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 88 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 88 of 177)
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menced to apply these methods of instruction.

Certain unfavorable tendencies in health led Judge Peairs to remove to
California in 1898 and here he sotn regained his former ruggedness and
strength. For a time he engaged as a manufacturing chemist in Los Angeles.
His knowledge of pharmacy and analytical chemistry has led him at times
into research work wholly unallied with his law practice, yet interesting
to him and often quite important. An instance of his original investiga-
tions appears in his profound knowledge of every phase of food adultera-
tion and it was this thorough information that enabled him to assist in the
drafting of the national pure food law passed in 1906. Having embarked in
the practice of law in Los Angeles, he soon found himself at the head of a
growing clientele and his worth as an attorney has been demonstrated repeat-
edly in cases of great responsibility. A stanch Republican of progressive
sentiments, in 1912 he was his party's candidate for the assembly and was
elected to represent Los Angeles county in the legislature of 1913. Among
the important bills which he introduced and championed may be mentioned
the medical bill, the juvenile law, the Torrens act relating to an improved
system of land titles, the law fixing the age of consent at eighteen years and
the asexualization bill.

The marriage of Judge Peairs in Lawrence, Kan., united him with Miss
Helen Webber, by whom he has two children, Marion and Howard Allen, Jr.
Fraternally he holds membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows and Los Angeles Lodge No. 278, F. & A. M., and Fraternal Brother-
hood. LTpon the death of Judge Bennett of Bakersfield, Governor Johnson,
August 14, 1913, appointed Judge Peairs to fill the vacancy caused by the
passing of the jurist. Since coming to Bakersfield he also has been made
judge of the juvenile court. At present he is advocating a project for the
establishment of a vacation or "opportunity" farm in Kern county, the same
to comprise about one thousand acres, to be devoted to the industrial and
vocational training of the boys and girls of the county, the idea being that
during vacations spent on the farm each child will be taught some special
work. Work, not merely as a necessity, but also as a desirability, will he.
made attractive to their plastic minds. Machinery of all kinds is to be
explained to the boys who show a fondness for agriculture or mechanics.
Horticultural courses and agriculture are to be taught to youthful fruit-
growers and farmers. Classes in cooking and hygiene would be made as
interesting as possible. In fact, the object of the great enterprise would



be to liettcr prepare the youth of the count}- for life's responsibihties. thus
eliminating the work (if the juvenile courts.

FRANK O. BRATT.— A native of Nebraska, Frank O. Bratt was born
in Xeniaha count}- May 26, 1874. The same county in Nebraska was the
place of residence and of marriage of his parents, Garrett and Salome ((irove)
Bratt, the former now deceased, and the latter, at the age of fifty-eight (1912),
still a resident of Riverside county, Cal. It was during 1891 that the family
removed from Nebraska, where the father had conducted a wholesale and
retail furniture business at Hastings, and established their home in Riverside
county, where the only daughter. Miss Ina, passed away at the age of eighteen
years. Upon coming to California the family brought considerable means
with them, but during the panic of 1893-94 the City Bank of Lbs Angeles
failed and about $8,000 which the father had deposited in that institution
was entirely lost to him.

Having gained a very heljiful ex])erience in the stock business while
assisting his father on the home farm, Frank O. Bratt has had the practical
benefit of such work in his later operations. During 1902 he went to Nevada
and engaged in teaming and freighting between Austin, Tonopah and Gold-
field. By means of his two fourteen-mule teams he was able to haul twenty-
eight tons each month and for this he received $100 per ton. The profits,
however, were not as large as this statement would seem to indicate, for his
expenses were proportionately great, hay being worth $100 per ton and barley
for feed $135 per ton. When at the expiration of two years the railroad
had been completed and thus rendered further association with the hauling
business undesirable, he left Nevada in 1905 and came to Kern county, where
during some years he engaged in the stock business as a partner of the late
John E. Bailey, a prominent and well-known resident of Bakersfield. During
the lifetime of Mr. Bailey they handled as many as three thousand head of
cattle in one year, as many as four hundred head of mules and about two
hundred head of hogs. While mainly engaging in the stock business, Mr.
Bratt also had a fourteen-mule team engaged in hauling borax. After the
death of Mr. Bailey, which occurred February 22, 1912, Mr. Bratt formed a
jjartnership with Joseph L. Bailey, a nephew of John E., and together they
purchased the ranch and stock and continue farming operations on a larger
scale than ever. They have the home ranch of five hundred forty-seven
acres, also one thousand acres on the plains. Having gone extensively into
the dairy business they put in an auxiliary pumping plant with a capacity of
one hundred fifty inches. They are large producers of alfalfa for their cattle
and hogs.

