Copyright
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 96 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 96 of 177)
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farming and stock raising, in which they have been very successful. In
1913 they sold their place on Brundage Lane and purchased forty acres
ten miles southwest of Bakersfield in the old river district under the Stine
canal, where they are raising alfalfa and grain. He also owns a one hundred
and sixty acre ranch two miles above Granite Station which he uses for
cattle range in the summer, his brand being J. B., and he is meeting witli
merited success. Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand are the parents of four children,
as follows: Jean Edward, Josephine Martlia, Frederick and Dorothy.

MIGUEL ECHENIQUE.— The sheep business, which has proved a
source of most gratifying results to many who have come to the Golden
State to try their fortunes, has become the successful vocation of Aliguel
Echenique, who made his way hither from his native country of Spain to
follow his brother, Tomas, who had settled in California and become inter-
ested in the sheep raising industry. These sturdy sons of Spain were the
children of Jose Maria and Petra (Dendarieta) Echenique, the former a



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 047

farmer and stucknian in Xa\arrc and the father of se\cn children. ( )f lliose
Miguel was the fifth and was born in Navarre January 4, 1874.

The local school of his native place aft'orded ]\Ir. Echeni(|iie liis educa-
tional training: and he completed his course of studies in the Spanish lan-
guage. The year 18^9 brought him to Kern county, Cal., where his brother
Tomas had settled, and he immediately began work for a sheep grower
herding sheep. By industry and economy he soon found himself in the pos-
session of means and in 1905 he purchased a flock of sheep and began for
himself a business that he has continued to the present time. His increasing
flock he ranges on the plains and in the mountains of Kern, In}-o and Mono
counties, and his stock has an enviable reputation in the market for its
special quality and fine condition generally.

W'ith his wife, whose maiden name was Marie Louisa Etcheverry and
whose birthplace was Aldudes. I'.asses-Pyrenees, France, he makes his home
in a comfortable residence at Xo. 801 Quincy street. East Bakersfield. Mrs.
Echenique was the daughter of John and Catherine (Laxague) Etcheverry,
who still reside on their farm in the lofty Pyrenees. One child was born to
the union of Mr. and Mrs. Echenit|ue, which took place in East I'.akersfield
in 1911, and they have named- him Tomas to perpetuate the name of Mr.
Echenique's brother.

HENRY DIBBLE WEST.— \\'hen the tide of pioneer travel to Cali-
fornia was yet at its height there came across the plains during the summer
of 1853 Dr. Charles N. and Martha (Dibble) West, natives respectively of New
Hampshire and Connecticut. The young couple settled in Stanislaus county,
where occurred the birth of their eldest child, Henry Dibble, April 23. 1854.
Later th6 family removed to Santa Cruz county, where the mother died; and
at this writing the father, active and mentally alert notwithstanding his
ninety-one busy years, is living in San Francisco. The eldest child received
public-school advantages supplemented by attendance at the University of the
Pacific, San Jose. A clerkship in the store of an uncle, Elisha Giddings, at
Turlock gave him his early knowledge of mercantile pursuits. Later he was
employed in the store of Simon Jacobs at Plainsburg, Merced county, still
later conducting a mercantile establishment at that place on his own account.
In 1881 he moved the business to Hanford, two years later selling out to be-
come manager of the store of Manassa & Jacobs at Traver. During his resi-
dence at Traver he served for several years as justice of the peace and also
acquired farming interests. Upon his arrival in Kern county in 1889 he lo-
cated a homestead in the Weed Patch. After proving up on the property he
sold it and bought three hundred and twenty acres of school land three miles
south of what is now Edison. On that place he engaged in raising grain and
stock. During 1900 he bought twenty acres in the Fairfax district, three miles
from East Bakersfield, where he engaged in raising alfalfa. Forty acres have
been added to the original twenty, and both being under the east side canal,
he has an excellent alfalfa ranch. liesides operating the land he sold hay to the
oil companies in the Kern river field and continued in the hay business from
1904 until his death, which ( ccurred January 20, 1911, on the home ranch.
Politically a Democrat, a citizen of progressive views and splenilid public
spirit, he had served as deputy county assessor and for seven years had been
clerk of the school boards in both Mountain View and Fairfa.x districts. .\n
organizer of the First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield, to which his wife
and all the members of her family still belong, he served as a trustee and elder
and aided largely in the erection of the house of worship on O street.

