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 168 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 168 of 177)
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tion and the need of harvest hands in summer was so great that excellent
wages were paid during the busy season. While in South Dakota he en-
listed for service in the Spanish-American war. Assigned to Company K,
First South Dakota Infantry, he went to the Philippines with his regiment
and took part in all of its engagements and campaigns. The record of the
First South Dakota is as historic and praiseworthy as that of the First
Nebraska and its members may well point with pride to the gallantry of the
command in action, to its skill in military tactics and its achievements on the
battlefield. At the close of the war the men were ordered back to San
Francisco and there, October 5, 1899, received an honorable discharge.

Having seen something of California during his service in the army
and being pleased with the country, Mr. Ranous returned to the west in
1901 and ent^aged in the oil industry. For a time he was a tool-dresser with
Jewett & Blodgett near Maricopa in the Sunset field. Next he engaged
as a tool-dresser on the Peerless No. 2 at Coalmga. A later experience in
the Kern River field developed his talent as a production foreman. During
1904 he left the Fulton lease in order that he might enjoy a merited vacation.
December 1, 1905, he returned t" the Kern river field, where he was etnplnyed
under William N. Forker. Afterward for a year he had charge of the Coal-
inga lease of the S. W. and B. Oil Company. Upon returning to the Kern
river field he remained with William N. Forker from May, 1908, to January
1. H'no. beine em iloyed as a driller on the leise df St. Clair & Tastro. Frnm
that district he came to the present site of Taft, where he drilled wells No.
1 and 2, section 22, township 32, range 23, and wells No. 3 and 4, section 26,
township 32, range 23, owned by the Wilbert Oil Company. Upon the
appointment of William N. Forker as water commissioner by the board of
supervisors of Kern county, l\Ir. Ranous succeeded him as superintendent
of the Wilbert Oil Company and has filled the position with recognized
efficiency. Since undertaking the supervision of the properties he has drilled
wells 5, 6, 7 and 8, and now has eight producing wells on section 26, where
the comnanv has forty acres; also two producing wells rm secti'm 22. where
another forty-acre tract is being developed. On the former lease there is an
average monthly production of fifteen thousand barrels. The company was
organized by H. L. Packard and is owned bv Bakersfield capitalists. H. A.
Jastro being president and a large stockholder.

The marriage of Mr. Ranous and Miss Jessie L. Anson was solemnized
in Santa Ana, Cal., Mrs. Ranous having removed to that point from Ohio.
The only child of their union died in June, 1913. Numerous fraternities have
had the benefit of the co-operation and allegiance of Mr. Ranous. among
these being the Bakersfield Camp, No. 266, B. P. O. E., and Taft Lodge No.
426, F. & A. M., also Bakersfield Chapter, R. A. M. Prominent in the work
of the Odd Fellows, he was honored. May 16, 1913, with the appointment
as district deputy grand master, and before that he had filled numerous
offices in the local lodge. As president of the Odd Fellows' Hall Associa-
tion, he has been a leading factor in the erection of the hall at Taft costmg
$28,000. The building is substantial, constructed with a concrete basement
and two upper stories of brick, with a front of pressed brick surface and plate
glass windows. The corner stone was laid June 21, 1913, with appropriate
ceremonies. The Taft Hardware and Furniture Company has leased the


first floor for its retail establishment, while the basement has been fitted up
for a banquet hall and kitchen, and the second floor is finished in offices and
lodge rooms. Every appointment is up-to-date and the building is a credit
not only to the Odd Fellows, but to the town itself.

J. W. HEARD. — The pioneer merchant at Oil Center enjoys the friend-
ship of the people throughout the entire oil district, for by long association
they have come to appreciate his sterling integrity of character, his kindly
spirit and warm-hearted southern temperament. When first he established
his present store and erected the building he now occupies, he put therein the
first stock of merchandise in the new town, and from the very beginning
he has enjoyed a large trade. He is also the senior member of the firm of
Heard & Painter, owners and proprietors of the largest general store in
Taft. In addition he has made other investments, so that he has been pros-
pered in a gratifying degree.