The marriage of Mr. Bratt took place in 1898 and united him with Miss
Lucy Clark, a native of Inyo county, this state. Two children bless their
union, namely: Margaret, born in 1900; and Francis, born in 1910. The
family now occupy the commodious brick residence of the late Mr. Bailey at
No. 1002 Nineteenth street. In religious associations Mrs. Bratt belongs to
the Methodist Episcopal Church and has been a generous contributor to its
missionary enterprises. Politically Mr. Bratt votes with the Republican party.
bVaternally he holds membership with the Woodmen and the Foresters.

JOHN E. BAILEY. — It is a matter of family history that the religious
persecutions connected with the early history of Scotland forced the Baileys
to flee from that country across to Ireland, where they established a per-
manent home in the north country. James Bailey, a farmer by occupation,
has spent his entire life in county Down, as has also his wife, Rosanna (Edgar)
Bailey, who too claims Scotland as the country of her ancestors. Both are
still living, he at ninety and .she at eighty-five years (1912) and both retain
their physical and mental faculties to an unusual extent considering their great
ages. Of their six children all but one have preceded them to the grave.
The only one living is Matthew, who resides on a farm in countv Down.


The next to the oldest, John E., was born November 28, 1852, in county-
Down, eighteen miles from Belfast, and there he passed the days of boy-
hood on the home farm and in the neighboring school. During 1869 he left
Ireland and came via Panama to San Francisco, thence proceeded to Sonoma
count}' and found employment on a farm. His identification with Kern
county dated from 1872, when he secured work as a farm hand. Husbanding
and saving his wages with frugal care, he was enabled in 1877 to acquire the
title to eighty acres eight miles southwest of Bakersfield on the Kern river.

By subsequent purchases of adjacent tracts Mr. Bailey increased his ranch
to five hundred and forty-seven acres, all under irrigation, the main conduits
being two ditches, one on each side of the river. About three hundred acres
were put into alfalfa and on the balance of the tract grain and corn were
raised by irrigation. Although he rented much of the ranch during his last
years, he retained one hundred and sixty acres of alfalfa land and found the
hay very essential to his industry of cattle-feeding, in which he specialized.
For twenty years he engaged in raising cattle on his mountain ranch of three
thousand acres at the Dead Ox and even after he sold that large tract he still
retained his cattle for a few years. After he had sold the large drove he began
to buy steers from others as he needed them in his feed-yards.

In addition to his ranch holdings Mr. Bailey owned property in Bakers-
field. On the corner of Nineteenth and M streets he conducted a livery busi-
ness until the stable was destroyed by fire in 1889. Later he erected on the
same site the Cosmooolitan hotel and ran it for many years until it burned
to the ground in 1907. He then discontinued the hotel business and only
partially built up the lots. On Nineteenth street he erected the Decatur, one of
the finest rooming houses in the city. Included in his other property was a
modern and substantial residence on the corner of Nineteenth and O streets.
Besides this valuable real-estate he owned one-half interest in the Southern,
the largest hotel in Taft, also owned a large amount of stock in the Kern
Mutual Telephone Company which operates a line from Bakersfield to
Maricopa and Taft. Some years after coming to Kern county he married
Miss Carrie Voges, a native of New Orleans, La., but from girlhood a resident
of the west; she died January 1, 1905.

The fraternal associations of Mr. Bailey included membership in the
Eagles, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Foresters. His death, which
occurred February 22, 1912, was a distinct loss to these lodges as it was to
other interests in Bakersfield and the county. From the re-incorporation of
Bakersfield until the consolidation with Kern, a period of about eleven years,
he served as a member of the board of trustees and for the four years prior
to the consolidation he was honored with the chairmanship of the board,
a position corresponding to that of mayor and carrying with it all of the heavy
responsibilities and official duties connected with the mayoralty.

