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 35 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 35 of 177)
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which he clerked for six months in a grocery. Since 1894 he has been a
trusted employe of the Kern County Land Company. For a considerable
period he was connected with the engineering department, but in 1900 he
was promoted to be storekeeper for the company and since then has had
charge of the company's stores, a position of great responsibility, for which
duties he has proved eminently qualified.

Throughout his entire active life Mr. Holmes has been interested in the
development of the free-school system and since coming west he served for
eight years as a member of the Bakersfield Board of Education. During the
period of his service additions were built to the Emerson and Lowell schools,
making of the buildings modern structures with complete equipment for edu-
cational work. The Hawthorne school was erected during his service on the
board and a block of land was bought on A and Eighteenth streets as a site
for a new school. In his marriage Mr. Holmes became allied with a family
deeply interested in educational affairs and he and his wife have worked in
unison, striving to secure for their own children and for other children in
the city the best advantages possible, in order that they might be qualified
for the duties of life.

Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were married at Richmondville, N. Y., January
16, 1883, Mrs. Holmes having been Miss Lillie Mann, a native of West Ful-


tun, Schoharie county, and a daughter of Almarien and Hannah (Chapman)
Mann. Her father was a native of Vermont, but spent the greater part of
his life in New York, where his death occurred and where his widow still
makes her home. Of their thirteen children all but one lived to mature
years and eleven still survive, Mrs. Holmes being the sixth in order of birth.
All have engaged in educational work as teachers or superintendents of
schools at some period in their lives, the youngest son, Manley Burr Mann,
a graduate of Cornell University and a successful attorney-at-law, having
taught in young manhood in order to aid in defraying his university ex-

F"or a short time prior to her marriage Mrs. Holmes also taught school
and she, too, was successful in the work. Of her marriage there are four
children, namely : George Erwin, a graduate of the Kern county high school,
now employed as electrical operator with the San Joaquin Light and Power
Corporation : Marguerite, also a graduate of the high school, now engaged
as sten( grapher with the Western Water Company ; Myron Burr and
Charles Raymond, members respectively of the high school classes of 1913
and 1914. The eldest son married Hattie L. Davis and has four children,
Lillian, Roy, Maynard and Ernest. Not only are both grandmothers of these
four children still living, but it is a noteworthy fact that three of the great-
grandmothers still survive. The Holmes family is sincere in allegiance to
the Methodist Episcopal denomination. For years Mr. Holmes officiated as
a trustee of the First Methodist Episcopal Church and at the time of the
erection of the present fine house of worship he was secretary of the bnard.
Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In
1902 he served as foreman of the grand jury and at other times he has held
other public responsibilities. For many years he has been a member of the
county central committee of the Democratic party and a local leader in that
political organization.

LANE S. HARMAN.— An identification of more than twenty years
with the material upbuilding of Kern county enables Mr. Harman to judge of
values and forecast growth with an impartial judgment and keen sagacity.
These qualities have proved helpful to him in the discharge of his duties as
manager of the Kern City Realty Company, transacting a general business
in real estate, dealing in property throughout the county, buying and selling
on a commission basis and making a specialty of oil, orange and fruit lands.
The company maintains an insurance department and underwriting is done
'n absolutely reliable organizations. In every department of the business a
arge clientele has been established. The company is doing its full share
n advertising to the world the excellence of the climate, the fertility of the
soil and the opportunities for agricultural and commercial prosperity. The
manager is usually to be found at the office. No. 805^2 Baker Street, East
Bakersfield, where he has every facility for prompt investigation of lands
and direct intercourse with possible buyers.

Mr. Harman is of eastern birth and lineage and was born in York county,
Pa., March 24, 1854. Primarily educated in common schools, he later attended
Mount Union College in Ohio and completed a commercial course of study.
The family of which he is a member comprised three children, but one of
these died in early years. A brother, Monroe, seven years older than himself,
has become very prominent in the silver-mining industry in the state of Wash-
ington. Both had to make their own way unaided from youth. After he
had taught one term of school Lane S. Harman became connected with a
mercantile business at ^^'ellsville, Pa., where he remained for two years.
From 1877 until 1890 he made his home in Alansfield, Ohio, and Columbus,
same state, and meanwhile in 1880 he married Miss Ada E. Carpenter, a
resident of the former city. As a means of livelihood he worked as traveling


salesman for agricultural implement houses and built up an enviable reputa-
tion as a specialist in that line, being indeed regarded as an expert judge con-
cerning every kind of farm machinery.

