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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 84 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 84 of 177)
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January 17, 1913, Mr. Caldwell was bereaved by the passing of his wife, Laura
M. (Cook) Caldwell, who left four children, Claude, Alice, Harry and Walter.
Giving his attention closely to his important cattle interests and devoting his
leisure to his home and family, Mr. Caldwell has had little opportunity or
inclination to enter into public life, political campaigns or fraternal activities,
and the only organization in which he has been especially interested is the
Woodmen of the World.

JOHN L. GILL. — The Gill family to which belongs the present editor
of the San Joaquin Valley Farmer is an old historic one in the United States,
many of its members numbering among the pioneer citizens who have aided
in the development of the country, settling first in Virginia, and then pioneer-
ing in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri. John L. Gill grew to manhood in Kirks-
ville. Mo., where he was born March 24, 1872. His grandfather, John Gill,
was one of the early builders of the west. He was a native of Ohio. Upon
going to Indiana he helped remove the Indians from that section to Kansas,
and deciding to settle in the west he became a pioneer in Missouri and a
large landowner in Northeastern Missouri before the war. Developing his
land he had it in splendid condition when the war broke out, as a result of
which he lost most of it.

The parents of John L. Gill were married in Missouri, the father, Wil-
liam Maxwell Gill, "being an only son. He was a self-educated man, well
read in history, the scriptures and belles-lettres, and was extremely intel-
lectual. He enlisted in the Ninth Iowa Cavalry and served during the Civil
war. For forty years he was in the newspaper business in Missouri and
California. He established the Kirksville (Mo.) Graphic, and was at one
time half owner in the Kirksville Journal. He married Anna M. Link, and
they came together to California and settled at Lemoore in what is now
Kings county. There he established in connection with his son John L.
the Lemoore Leader and he made his home in Lemoore until his death, which
occurred in the fall of 1901. The mother of John L. is still living, making her
home on a hundred and sixty-acre ranch situated about eleven miles from
Bakersfield. These children were born to the marriage of William Maxwell ■
and Anna M. (Link) Gill; Maud, who is the wife of L. C. Hyde, cashier of
the National Bank of Visalia ; John Louis, who is mentioned below; William
E., who is a farmer in Kern county, having a ranch of a hundred and sixty
acres eleven miles northwest of Bakersfield; Samuel, who is manager cf the
Walter Scott Company store and resides in Selma; Frank, who is manager
of the Walter Scott Company store at Kingsburg; Bert, who is a plumber
and resides at Lindsay ; and Harry, who is an accountant and connected
with the K. T. & O. Company at Coalinga.

John L. Gill was early taught the printer's trade by his father. Gradu-
ating from the Northeastern Missouri Business College he early became
interested in the business and evinced a particular talent for that trade.
When he was seventeen years of age he came with his parents to California



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 811

and settled at Lemoore where he established the Lemoore I.eader in partner-
ship with his father. Competent at so early an age to conduct a newspaper
business he early branched out for himself, and for one year was editor
and manager of the Antiich Leader, which he conducted successfully. He
then established the Sanger News and the Wasco News, the latter of which
he conducted for fourteen months and brought it to a high state of success.
Selling the Wasco News he then bought out the San Joaquin Valley Farmer,
and this he is at present conducting along the most modern and up-to-date
lines. This paper is a first-class family weekly with a circulation of about
two thousand copies. The subjects treated are the current topics of the day,
good short stories and some serials, the object being to put before the sub-
scribers the best literature obtainable, be it fiction, history or politics.

In 1900 'Sir. Gill married Miss Ida May Whitmore, tf Sanger, and to
them six children have been born, viz.: John Louis, Jr., William, Ruth, Doug-
lass, George and Wilbur. In fraternal relations Mr. Gill is a member of the
Independent Order of Foresters and the Woodmen of the World and in
political sentiment unites his forces with those of the Progressive i)arty.

