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 150 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 150 of 177)
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she exercises in the management of the Decatur hotel, a modern apartment
house and hotel situated at No. 2027 Nineteenth street, Bakersfield. Besides
being a member of and worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, she is also
identified with the Rebekahs, and on several occasions she has represented in
the grand lodge her own local organization, Kern Lodge No. 47, in which
she is a past officer. Politically she supports Democratic principles.

Born and reared near Rochester, Fulton county, Ind., Mrs. Crain is a
daughter of John Hay and a sister of George Hay, whose sketch appears
elsewhere in this volume. The advantages of a high-school education were
given to her and these she supplemented by reading and observation. In
young womanhood she became the wife of George W. Batz, a native of Fulton
county, Ind., and a farmer of capability and fine character. When very young
he made himself useful in the tilling of the soil and care of the stock. Coming
to California in 1892, he secured land near Kernville on the South fork and
engaged in the stock industry with his brother, John B., as a partner. Three
)'-ears later, disposing of his interests there, he removed to a farm near
Bakersfield, where he made a specialty uf horticulture. His death occurred
on that farm in 1901 when he was forty-one years of age, leaving to his
bereaved wife the care of their two children, Orion A. and Grace Fay. About
three years after the death of Mr. Batz she became Mrs. E." R. Crain. Fra-
ternally Mr. Batz had been connected with the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows. His son, Orion A., after graduating from the Kern county high
school, for five years continued in the employ of the Associated Oil Com-
pany, but more recently has engaged in the real-estate business in San
Francisco. The daughter, Grace Fay, a graduate of the University of Cali-
fornia, with the degree of B.S., is now the wife of G. B. Guyles, of Tacoma.

PAUL R. JONES. — A responsible position efficiently filled by a young
man is an index of ability and the fact that Paul R. Jones is discharging the
duties of foreman in the Green and ^^'hittie^ division of the Associated Oil
Company furnishes proof concerning his standing in the Kern river fields,
where, although one of the youngest men connected with the oil industry,
he ranks also as one of the most energetic and intelligent. While his identi-
fication with this district does not cover a long period of activity, it being
on New Year's of 1910 when he arrived here in search of employment, the
brief interval has been one of great industry and intelligent activity and his
recognized capability has brought him a promotion as merited as it is gratify-
ing. It was as a roustabout that he began to work in the drilling department
of the Associated Oil Company. For a time he was employed on the Flecla
lease and also in the Green and Whittier division. After he had worked as
tool-dresser for a short time he was made well foreman in June of 1911 and
since then has given the most rigid oversight tcf the department under his

For years the home of Paul and Clara (Meade) Jones was in Cedar Rapids,
Boone county, Neb., and at that place their fifth child, Paul R., was born
November 9, 1887. When nine years of age he accompanied the family to
California and settled in Fresno county, where his father is still engaged in
viticulture. The mother is deceased. There are six children in the family.


those besides Paul R. being as follows: Ross, a resident of Riverdale, Cal.,
where he is engaged in the dairy business; J. A., foreman of the San Joaquin
divisiun of the Associated Oil Company in the Kern river field ; Roy, of
Fresno; Jesse, an employe in the Green and Whittier division of the Asso-
ciated; and Mary, living in Fresno county. After he had attended high school
at Fresno for two years Paul R. Jones left school and entered the employ of
the Wells Fargo Company, remaining with them for three years and then
resigning in order to locate in the Kern river district. In 1909 he married
Aliss Sybil Dupree, of Sacramento, and they and their little daughter, Maxine,
make their home on the company property where a comfortable cottage is
provided for them.

