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 148 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 148 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


lars. Since 1902 he has resided with his family on a one hundred and sixty-acre
ranch, three miles north of Kernville, but he still follows mining and has
several good claims. Mr. Apalatea has been three times married, his first
two wives being deceased. His present wife was before her marriage Rosa
Rice, and was a native of South Fork. Of their union have been born five
children, and by his former unions there are eleven children living. Mr.
Apalatea has had much experience in mining and is well posted concerning
the mineralogy of the county. Politically he is a Republican.

PETER BLAETTLER.— The Blaettler brothers. Melchoir and Peter,
of the Town ranch in the Weed Patch of Kern county, have been closely iden-
tified with the dairy interests in this section. The younger, Peter Blaettler,
was born in Unterwalden, Switzerland, on September 6, 1872, and his life
and career have been so closely interwoven with those of his brother Melchoir,
who was also born in Unterwaldtn, in 1870, that their histories read almost
alike, they having shared both hardship and success in all undertakings.

In the year 1881 the brothers came to America and made their way to the
state of Missouri, settling at St. Louis, where for several years they were
engaged in a planing mill. After seven years in Missouri they decided to
make their way west and accordingly in 1888 they came to Salinas, Monterey
county, Cal., where they engaged in dairying. For nine and a half years they
ran the large dairy ranch known as the Cowell ranch of eighteen hundred and
fifty acres. Their success here led to the offer of the management of the
Mallerin ranch of a thousand acres, which extensive duties kept them closely
occupied for a time until in July, 1911, when they came to the Town ranch,
over which they today are supervisors and managers. In 1911 this ranch was
subdivided and sold off, the J. H. JNlenke Dairy Company becoming the pur-
chasers of six hundred and forty acres, that being the particular section on
which the buildings stand.

The ranch has on it the buildings erected by Mr. Town, the former owner,
and the general up-to-date appearance and the hygienic condition of its
buildings evidence the unequalled management and the care taken by those
who are handling the details. One hundred and fifty cows are daily milked
here, the cream is separated by the modern method and sold to the Peacock
Creamery at Bakersfield. The Blaettler brothers are Catholics.

JEAN L. PHILIPP. — A native of the county which has been his life-
time home, Jean L. Philipp was born in Bakersfield on July 27, 1891, the son
of Jean Philipp of East Bakersfield, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in
this volume. In the city of his birth the son was reared and educated, com-
pleting his studies by a course in the high school. The young man's first
insight into business affairs was received while filling the position of assistant
bookkeeper in the office of Fairbanks, Morse & Co., in 1909, and it was by the
knowledge and experience there gained during three months that he paved
the way and made possible the larger opportunities that came to him in the
years that have intervened.

It was in August, 1909, that a store was opened in Taft by G. P. Louthain,
district manager of the Fairbanks, Morse & Co., the equipment consisting
of oil well supplies, gas engines and electrical attachments and supplies.
A local manager was found in Jean L. Philipp, who had come to Taft on
November 1, 1909, and has been a resident here ever since. Genial and enter-
prising, Mr. Philipp is well fitted for the position of local manager of this
well-known enterprise, and has built up a patronage which is a credit to
himself and is proving a stimulus to the growing town of Taft.

FRED CLEMENT.— Identified with the oil industry for considerably
more than a decade Mr. Clement has meanwhile risen from the humble
capacity of a day laborer to the position of production foreman, having


charge at the ]iresent time of the plant owned by the Colloma Oil Company,
whose output averages about eleven thousand barrels per month.

The son of a worthy pioneer couple in Illinois, himself a native of Spring-
field, that state, born August 27 , 1871, Fred Clement was third in order of
birth among five children and was given such educational advantages as the
means of his parents rendered possible. At the age of sixteen he became self-
supporting and ever since then he has made his own way in the world unaided.
Different occupations engaged his attention prior to his first association with
the oil industry. Until twenty years of age he worked in a box factory.
Upon leaving the factory he went to Texas and secured employment on a
railroad as brakeman. After two years he went north to Iowa and found
work as a farm laborer, continuing as such until he was twenty-seven years
of age. Next he secured employment with the Cudahy Packing Company in
the smoke-house department and by gradual promotion rose to be a general
manager with the company, having charge of the departments at McAllister,
Okla., also at Ci Igate, Fort Smith and Arkansas City.

