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 64 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 64 of 177)
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the completion of irrigating facilities, oranges could be raised on the land,
while any kind of garden truck would do well on such soil. The marriage of
.Mr. Monroe took place in Kings county and united him with Miss Susie
Becker, who was bijrn and reared there, and by whom he is the father of three
children, Harry, Ruljy and Evelyn. The fact that he did not enjoy good
educational advantages has made Mr. Monroe solicitous that his own children
and the children of other people in the community should receive ever)-
modern school privilege, hence he urged the organization of a school district
and when such organization was effected in 1910 in the Petroleum school
district he was chosen a member of the school board. In this capacity he has
labored earnestly to secure good teachers and to surround the children with
every advantage that will go toward the making of substantial citizens for
future years. The board of directors of the Petroleum school district, con-



574 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

sisting of H. j. Heath, Charles N. Newberry and W. P. Monroe have under
construction a new $10,000 school house, which will be completed for the
September 1913 term and will be the finest school house in the Kern River
field. While living in Tulare count}- he became a member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows at Tulare and maintained a warm interest in lodge
enterprises. In addition to his eight}' acres of good land he has acquired
citv property at Richmond on the coast.

FRANK S. MATTSON.— From the age of thirteen years up to the
present time, when as an experienced and skilled oil operator of fifty years
he holds a position of responsibility in the Midway field, Mr. Mattsun has
known no business save that of oil production. Familiar with its every de-
partment and experienced with the work in many of the most important
fields of the entire country, he has had a long and honorable career in his
chosen occupation and now, even more interested in the work than when a
young man and even more skilled in its details, he is giving acceptable service
as superintendent of the Safe Oil Company and the B. H. C. Oil Company.
The leases of these small but productive concerns stand on the celebrated
25 Hill, occupying a portion of section 25, township 32, range 23, overlooking
Taft and the Midway field, and here he is always to be found, overseeing
every phase of production and aiming by intelligent oversight to secure the
largest possible returns for the stockholders of the companies.

Born in Venango county, Pa., April 14, 1863, Frank S. Mattson is the
son of Tobias Mattson, a pioneer in the oil industry in Pennsylvania, where
he first became familiar with the business. Practically every position from
roustabout to superintendent he has filled in difTerent parts of the country.
Following in the wake of oil strikes, he worked in the fields of Pennsylvania,
New \'()rk, Ohio and Indiana, i^rior to coming to California during 1900. A
list of the fields in which he has worked would include many of the best
known in the east. After coming to the Pacific coast he made his head-
quarters in Los Angeles for a time and then went to Carpenteria, from which
place he came to Kern county and the Midway field. In his various re-
movals from one field to another he has been accompanied by his wife whom
he married in Ohio and who bore the maiden name of Anna E. Behrens.

C. H. SELLERS. — The Union Oil Company, operating on section 8,
township 29, range 28, was incorporated under the laws of the state of Cali-
fornia by a number of stockholders, principally residents of Los Angeles.
where also reside its officers, namely : president, Lyman Stewart ; vice-presi-
dent. W. L. Stewart ; secretary, Giles Kellogg ; and treasurer, E. W. Alston.
71ic superintendent cf their refinery, which is said to be not only the first
but also ihe largest in the Kern river fields, has been connected with the plant
throughout the greater part of its operative history, for the factory was com-
pleted in July of 1902, and he took charge on the 15th of September of the
same year. Since then the capacity of the plant has been douljled and employ-
ment is furnished to thirty-five men. A total capital of $200,000 has been
invested in the refinery and the returns secured under the efficient manage-
ment of the superintendent have justified the expenditure of this sum.