JOSEPH F. ENDERT.— Mr. Endert was born at Crescent City,
Del Norte county, Cal., February 24, 1878, the eldest of four children of
Joseph Bernard and Clara (Fleming) Endert. His father, a native of Ohio,
and of German descent, was born in 1851, and in due time crossed the plains to
California. After living many years in San Francisco he removed to San
Diego, where he was employed in the construction of the first wharf, and
whence he came forty-two years ago to Del Norte county, locating at Crescent
City, where he attained distinction in many ways. He filled the office of sher-
iiT i;f Del Norte county for sixteen years and that of tax collector for fourteen
years, and he is also well known for his long connection with the banking
business as a director of the Del Norte County Bank. The first theatre at
Crescent City having been destroyed by fire, he was the builder of the second
theatre in the town ; he erected an ice plant and bottling works and became the
owner of valuable timber land and of much city property. His wife was a
daughter of Jthn P^leming, a Pennsylvanian, who came overland to the Pa-
cific coast with ox-teams, went up the Snake river and down the Columbia
river to Astoria, Ore., and had memorable experiences in the Rogue River
Indian war in which he served. He farmed for a time and then established the
Del Norte Hotel at Crescent City, wliich he owned until he removed to luireka,
where he passed away.

It was in the public school at Crescent City that Joseph F. Endert began
his education. Later he studied at the Van Der Naillen School of Engineering
at San Francisco, making a specialty of electricity and graduating in 1901.
Until 1904 he was associated with his father in different enterprises at Cres-
cent City, then went to San Francisco to become a traveling salesman with the
John M. Klein Company, in which capacity he made his earlier visits to Kern
county. Later he organized the Sterling Electric Company, afterward known
as the Pacific States Electric Company, with headquarters in San I'Vancisco
and branches at Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles. He severed his
relations with that ci ncern in 1910 to succeed J. H. Cai-r as proprietor of the
Kern Valley Electric Supply Company in Bakersfield, which under his man-
agement has built up a large trade in Bakersfield and vicinity, aft'ording ample
service in the way of appliances and repairs to all who use electricity in any
form. Mr. Endert furnishes estimates for any work in the electrical line and
contracts awarded to him are carried out according to latest scientific methods.
He makes a specialty of fixtures, carrying a large stock of electric and gas
and electric goods, and has wired and furnished fixtures for most of the resi-
dences and bungalows built in Bakersfield in recent years as well as for the
Redlick, Tegeler and Brower buildings, the Kern County court house, the



812 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

Southern Hotel and the Security & Trust building. He did the electric work
in more than two hundred cottages in 1910, averaging more than one cottage
a day for eight months. From time to time he has interested himself in other
business enterprises. For years he has been a stockholder in the Olsen &
Mahoney Steamship Company, which owns thirteen vessels in the coasting
trade out of San Francisco. He is a member and director and vice-president
of the Builders Exchange of Bakersfield and a member of the California State
Electrical Contractors' Association. In his political alliance he is a Democrat.
He is identified with the Bakersfield Club and with the Merchants Association
of this city and affiliates with the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent Pro-
tective Order of Elks and the Native Sons of the Golden West. He married
at Bakersfield Miss lola Havey, a native of Oroville, Butte county, and they
have a son, Joseph Francis Endert.

DOMINGO BORDA.— Mr. Borda is the son of Martin and Dominica
(Latsalda) Borda, both of whom passed away in their native France, at Basses
Pyrenees. The father followed farming, and was well informed on all the
details of that work. Six children were born to this union, four of whom grew
to maturity and are now all living in California.

Born December 12, 1863, Domingo Bcrda was brought up in his native
place at Cambo, and there was sent to the public school, to attain what edu-
cation that school aiiforded. When he reached manhood he decided to try his
luck in the New World and came to the United States in 1884, locating in
California. His first employment was with a sheep man in San Bernardino
county, driving between San Gabriel and Pomona valley, and also between
Perris and San Jacinto. Four years later he bought a lot of sheep and em-
barked in the sheep business in San Jacinto, following this until 1894, when
he drove them to Tehachapi, in Kern county. After remaining there four or
five summers he decided to range them near Famosa, about four miles east
of there on the plains, and in the summers in the mountains of Garcia.

Mr. Borda resides at No. 719 Nile street. East Bakersfield. He home-
steaded a quarter of section twenty-six, one mile fmm Buena Vista Lake, and
built a house and barn. In all, his place covers one hundred and sixty acres,
on which he raises grain. He also owns an eighty-acre ranch about five miles
south of Bakersfield, which is under irrigation and planted to alfalfa.

In Tehachapi Mr. Borda married August 28, 1902, Mary Etcheverry,
who was also born in Basses Pyrenees, France, and to them have come four
children: Catherine, Pierre. Baptiste and Michel. Politically Mr. Borda is a
Republican.

