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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 32 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 32 of 177)
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is himself a native of Philadelphia, born February 20, 1859. His parents,
John R. and Lydia B. (Vandever) Matlack, were natives respectively of
Philadelphia and Baltimore and for many years the former engaged in a
manufacturing business in his native city, but after his retirement from
business cares he came to California, and in 1896 his death occurred in this
state. The English progenitors of the family had spelled the name Mat-
lock and during the Revolutionary war Timothy Matlock, a leading Phila-
delphia representative of the family, had been identified in business activi-
ties with Robert Morris, the financier of the colonists during the first strug-
gle with England. The maternal ancestry was of Dutch extraction. The
records show that William Vandever, exiled from Holland during the thirty
years' war, found a temporary refuge in Sweden and during 1682 crossed the
Atlantic ocean to the new world in company with a colony of Swedes that
settled in Delaware. From him descended William Vandever, a bookbinder
by trade and a gallant soldier during the War of 1812; after the close of that
struggle he settled in Baltimore, where occurred the birth of his daughter,
Lydia B., later Mrs. Matlack. Her death occurred in Philadelphia. The
oldest son in the family became a prominent resident of California and
served as member of congress from Ventura county.

In a family comprising four sons and two daughters, of whom two of



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 239

the sons are deceased, William Vandever Matlack was third in order of
birth and was reared in Philadelphia, where he was graduated from the high
school and where later he held a mercantile position. Coming to California
in 1887. he made a sojourn of two years in Monrovia and in 1889 settled at
Bakersfield, where since he has made his home and where he has wielded a
large influence as public-spirited citizen and progressive business man. For
some years he was associated with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company,
first as an assistant and later as chief clerk of the Bakersfield freight office.
During 1898 he was chosen local freight and passenger agent, a position of
great responsibility, which he filled with recognized efificiency and tact.
Resigning in 1908 to accept a position as assistant cashier of the Bank of
Bakersfield, he entered upon his present connection with the financial affairs
of his home city. Since February 1, 1911, he has been cashier of the bank of
the Security Trust Company. While still living in Philadelphia he married
Miss Margaret V. Mendenhall, who was born in that city and descended
from English ancestry. They are the parents of five daughters, Florence,
Edith, Lydia, Mary and Ellen.

Ever since attaining his majority Mr. Matlack has voted with the Re-
publican party. Throughout the entire period of his residence in Bakers-
field he has maintained an unceasing interest in civic and educational afifairs.
During 1891 he was elected a member of the Sumner school board and for
fifteen years he served as slerk of that organization, two new schoolhouses
being erected during the term of his service. During April of 1908 he was
elected a member of the Kern board of trustees and in the summer of the
same year he was chosen chairman to fill a vacancy caused by the death of
James L. de Pauli. Upon the consolidation of Bakersfield and Kern in 1910
and the organization of Bakersfield as a city of the fifth class, as decided
upon by a majority of the voters of both towns, a new election was held July
10, 1910, and Mr. Matlack was chosen a member of the board of trustees of
the new city. At the organization of the board he was elected its president.
The election of April, 1911, again made him a member of the board of
trustees and again he was chosen president of the board, which position he
now fills, discharging its duties with characteristic energy and efficiency.
For years he has been a leading local worker in the Benevolent Protective
Order of Elks, in which he served as Exalted Ruler, and in addition he has
been associated with the Bakersfield Club. In Pennsylvania he was made a
Masrn in Fort ^^'ashington Lodge. A. F. & A. M.

The Security Trust Company, of which Mr. Matlack is cashier, was
incorporated October 7, 1910, with an original paid-up capital of $300,000,
but which was increased to $500,000 on January 21, 1913, and conducts
business at Chester avenue and Eighteenth street. A savings department
forms an important addition to the bank. There is also a trust department,
which acts as executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, etc., and the advan-
tages of a strong and perpetual company over individuals in these capacities
are too apparent and too universally recognized to call for special comment.
The safety deposit department is outfitted with fire and burglar-proof vaults,
with rental compartments convenient for the needs of patrons. Since its
ince]3tion the bank has pursued a conservative course in the making of loans
and has won the confidence of a growing list of depositors. On October 19,
1912, the Bank of Bakersfield was purchased and consolidated with the Se-
curity Trust Company, whose deposits have now reached practically $3,000,-
000. The success of the concern may be attributed to the sagacious judg-
ment of its officers and directors, who are as follows; G. J. P.lanz, Presi-
dent; William V. Matlack, cashier; C. A. Barlow, D. L. Brown, A. S. Crites,
W. W. Colm, W. W. Frazier, H. R. Peacock, Chris Mattlev, J. M. Jameson,
T. A. Hughes. D. Hirshfeld, L. P. St. Clair. G. T. Planz. F. "W. Warthnrst,
T. W. Heard and W. A. Howell.



