Copyright
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 156 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 156 of 177)
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opening in the west. Upon his removal to California he engaged in work in the
Santa Maria field, where he remained until September of 1910. Having had
thorough training as tool-dresser and head well-puller in West Virginia, he
was competent to fill important duties at Santa Maria. From that field he
removed to Fellows and was envdoyed as gang-foreman and tool-dresser. The
next step in advance brought him to the Kern Trading and Oil Company's
properties, where since June of 1912 he has served as lease foreman, his juris-
diction extending to the properties in the Sunset field. A warm friendship with
J. C. Knoke, production foreman for the company, which dates back to their
early residence in Sistersville, W. Va., was instrumental in identifying him
with this company and his own reliability and energy enable him to fill the
positic n with satisfaction to all concerned.

CHARLES E. GEDDES. — The youngest of seven sons and a member
of a family of thirteen children, of whom there now survive five sons and five
daughters, Charles E. Geddes was born at Sheffield, Warren county. Pa., and
grew to manhood in McKean ct unty, same state, where he attended the
Bradford schools. Always the family maintained an interest in the oil business
and two elder brothers are now with the Associated in the Coalinga oil field in
California, G. W. being a machinist and J. E. production foreman. The father
has made the lumber business his principal occupation and is now living
retired, being at present in Coalinga. The mother was a native of Pennsyl-
vania and came of a Swiss family. After two years in the high school Charles
E. Geddes began to work in the Bradford oil field at the age of sixteen._ At first
he engaged as a pumper and later as a ti ol-dresser. Going to Illinois at the
age of twenty-one he worked in the Robinson field for two and one-half years
and from that section of the country he came to California in October of
1907. A visit of eight days in the Kern river field gave him his first practical
knowledge of western conditio ns. Two months were then spent in the
Coalinga field as an employe of the pipe-line department and then of the pro-
duction department of the Associated, after which he was promoted to be
gang-pusher and well-foreman. On being chosen superintendent of the Espe-
ranza and the Sibyl he associated himself with the properties that later were
overtaken by the General Petrtleum, whose officers retained him in the
capacity of superintendent with largely increased responsibilities. This
position, as foreman of all the properties of the company in the North
Midway field, includes the following divisions now owned and operated by the
great concern: Oakburn, Dabney,"Sahle, Globe, Logan, Brunswick, Section
19, Fellows, Continental and Siisyl. He personally visits each lease daily,
going from one to another by automobile, and directing and supervising all of
the work with an alertness and nervous energy that invariably produces re-
sults.

Since coming to Kern county Mr. Geddes has been connected with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Taft. He married Miss Leula Hunter,
of Russell, Warren county. Pa., the daughter of one of the well-known and



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1427

successful oil operators of the east. The company's residence on section 14,
31-22, is their home, which with its artistic furnishings and air of happy
domesticity attracts often to its hospitality the many friends of the charming
hostess.

ARTHUR EUGENE HOAGLAND.— The excitement caused by the dis-
covery of gold in California imbued William Hoagland with a desire to visit
the vast unknown west. At the time of joining a party of Argonauts lie was
still a mere lad. yet he was able to do a man's work and assumed responsibil-
ities equal to those thrust upon men many j^ears his senior. As a boy he
had attended the schools of Springfield, 111., where his birth had occurred about
1835 and where his parents had made their home for years. The trip across
the plains during the summer of 1849 he still recalls as one of the most inter-
esting experiences of his eventful life and scarcely less interesting was the
return vtyage by water. Settling upon a farm in Missouri, he gave himself in-
dustriously to agricultural pursuits and for some time continued to live and
labor in that state. Meantime he served in the Union army during the Civil
war and remained at the front until the expiration of his period of service.
About 1884 he became a pioneer of Kansas and took up a claim in Rarber
county, where he engaged in farming for some years. When he made his
second trip to the Pacific coast in 1891 he found conditii ns in the west far
different from those of the earlier period. Oregon, to which state he removed
from Kansas, was becoming known for riches of soil and growth of commerce.
For a number of years he served as assessor of Klamath county and made
his h(. me in Klamath Falls, but more recently he has removed to California,
where he and his wife, Cassie (Fulton) Hoagland, now are living in Hutte
county.

