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 56 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 56 of 177)
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discovery of gold in California. With all the eagerness of youth and with
the love of adventure characteristic of him, he made immediate plans for
removal to the west. During the summer of 1849 he crossed the plains with
an expedition of Argonauts and joined the great throng of men endeavoring
to find a fortune in the mines. For three years he remained in Placer county,
but his earnest and long-continued efforts brought him little of the gold
of which he had dreamed. Finally it seemed desirable to seek other lines
of enterprise, and accordingly he engaged in the hotel and livery business,
which brought him fair financial returns. However, an eagerness to see
more of the world led him to give up the business and go to the Sandwich
Islands in 1858. Securing employment in the government custom house at
Honolulu, he remained for some months, but in 1859 returned to San Fran-
cisco, content to settle in that city for the time being. Later, after a brief
sojourn in Visalia, Tulare county, he came to the present site of the city of
Bakersfield in the fall of 1860, and made an earnest endeavor to engage in
farming, but the disastrous floods of 1861 and 1862 entailed a complete
loss and forced him to seek a new location. In this way it happened that
he settled in 1862 in the district that now bears his name.

The marriage of Dr. Woody took place in Kern county May 20, 1861, and
united him with Miss Sarah L. Bohna, who was born at Warsaw, Benton
county. Mo., June 13, 1845, but had been brought to California by her
father. Christian Bohna, during the era' of mining excitement. Her death
occurred March 3, 1909, in the district where for so many years she had been
a beloved resident, and here, too, her husband passed away September 2,
1910. Their memory is revered not only by their children, but also by the
warm personal friends, who will never cease to bear in mind their many
virtues and by future generations who will learn with interest of their asso-
ciation with the pioneer history of the county.

Elmer H. Woody, son of Dr. S. W. and Sarah Woody, was born at
Woody. Kern county, July 10. 1880. and receivefl a public-sch(j(il education.


supplemented by attendance at Woodbury's Business College in Los Angeles,
from which he was graduated in the spring of 1900. After his return home
from the college he began to improve and develop a quarter-section adjoin-
ing his father's estate and for five years he remained on the new tract,
meanwhile devoting his attentii-n to farming. Until the death of his father
he carried on a partnership with him in the livestock industry and since
the death of his parents and the division of the estate he and his brother
own in partnership about six thousand acres of land devoted to the cattle
business, the Short-horn Durham breed predominating. The ranch lies on
the west side, at the foot of Blue mountain and at the head of Rag gulch.
It is well watered by numerous springs and is thickly studded with native
oak, such as water and white oak.

On August 27, 1911, j\lr. Woody was united in marriage at Bakersfield
with Miss Frances J. Weringer, a young lady of education and refinement,
the daughter of Joseph and Lucy Weringer. After her graduation from
the Western Normal school at Stockton she was engaged in teaching until
her marriage. One child has blessed their marriage. Ward Sparrell. In
politics Mr. Woody has always given his support to Democratic doctrines.

SERAPHIM POURROY.— The Pourroy family had generations of repre-
sentatives among the farmers in Hautes Alpes, tVance, where Joseph
Pourroy passed his life as a stock-raiser at the old homestead near the
Pondus Fose river. Both he and his wife, who bore the maiden name of
Emelie Richau. remained on the home farm until death gave them rest
from their labors. Of their five children four are yet living, the youngest
of the family being Seraphim, born at the old homestead September 21,
1876, and reared to a knowledge of agricultural duties under wise parental
training. His brother, Theophile, came from France to California in 1881
and settled in Kern county, whither he also came in 1884 with the hope of
securing advantages impossible in his native land. The voyage was made
via steamer from Havre to New York City. Thence he traveled across the
country to Sumner (now East Bakersfield). For three years he herded
sheep for his brother, of whom he then bought a small flock with which
to make his start in the business. On the range in this part of the country
he pastured his flock of seven hundred head. At first he was greatly
prospered and after he had formed a partnership with his brother they
owned five thousand head in their combined flocks. Just as their affairs
seemed to be established upon a firm basis the panic of 1893-95 developed
and prices dropped to such a point that both brothers were bankrupted.