CHARLES F. JOHNSON.— As manager of the Consolidated Pipe Com-
pany at Bakersfield, president of the Kern County Board of Trade and presi-
dent of the Kern County Democratic League, Charles F. Johnson is throw-
ing the influence of his aggressive and forceful personality into the upbuild-
ing of this part of California. Significant of the future of Bakersfield is the
increase in its manufacturing plants. One of the recent accessions of local
industries is the Consolidated Pipe Company, manufacturers and jobbers of
riveted steel well and water pipe, galvanized steel irrigation pipe, hydrants,
gates, valves, flanges, tanks and sheet metal pipe of every description. The
present plant located in Los Angeles covers about three acres of ground
space, furnishes employment to upwards of one hundred and fifty skilled
mechanics and is under the personal direction of able business men includ-
ing the president. Gus D. Harper; the vice-president. Bert G. Harper; and
the secretary, N. W. Myrick. When the officials determined to establish a
new plant in Bakersfield they chose Mr. Johnson as its manager and since
Decemlier 13, 1911, he has filled the position with energy, tact and skill. The
plant is located on LTnion avenue at the Santa Fe Railroad tracks.

Born in San Francisco October 31, 1865, Mr. Johnson accompanied the
family to Los Angeles in 1870, when according to census reports the popula-



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 815

tion of that place was only five thousand two iuindred and seventy. All of
the subsequent growth he has witnessed with pride and interest. < )n l)oth
sides of the house he represents the pioneer element of California. His
widowed mother, who now makes her home with him in Bakerslield, bore the
maiden name of Mary 'SI. Johnson and was born in St. Joseph, .Mo. During
the memorable summer of 184'* she traveled across the plains in a wagon
drawn by oxen. .After the arrival of the family in Sonoma county her father,
David C, who had been a miller and merchant first in Tennessee and later
in Missouri, became a pioneer of Ilealdsburg and turned his attention to
farm pursuits. Later he tilled the soil in Merced county. During 1870 he
removed to Los Angeles and there he remained a resident until his death in
1882. His daughter in j-oung womanhood had become the wife of John
Henry Johnson, a native of New York City and a pioneer carpenter of San
Francisco, where he had the contract for the building of the old Lincoln
school and other public structures. While yet a young man he passed away,
leaving his widow to care for their children, whom she then took to Los
.Angeles, the home of her father. There were four sons in the family and
three of these are still living, Charles F. being next to the eldest. After he
had studied for a short time in the Los Angeles high school he left in order
to earn his own livelihood. Entering the Los .Angeles woolen mills in a
very humble capacity he worked up to be a weaver. When the late B. F.
Coulter took over the mills he was made assistant superintendent of the plant
and ujjon their being closed down, he was tendered a clerkship in the Coulter
mercantile establishment.

Upon resigning his position in the Coulter stnre .Mr. Johnsim entered
the employ of the Harper-Reynolds Hardware Company as a shipping clerk
and later was transferred through other departments until he was made a
traveling salesman for the firm in Southern California. I'or twenty-six years
altogether he continued with the same firm, but eventually resigned in order
to accept the management of the Consolidated Pipe Company's plant in
I'akeisfield. While his identification with Bakersfield has not been of long
duration, already he has become associated with movements for the heal
upbuilding and has proved a factor in commercial i)rogress. The recognition
of his abilities led to his unanimous choice as president of the Kern County
Board of Trade while his devotion to the principles of Democracy caused him
to be elected president of the Kern County Democratic League. For years
he was actively connected with the United Commercial Travelers. During
his residence in Los Angeles he was a leading worker in the Royal .\rcanum
and Modern \\\-odmen of America, while since coming to Bakersfield he has
joined the Woodmen of the World. Prominent in the D. O. K. K. and Mira-
monte Lodge Xo. 79, K. of P., until his removal from Los .Angeles, he had
officiated in the latter as chancellor commander and also was a member of
the Grand Domain of California. In Los .Angeles occurred his marriage to
Aliss Clara L. Dangerfield, a native of London, England, and a daughter of
Samuel and Elizabeth Dangerfield, now residents of Los .Angeles. The only
living child of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson is Clinton Shields Johnson, who was
educated in the Los Angeles Polytechnic high school, Occidental Ci liege and
Holman's Business College and is now engaged as b(Hikkee|ier fur the Cnn-
solidated Pipe Compan}' of Bakersfield.

