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 90 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 90 of 177)
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was twenty-one he was master of the secrets of successful farming and his
father took him as his partner in a dry farming enterprise which has proved
a successful undertaking. For three years, from 1905 to 1908, they farmed
in Tulare Lake basin, but on account of floods during the rainy season their
efforts did not meet with the results they had anticipated. In connection
with their farming they operate a steam harvester and leveler, a thoroughly
up-to-date outfit which has been in wide demand. In April, 1908, John E.
Hubbard married Miss Alice Harris, who was born in Missouri.

HARVEY NEWTON McCULLOUGH.— An illustration of the power
of a determined will in the overcoming of obstacles appears in the life activi-
ties of Mr. McCullough, who during boyhood encountered many vicissitudes
and endured countless hardships. The family were of southern birth and
associations, yet of Union sympathies, hence they suffered from the Civil
war in an unusual degree and undoubtedly the heaviest loss of all was the
death of the father while serving with the First Arkansas Infantry in the
Federal army. This gallant soldier, Marion R. McCullough, was born in
North Carolina and became a pioneer of Arkansas, where he started to
improve a tract of raw land. Meanwhile he had married Lovenia Robinson,
a native of North Carolina, who died in February, 1856, and their only child,
Harvey N., was born August 17, 1853, at the home farm near Harrison,
Boone county. Ark. After he left home to serve under the flag of the Union
news was scant and privations many for his son left behind. It was learned
that he had been captured and held as a prisoner of war and later word came
of his death from hardships. The community being intensely southern in
sympathy, the boy was taken to Missouri by the federal troops for protec-
tion, and found refuge at Springfield, that state, where he remained until it
was safe for him to return to the old homestead. Going back about 1866,
he found the stock stolen, the farm despoiled and the old home scarcely fit
for human habitation, but he undertook its restoration.

On account of all these privations it had not been possible for the youth
to attend school. At the age of seventeen he began to feel his deprivations

/^a^A.^-^ ^^ pf


so greatly that he determined to attend school and for several years he was
a pupil in free and pay schools. ^Vhen finally in 1876 he completed the
course of study in Crooked creek school district, he was presented with a
quilt made by thirty-six young ladies, each of whom had sewed her name
into a piece of the quilt. Through all the changes of later years this present
was retained and no diploriia ever gave to its recipient greater pleasure than
the handiwork of these young girls. In 1877 Mr. McCullough traveled with
ox-teams to the Round valley in Arizona, where he arrived after a trip of
ninety-five days. The following year he proceeded to Phoenix, Ariz., and
took up farming, but in the same year he went back to Arkansas. During
the return trip, which was made with horses, he had an encounter with the
Apaches and narrowly escaped with his life. Returning to .A.rkansas and
resuming agricultural pursuits, he continued there until 1882, after which
he spent a year at Silver City, N. M. For some years afterward he engaged
in farming near Phoenix, Ariz., and from there came to California in 1889,
settling at Bakersfield. For a year he teamed in the employ of H. A.
Jastro, and on his return after a brief trip to Phoenix he became interested
in raising strawberries on the Kern river, where he owned an apiary. Five
years later he sold out and returned to Bakersfield, where he opened a wood
yard on the corner of Humboldt and Sacramento streets. Since then he
has continued at the same location and meantime has built up a large trade
in groceries, grain, hay, feed and fuel. At this writing he owns two corners
with two residences and has recently completed a brick store building,
40x150 feet in dimensions. His famil_y consists of one daughter and two
sons, namely : Mrs. Mary Sterwalt, of San Diego ; James, who is engaged
in farming at Phoenix, Ariz.; and David, who assists his father in the
grocery, feed and fuel business. In politics Mr. McCullough gives stanch
support to Republican principles, while fraternally he has been prominently
connected with the local work of the Knights of Pythias.

