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 153 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 153 of 177)
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trained in the art of dressing tools, which line of work he followed for some
time. At the age of twenty-two he became a driller, learning the trade by
practical work in production. Prior to taking up the work of driller he had
been employed under his father, then superintendent of a West Virginia oil
company, and later he started out to make his own way in the world. For a
time he worked in the Beaumont field in Texas and at Jennings, La., besides
which he worked for an English syndicate on the Dos Bocos lease, containing
the world's greatest gusher, with a record surpassing even the famous Lake-
view gusher. It made a record of one hundred thousand barrels per day.
Unfortunately, the oil caught on fire, flames arose seventeen hundred feet
in height and the whole well was destroyed. When finally the fire died down,
the well gushed hot water at a temperature of one hundred and seventy-five
degrees. The water increased in its flow and volume until it made twenty-five
million barrels per day, with a crater covering thirty-five acres. The well
still flows, but in a reduced amount.

Any recital of the business connections of Mr. Hardisty must include
his eight years of work in the ])roduction department of the South Penn Oil
Company in West Virginia, where he made an excellent record for efficiency
and trustworthiness. It must also include five years of successful work as a
driller for water wells for the Texas Pacific Railroad between Fort Worth and
El Paso. After six months in Mexico he came to California and joined in
Kern county J. A. Pollard, who had been a superintendent for the Pierson
Company in Mexico, but in 1910 was acting as superintendent of the Honolulu
Consolidated Oil Company on section 10, township 32, range 24, and is now
employed as a government geok gist in Oklahoma. Mr. Hardisty had worked
under Mr. Pollard in Mexico and re-entered his service in California, where he
since has acted as production foreman for the Honolulu, one of the most
promising concerns in the oil fields of Kern county and already credited with
several of the best gushers in the Midway field. Besides having charge of oil
production in this township he manages the water system and superintends
the pumping of the water from Buena Vista lake, also has charge of the gas
production, the latter being sold to the Midway Gas Company and by them
piped to Los Angeles. While employed in Texas in 1889 Mr. Hardisty married
Miss Annie Robbins, who died in West Virginia in 1907. Mr. Hardisty is
of the Baptist faith, and politically he is a Republican of the progressive
type. While in Louisiana he was connected with the Elks at jcuningi
During his residence in West Virginia he was made a Mason at Pennsboro,
Ritchie county, and later he was raised to the Scottish Rite in Oklahoma,
joining the consistory at Guthrie, that state.

CAPT. PAUL MORTENSON.— Off the coast of Denmark where the
narrow and tumultuous channel of the Skager Rack meets the broader current
of the Cattegat lies the small island of Lesso. where Captain Mortenson was
born January 18, 1849, the son of a merchant doing business among the fisher-
men and farmers who inhabited the island. Reared within sight of the sea,
accustomed to the coming and going of ocean vessels, and to the tales of old
mariners concerning storms and wrecks far and near, it was natural that he
should have been drawn toward the occupation of a sailor. With the courage
inherited from a long line if ancestors inured to seafaring experiences, he left
home at the age of fourteen years and shipped to sea on a Danish vessel trad-


ing in European ports. As he learned the rudiments essential to good sea-
manship he also had the privilege of seeing much of Europe. After a few
years he sailed from Hamburg on the barque John Brown for Nova Scotia,
but encountered such serious storms that it was necessary for the ship to put
back to Oueenstown in distress. Shortly afterward he sailed on an English
barque called the Red Cross Knight, which rounded Cape Horn, thence sailed
along the Pacific coast and in July of 1869 entered the harbor of the Gi.lden

