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 99 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 99 of 177)
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relinquishing business enterprises he moved to the farm, which is under
the Calloway canal, in the Rosedale district. Abundance of irrigation adapts
the place to alfalfa, which in turn renders possible the raising of cattle, horses
and poultry. To provide summer range for the cattle, a mountain ranch
at Granite is leased. In addition to his farm Mr. Kratzmer owns a resi-
dence lot on I street near Twentieth, which being close-in property has
rapidly advanced in value. In politics he is independent. The co-operation



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HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 981

and advice of his capable wife has been invaluable to him in his work.
Mrs. Kratzmer, who is a sister of R. A. Edmonds, the present postmaster
at Bakersfield, was born in Lane county, Ore., and at the time of her mar-
riage to Mr. Kratzmer in Bakersfield she was Mrs. Lavina Brown, the
mother of a son, Frank A. Brown, now living in San Francisco. Of her
second marriage there was one child, Lotus Jule, a resident of Bakersfield.

JABEZ RIGHT GIST.— A long period of identification with the Southern
Pacific Railroad Company has proved the value of the services of Mr.
Gist and the importance of the position which he has filled with marked
efficiency for many years. As early as 1891, when the shops were moved
from Tulare to Kern, he came to the new plant in the capacity of store-
keeper. Considerations of health led him later to seek a change of location,
although this did not bring a severance of his relations with the railroad.
When he returned to Kern in April of 1896 he was made engine inspector.
Eventually he was promoted to be stationary engineer, which position he
fills with such intelligence, neatness and orderliness that in 1911 he received
a medal from the inspector of power plants for the Southern Pacific system
and the following year he was awarded an additional bar un the medal in
recognition of his efficiency as engineer.

The lineage of the Gist family is traced back to Christopher Gist, the
companion and friend of George Washington. From that Revolutionary
hero descended J. C. Gist, a native of Jackson county, Tenn., and for years .i
farmer near Tompkinsville, Monroe county, Ky., where also he served as a
justice of the peace. In that county he married Kittie M. Alarrs, who was
born there, of Scotch descent, and whose death occurred in Tulare, Cal.,
at the age of seventy-three years. The family 'removed from Kentucky to
California in 1875 and settled in Yolo county, afterward acquiring farm land
in the vicinity of Madison, that county. Removal was made to Tulare
county in 1881 and a ranch was acquired. In addition to cultivating the land
Mr. Gist served from 1884 to 1898 as justice of the peace. When seventy-
seven years of age he died in Tulare.

The parental family comprised ten children and all but three of these
attained maturity, five being alive at the present time. The next to the
youngest, Jabez Right, was born in Jackson county, Tenn., September 13,
1860, and as a boy attended country schools in Monroe county, Ky. At the
age of fifteen he accompanied the family to California, where he immediately
began to assist his father in the cultivation of a farm. During 1881 he removed
with his parents to Tulare county and resumed agricultural operations at that
point. At Tulare in 1885 he married Miss Sarah Abbie Boone, a native of
Jones county, Iowa, and a daughter of George W. and Sarah Ann (McCul-
louch) Boone, the latter a native of Ohio, the former a direct descendant of
Kentucky's famous pioneer, Daniel Boone. The Boone family came from
Iowa to California in 1876 and Mrs. Gist attended the public schools of Tulare
until she had completed the regular course of study. By her marriage there
are two children. The son, Mervil Ward, is employed by the Southern Pacific
Railroad Company in Los Angeles. The daughter. Ruby Grace, is the wife of
T. B. Kunselman, of Los Angeles.

Entering the Tulare shops of the Southern Pacific Company in the fall
of 1887, Jabez Right Gist has continued with the same corporation up to the
present time. After his first three years in railroading he was transferred to
the clerical department of the Tulare shops. In 1891 he came to Kern (East
Bakersfield) as store-keeper. Two years later he was transferred to Los
Angeles, where he worked in the car department as air inspector. Returning to
Kern in April of 1896, he has since been with the same plant, first as engine
inspector and later as stationary engineer. Since coming to East Bakersfield
he has acquired property, including two houses on Kentucky street. For two



982 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

terms he served as trustee of the city library. As a member of the board of
education in East Bakersfield he gave long and satisfactory service. The
erection of the Beale avenue school and the enlargement of the Baker street
school were largely the result of his energetic efforts. During his entire term
of office he gave practical evidence of the genuine interest felt in school affairs
by making an official visit to each school two or three times a year, suffering
the loss of his wages for every day thus given to educational interests.