ALBERT HAMILTON CASTRO.— The ancestral home of the family
was in Mexico, where was born the father of Albert Hamilton Castro, by name
Domitilo Castro, he in turn being the son of Thomas and Concepcion (Coro-
nado) Castro, both natives of Mexico.

It was in 1867 that the grandfather of Mr. Castro brought his family
to Kern ci unty to embark in the stock-raising business three miles south-
east nf the present town of Bakersfield. Homesteading a half section, he
later became owner of a stock range in the Breckenridge mountains, having
at the time a great number of head of stock, and at his death, January 14,
1900, he left to his nine children a substantial heritage. His wife, who was
the daughter of Jesus Coronado, a pioneer of Califcirnia, passed away in
Bakersfield April 25, 1897. Domitilo Castro was the third in order of liirth
of their children, and with them he received the benefits derived from
the public schools of the district. Remaining on his father's ranch he fol-
lowed stock-raising for many years and September 6, 1879, married Miss
Lucy Cage, who was a native of Napa county, Cal., and the daughter of
Edward and Macaria (Areneas) Cage, the former born in Mississippi and
the latter a native of Mexico. Besides Mr. Castro's home five miles south
of Bakersfield he owns a hundred and sixty acres at the mouth of Fort
Tejon cai'ion, and where he ranges his cattle, bearing the brand DC. Jn I'Hl
he left the ranch to move to his residence at No. 1101 Brown street. I'.akers-
field, which he had built. He also owns other property in Bakersfield.

The children born to Domitilo Castro and his wife were: Alarguerite.
who is a trained nurse at Oakland; Frank, who is a blacksmith in Coalinga
and is married to Effie Godley. of Bakersfield ; Louis, who is an oil man at
Mojave: Albert H. and Andrew M., twins, the latter an oil driller at Taft for
the K. T. & O. Company; Adlai. in the employ of the American Petroleum
Oil Company : Lucv M., Felix C. and .Vmelia, at home. Of these Albert


Hamilton Castro was born in Bakersfield September 29, 1886. After gradu-
ation from the .e^ramniar school he attended high school and then took a
course at the Bakersfield Business College, from which he was graduated in
1908. He immediately found employment in the Sunset oil field at Maricopa,
where he became a tool-dresser. In the latter capacity he worked for the
Western Minerals Oil Company and continued in their employ for fifteen
months. In 1911 he assumed the management of his father's ranch, five miles
south of Bakersfield, where he raises chiefly alfalfa, hay and barley and is
making a success of it. His forty acres of alfalfa he cuts five times a year,
his annual product amounting to two hundred tons of alfalfa, while he also
raises annually fifty tons of barley. He has also taken up a one hundred
and sixty-acre tract in the Rreckenridge mountains, twentv-seven miles east
of Bakersfield.

Mr. Castro is a trustee of the P'airview school district, and is greatly
interested in the cause of education. Fraternally he is a member of the Red-
men, Woodmen of the World, and the Knights of Columbus.

JOSE J. LOPEZ. — The honored old Castilian family of Lopez became
established in the new world when Claudio Lopez, an officer in the Spanish
army, crossed the ocean during one of the revolutions that occasionally dis-
rupted Mexico and gave efficient service in the quelling of the disturbances.
In recognition of his capable assistance the Mexican government appointed
him an Indian agent for Southern California and he established his home
at San Gabriel, Los Angeles county, where he continued to reside until
his death. Next in line of descent was Estavan, a native of San Gabriel and
a lifelong resident of Los Angeles county, where he died after many years
of successful identification with the stock industry. The following genera-
tion was represented by Geronimo Lopez, who was born in Los Angeles and
is now living in the San Fernando valley, hale and robust notwithstanding
his eighty-four useful and active years. Until he retired from business cares
he engaged extensively in the raising of sheep and cattle and ranked among
the leading stockmen of his locality. His old homestead, situated one and
one-half miles north of San Fernando, has been purchased by a company
which intends to build thereon the last dam of the Los Angeles aqueduct.
During early manhood he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Lopez
and thus became allied with a family whose maternal ancestors held rank
among the prominent pioneers of Southern California. Under the priesthood
administration her father, Pedro Lopez, a native of Los Angeles, held
office as administrator of the mission of San Fernando, but his main occu-
pation in life was that of stock-raiser and for many years he followed that
pursuit with industry and fair success. His daughter, Mrs. Lopez, has reached
the age of eighty-one years and is physically and mentally vigorous for
one of that advanced age.

