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 167 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 167 of 177)
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thorough knowledge of the furniture business. These two occupations he
followed at Cross Timbers for a number of years and during that period
of business identification with his native town he married Miss Anna Sjiickert,
by whom he has a daughter, Eunice. Accompanied by his family he came
to California during the latter part of 1909 and after more than a year in
Los Angeles removed to Taft in April of 1911, since which time he has had
charge of the Midway bottling works and has built up a modest but suc-
cessful business. Ever since attaining his majority he has voted the Demo-
cratic ticket in all elections. During the period of his residence in Los
Angeles he became connected with the Gulden State Camp of Woodmen,
while prior to his removal to the west he was an active worker in a Mis-
souri lodge of Odd Fellows and is still remembered as one of the popular
members of that organization at Preston in Hickory county.

JOY J. RICHART.— Since September of 1910 the development of the
Cheney-Stimpson Oil Company has been carried on under Joy J. Richart
as superintendent, to whose ability and careful oversight may he attributed'
the profitable continuance of the enterprise. The holdings of the company
include twenty acres lying on section 23, township 32, range 23. where
drilling was started February 7, 1910, and where since there have been devel-
oped six producing wells. Four of these wells, Nos. 1, 2, 8 and 10, had been
drilled prior to the association of Mr. Richart with the work and since then
he has superintended the drilling of Nos. 3 and 7. Every modern equip-
ment has been provided. The first-class condition of the lease renders pos-
sible the maximum of production and there is now an average monthly out-
put of ten thousand barrels cf oil of fourteen degrees gravity. The lease
ranks as one of the most profitable small properties in the field.

From his earliest recollections Mr. Richart has been more or less famil-
iar with the oil industry, for he was born and reared in Crawford county,
111., for years a center of that business. His parents. Watts and Fannie
(Connett) Richart, devoted their active years to agriculture in that county,
where the father died about 1899, and where the mother still remains at the
old homestead. Eight children comprised the family, namely:, wife
of C. C. Baker, a merchant at Alma, 111. ; Kate, who married F. M. Cullson,
a farmer in Lawrence county, 111. ; Charles I., an operator with the Rig
4 Railroad Company, now stationed at Flatrock, Crawford county. III.; Anna,
wife of J. W. Fantz, a driller in the Flatrock oil field in Illinois; Myrtle, who
is with her mother; Edith, who died at the age of thirteen years; Joy J.,
who was born November 28, 1887, and is the only member of the family to
remove from Illinois; and Grace, who resides with her mother at the old
homestead. During early life Joy J. Richart attended school, worked on
the home farm and had considerable experience as clerk in a store. When
nineteen years of age he secured employment in the oil field near Robinson,
Crawford county. With the Hazelwood Oil Company and the Ohio Oil
Company he had a valuable experience of four years. Arriving at Rakers-
field December 13, 1*^09, he sought employment in the oil fields. For three
months he was employed as a gang-pusher on the San Joaquin division of
the Associated, after which he came over to the Midway, sought employ-
ment on 25 Hill and adjoining leases and in less than three days secured
a position as production foreman with the Cheney-Stimnson Oil Company,
whose holdings he since has developed with profit to the company.


The marriage of Mr. Richart took place in Effingham county, 111., and
united him with Miss Mabel, daughter of George and Caroline (Fite) Eagle-
ton, of Crawford county, 111., the former deceased, the mother still living.
Mrs. Richart was for three years before her marriage identified with the
educational profession of Crawford county, 111., being recognized as one of
the best teachers enrolled. In the Eagleton family there were ten children
and si.x of these attained mature years, namely : Viola, who married John D.
Price, a farmer of Crawford county. 111., and died leaving one child ; Sadie,
wife of F. L. Price, agent for the Prudential Life Insurance Company and a
resident of Robinson, Crawford county; James C, a rancher in Colorado;
Ota Earl, who is engaged in the meat business and in ranching at Sugar
City, Otero county, Colo.; Mabel, Mrs. Richart; and George H., who is em-
ployed on the Cheney-Stimpson lease in the Midway field. Since coming
to this location Mr. Richart has been identified with the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows at Taft. With characteristic thrift he has invested his sav-
ings in land and is now the owner of forty acres in Merced county, on the
state highway, convenient to the Southern Pacific Railroad and to the San
Joaquin Light and Power Corporation. The tract is now under cultiva-
tion to melons and sweet potatoes, and is irrigated by means of pumping
plants operated by electric motors. The land is worth $250 per acre and
its fine improvements and high state of cultivation afford convincing evi-
*dence as to the capable oversight of the owner.

