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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 46 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 46 of 177)
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since 1908 he has maintained his residence in Bakersfield, he still owns the
ranch and superintends it personally, this being possible through the fact
that the tract of ninety acres lies only three miles from the city. Alfalfa is
the principal product grown and this, instead of being sold, is fed to the
horses and mules that are raised there for the markets. The excellent
condition of the property and its profitable maintenance reflect credit upon
the owner, who is considered a skilled stockman and capable farmer. Since
coming to Bakersfield he became one of the original stockholders in the
Security Trust Company. The Bakersfield Club numbers him among its
well-known members.

A pioneer in the oil industry, Mr. Haberkern dates his connection with
the Kern county fields from 1899. During that year he became interested




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HISTORY OF KERK COUNTY 377

in pnipert\- at the present site of Maricopa. With others he formed a
companv that put down a well and struck oil in jiaying quantities at a depth,
of five hundred and nineteen feet, this being the first well brought in on the
flat. Two other wells were then put down. The venture proved profitable
and the company later sold at a profit. Since then Mr. Haberkern has
continued in the development of oil lands in North Midway and from the
organization of the Eight Oil Company has been a director and stockholder.
While his success in oil operations has been excellent and now gives him
financial independence, it is abundantly merited by his arduous labors during
the incipiencv of the industry. \\"hen first he began to drill wells water
was so scarce that it w-as the custom for the men to drive two miles with
a team and tank and with buckets dip the water to fill the tank. It was
then brought to the well, so that the work might be continued without
delay. If any break occurred in the machinery he would start at once,
night or day, for Bakersfield. a drive of forty-five miles, in order that repairs
might be secured at once, and there were many times when he started on
these long trips at midnight. Drinking-water was brought to the lease by
their teams from the mountains, costing them about $1.25 per barrel. Those
were days of hardship, iirivation and unceasing labor, but he has seen the
reward of his eft'orts and is now enjoying the fruits of his toil.

WILLIAM MILES HOUSER.— The immediate cause of Mr. Houser's
removal to this place frcmi the Santa Clara valley, where he had enjoyed
a long and successful identification with the Palo Alto ranch, was the fact that
a brother, A. W. Houser, had become a resident of the place, had acquired a
livery stable and hotel business here and was meeting with results so encour-
aging that the incentive to join him was sufficient to bring about his de-
parture from the more northerly section of the state. Nor did he ever have
reason to regret the decision to cast in his lot with Kern county, fnr as
president of the Amber Oil Company, as supervisor of the first district and as
owner of mines around Randsburg. he reaped the benefit of a prosperity that
marked this section of the country and at the same time was instrumental in
promoting the welfare of the people of his district.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., January 27, 186.5. William Miles Houser came
to California at the age of six years and settled with his parents at Stockton,
where he attended school until fifteen years of age. The father, William, a
native of Pennsylvania, had been a coal miner in that state from early life
until the failure of his health necessitated a complete change of occupation
and of climate. Thereupon he came to California, but he was benefited only
temporarily. His death occurred in April of 1875. The mother, who bore the
maiden name of Barbara Schwagard. was born in Pittsburgh. Pa.. December
12, 1833, and still makes her home in San Joaquin county.

Upon leaving school and taking up for himself the i^roblem of self-
support, ^^'illiam Miles Houser secured employment on a stock ranch owned
by G. \\'. Trahern, for whom he worked during the following six years.
Meanwhile the care of stock, their needs and moneyed values became as
an open book to him. As a judge of animals he established an enviable
reputation in his locality and when the ranch where he had labored was sold
to the trustees of the Leland Stanford University he was invited to remain in
the capacity of stock-trainer and superintendent of one of the ranch depart-
ments, later as foreman of the ranch. In apiireciation of his faithful and intelli-
gent services he was paid excellent wages. For eighteen years he remained
on the Palo Alto ranch, relinquishing the position eventually in 1^)00 that he
might cast his fortunes in WMth those of the mining community of Rands-
burg, where the following year he bought the livery stable and leased the
hotel owned by his brother. A. W. After he had conducted these tWD enter-
prises with success for two yearnnt\' Land Company is filled by Mr. Hydron, who has been a
resident of Bakersfield since 1894 and an employe of the company for
practically the same length of time. Chance attracted him to the great
west. When twenty-one years of age he had the good fortune to visit the
^^'orld's Fair in Chicago and made a careful study of state exhibits. The
old mission building occupied by the California exhibit drew him to a careful
inspection and he noted with amazement and admiration the wonderful
array of citrus and deciduous fruits, and of grains, vegetables and other
products. For the first time his attention was directed to the Pacific coast
and it was this exhibit which caused him to come to California the fol-
lowing year, since which time he has made Bakersfield his home and the
scene of his business activities.



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HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 385

Born at Louis\ille, Ky.. February 11, 1872, James Frederick Hydron is
a son of W'illiam and Mary (Roman) Hydron, members of old southern
families, the former a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the latter born near
Louisville, Ky. For a considerable period the father engaged in the car-
riage-maker's business at Louisville and during the Civil war he enlisted
from that city with a Confederate regiment of soldiers, serving at the front
until the expiration of his term. During the 70s he removed to Indiana
and established a business at Jeffersonville, where he continued to make
his home until his death in 1903 at the age of sixty-seven years. All of
the children, four sons and two daughters, are still living and their mother
also survives, making Louisville her home at the present time. The fourth
among the six children was James Frederick, the only member of the
family in California. After he had received a common-school education
in Jeffersonville he aided his father until he came to California in 1894 and
settled in Kern county. Immediately he found employment with the Kern
County Land Company. His first task was that of driving mules and a
scraper. Soon he was transferred to the surveying department, where
he remained for two years. During his connection with the surveying corps
he helped to survey the tunnel at Kern river canyon. Later he served on
the street-car line as a conductor and continued with the land company
in that capacity for three years. April 15, 1906, he was placed in charge
of the Bakersfield warehouse owned by the company and since then he
has filled the difficult position with efficienc^^ In every capacity he has
proved himself a man of sterling worth and integrity. Politically he votes
with the Democratic party. For some 3'ears he has held office as banker
of the local lodge. Modern Woodmen of America, in the work of which
he has been influential and active. Some years after coming to Bakersfield
he married Miss Cora Cowing, a native of Kern county and a daughter
of John Cowing, a California pioneer, identified for a long period with the
agricultural development of this county, but more recently a resident of
Moneta. Los Angeles county. Mr. and Mrs. Hydron have an only son,
Harry Edward.

