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 157 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 157 of 177)
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purpose of building the machine shop. A year was devoted to the building
of the store-house. During his second year at Taft the company decided to
pu: in a stock of fishing tools, with him in charge. Next it was decided to
build the machine shop and the latter has been in operation now for two
years (since 1911), electricity being used for motive power. On short
notice the company is prepared to do every kind of work in the oil fields,
including the building of derricks, the laying of pipe lines, the building of
oil tanks, the drilling, shooting or cleaning of wells and ;he handling of the
product. The foreman exercises the most painstaking oversight in every
department of the business. Prompt, dependable, accurate and honest, he
has built up a large patronage for the company of which he is an old and
trusted employe. Since coming to Taf: he has erected a neat residence and
here he and his wife, formerly Rebecca Artman, of Westmoreland county,
Pa, have established themselves comfortably. The only daughter. Miss
Nellie, is engaged as cashier in the store of Heard & Painter. The only
son, Fred D., makes his headquarters at Torrance, Cal., where he has charge
of the fitting department of :he Union Tool Comoany. The family are iden-
tified with the Presbyterian Church and Mr. Grant has been one of the
leaders of that work in Taft. where he has served the church as chairman
of the board of trustees, and in addition has rendered the most efficient
service as superintendent of the Sunday-school.

FRANCOIS BERNARD.— The proprietor of the Tehachapi hotel, Frank
Bernard, has been associated with that town and its af^'airs since 1907. He
was born in Taurrontes, county of Orcirrise, Hautes-Alpes, France, Decem-
ber 13, 1868, and there he attended school and spent his youthful days.
With his studies came a desire to read and a yearning to see the country
in which he found himself most interested, and in 1887 he came to the
United States, traveling directly to Los Angeles, Cal., where he remained for
a short time. Bakersfield, Kern county, was his next place of residence,
and after staying there for about two years he went to Invo county for a
year. Then he removed to ]\Iontana, where as a ranch hand and sheep
herder he became thorouehly experienced. The next year he went to Wyo-
ming and followed ranching and sheep raising on his own account for nine
years, finding it most profiiable as an industry. A longing for the homeland
took him back to France and there in 1905 occurred his marriage to Marie
Pellisson.

Returning to the LTnited States in the year of his marriage, Mr. Bernard
spent about one year in Montana, afterward was in Delano for a short time,
but since 1907 has been a resident of Tehachapi. Buying out the hotel he set
to work to make many improvements and build up a sood business, and his
ambitious efforts have not been expended in vain. The Tehachapi hotel is
nicely equipped in all details and gives general satisfaction to all its visitors



HISTORY OF KF.RN COUNTY 1433

and guests. Mr. Bernard votes the Republican ticket, and he takes a deep
in:erest in all that pertains to the city's benefit.

The parents of Vr. r.ernard, Francois and Rosalea (Garnea) Bernard,
both passed away in France. His wife, Marie (Pcllisson) Bernard was the
daughter of Joseph and Angelina (Reymond) Pellisson, who are still living
in France. Two children have been born to Mr. Bernard and his wife, viz.:
Francois, Jr., and Edward.

MARY ELIZABETH M. STAPR— A splendid example of the capable,
energetic business woman is Mrs. ]\Iary Elizabeth (Mitchell) Stapp, of Ba-
kerstield, where she is engaged in the real-estate business.

Mrs. Stapp was born in Bracken county, Ky., the daughter of Isaac
and Mary E. (Henry) Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell was born in Ohio, and worked
as merchanc tailor for some years, but on account of poor health was obliged
to give this up, and later was a steward on the Ohio river. Deciding to take
up farming he accordingly settled on a farm in Indiana, near Terre Haute,
going from there to Illiopolis, 111., where he remained until 1884. He then
brought his family to California, arriving in Bakersfield on October 9 of
that year. Here he spent the remainder of his life, becoming largely in-
terested in real estate here and in East Bakersfield. His death occurred in
1901. The wife of Isaac Mitchell, who was born in Kentucky, passed away
at the birth of her daughter, Mary Elizabeth, in Bracken county. Mr.
Mitchell was a Mason fraternally.

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Mitchell) Stapp was the only child of her parents'
union. She was brought up in Kentucky and Illinois, attending the schools
of the locali;y, and came with her father to California in 1884. She has
interested herself in the real estate business, has built several residences m
East Bakersfield, one a large rooming house, and she owns the corner of
Kentucky and King streets. She is the wife of W. C. Stapp, a native of
Grass Valley, Cal., who is a steam-shovel engineer.