Upon resigning the position with the packing house Air. Clement came
to California in 1900 and made a brief sojourn at Santa Ana. For six
months he worked in the old Los Angeles oil fields and there gained his
first insight into the oil industry. From that district he came to the Kern
river field and engaged with the Indeiiendent Oil Company in a minor capacity.
Going next to the west side he worked for three years in that field, meanwhile
being successively with the Globe, Exploration, Associated and .American Oil
Companies, after which in September of 1912 he returned to the Kern river
field and became foreman with the Oil Company. He owns forty acres
in Tulare county and the family home in Bakersfield at 1715 Blanche street,
which is presided over by Mrs. Clement, formerly Miss Lyda Jamieson. There
is an only child, a son named Warren. While spending his week-ends at home
in the society of his family and the enjoyment of intercourse with friends, Mr.
Clement necessarily spends the larger part of his time on the field and may
usually be found ( n section 31, township 28, range 28, where the Colloma Oil
Company has its holdings and operates its \aluable and productive wells.

CHARLES BOWMAN. — Varied experiences have come to Mr. Bowman
during his lone; assnciatiun with the oil industry. Having worked in many of
the oil regions of the country he is well pasted concerning each, realizes their
possibilities, understands their drawbacks and has faith in their future,
especially in the future of the Kern river fields, where now he is stationed
as superintendent of the Homer Oil Company, a position he fills with credit to
himself and satisfaction to the employing company.

The youngest of the four children of the late Henderson Bowman, a
contractor in Ohio, Charles Bowman was born in Lima, Allen county, that
state, August 31, 1880. The eldest of the family, Sylvia, is the wife of Kirby
White, a grain dealer at Harrod, Allen county, Ohio. The second daughter,
Ida, married W. M. Neely, an oil operator, and the older son, Homer, formerly
an oil contractor, is now engaged in the furniture business. The youngest of
the family, Charles, attended the public schools of Allen county between the
ages of six and fourteen, after which, in July of 1894, he began to work for the
Standard Oil Company as a pumper, running four wells. Later he spent
eighteen months as a pumper with Pyle and Rolierts and nine months with
W. W. Neely, his brother-in-law. After a brief experience as tool-dresser he
began to drill at the age of nineteen years and in the December after he had
reached the age of twenty he became an independent operator in Allen county,
where he drilled a large number of wells. Fortune smiled on him for a time,
but later he met with reverses and sold his tools.

Arriving in Los Angeles on the 7th of Sei)tember, 1899, Mr. Bowman
spent six weeks or more in the city. On Thanksgiving day of tlie same year lie


visited the Kern river fields for the first time. The outlook interested him.
Conditions seemed promising, therefore he decided to remain for a time. As
an employe of W. W. Stephenson he completed the first well that produced on
the Black Jack lease. When that task had been brought to a favorable con-
clusion he returned to the oil fields near Lima, Ohio, but in October of 1901
left that locality for Poplar Blufif, Mo., where he engaged with the Oil Well
Supply Company for a brief period. When again he returned to the Ohio
fields he continued there until 1904, when he tried his luck in the Indiana
oil fields and later in Middle Tennessee. On his return to Lima, Ohio, he was
united in marriage with Miss Lola E. Miller, of Elkhart, Ind., by whom he
now has two sons, Robert L. and Wilbur D. For three years his main enter-
prises were limited to the Lima field, although various interests took him
elsewhere for brief intervals. For two years he was employed in the machine
shops of the locomotive works at Lima, Ohio, and from July 12, 1907, until his
return to California in 1910 he had charge of the property of the Missouri Min-
ing Company at Chelsea, Okla., coming thence to the Kern river fields and
re-entering the employ of Mr. Stephenson, February 26, 1912, he was made
field foreman of the Black Jack Oil Company. February 17, 1913, he assumed
his present position as superintendent of the Homer lease. The home of his
family is on this lease, in a comfortable cottage owned by the company. Having
been somewhat of a traveler and not identified with civic aflfairs in any
place of residence, he has not mingled in politics, but is a member of the
blue lodge of Masons at Bakersfield. He is not a member of any denomination,
although interested in the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with
which his wife has been connected for some years.