REV. JOHN H. BOESE.— The genealogy of the Boese family is traced
to Germany, whence the paternal s',randfather migrated to Poland, the birth-
place of Henry Boese, who became a farmer in Molotschnah Colonic, Rus-
sia, and there Rev. John H. Boese was born September 25, 1844. The family
continued in Russia until 1879 and then immigrated to America, settling on
a farm in Marion county, Kan., where Henry Boese died. The eldest child
in the family, John H., worked hard from a lad to assist in the maintenance
of the others. Meanwhile he learned the German language in the local
schools. In 1867 he married Miss Lizzie VVarkentin, who died in 1875.
Afterward he was united with Miss Lizzie Fast, daughter of Rev. Peter
Fast, a preacher and educator who followed these professions until his death.

Upon settling in Kansas John H. Boese purchased eighty acres of land
and engaged in raising grain until 1889, when he removed to Granada,
Colo. There he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he
proved up on and then sold. His next location was Kirk, Colo., where he
filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, but after an attempt
he found the land too dry and abandoned the claim. After a year at La Junta
he purchased a farm near Pueblo and engaged in farming there until 1910,
when he came to California. Soon afterward he bought forty acres under
the Beardsley canal, ten miles northwest of Bakersfield. The improvements
are of a permanent character, including a concrete house, substantial out-
buildings and an excellent pumping plant. The farm is devoted to alfalfa.

By his first marriage Mr. Boese became the father of two children now
living, namely : John, a farmer near his father's place ; and Mrs. Nettie
Freisen, of Bakersfield. Of the second marriage there are eleven children
living, namely: Mrs. Lizzie Newman, of Colorado; Henry, of Pueblo; Sadie,
Mrs. Freisen, of Bakersfield ; Peter, of Pueblo ; Mrs. Mary Hannaman, of
Bakersfield; Mrs. Katie Koepper, of Los Angeles; Abraham, a farmer at
Lerdo; Mrs. Anna Hiebert, also of Lerdo ; Isaac and Susie, of Bakersfield;
and Jacob, who is aiding his parents on the farm. Having studied the Gos-
pel for many years, Mr. Boese while in Colorado was ordained to the min-
istry of the Mennonite Brethren Church and has since served in the min-
istry. As the unsalaried preacher in the Rosedale Mennonite Brethren Church
he gratuitously tenders his services to the congregation and, while depend-


ing upon his farm for a livclihoud, Ireely gives of his time to the upbuilding
of the cause of rehgion in his connnunity.

J. B. JAMES. — A native of Missouri, iMr. James was born at California,
Moniteau couniy, April 20, 1869, received a common-school education in Mis-
souri, came from that state to California at the age of eighteen years and
settled in the vicinity of Santa Barbara, where for four years he was employed
on a stock and grain ranch near Lompoc. At the expiration of
the first year he was promoted to be foreman of the vast tract,
comprising about seventy-five thousand acres and covering an area
about thirty-five miles in length. The supervision of the stock on
the immense acreage made his task one of great difiiculty, but he discharged
every duty with intelligence and fidelity. However, he did not feel any
desire to take up agriculture as a life-work. Instead, he had indulged a
fondness for photography from youth and without special training dis-
played commendable skill as an amateur. With the hope that his success
might be developed by professional training, he gave up his position on
the ranch and went to San Francisco to study the art. In that city he
enjoyed exceptional advantages for learning the business in all of its
branches. For two years he was in the studio of J- W. Baker, a prominent
photographer of the western metropolis, and from there he went to Martinez,
Contra Costa county, where he opened a studio and embarked in business
for himself. Two years later he removed from there to Bakersfield and
began in the business, which since has developed into the finely-equipped,
modern and artistic studio situated at No. 1923 I street, a studio known
throughout the valley for the high character of its photographic output and
the artistic tastes of its proprietor. The majority of the photocrraphs taken
especially for the engravings in this work were made at this studio.