GEORGE N. PEMBERTON.— A Californian by birth, having been born
in Napa in 1873. George X. Pemberton is a son of R. W. Pemberton. who
came to California in the pioneer days. He was brought up on farms in Kings
and Kern counties, where he attended the public schools. .After farming for
some time he engaged in the wood and hay business in Hanford for about
twelve years. During this time he also operated the Henry Burris ranch and
in one year put up twelve hundred tons of hay. On the place he also l)nrned



816 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

charcoal, having three large pits burning at one time. For ten years of the
time he had wood choppers busy, sometimes as many as fifty men cutting
wood on the grant, and during this time he cut the willow and oak wood from
a strip ten miles in length. He also ran a horseshoeing shop and was pro-
prietor of the Corey House.

Selling his interests in Hanford, Mr. Pemberton leased land from Cham-
berlain and Carr and raised barley and grain on about one thousand acres.
In April, 1911, he located in Lost Hills, where he built the Pioneer House, the
third building erected on the townsite, and at the time there were only five
derricks in the Lost Hills oil field. Here he is engaged in raising corn on
fifteen hundred acres near his old adobe house on the southwest end of
Tulare Lake, and for the purpose is utilizing his forty head of mules and
horses. He is also engaged in contract teaming and heavy hauling.

The marriage of JMr. Pemberton occurred in Fresno, uniting him with
Margaret B. Winsor, who was born in Newfoundland, and to them have
been born four children : George, Evelyn, Alvina and Irene. Fraternally Mr.
Pemberton is a member of the Eagles.

ELIAS MARQUESS DEARBORN.~The identification of the Dear-
born family with California dates from the early period of American oc-
cupancy and from the exciting era of gold discovery, for it was during 1849
that Elias Dearborn, a youth of some seventeen years and a native of Bangor,
Me., came via the Horn to San Francisco for the purpose of trying his luck
in the vast and unknown west. The stories concerning the presence of
gold in the streams and mountains aroused his ambition and allured his
imagination to test by actual experience the prospects of the country. It
was not, however, his good fortune to make any valuable discoveries or to
gain wealth from the mines of the state, although he worked in many from
the north country as far south as Havilah in Kern county. Eventually he
decided that any chance for independence must come to him from another
occupation besides mining and he turned to the stock industry, taking up
land in the Rincon country, Kern county, and eventually becoming the owner
of large tracts of land and large herds of cattle. Until his death about 1907
he continued to make his home m the ranch. Three years after his demise
his widow died in Mojave. Prior to their marriage in Los Angeles she had
been Mrs. Elizabeth (Lemon) Covington. Born in Indiana, she was a
young girl when the family crossed the plains in a prairie schooner drawn
by ox-teams, and from that time she continued to make California her home.
Of her union with Mr. Dearborn there were three children, two now living,
Elias Marquess being one of twins; the other son, Jacob, has charge of the
old Kern county homestead.

While the family were living in the Rincon country Elias Marquess
Dearborn was bcrn on the home ranch October 30, 1872. The first seventeen
years of his life were spent on the farm. Having comoleted the studies of
the common schools he went to Los Angeles and matriculated in Wood-
bury's Business College. From that institution he was graduated in 1895.
In the mean time he had studied law in an evening school. LTpon his return
to Kern county he settled in Mojave and engaged in mining and prospecting.
.An appointment as justice of the peace in July of 1898 was followed by elec-
tion to the office during November of the same year and for four years he
filled the position with fidelity, resigning by reason of removal to Caliente.
In the latter village he not only engaged in mining, but in addition for one
term he served by election as justice of the peace for the fourteenth town-
ship of Kern county. On returning to Mojave in 1910 he again was selected
to serve as justice of the peace for the tenth township and ever since he
has filled the position, besides engaging in the real-estate business, in mining
and in farming. The town hall in Mojave was erected by him and he also



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 819

has built other Iniildiugs in the town, where iicnv he owns residence and
business property. In addition he owns a ranch in the Rincon country.