The family of William Hoagland comprised eleven children and eight of
these are still living. One of the younger members of the family, Arthur
Eugene, was born July 7, 1876, during the residence of the parents near Rolla,
Pheljs county. Mo., where he remained until eight years of age and then
accompanied the other members of the family to Kansas. Later he attended
the public schools of Medicine Lodge, Barber county. At the age of fourteen
he began to be self-supporting and from that time he has made his way unaided
in the world. The Santa Fe Railroad had a line through his home town and
offered an opportunity for an honest livelihood through day labor. At first
his wages were very small, but his worth found appreciative recognition and
at seventeen he was promoted to be a foreman. Later he was transferred from
Kansas to Illinois as a construction foreman, after which he was similarly
employed in Arizona. During 1899 he was transferred to Bakersfield and
from this city was sent north on construction work. The year 1900 was
spent mainly in Hanford. During 1901 he returned to Bakersfield and this
city has since been his home. For three years he continued in the railroad
business. As general foreman of construction he had charge of construction
work between Bakersfield and Fresno.

Resigning in 1904 after a long and honorable identification with railroad
interests, Mr. Hoagland turned his attention to other lines of business. For
a time he owned a cigar store and for two and one-half years he acted as
local manager for the Wieland brewery, since which time he has been a
member of the firm of Hoagland & Ross, wholesale distributors of Rainier
beer, manufactured by the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company. The
firm has an agency at Mojave and a cold storage plant at Bakersfield and
ships the bottled beer throughout all of Kern county. In politics he is a Dem-
ocrat and fraternally he is identified with the Royal Arch Lodge and also has
served as president of the Eagles. By his marriage to Miss Maude Rainer, a
resident of Bakersfield, but a native of Kansas, he has two children, Bruce
and Helen.



1428 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

JOHN HENRY HARVEY.— The power of determination and industry
in overcoming obstacles appears in the life of Mr. Harvey, who, although
left an orphan in early life and obliged to forego educational advantages, has
nevertheless risen to a position of influence in his chosen calling. His
mother had passed away when he was so small that even the most indistinct
memories were lacking of her affection and devotion. The father, Thomas,
an Irishman by birth, was most intensely loyal to the country of his adop-
tion and when the Civil war began he offered his services to the Union.
Enrolled as a private in the Sixteenth Michigan Infantry, he was sent to the
front with his regiment, took part in a number of large engagements and
finally los: his life in the battle of Gettysburg, where he was buried in an
unknown grave. The son, who was born on Christmas day of 1856 near
Port Huron, St. Clair county, Mich., was thus left alone in the world.
Though far too young to be self-supporting, he nevertheless determined to
"paddle his own canoe" and notwithstanding the fact that he lacked warm
clothing and nourishing food he kept on without disheartenment and even
was able to attend school for several winters. At the age of sixteen he
began an apprenticeship to the trade of a blacksmith. After completing his
trade he worked as a blacksmith during the winter months in large cities in
Michigan, while in the summer months he sailed on the lakes as wheelman
or quartermaster. Life on the lakes interested him from its constant variety
and its healthful nature, but when he established domestic ties the desire to
be at home caused him to give up his position as a sailor. Meanwhile having
worked as a blacksmi;h in the lumber woods and having risen to be foreman
of the lumber camps, he had proved his skill and efficiency in the occupation
to which he has devoted the greater part of his mature years.

The marriage of John Henry Harvey and Miss Eusebia A. Richards, a
native of Cairo, Mich., but a descendant of French ancestry, took place in
her home town, where Mr. Harvey engaged in running a blacksmith's shop.
Later he was similarly employed in Cass City and then in Imlay City. Dur-
ing 1892 he came to California and found employment at his trade in Bakers-
field, where in 1895 he started a shop at No. 1712 Chester avenue. From a
very small beginning he rose to the management of a large business, con-
tinuing at the same location until 1908, when the Elks! Hall was erected on
that site. Since then he has had his manufacturing establishment at No.
230O Chester avenue, the large increase in his business necessitating an ex-
pansion, as he has taken up the manufacture of automobile springs and
forgings in connection with blacksmithing and carriage-making. Electric
power is utilized and an electric motor furnishes the current for the four
fires. Tracks and cranes have been installed and in every respect the shop
has been well equipped, not only for the heavy iron work and repairing of
vehicles, but also for the repairing of bodies, frames and wheels of auto-
mobiles. For the manufacture of automobile and heavy truck springs he
has installed a spring rolling machine run by a seven and a half horsepower
electric motor, also a gas oven for the quick heating and tempering of
springs, and he has a gas furnace for tire-heating and setting.

