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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 86 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 86 of 177)
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Mary O'Donnell, the former a native of Richmond, Indv, and the latter a
native of Philadelphia. Both are professional nurses, skilled in every depart-
ment of the healing art and particularly efficient in surgical operations. Since
the erection of the building and the opening of the hospital Miss Quinn has
served as the executive and business manager while Miss O'Donnell is in
charge of the surgical department.

In erecting the hospital the owners considered suitability to climate
and therefore placed a broad porch on the south and west, thus tempering the
strong rays of the sun, while at the same time admitting an abundance of
light and allowing the cooling breezes to mitigate the heat of midsummer.
The general ward for men is on the first floor with toilet and bath adjacent,
while similar quarters for women have been equipped on the second floor.
In addition there are about twenty private rooms, some equipped with private
baths, a large kitchen, dining room for nurses, doctors' dining room and
doctors' dressing rooms. The most remarkable room is the one equipped
for operations. This has a Baldwin operating table, adjustable at any angle,
which is a great advantage in surgical operations. The floors are made of
tile; walls are enameled. Adjoining the operating room is the sterilizing and
doctors' scrub room, which is also tiled and enameled. The operating room
is constructed of glass on practically three sides, making the department very
light and thus facilitating delicate operations. In an adjoining room two
enameled wash basins have hot and cold water faucets controlled by pedals
so that nothing except water touches the hands of the surgeon while cleaning
them preparatory to the operation. The arrangements of the entire operating
denartment are absolutely sanitary in every respect. No expense has been
spared here, for the owners appreciate the incomparable importance of perfec-
tion of detail in every matter relative to surgical operations. At the same time
they exercise equal care in all departments and fever patients or chronic cases
receive the same skilled supervision given to those undergoing operations, so
that. each class of patients has the experienced care of trained nurses and the
vigilant attention of conscientious physicians.

E. E. WINNEY. — Among those industrious and persevering men who
have come to the coast to aid in making for progress and development the
younger generation has carried with it the essential spirit and vigor which is
so necessary in the fight for success in a new country. Among the latter
we find E. E. Winney, manager of the King. Lumber Company, and also pro-
prietor of the bowling alley at Maricopa. Mr. Winney is a native of Manning.
Carroll county, Iowa, born June 17. 1884. He attended the public schools and
then became a student at Humboldt College, where he was graduated with
the class of 1904. He had taken the normal business course, and after his grad-
uatii n became engaged in teaching school until March 17, 1905. On the first



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 835

of the followinsj April he arrived at Spokane, Wash., and became an employe
of the Washington Mill Company, after a short time being placed in full
charge of the cutting department of the sash and door works. Here he re-
mained employed for about fifteen months, and then went to Vancouver, P>. C,
to take charge of the sash and door factory of the T'airview Cedar Lumber
Company, where he was employed about eight months. Through the intro-
duction and kind offices of his former employer at the Washington Mill Com-
pany, G. \\'. Palmer, he secured a position with the West Side Lumber Com-
pany, at Tuolumne, and he continued there as assistant salesman until in
December. 1908. At this time he came to iMaricopa, where he became mana.ger
of the King Lumber Company, and also the proprietoi^ of a bowling alley.

Mr. Winney was married in San Luis Obispo county to Margaret Smith.
Fraternally he is a member of the Order of Elks, of Bakersfield.

OTTO FRANK RINALDL— The family of which Mr. Rinakli is a
member comes of Italian and German descent and was established in Cali-
fornia by his father, Charles Robert Rinaldi, a German by birth and education,
but after the '50s a resident of the Pacific coast country. With a partner he
established the first furniture store in Los Angeles, but in a short time he
disposed of the business in order to undertake agricultural pursuits near
San Fernando. After 3-ears of varying success as a stock-raiser, during
which time he also served as deputy sheriff, he sold his property to the city of
Los Angeles and it is now the rese'rvoir for the Owens river aqueduct. Since
his death San Fernando has continued to be the home of his wife, who was
Francisca Valdez, a native of Los Angeles and a member of a prominent
old Spanish family of that city. Of their seven children all but one are still
living. The third in order of birth. Otto Frank, was born at San Fernando,
this state, December 12, 1872, and received a public-school education, mean-
while learning the details of farm work and stock-raising. At the age of
twenty-one he began to learn the trade of blacksmith in Los Angeles and on
thoroughly mastering the occupation he opened a shop in San Fernando, but
soon abandoned the business in order to devote himself to the butcher's
trade. For a time he conducted a meat market at Newhall. Meanwhile dur-
ing 1902 he had purchased the butcher shop at Randsburg and had put
his brother in charge of the business, but at the expiration of two years he
closed out other interests in order to devote himself to his enterprises in
Kern county.

