Copyright
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 59 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 59 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Tracy, of Sacramento. The happy days spent in Mr. Kilgore's home and
about his place of business are among the happiest recollections of Mr.
Tracy's childhood days. While yet in his teens he purchased an outfit and
engaged in teaming on the large ranches in Colusa county, meanwhile saving
his earnings with frugal forethought for the future. Since coming to Bakers-
field in January of 1891 he has been actively associated with the farm and
stock interests of Kern county. Here he took up a homestead and joined
his brother, Theodore, who had secured a claim on the Goose lake channel
of Kern river, on the range of Canfield & Tracy, whose herds of cattle the
two brothers superintended. In due time William Tracy acquired the
Canfield & Tracy holdings and later bought out the interests of his brother,
who removed to Bakersfield. By such additions to his original homestead he
acquired a ranch of three thousand and eighty acres, lying five miles north-
east of Buttonwillow, or twenty-five miles west of Bakersfield as the crow
flies. Much of the ranch is in pasture, on which may be seen cattle bearing
the well-known brand of 91 and horses with the T brand that in the neighbor-
hood has come to stand for qualitv and breeding. One section of the ranch
has been put under irrigation and is devoted to alfalfa and grain, the balance
being used for range. A special feature of the ranch is the breeding of draft
horses, which find a ready sale in western markets and always command a



518 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

high price. At the head of the drove of over two hundred horses are two
Belgian stallions, viz. : Predominant, weight fifteen hundred pounds, and
Silver Tip, two thousand pounds, both iine specimens of their popular breed.

A rancher whose devotion to agriculture has been so constant and whose
interest in county development has continued through so many years must
necessarily have identified himself with other enterprises besides those ot
ranching, and we find that Mr. Tracy has exhibited a steadfast devotion to
every movement of permanent value to the county. Particularly has he
been interested in the cause of education. For many years he served as a
trustee of the Wildwood school and the district had the advantage of his
painstaking devotion to its educational system and his ardent determination
to promote the upbuilding of a first-class country school. Although by no
means a partisan, he is a pronounced Republican and stanch in his allegiance
to party principles. In his marriage to Miss Fannie C. Rowlee, a native
daughter of San Joaquin county, he won a wife possessing in eminent meas-
ure housewifely skill, artistic talents and deep devotion to country life, and
they are earnestly promoting by their united, harmonious efforts the mental
development and physical training of their children, Cecil Foster, William
Barrel, Frances Fav and Charles Wellington.

MRS. WILLIAM TRACY.— Versatility of mental equipment forms a
notable attribute of Mrs. Tracy, to whom belongs the distinction of being
a native daughter of the state, whose entire life has been passed within the
boundaries of the commonwealth, whose education reflects the training
(iflfered by its schools and whose refinement of taste indicates a cultured
environment from earliest years. A resident of Kern county from child-
hood, but a native of San Joaquin county, she is a daughter of that sterling
and honored pioneer couple, Charles W. and Martha (Martin) Rowlee, men-
tion of whom is made at length elsewhere in this volume. At a very early
age she ga\-e evidence of unusual ability and desire for knowledge. Not
>atisfied with the opportunities ofTered by the common schools, she prepared
for normal work and then entered the Chico State Normal, where she spent
two years in study, pedagogy being her specialty. Next she availed herself
of the advantages oflFered by the San Diego State Normal and after she had
graduated frc.m that institution in 1902 she took up educational work ui
Kern county with the intention of specializing as a teacher, but her mar-
riage to Air. Tracy, April 3, 1904, changed her plans and terminated a brief
but highly successful career as an instructor. There was, however, no
relinquishment of her interest in schools and schooling, for she has con-
tinued up til the present time a capable and enthusiastic promoter of all
educational adxancement, a firm believer in the value of the public schools
and an ex]3(inL'nt nt nioflern methods adopted in the most progressive insti-
tutions of learning.

For her four children, Cecil P'oster, William Barrel. Frances P^ay and
Charles ^^'ellington, Mrs. Tracy cherishes worthy ambitions. That they
may receive the Ijest of training and educational advantages is a source of
constant solicitude on her part. That their ideals may be of the highest
Christian type, not bound by narrow creed or selfish egotism, is her hope
for their future. While striving to promote their physical welfare and
mental growth, she finds the leisure to devote herself to art and her own
paintings adorn the walls of the ranch home as well as the family residence
in the city at No. 1919 Orange street. Fond of outdoor life and a lover
of the country, she finds great pleasure in developing the natural resources
of their environment. To watch things grow and thrive brings her hap-
piness, and whether it is a plant or tree or whether some pet bird or
animal, the growth of each interests her intensely. For this reason she
surrounds herself with pets. The pea-fowls on the ranch, the fancy poultry
and the thoroughbred sheep are objects of deep interest to her. Together