L. PEYTON. — To mention the Tejon Oil Company is to give merited
recognition to one of the leading organizations engaged in the oil business in
the Kern river field, a concern whose prosperous history dates back to the
start in 1908 and carries up to the present time with unabated profits.
When the company was organized the stock was sold to residents of Bakers-
field, who bought at $1 each the twenty thousand shares of stock forming
the original capital of $20,000. The remarkable success of the concern may
be attributed largely to the supervision of L. Peyton, superintendent, secre-
tary and manager, in whom the utmost confidence is reposed by the other stock-
holders, including the president, H. R. Peacock, and the vice-president, C. L.
Taylor. The most intelligent consideration is given to every department of
the work. While his education in the University of California and his special
studies in political science have perhaps been of little direct benefit to him,
the indirect advantage is apparent in his quick grasp of industrial conditions,
his broad comprehension of business problems and his practical outlook upon

Not a little of the patriotic interest exhibited by Mr. Peyton in every
phase of western development is due to the fact that he has spent his entire
life in this part of the world. Since he entered the oil industry during 1903
he has risen steadily by dint of industry, perseverance and ability, and these
qualities enable him now to manage the properties of the Tejon Oil Com-
pany in such a manner that the stockholders are receiving ten per cent divi-
dends each month on their investment. While of course this is primarily the
result of having superior producers among their wells, it is also due in no
small measure to his own careful oversight in expenditures. The holdings
of the company include eighty acres lucated on section 28, township 28, range
27, where there are eight producing wells and a ninth well now in process
of drilling. The net production averages sixty barrels daily to a well. A
full equipment of machinery and appliances has been secured for the lease, a
boiler house and bunkhouse have been built, and there is also a superintend-
ent's residence commodious in size and substantial in finish, the whole form-
ing a property of recognized value and adding another to the list of profitable
leases in the Kern river field.

FRANCIS M. WATKINS.— An excellent type of the able and efficient
American foreman of today is to be found in the person of Francis M. Wat-
kins, foreman of the Central Point division of the Associated Oil Company,
operating on section 4, township 29, range 28, in the Kern river oil fields.

A farm in Chautauqua county, Kan., was the earliest home of Francis M.
Watkins and January 13, 1881, the date of his birth. Although the only
child in the immediate family, he has two half-brothers older than himself.
From an early age it was necessary for him to help on the home farm and his
attendance at school was therefore desultory through no fault of his own.
During 1897 his father died on the Kansas farm and shortly afterward he
came to California with his mother, Sarah Eugenia Watkins, settling in
Bakersfield, where he endeavored to make up for lack of early advantages by


attending the grammar school. After two years they moved to Chino and
there he attended the high school to the end of the first year. During his six
years spent at Chino he was connected with the beet-sugar industry. Next
he went to Calaveras county and worked in a quartz mine at Angel's
camp, also in the Utica, a famous mine owned by Charles Lane. The work
was exceedingly trying by reason of the fact that it was underground, yet
he continued in the quartz and gold mines for five years. The wages being
better there than elsewhere he was tempted to endanger health in order that
he might have some earnings to save. However, in 1904 he abandoned such
labor and returned to Bakersfield, where for a year he was employed as a
housemover. During October of 1903 he married Miss Edith Adallah Mc-
Cain, whose acquaintance he had formed while living in Chino. They have an
only child, Francis Stanley, born in 1907 in Kern county.

Coming to the Kern river oil fields during May of 1905 Mr. Watkins
began to work with a pick and shovel on the San Joaquin divisic^n of the
Associated Oil Company. His aptitude being soon proved by actual work,
he was given a job as well puller. In addition he learned the work of a tool-
dresser. Later he was promoted to be well foreman on the San Joaquin division,
after which he was appointed general foreman of that division. April 1, 1908,
he was tranfserred to the Central Point division under the title of foreman,
but with the work of superintendent, as by the systematization of the Asso-
ciated all positions formerly known by the title of superintendent are now
called foremen. A very interesting fact in regard to the Central Point is that,
while Mr. Watkins has sixteen men under his supervision, there are only
three single men residing away from home, now employed on the lease, while
ten families are making their homes here at the present time. The Central
Point is composed of two leaseholds, for besides the one known by that name,
with fifty acres and thirty-four producing wells, there is also the Red Bank,
composed of thirty acres, with seventeen producing wells, and of the entire
fifty-one wells all but four are operated by the jack pumping system.

H. G. POWELL. — One of the most striking examples of that class of
young men who have exhibited such capable and meritorious characteristics
in the Kern River fields is H. G. Powell, the present foreman of the San
Joaquin division of the Associated Oil Company. A young man who by sheer
force of will, hard work and high ability has come to hold this responsible
position, he has already evidenced a marked adaptability for this kind of
work, and the fact that he is employed by one of the. largest and most pros-
perous oil companies on the Pacific coast proves his capacitv in this direction.

