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 164 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 164 of 177)
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not the least of which is in his capacity of drillmaster of the Bakersfield local
team in Aerie 93 Order of Eagles, of which he is a member. Mr. Massa is a
Democrat. From June 3, 1912, to January 7, 1913, he was president of the
Labor Council of Bakersfield.

CHARLES BRANCH TIBBETTS.— Born at Alpha Flill, Nevada county,
Cal., January 29, 1859, C. B. Tibbetts is a sen of Roswell G. Tibbetti, who
came from the state of Maine as second mate on a sailing vessel around Cape
Horn to San Francisco in 1850. His wife was named Helen Branch and
resides in Oakland, while he died in Bakersfield. Charles Branch was the
oldest of a family of seven children and received his education in the schools
of Santa Cruz county. In 1879 he came to Kernville and for two years was
employed by the Big Blue Mining Company, hauling quartz on contract.
He hauled twenty-four tons a day with a four-horse team and averaged
?10 per day above expenses. These savings he invested in cattle and bought
land on the North Fork, establishing his ranch headquarters opposite the old



HISTORY OF KF.RX COUXTV 1475

mill. Ilis brand was the double TT. He continued in the cattle business
until 1897, when he made the trip to Alaska, packing fifteen hundred pounds of
notions over the Chilcoot trail, built a boat and conveyed them down the
Yukon to Dawson, where he immediateU' sold them at a good profit and
returned home via St. Michaels. On his return he had a contract packing goods
into the mountains for the Kern River Company, then contracted to furnish the
same company with meat, but the second year he sold his business and located
in Bakersfield, investing in real estate there and at Sawtelle. In the latter
place in 1504 he built the first brick store, which he still owns, besides owning
residence property there. In Sawtelle he had the mail contract and ran the
buss between Sawtelle and the Soldiers' Home, but sold when the car line
was built. In Bakersfield he has built a store building and two dwellings on F
street near the Santa Fe depot. Of late he is spending the greater part of the
year in Kernville, where he is road overseer of the district.

In Kernville June 7, 1893, occurred the marriage of Mr. Tibbetts and
Emma L. Klosa, a native daughter i f Ventura. Her father, Louis Klusa. was
an early settler of California and died on his farm near Kernville, while her
mother, now Mrs. Anna Lurch, is one of the honored old settlers of Kern-
ville. To Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Tibbetts were born three children, as follows:
Roswell, a graduate of the Bakersfield Business College; Harry, who was
accidentally dn wned in the Kern river in July, 1913, aged seventeen ; and Carla
B. Mr. Tibbetts has always manifested an active interest in politics and is a
stanch Republican.

ELI BLANC. — The third of a family of four children, whose parents,
Casimir and Theresa Blanc, are deceased, Eli Blanc was born November 11,
1871, at La Batineuve, Ilautes-Alpes, France, and spent the years of boyhood
upon a farm near the foothills of the Alps mountains, where he grew familiar
with the care of sheep. His schooling, although somewhat irregular, was
thorough and gave him an excellent education in the French language. When
about eighteen years of age he came to California in 1889 and found employ-
ment near East Bakersfield (then called Sumner) with a sheep-raiser in the
Pos.i creek country, where he remained for two years as a herder. Mean-
while he had started a small bunch of sheep as an individual flock. As the
number increased he felt justified in giving to the flock his entire time and
attenticn. For the most part he ranged the animals along Poso creek and
in the hills and the location has proved so satisfactory that he still retains his
flocks in that country, having at this time a large drove of merinos as fine
of fleece as may be found. Meanwhile he has bought a home at No. 831 Hum-
boldt street, East Bakersfield, also has acquired other property at this place,
and he is further an active member c,f the Kern County Live Stock Association.