A member of one of the best families in the south and a direct descend-
ant in the fifth generation from John Heard, governor of Georgia during
Colonial days, J. W. Heard was born in Mississippi in 1864. The history
of the family is associated with the south. Iiut principal!}' with the siate of
Georgia, to which colony members of the Heard family came from England
in one of the expeditions of Walter Raleigh. In 1875 the father, who had
engaged in mercantile pursuits at Vaiden, Miss., tock the family back to
Georgia, where he lived retired until his death. The son was sent to the
public schools and Sharon Business College, after which he started out to
make his own way in the world. Arriving in California in 1883, a stranger
in a strange locality, he settled in the San Joaquin valley and here has since
made his home and business headquarters. For a time he worked as a
clerk in stores, being successively in Fresno, Reedly and Sanger, and finally
coming to Oil Center at the opening of this oil district. Since then he has
conducted mercantile pursuits in Oil Center and Taft and has made many
friends throughout Kern county. Reared in the Democratic faith, he ad-
heres to that party with stanchness and devotion. In 1898 he married Miss
Emma C. Clark, of Redwood, San Mateo county, and they are the parents of
an only son, John Wilkerson Heard. Mrs. Heard is the daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. William A. Clark, the latter of whom died when the daughter was
only two years of age. The father, an attorney by profession, now lives
retired at San Diego. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Heard was Hon.
Andrew Teague, a pioneer of 1847 in California, and an early settler of San
INTateo county, where he not only practiced law, but also served as district
attorney and at one time was honored with the office of judge of the superior

HON. ELIAS JAMES EMMONS.— When the gold excitement in Nic-
aragua was at its height a young man from Missouri, bearing the name of
William David Emmons, sought the supposed opportunities of that southern
district, where he became a prosperous merchant in Greytown. Through his
marriage to Elizabeth J. Miller, a native of Texas, two children were born,
namely: Elias James, born at Greytown, Nicaragua, March 1, 1859; and
Henry William, who settled in Bakersfield and engaged in the oil business
in this locality. The withdrawal of the A''anderbilt transit line from Nicaragua
brought stagnation to every line of business there and proved the financial
ruin of Mr. Emmons, who, forced to seek a home elsewhere, brought his wife
and children to California and here died in 1862 at Vacaville, Solano county,
when thirty-two years of age. In 1864 the widow married again and removed
to Antioch, Contra Costa county, where her two sons attended the grammar
school and then began to earn their own way in the world.

As a clerk in a law office of San Francisco Elias James Emmons gained
his first insight into the profession which he later entered. During 1882 he
was admitted to practice at the bar of California and opened an office at


Chico, Butte county, where he practiced until January of 1893, the date of his
removal to Bakersfield. For a time he had as a partner F. M. Graham, later
had an office alone and in 1902 became a partner of Rovven Irwin, but now is
the senior member of the firm of Emmons & Hudson, his partner being Judge
R. J. Hudson. From 1893 to 1897 he served as assistant district attorney of
Kern county and in the latter year he was elected to represent this county in
the assembly. Governor Budd appointed him a member of the national com-
mission for uniformity of legislation and he served as such from 1897 to 1901.
From 1902 to 1906 he was state senator from the thirty-second district, com-
prising Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. Many interests have received his
atten.ion alont;- the line of his profession and for some years he has acted as
attorney for the Bakersfield Merchants' Association in railroad transportation
matters. Politically he has been a Democrat ever since he attained his ma-
jority. \\'hil.e living in Chico he married Miss Margaret J. Wooden, a native
of Vallejo, this state, and they are the parents of two children, Elias Carroll
and Edith June.

PIERRE MAYOU was born January 15, 1860, in Oloron, Basses-
j^yrenees, France, and was reared on his parents' farm and educated in the
public school. He came to California when a lad of fourteen years, land-
ing in San Francisco' in June, 1874, having only $25 in his possession, but
he had a stout heart and willing hands, so went immediately to work in
Redwood city and continued there for two years. He then made his way to
Los Angeles, where he was employed on farms and with a sheep man until
he had saved sufficient money to buy a small flock of sheep. Bringing them
to Kern county in 1882, he ranged them on mountain and plain, his head-
quarters being in Kern (now East Bakersfield). He met with success and
in 1887 he sold out and purchased land in Cummings valley, upon which he
began grain-raising and farming, and ultimately acquired a place of seven
hundred acres. He continued there for fourteen years, when a series of dry
years proved disastrous and he lost his farm. He then came to McKittrick
about 1902 and engaged in teaming and heavy freighting and in connec-
tion with farming has followed it ever since. He is leasing the Santa Fe
place in the little Santa ]\Ionica valley, six miles west of McKittrick, where
he is raising grain hay. He has lately taken as a partner Peter Brockman
and they run two eight-mule teams for freighting in the oil fields and on the

Mr. Mayou's marriage occurred in Tehachapi, uniting him with Theo-
dora Ocane, a native daughter of San Francisco, who died in Tehacha'ii,
as did their two children, Mary and Peter. Mr. Mayou has always believed
in and voted for the principles of the Republican party.