Mr. Pnwell was born May 15, 1883, in Bluefield, :\Ierce'r county, W. Va.,
where he grew to manhood. He is a nephew of N. C. Carrington the exten-
sive fruit-grower of Fresno, whose ranch is situated sixteen miles south and
west of the city of Fresno. In 1903 Mr. Powell came west to seek a field for
his efforts, and for six years he was engaged on fruit farms. In April, 1909,
he came to the Kern River field where he became employed in the San Joaquin
division of the Associated Oil Company, in June, 1911, being given the respon-
sible position of well foreman. With the exception of six months, when he
engaged with the Adeline Oil Company, at Maricopa, Mr. Powell continued
actively connected with this division, making rapid advancement, and the
development of this new industry in this part of the country has taken all of
his time and attention. Mr. Powell is unmarried. His future is bright before
him and his exceptional character, fine sense of- honor and brilliant mental and
physical ability are the best assets the young man of today could wish for to
form a basis of his life's career.

CHARLES G. BECK.— The experience of Mr. Beck in the civil service
has been one of slow but steady rise and in November of 1910 he was pro-
moted to be superintendent of the Kern branch of the Bakersfield postoffice.


To him belongs the distinction t)t being the first carrier of rural delisery in
Kern county. It was in 1905 tiiat he was apjiointecl to the rural i^ostal ser-
vice, at which time he mapped out and opened route No. 1, and it still
retains practically the same lines as established by him at that time.

A resident of Kern county from the age of eleven years, Charles G. Beck
was born at Lebanon, Boone county, Ind., ATarch 24, 1879, being a son of
E. F. and Alary (Cook) Beck, natives respectively of Kentucky and Indiana.
Prior to the Civil war the father had gone north to Indiana and there he
enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Indiana Infantry, with
which he went to the front and in which he served as cor]ioral imtil the
expiration of the struggle. .Although he took part in many engagements
he was wounded only once, that being in the battle of Lookout Mountain,
where he was injured in the knee. After he had been honorably discharged
from the army he returned to Indiana, settled on a farm in Boone county
and devoted his time to the tilling of the soil. After many years he disposed
of his interes;s in that county, came to California, and in 1890 settled in Kern
county, where he identified himself with the Rosedale colony. Taking up a
raw tract of land west of Bakersfield, he devoted time and attention closely
to the improvement of the place. Meanwhile in 1897 he was bereaved by the
death of his wife, but he continued at the old homestead until the fall of 1911,
when he sold the property, retired from farm work and removed to Oakland.

The eldest of four children, Charles G. Beck accompanied the other
members of the family from Indiana to California and arrived in Kern
county during December of 1890, after which he attended the public schools
and then the Kern county high school. His schooling completed, he gave
his en:ire time to the work of the home farm, until 1903, when he entered
the government service. Aleanwhile at Visalia, September 2, 1900, he had
married Miss Dora Tellyer, who was born in Oregon and by whom he has
one son, Harold. During the two years of his association with the rural
free delivery he prepared for the examination for civil service, passed the
.same with credit, received a postoffice appointment and in February of 1907
became a clerk in the Bakersfield office. For a time he served as general
delivery clerk, but later he was promoted to be registry and money-order
clerk, and from that position he was transferred to the superintendency of
the Kern branch of the Bakersfield postoffice. Every department of his
association has been benefited by his close attention, intelligent devotion to
duty and painstaking care with even the smallest details. Since moving to
Bakersfield he has bought residence property at No. 618 Alonterey street and
here he and his family have a comfortable home.

JEAN B. RAYMOND. — A decided preference for stock-raising pursuits
and particularly for the sheep industry doubtless results from the environ-
ment of Air. Raymond's early life, which was spent near the foothills of the
snow-clad Alps mountains in the province of Hautes-.Alpes, France. The
village of Orcierre, where he was born October 4, 1867, was a small but thrifty
community whose prosperity had its source in agriculture, and there his
father, Jean, engaged in stock-raising until his death. The mother, who bore
the maiden name of Judith Sarrzin, was likewise a native of Hautes-Alpes
and a life-long resident of that part of France. There were five children in
the family, but only two now survive.

