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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 37 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 37 of 177)
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companions in the voyage Carl Schurz, later one of the leading German-
American citizens of the United States. Well qualified for ministerial work
through his graduation from Heidelberg College and his successful labors
in the old country, he threw himself actively into the Lutheran ministry and
held a number of important pastorates. Perhaps the most responsible of
these was the work in the Lutheran Church at Eighth and Mound streets,
St. Louis, and he continued in that city throughout his remaining years.
After crossing the ocean he had married Anna Broises, who was born in
Pennsylvania and died in Petersburg, Menard county. 111. The Revolution-
ary participant was not the only member of the family to emigrate, for his
father, the second Paul, also lived in Pennsylvania for some years and later
settled in Illinois, in both commonwealths engaging in the ministry of his
chosen denomination.

Out of a family of nine children, seven of whom are still living. Paul
Lorentzen was the third youngest and he represents the fourth generation
of the name of Paul. L^nlike his ancestors, however, he did not enter the
ministry, although he has been devoted in his allegiance to the Lutheran
Church and a contributor to its missionary movements. Born at Mount



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 289

Carroll, 111., September 16, 1857, he was reared at Petersburg, four miles
from New Salem, that state, and in early boyluiod attended public schools.
At the age of fourteen he became an apprentice to the trade of carpenter.
Having completed his time he went to Denver, Colo., in 1878, and secured
employment as a carpenter. After two years as a day worker he was made
a foreman in the bridge and building department of the Denver & Rio
Grande Railroad, which position he tilled fur three years. Coming to Cali-
fornia in 1883 he entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Company on
the Shasta division. Five months later the company sent him to Guatemala,
Central America, for the purpose of acting as foreman in the building of
the pontoon and laying of the track across lake Amatilan, also in the build-
ing of the track to Guatemala. At the expiration of two years he was called
back from Central America to California, where he acted as foreman of car-
penters in building the branch from Berendo to Raymond. Next he hlled a
similar position on the Coast line between Soledad, Monterey county, and
Templeton, San Luis Obispo county. From that division he was sent to act
as foreman in building a bridge across the American river at Sacramento,
after which he had charge of construction work between Napa Junction and
Santa Rosa. In 1888 he was foreman in construction work from Templeton
to Santa Margarita and the following year he worked on the bridge across
the San Joaquin west of Fresno, after which he engaged as foreman on the
line from Alerced to Oakdale, Stanislaus county. The company then sent
him to Kingsburg, Fresno county, to take charge of building a bridge across
the Kings river, after which he was a construction foreman between Fresno
and Kerman.

Having engaged as foreman in the bridge and building department of
the San Joaquin division until 1899, the Southern Pacific Company in that
year transferred Mr. Lorentzen to Texas and stationed him in Galveston as
general foreman of the Southern Pacific docks. The memorable flood and
destruction of Galveston were personally witnessed by Mr. Lorentzen, who
took an active part in the work of rebuilding the city and particularly the
company dock. Returning to California in 1905 he here had the rare ex-
perience of a vacation of three months, after which he was appointed road-
master of the Tehachapi division between Bakersfield and Mojave. Since
March 10, 1906, he has served in that capacity and his difficult position has
been filled with admirable energy and recognized fidelity.

The marriage of Mr. Lorentzen and Miss Pearl Hedgpeth, a native of
Eureka Springs, Ark., was solemnized at San Lucas, Monterey county, Cal.,
and was blessed with five children, one of whom, Ray, died in Tulare at the
age of twenty-one years, and Genevieve died in Tehachapi May 16, 1912. The
survivors are Paul, Anna and Harold. Paul is employed at Needles. Since
attaining his majority Mr. Lorentzen has supported the Democratic party.
\^'hile living at Tulare he was a leading worker in the Fraternal Aid, also
in Tulare Lodge No. 306. I. O. O. F., and Mount ^^^^itney Encampment No.
82 of the same city. In addition he has been identified actively with Sum-
ner Lodge No. 143, K. of P., in East Bakersfield. ^Irs. Lorentzen is acti\'e
in social and educational work in Tehachapi and is a member of the hoard
of trustees at Tehachapi and clerk of the board.

