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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 42 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 42 of 177)
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graduated from Oxford he took his medical course in the Royal College of
Physicians in Edinburgh, from which he received the degree of M. D. Later
he took a post-graduate course in London and then embarked in practice
at Corn Hill Exchange in that city.

Coming to Southern California in 1881, Dr. Fergusson opened an office
in Los Angeles. A year later he removed to Bakersfield, where soon his
professional skill became recognized. A constantly increasing practice
filled the ensuing years. Among his co-laborers his standing was the high-
est. It is said that he was without exception the leading physician of his
day and locality, and combined with professional prominence was the pres-
tige associated with culture acquired by association with people of the high-
est refinement and by travels throughout diflfe'rent countries. At the time
of his demise, which occurred September 4, 1899, he held the position of
president of the San Joaquin Valley Medical Society, besides being actively
associated with the California State and American Medical Associations.
While his profession had engrossed his energies and called forth the highest
powers of his fine mind, he had found leisure for the amenities of society
and for the pleasurable relations of fraternities, having been one of the
founders and charter members of Bakersfield Lodge No. 266, B. P. O. E.,
in whose development he retained a deep interest to the last.

The marriage of Dr. Fergusson was solemnized at Brighton, England,
in 1880, and united him with Miss Bertha Maud Shriber, who was born in
Calcutta, India, and received a classical education in England. Her parents
were Dr. Edward and Eulalia (Alexander) Shriber, the former a native of
London and a graduate of Guy's Hospital College with the degree of M. D.,
afterward a surgeon in the English army, stationed in India for many years.
Upon his retirement he returned to England to spend his last days amid the
scenes familiar to his youthful years. A year after her marriage Mrs. Fer-
gusson accompanied her husband to the United States and since then has
made California her home, having since the demise of the Doctor continued



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 341

to occupy the family residence at No. 1521 Seventeenth street, Bakersfield,
and giving her attention to the management of her varied business interests,
the enjoyment of the society of warm friends of many years' standing and
the benefactions of the Episcopal Church, to wliich she has given a devoted
allegiance from childhood.

HECK BROS.— Established in June of 1910, almost simultaneously with
the founding of Fellows, the history of the mercantile firm of Heck Bros,
has been one of steady growth and progressive development. The erection
of a suitable building followed the arrival of the two brothers in Fellows
during December of 1909, and as soon as possible they put in the new build-
ing a suitable stock of goods, since which they have conducted a department
store with ability and tact. The trade is not limited to I-'ellows, but in additiim
two teams furnish excellent delivery service to the territor}- within a radius
of seven miles of Fellows.

Upon beginning business in their two-story building the Heck Bros,
utilized the upper floor of their block for hotel purposes, while devoting the
entire first story to their stock of merchandise and household articles. Upon
the establishment of an office at Fellows for Wells, Fargo & Co., they were
appointed to act as agents October 24, 1910. Numerous other private and
public enterprises occupy some of their time, but thev are men of such stirring
energy and such indomitable perseverance that their work is their chief joy,
and the busier they are, likewise the happier. Their pride in the growth of
the community has been warranted by their efforts in its behalf. It is their
ambition to continue to promote the progress of Fellows and to assist in its
permanent upbuilding, so that from a commercial and social standpoint it
may represent appropriately the rich oil section of which it is the center.

O. C. Heck is a native of Iowa and in January of 1898 married Miss
Fannie Dustin, of Selma. E. P. Heck, a native of Missouri, was united in
marriage in 1904 with Miss Ada Sturgis, of Kansas. During October of 1894
the brothers came from Fort Scott, Kan., to California and settled at Selma,
Fresno county, where they engaged in farming and teaming. From that
place they came to Oil Center and identified themselves with the oil industry
on their own account, developing the Walker-Heck Oil Company. In addi-
tion they engaged in the mercantile business. Since coming to Fellows they
have continued their mercantile and oil interests and have acquired oil hold-
ings here and at McKittrick. Quite recently they have undertaken to de-
vehm all of section 6. tnwnship 29. range 22. and have officiated as directors
in the Eagle Creek Company, of which O. C. Heck served as vice-president
at one time.