(3^^:,..-....£^^^^



lllSroRN- ()|- KI-.RX COUNTY 521

vvitli .Mr. Tracv she is especiall\- interested in watcliinsj the development
of "Phoenix" and "Tem])e," a pair of niat.niiticent ostriches now eight years
of age, and lironglit from Arizona in l')07 when only eighteen months old.
They were the first l)irds of the kind in the entire county and Mrs. Tracy-
has made a special study if their needs, growth, the inculcation, hatching,
etc., with a view, not onlv to understanding them, hut also to making them
a source of revenue. The season of 1013 resulted in an ostrich hatch that
is destined to play an imixirtant ]iart in the commercial future of the valley,
when their birds brought forth a troop o"f eight chicks which were suc-
cessfully raised. These were the first ostrich chicks hatched in the county
and thus opened a new industrv in the San Joaquin valley. This led to
the inirchase of a troo]) of (ift} - two birds from \V. 1'. Robison. manager of
the Southern California ostrich farm at Idora Park, Oakland. The birds
were successfully transported by rail to Rutton willow and from there they
were hauled in wagons five miles to the Tracy ranch, this being accom-
l)lished without injury to any of the birds. The ease with which they are
cared for is shown when it is known that they are turned into an alfalfa
field surrounded by the usual four-foot woven wire stock fence. When the
birds select tlreir mates they are placed in indixidual ]3ens for nesting.
.Among these birds there are representatives from three difYerent sections
of .Africa, i.e., the South African (the most common breed in the country),
the West Coast and X'ubia. The Nubian is the finest ostrich known, having
skin of a blush-pink color and being a larger bird and producing a longer and
finer feather than any other breed.

The feather industry has grown to such proportions and the demand
has become so large that Mrs. Tracy has found it necessary to remove to
Bakersfield her factory for cleaning, dyeing, repairing and the manufacture
of feathers into plumes and ostrich fancies. Her sister. Miss Hazel Rowlee.
has charge of the factory, while Mrs. Tracy devotes her attention to the
management and superintendence of the ostrich farm. She is recognized
among the ostrich farmers as an authority on the nesting, hatching and
rearing of the birds. The present successful status of the industry gives
great promise for the future and not only the family, but the entire com-
munity finds much of interest in the new undertaking as a novel industry
with uni(|ue possibilities.

CHARLES H. FAIRCHILD.— The records of Pennsylvania sh..w thai
when ^^'illiam Penn brought over his original colony of emigrants he
had among the number a member of the English family of Fairchild, a young
man of bold soirit and fearless valor, well qualified to assist in ])ioneer tasks,
and it is said that he became one of the first settlers in the city of Philadel-
phia. Later generations remained in the Keystone state and Ephraim
Fairchild was born in Bradford county. With the love of the frontier that
had been manifested in the original immigrant, he came to California when
this great commonwealth was an unknown region without attractions ex-
cept for goldseekers, its rich soil undeveloped and its sunny climate unap-
preciated. While' developing an important business in Sacramento and
acquiring large tracts of land in the adjacent valley, his wife, Sarah Kelton
(Ford) Fairchild, also was becoming well known in the west, where she
contributed liberally to the press of that day and was recognized as a gifted
and popular writer.

The schools of his native city of Sacramento afforded to Charles II.
Fairchild fair educational advantages, of which he availed himself to the
utmost. .A sturdy, wideawake and ambitious boy, he developed into a suc-
cessful man who was never content to do less than his best. From the time
that he entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company he
rose rapidly to positions of trust. Graduall}' he was given additional respon-



522 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

sibilities. Any doubts that might have been entertained as to his ability
were soon changed to satisfaction and therefore he was trusted in a degree
not always given to the young. The interests of the company were promoted
by his able service as assistant superintendent at Mojave. In recognition of
his ability and sound business judgment he was promoted to be freight
and passenger agent at Bakersfield, which influential position he held for
many 3'ears, meanwhile establishing in this city a home made beautiful by
the artistic tastes of his wife (nee Margaret H. Fay) and made happy by
the presence of their four children. He was an influential member of the
Episcopal Church, and kind and charitable to those in need.