The completion of the first trans-continental railroad was bringing to
San Francisco an era of great prosperity and the young sailor decided to re-
main. Being skilled in the arts of the seafaring occupation, he experienced no
difficulty in securing work. For a time he was mate in the coasting trade with
a vessel known as the Mary Tyler, of which later he was promoted to be
captain. Afterward he served as captain on different schooners. Eventually
he assumed command of a large, full-rigged vessel, called the Snow and Bur-
gess, of which he continued to be master for nine years, meantime sailing to
Australia, Siberia and other foreign ports. At the time of the Boer war he
was master of an iron ship, known as the Star of Russia, which made a number
of voyages to Africa. From that country he sailed to Australia, loaded the
vessel with coal for Hon( lulu and then returned to the Pacific coast of Amer-
ica, anchoring in Puget Sound in 1901. It lacked but little of being forty years
since he had first shipped from the Danish island, a mere boy, knowing little
of the dangers he was to face during the long period of his life as sailor and
master of ships. Although he had encountered many severe st( rms he had
never lost a ship, but calm and collected in the midst of danger, he had
always brought his men and the vessel through in safety to the destined ports.
Now, however, he had begun to crave a more settled existence than a captain
could enjoy, so he resigned from the command of the ship, came to Bakers-
field and in 1902 erected the Mortenson hotel on the corner of I and Twenty-
second streets, a commodious and substantial three-story building, in which
ever since he has conducted an hotel enjoying a large patronage and growing
popularity. For four and one-half years, beginning in 1906, he also served as
a member of the police force of Bakersfield. As early as 1872 he became a
member of the Improved Order of Red Men in San Francisco and during one
of his soj( urns in Australia he was made a Mason in the Melbourne lodge,
where he still holds membership. In San Francisco he married Miss P>ridget
T. Fleming, a native of Ireland, who came to San Francisco in 1873 and by
whom he became the father of six children, namely: Mrs. Mary Lind, of
Bakersfield; Margaret, I'aul and Thomas, also of this city; Nellie, deceased;
and Henrietta, at home.

OTTO KRAMER.— The Midway Hardware Company, uf which Mr.
Kramer is the resident manager, is one of the recent imptjrtant accessions to
the commercial development of F"ellows and conducts a large business in a
fire-proof building erected for that purpose in the early part of 1912. By
means of a partnership formed with E. H. Holt, a non-resident, Mr. Kramer
was enabled to erect a building especially adapted to the hardware business
and has since established a growing patronage among the people of the lo-

A native of Kansas, born in Jefl^'erson county August 12, 1882, and reared
in the same section of country, Mr. Kramer spent all of his early years in the
Sunflower state. From the age of twenty-three he has been connected with
the hardware business, which he learned while clerking in the hardware and
agricultural implement department of the general mercantile store owned by
Root Brothers in Ozawkie, Jefferson county. Later he was connected with the
same department in the Griffith general mercantile store at Ozawkie, where he
remained a trusted employe until he was induced to come to California in 1910.


June of that year found him a clerk in the hardware department of Heck
Bros., dealers in general merchandise at Fellows, with whom he continued for
two years and then resigned in order to engage in business with Mr. Holt
under the firm title of the Midway Hardware Company. The large and increas-
ing trade of the company results from the honorable methods employed in all
transactions and the fact that the best goods only are kept and all stock is sold
at a price as low as consistent with a reas( nable profit. The long experience
of the proprietor in the hardware line qualifies him for a successful connection
with the business.

JOSE MIER. — An ancient Castilian family is represented by Jose Mier,
an enterprising young Spaniard who since 1892 has been identitied with the
sheep industry of California, but recently disposing of a large flock that had
been built uo and made valuable through his own tireless care and intelligent
oversight. The Spanish province of the Asturias is his native place and he
was born March 19, 1876, in the village of Colosia near Santander, a famous
ocean port. At the age of sixteen he started across the ocean for America, his
objective point being California, whither relatives had preceded him. Upon
his arrival in Kern county he was able to secure empkyment under an uncle,
who was one of the trusted foremen connected with the great corporation of
Miller & Lux.

Finally Mr. Mier felt justified in starting a flock of his own and with a
large tract in Nevada as headquarters he kept his range in that state for five
years, during this time having his share of ups and downs. His experience,
however, was sufficiently profitable to cause him to re-enter the business after
he had sold his original flock and returned to Bakersfield. With his second
flock he maintained ranges in the plains and on the mountains, but eventually
in 1912 he sold the entire bunch. Since then he has acted as assistant to his
uncle, L'austino Noriega, proprietor of the Noriega hotel at No. 525 Sumner
street, East Bakersfield, and with this uncle he has also purchased an alfalfa
and grain ranch of one hundred and sixty acres situated in Kern county. In
politics he votes with the Republican party. On the corner of Pacific and
Kings streets he owns a comfortable residence, brightened by the presence
of his four children, Clemence, Faustino, Martin and Alberto, and managed
with housewifely skill by his wife, whom he married in East Bakersfield in
1907 and who was Miss Celena Etchevery, born at Aldudes, Basses-Pyrenees,
France, not far distant from the scenes familiar to his own boyhood. The
familv hold membership with St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