J. H. STEVENSON.— The hotel Metropole at East Bakersfield, of which
Mr. Stevenson has been one of the owners since 1905, deservedly occupies a
high place in the estimation of the traveling public and has become a favorite
stopping place for people of all classes, but particularly with miners, rail-
road employes and stockmen has its popularity been manifest 'and its prestige
assured. The location of the building, at the corner of Baker and Sumner
streets, furnishes every facility for the prompt accommodation of travelers



290 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

on the Southern Pacific Railroad and many of the trains stop at this point
for meals. Those desirous of qtiick service are accommodated at the lunch
counter, while others find every facility for elegant service in the well-
equipped dining room, with its large seating capacity and its supply of ex-
cellent food at moderate prices. The management prides itself on its model
kitchen, equipped with every convenience for cookery, ventilated in accord-
ance with the most modern s^-stems and finished by experts understanding
the laws of sanitation. The hotel maintains thirty-five guest-rooms neatly
furnished and provided with modern conveniences, a number of them having
private baths attached.

The senior proprietor of the hotel comes from Missouri, but has made
Kern county his headquarters for fifteen years or more. He was born in
Texas county, Mo., March 15, 1870, and was fourth in order of birth among
ten children who lived to years of maturity. The father, John, died in 1904,
and the mother, who bore the maiden name of Louisa Martin, still makes
Missouri her home and is hale and rugged at the age of seventy-nine (1912).
J. H., being of a venturesome disposition, fond of travel and change, consid-
ered it no hardship that he was forced to earn his own livelihood from boy-
hood. Work indeed interested him. far more than schooling and he felt a
special interest in mining, so it is not strange that at the age of thirteen he
was working in quartz mines in Colorado. Ever since that time he has kept
posted concerning mining of every kind and few men in Kern county are
better posted than he concerning the details connected with the occupation.
Upon leaving the Colorado mines in 1895 he went to Alaska, where he mined
in the Klondike and the Yukon basin, remaining for eighteen months. Leav-
ing the cold frozen north he came to California and later mined at Esmerelda,
Calaveras county, at Pine Grove in Amador county, at Bodie in Mono county,
besides other mining centers. In addition for three years he spent considera-
ble of his time in Nevada mines. After having prospected in the Panamint
range in Inyo county he was attracted to Randsburg, Kern county, and to
the Mojave district, where he was one of the first to develop prospects. One
of his best-paying claims, the Eleven, he sold to Dr. Nelson in 1900, after
having developed it to a high degree of profit. For some time he was iden-
tified with the development of the Yellow Rover, and it was not until 1911
that he disposed of his interests there, the sale bringing him an excellent
return upon his investment.

The first connection of Mr. Stevenson with the hotel business occurred
in Caliente, Kern county, in 1902, when he purchased the Caliente hotel, but
after having managed the property for two years he sold it and removed to
East Bakersfield. For two years he conducted the hotel Metropole alone, but,
realizing the need of co-operation in the large undertaking, he took into
partnership James A. Bernard under the firm title of Stevenson & Bernard.
Subsequent changes have made the title of the firm Stevenson, Woody &
O'Meara, the other owners being A. J. Woody and P. J. O'Meara, well-known
real-estate men of Bakersfield. The present management dates from April
11, 1911, and has been successful from the first, so that each member of the
firm is receiving a deserved return for his time, labor and investment. While
giving close attention to the hotel, Mr. Stevenson finds time to keep posted
concerning politics, aids the Democratic party in local affairs and is public-
spirited in every respect. Fraternally he holds membership with the Elks,
Eagles and Knights of Pythias. During 1509 he was united in marriage
with Miss May Gazzolo, a native of Coulterville, Mariposa county, this state.
With his wife and two children, Athena and Regina, he has a comfortable
home in East Bakersfield and finds a special delight in a happy and contented
domestic life.