The marriage of Henry Dibble West and Rebecca E. Lauder was
solemnized at F^lainsburg, Merced comity, February 20, 1881. Miss Lauder
was a native of Rockburn, Huntingdon county, province of Quebec, Canada,
and was the eldest daughter in a familv of eleven children, six of whom now



948 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

survive. The father, Andrew Lauder, a native of Montreal of Scotch descent
and a wheelwright and carpenter by trade, married Eliza Waller, a native of
Ireland. Leaving his family in Canada he came on to California in 1868 in
search of a suitable location. The mother died in 1869 and it was not until
1875 that the children joined their father in California, settling at Plainsburg,
where he had engaged in carpentering and also served as justice of the peace.
His last days were passed at Merced. During the last twelve months of his
life he was an invalid as a result of a stroke of paralysis. It fell to the lot
of the eldest daughter in this large family to act as housekeeper after the
death of her mother and hence she had not the opportunity for a collegiate
education, yet she is the possessor of unusual business ability and always
has been, not only a home-maker, but a practical assistant in the business
affairs of the family. One year after the death of her husband she left the
farm and settled at No. 2020 E street, Bakersfield. Aside from the home
ranch she owns fifty acres of citrus land near Edison, on which there is a deep
well and a pumping plant sufficient to irrigate the land for alfalfa and fruit.
The family also has one hundred and sixty acres on Cedar creek near Poso
Flat, where a specialty is made of the raising of draft horses. Her eldest sons,
Henry D., Andrew L. and Albert, are in charge of the farming operations of
the estate. Mrs. Martha Treadway lives on a farm near Bakersfield; Mrs.
Emily Kiger makes her home in East Bakersfield ; Mrs. Laura Parker is a
resident of Bakersfield. The three youngest children. Ruby, Francis S. and
Charles W., remain with their mother in the Bakersfield home.

THOMAS J. CORNISH.— Whatever of success Mr. Cornish has achieved
(and it has been noteworthy) it must be attributed to his own persistence in
the midst of the discouraging experiences of his early years. He wais born in
Cornwall, England, August 8, 1870, being the only son of John and Elizabeth
(Ball) Cornish, honest and well-to-do farmers of that shire. At the age of
six months his father was taken from him by death, after which he and his
mother went to live with his grandfather, George Ball, a farmer of Cornwall.
The boy was sent to the St. Columb schools and thus acquired a knowledge of
the three R's. At the age of seventeen he left Cornwall for Canada and in
Toronto served an apprenticeship to the trade of a baker under his uncle. Mr.
Tonkyn, who did all in his power to give the lad a correct knowledge of the
principles of the bakery business. Upon the completion of his time he came
to the States and followed his occuoation at Buffalo, N. Y., and A.ustin, Pa..
after which in 1903 he came to California. The failure of his health prevented
him from devoting his attention to his trade and therefore, having invented
and patented an oil burner for bake-ovens, he engaged in the manufacture and
sale of this article. While able to earn a livelihood he made no financial
progress and at the time of his arrival in Bakersfield during June of 1908 he
had little capital except his restored health and a thorough knowledge of the
baking business.

Having no acquaintance with business men and no financial standing,
he worked for one year on a salary and then began baking on a very small
scale. In his subsequent success his wife has been of the greatest assistance.
Indeed, to her intelligent co-operation he attributes in large part the splendid
standing he now enjoys as a business man and skilled baker. Prior to their
marriage in Niagara Falls, N. Y., she was Miss Bessie Mcintosh, a resident
of Buffalo, N. Y., having been born at Springville, Erie county. Possessing
ability of an high order, she has been able to promote the success of the busi-
ness in which her interest has been as great as his own.

For a time after opening his bakery Mr. Cornish did all of the baking
without help and during the first two weeks his boy delivered the goods with
a basket. That soon proved inadequate and he rented a horse and wagon.
.^s soon as he had saved sufficient money he bought a horse and wagon, but



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 951

still used the rented vehicle. The liakery goods proved po])ular with critical
housekeepers. 'J'he demand increased from time to time and now he uses five
wagons besides one automobile for delivery purposes. Bakers are kept steadily
at work and five thousand loaves of bread are baked every day, besides pies,
cakes, cookies, and other bakery goods in like proportions. His payroll amounts
to $2500.00 per month and about $30,000.00 per annum. Three modern ovens
of large capacity are in constant service. The bakery,' which is by far the
largest in Kern county, is located at Xo. 1127 Nineteenth street, with a large
branch store at No. 1610 Nineteenth street. Plans are made for a new factory
for the manufacture of bread and bakery goods on a larger scale and a much
greater variety. This factory will be installed with latest and most modern
machinery for bakery goods. The capacity will be increased ten times in all
the different lines.

