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 162 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 162 of 177)
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to Bakersfield and secured work with Carr & Haggin. In a shrrt time he
entered the maintenance of way department with the Southern Pacific Rail-
road Company. Later he was promoted to be foreman of the construction
department, in which responsible position he remained for twenty-two years.
Meanwhile his wife determined to prove up en a homestead. Entering a
tree claim near Lerdo, she proved up on the tract and eventually acquired a
title to three hundred and twenty acres of land, which was not sold until
about 1907. In addition he had bought and developed eighty acres in the
Rio Bravo district, but this too has been sold at a profit.

The Cassady family includes three sons now living, of whom the eldest,
Frank, is employed with the Kern Trading and Oil Company, and the young-
est, Walter, remains with his parents in East Bakersfield. The second son,
Forrest A„ received his education in the grammar and high schools of Kern
county, but left school when only fourteen years of age and took up the
battle of self-support. For five years he held a clerkship in the freight depart-
ment of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Upon resigning that posi-
tion he opened the City market, but at the expiration of one year sold the
business. During the ensuing j-ear he was emoloyed as foreman in the
department of maintenance of way with the Southern Pacific Railroad, but
resigned in 1908 and then started the People's market at No. 814 Baker
street. East Bakersfield. On July 1, 1913, he purchased a half interest in the
Metropole market. No. 810 Baker street, in partnership with A. W. Rench,
and they are today conducting not only the largest market of the kind in
East Bakersfield. but one of the largest wholesale and retail enterprises of



HISTORY OF KF.RN COUNTY 1463

the kind in Kern ctmnty. In the niana,u;ement of the market they evince a
desire to please their customers and to meet their diversified needs and pref-
erences. The many responsibilities of the business are met with a keen in-
telligence and a high sense of honor. Mr. Cassady's attention has been given
closely to business and he is independent in his political views. He belongs to
the Knights of Columbus. His family comprises wife and two daughters,
Kathleen and Pauline, his wife having been, prior to the marriage in East
Bakersfield, Miss May Callag>-, for some years a resident of this city, but a
native of Iowa City, Iowa, and reared and educated in Creston, that state.

GEORGE P. THORNBURGH.— Since bringing his family to the west
he has followed agricultural pursuits and at present makes a specialty of
raising hay and of the dairy industry, which are very satisfactory. The one
hundred and si.xty acres knc vvn as the Fujon ranch, which he is holding under
lease, is well adapted to this industry, for seventy acres are in hay and
th:rty-five acres in an excellent pasture. In addition he is devoting con-
siderable attention to the raising of grapes and has a vineyard of thirty-three
acres on the farm.

Of southern parentage Mr. Thornburgh was born in Leavenworth county,
Kan., May 25, 1859, and is a son of John and Rachel (Preston) Thi rnburgh,
the f^ rmer a native of Tennessee, the latter a Kentuckian by birth. .As early
as 1854 the father became a pioneer of Kansas, where he hel ied to lay out
the city of Leavenworth and where for years he engaged in farm pursuits.
There were eight children in the familv, but aside from George P., only three
are now living, namely: P.eniamin, Eliza Jane and John ^^^, all of whom
remain in Kansas. The early recollections of George P. Thornburgh are
associated with the stirring events in Kansas that marked the cl sing era
of the Civil war. The poverty of the family prevented him from securing
a good education, but through observation and reading he has become a
man of broad information. During 1886 he married Miss Flora Young, a
native of Atchison ci unty, Kan., and they settled upon a farm in Leavenworth
county, remaining in Kansas until 1907, when they came to California.

Immed'ately after his arrival in Kern county Mr. Thornburgh rented
land and took ud ranching, which he still follows. During December of 1911
he came to the Fujon ranch which he is holding under a lease of three years
and with the assistance of his family he is making good in his dairying enter-
prises. In his family there are nine children, if whom five have left the
shelter of the parental roof to take up life in homes of their own. The eldest,
Grace May, is the wife of Ora Collins, a hardware merchant of De Ridder,
La. Blanche married J. W. James and lives on a farm in Kern county. Otto
is a mail clerk, with headquarters at Topeka, Kan. Lester married Miss
Myrtle Fowler and is engaged in farming in Kern county. On March 4, 1912,
Elma became the wife of W. E. Addington, foreman ( f the Mitchell garage,
Bakersfield. The four remaining children are still with their parents and are
as follows: Roy, Edith, Everett and Floyd. In his anxiety to secure educa-
tional advantages for his children Mr. Thornburgh has taken a warm interest
in every movement to promote the welfare of local schocils. Since coming
to this county he has served as school trustee, having been re-electid to the
office in the spring of lf^l2. Vineland district, of which he acts as trustee,
has a commodious schorlhouse and boasts one of the best schools in all the
region south of Bakersfield. Politically he has voted with the Democratic
party ever since he attained his majority. However, there is no trace of
partisanship in his opinions, but instead he manifests a warm devotion to
the welfare of county, commonwealth and nation in all those higher interests
that make for the ultimate weal of the people.