W. L. CUNNINGHAM. — More of shadow than of sunshine surrounded
the early years of Mr. Cunningham, who as the eldest son in a large family
experienced many privations and made many sacrifices in order that the
younger children might have an opportunity to secure educational advan-
tages. When a mere lad he became self-supporting. However, it was not
enough that he should support himself. With characteristic generosity he
used his earnings to aid in the maintenance of the family, hence it has been
only of recent years that he has recorded any individual progress, but it is
sufficiently rapid to recompense for past delays and sacrifices. Now in the
prime of manhood, he may look forward to long years of business and occu-
pative activity, years that will enhance his reputation as a competent engi-
neer and a successful production foreman in the oil fields.

A native son of the state, Mr. Cunningham was born at Lakeport, Lake
county, February 3, 1880, and was the second child and eldest son in a family
numbering nine children. W^hen yet very young he accompanied his par-
ents to Fresno and there attended the public schools as opportunity offered.
At the age of seventeen years, after he had been self-supporting for a con-
siderable period, he secured employment in the Copper King mine in Fresno



342 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

county and there he became familiar with the work of an engineer. In this
occupation he is said to be an expert. About I'y'OS he came to the Kern
river oil field and secured work as a pumper on the Overland lease, whence
in 1910 he came to the West Shore lease. Since then he has continued with
the West Shore Oil Company and now is discharging the duties of foreman
with characteristic fidelity and intelligence. At San Jose, on Christmas day
of 1902, he was united in marriage with Miss Georgia Johnson of that city
and they have a son, Wayland. The family formerly occupied a comfort-
able cottage on the company property on section 32, township 28, range 28,
in the Kern river field, but now live on the home ranch south of Waits.

HUGH L. McNEW, M.D.— Born October 12, 1869, Dr. McNew is the eld-
est child uf James H. and Olivia (Kincaid) McNew, parents of ten chil-
dren. James H. is riow a resident of Texas, his wife having passed away
some yeais ago. Reared in Campbell county, Tenn., the place of his birth,
Hugh L. McNew became interested in the study of medicine at an early age,
and after diligent' and patient work was graduated from the University of
Tennessee with the class of 1888, receiving the degree of B.S., after which
he entered the medical department of Columbia University, at Washington.
He was later, in 1892, graduated from the Nashville Medical College, with
the degree of M.D.. and he immediately started in to practice, choosing as
his field of labor Honey Grove, Tex., where he remained for ten years.
During this period he found time to take post graduate courses in 1893 in
the New York Polytechnic, in 1896 at the Chicago Polytechnic, and in 1898
at the New York Postgraduate school.

In Texas Dr. McNew married Miss Nannie A. Williamson, daughter
of J. M. Williamson, a merchant and cotton planter there, and they moved
to Dallas, where he practiced medicine, and held the chair of physiology in
the Dallas Medical College for two years. The following two years he held
the chair of professorship on the practice of medicine. In 1907 he came to
Nevada, and then to Los Angeles, Cal, remaining two years, when he came
to Bakersfield, to make it his home, and since that time has devoted his
time and attention to real estate, in which he has become highly successful.
He was instrumental in the organization of the Bakersfield Realty & Building
Company, of which he is now vice president, the other officials being
Joseph H. Tarn, president, N. A. McNew, secretary and treasurer, and the
company has offices at No. 3 Hopkins building, where its wide interests are
handled. They laid out the following additions : Santa Fe, Sunset tract and
Mayflower, which have nearly all been sold in lots. Individually Dr. McNew
is also engaged in the real estate business in Los Angeles, having offices
at No. 202 Mercantile Place, where he spends part of his time keeping in
close touch with land values and where he has been very successful in in-
creasing his record of big sales.

Dr. McNew has a fine residence on Nineteenth street, where he and his
wife make their home, and they move in the best social circles of the city.
He has invested largely in farm lands, and his interests in the county cover
a large area.

C. B. COLBY. — A native of Iowa, born in Henry county October 18,
1866, Mr. Colby came west without means, but with an abundance
of energy and determination and possessing a fine intelligent and well-
trained mind that enabled him to lay the foundation for subsequent success.
Since settling at Oakland, Cal., in the year 1899 he has witnessed the
steady and interesting development of the state and has himself been a
large contributor thereto, his great energy and broad intelligence having
been directed toward movements, not alone for his own advancement, but
also for the permanent well-being of the commonwealth. , While attaining
large wealth, at the same time he has been a constant factor in the material



HISTORY or KERN COUNTY 343

development of his chosen jilace of residence and his most recent project,
the Western Water Company, already has proved of inestimable value to the
oil regions, besides bringing to its promoters returns larger than their most
optimistic hopes had anticipated.