J. KELLY RUSSELL.— The cashier of the National Bank of Bakers-
field traces his genealogy to several old and honored colonial families, among
them being not only the Russells, but also the Duncans, Kellys and Rays.
His father, George C. Russell, a native of Bardstown, Ky., and an extensive
stock-raiser, made a specialty of breeding the thoroughbred and standard
horses for which the blue grass region has been famous for more than a
century. The farm which he owned and operated stood in the heart of that
noted region, six miles from the city of Lebanon, and from it were sent out
a number of rare specimens of equine perfection. One of these animals
made a record of 2:11 in Cleveland more than twenty years ago. In judg-
ment of horses he was regarded as an expert and in their training he ac-
quired a local reputation. By his marriage to Annie Kelly, who like himself
remained a lifelong resident of Kentucky, there was an only child, J. Kelly,
born at Lebanon, Marion county, Ky., December 26, 1873, reared at the old
homestead, educated in public schools and a graduate of a local high school.

Regarding the ancestry of the mother of George C. Russell (who was
a member of the Duncan family) it may be stated that during the eighteenth
century three brothers left their native Scotland and crossed the ocean to the
new world, where they became separated. Concerning the fate of two of
these brothers nothing is known with accuracy. The third, Henry Duncan,
who was born September 3, 1710, in Scotland, and who became a pioneer of
Virginia, married Rebecca Briggs, who was born January 7, 1710. By their
union seven sons and three daughters were born and six of these became
pioneers of Kentucky, namely: Coleman, Charles, George, Henry, Fanny
and Rebecca. The first-named, Coleman, married Mary Lyne, and they be-
came the parents of seven sons and three daughters. Among the sons was
George, born August 11, 17.S0, and married to Nancy Connelly, member of a
colonial Virginian family. The family of George and Nancy Duncan com-
prised six sons and three daughters. Of these there still survived as late as
1897 two, the eldest and the youngest, viz. : John S., eighty-two years of
age, and Jennie, who was at that time past sixty.

The mother of J. Kelly Russell was a daughter of John J. and Susan
Jane (Ray) Kelly and a granddaughter of Richard A\'. and ^Iary (Knott)
Ray, of whom the late ex-Governor J. Proctor Knott was also a lineal de-
scendant ; and also a granddaughter of George P. and Ann (Kelly) Kelly.
George P., a son of John and Jane (Payne) Kelly, was born April 6, 1793,
and died April 27, 1847. Ann, the wife of George P. Kelly and a daughter
of James and Nancy Kelly, was br)rn February 21, 1796, and died in Obion
county, Tenn., September 27. 1830. John J., son of George P. and Ann
Kelly, was born November 23, 1818, and died July 12, 1861, while his wife,
Susan Jane, daughter of Richard W. and Marv (Knott) Ray, was born April
28, 1824, and died December 19, 189.S. The Ray family was prominent and
active in the early colonization of Kentucky. About the year 1774 three
brothers, John, James and ^Villiam Ray, removed from Maryland to Ken-



952 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

tucky and settled near the present site of Harrodsburg, Mercer county, where
William was soon killed by the Indians. John and James represented the
very highest type of physical manhood, being over six feet tall, muscular,
broad-shouldered, fearless and brave, endowed with remarkable powers of
endurance and with every requisite of the typical pioneer, Indian fighter and
woodsman. During their first years in Kentucky they made extensive ex-
plorations of the surrounding wilderness. In one of these trips they visited
the wild lands of Kentucky county (now Marion county) and there they
entered large tracts of land in the western part of the county near the present
site of Raywick.