It should be mentioned that during the last five years of Mr. Bailey's
life he was assisted in the management of his diversified interests by his
nephew, Joseph L. Bailey, a native of county Down, Ireland, and a son of
Matthew Bailey. Joseph L. Bailey was a graduate of the Royal LIniversity of
Ireland in Dublin. Coming to California in 1907 he assisted in the manage-
ment of his uncle's general affairs, and after the death of his uncle, he and
Frank O. Bratt purchased the ranches and stock and are continuing stock-
raising and dairying on a large scale. In the management of the ranch and
in making improvements the new owners are following the policy and methods
which iiroved so successful with the elder Mr. Bailey.

EDWARD F. EILAND.— Although by occupation an oil-field worker
and more interested in that occupation than in any other industry, at the
present time Mr. Eiland gives 'his attention wholly to the duties of city
marshal, an appointment to the office having been conferred upon him March
1, 1913, by the board of citv trustees, at the expiration of a year's service


as nisht watcliman. I">oiii the a^c (if t\)urteen he has lived in California,
but Texas is his native commonwealth and he was born at Henderson,
Rusk coiint)', June 5, 1875, being a son of E. H. and Mary L. (Moore)
Eiland, natives respectixely of Alabama and Texas, but now living retired at
Fresno, Cal. Throughout his active life the father engaged in teaching-
school. The parental family comprised nine children and seven of these are
still living, the third in order of birth being Edward F., who was fourteen
years of age at the time of coming to California, .\fter a year at Templeton,
San Luis Obispo county, he removed to Fresno county and began to work
upon a farm there. I'^om an early age he was familiar with the oil industry
and had considerable experience in the fields as a roustabout, later rising
to be a tool-dresser and from that being promoted to jiroduction foreman.
While working for J. C. McDonald on the Amazon he became a driller
and to a considerable extent he has made a specialty of that branch of the
oil business. For a time he had charge of various properties for Barlow
& Hill, the capitalists, of Bakersfield.

.Ks a city official Mr. Eiland has had a harmonious connection with
civic affairs. Cool-headed and quick in action, he is well qualified for the
position of marshal and has the city's business well in hand. The place is
quiet and orderly, fortunately having none of the rougher element to be
found in some towns. The difficulties that confront some marshals have not
come into his experience at Taft, but should they arise he would receive
the stanch support of his many friends and the practical aid of other city
officers. He still owns a farm in Fresno county and also has city property
at San Diego. Twice married, his first wife, who bore the maiden name of
Frances M. Pitts, was born in Chalome valley, Monterey county, Cal., and
died in 1904, the body being interred in Mountain View cemetery in Fresno
county. Of that union there are two sons, Franklin W. and Benjamin, now
sixteen and thirteen years of age respectively. The present wife of Mr.
Eiland, whom he married at Stockton, was Miss Mabel Askew, of Visalia.

MRS. MARY J. AVILA.— Descended from a long line of Portuguese
ancestors, Mrs. Mary J. Avila was born on the Azores islands and received a
fair education in parochial schools there. Her father, John J. Soares, now
eighty-two years of age, still makes his home on these islands, but her
mother, Isabel, has passed from earth.

On the Azores occurred the bif-th. May 11. 1861, of Manwell Jose Avila,
a descendant of a Portuguese family of high standing and ancient pedigree.
■ When but eighteen years of age he left his native place and crossed the
ocean to America, proceeding from New York to San Francisco and securing
employment in the west. As the years passed busily with their cares and
labors he gave no thought to marriage or a home of his own, but when
finally he returned to the Azores to visit the home of his boyhood he there
met ATiss Soares, then a charming young lady of eighteen years. Instantly
a change was made in his plans and a new purpose entered into his life.
When after a visit of one year in Portugal he returned to California in 1893,
it was with the thought of saving his earnings with the utmost frugality
in order that he might establish a home of his own. During 1898 he sent
for his betrothed, who took passage from one of the Portuguese harbors on
the steamer, Pininiolar, which after a voyage of seven days landed her
on American soil on the 27th of September. Frcmi New York she traveled
across the continent to San Francisco, where Mr. A\ila awaited her cimiiiig
and where they were united in marriage.