.\s proprietor of a wholesale and retail meat market Mr. Rinaldi has
important interests in Randsburg, from which point he sells meat to all
adjacent places. Aside from conducting the market he engages in retail ice
delivery and' also acts as agent for the Maier Brewing Company of Los
Angeles. A suitable warehouse has been provided for storage purposes.
Since 1910 he has had charge of the stage between Johannesburg and P)allarat,
also between Johannesburg and Skidoo, a distance of one hundred and ten
miles, covered by three trips each week. In addition he hauls all the freight
and supplies from Johannesburg to all points as far as Skidoo. For this work
he utilizes about "seventy-five" head of horses and mules besides a large
number of wagons and freighting outfits. Since coming to this part of Kern
county he has purcha-sed three hundred and twenty acres in the Kelso canyon
in the South Fork country. Of this half-section he has put forty-five acres
under cultivation to alfalfa and beans.. As farmer, business man. agent for
various companies and stage-coach operator, his interests are diversified,
important and engrossing, and leave him little leisure for outside enterprises,
although we find him a leader in local politics. During 1912 Governor John-
son appointed him supervisor of the first district, to fill out the unexpired term
of William M. Houser. deceased, and lie remained in the office until the
expiration of the time siiecified. While still living in San Fernando he was



836 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

made a R/[ason in San Fernando Lodge No. 343, F. & A. M., and since coming
to Kern county he has been prominently identified with Randsburg Aerie
No. 188 of the Eagles. His family comprises a son Fred, and Mrs. Rinaldi,
formerly Miss Laura Nieto, a native of Los Angeles and member of an old
family of that city.

C. E. REAL. — The Real family descends from a long line of Teutonic
ancestry and was founded in the new world by Frederick Real, a native of
Germany, who desirous of improving his condition sought the opportunities of
America and settled in Salem, Mass., where he met and married Ellen Gill-
man, a native of that city and a descendant of French forefathers. For years
he was associated with a shipping business, but during that long period of
useful activity he had an interval of travel and experiences in the west. L-pon
hearing of the discovery of gold in Califcirnia he came to the Pacific coast
during 1849, proceeded direct to the mining camps and began to prospect
for himself, meeting with some encouragement for a time. As soon as his
success began to wane he returned to the east with his little store of gold
and erected in Salem a large and comfortable home for his family. The young-
est of his twelve children, C. E., was born in Salem December 29, 1861, and
shortly before his birth the father was taken from the home by death. The
amount he left was small, wholly insufficient to the support and rearing of so
large a number of children ; therefore C. E. began to support himself while
yet he was a small lad. Various occupations earned a livelihood for him. but
he worked principally in shoe, glue and box factories in Salem.

Coming to California during 1883 at the age of twenty-two years C. E.
Real landed in Los Angeles with only $75 in his possession. The first job he
found was that of working on the section and he went to work eagerly and
continued perseveringly. In May of 1884 he came to Bakersfield and for a
time worked under E. M. Roberts on the old McCord ditch. Proceeding next
to Stanislaus county, he engaged in wheat farming for three years, but found
little or no profit in the venture. As early as 18S6 he took up a homestead of
one hundred and sixty acres at Rio Bravo, sixteen miles west of Bakersfield.
Proving up on the land, he continued to till the soil until the financial panic of
1893-94, when unable to meet his interest he lost the entire property. He was
thus left to begin anew at the bottom once more. Afterward he bought and
sold city property and oil stocks and of recent years has been proprietor of the
Peerless cafe, at No. 1819 Chester avenue, Bakersfield. In addition he owns a
ranch of forty acres three miles southwest of this city, also a ranch of one
hundred and sixty acres about thirteen miles west of McKittrick. At the
time of the organization of Section 12 Oil Company he was a prime mover
in the enterprise and has since continued as a stockholder, the concern now
being a dividend-payer. The McKittrick Oil Company and Section 25 Oil Com-
pany also have the benefit of his identification with their interests as a large
stockholder and in addition he owns town property in Bakersfield, so that he
has retrieved the losses of times of panics and is now comfortably provided
with a competency. During 1902 he married Miss Bettie Monkmyer, by
whom he has one daughter, Ellen, born in 1904. In political belief he supports
I^emocratic principles and fraternally he holds membership with the Eagles.

