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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

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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 44 of 177)
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existence. Returning to the real-estate business, Mr. Hopkins handled acre-
age in Alono county and became interested in an irrigation project in that
county, retaining indeed at the present time considerable stock in the Mono
Home and Canal Companj'. During December of 1912 he inaugurated a
movement looking toward supplying the people of Taft with ice. The fol-
lowing month the company was incorporated. Since then it has rapidly de-
veloped into one of the leading business enterprises of the place. In addi-
tion to Ijeing the first postmaster of Taft, he has served as a city trustee since
November, 1910, and has been identified with civic afifairs to an important
extent. As a Republican he has been influential in the political life of the
community. Fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent Protective
Order of Elks at Bakersfield and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at
Los Angeles. His family comprises two children, Zuva Belle and Harry A.,
Jr., and his wife, whom he married in Riverside, this state, and who was
Miss Zuva Tyler, daughter of ^^■illiam Tyler, a sergeant on the police force
of Los Angeles.

CHARLES DRADER.— From the earliest recollections of childhood to
the intelligent efforts of maturity Mr. Drader has been associated with the
oil industry and thus has become familiar with every phase of the business.
Even the name of his native village in the western part of the province of
Ontario suggests his occupation, for he is a native of Petrolia, a well-known
town in the oil fields of Canada, where his father, the late Ernest Drader,



I



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 359

who died November 19, 1912, was one of the leading- pioneers and owned
extensive interests. In a home in the midst of such an environment his
birth occurred March 22, 1874, and there he passed the uneventful years
of youth. Under the keen oversight of his father he was taught every branch
of the work and thus developed a judgment not always seen in young men of
his years. It was this judgment and accuracy of discrimination that led a
prominent English corporation to engage his services in the capacity of
manager of their company, known as the Canadian Oil Fields, Limited, and
he continued to fill the position with conspicuous energy and fidelity until
the property was sold to other parties.

Leaving his old Canadian home to inspect other oil districts, Mr. Drad'er
visited Mexico and engaged in the industry at Tampico for a brief period,
dating from Decemljer of 1910. While the oil in Canada has a paraffine
base, he soon found that the Tampico oil has an asphalt base and the two
therefore differed in mode of operation and in by-products. The work in
Mexico he found as intensely interesting as that of Canada, but the enervat-
ing climate proved unhealthful and he came to the Kern river oil fields,
where since April 1, 1912, he has ably served as superintendent of the Kern
River Oil Fields of California, Limited. On coming to this district he
brought with him his wife, who was formerly Miss Margaret Parker of
Petrolia, Canada, and their two children, Lorna M., born in 1900, and Ernest
O., born in 1906.

The Kern River Oil Fields of California, Limited, was bought in 1910
by a group of capitalists, mainly residents of London, England, and the
new corporation engaged the services of Ernest V. Benjamin and W. W.
Orcutt as members of the management committee, and subsequently em-
ployed Mr. Drader in the capacity of superintendent. The company was
incurporated in London with a capital stock of $6,000,000, of which all
but $1,000,000 has been paid in. Their holdings are very large and valu-
able, including six hundred and forty acres comprising secticjn 33, town-
ship 28, range 28; all of section 1, township 29, range 28; four hundred
and eighty acres on section 25, township 28, range 27; three hundred and
seventy acres on section 19, township 28, range 28; also lands in the Santa
Maria and other fields.

GUSTAVUS SCHAMBLIN.— The possibilities which Bakersfield oflfers
to men uf ability and integrity appear in the successful business career of
"Gus" Schamblin, jiresident and general manager of the Pii)neer Mercantile
Company, president and a director of the Barker Investment Company, vice-
president and a director of the Successus Oil Company operating in the Mc-
Kittrick field, and secretary and a director of the Mannel-Minor Petroleum
Company operating a tract of twu hundred acres on Bellridge frcmt. The
growth of the Pioneer Mercantile Company has been little short of remark-
able and indicates the business qualifications of its promoter. When he opened
the business in 1899 he rented a building, 12x14 in dimensions, on Chester
avenue between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets. Soon he was forced to
seek larger c|uarters. His next location was on the corner of Twentieth
and I streets. I->om there he soon moved to a larger place on Nineteenth
between H and 1 streets. Forced to secure still larger quarters, in 1905 he
secured space on I street between Nineteenth and Twentieth, double the
size of his original space, the building being 66x80 feet in dimensions, with
a basement 66x200 for storage purposes. Flaving again outgrown his (|uar-
ters Mr. Schamblin found it necessary to secure larger space, and in March,
1913, concluded the lease of a new concrete building on the corner of Twen-
tieth and I streets. Here he has the entire basement, first floor and mez-
zanine floor, the building covering a floor space 72x116 feet, and Ix'ing
equipped with every modern convenience and elevator service.