For twenty years Mr. .\vila remained an emploj'e of Miller & Lux
and at the time of his death he was superintendent of their sheep department,
having charge at times of as many as one hundred thousand head of sheep.
In the discharge of his great responsibilities he gave universal satisfaction


to the firm and acted with rare discretion and ahnost unerring judgment. In
the meantime he had purchased eighty acres on Union avenue about eight
miles south of Bakersfield and had commenced to improve the property
with a view to establishing a permanent home here, but his plans were
brought to naught by an untimely fate. While at Hanford he became ill with
ptomaine poisoning and was brought to the hospital at Bakersfield, but
no remedies availed to lighten his suffering and after four weeks he passed
away November 19, 1910. Besides his wife he is survived by their four
children, Gloria, John, Manuel and Isabel. During 1911 Mrs. Avila erected
on their farm a residence that for beauty and convenience is surpassed by
few within the limits of Kern county and here she and her children have
established their home, meanwhile" winning the regard of neighbors and
holding a prominent position in the membership of the Roman Catholic
Church of Bakersfield.

CARLOS GRANT ILLINGWORTH.— The oldest established general
store in the Alojave Desert, which is situated in the town of Randsburg,
Kern county, and its several branches which are found in the smaller towns
in this vicinity, are owned by Carlos Grant Illingworth, the inventory of
whose stores in 1912 showed stock amounting to $100,000. Mr. Illingworth's
childhood was passed in various places, he having been born in Mt. Carroll,
Carroll county. 111., April 30, 1873, and from there brought by his parents
when he was aged five years to Wichita, Kan. Here he was sent to school for a
short time, in 1887 moving with his parents to California and settling at
Pomona, where they stayed but a short time. In the same year they moved
to Upland, San Bernardino county, and Mr. Illingworth went to work for
himself. Buying a team he started into the contracting business for grading
and leveling land, remaining in this vicinity until 1896, when he came to
Randsburg to contract with the Yellow Aster Mine Company to haul ore
for them. This he followed until the time the company built their plant
in 1898, when he embarked in the general mercantile business, which has
proved such a successful undertaking. It is fitting here to relate that the
extent of Mr. Illingworth's capital at this time was a thousand dollars worth
of stock, and when it is considered that he is now the owner of a large
flourishing establishment with a number of branch stores and four ware-
houses, it is readily understood that he is peculiarly fitted for the conduct
of this form of business. One of the branch stores is located at Atolia, San
Bernardino county. In connection with his mercantile business, Mr. Illing-
worth has also engaged in mining, at the present time working the Santa
Ana group, and he also owns the Pearl Wedge mine. These have proved
profitable, and promise to bring in exceptional results in the near future.
In 1913 he incorporated the G. B. Mining & Reduction Company, of which he
is majority owner, and serves as president of the company. They built a
twenty-ton capacity roll mill and engaged in mining and milling the ore.
They h-ave already found it necessary to increase it to fifty-ton capacity,
which has been done, and the showing made demonstrates that it is one of
the best mines in the state. The plant was built to mine and mill $4 rock
profitables, but at 285 feet they have $42 rock and find it necessary to build
the new mill mentioned above. Needless to say the outcome far exceeds his

Mr. Illingworth married Leah Blanch Baker, who was born in Ottawa,
Canada, their marriage occurring June 17, 1909. Mrs. Illingworth came to
California in January, 1908, and has since made it her home. She assists
her husband in making their establishment the modern, well-equipped place
of business it is today, and is a popular and pleasant woman. They are the
parents of two children, A-Iyrtle, born March 12, 1910; and James Grant
Illingworth, born January 2, 1913. Mr. Illingworth is interested in the cause

iMc>i/i^(^u^ cJj.



of education and is a member of the Imaril of trustees of the Randshurt;

JACOB BAUMAN.— Since his arrival in California durin'- 1XS7 and Iun
settlement in Kern county the following' year Mr. Uaunian has devoted his
attention to agricultural pursuits and by his individual success has proved
the possibilities of dry farming when rightly jirosecuted. Wheat raised by
this process makes an excellent crop in most years and harvests as high
as fifteen hundred sacks of grain of finest quality, so that his large wheat-
fields fi rm a positive asset in his agricultural operations. The first land,
a tract of eighty acres, which he accpiired in the county was secured by
pre-em])tion and lies on section 14 of township 2S, range 29, in the famous
Weed Patch. Later he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres on section
4, township 30, range 30. The final actiuisition of land gave him the title
through purchase of three hundred and twenty acres on section 8, township
30, range 30, so that his landed pi ssessions now aggregate five hundred and
sixty acres. On the tract last acquired he has erected a comfortable cot-
tage, also a barn 50x60 feet in dimensions, together with a granary and such
other Iniildings as the needs of the work render desirable. In addition he
has fenced the half-section and has further enhanced its value through a well
three hundred and fifty feet deep, pumped l)y means of a four horse-j)ower
gasoline engine.