PETER J. McFARLANE. — Among the young men who have come from
the east to California and have become fascinated with the opportunities
offered to such an extent as to enter heartily into its local business affairs,
we find Peter J. McFarlane, who was born in Peterboro county, Ontario,
July 24, 1861, the son of D. P. and Catherine (Ferguson) McFarlane, who
were of Scotch descent and were pioneers in Peterboro county. Of their
eleven children, ten of whom are living, Peter J. was the oldest. The father
died in 1912 and the mother two years before him. Being the eldest of a
large family Mr. McFarlane very early had responsibilities thrust upon him
and he was earl)^ in life obliged to aid in the farm work, his education being
obtained in the local schools. He remained home helping his parents until
1884, when he came to California and the same year settled in Kern county.
After being employed at ranching for a short time he took un a homestead
of one hundred and sixty acres, one and a half miles from Tehachapi. This
he improved and lived upon until he proved up on it, afterwards disposing


of it. He became interested in the Oak Creek Lumljer Company, and en-
gaged extensively in the manufacture of lumber on Oak creek.

During the gold excitement in Nome, Alaska, Mr. McFarlane made a
trip to that northern camp, but returned to Tehachapi in about eight months.
In 1905 he was appointed under the Roosevelt administration as postmas-
ter of Tehachapi and during his first term the office was made a third-class
office and he was duly reappointed to the office by President Roosevelt
Febrary 22, 1909. He has ranch interests in Walker's Basin.

Mr. McFarlane's marriage occurred in Tehachapi in 1888, uniting him
with Miss Annie Gates, a native of Missouri, and to them have been born
two children, only one living, a daughter named Catherine. Mr. McFarlane
was made a Mason in Keene Lodge, at Keene, Ontario, and after his location
in the Tehachapi region became affiliated with Tehachapi Lodge No. 313,
F. & A. M., and served four terms as master and at present is its secretary.
He is also treasurer and past patron of Tehachapi Chapter No. 188, O. E. S.
He has always been interested in the welfare of his adopted city, always
being ready to use his means and time toward its upbuilding. He is well
and fav( rably known in the county and has many warm friends who admire
him for his integrity and sterling worth.

NATHANIEL R. WILKINSON.— A native of Virginia, Mr. Wilkin-
son was born in Norfolk, July 10, 1838, and died at Bakersfield, Cal., in
December, 1902. He attended school and attained manhood at Norfolk.
While still young he went to sea and was a sailor until he was twenty-one
years old, as such visiting nearly every port in the civilized world. Then
he became a landsman and was profitably employed in difYerent ways until
the outbreak of the Civil war. He entered the Confederate army, yielding
allegiance to Lee and generals of lesser note, and participated in many hard-
fought engagements. At Gettysburg he received a wound on ;he left side of
his head which eventually caused his death by paralysis. After the war he
prospered in the domain of peace, and in 1873 came to Bakersfield. Becom-
ing a school teacher he taught two terms with such success that he was
very popular among his fellow citizens, who repeatedly elected him a jus-
tice of the peace, in which capacity he served with great ability and fidelity
for many years. He was long well and favorably known as a notary public,
conveyancer and expert accountant and was called upon from time to time
to handle property and settle estates until his business became large and
profitable. Wholly reliable and of the highest integrity, he was trusted in
every way by everyone who knew him. Politically he was active as a Dem-
ocrat, as a citizen he was public-spiritedly useful, and while he was ready
at all times to aid any church to the extent of his ability he was an out-
spoken admirer of Col. Robert G. Ingersoll.