Very early in the development of the Mississippi valley the Sellers family
removed from the east to Iowa, where for years George Sellers followed the
trade of a carpenter and where he married Rachel Wells, now deceased. Of
recent years, since his retirement from active work as a carpenter, he has
made his home in San Jose, Cal. In his family there were five sons and three
daughters, one of the sons being C. H.. whose birth occurred in Clinton
county, Iowa, March 24, 1876, and whose somewhat limited education was
secured in Iowa schools. As a boy he helped his father and learned much
ciuiceniing the trade of carpenter, but when fifteen he started out to make
his own way in the world, coming to California, where he learned to be a
practical butter-maker in a creamery at San Jose. His introduction to the nil




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HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 577

business took place when he became interested in a refinery operated by
S. W. Palmer, of Oakland. Havinjj no practical knowledge of the industry
he began as an unskilled laborer and as a roustabout, but gradually he worked
his way up to a more profitable position. During 1902 the company showed
their confidence in him by sending him to the Kern river fields as their super-
intendent and since the fall of that year he has had charge of the refinery,
its progress and development being largely due to his energy and intelligent
oversight. A specialt}" is made of the production of asphaltum for street
paving and roofing purposes and in the latter specialty the company has been a
pioneer. Through the pipe lines of the Producers' Transportation Company
connection is made with the lines of various oil companies. About five thou-
sand barrels of crude oil are used daily and tlie monthly production of asphalt
reaches two thousand tons.

^^'ith his wife, whom he married at ]\lartinez, Cal., and who was Miss
Ella Kindig of Chicago, and with their two children, Spencer and Inez, Mr.
Sellers has established a comfortable home on the company holdings and
there his leisure hours are happily spent. He aided in the organization of the
Standard school district and acted as trustee.

THOMAS ARTHUR CANNELL.— On the Isle of Man, Thomas A. Can-
nell was born June 9, 1854, the son of Robert and Catherine (Kelley) Cannell.
There they spent their entire lives, the former conducting business as a hatter
in Douglas. There were eight children in the family and two of these, John J.
and Thomas Arthur, became residents of California, the former now having a
home at Bishop, Inyo county. For several years the two brothers in Cali-
fornia engaged in the sheep industry and had large flocks upon the ranges of
Tulare, Kern and Inyo counties. The venture proved profitable, but a desire
to avoid the migratory experiences t)f a sheepman led the younger brother to
take up land, buy cattle anfl embark in farming and stock-raising in Kern
county.

During a x'isit at his old home across the seas Mr. Cannell married,
October 1*), 1891. ;\liss Margaret Ann Joughin, daughter of John and ^largaret
CKaighin) Joughin, lifelong residents of the Isle of Man and owners of
Ballacrebbin, one of the most productive farms of that little country. ^Irs.
Cannell was born in the parish of Jurby on that island and grew to
womanhood in the parish of Andreas near the town of Ramsey, where
she remained until her marriage and where one of her brothers, the present
owner of Ballacrebbin farm, still makes his home. Her other brother.
William D. Joughin, came to California and now operates the Cannell ranch
near Isabella. Kern county, on the south fork of the Kern river.

Inmiediatelv after their marriage Air. and Mrs. Cannell came across the
ocean to California and settled in Kern county, where by their united eiiforts
and constant industry they became increasingly prosperous. The brand of
the triangle inverted, which Mr. Cannell used, was to be found on man}'
I f the ranges in this part of the state, for his holdings in stock were exceed-
ingly large. One of his ranches comprised several sections of land at Granite
Station. Kern county, while his home ranch was the tract of eight hundred
acres near Isabella, a well-improved estate developed from the primeval con-
dition of nature through his own painstaking industry and wise supervision.
Selling his stock in 1906 and renting the land, he built a residence at No. 4-t.S
South Ihiion avenue. Los Angeles, where his widow still makes her home.
After coming to the city he did not retire from business activities, but became
an organizer and promoter of the .\partment House Building Company, of
which he acted as secretary, treasurer and a director until his death, and
which in 1911 erected a splendid modern apartment building on Second and
Flower streets and it should be added that it proved to be such a success that
in 1913 the company built an annex of large dimensions. While on a visit



578 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

to his ranch at Isabella Mr. Cannell died, October 17, 1912, and his sudden
demise brought a personal grief to a large host of friends throughout his
community. All through his life in California he had been a loyal citizen,
with progressive views as to local development and upbuilding. Although not
a member of any religious movement he attended church and contributed to
such work and his wife for years has been a generous member of the First
Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles.