JAMES H. MANSFIELD.— Securing work with the Kern Trading and
Oil Company during September of 1908, in a short time Mr. Mansfield had
become familiar with well-pulling, tool-dressing and other lines of labor. The
next step made him a foreman and from production foreman he was promoted
to be well foreman in 1909 and lease foreman in 1910, the last-named post
being his present sphere of duty. Prior to coming to Kern county his expe-
rience had been with railroad and street-car work, but he has proved exception-
ally quick in acquiring a thorough knowledge of the oil industry and by
capability and intelligence has made good with the company.

Born in Macoupin county. 111., in 1879, and educated in the graded schools
of Scottville, that county, Mr. Mansfield secured his first work in the round-
house of the Illinois Central Railroad Company and later engaged as a brake-
man on the same road. In 1902 he went with the Great Northern Railroad
Company in Montana, where he remained for a considerable period. Upon
resigning from the employ of that company he came to Southern California in
1904 and found work as motorman with the Los Angeles and Redondo Beach
Street Car Company, later holding similar positions at Napa and Stockton
successively and then returning to Los Angeles to resume work with the car
company. In September of 1908 he began to work with the Kern Trading and
Oil Company on section 3, township 29, range 28, and on this property he
has since had his home, with his wife and child, James Wayne. Mrs. Mans-
field was formerly Miss Edna Belle Watson, of Santa Barbara, and their
marriage was solemnized in San Bernardino. Fraternally he is a Scottish Rite
Mason thirty-second degree.

JAMES LOGAN BAKER.— Of Texan birth and southern ancestry,
James Logan Baker was born August 30, 1880, at Stephenville, the county-
seat of Erath county, in the north central part of the Lone Star state. His
parents, A. J. and Theresa Baker, for some years lived upon a large ranch in
Texas, where the father engaged in the raising of cattle, and after the removal
of the family to California he has followed the same line of work in Calaveras
county. Of the children comprising the family the eldest, Jennie, became the


wife of E. Trimble, a sheep ranchman in Coke county, Tex., and died there
in 1S86, leaving an only child, Jessie. The eldest son, Alexander, who en-
gaged in ranching in Texas, died in that state in 1887, leaving a wife, May
(Chambers) Baker, and an only child, Alexander, Jr. The third child and sec-
ond son, Andrew, is now engaged in gold-mining in Calaveras county, Cal.
The youngest member of the family circle, James Logan, was twenty years
of age when the family came to California and settled in Calaveras county,
where he had an experience of two years in placer mining. C)n leaving the
mines he secured employment as a clerk with Pattee Bros., proprietors of a
general store at Valley Springs in the home county.

Upon leaving the store Mr. Baker returned to Texas, but an experience
of eighteen months as proprietor of a cattle ranch and various hardships
associated with the work convinced him that California was to be preferred as
a place of residence. Accordingly in 1907 he returned to the Pacific coast coun-
try and sought employment in the Kern river fields, where he has since been
employed with the Federated, first as an oiler, later as roustabout, tool dresser
and extra man, advancing so rapidly that December 17 he was chosen superin-
tendent. By attending strictly to the duties of the position and using intelli-
gence and wise judgment in all matters he is making a success of the work.
In the field his reputation is that of an expert oil man, while the officials of the
company have been satisfied with his constant devotion to their interests.
While still living in Texas and at the age of only nineteen years Mr. Baker
established home ties, being married to Mary Fisher, daughter of Jack Fisher,
of Mullin, Mills county, that state. They are the parents of three children,
Earl, Archie and Pearly.

FREDRICK EHLERS.— The manager of the Pioneer meat market at
McKittrick has a wide acquaintance among the oil men in this portion of the
field as well as a high standing among the business men of the town, with
whose interests he has been identified intimately since his arrival in October
of 1909. Having previously been connected with the Miller & Lux corpora-
tion, he was sent to this place in their interests and has since superintended
the market which the firm established at this place. Besides attending to
every detail connected with the business he has contributed to the material
growth of McKittrick and was elected a member of its first board of trustees
on the incorporation of the city in 1911. During the spring of 1912 he was
re-elected to this important position and since then has acted as chairman
of the health committee, also has been associated with other movements for
the welfare of the town.

