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 41 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 41 of 177)
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valley he was caught in a severe snow-storm and fifteen thousand sheep
perished at one time. On his return to Kern county he had only twenty-
seven hundred head of sheep and was $5,000 in debt. Undismayed by a
catastrophe that would have discouraged most men, he started in anew
and in a few years had paid ofif his debt, enlarged his flock and secured
another foothold financially. For many years he was engaged in raising
thoroughbred French merinos, and the high grade of the stock can be esti-
mated when it is known that his sheep were not only shipped into all parts
of the United States for breeding purposes, but also to Mexico, South
America and Africa. After a long association with the sheep industry he
sold the last of his flock about 1911 and since then has devoted his attention
wholly to raising Short-horn Durham cattle. Not only was he the first set-
tler on the plains east of Delano in Kern county, but besides he merits men-
tion because he is one of the few successful men who have engaged in dry
farming and stock-raising on the plains. The Quinn ranch is located ten
miles east of Delano and lies principally in Rag gulch, although some parts
of it lie in the Sierra Nevadas inside of the forest reserve. The ranch i.-, well
improved with a new, modern residence, which was completed in Decem-
ber. 1912, and is also equipped with the needed farm buildings and three
pumping plants. The sons are now preparing to set out forty acres to

Several of the state conventions of the Democratic party have I)een
attended bv Mr. Quinn, who maintains a warm interest in political afifairs.
For vears he has served as a trustee of the local schools. Fraternally he is


a charter member of Porter Lod^e. 1. O. < '. I'"., was made a Ala'^oii in
\"isalia Lodge No. 123, F. & A. 'SI., is a member of N'isalia Ciiapter Xm. 44.
R. A. M., Visalia Commandery, K. T., \'isalia Consistory. Scottish Rite,
thirty-second degree, and is also a member of Islam Temple, .\. M. S..
of San Francisco. Mr. Quinn's marriage, solemnized in Robertson county,
N. C December \5. 1886, united him with Miss Katie Robertson, who was
born in Robertson county, X. C, on the last day of the year 1858. Seven
chihlrcn were horn of the union and to each lias been given the educational
training essential to a thorough preparation for life's activities. The eldest
daugliter. Marguerite, is the wife of Nelson Smith. The eldest son, lohn,
who graduated with the class of 1912, I'niversity of California, at Berkeley,
with the degree of P>. S.. is assisting his father in the management of the
ranch. Tom, the second son, has charge of his father's stock. The third
son, Archie, a graduate of the Bakersfield high school, class of 1912. is also
assisting in the care of the stock. The youngest daughters. ]\Iary and Mil-
dred, are attending college at Oakland during the winter months, while
in the summer tliev are with their parents on the ranch near Delano. The
younsrest son. Cletus, is attending the Kern county high school at Bakersfield.

HERBERT C. MOSHER.— The secretary and treasurer of the Torney
& Jones Company, Incorporated, of ]\Taricopa, has been a resident of Califor-
nia almost from his earliest recollections. Born in Georsria October 25,
1872, he was scarcely four years of age when in 1876 the family became resi-
dents of Los Angeles, where he received such advantages as the public
schools then offered, supplemented bv a course of study in the normal school.
After his graduation from the normal in 1892 lie began to teach in the schools
of Goleta, Santa Barbara county, where he continued in the saiue school for
two years, and then devoted the next two vears to similar work in the Los
Angeles city schools. Resigning his position and retiring from educational
pursuits, he turned to an industry then newly inaugurated in the state. This
was the raising of sugar beets. At that time Oxnard was the only center
of the industry in the state and he took up land in Ventura county near the
Oxnard factory, where he engaged in raising beets for a few years.