360 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

Born at Waldenburg, Switzerland, August 30, 1855, Mr. Schamblin and
his sister, Mrs. Selina Tschude, now of Waldenburg, were the only children
of the late Mathias and Eliza (Schneider) Schamblin, lifelong residents of
that part of Switzerland, where for thirty-five years before his death the
father served by continuous re-election as county clerk of Waldenburg. The
only son was educated in the local high school and gymnasium and after
graduating at the age of eighteen began an apprenticeship in a large watch
factory at Waldenburg, but later he studied bookkeeping and lousiness corre-
spondence in German and French. Coming to the United States in 1877 he
spent a year in New York City and there enlisted as a private in Company
B, Twentieth United States Infantry. With his command he spent two years
at Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory. From there he was transferred with
his regiment to Fort Assinniboine, Mont., where he was detailed as adju-
tant's clerk with the rank and commission of sergeant. In 1883 he was hon-
orably discharged from the army. From the fort in Montana he came to
California and secured employment on the bay at San Francisco. The year
1886 found him a newcomer in Bakersfield, where for a number of years he
filled clerical positions. During 1892 he entered the employ of the Kern
County Land Company as warehouse man in the Sumner warehouse. The
faithful discharge of duties led to his promotion to be foreman of that
warehouse, from which he was raised to the position of superintendent of all
the company's warehouses in the county. Resigning from the employ of the
Kern County Land Company in 1899, he embarked in business for himself
in a small room, then and there laying the foundation of the now prosper-
ous Pioneer Mercantile Company, which he incorporated in 1911 with a cap-
ital stock of $150,000. The company now ranks among the largest and most
successful of the kind in the county. Mr. Schamblin is interested in the
First National Bank of Bakersfield, and since its organization has been a
stockholder in the Security Trust Company.

The marriage of Mr. Schamblin and Miss Florence Smith, a native of
Hollister, this state, was solemnized in Bakersfield and has been blessed with
four children, Frank, Charles, Flora and Leo. The Merchants' Association
numbers Mr. Schamblin among its leading members. Formerly he served as
a. member of the executive committee of the Bakersfield Board of Trade and
he still maintains a warm interest in the welfare of that organization. Politi-
cally he votes with the Republican party. For some years he has been
identified with Bakersfield Lodge No. 266, B. P. O. E. While serving with
the army in the Indian Territory he was made a Mason in Alpha Lodge No.
12 at Fort Gibson. Since coming to this city he has transferred his member-
ship to Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., besides which he is con-
nected with Kern Valley Chapter No. 75, R. A. M., Bakersfield Commandery
No. 39, K. T., in his home city, and Al Malaikah Temple, N. M. S., of Los
Angeles, as well as Los Angeles Consistory No. 3, Scottish Rite.

WILLIAM S. BOGGS.— The genealogy of the Boggs family in America
begins with the arrival of six brothers from Scotland and their subsequent
settlement in Maryland, Alabama, Illinois and Missouri. The first of the
name to establish himself and family in California was Hon. Lilburn W.
Boggs, ex-Governor of Missouri, who shortly after the expiration of his term
in the gubernatorial chair determined to identify his future interests with
the development of the then unknown west. As chief executive of Missouri
he had witnessed many stormy scenes and often had been in great personal
danger, the principal cause of the trouble having been the colonization of
Mormons in the state after they had been driven from Hancock county, 111.,
where they had erected a temple at Nauvoo on the banks of the Mississippi.
Not being desired in Missouri, they were notified to leave and apparently
obeyed orders, but soon returned. Then it became necessary to use force



HISTORY OF KI'.RX COUNTY 361

in driving them from the state. In tlie 'skirmisli Lieutenant-Governor Sterling
Price was killed. In the excitement and turmoil that followed the governor
was shot while seated in his office in the .Missouri state capital. The wound,
although painful, did not prov*- dangerous and he had fully recovered before
he started for the west. Aft«;r his arrival at Petaluma Mission, Sonoma
county, he served as alcalde cf the northern district of California and en-
gaged in merchandising at Soi-oma, then the county-seat of Sonoma county.
His death occurred in 1863. After the death of his first wife, who was a
Miss Dent, he had married Miss Panthia G. Boone of Missouri, a daughter
of Jesse Boone and granddai\ghter of Daniel Boone, the famous Indian
fighter, whose name is indissolubly associated with the history of both Ken-
tucky and Missouri.

