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 87 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 87 of 177)
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cheese and butter, to which work the owner and his wife still give their per-
sonal attention. The family comprises nine children, namely: Mrs. Maria
Laxague, on a farm in Basses-Pyrenees, France ; Jean, on the old homestead
in Basses- Pyrenees ; Martin, a farmer still living in France; Peter, of Kern
county; Mathilda, Mrs. Fernando Etcheverry, on a farm in Kern county;
Mary, Mrs. D. Bordo, also on a farm in Kern county; Michel, a ])artner
of his brother, Peter; Jennie, wife of Tomas Echenique, of Kern; and M.
Louise, wife of Miguel Echenique, also a resident of Kern.

•Michel Etcheverry was burn in Aldudes, France, January 6, 1882, re-
ceived his education in the common schools and came to Kern county in
1901. Two years later he became associated with his brother Peter in the
sheep industry, and in 1908 in the farming enterprise, to which he has since
given his entire attention. He was married in 1910 to Miss Mars:uerite
Othar, born in Basses-Pyrenees, France, and they have one child, Mathilda.

On coming to California in 1894 at the age of nineteen Peter Etcheverry
joined his older brother, Jean, who had preceded him to the new world by a
number of years and had been one of the early settlers of Kern county,
there embarking in the sheep business. For five years the youncf Frenchman
worked in the employ of the older brother, but about 1899 he bought a few
head of sheep and gradually acquired a flock of considerable size. From
that time until 1908 he gave his attention wholly to the sheep industry,
then with his brother Michel bought eightv acres cf land, all now in alfalfa.

In 1909 at East Bakersfield Peter Etcheverry married Miss Catherine
Saldonbehere, a native of Basses-Pyrenees, who died seven months later.
Subsequently Mr. Etcheverry was married again, October 28, 1913, in East
Bakersfield, being united with Miss Marianne Saroiberry, a native of Al-
dudes, France. Since coming to this country Mr. Etcheverry has made a
study of political conditions and is now an ardent supporter of Republican

JOHN J. HENDRICKSON.~The ancestral home of the Hendrickson
family was situated in the village of Husuni on the western coast of Schles-
wig-Holstein and uwing to the location being in close proximity to the North
sea various members of the family in generations gone by followed mari-
time pursuits, but Henry V., having learned the trade of watchmaker in
youth, devoted all of his active years to the occupation, including also the
sale of jewelry and the repair of watches and clocks, .\11 of his life was
passed in Schleswig-Holstein and there also occurred the death of his wife,
Catherine (Johnson) Hendrickson, daughter of Caut. John J. Johnson, who
was commander of an ocean vessel that took him in the course of many
voyages to the principal ports of the world. There were five children in the
family of Henry V. Hendrickson and of these John J. was third in order of
liirth. he ]ia\ing been born in 1841 at the family home in Husum. From his


earliest recollections he was familiar with the sea and very naturally there-
tore, upon coming: to the L'nited States in 1850 at the age of fifteen, he tO(ik
up a sea-faring existence. The early voyages out from New "^"ork City took
him to the Mediterranean sea and South America, after which for sixteen
months he sailed on the Maygi to the Philippine Islands and around the
Cape of Gotd Hope, thence back to New York. At the age of nineteen years
he shipped as mate on. the J. N. Hicks out of New York via southern ports
to England with cargoes of cotton. Three trips were made on that vessel,
after which he shipped as boatswain on the ATinnehaha via Cape Horn to
San Francisco; and his arrival there in April of 1862 brought to an end all
identification with the occupation of a sailor.

Six months after landing in the west Mr. Hendrickson went to the mines
in the Slate range, located in San Bernardino county. After a few months
he proceeded to Los Angeles in 1863 and engaged in supplying its residents
with water from a water-cart filled by buckets dipped into the zanje or ditch
that ran dcwn Los Angeles street. Recalling the appearance of that place
during the period of its early history, he has witnessed its subsequent rapid
de\-elopnient with constant interest. During the early days he and Charles
Russell prospected for oil at Santa Paula and near the San Fernando mis-
sion, only to find, after they had discovered quantities sufficient to make
production profitable, that the land office at Los Angeles had all of that land
recorded as a portion of a large grant. Coming to Havilah, Kern county,
in 1864, he operated the Delphi hotel with Andrew Denker and found the
business profitable owing to the fact that Havilah was then the county-
seat and the headquarters for stage lines running from Visalia and Los
Angeles. At different times he conducted other hotels on the desert and
more than once he had trouble with the hostile Indians, but he suffered
small loss from their depredations. In the Tehachapi mountains he bought
and later operated an hydraulic mine, which eventually he sold to John Brite.
Meanwhile he had pre-empted a claim of one hundred and sixty acres and
liad taken up a homestead of eighty acres, also bought an adjacent tract of
one hundred and sixty acres, so that he acquired the title to four hundred
acres four and one-half miles east of Tehachapi. On the land now stand
the cement wcrks of the Los Angeles aqueduct.