JOSEPH G. JONES. — The first representative of the Jones family in
America was Thomas Jones, a Welshman of such pronounced loyalty to the
land of his adoption that he volunteered his services to aid the Union during
the Civil war. Assigned to a Delaware regiment and sent to the front with
his command, he stood the test of good soldiery in camp, on the long marches
and during the fiercely contested battles. It was while bravely fighting on the
field of battle that he received the wound that caused his death. Sharing
with him in his patriotic devotion to country were his three sons, all of whom
volunteered in the service and remained at the front until honorably dis-
charged at the expiration of their terms of service. One of the three, George,
was born at Wilmington, Del, and after the close of the war became manager
for the Dixon Shoe Company at Baltimore, filling the position until his death
in 1873 at the age of thirty-four years. The hardships and sufferings of war
times had hastened his untimely demise. During young manhood he had
married Mary E. Kelty, who was born in Baltimore and still makefs that city
her home. Of their five children three are living, Joseph G. being the youngest
and the only one to locate in California. Born in Baltimore, September 27,
1871, he received his education in the schools of that place.

When seventeen Mr. Jones began an apprenticeship to the trade of


plumber under James McCrea, with whom he continued for three years. The
next two years were spent in the largest plumbing establishment in Balti-
more, a shop owned and conducted by W' . H. Rothnck. During the five
years of service he had acquired a thorough knowledge of every detail con-
nected with the plumbing business and was well qualified for independent
work. Leaving Baltimore he traveled through New York, Maryland, Dela-
ware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia and in each of these states did
important work as a journeyman. Jobs of large dimensions were entrusted to
his care and faithfully performed. During 1902 he came to California and
worked at his trade successively in Sacramento, Stockton, San Francisco and
Oakland. With a thorough understanding of the trade in its every detail, he
had become fitted for contract work many years before, but did not enter into
the taking uf contracts until after he went to Mill valley and San Rafael,
where he filled contracts for the plumbing work in some very costly resi-
dences. Arriving in Bakersfield during January of 1909 he followed the trade
as a journeyman for six months and then embarked in business as a con-
tractor, since which he has been retained on many jobs of importance. At
his shop. No. 1514 Eighteenth street, he carries in stock a full equipment of
plumbing and heating supplies, and it is his intention to enlarge his equip-
ment from year to year, to keep pace with the constant growth of the town.
At this writing he holds office as vice-president of the Bakersfield Master
Plumbers' Association, in the work of which he is deeply and actively inter-
ested. In national principles he suppt rts Republican men and measures.

During the period of his residence in Baltimore Mr. Jones married ]\Iiss
Rosalie Hickman of that city. Her father, Emerson Hickman, a native of
Baltimore and a contracting plasterer, served during the Civil war as a police
officer in his native city and later was commissioned a sergeant in tlie Union
army. On one occasion during the war he was wounded in the shi ulder, but
the injury did not prove to be serious. Until his death, which occurred at
sixty-three years, he continued to make Baltimore his home. In young man-
hood he had married Catherine Bryan, a native of York, Pa., and first cousin
of William Jennings Bryan. The only child of their unii n was
Rosalie, Mrs. Jc nes, to whom they gave the best educational advantages their
means rendered possible. Of her marriage there were eleven children, one
daughter, Lillian, dying at the age of ten months. The ten now living are
Ethel, Iva, Muriel, Lavonia, Gwendolyn, Millwood, Lanier, Dorothy, Audrey
and' Parker Barrett, all still at home, and the eldest now acting as bookkeeper
for her father.

OLIVER QUALLS. — That large class of native sons achieving note-
worthy success and pushing forward in meritorious business transactions
has a capable representative in Oliver Quails, who since coming to the oil
fields has filled various positions from roustabout to tool-dresser, but more
recently turned his attention to business pursuits. After having been an
employe of S. J. Dunlop for a number of years on oil leases he became the
latter's partner in the hay. grain and storage business, opening yards on
East Main street in Taft. By the purchase of the Dunlop interests he became
the sole proprietor and owner July 1. 1913.