HENRY W. KLIPSTEIN.— The genealogy of the Klipstein family is
traced to an ancient and noble race in Germany, where a coat of arms pro-
claimed their distinguished lineage and honorable station. The history of the
family can be traced back to George Klipstein. a citizen and turner of Eisen-
ach, who had a son Hans, a forester of Einhaus, and the latter a son Casper,
of Hesse-Darmstadt, who was chief forester of the principalities of Batten-
burg, Reidenkofif and Itter. Casper Klipstein had a son John Casper, who was
preceptor and organist at Gladenbach, and his son, John Conrad Theodore,
was a forester. The son of the last-mentioned, Philip, was born in Hesse-
Darrnstadt and became a surgeon of note. In the capacity of surgeon he came
to America with the Hessian troops and served in the Revolutionary war.
When peace was declared he was honorably discharged and settled down to
the practice of his profession in \\'inchester, Va. This Philip Klipstein was
the great-grandfather of our subject. The grandfather. Philip Augustin, was a
native of Virginia, born in 1791. He was a minister of the old "Ironside"
P.apti.st denomination, preached the Gospel in the Old Dominion and held high
rank among the people of his faith. The next generation was represented by
Thomas E. Klipstein, who lived and died in Virginia. Plis marriage to Mary
Frances Hampton brought him into connection with a distinguished family
of his state, whose most noted member was Gen. \\ade Hampton. In the
family of Thomas E. Klipstein there were five children, of whom four grew up ;
Sallie, Mrs. A. R. Bartenstein. of Fauquier county, Yst.: Eliza Peyton, Mrs.
W. G. Bartenstein, who died at \'irginia Colony, Kern county: Catherine
Hampton, Mrs. Basey, of X'irginia Colon}- ; and Henry W.



386 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

The home of the Klipstein family was in Fauquier county, Va., and
there February 13, 1852, occurred the birth of a son, Henry W., who being
a mere lad at the time of the Civil war could not enter the army, yet witnessed
much of the horrors of warfare. The family home, only forty miles from Wash-
ington, was often threatened by opposing forces and its inmates were in peril
of their lives as the fierce struggle waged around them. In their immediate
neighborhood occurred the sanguinary contests of Bull Run during 1861 and
1862. The community became disrupted by strife and schools were closed,
so that the young lad studied his lessons at home under the careful oversight
of his mother. When the war had ended and schools again opened for study,
he took up educational work and finally obtained a common-school education,
after which he began to make his own way in the world.

The marriage of Henry W. Klipstein took place in Virginia in April, 1876,
and united him with Miss Martha Jennings Rixey, the daughter of Smith H.
and Catherine E. (Triplet) Rixey. The father was a planter in Culpeper
county, Va., where Mrs. Klipstein was born. She is a near relative of Con-
gressman John Rixey of the Old Dominion and also of Dr. Preston Rixey, phy-
sician to President McKinley and also Surgeon General of the Navy in the Mc-
Kinley and Roosevelt administrations. For a number of successive generations
the Rixey family has been prominent in the annals of Virginia, whose ad-
vancement has been promoted by their patriotic efforts and progressive spirit.
A member of a family including seven children (six daughters and one son),
Mrs. Klipstein was reared in the home of an aunt, Martha Rixey, and while
still a young girl became the wife of Henry \V. Klipstein, whom she accom-
panied to California in 1888, his ill health having been the cause of their re-
moval to the genial western climate. Arriving at Bakersfield on Christmas
day, they at once sought a means of livelihood and began in the dairy indus-
try. Being given an opportunity to buy the dairy then owned by the Kern
County Land Company, they availed themselves of the chance and were
prospered by the undertaking. As his means permitted, Mr. Klipstein began to
buy land and cattle. At this writing they own the Klipstein ranch of about
twelve thousand acres, located near Maricopa, and also about three thousand
acres of the old Wagy ranch and farm, and on account of the location of the
ranches they control about seventy-five thousand acres of government range
land. In the land and cattle business he is in partnership with his sons, Henry
W. and Phil A., and on their ranches range more than three thousand head
of cattle. The move to the west proved fortunate to him, as he has regained his
health and also has been greatly prospered in ranching and stock-raising. For
years he has been closely connected with the Kern County Land Company
in business matters. Besides his vast landed possessions, comprising the
cattle ranches with their commodious ranch houses, he owns improved and
unimproved property in Bakersfield and here has a modern residence at the
foot of Dracena street built on a natural mound at an elevation of about
twenty feet above the surrounding country.

Nine children comprised the family of Mr. and Mrs. Klipstein, of whom
seven grew up and six are still living. The eldest, Thomas E., a successful
oil operator and formerly connected with the Kern County Abstract Com-
pany, is well and favorably known in Bakersfield and represented elsewhere



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 46 of 177)