Mrs. Stapp is a splendid type of womanhood, and though she fills a
man's position in business she has retained all the finer elements which rep-
resent refinement and culture. She is a lover of art and from young woman-
hood took up painting, in which she now excells and she makes a specialty
of painting velvet pillow tops and painting on glass, from which she reaps
both pleasure and profit.

GEORGE W. DERBY.— Although by no means belonging to the .pioneer
element of Kern county, Mr. Derby readily is accorded a position among die
most progressive citizens and energetic ranchers in this favored region.
From the time of his arrival in Bakersfield, some time during February of
1899, he has kept in touch with every movement for the upbuilding of the
city and county, has kept in mind the uncontes;ed fact that the locality
offers unsurpassed opportunities for business, for the oil industry and for
agriculture, has maintained an exceptionally clear insight into business meth-
ods and with characteristic nerve, energy and ability has risked much in
order that he migh: gain much. It is worthy of note that at three separate
times and from three diiiferent parties he has bousrht two hundred and eighty
acres situated on section 24, township 31. range 28, which tract he now owns
and operates, devoting his mental abilities and physical strength to the trans-
formation of the tract into a productive, remunerative ranch.

A native of Lapeer county, Mich., born July 29, 1867, George W. Derby
grew to manhood in Kansas and in that state received a common-school edu-
cation. Upon starting out in the world for himself he came to California
in 1889 and secured employment by the day or month in Tehama county.
In a short time he removed to Santa Clara county, where he spent nine years
as a workman in and around San Jose, acting as agent for an ice company in
that city. From San Jose he came to Bakersfielel for ten years after his arrival
in California. At once he was impressed with the resources of the region.



1434 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

At the time of his arrival Bakersfield was a village of shacks, but the devel-
opment of the oil industry caused the town to develop a boom and this gave
him steady employment in contracting and building to provide quarters for
incoming setders. Meanwhile he often visited the oil fields and constantly
studied conditions there. As a result he invested financially in the west
side district. He still owns a one-half interest in one-half section of deeded
lands now leased to the Standard Oil Company, and in addition he has in-
vested in other properties loca;ed on other sections. He now has one hun-
dred and sixty acres in an excellent stand of alfalfa hay, while during the
crop year of 1912 he had sixty acres in corn, the whole bringing him fair
returns. On coming to the Weed Patch he found his greatest need to be
facilities for irrigation. Accordingly he has drilled five wells one hundred
and ninety feet deep, from which great s;reams of water are pumped by
means of two Bessemer engines. One of these has twenty-five horse-power
and the other, furnishes forty horse-power. He was the pioneer rancher to
demonstrate the feasibility of irrigating land in this part of Kern county from
wells by means of pumps.

Mr. Derby and his wife, whom he married in 1895 and who was formerly
Miss E. Alice Hunt, of San Jose, have made iheir home most of the time in
Kern county.

R. L. BEWLEY.— Shortly after coming to Taft in 1910, Mr. Bewley
bought out the interest of VV. E. Pennell in the blacksmith shop of Pennell
and Massa and later he purchased the interest of Lawrence Massa, thereby
acquiring the complete ownership of the plan:. During 1912, his quarters
being insufficient for the demands of his growing trade, he rebuilt on Center
street, where now he has a galvanized building 50x118 feet in dimensions,
ecjuipped with every modern convenience for blacksmithing and general
repair work. Skill as a mechanic has given him the confidence of users of
automobiles, who find him thoroughly trustworthy in the care and super-
vision of cars. To aid him in repair work he keeps on hand all kinds of
automobile forgings and springs. Besides furnishing s;orage and gasoline
for cars owned by others he has the Kern county agency for the Vulcan car.
The care and repair and sale of automobiles do not represent the limit of his
enterprise, for in addition he maintains three forges in his blacksmith shop
and with the help of skilled assistants he is prepared to do horse-shoeing
expeditiously and skillfully.