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 293

WILLIAM A. HOWELL. — From the age of thirteen years a resident of
Uakerstield, Mr. Howell is thoroughly in sympathy with the educational, com-
mercial and material upbuilding of this city and holds it to be, in point of
possibilities, unsurpassed by any place in our great commonwealth. Born in
New Orleans, La., December 11, 1863, he is the only surviving child of the
late William and Mary (Hea\ey) Howell, natives respectively of Wales and
Ireland. After having crossed the ocean during early life, the father settled
in New (3rleans and worked his way forward until he acquired the ownership
of a mercantile business in that city. Seeking the advantages of the west,
he came to Bakersfield in 1876 and, finding the outlook favorable, sent for his
wife and children, who joined him in 1877, establishing a permanent residence
in the county-seat town. Scarcely had he established himself in business
here when in 1879 his life came to an end. Afterward his wife remained in
this city until her death, which occurred in 1897. Aleanwhile she had given
her only remaining son an excellent education in the public schools and had
trained him for the responsibilities of the workaday world. While yet a mere
lad he became proficient in stenography. The correctness of his transcripts
attracted attention. It was deemed little less than remarkable that one so
young should be so skilled and accurate in the reporting of cases involving
technical terms to which he was unaccustomed. Before he became of age he
was by stipulation of the attorneys secured to report court cases for over
three years, and after he had attained his majority he was regularly appointed
b}- the judge of the superior court as the official court reporter. Ever since
then he has filled the same position and it is said that he has the honor of
being the oldest oiificial, in point of years of continuous service, connected
with the courthouse of Kern county. Nor has his identification with county
work been limited to stenographic service, for in addition he has been a
deputy at different times in nearly all the offices of the county, also for three
terms of two years each he filled the office of county auditor, there as in all
other positions displaying accuracy, fidelity, energj' and wise judgment.
Mr. Howell was one of the organizers of the Security Trust Company and has
been a member of the board of directors since its inception.

The residence which Mr. Howell erected en the corner of H and Seven-
teenth streets and which he still owns and occupies, has for its presiding
genius a woman of great capability, a native daughter of the commonwealth,
formerly i\Iiss Elizabeth G. Dugan, who was born in Amador county, but
made Bakersfield her home at the time of her marriage. Two children bless
their union, Genevieve and William A., Jr. Upon the organization of the
Knights of Columbus in Bakersfield Air. Howell became a charter member
and later he held the office of district deputy for three years, besides which in
other ways he has contributed to the interests of the order and to its local
growth. For five years he has served as a member of the board of trustees
of the Beale memorial library and at the same time he has promoted other
worthy movements identified with the permanent prosperity of the city
The Democratic party receives his support in local and general elections.

ANTHONY B. OLSON.— Although of American birth and tvpically
-American in mode of thought and action, he comes from Scandinavian
forbears and is a son of John Olson, a native of Vermland, Sweden, the
founder of this branch of the Olson family in the United States. Skilled in
merchant tailoring, he followed the trade after his arrival in the new world.
Starting in with a very small tailor shop on Chicago avenue, Chicago, he
gradually built up an important business and finally had forty workmen in
his employ. The great fire of 1871 destroyed his shop and ruined his busi-
ness. Forced to start anew, he removed to Michigan and opened a tailor shop
at Muskegon, where in time he recuperated his losses and attained a fair de-
gree of financial success. Upon giving up the work of a merchant tailor, he



294 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

returned to Chicago and there he died in 1906. One year later occurred the
demise of his wife, who bore the maiden name of Erliana Swensen and was
a native of Sparta. Mich. Surviving them are fi.ur children, the youngest of
whom, Anthony Benjamin, was born in Muskegon, Mich., May 11, 1887, and
received such advantages as the schools of that city afforded. After having
graduated from the Muskegon high school in 1905 he removed to Chicago
and there occupied clerical positions with different firms.

Upon his arrival in California during May of 1908 Air. Olson secured
employment at Sanger in the office of the Hume-Bennett Lumber Company.
A year later he was transferred to the work of a yardman and from that
rose to be foreman of the yard, in which responsible position he proved effi-
cient and trustworthy. Resigning January 1, 1911, he came to McKittrick as
an employe of the King Lumber Company, which in September of the same
year transferred him to their Bakersfield yard to take charge of the work
there. During February, 1912, he returned to McKittrick in the capacity of
manager for the King Lumber Company, in whose interests he since has
served with conscientious devotion and encouraging results. While living
in Sanger he met and married Miss Carrie L. Barr, who was born in Kansas,
but passed her girlhood almost wholly at Sanger. After graduating from
the Sanger high school she had taken a course of study in the San Francisco
Normal and had fitted for educational work, in which she engaged with suc-
cess prior to her marriage. In political allegiance Mr. Olson adheres to
Democratic principles and fraternallv he holds membership with the Masons.