J. N. CRAIG. — That Kern county presents exceptional advantages for
agricultural development is the firm belief of J. N. Craig. When first he



1464 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

acquired unimproved acreage in the Weed Patch during the year 1909 he
immediately began the task of placing under a high state of cultivation his
tract oi three hundred and twenty acres, forming the west one-half of sec-
tion 13, township 28, range 31. He is successfully engaged in raising alfalfa
and stock. Since acquiring the property he has erected a commodious resi-
dence of two stories, a substantial barn, a milkhouse and a ranchhouse con-
taining a dining-room and kitchen. While the ranch is under the East Side
canal, a branch of the Kern Island canal, his facilities for the securing of an
adequate supply of water are further enhanced by three wells and two pump-
ing plants for the watering of stock. One of these wells is four hundred
and twenty feet deep and has a never-failing supply cf artesian water.

Born in Florence, Italy, July 8, 1874, Mr. Craig is the son of the late
Eugene and Mary Craig, natives respectively of Pittsburg, Pa., and New-
port, R. I., the former a sculptor and painter of prominence. Educated in
private classical schools in Germany and France Mr. Craig later became a
student in the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, where his father had been
an honorary professor. As a student in the department of architecture he
remained in the academy for two years. Upon coming to America and set-
tling in Los Angeles in 1899, he became interested in the development of
the west and made a study of conditions in various localities. For a time he
operated a ranch in Lower California. In 1902 he was united in marriage
with Miss Edith Murray, of Los Angeles, and they afterward spent three
years in European travel, returning to Los Angeles and from there coming
to Kern county. In his devotion to the progress of Kern county and the
agricultural prosperity of the Weed Patch, he is surpassed by none of the
older residents, and his identification with the locality already is bearing fruit
in an improved agricultural outlook, a more intense interest in local develop-
ment and a deepened faith in this region as one of the garden spots of the
west.

RAY OWEN. — Upon the establishment of a postoffice at Shale in April
of 1912 Mr. Owen received the appointment as postmaster and when in the
same year the Wells-Fargo Express Company opened an office at this point
he was selected to serve as agent. In addiiion to filling these positions he
acts as manager for the Holmes Supply Company at Shale. Although it
was only in April of 1910 that Mr. Owen came to the oil fields of Kern
county, thus identifying himself with an industry in which he had no
previous experience, already he has acquired a wide general knowledge of
the business and a considerable acquaintance among the oil operators, wich
all of whom he is popular.

Mr. Owen is a native of Crawford county, Mich., born November 9,
1885. His education was that afforded by the public schools of the country.
At an early age he became self-supporting. As clerk with mercantile and
other houses in the east he gained his first practical knowledge of business
affairs. For a time he was employed in Bishop's candy and cracker factory.
During a period of four years and ten months he remained with the general
mercantile firm of T. E. Douglass & Co., meanwhile receiving a merited
increase in salary as his knowledge of the business made his services more
valuable. During 1909 he left Michigan and came to California, making
his home in Los Angeles and Covina until August of 1911, when he came
to the oil fields. In April of 1912 he received the appointment as postmaster
at Shale, also acts as agent for Wells-Fargo Express Company, and as
manager for the Holmes Supply Company he has since been a leading busi-
ness man of the new town where he is an influential factor in material
development, maintaining the keenest interest in the development of the
surrounding oil territorv. Since coming to this county he has become a
member of the Knights of Pythias at Taft.