A native son of this state, Mr. Ehlers was born in Merced county, June
16, 1880, and is a son of Fredrick and Annie Ehlers, being third in order of
birth among five children, three daughters and two sons, all still living. The
father, after having engaged for years as a foreman in the employ of Miller
& Lux, finally bought a farm in Merced county and devoted the balance of
his life to agricultural pursuits. His death occurred in 1895, since which
time the widow has remained at the old homestead. Reared on that farm,
Fredrick, Jr., was educated in country schools and later completed a com-
mercial course in the Chestnutwood Business College. He learned the trade
of a butcher, which he has since followed first at Santa Rita and then at
McKittrick, in which latter place he also acts as agent for the Fresno Con-
sumers' Ice Compan)'. In San Francisco he was united in marriage with
Miss Alabel Conrow, of Dos Palos, Merced county, and they are the parents
of two children, Beatrice and Fredrick. Before leaving Merced county, Mr.
Ehlers was an active worker in the Young Men's Institute, and he also has
been connected prominentiv with the local work of the Improved Order of
Red Men.

JOHN NEILL. — Since the beginning of settlement throughout the ^Vest
there has been a constant though never very large influx of settlers from the


Canadian provinces, and throughout the entire period Canadians have come
to the front in the United States in all the fields of industry, commerce and
finance. This has been especially true in California in connection with agri-
cultural interests. An example very much to the point is John Neill of
Bodfish, Kern county, who was born on Prince Edward Island, May 8, 1856.
He attended public school there until he was fourteen years old, worked on
the home farm until he was eighteen and during the succeeding year labored
in a lumber yard at New Brunswick. In the fall of 1874 he came to Califor-
nia and was employed for a short time in Stanislaus county. In January,
1875, he settled in Kern county and found work in a sawmill in Green Horn
mountains, where he remained twenty years, meanwhile acquiring property
at Waggy Flat. Eventually he located in Hot Spring valley, where he owns
and operates six hundred and forty acres, and he is at this time still the
owner of the old Waggy ranch, a tract of one hundred and twenty acres.
On his ranch in Hot Spring valley he is proprietor of the Hot Spring House,
appropriately named from a large hot spring 132°, which boils out of the
ground with such strong pressure as to force it into any part of the house.
Hot and cold baths, sulphur, magnesia, iron and borax baths may be had
in this hotel. His homestead is well improved with a good residence and ample
barns and other out-buildings and supplied with implements and appliances of
every kind essential to diversified farming.

Politically Mr. Neill is a staunch Republican and he has, as occasion
has oflfered, been active in political work. He affiliates with the Masons at
Bakersfield. He married in April, 1881, J\Iiss Annie IMiller, a native of Nova
Scotia, who came to California in 1873. They have two daughters, Millie
Ida, now Mrs. Fisher of Santa Barbara, and Dora Etta, now Mrs. Selicz, of
Waggy Flat.

CHARLES CROWELL TAYLOR.— Born in Smithfield, Somerset
county. Me., October 18, 1862, C. C. Taylor is a son of David and Susan
(Wakefield) Taylor, natives of Fryeburg and Smithfield, Me., respectively.
His father was a farmer at Smithfield, later going to Aroostook county, where
he died in 1887. The mother passed away in 1874. Of their four children
Charles C, was the eldest. He attended public school near the family
homestead until he was sixteen years of age, and then worked for his father
for four years. He then engaged in teaching school for three years in Aroos-
took county, and afterward clerked in a general store in Easton, and then
in Houlton, Me., for some two years. The subsequent year he taught school
and it was then that he concluded to come to California, and in j\Iarch, 1887,
he arrived in Kernville, Kern county.

The first employment of Mr. Taylor in the Kernville neighborhood was
on the Sumner ranch for Mr. Brown and two weeks later he was oflfered a
clerkship in the store of A. Brown, which was incorporated in 1901 as the
A. Brown Company, and since then he has been a member of the firm and
its secretary and general manager. These positions he has filled to the
present time, having labored successfully for the advancement of the house,
which carries a stock of general merchandise approximating $40,000, owns
a sawmill in the Green Horn range, and has many thousand acres of land
on the South Fork, with twenty-five hundred acres under cultivation. All
of this is under irrigation, having four canals from the South Fork, and a
large portion is producing alfalfa. They are extensively engaged in raising
cattle, horses and hogs, which they ship to the Los Angeles markets. An
adjunct to its store is the local postoffice. Air. Taylor having been postmaster
since 1906. The company also has a branch store at Weldon, on the South
Fork, where its farming lands are located. Here Mr. Brown built a flour
mill of fifteen barrels capacity, which the company now owns and operates.
Being large wheat growers, the company is engaged in manufacturing
flour for local consumption and its sawmill furnishes lumber for the build-


ing- and improvements in the valley. These varied interests occupy all ot
Mr. Taylor's attention.