Upon leaving the ranch Mr. Hendrickson embarked in the lime business
and built his first kiln on a claim in the mountains, where he opened and
operated quarries. Later he had kilns in other places. After the limestone
had been burned to lime, the product was shipped to Los Angeles, Bakers-
field and Fresno, where a large trade was established. In addition to
managing the lime business he owned a one-half interest in a mercantile busi-
ness at Tehachapi for two years, having A. Weill as a partner. While mak-
ing his headquarters at Tehachapi he there married Mrs. Elizabeth Jane
McVicar, who was born in Missouri and during 1863 was brought across the
plains by her parents. Dr. Russell and Margaret (Cook) Peery, l)orn in
Virginia and Kentucky, respectively. Mrs. Peery traced her ancestry back
to the Cooks who came from England in the Mayflower. Dr. Peery was a
pioneer physician of Missouri and Nebraska. The trip west was made with
wagons and ox-teams and came to an uneventful termination. Three years
later Dr. Peerv returned to Johnson county. Neb., and there passed away.
By her first marriage Airs. Hendrickson has three daughters, namely: Mrs.
Laura Tourpin, of Tacoma, Wash.; Mrs. Alargaret Jones, of Taft. Cal. ; and
Mrs. Emma Lovejoy, of Los Angeles. There are two sons of the second
marriage. The elder. John James Hendrickson, is connected with the San
Joaquin Light & Power Company. The younger, Edward Hale Hendrick-
son. has charge of the postal savings bank department in the Bakersfield


After his marriage Mr. Hendrickson lived for many years upon a grain
and stock ranch of two hundred and forty acres situated near Tehachapi.
The management of the land brought him financial prosperity. When event-
ually in 1905 he retired to Bakersfield, it was with a competency repre-
sented by the continued ownership of the fine ranch and by other invest-
ments. In Bakersfield he makes his home at No. 637 R street, where he
owns one and one-third acres of land, the whole forming an attractive and
valuable property. The ranch is rented to tenants and brings him an im-
portant annual revenue, for the land is the very choicest in its locality and
the presence of fine springs enhances its value. While living on the ranch
he maintained a warm interest in the material and educational upbuilding
of that neighborhood and contributed to all progressive enterprises, and this
excellent public spirit he has continued to manifest since coming to Bakers-
field to make his home. From young manhood he has been an advocate of
Republican principles. During the administration of President Grant he
served as postmaster at Tehachapi and for years he also served as a trustee
of the Tehachapi schools, besides hclding other local offices that gave him
an opportunity to work for the ad\'ancement of his community.

OCTAVE CHASTAN.— Jean Chastan was born in France, where he fol-
lowed the trade of shoemaker all his life, his death occurring there. He
married Philomen Bressong, and their children were four in number,
three of whom are now living, Octave being the third oldest in the family.
The mother of these children also passed away in France.

Octave Chastan was born January 9, 1872, in Embrun, Hautes-Alpes,
France, and was sent to the public school there to obtain his educational
training. lie learned the shoemaker's trade under his father, and continued
to work at this trade until 1895, when he came to California and settled in
Sumner, now East Bakersfield. For four years he was in the employ of
Philip and Joseph Girard, sheepmen at Delano, and then purchased a flock
of sheep, engaging in the business for himself in the vicinity of Delano, but
he now herds his sheep in both Kern and Tulare counties along the line be-
tween the two counties. His herd consists of from two to three thousand
head of fine merino sheep, and he has always found a ready market for them,
as they are recognized as well-bred and well-kept animals, of the best variety.

j\lr. Chastan was married in East Bakersfield to Berthe Espitallier, also
a native of Hautes-Alpes, and they make their home in East Bakersfield,
where Mr. Chastan has bought a residence at No. 1410 Baker street.