Since the age of eighteen years Mr. Gist has been a member of the Chris-
tian Church. For years he was a member of the board of trustees and during
part of that time he served as president of the board. The interest which he
maintains in the church is also felt by his wife. Both likewise are interested
in the work of the Eastern Star. After coming to this city he was made a
Alason in Bakersfield Lodge No. 224, F. & A. M., and as master of the lodge
he participated in the exercises connected with the laying of the corner stone
of the new Kern county courthouse in December, 1910. Besides being a
prominent Mason he is connected with the Independent Order of Foresters and
while living at Tulare was an active lodge worker in the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows. From the time of casting his first presidential ballot for
James G. Blaine he has supported Republican nominees at every election
and has maintained a warm interest in public affairs.

ARTHUR E. RAINE. — Several generations of the Raine family were
identified with Kentucky, where Albert E. and his father, James B., were
born in the vicinity of Bowling Green and where the latter, a planter by
occupation, had served with conspicuous bravery for the lost cause. The
struggle ended and his old home locality disrupted by the sanguinary con-
flict, he determined to seek a- home elsewhere. Accordingly during the sum-
mer of 1865 he crossed the plains, accompanied by his family, which included
Albert E., then a lad of about twelve years. Settlement was made at Ana-
heim, where years afterward the firm of J. B. Raine & Son became very
prominent along the line of its chosen specialties. Throughout that section
of the state they planted orchards and vineyards for absent owners, also
bought land for themselves, which they set out in horticultural products.
In addition they engaged in hop culture and farming. Eventually the
senior member of the firm retired from business pursuits and now, vigorous
and sturdy notwithstanding his more than eighty years, he is living retired
at Santa Ana. Meanwhile the business is being continued by Albert E.,
who resides on his valuable walnut orchard near Orange. During young
manhood he married Anna King, who was born in Huntington, W. Va., and
died at the family residence in 1892, leaving three sons.

The eldest of the sons, Arthur E., was born at Santa Ana, this state,
February 8, 1880, and attended the grammar and high schools of his native
city. For three years he served an apprenticeship to the trade of machinist
in the Santa Ana machine shop. At the expiration of his time he entered
the Orange County Business College in Santa Ana, of which he is a graduate.
During 1900 he came to Bakersfield fur the first time and here he secured
a position as accountant and private secretary to George Easton of the
Easton, Eldridge Company, a San Francisco firm, who were pioneers in
the Sunset oil fields. A year later he became connected with the construc-
tion department of the Southern Pacific Railroad and had charge of the
material used in the building of the Kern river branch. Upon the comple-
tion of the road he was transferred to the .Vtlantic system of the Southern
Pacific as private secretary to George W. Boschke. chief engineer in charge
of the company's docks in Galveston, these being the largest of the kind in
the world.

I'pon the completion of the construction work at that point Mr. Raine
returned to Bakersfield as an accountant and stenographer in the transporta-



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 985

tion department of the Suiitherii Pacific Railroad. During May of 1903
he resigned an excellent position in order to enter the employ of the
Bakersfield iron works as bookkeeper and stenographer. At the time he
was the only clerical help in the office, but the business grew steadily and
when Henry D. ]\IcCoy resigned in 1904 and E. C. Wilson was appointed
to fill the vacancy as manager, Mr. Raine became chief clerk, continuing
as such until June of 1909, when upon the resignation of Mr. Wilson he
was promoted to be manager. He filled this responsible position to the
satisfaction of the company until February 1, 1913, when he resigned.
Shortly afterward he associated himself with S. Wright Jewett, and unde/
the firm name of Jewett & Raine engaged in buying and sub-dividing Kern
county lands, and the result is that they are doing more to bring new
people, not only from different parts of California but from the Middle States
and Rocky Mountain region, than any other firm in the business. Both
members are native-born Californians and believe in the great future of the
state and particularly as :\lr. Raine expresses it, "Kern, the county that made
California famous."