Long association with the oil fields convinced -Mr. (,'iilh\ of the neces-
sity of cheaper water than they had been able to secure. While acting as
manager of the Columbian. M. & S., Lorenzo and Minnehaha Oil Companies,
and the H. A. Oil & Water Company (all of which organizations were made
successful through his efficient management and energetic supervision), he
saw the need of a more adequate water supply for the west side oil fields.
With him the first step was to see the necessity, the next step was to create
an opportunity. The Western Water Company of Bakersfield was organized
in April, 1911, and incorporated under the laws of the state of California.
-After months of strenuous activity the)- began to deliver water to customers
December 18, 1911, and since then the demand for water has been twice
what its promoters anticipated, although no more than they are prepared to
supply. Exclusive of the office force, the company now employs twenty men.
Having a private telephone system of its own, the officers and workmen can
c mmunicate with every plant in the system. Every modern facility has
l)een adopted that will promote the success of the organization. Capitalized
at $200,000, the company has two hundred shares at $1,000 each, and as the
stock is almost wholly taken in Bakersfield, it is strictly a local enterprise.

Water is drawn from two deep wells, affording an unlimited supply of
pure drinking water, used for domestic purposes and for the oil regions at
Midway. Taft, Fellows and Maricopa. At the time the company began to
pump water the oil fields were paying at the rate of ten to twenty cents per
barrel, but this company is now supplying water to the same fields at about
three cents a barrel. It is stated that $600,0C0 was expended on the water
system to Taft from the district around Rio Bravo, fourteen miles. Water is
distributed to all parts of the district through fourteen miles of twelve-inch
line and forty-two miles of eight and six-inch line. Two five hundred-foot
wells are pumped at station No. 1, where three two hundred and fifty horse-
power gas engines are installed. Large high-pressure pumps force the water
to Taft. where the Consumers' Water Company (which recently took over
the Taft Public Utilities' Company's holdings of five miles of city lines)
deli\ers the water for domestic use at a price of from four and one-half cents
lo nine cents per barrel. The Western Water Company is now handling
forty thousand barrels a day, the capacity of its lines, and at a reduced
price of from three cents to one and three-fourths cents on a sliding scale to
the oil companies, a reduction of fifty per cent over what it was six months
ago to operators and the cities. The engines of this company are run by
steam at Taft and the boilers are fired by natural gas, the large gas engines
at their station No. 1 being operated by gas supplied by the California .\at-
ural (jas Company. The four pumps (one electric and three steam) are
driven by six one hundred-horse power boilers. On the highest point of the
neighborhood the company has installed a steel tank with a capacity of fifty-
five thousand barrels and this tank is utilized to conserve the surplus water
pumped.

From Taft the distributing system runs twelve and one-half miles north
and west and twelve miles south and east. The entire cost of the plant
approximated $600,000. but enormous as was the outlay, the company is in a
very prosperous financial condition and its shares of stock represent a safe
and profitable investment, all of which satisfactory result may be attributed
to the wise management of the company's president. C. B. Colby, admittedly
one of the most talented business men of Bakersfield, a promoter of ability,
a financier whose insight rises almost to genius and a leader who combines



344 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

a conservative spirit with progressive policies. Realizing the vast resources
of Kern county, he has not hesitated to promote local movements when
once their need is apparent and their possible success made manifest. In
every respect he ranks among the most influential, energetic and capable
business leaders of Rakersfield. Early in 1912 he completed one of the most
costly and elegant residences in Bakersfield and here he and his wife,
daughter, Patricia, and son, Charles Bertram, Jr., have established a home
whose refinement and hospitality has attracted a host of admiring friends.
Mrs. Colby, prior to their marriage in 1907, was Miss Florence Nelson, of
Rakersfield.