Upon resigning from the road in 1890 Mr. Harman came to California
and settled in Kern county, where since he has made his home. Joining the
Rosedale colony, he bought forty acres of land covered with sage brush. To
develop the tract from its primeval state required strenuous labor. For years
he devoted himself diligently to the task of removing the brush, cultivating
the land, providing irrigation, planting portions of the farm to fruit and
bringing the entire acreage to a high condition of fertility. The task was
one of great difficulty and brought many discouragements in its wake, but
he had the cheerful co-operation of his wife and the assistance of the chil-
dren, so that he was able to develop the property as he had desired. In order
that his children might have the advantages offered by the city schools he
sold the farm and came to East Bakersfield a number of years ago, since
which time he has engaged in the real estate and insurance business, also
has acted as notary public and conveyancer, having offices in the First Bank
of Kern building. In politics he is a Republican with progressive sympathies,
while in religious connections he and his wife are members of the Congrega-
tional Church of Bakersfield. Their family consists of ten children and it
has been their greatest ambition in life to train and prepare their sons and
daughters for whatever responsibilities may await their future years. The
children are as follows: Emrie L., a carpenter, who follows his trade in
Bakersfield; Will C, a bridge inspector on the Southern Pacific Railroad and
a resident of East Bakersfield; Jeanette, wife of L. T. Peahl, of Bakersfield;
Frances, who married Frank S. \\'ilson and lives at McMinnville, Warren
county, Tenn. ; Jo R., now ]\Irs. H. G. Spitler; Helen W., now Mrs. George
W. Jason, of Bakersfield; Ada I., Monroe, Jr., Winifred and Alice, who aVe
the youngest members of this interesting and popular family.

WILLIS W. BOGGS.— The genealogy of the Boggs family is traced to
the colonial era of American history. During the early part of the nine-
teenth century Hon. Lilburn \V. Boggs held an influential position in the
public life of Missouri and he was serving as governor of that state at the
time of the expulsion of the Mormons. By supporting the anti-Mormon ele-
ment he incurred the hatred of the leaders of the sect, who afterward in a
spirit of revenge sent one of their number back to the state for the purpose
of killing the governor. Several bullets lodged in the head of the intended
victim of their revenge, but he escaped fatal injury as by a miracle. When
somewhat advanced in years he joined an expedition bound for California
and shortly after his arrival in Sonoma he was appointed alcalde in place of
John H. Nash, whose resignation had been asked for, but who, refusing to
give up the office, was taken to San Francisco, thence to Monterey, in order
that in his absence peace might be restored to the community. Ex-Governor
Boggs died in the Napa valley at the age of sixty-three years.

During the summer of 1846 William Boggs, son of the ex-governor,
came with his family to California. Being a man of resolute purpose, excel-
lent judgment and commanding personality, he was chosen captain of the
emigrant train. Arriving at Fort Bridger, a dispute arose as to the route
to Ije taken. Captain Boggs insisted upon following the highway generally
used by emigrants and he pursued that road with the larger number of the
party, arriving in safety at his destination without loss of men or stock.
About ninety insisted in taking the Hastings Cut-off. They found travel
impossible through the mountains. The sad fate of the Donner party is a
matter of history. Just before starting across the plains in the spring of
1846 Captain Boggs had married a young Missouri girl. Their child, Guada-
loupe Vallejo Boggs, was the first white child born in California after the