JOHN W. KELLY.— Shortly after the execution of Robert Emmet in
1803, when eniiL'ration from Ireland was at its flood tide, there left the old
home in one if the beautiful valleys of the island an Irish lad sixteen years
of age, who crossed the Atlantic as a stowaway and settled in Virginia.
During the war of 1812 he served in the army of his adopted country and
bore a valiant part in the battle of New Orleans under General Jackson.
Receiving an honorable discharge at the close of the war, he returned to
Virginia and from there crossed the mountains into Kentucky, but later ac-
companied Daniel Boone to the wilds of Missouri. "I'ncle" Jack Kelly, as he
was known far and wide, possessed the temperament of a pioneer and the
ready skill of the typical frontiersman, hence he was well qualified for the
difficult task of transforming a wilderness into an abode of peace and plenty.
He had married Joanna Stephens and thus became allied with one of tlie
most prominent Alissouri picneer families who with Daniel Boone founded
the village of Boor.ville in Cooper county. Later some difficult}^ arose between
Boone and Stephens and the former, giving up all association with the town
named in his honor, crossed the Missouri river into Howard coutity, where
he started a rival town called Boonesboro. Uncle Jack himself remained
at Boonville and there died in 1874 when eighty-eight years of age.

Among the children of the Irish emigrant there was a son, Ewing. who
was born in Missouri and during 1849 crossed the plains to the mines of
California, where he worked for three years, returning to Missouri via
Panama. .After his return he took up general farming, established a home
of his own and lived a quiet, uneventful existence. His wife, who bore the
maiden name of Celia Cornelius and was born in Missouri, descended from
A^rginian ancestors on both the paternal and maternal sides, fler death
occurred in Missouri. Of her three daughters and two sons all are still
living e.xcent one son. During 1888 Ewing Kelly came for the second time to
California and this time joined his son in Glenn county, where he remained


until his death. The son, John W., is the last male representative of the
family in the United States of his generation. Born in Cooper county, Mo.,
October 29, 1861, he received his education in the school of experience. To
an unusual degree he may be called a self-made man. With the exception
of three months in a subscription school he was utterly without educational
advantages, having to make his own living frem the time he was ten years
old without any assistance, yet notwithstanding this handicap he has achieved
success of an high order. When he came to California in 1884 he intended to
settle in Kern county, but suffering from chills and fever for three days he
made a hasty change to Glenn county. On the Kendrick ranch at Stony
creek he found his first employment at bucking sacks of Sonora wheat aver-
aging one hundred and forty-five pounds (the same weight as himself), receiv-
ing therefor $2 per day. This remuneration seemed princely as compared
with wages in Missouri, which were about $12 per month. Following this he
was employed on various ranches until November 7, 1887, when he was
married at Stony creek to Miss Ida May Perry. She was a native of that
place, the daughter of Thomas G. Perry, who was born in North Carolina
but reared in Missouri, where he remained until 1865. In that year he crossed
the plains with ox-teams to Napa, Cal., where he married Melissa Bunch, a
native of Missouri who had come overland in the same train. Mr. Perry was
a farmer in Glenn county until 1909, since which time he has resided on his
ranch near Bakersfield. After his marriage Mr. Kelly took up a homestead
and b' ught school land on Stony creek. There he engaged in farming and
stock-raising until 1893. In that year he removed to Trinity county and
engaged in nlacer mining until October, 1895, when he drove overland through
the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys to Randsburg, Kern county, where
he to k up mining and- also engaged in merchandising. From 1896 to
1900 he served as constable of Randsburg. During the two ensuing years
he was a member of the county board of supervisors. As the nominee of
the Democratic party in 190? he was elected sheriff and resigned as super-
visor to take the oath of office in January of 1903. At the expiration of
his term he was re-elected, holding the office until January of 1911, when
he retired, not having been a candidate for re-election, although he had been
continually in office in Kern county for sixteen years.