The home of Mr. Harvey, erected by himself, stands at the corner ot C
and Palm streets. His family comprises his wife and three children, the
eldest of whom, LeRoy Alonzo, is a pianist, devoting all his time to music.
The second son, Lee Richards, is head of the grocery firm of Harvey &
Webber, in Bakersfield. The youngest child, Ina Aville, is a high-school
student. In national politics Mr. Harvey is a Republican. While still living
in Michigan he was made a Mason in the blue lodge at Romeo, and since
coming west he has transferred his membership to Bakersfield Lodge No.
224, F. & A. M., while in addition he is identified with the Woodmen of the
World and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and has been an officer
in the local lodge of the latter organization.



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 142^

SARSHEL VAUGHN MATHEWS.— A native of Wilmington, Los An-
geles county, Sarshel Vaughn Mathews has spent his entire life in Southern
Lalifornia, where he has seen many wonderful improvements, and been
among those who have benefited greatly by the development which has
taken place in this part of the country. Earnest, energetic and persevering
he has worked hard to reach the point of prosperity he now enjoys.

Theodore Mathews, father of Sarshel V., was a native of Pennsylvania,
born in 1827 in Pittsburgh. He served as corporal in Company B of a New
Jersey regiment during the ]\Iexican war and in the early '50s came west in
the employ of the government, spending some time in Utah. In the latter
state his marriage occurred, shortly after his arrival, to Harriet Burton, born
in England, and they later removed to Oregon, remaining there for a number
of years, after which they came to California. Wilmington, Los .Angeles
county, was their place of settlement, Mr. Mathews holding the position of
wagonmas;er under the government, which post he filled for a long time.
He finally removed to Los .\ngeles, where his wife died in 1903, and he
passed away in 1907.

Sarshel V. INIathews was born in Wilmington, Los .Angeles county,
October 7, 1866, and was a small lad when his parents removed to Los Nietos,
in Los Angeles county, seven years later moving into Los Angeles, where
he attended the schools and made his home for many years. His first occu-
pation was on a stock ranch, but in 1889 he went to work for the Union
Lime Company' in San Bernardino county, remaining there about three years,
at the end of which time he entered the Southern Pacific railroad shops in
Los Angeles. In 1899 he came to Tehachapi in the capacitv of superintend-
ent for the Union Lime Company and filled that position for two years, re-
turning then to the shops in Los Angeles until 1908. Tehachapi had proved
attractive to Mr. Mathews, and after his return he opened up a quarry for
the city aqueduct and settled permanently. .About the same time he pur-
chased thirty acres of apple land and began improvements, planting apples
and pears. The ranch is located one and a half miles from town and has been
equipped with a pumping plant, with a capacity of thirty inches of water,
and the property is well cared for.

Mr. Mathews was married in 1901 to Mabel Diamond, a native of Utah,
and to this union two children were born, only one of whom is living, Gert-
rude, who is attending school at Tehachapi. Airs. Alathews is the daugh.er
of James and Alary Diamond, both deceased. As a Repul)lican. Air. Mathews
has taken an active part in the politics of his nati\e state, and he has served
as roadmaster at different periods.

HOWARD W. CARLOCK.— East Bakersfield, formerlv known as
Kern, is Afr. Oarlock's native place, and he was born June 26, 1875, when
the now flourishing town was a straggling hamlet called Sumner. Both his
father, Francis Marion, and his grandfather were pioneers of California,
having crossed the plains with ox-teams and wagons during the era of gold
excitement and afterward engaged in mining in the Sierras.