MAJOR W. H. COOK, M. D.— The notable record achieved by Dr. Cook
in sanitation and surgical work during the Spanish-American war and subse-
quent service in the Philippines duplicates in many respects the able and
prominent identification of his father, the late J. A. Cook, M. D., with the
Union army during the Civil war, in which as a surgeon attached to the
Nineteenth Army Corps he had charge of hospital boats and hastily equipped
surgical wards on Virginian battlefields. For such responsible tasks he was
qualified by graduation from Rush Medical College and by long service as a
physician and surgeon with a large private patronage. Himself a native of
Tinton halls, Monmouth county, N. J., he had married some }'ears before the
beginning of the war Miss Mary M. Harris, a native of Virginia, and they
had established a home in Kendall county, 111., where the eldest of their
four children, William Harris Cook, was born at Fox, February 19, 1855.
Following the Civil war, a home was made at Washington, D. C, but eventu-
ally the doctor removed to Kansas and engaged in practice at Humboldt until
his death. The last days of the mother were passed in the home of her son,
W. H., at McKittrick, where she passed away in 1912 at the age of eighty-
three.

Subsequent to graduation from the Aurora (111.) high school and the
Naperville (111.) branch of the commercial department of Northwestern Uni-
versity, at the age of eighteen William Harris Cook matriculated in Rush
Medical College and completed the course in 1875, but, on account of not
having attained his majority, he was not granted a diploma and the degree
of M. D., until a year later, February 15, 1876. Meanwhile he had gained
considerable experience as an assistant to his father in Aurora, 111., but after
graduation he removed to Kansas and opened an office at Larned, Pawnee
county, where he remained for two years. Following a period devoted to
recuperation in Colorado he returned to Illinois and opened an office at
Elwood, Will county. The year 1880 found him a pioneer at Globe, Ariz.,
of which town he was a leading citizen and successful physician. On account
of his familiarity with the language of the Mojave and Apache tribes he was
chosen for two years to make the official count of the Indians at the White
mountain reservation.

A pioneer of 1887 at Bakersfield, Dr. Cook engaged in practice in this



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY • 295

then small town. On the org;anizatiiin of Company G, Sixth California Na-
tional Guard, he was chosen the first captain and continued as such until
the outbreak of the war with Spain. A commission as captain in that war
bore date of May, 1898. and expired with his honorable discharge in Decem-
ber of the same year. Entering the medical department of the United States
army as an assistant surgeon, he was dispatched to Fort Leavenworth and
with the Thirty-second United States Infantry was sent to the Philippines.
From assistant surgeon with the rank of lieutenant he was promoted in
December, 1899, to captain with the rank of surgeon and in March of 1900
was commissioned surgeon, on the recommendation of General Wheeler, the
imiuediate cause of the promotion having been the skill displayed in the
command of the extreme left of the firing line at the time of the advance
on Porac. Afterward he was assigned to civil service as deputy insular health
officer under Major C. E. Carter, in which capacity he visited every province
but one. established boards of health and instructed the same in the best meth-
ods of combating and preventing bubonic plague, cholera, leprosy and small-
pox. Within less than ten months there had been over three hundred thou-
sand deaths from cholera and one hundred eighty-five thousand deaths from
bubonic plague. Such was the beneficent result of the fight against disease
that contagious epidemics were almost exterminated.

After a year in the United States, during February of 1905 Dr. Cook
returned to the Philippines with the Eighteenth Infantry and served as
surgeon on the island of Samar. About a year later he resigned and returned
to New York, but in March of 1907 came to California and opened an office
at McKittrick, where he has since engaged in practice, meanwhile forming
associations with the county, state and American medical associations. Dur-
ing his term of army service he became allied with the military order of
Caribou and he is also prominent in Masonry, being connected with the
Knights Templar, Scottish Rite Consistory and thirty-second degree. ]\Irs.
Cook was formerly Lorena Williamson and was born in Brooklyn, N. Y.
Her parents, S. Stryker and Mary E. (Hubbard) Williamson, were natives
respectively of Brooklyn and Tinton Falls, N. J., and the latter traced her
linea.ge to England, while Mr. \\'illiamson was of old Knickerbocker blood, a
member of a family that bore an honorable part in the Revolutionary war
and in the activities of the colonial era.