JAMES ERNEST ROBERTS.— A native of Dallas, Texas, born April



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1465

16, 1879, James Ernest Roberts was brought to the county by his parents in
1882. His father, James C. Roberts, is an old settler of Kern county and is
represented elsewhere in this history. Ernest Roberts atcended the public
school and when about sixteen entered the Kern county high school, and
was graduated from the commercial department. At seventeen he began
his connection with the Kern County Land Company, becoming zanjcro on
the Colloway canal. Then he became foreman of the K.ern Island ranch,
and later was cattle foreman at the Greenfield ranch, but he resigned the
latter pcsition to accept the superintendency of the Sol Jcwett
ranch, which he held a year. He resigned then to engage in the
mercantile business in Bakersfield, but in 1905 he sold his business to
start farming on eighty acres of land, a mile and a half west of his present
home place. This tract he rented for three years, at the end of that time
buying his present place of forty acres, which he has developed into one
of the best ranches of its size in the vicinity. It is under the Beardsley
canal and is all under cuhivation, being devoted to alfalfa, producing from
six to eight tons to the acre. Each year he rents land from the company
on which he raises barley and corn, and he has been very successful ; he has
raised as hich an average as a ton and a half of corn to the acre on one
hundred and sixty acres, which is a banner crop for the valley.

In Bakersfield, August 31, 1902, Mr. Roberts married Mary McCaffrey,
who was born in Kern county, December 7, 1879, the daughter of John
McCaffrey, who is represented elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs.
Roberts have two sons, Evvell and Cecil. Mr. Roberis has fraternal affilia-
tions with the Woodmen of the World. As a farmer and as a man of affairs
he brings to the solution of his difficulties a knowledge of details which
renders him successful beyond many of his competitors.

JOHN HALLORAN. — The Kern County Land Company had no more
conscientious or trustworthy employe than John Halloran, whose term of
service under them covered abou: twenty-three years, during which time
he proved himself a most valuable worker. He has spent the last thirty
years of his life in Bakerslield, whither he came to seek his fortune. He was
born in County Clare, Ireland, June 2A, 1864, and until he was seventeen re-
mained at home with his parents. Embarking for New York he first obtained
work in Catskill, Greene county, N. Y., becoming an employe of Peter Shell,
for whom he labored for five years. Being a great reader he found many
articles on California and its prosperous conditions, and at last an article in a
Los Angeles newspaper caused him to make his decision to come to California,
and in 1884 came to Kern county, where he has since made his home. In
190S he purchased sixty acres of land., which has been improved and is now
in a high state of cultivation.

In Kern county, in 1898, ]\fr. Halloran was married to Miss Delilia
McCaffery, who was born in New York and came with her parents to Kern
county in 1876, when she was but three years of age. Her parents settled here
and made it their home, and here their deaths occurred. Mrs. Halloran had
eisfht brothers and sisters, all but two of whom live in Kern county, among
them, Peter, who is a foreman at >^cKittrick ranch ; James, who is farming in
Kern county ; Thomas, who is employed by the Kern River Mills ; and a sister,
who is the wife of Dan ^Voodson, a farmer of Kern county. Mrs. Halloran
was reared in Bakersfield, where she at;ended the public schools, and she now
presides over her home with quiet grace, taking the greatest interest in the
education of her children and the systematic conduct of her household. Three
children were born to I^'^r. and ^Trs. Halloran, Curtis, Lizzie and Francis, all
of whom reflect credit upon their excellent training and the refining influence
of their parents. They are all members of the Catholic Church, and in political
sentiment the father unites with the Republican party.

FRANK ORR.— A native sen, Frank Orr was born in 1858, in Sacra-



1466 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

mento, where his parents, Chambers and Martha J. Orr made their home for
a considerable period. The mother died in middle age ; the father, who had
crossed the plains shortly after the discovery of gold in the west, tried his
luck in the mines without encouraging success and then turned to carpen-
tering. As a contractor and builder he assisted in the pioneer development
of Sacramento and San Francisco and even came as far to the south as Bakers-
field, where he had the contract for the building of the Masonic Temple. Up
to the time of his death he continued in the building business. His son,
Frank, who was next to the youngest among four children, passed his early
years in Sacramento, where he attended the public schools. Early in life he
began to earn a livelihLod for himself in the employ of the Southern Pacific
Railroad Company. At first he was given the humblest duties, finally became
an engineer running out from Bakersfield. where he ran a switch engine
in the yards. During that period of labor he bought a lot and built a cottage
in Kern, now East Bakersfield.