Among the children of Governor Boggs there was a son, William M., a
native of Jackson county, Mo., who inherited the love of adventure and the
fearlessness characteristic of his ancestors. Intrepedity of nature led him to
the plains when only thirteen years of age. \\'hile acting as a guide and
helper to Kit Carson he learned the different tribal languages of the Indians,
gained a thorough knowledge of their customs and became an adept in cir-
cumventing their cunning devices. During the early days he was employed
at Fort Laramie, Toas and Santa Fe. where his expertness with the rifle and
familiarity with the tribal dialects Ijrought him the friendship of the Indians.
After his return to Missouri he married Miss Sonora Hickman, a native of
Cass county, that state, and the daughter of William Hickman, who had been
a large planter in Virginia prior to his removal to Missouri. Early in 1845
Mr. Hoggs started with family and friends across the plains and en route
overtook a party from Sangamon county. 111., consisting, among others, of
Jacob Donner with wife and seven children, and George Donner with wife
and five children, who had left Springfield, 111., April'lS, 1845. The two par-
ties traveled together with William M. Boggs as captain. The expedition
reached the Little Sandy river on the 19th of July, 1846, and there a discus-
sion arose as to the best route to follow. The Donner party had heard of a
cut-off by way of the south end of Salt Lake and believed by taking it they
could save over two hundred miles. Captain Boggs would not risk that
route, but resolved to adhere to the Oregon trail. As the event proved, he
chose wisely and well. When he found the Donner party determined to
take the other road he divided provisions and equipment equallv with them
and brought his own partv safely on to the old fort at Petaluma Mission,
Sonoma county. Meanwhile the Donner partv had met with misfortune from
the moment of separation. Their cattle, some dead and others lost, were left
on the desert. After a wearisome journey through Utah and Nevada they
were imprisoned in the snows of the Sierra Nevadas, where many perished
from starvation. When finally rescuers arrived George Donner was dying
and his wife refused to leave his side, but bade her children a last farewell
as they were carried away toward the far-distant haven of Sutter's Fort.

The Boggs family had been in California but a short time when hostilities
arose with Mexico. As soon as Captain Boggs had settled his family in com-
fort he enl'sted eia;ht recruits and with them journeyed to the old Plaza in
San Francisco, where the men were added to a company then forming and
sent to Monterey, where the captain served as first sergeant. At the close
of the war he was honoraldv discharged and thereafter was variously em-
ployed, acting as secretary to General Vallejo and as recorder of Sonoma
county, also engaging in general farming and fruit-raising. Besides owning
a part of the old Buena Vista grant, he owned a large tract in the Oak Knoll
district, Napa county, where now stand Yountville and the Soldiers' Home.
The comfortable dwelling-house, erected under his supervision, was located
on that beautiful spot, .\fter he had sold a i)ortion of the large ranch tn Mr.



362 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

Yount he established a home at Napa and there spent his last years, but died
April 22, 1910, while visiting his son at Bakersfield. A Mason from early
life, he had been a member of the old California Lodge at Sonoma. Promi-
nent in the state councils of the Democratic party and a leader during the
memorable Hearst campaign, he had at fine time officiated as chairman of the
state central committee and throughout the entire commonwealth he long
wielded a large influence ir his party. Nor was his ability limited to agri-
culture and politics. Notwithstanding his almost entire lack of early educa-
tion, he became a man of literary talent and was well known by his contri-
butions to the literature of his day. Particularly was he interested in early
California history and his excellent memory, supplementing a fluent use of
the pen, enabled him to give permanency to many early happenings that with-
out him would have been unrecorded and forgotten. In Bancroft's history
of California his contributions are especially numerous and interesting, and
all his stories are told in a very interesting, realistic manner. For many years
he served as president of the Sonoma County Association of California Pio-
neers and among its members he was highly honored and greatly admired.