government was taken out of the hands of Mexico. A younger son, Angus
M. Boggs, who at the age of sixty-three years is living at Highland Springs,
Lake county, was a member of the stock commission firm of Boggs & Behler,
with oiilices in San Francisco and Napa. His marriage took place at Santa
Rosa, this state, and united him with Miss Sallie Northcott, a native of
Missouri, who came to California in 1861. They are the parents of eight
children, all living, namely: Mervin J,, who spent eleven years in the Kern
river oil field, meanwhile being foreman on the 33 and Imperial, later super-
intendent of the Fulton at Alaricopa, and is now a rancher at Lindsay, Tulare
county; Paul N., formerly general manager for the J. F. Lucey Company at
Bakersfield and now general manager for the same concern on the Pacific
coast, with ofiices in Los Angeles ; Leland Stanford, of Napa, a traveling
salesman for the clothing house of Newmark & Co., in Los Angeles ; Ken-
neth E., agent for the Wells- Fargo Express Company at Eureka, Cal. ; Willis
W., who was born at Napa, Cal., January 24, 1886, and is now purchasing
agent for the North American Oil Consolidated Company on section 15,
township 32, range 23; Hugh F., who assists his father on the ranch in Lake
county ; Lawrence B., and Elizabeth, who also remain with their parents.

Entering the sales department of the J. F. Lucey Company at Bakers-
field in 1908. Willis W. Boggs continued with that concern for three and
one-half years, meanwhile going from Bakersfield to Maricopa, thence to
Shale, next to McKittrick and finally to San Francisco. During 1911 and a
part of 1912 he also acted as local buyer for the North American Consoli-
dated on section 15 and engaged as salesman at the Taft store of Fairbanks,
Morse & Co. Re-entering the service of the J. F. Lucey Company, he con-
tinued with that corporation from February, 1912, to June, 1913, and on the
15th of the latter month he returned to the service of the North American
Consolidated, for which he now acts as purchasing agent, a post entailing
large responsibilities and necessitating a thorough knowledge of oil supplies
and valuations.

ROBERT L. McCUTCHEN.— As a native son of California it has been
the privilege of Mr. McCutchen to live through years marked by unparalleled
growth along all lines of industry, in which, not content to be merely an inter-
ested observer, he has been a prominent participant and resourceful promoter.
Although still in the prime of a useful existence, his memory is stored with
historical data of value and his personal activities have brought him in touch
with the remarkable development of the west. The course of business pur-
suits has taken him along the Pacific coast and into Mexico, so that he is
thoroughly conversant with localities, soils, climates and opportunities. Years
ago, when hunting geese and quail for the San Francisco market, he traversed
the section of country now known as the west side oil fields, where frequently
he saw owls and quail helplessly enmeshed in pools of oil and asphalt, but at
the time no one realized the commercial importance of the discovery. Later
developments proved the immense value of the hidden resources of the region
and in the early progress of the oil industry he and other members of his
family maintained an active connection, nor are his interests in the business
less important at the present time.

A member of a pioneer family that always has stood for integrity, honor,
truth and high morals, and a son of that influential citizen, Preston S. Mc-
Cutchen, whose personal history in many respects is a history of the develop-
ment of certain parts of the west, Robert Lincoln McCutchen was born in
Sacramento, Cal., July 20, 1865, and at the age of seven years accompanied
his parents to Monterey county, where he was reared on a stock ranch near
Parkfield. During winter months he studied, first in the public schools and
later under a private teacher, while in the summers he assisted his father in
the care of the stock and the culti\-ation of the farm. Startin:r out for himself


in 1882, he accompanied a brother, James B., to Arizona, where, joining an-
other brother, G. W., he became interested in mining at the Tiger and Peck
mines in Yavapai county. Returning to Monterey county at the expiration of
two years, he remained, there for a year, meanwhile being interested in farming.

Associated with his brothers, in 1885 Mr. McCutchen began to hunt game
for the market. For a time he made his headquarters on the Tulare and Buena
Vista lakes. The game was shipped to the San Francisco market, where it
brought the highest prices. It was during the period of activity as a hunter
that he came through Kern county on a number of trips and began to study
the soil of this part of the state. The result of his investigations caused him
to purchase in 1890 twenty acres of raw land in the Old River district. This
tract he set out to vineyard, but the experiment did not prove profitable.
After he had removed the vines he put the land under cultivation to alfalfa,
which he has continuously raised from that time to the present. By later
purchase he added sixty acres to his tract, so that he now owns eighty acres
in one body, situated nine and one-half miles southwest of Bakersfield. With
the improvement of the land he continued in his hunting expeditions and it
was ivA until 1899 that he abandoned hunting for the oil industry, in which
he since has been interested. From 1892 to 1895 he and his brothers engaged
in hunting along the west coast of Mexico, where they hunted the heron and
aigrette for their plumage, selling the same at from $10 to $30 per ounce. On
returning from these expeditions he more than once carried $3,000 worth of
plumes in a suit case. Ultimately, however, the business was destroyed by
the natives, who ruthlessly slaughtered the birds, even killing them while
they were nesting, and thus rendering a continuation of the business un-