Resigning from the railroad service about 1899 after a long period of
faithful idenfification with the Southern Pacific Company, Mr. Orr spent
some time as a prosiect( r and miner in Inyo county. Although he gained
no wealth from his expeditions, he found the work exciting and interesting,
and he still retains mining interests, but since 1909 he has given his attention
principally to the proprietorship of the Lone Pine house at Mojave, which
he owns and manages. His wife, who assists him in the suoervision of the
hotel, was in maidenhood Miss Stella Holmes, a native cf Bradford, Pa., and
the daughter of Frank and Harriett (Tellus) Holmes, natives of Bradford, Pa.
Her father, a druggist, removed to Toledo, where Mrs. Orr was reared and
educated. She has three brothers, one a general manager and two superintend-
ents with the Central Union Telephone Company of Columbus, Ohio. While
he has not been a partisan in political sentiments Mr. Orr stanchly believes
in the platform and principles of the Republican party. Fraternally he holds
membership with the Loyal Order of Moose.

JOHN CLICKARD. — Born near Peru, Miami county, Ind., February II,
1855, John Clickard was the son of George and Mary A. (Wallig) Clickard,
natives of Germany, who were farmers in Washington township, Miami
county, Ind., where John was reared on the farm and also learned the car-
penter's trade. Having advanced in the public schools until he obtained a
teacher's certificate he taught school and in that way made the money to
complete a course in pedagogy and law at the Northern Indiana Normal at
Valparaiso. After receiving his diploma he was admitted to the practice
of law in Peru, Ind. For a while he followed his profession, but a spell of
sickness came on, and after his recovery he gave uo the practice of law and
continued teaching. While residing in Peru he served two terms as alder-
man.

In 1897 he came to Tulare county, Cal, and for a time engaged at the
carpenter trade at Sugar Loaf Mountain. In 1900 he came to Woody, locating
his present himestead and while improving it he worked as foreman rig
builder in the Kern River and McKittrick oil fields. He also spent considerable
time constructing the buildings for Joseph Weringer at Weringdale and the
Greenback mine. All this time he has engaged in the cattle business, leasing
considerable land adjcining his homestead for that purpose.

Mr. Clickard was married in Peru, Ind., being united with Miss Sarah
Pierce, who was born in the same county, and they have four children as fol-
lows: Nellie, Mrs. Smith, resides near Woody; Frank, Bessie and Ruth, who
reside at hi-me, the son being interested with Mr. Clickard in stock-raising.
Fraternally the father was made a Mason in Peru, Ind., and is now a member
of Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M. Politically he is independent, pre-



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1467

ferring to cast his vote for the men of his choice ratlier than be bound by
party ties.

GABRIEL CHAVEZ.— A native son of the comnionwealth is Gabriel
Chavez, who was horn at New .Ahnaden, Santa Clara connty, March 18, 1876.
Be:no; left an orphan he came with his uncle to Kernville, Kern county, in
1882 and from that time he began making his own way as best he could,
working for his board and going to school until he reached an age when he
could be empk)yed at mining, and later on he worked on ranches. In 1901 he
entered the employ of the Kern River C< mpany as driver with the engineer
corps. A year later he was given charge of the stock and stables, serving
thus until he was made foreman of the Beatty ranch at Kernville for the com-
pany, which jjosition he has held ever since. The ranch is now owned by the
Pacific Light and Power Cornoration. In connection with the supervising
of the ranch he also looks after the head work of the canal and displays good
judgment in the dispatch of the different tasks that arise in the discharge of
his duties.

In March, 1911, at Kernville, occurred the marriage of Cabriel Chavez
with Miss Alice Tuttle, a native of New York state. Fraternally he is a
member of Kernville Li dge No. 2.^1. I. O. O. F., while in his political views
he is an ardent Republican.

MRS. LIZZIE McGUIRK KERSEY.— The present postmaster and mer-
chant at Piute, Lizzie McGuirk Kersey, is a native daughter, born on Bear
River. Yuba county, Cal. She is the daughter of Andrew McGuirk, a pioneer
of the state, who was born in Cc unty Kildare, Ireland, and came to California
in the early '50s, being engaged in mining in the Sierra Nevadas. He was
married in Grass Valley to Mary Casey, also a native of Ireland, and they,
removed in 1860 to Visalia, where he was engaged in packing to the mines
at Keyesville and also to Coso, Inyo county. On the last train he sent to
Coso the IVTexican packer was killed by the Indians and the goods stolen.