The discovery of oil in Kern county and the instantaneous development
of a new industry here did not fail to rouse the enthusiastic interest of Mr.
Fairchild. As was natural to a man of his breadth of thought, he at once
entered heartily into the new work. Grasping the business with a celerity
seldom surpassed, he became very successful as a dealer in oil lands and
acquired expertness as a judge of values and possibilities. Eventually his
interests as an oil operator became so important that he resigned from his
position with the Southern Pacific Railroad and devoted himself exclusively
to oil development thereafter, with the exception that for one year he also
engaged as proprietor of the Hughes hotel in Fresno. His most important
and profitable connection in the oil fields was as vice-president and a large
stockholder in the Calloma Oil Company operating in the Kern river field,
the other partners in the organization having been H. A. Jastro and the St.
Clair estate. Another successful lease which he promoted with Clarence
Berry as partner was the Ethel D., in the west side field. His death occurred
May 14, 1910, from hemorrhage of the brain, and brought an unexpected and
sudden termination to his far-reaching activities, entailing upon Bakersfield
a heavy loss to its citizenship, depriving the Bakersfield Club of one of its
honored charter members and removing from the oil industry of Kern county
one of its keenest operators. He was a strong partisan in politics, possessing
stanch convictions, and was at one time chairman of the Republican County
Central Committee. Fraternally he was a member of the Elks, a Alascm of tlie
Knight Templar degree, and a Shriner.

MARGARET H. FAIRCHILD.— The career of Mrs. Fairchild is a most
interesting as well as an active one. Born in San Francisco, Cal., she was
the daughter of Stephen J. and Catherine (Kelley) Fay, both pioneers of
California, having come hither from Boston, Mass., and arriving in San
Francisco in 1862. Here Mr. Fay became an extensive general con-
tractor, but when at the height of his career his untimely death occurred in
1869. Her mother also being taken from her when she was very young,
Mrs. Fairchild was reared in the family of Daniel Sullivan, a wealtln- man
of San Francisco, and here she receiveVl a thorough educati(in. Having abil-
ity and the spirit to acquire a firm foundation in her studies, she rose rapidly
and was graduated from the public school with a splendid record. News-
paper work early attracted her, and after acquiring a knowledge of the busi-
ness in all its branches, on February 14, 1901, she came to Bakersfield,
where her services were given first to the Bakersfield Democrat which was
edited by E. A. Pueschel, then the leading paper of the county. Later she
was engaged on the Kern Standard, owned by W. D. Young. Her suc-
cess in this work was phenomenal and subsequently she purchased a half
interest with Mr. Young, still later buying out his interest in the Standard
and conducting it as sole owner and proprietor for two years. She then
sold the plant to Messrs. C( nklin & Maude.

It was at this time that Mrs. Fairchild became the wife of Charles H.
I'"airchild. the ceremony taking place in San Francisco. She is a well-to-do,
prosperous and thorough lousiness w'i, during March of 1907 Dr. Rees
selected Bakersfield as the center of future professional work and estab-
lished an rfifice in this city. Here too he has his home, which is presided
over graciously by Mrs. Rees, formerly Miss Edna Clark' Wetterman, and
is brightened by the presence of an only child, John Wetterman. In Bak-
ersfield, as in the east. Dr. Rees makes a specialty of surgery and practices
at Mercy hospital, in addition to having built up a large private practice.
From two to four o'clock he has office hours in his suite above the Hughes
drug store, while during the balance of his time he gives his attention to
home and hospital professional duties. Devotion to his specialty is indi-
cated bv membership in the Surgical Club of Rochester. Minn. In addition
he is identified with the Kern Countv and California State I\Iedical .Asso-
ciations, the San Inaquin \^allev Medical Society and the .American Med-
ical .Association, and through these < rganizations as well as through the
reading of current medical literature he keens in touch with modern devel-
opments in the science of therapeutics. Such has been his devotion to
the practice of medicine and surgery that he has had no leisure for partici-
pation in political afifairs or ci\'ic enterprises, nor has he been acti\'e in any
fraternities aside from the Elks and the A\^iodmen of the ^^^lr1d.



526 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

J. R. NEFF. — The president of the Neff colonies, who has become
closely connected with the material upbuilding of Kern county through the
promoting of irrigation colonies in the Weed Patch, began to be interested
in this region during the year 1907 and, after having carefully studied the
soil, climate and possible profitable cultivation of the land in intensive
farming through irrigation, purchased property and undertook the devel-
opment of the plans he had projected. With a record of successful identifica-
tion with the banking business he was qualified by executive ability and
thorough knowledge of financial problems to manage and develop large
landed interests and those associated with his projects in Kern county have
found him to be not only enterprising and progressive, but also far-sighted
in discrimination, honorable in action and sagacious in judgment. The
original colony which he established in Kern county, known as the Foothill
Citrus Farms Colony, is located on section 26, township 31, range 29, and
was incorporated during 1907 with a capital stock of $24,000, which is the
value of the pumping plant and irrigation system. Upon the first election
of officers Mr. Neff was chosen president and he has filled the position up
to the present time, H. A. AToyers of San Bernardino being secretary, while
the California State Bank of San i'.ernardino acts as treasurer. The large
tract of land incorporated by the coniijany is held privately b)^ about twenty
colonists, who own shares in the water company. The two wells, which
are each twelve-inch bores, are two hundred and fifty feet and three hundred
and three feet respectively, and produce sufficient water for the irrigation
of the land as well as for domestic ])urposes, as needed by the twenty colon-
ists now on the tract. During 1912 the company put in electrical motors and
centrifugal pumps and since then has used electricity, buying the power from,
the San Joaquin Light & Power Company. The products of the land include
alfalfa, Egyptian corn, all the fruits known to Southern California; nut trees,
such as English and I^'rench walnuts and black walnuts; all kinds of berries,
Logan berries doing es])ecially well ; and vegetables of every kind.