The lady who became the wife of Mr. Wilkinson was Miss Mary An-
drews and their marriage was celebrated in Bakersfield. She was born at
Mokelumne Hill, Cal., a daughter of John and Rebecca Parker (Williams)
Andrews. Her father was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, and was gradu-
ated from the Lhiiversity of Edinburgh with the degree of C.E. He came to
California in 1848, around Cape Horn, and prospered in the state as a civil
engineer until his death, which occurred at Camp Seco. Rebecca Parker
Williams was a second cousin of the Rev. Theodore Parker, the great Uni-
tarian preacher, and a school mate in Boston of Charlotte Cushman, who
became one of the greatest actresses of her time. Ancestors of hers named
Williams were active participants in the work of the "Boston Tea Party"
and served the cause of the colonies as soldiers in the Revolutionary war.
Mrs. Wilkinson died at Bakersfield January 1, 1891. She had long been a
devout member of the Episcopal Church. Irma Jeannette Wilkinson, only


daughter of Nathaniel R. and Alary (Andrews) Wilkinson, was graduated
from the Kern county high school and the Los Angeles normal school and
is a successful teacher in the public schools of Bakersfield.

MYRON W. MORRIS.— Born in Fairfield, Mich., December 5, 1839,
Mr. Morris grew up on the home farm there, attending the school of the
locality. He attended the college at Hudson, Mich., and taught school for
some years there, in 1876 coming west and locating in San Francisco, where
he began to work at the carpenter trade. In 1877 he came to Bakersfield
to follow the trade of carpenter and later became engaged in contracting
and building, which he followed the remainder of his life. He at one time
became owner of a ranch, but as farming was not tu his liking he later sold
the property. He was one of the first builders in Bakersfield, and lived to
see it grow to one of the prosperous, thriving cities of the state. His own
residence which he himself built is located on Chester Lane near the cor-
ner of C street, and is a handsome, substantial place. Mr. Morris passed
away March 3, 1911, greatly mourned by all who knew him.

In April, 1870, at Morenci, Lenawee county, Mich., Mr. Morris was
married to Bell Austin, who was born near Avon, Livingston county, N. Y.,
the daughter of William B. and Lucy (Whaley) Austin, both of whom
were nati\-es of Livingston county. X. Y. Mr. .\ustin was a farmer in New
York and there his death occurred. Mrs. Morris' grandfather, James Aus-
tin, was born in England, and upon coming to the United States settled in
Livingston county, N. Y., where he ever afterward made his home. Her
mother's death occurred there also, and after her death Mr. Austin married
(second) Elvira Sage, born in Wheatland, N. Y., who died in Arkansas.
Two children were born to this union, one of whom survives, Mrs. Eva
Craig, now of Bakersfield.

Mrs. Bell A. Morris is the mother of one child, Charles A., who studied
pharmacy and was graduated from the San Francisco Pharmaceutical Col-
lege, later taking up the study of medicine. He graduated from the College
if Physicians and Surgeons at San Francisco with the M.D. degree and was
later connected with the hospitals and practiced his profession there. Sub-
sequently he did graduate work in the east and finally went to Europe to
continue his studies, upon his return being assistant surgeon at the Oelle-
vue Hospital in New York City. He was duly graduated from the Belle-
vue Hospital Medical College and then located in Bakersfield, where he is
engaged in practicing medicine and surgery with gratifying success. The
excellent work of this ycung doctor and his ability and unusual fitness for
the profession he has chosen evidence the fact that it is his natural life

Before his death Myron Morris was a stanch Republican, and in fra-
ternal connection was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Mrs. Morris is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She is a woman
who is much beloved, and her kindly influence for good is felt by all who
know her.

THOMAS M. SPACH.— .\ position of responsibility with the Southern
Pacific Railroad Company at Bakersfield has been filled by Mr. Spach with
such fidelity and intelligence as to win the commendation of superior offi-
cials and to prove beyond question the adaptability of the man to the task.
The gratifying advancement he has made in railroading is the more note-
worthy by reason of the fact that in youth he ftjllowed another occupa-
tion and thus lacked the advantage of having an early start in learning the
rudiments of railroading. The department of the industry to which he has
given his entire time and attention is yard work and there he speedily rose


from the humblest task to the heavy responsibilities of yardmaster, in which
capacity he has given the most efficient service for a number of years.