Coming to Bakersfield in 1899 Mr. Mosher began an active and prominent
identification with the upbuilding of Kern county, an association that at first
lent helpful aid to the making of good roads. Forming a partnership with
his brother. J. W. Mosher, he cirganized the firm of Mosher Brotliers, wh'ch
in 1900, under the oversight of Supervisor H. A. Jastro, oiled the first roads
in the entire San Joaquin valley. Their contract called for the oiling of about
seventy miles of road and the results were so satisfactory that they were
called to difTerent parts of the state by those desirous of securing good roads
in their communities. Eventually J. W. Mosher established headquarters for
the business at Stockton and with that as a center he carries on a large busi-
ness in the oiling of roads, an interest in the concern being retained by Her-
bert C. Mosher, who, however, of recent years has given over to the brother
the active management of the entire enterprise.

The business identification of Mr. Mosher with the new town of Mari-
copa began in 1909, when he organized the Gate City Oil Company and pur-
chased forty acres owned by the Maricopa Oil Company. After a period as
manager of the Gate City he resigned in order to give his attention to other
interests, but he still holds stock in the concern. As secretary and treasurer
of Torpey & Jones Company, Incorjiorated, he is connected with, a pioneer
mercantile enterprise of Maricopa, having during June of 1909 purchased
the interest of J. D. Jones in the firm. At that time the company occupied
twelve hundred feet of floor space, but since then they iia\-e erected addi-
tional rooms and now use five thousand feet of floor space. The same com-
pany also supplies the town with water, controlling the stock in the Maricopa


Water Company. Prior to the organization of that concern water was
shipped in from Bakersfield and was consequently so expensive that its use
was limited to the most stern necessities. Torpey & Jones conduct business
upon the department system and each department is practically a complete
store in itself. The groceries, dry-goods, ladies' and gent's furnishings, sup-
plies for oil men, wines and hardware, are indicative of the lines carried in
stock and of the quality of the same. The first president, F. T. Torpey, was
the pioneer merchant of Maricopa and the remarkable growth of the business
is largely due to the substantial foundations laid by him at the start. The
firm passed through the disastrous fire of June 20, 1911, and aided in the
work of rebuilding. They promoted the incorporation of Maricopa as a city,
which occurred July 20, 1911, and since then all members of the company
have given liberally of time and means to further civic projects, Mr. Mosher
having served first by appointment as a member of the board of trustees, later
elected to the position April 8, 1912, after which he was chosen chairman of
the board, a position equivalent to that of mayor. He resigned from said
board on account of very pressing business duties in May, 1913.

FRANZ BUCKREUS.— The superintendent of the Kern county hos-
pital is of German birth and the descendant of a long line of honored Teutonic
ancestors, his parents having been Dr. Michael and Babetta (Sauer) Buck-
reus, the former a graduate physician and the son of a Bavarian millwright.
For a long period Dr. Buckreus engaged in professional labors in the pros-
perous village of Bamberg, lying along the banks of the Main river in Ober-
franken, Bavaria, and there occurred the birth of his third child, Franz,
November 30, 1845. After he had been given the advantages of the national
schools and gymnasiums he was taken into the doctor's ofifice and taught the
principles of surgery as well as the treatment of disease. The death of the
father in 1866 prevented him from gaining a comprehensive knowledge of
materia medica and obliged him to work diligently to support the family.
At first he engaged in nursing the sick and during the Franco-Prussian war
he held a position in the sanitary department of the army. Coming to the
United States in 1871 he followed the barber's trade in New York, New
Jersey and Connecticut successively. January of 1875 found him in Cali-
fornia and during March of the same year he came to Bakersfield, where
he worked as a journeyman barber for six months, and then established a
shop on Chester avenue on the present site of Scribner's opera house. Later
he conducted a shop in the Arlington hotel, but in 1883 he sold out to accept
the position of superintendent of the Kern county hospital, which had been
established in 1881. Since then his own history has been practically that
of the institution which he manages.