The marriage of Mr. Blanc and Miss Louise Raymond took place at Ba-
kersfield October 28, 1901. and has been blessed with six children, viz. : Louise,
Henry, Elise, Olga, Eli Jr., and Armand. A resident of California since about
the year 18'*'8, Mrs. Blanc is of French birth and ancestry and was born at Pont
du Fosse, Hautes-Alpes, being a daughter of Auguste and Rose Raymond,
members of the farming community of Hautes-Alpes at the eastern edge of
France. Both parents are now deceased. By a singular coincidence their four
surviving children all live in East Bakersfield. from which pi int the two broth-
ers of Mrs. Blanc, Jean and Peter Raymond, superintend their large sheep in-
terests. The eldest member of the family, Rose, is the wife of Vincent Ramljaud.
Since becoming a citizen of our country Mr. Blanc has aflfiliated with the
Republican party and has given stanch suppi rt to its principles. In religion
he and his family are actively identified with St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

WILLIAM H. McCLURE.— Too much credit cannot be given to the
men who spend their lives at the front looking after the construction of new
enterprises. Such positions are fraught with danger as well as privation, yet



1476 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

to their promoters the country owes its greatness. Such a man is William H.
McClure, who was born in Buffalo, N. Y., in 1856, but removed to Marquette,
Mich., when a mere child with his father, James McClure. There he grew
to manhood and received his education in the public schools. After com-
pleting his education he began working as a miner and later became foreman
in the Washington mines. About 1877 he removed to Oshkosh, Wis., and
there began work in the woods. Two months later he was placed in charge of
the camp for Spaulding & Peck, filling the position of foreman for a period of
two years. Next he accepted a pcsition as foreman on construction of the
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad in Minnesota, a year being spent in
taking out rock cuts and driving tunnels.

On the completion of the road Mr. McClure became a contractor on the
Northern Pacific Railroad in Minnesota, furnishing ties and timbers for
eighteen months. About 1883 he came west and made an extended trip along
the Pacific coast. On his return to St. Paul he entered the employ of Iveefe
& Duffy, contractors on the Great Northern, for two years filling the position
of superintendent of construction from Pacific Juncticn west. He then filled a
similar position with W. D. Bailey, railroad contractor, building from Duluth
to Tower, Minn. This took three and one-half years, at the expiration of
which time he came again to the Pacific ccast in 1899 and entered the employ
of the Edison Electric Company (now the Southern California Edison Electric
Company) as foreman on construction of the Kern River No. 1 plant. In
1906 he became superintendent in charge of all the works en System 3 and as
such began the work. Since then he has surveyed and built about forty miles
of road and has done the preliminary work towards bringing the North Fork
through the mountains by tunnel, a distance of fourteen miles to the power
plant, which will give a fall of nine hundred feet. The tunnel has already
been started and the work is progressing satisfactorily. The work of the com-
pany has been of great benefit to Kern county, as it has opened a road
along the north fork of the Kern river heretofore accessible only by trail, but
now used by automobilists, thus penetrating in a day's journey of ease the
beauties and grandeur of the high Sierras in Kern county.

Personally Mr. McClure is well and favorably known. Not only in Kern
county, but throughout the entire state he has hosts of friends and well-
wishers. Fraternally he is a member of Bakersfield Lodge No. 266, B. P. O. E.

FRANK ANDERSON.— Twenty-five miles north of Des Moines in the
then sparsely settled county of Polk in Iowa, at the farm home of Nelson
Anderson a son, Frank, was born September 14, 1854. The father, a native of
Syracuse, N. Y., had been one of the earliest settlers of Polk county, having
located a raw tract of land on the barren prairie during 1838. Aside from the
tilling of the soil he ran a blacksmith shop and attended to repairing the
machinery and vehicles of the husbandmen of the community in those primi-
tive days. In such an environment the son was taught the trades of black-
smith and carriage-maker and he remained with his father until twenty-three
years of age. During 1885 he made his way to Colorado, where he followed
mining. In 1886 he came to California and operated a combined harvester in
Sonoma county. Coming to Kern county in 1887, he conducted a blacksmith
shop at Lebec and also engaged in prospecting and mining. In 1904 he made
the voyage to South Africa, where he welded steel in Kimberly until he
became somewhat familiar with the different forms of diamond mining. While
operating a placer diamond mine he made $?2,000 in four months. On the
return trip to California he spent some time in England. His next trip was to
the Copper river in Alaska, from which country he returned to Kern county.
In 1911 he settled at Wasco, where he built his present shop and embarked
in general blacksmithing and repair work, in which he is very skilled.