The family of William M. Boggs comprised seven children, whose mother
died in Napa county in 1902. The eldest child, Guadelupe Vallejo, born in
June of 1847 at the headquarters of General Vallejo, is now a resident of
Salem, Ore. Lilburn W. is living at Susanville, Cal, and Angus M. in Lake
county. Mary Finley Boggs, a graduate of Napa College and Napa Ladies'
Seminary, was for eighteen years librarian at Napa, dying in that city, where
she was known as an artist of remarkable ability. Jefferson D. Boggs is now
principal of the schools of Watsonville, this state. Sterling Price Boggs died
when only eight years of age. The youngest member of the family, William
S. Boggs, was born in the Yountville district, Napa county, Cal., August 19,
1864, and in boyhood was a pupil in the Oak Mound school, Napa. He is a
graduate of Napa College and also took a course at Heald's Business College.
After a brief period as a clerk at Napa he went to Portland, Ore., where he
was employed as a bookkeeper and also engaged in merchandising. Upon
his return to California in 1888 he engaged in business in San Francisco,
but soon went back to Oregon and found employment at Salem, thence re-
turning to Portland in 1891 and acting as bookkeeper in the East Portland
Bank. When next he went to San Francisco in 1894 he engaged as account-
ant with the Iron Mountain Company, going to Shasta as manager of the
purchasing department in their general offices. Later he held a position with
the Sunset Telephone Company. When he came to Bakersfield in 1900 he
took charge of the properties of the Imperial Oil Company and the 33-Oil
Company in the Kern river field. Under his management the organizations
were prospered and their wells became producers. When' the properties were
sold to an English syndicate he continued to manage them for two years,
but in March of 1912 resigned in order that he might take charge of his in-
dividual interests. Previous to this he had promoted the AltUras Oil Com-
pany in the Kern river field; after one well had been developed, the holdings
of this company were sold. In addition he organized the Boston Petroleum
Company in the Kern river field, which developed twelve wells and then sold
its holdings to Boston capitalists. Afterward he formed and promoted the
Coalinga Eight Oil Company in the Coalinga field, which owns a tract of
eightv acres and has developed three producing wells. Besides being vice-
president of this company he acts as general manager and has been instru-
mental in its profitable development.

The family of Mr. Boggs comprises his wife, who was Miss Nellie Smith,
a native of Shasta county, and their three children, Irma, Helen and William
S., Jr. Upon the organization of the Bakersfield Club he was a charter mem-
ber and afterwards served one term as president. After coming to Bakersfield



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HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 365

he was made a Mason in Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., and later
became identified with Los Angeles Consistory No. 3 of the jurisdiction of
Southern California, Scottish Rite, thirty-second degree, and Al Malaikah
Temple, N. M. S., of Los Angeles. In politics he has been stanch in his
allegiance to Democratic principles. For eight years he was a member of
Company G, First Regiment of Oregon National Guard, and after returnine-
to California he became identified with Company H, Second Regiment of
National Guard, with which he served in San Francisco during the strike
of 1894 when called out to assist in quelling the outbreak and restoring order.

CHRISTIAN RUEDY.— In Zillis, Canton Graubunden, Switzerland,
Christian Ruedy was born June 24, 1872, fourth in a family of five born to
John and Anna (Thoeny) Ruedy, farmers, the former of whom passed away in
1889, and the latter in 1902. Christian Ruedy received good training in the
public and high schools of his native place, all of which was received prior
to his seventeenth year, for it was then that he left his native land and came
to the United States. In April, 1890, he came to Kern county, and in Bakers-
field he procured work in a dairy. Profiting by the experience which this
employment gave him, in the year 1897, with Peter Gilli as a partner, he
leased one hundred and sixty acres from Mrs. Chubb. In 1900, associated
with his brother, John G, Ruedy, and his uncle, Anton Thoeny, he bought
forty acres of land that forms a part of his present property, upon which he
established a dairy business. Later the brothers bought out their uncle and
in 1904 they bought eighty acres more. During this period, Mr. Ruedy with
his brother John G., Peter Gilli and John Koch, organized the American-
Swiss Creamery and built a modern creamery plant on his place operated by
a steam engine. Here they engaged in the manufacture of butter for the
Bakersfield market for about six years, when the dairy herd was sold and
Christian Ruedy then engaged in raising mules. Ultimately he purchased
his brother's interest in the property and he now owns the entire tract, com-
prising one hundred and twenty acres, which is all in a high state of culti-
vation, planted to corn and alfalfa. The raising of mules is also an important
feature of the ranch income, Mr. Ruedy owning Blue Bird, a jack imported
from Maltese Island, Spain. The ranch, which lies about nine miles south-
west uf Bakersfield, is all under irrigation from the Farmers canal, and is
improved with a handsome residence and large farm buildings.