HON. R. J. HUDSON.— The distinction of being a native son of the
great west belongs to Judge Hudson, who was born in Napa county, this state,
February 20, 1837, being a son of David and Frances (Griffith) Hudson,
natives respectively of Missouri and North Carolina, the former now deceased,
and the latter still a resident of California. It was the privilege of Judge
Hudson, but a privilege largely resulting from his own determined energy
and ambition, to secure excellent educational advantages. After he had com-
pleted the studies of the Napa high school he matriculated in the classical
department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he took the
regular course of study. Next he entered the law department of Cumberland
University at Lebanon, Tenn., and in 1878 he was graduated from that insti-
tution. Returning to California he was admitted to the bar by the supreme
court during the same year and immediately afterward established himself in
practice in Los Angeles, where for a year he had Judge Anson Brunson as a
partner. From 1880 to 1882 he served as district attorney of Los Angeles
county. The failure of his health led him to seek a change of climate and he
established himself in Lake county, this state, where he soon rose to promi-
nence through the prompt recognitu)n of his splendid abilities. .After a year in
private practice he was elected judge of the superior court of Lake county,
which responsible office he filled for ten years, meanwhile regaining his health.
When he retired from the judicial connection he removed to Manford. Kings
county, where he engaged in practice for six years, coming from there



296 ■ HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

in 1911 to Bakersfield, where he is a member of the law firm of Emmons &
Hudson, with offices in the Producers' Bank building. Much important litiga-
tion has been given over to his charge in the various places of his residence
and he has fully proved his broad knowledge of the law as well as his ability
to carry through to solution intricate cases involving large issues.

In 1882, at Napa City, Judge Hudson was united in marriage with Miss
Panthea B. Boggs, a native of Napa county. They are the parents of two
sons, the elder of whom, Howard, is a resident of San Francisco, while the
younger, Marshall, is nowi in Dawson City. Ever since he became a voter
Judge Hudson has supported Democratic principles.

ALVIN G. LUESCHEN, M. D.— To rise out of a condition of poverty,
to earn self-support from the age of thirteen years, to secure an excellent
education without aid and to develop into a successful professional man and
a cultured citizen of his community, such is an achievement calling for supe-
rior ability and the most undaunted persistence of effort. That this is the
record of Dr. Lueschen affords a silent but eloquent testimony as to a self-
reliant personality. By dint of personal energy he paid his way through
medical college and gained not only a thorough professional education, but
also a broad knowledge on all subjects of historical, national and scientific
interest, thus rounding out a mental culture of breadth and dignity.

A descendant of old Teutonic ancestry, Dr. Lueschen was born in Co-
lumbus, Platte county, Neb., in 1880, and is a son of Gerhard Lueschen, a pio-
neer farmer and rancher of Nebraska, and in the early days a chum of Will-
iam F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill. The father, still a resident of
Nebraska, possesses abundant health and vitality notwithstanding his early
years of hardships. Born about 1848, he has seen much of the development
of the west and has borne his own share therein. As previously stated, the
poverty of the family forced Dr. Lueschen to become self-supporting when
thirteen years of age and by dint of persevering energy he carried out a child-
hood ambition to become a physician. During the fall of 1900 he matricu-
lated in Creighton Medical College at Omaha, Neb., from which he was
graduated with the class of 1904. Returning to his native town, he opened
an office and gained his initial experience as a practitioner, and in the same
town in 1908 he married Miss Gertrude Elias, by whom he has one son,
Alvin Gerald. The family came to California in 1910 and settled in Bakers-
field, where the Doctor opened an office at No. 212 Producers' Bank building
and about the same time erected a modern and beautifully appointed bunga-
low at No. 1917 Orange street at a cost of more than $3,000. In political
faith he adheres to Republican principles and in religion he is a generous



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 37 of 177)