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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 82 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 82 of 177)
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purchased by her first husband during frontier days. From all of his lands
and possessions she saved eighty acres located in the vicinity of O and
Twenty-second streets. On Nineteenth street she erected a neat frame
house, but shortly after the completion of the residence it- was destroyed by
fire, July 7, 1889. The tract of eighty acres was mostly subdivided and sold
ofT in lots. From it she donated the site for two public institutions, one of
these being the Children's Shelter, where about fifty orphans are cared for.
Under her supervision were erected a number of residences that were a credit
to Bakersfield. She is a member of Bakersfield Chapter No. 125, O. E. S.,
and for the past fifteen years has been worthy chaplain.

AMBROISE VILLARD.— Near Gap, Hautes-Alpes, France, Ambroise
Villard was born July 1, 1851. the son of Ambroise and Amiee (Rambaud)
Villard, farmers near Gap, where they reared their nine children, of whom
five are living, Ambroise being the oldest. Educated in public schools
in his native land, IMr. Villard lived with his parents till in 1872,
when, having heard good reports of the Golden West, he came to
California to try his fortune. Settling in Ventura county, Cal., he worked
there for wages three years, after which he engaged in sheep raising
for himself in that county, herding his sheep through the San Joaquin valley
into Inyo county. In 1877 he made his first trip to Kern county, but he did
not locate here permanently until 1881, at that time making his headquarters
in Delano. By adhering steadily to the business which he had undertaken
he finally made a success of it, bringing to bear in its fruition a good knowl-
edge of aiifairs and a strong personality. In 1903, after over thirty years con-
tinuous experience, he sold his sheep in order to give his attention to cattle
raising, a business which he has since developed to large proportions. Eight-
een miles east of Delano Mr. Villard took up a claim to which he later added
from time to time by the purchase of adjoining land until he became the
owner of forty-eight hundred acres all in one body. All of his cattle and
horses bear the brand which he has adopted as his trade mark, which is a
"V" and "A" closely connected, "VA." All in all Mr. Villard's business
career is one of which any man might be proud. Coming to this country
with very little capital, he has won a place as leader of leaders in a great
state. As he has found good opportunity he has invested in enterprises of
different kinds, always with profitable results. He is a stockholder in the
First National Bank of Delano and in the Delano-Linn's valley telephone
system, in which he is a director, and is also interested in the Rochdale store
here.

In San Francisco, January 29, 1887, Mr. Villard married Eugenie Marie
Faure, also a native of Hautes-Alpes, France, born January 24, 1868. Upon
coming to California she resided in Los Angeles until coming to Kern county.
Mrs. Villard became the mother of eleven children, as follows. Ambroise,
deceased; Albert, who in 1912 was married to Agnes Panero ; and Adriene,
Eugene, August, Joseph, Mary, Jule, Gabriel, Annie and Daniel, all of the
last mentioned at home, and the older sons assist their father in tlie cattle
business.

WILLIAM TYLER. — The honor of having recorded the first deed in
Kern county 1)elongs to this well-known California pioneer of 1859, who
although of Canadian birth, is of American parents, and allows none to
surpass him in devotion to the commonwealth of the Stars and Stripes. The
old homestead where he was born June 20, 1836, stood in Napierville, Que-
bec, Canada, only a few miles north of the New York state line, and the



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 789

later residence of the family, at Iberville, Quebec, was almost equally near
to the United States. His father. Orange Tyler, a member of a colonial family
of New England, was born at Thetford, Orange county, Vt., in 1801 and
from there remeived to the province of Quebec, took up land and acquired
considerable property first at Napierville and later in Iberville, where he
remained until death. In the same Canadian district occurred the demise of
his wife, Mary (Poutre) Tyler, who was of French extraction. After having
been a student in the public schools of Iberville and an academy at Bakers-
field, Vt., William Tyler went to New York City to earn a livelihood and
from there in 1859 came via Panama to California, making the voyage on
the Star of the ^^'est to the Isthmus and the Golden Gate on the Pacific.
After he had landed at San Francisco May 17, 1859, he went direct to Amador
county and began mining at Jackson, but was unsuccessful and returned to
San Francisco in 1862.