ALBERT LEROY HARRINGTON.— Connected with the Southern
Pacific Railroad Company as night yard-master at Bakersfield, Mr. Harring-
ton is regarded by the officials under whom he works as a most conscientious
and careful man, devoted to the business and alive to the responsibilities of
his position. From an early age he has been connected with some form of
railroad work. Indeed he was only sixteen when he left high school to enter
upon railroading, and ever since, with scarcely a vacation, he has continued
with different companies in difTerent capacities. In addition one of his
brothers and his father also have been identified with railroad work for many
years and are now in the employ of the Western Pacific, with headquarters
at Stockton, the brother, Arthur, having risen to be a conductor with that
road. Two other brothers, Arnold and Lorin L., are employed by the Pacific
States Telephone and Telegraph Company at Stockton, the former holding
the important position of outside manager. The youngest brother of the
five, William, is still with the parents in the Stockton home.

The parents of Albert LeRoy Harrington are Lorin and Nettie E.
(Hargis) Harrington, natives respectively of Illinois and Iowa. Their eldest
son among the five who form the family is Albert LeRoy, whose birth oc-
curred at Fontanelle, Adair county, Iowa, November 2, 1882, and whose
earliest days were passed upon the home farm there. During 1883 the
family became pioneers of Nebraska, where the father took up land in Fill-
more county. Results were not favorable and learning of land in Lincoln
county available for homesteading he removed there in 1886 and settled near
the Platte river. Very soon, however, he went a little further west to Keith
county in the same state, where he made a determined effort to develo;) his
homestead into a productive farm. Climatic conditions were such that his
unceasing exertions brought little but failure, and finally in 1896 he sought
employment on the railroad. For three years he was employed on the mam-
tenance of way in Nebraska by the L'nion Pacific Railroad and in 1899 he took
his family to Wyoming, where he worked for the same company. In 1901
he worked on the Union Pacific in Utah and during 1903 he went to Nevada
for the Central Pacific. Coming to California in 1904 and settling at Stock-
ton, he since has been in the employ of the Western Pacific road.

As early as 1898 Albert LeRoy Llarrington worked on the maintenance
of way for the LTnion Pacific in Nebraska and in 1899 he secured similar work
in Wyoming. During 1901 he entered the train service of the Union Pacific
road as a brakeman with headquarters at Rawlins. Resigning two years
later he came to California and entered the employ of the Southern Pacific
Railroad Company as a brakeman out from Los Angeles. Soon he was trans-
ferred to the yards as a switchman. In June of 1904 he was sent to Oakland
as a foreman on the maintenance of way. From there in July of 1905 he
came to Bakersfield as a switchman in the Southern Pacific yards. Appre-
ciation of his fidelity and intelligence appeared in his promotion to be assist-
ant yard-master in 1908, and two years later he was promoted again, this
time to the responsible post of night yardmaster. Meanwhile in 1908 he had
married at Santa Ana Miss Mabelle Ruell. who was born in Kansas and
reared in California, and who is a graduate nurse from the Sisters' hospital
in Los Angeles. They own a comfortable home at No. 607 Quincy street,
East Bakersfield, which he erected some years ago and in which they dis-
pense a broad and kindly hospitality. Both are well known in the local



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 581

organization of Pytliian Sisters, and in addition Mr. Harrington is connected
with the Knights of Pythias, the Eagles and the Brotherhood of Railway
Trainmen. Politically he votes with the Democratic party-

JUDGE GEORGE FLOURNOY.— The Fluiirnoy genealogy is traced
hack to the middle ages in I'Vance. where representatives of the name bore
a part in the activities of the lliiguenots. Religidus persecutions led ti^i the
massacre of many of that faith and td the exile of others from their native
country. They became transplanted upon .American soil shortly after the
first attempts at colonization had been made near the shores of the .\tlantic.
The first home of the immigrants was in \'irginia and later some of the family
settled in ("leurgia. Col. George Mournoy, son of Marcus .\. Flourno}'. was
born and reared upon a plantation in Georgia and receixed excellent advan-
tages in the state university at .Athens, from which institution in 1854 he was
graduated with a high standing. He was well (pialified for the practice of
law and went to Texas to open an office at .Austin. Soon he rose to such
prominence in the profession that in 1860 he was elected attorney-general of
the state. .At the opening of the Civil war he resigned from office in order
to serve the Confederate cause as colonel of the Sixteenth Texas Infantry
and that regiment he commanded until the close of the war. Meanwhile he
was often wounded in battle and several times the wounds were serious, but
in the midst of physical sufferings and untold deprivations he continued to
lead his men until finally they crossed the Red river, the last Confederate
regiment to retreat from the victrrious Federal troops.