The early home of the hospital was on G between Thirteenth and Four-
teenth streets and there it was conducted until the inadequacy of the facilities
there afforded compelled a different location and larger quarters. During
1895 removal was made to Nineteenth and Oak streets, where there are six
acres of grounds picturesquely adorned with trees and shrubs planted by
the superintendent, whose good taste and artistic ability are reflected in the
entire arrangement of the place. Under his trained judgment the grounds
have been converted into an attractive park with permanent walks and lawn,
beautified further by flowers and ornamental trees. However, the superin-
tendent has proved more than a successful landscape gardener, for in the
management of the institution he has been efficient, reliable and capable.
The main building, two stories in height with a frontage of two hundred and
twenty feet, proved too small, and in 1911 the company added a sixty-foot
wing on the east to be utilized partly as a surgical ward and operating room.
The capacity has been increased from seventy-five to one hundred patients.
An excellent system of heating, lighting and ventilation has been introduced
and the entire equipment bespeaks the oversight of a wise intelligence.



^BfA CIlAAijMn O'Ho^^,


In the days when it was impossible for Kern county to pay a health
officer Mr. Buckreus served in that position gratuitously. When the county
was able to give him some recompense for his services, he was paid $25
per month. The service without pay lasted for six years and the service
with pay covered eight years, at the expiration of which time the state legis-
lature passed a bill requiring all health officers to possess medical diplomas.
In politics Mr. Buckreus has been a Democrat ever since he became familiar
with the national issues of his adopted country. For twelve years he
officiated as county coroner and public administrator, having been appointed
to fill a vacancy in 1890. At the expiration of that term in 1892 he was elected
for two years. During 1894 he was elected for a term of four years and
again in 1898 for four years, holding the office until January of 1903, when
he retired. Upon the organization of the Benevolent Protective Order of
Elks in Bakersfield he became a charter member of Lodge No. 266, in the
upbuilding of which he has maintained a warm interest. In addition he has
been actively associated with the Knights of Pythias.

CHRISTIAN MATTLY.— A gratifying degree of success has rewarded
the industrious efforts of Mr. Mattly, whose profitable management of a
dairy industry in Kern county furnishes evidence as to the possibilities of the
business in this part of the state and also bears testimony concerning his own
abilities in that direction. The fact that he comes of a long line of Swiss
ancestors, among whom were not a few famous cheese-makers and skilled
dairymen, may account in part for his own talents in the same direction.
When it is considered that he was only seven years of age when he lost his
father and that he had no influential friends tu assist him in getting a start
in California when he landed here without means, his present high standing
indicates his determination of character and energy of temperament. Born
at Zillis. Canton Graubunden, Switzerland. March 30, 1852, he was a son of
Leonard and Menga (Cayori ) Mattly, natives of the same canton as himself
and lifelong residents thereof, the father dying in 1859 and the mother in
1885. There were five children in the family and four of these are still living.
Christian having been next to the youngest of the number. After he had
attended school for some years he was apprenticed to the trade of a stone-
cutter and from that time earned his own way in the world. During 1873
he came from Europe to the LInited States and settled at Gilroy, Cal., but
after eight months of work he removed to Marin county and secured employ-
ment in a dairy at Point Reyes. Another six months were passed there and in
1874 he came to Kern county, where he pre-empted one hundred and sixty
acres on Kern Island, fifteen miles from Bakersfield.

Six years spent upon the pre-emption claim were followed by employ-
ment with W. Canfield, owner of a dairy, in which Mr. Mattly engaged
as foreman and buttermaker. Previous experience aided him in the work
and he soon proved himself to be skilled in that occupation. Encouraged
by his evident fitness for the calling, in 1885 he embarked in the dairy busi-
ness fur himself, buying three hundred and twenty acres fourteen miles south-
west of Bakersfield and at once starting a herd of milch cows. The land
was under irrigation and the raising of alfalfa was thus made possible. From
the first he was prosperous. Industrj' and wise management brought their
deserved returns. Skill in the manufacture of butter and cheese brought him a
steadily growing business, .^s time passed he added to his possessions until
he had acquired five hundred and fifty-three acres in one body, all under
irrigation and well suited to alfalfa. .\11 of the hay raised was fed to the
stock during the winter months. A specialty was made of the shorthorn red
Durham cattle and at times he milked as many as one hundred and twenty
cows with the aid of his hired help. When he first settled on the ranch he
manufactured Ijutter in the old-fashiuned way, but this soon proved to be too
tedious and so he began t

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 41 of 177)