The residence of Mr. Raine occupies the corner of Twenty-fourth
and B streets, Bakersfield, and is graciously presided over by Mrs. Raine,
formerly Miss Ann MacAIurdo, who was born in Bakersfield, Kern county,
where her father, W. R. MacMurdo served for eighteen years as county
surveyor and now follows the occupation of a civil engineer. The family
of Mr. Raine comprises, besides his wife, their two children, Arthur E., Jr.,
and Kathleen Ruth. Fraternally he holds membership with the Bakersfield
Lodge No. 266, B. P. O. E., and the Native Sons of the Golden West. Upon
the organization of the Bakersfield Club he became a charter member and
since then he has served as a member of its board of directors.

E. B. CAMPBELL. — The superintendent and manager of the Section
5 Oil Company, the King Refining Company and the Petrophalt Paint
Company, is further identified with the Kern river fields through being
successor and owner of the Capital City Oil Company, which is now suc-
cessfully producing in this district. While having made his home in Cali-
fornia since 1892, he is a Canadian by birth, having been born in that country
January 15. 1859, the son of a Baptist minister. In the early history of the
Kern river field Mr. Campbell became well informed in matters pertaining to
oil production, oil refining, the asphalt industry and the manufacture of
petrophalt paint which one of his subsidiary companies has produced with
success. He first became identified with the so-called Lincoln Oil Company,
being persuaded to invest largely in the project upon the representations of
the treasurer of the new concern, who was president of the Oakland Bank.
Having the utmost confidence in the men at the head of the proposition
he did not investigate, but invested in this concern. When he came to the
Kern river field he at once saw that the proposition had been grossly mis-
represented to him, and that the territory was outside of the real oil field.
Immediately he severed his connection with the company as a director and
notified his friends of the frauds he had discovered, being fortunate in saving
his friends from loss, but unfortunate in losing his own investment.

Having determined with resolute fortitude to regain what he had
lost in the place where he had lo.st it. Mr. Campbell secured a lease on
twenty acres and organized the Section 5 Oil Company. In this he likewise
met with personal disappointment, as oil declined from ten to fifteen cents
per barrel to a point below the cost of i)roduction, and he sold out to the
Associated Oil Company, receiving stocks and bonds for the company's
rights under the original lease. Soon afterward he converted said stocks
and bonds into cash and purchased a part of section 9, where he immediately
began the work of development. His stockholders maintained implicit faith



9§6 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

in him and later large profits for them justified that confidence. The Section
5 Oil Company now owns the holdings on section 9, where it has eight pro-
ducing wells with a monthly production of several thousand barrels.

The credit of building the first refinery in the Kern river fields belongs
to Mr. Campbell, who became interested in the subject through the repre-
sentations of an enthusiastic employe, formerly connected with a Standard
oil refinery. After much discussion and study he resolved to put in a small
refinery and this he built himself. Although built on a small scale it demon-
strated the feasibility of refining the Kern river oil and the value of the
by-product and asphalt for street paving. He organized a stock company
called the King Refining Company, named after the late W. B. King, attor-
ney-at-law, of San Francisco. The stock was sold to a few of their friends,
being a close corporation. Only a small proportion of the stock was sold,
and the industry was built up mainly from the earnings of the corporation.
The company has surpassed the most sanguine expectations of its stock-
holders. It erected a refinery which ran the first seven years day and night
without shutting down, and is still running at a capacity of seven hundred
tons of asphalt per month. The residuum oils are taken by certain other oil
manufacturing concerns and largely used in the manufacture of lubricants.