Of Pennsylvanian bir;h and parentage, R. L. Bewley was born in Craw-
ford county, nine miles south of Corry, on January 30, 1880. The home
town was Spartansburg and there he attended the public schools. During
1899 he apprenticed himself for three years under P. M. Nelson, owner of a
blacksmith and machine shop at Oil City, Pa. For the first three months
he received no remuneration. During the next twelve mon;hs he was paid
S2.50 per week. Thereafter he received a slight increase in pay each month
until at the end of his apprenticeship he was being paid $2 per day. On
the expiration of his time he went to Tidioute, Warren county. Pa., where
he worked as a machinist. From that place he went to other parts of the
state as a journeyman. One winter was spent at Meadville and he gained
familiarity with heavy machine work in the shops of the Erie Railroad Com-
pany there. From Pennsylvania he went to West Virginia to work
for the Ferguson Construction Company near Burnsville, and in a short time
he rose to be a foreman, serving in that capacity in three dififerent camps of
that company. Encouraged by success as a foreman, he decided to embark
in business for himself. Returning to his home town of Spartansburg, Pa.,
he operated a blacksmith and repair shop until he entered the employ of the
State Hospital Association as engineer and mechanic in their shops.

Upon resigning that position Mr. Bewle}' came to California during
March of 1910, and from Los Angeles proceeded direct to Taft, where ever



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 14.1^

since he has engaged in the hhicksniith and repair business. In this town he
has built a coaage lor his family. In his home town of .Spartansburg, I'a.,
in l'^05, he married Miss Grace AI. Caral, by whom he has two children,
Celess A. and Robert LeRoy.

F. S. COOK.— The business interests of Taft have a capable representa-
tive in the well-known plumber, F. S. Cook, whose office and workshop are
located in the Mariposa building and whose long experience in the plumbnig
business, especially as connected with oil fields, qualifies him for a rising
patronage in such a city as Taft. Work in oil districts has taken him intc
differen: parts of the country. His childhood years were passed in Catta-
raugus county, N. Y., where he was born March 12, 1886, and where he at-
tended the public schools. Ever since he was fifteen he has been self-sup-
porting. Before he had reached man's estate he was an expert steam-fitter
and could repair gas engines with a skill and promptness unexcelled by older
hands. Primarily introduced to the oil industry through werk as a rou.st-
about in :he fields of Monroe county, Ohio, he later had considerable expe-
rience in well-known districts of West Virginia, Oklahoma, Indian Territory
and Pennsylvania, where he became familiar with every phase of the work
and with the varying possibilities of production in different fields. Mean-
while he specialized in plumbing and gained a thorough knowledge of the
trade, so that when he came to California and to Bakersfield in lyoy he
experienced no difficulty in securing employment at a fair compensation.

The Gundlach Tank Company, for which Mr. Cook worked as a journey-
man in Bakersfield, sent him to Taft in 1911 to take charge of a branch busi-
ness at this point. Discerning the excellent opening for a plumbing shop
he established himself in business in February, 1913, and has since given a
number of plumbing contracts of considerable importance. Exact in all
work, industrious in disposition, careful in the filling of contrac:s and ex-
perienced as to the best methods of sanitation, he is winning recognition as
a plumber and has every reason to be gratified with the progress thus far
made in occiinative advancement.

ALEXANDER CARVER.— The cattle industry in Kern county had an
able representative in the late Alexander Carver, who was born in Calaveras
county in 18.^7, the son of Joel and L. J. Carver, the latter also represented in
this work. Coming to Kern county with his parents in 1869, he here attended
the public schools and in 1876 graduated from Healds Business College in
San Francisco. From a boy he learned the stock business, riding the range
and after the death of his father he ran his mother's cattle at the same time
starting a small herd (f his own which gradually grew to such proportions
he found it necessary to give it all of his time. He then purchased the nucleus
of his ranch about fourteen miles east of Delano, afterwards adding to it until
it contained over thirty-five hundred acres. This he improved with fences,
wells and buildings and here he raised cattle, grain and hay, but more par-
ticularlv encaged in growing cattle of the Shorthorn variety until his death,
June 27, 1912.'

The marriage of Mr. Carver recurred in Visalia January 5. 1893, uniting
him with Miss Eugenie E. Woody, who was born at Woody, Kern county,
and in this county she was reared and educated. She is the eldest daughter of
the late Dr. Sparrell Woody, a pioneer and one of Kern county's foremost men.
(See biographies of S. A. and E. H. Woody.) To Mr. and Mrs. Carver were
born six children: Inez L. and Ira J., both graduates of the Berkeley High
School; Lorene E., Marguerite M., Carl T. and Vernon L.