liern, Switzerland, is the native canton of Mr. Caunian. and August
20, 1860, the date of his birth, his parents having been Jacob and Susan
(Stadtman) Bauman, lifelong residents of Switzerland, where the father
gained modest success through intelligent labors in the dairy industry. There
were seven children in the family, namely: Susan, who married in girlhood,
became the mother of fifteen children and died in Switzerland; Magdalena,
who is married and remains in her native country; Jacob, of Kern county;
Christ, who immigrated to America, settled in Ohio and died there, leaving
seven children; Annie and John, both of whom died, unmarried, in Ohio;
and Fred, a resident of Bakersfield, Cal. From an early age Jacob Bauman
was familiar with the care of stock and the rudiments of farming. The home
farm comprised only twenty-five acres, but was made remunerative through
intensive methods of cultivation and he was taught to be useful in every
department of the farm work. The family were identified with the Cerman
Lutheran Church, in which he was confirmed at the age of sixteen.

I'pon attaining his majority in 1881 Jacol) P.auman came to the I'nited
States and secured employment as a farm laborer near Cleveland, (^hio.
Returning to Switzerland he there married, February 2, 1884, Miss ]\Iargarel
Tschanz, a native of Canton Bern, and a daughter of the late Christ and
Margaret (Von Gonton) Tschanz. the fc rmer a farmer by occui)ati(>ii. lie-
sides Mrs. Bauman there were three other daughters, Magdalena. .\nna and
Mary, in the Tschanz family and one son, Christ, who died at nineteen years
of age. The three sisters of Mrs. Bauman are married and reside in
Switzerland. Upon settling in Ohio after his marriage Mr. I'auman found
work in a stone quarry at Cleveland and later farmed near that city, whence
he came to California in 1887 and identified himself with ihe agricultural
upbuilding of the west.

MRS. ELIZABETH COOLBAUGH.— The matron and superintendent
of the Kern Cnunty Children's Shelter is nf western birth and has sjKMit the
greater portion of lier life in California. .As early as 1843, when the first
movement of white settlers was being made in the direction of the Pacific
coast and ere yet paths had Ijeen blazed for the emigrants. Alexander I'devins.
a native of the vicinity of Lexington. Ky.. crossed the plains of Oregon
accompanied by his wife and their three small children. The trip required
the greatest courage and fortitude. Dangers seen and unseen snrmnnded
them all of the way as well as after they had settled in a little cabin near


Salem, where the hardy pioneers took up a six hundred and forty acre
donation land claim from the government. The tract was in the primeval
condition of nature and he made a number of improvements, also placed
the land under profitable cultivation. While living on that ranch a daughter,
Elizabeth, was born. The family removed to the Livermore valley of" Cali-
fornia during 1857 and there Mr. Blevins engaged in ranching and stock-
raising, but later he moved to Stockton and finally to Lodi, where he passed
away at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife, who bore the maiden
name of Levina Vanderpool, was born in Tennessee, lived in Iventucky
during girlhood, and now, at the age of ninety-four years, remains at the
old homestead in Lodi.

There were in the Blevins family twelve children, all of whom attained
maturity and seven are now living, Mrs. Coolbaugh having been the fifth in
order of birth. In childhood she attended the public schools and later was
graduated from the Stockton Young Ladies' Seminary. Her marriage took
place at Lockeford, San Joaquin county, and united her with David H. Cool-
baugh, who was born in Bradford county, Pa., came via Panama to Cali-
fornia in 1860 and engaged in general contracting and in stock-raising near
Stockton. During the spring of 1881 he came to Kern county and settled six
miles south of Bakersfield, where he had charge of thirty-three hundred
acres of land for G. M. Fisher. Six hundred and forty acres of the tract,

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 88 of 177)