240 HISTORY OF KERX COUNTY

WALTER OSBORN.— Education and experience alike abundantly
qualify Mr. Osborn for able services in the profession of law. When first
he determined upon his future calling he placed before himself a high ideal
and aspired to gain a classical and legal education that would give him a
standing equal to the best. Studious in childhood, always near the head of
his class in the public schools, he carried the same devotion to scholarship into
ct liege and university and allowed no trivial matter to lessen his ardor for
his books. The result was that he acquired a broad knowledge concerning
all subjects of general importance, while in his specialty he grasped the
principles of jurisprudence with a calm, logical and well-trained mind, and
upon receiving his degree entered upon a professional career with every
promise of success. During the course of his practice in Indiana he was
more than ordinarily popular and it was only the failure of his health that
induced him to sever ties so promising for future gains. Since he came to
Bakersfield he has been given a place in the profession for which his talents,
education and former record qualify him.

The youngest of eight children, all of whom lived to maturity, Walter
Osborn was born near Wanatah, LaPorte county, Ind., June 10, 1875, being
a son of John and Jane (Mclntyre) Osborn, both now deceased. The father
passed away when his youngest child was a boy of ten years, but the mother,
a woman of energy and capability, did not permit the education of the chil-
dren to be neglected by reason of their bereavement, and she constantly aided
the boy in his eflforts to secure the best possible advantages. After he had
completed the high-school course at Wanatah he entered Valparaiso Uni-
versity, where he took the commercial course. Next he matriculated in the
classical department of Indiana University at Bloomington, from which he
was graduated in 1902 with the degree of A.B. Continuing in thesame insti-
tution as a law student, he completed the regular course and in 1904 received
the degree of LL.B., at the same time winning admission to the state and
federal courts of the Indiana bar.

Three and one-half years of association with the firm of Anderson,
Parker & Crabill, of South Bend, Ind., proved most helpful to the young law-
yer, who left them in order to form a partnership with Charles Weidler under
the firm name of Weidler & Osborn. For one and one-half years he remained
in that connection and meanwhile enjoyed a steady growth in practice, laying
the foundation of a success that would have been permanent had not the
failure of his health forced him to seek another climate. Altogether, his
experience in South Bend has proved most helpful to him in later activities.
The firm with which he first associated was one of great prominence, repre-
senting the Grand Trunk Railroad, the Pennsylvania lines, St. Joseph County
Savings Bank, Studebaker Bros. Manufacturing Company and other large
corporations of that important manufacturing city. Upon leaving the state
he spent fifteen months in the Coeur d'Alene district of Idaho, whence in
October of 1910 he came to California, settling in Bakersfield on the 13th of
December of the same year. On the 12th of that month he was admitted to
practice in the courts of California, this being about six years after he had
been admitted to practice in the St. Joseph Circuit Court of Indiana, the
Supreme Court of that state and the Circuit Court of the United States for
the district of Indiana.

As an attorney Mr. Osborn is to be credited for two things particularly,
first : he makes a very thorough preparation of each case and his briefs on
questions of law are most thorough ; second, he is a lawyer of strict integrity.
To these particulars he clings with most unswerving fidelity, much to the
advantage of his growing clientage. While engaged in practice in Indiana
he married at Remington, that state, April 27, 1905, Miss Priscilla Hawkins,
by whom he has two children, Marion B, and Priscilla J. In politics he is




f^Jl'Sc^A



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 243

stanch in allegiance to Democratic principles and the present administration.
Fraternally he holds membership with the Elks and Masons and is a firm
believer in the principles of kindness, philanthropy and helpful comradeship
for which these orders stand.

PRESTON SMITH McCUTCHEN.— Very early in the colonization of
America the AlcCutchen family became identified with the agricultural devel-
opment of a region lying near the Atlantic seaboard. In the new world, as in
iheir former home m Scotland, they evinced a forceful and resolute deter-
mination that won local prestige. Not the least conspicuous member of the
family and certainly one of its most gallant patriots and honored representa-
tives was James Corsey ^IcCutchen, a native of Georgia and a soldier in the
war of 1812, where oiUy his lack of education prevented him from winning
an officer's commission. Upon the close of the war he engaged in the trade
of blacksmithing in Virginia. However, while giving his days to manual
labor, he devoted his evenings to study, for he was ambitious to make up for
lack of early advantages. After he had attained man's estate he took up
the common branches of study, taught himself by dint of resolute perse-
verance and eventually became the possessor of a broad fund of information
along every line of mental activity. Particularly was he thorough in math-
ematics and his work in that line showed considerable native talent. Withal,
he was a skilled mechanic, a capable blacksmith and invented a process of
.-netting wagon tires which has never since been improved upon by anyone.

XV'hile living in Virginia James Corsey AlcCutchen married Mrs. Mary
Humphreys, a widow with three children, James, William and Jane. Born in
the Old Dominion, she was a daughter of John Nevins, an Irishman who
enlisted under the English flag and became a sailor in the British navy, but
deserted his ship in order that he might enlist in the feeble army of ijatriots
fighting for lil)erty during the Revolutionary war. Having served with dis-
tinction until the close of the struggle, he then secured an honorable discharge
and settled in \'irginia to devote his remaining years to development work in
his ad



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 32 of 177)