Soon after Mr. Carver's death his widow sold the stock and leased the
ranch, removing with her family to Berkeley, where she built a comfortable
home at No. 1617 Spruce street. A woman of high ideals and religious con-
viction, she is a devoted member of the Christian Church.

BENEDITTO ARDIZZI.— The late Beneditto Ardizzi, or as he was more



1436 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

familiarly known, "Ben" Ardizzi, was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, and
was there educated in the public schools. His father was an extensive mer-
chant in Lagarno, Switzerland, and Ben became familiar with the mercantile
business in boyhood. Becoming interested in California he came here at
fourteen years of age and from San Francisco went immediately to the mines
in the Sierras. He was also in the Frazier river country when the excite-
ment was at its height. On his return to California he settled in Bear valley,
Mariposa county, and with a partner, Victor Amy, engaged in the hotel
business and also followed mining. Afterwards they carried on the same
business in Snelling until the Southern Pacific was built to Delano, Kern
county, when they established a store and restaurant there. When the railroad
was continued into Sumner, now East Bakersfield, they started a store which
afterwards grew to such large proportions that today it is one of the most
extensive mercantile establishments in the county. The firm was Amy &
Ardizzi until the death of the former in 1881, when Luis Olcese became a
partner and business has since been done under the name of the Ardizzi-
Olcese Co.

In 1887 Air. Ardizzi married Mrs. A. Park, who in maidenhood was Son-
tine DePauli, born in Bear valley the daughter of a California pioneer and a
sister of James DePauli also born there. After Mr. DePauli com ileted his
studies at the University of California in 1888 he came to Kern ciunty and
became associated with the Ardizzi-Olcese Co., of which from 1897 until his
death, May 30, 19C8, he was president and manager. He married Leonora
Gazzola, by whom he had two children, Thelma and James. Fraternally he
was an Elk and as a citizen was highly esteemed. For some years he served
as a trustee of Kern city and part of the time was president of the b ard. By
her first marriage Mrs. Ardizzi had two daughters, Etta, wife of Dr. J. M.
Kane, of Oakland, and Millie, Mrs. A. Rudgear of San Francisco.

Ben Ardizzi died at his home in Sumner July 31, 1895, while his wife
passed away in Oakland March 20, 1900. Mr. Ardizzi was a member of Bakers-
field Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., and he was buried with Masonic honors.
Politically he was a Democrat.

REV. EDWARD MORGAN.— St. Paul's Church at Bakersfield owes its
organization, and in fact its early development, to Rev. D. O. Kelley, whose
congregation erected a small frame church on Seventeenth street before 1898,
later also building a chapel in Rosedale. It was in the latter year that the Rev.
Edward Morgan, whose name heads this article, became rector of St. Paul's,
and he immediately put forth efforts to acquire more land, subsequently build-
ing the present church on the corner of I and Seventeenth streets on a prop-
erty about double the size of the former site. This consisted of a substantial
brick edifice which has proved a credit to the builders and a source of satis-
factirn to the city. The old frame church was moved to Kern city and placed
on land donated by the Pacific Improvement Company and named St. Bar-
nabas Chapel. The Rev. Edward Morgan also procured a property in the
Greenfield district, where he built All Saints' Chapel.

While in Bakersfield Father Morgan purchased property on Chester
avenue, and when the growth of the city justified he built the Morgan jjlock,
a two-story brick and ccncrete building, consisting of stores and offices, at a
cost of $36,500. This is considered a valuable addition to the business build-
ings in Bakersfield, and is a splendid structure throughout.

The Rev. Edward Morgan belongs to a family many of whose members
have won merited recognition in the world, bringing honor and glory to the
name. Born in County Cork. Ireland, he was the son of Anthony and Eliz-
abeth (Tymonds) Morgan, the former an officer in the British army who dis-
tinguished himself in the Crimean war at Alma, Inkerman and Sebastopol
to such a degree that Queen Victoria conferred upon him three clasps and a



HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY 1437

medal, and he also received a medal frum the Sultan uf Turkey. A brother
of the Rev. Edward Morgan, by name Lieut. Col. A. Hickman Morgan, D.S.O.,
was well known in Her Majesty's Army. The Morgan family were originally
from HerefLTdshire, but removed from there to Ireland during the reign of
Queen Elizabeth. The Tymonds were an old family in County Duldin but of
English descent.