The Bear Alountain Orange Company, of which Mr. Neff is also presi-
dent, is located on section 24, township 31, range 29, Kern county, and was
organized in 1908. with a capital stock of $12,800. on the same plan as the
older company. In addition he manages the Or-ange Belt Farms Company,
capitalized at $9,600, and owning the southeast quarter of section 23. town-
ship 31. range 29. All of the colonists, numbering now about seventy-five
persons, are interested with Air. Neff in his enterprise. Under his capable
leadership, wise judgment and untiring energy, the prospects for future
development and growing success are most attractive, and there is every
reason to believe that the colonies will prove most profitable acquisitions to
the landed wealth of the county. Alany of the persons buying in these tracts
have come from Southern California, quite a few being from Santa Ana. and
they were influenced to select property here from the fact that the soil and
climate ranked with their own section, the water facilities are adequate, and
the price of the land was low enough to meet their approval. Xor have they
had reason to regret their decision in coming to Kern county. On the
other hand, their prospects for the future are the brightest.

Mr. Neff was born in Baylor county, Tex., April 29, 1876, and grew to
manhood in that C( imiiion wealth, where for some years he held a position
as cashier ,.f the City .\'ati.onal Hank of Childress, also from l')00 to 1904 he
served as clerk of the district and county court of Cottle county. At Austin,
that state, he was united in marriage with Miss Bessie Hutchinson, a resi-
dent of that city. There are two children in the family, Lawrence and
Pattie. During tlie latter part of 1904 Mr. Neff removed to California and
settled in San Bernardino countv. Init afterward removed to Pomona. Los




O^iyy^ Cf



OU^UL^



IJISTORV ()!• KKRX COUNTY 529

Angeles ccnint)'. and miw makes that city his hunie, siiiierintending tliruugh
frequent personal tri]3S the valuable interests which he has acquired in
Kern county and in vvliich he has invested heavily with a firm faith in their
steady acl\ anccnient in production and valuation.

JOHN ENAS.— At St. George, Azores Islands, J'orUigal, John Fuias was
born .\])ril 2'K 1852, the son of John Enas, a farmer and builder in that country.
His wife, Marianna J. Bettencurt in maidenhood, died in 1911. John Enas, Jr.,
attended school until fourteen years old. In 1866 he came alone to the
United States to earn his own way unaided. Settling first in Stanis-
laus count}', Cal., he worked part of the time as sheep-shearer, and part as
helper on a threshing machine, being employed after this for a few years
at different points in the state, working for wages. In 1873 he came to
Kern county and settled in Delano, where he became occupied in sheep rais-
ing for himself, and he soon became thoroughly familiar with all the details
of that enterprise. He remained in Delano until 1881, when he bought what
is now his home place, consisting of four hundred and eighty acres of land,
located fifteen miles west of Bakersfield on the old Headquarters road. Of
this one hundred acres were then planted in alfalfa, and the remainder was
unimproved.

Mr. Enas has since that time been extensively engaged in stockraising,
handling horses, mules, sheep and cattle. He has added to his original tract
until it now covers an area of over nine thousand acres ; three hundred acres
are under cultivation and the remainder devoted to jiasture land. He has
spent most of his time on his ranch, and it can be said of him that he is one
of the most extensive stockraisers in the county. He also owns a section
of land in the Kern River oil field, of which one hundred and sixty acres is
proven oil land. On this land are twenty wells, of which fourteen are pro-
ducing at the present time. In 1906 he accepted the office of vice-presi-
dent and director of the Portuguese-American Bank of San Francisco, and
he was also a director in the Bank of Bakersfield until it was dissolved. He
is now a director of the Security Trust Company in Bakersfield. He is a
man highly successful, but he has worked hard to gain the position he now
holds, and has justly earned his present prosperity. An expert in stock-
raising, his stock is considered the best, and his business enjoys the most
flattering recognition. He is a member of the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S.
societies, while politically is an Independent Republican.

CHARLES SCHIEFFERLE.— -An expert knowledge of machinery



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 59 of 177)