OLA G. DIXON. — The four members of the undertaking firm of Temple-
ton & Co. have each contributed effectively to the development of the business
and not the least prominent of these partners is Ola G. Dixon, who has been
connected with the concern ever since he became a resident of Bakersfield
and gives of his time to its upbuilding as one of the essential factors in the
welfare of the city, liorn in Kansas in 1880, on the 2d of November, he re-
ceived the JDest educational ad\'antages afforded by Fairview, his native place.
In addition to completing the study vi the various grades of the grammar
school, he is a graduate of the liigh school. .\t the age of twenty-one years



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 837

in 1901 he came to California in compan}- with other members of the family
and for a time made his home in Lns Angeles, where with his brother, A. H.
(now deputy coroner of Kern county), he conducted a store. After six years
in business in that city he removed to Bakersfield and united with his father
and brother in carrj'ing on the undertaking concern, of Dixon & Sons, now
known as Temi^leton & Co., and he has continued with the same establishment
since its change of name, devoting liimself to assisting in the discharge of
the important duties devolving u])on the compan_\-. Thrnugli liis marriage to
Miss Ethel Munsingcr. a native of Kansas, he is the fatlier of two children.
Dorris and Hazel.

V. G. HUTCHINS.— Reared to a knowledge of the oil industry, the son
of one of the pioneer operators in the Los Angeles fields, it was but natural
that \'. G. Hutchins should select the business as his chosen avenue of occu-
jiative activity. The enthusiasm that he always has possessed for the work
appears in the fact that, having graduated from the Los Angeles high school
on a Friday during 1907. he re])orted for duty the following Sunday at tlic
Coalinga oil fields and at once began an identification with the industry that
lias continued, although in another district, up to the present time. Still a
young man (he was born October 23, 1885), he has every reason to look for-
ward to many years of continued usefulness and increasing influence in his
chosen calling, and taking the past as a criterion a prosperous future may be
l)redicted for him. His parents, .Mvin G. and Ida Hutchins, continue to make
Los .A.ngeles their home and the former, now forty-six years of age, has en-
gaged in the i il business e\er since the first discoveries were made in the
Los Angeles district.

Familiar with Los Angeles fr()m his earliest reci llections, educated in
its schools, acquainted with its progress and interested in its activities.
\'. G. Hutchins is a typical Californian in every sense of the word. From
youthful years the oil industry has engaged his attention. After he went to
Coalinga he engaged in dressing tools on a rotary drill for the Associated
Oil Compan)' and scon acquired a practical knowledge of the work. From
Coalinga he came to Maricopa in October of 1908 and since then has
engaged in drilling on almost all of the wells on the Ruby lease. On the
1st of July. 1912, he was promoted to be sunerintendent of the Ruby Oil
Company on section 2, township 11. range 24 of the Sunset field, where
lie has charge of a lease ( f twenty acres with ten wells, from which is
secured a net monthly production of fifty-five hundred barrels. Giving his
attention closely to the oversight of the company's interests, he has had
little leisure for political or fraternal activities, but has become a member
of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Bakersfield and is a con-
tributor to its various enterj^rises. During 1939 at Los .\ngeles occurred
liis marriage to Miss Cora E. Canfield. daughter of N. O. Canfield, a pros-
jjerous rancher of Tulare county and a niece of C. A. Canfield of Los
Angeles, the influential and widely known oil operator. Mr. and Mrs.
Hutchins are the parents of a daughter, Frances Ida.

GEORGE KAY JOHNSTON.— Dr. Johnston was born in Santa P.arliara
county, Cal.. April 1, 1876. .After attending public school he worked on a
ranch until he was twenty-one years old. He then matriculated in the Kansas
City Dental College, taking the regular course, and in the year 1902 was grad-
uated from there with the degree of D.D.S. He then returned to his native
state and opened a dental oflRce in San Francisco, practicing there until 1904,
but in a short time he removed to Lompoc and was there for four and a half
years, following his chosen work. Thence in 1910 he came to Taft. where he
has since successfully practiced with gratifying results.