As a justice of the peace Judge Dearborn shows impartiality and a wide
knowledge of the law. Some of the cases brought to his court have per-
tained to mining rights and have been of great importance. Although some-
times appealed to higher courts of the state, there has not been in a single
instance a reversal of his decisions. His family consists of a daughter,
Catherine, and his wife, who was Miss Catherine Cuddahy, a native of Colo-
rado, but a resident of Mojave at the time of their marriage. In national
politics he has given stanch support to the Democratic party. I'"requently
he has been selected to serve as a member of the county Democratic central
committee, has twice been delegated to the state convention and always his
work has been efficient, intelligent and helpful. For years he has served as
a member of the Alnjave Board of Education, his principal service having
l>een as clerk of the board, in which responsible post he has been vigilant,
energetic and thoroughly capable.

J. E. GILLESPIE.— The treasurer of the firm of Tenipleton & lo., under-
takers and funeral directors, of Bakersfield, was born June 22, 1865, on a
farm near Evansville, Ind., where his father, Jacob E. Gillespie, now deceased,
engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years. The mother, who bore the
maiden name of Matilda Wilson, is still living, at the advanced age of seventy-
six years, and now makes her home with her son in Bakersfield. Other
members of the family have become prominent in localities further east. A
brother. Rev. AI. L. Gillespie, is a Presbyterian minister at Fayettville, Ark.,
and has a wide acquaintance among the leading men of his denomination. A
half-brother, C. A. McGrew, acts as manager of the Evansville (Ind.) Coffin
Company, which is engaged in the manufacture of caskets and undertakers'
supplies. After he had completed the studies of the public schools and had
attended the Oakland City (Ind.) Normal School, J. E. Gillespie became an in-
structor in that institution and for three years followed the profession of an
educator. During 1894 he became connected with the Evansville Cuifin Com-
pany as a traveling salesman and for sixteen years he represented the con-
cern in Illinois and adjacent territi ry, meanwhile Ijecduiing familiar with the
requirements of the undertaking business, a knowledge that stands him well
in hand since he became connected with the firm of Templeton & Co., in
Bakersfield. After he came to this city he was bereaved in 1910 by the death
of his wife, Mrs. Ida (Harris) Gillespie, who left two children, Cecil, now
seventeen years of age, and I^'inis L., twelve years old. C~)n June 22, 1912, Mr.
Gillespie married Mrs. Ella V. Harris, of Philadelphia, Pa., who is delighted
with her new social environment at Bakersfield and is an active worker in the
Presbyterian Church.

The firm of Templeton & Co. may be denominated the pioneer undertaking
l)usiness of Bakersfield. Jacob Niederauer, the pioneer undertaker of Bakers-
field, sold to Morton & Connelly, who in turn sold to Dixon & Sons, and
eventually Messrs. Templeton and Gillespie bought an interest in the busi-
ness, including the original Niederauer funeral records. On the corner of
Nineteenth and 1' streets the firm has erected funeral parlors. The commo-
dious and attractive building, which is 32x110 feet in dimensions, is built in
Ihe colonial style of architecture. Instead of being grewsome or dreary in
aspect, it is beautiful in its architectural simplicity and cheerful furnishings.
The building contains a vestibule, hall, family recej^tion room, chapel with
accommodations for upwards of one hundred ])ersons at funerals, a laying-
out room and a morgue with a cement floor, also a stockroom and a casket
showroom, with fireproof vault and all the other modern conveniences fi.r the
management of such a business. .\ lady attendant has charge of the bodies
of women and children. In the laying out of the dead Mr. Gillespie himself is



820 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

exceptionally efficient, being a graduate of Clark's School of Embalming in
Cincinnati, Ohio, the Barnes school in Chicago and the Alyers School of
Embalming in Cincinnati. Automobile ambulance service has been installed
by the firm, this being the only service of the kind from San Francisco to Los
Angeles. By the use of the latest scientific methods bodies are prepared for
shipment to all parts of the world and in this respect the firm yields superiority
to none.

ROBERT T. NORRIS.— An honorable lineage is indicated by the gene-
alogy of the Norris family, who belong to the Anglo-Saxon race and were
identified with England in the remote period to which the records can
be traced. The colonial era of American development found them associated
with the agricultural upbuilding of the eastern states and several genera-
tions remained near the Atlantic seaboard. During the Revolution they
fought for independence. As the tide of migration began to turn toward



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 84 of 177)