During the year 1794 a number of families (including the Rays, Beards
and Knotts) from near the present site of Ellicott ]\Iills in Maryland re-
moved to the wilderness of Kentucky and settled on the lands of John and
James Ray, including the present site of Raywick and the surrounding
country. Even before the migration of that colony as early as 1792, Thomas
P. and Frances (Ray) Knott, had left Maryland for Kentucky and had taken
passage, on a flat-boat at Pittsburg, whence they sailed down the Ohio river
to the Falls near the present site of the city of Louisville. Leaving the boat
at that point, they traveled by wagon to the new colony near Raywick and
in the primeval wilderness established a frontier home. Their family in-
cluded the following-named children : Nancy, who married Anthony Bick-
ett; Joseph P., who married Maria I. McElroy; Mary, wife of Richard Ray;
Thomas P., who married Frances Payne; Frances, Mrs. Stephen Bristow ;
Jane Hart, who died unmarried at the age of twenty-five; Samuel, who mar-
ried Elizabeth Ray; Lloyd, who married Martha Allen; and Ellen, who died
at the age of sixteen. Included in the Ray family were the following
brothers and sisters: John S., who married Kitty Beard; Samuel, who mar-
ried Rosa Everhart; Frances, Mrs. Thomas P. Knott; Deborah, Mrs. Lloyd
Thurman ; Mrs. John Barbee. whose husband was the son of a noted general ;
Lloyd, who married Nancy Wickliffe, a sister of Governor Charles A. Wick-
liflfe and Robert Wicklifife, the most famous lawyers of their day in Ken-
tucky; and William (known as Col. Billy Ray), who married his cousin,
.Sarah Ray.

In life, character and attainments J. Kelly Russell has added prestige to
the honored name which he bears. After leaving school he became a mes-
senger in the Marion National Bank in Lebanon, Ky., and later was pro-
moted to be bookkeeper. Upon resigning that position he came to Califor-
nia, where for eight years he was connected with the Edison Electric Light
and Power Company of San Francisco. After a period of service as assistant
cashier he was placed in charge of a branch office in San Francisco and be-
came office manager of the Western Light & Power Company, in which also
he was secretary and a director. When he resigned that responsible position
he became credit man and confidential secretary for Swabacker Bros., a firm
of wholesale commission merchants, with whom he continued until the busi-
ness was sold and the partners retired. During January of 1911 he came to
Bakersfield as assistant cashier of the Bank of Bakersfield and a year later
was promoted to be cashier, remaining in that capacity until the bank was
discontinued at its old location November 1, 1912, having been consolidated
during the previous month with the Security Trust Company. However, in
the meantime he had become convinced of the great possibilities of Bakers-
field. Entertaining the most optimistic opinion of the city's future develop-
ment, he was anxious to continue in the banking business at this point. Ac-
cordingly through his own efTorts, supplementing the enterprise of other pro-
gressive citizens, a new bank was organized ]\Iarch 6, 1913, and on the 15th
of April the National Bank of Bakersfield, with a paid-in capital of $100,-
000.00, began in business. The success of the institution has surpassed the
most sanguine hopes of its projectors. Conservative loans and judicious in-



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 955

vestments govern tlie policy of tlie managers, who make their motto, "Not
the largest business, but a safe business at all times." The officers are as
follows: C. L. Claflin, president; F. H. Hall and W. A. Bonynge, vice-
presidents; I. K. Russell, cashier; F. J. Galtes, assistant cashier. The fol-
lowing are the directors: C. L. Claflin, F. H. Hall, W. A. Bonynge, J. O.
Michelle, ]. K. Russell, Joseph Redlick, George Haberfelde, A. P. Evraud,
W. W. Kelly, L. P. Keester, J. B. Batz, E. D. Burge and E. M. Brown.

Since coming to this city Mr. Russell has allied himself with the Bakers-
field Club and Bakersfield Lodge No. 266, B. P. O. E. During the period
of his residence in San Francisco he met and married Miss Aimee Rogers, a
native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the San Jose high school, her father,
William J. Rogers, having been a well-known citizen of San Jose.

LEWIS ROGER BUCHANAN.— Of western birth and formerly a resi-
dent of various parts of the west, Mr. Buchanan was burn at Coal Creek near
Pueblo, Colo., November 7, 1882, and is a son of John L. and Mary Ann (Buck-
bee) Buchanan, the former a laboring man for years employed as a well-digger
by the Santa h'e Railroad Company. There were three children in the family,
namely : Lewis Roger, of Taft ; Ora P., a partner of his older brother
in the pool hall at Taft ; and Eva May, who married J. W. Skaggs, an employe
at McKittrick of the great corporation of Miller & Lux. When the eldest
child was a mere infant the famil}- removed from Colorado to the Indian
Territory, where the father was employed in digging wells for the .Santa Fe.
.About 1885 another move was made to CVegon, where the father first engaged
in construction work at Cascade Falls. The mother died at Roseburg, that
state, when Lewis R. was a lad of ten years and afterward he left the schools
of Roseburg, finishing the grammar-school studies at Myrtle Point, Coos
county. During 1900 he came to California and settled at llanford, where
his father still resides.