CHARLES SOWASH.— The opportunities afiforded by Maricopa, Kern
county, to men of self-reliant and persevering energy find a most noteworthy
illustration in the activities and success of Charles Sowash, the proprietor of
the Sowash Clothing Store of Maricopa, the stock of which embraces fur-
nishings of all sorts for gentlemen's wear. They are extensive boot and shoe
outfitters as well and handle a fine and uo-to-date line of clothing supplied from
the shops of Adlers Collegiate, Royal Tailoring and Lamm & Company busi-
ness houses, whose reputations for good taste and the fine quality of their
materials are widely known throughout the country.

Born October 17, 1881, in Pittsburg, Pa., Charles Sowash was the son of
Dr. M. F. Sowash, an eminent, well-known physician there, who for a time
served as county physician and made his home in Pittsburgh. From the latter
Charles Sowash inherited his logical mind and unusual ability which earlv
evidenced itself in the honors which he received at graduation from the high
school when he was eighteen years of age. At this time he stood third in the
order of scholarship, ranking high in the estimate of his preceptors, and upon
his graduation he became engaged in the paymaster's department of the Penn-
sylvania Railway Company. Eater he was employed by the Westinghouse
Electric Company, serving in the cashier's department, and so well did he


fill that position that he was entrusted with large sums of money, handling
hundreds of thousands of dollars each week. However, the duties of this
position finally became so irksome as to impair his health, and he was obliged
to relin(]uish it and remove to Calift)rnia, where he settled at Chino and for
a ])eriod was timekeeper for the American Sugar Beet C'ompany. Going from
there to Los Angeles, he was in the auditor's office of the Santa Fe Railway
tumpany for one year and then went to Bakersfield where he filled the posi-
tion of cashier fi r the latter company for four years. In the meantime his
(|uick observation and the close study of conditions prompted him to invest in
Marico]ia interests and he resigned from a very lucrative position in order to
take charge of his business interests in the last nained place. He came here
permanently in 1908. He has rebuilt his store building, which accommodates a
stock to the value of seven thousand dollars and which is up-to-date and first
class in every respect. Mr. Sowash enji ys a wide and his pleasant,
genial manner and kindly disposition have not only made him deservedly
popular in the business and social world of his community, but have
lirought him many ]iatrons.

In 1910 Mr. Sow^ash was married to Miss F.liza Humphreys, of Pitts-
burgh, Pa., who with her husband enjoys a wide circle of friends.

' H. G. MOSS.— The development of the Kern River oil district has at-
tracted capital from all portions of the Ignited States and even from abroad,
bitt in an especially large degree California capital is invested in this great
district and it is western capital (the Spreckels interests) which owtis the
.great corporation known as the Sunset Monarch Oil Company. Every depart-
ment ( f this organization has been csta1)lished and developed with a view to
j)erinanence. Modern equipment has been introduced. Large tracts have been
acquired. The work of oil develo]3inent is still in its infancy. The demands
made upon managing employes are therefore unusually great. Particularly is
the post of superintendent, filled by H. G. Moss, one of arduous application
and engrossing oversight.

Mr. Moss comes of English fainily and naturally possesses the character-
istics of the Anglo-Saxon race. He was born in the shire of Cumberland, Eng-
land. May 23. 1871. His family came to California when he was fourteen years
ui and settled in Orange county. At the time the discovery of oil was
tiiade there he began with a pick and shovel as a day laborer and for several
years he continued in the district near Los .\ngeles. Then he became a stu-
dent in Van Der Naillen's School of Engineers at San Francisco. For three
winters he carried on engineering studies in that institution.

.After leaving the San Francisco institution Mr. Moss engaged as a civil
and mining engineer. Unfortunately he decided to go to Alaska and there he
lost everything he had. returning after two seasons in that country as emnty
of purse as when he first began to be self-supporting. On his return in 1900
he heard of the discovery of oil in the Kern river field. Immediately he jnined
the throng of operators making for this new pros])ect. Llere he began to
take contracts for drilling on the property of the Reed-Conde Oil Company.
For some time he continued to drill, meeting with alternating success and dis-
coitragement. However, his work and ability attracted attention and he was
appointed superintendent of the Eastern Consolidated Oil Company, with
which he continued for seven years or until his acceptance of the position of
superintendent with the Sunset Monarch Oil Company in 1908. Since that time
he has devc ted himself with unwearied assiduity to the many responsibilities
connected with his position, taking no part whatever in political affairs or
fraternal organizations, although when living in Orange county he was con-
nected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. \\'ith his wife, formerly
Miss Clara I

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 87 of 177)