Still another industry growing out of the refinery business and under
the management of Mr. Campbell is the manufacture of petrophalt paint,
now being made on a large scale by a company known as the Petrophalt
Paint Company and located in the Kern river field. This paint is non-cor-
rosive and a most excellent preservative, and is extensively used in painting
oil and gas pipes. Three coats of the paint ordinarily make pipes immune
to rust and well-nigh everlasting. This company has been doing business
about five years and has painted several hundred miles of oil lines, this paint
being considered one of the best preservers of iron when buried in the
ground or subjected to salt water or alkali. It is also used very largely
now by all large concerns on the coast, such as the Associated Oil Company,
the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railways in their oil departments, the
Southern California Edison Company, the Lacey Manufacturing Company
and the Llewellyn Iron Works, and is now being handled extensively by
such concerns as Fairbanks-Morse, J. F. Lucey Company, the Associated
Supply Company, and by nearly all of the other large supply houses on
the Pacific coast. The paint is now becoming very popular for the painting
of steel structures and all metal surfaces either hot or cold, being used
for heated surfaces such as smoke stacks and boiler fronts, and is also
being used largely for roof paint on account of its lasting qualities.

At times it has been thought that the Sunset and Midway fields with
their gushers were so far superior to the Kern river fields, that comparison
became absurd. If, however, the steady production of the Kern river fields
is taken into account it will be seen that the latter field is one of the greatest
importance. Take for instance well No. 1 of the Section 5 Oil Company,
located on the county road in section 9: It was the first one put down by
Mr. Campbell and has now produced steadily for twelve years. Its pro-
duction keeps right up to fifty barrels per day and produces as much now
as ever, 18,250 per year, or 219,000 barrels since it was drilled, at fifty
cents per barrel. It has produced more than $100,000 in wealth. The
Kern river field is therefore one of the best paying propositions in existence.

The oil storage in the Kern river field is the largest of any field in the
world, the soil being of such a nature as to hold oil in earthen reservoirs
of enormous capacity, running from four hundred and fifty thousand (450,000)
to one million barrels each. The Standard Oil Company is the first in
capacity, with approximately fifty million barrels, besides about one hundred
thirty-five-thousand-barrel steel tanks. Then come the Associated Oil Com-



HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY 987

pany, Petroleum Development Company and Producers' Transportation
Company, which have many million barrels more storage.

Here is also located the first oil pipe line pumping plant. The Standard
Oil .Associated Pipe Line Company and Independent Transportation Com-
pany pump under several hundred pounds pressure three eight-inch streams
of crude oil across the valley and over the mountain to several seaports
from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor. The total cost
of these enterprises runs well up to twenty millions of dollars, making the
Kern river field the head and one of the greatest oil centers in the world.

HENRY B. TRUE. — Born in Androscoggin county, Me., August 28,
1848, Henry B. True was the son of John True, who died when Henry was
a babe. Consequently he was reared on the farm by his mother, working at
farm duties and attending school during the winters. In 1865 he came to
Windsor, Sonoma county, and in 1867 to Los Angeles county and followed
farming near Los Nietos.

On j\Iay 26, 1870, Mr. True was married near Porterville to Miss Mary
Gilliam, a native of Dallas, Ore., and the daughter of Robert and Julia Ann
(Chance) Gilliam, who were born in North Carolina and Logan county
Ky., respectively. Crossing the plains in 1846 with ox-teams to Oregon
Mr. Gilliam took a Donation Land Claim. In 1858 he came to Contra Costa
county, Cal., and afterward to Stockton. In 1864 he located in Visalia and in
1865 in Porterville. The father died in Dallas, Ore., while the mother,
aged eighty-nine years, makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. True. The
latter is a near relative of Gen. Cornelius Gilliam, a pioneer Indian fighter in
Oregon, who had command of the soldiers against the Indians and was
killed by the accidental discharge of a gun. Mrs. True is the third eldest
of a family of eleven children.

Coming to Kern county in 1872, Mr. True worked at the blacksmith
trade in Glennville until 1878, when he started the first blacksmith shop in
Weldon, continuing in business there for five years. He then purchased his
present place of one hundred and sixty acres three miles east of Weldon and
has improved the place so it is under irrigation, and he is engaged in raising
alfalfa, grain, cattle and hogs and meeting with merited success.

Mr. and Mrs. True have one child, Lillian D.. now Mrs. Diment, of
Exeter. Mrs. True has aided her husband materially in his efforts to suc-
cess and is a member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. True was a member
of the board of school trustees of the Weldon district for eighteen years
and politically is a Democrat.