The early agricultural settlement of Kern county found Francis M.
Carlock actively engaged in cattle ranching on Kern Island. For years he
also engaged in freighting between Delano and Bakersfield, meanwhile haul-
ing the first lumber into the latter town and also into Sumner. .After he
had moved from Sumner to Bakersfield he engaged in merchandising on the
present site of the Redlick building, on Eighteenth street and Chester avenue,
where in 1889 he suffered a heavy loss from a destructive fire. Later he pur-
chased a new stock of goods and resumed business. .After he had finally
disposed of his mercantile enterprises he continued in the dray and transfer
business until 1906, when he retired to private life. His wife, formerly Miss
Alarv Tucker, came across the plains with her paren's from her native
locality in Pike county. Mo., and endured all the hardships of the tedious



1430 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

journey made with ox-teams and wagons in company with a large expedition
of emigrants.

Out of a family of seven children there are only three now living and
these reside in Bakersfield, namely: Hattie, H. W., and Mrs. Iva Hayes.
The only son received his early education in the Sumner schools and con-
tinued in school after the family had removed to Bakersfield, when he was
about thirteen years of age. While still a mere lad he acquired a thorough
knowledge of the dray business. Many years ago the elder Mr. Carlock
had built the Overland stables and, after losing heavily twice by tire, he
had finally built new barns on Eighteen :h near Chester. About 1907 the
Overland barn was leased by the son, who purchased a complete outfit of
new vehicles and horses and has since carried on a large business. The
building is large, having a frontage of more than one hundred fee:, with a
depth of one hundred and fifty feet, besides which he leases a building across
the street. The livery is the largest in Bakersfield, and more than one
hundred and twenty-five head of horses are kept in the barn. Politically he
is a Republican and fraternally he holds membership with the Wocdmen
of the World. In Fresno he was united in marriage with Miss Nettie
McLennan, who was born in Illinois, but has been a resident of California
from early life. They have a son Harold, aged twenty-one months.

H. ROY SHEFFLER.— Throughout practically his entire life Mr.
Sheffler has been familiar witli the oil industry and since the age of sixteen
years he has earned his livelihood from the occupation. An early training
in :he business came to him under the personal oversight of his father, Alex-
ander, a pioneer oil man in some of the Pennsylvania fields, although in
addition he also engaged to some extent in general farming. The home of
the family was situated in Clarion county. Pa., and there the birth of Roy
Sheffler occurred January 10, 1880; there he attended the public schools
until he had completed the grammar grade and there he took his place
among the busy workers in the workadav world. When sixteen years of
age he secured a job in an oil field four miles from home. At that time his
wages were only $4 per week, but later he received a gradual advance until
he was getting $1.50 per day. From roustabout and errand boy he worked
up to be a tool dresser, in which capacity he proved efficient and capable.
After having worked on two wells in the home field he went to West Vir-
ginia, where he remained for almost eight years, meanwhile finding employ-
ment successively in the fields at Sistersville, Mannington, Wolf Summit and
Parkersburg.

Upon returning from West Virginia to Pennsylvania and securing em-
ployment at Bradford, Mr. Sheffler spent two years as a tool-dresser in gas
and oil wells in that field. A similar position was then filled for six years
at Little Washington, Pa., where he was in the employ of a noted oil oper-
ator, who also owned the Monongahela Gas Company. A later venture led
him to invest in a water-well rig, after which he engaged in drilling water
wells and testing coal fields, but at the expiration of eighteen months he
went back to oil drilling and tool-dressing. While in Westmoreland county.
Pa., he formed the acquaintance of Clint McCall, for whom he worked about
one year. Later he worked for Bob George and George Evans, who in turn
were employed by Andrew Carnegie. In 1902, while still making Pennsyl-
vania his home and business headquarters, he married Miss Annie Mat-
thews, daughter of George Matthews, of Washington county, that state,
where their marriage was solemnized. Accompanied by his wife he came to
California in 1910, and established a home at Maricopa. Here he entered
the employ of E. S. Good and acted as chief driller on the twenty-acre lease
of the El Dora Oil Company, on section 32, township 12, range 23, where
he drilled two excellent wells, one at a depth of twenty-three hundred and
eight feet and the other twenty-four hundred feet deep. On August 1, 1913,



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1431

he gave up his position with tlie El Dora, and is now drilling for the Spreckels
Oil Company. His experience as a driller in California and Pennsylvania
has given him a technical knowledge of every detail connected with the
work, and in addition he engaged as a driller for a short time in Illinois at
Robinson. Since coming west he has saved his earnings and invested in
property, being now the owner of a ranch of twenty acres north of Bakers-
field and thus substantially identified with Kern county not only as an oil
man, liut also as a property owner.