Forced to begin again as a wage-earner, Seraphim Pourroy became a
sheep-herder on the ranges of the San Joaquin valley. At the expiration of
six years of the most arduous and untiring effort he was in a position to
buy another flock of sheep and he took this step, undismayed by the results
of his former venture. Forming a partnership with AL Plantier, he assumed
the management of the flock and for four years made his headquarters on
the O'Neil place. This time he was prospered in his undertakings and
when the partnership was dissolved he was in a position to invest in land.
Since 1906 he has owned and operated forty acres seven miles south of
Bakersfield between Union avenue and Kern Island road. At the time of
purchase the land was unimproved. It was no small task to make all the
needed improvements, but with characteristic energy he has kept at the
work until now he has a comfortable house, a substantial barn, irrigation
facilities from the Kern Island canal and the land leveled,- sowed to alfalfa
and productive of profitable crops of hay. Mr. Pourroy is proud of his
farm, but he is even more proud of his family, which comprises his wife
and three children, Gertrude, Seraphim and Emma. Miss Fanny Geraud
was born in Hautes Aloes. France, in 187.^. and is a daughter of Jean and


Rosalie (Bertrand) Geraud, the former a farmer by occupation. During
1900 Aliss Geraud came from I""rance to California and settled in Cakersfield,
where March 12, 1904, she and Mr. Pourroy were united in a marriage that
has proved of mutual happiness and helpfulness.

ALBERT S. GOODE.— In 1853 James M. Goode, a Kcutuckian hy
birth and ancestry, crossed the plains with his parents in a "prairie schooner"
drawn by oxen. The record of his subsequent hardships and privations does
not differ materially from the history of other pioneers of sterling worth
and unwearied energy. In the land of the golden west he met and married
Susan H. AlcPhetridge, who in 1856 had crossed the plains from her native
Missouri with her parents. The young couple settled in Santa Barbara
county, took up land, developed a ranch, made a specialty of stock-raising
and eventually attained a degree of success more than merited by the pains-
taking industry of 3'ears. When the acquisition of a competency and the
oncoming of eld age rendered further labor on the ranch undesirable they
came to Bakersfield and have since lived in retirement in this city.

The family of James M. Goode comprised eight children, all but one of
whom are still living. The fifth in order of birth, Albert S.. was born at
the old homestead near Santa Maria. Santa Barbara county, this state, Jan-
uary 26. 1879, and received his education in local schools, .\fter he had
entered the high school of Santa Maria the family removed to Bakersfield
and here he completed his studies in the excellent high school of the city.
Two years after he came to Kern county he started out to earn his own
way in the world. Since that year (1901) he has engaged in the dairy
business. His rise in the industry has been rapid in an exceptional degree.
Beginning with one cow, he delivered milk to private customers in Bakers-
field. The business was well received. Others desired to be added to his
list of customers. That rendered necessary the buying of other cows. By
the end of five years he owned seventy-five cows. During 1906 he contracted
to supply milk and cream to all the eating houses on the Atchison, Topeka &
Santa l""e Railroad in the states of California, Arizona and New Mexico.
In addition he supplies milk and cream to all the Pullman dining cars on the
same railroad as far east as Chicago.

The Goode dairy, located on six hundred and forty acres four and one-
half miles south of FJakersfield, has become well and favorably known through-
out the county, where it is by far the largest plant of its kind. 'The proprietor
of the dairy maintains every modern convenience and desirable equipment for
the management of the business. Since leasing the Kerr and As!)inwall
ranches in 1910 he has kept his herds here and has built three large silos for
ensilage, also has provided other improvements necessary to a modern and
sanitary dairy. A cold-storage plant gives evidence concerning his adoption
of modern ideas. Intensified farming has been adopted, thus rendering pos-
sible a large yield of alfalfa and grain. It is a source of pride to him that he
owns the finest herd of dairy stock in the west. Every head has been selected
under his personal oversight. Altogether he owns three hundred head of
cattle and of these about two hundred are full blooded milch cows of the
celebrated St. Lambert strain of Jerseys and combine finest quality and best

One of the most important of Mr. Goode's business enterprises was
the laying out of forty acres known as the Goode tract, the same forming the
first large subdivision district in Bakersfield. Since the tract was subdivided in
1910 it has been sold in lots, bringing a fair return to the original owner. .\t
the present writing Mr. Goode owns an alfalfa ranch of one hundred and
twenty acres on Kern Island, where he is extensively engaged in the stock
business. With H. R. Peacock and others he organized the Ve-seven Cattle
Company, engaged in breeding and raising cattle, feeding, buying and selling


stock, and shipping the same to the markets of the north and south. Since the
organization of the company he has served as its secretary. So closely have
his interests tied him to business matters that he has had no leisure for par-
ticipation in public affairs, but he has formed a number of fraternal associa-
tions and is very popular among the Woodmen of the World, Elks Lodge
No. 266 and the Elks Club in Bakersfield. Although identifying himself to
some degree with social functions he leaves such activities largely to his wife,
formerly Miss Cornelia K. Hansen, who was born, reared and married in
San Jose and who is a woman of culture, a leading member of the Woman's
Club of Bakersfield and a participant in many important movements for the
educational and social upbuilding of the city.