KATHARYN W. ELLIS, M. D.— \Mieu in 1890 she was graduated from
the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery it was with the highest
honors of the class, her expenses at the institution being partially defrayed
by her services as a school teacher. Wider professional knowledge came to
her through a post-graduate course at the Women's Medical College of Cin-
cinnati and the degree of M. D. also was conferred upon her by that well-
known institution in 1893.

A member of the old Wadsworth family of New England, Dr. Ellis traces
her ancestry to the illustrious Captain Wadsworth of Hartford, who in Oc-
tober, 1687, upon the appearance of Andros in Hartford at the head of a troop
of soldiers demanding the surrender of the Connecticut charter, allowed the
debate to continue until evening, then ordered all of the candles suddenly ex-
tinguished and in the subsequent confusion seized the charter from its box
and hid it in a hollow oak on the grounds of Samuel Wyllys, one of the
magistrates. Always afterward the tree was known in history as the charter
oak. Some years later when Governor Fletcher, of New York, appointed
to his office by King William and Queen Mary, attempted to usurp authority
in Connecticut and appeared in person at Hartford with his troops for the
purpose of reading his instructions, Captain Wadsworth commanded his
troops to drum so loudly that the voice of the reader was completely lost in
the tumult of noise, so that Fletcher was forced to retreat without having
carried out his plan of usurpation.

The parents of Dr. Ellis are Henry and Statira (Goshorn) Wadsworth,
natives respectively of Pittsburg, Pa., and Youngstown, Ohio, and now re-
siding on their country estate near Falmouth, Pendleton county, Ky. During
early manhood Mr. Wadsworth engaged in manufacturing enterprises, but
later he turned his attention to farming and settled on a plantation near
Gardnersville, Ky., where occurred the birth of his daughter, Katharyn W.
the eldest of six children. From early life she displayed exceptional ability
and a great desire for knowledge. At the age of sixteen she was graduated
from the high school and at eighteen completed the studies of the scientific
course at the Central Normal College at Danville, Ind. A portion of each
year was then devoted to teaching school in order to add to the funds neces-
sary for a professional education. Upon her graduation in medicine she
opened an office at Covington, Ky., and while engaged in practice there she
became the wife of James F. Ellis, an attorney-at-law. Afterward she built
up an important practice at Butler, Ky., and later spent three years at Evan-
ston, Wyo., where her clientele included patients for miles in every direction,
the conduct of so large a practice entailing many physical hardships, yet
bringing rich returns in the satisfaction of realizing a helpful service to hu-
manity. During 1901 she came to Kern, now East Bakersfield, and opened
an office on Baker street, where since she has conducted a general practice
in medicine and surgery. Her only child, Leland Wadsworth Ellis, graduated
from the Kern county high school, class of 1913, at the age of sixteen. Since
coming to her present location she has identified herself with the Kern
County and the California State Medical Associations and has acted as med-
ical examiner for the women's auxiliary of the Foresters and the Ladies of




/J^yr>^^uMiJai:Ji



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 347

the Maccabees. In religion she is a member of the Christian Church. Po-
litically she supports Republican principles. In addition to having acquired
valuable property in East Bakersfield she has invested elsewhere in Cali-
fornia, her chief investment comprising an orange grove of fifty acres at
Portersville, a property of great and growing horticultural importance.

WILLIAM N. CUDDEBACK.— The early colonization of .America at-
tracted from all parts of the world men and women of resolute spirit and
energetic temperament. The nation was still in the infancy of its historv
when the Cudaback family crossed the ocean from Holland and established
themselves among the Dutch residents of Manhattan island. Some of the
name (which it may be noted was spelled difterently at that period from
the present form) became early settlers of Orange county on the Hudson
and there founded a village which to this day bears the name of (.'udde-
backville.