In 1863 Mr. McGuirk located at Havilah, where he followed mining and
teaming until 1870, then settling on a homestead in Walkers Basin, where he
died in 1875. His wife survived him manv years and died in Randsburcr in
1903. Of their union there were eight children, five of whom are living. Mrs.
Kersey being the third eldest. She received her education in the public schools
of Havilah and \\'alkers Basin and at St. Vincents Convent, Santa Barbara.
Her first marriage was in 1876, uniting her with James Scobie, a native of
County Antrim, Ireland, who was one of the early pn spectors and miners in
Kern county, being located at what is now Piute as earlv as 1865. Later on
he was one of the discoverers of the Panamint mines. He died in Walkers
Basin in 1888, leaving one son. Tames Scobie. who is now assisting his mother.
Her second marriage was in Bakersfield to \\^illiam Shi'^sey. wh( m she after-
wards divorced. The three children of this union, Fdward. Annie F,. and
William V., are with her and have been reared with care and each of them
given a commercial education and are graduates of the P.nkersfield Business
College. The mother is now Mrs. Kersey. Ever since 1876 she has encraged
in farming and cattle-raising at Piute, where she owns six hundred acres in
a brdy, her brand being a capital N and a cross. She is also engaged in
mining and mercantile business and in her store at Piute she has the post
ofifice, for she has been the prstmaster for the past eighteen years. In con-
nection with her store she owns a pack train, engaged in packing goods
and material to the different mines in the district. For many years she
served as a member of the school board, most of the time as clerk of the board.
Politically she is a Democrat and is a member of the County Central Com-
mittee.

EDWARD A. DAVID.— From his earliest recollections he has been
familiar with farming. The clearest recollections of childhood are those asso-



1468 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

ciated with the then frontier of Missouri, where he helped to till the soil and
harvest the crops, doing a man's part in the field while lie was yet a mere boy.
The family was poor and the struggle for a livelihood keen. Switzerland was
his native county in Indiana, being born near Allensville, September 25, 1857.
He was the son of William Atwell and Prudence (Ray; David. In 1859,
when the son was two years old, the parents removed to Holt county, Mo.,
where the father died during the same year. The death of the mother occurred
in Kirksville, Mo. While his mother sent him to the county schools as much
as possible, he was so greatly needed at home that his educational advantages
were meager and his present broad fund of information results from habits of
careful reading rather than from attendance at school. When he was fourteen
years of age his mother died and he went to work on farms in Missouri, con-
tinuing this until he came to the Pacific coast.

Upon arriving in California March 19, 1887, Mr. David was without
means for the purchase of land, but it was possible for him to take up a gov-
ernment claim and he therefore located one hundred acres in the Rio Bravo
country. For eleven years he lived on the homestead, meanwhile filing his
claim, proving up on the land and acquiring a clear title to the property.
As he was entirely without capital for the working of the land he engaged with
neighboring farmers and the wages thus earned helped him with the develop-
ment of his own properly. Then, as now, it was no easy task to improve a farm
when without funds and he was handicapped constantly by this lack, but
finally he emerged from the most discouraging of his troubles and entered upon
a greater agricultural independence. With his removal to and leasing of
forty acres twelve miles west of Bakersfield in the Rosedale colony he found
conditions more favorable and in 1899 he bought the nucleus cf the tract which
now forms his homestead. This he added to at different times until he now
owns one hundred acres in a body under the Colloway canal. This he checked
and leveled and sowed to alfalfa and it is now well improved with suitable
buildings. In Taberville, St. Clair CLunty, Mo., September 23, 1877, occurred
the marriage of Mr. David to Miss Catherine A. Baker, who was born in
Clinton, Henry county, iMo., the daughter of Stephen P. and Catherine Baker,
early settlers of Missouri. Of their union have been born eight children:
Katie, Mrs. Spurlin of this vicinity; Daniel, who assists on the farm; John, of
Los Angeles ; Vernie, of Panama, this county ; Maude, Mrs. Krause, of Rose-
dale ; Artie, at home; Eddie, who died in 1912, at the age of fourteen years;



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 162 of 177)