In Bakersfield, on October 2, 1907, Mr. Ruedy was married to Adeline
Ursula Pesante, a native daughter born in liakersfield, in December. 1890,
the daughter of John and Adeline (Lehner) Pesante, both natives of Canton
Graubunden. Switzerland. Mr. and Mrs. Ruedy are the parents of two
children, John Christian and Vernon Lehner. Mr. Ruedy is widely known
in fraternal circles, being a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows, \\\ odmen of the World and the Independent Order of Eagles. In
their religii.us views Mr. and Mrs. Ruedy are Lutherans, while i)nlitically
they fa\-or Repuljlican principles.

PERCY A. WILLIAMS.— In comprehensive grasp of technicalities and
keen insight into the intricate problems connected with the oil industry the
field superintendent of the Kern Trading and Oil Company has gained a rep-
utation that is not limited to the particular field of his effort, but extends
throughout the entire oil district and among men connected with other lines
of business as well. The property of the company, usually known as the
Southern Pacific lease, comprises four hundred and forty acres lying on
section 3, township 29, range 28, located very close to the Ellwood lease on
the Thomas A. Means farm where oil was first discovered. On the entire
tract there are two hundred and seven producing wells which have been
drilled as follows: Fifty-seven prior to 1906; seventy-three in 1906 and
1907; eight in 1910; thirty-four during 1911; and thirty-five in 1912. Well



366 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

No. 1 was completed December 8, 1899 and, although the oldest well on the
lease, is still a producer.

■ Born at South Vallejo, Solano county, Cal., on Christmas day of 1881,
Percy A. Williams is a son of Alton and Kate (Cuilom) WiUiams, natives
respectively of New York and Pennsylvania. The father is an employe of
the company store of the Kern Trading and Oil Company and here he and
his wife make their home, the latter a woman of capability, energy and ac-
tivity, and at the age of sixty-six physically and mentally well preserved. The
son received his education in San Francisco schools. In youth he was a
member of the state militia and in the spring of 1898 he enlisted as a private
in Company B, First California Volunteer Infantry, which sailed for the
Philippines on the 23d of May and landed at Cavite on the 2d of July. During
the thirteen months of his service on the islands he took part in the siege of
Manila, the insurrection of the Filipinos and other army affairs. When peace
was restored he was mustered out of the service and arrived back in San
Francisco September 21, 1899. Shortly afterward he entered the California
School of Mechanical Arts, an institution affiliated with the James Lick Poly-
technic College, in San Francisco, and upon the completion of the regular
course he was graduated in 1901. Securing a position as draftsman in the
office of Stetson G. Hindes, of San Francisco, he had six months of valuable
experience there. In addition he engaged in drafting with the engineer of
th6 City Street Improvement Company of San Francisco and for a time was
under James T. Ludlow in the Vulcan iron works.

After his arrival in Kern county in November of 1901 Mr. Williams took
charge of the 1901 Oil Company at McKittrick. During 1904 he became an
office man with the Kern Trading and Oil Compan}' and in 1906 he was placed
in charge of the McKittrick field, which he relinquished in order to undertake
the superintendency of the Kern river oil lease in 1909. Since then he has
established a reputation for drilling more wells than any other foreman in
the oil fields. The ingenuity which he possesses has found tangible evidence
in a pumping-jack system by which as many as thirty wells are pumped from
one central power-house. It is his present plan to introduce the same system
throughout the entire field. His ability is unquestioned and being an inde-
fatigable worker, with a thorough grasp of all details, he manages the prop-
erty with a skill and tact that are little short of remarkable. Fraternally he



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 44 of 177)