The south having been financially ruined by the war. Colonel Flournoy
found no professional opening and accordingly crossed into Mexico, where
as captain of the guards of the palace he served in the French army under
Marshal Besaine. Upon the downfall of Maximilian he retired with the
French army. Returning to Texas, he engaged in practice at Galvestdu and
became widely known as an attorney of remarkable ability and professional
knowledge. During 1879 he came to California and opened a law office in
San Francisco, remaining there until his death, September 20. 1889, at the
age of fifty-seven years. While his life was not long as men count years, it
was eventful, useful and crowned by the friendship of a large circle of asso-
ciates, both professional and social. His wife, who bore the maiden name of
Virginia Holman. was born in Tennessee and died in Oakland. Cal. Her
father. James Holman. a Kentuckian by birth, became a resident of Ten-
nessee as early as 1804 and upon attaining man's estate became interested in
the occupation of a planter. During 18.^2 he took the family to Texas and
settled upon a farm near Austin, where in 1867 his long and busy existence
came to an end. Three children comprised the family of Colnnel and Mrs.
Flournoy. Eugenia, the wife of Paul Corti. died in Bakersfield January 27.
1912. Marguerite, the wife of Thomas F. Garrity. died in Oakland in 1905.
leaving two daughters. Eugenia and Virginia, both making their home with
Judge Flournoy. The next to the youngest child, and his father's namesake,
is Judge Flournoy. of Bakersfield. who was born in Austin. Tex., .April 20,
1863, and received a classical education in the Jesuit College in the District
of Columbia and in the University of Georgia at Athens. .Vfter his gradu-
ation in 1879 from the latter institution he came to California and began to
study law with his father in San Francisco, later for two years enjoying the
advantages of study in Hastings Law School.

Having been admitted to the bar of California in 1884 at the age of
twenty-one years George Flournov came to Bakersfield, but soon returned
to San F""rancisco. where in 1886 he was elected city and county attorney on
the Democratic ticket. So satisfactory was his service in the very difficult
positicn that in 1888 he was re-elected', serving until 1890. .\fter his release
from official duties he devoted considerable time to travel. During March
of 1892 he came to Bakersfield and opened a law office. Soon he won recogni-
tion through his wide knowledge of jurisi^rudence. Fcsr eight years he served



582 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

as city attorney of Bakersfield and for another three terms he served as
deputy district attorney of Kern county. In both of these positions he dis-
played a broad understanding of the law, especially as pertaining to the
statutes of California. March 6, 1911, the board of supervisors appointed
him justice of the peace to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Judge J. C.
Black, a position he has since filled. Throughout all of his active life he has sup-
ported Democratic principles and has given to that party locally the benefit
of his sagacious mind, unvarying tact and comprehensive grasp of political
problems. During the period of his residence in San Francisco he was united
in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Huie, a native of Sonoma county, this state,
by which union there was one child, Huie, who died in Los Angeles Novem-
ber 6, 1912, leaving a wife and a daughter, Roberta, four years of age.

R. W. BESS. — Diversified experiences in many of the well-known oil
fields in the United States have enabled Mr. Bess to appreciate the advantage
off^ered by the industry in California and particularly by that portion of the
btate embraced within the Kern county fields. Through a recent contract he
became superintendent and manager of the United Crude Oil Company at
Maricopa and since he took possession in March of 1913, under an eight-year
lease on a fifty per cent basis, he has raised the production from practically
nothing to three thousand barrels per month, doing this by dint of his own
persistence, energy and capability, aided by the three efficient workmen whom
he employs. Thoroughly and critically competent, he is well qualified to de-
velop the lease into a gratifying and growing success. From the time he
began in the oil business at the age of fourteen up to the present era of
managerial connection with a lease, he has been interested in no occupation
aside from the oil industry nor has he cared to enter other lines of enter-
prise.