The eldest of the family and the onl\' one to establish a lu)me in the
United States was Jean B., who at the time of attaining his majority in 1888
bade farewell to the associations of the French farm and came to California
to earn a livelihood. The village of Sumner (now East Bakersfield) was
his first location and from here he went to Delano to work under a sheep-
raiser. After two years in that locality he went to Fresno, where for a
year he was employed by a sheepman. With his frugal savings he bought
a bunch of sheep and started out for himself. For se\en years he made his


headquarters in Fresno and meanwhile ranged his sheep in that county and
in Tulare. Upon selling that flock in 1897 he came to Kern county, bought
another flock of sheep, grazed them on the surrounding ranges and estab-
lished his headquarters at East Bakersfield where subsequently he erected
a residence at No. 518 Humboldt street. At this writing he owns a valuable
flock of twenty-five hundred head of sheep, besides his residence and other
property (mainly business) in East Bakersfield.

Mr. Raymond has given stanch allegiance to the Republican party, and
fraternally he belongs to the Foresters. His marriage in East Bakersfield,
April 24, 1905, united him with Miss Mary, daughter of Auguste and Mary
(Bicais) Galvin, and they have two children, Bertha and Jean. Born and
reared in Hautes-Alpes, Mrs. Raymond was third in order of birth among six
children and passed the years of childhood upon a farm owned by her father,
who in addition to being a capable farmer, also has served in the office of road
supervisor in the French province, where he still makes his home.

MRS. BELLE CARDER ECKERT.— Significant of twentieth century
progress in the west is the prominence accorded women in agricultural, com-
mercial and industrial activities and their successful achievements in enter-
prises of large importance. Not the least successful or capable among the
women of the great San Joaquin valley, where a goodly number of ladies are
operating farms, is ^Irs. Eckert, who since the death of her husband has
continued to cultivate the valuable property purchased by him some time
prior to his demise. The tract of sixty acres of highly improved land lies in
the Buena Vis.ta district, eleven miles southwest of iiakersfield. By means
of irrigation from the Buena \'ista canal alfalfa is raised in large quantities,
thus furnishing an abundance of feed for the dairy herd maintained on the

A resident of Kern county since 1895, Mrs. Eckert previously had made
her home in Texas, Arkansas and Arizona successively. Her father, William
J. Carder, a native of Ohio, was the son of a blacksmith and learned that trade
in early life, later also taking up the trade of a carpenter. During 1860 he
removed to Missouri. While residing in that state he enlisted in a Missouri
regiment and served in the Civil war until its close. Later he went to
Kansas and settled in Clay county, where he married Miss Rosana Duncan,
a native of Kentucky. After a brief sojourn in Kansas, also in Barry county.
Mo., he settled in Dallas, Tex., and engaged in blacksmithing. During the
residence of the family in Dallas a daughter. Belle, was born, she being the
third among six children. Later the family went to Arkansas and there Mr.
Carder died ; his widow now makes her home with Mrs. Eckert. The latter
was educated in the public schools of Dallas, Tex., and Bluffton, Ark., and
in 1890, in Cook county, Tex., became the bride of William Robert Town-
send, a native of that state. Near Phoenix, Ariz., the young couple engaged
in farming and there Mr. Townsend died in 1893. After closing out his af-
fairs the widow left Arizona and settled in Los Angeles, whence in 1895 she
came to Bakersfield. In this city she married John Eckert, a native of In-
diana, who died on the home farm in 1910, leaving to Mrs. Eckert the estate
which she had aided him in securing. By her first marriage she has two
children, Edward and Anna Townsend, and the former is now aiding her m
the management of the place. The family attend the Methodist Episcopal
Church and Mrs. Eckert is a generous contributor to the missionary enter-
prises of that denomination. Her political sympathies are with the Repub-
lican party.