After having developed and sold oil lands in the Sunset and Midway
fields, during 1907 Mr. McCutchen with his brothers selected a location in
the north edge of Maricopa, on section 2, 11-24, where they struck a seven-
hundred barrel well of thirteen-gravity oil. This being the best well up to
that time and one of the early gushers, attracted wide attention and created
considerable excitement in the field. In addition the brothers located the
famous sectinn 32. 12-23, some of which is sold and the balance leased, twenty
acres of the tract being now operated by the Maricopa Queen Oil Company,
that struck a two-thousand barrel well in March of 1913. In the midst of his
many other activities, Mr. McCutchen has continued to raise alfalfa and grain
on his ranch, where in 1914 he completed a residence of twelve rooms, mod-
ern in every respect, equipped with every convenience and forming a most
desirable improvement to the property. Besides the ranch he owns valuable
real estate on Chester avenue, I'akersfield, and in Richmond, and further has
a ranch of eighty acres in the Edison district where the possibilities of citrus
culture are arousing wide interest.

While political questions have never been made matters of moment to
Mr. McCutchen (who believes that the highest type of citizenship is expressed
in the character and not in the opinions), he keeps alive to the issues of the age
and has been steadfastly Republican in his adherence to party principles.
Fraternally he holds membership with the Woodmen of the World in Bakers-
field. By marriage he became allied with a pioneer family of Kern county.
In the Old River district, November 30, 1893, he was united with Miss Lena
Freear, a native of this district and a daughter of Henry T. Freear, an honored
citizen of the county. Six children comprise the family of Mr. and Mrs. Mc-
Cutchen, namely : Vernon IngersoU and Irene Marie, who are respectively
members of the senior and freshman classes of the Kern county high school ;
Harold, Ethel, Evan and Laverne. The influence of Mrs. McCutchen has
been a benefaction in the family and the community. A resident of the same
locality throughout all of her life, educated in its schools and reared in one of


its finest homes, she is an honored native daughter and has a permanent place
in the regard of many friends.

ALBERT W. FREEMAN.— The Freeman family comes of old English
stock and was established in America by Henry Freeman, a native of Ket-
ton, county Kent, England, born February 28, 1828. From his birthplace,
which was but a short distance from London, the family removed lo the
metropolis and in boyhood he had the advantages incident to schooling in
that great city. It was his ambition from childhood to come to the United
States and at the age of eighteen he left the scenes of youth, bade farewell
to friends and relatives, and started on the voyage across the Atlantic The
sailing vessel on which he embarked ploughed its slow way over the waters
and finally cast anchor in the harbor of New York City> whence he i)ro-
ceeded to Ohio and in a short time to Illinois. At Joliet, where he found
employment, he met and married Emma Adeline Hart, a native of that city.
^\'hen the first call came for volunteers for three months at the opening of
the Civil war he offered his services, enlisted, was accepted and sent to the
front. At the expiration of the three months he again enlisted, this time
for three years, so that his entire period of active service covered three years
and three months. Meanwhile he bore a brave part in many memorable
engagements, including Shiloh, the Wilderness, Lookout Mountain, Chicka-
mauga, Bull Run and Gettysburg. Under the leadership of Sherman he
marched to the sea and took part in the numerous skirmishes and battles of
that great campaign. With the defeat of the Confederacy he received an
honorable discharge from the Union service and returned to his Illinois
home. Removing to Kansas in 1870, he took up land in Butler county
twelve miles from Wichita and on that farm occurred the birth of his sev-
enth child, Albert W., April 15, 1872. After years of close attention to ag-
riculture he retired in 1899, established a home in Wichita, and there re-
mained until his death March 17, 1906. Since his demise the widow has coa-
tinued to reside in Wichita. Like him. she gives earnest adherence to the
doctrines of the Methodist Episco;iaI Church. .\11 but two of their twelve
children are still living.