His profession is Doctor Johnson's chief interest in life. To serve the
l)ul)lic zealotisly, to give satisfaction and to build up an lionorable. as well



838 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

as a lucrative, business has been his aim, and he has won this by untiring
energy and effort. He has suffered losses, and it has been only his perse-
verance and tenacity of purpose which have enabled him to be successful.
A week after coming to Taft he was burned out and had to begin again
with renewed effort, which only makes him more to be admired.

Dr. Johnston was married in 1906 to iVIiss Eleanor F. Lowe, daughter
of James F. Lowe of San Jose, who is an ex-State Senator. Two children
have come to them, viz.: Bernard L. and Enna.

ORRIN R. TAYLOR.— A native of New York state, Mr. Taylor was born
Januarj' 23, 1843, in Tioga county, where his father, Alonzo F. Taylor, was also
born. The father was a shoemaker and farmer by trade and with his wife,
Sarah M. (Ellis) Taylor, and their family, removed to Summit county, Ohio,
where they remained nine years, subsequently 'going to Orland, Ind., where he
passed away. The mother, who was born in New York, still survives at the
age of ninety-four years. Nine children were born to this worthy couple,
of whom six are now living. The eldest, Lorenzo, also served in the Civil
war, being a member of the Twelfth Indiana Cavalry, and his death occurred
in Angola, Ind.

Orrin Taylor was about seventeen years of age when his parents re-
moved to Indiana, having obtained his educational training in the public
schools in Ohio. He entered the Orland Seminary to take a preparatory course
before entering Hiram College, but his enlistment for war cut short this course
of study. Enlisting on August 14, 1862, he was mustered in as private in
Company B, One Hundredth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, August 24, and on
the day before he was ordered to the front he was married to Miss Mary
E. Barnard, who was born in Steuben county, Ind., daughter of John A.
Barnard, a native of Massachusetts and a farmer in Indiana. Mr. Taylor
saw active service until June, 1863, when he was mustered out on account of
physical disability. He re-enlisted in 1864, becoming a member of Com-
pany K, One Hundred and Fifty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and
served until after the close of the war, receiving his honorable discharge
September 5, 1865, when he returned home. He then bought a farm near
Orland, and engaged in general farming for eight years, then embarking in
the hardware business, which he continued until failing health caused him
to relinquish those interests. Realizing the need of a more moderate cli-
mate he came to California in November, 1892, and located in Kern county,
where he farmed for about eight years, in Rosedale. He then made his
way to Panama and, buying a forty-acre farm there, engaged in agricul-
tural pursuits for some years. Two years were spent in the grocery busi-
ness in Porterville and he then returned to Panama and bought a half inter-
est with his daughter, Mrs. Hastings, in the general merchandise establish-
ment, and here he still continues in business. His wife passed away in
Porterville in 1908; she was the mother of three children, of whom two
survive, Ona E., Mrs. Hastings of Panama, and Orrin Ross, of Douglas,
Ariz. Mrs. Hastings is the mother of three children, Guy, Esther and
Thelma; she is n clever business woman, able, thrifty and fulLof that splen-
did integrity which proves the most important characteristic in a noble
makeup. Mr. Taylor is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In religion he unites with the Congregational church in Panama and is a
member of its board of trustees. To him is largely due the credit for the
upbuilding of this church, as he served as one of its founders in Panama,
having drawn the plans and aided in the building of the church edifice as
well as the parsonage, and he gave freely of time, labor and means.

J. W. RAGESDALE.— From the organization of Taft up to the present
time Mr. Ragesdale has been a large contributor t(j the material growth of
the place and as a member of the city board of trustees, as proprietor of a
large and popular hotel, as a stockholder in \'arious concerns for the (level-




d^^ c]yA



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 841

upnient of public utilities and as the optimistic projector of civic enterprises
of worth, he justly occupies a position of permanent influence in the midst
of a growing citizenship. Attracted to this place in January of 1910, almost
one year prior to the organization of the town under its present name, he
immediately discerned a favorable opening for an hotel business. The Alvord
hotel, which he acquired shortly after his arrival, occupied small quarters at
the time, but by building a substantial addition he has provided ample
accommodations for the traveling public.