In Bakersfield, where he has made his heme since 1903 and where he
has engaged in the real-estate business since 1911, Mr. Kelly has a large
circle of warm personal friends and business associates. His interests have
been and still are varied and important, including as sub-division acreage
the Verdina ranch two miles west of town, also stock in oil companies and
the handling of oil lands. Interested in Maricopa from its beginning, he
still owns forty acres f f the town-site, which leased to tenants and improved
with buildings forms an important part of the growing oil town. The first
to embark in mercantile pursuits in the new oil town, he started the present
stc re of Coons, Price & Co., Incorporated, of which he is still president and
which has built uo a large trade on the west side and keeps five delivery
wagons in constant use. In addition he is engaged in the raising of alfalfa.
Mr. and Mrs. Kelly have one child, Elisie Irene Kelly. The Bakersfield
Board of Trade numbers Mr. Kelly among its most nrogressive members
and his aid is confidently relied upon in all movements for the local advance-
ment. Made a Mason in Tehachapi Lodge No. 313, F. & A. M., he has been
Iryal to the high principles of the order and in addition has been prominently
identified with'tbe local work of Bakersfidd Lodee No. 266, B. P. O. E.

JEAN POURROY. — Among the old timers in the French colony of
East Bakersfield we find Jean -Pourroy, a native of Hautes-Alpes, France,
born Tune 24, 1847, and reared on the farm of his father, Pierre Pourroy,
near Gap, where he obtained the advantages of the common schools of the


localit)^ In 1872 he came to San Francisco, Cal., where he followed various
occupations, but principally that of brick-making until 1878, when he came
to Sumner (now East Bakersfield).

Being familiar with the sheep business in France, Mr. Pourroy entered
the employ of a sheep man as a herder and by industry and ectnuMiiy in a
few years he had accumulated sufficient capital to purchase a tlock of sheep
and engage in business for himself. During the winters he ranged his flocks
on the plains near Delano and herded them in the mountains during the
summers. He met with success and ten years later he purchased a farm
of forty acres under the Kern Island canal, where he engaged in rancliing
for six years. Then he sold the place and now lives retired at his home on
Humboldt street, East Bakersfield, enjoying the fruits of his labors. The
lady who became his wife and assisted him in gaining their competency
was in maidenhood Emily Villard, also a native of Hautes-Alpes, France,
and is a sister cf Ambroise Villard, who is represented in this work". To
Mr. and Mrs. Pourroy were born three children, as follows: Emil, who is in
the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad ; Blanche and Louise. Politic-
ally he espouses the principles of the Republican party.

TRUMAN WORTHY HAMILTON.— The young men have aided
materially in forwarding enterprises for the development and improvement
of Kern county during the last decade and among those who have helped to
bring about its present wonderful growth we find Truman Worthy Hamil-
ton. He was born in Lcs Angeles, Cal., March 17, 1883, the son of E. M.
Hamilton, the proprietor of Willow Springs, who is represented elsewhere
in this work. Truman W. was educated in the public schools of Los Ang-
eles until feurteen years of age. He then joined his father, who had dis-
covered the Lido mine in Antelope valley, and continued to devote his time
to its development until it was sold. His father having completed the Ham-
ilton hotel at Rosamond, a large modern fireproof building, he became its
proprietor January 15, 1912, and on March 14, 1912, he was appointed post-
master at Rosamond, the ofifice being in the hotel, as is also the telephone
office. In connection with the above he is also a dealer in hay and grain,
gasoline and oils, and conducts an auto livery.

The marriage of Mr. Hamilton was celebrated in L( s Angeles, uniting
him with Miss Erma Gertrude Marine, a native of San Joaquin county, and
they have a daughter, Harriett Blanche. He is greatly interested in the
cause of education, being the clerk of the board of trustees of the Rosamond
school district, and previously he held a similar ]iosition in the Willow
Springs district.

JACOB N. RIPPLE.— Born in Huntingdon county, Pa., July 5, 1869,
Jacob X. Ripple is a son of the late Henry Ripple, who for years operated
the large tannery of R. G. Faust & Co., at Mount Union, Pa., and was still
filling the position at the time of his death, in 1895, at the age of sixty-nine
years. The mother, now seventy-two years of age (1913), still makes her
home at Mount Union. The family consisted of eight children. The eldest
son, Frank, who succeeded his father as superintendent of the tannery at
Mount Union, died at the age of thirty-four years from the effects of an acci-
dental injury and is survived by wife and five children. The surviving mem-
bers of the family are as follows: Hannah, wife of Alexander Chilcoat. a
foundryman at Bradford, Pa. ; Wremick, a retail grocer, the father of a son
and a daughter; Jacob N. ; William H., superintendent of an oil company in
the Bradford (Pa.) field; Thomas, foreman of a brick yard at Mount Union,
Pa. ; Jt hn. master mechanic in the extract works at Mount Union ; and Laura,
wife of James Kimberlan. who is engaged in the brick business at Mount