A brief experience during 1863 as a clerk in a general mercantile store
at Santa Clara was followed by a return to mining, but this time Mr.
Tyler went into NeA^ada and prospected at Aurora and also in the Mont-
gomery district. From there in 18()4 he and a companion walked across the
countrv a distance of three hundred miles, down the Owens river, through
Walker's Pass and through a valley where only three days before the
Indians had massacred a party of white men, finally landing at Havilah,
Kern county, after a perilous and wearisome journey. Shortly after his
arrival the county was organized with H. D. Bequette as the first county
clerk and he chose as his deputy Mr. Tyler, who in that capacity recorded
in his own handwriting the first deed in the county. For several years
lie was employed in a mine owned by Dr. de La Borde. During 1869 he
went to Los Angeles, then a picturesque but small and unpromising Spanish
village. Returning to Kern county in 1870 he resumed mining and pros-
pecting, but later gave his attention to boring wells in the interests of
L. R. Hodgkins. Upon establishing a permanent home in Bakersfield he
held deputyships under various county officers, including the position of
deputy assessor under T. E. Harding. Later he held the office of county
auditor for two terms of two years each, after which he engaged in the real-
estate business for some years with his brother, Edmond Tyler, and since
retiring from that business he has devoted his attention to the oversight of
his personal interests. At this writing he acts as manager of the Tyler
Timber Company of Delano, Kern county, in which capacity he superin-
tended the planting of one hundred and sixty acres in eucalyptus trees and
has a general charge of the two hundred and forty acres owned by the
company in the vicinity of Delano.

Mr. Tyler is a widower and his hume in Bakersfield is presided over
by his daughter. Miss Louise Adelaide. His wife, whom he married in
San Francisco and who bore the maiden name of Carrie B. Evans, was born
at New Durham Ridge, N. H., and died in San Francisco October 24. 1902.
The only child of the union, who possesses her mother's energy of tempera-
ment and charm of manner, is a popular guest at social functions and alscj
a leading worker in the Eastern Star. Fraternally Mr. Tyler was made a
Mason in Dorchester Lodge, F. & A. M., at St. Johns, Canada, and now
holds membership with Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., to whose
Ijhilanthropies he has contributed generously and regularly for years. In
politics he vntes with the Democratic party.

W. W. KELLY. — Genealogical records attest to the Anglo-Saxon origin
of the Kelly family and their emigration from England to Alabama, where
occurred the birth of G. M. Kelly, a son of the original immigrant and him-
self a pioneer of 1857 in California. When a young man he had married
Miss Sarah Henderson, who was born in Illinois in 1837, and the eldest



790 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

of their children was an infant when they joined an expedition bound for
the western coast. A brother-in-law, Capt. Bass Parker, acted as leader of
the emigrant train and all went well until a shortage of provisions led to
changes in the route. The party divided, the larger part going by way of
Salt Lake in order to secure necessary supplies. A smaller body decided to
proceed via Mountain Meadows and started along that highway without fear
of trouble. The savages fell upon them and massacred them without mercy.
Shortly afterward the larger expedition came along and first learned of the
disaster when they found the dead bodies of their former companions.
The bodies were given a Christian burial and the party then came on to
California. Always afterward Captain Parker clung to the belief that if the
smaller party had remained with them, they would have formed a force
sufficiently large to withstand any assault made by the Indians.

Arriving at Visalia in the autumn of 1857 G. M. Kelly made a temporary
home there, but soon went to Elkhorn in Fresno county for the purpose of
conducting a stage station. In the fall of 1858 he again came to Visalia and
bought land one mile south of town. The property still remains in the
family. Immediately after his arrival he put up a crude cabin of shakes with
a puncheon floor. Later he replaced this with a better house and eventually
erected a modern house. The original tract of forty acres has been enlarged
until the fine stock and grain farm now includes one hundred and ninety
acres. Since the death of Mr. Kelly in 1884 at the age of fifty-three years the
widow has continued at the old homestead and now occupies the third house
built on the tract. Of her eleven children all but one are still living, W. W.,
the fifth of these, having been born in Visalia, this state, July 22, 1863.
When the Native Sons of the Golden West organized a parlor in Visalia he
became one of its charter members. During early life he assisted his father
on the farm and at the age of sixteen clerked in a store. After the death of
his father he remained at the old homestead for some time, meanwhile engag-
ing in the dairy industr)', general farming and the raising of alfalfa.