The family of Geronimo and Catherine Lopez coniprised sixteen chil-
dren, of whom eight daughters and two sons are now. living. Jose J., the
eldest of all, was born at the family homestead in Los Angeles October 22,
1853, and at the age of seven years accompanied the family to the San Fer-
nando valley. Until twenty-one years of age he alternated his time between
Los Angeles and the ranch, meanwhile attending the public schools and
also gaining under his father a very comprehensive knowledge of the stock
business. Coming to Kern county as early as 1874, he embarked in the sheep
business and made his headquarters at the Tejon for three years. Meanwhile
his success with his flock attracted the attention of others and led to his
selection as manager of the sheep industry for General Beale at Rancho el
Tejon. During the seven years of his incumbency of the position of manager
he had charge of about sixty thousand head of sheep. At the expiration of
that time the sheep industry was turned over to J. W. Forbes and Mr. Lopez



was transferred to the cattle and horse departments, Ijoth of whicli he super-
intended fur twenty-one years. In these industries no less than with sheep
he proved exceptionally resourceful, sa^^acious and succesful. Finally,
twenty-eight years after he had become identified with the ranch, he was
chosen its manager, at the same time being appointed manager of Ranclio
Costec. la Liebre and Los Alamos, by Truxtun Beale, with whom he can-
tinued for four years or until 1909, when he retired, after an identification of
thirty-two years with the Beale interests, and removed to Bakersfield, erecting
a residence at No. 1203 Chester avenue. On May 1, 1912. the Tejon Ranch
Company that purchased all of the interest in the estate of the late Gen. E. F.
Beale, comprising the four above-na.:ied ranches with stock and improve-
ments, induced Mr. Lopez to accept the management of the four ranches,
and he is once more actively engaged in the management of large affairs
with which he has been so closely identified in Kern county. On his large
ranch of eight hundred acres near Gorham station he keeps fine droves of
cattle, using not only the brand of L with a cross, but also L with an Indian
arrow, which brand was used by his father for sixty-three years.

The marriage of Jose J. Lopez was solemnized in Bakersfield May 27,
1885, uniting him with Miss Mary Winter, who was born at La Providencia
rancho, near Burbank, Los Angeles county, the daughter of James P. and
Jennie (Christie) Winter, natives of Aberdeen, Scotland. Mr. and Mrs. Lopez
have one daughter, Margaret Pearl. L^pon coming to the United States ATr.
and Mrs. ^^'inter crossed the plains to California, locating in the southern
part of the state. They now make their home in Kern county, near the
Tejon ranch.

HUGH A. BLODGET.— The records of the family show that Arba
Blodget, a native of Massachusetts and a soldier of the war of 1812, migrated
to New York state, and took up land from the Holland Land Company. An ac-
cident caused his death while yet he was in the prime of usefulness. The farm
which he had purchased in Chautauqua county, N. Y.. and which extended
over the state line into Pennsylvania, was the birthplace of his son, Wil-
liam O., and grandson, Hugh .-V., but the former, having little taste for
agriculture, gave up farming for merchandising. Upon the outbreak of the
Civil war he ofTered his services to the Union and aided in raising a com-
pany, of which he was chosen lieutenant. AV'hile a member of Reynolds
division, fighting in front of the historic stone wall at Gettysburg, he was
slightly wounded, and his death, which occurred in 1865, when he was forty-one
years old, was the result of exposure and arduous campaign duty. Three
days before his death his wife passed away, leaving three orphan children.
Prior to her marriage she bore the maiden name of Esther A. Spencer. Born
in W'arren county. Pa., she was a member of an old established family of
that section.