Prior to his identification with the oil fields Mr. Quails made his home in
Fresno county, where he was burn January 4, 1879, at the family home three
miles north of Sanger. His father, William, for j-ears engaged in general
farming in Fresno county, but of recent years has made his home in Wash-
ington and has engaged in the lumber business at AVinlock, Lewis county.
The mother, who bore the maiden name of Marinda Hale, was born in Ohio
and is now deceased. The eldest and youngest uf the three sons, Albert and
Oscar, are engaged in farming in Fresno county. The second, Oliver, who re-
ceived a common-school education in Fresno county and worked at agricul-


tural pursuits there, was interested in farming for himself from the age of
twenty-three until twenty-nine. When he closed out his farming interests
he brought with him from Fresno to Kern county six head of work horses and
with these he engaged in freighting in the Midway field. At the expiration of
three months he sold the horses. Then began a period of employment as
teamster with the Mount Diablo Oil Company, in which Mr. Dunlop was a
stockholder and director. For a number of years and indeed until the sale of
the holdings of the company he continued with that concern, but later he
was transferred by Mr. Dunlop to a lease of his own, where he worked up
from roustabout to tool-dresser. January 1, 1913, he embarked in the hay,
grain, feed and storage business at Taft and at the expiration of six months
became the sole owner of the store, which he conducts in a manner satisfac-
tory to customers and bringing to himself a fair profit. Since coming to this
county he married at Hanford Miss Pearl Hunter, of Taft. In politics
he is a Republican. Prominently connected with the Odd Fellows at Taft,
he has been a promoter of the erection of their building here, a substantial
structure, 50x118 feet in dimensions, two stories in height, a credit to the order
and a source of pride to the people.

JOSE M. LUGO. — The first association of the Lugo family with Cali-
fornia dates back as far as the era of the establishment of the old Spanish
missions so inseparably connected with the beginnings of modern civilization.
When Los Angeles was an insignificant hamlet and San Francisco still un-
known to the world of commerce Antonio M. Lugo owned cattle that roamed
over the vast uninhabited ranges between the two towns, in the former of
which he made his lifelong home, interested in its growth and well-known to
its people. Possessing a sturdy physique and robust constitution, he lived
to the age of one hundred and seven years, retaining his mental and physical
faculties. Among his children was a son, Jose De Carmel Lugo, a native of
Los Angeles, whose wife, Maria Antonia Poyorena, was likewise of Californian
birth. After the death of that wife he married again, being married three
times in all. For years he made his home on a large cattle ranch near
Riverside and engaged in the stock business, owning cattle and ranges in Los
Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Four children were born of his union
with Miss Poyorena : Carmel, wife of F. Talamantes, a member of the detective
force of Los Angeles ; Rita, who married A. Lopez and lives in Los Angeles ;
Jose M., whose name introduces this article and whose birth occurred in
I860 in Los Angeles; and Agrippina, wife of Edward Haynes, a resident of
San Diego.

From his earliest recollections Jose M. Lugo has been familiar with the
cattle business. In his younger years he handled thousands of head of stock
and was considered unusually skilled in such work. For about twenty-five
years he was employed in the cattle department of the Kern County Land
Company, with whose officials he has enjoyed a reputation for fidelity, energy
and trustworthiness. For some years he owned a ranch of forty acres south of
Bakersfield, but in 1912 he sold the tract and embarked in the grocery business,
since which time he has conducted a general store on the corner of H street
and Brundage Lane in Bakersfield. In politics he is a Republican. During
February of 1911 he was united in marriage with Mrs. Tillie Blanco, a widow,
whose father, Michael Castro, was among the early settlers of this part of
California. By her first husband she became the mother of three children
now living: Carrie, a student in the Sisters' School in Los Angeles; Albert
and Blanche, attending the Bakersfield public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Lugo are
the parents of an only son, Jose J. The family are earnest and influential mem-
bers of St. Francis Catholic Church of Bakersfield.