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 1477

AUGUST KLINGENBERG.— This well-known contractor in East Ba-
kersfield was born in Dansig, Germany, December 30, 1857, the son of Cor-
nelius and Charlotte (Dravitz) Klingenberg, who with their family removed to
Southern Russia. From that country in 1875 they came to the United States
and settled in Marion county, Kans., later going to Kirk, Colo., and eventually
to Minnesota, where the father died. The mother, at the age of ninety-three,
is now making her home in East Bakersfield. After becoming a resident of
Kansas, August Klingenberg t( ok up farming pursuits in Marion county.
That occupation engaged his attention until he located in Henderson, York
county, Neb., in 1886, when he began as a contractor for stonework and plas-
tering. During 1893 he removed to Mountain Lake, Minn., where he followed
the same business for eleven years. Next he established himself in business at
Lovcland, Ci- lo. The year 1908 found him in Bakersfield, where he took up
contracting and building, and he is now located on Humboldt street. East Ba-
kersfield, where he manufactures cement blocks in addition to following his
regular line of work.

The marriage of Mr. Klingenberg took place in Marion county, Kans.,
and united him with ]\Iiss Anna Schoenhofif, also a native of Germany. They are
the parents of eight children, as follows: Nettie, who married J. E. VViens,
of East Bakersfield, and has three children; Henry A., of Bakersfield. who is
married and the father of three children; Anna, Mrs. Henry Wall, of Chey-
enne, Wyo., who has three children: Cornelius, of Montana; Peter, of East
Bakersfield, who has two children; August C, of Denver, Cclo., who is mar-
ried and has one child ; Mary and Louise, who reside at home. An enterprising
citizen, i\Ir. Klingenberg is willing to do all he can to advance the interests
of the community. Religiously he is a member of the Mennonite Brethren
Church.

MISS ANNA CLAR. — The leading exclusive ladies' and gents' furnish-
ing goods establishment in East Bakersfield is presided over by Miss Clar,
who received her education in Philadelphia and the Lincoln school, San Fran-
cisco, also in the schools of Selma, Cal., under Prof. Walker, after which she
engaged in the millinery business in Visalia and then opened a dressmaking
parlor in Kern, now East Bakersfield. In 1910 she started the present store
at No. 727 Baker street, where individually she has built up a large business.

Miss Clar is the daughter of Ludwig S. and Anna (Heidricli) Clar, na-
tives of Poland and Saxony, Germany, respectively. In 1884 they came to
Philadelphia, Pa., and in March, 1889, to San Francisco, Cal. Following the
tailor's trade there and later at Visalia, Hanford, Lemoore, and Selma until
February, 1894, Mr. Clar then located in Kern (now East Bakersfield) where
he engaged as a merchant tailor at No. 816 Baker street. The mother of Miss
Clar is assisting the daughter in the mercantile business. Anna Clar is a
member of Kern Lodge No. 58, Fraternal Brotherhood, and St. Joseph's
Catholic Church.

HARRY Le ROY COLEMAN.— Recognized as c ne of the competent
men in the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad company, ]\lr. Coleman has been
stationed on the Bakersfield divisii n for a number of years as locomotive
engineer. During his employment he never has had an accident or even any
serious delay. In the Brotherhood f.f Locomotive Engineers he has been a
local worker and a generous contributor to its helpful charities. Although he
came to California from Colorado and had lived in Denver during the years
of youth, Mr. Coleman is a native cf Kansas and was born at Washington,
Washington county, April 4, 1881, being the eldest among four children form-
ing the family of George F. and Albina (Smith) Coleman, natives respectively
of Ohio and Indiana. The father, a miller by occupation, engaged in that work
for some years in Kansas and from that state moved to Colorado in 1891,



1478 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

settling in Denver. At this writing he and his wife make their home in Los
Angeles. When ten years of age Harry LeRoy Coleman accom :)anied his
parents from Kansas to Colorado and later attended the Denver public schools,
upon leaving school he served an apprenticeship to the trade of machinist
in the Burnham shops of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad. On the expi-
ration of his time he was made a fireman out from Pueblo on the Atchison,
Topeka & Santa F"e railroad and continued in the same place until 1903, when
he resigned to remove to California.