WILLIAM MENZEL. — It is characteristic of the native sons of Cali-
fornia that they evince the utmost interest and put forth generous efforts
toward the welfare of their commonwealth, and this, coupled with the
natural enthusiasm and sturdy powers of energy and effort of his Teutonic
ancestors, has accomplished much to make William Menzel the prominent
citizen he is to-day. He is the son of one of the earliest miners of Kern
county, his father, William Menzel, being a native of Hamburg, Germany.
When a lad of fourteen he ran away from home to seek the gold fields of
California, reports of which had reached him in his far-away home. Working
his way across the Atlantic and on to California he arrived in San Francisco
in 1849 when the mining excitement was at its greatest, and he immediately
began mining. In 1851. he drifted into the Kern river placers soon after the
first discoveries and followed mining around Keyesville and Kernville and
also on the Piute mountains. He identified himself conspicuously with Kern-
ville by starting the first butcher shop there, at the same time raising stock.
Afterward he sold this business to become head amalgamater at the Big Blue
Mill, but in 1884 removed to Havilah to become proprietor of the Golden
Gate hotel which he conducted until his demise in 1896. A short time after
his arrival in California he made a trip back to his old home where he re-
newed his acquaintance with a young lady who later, in 1871, came to Cali-
fornia and married him in Visalia. Her maiden name was Johanna Goden-
rath, and she survives him, residing in Long Beach, Cal.

Of the four children born to his parents M^illiam Menzel was the eldest
and to him was given the best educational advantages afforded by the local
schools of Kernville and Havilah. W^hen seventeen he began to do for him-
self, having charge of the stage stables at Havilah for Judge Sumner, who
had the Caliente-Kernville mail contract. Thirteen months later he bought
a team and wagon and some cattle and sheep and embarked in the stock busi-
ness. Establishing the brand he had purchased (two quarter circles, joined
points downward), he continued the stock business, and he is today still
using that brand. His cattle range for a time was on the Breckenridge moun-
tains with headquarters on the old Welch ranch adjoining Havilah on the
north. In October, 1908, he purchased sixty acres about seven miles south of
Bakersfield on the Kern Island Road, and removing to this place, he has
since made it his headquarters. The ranch is under the Kern Island canal and
is devoted to grain and alfalfa. His sheep are ranged on the plains and in
the Kern National Forest.

Mr. Menzel was married in Hanford, Cal., to Mrs. Ella (Walsh) Kincaid,
who was born in Walkers Basin, Kern county, the daughter of Martin and
Bridget (Welch) Walsh. Her parents were early settlers of Kern county.
the father following the vocation of miner in the early days. Then he engaged
in cattle raising and owned a farm known as the Walsh ranch, just north of
Havilah, continuing there until his death. The mother is making her home
with her daughter, Mrs. Menzel. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Menzel,
Gladys. Bv her former marriag-e to Mr. Kincaid Mrs. Menzel was the mother





of four cliildren, Martin, deceased, j(_)seph, William and Myrtle Kincaid. Mr
Menzel is a stanch Republican in political sentiment.

THOMAS MILTON YOUNG.— The identification of the Young family
with the Pacific coast country dates back to the era of gold discovery and
indicates an honorable association with the entire period of agricultural
development as well as with other occupations scarcely less important
than that of agriculture. The first tu seek the unknown opportunities of
the west, Thomas 1. ^■(lun,!:;. a natixe xi Massachusetts, made the long
journey from the old Hay state by way nl Panama and for a time after his
arrival tried his luck in the mines. Later he turned his attention to the hotel
and livery business at Sutter creek. Meanwhile he had married Elizabeth
Hinkson, who was born in Missouri and during the '50s crossed the plains
with her parents, the family settling in .\mador county. Five children were
born of the union and the third of these, T. M., is a native of Drytown,
Amador county, this state, born Decemljer 19, 1868. During 1869 the
family removed from Amador to Stanislaus county, where the father took
up land in the vicinity of Modesto. From a small beginning he enlarged
his holdings until he had accumulated five thousand acres. In the midst of
his great holdings, about three and one-half miles from Modesto, he made
his home for years in a comfortable ranch-house, but about 1900 he retired
to Stockton, where he has since lived in the enjoyment of a competency
and leisure amply merited by past years of toil. Always a stanch Repub-
lican, he twice was nominated for sheriflf of Stanislaus county, but the party
being greatly in the minority in that county, he suffered defeat at both
elections. He is a citizen of great worth and the highest standing. The
changes of sixty years he has witnessed in the comnmn wealth of his adoption
and his name is entitled tu lasting remembrance in the annals cif jiioneer