The humble circumstances of the family rendered imperative early self-


support on the part of the children and thus developed traits of independence,
industry and perseverance. When only fourteen years of age Mr. Ripple was
earning his own livelihood by working in the tannery operated by his father.
At the age of eighteen he became a brakeman on the middle division of tlie
Pennsylvania Central Railroad, his run being on a freight train between
Altoona and Harrisburg. Railroading suited him as an occupation and in all
probability he would have continued at such work throughout life had not the
failure of his eyes obliged him to leave a business where unerring vision is
absulutely necessary. For a time he worked in the tannery of his father
and later held positions in tanneries at Arona and Mapleton. When twenty
years of age he secured employment with the Forest Oil Company (subsidiary
to the Standard), and from that time to the present he has been identified with
the oil industry. Successively he worked in the Bradford field of McKean
county, Pa., for eight months with McDtniald & Oakdale at Wild wood, Alle-
gheny county, Pa., then at Montpelier, Ind., and since 1908 in California,
where for eleven months he engaged as production foreman with the Mascot,
then for three years and one month filled a similar position with the North
American, eventually returning tu the Mascot, of which he since has engaged
as superintendent. While in Indiana he and a partner, A. T. McDonald,
owned and operated five oil wells; Mr. Ripple contracted rheumatism, which
forced him to go to the hospital in the efifort to get relief, but he finally was
obliged to make a change of climate and came to California. Selling his interest
in the lease to his partner, he bruught his family and arrived at Los Angeles
April 15, 1908. The only person whom he knew in this part of the country
was Tim Spellacy, president of the Mascot lease, who gave him employment
on that lease May 15th following, which began his extensive association with
that well-known lease.

The marriage of Mr. Ripple took place at Wildwood, Pa., and united him
with Miss Zelma E. Fishell, by whom he is the father of one daughter, Vio-
let Lucile. The family were leaders in the movement resulting in the organiza-
tion of the congregation now worshipping in the Hill schoolhouse, and Mrs.
Ripple, co-operating and working with Mrs. A. W. Perry, now deceased,
organized a Sunday school, which numbers seventy-eight pupils. In this work
she has been enthusiastic and capable, and in addition has been a leader in the
Ladies' Aid Society. As a trustee Air. Ripple has been connected with the
business policy of the church, whose influence in the community he believes
to be most important. While living in Indiana he was an active worker in the
Modern Woodmen at Keystone.

R. E. RANOUS. — Determination of will and force of character have
enabled Mr. Ranous to surmount obstacles that would have discouraged a
man of less resolution. From early life destiny led him in devious paths
of bereavement and adversity. Never to him did Fortune beckon with smil-
ing face and outstretched hand. The death of his mother when he was three
years of age and that of his father when he was seven left him dependent
upon the charity of friends, for the family had possessed very little of this
world's goods. Four boys were left to struggle against an adverse fate.
One of these, S. V., blind from childhood, was sent to the Institute for the
Blind at Jacksonville, 111., and died at the age of twenty-three. An older
brother, L. P., formerly a farmer of Dakota, went to Alberta during the
opening of that Canadian province and is now engaged in grain-raising near
Calgary. Another brother, D. J., a favorite in the family and a young man
of rare qualities of heart, died in Los Angeles county after an honorable
service in the Philippines during the Spanish-.American war. R. E. was
born at Prophetstown, Whiteside county, 111., October 2, 1879, and after the
death of his parents lived with friends in Chicago for a year. From there
he was taken to the home of Frank Burke, a farmer, three miles from
Waukegan, III. During the seven years on that farm he was taught to aid


in the care of stock and tilling of the soil. Although not given many educa-
tional advantages, he was quick to learn and acquired a thorough knowledge
of the common branches.

The necessity of self-support took Mr. Ranous out into the world at
an early age. During 1896 he went to South Dakota, to the home of his
older brother, and for some time he worked as a farm hand in Grant and
Beadle counties. Huron, twenty-six miles distant, was the nearest town
of any importance. At that time wheat-growing was the principal occupa-

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 167 of 177)