Hugh A. Blodget was born October 2?i. 1855, and was about ten years of
age at the time he was doubly (jrphaned. During the next seven years he
made his home with his maternal grandmother and meanwhile took a course
in the Jamestown Collegiate Institute. Quite early in life he became self-
supporting and destiny turned his steps toward the west. During Decem-
ber of 1872 he arrived at Windsor, Sonoma county, poor in purse, but rich
in hope. For two years he clerked in a store during the winters and worked
nn a ranch in the summer. After coming to Kern county he worked on a
ranch for about two months, after which for two years he served as clerk
in the office of the county recorder. Next he became bookkeeper in the
Kern Valley Bank. During 1884 he was chosen cashier of the bank and in
1902 was made its president, but the following year, owing to the pressure of
outside business, he retired from the bank, since which he has devoted his
energies largely to oil development aufl refining business.


One of the first promoters of the oil industry in the Sunset region, dur-
ing 1890 Mr. Blodget, associated with Solomon Jewett and Charles Barnard,
put down the first wells drilled in that district, but the project did not
prove a success and Air. Barnard withdrew from the field. .Although Messrs.
Blodget and Jewett continued further experiments with undiminished energy,
it was not until 1897 that they met with any results. Mr. Blodget organized
the Phoenix Refining and Manufacturing Companj' in 1907 with Arthur
Webster as its manager and himself as president, since which time the com-
pany has built up a large refining plant. The enterprise then started has
developed into one of much importance to. Bakersfield and Kern county and
is the largest manufacturing concern in the city and county. This corpora-
tion on its own account and that of its allied companies maintains a monthly
pay roll of approximately $5000, which supnorts many families and which is
distributed among the various merchants of Bakersfield. It uses exclusively
in the manufacture of its various products, oils, distillates and greases, Kern
county crude oils and Kern county fullers earth. Through the medium of its
superior and economic gas engine distillates and lubricating oils, which are
sold at prices which represent only a reasonable profit on the cost of manu-
facture, this corporation will be instrumental to a large degree in rapidly
developing this and adjoining counties through pump irrigation. Mr.
Blodget expresses himself as feeling a pardonable pride in this achievement
as he has been a resident of Kern county for more than thirty-nine years.
Those competent to judge assert that no one has done more than Mr.
Blodget to encourage and develop the oil business in Kern county. His
ample facilities for ascertaining facts and his clear judgment have been given
to the industry from the first, while his reputation for reliability has counted
for much in the business. In addition to aiding in the development of the
oil producing and oil refining business he has been a leading factor in local
enterprises of permanent benefit. The first sewer system of the town, a
private enterprise, received his financial aid. Railroad and street transporta-
tion have been nromoted by his foresight ; also the gas and electric light
systems. As a director of the Bakersfield Board of Trade he has encouraged
all measures for the upbuilding of the city. That he has a firm faith in his
chosen town appears from his many investments in real estate and in the
building of an elegant residence, where he and his wife, formerly Miss A. L.
Park, dispense a gracious hospitality. Mrs. Blodget, who was born in
Wisconsin and came to California during 1878, is the mother of three chil-
dren, Haselton P., Ruth and Anna L.