Upon coming to Bakersfield in 1895 Mr. Kelly started in the agricul-
tural implement business with W. C. Baker and \"an Stoner. Eventually
they sold out to A. F. Stoner, the present owner, for whom Mr. Kelly acted
as manager until 1902, resigning then in order to embark in the real-estate
business. Since then he has been among the most active and successful
handlers of property in the county and has bought and sold various farms,
also bought lots and built residences in Bakersfield. Altogether he has
erected about sixty houses. Included in his activities may be mentioned the
improvement of one-half block on Thirteenth and I streets, where he built
four houses, one of these being his own modern and comfortable residence.
In the organization of the Bakersfield Realty Board he was deeply inter-
ested and became its first secretary, holding the office for a long time.
Resides real estate he has an insurance department and represents the Mary-
land Casualty Company, Phoenix Assurance Company of London, Con-
necticut Fire Insurance Company of Hartford and American Surety Com-
pany of New York.

The fraternal relations of Mr. Kelly bring him into active association
with the Modern Woodmen of America, Woodmen of the World, Knights
of Pythias and Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he always
supports the men and measures advocated by the Republican party. His
marriage took place in Kern county and united him with Miss Lillie Pulliam,
who was born in Clinton, Henry county. Mo., and is the daughter of T. J.
Pulliam, a builder by occupation. The only child of the union, Edward A.,
a graduate of the Kern county high school, now assists Mr. Kelly in the
real-estate and insurance business.



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 793

LEWIS B. CROW.— A native son, Lewis W. Crow, of Delano, Kern
counly, was born on the Stanislaus ri\er near Ripon, San Joatjuin county,
Cal, June 2, 1859, and has lived in Kern county since 1892. He is the son
of William H. and Barbara E. (Dye) Crow, born in Kentucky and Ohio
respectively. Married in Scotland county, -Mo., they were farmers in that
state as early as 1852. The father first crossed the plains alone to California
with ox-teams. Returning east, he again crossed the plains in 1854, bringing
with him his wife and one child. Settling in Sonoma, he later located on
a ranch near Ripon, where he followed stock-raising and grain-raising until his
death, in 1884. His wife died about 1866. Of their union were born five
children, three daughters and two sons, of whom two daughters and one son
are living, Lewis B. Crow being the youngest member of the family.

.After leaving the grammar school, young Crow was for two years a
student at Santa Rosa College. Having completed his education, he was for
two years an assistant to his father in stock-raising. When at length he
left home he went to W'aterford, the same county, where he farmed rented
land seven years. Failing to make a success there because of adverse con-
ditions which it was impossible for him to overcome, he came to Kern county
in 1892, locating at Delano. For fifteen years after his arrival he worked
for wages at general farming. In 1907. having accumulated a little capital,
he engaged in the butcher business at Delano, an enterprise which has since
commanded his best efforts and advanced him to a good position in local
i)usiness circles. The business covers a wide territory, extending throughout
the northern part of Kern and southern Tulare ctumty. delivery being made
l)y automobile. Farming also has had his attention and he has been much
more successful in Kern county than he was in Stanislaus county. At this
time he is operating over six thousand acres of rented land, raising wheat
which he gathers with a combined harvester. As occasion has furnished
opportunity he has had to do with various business interests and he is at
this time a stockholder in the local telephone system, the Delano & Linn's
Valley Telephone Company.

Since his young manhood Mr. Crow has been interested in politics and
wherever he has lived he has been in a public-spirited way active and helpful
in the promotion of local interests, and frrm time to time he has filled various
offices of importance. While still a resident of Stanislaus county he was an
unsuccessful candidate for the office of sheriff. In 1906 he was appcjinted
a justice of the peace at Delano to fill a vacancy and afterward elected to
the ofifice of ci n stable. Both these offices he filled with signal ability and
fidelity. I'ratenially he affiliates with Camp No. 460, W. O. W., at P.akersfield.