Mr. Taylor is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
having joined the order in Easton, Me., and now belongs to Kernville Lodge
No. 251. in which he is past noble grand. He also affiliates with the Fra-
ternal Brotherhood. As a citizen he is public-spirited, useful and popular
and as a Republican he has a recognized political influence.

In Bakersfield, on June 7, 1894, Mr. Taylor married Miss Edith Vir-
ginia Benne;t, who was born in Virginia City, Nev., the daughter of Rev.
Jesse L. Bennett, one of the pioneer Methodist preachers on the Pacific
coast, who spent his last days in Kernville, where Mrs. Taylor was reared
and educated. Afterward he engaged in educational work, teaching in the
Bakersfield schools for seven years, and for two terms he served as a member
of the county board of education and was prominently identified with the
bringing of the Kern County High School to its present high standard.

STEPHEN W. MILLARD.— Living retired from active labors on his
ranch near Bakersfield is Stephen W. Millard, one of the energetic citizens
of Kern county who has contributed much to the development and mainte-
nance of his adopted commonwealth. He is the fourth eldest in a family of
eight children born to Thomas and Elizabeth (Stallard) Millard, natives of
Somerset, England. Thomas Millard crossed the Atlantic in 1843 and settled
at Fort Erie, Ontario, where he bought and exported grain until 1846, when
he located at Black Rock, Erie county, N. Y., where he died. His wife also
passed away in that state and but four of their children now survive. Ste-
phen W. was born in Shepton-^^lallet, County Somerset, England, on No-
vember 5, 1824. He was privately educated, his principal teacher having'
been a clergyman of the Church of England. He was nineteen years of age
when he came across the Atlantic with his parents, having spent the last
two years in England working in a banking house. Upon reaching America
he remained with his father in the grain business, raising that product on
three thousand acres of land, until the year 1850, when he started for Cali-
fornia. He sailed from New York on the Daniel Sharp around Cape Horn
and landed in San Francisco June 13. 1851, the trip having consumed a hun-
dred and sixty-three days. He at once engaged to do some work for the
Fathers of the old mission at San Jose and cut one hund'red acres of barley
with a cradle in twenty-two days, built eleven miles of wire fence at $200 a
mile and superintended the planting of one hundred acres of potatoes. In
1852 he began farming on his own account in Santa Cruz and Alameda
counties, and for a time raised more than half the grain grown in .Santa
Cruz county. Later he purchased a thousand acres of land near Pleasanton,
which he devoted to grain raising. In the period 1884-86 he was superin-
tendent of the Pleasant Valley mine in Eldorado county, eighty miles from
Placerville, then returned to Alameda county and continued raising grain
until 1891, when he bought his present homestead. This consists of twenty
acres, located two miles south of Bakersfield. and is devoted to the raising
of strawberries.

Mr. Millard's marriage occurred in Santa Cruz countv. November 12,
1861, uniting him with Rebecca Lively, a native of Kentucky and daughter
of Dr. Joseph and Henrietta Lively, the latter natives of Virginia, who
brought their family to California across the plains in 1849. The doctor prac-
ticed medicine in Santa Cruz county, and there both the parents passed
awav. Mr. and Airs. Millard are the parents of eight children, as follows:
William S., of Humboldt county, Cal. ; George, who died at twenty-four years
of age; Joseph H.. of San Francisco; Benjamin, of San Diego; Emma. Mrs.
Keep of Berkeley; Grace. Mrs. IMcCaron of Los Angeles; Edward F.. of
Bakersfield; and James, of Irvington, Cal. Mr. Millard is now living retired
on his ranch, enjoymg the reward of his long and useful existence. He has


always evinced the greatest interest and faith in the commonwealth and has

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 148 of 177)