C. C. LITTLE.— Some distance above the point where the waters of
the Penobscot empty into the ocean and lying on the eastern bank of that
turbid, restless stream, lies the quiet little city of Bucksport, near which for
many years J. L. and Fannie (Blood) Little have made their home on a
farm. At the same old homestead occurred the birth of C. C. Little on the
26th of April, 1884, and in all probability his life might have been passed in
the community had not ill health forced him to seek a less rigorous climate.
His common-school education had been completed and he had carried on the
studies of the East Maine conference seminary at Bucksport for some tirne,
when the failure of his health cut .short his seminary course and caused hirn
to seek a more genial climate than that of his own state. Arriving in Cali-
fornia during August of 1904, he entered the Chestnut Woods Business
College at Santa Cruz, from which he was graduated in July of 1905. Mean-
while he had been restored to fair health by the invigorating influence of
the sunny western climate.

A brief period of service as bookkeeper in San Francisco to II. H.
Blood, president of the Gold Peak Mining Company, convinced Mr. Little
that outdoor occupation would better conserve his health. Accordingly



988 HISTORY OF KERN COUNTY

in December, 1905, he was transferred to the company's headquarters in
the Amelia mining district of Kern county and was given a position as
assayer and superintendent of the cyanide plant. A course of study in
a school of mines in San Francisco had qualified him for such work and
he filled the responsible position with intelligence and adaptability. From
that district he went to Piute in the fall of 1909 and engaged in the building
of a mill and concentrating plant for the Little Mining Company, owners
and operators of the Lulu mine. Since February of 1912 he has acted as
proprietor of the Caliente hotel, a two-story concrete building, of fireproof
construction and convenient interior arrangement. Being independent in his
attitude toward public questions, he has not identified himself with any
political party, nor is he particularly interested in fraternal affairs, although
holding membership with the Woodman of the World in Bakersfield. In the
supervision -of the hotel he has been assisted by his wife, who was Miss
Nettie Fitch, of Bakersfield, a native of that city and educated in its schools.
They are the parents of two daughters, Margaret and Mabel.

FRANK MERRILL WORTHINGTON.— The superintendent of the
San Joaquin division of the Southern Pacific Railroad is a member of a
pioneer family of the west and himself claims California as his native com-
monwealth. The Worthington genealogy goes back to the colonial era of
American history and the records show that Timothy Worthington mar-
ried Maria Merrill February 12, 1823, at Hebron, Washington county, N. Y.,
whence they soon removed to the then frontier of Indiana and took up a
tract of raw land in Elkhart county near the village of York. From them
the lineage is traced through their son, Samuel Merrill Worthington, a
native of Hebron, N. Y., but from early life familiar with the vicissitudes
incident to existence upon the frontier. The discovery of gold in California
turned his attention toward the far west and with several friends he determ-
ined to seek the mines. The young men boarded a sailing vessel in New
York City and sailed around the Horn. The voyage was one of great hard-
ship. For seventy days they were becalmed. Meanwhile the supply of food
and water ran short. Every heart was filled with joy when finally the
vessel entered the Golden Gate and discharged its passengers in San Fran-
cisco, whence naturally a rush was made for the mines. After several years
as miners the young men decided to go back to the east and return with
stock and implements to aid in farming. Two young men went back with
Mr. Worthington and they became brothers-in-law by marrying three sisters.

The marriage of Samuel Merrill Worthington took place in Granville,
Licking county, Ohio, March 4, 1858, and united him with Miss Julia Ann
Hillyer, a native of that town. The young couple spent a few months in
Indiana and then joined a party bound for California. Owing to trouble
with the Indians the government stopped all travel across the plains, which
forced them to remain at Leavenworth, Kan., for some time. The journey was
resumed in April of 1859 with a train of thirty wagons, some drawn by
oxen and others by horses. As Mr. Worthington was then in ill health his
wife drove their four-horse team and also cared for her small babe, besides
ministering to the invalid. To those who had taken the trip and knew of
its roughness she was a heroine. At times it was necessary to chain the
four wheels of the wagon, on the rear of which all of the men would ride,
m order to prevent a somersault, as the way was rough and steep. Only
one wagon could be taken down at a time. About fifty men were in the



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 99 of 177)