For some years in early life T. M. Young engaged in the dairy business
and during that period he paid his way through the San Joaquin Valley
College at Woodbridge, remaining a student until the close of the junior
year. At Woodbridge, January 23, 1895. he married Miss Odessa Riley,
a native of Indiana and a graduate of the San Joaquin Valley College. Of
the union there is one son, Hobart Nading Young. Ujjon selling the dairy
business Mr. Young entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Company,
which soon afterward sent him into Kern. During June of 1893 he was made
a clerk and operator in the freight department at P>akersfield, from which
he was promoted to be cashier and assistant agent, and later he held positions
in the passenger department and the superintendent's office. I'ebruary Ih,
1907 he resigned to accept a place as chief clerk with the .Atchison, Topeka
& Santa Fe Railroad at Stockton, but that important place he was forced
to resign owing to ill health, his resignation taking effect on the 30th of
May. Returning to Pjakersfield he embarked in the oil industry and assisted
in organizing the Emerald ( )il Company, of which he became secretary and
manager. Besides being interested in this C()m])any in the Kern river field
he had other holdings of stock. \\'ith the organization of the Topaz Oil
Company in the .Sunset field in Jime, 1008, he became secretary and

The water supply on the west side was inadequate, of poor (|uality an.!
very expensive. For the purpose of securing l)etter quality and larger quan-
tity Mr. Young helped to organize the Kern Midway Water Company, of
which he was chosen secretary and manager and which shipped water in
cars by rail to the Midway field for domestic as well as boiler and genera'
development use. During March of 1Q09 he assisted in organizing the
T. \\'. Company in the Midway field, of wliich he was chosen secretar_\- and
manager, .\pril of the same \ear found him acti\fly ]iromoting the or.ganiza-


tiun of the W . T. & M. Company operating in the Midway and of this he
also became secretary and manager. During June of the same year he
organized the Carbo-Petroleum Company, operating in the Midway, and
in this he was made manager and secretary. In February of 1910 he became
secretary and manager of Los Pozos Oil Company in the Midway field.
May of the same year witnessed the organization by him of the 23 Water
Company, of which he was chosen secretary and manager, and which
engaged in distributing water for operating purposes in the Midway field.
.•\nother Midway concern, the S. F. Midway Oil Company, was organized
by his efforts in August, 1910, and he became secretary and manager.
January 1, 1911, he was chosen secretary and manager of the Railroad
Water Company Association, another distributor of water in the Midway
field. A later enterprise was the organization, in June of 1911, of the
^M. G. & P. Company, operating in the North Midway, with himself as
secretary and manager. In all of the before-mentioned organizations, except-
ing the Railroad Water Company .\ssociation, he officiated as a director.
In October, 1913, with associates, he organized the Midway-Simi Oil Com-
pany developing an oil property of two hundred and fifty acres in the Simi
valley, Ventura county, of which company he is secretary, treasurer and
manager. In November, 1913, with associates, he went to Oklahoma and
Texas, leasing nine thousand acres in Jefferson county, Okla., and twelve
thousand acres in southeastern Texas, and the development of these proper-
ties has been begun. Aside from these companies he is interested in and a
stockholder in various other oil companies. Upon the incorporation of the
Western Water Company he became a director and assistant secretary and
since then he has been connected actively with this concern, which furnishes
water to the Alidway and Sunset fields. Since the organization of the
Consumers Water Company he has been secretary and a director and has
had charge of the company's business of delivering water for domestic use
to the town iif Taft. The Kern County Oil Protective Association was
formed for the purpose of controlling and preventing the percolation of
water into the oil sand and to encourage the proper' drilling of wells. From
the first he was deeply interested in the movement. In order that he might
promote its helpful influence he consented to serve as secretary and vice-
president. .\t this writing he is a director in the Independent Oil Producers'
Agency. Resides being connected with the Merchants' Exchange Club of
San Francisco, he holds membership with the Bakersfield Club, the Bakers-
field Lodge No. 266, F>. P. O. E.. and the Independent Order of Foresters.
The interests of Bakersfield, where he has made his home for more than two
decades receive his co-operation and encouraging assistance, and with genu-
ine public spirit he has stood ready to promote any measure for the perma-
nent benefit of city, county or commonwealth.

CYRILLE ANDRE. — The example of wise and frugal parents on a
small, well-cultivated farm in France gave to the early years of Mr. Andre
the advantages of a training that proved of inestimable value to later days
of hardship, toil and hope delayed. More extended mention of the family ap-
pears in the biographical sketch of .\ndre Andre. Suffice it here to state that
their father, Ambroise, spent ten years in California, but in 1885
closed out his sheep interests in this state and returned to France to spend
his declining days in the midst of associations endeared to him by every
tie of affection and intimacy. Cyrille himself left the old homestead near
Gap. Hautes Alpes. where he was born in June, 1862, and sought the
opportunities of America at the age of less than nineteen years, since which
time he has considered California his home.

Arriving in this state during the spring of 1881 Cyrille .Andre learned
the sheep business as conducted in the west and his period of employment


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 56 of 177)