'I'lie lifelong interest in the industry maintained by Mr. Bess results from
early environment. When only one year old he was taken by his parents
from New York state to Bradford, Pa., in the midst of oil fields of considerable
importance, and there he passed the years of youth. Born May 19, 1882, at
Bolivar, Allegheny county, N. Y., across the state line from the Bradford
fields in Pennsylvania, he was the eldest of six children, whose father, W. W.
Bess, for years engaged with the Roberts Torpedo Company and held other
positions in the Bradford fields, but is now an employe of the United Crude
Oil Company at Maricopa. The wife and mother, who bore the maiden name
of Esther Aldumas McClellan, is an own niece of General McClellan, of
Civil war fame.

\\'hen the family removed from Bradford they lived successively in other
oil regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Indiana, and the son
accompanied them in these various moves, eventually coming to California in
1896 and securing employment in the Fullerton oil fields. His first work
there was in the capacity of pumper for the old Santa Fe. After one year at
Fullerton he proceeded to Coalinga during the period of its first boom. For
two years he engaged with a company in that district. At the opening of the
Kern river field he came to this county and secured a position as tool-dresser,
continuing in the field for two years. From this puint he returned to Fullerton
to work, later went back to Coalinga, and finally left the state in order to
study conditions of the oil industry in Colorado. The fields near Boulder,
Golden, Greeley and other places became familiar to him through actual
experiences as a driller. From Colorado he went into Kansas and engaged in
drilling in the oil fields at Independence and Chanute, thence coming back to
California, where for four years he engaged in drilling in the Sunset, Alidway
and Santa Maria fields. Early in 1913 he assumed the duties of his present
position. During May of 1905 he was united in marriage with Miss Rose La
Vern Freear, daughter of Henry T. Freear, an old settler of Kern county, a



IITSTORY OF KERN COUNTY 583

Civil war veteran and a man widely knnwn and universally honored. Mrs.
I'.ess is also connected with the McCutchen faniil}-, one of the most jirominent
in Kern ci unity. Three children blessed her marriage to Mr. Bess, hut a heavy
hereaxement came in the death of two, Leona being- the sole survivor.

DELBERT A. SHIVELY.— The history of the Shively family in America
dates back to a very early period in the colonization of Pennsylvania and one
of the name, who removed from the Keystone state to Illinois during the first
years of the nineteenth century, o])ened and conducted the first tailor shop ever
started in Chicago, later relinquishing business in order to develop property
at Freeport, 111., and still later removing to Iowa to pass his declining days.
The next generation was represented by Samuel A. Shively, who was born
near Freeport, 111., and removed with his father to Chickasaw county, Iowa,
when all that section of country was an undeveloped wilderness and prairie.
Scarcely had he arrived at man's estate when a call came for volunteers in
the Union service and he volunteered in the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry,
going with his regiment to the front and fighting in its battles until the
expiration of his term of service. The war ended, he engaged in farming
near Lawler, Chickasaw county, Iowa, and on his farm there his oldest child,
Delbert A., was born June 26, 1866. The family contained two younger
children, whose mother, Cornelia (Tisdale) Shively, now deceased, was a
member of a very old family of New England.

Taking the family to Minnesota about 1872, Samuel A. Shively home-
steaded one hundred and sixty acres in Rock county and devoted ten years
to the improvement of the tract. Upon disposing of the property he returned
to Iowa and settled in Lyon county, but later removed to Missouri and estab-
lished a home at Springfield. Thence he went to Chicago and took up the
study of medicine. After having graduated with the degree of M.D., he
engaged in practice in Chicago until the time of his death. His eldest son
was six when the family went to Minnesota and thirteen when they became
residents of Lyon county, Iowa. After he had completed the studies of the
common schools he learned the trade of barber in Rock Rapids, Lyon county,
and there engaged in the business for himself. The summer of 1895 was
spent in Pasadena. Cal., and the visit gave him a favorable impression concern-
ing the west. Selling his business at Rock Rapids in 1901 he came to Bakers-
field and purchased the Southern hotel barber shop, which since he has con-
ducted with efficiency, securing a large trade by reason of rec



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 64 of 177)