MARK WILSON. — A member of an old family of the west and himself
a native Californian, Mr. Wilson was born in Visalia November 17, 1886,
and received a fair education in the schools of that city. On the completion
of the grammar course he studied for two and one-half years in the high
school of Visalia, but left school at the age of fifteen vears in order to earn


his own livelihood. By chance the first position he could secure was with
the Southern Pacific Railroad Company as an assistant in the warehouse and
baggage-room. At the end of three months he was allowed to enter the
telegraph office of the same road for the purpose of learning telegraphy. The
work interested him deeply and he took hold of it with such ardor that by the
time three mon:hs had passed he was qualified for a position.

There was need of a telegraph operator and clerk in the little office at
Oil City, Kern county, a new station started for the convenience of the oil
operators. Mr. Wilson was assigned to the place and at the age of only
eigh:een became assistant agent. During February of 1908 he was trans-
ferred to East Bakersfield as ticket clerk, from which he was promoted to
be cashier of the freight house in the same city, but in IXIarch of 1909 he was
ordered back to Oil City, where the work had increased in importance as the
shipments had been enlarged in volume. When but twenty-one years of
age he was appointed station agent, being not only one of the youngest men
to occupy such a position in the state, but also one of the most intelligent
and popular. When the depot was moved from Oil City to Waits, during
the month of September, 1912, he came to take charge of affairs at the new
post. On July 14, 1909, he was united in marriage, at Mill Valley, Cal., with
Miss Emma Louise Jasper, of Bakersfield, and they are the parents of one
son, J. Ward Wilson. Since coming to Kern county, Mr. Wilson has allied
himself with Bakersfield Lodge, No. 266, B. P. O. E., and has maintained
an interest in the general activities of the organization. Broad-minded, ac-
commodating and energetic, he has the friendship of the oil shippers in the
Kern river field, and enjoys the distinction of shipping more oil from his
station as an initial point than any other agent in California, while in addition
the records prove that since he became station agent he has shipped out
more oil than any other agent in the entire United States.

JOSEPH V. MORLEY.— Near Land's End, in the county of Cornwall,
England, Joseph V. Morley, now a well-known citizen of Kern county, was
born August 1, 1854. He was the son of Joseph and IMary (Bradford) Mor-
ley, the former a land agent and farmer. His boyhood was passed in public
schools and when he was si.xteen years old he had spent one year at a college.
After working for his father for a time he took up other employment and
when he was twenty years old resumed his studies in surveying for two years.
I,ater he was employed by his father until in 1884, when he came to the
LTnited States, to the home of a banker, Mr. Lanning, who was a friend of
his father's, residing near Leavenworth, Kans. For a short time he was
employed on farms near that city, but in January, 1885, he came to Kern
county, Cal., where for a few months he was engaged as a laborer. In
March of that year, however, he found employment with Carr & Haggin,
which later became known as the Kern County Land Company, by which
firm he was employed twenty-one years. He was soon advanced to a fore-
manship which he held fifteen years. In 1906 he began farming and dairying
on leased land and moved to various parts of the county in the prosecution
of this business. Beginning with two cows, he now owns seventy-five head
of stock. In 1910 he moved to his present ranch of fifty-four acres, then
unimproved and situated three miles south of Bakersfield. This is all now
under cultivation to alfalfa and grain and is known as Morley's dairy, as he
is a wholesale and retail milk dealer.

On February 22, 1898, Mr. Morley married in Bakersfield Miss Eva G.
Colton, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 7. 1869, daughter of
F. H. Colton, who is represented elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Morley
was brought to California by her parents in 1875, and received her education
in the public schools and at the San Jose State Normal. For ten years she
taught in the public schools of Kern county two years and a half of this
time in Bakersfield. She has borne her husband sons named Joseph, Yivian,


George and William. Mr. Morlev affiliates with Bakersfield Lodge No. 224,
F. cSr^A. M., with P.aker.sfield Lodge No. 208, L O. O. F., and is a charter
member of the Independent Order of Foresters.

WILLIAM G. SILBER.— The proprietor of a barber shop on Baker
street, Bakersfield, William G. ^"ilber is one of that city's enterprising citi-
zens. He is a member of an old and respected German family, his branch
coming from Saxony, Germany. Gottlieb Silber, grandfather of William G.,

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 150 of 177)