JAMES C. GRANT.— The foreman of the machine shop of the Cali-
fornia Oil Well Supply Company at Taft is a member of an old Pennsylvania
family and traces his lineage to Aberdeen, Scotland, from which city the
forebears of Gen. \J. S. Grant also immigrated to the L'nited States. The
old homestead in Butler county. Pa., remained in the ]50ssession of the
family through several genera ;ions. There his father, Alexander B. Grant,
died at the age of sixty-five years; there his own birth occurred December
23, 1858, and there too his only son. Fred D., was born. Aside from the
endearing associations of youth, the farm itself has had a unique history,
for upon it were developed the first oil and gas wells in that locality, and
the ;ract of one hundred and eight acres for years presented scenes of stirring
industry. Other wells later were developed in the name neighborhood dur-
ing the '80s, and when Mr. Grant made a trip back to the old Pennsylvania
home twenty years after the era of the first excitement, he was surprised to find
these same pioneer wells s;ill producing gas and oil in paying quantities.

The marriage of .Alexander B. Grant united him with Elizabeth Ervin,
who, physically and mentally alert at the age of eighty-two, is still a resi-
dent of Harmony, Butler county, Pa. The family consisted of six children.
One of these, a daughter, died at Oil City, Pa., at the age of eight years.
The five survivors are as follows: James C, of California; Flora M., who
married James \\'elsh. a hardware dealer of Harmony, Pa.; Samuel D., a
machinist employed in Denver, Colo.; Etta E., wife of John Klofenstein, of
Harmony, Pa. ; and John A., a machinist now employed at Miles City, Mont.
Born December 23, 18.^8, James C. Grant received a public-school education
at Six Points, Butler county, and as early as 1882 aided on the building of
derricks on the home farm. In addition to being one of the crew of four
men who dug the first well, he personally carried one-fourth interest in the
enterprise. Six wells were drilled on his father's farm and in addition he
worked on nine other wells in the same neighborhood.

From the oil fields of Butler county going to West Virginia. Mr. Grant
settled at Parkersburg and engaged in the building of a machine shop for the
Oil Well Supply Company, into whose service he had entered prior to re-
moval from Pennsylvania. After the shop at Parkersburg had been com-
pleted and the machinery installed, Mr. Grant remained for one year for
the purpose of testing out the plant and put;ing it in first-class running
order. Next he built a machine shop at Weston, Lewis county, W. Va.
After the plant had been put into working operation with the necessary
machinery he was sent by the company to Woodsfield, Monroe county, Ohio,
where he built, equipped and started a machine shop. Upon the completion
of the plant he was ordered to St. Mary's, Pleasants county, W. Va., where
he erected, equipped and put into running order a large machine sjiop,
making two complete plants established within one year. A shop that
previously had been erected at Cairo. Ritchie county, W. Va., he inventoried,
purchased and put into working operation, after which for a time he super-
intended all of the five shops. He became a powerful factor in the success of
the company. The shops that he built were conducted with profit to the
concern and established his own reputation for skill as a machinist and su-
perintendent.

In the interests of the William Kavanaugh Company, of Pittsburgh,



1432 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

during 1904 Mr. Grant went to Kansas, leased a tract of ground at Chanute
from the San;a Fe Railroad Company and erected a shop for oil-well ma-
chinery. When the plant had been completed he remained to put it into
successful operation. After a year he was sent to Oklahoma in the interests
of the National Drill and Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of drill-
ing and fishing tools. Arriving ac Tulsa, he rented land from the Frisco
Railroad Company, erected a shop, equipped the plant and put it in running
order. Through his instrumentality the Oil Well Supply Company was
induced to buy the plant, and it has proved to be their best-paying shop.
The next work of Mr. Grant was done in New Mexico, where he spent two
years, meanwhile with a brother, John A., putting in three portable drilling
machines and drilling a number of artesian wells in the Pecos valley.

The company transferred Mr. Grant to their Los Angeles headquarters
and he arrived in that city May 30, 1908, af:er which he was employed in the
stock-room of the concern until transferred to Taft July 22, 1909, for the



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 156 of 177)