After six months as a fireman on the Southern Pacific railroad out from
Los Angeles, followed by a tour of inspection through Mexico and the south-
ern part of our own ccuntry, Mr. Coleman resumed work with the Los Angeles
division, but in May of 19C4 he began as fireman out from Needles on the Santa
Fe railroad. Fidelity to every duty caused him to be promoted to the position
of engineer in December, 1906, and ever since then he has been with the same
company in the same capacity, his runs having been out from Needles. Bakers-
field and Mcjave. ^Vhile living in Los Angeles he formed the acquaintance of
Miss Ethel E. Compton and they were married in 1904 in that city. For a
time they lived at Mojave, but now they reside at No. 711 K street, Bakersfield.
Mrs. Coleman is a woman of education and an earnest member of the Chris-
tian Church. Although much of her life has been passed in this state she is a
native of Oregon, born in Jackson county, where her father, William J., was a
well-known resident, and her grandfather, Juhn Compton, an honored and
influential pioneer.

DANIEL RICE MILLER.— Both through his father, David Miller, who
more than sixty years ago conducted a cooper shop in Harrison county, Ind.,
and through his mother, who bore the maiden name of Mary Ellen Miller,
the gentleman whose name intrt duces this narrative traces his genealogy to
Germany, but both of these families (unrelated, although bearing the same
name) have been represented in the new world since the colonial period. The
mother was a daughter of Gen. James Miller, a patriot of national renown and
intrepid valor, who in young manhood served as sheriff if Hardin county. Ky.,
a region known chiefly through having been the birthplace of Abraham Lin-
coln. At the opening of the war cf 1812 this gallant young Iventuckian offered
his services to his country and, while acting as a lieutenant-colonel, was sent
with tri ops to open communication with the base of supplies at Raisin
river. In the course of the journey he was attacked by an ambuscade at Ma-
guaga, but after a brave fight of two hours he and his men routed the enemy,
forcing them to flee to their boats. In that brief battle the Indians lost one hun-
dred and the English about fifty, while the American loss was very small.
Even greater honor came to General Miller at Lundy's Lane in 1814. This
engagement, known also as the battle of Bridgewater or Niagara, was one of
the hardest ever fought considering the number of the participants. When the
crisis of the battle was at its height and the English guns seemed impregnable,
Colonel Miller at the head of his regiment, in the midst of the greatest peril
to themselves, shot down every man at the guns, rushed forward in the face
of sharp fire and captured the guns. This turned the tide of victory and gave
to the brave leader of the American troops a renown that is deathless.

The discovery of gold in California was the attraction that caused the
Miller family to give up their home in Indiana and remove to the then un-
known regions along the Pacific coast. Early in 1850 they joined an expedition
that journeyed across the plains with ox-teams and wagons. At that time
there were five children in the family, namely: Sarah, who later married
William Gregory and is now living at Reno, Nev. ; David and Nicholas, both
now deceased ; Daniel Rice, who was born in Harrison county, Ind., August 3,
1843, and was less than seven at the time of leaving Indiana ; and John W.,



HISTORY OF KRRX COITNTY 1479

now a resident of Najia county, this state. Two children were born after the
family settled in Califurnia, namely: Isaac L., the present county clerk of
Kern county, Cal. ; and Gilla Ann, wife of (ieorge F. Mack, who for many years
was school superintendent of Amador county and at the present time is cashier
of the bank at lone, where he now resides.

About the 1st of September, 1850, the family arrived in Fldorado county.
Besides engaging in gold mining at Coal Springs, that county, David Miller
carried on a hotel. The boy, who was only seven at the time the family settled
in the mining district, found much to interest him in the life of the camp
and did not then realize his deprivation in a lack of any educational advan-
tages. When his father took up a government homestead in 1854 he began to
assist him in the difficult task of transforming a raw tract into a productive
ranch. From an early age he has earned his own way in the world and
at the age of twenty-one he left home to go to Nevada, where he engaged as
clerk in a hotel at Washoe, City. After a year as hotel clerk he took a contract
to cut saw-logs in the woids for the Virginia mines. Altogether he spent three
years in Nevada and then returned to Coal Springs, where he engaged in
merchandising. In the mean time his father died and he bought the old family
home. Conditions had changed in the surrounding country. The era of gold
excitement had passed and with it went the period of high prices. In the
early days meals were $1 each, pork fifty cents per pound, pies $1 each and
bread $1 per loaf, other things being in proportion. On the other hand, many
of the miners made money easily and were willing to spend without stint. He
recalls how, when employed by leading miners, he took out of the placer mines
as much as $1,000 per day, with the assistance of only one helper.