Born at Columbus Grove, Putnam county, Ohio, September 23, 1869,
Thomas M. Spach is a son of the .late Leonard L. and Catherine (Swaley)
Spiich, natives of Ohio and lifelong residents of that state. Shortly after the
opening of the Civil war Leonard L. Spach volunteered in the Union service
and as he was then under the stipulated age for regular enlistment he was
made a drummer boy in Company G, Eighty-first Ohio Infantry, with which
he went to the front and took part in many battles of importance. For a
period of four years he remained in the army, not relinquishing his duties
until the war came to an end in 1865 and he then returned to Ohio to take
up civic pursuits. Throughout life he followed the trade of a plasterer. The
interests of his chcsen occupation led him to remove from his birthplace,
in Tuscarawas county, to the western part of the state, where for a consid-
erable period he lived in Putnam county. The hardships and exposures in-
cident to army life injured his health and shortened his life, which came to
an end before he had reached old age.

The only member of the parental family now living in California is
Thomas M., who after completing high school studies in Ohio came to Cali-
fornia in 1887 at the age of eighteen years. For two years he served an
apprenticeship to the trade of a coppersmith in San Diego. During 1889
he removed to Fresno and found employment at his trade, remaining for
two years and then going to San Francisco to continue in work as a copper-
smith. After a time it became desirable for him to relinquish his occupation
and find other avenues of employment; hence he returned to Chicago and
began in the railroad business, his first position being that of a switchman
in the Erie yards. In the employ of that railroad company he held different
positions in Illinois and Indiana and worked his way forward to be yard-
master at Huntington, Ind.. but resigned the position in 1900 in order to
return to California. Coming to East Bakersfield, he secured work as a
switchman with the Southern Pacific Railrrad Company. A week later he
was made switch foreman. After three months he was promoted to be night
yardmaster and since 1907 he has served as general yardmaster of the Bak-
ersfield yards of the Southern Pacific road. Giving his attention closely to
the many details connected with his position, he has found little leisure for
participation in public affairs and takes no part in politics aside from voting
the Republican ticket at national elections. While making his home in In-
diana he became a member of the Maccabees at Huntington and took a
leading part in lodge work as long as he remained in that city. Upon com-
ing to Bakersfield he was accompanied by his wife, whom he had married in
Kenton, Ohio, and who was Miss Fannie Runkle, a native of Rawson, Han-
cock county, that state. She was the daughter of Lewis and Angeline (Swo-
yer) Runkle, natives of Ohio, the former of whom passed away in Rawson.
Her mother is now living in Findlay, aged seventy-eight years. Mr. and
Mrs. Spach are the parents of one son, Harold.

HENRY F. BANKS.— Born April 23, 1858, in Illinois, Mr. Banks was
brought up in Kansas, as his parents, Willis and Eveline (Thomas) Banks,
moved to Crawford county, that state, when he was but a year old. He re-
mained at school there until he was fifteen and then worked on farms
up to the time he came west. When he arrived at San Francisco, in 1878,
he was twenty, and having had a good training in matters concerning the
conduct of a farm he procured employment in Sonoma county at general
ranching and working there for about a year and a half, then coming to
Kern county, where he followed farming for two years. He then went to
Auberry valley, Fresno county, having become familiar enough with the
enterprise to want a place of his own, and he and his brother J. A.


bought a hundred and sixty acres of land in that valley. Later on he took
up a homescead of a hundred and sixty acres, and engaged in stockraising,
general farming and the cultivation of grain. He also contracted to do
teaming and hauling for a short time. In 1900 he decided to return to Kern
county and accordingly rented eighty acres of land and took up general
farming there, in 1905 buying the place of twenty acres he now cultivares.
For this land, which is located three and a half miles southwest of Bakers-
field, he paid $100 per acre, and it is now valued at $500 an acre. This
increase in the value of his property is due to the improvements which he
has made, and the careful, conscientious handling of the details of con-
ducing the ranch.

Mr. Banks married in Fresno, December 22, 1884, Lizzie Bonner, who
was born in Warren county, 111.. April 14, 1861. They had two children,
Ivory P., a farmer near Maricopa; and Ethel B., who was Mrs. R. L.
Green, and passed away in February, 1911, leaving a child, Bernardine, now
with her grandparents. With his wife Mr. Banks is a member of the
Christian Church in Bakersfield. In fraternal relations he unites with the
Woodmen of the World, and politically he is a Democrat.

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 168 of 177)