At the age of eighteen years in 1890 Albert W. Freeman left Kansas,
where all of his previous life had been spent, and went to .'Vrizdua, where
for six months he was employed in the lumbering business at Flagstaff.
From there he returned east as far as Manzano. Valencia county, N. M.,
where he found employment in lumbering. However, at the end of six
months he returned to Arizona and resumed work at Flagstaff. In the fall
of 1892 he came to Bakersfield, where f(ir three years he was employed l)y
different contractors in the building of ditches and canals. During 189.^ he
became a zanjero with the Kern County Land Company and continued as
such until 1899. when he resigned in order to return to Arizona. L^pon his
arrival in that state he found conditions had changed since the period of his
previous sojourn there. The outlook was unfavorable and at the end of six
months he returned to Bakersfield, where he secured a position as clerk in
the old Cosmopolitan hotel. During the spring of 1901 he resumed work
with the Kern County Land Company. After a brief period as workman on
the Calloway canal he was made foreman, also was given charge cf the
books, and continued steadily in the same nlace until February of 1910. when
he was transferred to the charge of the Home ranch and made superintend-
ent of the Kern island canal, his present post of duty. The many responsi-
bilities incident to his position he discharges with satisfaction to all cim-

In politics Mr. Freeman votes with the Democratic party, .\fter com-
ing to California he was made a Mason in Bakersfield Lodge No. 224. F. &


A. M., and in addition he united with the Bakersfield Lodge No. 202, I. O.
O. F., while also he and his wife are identified with the Rebekahs. At
Rosedale, Kern county, June 13, 1905, he married Mrs. Lucy (Cheney)
Adams, who was born near Petaluma, Sonoma county, Cal., and by whom
he has one child, Martha. Her parents, Return J. and Martha E. (Green)
Cheney, were born in Bloomington, 111., where their marriage was solem- .
nized March 8, 1860. As early as 1856 Mr. Cheney had made a trip across
the plains with ox-teams and was so pleased with the country that he de-
termined to remain. Returning to Illinois in 1859 upon a visit to the old
home, he married there during the spring of 1860 and then brought his
bride via Panama to San Francisco, thence to Sonoma county, where he had
taken up land. For years he operated one of the first threshing-machines
brought into Sonoma county. In addition to his work as thresherman he
developed a large tract of land in Sonoma county and was similarly inter-
ested in Tulare county, after his removal thither in 1886. From Tulare
county he came to Kern county in 1892 and settled at Rosedale. Of recent
years he and his wife have made their home at Coalinga. They became the
parents of ten children who attained mature years and all but one of these
still survive. Mrs. Freeman, who was the youngest of the large family, was
given high-school advantages and received the careful home training which
has made her a notable housekeeper and efficient assistant to her husband.
JOHN EDWARD HAMILTON.— The supervising principal of the
Conley school district of Taft was born in New York City May 27. 1853,
and is a son of Callaghan and Margaret (O'Connor) Hamilton, both of whom
were natives of county Kerry, Ireland, but crossed the ocean in early life
and were married in the city of Brooklyn. There were four children in the
family, but two of these died in infancy, the present survivors being John
Edward and Charles C, the latter an attorney in Oakland. During 1868
the family removed to California and settled in San Francisco, but four
years later J. E. returned east in order to receive treatment for spinal trouble.
For a time he remained in Indianapolis. Upon coming back to California
in 1874 he settled in Mendocino county, where his brother was teaching his
first term of school. As he wished to take up the same line of work, he
began to study under his brother preparatory to taking the teachers' exam-
ination. Februarjf 8, 1875, he began to teach school at Willits, Mendocino
county. In order, the better to prepare for pedagogical activities he took a
course of study in St. Ignatius College at San Francisco. Later he secured
a scholarship in the Hastings College of Law, but instead of entering that
institution he made a trip to Seattle and on his return to California settled

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 35 of 177)