FRED N. CRIPPEN. — Noteworthv prominence as a pioneer in the
Kern river field and a record for fast and successful drilling on 25 Hill have


been achieved by the superintendent of the Tamaipais Oil Company, not-
withstanding the fact that he siill is a young man with the possibility of
larger results to his credit in the future. An extensive experience as a
driller qualifies him for continued usefulness in that important department;
of the oil industry. It was while connected with the Nevada-Midway Oil
Company, in whose employ he drilled five wells, that he established the best
record ever made on the hill, which was that of drilling eleven hundred and
ninety-three feet in eleven days. In addition he has drilled many wells
for other concerns and since being appointed superintendent of the Tamai-
pais Oil Company, September 1, 1911, he has re-drilled three wells which
now average a monthly production of fifty-five hundred barrels and at the
same time he has succeeded in eliminating a very disagreeable feature by
shutting ofi' the top and bottom inflow of water. Three men are furnished
employment as his assistants in the care and development of the lea.^c on
section 23, township i2, range 23, and in the capacity of superintendent he
has proved absolutely dependable as well as efficient and energetic.

A native son of the west, Fred N. Crippen was born in Humboldt
county, this state, March 2, 1879, being a brother of S. G. Crippen, carpenter
foreman on the Kern Trading and Oil Company's lease near Alaricopa. The
parents, S. G. and Mary A. (Beckett) Crippen, are now residents of Lake-
port, Lake county, and an uncle, Dr. W. W. Beckett, ranks among the in-
fluential physicians of Los Angeles. The parental family consisted of ten
children, but only five of these are now living, and in order of birth Fred N.
is the youngest son and fourth child. The family lived on a ranch in Hum-
boldt county and he was taught to aid in the care of the stock and the culti-
vation of the land. When not attending the public schools at Petrolia he
was occupied on the ranch, but agriculture did not prove a congenial occu-
pation, and at the age of fourteen he found work in the Pecrolia oil field,
first as a roustabout, and later as a tool dresser.

Lipon coming to the Kern river field at the age of nineteen Mr. Crippen
secured employment on the Provident lease under Ed Bush. The following
year (1899) he went back to Humboldt county and secured work with the
Mcintosh Oil Company, continuing there two years. The year 1901 found
him at McKittrick, where he was employed as a tool-dresser. From there
he came to the Midway field and secured work on what is now the Santa
Fe lease. After eight months in the North Midway he went back to Mc-
Kittrick and engaged in drilling for H. F. Guthrie. Even in the hardest
times he was able to make his $7 per day, for he had a reputation as an
expert driller. For fourteen months he had charge of drilling for the San
Luis Bay Oil Company at San Luis Obispo. From September, 1909, lo
March 15, 1910, he was with the Standard in charge of section 30, while from
March 21, 1910, to April, 1911, he was connected with the (General Petroleum,
(then known as the Esperanza). With his wife, who was formerl}^ Miss Rose
\\'elker, of Oklahoma, he makes his home on the Tamaipais lease and has
many friends in this part of the field. Since coming here he has become a
member of the Knights of Pythias at Taft, while formerly he was an active
member of the Elks at San Luis Obispo. Besides being the owner of lots
in Bakersfield and at Del Monte Heights he has made excellent investments
in oil lands in four different oil fields in California, and there is every reason
to believe that at no distant day he will reap from these financial returns as
gratifying as they are merited.

CHARLES DALY. — Only exceptional native ability and determination
of will could have brought Mr. Daly, while still at the threshold of maturity,
to unquestioned prominence among the ])lumbers and steam-fitters of Bakers-
field, where he has a workshop, display room and office at No. 1724 K street.
A modern stock of sanitary appliances is to be found at his place of business.
Skilled mechanics are engaged to assist in the installation of plumbing and


heating equipment and in gas-fitting. The personal supervision of the pro-
prietor is exercised over all contracts, a practical plumber whose experience
is far greater than might be expected of one so young in years.

A son of M. J. Daly, of San Francisco, Charles Daly was born in that
city December 15, 1887, and received a public-school education. While yet
in his teens he began to learn the plumbing business and for some time
worked in his native city, but in 1906 came to Bakersfield, where he found

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 153 of 177)