Primarily educated by private tutors, upon coming to San l'"rancisco the
Rev. Edward Morgan studied for holy orders under the Rt. Rev. William
F. Nichols, Bishop of Calif. -rnia, later was a student at the General Theological
Seminary in New York City, and then did special work at Columbia College.
Seventeen years ago he was ordained deacon at St. Matthews Church, San
Mateo, and one year later was ordained priest at the Cathedral Mission of the
Good Samaritan, at Second and Folsom streets. There he worked under the
Rev. William I. Kiip, grands n of the first Bishop of California, who had
passed through San Jcaquin valley before there were any settlers where now
stands the city of Bakersfield, being escorted by soldiers for protection from
the Indians. Soon afterward he was called to Bakersfield as rector of St.
Paul's parish, and there he remained until 1903, imparting his broad influence
for good throughout the community, lending his aid to suiTering humanity
and bringing peace and comfort wherever he went. As a reward for his efforts
in 1505 he became Senior Currr at St. Agnes Chapel, Trinity parish. New
York City, but in February, 1907, he returned to San Francisco and took
charge of St. Luke's parish, which under his gu'dance has since erected a
beautiful new church and is now one of the most prospercius and well known
churches in the city.

THE PETROLEUM CLUB.— March 1, 1912. a number of oil men from
the Midway field were discussing matters of general interest pertaining to their
work. Certain matters they desired to discuss confidentially, but there was no
convenient place for a meeting. Someone then suggested a club C( mposed of
oil men. E. D. Gillette was asked to convene the oil men of the community
and March 4, 1912, a meeting was held in the office of the Western Water
Company, attended by the following-named gentlemen: E. D. Gillette, W. A
Fisher, J. W. Squires, William McDufifie, E. H. Edwards, C. S. Crary and A.
W. Albrecht. A committee on constituti( n and by-laws was ap )ointed. It was
decided to organize a club and the name Midway Club was temporarily
adopted, the same being afterward changed to the present title. By resolution
a membership fee of $?5 was adopted, with a monthly fee of $5. The follow-
ing officers were elected: E. D. Gillette, president; William McDuffie, vice-
president; C. S. Crary, treasurer; and A. W. Albrecht, secretary. The second
meeting was held Alarch 12 in Mr. Albrecht's < ffice. At the third meeting,
March 18, the question of location was discussed and it developed that it was
impossible to secure a hall. Some then presented the plan of erecting a build-
ing of their own. At the same meeting articles of incorporation were pre-
sented and the certificate of incorporatii.n bears date of March 27, 1912. The
niembership soon grew to twenty-five members. The by-laws were adopted
March 23, at the first meeting of the board of directors.

A s^ecial committee and later a house committee considered the question
of building. On the 15th of April this c( mmittee recommended the purchase of
lots 13, 14, 15 and 16, block 18, townsite of Moron (now Taft), from the
Southern Pacific Company, together with the purchase of lot 12, same block,
from Mr. Savage. The recommendatii n passed by vote. At a later meeting
plans for a building were discussed and those by E. D. Ferrell, architect, were
adopted. The north end of the building, consisting of the main living room,
30x40, with hardwood floors, was erected in 1912 at a cost of $13,000. The
bungalow style makes an attractive extericjr, while the interior appointments



1438 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

are those of a modern, first-class club and already $19,000 has been expended.
At the present time the membership is about one hundred and twenty-five.

Saturday, May 10, 1913, the jMerchants' Association of San Francisco,
one hundred and twenty-five strong, visited Taft and were entertained at a
banquet by the club. Opening night, September 7, 1912, an impromptu pro-
gram of local soeakers and a banquet made a delightful function for the
members and their gentlemen guests. Ab( :ut once in two months there is a
ladies' night. Every Tuesday afternoon the Woman's Improvement Club of
Taft holds its social and business meetings at the Club, which more and more
is becoming a social center for the city. The present ofificers are as follows:
E. D. Gillette, president; E. B. Latham, vice-president; T. O. May, treasurer;
and A. W. Albrecht, secretary.

The latest venture of the Club is the publication of the Petroleum Re-
porter (independent), the first number of which appeared July 8, 1913. In
putting out such a publication the members did so with the hope that it
might accurately reflect conditions as they really exist in the great industry
that forms the very life of Taft. Public measures affecting the oil fields and
oil industries receive impartial comment.

Below we append a list of the active members of the Petroleum Club :
A. W. Albrecht, F. E. Beach, A. R. M. Blackball, F. R. Campbell, Walter Can-



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 157 of 177)