The distinction of being a native son of California belongs to .Mr.
Ragesdale, who was born in San Joaquin county in 1862, being a son of
John \\'. and Sarah (Ketcham) Ragesdale. .\s early as 1847 the father made
his first trip across the plains to California, coming from his home common-
wealth of Kentucky. Later he returned to Kentucky, but again made the
tedious trip across the plains to the western coast, this time to make a
permanent settlement. Some time after settling in the state he met and
married Miss Ketcham, who had come to the west in 1852 by way of the
Isthmus of Panama. After years of residence in San Joaquin county the
family removed to the town of Merced, where the son, J. W., was appren-
ticed to the trade of blacksmith. For fourteen years he devoted himself to
that occupation with skill and perserverance and during much of the period
he operated a shop at Madera. Meanwhile he studied mines and mining,
ill which he gained considerable experience through opening up a cjuartz
mine in Maricopa county.

The most profitable venture ever engaging the attention of Mr. Rages-
dale was the organization of the Fortune mine by a company of which he
became president. The mine was named in honor of Mrs. Fortune, one of
the stockholders of the company, and the name did not prove a misnomer,
for the results were such as to delight everyone concerned. At intervals
during ten years Mr. Ragesdale owned important interests in mines. From
1896 to 1898 he was connected with the Alameda mine at Randsburg. With
the advent of the oil industry at Coalinga he sought that field, where he
operated successfully in oil stock. . I-'rom Ct'alinga, after a season of suc-
cessful activities, he came to Taft in 1910 and has since devoted his time
largely to the management of the Alvord hotel, which he owns jointly with
R. H. McCreary of Hanford, under the firm title of Ragesdale & McCreary.
In all of his hotel enterprises he has had the capable co-operation of his wife,
formerly Miss Annie Pratt, a woman of energy, amiability and business
judgment. Their only son, Elmer, is now in Mono county, this state.

L'pon the organization of the California Well Drilling Company at Taft
Mr. Ragesdale became a charter member, but after some time he disposed
of his interest in the concern. For the purpose of aiding the people of the
town in their elTorts to secure water, he helped to organize the Taft Public
l'tilit\- Company, a concern established by a few leading men of the ])lace
and engaged in the business of bringing water to Taft in tank cars, from
which it was distributed to private customers. The directors, H. A. Hop-
kins, R. H. McCreary. C. C. Painter. R. L. Wood. C. A. Ford and J. W.
Ragesdale. were actuated by a desire to help the town rather than from
monetary motives and when they sold out to the Consumers' Water Com-
pany in 1912 it was at actual cost. The first electric light company was
organized by Mr. Ragesdale. who became its first president; it was organized
for the purpose of securing electricity for the town and received the ener-
getic assistance of Mr. Ragesdale as a promoter and stockholder. However,
the original owners soon sold out to the San Joaquin Light and Power Cor-
poration, the present owners of the plant. The pioneers in this utility move-
ment managed to generate electric current from the power furnished by a
large l-'airhanks-Morse engine and the small concern was well and success-



842 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

fully managed by Mr. Ragesdale as president of the company, with the fol-
lowing board of directors: C. C. Painter, H. E. Smith, A. A. McCumber, '
J. A. Wurdock, E. L. Bnrnham and I. A. Felter.

PETER ETCHEVERRY.— The facilities for stock-raising and agri-
culture that are bringing Kern county increasingly into public notice induced
Mr. Etcheverry to identify himself with the Rosedale district after fourteen
years of experience in this portion of the country. Starting in 1908 on an
unimproved tract of eighty acres, he has since erected a farmhouse and other
buildings and has put the entire tract into alfalfa. The farm is under the
Beardsley canal and he has put in an excellent pumping plant.

A native of Basses-Pyrenees, France, born at Aldudes April 4, 1875,
Peter Etcheverry is a son of John and Catherine (Laxague) Etcheverry, who
still live in that district in France, owning and occupying a farm that lies
in the valley and extends into the foothiUs near the lofty Pyrenees. Fine
cattle are kept on the farm and a specialty is made of the manufacture of



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 86 of 177)