at No. 1308 Nineteenth street, where he remained until
1S09. Next he purchased the stand at No. 1511 Nineteenth street, where he
established Marek's Smoke House. Meanwhile he had embarked in the
wholesale business, which had developed beyond his quarters and the limits
of his capital. During .August of 1912. associated with Messrs. B. H. Pendleton
and T. J. Brooke, of Horn & Co..



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 142 of 177)