The marriage of Mr. Miller in 1873 united him with Miss Mary Ellen Gard-
ner, who was born in Eldorado county, Cal., in 1856, the daughter of George
and Betsey Gardner, pioneers of 1852 in California, where her father for years
engaged in business as a nurseryman. After his marriage Mr. Miller engaged
in general farming, improved a tract of raw land, then sold the place and in
1879 came to Kern county. On the present site of the Southern hotel. Bakers-
field, he conducted the French hotel, then the leading hostelry in the county,
and which under the supervision of himself and wife retained its firm hold upon
the good-will of the traveling public. After a year at the French, he bought
the Central hotel at Sumner (later known as Kern, now East Bakersfield").
Where that inn then stood now stands the Metropole h( tel. After four
years as proprietor of the Central he leased it and later sold out. For about
si.x years he lived at Tulare, then spent two years at Fresno and from there
returned to Bakersfield, where he kept a lodging house until the building was
destroyed by fire. His next step was to buy a tract of ten acres south of Ba-
kersfield and here he has since made his home, with the help of his capable
wife improving the little property and greath^ enhancing its attractions as
well as its productiveness. As early as 1884 he located twenty-two hundred
acres of oil land at Sunset, Kern county, but since then he has not been inter-
ested in the oil industry Mr Miller is a Mason. His parents and family were
Methodists. At the present time, although not a member of any denomination,
he is in sympathy with the Episcopal Church, to which his wife belongs and
with her he has contributed to its maintenance. While he has never aspired to
office, he has been a stanch Democrat and has attended the greater number of
the state conventions of the party, has kept posted concerning political issues
and has enjoyed the acquaintance of many of the leading politicians of the
state.

JOHN FRANCIS MAIO.— The death of John Francis Maio, which oc-
curred May 10, 1912, in Bakersfield, from the eflfects of an injury received
from being thrown to the ground while leading a mule to water, removed from



1480 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

the vicinity a citizen whose broad charities and gentle influence for good
were deeply felt throughout the long period of his residence here. A man
of strong personality, in temperament optimistic, he displayed a spirit and
influence that proved a factor for good in all emergencies, and he was looked
upon by all who knew him as a man whose kind sympathies and helping
hand were ever at their disposal at the time of need and adversity. His
genial disposition and cordial, courteous mannerisms drew to him a host of
friends who have felt deeply the great loss of his companionship and strong
influence for good among them.

Mr. Maio is a native son of the Golden state, having been born in San
Francisco November 4, 1854. His father, Victor A. Maio, was born in France
and during the gold excitement in 1849 came to the United States, making
San Francisco his point of destination. He finally removed to Kern county,
where the remainder of his life was spent. The son, John F., grew to young
manh. od in his native city, receiving thorough training in the public schools
there and then entering Christian Brothers College in Iowa, from which
latter institution he was graduated. Pharmacy had early attracted Mr. Maio
as a desirable line to follow, he being led to this decision by his experience in
a drug store in San Francisco, and he accordingly entered the College of
Pharmacy there and received his pharmaceutical degree upon graduation. In
Virginia City, Nev., he established a drug store and in its successful conduct
continued until the year 1880, when disposing of it he came to Bakersfield
and started a similar store on Nineteenth street, on the present site of the
Gundlach shoe store, and here he remained for many years, administering
faithfully to the wants of his many patrons, and becoming a prominent factor
in the business world of the city.

Shrewd perception and observation convinced Mr. Maio of the advis-
ability of investing in real-estate in his vicinity, the value having increased
rapidly and the future appearing even brighter, so he disp' sed of his drug
interests and entered the real-estate business. Investing also in farm lands,
he finally bought a ranch of twelve hundred and sixty acres about twenty-
five miles from Bakersfield and one mile above Granite, where he engaged in
farming and stock-raising, his product being chiefly grain and stock. Later
he had the mail contract between Bakersfield and Glennville and fi^r many
years ran a tri-weekly stage between these points. Since Mr. Maio's death it
has been rented, his wife having found the duties of its conduct too arduous
for her to undertake.

The Fraternal Brotherhood claimed Mr. Maio as a member. In political
sentiment a stanch Democrat, he had ever adhered to its principles and served
as county core ner and public administrator with satisfaction to all. His public
services were not alone confined to the duties of his offices, for he was active
in all public movements where the services of public-soirited citizens were
needed. In San Francisco he married Rachel A. Edmonds, whose birth took
place in Eugene, Ore., she being the daughter of William and Adeline



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 164 of 177)