THOMAS BLAINE WISEMAN.— The opportunities offered by the
great northwest attracted .Xbner Wiseman from his native commonwealth of
Kentucky during the year 1884, when, accompanied by his wife, Sarah E.
(Abney) Wiseman, and their children, he established a home in Walla
Walla. For some years he was unusually successful and carried on a grain
business representing large interests. In all probability he would have
become very wealthy had not the unfortunate panic of the Cleveland admin-
istration occurred, but in 1894 he was forced to give up his business, having
lost many thousands of dollars. The following year he moved to California
and began anew in the world, but he never regained his lost fortune and his
children were cbliged to become self-supporting when yet quite young. At
this writing he makes his home at Sawtelle, Los .Angeles county, and is
practically retired from business cares. He served in the Civil war as mem-
ber of the Fourth Kentucky Mounted Infantry for three years and then
joined the Eighth Kentucky Infantry, .serving until the close of the war. He
is an active member of the Grand .Army of the Republic.

There were six children in the parental family, the eldest of whom.



794 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

Annie, married Jefferson D. Wiseman and died in 1895, leaving two children.
The eldest son, George W., resides at Sawtelle, where he owns diversified
interests as proprietor of a livery stable, flour and feed business and ice
business, also buys and sells real estate ; he was a member of the Thirtieth
United States Infantry and served in the Philippines during the Spanish-
American war. Martha married J. R. Armstrong, of Turlock, Stanislaus
county, Cal., now engaged in ranching and in the commission business,
besides being proprietor of a store and postmaster at Irwin, Stanislaus
county. Joel S. is a contractor and builder at Sawtelle and Haldon. Ray
is an inventor, residing at Santa Monica. The youngest of the six members
of the family circle was Thomas Blaine, whose birth occurred at Walla
Walla, Wash., April 23, 1885, and who was ten years old when the family
came to California, where he attended the public schools of Santa Monica.
At the age of thirteen he left school and began to learn the carpenter's trade.
When seventeen he began to take contracts for building and in the same
year he built the Christian Church building in Sawtelle, also the Sawtelle
branch of the Santa Monica Bank and the first railroad depot at Sawtelle on
the Los Angeles Pacific road. B. A. Nebeker of Santa Monica was his first
backer. Later W. E. Sawtelle, founder of the village of that name, Roy
Jones of Santa Monica, and L. D. Loomis, seeing his ability, industry and
his skill in construction, backed him financially in his contracts, and this was
of the greatest assistance to him. The mid-winter edition of the Los Angeles
Times in 1903 devoted considerable space to the young contractor and
emphasized the remarkable success which he had achieved when still less
than twenty years of age.

Mr. Wiseman removed from California to Arizona and on the day of
his arrival became superintendent of construction on the government cus-
tom-house building at Douglas. For eighteen months he continued at that
place, meanwhile building perhaps more than twelve stores and public
structures, several buildings for the Arizona & Mexico Realty Building Com-
pany, the Nihart building and the store owned by the Douglas Wholesale
Feed & Fuel Ci mpany, and he also drew plans for and built the branch
territorial jail at Douglas. On his return to California he became draftsrnian
and superintendent of construction for leading architects of Los Angeles.
During the latter part of 1909 he removed to Bakersfield and took up archi-
tecture as manager for Train & Williams, of Los Angeles, whose interests
lie purchased in 1910. During February of 1911 he took the examination
before the California state board of architecture and received his license as
architect. At this writing he is the youngest licensed architect in the state
and enjoys the distinction of being the only person who has passed the
state board examination without a technical training or scholastic course in
architecture and without having received university or high-school education.

The marriage of Mr. Wiseman took place in Lcs Angeles in 1902 and
united him with Miss Alice E. Thacher, a native of Onyx, Kern county, and
ihey have three children, Chauncey E., Thomas B., Jr., and Alice. The par-
ents of Mrs. Wiseman were Oliver and Bertha Thacher, the former a soldier
of the Civil war (having served in a Pennsylvania regiment) and a pioneer
of 1869 in Kern county where for some time he resided at Havilah, then
the county seat. Later the family removed to Los Angeles, where Miss
Thacher met and married Mr. Wiseman. In the early part of his business
career Mr. Wiseman had the contracts for the Roy Jones residence at Santa
Monica, the Santa Monica garage and the Savannah school in El Monte.
Since coming to Bakersfield he has the following buildings in this city to his
credit : Hotel Euclid, Hotel Manchester, Baldwin building, Gardner build-
ing. Hotel Moronet, Scofield building. El Reposo Ccrte, Echo building, Mor-
gan building, and the manual arts building of the Kern county high school;




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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 82 of 177)