After having been variously employed until 190() Mr. lUiclianan then
spent a short time in Los Angeles at the carpenter's trade. During the
winter of 1906-07 he worked as a carpenter at Coalinga. In a short time he
was made head rig-buik!er for the Imperial Oil Company and for two years
he filled the position with efficiency. Shortly after the great fire at Taft he
came to the town and began to work in the rebuilding of stores and houses.
Much of his work was done fur the J. F. Lucey Company, the Union Tool Com-
pany and the McCutchens. Besides putting up shops, stores and houses in
town he engaged in building houses on the leases in the Midway field and in
1911 he had charge tjf the erection of the I-'ellows hotel. Forming a partner-
ship with his brother, he started the pool and billiard hall which has been
conducted by them up to the present time. .About Xovember of 1912 he
received the appointment of chief of the Taft fire department. After coming
to Taft in April, 1910, he organized and became manager of the baseball nine
of the town.

In various fraternities Mr. Buchanan has been influential. While making
his headquarters at Coalinga he was made a Mason in Coalinga Lodge No.
387, F. & A. M. Upon the organization of the Improved Order of Red Men,
Tribe No. 233, at Taft, he became a charter member and was chosen the first
presiding officer. In addition he has been prominent in Taft Lodge No. 426.
I. O. O. F., and at this writing is a member of the building committee having
charge of the erection of the new hall on Center street. The corner stone was
laid June 21. 1913. and the building completed in the fall of the same year.

FRANK TEMPLETON WILLIS.— Mr. Willis is one who has had much
experience as a stationary engineer and has taken a three years' course in
engineering with the International Correspondence School. He now holds
the position of foreman in charge of the pumping plant of the Chanslor-Can-
field Midwav Oil Companv located six miles west of McKittrick in the Little



956 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

Santa Maria Valley. The plant supplies water fur the company's oil opera-
tions in the North Rlidway at Fellows. It comprises a system of deep wells
and the water is pumped over the hills and delivered at a distance of fourteen
miles to the Fellows Camp and has a capacity of about fourteen hundred
barrels per day.

Frank Templeton Willis was born in Mt. Vernon, Posey county, Ind..
October 29, 1876, and is the son of Joshua and Hannah (Templeton) Willis,
natives of Mt. Vernon, Ind., and White county. III, respectively. They were
farmers at Mt. Vernon, but now reside in Wickenburg, Ariz. Of their three
children Frank is the oldest ; he was brought up in Lakin, Kans., where he
was educated in the public and high schools, graduating in 1893, when he
began to learn engineering in Victor, Colo., and in time became a stationary
engineer. Later he held positions with mining companies in different parts
of Colorado, Montana, Oregon and Arizona, and during this time learned min-
ing in all its details and held positions as foreman and superintendent of
mines. He was for five years foreman of the water service department of the
Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railroad at Prescott, Ariz., a position which
he resigned in September, 1910, to accept his present position as foreman
of the Chanslor-Canfield Midway Oil Company's water plant, since which
time he has remodeled the plant to its present efficient service and capacity.

Mr. Willis was married in Phoenix, Ariz., to Miss Anna Wilson, who
was born in Oakland, Cal., and to the union have been born three children :
Dorothy, Frances and Charles. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of
Pythias and with his wife is a member of the Women of Woodcraft. Mrs.
Willis is a member of the Presbyterian Church. For many years Mr. Willis
was a member of the Stationary Engineers Union and is a Democrat.

HARRY MILO ELWOOD, M.D.— A thorough preparation for the
practice of medicine and surgery qualifies Dr. Elwood for successful work
in his chosen calling. As the surgeon at Mojave for the Atchison, Topeka &
Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific Railroads, and as a private practitioner
with a large list of families to whom he acts as physician, he stands at the
head of the men of his profession in his community.

The older of two children, Dr. Elwood was born at Nunda, Livingston
county, N. Y., May 9, 1880, and is a son of Homer C. and D. Estelle '(Gif-
ford) Elwood, natives respectively of Nunda and Gainesville, N. Y., the
father for sixteen years a manager in the postofiSce department of the govern-
ment service, but more recently and at present a partner in a wholesale hard-
ware business in the city of Buffalo. After he had completed the studies of
the grammar and high schools of Nunda and had enjoyed the excellent ad-
vantages of being a Normal post graduate, H. M. Elwood matriculated in
the medical department of the University of Buffalo, where he completed



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 96 of 177)