Frateinally connected with the Masons. Knights of Pythias and Benev-
olent Protective Order of Elks, Mr. Blodget has been a local leader in
each order. In politics he always has supported Republican principles. Into
whatever line of activity he has entered his fine mental endowments have
proved helpful to the work in question. Particularly has this been the
case in educational afifairs. A firrh believer in the public schools, he has
given freely of his time, means and intelligence to promote the educational
system of Bakersfield and it would be difficult to name any citizen whose
contribution to this line of public welfare has been of more value than his
own. Apoointed on the school board May 24, 1898, he was regularly chosen
to the office at the ensuing election. Ever since that time he has served as
president of the board. Under his incuinbency the schools have increased
in enrollment four fold, while in efficiency they have reached a point abreast
of the best schools of the state. The natural energy and wise zeal charac-
terizing Mr. Blodget in all of his other dealings has been carried into this
department and the result has Iieen highly gratifying to all patrons of the
city schools.



WILLIAM J. DOHERTY.— A son of William Al. ami Alice (Kcville)
Doherty, he was burn at Derby, Orleans county, Vi., in 1848. Derby lies near
the line of Quebec and a little further to the north in that province, at Sher-
brooke, the father owned and operated a large farm fur }-ears, also engaged in
lumbering there and in Vermont, shipping ship timbers to Portland and con-
tinuing in the lumber industry as long as he lived. In this way the son
gained a thorough knowledge i^if such work and later he was sent to Lowell,
ATass., (the native place of his mother) to serve an apprenticeship to the trade
of a carpenter. Upon the completion of his apprenticeship he worked as a
journeyman for three years at Fall River and for a similar period at Worcester,
Mass., after which in 1876 he came to California and followed his trade in San
Francisco and Oakland. Thence he went to Arizona and devoted three years
to contracting and building at Tucson. Upou his return to California he
helped to build up Tulare, after a disastrous lire had almost destroyed the
town. Meanwhile in 1875 his brother, George C, had established himself in
the building business at Bakersfield and also had engaged in the management
of an apiary, continuing both lines of work until his death in 1894. He served
for one term as supervisor of Kern county and filled other positions of local

A visit to this brother gave Mr. Doherty an opportunit}' to bid on the
construction of the Southern he tel. The contract was given him and in 1889
he erected the hotel, but sixty days after he had turned it over to the owners
it was destroyed by fire. Meanwhile he had joined with his brother in the
bee business. In diiiferent parts of the county he had from twelve hundred
to fifteen hundred colonies, but these he sold upon engaging in the lumber
business. AVhile he has built many houses in Bakersfield, including his own
residence at No- 2504 Nineteenth street, and has also had contracts for
important public buildings, including that for the Roman Catholic Church in
1905, his leading business associations have been with the lumber industry.
After he completed the Southern hotel he was absent from the city for a year
and upon his return in 1890 he became interested' in the lumber business. A
company of men had been organized to take over five thousand acres of timber
land on M(,unt Breckenridge and under the title of the Kern County I^umber
Compan}- they built a saw mill. A road was built to the mill on the east slope
of the mountain, about thirty-five miles from Bakersfield.

From the first the Fresno Flume Company made a determined effort tu
put the new concern out of business. The easiest way to accomplish their
purpose was to drop the price of lumber. This they did, so that the organ-
ization at Bakersfield, after operating the mill for two years at a great loss,
abandoned all effort to continue their enterprise. Their troubles were
enhanced by the sudden death of their manager, Mr. Lincoln, and the stock
of the company was almost worthless. About that time Mr. Doherty nego-
tiated with a Bakersfield lumber firm to buy their business and take over
their yard. Having almost closed the deal, he ordered a large consignment
of lumber from Oregon. Meantime the Fresno company bought the yard after
secret negotiations. It was necessary for him to find a place to unload his
lumber, shipped from Oregon, so he secured the corner of Eighteenth street
and Chester avenue and started in business. His next step was to go to Fresno
and endeavor to buy mountain pine from the company there, but they refused
to sell. Immediately he secured an option to lease the property of the Kern
County Lumber Company on Alount Breckenridge and when he had taken
over the mill and lumber he incorporated the Union Lumber Company, witli
himself as president, manager and sole owner. Heavy teams were utilized
to haul the pine lumber to the Iiakersfield yard. A need for more space cause

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 90 of 177)