In the family of Peter Cuddeback of Cuddebackville, N. ¥., there was
a son, Grant Price, who was put to service as a tow boy on the Erie canal
on boats owned by the earlier-day Vanderbilts, but finding the work diffi-
cult and illy-paid he ran away to seek his fortune in the then unknown west,
of whose mysterious solitudes he long had dreamed with the hopeful visions
of youth. The path to success proved a toilsome road. Many adventures
befell him ere finally he had found his way to the Pacific coast. During
the memorable year of 1849 he arrived in Kern county and took up land
north of Tehachapi, developing the ranch now known as the old Hale place,
besides which he improved a large ranch near the old Lake farm east
of Tehachapi. Throughout the Tehachapi valley he was known as a warm
friend of the Indians. Their interests were ever safe in his care. With
wise counsel he directed many of their undertakings and they came to hold
him with affectionate regard. By an Indian ceremony he was made a
brother of Chief Phillipe, an adopted relationship that by the terms of the
ceremony descended to his sons and daughters and to their descendants
forever. Eventually he removed to Orange county and acquired one of the
oldest orange groves in that locality, where his interests became very im-
portant and extensive. During Februarj^ of 1905 death removed him from
the sphere of his usefulness and terminated the activities that had crowned
an honorable existence.

In his marriage Grant Price Cuddeback was united with Alniira Hale,
a niece of President Franklin Pierce and a descendant uf Xathan Hale, the
Revolutionary martyr, also connected by family ties with the two presidents,
William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison. There were five sons and
three daughters in the family of Grant Price Cuddeback. None of these had
college educations, for the western schools of their childhood were jjoorly
equipped and inefficiently instructed. William N., who was born in San
Bernardino county ]\Iarch 13, 1861, attended the Los Angeles schools for a
time, but his present broad fund of information comes from self-culture and
habits of close observation. When a babe in arms he was brought into the
Tehachapi region, Kern county. Fur many years he and his younger brother,
John P., were associated together as ranchers and cattlemen. When only
thirteen years of age he began to be a wage-earner, starting at fifty cents
a day. and working up until he earned $1.30 a day and therefore, aside from
what his father left to him, he has become wealthy in his own right, nor
has his brother been less successful. Their partnership was dissolved in
July of 1908, at which time William N. bought the famous old Norboe Salt
Lake ranch of thirty-two hundred acres, five miles east of Tehachapi. For
a number of years he kept his herd of cattle on that ranch and also rai.sed
grain there in large quantities, besides shipping thousands of tons of salt
from the lake. Some years ago the city of Los Angeles bought the greater



348 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

part of this ranch as a site for a cement plant, the lake having proved to
liossess a bed of purest clay, exceptionally valuable for the making of cement.
He used to graze his cattle in San Bernardino county and Cuddeback lake
was named for him.

With the opening and early development of the Imperial valley Mr.
Cuddeback, who had watched the vast enterprise with the deepest interest
from its inauguration, purchased land which has been devoted to alfalfa,
liog-raising and a dairy industry. The ranch proved a very profitable in-
vestment and was sold at a high figure. A few years later he bought from
lion, h'red Eaton, former mayor of Los Angeles, an alfalfa and hog ranch
in Inyo county. He still manages two hundred and eighty acres of it with
gratifying success, raising and feeding stock. During 1910 he became inter-
ested in the S. Watkins Live Stock Auctioneering Company and the old
Fashion stables in Los Angeles, at the time buying an elegant city residence
in the southwest district, where the family spend the winter months, return-
ing for the summers to their residence in Tehachapi. Lately Mr. Cuddeback
purchased five hundred and eighty acres of land in Palos Verdes valley,
Riverside county, which he is developing into a large alfalfa farm. For
abcut twentA'-five years he ran a meat market in Tehachapi, but he now
rents it. P'raternally Mr. Cuddeback is a member of Tehachapi Lodge No.
313, v. & A. M., in which he has held a number of offices. In politics he and
his sons are stanch Republicans. May 10, 1883, he married Aliriam Jane
Chitwood, a native of Sonoma county and a daughter of Russell and Frances
(Hubbard) Chitwood, of the Tehachapi valley, and a niece of the famous
superior court judge, Hon. James E. Prewett, of Auburn, this state. Their
family comprises eight children, all living, as follows; Cate M., Mrs. Bone-
.shell. of Orange, Cal. ; Delia, wife of A. J. Blackley, of .-\lhambra ; Samuel G.,
who married Elizabeth Erbel, of Inyo county; Margie, who married Arthur
Weldon, of Tehachapi : Bertha, Mrs. Victor Phillips, of Monolith ; Ruth,
wife of W'ilsi n Easley, of Hayden, .\riz. ; and Charles and Aiurray, who



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 42 of 177)